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.
Buyer’s Guide for Cheap/Affordable Mattresses
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.