Best Cheap Mattress

Written by

David Rubin , Certified Sleep Science Coach, Lead Product Tester

Reviewed by

Dr. Michael Breus, PhD, DABSM, FAASM , Clinical Psychologist, Sleep Medicine Expert
Expert tested
Every product undergoes rigorous testing with a variety of hands-on methods to give you the most accurate, unbiased reviews possible. Our methodology.
Updated Regularly
In the next few weeks, we'll be conducting additional pressure relief tests. The picks on this page may change as a result.

The Sleep Doctor independently selects the products we test. We may earn a commission if you make a purchase using the links on our site. Learn more.

The cost and quality of mattresses vary widely. Many factors determine the price of a mattress, including the materials, size, and premium add-ons like cooling features. Prices also differ from brand to brand. However, you don’t have to sacrifice quality construction or comfort to find a budget-friendly model.

We’ll highlight several mattresses with affordable price-points that performed as well in our tests as more expensive alternatives. We’ll also share tips on where and when to shop to save money on a mattress that fits your needs.

“Materials and construction play a big role in a bed's sticker price. If you're looking for a mattress on a limited budget, try starting with foam and innerspring models. These beds offer excellent pressure relief and are often more affordable than latex and hybrid beds.” – Dr. Michael J. Breus, Ph.D.

Best Overall

Nectar Mattress

Details

  • Type: Foam

  • Firmness: Medium Firm (6)

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

  • Price Range: $399 – $1,138

  • Warranty: Lifetime, Limited

Highlights

  • Thick comfort system for top-tier pressure relief
  • Gel memory foam designed for cooler sleep
  • Thicker coils at the perimeter for superior edge support

Ideal For

  • Customers who want pressure relief without deep contouring
  • Sleepers with joint or back pain
  • Couples

The Nectar Mattress is an all-foam model with a 3-inch memory foam comfort layer. Our testing team found that the layer provides a gentle hugging sensation that relieves pressure, making the Nectar a good choice for sleepers who tend to experience pain or pressure points. During partner tests, we found that the memory foam layer also does an excellent job of isolating motion and preventing movement from rippling across the bed’s surface.

Despite the thick memory foam layer, our testers noted that the bed’s 3-inch layer of polyfoam prevented them from sinking too deeply. A 7-inch polyfoam core completes the mattress and offers sturdy support.

With a 12-inch profile and medium firm (6) feel, the Nectar received high ratings from the side sleepers on our testing team across all weight groups. Our back and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds also enjoyed its balance of conforming and support.

The mattress comes with a generous 365-night sleep trial and a limited lifetime warranty. Nectar provides free shipping and returns to customers in the contiguous U.S.

The Nectar is a strong all-around option for shoppers on a budget seeking a mattress that doesn’t sacrifice support while offering outstanding motion isolation and pressure relief.

What our tester thinks
opening quote icon “The Nectar has the deep hug of an all-foam mattress but feels firmer than other foam beds we've tested. I give this model high marks for its even balance of support and cushioning.” opening quote icon
David Rubin, Certified Sleep Science Coach, Lead Product Tester and Side Sleeper

Best for Side Sleepers

Sweet Night Dreamy Gel Memory Foam

Details

  • Type: Foam

  • Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Medium Firm (6)

  • Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King

  • Price Range: $612 – $1,150

  • Warranty: 10 Year, Limited

Highlights

  • Dual-sided design offers three firmness options
  • Foam layers excel at pressure relief
  • Strong motion isolation

Ideal For

  • Sleepers with painful pressure buildup
  • Couples
  • People whose firmness options may change over time

The Sweet Night Dreamy Foam Mattress is a reasonably priced mattress with a unique design that allows you to pick between three different firmness levels. The all-foam construction provides gentle contouring regardless of the firmness you choose, which is ideal for side sleepers seeking pressure relief for their hips and shoulders.

Shoppers can pick between two profiles, 10 or 12 inches. The thicker option may have a slightly plusher feel but the two models are generally comparable in performance. The mattress has a dual-sided design with a medium firm (6) surface on one side. This surface has a dense polyfoam comfort layer that felt most comfortable to our side-sleeping testers who weigh over 130 pounds. It also performed well with back sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds.

The other surface of the mattress is made with an adaptive memory foam comfort layer that offers two firmness levels, depending on which end of the bed you choose to rest your head on. One end of the bed has a medium (5) feel while the other end offers a slightly plusher medium soft (4) feel. Regardless of the orientation you pick, we found this surface was best suited for side sleepers up to 230 pounds and back sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds.

Both surfaces provide strong motion isolation, since foam excels at absorbing motion when you or your sleep partner moves at night. Foam also absorbs noise, so you’ll hear little to no noise when moving around in bed.

Sweet Night offers free shipping to addresses in the contiguous U.S. You’ll have 100 nights to try out the bed and return it for a full refund. If you keep the bed, you’ll receive a 10-year warranty.

What our tester thinks
opening quote icon With an all-foam design and three firmness levels to pick from, the Sweet Night Dreamy Gel Memory Foam Mattress is a great option for sleepers who need contouring but aren’t sure of their ideal firmness. opening quote icon
David Rubin, Certified Sleep Science Coach, Lead Product Tester and Side Sleeper

Best Cooling

Cocoon Chill

Details

  • Type: Foam

  • Firmness: Medium Firm (6)

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

  • Price Range: $769 – $1,539

  • Warranty: 10 Year, Limited

Highlights

  • Pressure-relieving support
  • Very good motion isolation
  • Phase change material cover

Ideal For

  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Side sleepers over 130 pounds
  • People who share a bed

With a cover made of phase change material, the Cocoon Chill is designed to stay cooler than most all-foam mattresses. The cover is engineered to absorb and redistribute heat, keeping the surface of the mattress cool.

Our tests showed that the memory foam comfort layer conforms to the body, relieving pressure and providing above-average motion isolation. Our testers barely noticed when their partners moved around on the other side of the bed. Our team also noted that the polyfoam transitional layer prevented them from sinking excessively, while the high-density polyfoam support core stabilized the mattress when they shifted positions.

The Cocoon Chill is 10 inches tall. With a medium firm (6) feel, it’s a good option for a variety of sleepers. Based on our tests, the mattress best suits back and stomach sleepers of all weights and side sleepers who weigh more than 130 pounds. It received the highest ratings from back sleepers on our team who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds.

Shoppers can try out the Cocoon Chill for up to 100 nights. The mattress also comes with a 10-year limited warranty and free shipping to customers in the contiguous U.S.

With a thoughtful construction and innovative cooling features, the Cocoon Chill is an excellent choice for sleepers who like the feel of memory foam but tend to overheat in bed.

What our tester thinks
opening quote icon “The Cocoon Chill performed really well on our motion isolation tests, so this bed is a safe bet if you're trying to minimize sleep disruptions from a restless co-sleeper.” opening quote icon
Garen Glazier, Staff Writer, Product Testing Team and Side Sleeper

Best for Back Sleepers

Plank Firm

Details

  • Type: Foam

  • Firmness: Firm (7), Extra Firm (9)

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split California King, Short Full, Short Queen, Olympic Queen, Short King, RV King

  • Price Range: $699 – $1,499

  • Warranty: 10 Year, Limited

Highlights

  • Flippable design with two supportive firmness levels
  • Optional top panels engineered for cooling
  • Excellent edge support

Ideal For

  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who prefer a firm mattress

Spinal alignment is a high priority for back sleepers, and the Plank Firm’s’ supportive design fits the bill. This flippable model allows sleepers to choose between two firmness levels: firm (7) and extra firm (9).

The Plank Firm has an 11.75-inch profile. The firm side features 1.5 inches of quilted polyfoam and 2 inches of TitanFlex polyfoam. The extra firm side’s comfort layer uses .75 inches of quilting. A 7-inch layer of polyfoam acts as the shared support core. Our testing team noted that the firm side’s TitanFlex foam conformed to their bodies slightly, while the extra firm side provided very minimal cushioning.

The Plank Firm’s firm side suited all of our testers who sleep on their back or stomach, though it received particularly high marks from stomach sleepers who weigh more than 130 pounds and back sleepers over 230 pounds. Some side sleepers on our team weighing more than 230 pounds gave the firm side average marks, though others said they prefer a mattress with more cushioning.

All of our testers under 130 pounds and all of our side sleepers found the extra firm side too firm. However, back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds appreciated its even plane.

For an additional cost, the Plank Firm is available with top panels made with phase change material designed to cool the surface. While our testing team found that the Plank Firm regulates temperatures well without this add-on, exceptionally hot sleepers may prefer it.

The Plank Firm comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year limited warranty. Shipping and returns are free within the contiguous U.S.

Featuring robust edge support and excellent ease of movement, the Plank Firm is a solid pick for back sleepers or anyone seeking a firmly supportive mattress.

What our tester thinks
opening quote icon “Both sides of the Plank excelled at support when our testers took turns lying on the surface. This bed is firmer than most models I've tested, and I recommend it for back and stomach sleepers who need strong support.” opening quote icon
Alison Deshong, Staff Writer, Product Testing Team and Stomach Sleeper

Why You Should Trust Us

When it’s time to replace your mattress, we understand how important it is to find a model that suits your needs without breaking your budget. We test hundreds of mattresses using a multitude of performance metrics related to motion isolation, support, ease of movement, and more.

Our testing team has a variety of body types and sleep position preferences, giving us valuable insight into how different individuals respond to a wide array of mattresses. For this list, we focused on models that balance affordability and performance. 

What Do Sleepers on a Budget Need to Know for a Good Night's Sleep?

Many factors contribute to a good night’s sleep, such as bedroom environment, pillows, and mattresses. However, a high-quality mattress doesn’t necessarily require spending a lot of money. We’ll cover the factors that determine mattress prices, how to save money on a mattress purchase, and why the right bed is a worthwhile investment. 

Find the Type of Mattress That Works for Your Budget

Mattress prices vary to fit nearly any budget. For example, latex mattresses and hybrids tend to have higher price tags, while innerspring and foam models are often more affordable. That said, a durable model may save you money in the long run even if it requires a larger upfront investment. 

What Factors Add to Mattress Cost?

Materials that cost the manufacturer more, such as gel-infused memory foam, natural latex, and pocketed coils, add to the overall cost of a mattress. Premium features like cooling materials or special fabrics may also affect the price. 

Look for Easy Ways to Save Money When Mattress Shopping

One of the best ways to save on a mattress is by waiting for a sale, which many mattress companies offer around holidays. You can also save money by comparison shopping, using coupon codes, and purchasing a mattress online rather than in a brick-and-mortar store. 

Is a Bed Worth the Investment?

A mattress can greatly impact your quality of sleep and overall comfort, so the right option may be worth the investment. When a mattress is low-quality, old, or doesn’t suit your body type or sleep position, you might experience discomfort or wake up in pain. 

Which Mattress Types Are Best on a Budget?

Whether you’re looking for a mattress that conforms to your body, sleeps cool, or alleviates back pain, it’s crucial to know your sleep requirements and assess what type of mattress is best for you.

Foam Mattresses

Foam mattresses tend to be popular with shoppers on a budget since they often come with lower price tags. In an all-foam bed, both the comfort system and support core consist of foam. Most foam models conform to sleepers and isolate motion.

Polyfoam vs. Memory Foam: Which Is Best on a Budget?

While foam mattresses use polyfoam in their support cores, the comfort and transition layers may contain either polyfoam or memory foam. Memory foam is generally denser and more expensive than polyfoam. It conforms closely to the body by responding to heat and pressure, providing a pressure-relieving hugging sensation. Many budget mattresses favor polyfoam due to its lower price-point. Polyfoam is usually more breathable and responsive. 

Hybrid Mattresses

A hybrid mattress consists of a foam or latex comfort system and a coil support core. Most use a pocketed coil core in which each spring is wrapped individually, adding greater motion isolation and contouring than most traditional coil systems.

Hybrid mattresses tend to cost more than foam and innerspring models due largely to the pocketed coil layer. However, hybrids tend to be more durable and they often combine some of the best performance characteristics of other mattress types.

Are Innerspring Mattresses Worth a Lower Price Tag?

Some buyers may prefer an innerspring mattress over a hybrid if budget is a main concern. Innerspring models often cost less than hybrids, but they tend to be less durable. Many sleepers also find them less comfortable.

Instead of pocketed coils, innerspring mattresses typically use interconnected coil systems. As a result, pressing down on one coil tends to contract those around it, causing motion transfer. Innerspring models also frequently lack pressure-relieving comfort systems, so sleepers may notice more sore spots in the morning. 

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses tend to be among the most expensive mattress types due to the cost of latex. Natural latex is derived from the sap of rubber trees, though more affordable synthetic varieties are available. Latex has a conforming but bouncy feel that some sleepers prefer.

What Makes a Mattress Cost More or Less?

Certain materials, features, and shopping methods increase the cost of a mattress. Prices can also be impacted by brand name and reputation.

Material Quality and Mattress Construction

Mattress prices vary depending on the type and quality of materials. For example, pocketed coils tend to be higher quality and more expensive than traditional interconnected coils. Similarly, high-quality polyfoam costs more than lower-quality alternatives. Consider your personal needs and how long you’d like your mattress to last when making a purchase.

Buying a Mattress Online vs. In-Store

Many contemporary mattress companies sell their beds primarily online. By skipping brick-and-mortar stores, companies save on the cost of retail spaces and a more extensive sales staff. As a result, mattresses sold online often have lower price tags.

How Can I Save Money When I Buy a Bed?

Mattresses can be expensive, but there are ways to find quality options at affordable price-points.

Shop for a Mattress During Special Promotions and Holiday Sales

Shoppers often save big by waiting until the mattress of their choice goes on sale. Although mattress companies may run sales at any time, they are particularly popular during holidays. We suggest checking prices during Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Amazon Prime Day, Labor Day, or Black Friday sales.

Know What You’re Buying by Reading the Fine Print

We recommend carefully reading company policies before making a decision. Sleep trial, warranty, shipping, and other policies vary. These policies can greatly affect the overall value of your purchase.

Bundle and Save

Many mattress companies sell sleep accessories and offer discounts when you buy multiple items at once. If you need a bed frame, mattress topper, sheets, pillows, or other accessories, look for bundled offers.

Try Shopping Secondhand When You Can

While we generally don’t recommend buying used mattresses or pillows, you can find secondhand bedroom furniture at very affordable rates. You might be able to save on bed frames, headboards, and nightstands by searching resale websites, used furniture stores, and neighborhood apps. Closely examine items for cleanliness and quality before purchasing.

How Much Should You Spend When You Buy a Bed?

The prices of quality mattresses vary greatly, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Although mattress quality and cost are not always one and the same, more expensive mattresses tend to be made with higher-quality materials. That said, shoppers often save by waiting for sales, buying from direct-to-consumer online brands, and purchasing accessories in a discounted bundle with their mattresses.

When determining your mattress budget, consider your needs, preferences, and priorities. Sometimes a mattress that costs more upfront allows you to save money in the long term.

About The Author

David Rubin

Certified Sleep Science Coach, Lead Product Tester

David is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with a lifelong passion for well-being and health optimization. His interest in sleep developed with the arrival of his son, when sleep suddenly became a precious commodity.

  • Position: Side Sleeper
  • Temperature: Hot Sleeper
  • Chronotype: Lion

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