Best Mattresses for College Dorm

Twenty years ago, the worst mattress a person could possibly sleep on besides a cold concrete floor was undoubtedly a college dorm mattress, issued by the school. Upon arrival, freshman students would gather round to discuss how anyone could sleep on a rock hard slab of mashed cotton that was more uncomfortable than a tired futon.

As a mattress manufacturer, I used to share a factory with a company that made dorm room mattresses and the math was pretty easy when you laid out the sketch for the prototype. Make it out of a the cheapest block of foam you could find, slap an outer cover on it, and replace it every year.

They didn’t have mattress protectors on beds even twenty years ago, so dorm room mattresses were essentially disposable and had to be cheap. Today, freshman are bringing their own mattress to school with them, since you can easily order a twin size mattress online, put in your car while its still compressed in the box, and haul it with you. 

In fact, bed in a box mattresses are so comfortable and supportive, they’ll last for all four years of college and well into grad school, if you haven’t leveled up to a bigger mattress by then. 

Today’s bed in a box mattresses suitable for dorm rooms apartment living come in many levels of comfort from squishy soft and nest like, to firm and supportive, and are typically finished with a really awesome quilted outer cover made from bamboo or other fabrics that sleep cool and comfy.

The important thing to realize is that dorm room mattresses generally take a beating and we recommend buying one that  has a supportive base layer of firmer foam on the bottom, and several layers of progressively softer foam like memory foam or gel foam above that. We provide our best recommended options below, and most of them are reasonably priced, but we should warn you that paying too little for a mattress will provide poor results. 

If you are paying less than $300-400 for a twin mattress, it likely won’t last very long, as it will most likely be made using a promotional grade of polyurethane foam that will compress and mash down very quickly. 

To build a decent twin size mattress, which measures 39”x75” (most dorm room beds will not accommodate a twin long, which is 38”x80”, a full 5”longer, so make sure you buy a regular twin), a manufacturer will need to spend at least $200 in raw materials, if we are talking about a typical grade of high density foam for the bottom layers, and another $60-100 for the comfort layers above that, and maybe $50-80 for the outer covering and quilting. 

Bottom line, for something that will last and is supportive, comfortable and durable, without having sinking, rutting, and depression issues, be prepared to spend $500-700. Occasionally you can find sales, but look at it like this. You’re making a four year investment in the time of your life when sleep and mattress comfort is extremely important.

It pays to invest in a quality mattress to guarantee your best performance

If you’re headed off to college, this is likely first time living on your own and with studying, partying and a hectic extracurricular life, plan on spending most of your time chronically sleep-deprived.

Research shows that about 60% of college students don’t get the 7-9 hours of quality sleep they need every night. College students face a variety of both avoidable and unavoidable stuff that messes with their sleep. 

Drinking too much coffee and energy drinks, way too much blue light from screens, alcohol, inconsiderate roommates, and early-morning classes that disturb your sleep schedule are just the beginning.

Having a part-time job, studying for exams, and multiple people constantly hanging out in your room using your mattress as their couch all contributes to lack of sleep hygiene, so buying a great mattress is simply the best investment you can make in yourself over a solid four year period  of time. 

Lack of sleep and poor sleep quality in college students have been linked with lower GPA, anxiety and depression, suicidal feelings, obesity, and a host of other factors. 

The bed is the single most important thing you will haul up to your room in college. You’ll use it for sleep, for sex, and probably for studying and watching Netflix, so don’t underestimate its importance.

We’ve included our selection of the best mattresses you can buy, all of which are available in twin size on their respective web sites. These are bed-in-a-box mattresses all vetted buy us as reputable and honest companies that build their own twin size mattresses that can be shipped right to your front door in a convenient box for easy set-up.

The Puffy Lux Is Our #1 Choice For The Perfect Dorm Room Mattress

Our #1 choice is The Puffy Lux, a mattress that has 6,000 reviews by its owners ranking it 4.8 out of 5 stars or higher for comfort and support. It’s a memory foam mattress at heart, with cooling technology built into its multiple layers of specialize foam layers that will offer an assist in a hot dorm room where thermostats always go wild. 

With its signature “cloud like” feel, The Puffy Lux makes an ideal dorm room mattress option that will serve you well for years. Sleeps cool, great for your back and for lulling you into a deep sleep.

It has a magical, nest like, and sumptuous feel but not enough to make you feel trapped or to make you feel like you have to dig yourself out of a hole at noon, when you typically will wake up.

The mattress is not inexpensive, costing $1,445. But using our link, you can snag one for $1,145 and get a free King size pillow with it as well.

You’ll get free delivery, a 100 night trial, and a lifetime warranty with the Puffy Lux mattress, too. It has a magical, nest like, and sumptuous feel but not enough to make you feel trapped or to make you feel like you have to dig yourself out of a hole at noon, when you typically will wake up.

The Puffy Lux offers three layers of cloud like float factor, levitation, and buoyant support not found in any other mattress we’ve tested.

The mattress is not inexpensive, costing $1,445. But using our link, you can snag one for $1,145 and get a free King size pillow with it as well. You’ll get free delivery, a 100 night trial, and a lifetime warranty with the mattress. 

It’s by far the most luxurious and sought after mattress in any top flight university, and just owning one is like parking a BMW in the freshman parking lot four acres away.

Plushbeds: Organic Latex Offers Support And Soft, Squishy Luxury

If you’re looking for an all natural mattress and have allergy issues, natural latex might be a great option for you. We recommend Plushbeds, a company we’ve been dealing with for 12 years, and actually when we were in the mattress making business ourselves, they were our #1 competitor. 

The Puffy Lux offers three layers of cloud like float factor, levitation, and buoyant support not found in any other mattress we’ve tested.

We loved their product and admired the quality of the natural latex they used, importing only the finest pure botanical latex from Sri Lanka. Their 9” Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress mattress in twin is $949, with free shipping. One of only a handful of mattresses that is truly organic and vegan, it will last 50 years or more, and offers a bouncy, lively, and uplifting sensation, and it will not sleep hot.

Diamond Mattress Grateful Hybrid- Pocketed Coil Luxury For Less

Another great mattress option in twin size for dorm room bedding options is a mattress that offers excellent support and unparalleled comfort all at the right price. The Diamond Grateful Hybrid offers cooler sleep with its gel foam technology, minimal motion transfer, pain and pressure relief (making it a great option for college athletes) and it sells for just $699 in twin, with free shipping.

The Diamond Grateful Hybrid Mattress is an outstanding option for a dorm room mattress with its pocketed coil hybrid construction featuring cooling gel foam and support layers.

Our Best of the best mattress options that you should consider for the ultimate dorm room mattress

For the money, one of my top choices. The Dreamcloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress has a sumptuous cashmere quilted top that hugs you, and a thicker layer of gel infused memory foam beneath. Individually wrapped coils lift you so you don’t get buried in your mattress.
I’ve recommended it to hundreds of consumers. Excellent edge support, minimizes motion transfer. With my link, you’ll get $200 off, a free sheet set, 2 pillows, and a mattress protectory. A queen on sale: $899, free ship, 365 day trial. I’ve compared to retail store brands selling similar models for $3,000 and up.
Mar 20, 2019
Soft and sumptuous, and built for side and side/back sleepers, The Nolah Original 10” Bed is made with greener, cleaner foams. Their AirFoam™ layer sleeps cool and cozy and is excellent for shoulder pain. Nolah engineers claim this bed is proven to provide 4x better pressure relief on hips, shoulders, and back. Get two free pillows with my link. A solid lifetime warranty, and 120 night no questions asked trial.
Mar 20, 2019
Want a chemical free sleep surface? This outstanding natural latex hybrid bed is loaded with clean, chemical free ingredients.
Up top, there’s a breathable organic quilted top, and beneath you, your body floats on 4” of botanical Dunlop latex (Sri Lankan grown trees, best on the planet). Individually pocketed coils suspend and hover you above the underlying. layer of medium high density foam that won’t break down.
Free sheet set, 2 free latex pillows, and mattress protector included. Delivered with 365 day no questions asked trial , lifetime warranty. My #1 Hybrid Pure Latex/Coil Choice.
Jan 11, 2020
I’d call it an outstanding natural mattress that delivers supernatural comfort and levitating support. An organic outer quilted cover, a layer of eucalyptus infused rayon that cools.
An immediately responsive, 3” layer of pure botanical latex hovers above a pocketed coil system that evenly supports your body.
Owners note excellent lower back support. Queen $999, 25 year warranty, 100 night no BS trial. Couples, back and belly sleepers, unite! Click here to buy.
Jan 21, 2020
A uniquely designed foam hybrid mattress that offers a moderate degree of plushness and support. Copper infused foam provides antibacterial qualities. 10” finished height, 100 night trial, 20 year warranty, $950 for a queen. Free shipping. CLICK HERE FOR THE BEST DEAL and to check them out. Very forward thinking mattress system. Marc’s comments: Their secret: one of few companies online that uses their own factories, not pimping out their manufacturing to 3rd party fabricators. The benefit: Better ingredients since they own the whole enchilada and don’t have to sacrifice quality to pay the middleman.
Jul 24, 2019
Two models, delivering best in class pressure relief, precision spinal alignment, with a sumptuous, nest-like feel. Uses top of the line luxury components and textiles, safer, low VOC and formaldehyde free Certi-Pur foam. A side and back sleeper’s fantasy mattress. Get $300 off + w FREE pillows, free shipping, a great trial period, with unbeatable warranty. Our #1 Choice For Overall Best Mattress. 4.9 Rating out of 5, from a total of 6,572 Online Reviews.
Mar 20, 2019
A wonderful hybrid mattress without all of the middleman costs. $598 for a king size bed. Individually wrapped pocketed coils, and a unique hybrid foam layer system above providing bouncy yet pressure relieving and a cool to the touch knit outer cover. We like the quality of the gel foam used in this Texas made brand. 96% of customers keep this mattress, and with a solid 10 year warranty, you can’t go wrong. Great for side sleepers and nest sleepers. Click here to get the deal. A third of the price of identical “BigMattressInc” beds.
Apr 20, 2019
Habitat Furnishings offers the best digital sleep number style airbed on the market. For half the price of the big name brand, you’ll get a mattress that lets you control an infinite range of soft to firm settings. The bed is made with both natural latex and premium memory foam, and includes a quilted bamboo comforter top built right in! LED remote controls with memory setting. Sale offers $1200 off everyday prices. 90 Day Free Trial, solid warranty, made in USA!
Jun 16, 2020
Hybrid mattress featuring EMF and 5G radiation shielding system. FDA backed technology using static and charge removal surface. Detox, remove free radicals, and get restorative and recharged rest. An “information age” bed. Order the Anti-Aging Bed® or cover only for existing mattress. Click here to visit and to order.
Apr 6, 2020
Looking for great support, especially at hips and shoulders? Our team loves this unique coil and foam hybrid. Gel memory foam on top, a pocketed coil system below with zoned support for torso and hips. A unique feature: a foam edge which provides perimeter support for sitting and increases usable space on the mattress. Queen size $999, 120 Night Trial. A+ marks. Check out their full product line up here.
Jul 17, 2019