The Best Mattress for The Money 2021Updated on March 1, 2021 While all product recommendations are chosen independently, we may receive compensation for purchases made through our site. Learn more about how we make money here.
There are many factors to keep in mind when shopping for a new mattress. Firmness, support, material are all important. And so is value. Getting a good mattress for a good price should always be the goal, and we are here to help.
With all of the information, transparency, retailers, and buying options now available, mattress buyers are more well positioned than ever before to get the most bang for their buck. Whether you’re looking to spend $400 or $4,000, you want to get the most mattress for your money.
This guide will explain the most important features to look for in any mattress and which ones are worth paying more for. First we’ll give you our recommendations for the best mattresses at whatever price you want to pay. Then, we’ll walk you through the different types of mattresses available and what you can expect from each at different price points.
Best mattresses under $2,000
It’s not necessary to spend more than $1,000 to get a high quality mattress. But raising the price point will give you more options with better materials. This is the range for an average latex and hybrid mattresses. You’ll also find high-end innerspring and hybrid mattresses here.
|Organic Latex Hybrid||Hybrid||Medium Firm (6)||$1,599|
|Avocado Green||Hybrid||Medium (5.5), Firm (7)||$1,399|
|The WinkBed||Innerspring||4 options: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Plus (8)||$1,599|
Why we like it:
- Durable and responsive latex hybrid construction
- Made from sustainably sourced materials
- Excellent temperature control
- 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty.
Awara Organic Latex Hybrid
The Awara Organic Latex Hybrid is constructed with a 4-inch comfort layer of natural Dunlop latex and a pocketed coil support core. The cover is a blend of organic cotton and organic New Zealand wool, and a Euro-top cushions the surface. The Awara measures 13 inches thick, and is considered medium firm (6).
The Awara is made from sustainably sourced components, including Dunlop latex certified by the Rainforest Alliance and organic cover materials. The mattress sleeps quite cool thanks to its breathable cover, a latex comfort layer that absorbs minimal body heat, and coils that promote airflow throughout the interior.
The 9-inch pocketed coils make this mattress feel very responsive, and the edges won’t sink too much for most people when they get in and out of bed. Thanks to its sturdy support system, the Awara is best suited to people who weigh at least 130 pounds – back and stomach sleepers in particular.
Compared to other latex hybrids, the Awara is very reasonably priced. The mattress also comes with a 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty.
Avocado Green Mattress
Why we like it:
- Latex hybrid design ensures excellent support and responsiveness
- Exceptional cooling and breathability
- Softer pillow-top version available
- Lifetime warranty
The Avocado Green hybrid mattress features 100% natural Dunlop latex, natural wool and organic cotton. The support core is an 8-inch layer of fabric-encased recycled-steel springs. The coils are topped with a dense 1-inch layer of Dunlop latex, followed by 2 inches of slightly softer latex in the comfort layer. Finally, there is a half-inch layer of hand-tufted Joma® wool. The cover is 100% organic cotton.
The coils in the support core are arranged to float independent absorb motion transfer. They also reinforce the perimeter, resulting in good edge support. The coils vary in gauge (thickness) from 14-17 and are arranged to provide ideal pressure relief.
Customers can choose a pillow-top version of the mattress, which increases the profile and makes the surface feel noticeably softer. Avocado offers free delivery and a 100-night trial period. Your purchase also includes a lifetime warranty if you decide to keep the mattress after the trial period ends.
Why we like it:
- 4 firmness options
- Responsive and breathable coil-on-coil construction
- Zoned pocketed coils provide excellent perimeter protection
- 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
The WinkBed is a coil-on-coil innerspring available in four firmness levels. Standard models feature top layers of gel polyfoam and foam-encased microcoils, while the WinkBed Plus – specifically designed for heavier folks – contains zoned latex instead. All versions of the mattress are reinforced with zoned pocketed coils in the support core.
Since the WinkBed is sold in four firmness levels – including an option geared toward people who weigh more than 230 pounds – the mattress will appeal to a wide range of sleepers across different body types. The coil-on-coil construction makes this mattress feel very supportive and stable, and the zoned base layer provides excellent reinforcement along the perimeter.
Both coil layers promote consistent air circulation to help the mattress maintain a comfortable temperature at all times. As a result, the WinkBed is a great option for hot sleepers and those who reside in warm or humid climates.
WinkBeds offers a 120-night sleep trial. If you aren’t satisfied with the feel of your mattress, the company allows you to exchange the original bed for a model with a different firmness level during the trial period. Every customer who keeps the mattress after the trial ends will receive a lifetime warranty against structural defects.
Best mattresses under $1,000
There are several quality mattress options priced between $501 and $1,000. Shoppers have a choice of innerspring, hybrid, foam, and latex models. Quality can still be questionable in this price range, but some mattresses have received excellent ratings and reviews.
|Layla Mattress||Foam||Reversible: Medium Soft (4) and Firm (7)||$899|
|Nectar Mattress||Foam||Medium Firm (6)||$799|
|Gel Tech Venus Halcyon||Foam||Medium Soft (4)||$699|
Why we like it:
- Reversible design with a different firmness level on each side
- Copper-infused memory foam sleeps fairly cool and provides antimicrobial protection
- Very good motion isolation and no noise
- 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
The Layla Mattress is a flippable all-foam model. One side of the mattress is medium soft (4), and the other is firm (7). Both sleep surfaces feature comfort layers of copper-infused memory foam, while a shared support core of high-density polyfoam provides reinforcement to either side. The cover is a polyester blend infused with a cooling agent. Altogether, the mattress measures 10 inches thick.
The Layla’s reversible design makes it suitable for anyone who prefers a softer feel one night and a firmer feel the next. Since the mattress is lightweight, flipping it over is fairly painless. Both sides of the mattress conform evenly thanks to their memory foam layers, resulting in excellent pressure relief for side, back, and stomach sleepers. These foam layers also isolate motion very well.
The copper infused into both comfort layers helps resist the buildup of body heat, and also has antimicrobial properties to keep the mattress smelling fresh and free of bacteria.
The Layla Mattress has a very approachable price-point compared to other flippable memory foam models. All customers receive a 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty with their purchase.
Why we like it:
- Memory foam layers contour evenly without excessive sinkage
- Excellent pressure relief for side sleepers
- Above-average motion isolation and no noise
- 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
The Nectar Mattress features a 3-inch comfort layer of gel-infused memory foam that contours moderately and evenly. The transitional and support layers are composed of high-density polyfoam, and the cover is made from Tencel lyocell. The Nectar measures 11 inches thick and has a medium firm (6) feel.
The Nectar will be ideal for people who enjoy the “body-hug” of memory foam mattresses and prefer to sink a bit into their sleep surface. The mattress excels at motion isolation even compared to other all-foam beds, so sleepers will be able to rest soundly when their partner changes positions or gets up during the night.
A medium firm feel and balanced conforming ensures good pressure relief for most people weighing up to 230 pounds, regardless of their sleep position. Side sleepers in particular should find the Nectar comfortable because the memory foam layers provide ample cushioning for the shoulders and hips, which in turn can correct spinal alignment issues that often occur with this sleep position.
The mattress has a very affordable price-point compared to competing memory foam models. Nectar also provides a 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty to all purchasers.
GelFoamBed Gel Tech Venus Halcyon
Why we like it:
- Deep contouring alleviates pressure for lighter people
- Luxurious high-profile design with 6 different layers
- Excellent motion isolation for couples
- 365-night sleep trial
The Gel Tech Venus Halcyon from DreamFoamBed is a high-profile mattress measuring 14 inches thick and consisting of six individual layers. These include 1.5 inches of gel memory foam quilted into the cover, followed by a comfort layer of adaptive polyfoam and additional transitional and support layers of denser polyfoam. The mattress is considered medium soft (4).
The Gel Tech Venus Halcyon contours very closely to the body, making it ideal for many side and back sleepers – particularly those who weigh less than 130 pounds. The mattress also excels at motion isolation and does not produce any noise, so couples and co-sleepers won’t need to worry about nighttime disruptions. Memory foam quilted into the cover gives the mattress a plush surface feel, which can make getting in and out of bed more comfortable for people with back pain.
A low price-point and strong overall performance make the Gel Tech Venus Halcyon a high-value pick for mattress shoppers. GelFoamBed also offers a sleep trial that lets customers test out the mattress for up to 365 nights.
Best mattresses under $500
At this low price point, there are a relatively low number of high-quality options for a queen size mattress. In this range, you will mostly find foam mattresses and you’ll have the most luck online. In fact, the best options under $500 will be sold exclusively online.
|Arctic Dreams||Foam or Hybrid||Medium Firm (6)||$449 (Foam) or $499 (Hybrid)|
|The Allswell||Hybrid||Firm (7)||$375|
Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams
Why we like it:
- All-foam and hybrid designs available
- Memory foam comfort layer provides precise body-contouring
- Above-average motion isolation
- 14 different sizes, including RV-friendly options
The Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams from Brooklyn Bedding is available in all-foam or hybrid designs. Both versions are constructed with a thin foam layer quilted into the cover, followed by a comfort layer of gel-infused memory foam. The all-foam Arctic Dreams (10.75 inches thick) contains a support core of high-density polyfoam, while the hybrid model (10.25 inches thick) features pocketed coils. Both versions are considered medium firm (6).
Since the Arctic Dreams is available as an all-foam or hybrid model, the mattress will appeal to a wider range of sleepers. The memory foam comfort layer molds to the body without sinking too much, making it optimal for many sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds.
Although the all-foam Arctic Dreams performs better than the hybrid in terms of motion isolation, both models absorb movement well and can help curb nighttime disruptions for couples. Noise potential is also fairly low.
The mattress is available in 14 different sizes, including three RV-friendly options and split sizes for couples who share adjustable beds. Brooklyn Bedding offers a 120-night sleep trial with all mattress purchases.
Why we like it:
- High-quality memory foam hybrid design at an accessible price
- Firm feel is ideal for many people who weigh 130 pounds or more
- Highly breathable construction ensures excellent cooling
- 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty
The Allswell is a hybrid mattress with a firm (7) feel. The mattress features a layer of soft polyfoam quilted into the cover, followed by a comfort layer of memory foam infused with copper and graphite. The support core consists of zoned pocketed coils. Altogether the Allswell measures 10 inches thick.
The combination of contouring memory foam and sturdy pocketed coils gives the Allswell a very balanced feel, resulting in good pressure relief and strong overall support. The firm feel is a great fit for back and stomach sleepers in the range of 130-230 pounds.
The foam is infused with copper and graphite to help keep the surface cool, while the coils circulate air throughout the interior for added breathability. This makes the mattress a good fit for hot sleepers, those who reside in warm places, and anyone else who needs added cooling from their mattress.
Compared to the average hybrid, this mattress has an exceptionally low price-point. All orders include a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Best Mattresses for the Money: Buyer’s Guide
Now let’s look at some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a new mattress.
Features to consider
A mattress isn’t worth a single penny if it doesn’t keep you comfortable. So however much you are willing to spend, there are a few important features and considerations you should keep in mind before buying a new mattress.
It’s important to consider your body weight when selecting a mattress. A larger sleeper (typically more than 200 pounds), will naturally exert more pressure on a mattress and therefore might be more comfortable with one that is more firm. (Firmness is rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least firm and 10 being the most firm.) Keep in mind, however, that firmness is a personal preference no matter your size.
The way you typically sleep will make a difference in your mattress selection. If you sleep on your back, your spine naturally aligns and your weight is already distributed equally. Side sleepers need a mattress that offers more support for the neck, shoulders, back, and hips in order to avoid uncomfortable pressure points in those areas.
If you sleep on your stomach, you sink further down into your mattress. So you might do well with a mattress that is firm enough to keep your spine aligned, yet soft enough to cushion your chest and stomach.
Edge support is what prevents sagging around the perimeter of the bed. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses often use a high-density polyfoam to reinforce around the edges and therefore offer stronger support around the perimeter. Foam and latex mattresses are rarely reinforced, so tend to offer little edge support. Edge support is particularly important to keep in mind if you often sit on the edge of your bed.
Motion isolation describes how well a mattresses absorbs movement – and therefore how well it keeps that movement from reaching another sleeper. It’s especially important to consider if you sleep with another person or a pet. Foam and latex mattresses offer the most movement isolation. Innersprings and hybrids don’t do as well in this category.
If you tend to naturally sleep hot, heat retention will be an important consideration. Some mattress materials, notably memory foam, trap heat against your body. Other materials, like latex and innerspring, offer more airflow and ventilation, staying cooler throughout the night.
Side sleepers in particular should think about pressure points, particularly in the neck, shoulders, lower back and hips. Memory foam and latex mattresses conform around your body, often alleviating pressure points along the spine. Innersprings, by contrast, don’t offer this contoured feel or provide the same pressure relief.
Proper support is necessary while sleeping in order to keep your body in alignment and thereby avoid back pain. Too little support and your body will dip into the mattress. Too much support and your body will arch. Both will result in aches and pains. The amount of support you need will depend on your body weight and your sleep position.
The materials that make up a mattress will largely determine its price point. A high-quality innerspring mattress, for example, will typically cost significantly less than a latex mattress of similar quality. Understanding the different materials available will help you decide how you want to spend your money.
Memory foam mattresses have gained popularity for the customized feel and support they offer sleepers. This foam was originally designed by NASA to aid in crash protection. It reacts to both heat and pressure, allowing it to adjust its shape and contour to a sleeper’s body.
How it’s built
Support core: Memory foam mattresses are not made entirely from memory foam, as it is too soft to provide adequate support on its own. A memory foam mattress will use a support core made from high-density polyfoam to create a sturdy base.
Comfort layers: Memory foam makes up the additional comfort layers. Typically, a memory foam mattress will be made of 25-40 percent memory foam.
Foam density: High-density memory foam rated 6 PCF (pound per cubic foot) or higher is found in the most expensive mattresses. Medium-density foam (rated 4-5.9 PCF) provides motion isolation and pressure point relief. Low-density foam (rated under 3.9) returns to its original shape quickly and offers les motion isolation and pressure relief. It is found in cheaper mattresses.
Amount of memory foam used: Usually, when more memory foam is used, the mattress will be more expensive.
Added features: Some mattresses use a gel-memory foam, charcoal, copper, or even green tea-infused memory foam as a comfort layer for a variety of different reasons. Typically, these speciality memory foams come at a higher price point.
A latex mattress combines the contouring and, pressure-point relief associated with foam mattresses with the supportive features and traditional feel of hybrid and innerspring beds. Latex mattresses can be found a variety of firmness levels. The latex used in these mattresses is derived from the sap of a rubber tree plant.
How it’s made
Support core: An all-latex mattress uses a thick, dense latex as a base. Occasionally, if the bed is not all-latex, you will see the support core made with a high-density polyfoam.
Comfort layers: The all-latex mattresses feature comfort layers made entirely of a soft latex material. If the mattress isn’t 100 percent latex, you might see a polyfoam used in the comfort layers as well.
- Latex is derived in one of two ways. In the Dunlop process, latex is stirred, molded and stem-baked. It results in a dense, sturdy, heavy latex. In the newer Talalay process, latex is vacuum-sealed, frozen, and baked. Talalay produces a latex that is softer and bouncier by comparison. Both are considered 100 percent natural. Talalay latex tends to be more expensive.
- A mattress made of all natural latex will be more expensive, while blended and synthetic latex materials will be cheaper.
- Thicker comfort layers and more of them will increase your costs.
An innerspring mattress is constructed on a base of steel coils in a range of configurations. Innersprings are the most widely sold and often least expensive mattress option available.
How it’s built
Support core: The support core of an innerspring mattress is made up of steel coils (springs). These coils are measured in gauge and range in thickness from 12 (being the thickest coil wire and results in a firmer spring) to 18 (being the thinnest and results in most gentle spring). The coils are usually cushioned and encased in a quilted fabric.
Comfort layer: An innerspring mattress is typically topped with a foam or pillow-top layer. Memory foam or latex are sometimes used as well. These comfort layers are less than two inches thick. Mattresses with a comfort layer of more than two inches are considered a hybrid – more on that below.
- Coils are measured using gauge, or thickness. The lower the gauge, the thicker the coiler, the longer the lifespan, and the higher the price.
- The type of coil used will also affect price. Bonnell coils are hourglass-shaped and continuous wire coils are arranged in a straight line. These types tend to be found in cheaper mattresses, but are generally not used in mattresses today. Offset coils are hourglass-shaped with one end hinged for better weight support. Pocketed coils are spiral-shaped and encased in fabric. These two types are the most common tend to be in more expensive mattresses.
- Some manufacturers charge more for a higher coil count, though a higher count hasn’t been linked to higher customer satisfaction.
A hybrid mattress features an innerspring coil support system underneath at least one foam layer that is over two inches thick. A hybrid provides the pressure-relieving benefits of memory (or latex) foam with the more traditional and supportive feel of an innerspring mattress.
How it’s built
Support core: The foundation of a hybrid mattress uses the same coiled support system as a traditional innerspring mattress.
Comfort layer: The coiled support system is topped with a thick comfort layer of foam. This foam may be either memory foam, polyfoam or a natural or synthetic latex. On a hybrid mattress, this foam layer is at least two inches thick. It is the thickness of this foam layer that differentiates it from the thinner comfort layer found on some innerspring mattresses.
- Like an innerspring mattress, the type and thickness of coil used in a hybrid’s support core will affect price.
- A hybrid that is topped with memory foam will usually cost less than one that uses a latex foam.
- The thicker the foam comfort layer, the more expensive the mattress will be.
Finding a Great Value
A great value means getting excellent features and a reasonable price. If you’re not happy with your mattress, it doesn’t matter how much you spent (or didn’t) – it is still a waste of money. It’s important to prioritize the key components that will have the biggest impact on your sleeping experience.
Materials make or break a mattress. A mattress made with low-quality materials will likely not stand up to the test of time, and in the end result in low-quality sleep. As you read above, there are many materials to choose from when selecting your new mattress.
Consider your sleep style, comfort preferences, and support needs as laid out above to decide what material best suits your personal situation. Then do some investigating.
Whatever material you choose, you’ll want to get detailed specifications of each mattress you compare. That means knowing the gauge of the coils, the density of the foam, or the thickness of the comfort layers.
Consider the quality and the lifespan of the material. Because you’re not really saving much money if you have to buy another mattress just a few years down the road.
The primary purpose of a mattress is to keep your spine in alignment while you sleep. To do this, a mattress must offer the proper support. Without it, you’ll wake up with uncomfortable aches and pains.
Always find out about a mattress’ support core and make sure it uses high-quality materials and construction. And don’t think that just because a mattress has a high-quality top layer, the support core will match. It’s still important to get the specifications of both.
Firmness refers to how a mattress feels when you lie down on it. A firm mattress does not give and offers resistance, or push-back, when depressed. A softer (less firm) mattress will offer more “give” and allow the body to sink down slightly.
A mattress’ firmness is rated on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the least firm and 10 being the most firm. There is no good or bad, right or wrong level of firmness – it’s all a matter of personal opinion. So be sure to try out any mattress to ensure it is suited to your preferences.
Because the only way to really know how a mattress feels is by sleeping on it for several hours, it’s important for a mattress to come with a free trial or warranty period. This lets you sleep on the mattress for a number of days (usually at least 30) to make sure that it is the right fit for you and not a waste of money.
Getting the Best Price
Once you’ve identified the mattress you want to try, it’s worth putting in a little time and energy to get the very best price available.
Whether you’re shopping in-store or online, sales are a common occurrence in the mattress world and they are often worth waiting for. While there is often an overlap between e-commerce and brick and mortar retailers, the timing of sales do tend to vary.
- Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving sees a wide range of great deals, traditionally offered only in-store. But many e-commerce retailers have followed suit with their own promotions in order to get in on the action.
- Holidays: The mattress industry typically offers the most significant sales on Labor Day and Memorial Day. Other holidays such as Fourth of July, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day are also often used to promote discounts.
- Cyber Monday: Many Black Friday deals now extend into Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving. Retailers often offer a new round of deals this day and into the week.
- Amazon Prime Day is a discounted shopping event offered exclusively to members of Amazon’s yearly subscription service. Typically held the second week in July, Prime Day usually offers significant discounts.
Other Ways to Save
Pay attention to shipping costs or delivery fees. Many online retailers offer free shipping, but it is important to confirm this before you buy. Particularly if you are purchasing from a third-party seller such as Amazon. It’s important to note any returns shipping fees as well, should you decide the mattress isn’t right for you. The same applies for any delivery or return fees if you’re buying at a brick and mortar store.
Remember, it is possible to negotiate. One of the benefits of buying in-store is that you have the opportunity to negotiate your price. Chain stores, like a Mattress Firm or Mattress Warehouse, tend to have higher markups and therefore more room to negotiate than the local mom and pop stores. Do your research before you talk price. Know what price you’re willing to pay and be ready to walk away.
Search for online savings. There are a number of other ways to save when shopping online. As you’re doing research online, keep an eye out for referral codes. Many sites offer promotional codes for the mattresses they review. And once you’ve identified the mattress you want to buy, sign up with the manufacturer’s website. You’ll be notified of sales and specials and you’ll often receive a discount code when you sign up.
When you’re ready to buy a new mattress, there’s no need to break the budget. With good options available at all price points, you can find a quality mattress that won’t give your bank account nightmares.
Best Mattress Under $2,000
|Awara Organic Latex Hybrid||$1,599|
Best Mattress Under $1,000
|GelFoamBed Gel Tech Venus Halcyon||$699|
Best Mattress Under $500
|Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams||$449 (Foam) or $499 (Hybrid)|