|AT A GLANCE||PRICING||HEADLINE|
|Queen Size Option||See on Amazon||This is one of the most affordable beds out there, and is one of very few queen size beds that sells for under $300.|
|Foam Mattress||See on Amazon||Tuft & Needle Nod is a thinner foam mattress with a generic soft-foam feel.|
|Memory Foam Mattress||See on Amazon||This is a 10" memory foam bed that's available in multiple firmness levels, including a plush option.|
|Hybrid Mattress||15% Off|
|For what you're getting, Allswell is one of the best values out there. This is a durable and comfortable bed at a stunningly low price.|
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Typically, we use the queen size as our baseline for judging prices, but for this post we felt that the full size was more appropriate. As such, all of these beds sell for under $300 after applying a coupon code or discount. Even so, we selected beds that we think people will actually enjoy sleeping on. They aren’t luxury mattresses nor do they have any fancy features, but they are good beds, for the money.
It seems like, in particular, people want memory foam beds that retail for under $300. To be frank, there are a lot of options out there, but only a few that are actually worth your consideration—and they’re on this list. You’re not going to get the same feel as if you bought a TempurPedic mattress, but you will be able to tell that you’re sleeping on a memory foam bed and we suspect that most people will be just fine.
What makes the AmazonBasics mattress stand out — It’s all about the price. This is an uber-cheap mattress that sells for under $300. In fact, we regularly see the 8″ version in the queen size for under even $200 on Amazon! It’s just a cheap bed that’s pretty comfortable and accomodating. It has no extras or anything fancy—just three layers of foam and a slight memory foam feel.
Feel of the mattress — It does use memory foam, but we wouldn’t consider it to have a true, viscose memory foam feel. Because it has two other layers of poly foam, it has a neutral feel with a little memory foam mixed it. We actually think it’s pretty comfortable, considering it’s very very affordable.
Height Options — It’s available in an 8″, 10″, and 12″ height varietal. The 8″ model is best for Airbnb, kids, guest rooms, and so on. The 10″ is the most popular and is a direct competitor to Tuft & Needle, Zinus, and Lucid. The 12″ model is better for people that want a little extra padding and cushioning.
What’s so special about the Tuft & Needle Nod mattress — This is a really basic mattress, but we could see a lot of people liking it, especially if you look at the price tag. While the MSRP for the full size is over $300, we regularly see it for under $300. It has a general soft-foam feel that’s comfortable and inviting.
Design — It doesn’t get simpler than a two-layer foam bed, and yet Tuft & Needle Nod is still backed by a 10-year warranty. This is a bed that we can safely say that 70% of people will find passable. It might not be exactly what they wanted in terms of firmness or feel, but it will get the job done. We see this as a wonderful mattress for kids, college students, or anyone that’s smaller or is on a tight budget.
Company — You might not have heard of Tuft & Needle, but they’re a heavyweight in the world of bed-in-a-box mattresses. They company is also backed by (and owned by) Serta-Simmons, which is a well-established company in the bedding industry. We bring this is up to let you know that while this is an Amazon-exclusive mattress, it’s not just from some no-name brand.
Why you might consider the Lucid Gel Memory Foam Mattress — Most cheap memory foam mattresses are available in just one firmness level. The Lucid 10″ Gel Memory Foam Mattress can be found on Amazon in a medium-plush, medium, and firm varietal. It also happens to be more than affordable—the queen size retails for under $250!
Firmness Options — As mentioned above, typically you have just one firmness level to select with a gel memory foam mattress, which means you sort of have to cross your fingers that the firmness level matches your sleeping preferences. With the Lucid 10″ mattress you’re dealing with a non spring mattress with which you can select a soft, medium, or firm option. If you’re a side sleeper, you might think about the plush mattress. If you’re a combo sleeper, you might look into the medium option. And if you’re a back/stomach sleeper, perhaps the firm model makes sense.
Certifications — While the bed is dirt cheap, it still holds the CertiPUR-US certification, which means essentially that the mattress is safe to sleep on. If you get a foam mattress, you should make absolutely certain that it has this certification, and we are glad to see that the Lucid 10″ Gel Memory Foam Mattress has it. All of the other beds on this list also have that certification.
Why we like the Allswell mattress so much — Pound for pound, we’re not sure that you can find a better value than the Allswell mattress. The bed is made in the USA, has a pocketed coil support system, and is able to handle a variety of sleepers. If you’re concerned with price, but you still want a very nice mattress (i.e. it should cost more), Allswell is the bed for you.
Overall Feel — The top layers of the bed are memory foam, but you don’t get that true sink-in feeling. It’s actually fairly responsive and easy to rotate positions on the bed because it has the coil support system. The bed is on the firmer end of the spectrum (about a medium to medium-firm), but it will soften with use. Still, we think it’s best for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and combination sleepers. It wouldn’t be our favorite bed for side sleepers, particularly if you want a soft mattress.
Hybrid Construction — In the budget category, there are very few beds that use a coil support system. We make a big deal of this because it indicates that the bed should be more durable over the long run and can better handle heavy/obese people. What’s interesting about Allswell is that it’s not using a traditional innerspring chassis. It has pocketed coils, which are much better for isolation motion and yet are still very supportive.
So you’ve seen most of the mattresses on the market and you really aren’t interested in temperature control, hypoallergenic materials, or any of the additional features of a luxury mattress for that matter. The biggest requirement you have for your mattress is that it’s a comfortable place to rest your head. For whatever reason, whether you’re on a budget or have certain life circumstances that compels you to seek out a cheaper option, the most money you’re looking to spend is $300. That’s okay! We understand that not everybody needs or even wants to spend extra money on a mattress. There are still options for you out there that won’t break your bank. Many bed-in-a-box brands can offer an affordable/cheap mattress without sacrificing too much of the quality factor. Regardless of your budget, getting a good night’s sleep is still important and we want you to enjoy your mattress as much as you want to enjoy more money in your bank account.
While we don’t recommend a mattress under $300 for everybody who is trying to find a new mattress, there are several reasons why we would suggest somebody go for the cheaper option. Say you’re a sophomore in college, and you’re on the hunt for furniture to put in your new studio apartment after leaving your freshman year dorm. You haven’t started your career yet so you’re not sure where you’re going to end up after school, and your part-time job at Jimmy Johns isn’t exactly filling your pockets with the cash you want. You have to furnish a whole place by yourself or with a roommate, and you probably don’t want to spend your entire moving budget on one mattress. You especially don’t want to be tied to a large and expensive mattress if you plan on moving out of the state after college. We would definitely recommend a cheaper mattress to get you through the rest of your two-three years left at school.
Or let’s say you’re a parent and your son is getting bigger and bigger every day you look at him. He just grew out of the racecar bed he begged for when he was five, but he still isn’t quite ready for a mattress like you have. He is a decent size, but you don’t want to buy him an $800 mattress then boom! Puberty hits him like a rock and he outgrows yet another mattress you bought for him. This is another instance where we would recommend a cheaper bed that you can keep for several years until he’s done growing for the most part, but won’t feel like a wasteful purchase when he’s ready to get a nicer bed like his parents’.
As you can probably imagine, different mattresses are made with different materials, some being more expensive than others. You can choose between foam mattresses and hybrid mattresses of the two. The three main types of foam are memory foam, latex foam, and polyurethane foam, which is basically like a neutral foam.
Memory foam mattresses usually have a viscose feel that softens as you apply pressure and embraces the curves of your body. It has a slow response time, but that just means it has limited motion transfer so you won’t feel your partner get in and out of bed in the middle of the night. Latex foam has somewhat of a spongy feel and has more bounce to it than memory foam does. Latex foam, however, is usually more expensive and we don’t recommend it for somebody on a lower budget.
Polyurethane foam is widely considered to be comfortable because of the neutral feel it has. Plus, it comes in a wide range of densities and isn’t too costly. So it is often the safe pick for somebody who doesn’t know exactly what kind of bed they are looking for.
Coil and innerspring mattresses have a system of pocketed or an interconnected spring system that offer good support, particularly for people that are heavier or obese. We sometimes refer to coil beds as being a “hybrid” since they combine two types of materials. That said, a hybrid mattress is not necessarily a coil mattress. Take the original Purple mattress, for example. That bed uses foam and a hyper-elastic polymer material, which means it’s still technically a hybrid, but doesn’t use coils. The new Purple mattresses (2, 3, and 4) use foam, coils, and hyper-elastic polymer.
If you want to buy a mattress for around $300 or under, something you’re going to want to take into account before you pull the trigger is the brand’s return policy, and if they offer a risk-free trial period. If they don’t, you just need to make certain you know what the bed is going to feel like and whom it is best for.
When it comes to choosing between a firm mattress, soft mattress, or somewhere in between, you should first consider your weight and how well the mattress you select will support you. Your mattress will also last longer if you purchase one that accommodates your weight. Let’s bring back the college student and little kid examples from earlier.
You’re a college student moving out of your freshman dorm into your new apartment, but you’re a basketball player who stands at 6’3 and weighs 230 lb. Your sister’s best friend tells you about a new bed she purchased for a low price, and mentions to you how firm it feels and thinks you may like it too. You go to try it out, and “firm” is the last word you would use to describe the mattress. Your sister’s best friend isn’t wrong for thinking the mattress was firm, she just weighs a substantial amount less and what may be firm to her isn’t considered firm to you. This is because the heavier you are, the more pressure your body applies to the mattress. The basketball player may want to pass on the medium-firm beds and go straight for a firm mattress.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is the young boy who says he’s too old for his racecar bed and wants a bigger mattress. He still hasn’t gone through puberty yet because he’s only nine, and he only weighs 65 lb. He is a back sleeper so you want to get a (somewhat) firmer mattress to make sure his body is properly supported, but since he weighs so little, a mattress that lands at a medium (rather than a firm) on the softness to firmness scale would probably be a good fit for him.
Maybe you’re completely fine with spending $300 on a mattress, but after a year of sleeping on it you notice a difference in the way the mattress feels. Or maybe not much has changed in the feeling of your mattress, but you have some money saved up and want to make your mattress a little comfier for you. You always have the option of purchasing a mattress topper such as the Layla Mattress Topper to add more pressure relief or support to your body while you sleep. You can find a large selection of different mattress toppers on Amazon (including the Lucid Mattress Topper) to help you achieve whatever end result you want, whether it be a softer mattress or a firmer mattress. They also have different sized mattress toppers that usually range between 2”-6” so you can make your bed slightly thicker, or significantly thicker depending on your preference.
Just because you don’t spend a ton of money on your mattress doesn’t mean you won’t want to keep it around for a while. Maybe you want to keep it as a bed for your guest bedroom, or as an extra mattress to have in storage for a rainy day. Whatever the reason, there are different ways to make sure your mattress stays in good shape. You can purchase a machine washable mattress protector on Amazon that’s easily removable to throw into the washing machine any time it needs a good cleaning. Most beds don’t come with a machine washable cover, and some don’t even come with a removable cover. Many brands may claim you can remove the cover, but it can be difficult to put back on so we recommend you don’t even mess with it.
You’re also able to spot clean your mattress by using a mild detergent, warm water, and a cloth. Make sure to not get your mattress too wet, though, because you don’t want to do any damage to the foam in the process of cleaning. You may not be able to completely remove every stain, but spot cleaning will at least make it so you don’t have to sleep on top of a big glob of coffee after an accidental spill. Make sure to wait until the spot is completely dry before putting your sheets back on the mattress.