Best Mattress for College Students 2022

We receive free products to review and participate in affiliate programs. See our disclosure page for more information.

College is an exciting time, but money is tight and moving into a dorm room or new apartment can be stressful. Plus, dorm mattresses provided by schools are often uncomfortable. Why not make it easier by buying one of the best college mattresses? If an easy set-up, cheap options, and quality materials are what you’re in search of, this roundup is for you. After testing a variety of great beds, we’ve identified which would make the best college mattress. The results are in!

Editor’s Note: Check with your dorm administrator to understand your school’s policies on swapping out mattresses.

The Best College Mattresses 2022

How We Chose the Best Mattress for College Students

Our team of sleep specialists have reviewed more than 150 mattresses, using proprietary analysis and hands-on testing to establish easy-to-understand scores. In addition to an overall score, we measure subscores for support, edge support, cooling, motion transfer, durability, trial period, and warranty.

For this roundup, we focused on price as an additional parameter, which is why all 10 mattresses are less than $1,295 for a Queen and less than $995 for a Twin XL. Not only are these beds reasonably priced, but they’re high-quality. When looking at our overall scores for these 10 beds, nine of them scored at least a 3.4 out of 5, with many of them scoring a 4 or higher.

Editor’s Pick – Dreamfoam Essential

Editor's Pick

Dreamfoam Essential Memory Foam Mattress

The Dreamfoam Essential is a cooling, affordable memory foam mattress that comes in multiple thicknesses.

Clarity Score 3.6/5
Read Dreamfoam Essential Memory Foam Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review
Editor's Pick

Dreamfoam Essential Memory Foam Mattress

The Dreamfoam Essential is a cooling, affordable memory foam mattress that comes in multiple thicknesses.

Clarity Score 3.6/5
Read Dreamfoam Essential Memory Foam Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review
Editor's Pick

Dreamfoam Essential Memory Foam Mattress

The Dreamfoam Essential is a cooling, affordable memory foam mattress that comes in multiple thicknesses.

Clarity Score 3.6/5
Read Dreamfoam Essential Memory Foam Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review

The Dreamfoam Essential is a medium-firm, all-foam mattress with five different height options: 6”, 8”, 10”, 12”, and 14”. College students should love this bed’s affordability; it appears in our Best Mattresses Under $500 roundup. With cooling properties, versatility, and a good value, it’s no wonder why it’s our editor’s pick.

Mattress Materials

The Dreamfoam Essential is topped with an environmentally friendly cover, protecting the mattress from contaminants. It sits on a gel-infused memory foam comfort layer, providing a slow-moving feel. For the 12” and 14” height options, a transition layer prevents sleepers from sinking too far into the mattress. At the base, a high-density foam provides a supportive foundation.

Mattress Performance

If you’re worried about a stuffy college apartment or dorm room, you should appreciate the Dreamfoam Dreamfoam Essential’s cooling properties. With a breathable cover and gel-infused foams, this bed works to dissipate heat. In terms of durability, the Dreamfoam Essential should last students five to seven years, so it’s a great first apartment or dorm room mattress.

Lightweight sleepers in any sleeping position, as well as most back sleepers, should enjoy this mattress. Its medium-firm construction is ideal for these folks. Anyone having their mattress delivered to their apartment or dorm should like Dreamfoam’s free shipping, 10-year warranty, and 120-night trial.

Keep In Mind

Side and stomach sleepers of average or heavy weights may not find the proper amount of comfort and support. While combination sleepers should enjoy the bed’s on-top-of feel, it’s worth noting that this bed has inadequate edge support. We suggest looking elsewhere if you toss and turn a lot in your sleep or sleep close to the mattress’ edge.

Read our full Dreamfoam Essential review. Looking for other options, check out our Best mattresses of 2022.

Best Affordable Mattress – Leesa Studio

Best Affordable Mattress

Studio by Leesa Mattress

The Studio by Leesa is a comfortable all-foam mattress that should be ideal for children, lightweight adults, and those who are looking for a good value.

Clarity Score 3.6/5
Read Studio by Leesa Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Kids
This bed is perfect for young sleepers.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Affordable Mattress

Studio by Leesa Mattress

The Studio by Leesa is a comfortable all-foam mattress that should be ideal for children, lightweight adults, and those who are looking for a good value.

Clarity Score 3.6/5
Read Studio by Leesa Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Kids
This bed is perfect for young sleepers.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Affordable Mattress

Studio by Leesa Mattress

The Studio by Leesa is a comfortable all-foam mattress that should be ideal for children, lightweight adults, and those who are looking for a good value.

Clarity Score 3.6/5
Read Studio by Leesa Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Kids
This bed is perfect for young sleepers.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review

Between tuition, textbooks, and groceries, college can be anything but affordable. The last thing students want is to spend the rest of their bank accounts on a pricey mattress. Luckily, the Leesa Studio is an amazing budget option, costing $549.00  for a Twin XL and $699.00 for a Queen. That’s all before sales and discounts!

Mattress Materials

Beneath a thin, breathable cover is 1.5” of memory foam, 1.5” of responsive foam, and 7” of base foam. The memory foam layers contour to the sleeper’s body for maximum comfort while the responsive foam provides a bouncy transition layer. Denser base foam at the bottom increases durability and support. The Leesa Studio is 10” in height and has a firm construction.

Mattress Performance

This mattress is an excellent choice for a college student’s first mattress. As a cheaper bed, it should last students between five and seven years. Yet its simple design manages to provide comfort and support for many sleepers.

We recommend this mattress to sleepers under 230 lb. Lightweight sleepers under 130 lb should feel supported whether they’re sleeping on their back, side, or stomach. Average-weight back sleepers should receive adequate lumbar support.

Keep In Mind

Because it’s an all-foam mattress without many cooling features, students may find that they overheat on this mattress. If you have a hot dorm or apartment, the Leesa Studio isn’t the solution. However, it could help if you purchase this mattress and rely on cooling accessories (pillows, sheets, toppers) instead. If you want to test if this mattress is right for you, Leesa provides a 100-night trial, 10-year warranty, and free shipping.

Average-weight side sleepers will want something softer, and stomach sleepers will want something more supportive. Heavy sleepers over 230 lb won’t like the Leesa Studio in any position and will experience too much pressure on sensitive areas.

Read our full Leesa Studio review. Or for more options, check out our Best Budget Mattresses.

Best Soft Mattress – Nectar

Best Soft Mattress

Nectar Mattress

Nectar is a very comfortable memory foam mattress that happens to also be an amazing value.

Clarity Score 4.3/5
Read Nectar Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

365 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Joint Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from joint pain.
Hip Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from hip pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Soft Mattress

Nectar Mattress

Nectar is a very comfortable memory foam mattress that happens to also be an amazing value.

Clarity Score 4.3/5
Read Nectar Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

365 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Joint Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from joint pain.
Hip Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from hip pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Soft Mattress

Nectar Mattress

Nectar is a very comfortable memory foam mattress that happens to also be an amazing value.

Clarity Score 4.3/5
Read Nectar Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Trial Period

365 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Joint Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from joint pain.
Hip Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from hip pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review

The Nectar is an all-foam mattress. Although it’s technically medium-firm, it has a softer feel and is one of the most comfortable mattresses we’ve tested. It’s also in our best mattresses for the money roundup, so college students shouldn’t have to worry about breaking the bank.

Mattress Materials

The Nectar consists of a cover that’s literally cool to the touch, and beneath it a gel-infused memory foam comfort layer. This adds cooling to the mattress surface. A second layer of foam acts as a transition layer, guiding sleepers to the high-density support foam layer.

Mattress Performance

The Nectar should sleep at a comfortable temperature, even though it excludes special cooling features. What most impressed us was the great edge support; this is an indicator of durability. Because the Nectar has impressive edge support for an all-foam mattress, you should be able to use the bed’s full surface area.

Back sleepers who enjoy a softer feel should love the Nectar because it balances comfort and support. Lightweight sleepers should find comfort in all three sleeping positions. Average-weight side sleepers should get the pressure relief they’re looking for. If you’re worried about testing this mattress, rest assured with Nectar’s forever warranty, 365-night sleep trial, and free shipping. This is a generous policy!

Keep In Mind

For the most part, heavyweight sleepers won’t get the support they need from the Nectar. However, heavy back sleepers should find it to be a good match. Average and heavyweight stomach sleepers will need a firmer mattress as well.

Read our full Nectar review for more information. If you’re looking for other options check out our list of the best soft mattresses.

Best Hybrid Mattress – Brooklyn Bowery

Best Hybrid Mattress

Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Hybrid Mattress

The Brooklyn Bedding Bowery is an affordable mattress that a lot of people will like.

Clarity Score 4.3/5
Read Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Hybrid Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Soft: 6/10

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Best Hybrid Mattress

Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Hybrid Mattress

The Brooklyn Bedding Bowery is an affordable mattress that a lot of people will like.

Clarity Score 4.3/5
Read Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Hybrid Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Soft: 6/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Best Hybrid Mattress

Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Hybrid Mattress

The Brooklyn Bedding Bowery is an affordable mattress that a lot of people will like.

Clarity Score 4.3/5
Read Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Hybrid Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Soft: 6/10

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5

The Brooklyn Bowery differs from the models above in that it’s a hybrid mattress, utilizing both foam and coils in its construction. It’s a 6/10 on our firmness scale, so it’s softer than average. The Brooklyn Bedding mattress company manufactures beds in their own factory, so they can sell them for a lower price. College students should like its affordability and comfortable, streamlined design.

Mattress Materials

The Brooklyn Bedding Bowery is 10” tall. At the top of the mattress, there’s a thin, stretchy cover allowing for breathability. Beneath lies the primary comfort layer: gel-infused memory foam. This assists with cooling and provides pressure relief. Because this layer is quilted — and since the layer beneath is a responsive transition layer — you shouldn’t feel stuck. Below that, a layer of signature Ascension X coils provides structural support.

Mattress Performance

Considering the Bowery’s low cost, we were impressed with its cooling abilities. Its breathable cover, gel-infused foam, and coils provide airflow. While it’s not the most long-lasting bed, it’s made with quality foams and has good edge support. This mattress is durable for its price. If you’re still on the fence, know that Brooklyn Bedding offers a 10-year warranty, 120-night sleep trial, and free shipping and returns.

Because the mattress is on the softer side, we recommend it to lightweight sleepers under 130 lb and average-weight side sleepers. Combination sleepers of these weights should find it easy to move around on top of the mattress.

Keep In Mind

Average-weight back and stomach sleepers — along with heavyweight sleepers — won’t find adequate support on the Bowery.

Read our full Brooklyn Bowery review. Looking for additional recommendations, check out our best hybrid mattresses for more great options.

Best Cooling Mattress – Cocoon Chill

Best Cooling Mattress

Cocoon Chill Mattress

The Cocoon by Sealy is a comfortable mattress that is also a great value.

Clarity Score 4.1/5
Read Cocoon Chill Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Firm: 7.5/10

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Best Cooling Mattress

Cocoon Chill Mattress

The Cocoon by Sealy is a comfortable mattress that is also a great value.

Clarity Score 4.1/5
Read Cocoon Chill Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Firm: 7.5/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Best Cooling Mattress

Cocoon Chill Mattress

The Cocoon by Sealy is a comfortable mattress that is also a great value.

Clarity Score 4.1/5
Read Cocoon Chill Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Firm: 7.5/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5

Is your apartment or dorm room lacking AC? If you’re worried about overheating, a cooling mattress can make all the difference. We recommend the Cocoon Chill. Its high-quality cooling materials and next-level comfort come at a reasonable price point. This firm, all-foam mattress has a hybrid version if you’re wanting an additional boost in cooling.

Mattress Materials

The Cocoon Chill is specifically designed for cooling. Most notably, Phase Change Material (PCM) is incorporated into the cover, so it’s cool to the touch. Beneath are 2” of memory foam and 2” of a transition layer, so there’s nice body-contouring and pressure relief. 6” of polyfoam provides support for the bottom of the mattress. Although most all-foam mattresses are known to sleep hot, that shouldn’t be a problem on the Cocoon Chill.

Mattress Performance

Because it’s a firmer-than-average mattress, there’s good edge support on the Cocoon Chill. This is an indication that the mattress is durable. And thanks to its simple construction, expect this mattress to last between five and eight years.

It’s difficult for stomach sleepers to find a mattress offering enough firm support, but the Cocoon Chill is the solution. With a firmness of 7.5/10, stomach sleepers of all body types should find this to be a good option. Lightweight sleepers should also love this mattress because they won’t press into the support layer too much. Average-weight and heavyweight back sleepers should find a satisfying, balanced feel.

Keep In Mind

Average-weight and heavyweight side sleepers may find this bed to be too firm. They might press too far into the support layer, bringing too much pressure around the shoulders and hips.

Read our full Cocoon Chill review. Need more options for hot sleepers, check out our best cooling mattresses for more great options.

Best Foam Mattress – Tuft & Needle

Best Foam Mattress

Tuft & Needle Mattress

The Tuft & Needle is a great value mattress that is also extremely comfortable.

Clarity Score 3.6/5
Read Tuft & Needle Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping minus HI and AK

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Best Foam Mattress

Tuft & Needle Mattress

The Tuft & Needle is a great value mattress that is also extremely comfortable.

Clarity Score 3.6/5
Read Tuft & Needle Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping minus HI and AK

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Best Foam Mattress

Tuft & Needle Mattress

The Tuft & Needle is a great value mattress that is also extremely comfortable.

Clarity Score 3.6/5
Read Tuft & Needle Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping minus HI and AK

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5

If you’d like a softer foam feel, the Tuft & Needle is a great place to start. It’s in an ideal price range for college students too, starting at $695.00 for a Twin XL and at $895.00 for a Queen. With a medium-firm construction (6.5/10 firmness), the Tuft & Needle has a balanced construction that suits a wide range of sleepers.

Mattress Materials

A thin, breathable cover lies on top of a single comfort layer. Next comes Tuft & Needle’s signature Adaptive Foam, which is soft and responsive. It’s also gel-infused with graphite and ceramic to help with heat dissipation. Finally, a thick support foam layer acts as a base. This layer is open-celled, so it’s more breathable than most foams.

Mattress Performance

Because it’s an all-foam mattress with a simple construction and limited cooling features, there’s a chance it could trap heat, even with the gel infusion. While we didn’t feel excess heat during testing, it didn’t help us stay cooler either.

Average-weight sleepers should get the amount of comfort and support they need. It’s also a good match for lightweight sleepers in all sleeping positions. Tuft & Needle gives customers plenty of time to test it out and see if it works for you. The company offers a 10-year warranty, a 100-night trial, and free shipping in the contiguous US.

Keep In Mind

Heavyweight sleepers won’t find the right amount of support on this mattress. Average-weight stomach sleepers will likely feel the same way. The Tuft & Needle is not the most durable option and didn’t impress us on the edge support test. If you sleep on the edge of your mattress or want a bed lasting longer than seven years, we suggest you look elsewhere.

Read our full Tuft & Needle review. Or for other recommendations, take a look at our best memory foam mattress list for more great options.

Best Online Mattress – Layla 

Best Online Mattress

Layla Mattress

An innovative and flippable mattress, the Layla works for a variety of different types of sleepers.

Clarity Score 4.3/5
Read Layla Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Online Mattress

Layla Mattress

An innovative and flippable mattress, the Layla works for a variety of different types of sleepers.

Clarity Score 4.3/5
Read Layla Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Online Mattress

Layla Mattress

An innovative and flippable mattress, the Layla works for a variety of different types of sleepers.

Clarity Score 4.3/5
Read Layla Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review

With assignments, extracurricular activities, and so little time, the last thing college students want is to spend hours in a mattress store. Ordering a mattress online is convenient, but even easier with Layla. It’s an all-foam mattress that’s flippable, which is great if you don’t know what you want in a first mattress. One side is soft (6/10 firmness) and the other is firm (8/10 firmness), allowing sleepers to choose the best option for their needs.

Mattress Materials

A Thermogel-infused cover is found on both sides of Layla, working to dissipate heat. As a flippable mattress, it includes comfort layers on each side. 3” of copper-infused memory foam provides additional cooling and plushness. 2” of support foam and a base foam layer provide sturdiness and durability.

Mattress Performance

Any sleepers wanting additional pressure relief on the joints will like the Layla’s exceptional pressure relief. In fact, it’s one of the best mattresses for hip pain. With so many outstanding cooling features, the Layla sleeps cooler than most all-foam mattresses. This is great news for hot sleepers or those living in rooms without AC.

Because it has both a soft and a firm side, the Layla should accommodate sleepers of most body types. With a lifetime warranty, a 120-night trial, and free shipping, Layla gives you everything you need to test out this mattress.

Keep In Mind

Since it’s a flippable mattress, the Layla should accommodate most sleepers. However, heavyweight stomach sleepers require more support than the average sleeper. The firm side of the Layla lacks proper reinforcement for these folks. If you’re wanting a balanced feel, check out beds with a medium-firm construction instead. Something worth noting is the unfavorable edge support, which can be a problem for sleepers who sleep close to the edge of the mattress.

Read our full Layla review for more information. Or for other great options, check out our best online mattresses.

Best Mattress for Back Pain – Casper

Best Mattress for Back Pain

Casper Original Mattress

Casper mattresses work well for all sleeping positions, thanks to its unique zoned support system.

Clarity Score 3.7/5
Read Casper Original Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

"From the delivery of the box to the magical unfolding of the king size mattress to the first time laying on the bed, all smiles here! I have traveled for work for years, often sleeping on different beds at different hotels night after night."

Paul, Casper customer
Average Customer Rating
4.4/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Back Pain

Casper Original Mattress

Casper mattresses work well for all sleeping positions, thanks to its unique zoned support system.

Clarity Score 3.7/5
Read Casper Original Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

"From the delivery of the box to the magical unfolding of the king size mattress to the first time laying on the bed, all smiles here! I have traveled for work for years, often sleeping on different beds at different hotels night after night."

Paul, Casper customer
Average Customer Rating
4.4/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Back Pain

Casper Original Mattress

Casper mattresses work well for all sleeping positions, thanks to its unique zoned support system.

Clarity Score 3.7/5
Read Casper Original Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

"From the delivery of the box to the magical unfolding of the king size mattress to the first time laying on the bed, all smiles here! I have traveled for work for years, often sleeping on different beds at different hotels night after night."

Paul, Casper customer
Average Customer Rating
4.4/5
Watch Our Video Review

Craning your neck towards your phone, slouching in class, and playing sports can all contribute to back pain as a college student. If you struggle with back pain at a young age, we recommend the Casper. It’s an all-foam mattress with a medium-firm construction.

Mattress Materials

A layer of proprietary AirScape foam lies beneath the bed’s thin cover. This foam is open-celled and works to prevent heat trapping. Casper’s Zoned Support is next; this foam layer is unique in that it adjusts its firmness for each sleeping position. Because of this, the bed’s construction keeps your spine properly aligned. This makes it ideal for preventing and alleviating back pain. A thick polyfoam base layer acts as support and provides durability.

Mattress Performance

While it’s not the coolest option out there, the Casper does come with cooling features (open-celled foam and a breathable cover), so hot sleepers should be satisfied. The Casper boasts high-quality materials and with a strong base layer, this mattress lasts about seven years.

We love the Casper because it suits a number of body types and sleep positions. Its balanced feel suits lightweight and average-weight sleepers extremely well. Heavyweight back sleepers should find good lumbar support. This responsiveness is ideal for combination sleepers who need ease of movement while changing sleeping positions. It’s great for neck and shoulder pain as well.

Keep In Mind

Heavyweight stomach sleepers will want something firmer, and heavyweight side sleepers something softer.

Read our full Casper review. Or for other options, check out our best mattresses for back pain.

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Nolah 

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Nolah Original 10" Mattress

The Nolah Original 10" mattress works especially well for side sleepers, and it's sold at a value price.

Clarity Score 4.2/5
Read Nolah Original 10" Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Nolah Original 10" Mattress

The Nolah Original 10" mattress works especially well for side sleepers, and it's sold at a value price.

Clarity Score 4.2/5
Read Nolah Original 10" Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Nolah Original 10" Mattress

The Nolah Original 10" mattress works especially well for side sleepers, and it's sold at a value price.

Clarity Score 4.2/5
Read Nolah Original 10" Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5

It’s crucial side sleepers have a softer mattress with pressure relief around the shoulders and hips. A 6/10 on the firmness scale, Nolah does an exceptional job, all without sacrificing proper support. With sales and discounts, you can find this mattress under $1,000.

Mattress Materials

An eco-friendly Tencel cover lies on top of the Nolah’s AirFoam. This proprietary foam layer is more responsive and breathable than traditional memory foam. A transition layer provides responsiveness and prevents the sleeper from sinking into the foam material. High-density breathable foam acts as the Nolah’s base.

Mattress Performance

Hot sleepers should love the Nolah. Its signature AirFoam is designed to be more cooling than most memory foams, and it has a breathable cover. The quality materials provide durability, despite the Nolah being a soft and all-foam mattress. In fact, it’s one of the most durable mattresses on this list. Expect your Nolah to last you between 7 and 10 years.

Lightweight sleepers as well as average-weight back and side sleepers should find ideal comfort and support on the Nolah. You can test this out for yourself thanks to Nolah’s lifetime warranty, 120-night trial, and free shipping and returns.

Keep In Mind

Heavyweight sleepers aren’t going to get the desired support they need while back and stomach sleeping. Heavy side sleepers will sink too far through the comfort layers.

Read our full Nolah review for more information. Or if you’re looking for other great options, check out our best mattresses for side sleepers.

Best Mattress for College Athletes – Bear 

Best Mattress for College Athletes

Bear Mattress

The Bear Original mattress sleeps cool and is quite comfortable. It's a particularly good option for athletes.

Clarity Score 3.8/5
Read Bear Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for College Athletes

Bear Mattress

The Bear Original mattress sleeps cool and is quite comfortable. It's a particularly good option for athletes.

Clarity Score 3.8/5
Read Bear Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for College Athletes

Bear Mattress

The Bear Original mattress sleeps cool and is quite comfortable. It's a particularly good option for athletes.

Clarity Score 3.8/5
Read Bear Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review

Whether you run for fun, play an intramural sport, or represent your school’s team, you know the most important thing you can do for recovery is sleep. Check out the Bear mattress, specifically designed for athletes everywhere. It’s an all-foam mattress with a balanced, medium-firm construction many sleepers are sure to love. The high-quality materials have unique properties and all foams are CertiPUR-US certified, so they’re eco-friendly and natural.

Mattress Materials

The Bear’s cover is woven with Celliant, a material that purportedly assists with brain circulation and muscle recovery. It’s also a cooling material. A graphite gel-infused foam layer provides pressure relief and additional cooling while a transition foam allows for ease of movement. The support layer is made of high-density polyfoam and assists with support and spinal alignment.

Mattress Performance

Hot sleepers should love the many cooling features. Those with late-night practices and workouts should especially enjoy this; the materials in the cover and foams help cool down your body temperature in bed. We found that this mattress has good edge support, indicating durability. It should be one of the longer-lasting mattresses on this list due to its high-quality materials.

This is one of the best mattresses for back sleepers of all body types. The balanced construction is ideal for these folks, along with those experiencing back pain. Lightweight sleepers and most average-weight side sleepers should also appreciate the comfort and support offered.

Keep In Mind

Heavyweight side sleepers will find this bed too firm. Heavy stomach sleepers will need something more supportive because the Bear isn’t firm enough to keep the hips elevated. Average-weight stomach sleepers will find this mattress too soft as well.

Read our full Bear review for more information. Or if you’re looking for more options, check out our best mattresses for athletes.

How Much You Should Pay for a College Mattress

The price of any mattress depends on its size and quality of materials. A good Twin bed should cost between $300 and $500 for a memory foam construction and $350–$650 for a hybrid construction. Quality Twin XL beds are longer-lasting and therefore more expensive, so expect to pay $400–$600 for a memory foam mattress and $450–$700 for a hybrid.

Mattresses for a Great Price

Here are some of our favorite roundups featuring more reasonably-priced options:

The Best Time to Buy a Mattress

The best times to buy a mattress are during holiday sales. Companies slash prices significantly a few weekends out of the year. Search for a bed around President’s Day (February), Memorial Day (May), Labor Day (September), Thanksgiving or Cyber Monday (November), and Christmas (December).

Coupons

If you need to buy a mattress but you can’t find a sale, check out our coupons page. There we provide exclusive deals for shoppers like you.

College Mattress Size

Twin vs Twin XL

Twin and Twin XL mattresses are the most common mattress sizes for college dorms. These beds are great for saving space and can easily fit on a bunk bed. What distinguishes a Twin from a Twin XL is length. A Twin has dimensions of 39”W x 75”L, whereas a Twin XL measures 39”W x 80”L. Taller students might select a Twin XL for extra legroom.

When to Buy a Larger College Mattress

If you’re moving into a house or apartment allowing for more space than a dorm room, you may want a mattress size upgrade. Moving from a Twin or Twin XL to a Full or a Queen is beneficial for a number of reasons. If you habitually toss and turn at night, that extra room is essential. When friends come into town, a larger mattress can accommodate for two. What’s great is you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for your bank account. There are plenty of affordable mattress options for larger mattresses (see more below).

How to Make a College Mattress More Comfortable

Invest in a Mattress Topper

Using a topper changes the feel of a mattress. Companies sell toppers made to make your mattress softer, but others add firmness and bounce. While they’re often used to improve a mattress, they can also extend a mattress’s lifespan. For more information, check out our roundup for the best college mattress toppers.

Try a Mattress Pad

Mattress pads differ from toppers in that they add a thinner amount of padding, but are better at protecting the mattress from stains and spills. If you’re looking for something that does the best job of keeping contaminants off your mattress, try a mattress protector.

Get a New Pillow

Finding the best pillow is important because it keeps the upper part of your body aligned with the rest of your spine. If you’re waking up with neck or shoulder pain in the morning, you may need to invest in a new one. Hot sleepers may want a breathable pillow for a more restful sleep. Overall, your sleeping position can help determine what pillow is best for you. Side sleepers often need a higher lofted pillow, stomach sleepers need a low loft, and back sleepers somewhere in between.

Buy Better Sheets

If your sheets are wearing out and it starts affecting your sleep, it’s definitely time to purchase a new set. Hot sleepers should consider a set of cooling sheets. There are many different sheet materials with a number of different feels.

Delivering a Mattress to Your Dorm or Apartment

If you don’t want to sleep on an old dorm mattress, consider buying a mattress online. Bed-in-a-box mattresses are delivered in a compressed package, ensuring a convenient shopping experience. Some companies offer white glove delivery at varying prices, so they’ll set up your mattress for you. Contact a mattress company on their website to see their delivery policies.

Mattress Companies Offering Free Shipping

  • Bear
  • Layla
  • Nectar
  • Puffy
  • Brooklyn Bedding
  • TEMPUR-Cloud
  • Casper
  • GhostBed
  • Leesa
  • WinkBed
  • Purple

Not a complete list.

Mattress Companies Offering White Glove Delivery

  • Cocoon by Sealy (free white glove delivery)
  • Saatva (free white glove delivery)
  • Tuft & Needle ($150, plus old mattress pick-up)
  • Nectar (services included in $149 base fee)
  • DreamCloud ($149)
  • Leesa ($150)
  • GhostBed ($279)

Not a complete list.

How to Choose the Best College Mattress

With a college student budget, something easy on the bank account is crucial. However, you’ll want something high-quality, durable, and made for your individual needs.

Materials

Mattresses come in a variety of constructions, but which option is best for you?

Memory foam: These all-foam beds are known for their contouring properties, giving them a signature sinking feel. Those with sensitive joints or lower back pain should feel a lot of pressure relief on this mattress. Side sleepers should especially enjoy the way this material hugs pressure points at the shoulders and hips. Back sleepers who like a softer feel can find something to like here, but stomach sleepers will likely need the additional support of an innerspring, hybrid, or latex bed.

Innerspring: Known for their traditional, bouncy feel, innersprings excel in support, durability, and cooling. Coils are essential to the construction of these beds, and a thin layer of foam adds just enough comfort. Stomach sleepers, heavy sleepers, and back sleepers wanting a firmer feel should love the innerspring.

Hybrid: If you find memory foam beds are too soft and innersprings too firm, try the happy medium: hybrid mattresses. They’re a combination of foam and coils, but can also feature materials like latex and polyfoam. This results in each hybrid model having a distinct yet balanced feel. This is ideal for back sleepers, those with back pain, and combination sleepers.

Latex: Mattresses featuring latex can include natural or synthetic material. Many love natural latex for its cooling abilities and eco-friendliness. Synthetic latex beds tend to be much cheaper. Either way, the bouncier feel of natural and synthetic latex appeals to hot sleepers, heavy sleepers, and those wanting to avoid sinking into their mattress.

Firmness, Body Type, and Sleeping Position

The sleep industry rates mattress firmness on a scale from 1–10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. The right comfort level goes hand-in-hand with your body type and favored sleep position.

If you’re a heavier sleeper, you’ll want a firmer mattress to prevent too much sinkage. Lightweight sleepers should opt for a softer mattress for proper contouring. If you sleep on your stomach, you’re going to need a firmer option, while side sleepers need softer mattresses for pressure relief. Average-weight sleepers and back sleepers do best on medium-firm mattresses (a 6.5 on the firmness scale).

Warranty and Sleep Trial

When buying any mattress, it’s important to pay special attention to the company’s warranty and sleep trial. A warranty binds a company to repairing or replacing products sold with flaws. A sleep trial is a period where customers can test out the mattress and see if it fits their needs. Lengthy warranties and sleep trials can help determine how reliable the company you’re purchasing from is. Aim to find a company with at least a 10-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.

Summary

Mattress Superlative
Dreamfoam Essential Editor’s Pick
Leesa Studio Best Affordable Mattress
Nectar Best Soft Mattress
Brooklyn Bowery Best Hybrid Mattress
Cocoon Chill Best Cooling Mattress
Tuft & Needle Best Foam Mattress
Layla Best Online Mattress
Casper Best Mattress for Back Pain
Nolah Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
Bear Best Mattress for College Athletes

FAQ

How much should a college student spend on a mattress?

For a good Twin or Twin XL, college students should expect to pay around $300. Larger sizes, such as a Queen or Full, the best mattress for the money shouldn’t cost more than $1,500.

Which mattress is best for students?

While it ultimately comes down to personal preference, your body type, and your sleeping position, we think the Dreamfoam Essential is the best overall choice. This is because of its affordability, cooling properties, warranty and trial periods, multiple height options, and balanced construction.

What mattresses do colleges use?

While the exact brand varies, dorm rooms typically use Twin XL mattresses. Twin XL mattresses are 5” longer than Twin mattresses, so these space-saving beds can accommodate students taller than 6’.

Should I buy a mattress for college?

Students will often buy a new mattress to suit their own preferences. If a dorm mattress fails to align with your needs, you might experience restless sleep. It’s helpful to understand your body type, sleep position, and preferences. If you know you’re a hot sleeper, you can select a cooling mattress. If you know you like a softer mattress, you can find one with specific cushioning material.

Do I need a mattress protector for college?

While they’re not essential, mattress protectors are a highly recommended mattress accessory. They’re ideal for anyone who wants to avoid contaminants (dust mites, mold, spills) on their mattress. This is especially great for those with allergies.

Gravatar for Lauren Hapgood

Lauren Hapgood

Lauren is a Performance Publisher at Mattress Clarity, where she writes and edits mattress content to keep readers updated on sleep products. Lauren is committed to helping readers find the best sleep products for their lifestyles and is even a Certified Sleep Science Coach! She earned her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from the University of Washington. When she’s not compiling lists of the best beds on the market, you can find Lauren running on a trail, reading classic novels, or napping on her favorite mattress (her best talent).