Helping Your Child Choose Their First Big Bed

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Moving on from a toddler bed to their very first “big kid” bed is a huge milestone because it marks another step towards independence, and the bed they pick will set the scene for years of sweet dreams. 

Narrowing down the best big kid’s beds is no easy feat, but it’s pretty easy once you know your options and set a firm budget. 

The Frame: Material Matters

Are you curious about the role that materials play in creating the perfect bed frame? Let’s dive into the fascinating world of frame construction and explore why material choices matter.

Will it be wood, metal, or upholstered? Each material has unique benefits, so consider your child’s age, sleep style and design preferences.

Wooden bed frames offer a timeless, sturdy appeal. Many come with optional under-bed storage drawers for toys, books, and treasures. Younger kids should opt for a low-profile solid pine or maple design.

Metal bed frames are a modern, low-maintenance choice. Their sleek silhouettes work well in compact bedrooms. Just be sure to go for rounded corners and edges – safety first!

Upholstered bed frames bring unbeatable cosiness. That plush, padded headboard is perfect for little ones who love reading in bed. Just check that it’s made with durable, easy-to-clean fabrics like cotton or linen.

Colour Their World

Colour plays a huge role in getting their stamp of approval. Classic white and soft greys make for a serene, minimalist backdrop you can jazz up with patterned bedding and bold accessories.

Julian Bowen Stella 3FT Single Midsleeper children's bed - White.
Pictured: Julian Bowen Stella 3FT Single Midsleeper – White. Priced £278 (Save £105 on RRP)

If they prefer punchier palettes, consider muted pastel tones like mint, powder blue or blush pink. These soothing yet spirited hues are super-manageable in a small space.

Smart Storage Solutions

Built-in under-bed drawers and trundles are brilliant for stashing away extras like seasonal clothing while keeping clutter contained. 

Drawers are a safer option than ottoman beds because there’s no risk of the top slamming and trapping your child. 

Ottoman beds get bonus points since the entire mattress platform maximises every inch of storage. Look for models with sturdy hydraulic or gas lift mechanisms and hand straps for smooth, strain-free opening.

The Perfect Mattress Match

Not just any old mattress will do here because children need responsive cushioning and support to keep their rapidly growing bodies aligned.

Hybrid pocket spring mattresses with a plush comfort layer are hard to beat for kids. They’ll get that signature “hug” from the memory foam on top, coupled with the even weight distribution and bounce of pocket coils below. 

Pure foam or traditional open coil mattresses are okay on a tight budget (most cost between £150 and £200). Remember that open coils wear out faster than pocket springs, while foam can sleep hot.

A safe option is to buy one of our children’s mattresses, such as the JayBe Pocket Sprung Anti-Allergy or Silentnight Eco Waterproof Bunk Mattress.

JayBe Waterproof 3FT Single Children's Mattress.
Pictured: JayBe Waterproof 3FT Single Mattress. Priced £208 (Save £42 on RRP)

Height Matters

Finally, factor in the overall bed height. Lower designs that sit closer to the floor provide a safer transition out of those toddler beds by minimising the risk of tumbles and bumps while your child adjusts to their new bed.

Mid-sleepers are suitable for children around age eight, while high sleepers are also suitable for the same age. 

Julian Bowen Mars Wooden Children's Bunk Bed - White.
Pictured: Julian Bowen Mars Wooden Bunk Bed – White. Priced £590 (Save £321 on RRP)

The Full Bed ‘The Whole Shebang’

Remember the finishing touches! Once you’ve picked the perfect first big kid bed, deck it out with cosy new bedding in their favourite colours and patterns.

Playful scatter cushions, a plush throw blanket and maybe even a novelty night light or reading lamp will transform it into a true haven they’ll never want to leave.

Your child’s new bed should spark joy, boost independence and breed years of sweet shuteye. With your guidance – and their beaming smiles as your compass – finding the ideal sleep sanctuary is a breeze.

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