Best Cheap Mattress for Your Budget in 2021

Creating a budget and sticking to it can be hard. Finding the best mattress within your budget shouldn’t be.

By Ashley Little

Feb 25th, 2021

Finding an inexpensive and affordable mattress without sacrificing on purchasing a high-quality bed can feel like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of affordable beds you can buy online for less than $1,000.

In this guide, we’ll review our 8 top-rated cheap mattresses and help you understand how to find an inexpensive mattress without sacrificing on quality and staying within your budget.


By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Advisor may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.


Best Cheap Mattresses

Most queen-size, quality mattresses that you can order online cost at least $1,000. Therefore, we price a “budget mattress” around $700. 

If your budget is even tighter than this, you can check out our guide on the best mattresses under $500. But, if you have a little more wiggle room in your wallet, you can see our guide on the best mattresses under $1000.


Nectar

Nectar

Best for Side Sleepers

Best for

  • Co-sleepers
  • All sleeping positions
  • Combination sleepers
CUSTOMER RATING

4.8

/

5

MA SCORE

8.7

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 5.5-6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

365 days

The Nectar mattress is one of the best value mattresses we’ve ever tested and reviewed. Packaged with 365-night sleep trial (yes, a full year!) and a lifetime warranty, you can rest easy when you make this purchase.

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, durability, pressure point relief, and support.

Read our full Nectar mattress review.


Studio by Leesa

Studio by Leesa

Best for Back Pain

Best for

  • Couples
  • Combination sleepers
  • People with joint pain
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

8.7

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium firm: 5-7/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

The Studio mattress is Leesa’s budget option that features their well-known proprietary foam. The cushiony pressure relief it offers eases your hips, shoulders, and lower back, so people with back and joint pain wake up feeling refreshed. And this memory foam mattress has great responsiveness for people who toss and turn at night. 

See: Best Mattresses for Back Pain

Read our full Leesa Studio mattress review.


Bowery Hybrid by Brooklyn Bedding

Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid

Best Mattress for Heavy People

Best for

  • Couples
  • People who sleep hot
  • Back sleepers
CUSTOMER RATING

5

/

5

MA SCORE

9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

120 days

The Bowery Hybrid is a medium-firm inexpensive hybrid mattress constructed with three layers of foam and one layer of pocketed coils for contouring comfort that also offers support, motion isolation, and durability at an affordable price point.

The gel memory foam topper combined with the coil spring layer keeps you from overheating, making it a great cooling mattress for hot sleepers. The high-density foam bottom provides extra support for people who sleep on their backs and plus-sized sleepers as well.

See: Best Mattresses for Heavy People

This hybrid bed scored particularly well on our spinal alignment test, scoring a 8.75 out of 10, meaning you’ll wake up feeling well-rested and keep your back pain-free each night. The Brooklyn Bowery also offers great durability, cooling, and responsiveness—all important factors to look for in a bed!

Read our full Bowery Hybrid mattress review.


Casper Element

Casper Element

Best Cheap Memory Foam Mattress

Best for

  • Kids
  • People who need good edge support
  • Those looking for a guest room mattress
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

8.4

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

The Casper Element is Casper’s budget-friendly, streamlined mattress model. It’s designed with three different foam layers (borrowing two top layers from the Original Casper mattress) that provide durability, soft comfort, pressure relief, and support.

In our testing, the Casper Element stood out for its outstanding edge support, great spine alignment, and overall budget-friendly price tag. This mattress will give you a good night’s rest, and it’s easy on the wallet!

Read our full Casper Element mattress review.


Tuft & Needle 

Tuft & Needle

Best Cheap Queen Mattress

Best for

  • Side sleepers
  • People who aren’t looking for anything specific
  • Those who toss and turn
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

8.7

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

The Tuft & Needle mattress is an affordable memory foam mattress that’s suitable for all types of sleepers: side sleepers, stomach sleepers, and back sleepers! Because its medium firmness level works for all, we recommend this “universal mattress” for anyone who doesn’t have particular preferences, the average sleeper, or someone who doesn’t really know what they want in a mattress. 

This bed is built with an Adaptive Foam comfort layer that contours your body, evenly distributes body weight, and provides pressure relief for a comfortable and healthy night of restorative sleep. This foam also mimics the bounce and breathability of latex without the higher price.

A queen-size Tuft & Needle mattress won’t run you more than $595. This mattress comes with the bed-in-a-box standard 100-night trial period and 10-year warranty.

Read our full Tuft & Needle mattress review.


Dreamfoam Elements Latex

Elements Latex

Best Cheap Pillow To Mattress

Best for

  • Hot sleepers
  • Couples
  • Combination sleepers
CUSTOMER RATING

4.5

/

5

MA SCORE

8.4

/

10

FIRMNESS

Soft, Medium, Firm

TRIAL PERIOD

120 days

Dreamfoam offers many quality budget mattress options. If you find that you love the extra cushioning and conforming of a pillow top mattress, look no further than the affordable latex option, Elements Latex.

See: Best Pillow Top Mattresses

This mattress consists of an optional 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.

Read our full Elements Latex mattress review.


Zinus Green Tea

Zinus Green Tea

Best Cheap Mattress on Amazon

Best for

  • Memory foam shoppers
  • Those who want their mattress to hug them
  • People who sleep with a partner
CUSTOMER RATING

4.4

/

5

MA SCORE

7.8

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-Soft: 4.5/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

The Zinus Green Tea is a high-quality, all-foam mattress offered at a low price point and easily accessible on Amazon. Choose between a six, eight, 10, or 12 inch thick mattress, depending on your needs or body type; a thicker mattress holds off sagging for longer.

This mattress is more on the plush side, so it is perfect for people who love the feeling of a mattress that hugs them. Zinus also offers great motion isolation, perfect for couples or people who sleep with their pets. On top of that it scored well in our spine alignment, pressure relief, and responsiveness tests—essentially everything you need in a good bed.

Read our full Zinus Green Tea mattress review.


Allswell

The Allswell

Best Cheap King Mattress

Best for

  • People who sleep with a partner
  • Those with back pain
  • Side sleepers
CUSTOMER RATING

4.8

/

5

MA SCORE

8.2

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium - 5/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Affordable hybrid mattresses are hard to come by, but the Allswell mattress is one of those rare finds. Made with a breathable top layer of comfort foam and a base of supportive coils, Allswell is a great option for people who sleep with a partner or those looking for a supportive guest room mattress.

Read our full Allswell mattress review.


How Much Should a Good Mattress Cost?

The cheapest mattress may not be the same as the best mattress. If your social media feed is peppered with ads for mattresses at a crazy low cost that sounds too good to be true—it probably is. Mattress company ads often use a “starting at” price (which refers to their twin-size mattress price), and twin-sized mattresses will cost significantly less than a king.

The same goes for mattress stores; you may get to physically test out a mattress for a few minutes, but sticker prices can be overwhelmingly higher when (and if) you find one you like. When you buy a mattress from a mattress store, you’re also paying for much more than the actual mattress. Think showroom fees, warehouse markups, shipping and storage fees, commission-based salespeople…the list goes on.

But not to worry. With so many online mattress options available, it is possible to find a great, quality mattress within your budget. Today, you can find a high-quality mattress for around $1,000 or less when you buy from an online-only or bed-in-a-box mattress brand. (For comparison, a quality mattress from a mattress store will typically cost you between $3,000 – $5,000.)

Read More: Best Mattress for the Money

Risks of Buying a Cheap Mattress

If you’re shopping for a cheap mattress, you may end up with one that cuts corners and lacks quality materials. It’s important to know that, like with any purchase, shopping for a mattress on the cheap end of the spectrum comes with a set of risks including: 

  • Interrupted or uncomfortable sleep 
  • Off-gassing from cheap mattresses with chemicals
  • A shorter lifespan and quicker sagging in the mattress
  • Low-quality or foreign materials  

Are Cheap Mattresses Worth It?

A cheaply made mattress won’t offer as much luxurious comfort as a high-end mattress will, and it will have a shorter lifespan than the average mattress. To that end, you may find your mattress sagging within a few years and need to look a replacement anyways, so you may be better off putting in more money initially for a higher quality mattress

That being said, an affordable mattress isn’t necessarily a bad option. There are many great mattresses available in the low price range that have a decent lifespan and offer great support. The risks of buying a cheap mattress are more applicable to those at that absolute lowest price range

If you’re finding a mattress under $300 or so, those are more likely to have the shortest lifespans and offer the least amount of comfort and support to sleepers.

What Affects the Price of a Mattress?

You may be wondering how there can be such a wide price range for mattresses–besides, aren’t they all kind of the same? 

In fact, there are many factors that differentiate mattresses and can drive up costs. When you’re shopping for a mattress on a budget, it can help to be aware of these factors and know which you’re willing to pay for and which you can skip out on to save money. 

The top factors driving up mattress costs include: 

  • Mattress size: Larger mattresses require more materials to make and cost more. 
  • Brand: Some brands market themselves as luxury brands, while others target the average consumer. 
  • Certifications: Certi-PUR US, GREENGUARD Gold, Oeko-Tex, GOLS, GOTS, and more… All of these certifications are important and state that the mattress was made with high-quality or natural materials and was manufactured sustainably. Many of these labels also restrict volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions.
  • Point of Sale: Shopping online from a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand cuts the cost of the middleman or salesman commissions from shopping in-store. 
  • Cooling elements: Copper, gel beds, and other cooling technologies drive up the price of a mattress. 
  • Advanced foams: High-density memory foam and organic or natural latex are higher quality and can make a mattress more expensive (and comfortable).
  • Zoned coils: Innersprings or hybrids with zoned or targeted supportive coil layers require advanced construction and cost more.

So how do you know which of these you can really skimp out on and which you need? It depends on your personal situation. 

If you’re a naturally hot sleeper, paying a little extra for a mattress with advanced cooling technology can make a real difference on your sleep quality. But if you live in a cooler climate and don’t tend to sleep hot, this won’t really apply to you. 

If you have a lot of allergies, a certified organic and hypoallergenic mattress that you know was made with natural materials may be a necessary element for you to look out for. Or if you have chronic pain or any type of discomfort while you sleep, you may need a mattress made with high-quality materials like advanced foams or zoned support coil layers. 

Ultimately, it comes down to your unique situation, but it’s always good to know which of these boxes you need to check and which you can avoid.

Most Affordable Mattress Types

Another way to navigate the wide price range of mattresses is to narrow your search by mattress type. Of course, you should be sure you’ve done other research to make sure you know which type of mattress would be best for you, but once you need to narrow your options by your budget, this can help you filter down your options. 

  • Memory Foam: Memory foam mattresses are by far the most budget-friendly type of mattress you can buy. These beds are typically around $300–$1,000 and have a decent lifespan around five to seven years. 
  • Innerspring: Traditional innerspring mattresses are also usually pretty affordable, ranging around $800–$1,900. Innersprings are more firm and bouncy and have a lifespan around six to eight years.
  • Hybrids: Hybrid mattresses combine innerspring coils with foam or latex materials and cost around $1,500–$3,000 plus. These mattresses are very durable and supportive, and have a lifespan around six to 10 years.
  • Latex: Latex mattresses usually are marketed as luxury models and cost around the same as hybrids around $1,500–$2,000, though you can find cheaper latex mattresses around $1,000. 
  • Airbeds: Different from air mattresses, airbeds are mattresses with customizable air champers that you can adjust to change the firmness level. These luxury mattresses are often at least $2,000–$3,000.  

Shopping Considerations

Where Is the Best Place to Buy a Cheap Mattress?

The best place to look for a cheap or budget mattress is online. Direct-to-consumer beds come straight from the mattress manufacturer to your door, meaning they also don’t have to worry about sharing the sale with mattress stores and retailers; this means lower costs for you.

Temporary or Long-Term?

One important question you should ask yourself when shopping for a cheaper mattress is: Is this a temporary solution or a long-term bed? 

If you’re looking for a quick fix, cutting on higher quality to spend less money isn’t as much of an issue. But if you’re looking for a mattress to support you for the next 10 years, it’s worth investing more in a high-quality bed. 

Budget mattresses are well-suited for people who are looking for a temporary mattress for a rental in college, your guest bedroom, or if you’re looking to decorate your Airbnb. But if you’re shopping for yourself, you may consider stretching your budget a little more than you expected. Besides, you spend one-third of your life on your mattress, so you want it to be comfortable and durable.

Who Will Use the Bed?

Similarly to the previous question, the type of mattress you need depends on who will be using it. If you’re purchasing a mattress for guests to use every now and then, you won’t need as high-quality of a bed since it will get much less use. 

Kids, teenagers, and adults all have different needs in a mattress as well. Kids and teenagers spend much more time sleeping when they are young, plus they have smaller bodies, so you will want to consider the durability of the mattress and the size. While a twin is appropriate for a child, it’s not for an adult couple.

Related: Best Mattresses for Couples

This is also when the mattress size comes into play. You can save money by purchasing a smaller mattress (twin, twin XL, full) instead of one of the larger options (queen, king, California king).

How Much Weight Will Be on the Mattress?

Which brings us to our next point: How many sleepers are you accommodating on your mattress? The more humans (or animals) that share the bed, the bigger size you will need. Plus you’ll want to consider special features like cooling (more bodies = more body heat), motion isolation (so you don’t wake each other up all night), and durability (because of the added weight). 

Weight plays a significant factor. Heavy sleepers require a more durable, and usually more firm mattress, which may factor into higher costs.

How to Save Money on a Mattress

Us mattress pros know there are a few ways to do your wallet some good and save big on a mattress. We’ll let you in on our secrets.

Shop at the Right Time

There are certain times of the year that are ideal for buying a mattress. The best times to buy a mattress are

  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday 
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day 

Many brands have big sales during these holidays so you can get more bang for your buck and save money on a mattress.

Use Coupons and Bundle Deals

Even when  it’s not a holiday, many companies often have on-going promotions and discounts so you can save some money on a mattress. Bundle deals are also a popular way to save money. If you’re getting a new mattress, you’ll probably need new sheets, pillows, or a bed frame at least too so you might as well bundle them all from the same company to save money in the long run.

P.S. You can always check our mattress deals page to look for active sales and coupon codes.

Shop Online vs. In-Store

Shopping online from a direct-to-consumer (DTC) mattress brands helps cut out the cost of the middleman. Instead of shopping in a store where a salesperson is working towards a commission, you can conveniently browse online to find the mattress that’s best for you. 

Read more: Benefits of buying a mattress online

If you’re nervous about buying a mattress before you try it–don’t worry! Many brands offer generous sleep trial periods during which you can sleep on the mattress in your one home and return it for a refund if you decide it isn’t right for you.

Choose the Right Materials

When looking for a mattress on a budget, you need to consider what you’re getting for that price. If you find a mattress under $500, it typically means the manufacturer cut corners or used cheaper materials (which means you’ll likely be waking up sore and achy, and looking for a new mattress in due time). But that might be fine if you’re looking for a temporary bed or something to put in your guest bedroom.

There are four different categories of common material used in mattresses, and determining what’s inside your mattress gives you an idea of how much it should cost. Here’s a quick rundown of the types of mattresses on the market:

Mattress Type Average Price Range
Memory foam $350–$1,000
Latex $900–$2,000
Innerspring $1,000–$1,900
Hybrid $2,000–$5,000

Foam and memory foam mattresses curve to your body and offer lumbar support, pressure relief, and great motion transfer (if your sleeping partner moves around a lot, you won’t feel it). Foam mattresses are the cheapest and most affordable to purchase.

Latex mattresses offer the longest lifespan of mattresses, so you get more bang for your buck. It provides the same benefits as foam, but with more bounce (and usually more eco-friendly materials). Latex mattresses are in the medium to expensive price range.

Innerspring mattresses are the traditional mattress often found in retail and specialty stores. It is made with at least one layer of spring metal coils—offering great bounce and edge support, but not always the best pressure relief. Innerspring mattresses are often in the medium to expensive price range.

Hybrid mattresses are a combination of memory foam and innerspring mattresses but can include other materials and combinations as well (like latex and memory foam). Hybrid mattress are typically the most expensive type of bed to buy.

Consider Your Mattress Size

Mattress costs vary depending on the size of your purchase, so it’s important to consider what size mattress you’ll really need to help you stick to your budget.

If it’s just you and your pup sharing the space, a twin XL or full-size mattress may do the trick. If it’s you, your pup, and your significant other, a twin size may be a tight squeeze. The most common mattress size for couples is a queen-size mattress. It allows space for both people to sleep comfortably, and will fit in most bedrooms.

Read More: Best Queen Mattresses

King-size mattresses have gained more popularity in recent years because they offer even more space for couples, plus some extra room for pets or squirmy kids. California king mattresses are not as wide as kings but are longer. So if you happen to be super tall or just prefer more space while you sleep, then a king or California king might be worth considering.

It is worth noting that you’ll find a wider range of sheets and bedding that are made for queen-size mattresses, so decorating your bedroom can be more affordable.


Summary

Compare our top picks for the best cheap budget mattresses below:

Mattress Award Our Rating (Out of 10)
Nectar Best for Side Sleepers 8.7
Studio by Leesa Best for Back Pain 8.7
Bowery Hybrid by Brooklyn Bedding Best for Heavy People 9
Casper Element Best Memory Foam Mattress 8.4
Tuft & Needle Best Queen Mattress 8.7
Dreamfoam Elements Latex Best Pillow Top Mattress 8.4
Zinus Green Tea Best on Amazon 7.8
Allswell Best King Mattress 8.2

 

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Answer a few quick questions on your budget and sleep preferences to be matched with the mattress of your dreams.


By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Advisor may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.