When it comes to deep contouring for spinal support, few materials can match up with viscoelastic foam, more widely known as memory foam. Originally engineered by NASA, it’s now found in a variety of products, most notably in mattresses.
While luxury brands like Tempur-Pedic helped kick off the popularity of memory foam mattresses, you don’t have to shell out a small fortune to get the benefits of this pressure-relieving material. Quality memory foam mattresses are available at accessible prices, but it’s important to shop wisely to make sure that you really get your money’s worth.
We’ve selected the five best cheap memory foam mattresses for people who are shopping on a budget. Though these models aren’t laden with souped-up features, they are dependable and allow sleepers to take advantage of the comfort and support of memory foam.
Beyond our top picks, we review the benefits of memory foam mattresses, how to choose one, and key buying logistics, including how to find the best deal on a new bed.
The budget-friendly Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams mattress from Brooklyn Bedding uses responsive Energex foam with a special gel treatment to foster a sleeping surface that is bouncier and cooler than most traditional memory foam options.
Dreamfoam is a wallet-friendly brand produced by Brooklyn Bedding, a well-known mattress company with over two decades in the industry, and the Arctic Dreams mattress is a high-performing all-foam option with a compelling blend of contouring and bounce.
This mattress has three components. The cover is made with polyester that is quilted to have a tufted and inviting feel. The top interior layer is 2.5 inches of Energex polyfoam that has been treated with a gel material on its surface. Energex provides moderate contouring that can feel like memory foam but with considerably more responsiveness.
This bouncier feel makes it easier to move on the bed, avoid feeling stuck, and engage in intimate activities. The gel treatment helps keep the comfort system from trapping heat, making the Arctic Dreams mattress a good choice for hot sleepers. The last component of the mattress is 7.5 inches of polyfoam that serves as the support core and contributes to the overall sturdiness of the bed.
With a medium (5) firmness level, the Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams bed is a hit with most side sleepers, especially those under 230 pounds. It can also work well for some back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds. With some special RV-friendly sizes, this mattress also fits the needs of people who are outfitting their RV.
Brooklyn Bedding allows customers to try out the mattress for 120 nights as part of a sleep trial and includes a 10-year warranty that protects against defects in materials and manufacturing.
Three memory foam layers make up a thick comfort system that give the Nectar mattress excellent properties of motion isolation and pressure point relief at an accessible price.
The Nectar is one of our top choices for finding a top-notch value on an online mattress. Featuring multiple layers of memory foam with a combined height of five inches, the Nectar delivers serious pressure relief at a competitive price.
Three different memory foam layers form the Nectar’s comfort system. Each of the top two layers are one inch, with the top one snugly quilted into the bed’s breathable Tencel cover. These two layers include gel-infused foam to combat heat buildup in the part of the mattress closest to the body. The third layer is three inches of Adaptive Hi Core memory foam developed by Nectar.
The total of five inches of memory foam gives this mattress ample ability to cushion even the sharpest pressure points. As a result, it encourages a healthy spinal alignment, and at the same time, cuts down on motion transfer from a bed partner tossing and turning. A high-density polyfoam support core stops the mattress from sinking or sagging too deeply.
With a Medium Firm (6) feel, the Nectar has wide appeal for sleepers in different positions. In particular, it works well for side sleepers who weigh over 130 pounds and for back and stomach sleepers who weigh under 230 pounds.
On top of the solid price and performance, Nectar sweetens the pot with free shipping, an industry-leading 365-night sleep trial, and a lifetime warranty that has you covered for as long as you own the mattress.
With a four-inch layer of memory foam, the Signature Sleep Memoir mattress provides robust pressure relief with a Firm feel that suits most back and stomach sleepers.
The Signature Sleep Memoir 12-inch memory foam mattress is a great match for budget shoppers who want a robust memory foam mattress without excess contouring or sink.
The Memoir has a no-frills design with two interior layers. The top layer is the comfort system made with four inches of memory foam. The second layer is eight inches of dense base polyfoam.
Unlike some cheap memory foam beds, the Signature Sleep contains a thick memory foam layer. This deep comfort system provides moderate contouring, compressing to meet the body’s weight without sagging or giving way. It is virtually noise-free and reduces most motion transfer to decrease the risk of disruptions from a partner shifting around on the other side of the bed.
With a Firm (7) feel, the Signature Sleep Memoir has more firmness than many memory foam beds. This makes it more appealing to stomach and back sleepers who want light cradling of the body but without an extra-plush feel.
Signature Sleep does not sell this mattress directly through their website; instead, it is offered by third-party retailers like Amazon. Other versions of this mattress with a different height and firmness feel are available from these sellers as well.
When purchased via Amazon, the Signature Sleep Memoir is available with Prime shipping and is backed by Amazon’s 30-day return window. A prorated 10-year warranty from Signature Sleep provides coverage for defects in materials and manufacturing.
Offering multiple layers of memory foam and a slate of special sizes, the Dynasty Cool Breeze is a popular pick for shoppers who want good value on a memory foam mattress for their home bedroom or their RV.
The Dynasty Cool Breeze mattress harnesses the power of three memory foam layers in order to create a comfortable and contouring sleep surface. With special sizes rarely offered by other manufacturers, this brand fills a particular need for people who need an RV mattress.
The 12-inch mattress has four total layers. The top layer is three inches of a gel-infused memory foam. The next two layers are each two inches of memory foam, and the bottom layer, the support core, is five inches of base polyfoam. The cover is stretchy and made with soft polyester.
By using a grand total of seven inches of memory foam in its comfort system, the Dynasty Cool Breeze has notable conforming, making it appealing to people who have significant pressure points. The memory foam layers each chip in to achieve above-average motion isolation, adding to the bed’s benefits for couples. The layer closest to the body is gel-infused to mitigate heat buildup at night.
The Dynasty Cool Breeze has a Medium Firm (6) feel that best serves side sleepers as well as some lighter-weight back and stomach sleepers. Special sizes, including an RV Queen and RV King, have helped make this mattress a hit with people who don’t want to sacrifice their sleep when cruising America’s highways and byways.
The mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial, but customers are responsible for return shipping, which can eat into the refund. The mattress warranty lasts for 10 years.
To get the best value on a low-cost memory foam mattress, you need to know what to look for and what to ignore. Keeping your focus sharp will help avoid winding up with a poorly built mattress that causes your sleep to suffer.
It’s not uncommon to come across some bold — and even confusing or misleading — marketing hype in the mattress industry. Unfortunately, for some customers, this can draw their attention away from the most important factors to consider.
To keep this from happening to you, when researching different mattresses, consider which of the following key issues are most critical for you and how the options you’re researching stack up in those areas.
A number of formulations of memory foam are used in mattresses. While there isn’t a standardized nomenclature, there are some terms that can be useful to know.
Traditional memory foam refers to the classic form of this material that is usually quite soft with deep contouring, top-notch motion isolation, little-to-no bounce, and considerable heat retention.
Updates to the traditional memory foam can take different forms. Open-cell foam creates more room for air to pass through the foam itself and may slightly cut down on heat buildup. Infused foams have other materials mixed into the foam. The most common are gel-infused foams, but there are also copper-infused and graphite-infused materials. The primary purpose of these infusions is to decrease heat retention.
Specialty foams are what some manufacturers have formulated in order to make small modifications of the foam’s feel. This is typically done to try to adjust its level of responsiveness or firmness.
High-density memory foam usually has a density rating of 3.5 pounds per cubic foot (PCF) or higher. This means that the foam is heavier and normally holds up better over years of nightly use.
Memory foam has won over a huge number of sleepers thanks to its unique feel and multiple advantages.
There’s not one foolproof formula for how a mattress is priced; nevertheless, some factors are ordinarily involved in the final price of a memory foam mattress.
As you get ready to buy a memory foam mattress online, it’s helpful to know what to expect when it comes to a number of practical issues such as shipping, returns, and warranties.
For most memory foam mattresses bought online, shipping is fast and free. Bed-in-a-box memory foam mattresses are compressed in plastic packaging and sent to your doorstep in a box of manageable size that typically arrives within 7-10 days.
Once the mattress arrives, all you have to do to set it up is take the box to your bedroom and remove the packaging. Because of the package’s weight, it’s recommended that two people do this together, especially for mattresses that are Queen-size and larger.
The exact shipping terms can depend on the mattress and where it is purchased. If you buy from a third-party retailer like Amazon or Walmart, the cost and timeline of delivery may be different than if a mattress is bought directly from the manufacturer.
When you buy a mattress straight from the manufacturer, you are almost always offered a sleep trial. During this trial, which is usually 100 nights or longer, you can use the mattress in your own bedroom, and if you aren’t satisfied with it, you can ask for a return and a full refund. To carry out a return, most companies will either pick up the bed from your home or help find a local organization to pick it up. In some cases, you are required to keep the mattress for a few weeks as a “break-in period” before asking for a refund.
If buying from a retailer like Amazon, returns will be subject to the retailer’s policies, and any returns will need to be coordinated with them instead of the manufacturer. In general, retailers offer shorter sleep trials than manufacturers.
Whether you buy directly from a mattress company or through a third-party, your mattress should come with a warranty that is extended by the manufacturer.
While a warranty can offer a helpful remedy if your mattress is a “lemon,” it’s important to know that there are limits to what’s covered. A mattress warranty virtually never covers normal wear-and-tear such as minor sagging. In addition, it won’t cover accidental damage from spills or pet accidents.
To determine the quality of coverage provided by the warranty, look at the fine print for three things:
The ideal warranty is at least 10 years long, non-prorated, and stipulates that the manufacturer covers all shipping fees.
Setting up your bedroom can involve different types of costs, so choosing an affordable mattress isn’t the only issue that will affect your bottom line. As you map out your budget, consider these potential additional costs:
No matter where you shop or what mattress you’re planning to buy, it’s natural to want to get the best deal. Knowing about the different ways to save can play a big part in getting the lowest price on a new mattress.
There are prime times for mattress sales that normally occur each year around certain major holidays. If you’re in no rush to buy a new mattress, waiting until one of these sales rolls around can mean scoring a better deal.
Not all brands or models will have the same sales, so it can be useful to do a little advanced research starting about a week before any big holiday or sale event.
If you’re shopping in-between major holidays or sale days, there are still a number of ways to save.