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Children do a lot of growing when they sleep and choosing the right mattress to support proper development is crucial. But with so many brands, styles and price points it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. Certainly you’ll want to compare prices, especially if you’re trying to stay within a budget. But when it comes to mattresses, you really do get what you pay for.
Generally speaking, mattresses should be changed every 10-12 at the maximum but many people don’t know the reasons why. When you consider that we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, in a 10 year period, a person would spend 30,000 hours on a mattress. When we sleep we lose 4 to 6 cups of fluid. And in the case of toddlers, sippy cups aren’t as watertight as you think and more often than not mattresses bare the brunt of these spills. Over time mattresses can become lumpy, worn along the seams and edges and sag in the middle, making your mattress uncomfortable to the point of disrupting your child’s sleep. When we fight our mattress, our body fights sleep.
As you’re shopping for a new mattress, you may entertain the idea of using a hand-me down mattress, especially if you think you won’t be able to afford to buy a new one. But buying a new mattress will offer you a better value for the money because you’ll be able to use it for a longer period of time than you would with one that was previously owned. Unknowing parents often introduce years of accumulated dust, dirt, and allergens including mildew, mold, and dust mites.
Today’s market offers a variety of foam based mattresses. But these are not necessarily the best choice for children. In fact, some pediatricians are now encouraging parents to avoid memory foam mattresses because they can be too soft to support proper bone growth. Children don’t weigh enough to take advantage of its body-forming technology. Additionally, the visco-elastic material used in memory foam mattresses are known to off gas potentially harmful chemicals not to mention that some beds hold a lot of heat which can be uncomfortable for many children.
Another feature that benefits some adults but not necessarily children is a pocket sprung mattress. With this type of mattress coils are not linked together a benefit that reduces the amount of disturbance a person experiences when their sleeping partner moves. Of course most children typically sleep alone with the exception of having to occasionally sharing with a sibling most wouldn’t have use for this technology. However the independent movement of these coils are ideal for better contouring to smaller framed bodies and providing optimal support. Sure open coil or linked coil mattresses are perfectly adequate for children we just like the independent movement of individually wrapped, pocketed or fabric encased coils.
Because a child’s bones are growing, you’ll want a mattress that provides a great degree of support. Coil mattresses with more springs and thicker wire coil fit the bill. Filling is another concern. Deeper thicker layers and better quality filling adds to the comfort and support of a mattress. So when it comes to comfort and support, look for a well-stuffed, open coil mattress.
At the root of your search for the best mattress is the concern about price. Is spending more money on a mattress worth it? If you avoid spending your money on some of the mattress features that are geared for adults, you’ll be able to afford a higher value mattress with better filling, more layers of padding, more coils, higher gauge coils and a better constructed mattress that will provide the comfort and support your child needs as they grow.