Buying Guide – How to Shop for a Mattress under $500
Below, we’ll walk you through the most crucial steps in buying and caring for a mattress under $500. From what to look for in each type of mattress, to how to prevent stains once you bring yours home, you’ll learn the most important considerations when buying a bed on a budget.
Buying Guide – How to Shop for a Mattress under $500
Choosing a Mattress Type
Each type of mattress has its own average price, ranging from $1,038 for an innerspring to $2,283 for an airbed. However, customers with a $500 budget will find they have a range of models to choose from, even for pricier mattresses such as hybrids.
With responsive pocketed coils and either memory foam or latex comfort systems, hybrid mattresses are among some of the most popular choices on the market. Although the average hybrid costs just over $2,000, it’s possible to find great deals on hybrid models under $500. Given that the average hybrid’s lifespan is second only to latex, this means that budget-priced options can work out to be an excellent deal.
Although there are exceptions, most hybrid mattresses priced under $500 lack extra features and luxury touches. However, the best choices make up for this with solid construction and a comfortable balance between pressure relief and support. Inexpensive hybrids also tend to have above-average temperature neutrality, as their pocketed coils encourage airflow, and thinner comfort systems minimize heat-retaining contouring.
Hybrid mattresses have a very broad appeal, and a high-performing hybrid with the right firmness is likely to appeal to sleepers of most weight ranges and position preferences. Different models offer different feels, dependent mostly on their comfort systems, but most in this price range have a balanced sleep surface with moderate contouring.
Less expensive than all other mattress types except for traditional innersprings, memory foam mattresses are usually made with an all-foam design which utilizes high-density polyfoam for the support core. They tend to offer the best pressure relief and motion isolation of any mattress type, but are often let down by poor edge support and temperature regulation. However, their low price allows customers to find some excellent options within a $500 budget.
At this price-point, memory foam mattresses tend to be less durable than their more expensive counterparts, and cooling features are usually limited to the use of gel-infused memory foam. On the other hand, they often have pressure relief and motion isolation capabilities equal to higher-priced competitors, while still providing plenty of support.
Because memory foam is a relatively fragile material, memory foam mattresses have the second-lowest average lifespan. Lower-priced options usually have similarly low durability, but more expensive brands are not often significantly sturdier.
Latex, sourced from sustainable rubber trees, is gaining in popularity thanks to its eco-friendliness, resilient pressure relief, and excellent temperature neutrality. However, a relatively high average price makes these beds less attractive to sleepers on a budget. It is possible to find latex mattresses for less than $500, but unfortunately these are almost always partially or entirely made from synthetically produced latex, making them closer to foam mattresses.
Other than natural vs. synthetic, another important consideration is the choice between Dunlop and Talalay latex. Both are ways of turning rubber tree sap into latex foam, and both are popular choices. Dunlop tends to be denser and firmer, while Talalay latex is softer, slightly less durable, and generally more expensive.
Latex offers sleepers a characteristic ‘floating’ feel of sleeping ‘on’, rather than ‘in’, the mattress. As this is similar to the feel of a traditional innerspring in many ways, latex beds tend to appeal to innerspring aficionados in need of better pressure relief.
Traditional innerspring mattresses have the lowest average price of any mattress type, making them ideal for shoppers with a budget of less than $500. Though they have some downsides, such as poor motion isolation, innerspring beds offer dependable support and some of the best temperature neutrality available at this price point. Many also include pillow top or foam layers, making them more comfortable than older models.
Most innerspring models under $500 share similar features. Comfort systems, when present, tend to be polyester fiber pillow tops, or thin layers of polyfoam. For support, most use Bonnell coils, which are slightly less durable, rather than pricier offset or continuous-wire coils. These budget-priced mattresses often have very good support, but may be let down by poor pressure relief or motion isolation.
Due to limited pressure relief, innerspring mattresses at this price tend to be more suitable for back and stomach sleepers than side sleepers, who may develop pressure points at their hips or shoulders.
What Else Should You Consider When Choosing a Mattress?
Deciding on a mattress type and budget are two of the most crucial steps when choosing a new mattress, but there are other factors to keep in mind.
- Sleep trial. Although sleep trials are generally common when purchasing a mattress online, not all budget-priced mattresses offer the opportunity. If you’re uncertain about making a decision, looking for a 100-night or longer trial.
- Warranty. Mattress warranties can vary significantly, lasting for different periods and covering different defects. Before making a purchase, consider if a mattress’s warranty is right for your lifestyle.
- Delivery options and old mattress removal. Nearly all mattresses offer free delivery. However, options like White Glove delivery and old mattress removal may not be offered, or may cost extra, which is important to keep in mind when planning the switch.
- Sales and discounts. Purchasing a mattress online gives you access to a wide range of sales and discounts, from excellent deals during holiday weekends to exclusive coupon codes like those from Tuck. Before you buy a mattress for less than $500, look to see whether a discount code could make a higher-end model fit your budget.
How to Care for Your New Mattress
- Use a mattress protector. Protect against dust, dirt, and stains by using a mattress protector from the beginning.
- Rotate beds with foam layers head-to-toe. While deep impressions are usually covered under foam mattress warranties, customers can prevent more shallow impressions by rotating their bed every 3-6 months.
- Stay clean. Changing your sheets regularly can help prevent build-up, but you should still keep your mattress clean by attending to it on a regular basis. Addressing stains as they occur and staying on top of mattress maintenance will extend a mattress’s lifetime while keeping it in top condition