If there’s one thing I know about online mattress shopping, it’s that it can be expensive. And while some may argue you can’t put a price tag on quality sleep, the price barrier of a new mattress can still be quite prohibitive. That’s why I created this guide on the best mattresses under $500 to help you get better sleep on a budget.
Though they differ in terms of style, design, and construction, the mattresses I’ve included in this guide are built to be as good for you as they are for your wallet. I’ll walk through my selections below and then cap things off with a quick methodology detailing all the things I like to look for when mattress shopping on a budget.
And just so you know, the $500 price tag I’m alluding to here refers to the cost of a Queen size mattress. When you visit a brand’s respective product page, make sure to select the size you want to see the final price.
But enough chat! Let’s get on with my guide to the best mattresses under $500.
Best Mattresses Under $500 – Top 5 Picks
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Zinus
- Best Hybrid Mattress – Lucid Hybrid
- Best Cooling Mattress – DreamFoam Arctic Dreams
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – AmazonBasics
- Best Mattress for Couples – Allswell
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
Side sleepers looking to snag a bed under $500 should definitely consider the Zinus Green Tea memory foam mattress. Built with thick top layers of memory foam, this model should provide plenty of space to sink in for pressure relief at the shoulders, hips, and lower back.
In general, side sleepers will want a softer bed, which is why I tend to recommend memory foam. This material is known for its slow response to pressure, which means it actively contours to the curves of your body as it presses into the mattress. This can be great for side sleepers, many of whom exert deep and consistent pressure on the shoulders and hips through the night.
I’m a big fan of the Zinus mattress mentioned here not only because it does a fantastic job of alleviating tension at these spots, but because it also happens to sleep cool. Memory foam has a slight tendency for trapping and absorbing body heat, which this mattress avoids thanks to the cooling green tea infusion in its top layer. Additionally, this mattress isolates motion well, so could be a great pick for couples!
For more on this bed, take a look at my full Zinus Green Tea memory foam mattress review.
Sink into body-conforming pressure relief with Zinus's classic memory foam feel, it comes in a variety of heights and I love it for side sleepers!
Best Hybrid Mattress
If you’re on the prowl for an affordable hybrid mattress, I’d suggest checking out the Lucid Hybrid, which combines plush memory foam with pocketed coils for a one-two punch of pressure relief and support.
For those unfamiliar with the term “hybrid,” it basically just refers to any mattress that utilizes both foam and coil layers. These mattresses typically have a nice, balanced feel that’s medium firm and bouncy. The Lucid Hybrid, in particular, does a lovely job of combining the sinkage of memory foam with the lift of coils for a feel that should satisfy a wide range of sleepers, especially those who switch between their back and side in the night. I should also mention that this mattress is available in either a 10” or 12” tall model, with the 12” hybrid being slightly more expensive than the 10” one. Back sleepers should be fine on either option, though strict side sleepers will probably enjoy the extra inches of foam on the 12” model. Another fun bonus? The memory foam in this mattress has been infused with charcoal, which helps to dissipate body heat and keep you cool.
Learn more by checking out my full Lucid Hybrid mattress review.
The Lucid Hybrid has a buoyant top layer of gentle latex overlays sections of memory foam and pocketed coils, creating a structure that’s both lively and pressure-relieving.
Best Cooling Mattress
Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams
If you’re in need of a mattress that’ll actively cool things down while you sleep, then you may want to take a peek at the Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams mattress.
As the name suggests, this bed is designed with arctic-level cooling in mind. The chill vibes kick off with a cover that’s quilted with both foam and a special cooling panel, which helps to dissipate body heat as soon as you hop on the mattress. Beneath the cover, you’ll land on a layer of gel memory foam. While memory foam has a reputation for sleeping hot, the gel infusion here helps to curb this issue to keep temps low.
Cooling credentials aside, this mattress also comes in either an all-foam or hybrid version, allowing sleepers to hone in on the comfort level that’s going to be right for them. If you need more pressure relief, I’d recommend going with the all-foam Arctic Dreams. Combo sleepers and back sleepers, however, may want to opt for the hybrid model.
Does this bed sound like a winner? Then read all about it at my full Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams mattress review.
Both the all-foam and hybrid versions of the Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams come in at an affordable price, but you can make it even cheaper by clicking the link to save 20% on your purchase!
Best Memory Foam Mattress
As I mentioned earlier, memory foam mattresses can be great for folks in need of deep pressure relief at the shoulders, hips, and lower back. If you’re a side sleeper or someone who struggles with pain from fibromyalgia or arthritis, memory foam could very well be the material for you. Though there are a lot of budget memory options on the market, my favorite happens to be this model from AmazonBasics.
So, why does this particular memory foam mattress top my list? Well, for the price point and quality of foam, there really isn’t a better option available online. Plus, it comes in 8”, 10”, and 12” tall models, which means sleepers of all different sizes and weights can find something that works for them. I think it’s also worth mentioning that at the time of this writing, this is the least expensive mattress on this list, with even a King size coming in at well under $500. For that reason, I think this could be a great bed to buy for a spare guest room or even for a young adult moving into their first apartment.
For more on this mattress, check out my full review of the AmazonBasics memory foam mattress.
A streamlined, all-foam construction makes this affordable mattress a great pick for sleepers on a budget!
Best Mattress for Couples
Last but not least, let’s chat about the best mattress under $500 for couples! When thinking about beds for those who share their sleep space with a partner, I like to consider a few different criteria, namely firmness, motion transfer, and edge support. And in my opinion, the Allswell mattress excels in all three.
Firstly, let’s hit firmness. Since couples may have different comfort preferences, I typically recommend that they stick with a medium-firm mattress, which should satisfy needs for both pressure relief and support. The Allswell is decidedly medium firm, so ticks this box easily. Next, let’s look at motion transfer, or a mattress’ ability to isolate motion evenly across a structure. This measure can be especially important for couples in which one partner is a light sleeper. The Allswell performed super well on my motion transfer test, which means folks shouldn’t be too bothered by their bed mate’s tossing and turning in the night. And lastly, we’ll look at edge support, which refers to how sturdy the sides of a mattress are. Since couples need to maximize the surface area of their bed, sound edge support can be a big plus for their slumber. Thankfully, the Allswell has fantastic edge support, allowing folks to stretch all the way to the outer edges of the mattress.
To learn more about this bed, check out my full Allswell mattress review.
Sleepers who want some serious bounce from their mattress will love the buoyant support of the Allswell Mattress!
How I Chose the Best Mattresses Under $500
Now that we’ve gone over my selections, let’s take a moment to talk about how I picked them. You can consider this section to be a shopping guide with all the major factors to consider when shopping for a mattress under $500.
First and foremost, you should think about the materials inside your potential mattress. There’s a lot of variation on the market in terms of both material quality and price, so knowing a bit more about some of the most popular mattress materials available should help narrow and focus your search.
Below, I’m going to break down a few of these materials, describing how they feel, but also how expensive they tend to be.
- Memory Foam: Memory foam has a slow response to pressure, which provides plenty of space for folks to sink in for relief at the shoulders and hips. Many describe memory foam as having a contouring “hug,” so it could work particularly well for folks who like to feel more “in” their bed than “on top” of it. In terms of price, memory foam can be expensive, mostly because it’s a super dense material. But, if you’re able to find a mattress that pairs memory foam with a less expensive material, you could reap all its benefits at half the cost!
- Poly Foam: Poly foam has a quicker response to pressure than memory foam, so establishes a firmer and bouncier feel. Though poly foam doesn’t have nearly as many comfort benefits of memory foam (no sinkage, body-contouring, or deep pressure relief here), the material is pretty affordable. So, I’d recommend snagging a mattress that uses this material somewhere in its design to help cut down on the overall cost of your bed.
- Latex: Latex is an eco-friendly foam option that’s soft, bouncy, and naturally cooling. There are a ton of benefits to this material, so it is quite expensive, especially if it’s the primary material used in a bed’s construction. One way to snag this material at a budget price is to look for a latex-foam alternative. Several brands have developed their own take on all-natural latex, so keep your eyes peeled as you investigate your potential bed’s construction specs.
- Hybrid: As mentioned above, hybrid mattresses combine foam layers with either pocketed coils or springs. For this reason, they’re typically pretty expensive, though that’s not always the case. If you want a hybrid mattress, you’ll just have to make sure that the foam comfort layers are made from an affordable material (see above).
- Innerspring: Though some innerspring mattresses feature foam comfort layers or pillow top sections, most are made almost exclusively from tall steel coils. This marks them as one of the least expensive mattress options on the market. If you’re looking to really cut down on the overall price of your bed, you could go with an innerspring… as long as you don’t mind a firm, bouncy, and ultra-supportive feel.
Though price may be topping your list of shopping concerns, I’d encourage you to remember that your mattress still has to be comfortable and appropriate for your sleeping style. In that regard, one of the most crucial pieces to consider is pressure relief.
We talked about this measure a little bit above, but as a reminder it refers to how well (or not well!) a mattress is able to alleviate tension at sensitive spots like the shoulders, hips, and lower back. An important thing for all folks to think about, it could be especially important for pain sufferers or those who doze primarily on their sides.
So, how can you score high-quality pressure relief on a cheap mattress? By paying attention to the materials in the comfort layers. If you need a bed that’s deeply pressure-relieving, I’d recommend looking for mattresses built with either quilted pillow top layers or thick sections of memory foam. In my opinion, either one of these materials is worth the splurge if you’re the kind of sleeper who regularly wakes up with aches and pains in the night.
I also recommend trying out a new mattress for at least two weeks before committing to it. Thankfully, a lot of direct-to-consumer online brands have generous trial periods that allow folks to do just that. This can also help with concerns of pulling the trigger too fast on a purchase!
In addition to pressure relief, you’ll want to think about the support of your mattress. Though definitions of support vary, for me, I like to focus questions of support on spinal alignment. If a bed is truly supportive, it will be able to lift the hips in line with the shoulders, establishing a straight line all across the body.
To determine the support level of your mattress, pay extra close attention to the foundational core of the bed. In my opinion, pocketed coils and steel springs are some of the most supportive materials around. Not only do they lend their structures a ton of firmness and bounce, but they actively work to position the sleeper more “on top” of the bed than “in” it. If you’re a back sleeper or someone who likes to move around at night, you’ll really want to dig into the construction specs of your mattress to find out what its base is made of.
I’d also note that mattresses with three or more layers tend to be more supportive than mattresses built with single or two-layer designs. This creates more space for folks to sink into the structure, providing a more nuanced or “balanced” vibe. A lot of budget mattresses only feature two layers, so be on the lookout for ones that utilize more materials!
If you’re still struggling to find a mattress that’s within your budget, let me leave you with a few buying tips you can use to land on a fantastic and affordable bed.
- Don’t focus on name brands: This one might seem like a no-brainer, but I’d really encourage you not to focus on name brand mattresses. Sure, they might be backed by flashy advertisements and celebrity endorsements, but that doesn’t speak to how comfortable they actually are. Focus on the materials and your own sleep needs and you might be surprised by the “no name” mattresses you discover.
- Look out for warranties: There are a lot of different ways to increase the value of your mattress purchase, but one of my favorites is to find a brand that’s backed by a fantastic warranty. Nowadays, there are plenty of online companies that equip their mattresses with lifetime warranties, which ensures that your bed will be fixed or replaced if it’s ever damaged. This can help to soften some of the initial shock of an initially high price tag, especially if it means you’re covered basically forever.
- Shop around the holidays: Perhaps one of the biggest industry secrets is that a lot of bedding brands have huge savings around the holidays. And not just Christmas or Thanksgiving (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), but around President’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, too. So, keep your eyes peeled for special offers that might come down the pipeline on these holidays.
- Utilize our coupons: Did you know that Sleepopolis has year-round discounts on some of the most popular mattress brands on the Internet? Snag some major savings by taking a peep at our mattress coupons page!
Well, that does it for this guide! When shopping for a mattress under $500 of your own, make sure to pay attention to the materials at play, how pressure-relieving the structure is, and whether or not it’s supportive. And don’t forget to use our money-saving tips to optimize your shopping experience.
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