Best value alternatives:
How we test products
Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.
We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product.
Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.
If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.
What should a good budget mattress cost?
A good mattress is a substantial investment. 🛌
The cost of a mattress can vary widely depending on the type and quality of the product.
Some budget mattresses may cost as little as £50, while a top-of-the-line model like a Tempur can cost £1,000 or more.
Cheap mattresses may be tempting, but it is essential to remember that a mattress is one of your home's most important pieces of furniture. 🏡
You spend a third of your life sleeping, after all.
That's a lot of time spent in bed, so no matter your budget, you should choose the right mattress!
A good mattress should last for a couple of years (8 - 10), so it's essential to choose one that will provide comfort and support for years to come.
In the long term, a more expensive mattress actually works out to be phenomenal value for money.
Let's look at this in more detail. 👇
One of our favourite mattresses is the Nectar memory foam mattress.
When not on special (which it often is), the mattress retails for an average of £700 - not exactly spare change.
But, considering that the mattress will last you a long time, you'll have more value for money in the long term.
The mattress should sleep comfortably for 8 - 10 years, but let's take 6 as an average just to be safe.
So that's £700 divided by 6, working out to just over £116 a year.
Or, just over 30 pence a day!
Not a bad price for superior sleep that will leave you snoozing away comfortably. 😴
In the end, a higher-quality mattress is often worth the investment since it'll last you that much longer. 🙌
How to choose a cheap mattress
You may be looking for the best cheap mattress, but you also want a comfortable mattress.
So, you should consider a few things when making your purchase. 🤔
What's your budget?
Of course, one of the most important things to consider when choosing the best budget mattress is your budget!
How much are you willing to spend on a new mattress? 💷
You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good quality mattress.
There are plenty of great options available at a variety of price points. 👍
Once you've determined how much you're willing - or able to - spend on a new mattress, you can start narrowing down your options.
What is the quality of the mattress?
Foam density and spring count are two critical indicators of mattress quality.
Foam density measures the amount of foam used in the construction of the mattress and is a good indicator of support and comfort. 😴
The higher the foam density, the more supportive and comfortable the mattress will be.
Density is also a good indicator of the expected mattress lifespan. 🕯
This is particularly important when looking at cheap memory foam mattresses.
You definitely want to stay away from inferior cheap foam mattresses.
The table below can help guide you:
Spring count, similarly, measures the number of springs used in the construction of a spring mattress.
The higher the spring count, the better the support and comfort.
But, this doesn't mean you have to choose a 10,000-spring mattress.
Sleepeezee mattresses like the Sleepeezee Classic Ortho are a good choice!
Both foam density and spring count should be considered when choosing a mattress. 👌
What size mattress do you need?
Deciding what size mattress you need can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be.
To start, think about how you'll be using the mattress.
If you're planning on using it for just yourself, then a single or double mattress should suffice. 😄
However, if you'll be sharing the mattress with someone else, you'll need to consider a king-size or super-king-size option.
You should also consider your height and build when deciding on mattress size. 🧐
For example, if you're taller than average, you may want to consider an extra-length mattress.
The Otty Hybrid is even available in the extra-large emperor size!
Don't forget to also consider the depth of the mattress.
Some cheap mattresses are only available in low-depth versions.
These are likely to wear out more quickly and won't be able to support anyone of larger body weight. 🏋️♀️
The standard bed-in-a-box height is 25 cm (9.8 inches), but you should be able to sleep comfortably on any mattress deeper than 20 cm (7.8 inches).
What type of mattress do you want?
There are two main types of mattresses:
- Spring mattresses
- Foam mattresses
When deciding on mattress type, it's important to consider your own preferences as well as your body type and build.
Mattresses with multiple foam layers tend to offer great relief of pressure points.
Memory foam, in particular, moulds nicely to the body to offer orthopaedic support and significantly limits motion transfer. 🤗
The below pictures illustrate this body-contouring ability:
But, memory foam is notorious for overheating, so it's best to avoid this if you're a hot sleeper. 🥵
Spring mattresses are a good option for people who prefer a firm mattress, those suffering from back pain, and hot sleepers.
We'd generally recommend avoiding open coil spring mattresses and opting for pocket sprung mattresses instead.
These offer better support and durability, and also allow for great airflow to keep you cool at night.
They may be more expensive than other spring mattresses, but they are worth it. 💰
The Happy Beds Majestic 1000 is a good budget pocket sprung option.
What's your preferred sleeping position?
Your preferred sleeping position can also play a role in deciding which mattress type is best for you.
- Side sleepers often find that softer foam mattresses provide the best support as they conform to the body's curves.
- People who sleep on their stomachs may want to consider a firmer mattress to prevent them from sinking into the mattress too much.
- Back sleepers usually find that either type of mattress works well, though they require enough support.
Of course, your body weight and build also play a role.
Smaller people usually do better on softer mattresses, while larger builds need firmer support. 👨💼👩💼
Budget mattresses can sometimes be too firm or soft, so it's essential to consider these factors before deciding on an option.
What are the delivery conditions?
Many online brands offer free delivery, but this isn't always the case. 🚛
Some questions to consider:
- Is delivery free?
- If yes, are there any requirements to qualify for free delivery?
- If not, is the cost of delivery reasonable?
- Is there a wide range of delivery options, including next-day delivery or specific date or time delivery?
- Does the company offer no-contact delivery?
- Does the company offer an old mattress removal service?
Delivery conditions generally aren't a make-or-break for us, but we prefer companies offering free delivery on all their products.
Does the mattress come with a trial period?
More and more online brands are offering risk-free trial periods that allow you to test out the mattress for a certain amount of time before deciding. 😲
Typically, the trial period is around 100 days.
But, many premium mattress brands also offer more extended trial periods. 🗓
This gives you plenty of time to make sure the mattress is a good fit for you.
And, if it's not, most brands will pick up the mattress and refund your purchase. 💃
That said, trial periods for budget mattresses are exceedingly rare. ☹️
If a good trial period is important to you, it would make sense to up your spending slightly.
The Simba Essential, for example, is still more of a budget-friendly mattress, but it comes with a 200-day trial period.
In our opinion, opting for a mattress with a trial period is vital. ❗️
After all, how would you know if the mattress works for you if you can't try it first?
Does the mattress come with a warranty?
Another vital factor to consider is the warranty.
Most quality mattresses come with a standard 10-year warranty.
But, some brands offer longer warranties. 🔑
For example, Nectar and DreamCloud offer a lifetime guarantee on their mattresses.
When it comes to budget mattresses, you may find that the warranty is shorter. 😭
Many of the cheaper mattresses we recommend only offer a 5-year guarantee.
But some, like the Starlight Beds mattress, only come with a 1-year guarantee.
So, it's important to read the fine print and ensure you're comfortable with the warranty terms before making a purchase. 🔍
The Inofia Memory Foam Sprung Mattress is a good budget option with a 10-year limited guarantee.
How can I make my mattress last longer?
The quality of your mattress is the most crucial factor when determining durability.
The higher the quality of your mattress, the longer it will last.
But, you also need to make sure that you protect your mattress. 🤺
To do this, you can:
- Rotate your mattress as recommended to ensure even wear.
- Wash your bedding, duvets, pillow covers, and mattress covers regularly to ensure your mattress stays clean.
- Invest in a waterproof mattress protector to safeguard your mattress against spills, dirt, and bacteria.
- Let your mattress, duvet, and pillows air out regularly to prevent a build-up of dust mites and bacteria.
- Finally, keep your bed frame clean and fresh.
Taking good care of your mattress will enable it to stay fresher and newer for longer.