Mattress Guides

The Best Mattresses for the Money

When shopping for a new bed, you want the best mattress for the money no matter your budget. It’s important to look at mattress specifications rather than relying on the manufacturer’s “story” about how the bed feels or sleeps.

This guide is designed to educate you on what to look for when mattress shopping including personal preference factors, mattress materials, how to get the best price, and then our top three picks in the categories of best mattress under $500, $1,000, and $2,000. Let’s get started.

Best Mattresses Under $500

Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam 14"

Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam
Materials and Price:

Zinus offers eight models of cost-effective mattresses. We like the Cooling Gel Memory Foam in the 14” loft priced at $392 for a queen. The bed has a dual support core of 4.5” and 4”high-density polyfoam. The dual comfort layer features 1.5” comfort foam under 4” of swirl foam. The cover is knitted jacquard fabric designed for cooling, and it rates 6 for firmness.

What You Should Know:

The brand is South Korean and was founded in 1979. The foams for the beds are made in China. The reported density of the memory foams is 3 pounds, but the company doesn’t offer specifics on their website. The foams are CertiPUR-US certified, and shipping is free. There’s a 100-night sleep trial and 10-year limited warranty.

A Good Mattress for:

Heavier people may find the bed doesn’t offer enough support, and hot sleepers may find it isn’t cool enough. However, shoppers on a tight budget may want to consider Zinus. It is not a mattress that will last for eight years, but for a guest room or children’s room, it’s very workable. If you buy it for nightly sleep, you may find its lifespan to be five years or less.

DreamFoam Ultimate Dreams 10" Gel Memory Foam

DreamFoam Ultimate Dreams
Materials and Price:

DreamFoam has nine models of bargain mattresses. We considered the Ultimate Dreams 10” Gel Memory Foam available for $499 in a queen size. The support core is 7”high-density polyfoam, and the comfort layer is 3” gel-infused memory foam. The cover is stretch cotton knit and the maker self-rates it as a firm mattress.

What You Should Know:

DreamFoam is the bargain sister of the well-reputed mattress brand Brooklyn Bedding. The mattress is CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX certified, and unlike other bargain brands, the foam and mattress are made in America. The sleep trial is 120-nights, and the warranty is 10-year limited. The memory foam is 4-pound density. Shipping is free.

A Good Mattress for:

Back and stomach sleepers should like this bed more than side sleepers because of the firmness. Side sleepers may find the pressure relief isn’t adequate. It’s a well-made lower-priced bed but longevity and durability are a concern with any bargain bed, and you shouldn’t expect this one to last as long as a costlier bed.

Signature Sleep 13" Innerspring with Pillowtop

Zenhaven Mattress
Materials and Price:

Signature Sleep has three product lines each with many models. The 13” innerspring pillowtop model has a 10” layer of 768 innerspring coils with a 3” pillow top comfort layer zoned for pressure relief. The price is less than $350 for a queen. The rayon cover is made from bamboo and is breathable and moisture-wicking.

What You Should Know:

Signature Sleep beds are made in China, but the foams are CertiPUR-US certified for low VOCs. Because they don’t sell directly to consumers, the sleep trial and return policy depend on where you buy the bed. There is a 10-year limited warranty but there may be significant hoops to jump through if there’s an issue.

A Good Mattress for:

The biggest plus to the Signature Sleep is the very low price. The durability for everyday use is estimated to be less than five years. It is best for average and lightweight sleepers but is well-suited for all sleep positions – side, back, and stomach – but only rates medium on the firmness scale, so might not be comfortable for those that need greater support.

Best Mattresses Under $1,000


Materials and Price:

Saatva designed an excellent hybrid mattress with a dual innerspring. The bottom core of innerspring is 7” thick and there’s also a pocket coil layer that’s 4” thick. A lumbar supporting thin memory foam layer is next, and the top layer is a 3” thick Euro top. The cover is 100% organic cotton. The price for a queen is $999.

What You Should Know:

There is lots of variety with three firmness options at 3, 5.5, and 8. The springs are made from recycled steel, and the foams are CertiPUR-US certified. Shipping is free, the bed is made in America, and there’s a 120-night sleep trial. The 15-year warranty isn’t pro-rated and includes two years of free replacement of a defective mattress.

A Good Mattress for:

Saatva takes a couple of weeks to break-in and is an excellent choice for all sleep postures and body types. The bed has a good perimeter for edge support. Heavy people should avoid the softest model due to excessive sink-in. Innerspring durability isn’t as high as some bed materials, but Saatva has an excellent reputation in the market.

The Casper

Casper Mattress
Materials and Price:

Casper offers three bed models. The original Casper costs $995 for a queen. The base layer is high-density polyfoam. The second layer of polyfoam is zoned for added support under the hips and shoulders. Next is a memory foam layer and then on top is an open-cell foam layer that performs like latex. The cover is a soft poly blend.

What You Should Know:

The firmness of the Casper original is about 7. The mattress is CertiPUR-US, and OEKO-TEX certified safe from VOCs. Standard shipping is free and Casper offers white glove delivery and setup in CONUS for $100. The sleep trial is 100 nights, and the warranty is 10 years and may be limited based on the base you use for the bed.

A Good Mattress For:

The original Casper is well-liked for a wide array of sleepers including all sleep postures (side, back, and stomach) and for light, heavy, or average sized people. The bed rates well for durability, and it doesn’t sleep hot. It’s thoughtfully designed of quality materials although the edge support is dubious (which is common with foam beds).

Purple Original

Purple Mattress
Materials and Price:

Purple makes two models and the original costs $999 for a queen. The support core is high-density polyfoam. The dual comfort layer starts with soft high-density polyfoam. On top is the technology the bed is known for, the Smart Comfort Grid™, which promises no-pressure sleep. The cover is knit, viscose, polyester, and Lycra and designed to be breathable.

What You Should Know:

The Purple comes in one firmness at about 6.5, medium-firm. All the foams are CertiPUR-US certified. The sleep trial is 100-nights and shipping is free and includes in-home setup and removal of your old mattress. The warranty is 10 years, non-prorated. The Smart Grid tech was designed to maximize pressure relief while being very supportive.

A Good Mattress For:

All three sleep postures appreciate Purple’s no pressure design and it works well for light, average, and heavy sleepers. Hot sleepers like the bed because the upper Smart Grid comfort layer doesn’t retain any heat – it circulates air by design. As a foam bed, the edge support isn’t great, and the sleep experience promises profound comfort.

Best Mattresses Under $2,000


PlushBeds Botanical Bliss 1
Materials and Price:

Sapira is a hybrid bed by bed maker Leesa. The cost is $1,495 for a queen. The support core is 6” of pocket coils sandwiched between two thin layers of support foam. The dual comfort layer is 1.5” of contouring memory foam under 1.5” of cooling proprietary Avena® memory foam. The cover is seamless polyester Lycra.

What You Should Know:

Sapira’s firmness level is about 6.5, which is medium-firm. The foams used are CertiPUR-US certified. Shipping is free, and the warranty is 10-year limited and has conditions on the type of base you must use. There is a 100-night sleep trial but a mandatory 30-day break-in before you can return the bed.

A Good Mattress for:

Side, back, and stomach sleepers often find comfort on the Sapira mattress apart from very light people. The innerspring core promotes cool sleep as does the high tech Avena foam. The edge support is better on this hybrid than on foam beds, and the pressure relief from the dual memory foam layers is appealing.


Materials and Price:

The Zenhaven is all-natural latex and priced at $1,899 for a queen. The bed has two support cores and two comfort layers set back to back so the bed can be flipped to change firmness. The cores are 3” thick, and the comfort layers are 1.5”. There is an organic New Zealand wool layer on each side. The cover is certified organic cotton.

What You Should Know:

The firmness on one side of the bed is plush at 4.5, and the other is about 7 and considered a gentle firm. The Zenhaven uses Talalay latex, and the comfort layer has five zones to optimize support and comfort. The sleep trial is 120 nights, and the warranty is an impressive 20 years. White glove delivery, set-up, and old mattress takeaway are free.

A Good Mattress for:

Those unsure about their sleep preferences may enjoy the flexibility of a bed with two firmness options. The Zenhaven works well for all three sleep postures, and the high-quality latex is appealing to all weight ranges. The pinhole craftsmanship provides air circulation for hot sleepers, and the materials are CertiPUR-US certified.

Nest Bedding Hybrid Latex

Nest Hybrid Latex
Materials and Price:

Nest Bedding offers six mattress lines, and the hybrid latex is one of their top luxury mattresses. A queen sells for $1,599. There’s a thin high-density base layer under 8” of pocket coils. On top is a 3” comfort layer of all-natural Talalay latex and a New Zealand wool layer. The cover is organic cotton.

What You Should Know:

The Nest bed comes in medium (about 6.5) and firm (about 7.5). If you prefer, you can get organic Dunlop latex instead of Talalay for $400 more. The sleep trial is 100 nights, and there’s a lifetime comfort guarantee where you can get a firmer or softer bed at a deep discount. The warranty is lifetime and shipping is free in the US.

A Good Mattress for:

If you want a greener sleep experience, Nest’s all-natural and organic latex will appeal. Heavy sleepers find excellent support on the high-quality latex. It works well for side, back, and stomach sleepers in all weight ranges. The edge support on the Nest hybrid is better than other all-latex beds because of the coil support core.

Amerisleep AS5 Mattress

The Amerisleep AS5 is a tall 14” four-layer memory foam mattress. The support core is 7” BioCore™ foam and then a 2” transition layer with channels for cooling. The comfort layers are 2” responsive foam and 3” BioPur™ open cell cooling memory foam that’s breathable. The cover is thermoreactive Celliant®.

Pros and Cons:

The pros of this bed are the quality components. The high-density foams are impressive, and the Celliant® cover increases oxygenation and enhances circulation while regulating body temperature. The transition layer has ergonomic zones for enhanced pressure relief. The big con is the price point of almost $2,100.

Why Amerisleep AS5 Is Our Best Choice for Softest Bed:

Softer beds usually sleep hot, but Amerisleep has put cooling tech in the memory foam and the cover to ensure the body-hugging contour doesn’t sleep excessively hot. This ultra-soft mattress is well worth the price for those that want ultimate pressure relief plus the foams are partially plant-based and eco-conscious.

How to find an affordable mattress that works for you  

Finding an affordable mattress that meets your needs can be done but don’t snap up the first low-cost mattress you find. Not every bargain mattress is a good value, and you might find yourself waking achy and tired if you didn’t do your homework. Here are some mattress buying factors.


People of average weight have more latitude in mattress choice. Very heavy or light people should look carefully at design and materials. Heavy people (250+ pounds/25+ BMI) need more support and cooler materials. Lighter people usually need less firmness and more comfort.

Sleep position

Side sleepers need pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. Back sleepers need support under the hips and comfort under the shoulders. Stomach sleepers need a firmer surface to keep their hips from sinking in and should avoid plush beds where they may feel stuck.

Edge support

If you sleep at the side or like to sit at the edge, you’ll need excellent edge support. All-foam beds are known for weaker edges while innerspring is best. Hybrids are a good compromise because of the innerspring core, and some latexes offer a better edge experience.

Motion isolation

When you move in your sleep, it releases energy. Depending on mattress design and materials, it can shake the bed. If you’re a light sleeper or co-sleep with someone, you need a bed that minimizes motion transfer. Memory foam is an excellent choice.

Heat retention

Heavy people tend to sleep hot, and some people naturally run hot. Design and material choice are critical for hot sleepers. Traditional memory foam sleeps hot while innerspring sleeps cooler. Latex sleeps cool, and some foams with advanced tech dissipate heat well.

Pressure relief

Pressure relief is how well a mattress contours your body and reduces stress at the shoulders and hips. Side sleepers, older people, and those with arthritis should look carefully at pressure relief. Memory foam and latex are top choices for pressure relief.

What Kind of Mattress is the Best Value?

Cost alone doesn’t determine value. There are spendy beds that aren’t worth the money and bargain beds that are an excellent choice. Value comes at the cross-section of performance you need and the best materials to fit your budget. Here’s what to expect from mattress materials.


Innerspring and pocket coil mattress value depends on coil count, design, and wire gauge. Mattress wire gauges range from 12 to 17 (lower is better), and about 14 is a good quality that will perform and be durable. Coil count is not always a sign of quality. A queen bed with 600-800 coils is preferable. Also look for high-quality foam or latex in the comfort layer.