Best Mattress Guides

Best Mattresses Under $500

Whether you’re a college student moving into a new apartment or a married couple trying to pinch pennies, it’s important to find a mattress that suits your budget and your body type. Look through our top picks for inspiration.

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 over $3,000. Lucky for budget-conscious shoppers, the growth of the mattress industry has meant the introduction of lower-cost mattresses that are relatively comfortable, quality beds for their price.

In this article, we’re sharing our top five mattress picks that cost less than $500 for a Queen size. You’ll learn why each mattress made our list, find out details about their construction and discover their special features and selling points. By the end, we expect you’ll find several great beds for a small budget. That’s a win-win!

At the bottom of this page, you’ll find a buyer’s guide for purchasing 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 2021

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. It has four thickness options to suit a variety of preferences, body shapes and sleeping styles.

Zinus Green Tea Mattress
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” firm option, an 8” firm option, a 10” medium-firm option, and a 12” medium option.

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

Regardless of the height and firmness you choose, every Zinus Green Tea mattress has a support core made from high-density foam. The taller versions of the mattress contain thicker comfort and support layers, which give each of them a softer feel than the 6” and 8” tall mattresses. 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 promoting pressure-relieving, restorative sleep. A three-layer foam design instantly responds to your body to help keep you comfortable.

Amazon Rivet
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 and aid 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 certified foam. It’s also backed by a 10-year warranty.

The Amazon Rivet mattress ships to your door vacuum-packed 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 the 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.

linenspa hero image
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 night of sleep.

This mattress will suit most sleeping positions, heights, and weights. The mattress contains a thick layer of closely conforming memory foam that helps alleviate pressure points. It also includes 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

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

10 inch Bamboo Hybrid Lucid
Type

Hybrid

Firmness

6

Thickness

10

Warranty

10 year warranty

The average cost for a hybrid mattress is typically at least a thousand dollars, 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 it is 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 help keep the mattress cool and breathable, which is especially appealing for those who sleep hot at night. The Lucid 10″ Hybrid’s construction mimics the construction of many other beds on our best cooling mattresses list.

The Lucid comes with a 10-year limited warranty, free shipping 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.

classicbrands10coolinggel
Type

Memory Foam

Firmness

6

Thickness

10

Warranty

10 year warranty

Mattresses designed to address certain sleeper issues, like overheating, can sometimes cost more because of the additional materials used in their construction. It isn’t impossible, however, to find a mattress that addresses nighttime overheating for less than $500: The Classic Brands Cool Gel mattress 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” mattress contains a 2” cool gel memory foam layer, two 2” gel supportive layers, and a 4.5” high-density base layer. It also works with an adjustable base, includes CertiPUR-US certified form and ships as a bed-in-a-box for easy setup. The Classic Brands Cool Gel bed comes with a 100-night trial, free shipping and returns, and a 10-year warranty.

What Type of Mattress Can You Get Under $500? 

Memory Foam

The best 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. Also, memory foam mattresses are the most likely to emit an off-gassing odor when unboxed, but it usually fades within 24 hours.

Related: Is Mattress Off-Gassing Dangerous?

Innerspring 

Innerspring mattresses are the most traditional types of mattresses on the market, and they’ve been around the longest. A traditional innerspring 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 cushioning 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. For more great innerspring bed options, check out our best innerspring mattresses page.

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 innersprings into a single construction, taking from the best of both worlds. The best hybrid mattresses have foams that 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.

Latex

Latex mattresses, made from latex sourced from rubber trees, are growing in 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, and discern whether the latex will suit your needs. 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. Our best latex mattresses page includes our top picks for beds that use this material.

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 even 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. Still, among the best affordable mattresses shoppers can still discover great policies. 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 not feel comfortable to every sleeper.

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 bed-in-a-box 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 U.S. Many 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 note of whether the mattress company or third-party-retailer will pick up the mattress from your home and re-box it if you decide it isn’t for you.

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 three to seven years. Also, keep in mind, there are ways to prevent or even fix mattress sagging.

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.

Materials

As we say often here at Mattress Nerd, the construction of a mattress can make or break its feel. The mattress industry is quite diverse, and manufacturers compete to concoct the most unique beds. From cooling gel to hypoallergenic materials and eco-friendly layers, mattresses have come a long way in the last few decades.

Still, some of these mattress products remain more expensive than others, and a $500 budget can preclude many beds that include, say latex foam. Gel memory foam and contouring coils are possible with a $500 mattress, but many beds in this lower price range have an all-foam construction with a simple fabric cover.

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.

Related: What is Edge Support in a Mattress?

Firmness Level and Lumbar Support

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, our team ranks mattresses on a scale of 1 to 10, from extremely soft to extremely 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. Most importantly, shoppers should consider the link between mattress firmness and lumbar support. Stomach and back sleepers tend to need firmer mattresses to help with lumbar support and avoid back pain, while side sleepers need softer beds to keep their spine aligned. Our best mattresses for stomach sleepers article has much more information, as well as our best mattresses for back sleepers and best mattresses for side sleepers pages. If you switch positions often at night, our list of the best mattresses for combination sleepers will come in handy.

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, or consider borrowing an unneeded mattress from a friend.

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 may 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 completely 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. You can find some great options on our best mattresses for couples list.

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 best 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. To find durability, look for a bed that has good edge support, meaning it doesn’t buckle too much at the edge when you sit down on the perimeter.

Return and trial policies: As mentioned, many online mattress companies and third-party retailers now offer extensive sleep trials that last several months, 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 and readily available online retailers. What’s difficult is 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 2021.

Recap: Best Rated Mattresses Under $500 

Mattress  Award  Price of a Queen 
Zinus Green Tea Best Queen Mattress $270.99
Amazon Rivet Best Memory Foam $504.62
Linenspa 10” Hybrid Best Medium-Firm $249.99
Lucid 10” Hybrid Bamboo Best Hybrid $399.99
Classic Brands Cool Gel 10” Best Breathable Mattress $284.67