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Best Mattress Under $500

Let’s face it. We all want to get proper, restful sleep, but we don’t always have thousands of dollars to invest. While you typically get what you pay for, there are a number of products on the market you can take advantage of for under $500. This can help you achieve the recommended amount of sleep for your specific needs for the short-term, until you can afford a higher-quality product in the future. Our team at The Sleep Judge is here to help you determine the best mattress under $500 that will meet your needs. Take a look at our top 5 recommendations below to help you narrow down what kind of mattress will be best to suit your personal preferences and, most importantly, your budget!

Rank Products Highlights Trial / Warranty
#1 zinus-12inch-ultima-memory-foam-mattress

Zinus 12 Inch Ultima Pressure Relief Mattress

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  • Medium firmness level that accommodates most sleepers
  • Minimal motion transfer
  • Sleeps cool even in areas of high humidity
  • 10 Year Limited Warranty
#2

Lucid 12 Inch Memory Foam Mattress

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  • Minimal offgassing
  • Washable cover
  • Breathable
  • 10 Year Limited Warranty
#3

LUCID 12 Inch Hybrid Mattress

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  • CertiPUR US certified
  • Bamboo charcoal helps with moisture
  • Aloe Vera foam layer mitigates odors
  • Plush firmness with 12″ inch thickness
  • 10 Year Limited Warranty
  • 100 night risk-free trial
#4 zinus-12inch-green-tea-memory-foam-mattress

Zinus 12 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

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  • Infused with natural green tea to keep the product fresh
  • Relieves pressure points
  • Base provides airflow to help you sleep cool
  • 10 Year Limited Warranty
#5 classic-brands-cool-gel-chill-memory-foam-14-inch-mattress

Classic Brands Cool Gel Chill Memory Foam 14 Inch Mattress

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  • CertiPUR-US Certified
  • Cool gel regulates body temperature, great for warmer sleepers
  • Choice of 3 designs
  • 10 Year Limited Warranty

 

The Top Mattresses Under $500

1. Editor’s Choice – Zinus 12 Inch Ultima Pressure Relief Mattress

zinus-12inch-ultima-memory-foam-mattress

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Memory Foam
  • Degassing Period: 48 Hours Max
  • Trial Period: None
  • Warranty: 10 year limited

The Zinus 12″ Pressure Relief Mattress utilizes over 20 years of research and feedback to develop their products in-house, and this mattress in particular has been clinically proven to improve the efficiency of your sleep. It’s no surprise that this mattress has made it as our Editor’s Choice above all other products on our list. Their inclusion of BioFoam replaces the petroleum that’s typically used in the production of memory foam with natural plant oil, and this helps to improve the long-term freshness of the product. It’s extremely affordable, has a medium firmness to suit most sleepers’ needs, and in the warmer months it will cool you down so you won’t be tossing and turning to get comfortable in your new bed.

Pros

  • Medium firmness level that accommodates most sleepers
  • Minimal motion transfer
  • Sleeps cool even in areas of high humidity

Cons

  • Can be difficult and cumbersome to move from room to room

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Read our full review

2. Runner Up – Lucid 12 Inch Memory Foam Mattress

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Gel Memory Foam
  • Degassing Period: 24-48 Hours
  • Trial Period: None
  • Warranty: 10 year limited

The Lucid 12″ Memory Foam Mattress features gel memory foam that’s capable of keeping sleepers cool as they sleep. Its weight distribution qualities allow for the mattress to conform comfortably to your body as you can enjoy the added comfort of having your spine in a neutral position while you sleep. Best of all, the memory foam ensures you can reduce pressure relief that can lead to aches, pains and pressure sores.

Pros

  • Minimal offgassing
  • Washable cover
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Some complaints of being too firm
  • Slightly heavy, can be difficult to transport

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Read our full review

3. Best Plush Hybrid Mattress – LUCID 12 Inch Hybrid Mattress

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Memory Foam
  • Degassing Period: 48 Hours Max
  • Trial Period: 100 night risk-free trial
  • Warranty: 10 year limited

Lucid is a brand that’s known for its well-made, yet affordable mattresses that include many hybrid designs. This particular model stands out for its clever design and good price to quality ratio. This is a proper layered sandwich of materials that ensures top quality sleep and offers a medium-firm feel. On the bottom are encased coil springs, supported on both top and bottom by an inch thick layer of support foam. Next is an Aloe Vera transition foam layer, topped off by a 1.5 inches thick bamboo charcoal-infused memory foam layer which helps mitigate odors and retains a fresh and clean feel. The bamboo charcoal also helps with moisture-wicking with its hypoallergenic properties.

If you want to a reliable memory foam mattress without breaking the bank, this multi-layered design offers the best balance between price and quality. Suitable for most sleepers, including those with chronic back issues, this mattress will give you the right spinal support without feeling too firm.

Pros

  • CertiPUR US certified
  • Bamboo charcoal helps with moisture
  • Aloe Vera foam layer mitigates odors
  • Plush firmness with 12″ inch thickness

Cons

  • Some complaints of initial offgassing

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4.  Best Firm Mattress – Zinus 12 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

zinus-12inch-green-tea-memory-foam-mattress

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Gel Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
  • Warranty: 10 year limited

One of their most popular and best selling products amongst customers, Zinus gives us another top choice of mattress that’s well under $500. With their memory foam 12 inch mattress infused with green tea, you can take advantage of the same memory foam qualities and supportive base with the addition of another comfort level. Beneath the top 2.5 inch layer of memory foam lies 2 inches of pressure-relieving comfort foam. Furthermore, the company is confident enough in their product to offer a 10 year limited warranty and a four-month trial period, so if you’re not sure if this is the right mattress for you, give it a try for four months to see if it’s suitable for your sleeping needs.

Pros

  • Infused with natural green tea to keep the product fresh
  • Relieves pressure points
  • Base provides airflow to help you sleep cool

Cons

  • Some complaints of the product being too plush

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5. Best Cooling Mattress – Classic Brands Cool Gel Chill Memory Foam 14 Inch Mattress

 

classic-brands-cool-gel-chill-memory-foam-14-inch-mattress

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Gel Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
  • Warranty: 10 year limited

Rounding out our top 5 under 500 is the Cool Gel Chill Memory Foam 14 Inch Mattress from Classic Brands. Another reputable brand and a widely popular customer choice, this product gives you the choice of three different designs including Cool Gel, Cool Gel Chill and Cool Gel Ice. The most popular among reviewers is the Cool Gel mattress, which is ideal for those who sleep warmer and usually have trouble with memory foam trapping their body heat. The cooling gel regulates your body temperature and should alleviate any of these concerns. This mattress also comes with two shredded memory foam pillows as a bonus, making this a great deal for under $500.

Pros

  • CertiPUR-US Certified
  • Cool gel regulates body temperature, great for warmer sleepers
  • Choice of 3 designs

Cons

  • Only one option for height, 14 inches may be too high for some

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How to Choose a Quality Mattress

There are hundreds of quality mattresses on the market, and many of them feature attractive price tags. This can make it difficult to determine which will offer the qualities you’re specifically looking for. That’s why it’s important to understand a few key features to be on the lookout for.

Don’t Rely on Generalized Firmness Levels

While analyzing firmness levels, you’re likely going to come across terms such as soft, medium and firm. While this can give you a general idea of what to expect, there is a better way to determine how soft or firm your product will be upon arrival. Look for indentation load deflection. This will typically be listed as the product’s ILD, and this is an industry standard that can help you make the best decision.

In general terms, the higher the ILD, the firmer the mattress. This is because of the way it’s tested. Using a foam sample of material measuring 15 inches x 15 inches x 4 inches, a 50 square inch circular indenter is used to compress the material a total of 25 percent of its thickness. The amount of force necessary to accomplish this determines the ILD of the product.

It’s important to understand that there are a variety of variables to take into consideration, and you can read more about those on our comprehensive ILD breakdown. However, a general rule is that an ILD of 12 is very soft and 50 is very firm. This makes an ILD of around 30 a relatively happy medium. Keep in mind that ILD’s are not always listed, so it can be well worth your time to contact customer service to find out this valuable information.

Not Sure of Your Preferences?

Many people just aren’t sure what they prefer, and this can make things difficult. This is often the case when you haven’t shopped for a mattress in a while. When you go too firm, you risk the creation of uncomfortable pressure points that prevent you from enjoying comfortable sleep. However, when you go too soft, some sleeping types may experience discomfort. Here is a good guidelines to follow to help you make the choice a little easier to make:

      • Back sleeper – Soft or medium
      • Stomach sleeper – Firm or medium
      • Side sleeper – Soft, medium, or firm

Ultimately, this area is one of personal preference. Only you know what works best for you, and this guide can help lead you to the best choice for you.

Take Advantage of Reviews

What better way to guide your decision than to hear what actual customers have to say? Here at The Sleep Judge, we’ve tried out dozens of products and we make it our goal to provide you with an unbiased overview of just what we thought of the product. We offer in-depth coverage of just what you can expect backed with pictures and videos to help you visualize the various products in your home and how you can expect to enjoy them.

Comfort and Foam Types

Once you figure out the firmness level that works for you, you then get to examine the many types of material on the market. There are many different foam types and they each have their own features and advantages that may or may not appeal to you as an individual. Let’s walk you through some of these options to help you make the right choice.

Polyfoam

Since you’re shopping on a budget, you’re likely to come across polyfoam, and this is because of the way it’s manufactured. These products are often relatively soft, and many consumers complain that:

      • Sagging develops over time
      • The product lacks adequate support
      • Excessive offgassing

Only you know your goals when it comes to arriving at the right product. If you aren’t as concerned with durability, for example, you may be planning to buy something else in the near future, polyfoam can be a very cost-effective short-term solution. These products are often hypoallergenic and can offer proper spinal support to ensure overall good posture and body mechanics.

Convoluted Foam

Convoluted foam is commonly associated with egg cartons as they are similar in appearance, and these products feature low costs and good heat dispersion qualities, generally speaking. The manufacturing process is relatively simplistic, and this makes it another popular option on a budget. In the short-term, they offer good spinal alignment and are easy to pack up and move around. However, when it comes to durability, depending on the density, this isn’t going to be your best option.

Latex Foam

Latex can be an excellent option when you’re seeking an affordable option that is durable. While the previous options are not well-known for durability, you can typically expect latex products to last. Some of the features you can take advantage of with latex include:

      • Environmental benefits since latex is made using organic material
      • Great heat transfer capabilities
      • Options of Talalay and Dunlop manufacturing process

Memory Foam

While memory foam is typically more expensive, there are products available that are in-line with a $500 budget. These products are known for their “sinking-in” feeling, and they are great for those who enjoy to feel the hug these mattresses are known to provide. If you shop for these options, it’s worth noting that you should find out if the product features traditional memory foam as these products are known to sleep hot. Open-cell memory foam can help eliminate this problem.

While seeking the best memory foam mattress under $500, you may look for products featuring a layer near the top. These products provide the feel you’re looking for in memory foam often at a lower cost.

Consider Cost Differences in Sizes

It’s much easier to stay within your cost range when you’re seeking out a twin or full size product as these typically cost less. The smaller the size, the higher the quality you can invest in without going over your budget. Finding the best king mattress under 500 or queen size model becomes a little more difficult.

Conclusion

What’s the best mattress for under $500? All things considered, our pick is the Zinus 12″ Pressure Relief Mattress, and there are a few reasons why. For starters, the product features a high density base support foam, and this helps ensure that you’ll get the most for your money in the long-term as higher density means higher durability. As mattresses are expensive, yours isn’t a product you want to be replacing every few years or so – you want it to go the distance and be worthy of your hard-earned money. Memory foam is also known to be a durable product, so this is also helpful in stretching your dollar. Of course, everyone is unique and personal preference will be a large factor to consider as you shop for your mattress. We hope that our comprehensive buyer’s guide can serve to help you arrive at the decision that best suits your unique needs.

Recent Updates

June 3, 2021: Brentwood Bamboo Gel 13 Inch Mattress has been updated to Brentwood Home Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress as per Amazon listing. Our fourth product, DynastyMattress Memory Foam Mattress has been replaced by the Zinus 12 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress due to product unavailability and rising popularity of Zinus products. A fifth product, Classic Brands Cool Gel Chill Memory Foam 14 Inch Mattress has been added due to popularity.

July 6, 2021: Our former Editor’s Choice, the Brentwood Home Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress, has been replaced by our #3 pick, Zinus 12 Inch Ultima Pressure Relief Mattress, due to unavailability of the former product. A new mattress has been added to our list, the LUCID 12 Inch Hybrid Mattress, as a popular customer choice product.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best mattress for your money?

A mattress can only be considered best if it matches your needs and there’s plenty of options for you to select from, even when you’re on a budget of under $500. However, the Zinus 12" Pressure Relief Mattress is our top pick. Aside from being one of the most affordable of our top 5 recommendations, it's a widely popular customer choice, offers that medium-firmness to suit most sleepers and their go-to sleeping positions, as well as having cooling properties so that you'll never overheat in the summer months.

Why are mattresses so expensive?

The most obvious reason why mattresses are always so pricey is that they're long-life products. You likely will only buy one for up to ten years, so manufacturers need to get their money's worth by hiking up their prices as they're not repeat products, just like couches or other large pieces of furniture. Mattresses also contain expensive materials such as latex, innerspring or memory foam, which each help to make the bed long-lasting and durable over time.