The best cheap mattress in 2021
Cheap doesn’t have to be synonymous with low-quality. In the mattress industry, budget shoppers can get their hands on a low-priced mattress under $800 or less, especially after discounts and promotions are applied. Online, you typically don’t even have to wait for a holiday like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day to get a sweet deal.
I’ve literally tested over 100 different beds, and I’ve come to know what makes a quality mattress. I also know the types of materials and brands you should stay away from if you want your cheap mattress to last you longer than a year or two. It’s not always easy to narrow down your choice when you have so many mattresses to choose from, so I did all the dirty work for you and hand-chose these mattresses from my personal experiences.
Check out our list for the best cheap mattresses on the market where I try to cover all the bases, from budget side sleeper mattresses to wallet-friendly latex beds.
All prices are shown for a queen-size model.
A general rule of thumb is the thicker the mattress, the more supportive it’s going to be. The Casper Element has a 10-inch thickness, similar to popular foam beds like Layla and Puffy, but it costs a fraction of the price. Like Tuft and Needle Nod, the Casper Element has two layers, but the additional two inches makes it slightly more supportive, and more likely to outlast the Nod in the long term.
The Casper Element has a light, airy, classic foam feel that’s soft like memory foam, but way more responsive. The foam will slightly conform to the curves of your body, but it doesn’t give you that sinking feeling that memory foam can. Most people will find it’s really comfortable. The feel isn’t as divisive as memory foam, or even latex foam can be.
It’s a hair firmer than a medium, but it still offers a great balance between pressure relief and support for body types under 230 pounds, regardless if you sleep on your back, side, stomach or a combination of them all. Since the Casper Element is so accommodating and one of the thicker cheap foam mattresses I’ve come across, I believe it deserves a top spot on this list. Casper is also an extremely trustworthy brand who helped set the standard for what quality bed-in-a-box mattresses can be.
Prices start at $395 for a twin size and go up to $795 for a California king.
Allswell comes from one of the most popular low-price retail giants in the world, Walmart. After deciding it wanted to enter the bed-in-a-box mattress game, Walmart introduced the hybrid Allswell mattress. Because hybrid beds’ base layers are made with steel coils rather than foam, they tend to be more pricey to manufacture, and in turn, are sold for more. Though, that isn’t the case with the Allswell mattress. It’s one of the most affordable hybrid mattresses I’ve ever seen, making it a suitable choice for all body sizes, including larger bodies over 230 pounds.
In total it’s around 10 inches thick — similar to popular, standard foam beds — and in the bottom you can find a 6-inch layer of pocketed coils. It’s the secret sauce to the Allswell’s supportive design and is topped with a few foam layers, including the 3/4-inch of gel memory foam quilted into the top cover.
It doesn’t feel like memory foam where your handprint lasts a few moments before bouncing back to normal. It bounces back pretty quickly, and the pillow top adds a slight plushy feel. I think the innerspring layer makes it feel a little more firm, though, making me rate it around a six or seven out of 10 on the firmness scale. It’s only slightly firmer than a medium, making it suitable for most sleepers. The only person who may not love this bed is a lightweight side sleeper who loves an extra-plush bed.
Prices start at $265 for a twin and go up to $465 for a California king, but that’s just before discounts are applied.
With a four-and-a-half-star rating and over 2,000 reviews, I have to go ahead and agree with the users about this mattress. With free shipping for Prime users, the Tuft & Needle Nod is an Amazon exclusive with a simple two-layer all-foam design that suits most sleepers under 230 pounds. It doesn’t feature any special bells and whistles, but you’re in the market for the best cheap mattress, not the best mattress your savings account can buy. It offers classic, neutral comfort and is seriously affordable.
It starts with a base layer about 5.5 inches thick. The top layer is super-airy and responsive, unlike memory foam. It’s also a little more breathable than your typical memory foam mattress because the foam is more aerated. Both layers stack up to 8 inches in total.
Tuft & Needle is a reputable brand that became so popular because its mattresses offer comfort without all the hoopla. It’s one of the reasons why I think it’s the best cheap mattress on Amazon, as some Amazon sellers can be a little… unreliable. When shopping for an inexpensive mattress, it’s tempting to buy something with the lowest price on Amazon, but you’re better off buying from a reputable brand.
Right now the twin is sold out, but prices start at $287 for a twin XL and max out at $518 for a California king. Because this mattress is sold through Amazon, prices are subject to change often.
Back pain sufferers should invest a little more money than one normally would to ensure their new bed promotes proper spinal support, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay an arm and a leg. Brooklyn Bedding is another reputable mattress company, and is one of the few that owns its own manufacturing centers. This allows it to cut out the middle man, resulting in a quality, inexpensive mattress for sleepers like you.
Point blank, this mattress offers one of the best values on the market. Its base is made with over 1,000 6-inch thick pocketed steel coils for extra support, and it’s topped with 3 more inches of foam for comfort. The first time I saw it, I had reverse sticker shock. I expected it to cost way more than it did, and it’s as comfortable as it is premium-looking.
Aside from its supportive base, it also has a medium-firm firmness level around seven, which will help keep your spine in neutral alignment with your neck and head. You sleep more on top of the mattress than you do inside the layers, an ideal scenario for back and stomach sleepers struggling with back pain. It’s also bouncy and more responsive than memory foam, which I know is a plus for a lot of mattress shoppers.
Let’s get to this bed’s bread and butter. The prices of a Brooklyn Bedding Bowery mattress start at $549 for a twin and go up to $1,099 for a California king, though keep in mind that’s without discounts applied. Discounts can typically take $100-$200 off the price.
Value hunters who love memory foam should seriously consider the Bear Original mattress. It’s made with graphite-gel memory foam so it doesn’t retain heat like old memory foam mattresses used to, and it provides that signature hugging feel memory foam has become known for. One of the best parts in my opinion, besides price, is its Celliant-infused cover.
Celliant is a type of material that absorbs your body heat and disperses it back into your body as infrared energy. Long story short, it’s supposed to boost circulation and oxygen levels in your body, helping you wake up with more energy. There isn’t a way for me to scientifically test this technology, but it’s a pretty darn good perk for a bed with this kind of price tag. All I can say for sure, though, is it’s seriously comfortable to sleep on.
The Bear Original has three foam layers and measures 10 inches thick. It’s best for people who weigh under 230 pounds, and its medium to medium-firm profile is most ideal for back, stomach and combination sleepers. Some side sleepers will be completely fine with this bed, but those under 150 pounds who strictly sleep on their side might want a softer bed.
Prices start at $695 for a twin and go up to $1,095 for a California king, but discounts will typically bring those prices down by $100 or more.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.