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You definitely need a comfortable mattress to get quality sleep.
But the definition of comfort varies from person to person, and a good bed for you personally should not necessarily be the most expensive one in the mattress store.
In fact, some beds with a lower price are no worse than luxury brands and may suit even the pickiest sleepers.
To prove it to you, I have found and reviewed 5 best mattresses under $300. Let’s see which one of them will be able to usher you into the land of Nod in minutes.
A Quick Preview
Best for Active Sleepers
Zinus Green Tea
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Best for Breathable Design
Olee Sleep Omega
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Best for Sturdy Edges
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Our Reviews of 5 Best Mattresses Under $300
Best for Active Sleepers – Zinus Green Tea
- great motion absorption, suited for partnered sleep;
- infused with green tea to keep your bed fresh longer;
- open-cell transition layer for increased airflow and a cooling effect;
- high-density support foam to aid proper weight distribution;
- memory foam comfort layer to minimize pressure points.
Let’s start our list of top-rated mattresses under $300 with this model by Zinus. Its all-foam construction and plush feel make it a perfect purchase for active sleepers and their bed partners.
Great motion-absorbing properties are one of the strongest points of this mattress. The Zinus Green Tea gently cradles your body and lets you sink a bit for a more relaxing sleep. According to my experience — and I can be quite a restless sleeper sometimes — this mattress does a great job at isolating impulses from your movement during the night, so neither you nor your partner will disturb each other.
Along with that, the manufacturer succeeded in creating a pretty neutral-sleeping foam bed. The upper layer is made of green-tea infused memory foam, which allows the air to circulate more freely.
Overall, the Zinus mattress is a well-made budget model that offers a decent hug and, despite the price, is durable enough to serve you for years.
Best for Breathable Design – Olee Sleep Omega
- strong edges for increased sleeping space;
- anti-sagging design for enhanced durability;
- breathable construction to aid air circulation for cooler sleep;
- individually wrapped pocket springs for targeted support;
- gel-infused memory foam for temperature-neutral pressure relief.
If you’re a hot sleeper looking for an affordable yet breathable mattress, the second top-rated mattresses under $300 I’ve reviewed may be just for you. The Omega by Olee Sleep combines good supportive properties with temperature-neutral design, thus helping you get a more restorative sleep.
Now, the Omega is marketed as a hybrid mattress, but to me, it looks more like an innerspring. Its supportive core is made of a coil block, which explains good airflow between the layers. Also, coils contribute to a sturdy perimeter, so you can utilize the whole mattress surface without feeling like you’re rolling off the bed during the night.
The mattress also has a soft, quilted cover and a foam comfort layer, which along with the coils make up 10 inches of height. This is enough to support an average-weight or heavy sleeper, while lightweight sleepers may feel this mattress as an overly firm option.
So, the Omega mattress is great for those who tend to sleep hot. This bed can easily support your spine and make your sleep more refreshing. Just make sure you don’t mind a firmer feel.
Best for Sturdy Edges – Inofia
- open-cell comfort foam for cooler sleep;
- enhanced edge support, great for couples who require more sleeping space;
- wave transition foam for increased air circulation;
- medium-firm feel to accommodate different types of users and multiple sleeping positions;
- bouncy pressure relief without making you feel stuck.
Moving further through my selection of the best mattresses under $300, and here’s a nice hybrid model by Inofia. This mattress combines a medium-firm feel — which is optimal for most sleepers — and really strong edges, which is what anyone who shares a bed should look for.
So, the first thing that immediately caught my eye was the padded top that feels plush to the touch. The comfort layer is made of softer foam that gently cradles your body curves. And there’s also a foam layer with a convoluted design for better air circulation.
Now, due to the hybrid design, the Inofia sleeps reasonably cool. Together with the convoluted layer, the coil block does a great job of promoting airflow, so you won’t sleep hot even on summer nights.
Overall, this mattress offers good value for money. I believe it will best suit side and back sleepers, especially those who sleep with a partner or just tend to roll over to the edge of the bed.
What to Expect from a Three-Hunder-Dollar Mattress?
If you are determined to buy a budget bed, you need to get familiar with certain risks and possible issues that come with it:
- Simpler construction. More layers mean more effort put into the manufacturing process and hence, higher prices. With budget-friendly beds, it’s vice versa — they typically don’t offer more than 2-3 layers and hence, lower prices.
- Low profile. This is directly connected to the previous point, as budget beds rarely are higher than 10-11 inches. This also affects the perception of the firmness: you’re more likely to find a mattress with a firm feel among cheaper models.
- Use of cheaper materials. Cheaper materials aren’t always low-quality, but generally, low-price mattresses are less resilient and will wear out faster even if you maintain them properly.
- Odor concerns. Odors probably are the most common drawback in inexpensive foam beds. That’s because chemicals that are used for making foams have an initial odor that can transfer to the final product. Add it to the fact that the manufacturing process for cheaper foams might skip some filtration stages to reduce the costs — and you will understand why it’s recommended to aerate the mattress for at least 24 hours before sleeping on it.
Most mattresses of average quality can offer you proper support for about 6-8 years depending on their type (1). The lifespan of a cheaper mattress is usually 2-3 years shorter. But, of course, there are low-quality products that may not survive even a year.
When Buying a Low-Cost Mattress Is a Good Idea
This might sound counterintuitive but:
Getting a good mattress under $300 can sometimes be a better option than spending all the money in the world on a high-end mattress.
Here are at least two scenarios to support this statement.
Furnishing a Guest Room
Since guest beds are used occasionally, there’s no need to purchase a luxurious mattress. A low-cost bed may be supportive and comfortable enough to accommodate your guests.
Moving to a New House
Dragging a bulky mattress with you across the city — or even country — despite being quite ridiculous, might cost you a pretty penny.
If the place where you live now is not your final habitation, you may want to get a low-cost mattress as a temporary solution. Because, let’s be honest, getting rid of something you haven’t spent too much money on feels a lot less stressful.
Also, if you’re already in the middle of the move, you might consider purchasing a simple, cheap bed to sleep on while you are still furnishing your new home. Until you get to the step of buying a new, better mattress.
A Peek Inside: Most Common Materials Used for Making Inexpensive Beds
The mattress industry constantly evolves and invents new materials. Which of these materials are used in low-cost mattresses?
Well, obviously, you shouldn’t expect anything extraordinary, to be honest. Because innovations are reserved for high-end beds.
But you still need to know what to expect from a budget-friendly bed, so I’ve outlined the most common materials used:
- Polyurethane foam. Polyfoam is an open-cell foam and the most common material for budget-friendly beds. This foam feels more spongy compared to traditional memory foam, so you can expect a firmer feel and quicker rebound. Also, thanks to open cells, polyfoam retains less heat than some other foams (don’t expect a very noticeable effect, though). But the overall resilience of the polyfoam isn’t great, and if it’s used in upper layers, they can start sagging pretty soon.
- Memory foam. Memory foam is another common option you can get. It’s used for making both comfort layers and mattress foundations, as there are different levels of density. However, most of the inexpensive mattress brands use the so-called ‘first-generation foams’ that tend to have issues with heat retention, so most of these mattresses are not a good choice for a hot sleeper. Also, if the manufacturer uses infused foams, you might get less resilient materials that will lose their supportive properties faster.
- Latex. Now, don’t get me wrong: latex is an expensive material, and you will rarely find it in mattresses under $1,000. Still, there are a few manufacturers that may use a latex layer in their budget-friendly hybrid models, so I thought I’d include this material on my lists as well. So, latex is incredibly breathable and can help wick away moisture, promoting a more refreshing sleep. Along with that, latex feels bouncier and somewhat firmer, compared to synthetic foams. That’s why it may feel unusual if you’re used to sleeping on foam mattresses.
- Coils. Cheaper hybrid and innerspring mattresses typically utilize steel spring blocks with a higher gauge or lower coil count. While this doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of offering you a uniform sleeping surface, they may still be more prone to breaking, squeaking, or poking through the foam layers.
- Fabrics. Polyester and bamboo rayon fabrics remain a consistent choice for covers in low-cost mattresses. They’re fairly breathable, durable and soft, and work well for people with allergies. Yet, because of their synthetic nature, they may not be good at withdrawing moisture, which could result in funky odors. Plus, they tend to generate static.
Places to Buy a Cheap Mattress
When it comes to shopping, things are pretty constant here:
You either visit a local store or order online.
But what is the best option if you need a cheaper mattress? Is there any way to save some money by shopping in the right place?
Well, if your goal is to find a really high-quality bed under $300, I totally recommend shopping online.
The reason for that is as simple as this:
Most low-budget mattresses are sold online.
It’s simply unlikely that you will manage to find a mattress as cheap as 300 bucks in a regular brick-and-mortar store. That’s because the costs of store maintenance are included in the price, and these costs can sometimes be very high (and hence higher final prices for customers). At the same time, running an online store is more cost-efficient, so online vendors are able to offer lower prices.
Most mail-order mattress brands can offer you to test your mattress for up to 365 days and then return it if you find out that it doesn’t work for you.
Things to Check Before Purchase
Before I let you go, I’d like to draw your attention to several crucial things you need to check before you click the order button. When shopping for a low-budget bed, that’s a sure way not to end up disappointed.
As I’ve already mentioned, many budget-friendly mattresses are on the firmer side of the scale because they have fewer comfort layers and are made of bouncier materials.
However, the perception of firmness is subjective and depends on two things:
Your body weight and preferred sleeping position.
Large sleepers typically need a mattress that won’t allow excessive sinkage and will keep their spine properly aligned. If that’s your case, choose a firmer bed with a hybrid or innerspring construction.
Average weight and petite sleepers, on the other hand, might need a different level of firmness, so they should look at their sleeping position:
Side sleepers will feel great on a softer bed that will cradle their hips and shoulders, whereas back and stomach sleepers will need a medium of medium-firm feel to support their spine.
Medium-firm mattresses are found to be the most comfortable for different users regardless of their weight or sleeping position (2).
Certification tags, such as CertiPUR-US, GreenGuard, and others, can prove that your mattress meets the national standards for volatile organic compounds (3) and doesn’t hide any harmful chemicals inside its layers. Since cheaper beds might use low-quality ingredients that are not pure, checking for certifications is crucial.
Trial and Warranty
If you didn’t enjoy your sleeping experience with a low-cost bed, you need to be able to return it without any hassle. Check if the brand can cover you back in such situations by providing you a simple return process and clear warranty conditions.
It’s also a good idea to look for user reviews describing their experience with customer support and return policy.
So, as you see, good mattresses with a price that won’t burn your pocket do exist. All five models I have reviewed above may not stand out with smart construction or innovative materials, but they do their job of providing you a supportive and comfortable surface to sleep on.
Now, if you ask me about my most favorite bed among the five, I will name the Inofia. I love the overall feel this mattress has, its temperature-neutral design, and a universal firmness level that will suit most sleepers.
But if you do love the traditional memory foam feel, I believe that the Zinus Green Tea mattress will suit your needs best. It’s higher than most budget beds on the market and can let you drown in its layers for a heavenly sleep.
What about you? Which one of these five models seems appealing to you? And why do you actually prefer a low-cost mattress over more luxurious ones? Share your thoughts below!
- National Sleep Foundation (n.d.). How to Choose a Mattress. Retrieved from https://www.sleep.org/articles/how-to-choose-a-mattress/
- Francisco M Kovacs, Ph.D., Víctor Abraira, Ph.D., Andrés Peña, MD, José Gerardo Martín-Rodríguez, MD, Manuel Sánchez-Vera, MD, Enrique Ferrer, Ph.D., et al. (2003, November 15). Effect of Firmness of Mattress on Chronic Non-Specific Low-Back Pain: Randomised, Double-Blind, Controlled, Multicentre Trial. Retrieved from https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(03)14792-7/fulltext
- Amber Merton (n.d.). Mattress Certifications – What Do They Mean? GOLS, GOTS, OEKO-TEX, GreenGuard Gold. Retrieved from https://www.plushbeds.com/blog/mattress/mattress-certifications-what-do-they-mean-gols-gots-oeko-tex-greenguard-gold/
Hours of Research
Sleep Experts Consulted