The Best Cheap Mattresses for Budget-Minded Shoppers

Get a good night's sleep on a comfortable new mattress without sacrificing your financial peace of mind.

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Best Cheap Mattress Options

Photo: amazon.com

Picking up a new mattress can be a major expense that may not be worth it if you are just trying to outfit a guest room, or if you know it is going to get damaged or stained by a child. To avoid emptying your wallet, focus your search on cheap mattresses that can help you stick to a tight budget while still upgrading from your old, musty mattress.

The best cheap mattress for you will depend on the size of the bed, the type of mattress you want (depending on how you sleep), and the firmness of the material used to make the mattress. You may also consider additional features like built-in cooling gel or pillow-top padding to help you sleep comfortably. The products below have been chosen as the best cheap mattress available in each respective category, based on mattress type, features, and overall value.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Classic Brands Cool Gel 1.0 Ultimate Gel Memory Foam
  2. RUNNER-UP: Ashley Chime 12 Inch Medium Firm Memory Foam Mattress
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: AmazonBasics 8-Inch Memory Foam Mattress
  4. BEST CHEAP MEMORY FOAM: Zinus 12 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
  5. BEST CHEAP HYBRID: Ashley Chime 12 Inch Plush Hybrid Mattress
  6. BEST CHEAP LATEX: Sunrising Bedding 8” Natural Latex Queen Mattress
  7. BEST CHEAP COOLING: AmazonBasics Cooling Gel-Infused, Medium-Firm
  8. BEST CHEAP PILLOW TOP: Vibe Quilted Gel Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid
  9. BEST CHEAP INNERSPRING: Modway Jenna 14” Quilted Pillow Top Twin Innerspring
  10. BEST CHEAP POLYFOAM: Casper Sleep Element Mattress
Best Cheap Mattress Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Buying a Cheap Mattress

Choosing the best cheap mattress depends on several factors unique to your sleep style. Read on to find out what features are important for your new mattress.

Type

Mattress manufacturers have developed a variety of mattress types to address a range of sleep positions, firmness levels, and body support needs. These mattress types include memory foam, hybrid, latex, innerspring, and polyfoam (polyurethane).

  • Memory foam mattresses are made of a soft layer of foam that warms with body heat and conforms to fit your body. This type of mattress provides a lot of support for side- and back-sleepers, cradling every part of your body for optimal weight dispersion across the mattress. However, these mattresses can quickly get too warm, so they may not be the best for people who run hot when sleeping.
  • Hybrid mattresses are made of more than one material and can include polyfoam, latex, gel, and innersprings. They come in a variety of thicknesses and even sleep-style-specific orientations so that the exact ratio of gel foam to support foam is appropriate for your sleeping position. The goal of a hybrid mattress is to address all of your specific needs with a variety of materials, making them one of the best mattress options.
  • Latex mattresses are similar in body support to memory foam mattresses, except that they are constructed using natural rubber compounds that allow more airflow through the material, reducing the heat absorption of the mattress. This makes them ideal for individuals who run hot, but who may need the body support for a bad back or ongoing hip pain. People who are allergic to latex should, of course, avoid this mattress type.
  • Innerspring mattresses have steel springs inside the mattress that compress and cradle your body. The amount of comfort and weight distribution is in direct relation to the number of springs in the mattress. The more springs, the better your weight is supported.
  • Polyfoam or polyurethane mattresses are not very common any more. Instead, polyurethane is used as a mattress topper or in a higher density formula as memory foam. These mattresses trap heat and are relatively low-quality, but that means that the price for them is also low.

Firmness

The firmness of a mattress is important to consider because a mattress that is too soft won’t provide the support that your body needs to sleep comfortably. However, a mattress that is too hard will leave you just as sore because your body weight is not appropriately dispersed across the mattress.

Back- and side-sleepers, and anyone who has existing injuries or chronic back or hip pain should look for a soft- to medium-firmness mattress that is able to properly cradle your head, neck, and spine so that your muscles can rest. Stomach-sleepers will get more use out of a firm mattress that supports their sleeping form, instead of collapsing in and causing their spine to misalign during sleep.

Support

The support a mattress provides when you are lying down, and even the frame support of the mattress are very important factors to consider.

  • Body support is important to ensure that your entire body weight is properly distributed across the surface of the mattress. The mattress must be soft enough to allow your body to sink into it, but firm enough to properly support your weight. Look for memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses for optimal body support.
  • Frame support is the ability of the mattress to support your weight appropriately when you position yourself on the edge of the bed, whether sitting or lying down. Mattresses with poor frame support will bend down towards the edge and can cause you to slip off the bed in your sleep. Good frame support will maintain the horizontal position of the mattress so that you can feel more secure when you sleep.

Sleeping Position

Everyone has a way of sleeping that is most comfortable to them. Some people, for example, prefer to sleep on their back. Others can’t imagine sleeping on their back and instead prefer sleeping stomach-side down. Still others are more comfortable sleeping on their side — right, left, or both.

  • Back-sleepers often have to deal with a lot of back pain if they sleep on very soft or very hard mattresses. Consider switching to a memory foam, latex, or hybrid mattress that can conform well and support the spine, neck, and head. Back-sleepers should look for a medium-firmness mattress for optimal back support.
  • Side-sleepers benefit from a pillow-top mattress that has a soft to medium firmness. This is because they need to be able to sink into the mattress enough that their shoulders, neck, head, spine, legs, and hips are all supported and properly aligned during sleep. The extra padding of a pillow-top mattress helps to reduce pressure points at the shoulders and hips.
  • Stomach-sleepers have to have a firm mattress that is able to support their chest, head, shoulders, neck, and spine. If the mattress is too soft, your body will not be properly supported, which can cause back, neck, and hip pain.

Warranty

Cheap mattresses can come with warranties, and may offer a sleep trial period that lets you use the product for a given period of time and return it if you find that the mattress is not right for you. These trial periods can last between 30 days to a full year.

Warranties are much more common, typically lasting from one year to 20 years, depending on the manufacturer. It is important to note that to take advantage of a manufacturer’s warranty, you must adhere to the proper care, set up, and maintenance directions specified in the warranty. Otherwise, the company may void the warranty, potentially leaving you with a product you can no longer use and will not be refunded for.

Extra Features

Cheap mattress manufacturers typically focus on the structure of the mattress and the support it can provide when you are sleeping. However, some products may come with additional features like a built-in pillow top, cooling gel, or included accessories like pillows, pillowcases, or bed sheets.

  • Pillow tops are an addition built into the top of the mattress. This extra padding gives you a soft top layer to sink into, but underneath is the firm support necessary to properly spread out your body weight so your muscles can relax and recharge while you sleep.
  • Cooling gel is an excellent option if you live in a warm climate or if you tend to run hot at night. The gel is designed to reduce the heat absorption of the mattress so you can get a comfortable night’s sleep.
  • Included bed linens or pillows are a great addition to any mattress. Not only do you get a new, comfortable surface to sleep on, you also get new pillows, sheets, or pillowcases all designed to be used with your mattress so you know they fit perfectly.

Our Top Picks

The top-rated products below were chosen for quality, price, and customer satisfaction to help you find the right cheap mattress on a budget.

Best Overall

Best Cheap Mattress Options: Classic Brands Cool Gel 1.0 Ultimate Gel Memory Foam
Photo: amazon.com

The Classic Brands queen mattress features premium pressure-relieving memory foam and high-density aerated cooling gel memory foam. The cooling gel memory foam makes up the top layer of the mattress, while the pressure-relieving memory foam ensures that your body weight is appropriately distributed across the mattress and supported while you sleep. The 14-inch mattress has a medium firmness, making it a great option for any sleeping position.

The memory foam mattress comes with two memory foam pillows and a 10-year warranty. Memory foam is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to allergens, mold, and bacteria, making this a great option for anyone who suffers from severe allergies or who may have difficulty breathing. However, keep in mind that the inclusion of the memory foam pillows may actually mean this set costs a bit more than a mattress alone would cost.

Runner-Up

Best Cheap Mattress Options: Ashley Chime 12 Inch Medium Firm Memory Foam Mattress
Photo: amazon.com

This memory foam mattress is an excellent option for back- and side-sleepers, and even some smaller stomach-sleepers may prefer the medium-firm feel of this product to a firm mattress. The memory foam contours to your body and supports your core, shoulders, hips, and neck so that you can rest peacefully and wake up feeling rejuvenated instead of sore.

The mattress comes in twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes, and is available in various thicknesses, including 8, 10, and 12 inches. The support foam core of the mattress reduces motion transfer so you won’t have to worry about waking up your partner. It is also made of hypoallergenic materials, making it a great option for anyone who suffers from allergies. Be aware that the mattress takes about 72 hours to fully expand and air out after opening.

Best Bang for the Buck

Best Cheap Mattress Options: AmazonBasics 8-Inch Memory Foam Mattress
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With multiple layers for optimal comfort, breathability, and support, this inexpensive memory foam mattress would be perfect for the spare room or as a backup for sleepovers. The mattress is 8 inches thick and comes in twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. Back- and side-sleepers will get a great night sleep with this soft mattress, but stomach-sleepers will likely wake up feeling sore.

The top layer of the mattress is made of soft, contouring memory foam that adapts to the shape and weight of your body to properly support your hips, neck, shoulders, and head. The middle layer of the mattress is made of soft foam that has multiple holes to allow air to circulate, helping you keep cool while you sleep. The bottom layer is made of hard foam intended to provide support and stability so that you can wake up feeling refreshed. Give the mattress about 72 hours to fully expand and air out after unpacking.

Best Cheap Memory Foam

Best Cheap Mattress Options: Zinus 12 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
Photo: amazon.com

The Zinus 12-Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress is an excellent option for anyone looking to find a cheap memory foam mattress for a guest room or as a quick replacement. The mattress is infused with green tea and charcoal, which have been shown to contain antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria, fungus, and mold. The top layer of memory foam adapts to the contours of your body to appropriately disperse your weight and support your neck, shoulder, hips, and head.

The 12-inch thick mattress has three foam layers. The first is 3-inch thick memory foam for comfort and body contouring. The second layer is 2 inches of comfort foam with holes to allow better airflow through the mattress. The bottom layer is 7-inches thick and made of support foam, designed to keep the mattress properly aligned and your body supported while you sleep. With this mattress, you get a 10-year warranty and a range of size options from narrow twin to  California king.

Best Cheap Hybrid

Best Cheap Mattress Options: Ashley Chime 12 Inch Plush Hybrid Mattress
Photo: amazon.com

If you like the firm support you get with traditional mattress coils in an innerspring mattress, but want the body-hugging comfort of a memory foam mattress, then the Ashley Chime 12 Inch Plush Hybrid Mattress is an exciting option for you. The top layer of gel foam adapts to your body to properly cradle your head, neck, shoulders, back, and hips and relieve pain built up around pressure points.

Under the gel foam is high-density supportive foam to add firmness to the mattress, followed by 680 individually wrapped coils for maximum support. The 12-inch mattress doesn’t need to be flipped, though the top and sides should still be cleaned when necessary. You can also choose between twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes so that you get the perfect mattress for your needs.

Best Cheap Latex

Best Cheap Mattress Options: Sunrising Bedding 8” Natural Latex Queen Mattress
Photo: amazon.com

The natural composition of latex in the Sunrising Bedding 8” Natural Latex Queen Mattress supports your body like memory foam, but keeps you cool and comfortable throughout the night. Three layers of latex foam materials create a medium-firm density that conforms closely to the body to alleviate pressure points and align the spine.

This mattress is great for side- and back-sleepers, and even most stomach-sleepers will enjoy it, though heavier stomach-sleepers should look for a firm, high-density mattress. The latex mattress is 8 inches thick, with a 2-inch conforming latex foam surface, a 4-inch thick hard foam support, and in the middle 2 inches of the mattress are 852 individual pocket coils to help isolate movement. The mattress comes with a 120-night trial period and 20-year warranty.

Best Cheap Cooling

Best Cheap Mattress Options: AmazonBasics Cooling Gel-Infused
Photo: amazon.com

Affordable, comfortable, and cool, the AmazonBasics Cooling Gel-Infused mattress has a cooling gel top layer and a breathable middle layer with multiple airflow channels to help regulate your body temperature while you sleep so that you aren’t kicking off the covers every night. The bottom 7 inches of this 12-inch thick mattress is made up of high-density support foam to help keep your body weight properly distributed across the entire mattress.

The medium-firm density of this mattress is best for back-sleepers, but heavier side-sleepers and lighter stomach-sleepers may also enjoy the restful benefits this mattress has to offer. The mattress is made of hypoallergenic materials and has a quilted surface for extra softness. Get it in twin, full, queen, king, or California king sizes and wait 72 hours after opening for it to fully expand and air out.

Best Cheap Pillow Top

Best Cheap Mattress Options: Vibe Quilted Gel Memory Foam
Photo: amazon.com

If you like the plush feeling of a soft pillow-top layer on your mattress, then the Vibe Quilted Gel Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid mattress is an excellent option. It offers the soft comfort you want while also providing you with the posture support you need. The soft, pillow-top layer is supported by a gel memory foam layer designed to adapt to your body weight and position to relieve pressure on your joints, allowing you to sleep more comfortably.

The bottom layer of the 12-inch hybrid mattress is made up of individually wrapped innerspring coils for optimal support and to help isolate movement so that you are not woken up when your sleeping partner stirs. The mattress comes in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes and has a 10-year warranty. Due to the hybrid design of this mattress, it makes a great choice for any sleep position.

Best Cheap Innerspring

Best Cheap Mattress Options: Modway Jenna 14” Quilted Pillow
Photo: amazon.com

This 14-inch thick innerspring mattress gives stomach-sleepers the firm support they need to get a great night’s rest without worrying about waking up with back and neck pain. The 2-inch pillow top helps to cushion your body, and a 2-inch supportive foam layer in the middle of the mattress is designed for better body contouring and airflow. The bottom 10 inches of the mattress is made of 9.84-inch-tall innerspring coils that are individually wrapped to isolate motion and to support every part of your body equally.

The mattress can be used by back-sleepers or people on the heavier side, and it comes with a fire-resistant polyester barrier to help reduce the risk of your bed catching fire. The mattress also comes with a 10-year warranty.

Best Cheap Polyfoam

Best Cheap Mattress Options: Casper Sleep Element Mattress
Photo: amazon.com

With this polyfoam mattress you get a 100-night trial period and a free return if you don’t like how the mattress feels, or if you just can’t get used to it. Just choose a twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, or California king and try it out. The perforated top layer for optimal cooling and breathability combined with the hard polyfoam base for full body support and pressure point relief give you a restful night sleep that will leave your body feeling refreshed instead of achy.

The firm density of this mattress isn’t a good option for most side-sleepers or back-sleepers because it does not allow you to sink into the material enough to properly support your head, neck, shoulders, back, and hips. However, stomach-sleepers, and heavier side- and back-sleepers will enjoy the added support and cool air circulation provided by this mattress.

FAQs About Your New Mattress

Take a look below to find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about new mattresses.

Q. How do you clean a mattress?

You can clean a mattress by following these simple steps:

  1. Get mattress cleaning supplies, including an upholstery vacuum, an enzyme cleaner or stain remover, laundry detergent, baking soda, cleaning cloths, and cold water.
  2. Remove and wash the sheets, pillowcases, and mattress cover in your washing machine (if they are machine-washable).
  3. Vacuum the mattress using the upholstery vacuum. Be sure to carefully clean the top, sides, seams, and any crevices to ensure no dirt is missed.
  4. Spot-clean the mattress with an enzyme cleaner or stain remover to get out any visible stains.
  5. Sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress and leave it to sit for several hours, allowing the baking soda to break down acids and absorb moisture and odors.
  6. Vacuum the mattress again to clean up the baking soda.
  7. Flip the mattress and repeat steps 3 to 6.

Q. How long should it take to adjust to a new mattress?

It will usually take between 30 to 90 days to fully adjust to a new mattress, depending on frequency of use and the durability of the mattress.

Q. How long does a cheap mattress last?

On average, a mattress will last between five to 10 years depending on how often it is used, how frequently it is cleaned, and how it is used. For example, kids jumping on the bed is much more damaging than if the mattress is just used for occasional overnight guests.