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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.
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The Tuft & Needle Mattress, also known as the T&N Original, is the company’s flagship bed and their least expensive mattress. The mattress comes in one firmness level, medium firm, and has a below average price-point when compared to other all-foam models.
The T&N Original Mattress features two layers of high-quality, open-cell foam that is both breathable and durable. The 3-inch comfort layer is made of T&N’s proprietary Adaptive Foam, which is durable, high-density polyfoam. This construction contours the body and alleviates pressure points. Graphite and cooling gel beads are added to dissipate heat, which can help sleepers stay cool and comfortable throughout the night.
The T&N Mattress’ support core consists of 7-inch polyfoam with an open-cell structure for increased air ventilation. This layer minimizes sagging and promotes uniform support.
The T&N Mattress has a breathable, soft-knit fabric cover that is a blend of micro polyamide and polyester. There is the option of adding HeiQ NPJ03 anti-microbial protection, which protects the mattress from harmful microbes that can degrade the mattress and shorten its lifespan.
The T&N Mattress ships free to the contiguous U.S., and for an additional fee, to Hawaii and Alaska. California residents are eligible for complimentary mattress removal, and the T&N Mattress is backed by a 10-year limited warranty.
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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.
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The Cocoon Chill is a memory foam design by Sealy, a well-known brick-and-mortar and online mattress company that was established in 1881. Competitively priced, the Cocoon Chill has a 10-inch profile and is engineered to isolate motion well and provide body-conforming support.
The Cocoon Chill is an updated version of the Cocoon Classic and features a comfort layer of memory foam that adapts to your unique body shape and sleep position. This is followed by a layer of responsive polyfoam that cushions pressure points while preventing the body from sinking too much. The bottom essential support layer is constructed from sturdy foam, making it both durable and responsive.
A notable feature of the Cocoon Chill is its cooling cover made from polyester and cotton, which is infused with phase-change material (PCM). This material absorbs and dissipates excess heat, helping you stay comfortable throughout the night. Some all-foam mattresses can be heat traps due to their density, but like its name implies, the Cocoon Chill is more effective at regulating temperature than many of its competitors.
The Cocoon Chill is available in two different firmness levels, and because of its balance of support and cushioning, is our pick for combination sleepers. The medium soft to medium equates to a 4 on the 1-10 firmness scale and is ideal for sleepers wanting a body-conforming mattress with greater cushioning. The other option, medium firm, is a 6 on the firmness scale and provides greater support and less potential sinkage. This level is more suitable for sleepers over 130 pounds.
The Cocoon Chill comes in all six standard mattress sizes, all of which are exceptionally lightweight. Sealy offers free shipping for all U.S. orders, and the Cocoon Chill arrives in an easy-to-move box.
Best for Back Pain
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Sleepers who experience back pain can often benefit from a mattress that has a balance of support and pressure relief, both of which the Bear Original provides. This firm (7) mattress is made from three layers of foam that are designed to contour closely to the body, alleviating pressure without sacrificing support. Though our testing indicates that sleepers of all types enjoyed the Bear Original, back sleepers gave it the highest overall scores.
The comfort layer is made with graphite and gel-infused memory foam engineered to cushion pressure points and sleep cool. The middle transitional layer contains a moderately responsive polyfoam, while the support core is made from high-density polyfoam that creates a durable and stable base. The cover is made from Celliant, a material designed to regulate temperature and promote muscle recovery.
People with back pain will find that the Bear Original succeeds at alleviating pressure buildup while providing substantial support to the lumbar and spine. In addition to relieving pressure, the bed’s all-foam construction also excels at isolating motion. Rather than transferring movement across the mattress’ surface, the foam absorbs it. Couples and people who toss and turn will appreciate this feature.
Bear offers free shipping and a 100-night trial to shoppers living in the contiguous U.S. Your purchase also includes a 10-year limited warranty that covers indentations greater than 1.5 inches as well as cracks and manufacturing defects.
Best for Side Sleepers
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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 (6) 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.
Best Pressure Relief
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Launched in 2020, the Studio by Leesa is an all-foam mattress with a 10-inch profile and medium (6) firmness level. This model features three foam layers and is designed to accommodate all sleeping styles.
The Studio’s top layer is a 1.5-inch memory foam comfort layer, and because the foam is low-density, the material is more breathable. This layer also provides sustained responsiveness and is followed by a 1.5-inch transitional memory foam layer engineered to provide pressure relief on key areas like the shoulders and hips. To round out the mattress’ support and durability, the Studio has a 7-inch high-density polyfoam support core, which prevents sleepers from sinking too much.
The Studio features above-average edge support, which is a great asset for couples or sleepers that gravitate to the ends of a bed. Because the comfort layer is made from low-density foam, the mattress is also more breathable than models utilizing denser foams. Its blue-stripe, polyester-blend cover is soft and stretchy.
Priced below the average cost of an all-foam mattress, the Studio by Leesa is also the brand’s most budget-friendly model. The mattress is backed by a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty. Leesa also offers free FedEx ground shipping to all 50 states.
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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.
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. Boxed 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.
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