What’s the Best Mattress For Uni Students On a Budget?

Last Updated August 18, 2023

Uni is exciting, it’s new, it’s fun and sometimes hard work… but it’s also dang expensive.

For most of us, university is the first time we live out of home and have to pay rent, groceries, bills and the like. It all adds up very quickly, leaving you not a lot of money for much else.

So, when it comes to bedroom essentials like a mattress, you know you need one, but you’d prefer a budget one, if possible.

But you might also be wondering “can I find a budget mattress that’s actually good and will give me a good night’s sleep to make it through the next few years at uni?”

Good news: you definitely can!

Look, mattresses are one of those products that typically, the more you pay, the better it is. It’s just a fact. More premium features, and extra features. But as a uni student on a budget, you don’t have to fork out for an expensive mattress to get a good sleep. There are several mattress-in-a-box brands that’ll do the trick.

We’ve slept on all these mattresses, done hours of research and checked other consumer feedback to bring you the top 5 budget mattresses for uni students.

What Do We Mean When We Say Budget?

For the purpose of this article, a budget mattress is under $1,000 for a double size. We chose double because we feel this best reflects the most common mattress size for uni students.

The Top 5 Budget Mattresses for Uni Students

  1. Ecosa Vital
  2. Emma Comfort
  3. Noa Lite
  4. Eva
  5. Onebed

A Note on Prices

You’ll see we’ve put an asterisk next to Emma Comfort. This is because despite the recommended retail price being higher than $1,000, Emma has an aggressive discount strategy, with huge savings from 40%-50% off pretty much all the time, so you’re almost always going to nab a bargain.

In fact, all of the mattress-in-a-box brands often have epic sales going on, so you’ll probably find even better deals than what we’ve listed above!

Ecosa VitalDouble$850Buy Now
Emma ComfortDouble$1669*Buy Now
Noa LiteDouble$949Buy Now
EvaDouble$950Buy Now
Onebed EssentialDouble$899Buy Now

Ecosa Vital

The Ecosa Vital mattress is the best budget option for uni students for several reasons. Apart from coming in at under $1,000, Ecosa Vital is a medium-firm mattress built with sustainability in mind. It’s a comfortable hybrid mattress with 7 zones of pocket springs along the body to ensure better alignment and support where you need it, so you can have a pain-free sleep.

And, with a 100 night trial and free returns, there’s no reason not to give the Ecosa Vital a go with peace of mind you can get your money back if you don’t love it!

Who will love this mattress?

  • Bargain hunters who want a mattress under $1,000
  • People who sleep cold – the Ecosa will warm you right up!
  • Back, front or side sleepers – the Vital suits all sleeper styles

Who Should Consider Alternatives To The Ecosa Vital?

  • No customisation – you can’t flip this mattress like Ecosa original and Ecosa Pure
  • You sleep hot – this mattress is on the warm side
  • You need the best motion isolation – this is a hybrid mattress, which is not as good at curbing motion isolation as an all foam mattress

Check out our Ecosa mattress review for more information.

Emma Comfort

Emma mattresses are also an amazing mattress for uni students on a budget, not least for their aggressive discount strategy which means there is always a sale happening! The Emma Comfort is an all-foam mattress that adapts to your body and distributes your weight evenly, ensuring you won’t suffer from pressure points.

Who’s Going to Love The Emma Comfort?

  • You like a warm mattress
  • You want a discounted mattress: Emma seems to always have a good discount going on, so it’s great for bargain hunters!
  • Side, back, or stomach sleeper: The mattress firmness is just right for stomach, side and back sleepers

Who Should Consider Alternatives To The Emma Comfort?

  • You prefer a spring mattress: Being a foam mattress, if you’re used to a soft hybrid mattress, you might find this one a little too firm.
  • You want adjustable firmness: The Emma Comfort isn’t adjustable like similar brands at similar price points (namely Ecosa and Koala).

Noa Lite

The Noa Lite is a budget mattress consisting of gel memory foam + pocket springs. It’s incredibly supportive for its price point, as I’d say it’s most suited to back and stomach sleepers. The Lite was designed to offer the sensation of lying atop a firm sleep surface. Its firmness of 8 on a scale of 10 has a subtle hint of body contouring to provide enjoyable comfort and pressure relief.

Who’s Going to Love The Noa Lite?

  • You typically have a sore back sleeping: the Noa Lite offers great pressure relief
  • You want an eco-friendly mattress: made with eco-friendly materials, if the environment is important to you (as it should be!), you’ll love this sustainable mattress
  • You want a comfortable hybrid mattress: a mix of memory foam and pocket springs, the Noa is a classic hybrid mattress.

Who Should Consider Alternatives To The Noa Lite?

  • You don’t love a bulky design: the Noa lite is a little bulky in design, so something to consider if you have a small space
  • You prefer a soft, comfort layer: the Noa Lite is about an 8/10 on the firmness scale, so if you want a super soft mattress, this might not be the right fit.
  • You want traditional memory foam: if you’re used to a traditional memory foam mattress or want to make the switch, the Noa Lite might not be the ideal choice.


The Eva mattress has been on the Aussie market for several years but has recently taken off as a popular online mattress in Australia. This hybrid mattress is an excellent all-rounder for all sleeping types and is also excellent value for money. It brings the best of both worlds with latex, memory foam and pocket springs, providing support, keeping you cool and minimising sleep disturbance.

Who’s Going to Love The Eva?

  • You’re looking for a medium-firm pressure mattress: the Eva sits around a 7 on a firmness scale.
  • You want a supportive yet comfortable hybrid mattress: not all foam but not pure spring, the Eva is a true hybrid.
  • You are a back, front, side or combo sleeper.

Who Should Consider Alternatives To The Eva?

  • You prefer a traditional memory foam bed: being a hybrid, the Eva feels quite a lot different to an all foam bed, if that’s what you’re after or used to
  • You don’t want a responsive bed: hybrid mattresses are more responsive than all-foam, meaning you’ll feel more bounce as you or a partner toss and turn
  • You want an ultra-firm mattress: as we mentioned, the Eva is about a 7 on the firmness scale (out of 10), so there are definitely firmer mattresses out there if that’s your preference

Onebed Essential

The Onebed Essential Mattress is a great budget option for uni students who love a firm and dense feeling mattress at an incredibly budget-friendly price point. Onebed also has the Onebed Original and Onebed X in its range, which sit at the higher end of the price scale.

Who’s Going to Love The Onebed Essential?

  • You want a firm mattress: Onebed Essential ranks about an 8/10 on the firmness scale
  • You have a tight budget: Onebed Essential is one of the most budget-friendly options for uni students, and Onebed typically always have a sale going on so you’re sure to get a good deal
  • You want good motion isolation: being an all foam mattress, the Onebed Essential offers great motion isolation

Who Should Consider Alternatives To The Onebed Essential?

  • You prefer a medium-soft bed: as we mentioned, this is a firm mattress, so if you prefer something softer, we’d opt for an alternate mattress
  • You want a more responsive mattress: being an all foam bed, the Onebed Essential isn’t as responsive (bouncy) as a hybrid

Other Things to Consider When Finding the Perfect Mattress for Uni

Room Space & Perfect Size Mattress

Budget isn’t the only consideration when finding the best mattress for uni. You firstly need to take into consideration your room space to determine what mattress you can fit. If you’re in shared accommodation, a king single is probably going to be your best fit, but if you have your own room, you might be able to comfortably fit a double or even a queen.

Consider a Mattress Topper Instead

Maybe a new mattress isn’t in the budget, and maybe your uni room already has a bed in it. In that case, we’d recommend investing in a quality mattress topper. Who knows how old that mattress is, or how many people have slept on it.

We’ve reviewed some of the best mattress toppers on the market here.

Types of Mattress to Avoid

We’d recommend avoiding mattresses that don’t offer generous consideration for returns, refunds, and in-home sleep trials. All of the mattresses in this article offer 100+ night trials, plus free returns and refunds if it’s not quite right.

We’d also avoid mattress brands without a good reputation, track record and longevity.

Also steer clear of mattress brands with poor customer reviews – these are typically pretty objective so you can get a good idea of whether it’s a comfortable mattress or not.

Mattresses without certifications should be avoided – don’t settle for vague descriptions. Choose a mattress that’s backed by organisations that conduct certification programs and are trusted for the proper standards.

Are you in search of the prime destination for mattress reviews in Australia? Look no further than our comprehensive platform! Our extensive analyses are dedicated to helping you find the perfect mattress that aligns with your personal preferences. Whether you’re after sublime comfort, unparalleled support, or unique features, we’ve got all angles covered.

Take a virtual tour of mattressreviews.com.au, where you can explore an impressive array of top-rated mattress options, enabling you to make a well-considered decision for a night of uninterrupted sleep.

Ally Burnie
Head Dreamer Ally Burnie
Journalist, presenter and host based in Sydney with a passion for cooking, outdoor adventures, hiking, humanitarianism, and travel.
Ally Burnie Head Dreamer Ally Burnie
Journalist, presenter and host based in Sydney with a passion for cooking, outdoor adventures, hiking, humanitarianism, and travel.


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