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May 20, 2024

How To Buy A Mattress For College

desk and mattress in college dorm room

When it comes to buying a mattress for college, there are a few things to remember.

First, you will want to buy a college mattress that is lightweight and easy to move in and out since, like most students, you may not live in the same place each year of your college career. You may move from a dorm to an apartment and may even switch college locations altogether.

Second, you want to buy a comfortable college mattress that allows you to get the best quality sleep in a short time frame since you will likely stay out late or pull all-nighters, providing limited time to sleep. Top-quality comfort will be a lifesaver.

Last but not least, you will want to buy an affordable mattress since, like most college students, you may have a limited budget.

Do not only search for the least expensive mattress you can find. It’s key to search for good quality and longevity as well.

Who Needs to Buy A Mattress for College?

student on college dorm room mattress Many dormitories provide you with a standard mattress, especially as a freshman, but your mattress accessories will be extremely important to help you get your best night of sleep night after night. You will want to bring good pillows, a mattress topper, a mattress protector and a few sets of twin XL sheets with you. You might even think about requesting these and other common packing-list items as graduation gifts to save this expense. All these items will help make your dorm room sleeping experience bearable.


As a college sophomore, junior or senior, you may get an apartment or share a house with friends where you will need to provide your own mattress. Be sure to check on this first since many college apartments come at least partly furnished.

Grad Students

As a grad student, you will definitely be living off campus and may be commuting from your first home or apartment; therefore, you will want a mattress that grows with you or lasts more than just a few years.

PhD Students

As a PhD student, you will want a better quality mattress than your undergrad years since you are on your way to finding a permanent home and should be taking your living arrangements more seriously. You may be ready to invest in a luxury mattress that will last you a decade or so (and that’s bigger than a twin!).

When to Buy a Mattress For College

student on his dorm room mattress You may know you need a mattress for college or you may not be aware until you check out your new living space. Whatever your circumstances may be, here are some suggestions on when and how to get a new mattress for college.

After Move In

If you move into your first apartment or house as a college student, you will want to find out if it is already furnished.

If they provide a bed for you and it is too firm or too soft, you may need to invest in some accessories to make your mattress more comfortable.

Or, if you find that you can (or need to) buy your own, discuss with your landlord what you do with the old mattress before making this decision.

Before Move In

Check before you move in to see if you need to buy your own college mattress. If you do, start researching and finding sales well before your move-in date. Mattress Express can have your new mattress delivered directly to your address or choose a cash-and-carry roll-packed, bed-in-a-box style option like the Therapedic line. These will be easy to transport with the rest of your boxes and luggage.

At Move In

If you need to provide your own mattress but are unsure of the space you will have at your new place, you may need to wait until move-in day to decide on the size you need. Be sure to do your research ahead of time on what mattress stores are near you and how quickly you can get what you need. Mattress Express has several options that can be directly shipped to your new address. Check out Puffy and Therapedic mattresses-in-a-box for quick and easy doorstep delivery.

Ready to improve your sleep with a Mattress Express mattress?


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What Mattress to Buy for College?

You Have Likely Grown – Size Up From Your Childhood Mattress!

college student in dorm room mattress

If space allows, you may want to upgrade to a full or queen mattress. If not, you may still want a twin XL mattress to give you a little extra legroom.

What Size Will Fit in Your Room?

Make sure you check out your room before buying your college mattress. Your new room may have limited space and you do not want to invest in a mattress that you can not use.

Different Options

Depending on what stage in your college career you are in, you have a few options to consider. Make sure you get the right size and material that will best fit your room and lifestyle.

You may consider a high-rise platform base that allows room for storage underneath your bed if your space is limited.

An adjustable base doesn’t usually fit in a college student’s budget but may come in handy if you have a loft apartment or a small place where your bed may need to double as a couch.

Where to Buy a Mattress for College?


Start your research online, but consider finding your mattress options locally so you can try them out in person before making your final decision. At Mattress Express, we can ship many of our mattress choices right to the doorstep of your new place.

Buy Your Mattress in Person for College

Locate the closest Mattress Express location to your home or college and try out your options in person. A sleep specialist will advise you on the best mattress to fit your wants, needs and budget.

Mattress Express’s Bluebird innerspring mattresses (available in-store only), Puffy hybrid mattresses, and a variety of mattress styles in the Therapedic line are just a few affordable options that can easily be shipped within five to 10 business days.

And it’s not sNot sure what else you need to pack for college?


When it comes to college mattress purchases, remember the three keys: first, do your research, then try before you buy, and finally, find the best delivery option for you.

Shop at Mattress Express online or visit any Mattress Express location to learn more about how Mattress Express can help you make buying your college mattress an easy experience.