March 2020

What’s the best £500 Mattress?

So you've just started looking for a new mattress and you're probably scratching your head at where to start. You may have £500 set aside but don't know what kind of mattress you can get for that much. We're here to show you exactly what the expect in a new mattress based on your budget. That way you can take away the guesswork and start to work out which mattress meets your requirements. By translating the jargon you can save time and make a far better sleep decision. All from the comfort of your home without endless showroom visits.

If you have a budget of around £500 and are looking for a new mattress then this article will explain exactly what you can expect for your budget. Working out what is the best mattress for £500 need not be tricky when you know what to look for and to expect. So let’s look at bit deeper at £500 mattress choices.

Origins Pocket 1500 label on show on Cocktail Base
£500 is the entry-level for the start of a quality mattress. Click to view your options.

A £500 mattress is classed as an entry-level model, ie the very start of quality mattress options. Whilst there are literally thousands of mattresses from £99 upwards, it’s around the £500 mark that the real contenders emerge. By contender we mean a mattress that will last more than a couple of years and offer enough support and comfort for you. If your budget is less than this then you will need to adjust your expectations accordingly.

It’s worth bearing in mind that a quality mattress and good nights sleep should be budgeted for. If you scrimp too much you may regret it or end up making multiple purchases every 2-3 years meaning its a false economy.

What to expect from a £500 mattress

Let’s start by having a look at what you can roughly expect for your money in terms of support units and fillings from a £500 mattress. This will help you easily assess whether that great showroom deal is really all its cracked up to be. It also means that before you hit the shops or online retailers you will have a really good understanding of what to expect saving you time and money.

Bedroom candles with flowers

Mattress Support

If we start with support for your £500 you should expect at the very least a Spunbond pocket spring support unit. Pocket springs are the best form of support in a mattress as they individual contour to your body weight, reduce transference and provide a really robust support unit for your mattress. This results in less settlement or sagging issues further down the line if the mattress is looked after. What you may see in £500 mattress is the dreaded open coil, cage sprung or single spring mattress. We have written about open coil mattresses in detail here but they should be avoided. They offer bouncy and chaotic support when used. Which encourages roll together, being thrown about when your partner moves during the night and a rather awkward nights sleep overall. So always avoid these were possible.

Spunbonded pocket springs
Spunbond Pocket Springs should start to make an appearance in a £500 mattress and are far superior to foam or cage springs. Click here to view.

In foam mattresses around the £500 mark, you will start to see Reflex or ‘Support’ foam used as the support unit. This is because memory foam and other foam mattresses are one-sided and rely on layers of foam to provide both comfort and support. These foams are layered up from firmer (Reflex or Support) foam to the softer Memory or Hybrid foams. (The exception here is solid Latex mattresses like our Fusion range, but Natural latex mattresses are well out of the £500-bed budget). At the £500 mark foam mattress can be a really good option, if you find yourself spending £700+ then you can really start to look at a sprung mattress than solid foams as the quality starts to tail off at this point. The more you pay is usually spent on branding or fancier mattress covers. The foams themselves don’t necessarily increase in quality accordingly.

Ideally, a spring unit such as Spunbond Pocket Springs is preferable as you can then turn the mattress if two-sided which you always should opt for (more on why so here). In terms of how many springs you require you should be looking around the 1000 mark for a kingsize mattress. The minimum amount is 600 and the maximum is around 2,000. Anything over this uses additional layers of micro springs which we discuss at length here. Micro springs are usually incorporated into a mattress at the detriment or removal of upholstery comfort layers which we will come onto next.

In terms of gauge and tension, most entry-level mattresses are based on a 1.4 gauge wire in a pocket spring equating to a medium tension. If you want to understand more on spring tensions please read our detailed guide here to work out the best tension for you, or view the table below.

Spring TensionWire diameter (Gauge)Weight Range
Soft1.2mmBespoke Tension (Please Call)
Medium1.4mmUpto 16 stone
Firm1.6mm16 stone plus
Extra Firm / Orthopaedic1.9mm20 stone plus

Upholstery in a £500 Mattress

Once you’ve selected some models with a pocket spring unit the next important details is working out what fillings then upholster the support unit. These are known as the ‘Comfort Layers’ of the mattress. The comfort layers provide you with the overall comfort ‘feel’ of your new mattress and this is where most care needs to be taken when choosing a new mattress. You’re going to be faced with a number of fillings, brand names, buzzwords and cryptic descriptions. Fear not, we will explain exactly what you can expect.

In a £500 mattress, you’re primarily going to be looking at polyester and synthetic blends of fibres. There may be many descriptions stating these models ‘include natural fibres’ and such. However, at this price point, you’re not going to be able to get a natural fibre mattress with any real heavyweight fibres as the price point is to low. So when looking at models beware phrases like ‘Contains Cashmere’ or ‘Including Wool’ as these are usually nominal amounts. Sometimes as little as 1% natural fibre blended then with 99% polyester! The majority of the fibres will be polyester, white fibre, foam or other man-made fibres. That is not to say its a bad thing, any of these fibres are absolutely fine for this price point. The key learning for you is to be able to cut through the descriptions to see exactly what you are buying for your £500.

Polyester cross section
Polyester, White Fibre or Recycled man-made fibres are to be expected as the primary filling in a £500 mattress. Click to view.

This brings us to another really important question you simply must ask. You need to ask what the GSM (Grams per square meter) of each of the fibres contained within are. If not you’re simply guessing.

In a £500 mattress, you can expect to receive around 1000GSM of man-made fibres in a kingsize mattress. Anything less than this and you’re going to compress pretty quickly through these layers. If looking at a foam mattress you’re wanting to expect at least a 25cm deep mattress with a 5cm or 7.5cm foam comfort layer on top of the reflex or support foam.

Upholstery LayerFibre TypeHow it will feel?Price Point
White FibreSyntheticSoft/MediumEntry-Level
Recycled Fibre / Eco FibreSyntheticMediumEntry-Level
For £500 you're looking at an entry level mattress specification
For £500 you're looking at an entry level mattress specification
You should expect 1000 pocket springs and around 1000GSM of man made upholstery fibres
You should expect 1000 pocket springs and around 1000GSM of man made upholstery fibres

Mattress Detailing for a £500 Bed

At the £500 price point with mattresses, the mattress detailing is going to be very light touch. Detailing refers to the stitching method, construction skill and cover fabric of the mattress. Again you can expect a synthetic stretch over or polyester fabric along with machine stitching and a synthetic adhesive used to bind any foam layers. Springs will also be glued not stitched. Most of these mattress models are going to be mass-produced or at the best fast produced to ensure that they are profitable. If you use an independent mattress manufacturer you may be able to get better detailing as their overheads are lower. This is why we can offer such great value on our hand made mattresses as you’re not paying for TV adverts, branding campaigns or showroom costs.

Best mattress models for £500

So we have worked out what you can expect for your money so its time to see which are the best mattress models for £500 out there. We’ve undertaken a number of reviews and tests on all sorts of mattresses and here are a few to give you a basis for comparison. Here we provide 5 different mattresses at around the £500 price point, including one of our own models for comparison. This should help give you an idea of what you can expect to make a more informed mattress purchase.

Marks & Spencer Natural Plus 1000 Medium Mattress

This is Marks & Spencer’s entry-level model and features spunbond pocket springs, in a medium (probably 1.4 gauge) tension. Its fillings will be primarily white fibre (man-made polyester) with some cotton and lambswool blended within. It’s a one-sided mattress which means you can only use one side. You have to weight this up when comparing to other two-sided models. Two-sided models will have generally twice as many upholstery fillings as you can use both sides.

For the price, this is a well put together mattress for the price point and provides a medium comfort layer feel and suitable support for those up to 16 stone. It retails at £499 for a kingsize.

Masrks and Spencer Natural pocket sprung mattress
Image from Marks & Spencers Website. https://www.marksandspencer.com/natural-pocket-sprung-1000-medium-mattress/
  • Luxury white fibre, cotton and lambswool (No GSM or blends are given)
  • Made in Great Britain
  • 3 rows side stitch
  • 4 handles and 8 silver vents
  • Mattress Spring count: 1250 (No gauge given probably 1.4 medium spring)
  • Mattress Type: Pocket Sprung
  • Mattress Handle: Yes (One-sided Model)

John Lewis & Partners Classic Collection Ortho Support 1000 Pocket Spring Mattress

John Lewis & Partners have a really solid mattress range with some lovely examples of high-end mattress manufacture. In their entry-level offerings there Classic Collection Ortho stands out in particular. As expected the model uses polyester layers and pads as its main upholstery. It’s supported by 1000 firm pocket springs. The great thing about this model is it is two-sided so you can use both sides of the mattress, meaning in theory you can get twice as much lifespan when compared to a no-turn mattress. This mattress is a firm feel for those under 16 stone.

John lewis mattresses
Image from John Lewis & partners Website: https://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-partners-classic-collection-ortho-support-1000-pocket-spring-mattress-firm-tension-king-size/
  • Polyester cotton pads, Polyester duo pad, Recycled polyester duo pad
  • Firm Ortho Support (Not specified but probably a 1.6 gauge firm spring)
  • Pocket Springs: 1000

Casper Essential Mattress

The Casper essential mattress has won a WHICH? best buy award and shows what you can expect for around the £500 mark in a memory foam mattress. Priced at £450 for a kingsize it features two foam layers. A support foam which is castellated (cut to provide flex) and a comfort / softer foam top layer. It is another one-sided mattress due to its construction method and contains no springs as it is a foam mattress.

The casper essential mattress cutaway
Image from Casper Website: https://casper.com/uk/en/mattresses/casper-essential/

Silentnight Mirapocket Serenity 2000 Memory mattress

This is one of Silentnights entry-level mattresses that is shown at Furniture Village. Retailing at £549 for a kingsize it shows what can be expected from a hybrid spring and memory foam mattress at this price point. Offering a medium feel with a slow sink this model is suitable for anyone who wants the feel of memory foam without all the heat build-up of a solid foam mattress. Trying to achieve the best of both worlds. Care needs to be taken with the one-sided issue but other than that its a solid contender for the price.

A silentnight mattress
Image taken from Furniture Villages Website: https://www.furniturevillage.co.uk/mirapocket-serenity-2000-memory-mattress/
  • Silentnight’s Mirapocket technology offers 2000 zoned pocket springs (No gauge given probably a 1.4 medium tension)
  • A deep upper layer of memory foam (No depth or density of foam given which is a shame)
  • This no-turn mattress (Due to its foam and spring construction method)

John Ryan By Design Origins Comfort 1000

We pride ourselves on making the highest quality mattresses we can for each price point and letting you the consumer know exactly what’s inside it. Our Origins Comfort 1000 is our entry-level spunbond pocket spring, two-sided mattress. Hand made here in the UK. Giving a medium feel with a softer sink top layer it is made with 1250gsm of man-made fibres. It costs £545 for a kingsize with free delivery and interest-free finance options available.

A mattress on a divan base
Origins Comfort 100 Mattress. 2-sided and containing 1250GSM of fibres. Click to view.
  • 750gsm Very Soft Polyester
  • 500gsm Polyester Pad
  • One Inch Foam Insulator Layer
  • 1000 Spunbond Pocket Springs (1.4 Medium Gauge)
  • Total: 1250gsm
  • Depth: 30-33cm

What else can I get for my money?

Now we’ve shown what you can expect for around £500 for a new mattress you may be wondering what else you can expect if you up your budget. Below is a handy guide of exactly what your money should buy you when choosing a new mattress.

How much to spend on a double mattress?What can I expect for my money?
Under £500Will not get you much at best a 13.5 gauge open coil/cage sprung with a thin polyester layer or a solid foam mattress.
£500Entry level spunbond springs with some form of synthetic upholstery. Usually one sided mattresses.
£750The beginnings of a basic pocket springs unit with 800 – 1000 count. No substantial amount of filling other than foams and synthetic materials. Two sided models.
£1000Should get you away from most low ranges and into the mid-range pocket spring models.
£1250Should get you a decent pocket sprung mattress with some Natural Fibre content.
£1500Should get you many manufacturers mid-range models with Natural Fibres
£1500-£2000Should get you a Hand Made primarily Natural Fibre Quality Mattress
£2000+You should expect 100% Natural Fibres and Traditional Hand Made Construction Method.
£5000+A Bespoke Hand Made Sleep System, High-end Spring Units & Featuring the Worlds Most Luxurious Natural Fibres.

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  1. What to expect from a £750 Mattress. Click to view
  2. What to expect from a £1000 Mattress. Click to view
  3. What to expect from a £1250 Mattress. Click to view
  4. What to expect from a £1500-£2000 Mattress. Click to view
  5. What to expect from a £2000+ Mattress. Click to view


We hope this article has been helpful in explaining exactly what to expect for around £500 when buying a new mattress. You can see now that you’re going to primarily get man-made synthetic fibres and should be expecting to see pocket springs as the support layer or foam. There’s still a vast difference of filling quantities and spring types at around this price point so its really important that you compare between models.

By asking the GSM and spring count you can quickly discount and shortlist mattresses saving yourself time and money.

If you’re still struggling to make a decision on which new mattress to buy then why not give our small friendly team a call on 0161 437 4419 or drop us a message below for more help?

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