Best Cheap Mattresses of 2023
Aug 31st, 2023 •
If you want to buy an affordable mattress without compromising on quality, Mattress Advisor can help you turn the dream into reality. We’ve tested and reviewed dozens of products to put together our list of best cheap mattresses, with an average starting price under $1,200 for a queen size—not counting sales or discounts.
Compare our best budget mattresses, check out our buyer’s guide, and find out why “good cheap mattress” doesn’t have to be a contradiction in terms.
Best Cheap Mattresses: Our Top Picks
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Nectar
- Best Medium-Firm Mattress – The DreamCloud
- Best Mattress for Back Sleepers – Helix Midnight
- Best Hybrid Mattress – Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid
- Best Cooling Foam Mattress – Nolah Original 10″
- Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers – Layla
- Best Mattress for Athletes – Bear Original
- Best Mattress for Couples – Cocoon Chill
- Best Mattress for Back Pain – Puffy Cloud
- Best Pillow Top Mattress – Dreamfoam Latex
Why You Can Trust Mattress Advisor
We hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity in our product reviews and other content by incorporating real customer feedback, empirical testing and objective evaluations. Our results and recommendations are never influenced by the commission we may receive from brands, and products we receive are never guaranteed a positive review.
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Side sleepers
- Average-size sleepers
Queen-Size Starting at $999
When you sleep on your side, it’s important to get the right amount of give in key areas of your body, particularly your shoulders and hips. The Nectar scored an 8.5/10 for pressure relief in our testing process, making it a good mattress for side sleepers.
In terms of quality, the Nectar does not disappoint. In fact, less than 3% of Nectar’s customers end up returning this budget mattress. It offers great edge support, responsiveness, cooling air flow, and durability.
The Nectar has a cooling cover and breathable foam layers, but we give at a 7.75/10 score for cooling—not bad for an all-foam product, but not great generally. A cooling mattress topper might be a smart accessory.
Read our full Nectar mattress review.
Best Medium-Firm Mattress
- Back and hip pain
- People who sleep hot
Queen-Size Starting at $1,199
The DreamCloud hybrid is one of the best medium-firm mattresses and a great mattress, period. It has a high-quality hybrid design that combines soft foam layers with a sturdy, supportive layer of pocketed coils.
The DreamCloud earned a perfect score (10/10) on our edge support test, meaning you can sit or lie along the edge of the mattress and it’s less likely to sag under your weight. Good edge support is also a sign of good durability, so it isn’t surprising that this mattress scored a 9/10 on our durability test.
The DreamCloud scored an 8.5/10 for motion isolation, which certainly isn’t bad, but if you want to sleep soundly through even the tiniest movement from your partner or pet then you may want to find a mattress with a higher score.
Read our full DreamCloud mattress review.
Best Mattress for Back Sleepers
- Back sleepers
- Pain relief
Queen-Size Starting at $1,249
The Helix Midnight brings a lot to the table for a very reasonable price. With a middle-of-the-road firmness and supportive hybrid construction, the Helix Midnight is a back sleeper’s dream come true.
Not only great for back sleepers, the Helix Midnight accommodates side, stomach, and combination sleepers as well. It also does a great job at providing pressure relief (8.5/10 Mattress Advisor score), meaning sensitive areas such as your shoulders and hips will feel cushioned and supported.
We noticed an off-gassing smell as the Helix Midnight was being unboxed. This is normal for mattresses made with foam layers, but you may find it unpleasant. Once unboxed, allow the Helix Midnight to rest for several hours so it can air out fully.
Read our full Helix Midnight mattress review.
Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid
Best Hybrid Mattress
- People with back pain
- People who sleep hot
- Side and back sleepers
Queen-Size Starting at $874
The Bowery Hybrid is a versatile budget mattress from Brooklyn Bedding, a brand that produces some of today’s best hybrid mattresses. With a layered, coil/foam design and medium firmness, the Bowery Hybrid can help a wide variety of sleepers enjoy restful nights.
This hybrid bed scores quite well on our spine alignment test (8.75/10), an encouraging sign for people with back pain. The gel memory foam topper provides a contouring feel while helping you avoid overheating.
The Bowery Hybrid scored an 8/10 in our lab for responsiveness, which isn’t shabby. However, especially restless sleepers and combination sleepers might look elsewhere for a more responsive mattress.
Read our full Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid mattress review.
Best Cooling Foam Mattress
- Hot sleepers
- Average-weight sleepers
Medium firm: 5 - 6 /10
Queen-Size Starting at $1,149
The Nolah Original 10″ is designed to keep you from overheating at night, and the price could keep your wallet from overheating at checkout. It performs comparably with some of our best cooling mattresses, and you can get this Nolah model in the popular queen size for less than $1,200.
The Nolah Original 10″ combines proprietary AirFoam and a breathable Tencel cover, which earns this mattress an 8/10 score for cooling—not bad at all for an all-foam bed. High scores in motion transfer (9/10) and spine alignment (9.5/10) are good signs for couples and back sleepers.
The Nolah Original’s 7.25/10 pressure relief score could be problematic for some side sleepers. Heavier people and stomach sleepers should consider a thicker mattress.
Read our full Nolah Original 10″ mattress review.
Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers
- Those who like to have multiple firmness options
- Memory foam shoppers
Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7/10
Queen-Size Starting at $1099
The Layla mattress suits combination sleepers not just because it earned a 9.5/10 in our testing of responsiveness, suggesting that it’s easy to move around on—but also because it has two usable sides with different levels of firmness. This party trick allows you to sleep on its softer side when you want more pressure relief for side sleeping, or its medium-firm side when you want more firm support for resting on your back. It’s a good mattress for couples who want to change positions without feeling like they’re disrupting their partners on the other side of the bed. And it’s also fairly light on your wallet—particularly given that it’s two mattresses in one.
For those seeking pressure relief, the Layla is a slam dunk: Our testing found that its thick layers of memory foam do an excellent job at contouring to your body’s curves, and relieving stress at the shoulders, hips, ribs, and knees. The mattress earned a 9/10 in this department.
Excessively hot sleepers might find that this mattress is too warm for comfort—despite the Layla’s copper-infused top layers for cooling, it’s still a memory foam mattress that doesn’t sleep as cool as a hybrid or innerspring model. We gave it a 7.5/10 for cooling.
Read our full Layla mattress review.
Best Mattress for Athletes
- Hot sleepers
- Combination sleepers
- Joint pain
Medium firm: 6.5/10
Queen-Size Starting at $998
The Bear Original works well for athletes looking to make the most of their recovery time. Not only does its memory foam construction provide good pressure relief and cooling, but it even has a cover layer designed to promote blood circulation and muscle repair. For these reasons, we found the mattress is a great choice for not just active people but also sweaty sleepers and those with joint pain. Its medium-firm firmness and high responsiveness also benefit those who switch sleep positions or toss and turn. And it’s a bargain, with a queen priced below $1,000 before discounts—so you can save your money for more weight equipment or race fees.
Memory foam tends to sleep hot, but not so with the Bear’s open-cell and graphite-infused foam, which allows for better breathability and airflow. The mattress also has a celliant cover layer that absorbs your body’s heat so you sleep cooler.
The Bear doesn’t isolate motion well, earning just a 7.75/10 in our testing of motion transfer. This suggests that couples who tend to wake each other with their sleepless repositioning might opt for a mattress that better limits the rippling effects of those movements to one area of the bed.
Read our full Bear Original mattress review.
Best Mattress for Couples
- Couples and co-sleepers
- Side sleepers
- Restless sleepers
Queen-Size Starting at $1,239
A good mattress for couples should perform well in isolating motion and providing support around the edges. The Cocoon Chill earns 9/10 scores in our testing lab for both motion transfer and edge support, which means that couples are (a) less likely to be disturbed by movement and (b) free to use more of the mattress surface without feeling the edges sag.
Thanks to its impressive performance in spine alignment and pressure relief, as well as its medium firmness level, the Cocoon Chill is a good match for most side sleepers. Restless sleepers who toss and turn should benefit from its responsiveness (9/10 in Mattress Advisor testing).
The Cocoon Chill’s desirability for couples comes with an asterisk. Since it has a weight limit of 500 pounds, it’s best suited for people of average weight rather than plus-size sleepers. Couples with a combined weight over 500 pounds might consider a sturdier alternative like the Emma CliMax Hybrid or Brooklyn Bedding Titan.
Read our full Cocoon Chill mattress review.
Best Mattress for Back Pain
- People with back pain
- Side sleepers
Queen-Size Starting at $1,799
Can you put a price on a mattress with the potential to relieve back pain? The Puffy Cloud mattress aims to provide a useful answer to that question, with 7/10 firmness and an 8.75/10 spine alignment score.
The high-density foam in the Puffy Cloud mattress is designed to adapt to your body and provide structured support. Also, the high motion isolation score (9.25/10) means that couples can toss and turn with less chance of disturbing one another.
Over time, you may notice the Puffy Cloud sag in areas where you regularly sleep. This eventually happens to most mattresses, but especially those made with memory foam. The issue can be mitigated by rotating your mattress several times per year.
Read our full Puffy Cloud mattress review.
Best Pillow Top Mattress
- Combination sleepers
- Hot sleepers
Soft, Medium, Firm
Queen-Size Starting at $1,124
The Dreamfoam Latex includes a quilted plush pillow top, a responsive latex layer, and a supportive polyfoam base layer. Together, these layers create a mattress great for every sleeping position—and your wallet.
This mattress should do a good job of keeping you cool at night—we give it an 8.5/10 for cooling. Pressure relief also shows good results, with an 8.7/10 score, as does spine alignment (8/10).
The Dreamfoam Latex scores only 7/10 in our lab for edge support, so it might not be the right option if you like to spread out and enjoy all the mattress surface. If you’re willing to pay more, the pillow-top DreamCloud Premier has better edge support.
Read our full Dreamfoam Latex mattress review.
Buyer’s Guide to the Best Cheap Mattresses
Terms like memory foam, hybrid, and pocket coils might sound like the stuff of luxury, but plenty of budget-friendly mattresses offer these features, and more. Many of today’s best cheap mattresses can help you find a happy medium between price and quality for about $1,000.
In fact, the mattresses featured on this page have an average regular price of about $1,150 for a queen-size, which doesn’t include sales prices or discounts. In terms of quality, their average overall Mattress Advisor score is 8.8/10.
Here are some important questions and answers that can help you find the right cheap mattress for your sleep needs.
- Is a Cheap Mattress a Good Investment?
- Most Affordable Mattress Types
- How to Save Money on a Mattress
- What Affects the Price of Mattresses?
Is a Cheap Mattress a Good Investment?
The answer is probably yes, as long as you avoid the extremes. Buying a mattress at the lowest end of the price range—say, $300 or less—often means making big compromises not just on comfort but also longevity. A mattress that starts to wear out and sag after just a few years could turn out to be a less economical choice than a mattress with a lifespan twice as long.
Although you can’t really put a price on comfort, you should also consider the value of getting more restful sleep every night. Spending more than the rock-bottom price could make a huge difference in your health and overall quality of life, especially if you struggle with back pain, sleep apnea, or other health issues.
From a purely financial standpoint, better sleep could also mean less money spent on sleep medications, fewer trips to the chiropractor, and so on.
Related: Best Mattresses for the Money
Mattresses tend to vary in price by type, sometimes greatly. Here’s a quick rundown of price ranges from low to high, plus lifespan and pros/cons for each type of mattress:
|Typical Price Range||Lifespan||Pros + and Cons –|
|Memory Foam||$500-$1,800||5-7 years||+Pressure relief
-Tends to sleep hot
-Limited firmness options
-Purity of foam varies
|Smartbeds||$2,000-$5,000||5-7 years||+Adjustable firmness
What if you’re less interested in materials and design than simply finding the cheapest possible sleeping surface? If you need a cheap mattress for camping or something an overnight guest can use in a pinch, the prices get much lower.
In many cases, you can buy an air mattress or folding mattress for $100-$200. For long-term use, however, a standard bedroom mattress like the ones featured on this page will be a lot easier on your back even if they’re not quite as easy on your wallet.
How to Save Money on a Mattress
The best cheap mattresses do more than save you money. They also improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep without worrying about the expense. Follow these tips to find the right balance between spending wisely and sleeping comfortably.
Shop for Top Brands Online
Shopping online for a mattress is a fairly easy way to get an affordable, high-quality mattress. However, it doesn’t mean that a big-box retailer’s website always offers the best deal. Here are some reasons why:
- You’ll find some nationally recognized brands, but also some second-tier or third-tier brands you probably never heard of. Those brands might also use an entirely different company to sell and deliver their mattresses.
- While most top mattress brands offer free shipping when you buy online, that service might not be available from a retail chain unless you sign up for a special membership (like Walmart’s W+, which costs about $98 a year).
- With discount brands sold by a big-box store, you might get a shorter sleep trial and a shorter, less comprehensive warranty.
- Top mattress websites tend to be more transparent about total costs rather than tacking on various fees (shipping charges, minimum purchase requirements, and so on).
In other words, the allure of rock-bottom prices often comes with strings attached. You could be sacrificing quality, longevity, and overall long-term value for what seems to be a smaller upfront investment.
Holiday Deals and Sales
Certain times of the year are ideal for saving money on a mattress. Mattress brands, retailers, and online sellers have several big sales every year:
- February–Presidents Day (third Monday)
- May–Memorial Day (final Monday)
- July–Fourth of July and Amazon Prime Day (two days every July)
- September–Labor Day (first Monday)
- November/December–Black Friday and Cyber Monday (fourth Thursday of November and following Monday)
During holiday sales, mattress companies and online marketplaces routinely offer deals that shave hundreds of dollars off their regular prices. Holiday sales are also a great time to shop online thanks to exclusive discounts and coupons.
Use Promo Codes and Coupons
Online mattress shopping provides some opportunities to save money that in-person shopping doesn’t. Many brand websites and online marketplaces have promo codes and coupons that you can use at checkout to potentially save hundreds of dollars.
Look for banners that display the codes you can use to get a discount. In some cases, the codes will be ready to enter when you check out so you don’t even have to type them in.
Cash Back Deals with Your Bank or Credit Card
Sometimes banks and credit cards offer special cash back deals on purchases from partner brands, including mattress brands. When you log in to your credit card or bank account, look for these deals and be sure to activate them.
Here’s an example: If your credit card provider has a 10% cash back deal on a mattress brand, you can earn 10% cash back for a qualifying purchase. Buying a $1,000 mattress would mean earning $100 cash back, which you could apply to your balance or redeem as a gift card. You won’t earn those returns at the time of your purchase, but you can think of it as a deferred discount.
Check Out a Bundle Deal
Even when it’s not a holiday, many companies often have ongoing promotions and discounts so you can save some money on an already-cheap mattress. Bundle deals are also a popular way to save money. If you’re getting a new mattress, you might want new sheets, pillows, or a bed frame. Bundling them into one transaction at a discount could save money in the long run.
Related: Best Mattress Deals
What Affects the Price of Mattresses?
You may be wondering how there can be such a wide price range for mattresses. Actually, there are many factors that differentiate mattresses and can drive up costs. When you’re shopping for a budget mattress, think about which features and capabilities you’re willing to pay extra for, and which ones you’re not.
- Size: Larger mattresses require more materials, which of course makes them more expensive to manufacture. If you buy from a seller that doesn’t offer free shipping, more weight could also mean higher shipping costs.
- Materials: High-density memory foam and organic or natural latex are higher-quality and can make a mattress more expensive (and more comfortable).
- Design: Innersprings or hybrids with zoned or targeted supportive coil layers require advanced construction and cost more.
- Brand: Some companies market themselves as luxury brands, while others target the average consumer.
- Cooling elements: Copper, gel-infused foam and other cooling technologies drive up the price of a mattress.
- Smart-bed technology: Highly engineered adjustable airbeds can cost thousands of dollars more than a typical mattress.
Recap: Our Picks for Best Cheap Mattress
Here’s another look at our top picks for the best cheap mattresses, along with links to coupon and deals pages:
|Nectar||Best for Side Sleepers||Coupons|
|DreamCloud||Best Medium-Firm Mattress||Coupons|
|Helix Midnight||Best for Back Sleepers||Coupons|
|Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid||Best Hybrid Mattress||Coupons|
|Nolah Original 10″||Best Cooling Foam Mattress||Coupons|
|Layla Mattress||Best for Combination Sleepers||Coupons|
|Bear Original||Best Mattress for Athletes||Coupons|
|Cocoon Chill||Best Couples Mattress||Deals|
|Puffy Cloud||Best Mattress for Back Pain||Coupons|
|Dreamfoam Latex||Best Pillow Top Mattress||Coupons|
Best Mattresses Under $500
Looking for an affordable mattress that's still comfortable? Check out our top-rated picks for the best mattress under $500.
Best Mattresses Under $1,000
Shopping for an affordable mattress under $1,000? Check out our top-rated picks, reviews, and shopping tips for getting a great value mattress.
The Best Mattresses on Amazon
We've done our research to find the best mattresses on Amazon. Before you start shopping, check out this buyer's guide to find just what you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's a good price for a mattress?
Nowadays you can find a high-quality mattress in queen size for around $1,100 when you buy from an online-only or bed-in-a-box mattress brand. A comparable mattress from a brick-and-mortar mattress store could cost several hundred dollars more due to sales commissions, showroom fees, and other charges.
Can you get a good cheap mattress for under $500?
When the price goes below $500 for a queen size, chances are you’ll see a corresponding drop in quality. In most cases, affordable quality mattresses in the $500 range are probably for twin, twin XL, or full sizes only.
Related: Best Mattresses Under $500
What's the downside of buying the cheapest mattress?
If you go with the absolute cheapest mattress you can find, you may end up with one that cuts corners and lacks quality materials. As with any purchase, shopping for a mattress based on price alone carries potential risks. You could end up having to deal with:
- Interrupted or uncomfortable sleep
- A lingering, unpleasant chemical smell from low-grade foam
- A shorter lifespan and quicker sagging in the mattress
- No warranty
- Subpar customer service
Can a cheap mattress also be comfortable?
Yes, it can. Advances in technology have made it easier for mattress companies to improve factors such as cooling and pressure relief while still remaining budget-friendly. In fact, some of the mattresses highlighted on this page also made the cut for our list of most comfortable mattresses, including Layla, Nectar, and Tuft & Needle.