Best Queen Mattress for Less Than $300
Mattress buying is, quite often, an exhausting process that’ll leave you pining for sleep right there in the showroom (or, as is the case for most shoppers nowadays, at the computer desk). There are so many materials to choose from, extra features, and densities, it’s hard to know where to begin. Add in the touchy subject of budget, and it gets even more complex—especially when you have very little to spend but need a decently sized mattress.
For shoppers in search of a budget-friendly queen mattress, our buyer’s guide can help you determine what to look for. We’ll also judge a few options to get your search started, all priced under $300.
Lucid 10 “Gel Memory
Zinus Memory Foam 12″ Ultra Plush
Dreamfoam Bedding for Arctic Dreams
Classic Brands Decker Hybrid Memory Foam and Innerspring
Why should I consider a queen? What’s the difference between a full, queen, king, and California king mattress?
For a long time, beds were twins and doubles (similar to today’s measurements for these models). Couples either slept in different (smaller) beds for comfort or a larger one together for warmth. In the 1940s and 50s, the industry introduced queen and king sizes. They were wildly popular and ran for $50-$90, on average. This was the era when “bigger is better” began to take hold in America, and it came at an opportune time: people were growing taller due to more nutrient-dense, plentiful diets than in previous decades.
Today, queen mattresses dominate the market, with nearly half of all mattress sales. They’re most popular with adults, both singles and couples, although some purchase them for teens or children, as well, especially if they have multiple children sharing a bed.
Lucid 10 “Gel Memory
As for why they’re so popular, it seems to be a matter of balancing space: people want and need plenty of room to toss and turn without feeling crowded but might not have enough space in their bedroom for a king. Even if they have the room, many people prefer to use the extra inches on either side for nightstands and walkways.
What material should my mattress be made out of?
Memory foam is the most popular mattress material for any budget, but it’s worth looking at every type before you make your decision. Some are better for different weights or sleeping positions, and certain types sleep cooler or warmer than others.
Zinus Memory Foam 12″ Ultra Plush
What are short queen mattresses? Who are these for?
While standard queens measure 60″ x 80″, short queens are 5 “shorter. These are meant for RVs (although some people use them in customized beds in very tight spaces, wheeled or otherwise). There are also three-quarter queens, which are 48 “by 75”. These are even narrower than full/double beds and the same length but are perfect for the very oddly shaped bunks you might find. This buyer’s guide will focus on standard queen mattresses measuring 60″ wide and 80″ long.
Dreamfoam Bedding Arctic Dreams 10 “Cooling Gel
Reviews of the Best Queen Mattress
Review of the Zinus Memory Foam 12″ Ultra Plush Queen MattressYou might think this price range can’t swing a multi-layer foam mattress with fancy infusions, premium thickness, and a warranty to boot—and usually, you’d be right—but that’s not the case with this model from Zinus. It has an ultra-soft microfiber cover that is plush and luxurious, and it sits atop a generous 2″ of memory foam that distributes weight well and doesn’t have too much “give.”
Good news for buyers eager to sleep on memory foam but tired of that quicksand feeling: the Zinus has an ideal balance of sink and support to cradle your body and relieve pressure without sucking you in like a beanbag chair. We recommend this to back and stomach sleepers or overweight shoppers but can’t see side sleepers enjoying it as much.
2. Lucid 10 “Gel Memory Foam Queen Mattress Review
Another affordable foam model, the Lucid 10, has ventilated memory foam complete with a cooling gel infusion and a high-density support foam base. While it doesn’t boast all the layers of the Zinus, this model’s dual-layer design is plenty for buyers in need of medium firmness and temperature regulation.
This mattress likely isn’t going to last the standard seven years; with only two layers, it’s prone to ruts and impressions. For the low price, however, even three years of use makes this money well spent. We recommend this to side sleepers of average weight, who need the Lucid’s balance of contoured pressure relief for their shoulders, hips, and knees, and proper support to keep their spine in alignment.
With a cooling comfort layer and a generous quilted cover, the Arctic Dreams will sleep more relaxed than many foam models on the market (though probably not as cool as hybrids or innerspring models, as is the nature of foam). It has a plushness that anyone will enjoy, but that might only suit side sleepers and some back sleepers in the long term.
Those looking for a very soft yet supportive bed should consider the Arctic Dreams: its cover, and top cooling layer provide adequate give, while the dense support layer should help keep the spine in proper alignment through the night. Heavier BMIs (overweight or taller people) might find it compressed too much, though.
Hybrids combine the best of innerspring and foam, without the unpleasantness associated with either: they sleep cooler than all-foam models but have much better pressure point contouring than springs alone. This hybrid from Classic Brands solves another problem: combinations typically come at a high price, which isn’t the case here.
Hybrids don’t have to be expensive, as proven by the Decker from Classic Brands. It sleeps neutrally excellent and offers firm yet cushy support, making it perfect for back and stomach sleepers. Side sleepers should look for a little more padding, however. The brand also offers the Mercer (12″) and Gramercy (14″), which have medium to plush firmness levels and could suit side, back, and stomach sleepers equally well.
Finding a good queen mattress for under $300 is tricky but can be done. Buyers should research their options well, read both short-and long-term reviews from other shoppers, and look at their recourse for returns and warranties in the event a bed doesn’t live up to its claims. After all, no amount of recommendations or research can tell you more about a bed than simply lying down and giving it a few nights. Mattresses are a highly personal purchase, and ultimately, only you can decide what will and won’t work for you.
We hope our buyer’s guide has served as a valuable tool in your search for an affordable yet well-made queen mattress.