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Best Cheap Mattresses: The Most Comfortable Options for Any Budget

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Updated February 8, 2024

“Cheap” is a relative term when it comes to mattresses. On average, a queen mattress less than $1,000 is considered cheap, while one over $2,000 is expensive. It’s important to invest in a quality mattress, not just for your comfort, but for your overall health; however, not all of us have a grand or more to spend. But budget shoppers rejoice—cheap no longer equates to poor quality, especially when it comes to online mattress stores.

What to consider when buying a cheap mattress

How to choose a mattress isn’t common knowledge, but it’s important to consider a number of factors before you commit.

What is the purpose of this mattress?

Understanding your specific needs is a good place to start when you consider buying a cheap or inexpensive mattress. Is this mattress for temporary use? Is it for a child? Is it for everyday use or a guest bed? These are all things that can make a good case for purchasing a cheaper option.

What size do I need?

Mattress prices typically vary by size. Naturally, a twin bed will be cheaper than a king or queen one. Deciding which size works best for you is another early step that can help guide your decision-making process. Perhaps you can afford a more expensive mattress if you opt for a queen instead of a king. Conversely, maybe having the largest size is more important to you than the material or trial period.

What material works best for me?

Your desired density and mattress height are other things to consider, as cheaper mattresses tend to be thinner and have less layers. Denser materials, such as memory foam or regular foam, may also be more expensive. Mattress height can be enhanced by the addition of mattress toppers, but when you combine the cost of a topper and the mattress, it may be worth it to go for a more expensive mattress. The desired material may also depend on the type of bed frame and support you have.

What is the trial period and warranty?

In addition to a typical warranty, most online mattress companies offer trial periods, which is a period of time during which you can test out your purchase at home and return or exchange it if you’re not happy. Trial periods can range between 30 days to a year or more depending on the company and price of a mattress.

Warranties on mattresses can last anywhere from five years to a lifetime. Unlike trial periods, they are intended to protect against manufacturer defects–essentially problems with the mattress that are not caused by the customer.

Is it comfortable?

It goes without saying, but perhaps the most important thing to consider when purchasing any mattress is comfort, which you want to test either during your home-trial period or visit to the store. Make sure you spend time assessing how the mattress makes you feel. Are you waking up with pain? Are you able to sleep in your preferred position? Is it cool enough, or does it retain heat? Does it work with you and your sleeping partner?

Our top picks for the best cheap mattresses

Most comfortable cheap mattress: Bear Original

The Bear Original is a consistently well-reviewed mattress, from professional reviewers and customers alike. Featuring three layers of foam (a cooling gel memory foam layer, a dynamic foam layer for greater pressure relief, and a thick layer of high-density support foam) under a breathable Tencel cover, it hugs your body while still providing proper spinal alignment. The mattress also comes with a free sleep accessory set, including two pillows, a sheet set, and a mattress protector.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price range: $511 (twin) to $1,099 (split king)
  • Financing available: Yes

The bottom line:

The Bear Original makes for an affordable mattress that’s still durable and offers plenty of comfort and support.

Most comfortable cheap mattress
Bear Original

Bear Original

Best cheap mattress for back pain: Brooklyn Bedding Brooklyn Essential

If you’re looking for the best mattress for back pain, research is key. Brooklyn Bedding offers an essential hybrid mattress with four layers designed for comfort. The pocketed coils are supported by a flex base and topped with two layers of dense foam that promote cooling and pressure relief, which is good for back sleepers. Customers praise the hybrid support, which seems to be true to what Brooklyn Bedding claims.

Financing is available through Affirm.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Price range: $399 (twin) to $849 (California king), with current sale

What we like:

  • In-house materials and direct shipping from the manufacturer
  • Free shipping
  • Financing available

What we don’t like:

  • $99 return fee

The bottom line:

One of the best mattresses for back pain, Brooklyn Bedding’s essential hybrid mattress is an affordable and supportive option.

Best cheap mattress for back pain
Brooklyn Bedding Brooklyn Essential

Brooklyn Bedding Brooklyn Essential

Best cheap mattress for side sleepers: Leesa Studio Mattress

For eco-conscious side sleepers, Leesa’s Studio Mattress is three layers of memory foam encased in a cooling knit cover. The base layer provides support, while the top two work to contour to your body, making it a good option for sleeping on your side. The mattress is designed to give where you need it and support everywhere else.

Leesa’s mattress is CertiPUR-US Certified and GREENGUARD Gold Certified (top in the industry for low-chemical emissions). The company also touts that it donates one new mattress for every 10 sold—another reason to feel good about your purchase.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Price range: $529 (twin) to $949 (California king), with current sale

What we like:

  • Two free pillows included with purchase
  • Mattresses are made to order

What we don’t like:

  • Trial period only applies to one mattress per household

The bottom line:

Leesa offers an eco- and socially conscious memory-foam mattress that’s supportive but flexible enough for side sleepers.

Best cheap mattress for side sleepers
Leesa Studio Mattress, Queen

Leesa Studio Mattress, Queen

Best cheap memory foam mattress: Dreamfoam Essential by Brooklyn Bedding

Brooklyn Bedding makes a highly customized memory-foam mattress promoted as an especially great option for kids or RVs. In addition to the 22 different sizes, there are five heights to choose from that range between 6 and 14 inches. The height of the mattress also affects its firmness—shorter beds are more firm and taller ones are soft to medium. The top layer is a cooling-gel foam, while the bottom is an open-cell foam to promote maximum cooling throughout the night, making it a good choice for a cooling mattress, too.

Generally fewer layers make a less sophisticated mattress, but it seems many users indeed purchase this mattress for an RV or guest room and end up buying another for their main bed. The height options are great to customize with different types of bed frames, especially for bunks or other children’s beds.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Soft
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Price range: $205.50 (twin) to $524.30 (California king), with current sales

What we like:

  • 22 different customized sizes to choose from
  • Direct shipping from the manufacturer
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Financing available

What we don’t like:

  • Return fee of $99

The bottom line:

Dreamfoam Essential provides a customized memory-foam mattress that works well for awkward spaces and kid frames.

Best cheap memory foam mattress
DREAMFOAM ESSENTIAL

DREAMFOAM ESSENTIAL

Best cheap mattress for kids: Helix Kids

Shelling out hundreds of dollars for a kids’ mattress can sometimes feel absurd, considering how fast they grow (and, in some cases, how fast they wreck stuff). To spend less without sacrificing quality (all parents want their kids to sleep through the night!) consider Helix’s Kids mattress. Essentially two mattresses for the price of one, it’s flippable, with a softer side (ideal for slightly older kids, around 8-12) and a firmer side (suitable for younger ones, around 3-7). It’s also CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold certified, and completely fiberglass free, so you can feel good about your little ones sleeping on it.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium-soft or medium-firm
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Price Range: $599 (twin) to $799 (full)

What we like:

  • Flippable, with a softer side and a firmer side
  • Eco-friendly
  • Can last for years, from a three-year-old to a 12-year-old

What we don’t like:

  • A handful of reviews complain that the off-gassing smell is strong for several days

The bottom line:

A flippable mattress that can work for a three-year-old right up until the tween years.

Best cheap mattress for kids
Helix Kids

Best cheap mattress in a box: Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

Shopping for mattresses at 4 a.m. because you can’t sleep on yours anymore? Nectar has sleep specialists available to chat online 24/7. And you’ll find a couple of the brand’s mattresses on this list, as they’re some of the most comfortable options out there. (Nectar also made our lists for the best memory foam mattresses and best mattresses for side sleepers). They boast three layers of CertiPUR-US Certified memory foam (foam void of ozone depleters, lead, mercury and other potentially harmful materials). On top of the base, one layer minimizes motion transfer and another contours to your body and sleeping position. These options are versatile, whether you prefer sleeping on your back, stomach or side, and fit with multiple different bed or box-spring setups, which you can also customize and order from Nectar.

Financing is available through Affirm and Splitit.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Soft
  • Trial period: One year
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price range: $359 (twin) to $1,138 (Split king), without add-ons

What we like:

  • One-year trial and lifetime warranty
  • Works with multiple sleeping positions
  • Customizable add-ons
  • Financing available

What we don’t like:

  • Slow to ship

The bottom line:

A mattress in a box, Nectar’s memory-foam bed is a highly affordable option with the best warranty and trial period on this list.

Best cheap mattress in a box
Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

Best cheap mattress on Amazon: Linenspa Hybrid Mattress

Linenspa’s hybrid mattress is a top-rated and -reviewed option on Amazon, and it’s under $300 for a California king! The brand’s mattress offers medium-firm support from continuous coil springs and layers of memory foam on top–supportive but not too firm. In addition to the traditional sizes, there are various heights to choose, ranging from 5 to 12 inches.

The durability and comfort of this mattress are both questionable, according to reviews. The springs don’t hold up for long, and the mattress top doesn’t handle motion and weight transfer as well as some pure memory-foam options, which is something to keep in mind if you sleep with a partner.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Trial period: N/A, with returns within 100 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Price range: $129.99 (twin) to $269 (California king)

What we like:

  • Least expensive option
  • Ships within a couple of days

What we don’t like:

  • Transfers weight
  • No trial period

The bottom line:

The Linenspa hybrid mattress is a stunningly affordable, medium-firm option with no trial period and questionable durability, so you get what you pay for.

Best cheap mattress on Amazon
Linenspa 8 Inch Memory Foam and Spring Hybrid Mattress - Medium Firm Feel - Bed in a Box - Quality Comfort and Adaptive Support - Breathable - Cooling - Guest and Kids Bedroom - Twin Size

Linenspa 8 Inch Memory Foam and Spring Hybrid Mattress - Medium Firm Feel - Bed in a Box - Quality Comfort and Adaptive Support - Breathable - Cooling - Guest and Kids Bedroom - Twin Size

Best cheap hybrid mattress: The Silk and Snow Hybrid Mattress

Silk and Snow makes four-layer hybrid mattresses that maximize support and cooling, among other features. Two layers of foam, including cooling foam, top a layer of pocketed steel coils, which are cylindrical and individually wrapped to mitigate motion transfer and noise. Plus the bed sports an antimicrobial cover to prevent bacteria growth. The Silk and Snow hybrid also provides varying levels of support under your shoulders and hip zones for maximum comfort. When you purchase a mattress, Silk and Snow will also give you 10% off furniture, sheets and bath essentials, in addition to a free comforter.

All of Silk and Snow’s products are produced in Canada. They use eco-friendly foam and are made without ozone depleters, lead, mercury and other harmful materials.

Though it is listed as a medium-firm mattress, reviews suggest it may fall on the firm end of that spectrum. Overall, users who like the mattress itself are also satisfied with the delivery process and customer service. According to reviews, complaints center around the unexpected firmness, which Silk and Snow is prompt to remedy through their customer-service responses.

You can finance your Silk and Snow Hybrid Mattress with PayPal.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Warranty: 15 years
  • Price range: $500 (twin) to $800 (California king), with current sale

What we like:

  • Free shipping
  • Flexible with just about any bed frame
  • Financing available
  • Add-ons with purchase

What we don’t like:

  • Lesser durability

The bottom line:

Silk and Snow offers an affordable hybrid mattress with high-quality materials and top-notch customer service–plus it’s CertiPUR-US ® Certified for eco-conscious shoppers.

Best cheap hybrid mattress
The Silk and Snow Hybrid Mattress

The Silk and Snow Hybrid Mattress

Best cheap mattress for heavier people: Nectar Hybrid Mattress

For added support, hybrids are usually best for heavier folks, and Nectar’s option is hard to beat. Like all of the company’s mattresses, this bed tops our list with the longest trial period and warranty (lifetime). The mattress boasts five layers (with CertiPUR-US Certified foams) including a base, innerspring coils (traditional mattress coils), a transition layer designed to minimize motion transfer and one made of therapeutic gel memory foam to relieve pressure. The fifth layer is an antimicrobial cover.

Financing is available through Affirm and Splitit.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Trial period: One year
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price range: $459 (twin) to $1,338 (Split king), without add-ons

What we like:

  • One-year trial period and lifetime warranty
  • Financing available

What we don’t like:

  • Innerspring coils can be less durable for heavier weights

The bottom line:

For plus-sized sleepers who are looking for more support, Nectar’s hybrid mattress offers a great balance of support and comfort.

Best cheap mattress for heavier people
Nectar Hybrid Mattress

Nectar Hybrid Mattress

Best cheap mattress topper: SOPAT Memory-Foam Mattress Topper

If you’re looking for something to make your current mattress feel new, you could opt for a mattress topper instead—though they can also get pretty fancy and expensive. But the SOPAT memory-foam topper is affordable (under $110 for a king), offers 90-day returns and a 10-year warranty. It’s made from a combination of high-density gel foam and bamboo-charcoal memory foam, which promote cooling and prevent odors. They also use an egg-crate design (picture an actual egg crate), with peaks and valleys that provide even more of a cooling effect and dissipate pressure for comfortable support.

Users express delight at the comfort value for the price, though complaints noted that it can be tricky to keep the topper in place on your bed. They also like the odor-prevention and washable cover.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Topper
  • Firmness: Soft
  • Trial period: N/A, with 90-day returns
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Price Range: $65.99 (twin) to $104.99 (king), with current sale

What we like:

  • Long warranty for a topper
  • Inexpensive alternative to purchasing a new mattress

What we don’t like:

  • No trial period
  • Tough to keep in position

The bottom line:

For those who aren’t ready to commit to a full mattress, the SOPAT memory-foam topper is an affordable and quality alternative.

Best cheap mattress topper
SOPAT Memory-Foam Mattress Topper

SOPAT Memory-Foam Mattress Topper

How we selected the best cheap mattresses

We reviewed a selection of online and traditional retailers to make our recommendations for the best mattresses, with an emphasis on value, price, transparency and financing options. All of our picks are priced below $1,000 for a king and $600 for a twin and have transparent warranty and trial periods.

How to get the best deal on a mattress

To find good deals on mattresses, we recommend doing your research so you understand exactly what best suits your needs, and so you can take the time needed to plan ahead. (Narrowing down the best places to buy mattresses can streamline your shopping choices.) Once you are prepared and know what you’re looking for, you can monitor deals and plan around seasonal and holiday sales.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

When is the best time to buy a mattress?

The best time to buy a new mattress can vary slightly based on what type of mattress you’re looking for, and where you want to buy it (online versus in-store). If you’ve determined that you need a new mattress, consider looking for sales around federal or shopping holidays, like July Fourth, Labor Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You can also look for sales on old models during the spring, as that’s when many mattress brands are introducing new models.

Are cheap mattresses worth it?

Just because a mattress is inexpensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s poor quality. Cheaper mattresses can be very worth it if you do your research and still invest in quality materials.

Should I consider a more expensive mattress?

There are pros and cons to opting for a more expensive mattress that are mostly dependent on your preferences and lifestyle. More expensive mattresses are typically made from higher-quality materials and therefore last longer. This can be less expensive for you in the long run if you don’t have to replace your mattress in the near future; however, if you are subject to lifestyle changes or plan on moving, it may be better to opt for a less expensive, short-term mattress.

How often should you replace your mattress?

There’s no rule of thumb for how often you should replace your mattress. It will depend on things like the size, amount of use and quality of materials. Generally speaking, experts recommend you start paying attention to the health of your mattress after you’ve passed the five-year mark. (How long a mattress can last can vary between 5-10 years—or even longer.) Do you feel rested when you wake up? Does your body feel stiff? Do you sleep better away from home in hotels or friends’ houses? Does your mattress show any visible signs of degradation, like sagging? These are all things to assess when you suspect it may be time to replace your mattress. If it’s time, make sure to read our guide to how to dispose of your mattress to properly offload your old one.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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