With such a huge range of mattress options, there are many criteria to consider when choosing which is the right one for you. But clearly one of the key factors for almost everyone is value, and you shouldn’t have to dig deep into your savings to get a high-quality mattress.
In this article, we’ll review some of the main considerations when searching for the best mattress for the money. Read through the guide for plenty of details and explanations, or click here to skip straight to our recommendations.
What Is a Normal Price Range?
The price range for mattresses is enormous with options available for just a couple hundred bucks and options for thousands of dollars. As a general rule, we believe that you can get a high-quality foam mattress in a queen size for under $1000. An excellent all-latex, hybrid, or innerspring queen mattress can be found for just a bit more than this amount.
As you shop and consider your choices, remember that the listed retail price is often not the final price that you will pay. In mattress stores, sales are extremely common, and you should virtually never pay the listed retail price. Online, many direct-to-consumer retailers are regularly providing coupons or promotions that can significantly bring down your overall cost. Make sure to keep an eye out for these types of offers so that you can get the best price available.
You can check out our Guide to Mattress Sales and Discounts for more tips on getting the best deal when you’re shopping for a new mattress.
What Types of Mattresses Are Available?
You can read a lot more detail about the different types of mattress options that are on the market in our Buyer’s Guide, but we’ll provide a quick refresher here. You can classify almost all mattresses into the following categories:
- Foam: these mattresses are built with several layers of foam, and the exact foam composition and specifications can vary. One of the most common types of foam mattress construction involves a base of support foam with one or more comfort layers on top. The comfort layers are most often composed of memory foam or another type of foam with a similar feel. Specifically, this type of comfort layer responds to the amount of pressure applied in each specific place, which helps to provide appropriate support to each part of the body.
- Innerspring: these mattresses use coils inside the mattress to provide spring and support. This is the most traditional type of mattress, and the innerspring coils often have a slightly softer top layer, such as a pillowtop, that can provide some additional plushness or comfort. There are numerous types of innerspring construction that can affect the support and performance of an innerspring mattress.
- Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses include elements of memory foam, innerspring coils, and/or latex. A common type of hybrid has a layer of memory foam on top of a base of innerspring coils. Another type involves a mixture of layers with support foam, latex, and memory foam. The benefits and downsides of a hybrid mattress depend in large part on the layering and materials involved in the construction of the mattress.
- Latex: these mattresses are made from either natural or synthetic rubber. Latex tends to be a heavier and more expensive material, so it is not uncommon to see all-latex mattresses sell for thousands of dollars. Latex offers a high level of responsiveness, but it also tends to be bouncier and more resilient than many foams on the market.
What Are the Key Features to Look For?
Choosing the best value for the money means not compromising on important features that will help make sure that you have the best possible experience with your mattress. In this section, we’ll describe some of the main things that you’ll want to be on the lookout for as you consider how to get the most bang for your buck in selecting a mattress.
- High-quality materials: nothing determines the performance of a mattress more than the quality of the actual components that are used to make it. You’ll come across a lot of fancy marketing terms for different features, but sometimes this is just window dressing to cover over a mattress built with shoddy internal parts. When looking at the materials, here are some questions to think through:
- Does the company provide detailed specifications? For example, do they list the actual thickness of each layer of the mattress? If it’s a foam layer, do they publicly share the density and/or ILD of the foam? If it’s an innerspring layer, do they tell you about the type of innerspring construction? The more vague the details, the more skeptical you should be that perhaps the company cut corners in choosing their materials.
- Is there a weak spot? Some mattresses may use great materials in the comfort layer but use a low-quality foam for support. Remember that one weak layer can dramatically reduce the overall performance of the mattress.
- How thick is the comfort layer? An extremely thin comfort layer may degrade the feel and performance of a mattress and may limit its long-term durability as more pressure will be put on the supporting layers. In general, look for a comfort layer that is at least 2” thick, and if you are a heavier sleeper or someone with major pressure points, you likely want an even thicker comfort layer or a combination of several comfort layers.
- Free shipping: it’s important to consider the total cost of buying a mattress and not just the price of the mattress itself. Most online mattress companies offer free shipping. If you’re enticed by a mattress that has a shipping charge, just make sure to factor that into your total assessment of the value of the mattress.
- Free and no-hassle returns: many people get concerned about buying a mattress online because they don’t have an opportunity to scope the mattress out in a store. Thankfully, most direct-to-consumer mattress companies offer an extended sleep trial that allows you to try the mattress out in your own home for several months. If you realize during the sleep trial that the mattress isn’t right for you, you can return it at no charge and with no hassle from the company. We suggest choosing a mattress that has this type of sleep trial and return policy to help protect your investment in case you find that the mattress just isn’t the right fit.
- Comfort preference: the firmness or feel of a mattress is a big factor in determining what is likely to be the best fit for you. We generally suggest looking for a medium-firm mattress, which is usually in the 5-7 range on the typical firmness scale. This firmness level works best for most people. However, if you have a specific firmness preference that is higher or lower than that, make sure to look for a mattress that is offered in multiple different firmness options without a major price difference. Our Mattress Firmness Guide provides a lot more information about making sure that you select a mattress to fit your sleeping position and comfort preference.
- Solid verified reviews: as we’ve stated, there’s a lot of marketing that takes place in the mattress industry, and one of the best ways to cut through the noise is to only rely on trusted reviews. We’ve tried to do a lot of this legwork for you, and you can read more about any specific mattress in our brand reviews.
The Tuft and Needle mattress is our choice for the best foam mattress for the money. You can get a queen mattress for $600 before any coupons or promotions.
Why? The company’s mattress has been on the market for over 5 years and during this time, they’ve developed a reputation as a quality brand with excellent customer service.
Why not? This mattress is only available in one firmness choice and tends to be perceived as slightly more firm. In addition, the foam density leaves a bit to be desired for an all-foam mattress.
The Bottom Line: Though this isn’t a perfect mattress, at its price point, it represents an excellent value and is a solid choice for anyone looking for a quality mattress that won’t bust their budget.
Foam — Latex Hybrid
Our top choice for the best latex hybrid for the money is the GhostBed, which costs $795 for a queen before any promotions or coupons.
Why? This mattress features high-density foams in all three layers. It offers a combination of memory foam and latex and comes from a company — Nature’s Sleep — that has an extended history in the mattress industry.
Why not? The mattress is only available in one firmness option. In addition, while Nature’s Sleep has been selling mattress for over 15 years, the GhostBed has only been on the market since 2015, so we have less information about its long-term durability.
The Bottom Line: For the price, the GhostBed uses a combination of quality materials layered in an arrangement that can be expected to provide a good night’s sleep for most customers.
The Saatva mattress is our choice for the best innerspring mattress for the money. A queen size mattress costs $999 plus $99 shipping before any coupons or promotions.
Why? The Saatva is built with excellent components, including multi-layered coils. The company also has a reputation for a high level of customer service.
Why not? Unlike many competitors, the Saatva comes with a charge for shipping that is not refundable if you decide to return the mattress.
The Bottom Line: while you can find innerspring mattresses out there for a much lower cost, they simply won’t deliver the kind of mattress performance offered by the Saatva.
The Nest Alexander Signature Hybrid is our choice for the best hybrid mattress for the money. It is priced at $1,199 for a queen before any coupons or promotions.
Why? The mattress is built with very solid components and comes in multiple firmness options to allow each shopper to find the right fit.
Why not? The pillowtop on this mattress may create a too-plush feel for some customers and risk them sleeping hot.
Bottom Line: hybrid mattresses often come with a slightly higher price tag, and while that’s the case with the Nest Alexander Signature Hybrid, it still offers excellent performance for the price relative to similar options on the market.
The best all-latex mattress for the money is the Sleep On Latex Pure Green Mattress. Its price ranges from $899-$1,199 depending on the height and firmness option selected.
Why? The Pure Green Mattress is built with natural latex that gets excellent reviews for its performance. The company also offers several different options for mattress height and firmness.
Why not? Sleep On Latex doesn’t provide quite as much detail about the mattress specifications as we would like. For example, they do not list the density or ILD of the latex used in their mattress.
Bottom Line: Even without knowing every detail of the build of this mattress, we can safely say that it includes a considerable amount of high-performance latex at a price that is a fraction of what these types of mattresses are often sold for.
For more helpful guides and resources to assist you in choosing a mattress, check out the following pages on our site:
- How to Choose a Mattress: A Buyer’s Guide
- Guide to Mattress Foam Density and Firmness Measurements
- Guide to Mattress Sales and Discounts