How Much Should You Spend on a Mattress? Costs Explained (+ Tips on Getting the Best Deal)

Written by: Alex Savy
Read 10 minLast updated August 31, 2020

How Much Should You Spend on a Mattress

In the mattress world, there’s no end when it comes to the price.

You can settle for a model as low as $150 or splurge on a luxurious bed over $5,000. The options are limited only by your wallet.

But among this variety, how can you determine which mattress is worth its price? And how much exactly should you spend on a new bed to enjoy your restful sleep?

That’s what we will try to find out today. We will look at average mattress prices, see what factors can determine the cost, and decide which aspects matter the most. Let’s dive right in!

Average Mattress Prices Comparison

So, how much should you spend on a mattress? On average, a high-quality mattress would cost around $900-1,000. However, prices vary depending on the bed type and the materials used, among other factors.

So, let’s take a look at the most common mattress types and their prices:

Mattress typePrice range (Queen size)Average price (Queen)
Innerspring$300-$1,200 +$800-$900
Foam$250-$1,200 +$1,000
Hybrid$500-$2,300 +$1,500
Latex$500-$2,500 +$1,500
Airbed$50-$1,000 +$200

Now, foam and innerspring mattresses are among the most popular ones, followed by latex beds. This can be explained by not only the comfort levels they provide but also their pricing, since hybrids, for example, tend to be much more expensive. You can find many spring and foam bed options among the mattresses below $500, but it’s hard to stumble across latex or hybrid mattresses in the same category.

Mattress Market

Source: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/mattress-market

What Factors Affect How Much You Could Spend on a New Mattress

Different aspects can determine how much you should spend on a mattress. Once you are familiar with them, you will be able to figure out what matters to you (and, consequently, what is worth your money).

Size

Now, this one is pretty logical: the bigger the mattress is, the more materials were used for it. Therefore, the more expensive it will be. Larger beds (such as King) typically cost twice as much as smaller Twins, for example. Additionally, keep in mind that less common sizes are slightly more expensive too (like Cal King or Twin XL).

Mattress type

As described in the table above, mattress prices vary depending on the materials used and the bed type. Let’s take a closer look at them and what can affect the price of each bed category.

Foam

When it comes to foam mattresses (both memory and polyurethane), there’s one main rule. Higher-quality mattresses use denser foams that provide more support and tend to last longer (1). Cheap mattresses often use low-density foams that have a plushier feel but can develop indentations with time or start sagging sooner than more expensive models.

Therefore, the higher the foam quality a mattress uses, the more expensive it will be. Some extra costs can be involved if the manufacturer implements such extras as gel or copper infusion for cooling, zoned support, open-cell foam for breathability, reinforcement around the edges, etc.

Also, keep in mind that foam type matters too. Memory foam tends to be pricier than polyurethane foam. Polyfoam has a more limited lifespan and a bit different feel (it is more resilient and offers a faster response to the applied pressure).  

Innerspring

Here’s the deal: while innerspring mattresses are among affordable models, their price would mainly depend on the coil quality. The thicker the coils, the more expensive the mattress would be. Coil thickness (or gauge) varies from 12 to 18 mainly, with 12 being the thickest (hence, the most durable and supportive).

Coil type may also play a role here. Pocketed springs are pricier since they offer better motion isolation and more targeted support (when compared to offset or Bonnell coils). 

The comfort layer would also matter. Cheaper models may use wool or fibers to add some extra padding on top of the springs. More expensive mattresses often use polyfoam (or sometimes even memory foam) for extra comfort. And even though the comfort layer is usually quite thin, such models would cost a bit more.

Keep in mind that some manufacturers may raise the price due to the higher coil count (the number of coils used in the mattress). However, the coil count is not as important as the gauge. In fact, more coils do not necessarily mean improved support or comfort.

Latex

Here’s what you should learn right away: natural latex is more expensive but offers prolonged durability and can be a more eco-friendly choice for some users (2). Synthetic latex is also quite pricey when compared to other mattress types (foam and innerspring). However, it’s a more affordable option when put side by side with natural latex mattresses.

How much you would spend on a mattress can also depend on the manufacturing process. The Talalay process results in lighter, airier latex, while Dunlop latex is denser and heavier. Talalay is more expensive, but some latex beds used both types: Dunlop for support layers and Talalay for comfort zones.

Hybrid

As hybrid beds combine different materials, their price would often depend on the quality of those.

Typically, hybrid mattresses use an innerspring support system, so lower coil gauge (higher thickness) would affect the price. For comfort layers, hybrid beds typically use foam or latex. So the type and the density can affect the price too. Usually, mattresses using memory foam or latex for the comfort layers are more expensive than the ones using polyfoam.  Just like that, natural latex models are more expensive than the beds using synthetic latex comfort layers.

Airbeds

Modern air beds can be used not only for camping. Many of them feature more durable materials and have a more advanced construction, which makes them suitable for regular use as well. 

The main aspect that can affect the price of an air mattress is the thickness of the material (PU or vinyl). Another deciding factor is the pump and whether it’s built-in or not. Mattresses with separate air chambers tend to cost more as they are usually more comfortable and supportive.

Some airbeds can use foam or even micro coils for extra comfort layers. Naturally, such models are more expensive.

Online or in-store purchase

While shopping for a mattress at the store may seem like the best idea (since you can actually test the mattress), you are likely to spend more money this way. You see, buying a mattress from an online company is usually always cheaper. The online brands don’t have to deal with all the brick and mortar expenses, which allows them to offer more affordable prices to their customers.

An overly expensive mattress does not guarantee your good slumber (3). Often, mattresses that cost over $1,500 have the same amount of cushioning and a construction similar to cheaper models (around $1,000). In this case, you may be paying more for the recognizable brand name or the unnecessary bells and whistles.

Durability

Here’s the deal: when it comes to mattresses, you get what you pay for (in most cases). This means cheaper models can help you save some money but they are not likely to serve you for a very long time

Of course, more affordable mattresses can still be comfortable and you can find plenty of good models even under $300 that would provide you with decent support and cushioning. But chances are, you will have to replace such a mattress within the first 5 years of use.

More durable (high-quality) mattresses usually cost more. So, if you are trying to save some money, consider the long run: the cheaper your mattress is, the sooner you will have to replace it (and spend your money again).

Extra Costs and Add-Ons You Should Be Aware Of

The truth is, sometimes paying for a mattress once does not end there. You may deal with additional charges, which should be taken into account before you finalize your purchase:

  • Warranty. Read the fine print, as some warranties will require you to pay for shipping when your mattress needs to be replaced or repaired. 
  • Returns. You may have to pay for shipping in case you want to take advantage of the sleep trial and return the mattress. Some companies arrange for a pickup, others may require you to send the mattress yourself. 
  • Delivery and setup. While most online brands offer free shipping, you may come across a company that would ask you to pay for it. The same rule may apply if you order from the company based outside of your country of residence. Some brands offer the White Glove delivery, which means the mattress will be delivered right to your door and they will even set it up for you. However, this service is not always free, so make sure to check the conditions before making a purchase.
  • Old mattress removal. Again, some companies may arrange a pick-up for your old bed. This may be included in the White Glove service or you might be required to pay extra to get rid of your old mattress. 
  • Comfort adjustments. Some mattress brands allow their customers to adjust the feel of their new bed after using it for some time. Usually, they send extra layers that you can incorporate with the rest of your mattress. Sometimes they offer to replace your mattress with a different model. Often, this service can be free if you use it within the trial period. However, once the trial is over, you will probably have to pay for the comfort adjustments. 
  • Foundation and accessories. When purchasing a new mattress, you may need to get a suitable foundation or a new bed frame for it. Additionally, a set of new bedsheets may be required (for instance, if you buy a taller or larger mattress, your old bed sheets will not fit anymore).

How to Get the Best Deal

Here are some extra tips you may want to consider if you wish to cut the cost of your new mattress:

  • Shop online. Typically, mattresses are cheaper online than in stores (as the online brands cut the middle man and save more money).
  • Wait for holiday sales. Shopping around Labor Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Amazon Prime midsummer sale, Black Friday and so on usually involves sales and attractive discounts.
  • Choose companies that offer free shipping. This one is obvious, right? It’s better to enjoy the free shipping than to pay more than $100 for your bed to be delivered.
  • Check for referrals. Some brands offer discounts if you have a referral from a friend who has already bought a mattress from them.
  • Negotiate when buying in-store. Sometimes, mattress companies would rather lower the price than lose a potential customer.

As you can see, free shipping is one of the top ways to cut on a mattress cost.

How much time people spend on researching a mattress before purchasing

Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/tech-targeting-15-billion-mattress-market/

Many shoppers prefer to compare brands online and pick the ones offering the most customer-friendly conditions: free shipping, in-home trial, and reasonable pricing. You can cut the price even more when shopping online during the holiday season.

Conclusion

These days, mattresses come in an impressive variety

The same goes for prices. You can find both ridiculously cheap and crazy expensive models.

However, don’t forget that you pay for the quality of the materials first, and only then for bells and whistles. Consider the mattress type and what materials the manufacturer used, and juxtapose those with the retail price. If you want to save some money, shop online. And pay attention to discounts and holiday sales. You have a chance to hit the jackpot during those periods.

How much are you willing to spend on a new mattress? And what type are you considering? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Can you negotiate a mattress price?

Yes, if you are buying from a brick and mortar store. Sometimes, companies agree to reduce the price a bit to obtain a new, loyal customer. If you want to save a buck or two, you can also shop during the Black Friday and the official holidays. Most mattress brands have sales during those, so it’s the best way to cut the cost on your new bed.

Are more expensive mattresses worth it?

Yes, if we are talking about durability. In terms of comfort, the price isn’t always the decisive factor. If you pick a mattress suited for your body type and favorite sleeping position, even a cheaper one would allow you to sleep well. However, it will not serve you for that long.

References:

  1. Melissa Pandika (February 20, 2020). Why are mattresses so expensive? Retrieved from https://www.mic.com/p/why-are-mattresses-so-expensive-21815964
  2. Alice Oglethorpe (March 18, 2019). The Lowdown on Mattress Costs. Retrieved from https://www.saatva.com/blog/how-much-quality-mattress-cost/
  3. Suzy Strutner & Carly Ledbetter (January 09, 2015). What Nobody Tells You About Buying A Mattress. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-buy-a-mattress_n_6431374

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