Best King Mattress Under $500 (Year 2018)
The phrase “bargain mattress” might conjure some less-than-stellar images in people’s minds, but today’s manufacturers have managed to include the high value in lower priced models. Just because something’s a bargain, doesn’t make it bad. What’s more, online shops are quickly replacing brick-and-mortar middlemen, which lowers excessive mark-ups on the same brands you could find in a traditional showroom.
Finding a comfortable king mattress in your price range can be difficult, though—how cheap is “too cheap,” and how do you know if you’re getting a steal, or being fleeced? Our buyer’s guide will answer some common questions about bargain mattresses, how to discern value from corner-cutting, and which models are worth considering.
Signature Sleep Contour
ZInus Sleep Master
Olee Sleep Cool I
Are king sizes significantly larger than queens? What about California kings?
King mattresses measure 16″ wider than queens, at 76″ in width; both are 80″ long.
California kings are narrower than traditional kings by 4″, but longer by 4″. These are good for tall individuals who need a little more room to stretch out.
We recommend king over queen for:
- Couples who need a bit more space between each other to rest comfortably
- People who sleep with children or pets
- People who just like to spread out and stretch
Is there a minimum price I should pay to ensure I’m buying a quality product?
In short, No.
While you probably won’t find a quality mattress for, say, one dollar, there’s no telling what kind of sales and discounts shoppers will encounter during their hunt for the right mattress. Stock rotation sales, liquidations, and open-box discounts (where a product has been purchased and returned, unused, by a previous customer) are all possible ways to receive a high-quality mattress at a deep discount.
That said, be wary of prices that seem too good to be true, because they probably are. There’s a notable difference between “inexpensive” and “cheap,” and that comes down to construction. Cheap prices are just that: low, affordable costs. Cheap construction entails lousy stitching, sloppy or illegal manufacturing practices, unethical business structures, and poor material choices. Ill-made mattresses can harbor harmful chemicals and toxins, so purchase from reputable brands with transparent, easy-to-understand product descriptions. They should also adhere to Certi-PUR standards.
Also, tempting as it might be for the very leanest of budgets: never buy a used mattress. Unless you know the person extremely well and can verify the mattress has gotten little to no use (if they stored it in their guest room, for instance), skip that so-called bargain. You never know what’s lurking inside, what condition the foam or springs are in, or how it was stored—even if the outside looks perfectly fine.
I keep seeing mattresses in the $1000+ range with great reviews; are there even comparable options under $500?
This is a mixed-bag kind of answer, since some brands charge more because they’re better, and some only charge more to give the illusion they’re better. It’s the equivalent of brand names in clothing: some are higher quality, while some are just well-known and can get away with the mark-up.
That said, there are certainly comparable, affordable options to big-name brands. Compare products side-by-side and you’ll notice very little to no difference in most manufacturing processes, material choices, and “state of the art” features.
If I can pay more…should I?
Not necessarily. While it’s not a good idea to skimp on must-have features that will improve your sleep quality (memory foam if your joints are achy in the morning, ventilation if you’re a hot sleeper, etc.), it’s also not mandatory to buy at the top of your budget if you don’t want to.
If you’ll be upgrading your mattress again in a few years, a cheaper, in-the-meantime model can suffice. For guest rooms, recreational vehicles, and other occasional-use beds, you don’t have to spend as much as you can afford.
Overall, look for quality mattresses that suit your needs—regardless of price. If you do decide to pay more, make sure you’re getting a mattress with durability and comfort you wouldn’t otherwise get.
Best King Mattress Under $500 Reviews
1. Zinus 12″ Memory Foam Green Tea Mattress Review
An affordable option for those in the market for a king, the Zinus Green Tea mattress comes in a range of depths—six, eight, ten, or twelve inches; we’ll be reviewing the 12″ model—for a more custom experience with very firm, firm, medium, and soft feels, respectively.
The reason to buy the Zinus Green Tea mattress isn’t the fancy green tea infusion (although that is definitely a unique perk), but rather, the high value for an attainable price. With supple layers of memory and transition foam, buyers receive a lot of mattress for not a lot of money.
2. Signature Sleep Contour, 8″ Review
Fans of innerspring models will appreciate this well-priced hybrid from Signature Sleep, a brand that doesn’t skimp on quality—but also knows that money matters. It’s loaded with all the features a hybrid needs, and doesn’t have excessive upgrades that increase its price.
Sleepers of the back and stomach persuasions will enjoy the firm support and weight distribution of this hybrid model—but side sleepers probably won’t. Because it has no memory foam, it won’t offer as high a level of pressure relief as some would prefer. That also means, however, that it’s less likely to overheat; additionally, the innerspring core will promote ventilation.
3. Gramercy Euro-Top with Cool Gel Memory Foam, from Classic Brands Review
Normally priced well above your budget, the Gramercy Euro-Top squeaks by that threshold with current discounts (it’s an older model with modern technologies, which means you get the same features of new models, but at “clearance rack” pricing). As another hybrid model, it boasts the support of the Signature Sleep Contour, but also has memory foam with a gel infusion for superior pressure point relief—which should make it popular with all sleeping positions.
If the Signature Sleep Contour appeals to you but seems too firm or thin, consider the Gramercy Euro-Top from Classic Brands. You get the same benefits of that hybrid, but with a much thicker, softer mattress with contouring memory foam and cooling gel technology.
4. Olee Sleep Cool I Review
The Cool I from Olee Sleep is an all-foam model with a medium-soft feel, which makes it perfect for couples who just can’t agree. With a 3.5″ convoluted memory foam layer, gel infusion, and a Tencel-blend cover, it promises a cooler and dryer night for hot sleepers.
Buyers in need of an all-foam mattress with firm support yet soft contouring should consider this model. It combats heat effectively, but might be too dense to ventilate the very hottest of sleepers. We’d recommend it most to side sleepers who don’t overheat easily.
5. Sleep Master Ultima Comfort from ZInus Review
While technically an innerspring model rather than a hybrid, the Ultima Comfort mattress still utilizes some foam for comfort—but it’s not memory foam, and provides just a basic cushion so customers can’t feel the springs underneath. This model is ideal for very hot sleepers, as well as stomach sleepers tired of swimming in too-soft memory foam.
For those who enjoy traditional innerspring models but still want some modern comforts, the Ultima Comfort from Zinus is a smart option. It has the stability and weight distribution of innersprings, with just enough foam to soothe pressure points and allow muscles to relax. Its lack of memory foam means less body heat retention, hence a cooler night’s sleep.
King mattresses don’t have to be expensive to be comfortable; in fact, no mattress of any size or model has to be expensive! Savvy buyers can research potential brands carefully and determine a bed’s value-to-price ratio, snatching up deals that other consumers might pass on—simply because the price “seems too low” compared to big brand names.
If your budget is modest but your tastes aren’t, consider old models from luxury brands. Companies often “liquidate” old stock, sometimes from just the previous year, to make room for new models—which means you’ll get modern features and quality materials, but at a deep discount.
Occasionally, compromise becomes necessary. If you have your heart set on a mattress outside your price range, don’t despair: simply decide which of its features you love most, then look for comparable models within your budget.