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Looking for the best affordable mattress? Sleep experts weigh in

If you’re in the market for a new mattress but don’t have a ton of extra cash to spend, the good news is that there are a lot of options that will help you get a better night’s sleep without feeling like you overspent. We asked sleep experts to weigh in on the best affordable mattress you can buy, so depending on what you’re looking for (e.g., supportive mattress topper, pillowtop mattress, cooling fabric), you can find one that meets your budget.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind before you start shopping and some recommendations from those who live and breathe sleep.

What to look for in a mattress

For Elisa Regulski, certified sleep science coach and editor at MattressClarity.com, your mattress choice really boils down to how you sleep. “As a side sleeper, I really need a thick comfort layer,” she noted. “I want to feel that cushioning all around my shoulders and hips.”

Regulski added, “I also prefer hybrid mattresses because they last longer and create great support. Don’t skimp on a cheap innerspring mattress or thin memory foam bed. It’s worth it to make sure the mattress has strong coils and at least a 2-in. comfort layer.”

Alex Savy, a certified sleep science coach and the founder of SleepingOcean.com, agreed. “One of the crucial characteristics is support. It means the mattress’s ability to keep the body properly aligned and the spine neutral. A supportive mattress is one that has a quality support core,” he said. “If we’re talking about foam, such a mattress should use denser types with a higher pounds per cubic feet rating.”

He added that the same goes for latex. “If it’s a hybrid or an innerspring mattress, it has to use thicker coils for support,” he noted.

How can you find the best inexpensive mattress?

Bridget Chapman, certified sleep science coach and lead reviewer at Sleepopolis, said you don’t have to break the bank to find a quality mattress. “Finding an affordable mattress doesn’t mean that you have to skimp on quality,” she said. “There are plenty of budget-friendly mattresses that are still of good quality.”

You don’t need to get the most expensive mattress

She usually considers a “cheap” mattress to be one priced at $1,000 or less, and a “budget” mattress to be one priced between $1,000 and $1,500. She recommends the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress, which currently comes in at just $899 and includes $499 worth of accessories. “This mattress alone goes to show how the budget-friendly mattress space still has some great quality mattresses that will significantly benefit sleep,” she explained.

Shop for deals

To find the best deals, Savy says to buy around a holiday. “To find an excellent mattress for a reasonable price, shoppers can wait for big seasonal or holiday sales,” he noted. “During this time, many mattress companies offer impressive discounts or value bundles. Typically, shoppers can catch the biggest sales on Black Friday.” Other big holidays to look out for, he said, include Independence Day and Labor Day.

Take advantage of sleep trials

Marc Werner, co-founder of GhostBed by Nature’s Sleep, said that when he was designing a balanced affordable mattress, he offered a 101-night sleep trial for buyers. “I designed our first mattress, the GhostBed classic, to have a unique feel that would please a mass audience of buyers,” he says. “What makes it unique is the GhostIce fabric cover and the 1.5″ aerated latex that helps keep it cool with a strong supporting memory foam. While our cost has gone up, we still have worked hard to keep it affordable.”

Regulski, meanwhile, is a fan of Brooklyn Bedding. “I sleep on a version of the Brooklyn Bedding Signature, and I get the necessary comfort and support every night. This company owns their factory, so they can cut out on some of the overhead costs.”

When to consider a higher-quality mattress

How you’ll use the mattress matters. If it’s going in a kid’s room or a guest bedroom, our experts say it’s okay to buy a less expensive mattress without all the bells and whistles. If it’s going to be one you use nightly, you should give it more thought.

“In the long run, it’s worth it to spend a little bit more on your mattress,” Regulski said. “After all, this is a decade-long commitment. There’s no need to get the super luxe and expensive models, but it’s definitely smart to find a bed made with high-quality materials.”

Chapman agreed, adding, “Pressure relief is another thing shoppers shouldn’t skimp on. This aspect is especially important for people suffering from back pain.” Further, pressure-relieving mattresses that conform to your shape help spread tension evenly across your body, “promoting fast relaxation and pain alleviation.”

While everyone’s budgets are different, a mattress is critical for a good night’s sleep, so you may need to wait and save to get the one that’s right for you.

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