A growing body of evidence shows that materialistic values are linked to lower well-being. Self-determination theory offers an explanation through the low fulfilment of the basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. However, recent research suggests that frustration of these psychological needs may also play an additional role. Using structural equation modelling in adult samples from an established mass-consumer society (UK: N=958) and a fast-developing new economy (Chile: N=257) and employing more comprehensive measures to tap into a materialistic orientation than used in previous studies, we found that a materialistic value orientation related negatively to well-being and positively to ill-being and that both psychological need satisfaction and psychological need frustration played an explanatory role herein. The model was found to be highly equivalent across both samples, supporting the cross-cultural generality of the mechanisms involved.