Our teen years are filled with change, both in our personal lives and biologically. With so much going on, teenagers often have a difficult time getting the recommended amount of sleep. While they have more responsibilities like adults, teenagers actually require just as much sleep as children, and not getting the right amount can have negative impacts on all aspects of their life.
If you have teens at home, you can help improve their moods and behaviors with the right mattress. Finding the best mattress for a teen is tricky because their bodies are still growing, so preferences might change as they get older. There is also a lot to consider when it comes to how often you want to upgrade your teen’s mattress and whether or not your teen is moving out soon. This mattress guide will give you our top recommendations and important info about helping your teens get a good night’s sleep.
Our Top Picks: Summary
- Best Overall – Nectar
- Best Value – Allswell Hybrid
- Best All-Foam – Casper
- Best Innerspring – Saatva
Best Overall: Nectar
The Nectar is a comfortable foam mattress with special materials to help your teen sleep cool.
Why We Picked It
The Nectar mattress is an all-foam bed that offers great value while maximizing comfort. While most foam mattresses tend to sleep hot, the Nectar is made with a Tencel cooling cover for added breathability. The top layers of this mattress include gel memory foam, with the top-most layer quilted, to combat heat retention and keep your teen from waking up hot and sweaty.
The four foam layers work together to provide great contouring as well as a strong support core—the Nectar is medium-firm, ideal for teens who sleep on their backs or sides. This bed also uses specially designed materials to keep out dust mites and reduce allergens. The Nectar comes with a class-leading one-year sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
Keep in Mind
The Nectar mattress has a lot of qualities that make it perfect for teens, but the mattress only comes with one firmness option.
In a Nutshell
- Contours without sleeping hot
- Special materials for dust mite and allergen protection
- One-year sleep trial and lifetime warranty
Best Value: Allswell Hybrid
An inexpensive hybrid bed perfect for teens with changing preferences.
Why We Picked It
With all the changes teens and adolescents go through, it’s possible their mattress preferences could change too. The Allswell Hybrid mattress is our best-priced option, making it perfect for teens who might only use it for a couple years. The price is also great considering its premium design and comfortable feel.
The top layer of the Allswell Hybrid uses CoolFlow foam. This material wicks heat away from your teen while the innerspring core gives it sufficient airflow. The bed also features a reinforced edge—this is particularly useful for teens who use their bed for hanging out or doing homework as it increases the durability. Your teen can test out the Allswell for 100 nights before making a decision, and the company gives you a 10-year warranty.
Keep in Mind
The Allswell mattress has thinner top layers for comfort, which could be a negative for side sleepers but also a positive for hot sleepers. This isn’t the best option for teens who weigh under 130 pounds.
In a Nutshell
- Low-price hybrid mattress
- CoolFlow foam and coils help it sleep cool
- Reinforced edge for added durability
Best All-Foam: Casper
The Casper is a soft mattress with body contouring that’s perfect for side sleepers.
Why We Picked It
If your teen prefers to sleep on his or her side, the Casper mattress is an excellent option. As the softest mattress on our list, this bed will allow the sleeper’s shoulder and hips to sink in and give your teen better spinal alignment. The top layer of foam is soft to the touch, and the memory foam beneath it helps with body contouring.
The bed uses a high-density support foam to reinforce its top three foam layers and add durability. The foam layers use an open-cell design to help your teen sleep cool. The Casper has a 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year warranty, and it ships free within the contiguous United States.
Keep in Mind
The Casper mattress only comes in a medium firmness option, which might be too soft for back and stomach sleepers.
In a Nutshell
- Medium firmness perfect for side sleepers
- Open-cell design allows contouring without trapping heat
- 100-night trial and free shipping
Best Innerspring: Saatva
The Saatva has multiple firmness options for a customized sleeping surface.
Why We Picked It
The Saatva innerspring mattress has three available firmness options to help your teen pick the perfect one for his or her sleeping style. The soft option is perfect for side sleepers, and the medium option can work well for back and combination sleepers. The firm option offers the most support and is a good choice for stomach sleepers.
The Saatva mattress uses a coil-on-coil design for contouring and support—the dual coils also give this mattress great airflow. The top layers are made from memory foam and polyfoam, which conform to the body and give your teen a fairly quiet sleeping surface. The Saatva offers free White Glove delivery, as well as a 120-night trial and 15-year warranty.
Keep in Mind
The Saatva mattress is the heaviest option on our list, which makes it difficult to move and unbox. The White Glove delivery service is only free in the continental US and requires you to be home.
In a Nutshell
- Three available firmness options
- Dual coil layers for maximized airflow
- Free White Glove delivery
How We Chose the Best Mattresses for Teenagers
To find the perfect mattress for teenagers, we focused on their unique comfort needs as well as finding you a good value for your purchase. Below are the qualities we pay attention to for all of our reviews, and you can learn more about how we pick our products here.
- Material Quality
- Edge Support
- Temperature Neutrality
- Motion Isolation
Special Considerations for Teenagers
For teenagers—who need a ton of sleep and tend to get very little—having a mattress that fits their sleeping styles can make all the difference. When you’re looking to buy a bed for your teen, the factors below are crucial to keep in mind.
The body is still growing from late adolescence through your teen years, and even a little later for some people. While it’s hard to tell how much someone will grow at a particular age, it’s universal that a growing body needs support while it rests. A supportive mattress will promote spinal alignment and also reduce any aches and pains. It’s also important to remember that a sudden growth spurt can change how supportive a mattress feels—heavier sleepers typically require firmer mattresses for the best support.
To help you pick out the right size for your teen, check out the table below. You can also find more information with our mattress size guide.
|Twin||38” x 75”||Ideal for younger teens; too small for those who are over 6-feet or have a broad stature.|
|Twin XL||38” x 80”||Long enough for most teens, but possibly too narrow for wider teenagers. This is also the average size for dorm beds.|
|Medium||54” x 75”||Wider mattress suitable for teens with a bigger build, but too short for some teens.|
|Queen||60” x 80”||Long and wide enough for almost all teens. Also a good option for teens planning to move out and take their mattresses with them.|
|King||76” x 80”||Long and wide enough for most teens, although too much extra space can lead to tossing and turning.|
|California King||72” x 84”||Wide enough for most teens, and the longest beds available for those who are very tall.|
The best firmness option for your teen is going to largely depend on his or her preferred sleep position. Medium mattresses are the most versatile, softer mattresses tend to the best for side sleepers, and firm beds are better for back or stomach sleepers. Weight is also a big factor, with light-weight teens most likely preferring a softer sleeping surface. A flippable mattress, which has a different firmness rating on either side, might be a good investment for a growing teen.
A mattress that conforms to the body helps alleviate aches and pains, especially for teens who have growing pains. Teens who sleep on their sides will find extra conforming more comfortable, and teen athletes could need a contouring mattress to help with muscle aches.
Sleeping too hot is a common problem for people of all ages. Teens in particular are still going through puberty; this means their sweat glands are still developing, and their circadian rhythm is changing. A cool sleeping surface is essential for a good night’s sleep.
The durability of a mattress is always important, but figuring out how long your teen’s mattress will be used is a more difficult task. Adolescents and teens that are still growing might have changing mattress needs, which could lead to short-term use. Also, kids going away to college won’t be taking their mattresses with them. Teens who plan to move out on their own, however, will probably need to take their beds, in which case a long-lasting mattress is crucial.
The Best Mattress Types for Teenagers
Every type of mattress presents its own positive attributes and possible setbacks for teens. The table below tells you the best and worst features for each mattress type.
|Memory Foam||Memory foam balances support and pressure point relief, which will help teens with growing pains or aches from playing sports. These beds are versatile, great for teens with evolving sleep preferences.||Some all-foam models retain heat, which makes it difficult to fall asleep. They also typically have poor edge support, which isn’t ideal for teens who use their bed for hanging out and doing homework.|
|Latex||Latex is a versatile bedding material that offers good spinal alignment and is a long-lasting product. Latex is also breathable, perfect for teens who tend to sleep hot.||Latex beds tend to be very expensive. They also might be too firm and aren’t suitable for teens with latex allergies.|
|Innerspring||Innerspring mattresses offer the most airflow, which will keep your teen cool at night. They tend to be available in multiple firmness options and are relatively inexpensive.||These mattresses can be noisy and too bouncy for teens who change sleep positions. Innerspring beds are also more susceptible to allergens and dust mites.|
|Hybrid||Hybrid beds offer good contouring and support, ideal for reducing growing pains and aches in teens. These beds also tend to sleep cool and come in a variety of firmness options.||Hybrid mattresses are often fairly expensive. These beds are also very heavy, making them difficult to move.|
Teenagers and Sleep
Sleep is a cornerstone of health and well-being, but teenagers face unique challenges in getting the right amount of rest. Teens are faced with a lot of change in a short amount of time, both physically and emotionally. Their bodies are still developing—whether it be sudden growth spurts, mental developments or both—and they face a huge amount of responsibility. Especially throughout high school, teens trying to juggle grades, friends, and work while still sleeping for more than nine hours sounds impossible. To help combat the pressures and health risks your teenager is facing, you can take steps to improve sleep schedules.
Barriers to Teen Sleep
While we used to think that teenagers function more like adults in their sleeping needs, it turns out that teens need just as much sleep as kids—between nine and ten hours is suggested for a teen to be well-rested. With all the biological changes and social stresses a teenager goes through, it’s estimated that only 13 percent of high schoolers actually get the recommended amount of sleep.
You may be familiar with the drawbacks of sleep deprivation in adults, but it can have a more significant impact on teenagers. On top of poor grades and potential accidents, teenagers with bad sleep habits are more likely to develop mood disorders, health problems, and poor decision making due to their still-developing frontal lobe. Below is a list of common factors affecting sleep in teenagers.
- Screen Time: It might sound like common sense, but there are more reasons why phone use before bed can be detrimental to a teen’s sleep than you might think. The most obvious reason is if a teen uses his or phone instead of falling asleep or is woken up by notifications. However, there is also a scientific explanation: our phones emit blue light that tricks our brains into thinking it’s still daytime, which throws off our circadian rhythms.
- Physiological Changes: The circadian rhythm, which is in charge of our body’s schedule, starts developing at the onset of puberty. The circadian rhythm ideally matches with the day-night cycle, with hormones being released to make our bodies prepare for bed. While adults can adjust their schedules more easily to accommodate their schedules, teens are often faced with non-negotiable challenges.
- Early School Start Times: The ideal start time for a teen isn’t until 8:30 am. Since most middle and high schools start much earlier than that, it’s nearly impossible for a teen to adjust to their circadian rhythms and get a good amount of sleep. Oversleeping on weekends—which teens often enjoy—can further disrupt their circadian rhythms.
- Activity Overload: On top of regular school assignments, teens are starting to develop their own interests. This leads to a build-up of activities, extracurricular programs, sports, social time, and work. Trying to fit so much into a limited time frame leads to less sleep time.
- Stress, Depression, and Anxiety: Teens with poor sleep habits are more likely to develop mood disorders, with about 30 percent suffering from anxiety and 14 percent from disorders like depression. Sleep deprivation lowers a teen’s emotional resilience, which leads to higher levels of stress. Developing mood disorders can further increase sleep complications.
Tips for Improved Teen Sleep
There are a lot of challenges that teens face when it comes to being well-rested. Below are a few measures you and your teen can take to help him or her stay as happy and healthy as possible.
- Choose a Supportive Mattress: Mattress support is crucial. A growing body needs a strong support core to help teens alleviate all the aches and pains that come with puberty.
- Set Screen Limits: Limiting screen time is important, and you want to make sure your teenager is a part of the decision. Instead of taking electronics away like a punishment, work on a full family unplugging period and stopping screen use at a particular time before bed.
- Create a Sleep Routine: While a bedtime might be the last thing your middle or high schooler wants, basing a sleep schedule off of his or her necessary wake time can significantly improve a teen’s sleep quality. Electronic free activities like reading or relaxing habits like showering before bed can also help your teen fall asleep more easily.
- Avoid Being Over-scheduled: To pursue their interests is essential, and staying active is a healthy choice, but teens need to schedule downtime just as much as they need to plan for other activities.
- Get Help If Needed: Do not be afraid to talk to your teens about mental health and seek help when it’s appropriate. Talking to a professional about anxiety and depression might be scary for a teen, but your support and guidance can help them, and the issue is too important to ignore.
Check out the links below for information on other types of mattresses and sleep recommendations.