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Teens & Sleep: Choosing the Best Mattress for Teenagers Can Get Them the Sleep They Need

The fact is that the average teen is busy. School, social life, the latest PS4 game begging to be beaten (as soon as that homework is done) It makes sense that to cope with all of this they should get plenty of sleep. But the fact is that many of them just don’t get enough. And while there are lots of reasons for that (more about that later) investing in a great mattress can be one excellent way of helping to ensure that teenagers get the shut eye they need.

But what makes a great mattress for teens? There are indeed lots of options out there, but to help you get a head start on your shopping here’s a look at some of the very best options available right now:

Top 4 Rated Teen Mattress Reviews in 2018 & 2019

#1 NECTAR Sleep

BEST OVERALL

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Comfort and Support

PROS:

 Long term support
 Mid-level firmness (not too soft, not too hard)
Incredible value
Free shipping, white glove option, 365-night trial, lifetime warranty

CONS:

Weak edge support

Bottom Line: Is a supportive 11″ memory foam mattress, comfortable that is reasonably priced and should last at least 7-8 years, making it a durable option. Read our full Nectar Sleep mattress review here.

The NECTAR Sleep mattress is rather unique, both in the way it looks and the way it functions. The mattress is actually comprised of four different layers, and each of those layers is designed to serve a different – but useful – purpose.

Check Price on Nectar (Limited Offer: $125 off + 2 FREE Pillows)

#2 Layla

TOP RATED

PROS:

 Flippable design with two firmness options
Compressed, rolled, and delivered in a box, easy to set up
 Free shipping in the US, non-prorated lifetime warranty
120 day trial

CONS:

Some potential for off-gassing
Mandatory two-week break-in period for sleep trial

Bottom Line: A copper-infused memory foam mattress with a flippable design and two firmness options to choose from that works for teens of all sizes and is a great offering at a good price.

No, we didn’t make a mistake, we really are choosing TWO number ones to head up our list of best mattresses for teenagers. The Layla is more than a little different to the Nectar Sleep but overall it ‘scores’ equally high marks.

Check Price on Layla (Limited Offer: $125 off + 2 FREE Pillows)

#3 LinenSpa

LOWEST PRICE

Mattress built for those that need comfort, but are on a budget

PROS:

Unbeatable price for an entry-level hybrid mattress
Great bed for teenagers under 175lbs.
Combines the comfort of foam and springs
Mattress is rolled and shipped in a box
10-year limited warranty

CONS:

Not recommended for individuals 300 lb+
A little on the firm side for some side sleepers
No sleep trial

Bottom Line: Built with a durable innerspring base and a memory foam pillowtop, this hybrid mattress was built for those that need comfort, but are on a budget. Find it on kid and teen beds, in dorms, guest rooms, and master bedrooms.

When teens get ready for that next step in life – leaving high school behind and heading off to college – they often quickly find that their standard issue dorm room mattress is nothing like their comfy at home option and that often translates into a pretty bad night’s sleep, the last thing a busy new college student needs. 

Check Price Deal on Amazon

#4 Latex for Less

Best Hypoallergenic Teen Mattress

Latex Mattress

PROS:

Isolates motion transfer well
No off-gassing
Sleeps cool
Flippable design
Suits all sleeping positions
120-day sleep trial, 20 years, nonprorated warranty & free shipping

CONS:

Sleep trial includes mandatory 30-night break-in period
Fair edge support

Bottom Line: This organic latex mattress offers both great sleeper comfort and spinal support – the two most important factors when selecting a mattress for your teenage son or daughter.  Another great choice of mattress with a below-average price-point.

Most people have become very used to the idea that memory foam is the ‘latest’ thing for mattresses and many get the impression that it must therefore be the best option too. In many cases that is true, but it is not the only impressive materials option you can consider when shopping for a great mattress for teens. 

Check Price on Latex for Less (Limited Offer: $150 off Coupon Code: SAVE150)

How to Choose the Best Mattress for Teenagers

Now that you really understand just how important sleep is for your teen’s health – both mental and physical – no doubt you are more than ready to go get them that great mattress they need. In terms of brands, we have already covered some of the best selling and top rated choices but we know that you’ll encounter lots of other options as well as you begin to shop, and many of them will be worth considering to.

Regardless what mattress model you eventually opt for however there are some basic considerations to keep in mind as you shop for the best mattress for a college dorm or a home bed.

Here’s a look at some of the most important.

Size

As it is time to shop for a new mattress for your teen, something you might not have done for some time, this is also the ideal time to reassess their bed overall. Most teenagers have a tendency to grow like weeds at certain points during their formative years and the fact is that many of them are really too big (or will become too big very soon) for the bed they have had since they were young kids. Therefore, before you even think of buying a mattress determine whether or not they (and their health) would benefit from going up a bed size (from a twin to a queen for example)

Type

Having read this far you know know that in the 21st century you have more than a couple of choices when it comes to the type of materials used to craft a mattress.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is a very popular choice and for good reason. It’s supportive but still soft, provides more of a customized ‘fit’ as time goes by and it certainly does help keep a sleeping teen’s body temperature better regulated, helping prevent that sweaty feeling that tends to wake everyone up – not just teens – when it occurs in the middle of the night.

Innerspring

That having been said there is still a place, for some at least, for the ‘old’ innerspring technology that so many parents of teens are far more used to. Spring surfaces still do offer lots of support and a innerspring mattress may turn out to be the better choice if your teen finds that they are one of those people who tends to feel a little swallowed up by a memory foam mattress.

Latex

Latex is an interesting option. Provided it is natural latex – as is the case for the Latex for Less mattress we have have discussed here – it’s a very eco-friendly and durable choice. It’s also ‘naturally’ supportive and will produce less off-gassing than most memory foam options. There are also artificial latex mattress options available for those who are allergic to the natural stuff, but they will off gas in the same way as memory foam and may be slightly less durable than the real thing.

Hybrid

You’ll notice, as you shop, a number of mattress choices, like the Nectar and LinenSpa mattresses, that offer several materials and ‘technologies’ rolled into one to create a mattress. This can be a very effective way to create a truly comfortable and supportive mattress but you will often have to give such beds a good ‘trial run’ before discovering if they can really provide exactly what your teen needs.

Sleeping Positions

Most teens – like most adults – do have a sleeping position they prefer  and that preference may influence your mattress choice. For example, side sleepers usually need additional, flexible support for their hips in order to keep their spine as straight and supported as possible, which makes memory foam an excellent choice. Back sleepers, on the other hand need more whole body support – especially at the shoulders – and that may be better provided by a memory foam/innerspring hybrid. Finally, stomach sleepers require a medium-firm level of support to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.

Trial Conditions

Most high quality mattresses are not inexpensive purchases and as we have noted here a number of times it often takes several weeks of sleeping on a new mattress before you can really discover if you have made the right choice or not. It’s for this reason that the trial periods offered can be very helpful. They allow you to make that bigger investment with less risk.

Budget

It’s fair to admit that most of us like to save money wherever and whenever we can. And while being price conscious is always good skimping on a mattress for your teen may not be the best economy. Throughout this piece we’ve tried to emphasize the importance of a good night’s sleep for teens and the right mattress plays an important part in that. Therefore you might want to consider going a little higher than you had planned price wise in order to get the mattress your teen really needs. We’re not advocating breaking the bank, but try not to pinch pennies just for the sake of it either.

Teens and Sleep – An Old Battle

Even though they may bristle at the idea, especially as they are not ‘little kids’ anymore teenagers still need to get plenty of sleep. About eight to nine hours is optimal.

Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal healthAmerican Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)

As their bodies – and brains – are still growing and developing they definitely still require at least a little more sleep than the average adult. However, many teenagers simply do not get enough sleep and their health, both mental and physical, can really suffer as a result.

For example, did you know that according to a report produced by the DMV in North Carolina 55% of the ‘fall asleep accidents’ that occur on their roads every year can be attributed to drivers under the age of 25? Or that sleep deprived teens are, according numerous reports, likely to over use stimulants like caffeine and nicotine to ‘make it through the day’ but also are more likely to turn to alcohol or drugs to self medicate their way through the mood swings and depression a lack of sleep has been proven to cause?

They are also more likely to engage in ‘risky behaviors’ (reckless driving, unprotected sex and more because in a sleep deprived person) – and certainly often in a sleep deprived teen – their impaired judgement leads to some very poor decision making. In other words, not getting enough sleep can be very, very bad for the average teen.

Why Do Teens Have a Problem Sleeping?

As is the case with adults there are many possible causes of a lack of sleep – and even insomnia – in teenagers. In teenagers though some of the more common include:

  • A poor diet, or eating too in the evening after the ‘ideal’ cutoff of about five to six hours before bed (that 10pm stop at the pizza place with their friends for example)
  • Over-stimulation (playing video games or texting and spending time on social media even after the lights have gone out)
  • Stress and anxiety (they are right when they say being a teenager today isn’t an easy picnic)
  • Mild depression
  • Teenage rebellion (they don’t want to be told what time to go to bed anymore, they are not little kids after all)
  • An undiagnosed medical condition like sleep apnea or RLS (restless leg syndrome)
  • A bad mattress. A lumpy, bumpy or simply unsupported mattress can make getting a good night’s sleep a challenge.

The Effects of a Lack of Sleep for Teens

It’s pretty rare that any teen will go to their parent to voluntarily discuss their sleep habits and what might be wrong with them. To complain about not being able to sleep at night. Or, if they consider themselves ‘night owls’ will always be willing to make any changes to their routines themselves. That means that more often than not it is left up to parents to recognize the signs that their teen is not getting adequate sleep and then help them take positive steps to address the problem. The most common signs include all of the following

  • Ongoing daytime fatigue
  • Changed eating habits leading to obesity, or in some other cases, worrying weight loss
  • Increased irritability and/or forgetfulness
  • Clumsiness
  • Poor grades at school
  • Stress related illnesses

Often a teen’s poor sleep – and the effects of it – are simply caused by what sleep experts term ‘poor sleep hygiene’. After establishing that the sleep issues are not related to an underlying medical condition, something that should always be a first step, all of the following should help establish better sleep routines.

  • Going back to having a set bedtime, but obviously one that a teen regulates themselves.
  • Ensuring that their sleep environment, including their mattress, is suitable for their needs. An investment in a high quality mattress that meet’s a teen’s needs really is one well worth making.
  • Creating a small relaxation window between the end of their day’s main activities and bedtime proper. A hot drink can still be helpful (much as it might have been when they were much younger) as can a nice, soothing warm bath or shower.
  • Making use of simple, non-habit forming sleep aids such as sleep pillows, sleep humidifiers, and anti-snoring nasal strips, as kids, just like adults are often kept up by the sound of their own snoring!
  • Limiting the number of caffeine packed beverages they drink over the course of the day. Not just the obvious culprit – coffee and soda – but also those trendy energy drinks which actually often contain many more times the caffeine levels that the ‘usual suspects’ we mentioned do.
  • Cutting out heavy meals later in the evening and limiting the intake of sugar in general.
  • Limiting the use of electronic media – smartphones, video games TVs and computers later at night, and at the very least ensuring they are turned off at least an hour before bed.

Most of these measures will not only help the average teen with get a better night’s sleep but they will help boost  their overall health and well-being as well, something that left to their own devices many teens are too busy to pay much attention to themselves.

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