There is no one-size-fits-all answer is whether a memory foam mattress is suitable for a child with autism. Some parents find that memory foam mattresses help their autistic children sleep better and experience less sensory overload, while others find that the opposite is true.
This article will explore both sides of the argument and give you the information you need to decide whether a memory foam mattress is right for your autistic child.
Sleep Disorders In Kids With Autism
A 2017 Journal of Pediatric Nursing publication revealed that 80% of kids with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty sleeping. This is not surprising, as autistic children often have difficulty regulating their senses. This includes being oversensitive to light, sound, and touch. As a result, it is challenging for these kids to shut off their brains and relax enough to fall asleep.
Additionally, many autistic children have anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
One common sleep disorder in autistic children is called “sleep onset association disorder.” This means the child has difficulty falling asleep unless doing something specific, like rocking back and forth or listening to white noise.
If your child has trouble sleeping, it is vital to talk to their doctor. Some treatments can help, including medication, behavioral therapy, and special diets. However, one treatment often overlooked is the type of mattress your child sleeps on.
How Does Memory Foam Help An Autistic Child?
As stated earlier, some parents may find that memory foam mattresses help their autistic children sleep better by providing a firm, comfortable surface on which to sleep. Additionally, memory foam mattresses conform to the body. This can provide a sense of security for autistic children who often feel overwhelmed by their senses.
The softer versions can also be suitable for an autistic child who is sensitive to touch. Pressure relief is one of the main reasons people use memory foam mattresses, and this can be helpful for an autistic child who has trouble sleeping.
Finally, memory foam mattresses are often very quiet, which can help an autistic child who is oversensitive to sound get a good night’s sleep. If you live in Canada, you’d want to check this guide for some of the best memory foam mattresses.
While these mattresses can be a great addition to your child’s bedroom, there are a few potential downsides to memory foam mattresses for autistic children. These include:
- They can be pretty warm and do not allow adequate air circulation. This can be a problem for autistic children who are oversensitive to heat.
- Memory foam mattresses are often quite expensive.
- Some parents find that their autistic children do not like the way memory foam mattresses feel, as they can be quite firm.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Memory Foam Mattress For An Autistic Child
If you decide that a memory foam mattress is right for your autistic child, there are a few things to remember. These include:
There are a few different types of memory foam mattresses, ranging from very soft to very firm. It is crucial to find the right bed for your child, as a mattress that is too soft may not provide enough support, and a mattress that is too firm may be uncomfortable. You may need to experiment with a few different memory foam mattresses before finding the one that is right for your child.
The Child’s Weight
Another vital factor to consider when purchasing a memory foam mattress for your autistic child is their weight. Heavier children will need a firmer mattress, while lighter children will need a softer mattress.
Here is a crucial factor when looking for a memory foam mattress for your autistic child. Many autistic children are hypersensitive to allergens like dust mites, mold, and pollen. Look for a memory foam mattress that is hypoallergenic to ensure your child is not exposed to any materials that could trigger their allergies.
When it comes to kids’ beds, size matters. You will want to make sure that you purchase a mattress that is the right size for your child. A too-small mattress may be uncomfortable, while a too-large mattress may be too big for your child’s room. Additionally, you will want to ensure that the mattress you purchase is the right size for your child’s bed frame. This is important, as a mattress that is too big or too small for the bed frame can be dangerous.
As we mentioned before, memory foam mattresses can be pretty expensive. However, remember that your child would be spending a lot of time sleeping on their bed, so it is worth investing in a good-quality mattress. There are a few ways to save money on a memory foam mattress, such as shopping during sales or looking for coupons and discounts.
So, is a memory foam mattress good for a child with autism? It really depends on the individual child and what their specific needs are. If a child has sensory processing issues, a memory foam mattress could provide the deep pressure input they need to feel calm and relaxed.
However, if a child is prone to night-time meltdowns or is allergic to foam materials, a memory foam mattress might not be the best option. Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to decide what type of mattress will be best for their child with autism. Thanks for reading!