Best cheap mattress for 2022 – CNET

You don’t need an expensive mattress to get a good night’s sleep. Even if you’re on a budget you can get your hands on a low-priced, quality mattress that costs $800 or less, especially after discounts and promotions are applied. Further, when you’re shopping for cheap beds online, you typically don’t even have to wait for the Fourth of July or Memorial Day mattress sale to get sweet deals. I’ve tested more than 100 beds, and I’ve come to know what makes a quality mattress. I also know the types of materials and brands you should stay away from if you want a cheap mattress to last you longer than a year or two. 

Regardless of what mattress type you may be looking for — a firm mattress, a soft mattress, a memory foam mattress, an innerspring mattress or a cooling mattress for hot sleepers — we likely have an option that fits your bill at a reasonable price. Read on to find the best cheap mattress for you.

All prices are shown for queen-size models and are subject to change.


  • Type: Poly foam mattress
  • Firmness: 5 out of 10 or medium
  • Trial: 100 nights 
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Price (queen): $695 

A general rule of thumb when looking for the best affordable mattress is the thicker the bed, the more supportive it’s going to be. The Casper Element foam mattress has a 10-inch thickness, similar to popular foam beds like the Layla mattress and Puffy mattress, but it costs a fraction of the price. Like Tuft and Needle Nod, the Casper Element has two layers, but the additional two inches of foam layer makes it slightly more supportive, and more likely to outlast the Nod in the long term. 

The Casper Element has a light, airy, classic foam feel that’s soft like memory foam, but way more responsive and best for motion isolation. The foam will slightly conform to the curves of your body, but this Casper mattress doesn’t give you that sinking feeling that memory foam can. Most people will find this affordable mattress is really comfortable. The feel isn’t as divisive as memory foam, or even latex foam can be. 

It’s a hair firmer than a medium, but it still offers a great balance between pressure relief and support for body types under 230 pounds, regardless if you sleep on your back, side, stomach or a combination of them all. Since the Casper Element is so accommodating and one of the thicker cheap beds I’ve come across, I believe it deserves a top spot on this mattress review list. Casper is also an extremely trustworthy mattress brand who helped set the standard for what quality boxed mattresses can be. 

Prices start at $395 for a twin size and go up to $895 for a California king.


  • Type: Hybrid mattress
  • Firmness: 6 or medium to medium-firm 
  • Trial: 100 nights 
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Price (queen): $389

Allswell comes from one of the most popular low-price retail giants in the world, Walmart, after deciding it wanted to enter the bed-in-a-box mattress game. Because hybrid beds’ base layers are made with steel coils rather than foam, having the foam layer on top, they tend to be more pricey to manufacture, and in turn, are sold for more. Though, that isn’t the case with this cheaper mattress option from Allswell. It’s one of the most affordable hybrid mattresses I’ve ever seen, especially if you want a cheap queen mattress or king. I would even go as far as to say it’s the best value mattress in our list. 

In total this affordable mattress is around 10 inches thick — similar to popular, standard foam mattress beds — and in the bottom you can find a 6-inch layer of pocketed coils. It’s the secret sauce to the Allswell’s supportive design and is topped with a few foam layers, including the 0.75-inch of gel memory foam comfort layer quilted into the top cover. It’s a suitable choice for all body sizes, including larger bodies over 230 pounds and provides a moderate amount of pressure relief.

It doesn’t feel like memory foam where your handprint lasts a few moments before bouncing back to normal. It bounces back pretty quickly, and the pillow top adds a slight plushy feel. I think the innerspring layer makes it feel a little more firm, though, making me rate it around a six or seven out of 10 on the firmness scale. It’s only slightly firmer than a medium, making it suitable for most sleepers. The only person who may not love this bed is a lightweight side sleeper who loves an extra-plush bed.

Prices start at $279 for a twin and go up to $479 for a California king, but that’s just before discounts are applied.

Read our full Allswell mattress review.


  • Type: Poly foam mattress
  • Firmness: 5 or medium
  • Trial: 100 nights 
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Price (queen): $449 (Amazon) 

With a 4.5-star rating and over 2,000 reviews, I have to go ahead and agree with the users about this affordable mattress. With free shipping for Prime users, the Tuft & Needle Nod is an Amazon exclusive with a simple two-layer all-foam design that suits most sleepers under 230 pounds. It doesn’t feature any special bells and whistles, but you’re in the market for the best cheap bed, not the best foam mattress your savings account can buy. It offers classic, neutral comfort and is seriously affordable. 

It starts with a base layer about 5.5 inches thick. The top comfort layer is super airy and responsive, unlike memory foam. It’s also a little more breathable than your typical memory foam mattress because the foam is more aerated. Both layers stack up to 8 inches in total.

Tuft & Needle is a reputable brand that became so popular because its mattresses offer comfort without all the hoopla. It’s one of the reasons why I think it’s the best cheap mattress on Amazon, as some Amazon sellers can be a little… unreliable. When shopping for an inexpensive mattress, it’s tempting to buy something with the lowest price on Amazon, but you’re better off buying from a reputable brand.

Prices start at $310 for a twin and max out at $539 for a king. Because this mattress is sold through Amazon, prices frequently change.

Bear Mattress

  • Type: Memory foam mattress
  • Firmness: 6 or medium to medium-firm
  • Trial: 100 nights 
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Price (queen): $749

Value hunters who love cheap beds and memory foam should seriously consider the Bear Original mattress. It’s made with graphite-gel memory foam so it doesn’t retain heat like old memory foam mattresses used to, and it provides that signature hugging feel memory foam has become known for. One of the best parts in my opinion, besides the budget mattress price, is its Celliant-infused cover.

Celliant is a type of material that absorbs your body heat and disperses it back into your body as infrared energy. Long story short, it’s supposed to boost circulation and oxygen levels in your body, helping you wake up with more energy. There isn’t a way for me to scientifically test this technology, but it’s a pretty darn good perk for a bed with this kind of price tag. All I can say for sure, though, is it’s seriously comfortable to sleep on.

The Bear Original has three foam layers and measures 10 inches thick. It’s best for people who weigh under 230 pounds, and its medium to medium-firm profile is most ideal for back, stomach and combination sleepers. Some side sleepers will be completely fine with this bed, but those under 150 pounds who strictly sleep on their side might want a softer bed. 

This is the best memory foam mattress and the prices start at $561 for a twin and go up to $936 for a California king, but discounts will typically bring those prices down by $100 or more. 

Mattress FAQs

Which mattress types are more expensive than others?

Foam mattresses tend to be cheaper than innerspring or hybrid mattresses because the materials are cheaper to make. Hybrid mattresses are made with steel coils, while foam beds are made from soft foam materials. Memory foam and polyurethane foam are among the most affordable types of foam, while latex foam tends to be the most expensive — especially if it’s natural or organic. 

What are the best budget mattress brands?

You can find a quality cheap mattress that should last you five years or more from:

  • Allswell
  • Tuft and Needle
  • Casper
  • Brooklyn Bedding
  • Bear

Are cheap mattresses worth it?

If you aren’t expecting extreme durability and longevity, a cheap mattress may be a good option. Cheap mattresses are ideal for young children or professionals looking to save money. They also work well for guest bedrooms, college dorm rooms and first-time apartments. However, if you want to invest in your sleep and keep your mattress for more than five years, you may want to save up a little more. 

More mattress guides for 2022

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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