11 Best Budget-Friendly Home Finds Our Editors Loved in 2022

published Nov 4, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
The Best Budget Friendly Best List
Credit: Anna Spaller

At Apartment Therapy, we’re all about making your home a better place, but we know that upgrading, organizing, and beautifying your space can come with a cost. Buying quality basics is important because they’ll last longer so you don’t have to replace them every year, which ultimately saves you money. But when it comes to staple home items, like a bath towel or a comforter, expensive does not always equal the best — which even applies to our Best List, where we test dozens of products to find the vacuum, duvet cover, pillow, and more home essentials that suit your specific needs. In most of our Best Lists, we include a budget-friendly option, so this year, we decided to make a list touting our favorite affordable home finds. Our editors tested the winners in their own homes (and tiny apartments!) and gave their feedback on these products.

Below, you will find most of your bases covered. Whether you’re trying to replace your mattress or upgrade the one you have, we’ve got budget-friendly picks for both of those scenarios. There are also bathroom necessities — like towels and bath mats — that boast quick-drying formulas and wallet-friendly price tags: the total cost combined is just around $35. So, keep scrolling for our editor-loved, budget-friendly home finds that won’t break the bank.

The Best Budget-Friendly Home Finds of 2022

The Best Budget-Friendly Home Finds of 2022

At Apartment Therapy, we test a ton of bedding, so finding a set of affordable sheets that compares to the $400 versions we’ve tried is a big deal. Commerce executive director Mark says that Martha Stewart Collection’s Cotton Percale Sheet Set is the best “affordable option I’ve found so far, and I’m never going back.” That’s a bold statement, but he doesn’t like to spend a lot on sheets. “Sleeping in these sheets almost feels indulgent, and it’s hard to believe they don’t come with a hefty price tag,” he continues. These sheets are good for year-round use, too. Unlike linen or flannel, cotton percale is the bread-and-butter of bedding. And unlike other budget-friendly cotton percale sheets, these have “only gotten softer with each wash, yet somehow have maintained a bit of a crisp quality.”


  • 100% Egyptian cotton
  • 400 thread count
  • Includes flat sheet, fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases
  • OEKO-TEX certified
  • Available in 3 colors
  • Returns accepted within 90 days of purchase
  • Fits mattresses up to 18 inches

Who It’s Best For: Those who want an entry-level price tag for high-quality sheets; those who need a deep fitted sheet to fit over mattress pads or toppers.

Good to Know: Macy’s is the only retailer that sells this brand — and it’s currently on major sale.

It can be really difficult to shop for a comforter online — I know because I’ve done it, both successfully and unsuccessfully. You never know how soft or warm a comforter is going to be until it’s on your bed. Luckily, we can fully endorse this Amazon Basics Micromink Sherpa Comforter from experience. This reversible comforter boasts fleece sherpa on one side and micromink polyester on the other. Stuffed with down-alternative filling, the comforter will not only keep you cozy, but the reversible nature can also change the vibe of your bedroom easily. “It seems to be made for snuggling up,” says assistant shopping editor Britt, who loved the micromink/sherpa combo. “It’s nicely heavy and doesn’t slide off of you easily if you toss and turn.” Britt enjoyed this comforter so much that she took it from her bed to her couch for movie nights. “It’s easy to wash and very durable, so it can definitely handle being moved around the house.” Most comforters clock in at $150 or more, but this one is $64 and also comes with a set of two shams.


  • 100% polyester shell and fill
  • Available in 3 sizes and 24 colors
  • Includes 2 pillow shams
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified
  • Machine washable

Who It’s Best For: Those who want an affordable comforter that doesn’t skimp on quality and durability; those who want a comforter that stays put throughout the night.

Good to Know: The Amazon Basics brand has a pretty impressive selection of bedding. Check out picks like this Pinch Pleat Down-Alternative Comforter or this simple and breathable Down Alternative Bed Comforter.

*Honorable Mention: Commerce general manager Yasmin is a fan of the Linenspa All-Season White Down Alternative Quilted Comforter, which is fluffy, well-constructed, and seemed to get softer with each wash. Priced at only $30 (!!!), the bargain comforter has a surprisingly luxurious feel.

Best Budget Duvet Cover: MILDLY Queen Duvet Cover

If you’re looking for a basic duvet cover minus the steep price tag, this comfy option from MILDLY won’t hurt your wallet. “The material is 100 percent washed cotton, which gives it a wrinkly, just-out-of-the-wash texture that’s similar to linen but much lighter,” Britt says. “My bedroom tends to be warm, so it was nice being able to use my all-season duvet insert with this cover and not feel too hot throughout the night.” The cover is also reversible in most colors (there are a few standard, non-reversible options as well), allowing you to switch up your room’s aesthetic with the seasons. One side is white and then the other side is a color — either denim blue, light blue, gray, green, or pink. Bonus: You also get two matching shams.


  • 100% washed cotton
  • Available in 2 sizes and 7 colors
  • Includes 2 pillow shams
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified
  • Machine washable

Who It’s Best For: Those who can’t decide on one color and want to try two; those who want an all-season duvet cover on a budget.

Good to Know: This cover has four corner ties to keep your insert in place and a hidden zipper closure for a seamless finish.

Best Budget Mattress Pad Protector: Ultra Luxe Waterproof Mattress Protector

When you spend big bucks on a mattress, you want to make sure that an unexpected spill or pet accident isn’t going to stain it or cause it to smell. Mattress pads are a necessary tool to protect the thing you spend roughly eight hours a night sleeping on. That doesn’t mean that you have to shell out hundreds more to give your mattress a layer of protection, though. We found a budget-friendly mattress pad from Coop that clocks in at just under $50. It boasts a slip-free design that will stay in place on your bed and it’s totally waterproof, keeping your mattress safe from not only spills but also sweat, which can cause pungent bacteria to sink into your mattress. Best List writer Kendall loves this mattress pad “because of its awesome price, but also because it pretty much never slips off, is undetectable and silent, and effectively repels liquid (read: wine).”


  • 60% polyester, 40% bamboo-derived viscose rayon
  • Available in 6 sizes
  • Fits mattresses up to 18 inches
  • Fitted sheet-style mattress protector
  • OEKO-TEX certified
  • 100-day return policy

Who It’s Best For: Those looking for an affordable waterproof option that doesn’t crinkle or feel plastic-y. Those who want a generous sleep-trial period (of up to 100 nights), as Coop will gladly take back your mattress protector if you’re not 100 percent satisfied.

Good to Know: The sides of this mattress protector do not have waterproof backing. If you do decide to purchase, use, and wash, do not dry on high heat as this could damage the waterproof membrane.

If you have a mattress that is a little too firm or gives you aches and pains, you don’t have to crack open your piggybank to replace it. A money-saving solution that also will save your back and ability to sleep is a mattress topper. It can provide a two-to-four-inch layer of plush — and sometimes cooling — support. The Allswell Energex topped our list for the best budget-friendly option because it only clocks in at $98, when some can easily cost up to $500. Boasting a graphite and copper memory foam design, this topper will help hot sleepers find relief while conforming to the body. “Within the first week of sleeping on it, I caught myself thinking, ‘This is so comfy,‘ multiple times,” says AT managing editor Terri. “It’s not too soft and not too firm, it really is just right. It also more than compensated for the rock-hard mattress I’d been sleeping on even though it’s just two inches thick. I’m not really a hot sleeper, but the memory foam definitely doesn’t feel like it’s adding extra heat, which is a plus.”


  • Open cell memory foam infused with graphite and copper gel
  • 2-inch thickness
  • Spot clean
  • 100-night trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Free shipping

Who It’s Best For: Those who want additional comfort on a budget; and those who sleep hot.

Good to Know: If you’re looking for added plushness and breathability, Allswell has a 3-inch graphite-infused memory foam topper and a 4-inch memory foam topper infused with copper gel.

When hunting for an inexpensive mattress, it can feel like you’re in between a rock and a hard place. Mattresses can easily cost thousands of dollars, and it’s hard to decide to click “buy” on a mattress that you’ve never tested out in stores. Luckily, this is where we come in. When we tested mattresses for our Best List, we stumbled upon the ZINUS Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress, which costs a little over $350 on Amazon, and AT contributor Amy raved about it. She compared it to one of the biggest name brands but called out that it’s only “1/10 of the price.” This “incredibly comfortable” mattress, which is made out of three different kinds of foam, inspired her friend to order one immediately after taking a single nap on it — talk about a convincing selling point.


  • 3 layers: supportive foam, soft foam, and memory foam
  • Infused with moisture-wicking ActivCharcoal
  • Plush feel
  • Available in 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-inch models
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Delivered in a box
  • 10-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who want to pay less than $500; those who want soft, body-contouring construction; those who want the convenience of a bed-in-a-box.

Good to Know: It’s an Amazon best-seller, has a 4.5-star rating, and over 100,000 positive reviews. It’s not recommended to unzip the poly-jacquard cover, as it encases the mattress’s layers.

Best Budget Pillow for Side Sleepers: Fern and Willow Pillows for Sleeping

As a fellow side sleeper, finding the perfect affordable pillow is a tough task. Some pillows are way too firm, some are way too soft and flat, and there’s only one in my entire bedroom pillow collection that is just right. Commerce SEO editor Sarah found her “just right” in Fern & Willow’s Down Alternative Pillow on Amazon. “As a side sleeper, I knew I needed to find something with an ample amount of support for my neck,” Sarah says. “Not only did they provide outstanding neck support,” she continues, “but I was floored by how well they kept their shape. After a couple days, my neck pain was gone and I knew there was no turning back. In fact, when I went to visit my parents for a month, I ended up buying a set for their guest room. What can I say? I’m a ride or die when it comes to products that work for me.” An added and unexpected bonus: The pillow is adjustable and has gel-infused filling that is designed to keep you cool when you snooze.


  • 100% poly-gel fiber fill; 100% cotton cover
  • Available in 3 sizes
  • Adjustable filling
  • Machine washable
  • 100-night trial

Who It’s Best For: Those who want the most bang for their buck; those who want a set of the same pillows.

Good to Know: Yep, these pillows are totally machine washable! Be sure to let them air dry for 72 hours before putting them back to use.

Society might tell you that you need to drop $500 on a cordless, rechargeable vacuum, but at AT, we’re saying that’s bogus. You can find perfectly good vacuums that will get the job done — remove dust, dirt, and debris from your floors — on a tight budget. Kendall found one stick vac that costs the same price as a nice entrée and beer at a restaurant in New York City. “The BISSEL Featherweight Stick Vacuum gave me no excuse not to buy it,” Kendall says. “At three pounds — which is practically nothing compared to others I’ve tried — it gives me no excuse not to use it often and everywhere, from sofas to ceiling fans. Not only does it break down into a handvac when I need one, but its detachable parts make for easy storage. But even when it’s fully assembled, this BISSELL is slim enough to fit in my tiny coat closet without taking up more than 10 square inches.”


  • Corded; 15 ft. cord length
  • Standard disk filtration
  • 2 amp power
  • 2.6 lbs; 9″ x 45″
  • Includes crevice accessory
  • 1-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who want something simple, yet effective; those looking to spend as little as possible (without compromising efficacy); those who want multiple vacuums.

Good to Know: The Featherweight is a #1 best seller on Amazon among all other stick vacuums and electric brooms on the site… which is saying a lot.

Many inexpensive bath towels turn into a haven for mildew (I have been personally victimized by one such towel), but Sarah touts these 100 percent cotton towels from Bed Bath & Beyond as “soft, durable, and quick-drying.” It’s extremely rare for a towel under $12 to have all three of these qualities, let alone one. “After the first wash, these towels softened up significantly,” she continues. “So much so that I had to check the tag to make sure these were the same towels. I was floored. But perhaps my favorite thing about these towels is their look. Finding cheap towels that don’t look cheap can be hard. But with a stylishly stitched border, these stand tall against pricier picks, making them ones you’ll want to show off in every and any bathroom in your home.”


  • 100% cotton
  • 30″ x 54″
  • Available in 20 colors
  • Machine washable; tumble dry

Who It’s Best For: Those who want to stick to a budget; those who want a range of color options.

Good to Know: This towel is available for a 90-day risk-free trial through Bed, Bath & Beyond.

The wrong bath mat can ruin your post-shower experience. Stepping out onto a squishy, wet, and cold mat evaporates any serenity and replaces it with disgust. But if this list has taught you anything, it’s that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on long-lasting home basics. Britt realized this Turkish cotton bath mat from The Company Store was one of the best of the best when “one afternoon my shower was dripping (not a steady stream of water but enough to make the floor wet) and the bath mat was still out, but the area around it was dry because the mat was soaking up the water that was coming down from the shower head… it surpassed my expectations! It’s super easy to clean since you can toss it in the wash with your towels. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now, and it’s held up really well!”


  • 100% combed Turkish cotton
  • Available in 19 colors
  • Available in 1 size: 20″ x 36″
  • Machine wash cold; tumble dry low

Who It’s Best For: Those who want high-quality cotton without paying too high a price; those who like the classic bath mat style; those who want their bath mat to match their towels.

Good to Know: This bath mat isn’t non-slip, but it’s perfect for laying over the edge of a bathtub between uses.

If you have trouble sleeping, I highly recommend investing in a set of blackout curtains for your bedroom windows. It blocks out distracting outdoor lights, allowing you to get the sleep you need without accidentally rising with the sun. SUN+BLK’s Recycled Blackout Curtains became our best budget-friendly pick because of its lightweight design and flexible foam backing, which effectively blocks all sun rays. What set this curtain apart from the rest, though? The rod pocket heading, which “allows the curtains to work with your curtain rod’s design (especially if you have one made for blackout curtains) without giving way to any sneaky rays that can come through grommets or other heading styles,” Kendall says.


  • 100% polyester
  • Available in 5 colors
  • Machine washable on cold; tumble dry on low

Who It’s Best For: Those ready to invest in interior design-friendly blackout curtains; those who want a luxe-looking velvet; those who prefer rod pocket headings.

Good to Know: SUN+BLK has a range of similarly designed blackout curtains, but the 100% recycled ones are our pick for their more luxe-looking woven texture.