A new mattress isn’t always a cheap buy, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. As you search for your new bed, you’ll find there are a variety of mattresses to consider. However, if you’re looking for the best mattress under $1,000 it can get a little more challenging to find a quality product. In this guide, we’ll discuss the four things to consider before choosing your next mattress, as well as our Editors’ affordable bed recommendations.
Before you start researching online or heading to mattress stores, take a step back and consider these five things: who the mattress is for, the quality of the materials, the sleep trial it comes with, it’s warranty, and lastly, mattresses sold by home decor stores such as IKEA or At Home.
1. Who the Mattress is For?
Think about who will be using the mattress. Is this bed only for you? Alternatively, will you be sharing it? Is it for a member of your family? When choosing a mattress for yourself, consider your sleep style and any recurring aches and pains.
Back and stomach sleepers usually find firmer beds more comfortable because they offer enough support to foster a healthy spine. Whereas side sleepers usually prefer medium or softer mattresses because they allow for the shoulders and hips to sink into the bed, relieving pressure and tension. If you tend to wake up in the morning plagued with pains, it’s an indicator the firmness of your current mattress isn’t a fit for you. Knowing what doesn’t work for you can help steer you towards a more compatible fit.
Lastly, consider how firm you want your bed to be. Do you like a softer, hugging feel from your mattress; or do you prefer to feel as if you’re sleeping on a stone? Your personal preferences may lead you towards different options than if you were to be considering your sleep style alone.
2. What are the Quality of the Materials ?
The price of a mattress is usually a good indicator of the quality of materials used to make the bed, but not always. Different mattresses are made from different materials; all-foam beds can be a combination of poly-foam or memory foam. Latex beds can be a mixture of Dunlop latex, Talalay latex, or synthetic latex. Whereas hybrid mattresses and innerspring mattresses contain coil systems that can be made from a variety of different materials, but usually thin, non-tempered steel.
When judging the quality of foam beds, look at the density. Density doesn’t correlate to the firmness of the mattress, but rather how well the foam will support you. Higher density foams offer more support, while lower density foams provide less support. A quality bed will have their most dense layer on top because that’s where it can absorb the majority of your weight and offer the most support. Layers below usually have lower densities because they are taking on less body weight and serve to support mostly the layers above.
If you’re interested in a latex bed, choose one made from natural latex instead of synthetic blends. Natural latex has an average lifespan of around 15 years, while it can be hard to predict how long various synthetic blends are expected to last.
In hybrid mattresses, take note of what the comfort layers are made from, whether it be poly-foam, memory foam, or latex. Next, look at the coils. Are they steel continuous coils or are they pocketed coils? Pocketed coils are steel coils independently encased in fabric or foam pockets to move independently of one another, preventing motion transfer and increasing zoned support. If you want a bouncy innerspring or hybrid bed, choose a mattress with a pocketed coil system— which is thought to last longer than alternative coil systems.
3. What is the Sleep Trial?
Everybody knows laying on a bed for 10 minutes in a store is not the best way to tell if a mattress is right for you. Mattress retailers understand that, too. To help consumers feel more confident about their purchase, many mattress stores and online mattress brands offer a complimentary sleep trial with their beds.
During a sleep trial, you have the chance to test your new mattress in the comfort of your home. Most brands offer sleep trials anywhere between 90-120 days, giving you a few months to decide if it’s a good fit for you. If you feel your purchase is the most comfortable bed for your needs, then you’re set! However, if you’re dissatisfied, you have the option to return for a full refund or, with some brands, exchange your bed for a different model.
Always be sure to read the fine print about the sleep trial before you buy. Most brands offer risk-free sleep trials, meaning, returns are free. While other brands will charge hidden fees such as return transportation fees and restocking fees. Sometimes restocking fees can total up to a couple of hundred dollars, making a return quite expensive.
4. What are the Details of the Warranty?
The warranty your bed comes with is one of the biggest things to consider before buying. A warranty can protect you from having to buy another mattress years down the road and can prolong your investment. Most brands offer 10-year limited warranties, and with the average mattress lifespan being about a decade, this warranty should be sufficient. However, other brands will offer more extensive warranties, such as 20-years, 25-years, and even lifetime.
Check to see what the warning covers, and have a thorough understanding of what is considered a defect. Some mattress brands will cover sagging only after it’s sagged at least an inch and a half. Other brands will replace your mattress if it’s showing indentations of only ¾ inch. Choose a warranty that covers indentations of at least ¾ inch because allowing your bed to sag an inch and a half before replacing it can be uncomfortable and unhealthy for your spine.
Top-Rated Beds Under $1000
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly bed, we recommend shopping with Layla, Tuft & Needle, and IKEA.
Normally, the Layla costs $999 for a Queen; however, they frequently run promotions on their mattress which brings the price down in the $800 range. It’s two unique features are it’s flippable firmness and use of copper. Flippable firmness means one side of the mattress feels soft, while the other side of it feels firm. If you’re not sure whether you prefer a soft or firm bed, you have the chance to sleep on both and decide which is more fitting with the Layla. The soft side of the mattress is rated as a 4 out of 10 on their website, while the firm side is rated as a 7 out of 10. It’s almost as if you’re getting two different beds for the price of one.
Though the Layla is the priciest model on this list, we included them because they offer free shipping as well as an extensive sleep trial and warranty. When you buy a Layla bed, you have 120 nights to test it in your home, and if you decide to keep it, it comes with a lifetime warranty covering sagging of at least 1 inch. Investing nearly $1000 now could set you up with a comfy bed for life.
Let’s look at the materials Layla uses in their beds and the advantages of using copper:
- Starting with the soft side up, the first layer is 3 inches of copper-infused memory foam with a 3.5 lb density. When you lay on this layer, the memory foam will contour to your body and offer immediate comfort and pressure relief. Copper is a highly conductive and antimicrobial material. Using copper in this bed helps with temperature regulation and prevents germ or bacteria build-up within the mattress.
- The second layer of the Layla is convoluted poly-foam with 1.8 density, and this serves as a transition layer between the memory foam above and the core of the mattress below. Because of this layers egg-crate shape, air can easily flow through the bed, preventing heat retention. This design in conjunction with the inclusion of copper help prevent you from heating up at night, which makes this mattress great for those who tend to sleep hot.
- Third, is the Layla’s core foam, it has a 2-lb density and serves to minimize motion transfer throughout the mattress. Because this bed isolates motion well, it’s a suitable option for those who share a mattress. The core layer offers support to the layers above and the firm layer, below.
- The last layer is Layla’s firm memory foam layer. This layer also has a 3.5-lb density and is infused with copper; however, this side is only 1-inch thick, compared to the 3-inch soft side. When you lay on this layer, it should cradle your body a bit, but feel significantly firmer than the other side of the mattress.
- The cover of the Layla mattress is a polyester blend infused with cooling technologies, to promote a cool sleeping environment.
Layla uses a lot of high-quality materials in their bed, but because they sell direct-to-consumers and eliminate the middle man, they’re able to sell their beds for an affordable price.
Tuft and Needle Mattress
Tuft and Needle carries two mattress models, the original T&N and the Mint™. The Mint™ is built to be a more luxurious version of their original, top-rated bed; so if you’re shopping on a budget, we recommend sticking with their flagship model.
The T&N bed has two layers of specially engineered poly-foam and a cover infused with cooling technologies, to prevent you from sleeping hot on their bed. When you buy the T&N, it comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 10-year limited warranty. Tuft and Needle’s warranty covers visible sags starting at only ¾ inch. A Queen T&N comes in at $595, making it a few hundred dollars cheaper than the Layla we discussed above.
Let’s look at the materials of the T&N bed:
- The top layer of their original mattress is 3 inches of Tuft and Needle’s proprietary T&N Adaptive® foam. This foam is a poly-foam with a 2.8-lb density, and they infuse this layer with graphite cooling gel to combat heat within the mattress.
- The core, or bottom, layer of the T&N is poly-foam with a density of 1.8-lbs. This firmer foam layer supports the softer T&N Adaptive® foam above and gives the bed structural support.
- The cover of this bed is a micro polyamide and polyester blend. Tuft and Needle explains on their website that they chose to include mico polyamide instead of cotton in their cover because it dries 6 to 8 times quicker, which should keep you cooler at night.
The T&N bed is only available in one firmness, which is rated an average of 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. Because it feels to be a medium to medium-firm bed, depending on your body type and how much weight you’re bringing to the mattress, it’s a comfortable option for side and back sleepers. Stomach sleepers, however, may need a firmer mattress.
IKEA MORGEDAL Mattress
The last mattress on this list is the most affordable option covered, IKEA’s MORGEDAL bed, coming in at only $299 for a Queen. IKEA sells a wide variety of mattresses which range in price from $80 to $899.
We chose their all-foam MOREGEDAL bed for this list because it’s received over 200 reviews and has an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. It also comes with a 25-year warranty, so even if it wears down, the support layer is protected from deterioration for over two decades. The mattress also comes with a 365-day exchange policy, so if you decide it’s not the right fit for you, you have the option to exchange it for a different model. We should note, IKEA only permits one exchange. Within this policy, you also have the option to return your bed for a full refund, too.
The MOREGEDAL is available as Medium-Firm or Firm, so it’s suitable for back and stomach sleepers, but is probably not soft enough for side sleepers.
Let’s look at the foam layers of this mattress:
- The top layer of this bed is 2.2-lb poly-foam; this layer cushions your body and eases pressure when you lay down on this bed. IKEA cuts grid-shaped channels in this layer let air flow through the mattress, preventing heat build-up.
- The bottom layer is also poly-foam but has a density of 1.7 lbs. This layer absorbs motion and gives the layer and sleeper above support.
- The cover and ticking of the mattress is a blend of cotton, viscose, and polyester. This breathable combination allows for air to pass in and out of the bed.
Did You Find the Best Affordable Mattress for You?
We hope this guide has provided insight on what to think about before investing in your next bed. Though mattresses can be quite expensive, a high-quality mattress can make a world of a difference when it comes to how well you sleep. Buying a mattress that offers healthy support to your body and spine can prevent chronic pains and money spent at doctors or chiropractors later on down the road. Your quality of sleep isn’t something that should be sacrificed to save money; but knowing how to find a high-quality, affordable bed can help you save hundreds.