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For Under $500, I Got A King-Size Mattress, Bed Frame, AND Bedding

The rumors are true: You don't have to sacrifice the quality of your sleep just 'cause you're on a tight budget!

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Hello! I'm Emmy, and I recently upgraded my bedroom to a king-size bed and am truly, finally, living my best sleep life.

Honestly, I can't believe I waited so long to level-up from my full-size bed — which was proving to be quite a cramped space for me to share with my boyfriend and 50-pound dog. (And no, relegating my pup to the floor to sleep in his own bed has never been an option, thank you.) It has been, in one hyphenated and oft-overused word, a game-changer.
Emmy Favilla / BuzzFeed

Honestly, I can't believe I waited so long to level-up from my full-size bed — which was proving to be quite a cramped space for me to share with my boyfriend and 50-pound dog. (And no, relegating my pup to the floor to sleep in his own bed has never been an option, thank you.) It has been, in one hyphenated and oft-overused word, a game-changer.

The best part is that my mattress, bed frame, and bedding all came to grand total of under $500 — and I've been getting a fantastic night's sleep since. Let's get into the details, shall we?

Walt Disney Pictures

First and foremost, I traded in my old full-size mattress for the Zinus Memory-Foam Green Tea Mattress, a product that appears to have a bit of a cult following thanks to its seemingly too-good-to-be-true price tag: $151–$230 for a king size, to be exact.

Spoiler, though: It's NOT too good to be true! Two of my coworkers also use this same exact mattress and have been perfectly pleased with it. (Read a full review of it here.) It's available in sizes twin through California king — including twin XL, aka the perfect size for dorms — as well as in 6-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch thickness options. I opted for the 12-inch version, as the thicker the mattress, the softer it typically is (per a Zinus representative's advice). I'll pretty much echo everything that was mentioned in the review linked above. The mattress is of the bed-in-a-box variety, meaning that once it arrives, you'll need to give it up to 72 hours to totally ~expand~. Mine had completely flattened out within seemingly 15 minutes and I slept on it the same night I unboxed it. Slept like a baby — a type of sleep I have continued to enjoy since. As for those of you who, like me, have a tendency to "sleep hot": I have not felt noticeably hot in the middle of the night to date, but temperatures in New York haven't climbed above 40something overnight, so time will tell on that front, I suppose. But adding a cooling mattress topper is one way to solve that issue. I'm not entirely/not at all sold on the infusions of green tea extract and charcoal "so you wake up smelling less like sleep and more like fresh" claim — but for a comfortable mattress this cheap, it can claim whatever the hell it wants to, really. The one caveat I would be remiss not to note is the initial smell of the mattress, which took nearly three weeks to fully dissipate BUT which I found oddly coffee-like and pleasant? (My boyfriend would disagree, but idk man, I thought it was kinda comforting.) Could I have circumvented this by cracking a window open for a day? Probably. But it's been too damn cold, and it honestly didn't bother me very much.Get it from Amazon for $90.99 (twin)–$290.02 (California king).
Emmy Favilla / BuzzFeed

Spoiler, though: It's NOT too good to be true! Two of my coworkers also use this same exact mattress and have been perfectly pleased with it. (Read a full review of it here.) It's available in sizes twin through California king — including twin XL, aka the perfect size for dorms — as well as in 6-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch thickness options. I opted for the 12-inch version, as the thicker the mattress, the softer it typically is (per a Zinus representative's advice).

I'll pretty much echo everything that was mentioned in the review linked above. The mattress is of the bed-in-a-box variety, meaning that once it arrives, you'll need to give it up to 72 hours to totally ~expand~. Mine had completely flattened out within seemingly 15 minutes and I slept on it the same night I unboxed it. Slept like a baby — a type of sleep I have continued to enjoy since. As for those of you who, like me, have a tendency to "sleep hot": I have not felt noticeably hot in the middle of the night to date, but temperatures in New York haven't climbed above 40something overnight, so time will tell on that front, I suppose. But adding a cooling mattress topper is one way to solve that issue.

I'm not entirely/not at all sold on the infusions of green tea extract and charcoal "so you wake up smelling less like sleep and more like fresh" claim — but for a comfortable mattress this cheap, it can claim whatever the hell it wants to, really. The one caveat I would be remiss not to note is the initial smell of the mattress, which took nearly three weeks to fully dissipate BUT which I found oddly coffee-like and pleasant? (My boyfriend would disagree, but idk man, I thought it was kinda comforting.) Could I have circumvented this by cracking a window open for a day? Probably. But it's been too damn cold, and it honestly didn't bother me very much.

Get it from Amazon for $90.99 (twin)–$290.02 (California king).

Next up, the bed frame. I'm moving soon, so I wanted something that wouldn't take a ton of time to assemble or disassemble — and I didn't want to drop a lot of cash, in case of any snafus during the move and the potential for damage.

Emmy Favilla / BuzzFeed, amazon.com

I also wanted a simple, metal frame (I was traumatized by a bedbug incident years ago and have since vowed to rid myself of any pieces of wood surrounding my mattress; if this resonates with you, you can read more tips here for keeping the indestructible beasts away). Zinus, as it turns out, is also a pretty reliable player in the affordable bed frame department. I came across this Prime-eligible frame that checked all the right boxes, and it was delivered in two days.

The frame was a breeze to put together and probably took a total of 45 minutes. Over the past month-plus, it's proven to be perfectly sturdy. Some reviewers have noted that their mattress tends to slide a bit off the sides but that they've remedied the problem by placing a yoga mat above the slats on either side (clever!). I've only noticed a negligible amount of sliding — despite my 50-pound pit bull jumping onto and off the bed excitedly when he knows it's time to go for a walk — but my bed is also positioned between an end table and a set of drawers that keep it in place at the top end. It's also got a foot of storage space underneath, in case you've taken up all the space in your bedroom with this bed and could use it! TL;DR: This is a great option for a simple, sturdy frame that's easy to assemble, and it provides room for storage.

Get it from Amazon for $64.99+ for a twin, $89.99+ for a full, $141.99 for a queen, and $109.99 for a king.

(The frame is available in black and white, but unfortunately it's no longer available in king size in black; you can find a similar king-sized black frame at Walmart for $176.99 or one from Amazon for $229.26.)

My bedding is courtesy of Mellani, which has been featured countless times in other BuzzFeed posts — and for a reason! It's got over 38,000(?!) Amazon reviews, and at just $27+ for a king-sized set, these sheets are a no-brainer.

They're super freakin' soft (but not satin-y), they hold up in the wash (I used this set as my full-sized bedding for years, with no complaints), and the price is right. What more can I say? If you'd like to read more about them, check out the full review here.Get them from Amazon for $24.70+ (available in twin–California king and in 37 colors/patterns).PS: If you're down to spend just a tad more, I've also heard these affordable sheets from Target are equally as awesome.
amazon.com

They're super freakin' soft (but not satin-y), they hold up in the wash (I used this set as my full-sized bedding for years, with no complaints), and the price is right. What more can I say? If you'd like to read more about them, check out the full review here.

Get them from Amazon for $24.70+ (available in twin–California king and in 37 colors/patterns).

PS: If you're down to spend just a tad more, I've also heard these affordable sheets from Target are equally as awesome.

And finally, I'd like to introduce you to my comforter: Made with a non-down-alternative fill, it's oh-so-soft and the perfect weight to transition into spring.

My coworker Kayla wrote about how great it was, so I took the plunge — because I trust her and because I was in the market for a white comforter — and I could not be happier. It's got just the right amount of fluff and is machine-washable, cruelty-free, great on its own or under a duvet cover, and a very reasonable $44 for a king size. Hooray! Get it from Amazon for $33.99–$43.77 (available in twin, queen, and king).
amazon.com

My coworker Kayla wrote about how great it was, so I took the plunge — because I trust her and because I was in the market for a white comforter — and I could not be happier. It's got just the right amount of fluff and is machine-washable, cruelty-free, great on its own or under a duvet cover, and a very reasonable $44 for a king size. Hooray!

Get it from Amazon for $33.99–$43.77 (available in twin, queen, and king).

The only thing I didn't swap out are my pillows, which I've had for so long I can't even remember where they're from — but this affordable set of plush gel pillows has some pretty sparkling reviews if I've ever seen any.

They are also, apparently, hypoallergenic and mold-, mildew-, and dust-mite-resistant. Sounds good to me. Promising review: "I think I'm in love with the Beckham hotel collection! This is my third purchase from the collection and I have been extremely satisfied with all three. I'm pretty picky, as most people are, about my pillows. I've bought feather pillows, contour pillows, memory foam pillows, synthetic pillows, expensive pillows, and inexpensive, pillows but none supported my head and were comfortable to sleep on. I have had cervical disc surgery twice so getting my head and neck in a comfortable position is very important. These pillows amazingly do everything I need them today to do and my neck feels great in the morning." —KspunkyGet them from Amazon for $33.99 for two standard pillows or $42.99 for two king-sized pillows.
amazon.com

They are also, apparently, hypoallergenic and mold-, mildew-, and dust-mite-resistant. Sounds good to me.

Promising review: "I think I'm in love with the Beckham hotel collection! This is my third purchase from the collection and I have been extremely satisfied with all three. I'm pretty picky, as most people are, about my pillows. I've bought feather pillows, contour pillows, memory foam pillows, synthetic pillows, expensive pillows, and inexpensive, pillows but none supported my head and were comfortable to sleep on. I have had cervical disc surgery twice so getting my head and neck in a comfortable position is very important. These pillows amazingly do everything I need them today to do and my neck feels great in the morning." —Kspunky

Get them from Amazon for $33.99 for two standard pillows or $42.99 for two king-sized pillows.

You, after buying all your new bedding:

Cartoon Network

But also you:

Commission Records / Via youtube.com

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Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity. The Zinus mattress was provided to BuzzFeed free of charge but we were not obligated to review it, let alone positively review it.
Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity. The Zinus mattress was provided to BuzzFeed free of charge but we were not obligated to review it, let alone positively review it.