So you need a new mattress but don’t have the budget to splurge on a luxurious model? We get it. Budgets are tighter this year, and we’ve had to make some cuts when it comes to prioritizing what to pay for. Usually, we’d preach the importance of investing in getting a good night’s sleep, but there are some ways you can sleep better for less.
The best cheap mattresses offer premium comfort for a low price. There’s a concern that cheap mattresses are often on the thin, flimsier side, but we’ve found mattresses that are thick and supportive — all for under $500. Plus, we’re beginning to see more advanced-tech best mattress models entering the affordable market. A few we’ve reviewed do push over the $500 threshold but others are more budget-friendly.
Our selection of top-rated cheap mattresses won’t compromise on comfort and quality, and they all come with sleep trials and warranties for you to get your money's worth. So whether you’re looking for a mattress to replace your old one, furnishing a guest room, or need a quick fix for an uncomfortable sleep situation, this guide will help.
We’ve slept on a wide range of mattresses over the years and can safely say these cheap options will work with just about any type of sleeper. If you’re looking for further bargains, then our mattress sales page has all the details on the top deals happening right now. For an even cheaper alternative to buying a new mattress, try a mattress topper, which will improve your sleep surface for less.
8 best cheap mattresses chosen by experts
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A good cheap hybrid mattress can be hard to come by. The Allswell is that happy medium — the Goldilocks, our reviewer called it — between soft and firm, making it a crowd-pleaser and an overall top pick.
The mattress itself is comprised of three layers. These include individually wrapped coils, charcoal and copper gel-infused memory foam for comfort and breathability, and a signature quilted top panel for softness. The mattress even offers very important edge support, so you won't feel like you're going to just roll off the bed.
Comfort vs cost?
The Allswell is a perfect blend of quality and affordability that we seek out when looking for a new mattress. In our Allswell mattress review, our tester was surprised at how adaptable it was to her sleeping position. It's neither too firm nor too soft, which is an ideal middle-ground that most sleepers will enjoy. For a hybrid, which usually costs a lot more than cheap mattress-in-a-box models, it's somewhat impressive in our eyes.
Siena is a newcomer to the mattress landscape, but you may be no stranger to its sister brand, Nectar. We're already big fans of the Nectar memory foam mattress, which we tout for its great value. If you're after an even lower price point, it's worth considering the Siena.
The medium-firm mattress is rated a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, with users describing it as feeling like you're sleeping in the mattress as opposed to on top. It also offers good motion isolation, so you won't feel your partner get up during the night, but just don't rely too heavily on its sides, as its edges aren't very supportive. Thanks to a gel memory foam layer that helps wick away excess body heat and air pockets between the high-density layers, the mattress is cool to the touch too.
Comfort vs cost
From a price comparison, a queen-size Sienna is $499 compared to Nectar's $899 price tag for the same size. Siena's 180-night trial is far longer than any of the other options on this list too. With five layers of high-density memory foam, a stretchy knit cover, and a non-slip bottom, this one's great value memory foam is hard to beat.
In our Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress review, we equate sleeping on the mattress to sleeping on a cloud. It features a combination of conforming memory foam, soft airflow-enhancing comfort foam, and durable high-density base support foam. This combination from Zinus offers that conforming, sinking feeling that we associate with memory foam mattresses. It cradles your body while providing necessary spinal support.
The memory foam design is ideal for those who suffer from aches and pains and are looking for pressure relief. While we've found the mattress to be very comfortable, edge support could be better. Its biggest perk is the green tea and ActivCharcoal-infused gel foam, which neutralizes odors and absorbs moisture. Pretty fresh, literally.
Comfort vs cost
This mattress is one of the cheapest you'll find — and you can buy it from Amazon with Prime next-day delivery. It offers four depth options; the thicker you choose, the more plush and comfortable it is going to be. However, we have noticed some inventory shortages and price fluctuations, so you'll want to check Amazon and Zinus directly to make sure you're getting the best price possible.
The Tuft & Needle Nod is an Amazon exclusive and the brand's most affordable model. It's very similar in construction to the Tuft & Needle's flagship Original Mattress, which we have tested and loved and is part of our best mattress guide for offering the most value.
Both models feature the same two main layers, including the brand's proprietary open-cell Adaptive Foam. The Adaptive Foam in the Nod uses cooling gel beads and graphite to create a neutral position that will keep you from feeling like you're sinking. At the same time, the construction also prioritizes pressure relief, support, and breathability. The most obvious difference is that the Nod is eight inches thick, compared to the Original's 10 inches. When put head to head, users also found the eight-inch Nod to lean slightly firmer than the original while offering the most support for petite and average-sized people at all sleep positions.
Comfort vs cost
Users note that it's not immediately comfortable or soft on the first experience, but they found themselves waking up refreshed in the morning ( which is the most important thing). The Nod mattress qualifies for the standard 100-night trial and 10-year warranty, so it's a good night's sleep or your money back. For under $400, it's something we're sure you'll get used to.
Simmons has been a major player in the world of mattresses for over 150 years. Its newest endeavor is its rebrand as a direct-to-consumer company, which brings the name you know and trust with the convenience and affordability of a bed-in-a-box mattress.
The medium-comfort memory foam (opens in new tab) design creates a no-pressure experience with motion separation between sleeping partners and a supportive base layer. For anyone concerned about the cooling capabilities of this all-foam design, the cover has Climate Cool moisture-wicking tech to help regulate your body temperature. Many shoppers loved how quickly this bed expanded after being unboxed but were even more impressed at how they adapted to the sleep surface so soon. It may be softer than more expensive options, but customers shared they really did have a great night's sleep.
Comfort vs cost
This one is super cheap, but not the most supportive. There is an upgrade option available in the form of a hybrid model, which adds coils for increased pressure relief and airflow. Simmons offers a 100-night trial period so you can ensure it is the right mattress for you. The brand also offers free delivery and a 10-year warranty.
We can see why there's a lot to like about this Lucid mattress...
The thick mattress has three incredible layers of foam to offer you comfort and support throughout the night. The layer that sets it apart from the rest is its base layer, which depending on firmness rating, offers up to 5.5 inches of dense charcoal-infused, bamboo support foam.
Comfort vs cost
For $300 or less, it not only provides extra stability and full-body support but also helps to minimize odor build-up, keeping your mattress fresh. The gel-infused memory foam also works to regulate temperature and conforms to your body to ease pressure points. It's one of a select number of models that Lucid claims do not use fiberglass and instead use treated cotton fire retardant. It has a lengthy 20-year warranty period too.
Some view a pillowtop mattress as the ultimate luxury. Luckily, we found that this Quilted Gel Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid (opens in new tab) will give you high-end quality more affordably. Safe to say, it meets the Vibe.
The Euro-top design is smoothly integrated into the mattress overall, ensuring added durability throughout the years. Below, an open cell layer and a gel-infused memory foam layer provide cushion and pressure relief alongside of individually wrapped coils for responsive support and minimal motion disturbance. The mattress is said to sleep neutral, but the innerspring style still is breathable and promotes better airflow.
Comfort vs cost
Most cheap mattresses may sacrifice a plush pillowtop and additional orthopedic support. With a deep 12 inches of foam for below $300 (for the queen), this is a cheap mattress that still retains the comfort factor. The reviews do suggest anyone can get a sound night's sleep with it, though a mattress of this nature might be too soft for some, according to one helpful Amazon reviewer.
To cut down on costs, most manufacturers only offer a select number of comfort levels and depths. On the contrary, Wayfair Sleep (opens in new tab) provides a range of memory foam mattresses in plush, medium, or firm with various depth options, including 6", 8", 10", 12", and 14" to suit all of your sleeping needs.
The most popular choice is the 8" Medium Memory Foam Mattress (opens in new tab) with over 38,000 five-star reviews and an overall satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. This pick features a patented "pressure-relief system," which consists of multiple layers of foam. This is said to increase circulation and reduce pressure points for a more restful sleep. The layers of foam are also breathable with cooling technology. Given the nature of memory foam, this Wayfair mattress offers low-motion transfer so no partners are disturbed by any movements during the night.
Comfort vs cost
All the Wayfair Sleep mattresses arrive rolled in a box, so they're easy to take up the stairs. You're also given a 100-night trial to get acquainted with any mattress purchased from the site. This may not be the most advanced mattress out there, but given its vast choice and super-low cost, you can't go wrong if you need a quick mattress solution.
How we test the best mattresses
At Real Homes, we try to test these products as you would use them, and sleep on them for at least two weeks before forming any opinions. We are striving to personally review every product we recommend. Where this is not possible, we extensively research, examine countless consumer reviews, and consider factors like value, construction, ordering and setup experience, and other special features, like breathability, pressure relief, and edge support. If you're intrigued to know how we test, see our dedicated page for more information.
Here, you can see which mattresses we have tested in person as we have linked to their reviews. In the cases where we haven't been hands-on (or backs, sides, and tummies on) with the mattress, we choose mattresses based on our knowledge of the brand and impressive third-party reviews from sleepers just like you.
Where to buy the cheapest mattresses
Purchasing from a reputable brand is one way to ensure you're getting a great mattress. The following retailers carry a decent selection of affordable mattresses. Bonus points if they have an extended policy for letting you trial your mattress.
- Amazon: (opens in new tab)Snag mattresses at all price points and enjoy free two-day Prime shipping and an extended return period of 100 days.
- Ashley: (opens in new tab) Encompasses all price points and name brands including Ashley's own mattress line
- IKEA: (opens in new tab) Mattresses can range from $150 for a foam mattress to $800 for a top-of-the-line spring design from the Swedish household staple, but availability is dependent on your closest location's stock.
- Mattress Firm (opens in new tab): It's incredibly easy to shop by budget, featuring brands like Beautyrest, Sealy, Zinus, Sleepy's, and Tulo. The site frequently runs sales up to half off a mattress if you're looking to snag a better mattress for cheap.
- Target: (opens in new tab)A robust selection of budget mattresses, including some exclusives from Simmons, Lucid, and Serta
- Wayfair: (opens in new tab) Queen-size mattresses start at around $200, and all beds have a 100-night sleep trial
- Walmart: (opens in new tab)Allswell got its start with Walmart before becoming its own entity, but Walmart also carries thousands of recognizable names at great prices.
How to choose a cheap mattress and what to expect
While a cheaper mattress is great for your budget, let's get realistic about the experience, from purchase to design.
You may have noticed that this list is mostly comprised of all-foam designs and a select number of hybrids. These types of mattresses typically cost less to produce, especially when they have a smaller number of layers, or a smaller foam density, meaning less material is actually used.
Mattresses made with latex, especially natural latex, are not available in the under-$500 range, but we've seen good options pushing the $1,000 mark. These mattresses typically have less customizable options and special features like improved pressure relief or sophisticated cooling technologies and tend to be viewed as medium or firm.
Cheaper mattresses may break down faster over time due to the use of cheaper materials. Oftentimes, there is less transparency about the production process of the mattresses, giving us a shorter explanation as to how the mattress is made and what materials are used. For instance, we like to see mattresses that use foams certified by CertiPUR-US, meaning they are low in VOCs.
Mattresses on the cheaper end of the spectrum — made of memory foam or made in China — are often more likely to feature fiberglass deeply woven into the inner covers as part of a fire barrier. It's cheap and nontoxic, and in the event of a fire it will melt in on itself without releasing toxic fumes. While extremely common, if exposed, fiberglass can dispel minuscule shards around your home that are hard to clean up and lead to health or respiratory problems.
You can typically check your mattress' label to determine if any ratio of fiberglass is present. If your mattress does contain fiberglass, the simplest way to keep it contained is to never unzip the mattress cover. If you need to clean it, give it a spot clean, or add peace of mind with a mattress protector. Should the mattress be punctured or damaged, you'll want to look into replacing your mattress entirely. If fiberglass is a concern for you, you'll likely want to upgrade to one of the best organic mattresses, which utilize natural fire retardants like wool or thistle.
One of the best parts of a cheap mattress is that you can typically enjoy fast shipping to your door, and they arrive neatly in a box. Don't be surprised if there is an odor while it off-gases. While uncomfortable at first, the smell will go away. When it comes to getting any individualized assistance or contacting customer service, it can be a little more difficult with cheaper models. While the mattresses do have standard warranties, they tend to offer shorter sleep trials in the event the mattress is not right for you. All of the mattresses on our list offer trials of at least 90 days.
When buying a cheap mattress online, make the most of the sleep trial to evaluate if you're waking up more refreshed and watch for any poor performance indicators like sagging or deformation.
Is a cheap mattress really worth it?
It's important to buy the best mattress that you can afford. Budget mattresses are a great option for furnishing guest rooms, temporary stays, rentals, or kids' rooms (as they may quickly outgrow a bed).
Additionally, those with minimal health conditions and of average size who aren't after fancy features will do just fine with a budget model.