We can’t stress enough how important it is for our general well-being always to get a good night’s sleep. It can affect us in body and mind, from our physical capacity through the immune system to the state of our mental health. Unfortunately, it can also easily be disrupted by a variety of different things, among which there are only so many that we can’t control.
Luckily, it doesn’t mean that we are entirely powerless. Before you even start looking for reasons any further, you may want to consider what you’re sleeping on. Low sleep quality, or even sleep deprivation, shoulders, neck, or back pain… It may all be the result of you sleeping on a low-quality or inappropriately chosen mattress.
Of course, there may be endless reasons for back pain, though inspecting your mattress would be the perfect place to start. But how can you know what to look for? What is the best mattress for back pain? Should your choice depend on your sleeping positions or other ailments?
The mattress market offers an overwhelming abundance of products these days – a hybrid, innerspring mattresses, latex, memory foam mattresses, upper back support, lower back pain relief, edge support, soft, firm, medium-firm, luxury firm – it may all sound strange and tell you nothing about a mattress, for now.
That’s why we have decided to come up with this guide. Even if you don’t end up choosing any of our propositions, getting to know the best mattress for back pain will certainly help you understand what you should seek, what to avoid and what to expect.
Read on to know our recommendations based on years of experience and talks with our customers, and find the best mattress to help you deal with back pain today!
Best Mattress for a Bad Back
Established brand, eco-friendly materials
20 years warranty, 100 days returns
Great foam technology with raving reviews
Lifetime warranty, 101 days return
Natural healing thanks to copper, double sided.
Lifetime warranty, 120 nights return
The preferred choice among athletes
10 years warranty, 100 days return
What Are the Best Mattresses for Back Pain?
In the past, it used to be way less complicated – but also less effective. An old-school expert would tell you to get an irritatingly firm mattress – and if it doesn’t work, it’s all your fault, and the cause of your back pain is probably somewhere else.
Luckily, both mattress and sleep specialists know better these days. They realize that a lot depends on one’s individual preferences and characteristics, such as a preferred sleeping position that can’t always be helped.
What’s more, doctors have found that a firm mattress is, in fact, not the absolute best choice for someone with back pain. Right now, the universal best recommendation is a medium-firm mattress. However, all of them agree that you should try different mattresses first to find the perfect one – and, most significantly, listen to your body and the signs it gives you.
To provide you with an excellent place to start, we have prepared the following propositions – a selection of the best mattresses for sleepers with back pain:
- Best Firm Mattress for Back Pain – WINKBED
- Best Hybrid Mattress for Back Pain – HELIX PLUS
- Best Innerspring Mattress for Back Pain – SAATVA
- Best Flippable Mattress for Back Pain – LAYLA
- Best Eco-Friendly Mattress for Back Pain – AMERISLEEP AS2
- Best High-Quality Mattress for Back Pain on a Budget – PUFFY
- Best Mattress for Back Pain for Athletes – BEAR
- Best Mattresses for Back and Neck Pain – IDLE HYBRID
Best Firm Mattress for Back Pain – WINKBED
Medium-firm mattresses are strongly recommended as a remedy (or at least some help) for back pain, but you need to bear in mind that such a regular mattress will only work for stomach and back sleepers. Something entirely different would be best for side sleepers. This softer mattress will adjust to the shape of their bodies and sleeping position, ideally a memory foam mattress, a medium-firm at most.
However, it may be a good idea to get used to sleeping on a firmer mattress if you are among back and stomach sleepers.
WinkBed mattress was specifically designed to provide stomach sleepers, especially with a firm place to sleep that won’t feel like sleeping on the ground. Its manufacturers had people with back pain in mind – the mattress has a quilted top layer to support the back, hips, and shoulders equally. It successfully prevents joint misalignment in the lower back and hips. Plus, its five sets of springs support the whole spine.
For those requiring something softer, WinkBed offers its mattress in four different levels of firmness: apart from the classic firm one, you will find a softer mattress (better for side sleepers with back pain), a luxury firm type, which was designed to contour the entire body, and a plus one made for people with a higher BMI.
Best Hybrid Mattress for Back Pain – HELIX PLUS Memory Foam Mattress
The Helix Plus is a hybrid mattress, meaning that it combines the advantages of both memory foam and innerspring mattresses. It is especially recommended for back pain sufferers with higher BMI who look for a mattress that will offer the proper support for all pressure points. All that thanks to an extra layer of reinforced coils and high-density foam.
Three layers of foam allow the body, no matter its size, to lie down evenly, reducing the pressure on the joints and enabling the true horizontal position that doesn’t overburden the back.
Additionally, this hybrid mattress is made to increase the airflow, maintain the right temperature, and help you avoid nighttime sweating.
Best Innerspring Mattress for Back Pain – SAATVA
Saatva is the best choice if you like the bouncing feel of an innerspring mattress, but you need some additional support as well. It is just as durable and resistant as coil mattresses you are familiar with, but it offers the same comfort and health benefits as a memory foam mattress.
It comes with an antimicrobial luxury pillow top and steel coils in the base of the mattress for maximum support – along with a special foam around the edges for improved edge support. Thanks to the advanced spinal zone technology, the mattress has an additional wire layer in its center to reduce pressure from the lower back. It eliminates the risk of sinking and sagging.
What’s also great about Saatva is the fact that you can design its features yourself and choose, for example, your desired level of firmness.
Best Flippable Mattress for Back Pain – LAYLA Medium Firm Mattress
Layla is a high-quality mattress that we could write about in almost all mattresses categories, but we decided to highlight its incredible versatility. It offers you a rare opportunity to decide what’s more comfortable and beneficial to your well-being – and even change your mind if your problems or sleeping positions are altered.
It is a flippable memory foam mattress, providing you with two different sides – the softer side was specially designed for side sleepers who need support for the pressure points. In contrast, the firm side won’t let you sink into the mattress, which is ideal for stomach and back sleepers. On both sides, memory foam responds to your heat and body pressure, allowing even bodyweight distribution. Thanks to its copper gel, this is the best memory foam mattress that firms even in response to more significant pressure, plus transports the heat away from your body. If you are looking for the optimal support, foam mattresses are the best for back pain in any sleep position.
Additionally, these memory foam mattresses for back pain use the Motion Transfer Control technology, hence it will be less disturbing for your partner when you change your sleep position at night (or the other way around).
Best Eco-Friendly Mattresses for Back Pain – AMERISLEEP AS2
If you would like to try memory foam mattresses but wonder if there are any more environmentally-friendly alternatives, we have some good news. Amerisleep AS2 offers the same mattress comfort with its foam layers but uses a plant-based memory foam layer to provide a high-quality, sustainable solution. This particular mattress contours your body and supports it evenly, eliminating unnecessary pressure points and cushioning you while you sleep.
Additionally, all of Amerisleep’s mattresses are made in a zero-emissions facility. What’s more, with the construction with individually wrapped coils, these mattresses provide the correct spinal alignment and relieve pressure to help you deal with a whole variety of back pain problems and causes.
Getting an eco-friendly memory foam mattress has yet another advantage – plant-based materials are breathable and highly responsive, helping you keep the temperature on the optimal level. These mattresses promote air flow like no other mattress type.
A mineral used for the production of this mattress is called Celliant. It has been proven that it effectively takes your body heat to convert it into unique energy to ease muscle pain and improve circulation. The support foam provides optimal spinal alignment, which is highly recommended for back pain sufferers.
Each Amerisleep AS2 mattress review praises its back pain relief attributes. It’s also a medium-firm mattress, making it even more advantageous to most people, especially back and stomach sleepers.
Best High-Quality Mattress for Back Pain on a Budget – PUFFY
First of all, a mattress is definitely not the kind of item that you should skimp on. While buying a mattress is not an easy task, buying one for a budget may seem impossible. However, all people have different financial possibilities, so if you deal with a tight budget, you will be happy to hear that some companies have that in mind.
The Puffy mattress is the best example of high quality sold for a very reasonable price. That’s because the company does it all by themselves – they even sell their products directly to their customers, eliminating the middlemen and additional costs.
By many considered to be the most comfortable mattress available, the Puffy mattress offers excellent comfort and support by combining different types of foam. It gives firm enough support to eliminate unnecessary pressure points. Still, it’s also soft enough to provide the perfect environment to sleep, making it best for side sleepers and stomach and back sleepers equally. It ensures the proper spinal alignment, taking the pressure off your back no matter your sleep position.
This supportive mattress offers a pressure point relief property that will provide care for your back and neck. Additionally, the mattress also uses the Cooling Cloud and ClimateComfort technologies to ensure you sleep at the right temperature and humidity.
Best Mattress for Back Pain for Athletes – BEAR
The Bear mattress is praised mainly by a whole variety of athletes and sportspeople who struggle with back pain due to their physical activities.
It was actually designed with the physical recovery of athletes in mind. Sport professionals don’t recover as most people do – to stay at their peak performance level at all times, they need their good night’s sleep even more, and they can’t allow themselves to wake up with neck or back pain after days of intense training.
The Bear mattress designers developed a special kind of fabric that converts your own body heat into infrared energy, which means it directs it to your joints and muscle recovery without overheating. It’s the same mineral – Celliant – that’s used in the Amerisleep mattress. It’s embedded in the mattress cover and doesn’t require any assistance from your part besides the standard maintenance.
This mattress will be especially helpful if your back pain is of muscular origin, but it is recommended for all other types as well. Due to the perfect mix of memory foam and gel memory foam, its deeper layers provide the optimal firmness level, providing pressure relief and very much-needed support to your whole body evenly.
Best Mattress for Neck and Back Pain – IDLE HYBRID
If you also suffer from neck aches and pains apart from back pain, and a new pillow doesn’t seem to work, you may still improve your condition with a better mattress. Idle Hybrid mattress, being a medium-firm model, is recommended for pain relief in these cases, especially that it’s also one of the most affordable options available on the market.
All hybrid mattresses are designed to combine the heavenly comfort of foam mattresses with the great (and even) support for pressure relief of metal coils. Layers of memory foam cushion your body, allowing you to truly and comfortably rest, but thanks to the metal coils, Idle Hybrid offers 40% more support than regular memory foam mattresses. You surely won’t sink in, but there’s also no chance of the top layer being too firm to sleep on.
Additionally, it’s flippable, which automatically prolongs its lifespan, so – if you genuinely like to sleep on it – it may stay with you for a long time.
It’s the perfect medium-firm mattress that will help all those suffering from back pain sleep well.
How to Find the Best and Most Suitable Mattress for Back Pain?
As all people are different in terms of weight, body shapes, needs, health issues, and what they are used to, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. That’s why finding the right mattress is very often a trial and error process – but it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to make it shorter and smoother. On the contrary – it’s best to do some proper research first to more or less know what you should look for.
There are several steps you can take to make sure that your decision will be well-thought-out, thus, more likely to be the right one:
- Observe your sleeping patterns. Before you even decide on a night sleep trial period, try to observe how you sleep. See in what position you are more likely to fall asleep and how you wake up. If you suspect that you may be a busy sleeper, you may ask your partner to keep track of your preferred sleeping position or (if you sleep alone) even use a camera for several nights. All that will be worth it, as knowing your sleeping position is crucial for choosing the right mattress – there are best mattresses for back sleepers and stomach sleepers that won’t be beneficial to side sleepers (and the other way around).
- Check the return policy of your chosen mattress. Don’t buy anything blindly, and don’t even trust your own impression after lying down on a bed in a store for a couple of minutes. Whether a mattress is right for you will depend on your sleeping position, so you need to sleep several nights before you can be sure. Many stores and manufacturers offer a very beneficial return policy – you may even sleep on a mattress for a month or so (so-called sleep trial) and still have a possibility to return it.
- Consider temperature. Both your bedroom’s and your body’s temperatures are vital – nobody sleeps well when it’s hot, so if your climate (or only your room for some reason) has a tendency to higher temperatures, it should be more important to you to find a mattress made from breathable material.
- Choose the right level of firmness. Your future mattress needs to be medium-firm, which is able to support your body evenly without you sinking into it, but you can’t feel like you’re sleeping on firm ground. If it’s too soft, it won’t support you appropriately, but if it’s too firm, a mattress will put too much pressure on your spine. This is also why a sleeping position is crucial – pressure points vary in each of them. That’s the reason for the popularity of a memory foam mattress – it adjusts to your natural curves and body shape, improving your sleep quality and taking the pressure off your back, shoulders, and hips.
Which Mattress Type to Choose for Upper and Lower Back Pain?
In order to choose right, you need to know what mattress type is most likely to work best for you and provide you with the best night’s sleep in your life.
Of course, even within these categories, mattresses can vary significantly among each other, but based on used materials and construction, we can distinguish the following types:
- Foam Mattress
A foam mattress is an incredibly popular choice right now, especially a memory foam mattress. Foam is used in multiple layers to provide the appropriate support for your entire body – both for your joint and back health as well as your comfort. Sometimes, foam mattresses may be latex mattresses. They are especially preferred by side sleepers who look for ways to eliminate sharp pressure points. The best mattresses of this type offer the highest degree of cushioning.
Furthermore, it’s vital to keep in mind that when memory foam mattresses were invented, the temperature-balancing technology wasn’t available, so they got pretty heated. Nowadays, thanks to the advancement in this technology, memory foam mattresses adapt to the body and feel as if you’re sleeping on clouds. The reason why manufacturers emphasize on cooling properties with these mattresses so much is that your body temperature affects how well you sleep.
So, most of the memory foam beds are now produced with temperature-sensitive materials that adjust to the season and your particular body heat and weight. The more the temperature of your body increases, the more pressure relief and softness the mattress provides for a good night’s sleep.
Although all of them are very good at adapting to the temperature of your body and regulating it, it is still best to search for the best cooling mattress for an added comfort if you tend to sweat more at night or are typically warm-blooded.
The cooling feature usually comes in the form of a gel that transfers the heat all across equally and cooling it down before circulating it back to you. If you can search for an organic mattress with the cooling gel so that you are absolutely sure that it is safe for long-term use.
- Innerspring Mattress
An innerspring mattress is made with metal coils, sometimes supplemented with a thin layer of cotton or another material, but it doesn’t influence the effect in any way. This mattress type used to be the most common, but it has been replaced by foam, latex, and hybrid models in the last few years. It is often the cheapest option available, so many people still decide to buy an innerspring model and upgrade it with a better mattress topper.
- Hybrid Mattress
Just like their name suggests, hybrid mattresses are made to combine the advantages of two different types of mattresses. It means that you get the usual innerspring support (which is excellent for ventilation and maintaining temperature in bed at the optimal level) complemented by layers of foam, latex, micro-coils, cotton, or wool to enable contouring for maximum comfort and pressure relief for all the parts of the body.
- Latex Mattress
Latex is a type of rubber that’s used to make the interior of a mattress. The best kind is the natural one made from trees, but you can also find mattresses made from synthetic or blended latex. Depending on the model, a latex mattress offers some contouring effect for better support and pressure relief, preventing you from sinking into it.
- Airbed Mattress
An airbed mattress has a support core of inflatable space. These days, you can even control the amount of air in the chamber with a remote or your smartphone. Thanks to that, you can control how firm your mattress will be at any given time. Many airbeds use other materials – e.g., foam or latex – to improve comfort and support your body. The adjustability is undoubtedly an immense advantage of an airbed mattress, which is best for back pain sufferers – you are the one fully in control of your bed’s firmness.
Best Mattresses for Back Pain – Know Your Needs
It’s impossible to choose only one perfect mattress that would be a remedy equally effective for everyone. If you’re suffering from back pain, especially chronic back pain, the essential thing is to identify the cause of your ailments. Then, getting an appropriate mattress can truly make or break your sleeping patterns and general well-being.
When getting a new mattress, you need to look at many factors such as:
- Are you looking for a traditional memory foam topper?
- Are you used to spring mattresses instead?
- What’s your bed frame?
- Do you need a cooling mattress to regulate your body temperature?
- Do you need cushion pressure points for lumbar support and to keep your spine aligned?
Apart from answering these questions to get to the best mattresses for back pain sufferers, you need to think of the mattress firmness. Do you need your new mattress to be a plush soft mattress, or you need less memory foam and more pressure point relief properties?
Depending on your needs and preferences, we can recommend any mattress mentioned in this article with a clear conscience. They can all prove highly beneficial – as countless positive reviews and satisfied customers confirm it – but they also differ significantly from each other.
The crucial thing is for you to know what you need and what you’re dealing with. When it comes to mattresses for back pain, stomach sleepers will need something entirely different from side sleepers. Not all people with back pains will feel better when sleeping on a firm mattress – it is not a universal remedy, contrary to the general belief.
The temperature is also a factor that should be considered because choosing the wrong mattress that does not balance your temperature will make you very uncomfortable at any season.
Mattresses mentioned in this article are certainly a good start but don’t get discouraged if you get one, and it turns out it doesn’t work. A good mattress is worth searching for. There’s a reason why so many providers offer a trial period to give you a chance to sleep on your chosen mattress. That is the only way you can make the most reasonable decision compared to your old mattress and find the best mattress that will help you with your bad back pain. So, use the sleep trial period to choose the most suitable bed.
But once you have it, you will see it was all worth it!
Hopefully, our article will help you get there. Good luck and sleep well!
Founder and Owner
Ted is the founder and owner of Mattress Guides and is an expert in his field. Ted believes that having the right mattress is key to getting a good night’s sleep and feeling well-rested in the morning.
Updated at November 23, 2021