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Best Cheap Memory Foam Mattress

UPDATED

Written by David Rubin

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Breus

Expert Tested

Table of Contents

Due to their deep contouring and pressure relief, many sleepers prefer the feel of a memory foam mattress. This type of mattress typically absorbs motion and noise well, resulting in fewer nighttime disturbances. People with chronic aches and pains often benefit from memory foam’s distinctive hug, which helps align the spine and ease tension. 

While some luxury memory foam mattresses can be expensive, shoppers can still find budget-friendly options without sacrificing comfort or support. We’ll discuss tips for finding the best bargain and also give a breakdown of top-performing models with affordable price tags.

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Read on to see why the following five options made our top picks list of 2024’s best affordable memory foam mattresses.

Sleep Doctor’s Picks

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Best Overall Mattress

Silk & Snow Mattress

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Silk & Snow Hybrid combines the cushioning and pressure relief of memory foam with sturdy, multi-zoned pocketed coils. Our tests show the medium firm (6) feel is best suited to side sleepers of at least 130 pounds and back sleepers up to 230 pounds.

Buy From Silk & Snow
Ideal For:

Combination Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm

Value:

Great Value

Cooling:

Great Airflow

Pros

  • Medium-density memory foam for better durability
  • Removable cover makes cleaning easier
  • Standout pressure relief and motion isolation

Cons

  • Stomach sleepers are likely to sink excessively
  • Less motion isolation and pressure relief than most all-foam mattresses

Combining three different foam layers, the Silk & Snow Mattress offers deep contouring without sacrificing durability. The all-foam model has a medium feel that corresponds to a 5 on our 10-point firmness scale. We found the balanced firmness level performed well for a range of our testers regardless of their preferred sleep position, particularly for those under 130 pounds.

Why We Like It

The support core utilizes 6 inches of polyfoam to stabilize the entire mattress. Hybrids with sturdy coiled cores tend to outlast all-foam models, but the Silk & Snow rates well when it comes to durability. Our testing team found the mattress was virtually silent, as each foam layer effectively absorbed movement and sound. Couples or anyone who easily awakens should appreciate the mattress’ strong motion isolation.

All three layers add up to 10 inches, giving the Silk & Snow an average profile. The mattress is encased in a polyester and spandex cover that is removable and machine-washable. Silver infusions in the cover are designed to reduce odors related to bacterial growth. All of the foams are certified by Certi-PUR US, indicating that harmful substances like heavy metals, phthalates, and formaldehyde aren’t used during production.

With high-density memory foam as well as good pressure relief and motion isolation, our testing team found that the Silk & Snow excels for sleepers under 130 pounds who prefer a foam mattress with a medium feel.

How Does It Feel?

In the comfort system, 2 inches of medium-density memory foam cradles the body and helps prevent pressure points from forming. Our testers enjoyed the bed’s ability to sleep cooler despite the foam’s close hug, thanks to gel infusions designed to reduce heat retention. A 2-inch layer of transitional polyfoam supports spinal alignment to further boost pressure relief. All-foam mattresses often sag over time, but we noticed the higher-density foam helped counter deep impressions.

Read our full Silk & Snow Mattress review
proprietary image of the Nectar Mattress
proprietary image of the Nectar Mattress

Most Comfortable Mattress

Nectar Mattress

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Nectar Mattress is a true medium firm (6), making it more supportive than the average all-foam model and best suited to side and back sleepers of 130 pounds or more. Buyers receive a generous sleep trial with their purchase that runs 365 nights in length.

Buy From Nectar
Ideal For:

Back Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm

Value:

Great Value

Cooling:

Some Airflow

Pros

  • Thick memory foam layer to cushion pressure points
  • Breathable polyester-blend cover
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Foam layers may absorb and trap heat
  • Surface indentations likely to occur after a few years of use

Using thick layers of memory foam and polyfoam, the Nectar cushions pressure points while encouraging good sleep posture. The three-layer design has a medium firm (6) feel that is well suited for a range of sleepers.

Why We Like It

The Nectar’s combination of cushioning and support makes it suitable for most sleep styles regardless of weight bracket. With that said, our testing showed that the mattress is most compatible with side sleepers and individuals under 230 pounds.

Our testing team found the foam’s pressure-relieving capabilities and above-average temperature regulation provide a cool and comfortable sleep for a wide range of sleeper types.

How Does It Feel?

The mattress’ breathable polyester-blend cover is designed to keep the surface cooler. A 2-inch memory foam comfort layer closely contours the body to align the spine and ease tension. Gel infusions in the foam are engineered to improve temperature control, which works in tandem with the ventilated cover. Underneath, a 3-inch layer of responsive polyfoam prevents sleepers from feeling stuck in the memory foam.

A 7-inch polyfoam support base boosts the performance of the comfort system. The foam’s higher density increases edge support, helping to prevent premature sagging along the perimeter. An anti-slip cover lines the base of the mattress for extra stability, which active sleepers can appreciate.

Read our full Nectar Mattress review
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Best Mattress for Pressure Relief

Leesa Studio

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Leesa Studio pairs a memory foam comfort layer with polyfoam support layers, creating a medium firm (6) balance of contouring and reinforcement. During our tests, this mattress earned favorable ratings from side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds.

Buy From Leesa
Ideal For:

Side Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm

Value:

Great Value

Cooling:

Some Airflow

Pros

  • Responsive memory foam prevents excessive sinking
  • Versatile medium firm feel
  • 7-inch support core for extra durability

Cons

  • Not enough support for most stomach back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds
  • Sinkage is likely to occur when weight is applied along the perimeter

The Leesa Studio Mattress features a two-layer comfort system that blends responsiveness with pressure relief. The mattress’ medium firm (6) feel accommodates all sleep styles, but our testing showed that side sleepers are especially compatible with the model. Durable construction and an accessible price-point make the Leesa Studio a great choice for a range of sleepers.

Why We Like It

The 7-inch support core is made from high-density polyfoam that enhances the performance of the upper layers. Solid support along the edges increases usable surface area, which couples or individuals who like to sprawl out in bed can appreciate. Since the mattress is made entirely from foam, our testing team found that noise and motion transfer are non-issues. Our testers also found the mattress to be less heat-retentive than models that use denser memory foam.

For those seeking excellent pressure relief, edge support, and responsiveness in a mattress, our testers found that the Leesa Studio Mattress provides a supportive and comfortable sleeping surface, particularly for people who sleep on their side.

How Does It Feel?

At 10 inches thick, the mattress combines three different foam layers to balance cushioning with support. The top memory foam layer conforms to the body to alleviate tension, making it ideal for those seeking extra pressure relief. The foam is responsive, which our testers found prevented them from sinking too deeply into the mattress. A lower polyfoam layer delivers targeted pressure relief while encouraging a straighter spine.

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Best Mattress for Back Pain

Bear Original

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Bear Original is firmer and more supportive than most competing all-foam models, so side and back sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds should receive adequate support. A heat-dissipating cover and cooling gel infusion also make the mattress suitable for hot sleepers.

Buy From Bear
Ideal For:

Combination Sleepers

Firmness:

Firm

Value:

Great Value

Cooling:

Some Airflow

Pros

  • Breathable Celliant fiber cover designed to improve sleep quality
  • A firmer feel than the typical memory foam mattress
  • High-density polyfoam base for increased durability

Cons

  • Too firm for most people weighing less than 130 pounds
  • Limited edge support may lead to sinkage along the perimeter

For people with back pain, an ideal mattress supplies both pressure relief and support. The Bear Original strikes this balance with body-conforming memory foam and a firm (7) surface. Our testers found that the mattress performed well for all sleep positions regardless of body weight.

Why We Like It

The three layers amount to 10 inches thick, which is average for a mattress. CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certifications indicate that the mattress meets stringent guidelines regarding the presence of contaminants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). While the Bear performs solidly across the board, we noticed the mattress offers notable pressure relief and motion isolation.

With a firm surface, sustainable certifications, and cooling technology, we found the Bear Original to be a good option for sleepers who experience back pain and prefer a foam feel.

How Does It Feel?

The memory foam comfort system cradles the body, while graphite gel infusions are designed to draw out excess heat. Our testers noticed the transitional layer of denser polyfoam supports spinal alignment while limiting excess sagging. The foam also has slight responsiveness to permit easier movement, which many couples appreciate.

A robust layer of high-density polyfoam forms the support base and promotes durability. All three foam layers use an open-cell construction designed to prevent uncomfortable heat buildup. The mattress is encased in a polyester-blend cover made with Celliant, a fiber specially formulated to regulate temperature and enhance sleep quality.

Read our full Bear Original Mattress review
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Best Cooling Mattress

Dreamfoam Essential

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

A wide range of thickness and firmness options makes the Dreamfoam Essential suitable for people across different body types and sleep positions. The mattress uses breathable, open-cell foam that dissipates heat and maintains a comfortable temperature at all times.

Buy From Brooklyn Bedding
Ideal For:

Hot Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Soft, Medium, Medium Firm, Firm, Firm Options

Value:

Great Value

Cooling:

Great Airflow

Pros

  • Gel infusions and a cooling panel designed to regulate temperature
  • Five profile options and 22 sizes
  • Above-average motion isolation

Cons

  • Foam layers may hinder movement across the surface
  • Perimeter sinkage likely due to lack of edge support

The Dreamfoam Essential by Brooklyn Bedding is engineered to give exceptional pressure relief while keeping sleepers cool. The all-foam design incorporates a cooling gel infusion to optimize temperature control.

Why We Like It

Thanks to the wide range of firmness options, our testers noticed the mattress performed well for most sleepers regardless of weight or sleep position. The adaptive comfort system was particularly comfortable for our side sleepers under 230 pounds because the foam generously cushioned the hips and shoulders. Couples can also benefit from the mattress’ standout motion isolation and temperature control.

A total of 22 sizes are available, including standard mattress dimensions and several RV-friendly sizes.

The Dreamfoam Essential proves that innovative features don’t have to come at a premium price. A cooling gel infusion makes it a good fit for sleepers seeking an all-foam bed that regulates temperature well and balances comfort and support.

How Does It Feel?

The Essential is available in profiles of 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 inches. Each profile has a distinct feel, ranging from firm (8) for the 6-inch model to medium soft (4) for the 14-inch profile. Thinner models feature two foam layers that gently conform while maintaining stable support for your body. The thickest two models integrate an additional foam layer for extra cushioning and contouring, resulting in a closer hug. Since all models contain the gel infusion, excessive heat buildup should not be an issue.

Why You Should Trust Us

Shopping for a mattress online may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to find a quality mattress with an approachable price-point. Our team includes a range of body types and preferred sleep positions to give us a better idea of which mattress best suits different sleeper types. We took special note of foam density, mattress thickness, and special features to determine the best cheap memory foam mattresses for a variety of sleepers.

What is a Memory Foam Mattress?

Viscoelastic polyurethane foam, better known as memory foam, was first developed by NASA before becoming popularized by the bedding industry. Both soft and elastic, memory foam is a top choice for comfort systems because it conforms to the body and offers exceptional pressure relief. When weight is lifted, the material slowly returns to its original shape, retaining the “memory” of a sleeper’s impression.

Most memory foam mattresses also use polyfoam as transitional or support layers to prevent the body from sinking too much. A mattress made entirely from memory foam would be too soft to provide sufficient support.

Memory foam is known for absorbing motion well, but it also tends to retain heat. While formulas vary, many companies today use cooling technologies designed to minimize heat buildup. Other modifications are sometimes used to alter the responsiveness or feel of the foam.

What Affects the Price of a Memory Foam Mattress?

Mattress pricing is determined by a number of factors. For example, density, thickness, and other special features all influence the total cost of a memory foam mattress.

  • Foam Density: Measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF), foam density refers to the weight of one cubic foot of material. Memory foam that is less than 3 PCF is considered low density, while medium density is 3 to 5 PCF and high density is anything greater than 5 PCF. Denser memory foam usually equates to greater durability, but it can also drive up mattress cost. You might save money initially on a lower-density model, though it may have a shorter lifespan.
  • Mattress Thickness: Thicker mattresses are typically more expensive since they require more materials to manufacture. Models over 12 inches tall might require special sheets with deep pockets, which can be an additional expense. Opting for a mattress between 8 and 10 inches tall can often save shoppers money.
  • Special Features: Memory foam has come a long way since its original formulation. Many manufacturers today employ some type of cooling component, such as gel or copper infusions. Open-cell memory foam is also popular since it encourages airflow. Proprietary technologies and other special features like dual firmness levels can also increase the price of a memory foam bed.

Are There Any Additional Costs?

Bedding accessories should also be considered when planning your mattress budget. A new bed frame and sheets may be needed if you’re upgrading or downgrading in size, and worn-out pillows might need replacing. Many companies offer bundle deals that include a mattress and various accessories, which can help shave down costs.

Some mattresses might require additional fees at checkout. For example, residents outside of the contiguous U.S. are often subject to freight charges, which might not be refundable in the event of a return. Expect additional fees if you want professional assistance such as White Glove delivery or old mattress removal. Sometimes these services are included when buying a mattress online, but it’s always wise to confirm with the company before making a purchase.

Find Rest on a Budget

Finding a quality mattress that doesn’t exceed your budget is possible if you know what to look for. Doing without luxury features and instead focusing on the characteristics that most impact your sleep style can significantly reduce the cost of your foam mattress.

Forgo Luxury Features

A mattress doesn’t need a complex construction to offer a supportive sleep surface. Consider passing on luxury mattress features like organic fabric, pillow tops, and dual-firmness options. While these amenities can enhance your sleep experience, they aren’t essential to comfort and support.

Consider How You Sleep

To get the most out of your new mattress, make sure to consider your particular sleep habits before purchasing. For example, those sharing a bed need to take both sleepers’ needs into account.

Do You Sleep Alone or With a Partner?

Like many things in life, mattress prices usually increase with size. Solo sleepers can cut down on cost by opting for a full size bed instead of a queen. Co-sleepers often prefer at least a queen size or larger, as anything smaller may feel cramped.

However, size isn’t the only factor co-sleepers should consider. Partners with different sleep styles aren’t always happy on a mattress with a uniform feel, and split beds are not always cost-effective. A cheaper alternative is to use a mattress topper on one side of the bed to soften a firmer model. Keep in mind that toppers only create subtle adjustments to the feel of a mattress.

Getting the Most Out of Your Mattress

Mattresses that maintain their integrity over time can save you money in the long run. While it’s true that some models are inherently more durable than others, certain practices can increase the lifespan of your bed.

Rotate Your Mattress

Even high-quality mattresses can develop impressions over time, reducing support and comfort. If you sleep alone, alternating the side you sleep on can minimize uneven sagging. Individuals and couples alike can flip their mattress monthly to distribute wear and tear more evenly.

Use a Mattress Protector and Clean Regularly

Properly caring for a mattress can extend its lifespan. It can also protect your warranty, since many are voided in cases of misuse or staining. A mattress protector can keep your bed in good shape by preventing damage from accidents and spills. They also safeguard against mildew and deterioration related to excess moisture.

Vacuuming the mattress surface and spot-treating by hand can also increase its longevity. Always heed the manufacturer’s guidelines before undertaking a cleaning regimen.

Use a Mattress Topper

If buying a new mattress isn’t possible right away, you can boost the performance of your current bed by using a mattress topper. When placed on top of a bed, a topper can add plushness to a thin or firm mattress. Keep in mind that a mattress topper can’t completely fix a bed that no longer offers support.

Low-Quality vs. Inexpensive Mattresses

A bargain mattress doesn’t have to be a cheap model. While there’s certainly a correlation between cost and quality, an inexpensive mattress can still perform well if it features solid materials and good craftsmanship. Be wary of any mattress that is significantly cheaper than the average market price, as it’s likely low-quality.

Cutting Corners with Density

To scrimp on cost, mattress companies sometimes use low-density foams that don’t hold up as long. Lower-density foam usually means less support and can lead to aches and pains. Quality memory foam, on the other hand, should perform optimally for at least six years.

Unpleasant Smells

Off-gassing is typical with memory foam, which results when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) reach the air. The smell usually disappears within a few days of the mattress being removed from its packaging. These odors aren’t necessarily a sign of inferior materials, as high-quality foams typically off-gas to some extent.

With that said, some cheaper models will emit an unpleasant odor that naturally occurs when polyurethane foams encounter moisture. Certain chemical treatments prevent this reaction, but some manufacturers forgo this step to cut back on expenses.

Manufacturing and Buying Location

Where a mattress is produced can also impact its price tag. Some companies reduce expenses by manufacturing regionally, which in turn lowers cost for the customer. Buying online instead of at a brick-and-mortar store also keeps prices lower since online manufacturers have significantly less overhead.

You Get What You Pay For

While you don’t need a top-end model to sleep comfortably, opting for a very cheap mattress could end up being more costly in the long run. Lower-quality beds aren’t as durable, so it’s better to invest slightly more in a well-crafted model than to purchase multiple cheap mattresses over a short period of time. 

About The Author

David Rubin

Certified Sleep Science Coach, Director of Product Testing


David is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with a lifelong passion for well-being and health optimization. His interest in sleep developed with the arrival of his son, when sleep suddenly became a precious commodity.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Hot Sleeper
  • CHRONOTYPE: Lion

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