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Cheap mattress 31 Jan 2016 13:19 #1

Hello, I need to buy a new mattress on a college student budget of $200. I think that a Lucid or Signature Sleep mattress from amazon would probably fit the bill, but I'm not sure if it will suit my needs. I am about 5'8" weigh about 140, and mainly sleep on my side. What thickness should I get? I'm worried that 5" wouldn't be enough, or that 8" would be too much.
I would also like to be able to fold or distort the mattress so I can fit it into my small suv when I move in the future, but I'm not sure if this is feasible and would like to know about your experiences moving with foam mattresses.
Thanks for bearing with my beginner questions!

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Cheap mattress 31 Jan 2016 14:23 #2

Hi Ongar,

I need to buy a new mattress on a college student budget of $200.


I'm not sure what size you are looking for (which would have a significant effect on the price) but there are some very general guidelines about what to expect in different budget ranges in this article . Your budget certainly doesn't leave much room to buy a mattress that uses good quality materials.

Post #4 here also includes some lower budget options I'm aware of and a thinner futon type mattress may also be worth considering and there are some options for some of these in post #2 here . If you let me know your city or zip code I'd also be happy to let you know about any of the better options or possibilities I'm aware of in your area.

I think that a Lucid or Signature Sleep mattress from amazon would probably fit the bill, but I'm not sure if it will suit my needs.


I'm assuming that you've read the mattress shopping tutorial (which is the first place to start your research) but two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you've read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort" and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price of course and the options you have available after a purchase to exchange or return the mattress if your choice doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for ... especially if you can't test the mattress before a purchase).

While I can't speak to how any mattress will "feel" for someone else because this is too subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences, sensitivities, and circumstances ... outside of PPP the most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability which is all about how long you will sleep well on a mattress. This is the part of your research that you can't see or "feel" and assessing the quality/durability and useful life of a mattress depends on knowing the specifics of its construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label (or how a mattress feels in a showroom or when it is relatively new) so I would always make sure that you find out information listed here so you can compare the materials and components to the quality/durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

You can see some comments about Lucid and other Chinese mattresses that are shipped compressed from overseas in post #6 here . A forum search on Lucid (you can just click the link) will also bring up more comments and feedback about them as well. Lucid mattress tend to use low quality memory foam (3 lb density or less) which would be a weak link in the mattress in terms of durability and they generally aren't a mattress that I would consider.

Signature Sleep mattresses are another "cheap Chinese import" that would generally use lower quality materials and I would avoid it as well (unless you can confirm that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in any of their specific mattresses that you are considering).

What thickness should I get?


The thickness of a mattress or any individual layers inside it is really just a side effect of the design and the design goals of a mattress and is also only one of many variables that can affect the feel and performance of a mattress relative to any particular person and by itself isn't particularly meaningful (see post #2 here ). In some cases higher weight ranges will sometimes do better with a mattress that is thicker than lower weight ranges (see post #14 here for more about the effect of thickness) but even this depends more on the specific design and combination of materials in the mattress and on how well your testing or personal experience indicates the mattress "as a whole" matches your specific needs and preferences in terms of PPP than anything else.

I would also like to be able to fold or distort the mattress so I can fit it into my small suv when I move in the future, but I'm not sure if this is feasible and would like to know about your experiences moving with foam mattresses.


If a foam mattress is thin enough you may be able to roll it up (depending on the flexibility and specifics of the materials and components in the mattress) but I wouldn't fold a mattress in half because it could damage the mattress.

Other than that the best way to move a mattress is by wrapping it in plastic or putting it in a mattress box and then moving it flat (or on its side with as little bending as possible for relatively short periods of time).

Phoenix
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Cheap mattress 02 Feb 2016 10:41 #3

Hey Pheonix, you truly are an incredible wealth of knowledge. I have no idea how you do it. I understand that the budget I have to work with is very restrictive in my choices. After reading your comments and related links and some more careful consideration, I ended up ordering the Signature Sleep 6". I realized that I was probably over-thinking my choice as I am accustomed to sleeping on a camping pad for months at a time. The signature sleep seems to be the more durable of the two based on the reviews on amazon, but only time will tell.. Thank you for your help and careful consideration of my questions.

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Cheap mattress 02 Feb 2016 11:23 #4

Hi Ongar,

The signature sleep seems to be the more durable of the two based on the reviews on amazon, but only time will tell..


Reviews won't give you any meaningful information about the quality or durability of a mattress. The most reliable way to predict the durability of the mattress would be to find out the density of the foam layers inside it but it would be reasonable to expect that it would use low quality materials.

I'm not sure which of their mattresses you purchased but a Signature Sleep mattress wouldn't have been my first choice out of the options that are available to you in a similar budget range. Hopefully it will work well for you once you've received it and have had the chance to try it out.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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