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Folding mattresses can be a handy sleep accessories. Unlike standard mattresses, folding models are designed for easy transport and take up little space when stored properly. They are suitable for camping and travel, and also provide comfy accommodations for guest bedrooms. They also cost less than most standard mattresses, with an average price-point of $75 to $100.
This guide will explore the designs and characteristics of folding mattresses, as well as tips for first-time buyers and our picks for the best folding mattresses sold today.
A folding mattress is ideal in the following situations:
The term ‘folding mattress’ refers to any portable mattress that can be folded to save space. Most folding mattresses have either two, three, or — in rare cases — four folds. Additionally, folding mattresses usually share the following characteristics:
Material composition: Folding mattresses are almost always made of foam. This allows them to be lighter and easier to store. A small number of folding mattresses contain individual layers of viscolatex, a hybrid material made from memory foam and latex. As an alternative to folding mattresses, some people invest in air mattresses for camping; these are also fairly lightweight and can easily be stored and transported. Innersprings and hybrids are virtually nonexistent as folding mattress models.
Two types of foam are typically used in folding mattresses, and some models feature both:
Memory foam and polyfoam share one notable characteristic: body heat retention. Both materials absorb body heat, causing the mattress to sleep relatively hot compared to other mattress materials. This may be uncomfortable for people who naturally sleep warm.
Cover: Most folding mattresses feature some sort of protective cover that safeguards the bed against moisture. The cover is usually removable and machine washable, featuring a zipper for easy on-and-off, but some models have sewn-on covers that cannot be removed.
Cover material is particularly important for people who plan to use their folding mattress for outdoor activities like camping. Waterproof, antimicrobial covers that protect against dust mites and other allergens are considered ideal for these uses. Additionally, some covers have ‘non-slip’ padding on the bottom that prevents the mattress from slipping around on the ground.
Most folding mattress covers are made of polyester, but some newer models feature covers made of rayon from bamboo.
Height: The height, or thickness, of a folding mattress will usually be shorter than that of a conventional mattress. Most people find that thicker folding mattresses are more comfortable than thinner models. However, portability is another consideration because thinner mattresses are generally lighter and easier to transport and store.
Thicknesses for folding mattresses vary by brand and model, but most measure between three inches (3″) and eight inches (8″) thick.
Sizing: In addition to thickness, the length and width of a folding mattress should be taken into account when planning for storage and transportation. Folding mattresses follow the same sizing criteria as standard mattresses, but certain models may only be available in select sizes (such as Twin, Full, and Queen). Additionally, some folding models are available in smaller specialty sizes.
Common sizes/dimensions for folding mattresses include the following; please note that there may be slight variations with some models:
|Size||Dimensions (Width x Length)|
|Extra Small (XS)||25W” x 75L”|
|Small||31-33W” x 75L”|
|Twin||38-39W” x 75L:|
|Twin Extra Long (XL)||38-39W” x 80L”|
|Full/Double||53-54W” x 75L”|
|Full Extra Long (XL)||54W” x 80L”|
|Queen||60W” x 80L”|
|King||76W” x 80L”|
|California King||72W” x 84L”|
Please note that some folding mattresses come in one size only; this size typically corresponds to one of the sizes listed above.
Firmness: Due to their relatively low profile, most folding mattresses are considered ‘medium firm’ or ‘firm.’ This may be an issue for sleepers who prefer softer bedding surfaces. One possible workaround is to use a mattress topper, an individual layer of cushioning that rests on the sleep surface. Toppers are usually designed to make the mattress softer, though some can make the mattress firmer if it feels too soft. Toppers typically measure less than three inches (3″) thick, making them easy to store and transport, and most cost less than $100.
When shopping for a new folding mattress and comparing different brands and models, here are a few factors to take into account:
Now, let’s look at the best folding mattresses according to the people who use them. The following six models have earned the highest ratings from customers and owners. To learn more about the products (including purchasing details), please visit the links in the second-to-last row of the table.
|Brand||Best Price Mattress||Cozzzi||D&D Futon Furniture||Lucid||Milliard||Zinus|
|Model||Tri-Fold Memory Foam Mattress||Tri-Fold Folding Mattress||Shikibuton||4-Inch Convertible Mattress||Memory Foam Tri-fold Mattress||Memory Foam Tri-Fold Comfort Mat|
|Cost (est.)||$62 to $130||$68 to $80||$65||$100 to $150||$155 to $240||$84|
|Mattress Material||1.5″ memory foam
2.5″ HD polyfoam
|4″ HD polyfoam||3″ HD polyfoam||4″ HD polyfoam||1.5″ memory foam
4.5″ HD polyfoam
|1″ memory foam
2″ viscolatex foam
1″ HD polyfoam
|Cover Material||Polyester jacquard||Polyester||Polyester poplin||Polyester||Rayon from bamboo||Polyester jacquard|
|Number of Folds||3||3||3||4
(Two smaller folds convert mattress into a sitting surface)
|Dimensions When Folded||25-76W” x 25-28L” x 12H”||25-31W” x 25L” x 12H”||27W” x 25L” x 9H”||39-60W” x 26-28L” x 12H”||38-58W” x 26L” x 18H”||39W” x 25L” x 12H”|
|Weight||10 to 33 lbs.||10 to 12 lbs.||8 lbs.||17 to 21 lbs.||28 to 41 lbs.||16 lbs.|
|Firmness||Medium firm||Firm||Firm||Firm||Medium firm||Firm|
|Warranty||5 years||None||None||3 years||None||5 years|
|Tuck Customer Satisfaction Rating||89% (152 customer reviews)||92% (263 customer reviews)||86% (143 customer reviews)||83% (1,148 customer reviews)||92% (1,289 customer reviews)||84% (603 customer reviews)|
For more information about sleep accessories that make travel and overnight accommodations more comfortable, please check out the following pages on Tuck.com: