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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.

New Year, New Ratings, New Recommendations
If better sleep is one of your goals for 2023, we are here to help! Mattresses play a major role in sleep quality, so finding the best mattress is a key step to improving sleep. Our product testing team has conducted hands-on evaluations of hundreds of mattresses in the Sleep Foundation Test Lab. To kick off the new year, we’ve reassessed our top 100 mattress picks and ratings to bring you the best recommendations and most up-to-date research.

Product Details

Best Overall

Nectar Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $399 – $1,138
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side sleepers of any weight
  • Back and stomach sleepers under 230 pounds
  • Shoppers who want a 365-night sleep trial


  • Exceptional contouring due to three layers of memory foam
  • Cooling cover and gel-infused comfort layer aim to combat heat retention
  • One-year sleep trial and lifetime warranty

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Save 33% sitewide on Nectar products

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 all side sleepers 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.

Read our Full Nectar Mattress Review to learn more

Most Comfortable

Silk & Snow Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $600 – $900
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial Length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Sleepers with sharp pressure points
  • Couples who value motion isolation
  • Hot sleepers who like the close “body hug” of memory foam


  • Mixed foam design closely contours to the body without sinking too deeply
  • Silver infusion in cover meant to regulate temperature
  • Memory foam top layer absorbs most movement and noise

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Silk & Snow mattresses

The Silk & Snow Mattress’ mixed-foam design balances cushioning and support, creating a surface many of our testers found comfortable. We recommend this pick to anyone with sharp pressure points who need significant contouring without sinking too deeply.

A layer of gel-infused memory foam begins the comfort system. This layer adapts to the body to relieve pressure points, while the gel infusion is meant to combat heat retention. Underneath is a polyfoam transitional layer that ensures your weight is evenly distributed across the mattress surface. High-density polyfoam makes up the support core, offering pushback to the midsection and shoulders to prevent uncomfortable sagging. A stretchy, breathable cover made from a polyester and spandex blend encases the mattress. This cover is infused with silver fibers engineered to keep the surface cool.

The Silk & Snow falls at a 5 on our 10-point firmness scale, earning high marks from our team’s side sleepers. Those who frequently use this position benefit from a plusher surface that can relieve pressure in sore shoulders and hips. Our back and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds found it comfortable as well, but most other sleepers who use these positions will find they sink too deeply.

We highly recommend the mattress to couples thanks to its high rating in our motion isolation tests. Our testers found little to no motion transfer or noise when moving across the mattress. The mattress also retains less heat than other foam models we’ve tested. This is likely thanks to the breathable cover and cooling technology.

Silk & Snow ships free to customers living in the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada. It also offers a 100-night sleep trial, during which you can test the mattress and return it for a full refund after a 30-night break-in period. The Silk & Snow Mattress is backed by a 15-year warranty.

Read our Full Silk & Snow Mattress Review to learn more
Helix Kids Mattress 3

Best for Kids

Helix Kids

Brand Logo
Price Range: $649 – $899
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Full

Who it’s best for:

  • Children between the ages of 3 and 12
  • Kids who wet the bed
  • Hot sleepers


  • Flippable design with each surface geared toward kids in different age groups
  • Both sides encased in a water-repellent cover
  • Shared coil system has reinforced edges to prevent sinkage

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

20% off sitewide + 2 free Dream Pillows with mattress purchase

Many mattresses are suitable for children to use, but the Helix Kids is one of the only models on the market with a design that targets specific age groups. A flippable hybrid, the Kids features a distinct firmness level on each side. The medium firm (6) surface provides great overall support to aid the proper development of children between the ages of 3 and 7, while the medium soft (4) side cushions the body to alleviate pressure in growing kids between the ages of 8 and 12.

The firm side features a dense polyfoam comfort layer that conforms to the body without sinking too much. The opposite surface is constructed with gel-infused memory foam that adapts more closely without trapping too much heat. A shared support core of individually pocketed coils is found between the foam layers. These coils are reinforced along the perimeter to prevent excessive sinkage when your child sleeps close to the edges of the mattress. The coils also promote airflow to help the mattress stay cool.

As an added precaution, each side also contains a fire barrier. The cover is treated with a non-toxic water-repellent solution, so the mattress won’t be damaged if the child wets the bed. An antimicrobial shield applied to the cover is intended to combat odor and keep the mattress smelling fresh.

Twin and full sizes are available, so the Kids is compatible with bunk beds. In addition to a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers structural defects as long as your child needs to use the mattress, you can also opt for accidental damage coverage. Shipping is free for orders to all 50 states, and each purchase is backed by a 100-night sleep trial.

Read our Full Helix Kids Review to learn more
A picture of the Layla Mattress in Sleep Foundation's test lab.

Best for Side Sleepers

Layla Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $749 – $1,249
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)
Trial Length: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • Couples


  • Reversible design with two distinct firmness levels
  • Zoned transitional layer provides additional support to the midsection
  • Proprietary cooling technology meant to reduce heat buildup

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get $160 off a Layla Memory Foam Mattress + 2 free memory foam pillows with code: SLEEPFOUNDATION

Side sleepers tend to experience pressure buildup in their shoulders and hips due to putting all of their weight on one side or the other. A mattress with close contouring to relieve this pressure while maintaining even support can help reduce aches and pains in the morning. The Layla Mattress has a flippable design with two firmness levels – medium soft (4) and firm (7) – both of which offer excellent pressure relief for those who frequently use this position.

The Layla’s comfort system differs slightly depending on the side you choose. The softer side starts with a thick layer of memory foam that adapts to the body to relieve pressure. This layer is also infused with copper gel engineered to conduct and dissipate heat away from the body. Underneath is a zoned polyfoam transitional layer that prevents the midsection from sinking too deeply into the mattress. Meanwhile, the firmer side’s comfort system features one thin layer of copper gel-infused memory foam for light cushioning. High-density polyfoam makes up the shared support core to keep your body on an even plane.

Our testing found varying performance between the two firmness levels. Our side sleepers thoroughly enjoyed the soft side’s deep contouring, especially those weighing less than 130 pounds. However, most back and stomach sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds will find the firmer side more supportive.

Like many other foam mattresses, the Layla earned stellar ratings in our motion isolation tests. This was especially true for the soft side, which absorbed most movement transfer and noise. Couples looking for a more even surface and better edge support for sex will prefer the firmer side. Both sides earned above-average marks in our temperature control tests, but the firmer side had slightly less heat buildup than the softer one.

Layla ships free to customers living in the contiguous U.S. Mattress purchases come with 120-night sleep trials to test the mattress. If you decide to keep the Layla Mattress, it is backed by a lifetime warranty against structural defects.

Read our Full Layla Mattress Review to learn more

Best Pressure Relief

Emma Original Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $795 – $1,595
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial Length: 365 nights
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side and back sleepers
  • Couples
  • Shoppers looking for an affordable mattress with a lengthy trial period


  • Plush, adaptive foam layers contour closely to alleviate pain and pressure points
  • Excellent motion isolation and no noise
  • Each order is backed by a year-long sleep trial

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

SleepFoundation readers can use code SF5 to get an additional 5% off on top of website discount

Memory foam mattresses are popular with sleepers who have sharp pressure points because of their close, even contouring. The Emma Original Mattress’ balanced, medium (5) feel and adaptive all-foam design ensures plenty of padding for these sleepers without too much sink.

The Emma Original’s topmost layer is composed of memory foam for a plush surface feel when you get into bed. The three underlying polyfoam layers are progressively denser, which helps maintain an even surface as your body settles into the mattress. At 12 inches thick, the mattress is considered a high-profile model. A breathable polyester-blend cover encases all of the foam layers. You can remove and machine wash the cover to keep your sleep surface clean and hygienic.

In addition to side sleepers, our tests show the Emma Original provides adequate support for back and stomach sleepers up to 230 pounds. The mattress also performed well for motion isolation — an important factor for couples. Our testers noticed little to no motion transfer when lying side by side on the mattress, and this is due to the memory foam’s slow response to movement. We recommend the mattress to anyone who loses sleep over their partner’s position changes during the night.

In addition to its affordable pricing, the Emma Original qualifies for free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. California residents also receive free haulaway of their old mattress upon request. Emma’s generous sleep trial allows you to test the mattress for up to 365 nights. Should you decide to keep it, you’ll also receive a 10-year warranty against structural defects.

Read our Full Emma Original Mattress Review to learn more
DreamFoam Essential

Best for Back Pain

Dreamfoam Essential

Brand Logo
Price Range: $299 – $639
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)
Trial Length: 90 nights
Warranty: 10 Year Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, RV Sizes

Who it’s best for:

  • Shoppers on a budget
  • Those seeking an RV mattress
  • Couples


  • Five thickness options, each with a different firmness level
  • All-foam design reduces pressure relief
  • Memory foam prevents excessive motion transfer
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Save 20% on a Dreamfoam mattress using code: SLEEPFOUNDATION20

The Dreamfoam Essential is an all-foam bed that comes in an impressive array of profiles, firmness levels, and sizes. Memory foam on the surface helps ease painful pressure buildup in your spine and lumbar region, while denser foam underneath generates firmer support. This is an ideal choice for fans of foam beds who need a balance of cushioning and support to alleviate back pain.

You can purchase the Essential in five thickness options — 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 inches. The thicker beds are softer and the thinner beds are firmer, with firmness levels rating medium soft (4), medium (5), medium firm (6), firm (7), and firm (8). All models begin with a comfort layer composed of memory foam, which contours closely to your body — with thicker memory foam layers in the higher profile models.

The 12- and 14-inch models feature a transitional polyfoam layer that deepens contouring but has a denser composition than memory foam to prevent you from sinking too deep. This is followed by a thick high-density polyfoam base. The thinner three models lack a transitional layer and are composed simply of memory foam and a high-density foam base.

Given the range of firmness options, many testers on our team found a model that suited them. Side sleepers up to 230 pounds and back sleepers under 130 pounds gravitated toward the thicker, softer models, since these sleep positions benefit from cushioning for the shoulders, hips, and spine. Sleepers above these weight ranges sank more deeply into the bed and reported insufficient support. Stomach sleepers under 130 pounds gave higher ratings to the 6- and 8-inch models, since this sleep position fares better on firmer, flatter surfaces.

The 12- and 14-inch models offered excellent motion isolation and pressure relief during performance tests, thanks to the deep compression of the memory foam surface. If you’re more concerned about edge support, the thinner models performed well in this area.

In addition to standard sizes, the Dreamfoam is available in non-conventional sizes such as short full, short queen, Olympic queen, short king, and a wide range of RV sizes. Dreamfoam offers 120 nights to try out the mattress in the comfort of your home. If you decide to keep the bed, you’ll receive a 10-year warranty. Shipping is free to residents in the contiguous U.S.

Siena Memory Foam Mattress Parallax

Best for Couples

Siena Memory Foam Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $499 – $799
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 180 Nights
Warranty: 10 year
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • People who weigh up to 230 pounds
  • Couples
  • Shoppers with limited budgets


  • Medium firm all-foam design adapts to the body without too much sink
  • Foam layers absorb movement to ensure excellent motion isolation
  • Affordable pricing and a 6-month trial for all orders

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

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

Thanks to its all-foam construction, the Siena Memory Foam Mattress excelled during our motion isolation tests. This means you and your partner should be able to sleep soundly when the other person changes positions in bed or gets up during the night.

The mattress is constructed with three foam layers designed to feel progressively denser and more supportive as your body sinks into the surface. A top memory foam layer contours closely, the transitional polyfoam adds extra cushioning while keeping your body on an even plane, and the high-density foam base stabilizes the entire mattress. The result is a medium firm (6) feel with even conforming and minimal sinkage.

During our tests, the Siena was a hit across different sleeper types. The mattress earned particularly favorable reviews from side sleepers weighing 130 to 230 pounds, and back and stomach sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds, but most testers received a comfortable balance of cushioning and support.

In addition to its affordable pricing, the Siena Memory Foam Mattress ships free of charge to customers in the contiguous U.S. Each order comes with a generous 180-night sleep trial, giving you plenty of time to sleep on the mattress and decide whether it’s right for you. Those who keep their Siena also receive a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers structural and material defects.

Read our Full Siena Memory Foam Mattress Review to learn more
Cocoon Chill Mattress

Best Cooling

Cocoon Chill

Brand Logo
Price Range: $769 – $1,539
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 100 Nights (30-Night Requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Sleepers with pressure points
  • Those who usually sleep hot on foam beds
  • Couples


  • Phase change material regulates temperature and prevents heat buildup
  • Memory foam contours evenly to reduce pressure throughout the body
  • Excellent motion isolation and no noise

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Save 35% on a Cocoon Chill Mattress and get free pillows and sheets

Memory foam mattresses have a tendency to sleep hot, but the Cocoon Chill lives up to its name thanks to phase change material (PCM) infused into the cover. PCM draws heat away from your body and releases it to ensure the surface stays cool regardless of how warm you feel or the ambient temperature.

The Cocoon Chill has a medium firm (6) feel, making it ideal for sleepers who weigh 130 to 230 pounds. Side sleepers receive ample cushioning, which can improve their spinal alignment and alleviate pressure in the shoulders, hips, and other sensitive areas. Back and stomach sleepers in this weight range should also be able to rest comfortably without sinking too much. Like other memory foam mattresses, the Chill excels at motion isolation and does not produce any noise. This means you can sleep soundly without disturbances whenever your partner changes positions or gets in and out of bed.

The mattress has a price-point that’s in line with the average memory foam model and ground shipping is free for all orders in the contiguous U.S. Your purchase will include a sleep trial that allows you to test out the mattress for up to 100 nights.

Read our Full Cocoon Chill Review to learn more
Allswell Mattress

Best Hybrid

Allswell Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $279 – $539
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (7)
Trial Length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Those who sleep hot
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Couples


  • Individually-wrapped coils to minimize motion transfer
  • Charcoal and copper gel-infused memory foam dispels heat
  • Quilted top panel

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

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

Allswell is a relatively new sleep company that currently offers three mattresses: the Allswell, the Allswell Luxe, and the Allswell Supreme. All three have accessible price-points, but the Allswell is the most budget-friendly model.

The 10-inch-thick Allswell is a hybrid design that utilizes both memory foam and pocket coils. This combination creates a balanced feel and will appeal to a variety of sleeping styles. The top 2-inch comfort layer consists of memory foam with charcoal and copper gel infusions to dissipate heat. As such, the Allswell helps you stay cool at night and is great for people who have avoided traditional memory foam mattresses, which tend to retain heat.

Following the comfort layer is a .5-inch transitional layer of firmer memory foam, which helps your body adjust to the coil system and provides extra support. The Allswell’s support core comprises a 7-inch pocketed coil system, with thicker coils along the edges. This construction reinforces the edges and prevents sagging, which increases usable surface area and makes it easier to get in and out of bed.

When compared to other hybrid or memory foam models, the Allswell model is very inexpensive. The mattress does have a thinner comfort layer section, which partly explains its lower cost. The Allswell comes in all six standard mattress sizes, but each size is one inch shorter than the standard mattress measurement.

The Allswell Mattress ships free to the contiguous U.S., with the option to add White Glove service and/or expedited shipping. Allswell offers a 100-night sleep trial and is backed by a 10-year limited warranty.

Read our Full Allswell Mattress Review to learn more

Other Mattress Guides

Still not sure if you’ve found the right mattress for your needs? We’ve tested tons of mattresses at different price points to help you land on one that you’ll love.

How to Choose a Cheap Memory Foam Mattress

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.

What to Look for in a Mattress

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.

  • Price: If you’re looking for a cheap mattress, obviously price is an essential consideration. You can rule out the high-end, luxury mattresses and focus on those with a more accessible price. It also helps to be on the lookout for promotions and discounts.
  • Quality Materials: As you might expect, some budget mattresses cut corners when it comes to the quality of their components. Look for beds with a solid design, well-built components, and a track record of success as this will bode well for the bed’s durability and performance.
  • Firmness Level: Firmness is fundamental to mattress comfort and satisfaction, so you want to pick a bed with the right feel. On the 1-10 firmness scale, with 10 being the firmest, most people prefer a mattress between Medium Soft (4) and Firm (7). Stomach and back sleepers normally do best with firmer options than side sleepers.
  • Pressure Relief: The ability to cushion the body’s sharpest pressure points is a standout feature of most foams and especially memory foam. However, you want to make sure the comfort system, including the memory foam component, is thick and robust enough to accommodate your body.
  • Edge Support: If you often find yourself sitting or sleeping near the edge of the bed, then solid edge support is important. Unfortunately, because of the way foam compresses, memory foam beds can be weak in this area. A dense support core or transition foam layer can help improve edge support.
  • Contouring: Contouring refers to the way a mattress can adjust to the body with a hug-like feel. Some sleepers like deep contouring, especially if they have major pressure points, while others prefer more limited hug. As a general rule, memory foam has well above-average contouring.
  • Temperature Regulation: Sleeping hot can be a real issue for some people, and the problem can be pronounced on memory foam. This can happen because of how the foam fits tightly to the body, gets softer as it warms up, and is limited in ventilation. While this material typically sleeps warm, features like open-cell or gel-infused memory foams may modestly reduce heat retention.
  • Ease of Movement: If you can’t move on a bed, it may feel like lying on quicksand, which can be especially troublesome for combination sleepers and people with an active sex life. The best way to maintain ease of movement is to have bounce and more moderate hug, which is why some memory foam beds are not strong performers in this category.
  • Motion Isolation: When one person stirs in bed, it can be disruptive to their bed partner and may jar them awake. Motion isolation can help prevent this by decreasing how much movement is felt across the mattress. This is a strength of most memory foam beds, which makes them popular with many couples.

Types of Memory Foam

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.

Benefits of a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam has won over a huge number of sleepers thanks to its unique feel and multiple advantages.

  • Deep Pressure Relief: For the body’s heavier areas and problem areas for pain, memory foam offers welcome relief. Its ability to compress in proportion to the weight applied to it allows the material to smoothly cushion the body in key areas.
  • Standout Motion Isolation: If your bed partner is constantly moving around, memory foam can keep bothersome ripple effects from their movement from reaching your side of the mattress.
  • Spinal Support: Keeping the spine aligned is crucial to preventing all types of back pain. With its tailored cradling of the body, memory foam works to keep the whole body in a healthy posture.
  • Silent Performance: With memory foam, you get a virtually noise-free mattress; you don’t have to worry about squeaking or other noise that can disrupt your sleep.
  • Solid Durability: Though it won’t last forever, quality memory foam should retain its structural integrity for 6-8 years or longer.

What Can Affect the Price of Memory Foam Beds?

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.

  • The total amount of memory foam. More memory foam thickness generally equates to a higher cost.
  • The density of the memory foam. It costs more to produce high-density foam, so it tends to raise the price.
  • Overall mattress height. Because a taller mattress involves more and/or thicker layers and a greater amount of total material, it can translate to a more expensive bed.
  • Quality of construction. Mattresses with a thoughtful design and high-end components usually cost more than those that cut corners in their construction.
  • Cooling components. The inclusion of cooling features, such as special cover materials, gel-infused foam, or copper-infused foam, may elevate the price.
  • Extra features. If a mattress has special features, such as a reversible firmness design or a proprietary material, expect those features to increase the cost of the mattress.
  • Where the mattress is manufactured. Beds made in the United States usually carry a higher price tag than those made in other countries. Mattresses made in China are frequently the least expensive.

Shipping Rates, Returns, and Warranties

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. Boxed memory foam mattresses are compressed in plastic packaging and sent to your doorstep in a manageably sized “mattress in a box” 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 a queen size mattress 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 Length of the Warranty: Also known as the warranty “term,” this states how long you are covered.
  • Whether It is Non-Prorated or Prorated: With a non-prorated warranty, the remedy for a defective mattress stays the same over the full term. With a prorated warranty, you have to pay a percentage of repair or replacement costs that increases as you’ve owned the mattress for longer.
  • Who Pays Shipping Costs: If the customer is responsible for transportation costs, going through with a warranty claim can carry considerable expense.

The ideal warranty is at least 10 years long, non-prorated, and stipulates that the manufacturer covers all shipping fees.

Additional Mattress Costs

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:

  • Bed Frames and Foundations: A good frame supports both your body and the mattress, and a weak frame may cause your mattress to wear down faster. Many warranties even require that the mattress be placed on a certain type of frame. If you need to upgrade, a new frame or foundation can cost from around $50 up to hundreds of dollars.
  • Bedding: If you are switching to a new mattress size or just want fresh sheets, pillows, or blankets, build the cost of new bedding into your planning. The price range on all of these products varies substantially depending on their materials and quality.
  • Mattress Removal: If you’re replacing an old mattress, you’ll need to find a way to remove it from your home. Some organizations will pick it up at no charge or for a small fee. Other services charge $50 or considerably more, depending on your location, to pick up an old bed.
  • Expert Assembly: A memory foam mattress doesn’t usually require expert assembly, but if you buy a complex type of frame, you may need to pay for someone to set it up. Depending on the time it takes, this may cost $100 or more.

Get the Best Deal on a Mattress

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.

Mattress Sales

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.

In-Store Sales

  • Black Friday: The Friday after Thanksgiving is a massive shopping day for virtually all products, including mattresses and bedding. Almost all mattress chains, furniture stores, and department stores will offer steep discounts and special deals for Black Friday.
  • Other Holidays: Memorial Day, Labor Day, and other big holidays frequently involve sales events, although they may not be as significant as those on Black Friday.

Online Sales

  • Cyber Monday: The sibling of Black Friday, the Monday after Thanksgiving has become a huge day for promotions for online shopping. Deals are offered directly from manufacturers and on third-party retail sites like Amazon.
  • Prime Day: This sales event for Amazon Prime members spans two days and is held every year in July. Major discounts, including many short-term “lightning deals” are offered on all types of products, and mattresses are no exception.
  • Holiday Sales: Around most major holidays, you can find promotions being offered by online mattress companies. In most cases, the discounts will be available throughout a holiday weekend and will involve a price cut and/or free extras like sheets or pillows.

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.

Coupons, Discounts, and Other Ways to Save

If you’re shopping in-between major holidays or sale days, there are still a number of ways to save.

  • Coupon Codes: A coupon code is entered during the online checkout process, and at that point, a discount is applied before entering payment information. The coupon code could involve a price break, freebies, and/or free shipping. Coupon codes can be found directly from manufacturers and on third-party review sites.
  • Online-Only Promotions: These promos are most often issued by companies that have both physical stores and an online presence, but the deal is not available in the physical stores.
  • Referrals: Being referred to a mattress site can translate to a lower price. The referral may come from a third-party review site or partner of the mattress maker. Referral bonuses can also sometimes come from a friend who has had a good experience with a specific mattress and gets a referral code to give to others.
  • Bundles: Bundles provide a discount on a pack of products. In most cases, this means getting a reduced price if you buy a mattress plus a frame and/or bedding. If you need multiple items, a bundle can be a great deal.
  • Negotiate the Price: Being a skilled negotiator can pay off when mattress shopping, especially in-store where markups are higher and sales people expect you to negotiate. There is less bargaining online, but you can always ask via phone or live chat if there are extra discounts or promotions available.
  • Store Closing Sales: When a store is going out of business, they’ll often clear out their inventory at cut-rate prices. Look for ads on local radio or in the newspaper with details about special store-closing sales.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we'll help you find exactly what you're looking for.

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