by Alex Arancibia
August 01, 2020
Corona changed everything. From the way we work and socialize to the way we shop and work out. And education did not escape the rampant changes of the pandemic. In fact, in many ways, school was perhaps the hardest hit.
Our kids were sent home suddenly and unexpectedly — many went home for spring break and never returned. Teachers scrambled to figure out how to continue teaching in a matter of days, and students and parents scrambled to figure out how to work and school from home, many times without all the supplies they needed.
School districts have been trying to figure out how to reopen for months and some are coming up with solutions. They’re not perfect solutions, to be sure, and many parents and teachers are frustrated with their options.
It would be nice if we could just keep the schools closed until things settle down. But when we look around, it’s clear that there are some places where they won’t be settling down any time soon. And for many parents, particularly single ones, school is a necessity. They need to work and while school shouldn’t be a babysitter, for many parents, it is useful to be able to send their kids to school while they work. Without school, those parents might have to decide between paying for childcare or paying other critical bills — or trying to survive financially without working.
Preparing for heading back to school this year won’t look like what you’ve done before. There is extraordinarily little about this year that will be like what you’ve done before. And if this is your child’s first time in school, you’ll be having a vastly different experience than many other parents have had.
But even though it will be different, it doesn’t mean you can’t prepare. There’s actually a lot you can — and should — do to get your kids and yourself ready for heading back to school. How about if you start with the correct mattress choice?
Yes, it is true that most dormitories provide a mattress for your student. It is also true that these are the same mattresses that have been slept by countless other numbers of students over the years and are well-known for providing a lackluster sleeping experience. At a time when that student needs to be at peak alertness as they learn their way around the campus and are inundated with new information they could be suffering from back-aches, sleep deprivation, or worse. That new laptop you bought them isn't going to do them a bit of good if they are so tired from tossing and turning all night they can't even focus enough to do research.
Ask yourself this question: "Would I want to start off my time in the dorms on one of those mattresses?”
I imagine you would all say no, and even some of you reading this probably remember how uncomfortable that dorm room mattress actually was. Additionally, for those of you that are eco-conscious, the likelihood of the dorm room mattress being organic is extremely slim. There is no good reason your student should have to go through the school year sleeping on a low grade mattress that may be full of allergens or in some cases made of a material your student is actually allergic to.
The good news.
You don't need to worry about buying a box spring. Any dorm room with an actual bed will already have something similar to a box spring in place. Many dormitories are using raised platforms in place of box springs now as well. Other dorm rooms that have chosen a bunk-bed style approach to their sleeping arrangements will generally have an actual board on the upper bunk, or something similar. In other words, if you did buy a box spring there is a good chance it simply wouldn't fit in the space provided or for that matter even be necessary.
Does your student have allergies?
Many of you will already know the answer to this all too well. Parents whose children have allergies have to be extra vigilant when it comes to the environment their children are sleeping in. Dorm room mattresses can be full of dust, skin cells, mites, and other microscopic unpleasantness you don't want anywhere near your child. If your child has pet allergies you need to be aware that another student that may have visited home often and has a cat or dog could have been bringing pet dander back into the dorm room with them where it too could end up on the mattress. If the reaction is mild a mattress topper may very well quell the problem, but for those with severe reactions to allergens, such as breathing issues, a new mattress is a must.
Is your student tall?
When you're thinking about a new mattress for the dorm take careful consideration of your student's height and the way they sleep. Taller students need taller mattresses and alldorms are now requiring XL twin mattresses. We do offer an extra-long twin size in almost all of our mattress lines. Making sure you get the right size mattress for your student should be a crucial concern. While height does play a major factor there are other reasons to consider a longer mattress as well. Having that little bit of extra room in your sleeping area can make all the difference in the world when you're sharing a small space like a dorm room with another person, especially if you're not used to it. Adjusting to college life can be difficult, students need all the helping hands we can give them.
What kind of sleeper is your student?
There are two major types of sleepers. Those who sleep flat on their back or their stomach and those that sleep on their sides. The first type of sleeper is going to need a firmer mattress to avoid aches and pains during the day. At the opposite end of the spectrum the side sleeper needs a softer mattress. These two very different styles of sleep are important to take note of when buying your student a new mattress, or even a new pillow.
Do I really need to buy a whole new mattress?
We have already mentioned some great reasons to consider a new mattress for your student's dorm room. There are always other considerations to keep in mind. You may have a decent extra long twin mattress at home already, or maybe you lucked out and got into a dorm that recently got upgraded mattresses. There is also always the looming cost of tuition as well. Regardless of those factors your student would still be sleeping on a mattress that's not going to provide an optimal sleeping experience, especially considering it's going to be put on top of a wooden board.
What about mattress toppers?
A mattress topper is a great way to bring new life to an old mattress. A quality mattress topper could provide a much needed barrier between your student and their dorm room mattress. We do sell a variety of mattress toppers
that would be well suited to the task, but any mattress topper is going to better than no topper at all when your student gets their first night of restless sleep the day before they start prepping for finals. Important things to look for in a mattress topper are the grade of materials it's made of, the thickness, and the exact size. In other words, make sure it's going to be a good fit for the mattress in question.
What about memory foam?
Memory foam, unlike the natural rubber latex we use in our mattresses, is a synthetic petroleum product. Most people don't think of mattresses as being toxic but memory foam mattresses are manufactured entirely from chemicals. Switching from a memory foam mattress to a mattress made from natural rubber latex has been noted by manufacturers to eliminate daily headaches and even decrease rates of depression. We all know that just because something is FDA approved doesn't necessarily mean its 100% safe, especially when there are profits on the line.
Send them off the best way possible.
Regardless of your choice to give your student a new mattress, a quality topper, or even just a better pillow be sure you do something to ensure their getting the best possible night's sleep they can in the upcoming school year. This is, after all, their future we're talking about. They need to be fully rested to tackle the material they will be studying and make clear headed decisions. The decisions they make this year could affect them for years to come, let's make sure their prepared to make the best ones possible.
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