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Best Cheap Mattresses
Cheap Mattresses Buying Guide
Mattress makers would have you believe that every one of their models, including cheap mattresses, offers a great night's sleep at the best price ever -- be it a traditional innerspring, an off-brand that arrives at your door in a vacuum-packed box, an innovative memory foam or latex mattress, or one filled with water or air. In the innerspring mattress category, which accounts for about three-quarters of the mattress market, you could spend $500 on an entry-level set (queen-size, including box spring) or upward of $5,000 on a luxurious model and find yourself in restful bliss or toss-crazed slumber every night.
Our picks for the best cheap mattresses are all innerspring mattress lines.
Cheap mattresses are sold most often as a set with a box spring (i.e., foundation), and the starting prices noted in this report reflect that norm. Although mattress reviews say box springs aren't always necessary, the warranty may require that you use the one designed for the mattress, so ask the salesperson or read the information online closely.
The cheap mattress market is dominated by Sealy, Serta, and Simmons, which offer models at all price points, including the $300 to $700 Cheapism niche for a mattress/box spring set. Other brands, such as Stearns & Foster, Bassett, Kingsdown, and Englander, show up in the mid to high end of the market. Competitors such as Spring Air and Comfort Solutions (which owns the King Koil brand) sell some inexpensive innerspring mattresses, as do no-name and private label manufacturers that supply warehouse outlets and furniture stores and also sell online.
Experts are adamant about the importance of trying out a mattress before making a purchase. So if you're about to start shopping for a cheap mattress set, pick a moment when you're feeling really tired. Then quickly get yourself to the nearest mattress retailer, find the displays that fit your budget, pick one, and lie down. Take a nap for 20 minutes, assess how refreshed you feel upon waking, then move on to the next possibility. Repeat. And then repeat a few more times. Were you comfortable? Was your spine straight and your waist adequately supported? How about your neck and shoulders?
Sounds silly, perhaps, but mattress preferences are notoriously subjective and the range of possibilities -- even at the lower end of the innerspring market -- is extensive and varied. Firm, plush, or pillow-top? Pocketed coils or continuous? Polyester ticking or cotton? Eight inches thick or 13? For a product that was once more like a commodity, the amount of differentiation in today's low-priced mattress world could keep you awake at night.
And yet, it's practically impossible to comparison shop on the basis of comfort, features, or price. Online shoppers are obviously stymied on the comfort front because they can't actually test out a mattress. Wandering into a store may not help due to the industry practice of selling similar (but not necessarily identical) mattresses under different names depending on the retailer and the geographic region. Once you find a model on the showroom floor that appeals, the exact same mattress going by the same name may not be available online. Then too, some retailers continue to sell older product lines that the manufacturers' websites no longer feature. And, what's really likely to throw you, are the nonstandard names and descriptors for the guts -- the various foams, fibers, fabrics, padding, insulation, and innerspring coils -- of whatever mattress you might be considering.
Further complicating matters is the industry tradition of running near continuous sales. You can go to almost any online site and find two, and often three, prices for any given mattress: list, 50% off, and/or "our price" or "sale price" or something to that effect. There might also be a note saying the sale ends in three days, or at the solstice, or whenever. The point is, the sale is likely to start up again immediately. And if it doesn't, wait a while and check back. Almost no one pays list price for a mattress, cheap or otherwise.
Best Cheap Mattresses
Good Cheap Mattresses
Off-brand/No-name Mattresses Review
Simmons BeautySleep Review
Sealy Brand Traditional Innerspring Review
Serta Perfect Sleeper Review
Simmons Beautyrest Classic Review
Sealy Posturepedic Review
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