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21 Mattress Alternatives with Benefits and Drawbacks

Find out all the different options you can choose from to replace your mattress and save both space and money for your house!

A brand-new, thick mattress bed

As we all know, buying a new mattress can take quite a bite out of your budget and savings. Not just that, but they take up a lot of space in your home. This isn’t great for those who struggle financially or live in a small house or apartment.

So, how can we find a way around the costs we can’t afford or the space we don’t have? I have compiled 21 Mattress Alternatives to help you find the best option for your personal needs! Whether it be space that you’re looking to save or the cash you want to put somewhere else, the mattress alternative you’re looking for is right here.

Let’s get comfortable!

The Couch

I know, it’s not very noteworthy.

Sleeping on the couch is a common thing to do, though, even when you do have a traditional bed available. You should avoid trying to sleep on smaller sofas, like a love seat, because you can wake with neck pain or soreness in the rest of your body from sleeping at awkward angles.

  • Pros
    • You probably already own one
    • You won’t have to sleep on the floor
  • Cons
    • Isn’t the most comfortable for taller people
    • Can wake up with soreness and kinks in your body

A Reclining Chair

Taking a step up, reclining chairs is the next best thing if you don’t want to risk sleeping on the couch. It may not work if you prefer to sleep on your stomach, but for people who struggle with snoring or sleep apnea, the elevation might provide a more restful night of sleep.

  • Pros
    • Good for people who snore
    • Less likely to be sore in the morning
  • Cons
    • Not favorable for stomach sleepers
    • Can be difficult to get comfortable

Convertible Chair

Vonanda Sofa Bed, Convertible Chair 4 in 1 Multi-Function Folding Ottoman Modern Breathable Linen Guest Bed with Adjustable Sleeper for Small Room Apartment, Dark Gray

Vonanda Sofa Bed, Convertible Chair 4 in 1 Multi-Function Folding Ottoman Modern Breathable Linen Guest Bed with Adjustable Sleeper for Small Room Apartment, Dark Gray

It might remind you of a recliner, but this chair is right to have a name and section of its own. This sofa completely transforms into a bed! That’s right: bars unfold from both the back of the chair and the foot to provide stable support so that you can convert this living room sofa into a bed suitable for sleeping on. The sturdy box in the center is framed with metal to make sure you don’t tip over during the night, and the entire chair is cushioned to ensure you have the comfortable sleep you need.

  • Pros
    • More manageable than a recliner
    • You can stretch out better
  • Cons
    • The bed space is narrow
    • You might have to convert it ever night and morning

Convertible Chaise

HOMCOM Single Person 3 Position Convertible Chaise Lounger Sofa Bed with 2 Large Pillows and Oak Frame, Light Grey

HOMCOM Single Person 3 Position Convertible Chaise Lounger Sofa Bed with 2 Large Pillows and Oak Frame, Light Grey

HOMCOM Single Person 3 Position Convertible Chaise Lounger Sofa Bed with 2 Large Pillows and Oak Frame, Light Grey

Somewhat similar to the convertible chair, this chaise also transforms into a bed. The angled legs under the frame support the ends when they are down, that way nothing wobbles when you move around. It also has three different positions. 1: both ends come up to act as sofa armrests. 2: one end comes up to act as a cushioned pillow. 3: both ends go down into a full bed.

  • Pros
    • Easy to convert
    • Customizable
  • Cons
    • Narrow bed space
    • You might have to clean up the sleeping area every morning depending on where the chaise is in your home

A Hide-A-Bed

Milliard 4.5-Inch Memory Foam Replacement Mattress for Queen Size Sleeper Sofa and Couch Beds (Sofa Not Included) - Queen

Many people are already familiar with hide-a-beds but allow me to explain if you aren’t. Hide-a-beds are couches with a complete bed and bed frame folded up beneath the couch cushions. When you remove the cushions, get a grip on the bed frame and tug it out. The frame and mattress with unfold into a full sized bed. All that you have to do is dress it with sheets and pillows.

Hide-a-beds are commonly found in places like hotels, motels, and other businesses where you can rent a room for the night. They are a great space saving design and typically easy to open and put away.

  • Pros
    • Easily disguised
    • You have a bed frame
  • Cons
    • Can be difficult to pull out or get stuck
    • It can be pricey

A Futon Sofa

Royal Sleep Products by The Futon Factory 6 inch Foam Futon Mattress - Solid Burgundy Cover - Queen Size - CertiPUR Certified Foams - Made in USA - (Frame not Included)

The futon sofa bed is somewhat similar to the convertible chair and chaise in the sense that it doubles as a couch. You can turn this futon sofa into a bed simply by pulling the backrest toward you and letting it fall (gently, of course). There are many people who prefer this option due to the affordability and the fact that you can replace the futon mat when needed. Check out some futon mattresses here at Walmart.

  • Pros
    • Common, found almost anywhere
    • Doubles as a sofa for your living space
  • Cons
    • Very flat
    • Can be uncomfortable toward the center where the mattress folds due to the metal frame

An Air Mattress

King Koil Luxury Air Mattress Queen with Built-in Pump for Home, Camping & Guests - 20” Queen Size Inflatable Airbed Luxury Double High Adjustable Blow Up Mattress, Durable Portable Waterproof

The air mattress, also a favored choice, is another more affordable option when compared to buying a new traditional mattress or couch. So long as you don’t pop a hole in the material, these mattress alternatives can last you for quite a while. Although it does take up floor space, they can always be tucked away during the day. However, the goal may be to have a permanent bed. If that is the case, I suggest spending a little bit more and purchasing an air mattress bed frame to go along with it.

  • Pros
    • Easy to store
    • Options for a frame to stay off the floor
  • Cons
    • Can be popped or torn
    • Airing it up and out is time consuming

A Waterbed

Free-Flow, Waterbed Mattress Bundle, Includes Fill & Drain Kit, 8oz. Water Conditioner and Stand-Up Liner, Heavy Duty Vinyl

Waterbeds grew in popularity in the 70’s and 80’s but this mattress alternative has come a long way since then. The material is much stronger now and less likely to burst, creating quite the problem for your home and bedroom. You can also buy frames for this type of mattress, just be sure that the material the frame is made of won’t harm the mattress itself.

  • Pros
    • Molds to your body
    • Option of bed frames
  • Cons
    • Price
    • Big mess if it’s popped

A Rollaway Bed

Milliard Deluxe Diplomat Folding Bed – Twin Size - with Luxurious Memory Foam Mattress and a Super Strong Sturdy Frame – 75” x 38

Rollaway beds, much like hide-a-beds, are often found in hotels and other overnight stays. They are easy to put out of the way and don’t take up too much space in the small rooms you can rent for the night. Unlike the hide-a-bed, this framed mattress is folded in half and rolled around on wheels. They are typically twin-sized but keep you from sleeping on the floor.

  • Pros
    • Compact with bed frame
    • Easy to move
  • Cons
    • Small and narrow
    • Can be pricey

A Hammock

Gafete Waterproof 55 Inich Extra Large Hammock with Stand Included Heavy Duty Textilene 2 Person with Pillow for Backyard Patio Outdoor, Max 475lbs Capacity, Quick Dry (Coffee)

This suspended sleeping space is something used as patio and yard furniture, as well as for the occasional camping trip. It keeps you off of the ground and away from crawling insects, though not the flying kind, and envelopes you in a nice hug! Some even come with their own hammock stand to hang your bed, meaning they can be used inside if you want.

  • Pros
    • Keeps you off the ground
    • Can be used as yard furniture
  • Cons
    • Moves a lot
    • Hard to get comfortable in

A Sleeping Bag

Bessport 2 Person Sleeping Bag,Water Repellent Sleeping Bags Lightweight 3 Season for Adults for Camping, Hiking, Outdoor & Indoor

Also a common camping tool, sleeping bags are alternatives to mattresses outside and inside of the house. Having a sleeping bag is especially useful for those who travel because of how compact they are, so it will save space in your car or on your hiking pack.

  • Pros
    • Light and easy to move
    • Customizable for your needs
  • Cons
    • Little cushion compared to a regular mattress
    • Difficult for multiple people even if you get the right size

A Murphy Bed

Bestar Pur Collection, Full Murphy Bed and 2 Storage Units

Bestar Pur Collection, Full Murphy Bed and 2 Storage Units

Murphy beds are a star choice for saving space in studio apartments! As you can see in the photos above, it alternates between a bed and a faux cabinet. Simply tug on the handles to bring the mattress and frame down and flip the u-shaped bar down for support and to keep the bed level. This is something that you can try your hand at building yourself, too, if you don’t feel like taking such a big chunk of money from your budget!

  • Pros
    • Saves floor space
    • Doubles as shelving
  • Cons
    • High prices
    • Having to open and close when needed

A Trundle Bed

Zinus Eden Twin Daybed and Trundle Set / Premium Steel Slat Support / Daybed and Roll Out Trundle Accommodate Twin Size Mattresses Sold Separately, Black

Ah, the trundle bed. This is a really fun way to take the bedroom makeover for your kids’ room to a new level! The extra mattress that slides out from underneath the regular mattress and frame can be used for siblings sharing a room or simply for when friends come over to spend the night. It’s a fun way to save floor and storage space, perfect for a child’s small room!

  • Pros
    • Two mattresses, one bed space
    • Great for sleepovers
  • Cons
    • Expensive
    • Small mattresses, great for children but not adults

A Cot

Coleman 765353 Trailhead II Military Style Camping Cot

Cots, like hammocks, are a great outdoor sleeping option that keeps you from laying on the ground. Unlike a hammock bed, however, this choice is much more stable. You may not want to use it to spruce up your backyard but it certainly won’t let you down on a camping trip. Cots like these are also better for a temporary sleeping space inside your home, not only out in the wilderness.

You can also add different kinds of matting on the top of your cot, such as memory foam or a roll up mattress!

  • Pros
    • Easy to move
    • Can be placed practically anywhere
  • Cons
    • Narrow
    • Needs padding to be comfortable

A Mattress Topper

ViscoSoft Memory Foam Mattress Topper Twin XL - Extra Long - Made in USA 2 Inch Reflex Gel Mattress Pad CertiPUR-US Certified

Speaking of memory foam, that is a great choice in and of itself for a temporary bed! Maybe your mattress is no good but that doesn’t mean you have to throw your mattress topper away with it. Keep the topper to sleep on until you can replace your regular mattress, that way you aren’t forced to sleep on the floor. Other than memory foam, you can look for wool mattress toppers, latex toppers, and more!

  • Pros
    • Comfortable
    • You can pick from a handful of different options
  • Cons
    • No bed frame so it stays on the floor
    • You might need multiple layers to get the comfort you want

A Straw Mattress

Unique Thailand Only store Thai Organic Straw Mattress Premium Reed mat nature BEACH MAT 90 cm 200 cm HANDMADE home mat, outdoor, picnic, Yoga, Reed Meditation, Camping Picnic

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: straw isn’t comfortable. While straw mattresses may not be for everyone, I say you shouldn’t decide before you actually try it out for yourself. Straw mattresses like this one, from Thailand, are very portable and easily stored thanks to the way it’s made. Even if you wouldn’t use it as a full time mattress alternative, having one around so that you don’t have to sit or sleep directly on the ground might be something you come to enjoy!

  • Pros
    • Easily moved and stored
    • Cheaper than most options
  • Cons
    • It’s not for everyone
    • Flat with no cushion

Camp Mats

TOBTOS Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad with Pillow, Thick 6 Inch Ultralight Sleeping Pad with Built-in Pump, Lightweight Sleeping Mat for Camping, Backpacking, Hiking, Tent (Grey)

Another outdoor friendly mattress alternative? Yes! Camping mats are not only for sleeping directly on the ground but you can put them on your cot as well! Mats like the one in this picture are a favorite for hikers because of the small, compact size for traveling. While you can find a camping mat that doesn’t fill with air, the ones that do are much easier to deal with. Just be sure you aren’t laying it on anything sharp with the potential to pop a hole in your camping mat during your trip!

  • Pros
    • Add air to your personal preference
    • Roll up for storage
  • Cons
    • Doesn’t come with a bed frame
    • Is slim so there isn’t a lot of roll-over room

A Japanese Shikibuton

FULI Japanese Floor Mattress, Futon Mattress, Shiki Futon (shikibuton), Foldable & Portable, Made in Japan (White, Twin)

The Japanese Shikibuton is also referred to as a Japanese futon. Japanese futons are considered a very high-quality floor mattress thanks to the cushioning. Although they may not have a metal frame like the futon sofas we are used to, these are still a great choice to choose from for those looking to save space and money.

  • Pros
    • Fluffy and cushioned for comfort
    • Easy to move
  • Cons
    • No futon frame
    • Not a lot of space for sleepers who toss and turn

A Japanese Tatami Mat

MustMat Tatami Mat Japanese Traditional Tatami Mattress Rush Grass Folds Easily (Twin XL)

MustMat Tatami Mat Japanese Traditional Tatami Mattress Rush Grass Folds Easily (Twin XL)

This Tatami mat is also a Japanese floor bed, though it doesn’t look as comfortable as the fluffy Shikibuton. The mat is firm but foldable for storage, so you don’t need to worry about it unrolling in the closet or car. You can directly sleep on the mat itself, but many prefer to lay a Shikibuton over it to be able to comfortably sleep without getting the Shikibuton dirty on the floor or ground.

  • Pros
    • Easy to move and store away
    • Versatile
  • Cons
    • No cushioning or padding
    • You have to buy or provide your own padding

A Wool Mattress Pad

Sleep & Beyond 72 by 84-Inch Washable Wool Mattress Pad, California King, Natural

Wool mattresses are comfortable mattress alternatives. This mattress pad can be used as either a mattress topper or simply as a mattress alternative by laying it out on the floor or a floor mat. To add extra cushion, fold the mattress pad in half, or to the size that best suits you. Of course, you can always add additional padding, sheets, blankets, and pillows to rise to the level of comfort you want. You can find a lot here at The Natural Sleep Store.

  • Pros
    • Wool is durable
    • Can be used on a mattress
  • Cons
    • Wool is heavy!
    • Thinner than some other choices

A Roll Up Mattress

Comfortable Memory Foam Roll Up Mattress Twin XL - Waterproof Foldable Floor Mattress for Adults - Portable Foam Sleeping Pad – 80”x 40”x 4” Camping Mat Pad Bed Roll

Yes, this is often used in camping but a thick mattress like this works just as well on the floor at home. They can be placed on top of any floor mat or cot if you prefer to not be directly on the floor. Storage is easy thanks to its ability to roll up into a more manageable size – as expected from a roll-up mattress. This can also be topped off with the additional padding of your choice. I know I’ve given you plenty to choose from!

  • Pros
    • Good for camping trips
    • Thick mattress to sleep on
  • Cons
    • Can unroll in the closet
    • Standard camping size, which means it isn’t very wide