Mattress Buying Guide

Why buy a children's mattress from GLTC?




Buying Mattresses

You can rest easy when you buy one of our children's mattresses; we've teamed up with experienced, UK based mattress makers to bring you all the comfort and choice your kids need.

But buying a mattress for a child is an important investment; it's a decision that affects your sleep as much as theirs after all, and it's not something you do often, so it's likely to be hindered by unfamiliar jargon and a multitude of confusing options.

We hope this guide and glossary help you make your decision.

What is the ideal mattress for my child?

For adults and children alike, the most comfortable and healthy sleep position is with a straight spine; this means we need a supportive mattress.

What do we mean by a supportive mattress?

A supportive mattress is a responsive mattress, that can adapt to all the curvy (or not-so-curvy) parts of the body, whether it's the shoulders, hips, waist or head.

Do children need a more supportive mattress than adults?

Yes, it is even more important for children's mattresses to be supportive. This is because:

  • Children tend to be lighter in weight than adults; they make less impact on the mattress so they need a more sensitive mattress to respond to their contours
  • They change position in bed more than adults, so their mattress needs to respond accordingly
  • Their shape is constantly changing as they grow; a more supportive mattress will be able to respond to these changes, resulting in greater comfort.

So that's your watch word when it comes to choosing a mattress for kids; it's not about being firm, or soft, it's about being supportive.

What makes a mattress more, or less, supportive?

Mattresses are made up of an inner support core (consisting of metal bed springs), various comfort layers and then an outer cover.

The level of support offered depends on the type of sprung core and the comfort layers: the sprung core varies according to the spring count, and whether they are of open coil or pocket sprung construction (see our glossary for more help). The thickness and softness of the comfort layers is also important.

Do I need a different sort of mattress for a bunk bed or cabin bed?

Yes. Bunk beds and raised beds often require a mattress with a maximum depth of 15cm, which may narrow down your options; you will find this information in the product details of your preferred bed.

Is there a standard Single size mattress?

Yes there is a standard UK size (190L x 90W cm), but there is also a longer European standard size (200L x 90W cm); this information will be in the product details of your preferred bed and will narrow down your options.

What sort of mattresses do GLTC offer?

To save you wading through heaps of different mattresses we've whittled down our range to just a handful; between them we think we've answered all your children's needs, so all you have to do is pick the right size and depth for your bed (you'll find our specific mattress recommendations listed with your chosen bed).

Luxury Mattress

Our Luxury mattresses offer your children superior comfort thanks to their pocket sprung construction; they also feature a luxurious comfort core of natural wool and cotton. They're available in two depths depending on the height of the bed you have; the shallower All Rounder design comes in both UK and Euro single sizes and is suitable for all beds, including raised beds and top bunks; the luxurious Extra Deep design is only available in a UK single size, and is suitable for single beds and lower bunks.

Classic Mattress

Our Classic range offers a good level of comfort with an open coil construction and comfort layers made from non-allergenic polyester. It's available in both UK and Euro single sizes only, in an All Rounder depth which is suitable for all beds including raised beds and top bunks.

Truckle Mattress

Here's a guaranteed good night's sleep for your guests; this open coil mattress features cosy, polyester comfort layers and an anti-allergy finish.

Dormouse Toddler Mattress

This is perfect for toddlers thanks to a cosy but supportive pocket sprung construction and a removable, machine washable cover; it's also designed to help regulate heat as well as reduce allergens.

Do you recommend any mattresses for specific beds?

Yes, you will find our specific mattress recommendations in the product details for each bed.

So what do I need to consider before making my final decision?

Ask yourself what sort of bed is it, i.e. a Bunk, Cabin, Single, Toddler, or Truckle; then check if it's a standard UK sized single, or a longer European sized one. If you’re not sure (take a look at the details of each mattress for our mattress recommendations).

You may also find our mattress glossary helpful. Failing that, do give us a call: we're always happy to help: 0344 848 6000.

Comfort layer: In general, the higher the density or thickness of the layer, the greater the comfort. It consists of soft, white polyester fibres and some layers of foam, positioned on either side of the sprung, inner core. In a shallower mattress such as a truckle, the foam layers may be loaded onto one side to make it more comfortable, as in our Truckle Mattress.

Cool Max: a unique, high tech fabric which actually wicks moisture away from your child, to help prevent overheating and clamminess; a Cool Max cover is a feature on our Lulworth Premium Plus mattress.

European size: this refers to the longer length beds & mattresses frequently found on the continent. These mattresses measure 200L x 90W (cm); the depth will vary according to type of bed (see Mattress Depth). Some of our beds require these longer mattresses; please check the individual bed description to find out.

Framed: this means a rigid frame has been fitted around the mattress layers to prevent sagging at the sides. All GLTC mattresses are framed, apart from our Truckle Mattress.

Hand tufting: a traditional technique of fixing all the layers of the bed. This is when the comfort layers stacked on top of the mattress are held in place by a pattern of tufts, which are attached to the inner core; it gives a quilted look and indicates a superior comfort level, as the more filling a mattress has the more it needs hand tufting. This is only used on our Pocket Sprung mattresses.

Hypoallergenic: the mattress components have been chosen to lessen the chance of an allergic reaction; there is no anti-allergy finish, however.

Mattress depth: mattresses vary in depth due to the size of their springs and the depth of their comfort layers. Bunk and cabin beds will require a shallower mattress for safety reasons, truckle mattresses are shallower in order to fit neatly into the truckle drawer. Please take note of our recommendations on the appropriate depth mattress your bed requires, which can be found in the product details.

Non-turn: you can prolong the life of some mattresses by turning it over and spreading the wear. However, some of our mattresses do not require this due to their superior construction and top loaded comfort layers. They can however be rotated to extend their durability.

Open coil: coiled springs make up the durable, inner core of your mattress. Open coil springs are linked together, so that if one spring is compressed, the adjacent one will react too - think of a domino effect. An open coil mattress is a supportive mattress, but less so than a pocket sprung one. All our open coil mattresses are part of our "Classic" range.

Pocket sprung: this means that the springs at the core of your mattress are individually wrapped or "pocketed"; they therefore move independently of one another, allowing the mattress to contour more exactly to your child's shape and weight. This means they will have a more supportive reaction to your child's body than an open coil mattress. All our pocket sprung mattresses are part of our "Luxury" range.

Spring count: in general the more springs in a mattress, the better it can react to the unique contours of your child. You will find more springs in a pocket sprung mattress than in an open coil mattress.

Standard UK size: this is the typical size of beds & mattresses in the UK. These mattresses measure 190L x 90W (cm); the depth will vary according to type of bed (see Mattress Depth).

Toddler mattress: our toddler mattress is a smaller size to suit our Toddler Beds. Both measure 140H x 70W (cm), and feature a breathable, washable Ventiflow cover; the pocket sprung construction ensures maximum comfort.

Turning: manufacturers often advise flipping your mattress over to spread the wear and therefore prolong the life of your mattress; mattresses that do not require turning are of an equally high quality but are more convenient (however they can be rotated to help extend their life, see Non-turn).

Truckle mattress: a shallower mattress, specifically designed for truckle drawers. Due to their shallower depth and their less frequent use, they frequently use an open coil construction rather than the more durable and sensitive pocket sprung system. They do not require a frame.

Ventiflow: a unique top cover on GLTC toddler mattresses, which promotes air circulation to help prevent overheating. It will also draw moisture away from your child's body, helping to prevent clamminess.

Waterproof: both GLTC toddler mattresses feature a wipe-off, water repellent side, which is essential to protect both foam layer and core springs from bacterial and fungal contamination. This is ideal at certain stages of your child's development.