Affordable vs luxury mattress: Should you save or splurge?

In this affordable vs luxury mattress comparison piece, the Cocoon by Sealy is shown on the left of the image and the Saatva Classic is seen on the right
(Image credit: Cocoon by Sealy/Saatva)

If you're in the process of buying a new mattress, you may have asked yourself the question —  affordable vs luxury mattress, which bed is best for my sleep needs? While many of the year's best mattresses span budgets and specialities, most beds will sit closer to one camp than the other. 

The term 'affordable' will be different for everyone, but at Tom's Guide we categorize affordable as typically costing between $500 and $1,000  for a queen. For that mid-range price, you can buy a quality, durable and comfortable mattress. However, if you're looking for something a little more premium, you might be suited to one of the year's best luxury mattresses, which boast an elevated build quality with an expensive look and feel. 

Price is just one factor that sets affordable and luxury mattresses apart from each other, with performance, materials and comfort also differing significantly between them. If you're not sure what bed is best for you and how much you should be spending, we'll walk you through it in this affordable vs luxury mattress comparison.  


What is an affordable mattress?

  • 'Affordable' mattresses cost between $500 and $1,000 for a queen
  • The best affordable mattresses will be comfortable and supportive
  • It will typically boast fewer comfort layers than a luxury mattress 

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress on a yellow background

(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)

The term 'affordable' will differ from household to household, depending on your own personal finances. However, for the purpose of this piece, we'll focus on mid-range mattresses that sit between $500 and $1,000 for a queen. Several of the mattresses that feature in our best hybrid mattress and best memory foam buying guides are mid-range mattresses, thanks to their durability, comfort and support. 

However, in order to keep costs low, some concessions will need to be made. An affordable mattress will likely have fewer layers than a luxury mattress, and will be subsequently thinner, too. 

The best beds in this category have been crafted to cater to specific sleeping styles, as well as featuring some premium materials. For example, the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid is one of the best mattresses for under $1,000, thanks to its cashmere blend cover and pressure-relieving memory foam. An evergreen 50% off means a queen costs $665 and it comes with a lifetime warranty and 365 night sleep trial

If that's still slightly beyond your budget, check out our best cheap mattress guide, which features the best beds priced at $500 and under for a queen. 

Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress: $619 $399 at Cocoon by Sealy

Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress: from $619 $399 at Cocoon by Sealy
Sealy's all-foam cooling mattress is a fantastic affordable buy for hot sleepers. This evergreen Cocoon by Sealy mattress sale cuts 35% off the MSRP (so you don’t have to worry too much about the timing of your purchase) and you'll also get up to $199 worth of free bedding (you can ignore the 'ends tomorrow' warning, as this offer seems to be a constant), along with a 100-night trial and 10-year warranty.

What is a luxury mattress?

  • Luxury mattresses cost between $1,000 and $5,000 for a queen
  • Luxury mattresses boast premium materials, like lambswool and cashmere
  • Luxury mattresses are specialist beds that target specific sleep issues 

Saatva Classic Mattress

(Image credit: Saatva)

Luxury mattresses are those which boast an elevated build quality, with an expensive look and feel to match their higher price point. Whether it's the latest in cooling technology, the addition of sumptuous pillow top or boasting the latest in organic or hypoallergenic credentials, the best luxury mattresses will offer something extra to your sleep that sets them apart from their more affordable counterparts. 

Most luxury mattresses sit in the upper mid-range and premium price category. However, while you can expect to pay more for a luxury mattress, a high price doesn't automatically equate to a premium product. The best luxury mattress will boast high-quality materials, such as cashmere, lambswool or organic latex. A luxury mattress will have multiple layers in order to provide superb support, so you can expect it to be thicker, too. 

The best luxury mattresses will harness the power of technology in order to craft a bed that targets a specific sleep ailment, such as temperature regulation and motion isolation. 

Helix Midnight Luxe: $1,373$1,099 + two free pillows at Helix

Helix Midnight Luxe: from $1,373 $1,099 + two free pillows at Helix
The Helix Midnight Luxe is a luxurious upgrade on the original Helix Midnight, and we rate is as the best mattress for side sleepers. During our Helix Midnight Luxe mattress review, our lead tester was impressed with its deep pressure relief across the shoulders, hips and knees. It has extra-firm coils in the central third to support the lumbar and comes with a sumptuous quilted pillow top. With 20% off, a queen size costs $1,899 from $2,373.80, which is a fairly standard saving on this model, but two free pillows thrown in sweetens the deal somewhat. The warranty is longer on the Luxe model at 15 years vs 10 years for the standard version.

Affordable vs luxury mattress: Price & trials

  • Affordable mattresses cost between $500 and $1,000 for a queen 
  • Luxury mattresses typically range between $1,000 and $5,000 for a queen
  • Luxury mattresses usually come with longer sleep trials and warranties 

When comparing affordable and luxury mattresses, price is a key difference between them. The term 'affordable' will mean something different to everyone, but beds ranging between $500 and $1,000 for a queen is  generally considered budget-friendly. Mattresses in this category tend to have a shorter sleep trial and warranty period, which is an indication of its overall quality - but not always.

The DreamCloud Hybrid mattress (which, thanks to a 50% off evergreen sale) comes with a generous 365 night sleep trial and lifetime warranty. Meanwhile, the Coccon by Sealy Chill comes with free white glove delivery, which includes the delivery of your new mattress and the removal of your old one - those are perks that are usually reserved for premium mattresses.

Luxury mattresses typically range between $1,000 and $5,000 for a queen and usually come with a longer sleep trial and warranty. However, like some affordable mattresses offer generous benefits, some premium beds come with conservative extras. The Saatva Classic mattress, which tops our best luxury mattress guide, does come with a 365 night sleep trial, lifetime warranty and free white glove delivery, though. 

While you will spend more for a luxury mattress than an affordable one, a bed crafted from premium materials, such as latex, will have enhanced durability. So while you'll be spending more initially, your luxury bed will likely last longer, which could save you money in the long run. 

Affordable vs luxury mattress: Comfort & support

  • The best affordable mattresses can offer support for specific sleep styles 
  • The best luxury mattresses can target specific sleep requirements 
  • Luxury mattresses use premium materials to provide outstanding comfort

More affordable mattresses will cater to specific sleep positions and styles, but some concessions will be made in order to keep prices down. That might be build quality, the number of comfort layers provided or the quality of materials that make up the bed. That may impact the overall comfort and durability of your bed. However, an affordable mattress that meets your specific sleep needs can still be a great option. 

For example, the Nectar Memory Foam mattress is a fantastic affordable memory foam bed, thanks to its combination of support, breathable foam and incredible value for money. (Read our Nectar Memory Foam mattress review for more in-depth test analysis.)

In contrast, luxury mattresses will have a complex design, with multiple layers of different materials – innersprings for bounce, cradling memory foam for pressure point relief and motion isolation, and perhaps a pillow top for added plushness. This results in an elevated sleep experience that targets specific sleep issues, such as back pain. 

Affordable vs luxury mattress: Which should you buy?

Save on an affordable mattress if... 

You’re on a tighter budget: At Tom’s Guide, we always recommend buying the best mattress you can afford - and what that exact figure is will be different for everyone. If you have a smaller budget, opt for an affordable mattress.

It’s not your main mattress: If you’re buying a new mattress for a guest room, RV or holiday home, opt for an affordable mattress over a luxury bed and spend your hard earned cash on a mattress you'll spend the bulk of your time sleeping on.

You don’t require a specialist bed: Some luxury mattresses are specialist beds, including the best mattresses for back pain or the best mattresses for heavy people, command a higher price tag. If you don't require a specialist bed, you might be better suited to an affordable luxury mattress, like the DreamCloud.

Splurge on a luxury mattress if... 

You have a bigger budget: If money isn't a concern, invest in the best mattress you can afford for an unrivalled sleep experience.   

You suffer from aches and pains: Many of the year’s best affordable mattresses cater to most sleep requirements and positions, but will make a few concessions in order to keep prices down. However, if you need (or want) a specialist bed that offers outstanding lumbar support, it’s worth stumping up the extra cash for a luxury bed. 

You want your mattress to last longer: Premium materials, such as latex, means that a luxury mattress will likely last longer than an affordable one. For context, most mattresses require replacing every 7-10 years, while a latex one can last up to 20 years if you look after it. 

Nicola Appleton
Sleep Features Editor

Nicola Appleton is Sleep Features Editor at Tom’s Guide, specialising in quality news content surrounding sleep and wellbeing. Nicola cut her teeth as a journalist in a busy newsroom in Bristol, UK, 15 years ago as part of a team at Britain's largest independent press agency. Since then, her job as a journalist has taken her to the States, to Sydney, and then back to Blighty, where she has written and edited features for a whole host of prominent British and international brands, including  The Independent, The Sydney Morning Herald, HuffPost, Refinery29, Stylist and more. As well as tackling the vast topic of sleep, Nicola will be joining the raft of expert mattress reviewers at Tom's Guide, helping steer readers towards the very best mattresses on the market.