I Tested And Ranked The Best Affordable Mattress for College Student In 2024

If you are a Student and need an affordable mattress that you can rely on, I’m here to help you make the best choice on your next purchase. Take a look at my ranking for the best affordable mattress for college students.

Please be advised that the prices and ratings provided are accurate as of the time of writing.

1. ZINUS 5 Inch Memory Foam Mattress

Top-rated: 42,930 ratings

ZINUS 5 Inch Memory Foam Mattress

Credit: Amazon.com

Informative Review: “I wanted to wait sever months before writing the review to give time for an honest experience of this topper. Although I had a relatively new (3 years old) high quality mattress, I was experiencing significant hip and shoulder pain, especially when sleeping on my side. I was spending a lot of time tossing and turning and needed a topper.

Some other reviewers found that there was a strong odor to the topper that wouldn’t go away. I know everyone has their own sensitivities to smell, but I found the odor pretty mild. And after leaving it out to “relax” for about 18 hours, the odor quickly disappeared.

I never smelled anything from the time I put it on the bed to this day several months later.
After reading pervious reviews, I was concerned that buying a full size would be too small for my full sized mattress. This is definitely NOT true. I bought a queen size topper and had to cut several inches off the top and side for it to fit.

This topper is true to size for your mattress!!

Also after reading previous reviews I was a little concerned that it would be too soft (I bought the 3 inch topper).

At first, I found that I did sink deep into it and would find it a little difficult to move around. However, I found this really comforting. I also found that I was so comfortable that I hardly needed to move and shift throughout the night as I normally did.

I loved this period of time with the topper.

I knew that it wouldn’t be this way forever though. The nature of any material like this is that it changes a bit with use. This was no different. If you don’t like it at first, give it time. “Break it in” for a few weeks.

After several weeks, I found that I sank in a little less. It was still comfortable and I still have no hip and shoulder pain when I sleep on my side. It is not quite as “squishy” as it once was. Although its still very comfortable I miss how it felt when it was new.

Knowing how this type of material changes, I was also worried about having permanent impressions left in it. I did not want to make the bed and have it look messy because there are impressions so the bed doesn’t look smooth.

I am so glad to say that after all these months, the topped bounces back to original every time! Despite the weight of body or amount of time spent in bed, the topper always comes back. It may take a few minutes, but it always looks like new.

I have not found this to be any hotter to sleep than on my regular mattress either.
Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase and would recommend this to anyone who is looking for relief from a mattress that isn’t as comfortable as it should be. This is an economical choice that has stood many months of nightly use.” – Wendy

2. Linenspa 5 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Top-rated: 14,822 ratings

Linenspa 5 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Credit: Amazon.com

Informative Review: “Ok. So I’m one of those people that absolutely suck at buying big purchases like new mattresses when they’re clearly needed. I tend to just sleep on the old original, make due, suffer, and complain about it every waking hour..

I want to first admit. I did get a discount on this one. Not sure how, just put it in my cart and it was cheaper than what the list price was. Might have been a credit from Amazon I wasn’t aware of at the time..So I bought it anyways.

First the packaging is awesome. Came in a really small box vacuum sealed with 2 layers of plastic.

Remove from box, remove first plastic. ‘roll it out’, remove second plastic, and watch it expand right before your eyes..

It DOES take about 24hrs for it to fully expand. Do not be discouraged. The middle portion expands fast, but the ends (head and foot) do take a little extra time but it’s not a big deal honestly.. Give it time!

First I sat on it, and it was amazing! Firm, but plush against me, supported but didn’t push back so much I was uncomfortable. Then I laid on it. Super firm for the first couple seconds, but once your body sinks into it it really does add great support, but cradles at the same time..

It’s firm for support, but plush enough to still cradle you like a softy.. Best of both worlds.

First sleep.. Now. I’ve had chronic sleep problems, and severe pain for years, and I really believe it was due to bad sleep on an older spring mattress that’s seen better days.. I’d toss, turn, wake up over and over. and though I was laying down for 8-10hrs. I was probably only actually asleep for 2 of those nightly. Life sucked! (although I’m sure the chiropractor enjoyed all the visits)

First sleep on this mattress. I slept through the night, turned over once and woke up fine. Sat up. did my morning twist and turn, snappity, crackity, pop. stretched out and actually felt muscles stretching and not just bone/joints grinding..

After about a week. (because there’s no miracle pill) I lost 90% of my chronic pain. Because I’m sleeping through the night, not tossing and turning constantly, and the mattress is supporting me no matter my angle.

I would 100% recommend this, and other products by this company.. It’s cheap! (I mean inexpensive), well worth the money, it comes in different firmness’s, and trust me. Your body will love you..” – DonnieAwesome

Another Review: “Bought this mattress for my toddler’s first bed (originally transferred from a crib). I needed a low height mattress because it was for a loft bed and I couldn’t be happier!

There’s enough room from the mattress to the top of the guard rail that I’m not nervous she will lunge herself over the side in the middle of the night. I haven’t laid on the mattress for long than a couple hours, but was comfortable even though I don’t prefer a firm mattress.

My toddler has never had any issues sleeping and continues this same trend on this mattress. Would definitely recommend.” – Stephanie

3. Olee Sleep Twin Mattress, 10 Inch Support

Top-rated: 35,927 ratings

Olee Sleep Twin Mattress, 10 Inch Support

Credit: Amazon.com

Informative Review: “I will update this after 3 months, 6 months and a year. I am 5’10 and weigh 335 lbs. We removed the mattress from it’s shipping box and rolled the well packed item to the bedroom. Absolutely no chemical smells at all.

Using a traditional oak bed frame and box spring we put it on it and opened the package. Easily done, it gently sprang to life. It was 11 1/2″ deep and after 6 hrs. of rest opened to 12 1/2″. As I had no real choice I had to use it for the night.

OMG so soft, but firm. I have sciatica so I was hoping this would help. After a week I can truthfully say I’m no worse and have spent every night in comfort. The only complaint I have is the mattress doesn’t really have a firm “edge” to sit on, I have to kind of roll into the middle.

Looking at it each morning and measuring I find it springs back to it’s original shape. Perhaps at a later date it might not considering my excess weight, but we shall see. I haven’t noticed any “overheating” either because of the material. So far its been money well spent for a wonderful, comfortable nights rest.

I have been through two $1000 mattresses in 5 years, so this is a bargain if I only buy a few of these. Don’t be afraid of the horror stories about unwrapping and setting up, the package arrived UPS in good condition. See you later.****UPDATE-3 MONTHS**** A solid 12″ all around, still firm like I need it.

No noticeable smell from day 1 or now. No lumps developing on it either. We reverse the mattress every 30 days and all is, as it was the first week. With my weight is the “real” test. Still comfortable and keeps me happy.

See you at the end of 6 months.****UPDATE 6 MONTHS**** Everything still great. No complaints, still 12″+ and no bumps or lumps. ****UPDATE 9 MONTHS****Still 12″, no lumps or bumps, enjoying a restful sleep.

I do rotate it once a month as a precaution. See you at the end of 12 months****UPDATE 1 YEAR****All is well, still going strong, very pleased. I’ll buy again if this EVER wears out !!!***** UPDATE 15 Months*****All is well, still going strong.*****UPDATE 18 Months*****Still retains its original features, money well spent.*****UPDATE 2 YEARS, 2 MONTHS*****Still comfortable, now weigh 350 lb.

No lumps or bumps, (on the matteress)*****UPDATE 3 YEARS, 6 MONTHS, Getting a little lumpy in places, move it around hides it, unfortunately I am now 370 lb. but still happy to get a great, restful sleep.” – Original 2 Cups of Joe

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4. Lucid 8 Inch Twin Mattress – Plush Gel Memory Foam

Top-rated: 8,418 ratings

Lucid 8 Inch Twin Mattress - Plush Gel Memory Foam

Credit: Amazon.com

Informative Review: “I like Lucid brand and had my last one for ten years, I loved it up until the ten year mark. Maybe my preferences have changed and I can’t handle plush mattresses anymore.

Anyway, I do believe that at this price point it’s actually a good mattress. I read some of the reviews and I have to say, it deserves better reviews.

It’s actually really good quality, if you have a very low budget. It amazes me that anyone would buy a mattress at this price and have anything to complain about.

I feel that there should at least be gratitude for the fact that we can purchase any mattress at this low of a price point. If you want something better then keep saving until it can be afforded, otherwise maybe buy a used mattress off of FB marketplace.

Anyway, my experience was –

  1. The mattress wasn’t nearly as firm as I expected. Again, that was my own thought and expectations. It just gave too much for me. Which I can say some might love that it cradles them! Maybe it gave so much because I’m pregnant and weigh an extra 40 lbs, which puts me at 190 lbs. So maybe just not great for a heavier body.
  2. I wish I had bought a ten or twelve inch instead. I think that would have helped.
  3. No smell at all and was very cleanly packed.
    Bottom line – if you’re a lighter person and you need a low profile mattress and you also like to sink a bit, this one might be perfect for you.
    We bought it because we were In between moving, getting a new mattress and waiting for our Satviaa to be delivered.

It served its purpose for a few weeks but now my nephew has it. He’s about 6 feet tall and 140lbs & he LOVES it! He said it’s so comfortable.

To each their own…

I’m happy with the purchase and super fast delivery.

Thanks Lucid, for providing affordable comfort and a great low cost.”


Another Helpful Review: “Shame on me, I had my previous bed for 10 years.. yikes!! So I finally decided to replace my bed with the Lucid 8 inch gel and memory foam mattress.

First, Packaging. The box came in good enough condition that it kept the mattress safe during shipping. The mattress upon removal from the box was vacuum sealed and wrapped in a thick protective plastic.

No moisture, stains, or any debris when the plastic was removed. Lucid provided a handy plastic cutter (looks like a jumbo mail opener) to prevent damaging the mattress in the process. (Thank you!)

Second, installation. Super easy, just lay the vacuum sealed mattress as a roll over the box spring and unfold. Then, use the provided tool to break the plastic and let the mattress rise like pizza dough for a couple of hours.

My theory is that these mattresses rise depending on the moisture and temperature inside your house. The hotter and more moisture, the longer it takes to rise. Mine rose to a full 7 3/4 inches in 45 minutes.

Third, my senses. A lot of people in the reviews complained of an “awful chemical smell”. Everyone’s noses are different. For me, it emitted that smell similar to a new car. A wonderful smell. It has faded after two days drastically. So if you’re sensitive, my thing is to use another bed or the couch and air it out before use. Plain and simple, it does not smell bad.

Sitting on the bed for the first time was really pleasant. I’m a heavy guy so it kind of flattened quickly since I bought the plush model. However, when I lay on it: it has very great support throughout my body and does not flatten. It quite much feels like I’m on a cloud! Super comfy. It’s also easy to get back up with minimal effort, as some mattresses takes some effort to do cause you sink like a brick.

My old mattress had my back hurting really bad, it was also foam and 5 inches of firmness. After switching to Lucid 8 inches, I feel way better! My back pain went down drastically after just the first night, my sleep has improved as well. I work overnight so I sleep in the day, and I find myself sleeping about 2-3 hours longer than with my old mattress. Now I get a full 8-9 hours of sleep vs 4-6.

The surface of the mattress stays cool, there are no hot spots!! The gel really works!

Fourth, weight. Foam mattresses are known to weigh like sandbags!! This one is super light weight and keeps its shape when you pick it up. This may change as it ages but as of now, it’s super light!

For the price, it feels like one of those tempurpedics. I say buy it and look no further!”


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5. Novilla Queen Size Mattress, 12 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress for Cool Sleep & Pressure Relief

Top-rated: 28,789 ratings

Novilla Queen Size Mattress, 12 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress for Cool Sleep & Pressure Relief

Credit: Amazon.com

Informative Review: “I wanted to wait a year before reviewing a mattress. I figured that would be enough time to really know how I felt. I was hesitant to buy a king size mattress for under $400 initially.

I was looking for something that was on the medium-firm side (I figured it’s easier to make a firm mattress soft than a soft mattress firm). This one already had solid reviews so I went for it.

I have never owned a memory foam mattress before. It arrived and after unpacking, it was ready to go by the end of the day (no weird smell and no uneven expansion like some people noted). It’s the perfect firmness for me and has held up well thus far. I recommended it to a coworker already.

It’s also quite comfortable. Firm without anything jabbing you in your sleep, but not too soft you feel like you’re sinking. I have been complimented on my posture and I think I can partially put that on having a mattress thats nice and comfortable.

If I had one thing “negative” to say is that it’s only 10″ thick and most king size sheets are made for much thicker mattresses so fitted sheets are a bit loose (I used special clips to tighten them under the mattress) but that’s more of an annoyance and something you’d probably get with any comparable mattress.

After 1 year of sleeping on it through summer and winter, I’d say it’s a keeper.”

Josh Weintraub

Another Helpful Review: “To say that the bar was set very low for this mattress to exceed the one it was replacing is an understatement; however, it also had to live up a comparison to the comfort and quality of my full time mattress which is a sleep number.

To be clear, this mattress was intended to replace a junk, coil spring mattress in my part time residence, where I wanted to maximize my comfort (and reduce pain) at a price point that made sense.

Coming in at just around $300, I figured I had little to lose and, at worst, it would have to be a step above the old mattress.

Imagine my utterly pleasant surprise to come and find out that this little gem not only met that low bar, but overwhelmingly exceeded it. I’ve had this mattress for a little over a month and have slept on it probably near three weeks out of that month. In that time what I have found is that this mattress is extremely comfortable, super easy to set up and provides just the right amount of support where I need it most.

In fact, I would say that it almost…..almost provides the same comfort level and support factor as my sleep number mattress. Almost, but not quite.


  1. Extremely convenient packaging and set up: A queen size mattress in a box, delivered to my doorstep. How easy is that? The box itself is hefty so you likely will need a helper to get the whole deal into position and especially when it comes time to cut the packaging and have it ready to go “inflation”. Instructions provided and easy to follow. Once we properly positioned the wrapped mattress on the box spring it took a simple slice of the plastic (using the slicer provided to us in the box) and voila! new mattress. The directions tell you to allow the mattress to shape for at least 72 hours, but I was extremely hopeful that I would be able to us it that night as one more night on the old mattress was absolutely out of the question. Some people have noted that their mattresses didn’t form properly or didn’t reach the intended height (some even after the 72 hours) but I found that my mattress was fully formed and at the right height in no more than 12 hours. I made the choice to use it that night
  2. Comfort: I’ve found over the years that I need a firmer mattress to alleviate much of my lower pack pain and stiffness that I’ve found in using mattresses of lesser quality. The one advantage of a sleep number bed is that you have 100s of different combinations available to you to find just the right amount of firmness or softness to achieve maximum comfort, and over the past year or so that I’ve owned it, I’ve found that I fall neatly within the medium firmness category (for those familiar with sleep number, I’m about a 55 to 60 setting) so having this mattresses advertised as falling into the medium to firm category was really important – and I was counting on that description being accurate. And I can tell you that , at least in my experience – it is. In fact, if I had to assign a sleep number to this mattress for comparison, my guess is that it would fall in the 65-70 range. I say this because while extremely comfortable, it does seem to be just a bit firmer than my current sleep number setting. Not enough that it creates any moderate discomfort, but just enough that I can feel the pressure. For reference – I am in the range of 180-190lbs – I can’t speak to how well that level of firmness holds for someone in a different weight bracket, but my best guess is that it will hold relatively stable for most people.
  3. Sturdy – I can’t speak to how other foam mattresses are in this category, but when sleeping with someone else, I don’t feel them moving or turning/tossing.
  4. Price – Sure, you can invest in other, more expensive mattresses, foam or otherwise, for your needs, but out of the box, at this price point, you get a lot of mattress with very little downside. That being said, I cannot speak to how well it will hold up over the long term, or whether it will still be the same mattress in 1 year or even 3, but at this price point, I would be satisfied with with a handful of good quality years.

Cons – Really very few to mention, but:

  1. Edge support – I believe this is an issue with every foam mattress, but the edge support is absolutely not on par with a traditional mattress. That being said, it does not affect my use of the mattress one bit, but for those that need the extra support to get out of bed, or, for those that want to utilize some edge support for “extracurricular” activities – you’ll find that you’ll have to adjust for the lack of edge support and plan accordingly.
  2. Cooling – foam mattresses in general are notorious for running warm and while this mattress attempts to compensate for it by using a cooling layer, I believe that warm sleepers are still going to find themselves sleeping warm. I generally don’t tend to be a warm sleeper, so it hasn’t been an issue for me, but it also certainly doesn’t offer any more cooling features than any other mattress available.

All in all, I rate this mattress very highly and certainly would recommend purchasing it assuming its specifications meet your needs. It’s a high quality, comfortable mattress at a very affordable price point.”


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6. PrimaSleep Full Mattress, 9 Inch Flex Gel Memory Foam

Top-rated: 988 ratings

PrimaSleep Full Mattress, 9 Inch Flex Gel Memory Foam

Credit: Amazon.com

Informative Review: “I recently purchased a new mattress, and while it provides a comfortable sleeping experience, I must address the issue of its unpleasant odor.

First and foremost, I must commend the mattress for its comfort level. The firmness is just right for my preference, providing the right amount of support for a restful night’s sleep.

I wake up feeling refreshed and free of any back or joint pain, which is a significant improvement from my previous mattress.”


Another Helpful Review: “I originally purchased this to go on the bottom of a trundle bed to be used by our young grandchildren and maybe by the occasional adult guest. It’s pretty comfortable, being firm with a bit of give.

I recently needed to use it myself for a couple of weeks.

At first, it was really nice, and most of the daytime aches and stiffness I had sleeping my old bed went completely away.

However, around the second week, some of those aches came back. I realized that the bed has already softened to the point of my 190lb self sleeping in an indentation. If I were to continue sleeping in it, I think it would continue to worsen.

For that reason, this bed is great for children and probably for people who weigh much less than I do, but for most adults, it’s not going to last long if you’re using it daily.”


Check This Review: “I absolutely love this bed. My Mom got one a few years ago & I wanted one since. I had to wait for about 2 months to get it but it finally came on June 14th of this year.

I got to sleep on it that night & oh my gosh let me tell you- BEST BED EVER. It’s not your average bed. It’s memory foam obviously but it keeps you cool & you sleep amazing on it.

If you hate spring beds, you should so get this bed. Worth every penny I promise!”

Amanda Keefer

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