The 6 Best Affordable Mattresses

"Breakfast At Tiffany's" via Paramount Pictures

Better Sleep Without Breaking the Bank

If money is tight, you might think you need to settle for the cheapest, lowest quality mattress out there. Luckily, that’s not the case. It’s possible to get a good night’s sleep for a reasonable price. You just need to know where to look, and that’s where we can help.

To find the best mattress for your budget (and sleeping style), you need to know a few things about mattresses, like the materials used to make them and how they affect your personal sleep habits. For instance, if you sleep on your side, you need a mattress with pressure-relieving foam to keep your spine alignment healthy. On the other hand, combination sleepers who toss and turn in their sleep need a responsive mattress that allows for easy movement. Find the best mattress for your budget and sleeping style in our comprehensive review below.

Our Top Picks for the Best Budget Mattress

  1. Tuft & Needle - Our Top Pick

  2. Brooklyn Bowery - Best College Mattress

  3. Casper Element - Best Memory Foam Mattress

  4. Nectar - Most Durable Mattress

  5. Helix Midnight - Best Hybrid Mattress

  6. GhostBed - Best Latex Mattress

Before you continue, we'd like you to know that there are affiliate links in this post. This means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the following links.

1. Tuft & Needle - Our Top Pick

Tuft & Needle

If you desperately need a new mattress, but you’re very short on funds, it’s still possible to buy a quality, affordable mattress through Tuft & Needle. A queen size Tuft & Needle mattress costs only $595, making it the most affordable option on this list.

There are a few reasons you should consider buying a Tuft & Needle mattress. First, it is highly responsive, meaning it adjusts quickly to your movements so you won’t wake up if you toss and turn in your sleep. This is due to its memory foam construction. The bottom layer is firm and supportive, but the top layer is adaptive and responds to your movement.

Second, it has great spine alignment and pressure relief, which is ideal for side sleepers or people with chronic back pain. Lying down can trigger pressure points throughout the body, especially in our shoulders, hips, and lower back, and this becomes an even bigger problem when lying on our side, so it’s important for people who experience back pain or tend to sleep on their side to choose a mattress that is built to prevent pressure from building up at those particular points on the body. The Tuft & Needle mattress is very good at distributing pressure evenly throughout the body so you don’t wake up with any aches or pains.

Finally, even though it is one of the most affordable mattresses on the market, it is also one of the most durable. If money is tight but you want to make a sound investment in your sleep, the Tuft & Needle mattress is the bed you’re looking for.

  • Mattress Type: Foam combo
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10
  • Customer Rating: 4.9/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Trial Period: 100 days

Purchase here from Tuft & Needle.

2. Brooklyn Bowery - Best College Mattress

Brooklyn Bedding

Prioritizing money in college is hard because there’s so little to go around. Still, even college students can afford a great mattress with Brookly Bowery. Their price point is low, their product is reliable, and out of all of the mattresses on this list, their mattress is by far the easiest to set up. Moving day is a long, stressful affair, but with a Brooklyn Bowery bed-in-a-box mattress, you’ll have one less hassle to juggle.

The Brooklyn Bowery mattress is made of three types of foam: a base support foam that is nice and dense for a sturdy bottom layer, transition foam which is less dense than the base foam but still denser than the top layer, and an open-cell, contouring top layer which combines latex with memory foam to make this mattress very responsive and great for spine alignment. Together, these foams are ideal for restless sleepers, side sleepers, back sleepers, and more.

A queen size mattress costs $699 (before any special offers), but a twin XL, the most common mattress size for college, costs only $549, making a cost-effective way to invest in your health in college. Many college students don’t get enough sleep, but with a Brooklyn Bowery mattress, you can make sure that the sleep you do manage to get is high-quality

  • Mattress Type: Foam combo
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.5/10
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Medium (5/10)
  • Trial Period: 120 nights

Purchase here from Brooklyn Bedding.

3. Casper Element (Previously Casper Essential) - Best Memory Foam Mattress

Casper

Mattresses today can be made out of several different types of materials, but one of the most popular is memory foam. There are a lot of advantages to a memory foam bed, like how the inexpensive materials make it more affordable for everyone, or how the foam provides amazing back support. However, one of the biggest downsides to a memory foam mattress is that its edges are often flimsy and quick to break down due to the lack of structure in the top layer of foam.

This isn’t always the case though. The Casper Essential mattress is an all-foam mattress, and it has incredible edge support, making it the best memory foam mattress on this list. If you tend to get ready while sitting on the edge of your bed, this Casper mattress is the only memory foam mattress that will hold up to that kind of consistent wear and tear.

The Casper Essential is made of three layers of foam which combine to relieve pressure and respond quickly to your movements throughout the night. The base layer is a high-density foam for structure and support, to help prevent sagging. The top two layers are softer and less dense, and they adjust to the curvature of your spine to provide spine alignment and pressure relief.

Finally, one of the best things about the Casper Essential is its price tag. A queen size mattress is only $595 (before any special offers), making it one of the most affordable options available anywhere.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.4/10
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Trial Period: 100 days

Purchase here from Casper.

4. Nectar - Most Durable Mattress

Nectar

One of the presumed downsides with memory foam mattresses is that they wear down relatively quickly. This means you may need to make this investment over and over and over, which can get pricey fast, even if you go with a cheap mattress each time. Usually the only way to avoid this problem is to pay a lot of money for a more durable (but more expensive) mattress. However, this isn’t the only solution. You could get a Nectar mattress instead.

The Nectar mattress is, far and away, the most durable mattress on this list. Its gel memory foam lasts longer than regular memory foam, and they offer a lifetime warranty, protecting your mattress for as long as you own it. Additionally, the Nectar mattress has great pressure-relieving properties, which is excellent for side sleepers and back sleepers. For $799 for a queen, you can get an amazing night’s sleep every night for years with this incredibly durable, comfortable mattress.

Another great advantage to buying a Nectar mattress is their extra long sleep trial period. Online mattress shopping can be stressful; after all, you’re buying a bed without ever having laid on it. But Nectar takes all the stress out of online shopping with a trial period lasting a full year. You could sleep on your Nectar mattress for 365 days, and at the last second decide it isn’t really for you, and still return it for a full refund. If you’re looking for a long-lasting mattress with a flexible commitment, Nectar is perfect for you.

  • Mattress Type: Gel memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Trial Period: 365 days

Purchase here from Nectar.

5. Helix Midnight - Best Hybrid Mattress

Helix

If you aren’t totally sold on a memory foam mattress, there are hybrid budget mattresses available. However, what is considered affordable when it comes to memory foam is very different from what is considered affordable for hybrids. The Helix Midnight, for example, is an excellent quality bed for a very affordable price, and a queen size mattress will run you $995 (before any special offers). This is an amazing deal when you look at the average price of other hybrid mattresses, but if you’re looking to keep your new mattress well under a thousand bucks, then you may need to stick with pure memory foam.

So what makes a hybrid mattress different from a memory foam mattress? Hybrid mattresses contain materials other than memory foam, which can range from springs to latex and more. The Helix Midnight is made up of five different layers, four of which are foam and one of which is “pocket coils.” Pocket coils are springs, like those used in innerspring mattresses, but they are each individually wrapped in fabric and function on their own rather than as a network, like they do in innerspring mattresses.

With over 500 pocket coils, the Helix Midnight is highly responsive and bouncy, but has very low motion transfer, so if your partner is a restless sleeper, you can still sleep soundly.

Another great aspect of hybrid mattresses is that they tend to run cooler than all-foam mattresses, and this applies to the Helix Midnight as well. The springs allow for more air flow, which helps with temperature regulation to keep you from overheating in the middle of the night.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.9/10
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium (6/10)
  • Trial Period: 100 days

Purchase here from Helix.

6. GhostBed - Best Latex Mattress

GhostBed

Latex mattresses are typically the priciest of all types of mattresses because they come with the benefits of both memory foam and innerspring mattresses combined. However, the GhostBed is a latex mattress that you can buy at a very affordable price point. Whether you’re a side sleeper, a stomach sleeper, or a back sleeper, the GhostBed can help keep your spine in alignment.

However, the GhostBed is not great for pressure relief, so if you experience back pain with your current mattress you may want to take advantage of the 101 day sleep trial when it comes to this new bed. Various pressure points throughout our body are affected as we sleep, and people with back pain need a mattress specifically designed to relieve that pressure. The GhostBed didn’t do poorly on our pressure-relief tests, but it didn’t do as well as many of the other options on this list.

One area where the GhostBed really excels is its cooling properties. One of the benefits of latex is how cool and breathable it is. If you tend to get night sweats or just generally run hot, the GhostBed is a great option to keep you cool all night long.

Related: Best Cooling Mattresses for Hot Sleepers

Finally, we love GhostBed’s 20-year warranty. Many beds come with a 10-year warranty, which is great, but 20 years is even better. A mattress is an investment. A queen size GhostBed costs $1,095 (before any special offers), so you want to make sure it’s a sound investment that will help you sleep better and last a long time. If it fits your budget, a thousand dollars doesn’t seem like a bad price for 20 years worth of sound sleep.

  • Mattress Type: Latex with gel memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.6/10
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm/Firm (6.5/10)
  • Trial Period: 101 days

Purchase here from GhostBed.

The Benefits of Choosing a Budget Mattress

The obvious advantage to choosing a budget mattress over a more expensive or “luxury” mattress is the cost savings. Even though it’s important to invest in your sleep, you don’t want to go into debt buying a mattress. You need to look for a mattress that’s within your price range, and sometimes that limits you to budget mattresses.

In addition to saving money, buying a budget mattress is also a great way to spend your money more carefully. Many “luxury” mattresses include unnecessary materials that make the mattress needlessly more expensive, or even worse, some companies simply use popular buzzwords to up the value of their mattresses that are actually no better than a budget mattress. This isn't always the case of course. Some mattresses really do offer additional features that are worth the extra money, but choosing a budget mattress can protect you from unreasonable price increases.

What to Consider When Choosing an Affordable Mattress

Before buying a budget mattress, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in a mattress based on your price range, sleeping position, and sleeping partner (if you have one). The following sections will provide key guidance on how to choose the best budget mattress for your needs.

The Difference Between a Budget Mattress and a Cheap Mattress

Many people are hesitant about buying a budget mattress because they worry that it’s a cheap mattress - that is, a poorly made mattress that will likely have problems and need replaced soon after purchasing. These cheap mattresses definitely exist, but that doesn’t mean all budget mattresses are a bad investment. You just need to know how to tell the difference between a well-made but inexpensive bed and a mattress that’s just cheap.

The best way to determine if the mattress is a safe purchase is to look into whether the company offers a sleep trial period and a warranty lasting at least 10 years. If not, then odds are high that it’s a bad mattress. Both a sleep trial and a warranty show that a company has faith in their product and are willing to put their money where their mouth is.

A sleep trial is important because any time you change mattresses, it takes time to adjust to the new one, and it can be difficult to tell if you’re adjusting, or if this mattress really isn’t right for you. A warranty helps protect you from shoddy craftsmanship, and allows you to get your money back if the mattress falls apart prematurely.

What About an Innerspring Mattress?

You may have noticed that all of the budget-friendly mattresses on this list are made of memory foam, latex, or a hybrid of some kind. You may be wondering, what about innerspring mattresses? Why aren’t they included in this list?

Unfortunately, innerspring mattresses are typically more expensive than any other type of mattress. Even the least expensive innerspring mattress is going to cost at least a thousand dollars. This may work for some, but generally, they are not considered the most budget-friendly mattresses. They are often firmer and more responsive than other types of mattresses, but they have very poor motion isolation and are prone to sagging.

If you prefer a firm, bouncy mattress, then innerspring might be the best option for you, but be prepared to spend more time saving up for one.

How to Choose the Best Mattress for Your Sleeping Position

There are four basic sleeping positions: back, stomach, side, and combination. Each position requires different kinds of support from a mattress, so before you buy one, it’s best to be aware of your (and your partner’s) typical sleep style.

Quiz: What's the Best Mattress for Your Sleep Style?

Back Sleepers

Sleeping on your back provides your spine with good natural alignment, so back sleepers have relatively few needs from their mattress. You don’t want a mattress that’s too firm because it won’t adjust to the curvature of your spine and pressure may build up in your hips or shoulders throughout the night. Look for a mattress with good pressure-relieving properties if you tend to wake up with aches and pains, but otherwise, your sleep style is pretty adaptable to most kinds of mattresses.

Stomach Sleepers

If you typically sleep on your stomach, your spine may not be in the best alignment to prevent stiffness and discomfort, especially if you have a particularly soft mattress. A soft mattress allows for your spine to dip in the middle, causing pressure to build up in your hips, shoulders, and lower back. Generally, stomach sleepers do best with a firm mattress that can provide them with the support they need. An innerspring mattress is usually best for this, but some memory foam mattresses have added firmness specifically for stomach sleepers.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers have the highest risk of back pain due to sleeping on a mattress unsuited to their sleep style. When we sleep on our side, lots of pressure naturally builds up in our hips and shoulders, and it’s very easy for our spines to be poorly aligned. Side sleepers need a mattress that molds itself to the curvature of their body while still supporting the spine and keeping it in alignment.

Combination Sleepers

Combination sleepers are those of us who tend to toss and turn throughout the night, taking on a variety of sleeping styles. You might think, how am I supposed to find the right mattress for my sleep style when I don’t seem to have just one? It’s simple: you need a highly responsive mattress. Any restless sleeper will tell you there’s nothing worse than having to wake up every time you want to roll over in your sleep, and that’s what happens when a mattress isn’t very responsive. A responsive mattress adapts to your movements and makes moving around in bed easier, which is ideal for combo sleepers.

Plush vs Firm: How to Choose

If this is the first mattress you’ve bought on your own and you’re used to just sleeping on whatever’s available, it might be difficult to decide whether you want to go for a plush mattress or a firm one. What are the pros and cons to each?

The best part of a firm mattress is the responsiveness. If you tend to toss and turn or if you like your mattress to have a little bounce, then you probably want a mattress with a high firmness level. However, it’s important to remember that firm mattresses provide less pressure relief, especially for back or side sleepers.

On the other hand, plush mattresses really shine when it comes to spine alignment and pressure relief. Soft mattresses mold to your body and provide custom support for your body’s specific needs. However, their softness makes it very difficult to move around, and they tend to have very poor edge support, which is bad news if you tend to sleep near the edge of the bed.

FAQ About the Best Budget Mattresses

Can I save money by skipping a box spring?

Maybe. It all depends on what kind of bed frame you have or want to get. A metal frame is cheapest, but it absolutely requires a box spring. Without one, your mattress will sag and deteriorate much quicker than it should. On the other hand, if you spring for the more expensive platform or slatted bed frame, a box spring is totally unnecessary.

Is it safe to buy a mattress on Amazon?

Yes, but only if you do your research (which is what you’re doing here, so good job!). As long as you can confirm that the mattress company is legitimate and the mattress itself comes with a sleep trial and a warranty, it is safe to buy a bed off of Amazon.

Can I buy a pillow top mattress pad to extend the life of my old mattress instead of getting a new one?

This is an option, but it isn’t necessarily the best one, especially if you are experiencing back pain with your current mattress. A pillow top pad will add some cushion to your sleep experience, but if your mattress is sagging or the edges are deteriorating, a pillow top pad can’t help with those things, and they will continue to impact your sleep quality

Conclusion

Buying a new budget mattress can be stressful because you want to invest in your sleep health, but you have to be realistic about what you can afford. Thankfully, there are several great value mattresses available that can provide you with a great night’s sleep for a low price. No matter what you’re looking for in a mattress, soft or firm, memory foam or latex, there is an affordable option out there to suit your needs.

  1. Tuft & Needle - Our Top Pick

  2. Brooklyn Bowery - Best College Mattress

  3. Casper Element - Best Memory Foam Mattress

  4. Nectar - Most Durable Mattress

  5. Helix Midnight - Best Hybrid Mattress

  6. GhostBed - Best Latex Mattress

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