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Best Cheap/Affordable Mattresses – 2020 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Written by - Brad Nehring.

Our Research

157
Mattresses Considered
3,000
Hours of Research
10
Mattress Executives Interviewed
8
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

A common misconception among today’s mattress shoppers is that a new, high-quality bed will cost thousands of dollars. While many models have expensive price-points – especially those sold at brick-and-mortar stores – the average mattress costs about $1,100 in a queen size, and many brands offer affordable mattresses priced much lower than this.

Mattress prices often depend on a few factors, such as comfort and support materials, quality of design, and the brand’s reputation. Cheap mattresses may lack the sophisticated features of their more expensive counterparts, but when choosing a new bed it’s important to remember that a high price-tag does not equal high quality – and a lower price does not equal an inferior product.

This guide to the best budget mattresses will look at our top picks for cheap, affordable mattress models. These selections are based on experiences and ratings from verified owners, as well as our own product research and analysis. Below our top five models, you’ll find our comprehensive buyer’s guide for finding, comparing, and choosing a high-value mattress based on price-point and performance.

First Time Buying a Cheap Mattress?

Hop down to our Buyer’s Guide for a crash course on finding a high-quality mattress with a low price-point.

Cheap/Affordable Mattress Reviews – Our Top 5 Picks

Best Cheap/Affordable Mattresses - Reviewed

Allswell Mattress

Allswell Mattress

Highlights

  • Medium-firm (6.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Zoned pocketed coils for strong edge support
  • Sleeps cool and comfortable for most
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Allswell Mattress Overview

The Allswell Mattress is a hybrid mattress constructed with a memory foam comfort layer and a pocketed coil support core. The mattress has a medium-firm feel, offering some body-conforming and very strong support. This makes the mattress optimal for heavier individuals – side and back sleepers in particular.

The coils are divided into zones, with thicker low-gauge coils reinforcing the perimeter to minimize sinkage along the edges while thinner high-gauge coils provide stable support for sleepers. The coils also generate strong airflow to keep the mattress at a comfortable temperature.

The average hybrid model in a queen size costs between $1,200 and $1,700. The Allswell Mattress, priced at roughly $400 in the same size, is one of the most affordable hybrids on the market, and also offers high value for owners due to its strong ratings across several performance categories. Allswell offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S., as well.

The Bottom Line.

A high-quality hybrid at a very affordable price, the Allswell Mattress delivers a balanced, medium-firm feel and a strong support system.

  • People who weigh at least 130 pounds. Due to its firmer surface and enhanced support coils, the Allswell Mattress is best suited to sleepers in the average weight and heavyweight groups.
  • Sleepers who prefer very responsive mattresses. The bed’s pocketed coils make the surface feel exceptionally springy, creating a feeling of sleeping “on” – as opposed to “in” – the mattress.
  • Hot sleepers. The mattress is very breathable thanks to strong airflow through the coil layer, which helps keep sleepers cool despite the memory foam comfort layer.

Not Recommended for...

  • Side sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds. For side sleepers in the lightweight group, the mattress will likely feel too firm and won’t conform closely enough to align the spine.
  • People who awaken easily due to their co-sleeper’s movements. The mattress does not isolate much motion when people move around in bed or shift positions, and squeaks and creaks from the coils may also be disruptive.

Brooklyn Bedding Bowery

Brooklyn Bedding Bowery

Highlights

  • Medium (5.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Very good motion isolation and no noise
  • Close conforming and targeted pressure relief
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Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Mattress Overview

The Brooklyn Bedding Bowery is an all-polyfoam mattress featuring a conforming comfort layers over 7 inches of firmer transitional and support foam. The mattress has a medium feel and will conform somewhat closely to the body. Although the polyfoam is fairly responsive, most people feel as though they are sleeping “in” – and not “on” – the mattress.

This makes the Bowery suitable for most sleepers weighing 230 pounds or less. Side sleepers receive ample cushioning for their shoulders and hips for even spinal alignment, while back and stomach sleepers experience some contouring while remaining on an even plane. The Bowery is also a great choice for couples. The foam absorbs motion and eliminates most transfer, reducing movement-related sleep disruptions for co-sleepers, and the mattress is virtually silent when bearing weight.

All-polyfoam mattresses tend to be fairly inexpensive, but even compared to the average polyfoam model the Bowery is very affordable. Brooklyn Bedding also offers free shipping to all 50 states. For those seeking a firmer, more responsive mattress, the Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Hybrid is another high-value pick.

The Bottom Line.

Constructed from three layers of premium polyfoam, the Brooklyn Bedding Bowery offers close body-conforming, pressure relief, and very good motion isolation.

  • People who weigh 230 pounds or less. The mattress has a mid-level feel that balances body-conforming and support, and is optimal for sleepers in the lightweight and average weight groups – side and back sleepers in particular.
  • Couples. The Bowery isolates motion transfer very well and does not produce any noise. These characteristics make the mattress a good pick for those whose sleep is easily disturbed by movement in bed.
  • Those with pressure point issues. The comfort layer conforms to and cradles the body to alleviate pressure in the shoulders, back, hips, and other sensitive areas.

Not Recommended for...

  • Heavier individuals. The mattress has a mid-level feel, meaning many sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds may find it too soft and prone to excessive sagging.
  • Hot sleepers. The foam may absorb body heat from sleepers, causing the surface to feel uncomfortably warm.

Casper Essential

Casper Essential

Highlights

  • Medium-firm (6)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Isolates motion for couples
  • Sleeps cool for an all-foam bed
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Casper Essential Overview

The Casper Essential is Casper’s budget-friendly all-foam mattress. The bed is constructed with top layers of polyfoam and memory foam over a high-density base, and the surface has a medium-firm feel that conforms moderately. Most people experience a feeling of sleeping “on” and sleeping “in” the mattress.

The Casper Essential features a comfort layer made from low-density foam, a fairly breathable material that absorbs a minimal amount of body heat. This allows the Casper Essential to sleep noticeably cooler than many competing all-foam beds. The foams also isolate motion transfer very well, making the mattress a good choice for couples.

Priced around $600 in a queen size, the Casper Essential is very affordable for a mixed-foam bed. Casper also offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. and Canada.

The Bottom Line.

Made from premium materials to ensure a comfortable night’s rest, the Casper Essential is an affordable mattress option for adults and kids.

  • Side and back sleepers weighing 230 pounds or less. The Casper Essential’s medium-firm feel provides adequate body-conforming and pressure relief for side and back sleepers in the lightweight groups.
  • Couples. Like other all-foam beds, the Casper Essential provides above-average motion isolation and does not make any noise when bearing weight.
  • Those who normally sleep hot on all-foam beds. The Essential’s comfort layer is made from low-density polyfoam, a material that absorbs minimal body heat and sleeps fairly cool compared to memory foam.

Not Recommended for...

  • Stomach sleepers. The Essential is not particularly supportive, and those who sleep face-down may sink too deeply and develop aches and pains.
  • People who weigh more than 230 pounds. Those in the heavyweight group will likely find the mattress too soft and prone to sagging.

Nectar Mattress

Nectar Mattress

Highlights

  • Medium-firm (6)
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Closely conforming memory foam layers
  • Excellent motion isolation
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Nectar Mattress Overview

The Nectar Mattress is constructed with three memory foam layers on top of a high-density polyfoam base. The bed has a medium-firm feel, but sleepers experience close conforming and a deep, pressure-relieving cradle for their bodies. Many liken this feeling to sleeping “in” – as opposed to “on” – the mattress.

The Nectar Mattress has lower-density comfort layers that are fairly breathable and do not retain too much body heat, allowing most sleepers to remain cool even as the foam contours to their bodies. Other key strengths include exceptional motion isolation and no noise when bearing weight, both of which can be helpful for couples and co-sleepers. Edge support is also better-than-average thanks to the bed’s dense foam construction in the transitional and support layers.

The Nectar Mattress is a very cheap memory foam option, considering the average model costs more than $1,000 in a queen size. The company also backs the mattress with a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, both of which are much longer than average. Free shipping is available within the contiguous U.S.

The Bottom Line.

The high-value Nectar Mattress is built with three memory foam layers that cradle the body, align the spine, and alleviate pressure for most sleepers.

  • Those who enjoy the feel of memory foam. The Nectar Mattress conforms very closely to sleepers, who sink very deeply and experience a feeling of lying “in” the mattress.
  • Couples. Co-sleepers should experience fewer sleep disruptions on the Nectar Mattress thanks to its excellent motion isolation and noise-free design.
  • People with pressure point issues. Pressure relief is a key strength of the Nectar Mattress thanks to its close contouring and ample cushioning for the shoulders and hips.

Not Recommended for...

  • Those who prefer responsive mattresses. The Nectar Mattress responds slowly to the body and does not have much bounce to it. People who like the feel of a springy bed should opt for a latex, hybrid, or innerspring model instead.

Tuft & Needle Mattress

Tuft & Needle Mattress

Highlights

  • Medium-firm (6.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Good balance of conforming and support
  • Very good motion isolation for couples
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T&N Mattress Overview

The T&N Mattress from Tuft & Needle is an all-polyfoam model constructed with a 3-inch, graphite-infused comfort layer over a high-density base. The mattress has a medium-firm feel but the foam conforms to the body, resulting in a combined feeling of both sleeping “on” and sleeping “in” the mattress.

Like other all-foam models, the T&N Mattress excels at pressure relief – especially for people who weigh 230 pounds or less. The comfort layer offers good padding for the shoulders and hips, ensuring even spinal alignment and fewer pressure points for side sleepers without losing support and sagging too much for back and stomach sleepers. The mattress also isolates motion very well and does not produce any noise when bearing weight. The low-density comfort layer is fairly breathable and temperature-neutral, as well.

The mattress costs about $600 in a queen size, making it very affordable for an all-foam model from a high-profile brand. Tuft & Needle also offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. The slightly thicker and softer T&N Mint Mattress – also from

The Bottom Line.

One of the best-selling budget mattresses on the market, the T&N Mattress delivers great value and exceptional performance.

  • Sleepers who prefer a mix of contouring and support. The T&N Mattress conforms to sleepers in order to alleviate pressure, but the mattress has a medium-firm feel and the foam is fairly responsive. This provides a feeling of both sleeping “on” and sleeping “in” the mattress.
  • People who weigh 230 pounds or less. Due to its medium-firm feel and moderate conforming, the T&N Mattress is best suited to sleepers in the lightweight and average weight groups.
  • Couples. As is the case with other all-foam beds, the T&N Mattress isolates motion very well and does not make any noise. Both of these attributes can help co-sleepers cut down on nighttime disruptions.

Not Recommended for...

  • Sleepers who prefer the feel of memory foam. The T&N Mattress has a polyfoam layer that conforms somewhat to the body, but it does not provide the same pressure-relieving body cradle as beds with memory foam comfort layers.
  • Heavier side sleepers. The T&N Mattress may feel too soft and sag excessively – especially around the hips – for side sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds.

Cheap/Affordable Mattress Buying Guide

Read on to learn more about buying cheap and affordable mattresses. Our comprehensive guide covers expected costs by mattress types and what constitutes a budget-friendly model, along with some important considerations for first-time buyers.

How Much Do Mattresses Cost?

Several factors determine the price-point for a mattress. These include quality of construction, unique features, shipping options, and the brand itself. However, the mattress type – specifically, the materials used in its comfort and support layers – often play the biggest role. Some mattress types, such as foam and innerspring models, tend to cost considerably less than others, including latex, hybrid, and airbed models.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at expected prices for each of the five main mattress types.

Foam

Foam mattresses are constructed with memory foam and/or polyfoam comfort and transitional layers, as well as a high-density foam base. These models typically excel in performance areas such as pressure relief and motion isolation, while they often lack edge support and many sleep excessively warm.

Cost Analysis: The average all-foam bed costs between $900 and $1,200 in a queen-size. Models with memory foam tend to cost more, and cheap memory foam mattresses are usually priced between $600 and $800. All-polyfoam mattresses are usually the most affordable options. Cheap polyfoam mattresses often cost $700 or less.

Cost Factors: Foam density often plays the biggest role in setting costs for all-foam mattresses. Beds with low- or medium-density comfort layers often cost less because high-density foam is more durable and alleviates more pressure. However, it’s important to note lower-density foam tends to sleep cooler.

Latex

Latex is a material derived from the sap of rubber trees. It conforms to sleepers somewhat but also feels very responsive. As a result, latex mattresses are often ideal for sleepers with pressure points who do not like the deep body hug of memory foam. Latex mattresses are, by definition, constructed with latex in their comfort and support layers. Some models feature additional polyfoam layers for extra cushioning or base support.

Cost Analysis: All-latex beds tend to be somewhat expensive. The average model costs between $1,500 to $2,500 in a queen-size. Some brands offer cheap latex mattresses, but their price-points are usually higher than those of other budget models. Customers should expect to pay at least $700 to $900 for a queen-size all-latex bed.

Cost Factors: The type of latex used often dictates the price. Mattresses with organic or natural latex, which contain few (if any) chemicals and are exceptionally durable, are usually much more expensive than models containing blended or synthetic latex.

Innerspring

Innersprings are built with foam comfort layers and support cores with steel coil systems. They feel very responsive and offer great support, making them particularly well-suited to larger and heavier people. Innersprings also promote steady airflow through their coil layers, allowing sleepers to remain fairly cool during the night. However, most innersprings don’t provide very much body-conforming. Their durability can be questionable, as well.

Cost Analysis: In addition to being the oldest mattress type, innersprings are often also the most affordable models. The average queen-size innerspring costs between $800 and $1,200, but buyers can find cheap innerspring models for $700 or less.

Cost Factors: With innersprings, the price-point typically comes down to their coil layers. Certain coil types, such as offset and pocketed, tend to perform longer than others and can significantly increase the bed’s cost. Another consideration is coil gauge, or thickness, as low-gauge (thicker) coils offer more support and durability than high-gauge (thinner) coils. Lastly, the number of coils – also known as the coil count – can drive up the price, as well. However, whether a higher number of coils equals better mattress performance is somewhat questionable.

Hybrid

Technically, hybrid mattresses are a subcategory of innersprings. Hybrids, by definition, contains comfort layers of memory foam and/or latex, and a pocketed coil support core. For many sleepers, hybrids represent the best of both worlds: the body-conforming and pressure relief of a foam or latex bed, along with the exceptional support and breathability of an innerspring.

Cost Analysis: Of all the mattress types, hybrids arguably hold the widest price range. The average hybrid costs between $1,500 to $2,200. However, many brands offer cheap hybrid mattresses, some of which cost $600 or less.

Cost Factors: The cost of a hybrid often depends on its comfort materials. Models with 1 to 2 inches of memory foam or latex usually have lower price-points compared to those with 3 or more inches of these materials. Some hybrids also have extra features, such as padded pillow-top covers, minicoil comfort layers for added sleeper support, and high-density foam encasements to reinforce the edges against sinkage.

Airbed

Airbeds are designed with two or more motorized air chambers in their support cores. Using manual, remote, or app-based controls, owners can increase or decrease the air volume in these chambers, and this in turn adjusts how firm the mattress feels. Most airbeds also contain a comfort layer, usually polyfoam or memory foam.

Cost Analysis: The airbed is the most expensive mattress type by a considerable margin. The average airbed model costs between $1,800 and $2,500 in a queen-size. Even for a cheap airbed, customers should expect to pay at least $1,200 to $1,500. Airbeds offer unparalleled customization, but they are not feasible for most budget-minded shoppers.

Cost Factors: The cost of an airbed often depends on the number of air chambers. Basic models contain two, while more advanced airbeds may contain eight or more. The level of customization is also important, as some airbeds offer a wider firmness range than others. Lastly, some airbeds also feature memory foam, latex, minicoils, and other luxury features that lead to steep prices – more than $3,000, in some cases.

Cheap Mattress FAQ

  • Does a Higher Price Always Mean Better Quality?

    Definitely not. As illustrated by our top picks, many low-cost mattresses earn favorable ratings in terms of pressure relief, motion isolation, temperature neutrality, and other performance categories.

    Some high-priced mattresses offer great quality, but customers should consider that these additional factors can also drive up the cost of a bed:

    • Luxury Materials: Some mattresses are made with organic fibers and latex, high-density memory foam, and other high-end components, and their price-point reflects this. While these materials are often cost more, they do not necessarily equate better performance or durability – just a more expensive manufacturing process.
    • Brick-and-Mortar Stores: Brands with a strong brick-and-mortar presence often price their mattresses higher to cover the overhead costs of operating stores and employing commissioned salespeople. This is why the most affordable mattress models usually come from exclusively online brands.
    • Brand Recognition: Companies with prominent name recognition in the mattress industry may charge steep prices for their beds – even if their quality and performance are average at best.

    The bottom line: many factors contribute to the price-point of a mattress. Customers should never assume one bed is superior to another due to differences in cost.

  • Does a Low Price Mean a Mattress Was Manufactured Overseas?

    Not necessarily. Some companies manufacture beds overseas, but a large number of affordable and high-quality mattress models are made in the U.S. To learn more about where mattresses are produced, check the brand’s website and product pages. The Better Business Bureau can be a helpful source, as well.

  • Who Should Buy a Cheap Mattress?

    In addition to shoppers on a budget, cheap mattresses are suitable for other groups. Parents, for instance, should consider a low-cost bed for their children. A child’s growth spurts, shifting comfort preferences, and other factors may necessitate a mattress replacement before a model reaches the end of its lifespan. Additionally, homeowners hoping to stock a spare bedroom with a guest bed should consider a cheap mattress since the bed will not be used every night.

  • Do Cheap Mattresses Come with Shorter Warranties?

    Cheaper mattress models often come with warranties of 10 years. Their more expensive competitors, on the other hand, may be backed by warranties of 20 years or longer – and some cover the bed for the entirety of its lifespan.

    However, customers should keep in mind the average mattress performs for six to eight years before a replacement is needed. Only rarely will a bed last 10 years, let alone 20. And since the vast majority of mattresses sold today come with warranties of 10 years or longer, this concern is actually a non-issue.

  • Where Can Customers Buy Cheap Mattresses?

    Low-cost mattresses are widely available. Customers just need to know where to look. In the next section, we’ll share a few tips for finding affordable mattress models.

Tips for Cheap Mattress Buyers

  • Tip #1: Buy Online

    As we’ve discussed above, online mattress brands offer lower prices due to their lack of overhead costs from operating brick-and-mortar stores and employing sales staff. Bed-in-a-box models, which are compressed for shipping and delivered to the customer’s doorstep, are particularly inexpensive.

    Many shoppers are wary of purchasing a mattress before consulting with sales personnel. For this reason, many online mattress companies offer live web chat with customer service representatives. Another perk of buying online is free shipping within the contiguous U.S. Buying a mattress from a brick-and-mortar store may also qualify for free delivery, but sometimes stores charge extra fees for this service.

  • Tip #2: Avoid Floor Models

    Some brick-and-mortar mattress sellers offer exceptionally affordable price-points for mattresses used as floor models in stores. These low costs can be tempting, but we don’t recommend buying a floor model for two main reasons. One, dozens – maybe even hundreds – of people might lie down on a floor model before it is sold, and over time this regular use can wear out the materials. Two, in most cases, floor models don’t qualify for warranty coverage from the manufacturer.

  • Tip #3: Time Purchases with Annual Sales

    Mattress sales often coincide with holidays and observances. Many brands offer discounted prices for Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day, as well as shopping holidays such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Be sure to check out the websites of online brands around these holidays – it might result in hundreds of dollars off the original asking price.

  • Tip #4: Track Down Coupons and Discounts

    Online mattress brands frequently offer promotional codes and coupons that unlock discounts during the checkout phase of the purchase. Tuck.com offers a wide assortment of exclusive mattress discounts, as well. Visit our Mattress Reviews and Comparisons page to see our coupons from top brands.

  • Tip #5: Take Advantage of Sleep Trials

    When purchasing a cheap mattress online, buyers should note the sleep trial. Most brands offer trials that span at least 90 nights, and some extend to one year or longer. While the trial is valid, customers may test out the mattress and, if they wish, return it for a full refund. Brands may also allow mattress exchanges for different models or sizes. Completing a sleep trial is the best way for mattress buyers to determine if the bed is right for them – or if they should keep looking.

  • Tip #6: Read the Fine Print

    Is shipping free for all customers? Does the company charge extra fees for returns? Is the warranty prorated after two or three years? Are exchanges restricted? Before committing to a mattress purchase, owners should ensure the model they have selected represents the best possible value.