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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.

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This guide looks at the benefits of an adjustable mattress for back pain and lists some of the best products available.

Many different adjustable mattresses are available, and we look at six of the best options below.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for firmness options: Saatva Solaire Smart Adjustable Bed

Saatva Solaire Smart Adjustable Bed
  • Firmness: This mattress offers 50 settings to customize firmness.
  • Warranty: This mattress has a 25-year warranty.
  • Sleep trial: This mattress has a 180-night trial period.
  • Pro: This mattress has one of the most customizable firmness settings.
  • Con: Some customers say that learning the bed controls can be difficult.
  • Price: The Saatva Solaire has a list price starting at $2,247.

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, meaning a person with back pain does not have to set up the bed themselves.

A 2020 Consumer Reports review found that Sleep Number’s i8 mattress and the Solaire were close competitors in terms of comfort. However, Solaire’s lower price and more generous trial period made it more appealing.

Best app-compatible: Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed

Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed
  • Firmness: This mattress has a customizable firmness setting.
  • Warranty: This mattress has a 15-year warranty.
  • Sleep trial: This mattress has a 100-night trial.
  • Pro: Some customers say that the mattress has helped reduce their back pain.
  • Con: Some customers say that the bed was either too soft or too firm for their comfort, and they could not find a middle firmness setting.
  • Price: The Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed has a list price starting at $699.

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.

For an extra fee, a person can add:

  • endless head and food positions
  • lighting under the bed
  • 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: ReST Smart Bed

ReST Smart Bed
  • Firmness: This mattress has customizable firmness.
  • Warranty: This mattress has a 10-year warranty.
  • Sleep trial: This mattress has a 90-night trial.
  • Pro: Some customers say that this bed reduced their back pain and led to better sleep.
  • Con: Some customers say it is complicated to set up and maintain the bed’s settings.
  • Price: The ReST Smart Bed has a list price starting at $4,274.

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 layered: Zoma Adjustable Bed Frame

Zoma Adjustable Bed Frame
  • Firmness: The Zoma mattress is medium-firm.
  • Warranty: The Zoma Adjustable Bed Frame has a 10-year warranty.
  • Sleep trial: The Zoma Adjustable Bed Frame does not have a sleep trial.
  • Pro: Some customers say that the bed is easy to operate.
  • Con: Some customers state that there was faulty wiring in the bed frame.
  • Price: The Zoma Adjustable Bed Frame has a list price starting at $1,200.

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.

Best for a cooler sleep: Selectabed Air-Pedic 1000

Selectabed Air-Pedic 1000.
  • Firmness: This mattress has adjustable comfort settings.
  • Warranty: This mattress has a 30-year warranty.
  • Sleep trial: This mattress has a 120-night trial.
  • Pro: Some customers say that the company’s customer service is prompt and helpful.
  • Con: Some customers say that delivery took longer than they expected.
  • Price: The Selectabed Air-Pedic 1000 has a list price starting at $4,499.

The Selectabed Air-Pedic 1000 has a controllable lumbar support zone, which may help keep neutral spinal alignment.

Additionally, this mattress allows people to change the firmness of either side of the bed, which may benefit couples who prefer different firmness feels.

People can also opt for an Airflow Transfer System for an extra cost. This optional extra may increase the breathability of the mattress and reduce overheating while sleeping.

The Selectabed Air-Pedic 1000 is available to buy online.

Best for couples: Personal Comfort A10 Bed

Personal Comfort A10 Bed.
  • Firmness: This mattress has customizable firmness.
  • Warranty: This mattress has a 25-year warranty.
  • Sleep trial: The website does not state if this mattress has a sleep trial.
  • Pro: Some customers say that this mattress helped reduce back and hip pain.
  • Con: Some customers say that delivery took longer than they expected, and it was difficult to get into contact with customer service.
  • Price: The Personal Comfort A10 Bed has a list price starting at $5,950.16.

The Personal Comfort A10 bed has several comfort layers that people can swap out to customize the firmness level of the mattress.

Additionally, this mattress features split comfort layers, which means that people can choose different firmness feels for either side of the mattress.

The Personal Comfort A10 Bed is available to buy online.

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.

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.

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 on 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 to raise the head, for example. This may help ease back pain and conditions such as a chronic cough, snoring, or acid reflux.

Below, we look at some possible benefits and downsides of switching to an adjustable mattress.

Pros

  • Personalizing the firmness level may relieve pressure on the joints.
  • The mattress may allow each person sleeping on the mattress to adjust their side independently.
  • The mattress may help shift weight to different areas of the body, which may help ease soreness after surgery.

Cons

  • Adjustable mattresses are typically more expensive than regular ones.
  • Getting used to the control mechanisms may take patience.
  • The mattresses are also usually heavier than traditional ones and may be harder to move.

Here are answers to some common questions about adjustable mattresses.

Do adjustable beds really help with back pain?

Adjustable beds may help with back pain by redistributing pressure if a person finds the right positions. 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 depends on personal preferences.

A 2019 review of mattress parameters found that pain and discomfort are likely linked with pressure. Someone with a higher body mass index (BMI) may experience less pressure if they have a firmer mattress, while those with a lower BMI may have less pressure from a softer one.

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 inform Medicare about why the person requires an adjustable bed.

For more resources to help guide you through the complex world of medical insurance, visit our Medicare hub.

Does an adjustable bed help with sciatica?

Various underlying conditions can cause sciatic pain, and it is difficult to know whether an adjustable bed may help.

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

What is the most comfortable adjustable mattress?

There is no one best comfortable adjustable mattress.

Factors to consider before purchasing a mattress include the size of the bed frame and whether the mattress offers customizable firmness for each side of the mattress.

Consider purchasing a mattress with a sleep trial to ensure the mattress is of the right comfort level for their requirements.

An adjustable mattress may help ease back pain in several ways. Some offer firmness and angle adjustments and 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.