If your mattress is past its prime or you’re having trouble sleeping well, it may be time to think about replacing this important item. For many people, the act of changing to a new sleep surface can improve how well they sleep; however, getting better sleep is not so simple for everybody. When buying a new bed, several factors weigh into whether or not a bed is a good fit for you, including the position you sleep in, your body type, the size of the mattress, the materials used to make the mattress, and the degree of firmness.
Because your mattress can have a significant impact on your overall health by changing the quality of your sleep, it is essential to spend some time researching the right kind of mattress for you. However, as you search, it is also important to consider cost.
A mattress is a substantial investment, but how much should you actually spend? Should you start setting aside money now for a brand-name bed? Alternatively, are you better off finding a mattress at a discount and only dropping a hundred dollars?
In 2013, the average mattress price of the thousands of beds made and sold all over the country was $286.29. That price, though, barely covers the potential options in mattress material, size, and durability. Here are some key points to consider when choosing a mattress budget.
In this guide:
- What Can You Expect for the Money?
- Size, Add-Ons, Warranties, and Return Policies: All Worth a Higher Cost
- The Average Budget Should be Flexible
What to Expect with Each Mattress Price
Although the average mattress should be replaced every 7 to 10 years, different materials have different durability and estimated lifespans. A thin memory foam mattress, for example, may only last for a few years while the best latex mattress can last well beyond a decade. However, longer-lasting materials like latex will cost more than cheaper synthetic material.
Online and brick-and-mortar stores both provide a range of mattress prices, which can depend considerably on quality, brand name, and features. Prices can range from an innerspring mattress with box springs at around $200 to a luxurious brand-name memory foam bed with a motorized base for $10,000 or more.
Here are a few things you can expect from a range of potential mattress prices:
- Between free and $200: This is most likely a used mattress, either from a licensed retailer, thrift store, or online group such as Craigslist, Angie’s list, or Freecycle. It is possible to get a decent-quality used mattress, but there are usually a lot of problems with cheap mattresses.
- First, you may not know the quality of living space the mattress was in for months or years. Unfortunately, pests like bed bugs are becoming a growing problem in the United States and other parts of the world.
- Next, a used mattress has already had someone sleeping on it, so it may have sags or body impressions where the last person slept most frequently.
- Finally, mattress warranties only apply to the original owner; so when you buy a used mattress, it does not come with a warranty. If anything were to happen to your mattress or you were to find yourself uncomfortable on the bed, your mattress would not be protected by a warranty, and you would probably have to spend money replacing it.
- $200 to $400: These are basic mattresses that last longer if you do not use them consistently, so they may make good guest room beds. Typically, more expensive mattresses come with more extended warranties, so mattresses around this price range usually only come with a 3 to 5-year warranty. Foam mattresses in this category are all synthetic, may be thinner, and have an increased chance of off-gassing. Innerspring mattresses will have fewer, larger gauge coils— so they may feel springier at first, but they may not provide much support after a few years.
- $400 to $600: In this range of mattresses, you can get a decent number of coils, thicker and more durable foam, a decent pillow-top, or upholstery tops on the mattresses – but not all of these together. Hybrid mattresses and multilayered mattresses are not likely to be in this category because of the effort it takes to manufacture those types. Mattresses within this price range will often have 10-year warranties – although the actual mattress quality is not likely to hold up for that long.
They are recommended for people who are in college, young adults in their first apartment, or those who are in temporary housing of some kind, such as people who have a short-term contract in a new city. If you have to move every few years, this is a good price range to consider if you are okay with giving up your bed when you move.
- $600 to $1,000: The $600 to $1,000 range is average for most high-quality mattresses offered with 10-year warranties. Both famous and less famous brand names can be found in this price range, meaning you have options. The lower-priced memory foam mattresses are typically in this price range, and some lower-cost hybrid mattresses can be found here as well.
- $1,000 to $1,500: This is considered to be the entry-level price for a “luxury” mattress – typically made of memory foam, high-quality and small steel springs, gel for body temperature cooling, and even some synthetic or latex mattress combinations. Innerspring systems will have additional technology around them to make them last longer, and upholstery may feature natural fibers like cotton or wool.
- $1,500 to $2,500: This wide range in price covers all kinds of luxury. Mattresses costing at least $1,500 typically have all of the latest mattress technologies, such as cooling gels or wicking graphites. Additionally, luxury mattresses are usually made from better quality materials, prolonging their lifespan, or they’re made with brand-specific proprietary materials. Meaning, companies design their own foams or coil systems and use them in their luxury mattresses. Warranties may range from 10 to 20 years.
- $2,500 and above: At this point, mattresses may come with built-in electronics; they’re available in unusual or nonstandard sizes; or they’re made with all-natural eco-friendly materials that are harder to find, assemble, and ship. There may be particular health or ethical reasons to choose a mattress in this price range. Warranties with mattresses within this price range are usually 10-20 years.
Size, Add-Ons, Warranties, and Return Policies: All Worth a Higher Cost
Until recently, innerspring mattresses were less expensive than several kinds of foam mattresses. However, with more and more all-foam bed-in-a-box brands popping up, there is a wider range of foam mattresses available online than ever before. Now, there are high-quality foam mattresses on the market that are priced competitively with cheaper innerspring beds. The materials used to make the bed affect the price of the mattress. However, the quality of the material will be most reflected in the price tag— lower prices mean cheaper materials.
The size of the mattress will have a significant impact on price. The most popular size mattress in 2013 was the queen, making up about 40 percent of mattress sales overall; full-sized mattresses were 15.4 percent of sales, and king mattresses were about 15 percent of sales. The king size may have been slightly less popular due to its higher cost.
Both the warranty and return policy on the mattress are big factors. Paying less for a bed or buying a used mattress means that the warranty will not be as good, and the return policy, if it exists, will have many restrictions. Paying more means you get at least a 10-year warranty, so if the mattress ends up sagging or breaking down sooner than anticipated, you’ll be protected. Additionally, buying a used mattress means it doesn’t come with a warranty. We recommend purchasing a new mattress for sanitary reasons, and to make sure you’ll be protected against defects in the bed.
Online mattress companies are increasingly popular, and many offer at least a five-year warranty on their products, plus the convenience of shipping directly to your door. While this seems convenient, you may be skipping essential steps to mattress shopping because you’re choosing to buy online. Here are some additional steps to take before spending a few hundred dollars on a mattress:
- Try the mattress. You do not have to buy in a showroom, but it never hurts to drive to a storeroom and test a few beds. Even if a retailer does not carry the specific brand you want to buy, going and testing out a similar mattress can give you an idea of what to expect with the bed you’re looking to buy.
- Wait for mattress sales. Most online retailers frequently discount their mattresses or run promotions offering free items with the purchase of a bed. Waiting for an opportune time to buy could help you save money or possibly receive free items.
- Request price matching. Always ask if a retailer offers price matching. If you saw a better deal at another store or online, there’s a chance who you’re buying from may match that price.
- Ask about add-ons. Mattress covers, fancy pillows, or even a set of sheets may be included with the bed, especially if you go to a store in person.
- Inquire about old mattress removal. Disposing of a mattress is not the easiest task. For decades, mattress stores have included mattress removal services as a part of their shipping services. Some online mattress retailers also offer this service, but be sure to read the fine print.
The Average Mattress Budget Should Be Flexible
While none of these steps will save you time, they can save you money in the long run. Taking the proper time to research the best mattress for your own sleep needs can prevent you from ending up on an uncomfortable mattress a few years down the line. Additionally, making sure you’re buying a bed with a good, protective warranty will reduce your chances of being stuck replacing a defective mattress out of pocket.
If you take the time to research details of the kind of mattress you want or need, you can invest money in a great mattress. For the best price, keep an eye out for mattress sales. Around the holidays, mattress companies usually discount their beds or offer promotional products with the purchase of a mattress. Additionally, sign up for promotional emails to make sure you’re getting your new bed for the best price.
Depending on what you want and how much you can put aside, budgeting anywhere between $300 and $3,000 can get you a quality mattress. On average, we find consumers are spending an average of $1,000 on a high-quality mattress with a good warranty.
- Proof Your New Mattress Doesn’t Have to Cost an Arm and a Leg. (May 30, 2014). Huffington Post.
- How to Shop for a Mattress: Knowing How Much to Spend. The Mattress Nerd.
- Bed Bugs: Get Them Out and Keep Them Out. United States Environmental Protection Agency.
- Mattress Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Mattress. (March 2018). Consumer Reports.
- The Cost of a Good Night’s Sleep. (February 8, 2012). U.S. News & World Report.