Best cheap mattresses 2022: 9 affordable mattresses for sleeping well on a budget

Some of the best affordable mattresses rival the biggest names in the game, and we're revealing the best ones

best cheap mattresses Tuft & Needle Nod mattress
(Image credit: Tuft & Needle)

In an ideal world, we could all have the most luxurious (and expensive) mattresses available. But, that's not the case, and whether you're dealing with a tight budget, looking for a mattress for a temporary situation, furnishing a guest bedroom for the first time, or need to replace a mattress that is no longer making the cut, your quest to find one of the best cheap mattresses for you is not in vain.

We're here to help and have assembled some of the best mattresses that will help you catch some zzz's without spending all of your $$$. The majority of our best affordable mattress picks are all under $500... for a king-size, too! 

Though we should note, that since we started this guide, some of our favorites have increased and crossed that $500 threshold (a little) due to inflation. Still, we believe good sleep can be found on a budget, without sacrificing quality and comfort. 

There's a stigma that cheap mattresses may be too flimsy and thin, but that's not completely true. We've leveled up with thick, supportive designs as thick as 12 inches. We've approached our list with a discerning eye to create a definitive list only showing the best affordable mattresses that we would bring into our own homes.

And if you do want to make your budget mattress feel more tailored made to your needs, try one of the best mattress toppers to target specific preferences like back support, pressure relief, or temperature regulation (with some added height). 

Looking for more bargains? Be sure to visit our mattress sales hub for the latest promotions going on across the internet. 

Best cheap mattresses

Allswell Luxe Mattress

(Image credit: Allswell)
Best cheap hybrid mattress

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL Full, Queen, King
Depth: 10 inches
Filling: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty`: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
Hybrid construction offers a medium firmness
+
Coils minimize the disturbance when a partner moves in bed
+
Stays cool at night
+
100-night risk-free trial

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 10 inches in height
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May be too soft for some

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 of 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. 

The Allswell is that perfect blend of quality and affordability that we seek out when looking for a new mattress.

Read our Allswell mattress review for our full experience with this affordable mattress. 

Nod by Tuft & Needle

(Image credit: Tuft & Needle)

2. Nod by Tuft & Needle

Best cheap memory foam mattress

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL Full, Queen, King
Depth: 10 inches
Filling: Adaptive Foam
Firmness: Medium
Trial: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
Sleeps cool
+
Features Tuft & Needle Adaptive Foam
+
Hybrid available 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not supportive enough for heavy sleepers
-
Adaptive foam made without cooling beads and graphite

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 feature the two main layers including the brand's proprietary open-cell Adaptive foam. The Adaptive foam in the Nod is produced without the cooling gel beads and graphite, creating a neutral position that will keep you from feeling like you're sinking while prioritizing pressure relief, support, and breathability. The most obvious difference is that the Nod is 8" thick, compared to the Original's 10."

Comparing the two, users also found the 8" Nod to rate slightly firmer than the original while offering the most support for petite and average-sized people at all sleep positions. 

Users note that it's not immediately comfortable or soft on the first experience, but they found themselves waking up refreshed in the morning... the most important thing.  

The Nod mattress still qualifies for the standard 100-night trial and 10-year warranty, though returns will be dealt with through Amazon. 

California king mattress

(Image credit: Amazon)
A Real Homes and an Amazon User Favorite

Specifications

Size: Twin - King
Depth: 8"
Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium
Trial Period: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
Relieves pressure on your shoulders and hips
+
Medium firmness
+
4 different depth options ranging from 6"-12"
+
Best for back and side sleepers

Reasons to avoid

-
Refund eligible, but not returnable once expanded
-
Odor after unboxing
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Weak edge support
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Certain sizes and depths may be temporarily out of stock

We equate the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress to like sleeping on a cloud. Featuring a combination of conforming memory foam, soft, airflow-enhancing comfort foam, and durable, high-density base support foam, this Zinus offers that conforming, sinking feeling that we associate with memory foam mattresses. It cradles your body while offering necessary spinal support. 

This memory foam design is ideal for those who suffer from aches and pains and are looking for pressure relief. However, while we've found the mattress to be very comfortable, edge support could be better.  

The highlight is the gel foam which is infused with green tea that neutralizes odors and moisture-absorbing ActivCharcoal. Seems like a random choice, but we think it's fresh. Literally. 

Zinus offers the option of 6", 8", 10", or 12" depths, where the mattress gets much plusher the thicker you choose, giving off the feeling of options. However, we have noticed some inventory shortages and price fluctuations, so you'll want to check Amazon and Zinus directly for the latest stock updates. 

During unboxing, some users have reported an odor, and that it takes up to 72 hours for the mattress to fully expand.  

Read our Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress review to see more and learn if this is the affordable mattress for you.

Siena Memory Foam Mattress

(Image credit: Siena)

4. Siena Memory Foam Mattress

An affordable mattress with an extended trial period

Specifications

Size: Twin - Cal King
Depth: 10"
Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium
Trial Period: 180 nights
Warranty: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
Longest trial of any mattress on this list
+
Great pressure relief
+
Sleeps cool and with decent motion isolation
+
Best suited for lightweight sleepers

Reasons to avoid

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Heavier people might not find the support they require
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May be softer than expected
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Weak edge support

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, but if you're after an even lower price point, the Siena is worth your consideration. 

From a price comparison, a Queen Sienna is $499 compared to the Nectar's $899 for a queen. Nectar does offer a year-long trial and lifetime warranty, while the Sienna offers six months trial and a standard 10-year warranty. However, that 180-night trial Siena offers is far longer than any of the other options on this list for you to decide if this mattress is right for you.

Beyond those lenient policies, let's consider how it's made. It has five layers with a stretchy knit cover, thick comfort memory foam, high-density foam, and a base foam support layer encased with a no-slip bottom.  three varying types of foam. 

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. The mattress is built to sleep cool, thanks to a gel memory foam layer that helps wick away excess body heat. Air pockets between the comfort and high-density layers allow the mattress to breathe. 

It also offers wonderful motion isolation, so you won't feel your partner get up during the night for a bathroom break. However, the slow-responding foam is not the most effective when considering the edge support. 

simmons memory foam

(Image credit: Simmons)

5. Simmons Memory Foam Mattress

Best cheap mattress from a tried and trusted brand

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
Depth: 10 inches
Filling: Memory Foam
Firmness: Medium
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
Made in the USA of gel memory foam with motion separation and a supportive base layer
+
Cover with Climate Cool™ moisture-wicking tech keeps you cool and comfortable
+
Also available in a hybrid version with additional support and airflow

Reasons to avoid

-
Reports of an odor when it is first unpackaged
-
No California King offering

Simmons has been a major player in the world of mattresses for over 150 years, so their newest endeavor, a rebrand as a direct-to-consumer company, brings the name you know and trust with the convenience and affordability that a bed-in-a-box mattress provides. 

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 body temperature. For additional support, you can upgrade to the hybrid option, which adds in coils for more pressure relief and airflow. Plush and firm designs are available too.

Simmons offers a 100-night trial period so you can ensure it is the right mattress for you, easy, free delivery, and a 10-year warranty. 

Lucid 12 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Lucid 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

This cheap mattress will help keep odors to a minimum, too

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
Depth: 10-inch
Filling: Memory foam
Tension: Firm, Medium or Plush
Trial: 100 days
Warranty: 20 years

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal for all sleeps
+
Ventilated design
+
Made without fiberglass

Reasons to avoid

-
Short sleep trial
-
Off-gassing odor

There's a lot to like about this Lucid mattress. This thick mattress has three incredible layers of foam to offer you comfort and support throughout the night. The layer which sets it apart from the rest is the base layer which depending on firmness rating, offers up to 5.5 inches of dense bamboo charcoal-infused support foam. This not only provides extra stability and full-body support but also helps to minimize odor build-up to help keep your mattress fresh. Meanwhile, gel-infused memory foam regulates temperature and conforms to the body to ease pressure points. 

 It's also one of a select number of models that Lucid claims do not use fiberglass and instead uses a treated cotton fire retardant and it has a lengthy 20 year period. 

Wayfair 8" Medium Memory Foam Mattress

(Image credit: Wayfair Sleep)

7. Wayfair Sleep Memory Foam Mattress

This cheap mattress is customizable to your needs

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
Depth: 8, 6, 10, 12 inches
Filling: Memory foam
Tension: Plush, Medium or Firm
Guarantee: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to assemble
+
Breathable construction
+
No chemical smells

Reasons to avoid

-
May not be firm enough for some

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) offers a plethora of memory foam mattresses in plush, medium, or firm with various depth options: 6", 8", 10",  12", and 14". 

The most popular choice is the 8" Medium Memory Foam Mattress (opens in new tab) with over 38,000 5-star reviews and an overall satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5 stats. 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. And, given the nature of memory foam, this Wayfair mattress offers low-motion transfer so no partners are disturbed by any movements during the night.

All the Wayfair Sleep mattresses arrive rolled in a box so it is easy to take up the stairs, too, and even better, you have a 100-night trial to get acquainted with any mattress purchased from Wayfair.

Classic Brands Cool Gel Ventilated Memory Foam mattress

(Image credit: Classic Brands)

8. Classic Brands Cool Gel Ventilated Memory Foam 12-Inch Mattress

Best cheap mattress for those who sleep hot

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
Depth: 12 inches
Filling: Memory foam
Firmness: Medium-Plush
Trial: 100 days
Guarantee: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
Feels luxurious
+
Cool gel memory foam layer offers temperature regulation
+
Breathable

Reasons to avoid

-
Motion isolation not great
-
Loses shape after a few years
-
Prices seem to fluctuate

Affordable mattresses are often known to fall on the firmer end of the comfort spectrum. However, for those side sleepers out there, and anyone who wants a cushy, cloud-like bed, no fear, we've found a plush mattress for you: The Classic Brands Cool Gel Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress, clocking in at a lofty 12 inches in depth for delicious, sink-in comfort. 

The mattress is constructed with a cool gel memory foam layer for temperature regulation with layers of ventilated egg crate foam for breathability layered on high-density base foam for maximum comfort and support. We don't always prefer the use of egg-crate foam, since it's not the most durable and likely to lose shape sooner than later, but since this is already on the softer side, we think you'll fare just fine.  

All foams are made with CertiPUR-US certification.

vibe hybrid mattress

(Image credit: Vibe)

9. Vibe Quilted Gel Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid

Best cheap mattress with a cushy pillowtop

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
Depth: 12 inches
Filling: Hybrid
Firmness: Plush
Trial: 100 days
Guarantee: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
Plush eurotop design
+
Provides Orthopedic support
+
Less motion transfer

Reasons to avoid

-
May require deep pocketed sheets
-
Not recommended for heavier sleepers

Some view a pillowtop mattress as the ultimate luxury. Luckily, we found this Quilted Gel Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid (opens in new tab) to help you indulge in an affordable way. Safe to say, it meets the Vibe. 

The Eurotop design is smoothly integrated into the mattress overall, ensuring added durability throughout the years. Below an open cell and a gel-infused memory foam provide cushion and pressure relief, 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.

All sleep types can find a sound night's sleep on this Vibe hybrid. However, we should note that a soft mattress of this nature might not be great for heavier people as they may find themselves sinking. We will note though, that one of the most helpful positive reviews on Amazon is from a larger individual who gushed about his experience. 

How we test the best mattresses

At Real Homes, we prefer 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. In the event that that is not possible or we have not gotten it in the hands of one of our reviewers, we begin extensive research, examine countless consumer reviews, and consider factors like value, construction, ordering and set up experience, and any special features, as well as considerations like breathability, pressure relief, and edge support. 

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 are basing our choice to include on our knowledge of other products from the brand or impressive third party reviews from sleepers just like you.

Find our more about Real Homes reviews.

Where to buy cheap mattresses

Back your purchase from a reputable retailer. 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. and they frequently run 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.

What to expect from a cheap mattress?

While a cheaper mattress is great for your budget, let's get realistic about the experience, and what you may experience from purchase to design. 

The Basics
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 will also typically have less customizable options and special features like improved pressure relief or sophisticated cooling technologies and tend to be associated as medium or firm.  

Cheaper mattresses may break down faster over time due to the use of cheaper materials. Oftentimes, we've found a little less transparency in 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 that are certified by CertiPUR-US, meaning they are low in VOCs. 

Fiberglass precautions
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, 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, that utilize natural fire retardants like wool or thistle. 

The logistics
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. However, when it comes to getting any individualized assistance or contacting customer service when placing an order or if an issue arises, can be a little more difficult. 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, utilize the sleep trial to evaluate if you're waking up more refreshed and watch for any poor performance indicators like sagging or deformation. 

Why buy a cheap mattress?

It's important to buy the best mattress that you can afford. Budget mattresses are a great option for furnishing guests rooms, temporary stays, renters, and for kids who may soon outgrow a twin bed in a few years. 

Be sure to select a mattress that suits the firmness level and support you need, and we think you'll find immense comfort. 

Additionally, those with minimal health conditions and of average size, who really don't need a lot of bells and whistles with their mattress, will really do just fine with a budget model. 

Jaclyn is an eCommerce editor at Future Home Interest, where she oversees sleep content including mattresses and bedding – in fact, she has passed our five-step certification process to become a verified customer advisor on mattresses. She regularly scouts out the best of the best for buying guides to help you fill your home with only the best. She joined the team in January 2021. She has previously worked with sites like Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, The Spruce, The Spruce Eats, and MyDomaine, but got her start at the trade mag Home Furnishings News, which fueled her excitement for innovation in the home category and seeing the newest launches.  When Jaclyn's not working, she loves long strolls through HomeGoods, unwinding with a chilled glass of Rosé, and entertaining her Cavapoo  Reese. 

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