Choosing a loft bed mattress starts with determining the size of your existing loft bed frame as well as the distance between the ceiling and the top of the bed frame. You will need to choose a loft bed mattress that is designed to work with your size of bed frame; if, for example, your frame is designed to accommodate a twin size mattress, you will not be able to fit a full size or queen mattress in it.
Once you have determined what size you need, it is a good idea to consider the thickness of the mattress. This will affect how much head room you will have while lying down on the loft bed mattress. Try to choose a mattress that is comfortable but not so thick that it extends too far off the top of the bed frame. This will help maximize head room while still allowing for adequate comfort. Keep in mind that pillow top mattresses tend to be thicker than other loft bed mattress types; the top of the mattress will feature an additional layer of cushion that will lift you higher toward the ceiling.
Several types of materials are available for construction of a loft bed mattress. The least expensive materials will be metal spring mattresses. These tend to be the least comfortable option, but if you are looking for a bargain, this is your best bet. Some metal spring mattresses feature individual coils rather than one large spring unit; these will be more comfortable, but also more expensive. Memory foam mattresses have become increasingly popular, but they tend to be some of the priciest options. This material will conform to the contours of the body when a person is lying on the mattress, creating a comfortable and warm sleeping surface. Memory foam is not always easy to find in twin size mattresses, however.
A futon mattress can also be used as a loft bed mattress in some cases. This mattress does not feature any spring support; instead, the mattress features a thick synthetic or natural fiber fill that gives the mattress shape. Such mattresses are generally inexpensive and fairly comfortable, but the fill can shift over time, leading to lumps or other uncomfortable features. One of the advantages of a futon mattress is the removable slipcover that can be machine washed easily.