Best Mattress Guides

Best Mattresses Under $500

Gone are they days when mattress shopping on a budget meant sacrificing comfort and special features.

By Natalie Yerger

Shopping for a mattress on a limited budget can sound like a challenging task. The majority of queen-size mattresses range anywhere from $700 to more than $3,000, with so many things impacting their cost. Thankfully the growth of the mattress industry has meant the introduction of more low-cost mattresses that are relatively comfortable, quality mattresses for their price.

In this article, we’re sharing our top five value mattress picks that cost less than $500 for a queen size. You’ll learn why each mattress made our list, details about their construction and any special features, and which might be the best mattress for you.

We’ve also included a shopper’s guide for buying a mattress under $500. In the guide, you’ll find pointers for finding the best value mattress that fits your budget and sleeping style as well as important considerations to keep in mind when buying a bed on the cheap.

Disclosure: By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Nerd may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

Best Mattresses Under $500 of 2020

Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

Best Queen Mattress

The Zinus Green Tea is the best mattress under $500 for those who want to choose their mattress’ thickness and firmness level, with four options to suit a variety of preferences, body shapes, and sleeping styles.

Type

Memory Foam

Firmness

Varies

Thickness

6-12

Warranty

10 year limited warranty

The Zinus Green Tea is our choice for sleepers who want to stay within their modest budgets but have the option to choose their mattress’ thickness and firmness level. Shoppers can choose from four models, including a 6-inch firm option, an 8-inch firm option, a 10-inch medium-firm option, and a 12-inch medium option.

All four versions of the Zinus Green tea are covered in a jacquard-knit cover that’s soft to the touch. They also all feature a two-part comfort system that has a layer of green tea-infused memory foam and a second layer of polyfoam. You can actually smell the aroma of green tea upon the mattress’ arrival, and the fresh scent helps eliminate any off-gassing odors produced by the mattress’ unboxing. 

Regardless of the height and firmness you choose, every Zinus Green Tea mattress has a support core made from high-density foam. The taller version of the mattress contains thicker comfort and support layers that are the primary contributors to the different feels and firmnesses each of the four mattress options have. We recommend this bed if you’re hoping to customize your affordable mattress to your needs. 

Read our full Zinus Mattress Review to learn more! 

Amazon Rivet

Best Memory Foam

The Amazon Rivet is known for a pressure-relieving, restorative sleep. 3-layer foam design instantly responds to your body to help you fall asleep.

Type

Memory Foam

Firmness

6.5

Thickness

10"

Warranty

10-year

This memory foam mattress is complete with a supercharged cover with celliant, used to distribute oxygen to the cells aiding in muscle recovery. The Rivet prides itself on helping sleepers fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply once asleep. The LURAcor top layer of the mattress provides support to align your spine and relieve pressure in the hips and shoulders. The product is made in the USA with CertiPUR US foam and backed by a 10-year warranty for quality, and safety.

The Amazon Rivet ships to your door in a box and can be used on most any bases and foundations. It comes with a 100-night risk-free trial and is great for sleepers who tend to get hot at night.

See all of our picks for Best Mattresses on Amazon to learn more! 

Linenspa 10" Hybird

Best Medium-Firm

Amazon’s #1 best seller in “mattresses,” the Linenspa 10” Hybrid is under $500 in all sizes. Reviewers note that it is “brilliantly comfortable” for the cost.

Type

Hybrid

Firmness

6

Thickness

10

Warranty

10 year limited warranty

Mattress Nerd’s pick for the best medium-firm mattress under $500 is the Linenspa 10” Hybrid. While the price of a mattress and the comfort level are usually closely correlated, the Linenspa Hybrid proves that a budget-friendly mattress can deliver a cozy, comfortable, great night’s sleep

This mattress will suit most sleeping positions, heights, and weights. The mattress contains a thick layer of conforming memory foam that helps alleviate pressure points and coils that are relatively quiet thanks to the foam layer on top. 

Altogether, the mattress measures 10” thick. This is slightly thicker than most mattresses under $500, which usually have a profile that measures 8” or thinner. Conveniently delivered in a small box that’s easy to carry up the stairs of an apartment or dorm room, the Linenspa 10” Hybrid is comfortable, affordable, and easy to set up.  

Lucid 10" Hybrid Bamboo

Best Hybrid

Hybrids, typically the priciest mattresses in the industry, can be difficult to find under $500. This is a high-performing hybrid with thoughtful materials that won’t break the bank.

Type

Hybrid

Firmness

6

Thickness

10

Warranty

10 year warranty

The average cost for a hybrid is typically in the thousands, but the Lucid Hybrid is under $500 in all sizes. Its outward appearance could pass for that of a hybrid that costs $2,000 or more, and its constructed with high-quality materials relative to its price point. Surprisingly, it’ll cost you less than $400 for a queen size

The Lucid 10” Hybrid contains a 2.5” bamboo, charcoal, and an aloe-vera-infused layer of memory foam, a 2” layer of support foam that acts as a transitional layer, and individually encased steel coils. The steel coils and top-layer infusions keep the mattress cool and breathable, which is especially appealing for those who sleep hot at night. See: Best Cooling Mattresses

The Lucid comes with a 10-year limited warranty, free shipping and returns, and a 100-night risk-free trial. This mattress has all the bells and whistles of a hybrid for a fraction of the cost. Sleepers will enjoy its cooling properties, its ability to provide pressure relief and enduring support, and the generous product policies that come with it.

Classic Brands Cool Gel 10”

Best Breathable

The Classic Brands 10” Cool Gel mattress draws heat away from your body so that you stay cool throughout the night—an appealing quality if you tend to sleep hot.

Type

Memory Foam

Firmness

6

Thickness

10

Warranty

10 year warranty

Mattresses designed to address certain sleeper issues, like overheating, can sometimes cost more due to the additional materials used in their construction. It isn’t impossible, however, to find a mattress that addresses night time overheating for less than $500, and the Classic Brands Cool Gel proves it. 

The highlight of this affordable memory foam mattress is its breathability. The gel memory foam in the top layer is made from a unique material that helps disperse body heat and create a cooler sleeping surface while retaining the bed’s pressure-relieving properties. The transitional and base layer beneath this comfort layer provides bounce and reinforce the bed, respectively, while adding to the mattress’ temperature neutrality. 

The Classic Brands Cool Gel 10” contains a 2” cool gel memory foam layer, two 2” gel supportive layers, and a 4.5” high-density base layer. It’s also adjustable base friendly, CertiPUR-US certified, and ships as a bed-ina-box for easy setup. The Classic Brands Cool Gel comes with a 100-night trial, free shipping and returns, and a 10-year warranty—product policies that are roughly equivalent to those of memory foam mattresses that cost thousands more.

What Type of Mattress Can You Get Under $500? 

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses typically contain layers of memory foam and a high-density support core. While they typically have a lower lifespan than hybrid and innerspring mattresses, especially at the under $500 price point, they offer the best pressure relief and motion isolation of all mattress styles. We recommend looking into memory foam mattresses under $500 if comfort, minimal motion transfer, and pressure relief are at the top of your list. Alternatively, if you’re concerned about temperature neutrality, edge support, or durability, other mattress styles may be a better choice for you. See: Best Memory Foam Mattresses 

Innerspring 

Innerspring mattresses are the most traditional types of mattresses on the market, and they’ve been around the longest. A traditional innerspring mattress, not to be confused with a hybrid mattress, combines a grid of coils with a top layer of wool or padding. The spring systems of innerspring mattresses offer a high amount of durability and support, but some complain that the springs aggravate pressure points and are uncomfortable regardless of the amount of foam in the top layers. If you like a bouncy, responsive feel and don’t require much pressure point relief, an innerspring mattress could be a good choice for you. Innersprings also tend to be the most inexpensive mattresses on the market, which is an added bonus if you’re purchasing the bed for a temporary living setup or have a very tight budget. See: Best Innerspring Mattresses 

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are among the most expensive mattresses available today—and for good reason. These beds combine comfort foams, transitional layer foams, and pocketed innerspring into a single construction, taking from the best of both worlds to create a superior bed. Foams provide pressure point relief and can create a variety of firmness feels, while the pocketed coils at the bed’s core provide bounce and durability, and improve breathability. Despite hybrid models’ tendencies to be costly, some are available for less than $500. See Best Hybrid Mattresses

Latex

Latex mattresses, made from latex sourced from rubber trees, are growing popularity thanks to their eco-friendliness, breathability, and excellent pressure relief. However, it is difficult to find a latex mattress for less than $500 that isn’t made with synthetically produced latex foams. If you do find a latex mattress on a budget, be sure to pay attention to the process through which the latex is made. Dunlop and Talalay latex are the two types of latex, and each type has unique properties. If you like the feeling of “floating on” a mattress, you may enjoy a latex bed. See: Best Latex Mattresses

Other Considerations For Mattress Shopping on a Budget 

When deciding on the best mattress under $500, the type of mattress and your budget are two of the most important considerations. However, there are other factors to consider, which we outline below.

Sleep Trial Period

Most mattresses sold online now come with a sleep trial, which provides customers with a predetermined number of nights to adjust to the new mattress and return it if it isn’t a good fit. This allows you to have several weeks or months (sometimes up to a year) to decide if the mattress suits your preferences and sleeping style. Most mattresses at average and higher-than-average price points come with sleep trials, but these can be more difficult to find among low-cost mattresses. We recommend looking for an affordable mattress with a sleep trial period of at least 30 days, given that affordable mattresses are more likely to be made with low-cost materials that may sleep uncomfortably.

See: Best Afforable Mattresses 

Mattress Warranty

A mattress warranty covers physical defects in the mattress including sagging, coils breaking or popping out of the side, foams on top bunching, and more. Some of the mattresses we’ve listed above come with a 10-year warranty, but we recommend reading the fine print to ensure that what the warranties cover is substantial. That being said, since your mattress will ultimately cost less than $500, a generous warranty period with great coverage shouldn’t be a dealbreaker in your decision like it would be if you were investing in a high-end mattress.

Shipping and Return Policies

When purchasing a mattress online, oftentimes shipping is free. This has become the industry standard for most mattress companies and third-party mattress retailers, and this standard is maintained in the under $500 price category. Access to free shipping will vary based on where you live; for example, many companies do not ship free to Alaska and Hawaii, which aren’t considered part of the contiguous United States. Most returns are free and will come with a full refund minus shipping costs.

We recommend reviewing the company or retailer’s return policy prior to purchase. Make special note of whether the mattress company or third-party-retailer will pick up the mattress and re-box it from your home if you decide it isn’t for you. See: Best Bed in a Box 

Sales and Discounts

Even if the mattress you’re purchasing won’t be the most expensive piece of furniture you own, it’s still a several hundred dollar investment. There’s no “best time” to buy a mattress, but well-known shopping and sales seasons can give you an edge on price. Look for discounts and promotions around Christmas, Black Friday, Easter, Presidents’ Day, and July Fourth. Some mattress brands and third-party retailers even offer discounts to first-time buyers.

Durability

Durability is one mattress quality we recommend looking for regardless of the style. How “good” a mattress feels is subjective, but the ability to hold up year after year isn’t. A mattress’ lifespan is determined by its structure, the quality of its materials, and how well it is cared for. Most average-cost mattresses last between 7 to 10 years, but we think a good life expectancy for a mattress under $500 is 3 to 7 years.

Temperature Neutrality

If you or your partner sleep hot, we recommend looking for mattresses that incorporate materials and designs that improve breathability. For example, most all-foam beds retain heat, but some manufacturers will infuse the top layer with temperature neutral materials like copper and gel. Hybrid and innerspring mattresses tend to sleep cooler, thanks to the airflow allowed through the mattresses’ springs.

Edge Support

Edge support refers to the mattress’s ability to maintain its shape when pressure is exerted on the outer edges of the mattress. This is an important feature to consider if you have trouble getting in and out of bed, as sagging edges can make this much more difficult. Edge support can be tested by sitting on the side of the mattress and measuring how much sagging occurs. The best mattresses have thick foam encasements to improve edge support, but some cheaper mattresses have steel rods on their sides. 

Firmness Level

Finding a mattress under $500 that’s a good fit for you is much easier when you understand mattress firmness level scales and know which firmness level best suits your needs. Mattress firmness refers to how soft or firm the bed feels to an individual sleeper. While subjective, it’s ranked on a scale of 1 to 10 that corresponds with very soft to very firm. The right firmness for you will vary based on your weight, height, preferred sleeping position, and personal preferences for the feel of the bed.

Picking the Best Mattress Under $500 for You

Below, we walk you through crucial considerations when it comes to choosing the best mattress under $500 for your unique situation. Use this as a checklist prior to purchasing your budget mattress to ensure you’ve taken the most important factors into consideration. 

What’s the mattress intended for? Are you buying it for short-term living accommodation or a permanent space, like a guest bedroom in your home? How often the bed will be used and how long you plan to own it should impact how much money you spend.

Budget: Any mattress under $500 is suited for shoppers with a small budget. If you have a budget of less than $250, you may have trouble finding high-quality, queen-sized mattresses in any style at that price point. If that’s the case, consider an air mattress or a sleeping mat instead.

Construction preferences: Have you slept better on memory foam, innerspring, or hybrid mattresses in the past? Do you like the feel of memory foam or prefer the bounce and breathability of a hybrid? Your personal preferences should impact the type of mattress you purchase.

Do you sleep hot? If you tend to sweat or sleep warm throughout the night, we recommend looking into mattresses’ qualities that improve breathability and temperature neutrality. These will increase the likelihood that you sleep undisrupted. 

Do you sleep with a partner or a pet? If you sleep alone, your mattress choice is 100% up to you. If you sleep with a partner, you’ll need to take their weight, size, sleeping position, and comfort preferences into account. We also recommend looking for beds that isolate motion well if you or your partner (or pet) toss and turn throughout the night.

What’s your preferred sleeping position? Stomach sleepers, back sleepers, side sleepers, and combination sleepers each have unique needs when it comes to firmness, pressure point relief, and other mattress qualities. The mattress that’s most “well suited” for you will depend primarily on your sleeping position and weight. For example, lightweight side sleepers need relief at the hips and shoulders, and they typically need an extra soft, plush bed that allows them to sink in rather than rest on top of the mattress.

Durability: Similar to budget, the importance of the mattress’ longevity is dependent on how often you plan to use it and how long you want the bed to last. If it’s a mattress for a short-term (less than one year) setup, durability shouldn’t be a big factor. If you want it to last you more than two years, durability is essential to consider.

Return and trial policies: As mentioned, most online mattress companies and third-party retailers now offer extensive (up to 100+ nights) sleep trials, regardless of how much the bed costs. If you’re the “try it before you buy it” type, look for a mattress with a generous sleep trial period and friendly policies for returns, like white glove pickup and re-boxing.

Conclusion

Finding a mattress when you have a tight budget is easier than ever thanks to today’s wide variety of options. What’s difficult is finding deciding on the mattress you want to purchase. Use the style of mattress and your budget to steer you in the right direction. From there, use our list of shopping considerations in the buyer’s guide to making your decision. We hope this guide to the best mattress under $500 gets you started off on the right foot in making your budget mattress purchase with confidence!

If you still need guidance in your mattress buying journey, check out our ultimate mattress buying guide and our best mattresses of 2020.

Recap: Best Rated Mattresses Under $500 

Mattress  Award  Price of a Queen 
Zinus Green Tea Best Queen Mattress ~$289.00
Amazon Rivet Best Memory Foam ~$500.00
Linenspa 10” Hybrid Best Medium-Firm ~$249.00
Lucid 10” Hybrid Bamboo Best Hybrid ~$362.00
Classic Brands Cool Gel 10” Best Breathable Mattress ~$280.00

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