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|An annual favorite on this list. Nectar is a cheap memory foam mattress that is offered in all the major sizes including twin, twin xl, full, queen, king, and California king. Bottom line, if you like the feel of memory foam, we'd bet you'd enjoy sleeping on this mattress.|
|Check Current Offers||We just couldn't leave Tuft & Needle off this list. After all, Tuft & Needle was one of the first budget bed-in-a-box mattresses to hit the market. If you're looking for a neutral, soft foam bed that's made in the USA, it's hard to find a better option.|
|The Brooklyn Bowery has quickly climbed the ranks to be considered among the best cheap foam mattresses you can buy. It's from a big name brand and has a comfortable, three-layer design.|
|If you're on an extremely tight budget, it's hard to beat the Allswell Hybrid mattress. Not only does it have a durable, high-quality construction, but the bed is also comfortable and ideal for back, stomach and combination sleepers.|
|See on Amazon||One of the most inexpensive memory foam hybrid mattresses on the market today. The bed has a durable construction and accommodates all types of sleepers. It also happens to be a top choice among Amazon shoppers.|
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Shopping for a new mattress online can be difficult, especially when you’re looking for bed that is affordable, yet also comfortable and durable. Lucky for you, we’ve tested well over 100 of the most popular online mattresses ranging from $200 Amazon beds to $4,000 luxury mattresses. As such, we feel like we have a pretty good grasp of the current market offerings and which budget beds offer the most value to consumers.
In order to put together this list, we had to make one major assumption concerning price. In short, each mattress on this list costs less than $700 for a queen size after taking into consideration discounts and coupon codes. We feel like this is a fair and approachable price point for most consumers on a tight budget given the average queen size bed-in-a-box costs around $1,000. If $700 is a little too steep for you, don’t worry, we’ve also included options on this list in the $200-$400 range. Conversely, if you have a budget that is slightly above $700, you might want to check out our list of the Best Mattresses Under $1,000. Without further adieu, let’s get to the list.
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Nectar is one of the most popular budget bed-in-a-box mattresses on the market. It’s an annual choice on this list and for good reason—it’s just a solid memory foam mattress all things considered. Unlike some memory foam mattresses, though, Nectar has more of a viscose memory foam feel. As such, it provides more support than the typical memory foam bed, yet it’s still extremely comfortable.
In fact, we think it’s around a medium (maybe a medium-firm) on the firmness scale. As a result, heavier folks may find that the bed is a little more supportive than the typical budget foam bed.
Lastly, not only does this bed have an affordable price tag, you almost always get two free pillows ($150 value) with your purchase. If you recently moved or you’re just tired of your current bedroom setup, the Nectar mattress plus pillow combination deal is hard to pass up if you’re on a tight budget.
Tuft & Needle was one of the first players in the bed-in-a-box industry and is often credited for bringing the concept into the mainstream spotlight. This gave the company a huge leg up in terms of brand awareness and still to this day, Tuft & Needle is sort of known as THE BUDGET MATTRESS in the industry.
The Tuft & Needle mattress is an all-foam bed that a has neutral, soft foam feel. It comes in around a medium on the firmness scale, making it a great option for back, stomach, side, and combo sleepers.
Like most of the beds on this list, Tuft & Needle also performs well in terms of limiting motion transfer and edge support. That means couples sharing a full or queen size bed will be just fine.
Overall, Tuft & Needle is a solid mattress that we couldn’t leave off this list. Look, if you’re tired of mattress shopping and just want to go with a trusted brand and get a generally comfortable mattress that performs well in almost all categories, Tuft & Needle is your meal ticket.
We are big fans of this bed. Brooklyn Bedding first introduced the Bowery in early 2018 to compete more in the budget mattress space. And we have to say, they hit it out of the park. The Bowery checks a lot of boxes. We see it as a cheaper alternative to the popular Casper mattress (only the Bowery is just a hair softer).
The Bowery has soft, neutral-foam feel and also comes in around a medium on the firmness scale. This means not only will the majority of people out there like the feel of the bed, but it will also accommodate all sleeper types. It doesn’t matter whether you sleep on your side, your back, or your stomach. The Bowery finds a nice balance between pressure relief and support.
The Bowery is also a good choice for couples who share a smaller size bed (full size or queen). First, the mattress limits motion transfer extremely well. This is helpful when one (or both) partners tend to toss and turn or get up a lot during the night. This means you won’t be bothering or waking each other up every time you turn over.
The mattress also has fairly good edge support for an all-foam bed. Sure, innerspring or hybrid mattresses might be better in this regard, but the Bowery holds its own among other foam beds.
Lastly, the Bowery is on this list for a reason, right? It’s very affordable. Overall, the Bowery is a great value considering all that it offers.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Allswell, the company is backed by the retail giant Walmart. However, don’t just assume Allswell sells cheaply made overseas mattresses due to the Walmart affiliation. The company’s flagship mattress is actually manufactured by Brooklyn Bedding (hey, that name sounds familiar…see mattress above) right here in the USA.
However, unlike the Brooklyn Bowery mentioned, the Allswell mattress is a hybrid, meaning it contains coils. To be specific, the bed contains 6″ individually pocketed coils, which serve as the primary support structure for the mattress. Generally speaking, coils are preferable to foam foundations as they tend to be more supportive and durable over the long-haul. As such, we think the Allswell Hybrid mattress is a good choice for people of all shapes and sizes.
In terms of firmness and feel, we think the Allswell mattress has a neutral-foam feel and lands around a medium to medium-firm on the firmness scale. Overall, we think the mattress is most ideal for back, stomach and combination sleepers. If you’re a strict side sleeper, you’ll likely be just fine, however, you’d probably prefer a bed like Nectar or Bowery (mentioned above) that offer a little more pressure relief for your hips and shoulders.
Moving on, let’s get to the best part about this mattress…its price! The queen size Allswell Hybrid mattress has a MSRP of $350, however, you can often use a discount code to make the mattress even cheaper. We’ve seen the queen size drop below $300 before. That’s crazy considering the high-quality construction of the mattress.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a durable, well-made mattress for the cheapest price possible, you’re not going to find a better option than Allswell.
Like the Allswell mattress, the Lucid Memory Foam Hybrid incorporates both coils and layers of foam. However, despite its title, the mattress doesn’t have a prototypical memory foam feel. We’d say it actually has more of blended feel sort of between that of neutral foam and memory foam. Overall, we think the majority of people out there will find the bed to be quite comfortable.
Moving on, the bed comes in around a medium on the firmness scale, making it great for all kinds of sleepers. It provides enough pressure relief for side sleepers and a good amount of support for back and stomach sleepers.
Speaking of support, this is one area where this Lucid mattress performs well. As previously stated, the bed has coils, which are not only more durable than support foam, but also provide a little bi-directional support (i.e. the coils compress and push back). This makes this mattress a good option for heavier individuals (250 lb+) on a budget.
Lucid is a brand that is known for providing solid beds at very low price points and this mattress is no exception. You can often find a queen size below the $300 mark, but pricing is constantly changing, so you might want keep an eye out an Amazon.
Let’s quickly review how this whole bed-in-a-box concept works. All of the mattresses on this list ship for free and arrive at your doorstep rolled-up and compressed in a box (hence the name). Once you unroll and unbox the mattress (shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes), make sure to let it fully inflate for about 24-48 hours before using it.
Once you get it all set up, pretty much all online mattresses give you a risk-free trial period to test out the bed. If you decide you don’t like the mattress during this trial period, just give the company a call and they will send someone to your house or apartment to pick it up and issue you a full refund (usually between 8-10 days). Now, the industry standard is a 100-night trial, but some companies offer less and some more. For example, Nectar gives you 365 nights to test out the bed.
At the other end of the spectrum are mattresses you purchase on Amazon. If you go this route, you’ll basically be constrained to Amazon’s return policy (30 days) as your trial period. In certain instances, there are also other hoops you may have to jump through to return a mattress via Amazon, so keep that in mind.
Beyond the trial period, most companies also back their beds with an extended warranty. The industry standard when it comes to this is 10 years, which should be more than enough time for most people. However, there are some companies that go above and beyond. For example, Nest Bedding offers a lifetime warranty.
When you’re looking for a new bed, this is obviously something you take into consideration. You want to be sure you choose a mattress that suits the sleeper. But this is also something to think about when deciding how much you’re willing to spend on a bed. Like with most other products, you pay more for more features.
But maybe you don’t need all those features. Maybe you’re a single person and you weigh 105 lb. You won’t need to spend as much to get a bed that will be comfortable for you. But say you’re a couple. Say one of you is a 200 lb back sleeper, and the other is a 140 lb side sleeper. In that case, you’ll need to spend more in order to get a mattress that let’s both of you sleep well.
Couples also want to look for a mattress that has solid edge support. Particularly if you’re trying to save some money by opting for a full or queen rather than a king size bed. Couples should also consider motion transfer control. If a mattress has poor motion transfer control, one of you may end up jostled awake at night when the other turns over or gets up for a midnight snack.
It’s also important to shop for your sleeper type. Whether you sleep on your back, stomach, side, or a combination of them all determines how firm or soft your bed ought to be.
If you’re a back sleeper or stomach sleeper, you need a firmer bed that provides support around your hips and trunk area to maintain proper alignment. If the bed is too soft, your hips will sink uncomfortably and you’ll likely wake up sore.
For side sleepers or combo sleepers, the mattress should be a bit softer with some give. That softer construction allows for pressure relief where you need it when sleeping on your side. Combo sleepers, however, can (and probably should) get away with a bed that’s a little firmer than what a strictly side sleeper would prefer.
It’s also important to remember that your size and body type will effect how a bed feels to you. A heavier person may think a certain mattress is quite soft, while that same mattress might be a medium-firm for someone who is very petite.
We try to include this disclaimer in every written review and video that we make: Every mattress will feel different to each person based on weight and overall body type.
Generally, when we’re talking about how a bed feels, we’re talking in terms of how it will feel for the average sized person. If we want to make a point about a mattress being particularly good or bad for someone heavier or someone who’s quite petite, we’ll say that specifically. But it’s still important to remember that everything we talk about in terms of feel is going to be subjective. What we experience probably won’t be exactly what you will experience.
In simple terms, the same bed will feel softer for a heavier individual, but firmer for a lighter individual.
For heavier individuals, say 225 lb+, you’ll want to look for a mattress that’s on the firmer side of the scale and you’ll also want a mattress that has a thicker construction. You don’t want a bed that lets you sink right through. You can bottom out on a mattress and nobody wants that.
For very petite individuals, say 110 lb give or take, you can definitely get away with beds rated on the softer side of the scale. However, you can also get away with firmer beds. They’re still going to feel different, but you won’t feel the difference as significantly as someone heavier.
If you’re a couple with a significant weight difference between the two of you, you’ll probably end up going for something in the middle because you’ve learned to compromise (as couples do). But if you’re going to lean one way, we suggest that you cater towards the heavier partner. Like we said, petite people can get a comfortable night’s sleep on a wider range of softness/firmness.
A mattress’s construction significantly plays into its cost because certain materials are more expensive than others. Also, if a mattress has a several-layer construction that comes together to form a 13″ thick bed, it’s going to cost more than a 10″ three-layer construction. The more material used, the more money required. It’s pretty logical, really.
When it comes to materials, there are basically two categories: foam and coils. Of course, within those categories you have various options. For example, a bed can be made with memory foam, latex foam, poly foam, or a combination of those. A bed with coils may have pocketed coils or traditional innersprings.
Generally speaking, an all-foam bed is usually more affordable than a hybrid mattress that incorporates both some kind of foam and usually pocketed coils.
And as a side note, when you are purchasing a mattress that uses foam in its construction, you’ll want to look for one that is CeriPUR-US certified. This just means that it’s manufactured safely and without chemicals that could be harmful to you or the environment.
We briefly went over materials above, and like we said, there are quite a few options and they will make a difference both in price and feel.
Memory foam is typically more dense, but softens over time and when heat is applied. If you lay in one spot, you’ll get some of that stereotypical sink-in feel. This cradles your body, but can also leave people feeling stuck.
Gel memory foam is a newer technology that has a similar feel to memory foam, but incorporates gel for added temperature regulation.
Then there’s latex mattresses, which has a more sponge-like feel. It’s very bouncy and airy, so it tends to stay cooler than memory foam. A lot of latex beds tend to take the natural and organic angle.
There’s also polyurethane foam (wow, so much foam), and that’s pretty commonly used for support in an all-foam bed. It comes in many different densities and is typically pretty affordable.
Now, with coils, you have two options: pocketed coils or traditional innersprings. Both are bouncy and responsive, and both allow for good airflow. The difference is that pocketed coils are individually encased, while innersprings are all connected. That means the innersprings transfer motion quite a bit more since they have a very low point elasticity (you press on one part of the mattress and it spreads to the surrounding area).
Some mattresses will use gel or Hyper-Elastic Polymer (only Purple beds), which has a very unique feel and is heavy, but comfortable. However, beds with this stuff are puh-rice-ee (pricey, but exaggerated for emphasis). Probably not what you’re looking for if you’re this deep into a “Cheap Mattress” post.
No one likes an overly hot bed. And if you tend to be a hot sleeper, that can be a problem with a lot of mattress options. But if you know what to shop for, you can find a bed that will help you sleep cooler and it doesn’t have to cost you an exorbitant amount of money.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind while looking for a cool-sleeping mattress is to avoid anything especially dense. If a mattress is made up of all dense foam, it won’t allow for much airflow. Pocketed coils, on the other hand, do allow for good airflow. That’s not to say that foam is hopeless, just that some foam will be cooler than others. Latex foam, for example tends to sleep cooler than memory foam.
It also helps to think about the feel and firmness of the mattress. If a mattress is soft and has that sink-in feel to it, you’ll sleep more in the mattress as opposed to on it, which can trap heat around your body throughout the night.