Cheap Mattress Buying Tips to Avoid Cheap Memory Foam Mistakes

Is that cheap mattress too cheap? Here's how to save money without bringing home a cheap memory foam mattress problem.

A cheap mattress can actually be dangerous for you and your family

Memory foam mattresses made with cheap materials can be fire hazards and contain toxic chemicals that not only stink, but pose a health hazard from breathing the fumes all night.

Come on, what did you expect? The chemicals that make up quality memory foam are expensive. And it's easy to see how a manufacturer could shave off a significant percentage of their costs if they use substandard materials.

Cheap mattress with pennies

The flip side of the truth is that most mattresses sold in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom are of good quality and will last a long time. They are not cheap.

You can get an inexpensive mattress without worrying about risking your health. But you have to be careful. First, do a bit of research and find out what the 'normal' price is. Then watch the news for mattress and furniture stores going out of business (not just phony 'We Lost Our Lease' sales). Also check online under liquidators. Liquidators buy large lots from overstock auctions, bankruptcy settlements or damaged shipments. These new mattresses are sold in factory sealed packages sometimes at prices up to 75% off. Check any return policies carefully.

Try to avoid buying a used mattress, particularly if it was from a hotel or similar high traffic location like a dorm. The price will be very inexpensive, but you risk bringing home a hard to eradicate infestation of bedbugs. However, if money is really tight and a used mattress is your only alternative, follow this advice from the Mayo Clinic on what to watch for and what to do if you have a bedbug infestation.

China has gotten a reputation for producing cheap mattresses that contain questionable materials. There are companies which specialize in importing substandard mattresses. These will typically be advertised at drastic discounts. Watch out! If the special isn't an outright bait and switch, the mattresses themselves may be made of substandard materials. Those are truly cheap mattresses.

In the case of visco foam mattresses, the memory foam density could have been increased by the addition of sand or other heavy impurities. Usually a higher density memory foam is a good thing because it means more microscopic cells to provide support. Heavy impurities such as sand increase the weight of the material, without increasing the number of cells. They also drastically cut down on the durability of the mattress. The sharp edges of the sand cut the microscopic cell walls, reducing the lifespan of the matress dramatically.

Not all imported mattresses should be avoided. There are now online companies who have partnered with Chinese manufacturers to produce quality controlled mattresses made in China. As the Chinese consumer becomes more assertive the Maniac expects the overall quality of mattresses made in that country to improve. As always, use the mattress buying guide and check the warranty being offered for a good 30 day return guarantee and make sure that the company doesn't have a lot of online complaints against it.

How Cheap Is Too Cheap?

Use the following price list for queen sized mattresses as a guide. Not all mattresses under these prices are bad. There are some good ones. But the quality gets uneven and they may not last as long as more expensive beds. Read any reviews carefully before making your choice.

  • Less than $50 - Air mattress with auto pump
  • Less than $80 - Air mattress with auto pump and memory foam top
  • Less than $100 - Waterbed mattresses
  • Less than $200 - Foam rubber mattresses (8" thick)
  • Less than $200 - Memory foam mattress comparison
  • Less than $300 - Inner spring mattress
  • Less than $600 - Latex mattress (13" thick)

Cheap Mattresses

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