Are Memory Foam Mattresses Safe For Toddlers?

toddler playing on her bed

Every parent wants maximum comfort for their children and if you’ve been enjoying amazing nights on memory foam, it is only logical to desire a similar experience for your adorable bundle of joy.

The toddler age can be crucial for a child’s development and health especially during nighttime as they transition into their cots. Thus, you’d want to avoid as many mistakes as possible in order not to stifle the child’s growth.

The temperature sensitivity property of memory foam as well as its slow recovery and potential exposure to chemicals can be detrimental to the comfort of toddlers. Hence, memory foam is best introduced after the toddler age when a child moves to his or her bed.

Reasons Why Memory Foam May Not Be Safe For Toddlers

Memory foam can be detrimental to toddlers as stated above even though older children and adults usually enjoy sleeping on it. Shall we take a detailed look at a few of the reasons why toddlers should be kept away from this popular type of foam?

1. Slow Recovery 

Memory foam is noted for its natural slow recovery which enables each individual’s body to sink into it during sleep. The result is customized pressure point relief for everyone depending on the sleeper’s curves.

Whether you’ve piled on the pounds or have a skinny body, the natural sinkage memory foam provides can be the key to a comfortable shuteye all night long. Unfortunately, this property means it can take a little bit more effort to toss and turn around during sleep.

While older children, teens, and adults may have no problems switching from one position to another on memory foam, the situation can be different for toddlers. With their small body frames and limited strength, a 36-month old baby or younger may feel too sunk-in to switch positions when the need arises.

This can lead to sleep disturbances which may keep him or her awake all night and disrupt the parents’ sleep routine as well.

2. Temperature Sensitivity

woman feeling the responsiveness of memory foam

The bodies of toddlers typically sweat a lot quicker compared to adults. The majority of children living in humid regions sweat on most nights. However, memory foam is noted for being the most temperature-sensitive material in the mattress industry.

This can cause excessive discomfort as the toddler’s internal body heat in conjunction with the usually unforgiving room temperatures take effect. A sweaty child will have a hard time sleeping meaning a higher chance of crying in the middle of the night or showing other signs of discomfort.

The latest generations of memory foam mattresses are integrated with gel beads and other cooling technologies which may come in handy for toddlers. But, you cannot always rely on the claims of manufacturers, can you?

3. Chemical Exposure

Memory foam is a petroleum-based product that integrates several chemicals during the manufacturing process. This can expose sleepers to anything from vinyl to phthalates as well as formaldehyde and other potentially harmful chemicals.

Exposing kids to these chemicals may lead to a variety of neurological problems that may interfere with their development. For toddlers diagnosed with allergies and respiratory problems, inhaling such chemicals can also lead to breathing difficulties.

Besides, memory foam mattresses require some off-gassing period when they first arrive. This may last anywhere from 3 days to a few weeks. When a toddler desperately needs to sleep in his bed, memory foam may not be the smartest option.

Organic Mattresses For Toddlers

Organic mattresses are the best option for toddlers, according to doctors and sleep experts. These mattresses come in 3 main types, with each one offering advantages that can provide heavenly benefits for toddlers.

Shall we take a look at these options and what each brings to the table?

Organic Wool: Organic wool can be a great option for any parent that wants the best sleeping surface for a child. Natural wool offers excellent moisture-wicking and keeps your adorable bundle of joy dry and comfortable all night long.

During chilly nights, wool can also offer a layer of insulation on the toddler’s body to maintain warmth. Additionally, wool has natural flame-retardant properties which can be lifesaving in the event of a household fire accident.

Organic Cotton: Certified organic cotton mattresses are a popular choice in the industry. This material can also come in handy in the manufacture of quilts and covers.

Cotton offers world-class breathability by allowing air to circulate in and around the mattress with little effort. This means easy breathing and the most comfortable sweat-free nights even for residents of humid regions.

Unlike polyurethane-based materials such as memory foam, these mattresses are integrated with GOTS certified organic cotton. This means no exposure to potentially harmful chemicals that can make it difficult to breathe.

Natural Latex: Natural latex provides a regular mattress feel without the heat sensitivity properties of memory foam. This means amazing comfort even during hot nights when room temperatures can soar.

Additionally, latex offers superior comfort for kids of all body types with long-lasting effects that can trump other mattress types. Natural latex also provides hypoallergenic properties to ward off allergens, bacteria, dust mites, and molds.

The Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress from Amazon offers amazing comfort for toddlers all night long. It features 100% certified organic fabric and 150-coil heavy-duty innerspring for world-class support for your adorable baby. It is highly recommended.

How To Choose A Mattress For A Child

Choosing a mattress for a child can be tricky especially as a new parent. Often, many of us tend to choose based on our own experiences but that may be wrong as the needs of young children can be extremely different.

Here are the important considerations to make during the search process.

1. The Size

Settling on the right size can be one of the most confusing elements when shopping for a mattress for your child. Often, kids transition to cots during the toddler period and move to their first “proper” beds from the age of 3.

The age of the child should be considered when shopping but the intentions of the parent cannot be completely ignored. Are you looking for a temporary crib mattress for a toddler to buy a bigger size in the future? Or do you want the toddler to move into a bigger bed straight away?

For the latter option, a twin-sized bed may be the way to go. If you have more than one toddler, a twin mattress may accommodate both until they grow older. Alternatively, you can order a full-sized bed if there’s enough room for them.

A full bed should be large enough for 2 children to grow way into adulthood.

2. Comfort Level 

The child’s preferred sleeping position should be taken into account during the mattress shopping process. Generally, firm and medium-firm mattresses are best suited for kids who sleep on the back and stomach by default. 

Side sleepers may require slightly softer models and this where pillowtop mattresses can be a great choice.

3. Material Type

couple laying a crib mattress

The type of material is another important property that cannot be ignored when shopping for a child’s mattress. Memory foam may not be a great option but latex has solid properties that can enhance the comfort and support kids require.

Unfortunately, some latex models feature synthetic materials that may expose kids to potentially harmful chemicals. This is why looking out for a mattress made with natural latex is the best option.

Sure, natural latex mattresses may be slightly more expensive than synthetic models but the benefits and comfort for your child can make it a worthy investment.

Remember, innerspring mattresses may be too firm for a child’s comfort, particularly for toddlers and those who are a bit older.

4. Durability 

It is no secret that children like to play on their beds which is why choosing a durable model is so important. Kids may also soil their beds frequently with food, drinks, dirt, and other unsavory objects that can lead to quick deterioration.

A durable model should be able to withstand this level of abuse without suffering from significant wear and tear. A mattress protector can come in handy by providing some insulation for the mattress against stains and indentations.

This can further enhance the lifespan of the mattress while improving the child’s sleeping comforts at night.

5. Budget

Determining how much you’re willing to spend during shopping can also be an important step. The price of a child’s mattress may range anywhere from $100 to $1000 depending on the size as well as the component material.

The most durable models are typically more expensive so keep that in mind during shopping as the temptation to settle for cheaper options can be high. Natural latex and organic models, in particular, can be significantly more expensive than coiled spring and memory foam mattresses.


Memory foam mattresses may be unsafe for toddlers due to natural properties such as temperature sensitivity, slow recovery, and the use of potentially hazardous chemicals in the manufacturing process.

Organic wool and natural latex are the best mattresses for toddlers and young children thanks to their built-in temperature regulation and the use of environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes.

If you must choose memory foam, padding it with a mattress protector made from organic wool, natural latex, or another natural material can come in handy.


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