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What To Know Before Buying A Mattress For Children

Adults or children – we all need a good night’s sleep. Often, how rested we feel today depends significantly on how well we have slept the night before.

Children spend about 12 to 16 hours a day sleeping (including naps). Sleep patterns play a big role in their development. Parents benefit from well-rested children who have greater attention span, better memory, lesser behavioural difficulties, lower stress level, among other things, during their waking hours.


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Basic features

A good mattress should last for at least 10 years. Its key features include comfort, adequate support to the spine and joints, and safety. It should also provide a firm foundation for a child’s bone strength, developing body and sleep quality. Good health is key to a promising future. It is preferable that the mattress can withstand abuse such as jumping, playing and food/beverage spillages.

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Size and Child’s Age

For babies, a firm mattress helps to lessen the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and other infant health risks. Toddlers usually need a medium-firm mattress for sufficient support. Though they can still fit into their crib mattress (27” x 52”), an upgrade to single size mattress (36” x 75”), one step up from the crib mattress and which also suits an adult, would be more comfortable. In Singapore, the super single size mattress (42” x 75”) is an alternative option to the single counterpart, especially if bedroom space is not an issue.

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The most common mattresses are innerspring coil (open coil or pocket coil), memory foam and latex.

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Innerspring pocket coil mattress has individual coils wrapped in fabric (unlike open coil type). Its features:

  • Lasts longer
  • Provides firmer support
  • Eliminates motion transfer
  • Contours to body shape (and allows better contour-fit than open coil type)

Memory foam mattress is made of layers of foam with varying densities so that it can respond to different weight and temperature. Its features:

  • Contours to body shape
  • Feels hard (when the mattress is new)
  • Emits odour (for years)
  • Temperature sensitive (i.e. it easily gets hotter as a person moulds and softens the mattress with body heat)

Latex mattress (*natural, synthetic or blended rubber) has pinholes which intersperse periodically. Its features:

  • Firmer and springier
  • Highly breathable
  • More resistant to heat and moisture
  • *Naturally repellent to dust mites, fungus, bacteria, microscopic animals and mould growth
  • *Naturally hypoallergenic
  • Antibacterial

Tips on choosing a mattress and its accessories

Press the mattress. If it is firm, it should bounce back immediately.

Get your child to lie on the mattress in their normal sleeping position for about 10 minutes. Ask them if their neck, shoulders and hips are comfortable.


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Consider your child’s sleeping position. A back sleeper generally feels comfortable on all types of mattresses. For a side sleeper, a memory foam mattress that moulds to the shoulders and hips would be perfect.

Look for hypoallergenic materials if your child has sensitivities such as asthma, eczema or rhinitis. Materials such as cotton and silk are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.

When choosing a pillow, get your child to lie on it. Their neck and spine should be in line whether they lie on the back or the side.

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Investing in a good mattress may be worth the while given its benefits. Make the call and get your child a firm foundation today!


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