A mattress is arguably one of the most important purchases you can make regarding your quality of sleep, and a great product could be the difference between a poor relationship with sleep and years of good rest. But for many folks, trying to find that top-quality mattress while also shopping on a budget can be a difficult and frustrating task. Thankfully, manufacturers selling directly to consumers has been more common in recent years, making affordable beds that are also top-rated within reach.
In this guide, we will share some of our favorite high-quality mattresses under $300. We’ll dive into the type of bed it is, why it’s considered a good product in today’s market, and why we love it.
Our goal is to help you find the best mattress for your personal sleeping needs that also fits within your budget.
Top 5 Beds Priced Under $300
Arctic Dreams – Cooling Gel
- Cooling gel mattress
- Good for side sleepers
- Soft, plush support
- 120-night trial period
- 10-year warranty
Arctic Dreams makes our list for its ability to remain cool under pressure, with three different cooling features that help keep sleepers from overheating during the night.
This product is built by Dreamfoam, which is committed to providing excellent mattresses for those with limited budgets.
There are three layers of foam in this bed. The first is a super soft and quilted cover that provides a plush feel on top, while the second and third layers provide a bit of bounce with their body-contouring and responsive capabilities.
What stands out?
- The mattress gets its name from three cooling features. The first is its breathable cotton cover, the second is its base that lets air flow through, and the third is a cooling gel that has been infused into a layer of specialty foam.
- This product has two certifications, CertiPUR-US® and OEKO-TEX®, which means it is confirmed to contain safe levels of potentially hazardous materials.
Zinus Green Tea – Lasting Freshness
- Foam mattress
- Good for side and back sleepers
- Medium-firm and plush options
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
Who says you can’t have a bed that also is made to smell nice? Zinus believes that it is not enough for a bed to feel great, they also want to help keep it smelling fresh with several natural additives to create their proprietary BioFoam®.
This bed is available in a range of heights to provide different firmness options depending on your sleep preferences, from the firmer 8-inch to the more plush 12-inch.
What makes it special?
- While some bed-in-a-box foam brands may retain a slight industrial smell, Zinus has developed a mix of green tea extract, castor seed oil, and charcoal to keep their foams smelling fresh.
- The bed is also designed to allow for airflow, which should discourage bacteria growth and moisture accumulation.
- The product’s CertiPUR-US® means that this is an excellent choice for shoppers who want to avoid exposure to VOCs and other unsafe materials.
Zinus Ultima Comfort – Classic Feel
- Foam mattress
- Great for stomach, back, and side sleepers
- Firm, medium-firm, and plush options
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
Zinus’ Ultima Comfort delivers a classic feel that is reminiscent of traditional innersprings with a few modern twists in the comfort system to help relieve pressure.
Depending on the thickness level you order, the bed will either be firm, medium-firm, or plush. The thicker the mattress, the softer it will be.
The top of the bed features a quilted Euro-style pillow top with layers of pressure-relieving comfort foam, followed by a higher-density foam for deeper contouring. The foundation of the bed has a system of pocketed iCoil springs that stand 7.5 inches tall and help promote spine alignment.
Why we picked it
- This mattress has a traditional feel but with updated features. The pocketed coils, for instance, should isolate motion more efficiently than traditional coil systems.
- The pillow top foam relieves pressure and contours to your body for a cradling sensation as you sleep.
Modway Aveline – Memory Foam
- Foam mattress
- Ideal for stomach sleepers
- Firm and medium-firm options
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
The Aveline mattress comes from Modway, a direct-to-consumer furniture wholesaler that has designed its own line of bed-in-a-box mattresses.
The company specializes in mid-century designs at affordable prices, and this bed is one of their bestselling models.
Why we love it
- The Aveline’s streamlined structure contains two layers. The first is a 3-inch gel-infused memory foam for body contouring, followed by a denser base layer of poly foam that gives the bed its shape and foundation.
- The gel works to efficiently disperse heat throughout the foam so it shouldn’t build up where your body rests, while the foam’s open cell structure should promote airflow.
- This product comes with a CertiPUR-US® certification, which means all of the foams in this mattress have been tested to a standard that measures the bed for unsafe levels of chemicals like formaldehyde or heavy metals like lead.
Linenspa 8” – Ultra-Budget
- Hybrid mattress
- Good for back, side, and stomach sleepers
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
The makers of Linenspa are committed to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction with a product that is much more affordable than the average bed-in-a-box, and the attractive price point has quickly made the brand an internet favorite.
The LinenSpa 8” is a hybrid mattress with a sleek and streamlined design that includes memory foam over a traditional coil unit.
Why did it make our list?
- By incorporating more classic and streamlined design components, Linenspa is able to offer its 8-inch mattress for an exceptional price. Memory foam and coils combine in a way that should keep your back supported while your pressure points melt into the memory materials.
- This mattress is listed as Medium-Firm, which should work well for most sleeping positions because it offers a more versatile blend of materials.
- The tempered steel springs are in one connected unit, which should help prevent the product from breaking down and sagging over time.
Should You Buy a Mattress That’s Cheaper than $300?
To make their products cheaper, companies have to take shortcuts to achieve a lower price point. If you think about it, the same principle applies to most products, whether it’s a car or a coffeemaker. The phrase “you get what you pay for” is famous for a reason, though there are a few exceptions for mattresses, which we outlined in the previous section.
If you’re thinking about buying a cheap mattress, consider the following:
If you read the product descriptions of some of the cheaper offerings, they seem to say all the right things. But one thing that’s usually lacking is a CertiPUR-US certification. This certification is issued on foam products that meet safety standards for emissions, materials, and durability.
This has become a fairly standard certification, so if a brand doesn’t have it, you may need to research deeper. If the certification does not exist, it can mean that the bed is likely laden with toxic fire retardants, harmful glues, and dangerous chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). A bed that lacks this basic certification is potentially dangerous.
A bed with toxic foam can lead to a variety of health issues, including allergies, breathing problems, headaches, dizziness, and memory problems.
Get More Info: Toxic Materials in Foam Mattresses
To provide a product at a lower price point, companies often use lower-grade materials and less precise manufacturing techniques. The result can be a bed that lasts a fraction of the time that a higher-quality bed will serve you. The most noticeable issue you’ll experience is sagging, though there could also be rips and tears on the cover as well; it just depends on the brand you go with.
Because these lower-priced brands aren’t always built to last, they may have shorter warranty periods, if there’s a warranty at all. Don’t be surprised if it’s nearly impossible to meet all the requirements to file a claim. However, there are a few brands out there that even have 10-year periods and are higher quality; just do your research.
When mattress companies want to discourage claims, they’ll stipulate that the surface can’t have any stains and sometimes they’ll require so much indentation (sagging) that the bed will have become unbearable to sleep on long before you meet the threshold.
Forget such a wide selection of hybrid or innerspring mattresses, though they are out there and we included some top picks in this list. When it comes to something under $300, you’re mostly going to be looking at foam only.
When should you consider buying one in this price range?
There are situations when it doesn’t make sense to splurge on a bed. If you’re on a tight budget and you just need something to get by, a lower-priced item might be your best option.
We also recommend buying something in this price range if you only need it temporarily. For example, maybe it’s for a college apartment, and you don’t plan on taking it with you after graduation. Or, perhaps your guest room needs a bed and you don’t need something particularly expensive.
Generally, cheap beds can struggle as a long-term, heavy use sleeping solution. But, if you need a bed immediately, and you plan on investing in a better one later, then you’ll do well by picking one of our recommendations.
Interested in exploring further? See our guide for top rated budget mattresses.
Choosing a Good Mattress Under $300
Focus on Foam Density
Have you ever wondered why some memory foam brands are the price of a small car while others are less than $100? One of the price determinants is the quality and density of the foam. Density is a ratio that measures how much material is in something relative to the amount of air.
Since lower density mattresses have less material and more air, they’re cheaper. The high ratio of air to material also means that the beds may be less durable because the material collapses under the weight of being slept on nightly.
While density is not the only predictor of quality, it’s a logical place to start and will give you a lot of information about the firmness and durability of the bed. Density is measured in a unit called PCF, or pounds per cubic foot.
Depending on the type of foam, the density standards vary. For lower-priced polyurethane polyfoam mattresses, an acceptable density range would be between 1.5 and 1.8 PCF. If you can find higher, that’s even better.
Learn More: Memory Foam Density Guide
Only Buy Online
If you’re on a budget, the best deals are online. This is because you’re buying directly from the company instead of paying the retail markup. You will will be hard-pressed to find a decent quality bed in a mattress store for under $300, so your best chance of getting something you can actually sleep on is if you buy it on the internet.
Check Out Our Guide: Best Online Mattresses
Memory vs. Poly Foam
Memory foam is a type of poly foam that has been altered with chemical compounds to affect how it feels. Poly foam (also called polyurethane foam) is soft and springy but doesn't tend to last long. Most people are familiar with this material as what’s in couch cushions and (sometimes) cheaper “egg-crate” designs.
It’s typically lower density than memory foam, which allows it to compress for shipping. A lot of mattress companies will use poly foam in at least one of their layers, partially because it is so easy to make compact.
Both poly and memory foam are petrochemical-based, so again, make sure at the very least that the bed you choose is CertiPUR-US certified.
There are some subtle differences in the feel of these two materials. Both provide a lot of softness, but there’s limited support with some polyfoam. Memory foam allows for more contoured support, but it also comes with a higher price tag.
Here you can see some of our favorite memory foam beds if you're interested.
Looking for more info? Read our complete guide for memory foam beds.
Be Prepared for Off-Gassing
All foam-based mattresses will have a bit of an odor when you open the box. The smell is referred to as off-gassing, and it’s the result of the release of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere. Some of these are completely harmless, while others are linked to allergies and respiratory issues. Again, check for safety certifications to ensure that you’re not breathing harmful chemicals.
Depending on the mattress you choose, some have stronger off-gassing odors than others. We recommend letting it air out thoroughly before sleeping on it. In some cases, it can take up to two weeks for the smell to dissipate.
If you need something quick and don’t necessarily care about keeping a bed for ten years, there are plenty of comfortable options that are available at budget-friendly prices. Now that you’re of aware of what to look for, and you’re armed with our top choices, you should be able to rest easy knowing that you got one of the best possible beds at the lowest price.