If you have recently moved into your dorm room, you might have noticed something unfortunate. Your dorm room mattress is uncomfortable.
You’re not alone. This is an issue many college students face. Believe me, I remember trying to sleep on my dorm room mattress Freshman year of college. The combination of noisy neighbors and an uncomfortable mattress had me waking up achy and exhausted for my 8:00 class.
While you might not be able to get a new mattress, there is a very easy solution to your problem. You can pick up a mattress topper. A mattress topper can soften that firm mattress and help you get the sleep you need to perform your best as a student.
To help you narrow down your decision, I have put together my favorite mattress toppers for college. Which one is best for you?
Best For Side Sleepers
The ViscoSoft is thick, soft, and should provide great pressure relief for side sleepers of all sizes.
The Dreamfoam is a very affordable mattress topper that is also very soft and comfortable.
Best For Hot Sleepers
The Layla is a cool-sleeping memory foam mattress topper that should be a good match for back and side sleepers.
Best For Stomach Sleepers
The Saatva features two layers and should be comfortable while offering the support that stomach sleepers require.
Memory Foam Alternative
Tuft & Needle
The Tuft & Needle is a responsive mattress topper that should be both breathable and comfortable.
Top Picks Explained
If you check out Amazon, you are going to come across hundreds of mattress toppers. It can be quite overwhelming. That is why I have chosen five mattress toppers that should be a good fit for your dorm room. Since you aren’t exactly made of money, all of these toppers are under $200 for a Twin or Twin XL. Let’s jump in!
Best For Side Sleepers
You side sleepers out there might be noticing that you wake up with achy shoulders and hips. You could also find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, just trying to get comfortable. This is happening because you aren’t getting the pressure relief you require. Your mattress is probably just too firm for you.
If this applies to you, the ViscoSoft 3″ memory foam mattress topper could be a great option. It features 3″ of a very soft, slow-moving memory foam. When you are on your side, you will slowly sink into the topper and feel that pressure melt away. Even if you are a larger person, you should feel some great pressure relief on the ViscoSoft.
When you move to your back, you should also feel fantastic. The ViscoSoft will allow your hips to sink in, and the memory foam will conform to the shape of your body.
A thing to consider with memory foam is warmth. Memory foam can trap your body heat and direct it back at you. This makes for a very poor night of sleep. However, this shouldn’t be happening with the ViscoSoft. The memory foam contains cooling gel and the cover is both breathable and cool to the touch.
Side sleepers and those who sleep hot should definitely take a look at the ViscoSoft.
What Makes The ViscoSoft Stand Out?
- It is thick and adds a good amount of pressure relief to a firm mattress.
- The ViscoSoft provides that memory foam feel without you having to buy a new mattress.
- The topper should be a good match for both side and back sleepers.
- It should be a cooler-sleeping topper.
- The cover is removable so you can easily wash it at home.
Read the full ViscoSoft mattress review
I know finances can be tight during college. I personally remember consuming countless bowls of Easy Mac and ramen. If you’re looking for a good value pick, the Dreamfoam should work for you. It’s priced around $50 for a Twin XL topper.
It is also a very comfortable mattress topper. It features 2″ of soft memory foam. This will give the top of your mattress a bit of that slow-moving quicksand feel that you expect from memory foam.
This should add some pressure relief for side sleepers. While it is only 2″ thick, you should feel more pressure relief on your shoulders and hips. If you just sleep on your side, you could also consider a 3″ Dreamfoam topper. Back sleepers should also feel enhanced contouring.
At the same time, the Dreamfoam shouldn’t sleep too hot. The memory foam contains a gel swirl. This adds some cooling to the topper so you shouldn’t be overheating while you sleep.
If you are looking for a great deal and you sleep on your side or back, the Dreamfoam could be the topper you’ve been looking for.
What Makes The Dreamfoam Stand Out?
- The Dreamfoam is a very affordable yet comfortable mattress topper.
- It should provide more pressure relief for side sleepers.
- The topper should contour to your body, making for a more comfortable sleep.
- The gel swirl should help dissipate heat in the topper.
Read the full Dreamfoam mattress topper review
Best For Hot Sleepers
As I mentioned above, memory foam is not great when it comes to sleeping cool. Memory foam absorbs heat and, when you sink into the soft material, you could find yourself overheating.
Not only does the Layla not sleep hot, but it is one of the coolest mattress toppers I have come across. The Layla’s memory is infused with copper gel beads. These help the memory foam dissipate heat. In addition, the topper’s cover contains Thermogel, making the Layla cool to the touch.
This topper is also extremely comfortable. The 2″ of memory foam is high-density and very soft. Lying on your side, you should feel much less pressure on your shoulders and hips. When you lie on your back, the memory foam should press up into your lumbar area while the topper also takes the shape of your body.
Copper is also anti-microbial. Not to be mean, but dorm rooms aren’t always the cleanest. This copper should prevent bacteria, mold, and mildew from growing in the Layla.
The Layla is cooling, comfortable, and clean. What more could you ask for?
What Makes The Layla Stand Out?
- The topper contains both copper and Thermogel, both cooling agents.
- It adds the soft feeling of memory foam to the top of your mattress.
- The topper features corner straps to keep it secured to your mattress.
- The Layla should provide nice pressure relief for side sleepers.
- Back sleepers should get a balance of comfort and support from the Layla.
Read the full Layla mattress topper review
Best For Stomach Sleepers
So, you have probably noticed that many of these toppers are a good fit for back and side sleepers. It is true that most mattress toppers will soften up your mattress and should offer extra pressure relief and contouring. Well, what if you are a stomach sleeper? Well, the Saatva should work for you.
The Saatva memory foam mattress topper has two layers. It features soft, graphite-infused memory foam on top and a transition layer below that. This transition layer should give you the support you need on your hips. They shouldn’t bow into the mattress.
The Saatva should also work for back sleepers. On your back, your hips should sink in just a bit while the memory foam adds some contouring. Also, side sleepers of many sizes should feel some nice pressure relief on the Saatva. Even larger side sleepers shouldn’t “bottom out” on the topper.
Also, the memory foam’s graphite infusion should keep the topper nice and cool. Graphite, like copper and gel, can help with heat dissipation so you don’t overheat.
While this is my top pick for stomach sleepers, the Saatva should work for a wide range of sleepers.
What Makes The Saatva Stand Out?
- The Saatva has a dual-layer construction.
- The transition layer gives the needed support for stomach sleeping.
- Back and side sleepers should also feel comfortable on the Saatva.
- The graphite infusion should keep the mattress topper sleeping cool.
Read the full Saatva mattress topper review
Memory Foam Alternative
Tuft & Needle
Memory foam is one of the most common materials found in mattress toppers. However, what if you aren’t a fan of memory foam? What if you have trouble moving around and worry about getting stuck in your mattress toppers.
For those of you who want a memory foam alternative, the Tuft & Needle should be a good option. Instead of memory foam, the topper contains a responsive foam with a bit of bounce. You will sink into the topper a fair amount, but you shouldn’t get stuck.
While these other toppers feature gel, copper, and graphite to help with cooling, the Tuft & Needle features an open-celled construction. The responsive foam is more breathable than standard memory foam so the Tuft & Needle sleeps quite cool.
The Tuft & Needle will also soften your firm mattress and make it more fitting for back sleeping and side sleeping. Back sleepers will feel the topper take the shape of their body while side sleepers will feel less pressure on their shoulders and hips. Given how responsive the topper is, heavier side sleepers should be held up without “bottoming out.”
So, if you want a soft mattress topper but don’t like memory foam, check out the Tuft & Needle.
What Makes The Tuft & Needle Stand Out?
- The Tuft & Needle is responsive so you shouldn’t have trouble changing position.
- The responsive foam is open-celled, making this a breathable, cooler-sleeping topper.
- The topper should be a good match for back and side sleepers.
- Heavier side sleepers shouldn’t bottom out on the Tuft & Needle.
Read the full Tuft & Needle mattress topper review
What Should You Consider When Buying A Topper?
So, you’ve decided that a mattress topper is a good addition to your dorm room. However, you’re not done just yet. There are a few things you should think about when you’re choosing the best mattress topper for college.
- Mattress size. This may seem like an obvious point, but you want to make sure you pick the right sized mattress topper. Check to see exactly what size mattress you are sleeping on. Most dorm room mattresses are going to be either Twin (38″ x 75″) or Twin XL (38″ x 80″). You can measure the mattress yourself or ask your college administration what sized mattress is in your dorm room.
- Your sleeping position. As you saw above, there is no one mattress topper for everyone. This is especially true when you think about sleeping positions. If you are a side sleeper, you are going to want a softer mattress topper. Back sleepers should look for a topper that is soft but not too soft. Stomach sleepers are going to want a mattress topper that gives them more support, especially on their hips. Keep your sleeping position in mind, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the right topper for you.
- Your feel preferences. Not all mattress toppers feel the same. It is true that the majority of mattress toppers feature some kind of memory foam. However, some contain other materials like latex or a foam alternative. If you like to slowly sink into your sleeping surface, memory foam should work for you. If you want something bouncy, latex foam should be a better choice. Just know that not every topper feels the same.
- Budget and durability. Of course, your budget is going to be a major concern. All of these toppers are going to be under $200 for a Twin or Twin XL topper. However, the lower you go in price, the less durable your topper might become. For instance, a cheaper memory foam topper probably doesn’t contain the highest density memory foam. It might not last as long as a pricier topper that contains high-density memory foam. Just think about how long you want your mattress topper to last and how much you’re willing to spend.
Other Items For Your Dorm Room
A mattress topper is just one item you should consider if you want to sleep better in your dorm room. Here are a couple of other handy items that can ensure you get the best sleep possible.
- Earplugs. Let’s face it: dorms are loud. Your roommate could snore and your neighbors might care more about partying than studying. Earplugs could be an easy solution to this problem. For not much money, you could purchase some earplugs to block out the majority of these sounds
- Sleep masks. When you are sleeping in a dorm, you aren’t always in control of the light. You could have a roommate who stays up late watching TV or working on their computer. You could also have some light coming in through your window. All of this could disrupt your sleep and mess with your circadian rhythm. A good sleep mask could cut out the majority of this light.
- Bedding. You also want to make sure that you find sheets and comforters that promote healthy sleep. If you are a hot sleeper, consider cotton sheets with a percale weave. Also, find a comforter that is breathable and won’t make you overheat. Also, consider a duvet cover. You can slip this over your comforter, and it is a lot easier to clean than a whole comforter.
- Pillows. The right pillow can go a long way in helping you get great sleep. It might not be a good idea to pick the cheapest pillow you can find. You don’t have to break the bank, but Make sure you find a pillow that fits your sleeping position and feel preferences.
RELATED: The Ultimate Guide To Sleeping Better On A College Campus
Getting good sleep could mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful school year. If your firm dorm mattress is causing you trouble, take a look at one of these great mattress toppers. Don’t settle for poor sleep. Give it the old college try and make your mattress more comfortable!
Featured image: Alexandre Rotenberg/Shutterstock
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