Best Queen Mattress Under $300 (Year 2018)
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 harder—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 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 (or 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 a time period when “bigger is better” started to take hold in America, and just in time: people were getting taller, thanks 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.
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 do 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.
- Good for: Even weight distribution; heavier individuals; motion separation (ability for one partner to move without transferring motion to other people).
- Bad for: Pressure point relief. Without sufficient padding, too many innersprings become uncomfortable, especially for side sleepers.
- Good for: All the same benefits as innerspring models, but quieter and more comfortable thanks to foam layer overtop springs.
- Bad for: Most tight budgets; hybrids generally come at steeper prices, but not always.
- Good for: Back and stomach sleepers, heavier individuals, and people who want the pressure relief of memory foam, without too close of a contour.
- Bad for: Side sleepers/anyone who doesn’t love firmer mattresses.
- Good for: Pressure point relief, pain management in joints/spine, tossing and turning. Good motion separation, great for side sleepers.
- Bad for: Stomach sleepers and some back sleepers, heavier people who might feel like they’re sinking too much/”trapped”.
What are short queen mattresses? Who are these for?
While standard queens measure 60”x80”, 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/areas you might find in a recreational vehicle. This buyer’s guide will focus on standard queen mattresses measuring 60” wide and 80” long.
Best Queen Mattress Reviews
1.Zinus Memory Foam 12” Ultra Plush Queen Mattress Review
You 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. Its ultra-soft microfiber cover is plush and feels luxurious, and sits atop a generous 2” of memory foam; yet it distributes weight well, and doesn’t have excessive “give.”
Good news for buyers eager to sleep on memory foam, yet 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 7 years; with only two layers, it’s prone to ruts and impressions. For the low price, however, even 3 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.
3.Dreamfoam Bedding Arctic Dreams 10”Cooling Gel Queen Mattress Review
With a cooling comfort layer and generous quilted cover, the Arctic Dreams will sleep cooler than many foam models on the market (though probably not as cool as hybrids or innerspring models, as is the nature with foam). It has a plushness to it 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 compresses too much, though.
4. Classic Brands Decker Hybrid Memory Foam and Innerspring 10.5”Queen Mattress Review
Hybrids combine the best of innersprings 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, too: that hybrids typically come at a high price, which definitely isn’t the case here.
Hybrids don’t have to be expensive, as proven by the Decker from Classic Brands. It sleeps neutrally cool and offers firm yet cushy support, making it perfect for back and stomach sleepers, or overweight individuals; 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 just 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 useful tool in your search for an affordable yet well-made queen mattress.