Best Mattress For The Money

Let Us Help You Find The Best Value Mattress For Your Budget

 

When you’re looking for a new bed, you want the best mattress for the money. Everyone has different needs from softness to firmness, to materials preference, and how much you want to pay. Consider that you spend one-third of your life on your mattress, it’s more than just a casual purchase, it’s an investment in your health and well-being.

If you’ve decided to spend as little as possible, you might want to reconsider. A study by RAND Corporation showed that America’s economy loses $411 billion a year due to sleep deprivation. Poor sleep can leave you working at less than potential and could affect your earnings ability. What’s more disturbing is that people who sleep less than six hours a night have a 13% greater mortality risk!

Even given the importance of good sleep, obviously your budget is a concern. What you don’t want is a cheap mattress. Just know that you can spend thousands on a mattress that doesn’t perform well, or you can do your homework, shop carefully, and get an affordable mattress that meets your needs. Research is important to make sure you get the best bed for the money.

First, let’s look at where to shop.

In-Store or Online?

 

When shopping online, you’re in the comfort of your home where you can take your time, comparison shop, check out reviews, and it’s all about you. On the flip side, shopping in a mattress or department store means you’ll deal with salespeople with an agenda. Your goal is to get the best mattress for you. Their goal is to close the deal and get a hefty commission.

There are a wide array of online competitors, and their markups are far less than mattress stores. Mattress and department stores have high overhead driven by the costs of buying and building multiple locations, maintaining lots of inventory, and paying sales commissions. In comparison, online retailers are more streamlined and often make beds on demand to keep costs low.

If you’re concerned that you can’t buy a bed without sleeping on it first, here are some considerations:

 

  • You can’t tell much about a bed by lying on it for a few minutes in a store.
  • Research shows people are rarely satisfied with a bed they buy after a brief store test.
  • Lengthy sleep trials let you test the bed at home, so you know how it really performs.
  • You get a full refund during the sleep night trial if the bed doesn’t work for you.

 

There’s also much confusion around buying a mattress in a store. Manufacturers that sell in showrooms promote the same mattress in a variety of stores under different model names to confuse you and try to prevent comparative research. Then there’s the lingo used to misdirect customers and the high-pressure sales tactics.

No matter where you end up buying, since shopping online is much more convenient, why not start there? Next, you’ll see a glimpse of our top five best beds for the money and the steps to take to pick the best value mattress for you.

Our Top Five Mattresses For The Money

 

Manufacturer Model Mattress Type Firmness Price*
 Casper Essential Casper Essential Foam 5-6 $600
 Luxi ONE LUXI One Foam 4 $799
 Nectar NECTAR Memory Foam 6.5 $795
 SleepOnLatex SleepOnLatex Latex 3, 6, and 9 $899
 Tomorrow Sleep Tomorrow Sleep Foam Hybrid 4 and 6 $890

*All prices are for a queen-sized bed

 

How to Choose a Mattress

 

Step 1: Choose Mattress Firmness

 

Before you can shop for a mattress, you need to know what you want. One of the first considerations is a soft versus firm mattress. If you’re comfortable with the firmness of your current mattress, that’s a good starting point. The industry rates mattresses on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 as the softest and 10 as the firmest. Some manufacturers use a different scale but 1-10 is the standard.

 

Firmness

What do the numbers mean?

If you want a firmer bed, look for ones rated 6 and above. If you want softer, go below 5 on the scale. However, you should know that most people sleep more comfortably on a medium-soft bed. Buying at either end of the scale, at 1 or 10, is likely to leave you with a mattress that’s too extreme of a sleep experience. Here’s more info to interpret the numbers:

  • 1 – A very soft mattress that you’ll sink into deeply.
  • 2-3 – A soft mattress lets you “sink in” but not excessively.
  • 4-6 – A medium to medium-firm bed conforms but with greater support.
  • 7-9 – A firm bed has greater support with some comfort but little “sink in.”
  • 10 – A very firm mattress is rigid, with little pressure relief or contour.

 

What makes a bed soft or firm?

There are three basic mattress materials (foam, latex, and innerspring) which we’ll discuss below. Any of these materials can be part of a firm or a soft bed. It’s all about the design of the mattress. There are two sections to a mattress: the comfort layer and the support layer. There can be multiple layers within each section. How they’re arranged determines relative firmness.

The support layer (also called the support core) provides support for proper spinal alignment. This layer is critical to mattress firmness. The comfort layer(s) is on top of the core and cushions your pressure points and determines how soft the bed feels, lets you sink into the bed, and contours your body. Choosing a bed that’s too soft or firm can leave you with a poor night’s sleep.

Step 2: Select Mattress Materials

 

Once you know how firm of a bed you want, the next step is deciding what materials you want in your bed. There are three materials in mattresses: latex, foam, and innerspring. Hybrid beds blend materials with innersprings as the support core with latex, foam, or a blend of these as the comfort layer(s). Assessing materials makes sure you get an affordable mattress that’s not a cheap mattress.

Mattress materials determine the cost. Some materials are inherently more expensive, like latex. With others, the quality of the materials drives cost, so it’s important to find a cross-section of quality and affordability. If you shop carefully, you can find the best mattresses under $2,000, the best mattresses under $1,000, and even the best mattresses under $500.

Here’s what you need to know about mattress materials.

Innerspring

Innerspring beds are the most affordable. Innersprings are coils of wire attached to one another that react when you move around on the bed. Most innersprings these days are pocket coils which are steel coils sleeved in fabric attached to one another. Coils provide the support core, and there is usually foam on top to provide the comfort layer(s).

This type of bed sleeps cooler and has nice bounce for sex but may have some noise and can be problematic for motion transfer (the effect when your partner moves and it shakes the mattress). The comfort layer(s) can help reduce motion transfer. Innerspring beds are usually better for heavier people because of the enhanced support to prevent “hammocking.”

Foam

Foam beds are the next in line for mattress affordability. All foam beds now on the market are synthetic products (don’t let sales hype saying otherwise fool you). Foam beds can be polyurethane (polyfoam) or memory foam. Memory foam is denser and provides enhanced sinking in sensation but can sleep hotter. New memory foams are infused with copper or gel and promise cooler sleep.

Polyfoam comes in varieties of regular, high-density (HD), and high-resiliency (HR). HD and HR are best. You don’t want a bed that’s regular polyfoam. Regular foam will break down, and you’ll find yourself replacing a cheap mattress quickly. Stick to HD and HR foams. Foam beds have minimal motion transfer, contour pressure points, but aren’t as springy for sex.

Latex

Latex beds are the Cadillac sleep experience and therefore are costliest. Latex can be natural or synthetic. Natural latex is made from rubber tree sap while synthetic latex is from petrochemicals. Some beds blend both types of latex. This material offers the cushion and comfort you associate with high-quality foam but doesn’t sleep hot at all.

Latex support cores are denser and firmer. Softer latex is used in the comfort layer(s). If you have a high BMI, latex can be a good choice because it’s durable. Motion transfer is very low on a latex bed, and it also offers nice bounce for sex. While latex is costly, it’s also a durable material so a high-quality latex bed will often last longer than those made of other materials.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are blended-materials products. They always have pocket coils as the support layer and might even have two layers of coils separated by foam layers. If a bed doesn’t have pocket coils, it’s not a true hybrid. Hybrids use foam, memory foam, latex, or a combination of these in the comfort layer(s). This type of bed is costlier than most foam and innerspring mattresses.

When shopping for hybrids, you should consider the quality of all the materials. Hybrids sleep cooler than foam beds because of the air-circulating innerspring layer. They offer support and contour and come in an array of firmness options. Look for HD and HR foams and cooling memory foam materials if these are in a hybrid bed you’re considering, plus at least 800 pocket coils in the support layer.

Step 3: Consider Your Preferences

 

Choosing a mattress is a deeply personal experience. If you sleep with a partner, you should both be involved in the process to ensure you both get the quality sleep you need. Mattress selection is entirely subjective. Understanding your sleep cycle, health, and overall fitness can help you make a more informed decision while getting the best value for the money.

What’s your sleep position?

If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll want a bed with a thicker comfort layer and that’s softer to cushion your shoulders and hips. Latex and memory foam may work well for you. If you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll want a firmer bed, so you don’t sink in, strain your neck, or press your face into the bed. You may also want to avoid thicker comfort layers such as memory firm.

 

Choose a Mattress by Sleep Positions

 

If you’re a back sleeper, you should consider medium-firm. Back and side sleepers have more latitude on mattress choice. It’s all about spinal alignment. You want your back to be in a neutral position that doesn’t let your spine sink unnaturally or push it too hard out of position. Reading mattress reviews can help you see which beds will better match your sleep position.

Do you sleep hot or cool?

Some people naturally run hotter at night, and some run cold. If you are a hot sleeper, you’ll want to consider a firmer bed and avoid thick layers of memory foam that can warm you up as you sleep. Latex or a latex hybrid is an excellent choice for a hot sleeper. Colder sleepers benefit from memory foam and thicker comfort layers that allow greater sinking in to warm you using your body heat.

Do you have lower back pain?

People with lower back pain may be tempted to invest in a firm mattress, but research from Harvard shows that medium-firm usually performs better for those with chronic low back pain. Consider a hybrid and latex hybrid if your budget can bear it. If you’re looking at foam or innerspring, carefully check reviews of those with back pain that bought the bed to get more info on a specific model.

Are you a heavier person?

If you weigh more than 300 pounds or have a BMI of 30 or greater, you should assess the quality of mattress materials carefully. Innerspring and latex offer the greatest support for heavier sleepers. If the bed isn’t designed to support your body, the materials can break down quickly, and you might find you hammock into the bed which can cause back pain and excess heat while sleeping.

Are you a lighter person?

If you are considered underweight, you’ll also face some challenges while mattress shopping. If you purchase a firm bed, you might find it painful on your pressure points. Because of your low BMI, you won’t sink in as deeply into standard mattress materials, so consider a bed with a memory foam comfort layer. Shop on the softer side of the firmness spectrum for a bed that contours your body.

Do you have achy joints?

Achy backs and achy joints are two different health issues. A medium-firm bed can benefit back pain but might be too firm for those with tender joints. Look for softer comfort layers to ease the pressure on sensitive joints such as latex or memory foam. If you’re older, be careful not to get too soft of a bed, or you may struggle to change position or get out of the bed.

Do you sleep with a partner?

If you sleep with someone, considering both your needs is critical. When you co-sleep, reducing motion transfer is vital, so you don’t wake each other with movement. Hybrid, latex, and foams are best for this. If you have similar sleep styles and preferences, that’s great. If not, you might want to consider a bed with dual zoned design, so each side of the bed is customized.

Step 4: Set Your Budget

 

When you’re looking for the best mattress for the money, remember this is an investment in a household item that you’ll spend one-third of your life on and keep for 5-10 years. A quality mattress ensures you get a good night’s rest and enjoy optimal health. It’s hard to put a price tag on a good night’s sleep, but everyone needs a budget while mattress shopping.

You can get an excellent mattress for under $2,000, a very good mattress for under $1,000, and a good mattress for around $500. The lower your budget, the more critical it is to do your homework before buying. Also, bear in mind that if you skimp and buy a mattress made of cheaper materials, you’ll have to replace it sooner than you would a quality bed.

If you’re considering buying your mattress on credit (which can allow you to spend more), know that many online mattress sellers offer no or low-interest financing that may be a better deal than charging the bed to a higher-interest credit card. No matter what you decide to spend, ensuring you get the best bed for the money is the goal.

Now that you know more about the type of mattress you want check out our detailed reviews of our top five picks for the best mattress for the money.

Best Mattress For The Money Reviews

 

Getting the best bed for your dollar is at the intersection of your preferences and your budget. Our reviews will show you what’s inside the mattress, pros and cons of each, and why it made our list as one of the best values for your mattress money.

Casper Essential

 

Materials

The Casper Essential is three foam layers in an 8.5” thick mattress designed for durability. The comfort layer is 2” of open cell poly foam for breathability. Under that is a 1” layer of memory foam to contour and relieve pressure. The support core is 5.5” of high-density poly foam, and all in a durable cover.

The Pros

At just $600 for a queen, this is a good value for the price. It’s effective at motion isolation and sleeps cool for a foam bed. The cover is upholstery grade and zips off for easy cleaning. The design is simple, so it’s easy to evaluate and was intentionally designed to be a quality bed at a bargain.

The Cons

The Casper Essential has one firmness option rated at a 5-6. With polyfoam as the support layer, this mattress may not be as durable as others on our top picks  list. Also, the bed as a softer top so the edge support isn’t as rigid as some sleepers might like.

Why Casper Essential Stands Out

This Casper mattress model is a good value with a modest price tag if your budget is tight. Customers report very little off-gassing, and it takes less than half an hour out of the box before it’s sleep-ready. There’s a 100-night sleep trial, 10-year warranty, and optional white glove delivery and set-up.

 

Casper Essential mattress

LUXI One

 

Materials

LUXI One is an all-foam 9” thick bed that’s CertiPUR certified. There’s a dual comfort layer that starts with LuxiTex latex over a unique type of memory foam with shape matching technology. The support core is high-density polyfoam, and all is inside a viscose breathable cover.

The Pros

At $799, it’s an excellent price point for a mattress with latex as one of the components. The bed is noiseless, and the mattress cover is breathable and helps dissipate heat. The latex layer contours nicely and keeps the bed sleeping cool.

The Cons

There’s only one firmness rating at about a 4 which is considered medium-soft and might be too soft for some sleepers. LUXI was launched in 2015, so it has a limited track record, but the materials’ specifications indicate the One mattress should be durable over the long-term.

Why LUXI One Stands Out

This luxury foam mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial to test it in your home plus a 10-year warranty. The support balance tech is unique to LUXI and offers excellent pressure relief. It’s an excellent price point for these quality materials.

 

LUXI One

NECTAR

 

Materials

The NECTAR is a four-layer memory foam 11” design starting with a Tencel® cover over quilted memory foam. Next is patented premium gel memory foam. The support core is heavy, adaptive hi-core memory foam. Under that is a base layer of dense foam with channels for breathability.

The Pros

At $795, the NECTAR is an incredible value. It’s designed for support and cool sleep which can be a challenge with memory foam. The cover wicks heat and moisture. The bed is medium-firm but with excellent softness and hug in the comfort layers.

The Cons

Some buyers scent a slight off-gassing smell as NECTAR unfolds, but it quickly dissipates. The company doesn’t recommend their mattress for stomach sleepers, but many sleepers of this style reviewed this mattress highly. The company started just a few years ago, so is still establishing its reputation.

Why NECTAR Stands Out

The NECTAR mattress comes with a 365-night sleep trial which gives you plenty of time to evaluate their bed. The all-memory foam design promises a quality sleep experience at an extremely competitive price point.

 

NECTAR mattress

SleepOnLatex  

 

Materials

The Pure Green mattress by SleepOnLatex comes in a 7” and 9” option in a two or three-layer design. The support core is 6” of quality natural latex with a 1” quilted organic wool layer. The 9” bed includes an additional 2” comfort layer of all-natural latex.

The Pros

At just $899 for the 7” model, it’s a modest price tag for an organic, all-natural latex bed. The cover can be removed and dry-cleaned. The SleepOnLatex bed is breathable, sleeps cool, and has minimal motion transfer. With three firmness levels, there are plenty of options.

The Cons

If you need the extra 2” thick comfort layer, the cost goes up by $100. It’s a heavy mattress that can be difficult to move alone. While the materials are well-reviewed, SleepOnLatex doesn’t list detailed specs on its latex. Plus, as a newer company, they’re still building a track record.

Why SleepOnLatex Stands Out

With three firmness levels of 3, 6, and 9 and two construction designs, there’s an option for every sleep position. This latex bed is one of the most affordable on the market, particularly since it’s all-natural and organic. SleepOnLatex offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

 

SleepOnLatex Mattress

Tomorrow Sleep

 

Materials

Tomorrow Sleep’s foam hybrid is 10” thick with varied layers depending on which model you choose. The comfort layer is 1” memory foam over airy gel memory foam atop the 6” support core of micro coils on a 1” high-density foam base. The firmer has a 1.5” layer of bounce foam for extra support.

The Pros

At $890, Tomorrow Sleep offers a great price for a quality hybrid with two firmness options. The ventilated rail system offers solid edge support. The phase-change materials cool the bed and let it breathe. It offers the support of innerspring but with an all-foam feel.

The Cons

The bed is heavy and isn’t moveable by one person. Some buyers notice slight off-gassing that fades quickly. Also, it takes a bit longer for the bed to decompress so you need to know you can’t unroll it then sleep on it right away. Tomorrow Sleep is a new company and still developing its rep.

Why Tomorrow Sleep Stands Out

Although Tomorrow Sleep is new, it’s the offshoot of mattress giant Serta. The company offers a 365-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. This high-quality hybrid offers the comfort and hug of memory foam without the drawbacks, and all at a great price point.