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The importance of a quality mattress cannot be understated. Many people, though, put off buying a new mattress because it's quite a big expense. If that sounds like you, we've got good news: There are mattresses out there that offer comfort and support at affordable prices, so you can replace your lumpy, sagging mattress without spending a lot.
"If you wake up feeling worse than when you went to sleep, it's a sign something is not quite right with your mattress," says Dr. Samantha March-Howard, doctor of chiropractic at 100% Chiropractic office in Dunwoody, Georgia. "If you have consistent pain, usually in the neck, lower back or hips or the actual structure itself starts to sink in, then it's time to get a new mattress."
Budget mattresses come in many different types, including innerspring, memory foam, and hybrid versions to suit your sleeping preferences. The rise of the mattress-in-a-box movement has made it easy and convenient to get a brand new mattress shipped straight to your door, especially if you choose a memory foam mattress that can easily be compressed for shipping. Give special attention to mattress firmness to find a bed that will be comfortable yet supportive. If you're on the fence about which mattress to buy, some brands offer a trial period that lets you test out the bed in your home. With sleep trials or warranty periods, read the fine print to understand what is involved if you decide to return the mattress or submit a warranty claim.
If you're looking for better sleep on the cheap, these are the best affordable mattresses to buy right now.
Best Overall: Tuft & Needle Original Adaptive Foam Mattress
Who else recommends it? GQ and Healthline both picked the Tuft & Needle Original Adaptive Foam Mattress.
What do buyers say? 85% of 15,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Tuft & Needle's Original mattress sets itself apart from standard memory foam or latex mattresses by using a proprietary foam with an open-cell structure that adjusts to your unique sleeping position. A 7-inch layer of support foam provides long-lasting comfort, while the top 3-inch layer of adaptive foam offers pressure relief and gives you the cozy can’t-get-out-of-bed feeling. It's also infused with cooling gel and graphite for better temperature regulation throughout the night. (Fun fact: Graphite is used to dissipate heat generated from electronics.)
The mattress is available in all standard sizes, and you can place it on most foundations, including a traditional bed frame, platform bed, and slatted bed base. Firmness is highly subjective, but this affordable mattress is generally described as medium-firm, becoming softer over time. Dr. March-Howard says the majority of her patients prefer medium firm mattresses for comfort and health.
"It's important to have the comfort level definitely be there; however, for longevity of the mattress I've found that the medium firmness tends to be more preferred by patients," says Dr. March-Howard. "When it's too firm, it's just as bad as being too soft and it's hard for the muscles to relax on any materials that are like that."
Also great: The mattress boasts CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certifications, meaning it meets global safety standards and is free from harmful chemicals. (You can learn more about these certifications on CertiPUR's and Greenguard's websites.)
Best Basic: Zinus Memory Foam 12-Inch Green Tea Mattress
Frills-free but soft and supportive is a good description for the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress. This simple mattress ships in a box and expands rapidly to 6, 8, 10, or 12 inches in height, depending on which version you choose.
Zinus utilizes three layers of foam: a high-density foam as base support, airflow-enhancing comfort foam for a transition layer, and conforming memory foam for a soft top layer. The ratio of each type of foam varies by mattress thickness and matches with various sleeping styles. Memory foam tends to sleep hotter than conventional spring mattresses, and while this one does not have cooling features, it is infused with green tea (which has antimicrobial properties) and activated charcoal (also known as activated carbon) to minimize odors.
Regardless of whether you’re a side, back, or stomach sleeper, this affordable mattress can accommodate your sleeping preferences. The foam is CertiPUR-US certified to meet rigorous standards for emissions, content, and durability, though some off-gassing is to be expected with any memory foam mattress.
Best Memory Foam: Sealy 12" Plush Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam offers a great value in cheap mattresses, thanks to its simple foam layer construction. It provides contouring body support, pressure relief, and excellent motion absorption, so you're less likely to wake up when your partner rolls over. The Sealy 12-inch Plus Memory Foam Mattress is a high-quality pick that's comfortable for most sleepers, regardless of which sleeping style you prefer.
Sealy gives this cheap memory foam mattress an edge with three comfortable layers of CertiPUR-US certified foam that provide an ultra-plush feel. There's a 5-inch layer of supportive base foam, a 4-inch transitional layer of comfort foam, and a 3-inch top layer of responsive memory foam, and it's all topped off with a soft knit cover. The mattress also has edge support to prevent sagging over time.
Best Innerspring: IKEA Haugesund Spring Mattress
For the traditional bounce of a spring mattress, check out this budget-friendly innerspring mattress from Ikea. The Haugesund has independent pocket coils that contour to your body, along with soft filling to keep you comfortable while you snooze. It's available in both firm and medium-firm varieties.
While some cheap mattresses use interlinked Bonnell coils, each independent coil of the Haugesund is individually wrapped, minimizing the transfer of movement from one side of the bed to the other. It’s a good choice for partners sharing a bed since one person's tossing and turning is less likely to affect the other sleeper.
Best Hybrid: Linenspa 8-inch Hybrid Mattress
Combine the conventional feel of a coil mattress and the body-contouring support of memory foam with a hybrid mattress, like this top-selling version from Linenspa. Available in 8, 10, and 12-inch mattress depths with different levels of firmness, this cheap hybrid mattress fits your budget and your preference for plushness.
Inside the mattress, heavy-gauge spring coils are topped with transition foam and a layer of contouring memory foam for comfort and support. While some people don’t like the feel of a coil rebounding as you roll over in bed, the top layer of comfort foam insulates against the springy feeling deeper in the mattress. And if you find memory foam mattresses too hot to sleep on, a hybrid mattress is more breathable thanks to the innerspring core.
Best Mattress in a Box: Allswell Mattress
Tightly compressed and arriving in a space-saving box, the basic Allswell Hybrid Mattress quickly expands to full mattress proportions. The 10-inch thick Allswell mattress is constructed using individually-wrapped steel coils for base support, topped with a layer of memory foam. The dual layers of this medium-firm hybrid make this cheap mattress-in-a-box both comfortable and economical.
For a better sleeping experience, the Allswell mattress features edge support on the long sides of the mattress—so you can sit on the side of the bed to put your socks on without feeling like you’ll slide onto the floor. In addition, the memory foam top layer is infused with graphite and copper gel that transfers heat away from the body for a cooler sleep experience.
Best Air Mattress: Intex 24-inch Durabeam Pillow-Top Airbed Mattress with Internal Pump
Essential features for quick, convenient set-up—like an internal pump—make this roomy but affordable air mattress a top pick. While there’s no headboard on this Queen-sized air mattress from Intex, it does offer a lofty 24-inch raised sleeping surface with a plush pillowtop feel.
Not only do the flocked sides help your sheets stay in place, but they also make the mattress more puncture-resistant. The roomy mattress has a weight limit of 600 pounds and can comfortably sleep two adults. Plus, a carry bag is included for easy portability and storage.
Best for Kids: IKEA ÖMSINT Pocket Spring Mattress for Extendable Bed
If your child is growing quickly and you’re in need of a cheap mattress that can keep up, consider this unique option from Ikea. The ÖMSINT Pocket Spring Mattress is designed to extend from 47 to 74.75 inches and is ideal for extendable beds that are common for toddlers and young children. At the same time, this innerspring mattress offers comfort and support, with important features like individually wrapped pocket springs and a soft top layer of foam. Another plus? The cover is removable and machine-washable.
Keep in mind that only the main 47-inch section of the mattress features springs since the areas that require the most support are the shoulders and hips. The extendable sections of the mattress, which allow it to expand to 61 inches or 74.75 inches in length, offer soft support for the legs.
Best Pillowtop: Signature Design by Ashley 12-inch Chime Mattress
The plushness of this cheap mattress with pillowtop will give you a luxe feel, regardless of the fact that it’s a bargain buy. The Chime 12-inch Hybrid Mattress from Signature Design by Ashley is constructed with 13-gauge pocketed coils for stability and edge support, dual layers of support foam, and a 1.5-inch quilted foam pillowtop for an ultra-plush sleeping surface.
The super-soft pillowtop provides both support and softness, so it’s a good choice if you’re shopping for a mattress that will support your head, shoulders, and hips while still giving you a cushy, cozy feel. This mattress is available in all standard sizes, and there's also a 10-inch version.
The adaptive foam of the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress (view at Tuft & Needle) makes it our top pick because it's a great fit for most sleeping styles and it sleeps cooler than some other memory foam mattresses. But if you're looking for the conventional bounce of a spring mattress, the IKEA Haugesund (view at Ikea) is an excellent budget-friendly choice.
What to Look for in Cheap Mattresses
A key factor to decide on when researching cheap mattresses is what type of mattress you want. You'll have plenty of options when it comes to foam, innerspring, or hybrid mattresses. It's worth noting that cheap memory foam mattresses make up the majority of the market, but there are also affordable options for innerspring and hybrid mattresses, too.
How much "give" a mattress has when you lay on it is a reflection of firmness. Usually rated on a scale of 1 to 10, many people find that a medium (5) to medium-firm (7) mattress is ideal. You might think that all cheap mattresses are super soft or hard as a rock, but this is far from the case. Choose a mattress that will match your preference for plushness, but also provide enough support for your shoulders, spine, and hips.
Trial Terms and Warranty
Buying a cheap mattress can still be a significant spend so pay attention to whether or not the mattress comes with a sleep trial and what type of warranty period applies. Many direct-to-consumer mattress companies, such as Allswell or Tuft and Needle, provide you with 100 nights to sleep on the mattress and decide if it's right for you. If you're not satisfied, you can expect a refund, though you'll have to follow the company's instructions for return or donation.
Mattresses warranties are a given with cheap mattresses, but many manufacturers do offer some type of warranty policy. It usually covers defects in workmanship or materials and most often requires sagging or indentations deeper than 1/4 or 1/2 of an inch.
How long do cheap mattresses last?
The materials of a mattress will have the largest impact on how long it lasts, so the type of cheap mattress you choose will matter most in determining its lifespan. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses need replacement about every 10 years or so. Some memory foam mattresses can last 10 to 15 years, but take note that some sleepers find that the foam in a cheap mattress can begin to sag sooner than expected. Latex mattresses have the longest mattress lifespan, usually lasting 15 years or more, but are hard to buy at a price that qualifies them as a "cheap" mattress.
How do you make a cheap mattress more comfortable?
If you find that a cheap mattress is too thin or firm for your liking, a mattress topper can help to improve the feel and make the mattress more comfortable. Adding a topper is often less expensive than buying a new mattress.
Can you buy a cheap mattress as a bed-in-a-box?
Yes, there are many options for a cheap mattress that will ship straight to your door in a box. Companies like Allswell, Tuft & Needle, and Zinus specialize in offering mattresses that are designed to compress into a box and then expand to full-size within a day or two of unpacking. Opting for a bed-in-a-box often results in cost savings when compared to shopping in-person at a mattress store.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Erica Puisis has been researching the best mattresses for every sleeping style and budget for more than three years. Having recently purchased a new bed, she is sympathetic to the challenge of finding a mattress that is comfortable yet affordable. Every night she settles into the soft, squishy comfort of the plush 12-inch Zinus Green Tea Mattress.
For additional background on mattresses, we spoke to Dr. Samantha March-Howard, doctor of chiropractic at 100% Chiropractic office in Dunwoody, Georgia, who spoke about mattress firmness.