My daughter recently outgrew her crib and toddler bed.
She’s only 4 years old!
I was totally shocked one night to walk in and see her toes and head both nearly bumping up against their respective edges of the bed.
(We bought a Pottery Barn Larkin convertible. It started as a crib and converted into a toddler bed.)
From there, the bed needed to convert straight into a full-size bed.
So suddenly, without much warning, we needed to buy a much larger mattress.
After an absolute ton of research we ended up going with a Nectar Sleep mattress, which has been amazing and incredibly affordable, but some customer service issues left me kind of wishing we had gone another way.
I found myself wishing we had just sprung for a Casper mattress for our toddler, instead. I have owned one as an adult and they are absolutely terrific mattresses from a great company that’s a pleasure to work with.
Casper mattresses are great for toddlers because they’re safe and use non-toxic materials, offer both memory foam and hybrid support options, are super easy to clean with a washable mattress cover, and last at least 10 years.
Now let’s take a closer look.
Spring vs Foam
Casper has two different kinds of mattress: ones featuring a memory-foam blend, and hybrid spring-foam mattresses.
Consumer Affairs doesn’t recommend pure foam mattresses for young kids.
Instead, they prefer a mattress with springs or hybrid mattresses that feature a little bit of both for the added bounce and support.
Spring mattresses offer more bounce and often stay cooler since they’re less dense, according to Sleepopolis.
The springs also help the mattress grow with your child’s body.
In a pure foam mattress, your child may not be heavy enough initially to “sink” into the bed properly; though they will grow into it eventually as they gain weight.
With a spring mattress, the springs will continue to push back with more and more force as your toddler grows, keeping the feel of the mattress about the same over the years.
Foam matresses have a ton of advantages, though, including the way they contour to your body and the fact that they typically last a lot longer.
Hybrid mattresses, like the Casper Hybrid, give you the best of both worlds. That makes them an excellent choice for growing kids.
The Casper Hybrid smartly uses different firmness of springs in different areas of the mattress to prevent unevenness, which should help your kids sleep super comfortably!
Of course, the choice is totally up to you, and the standard Casper foam mattress will also be great for most kids and older toddlers.
Waterproof & Washable
Casper Mattresses come with a simple, machine washable mattress cover, which should be enough to protect the mattress when it comes to big kids and adults.
But for potty-training toddlers, you may want a little extra protection.
Add in a waterproof mattress protector and you’ll be pretty safe from any night time accidents or spills.
If some, uh, fluids do happen to get through to the mattress, My Slumber Yard says it’s easy enough to clean.
Remove the cover and wash it separately, then just vacuum the foam of the mattress and gently scrub the area with a mild cleaning solution (like diluted white vinegar).
Let it dry, vacuum again, and put the now-clean cover back on.
(And then spring for the waterproof cover so this doesn’t happen again!)
Eco-Friend & Non-Toxic Materials
Casper mattresses are vegan —
— what else do you need to know?!
Kidding! They also meet a bevy of safety standards and certifications.
From the Casper website:
CertiPUR-US® approved foams are made without ozone depleters, PBDE flame retardants, mercury, lead and other heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They are Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million).
This is an important point for anyone buying a mattress, but it’s doubly important for kids.
You wouldn’t believe the horror stories I read about when doing research on my daughter’s new bed. Cheap kid’s mattresses leaking fiberglass all over the place, catching on fire, and more.
Awful stuff. You want to spring for the best of the best here.
Density & Firmness
For little kids who need to sleep primarily on their backs, you’ll want a pretty firm mattress.
That’s why crib mattresses are typically quite hard; almost stiff.
(Read: Is your crib mattress too hard?)
But for toddlers who have the motor control to move around at will, the firmness of their mattress is really a personal preference.
(My daughter sleeps in all kinds of bizarre positions, so I’m really not too worried about back support and things like that!)
In general, toddlers will probably want something in the medium firmness zone, which is what Casper offers — technically their mattresses are a 6.5 on the 10 point firmness scale.
They finally deserve a little bit of a softness upgrade from the rock hard crib mattress they’re used to, but something super soft may not be the best choice as they get heavier.
Best Size Mattress for Toddlers
Most toddler beds use a crib-size mattress, but at some point, your kid will be ready to move onto something larger.
The question then becomes, what size should you choose?
Most toddlers should be plenty comfortable in a twin size bed, or a twin XL (5 inches longer), but this bed will become a bit of a tight fit when they reach their pre-teen and teen years.
It’s not much more expensive to go ahead and invest in a full mattress, and assuming it doesn’t fall apart or tear open or something like that (which Casper’s very, very rarely do), it should last them nearly until they’re ready to move out on their own.
Initially, we hesitated on getting a full mattress for our 4-year-old, because it seemed like overkill, but it was the smart long-term decision and I’m super glad we did it.
It gives her lots of room to roll around, bring stuffed animals to bed, and, let’s face it, for us to snuggle up with her before bed.
Box Spring vs No Box Spring
Foam-style mattresses like Caspers don’t technically need a box spring.
They offer plenty of support on their own, and you could even put them directly on the floor if you wanted.
A Casper mattress can fit directly into a platform bed without any issue or need for a box spring.
Some bed frames, however, require a box spring before you can put your mattress down, so beware of that before you choose one.
Box springs can add longevity to the life of your mattress, and they also help you stay compliant with the terms of the Casper warranty.
(I believe there’s language in the warranty that states the mattress must be placed on a firm and proper surface, not just on the floor.)
If you buy an expensive mattress for a toddler, you’re probably expecting (or at least hoping) that it can rest them the rest of their days living at home.
Casper mattresses come with a 10-year limited warranty.
Basically, you should be able to get them to repair or replace the mattress if it wears out from normal use within that 10-year time period.
That’s pretty good!
A lot of similar mattresses only last about 6 years, so if you’re savvy and treat it well, you should get a full decade or more out of your Casper mattress.
Whether it’ll make it all the way to the day your toddler moves out for good is hard to say (and we don’t like to think about that day, anyway), but it oughta get you close.
Again, after an absolute ton of research on this topic, it seemed pretty clear that the Casper mattress was one of the best full-size mattresses for toddlers.
To save a few bucks, we went with the Nectar Sleep mattress instead — the mattress is amazing, but the shipping experience was a little aggravating.
If you want the best quality and awesome customer support to go with it, I don’t think you’ll do much better than Casper when your toddler is ready for a big kid bed.
Hope this helps, parents!