What’s the Best Affordable Mattress for You? Shop Smart with The Sleep Doctor

How much would you be willing to pay for a really good night’s sleep? It’s not a rhetorical question. It’s the question that all mattress shoppers must consider as they look to ditch their old mattress and replace it with something supportive, comfortable and new. Today’s mattress companies offer beds ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, and shoppers can sometimes struggle to ensure they’ve chosen the best affordable mattress for their sleep needs.

If you’re searching for a new mattress that doesn’t break the bank, you’re in luck: Several bed-in-a-box brands offer their products for disruptively low price points, but without any compromise to important factors like motion isolation, edge support, durability, or pressure relief. 

But, with so many inexpensive options out there, how do you discern between them? Not to worry–– the Sleep Doctor and the team at Mattress Advisor have already done the work for you. Board-certified sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D, otherwise known as The Sleep Doctor™, Ph.D partnered with the expert review team at Mattress Advisor to round up the 9 best affordable mattresses. With their combined expertise and 14-point testing methodology, they’ve selected a few standout beds that don’t sacrifice quality for price, and also provided some recommendations on picking the best mattress for you based on your comfort preferences and sleeping position. We’ll start with a round-up of 9 top-ranking affordable mattresses.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Best Overall:

The team at Mattress Advisor performed hours of mattress testing at their lab in Raleigh, North Carolina to see which mattresses performed best in many different categories: durability, pressure relief, and spine alignment, to name a few. All mattresses tested by Mattress Advisor are scored on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the perfect score, based on 14 different pieces of criteria related to the mattress materials, performance, and brand overall.  

Depending on what it is you’re looking for in a mattress, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in one of these 9 picks, and for a price that doesn’t induce sticker shock. 

Our Top Picks for the Best Affordable Mattress 

1. Expert Pick: Nectar

For those seeking a high-quality mattress for an outstanding value, the Nectar mattress rises to the top. Start with the price point, disruptively low; then factor in a full year-long sleep trial period and a lifetime warranty, both of which offer some peace of mind. Nectar is certainly appealing from a budgetary standpoint, and its performance metrics are equally strong. A medium-firm gel memory foam mattress, the Nectar is effective in easing the strain on pressure points, backed by its high pressure relief score of 8.5 out of 10. This makes the Nectar an excellent choice for side sleepers craving that enveloping memory foam feel. Plus, the Nectar’s adaptive memory foam layers make it highly responsive and able to limit motion transfer: great news for combination sleepers and couples. As far as getting the most bang for your mattress buck, the Nectar reigns supreme. 

Learn more about this memory foam knockout in The Sleep Doctor’s Nectar mattress review.

  • Mattress Type: Gel Memory Foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Lifetime Warranty

Buy it: Nectar, $799 for a Queen, nectarsleep.com

2. Best Affordable Hybrid Mattress: Helix Midnight

Hybrids have a reputation for being pricier, but the Helix Midnight brings a lot to the table for an affordable price. It’s an excellent best-of-both-worlds hybrid mattress that excels at isolating motion (8.75 out of 10) and responding to your movements. A responsive mattress means you can move around without feeling like you’re sinking, and the Helix Midnight’s 8.75 out of 10 responsiveness score speaks for itself. Made with a base layer of coils and topped with 2 foam layers, these materials also promote keeping your lower back supported (8.75 out of 10) and prevent overheating (8 out of 10).  

Thanks to the use of innerspring coils and its breathable mattress cover, this mattress has a comfortable, yet supportive feel fit for many different sleepers. All of these features come with a wallet-friendly price: pick a queen mattress or smaller and you’ll pay under $1,000. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-year Limited

Buy It: Helix Midnight, $999 for a Queen, helixsleep.com

3. Best Affordable Cooling Mattress: Bear 

If you find yourself having a hard time falling asleep because you feel too warm, the Bear is here to help. This mattress is made for sleepers with an active lifestyle looking to recharge, and it weaves in many features that make it an affordable cooling option for all sleepers. The Bear mattress is made with a specially engineered cooling cover and memory foams, scoring a 9 out of 10 in this testing category. Highly responsive in its design (it earned a 9 out of 10), the Bear is also a good fit for combination and multi-positional sleepers who need their mattress to bounce back as they switch positions. It also scored high marks in spine alignment (8.5 out of 10) ensuring it supports your spine’s natural curvature for a healthy posture. The best part? You can reap all these benefits for a shockingly low price. 

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-year Limited

Buy it, Bear, $800 for a Queen, bearmattress.com

4. Best Affordable Mattress for Back Pain: Dreamfoam Chill

It’s irritating when you find yourself waking up with back pain, especially when your mattress is giving a lackluster performance. That’s not an issue with the Dreamfoam Chill, which attained a top score for keeping the spine in near-perfect alignment (9.5 out of 10). Aside from spine alignment, this memory foam mattress also performed for pressure relief, scoring an 8.75 out of 10. It’s a solid choice for any sleep position, ensuring your lumbar region is supported and pressure points cushioned.

This ultra-affordable memory foam mattress by Brooklyn Bedding rings in at under $500 for a queen-size. To add to the value even more, it also has a 120 night sleep trial and 10 year warranty. 

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium firm, Firm 
  • Warranty: 10-year Limited

Buy it, Dreamfoam Chill, $399 for a Queen, dreamfoambedding.com

5. Best Affordable Mattress for Stomach Sleepers: Leesa Studio

Stomach sleepers require mattresses that promote neutral spine alignment, and keep their hips well-supported so they don’t sink into the mattress and cause their spine to fall out of alignment. The Leesa Studio is a recommended entry in this category, boasting a medium-firm memory foam construction that feels like you’re sleeping on top of the mattress, rather than sinking into it. Our lab testing at Mattress Advisor confirms it to be a good option for those with back and joint pain: it earned a 9 out of 10 in spine alignment. And, and its motion isolation score (8.25 out of 10) makes it another good pick for couples. Despite this high quality, it happens to be a fairly cheap mattress, too, and it ships free to all fifty states.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Studio by Leesa, $799 for a Queen, leesa.com

6. Best Affordable Flippable Mattress: Layla

All of the mattresses listed here are already a steal, but the Layla’s flippable design makes it stand out from the crowd. With the Layla, you practically get two beds in one: one side feels medium soft and the other medium-firm––just flip the mattress and see which one offers you superior comfort. The medium-soft side is a 4 out of 10 on the firmness scale, and suits side sleepers who need close contouring for pressure relief. The medium-firm option rests at a 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale and benefits back and stomach sleepers the most. Either side you choose, the Layla provides exquisite pressure relief (9 out of 10) and near-perfect responsiveness (9.5 out of 10). Its dense support foam targets high-pressure areas for maximum comfort and support, melting away undue strain from your joints. And with a price tag hovering just over $1,000 and a lifetime warranty, you can enjoy the benefits both sides have to offer for years to come. 

  • Mattress Type: Copper-infused Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-soft; medium-firm
  • Lifetime Warranty

Buy it, Layla, $1,049 for a Queen, laylasleep.com

7. Best Affordable Mattress for Heavier Sleepers: DreamCloud Premier

Not all mattresses are made to support plus-sized sleepers, but the DreamCloud Premier is very robust: It’s made to support heavyweight sleepers, and it performs without sinkage or sagging thanks to its impressive 9 out of 10 durability score. The DreamCloud is a solid construction, made with six total layers of foam and coils. Covered in a Cashmere blend and plush Euro top, plus-sized sleepers will enjoy the soft, luxurious feel on top, but are still well-supported by a coil compression system down below. It’s backed by a 365 night trial and a lifetime warranty, and excels in pressure relief (9 out of 10), edge support (8.5 out of 10), and responsiveness (9 out of 10), guaranteeing ease of movement and strong edges for smooth transitions. Also, the DreamCloud sleeps cool, accommodating heavyweight sleepers who run hot. The pocketed coils create a support structure with a more open cell design that allows air to move more easily (8.5 out of 10 for cooling), instead of being trapped by an all-foam construction and generating heat. As for potential drawbacks, it’s worth mentioning that there will likely be some off-gassing as you unbox the mattress, though this isn’t harmful. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-Firm
  • Lifetime Warranty

Buy it, DreamCloud, $1,399 for a Queen, dreamcloudsleep.com

8. Best Affordable Mattress Under $1,000: Tuft & Needle

The Tuft & Needle mattress has long been a marquee option in the bed-in-a-box industry, and it’s not difficult to discern why. This medium-firm, foam-blend mattress accommodates all sleeping positions, and its excellent spine alignment and motion transfer (8.75 out of 10) makes it an especially good pick for back and stomach sleepers as well as couples looking for an affordable mattress option. Plus, the Tuft & Needle’s 8.5 out of 10 score in spine alignment means it also works well for seniors, providing needed lumbar support. It combines the support and pressure relief of memory foam with the springy feel of latex, and all of it’s available for less than half the price of most quality, memory foam mattresses.

  • Mattress Type: Foam blend
  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-year Limited

Buy it, Tuft & Needle, $595 for a Queen, tuftandneedle.com

9. Best Affordable Memory Foam Mattress: Casper Element

Those who crave the cushioning layers of memory foam may want to consider the Casper Element, which is designed as their budget-friendly option, suitable for any sleeping position thanks to its universally appealing medium-firm feel. The Casper Element offers two foam layers that deliver the right amount of both comfort and support. Our testers at Mattress Advisor found it has outstanding edge support (9.25 out of 10), which is important for keeping the mattress’s shape over time. Edge support is also a chief consideration for seniors, who need a mattress that supports them as they get in and out of bed, which the Casper Element excels in. And, thanks to its low price point, it’s a popular option for kids. Keep in mind that the Casper Element had lackluster durability in our lab testing, so this bed is better for a short-term solution, and more compatible with a guest room or dorm.

  • Mattress Type: Memory Foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-year Limited

Buy it: Casper Element, $595 for a Queen, casper.com

What to Consider When Shopping for the Best Affordable Mattress 

In considering a new mattress, there are multiple performance factors to keep in mind. And even more so for affordable mattresses––you want to be sure you’re getting a good deal, but also a quality mattress. It’s only when you take into account your sleep position, the pros and cons of different mattress materials, and firmness preference that you can ensure you’re getting the best mattress for you and your wallet.

Materials: Mattress materials tend to serve different purposes, and as such they range in price. Having an idea of the kind of mattress you want will help you on your search for an affordable mattress. Traditionally, memory foam mattresses and innerspring have a lower price as opposed to latex and hybrid mattresses, which garner a higher cost based on material sourcing.

Durability: There is a direct correlation between the kinds of quality materials used in a mattress and their long-term durability, or how long the mattress will last. Take note of the materials each brand uses, where they are manufactured, and the brand’s policies regarding mattress warranties. 

Warranty: Each mattress brand will provide some sort of warranty with your mattress purchase, ensuring that if anything breaks or goes wrong there will be a replacement. It’s a sizable value add if your mattress comes with an extended warranty, especially if it covers the life of the mattress.

Sleep Trials: Online mattress in a box brands will back up your purchase with a sleep trial, letting you try their product for an allotted amount of time before having to fully commit. Keep in mind, it can take up to thirty days to break in a mattress. Brands often ask you wait that amount of time before returning a mattress if it’s not for you.

Sleep Position: Sleep position matters a great deal, not only for the quality of your rest, but also for your health overall. As the Sleep Doctor explains in his article about sleep position, different sleep positions have different benefits, and there also isn’t one perfect sleeping position: it varies from person to person, based on your unique physical characteristics.

Mattress Firmness: Imagine a firmness scale between 1 and 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. A majority of mattress products fall somewhere between 5 and 8, which is known as ‘medium-firm’ in the mattress world, though there are occasional exceptions at both ends of the spectrum. Firmness is an important consideration for shoppers, with side sleepers generally wanting something in the middle that cushions their pressure areas, while stomach and back sleepers gravitate to a higher firmness level for reinforced support.

Mattress Type

Another important consideration for shoppers is the type of mattress you buy. 

“The type of Mattress you choose will determine the quality of the sleep you will get from it, if you match your needs to the bed. Each type has its own attributes and drawbacks, so they work for different types of people. This is really where the magic happens as far as lowering price, you try to only pay for what you and your partner actually need. You are not going to get all the benefits of a multi-thousand dollar product, but you will be efficiently spending your dollars, getting good quality sleep and still maintain a budget.” says Dr. Breus.  

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are highly popular in the online mattress space, and offer many selling points: They tend to be cushioning and pressure-relieving, and excel in motion isolation. On the flipside, memory foam often traps body heat, which means this type of bed may not be the best option for those who are worried about overheating. In addition, memory foam also can have slow responsiveness, which is not fun for multi-positional sleepers. 

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress is made from two or more other materials, which might include polyfoam, innerspring coils, or latex. The goal here is to provide the best of all possible worlds; for instance, combining the contouring feel of foam with the breathability of innerspring coils.

If a hybrid bed sounds right up your alley, learn more about how to find the best hybrid mattress for you.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are made by placing a padded support layer over a system of metal coils; innerspring mattresses tend to be responsive and supportive, while also sleeping cool. Some sleepers love them, while others feel more comfortable being hugged and cradled by layers of foam.

Latex

Latex is an increasingly popular mattress type: It’s naturally breathable, which means it doesn’t absorb as much body heat, and it also has a buoyant feel that combination sleepers love. Natural Talalay latex, made from a rubber tree, is one of the top options among eco-friendly shoppers.

Choosing the Right Mattress for Your Budget

When mattress shopping, the price tag can sometimes be deceptive. Some of the most highly recommended products are available at the lower end of the price range, which means that you can get a budget mattress that significantly improves the quality of your rest.

Sources:

Avocado Green. 2020. “Support: Our Innerspring Unit.” https://service.avocadogreenmattress.com/hc/en-us/articles/360024056791-Tell-me-more-about-the-innerspring-support-unit-How-many-coils-are-there-What-gauge-are-they-

Hungs, Marcel. 2010. University of California Center for Sleep Medicine. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0661/5815/files/Pilot-Sleep-Study-Dr.-Marcel-Hungs-2009-2010.pdf?3161

John Hopkins Medicine. 2020. “Choosing the Best Sleep Position.” Health Wellness and Prevention (blog). https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/choosing-the-best-sleep-position

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2009. “Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (Vol. 8, Issue 1), March 8, 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697581/#:~:text=Jacobson%20et%20al%2C29%20in,efficiency%20with%20medium%2Dfirm%20bedding

KTT Enterprises. 2017. “Eco-friendly Talalay Latex.” https://kttenterprises.com/eco-friendly.html 

Leggett & Platt. 2020. “Open Coil” Kansas State University Institute of Environmental Research. https://beddingcomponents.com/open-coil#:~:text=Much%20of%20their%20success%20is,University%20Institute%20of%20Environmental%20Research.

Selnick, Matthew. 2018. “Embrace.” Program of Industrial Design Capstones. https://jdc.jefferson.edu/idcapstones/26