Published on September 11, 2021

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Moving your little one out of their crib and into their first big kid bed may be a fraught and confusing time for both child and parent alike. (No! Don’t grow up!) But adjusting to this major life stage can be fun and manageable with the right setup. A twin mattress may feel considerably larger than what your babe is used to, but simply placed on the floor or on a low bed frame to begin with, it will quickly become a size that your child gets used to and will continue to grow into. Behold, our guide to finding the best twin mattress to help ensure a good night’s sleep is in the near future—for all involved.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Mattress material: In terms of how mattresses are made, we’ve really come a long way. Using natural and hypoallergenic materials has thankfully become the norm, with many brands boasting eco and material certifications, so that everyone can rest easy. While innerspring mattresses are the most traditional and affordable and known for their bounce factor, today’s modern memory foam mattresses offer a host of benefits. Some designs are infused with gel (which helps to regulate body temperature while offering ergonomic support), exhibit open-cell structures for added breathability, and feature multiple layers of foam in different densities that help avoid that sinking quicksand feel. Hybrid mattresses, which combine both springs and foam, offer the best of both worlds. Ready to jump in yet?

Thickness: Apart from a thicker mattress being more supportive and hence more comfortable, mattress height should be a key consideration if you are planning to fit a bed frame, trundle platform, or bunk bed. Most bunk beds can only safely accommodate low-profile mattresses—the sweet spot tends to be between 7 or 8 inches high—and kids mattresses can run from 6 inches (thin) to 12 inches (lofty), so be sure to do your due diligence and match the mattress height to the depth of your selected bed frame. 

Firmness level: Unsurprisingly, mattresses with a medium firmness will suit growing children best. Because children weigh much less than adults, soft mattresses will probably feel more comfortable to them. However, as they mature, a firmer one will provide more support and pressure relief if they ever experience growing pains. If you’re planning to use the same mattress as your child hurtles toward their teenage years, a medium-firm option will see you through. 

Trial period: Most brands now boast generous trial periods to help ensure your child is happy with your purchase. One hundred nights risk-free has become the norm among both leading and niche brands, with some companies going beyond this, like Saatva, which offers a 180-night trial, and Nectar, which provides a one-year trial period. Make full use of that time to figure out if the chosen mattress is right for your family. Returns are often hassle-free, and some companies like Casper and Tuft & Needle will donate mattresses returned within the time period to charity or communities in need. 

Warranty: A long warranty period usually indicates that the mattress is of superior quality. Ten-year warranties have become a great benchmark across the board, with Nectar offering a whopping lifetime warranty that covers most physical flaws and defects as long as it has been used and maintained properly. Most mattresses are thankfully built to last, and a solid warranty period is a good indication that the materials match what’s described on the label.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Saatva Youth Mattress

Saavta’s mattress may not be the most affordable, but it’s winning combination of hypoallergenic and antimicrobial organic cotton with CertiPUR-US foams and a nontoxic thistle flame barrier means it’s great for children and the planet. Designed specifically for kids ages 3 to 12, this dual-sided innerspring mattress features a more supportive foam side for younger bodies and can be flipped over onto the firm spring side for added lumbar support. With a 180-night trial period, 12-year warranty, and free white glove delivery and setup, this design supports sleep at all ages.

Best Long-Term Value: Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

Nectar’s mattress provides incredible value, not least because of its 365-night trial period and lifetime warranty. Equipped with a quilted poly-blend cover that wicks away heat and moisture quickly, this design has become well known for its temperature responsiveness to the different stages of sleep and adaptive layers of cozy yet supportive foams. This may not be a child’s mattress per se, but its all-around quality and affordability makes it hard to beat. 

Best for Young Sleepers: Five Little Monkeys Sleep System

Specifically designed for growing children ages 3 to 18, Five Little Monkeys has cracked the code for combining pressure-relief comfort with cradling support. At $549, this nontoxic and allergy-proof mattress is CertiPUR-US certified and comes with a waterproof mattress protector to safeguard against any accidents. The mattress’s cooling gel top layer regulates body temperature, while open-cell memory foam contours the body to help quell sleep restlessness. Best of all, each bed is delivered with a perfectly sized and filled child’s pillow and a little stuffed monkey (!) in a shipping box that can be instantly transformed into a playhouse after unwrapping. Your little one will be as excited about their new bed as you are. 

Best Support for Tall Kids: Casper Original Hybrid Mattress

As the O.G. of new-wave mattresses, Casper’s option still boasts one of the most supportive products out there. Its proprietary four-pronged construction is engineered to support and align the spine, promotes airflow to keep sleepers cool, uses premium foam that conforms to the body to relieve pressure, and is bolstered by springs to prevent sinking and facilitate ventilation. All foam is CertiPUR-US certified and has been oriented to feel softer around the shoulders and upper body and firmer around the hips, waist, and lower back. 

Best for Bunk Beds: Purple Kids Mattress

Purple’s kids’ mattress is softer than its adult version but still comes armed with its famed Purple Grid—an adaptive, flexible gel matrix that provides more than 1,000 air channels for superior airflow. Designed for children up to 14 years of age, this hypoallergenic mattress is softer and lighter than most. It’s also 7 inches high, making it ideal for bunk beds. Plus it comes with a washable top cover, in case of any mishaps. 

Best for Flip-Floppers: Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

If your child moves around a lot at night, Tuft & Needle’s mattress is a one-stop destination thanks to its adaptive foam technology that suits both back and stomach sleepers. Constructed with two layers of its patented foam blend, this mattress conforms to the body while heat-conducting graphite infused into the material pulls body heat away to ensure a longer sleep. Depending on their age, kids need an average of 10 to 14 hours of sleep to support their mental and physical development. Whatever sleeping position they choose at night, this mattress will move with them. 

Best Organic Kids’ Mattress: Naturepedic 2-in-1 Organic Mattress

If the philosophy of going organic extends into the bedroom for you, then Naturepedic’s 2-in-1 mattress ticks a lot of boxes with its all-natural construction and materials. Boasting a mix of premium innersprings and organic cotton fabric and fill, this mattress’s stretch knit cover is luxurious to the touch. Its organic cotton filling is also procured from USDA-certified sources and comes teamed with a plant-based PLA synthetic fiber made from non-GMO sugarcane for added resilience. Best of all, it features a comfy quilted side that’s bolstered by a built-in waterproof layer (applied using heat instead of adhesives) to safeguard against recurrent bedwetting, and a firmer springy side that will support growing bones, making it great for all ages.

Ask Domino

Q: What are the dimensions of a twin mattress? 

A typical twin mattress measures 38 inches wide and 75 inches long. A twin XL offers a little more length at 80 inches. Both mattresses range between 6 inches and 12 inches in height, so make sure to check the dimensions of your bed frame, trundle, or bunk bed before pulling the trigger. 

Q: Do two twin mattresses make a king? 

Almost. Two twin mattresses form the width of a typical king, but they fall a little short in length. Choose two twin XL mattresses to form a true king—they’ll fit your king-size bed frame perfectly.

Q: Do I need to use a box spring with a twin mattress?

No. As long as you have a foundation for your mattress, like a slatted bed frame or a platform bed, this will help prolong the longevity and integrity of your mattress. 

How We Vetted These Products

Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria: 

  1. They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use. 
  2. They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel. 
  3. They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews to know that they pass the test IRL. 

Domino’s editors independently curate every product on our site, because we’re just as obsessed with a great deal and an under-the-radar discovery as you are. Items you purchase may earn us an affiliate commission.

 

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