When it’s time to make the move from toddler bed to big kid bed, do you buy a firm mattress or soft? Medium- or high-priced? Here are our tips to remove the stress from mattress shopping and help make your child’s transition comfy and cozy.

As adults, we lie on every mattress, test which is most comfortable for us and make informed decisions based on what we feel, but buying a mattress for another person can be tricky, especially when that other person bounces from bed to bed in the mattress store, proclaiming them all jump-worthy.

So how do you choose the best mattress for your child? Here are some questions to consider as you make your selection:

What material is inside the mattress?

Many materials contain harmful chemicals, like polyvinyl chloride, which let off emissions that are known carcinogens. Organic mattresses, which are typically made from organic cotton, are growing in popularity and are increasingly easy to find.

Will the mattress allow for your child to grow and still be comfortable?

Though your child is small now, he or she will likely be sleeping on the mattress that you choose for 15-plus years, so you’ll want to choose one that’s large enough to comfortably sleep an adult.

Should you buy new or gently used?

It's always best to buy a new mattress. Used mattresses usually bring with them bacteria, mold, mites and bodily fluid residue.

Does your child like the way it feels?

Although it can be tricky to get your child to lie still long enough to get a sense of whether the mattress is truly comfortable, it’s helpful if they can tell you what they think about it. Ask them non-leading questions like “How does this mattress feel to you?” and “Is this mattress hard or soft?” If your child wavers between a couple of mattresses, opt for the firmer of the two, since it will offer good support while your child’s bones are forming and growing.

Should you splurge on a high-priced mattress?

While it can be tempting to buy a more expensive mattress, it’s unlikely that your child needs it. But you shouldn’t skimp either, as inexpensive mattresses tend to need replacing sooner than those of higher quality. Aim for something in the middle. You won’t go wrong with a mid-priced mattress.

Although it can seem daunting to buy a new mattress for your child, by asking yourself these questions, you can ensure that you’ve made a great choice to help your child transition into that big kid bed.

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