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.
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 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.
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.