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How to Choose a Mattress for a Child

Find comfort, size, and quality to choose a mattress for a child by doing your homework first.


  • Step 1: Consider getting a memory foam mattress, choosing between varying levels of firmness. If the child is old enough, bring them along for a test.
  • FACT: By 2006, infant mattress-wrapping practices in New Zealand, once the highest crib death nation, had reduced SIDS by 70 percent over 11 years.
  • Step 2: Investigate the mattress ticking, which can include latex foam from petroleum. Many mattresses give off polyvinyl chloride, which releases carcinogens.
  • Step 3: Play it safe and choose an organic mattress to cut the risk of cotton materials grown commercially with insecticides, fungicides, and chemical fertilizers. Look for safety certifications from GreenGuard and Healthy Child Healthy World.
  • Step 4: Keep in mind that the new fibers in crib mattresses are often proprietary, so manufacturers are not required to disclose the mattress composition. Choose a mattress for your child that you are certain won't harm them.
  • Step 5: Check the vinyl covering, which has typically been chemically softened and linked to health problems. Polyester and other chemicals used in making mattresses routinely go airborne.
  • Step 6: Buy new mattresses for children instead of used ones. It's a myth that you have to break a new mattress in. It should be comfortable from the start.

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