Those who have recently moved into their dorm room might have noticed something unfortunate: the dorm room mattress is uncomfortable!
This is an issue many college students face and, 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 most college students might not be able to get a new mattress, there is a very easy solution to the problem: pick up a mattress topper. A mattress topper can soften that firm mattress and help busy college students get the sleep they need to perform their best.
To help college students narrow down their decision, I have put together a list of the best mattress toppers for college.
The Best Mattress Toppers for College and Dorm Rooms
Our top picks are:
- Saatva – Editor’s Pick
- ViscoSoft – Best For Side Sleepers
- Dreamfoam – Best Value Mattress Topper
- Tuft & Needle – Best Memory Foam Alternative
- Casper – Best Cooling Mattress Topper
Now, let’s take a look at our top picks and discuss what you should look for when buying a topper for your dorm!
Top Picks Explained
Just looking at Amazon, shoppers will come across hundreds of mattress toppers, and it can be quite overwhelming; that is why I have chosen five mattress toppers that should be a good fit for a dorm room. Since college students aren’t exactly made of money, all of these toppers are under $200 for a Twin or Twin XL!
So, most have probably noticed that these toppers are a good fit for back and side sleepers, and it is true that most mattress toppers will soften up a mattress and should offer extra pressure relief and contouring. Those who need a mattress topper for stomach sleeping should take a look at the Saatva.
The Saatva memory foam mattress topper has two layers, a layer of soft, graphite-infused memory foam on top and a transition layer below that. This transition layer should give stomach sleepers the support they need on your hips so that they don’t bow into the mattress.
The Saatva should also work for back sleepers, and the hips should sink in just a bit while the memory foam adds some contouring. Also, side sleepers of many sizes should feel some exceptional pressure relief on the Saatva.
Also, the memory foam’s graphite infusion should keep the topper nice and cool because graphite, like copper and gel, can help with heat dissipation.
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, a rare feature in mattress toppers.
- The transition layer gives the needed support for stomach sleeping, and most shouldn’t feel their hips sinking in too far.
- Back and side sleepers should also feel particularly comfortable on the Saatva.
- The graphite infusion should keep the mattress topper sleeping quite cool.
Read the full Saatva mattress topper review
The Saatva mattress topper is a comfortable option for back sleepers, side sleepers, and hot sleepers. Save 10% when you spend $200 or more.
Best Mattress Topper For Side Sleepers
Those side sleepers out there might be noticing that they wake up with achy shoulders and hips or they could also find themselves waking up in the middle of the night, just trying to get comfortable. This is happening because they aren’t getting the pressure relief they require or their mattress is probably just too firm for you.
For those in this position, the ViscoSoft 3″ memory foam mattress topper could be a particularly good option because it features 3″ of a very soft, slow-moving memory foam. When they are on their side, sleepers will slowly sink into the topper and feel that pressure melt away, and even larger people should feel some exceptional pressure relief on the ViscoSoft.
When sleepers move to their backs, they should also feel fantastic because the ViscoSoft will allow the hips to sink in while the memory foam provides some fantastic contouring.
A thing to consider with memory foam is warmth, as memory foam can trap body heat and direct it back at sleepers, making for a poor night of sleep. However, this shouldn’t be happening with the ViscoSoft because the memory foam contains cooling gel, and the cover is both breathable and particularly cool to the touch.
Side sleepers and those who sleep hot should definitely take a look at the ViscoSoft memory foam mattress topper.
What Makes The ViscoSoft Stand Out?
- It is thick and adds a significant amount of pressure relief to a firm mattress.
- The ViscoSoft provides that memory foam feel without having to buy an entirely new mattress.
- The topper should be a good match for both side and back sleepers of many sizes.
- It should be a cooler-sleeping topper and shouldn’t make sleepers heat up at night.
- The cover is removable so it can be easily washed at home.
Read the full ViscoSoft mattress review
The ViscoSoft mattress topper will soften a firm mattress by 2 points and provide excellent body contouring and pressure relief. Click the link below to save 30% on your purchase!
Best Value Mattress Topper
I know finances can be tight during college as I personally remember consuming countless bowls of Easy Mac and ramen: those who looking for a good value pick should consider the Dreamfoam, a topper priced at around $50 for a Twin XL size.
It is also a very comfortable mattress topper that features 2″ of soft memory foam which will give the top of the mattress a bit of that slow-moving quicksand feel that one expects from memory foam.
This should add a significant amount of pressure relief for side sleepers and, while it is only 2″ thick, most sleepers should feel more pressure relief on their shoulders and hips. Those who just sleep on their sides should also consider a 3″ Dreamfoam topper, but sleepers should feel enhanced contouring on the 2″ model.
At the same time, the Dreamfoam shouldn’t sleep too hot because the memory foam contains a gel swirl that adds some cooling properties to the topper.
For those who are looking for a great deal and they sleep on their side or back, the Dreamfoam could be a great choice.
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 the body, making for a significantly more comfortable sleep.
- The gel swirl should help dissipate heat in the topper, so sleepers shouldn’t wake up hot or sweaty.
Read the full Dreamfoam mattress topper review
The Dreamfoam is a soft memory foam mattress topper. It is a great fit for back and side sleepers. Click the link for the best price on this topper!
Best Memory Foam Alternative
Tuft & Needle
Memory foam is one of the most common materials found in mattress toppers, but what about those who aren’t fans of memory foam? What if someone has trouble moving around and they worry about getting stuck in a mattress topper?
For those who want a memory foam alternative, the Tuft and Needle should be a fantastic option. Instead of memory foam, the topper contains a responsive foam with a bit of bounce, so sleepers will sink into the topper a fair amount but 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 a 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, those who want a soft mattress topper but don’t like memory foam should check out the Tuft & Needle.
What Makes The Tuft & Needle Stand Out?
- The Tuft & Needle is responsive so people shouldn’t have trouble changing position at night.
- The Tuft & Needle’s responsive foam is open-celled, making this a breathable, cooler-sleeping mattress 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
The Tuft & Needle mattress topper is a great choice for back sleepers, side sleepers, and those who like a responsive foam feel. Click the button to get up to 15% off.
Best Cooling Mattress Topper
If you love foam mattress toppers, but worry about overheating at night, we know just the product for you. We’re talking about Casper. This company is famous for pioneering the bed-in-a-box industry, but they make so much more than just mattresses.
Casper’s foam is ventilated for extra airflow and breathability. To make things even cooler, the foam is infused with graphite. This material helps pull heat away from the body, which is especially beneficial for hot sleepers.
But that isn’t the only unique thing about Casper’s mattress topper. It’s also made with three layers of foam, so it creates a great balance of comfort and support. If you frequently deal with back pain, this could help ease the tension.
What Makes The Casper Stand Out?
- It’s especially durable.
- The breathable foam helps sleepers stay cool.
- The topper has three foam layers, which can help people with back pain.
Read the full Casper mattress topper review.
The Casper mattress topper has three comfort layers that provide excellent pressure relief. The graphite-infused foam layer helps keep sleepers cool all night long. Click the button below for the best deals on the Casper mattress topper.
What To Consider When Buying A Mattress Topper For College?
We’re not done just yet, and there are a few things to think about when choosing the best mattress topper for college.
This may seem like an obvious point, but make sure to pick the right sized mattress topper. Check to see exactly what size mattress is in the dorm room – most dorm room mattresses are going to be either Twin (38″ x 75″) or Twin XL (38″ x 80″), but students can measure the mattress themselves or ask the college administration what sized mattress is in the dorm room.
Learn more about mattress sizes.
There is no one mattress topper for everyone, and this is especially true when we think about sleeping positions. Side sleepers are going to want a softer mattress topper, back sleepers should look for a topper that is soft but not too soft, and stomach sleepers are going to want a mattress topper that gives them more support, especially on their hips. Keep sleeping position in mind, it shouldn’t be particularly difficult to find the right topper.
Not all mattress toppers feel the same and, while it is true that the majority of mattress toppers feature some kind of memory foam, some contain other materials like latex or a foam alternative. For those who like to slowly sink into their sleeping surface, memory foam should work but, for those who want something bouncy, latex foam should be a better choice. See our list of the best latex mattresses to get a better idea of how this feels.
Budget And Durability
Of course, budget is going to be a major concern, and all of these toppers are going to be under $200 for a Twin or Twin XL topper. However, the lower we go in price, the less durable your topper might become; a cheaper memory foam topper probably doesn’t contain the highest density memory foam, and it might not last as long as a pricier topper that contains high-density memory foam.
Other Sleep Accessories For A College Dorm Room
A mattress topper is just one item college students should consider if they want to sleep better in their dorm room. Here are a couple of other handy items that can ensure they get the best sleep possible.
- Earplugs. Let’s face it, dorms are loud: roommates can snore and noisy neighbors might care more about partying than studying. Earplugs could be an easy solution to this problem and, for not much money, students could be blocking out the majority of these sounds
- Sleep masks. When sleeping in a dorm, college students aren’t always in control of the light; they could have a roommate who stays up late watching TV or working on their computer or they could also have some light coming in through their window. All of this could disrupt sleep and mess with circadian rhythms, but a good sleep mask could cut out the majority of this light.
- Bedding. Students should also make sure that they find sheets and comforters that promote healthy sleep. If they are a hot sleeper, they should consider cotton sheets with a percale weave as well as a comforter that is breathable and won’t make them overheat. Also, consider a duvet cover which can slip this over a comforter and is a lot easier to clean than a whole comforter.
- Pillows. The right pillow can go a long way in helping one get great sleep, so it might not be a good idea to pick the cheapest pillow you can find. Don’t break the bank, but make sure to find a pillow that fits one’s sleeping position and feel preferences.
Getting good sleep could mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful school year so, if a firm dorm mattress is causing trouble, take a look at one of these great mattress toppers.
|ViscoSoft||Best For Side Sleepers|
|Dreamfoam||Best Value Mattress Topper|
|Tuft & Needle||Best Memory Foam Alternative|
|Casper||Best Cooling Mattress Topper|
Don’t settle for poor sleep – give it the old college try and make that mattress more comfortable!
Featured image: Alexandre Rotenberg/Shutterstock