Find the Best Mattress Under $500 With Help From The Sleep Doctor

Achieving a quality night of rest has a lot to do with your mattress, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to shell out a ton of cash on a new bed. The best mattress under $500 offers incredible quality and support at a budget-friendly price point. And, thanks to the abundance of bed-in-a-box mattresses available online, you can find many options made with premium materials, for as little as $500 or less.

But in shopping for a new mattress, there’s more to think about than just the price tag. That’s why Michael Breus, Ph.D., board-certified sleep specialist also known as The Sleep Doctor teamed up with the experts at Mattress Advisor to find the most affordable beds that offer the best quality for the price. Using Mattress Advisor’s 14-point testing system, they found the 6 best mattresses under $500 that promise good sleep for a great price. With options made for side sleepers, to an affordable cooling mattress designed for those who run hot, this budget-friendly list includes a little something for many sleep styles.

The 6 Best Mattresses Under $500

The Sleep Doctor’s Top Picks for the Best Mattress Under $500

1. Expert Pick: Tuft & Needle 

The Tuft & Needle is a prime example of an affordable mattress that doesn’t skimp on quality––it also made The Sleep Doctor’s list for the best mattresses for an adjustable bed. Noteworthy for being a high-quality mattress at a disruptive price point, the Tuft & Needle mattress combines a medium-firm feel with two layers of foam, offering comfort and support for all sleeping positions. 

Made with Tuft & Needle’s proprietary Adaptive foam, which Tuft & Needle designed to provide a balance of flexible support, the Tuft & Needle bounces back against your movements. The springy nature of the Tuft & Needle is reflected in its 8/10 responsiveness score, and the Tuft & Needle’s supportive design also makes it a good pick for those who suffer from back pain. The Tuft & Needle works well for those with back pain because it earned a 8.5/10 in spine alignment, which helps to keep pressure off your lower back by maintaining a healthy posture. Plus, this bed’s low price point doesn’t mean it won’t hold up in the long haul: a base layer of dense support foam gives this bed its excellent durability, earning a 8/10. The foam also utilizes an open-cell design (meaning it won’t trap heat like typical foam does) and is infused with gel and graphite, helping to keep you cooler than a typical memory foam bed would. This is an outstanding mattress for shoppers looking to stretch their dollar and still get a comfortable and supportive sleep experience. Right now, the Tuft & Needle is on sale for $50 off, coming in at just a little over $500 for a queen-size.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Tuft & Needle, $595 (Queen), tuftandneedle.com

2. Best Mattress for Back Sleepers: Brooklyn Bowery 

Brooklyn Bowery mattress

Back sleepers on the hunt for a budget mattress need to make sure it doesn’t lack in support––by resting on an unsupportive, sagging mattress, back sleepers run the risk of sinking too deep into the bed, causing spine misalignment. Luckily for back sleepers, the Brooklyn Bowery offers incredible support at an attractive price point. This foam combo bed uses a thick layer of Brooklyn Bedding’s proprietary foam, designed to provide the supple, pressure-relieving properties of memory foam plus some of the springiness of latex. 

The result is especially great for back sleepers; this layer works with a dense polyfoam layer underneath to provide excellent spine alignment, earning a 8.5/10. This bed also has a true medium-firm feel––it landed at a 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, creating a nice balance of comfort and support for back sleepers. Plus, it comes with a 120-night sleep trial and is marked down a fair amount, bringing the price to just over $500 for a queen-size. For a bed with this level of support, the price makes it quite the steal. 

  • Mattress Type: Foam combo
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Brooklyn Bowery, $699 (Queen), brooklynbedding.com

3. Best Cooling Mattress: Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams

Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams mattress

Some sleepers run hot at night, struggling with night sweats, hot flashes, or other health conditions that cause overheating. Thankfully, a good cooling mattress can help mitigate body heat and keep you resting a bit more comfortably. But, cooling mattresses can be expensive––that’s why the Dreamfoam’s Arctic Dreams hybrid mattress comes so highly recommended. With an impressive 8.5/10 cooling score, the Arctic Dreams mattress keeps you sweat-free for just $449 for a queen-size. 

Beginning with its quilted foam cover and cool gel memory foam layer, the Arctic Dreams mattress uses an open-cell foam construction in each layer to keep you comfortable. These cooling qualities could even be felt on the surface of the mattress––Mattress Advisor testers reported it as cool-to-the-touch! It also has a base layer of 7 inches supportive coils that help break up any heat retained by the high-density foam. With an 8/10 in durability, and a 10-year warranty to boot, the Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams mattress will hold up well in the long run, appeasing hot sleepers’ temperature, and their wallet.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Warranty: 10-year Limited

Buy it, Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams $449 (Queen), dreamfoambedding.com

4. Best Memory Foam Mattress: Zinus Green Tea

Zinus Green Tea mattress

For sleepers who are on a budget but don’t want to scrimp on the comforting feel of memory foam, the Zinus Green Tea mattress is an excellent option. Not only does it come with multiple memory foam layers, but it allows you to choose a thickness level that’s right for you: Pick between  6 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches. The thicker the mattress, the more supportive it is, so back and stomach sleepers would fare well on a thicker mattress, while side sleepers may enjoy either the 8 or 10-inch profiles.

The Zinus starts off with up to 3 inches (depending on the thickness level you choose) of plush memory foam that contours to the shape of your body. A second comfort layer of foam followed by a supportive base foam layer fills out the rest of the structure, providing great spine alignment (9/10 score) and pressure relief (8/10). This isn’t the most durable mattress in the world, but for such an affordable price (only $270 for a queen-size!), it may still be a good deal for those who love sinking into a layer of memory foam each night.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.3/5
  • Firmness: Medium 
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Zinus Green Tea, $344 (Queen), amazon.com

5. Best for Side Sleepers: Allswell 

Side sleepers need not skimp out on quality––they need a bed that contours along their sides, delivering pressure relief and maintaining healthy spine alignment. The Allswell hybrid mattress accomplishes this at just $375 for a queen-size. Made with individually-wrapped coils and a thick layer of graphite-infused memory foam, the Allswell scored high in both pressure relief (8.25/10) and spine alignment (9/10). Side sleepers will feel supported with their pressure points (hips and shoulders) cushioned––the perfect recipe for a restful night’s sleep. The Allswell also has falls at a medium firmness level, meaning side sleepers can sink just enough for deep compression, but not too much where they feel unsupported. Keep in mind that this mattress didn’t score so high in durability, but it’s 10-year warranty and 100-night sleep trial ensure additional buyer’s confidence. For an affordable hybrid mattress fit for side sleepers, the Allswell’s hard to beat.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Allswell, $375 (Queen), allswellhome.com

6. Best Hybrid Mattress: Linenspa Hybrid 8” 

Linenspa mattress

Speaking of affordable hybrid mattresses, this one from Linenspa impresses with its blend of supportive coils and layers of memory foam and polyfoam. The steel coils provide enough pushback to maintain an elevated feel, that is the feeling of sleeping ‘on’ your mattress rather than ‘in’ (a memory foam bed would feel like sleeping ‘in’ your bed). It also has a quilted top layer that’s soft to the touch and its steel spring base layer keeps the rest of the mattress sturdy. Polyurethane foam helps transition between the top layer and the coils. This mattress also comes in three different thickness levels: 8, 10, and 12-inches. Back and stomach sleepers in need of more support would enjoy the thicker profiles, while side sleepers would do well on either the 8- or 10-inch options. You also have the option to buy a platform bed frame with the mattress, which is helpful if you needed to get a new bed frame but don’t want to fork out a huge sum of cash. For those who want to feel supported by their mattress without losing any cushioning, the Linenspa Hybrid is a great choice, plus it’s only $430 for a queen mattress with the platform base included!

Note that the Mattress Advisor team has not tested this mattress yet, but instead relied on customer reviews and interviews for their assessment. Scores coming soon!

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Linenspa Hybrid 8”, $189 (Queen), amazon.com

How to Choose the Best Mattress Under $500

Even shoppers on a tight budget need to keep in mind a few factors that’ll help decide if it’s the right bed for you. 

Durability

A great mattress, made with high-quality materials, should last a minimum of seven to 10 years. Even mattresses that are priced in a lower tier can offer this kind of durability, allowing shoppers to maximize their mattress dollars. It’s important when picking an affordable mattress that it’s made with durable materials, so you don’t have to fork out more cash in 2 years on another new bed.

Sleep Trial

Most classic brands available online offer a sleep trial of 100 nights or more, allowing you to test run your new mattress and ensure it meets your needs. During the sleep trial period, you can return the mattress for a full refund. This is an important consumer protection, and, along with low price point, should provide some confidence in trying a new mattress.

“The sleep trial is really the test of the bed, no matter what the price point. What’s nice about mattresses in this category is that all these brands offer the same trial times and warranties (in many cases), which allows you to try this category with confidence,” says Dr. Breus.

Warranty

Another important consideration when shopping on a budget  is the mattress warranty. Shoppers should anticipate a warranty of at least 10 years, though some brands offer 15-year, 25-year, or even lifetime warranties. Should your mattress deteriorate or sag just a few years into using it, the warranty will help you cover any repairs or secure a refund. The one stipulation? Read the fine print––most mattress warranties are voided if you don’t use the proper foundation to support your bed, so make sure you have the right frame to bolster your mattress.

Seasonal Sales and Discounts 

If you’re all about saving money, take advantage of the frequent seasonal sales that mattress companies offer. Typically falling over a holiday weekend, many online brands offer deep discounts and opportunities to score free bedding accessories. By shopping during Black Friday, Labor Day, or even the Fourth of July, you can save hundreds of dollars on a high-quality bed.

Best Mattress Type Under $500

Even when sticking to a lower price range, it’s important to consider mattress type. Some types are less expensive than others, while other mattresses fare better in the long run. 

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are some of the least expensive beds, and are known for their excellent contouring that provides much needed pressure relief. Memory foam mattresses, however, sometimes can trap heat when compared with other materials. With that said, the use of cooling gel and other mediating materials like latex or coils can provide hot sleepers some relief. Because memory foam is an affordable material, it’s easy to find a great mattress in a low price range.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are another affordable option. This type is made from a bed of coils with a thin layer of foam on top. The coils provide enough pushback to keep your spine aligned, and thanks to their porous nature, they also don’t retain heat like memory foam does.  A great pick for hot sleepers who need cooler  sleep, innerspring mattresses also tend to hold up well over time.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses may combine two or more materials, such as foam, innerspring coils, or even natural latex. Hybrid mattresses tend to earn rave customer reviews, as their unique design allows them to offer the pressure relief of foam with the lasting support of coils. Especially great for back and stomach sleepers, hybrid mattresses use multiple support layers of either foam and coils to keep you elevated. Be warned that hybrids are typically on the expensive side, but they’re also one of the most durable types due to their mix of materials.

Final Thoughts on How to Choose the Best Mattress Under $500

These top choices prove it’s more than possible to get a high-quality mattress for under $500. Again, consider how each of these selections might fit with your overall comfort preferences and sleep needs. 

“When looking for a bed on a budget, look for the one key feature that you can’t live without, whether its heat control, pressure relief or adjustability. Once you find that, continue to add features that matter to you until you reach your budget limit,” says Dr. Breus. 

Sources:

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

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.