10 Best Mattress under $500

Best Overall

Zinus Memory Foam Green Tea
  • Sleep night trial determined by retailer
  • Available in 5 sizes (Twin, Full, Queen, California King, King)
  • Available in 4 thickness (6 in, 8 in, 10 in, 12in)
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Premium Choice

Tuft & Needle Full Mattress
  • Money Back 100 night sleep trial
  • Available in 6 sizes - Twin, TwinXL, Full, Queen, California King, King
  • Mattress is 10.5 inches deep
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Great Value

Linenspa Memory Foam Hybrid
  • Return policy by retailer determines sleep trial period
  • Offered in 8 inch and 10 inch profiles
  • Available in sizes - Twin, TwinXL, Full, Queen, California King, King
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Awwww. There it is. That brief moment just before the mind becomes awake that it knows, instinctively, that it has enjoyed a good night’s rest. Often attributed to a quality mattress, a good night’s sleep is not as easy to get as it once seemed.  Finding that perfect mattress is as difficult as choosing the sheets that cover it because both have so many options from which to choose.  Memory foam, water bed, innerspring, air beds and adjustable are just a few of the options now on the market.

Often costing thousands of dollars, consumers looking for a practical and comfortable mattress can go away frustrated or with a purchase that does not adequately meet their needs and budget. While there are many contributing factors to a restful night, most often the mattress receives the credit or the blame.  Here are 10 of the best mattresses on the market today with a price tag of under $500 USD.

The Best Mattresses under 500

Best Overall

1. Zinus Memory Foam Green Tea

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Zinus combines the comfort of memory foam and the health benefits of green tea extract to produce a highly recommended mattress.  Called Biofoam, this material is infused with green tea extract, charcoal and plant oils to reduce odors and maintain its freshness.

Made from pressure reducing memory form that has been infused with Green Tea extract, a natural antioxidant, to promote freshness, this product comes in different sizes and thicknesses to allow for customized feel and support. The patented process ships this mattress to the home. Typically, it expands to its full depth in 72 hours. Covered by the Zinus Handshake, its 10 year limited liability warranty, the company offers a 100 night sleep trial period to make sure this is the best choice for the purchaser.

Key Features
  • Sleep night trial determined by retailer
  • Available in 5 sizes (Twin, Full, Queen, California King, King)
  • Available in 4 thickness (6 in, 8 in, 10 in, 12in)
  • 10 year Limited Liability Warranty known and the Linus Handshake
  • Four layer construction provides comfort, cooling and support in one mattress
  • Can be shipped directly to home
Premium Choice

2. Tuft & Needle Full Mattress

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Made from the company’s trademark Adaptive foam, this product offers comfort  with a bouncy support more typical of traditional mattresses.  It is backed by a money back 100 night sleep trial period even when purchased from another retailer. The relatively new company works hard to provide customer support.

While the price may be near the top of the $500 range, this new company seems to have developed new materials that provide the bounce in this mattress that other memory foam models do not. The mattress is poured fresh - not created out of stored product - and it has a support layer, comfort layer and cooling layer. The finished mattress is covered with a poly-fiber fabric that is soft to the touch. Great return and warranty policy.

Key Features
  • Money Back 100 night sleep trial
  • Available in 6 sizes - Twin, TwinXL, Full, Queen, California King, King
  • Mattress is 10.5 inches deep
  • Limited 10 year warranty
  • Meets CertiPur and Oeko-Tex standards
  • Poly-fiber cover is soft and adds comfort
Great Value

3. Linenspa Memory Foam Hybrid

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Looking more like a traditional mattress than one with memory foam, this hybrid version has an 6 inch layer of coiled spring topped with a layer of memory foam for comfort.  Recommended for children and in places where a top of the line mattress may not be needed, this mattress offers support and comfort at an affordable price

Combining old ways and new ones can often be the solution that customers are looking for. This traditional spring mattress is topped by a layer of comforting memory foam to gel the best of both worlds. Available in 8 inch and 10 inch profiles, this accommodates regular sheet sets and other linens made for traditional mattresses.

Key Features
  • Return policy by retailer determines sleep trial period
  • Offered in 8 inch and 10 inch profiles
  • Available in sizes - Twin, TwinXL, Full, Queen, California King, King
  • Memory foam layer offers comfort
  • Coiled springs provide support
  • 10 year limited US warranty
  • Ships to residence

4. Zinus Ultima Comfort

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Zinus produces Ultima Comfort mattress for those who are looking for a thicker mattress that offers a medium-firm feel.  The three layer construction provides memory foam, comfort foam and high density support to optimize cooling, comfort and support properties.

The knitted jacquard cover of this three layer foam mattress adds a soft feel to a mattress with a combination of comfort and support. Ready for shipping, it arrives at your door and will expand to its full size in 72 hours. A medium price option in this list, it is both affordable and comfortable.

Key Features
  • Return policy determined by retailer
  • Available in 8 inch, 10 inch and 12 inch profiles
  • Available in all common sizes - Twin, Full, Queen, California King, King
  • Infused with green tea extract, charcoal and plant oils to control odors
  • CertiPur rated
  • Ships directly to home

5. LUCID Gel Memory Foam Mattress

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Constructed of two layers of memory foam and encased in a moisture wicking cover, the mattress provides comfort and ventilation for the user.  The 100% latex construction is backed by a 30 day return policy and a limited 10 year warranty.  It is available in multiple sizes and levels of firmness.

Memory foam has typically been known as a soft product that surrounds the body. For those who want and need a bit more support, memory foam has not always been an option. LUCID has designed a memory foam mattress that with three levels of support. Consumers can still get the plush and medium options but now, this product is also available in firm. The moisture wicking TENCEL cover is an added plus as it keeps the user cool and comfortable for a better sleep experience.

Key Features
  • 30 day return policy for defects and workmanship
  • Available in medium, firm and plush
  • Offered in six sizes - Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, California King, King
  • TENCEL cover manages moisture
  • 10 year limited warranty
  • CertiPUR rated - USA
  • Compressed and shipped to home

6. Classic Brands Cool Gel Ventilated

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The Original Cool Gel technology, Classic Brands offers this 10.5 inch mattress with three layers of foam for a medium-firm feel.  Available in six sizes, it is covered by a 10 year worry-free warranty.  Conveniently compressed and shipped to home for those who do not want to full with delivery.

Cool Gel technology has provided a countless individuals with a more restful night with its heat dispersing construction. This mattress is no different. The memory foam base further aids the user in reducing pressure points and aligning the spine to reduce back pain and muscle fatigue. It has an attractive knit cover to protect the foam from normal dust and dirt. Overall, a good choice for general use and comfort.

Key Features
  • Sleep trial nights determined by retailer
  • Available in 10.5 inch mattress with medium-firm feel
  • Offered in six sizes - Twin, TwinXL, Full, Queen, California King, King
  • Compressed and shipped to home
  • Comes with an attractive grey and white knit cover for added comfort
  • 10 year worry-free warranty

7. Zinus Premium Memory Foam Mattress

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This premium version of Zinus’ memory foam mattress line offers 12 inches of memory and high density foam layers.  It has a medium-firm feel for most and tops it all off with a quilted microfiber cover.

Looks do matter even with mattresses. This model is constructed of 12 inches of memory and high density foam but it adds a quilted suede-like microfiber cover for a pillow top type quality that is much nicer to snuggle into than plain foam. The 10 year limited warranty offers consumers confidence the product will last for years.

Key Features
  • Nights for sleep trial determined by retailer - usually a 30 day return policy
  • Available in four sizes - Twin, Full, Queen, King
  • Medium-firm comfort with 12 inches of foam
  • Infused with Green Tea, charcoal, and plant oils to minimize odors
  • CertiPur rated - USA
  • 10 year limited warranty
  • Microfiber and foam quilted top that adds a feel of luxury

8. Classic Brands Gel Ultimate Memory Foam Mattress

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Integrating premium gel foam and ventilated memory foam, this mattress offers both comfort and affordability.  This model has earned the CertiPUR rating for its resistance to contaminants and dust.  It is covered in an attractive knit fabric that is more comfortable than laying on the foam itself.

Memory foam mattresses will always be easy to purchase and comfortable to those who do not need firm support but this model offers premium quality gel foam and memory foam that maximizes the cooling and air circulation properties of these materials. At 14 inches deep, it has a medium feel to the mattress and can accommodate larger individuals who are not well supported by thinner mattresses.

Key Features
  • Sleep trial nights determined by retailer
  • 14 inch mattress rated as medium feel
  • Available in six sizes - Twin, TwinXL, Full, Queen, California King, King
  • 10 year limited warranty
  • Compressed and shipped to home

9. Olee Sleep Gel Infused Layer Top

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Four layers of comfort and high density foam create affordable luxury in this medium-firm mattress by Olee.  With the top covered in a jacquard knit of 93% polyester and 7% spandex, this 10 inch, gel infused mattress is available in five sizes.  It ships quickly using compression technology and arrives in a box for that is easily maneuvered once inside.

This product, while using similar high density and memory foam, has an added layer of convoluted foam which can provide additional support. The lower side of the mattress has a bright blue side wall of foam that is not covered by the jacquard knit on the top. This mattress offers affordability and a little bit of luxury that others do not provide.

Key Features
  • 30 day return policy
  • Available in five sizes - Twin, Full, Queen, California King, King
  • Rated as medium-firm
  • CertiPUR rated - USA
  • Ships quickly in box

10. LUCID Bamboo Charcoal Hybrid Mattress

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LUCID has created this hybrid mattress for those who are looking for the feel of luxury at an affordable price.  Its layered construction of memory, transitional and support foam along with a base of 5.5” individually encased coils provides comformoing comfort and support in one package.  The finishing touch is a foam sidewall which is soft on the legs when sitting.

This mattress combines the support features of a traditional mattress and the comfort and environmentally friendly qualities of a memory foam mattress. It has medium-plush to medium firm feel depending on which thickness is chosen. As with most memory foam mattresses, some sinking into the foam is possible. Boxed and shippable to individual residences, the mattress will expand once opened and placed on the mattress frame.

Key Features
  • Nights available for trial determined by retailer
  • Offered in six sizes - Twin, TwinXL, Full, Queen, California King, King
  • Offered in 10 inch and 12 inch thicknesses
  • Ten year limited warranty
  • Infused with Bamboo Charcoal and Aloe Vera for odor control
  • CertiPUR rated - USA
  • Packaged for shipping to home

Best Mattresses under $500 Buyer’s Guide

Considerations Before You Buy

A mattress is not something one wants to experience buyer’s remorse over, so here are a few things to consider before popping into the local mattress store or browsing the options online.

Size

Most bed and bed frames come in standard sizes but that just means that there is an approximate size that will fit the frame.  In reality, mattresses and beds for that matter are never exactly the size they proclaim.  It also complicates the issue if you have a product that says Twin/Full or Full/Queen. If you are starting from scratch, here is a suggestion.

  1. Choose which room will be used for the bed
  2. Decide where the bed will go.  Ideally the headboard should be on a wall away from the door but that cannot always work
  3. Measure the space you have for the bed.  Make sure to leave enough space for other furniture such as a dresser or night table. Also remember to leave about 24 inches of space for you to walk around the bed.
  4. Once you have those measurements match them up to the size that is slightly SMALLER than the space you have.  Always round down, never round up.   You may have your heart set on a Queen size but only have enough space for a Full.  It is easier to get wall-to-wall bed than one might imagine
  5. Buy the bed then the mattress or buy a combo set which are frequently available.  It might not be the prettiest but you will be sure the two match.
  6. FYI – Purchasing or inheriting older beds are ways of getting quality furniture without getting zapped by high prices.  Just be careful to measure the inside of your bed frame.  Older beds are not always standard size and mattresses are not that adaptable.
  7. If you have questions or concerns, visit a brick and mortar store to learn more before venturing into online mattress sales.

Returns

Mattresses that customers return are a loss for the company because of the health rules that come into play after purchase.  While most companies take these losses into account, it does not mean that they want to be overly generous when it comes to returns.  Shop carefully.  A mattress lasts a long time.  Make sure the return policy is understood and followed regardless of which retailer is used.

What is a Sleep Trial?

A sleep trial is not the results of a research program on sleep habits but the period of time that manufacturers give a consumer to try out their product(s).  Typically, it takes a while to adjust to a new mattress.

Some manufacturers of memory foam mattress do not offer a sleep trial period while others can provide as much as 100 days to use the mattress before returning it to the seller.  Online purchasing sometimes complicates this return when it exceeds the general 30-day policy most retailers offer.

What is the Difference Between Memory Foam and a Hybrid Mattress?

A memory foam mattress is one that is constructed solely out of foam padding even if the foam is of different consistencies.  A hybrid mattress uses a support system similar to that of more traditional mattresses such as innerspring or coils and then adds memory foam to the top to provide the comfort that most people desire from a memory foam mattress. Hybrid mattresses can generally provide more support than memory foam mattresses.

What is layered Construction?

Unlike memory foam mattress toppers which are typically just a single layer of conforming or cool gel foam,  a quality memory foam mattress is constructed of different types of foam that are sandwiched together to produce a specific level of comfort.

Most have several inches of a support base, then a layer of transitional foam and finally the top layer of gel or memory foam for added comfort.  It should be noted that unlike more traditional mattresses, this type of layer construction does not allow the mattress to be flipped over as many people are accustomed to doing.

Should I have a Mattress Cover or Protector?

While not necessary for the use of the mattress, most manufacturers recommended a mattress cover as a way of protecting the foam from dirt and stains that come from normal use. Cleaning a mattress is more problematic than cleaning a cover that can be removed and tossed in the washing machine.

Covers are available from the manufacturer as well as big box stores and online retailers.  When purchasing a cover it is important to check sizing to make sure the product will fit.

How will my Mattress Arrive and be Install?

All of the mattresses available on this list can be shipped directly to the consumer.  Once the mattress arrives, take the box to the room in which the mattress is needed and unpack.  The foam will expand rapidly and it will need to be positioned on the bed.

Manufacturers recommend allowing the mattress to expand for up to 72 hours before reporting any possible defects.  In cold areas, expansion may take longer than 72 hours.  Keep in mind the foam is temperature sensitive and will expand faster when the room is warmer.

What if I want to Return my Mattress?

Because of the unique packing and shipping method use, returning such an item can be problematic.  Wise action would be to contact the seller and manufacturer to see if the mattress can be returned and what the procedure is for doing so.  Typically, since the mattress will not fit back in the box, there is a charge for restocking or extra shipping.

Expert Tip

Mattresses are rated as to how firm they feel when reclining.  Traditionally the scale goes from 1 to 10 with 1 being the softest and 10 being very firm.  Other factors for decided how firm a mattress should be include the individual’s size and in what position he/she sleeps.  An example for be a large football player who sleeps on his back will need a firmer mattress than the 98 lb grandmother that lives next door and sleeps on her side.  Who knew sleep could be some complicated.

Did you know?

Memory foam was created through NASA to provide better safety and comfort properties to airline and spacecraft cushions.  Since released to the public domain in the 1980s, it has been adapted and used in all manner of mattresses and cushions.

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