It's time to look after the most precious people in our lives: our children, and consider the best options for our little ones to sleep well. It's important we give them the support they need so they wake up refreshed and ready for their growing bodies and minds. Sadly, so often our children get the hand-me-downs or the old foam swab to sleep on and we tend to think that's all they need. Let's face it, some don't weigh very much. But how wrong can we be. Firstly, a quality inner-sprung mattress is the most important item they need. Children need a healthy sleeping environment, especially since they spend more time sleeping and napping than the average adult and are in the prime of their growth spurts. They need the best support we can afford to give them. And it's not only good support, but the state of the mattress is as important. Old mattresses tend to harbour all sorts of nasties and this will affect your child, particularly if they suffer from asthma or any other allergies, i.e. eczema, etc.

What size bed?

Most children only need a standard single bed (91 x 188cm) or long single (91 x 203cm), depending on the size of the room, but a king single (107 x 203cm) is wider and a good choice for slightly older kids. With regards to the base, there are options. The standard platform base that matches the mattress is the ideal, as it has the same guarantee as the mattress and takes up less floor space. But yes, any mattress can be placed on a slat bed, which normally includes a headboard. These allow greater air circulation and possible storage underneath, but a word of advice: keep it uncluttered as the mattress does need to breathe and it allows for regular vacuuming for those who are asthmatic.

Sometimes space can be an issue when the room needs to be shared with a sibling. One of the options is bunks. What young child doesn't dream of bunks? But a word of warning: New Zealand currently does not have mandatory safety compliance for bunks made here or imported. We do care about the safety of your children so have made the decision to only sell bunks that are fully compliant (ASNZS 4220:2010). Some of the issues that you need to be aware of is they are not recommended for children under the age of 9 on the top level. Also check that the ladder is high off the ground, so as to stop crawling children finding their new adventure! The height of the mattress on the top must be so that the guardrail is high enough to stop your child from rolling over the top and the gaps between the rails must not be more than 9cm as little limbs and heads can get stuck. The bunk obviously needs to be very sturdy so the unit does not topple (always give them a good shake in store). There is more information on consumerprotection.govt.nz.

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One last point is to make sure there is enough space between the bottom and top level, so when you kiss your children goodnight, you don't end up banging your head. We also stock backpacker bunk sets in single and single/double duo which hold larger adults.

The other space-saving option is a trundler bed. This has a king single on top and a single is stored below, which comes up to the same level.