There’s a huge amount of choice out there in the mattress world at the moment thanks to the massive “mattress in a box” trend that’s taken the industry by storm. As such, it can be hard to distinguish between what’s good value for money and what’s cheap and low quality.
Today we’re going to take a look at some of the most affordable mattresses on the market that provide great performance without breaking the bank.
Let’s get started.
Overall Best Affordable Mattress: The Nectar
We’ve found several great affordable mattresses that we wanted to recommend today, and we’ve listed some runners-up and honorable mentions at the end of this article. However, it was pretty obvious quite early on in the research for this article that the Nectar is by far the best affordable mattress on the market right now.
Nectar is one of the biggest and best brands in the mattress industry. They were one of the very first companies to get involved with the online “mattress in a box” craze that has changed the way we buy mattresses forever. They’ve built up a huge reputation for quality and performance that is verified by countless positive customer reviews all over the internet.
This is a hybrid product, which means it’s made up of lots of different materials that have been stacked on top of one another. By doing this Nectar (and other brands) are able to create products that have all the various strengths of the different materials inside of them – without their weaknesses. The product becomes much more than simply something that is the sum of its parts.
Let’s see what you’re going to get for your money as we dissect the Nectar layer by layer below…
Tencel Cooling Cover
The covering of the Nectar is made from an advanced material called Tencel. Tencel is a natural material that is made from cellulose – which is technically derived from wood that has been processed into a super soft material.
It’s an excellent thermal regulator as it’s extremely breathable. It works hand in hand with the cooling technologies in the layers below to allow any hot air to escape the mattress and ventilate out into your bedroom (taking the heat with it).
Tencel is also good because it has special antimicrobial properties that will protect against bacteria, but it also helps protect against bedbugs too. It’s an eco-friendly material that uses recycled and renewable materials, and the manufacturing process is free of harmful chemicals and additives (unlike other “natural” materials like Rayon for example).
Quilted Cooling Gel Memory Foam
This is one of the most advanced layers of memory foam we have ever seen. To fully appreciate how good it is (and what it does) we need to quickly talk about normal memory foam and the problems it faces.
As you may already know, traditional memory foam has a pretty bad reputation for overheating. The material was made by NASA to be used in airplane seats, and as such, the temperature of the material was of little concern when it was being designed. However, from the moment it started to be used in mattresses, the problem became pretty obvious.
For a while engineers tried to solve the problem in various different ways – but it was difficult. The reason memory foam overheats is the same reason that it contours with the magical properties that made the material famous.
Inside memory foam, you’ll find lots of little cells on the microscopic level that contain air inside of them. These cells collapse under pressure to give you the contouring properties of the material, they snap back to normal size when you get off the bed.
When heat enters the mattress throughout the night, the air inside these cells heats up. Because the cells are completely enclosed the air cannot ventilate around the mattress (or outside into the bedroom) and hotspots form underneath the sleeper – resulting in a much warmer sleeping surface.
Cooling gel is a material that’s an excellent thermal conductor, it’s added to memory foam before the mixture is hardened into a foam block.
The concept behind cooling gel is quite simple, instead of cooling the mattress down, it just spreads the heat out instead. When the heat enters the mattress the gel absorbs it and spreads it out to all the other gel in the mattress. This evenly distributes the heat and removes hotspots – resulting in a cooling sensation for the sleeper.
It’s one of the most effective ways to make memory foam cool enough to be comfortable – and the way it has been executed in the Nectar is one of the finest examples of how to use cooling gel properly.
The other great bit about this layer is that it is made from a quilted kind of memory foam that is padded on the top side. The channels in this quilted pattern provide a little bit of additional ventilation, but it’s mainly here for comfort. It provides an enjoyable loftiness to the product that some memory foam products can lack. It’s this layer that’s mainly responsible for the feeling of luxury the Nectar is well known for, and we love it.
Gel Memory Foam
In most mattresses, you’d only get one layer of cooling gel technology inside – but this is not a normal mattress.
Nectar has included a second layer of cooling gel memory foam here, and it’s quite similar to the layer above. The main difference is that it doesn’t have any quilting or padding to it, and it’s a little bit firmer too. This layer starts to provide some support and makes the difference in firmness between the top layer and the layers below less noticeable too.
Hi Core Memory Foam
This is a great layer that is where the bulk of the support of the mattress comes from. Hi Core memory foam is a very special kind of memory foam that’s not really used all that often in other products – because it’s expensive.
However, it’s one of the best kinds of memory foam in the world in terms of support thanks to the increased contouring power of the material. It will shape itself to your body quicker than standard foam too – which is a benefit that you’re really going to appreciate when you first get into bed or change sleeping position.
High-Density Support Foam
The final layer of this product is made from high-density support foam, and to be honest, it’s pretty standard stuff (as is usually the case in most base layers). It’s a thick layer that’s robust and reasonably breathable compared to some other support foams – but it’s quite boring in all honesty. Let’s move on.
Pros And Cons
- Two layers of cooling gel memory foam
- Supportive hi core memory foam
- Very cool sleeping surfaceQuick contouring action
- Very affordable mattress
- Great brand with a huge reputation
- Excellent levels of support
6 More Really Good Affordable Mattresses
To be totally honest, the Nectar above is much better than every other product we came across that we would consider to be a good affordable mattress. However, we wanted to give you some choice – so here are 6 other really good affordable mattresses that we think are worthy of your consideration.
Zinus Memory Foam 12 Inch Green Tea Mattress
This is a great low-cost mattress from Zinus – who has a reputation for providing brilliant performance at a low price point. This mattress is a pure foam product that combines memory foam, comfort foam, and high-density foam to create a mattress with great levels of comfort and support.
We really like the green tea infusion that has been included with this product – it removes the horrible “off-gassing” smell that new memory foam products are known for (and it keeps the mattress fresher throughout its lifetime too).
Signature Sleep Mattress, 12 Inch Memory Foam Mattress, Full-Size Mattresses
This is another great product from another great budget brand – Signature Sleep. In this product they have included a special kind of memory foam called “memoir foam” and to be honest, we have no idea what it is. All we know is that the memory foam layer combined with the supportive foam base creates a decent amount of support without breaking the bank.
It’s a very well received mattress if anecdotal customer reviews are anything to go by – it has over 5,000 reviews on Amazon.com and commands a solid 4-star rating. If nothing else, that alone should be more than enough to pique your interest and earn this mattress your consideration.
LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
This is another pure foam affordable mattress from LUCID – who is one of the most well known and respected budget mattress brands. This mattress is all about cooling, and the thick top layer of memory foam has been infused with a surprisingly high-quality cooling gel (considering the price point of the product).
The main thing that caught our interest with this mattress is the ventilation system that has been included in the memory foam layer. LUCID have added countless pinhole style openings across the entire surface of the mattress (you can’t feel them) which create ventilation channels for hot air to escape the product with almost no restriction whatsoever.
Classic Brands Cool Gel Ultimate Gel Memory Foam
This is one of the thickest budget mattresses on the market – it provides a huge feeling of luxury with its 14 inches of comfort and cooling power. The top layer of memory foam is very similar to the layer in the LUCID above – it has a great cooling gel infusion, and it has similar ventilation channels to promote airflow too.
However, this product has a few more layers than the LUCID. Underneath the cooling gel memory foam, you’ll find another generous layer of high-quality standard memory foam, alongside some comfort foam and a thick high-density base. It’s one of the most luxurious affordable mattresses on the market – and you should definitely check it out.
Olee Sleep 13 inch Galaxy Hybrid Gel Infused Memory Foam and Pocket Spring Mattress
This is a great hybrid mattress form Olee Sleep, and it’s also got excellent customer reviews on Amazon (1200+ reviews and 4.5 stars). The top layer is a cooling gel memory foam of a similar quality to all the other gels we’ve talked about in the runners-up section – but it doesn’t have ventilation holes.
However, what it does have instead is a layer of pocketed coils – which are one of the most advanced kinds of coils you can use in mattresses these days. The coils only compress when you apply direct pressure to them (as they are not connected to each other) and this makes the impression you make in the layer when you lie down on the bed very accurate. It provides impeccable levels of support and comfort, and as the layer is mainly just thin air in terms of volume – it has massive levels of ventilation too.
LUCID 12 inch King Hybrid Mattress – Bamboo Charcoal and Aloe Vera
The final product we’re going to recommend today is again from LUCID. It has been infused with aloe vera and charcoal to eliminate odors and keep things fresher for longer in the same way as the green tea product we talked about earlier.
The generous layers of memory and comfort foam rest on top of a coiled section that’s of a similar design and quality to the Olee Sleep product above. It’s a great mattress at a great price point, and if you’re on a budget – you should check it out.
So there you have it, that’s what we think are the best affordable mattresses on the market right now.
As you can see from the products above, it’s possible to buy an exceptional mattress without breaking the bank. Any of the affordable mattresses we have talked about today are going to provide you with years of great sleep on a budget – and they are all more than worthy of your consideration.