When We Say Best Affordable Mattresses, We’re Talking Queens Under $600
Budget-friendly doesn’t mean bad quality.
Published Sep 21, 2021 1:59 AM
You don’t need a degree in mathematics to know that we spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so it should come as no surprise that choosing the right mattress can really make an impact on your quality of life. After all, the right one can mean the difference between sleepless nights and waking up refreshed. That doesn’t mean, however, that hunting for the best mattress—depending on your sleep style, body temperature, and type of material—should be a challenge or drain your account. Whether you’re looking for a mattress in a box or checking out some millennial-favorite brands, we’ve done the research to address your biggest concerns: How long a mattress should last, when you should replace it, and where you can find the most budget-friendly options.
Ready to invest in rest but not break the bank? Take a look at our recommendations for the best affordable mattresses on the market, all priced to queen size. You can thank us after you’ve enjoyed some of that coveted beauty sleep.
- Best overall: Casper Element Mattress
- Best value: Mainstays Memory Foam Mattress
- Best for side sleepers: Sweetnight Sunkiss Memory Foam Mattress
- Best memory foam: IKEA Matrand Memory Foam Mattress
- Best hybrid: Allswell Home The Allswell Mattress
- Best for hot sleepers: Sweetnight Breeze Memory Foam Mattress
- Best for couples: Sweetnight Twilight Hybrid Mattress
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Firmness: The firmness of a mattress is a subjective matter, but most mattresses fall within three general categories: soft, medium, and firm. It is usually dependent on your preferred sleeping position, with side and back sleepers often looking for a softer mattress, and stomach sleepers seeking a firmer option, says family practice physician Peter Bailey. Looking to relieve back pain? “Medium-level firmness tends to be good for pressure and tension relief for people with lower back pain,” says Alex Savy, a certified sleep science coach and the founder of SleepingOcean.com.
Quality: Think of a mattress like a sandwich composed of many different components. Quality mattresses will not only be constructed of high-density foam that provides the structure you need, but will be layered in a way that optimizes both comfort and support. This usually means a heavier, denser foam (or coils) on the bottom, and lighter, softer foam on top that gives in to your body weight.
Packaging and delivery: Most foam and hybrid mattresses that are ordered online arrive in a box for easy shipping and delivery. After it‘s taken out of the box, the mattress can typically be released from its vacuum-sealed bag and unrolled, after which it might take a few days to fully inflate and reach its final depth. One note to keep in mind: Just because it‘s in a box doesn‘t mean it‘s easy for one person to pick up and maneuver!
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Casper Element Mattress
Best Value: Mainstays Memory Foam Mattress
Best for Side Sleepers: Sweetnight Sunkiss Memory Foam Mattress
Best Memory Foam: IKEA Matrand Memory Foam Mattress
Best Hybrid: Allswell Home The Allswell Mattress
Best for Hot Sleepers: Sweetnight Breeze Memory Foam Mattress
Best for Couples: Sweetnight Twilight Hybrid Mattress
Pro Tips for Buying an Affordable Mattress
- Some foam or hybrid mattresses can be thicker than traditional mattresses at 12 to 20 inches high (standard mattresses clock in at 8 to 12 inches). This means that the fitted sheets you already have may not fit anymore, so make sure you check before you purchase—otherwise you may find yourself needing to buy brand-new sheets along with that brand-new mattress (which, come to think about it, doesn‘t sound so bad!).
- Finding yourself sliding off when you sit at the edge of your mattress? Poor edge support—where the outer edges and corners of the mattress are soft and flexible—is likely the culprit. Look for a mattress on the firmer side—and you‘ll end up making the most of your mattress’s surface area, to boot.
- There are times in life when it‘s possible to have two things at the same time, and hybrid mattresses provide one of those moments. Thanks to their combination of structure and softness, they often offer the best support and overall feel, says Bailey, and comfortably accommodate a range of sleeping positions.
Q: How can I tell if my mattress is causing my back pain?
“One sign that your current mattress might be causing your back pain is if you wake up sore with backaches in the morning but not when you wake up after taking a nap,” says Pagano. The right mattress will be supportive enough to help your spine maintain a neutral position—preventing that pesky back pain and soreness.
Q: How will I know when my mattress needs replacing?
Experts generally recommend replacing a mattress every five to eight years, depending on the frequency of its use, how often you move and change position during sleep, and your weight. If you feel muscle stiffness in the morning, it’s a good sign that you should replace your mattress, says Savy. “Usually, this indicates that the mattress has degraded and is unable to offer spine support,” he explains. Adds Pagano, “If you don’t feel refreshed upon waking or anytime during the day, it’s likely that a fresh mattress would help.”
The Last Word
A good mattress is the key to good sleep, and it can be tempting to feel like you need to spend a fortune in order to find the right mattress for you. But the reality is that not everyone has the same needs when it comes to a mattress, and sleeping position and personal preference play an important role in what feels best. The best affordable mattresses that we‘ve selected consider not just the type of sleeper you are, but also the types of material and mattress construction that should be considered so that you can sleep well—without worrying about overspending.
How We Vetted These Products
Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria:
- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
- They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel.
- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews to know that they pass the test IRL.
Domino’s editors independently curate every product on our site, because we’re just as obsessed with a great deal and an under-the-radar discovery as you are. Items you purchase may earn us an affiliate commission.