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The Best Inexpensive Foam Mattresses

Foam mattresses are all the rage in the world of bedding right now. And while most of the space-age claims of fancy commercials are suspect at best, there’s no denying that a lot of people like them. Luckily you don’t need to spend a fortune to get one on your bed.

We’ve selected the best of the affordable foam mattress options, all from reliable suppliers and all for under $400 for a queen size. If you’re looking for something for a smaller bed for a child or a guest bedroom, there are even options under the $100 mark. We’ve used queen size as a reference point but all of them are available in the standard mattress and sheet sizes. Further, they all come delivered via regular shipping, compressed into manageable boxes. Check them out below.

The Best Overall Foam Mattress: Zinus Ultima Comfort 8-Inch ($195/Queen)

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For most sleepers who want an inexpensive upgrade to memory foam, the Zinus Ultima line is a great choice. The mattress consists of three layers: a dense base for support, two inches of medium density foam for gentle give, and two more inches of light foam for a yielding top.

The 8-inch model is under $200 for a queen mattress, and even the 10-inch and 12-inch varieties with more support are reasonably scaled in price. Zinus offers a 100-night return policy and a 10-year limited warranty on the mattress itself.

The Best Thick Foam Mattress: Signature Sleep 12-Inch ($288/Queen)

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Thicker foam mattresses offer deeper layers of the soft upper foam for even more yielding contouring. The 12-inch model from Signature Sleep offers a thick 4-inch layer of memory foam over eight inches of dense supporting foam, making a mattress that you can almost dive into.

This isn’t a good choice for those who need extra support, but for sleepers who enjoy maximum softness, it’s perfect. It comes with a ten-year warranty.

The Best Firm Foam Mattress: Nature’s Sleep Gel ($350/Queen)nature's sleep, foam mattress, firm, inexpensive, cheap, gel,

Foam mattresses are generally on the softer side, making them less than ideal for those with back problems, whose pain can be exacerbated by too much give. This Nature’s Sleep model combines a minimal medium-density top layer with a six-inch support layer for a surprisingly firm mattress, as supportive (or maybe more so) than most conventional spring mattresses.

The company’s gel-infused foam is noticeably stiffer than alternatives, and it comes with a removable, washable cover—not a given at this price level. This brand, a subset of Serta, gets an impressive 20-year warranty.

The Best Secondary Foam Mattress: Zinus Ultima 6-inch ($132/Queen)

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If you’re searching for a cheap foam mattress and you’re more interested in the “cheap” part of that phrase than the “foam” part, this is the one for you. Zinus’s entry-level 6-inch foam mattress probably doesn’t have enough support for a large adult long-term, but if you need a mattress for someone on the smaller side or a child, it will do fine.

It’s an especially economical option if you’re looking for a mattress for a full or twin bed, perhaps for a guest bedroom. With a weight of just over 20 pounds for the $85 twin model, it might even make a decent alternative to a sleeping bag or cot, if you have enough space to take the rolled-up mattress with you.


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