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A strict budget can feel restrictive, but that’s not always the case with mattress shopping. Although a mattress is often a big investment, many manufacturers sell high-quality models at reasonable prices.
Even on a budget, mattress shoppers have no shortage of options, so you will need to narrow your search to find the best model for you. The main details to consider are your weight range, sleep position, and personal preferences, as these attributes affect support and comfort.
In addition to covering some of the best mattress models available in this price range, we will include tips and information to assist you in making a wise purchasing decision. Note that while some queen mattresses we’ll discuss list for over $1,000, smaller sizes and/or promotional discount pricing fall below this price-point.
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Above-average support and cooling components set the Nectar Mattress apart from many competing memory foam models. Constructed with a 3-inch comfort layer, the mattress delivers the plush, even contouring sleepers expect from memory foam. That said, the Nectar is a true medium firm (6) reinforced with dense transitional and support layers, so most sleepers up to 230 pounds won’t sink too much – a common complaint about this mattress type.
The comfort layer is infused with phase change material intended to absorb and dissipate body heat, which can offset the foam’s heat-trapping tendencies. A breathable cover also promotes airflow near the surface to help you sleep cool. Motion isolation is another major strength of this mattress. All three foam layers absorb movement and nearly eliminate transfer across the surface to minimize sleep disturbances for you and your partner whenever the other person changes positions or tosses and turns.
Our testing found the Nectar Mattress is best suited to side sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds, and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. The foam provides adequate cushioning for the shoulders and hips, which can improve spinal alignment and reduce pressure points for side sleepers. At the same time, the mattress is firm enough to maintain an even surface and allow back sleepers to lie comfortably without sinking too deeply.
The Nectar’s affordable pricing should appeal to shoppers who are on a budget and seeking a cheap mattress. Ground shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S. Each order comes with a 365-night sleep trial – one of the longest return periods available for an online mattress – and those who keep their Nectar also receive a lifetime warranty.
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All-foam mattresses have a reputation for absorbing heat and sleeping uncomfortably warm, but some models are equipped with special features to offset heat retention. The Bear Original is one such mattress. Its cover is made of Celliant fabric, an innovative material designed to convert your body heat into infrared energy before transmitting it back into your skin. This process can promote physical recovery and help you wake up feeling well-rested and ache-free. By removing heat from the surface, Celliant fabric also helps the Bear Original sleep quite cool for an all-foam bed.
The comfort layer is made of adaptive memory foam that cushions and contours to the body, but a firm (7) feel means you shouldn’t sink too much or feel excessive hugging. Transitional and support layers of dense polyfoam provide extra reinforcement to keep you on an even plane. Side sleepers may find the mattress too firm unless they weigh more than 230 pounds, but the supportive design is well suited to back and stomach sleepers of most body types.
The foam layers absorb movement well to minimize disruptive transfer across the surface. As a result, you’ll feel very little motion from your partner’s side of the bed and vice versa. Like other all-foam beds, the Bear Original is completely silent and won’t produce any sounds that can lead to sleep disturbances.
An affordable price-point and strong performance make the Bear Original a high-value pick for anyone who wants a firmer bed. Bear also provides free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Your order is backed by a 120-night sleep trial with free returns and a lifetime warranty.
Best for Side Sleepers
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The Nolah Original Mattress is constructed with three different layers of foam that strike the balance between conforming and support that many back pain sufferers look for in a mattress.
This all-foam mattress performs well in many different areas, including motion isolation and pressure relief. In addition, the bed is more responsive than many foam models, adding a slight bounce that makes it easier to move across the surface.
A Tencel cover encases the mattress, letting air circulate through while wicking away moisture. The bulk of the pressure relief comes from a 2-inch polyfoam comfort layer that molds to the body but springs back to its original shape quickly when the sleeper moves, so combination sleepers shouldn’t struggle to change positions during the night. A 1-inch transition layer of polyfoam prevents excessive sinkage and adds bounce, and a 7-inch high-density polyfoam core supports the upper layers.
As a medium (5) mattress, the Nolah Original may be ideal for sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds. Side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds should also rest comfortably on the bed.
A lifetime limited warranty and a 120-night sleep trial come with the Nolah Original Mattress.
Best for Back Pain
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The average hybrid costs at least $1,500 in a queen size, making this one of the most expensive mattress types, yet we’ve tested a few models with lower price-points that still manage to perform well in key areas. One example is the Silk & Snow Hybrid, an inexpensive yet well-made mattress designed with thoughtful features to help ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.
The hybrid features a Euro-top cushioned with adaptive foam. While the overall feel is medium firm (6), this component makes the surface feel plush when you get in and out of bed. A secondary layer of high-density memory foam provides extra cushioning while maintaining an even surface for your body and preventing you from sinking too deeply. Pocketed coils line the support core with thicker springs situated beneath the midsection to ensure enhanced reinforcement around the lower back and hips – areas where many people carry a disproportionate amount of weight. Dense foam encases the coils to provide added push-back along the perimeter and make you feel secure when sleeping near the edge.
The combination of thick foam layers and sturdy coils results in strong performance across the board. Motion isolation and pressure relief are above average for a hybrid model, but the surface is responsive enough to move across easily. The coils also play a role in temperature regulation by promoting airflow, making the mattress a solid pick for hot sleepers. During our hands-on tests, the Silk & Snow Hybrid performed best with side sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds and back sleepers up to 230 pounds.
Silk & Snow offers free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada. Each hybrid purchase comes with a 100-night trial period, during which customers may return or exchange their mattress at no extra charge. Orders are also backed by 15-year warranties against manufacturing defects.
Best for Couples
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The Layla Memory Foam Mattress is an affordably priced all-foam model that has both a firm and a medium soft side. With two firmness levels available, this mattress is likely to be comfortable for most sleepers, even if their needs or preferences change over time.
The medium soft (4) side of the mattress has a comfort layer of copper-infused memory foam crafted to contour closely to the body and redistribute pressure without retaining too much body heat. Copper is also purported to have antimicrobial properties that combat bacterial growth and odors. Underneath, a polyfoam transition layer uses channels to let air circulate and zoning to promote good sleep posture.
A layer of copper-infused memory foam subtly cushions the firm (7) side of the mattress. Both sides use the same polyfoam core for support.
Each side of the mattress has distinct strengths. The medium soft side excels in pressure relief and motion isolation. It is likely to be comfortable for side sleepers who weigh under 230 pounds. Many back and stomach sleepers will prefer the extra support of the firm side. Its sturdier feel also enhances its temperature regulation, edge support, and ease of movement.
The Layla Memory Foam Mattress comes with a lifetime limited warranty and a 120-night sleep trial.
Best Firmness Options
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Brooklyn Bedding offers a wide range of mattresses to accommodate shoppers with varying budgets. The Signature Hybrid is one of the brand’s most affordable models, but thoughtful construction and strong performance put the mattress at the same level as many of its more expensive competitors. Comfort layers of proprietary TitanFlex and VariFlex polyfoam contour evenly to the body, but also feel somewhat responsive. A support core of pocketed coils ensures stable support across the entire sleep surface.
Three firmness levels are available for the mattress. The medium soft (4) option offers the deepest cushioning, making it comfortable for most side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. Back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds may also prefer this softer feel. Those who want a balance of conforming and stability should opt for the medium firm (6) model. During our tests, this feel was most popular among our side and back sleepers weighing 130 to 230 pounds. Lastly, the firm feel provides the strongest support. The back and stomach sleepers on our team who weigh at least 130 pounds enjoyed this feel the most.
Each firmness level offers certain advantages for sleepers. The medium soft and medium firm models isolate motion very well, which can benefit anyone who is easily awakened by their sleep partner’s movements in bed. The former also alleviates pressure by molding closely to the body and cradling the spine. Those seeking robust edge support should opt for the medium firm or firm models. Extra coil reinforcement along the perimeter coupled with a firmer surface feel allow these models to withstand more compression when you sleep near or sit along the edges. These models also earned the highest ratings for ease of movement and sex.
In addition to its firmness selection, the Signature Hybrid is available in 14 different sizes. These include the six standard mattress sizes, as well as a split California king for co-sleepers who share an adjustable bed, an Olympic queen with a bit of extra width, and several sizes intended for trailers and RVs. Ground shipping is free of charge for all customers in the contiguous U.S. Each Signature Hybrid is backed by a 120-night sleep trial with free returns and a 10-year warranty against structural defects.
Best for Kids
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Many mattresses sold today are equally suitable for children and adults, but the Helix Kids is one of the only models on the market specifically designed for children. This flippable hybrid features two distinct surfaces. One side has a firmer foam layer, and is intended to promote healthy growth and development for kids between the ages of 3 and 7. The opposite side is softer, ensuring comfortable cushioning for children 8 to 12.
Pocketed coils make up the shared support core located in the middle of the mattress between the comfort layers. These coils are reinforced along the edges to limit sinkage and help your child get in and out of bed with relative ease. The coils also circulate air throughout the interior to help the mattress maintain a cool temperature. A moisture-wicking Tencel cover provides additional breathability.
Each side is finished with a water-repellent membrane to safeguard the mattress against permanent damage if spills or bedwetting episodes occur. The mattress is also treated with AEGIS Microbe Shield to stave off harmful bacteria. Altogether, the Helix Kids measures 8 inches thick. You can choose between twin and full sizes.
Approachable pricing and free shipping to all 50 states make the Helix Kids a good option for shoppers with limited budgets. You’ll also receive two complimentary pillows with your purchase. Helix’s sleep trial spans 100 nights in length, and those who keep the mattress also receive a 10-year warranty against structural defects.
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The Cocoon Chill is an all-foam mattress made by the sleep company Sealy. The bed combines the contouring pressure relief of memory foam with cooling technology to provide sleepers with a surface that hugs the body without trapping heat.
The Cocoon Chill has a medium firm feel that rates a 6 out of 10 on our firmness scale. Back and stomach sleepers in particular find that this mattress provides the ideal mixture of gentle support and deep cushioning. The Cocoon Chill is also ideal for couples, as the all-foam design absorbs and isolates motion to minimize disturbances throughout the night.
The stretch-knit cover of the Cocoon Chill is constructed using a layer of phase change material, which is engineered to absorb and redistribute body heat to maintain a cool feel. Beneath the cover is a comfort system made of memory foam and polyfoam layers, which cradles pressure points on the body to help avoid aches and pains.
Sealy offers free shipping within the contiguous United States. The Cocoon Chill Mattress comes with a 100-night trial, though shoppers must keep the mattress for a minimum of 30 nights to allow their body to adjust to the new sleep surface. The Cocoon Chill is also backed by a 10-year limited warranty.
Best Pressure Relief
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Hybrids provide a balance of cushioning and support that have made them popular among today’s sleepers, but on average these mattresses can be somewhat expensive. The Sweet Night Dreamy Hybrid is available in profiles of 8, 10, and 12 inches, each of which carries an affordable price-point compared to competing hybrid models. Foam comfort layers contour evenly to the body and alleviate pain and pressure points, while pocketed coils create a robust support system.
The Dreamy Hybrid’s medium firm (6) feel makes the mattress best suited to side and back sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds. Hot sleepers should also find the mattress comfortable due to steady airflow through the coil system and a breathable, jacquard-knit cover. The foam layers absorb movement and reduce transfer to a significant degree, allowing you and your partner to sleep soundly when the other person moves in bed or gets up during the night. We also noticed minimal sinkage during our edge support tests.
In addition to the Dreamy Hybrid’s affordable pricing, customers can save money by bundling their mattress with a pair of down alternative pillows. Sweet Night also offers free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. Each order includes a 100-night sleep trial, and those who keep their mattress after the return period expires also receive a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Just because you’re working with a limited budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for a low-quality mattress. While a higher spending limit can open up more options, plenty of great mattresses are available for under $1,000.
When shopping for an affordable mattress, there are several details to consider. If you want to find the best possible deal, weighing these factors can help you find the most cost-effective option for your needs and preferences.
When shopping for a mattress, you’ll probably come across an abundance of mattress terminology and marketing promotions. While it’s easy to be drawn in, you’re most likely to be happy with your purchase if you focus on the nuts-and-bolts of the mattress.
These factors are the most essential to look for, and thinking about which matter the most to you lets you shrink your options and clarify which brand and model is the best match for you.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to find something that will suit your needs. Many budget models perform well in key areas regardless of their cost. More importantly than price, however, shoppers should consider value. An inexpensive mattress may ultimately cost the consumer more if it needs to be replaced sooner due to quality issues. At the same time, a more expensive mattress could be a better value if it has a long lifespan and an enhanced performance.
Sleeping position is essential to consider when you shop for a mattress. It may be especially critical for budget shoppers, since they may not have the extra funds to modify their surface with a topper or other accessories if the mattress isn’t ideal. If you’re a side sleeper, you should generally look for a model that is highly rated for pressure relief. Back and stomach sleepers typically need a firmer model with enough support to promote proper spinal alignment.
Although shopping within a budget might make it difficult to get a mattress with certain features, you should still be able to find a model with high-quality components. Selecting the best quality possible can improve the bed’s life expectancy.
The firmness level can often impact how well a mattress performs for certain body types and sleep positions. Generally, most sleepers prefer a medium or medium firm mattress. However, individuals who weigh less than 130 pounds may favor a softer model, especially if they sleep on their sides. Those who weigh more than 230 pounds may need a firmer option for extra support, particularly if they sleep on their backs or stomachs.
If you need relief for pressure points, such as your shoulders or hips, consider a mattress with memory foam, polyfoam, latex, or other materials that contour to the body to redistribute its weight. While certain types of innerspring coils can also provide pressure relief, mattresses with substantial foam layers usually perform best in this area.
Light sleepers sometimes wake up at the slightest hint of movement from their partners. A mattress with strong motion isolation absorbs these vibrations to reduce sleep disruptions. Memory foam and polyfoam models tend to perform noticeably well in this area, but other materials can also limit motion transfer.
If you tend to get uncomfortably warm in bed, you may prefer a mattress with strong temperature regulation. Breathable materials allow heat to escape, but other components, like phase change materials and special infusions, are designed specifically for cooling.
One of the most common problems with low-cost mattresses is sagging. A sturdy edge can enhance the structural integrity of the bed and allow you to use the full surface of the mattress. Models with coil cores usually earn the highest marks in this category, but firmer all-foam models can also perform well.
Contouring refers to how well the materials of a mattress cradle the body. When a mattress conforms to the sleeper’s shape, it spreads out their weight to relieve pressure and support the spine. Contouring can be especially important for side sleepers since their hips and shoulders typically press harder against the sleep surface.
The most common types of mattresses include innerspring, hybrid, all-foam, and latex. Innerspring and all-foam models are usually most affordable, but all mattress types have potential benefits that may make them ideal for some sleepers.
There are a few different styles of mattresses on the market today, and each has slight variations that make it distinct. While there are some commonalities between mattresses of the same type, each model is unique, so performance may vary.
A hybrid model combines elements from two or more other mattress types. Coils typically make up the support core, while the comfort system usually uses polyfoam, memory foam, and/or latex. This combination of materials typically results in a mattress that rates well in many different categories.
Hybrid models are often more expensive than other mattress types, but budget-friendly options are also available.
Innerspring mattresses have been popular for over a century, and they are often very cost-effective. While coils are usually the main component, many modern models also include additional thin layers of polyfoam or memory foam for cushioning.
While innerspring models usually excel in responsiveness, temperature regulation, and edge support, they may not provide the motion isolation and pressure relief some sleepers prefer. However, some budget shoppers may choose to buy an innerspring mattress and a topper to create a hybrid-like feel.
As the name implies, an all-foam mattress uses memory foam, polyfoam, or a combination of both. The comfort and transition layers may use memory foam or polyfoam, while the core generally consists of high-density polyfoam. Budget models often rely more heavily on polyfoam, which tends to be more breathable and responsive than memory foam. However, it also doesn’t hug as closely to the body and low-density varieties may be less durable. Some foam models also add layers of latex, but these are typically less common and more expensive.
An all-foam mattress can be particularly suitable for side sleepers who experience pain from pressure points, as the materials cradle the shape of the body to spread out its weight.
Latex mattresses may use natural, synthetic, or blended latex. Natural latex models are the most common, and they’re usually more expensive than other models due to the cost of this material. The advantage of latex is that it relieves pressure while also pushing back against the sleeper’s body, which means sleepers shouldn’t sink too far into the mattress. Some sleepers compare this to a floating sensation.
Natural latex also tends to be more environmentally friendly than most synthetic foam, making it a popular choice with eco-conscious shoppers.
While the higher price-point of a high-quality latex model may not appeal to some budget shoppers, the durability of the material may make it a good investment.
Multiple factors can impact the cost of a mattress. When you’re working with a limited budget, it is important to consider these details to find the best option for your money.
Quality and Type of Materials: Price depends partially on the type of materials used in a mattress’ construction. For instance, memory foam and natural latex often cost more. Coils and polyfoam tend to be much more cost-effective, and high-quality options can be highly durable. However, low-quality polyfoam and coils may prematurely sag or show other signs of wear.
Durability: The less durable your mattress, the more likely it will be to develop issues like sagging that limit its usable lifespan. Durability is usually linked to the quality of the materials, so shoppers who want their mattress to last may prefer to select the highest quality model that accommodates their needs, preferences, and budget.
Mattress Layers: Mattresses with more layers are typically thicker and pricier due to their extra materials and more complicated constructions. While their additional layers may improve the performance of some models, shoppers can often save money by selecting an option with a simpler design.
Density: The density of foam affects its performance and durability. Lower-density polyfoam and memory foam typically cost less, trap less heat, and respond more quickly to changes in pressure. However, they also tend to be less durable and not as exceptional at pressure relief and motion isolation.
Proprietary Technology: Some mattresses use proprietary materials, and this almost always results in a higher price due to costs associated with development. Some special components can improve the performance of a mattress, however, so they may be worth the extra expense for some shoppers.
Shipping, return, and warranty policies can differ quite a bit from one mattress manufacturer to the next. When you add retail stores into the mix, these details could get even more confusing.
While there are differences between how each mattress manufacturer or retailer will ship their products, most of them take a very similar approach. With that being said, a few variances can impact when and how you receive your new mattress.
Many companies assemble the mattress upon receiving an order, and this process can take a few days, adding to the shipping time. Once sent, shipments originating from your region may take just a couple of days to arrive, but those coming from across the country can take a week or more.
Most manufacturers work with a shipping company to send your mattress to your front door. Mattress-in-a-box models are typically compressed, wrapped in plastic, and encased in a box. Some companies also offer White Glove delivery, which means they will send a team to deliver and set up the new mattress. Old mattress removal may also be included. This service usually costs extra, but a few companies include it at no charge.
Many mattress manufacturers and retail mattress chains offer free shipping. Most of these services include to-the-door-delivery. However, a few companies include White Glove delivery at no additional cost.
If you’re shopping on a budget, a good return policy may be especially useful to ensure you have recourse if the mattress isn’t ideal for you. Most online mattress sellers include a trial period to give you a chance to adjust to the bed before you make an official decision. These policies typically last between 90 days and a year.
Three return methods are most common. Many companies ask you to donate your unwanted mattress to an eligible local charity and send them proof of the donation. Some will also help arrange for the charity to pick up the mattress. Other companies send a team to remove the mattress from your home. A few manufacturers may ask you to send the mattress back to them, though this is not standard due to the difficulty of packing a mattress for shipment.
Although many companies offer free returns, some may require you to pay transportation and/or service fees.
Mattress manufacturers usually offer a warranty to protect against eligible defects in manufacturing and materials. The terms of mattress warranties can vary quite a bit, so reading them carefully can give you a clearer idea of the level of coverage.
Mattress warranties typically cover specific defects in the materials or manufacturing, like splitting foam and indentations greater than a certain depth. Changes in personal preferences and damage from mishandling, abuse, and accidents are not covered.
The main detail to look for is warranty length. While some companies offer a 5- to 10-year warranty, others provide warranties that last 20 to 25 years. The terms can also be important, as they will define how returns work and how they deem a mattress to be defective.
Typically, mattress manufacturers offer warranties at no additional cost. However, the mattress owner may be expected to pay associated transportation and/or handling charges should they make a warranty claim. Some policies also include a prorated fee structure for repairs and replacements based on how long you’ve owned the mattress.
When purchasing a new mattress, it may be necessary to consider related costs. These expenses could easily add up and become an issue for shoppers with a limited budget. Whether you choose to limit extra expenses or set aside money for them, you should be aware of additional costs you may incur and how they can impact your experience and budget.
Bed Frames and Bedding: If you purchase a different mattress size than what you previously owned, you’ll likely need a new frame and bedding to accommodate it. Similarly, high-profile mattresses require deep pocket sheets, so you may need a new set if you select a thicker model. High-quality mattress covers, protectors, and sheets can also improve the lifespan of a bed, so they may be worth the expense to protect your investment.
Shoppers should keep in mind that many mattress warranties require that a reliable foundation support the mattress. Before purchasing a new frame or using your existing foundation, read through the terms of the warranty to ensure you don’t inadvertently void the policy.
Mattress Removal: Old mattresses must be disposed of appropriately, which may be an extra expense. These services are sometimes provided by mattress companies and retail stores for an additional fee, though a few include it at no additional cost. If old mattress removal is not available, you’ll need to look into local regulations to ensure you discard it correctly. Recycling is usually the best way to dispose of a mattress that’s no longer usable.
Expert Assembly: Boxed mattresses typically come with unpacking instructions. While most new owners find it relatively simple to set up their new bed, expert help can come in handy if you’re unsure, have physical limitations that make moving large objects difficult, and/or can’t enlist a friend or family member to assist you. White Glove delivery includes unpacking, assembly, and setup. This service often carries an additional fee, though a few companies include it in the purchase price.
A new mattress can be expensive, but useful strategies can help you save money. These methods could easily cut your costs by hundreds of dollars, which might allow you to consider a bigger mattress, new bedding, or other related accessories to complete your bedroom setup.
Both retailers and mattress manufacturers often have sales during holidays or special sale events, such as Black Friday. These sales are typically offered at least once every few months, so you might want to check prices around the next holiday to see what deals are available.
Customers can often save money by buying a mattress directly from the manufacturer’s website. This can eliminate some of the usual overhead costs that get passed on to consumers, like the operating expenses associated with brick-and-mortar retail locations. Additionally, while some mattress and furniture stores charge for delivery, most direct-to-consumer mattress companies ship for free.
As an added bonus, buying online allows you to comparison shop and carefully weigh your options without pressure from salespeople, which may make it easier to find the best value for your money.
Mattress companies frequently offer savings through coupon codes, referrals, and other discounts. While these deals are often displayed on the product page, you might also receive offers if you sign up for emails from the company.
Comparing prices between different mattress types, brands, and models can give you a better idea of what is available within your budget. Once you think you’ve found the right bed for you, you might continue comparison shopping to determine whether you can get a better price through the company’s website or a third-party vendor. Note that shipping and delivery policies may vary between sellers, so it’s important to pay attention to the fine print.
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At SleepFoundation.org, we conduct extensive first-person experience tests on all but a select few products. This hands-on approach allows us to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations for mattresses, pillows, sheets, and other sleep essentials.
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