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Best Mattress for the Money 2019

If you’re looking to buy a new mattress, you’ve likely noticed one thing: They can be really, really expensive. With the bounty of luxury models available on the market, you might even start to think that affordable ones don’t exist. Thankfully, you’d be wrong. Nowadays, there are plenty of budget-friendly beds designed to satisfy a wide range of different sleep habits. However, just because a mattress has a low price point doesn’t mean it’s a true value buy. So, how do you sort through the cost-effective options and land on a mattress that’ll actually meet your needs? Well, we’re so glad you asked!

First and foremost, pay extra close attention to the materials being used (don’t worry — we’ll go over how to spot the high-quality stuff later on!) Secondly, you’ll want to think about the mattress in comparison with other models in its class. A $1,000 bed, for example, can still be a great buy when compared to other mattresses at that price point. In truth, value is as much about the details as it is about the cost.

To put this all in context, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite mattresses for the money below, which range from the luxuriously soft to the buoyantly supportive. After we go over our picks, we’ll dig into the methodology we used to select them and wrap things up with a few helpful tips you can use on your own search.

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Zinus

If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll want to go with a soft structure that allows for plenty of sinkage and body-contouring. Enter the 12” Green Tea Memory Foam mattress from Zinus. This model features thick layers of memory foam and a cooling green tea infusion, ensuring a cozy sleep full of deep pressure relief. And the best part? It’s priced at a point that can’t be beat. 

Pros 

  • Compared to other memory foam mattresses on the market, the Zinus is a fantastic value buy. It has the feel of a luxury mattress at a price that’s not likely to break the bank. 
  • The green tea infusion is also an interesting feature as it works to mitigate memory foam’s tendency to overheat in the night. 
  • The thick top layer of memory foam could do a lot for side sleepers or other folks looking to alleviate tension in the shoulders and hips. 

Cons 

  • If you want to feel more “on top” of your bed than “in” it, the Zinus may not be the mattress for you. 
  • Stomach sleepers in particular may feel as though the memory foam top layers cause their hips to sink out of alignment with their shoulders.
Zinus
Zinus

The 12” Green Tea Memory Foam mattress features thick layers of memory foam and a cooling green tea infusion, ensuring a cozy sleep full of deep pressure relief.

Best Hybrid Mattress

Linenspa

The Linenspa Hybrid features sections of plush memory foam and individually wrapped coils, packing a one-two punch of pressure relief and support. Though the bed’s two-layer design may be a little straightforward for some shoppers, it does come with a very attractive bonus: It’s one of the most budget-friendly beds you’re likely to find on the Internet. 

Pros 

  • The affordability of this mattress is a big selling point! If you’re budget-conscious, this bed could be the one for you. 
  • While the hybrid does feature a top layer of memory foam, it’s relatively thin, so the main vibe is one of firm bounce and support. 
  • In general, this bed could be a fantastic option for college students or young adults moving into their first place. 

Cons

  • Given the straightforward design, there’s not a lot of body-contouring or deep pressure relief going on here, so may not work for those who need to alleviate tension in the shoulders and hips. 
  • Heavier sleepers may also find that they sink straight through the thin foam top layer, resulting in some discomfort as they hit the firm coils.
Linenspa
Linenspa

The Linenspa Hybrid features sections of plush memory foam and individually wrapped coils, packing a one-two punch of pressure relief and support.

Best Firm Mattress

Signature Sleep

If an ultra-firm mattress is more your speed, you may want to consider this model from Signature Sleep. Built with a top layer of high-density poly foam and a tall 7” system of individually encased coils, this bed is bouncy, firm, and oh so supportive. The mattress is also flippable, which could help to extend its lifespan! 

Pros 

  • Back and stomach sleepers should feel particularly well-supported by this mattress, as the buoyant coils are likely to lift the hips and lumbar region up and out of the structure. 
  • Combo sleepers could also find a lot to love in the bed’s bouncy nature, as the high mobility will make it easy to move around and change positions. 
  • In general, if you’re someone who wants to feel more “on top” of your bed than in it, this could be the mattress for you. 

Cons 

  • However, side sleepers should probably look elsewhere, as the bed’s taut vibe prevents it from offering deep pressure relief in the shoulders or hips. 
  • If you’re looking for body-contouring of any kind, this is probably not the mattress for you, as all its layers are quite firm. 
Signature Sleep
Signature Sleep

The Signature Sleep is built with a top layer of high-density poly foam and a tall 7” system of individually encased coils, this bed is bouncy, firm, and oh so supportive.

Best Memory Foam Mattress

Lucid

Though memory foam mattresses can be slightly pricey, not all beds that feature the material have to break the bank. A prime example is the 10” Gel Memory Foam mattress from Lucid. Outfitted with thick top layers of gel-infused, ventilated memory foam, this model is designed to embody all the great benefits of the popular bedding material, namely its sinkage and deep body-contouring. 

Pros 

  • Memory foam fans should find a lot to love in this mattress, as it really embodies the vibe of the plush material. 
  • Side sleepers, in particular, will likely enjoy the slow sink they’ll experience into this structure, which will help to bring much-needed pressure relief to the shoulders and hips. 
  • If you like a soft mattress, you should be satisfied by the gentle feel of this Lucid mattress. 

Cons 

  • There’s not a lot of bounce here, so if you need to move around and change positions in the night, this may not be the bed for you. 
  • Stomach sleepers may also find that the contouring of the memory foam top layer causes their hips to sink out of line with their shoulders. 
Lucid
Lucid

The Lucid is outfitted with thick top layers of gel-infused, ventilated memory foam, this model is designed to embody all the great benefits of the popular bedding material, namely its sinkage and deep body-contouring.

Best Mattress Topper

Leisure Town

If you generally like the feel of your mattress, but want to alter the vibe slightly, a mattress topper could be the accessory for you. And for our money, there’s no better topper for this purpose than the Leisure Town Cooling Mattress Pad. Not only is it plush and pressure-relieving, but it’s outfitted with cooling tech to keep things cozy throughout the night. 

Pros 

  • The topper is built with a down alternative, so provides a cloud-like cushion into which folks can gently sink.
  • But this sinkage isn’t likely to overheat the sleeper, as the pad is infused with innovative cooling tech. 
  • In general, this pad could be great for sleepers who need just a bit more pressure relief at sensitive spots along the spine. 

Cons 

  • However, if you prefer a firmer feel, you may want to pass on this topper, as it’s definitely got a soft vibe. 
  • Additionally, stomach sleepers may find that the pad causes their hips to sink out of alignment with their shoulders, which is a big no-no for those who doze primarily in prone. 
Leisure Town
Leisure Town

The Leisure Town Cooling Mattress Pad is plush and pressure-relieving, and outfitted with cooling tech to keep things cozy throughout the night. 

How We Picked

Now that we’ve gone over our picks, let’s get into the methodology we used to pick them! Below, we’ll walk you through some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a value mattress.

Value

It’s vital to keep in mind that “value” doesn’t always mean “inexpensive.” Sometimes, a $2,500 luxury bed has great value when compared to other models in its class. Similarly, a $250 mattress could be a total dud when sized up to other budget brands. So, when shopping for a mattress on a budget, you’ll want to consider cost in relation to factors such as the types of materials used, the design elements at play, and what the competition for that price point looks like.

Materials

Speaking of materials, you’ll want to go with the most high-quality ones you can find for what you’re willing to spend. Though you’ll likely see the same types of materials used over and over again (memory foam, latex, coils, high-density poly foam), every brand’s version of said material is going to be a little different. Therefore, you’ll want to pay extra close attention to the construction specs to make sure you’re landing on a truly high-quality iteration of said material. Below, we’ll go over some things to look out for with each of these popular bedding materials.

  • Memory Foam: Quality memory foam is defined by its density. So, the higher the density, the greater the lifespan of the foam. For memory foam, you’ll want to hone in on a sweet spot somewhere between 3.0-5.0 PCF (pounds per cubic foot).
  • Latex: The best quality latex foams are either Dunlop or Talalay latex. Dunlop is the only form of latex that’s 100% natural, and it has a much denser feel than Talalay. Though the one you go with will be up to you, seeing these names when looking for a bed is always a good sign.
  • Coils: Coil count and density play a large role in how supportive and comfortable an innerspring mattress is going to be. A smaller number of coils provides fewer areas of contact with the body, thereby leading to the formation of uncomfortable pressure points. Conversely, a mattress with more coils is generally going to feature better contouring and responsiveness.
  • Poly Foam: Poly foam is a popular material for value mattresses, because it’s less expensive than other bedding materials. However, that doesn’t mean all poly foam is created equal. Look out for high-density poly foam, which is denser and sturdier than other types of poly foam.

Warranty

Does the mattress have a solid warranty? If so, you’re likely to get more miles out of it, which extends your purchase far beyond checkout. When you think of your new bed purchase as a true investment, this factor can be incredibly important.

Needs

At the end of the day, your mattress must satisfy your specific sleep needs, regardless of cost. So, it’s vital to figure out the things upon which you absolutely cannot bend. If you’re a strict side sleeper, for example, it’s going to be massively important to find a bed with a soft top layer for contouring at the shoulders and hips. For this reason, you might want to spring for an extra plush comfort layer. The same can be said for stomach sleepers who opt for an ultra-supportive coil layer or combo sleepers who invest in a little bit more latex for bounce and mobility.

Sleepopolis Tips

Still not sure how to find the value mattress of your dreams? No worries! We’re going to wrap up this guide with a few tricks you can use to improve your search.

  • Though not always the case, the number of layers in a mattress can hint to its quality. Typically, a bed with three or more distinct layers is going to have a more balanced feel than one with two. It’s a small difference, but one that can help ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
  • Foam modifications are another signifier of value and quality. Gel infusions and open-cell designs help to elevate “normal” foam, and can justify a slightly higher price tag.
  • Take advantage of trial periods! Not every brand has them, but many do, so make sure to investigate thoroughly before buying.
  • Remember that you’ll hopefully have this bed for 7-10 years, so while the initial cost might seem quite high, it’s important to think long term. That doesn’t mean you should fork over thousands of dollars on a single mattress, but it is something to keep in mind when you’re establishing your budget range.

Wrapping Up

Ta-da! You now know everything you need to know about shopping for a value mattress. At the end of the day, true value is going to mean something different for each sleeper, so figure out the things that are most important for you, and go from there!

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Logan Block

Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan has perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole.

Logan Block

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