4 Factors To Consider Before Buying A Cheap Mattress

October 09, 2023 7 min read

Most mattress review websites suggest a budget of at least $1,000 to buy a new mattress. This amount may seem steep but makes financial sense over a longer-term. You will probably have to replace a cheaper mattress within a couple of years, whereas a quality mattress will last longer. Plus, a cheap mattress poses risks to both your quality of sleep and your health.

Remember that the word cheap doesn’t just refer to the price tag but also to the quality of the mattress. Poor quality materials and manufacturing can cause the mattress to sag and lose its shape long before it should. Just a little research can help you avoid these risks.

The second-hand mattress also has its disadvantages. Buying a used mattress made from poor-quality materials can have serious consequences for your health.

Sticking to a minimum budget of $1,000 will help you avoid all the problems associated with buying a second-hand or cheap mattress. You should be able to find a range of quality mattresses from the top online manufacturers around this price range.

The Factors To Consider Before Buying A Cheap Mattress

Below, we will delve deeper into the issues that arise when buying a cheap mattress and why you shouldn’t buy one:

Trial Period

Most of the top mattress brands offer a sleep trial for a specified period to allow you to test it in the comfort of your own home. This will allow you to determine the quality of the mattress and whether it suits your personal preferences. Just because a mattress is expensive or of good quality doesn’t necessarily mean that you will find it comfortable.

For example, stomach sleepers are advised to choose a firmer mattress. Softer mattresses can be uncomfortable for this sleeping position, no matter how good the quality is. Take some time to read our guides on which types of mattresses are the most suitable for different sleep styles to determine which will best meet your needs.

If a mattress does not offer clear terms for a sleep trial or return policy, it is best to avoid it as it is more than likely manufactured using cheap materials.

During the sleep trial, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you wake up feeling stiff?
  • Do your muscles and joints ache in the morning?
  • Were you still tired when you got out of bed, or did you feel moody?
  • Did you feel that you were getting a better night’s rest on your previous mattress?
  • Did you wake up more than once during the night?
  • Do you feel like you have slept well, and are you rested?

Be aware that your body will need to go through a period of adjustment when you buy a new mattress. This period lasts around 30 days, during which time your muscles and joints need to adapt to a different support system than what it has become accustomed to. Taking this into account, some mattress manufacturers will require that you keep the mattress for the entire sleep trial period or a minimum of 30 days. This will give your body the time it needs to adjust and the mattress a fair chance.

We also recommend that you give a new mattress at least 30 nights. This is to prevent you from passing on a mattress that may be a perfect choice because you didn’t give it sufficient time. To avoid this mistake, give your body time to adapt.

If you don’t want to go through a sleep trial for any reason, it is recommended to visit a bed retail store with different brands of mattresses on display. They will allow you to lie on each bed to test it and determine if it suits your body’s unique needs. Although this will not give you the same experience as a 30 day sleep trial, lying on the bed for about 15 minutes should give you a better idea of whether or not it is suitable.

It would help if you also asked questions about the materials used and the quality. Try mattresses made from various materials to give you a better idea about how each one feels to lie or sleep on. Whether you prefer memory foam, spring coils, or latex, quality is a priority. It will indicate how long the bed will withstand regular wear and tear before it starts to sag or become uncomfortable.

Signs to watch out for that a mattress is made from poor quality materials include:


Memory foam mattresses are designed to retain their shape after contouring to your body for maximum comfort. A foam or pillow-top mattress that sinks in with body weight and doesn’t recover within a minute is probably made from inferior materials.


A well-made mattress from quality materials should last between 7 and 10 years without any indentations or sagging.

Chemical Odor

Foam mattresses need to outgas for a couple of days after unpacking, after which there should be no odor. On the other hand, a cheap mattress has a strong chemical odor for a week or longer. This chemical scent does not create a healthy sleeping environment.

Noise and Motion

A mattress that claims to have motion or movement isolating features but does not deliver on the promise is probably made from cheaper materials. A squeaking and creaking mattress is also not ideal and will keep you and your sleeping partner up at night.

Buying a Cheap Mattress Set Can Become Costly

Do the math. A mattress that costs $3,000 and lasts ten years costs you around $300 a year for a good night’s rest. A mattress that costs $1,000 and lasts ten years costs you $100 every year for better quality sleep. A cheap mattress that costs you $500 but lasts only a year or two will cost you more and result in uncomfortable sleep and other problems. You may feel as if you have got a bargain on a cheap mattress, but at the end of the day, it makes more financial sense to spend more money on a quality mattress that will last longer.

Mattresses that are made from inexpensive materials are more likely to succumb to wear and tear and begin to sag and degrade faster than mattresses that use quality materials. This means that you will have to replace a cheap mattress sooner. Remember to factor in delivery and other costs every time you need to buy a new mattress.

If you opt to make additions to the mattress, such as using a protector, pad, cushion, or topper to increase its lifespan, it will cost you even more. These products are ideal for giving an older mattress a longer life but shouldn’t be necessary for a mattress that is just a couple of years old. However, no matter what you add, it isn’t going to make a significant difference to the quality of the mattress and will probably only extend the life by another year or so.

Plus, the products are not meant to last as long as a quality mattress and will be more costly in the end.

A poor-quality mattress is more than likely going to result in poor-quality sleep. A lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can negatively impact every aspect of your life, including your work, family, relationships, diet, and overall wellbeing. Memory, concentration, and judgment are all impaired from sleep deprivation. It can also be detrimental to your physical health and wellbeing. Not to mention the impact of buying accessories, sleeping aids, and anything that can help you get the rest you need will seriously affect your bank balance.

Customer Service

Manufacturers who care about the craftsmanship of their mattresses are more likely to show the same level of concern for their customers. They know that their quality materials are made to last and can offer longer sleep trials and warranties. They understand that their customers will be around for a long time and, if they are kept happy, will buy a new bed from them when the time comes. Look for certifications on the manufacturer’s website for the materials that they are using.

Remember that a cheap mattress will not come with a sleep trial and may have a short or even no warranty period. Also, watch out for a warranty that does not clearly state the terms and conditions. Cheap mattress manufacturers will not spend money on good customer service and are unlikely to answer your questions and queries or be transparent about the quality of the materials they are using. For example, a cheap memory foam mattress manufacturer won’t advertise the density of the foam or the ILD that they are using.

You should be able to contact a customer services representative over the phone, via email, or on the manufacturer’s website to answer any questions or queries and to deal with complaints that you may have. If you struggle to find contact details or contact the manufacturer, they aren’t providing quality customer care. They are more than likely using poor-quality materials for manufacturing their mattresses.

Take a little time to research the manufacturer before making a mattress purchase. Read customer reviews and check them on the Better Business Bureau website. Make sure that the manufacturer is reputable and that they are ethical.

Health Risks Associated With Cheap and Used Mattresses

Spending money to get a poor night’s sleep is never a good idea. However, you are also putting yourself at risk of developing mild to severe health conditions. Research has found that sleep deprivation can lead to a variety of different health problems.

Most commonly, poor sleepers report suffering from aches and pains that result from sleeping on a poor quality mattress that does not provide the ideal support and comfort, resulting in increased pressure on points such as the hips and shoulders and misalignment of the neck and spine. Over time, this can lead to chronic joint and muscle pain.