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Home / Best Mattress of 2021 / Best Budget Mattress

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Austin Meadows

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Many consumers share the misconception that a high-quality mattress should cost thousands of dollars. This may be true for some models, but budget-friendly beds are also widely available. Despite their affordable price-points, these mattresses offer the same high-quality materials and strong performance as many of their more expensive counterparts.

Several factors play a role in mattress pricing. These include mattress type, materials, and special or unique features. The cost of a mattress also varies from brand to brand. Online brands typically offer lower prices for mattresses compared to brick-and-mortar sellers, who face more overhead costs.

This guide will discuss how to find a comfortable and affordable mattress. Below, you’ll find our picks for the best budget mattress models sold today, along with a comprehensive guide that includes an overview of different mattress types and tips for first-time mattress buyers.

The Best Budget Mattresses

Product Details

Nectar Mattress

Best Overall

Nectar Mattress

Nectar Mattress
Price Range: $499 - $1,199
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights
Trial length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Any type of sleeper (back, side, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers who prefer close body-contouring
  • People with pressure points in the shoulders, back, and/or hips
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Deeply conforming feel provides excellent pressure relief
  • Above-average edge support and motion isolation
  • 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
Nectar Mattress

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The Nectar is constructed with three memory foam layers over a support core of high-density polyfoam. Though the mattress has a medium firm feel, the memory foam conforms very closely to the sleeper’s body to create a deep cradle many liken to sleeping “in” – as opposed to “on” – the mattress. This results in exceptional pressure relief and ample cushioning for the shoulders, spine, and hips.

We recommend the Nectar to couples due to its superior motion isolation and noise-free design. Thanks to a dense and durable support core, the Nectar’s edge support is better than average compared to other memory foam models. The bed’s mid-level feel is suitable for most sleepers regardless of body type of sleep position.

That said, lighter side sleepers will likely find the mattress too firm, while heavier stomach sleepers note uncomfortable sagging around the midsection. Like other memory foam mattresses, the Nectar may also absorb and trap body heat, causing it to sleep warm.

The Nectar’s price makes it a best value mattress compared to other memory foam models. The company also offers a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, both of which are longer than average.

Layla Mattress

Best for Side Sleepers

Layla Mattress

Layla Mattress
Price Range: $699 - $1,199
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)
Trial length: 120 nights
Trial length: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers of any size and sleeping position
  • People with shifting firmness preferences
  • People who tend to sleep hot
Highlights:
  • Flippable construction for choice of firmness levels
  • Copper-infused memory foam keeps the mattress cool
  • A versatile mattress at a competitive price-point
Layla Mattress

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The Layla Mattress is an all-foam mattress that combines copper-infused memory foam comfort layers with polyfoam in a flippable construction. Each side offers a vastly different feel in terms of firmness, with a suitable option available for a wide variety of sleepers.

One side has a medium soft (4) feel on the 10-point firmness scale, while the other side is firm (7). The medium soft side consists of 3 inches of copper-infused memory foam over 2 inches of a zoned polyfoam, which provides targeted support to different areas of the body. The firm side has 1 inch of the copper-infused memory foam over 4 inches of polyfoam.

The memory foam provides deep cradling and pressure relief for sleepers of all sizes, while its copper infusion works to draw some excess heat away from the body. The cover is made of a breathable blend of polyester, viscose, and spandex, with a Thermo-Gel cooling agent sewn in that responds to heat.

The Layla Mattress’s versatility makes it a solid option for sleepers of all sizes and sleeping positions. Sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds will likely prefer to sleep on the medium soft side, while the firm side is better suited to the needs of sleepers who weigh more than 130 pounds.

The Layla Mattress has a price that is around the middle of the pack for an all-foam mattress. The bed comes with a 120-night sleep trial and is covered by a lifetime warranty.

Vaya Hybrid

Most Comfortable

Vaya Hybrid

Vaya Hybrid
Price Range: $749 - $1,199
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Years, Limited
Warranty: 10 Years, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • Value seekers
Highlights:
  • Medium firm feel ensures gentle conforming and sturdy overall support
  • Breathable construction helps the mattress sleep cool
  • Pocketed coils provide great stability along the perimeter
Vaya Hybrid

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While comfort is completely subjective, some mattresses have balanced designs that accommodate a wide range of sleepers. The Vaya Hybrid is one such mattress. A comfort layer of adaptive polyfoam molds to the contours of your body to evenly distribute your weight and alleviate pressure in sensitive areas, but the foam won’t hug tightly or sink like memory foam. A medium firm (6) feel, mid-range profile, and stabilizing coil system also contribute to the Vaya Hybrid’s appealing construction.

Side sleepers who weigh 130 pounds or more should receive ample cushioning around the shoulders and hips, which can align the spine and prevent pressure from building up. Back sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds should also be able to rest comfortably without sagging around the midsection, where many people carry a disproportionate amount of their weight.

Temperature regulation is another strong point of the Vaya Hybrid. The comfort layer retains very little body heat and the coils circulate air throughout the interior to help the mattress remain cool throughout the night. Thanks to thick coils lining the perimeter, the Vaya Hybrid also excels at edge support and shouldn’t sink too much when you get in and out of bed.

The mattress has a very affordable price-point compared to the average hybrid and shipping is free of charge for all customers in the contiguous U.S. You’ll receive a sleep trial with your order that spans 100 nights, and the Vaya Hybrid is further backed by a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Tuft & Needle Original

Best for Back Pain

Tuft & Needle Original

Tuft & Needle Original
Price Range: $450 - $850
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10-Year, Limited
Warranty: 10-Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Any type of sleeper (back, side, stomach, combination)
  • People who weigh 230 pounds or less
  • Those who sleep hot on other foam beds
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Open-cell polyfoam offers better airflow than many foam materials
  • Moderate conforming cradles the body, without sacrificing support
  • Excellent motion isolation
Tuft & Needle Original

Sleep Foundation readers get the best price on the Tuft & Needle Hybrid mattress.

The T&N Original Mattress from Tuft & Needle is made with a comfort layer of open-cell, graphite-infused polyfoam over a high-density polyfoam support core. The foam offers semi-close conforming and very good pressure relief, but the surface has a medium firm feel and the polyfoam is somewhat responsive. This gives sleepers the combined feeling of sleeping “on” and sleeping “in” their mattress.

Like other all-foam models, the T&N Original Mattress excels at motion isolation and does not produce any noise when bearing weight. These attributes make the mattress ideal for people whose sleep is easily disturbed by movement or noise. The comfort layer material is also fairly breathable, allowing the bed to sleep cooler on the surface than many of its all-foam competitors. The high-density base offers decent stability and support, as well.

While the T&N Original Mattress is a good choice for sleepers in any position who weigh less than 230 pounds, it may be too soft and prone to sagging for heavier individuals – back and stomach sleepers in particular. Edge support may be another issue, as a lack of perimeter reinforcement may cause deep sinkage when owners get in and out of bed.

The T&N Original Mattress is available for a very affordable price compared to other all-foam beds. Tuft & Needle also offers a 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty for the mattress.

Zoma Mattress

Best for Active People

Zoma Mattress

Zoma Mattress
Price Range: $550 - $1200
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year
Warranty: 10 Year
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who want a mattress that conforms closely while supporting heavier areas of the body
  • Side sleepers under 230 pounds
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Zoned support system provides extra support for heavy areas of the body
  • Responsive comfort layer offers a light bounce
  • Triangular cutouts improve airflow, while gel memory foam reduces heat retention
Zoma Mattress

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The Zoma Mattress is an all-foam model with a polyfoam comfort layer that is “zoned,” or divided into different firmness levels. This ensures more support and less sinkage for areas where people tend to carry more weight, such as the midsection and hips, and softer cushioning for the head and neck, shoulders, and legs. The mattress also includes a transitional foam layer that provides added reinforcement for your body, followed by a stabilizing base layer of high-density polyfoam. Its feel is considered medium (5) and contours somewhat closely, but the comfort layer is also fairly responsive compared to memory foam, so you may notice a light bounce on the surface.

The zoned design and medium feel make this mattress best suited to people who weigh up to 230 pounds. Plush padding for their shoulders and hips promotes even spinal alignment and pressure relief for side sleepers, while back sleepers can rest on the surface without sinking excessively. We also recommend the mattress for couples. The foam absorbs motion to cut down on transfer across the surface and minimize sleep disturbances for co-sleepers, and the mattress itself is completely silent.

Given the advanced design of its zoned comfort layer, the Zoma Mattress has a very reasonable price-point. The company offers free shipping and returns for all customers in the contiguous U.S., and the mattress is backed by a 10-year warranty.

Helix Twilight

Best Firm Mattress

Helix Twilight

Helix Twilight
Price Range: $699 - $1,449
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (7)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • People who run hot while they sleep
  • Value seekers
Highlights:
  • Firm and supportive hybrid design
  • Thick coil system promotes steady airflow
  • Strong edge support and unrestricted movement across the surface
Helix Twilight

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Helix Sleep’s mattress lineup includes more than a dozen hybrid models, each one catering to different shoppers based on their body type, sleep position, firmness preferences, and budget. The Helix Twilight is one of the company’s most supportive models. With a firm (7) feel and a sturdy support system, the Twilight contours to a very minimal extent and maintains a flat, even surface for most sleepers.

Those who prefer to sleep on their backs or stomachs should find the mattress particularly comfortable, since these positions generally require extra support. The Twilight is also suitable for side sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds. A responsive surface makes the mattress fairly easy to move across for most people.

The Twilight is constructed with a memory foam comfort layer that conforms evenly without hugging or sinking too much, and this is followed by a transitional layer of dense polyfoam. Pocketed coils and high-density base foam make up the support core. The coils promote steady airflow to keep the mattress cool, and also provide push-back along the perimeter whenever you sleep near the edges or get in and out of bed.

The Twilight has a reasonable sticker price compared to other hybrids. Those who’d like a bit more cushioning can opt for the Twilight Luxe, an upgraded version of the mattress with a pillow-top and zoned coils that costs a bit more than the standard Twilight. Shipping is free for all orders in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty.

Allswell Mattress

Best Hybrid

Allswell Mattress

Allswell Mattress
Price Range: $265 - $465
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (7)
Trial length: 100 nights
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Any type of sleeper (back, side, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds
  • People who like responsive beds
  • Hot sleepers
Highlights:
  • Coil layer provides excellent air circulation
  • Copper- and graphite-infused memory foam keep the mattress cool
  • Zoned coil system offers targeted support
Allswell Mattress

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The Allswell is one of our best affordable mattress picks for a few reasons. This hybrid model is made with a copper-infused memory foam comfort layer over a pocketed coil base. The mattress has a firm (7) feel and thick coils give the surface a very springy, responsive feel. This results in strong support for sleepers and a feeling of sleeping “on” – rather than “in” – the mattress.

The Allswell is also a good choice for hot sleepers. Thanks to strong air circulation through the coil layer, the mattress maintains a cool and consistent temperature. Edge support is another strong point. The support core is zoned with thicker coils reinforcing the border to prevent deep sinkage, while thinner coils provide comfortable cradling for the sleeper’s body.

Due to its highly responsive surface, the Allswell’s motion isolation is somewhat limited, and the coils may squeak and creak on occasion. This can lead to nighttime disruptions for couples. The mattress may also feel too firm for some people, including lightweight side sleepers.

The Allswell is very inexpensive compared to the average hybrid model, and Allswell offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

DreamFoam Arctic Dreams Hybrid

Best for Back Sleepers

DreamFoam Arctic Dreams Hybrid

DreamFoam Arctic Dreams Hybrid
Price Range: $299 - $699
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Short Queen, King, California King, Split California King, RV Bunk, RV King
Who it's best for:
  • Back sleepers
  • Shoppers on a budget
  • Those seeking uncommon mattress sizes
Highlights:
  • Balance of support and pressure relief
  • Strong motion isolation
  • 120-night trial period
DreamFoam Arctic Dreams Hybrid

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DreamFoam offers a variety of memory foam mattresses, but the Arctic Dreams is the only model available with a hybrid option. The Arctic Dreams hybrid mattress provides a balance of contouring and support that helps promote healthy spinal alignment for people who sleep on their back.

The Arctic Dreams hybrid model is a medium firm bed that rates 6 on our 10-point firmness scale. Measuring 10.25 inches thick, the bed has a .75-inch polyester cover quilted with foam fill. Next is a 2.5-inch comfort layer of gel memory foam, followed by a support core of 6-inch pocketed coils and a 1-inch base of high-density polyfoam.

The foam comfort layer provides pressure relief that some sleepers need for comfortable sleep, while the pocketed coil system delivers strong motion isolation and support where it’s needed. The supportive coil system makes this mattress a good fit for back sleepers, who require support to the shoulders and mid-section to prevent these areas from sinking too far deep into the mattress.

The Arctic Dreams has a reasonable price-point compared to other hybrid mattresses on the market. It is also available in a wider variety of size options, including short full, short queen, and short king, as well as RV bed sizes.

DreamFoam offers free shipping within the United States and a 120-night trial period. After an initial 30-day period, customers may return the mattress for a full refund. Mattresses come with a 10-year warranty.

Dynasty CoolBreeze

Best Pressure Relief

Dynasty CoolBreeze

Dynasty CoolBreeze
Price (Queen): $469
Mattress Type: All-Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night request)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night request)
Warranty: 30 Year, Limited
Warranty: 30 Year, Limited
Sizes: 
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers who prefer a balance of conforming and support
  • People with pressure point issues
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Balanced combination of contouring and support
  • Excellent motion isolation
  • 30-year limited warranty
Dynasty CoolBreeze

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Dynasty mattresses

The CoolBreeze from Dynasty Mattress is built with a pressure-relieving memory foam comfort layer, along with two memory foam transitional layers. The mattress has a medium firm (6) feel, so sleepers won’t sink too deeply beneath the surface, but the foams offer close contouring and very good pressure relief.

The memory foam also cradles the shoulders and hips to ensure even spinal alignment for side sleepers, while maintaining a fairly supportive feel for back sleepers. Additionally, the CoolBreeze provides excellent motion isolation and does not produce any noise when bearing weight. These characteristics make the mattress a great option for people who experience sleep disruptions due to their sleep partner’s movements. The zipper can be unzipped and machine-washed, as well.

That said, edge support is somewhat weak in this mattress and owners will notice significant sinkage when getting in and out of bed. The mattress also absorbs and traps a fair amount of body heat. As a result, it may sleep too warm for some.

The CoolBreeze costs significantly less than the average memory foam mattress. Buyers also receive two free pillows with each purchase, along with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

How to Shop for a Cheap Mattress


Finding a cheap mattress is easier than ever. This is primarily due to the rise of online mattress brands over the past decade. Historically, mattress shoppers bought beds from brick-and-mortar sellers, which typically charge thousands of dollars to cover the overhead costs of operating physical stores and employing onsite sales staff. Online brands have much lower overhead costs so they’re able to offer considerably lower price-points.

Online mattresses – also known as “mattresses in a box” or “beds in a box” – may be cheaper, but they offer the same high-quality materials, comfortable designs, and durability of their more expensive competitors. Today’s online shoppers can choose from hundreds of brands and retailers.

Buying a cheap mattress online is a fairly straightforward process. First, customers should research affordable mattress options by comparing different brands and models. After narrowing down their final picks, they should review product materials and specs to see which model offers the right firmness, comfort, and support. To purchase a mattress model, simply select the desired size from its product page and follow the checkout instructions.

Be sure to look for coupons and discounts on the brand’s website – these promotions can reduce the bed’s asking price by hundreds of dollars. Many online brands also offer sales for certain holidays, such as President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veteran’s Day. Sales for consumer holidays like Amazon Prime Day (July 15), Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), and Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) are also common.

Important Mattress Considerations

Mattress shoppers should take many different variables into account in order to choose the best inexpensive mattress. Some mattress brands can be misleading with their marketing jargon, advertising beds with features like “universal comfort” and “unlimited durability” that simply don’t exist. Instead of focusing on inaccurate descriptions, take time to research the following characteristics.

Price:
Factors that contribute to the price of a mattress include type, quality of materials, unique features, and the brand itself. Remember: a low price-point does not necessarily indicate an inferior mattress. Many of the best cheap mattress in a box models rival – if not outperform – their more expensive competitors in terms of comfort, support, and performance.

Sleeping Position:
There are certain mattress needs associated with each sleep position. For most side sleepers, a comfortable mattress will cushion the shoulders and hips, align the spine, and reduce pressure throughout the body. Back and stomach sleepers often need more support for the midsection, but contouring – especially around the lower back – is also important.

Mattress Type:
Each mattress type offers different advantages for sleepers. Foam and latex beds contour to the sleeper’s body to support the spine and alleviate pressure points. Innersprings and hybrids are more supportive and responsive, and also usually more breathable. Airbeds can be customized for firmness using adjustable air chambers, making them suitable for most sleepers in terms of body type and position.

Contouring:
Contouring, or conforming, refers to how closely the mattress cradles the sleeper’s body. Beds that offer deep contouring usually alleviate the most pressure, and also isolate motion very well. Models with less conforming feel more supportive for heavier sleepers and tend to sink less along the edges. For many, mid-level contouring is the most balanced and comfortable option.

Quality Materials:
Some beds offer more comfort and support due to their high-quality components. High-density memory foam, for instance, provides better body conforming and more motion isolation than foams with lower densities. Other examples include organic/natural latex, which is very breathable and durable, and zoned coils that provide strong edge reinforcement and enhanced support for the sleeper’s body.

Firmness Level:
Firmness is measured on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 the firmest. Softer beds conform more closely and provide better pressure relief, but tend to sag too much with heavier individuals. Firmer beds offer more support and less conforming, but may feel too hard and dense for lighter people. Most mattresses sold today fall between 3 (soft) and 8 (firm).

Pressure Relief:
Mattresses alleviate pressure by cushioning the sleeper in certain areas, such as the shoulders and hips, while keeping the spine aligned and maintaining even support for the entire body. Foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses with thicker comfort layers often provide the best pressure relief.

Edge Support:
Some mattresses lack support around the perimeter and tend to sink when people sit along the edges. This can make getting in and out of bed somewhat difficult. Hybrids and innersprings offer the best edge support due to the thick coil systems reinforcing the edges, whereas all-latex and foam beds tend to sink the most.

Temperature Regulation:
A breathable mattress is important, particularly for people who naturally sleep hot. Hybrids and innersprings usually sleep the coolest because their coils promote strong internal airflow to help maintain a comfortable temperature. Foam beds often sleep the hottest because they absorb and trap body heat from sleepers.

Noise:
Most all-foam and all-latex beds are virtually silent when bearing weight. Other mattress types are associated with more noise due to certain components, such as the potentially squeaky coils found in innersprings and hybrids, or the motorized air chambers used in airbeds.

What Can Affect the Price of a Mattress?

Certain mattress features and characteristics can drive up the price-point by a considerable margin. These include the following:

  • High-Density Memory Foam: Density refers to how much the foam weighs. It is measured in pounds per cubic foot, or PCF. High-density memory foam has a density of 5.5 PCF or higher. This material is exceptionally durable and will not lose its shape too quickly. It also provides close, even body  contouring and isolates motion very well. For this reason, expensive memory foam and hybrid mattresses are often constructed with high-density memory foam. Low-density (less than 4 PCF) and medium-density (4 to 5.5 PCF) memory foam are more commonly found in cheap mattress in a box models.
  • Organic and Natural Latex: Latex is a material derived from rubber tree sap. Organic and natural latex are processed with very few chemical agents. These materials are very durable and breathable, and they provide responsiveness. Many mattresses with organic or natural latex layers are priced at $1,600 or higher. Models with blended or synthetic latex usually cost much less, but they do not provide as much pressure relief or durability.
  • Cooling Elements: Some materials may be infused into the cover and/or comfort layer to promote a cooler sleeping surface. Copper is one example. Thanks to its natural conductivity, copper-infused foam dissipates surface heat fairly well. Some mattresses are also infused with phase-change material, which is designed to maintain a constant and cool surface temperature throughout the night – no matter how warm the sleeper feels.
  • Zoned Coils: Many low-cost mattresses feature coil systems with a uniform gauge, or thickness, throughout the layer. Zoned coil systems are divided into thickness zones, with thicker coils reinforcing the edges while thinner coils offer gentler support for the sleeper’s body. Models with zoned coils tend to provide the best combination of edge support and sleeper comfort. Many are expensive, but some models – including the Allswell listed above – have very affordable price-points.

This list is not exhaustive. If a mattress has a relatively high price-point, be sure to read the specs to see why. The cost may reflect special features like those described above – but in some cases, the bed might be overpriced.

Shipping, Returns, and Warranties

We recommend reading the fine print on a mattress brand’s shipping, return, and warranty policies before purchasing a new bed, especially if you are buying online. These policies are fairly consistent across different brands, but careful research will help shoppers avoid hidden fees. This section includes a general overview of what to expect for mattress shipping, returns, and warranties.

Shipping

Options: The vast majority of online brands offer free ground shipping within the contiguous U.S. Some also ship for free to Alaska, Hawaii, and/or Canada. Most standard ground deliveries reach their destination in two weeks or less. If standard shipping will take too long, customers may be able to select expedited shipping for an added charge. A third option, if available, is White Glove delivery. This includes in-home assembly and old mattress removal, but the wait time is often longer – typically two to three weeks.

Rates: Standard ground shipping is normally free within the contiguous U.S. Customers in Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, and other non-contiguous locations that qualify for delivery may pay anywhere from $100 to $600 for mattress shipping. Expedited shipping will also incur extra charges, but usually no more than $50. If White Glove delivery is not free, expect to pay at least $150 for in-home assembly and old mattress removal.

Method: For standard ground shipping, the mattress will be compressed with a machine press, wrapped in plastic, and delivered in a compact box. Couriers will leave the box on the customer’s doorstep, and a signature will not be required. The same is true for expedited deliveries. White Glove couriers deliver mattresses in trucks, and will not compress the beds for shipping. A signature is usually required for a White Glove delivery and an adult 18 years or older should be at the residence when the couriers arrive.

Returns

Sleep Trial: Online brands usually offer a sleep trial, during which customers can test out a mattress, then decide whether to keep the bed, exchange it for a different model, or return it for a refund. Most sleep trials last at least 90 nights, and some span one year or longer. In some cases, customers must “break in” the mattress for a certain length of time (usually 30 nights) before they can return the bed for a refund. This allows your body to adjust to the mattress fully before you decide it’s not for you.

Cost: Most online mattress brands offer free returns within the sleep trial period. In most cases, the company will send couriers to pick up the mattress from the customer’s residence, then transport it for recycling or donation. Alternatively, the customer may be asked to dispose of or donate the mattress themselves. Returned mattresses are never restocked or resold. Some brands charge return fees, but these charges are usually less than $100.

Refund: Once a mattress has been returned to the company, customers should receive a refund on the original form of payment – though this process can take up to 30 days. If the customer is asked to recycle or donate the mattress, they may need to submit photographic proof to the company.

Exchanges: Some brands allow mattress exchanges during the sleep trial for different models, sizes, or both. Exchanging for a more inexpensive model will require paying the difference, whereas exchanging for a lower model results in a partial refund.

Warranties

Length: All mattresses come with a product warranty, which covers products that develop defects. Most mattress warranties span 10 years in length, but 15-, 20-, and 25-year warranties are also available. “Lifetime” warranties cover the mattress as long as the original buyer retains ownership.

Costs: If the warranty is non-prorated, then owners do not pay for repairs and replacements of defective mattresses, though they may need to cover shipping and transportation charges for sending the mattress to the manufacturer for defect inspection.

If the warranty is prorated, then owners must pay a certain percentage of the original mattress price to replace their bed with a non-defective model. This percentage typically increases on an annual basis. For example, a 20-year warranty with 10 years of non-prorated coverage will become prorated in year 11, when owners typically need to pay 55 percent of the original price (or 5 percent for each year of ownership) to replace their mattress. In year 12, they will pay 60 percent. This rate increase will continue until the warranty expires.

Covered Defects: Most mattress warranties list all covered defects. These often include measurements for indentations in the surface that indicate a defect, also known as a “sagging depth.” Other recognized defects may include physical flaws in the mattress that cause early deterioration and manufacturing defects with the cover. On the other hand, physical damage that occurs due to inadequate foundational support or owner abuse is never covered. Additionally, warranties will not cover issues that arise over changes in the owner’s personal mattress preferences.

Additional Mattress Costs

In addition to potential shipping, return, and warranty costs – as well as the mattress itself – shoppers may face other expenses when purchasing a new bed. Please consider the following add-ons when selecting a mattress.

  • Foundations and Bed Frames: Support systems for mattresses include box springs, wood or metal frames, platform beds, and adjustable bases. These support systems must match the mattress size. The warranty may also carry certain requirements about mattress support, such as the maximum width between frame slats or a minimum number of legs.
  • In-Home Assembly: White Glove delivery can be a good investment for people who cannot or prefer not to set up their mattress. This type of delivery includes full assembly, often in a room of the customer’s choice. Services may also include old mattress removal either for an added fee or no extra charge. White Glove delivery may cost anywhere from $100 to $600, depending on the brand, but some offer it for free.
  • Old Mattress Removal: Old mattress removal is not available with standard shipping because third-party ground couriers (such as FedEx and USPS) handle the delivery. In most cases, buyers will need to select White Glove delivery. The cost of White Glove delivery with old mattress removal is usually $150 or more, unless the brand offers it free of charge.

The Best Types of Budget Mattresses

The majority of models sold today fall within one of five categories: hybrid, innerspring, latex, airbed, and foam. These categories are fairly consistent in terms of general construction and materials. However, every individual model offers a unique design and customers will notice significant variations within each mattress type. In this next section, we’ll take a closer look at each mattress type.

Hybrid

Definition: A hybrid is a specialized type of innerspring mattress composed of comfort layers of memory foam or latex, along with a support core of pocketed coils. Although softer and firmer hybrids are available, most have a feel that falls between medium soft and medium firm.
Balanced Feel: Hybrid mattresses offer the contouring and pressure relief of all-foam and latex beds coupled with the strong support and exceptional breathability of innersprings. For this reason, many sleepers consider hybrids the most balanced mattress type. Although the average hybrid costs between $1,600 and $2,000, many hybrid models – including the Allswell listed above – are available for much less.

Innerspring

Definition: The oldest type of mattress still sold today (as well as the cheapest), innersprings consist of polyfoam comfort layers over support cores of open bonnell, offset, or continuous wire coils. Innersprings generally feel somewhat firm and are very responsive, resulting in an exceptionally bouncy surface.
Steady Cooling: Innerspring coil layers promote strong air circulation. As air travels through the interior of the mattress, it will regulate the overall temperature and help sleepers stay comfortable. And because most innersprings conform very little, sleepers experience less sinking and more surface cooling. Innersprings are usually quite affordable, with an average price-point of $900 to $1,100.

Latex

Definition: Latex, a material produced from rubber tree sap, is naturally durable and resilient. Mattresses made with latex often have very long lifespans compared to other beds. The material gives the surface a very responsive feel. Latex is also breathable, resulting in above-average temperature neutrality for this mattress type.
Responsive Pressure Relief: Latex conforms to sleepers to cradle the body and alleviate pressure. However, the material’s responsive feel prevents sleepers from sinking too much. This makes latex beds a good option for sleepers with pressure point issues who don’t enjoy the deep body cradle of foam. Latex mattresses can be somewhat pricey with an average price-point of $1,600 to $2,000, but budget models are available in the $800 to $1,200 range.

Airbed

Definition: Airbeds feature motorized air chambers in their support cores. Owners can add or remove air from these chambers to adjust the overall firmness of the mattress. Standard airbeds contain at least two chambers, but some have six or more. Airbeds may also be equipped for different firmness levels on each side.
Unparalleled Customization: Many of today’s airbeds can be adjusted to feel soft, firm, or anywhere in between. This can be especially beneficial for sleepers who enjoy different firmness levels on a nightly basis, as well as couples with contrasting preferences. However, “budget airbeds” are virtually non-existent. Expect to pay at least $2,000 for a queen size model, and many exceed the $3,000 mark.

Foam

Definition: Foam mattresses may be built with comfort layers of polyfoam or memory foam. Those that contain both materials in the comfort system are known as mixed-foam models. The support core is always made of high-density polyfoam, and dense transitional layers may also be included for extra sleeper support.
Exceptional Contouring: Memory foam conforms closely and evenly to the sleeper for good weight distribution, spinal support, and pressure relief throughout the body. Polyfoam also conforms, but a little less so. Foam mattresses are generally low-priced. The average model costs between $900 and $1,200, but many foam beds – including six of our seven top picks – are available for $800 or less.

Mattress Type Average lifespan Average Price
Innerspring 5 to 7 years $900-$1,100
Foam 6 to 7 years $900-$1,200
Hybrid 6 to 7 years $1,600-$2,000
Latex 8 years or longer $1,600-$2,000
Airbed 8 years or longer $2,000-$2,400

How to Get The Best Deal on a Mattress

The cost of a mattress often depends on where and when customers look for a new bed. Online brands tend to be much cheaper than brick-and-mortar sellers. Additionally, shoppers can save money with holiday sales, comparison shopping, and bundling.

Holiday Deals and Sales

Online mattress brands frequently offer sales and promotions that align with holidays. These sales will be prominently advertised throughout the company’s website, including the homepage and individual product pages. Many brick-and-mortar sellers offer holiday sales as well, but customers may need to contact or visit the store to learn about these promotions.

In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at what to expect from different holiday sales.

Holiday Date Sales Info
President’s Day 3rd Monday in February Because President’s Day is a federal holiday that falls on a Monday, most people receive a three-day weekend. This is also the first major sales holiday of the year, so shoppers should look for new coupon and discount codes from different brands.
Memorial Day Last Monday in May Like President’s Day, Memorial Day is a Monday holiday typically observed over a three-day weekend. Memorial Day is one of the most common mattress sales periods, meaning online brands offer promotions to compete with brick-and-mortar sellers. Expect sizable discounts and coupons.
Independence Day July 4th If July 4th falls on a Friday through Monday, people normally receive a three-day weekend. Otherwise, it will be a floating mid-week holiday. That said, online brands often offer sales throughout Independence Day week.
Amazon Prime Day July 15th Beginning on July 15th each year, Amazon.com offers a two-day sale for people with Prime memberships. The sale includes lower prices on popular items, as well as free or discounted shipping throughout the U.S. An Amazon Prime membership currently costs $119 per year or about $12 per month. Students can become members for an annual fee of $59.
Labor Day First Monday in September Mattress brands often begin sales on the Friday of Labor Day weekend and extend them to the Monday holiday. Generous discounts and coupons for adult and child beds are fairly common.
Veterans Day November 11th Veterans Day is always held on November 11th and may fall on any day of the week. Many mattress brands use Veterans Day to kick off sales and promotions that extend throughout the holiday shopping season. Additionally, customers should look into the policies of different brands, as some offer discounts to past and present military personnel.
Black Friday The day after Thanksgiving Considered the kick-off to holiday shopping season, the consumer holiday known as Black Friday always takes place the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday usually entails massive online and brick-and-mortar sales. Most major brands offer some sort of Black Friday promotion. This may include not only sales and discounts but also price-matching for other brands.
Cyber Monday Monday after Thanksgiving Cyber Monday is a consumer holiday akin to Black Friday, but it exclusively applies to online sales. In many cases, online mattress brands will link Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a weekend of sales and promotions. Expect steep discounts for Cyber Monday. Many brands also offer free bedding supplies, as well as bundling options to help shoppers save money.

Do Your Homework

As with other products, finding cheap beds online requires extensive research into different brands and models. When browsing mattress websites, keep an eye out for the following:

  • Coupons and Discounts: Many brands offer checkout codes that customers can apply to their final purchase. These codes may knock a flat dollar amount off the original price or cut it by a certain percentage. Either way, coupons and discounts can save customers hundreds of dollars.
  • Bundling: Online mattress brands frequently offer sheet sets, pillows, foundations, and other bedding accessories. Some will offer bundle deals that allow customers to purchase a mattress and an accessory at a discounted rate compared to buying the two items individually. Brands may also include free pillows, mattress protectors, and other products with a mattress purchase.
  • Price Matching: Some mattress brands will match competitor prices for certain beds. This is more common for brick-and-mortar sellers, but many online brands offer price matching during holiday sales.

Although buying a mattress online is usually the cheapest option, brick-and-mortar stores have one notable advantage: price negotiation. In their quest to complete a sale and receive their commission, sales staff may knock down the price of a new bed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best inexpensive mattress to buy?

    The wide selection of inexpensive mattresses means that you needn’t compromise when buying on a budget, so the best affordable mattress is one that supports your body type in your preferred sleep position while fulfilling your personal preferences. Different people require different things from a bed, so there will never be one mattress that is best for everyone.

    Before shopping for a new mattress, consider what your unique needs are. Once you know what you’re looking for in a bed, you can narrow down your choices by reading independent reviews and learning more about how different budget mattresses perform. A dealbreaker for one person may be a must-have for another, so focus on performance in various categories rather than relying on marketing jargon.

  • What mattress types are less expensive than others?

    While there are budget-friendly options for most types of mattresses, all-foam and innerspring models have the lowest average price. These designs are straightforward, making them less pricey than complex hybrid mattresses. They also use less expensive materials than beds with natural latex. However, these qualities do not make them worse than beds with a higher average cost.

    Depending on your needs, innerspring and all-foam mattresses can provide years of comfortable nighttime support. All the same, buying on a budget doesn’t mean settling if you have your eye on a hybrid or latex mattress. Some of these beds are available at surprisingly low prices, and you can usually snag extra discounts through online promotions or by waiting for a sale.