10 Great Mattress Alternatives

Are you thinking of sleeping on a different surface other than your traditional mattress? There are many reasons for this, including back pain and the desire to eat in bed.

Traditional mattresses can be very uncomfortable if you have an allergy or sensitivity, especially when it comes to dust mites and chemicals like formaldehyde that is commonly found in most mattresses.

For those looking for a comfortable alternative to sleeping on your mattress, we recommend air beds instead of foam ones. Air beds provide more cushioning than foam alternatives while also being easier on your allergies and chemical sensitivities. They’re also easy to inflate and deflate as needed

1. Hammock

Hammocks are great for people who suffer from chronic back pain because they can help alleviate some of the discomfort associated with waking up. They’re also a lot less expensive than mattresses, and much lighter to carry around so it’s easier when you need to bring your bedding on camping trips or go visit relatives in other cities

Pros

  • Hammocks are one of the cheapest options that you can find, which means they’re perfect for those who want to sleep on a more comfortable surface but don’t have a lot of money to spend on it.
  • Hammocks are also much lighter than typical mattresses, so it’s easy to bring them with you when you go camping or visiting relatives in other cities
  • Hammocks can be very comfortable for those who suffer from chronic back pain because they provide gentle support without putting pressure on your spine and joints. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed

Cons

  • Hammocks can be uncomfortable for people who don’t have chronic back problems because they are bouncy and tend to move when you’re trying to sleep on them
  • It is difficult to find a hammock that fits two people if one of them is significantly larger than the other.
  • Hammocks can’t take the place of mattresses for people with allergies

2. Air beds

Much like traditional mattresses, air beds provide you with a lot of comfort while you sleep. It is recommended, however, that you buy a thicker mat if you are looking more for cushioning than just something thin and comfortable to lay on. They are also very easy to inflate and deflate as needed

Pros

  • Air beds are much cheaper than traditional mattresses for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on something they will use every night.
  • You can roll off of one of these mats, which is great for people who have mobility issues or those with children who tend to move around at night when they sleep
  • Air beds come in many different sizes, from twin all the way up to queen, so you can easily find the right fit for your home and sleeping needs.
  • If you get a thicker mat, it provides some additional cushioning that helps you relax more

Cons

  • You do need an air pump if you’re going to use this type of bed. They aren’t too expensive but can add up over time if you’re constantly inflating and deflating your bed.
  • Air beds are not comfortable for those who suffer from back pain or other ailments because they don’t provide a lot of support.
  • They can be a little bit cold, especially if you sleep without sheets

3. Water Beds

Water beds have been around for a long time and they aren’t going away any time soon They provide some serious cushioning that is hard to find in other air mattress models, which makes them more comfortable than the standard thin option. This is perfect for those who like their mattresses soft You also won’t need to worry about rolling off of this type of bed during the night For people with arthritis or other joint issues, water beds are a great option that relieves some of the pain associated with losing sleep.

Pros

  • Water beds are much more comfortable than most other mattress types because they provide you with so much cushioning. Those who like softer mattresses are going to love this alternative.
  • They also don’t deflate while you sleep which prevents your bed from getting flat during the night when it is under pressure. If you wake up in the morning and feel rested, then you know this bed keeps its shape 
  • It’s also easier on people who stay out of their beds at night because their joints aren’t being put under as much stress as they would be if sleeping on a traditional mattress.

Cons 

  • Water beds can leak or spring a leak, which isn’t fun. Make sure you ensure the water bed you buy is well made and doesn’t have problems with leaking
  • You won’t be able to sleep on your back in a water bed as they are. uncomfortable for people who like to sleep in that position. Some people also experience back pain when they try to sleep on one of these beds.

4. Visco Foam Mattresses

Visco foam mattresses are another option for those who want something soft but don’t expect it to behave like a traditional mattress. Typically, these types of foam only come in queen size, so if you have multiple children or other individuals sleeping in your home, it’s better for just one person to use these beds. They are also hard to move around the house if needed, but they do provide you with a lot of support and comfort These mattresses are designed for people who want to sleep in different positions throughout the night without experiencing back pain or discomfort.

Pros

  • Visco foam mattresses provide you with a great deal of comfort throughout the night. This type of mattress is perfect for those who like soft surfaces that envelop them as they lay down. 
  • You’ll have less pressure on your joints while sleeping in this bed, which can help relieve back and joint pain 
  • You will also be able to change positions throughout the night without feeling uncomfortable because Visco foam is made out of material that helps absorb shock and movement while you sleep.
  • The great thing about Visco foam is that it provides you with good support both while lying down and sitting up, so if you suffer from back pain, this mattress can really help
  • Visco foam mattresses are usually quite firm, but they do provide a little bit of giving when sleeping on them. You’ll be able to feel the material beneath your body without feeling too much pressure from the bed itself.

Cons 

  • If you’re not careful, these beds can become hot in warm rooms because they don’t breathe easily. It’s important to keep them in well-ventilated areas.
  • You need to make sure you use these mattresses correctly or else they won’t be as comfortable as possible for you. You shouldn’t sleep on them for more than eight hours per night or else you will probably find that your joints start hurting because your body isn’t getting the rest it needs.

5. Futon Beds

Futon beds act like traditional mattresses but they can also be folded out into a couch for lounging on.

A lot of people like to use these mattresses when they have guests who want to spend the night, and they can then fold them back up and store them away after their guests leave Futon beds are designed so that they don’t get compressed easily, which means your mattress will stay at the same height as it was when you bought it even after years of being used. You’ll feel just as comfortable sleeping on this bed now as you did twenty years ago.

Pros 

  • If you’re short on space, futon beds are one of the best options out there. You can either store them away when not in use or you can keep them open as a couch for extra seating in your living room.
  • Futon beds are designed to hold up to the wear and tear that they’ll go through over several years, so you won’t ever have to worry about replacing them. 
  • Many people who buy futons also buy memory foam mattresses to go with them because they want something soft but also supportive. 
  • These types of mattresses usually cost less than $100,  and you should be able to find one that fits your sleeping needs without too much hassle.

Cons 

  • Futon frames aren’t known for being very comfortable, so if you want a bed like this to sleep on every night, it may not be the best option for you. 
  • You can purchase futon mattresses without frames, which will make your bed more comfortable but take up a lot of space.

6. Camping Mat

If you’re out enjoying nature, one of the best options for a comfortable night’s sleep is a camping mat These mats are designed to be used outdoors as they help protect your sleeping bags from becoming dirty. They also provide you with some cushioning that your sleeping bag isn’t going to give you naturally.

Pros 

  • Camping mats are very inexpensive, and since most of them fold up easily, you can store them when not in use without taking up too much space in your house. 
  • You can typically bring these along on vacation with ease, so if you plan on doing a lot of camping this year, it’s definitely something to look into.
  • Camping mats provide great support while lying down, and many of them have extra pockets where you can store your important things. 
  • You don’t have to worry about rolling off of your mat while you sleep either because it’s usually stitched into the ground so that doesn’t happen

Cons 

  • Not all camping mats are going to be comfortable. If you find one that is, great However, most of these mattresses are known for being thin and they may make you feel a little bit like you’re sleeping on the ground even if that isn’t exactly true. 
  • You also need to be careful when using them in areas where there may not be enough grass or dirt beneath them.

7. Water Beds

Water beds aren’t actually made out of the water as many people believe, but they do provide some level of cushioning that you won’t get with a regular mattress. Waterbeds can also be very comfortable if you know how to use them correctly

Pros

  • A lot of people find water beds to be very relaxing, and they’re great for people who are looking for something that’s more like a bed than a traditional air mattress would be.
  • People who experience pain in their spine while they sleep will benefit from the support that this type of mattress provides, too.
  • Some water beds have built-in massage systems so that you can feel even better when you go to sleep each night. They usually operate on timers so that they’ll turn off automatically after an hour or two, but some models allow users to control them manually as well. This is nice if you have a particularly sore area that needs some extra support

Cons

  • Since water beds are known for being thick, they can be difficult to store if you don’t have a place where they can be set up all the time.
  • If you want to get rid of your water bed, it’s also going to take more effort than simply throwing away a regular mattress. However, this effort could potentially pay off in the comfort that you feel while sleeping on your new bed

8. Air Mattress

Air mattresses are great options for camping or for people who need to bring their mattresses with them when they’re moving into a new place. They’re not going to be as comfortable as some of the other types of beds that we’ve mentioned, but they will get the job done when it comes to providing you with a supportive surface while you sleep

Pros

  • Normal mattresses can take up a lot of space, but you won’t have to worry about that with an inflatable one.
  • Some models even come with their own pump so that you don’t have to carry around an extra one in your car or bring along something that will plug into the wall
  • If you need a new mattress quickly, purchasing an air mattress is much faster than ordering and waiting for a more traditional one to show up at your house.
  • It’s also going to be much easier to find a place where this type of bed has been stored since it doesn’t take up very much space. This makes them wonderful options if you move a lot.

Cons

  • Air mattresses are not very comfortable, especially when compared to memory foam mattresses that have been designed to deliver the best sleep possible. If you’re used to sleeping on a regular mattress and you want something similar, it’s going to be tough for an air bed to match up.
  • You also need a pump in order for these beds to work properly, and sometimes they can run out of air even though there is still space available inside of them.
  • It might take some time before you get used to sleeping with less support than usual

9. Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags are going to be more comfortable than sleeping in the great outdoors, and you don’t necessarily need to have a traditional bed if you’re camping for several nights. However, your bag is not going to provide quite as much support as other options that we’ve mentioned so far. If you want something that’s easy to store, this might be the right way to go

Pros

  • Some models allow you to adjust the level of firmness based on where it is that you’re sleeping. For example, if you’re camping in a place with the soft ground beneath you, it will feel like your mattress is much softer so that you can sleep better
  • You won’t really need an extra pump for these mattresses, either. They’ll be easy to store if you don’t have the space for something bulkier, and they won’t take up much room in your vehicle if you want to travel with them

Cons

  • Some models are better than others, but sleeping bags aren’t known for being especially comfortable.
  • This is not an option that we would recommend if you’re struggling with back pain or if you need a lot of support while you sleep.

10. Japanese Futon or Shikibuton

Japanese futons and shikibutons are thinner than some of the other mattresses that we’ve mentioned, but if you have a bad back or shoulder pain they can be quite comfortable. These beds may also work well for people who want to save money

Pros

  • If you shop carefully, you’ll find some of these models for as low as $100. It’s hard to find comforters for that price
  • You’ll have another option if your partner snores and you’re tired of hearing it at night. Since this is a thin mattress, you don’t have to worry about them rolling off of it

Cons

  • Some people don’t like thinner mattresses because they feel like the bed isn’t providing them with enough support while they sleep. If you’re used to sleeping on a traditional mattress, it might be tough to adjust
  • You’ll need to put some effort into cleaning and maintaining these beds since they don’t come with covers or sheets. That can make it more difficult for you to keep your bed clean

Don’t Forget About Mattress Protectors

Once you’ve selected one that is going to work well in your home, we suggest purchasing a mattress protector before creating too much of an investment in this type of bed They will help protect against stains and spills, and they make it easier to keep your bed clean.

We like the SleepZilla mattress protector because it’s waterproof, so oils from foods or drinks won’t work their way through. It also comes with an invisible zipper, ensuring that you don’t have to worry about dealing with a big hole when making an accidental tear in the cover. The memory foam inside of this one is hypoallergenic, too, so you shouldn’t have any trouble sleeping on it if you need extra support for your back or shoulder areas.

We hope that our reviews have helped you learn a little bit more about the different options that are available for those who want something other than a memory foam mattress.