Lots of people do not want a normal mattress for good reasons: it is pricey, bulky, and hard to clean. Lucky for you, there are tons of mattress alternatives that perfectly suits your needs: whether you want to save some extra spaces for your daily activities or a lightweight, portable bed option for overnight guests.

Let’s take a look at some alternatives, its pros, and cons to find your tailor-made ones.

The Not-To-Miss Mattress Alternatives

1. Hammock Bed

How hammocks sway can make one feel happy like a baby in a cot.

The hammock is perfect for an unwinding afternoon in your backyard or a homestay in the mountain. But it is great to sleep in a hammock every night in your bedroom as well.

The curvature of the hammock can help your muscle relax, relieve lower back pain, and ease you into sleep faster. Lots of people even said how hammocks sway and cover their whole body makes them feel relaxed and happy like a baby in a cot.

Since one hammock does not take up too much space, you can set up several hammocks in case you often have a group of friends staying over. Furthermore, unlike standard mattresses, hammocks do not harbor dust mites and are easier to clean.

Besides, most hammocks are lightweight and portable, you can use it in your bedroom as well as in a park or your backyard. Thus, it is a mattress substitute for outdoor lovers.

However, sleeping in a fixed position may not be good for some spine problems. So it’s best to ask for your therapist’s advice before purchasing any new hammocks. Likewise, the moving and swaying motion of a hammock may resemble seasick. If you do not have a good health experience with a boat or cruise, please consider it.


  • Comfortable to sleep, help relieve muscle pain
  • Easy to carry around
  • Perfect for overnight guests
  • Easy to clean


  • Fit one person only
  • One can not stretch his arms or legs
  • Fixed sleep position may lead to spine issues
  • The hammock’s swaying motion may resemble seasick

2. Standard Futon

Many people love futon sofas for their versatility.

The futon is one of the most common alternatives to mattresses. Lots of people love this combination of sofa and bed for good reasons.

To begin with, it is fairly inexpensive compared to a normal mattress, which makes it an incredible option for college students or people on tight budgets.

The futon takes up little space and can be used as a sofa during the day. Also, you can make use of the space underneath for stashing sheets, blankets, and pillows. And the portability makes it a great choice for people who move a lot.

Another point that should be mentioned is the futon is less susceptible to mold or mildew, making it perfect for humid weather.

On the other hand, it also has some drawbacks. You may have to spend some time assembling all pieces of the futon. And when it comes to the level of comfort, the futon is not as ideal as a normal mattress. You need time to get acquainted with its feel.


  • Inexpensive
  • Take up little space
  • Low risk of mold or mildew, easy to carry around.


  • Take times to assemble its pieces
  • Not as comfortable as a standard mattress.

3. Camping Mat

Do you know that it has the potentiality to accompany you into a good sleep in your own house too?

In general, you can save up a lot of money buying a camping mat instead of a mattress. Not to mention there is a wide variety of camping mats on the markets at the moment. Some have thicker mat cushioning and foam, some are inflatable, etc. All of these amazing features make camping mats fairly comfortable to sleep on.

People who have small kids or roll a lot in their sleep will be happy with this option. Since sleeping mats are just few-inch highs, they won’t hurt even if you fall to the floor.

And finally, sleeping on the flat surface of the floor takes the weight off your spine and helps restore its natural elasticity. Thus, the camping mat can magically solve many spine issues.

However, regarding its disadvantages, please consider the following.

Firstly, sleeping mats only come in a single size. Thus if you want to sleep next to your partner, you have to put two sleeping mats next to each other. But they can be easily pushed apart when you two toss and turn during the night.

On top of that, the floor can be really cold in the winter and a fairly thin layer of sleeping mask can’t help you from the freeze, which makes this a better option for summer.


  • Fairly cheap with a wide range of options available
  • It won’t hurt if you fall to the floor
  • May help solve some spine problems


  • Best suited for single sleepers
  • You may feel cold in the winter

4. Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag can solve many problems a sleeping mat has, thus it is a great mattress alternative to take a look.

Sleeping bags come with many different shapes, sizes, colors, and prices. So you can easily choose the right sleeping bag for you. Moreover, it is simple to set up, just lay it out and enjoy your night, no need to inflate or deflate anything.

All the more, it is super cost-saving for adventure enthusiasts because you need one or probably have one already. Also, some sleeping bags are tailor-made for cold temperatures with an extra layer of cushion or “warm technology” fabric.

Although most sleeping bags can fit only one individual, nowadays, some can zip with another to make room for another person. This is great news for couples or someone who loves to sleep with lots of space.

Nevertheless, please take note of these few drawbacks of the sleeping bag:

A high-end sleeping bag can surprisingly cost an arm and a leg. Unless you are a professional hiker who is pleased to invest in a high-quality sleeping bag, you need to think carefully about your needs and budgets.

Furthermore, not everybody is delightful with sleeping on the flat floor in the first place, especially if your body loves the mattress’s softness. Again, it takes time.

And more importantly, occasionally you need to air it out under the sun to avoid mold or funny smell.


  • A lot of options to choose, simple to set up
  • Cost-saving for adventure lovers
  • Have options for winter as well as couples


  • High-end products can be pricey
  • Sleeping on the floor may be uncomfortable to some people
  • Need airing out under the sun occasionally

5. Air Mattress

If floor sleeping is not even in your dictionary, then please give the air mattress a thought.

For starters, Air mattress is easy to carry and set up, with just a little effort of inflating and deflating.

What’s more? You can adjust the firmness or softness for your best comfort. The air inside the mattress will not dissipate heat, thus, you need not worry about midnight sweat. Furthermore, some lovely mattresses have a sewn-in memory foam topper, which means better coziness.

However, you need to be careful when using an air mattress so as not to throw plenty of money out of the door. Because One careless or random action can puncture your air mattress.

One more drawback of the air mattress is that a lower quality mattress is not prone to last long. Moreover, built-in pumps that add air during the night to avoid deflating may be so loud that they can wake up sensitive sleepers. If you are overweight, you should also consider buying high-weight capacity ones.


  • Portable, easy to set up
  • Cozy to sleep on, do not cause sweat


  • Easy to be punctured
  • Low-quality ones do not last long
  • built-in pumps may be a bit noisy

6. Japanese Futon (Shikibuton)

Shikibuton is an ideal extra bed for guests.

A Japanese futon (Shikibuton) looks like a thick blanket that can be used as a comfy bed. Although it is fairly firm, the Shikibuton has just enough cushion to make you feel soft and sleep sound.

Also, it looks more decent than a sleeping mat or a sleeping bag, making it more excellent extra bedding for your guest when they stay overnight.

What’s more, a Japanese futon can be easily rolled and stashed in the closet and light to carry from places to places. Unlike a bulky traditional mattress, you can bring your Shikifuton to the backyard and let the sun heat sanitize it easily.

As for prices, the Shikifuton is quite cheaper than a normal mattress while it can still deliver adequate comfort.

However, please make sure you don’t mind the following before purchasing any Shikifutons.

To begin with, it is thinner and firmer than a traditional mattress and may cause sweat during the night. What’s more, setting up a futon takes a couple of minutes so it’s possibly not the best choice for a spontaneous nap.

Finally, it’s hard to find a decent Japanese futon in the western market, which means you need more time to research.


  • Portable, easy to set up and sanitize
  • Perfect for extra guests and fairly inexpensive compared to normal mattresses


  • Cause sweat during the night
  • Not best for a spontaneous nap
  • Hard to find in the Western market


When it comes to choosing the best mattress alternatives, it’s important to understand your needs and your financial ability. Ask yourself: what level of coziness do I need for a lovely sleep? Will I carry it around a lot? How many people will sleep on it? How much can I afford? Having the answers in my mind, it would be easier to find your perfect fit.

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