When you have children, you find yourself imagining what they’ll be like when they grow up. What you don’t realize as a new parent, however, is that they grow up a lot quicker than you think they will.
Being a parent means spending the next 18 years trying to keep up with the constant changes your child is going through. Not only do children develop quickly in terms of cognition and personality, but they physically grow very quickly as well. Before you know it, your baby has outgrown his crib and your older child needs an adult-sized bed.
Parenting a teenager is always a challenge, but it’s your job to make the hard decisions and to do what is best for your child. That includes choosing a mattress.
Picking a mattress may not seem like a life-changing decision, but it’s more important than you may realize. The mattress you choose will impact your teen’s quality of sleep which will affect his daily life. Poor sleep quality may negatively impact his school performance and might even affect his development, since his brain will still be developing into his 20s and 30s.
Your teenager should definitely have a say in the mattress he sleeps on, but it’s a good idea to do some research so you can present the best options for him to choose from. We’ve done our best to give you the information you need to make a smart choice and we’ve provided some recommendations as well.
What is the Best Mattress for a Teenager?
- Best Overall: Nectar
- Best Budget-Friendly: Tuft & Needle
- Best Luxury: DreamCloud
- Best Memory Foam: Nolah
- Best Innerspring: Saatva
- Best Hybrid: Brooklyn Bedding
- Best for Back Sleepers: Amerisleep
- Best for Side Sleepers: Helix
- Best Adjustable: Luxi
- Best for Athletes: Bear
- Best for Tall Teens: Awara
- Best for Lightweight Teens: Leesa
- Best for Heavy Teens: WinkBed
What is Sleep Important for Teenagers?
Sleep is just as important for overall health and wellness as the food you eat and the air you breathe. Though the average adult needs about 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, studies suggest teens do best with 8 to 10 hours. Unfortunately, teenagers often develop irregular sleep habits and a packed schedule of school, sports, and other activities can make it tough to get the sleep they need.
If you think a little sleep deprivation won’t harm your teen, you could be very wrong.
Poor sleep can limit your teen’s ability to learn, concentrate, and solve problems. It can lead to inappropriate behavior and emotional outbursts and can support unhealthy habits like eating too many sweets. It heightens the effects of alcohol and may increase the use of caffeine and nicotine as well.
Here are some tips to make sure your teen gets the sleep he needs:
- Create a daily routine and help your teen stick to it by having dinner at the same time and making sure there’s time to complete homework in plenty of time for bed.
- Encourage an afternoon nap before dinner to help your teen get the extra sleep he needs without encouraging a weekend habit of sleeping in.
- Start the day with a dose of sunshine to get your teen’s biological clock running on schedule. Have breakfast out on the porch or by a sunny window.
- Keep tech out of your teen’s bedroom. Not only can it cut into valuable sleep time, but the light from screens suppresses the body’s sleep-inducing hormone production.
- Help your teen understand the importance of sleep – talk about how his sleep affects the way he feels at school and in sports to help him come to the understanding himself.
Now that you have a better understanding of why sleep is so important for your teenager and you’ve learned how to help him get it, it’s time to start shopping for a new mattress. There is a nearly unlimited number of options out there, so read on to see our tips for narrowing down your choices.
Tips for Choosing the Right Mattress
If you haven’t shopped for a new mattress in a while, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options available. Mattresses are no longer made from simple springs and padding, and choosing a mattress is more than just deciding on a firmness level. There are a variety of factors to consider and determining how you feel about each factor will help you narrow down your options.
Here are some general things to think about when shopping for a new mattress:
- Thickness – It’s largely a matter of preference, but the thickness of the mattress affects the level of support it provides. Most mattresses are 10 to 12 inches thick, though you’ll find low-profile mattresses around 8 inches and high-profile mattresses up to 14 inches thick (or more).
- Firmness – Mattress firmness is usually rated on a scale from 1 to 10. Medium-firm mattresses are generally recommended for most sleepers but if you are very lightweight, you may prefer a much softer mattress than a heavier person. If you’re not sure, go with something 5-7/10.
- Materials – Modern mattress are made from a wide variety of materials including different types of foam, latex, and various arrangements of coils and springs. Memory foam and latex mattresses are usually constructed in layers and offer contouring benefits for pressure relief while spring mattresses tend to be a little more supportive. A hybrid mattress combines 2 or more materials and can be a good choice if you want both support and pressure relief.
- Support – Most mattresses are made with a supportive base of high-density foam or latex or coils. A supportive mattress keeps your body on an even plane with minimal sagging which is the key to keeping your spine in proper alignment during sleep.
- Pressure Relief – Your mattress should sink a little bit under your weight to relieve pressure from points of contact, but the amount of pressure relief depends on the materials and the firmness. Memory foam tends to offer the best pressure relief.
The Best Mattress for Teenagers
Teenagers can be picky and moody, so it’s difficult for any parent to think they can hope to find the “perfect” mattress. That being said, there are certain things to look for if you want to make sure your teenager gets the quality sleep he needs for optimal brain and body health.
We’ve done our best to provide you with a wide range of options for mattresses of different types to help you narrow down your pick. Here are our top choices for the best mattress for teens:
Best Overall: When shopping for a new mattress for teenagers, you want something that’s going to last a while but won’t cost you a fortune. It’s important to find a mattress that is supportive, but it shouldn’t be so firm your teen finds it uncomfortable. We recommend the Nectar memory foam mattress because it hits all these high points and it comes with a 365-night trials so you can return it if he doesn’t love it.
The Nectar mattress is constructed from four layers of memory foam with a quilted memory foam cover, all designed to sleep cool and minimize motion transfer. Under the fabric cover, you’ll find a cooling layer of gel memory foam topped with a layer of adaptive hi-core memory foam. This design helps ensure nonstop airflow for a cooler sleep experience, but it still delivers the support your teen needs for a comfortable night of sleep.
- Pros: Long 365-night trial period, multi-layer foam construction, comfort and support
- Cons: May not be firm enough for heavy sleepers, foam may be slow to respond
Best Budget-Friendly: Mattresses are expensive, but you don’t have to resign yourself to paying a fortune. The Tuft & Needle Mint mattress is affordably priced under $1,000 and we think it’s a great option for teens. Plus, it comes with a 100-night trial so you can return it if your teen doesn’t think it’s the right fit.
The Tuft & Needle Mint mattress delivers the experience of a luxury foam mattress at the price of a standard mattress. It combines unique materials alike cooling gel beads and graphite-infused foam which wick away body heat for a cooler, more comfortable night of sleep. With a plush knit fabric cover, you get an added degree of breathable comfort on top.
- Pros: Affordable price tag, luxury three-layer construction, breathable cooling materials, 100-night trial
- Cons: Somewhat lacking in edge support, may be too firm for some side sleepers
Best Luxury: If you want your teen to have the best of the best when it comes to his mattress, we recommend DreamCloud. You’ll be glad to know that even though DreamCloud delivers on quality and luxury, they don’t charge a fortune. Plus, your teen can try the mattress for a full year before making up his mind. If he decides it’s not the perfect fit, simply return it for a full refund.
The DreamCloud mattress is a luxury hybrid, designed with a combination of memory foam and individually encased coils. It is built on a pocketed 5-zone innerspring coil system for targeted support with layers of high-density memory foam for pressure relief and comfort. This mattress gives you premium materials at half the price, all while keeping your teen cool and comfortable all night long.
- Pros: Memory foam and encased coils, comfort and support, luxury materials and design
- Cons: Hybrid mattresses tend to be fairly heavy
Best Memory Foam: Memory foam is a great choice for a teen mattress because it adjusts to different body types and sleeping styles. The trouble with memory foam is that it often sleeps hot, but the Nolah Signature memory foam mattress is different. This cooling mattress ships free and comes with a lifetime warranty and 120-night sleep trial.
What makes this memory foam mattress unique is that it is two-sided – one side is firm and the other is plush. This double-sided mattress is built on a base of high-resilience foam for durability and support with a reinforced high-density core foundation. Either side of the mattress features proprietary cooling Nolah AirFoam which delivers superior pressure relief while keeping the body cool.
- Pros: Two-sided design to choose firmness, cooling foam for comfort, 120-night trial period
- Cons: May not be a good choice for heavyweight sleepers, somewhat pricier than other options
Best Innerspring: Modern mattresses are great, but if your teen is used to the classic innerspring feel he’ll love the Saatva Classic. This mattress has the right degree of bounce and support you’d expect from a spring mattress, but it has the added benefits of a modern pocketed coil design. Technically a hybrid innerspring mattress, the Saatva Classic is surprisingly affordable.
The Saatva Classic comes in three different firmness levels and two thickness levels. This mattress is built on a base layer of durable steel coils triple tempered and oven-baked for maximum strength surrounded by the Dual Perimeter edge support system. On top of that you’ll find a second a layer of over 800 individually wrapped coils with a luxury Euro pillow top for cushion and pressure relief. Best of all, you’ll receive 120 nights to try the mattress and it will be delivered and set up for free.
- Pros: Three firmness levels to choose from, luxury hybrid construction, breathable and supportive
- Cons: Hybrid mattresses tend to be fairly heavy, less contouring/hugging than foam mattresses
Best Hybrid: A hybrid mattress combines two or more materials to give you the benefits of all of them. We like the Aurora Hybrid from Brooklyn Bedding because it utilizes advanced cooling technology and comes in three firmness levels. This mattress ships free and it comes with a 120-night sleep trial as well.
The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid mattress is built on a base of over 1,000 individually encased Ascension X coils over a high-density foam base. On top you’ll find three layers of premium foam including Swirl visco-elastic memory foam for enhanced contouring, hyper-elastic TitanFlex foam for comfort, and patented CopperFlex foam for targeted pressure relief. This mattress sleeps cool and delivers the support your teen needs for a good night’s sleep.
- Pros: Luxury hybrid design, relieves pressure and absorbs motion, sleeps cooler than memory foam
- Cons: A little pricy compared to other models, may not have enough bounce for some sleepers
Best for Back Sleepers: If your teen tends to sleep on his back, he may prefer a slightly firmer mattress. Back sleepers need a mattress that keeps the body on a stable plane to keep the spine in alignment – we recommend the Amerisleep AS2. This medium-firm mattress measures 12 inches thick and is constructed from Bio-Pur open-cell foam which sleeps cooler than traditional memory foam.
The Amerisleep AS2 offers the support your teenager needs with just the right amount of pressure relief. This is a three-layer foam mattress that delivers breathable comfort thanks to a soft cover and targeted pressure relief thanks to the HIVE transition layer. Amerisleep mattresses come with free shipping and returns as well as a 20-year warranty and 100-night sleep trial.
- Pros: Made with high-quality materials, designed for cooling comfort, targeted pressure relief
- Cons: May be too firm for some side sleepers, has less bounce than an innerspring mattress
Best for Side Sleepers: Side sleepers tend to prefer slightly softer mattresses because a mattress too firm creates pressure on the hips and shoulders. We recommend the Helix Midnight Luxe mattress for side-sleeping teens because it has a medium feel with luxury features and it is designed with side sleepers in mind.
The Helix Midnight Luxe features zoned lumbar support for enhanced contouring as well as a quilted pillow top with a breathable Tencel fabric cover. The mattress is the right firmness for side sleepers – not too firm, not too soft – and its layers are optimized to relieve pressure from the hips and shoulders. If this mattress is a little too pricy, the original Helix Midnight is a little more affordable – both come with free shipping and a 100-night sleep trial.
- Pros: Luxury hybrid design, medium firmness level, comfort and pressure relief, 100-night sleep trial
- Cons: Fairly expensive compared to some brands, may be too soft for heavy sleepers
Best Adjustable: Teenagers change their mind on a daily basis, or so it seems. If you’re worried about investing in a new mattress just for your teenager to decide he doesn’t like it the next day, consider the Luxi 3-in-1 adjustable mattress. It offers adjustable firmness from three options (soft, medium, and firm) and, in the larger sizes, you can even adjust each side independently.
The Luxi 3-in-1 mattress is constructed from premium memory foam with an internal grid column layer to support breathability without compromising on pressure relief. This mattress features built-in-edge support and offers low motion transfer, not to mention a luxury look and feel. Plus, it comes with fast free shipping and a 100-night sleep trial.
- Pros: Adjustable levels of firmness, memory foam construction, breathable for comfort and coolness
- Cons: Warranty is somewhat limited, may not be bouncy enough for some sleepers
Best for Athletes: Teenage athletes put their bodies through a lot of stress and strain. When they fall into bed at night, you want to know that they’ll be properly supported to get a night of restful, restorative sleep. The Bear mattress is designed with athletes in mind and it’s a great pick for teenagers as well. You’ll love the quality and the price while your teen will love how great it feels.
The Bear Original mattress is made with three layers of foam including a high-density base of support foam, a responsive transition layer, and a cooling layer of graphite-gel memory foam. It’s all topped with a breathable Celliant cover as well. This mattress doesn’t just keep your teen supported for a restful night of sleep – it also keeps him cool and comfortable. It adjusts to his sleep position and body shape to keep the pressure off the hips, back, and shoulders for sleep that’s just right.
- Pros: Three-layer foam construction, optimal support and pressure relief, environmentally friendly
- Cons: May not be firm enough for heavy individuals, some off-gassing at first
Best for Tall Teens: If you have a teen who’s a little taller than average, you may have trouble finding the right mattress. It isn’t just about choosing the right size, either. You also need to make sure the mattress is designed to provide balanced support for your teen’s entire body. That’s why we recommend Awara. It doesn’t hurt that it ships free and comes with a generous 365-night trial period.
The Awara mattress features a luxury hybrid design built on a 9-inch layer of individually pocketed coils. These coils respond to motion and pressure, adjusting to your teen’s sleeping style. On top of those coils is a 4-inch layer of natural Dunlop latex which is 2 inches thicker than standard hybrid mattresses, all topped with a plush Euro top cover made from soft New Zealand wool and organic cotton.
- Pros: Luxury hybrid design, supportive 9-inch layer of individually pocketed coils, natural Dunlop latex
- Cons: Could be stronger in motion isolation, very heavy to move around
Best for Lightweight Teens: Most mattresses are designed for adults of average weight, so if your teen is on the small side he may not find the “average” mattress comfortable. We recommend the Leesa Original mattress for lightweight teens because its three-layer foam construction is just firm enough for support but still offers plenty of pressure relief. Rated medium firm (5-7/10) it should be just right for your teen.
The Leesa Original mattress is built on a base layer of support foam topped with a recovery layer of memory foam for motion isolation and pressure relief. Over that sits a comfort layer of responsive foam that sleeps cool, providing the hug and bounce your teen wants with a breathable twill cover to top it off. This mattress is affordably priced and comes with free shipping and a 100-night risk-free trial.
- Pros: Designed for comfort and support, all-foam makeup with firm core support foam, pressure relief
- Cons: May not be firm enough for back or stomach sleepers
Best for Heavy Teens: Heavy teens may find that most mattresses simply aren’t comfortable. It may be a matter of firmness – if the mattress isn’t firm enough, your teen may sink into it more than he should to receive the optimal degree of support and pressure relief. If you’re looking for a med designed specifically for larger and heavier sleepers, we recommend the WinkBed Plus.
The WinkBed Plus mattress features a hybrid design with a coil-on-coil system to ensure maximum support. The mattress is constructed on a base layer of edge-to-edge individually wrapped coils with a second layer of coils on top. Over that sits a two-layered Euro pillow top quilted with gel Hypersoft foam to wick away body heat for a cooler sleep experience. This mattress is ultra-durable, extremely supportive, and totally comfortable.
- Pros: Uniquely designed for individuals over 300 pounds, 7-zone support layer, maximum heat transfer
- Cons: May not sink as much as traditional foam mattresses, some find it too firm
We all deserve a good night’s sleep and just because your teenager insists he doesn’t need to sleep, he really does. The quality of his mattress will impact the quality of his sleep, even if he doesn’t realize it.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to provide for your child’s needs and that means making sure he has a good mattress to sleep on. We’ve done our best to provide you with the information you need to make a smart choice and we’ve provided 13 different recommendations for you. If you’re not sure where to start shopping, check out our picks above!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What size bed should a teenager have? – You’ve probably upgraded your child’s bed several times by now, but when he becomes a teenager you hope the investment will last a little longer. This is the bed your teen will sleep in throughout high school and he may even take it with him to college, unless he lives in the dorms. The right size for your teen’s bed depends on several factors, but primarily your teen’s size. Smaller teens may do perfectly well with a twin bed while others may require a twin XL or a full or queen bed.
- What is the best mattress for tall teenagers? – If your teen is above average height, you may need to think about upgrading to a larger mattress. A standard twin measures about 75 inches long while a twin XL is a full 5 inches longer. If you’re thinking about getting a larger size, know that a full is the same length as a standard twin and a queen is the same length as a twin XL. The only standard size longer than 80 inches is the California king at 84 inches.
- How long should I expect my teen’s bed to last? – Generally speaking, you should think about replacing a mattress after 7 to 8 years. High-quality mattresses and firmer mattresses may last a little longer, especially if you maintain them with regular turning. The longevity of a mattress can be affected by how it is used, however. If you have a restless teenager who puts the bed through a beating or your teen is above average weight, the bed may be taking on additional strain which could reduce its lifespan. Don’t buy your teen a new mattress and expect it to last for 10 years. For a mattress to last that long, it needs to be properly maintained and most teens are unlikely to make the effort.
- What is the right firmness for a teenager? – The firmness level of a mattress is determined as much by preference as by sleeping style and body type. The heavier your teen is, the firmer his mattress should be to ensure he gets the support his body needs. If you’re not sure and your teen doesn’t have a set preference, something medium firm in the 5 to 7 range (out of 10) should be perfectly fine.
- Is it worth buying my teen an expensive mattress? – Mattresses can be pricey, so it’s understandable to wonder whether it’s worth buying an expensive mattress for a teenager who doesn’t always take care of his things. When it comes to mattresses, however, price is equated to quality and you don’t want to run the risk of saving money at the expense of your teenager’s sleep quality. Determine your ideal budget then do your research to find a high-quality option within your price range.