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An adjustable mattress allows a person to change the firmness or the angle of their bed, which may help support spinal alignment and reduce pain. Some models have additional features, such as massage settings.
- Best for firmness options: Saatva Solaire Smart Adjustable Bed
- Best app-compatible: Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed
- Best memory foam: ReST Smart Bed
- Best for affordability: Lucid L300
- Best layered: Zoma Adjustable Bed Frame
In this guide, we look at the benefits of an adjustable mattress for back pain and list some of the best products available.
People with adjustable mattresses can change the firmness of their bed mechanically or by inflating or deflating the air chambers inside. With some models, people can change the settings separately for each side of the bed.
Adjusting the firmness of a mattress may help reduce back pain. A 2021 study of adults aged 18–35 found that lower back pain tended to occur in those using a firm or foam mattress. And a 2021 review determined that people sleeping on medium-firm mattresses had improved sleep quality and less back pain.
The study in younger adults also found that back pain was common in those who did not change their mattress every 3 years.
If a person has an adjustable mattress that is compatible with an adjustable bed frame, they can also change the angle of the bed, so that the head rises, for example. This may help ease back pain and conditions such as a
A person may want to keep these factors in mind when shopping for an adjustable mattress:
- Trial period: Many mattress companies offer trial periods, and some are quite long. This can give a person time to evaluate any effects on back pain.
- Additional features: Many mattresses have features such as cooling technology, pressure relief, and reinforced edges.
- App control: Some mattresses are compatible with an app that provides sleep data and allows a person to control the bed’s settings with their smart device.
- Price: The price of adjustable mattresses varies, and those with more features tend to be more expensive.
Below, we look at some possible benefits and downsides of switching to an adjustable mattress.
Medical News Today’s methodology
MNT chooses mattresses and other bedding that meet the following criteria:
- Certifications: The products have CertiPUR-US or other certifications indicating that they are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
- Size: The products are available in various sizes.
- Materials and fill: The products are made from a range of materials, such as memory foam, latex, and wool, to suit different sleep styles and considerations.
- Budget: The products are available for a range of budgets.
- Sleep trials: When possible, MNT opts for companies that offer a trial period.
- Shipping: MNT gives shipping information, such as how much it costs and how long delivery takes.
- Warranties and return policies: The products have warranties and clear return policies.
Many different adjustable mattresses are available, and we look at six of the best options below.
Please note that the author of this article has not tried these products. All information is research-based and was correct at the time of publishing.
Best for firmness options
The Solaire by Saatva has 50 air pressure settings to help a person find the precise level of firmness that is right for them.
It also has an organic cotton pillow top, with latex and gel-infused memory foam underneath. If a person buys an adjustable base, they can also adjust the position of this mattress.
Saatva offers delivery and set-up, so a person with back pain could avoid setting up the bed themselves. The mattress comes with a 25-year warranty and a 180-night trial period.
A 2020 Consumer Reports review found that Sleep Number’s i8 mattress and the Solaire were close competitors, in terms of comfort, but the Solaire’s lower price and more generous trial period made it more appealing.
Sleep Number is a well-known smart bed brand. With all of its beds, people can adjust the firmness and comfort level of each side of the mattress.
These mattresses also respond to a person’s movements as they sleep. And the Sleep Number app, which connects to the bed, can tell a person whether their sleep quality is high or low.
The Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed is the most affordable in the range, and it comes with a 100-night trial period and a 15-year warranty.
For an extra fee, a person can add:
- endless head and food positions
- underbed lighting
- a foot warming feature
Other models in the Sleep Number range have features such as pressure relief and temperature regulation, for an additional cost.
Best memory foam
A person can customize the firmness of five different zones of the ReST Smart Bed: the head, shoulders, back, hips, and legs.
It has 4 inches of cooling memory foam gel to help hot sleepers and separate controls for each side of the bed.
A person can control the settings via an app, which also shows sleep quality and identifies the body’s main pressure points. The bed uses this information to auto-position throughout the night to maximize comfort.
While the feet and head of the mattress do not elevate, the company’s website says that it helps relieve aches and pains, and many customer reviews confirm this.
Best for affordability
For customers who want an adjustable bed at a more affordable price, the Lucid L300 offers value for money. Its base allows people to elevate their head, feet, or both using a remote control, and it has USB charging stations on each side.
This medium-firm mattress is a 10-inch latex and memory foam hybrid with individual coils. A person can buy the bed base or mattress independently.
According to Amazon, the Lucid L300 takes less than 5 minutes to assemble. Lucid offers a 10-year warranty, but it does not appear to offer a no-risk trial period.
The Zoma Adjustable Bed Frame pairs with the Zoma mattress, which the company says can relieve pain on pressure points.
The mattress has three layers of foam, with gel memory foam at the top. It aims to provide firmer support around the hips and softer support around the shoulders to maintain spinal alignment. The mattress has cooling channels to prevent overheating and a breathable fabric covering.
The Zoma frame allows a person to customize the position of the head and feet at various angles with a programmable remote that can save preset positions. The frame also has charging ports.
Here are answers to some common questions about adjustable mattresses.
Do adjustable beds really help with back pain?
If a person finds the right positions, adjustable beds may help with back pain by redistributing pressure. However, they may not suit everyone, and taking advantage of a trial period may be a good idea.
What kind of mattresses do doctors recommend for back pain?
Some studies have found that a medium-firm mattress is best for people with back pain. However, the best choice really depends on personal preferences.
What kind of mattress is best for an adjustable bed frame?
Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses should suit adjustable bed frames because they are flexible but supportive.
Do doctors recommend adjustable beds?
Some doctors recommend adjustable beds. And Medicare considers some adjustable beds medically necessary if repositioning the body reduces pain. In this case, a doctor usually needs to write a prescription to let Medicare know why the person requires an adjustable bed.
Does an adjustable bed help with sciatica?
The treatment plan usually includes anti-inflammatories and pain relief medications, and the doctor may also recommend:
- taking steps to increase core strength
- getting regular light exercise
- avoiding long periods of standing or sitting
- using cold or heat packs on the affected area
- having good posture
- having good technique when bending and lifting
An adjustable mattress may help ease back pain in a number of ways. Some offer firmness and angle adjustments, as well as extra features, such as massage or temperature control.
The best mattress may depend on the cause, type, and location of back pain, as well as a range of personal preferences. Overall, it is a good idea to take advantage of no-risk trial periods when possible.