best cheap mattress

Best Cheap Mattress For Your Budget

A complete guide to the top rated budget bed-in-a-box mattresses

There are so many cheap online mattresses available these days it can make your head spin. In this post, we walk you through and explain the best mattresses you can buy online that won't drain your savings account.
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Launched in 2018, the Brooklyn Bowery has quickly climbed the ranks to be considered among the best cheap mattresses you can buy.
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An annual favorite on this list. The Nectar mattress is a solid memory foam bed in a box that is priced quite affordably.
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Tulo is quickly becoming a fan favorite. The Tulo mattress is a very accommodating bed that is available in three different firmness options.
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Foam Hybrid Check Current PriceOne of the most affordable hybrid mattresses on the market today.
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Latex Hybrid Check Current PriceAn underrated latex mattress that is suitable for all kinds of sleepers. If you prefer latex, this is a great budget option.
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Cheapest Of The Cheap Check Current PriceIf price is your main concern, it's hard to argue with this mattress. It has a very soft memory foam feel and is great for side sleepers.

HOW WE DECIDED

  • Mattresses Considered100+

    Mattresses Considered

  • Brands 40+

    Brands

  • Made the List 7

    Made
    the List

  • Number of Contributors 8

    Number of Contributors

Introduction To This List

Shopping for a new mattress can be tough, especially when you’re looking for one that is fairly affordable, yet also comfortable and durable. Lucky for you, in this list we break down the best cheap beds you can buy online.

We can only fit so much information in each video, though. Keep reading to learn more about each of these budget beds. After all, buying a new bed is a big deal. The more research you do, the better.

Shipping, Returns, Trial Periods, and Warranties

Before we begin discussing each mattress on this list, let’s first quickly review how this whole bed-in-a-box concept works. All of these mattresses 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 the mattress fully inflate for about 24-48 hours before using.

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.

Brooklyn Bedding Bowery

BEST FOR:

  • All sleeper types (back, stomach, and side)
  • Petite and average sized people
  • Folks that like a neutral soft foam feel
  • If you just want a cheap, comfy bed

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Heavy people (250 lb+)
  • Folks that prefer a dense memory foam feel
  • Extra hot sleepers

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.

brooklyn bedding bowery mattress review
The Brooklyn Bowery is ideal for all kinds of sleepers

The Bowery is also a good choice for couples who share a smaller size bed (full 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.

Nectar

BEST FOR:

  • Folks that like a dense memory foam feel
  • All types of sleepers
  • People that move around a lot (deadens movement well)
  • If you want pillows with your mattress purchase

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Memory foam haters
  • Folks that dislike that stuck-in-the-mud feeling
  • Extra hot sleepers that want an active-cooling bed

Nectar is one of the most popular budget bed-in-a-box mattresses on the market. It’s an annual choice on our list and for good reason—it’s a solid memory foam mattress. Unlike some memory foam mattresses, though, Nectar has more of a firm memory foam feel. As such, it provides more support than the typical memory foam bed, yet it’s still extremely comfortable.

nectar mattress review back sleeper
The Nectar mattress has a dense memory foam feel

In fact, we think it’s around a medium (maybe a medium-firm) on the firmness scale. As a result, heavier folks might also find that this bed is a little more supportive than the typical budget foam bed.

Not only does this bed have an affordable price tag, you almost always get two free pillows ($150 value) with your purchase. That’s why we give it the bundle or all-in-one title. If you recently moved or you’re just tired of your current bedroom setup, going with the Nectar mattress plus pillow combination is hard to pass up if you’re on a tight budget.

Tulo

BEST FOR:

  • People that want options (three different firmness levels to choose from)
  • If you want a responsive memory foam bed
  • Back, stomach, side, and combo sleepers
  • Couples (solid edge support for a foam bed)
  • Small and average sized people

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Innerspring or memory foam lovers
  • Heavy body types (250 lb+)

Tulo offers a lot more flexibility than the typical budget bed in that it’s available in three different firmness options—Soft, Medium, and Firm. That means no matter what type of sleeper you are, you’ll be able to get the mattress that fits your particular sleeping habits the best.

Say you’re a primary side sleeper, go with the Soft model. Maybe you’re a strict back or stomach sleeper and need a little extra lumbar support, go with the Firm option. Or maybe you switch between all three positions and want something in the middle, no problem, go with the Medium model.

tulo mattress review stomach sleeper
Tulo offers an option for every type of sleeper

Regardless of the firmness model you select, the Tulo mattress has a nice blended foam feel (i.e. sort of in between neutral foam and memory foam). Technically, it does have memory foam as its top layer, but the bed actually doesn’t have that prototypical memory foam feel where you sort on sink in and the bed hugs you.

One area where the Tulo mattress excels is edge support. We’d say it’s actually one of the best all-foam beds out there when it comes to this. That’s good news for couples where one partner routinely hogs the middle of the bed.

When it comes to price, you guessed it, it’s an extremely affordable bed. And, since Tulo is owned by Mattress Firm, it’s one of very few bed-in-a-box mattresses that you can actually test in-store before purchasing. Regardless of whether you order online or in-store, it comes with a 120-night risk-free trial.

Lucid Gel Memory Foam Hybrid

BEST FOR:

  • All body types (small, medium, and large)
  • All sleeper types (back, stomach, and side)
  • Folks that like a neutral-foam feel
  • People that prefer a little bounce

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Hot sleepers
  • If you want a bed that's made in the USA

The Lucid Memory Foam Hybrid is a newcomer to the list this year. It’s a hybrid mattress that incorporates both coils and memory foam. However, it doesn’t have that typical memory foam feel. It has more of a neutral-foam feel that most people will like—almost like a blend between neutral and memory foam.

It 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). This makes this mattress a nice option for heavier individuals (250 lb+) on a budget.

lucid hybrid mattress
The Lucid Hybrid is a viable option for big guys

Lucid is also a brand that is known for providing solid beds at a very low price point 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.

Linenspa Latex Hybrid

BEST FOR:

  • Folks that prefer the feel of latex foam
  • Back, stomach, side, and combo sleepers
  • All body types
  • Individuals who want a bouncy, springy feel

NOT BEST FOR:

  • People that prefer memory foam
  • Folks that prefer to buy USA made products

As the name implies, this is a hybrid bed that incorporates both coils and latex foam. For those who don’t know, latex foam has a lighter feel than memory foam. It has a little more bounce (it sort of feels springy), it’s more responsive, and doesn’t quite hug you the way memory foam does. And a lot of people like that.

linenspa latex foam
A lot of consumers like the responsive feel of latex foam

This bed in particular comes in around a medium on the firmness scale. It’s ideal for all kinds of sleeper types (side, back, stomach, combo), as well as all different body types (small, medium, and large). This mattress will also be quite durable. It has coils for added support and latex foam in general is a very durable foam that holds up well over time.

Furthermore, Linenspa is also a fan favorite on Amazon. Their beds sell very well and this model in particular has very high ratings. You can often find a queen size below the $300 mark. If you prefer the feel of latex, it’s hard to beat the Linenspa 10″ Latex Hybrid given its low price tag.

Zinus Green Tea

BEST FOR:

  • Individuals who are on an extremeley tight budget
  • People that love soft memory foam
  • Side sleepers
  • Petite and average sized sleepers
  • Folks that move around a lot (limits motion transfer well)

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Heavy sleepers (250 lb+)
  • People that heat up at night
  • People that prefer products made in the USA

If price is your absolute biggest concern, the Zinus 12″ Green Tea Mattress is a good choice. It’s not perfect by any means, but for the price (you can often snag a queen size below $200), it’s pretty good.

It has a very soft memory foam feel. When we talk about straight memory foam, this is what we’re talking about. When you lay down, you sink down a little bit, the mattress conforms to your body and sort of hugs you. So if you’re into that, you’ll like this mattress. For this reason, this bed is ideal for side sleepers. It provides a ton of pressure relief for your hips and shoulders.

zinus green tea mattress
The Zinus Green Tea mattress provides ample pressure relief for side sleepers

However, on the downside, we’d only recommend it for small and medium sized people. There’s just not enough support there for big people (250 lb+). Also, don’t expect this mattress to last you 8-10 years. We just don’t think the durability will be there long term. But that’s not what Zinus was going for with this mattress. Heck, you could buy a new Green Tea mattress every couple years and still be sitting pretty wallet wise.

To conclude, if you’re strictly buying on price, but still want a decent mattress that is comfortable, it’s tough to convince you that Zinus isn’t the way to go.

Review Team

Matt

Matt Ross

Back Sleeper

Kaite

Kaite Johnston

Combo Sleeper

dillon lopez slumber yard

Dillon Lopez

Combo Sleeper

carla thrower slumber yard

Carla Thrower

Back Sleeper

How We Put This List Together

We’ve reviewed so many mattresses from the bed-in-a-box industry, and as a result, we’re quite familiar with what they cost and what they’re worth. For this list, we pulled together affordable options and considered which ones are best within their price point (i.e. best mattress under $500, and so on). We also considered which budget-friendly beds are best within their construction type.

Who Is The Bed For?

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.

Sleeper Type

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.

How Weight Affects How A Mattress Feels

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.

Mattress Construction

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.

Materials

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.

Coolness

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.

temperature regulation scale
Slumber Yard temperature regulation scale

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.

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