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1 July 2021

Top five cheap mattresses for 2021

Great cheap mattresses are few and far between, but choose carefully and you can get a good night’s sleep for the equivalent cost of five pence per night.
Ben Slater
Man sleeping

Buy a pricey pocket-sprung or memory foam mattress and you’ll sleep soundly on it for so long that it will work out better value for money than a cheap mattress that will sag and soften within a few years. Or so they say.

And yet, time and again our expert tests have conclusively proven that while spending more may get you better quality materials, such as silk and cashmere, it doesn’t guarantee superior support or stability.

We’ve tested mattresses costing £1,500 – the equivalent of more than 40 pence per night for 10 years – that are less supportive and long-lasting than mattresses costing £200 – or five pence per night for 10 years.

We’ve tested good and bad mattresses at every price point so, however much you want to spend, make sure you check our full list of Best Buy mattresses.

The best budget mattresses

All of the mattresses we’ve picked out below cost £300 or less and all of them are Best Buys. That means that, at the very least, you can rely on them to support your spine for years to come, without sagging or softening.

Top five cheapest mattresses

  • 77%
    £179.00

    This simple memory foam mattress is affordable and a great Best Buy option if you usually sleep on your front or your back. It has a 7.5cm foam core and another 10cm layer of viscos foam on top. This top layer of memory foam will envelope your body, while this will help stop the transfer of movement across the bed (great news for your bed fellow) it does make it harder to turn over on.

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  • 76%
    £209.00

    We’ve not seen many cheaper Best Buys than this, and this reasonably-priced mattress scored highly in our tough tests. It provides good support for everyone but it’s truly exceptional for people sleeping on their back. It’s also easy to roll over on and it won’t dip in the middle or sag, although it will get slightly softer over time.

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  • 75%
    £203.99

    Jump straight into bed with this Best Buy, and it’ll give your spine the support you need – especially if you like sleeping on your back. It’s excellent at keeping you in the right position. If you prefer to sleep on your side or your front, it will give you decent support here too. It’s durable and not that heavy, either.

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  • 72%
    £99.00

    Bargains don't come much bigger or better than this. Despite being the cheapest mattress we've ever tested, it provides an excellent level of long-lasting support and it doesn't sag or restrict your movement, either. Better yet, it's great at preventing movement from one side of the bed to the other, so you shouldn't be disturbed by your partner's movements. It may not be the most luxurious mattress we've tested, but it's excellent where it counts.

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  • 70%
    £159.00

    This is a very cheap mattress, especially for one made of memory foam. It's also very light and thin (it's just 15cm deep) but it still impressed in most of our tests and is a great value option. It offers good support if you sleep on your back or lying on your front, and it won’t sag even after years of use. It also comes with a 100 day trial period so you can exchange it for another one if you’re unhappy with it.

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Table last checked: July 2021

Which? mattress reviews

You can have complete confidence in our mattress recommendations. Not only are we completely independent and impartial, but every mattress we test is subjected to an extensive series of lab tests, all of which have been designed by mattress experts.

Our body support tests, for example, use special equipment to measure the shape of our test subjects’ spines at 36 different points. When you’re lying on your back, a good mattress should keep your spine in the same shape as when you’re standing, while your spine should be parallel to the mattress when you’re lying on your side.

We also accurately measure the firmness, warmth and breathability of mattresses, as well as dropping weights on them and measuring the bounce to see how stable they are. A stable mattress will be good at preventing movement from transferring from one side of the bed to the other, ideally without making it more difficult for you to roll over and switch sleeping positions during the night.

After all this, and more, we simulate up to 10 years of use by rolling heavy human-sized barrels over each mattress thousands upon thousands of times. We then do our body support tests all over again to see how it’s changed, while also assessing each mattress for sagging and softening.

If you’re not yet a Which? member and want access to all these results and more, join Which? now.