Need a New Mattress on a $500 Budget? What You Should Know
As you begin your search for a new mattress, your budget is probably a foremost concern. When looking for a $500 mattress, you must consider your sleep position, whether you sleep alone or with a partner, how hot you sleep, the materials you prefer, and what feels comfortable to you.
If you do your homework, you can find a quality mattress on this modest budget. Some features of a good bed are ones that keeps your spine properly aligned, contour your body, allow you to “sink-in” to a comfortable extent (but not too much), and provide a restful night of sleep.
You will find your best deal on a mattress online. Brick and mortar mattress stores charge excessive markups because of high overhead costs, and the quality is no better than manufacturers that sell online. Shopping on the web means you must take advantage of information and reviews to help you decide. Most makers offer sleep trials to help ensure you find the best bed for you.
We’ve looked at lots of mattresses and found five top picks for the best mattress under $500. We considered the mattress materials, firmness, comfort, customer service, returns policy, and verified customer reviews. Browse this guide to see what to expect in a bed of this price range.
Our Top Five Mattress Picks for Under $500
|Brentwood Home Sierra||Foam||5-6||$499|
|Lucid 10” Bamboo Charcoal Aloe||Hybrid||4-5||$329|
|Signature Sleep 13” Pillow Top||Hybrid||5-6||$390|
|Tuft & Needle**||Foam||5||$575|
*All prices are based on a Queen mattress
**Though above $500 mark, discounts and coupons may apply to bring listed prices below $500 or less.
How Far Will $500 Go?
If your budget is limited, that’s okay. You can still find a quality mattress for around $500 if you shop carefully. Shopping online offers the chance to get a higher quality mattress for far less money than you would spend for a similar product in a mattress store, furniture gallery, or department store.
Selecting a mattress is subjective, so your personal preferences are key. If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll usually have more adaptability to a bed. Stomach and back sleepers must be more particular. If you’re a hot sleeper, you’ll need to be mindful of the choice of materials.
When comparing a less costly mattress to a high-end mattress, there are some differences, but you can still find a bed that meets your needs. A consumer investigative site found that many mattress stores use confusing sales tactics to convince customers to spend more.
Understanding how beds are made and what materials offer the best comfort, support, and durability is key to understanding what you’ll get. Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect in a $500 mattress including durability ratings, materials, support, and added features.
Some materials are more durable than others and knowing this can help you assess the potential longevity of a bed. 10-year warranties are common with 70+ nights in the sleep trial to assess the product.
The lower quality the materials, the less durable the mattress will be. Be sure to read the materials and mattress types section below to learn more about what to expect for performance from each type of bed and material and how it relates to mattress longevity.
There are four basic mattress materials used by all manufacturers. Foam, latex, or innerspring are what are in all standard beds, or you can get a hybrid which is a mix of components. See more on these in the mattress types section below.
Foam quality is about density, and innerspring quality is about the coil material and design. Latex is a luxury material and rare in this price range. For $500, you can get quality materials and construction if you shop carefully and from an informed perspective.
Comfort and Support
Comfort and support are different. Comfort is how a bed feels to you while support is how the bed holds up your body and aligns your spine as you sleep. Firmness is rated on a scale of 1-10 with lower numbers representing softer, plusher beds but you might find comfort anywhere on this scale.
The top part of a mattress is the comfort layer that you sink into initially. Under that is the support layer that aligns your spine. These two layers together determine how comfortable the bed feels to you. Everyone has unique preferences in what they find restful.
Some features of a mattress will drive up the price. When looking at best beds under $500, it’s important to know that your access to specialization and other upgrades may be limited. If you’re looking for an organic mattress made with all-natural materials, you might need to spend a bit more.
Some mattresses offer custom configuration based on your specifications to tweak the arrangement of the layers. Removable covers are a nice option if you’re prone to spills or muddy pet paws. These are nice features in a mattress, but at $500, you will likely not find them. White glove delivery and set-up service is a nice upsell but can run $100 on top of the mattress cost.
Although mattress warranties vary, these don’t guarantee that your bed will last as many years as the guarantee. Plus, warranties are more about mistakes in craftsmanship, not about a bed that wears out before the warranty expires.
At the $500 price range, you can expect a more modest warranty for manufacturing defects compared to higher-cost beds. You can also expect a 70 to 100-night sleep trial to assess the bed and make sure your bargain bed sleeps well.
Can You Get a Good Mattress For $500?
Yes, you can buy a quality mattress for less than $500 if you read reviews, comparison shop, and choose wisely. You should expect good quality foam, if you choose a foam or hybrid mattress, with a good density and durability.
Foam and hybrid beds fall into the $500 mattress range, but a purely innerspring or latex bed will typically not be of good quality in this price range. Browse the section below on types of mattresses then read our reviews of the top five picks for cost-effective mattresses.
Types of Mattresses Available
As we mentioned above, there are four standard types of mattresses. These are innerspring, latex, foam, and hybrid which combines multiple materials. Advancements are made all the time in materials and technology making it increasingly easier to find inexpensive mattresses of higher quality.
No matter what type of mattress you choose, the best mattress under $500 should provide you with a good night’s rest on quality materials, the level of support that your body demands, strong stitching so the ticking stays put, a reasonable sleep trial period, and fair-minded warranty and return policies.
Learn more about the types of mattresses:
Foam mattresses can be memory foam, polyurethane foam, or both. Foam materials are made using a chemical process. Most foams are made from petrochemicals although some brands now promise they are made of soy or plant-based oils. However, even these beds contain petrochemicals. Polyfoam comes in regular, high density (HD), and high resiliency (HR).
Regular foam is the least desirable. HD and HR are preferable and the denser the foam, the better. Memory foam goes through an additional chemical process that makes it denser, thicker, and gives the feeling of “melting” into the mattress. Foam mattresses come in a wide array of firmness and comfort, and higher-quality foam is gauged by a higher density.
When looking at a $500 mattress, you must be careful with the foam ratings. Regular polyfoam isn’t desirable and will break down faster and be less comfortable. Instead, look for HD and HR foams and memory foam in reasonable thicknesses that have solid purchaser reviews.
The innerspring mattress was invented in 1871 and came into wide use in the 1930s. Since then, innerspring beds have evolved significantly. Innersprings are coils of wire. The coils are either attached to each other by more wire or are pocket coils encased in fabric. Non-pocket coil types include Bonnell, offset, and continuous wire. These vary by how they’re attached and move together.
How an innerspring mattress feels depends on the quality and thickness of the wire in the coils, the angle, and how they are attached to each other. Innerspring is a support layer and on top of it will be a comfort layer. Innerspring beds are generally firmer than the other three types, so the comfort layer is important to determine the overall softness you perceive.
In the $500 price range, you can find innerspring hybrids of good quality. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking more coils are better. If a queen mattress has 800 coils, that’s great. Higher coil counts with cheaper foam on top is a manufacturing trick, so be wary.
Latex mattresses come in three types: natural, synthetic, or a combination of these. Natural latex is from the sap or serum of a rubber tree which is a sustainable material. The sap is mixed with natural ingredients, whipped, and then baked. Synthetic latex is man-made from synthesized petrochemicals. Some manufacturers blend synthetic and natural latex.
In a blended mattress, the core is often synthetic with natural latex as the comfort layer. Natural latex is more durable than synthetic with better loft and support, too. Synthetic latex is more cost-effective, as is blended latex. Latex is responsive to sleep movement and sleeps cooler than foam. You can get latex beds in different levels of firmness but it may be hard to find on a limited budget.
When shopping for a $500 bed, latex is the hardest component to find because it’s simply a much costlier material. You might find a hybrid bed that contains synthetic latex at this price point, but if you spot an all-latex bed for around $500, research the specs carefully.
Hybrid mattresses are a combination of materials and can be a blend of foam, latex, or innerspring. The innersprings in a hybrid bed are pocket coils in the support layer with foam, memory foam, or latex in the comfort layer (or a combination of materials). The comfort layer cradles and reduces the motion transfer (effect of co-sleeper movement) common to innerspring beds.
Hybrids are often preferable because they offer the benefits of all materials when the bed is well-designed. Hybrid beds have many advantages. They sleep cooler than other single-component beds because of the air circulation benefit of the innerspring layer. What’s more of a challenge with a hybrid bed is assessing all the components to make sure each piece is the quality you want.
The best $500 beds are often hybrid models that offer comfortable sleep and adequate support for your spine. Customer reviews are critical and one tip is to read the highest and lowest-rated reviews to gain a fuller understanding of sleep experience.
Our Favorite Mattresses for Under $500
When looking for the best $500 mattress to meet your needs, quality is a top concern. At a lower price point, you should carefully assess materials, construction, and customer reviews to determine what you can expect and get the best sleep for your dollars. Check out these reviews of our top five best beds under $500 to see pros and cons, how the beds are built, and why the mattress made our list.
Construction: The Addable is an all-foam mattress constructed of three layers. The top comfort layer is 2-inches of gel memory foam over 2-inches of high-density foam. The 6-inch support layer is high-resiliency foam. The 10-inch thick mattress is outfitted with a 1/8-inch cover made of lycra, polyester, and viscose. While it’s not a “natural” mattress, the foam is CertiPUR rated.
Pros: The company is straightforward with its three options and doesn’t push sales jargon on its website. The price point at $499 is excellent compared to other beds of similar construction. With firmness of 5-6, this mattress offers adequate support with dense HR polyfoam in its support core. If you like memory foam, this bed offers the “sink in” effect and the gel-infusion sleeps cooler.
Cons: Addable is a newer company that’s been around just a couple of years, so assessing the durability of its products is problematic. However, they do have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a 10-year warranty. If you’re a heavier person or have significant pain in pressure points (neck, hips, shoulders), this bed might not be the best fit for you because of thinner comfort layers.
Why Choose Addable: The upside of this bed, based on customer reviews, is the sensation of sleeping “in” rather than “on” because of the memory foam layer. At a medium-firm rating of 5-6, it’s a good fit for many sleep positions. Addable offers a 181-night sleep trial which is comparatively lengthy, and a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied. Shipping is free.
Brentwood Home Sierra
Construction: The Sierra by Brentwood Home features hand-sewn tape edges with a stretchy top that adapts to movement over a New Zealand wool liner. Under that is four layers starting with 1-inch of QuiltFlex foam over 3-inches of gel memory foam. Below that is 2-inches of Airlux foam over a 5-inch thick therapeutic foam base. It’s rated medium-firm at 5-6.
Pros: Brentwood Home owns its factory and can offer higher-quality at a lower cost. They use high-quality upholstery materials for a luxe look and the bed has handles which is relatively rare. It’s good for people with sensitive pressure points. The gel memory foam and Airlux foam help this mattress sleep cooler than comparable products and rates well with side, back, and stomach sleepers.
Cons: The company offers a generous 120-night sleep trial, but this doesn’t apply if you purchase via third-party sources like Amazon. Brentwood doesn’t publish density ratings on its foam, so it’s difficult to compare it to other makers. You’ll have to rely more on customer reviews than assessing materials specifications, but you can still make an informed purchase decision.
Why Choose Brentwood Home: The company has been around for decades and has a solid reputation for quality. The 25-year warranty is impressive although the last 15 years are pro-rated. The mattress is a good deal for under $500 compared to similar quality products. The Sierra promises to work with all types of foundations, so you don’t have to get a new base when you buy the mattress.
Lucid 10” Bamboo Charcoal Aloe
Construction: Lucid offers a variety of mattresses, and this is one of their better ones. The hybrid has a 1.5-inch comfort layer of memory foam infused with bamboo charcoal. Under that is a 1-inch layer of Aloe Vera infused transition foam. Another 1-inch layer of foam is over the support layer of 5.5-inch tall pocket coils. At the very bottom is another 1-inch layer of support foam.
Pros: The bamboo charcoal and Aloe Vera elements promise health benefits while the gel memory foam offers a cooler sleep experience. The Tencel® Lyocell cover wicks moisture and aids cooling as does the innerspring layer. For the quality and materials, the price point at $329 is exceptional and comes in well below the $500 budget for a very good bed.
Cons: You must be able to evaluate the mattress rapidly because Lucid only offers a 30-night sleep trial. Since the company launched in 2016, there’s little history on product durability. There is not a lot of information on the specifics of the components such as foam density, so you’ll have to rely more on customer reviews to assess whether this bed is a fit for your needs.
Why Choose Lucid: With a firmness rating of 4-5, this is rated as a plush-to-medium bed, but rates well with back, side, and stomach sleepers. You can use most any foundation with the Lucid mattress, so that’s a plus. The warranty is 10-years, and all their products are hypoallergenic. The components help this comfortable mattress sleep cooler and reviewers find it provides a pleasant sleep experience.
Signature Sleep 13” Pillow Top
Construction: This 13-inch pillow top hybrid Signature Sleep product is constructed of three distinct layers. The comfort layer is memory foam over triple foam layers. The memory foam is lower density to promote cooler sleep than standard memory foam components. Under that is the support layer which is 9.8-inches of innerspring pocket coils. The bamboo and rayon ticking wicks moisture.
Pros: At $390, this is an exceptional price for a queen mattress that’s of hybrid construction rather than straight synthetic foam. The medium-firm rating makes it good for side sleepers, but heavier people might find it too soft. It’s rated well by customers for sex and is noiseless. Although it has a limited track record, reports are that it’s a durable product, particularly for the money.
Cons: Unlike the other mattresses on our top picks, this one is not made in the US, but that’s also why it’s cheaper than comparables. As a Chinese-made product, it’s less-costly but of good quality for the price. The main drawback is the 1-year warranty that covers only manufacturing defects and sags greater than 1.5-inches. Also, there’s no sleep trial, and that’s a tradeoff for the low price.
Why Choose Signature Sleep: If you need a decent mattress and your budget is stretched at $500, this one comes in at less than $400, and that’s a good deal for a hybrid. Those with back problems report it’s a good sleep feel at medium-firm while unboxing and installation are super easy. This cool sleeping product is a better fit for side sleepers who weigh less than 300 pounds.
Tuft & Needle
Construction: The Tuft & Needle bed is a simple two-layer foam construction. Rather than offer more layers, the company focuses on fewer but better layers. The polyfoam comfort layer is proprietary adaptive foam they say performs like memory foam and latex without the downsides. The support layer is another type of adaptive foam, and the cover is stretchy polyester Tactel.
Pros: This bed provides quality sleep no matter your weight or sleep position. The mattress is quiet and offers good motion isolation which is important if you have a co-sleeper. The materials are similar to more expensive foam mattresses by competitors, so the $575 price is a bargain. Look for coupons, promos, and discounts to help lower the cost to closer to your $500 budget.
Cons: The edge support is not firm, but this is common with many foam products. The mattress rates medium-firm and some side sleepers may find it too firm for their pressure points. However, one plus is that these mattresses start firmer and get slightly softer over time, according to customer reviews. There is not a wide array of products offered by Tuft & Needle, but that also minimizes confusion.
Why Choose Tuft & Needle: The product rates well with buyers and Tuft & Needle boasts a 95% satisfaction and retention rating. They offer excellent customer service reflected by their A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and solid reviews. The 100-night sleep trial is generous and the 10-year warranty is reasonable and isn’t pro-rated which is a plus.