7 Mattress Alternatives for Sound Sleep

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 8 minLast updated on February 17, 2023

Sometimes your room is just too small for placing a regular mattress, and there’s really nothing you can do about it.

But this surely doesn’t mean that you have to abandon sound sleep for good.

Luckily, with these five mattress alternatives, you can get nearly the same comfort as with the standard mattress.

And I invite you to check them out!

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7 Mattress Alternatives for Sound Sleep

Reclining Chair: Healthy Pick

The first mattress alternative I want to present to you is a reclining chair designed for sleeping. Many of you probably have one in the living room and use it to watch TV shows.

Surprisingly, recliners can make a good sleeping spot for many reasons:

  • They improve blood flow. Some reclining chairs have a Zero Gravity feature, which elevates your legs at the heart level and helps it pump blood more easily. This may prevent leg swelling and elevated blood pressure if you’re prone to these conditions.
  • They relax your spine. Recliners are designed to support your spine and relax the muscles. Thus, if you’re struggling with certain back issues, a recliner might be even more beneficial for you than a regular bed.
  • They allow you to breathe more easily. By having an upper section of your reclining chair inclined, you reduce the gravity impact on your chest, which might be helpful if you have respiratory disorders or sleep apnea.

Also, sleeping on a recliner might be more advisable for people with certain health conditions and those who are recovering from injuries or surgeries, which makes it a very decent alternative to a regular bed in terms of health.

Futon Mattress: Versatile Option

Moving further, and the next alternative to a regular mattress on my list is a futon mattress. Today, there are two types of futons on the market:

  • A traditional Japanese futon, or shikibuton: a rollable floor mattress that is used only for sleeping. 
  • A modern futon sofa, also known as an American futon. It consists of a thicker futon mattress than shikibuton and a metal or wooden frame to support it.

You’ve probably encountered the latter in studio apartments of your friends, or you may even have one yourself.

Futons are a great alternative to a traditional mattress. They’re thick enough to give you proper cradling and pressure relief, and some models even have coils inside and may suit heavy sleepers or couples.

A futon sofa can be used not only for sleeping but for leisure activities as well. Also, this piece of furniture generally has more space-saving design, so you can place it in smaller rooms that don’t allow installing a regular bed.

Air Mattress: The Most Similar Feel

One more mattress alternative is an inflatable mattress

No, I’m not joking right now.

In fact, when we moved into a new house, we had to sleep on an air mattress for a couple of months until all the renovation work was finished. So, I can sincerely recommend this mattress type based on my experience.

Here’s briefly why airbeds are good for sleeping:

  • They support your spine. Most airbeds today have supportive air coils or air beams for better weight distribution. Both of these systems can ensure that your spine will be properly aligned in any position.
  • Airbeds sleep cool. Basically, you’ll sleep on a layer of air encased in plastic and fabric. And what can be more cooling than the air itself? So, if you’re struggling with hot sleeping, then an inflatable bed can alleviate your discomfort easily.
  • They take little to no place when folded. After you deflate the air mattress, you can store it in a bag that is equal in size to your laptop. This, again, is an advantage if you do not have a separate bedroom and use your room space for many purposes. Because of this feature, inflatable beds also make a great choice for occasional accommodation.

Hammock: Fancy Option


Now, let’s switch to more non-standard ways to arrange your sleeping spot.

When you think about hammocks, I bet that you imagine it hanging between the trees in the backyard or at the seashore under the palms. 

But what if I tell you that you can actually hang a hammock inside your house and sleep in it?

That’s not it.

The hammock has many great features that can aid you in getting restorative sleep:

  • It sways. We use gentle rocking movements to lull out babies to sleep. But it turns out, they may be beneficial for adults too. A small study reported that rocking in a hammock facilitates the transition from wakefulness to sleep and increases the percentage of deep sleep in adults. So, you might give sleeping in a hammock a try, especially if you’re suffering from insomnia.
  • It sleeps cool. You don’t have a thick block of foam under your body. Instead, the air circulation under the hammock will effectively dissipate your body heat, promoting more comfortable sleep.
  • It supports your spine. This might seem counterintuitive, but curling up in a hammock can be more beneficial than stretching on a regular bed, as it may relax your lumbar area and alleviate lower back pain.

The only problem with a hammock is that you should have a really spacious room and something to mount it to your walls, which isn’t always possible.

Sleeping Bag + Mattress Topper: Creative Approach

The final variant on my list of mattress alternatives might seem a bit weird to many of you, but I bet camping devotees will love it.

All you need to do to arrange a decent sleeping spot here is a mattress topper of preferred size (see the best options for side sleepers here) and a sleeping bag.

Just place the topper on the floor and throw a sleeping bag on it, and you’re all set.

Sleeping on the floor might be a good choice

Sleeping on the floor might be a good choice for you in the following cases:

  • You’re an active sleeper. I mean, you cannot fall off the floor or hurt your head by stumbling on the corner of your nightstand when you change the position for the tenth time.
  • You’re a hot sleeper. Cool air is denser than warm and tends to gather closer to the floor, so you can forget about drowning in your sweat at night.
  • You’re struggling with back pain. In some cases, people feel the improvement of their back issues if they sleep on a hard surface. 

Now, the cold air might be also a problem for people who are prone to feeling cold and getting sick. This is what’s a sleeping bag is for. They’re generally made of materials that can adapt to temperature changes and ensure a comfortable climate for sleeping. Also, a thick warm blanket might be a good idea too.

So, have you used any of these alternatives? What was your experience? Share it below!

Handmade Mattress: Crafty Option

Did you know you can make your mattress from scratch?

The construction of a mattress is pretty basic: it contains a core layer, 1-2 comfort layers above it, and they’re encased into a mattress cover. 

Making a mattress from scratch has several prominent advantages:

  • It’s fully customizable. You can make your mattress as soft or as firm as you want, experiment with different heights, use more organic materials, or even make your mattress dual-sided with different firmness on each side! Plus, you can choose materials according to your sleeping positions or health conditions, so the sleep will bring you relief instead of promising it.
  • It’s cheaper. Foam sheets aren’t that expensive, so it could be significantly cheaper than paying for a branded package if you purchase them for your mattress. Plus, you can just encase the mattress in a mattress protector and add a pillow top layer or a cooling mattress topper for additional comfort.
  • It’s safer. Another great thing about the handmade mattress is that you’re in control of which materials go inside and can avoid dangerous flame retardants, fiberglass, or harsh glues.

However, you should have some sewing skills and enough space to craft your mattress. Plus, the remnants of foam you didn’t use still have to be recycled somewhere, which might add extra cost to your crafty endeavors.

Sleeper Couch: Multifunctional Twist

If you live in an apartment with a separate bedroom, you have to place your bet into functional furniture.

A sleeping couch is one of those furniture elements. It can be used as a regular couch during the day but transform into a cozy sleeping place at night. 

Sleeper couches typically have an additional pull-out section that doubles the sitting area and can be used to accommodate a single sleeper or a couple. 

Note, though, that these sleeping spaces rarely exceed Full or Full XL size, so if you’re a taller sleeper, you might have to look hard to see at least a Queen size sleeper couch.

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