Updated January 7, 2023
Shopping for beds and mattresses for a teenager can be particularly difficult. They are no longer young children and are not quite adults yet either. As such, bedding options aren't really targeted to this age group. Most teens begin to show their independence and personalities by creating their own space within their bedrooms. They tend to have their own idea of what they want in regards to style, color, and type of furniture, meaning you have to find something that both of you like.
In bedroom furniture there really aren't a lot of products specifically designed for teenagers' bedrooms. Their rooms tend to include smaller pieces of furniture to conserve space, with more functional pieces to help stay organized. Even beds for teenagers can be more than just a place to sleep, helping them store their things and make creative use of their room.
The best bed or mattress for a teenager is one that has a more mature style than a child's bed. It will be more functional while also optimizing space in what is likely a smaller bedroom.
Are you a parent, shopping for your teen, with no idea where to start? We’ve created this guide to help you find the best beds for teenagers.
A common theme with many teenagers is wanting to be cool and to have cool stuff. So if you want to make your teen happy, why not get them a cool bed? There are a ton of options out there that they might like. Listen to your teen and ask them what they are into for room decor.
A popular option is a platform bed. These can look very modern and come in tons of different styles. You can place your mattress directly on it, so you don’t have the traditional look of a box spring.
Also, consider what your teen needs. Do they share a room with a sibling? There are some pretty awesome bunk beds for teens or even loft beds for teens that could give them more space and privacy.
If you want to go all out for your teen, you could even get them an adjustable base. These are awesome for reading in bed, watching tv, playing video games, and other activities. They also have some health benefits, so if your teen has been complaining of back pain, acid reflux, or snoring, this could be a good solution.
One mattress that is geared toward teens is the Charli and Dixie mattress from Simmons. This big brand, known for Beautyrest, partnered with these young TikTok stars to make a mattress that will appeal to the younger generations. If your teen is a fan of Charli or Dixie, they might love to have a mattress from them.
For your teen’s bed, you have to think about the size. A very common size for teens is a twin mattress, which is often because they’ve been sleeping on one since they were young children. Or it may be all that you can fit into your teen’s bedroom.
A twin mattress may be sufficient for your teen, but if they are getting tall or if they toss and turn a lot, you may want to consider sizing up. The next size up is a full mattress, which is also pretty popular for teens. This size gives them room to lounge around and change positions during the night. It could even fit a friend if they like to have sleepovers.
Another way to accommodate taller teens is with a Twin XL mattress. These are the same width but add 5 inches at the end, so their feet won’t be hanging off. This size is most commonly used in dorm rooms.
If you have the space for it, you may even want to consider getting your teen a queen size bed. This could take them into adulthood, especially if you buy a good quality mattress, which can last ten years plus. A queen size mattress is often not much costlier than a full one since it’s the most popular size. Another benefit of buying a queen is that they have the most options for bedding and frames. While most brands will have a full size option as well, some do not.
If your teen knows what level of firmness they like, go with that. However, if they are unsure, here are a few guidelines to help you find what will work.
If they sleep on their stomach, something firmer will be better for them. Stomach sleepers need something that will support them and not allow them to sink in too much, as this would cause too much of an arch in the spine which could give them back pain. Shop firm mattresses »
Back sleepers can go with a wider variety of comforts. Medium-firm to medium-soft is best, something that will give them good support and contour to their body will be comfortable. Shop medium mattresses »
Side sleepers need a softer mattress that will provide plenty of pressure relief to the shoulder and hip areas. If your teen is larger, you don’t want to go too soft, so somewhere between 5 and 8 on our comfort scale. This is because their hips may sink in too much and they won’t get good spinal alignment. If your teen is small or petite, they can still get decent support on a very soft mattress. Shop soft mattresses »
For combination sleepers, a medium comfort level will be neutral enough to suit any of the positions they may end up in throughout the night. A middle-of-the-road comfort level is a safe choice for any sleeper who doesn't have a strong preference for a firm or soft feel. Shop medium mattresses »
If your teen is regularly getting overheated at night, this can be helped by getting the right mattress and bedding. Some mattresses will sleep hotter than others, so finding one that has cooling qualities is a good choice for teens who sleep hot.
Look for gel memory foam, phase change material (PCM), latex foam, or all-natural materials if you want a mattress that will sleep cooler. Some mattresses will also have cooling covers. Check out our best cooling mattresses article for specific recommendations.
Think about your plans for this mattress before you decide which one to buy. If you want it to last a long time and take your teen into young adulthood, you’ll want to invest a bit more into a higher-quality mattress. For a mattress that will last a good ten years, you’ll probably have to spend at least a thousand dollars for a queen size. Buying a mattress of better quality will also provide your teen with better sleep, so this is a great way to go.
However, if you don’t have a big budget for this bed and your teen will only be using it for a couple of years, you can spend a little less. You can find a decent mattress for less than $1,000 that will still perform quite well.
I’d warn against buying a super cheap mattress just to give them somewhere to sleep. This can cause issues for their health and sleep, and it just will not last. You’ll need to buy them something new in no time, so you’re really not saving much money in the long run.
In my opinion, bedding is where shopping for your teen’s bed gets really fun. With so many different options, you can really customize it to your teen’s taste. Ask them what colors and patterns they like, and let them choose the bedding they like. If you’re surprising them or gifting it to them, take note of what they usually are drawn to and how they’ve decorated their bedroom and match that.
The material you choose should line up with the needs of your teen as well as the environment. If the temperature is very cold, flannel sheets can make their bed feel very cozy. Cotton sheets are breathable and moisture-wicking, so they’re great for anyone who sweats. There are a lot of different natural fibers, such as Tencel or eucalyptus, that can also be very comfortable. Buying natural bedding is a good choice, as it’s more hypoallergenic and breathable, so it’ll give them a better night of sleep.
If you're having trouble choosing the right mattress for your teen, give us a call or use our live chat. One of our friendly mattress experts will be happy to help you and your teen make a decision.
Juliana has spent several years in the mattress industry, writing about and reviewing mattresses. She has a deep understanding of how mattresses work for different people and affect sleep.