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Choosing a mattress for a child during their growing years needs you to take as much care as you would when choosing your own.  Never mind the Sponge Bob or Noddy nonsense, (as soon as you put a sheet on they won’t see any patterns will they) save the designs for the bed linen department. You do though, need to think about what sort of mattress you are going to need.

First and foremost, when a child is growing they need quality sleep as sleep time is when the body gets ready for the next day’s growth activity and when the brain processes learning from the previous day so that it is retained as experience and knowledge. Over and above all of that, a growing body needs to be supported properly when it is resting. There’s no need to worry about an orthopaedic mattress unless your doctor recommends one but you do need to focus on the quality of the mattress if it is to be of any use.

Generally children do not need specially designed mattresses with sprung pockets for this, internal support for that and flexible springs for the other, what they need is the best quality mattress you can buy. The most important thing to consider when buying a mattress for a child is how it fits into bedroom arrangements generally. Are you going to buy another child’s bed to only need to replace it with an adult bed in a few years time? You may find yourself forced into buying a child’s bed if the bedroom is too small for an adult bed.

Spend time thinking about who follows next, do you have other children or are you planning them?  A larger brood may merit you thinking about bunk beds. They make maximum use of the space available and are of immense attraction to children providing you can settle the perennial “who sleeps up top” question.

Once you have thought about the bed arrangements the mattress question usually answers itself. Do be on the lookout for features that help protect a mattress from night time accidents, water proof coverings and anti-bacterial layers will always provide Mum and Dad with comfort, even if it’s not the sleepy kind. Knowing they sleep safe and well is comfort enough for me!

Of course, the most important thing to do is get your child involved in the process. They need to feel part of things so give them a hand in making the final decision. Some clever briefing beforehand about special beds in this shop or pretty ones in the other shop should, if done cleverly mean that you can plant the idea about which bed to purchase before you hit the shops. That way you avoid nasty scenes where budget or physical dimensions mean you can’t purchase the bed they want! Disaster!

If you do want to focus on the type of mattress then there are some simple things to look out for:

·         Mattress size – obvious really

·         Spring type – look out for sprung mattresses wherever possible

·         Number of sprung coils – not important now but if you are buying and adult sized mattress it will be important in 10 years

·         Mattress materials – avoid PVD (carninogenic emissions) so go for wool and cotton

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