Planning for life in a college dormitory can be daunting. Countless articles disagree on the “must-haves,” and the shopping and to-do lists seem endless. When it comes to sleeping in a dorm, beds tend to be more durable and utilitarian than comfortable.
Many students try mitigating the lack of comfort with cozy bedding and a mattress topper. We’ve put together a guide to finding the best mattress toppers for dorm beds to make your transition to college life easier.
Types of Mattress Toppers
Some colleges sell approved toppers, and others prohibit them altogether. Before you shop, check with your school to ensure toppers are allowed in campus housing.
Mattress toppers are available in various materials and sizes. Often the composition of a topper will determine the type of comfort and support it will offer.
Foam Mattress Toppers
Foam toppers are generally a more affordable option and come in a variety of sizes and depths. Memory foam tends to hold in body heat, so look for a topper with cooling gel foam if you’re a hot sleeper. Foam toppers are best for those on a budget who like staying warm and the feeling of sinking into a soft surface.
Foam mattress toppers are likely the most common type on the market today. However, because memory foam contains petrochemicals, they are not biodegradable. Foam toppers also don’t last as long as toppers made from other materials, so they tend to end up in landfills sooner.
Latex Mattress Toppers
Latex mattress toppers offer the best support and comfort. Latex comes from rubber tree sap and gives a feeling of comfortable softness along with adequate support. A latex topper is a good option for beds that are either too hard or too soft.
If you prefer a softer topper, choose one with greater depth. If you require a more supportive sleeping surface, go with a firmer, thinner topper.
Latex mattress toppers come in organic, 100 percent natural, or blended latex options. Certified organic and 100 percent natural toppers are free of unnatural fillers that can decrease the life of a topper.
Feather-Down or Down-Alternative Mattress Toppers
Feather-down and down-alternative toppers are a luxurious addition to any bed. Down toppers are warm but don’t offer much support and tend to compress over time and lose their softness. A down topper may work for you if you sleep cold and your dorm mattress is sufficiently comfortable and supportive.
Wool Mattress Toppers
Like their feather-down counterparts, wool toppers are a good option for people who prioritize warmth and softness over support. If your dorm bed is too soft and needs to be more supportive, or you’re a hot sleeper, this may not be your best option. If finding an environmentally friendly topper is a priority, look for toppers made from certified organic wool.
Hybrid Mattress Toppers
Some mattress toppers contain a combination of materials, such as latex and foam or wool and cotton. These are commonly known as hybrid mattress toppers. When deciding which mattress topper is best for your situation, be sure to check the labeling on the product and consult the manufacturer’s website. Look for a list of materials and any organic or natural certifications that guarantee quality and sustainability.
How to Choose the Best Mattress Topper for a Dorm Bed
Consider the following factors when deciding on the best mattress topper for a dorm bed:
- Bed size. Many dorm room beds are a size “twin XL,” which, according to The Sleep Foundation, is five inches longer than a standard twin bed. Therefore, look for a topper in a twin XL size.
- Ease of cleaning. College students aren’t exactly known for their fastidiousness. Choose a topper that is easy to clean in case of spills, stains, or other mishaps and is less prone to attracting dust, mold, or mildew. (Latex mattress toppers fit the bill in both cases.)
- Bulk and weight. Not all toppers are easy to bring along when traveling, but it is possible to bring a topper along for camping, travel, and college. Adding compression straps makes a mattress topper easier to bring to a dorm.
Shop Sustainable Mattresses Toppers from Naturally Nestled
At Naturally Nestled, we want to help anyone looking for alternative natural bedding options. We only select the healthiest and highest quality materials for our pillows and toppers.