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Take note, parents: Do not do what I did when I sent my 17-year-old son off to a Connecticut boarding school for the first time last fall (sob). Even though I saw that the school’s supply list recommended a foam mattress topper to go on the twin XL beds that all dorms seem to be equipped with, I skipped it.
I had so many other expenses at the time, from making sure his hand-me-down car was tuned up properly to buying four pairs of black slacks for his daily uniform. Even with the esports scholarship he received that reduced his tuition and room and board costs, his final year of high school was really, really, expensive.
And besides, I never needed one of those in college. I slept fine on the not-very-soft bed provided by my school. So I sent him off to glory with his new Overwatch team — and a new academic environment approximately 950 miles away — without this accessory. I will never make that mistake again.
It turns out that even children like mine, eager to start their lives away from home with (relatively) good sleeping habits, may experience stress and sleeplessness as part of the adjustment process to a new environment without their usual support systems within easy reach. And teenagers aren’t always good at self-regulating, especially when they’re making that transition to adulthood. Mental health issues are real for new college students.
Enter the Mellow 1.5-Inch 5-Zone Memory Foam Mattress Topper with a Calming Aloe Infusion in size Twin XL. I had asked my son over the holidays if he wanted a mattress topper — but having never used (or needed) one before, my budget-conscious son kept saying no. Despite that, I sent him the above product as a surprise just after winter break, when I learned how bad his sleep habits were getting. It costs $33.86 and it was worth every penny.
“It saved my dorm experience,” my son said.
While he thinks all the swirly designs are a little odd, I secretly believe they help keep him from tossing and turning, and I think they’re fun. Of course, I have absolutely no evidence at all that this is true, but I do know that mattress toppers with egg-crate style foam are designed to maximize air flow, and experts say they may also help decrease pressure on the hips and shoulders for side sleepers. So I like to think he’s getting these relaxation benefits without even realizing it, especially in these often non-air-conditioned school spaces.
Somehow, at the end of last school year, my ex-husband was able to get the Mellow mattress topper into its original packaging for the trip back home — another plus, as far as I’m concerned.
Now that my kid will be off to school again next week, this time to his new college in Pennsylvania, the Mellow foam mattress is sitting in his dad’s garage awaiting being packed into the car — an absolutely necessary item to help him navigate this upcoming chapter in his life.