The Best Budget Mattresses of 2024

The Best Budget Mattresses of 2024

We hear a lot about the benefits of good sleep for our health and well-being. But with many top-rated mattresses retailing for thousands of dollars, is the optimal level of rest out of reach? For mattress shoppers on a budget, our editors have tested and reviewed multiple brands and models that retail for under $1,000. The good news is that we found four that deliver high-end results at accessible prices.

Before we got to testing, we consulted Angelie Mascarinas, MD, a Board-Certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Doctor with fellowship training in interventional spine and musculoskeletal care at the Hospital for Special Surgery. She offered advice on where we should start, suggesting side sleepers might prefer a softer mattress to cushion shoulders and hips, while stomach and back sleepers might benefit from a firmer surface. Dr. Mascarinas then helped us set our test methodology before we allocated six editors a mattress to use and evaluate metrics like comfort, support, and sleep quality for a four-week trial. We then checked in to see how each mattress performed after nine months of use. Read on to get our top picks for the best mattresses on a budget. A sleep expert from our Medical Expert Board reviewed the content about buying budget mattresses, mattress types, and materials for accuracy.

You might sleep on your side, back, stomach, or all of the above. With a partner or solo (even with your dogs). Sleep hot, sleep cold. Spin cartwheels all night or sleep like a log. However you sleep, there are all kinds of mattresses matched with all kinds of manufacturer claims to help with X and relieve Y. So it pays to do your due diligence before you start shopping. 

Raj Dasgupta, MD, FACP, FCCP, FAASM, Chief Medical Advisor at Sleepopolis, recommends making sure the mattress you choose has a supportive core to keep your spine aligned, is comfortable and durable, absorbs movement, regulates temperature and has strong edge support to prevent sagging. For shoppers looking for a cheap mattress that delivers premium results, we found several budget options that checked many of Dr. Dasgupta’s boxes. Here are some of the basics to help you know where to start:

  • Firmness vs. Softness:
    Mira Tadros
    , DO, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, gave us this handy breakdown: “If you are a side sleeper, you might benefit from memory foam that contours to your body and relieves pressure off shoulder and hips. If you are a stomach sleeper, on the other hand, you might want to avoid soft or plush mattresses and choose a mattress with more support. If you are a back sleeper, you might consider firmer memory foam or hybrid. This goes back to trying to keep the spine neutral.” 
  • Foam vs. Hybrid:
    Your mattress’s construction affects the surface’s feel in various positions. If you’ve not tried a foam mattress before, hybrids (springs plus foam) offer the rigidity you’d expect from a familiar spring mattress coupled with the contour-hugging feel of foam—a nice middle ground. Plus, the spring area offers increased airflow for hotter sleepers. In this article, our top recommendations include three foam mattresses (including one with a foam rubber base) and one hybrid. Most importantly, our experts agree, look for a mattress with the right firmness level to keep your spine aligned in your preferred sleeping position
  • Materials:
    Foam technology has come a long way in recent years, as has the jargon that comes with it. When shopping for memory foam mattresses, look for cooling gel and aerated layers for improved airflow. Spring and hybrid mattresses offer great airflow, so it’s more important to evaluate the plushness or firmness of the upper foam and quilt layers in foam mattresses. There are also plenty of organic and hypo-allergenic options out there (see our review of the Earthform Mattress below). Several of our experts caution against purchasing budget mattresses that contain fiberglass, which is present in none of our recommendations below. 
  • Trial Periods and Extended Warranties: 
    As Dr. Tadros notes, trial periods and warranties are especially useful when shopping on a budget. Many manufacturers offer risk-free trial periods to test the product for upwards of 100 days (including all of our recommended products). This can come as an optional extra, so it pays to read the fine print carefully.

Buying a Mattress on a Budget

Your sleep needn’t suffer due to the price of your mattress. And as you’ll discover in our reviews, there are some great affordable mattresses out there for people on a budget. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Rahul Shah, MD, FAAOS, recommends spending time assessing the texture and firmness you prefer before you commit to purchase. To do so, he suggests trying a range of mattresses in-store for a minimum of 15 minutes. Once you’ve established your preferences, it’s much easier to then shop a narrower range of options.

The mattresses we recommend below all retail for below $1,000 for a queen size. And if you keep your eye out for sales, you can pick up a quality mattress for significantly less. Given today’s mattresses are built to last from seven to 10 years, it’s an investment worth making in your health. So it pays to spend time doing your research so you can save money and improve your sleep quality.

Bear Original Mattress

PHOTO:

Bed Bath & Beyond


Product Details:

Type: Memory foam
Sizes:
Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King, Split King
Firmness Level:
Medium-firm (3/5)
Delivery:
Free shipping and returns
Warranty and Return Policy:
Lifetime, with a 120-night free trial

Who It’s Best For

With a great balance of comfort and support, the Bear Original is an excellent choice for combination sleepers and people looking to soothe aching muscles and joints after exercise.

Who Should Skip It

Through months of testing we found very little to fault about this mattress, though stomach sleepers may find the medium firmness lacks the support they’re after.

Why We Like It

The Bear Original is marketed as a high-quality bed for people on a budget, and we found that it lives up to this claim. We loved how the memory foam molded to our contours in multiple sleep positions. The CertiPUR-US certified foam construction is fiberglass-free and held up wonderfully through nine months of testing (even with dogs sharing the bed).

As Dr. Tadros notes, mattresses that provide ample support to the spinal curvature can help reduce pain and promote deeper, healthier sleep. We definitely found this the case with the Bear Original—the body-hugging medium-firm support offering relief for aching bodies post-exercise. Best of all, the lack of partner (and dog) disturbance meant we were sleeping longer without interruption. This has led to a marked improvement in sleep quality and a reduction in aches and pains, even after putting our bodies through several days per week of strenuous exercise.

What It’s Made Of

This mattress is constructed from multiple layers of CertiPUR-US certified foams, including cooling gel foam and high-density support foam. The cover is made from breathable TENCEL™ fabric. The overall construction is fiberglass-free.

It’s Worth Noting

This is a medium-firm (between a 3 and 4 on our Health scale) mattress, so stomach sleepers and people with heavier bodies may require a little more rigidity.

Meet Our Tester

Our Bear Original tester is a combination sleeper who prefers side and back sleeping. They have experienced pain and discomfort on other mattresses and have previously had trouble staying asleep.

Amazon SweetNight Breeze Mattress

PHOTO:

Amazon


Product Details:

Type: Memory foam
Sizes:
Twin, Full, Queen, King
Firmness Level:
Medium-firm (3/5)
Delivery:
Free shipping and returns
Warranty and Return Policy:
10-year warranty, 100-night free trial

Who It’s Best For

If you’re looking for a memory foam mattress with excellent bounceback that molds to your contours as you move in the night, the Sweetnight Breeze is a great budget choice.

Who Should Skip It

The edges of this mattress aren’t rigid enough to sit comfortably while climbing in and out of bed, so we’d recommend avoiding the Sweetnight Breeze for people with mobility issues. 

Why We Like It

Shipped to our door in just two days and delivered compressed for easy movement up stairs, the Sweetnight Breeze Memory Foam Mattress is a super-convenient option for people on a budget. And though we found the solid foam took some getting used to, it offered excellent comfort and support as we moved about the bed. 

The biggest benefit we found sleeping on the firm foam? It provides a solid flat surface with no “valleys” left after long periods in the same position—especially useful for side sleepers. This led to a noticeable reduction in neck and lower back pain. After nine months of continuous use, there are no signs of wear and tear, and the mattress bounces back into shape just like it did out of the box.

What It’s Made Of

The base is machine-cut from a single slab of polyurethane foam and topped with three layers of foam, including gel-infused memory foam. The mattress is topped with a breathable jacquard cover, and the construction is 100% fiberglass-free.

It’s Worth Noting

Because the edges of this mattress are soft, it’s very difficult to sit on the side of the bed as you enter or exit. It also lacks the cooling qualities of other mattresses we’ve tried. And the solid foam takes some getting used to, especially if you’re transitioning from a spring or bouncy mattress.

Meet Our Tester

Our tester for this mattress is a combination sleeper who runs hot during the night. They have experienced problems falling and staying asleep and are prone to some neck and lower back pain.

SweetNight Hybrid Coil Mattress

PHOTO:

Amazon


Product Details:

Type: Hybrid: Springs + memory foam
Sizes:
Full, Queen, King, Cal King
Firmness Level:
Medium-firm (3/5)
Delivery:
Free shipping and returns
Warranty and Return Policy:
10-year warranty, 100-night free trial

Who It’s Best For

The Sweetnight Twilight Hybrid Mattress straddles the line between firm support and plush softness, making it a great budget choice for side and stomach sleepers.

Who Should Skip It

While this is a comfy and supportive mattress, it definitely wasn’t life-changing—and it did not offer much relief for lower back pain.

Why We Like It

If you’re used to soft or sagging mattresses, the Sweetnight Twilight Hybrid can feel overly firm at first. We found that through time, however, the balance of softness and support was comfortable for side and stomach sleeping. 

We loved that this king-size mattress came rolled and wrapped into a package about the size of a fridge, and expanded to full size in about an hour. You can use it on your existing slat bed frame. And after nine months of nightly use, the materials and construction are holding up well. Will it cure an aching back? In our experience, that’s unlikely. Will it change your life? Probably not. But if you keep your eyes out for sales, you can pick up this softly supportive mattress for a super-low price, to use as a transition from an old bed into the world of foam and hybrid mattresses.

What It’s Made Of

This mattress has a base of individually wrapped innersprings topped with two layers of CertiPUR-US certified high-density foam and gel memory foam. It’s covered with knitted rayon cotton for airflow and softness. It is 100% fiberglass-free.

It’s Worth Noting

If you, like us, have heard friends or family members rave about how their new bed changed their life: This is not that bed. While it was definitely a step-up from a saggy, old spring mattress, it didn’t alleviate existing back pain. But if you temper your expectations, this is a solid sleep platform for an accessible price.

EarthFoam Organic Mattress

PHOTO:

EarthFoam


Product Details:

Type: Rubber and foam
Sizes:
Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
Firmness Level:
Medium or firm available (4/5 or 5/5)
Delivery:
Free shipping and returns
Warranty and Return Policy:
10-year warranty, 100-night free trial

Who It’s Best For

If you love a firm mattress and are used to (or open to) sleeping on a solid slab of rubber and foam, we highly recommend this affordable mattress—in any position.

Who Should Skip It

This mattress is heavy, and because it’s all foam there isn’t a lot of rigidity in its structure, which makes it very difficult to move. All worth considering if you live on your own or have mobility issues.

Why We Like It

Given the lack of structure to this all-foam mattress, we were pleasantly surprised by how firm it was. Its combination of sponginess and support kept spines aligned, even while side sleeping. And from the very first night—sans bed frame—and every night for nine months, we’ve noticed a big reduction in neck and back pain.

We love the consistency of the firmness, which extends right to the edges, enabling easy sitting on the side of the bed. And the combination of foams spring right back into place as you move. Since night one, we’ve been waking less often during the night and feeling better rested. The only downside: It’s so comfortable it can be hard to get up in the morning.

What It’s Made Of

The Earthfoam Mattress is constructed from a foam rubber base, a layer of “comfort” foam, organic New Zealand wool batting, and an organic cotton quilt and knit surface. It is 100% fiberglass-free.

It’s Worth Noting

The weight and lack of rigidity of this mattress make it very difficult to move on your own. At a smidge under $1,000 for a queen-size, it’s also at the higher end of “budget” mattresses. But we think the premium materials and sleep quality it delivered more than justify the price. 

Meet Our Tester

Our Earthfoam Mattress tester is a side sleeper who has been prone to long periods of wakefulness on previous mattresses. They have also previously experienced neck and lower back pain, which has been largely alleviated while sleeping on this mattress.

Health / Dera Burreson


Prior to choosing the test mattresses, we consulted spinal expert Angeline Mascarinas, MD. She recommended medium-firm mattresses that cradle the hips and shoulders so you don’t sink in. All of the budget mattresses we tested fit this criteria. Dr. Mascarinas also helped inform our test criteria and methodology.

To help determine what to look for in the best budget mattresses, we spoke with several experts, including: 

  • Angelie Mascarinas, MD, Board-Certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Doctor with fellowship training in interventional spine and musculoskeletal care, Hospital for Special Surgery NYC. 
  • Karena Wu, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, CSCS, CKTP, CPI, FAAOMPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy, owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in NYC & India.
  • Rahul Shah, MD, FAAOS, a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon.
  • Raj Dasgupta, MD, FACP, FCCP, FAASM, Chief Medical Advisor at Sleepopolis.
  • Mira Tadros, DO, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Our editors were each assigned one mattress, delivered to their homes. Editors evaluated each mattress based on ease of delivery, setup and expansion, and any lingering odors (if present). Editors then slept on their designated beds for a period of four weeks, measuring overall comfort and support, sleep improvement, temperature, comfort of various sleep positions, and value. We also evaluated long-term results, measuring wear and tear and any reduction in comfort or support after nine months of use.

At Health, we have our own firmness scale, where we rate mattresses from 1 to 5, from soft to extra firm. While you might see a mattress rating out of 10 when browsing manufacturer websites, we measure out of 5 because, in practice, there’s not much difference between all 10 levels of firmness. More importantly, you won’t see many mattresses at either extreme of the 10-scale. We’ve decided to keep our scale to the middle of that scale and rate them out of 5 so you know what to expect.

Health


 Firmness Level  Description  Who It’s Best For
1 Soft: These mattresses offer the lowest level of support and the highest level of “sinking in” Potentially back and side sleepers; these may work for people in smaller bodies, but ultimately they won’t provide much support 
2 Soft Plus: A soft sink with some added support for alignment, typically from coils  Sleepers looking for a lot of pressure relief around the shoulders and hips; people in smaller bodies 
3 Medium: You’ll still have some level of sink, but your spine should be in alignment and well-supported  Side sleepers; will also work for most sleepers, aside from those who sleep exclusively on their stomachs
4 Firm: These offer sturdy support with very little sink  People with back pain who need a little extra alignment; stomach sleepers
5 Extra Firm: The highest level of support. You’ll find little to no conforming. People with larger bodies or anyone who likes a firm sleeping surface

Though these mattresses didn’t top our recommendations, they still may be of interest to you:

  • Linenspa Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress: At first, this mattress felt like a game-changer. Not just super comfortable—it also helped with back and hip soreness. After nine months of use, however, the mattress lost its structure and became saggy, and the back pain has returned
  • Lucid Memory Foam Mattress: Despite the manufacturer labeling this mattress as “firm,” we found we could push our hands almost all the way to the bed frame. While sleeping on our backs, our spines sank into a C shape, leading to discomfort and pain. Side sleeping felt slightly better, though we’d caution that the plushness of this mattress made it a lot less supportive than other mattresses we tried.

What other ways can I save money on a mattress? 

Dr. Wu suggests waiting for sales or season specials, bundle discounts or other online coupon codes. And it’s worth noting that during testing we’ve seen major discounts across several brands. Dr. Dasgupta suggests being open to buying floor models or slightly imperfect mattresses to take advantage of higher-end mattresses at a discount. Dr. Shah suggests identifying the most knowledgeable sales representative at different stores. That way you can cut through the jargon and combine their recommendations with your own trial and error. He also recommends testing before purchase for a minimum of 15 minutes to eliminate risk of getting it wrong. 

Do cheap mattresses have fiberglass, and is it OK to sleep on a mattress with fiberglass?

Our experts were split on whether it’s OK to sleep on a mattress that contains fiberglass. Though they agreed that whether or not you’re allergic to fiberglass should be a major consideration. It’s worth noting that all of our recommended mattresses in this article are fiberglass-free.

Samson McDougall is a journalist, copywriter, editor and biology graduate. His work encompasses everything from web copy for science museums to sexual health articles for universities, info sheets for first-in-category pharmaceuticals to brand messaging for wearable touch therapy by neuroscientists. Samson is a walker, hiker, biker and surfer, and has multiple injuries to show for his active lifestyle. He is a side sleeper and has been prone to insomnia, but having children fixed that.

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