As a reader-supported website, we're able to keep it free. Buying something through a link on this page might earn us commissions. Thanks for that.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a comfortable mattress, which is pretty much the same!
After all, who wouldn’t love a good night’s sleep after a tiring day? And a mattress is crucial to ensure quality sleep. But what if we tell you that you won’t have to spend a fortune to get a high-quality mattress?
Yes, you read that right! Jump in to know all about the best budget options in the UK.
One of our top picks is the award-winning Emma Original mattress, which is widely regarded as the best in the country. It has 3 memory foam layers that are designed to relieve pressure. However, the highlight of the construction is the brand’s innovative Halo memory foam layer, which ensures proper spine alignment by contouring to your body shape. No matter your sleeping position, the mattress will “hug” your body to provide superior pressure relief.
This foam mattress also facilitates optimum body temperature regulation to get you a good night’s sleep. For instance, the moisture-wicking properties of the breathable cover keep the mattress cool and hygienic. Likewise, the point elastic airgocell layer absorbs and evaporates sweat so that you can sleep comfortably even on hot days. The base layer is made of high resiliency extra foam that takes care of uniform weight distribution and prevents the mattress from sagging.
The mattress is a bit heavy, so you will need extra help to set it up.
With excellent support and temperature regulating properties, this Emma original durable mattress will suit all sleeping positions. Besides, it comes with a 200-night trial and 10-year warranty for your better peace of mind.
Our next pick will please our environmentally-conscious readers. Presenting the Simbatex essential foam mattress, which is made from 100% recyclable materials. Much like its predecessor, this breathable mattress also has 3 layers that provide the right kind of body support and breathability. At the helm is an allergy-friendly knitted cover, followed by the brand’s patented open-cell foam layer that ensures 30 times more airflow than most cheap memory foam mattresses.
Furthermore, it is infused with graphite for reinforced temperature regulation. The final layer is constructed from high-density foam that facilitates targeted or zoned support to your pressure points near the shoulders and lower lumbar region. As a result, you’re less likely to experience shoulder or back pain, irrespective of how you sleep. Lastly, Simbatex ensures carbon-neutral delivery, which is a testimony to its commitment to making the planet greener.
The cover of this mattress isn't removable, so cleaning it can be inconvenient.
One of the most affordable mattresses on our list, this unit is perfect for users who want improved heat control without breaking the bank. Moreover, the brand provides 1-year trial (with free return) and 10-year guarantee to cover any damages.
Whether you want an affordable mattress for your bedroom or guest room, the Nectar memory foam medium-firm mattress can be a perfect choice. The first thing that grabbed our attention was the pressure-relieving memory foam layer, which provides precise contouring to the areas you need the most. It’s well complemented by the dynamic support layer above that serves the dual purpose of regulating heat and providing bounce.
Aside from that, the 7-zone support base below enhances the compression ability of the mattress, thereby enhancing the bounce on offer. And the sturdy base material keeps it from moving around on the bed frame to give you a comfortable night’s sleep. We also liked the custom-designed quilted cover that promotes sufficient air circulation to draw out excess heat as well as reduce the chances of bacterial growth. Scoring a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, this unit delivers great value for the price.
This mattress is pretty thick, so it may significantly increase the height of your bed frame.
This mattress is an affordable yet high-quality unit that renders several benefits like temperature regulation, full body support and minimised motion transfer. Besides, it has eco-friendly materials and is backed by a 1-year trial period along with a 10-year warranty.
We were looking for an affordable memory foam mattress that isn’t too thick when we came across this product from NOA. The best part about it is the simple yet premium design that doesn’t require you to break the bank. Right at the top is a hand-tufted, soft and hypoallergenic Tencel cover that resists bacteria. Plus, it prevents wrinkles while ensuring the other layers stay in place for maximum comfort.
Next comes the cooling gel memory foam layer that keeps you cool and provides pressure relief by contouring to your pressure points. This is followed by the adaptive transition foam layer that reduces motion transfer if you sleep with a partner. But our favourite is the thick-gauge pocket springs layer that ensures better airflow and renders bounce and durability. The base also comprises a hand-tufted perimeter that does the same job as the cover.
We felt that the pocket-sprung mattress base compromises its compression ability.
One of the more affordable pocket spring mattresses, the NOA lite mattress doesn’t contain any highly volatile organic compound material. Besides, it comes with a 120-night trial and full refund policies.
Silentnight is one of the most reliable bedding brands in the UK, so there was no way we were going to miss out on including it. And its comfort-rolled medium soft foam mattress caught our eye for all the right reasons. Firstly, the luxurious knitted fabric hypoallergenic cover feels extremely soft on the skin. Below it is the comfortable foam support layer that absorbs your partner’s movements to help you get undisturbed sleep.
The base is a sturdy knitted case that adds extra comfort and keeps the mattress from sagging due to regular use. Moreover, it’s compatible with most bed bases, meaning users don’t have to worry about the mattress moving around. Since this is the most affordable mattress on our list, we are decently satisfied with its performance. However, you can opt for the Silentnight 3-zone memory foam or the 7-zone variant for extra support.
There’s no dedicated cooling or support layer, so some users may not feel very comfortable.
If you’re searching for a cheap mattress with a simple structure and satisfactory performance, then this product can suit your requirements. Additionally, the top layer is dust mite-resistant, which further cuts down on its maintenance needs.
In case you’re wondering why we’ve picked only memory foam mattresses, then let us tell you that it has all the properties to facilitate comfortable sleep throughout the night. Memory foam is actually a synthetic viscoelastic foam, which is a type of synthetic material with excellent resistance properties. This makes memory foam a popular choice for mattresses.
As such, the best memory foam mattresses are pretty durable and provide adequate support to relieve pressure as well as body aches. Furthermore, most of them have praise-worthy cooling properties and suit all sleeping styles.
Some of the other advantages of memory foam mattresses include:
With the advancement in technology, memory foam mattresses today can be designed and manufactured at low costs. Hence, you can easily find a high-quality mattress without burning a hole in your pocket.
While these two terms may come across as synonyms, they refer to two different mattress properties. The thickness of a mattress depicts its height, while firmness is a measure of its density (hardness or softness). Memory foam mattresses usually come with multiple layers, influencing both their height and firmness.
Generally, memory foam firmness is calculated in terms of indentation load deflection (ILD) or the weight (in pounds) required to make an indent (impression) on the mattress. In this regard, the density of a memory foam mattress can be divided into:
One thing to note here is that a firmer mattress doesn’t always have more layers if the required density can be met with two or three layers. However, softer mattresses usually facilitate faster compression, meaning they are easier to “break into” than the denser ones.
The main types of memory foam mattresses are:
The earliest memory foam mattresses were designed to provide maximum comfort through effective body contouring and compression abilities for all types of sleepers. However, they usually lack dedicated cooling layers.
Open-cell memory foam mattresses are less dense than the traditional ones and feel like a sponge to sleep on. These have numerous tiny air vents that help with efficient air circulation once exposed to the body weight of the sleeper. But they tend to be more expensive.
The gel-pod-infused mattresses, albeit more expensive than the other two options, have the most advanced design. Since the gel pods are placed within the top layer, they provide reinforced comfort and body support.
If you’ve ever searched the internet for an affordable memory foam mattress, we bet the options have left you all confused! Not everyone is a mattress expert, and not everyone may have the time to decode those jargons mentioned in the product description. However, factoring in these easy-to-understand aspects can help you make a well-informed decision:
The firmness or density of a mattress is one of the primary things that determines its overall comfort. As mentioned above, the density (ILD) of most memory foam mattresses ranges anywhere between 1.5 and 8 lbs per cubic foot mattress.
If you’re a side sleeper or lightweight individual, then we’d suggest going for a soft (low density) mattress as it helps relieve the pressure points without making you sink in. On the other hand, back and stomach sleepers as well as heavy users should go with a medium or firm option for proper spine alignment and body support.
In our opinion, a medium-firm mattress is the best bet for people who want a surface that’s neither too hard nor too soft. It’s even suitable for almost every sleeper. Additionally, a firm surface will aid in mobility for people who toss and turn in their sleep.
All mattresses, irrespective of their material, have a weight capacity, so you should always check it before getting home a new mattress. Remember that exceeding this capacity by too much will damage the mattress before time.
People with mobility issues generally prefer thicker mattresses, as the increased height helps them get in and out of bed more easily. However, a thicker mattress tends to be softer, so you’d want to consider the firmness.
There’s no rocket science here - the size of the mattress should be close to that of the bed frame. Otherwise, your sleeping surface will be reduced considerably.
If your bed frame is too big or has aesthetic elements on the sides that you want to show, then a smaller mattress may help the cause. But make sure it's not too small, as you wouldn’t want to roll off and hit the frame.
A rule of thumb that you can follow here is choosing a mattress that’s at least 10 cm longer than the tallest sleeper using it. Similarly, the width should be such that you can extend your hands without getting too close to its perimeter.
Contrary to popular belief, cheap mattresses can be worthy investments, especially for your kids’ bedroom or the guest room. As your children grow, you may have to furnish their rooms with the right-sized beds and mattresses, and expensive bedding will be heavier on the pocket.
Likewise, your guest room will not be used regularly, so it will be a better idea to place a cheap memory foam mattress there. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the low price doesn’t compromise comfort. So, how to choose the best cheap mattress?
We’d suggest opting for a medium-firm mattress that will suit most sleepers. Besides, you may look for features like a hypoallergenic and washable cover to maintain the hygiene of the bed. Try to avoid a very cheap mattress, though, as it may not provide any comfort or support to the sleepers.
Unlike memory foam that’s a synthetic material, latex is natural (it’s a by-product of rubber trees). As such, memory foam mattresses have better body-contouring properties, cradling the pressure points of your body better than anything else.
Latex mattresses, on the other hand, have more compression and bounce, so they don’t adhere to your body shape very well. However, they provide adequate support to your joints, especially the hips, shoulders and knees.
Moreover, they don’t isolate motion transfer as effectively as their memory foam counterparts. Hence, these mattresses may not be suitable if you’ve a sleeping partner who shifts a lot while sleeping.
The biggest advantage of latex mattresses is their air circulation properties, making them the best bet for hot weather conditions or people who sleep hot. But they are costlier than the memory foam ones, so be prepared to spend some extra pounds. Besides, you may develop a latex allergy, which isn’t generally the case with memory foam mattresses as they are hypoallergenic.
Pocket spring mattresses comprise individually-wrapped metal coils stitched at the base or middle layers. Unlike innerspring mattresses where the springs are connected, these springs are independently positioned to facilitate reinforced contour and support. Moreover, they ensure proper weight distribution.
Not only that, but the space between the coils also accounts for better airflow, making the mattress optimally cool.
Many people believe that the more the number of springs, the better will be the contouring, airflow and motion transfer. However, this isn’t completely true, as the overall comfort of an innerspring mattress will also depend on the layers above it. If the foam (or any other material) is of poor quality, the benefits of the spring will be severely restricted.
As for the pocket-sprung firmness factor, it will depend on how closely the coils are packed and the firmness of the layers above them. Another thing that we should mention is that the even weight distribution of a pocket spring mattress makes it last longer than mattresses that lack this layer.
If you’re having a hard time choosing between the comfort of a foam mattress and the firm support of an innerspring model, then a hybrid mattress will come to your rescue. These models blend both benefits and are ideal for couples and back, combination, and heavy sleepers.
Talking about the construction, hybrid mattresses are made from a combination of different materials. Likewise, the number of layers can range between 2 and 7.
The other advantages of this type of mattress include a long service life, low maintenance, and prolonged resistance to sagging. And the good news is that you can find a high-quality yet affordable hybrid mattress to stay within budget.
The answer to this will depend on your preferences and sleeping positions. Since a lighter mattress usually has low density or firmness, it may be suitable for back and stomach sleepers.
Besides, lightweight mattresses will come in handy for senior citizens or users with mobility issues who may not have extra help handy for moving it around the house if needed.
The common mattress sizes in the UK include:
Well, the exact lifespan of a mattress will depend on various factors like its materials, construction, weight and sleeping positions it endures regularly. However, most mattresses remain functional for about 7 to 10 years, which is why they come with a 10-year warranty.
Although mattresses don’t have expiration dates, there are a few signs that tell you it’s time to get a new one:
As mattresses wear with regular use, users may experience a lack of comfort. For instance, you may find it difficult to find the right sleeping position and spend the night moving around more than usual. Aside from that, there may be bumps or lumps on the surface, causing body pains.
The formation of yellow or black stains that refuse to go away even with regular cleaning is a definite reminder that your mattress needs a replacement.
If you feel hot when sleeping even with no changes in the room or temperature, then it’s likely because the cooling layer of the mattress has lost its efficacy. And there’s a good chance that the other layers will follow suit soon.
So, which is the best budget mattress in the UK?
For us, it’s the Emma Original mattress due to its pressure-relieving and temperature regulating properties. But if sleeping cool is on top of your priority list, then you can try the Simbatex Essential foam mattress.
No matter which option you opt for, ensure that you follow the maintenance instructions provided by the brand to prolong its life.