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The Best Mattress Options for College Students


Female college student studies while laying on bed with laptop wearing headphones

Whether off-campus or living in a dorm room, college students need their sleep. The better rested we are, the better our minds work, so a student’s bed is nothing to skimp on. Finding the best mattress options and bedroom essentials for college students doesn’t need to be stressful, and City Mattress is happy to help.

Mattress Options for Dorm Life

The majority of dorms have their own mattresses, though they’re unlikely to be very comfortable. Mass produced and purchased in bulk, dorm room mattresses are often a surface to sleep on and little more. It can also be disconcerting to think about who else might have slept on the mattress, and for how long. 

The good news is that a dorm-living college student is not without options! The first item to consider is a quality mattress topper. Mattress toppers add an extra layer of comfort to an existing mattress, which is ideal for something as communal as a dorm bed. While the student can’t choose their mattress’s history, they can make it their own with a new mattress topper.

Most dorm beds are size Twin XL, which means you’ll want a Twin XL mattress topper. These toppers come in a variety of materials, such as memory foam, down alternative, gel-infused, and more. Any of these options will add softness to the mattress, as well as provide a new surface to sleep upon.

It’s important to bear in mind that standard Twin sheet sets won’t fit a Twin XL mattress properly, because a Twin XL has five inches more length. When purchasing a sheet set for a Twin XL mattress, be sure to check the description for a fitted sheet with “deep pockets.” A deep-pocketed fitted sheet will better fit over a mattress with an extra topper. 

While Twin XL is a rarer size, City Mattress carries several bedding options specifically sized for Twin XL. Some highlights from these options include the Sleep Philosophy Copper Infused Microfiber Down Alternative Comforter, the Sheex Elevated Performance Bedding Set, the Rizzy Home Hush Ruched Bedding Set, and the Malouf Reversible Hypoallergenic Bed In A Bag, which even includes a pillow! We also offer quilt sets, such as the Rizzy Home Astrid Printed Quilt Set and the Rizzy Home Catrine Floral Quilt Set.

Mattress Options for Off-Campus Life

Living off-campus has its perks, and one of them is the freedom to choose your own bed size. No matter the bed size, there’s a mattress that will fit. Finding the right mattress for a college student is a matter of knowing what they need, and the available budget. 

Firm mattresses offer excellent spinal alignment, but may not be comfortable if the student primarily sleeps on their side. For better pressure relief for hips and shoulders, we recommend a plush top or pillow top for side sleepers. A Plush Top mattress will provide medium-firm comfort and plenty of pressure relief. Meanwhile, a Pillow Top mattress is on the softer side of the scale, for those who want to feel like they’re sleeping on a cloud.

Mattress materials determine a lot about the feel of a mattress. Classic innerspring mattresses offer strong support and come in a wide range of comfort levels. Memory foam mattresses provide a hugging sensation as the foam molds to the sleeper’s body. A latex mattress allows some of the “sinking” of memory foam, but the contour is more generalized with less hugging. Lastly, there are a variety of hybrid mattresses which combine memory foam or latex with an innerspring support layer.

Bed in a Box Mattresses

One final suggestion for dorm or off-campus housing is a Bed in a Box mattress. These mattresses arrive in a compact box only a few feet long, ready to be opened and put into place. Of course, if a college student wishes to provide their own mattress in a dorm room, they’ll need to ensure the college’s mattress is safely stored away. When it comes time to move out of the dorm, simply remove the new mattress and reinstall the original. 

Final Thoughts

Finding the best mattress for a college student ought to be stress-free, so let City Mattress remove the hassle. Speak to one of our Sleep Experts about what you need and any concerns, and they’ll guide you through your best options. As always, City Mattress offers free local delivery and setup with every mattress we sell, so you can truly relax and know your college student is taken care of.