Shopping on a budget needn’t keep you from a good night’s sleep. A memory foam mattress is one of the more affordable bed options on the market. Often, you can find a quality memory foam mattress for $700 to $1500, and even on a tighter budget, you can find numerous gems for under $1000.
We will cover the properties of memory foam and explain how to choose a mattress for your sleeping needs to help you find the best memory foam mattress under $1000.
Our Recommendation: Zoma Mattress
We designed our Zoma Mattress for athletes, but it can help anyone improve their sleep quality. Lack of quality sleep can mean slowed and impaired thinking and a worsened mood.
Our Zoma Mattress comes in a twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, and split king size. The mattress is 11 inches tall and can hold a total of 800 pounds.
Two inches of gel memory foam make up the mattress’s top layer and mold to the sleeper for full support and pressure relief. The gel infusions wick away body heat, keeping the sleeper cool.
The comfort layer contains our Triangulex™ technology— triangle-shaped cutouts in the legs and shoulders areas. The cutouts add breathability and comfort, while the solid midsection provides support to the hips, preventing sinkage, which can cause your spine to overextend.
The second layer contains 2 inches of our latex-like Reactiv™ foam. Reactiv™ adds a responsive bounce, which boosts a sleeper’s ability to which sleep positions and keeps the sleeper on the mattress top.
At the bottom, 7 inches of our Support+ foam provides durability while deterring sagging.
Our breathable polyester-elastane mattress cover stretches to create air channels, which increases the mattress’s airflow. You can easily remove the cover and run it through a washing machine to clean it.
A queen mattress costs $750, with free shipping, a 10-year warranty, and a risk-free 100-night sleep trial period. If you find a Zoma Mattress is not for you, you can return it for a full refund while a local charity or recycling service will pick up the mattress.
Why Memory Foam?
The best mattress for most sleep styles is one made with memory foam. The material helps refresh sleepers with its pressure-relieving properties. It’s a good budget choice as many memory foam mattresses cost less than $1000.
Pros of Memory Foam
Memory foam is known for its ability to adjust to any pressure. Whenever you place something on the bed, the mattress contours to it, allowing full-body support.
Because memory foam leaves little to no gaps between the body and the sleeping surface, it limits pressure buildup in the body. Pressure relief prevents future pain and can soothe existing pain. If you’re looking for a mattress for hip pain or other chronic pain issues (such as back pain), a memory foam mattress might be your best option.
A memory foam mattress provides excellent motion isolation as well, better than many other types of mattresses. Memory foam can prevent a restless sleeper’s movements from disturbing a partner.
If you need a hypoallergenic bed to sleep on, a memory foam mattress is a good choice. The foam’s density prevents allergens and pests from burrowing their way into the mattress. However, regular vacuuming and cleaning are still needed to keep allergens out of your mattress— otherwise, they will grind into the mattress from use and eventually change its feel.
Cons of Memory Foam
Heat retention is a common drawback to memory foam. Memory foam’s dense structure limits air circulation. Without a way to wick away heat, the memory foam’s temperature rises, which disturbs sleep.
Conductive components such as gel, copper, graphite, charcoal, and ceramic can help a mattress cool down by dispersing heat. Other methods, such as air channels can increase airflow to remove unwanted heat.
Some memory foam mattresses give off a chemical smell when first opened. This is known as “off-gassing” and will fade within 3 to 7 days.
If you’re a person sensitive to smells, look for a memory foam mattress certified by CertiPUR-US®. CertiPUR-US® ensures a foam has low VOC emissions for indoor air quality.
What to Expect From a Memory Foam Mattress Under $1000
The most basic and inexpensive memory foam mattress model contains two layers, a comfort layer made of memory foam and a support foam base layer. Higher-priced models may add in a third or fourth foam layer for extra responsiveness and pressure point relief. Adding more material can help a memory foam mattress last longer if it’s taken care of.
Try to find a mattress that’s at least 10 inches thick, as thinner mattresses wear out quicker. Most sleepers need a comfort layer at least 2 to 3 inches thick to sink into the mattress without hitting the support layer, which can aggravate pressure points.
Other Mattress Types
A memory foam mattress has many benefits, but we know it’s not the best type of mattress for everyone. Some sleepers may consider a latex, innerspring, or hybrid mattress.
A latex mattress is similar to memory foam, but while memory foam has a cradling feel to it, a latex mattress is springy to keep a sleeper more on the mattress’s top. Some sleepers find latex feels firmer, so many mattress companies provide an optional pillowtop for a softer feel.
Natural latex is an eco-friendly material made from rubber tree sap without creating pollutants. The material is durable, and a mattress can last up to 15 years.
Synthetic latex is a completely man-made material, created from organic chemical compounds instead of rubber tree sap. If you have a latex allergy, synthetic latex is safe for you to sleep on.
There are two different processes to create natural latex: Dunlop and Talalay. To make Talalay latex, manufacturers process rubber tree sap with other chemicals to give it a feel more like memory foam. Dunlop latex is created without any added chemicals.
Talalay is the more expensive option, as extra effort goes into making it. Some owners see it as an investment on a durable mattress, but if you have a limited budget, it may not be the right mattress for you.
Innerspring mattresses remain a popular mainstay even as other types of mattresses become more commonplace. Innerspring mattresses are budget-friendly choices, with the average queen costing around $950.
An innerspring mattress has a coil support system tucked underneath a thin comfort layer. The coils offer a signature bounce; however, the mattress has a short life expectancy. Innerspring mattresses are known to have a high sagging rate.
An innerspring mattress is a good choice for a cooling mattress for a hot sleeper. Back sleepers or stomach sleepers can sleep fine on an innerspring mattress because of its inherent firmness; however, we recommend side sleepers look at a different type of mattress as most innerspring mattresses cannot the cushioning side sleepers need.
A hybrid mattress is good for a sleeper who enjoys the feel of memory foam but misses the bounce of an innerspring mattress. Hybrids have a coil base and at least 2 to 3 inches of foam.
Typically, a hybrid uses a pocketed coil system, which prevents motion transfer. In a pocketed coil system, each coil is wrapped to allow them to react individually. Some hybrids contain zoned support systems, which offer customized support to areas such as the head, shoulder, lumbar, hips, and feet.
Hybrid mattresses can come with a high price tag, as they are a mix of different materials. Many hybrid mattresses last for six or seven years.
Have you ever noticed you fall asleep best if you sleep on your side? Perhaps you prefer lying on your back or stomach instead. Maybe you frequently find yourself moving between all three positions.
Whatever your favorite sleeping position, it’s important to keep your spine in neutral alignment. Areas on your body that accumulate pressure change depending on the body’s position, although the right firmness level can alleviate those pressure points.
Numerous surveys have found the majority of people sleep on their sides. Side sleeping has a few health benefits. Sleeping on your side can alleviate acid reflux, open your airway, and may prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
The best memory foam mattress for a side sleeper will have a soft, medium-soft, and medium firmness to alleviate pressure points in the shoulders and hips.
Back sleepers are uncommon— according to a 2012 survey, only 10 percent of people sleep on their backs. The position, however, is best suited for keeping the spine aligned, as the back is in direct contact with the mattress.
A medium to medium-firm mattress can provide the support a back sleeper needs.
Stomach sleepers risk misaligning their spine by overextending the back muscles and ligaments. The strained back can lead to chronic pain, including herniated discs and sciatica. A stomach sleeper’s lower torso may also sink into the mattress while they sleep, which can cause greater pain. We strongly recommend a switch to side sleeping.
If you can’t fall asleep in another position, we recommend a medium-firm to firm mattress with a pillow kept underneath your stomach for added support.
Combination sleepers switch between two or more sleeping positions. Combo sleepers tend to wake up in a different position than how they fall asleep.
Combination sleepers can buy a mattress with a medium firmness to accommodate their sleeping positions by alleviating pressure points and offering support.
Mattress companies have a firmness scale— ranging from 1 to 10— to determine the firmness level of a bed.
|Firmness Scale Rating||Firmness Description|
|2 and 3||Soft|
|7 and 8||Firm|
|9 and 10||Extra-firm|
Sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds should look for a firmer mattress to accommodate their weight. A firmer mattress allows the heavy sleeper to sink into the mattress, allow the person to feel the mattresses contouring properties. Conversely, a lightweight sleep under 130 pounds needs a mattress on the softer side, so they still receive pressure relief without having to sink into the mattress.
A bigger mattress size typically takes more materials to manufacture, which can cause the mattress’s price to rise.
|Size||Dimensions in Inches|
|Twin||38 x 75|
|Twin XL||38 x 80|
|Full||54 x 75|
|Full XL||54 x 80|
|Queen||60 x 80|
|King||76 x 80|
|California King||72 x 84|
Getting the Best Price
We recommend a budget between $500 to $1000 for a queen size mattress, although you can find a few gems for just under $500. You can stretch your budget by shopping smartly.
Often, you’ll find online mattresses have lower prices as many online mattress companies offer coupon codes.
If you prefer shopping store mattresses, try and see if any of your local mattress stores are permanently shutting down. Closeout sales have good prices on quality mattresses to get rid of stock. The drawback is these mattresses tend to be final sale items.
Some of the best mattress sales happen during the year’s biggest sales days: Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, and of course, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
We strongly advise always buying brand new mattresses, as a used mattress may have stains, be filled with allergens, or have pests. It’s quite likely you won’t be privy to its history, so you won’t know how it has or has not been taken care of.
Sleep Trial, Warranty, and Return Policy
A sleep trial, warranty, and return policy can raise a mattress’s price, although we strongly encourage purchasing with a company that provides the sleep trial, return policy, and warranty are a courtesy. These policies are put in place to protect the customer from getting stuck with a mattress that does not meet their expectations.
A sleep trial offers time to test your mattress in the comfort of your home. If you’re unsatisfied with your mattress, you may return the mattress. We suggest looking for a mattress company offering a risk-free trial, which offers the customer a complete refund without having to bear the financial responsibility of restocking, donation, or transportation and handling fees.
Most mattresses are big purchase items, so a warranty can protect you from a defect that would otherwise mean buying a new mattress.
We suggest looking for a mattress warranty covering at least 10 years. Mattress warranties should protect against ripped seams, split and cracked foam, sagging, and damages covers, although they do not cover everyday wear and tear.
Typically, you have to take good care of your mattress to uphold the warranty. A mattress cover can offer you bed protection from spills and foreign particles.
A good return policy can act as a fallback. Reading through the return policy should tell you when you can make a return and how to start a return. If it’s unclear, reach out to customer service and ask. Ideally, you know all this information before you purchase your mattress.
Read the policy carefully for any mentions of hidden fees, such as a shipping fee or a recycling fee. Once a company processes the return, some may pick up the mattress to recycle it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What thickness is best for memory foam mattresses?
We recommend mattresses at least 10 inches. Anything less cannot provide the support most sleepers need. Side sleepers and heavyweight people may want to consider mattresses at least 12 inches thick, to ease pressure and take on bodyweight.
Do you have to wait 48 hours for memory foam mattresses to expand?
Sometimes, although many memory foam mattresses finish expanding well before then. Most memory foam beds take 8 to 72 hours to expand completely. You can sleep on it before it’s finished expanding, although the mattress may not be as comfortable as after expansion.
Did We Help?
You don’t need an expensive memory foam mattress for a good night’s sleep. You can find a good mattress within your budget if you know how and where to look. With care, a good memory foam mattress can last you up to a decade— an investment well worth the initial price.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.