Updated on April 1, 2023
Good sleep is one of the most important things that a student should never miss out on. Good quality sleep is essential for a healthy working brain, and especially for the younger generation. Many boarding school, university, and college students may be missing out on decent slumber. This could be for several reasons. Perhaps some enter their dorm room and are stuck with snoring roommates, while others have loud neighbors. And if that isn’t bad enough, imagine being assigned a bed with an old, dirty, and worn-out mattress?!
Being a student in 2023 can be very expensive. With the cost of living always going up, a student can sometimes find it hard to juggle finances and study at the same time. Many students don’t work and have to rely on loans, grants, and family handouts to get through college and university.
So, could your mattress be better? Is it hindering a good night’s sleep? Fear not. If you’re a college student who has an old and worn-out mattress and can’t afford to replace it, you’re in luck.
Dorm Mattress Topper Buying Guide
Why Buy A Mattress Topper For College?
Financing issues aside, it’s highly unlikely that a college or boarding school will let you simply buy a mattress and replace their old one with your new. There are certain implications to this. For example, what happens to your newly purchased mattress when you leave. Will you take it with you or leave it behind? Where will you store the old mattress if you decide to keep it while using your new mattress? Can you even dispose of the school’s property? There are so many reasons why buying a new mattress for your college bed is a bad idea.
The answer to this problem is to buy a mattress topper. You may not change the mattress for many reasons, which is why a topper is so beneficial. Mattress toppers are a great supplement when you don’t want to replace the mattress but instead replenish the lost comfort.
So, in the dorm room, when you come across a smelly old sagging mattress, simply buy a mattress topper that suits your budget and lay it over the top. Place your bed sheets over it, and then use the bed as normal. You’ll experience the feeling of a new mattress without having to swap the old one out.
College beds are notoriously uncomfortable and have a shorter life expectancy than single-person or small twin beds. This is why there’s a lot of demand amongst today’s college students for good mattress toppers, which can double as extra sleeping space when needed. In addition to being an excellent solution for those who are forced to share a room with another person, the use of a mattress topper also has several other benefits that make it better than just adding some cushions under the existing bedding. For example, a good topper can:
- Change the feel of the bed by adding more cushioning or giving it a firmer feel.
- Help you sleep soundly throughout the night thanks to its ability to support your body and keep it in alignment.
- Increase the lifespan of your mattress (since you’re reducing wear and tear on your existing bed). Additionally, if you decide to sell it down the line, you may be able to get a better price for it than usual. And if you’re buying a used mattress, that could be exactly what you need to make it comfortable enough for everyday use.
Dorm Mattress Topper Price and Value
When it comes to selecting a mattress topper for college, first think about how long you’ll use it for. Is it your last year? Are you halfway through your year? Is it the beginning of the new semester? Answering these questions should help you decide whether to invest in an expensive or cheap mattress topper. The fact is, you can pay as much or as little as you like, but will it be a good value for you in the long run?
A typical mattress topper suitable in size for a dorm bed can be purchased online for as little as $30. This would be considered budget, and would most likely be fiber or a thin memory foam option (1-2 inches). On the other hand, latex mattress toppers of the same size can fetch as much as $300. However, you get what you pay for in terms of quality, which we’ll discuss more in-depth below.
Lifespan and Durability
A dorm mattress topper can last between 1-3 years. This will ultimately depend on the material you choose, which, of course, is reflected in the price. A down alternative or microfiber topper will last the shortest amount of time, perhaps 1-2 years. A decent memory foam topper should last at least 2 years, while a latex topper can give upwards of three years service.
Which Is The Best Material?
There are numerous types of material used for making mattress toppers. Below is a list of some of the most common types, and their benefits and drawbacks:
- Latex: Expensive, durable and long-lasting, hypoallergenic, antimicrobial.
- Memory Foam: Relatively cheap, good body contouring, widely available.
- Down Alternative: Cheap, very soft and plush, widely available, some can be washed in the laundry, not practical for overweight people.
Finding The Right Size For Your College Bed
It’s important to know that a college mattress topper might not be the same size as the bed you’re used to at home. Generally, most kids, teens, and young adults are used to growing up sleeping in smaller beds. These typically range between Twin, Twin XL, Full, and Full XL. However, a dorm bed will almost always be either Twin (38″ wide x 74″ long) or Twin XL (38″ wide x 80″ long). Therefore you must measure your dorm bed before you buy a topper because it may either end up too long or too short. All of the listed products below are available in both Twin and Twin XL.
Our Favorite Toppers For Dorms
- LINENSPA 3 Inch – Editor’s Pick
- Best Price Mattress Gel Topper – Best Budget
- ViscoSoft 3 Inch – Memory Foam
- DreamFoam Bedding Ultimate Dreams – Latex
- Leisure Town – Luxury Down Alternative
Choosing the best mattress topper for college is no way near as hard as choosing a new mattress for your home bed. However, as you can see from our buying guide, there are a number of factors to consider before making a purchase.
In our opinion, each of the above is a stellar choice, and we’d consider placing among a list of essentials before heading off to college. We’ve varied materials and price ranges to suit a range of students, bringing you the best of each type and price range. The first two in our list are budget-friendly memory foam options, while the preceding two are more costly but focussed on comfort and lifespan. The last is a mattress pad that offers luxury on a budget but using alternative materials. The topper/pad you choose will depend on your preferences and requirements in terms of material, feel, price, and so on.
Hopefully, our buying guide has been helpful and choosing a mattress topper for your college nights and dorm beds.