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Shopping for a New Mattress for a Child
There are so many different kinds of mattress-shopping parents out there - and all kinds came into my mattress showroom:
The rich/semi-rich ones to whom money didn't really seem to matter; who bought their kids a decent mattress without really thinking twice about it.
The rich ones who drove up in things like Mercedes SUV's to purchase 'the best bed, money doesn't matter' for THEMSELVES; and then added a couple of our cheapest value mattresses to their orders almost as an afterthought.
The middle-class & even poor families, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet - coming in to see what's available; then EITHER biting the bullet to 'make finances work' OR going back home to save more money to return later - to buy their kids a nicer bed that would give them healthy sleep and last awhile.
And bless their hearts - those parents of all financial ranges who have gotten themselves so tangled up in all this 'offgassing' and 'green mattress' stuff, nowadays. (Yes, I'll be going into this Eco-Friendly mattress subject, too.)
I've got one question for you... What are your kids worth to you?
I have the cutest 'new big girl bed' story, I just have to tell it to you...
One of our customers from earlier in the year came in the day before Christmas Eve to purchase a new big-girl mattress for his two and a half year-old daughter.
When they were in the store earlier in the year - this couple had purchased a mattress for themselves and the two older boys; but apparently the little girl was still in a crib and they didn't think she was ready for one, yet.
So, as I was ringing him up (they were a working class family - he was a former construction worker turned stay-at-home Dad); we got to talking, and he told me that they had taken the kids to see Santa recently. And when she got on Santa's lap - she told him that she wanted a new big-girl mattress for Christmas! (A few months had passed by this time, maybe 5 or 6).
They were planning on leaning it up next to the Christmas Tree with a big, red bow on it.
YOU remember your bedroom from when you were a child - you remember what things felt like, smelled like, and how that room made you feel - cozy or not.
A child's personal space - their BEDROOM - which includes a mattress is just as IMPORTANT for them as it is for you.
No, you don't need to buy a Luxury mattress for your child - let's be reasonable. But, if you're just wanting something that 'will do' for them to sleep on...
Frankly, you don't care about the sleep of your children NEARLY as much as you should. And you're certainly not teaching them how to take care of themselves; NOR are you demonstrating (at least, I hope not) how much they mean to you.
Dang, you have no idea how good that feels to spell out. I've wanted to say this to SO MANY parents - but it isn't very good sales posture, ha!
Here are some things to keep in mind when purchasing a new mattress for a child:
1. How long is that child going to be using that mattress?
Many times, parents start toddlers out on a Twin-size bed with the intention of putting them onto something larger when they get older.
If you buy a kid a decent bed at WHATEVER age - it can continue to travel around with them for awhile as they are attending college, or it can remain their place of refuge when they come home for the holidays. (It often becomes a guest bed, too).
There were so many 40 - 50 year old adults who came into my mattress store to finally buy their FIRST big girl / big boy bed after sleeping on their old childhood mattress for decades. Yeah, sometimes the bed you purchase for an adolescent child becomes something they use into adulthood - make it a good one!
BTW, parents - if you think you're saving yourselves much money by NOT doing so; MANY of these first adult mattress purchases for these older kids were STILL being bought by their (now much older) parents. ;)
These older-parental mattress purchases were not always done in a 'my child is financially incapable for whatever reason' kind of way - which IS often still the case.
But, a new mattress makes a WONDERFUL Wedding Present for a son or daughter who is getting married and/or just starting out in this crazy world.
Poll for Adults
How old were you when you got your first NEW adult mattress? (Whether you bought it or someone else bought it for you.)
Advice for Mattress Shopping for/with a Toddler
If you're buying a bed for a toddler who will eventually be moving onto another bed; AND if you're not planning on passing this mattress down to younger siblings - stay in the 'Value mattress section' of the store if you need to save money.
Also, when buying a first bed for a toddler, make sure YOU can sleep on that mattress, too. You're probably going to end up sleeping on it sometimes. I've had people take advantage of a comfort exchange on a child's mattress for this reason.
As far as testing mattresses with kids go - do yourself a favor, and do the choosing for a toddler. Gee Whiz parents, some of you are really weird when it comes to INSISTING to your toddler that they HAVE to try the mattress and TELL you 'which one they like best'.
Yes, include them and get their opinion - but, they don't know; can't really tell you; and it doesn't matter at this point - they are growing feathers.
You don't really have a very good idea of what your child's body is going to turn out like at this point in their lives. All they really need is support & comfort just like you.
Make your best decision. If YOU are comfortable on that bed, chances are - they will be,too.
One caution for toddlers - not too fluffy on top. Some cush is good, and keep in mind that a mattress protector and sheet will firm the feel up a bit. But, you don't want their little faces sinking too far into a bunch of foam that can potentially cut off airflow.
You can always add additional cush to a mattress as that child grows up with a mattress topper if you need to, later.
This isn't usually a concern with a Value mattress. But if you're the kind of parent who wants to spring for something really nice for the long haul - just keep this in mind.
Toddlers don't have much weight on them - that's why a lot of those thin, 6" Bunk Bed mattresses often only have a one-year warranty. They will last that long and probably a LITTLE longer for a Toddler (depends on how much jumping happens).
But, for older kids (even if you know you're going to be moving them onto another bed eventually) at least move to the mid-top end of the Value section.
The Value Section of a mattress store is where the mattresses with weaker coils and less foam on top, live. They often have a one or five year manufacturer's warranty.
If you're buying a mattress for a toddler that you're pretty sure is going to be staying in the same bed through to college, OR for an older child - PLEASE at least move to the top of the Value section; and even better, the bottom median-range mattresses that come with 10-year warranties for adults.
Your kids are not going to stay little - don't you wish!!
Advice for Mattress Shopping for/with Tweens & Teenagers
For older kids & teenagers - use the same advice in this previous article about 'how to test a mattress' when trying to find a good mattress match for them. They're starting to put on a little weight and develop a body-type. They're ready for that, now.
A word to parents - some of you can really jerk the hearts of your kids around without intending to. You can avoid MUCH stress to both you and your children by figuring out your budget BEFORE you enter a mattress store.
For each child if you have more than one - give them your budget, THEN let them help you choose the mattress.
I've seen so many hard feelings develop in my mattress store because a parent had given a child 'free-roam' to pick out their own new mattress; and THEN later - after their hopes are set on one - tell them that they can't afford that one - "Let's stay over here in the Value Section', Sweetheart. Daddy will like these prices, better."
Know your budget before you leave, and let them know what you've discovered about how to test a mattress. You'll have a much better time during your mattress shopping adventure with your tweens and teens!
2) Is it likely that child will grow tall?
Mattress size can be an important factor to consider if you're planning on your child staying in a mattress through to college. Are you and/or the other parent tall - is your child likely to be tall?
If there is only room for a Twin size (39 x 75) mattress in their room - do another measurement and see if you can fit a Twin XL in there, instead. A Twin XL is the same length as a Queen/King mattress without the width (39 x 80). It will give them room to grow.
3) What are their needs surrounding a new mattress?
Is your child an athlete (or likely to be) who might need a 'better', supportive bed with some decent cush on top; or do they spend a lot of time sitting in bed doing homework, etc?
SLEEP is the most important factor when buying a new mattress; but if your teenager likes to sit in bed a lot, invest in a 'more firm' Innerspring for extra support and remember to rotate and/or flip the mattress every once in a while to keep that one spot from wearing too fast.
Wanna know a great place to get a decent bed for a kid?
Your own bedroom!
How old is YOUR mattress? Does it still have a few years of life left in it, but you know you're going to be needing a new one in 1-3-5 years?
Get YOURSELF a new one and give your old mattress to your child (if there is room in their bedroom). You will get a longer life out of your original bed by putting a lighter person on it. And since you know you're going to be needing a new mattress soon, anyway - Voilá! (This is also a good idea for a guest room).
PLUS, you know how your kids LOVE to sleep with you! Older kids who have 'always loved your mattress' will appreciate having it; AND it may very well help toddlers, especially, to want to stay in this old/new familiar bed that belongs to them, now.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay for a New Mattress for a Child?
While this is not so much the case with Luxury mattresses - Value & Median grade mattresses can have a significant upgrade in QUALITY just by spending maybe as little as $50 or $100 more. Don't skimp if you have the finances not to.
How much did you pay for your laptop or your cellphone, and how often will you be replacing it? I'm sure you know, your kids are SO WORTH IT!!
For a low-end, yet semi-DECENT Twin-size Value mattress for a kid, expect to spend between $150 - $300 just for a Twin mattress - if you need a box also, add roughly $100 more.
A higher-end Twin Value mattress should average $200 - $300 (and will sometimes have a 10-year warranty even if it is considered to be a Value mattress); Bottom-end, Median Twin mattresses with FULL 10-year warranties around $300-600.
What Should You Expect to Spend on a New Mattress by Value, Median or Luxury Grade
Twin / Twin XL
$100 - $300
$300 - $800
$800 - $2000+
Full / Double
$200 - $500
$500 - $1000
$1000 - $4000+
$300 - $600
$600 - $1500
$1500 - $7000+
$400 - $800
$800 - $2000
$2000 - $9000+
Other Mattress Buying Articles from this Author
- How to Test, Choose & Buy the BEST Mattress for Your Body: Real Information from a Mattress Sale
Online research can lead to information overload - Innerspring construction, Memory Foam, Latex, Organic. So many hyped options, but how do you test to know what mattress is right for you? Part 1 of 4
- How to Test a New Mattress to See if it is Right for Your Body to Sleep Healthy - Part 2 of 4
Buying a new mattress: How to test for correct support, back alignment and sleep comfort for your personal body to have the deepest sleep. The best type of mattress for tummy, side and back sleepers. Part 2 of 4
- What About Buying an Organic and/or Eco-Friendly Mattress Due to Off-gassing Concerns?
Toxic chemical & 'offgassing' health concerns can scare mattress consumers. How mattress customers can spot the difference between real information and sales pitches that play on their consumer fears.
- What Different Types of Mattress Options are Available? Which Ones are Best and Why?
Innerspring, foam, memory foam, gel memory foam, latex, latex hybrids, natural & organic mattresses - offgassing, bad backs, sleepless nights - which ones are worth buying and what to watch out for. Part 4 of 4
- Explaining Why a Memory Foam Mattress is NOT the 'Best Mattress' nor Good for a Bad Back
Exposing both the good things about Tempur-Pedic-type Memory Foam mattresses, and their misconceptions surrounding pressure point relief & body support - by a former mattress sales expert.
- Different Types of Mattress Foundations - How to Choose
What are the different types of mattress foundations to consider, and what should you be aware of when making a decision. Also includes TIPS for a SOUND SLEEP, and mattress care & maintenance.
- Mattress Care & Maintenance from a Mattress Sales Expert - Includes Tips for a Deep, Sound Sleep
How to care for, clean and maintain a mattress for longevity. Sleep tips & bedroom solutions to ensure your new mattress provides the best possible, rejuvenatory sleep for your tired mind and body.
© 2013 Catherine Mostly