You can buy almost anything from Amazon, and that includes mattresses. Now, this isn't the place to head if you're wanting to invest in the best mattress around. What it is good for is cheap, convenient and budget-friendly mattresses that will do the job in a pinch.
Our guide to the best mattresses on Amazon runs through the top options. If you're thinking of picking an option that is not on our ranking – perhaps because you've spotted a bargain in the Amazon Prime Day deals (live now, running from 10-11 October, with some excellent mattress protector deals) there are the key things to look for. These are the minimum things all cheap mattresses should have, and should ensure you won't make a purchasing decision you come to regret.
A quick note before we start – if you're in the market for a budget-friendly mattress, we wouldn't direct you to Amazon as your first stop. Check our general best cheap mattress roundup has a selection of options from a range of retailers, so you can see what you'd get for your money elsewhere.
1. A CertiPUR-US certification
CertiPUR-US deals specifically with mattress foams. A certification from this company means the foams in your mattress meet certain minimum health and environmental standards. For example, CertiPUR-US certified foams are made without ozone depleters, certain flame retardants, mercury, lead and other heavy metals, or formaldehyde. They're also tested for low VOC emissions.
This isn't a particularly impressive or unusual credential – all of the best memory foam mattresses have it, including the cheap ones. But it's still worth checking for, because we'd consider it a red flag if your mattress foams weren't CertiPUR-US certified.
2. A decent warranty (or ideally, a trial)
One of the key features of the online mattress in a box market is a free mattress trial. This is a period of time in which the customer can test out the mattress – because they haven't been able to test it out in a store – and send it back to the company if they decide it's not right for them. Even budget mattresses will usually have a sleep trial of at least 90 nights. But it's not that straightforward when buying a mattress from Amazon.
Many Amazon mattresses don't come with a sleep trial at all – there's a returns window, but it specifies the mattress should be unopened, which obviously means you won't be able to test the mattress out. Those that do have a trial require the customer to jump through certain hoops to activate it.
While you might not be able to return a mattress that's too soft or too hard, for example, you still want to be able to send it back if it turns out to be faulty. Before you buy, it's worth taking a close look at the warranty information on the product listing page, as well as double-checking what happens if you need to return your mattress to Amazon.
3. A height of at least 10 inches
We generally recommend a minimum mattress depth of 10 inches for most adults. This is to ensure it's comfortable and offers decent support. Children and petite / lightweight adults might be able to get away with 8 inches, while those who are on the heavier side should consider investing in something thicker. One of the benefits of Amazon's budget mattress range is that most are available in a few different depths, which means you can pick the option that suits you.
... anything else to look for?
There's one final indicator of quality, that's perhaps the most useful of all. However, this information is almost never available, and we've certainly never spotted it on an Amazon mattress listing, which is why it's not an official item on this list.
The spec is foam density. The denser the foam, the better the quality, and the more durable it will be. High-density foams cost more. The foam density is most significant in the top layer of your mattress; the one that defines the sleep feel. According to Tim Dilworth, mattress manufacturer and COO at 3Z Brands, you want this comfort layer to be at least 1.8lb. That's for a budget mattress. Moving into mid-range, you'd be looking for a density of around 2.5lb. (Find out more in our guide to the best type of memory foam.)
A decent-quality foam is especially important if your mattress is going to be compressed and boxed, because the vacuum-sealing process puts the foams under stress. If you've got a low-density foam, it might not expand properly when it's released from its wrappings.
Tim is a Retail and Manufacturing Executive based in Phoenix, AZ. As Chief Operating Officer at 3Z Brands, he leads the Product Development and Marketing of sleep products for leading bed brands including Helix and Brooklyn Bedding.
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Sleep expert and and Certified Sleep Science Coach Ruth is your go-to person for all things snooze-related on TechRadar, from advice on what mattress will suit you best, to tips on how to improve your sleep habits. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle and will talk at length about them to anyone who shows even a passing interest, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy for fear of getting smothered by them in the night. As well as following all the industry trends and advancements in the mattress and bedding world, she regularly speaks to other sleep experts to delve into the science behind a great night's sleep, and offer you advice to help you get there. Prior to joining the Tom's Guide team, she was T3's Wellness Editor.