One of the most important things that a student should never miss out on is good sleep. 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 a number of 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 2022 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.
Our Favorite Pick
The Best Mattress Topper For College
Dorm Mattress Topper Reviews
This is hands down our personal favorite. If you’re after a feel that conforms to your body shape and hugs you to sleep, the 3-inch thick ultra-plush memory foam topper from Linenspa is a perfect choice. The cooling gel-infused topper is very competitively priced and would suit most students on a budget. It comes in two-inch or three-inch thick options, but we’d personally recommend the latter as it will align the spine and alleviate pressure points much better for only a little more money. The feel and thickness of the topper make it compatible with all sleeping styles, including back, stomach, and side sleepers. The gel is effective, keeping the sleeper cool while asleep even in the hottest climates.
It doesn’t come with a zippered cover, but can be spot cleaned when required. Expect the topper to last at least 2-3 years, which is excellent at this price. Additionally, there is a 3-year warranty that covers defects, should you need it.
Overall, the Linenspa topper is a comfortable and cost-effective way to rejuvenate an old dorm mattress.
Best Price Mattress Gel Topper
Another memory foam mattress topper, this time from a popular manufacturer who is known for making entry-level mattresses at unbeatable prices. This mattress topper like the Linenspa is also made of cooling gel infused memory foam. However, you can also opt for lavender, green tea, or bamboo charcoal infusion instead. It is slightly thinner and is only available in a 1.5-inch thick option. This makes it much cheaper, meaning a perfect choice for students looking to revamp an old mattress on a budget. The weight is less than 5 lbs, so moving it around if changing dorms or beds will be an easy task.
It doesn’t have an included cover, but that’s given at such a low price. However, the build quality is still outstanding. It feels much more premium than the price would indicate. There are ventilation holes which let the topper stay cool and increase airflow, thus reducing trapped body heat, and also lowering the risk of foam degradation over time. Additionally, the foam is Certified by Certi-Pur US, meaning you can rest assured that the foam is free of harmful substances. A 3-year warranty is included in the price. Overall, this topper offers tremendous value for money, and you’ll be hard pushed to find anything as comfortable or satisfying for the money paid.
The ViscoSoft topper is in the mid-range price category, making it a little more expensive than the previous two product reviews. Though it’s made of cooling gel memory foam too like those mentioned above, there are significant differences and benefits to this model over budget toppers. Namely, it is made of 3-inch, high-density memory foam that is much more durable and resilient, meaning a longer-lasting topper. Additionally, it comes with a machine washable, bamboo-rayon cover that also features a slip-resistant mesh with adjustable elastic straps. This keeps the topper secured to the mattress and eliminates the hassle of having to re-adjust it every so often.
In terms of comfort and support, the topper would suit side and back sleepers, but might be firm for stomach sleepers.
The ViscoSoft comes with a 3-year warranty for manufacturing defects, but additionally, unlike some of the others reviewed here, they’re also offering a 60-day money-back guarantee. This is perfect for students who might be a little more indecisive with this type of buy. If you’re the type of person who likes good quality and doesn’t mind paying a little extra, this is the best option for you.
Dreamfoam Bedding Ultimate Dreams
For those students without money problems that are interested in buying the best mattress topper for college, the Dreamfoam Bedding Ulitmate Dreams should be your number one choice. Yes, it is quite expensive. Almost the cost of a new memory foam mattress. But, this topper is made of premium 3 inches blended Talalay processed latex, and will undoubtedly give your mattress an instant upgrade, for many years to come. Latex is one of the highest quality foams in the mattress industry. It is the most durable, and provides unbeatable support and comfort without the sinking feeling that memory foam can produce. Additionally, according to Dreamfoam Bedding, their Talalay latex is four times more breathable than memory foam, so it should sleep cooler and last for many years without sagging or depleting comfort.
The Ultimate Dreams topper comes encased in a natural bamboo fabric cover that is zippered, removable, and washable. There are three different firmness options available. The soft option is rated at 9 ILD. The medium option is 28 ILD, which is great for adding a little softness but mainly trying to achieve pressure point relief. The firm topper is 36 ILD and is great for people with back pain that may want to make their current mattress firmer.
Overall, it’s an expensive buy, but well worth the money if you can afford it.
The Leisure Town mattress pad is a very soft and luxurious offering that will have you feeling like you’re sleeping on a cloud. Mattress pads and toppers serve the same purpose and act in the same way. However, pads are slightly different in that they have a filling, much like a pillow. This pad stretches over the mattress, much like bed sheets or a mattress protector, so it will not move around no matter how much movement occurs throughout the night.
The Snow Down Alternative fill has the feel of authentic goose and duck down without the feathers rustling or poking through the fabric. The surface is made of 300TC (thread count) 100% cotton, which gives a superior layer of comfort without extra heat and sweat. This mattress pad has a very premium and luxurious feel about it, and the price is low considering. There is no cover, but the whole mattress pad can be placed in the wash, which means perfect for messy student dorms.
If you’re after a comfortable solution to soften up a hard mattress or something to simply cover an old mattress for hygiene reasons, this is a perfect choice. It may not offer the same support or last as long as the ViscoSoft or Dreamfoam topper, but it costs a fraction of the price, and is much easier to maintain, and handle.
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. There may be many reasons why you cannot change the mattress, 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. What you’ll experience is the feeling of a new mattress without having to swap the old one out.
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 reviewed products below are available in both Twin and Twin XL.
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 reviews 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 reviews and buying guide have been helpful and choosing a mattress topper for your college nights and dorm beds.