Marcus is an orthopedic spine surgeon who knows for sure how to ease ache in your back, neck, and shoulders, and prevent meeting him in person.
Last updated: May 22, 2021
Talk About Sleep is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Getting a good night’s sleep is so important, and to do so, you need to have a quality mattress. There’s a lot of choice in the mattress market at the moment, with many of the most highly-rated models coming along with some rather intimidating price tags too. Fortunately, some excellent mattresses can be found at lower prices too, and we’ve drawn up a list of the best budget mattress models for you to choose from.
When shopping for a budget mattress, it’s important to be fully informed and make the right decision so that you don’t actually end up spending more in the long run by buying a low quality mattress and having to replace it. All of the mattresses in our list offer great quality and are all under the $500 mark, with many being much cheaper. To find the best budget mattresses like our Editor’s Choice, the Nod by Tuft & Needle, we looked at several important factors like the type of mattress, firmness, features, and thickness.
We also looked at a range of reviews, both from users and from professional mattress critics, in order to find the best models. Below, you’ll see a comparison table highlighting the makes and models of the best budget mattresses we found. The table also shows our ratings and nominations, and is followed by more in-depth budget mattress reviews. After the reviews, you’ll find a buying guide, highlighting some important features to look out for when shopping for your next budget mattress.
Easily one of the best budget memory foam mattress models available right now, the Nod by Tuft & Needle provides the sort of quality and comfort you’d expect from a much more expensive mattress for only a fraction of the price. In terms of support, comfort, durability, and overall sleeping quality, this mattress really can rival the very best models out there.
With a thickness of just 8 inches, the Nod by Tuft & Needle might seem a little too thin for some, but it really offers a strong level of support, with just the right ‘medium’ firmness rating that most sleepers crave. It works well for all kinds of sleepers and body sizes too, so whether you’re a heavy sleeper, a light sleeper, a side sleeper, or a back sleeper, you’ll find a lot to love about this particular mattress, and if you’re looking for mattress on a budget, it’s a great option to consider.
In terms of breathability and temperature control, the Nod by Tuft & Needle offers excellent performance. It sleeps quite cool, so you don’t have to worry about it overheating during the summer nights, and it’s fully CertiPUR-US certified too, so you know it’s been made with high quality materials and to a strong standard. The only minor flaw we could find with this mattress is that if you sleep with a partner, you might feel some of their movement in the night.
Next up, we have the Classic Brands Mercer Pillow-Top Hybrid. Definitely one of the best budget hybrid mattress models you can buy right new, this mattress immediately stands out from the crowd with its unique style and design. It’s a good-looking mattress, being made with a mixture of memory foam, comfort foam, and a wrapped innerpsring layer. Due to its design, it can’t actually be flipped over, but this is only a minor flaw and won’t make much difference to most users.
The outer layer of cooling gel memory foam is a big bonus for this inexpensive mattress. A lot of people struggle with mattresses that sleep too hot, but the Classic Brands Mercer Pillow-Top Hybrid is always cool and breathable thanks to its cooling gel foam. It’s also a very thick and heavy mattress, offering strong support. Some users might even find it a little too firm to begin with, but if you have any issues with body pains, spinal alignment, or just need additional support when you sleep, it’s an excellent option.
The soft comfort layer helps to provide a cozy, contouring feel, while the springs provide that strong firmness beneath. It’s a great mattress overall, being very well-made and even suitable for adjustable bed frames too. The only other little flaw we have to mention is that users have complained of a noticeable odor with this mattress, but this should dissipate within the first week or so of usage.
Next up, we have the LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress. Ranked as one of the best budget gel memory foam mattress models money can buy, this mattress features a simple two-layer design, with 2.5 inches of gel memory foam sitting snugly atop 7.5 inches of support foam. It’s a low price mattress that looks very simple on the outside, but it offers surprisingly satisfying levels of comfort for such a great price.
Working well for both side sleepers and back sleepers, this memory foam mattress has a medium firmness rating. If you’re familiar with memory foam mattresses and enjoy the way they hug and contour to the shape of your body, you’ll find a lot to love about this model. It has that classic memory foam feel that a lot of people love, but, like so many memory foam mattresses, it is a little lacking in terms of bounce and responsiveness, which may be an issue for some.
The cooling gel-infused foam on the top layer is highly breathable and very good at keeping you cool all through the night. It offers strong wicking and helps the mattress stay clean and free of mites or bacteria too. The outer cover of this mattress is also very soft, smooth, and comfortable on the skin, so if you’re purely looking for softness and comfort on a budget, this is a fine option.
If you like a little style to go along with the substance of your budget mattress, the DynastyMattress Cool Breeze might appeal to you in a big way. Many mattress models at this price range are quite simple to look at, but this DynastyMattress features a really eye-catching and attractive design, nicely decorated with brown suede corners on the cover. The cover is fully removable and washable too, which is a nice bonus for those who worry about hygiene and cleanliness.
Available in a great range of size options, this mattress can be the answer to your prayers if you’re looking for the a budget queen mattress or even a budget twin mattress. It features a unique, four-layer design including a foundation layer of base foam, two layers of AirFlow foam for comfort and breathability, and then a layer of gel memory foam for cooling and comfort. It’s a firm mattress, so don’t choose this one if you favor something soft, but if you want the extra support, it’s a great option.
Some users have complained of a chemical smell for the first few days when using this mattress, so that’s something you’ll need to be prepared for, and it does have a relatively high price tag compared to some other mattresses on our list. However, it does enough to justify the price with its quality construction, and it comes with a super long 30-year warranty too and even a couple of free pillows.
Next on our list, we have the Signature Sleep Coil Mattress. This cheap mattress, available in 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch variants, is a great option for anyone on a budget. It features an encased coil system in the center, with layers of high density foam on either side of those coils. This essentially means that this mattress, unlike many others, can be flipped. It’s a fully reversible budget mattress, so if ever find that it starts to sink or sag, you can flip it over with ease.
The reversible nature of this budget mattress is a big advantage, especially as some users have reported that the Signature Sleep Coil Mattress can start to sink and sag a little over time in the middle. It offers strong support, being ranked as medium-firm on the firmness scale and being nicely suited for back sleepers, side sleepers, and combo sleepers. It’s a good option for couples too, offering strong edge support and minimal motion transfer.
All in all, there’s a lot to love about this mattress. It comes all rolled up for your convenience too, being one of the best budget mattress in a box options you can find today. It also features a very breathable and comfortable cover which feels soft and smooth to the touch, but on the downside, like a few other models on our list, it can exhibit some odor for the first few days.
Next up, we have the Linenspa 10 Inch Latex Hybrid Mattress. If you’re looking to get a good value deal and really want to buy a budget latex mattress, this is definitely one of the best options for you. Many mattresses in this price range are made with other materials, but the natural Dunlop latex used in this mattress gives a unique feel and firmness rating that many people tend to favor over alternate materials like memory foam and gel foam.
Available in a great range of size options, this is the perfect budget full size mattress for sleepers of all weights and styles. It works very well for back, side, and front sleepers due to its medium-firm rating, and has been favorably reviewed by people who struggle with health issues like back pain and tension too. So if you’re the sort of person who tends to have problems finding a mattress that really gives you the comfort and support you need, the Linenspa 10 Inch Latex Hybrid Mattress could be just what you’re looking for.
On the downside, this mattress is not CertiPUR-US certified, which will be an important factor for people who want to avoid certain materials. It also struggles on the edges, feeling quite soft and weak in these areas. It can sleep warm on hot nights too, but it is a very comfortable and highly responsive mattress overall, having a lot of appeal to couples. It doesn’t have any noticeable odor either, unlike many of its foam counterparts.
Our Budget Pick for this list is the Modway Aveline Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress. One of the best budget friendly mattress models you can find, the Modway Aveline really stands out for its low price and amazing value. It’s available in 6 inch, 8 inch, and 10 inch variants, and we do recommend opting for either the 8 inch or the 10 inch models if you choose this mattress, as the 6 inch is just a little too thin and lacking in support for most sleepers. However, it’s a good choice for single sleepers or kids and teens, so if it’s a budget twin mattress you’re after, this is a great choice.
This mattress offers exceptional comfort for the price. It has a classic memory foam feel, with a nice contouring effect to hug the body and provide just the right amount of softness and coziness for most people, while also offering a decent degree of firmness and support. It’s classed as a medium-firm mattress, so can be a nice fit for side sleepers, back sleepers, and combo sleepers of various weights and sizes. It’s also a very convenient mattress as it only needs a few hours to inflate and be ready to sleep on.
This Modway Aveline budget mattress comes complete with its own removable cover, which is a nice advantage, but it does have a few little downsides worth mentioning. The edge support on this mattress, for example, is quite weak, so you might feel like you’re sinking into it if you sit on the sides. Couples or those who like bouncy and responsive mattresses might be a little disappointed in the lack of responsiveness with this model too. Those issues aside, it’s an excellent budget mattress with a lot of plus points.
Last but not least, we come to the Brentwood Home Cypress Mattress. Made in California by a company that really cares about sustainability and responsible business practices, this mattress is a big hit with people who like to choose green and sustainable products whenever they can. Brentwood really focuses on ethically-sourced materials, and the brand’s commitment to quality and respectable manufacture is a big bonus of this mattress.
The standard 9-inch model features 7 inches of base foam, followed by 2 inches of gel memory foam, and then a New Zealand wool cover, sourced sustainably. The cover is really soft and cozy, but it does contribute to making this mattress sleep a little hot in the summer nights. So if you live in a warm location or tend to struggle with sweating and getting hot in the night, this might not be the very best mattress for you. It does, however, offer strong levels of comfort and support, being a good match for people with back issues.
The Brentwood Home Cypress Mattress also comes along with an extended 25-year warranty, so you can buy this mattress with confidence and peace of mind, knowing that the company will always be ready to replace or refund your purchase if you encounter any issues. Couples will appreciate the motion isolation of this mattress, but it does lack a little in terms of edge support and responsiveness. Overall, it’s a great option for anyone looking for a memory foam mattress on a budget.
What makes it stand out?
Made from top quality materials
Great motion isolation
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Poor edge support
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve seen some of the best budget mattress models available, let’s take a closer look at the individual features and aspects of each mattress that you need to consider when trying to decide which one to buy. A budget mattress can be a great investment and last many years, but it’s always a good idea to do your research, compare different models, analyze the various details and features, and make a fully informed decision to choose the right mattress for you. This budget mattress buying guide will give you all the information you need.
Is it worth investing in a budget mattress?
Absolutely. Many people can often fall into the trap of thinking that price is the ultimate factor and that more expensive models are always going to be better than cheaper alternatives, but this is evidently false. The truth is that more expensive mattresses aren’t always better at all, and there are plenty of budget models offering the same levels of comfort and quality for much lower prices, with the Nod by Tuft & Needle being an excellent example of this. The best budget mattresses are able to offer great degrees of comfort and all the luxuries of popular materials like memory foam and gel foam, without that big price tag attached.
Features to consider when choosing a mattress
When shopping for your next mattress, there are several different features to think about. It’s vital to consider all of these aspects and how they relate to you when choosing a mattress, rather than simply focusing on firmness or the materials used to make it. The thickness, edge support, size options, sleep trials, and other factors are all important things to think about.
Type of mattress and mattress composition
This is one of the key factors you’ll immediately notice about any mattress. Many years ago, mattresses were quite simple in their design, but these days we have a lot of different types of mattresses to think about. The Classic Brands Mercer Pillow-Hybrid, for example, is a hybrid mattress and made from a mixture of materials, while the Linenspa 10 Inch Latex Hybrid Mattress is a latex mattress. Many people favor one material over another. For example, lots of sleepers enjoy the contouring comfort of memory foam, but others will prefer the cooling effects of gel foam or the added bounce and responsiveness of latex.
The thickness of your mattress is a big factor to consider as well. Thicker mattresses don’t always offer more support than thinner alternatives, and you can get some relatively thin mattresses, like the 8-inch Nod from Tuft & Needle, for example, that offer very impressive levels of support. Those favoring lots of thickness and height may choose an option like the 12-inch DynastyMattress Cool Breeze, and thicker mattresses can often give your bedroom more style and act as more of a statement piece than a thinner alternative.
All mattresses are given a rating based on their firmness and comfort levels. Some mattresses are classed as firm, while others are classed as soft.
In general, the vast majority of sleepers tend to favor mattresses that fall somewhere in the middle on the firmness spectrum. So if you see a mattress rated as medium or medium-firm, it will usually be a good option.
However, it’s important to note that firmness and comfort are very subjective issues. Some people favor firm mattresses like the DynastyMattress Cool Breeze, while others prefer a little softness, as seen in the LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress. The option you choose will depend on your own sleeping style and preferences.
We all have our own sleeping style. Some of us sleep on our backs, others on our fronts or sides. Some of us are known as ‘combo sleepers’, meaning we like to adjust position through the night. Certain mattresses are better suited for certain sleeping positions. So if you’re looking for the best budget mattress for side sleepers, for example, you might enjoy the Nod by Tuft & Needle or the Signature Sleep Coil Mattress. Those who sleep on their fronts and backs might need something with a little more firmness to avoid sinking into the mattress too deeply, such as the DynastyMattress.
Of course, when buying any mattress, you need to find one that actually matches the size of your bed frame. Most mattresses are available in a huge range of sizes. The DynastyMattress Cool Breeze, for example, comes in a massive selection of sizes, but others don’t offer as much flexibility in terms of size. If you have a California King, a split bed, or an adjustable bed, you might find that certain mattresses won’t be available to fit your frame.
Edge support can be an important factor for some people but not matter much to others. Essentially, the edge support of a mattress tells us how firm and supportive it is around the edges. A lot of mattresses, especially memory foam mattresses, can be quite weak at the edges. This means that if you try and sit on the side or you have to sleep on the edge due to sharing the bed with a partner, you might not get the support you need. Some mattresses, can struggle with a lack of edge support, while others, like the Signature Sleep Coil Mattress, have plenty of support all around the edge.
CertiPUR-US is a certification program which tests mattresses for content, performance, emissions, and durability. When a mattress is CertiPUR-US certified, it means that the foam used to make it has met the strict standards of CertiPUR-US and has been made without any nasty materials like mercury, lead, ozone depleters, formaldehyde, and flame retardants. Most modern mattresses are CertiPUR-US certified, and many shoppers tend to favor these mattresses for their eco-friendly and health-friendly nature, as well as their added security.
Sleep trial and warranty
Buying a mattress is a big investment, even when it’s only a budget-friendly model. Having the wrong mattress can cause a lot of problems, both physical and mental, so you need to know that your purchase is protected in case you’re not totally satisfied with the mattress or it suffers any kind of fault or breakage. Most mattress manufacturers will offer sleep trials. Essentially, these trials let you test out the mattress for a set period of time (usually 100 nights) in order to see whether or not it works for you, and you can return it at any time if you’re not happy. Many manufacturers will also offer a 10-year warranty as standard, but some can offer much longer and stronger warranties. The DynastyMattress Cool Breeze, for example, comes with a 30-year warranty.
How to care for your mattress and extend its lifespan
You want your mattress to last as long as possible and give you many years of happy and healthy sleep, so you’ll have to look after it. Here are just a few ways you can extend the life of your mattress and keep it feeling fresh and new for longer:
Turn It Over – Some mattresses, like the Signature Sleep Coil Mattress, actually feature reversible designs, meaning they can be flipped over and provide the same great standards of support and comfort. By flipping a mattress, you’ll be able to keep it fresh and firm, rather than wearing it out.
Use Metal Bases – The materials used to make your bed frame can have a direct impact on your mattress’ lifespan. In general, metal frames are the best option as they provide a lot of breathability and don’t attract any mites or bacteria. Wooden frames, meanwhile, can cause mold growth, especially in humid places.
Clean The Cover – Some mattresses don’t feature removable covers, but others, like the Modway Aveline, let you take off the cover and wash it. This is a great way to keep your mattress clean, remove stains, and to wash away grime and bacteria that can build up over time.
Choose A Cooling Mattress – Our own bodies can actually contribute to the degradation of mattresses. If we get hot and sweaty in the night, that moisture can soak into the mattress and lead to bacterial growth. This is why it’s so important to choose mattresses that sleep cool and feature cooling materials like gel foam. Alternatively, you can also get a cooling mattress topper.
Yes – as long as you choose a quality model! There are plenty of great budget mattresses that are made to be just as durable and long-lasting as their more expensive counterparts. Even if you’re paying a relatively low price, your budget mattress can last for many years if treated with care and looked after properly. If you’re nervous about your mattress not lasting, take a look at the warranty offered by the manufacturer. When brands offer long warranties, it’s a good sign that they’re confident in their products.
Not necessarily. The materials and type of mattress you choose will depend on your own personal preferences. Memory foam mattresses are very popular due to the way they can contour around the sleeper and offer very comfortable support, but they have their disadvantages too like a lack of responsiveness and bounce. Latex is a popular mattress material due to its bouncy nature, and latex mattresses can often sleep cooler than memory foam alternatives too.
If you sleep hot, choosing a mattress that has been designed with breathability and moisture-wicking in mind is a good idea. Mattresses with cooling gel foam are excellent for people who sleep hot, with the Classic Brands Mercer Pillow-Top Hybrid being an excellent example. Hybrid mattresses and latex mattresses are also often better for cool sleeping experiences than full memory foam mattresses.
Overall, the Nod by Tuft & Needle was our top pick for anyone in need of a budget foam mattress. Designed and built to an exceptionally high standard, the Nod offers the sort of comfort and support you’d expect from a much flashier and more expensive model, but is available at a super price.
Next up on our list of the best budget mattress models came the Classic Brands Mercer Pillow-Top Hybrid. With its unique design, excellent cooling ability, solid firmness, and great price, this mattress really stands out from the crowd. It offers amazing value for money and is a good match for those who need lots of support.
Last but not least, third prize goes to the LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress. A simply-designed two-layer model, this budget memory foam mattress offers strong levels of comfort and quality. It has that comforting memory foam feel and also ranks highly for breathability and temperature control.