We preach the importance of investing in getting a good night’s sleep. But that’s not to say there aren't ways you can catch the best Zzzs on a smaller budget. There are plenty of cheaper mattresses out there, that offer premium comfort without the price tag. And if you shop in the right places, honestly, you could get a new bed for under $500 which is not bad for such a big-ticket item.
Whether you've just moved into a new home or have finally fled the nest and one hundred percent want to replace the existing mattress in your dorm, rest assured, you won't need to break the bank. We’ve found a selection of more affordable upgrades, and we've tested a few of the best ones too. While they may be significantly cheaper than other well-known mattress models, we can confirm that they don't compromise on quality; offering all the comfort and support you could want for awesome sleep.
Oh, and they all come with sleep trials and warranties for you to get your money's worth.
Of course, keep an eye on our mattress sales page for major discounts on some of our favorites (and if you need an even cheaper, quicker mattress fix, a topper is what you want) but otherwise, it's worth checking out these more budget-friendly mattress finds ASAP.
6 of our best cheap mattresses, recommended by our experts
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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.
Our reviewer Rebecca is a side sleeper who often struggled with back pain. Even after three weeks on the Siena memory foam, she's sleeping soundly every night and waking up pain-free. For under $500 that stands for something!
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 Alex 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.
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. After five mattress reviews under her belt, Alex tried the Zinus Green Tea. It altered her view that memory has to be expensive to be good. However, we both 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.
We can see why there's a lot to like about this Lucid mattress. Not only is it affordable, but it's crafted using bamboo support foam. Unfortunately, it's not an organic mattress, but at this price, you can't really complain.
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.
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.
Real Homes review process
At Real Homes, we try to test these products as you would use them, and sleep on them for at least four weeks before forming any opinions. As of this update, we've currently reviewed three out of six of these organic mattresses. But, we are striving to personally review every product we recommend. So it's a work in progress. Where this isn't 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.
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 a cheap mattress?
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.
What to expect from a cheap mattress?
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.