The most popular Helix Sleep model, the Helix Midnight is a great option for side sleepers and those with pain concerns.
Finding a balance between comfort and support in a mattress with the right price tag can be a hassle. You don’t want to end up with a cheap mattress that leaves you with aches and pains and gives you a bad night of sleep. However, it is possible to find a bed that works for your comfort preferences at a low price. In this guide, we will teach you what to look for in a mattress and what the appropriate price range is for a decent mattress. Expensive mattresses often feature additional layers, materials or target specific sleeper types, but those bells and whistles are not always needed for a great night’s sleep. One of our top picks is sure to be the right mattress for your body type, comfort preferences and your budget.
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The most popular Helix Sleep model, the Helix Midnight is a great option for side sleepers and those with pain concerns.
Made for side sleepers
Helix Sleep makes several mattresses in a variety of firmness levels, but there is a reason that the Helix Midnight is their best seller. It has a medium-firm feel that suits all types of sleepers, regulates body temperature at night and relieves pressure in sensitive areas of the body, earning it the “editor’s pick” choice in this list.
The Helix Midnight contours around all sizes of side sleepers and most back sleepers to promote spinal alignment and help alleviate back pain in sensitive sleepers. For more mattresses that prevent pain, check our list on the best mattress for hip pain. Similar to the Nectar mattress, its medium-firm feel is pleasing to a wide variety of sleepers, and the addition of the coils provides extra support for stomach sleepers to keep their hips lifted. A queen Helix Midnight costs right around $900, and there is a more elevated “Luxe” version of the Helix Midnight that costs approximately $500 more.
See our full Helix Midnight Mattress Review for more info!
The Casper Element is a supportive, open-cell memory foam mattress.
Comfy and affordable
The Casper Element Mattress is Casper’s baseline, budget model- still considered to be a great bed-in-a-box. It is a medium-firm mattress constructed with three layers of open-cell foam to promote airflow, keeping sleepers cool at night. The design of the Element is simple, which is reflected in the price point but is still thoughtful enough to provide sleepers with the needed support at the back, stomach and side sleepers. We find the Casper brand to consistently provide some of the best mattresses for back sleepers.
Casper is continually refining its design based on customer feedback and testing to make their mattresses better. The Casper Element comes with an easy to remove and clean, zip-off cover, making it perfect for kids, adults and teenagers alike. If you are looking for a durable, affordable, comfortable mattress, the Casper Element may be a perfect fit for you. A queen-size Casper Element mattress sells for approximately $600.
Read our full Casper Element Mattress Review to learn more!
The Nectar is a good mattress for just about any sleeping position. It gives you a close contouring feeling, relieves pressure and promises a great night’s sleep.
Unbeatable trial period
The Nectar is a good mattress for just about any sleeping position. It gives you a close contouring feeling, relieves pressure and promises a great night’s sleep. Most of all, it’s an affordable mattress (a Queen sometimes comes in under $1,000) that delivers a solid cooling performance for its budget-friendly price.
The Nectar Mattress is an 12” tall mattress made with gel memory foam. It is good for almost all sleep positions: back, stomach, side and combination sleepers. Its medium-firm feel makes it a great mattress for side sleepers who need pressure relief while still supporting the spine and hips of back sleepers. For an all-foam mattress, the Nectar is still supportive enough for lighter stomach sleepers and the foam adapts to changing positions for combination sleepers. The mattress is topped with a quilted cover, and it’s a great mattress for hot sleepers who prefer a memory foam mattress. It is also an excellent choice for couples since it minimizes motion transfer and helps keep each partner asleep.
The Nectar’s flagship mattress is made of high-density premium memory foam. But Nectar Sleep also offers advanced models: namely, the Nectar Premier and Nectar Premier Copper. If you are looking for an affordable mattress for you and your partner who have different sleepers positions, the original Nectar is a great fit. The edge support, motion isolation, cooling properties and year-long trial make it one of our top picks for the best cheap cooling mattress. After common deals, a Queen size Nectar mattress retails for approximately $800.
Read our full Nectar Mattress Review to learn more!
Affordable quality for all sleep positions
Leesa is known for making high-quality mattresses at a lower price point than the competition. The Studio by Leesa is no exception. Leesa’s newest mattress features a no-frills 3-layer design measuring 10 inches. The support base is topped with a layer of pressure-relieving foam that takes all the tension off of your hips, shoulders and neck.
The mattress is topped with a layer of breathable comfort foam, ensuring that your body stays cradled and cool. These features are essential for side sleepers, but the mattress is made to suit any sleeping position. If you’re looking for an affordable guest room mattress to impress, or simply have a tighter budget, the Leesa Studio may be a great option.
Read our full Studio by Leesa mattress review to learn more.
Affordable, all natural hybrid
Sometimes it seems that eco-conscious shoppers have to sacrifice budget concerns in order to procure a mattress with a lower carbon footprint. But in the case of the Birch mattress, customers can achieve an all-natural mattress at a competitive price point.
That’s because the Birch mattress is an outpost of mattress giant Helix Sleep. We’ve written plenty on Helix mattresses, including the Helix Dawn and Helix Dusk. But the medium-firm Birch mattress is made with organic cotton, wool and Talalay latex.
Unique AirFoam that cradles the hips and shoulders
Combination sleepers, or people who move around often at night, need a mattress that provides a decent level of responsiveness and facilitates easy movement. For budget shoppers, it can sometimes be difficult to find a responsive mattress at a good price. But the all-foam Nolah mattress offers a good level of responsiveness and superior motion isolation.
Truly a value buy
If you’re a budget shopper, the DreamFoam Chill could be your perfect mattress, ranging from about $199 for a Twin to $449 for a King in the 6” versions—which brings us to height. Interestingly, this bed comes in five thickness options from 6” to 14”. Keep in mind that all these layers are foam, which are not cool to the touch. If you are a hot sleeper, you might like to add the cooling DreamFoam Chill Mattress Topper.
As to firmness, the 10” mattress has more of a medium feel, while the thinner models feel firmer, and the thicker versions are softer. We’d recommend the DreamFoam Chill for lightweight and average-weight sleepers, but it might not be firm and supportive enough for heavyweight folks (230 lbs. plus). Regardless, we think the foam layers should keep most side sleepers and back sleepers supported and comfortable. Perhaps the mattress’s best feature is the 2.5” comfort layer made of gel foam, which keeps delicate joints feeling cradled.
See our DreamFoam Chill Mattress Review for more information.
Top of the line cooling technology
The Cocoon Chill mattress by Sealy is a fantastic value product for its cheap price: a queen size of this mattress comes in at only $930 without any discounts or sales. We also pick the Cocoon as a best mattress for hot sleepers with phase-change material to keep you cool. The Cocoon’s two options for firmnesses – medium soft and extra firm – are perfect for back, stomach, and side sleepers who want a mixture of support and cradling comfort. Depending on the firmness level you select, the base layer of foam will differ in density. Sealy’s Perfect Fit memory foam will top off this mattress regardless of the firmness you choose.
The motion isolating element of the Cocoon Chill is perfect for couples trying to sleep as peacefully – and cheaply – as possible without rolling over and disturbing each other.
See our full Cocoon Chill Mattress mattress review for more information.
The Tuft & Needle original is a memory foam mattress made to suit a wide range of sleepers
Highly favorable customer reviews
The Tuft & Needle Original mattress is Tuft & Needle’s flagship product. It is a firm, memory foam mattress that was built to accommodate a large range of sleepers. It is constructed with proprietary Adaptive foam to provide comfort and support without the sinking feeling. Beneath that is a supportive base of high-density polyfoam to keep you lifted and aligned.
The Tuft & Needle original mattress is a mattress that’s great for a wide range of sleepers and shoppers of all budgets. The Tuft & Needle Original provides great support, cooling properties, and relief to your pressure points. The firm feel of this mattress is best for back and stomach sleepers who need more support for their lower back and hips. Side sleepers and lighter weight sleepers will likely need a plush mattress that is softer under pressure points. A queen-size Tuft & Needle Original mattress sells for around $600.
Read our full Tuft & Needle Mattress Review to learn more!
How much should you pay for a decent mattress? Mattress price is largely dependent on the size of the mattress and construction type. Mattresses can range from around $300 to $7,000, with many options in between the cheapest and the most expensive mattress.
You might be wondering what’s the big deal between a lower end mattress and one that is more expensive? Sure, there are mattresses out there for $300 that provide a place to lay your head, but that’s about it. When shopping for a mattress, there are important considerations that each individual sleeper must evaluate in order to pick the best mattress for their respective budget. For our suggestions, see our list on the best mattress for the money.
Of all the different mattress types available, the most budget-friendly is memory foam. Memory foam mattresses range anywhere from $250 to $1,000 and last roughly 7 years. A durable mattress features a strong support base and a top layer that prevents unnecessary sagging. The best memory foam mattresses use high-density foam to support larger sleepers, combination sleepers or stomach sleepers- in addition to lighter sleepers.
These same sleepers often need mattresses with additional layers and a stronger construction, leading to a higher price. An innerspring mattress provides extra bounce and breathability for hot sleepers, and is often stronger for larger sleepers. Hybrid mattresses combine the foam layers of a memory foam bed and the coil construction of an innerspring mattress. A decent hybrid mattress ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 and lasts about 10 years. Hybrids are more durable than memory foam, and you will pay for that. Latex mattresses can reach prices up to $3,000 because of their naturally sourced materials, which cost more to produce. Latex mattresses often incorporate natural wool or cotton to increase breathability and increase the organic materials within the mattress construction. However, like hybrids, latex mattresses are highly durable, lasting up to 15 years and less likely to sag than layers of foam.
When debating mattress price, quality is key, but the price tag is important too. If you don’t want to compromise on quality but are worried about spending too much, shop online. The best online mattresses are generally cheaper than mattresses sold in a store. That’s because online mattress retailers cut out all the middle man costs, floor markups and salesman tricks. Online mattresses are sold direct-to-consumer, so you don’t have to worry about a salesman trying to make a commission off you. Plus, online retailers often have incredible sales on the best mattresses and many mattresses are available for purchase at third-party retailers like Amazon. Check out our recommendations on the best mattresses on amazon for mattresses available for purchase.
Beware that if you go the cheaper route and purchase a lower quality mattress, you put yourself at risk for a number of negative physical symptoms. These include low back pain, joint pain, waking up achy, and sleep loss that can lead to memory issues, increased blood pressure, weight gain, and depression.
Our best advice is to take your sleep trial period seriously and pay attention to how your body adjusts to the new mattress. Is it supportive enough? Does it wear out easily? Does it limit motion transfer enough? Is there enough edge support? Is your sleep suffering from being on the mattress? Most brands give you an average of 100 nights to try the bed out, so take it seriously and pay attention to how your sleep changes as a result of sleeping on the mattress.
|Helix Midnight||Editor’s Pick||4.8/5|
|Casper Element||Best Affordable Mattress in a Box||4.6/5|
|Nectar||Best Affordable Cooling Mattress||4.7/5|
|Studio by Leesa||Best For Pressure Relief||4.8/5|
|Birch||Best Organic Mattress||4.9/5|
|Nolah||Best Affordable Mattress for Combo Sleepers||3.4/5|
|DreamFoam Chill||Best Affordable Foam Mattress||4.8/5|
|Cocoon by Sealy||Best Cheap Queen Mattress||4.4/5|
|Tuft & Needle||Best Affordable King Mattress||4.7/5|
Finding a high quality, budget-friendly mattress may not be as hard as you think. Check out our top picks for mattresses under $1,000.
Mattress shopping on a budget doesn't have to mean sacrificing comfort and special features. Check out our top 5 picks for mattresses under $500 in 2020.