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Best Budget Mattress: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Top 10 | Best and Worst Mattresses

Best Budget Mattress: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Mattress Guides
Read Time: 16 minutes

The average price of a quality queen-size mattress from an established company is about $1500. Some mattresses may cost more or less, depending on the type of materials a bed contains. You can find an even wider selection to choose from under $2000. It’ll be worth your time to find a reliable mattress to provide an even blend of comfort and support.

When looking for a mattress in your budget, don’t sacrifice quality. Consider the types of materials used (does the bed use just regular foam or pressure-relieving memory foam?), the sleep trial and length of warranty offered (a good company backs their product up with a trial and warranty) and how many third-party reviews you can find to help you vet your options.

30 Second Summary: Best Budget Mattress of 2019

  • Zoma Mattress – We like the Zoma Mattress because it’s designed to help you sleep deeper, recover faster, and perform better in your day-to-day. Originally engineered with athletes in mind, the Zoma was made to improve your sleep. Even if you don’t lead an active lifestyle, the Zoma can upgrade your night’s rest to help you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.
  • Amerisleep AS1 — Another great, affordable option is Amerisleep’s AS1. The AS1’s featured Bio-Pur® is five times more breathable than traditional memory foam and cradles the body for healthy spinal alignment.

Best Budget Mattresses

 MattressHighlightsPrice
zomaZoma MattressDesigned to help athletes sleeper better and recover quicker; features state-of-the-art sleep-enhancing technologies.
amerisleep as1Amerisleep AS1Features pressure-relieving, plant-based memory foam and advanced zoned support technologies to eliminate back pain.
zinus mattressZinus Green TeaInfused with green tea for extra sleep-enhancing benefits.
$354
t&n mattressTuft & Needle MattressFeatures cooling graphite gel to combat body heat and keep you sleeping comfortably.
$595
layla mattressLayla MattressContains copper-infused memory foam to help you sleep cool and comfortable.
$999
allswell mattressAllswell MattressComfortable hybrid suitable for any sleeping position.
$345
dynasty mattressDynasty MattressFeatures Cool AirFlow foam to combat hot nights and keep you at a comfortable temperature.
$399
nolah mattressNolah Original 10" MattressFeatures Nolah AirFoam™, designed to be 4x more pressure-relieving than traditional memory foam.
$1019

1. Zoma Mattress

zoma sports mattressFirst on our list is the state-of-the-art Zoma Mattress, a memory foam mattress for athletes. The Zoma mattress is designed to help you sleep deeper, recover faster, and perform better during your day-to-day. Though it’s originally engineered for athletes, the Zoma can help anybody get better sleep.

Let’s talk about its layers.

The first layer of the mattress is gel-infused memory foam with Triangulex™ technology. When you lay down on the Zoma, this layer molds to your body to offer instant comfort and pressure relief. The gel within combats body heat and prevents heat retention, helping you sleep soundly all night long.

Triangulex™ technology offers targeted support to promote a healthy spine and prevent pain points. Around your shoulders and hips, this technology contains triangle-shaped cutouts allowing for deeper compression and enhanced pressure relief. In the midsection, this technology offers reinforced support for your torso and prevents uncomfortable sinkage in the bed.

Next, is a layer of Reactiv™, a latex-like poly-foam. Reactiv™ is more responsive than memory foam, so it gives the bed a bit of bounce and prevents you from ever feeling “stuck” in the mattress. The Reactiv™ layer creates a more “on top of the bed” feel in terms of firmness and makes it easier to shift positions while you sleep. Primarily, this layer acts as a barrier between the cushioning memory foam above and sturdy base below.

The third and final layer of Zoma is Support+ foam, a durable poly-foam. The Support™ layer reinforces the two layers above and prevents sinkage throughout the mattress.

Zoma offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty with each of their beds.

Zoma Sports Mattress Highlights

  • Most comfortable for side and back sleepers
  • Contains gel-infused memory foam to combat body heat and keep you comfortable
  • Triangulex™ technology nurtures a healthy spine

2. Amerisleep AS1

amerisleep as1 best budget mattressNext on our list for the best budget mattress, the Amerisleep AS1, stands at 10 inches and is made with 2 inches of pressure-relieving memory foam and 8 inches of a supportive core. Plus, it’s encased in a cover that uses FDA-determined Celliant® technology to help promote better sleep. Overall, this mattress provides some great features for a small price tag. It’s a firmer mattress, so generally it’s only recommended for stomach and back sleepers.

Amerisleep’s memory foam is five times more breathability than traditional memory foam, which helps keep the body cool at night. Bio-Core® is partially made from castor oil, allowing the foam to be less dense, with better airflow for additional cooling to the sleeper.

Amerisleep has an FDA-determined textile technology incorporated into the cover. Celliant® is clinically proven to leave sleepers rejuvenated.

Here’s how it works: when you sleep, your body naturally gives off heat. That heat is absorbed and recycled by thermoreactive yarn contained in Celliant®’s structure inside the cover into infrared energy. That energy is released and absorbed back into the body, which results in invigorating sleep.

Amerisleep Highlights

  • Improves the rate of tissue repair
  • 13 thermoreactive minerals improve blood flow
  • Cradles the joints to relieve pain

3. Zinus Green Tea

zinus green tea mattressConsisting of four layers, the Zinus Green Tea mattress has 3 inches of green tea-infused memory foam; 2 inches of Comfort Foam™; 3.5 inches of convoluted, high-density foam; and a 3.5-inch layer of convoluted high-density base support foam.

The bed is available at 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″ thickness levels.

Its infusion of green tea in the memory foam layers set this mattress apart. The green tea infusion keeps the mattress fresh and provides microbial properties. With a medium-soft feel, the Zinus Green Tea is one of the best mattresses for side sleepers because it contours to your body to reduce pressure on the hips and shoulders.

Some drawbacks to the Zinus Green Tea mattress include off-gassing potential, increased risk of overheating at night, and general lack of support. Some customers felt the mattress was too soft for their tastes.

Remember, customers need three days for the mattress to fully decompress once removed from packaging.

Zinus Highlights

  • Green tea-infused foam for freshness
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Ideal for side sleepers

4. Original Tuft & Needle

tuft and needle mattressThe Original Tuft & Needle mattress contains only two layers; 3 inches of T&N Adaptive® foam and 7 inches of high-density poly-foam. The mattress is then encased in a polyester cover. The T&N Adaptive® foam is infused with graphite and gel for wicking away moisture and temperature regulation.

It’s available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes.

The Tuft & Needle mattress contains a neutral-feel foam – a balance between sinking and floating. It offers good motion isolation, making it ideal for couples. The foam is also slightly bouncy, with a medium-firm feel.

While the Tuft & Needle is a great mattress choice for petite and average body types, it is not ideal for heavy sleepers.

The edge support is okay, but not as sturdy as other memory foam brands.

Tuft & Needle Highlights

  • Use of graphite and gel for cooling
  • Neutral feel foam
  • Ideal for any type of sleeper

5. Layla

layla mattressThe Layla mattress includes 3 inches of copper-infused memory foam, 2 inches convoluted support foam, 3.5 inches support foam, and 1 inch of copper-infused memory foam.

Encased in a copper-infused cover, the Layla is dual-sided – one side is Soft, the other, Firm. It’s like getting two beds for the price of one!

The inclusion of copper in both its memory foam layers and removable cover makes the Layla stand out. Copper is heat conducive, drawing body heat away from the body and releasing it into the air. Copper is antimicrobial and improves blood circulation.

The Layla is compatible with any type of bed frame.

It’s a “hug” sensation with pressure relief due to its memory foam layers. Yet, it does have off-gassing odor potential.

Some customers felt the firm side was a little soft.

Layla Highlights

  • Copper-infused memory foam
  • Dual sided
  • Removable, washable cover

6. Allswell

allswell mattressThe Allswell 10-inch construction contains three layers including a 1-inch quilted cotton cover, 2 inches of graphite and copper-infused memory foam, and 7 inches of pocketed coils.

With conforming memory foam and pocketed coils, the Allswell offers great comfort and support. The neutral cultivate minimal sinkage – but still feel as though you’re on top of the mattress. It’s compatible for any body type and ideal for any sleep position.

Allswell is backed by Walmart, but their mattresses are manufactured through Brooklyn Bedding.

The Allswell is available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King. While it performed well for back and stomach sleepers, those primarily on their sides felt less pressure relief in the hips and shoulders.

There is off-gassing odor potential. Little is known about the mattress material specifics, like the foam’s ILD rating or coil gauge.

Allswell Highlights

  • Graphite and copper-infused memory foam
  • Low-cost hybrid
  • Ideal for any body type

7. DynastyMattress Cool Breeze 12-inch Gel Memory Foam

dynasty mattress best mattress under 500The Dynasty Mattress stands at 12 inches, with 4 layers of foam. It includes 3 inches of gel memory foam, 4 inches of Cool AirFlow foam, and 5 inches of high-density support foam.

It also comes encased in a breathable, removable cover.

Sold through their website and Amazon with a medium-firm feel, the DynastyMattress is an ideal choice for combo and heavy sleepers. It’s built to withstand consistent use. It’s different foam layers provide pressure-relieving support and conformability.

Some drawbacks include customers finding the mattress too firm and reporting premature sagging.

While it has low VOC emissions, there might be an off-gassing odor. Some customers, report only two layers of foam instead of four.

DynastyMattress Highlights

  • Low VOC emissions
  • Washable, removable cover
  • Ideal for combo sleepers

8. Nolah Original

nolah mattress for side sleepersThe 10-inch, medium feel, Nolah mattress includes 2 inches of AirFoam™, 1 inch of support foam, 7 inches of high-density poly-foam, and a Viscose cover.

The foam layers provide a “hug” sensation while the support foam provides a slight bounce, making the Nolah more responsive than traditional memory foam beds. It was specifically designed with side sleepers in mind, fostering contouring for great pressure relief in the shoulder and lumbar areas.

The viscose cover improves airflow while wicking away moisture.

AirFoam™ reduces heat retention for a more restful sleep and optimal pressure relief.

Nolah contributes part of its profits to the Defenders of Wildlife – an organization dedicated to conserving American wildlife.

The Nolah offers a 120-night sleep trial for its customers, however, they require the mattress is kept for a mandatory 30-day break-in-period before authorizing returns. Edge support doesn’t compare to high-end memory foam mattresses. Since it contains memory foam, there is potential for off-gassing odor.

Nolah Highlights

  • Cooling AirFoam™
  • Ideal for side sleepers
  • Contributions to Defenders of Wildlife

What to Expect from a Budget Mattress

First things first, you need to decide on your budget, because it  will dictate the mattress quality and its features.

You’ll want to take advantage of sales or bundle deals to get the most for your money. Even without sales, you’ll want to know the overall mattress quality within your budget .

Mattresses Below $100

These mattresses are either free or second-hand from thrift stores or Craigslist. We recommend this option only when you don’t have any other choice.

Second-hand beds could contain pests such as bedbugs and dust mites, especially if the original owner didn’t properly care for the mattress.

Cheap mattresses don’t come with a warranty since as most companies only extend a warranty to the original purchaser.

Mattresses Between $100 and $800

Mattresses in this price range typically aren’t very durable because they are made of cheap materials; however, they are a much better option compared to second-hand mattresses. Because of their shorter lifespans, these mattresses will usually only have 3 to 5-year warranties.

If you’re in a pinch, getting a mattress in this budget range would hold you over until you can afford a high-quality mattress.

Mattresses Between $800 and $2000

In the $800 to $2000 range, you’ll find mattresses with high-quality atex, both natural and synthetic, memory foam, and innerspring materials and construction.These mattresses are often infused with cooling materials like gel, copper, or graphite. You can expect moderate to great motion isolation and pressure relief, as well.

These mattresses last longer and come with warranties lasting ten years or longer.

Mattresses between $2000 and $5000

In this range, you’ll find organic materials and possible built-in electronics. However, we caution against buying mattresses in this price range as they don’t make your sleeping any better than those in the $800 to $2000 range. At this price, your but the mattress for the brand.

You should expect a warranty between 10 and 20 years.

Mattresses above $5000

These mattresses are often made with cooling technology, organic materials, and built-in electronics. You can order them in non-standard sizes and custom builds them to fit your individual needs.

What to Look For in a Budget Mattress

Before browsing what’s available, know what to look for in a good quality mattress. Many don’t know what to look for and end up purchasing a popular model.

This can be a mistake since there isn’t one perfect bed for everyone. Each person has their own wants and needs and should look for a mattress based on their own preferences.

Regular Use or Guest Bed

One of the first things you should establish is who the bed will be for. Will it be regularly used by you, or will it be meant for a guest bed? A regularly used bed is worth paying extra for a higher-quality mattress with lasting durability. But, a guest room – or as a temporary sleep surface – it might be better to save yourself money by choosing a low-cost option.

Regular Use

For regular use, a higher-quality bed will be more comfortable and durable. Typically, this type of bed should last between 8 to 10 years at a $700 to $1000 price range and include longer warranties. We highly recommend a quality bed for plus-sized sleepers, couples, and those with health problems.

Guest/Temporary Bed

Guest beds won’t have the same wear and tear like a regular bed. So, why pay extra for something you won’t be using?

Second, if you’re a single person who just moved into their first apartment or are attending college, you won’t have space for a large, luxurious bed. All you need is a basic mattress with adequate support and comfort.

As a warning to our readers, never settle for the cheapest mattress option.

Cheap beds will have low-quality materials with a lifespan of five years if you’re lucky. You may end up paying more by replacing that cheap mattress when it breaks down then if you had paid extra for a quality bed.

Quality Materials

Sorting through mattress components takes time; thankfully, most mattress companies provide transparency when their bed contains. Beware though – companies that don’t give specifics on layer numbers and layer thickness, or who give vague specification on their materials should be avoided. Chances are that these companies are selling poor-quality beds.

Layers

Good mattresses will have between two to four layers. Each layer is designed for a specific function.

  • Comfort layer (top 1-2 layers) – responsible for cooling, motion isolation, and responsiveness. Consists of a cover, pillow top and/or memory foam for a plush feel. The comfort layer should be at least 2 inches thick.
  • Support layer (middle layer) – firmer feel to help align the spine. This also acts as a transitional layer between comfort and support layers.
  • Foundation layer (bottom layer) – provides compressive support for a more durable mattress. About 50% of the foundation layer should make up a good-quality bed; anything less may not last long.

Some companies may switch comfort and support layers for additional luxury. The bed thickness contributes to the overall comfort and support.

Thickness

Many don’t realize the mattress thickness can contribute to a bed’s level of comfort and support. A good quality mattress will be between 9 inches – for a firm mattress – to 14 inches – for a soft mattress. Some may prefer an even thicker mattress because of height, weight, or personal preference.

Ideally, a thicker mattress is better for plus-sized sleepers, who need extra support.

Coils

Knowing the difference between coil gauge and count can help determine quality in an innerspring or hybrid mattress.

  • Gauge – measures the thickness of a coil. The lower the number, the thicker the coil. An ideal coil should be between 12 to 15.
  • Count – the number of coils in a mattress. It determines the level of support and firmness. Innersprings and hybrids should have a coil count of 300 or more. Avoid mattresses with a lower count as they will lack proper support and wear down quicker.

Foam

When judging foam quality, pay attention to its ILD rating. ILD, or Indentation Load Deflection, rates how soft or firm a layer of foam is. A quality foam will have a rating between 13 to 15. Support foam will have a higher ILD rating reaffirming its ability in supporting a sleeper’s weight. Avoid mattresses with an ILD rating lower than 10 – a low-density foam with an 8 ILD rating is more likely to sag and break down sooner.

Special Features

On top of everything, look to see if a prospective mattress includes special features. Perks like cooling technology or a lumbar support layer can appeal to someone’s personal preferences.

Cooling Technology

The denser the material, the less airflow. Density can easily cause sleepers to wake in the night, hot and sweaty. Luckily, manufacturers have noticed and taken steps to keep customers cool at night through cooling technology.

  • Phase Change Technology – transforms body heat into infrared energy which is then absorbed into the body for aid rejuvenating rest.
  • Gel – gel beads infused with memory foam absorb body heat and disperses it throughout the rest of the material. There is a risk that the gel beads will reach a limit of heat absorption before bouncing the heat back to the body.
  • Copper – metal infusion with heat conductive properties. It pulls heat away from the body.

Ergonomic 5-Zone Support

mattress and ergonomic support

Some companies add an ergonomic 5-zone support layer to offer a firmer feel to the head, back, and legs and a softer feel for the hips and shoulders. This special support layer aims to reduce pressure points and alleviate back pain. An ideal feature for those with back problems or chronic pain.

Companies may also include a lumbar support zoned layer. Lumbar refers to the lower back section of the spine. Some sleepers, especially those who suffer from chronic back pain, may find this an appealing option in a mattress.

Mattress Types

In today’s world, innersprings are no longer the only type of mattress available. Memory foam, latex, and hybrid varieties are accessible from several companies. Materials have also evolved with better quality material and mattress technologies.

Each mattress type offers its own unique features that can benefit customers. Know to differentiate between each type and have a preference in mind before browsing.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is one of the most popular types of mattresses. It rose in popularity because of it’s contouring properties. By cradling the body with a “hug” sensation, memory foam relieves pressure points and reduces pain. It also has excellent isolation.

In contrast, it’s contouring abilities may also cause the body to retain heat. When looking for the best memory foam mattress, we suggest choosing one with some type of cooling properties, like open-cell or plant-based foam.

Innerspring

Known as the “traditional” choice, the innerspring mattress consists of steel spring coils assembled for support. These coils may be interlocked, stand-alone, or be individually wrapped. Most innerspring mattresses also include a comfort layer made of foam or cotton.

There are a few drawbacks to an innerspring. The coils may lend good support, but they can also create pressure points on the body. The thin comfort layer may not be effective in preventing this from happening.

Hybrid

Manufacturers combined the benefits of both memory foam and innersprings into one perfect mattress. In some ways, they nailed it. A hybrid mattress offers customers contouring pressure relief and coiled support. Yet, customers may also receive an increase in heat retention from the memory foam and more pressure points from the innersprings.

Latex

Extracted from the sap of rubber trees, latex mattresses are eco-friendly options for green sleepers. It conforms to the body, similar to memory foam, but more responsive. Latex is ideal for those who move around in their sleep or struggle getting out of bed.

Latex will undergo one of two processes; Dunlop or Talalay. Dunlop provides a firmer sleep surface, while Talalay is slightly softer with targeted support.

Sleeping Positions

Choosing a mattress is not solely based on what’s comfortable. A lot of it rides on personal preference, particularly sleep position. Each sleep position may require a specific level of firmness for spine alignment and support.

Side Sleeping Position

Side sleeping is considered the most popular sleep position. It opens the airways and aligns the spine. Sleeping on the left side is healthier than the right – provides better blood circulation and reduces acid reflux. The right side puts pressure on vital organs, like the liver.

Back Sleeping Position

As the healthiest sleep position, back sleeping aligns the spine and encourages better posture. In this position there is a risk of air obstruction. Back sleepers may snore and run the risk of developing sleep apnea.

Stomach Sleeping Position

Those who sleep on their stomachs face the highest health risks. Stomach sleeping and twisting the neck to the side puts the neck at an unnatural angle for long periods of time, resulting in neck pain. Heavy pressure is also placed on the lower back – gravity pushes against the natural curve of the spine. To reduce this pressure, we recommend placing a thin pillow under the hips.

Combo Sleeping Position

If you find yourself changing sleep positions during the night, you may be a combo sleeper. Also known as “restless” sleepers, combo sleepers receive the same benefits from each sleep position. They also face the risk of the same health problems, like sleep apnea and neck pain.

Sleep Trials, Warranties, and Return Policies

Before finalizing a mattress purchase, look to see what sleep trials and return policies are available and always read up on the warranty. These features ensure customers they chose the right product and services to protect your investment.

Sleep Trial

Many companies offer sleep trials with a mattress purchase. The main benefit is trying out a mattress within the comfort of your own home without the added pressure of a hovering sale person. A sleep trial should include at least 100 days – this will allow time for the body to adjust to a new mattress and let you decide if you like it or not.

Warranty

A warranty helps to protect your investment and reflects the quality of a mattress. You can expect at least a 10-year warranty with any standard mattress purchase. Warranties with less than 10 years could be a sign of a bad investment and should be avoided. Be sure to read the fine print before buying a new bed.

Return Policy

A return policy is definitely worth looking into, especially if a sleep trial isn’t available. If you purchase a mattress and within a few days realize it’s not for you, it’s nice to have the ability to return it for a full refund.

Make That Mattress Last!

It’s not enough to rely on that warranty to get your mattress to last. Damage, like water spills, may void the warranty. There are steps you can take that can better protect your mattress and extend its lifespan.

Mattress Protectors

Invest in a mattress protector to protect against liquid spills. Since most warranties become void after the mattress surface has been stained, a mattress protector can also protect the warranty.

Mattress protectors can shield a mattress from bed bugs, dust mites, dirt, and other allergens. It reduces allergy symptoms and ensures a restful night. Be sure to wash your protector every two weeks to maintain the mattress protector’s effectiveness.

Many can be purchased under $50.

Right Foundation

Many don’t realize the right mattress foundation can either extend or reduce the lifespan of a mattress. Box springs – while the traditional choice – may not be the right option for those with a memory foam or latex mattress.

A foundation helps reinforce a mattress’s support. Speak with a customer service representative for recommendations based on the type of mattress you choose.

Cleaning & Care

While there’s no way to fit a mattress into a washer, there is a better way to keep your mattress clean. Spot cleaning with warm water mixed with a mild detergent can help expand the life of your bed.

To eliminate odors and freshen up your bed, sprinkle baking soda over the sleep surface, then vacuum using the upholstery attachment.

Following these steps can help your mattress to last.

Risks of “Cheap” Mattresses

Regular use can cause a mattress to “age.” If you think about it, your bed goes through a lot; it consistently holds and supports your weight. It’s critical to spend the money on a quality mattress instead of sticking to the cheapest option.

Below are some warning signs to look out for that are commonly found in a low-quality bed.

Sagging

Sagging can result from low-density foams or broken coils. As previously stated, always look at a foam’s ILD. If it’s lower than the recommended number, or if a sales representative isn’t giving a clear measurement, avoid that mattress. Low-density foam means less quality and less durability.

Regarding coils, pay attention to the gauge and coil count. Lower coil count and higher gauge ratings can be a sign of poor-quality coils – these types of coils will struggle to support any type of weight and are at risk of breaking and sagging. Also, read the full warranty before finalizing a purchase to know what the coverage is regarding sagging.

Wear & Tear

Cheaper mattresses show wear faster. While you can’t see the inner materials, you can tell the quality of a mattress by looking at the cover. If the stitching looks like it’s made of brittle or loose threads, you may want to avoid that bed.

Have You Found Your Budget Bed?

An expensive price tag doesn’t always result in quality. A great mattress can be found as long as you know what to look for. An advantage to buying an online mattress in comparison to a brick-and-mortar shop is the reduced price for high-end materials. For this reason, many of our top picks for the best budget mattress were bed-in-a-box type brands. Customers can expect better quality and durability at a lower cost.

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