The False Economy Of Super Cheap Mattresses

Firm mattresses with woman thinking about purchase.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cheap mattresses

You know those times you’ve chosen a cheaper product only for it to break and cost you twice? Cheap mattresses do just that.

The problem lies in their construction – thinner spring gauges, poor adhesives, and cheap chemicals during manufacturing drive costs down at the expense of quality. Over time, this means one thing – premature failure.

What do we mean by failure? It’s simple – the mattress will sag, go lumpy, make noises, and no longer provide you with adequate support.

We’re not saying you need to spend thousands or even hundreds on a mattress – the sweet spot is £300 to £500 for a double on a budget and £500 to £700 if you can stretch to it. The more you spend, then generally, the better the mattress.

Mattress lifespans

Most mattresses have a one-year guarantee while others have two, three, five, or even a decade’s warranty. The reality is that warranties only protect against manufacturing defects – your usage and maintenance levels matter not.

You can’t rely on a warranty to protect your purchase, so you must buy a mattress built to last. There are two components to this:

Most mattresses have a one-year guarantee while others have two, three, five, or even a decade’s warranty. The reality is that warranties only protect against manufacturing defects – your usage and maintenance levels matter not.

You can’t rely on a warranty to protect your purchase, so you must buy a mattress built to last. There are two components to this:

  • Brand – reputable brands like Silentnight, Giltedge, Sleepsoul, Sleepeezee, and Dormeo produce quality mattresses without exception. You can trust these names when shopping for a mattress.
  • Technology – some technologies are more durable than others; pocket springs are more durable than open coils, and latex foam is more durable than polyfoam. How the layers are connected matters, too – adhesives, stitching, and pressure play a role in how the mattress holds up over time.
Silentnight Mirapocket 1000 4FT 6 Double Mattress.
Pictured: Silentnight Mirapocket 1000 4FT 6 Double Mattress. Priced £338.66. (Save £68.34 on RRP this Easter Sale)

Cheap materials, poor sleep

Beyond longevity, cheap mattresses often use lower-quality materials that deteriorate faster and provide less comfort and support. Thin, flimsy foams and coils can sag, create painful pressure points, and disrupt your sleep.

Think of it like this – manufacturers spend countless hours researching the best combinations of foams, springs, and fibrous layers to give you optimal comfort in bed. Cheap mattresses simply can’t match that.

I have a low-budget

The good news is that you can still get something decent.

Here are some starting points under £300:

  • Giltedge Solo – memory foam mattress with open coil springs. Medium firmness rating with a ‘cool master’ outer cover for breathability. 1-year warranty.
  • Giltedge Beds Visco Support Mattress – memory gel and open coil springs with a medium-firm rating (ideal for back sleepers). 1-year warranty.
  • Silentnight 3 Zone Memory – pure memory foam mattress with three support zones. Medium-soft firmness is ideal for kids’ bedrooms. 5-year warranty.
Giltedge Solo Memory 4FT 6 Double Mattress,Cheap mattresses.
Pictured: Giltedge Solo Memory 4FT 6 Double Mattress. Priced £249 (Save £250 on RRP this Easter Sale)

The rule of thumb is that mattresses under £300 should have a combination of open coil springs and memory foam or memory gel.

Open coil springs are interconnected, forming a ‘bed’ of springs that reacts as a single component. This is the opposite of more expensive pocket springs, which are independent.

The downside to open coil springs is that they can be overly bouncy and transfer motion, so heavier couples should consider pocket springs.

Video: What is a Pocket Sprung Mattress?

But what about kid’s rooms and guest beds?

That is a fair point – not every bed in your home needs a luxury mattress. A mid-range model is often sufficient for children’s rooms and infrequently used guest beds.

Just avoid the very cheapest options, even for these secondary spaces. Kids need proper support for their growing bodies, and guests deserve a comfortable place to lay their heads. A reasonably priced mattress is still advisable.

Summing Up

Cheap mattresses cost you more in the long run than mid-range and high-end ones, so it’s best to leave your cheapest mattress purchases for guest rooms, where less usage will even out the lower lifespan and save you money.

For your or your child’s mattress, look for a pocket spring or hybrid mattress with generous memory foam, memory gel, or latex foam layers. Natural mattresses made of wool, cotton, and bamboo are also fantastic choices.

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