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Choosing a mattress for a teenager requires some special considerations. One important factor is mattress value; teens are likely to outgrow their bed by the time they reach adulthood, meaning that an expensive mattress might not be a good investment for parents.
Another concern is conforming ability, as teens experience ‘growing pains’ that can cause frequent aches and discomfort. A mattress that conforms closely to align the spine and alleviate these pains will be a better option for most teens compared to a bed that offers minimal conforming. Other variables include mattress size, noise potential, and the teen’s preferred sleep position.
Although some mattresses are specifically designed for young people, parents can choose from a wide selection of standard mattresses to meet their teen’s needs.
They are also urged to explore sleep trials offered by different mattress companies; these offers allow the teen to test out a new bed for a predetermined length of time (typically 90 nights or longer) and then return the mattress for a full or partial refund before the trial period expires.
Read on to learn more about mattress options for teens, as well as our picks for the best mattresses for teens sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Unveiled in 2018, the Mint Mattress from Tuft & Needle – our Editor’s Pick – is an all-polyfoam bed that is supportive, comfortable, and reasonably priced. The Mint Mattress is constructed with a comfort layer infused with gel and charcoal, which allows the bed to sleep cooler than most competing all-foam models.
Beneath the top layer is a thick support core of high-density foam that reinforces the entire bed well, resulting in less sagging in the sleep surface and minimal sinkage around the edges. The Mint Mattress measures 12? thick and is considered ‘Medium Firm’ (or a 6 on the 1-10 firmness scale) which makes it ideal for larger teenagers.
The foam layers provide moderate but consistent body conforming to alleviate pain and pressure points, which can also be beneficial for school athletes or teenagers experiencing general growing pains. Like other all-foam beds, the Mint Mattress is also virtually silent when bearing weight.
The Ming Mattress has much lower price-point than the average all-foam mattress. Tuft & Needle also offers free standard shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S., and backs the mattress with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
The Bowery all-foam mattress from Brooklyn Bedding is well-suited for teens for several reasons. It is highly affordable, for one, with a price-point that falls several hundred dollars below the cost of an average foam bed.
The mattress also has a thick comfort system that conforms closely to sleepers, which helps align their spine and alleviate the pain and pressure points associated with growing pains.
The Bowery also has strong support thanks to a support core constructed from high-density polyfoam, which helps the bed maintain an even, comfortable surface with minimal sagging.
The bed has a cotton cover, allowing it to sleep cooler than most competing foam models. It is also virtually silent when bearing weight.
Brooklyn Bedding offers free mattress shipping within the contiguous U.S. The Bowery is backed by a 120-night sleep trial, which is longer than average, as well as a nonprorated 10-year warranty.
The Original Purple – our Best Luxury pick – is a sturdy mattress boasting an sleek, innovative design. The Smart Grid comfort layer consists of buckling-column gel distributed over an elastic polymer grid.
The material conforms to the sleeper’s body and alleviates tension much like memory foam, but the Smart Grid is much less susceptible to early wear and tear, and won’t develop indentations as quickly. Good airflow throughout the grid also ensures consistent temperature neutrality, resulting in cool, comfortable sleep for most.
The Original Purple is reinforced with a support core of high-density polyfoam, which helps prevent sagging in the sleep surface and sinkage along the edges. The bed is also silent when bearing weight, which can cut down on sleep disruptions for teens who awaken easily due to noise.
The mattress is considered ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5) and provides moderate yet consistent body conforming, which usually results in good pain and pressure-point relief. As a result, the mattress is a good pick for teen athletes too.
The Original Purple is available for $999 in a Queen size; for a limited time, each mattress purchase includes a free sheet set. Purple offers free shipping to customers anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Side sleepers generally prefer softer mattresses. These surfaces absorb and conform to their bodies closely, which can alleviate aches and pains in sensitive areas. Softer mattresses also improve spinal alignment for side sleepers, a common source of discomfort among this group.
The Casper, our pick for teen side sleepers, is ‘Medium’ (5) in terms of firmness, making it softer than many competing bed-in-a-box models sold today. The mattress is designed with three comfort layers – a single layer of memory foam between two polyfoam layers. The bed offers close, consistent conforming without excessive sagging.
A high-density foam support core reinforces the bed to help prevent sagging and indentations from forming, which often occurs in softer mattresses. This may extend the Casper’s lifespan by a considerable margin. Additionally, the mattress does not make any noise when bearing weight.
The Casper is also a top-value pick due to its low price-point compared to other memory foam beds. Casper offers free shipping in the contiguous U.S., as well as White Glove delivery for an added charge. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
The Layla Mattress stands out from most memory foam models because of its flippable design. One side is ‘Medium Soft’ (4) and the other side is ‘Firm’ (7). This makes the mattress suitable for teens whose firmness preferences shift between the side and back; additionally, both settings offer a good balance of cushioning and support that make them suitable for back sleepers. Adjusting the firmness is as easy as rotating the mattress, which is relatively lightweight.
Both sides of the mattress have copper-infused memory foam comfort layers. The material offers close conforming and good pressure relief. The copper element is also helpful for teens with poor circulation, as copper can help improve blood flow in sleepers.
The softer side also includes a layer of convoluted polyfoam for extra cushioning and support. The shared support core is constructed from high-density polyfoam, which helps reinforce the bed and maintain a comfortable sleep surface.
Layla Mattress purchasers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free shipping. The bed is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, both of which are longer than average.
The Saatva is a luxury coil-on-coil innerspring designed to hug sleepers closely to align the spine and alleviate aches and pains throughout the body.
The mattress is available in three firmness settings – ‘Medium Soft’ (4), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5) – as well as 11 1/2? and 14 1/2? profiles to accommodate teens with different firmness and thickness preferences. The firmer options offer substantial support, making them particularly suitable for teens who sleep on their stomachs.
The Saatva is also very quiet for an innerspring. The thick comfort system –which consists of memory foam, polyfoam, and pocketed minicoil layers – absorbs motion well and allows the mattress to remain relatively quiet when bearing weight.
The bed sleeps quite cool as well, largely due to optimal air circulation throughout the bonnell support core.
Saatva offers free White Glove delivery for all mattress orders in the contiguous U.S. This includes in-home mattress assembly and old mattress removal; most competing brands charge at least $100 in additional fees for White Glove services. The Saatva mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.
Getting enough sleep on a nightly basis can be challenging for teenagers. Most sleep experts agree that adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 require at least nine hours of sleep per night. However, a wide range of factors prevent many teens from reaching this benchmark.
The right mattress can greatly improve sleep quality and duration for teenagers. Parents are urged to consider comfort factors like firmness, support, and conforming ability when shopping for mattresses with their teen children. Mattress value is another key variable; teen bodies grow at above-average rates, and many young people will outgrow their beds by the time they finish high school.
This guide will discuss factors that affect teen sleepers, important mattress qualities, and tips for first-time buyers, as well as our picks for the best mattresses for teens.
While specific numbers vary slightly, sleep experts generally agree that adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 require nine to nine and a half hours of sleep per night. However, recent surveys have found that fewer than 10% of teens receive this much sleep on a nightly basis; nearly half of U.S. teens get seven to seven and a half hours of sleep per night.
The following factors can play a role in sleep disruption for teenagers:
Physiological changes: The term ‘growing pains’ has literal connotations for many teenagers. As their bodies grow and develop, aches and discomfort may become common occurrences.
However, shifting circadian rhythm is another important factor to take into account. Circadian rhythm is an internal clock that regulates our sleep schedules by releasing hormones that make us feel sleepy in the evening and more alert in the morning. Most teenagers people experience shifts in their circadian rhythm during and/or after puberty; these shifts allow them to get less sleep per night than younger children, who typically need at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night.
However, these circadian changes also affect the times of day when teenagers feel more tired and more awake. Many teens will not feel sleepy until late at night — 11pm to 12am in some cases — and as a result, they often wake up later in the morning.
School schedules: To accommodate teen sleepers, the CDC has recommended that middle and high school classes begin at 830am. However, 42 of the 50 states have noted that their public schools begin earlier in the day — and for many, the average start time falls between 7am and 730am.
Early start times require adolescents to rise between 5am to 6am. Considering the circadian rhythm shifts that occur in teens, this means that many teenagers are forced to get up hours ahead of their natural wake-up times.
Extracurricular activities: Middle and high school is a busy time for many teenagers. On top of studying — which typically requires several hours per week in order to achieve passing grades — other commitments for adolescents may include athletics, after-school clubs, and social activities. Many older teenagers hold down part-time jobs, as well. All of these variables can affect how much sleep teens get, especially on the weekends.
Poor sleep hygiene: Sleep hygiene refers to measures that improve sleep quality and maintenance. Unfortunately, most teens do not practice healthy sleep hygiene. For many, blue light exposure is one of the main culprits. Most electronic devices with screens — including televisions, computers, and smartphones — emit blue light, which has been linked to poor sleep quality and limited sleep duration. Other factors that affect sleep hygiene include diet, exercise, bedroom setting factors (such as light and temperature), and exposure to substances like tobacco and alcohol.
When teens do not get enough sleep on a nightly or weekly basis, the following complications often occur:
A new mattress will not address all of the variables that complicate sleeping for teens. However, a sleep surface that is comfortable and supportive has the potential to significantly improve sleep quality and duration in teens. In the next section, we’ll look at criteria for selecting a teenager’s mattress.
Choosing a mattress for any sleeper requires a fair amount of background research and product analysis. When comparing mattresses for teens, some of the most important considerations include:
Mattress size and thickness: Many adolescents will outgrow their childhood mattress over the course of their teenage years, particularly if they have larger-than-average bodies.
In terms of sizing, length and width play a key role in sleep quality. All mattress sizes are long and wide enough to accommodate most teens, but exceptionally tall and/or heavy adolescents may struggle with smaller, more compact sizes. The table below lists average width and length dimensions for the six standard mattress sizes.
|Size||Typical Dimensions||Considerations for Teens|
|Twin||39W" x 75L"||May not be suitable for teens who are taller than 6? or wider than 3?|
|Twin XL||39W" x 80L"||May not be suitable for teens who are wider than 3?, but long enough for most teens|
|Full||54W" x 75L"||May not be suitable for teens who are taller than 6?, but wide enough for most teens|
|Queen||60W" x 80L"||Long and wide enough for most teens|
|King||76W" x 80L"||Long and wide enough for most teens|
|California King||72W" x 84L"||Long and wide enough for most teens|
It’s important to note that too much mattress space can also be detrimental because it can lead to tossing and turning. For this reason, King and California King mattresses may simply be too large for some teens. Many consider Queen-size mattresses to be the best compromise for adolescent sleepers.
The teen’s weight may also affect their preferences for mattress height. As with adult sleepers, heavier-than-average adolescents (more than 230 pounds) often experience discomfort on relatively thin mattresses. Their bodies tend to sink too deeply; this can create sinkage in the sleep surface, and also compromise support. The opposite is true for lighter-than-average sleepers (less than 130 pounds). These sleepers typically prefer thinner mattresses because thicker ones create more difficulty for getting on and off the bed.
Price is another consideration for lighter individuals since thicker mattresses tend to be more expensive. While heavier people may find the extra investment worthwhile, those who weigh less than 130 pounds often pay more money without reaping the benefits.
The table below illustrates thickness preferences for three weight groups — lighter-than-average, average, and heavier-than-average — as well as expected price-points for different height measurements.
|Mattress Thickness Range||Lighter Sleeper Rating (Less than 130 lbs.)||Average Sleeper Rating (130 to 230 lbs.)||Heavier Sleeper Rating (More than 230 lbs.)||Average Price|
|Less than 6"||Fair to Good||Fair||Poor||$|
|6" to 8"||Good||Fair||Fair to Poor||$|
|8" to 10"||Good||Good||Fair`||$|
|10" to 12"||Fair||Good||Good||$$|
|More than 12"||Poor to Fair||Fair||Good||$$|
Conforming ability: Some mattresses are better than others at alleviating aches, pains, and pressure points throughout the body. These mattresses usually conform to the sleeper’s body, forming a deep impression around their unique contours. This helps align the shoulders, spine, and pelvis; misalignment is a common source of discomfort for sleepers.
As we discussed above, teens are susceptible to constant aches and pains due to their high rate of growth and development. For this reason, a mattress that conforms to the right extent can be highly beneficial for adolescent sleepers. The comfort layer — or topmost layer — of the mattress is often the most telling feature in terms of evaluating conforming ability. Mattresses with thick comfort layers made of materials like memory foam and/or latex tend to conform much more closely than models with thin comfort layers or layers made of less-durable polyfoam.
Firmness: Firmness is a relative term that refers to how a mattress feels to those who sleep on it. The following 1-10 scale is used to evaluate firmness in mattresses sold today.
Most mattresses manufactured today fall between a ‘3’ and an ‘8.’
Like mattress height, preferences for firmness are often tied to how much the sleeper weighs. Heavier teens (more than 230 pounds) usually prefer firmer mattresses (‘6’ or higher) because they conform to their bodies and alleviate aches and pains without sink too deeply beneath their weight. On the other hand, lighter adolescents (less than 130 pounds) often feel most comfortable on less firm mattresses (5 or lower). These models are soft enough to conform to their figures, whereas most of these sleepers do not weigh enough to experience full conforming on firmer mattresses. Those who fall in the average weight group (130 to 230 pounds) typically choose mattresses that fall between ‘4’ and ‘6’ — a compromise between firmness and softness that accommodates their weight.
Mattress value: Mattresses represent a significant investment for most households. The average Queen-size mattress costs more than $1,000, and some mattress types — such as latex and hybrid models — have average price-points that are closer to $2,000.
The average mattress will perform for seven years before needing a replacement. This means that purchasing a mattress for a 13-year-old should, in theory, sustain them until they finish high school. However, unexpected growth spurts should also be taken into account; if the teen outgrows their mattress at any point, then a new model may be needed.
For these reasons, mattress value is highly important. Value should be seen as the relationship of cost vs. quality. A mattress with an above-average price-point is not necessarily higher in quality — and by the same token, lower-cost mattresses are not necessarily poorer in quality. The most effective way to evaluate the quality of a mattress is by sleeping on it for an extended length of time. This is why sleep trials can be especially useful.
Most mattress manufacturers offer some sort of sleep trial, during which customers can test out their mattress for a given length of time (usually 90 nights or longer) and then return it for a full or partial refund. This allows teens to test out several mattresses at different price-points without committing their families to a full purchase. However, it’s important to read the fine print: some sleep trials level hefty return fees.
When mattress-shopping for a teenager and comparing different brands and models, here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
What is your mattress budget? Some mattress types, such as innerspring and memory foam models, carry lower average price-points than other types, such as hybrid and latex models. Shipping costs are another factor, especially for those who live in Alaska, Hawaii, or overseas U.S. territories; many mattress brands will only ship for free within the contiguous U.S.
How tall/heavy is the teenager you’re shopping for? Twin and Full/Double mattresses usually measure 75 inches — or 6 feet, 3 inches — in length, which may be too short for exceptionally tall adolescents. For extremely tall teens, a California King measuring 84 inches — or 7 feet — in length may be the most suitable option.
If the teen weighs more than 230 pounds, then a mattress measuring at least 10 inches thick will probably be most comfortable; teens who weigh less than 130 pounds may prefer mattresses that are less than 10 inches thick instead. You can also use their weight to evaluate mattress firmness, since lighter teens often prefer less firm mattresses while heavier teens tend to feel most comfortable on firmer mattresses.
Which sleep position does your teen prefer? Teens who sleep on their sides may need extra cushioning around the shoulders and hips to keep their spines properly aligned. As a result, adolescent side sleepers typically prefer thicker, less firm mattresses that conform somewhat closely.
Those who sleep on their backs require less cushioning to keep their spines aligned; a thinner, medium-firm mattress will usually suffice. Stomach sleepers usually prefer firmer mattresses — although it’s important to note that this position is not recommended due to its high pain and discomfort potential for sleepers.
What are your teen’s firmness preferences? The mattress industry as a whole offers a wide range of firmness options, most ranging from ‘3’ (Soft) to ‘8’ (Firm) on the 1-10 firmness scale. However, most mattress models sold today are only available in one or two firmness options. The most common mattress firmnesses are ‘5’ (Medium) and ‘6’ (Medium Firm), which are also the most popular settings; however, teens whose preferences fall outside this range may have a more difficult time finding a workable mattress.
One potential workaround is a flippable mattress, which features a different firmness on each side. These mattresses are especially useful for teens whose firmness preferences tend to fluctuate.
How thick is the mattress comfort layer? When comparing different mattress models, be sure to check the comfort layer measurements. Mattresses with thicker comfort layers typically conform closer and alleviate more pain and pressure than those with thinner comfort layers, especially if they contain materials like memory foam and/or latex.
Minicoil layers in the comfort system can also aid with pain and pressure relief. Conforming is particularly important to teens who experience constant discomfort due to growth and development.
Does the mattress seller offer a sleep trial? The vast majority of mattress brands offer some sort of sleep trial, most lasting at least 90 nights. Mattress retailers may either honor the brand’s sleep trial or offer one of their own; Amazon.com, for example, provides a 30-night sleep trial for select mattress models in lieu of the manufacturer’s original offer. Sleep trials give teens the chance to try a mattress and then return it if they are not satisfied — but beware of hidden costs.
How long is the mattress covered under warranty? Most mattresses sold today carry a warranty of at least 10 years — and some offer warranties spanning 20 years or longer. However, the length of nonprorated coverage is more important than the overall length. During nonprorated coverage, the mattress owner pays little (if any) extra costs to have a defective mattress repaired or replaced.
When prorated coverage kicks in, owners must pay a percentage of the original mattress price; this percentage often increases with each year of ownership, and prorated charges can amount to hundreds of dollars. In some cases, 10- to 20-year mattress warranties only offer one to two years on nonprorated coverage before prorated costs kick in.
In addition to choosing the right mattress, the following strategies often help teenagers get enough sleep and feel refreshed each morning: