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Who says that you have to spend a fortune on your new bed?
No one, exactly.
I mean, an expensive mattress would come with all the bells and whistles. But it doesn’t mean that a low-cost option wouldn’t be just as comfortable for you.
So, check my today’s review of the best mattresses under $500 and see for yourself how easy it is to find a good budget-friendly bed.
A Quick Preview
Best Overall — Editor’s Choice
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Best for Pressure Relief
Galaxy by Olee Sleep
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Best for Thermoregulation
Cooling Gel Memory Foam Hybrid by Zinus
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Best Firm Option
Cool Breeze by Dynasty Mattress
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Best for the Classic Foam Feel
LUCID 12-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
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Our Reviews of the Best Mattresses Under $500
Best Overall - Editor’s Choice — Vaya Mattress
- optimal medium firmness for every sleeping position;
- breathable cover and cooling foam prevent overheating;
- open-cell foams with great pressure-relieving properties;
- suited for active sleepers because of great motion insolation;
- doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals and is certified by CertiPUR-US.
We start our selection of the best mattresses under $500 with the Vaya mattress. To be fair, this is a Full-sized bed — you need to add an extra $100 for a Queen size — but its simple two-layer design and high-quality materials make it one of the best options on the market, and here’s why.
The mattress features two layers of open-cell foams that offer instant cradling and exceptional spinal support for any sleeper type. A soft breathable cover prevents overheating and gives you blissful sleep even during summer nights. Plus, the coil-less construction results in zero motion transfer, which is excellent for partnered sleep.
Even though a Queen-sized bed by this brand slightly falls outside the price range, you should still try the Vaya mattress. It’s comfortable, breathable, and will outlive less expensive analogs without sacrificing your comfort.
- Mixed sleepers. Vaya easily adapts to your sleeping position and keeps the spine in correct alignment, so you won’t feel stiffness or pain upon awakening.
- Users who have trouble with falling asleep. Low motion transfer and gentle hug of the Vaya mattress will send you to the Land of Nod in no time, even if you have an overly active partner by your side.
- People who need good pressure relief. Open-cell memory foam of the Vaya comfort layer hugs your hips, shoulders, and lower back and relieves any pain, including chronic, without feeling like quicksand.
Best for Pressure Relief Galaxy by Olee Sleep
- high-profile design, easy to get in and out of;
- hybrid construction for improved breathability;
- gel-infused foam for cooler sleep;
- medium-firm feel to accommodate a wide range of sleepers;
- durable materials and affordable pricing, great value for money.
Heaving the lead in my review of the best mattresses under $500, the Galaxy shows a great example of what a budget-friendly bed should be like. This mattress is smartly constructed and can work for different types of sleepers.
Now, the Galaxy is a hybrid. It is 13 inches thick and has 5 layers inside, with the individually wrapped coils serving as the supportive core. On top, we have 3 layers of foam, all of a slightly different density (and one is gel-infused for a cooling effect). There’s an extra foam layer under the springs for added support. The cover is made of polyester and feels soft and pleasant to the touch. There’s also a thin fiber padding underneath for some extra cushioning.
Having a medium-firm feel, this mattress combines sturdy support and sufficient cradling, which is typical for hybrid beds.
Being one of the brightest stars in this price category, the Galaxy shows great results in providing comfort, pressure relief, and support. This mattress is a rare find that it certainly worth your attention.
- Average back sleepers. The Galaxy is a medium-firm mattress with a good amount of bounce and support thanks to the coil core. Therefore, it’s great for back sleepers who need moderate cradling for their hips and decent support for the back.
- Heavier side sleepers. As this is a medium-firm mattress, it does offer good sinkage, which would multiply if you are a heavier user. The Galaxy will allow your hips and shoulders to sink in deeper when lying on your side, which will result in superb pressure relief.
- Chronic pain sufferers. If you have sensitive joints, back pain, or find it hard to get out of bed, the Galaxy might make your life a bit easier. Firstly, this is a rather thick mattress, which means it will be easier for you to get in and out of it. Secondly, the foam in the comfort layers provides great pressure relief, which is essential for chronic pain sufferers.
Best for Thermoregulation - Cooling Gel Memory Foam Hybrid by Zinus
- foams infused with charcoal and green tea for fresher sleep and an antimicrobial effect;
- medium feel, would work for a wide range of users;
- airflow-enhancing transition layer for cooler sleep;
- soft Jacquard cover, suited for those who prefer sleeping without a bedsheet;
- safety certified for your peace of mind.
The next model I want to introduce in my review of the best mattresses under $500 is the Zinus Hybrid. This bed has a rather simplistic construction that doesn’t fail to provide good support combined with cooling pressure relief.
Now, here’s the deal:
The Zinus uses individually wrapped coils as a support base and high-density foam around the perimeter for enhanced edges. As for the comfort layer, it is made of gel-infused memory foam for a cooling effect. There’s also an extra layer of thin comfort foam for a smoother transition to the supportive innerspring core.
This mattress has a medium feel. Since it’s not very thick, it may even seem firm to some individuals depending on the body type.
Overall, the Zinus Hybrid has a lot to boast of. This mattress offers superb thermoregulation while providing proper support for the spine and minimizing pressure points.
- Hot sleepers. The coils allow for unobstructed air circulation, which helps immensely with thermoregulation. Additionally, the company uses memory foam infused with cooling gel for the comfort layer, which also contributes to that.
- Average-weight sleepers. As this is a medium mattress, the Zinus may seem too firm for lightweight users and too soft for heavier sleepers. People between 130 and 200 pounds (approximately) are likely to enjoy this mattress the most.
- People who don’t mind the break-in period. This mattress may feel a bit too firm at first. As it oftentimes happens with similar beds, it requires a break-in period, after which it should start feeling perfectly comfortable.
Best Firm Option - Cool Breeze by Dynasty Mattress
- cooling gel foam for a temperature-neutral sleeping environment;
- removable and washable cover for effortless cleaning;
- comes with 2 pillows and offers great value for money;
- AirFlow Foam transition layers for enhanced air circulation and a cooling effect;
- high-density support foam for increased lifespan.
I couldn’t forget to mention the Cool Breeze in my review of the best mattresses under $500. This big guy is solid and nicely made. It can easily handle heavier users and provides sturdy support and reliability.
Here’s the kicker:
This is an all-foam mattress that measures 12 inches in height. It has a firm feel and may seem stiff at first. But once it adjusts to your body, you will be able to enjoy the combination of strong support and mild sinkage.
The Cool Breeze has 4 layers. The base is made of high-density foam that is followed by 2 layers of Cool Airflow foam, which have a convoluted design and allow for free air circulation. The top comfort layer uses gel-infused memory foam for an even better thermoregulation.
If you are looking for a firm foam mattress and don’t want to pay too much, the Cool Breeze is your champion. This is a high-quality bed that will be able to provide reliable support and cooling comfort.
- Heavier sleepers. This is a firm mattress, but if you weigh more than 250 pounds, the Cool Breeze will allow for enough sinkage without provoking unnatural curvature in the spine.
- Average stomach sleepers. The prone sleeping position requires firm support, and that’s exactly what the Cool Breeze has to offer.
- Hot sleepers. The combination of gel-infused and egg-crate foams results in good thermoregulation, making this model suited for those who hate sleeping hot.
Best for the Classic Foam Feel - LUCID 12-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
- medium-firm feel, suitable for many sleepers;
- charcoal-infused foam for increased antimicrobial properties;
- latex-like comfort layer to battle the quicksand feeling;
- natural bamboo cover for increased breathability;
- gel-infused memory foam layer for cooler pressure relief.
Let me share another great mattress under $500 that might exceed your expectations despite its affordable price. The Lucid can prove that you can enjoy a good night’s sleep even when your budget is a bit tight.
This is an all-foam model. But its construction is not as simplistic as you may expect from such a low-cost bed.
There are 4 layers, and each serves a specific function. The base is charcoal-infused for odor control and better mold resistance. One of the comfort layers is gel-infused for better heat removal. The top layer uses quicker-response foam that offers close conforming without making you feel trapped in your mattress.
It’s hard not to love the Lucid. This all-foam mattress excels at providing pressure relief and close conforming, which so many sleepers appreciate.
- People who love foam mattresses. Even though the top layer might feel a bit bouncier than classic memory foam, the Lucid still feels very cradling and nicely hugs your body.
- Average or heavier sleepers. As this is a medium-firm mattress, it may feel too stiff for lightweight users.
- Users with sensitive joints. The combination of close conforming and good pressure relief makes the Lucid suitable even for people with chronic pain.
What Types of Mattresses Can You Find Under $500?
Let’s make it clear straight away:
You will hardly find many luxurious, organic, or proprietary-designed models when looking for the best mattress under $500.
Now, when you stumble across an affordable mattress, you need to understand what you can expect for this price. So, here are all the types of the best cheap mattresses and what they may be able to offer under $500.
Also Read: 5 Best mattresses under $1000
This is probably the most popular bed type, which is famous for its impressive abilities to conform closely to the body and adjust to its curves. Now, memory foam is characterized by a slow response and outstanding pressure relief, which can contribute to improving your sleep quality (1).
Here’s the deal, though:
If we’re talking about mattresses under $300 or $500, you are most likely to come across polyurethane foam, or polyfoam. It also offers close conforming and good pressure relief but has a faster response and a bit bouncier feel. At this price point, you can definitely find some worthy and comfy mattresses, but keep in mind that their durability might be lower than that of more expensive options.
Foam tends to develop indentations with time, and the cheaper it is, the sooner this happens (especially if you are heavier than average). Rotating your mattress regularly may help postpone that a bit. Also, keep in mind that foam tends to sleep hot (unless it’s infused with cooling gel).
Overall, foam mattresses come in different density and firmness options, which means they are suitable for different types of users.
Generally, innerspring beds tend to be the cheapest ones, which makes them ideal for sleepers on a budget. These mattresses offer stable support and good air circulation that results in effective thermoregulation.
Typically, cheaper spring beds have a thin layer of polyfoam to balance out the rigid and bouncy core and provide some cushioning. Some budget-friendly options may also use polyester fiber padding as a comfort layer. Such a basic construction is the most suited for stomach and back sleepers, while side sleepers may require more cushioning and sinkage for their hips and shoulders.
The average lifespan of a low-cost innerspring mattress can be around 5-6 years depending on the coil type and the sleeper’s weight.
Using coils and foam or latex, these beds usually offer a balanced combination of support and cushioning, which makes hybrids ideal for side sleepers. However, back and stomach sleepers may also enjoy using such a mattress, but they need to choose a firmer variant.
When we’re talking about prices below $500, hybrid mattresses usually come with no extra features. However, affordable hybrids have a relatively good lifespan and tend to serve longer than innerspring beds. They may offer strong edge support, thermoregulation, and solid construction overall.
Still, you need to be careful when shopping and pay attention to the coil type used for the support core. Bonnell coils are typically less durable than continuous-wire or offset coils.
Also Read: 5 Best hybrid mattresses
Natural latex is almost impossible to find in this price category, unfortunately. Most latex beds under $500 would be made of synthetic latex (or have a blend of both, natural and synthetic).
Now, latex mattresses are quite bouncy and offer that “floating” sensation, meaning you will feel like sleeping on your mattress rather than in it. However, latex is still able to provide good pressure relief. Such beds work for different types of sleepers, but you need to consider the type. Dunlop latex, both natural and synthetic, tends to be denser and firmer, which makes it a good choice for back and stomach sleepers. Talalay latex is a bit more expensive and softer. It may work better for side sleepers.
Despite the stereotypes around these beds, most modern air mattresses are very comfortable and can be used nightly. They are affordable and offer customization, meaning you can alter the firmness level by inflating or deflating your bed (2). On the downside, airbeds are less durable and don’t always provide enough pressure relief, which makes it impossible for some sleepers to use them regularly.
“It’s a good idea to check more expensive models as well. An occasional sale or discount can make them fit your budget.”
What to Consider When Shopping for a Good but Affordable Mattress
We all know that a mattress is a serious investment. And typically, you get what you pay for.
Still, there are many chances for you to get a comfortable mattress under $500. Just make sure to stay extra attentive when shopping.
Here are the factors you should look at:
- Support. Decent support is the key factor when it comes to sleep. You need your spine to remain properly aligned during the night, and that requires proper support. Therefore, you need to get suitable firmness for your body type and preferred sleep position. Typically, side sleepers enjoy soft to medium beds. Back sleepers are recommended to use medium to medium-firm mattresses. And stomach sleepers usually feel the most comfortable on firm mattresses. However, keep in mind that the mattress’s overall feel will depend on your body weight. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check other people’s reviews to compare how your desired bed feels for different users.
- Durability. While mattresses last for around 7-10 years on average, low-cost options have a more limited lifespan (3-7 years). You should keep this factor in mind when shopping if you don’t want to be “surprised” in the future. Also, pay attention to the manufacturer’s warranty. A longer warranty is usually a sign of quality (3).
- Materials. You are already familiar with the most common types of affordable mattresses. Now you need to decide which one would work for you. Bear in mind that innerspring is the most widespread type in this price range. Polyfoam is also quite common and might even be combined with a layer or two of memory foam. Latex beds under $500 are usually synthetic, so don’t expect to get an organic mattress for this price. Also, keep in mind that synthetic latex is less durable than the natural one (4). As for hybrids, they may have a more basic construction without the unessential bells and whistles.
- Partnered sleep. If you share your bed with a partner, there are some extra aspects you need to consider. Specifically, edge support and motion isolation. Now, while foam mattresses are superb at absorbing motion, they typically have weak edges. Innerspring models, on the other hand, provide great edge support and mediocre motion isolation. A hybrid may be the most suited for couples, as it can offer both pretty strong edges and decent motion absorption.
- Size. Now, even if you are a sleeper on a budget who needs a larger bed, you can still find a good but affordable King, Queen, or Cal King mattress. But expect it to be a bit more basic. However, you have another option: get a more luxurious model but smaller in size, such as Full for couples or Twin XL and Twin for solo sleepers ( if you don’t mind downsizing a bit, of course).
- Off-gassing. Cheaper models tend to use cheaper materials, naturally. This may result in some off-gassing after unpacking. Luckily, the odors usually disappear within a few hours. Still, if you are sensitive to smell, it’s better to read other shoppers’ reviews to understand how long the off-gassing in your desired mattress takes to dissipate.
“Mainly, all mattresses offer free delivery. However, cheaper options may not include old mattress removal, which may result in more expenses on your part.”
Why Can’t You Just Buy a Used Bed under $500?
Sites like Craigslist often have ads for selling used mattresses for a low price, but here’s why you shouldn’t do it:
First, a seller could just conceal some information about the mattress. For example, bed bug colonies aren’t noticeable from the outside if the mattress has been spot cleaned, but they might still live inside the mattress. So when you purchase it, you may get the whole family exposed to infestation.
Second, mechanical damage and loss of support aren’t immediately noticeable either. It gets especially dangerous if you purchase a mattress for chronic pain. In this case, you might spend even more money on a new mattress if the pain gets worse.
However, you can check out offline stores for discontinued models or sales. These are great options to grab a decent mattress for a ridiculous price.
Now you know that you don’t have to go broke in order to get a new bed. After all, there are plenty of quality mattresses under $500 on the market. And to choose the best one, you simply need to pay attention to the materials used and their durability (try to avoid low-density foams, for example). Don’t forget that a good mattress has to be supportive, so check the firmness level before making a purchase. And, of course, consider how much sleeping space you need (mattress size) and the preferences of your partner (if you share your bed with someone).
When I tested my top 5 picks from this price category, I was impressed with the Vaya mattress. Even though we used a Full-size mattress to fit the budget, it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The Vaya really cradles your body and relaxes it, so you fall asleep in minutes. Plus, it sleeps cool, and even if you’re prone to overheating, you will definitely feel great sleeping on this mattress. So if you can allow yourself to add an extra $100 to get the Queen-sized Vaya mattress, it will be totally worth it.
What do you think? Will you be one of them, or have you picked something else for yourself? Let me know in the comments below!
- Annie Stuart (n.d.). Memory Foam: Pros and Cons. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/memory-foam-pros-and-cons#1
- Steffanie Howard (2018, June 25). My Chiropractor Raved Over My $28 Mattress. Here’s How I Made it. Retrieved from https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/save-money/how-to-find-a-cheap-mattress/
- Abe Abbas (2019, October 02). When to Replace a Mattress. Retrieved from https://www.thespruce.com/how-often-to-replace-mattresses-1391234
- Latex Mattresses - History, Construction, Allergy Concerns. Retrieved from https://purple.com/mattress-types/latex-mattresses
Hours of Research
Sleep Experts Consulted