Lack of sleep is a problem for many people, but it’s especially prevalent in teens. The National Sleep Foundation reports that only about 15 percent of teens get the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, with most getting only about seven hours of shuteye on an average night. The causes of teen sleep deprivation vary, from physiological changes that affect natural sleep and wake cycles, to overscheduled days and the stress that comes from balancing school, sports, work, and other activities. There’s also the negative effect that blue light from devices has on sleep, meaning that teens who are attached to their phones often have trouble sleeping as a result.
Many parents and physicians are concerned about teens not getting enough sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health, inadequate sleep not only affects teens’ ability to focus and concentrate but can also increase the risk of illness and accidents, especially when they are behind the wheel. Encouraging good sleep hygiene can have a positive effect on teen sleep habits, but that includes providing the right environment for sleeping. Crucial to this is a comfortable and supportive mattress that fits your teen’s unique needs. Many teens will outgrow their mattress within a few years, or will leave home before their mattress needs to be replaced, so choose one that offers good value while still supporting healthy sleep.
Our Top Picks
Why we like it:
- Generous one-year sleep test and lifetime warranty
- Multiple layers of memory foam offer plenty of comfort, support, and contouring
- Special materials keep dust mites out
- Free shipping and returns
The Nectar mattress combines comfort and value, making it an ideal choice for a teenager. Constructed from four layers of foam (base layer, Hi Core memory foam, gel memory, and quilted gel memory) and topped with a Tencel cooling cover, the Nectar provides plenty of support and contouring while staying cooler than other memory foam models. The cooling cover ensures adequate air circulation and wicks away moisture, preventing your teen from waking up hot and sweaty during the night.
The quilted gel memory foam layer helps keep the Nectar cool, while also contouring to the body for extra comfort. The gel memory foam and adaptive Hi Core memory foam layers use high quality, patented materials to ensure exceptional support and contouring, while also ensuring excellent rebound. This mattress is a medium firm (5.5 - 7.5), which is ideal for back and side sleepers. The Nectar also uses specially designed materials to keep out dust mites, reducing allergens within the mattress. Nectar’s one-year sleep trial and lifetime warranty are some of the best in the industry.
Tuft & Needle Mint
Why we like it:
- Free shipping and returns
- White glove delivery available
- Suitable for larger teens
- Contouring and pressure point relief good for relieving growing pains or pain from sports
- Reinforced edge reduces sagging
The Tuft & Needle Mint is designed to offer maximum support while providing relief to pressure points, especially for side and back sleepers. The Mint is constructed of three layers of foam: The firmest layer (polyfoam) at the bottom, with a layer of Tuft & Needle’s proprietary foam containing gel beads on top, and a third layer of adaptive foam in between to provide additional support and comfort. Tuft & Needle also used a combination of open cell technology, Ceramic gel, and graphite to draw heat away from the body and keep the mattress cool and comfortable, so it’s ideal for teens who sleep hot.
The mattress’s ability to conform and relieve pressure can also help reduce pain from growing pains or the rigors of sports. The Mint also features a reinforced edge, creating more sleep surface and reducing sagging. At 12 inches thick, and a medium firmness (6), the Mint is suitable for larger teens. Tuft & Needle offers a 100-night sleep trial and a limited 10-year warranty, as well as free shipping and returns.
Why we like it:
- Good for stomach sleepers
- Celliant technology helps increase energy and athletic performance
- Graphite cooling layer helps reduce heat
- Free shipping and returns
The Bear mattress bills itself as the “mattress for athletes,” and it’s a great choice for an active teen who needs rest and recovery after long practices and games. It’s also one of the rare memory foam mattresses that work for stomach sleepers, providing enough firmness (6.4) to adequately support the belly and ensure the proper alignment of the spine.
The Bear’s four layers of foam provide cool, comfortable support, but it’s the mattress’ cover that makes it truly unique. Bear mattresses use Celliant Responsive Sleep Fabric Technology. In short, Celliant fabric turns body heat into infrared light, which improves sleep and recovery time and helps sleepers wake more rested.
For tired teens who need to rest weary muscles or recover from the work of growing, the Bear can help them get plenty of restorative sleep. For athletes, Celliant technology is proven to help increase oxygen levels in tissues, improving athletic performance. Bear offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Why we like it:
- Low price
- Added edge support increases durability
- CoolFlow foam reduces heat and increases breathability
- 100-night sleep test and 10-year warranty
- White glove shipping available
One of the most affordable hybrid mattresses available, the Allswell combines two gauges of individually-wrapped coils with CertiPUR-US® certified high-performance memory foam for a medium-firm (4.5-6.5), comfortable, and supportive mattress.
The mattress is topped with CoolFlow foam, which helps draw heat away from the body and increases breathability, so it’s not nearly as hot as some memory foam models. The Allswell’s price makes it an attractive option for teens who may only use the mattress for a few years, and the hybrid construction provides the support and comfort of an innerspring model with the contouring of a memory foam mattress.
Allswell mattresses are constructed with a reinforced edge, giving them an advantage over other memory foam models. If your teen uses her bed for homework, watching TV, or hanging out, the added edge support helps maintain the shape and structure of the mattress over time. To give you peace of mind, Allswell offers a 100-night sleep test and a 10-year warranty.
Why we like it:
- 120-day sleep trial and 15-year warranty
- Multiple firmness options
- Extra back and edge support to prevent sagging
- Free white glove delivery
The Saatva combines the traditional innerspring mattress with modern design and technology. The lower base is constructed of steel support coils, topped with 416 individually wrapped coils. In between the coil layers, the Saatva includes two back support enhancements: the company’s Lumbar Zone wire technology and a layer of memory foam. Finally, the coils are topped with a European pillow top covered in organic cotton, for a plush and luxurious mattress.
The Saatva also features the Dual Perimeter edge system, which encases the edges in foam to prevent sagging and increases the durability, perfect for teens who use their beds for studying or hanging out. The Saatva comes in three firmness levels, so your teen can choose the one that’s most comfortable: Plush Soft (3), Luxury Firm (5-7), and Firm (8).
Although the Luxury Firm is the most popular option and suits a wide range of sleeping positions, lighter teens who are side sleepers may prefer the Plush Soft model. The Firm model is best for back or stomach sleepers, especially those with heavier body types. Saatva offers a 120-day trial and a generous 15-year warranty.
Why we like it:
- Free shipping and returns
- Zoned Support system that provides custom support to different areas for maximum comfort
- Suitable for all sleep positions and body sizes
The Casper Hybrid is unique in that it offers several “zones” of support, making it a good choice regardless of your teen’s preferred sleep position. With the Zoned Support system, the mattress’s fiber wrapped springs provide all-over support, while the soft foam under the shoulder area reduces pressure. The firmer foam in the middle zone provides extra support and alignment for the spine.
To help reduce heat, the Casper uses open-cell foam to let hot air escape and keep the mattress cool. The hybrid spring and foam design are suitable for all body types and sizes, and the end-to-end spring design helps reduce sagging and makes it easier to get in and out of bed.
Rated a medium firmness (5.5), the Casper is softer than some of the other “bed in a box” mattress models, but still suitable for all body types. Casper offers a 100-night risk-free trial, and a 10-year limited warranty, as well as free shipping and returns.
Best Mattress for Teenagers Buying Guide
Choosing a mattress for your teen can feel overwhelming. Latex or memory foam? Innerspring or hybrid? Because each mattress type has its own benefits and drawbacks, it’s tempting to shop based on price. That’s only part of the equation, though. When buying a mattress for your teen, consider your teen’s size, how much they have left to grow, preferred sleeping position, and lifestyle to choose the best option and encourage healthy sleep habits.
Memory foam mattresses tend to offer plenty of support and pain relief, due to their ability to mold and conform to an individual’s body. This helps relieve the pressure on sensitive joints. Made from up to 40 percent viscoelastic polyurethane, which contains more air than other types of foam, these mattresses rely on body heat to mold to the sleeper’s body. Once the pressure is removed, the mattress returns to its original shape. The higher the density of the foam, the firmer the mattress.
Queen-size memory foam mattresses cost between $600 and $1,200. The type and density of the foam used are the biggest factors in the price.
Pros for Teenagers:
- Memory foam offers a good balance between support and pain relief, making it good for helping with growing pains and easing pains from sports.
- Memory foam accommodates a variety of sleeping positions, which is helpful for teens, whose preferences may change over time.
Cons for Teenagers:
- Some memory foam models retain heat, which can be uncomfortable during warmer months and for teens who sleep hot.
- Some memory foam mattresses do not have a reinforced edge. Given that teens tend to use their beds for more than just sleeping (homework, watching movies, etc.) the edges of the bed could become more compressed over time.
- Not ideal for stomach sleepers.
- Some teens may not like the “enclosed” feeling that memory foam creates.
Important Mattress Features for Teenagers
- Size: Although many parents opt for twin or twin XL mattresses for kids, generally speaking, a queen mattress is the best bed for teens. Teens are still growing and likely to have major growth spurts, and a larger queen mattress will grow with them and provide plenty of space to stretch out. Also, as queen mattresses are the most popular size of mattress among adults, investing in a queen now gives your teen the option of having a larger bed when he or she moves out.
|Mattress Size||Dimensions||Considerations for Teens|
|Twin||38” x 75” x 11”||May be too short and narrow for larger teens|
|Twin XL||38” x 80” x 11”||May be too narrow for larger teens|
|Full||54” x 75” x 11”||May be too short for taller teens|
|Queen||60” x 80” x 11”||Ideal width and length for most teens|
|King||76” x 80” x 11”||Large and wide enough for teens|
|California King||72” x 84 x 11”||Large and wide enough for teens|
- Support: Growing bodies need plenty of support. The best mattress for teenagers will conform to and support a growing body, reducing aches and pains and encouraging better sleep.
- Firmness: Most mattresses tend to fall in the medium firm range, between 3 and 8. The best mattress firmness for a teenager depends in large part on their preferred sleeping position, with stomach sleepers requiring the firmest mattresses. Side sleepers are better suited to softer mattresses, while back sleepers should choose the firmness that is most comfortable to them while still providing support. Desired firmness should also take a teen’s weight into account. Heavier weight teens will be more comfortable in a more firm mattress.
- Motion Isolation: Motion transfer isn’t a major concern for teens, as they aren’t likely to be sharing their bed with anyone. Still, isolating motion matters some, as a mattress that transfers motion with every movement can exacerbate restlessness and disrupt sleep.
- Temperature Regulation: Some teenagers sleep hot, and as they go through puberty and their sweat glands develop, keeping cool becomes more important.
- Value: Most teens will only use their mattresses at home for a few years before moving out, so you may not wish to spend a lot on a mattress right now. However, many teens will want to bring their bed from home with them when they move into their first apartments, so a good quality mattress that will last for many years is a smart investment.
Additional Sleep Considerations for Teens
Every teen is different and has his or her own unique sleeping needs and style. Consider everything from age, size, preferred sleeping position, schedule, and activities when selecting a mattress for your child to encourage the most restful sleep during these pivotal years.
- Physiological Changes: Teenage bodies are growing and developing, which can lead to aches and pains throughout the body – the proverbial “growing pains.” Although more common in younger teens, growing pains affect most kids at some point, and are believed to be due to bones growing at a faster rate than the surrounding tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Unfortunately, growing pains tend to occur more at night, and often disrupt sleep. Choosing a mattress that provides adequate support for growing bodies can help alleviate some of these pains and reduce the likelihood of waking up.
- Sleep Position: Sleep position is a key consideration when purchasing a mattress, as supporting the right areas of your body is important to avoiding pain and staying asleep. Before purchasing a mattress, get a sense of your teen’s preferred sleeping position to choose one that provides the ideal level of support. Stomach sleepers need a mattress that supports the lower back to ensure proper spinal alignment, for instance, while side sleepers are often better suited by softer mattresses that conforms to the body’s curves.
- School Schedules: Many parents wonder how their teens can stay up so late. The short explanation is that they can’t help it. One of the physiological changes that occur in teens is a shift in their circadian rhythm, which affects the times when they feel tired and awake. Teens are naturally more inclined to stay up later – often until close to midnight – and sleep later in the day. The problem, of course, is that most school schedules don’t coincide with these natural rhythms, requiring teens to wake up early for a 7 or 7:30 am school start time. A mattress that encourages deep, restful sleep – no matter how long – is important to help your teen manage their busy schedule.
- Sleep Habits and Sleep Hygiene: The majority of teens don’t practice good sleep hygiene They often use their beds as a place to hang out and do homework, and use devices that emit blue light well into the evening. Blue light, common with phones, televisions, and computers, is known to disrupt sleep and keep us awake longer. Although a great mattress probably won’t get your teen to put the phone down a few hours before bed, it can help increase sleep duration and quality, so that the limited amount of sleep he does get will be restful and restorative.
- Sleep Trials and Warranties: The only way to really know if a mattress is a good fit is to actually sleep on it. Spending a few minutes testing the mattress in the store isn’t going to give you an accurate picture. Ideally, any mattress you choose for your teen should come with a sleep trial, allowing for a test run for an allotted time to determine whether it’s a good fit. Look for a mattress that offers ample time to test it out, as well as free returns. In addition, choose a mattress that comes with a generous warranty to protect your investment should something go wrong.