Mattress for 3 year old - Arizona, Brooklyn, Saatva, or SleepEZ Roma?

We would like to spend less than $600 on a twin size mattress. We are okay with all latex or mattresses that use other materials as long as it is from a good and trusted brand. There are so many options that I have not looked into like Helix, Avocado, Casper, etc so we are definitely open to other options beyond what is listed below. We have narrowed down our mattress choices for our 3 year old daughter to be the following (we are open to other options as well).

  1. Brooklyn Signature - Signature Hybrid - Brooklyn Bedding
  2. Arizona - Latex Beds for Kids, Eco Sleep Hybrid Latex / Pocket Coil Mattress, Latex Mattresses-Talalay and Dunlop, All Products
  3. Saatva - Best Mattress for Kids - Saatva Youth - Mattresses | Saatva
  4. SleepEZ Roma - https://sleepez.com/products/roma-latex-mattress/
  5. I am local to My Green Mattress and Quality Sleep. I own a mattress from them which we really like. I am not sure which mattress would be toddler friendly. Pure Echo, Kiwi, Noelle?

A few questions

  1. Are flippable mattresses worth it? Does flippability sacrifice durability and quality at all or is it just a matter of finishing both sides? Do parents actually flip the mattress to the softer side?
  2. Arizona seems to be the best bang for the buck. Why do the Roma and Saatva cost so much more? Would it be wise to by the flippable Arizona?
  3. As we transition her from the crib, can we place the mattress on the ground or do we need something underneath it to not harm the mattress?

I am leaning towards the Arizona kids bed, Arizona Twin Eco Sleep Hybrid Mattress or SleepEZ Roma as all of these are or can be made reversible if that is a feature I should consider. The Brooklyn Signature Hybrid and Dreamfoam are still a consideration as well but I am not sure which makes more sense out of those 2 options

Hi jbrady3324.

Time travel from 2014 …welcome back to our Mattress Forum! :wink:

Sorry for the delay in replying. Your post was put on my board by the team but slipped away when taking care some technical issues for the site.

I am seeing some good choices on your shortlist of beds for your 3 years old daughter. Generally, any mattress that uses materials that are “durable enough” (see the mattress durability guidelines here ) that you would also consider to be “safe enough” and is in a suitable firmness range for their age would generally be a suitable choice for a child. The choice between different mattresses that meet these criteria (outside of memory foam which is not a good material choice for children) would really be more of a budget and preference choice than a “better/worse” choice (see article here ). I am not seeing the common denominator in your choices aside from flippability and perhaps budget.

Based on your previous choices, MGM and QSS would be an ideal place to visit as they have a large selection of mattresses for children. You may want to have a look at Quality Sleep Shop’s Emily Mattress which is handcrafted with 1" of soft, blended latex over a firm pocketed coil and foam. My Green Mattress’s (8")Kiwi Bunk Bed hybrid mattress made with organic latex and wool batting would also make a good choice. I’d definitely pay a visit and use their decades-long experience with crafting mattresses for children to decide what is best for your 3 -years-old daughter.

In the case of a 3 years old child, the “flipability” feature may not be that important in terms of mattress durability and it is not recommended especially if you select a dual comfort version. A child is much lighter and their mattress usually does not go through much mechanical stress and given componentry that falls in the mattress durability guidelines here needing to flip the mattress for durability is not an issue. This said you may still want to choose a flippable child mattress for other considerations. For example, getting a dual comfort (one side firm the other medium) will certainly add some comfort for your daughter later when she develops more adult proportions and needs more cushiness. Also, for toddlers and preschoolers the mattress “flipability” may help offset any accidents that may happen during this age.

Arizona’s lower pricing comes from laminating 18" to 30" cut-off pieces (from Queen of Twin XL) Talalay latex cores into solid slabs. A child’s twin size 38″ wide x 74″ long will have 2-3 of such latex core strips.
Practically there is no real downside to manufacturing such a mattress as the lamination seams cannot be felt and the lamination adhesive is very strong, water-based and Greenguard Gold certified. This Kid’s all latex mattress is almost half the price of their unlaminated solid-core model which runs at $600. This mattress has the same 20 years guaranty, is as durable as its solid counterpart, and is the perfect value/quality for those with budget considerations.
4. SleepEZ Roma - sleepez.com/products/roma-latex-mattress/ is also a very good choice from one of our Trusted members Like Arizona’s solid core model, SleepEz’s Roma is made with solid latex layers which come with a higher price tag. Also, the mattress is 9" instead of 6" which would also result in an increased price point.

The mattress can be placed safely on the floor without compromising the durability and useful life of the mattress, I would still consider using some sort of Bunkie board or low-profile foundation down the road. This will also help with overall breathability, hygiene, and cleanliness. I would also consider a mattress protector of some sort.

As mentioned above a reversible mattress would help extend the use of the mattress once your daughter grows and is ready for a softer sleeping surface. If alternatively, you select one firmness only for both sides of the mattress, down the road. you can always add a topper for a little more comfort when your daughter needs it.
I’d keep in mind that especially when children are very young, they need a firm mattress that allows for free movement and a sleeping surface that is more supportive for the spine.

Older children that have transitioned to a larger mattress and are out of the crib will generally do best on a medium to the medium-firm sleeping surface. Based on the child’s stats (weight, height, and proportions) and with the caveat that children are much lighter than adults and the sleeping surface may “feel” firmer to a child than it would feel to an adult rating the same ILD latex of same thickness, here are some general guidelines.
0-1 infant …. Firm to an extra firm sleeping surface
1-3 toddler … medium-firm to a firm sleeping surface
3-5 preschooler … medium to the medium-firm sleeping surface.
5-9 school-aged … medium-firm to medium
9-12 pre-teen/tween … more preference oriented
12+ teenager … more preference oriented

Children are very adaptable and they do very well with firmer surfaces that support their epiphyseal plate and postural formation. The Signature Hybrid is a hybrid polyurethane mattress and different in many respects from all other all-latex mattresses you are considering. The 2.5" of foam on top of 8" coils would be more suitable for an adult looking for a certain surface feel. Adding to this. they have changed their specs several times over the years so if you are considering this mattress I’d make sure to find the mattress specifications you need to know so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the mattress durability guidelines here

Looking forward to hearing about your final decision.
Phoenix

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lol. It great to be back! This forum is amazing

Over the past few days, I have actually re-narrowed down my choices to DIY and SleepEZ Roma. The DIY option is very appealing for comfort tuning, replacing worn/soiled latex, etc. However, I would be limited to 6" unless I pony up an extra $130 for another 2 inch layer if that will bring more benefits (ex. longevity into the teen years, handing down to her brother or moving to a guest room).

f I go the DIY route, what firmness layers do you recommend for a 6" and 8"?

  1. DIY - $560 -$580 with two 3" layers of Dunlop Latex and organic cotton cover from Latex Mattress Factory
  2. Roma - $600 after discounts with free pillow and mattress protector

The flippability of the Roma is appealing for the reasons you mentioned (soil, damage, etc). The only concern I have about the Roma is the polyfoam layer. Is this something I should be concerned about? Otherwise, cost is great and the freebies sweeten the deal.

I spoke to Latex Mattress factory and they have guided me towards DIY over the Roma which is what my gut is telling me as well. They are recommending a layer of Soft (19 ILD) dunlop on top of a layer of Medium (28 ILD) dunlop. . Will this be too soft for a 3 year old toddler? Can I put the medium on top without any concerns?I definitely need some guidance on a layer configuration for a 6" and 8" bed.

One more question. If I did decide to go for an 8" configuration, could I do a layering of 3" firm (bottom), 2" soft (middle), 3" medium (top) to achieve medium firmness (~28 ILD) for my toddler?

Hi jbrady3324,

The DIY in this case is a good way to go to get the best of all worlds. While a soft Dunlop layer will feel a bit firmer than Talalay in the same thickness and ILD. I do believe that a soft sleeping surface for 3 years old has a good chance to compromise alignment, reduce the blood supply, and impair the development and function of the epiphysial plates in a child.

The Merck Manual for Medical Information has a section on Causes of Bone Disorders in Children which" typically involve the gradual misalignment of bones, which is caused by forces exerted on the growth plates as children are developing. A poor blood supply can also damage the growth plate, as can separation from the rest of the bone or even minor misalignment. Damage to the growth plate suppresses the growth of bones, distorts the joint, and can cause long-lasting joint damage (arthritis)."

Unless otherwise advised by a medical professional, I’d err on the side of caution and select the firmer version side up if you chose to go with this dominating layer alternative (The “dominating layer” terminology I used refers to the practice of using “firmer” layers on top of “softer” layers).

From a suitability perspective, this is a more unusual design approach that has firmer materials on top and then changes the firmness of the deeper layers to add additional “give” underneath the latex. This would be similar to a “dominating layer” ( see post #33 here and the posts it links to) These types of designs create a firmer sleeping surface with a much more “on the mattress” feel with some additional give and softness underneath the firmer layers. Out of all options you mentioned this would be best. It also offers the advantage that you can assess your daughter’s alignment while she sleeps and if any slight misalignment is observed then you can move the 2" soft layer to the bottom.

I’m looking forward to finding out what you end up deciding.
Phoenix

Thanks for the reply. So it seems okay to move the soft layer to the bottom if necessary and then move back up when she needs a softer surface? What is the downside to soft-firm-medium (top) configuration to start? My head is spinning.

I called 3 companies and got the following recommendations: (bottom to top):

LMF - Soft (19ILD), Medium (28 ILD), Firm (36 ILD)
6" - 3" Medium, 3" Soft
8" - 2" Firm. 3" Medium 3" Soft
Suggested that I can move the Soft layer to the bottom for the 6" or to the middle for the 8" and the medium to the top layer to firm up the mattress.

APM - Soft (19ILD), Medium (28 ILD), Firm (36 ILD)
6" - Medium
8" - 6" Medium, 2" Soft
8" - 3" Firm, 3" Medium, 2" Soft - I am leaning towards purchasing this configuration from APM or LMF

SOL - I forget exact, but Medium and Firm are higher ILD than above
6" - 3" Firm, 3" Medium (32 ILD)

I am skeptical about the top soft layer recommendations as most research points to a medium top layer while they are young. But both APM and LMF sounded confident and LMF suggested I could place the Medium Layer at the top with the Soft Layer on the bottom/middle if I felt it needed to be more firm until they were older/heavier. SOL’s recommendation was more of the standard.

So, I have narrowed this down to:

6" - Firm/Med - Add a topper/another layer in the future
8" - Soft/Firm/Med - Put soft layer on the bottom and move to the top when she is ready - Similar to a flippable mattress approach
8" - Firm/Med/Med - Firm mattress and can replace medium top layer down the road

What do you suggest? I know this is an unorthodox approach but we prefer the thicker mattress and would like to future proof the design if possible

Hi jbrady3324.

I’ll be moving your other “stray post” into this thread as it is truly a very good thought process to follow for narrowing DIY your options for your 3-year-old daughter. Good job at working through the quagmire.! :wink:
It looks like you also want to take a nap and cuddle with your daughter from time to time. so it makes sense to get a thicker mattress.

All the options you listed can work well, but I’d be inclined towards the second option S/F/M (S down or in the middle) as this gives you more alternatives without the extra expense.

Look forward to any updates you might have
Phoenix

Thanks Phoenix. I decided to go with the S/F/M 8" configuration. Both LMF and APM agreed that this was a good way to go.

Hi, Phoenix. I wanted to piggyback on this post regarding my 2.5 year old daughter, who weighs about 25 lbs. She is petite and won’t likely be very big, I weigh 170 and her mom weighs 120. We are likely going to go with Flexus but have had a lot of different advice from various companies. Ken said go with 6" of soft talalay and that’s all his kids slept on, SleepEZ said to do 3" soft and 3" medium and put the medium on top and the soft on the bottom until she hits 12 or so, when we could switch it. Henry at Flexus says to use Medium and Firm and add a soft topper later, OR he said doing the medium and soft could work as well. We want to do a talalay layer and a dunlop layer or possibly 2 talalay layers, but we aren’t sure. Our biggest concern is her safety and her development then her comfort. Henry’s Talalay is 19 ILD for soft, 28 for medium and 36 for firm and his dunlop is 25 ILD for soft, 31 for medium and 35 for firm. What would you go with if we’re going to do a 6" mattress? Would medium talalay over soft talalay be too soft for her development? What about medium dunlop over medium talalay. Or we were also thinking medium dulnop over soft talalay or medium talalay over soft talalay. We’d like this mattress to last 20 years, and all these companies assure us that it will. Any advice would be appreciated.

Hi SudOvest.

I have deleted your duplicate post as your questions are relevant and added a new dimension to current topic so the “piggybacking” is relevant and quite appropriate

As your daughter is fast approaching the 3 years old mark she’d be more in the medium-firm to medium ranges of comfort suitable for her age. Generally, there is no single firmness level that is always best for all children and different people or different manufacturers can have different definitions of firmness. This said sleep Ergonomic research will recommend for babies and infants a firm to extra firm sleeping surface while toddlers generally need a medium-firm to firm sleeping surface and older generally do best on a medium to medium-firm sleeping surface. There is more complete information on this subject in post #2 here.

These 4 options could still work but it still depends on each child and on your criteria of selection and what is most important to you.

The “reverse layer” arrangements (medium Talalay on top of the soft Talalay, medium Dunlop over soft Talalay, and …also medium Talalay over soft Talalay arrangements) the medium layer on top of a soft layer will reduce how far your daughter sinks through the upper layer to feel the effects of the softer layer below which can work well in certain cases, but I would have some reservations as to the level of support that’s appropriate for your daughter’s development. The advantage of such layer arrangements is that in about 10 years from now when your daughter develops more adult proportions you can simply switch of the layers for a plusher comfort level. Out of the above 3 arrangements, I would favor Dunlop medium on top as Dunlop is considered to be more supportive because it doesn’t compress as deeply with greater weight

The other version you are considering Medium Dunlop over Medium Talalay would conform more with the general recommendations for growing children, Dunlop latex compresses at different rates for different masses (all foams respond to “weight”), and it’ll feel softer initially in the first 25% or so of compression, and then firms up faster (has a higher compression modulus), As your daughter grows, her BMI increases and she’ll compress the top layer past the 25% mark when the Dunlop on top will start feeling firmer at which point you can flip the mattress for a softer feel placing the Talalay layer on top. As opposed to Dunlop when Talalay is compressed past 25% of its thickness will feel softer than its Dunlop counterpart. This option has the advantage of making a more gradual change and more in tune with the general recommendations for growing children.

Children have different proportions than adults have, and also their weight is generally more evenly distributed which means that they won’t have pressure point issues and the “need” for a softer layer to form a cradle and contour around their profile nearly as much as adults would. Children have less mass so “theoretically” everything will tend to feel a bit firmer for them, but again growing children can adapt to almost anything so I personally would lean toward firmer sleeping surfaces for multiple reasons. Infants and children spend more time on a mattress, have a much more flexible spine that is less curvy than an adult, a child needs to be better supported than an adult by the surface layers, and they also need a mattress that allows for free movement (especially for very young children).

As for a comfort recommendation you received, every child is different but, I would give strong consideration to what Henry and Sleep EZ advise, as it does dovetail with generally accepted sleep ergonomic guidelines for a toddler.

Latex is the most durable of all foams and with good protection at your daughters’ weight, it is very likely that it can last for several decades.

Phoenix

I can relate to your confusion. As you know I just went through this and I ultimately decided to do a DIY and buy a third soft layer. The soft layer will go on the bottom with firm and then medium on top. This gives me flexibility in the future and enough support for our toddler today. The extra layer cost more but there is no extra cost for a thicker mattress cover so the investment is minor in the long term.

I visited MyGreenMattress two weeks ago and there Kiwi bed is fantastic. I almost changed my mind and bought that bed instead of doing a DIY. If you are confused and on the fence, I would highly recommend the Kiwi

@phoenix

Back again! We ended up buying a 6” medium firm latex mattress from Flexus Comfort, which was a close out a couple years ago. It was organic cotton on top and brown polyester on the sides (and sewed together-not able to be opened) . We plan on adding a two or 3 inch comfort layer as my daughter gets older. I can’t remember what the name of the model was and I can’t find the order receipt and now Flexus seems to be out of business. Now, our son is over two years old and has started climbing out of his crib and wanted to buy him the same mattress. Is there a similar mattress on the market around the same price? I think we paid around $450.

Hi SudOvest,

Welcome back! :slight_smile: Great to hear that your daughter is still enjoying her mattress after over 2 years since your last purchase.

Since your daughter seems to be resting well on her medium-firm mattress, I suggest waiting a bit longer before adding more softness to her comfort layer. Toddlers and growing children benefit from a supportive sleeping surface that promotes proper spine alignment and supports their developing posture and growth plates, which typically close around ages 14-16 for girls and 16-18 for boys.

Considering the price point you mentioned, I assume you purchased the Factory Select Latex Mattress from Flexus. While no two mattresses are identical, especially in terms of materials and craftsmanship, replicating a similar construction shouldn’t be too challenging. The basic construction of this mattress type should allow you to find something quite close to what you have for your daughter.

These are the specs of your daughter’s Factory Select mattress:

  • Cover: Organic Cotton cover quilted to natural wool. Medium firm. Built for toddlers, children, and young adults.
  • Core: 31 ILD 100% Natural Dunlop Latex core from Sri Lanka - Oeko-Tex Certified

image

Many of our Trusted Members ™, which you can check in the TM directory here offer similar products. Here are a few that come to mind:

Here are some more options as well.

Any of the Trusted Members would be happy to help replicate the mattress. After all, a good mattress and plenty of sleep might just be the secret weapon to helping your little one confidently climb out of their crib!

Pheonix

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Thanks so much Phoenix! So you recommend that my daughter stay on this 6" mattress until her growth plates close (without a comfort layer)?

I’ll look into some of these options for my son-thanks for finding that page from Flexus-that was the mattress we bought! Should we stick with 31ILD dunlop for our son? Would you recommend keeping the same setup?

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Hi SudOvest

Blockquote So you recommend that my daughter stay on this 6" mattress until her growth plates close (without a comfort layer)?

Not necessarily! Every child is different. As her bed is medium-firm, I would delay adding a comfort layer unless she gives signs of unrest during the night or wakes up often for no apparent reason. If that is the case I would investigate to pinpoint the cause of discomfort. Typically children are resilient and do well on firm, medium-firm sleeping surfaces. So, if it ain’t broke, why fix it, right?

I’d also watch for major growth spurts and adjust comfort if necessary. The next major one is around puberty, usually between 8 to 13 years of age in girls and 10 to 15 years in boys. Aside from being more hungry, getting taller, and gaining weight, if they start sleeping more than usual and in long stretches (probably interrupted only by midnight snacking) I’d say all is good. If on the other hand, it looks like she needs more comfort (Girls tend to prefer softer than boys) you can always add some plushness to create a comforting cradle with a thin pad rather than a 3" layer

The Merck Manual for Medical Information has a section on Causes of Bone Disorders in Children which” typically involve the gradual misalignment of bones, which is caused by forces exerted on the growth plates as children are developing. A poor blood supply can also damage the growth plate, as can separation from the rest of the bone or even minor misalignment. Damage to the growth plate suppresses the growth of bones, distorts the joint, and can cause long-lasting joint damage (arthritis).”

Sleep ergonomic research will generally recommend leaning toward firm and solid support, then “just enough” comfort on top to get the job done. You can always add a topper, but I would lean toward the slightly firmer option than the medium one looking “down the road”. Very firm Dunlop cores (44 ILD) have been quite common, especially in Europe, for both children and adults, and growing children can adapt to almost anything, but you do want to lean toward a bit of a “firmer” item for toddlers and growing children and their posture and epiphyseal plates are of courses still forming.

… for my son-thanks for finding that page from Flexus-that was the mattress we bought!

You’re most welcome! In fact I’ll add the photo to my previous post for reference for those who own the mattress and need the visual.

Should we stick with 31ILD dunlop for our son? Would you recommend keeping the same setup?

You can try out your daughter’s bed to see if it is appropriate for your son as well. Pay attention to his spine to ensure it stays properly aligned. Hopefully, @BackScience will notice your post; Dr. Rick created a unique “Mattress Checker” that can evaluate alignment, which I believe could be useful for growing children too. With decades of experience in chiropractic care, Dr. Rick is the best person to guide you in assessing alignment and suitability for your son. You can read more about his Mattress Checker app here

Phoenix

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There is a lot of great information that Phoenix provide here, so I just want to add that the Mattress Checker App. I created and can be downloaded for free on IOS or Google Play Store (Mattress Checker App | Back Science™ Bed - The Bed That Has Your Back™) gave me the opportunity to evaluate many hundreds of patients and customers over the years and it still really amazes me how many mattress manufacturer’s don’t take into consideration whether their mattress will keep a person’s spine in good alignment, not to mention that fact that height and weight will also have a very dramatic impact.

If you go into a mattress store, they love to show you pressure mapping, but looking at where you are applying more pressure to the bed doesn’t tell the story of your spinal alignment and as Phoenix mentioned, mal-aligned joints, especially the spinal column, will eventually lead to improper pressure on the growth plates, not to mention the uneven joint wear and tear over time. Adding a mattress topper does not usually help the alignment, but it will disburse more pressure and in some cases, the alignment won’t be affected adversely. Whichever way you decide to go, be sure to check over how the alignment objectively looks, so there won’t be any guesswork needed.

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