Best Mattress Under 500: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Buying a high-quality mattress to get better sleep doesn’t have to break the bank. If you need a new mattress but aren’t in the position to spend a fortune, you can find a budget-friendly bed compatible with your sleep needs by doing a little bit of research. When shopping on a budget, your best bet is to buy online, because online mattress brands can cut costs by selling direct-to-consumer.
In this guide, we’ll talk about our five favorite inexpensive mattresses on the market right now. Then, we’ll discuss the key things to consider when buying the best mattress under $500 to help your investment go even further.
Best Mattress Under $500
|Zoma Start||10"||100 Nights||10 Years|
|Dynasty Mattress Cool Breeze 12-inch||12"||120 Nights||30 Years|
|Zinus 12-inch Memory Foam Mattress||12"||100 Nights||10 Years|
|Lucid 10-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress||10"||30 Nights||10 Years|
|Classic Brands Mercer 12-inch Hybrid||12"||None||10 Years|
|Live and Sleep Classic Mattress||10"||30 Nights||20 Years|
Also, think about your sleep style and how you feel in the morning. Are you a side sleeper with chronic hip pain, or are you a back sleeper that doesn’t experience any discomfort in the morning? Knowing what you need from a bed helps you quickly eliminate those that aren’t a fit, and fast-track you towards the most suitable bed to improve your sleep.
1. Zoma Start
Our top recommendation for a mattress under $500 would have to be the Zoma Start. Zoma has built itself up as a mattress company focused on improving sleep for better daily performance. While they market their mattresses primarily toward athletes, anyone can benefit from sleeping on a Zoma mattress.
The Zoma Start has a compact profile and a medium to medium-firm feel. It stands at 10 inches tall. Three foams make up the Zoma Start, all wrapped in a breathable AirCloth cover.
The first layer is an inch of gel memory foam. Infusing memory foam creates a cool material that wicks away absorbed body heat. Even as the gel memory foam hugs your body throughout the night, it will remain cool to the touch. Plus, the memory foam relieves the pressure points responsible for morning aches and pains.
The second layer is an inch of Reactiv™ material, a transition foam that creates a “smoother” feel. The bounce from this layer establishes an “on top of the bed” feel, limiting how much you can sink into the mattress. Without a transition foam like Reactiv™, you would be much more likely to misalign your spine and wake up with back pain.
The third layer is 8 inches of Support+ foam, a durable material. Support+ is a major part of the mattress’s comfort, preventing sagging that can leave you stiff and sore in the morning.
The Zoma Start is backed by a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty.
- Conforming gel-infused memory foam for pressure relief
- Latex-like transition foam establishes an adaptable feel
- Durable base foam promotes mattress longevity
Other Top-Rated Mattresses Under $500
In the next section, we’ll be discussing our four other recommended beds for those shopping on a budget.
In our opinion, one of the best inexpensive mattresses you can buy today is the Dynasty Mattress Cool Breeze 12-inch.
Dynasty Mattress sells its CertiPUR-US® certified memory foam mattresses throughout a variety of mattress retailers nationwide, as well as on Amazon. On Amazon, it’s listed as “Amazon’s Choice” and is sold for $379.
One of the biggest perks to shopping with Dynasty Mattress is their generous 30-year warranty that comes with each of their beds. For the most part, mattress warranties are around 10-15 years, so it’s rare to see a company offer a 20, 30, or even lifetime warranty with their beds.
Buying with a brand that provides a good warranty can help prolong your investment for decades to come because it ensures your bed is protected from damage and defects. Plus, when you buy one of these mattresses, it comes with two free gel memory foam pillows!
In addition to their warranty, Dynasty Mattress offers a lengthy 120-night sleep trial so you can test their bed and make sure it’s the best fit for your sleep needs.
Overall, this mattress stands 12 inches tall and contains four layers inside. In regards to feel, it is rated as a medium-firm bed. Below, we’ll break down those layers.
First, is 3 inches of gel memory foam, in place to contour to your body and keep your temperature cool while you sleep. The next two layers are each 2 inches of convoluted AirFlow foam; this foam is designed to offer enhanced pressure relief and allow you to compress in the bed. Additionally, the egg-crate shape of these layers allows for air to flow in and out of the mattress easily.
Last, is a 5-inch high-density foam base in place to give the bed extra support and prevent premature deterioration.
If you’re interested in the Dynasty Mattress, check out Amazon to read more customer reviews and buy online.
Zinus sells both innerspring and memory foam beds exclusively on their website. When shopping with Zinus, we recommend you choose their Green Tea Memory Foam Pressure Relief mattress; this bed is almost entirely customizable.
Zinus carries this bed in a firm, medium, and plush; and they allow you to choose how tall you want your bed to be, either 6”, 8”, 10”, or 12”. The height of the mattress you choose will dictate how many layers are inside.
We recommend choosing the 12” mattress because it has additional comfort and support layers, and only costs $344. Its thickness is also good for anyone seeking a memory foam mattress for heavy sleepers, as we typically recommend at least a 12-inch mattress for plus-sized individuals.
Let’s discuss those layers to see what you’re getting for your money.
The first layer of this bed is 3 inches of memory foam, which is superb for pressure point and pain relief. When you lay on this bed, it should mold to your body and offer an instant cushion. If you’re somebody who frequently suffers from aches and pains, a memory foam mattress could be a worthwhile investment to better sleep.
Below the memory foam lies 2 inches of Comfort Foam®, a poly-foam that has been engineered to feel softer and cradling like genuine memory foam.
Next, are two layers of 3.5-inch high-density poly-foam. Both of these layers are convoluted, allowing for enhanced airflow through the bed. The purpose of including these two layers is to give the other layers and entirety of the bed structural support and shape. All of the materials Zinus uses are CertiPUR-US® certified.
Zinus offers free shipping and a 100-night sleep trial with each of their beds. If you buy their bed and end up unhappy with it, you have the option to return it for free and receive a full refund. On top of their sleep trial, Zinus offers a 10-year limited warranty with each of their beds.
Up next on our list is Lucid’s 10-inch gel memory foam mattress-in-a-box. Lucid sells this bed on their website and through their Amazon storefront. On Amazon, their bed is labeled as one of Amazon’s best sellers, and it receives great reviews.
When you buy with Lucid, whether it be on their website or Amazon, it comes with a 10-year warranty. We should note, when reading reviews of this bed, we noticed a handful of customers reporting Lucid finds loopholes out of fulfilling their warranty agreement. However, customer reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.
Similar to the other two beds we’ve mentioned, the Lucid mattress is also CertiPUR-US® certified. Let’s talk about the layers inside this mattress.
The design of the Lucid mattress is quite simple; it contains two layers: a memory foam comfort layer and a high-density supportive base. The layer of memory foam is 3 inches thick, giving your body plenty of room to compress down in the mattress. For those looking for a plush bed, the Lucid memory foam mattress can offer you a cloud-like sleeping environment.
The supportive base layer is 7 inches tall, making the bed 10 inches in height. This bed is carried as a firm, medium, and medium-plush. For a Queen, the Lucid 10-inch mattress will cost you $375. On Amazon, they usually list their beds for less, and right now are selling for $251.
Next on our list is Classic Brands’ Mercer hybrid mattress. Classic Brands combines the comfort of gel memory foam with the targeted support of a pocketed coil system to deliver overall better sleep.
Let’s talk about the layers inside of this mattress to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.
All in all, this bed contains five foam layers in combination with a pocketed coil system. The first layer is .5 inches of gel infused memory foam. Two perks to using gel infused memory foam as the first layer of the mattress are that it contours to your body to provide instant cushion and regulates your body temperature, preventing you from waking up hot. The next four layers of this mattress are comfort foam, a poly-foam designed to be softer like memory foam; the first two layers of comfort foam are .25 inches, while the third is .5 inches thick, and the fourth is .75 inches thick. Together, these layers equal 2.75 inches of extra cushioning. Below, is an 8-inch 13 gauge pocketed coil system. The pocketed coils offer targeted pressure relief, and because they move independently of one another, superb motion isolation.
The materials Classic Brands uses in their beds is CertiPUR-US® certified, meaning they’re free from ozone depleters, formaldehyde, mercury, lead, heavy metals, PBDE flame retardants, and low in VOCs. You can buy Classic Brands products on Amazon, and they’re delivered to your doorstep in an easy to manage box, taking the hassle out of transporting a bed from a furniture store to your home. Though Classic Brands does not offer a sleep trial with their beds, they’re backed by a 10-year warranty. On Amazon right now, a Queen Mercer 12-inch hybrid is $410.99.
Last but not least on our list is the Live and Sleep Classic Ultra Queen mattress, selling on Amazon for $459.95. On their website, Live and Sleep sells their bed for $549, so as long as you buy from Amazon, you can save almost $100 and stay within your budget. Every Live and Sleep mattress comes with a 30-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
We should mention, Live and Sleep’s sleep trial is one of the shortest we’ve ever seen, besides not offering one at all; you may not have enough time to fully adjust and get a good feel of whether or not this bed is right for you during that period of time. They do, however, offer free no-hassle returns with each of their mattresses, in the event you decide against it.
Live and Sleep’s Classic mattress is a memory foam option, and the materials they use to make their bed are CertiPUR-US® certified. On their website, Live and Sleep ranks their Classic bed as medium-firm and describes it as “cradling plush comfort with a deep supportive layer.” Let’s take a look inside this mattress.
The design of this bed involves only two layers: a responsive memory foam layer and a supportive core. The responsive memory foam layer is 2.5 inches thick and molds to your body to alleviate pressure and offer comfort. The supportive base is 7.5 inches thick and ensures you won’t sink uncomfortably far into the mattress, as it’s very firm. All in all, this bed is 10 inches tall.
Right now, Live and Sleep is offering one free pillow when you buy their bed on Amazon, too. Head over to Amazon’s site to read customer reviews and learn more about this bed.
Save Even More with Mattress Sales
Mattress brands tend to regularly offer significant discounts during the mattress sales that occur throughout the year, such as:
- Presidents Day Mattress Sales
- Sleep Awareness Week Mattress Sales
- Memorial Day Mattress Sales
- 4th of July Mattress Sales
- Labor Day Mattress Sales
- Columbus Day Mattress Sales
- Black Friday Mattress Sales
- Cyber Monday Mattress Sales
Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress?
Whether a soft or a firm mattress is better for you depends mostly on your sleep position. A mattress for side sleeping should have a soft to medium feel, while back and stomach sleepers should look for a medium-firm to firm mattress.
Your body type also affects what the best firmness for you is. People who weigh more than 130 pounds often sleep better on a softer mattress, while those who weigh more than 230 typically benefit from a firmer bed.
How much should I spend on a mattress?
Although you can find a few mattress gems for under $500, you don’t want to buy a too-cheap mattress. We recommend budgeting between $300 to $500 for a budget mattress. If you want a higher-quality bed, you can find many excellent mattresses for under $1000.
What’s the best time to buy a mattress?
There are quite a few mattress sales days during the year. Retailers usually discount their mattresses and bedding accessories around Presidents Day, Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day, and Black Friday. Sales often start as early as a week in advance.
How often should you replace your mattress?
When a mattress needs to be replaced depends on its mattress type and what quality of materials it has. A decent mattress should last at least 5 to 7 years, with higher quality ones lasting 8 to 10 years, occasionally more. Foam mattresses typically last longer than spring beds since they’re more resistant to sagging.
How often should bed sheets be washed?
You should wash your sheets, blankets, and pillowcases once a week. Washing your sheets often cuts down on the dirt and debris that can accumulate on your mattress. For best results, wash your sheets in hot water.
What to Consider Before Making a Purchase
Now that we’ve covered our five budget-friendly beds, it’s time to talk about the other things to look for in a bed before making a decision.
For starters, never buy a mattress that does not come with a warranty. You should always check what kind of warranty comes with your bed, what the warranty conditions are, and what defects are covered. If you buy a bed with a good warranty, it can prevent you from having to replace a mattress years down the line if it develops a defect— making your investment last longer and dollars go further.
The next thing to look for before buying is a sleep trial. Everybody knows trying a mattress in-store is not the right way to genuinely test even the most comfortable mattress, and when buying online, you never have the opportunity to test your bed before buying.
Sleep trials are the solution to the in-store test run and make buying online possible because they allow you to try your new bed in-home for some time. These are handy because they can prevent you from being stuck with an uncomfortable mattress and help you determine which bed is truly compatible with your sleep style. If your mattress does not come with a sleep trial, be sure it’s a fit for you before committing to it.
Did You Find Your Next Bed?
Even if your budget restricts you, you’re still able to find a high-quality mattress to help you get the best sleep night after night. Fortunately, many mattress brands frequently run sales on their products, especially around holidays— so waiting for a deal could save you a couple of hundred dollars. Always check Amazon for the best prices, but always make sure you’re buying from the mattress company’s official storefront on Amazon, and not a third party seller. Following our guide, we’re confident you can find the right inexpensive mattress for your needs.