Sleep deprivation among teens is not a new problem, although it seems to be growing at an alarming rate. More than almost any other age group, teenagers need to get a solid 8-9 hours of sleep every night because their brains and bodies are developing so quickly in such a short amount of time.
In 2013, Statista reported that 46 percent of teenagers who get fewer than 8 hours of sleep on school nights experienced anxiety and 50 percent were irritable or angry. These percentages dropped significantly when the teenagers got the recommended 8 hours or more. We know when we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies tend to break down physically, causing even more stress. This perpetuates a vicious cycle that can be hard to break.
When you’re considering the best mattress for teenagers, think about their sleeping position, how long they plan to use the mattress (will they take it with them to college?), and if it will give them a good night’s rest— a full 8 hours if possible. Additionally, teenagers can establish healthy sleep hygiene habits for even better sleep.
Best Amerisleep Mattress for Teenagers
Quick Guide: A 30-Second Summary
|Best Mattress for a Teenager Overall||Amerisleep AS3|
5 to 6 out of 10 (Medium)
The medium feel of the AS3 suits teenagers who prefer to sleep on their backs or sides. The responsive cushion keeps pressure from building up, helping teens feel refreshed when they wake up and start their day.
The AS3 is our best-selling mattress thanks to its perfect combination of softness and support— a medium mattress to fit most sleeping preferences. The 3 inches of Bio-Pur® underneath a soft, breathable cover work together to dissipate heat and keep you cool. The 2-inch Affinity layer with HIVE® eases pressure points, and underneath is a sturdy, 7-inch Bio-Core® foundation layer.
We also offer the AS3 Hybrid for teens who prefer a bouncy mattress.
Amerisleep Mattress Materials
Bio-Pur® is a partially plant-based foam used in every Amerisleep mattress. Because we replace some of the petroleum in this foam with castor oil, it’s ten times more breathable and five times more responsive than traditional memory foam. This responsive, soft foam varies in thickness depending on the Amerisleep mattress.
Affinity Layer with HIVE® Technology
The Affinity layer with HIVE® is in every Amerisleep mattress except for the firm AS1. HIVE® stands for Harnessing Intelligent Ventilation & Energy, which describes what the Affinity layer does. Hundreds of hexagonal-shaped cutouts are more heavily concentrated where the body needs more support (in the hips, shoulders, and feet), and spaced further apart in areas where you need softer cushioning. This layer also works to wick away heat and moisture.
The Bio-Core® support layer in each Amerisleep mattress acts as the sturdy foundation— it supports all the soft layers above it and ensures they won’t sag. This durable layer is the reason we can offer a generous 20-year warranty.
What Happens When Teens Don’t Get Enough Sleep
suggests that teenagers don’t just need more sleep because of their busy and hectic lifestyles— with changes brought on by puberty, teenagers’ circadian rhythms shift anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, pushing their bedtimes to a later hour. Combined with early school start times, it’s no wonder report not getting enough sleep.
Besides the obvious short-term effect of daytime sleepiness, lack of sleep in adolescents can lead tosuch as:
- Poor cognition
- Inability to regulate or stabilize emotions
- Slow reaction time
- Inability to retain information, which can impact grades and academic performance
While a comfortable, supportive mattress can’t solve all of the issues teenagers encounter, it can at least help them get a better night’s rest.
Choosing a Mattress for Teenagers
You can easily approach mattress shopping for teenagers just like you would for yourself, but there are some special considerations you may want to factor in before you buy that new bed.
Teenagers have specific needs and they grow out of mattresses much quicker than the rest of us. Additionally, their sleeping positions and comfort needs may fluctuate, so finding the “best” mattress for teenagers is more about finding the most versatile one!
Budget and Value
Your budget always comes into play when you’re making a big purchase, but it’s harder to invest that money when you’re unsure how long the mattress will fit your teen. Between ages 10-16, children experience a growth spurt referred to as puberty. The physical changes that occur can lead to “growing pains,” not to mention rapid height and weight changes.
Because of this growth spurt, buying a mattress is tricky— how long will your child end up using it? A year? A few years? Only a few months? What is the “right” price point to pay for your teenager’s mattress?
We recommend choosing a mattress that meets your teenager’s basic needs— firmness and comfort preference— and will last for at least 7-10 years. Depending on the size you choose, you can spend around $300-$1,000 for your teenager’s new mattress. And as long as their sleep preferences don’t change drastically, a high-quality mattress should last them through puberty until they graduate high school.
|Mattress Type||Average Price (from twin to king size)|
|Innerspring||$100 to $2500|
|Memory Foam||$325 to $1400|
|Hybrid||$250 to $4000|
|Latex Foam||$450 to $5000|
On the other hand, cheap beds costing less than $300 (that’s the lowest amount we’d recommend spending for a twin mattress) are probably less durable, made of cheap materials, and will not last as long as you need them to.High-priced beds are not always worth their salt: they seem like luxury mattresses because of their price tag, but most often it’s just a marketing technique. You should have no problem finding a good quality mattress for a mid-range budget.
A basic mattress without any special features shouldn’t make a huge dent in your wallet, but some of those features end up being worth the extra cost, especially if they increase the mattress’s lifespan (and thus, its value):
- Generous warranties and sleep trials (the standard mattress warranty is a 10-year warranty)
- Cooling foams, such as gel memory foam, copper-infused foam, advanced open-cell foam, or plant-based foam
- Edge support
- Sewn-on pillow tops or Euro tops
- Individually-wrapped coils (present in hybrids or innersprings)
- Proprietary foams and other materials (exclusive to the brand, such as Bio-Pur® foam)
- Eco-friendly or organic certifications, such as CertiPUR-US®, Greenguard Gold, or OEKO Tex
Mattress size may not be a huge deal to you if your teenager doesn’t experience much of a growth spurt, but chances are, they will grow out of a twin size bed if that’s the size you start with.
Most people transition their toddlers out of cribs into a twin-size mattress, and some kids stay in that same mattress all the way until high school graduation. However, we do not recommend this because teenagers can experience frequent growing pains or fluctuations in sleeping position, weight, height, and more.
|Mattress Size||Dimensions in Inches|
|Twin||38 inches by 74 inches|
|Twin XL||38 inches by 80 inches|
|Full||54 inches by 75 inches|
|Queen||60 inches by 80 inches|
|King||76 inches by 80 inches|
|California King||72 inches by 84 inches|
To accommodate their changing needs and bodies, we recommend nothing smaller than a twin XL. Note that a full-size bed is wider than a twin XL but it is not longer, so if your teenager’s height seems to skyrocket overnight, they will need a longer bed.
Consider also if you plan on letting your child take their bed with them when they go off to college or other pursuits— most dorm or apartment bedrooms don’t accommodate beds larger than twins or twin XLs, especially if they are shared with a roommate.
The way your teenager sleeps affects the firmness and feel of the mattress they’ll find most suitable. Since teenagers are apt to growing pains, they will need a bed with good pressure relief and responsiveness.
Side sleeping is the most popular position— maybe because it eases pressure on the lower back and keeps the head slightly elevated, making breathing easier. No matter the reasons 40% of sleepers choose to sleep this way, it’s overall the healthiest sleeping position and many mattresses available today are marketed to side sleepers.
Recommended Mattress Features for Side Sleepers:
- Pressure relief, especially at the head and shoulders
- A medium, medium-soft, or soft mattress to ease pressure points
- A solid, supportive base to prevent sagging or motion transfer
About eight percent of people embrace sleeping on their backs— it’s certainly the best position for your spine, but it can introduce breathing problems, especially if you’re prone to snoring or sleep apnea.
Teenagers aren’t necessarily at risk for sleep apnea (it’s more likely to appear in middle-aged adults), but if your kids sleep on their backs, they’ll need an even balance of support and softness to keep from sinking down too far. If they’re active in sports, they’ll need the best mattress for back pain, which is usually something between a medium and medium-firm bed.
Recommended Mattress Features for Back Sleepers:
- A medium-firm or firm mattress to keep the spine aligned and prevent hips from sinking down
- An even balance of pressure relief and support to keep the head elevated and neck free of pain
- A solid, supportive base to prevent sagging or motion transfer
If your teenager sleeps on their stomach, they are at the highest risk for spinal misalignment, neck and shoulder pain, and aches and pains after waking. Encourage them to switch to sleeping on their side or back. Of course, changing your preferred sleeping position takes some time, so in the meantime, they’ll need a mattress with very little give to keep the spine from slipping out of alignment.
Recommended Mattress Features for Stomach Sleepers:
- A medium-firm or firm mattress to keep the spine aligned
- Some pressure relief for the shoulders, feet, and hips, but not so much that they will sink
- A solid, supportive base to prevent sagging or motion transfer
It would be nice if choosing a mattress only came down to the size and the price, but to ensure your teenager sleeps comfortably through the night, they will need to know how their sleeping position works in tandem with the right type of mattress. For instance, side sleepers typically gravitate towards memory foam or latex mattresses because they have the best pressure relief.
Memory foam is made with petrochemicals and other materials to give it a viscoelastic feel. In other words, it conforms closely to the body, then bounces back once the pressure is removed from its surface.
Memory foam is well-liked because it’s virtually silent, it conforms closely and eases pressure points, and it’s responsive without transferring the movement of anyone else in the bed (also known as “motion transfer”). However, it does come with some drawbacks; thankfully, you can find memory foam mattresses made to mitigate these problems through most bed in a box mattress brands.
|Memory Foam Pros||Memory Foam Cons||Alternatives/Solutions|
|Hypoallergenic||Traps heat||Advanced open-cell foam, gel memory foam, copper-infused foam|
|Close-contouring||Off-gassing odor||Plant-based foam|
|Noiseless; little to no motion transfer||Sags easily, making you feel “stuck” or trapped||A sturdy, supportive base layer|
Innerspring beds are the cheapest, but don’t let that tempt you— they also rank the lowest when it comes to pressure relief, noise, motion isolation, and lifespan. If you want a mattress that will last through your child’s teenage years, we recommend choosing a different type.
An innerspring mattress typically comes with two things: a coil support layer, making it very bouncy, and thin foam layers on the top, sometimes referred to as a pillow top. Despite this foam buffer on top, innerspring beds lose their support and tend to cause aches and pains after only a few years. For a growing teen who already struggles to get sleep, an innerspring is not our recommendation.
|Innerspring Pros||Innerspring Cons||Alternatives/Solutions|
|Memory foam layers offer some pressure relief||Foam layers are too thin||Thicker foam layers made of high-quality foams (instead of poly foam)|
|Good air circulation and cooling through the coils||Bouncy coils transfer movement||Individually-wrapped coils|
|Relatively inexpensive||Short lifespan|
Hybrid mattresses combine the best of innerspring mattresses and memory foam mattresses, but they are fairly expensive and hard to move. Their lifespan is not much longer than a basic innerspring, either, so the cons do not necessarily outweigh the pros.
Because of their coil cores, hybrids do not trap heat like memory foam. They also contain at least 2-3 inches of memory foam in the top layers, adding pressure relief where there once was none. Teenagers are fairly resilient, so they might not have an issue with a mattress that traps heat or is overly bouncy; therefore, they probably won’t need a hybrid. It might be best to save hybrids for their young adult years.
|Hybrid Pros||Hybrid Cons||Alternatives/Solutions|
|Wrapped coils minimize motion transfer||Heavy, hard to move||White glove delivery|
|Foam in top layers eases pressure||Expensive||Hybrid made with cheaper foams (poly-foams)|
|Good airflow from the coils||Coils cause sagging, giving them a relatively short lifespan (5-6 years)|
Latex beds are not as easy to find as the other three types we’ve mentioned, but they are becoming more popular, partly due to their eco-friendly qualities.
There are two types of latex: natural and synthetic. Natural latex is processed using the Talalay or Dunlop method; the Talalay method yields a softer, bouncier bed because of the viscoelastic chemicals added during processing. Dunlop latex is firmer, but both Dunlop and Talalay are known for their responsiveness akin to memory foam.
Synthetic latex does not come from eco-friendly sources like Talalay or Dunlop, but its feel is very similar; in fact, you probably couldn’t tell the difference if you laid on a synthetic latex bed and a natural latex one. Both have a plush but supportive feel.
|Latex Pros||Latex Cons||Alternatives/Solutions|
|Aerated surface is breathable||Expensive||Synthetic latex, which is cheaper|
|Close-conforming like memory foam||Heavy||White glove delivery|
|Long lifespan (especially if natural latex)||Hard to find|
Support and Firmness
Teenagers, like anyone else, need a supportive bed that will hold up over the years. It shouldn’t cause them any pain or disrupt their sleep, so finding the best mattress for your teen’s needs is key.
When it comes to “support,” a mattress should have a sturdy base layer, and if it’s built to be super-soft, it should have transition layers to further support those upper comfort layers. That way it won’t sag even after years of use.
Keep in mind that firmness is not the same thing as support— a soft mattress can be just as supportive as a firm one, and a firm mattress can end up leaving you with back pain and poor spinal alignment. Choosing the right firmness level depends on your sleeping position, body type, and weight, and for teenagers, those last two things can change quickly!
|Sleeping Position||Suggested Mattress Firmness|
|Side Sleeping||Medium, medium-soft, or soft|
|Back Sleeping||Medium-firm or firm|
|Stomach Sleeping||Medium-firm or firm|
|Combination Sleeping||Medium, medium-soft|
Sleep Trials and Warranties
Sleep trials are typically exclusive to online bed in a box mattress brands, but some mattresses sold in-store only may start offering them. After all, sleep trials are part of what makes online mattress shopping so appealing— along with the ease of shipping (straight to your door) and ease of returns (most companies will pick the bed up).
The average sleep trial lasts anywhere from 90-100 nights. Some mattress brands require the customer to keep the bed for at least 21-30 nights to account for the adjustment period. Your teenager will probably be able to recognize the best bed for their needs after at least a month, but just in case, look for sleep trials lasting at least three times that.
In addition to a generous sleep trial, keep your eye out for a good warranty— you don’t necessarily need a lifetime warranty, since most mattresses don’t last that long anyway, but a 10-year warranty is the standard. Anything less than that signifies the bed is lower quality.
The most basic mattress warranty should cover the following manufacturing defects:
- Sags beyond a certain depth (usually one inch)
- Burst or broken coils
- Torn or ripped foams
- Broken zipper(s)
Note that most, if not all mattress warranties, do not cover any damage caused by the owner. That’s why we suggest using a mattress protector or encasement— this will keep out dust mites, bed bugs, and stains that will most likely void your warranty.
Establishing Better Sleep Hygiene Habits
How can you get your teenagers to bed earlier? According to one“A recent meta‐analysis showed that parents’ rules about bedtime were one of the most powerful protective factors for their children’s sleep.” This same study found that using technology was one of the top things keeping teenagers from going to bed sooner, and parents establishing rules for technology usage before bedtime could help.
Beyond parent involvement, teenagers can practice healthier sleep habits, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time every night, and addressing common sleep disruptors, such as anxiety and depression. Stress seems to have a significant effect on teenagers’ sleep, and afound that teenagers who exercised coping mechanisms slept better.
To practice better sleep hygiene habits, teenagers can start by adjusting their bedtime routine and their sleep environment:
- Keep the bedroom between
- before bed each night; this practice increases problem-solving and coping skills.
- studies have shown taking a bath 90 minutes before bedtime can help you fall asleep about 10 minutes faster.
- the lights to let your body know it’s time for rest.
- Avoid blue light, including phones or TV screens. found that 90% of sleep studies examining the relationship between youth and sleep linked screen time with less sleep time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size bed does a teenager need?
Most parents choose a twin, twin XL, or full size mattress for their child. These sizes are large enough to accommodate growing children but small enough to fit into a child or teen’s room. However, some teens may outgrow the twin mattress that suited them in childhood, so parents planning ahead may want to invest in a larger size.
Even a queen mattress can work for a teen who’s likely to grow past 6 feet and wants plenty of sprawling space.
What type of mattress should a teen have?
Teenagers can sleep on just about any type of mattress, as long they choose a firmness that suits their sleep preferences. Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses are all options worth considering, and some teens may even enjoy lesser-known types of mattresses like waterbeds.
However, we do recommend against purchasing a traditional innerspring mattress for a teenager who sleeps on their side. Innerspring mattresses have a reputation as a bed that lacks conformability, which can allow pressure to build in the shoulders and hips.
Should a teenager sleep on a soft or firm mattress?
The right mattress firmness for your teen will depend on their sleep style. Teenagers who sleep on their sides need a soft mattress that cradles their bodies’ joints and other sensitive areas. Teens who prefer their backs or stomachs require firmer mattresses for a healthy spine alignment.
Is a twin bed too small for a teen?
For some teenagers, a twin bed will start to feel too cramped as they go through their final growth spurt. Twin beds are suitable for anyone under 6 feet tall, but some teens may rise past this mark and find their feet now dangle over the end. Parents may want to consider a twin XL mattress that’s more comfortable for taller teens.
Is a memory foam or hybrid mattress best for a teenager?
Either option can be excellent for a teenager, though each has a distinct feel. Memory foam mattresses may cradle the body more and let a teenager sink in enough to feel “hugged” by the bed, while a hybrid mattress promotes more of an “on top of the bed” feel.
Latex mattresses can also be a good choice for teens who enjoy a bouncy mattress and want a sustainably produced mattress.
Helping Teenagers Sleep Better
If your teenager is struggling with sleep, don’t worry— solutions are within reach. Read mattress reviews from customers with similar concerns, make sure the trial period lasts at least 30 days, and look for different mattresses with various price points. The most comfortable mattress for one may be really uncomfortable for someone else. Your teenager is growing rapidly and they are at the greatest risk for using sleep— the best mattress can help.