Now, as subjective as “value” is, our team endeavored to use as many objective elements as possible to make our selections. Ultimately, however, choosing the best mattress for the money involves making difficult cuts and splitting a lot of hairs. As such, we’ve made sure to include more than just our selections.
We also have details about shopping for a mattress, saving money, and picking a particular size that best fits your needs. So, hopefully you find this guide beneficial, and you’re able to get the right mattress for you, the very first time. And speaking of the right mattress, let’s take a look at our editor’s picks for the best mattress for the money:
Memory Foam Nectar could be the most popular memory foam mattress online. It’s affordable, comfortable, and usually comes with free pillows. They also have monthly payment options with Affirm.
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Soft Foam Nest Alexander Signature is a luxury foam mattress that has an organic cotton cover. It’s also double sided, allowing you to try two firmness options on the same bed.
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Soft Foam Tuft & Needle is quite possibly the most popular budget mattress online. The bed is comfortable and accommodates all types of sleepers.
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To be clear, we are not saying that these are the only nice mattresses you can buy online. Quite the contrary, actually. We’re confident that you’ll find all of our selections to be a great value, but we also acknowledge that there are plenty of amazing beds that narrowly missed making it on this list. That’s just the nature of reviewing products and creating “best of” guides.
In any case, make sure to read the rest of this post for the full details on each of our selections. And you can always reach out to us if you have any burning questions. We love helping people get the right mattress—it’s our job, in fact.
Our pick for the best overall value mattress out there is Nectar. We are big fans of this mattress for many reasons. First, it’s one of the most affordable bed in a box mattresses available. The average mattress in a box usually costs around $600 (twin) to $1,200 (king). Now with Nectar, the MSRP prices are a little deceiving – they run between $500 (twin) to $900 (king), which is still below the industry average.
However, Nectar is almost always offering some sort discount or promo code to make their mattresses even cheaper. Right now, you can get $100 off any size mattress + 2 free pillows. That would drop their queen size well below the $700 mark, which is a steal in our opinion.
Nectar also beats the industry norms in terms of their trial period and warranty. Most bed in a box companies offer a 100 night risk free trial – that means if you decide you don’t like the mattress during those first 99 nights, just give the respective company a call and they will send someone to pick up the mattress from your home free of charge and issue you a full refund. Nectar goes above and beyond though by offering a 365 night home trial. Yes, that’s right, you can test out the Nectar mattress for a full year before deciding if you want to keep it or not (my guess is you’ll want to keep it though – it’s a great mattress).
Further, Nectar also offers what they call their ‘Forever Warranty’. Basically, the company will replace or repair the mattress at any time if any manufacturing defects or material failures are discovered. Most other companies only offer a 10 year warranty.
Enough about all that stuff though, what about the mattress itself? Well, it’s top notch too. The top two layers of the mattress are comprised of memory foam and Nectar even adds another layer of gel memory foam within the quilted, tencel blend cover. As such, the bed has that prototypical memory foam feel. It’s very soft and very comfortable. It’s one of those mattresses where when you lay down on the bed for the first time, you instinctively let out an audible “aaahhh”.
But its a unique memory foam feel – with a lot of other memory foam mattresses, you’ll get that stuck-in-the-mud feeling. That’s not the case with the Nectar mattress though, it actually provides a good amount of support as well. As such, we think this bed is ideal for back, stomach and side sleepers as well as combo sleepers (i.e people that rotate between all three positions throughout the night).
The Nectar mattress also performs well when it comes to limiting motion transfer – the bed passed our test with flying colors. If you or your partner happen to toss and turn or get up a lot during the middle of the night, I think it’s safe to say you don’t have to worry about waking each other up.
RELATED: Nectar vs Purple Mattress Comparison
Overall, the Nectar mattress is a great value. You’re going to get a solid mattress for a cheap price tag. It has a really nice balance between being soft and comfortable yet also providing a good amount of support.
Next up, we have our luxury pick, the Nest Alexander. If you’re looking for a premium mattress but don’t want to pay a premium price, the Nest Alexander is the way to go. We think it’s the best value in the premium/luxury category. This is a category where mattresses can range from $1,000 (twin) all the way up to $4,000 (king).
Luckily, the Nest Alexander ranges from $900 (twin) to $1,399 (king). But like Nectar, Nest Bedding is almost always offering some sort of discount or promo code to make the final price tag even cheaper. You can use code RIZ8 for 8% off the Nest Alexander Signature Series mattress. That would take their queen size below the $1,000 mark, which is bananas considering the quality of this mattress.
Nest, like most other bed in a box companies, offers free shipping, free returns and a 100 night risk free trial. Like Nectar though, Nest distances themselves from most other companies by offering a lifetime warranty. Nest also offers what they call their ‘Comfort Guarantee”, which is valid for the entire useful life of the mattress. Basically, once the risk free trial is over, if you decide you don’t want the bed anymore – maybe you want to try a firmer, softer, smaller or larger Nest model – the company will give you a 50% discount on your purchase.
Moving on to the actual mattress – the Nest Alexander Signature is available in three different feels – soft, medium and luxury firm. The construction of each bed varies depending on the feel you choose but for the most part, the Nest Alexander is a memory foam mattress. The mattress is comprised of five different layers and sports a soft, quilted foam cover that is non-removable.
The Nest Alexander is a beast of a mattress – it comes in at a whopping ~12″ thick, which is about 2-3″ more than the average bed in a box. This makes the bed a great option for heavier people (250+ lbs) – there’s barely any sinkage and it offers pretty good edge support as well.
Now in terms of feel and comfort, it obviously depends on which model you choose. We spent the most time testing out the medium feel option but Jeff also spent time on the soft and luxury firm versions as well. We liked all three versions – they’re all extremely comfortable. The soft version, as you would expect, is very plush and as such, we think it’s ideal for side sleepers.
The medium feel, in our opinion, is just right. It strikes an almost perfect balance between offering the right amount of pressure relief and support. Overall, we give the medium version a 5 out of 10 on our firmness scale – we think it’s ideal for all kinds of sleepers. The luxury firm version comes in at around 5.75 on the same scale. It’s primarily for back and stomach sleepers, although it will soften over time making it an option for combo sleepers as well.
Since this is a memory foam bed, the Nest Alexander is very good at limiting motion transfer. We placed a can of beer at one end of the bed and started walking/rolling around the other parts of the bed and the can barely even moved. So there’s nothing to worry about if you or your partner move around a lot during the middle of the night.
Overall, we were really impressed with this bed. In fact, Jeff liked it so much, he gave it to his parents as a gift and they love it. It comes in three different feels so every sleeper can find what’s best for them. It looks and feels super premium, but doesn’t carry that premium level price tag. Also, if you like the bounce of a traditional innerspring bed, Nest also offers an Alexander Hybrid mattress that incorporates coils as well as memory foam. That’s the bed I sleep on and it’s awesome as well.
Last up, if you’re on a really tight budget but you still want a solid mattress, Tuft & Needle is a great option. It’s extremely affordable – the beds range from $325 (twin) to $700 (king). Plus, occasionally, you can find them ~$50-$75 off [check price on Amazon]. $700 for king! That’s hard to argue with. In terms of trial period and warranty, Tuft & Needle falls in line with the rest of the industry – 100 nights and a 10 year warranty.
In order to make their mattresses so affordable, Tuft & Needle takes a slightly different approach than most other bed in a box companies. Whereas most other bed in a box mattresses use 3-5 layers of foam, Tuft & Needle only uses two. The company argues that multiple layers of foam cancel each other out and hurt breathability. Tuft & Needle uses just a layer of support foam on the bottom and their T&N Adaptive Foam on top. The T&N Adaptive Foam is not memory foam nor latex foam, rather it’s somewhere in between.
Overall, we give the T&N mattress about a 5 to 5.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. It’s soft and comfortable yet it doesn’t have that traditional memory foam feel – it’s a little more neutral than Nectar or Nest. We think it’s best for back and stomach sleepers but side sleepers will find it just fine as well. Yes, there are better options out there for strict side sleepers (Nolah and Purple come to mind) but it still does a pretty decent job of providing pressure relief for your hips, trunk and shoulders. As far as limiting motion transfer, it performs well, just not quite as well as Nectar or Nest. We noticed a little bit of cross-mattress motion transfer during our tests but not enough to be overly concerned with.
Overall, Tuft & Needle is a fantastic option for budget minded shoppers. There’s a reason why Consumer Reports rated it as their ‘Best Buy’ mattress and why it has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon with over 11,000 ratings. It has a very neutral feel, it’s comfortable and it’s accommodating for all kinds of sleepers. At the end of the day, it’s a solid, no-frills mattress that features a very reasonable price tag.
How We Determined Which Mattress Is The Best For Your Money
Of all the best mattress lists we’ve posted this is probably the most difficult to assemble given how much subjectivity is involved in making our selections. We have reviewed and compared over 100 different mattresses, which makes our job easier and harder at the same time.
It’s easier in the sense that we have a deep bench so to speak from which to choose. In other words, we’ve reviewed so many mattresses that we have no shortage of great value mattresses. The flipside of having reviewed so many nice beds is that narrowing our list to just the select few that we consider the best value for the money is an arduous process. We will be the first to admit that we left off plenty of fantastic mattresses—some that you would really like.
And that leads me to my next point which is our editorial decisions. We do not allow agencies, brands, or retailers to dictate which beds made this list or others. Our editors alone make all of the decisions as to which beds are the best value for the money. No one is behind the scenes telling us which bed absolutely has to make the list.
Instead, we get together as a team and argue the merits of each mattress. Ultimately, the vast majority–even the really really nice ones–do not make this list. That’s just the nature of buyer guides. We have to make cuts in order to make our content helpful. If we had selected thirty beds and called them all the best mattress for the money, first off, that would be a disingenuous move, and second, the list would then be useless to you. So, just to reiterate, we take our job very seriously and invested more time than you could fathom into selecting which are the best mattresses for the money that you can buy online.
Criteria For This List
Now that we’ve covered the ground rules so to speak, let’s go over the specific criterion that we used to select the best beds for the money that you can buy right now. For starters, we sifted through consumer search data to figure out what people are actually looking for. We also relied on our vast reach on YouTube, which is around 100 million views over the past few years. Suffice it to say that we get a lot of comments and messages.
In any case, we know that people are looking for primarily for types and sizes of mattresses. For instance, most people are looking for the best memory foam mattress than anything else–hence the reason we have an entire section dedicated to memory foam beds below, and we included a memory foam bed on this list. Even more, we know that people want to know about online mattresses (also known as a mattress in a box). There’s been a revolution in terms of how people shop for beds and the online mattress category is exploding, so it’s no wonder that people are looking for the best value mattress online.
So that’s where we start, search queries of people looking for the best bang for their buck. Next, we go through the 150+ beds we’ve tested and try to select which is the best value in each category. In other words, we know we have to include a hybrid mattress, so we will go through all of the online hybrid mattresses we’ve tried and designate which is the best value for the money. As far as how we make that determination, well, it’s a mix of objective and subjective elements. We will, of course, factor in the price tag, before and after discounts.
Just so you know, we try to find a year-round price for the mattress, and don’t typically use the best price we’ve ever seen. I know this is a list about the best mattress for the money online, but we consider sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday to be outliers. We also mostly use the queen size mattress because not only is it the most popular amongst consumers, but also every brand makes a bed in that size, so we can compare apples to apples.
We will also take into account shipping methods, trial periods, return policies, and warranties. We will give more preference (a little more) to free white glove delivery because it requires less effort on the consumer’s part. We also tend to give points to companies will longer trial periods, but it and the shipping method are less important to us than the return policy. The way we see it, whether an online mattress brand offers a trial period of 100 nights or 120 nights, it doesn’t matter. The point is that they have a trial period during which consumers can try out the bed.
What we will pay a little more attention to is the return policy. If there’s a gigantic return fee or arduous return process, we ding the brand. They might offer a nice bed, but it diminishes the overall value in our eyes.
Aside from price and the policies, we will look overall comfort–as approximated by our team–design, and customization options. We certainly do not want to recommend an uncomfortable bed. We also want to make sure whichever bed we recommend is durable. It’s obviously not the best value mattress long term if it’s not durable. As for customization options, we do like it when brands offer multiple firmness options. It’s not the biggest element we look for, but we do consider it a plus. For example, offering a soft, medium, and firm mattress is a great way to add value to all three types of sleepers.
As you can tell, the process of finding the best value mattress for the money is not simple. We work incredibly hard to make quality recommendations and we try to think about everything from multiple angles.
More About The Memory Foam Mattress
By far, the most popular online mattress is the memory foam mattress. In fact, according to one of our surveys, around 90% of people are open to the material memory foam. It’s not always the first choice, but a huge chunk of consumers report that they’re “just fine with” memory foam. For those of you that aren’t completely familiar with the material, here’s a crash course.
A memory foam mattress is actually just like any other foam mattress, however, the memory foam material has a viscose material injected to give it that remember-your-shape quality. In many cases, the tag of your memory foam mattress with just say “visco foam,” which is a more technical term for the material.
You can find a memory foam mattress in basically any price, thickness, firmness, and temperature rating that you want. That level of versatility is the perfect cocktail for a great value mattress if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck. In other words, brands are able to concoct a bed for just about everyone with memory foam. It’s a pretty neat material, but it’s not for everyone. You can also find these beds in all the major and niche mattress sizes. If you want a king mattress, they make that. If you prefer the queen size or even a twin, they make that too. The memory foam mattress is pretty much ubiquitous online.
Other Types Of Foam Mattresses
Most people know of memory foam mattresses, but don’t quite know the name of the other types of beds they’ve tried in the past. The other most popular foam mattress is the poly foam mattress. These essentially feel like a big piece of softer foam. There’s not much to rave about with these beds, but that’s actually a strong suit because it doesn’t turn many people away. We tend to really like poly foam beds and think of them as a great way to get the most bang for your buck.
Another popular foam mattress it the latex mattress. This type of bed will cost more than the other two previously mentioned types of beds, but they can be naturally-derived which attracts a lot of consumers. While they’re more expensive, they also tend to be highly durable, which helps in the whole “value for the money” equation.
Why We Really Like Hybrid Mattresses
We like hybrid and innerspring mattresses for numerous reasons. Like memory foam beds, they are also ubiquitous. Even more, since a hybrid mattress is just a coil mattress, you can have all different types of hybrid mattresses. You can have memory foam hybrids, latex hybrids, and plenty of others.
But it’s not just about the ability to find a hybrid mattress anywhere and in any derivation, we also appreciate that they tend to be more supportive, especially in the long run, and allow for better airflow circulation thanks to the coils. Obviously, these are several things that would bode well for a hybrid mattress in terms of being a great value for the money.
More About The Mattress In A Box Online Concept
Over the past few years the idea of buying a mattress online went from insane to mainstream. While most people are still buying their mattress in-store, shopping online is gaining popularity. If you remember back to the criterion that we use to judge if a mattress is a good value for the money, we discussed pricing, well, that’s the biggest thing in the corner of bed in a box mattress brands.
They cut out the retailer, allowing them to offer a really nice mattress at a cheaper price point. Additionally, these bed in a box mattresses, because they are sold online, are easy to compare. You can do an hour of research and in that timespane directly compare your top five picks. That would be difficult to do at a traditional retailer for a variety of reasons.
Now, I’m sure you expect online mattress in a box brands to be sub-par relative to the legacy brands. That’s not the case, though. In fact, many of these online brands use the same manufacturers as the legacy brands.
Additionally, the bed in a box mattress brands virtually invented the risk-free trial period. Because they are able to sell directly to consumers, the brands can afford to take larger risks. In other words, they can afford to puff out their chest a little and absorb returns. They can allow consumers to try their bed for three months and make up their own mind. We consider that a pretty compelling value proposition.
Popular Mattress Sizes
We’ve already discussed that the queen size mattress is the most popular. Let’s take that as fact, because it is. According to our surveys, the king size is the next most popular. If you think about it, that makes a lot of sense because a king bed can more comfortably fit two people. Many of our team members have a king size mattress at home. If you can afford one, we highly recommend a king size.
The twin size bed is also incredibly popular, particularly for kids, teens, bunk beds, and where space is at a premium. If you have a taller kid you might think about stepping up to a full size or twin XL.
A big part of offering a great value is standing behind your product. If a brand doesn’t offer a ten year warranty, at least, we basically ignored it for this list. The average person is sleeping on the same mattress for seven to twelve years. Given this, we expect their mattress to have a warranty that at minimum extends the majority of the entire useful life of the mattress. We aren’t asking for everyone to offer a lifetime warranty like WinkBed or a 25-year warranty like Avocado, but ten years is the baseline in our opinion. We don’t want people buying a new mattress online and having it wear out in the first couple of years. Part of this is matching up consumers with the right mattress, but the other part is making sure that the brand stands behind their product.