The typical person doesn’t buy premium everything. Buying behavior is largely an exercise in balancing the nourishment of need with the satisfaction of want — a Bitcoin miner seeks the best GPU available but cares little for Montblanc pens; a driving enthusiast splurges on Autodromo Stringbacks but won’t be dropping $300 on a skillet.

Like with all rules, there are exceptions, and chief among them reigns things pertaining to rest. A line must be drawn — sleep is all-important, it’s not an area your inner cheapskate should be given room to stake a claim. But when an industry vet makes a memory-foam mattress, sells it for less than $200 and it becomes one of the most popular mattresses on Amazon, some mental retooling may be required. Zinus’s Green Tea Memory Foam Mattresses are selling on Amazon like Girl Scout cookies in front of a grocery store. So, how does it sleep? I tried it for a month.

The Good: The price of the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress is obviously a very, very good thing. Beginning at $145 for a queen with free shipping, it’s tough to beat. It doesn’t feel like a budget mattress, of which I have personally slept on many (hello, college). It’s plush and leans slightly more sink than support. As you’d expect from a premium memory-foam mattress, it’s excellent at limiting motion transfer as well (I still wouldn’t jump on it with a glass of wine next to me, though). It arrives at your door in a much smaller than expected box (24 x 24 x 42.5 inches) that wasn’t too cumbersome to unload. Zinus also offers what’s become the industry standard 100-day test period so you can decide whether it’s for you or not (just don’t spill anything on it).

Who It’s For: First-time buyers looking to dip their toes (or backs?) into memory-foam mattresses. The price also makes the Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress a solid option for homeowners looking to outfit a spare bedroom.

Watch Out For: Despite claims otherwise, it’s not a good mattress for people who sleep hot. That’s not to say it’s warming by any means, it’s just not an answer to baking in bed. The effect of the green tea extract, natural charcoal and castor seed oil it’s infused with wasn’t overtly apparent to my partner and me either, though it’s possible it will make itself known more in time. Perhaps if you’re prone to sweat at night, it’d be made more apparent (our apartment is frigid to avoid this entirely). If you’re someone looking for above-average support, it would be wise to look elsewhere. It’s got more sink to it than those with pre-existing aches and pains may want, particularly in high-pressure points like the back and butt.

Though this didn’t happen with the mattress I received, there is a significant number of Amazon reviews claiming mold, mildew and foul smells right out of the box.

Alternatives: It’s difficult to find direct analogs to the Zinus Green Tea mattress at its price point. Most are either a mix of foam and springs or foam and gel. If you’d like a bit more back support for just about the same cost, the Linenspa 8-inch is a hybrid foam-spring mattress with more than 4,300 reviews and a 4.5-star rating. Gel-infused memory foam mattresses typically sleep cooler by way of a top layer that’s less dense than traditional memory foam — Lucid’s 12-inch gel memory foam mattress has accrued 4,000 reviews with a 4-star rating and comes in at $220 (Zinus’s own gel foam mattress retails for $250 as well).

Review: As mentioned above, the mattress arrives at your door in a box that measures 24 x 24 x 42.5 inches and weighs around 70 pounds. The mattress itself is compressed and tightly rolled up so it’s recommended (but not required) to roll it out and let it “de-gas” for at least a day or two. It’s available in six-, eight-, 10- and 12-inch varieties. I tested the 12-inch and it was only seven or eight inches out of the box, but grew to 12 overnight. Depending on your choice of thickness, the mattress is built with a dense foam base, comfort foam layer and a top layer of classic memory foam.

My partner and I slept on the mattress for a little over a month. Neither of us sleeps in a fixed position — stomach, back, side or somewhere in between. After making note of sleeping orientations throughout the month, we both agreed it was more comfortable when side sleeping versus back or stomach, but not nearly as much as other reviews made it out to be. Having slept on a pair of more premium memory foam mattresses (Casper, Tempur-Pedic) in the past, the Zinus is perhaps just short of that level of support and comfort.

Over the course of the testing, the mattress didn’t noticeably change or wear down, though some reviewers reported the need to flip the mattress after several months to give one side a rest and allow it to puff back up.

Verdict: Zinus’s super-popular Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress is well worth a shot for the memory-foam uninitiated — it’s cushy, fairly supportive, doesn’t actively sleep hot and has excellent motion control. I’d stray away if you naturally sleep very, very hot, need or prefer more support on pressure points (butt and back especially) or want an aggressively soft sleep space.

What Others Are Saying:

• “If you want a medium firm feel and the expressed contouring capabilities of a memory foam mattress, you’d appreciate what this one has to bring on the table. Despite the comparatively affordable price, this is not a ‘cheap’ bed regarding its properties. That’s why it is most definitely worth accounting for, and it’s one of the units you should take into consideration.” — Sarah Cummings, Sleep Advisor

• “I found this mattress to be on the softer end of the spectrum although my wife found it to be a more medium to medium firm. I am heavier than her which would account for the difference in feel. That said, this mattress should accommodate all sleep styles. It is extremely versatile and gives great support. I think that’s the reason why it has so many positive reviews on Amazon.” — Ben, Sleep Sherpa

• “Bottom line with this bed – it’s very basic but it’s still very comfortable and good at limiting motion transfer. It wouldn’t my first choice to sleep on every night but we’re viewing this mattress more as the perfect guest room bed – it will get the job done when your in-laws are in town for a few nights. Or if you’re on a tight budget, it’s hard to find a better mattress for the price.” — Riz, RizKnows

Key Specs

Bed Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, Cali King
Thickness: 6-, 8-, 10- or 12-inch
Fabric: Knitted Jacquard
Unique Materials: BioFoam is made infused with green tea, charcoal and castor seed oil

But What About Casper? We Reviewed Its Latest As Well.

Testing the Casper Wave after two-and-a-half years of sleeping on the brand’s first bed-in-a-box. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.