Best affordable mattresses

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Saatva Mattress, Tuft & Needle, Nest Bedding, Helix Mattress and Nectar Sleep
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Everyone deserves a decent night's sleep, but not everyone can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a luxury bed. Luckily, it’s possible to find a good, inexpensive mattress that helps you sleep better without breaking your budget.

We’ve included foam and hybrid (foam and coil) models in our picks. As Kyle Marquardt, co-founder of Lori Beds, told us: “For those who prefer a softer sleeping surface and are looking for good value for money, foam mattresses can be great. For those looking for excellent motion transfer and breathability, spring mattresses are an excellent option. For those looking for the best of both worlds, hybrid mattresses offer excellent support, contouring and comfort.”

Our favorite budget mattresses:

Our top picks for budget mattresses

To select the best mattress for the money, we started by considering 50 popular bed-in-a-box options with reputations for good value. We then compared them based on customer reviews and the quality of materials. To further narrow our list, we considered whether the manufacturer provides a sleep trial or warranty. All our top picks cost $1,099 or less for a queen as of publishing.

» MORE: How much does a mattress cost?

Tuft & Needle Original Mattress Tuft & Needle
  • Type: Adaptive foam
  • Price: $995 (queen)
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Test period: 100-night in-home trial

The Tuft & Needle Original Mattress with T&N Adaptive foam is breathable thanks to 3 inches of a cooling gel and graphite blend, so you don't have to worry about getting too hot while you sleep. It also has 6.5 inches of base support, making it durable and supportive enough to keep you from sinking.

Best for: Back and stomach sleepers

What reviewers say: Happy Tuft & Needle customers on our site often mention brand loyalty and a lasting product. One reviewer from Missouri said, “I’ve owned my Tuft and Needle king mattress for over six years and it is more comfortable than any … mattress out there! The quality and price of this bedding is far superior to any bed in a box.”

The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress Nectar Sleep
  • Type: Gel-infused memory foam
  • Price: $1,099 (queen)
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Test period: 365-night in-home trial

Nectar makes one of the most expensive mattresses on our list, but it’s still a great value. Its five-layer construction includes a base of support foam, transition foam, viscoelastic memory foam and a removable fiber cooling cover. You can add the Sleep Bundle at purchase for discounted pillows, sheets and a mattress protector. The company’s Forever Warranty covers the mattress as long as you own it.

Best for: Side or back sleepers

What reviewers say: Positive Nectar reviews on our site include praise for its quick delivery and comfy construction. A reviewer from Illinois said about theirs: “Probably the most comfortable bed I've ever owned. Bought the mattress on a Tuesday; it was delivered on Thursday. ... I was out in less than 15 minutes. … [My wife] said there was no pain in her lower back at all.”

Zinus Pressure Relief Euro Top iCoil Hybrid Mattress Zinus, Inc
  • Type: Comfort foam and coil
  • Price: $459 (12-inch queen)
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Test period: 100-night in-home trial
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Zinus makes the most affordable mattress on our list. This hybrid model boasts “innovative pocket springs” and independently wrapped coils designed to align your spine and relieve pressure. It’s composed of five layers of fiber padding, springs and foam, including high-density foam and base support foam. The company also uses natural seed oil to replace some of the less-green petrol-based chemical oils in manufacturing.

Best for: Warm sleepers

What reviewers say: Zinus reviewers on our site like the durability and the price of the mattresses. A reviewer from Michigan said: “I've had my Zinus mattress for five years and it's still in excellent shape. ... I will only buy mattresses [from] them for the rest of time I have and am so happy I found them. I have turned five people on to this mattress; they thank me every time I see them.”

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How to find the best budget mattress

With mattresses, generally a higher price indicates higher quality, so how can you avoid a lumpy sack of springs if you’re aiming to save money? We’ve got seven key steps to help find the right budget mattress for you.

1. Determine your mattress budget

If you’re shopping for cheap mattresses online, don’t forget to consider shipping costs. “Affordable” is subjective, we know, so here's what to expect from mattresses of varying price points:

  • Mattresses under $100: Most new mattresses under $100 are inflatable (like the Intex Dura-Beam Airbed). You can sometimes find an inexpensive used mattress. Some innerspring mattresses fall in this category; these are flexible and move with your body but aren't known for offering consistent and contoured support where you need it the most.
  • Mattresses under $300: Mattresses less than $300 usually are usually bed-in-a-box models. While they may lack some of the features of more expensive mattresses, some offer upgrades like moisture-wicking tech and gel-infused materials that help increase airflow while you sleep. Memory foam options are somewhat limited in this price range.
  • Mattresses under $500: As your budget increases, your options for high-quality mattresses improve. Mattresses between $300 and $500 are usually made of memory foam or are hybrids, which means they combine the bounce of innerspring with the softness and contouring ability of memory foam. You can expect a mattress less than $500 to have two or three layers, often made of synthetic materials.
  • Mattresses under $1,000: Most mattress experts say a long-lasting, quality mattress typically costs between $700 and $1,000. Mattresses in this price range usually have multiple firmness options and models designed to ventilate air to keep you cool. Some even have cooling gel memory foam and motion isolation tech so your movement doesn't disturb your partner.

2. Shop around and compare

If you have the freedom to shop around, do it. Consider bed-in-a-box options and check out the selections at department stores and furniture shops. Look for coupons, promotional deals and discounts to get a great mattress at the right price.

Shopping around and waiting for annual sales can help you find a high-quality mattress and still stick to your budget. Keep in mind that you can usually find the best prices on mattresses during the summer.

Summer is a great time to look for deals on a new mattress.

3. Think about who’s going to use it

When choosing a mattress, take into account who’s going to use it. Is the mattress for a kid? Just you? You and a partner?

Some mattress designs are focused on side sleepers or stomach sleepers. Some are better suited for bigger or taller individuals, while others have innovative features to provide ultimate support or keep you cool during the night.

If it's going in a guest room and will only be used once in a while, though, you may not have to splurge on high-end features that cater to your specific sleep style.

» COMPARE: Best cooling mattresses for hot sleepers

4. Consider long-term vs. short-term benefits

The benefits of buying a budget mattress include lower upfront costs and easy setup. On the other hand, more expensive, luxury mattresses usually have better features and last longer.

Some customers complain about unpleasant off-gassing odors as lesser-quality bed-in-a-box mattresses expand. Over time, cheaper mattresses also tend to sag. You might spend a few hundred dollars on a budget mattress only to replace it within a couple of years.

Some budget mattresses come with solid extended warranties, though — these may range anywhere from three to 25 years.

5. Look for the right features

The cost of the mattress isn't the only thing to consider. You want to find a mattress that’s made of quality materials, backed by a decent warranty, offers a reasonable trial period and has a clear return policy.

  • Quality materials: Lower-priced budget mattresses are often made out of springs and coils that make it easy to move around but don't isolate motion well. You can find mattresses in the $500 range that feature high-quality foams that come in a variety of firmness options. Look for mattresses with zone support, memory foam and hypoallergenic materials.
  • Warranty: Some budget mattresses come with the same long-term warranty as more expensive models. It's common to find a budget mattress with a warranty that covers at least 10 years.
  • Trial period: Purchase a mattress that lets you try it out with no risk. Some mattress companies offer 100-night free trial periods that let you really get an idea of how a mattress feels. It takes about 30 days to get fully accustomed to a new mattress, so find a mattress you can try for at least that long.
  • Return policy: There are several reasons you may return a new mattress, including that it causes you pain, isn't the right firmness or is incompatible with your sleep style. Each company has a different policy when it comes to returns. The average return policy is between 30 to 120 days. Look for a company that offers a full money-back guarantee instead of just an exchange. Some companies send a truck to pick up your mattress, while others provide shipping labels that let you box it up and ship it back yourself.

6. Purchase a good, inexpensive mattress

If you buy a mattress online, most companies offer free shipping, which saves you significant money. If you’re buying from a retail store, ask about its mattress delivery policy and fees. Some mattress companies include free shipping when you purchase select mattresses and offer several delivery options. White-glove service usually involves delivering your new mattress, setting it up and removing your old mattress and box spring. There’s typically a separate charge for this.

7. Get the most out of your budget mattress

Get the most out of your budget mattress by investing in accessories that add comfort and durability without spending a lot of extra money. Look into mattress toppers that add an extra layer of cushion to your mattress or mattress covers that extend the life of your mattress.

FAQ

Why are mattresses so expensive?

Mattresses are expensive because they’re often made out of pricey materials, like memory foam, spring coils and latex. High-quality mattresses last a long time and are usually in high demand.

Creating a mattress takes the perfect blend of comfort, support, style and durability. Innovative features like border trimmings, airflow technology and premium foam options add even more to the price.

When is the best time to buy a mattress?

Summer is usually the time to find the best mattress deals. Retailers tend to offer sales and discounts on mattresses during the early summer, especially in May.

How much does a good mattress cost?

In the mattress industry, the consensus is that a $500 mattress is a pretty standard mattress. Mattresses in this price range usually won't have many bells and whistles, but they are made of solid materials and last a long time. Higher-end mattresses ($700 to $1,000) typically include innovative features, higher-end materials and superior comfort and durability.

Can you finance a mattress?

Yes, you can finance a mattress. Most retailers offer financing programs for shoppers who don't have the cash to pay for a new mattress upfront. These include monthly payment plans, and some mattress companies will approve you for financing regardless of your credit. You also might consider taking out a personal loan.

Can you negotiate mattress prices?

Usually, the price you see when shopping retail is the price you pay. If a retailer does negotiate, it probably means the price is higher than the industry standard.

Bottom line

You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to get a quality mattress. Before making your purchase, consider your budget and who’ll be using the mattress to help you decide what features you need. If you're looking to keep your costs down, consider buying online — you can save a significant amount of money without waiting for a seasonal deal.

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