Behind The Scenes: Your Mattress Questions Answered
As parents, we can do everything within our powers to ensure that our children follow a calming and relaxing bedtime routine. Soothing bath, warm milky drink, bedtime story, several hugs and kisses, lights off, and straight to sleep ... sometimes. One thing that we rarely hear mentioned when we talk about children's bedtimes and getting a good night's sleep is the importance of a great mattress. But a mattress that offers the right level of support can make a huge difference in creating a more comfortable sleeping environment. To find out more, we spoke to GLTC's furniture buyer and mattress expert, Karen Murray.
Karen, is there a difference between a single mattress and one designed specifically with children in mind?
Yes, we do make sure our mattresses have specifications created with children in mind. For example, our single sized mattresses have a soft knitted cotton rich cover that has an anti-allergy finish. Plus, they have air vents to allow the mattress to breathe and air to circulate. Children can’t regulate their body temperature until they are older, so can be slightly clammy sleepers. These vents make sure the air can get in and help dry it out.
We also sell a toddler mattress that is suitable for both toddler beds and cot beds. The mattress is pocket sprung for support and the cover has lots of brilliant features that are really useful for a younger child. It has a breathable side with hypoallergenic, anti-mite and anti-fungal properties; it also helps regulate heat, keeping your child warm and dry. The reverse side is waterproof but vapour permeable, which prevents sweating and is an ideal surface for potty training. It's machine washable at 60 degrees.
Soft, firm, in-between? Which is best for children? And does the size and weight of a child make a difference?
GLTC mattresses are made to a medium tension (both the open coil classic spring units and the luxury pocket sprung units are considered medium tension). This should give support and comfort, yet also allow for a child’s changing size/weight. Our mattresses are made with the same spring units and materials that an adults mattress would be made of, so children will not outgrow our single mattresses.
How important is a supportive mattress?
If your body is supported during sleep, you will be more comfortable and sleep better, therefore wake refreshed. The same goes for children. The best support comes from pocket sprung mattresses. The individual springs support more naturally and will take the form of the body sleeping on it. For example, a side sleeper will be heavier at the hip, but lighter on the waist. So the springs will reduce at the hip, but stay higher at the waist, therefore support both parts of the body.
If you intend your child to have the mattress for a few years, I would always recommend a pocket sprung.
Firstly, the spring units. The classic one is an open coil spring unit. These give a good level of support and comfort, but is not a reactive and individual as the pocket sprung unit on a luxury mattress.
Secondly, the fillings. The classic mattress has polyester comfort layers and the luxury has layers of natural blends - cotton/polyester and wool/polyester.
Can any single mattress be used for mid and high sleeper beds or are specific ones needed?
No. This is really important!
All raised beds and bunk beds come with a maximum mattress height marker. If you don’t have one, you should query it as to pass the British Standards on raised beds (BS EN 747), it must be marked on the bed. If your bed does not have it, it is unlikely to have passed the British Standard for safety.
You must use mattresses that are less deep than this mark to ensure the safety rails that are part of the raised beds/bunks actually keep the child in the bed as they roll round in their sleep. If the mattress is too high, the child could roll out of bed and when high up, this can cause injury.
The GLTC mattresses that can be used on the raised beds and top bunks are the ‘all-rounders’ – they do what the name suggests and can be used on all beds we sell including the raised beds and bunks.
It is also important to make sure you are ordering the correct length mattress for a raised bed or bunk bed. GLTC sell some lovely Scandinavian designs that do need the longer European sized mattresses – all our all-rounders come in both UK single and Euro single sizes and each bed does have a recommended mattress on the web page for guidance.
If a child suffers from allergies, which mattress would you recommend?
All our single sized mattresses come with a soft knitted cotton rich cover with an anti-allergy finish. This actively stops dust mites from colonising on the mattress. If your child has allergies to natural fibres (wool) that are present in the luxury mattresses, then our classic mattresses have polyester fillings. Our toddler mattress also has anti-allergy/anti-fungal treatments and a fully washable cover - this can be helpful when allergies are present.
A couple of questions on bedding ... why is 100 percent cotton so important for children's bedding?
First and foremost, it's soft to the touch and very comfortable for children. And great for parents because it's also very durable and lasts a lot longer. Most importantly though, natural fibres allow for breathability meaning that they absorb the heat from our bodies during the night, so keep children cool and dry. During colder months, cotton bedding absorbs and retains body heat, so will help children stay warm. It's very clever.
And which duvet would you suggest for the cooler autumn/winter months?
For younger children, I would say keep the tog low (a maximum of 7 tog) and then layer on other bed covers. It stops them from over-heating, and therefore waking up!
Thank you to Karen for taking the time to answer our questions so thoroughly. If there's anything else you'd like to know, do leave a comment and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
GLTC's range of mattresses is designed especially for children. They're made by experienced manufacturers in the UK, and (apart from our toddler mattresses and truckle mattresses) they're all covered by our 5 Year Warranty. We're currently offering a 30 night comfort trial - if your child isn't totally comfy on their new mattress after 30 nights, we'll refund or replace it for you (terms and conditions apply).
For more information, take a look at our handy mattress buying guide.
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