The 9 Best Affordable Mattresses for Sleeping Well and Staying Thrifty

·11-min read
Layla Mattress
Layla Mattress

Layla

It's easy to get sticker shock when you start shopping around for a new mattress. But being on a budget doesn't mean you can't get your best night's sleep. One way to improve your sleep—for a fraction of the cost—is by shopping online for the best affordable mattresses.

Buying a mattress online, straight from the manufacturer, saves you the middleman markups and the hassle of going to a store. But with so many inexpensive options available online, the search for an affordable bed can feel overwhelming. That's why the expert team at Mattress Advisor used the brand's 14-point testing methodology to find the mattresses that offer the most bang for your buck—think $1,300 or less for a queen-size bed.

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How to find the best affordable mattress for you

Price

When buying a budget mattress, you'll want to find the right balance between high-quality materials and the lowest price. A top-notch mattress in a showroom will usually set you back at least $3,000, but since online mattresses allow you to purchase directly from the retailer, you can easily find a quality mattress for under $1,300. One hack is to hold off until Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, or Labor Day to buy your new bed—these holidays see some of the biggest mattress savings of the year.

Materials

Memory Foam

The type of mattress you choose can have a huge impact on your sleep experience. Memory foam mattresses are generally the most inexpensive mattress type. A memory foam mattress provides pressure relief and contouring comfort to sensitive spots as you sink into the surface of the bed. But if you sleep hot, memory foam may not be the best option for you. The material tends to trap heat, which can make for a stuffy night's rest.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are another budget-friendly choice. They're made with one or more rows of steel coils sandwiched between thin layers of foam. Innerspring beds are breathable, bouncy, and responsive to your movements as you switch sleeping positions. However, some innerspring mattresses don't feel quite as comfortable since they're lacking those soft comfort layers seen among memory foam and hybrid mattresses. Because of this, this mattress type doesn't do the best job at relieving pressure along areas of tension.

Latex

Latex mattresses offer the pressure relief of memory foam but have a naturally springy feel that's similar to innerspring beds. They're also breathable and hypoallergenic. These perks come at a higher cost, however, and there are few affordable latex mattress options available.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses combine two or more mattress materials in a single bed, allowing you to have the benefits of multiple mattress types. But a hybrid mattress's complex construction typically comes at a premium cost.

Durability

It's hard enough to get a good night's sleep, right? Don't make it worse with a mattress that causes you pain. Sagging, unsupportive beds can cause backaches and neck pain—and less restful sleep. By investing in a quality mattress now, you won't have to repeat this purchase again in the near future. A durable mattress should last at least five to eight years, and anything less probably isn't worth spending your money on.

Keep reading for our favorite affordable mattresses. The best part? All of them come with a risk-free trial period, so you can try out a new mattress in the comfort of your own bedroom and return it if it's not right for you.

The 9 Best Affordable Mattresses

Best overall: Nectar

Made from three layers of premium memory foam, the Nectar mattress boasts many features you'd see in a more expensive bed at a much lower price point. A quilted Tencel cover and a thick layer of gel memory foam work together to hug your sides and cradle your curves, making this bed a good choice for side sleepers. But the Nectar's medium-firmness level also helps it support sleepers of all positions. Thanks to the bed's high marks in responsiveness and pressure relief, you'll be able to change positions easily with enough comfort to keep you snoozing soundly. The Nectar mattress also scored an impressive 8.5/10 in motion transfer, making it a great choice for couples who sleep differently and don't want to disturb their partner as they move around throughout the night. Extra perks like Nectar's 365-night trial period and lifetime warranty make this affordable mattress a no-brainer.

  • Mattress type: Gel memory foam

  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.7/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (5.5/10)

  • Trial period for returns: 365 nights

mattresses
mattresses

Best for side sleepers: Helix Midnight

Side sleepers need a mattress that has enough push back to keep the spine in a healthy posture while still alleviating stress from areas of the body that bear more weight, like the hips and shoulders. The Helix Midnight mattress accomplishes all of this for just $1,099 for a queen-size bed—a steal as far as hybrid mattresses are concerned. Constructed from a base of coils and topped with two thick layers of medium-firm foam, the Helix Midnight provides both the ample support and contouring pressure relief side sleepers need. Because of its superior ability to relieve pressure in the hips and shoulders, the Helix Midnight received an 8.5/10 from Mattress Advisor testers in this category—side sleepers can rest easy knowing they are getting all of the support they need. Plus, thanks to its hybrid design, the Helix Midnight leaves plenty of room for air to flow, helping you rest cool all night long.

  • Mattress type: Hybrid

  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.9/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)

  • Trial period for returns: 100 nights

mattresses
mattresses

Best for back pain: Studio by Leesa

The right mattress mattress can be one of the best defenses against back pain, and the Studio by Leesa mattress doesn't disappoint. Built to maintain a healthy spine, the Studio is made with a layer of high-density foam that supports your spine to prevent it from sagging into the bed and two comfort layers that gently hug your curves for much-needed pressure relief. The Studio also earned a near-perfect score of 9/10 in spine alignment testing, which helps keep excess pressure off your back. Achieving top scores in both spine alignment and pressure relief, the Studio by Leesa is one of Mattress Advisor's top-rated memory foam mattresses, making it an ideal option for stomach sleepers.

  • Mattress type: Memory foam

  • Mattress Advisor score: 9.3/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)

  • Trial period for returns: 100 nights

mattresses
mattresses

Best cooling mattress: Cocoon Chill Memory Foam

Waking up feeling sticky and sweaty puts a damper on your beauty sleep, but a cooling mattress can help you stay comfortable throughout the night. While most beds built with cooling technology run on the pricey side, the Cocoon Chill Memory Foam is less than $1,300 for a queen size. It comes wrapped in a cooling cover designed to move your body heat away from the bed to keep your mattress cool to the touch. Underneath this cover lie three layers of dense memory foam, perfect for cradling your body in plush comfort. Earning a 9/10 in motion isolation from the reviewers at Mattress Advisor, the Cocoon Chill not only keeps you cool but also minimizes motion transfer—ideal for couples who tend to sleep hot.

  • Mattress type: Memory foam

  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.7/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)

  • Trial period for returns: 100 nights

mattresses
mattresses

Best for couples: Nolah Original

It can be tricky for couples to find a mattress that suits both of their preferences without breaking the bank. Luckily, the Nolah Original bed is a crowd-pleaser. Made from a special material that mimics memory foam, the Nolah Original relieves pressure and isolates motion like a dream, earning it a 9/10 in this category. This helps couples rest undisturbed even if their partner tosses and turns. Plus, Mattress Advisor reviewers told HelloGiggles that this bed's borders felt extra sturdy (it earned an 8.5/10 in edge support), which means that you can spread out in bed without worrying about rolling (or pushing your partner!) off of the bed.

  • Mattress type: Foam

  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.9/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (5.5/10)

  • Trial period for returns: 120 nights

mattresses
mattresses

Best affordable mattress in a box: Casper Original

Bed-in-a-box mattresses are good choices for budget shoppers—they're affordable, convenient, and easy to set up. The Casper Original is a great choice for thrifty shoppers, thanks to its simple yet supportive three-layer memory foam design and medium firmness. And for an all-foam bed, the Casper Original impressed Mattress Advisor testers with its high level of responsiveness. Earning a perfect 10/10 in the testing lab, the Casper Mattress quickly adjusts to your movements, making it a good choice for combination sleepers or anyone who tosses and turns in their sleep. Plus, at just 79 pounds for a queen size, you'll only need one other person to help you get the mattress upstairs.

  • Mattress type: Memory foam

  • Mattress Advisor score: 9.1/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)

  • Trial period for returns: 100 nights

mattresses
mattresses

Best latex mattress: DreamFoam Elements Latex

It can be tricky to find a latex bed in a more affordable price range, but latex mattresses have great perks—a bouncy feel, breathable sleeping surface, and supple pressure relief. The DreamFoam Elements Latex mattress provides these benefits at a budget price point. Three inches of latex make up the core of this mattress, while an ultra-plush quilted foam top creates the perfect surface to sink into. Available in three firmness options (soft, medium, and firm), the DreamFoam suits a variety of preferences and sleeping positions. Reviewers were especially impressed with its pressure-relieving capabilities, awarding it an 8.7/10. And at just under $900 for a queen size, this latex mattress is one of the most affordable of its kind.

  • Mattress type: Latex foam hybrid

  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.4/10

  • Firmness: Soft (4/10), medium (6/10), and firm (8/10)

  • Trial period for returns: 120 nights

mattresses
mattresses

Best memory foam mattress: Tuft & Needle Original

If you love the huggable feel of memory foam, the Tuft & Needle Original is an inexpensive mattress that feels anything but cheap. Made with a mix of foam material, this budget bed earned high marks in spine alignment testing, which guarantees solid support. Plus, the combination of materials helps this mattress feel bouncy like latex but pressure-relieving like traditional memory foam, so you can enjoy the benefits of both in a single bed. Uncommon in most memory foam mattresses, the Tuft & Needle Original responds to your body's movements quickly as you shift around throughout the night, earning it an impressive 8/10 in responsiveness. Plus, you still get all of the benefits of memory foam, so your body will be cradled and supported as you sleep.

  • Mattress type: Foam blend

  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.7/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)

  • Trial period for returns: 100 nights

mattresses
mattresses

Best customizable mattress: Layla Memory Foam

The flippable design of the Layla Memory Foam mattress solidifies it as one of the best deals on this list: You get two beds for the price of one. Made of breathable, copper-infused memory foam, each side of the Layla is a different firmness level. Simply turn the mattress over to sleep on either the medium-soft or medium-firm side. Besides letting you choose your preferred feel, the Layla mattress also excels at pressure relief and spine alignment—key components for a restful night's sleep. Its near-perfect score of 9.5/10 in responsiveness is an added bonus: Your body will feel supported without sinking into the mattress, which is a common issue with memory foam. You get all of this—plus a generous lifetime warranty—for just under $1,100.

  • Mattress type: Memory foam

  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.8/10

  • Firmness: Medium-soft (4/10) and medium-firm (7/10)

  • Trial period for returns: 120 nights

mattresses
mattresses

Mattress Advisor's Review Process

Each mattress on this list was put to the test (literally) in Mattress Advisor's lab, which is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Bedding experts spent over 1,200 hours evaluating and comparing mattresses using a 14-point testing methodology to find the best mattresses under $1,000 on the market.

While some of the factors tested are tied directly to performance, like responsiveness, edge support, and pressure relief, others are based around brand operations, such as customer service, shipping policies, and trial period. The Mattress Advisor team combines this proprietary methodology with in-depth interviews and customer experience to arrive at a weighted score out of 10.

Jillian Mueller is a writer for Mattress Advisor.

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