10 Comfy Mattresses under $500 – Reviews & Buying Guide

The average person will spend almost 230,000 hours of their life sleeping. And during those hours, unlike during your waking hours, your body pretty much isn’t moving. That’s a lot of time spent lying still on your mattress, which means that finding the right mattress for your body is extremely important. But not everyone has the ability to invest a significant chunk of savings in a new mattress. And thankfully, you don’t have to. In our review, you’ll find 10 best mattresses for under $500, made to meet all your sleeping needs.

We’ve spent a hundred of hours and examined tens of mattresses with the best price-to-quality ratio, read tons of customer reviews, and dug into features that people find important when choosing their mattress. The letter is a big deal, as having the right mattress can help reduce back pain, improve your quality of sleep, minimize the time lost between hitting the pillow and snoozing away, and leave you feeling fully refreshed in the morning.

Top 10 Mattresses for under $500 in 2018

In this review, we’ll cover the gamut of mattress buyers – from those on an even tighter budget, to those looking for plush comfort, to those who like their mattress as firm as they come. The table below summarizes our 10 favorite mattresses for easy reference, and you can find more detailed product descriptions below. Plus, our buying guide covers the mattress features that we found experts recommend to consider and customers routinely look for to help guide your choice.

Name and Features Image Rating Price
1. Tuft & Needle Mattress (Editor’s Choice)
Unique adaptive foam with medium firmness ideal for most customers, 6 sizes, 100-day trial period plus 10-year warranty
TuftNeedle_1-1
2. Classic Brands Cool Gel Ultimate Mattress (Runner-up)
3 foam layers and gel foam topping, plush, 6 sizes, and 25-year warranty, comes with 2 pillows
ClassicBrands14_1
3. LinenSpa Hybrid Mattress (Budget Pick)
Very affordable hybrid mattress with spring base and foam top, plush, 6 sizes, and 10-year warranty
LinenSpa_1
4. Zinus Responsive Memory Foam Mattress (Best Combination of Softness and Firmness)
Fully foam design with a viscolatex foam layer on top, firm, 4 sizes, and 5-year warranty
ZinusResponsive_1
5. Olee Sleep Hybrid Mattress (Best Hybrid Mattress)
Hybrid mattress with individually wrapped coils, plush, 3 sizes, and 10-year warranty
OleeHybrid_1
6. Classic Brands Cool Gel Mattress
Gel-infused memory foam with high-density foam base, firm, 7 sizes, 10-year warranty
ClassicBrands8_1
7. Live and Sleep’s Classic Mattress (The Widest Range of Sizes)
Fully foam design, medium firmness, 8 sizes, 30-day trial period and 20-year warranty
LiveSleep_1-1
8. Signature Sleep Memoir Memory Foam Mattress (The Widest Range of Thicknesses)
Fully foam design, firm, 5 sizes and 4 thicknesses available, 1-year warranty
SignatureSleep_1-1
9. Olee Sleep Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress
Egg-crate foam base and gel foam top layer, plush, 5 sizes, 10-year warranty
OleeGel_1
10. Zinus Spring Twin Mattress (Best Mattress for Kids)
Innerspring covered with thin layer of foam, extra firm, one size, 10-year warranty
ZinusSpring_1
Features
  • Proprietary Adaptive Foam
  • Firmness: medium
  • CertiPUR & Oeko-Tex 100 certified
  • Available in 6 sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • 100-day trial period plus 10-year warranty
  • Fit all frames

OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10

The Tuft & Needle Mattress is far and away the best mattress currently on the market for under $500 for several reasons. First, the proprietary Adaptive Foam that fills the top layer of the mattress is one of the best sleeping layers we’ve seen. Since it’s foam, you get the sensation of sinking into the mattress – but the firmness and resiliency of the foam actually keep your body floating on top so that your back doesn’t arch. Plus, the foam is infused with graphite, and the mattress cover is made of wicking nylon and polyester so that the mattress pulls heat away from your body as you sleep. That cooling process can keep you from overheating, which is a common cause of poor sleep for many people.

Another great feature of this mattress is that the support foam, which makes up the lower half of the mattress, can eliminate the need for a box spring or bed frame. The support foam is strong enough to keep you comfortable even if the mattress is set out on the floor.

The other thing we loved about Tuft & Needle was their customer support. Not only do they offer a 100-day trial period (after which very few people reported returning the mattress), but customers rave about the support they’ve received when talking to the company before purchasing the mattress or when a return is needed.

PROS:
  • Proprietary Adaptive Foam is extremely comfortable and cools better than traditional foam
  • Firm, but resilient and bouncy to provide float
  • Support foam eliminates need for box spring
  • Amazing customer support and warranty, easy to return if needed
  • Top-rated by customers, 90% rated 5 star

CONS:
  • Only available online – must be tried in your home rather than at the store
  • Foam resiliency can cause pressure points for heavyset people

Learn what’s inside the Tuft & Needle Mattress from this video.

Features
  • 14” thick with 8” support foam base, topped with soft comfort foam, memory foam, and gel foam
  • Firmness: plush
  • Available in 6 sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • 25-year warranty
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Comes with two gel-infused memory foam pillows

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

ClassicBrands14

This mattress from Classic Brands is a great mattress for those who prefer the feeling of sinking through the top of the mattress before resting on a firm base. The top 4” of the mattress are made of soft comfort foam, memory foam, and gel foam, so it can feel like the mattress is fully welcoming your body into its folds when you lie down in it.

However, don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a soft mattress – the underlying comfort foam and thick 8” support foam base provide a ton of firmness. In fact, most customers rank this among the firmer mattresses they’ve slept on. The benefit to this sink-into-firmness design is that it drastically reduces pressure points, and helps the mattress conform to your body’s natural curves. This is especially great for people with back pain, as many customers report tossing and turning less throughout the night.

The other great feature of this mattress is the gel-infused memory foam in the uppermost layer. This foam is specially designed for breathability and ventilation, so even as your body is being sucked into the mattress, it is able to move heat away from your body. This is a major difference from traditional memory foam mattress tops, which many people dislike because they cause heat build-up.

PROS:
  • Excellent at reducing pressure points
  • Gel-infused memory foam keeps you cool through the night
  • Comes with two comfortable memory foam pillows
  • 25-year warranty

CONS:
  • Can be too firm for some customers
  • Customers report some mattresses were delivered with ripped seams

Features
  • Hybrid combination of tempered steel coils, felt pad, foam comfort layer, and memory foam
  • Firmness: plush
  • Available in 6 sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • 10-year warranty
  • CertiPUR-US certified

OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10

LinenSpa

LinenSpa’s Hybrid mattress harnesses the power of comfort foam and memory foam to transform a traditional spring mattress into something entirely new. The mattress includes a 1.5”-thick layer of comfort foam on top of an innerspring frame to add comfort and reduce the firmness of the mattress. The result is that the mattress is seemingly immune to creating pressure points, and many customers reported that it solved back pain that other mattresses couldn’t seem to shake. However, depending on your weight the mattress may feel either too firm for comfort or too soft so that your body is resting on the top of the springs.

To top off the mattress, LinenSpa added a thin layer of memory foam into the quilted mattress cover. While this foam isn’t adding any support on its own, it’s enough to give the mattress a gentle sinking feeling that many people appreciate. Plus, it helps to reduce the transfer of motion across the bed in case you have a partner who wakes up early.

PROS:
  • Hybrid design matches the best use of comfort foam with a traditional innerspring
  • Great for people who have issues with pressure points on other mattresses
  • Memory foam adds comfort and reduces motion transfer

CONS:
  • Hybrid design changes how firm the mattress feels depending on your weight, making it hard to know before you buy
  • No trial period

Features
  • Fully foam design with high-density base foam, HD support foam, memory foam, and viscolatex foam on top
  • Firmness: firm
  • Available in 4 sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King
  • 5-year warranty
  • Patented compression technology

OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10

This mattress from Zinus uses only a small layer of memory foam, but that doesn’t take away from its comfort. The real key to this mattress is the 2”-thick layer of viscolatex foam on the top of the mattress. Like memory foam, this foam is soft and comfortable against your body. Unlike memory foam, it is highly breathable and won’t allow your body to sink into the mattress. This is great for people who enjoy the feeling of foam but want a firmer mattress, as well as for people who find themselves waking up at night from overheating. However, some side sleepers find that the viscolatex layer is too firm, particularly against the hips and shoulders.

Fully half of the mattress is high-density support foam, which effectively serves as a built-in box spring. Most people under 200 pounds won’t ever compress the upper foam layers enough to feel this support layer, but for heavier people, the support foam is plenty comfortable and doesn’t create uncomfortable pressure points like a traditional innerspring.

One other plus to this mattress is the customer service from Zinus. Many customers report excellent experiences when reaching out to Zinus before buying the mattress or when trying to return a mattress simply because it felt too firm rather than any manufacturer defect.

PROS:
  • 2” viscolatex foam layer on top provides breathability and prevents sinking
  • Fully foam design is firm, but comfortable and supportive
  • Support foam eliminates need for a box spring
  • Excellent customer service and 5-year warranty

CONS:
  • Viscolatex is too firm for some people, especially side sleepers

Features
  • Individually wrapped coils in innerspring base, memory foam and gel foam layers
  • Firmness: plush
  • Available in 3 sizes: Full, King, Queen
  • 10-year warranty

OVERALL RATING: 8.7 out of 10

OleeHybrid

This mattress from Olee is a hybrid design, featuring an innerspring base with a series of high-density foam layers above. One of the things that set this mattress apart from competitors like the LinenSpa hybrid mattress is that the springs in the base are individually coiled rather than coiled in sets as for a traditional innerspring. This unique design allows the mattress to spread your weight more evenly across the coils and for individual coils to respond to increased pressure, for example from your shoulders and hips. The result is fewer pressure points. Another benefit of this design is that the mattress transfers almost no motion – perfect if you have a partner who frequently wakes up early and you don’t want to be disturbed.

Another welcome feature of this mattress is the thin gel foam layer just below the top of the mattress. This gel foam provides much needed ventilation, helping the mattress transfer heat away from your body so you stay cool throughout the night. Plus, since the gel foam layer is sandwiched in between two layers of high-density foam, this ventilation is accomplished without sacrificing the firmness of the mattress or causing your body to sink into the top layer.

PROS:
  • Minimizes pressure points and motion transfer thanks to individually coiled springs
  • Gel foam layer provides effective ventilation without reducing firmness

CONS:
  • High-density foam coupled with innerspring base may be too firm for some people
  • Not available in twin size

Features
  • Gel-infused memory foam with a thick support base made of high-density foam
  • Firmness: firm
  • Available in 7 sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Short Queen, King, California King
  • 10-year warranty
  • Anti-microbial and hypoallergenic foam, CertiPUR-US certified

OVERALL RATING: 8.5 out of 10

ClassicBrands8

This mattress may initially look to be just a smaller cousin of the 14-inch mattress from Classic Brands, but removing the secondary layers of memory foam and comfort foam between the top layer and support base gives it an entirely different feel. The sinking sensation is removed, replaced by firm support against the high-density foam base. However, even without the additional foam layers, this mattress is still excellent at reducing pressure points and many side sleepers report that it feels great against their hips and shoulders.

This mattress is also a great choice for people who sleep on the warm side thanks to the gel-infused memory foam layer on top. This specialized foam is perforated for ventilation, allowing heat to quickly move away from your body.

The one downside to this mattress is the warranty. Although the mattress comes with a 10-year warranty, some customers report difficulty in returning the mattress to Classic Brands if they did not mount the mattress on a Classic Brands box spring or bed frame.

PROS:
  • Firm and comfortable with few pressure points
  • Gel-infused memory foam moves heat away from your body

CONS:
  • Warranty is difficult to use if you do not also buy a Classic Brands box spring or bed frame

Features
  • Fully foam design with a 2.5” memory foam top layer
  • Firmness: medium
  • Available in 8 sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Short/RV Queen, King, California King
  • 30-day trial period and 20-year warranty
  • CertiPUR-US certified hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial foam

OVERALL RATING: 8.5 out of 10

The Resort Sleep mattress is fully foam, sporting a 2.5” memory foam top layer on top of a 7.5” layer of high-density foam. That combination means that your body can sink into the mattress relatively far, but that once you hit the high-density foam layer, it will feel moderately firm. Plus, the thick base of high-density foam makes this mattress suitable for heavier people, since it can easily support a significant amount of weight without causing pressure points like an innerspring mattress would. However, heavier people may also want to invest in a box spring to prevent long-term stress on the foam base itself.

With any foam mattress, and especially one that allows you to sink in, one of the primary concerns is cooling – after all, foam tends to hold heat. However, Live and Sleep claims to use a higher quality foam than their competitors that enhances ventilation. And customers say it works well – even people who complained about the heat in their old foam mattresses found the Resort Sleep to be plenty cool to sleep through the night.

PROS:
  • Fully foam design is medium firmness and won’t cause pressure points
  • Comfortable, durable option for heavy people
  • Circumvents cooling issues that plague many foam-topped mattresses
  • Easy-to-wash removable fabric cover

CONS:
  • Memory foam top causes significant sinking into the mattress
  • High density foam layer can be too firm for some people, requiring a plush mattress topper

Features
  • High-density foam base topped with comfortable memory foam
  • Firmness: firm
  • Available in 5 sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
  • 1-year warranty
  • 4 mattress thicknesses: 6, 8, 10, and 12 inches
  • CertiPUR-US certified

OVERALL RATING: 8.0 out of 10

SignatureSleep

The Signature Sleep Memoir is a great choice for those who prefer the comfort of memory foam to a traditional spring mattress, but don’t enjoy the feeling of sinking into the mattress that memory foam often causes. By using a higher-density foam layer than most competing mattresses, the Memoir provides a firm sleeping base that keeps your body afloat. However, that same firmness can result in pressure points for some sleepers, especially those who sleep on their sides.

The Memoir is available in four different mattress thicknesses, and it is important to consider how firm you prefer your mattress in choosing the thickness for you. Thinner mattresses have less memory foam, and so your body will be supported in greater proportion by the high-density foam beneath and the box spring or bed frame. The 12” mattress, the thickest offered, has 3.5” of memory foam on top, which provides much more support.

One interesting feature of this mattress is the way it is shipped. It comes compressed and rolled up in a single box, which is great for moving it throughout your house to where you need it. However, this also means that it can take three days or more for the mattress to fully inflate once you open the packaging – so plan to spend a few days waiting before you can try out the mattress.

Unfortunately, the mattress comes with only a one-year limited warranty. Returning the mattress is also difficult once it is inflated, since it is too large to ship easily.

PROS:
  • Extremely firm memory foam won’t leave you sinking into the mattress
  • Multiple thicknesses allow you to choose your support level
  • Comes in 5 sizes

CONS:
  • Requires a box spring or other support
  • Only comes with a one-year limited warranty, difficult to return

Features
  • Gel foam top layer, egg-crate foam base
  • Firmness: plush
  • Available in 5 sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • 10-year warranty
  • Eco-friendly gel materials

OVERALL RATING: 8.0 out of 10

This mattress from Olee Sleep is one of the softest mattresses on our list, thanks in large part to the egg-crate style foam used in the base. Whereas most of the mattresses with foam bases we’ve discussed used high-density foam, egg-crate style foam leaves air space between the base layer and the foam layer above that can be compressed when you lie down. The result is an exceedingly plush mattress that achieves softness without having you sink into the top.

That sinking is further reduced by having only a thin layer of memory foam, overlying a thin layer of high-density foam. Many customers found that this gave just the right amount of sinking sensation and comfort without overdoing it. Meanwhile, a layer of gel foam in the top of the mattress helps to provide ventilation and cooling – few reviewers had an issue with overheating on this mattress thanks to this layer.

One potential downside to this mattress is its lack of longevity. Many reviewers report that the mattress will sink permanently under where you sleep after about one year of use, and cannot be recovered. In addition, while the mattress can be rotated to prevent this from occurring, it cannot be flipped. However, the 10-year warranty shall prevent any troubles with returning the mattress in case you encounter such issues.

PROS:
  • Egg-crate style foam base results in plush sleeping experience
  • Good ventilation thanks to top gel foam layer

CONS:
  • Tends to sink after about one year of use

Features
  • Traditional innerspring covered with thin layer of foam
  • Firmness: extra firm
  • Available in twin size
  • 10-year warranty
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Comes in a set of two mattresses

OVERALL RATING: 7.5 out of 10

ZinusSpring

Zinus is marketing directly at people who need to fill a bunk bed frame with this set of two mattresses. For the price, these mattresses are an absolute steal.

However, they are clearly intended for growing kids rather than for adults with potential sleeping issues or back pain. The mattresses are relatively thin – only 5” of springs plus 1” of foam. This also makes this Zinus one of the best mattresses for bunk beds, as they often accommodate thinner mattresses. But the downside here is that most adults, or even heavy kids, will feel the springs underneath the foam, which can cause significant pressure and discomfort. The dominating influence of the springs also means that the mattress is extremely firm. Many people will want to invest in plush mattress toppers to reduce the firmness of these mattresses after purchase, even when children will be sleeping on them.

In addition, the mattresses are only available in a twin size, which is perfect for kids but too small for most adults and certainly too small for couples.

PROS:
  • Extremely cost-effective for filling a bunk bed frame
  • Good for children

CONS:
  • Not suitable for adults or couples
  • Likely need to invest in a plush mattress topper after-market

Buying Guide

Now that we’ve covered our 10 favorite mattresses for under $500, let’s take a step back and look at the broader questions you need to ask before purchasing a new mattress.

Type of Mattress

One of the major things to think about is what type of mattress you’re interested in – foam or innerspring.

Memory foam is often considered to be a great option for people with back pain or who suffer from pressure points in their normal sleeping position, since the foam conforms to your body shape within a few minutes of lying down. Memory foam often causes a sinking sensation, which may be a turn-off for some people and also can result in overheating issues, since your body is effectively surrounded by the mattress. Gel foam layers, which are incorporated into some foam mattresses, offer better ventilation and can help prevent this overheating issue. Memory foam typically rebounds after you get out of bed, and most mattresses will retain their bounce for years of use, but some will lose their rebound over time.

Innerspring mattresses are the traditional design for mattresses, using metal spring coils in a variety of configurations to provide support. They tend to be firmer than foam mattresses, although for some people – especially heavy people and side sleepers – the coils can cause unwanted pressure points. An advantage to innerspring mattresses is that they are typically less expensive than foam mattresses.

Firmness

10 Comfy Mattresses under $500 - Reviews & Buying GuideOne of the most asked questions about every mattress is how firm it is. For better or worse, this is a largely subjective measure that is difficult to translate from person to person. Heavyset people will generally find that mattresses are more firm than lighter people find them to be, since they are more likely to sink down to the dense base material.

Dimensions

Apart from mattress types, you also need to consider available mattress sizes. Six of them are the most common, and of course, it’s better when there is a full range of sizes available for the item you pick, so you can choose the one suitable for you. The smallest size is twin, which is approximately 39’’ wide by 74’’ long. It is suitable for one child or adult. If you are taller and sleep alone, you might prefer twin XL, which is 39’’ wide by 80’’ long, giving you more space. Larger mattress types are optimized for two sleepers, with available full bed (54’’ wide by 74’’ long), queen bed (60’’ wide by 80’’ long), king bed (76’’ wide by 80’’ long), and California king bed (72’’ wide by 84’’ long) dimensions.

Trial Phase and Warranty

mattress_2

One of the most important steps in the mattress buying process is to try out the mattress you’re interested in – no amount of reading reviews can substitute for actually lying on the mattress. If you’re buying online, however, trying before you buy can be difficult – which is where trial phases come in. Some, but not all, companies offer 30-day trials after which you can return the mattress with no questions asked. Look for these trials when buying online, and talk to the company beforehand about the process of returning the mattress.

Almost every mattress comes with some form of manufacturer’s warranty, but they differ widely in the number of years for which they apply and what kind of mattress issues they cover. Be sure to read the warranty before buying, and consider how long you are likely to use the mattress for and whether the warranty covers at least that duration.

Motion Transfer

Often a minor concern, how significantly a mattress dampens vibration can be a consideration when trying to decide between two candidate mattresses. It can also be important if you have a partner who frequently shifts during the night or wakes up early – both of which can wake you up if the bed shakes beneath you. Foam mattresses tend to be better at dampening motion than innerspring mattresses, but testing specific mattresses is the best way to determine the degree of motion dampening.

Conclusion

Having the right mattress can make all the difference in getting a good night’s sleep and waking up feeling refreshed and pain-free the next morning. And while mattresses can be an expensive investment, they don’t need to break the bank – in fact, $500 is the most you should need to spend to get a great mattress that will fit your body. Our guide to our top 10 favorite mattresses for under $500 should jumpstart your search, but if you just can’t narrow it down to one bed, our favorite is the Tuft & Needle Mattress.

10 Total Score
Tuft & Needle Mattress - Editor's Choice

Our favorite overall mattress in our round-up was the Tuft & Needle Mattress, both because of the mattress itself and the stellar customer support that comes with it. The proprietary Adaptive Foam that makes up the top layer of the mattress provides amazing comfort, allowing your body to float on top of the mattress rather than sink in as is the case for memory foam. Plus, it is infused with graphite to whisk away body heat and keep you cool and sleeping easy throughout the night. The high-density support foam base is also plenty thick to eliminate the need for a box spring, saving you an additional investment. Also, this high-quality mattress is paired with a 100-day trial period – longer than almost any online competitor. Many customers reported contacting Tuft & Needle during this period and receiving immediate, helpful feedback on any questions they had about the mattress. That level of customer support is almost unheard of among mattress suppliers and provides confidence in buying this online-only mattress.

Comfort
10
Firmness
10
Durability
10
PROS
  • Proprietary Adaptive Foam is extremely comfortable and cools better than traditional foam
  • Firm, but resilient and bouncy to provide float
  • Support foam eliminates need for box spring
  • Amazing customer support and warranty, easy to return if needed
CONS
  • Only available online – must be tried in your home rather than at the store
  • Foam resiliency can cause pressure points for heavyset people
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