Matress for 4 year old

This website and the posts are sooo helpful. Thank you so much for all the information. I wonder if you could respond to 3 questions and help me choose a mattress.

We need to buy a twin mattress for my son who just turned 4. Ideally, we would be buying all natural, latex, etc., but budget and time wise (we need the mattress ASAP and I have already spent countless hours researching and trying out mattresses), we have decided to go with either one of the national brands easily available in our small city in Canada (Kingsdown) or else Ikea. We have narrowed our choices down to 2 different Kingsdown mattresses: The “Collins” which is available at Sleep Country and the “Joplin” which is sold by Sears . They are very comparable: both pocket coil, similar coil count (516 vs. 542) although nobody could tell me the gauge of the wires, and similar comfort layers. The only real difference seems to be that the “Collins” uses some kind of gel-infused foam. The website says “quilted with high density firm foam and gel foam.” The Collins is noticeably more cushy than the Joplin, but not to the point of not being supportive. The Joplin feels very firm, even to me and Iike firm mattresses. So my questions are 1) How firm do kids mattresses have to be? Is that bit of extra cushioning in the Collins going to be detrimental to my son (his spine, development, etc.)?; and 2) is their so called gel-infused memory foam really not a good choice for my son? As I said, it doesn’t feel like a memory foam bed, it just feels a little more comfortable. It’s probably just polyfoam with fancy wording.

Finally, I looked at Ikea’s mattresses after you mentioned them here and I wondered what you thought about the Sultan Heggedal All Products - IKEA CA. Seems like a good price (the Kingsdown mattresses were $425 and $450) and good materials, but I worry about the quality and the origin (China?), although Kingsdown probably uses parts made in China. I haven’t even been there yet to try it out, just saw it on the website.

I’d really appreciate your insight and suggestions.


Hi junogirls,

In case you haven’t seen it or it would be valuable for you … post #2 here has links to most of the better posts and threads about children in the forum including links to many good choices.

Depending on the age and the size of the child … generally a minimum of “medium” and up towards firmer from there so that there is only a little bit of sinking in. Not quite as firm as a baby who need the firmest surface. As they get older and begin to develop more their needs would start to shift towards the needs and preferences of an adult. I would keep any soft foam layers to no more than an inch or two at most. Some foam mattresses may have enough softness in the top of the core material itself to not need any additional soft layers.

I would also avoid memory foam (both because of softness and possible sensitivities) with children who are still growing and the “gel foam” is probably memory foam.

Unfortunately … neither Kingsdown or most chain stores will disclose what is in the mattresses they sell with any detail so there is no way to either compare or evaluate them … and I would tend to avoid them completely.

Post #3 here has my thoughts about the Ikea mattresses but I think the Ikea would be a much better choice of the ones you are looking at and has much higher quality, more natural, and more breathable materials and is better value. A slightly thicker mattress pad can always be added to it if they need a bit of extra softness although Ikea rates all of its mattresses as a variation of “firm” and with the natural elasticity of latex it may be fine by itself.


Hi Phoenix,

Just wanted to thank you for your helpful thoughts and suggestions. We went to IKEA on Saturday and tried out the Sultan Heggedal and the Edsele. I thought that my son’s spine seemed to be in good alignment on the Heggedal and I personally found it more comfortable, so that’s the one I went with. The sales associate at IKEA tried to dissuade me from buying it for my son. He said the Heggedal was “too firm for a child.” I had heard this line from several mattress sales people at the various stores I visited and it always confused me because it seemed contrary to what I read in my research. That’s why I asked you in my original post how firm a mattress should be for a child. Anyway, when I asked the IKEA sales associate what a better alternative would be for my son, he suggested the Edsele or a memory foam bed. After he suggested the memory foam mattress, I decided to disregard his input and just buy what seemed to support my son the best and what I thought would be most comfortable. Hopefully I didn’t choose wrong. But IKEA has a great return policy so at least I don’t feel like I’ve lost my money if we end up not being happy with it. His comments did make me wonder if it was possible for a mattress to be too firm for a child. If my 44 year-old body finds it cushy and comfortable enough, shouldn’t my 4 year-old son?

Thanks again for the invaluable service you provide to all us mattress consumers!!

Hi junogirls,

A mattress can be too firm for a child yes. Babies need the firmest mattress of all but once they move into toddler age they need a little more cush but they also need firmer and thinner layers than adults because they are still growing, their spine is more flexible, and they haven’t yet filled out or have the more “curvy” body shape of an adult yet.

I think the Heggedal is a good choice. They list it as “most firm” but comfort is subjective and the good news is that you prefer it as well :slight_smile: