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The best cheap mattress 2022: affordable beds for under $500

The best cheap mattress 2022: Image shows the Brooklyn Chill Mattress on a black metal bed frame placed on a grey wooden floor
(Image credit: Brooklyn Bedding)

A good cheap mattress can help you sleep better for less, and these days there are quite a few to choose from thanks to advanced mattress technologies trickling down to budget models. Some are made by brands that feature in our best mattress guide, while others come from smaller companies you may not have heard of but are well-rated by existing customers. Our selection of top-rated affordable mattresses all cost less than $500 for a queen size, and they come on a trial basis so that you can test yours at home to make sure it really is the best option for you.

Choosing the best cheap mattress for your body and sleep is no different to taking your pick of more expensive models. Over the years at Tom’s Guide we’ve tested a wide range of mattresses and recommend that you factor in your sleep position (stomach, back, side or combination), body type, whether you share a bed, and any health needs you have. For example, if you struggle with overheating, look at the Brooklyn Bedding Chill cooling budget mattress below.

Many of these affordable mattresses are often on sale too, making them even better value for money. We’ve included today’s cheapest price beneath each product, along with any relevant mattress sale offers worth checking out ahead of the 4th July mattress sales. Let’s now take a look at this year’s best cheap mattresses to help you sleep better for less.

The best cheap mattresses – chosen by experts

Best budget mattress: The Allswell Mattress photographed with a black base and white quilted top

(Image credit: Allswell Home)

1. The Allswell Mattress

The best cheap mattress for couples

Specifications

Best for: Couples; hot sleepers
Type: Hybrid
Firmness (1-10): Medium (4.5-6.5)
Height: 10 inches
Sizes: 6 (twin to Cal king)
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10-year limited
MSRP: $339 - $539

Reasons to buy

+
Wicks away heat during sleep
+
Minimizes motion transfer 
+
Soft-touch quilted top

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes a while to expand fully
-
Too firm for lighter bodies

The Allswell Mattress is a popular budget mattress made by a well-known manufacturer, and it’s currently the cheapest option in the Allswell Home range of memory foam and hybrid models. The quilted top is designed to feel soft and plush to the touch, creating an air of luxury for less. The base houses individually wrapped coils to minimize motion transfer from your partner to you and vice versa, making it a good choice for couples. There’s also an edge support system so that you can spread out and use more of the mattress for sleeping, as well as sitting on the edge to get dressed. We haven’t reviewed The Allswell yet so can’t vouch for these features, but user reviews published on the site claim that the motion isolation and edge support are decent for a cheap bed.

While the Allswell Mattress isn’t a proper cooling mattress, Allswell Home has opted for a layer of charcoal and copper gel-infused memory foam here. Based on our experience of reviewing mattresses made with similar materials (for an example, read our Nectar Premier Copper mattress review), this type of gel should transfer heat away from your body during sleep. That means excess heat is less likely to pool in the mattress and contribute to any overheating you may be experiencing due to health issues. 

How comfortable is it to sleep on? The Allswell is designed to offer a medium firmness (the manufacturer rates it as a 4.5-6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale) that should suit most sleeping positions, but it may not suit every body weight. Some lighter than average users complain that it’s too firm for comfortable side sleeping, while customers with heavier than average bodies say that it’s prone to premature sagging. Budget mattresses simply don’t last as long as mid-range and premium models, but there is a 10-year limited warranty on this model. Existing user reviews will also give you more insight into durability. 

Allswell Home also offers a 100-night trial to help you get a better idea of whether the firmness suits your body type and sleep position. 89% of customers recommend this mattress in a box if you’re on a tight budget, though we’ll also flag up the IKEA Hasvåg (number 4) that costs $199 for a queen size.

Best budget mattress: The Brooklyn Bedding Chill Mattress in black on a white background

(Image credit: Brooklyn Bedding)

2. Brooklyn Bedding Chill Mattress

The best cheap mattress if you overheat at night

Specifications

Best for: Hot sleepers
Type: Memory foam
Firmness (1-10): Soft (3) to Firm (7-9)
Height: 6-14 inches
Sizes: 22 (twin to split Cal king)
Trial length: 120 nights
Warranty: 10 years
MSRP: $274 - $749

Reasons to buy

+
Open-cell foam for cooler sleep
+
Huge range of sizes - including RV
+
Five different heights

Reasons to avoid

-
Weak edge support
-
Some users say its too firm

If you overheat during sleep yet you prefer the feel of a comfy memory foam mattress and you have a small budget, the Brooklyn Bedding Chill is one of the cheapest cooling beds you’ll find. It’s made of open-cell gel memory foam to promote better airflow, so it should feel more breathable. There are more advanced cooling beds out there, but their prices often run into the thousands whereas a queen size Chill costs from $366 on sale. That's much more affordable.

The Brooklyn Bedding Chill has a massive range of sizes (RV and standard) and five different heights (6, 8, 10, 12 and 14”). The thinner the mattress the firmer the feel, yet we’ve spotted user reviews that say even the 14” version is too firm and that a topper is needed to soften it up. Considering how cheap the Chill is and how you can get a decent mattress topper for under $100, this could still be an option for your budget.

One area where the Chill falls down is edge support, so keep in mind if you’re planning on sharing a smaller size with another sleeper - you may not feel supported enough sleeping up to the edge. In that case, check out The Allswell Mattress above, which has stronger edge support. That said, user reviews are decent for the Brooklyn Bedding Chill Memory Foam Mattress, with a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating generated from nearly 2,700 user reviews. Brooklyn Bedding also gives you 120 nights to trial the Chill at home. If you change your mind during that time, return it for a refund.

If you can spring to $799 for a queen size mattress, check out our Cocoon Chill Memory Foam mattress review. This Cocoon by Sealy mattress has a stronger cooling performance and comes with free cooling bedding. 

Best cheap mattress: the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress shown with white pillows on top

(Image credit: Zinus)

3. Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

A queen size budget mattress from just $166

Specifications

Best for: Very tight budgets
Type: Innerspring
Firmness (1-10): 6.5 (medium)
Height: 6-12 inches
Sizes: 7 (twin to Cal king)
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10-year limited
MSRP: $118 - $398

Reasons to buy

+
CertiPUR-US toxin-free foam
+
Natural moisture and odor control
+
Four mattress heights

Reasons to avoid

-
Weak edge support
-
Some experienced issues with returns

The Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam bed-in-a-box is one of the most well-known budget mattresses in America, and a popular choice on Amazon with over 128,000 user reviews. During testing we slept on the 10” version and found that it delivered a perfectly adequate night’s sleep for the low price, making it the best option for upgrading your main mattress without spending much. In fact, along with the IKEA Hasvåg (number four), it’s one of the cheapest mattresses in this guide.

The Zinus is made with toxin-free memory foam, plus green tea-infused foam with ActivCharcoal microparticles to naturally control odors and bacteria. During testing we found that its medium-firm rating (a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale) was accurate, and we would recommend the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam as one of the best mattresses for side sleepers on a super-tight budget. Why? Because it offers support along the shoulders, hips and knees without too much sinkage. You’ll have 100 nights to get a better idea of whether it suits you, which is over three times the recommended period for testing a mattress.

We also found that the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam offered good pressure relief, so while it won’t be enough for people with long term back and hip pain, it should be enough to boost general sleep comfort for most child and adult sleepers. We also noticed zero motion transfer with this mattress, making it a budget alternative to The Allswell for couples and restless sleepers. 

The user reviews on both the Zinus website and on Amazon (the brand’s authorised third-party retailer) are largely positive, with most customers recommending it as a good balance of value for money versus comfort and support. We did spot some user reviews complaining that it’s too firm for lighter side sleepers, and others who said they had issues returning the Zinus during the trial period, but the brand’s customer services team responded in most cases with a solution. 

Overall, if you want a decent memory foam mattress at some of the cheapest prices online, the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam should be on your list. It's a best-seller on Amazon, and you'll have up to 100 days to return it there should you change your mind - check out our how to return a mattress to Amazon guide for more.

Best cheap mattress: the IKEA Hasvåg Mattress shown with a cream base and white cover

(Image credit: IKEA)

4. IKEA Hasvåg Mattress

The best cheap mattress for kids, teens and guest rooms

Specifications

Best for: Very tight budgets; guest rooms
Type: Innerspring
Firmness (1-10): 6 (medium)
Height: 6-14 inches
Sizes: 3 (twin to queen)
Trial length: 90 nights
Warranty: 10-year limited
MSRP: $179 - $199

Reasons to buy

+
Super-cheap prices
+
Roll-packed for easy set up
+
365-day exchange period

Reasons to avoid

-
Only three sizes
-
Thin mattress

There are three scenarios where the IKEA Hasvåg mattress could come to the rescue: firstly, if you’re looking for an affordable mattress for your guest bed that gets occasional use. The second is if you want an innerspring kids mattress or something for your older child. The third is if you’re on a very tight budget for your main bed. The Hasvåg could be your best cheap mattress in any of those scenarios as long as you don’t have any specific sleep health issues, such as joint pain or overheating, and you’re aware that it’s only available in three sizes: twin, full and queen. So if you need a king size or larger, check out the other options in this guide.

The IKEA Hasvåg mattress is described as having a medium-firm feel, and from our experience testing other medium-firm mattresses it should feel comfortable enough for most sleeping positions. IKEA has made it with up to 375 Bonnell springs (in the queen size), which is an hour-glass shaped coil interconnected with mesh metal that we often find in traditional innerspring mattresses. With these onboard, the Hasvåg should offer a little more bounce and responsiveness than a full memory foam model. The downsides are that those springs will be noisier (and this may increase with frequent use over the years) and the motion transfer will be higher. So restless sleepers who share a bed are better off looking at The Allswell Mattress (number one) or the Zinus below.

IKEA has also opted for PU foam instead of memory foam to keep costs down, and the entire mattress is spot-clean only. It should be rotated (never flipped) every three to six months to spread out wear and tear. User reviews state that it takes the full 72 hours to inflate, otherwise some of the corners are uneven. Positive user reviews focus on the value for money and simple yet effective support and comfort, while customers who didn’t like the Hasvåg complain that it’s too thin at 8.1/4” for heavier bodies and only suitable for short-term use. 

You’ll have 90 nights to get a refund if you change your mind (IKEA does not refer to this as a mattress trial) as long as you have your original proof of purchase. You can also use IKEA’s ‘Love It or Exchange It’ mattress policy to exchange the Hasvåg within 365 days of the original purchase date.

Best cheap mattress: The Linenspa 12 Inch Hybrid Mattress shown in white with blue edging

(Image credit: Linenspa)

5. Linenspa 12 Inch Hybrid Memory Foam Mattress

An affordable mattress with a luxury twist

Specifications

Best for: Side sleepers; lighter weight to average weight sleepers
Type: Hybrid
Firmness (1-10): Plush (5)
Height: 12 inches
Sizes: 6 (twin to Cal king)
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
MSRP: $299 - $529

Reasons to buy

+
Cradles the body during sleep
+
CertiPUR-US toxin-free foams
+
Free shipping and returns

Reasons to avoid

-
Too soft for heavier bodies

This is the tallest version of the Linenspa Hybrid Memory Foam Mattress, giving you more of a luxury mattress feel at an affordable price - a queen size is normally on sale for $500 (the RRP is $529). There are cheaper 8-inch and 10-inch versions available, with queen sizes costing $249 and $319 respectively. Both are far firmer than the plush feel of the 12” version we’re looking at here and are better suited to back and stomach sleepers.

At first glance it looks as though there’s a bed topper built into the Linenspa mattress, but that’s a two-inch layer of memory foam to cradle your body in any sleeping position. That sink-in softness won’t be supportive enough for everyone though. For example, we wouldn’t recommend the Linenspa 12 Inch Hybrid Memory Foam Mattress for heavier than average bodies as you may sink in too much. For lighter and average weight bodies though, this cheap mattress has a lot of comfort to offer for the budget price. 

Beyond the quilted cover and plush memory foam lies a 2.5” supportive comfort foam layer. That, coupled with a layer of 6” durable steel springs and support foam handles pressure relief and spinal alignment, so you’ll experience pressure point pain on major impact points such as your back and hips. Your spine will also be aligned properly so you won’t feel bent out of shape after each night’s sleep. Being a hybrid memory foam mattress means it will sleep cooler than some of the all-foam options listed above as air flows more freely around the springs. The Linenspa 12 Inch Hybrid Memory Foam Mattress is generally well-rated on Amazon, generating a user review score of 4.3 out of 5 stars. You’ll have 100 nights to trial it at home, with free shipping and returns for most US customers.

How to choose the best cheap mattress for you

There’s no denying that budget mattresses don't last as long as mid-range and premium models, which is why many of them come with limited warranties that only cover you for certain defects. It’s also fair to expect that you’ll be sacrificing some features in return for the cheapest prices, but as our list of affordable mattresses shows, you don’t have to skimp on support and comfort if you’re clever about the mattress you pick. 

Our best tip is to only buy a cheap mattress that comes on a trial basis or that offers a money-back guarantee that extends for longer than 30 days. All of our top choices above tick this box. We’d also recommend looking through existing user reviews to see what customers think of the mattress – especially if they have been using it for longer than a year and can comment on durability; one of the biggest issues with budget mattresses.

When choosing the best cheap mattress for you, consider the following:

  • Your sleep position (side, stomach, back or combi)
  • Your body type (thinner mattresses won’t offer enough support for heavier bodies)
  • Whether you share your bed (you’ll need motion isolation and good edge support)
  • The base you’re using it on (most budget mattresses are compatible with all bed types, though some can’t be used directly on the floor)
  • Whether you can return or exchange it for a better alternative

Are cheap mattresses worth it?

Sometimes we have no choice but to buy a cheaper mattress. The current cost of living crisis means that many of us are looking to tighten our belts, and a mattress can be a big expense depending on the one you opt for. Memory foam and innerspring mattresses are cheaper than hybrids, while organic mattresses are the most expensive - that’s why you rarely see queen size latex beds for under $500. 

From our experience, affordable mattresses are a good stop-gap to get you through a period of time where you need a new mattress but have little to spend on one. You can get a decent queen size for under $300 or less, and many manufacturers are now offering finance plans to help spread the cost. Of course this applies to mid-range and luxury beds too, so you could consider whether a more expensive mattress bought in that way is better value in the long-term. 

The other option is to take a good look at your current mattress and decide whether its lifespan can be extended by a great mattress topper. You can find some very effective ones for under $100 for a queen size, picking one to add softness, firmness or extra cooling. This really depends on the state of your current mattress though - if it’s sagging badly, then it’s time to move on for the sake of your back health. If the sagging is slight, a topper could help it to last for another year or two. We cover this more in our feature on how to fix a saggy mattress.

Claire Davies
Claire Davies

Claire Davies is a qualified journalist, Sleep Editor and Certified Sleep Science Coach who writes about all things related to sleep, from mattress reviews to the latest sleep techniques and research. Claire has interviewed a wealth of experts, from mattress designers and innovators to neuroscientists and doctors of sleep medicine. Before taking on the role of Sleep Editor, Claire worked as Health & Wellness Editor at Top Ten Reviews, and before that was a Senior Content Editor at T3. Claire is super-passionate about how consistent, good quality sleep can boost our physical and mental wellbeing, and would love to hear from PRs and brands regarding sleep products, services and research that can help our readers sleep better than ever.