A mattress can be a big investment, but you don’t have to blow your budget to sleep comfortably. Wallet-friendly options cost a fraction of what buyers pay for mid-range and luxury models, and they fill the need for a sleep surface.
Budget-friendly mattresses may also appeal to customers looking for a temporary sleep solution or an extra mattress they won’t use all the time, like a bed for a guest room or vacation home.
When shopping for a low-cost mattress, customers should keep in mind that some low-priced mattresses cost less because they use lower-quality, less durable materials. However, our picks for the best affordable memory foam mattresses balance quality and affordability to make them superior values.
In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of our three favorite low-cost memory foam mattress options. We’ll highlight their construction, firmness, performance, and pricing to help you find the best option for you. Finally, we’ll answer some of the most common questions customers ask as they shop for a budget-friendly memory foam mattress.
Our Top Picks
Zinus Green Tea Mattress - Best Overall
Nectar - Best Value
Allswell - Best Hybrid
Zinus Green Tea Mattress - Best Overall
Price: $156 (6"); $238 (8"); $278 (10"); $344 (12")
Height: 6", 8", 10", 12"
Firmness: Medium Soft (4) or Medium (5)
Pressure Point Relief: 2/5 (6"); 3/5 (8"); 4/5 (10" and 12")
Sleeps Cool: 3/5 (6"); 2/5 (8", 10", and 12")
Motion Isolation: 2/5 (6"); 4/5 (8", 10", and 12")
Edge Support: 3/5 (6"); 2/5 (8", 10", 12")
Durability: 1/5 (6"); 2/5 (8", 10", and 12")
Ease of Movement: 2/5
Off-Gassing: 2/5 (6" and 8"); 1/5 (10" and 12")
- Green tea and ActivCharcoal infusions to minimize odor
- Four thickness options
- Notable pressure relief in 10- and 12-inch models
- Shoppers on a tight budget
- Sleepers who like a close-conforming hug
- Side sleepers
For a budget-friendly mattress, the Zinus Green Tea Mattress has a lot of options. That’s part of what makes it such a great overall choice.
This mattress comes in four firmness options: 6 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches. The 6-inch and 8-inch options have medium feels, rating around 5 on the 10-point firmness scale. Meanwhile, the 10- and 12-inch versions rate around 4, giving them a medium soft feel. As all the firmness options are on the softer end of the average range, the Zinus Green Tea Mattress may be best suited for sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds.
The different thickness options of the mattress pose distinct potential advantages and disadvantages. Thanks to their compact designs, the lower-profile options may fit well in tight spaces, like bunk beds. They’re also extremely competitively priced. The 6-inch version of the bed performs especially well for temperature regulation and edge support, but it doesn’t earn as high of scores in pressure relief, motion isolation, and durability.
Shoppers looking for greater pressure relief, motion isolation, and durability may prefer the 8-inch, 10-inch, or 12-inch versions of the bed. However, the edge of these models may feel less stable, and they could retain some heat.
Each thickness option consists of three layers: a layer of memory foam and two layers of polyfoam. The thickness of these layers varies between the different versions of the bed. Green tea and ActivCharcoal infusions in the memory foam reduce odor potential, while the memory foam itself hugs closely to the sleeper’s body to relieve pressure points. The polyfoam transition and support layers limit sinkage.
Another version of the mattress is available. The Green Tea Gel Memory Foam Mattress uses the same design, but with gel-infused memory foam instead to enhance the bed’s ability to regulate temperature.
When purchased through the Zinus website, the Green Tea Mattress comes with a 100-night trial period and a 10-year limited warranty.
Nectar - Best Value
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Pressure Point Relief: 4/5
Sleeps Cool: 2/5
Motion Isolation: 4/5
Edge Support: 3/5
Ease of Movement: 3/5
- Forever Warranty
- 365-night trial
- Strong pressure relief and motion isolation
- Shoppers looking for a balance between affordability and durability
- Couples with different position preferences
- Sleepers with share pressure points
The Nectar Mattress performs well across our categories and has a generous sleep trial and warranty policy, making it an excellent value.
The Nectar has a medium firm (6) feel, which can accommodate most sleepers regardless of their size or preferred sleep position. Pressure relief and motion isolation are among the Nectar’s greatest strengths. People who tend to sleep hot may notice some heat retention, but this can be expected of most all-foam mattresses with memory foam comfort layers.
A cool-to-the-touch Tencel cover encases the bed. Quilted into the cover, there is a 1-inch layer of memory foam to cushion the sleep surface. The comfort system then uses 3 inches of gel-infused memory foam that redistributes the sleeper’s weight and heat to relieve pressure and keep the sleeper cooler.
The transition layer is made up of 1.75 inches of high-density memory foam for gentle support. A final 5.25-inch layer of high-density polyfoam provides additional support and stability.
Nectar mattresses come with a 365-night in-home trial. While most companies have some trial policy, Nectar’s trial window is exceptionally long, so customers have more time to make up their minds. The Nectar Mattress also has a limited Forever Warranty that protects the original mattress owner from qualifying defects.
Allswell - Best Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (7)
Pressure Point Relief: 3/5
Sleeps Cool: 4/5
Motion Isolation: 3/5
Edge Support: 4/5
Ease of Movement: 4/5
- Copper gel and graphite infusions wick away heat
- Edge reinforcement adds support to two sides of the bed
- Balance between conforming and support
- People who prefer the added bounce of a coil system
- Couples from different weight groups
- Individuals who tend to sleep hot on memory foam
The Allswell Mattress is a hybrid model that combines memory foam with pocketed coils. It comes at a remarkably low price point for a hybrid bed, which earns it a spot on this list.
Rating around 7 on the 10-point firmness scale, the Allswell has a firm feel. While it can accommodate sleepers from all weight groups, those who weigh more than 130 pounds are likely to find it more comfortable.
A quilted cover adds plushness to the surface of the bed. The 2-inch memory foam comfort layer shapes to the sleeper’s body to relieve pressure. Infusions of graphite and copper gel wick away excess heat. There is a .5-inch layer of memory foam to separate the comfort system from the core. A 7-inch layer of coils makes up the mattress core, enhancing the bed’s support, bounce, and breathability. The coils are encased to limit motion transfer across the layer, and two sides are reinforced to stabilize the edge of the bed.
The coil layer is largely responsible for the bed’s greatest strengths, which include temperature regulation, edge support, ease of movement, and suitability for sex. Its combination of memory foam and coils leads to few true weaknesses, earning the Allswell high marks across all performance categories.
A 100-night trial period gives customers a chance to try the Allswell Mattress risk-free. The bed also comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
What is the Best Type of Foam?
Each type of foam has potential pros and cons that may influence which type of foam is best for you, but there is no single “best” type of foam.
Memory foam is popular for its close conforming and pressure relief. Many sleepers compare it to a hugging sensation. Memory foam tends to respond more slowly to changes in pressure than other types of foam, which may make it more difficult to move on. Additionally, memory foam is often prone to trapping heat against the sleeper’s body, so people who sleep hot may not get the cooling air circulation they’re looking for. However, many mattresses that use memory foam have special features to combat heat retention and help them sleep cooler.
Polyfoam shapes to the sleeper’s body to relieve pressure to a lesser degree, but it tends to be more breathable and quicker to respond to changes in pressure than memory foam. This material tends to be quite affordable, though lower-density polyfoam may break down or form impressions sooner, limiting the lifespan of the bed.
Latex foam often comes at a higher price point than other types of foam. Natural latex is especially popular with eco-conscious shoppers, but the material also has other benefits, including bounce and breathability. Latex also redistributes a sleeper’s weight to relieve pressure points, though it spreads the compression over a wider area. Because of this, many individuals liken sleeping on a latex mattress to a floating sensation rather than the hugging sensation of memory foam.
Which Mattress Firmness is Best For a Cheap Memory Foam Mattress?
The best mattress firmness will depend on the sleeper’s weight, sleep position, and personal preferences.
As a general rule, sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds typically prefer a somewhat softer model (4-5 on the 10-point firmness scale) since they may not sink in much on a firmer bed. Those who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds usually like a mid-range firmness between 5 and 6. Individuals who weigh more than 230 pounds generally need a slightly firmer model (6-7) to support their spinal alignment.
When sleeping on a memory foam mattress that is too soft, the sleeper’s hips may sink in too deeply and put a strain on their spine. If the mattress is too firm, the sleeper may experience more pressure buildup around the widest parts of their bodies.
Sleeping position is also important to keep in mind when selecting a memory foam mattress. Side sleepers often prefer a slightly softer mattress to cradle their curves, while back and stomach sleepers generally need a firmer option so that their midsections don’t sink in too deeply and pull their spines out of alignment.
Personal preference also plays a major role in which firmness is best. Some sleepers prefer a plush sleep surface, while others favor a sturdy feel.
How Much of an Investment Do I Need to Make?
Mattress prices can be as high as a few thousand dollars or as low as a couple hundred, so there’s something for nearly any budget.
While customers can invest whatever they’re comfortable with, they may want to keep overall value in mind as they shop. An inexpensive mattress can save you money upfront, but if you end up needing to replace it sooner, it might not be the best value in the long run. Similarly, if you plan on replacing your mattress frequently or you don’t plan to use it often, investing in a high-end model may be money down the drain.
Selecting the right price point for your mattress may be challenging, but assessing your priorities can help you find the best balance of features, performance, and price to meet your needs and preferences.
What Affects the Price of a Memory Foam Mattress?
A mattress’s materials and where it is made are two of the biggest determining factors in its price point.
High-quality and technologically-advanced materials typically cost manufacturers more, so shoppers can expect to pay more. Since thicker and larger mattresses use more materials, they tend to carry a higher price tag. High-density memory foam also uses more material than lower-density foam, so it generally costs more.
Where the mattress is produced can further affect its price. American-based manufacturing tends to cost more due to expenses related to facilities and labor, so USA-made mattresses usually cost more than imported beds.
How Can I Make Sure I’m Getting the Best Deal on a Mattress?
No one wants to overpay on their purchase, and getting the best deal on your mattress can leave extra room in your budget for sleep accessories, like pillows, sheets, and blankets.
Buying your mattress online directly through the company is one of the easiest ways to save money. Direct-to-consumer mattress companies can usually offer lower prices than traditional retailers because they don’t need to maintain a brick-and-mortar store that increases their operating expenses.
Many mattress companies also have more generous trial policies and/or warranties for customers who buy their beds directly through the company website, which can further add to their value. Most direct-to-consumer mattress companies also ship for free within the contiguous United States, so customers won’t have to foot the bill for too many extra charges.
When you find a mattress you’re interested in, you might also consider signing up to receive emails from the company. Some brands occasionally offer special discounts to subscribers, while others will alert you to their latest sales and promo codes.
Mattress sales can shave hundreds of dollars off the list price. While you might find sales any time of year, they are most common around holiday weekends, like Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
Some retailers have a sale going most of the time, so it can be hard to judge whether the sale is significant or not. Checking the brand’s website repeatedly over time can give you a better idea of what qualifies as a good deal. However, you can generally assume big holiday sales events will be some of the best prices of the year.
Coupons, Discounts, and Promo Codes
Some deals come in the form of coupons, discounts, or promo codes. These offers may save you money off the mattress’s list price or throw in a free sleep accessory, like a pillow.
With direct-to-consumer companies, promo codes or coupon codes are especially common. These codes only work online, and customers typically enter them during the checkout process. Codes may be advertised on the brand’s website or sent to email subscribers. Some third-party websites also list promo codes that you can use.
If you can’t find a good sale or code, you could also check with live chat support to see if they have any available.