Best Budget Mattress: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
The average price of a quality queen-size mattress from an established company is about $1500. Some mattresses may cost more or less, depending on the type of materials a bed contains. You can find an even wider selection to choose from under $2000. It’ll be worth your time to find a reliable mattress to provide an even blend of comfort and support.
When looking for a mattress in your budget, don’t sacrifice quality. Consider the types of materials used (does the bed use just regular foam or pressure-relieving memory foam?), the sleep trial and length of warranty offered (a good company backs their product up with a trial and warranty) and how many third-party reviews you can find to help you vet your options.
Best Budget Mattresses
First on our list is the state-of-the-art Zoma Mattress, a memory foam mattress for athletes. The Zoma mattress is designed to help you sleep deeper, recover faster, and perform better during your day-to-day. Though it’s originally engineered for athletes, the Zoma can help anybody get better sleep.
Let’s talk about its layers.
The first layer of the mattress is gel-infused memory foam with Triangulex™ technology. When you lay down on the Zoma, this layer molds to your body to offer instant comfort and pressure relief. The gel within combats body heat and prevents heat retention, helping you sleep soundly all night long.
Triangulex™ technology offers targeted support to promote a healthy spine and prevent pain points. Around your shoulders and hips, this technology contains triangle-shaped cutouts allowing for deeper compression and enhanced pressure relief. In the midsection, this technology offers reinforced support for your torso and prevents uncomfortable sinkage in the bed.
Next, is a layer of Reactiv™, a latex-like poly-foam. Reactiv™ is more responsive than memory foam, so it gives the bed a bit of bounce and prevents you from ever feeling “stuck” in the mattress. The Reactiv™ layer creates a more “on top of the bed” feel in terms of firmness and makes it easier to shift positions while you sleep. Primarily, this layer acts as a barrier between the cushioning memory foam above and sturdy base below.
The third and final layer of Zoma is Support+ foam, a durable poly-foam. The Support™ layer reinforces the two layers above and prevents sinkage throughout the mattress.
Zoma offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty with each of their beds.
- Most comfortable for side and back sleepers
- Contains gel-infused memory foam to combat body heat and keep you comfortable
- Triangulex™ technology nurtures a healthy spine
The Vaya is a budget-friendly mattress suited for all sleep styles. Designed with pressure-relieving, response foams, the Vaya can contour to your body while keeping you lifted in healthy alignment. Whether you toss or turn, or sleep on your stomach, back, or side, the Vaya can work for you.
The Vaya Mattress stands 12 inches tall and contains two layers: 3 inches of cushioning Vaya Foam and 9 inches of durable base foam. When you lay down on this bed, the comfort layer will contour to your body to create a weightless feeling. And because the base foam is so durable, the Vaya provides a comfortable sleep for years.
There is also the Vaya Hybrid, a bouncy and affordable counterpart that offers responsive coils and durable edge support. While its prices are a little higher than the original Vaya Mattress, the Vaya Hybrid is still well within many shoppers’ budget range.
The Vaya is sold online-only and comes with a 100-night sleep trial. To help you make the most of your investment, Vaya backs their beds with a 10-year warranty.
- Fit for all sleepers
- Contains breathable foams to prevent night sweats
- CertiPUR-US® certified
Next on our list for the best budget mattress, the Amerisleep AS1, stands at 10 inches and is made with 2 inches of pressure-relieving memory foam and 8 inches of a supportive core. Plus, it’s encased in a soft, breathable cover that promotes better sleep.
Overall, this mattress provides some great features for a small price tag. It’s a firmer mattress, so generally, it’s only recommended for stomach and back sleepers.
Amerisleep features Bio-Pur®, plant-based memory foam, in their AS1. Bio-Pur® has an advanced open-cell structure, so it’s more breathable and responsive than traditional memory foam—which is ideal for hot sleepers. Since this layer is only 2 inches thick, it’ll allow for just enough sinkage to relieve pressure points. Otherwise, the AS1 should feel notably firm and sturdy.
The base layer of the AS1 is 8 inches of Bio-Core®. Bio-Core® is durable to reinforce the layer (and sleeper) above and prevent sagging.
The AS1, like all Amerisleep mattresses, is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
- Features plant-based memory foam
- Notably firm
- Cradles the joints to relieve pain
It can be costly to try out different mattress firmnesses if you take the route of buying different mattresses. Choosing a dual-side mattress can give you a two-in-one bed that lets you experiment with sleep styles and keep a versatile mattress on hand for visitors. When it comes to two-side budget mattresses, the Nest Robin, formerly known as the FLIP Hybrid, is our top recommendation.
One side offers a medium feel suitable for side and combination sleepers, along with select back sleepers. Meanwhile, the reverse firm side can support back and stomach sleepers, along with heavier body types.
The hybrid mattress is 10 inches tall and contains five layers. The medium side’s comfort materials are an inch of quilted foam cover and cooling, supportive gel foam. Conversely, the firm side is an inch of quilted foam cover and a high-density base foam. Both sides are supported by a 6-inch tall core of pocketed coils.
Some sleepers may prefer a softer mattress than what other side of the Nest Robin, but most sleepers can rest comfortably on one of the two sides.
The Robin is backed by a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
NEST FLIP HYBRID
- Choice of two distinct firmnesses
- Quilted top for increased comfort
- Coils and specialty foams for a cool surface
Consisting of four layers, the Zinus Green Tea mattress has 3 inches of green tea-infused memory foam; 2 inches of Comfort Foam™; 3.5 inches of convoluted, high-density foam; and a 3.5-inch layer of convoluted high-density base support foam.
The bed is available at 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″ thickness levels.
Its infusion of green tea in the memory foam layers set this mattress apart. The green tea infusion keeps the mattress fresh and provides microbial properties. With a medium-soft feel, the Zinus Green Tea is one of the best mattresses for side sleepers because it contours to your body to reduce pressure on the hips and shoulders.
Some drawbacks to the Zinus Green Tea mattress include off-gassing potential, increased risk of overheating at night, and general lack of support. Some customers felt the mattress was too soft for their tastes.
Remember, customers need three days for the mattress to fully decompress once removed from packaging.
ZINUS GREEN TEA MATTRESS
- Green tea-infused foam for freshness
- Antibacterial properties
- Ideal for side sleepers
The Original Tuft & Needle mattress contains only two layers; 3 inches of T&N Adaptive® foam and 7 inches of high-density poly-foam. The mattress is then encased in a polyester cover. The T&N Adaptive® foam is infused with graphite and gel for wicking away moisture and temperature regulation.
It’s available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes.
The Tuft & Needle mattress contains a neutral-feel foam – a balance between sinking and floating. It offers good motion isolation, making it ideal for couples. The foam is also slightly bouncy, with a medium-firm feel.
While the Tuft & Needle is a great mattress choice for petite and average body types, it is not ideal for heavy sleepers.
The edge support is okay, but not as sturdy as other memory foam brands.
TUFT & NEEDLE
- Use of graphite and gel for cooling
- Neutral feel foam
- Ideal for any type of sleeper
The 10-inch, medium feel, Nolah mattress includes 2 inches of AirFoam™, 1 inch of support foam, 7 inches of high-density poly-foam, and a Viscose cover.
The foam layers provide a “hug” sensation while the support foam provides a slight bounce, making the Nolah more responsive than traditional memory foam beds. It was specifically designed with side sleepers in mind, fostering contouring for great pressure relief in the shoulder and lumbar areas.
The viscose cover improves airflow while wicking away moisture.
AirFoam™ reduces heat retention for a more restful sleep and optimal pressure relief.
The Nolah offers a 120-night sleep trial for its customers, however, they require the mattress is kept for a mandatory 30-day break-in-period before authorizing returns. Edge support doesn’t compare to high-end memory foam mattresses. Since it contains memory foam, there is potential for off-gassing odor.
NOLAH ORIGINAL 10"
- Cooling AirFoam™
- Ideal for side sleepers
- Contributions to Defenders of Wildlife
The Allswell 10-inch construction contains three layers including a 1-inch quilted cotton cover, 2 inches of graphite and copper-infused memory foam, and 7 inches of pocketed coils.
With conforming memory foam and pocketed coils, the Allswell offers great comfort and support. The neutral cultivate minimal sinkage – but still feel as though you’re on top of the mattress. It’s compatible for any body type and ideal for any sleep position.
Allswell is backed by Walmart, but their mattresses are manufactured through Brooklyn Bedding.
The Allswell is available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King. While it performed well for back and stomach sleepers, those primarily on their sides felt less pressure relief in the hips and shoulders.
There is off-gassing odor potential. Little is known about the mattress material specifics, like the foam’s ILD rating or coil gauge.
- Graphite and copper-infused memory foam
- Low-cost hybrid
- Ideal for any body type
The Dynasty Mattress stands at 12 inches, with 4 layers of foam. It includes 3 inches of gel memory foam, 4 inches of Cool AirFlow foam, and 5 inches of high-density support foam.
It also comes encased in a breathable, removable cover.
Sold through their website and Amazon with a medium-firm feel, the DynastyMattress is an ideal choice for combo and heavy sleepers. It’s built to withstand consistent use. It’s different foam layers provide pressure-relieving support and conformability.
Some drawbacks include customers finding the mattress too firm and reporting premature sagging.
While it has low VOC emissions, there might be an off-gassing odor. Some customers, report only two layers of foam instead of four.
DYNASTYMATTRESS COOL BREEZE
- Low VOC emissions
- Washable, removable cover
- Ideal for combo sleepers
What to Expect from a Budget Mattress
First things first, you need to decide on your budget, because it will dictate the mattress quality and its features.
You’ll want to take advantage of sales or bundle deals to get the most for your money. Even without sales, you’ll want to know the overall mattress quality within your budget .
Mattresses Below $100
These mattresses are either free or second-hand from thrift stores or Craigslist. We recommend this option only when you don’t have any other choice.
Second-hand beds could contain pests such as bedbugs and dust mites, especially if the original owner didn’t properly care for the mattress.
Cheap mattresses don’t come with a warranty since as most companies only extend a warranty to the original purchaser.
Mattresses Between $100 and $800
Mattresses in this price range typically aren’t very durable because they are made of cheap materials; however, they are a much better option compared to second-hand mattresses. Because of their shorter lifespans, these mattresses will usually only have 3 to 5-year warranties.
If you’re in a pinch, getting a mattress in this budget range would hold you over until you can afford a high-quality mattress.
Mattresses Between $800 and $2000
In the $800 to $2000 range, you’ll find mattresses with high-quality latex, both natural and synthetic, memory foam, and innerspring materials and construction. These mattresses are often infused with cooling materials like gel, copper, or graphite. You can expect moderate to great motion isolation and pressure relief, as well.
The best mattresses under $2000 last longer and come with warranties lasting ten years or longer.
Mattresses between $2000 and $5000
In this range, you’ll find organic materials and possible built-in electronics. However, we caution against buying mattresses in this price range as they don’t make your sleeping any better than those in the $800 to $2000 range. At this price, your but the mattress for the brand.
You should expect a warranty between 10 and 20 years.
Mattresses above $5000
These mattresses are often made with cooling technology, organic materials, and built-in electronics. You can order them in non-standard sizes and custom builds them to fit your individual needs.
What to Look For in a Budget Mattress
Before browsing what’s available, know what to look for in a good quality mattress. Many don’t know what to look for and end up purchasing a popular model.
This can be a mistake since there isn’t one perfect bed for everyone. Each person has their own wants and needs and should look for a mattress based on their own preferences.
Regular Use or Guest Bed
One of the first things you should establish is who the bed will be for. Will it be regularly used by you, or will it be meant for a guest bed? A regularly used bed is worth paying extra for a higher-quality mattress with lasting durability. But, a guest room – or as a temporary sleep surface – it might be better to save yourself money by choosing a low-cost option.
For regular use, a higher-quality bed will be more comfortable and durable. Typically, this type of bed should last between 8 to 10 years at a $700 to $1000 price range and include longer warranties. We highly recommend a quality bed for plus-sized sleepers, couples, and those with health problems.
Guest beds won’t have the same wear and tear like a regular bed. So, why pay extra for something you won’t be using?
Second, if you’re a single person who just moved into their first apartment or are attending college, you won’t have space for a large, luxurious bed. All you need is a basic mattress with adequate support and comfort.
As a warning to our readers, never settle for the cheapest mattress option.
Cheap beds will have low-quality materials with a lifespan of five years if you’re lucky. You may end up paying more by replacing that cheap mattress when it breaks down then if you had paid extra for a quality bed.
Sorting through mattress components takes time; thankfully, most mattress companies provide transparency when their bed contains. Beware though – companies that don’t give specifics on layer numbers and layer thickness, or who give vague specification on their materials should be avoided. Chances are that these companies are selling poor-quality beds.
Good mattresses will have between two to four layers. Each layer is designed for a specific function.
- Comfort layer (top 1-2 layers) – responsible for cooling, motion isolation, and responsiveness. Consists of a cover, pillow top and/or memory foam for a plush feel. The comfort layer should be at least 2 inches thick.
- Support layer (middle layer) – firmer feel to help align the spine. This also acts as a transitional layer between comfort and support layers.
- Foundation layer (bottom layer) – provides compressive support for a more durable mattress. About 50% of the foundation layer should make up a good-quality bed; anything less may not last long.
Some companies may switch comfort and support layers for additional luxury. The bed thickness contributes to the overall comfort and support.
Many don’t realize the mattress thickness can contribute to a bed’s level of comfort and support. A good quality mattress will be between 9 inches – for a firm mattress – to 14 inches – for a soft mattress. Some may prefer an even thicker mattress because of height, weight, or personal preference.
Ideally, a thicker mattress is better for plus-sized sleepers, who need extra support.
Knowing the difference between coil gauge and count can help determine quality in an innerspring or hybrid mattress.
- Gauge – measures the thickness of a coil. The lower the number, the thicker the coil. An ideal coil should be between 12 to 15.
- Count – the number of coils in a mattress. It determines the level of support and firmness. Innersprings and hybrids should have a coil count of 300 or more. Avoid mattresses with a lower count as they will lack proper support and wear down quicker.
When judging foam quality, pay attention to its ILD rating. ILD, or Indentation Load Deflection, rates how soft or firm a layer of foam is. A quality foam will have a rating between 13 to 15. Support foam will have a higher ILD rating reaffirming its ability in supporting a sleeper’s weight. Avoid mattresses with an ILD rating lower than 10 – a low-density foam with an 8 ILD rating is more likely to sag and break down sooner.
On top of everything, look to see if a prospective mattress includes special features. Perks like cooling technology or a lumbar support layer can appeal to someone’s personal preferences.
The denser the material, the less airflow. Density can easily cause sleepers to wake in the night, hot and sweaty. Luckily, manufacturers have noticed and taken steps to keep customers cool at night through cooling technology.
- Phase Change Technology – transforms body heat into infrared energy which is then absorbed into the body for aid rejuvenating rest.
- Gel – gel beads infused with memory foam absorb body heat and disperses it throughout the rest of the material. There is a risk that the gel beads will reach a limit of heat absorption before bouncing the heat back to the body.
- Copper – metal infusion with heat conductive properties. It pulls heat away from the body.
Ergonomic 5-Zone Support
Some companies add an ergonomic 5-zone support layer to offer a firmer feel to the head, back, and legs and a softer feel for the hips and shoulders. This special support layer aims to reduce pressure points and alleviate back pain. An ideal feature for those with back problems or chronic pain.
Companies may also include a lumbar support zoned layer. Lumbar refers to the lower back section of the spine. Some sleepers, especially those who suffer from chronic back pain, may find this an appealing option in a mattress.
In today’s world, innersprings are no longer the only type of mattress available. Memory foam, latex, and hybrid varieties are accessible from several companies. Materials have also evolved with better quality material and mattress technologies.
Each mattress type offers its own unique features that can benefit customers. Know to differentiate between each type and have a preference in mind before browsing.
Memory foam is one of the most popular types of mattresses. It rose in popularity because of it’s contouring properties. By cradling the body with a “hug” sensation, memory foam relieves pressure points and reduces pain. It also has excellent isolation.
In contrast, it’s contouring abilities may also cause the body to retain heat. When looking for the best memory foam mattress, we suggest choosing one with some type of cooling properties, like open-cell or plant-based foam.
Known as the “traditional” choice, the innerspring mattress consists of steel spring coils assembled for support. These coils may be interlocked, stand-alone, or be individually wrapped. Most innerspring mattresses also include a comfort layer made of foam or cotton.
There are a few drawbacks to an innerspring. The coils may lend good support, but they can also create pressure points on the body. The thin comfort layer may not be effective in preventing this from happening.
Manufacturers combined the benefits of both memory foam and innersprings into one perfect mattress. In some ways, they nailed it. A hybrid mattress offers customers contouring pressure relief and coiled support. Yet, customers may also receive an increase in heat retention from the memory foam and more pressure points from the innersprings.
Extracted from the sap of rubber trees, latex mattresses are eco-friendly options for green sleepers. It conforms to the body, similar to memory foam, but more responsive. Latex is ideal for those who move around in their sleep or struggle getting out of bed.
Latex will undergo one of two processes; Dunlop or Talalay. Dunlop provides a firmer sleep surface, while Talalay is slightly softer with targeted support.
Choosing a mattress is not solely based on what’s comfortable. A lot of it rides on personal preference, particularly sleep position. Each sleep position may require a specific level of firmness for spine alignment and support.
Side Sleeping Position
Side sleeping is considered the most popular sleep position. It opens the airways and aligns the spine. Sleeping on the left side is healthier than the right – provides better blood circulation and reduces acid reflux. The right side puts pressure on vital organs, like the liver.
Back Sleeping Position
As the healthiest sleep position, back sleeping aligns the spine and encourages better posture. In this position there is a risk of air obstruction. Back sleepers may snore and run the risk of developing sleep apnea.
Stomach Sleeping Position
Those who sleep on their stomachs face the highest health risks. Stomach sleeping and twisting the neck to the side puts the neck at an unnatural angle for long periods of time, resulting in neck pain. Heavy pressure is also placed on the lower back – gravity pushes against the natural curve of the spine. To reduce this pressure, we recommend placing a thin pillow under the hips.
Combo Sleeping Position
If you find yourself changing sleep positions during the night, you may be a combo sleeper. Also known as “restless” sleepers, combo sleepers receive the same benefits from each sleep position. They also face the risk of the same health problems, like sleep apnea and neck pain. A mattress for combination sleeping should offer a responsive, balanced feel.
Sleep Trials, Warranties, and Return Policies
Before finalizing a mattress purchase, look to see what sleep trials and return policies are available and always read up on the warranty. These features ensure customers they chose the right product and services to protect your investment.
Many companies offer sleep trials with a mattress purchase. The main benefit is trying out a mattress within the comfort of your own home without the added pressure of a hovering sale person. A sleep trial should include at least 100 days – this will allow time for the body to adjust to a new mattress and let you decide if you like it or not.
A warranty helps to protect your investment and reflects the quality of a mattress. You can expect at least a 10-year warranty with any standard mattress purchase. Warranties with less than 10 years could be a sign of a bad investment and should be avoided. Be sure to read the fine print before buying a new bed.
A return policy is definitely worth looking into, especially if a sleep trial isn’t available. If you purchase a mattress and within a few days realize it’s not for you, it’s nice to have the ability to return it for a full refund.
Make That Mattress Last!
It’s not enough to rely on that warranty to get your mattress to last. Damage, like water spills, may void the warranty. There are steps you can take that can better protect your mattress and extend its lifespan.
Invest in a mattress protector to protect against liquid spills. Since most warranties become void after the mattress surface has been stained, a mattress protector can also protect the warranty.
Mattress protectors can shield a mattress from bed bugs, dust mites, dirt, and other allergens. It reduces allergy symptoms and ensures a restful night. Be sure to wash your protector every two weeks to maintain the mattress protector’s effectiveness.
Many can be purchased under $50.
Many don’t realize the right mattress foundation can either extend or reduce the lifespan of a mattress. Box springs – while the traditional choice – may not be the right option for those with a memory foam or latex mattress.
A foundation helps reinforce a mattress’s support. Speak with a customer service representative for recommendations based on the type of mattress you choose.
Cleaning & Care
While there’s no way to fit a mattress into a washer, there is a better way to keep your mattress clean. Spot cleaning with warm water mixed with a mild detergent can help expand the life of your bed.
To eliminate odors and freshen up your bed, sprinkle baking soda over the sleep surface, then vacuum using the upholstery attachment.
Following these steps can help your mattress to last.
Risks of “Cheap” Mattresses
Regular use can cause a mattress to “age.” If you think about it, your bed goes through a lot; it consistently holds and supports your weight. It’s critical to spend the money on a quality mattress instead of sticking to the cheapest option.
Below are some warning signs to look out for that are commonly found in a low-quality bed.
Sagging can result from low-density foams or broken coils. As previously stated, always look at a foam’s ILD. If it’s lower than the recommended number, or if a sales representative isn’t giving a clear measurement, avoid that mattress. Low-density foam means less quality and less durability.
Regarding coils, pay attention to the gauge and coil count. Lower coil count and higher gauge ratings can be a sign of poor-quality coils – these types of coils will struggle to support any type of weight and are at risk of breaking and sagging. Also, read the full warranty before finalizing a purchase to know what the coverage is regarding sagging.
Wear & Tear
Cheaper mattresses show wear faster. While you can’t see the inner materials, you can tell the quality of a mattress by looking at the cover. If the stitching looks like it’s made of brittle or loose threads, you may want to avoid that bed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are cheap mattresses worth it?
An inexpensive mattress often lacks the support of a higher-quality bed, which can leave you waking up less than well-rested. You may also find that a thinner, less costly mattress is more likely to wear out within a few years. That said, there a number of quality mattresses you can find for less than $1,000 or even $500.
What thickness of mattress is best?
When you’re shopping for a mattress, we recommend that you don’t choose a bed thinner than 8 inches. Ideally, we suggest beds between 10 to 14 inches thick, but that might not be achievable if you’re shopping on a tight budget. A thin mattress can’t offer you the support you need for a good night’s rest and is likely to wear out within a few years.
Is it better to buy a mattress online or in store?
Online retailers usually offer their mattresses at a lower price because they have fewer costs to meet and can pass the savings onto the customer. However, many shoppers enjoy the security that comes from trying out a mattress in a store before they buy it. It’s all a matter of what’s important to you when you’re choosing a new mattress.
Is gel or memory foam better?
Gel memory foam and memory foam mattresses only have one big difference—an infusion of cooling gels that help wick away body heat. This keeps you cool and prevents you from waking up in a sweat in the middle of the night. However, traditional memory foam may fit into a tight budget better than a gel memory foam mattress can.
Is a foam or spring mattress better?
Both memory foam and spring mattresses are affordable options found at a range of price points. If you want a bed that offers more pressure relief, you might want to consider a memory foam mattress. If you’re a hot sleeper looking for a cooling mattress, you might benefit from sleeping on an innerspring bed, although you can also find memory foam mattresses with cooling additives such as gel, copper, and graphite.
Have You Found Your Budget Bed?
An expensive price tag doesn’t always result in quality. A great mattress can be found as long as you know what to look for. An advantage to buying an online mattress in comparison to a brick-and-mortar shop is the reduced price for high-end materials. For this reason, many of our top picks for the best budget mattress were bed-in-a-box type brands. Customers can expect better quality and durability at a lower cost.