We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
The best mattress for relieving back pain will adjust to pressure points and support spinal alignment. Here, we offer our top picks and reviews.
- Best for motion isolation: Nectar Premier Copper Mattress | Skip to review
- Best adjustable: Sleep Number 360 i8 | Skip to review
- Best soft mattress: Purple RestorePremier Hybrid | Skip to review
- Best for lower back pain: Leesa Legend Hybrid | Skip to review
- Best affordable option: DreamCloud Hybrid | Skip to review
- Best flippable: Layla Memory Foam | Skip to review
- Best all-foam option: Loom & Leaf by Saatva | Skip to review
Choosing a mattress to prevent and relieve back pain can help improve sleep quality and decrease aches and pains. This article looks at 7 of the best mattresses for back pain and compares them with their competitors for firmness, price, and more.
All prices below are for queen-size mattresses.
Medical News Today has tested some of the products below. Reviewers may have received some products from the manufacturers for free, which does not influence their review. All opinions are the reviewers’ own.
The table below compares all the mattresses in this article on key features.
|soft and firm
|Loom & Leaf
|relaxed firm, or
MNT chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria:
- Certifications: MNT will select products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
- Materials and fill: MNT selects products made from materials, such as memory foam, springs, or latex, that will support the body and provide comfort and spinal alignment.
- Firmness: MNT selects mattresses available in a range of firmness options.
- Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer a sleep trial long enough for people to get used to their mattress and assess whether it will help their back pain.
- Budget: MNT features products to suit a wide range of budgets.
- Shipping: Where possible, MNT will include shipping information, such as where the company delivers and whether shipping is free.
- Warranties and return policies: MNT will include products with warranties and clear returns policies.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
The type of mattress best for back pain may vary between individuals. The following table defines the most common mattress types and how they may help relieve back pain.
|How it may help
|Contains coils and memory foam.
|Individual springs react to a person’s movement, and memory foam provides contouring and pressure relief.
|Contains memory foam only.
|Supports the natural curvature of the spine and molds to a person’s body shape to provide pressure point relief.
|Contains latex foam.
|Usually firmer than memory foam, this material adjusts automatically to a person’s shape and weight as they move, providing pressure point relief.
|PVC or rubber inflatable mattress.
|People can adjust the firmness by adding or removing air, providing a more supportive sleeping surface.
|Contains metal coils and wire.
|Each coil dynamically moves to provide support and may help prevent sinking by evenly distributing a person’s weight.
People may wish to consider several factors when buying a new mattress, including:
- Price: The price of mattresses varies widely, and a person needs to consider their budget and the features they want to find the right mattress for them.
- Firmness: Research suggests that a medium-firm mattress may help improve sleep quality and comfort in people with back pain. The best firmness for one person may not suit another, so partners may wish to consider mattresses with zoned, adjustable, or split firmness.
- Sleep trial: Most brands offer a sleep trial, which allows customers to try out a mattress for up to 1 year before making a purchase. This can be helpful for those who are unsure what type of mattress they need to improve their back pain.
- Materials: Those with allergies to certain materials can check the materials a company uses before buying a mattress. People may also consider brands that use environmentally friendly, natural, or sustainable materials.
- Sleep position: People should consider their preferred sleep position and choose a mattress that will provide adequate support for this position.
Signs that a mattress might be causing back pain include:
- waking up with back pain
- waking up without back pain after sleeping on a different mattress
- tossing, turning, and waking up frequently during sleep
- back pain that goes away after getting out of bed
People can look for signs of sagging in the area they sleep in. A mattress can break down and degrade over time, and the support they provide will reduce. A mattress that does not keep the spine aligned and support a person’s body can cause back pain.
If someone notices lumps or protruding springs in their mattress, they need to replace it. These are clear signs of mattress degradation.
People can also consider the firmness of their mattress. If they find they sink too far into their mattress, it may be too soft and may not be keeping the hips and spine aligned. A mattress that is too firm can also be uncomfortable, and individuals may not fully relax as they sleep.
Additionally, anyone experiencing back pain can speak with a doctor. Regardless of whether it originates in the lower, middle, or upper back, this pain may indicate an underlying health issue.
Mattresses can be expensive, but so can the difference between a restful night’s sleep and waking up with aches and pains.
However, there are several ways a person can shop for mattresses while on a tighter budget.
Buying a mattress online
Buying a mattress online rather than in a showroom can reduce costs, as the manufacturer has fewer overhead costs than a physical store.
Many websites have regular sales, discount codes, and coupons that may not be available in showrooms. Additionally, having access to customer reviews may mean that a person is able to make a more informed decision before purchasing.
A mattress topper can be a cheaper alternative to purchasing a new mattress. Toppers can provide extra comfort to older mattresses and may even extend mattress life as they provide a layer of protection.
However, toppers cannot fix issues such as mattress sagging. They are more suitable for use with mattresses that are still supportive but not at a comfortable firmness.
Using pillows to support a person’s sleeping position may help promote spinal alignment and reduce back pain. Side sleepers may find that placing a pillow between their legs reduces aches and pains, whereas stomach sleepers may find extra relief if they put a pillow under the pelvis and lower abdomen.
People who sleep on their front may find that a lower loft pillow reduces strain on their neck. Side and back sleepers may be more comfortable with a medium-loft pillow.
Pillows are usually much less expensive than purchasing a new mattress. However, pillows cannot fix serious issues with mattresses, such as sagging or broken springs.
Bed platforms and bases
Having compatible bed platforms and bases can help provide support and reduce aches and pains. People should always ensure that their bed frame is compatible with the mattress they use.
Adjustable beds may be a suitable option as individuals can adjust the position to provide the support they need. However, these products are expensive and require ongoing maintenance.
Below, we answer some common questions about mattresses for back pain.
Research suggests that a medium-firm, adjustable mattress may work best for those with nonspecific back pain. However, the best firmness level may depend on an individual’s weight and preferred sleep position.
When choosing the firmness of their mattress, consumers should also consider their type of back pain and their preferred sleep position.
Research shows that the best mattress for back pain is medium-firm. However, the best firmness for one person may not be the best for another — it is a personal choice. For those with back pain, a mattress that provides pressure relief and keeps the spine aligned is key.
Foam mattresses can support the natural curvature of the spine and mold to a person’s body shape to provide pressure point relief and spinal alignment. However, all-foam mattresses can be difficult to move in, which may be unsuitable for those with lower back pain.
In a spring mattress, the coils move to provide support and minimize sinking by evenly distributing a person’s body weight. However, spring mattresses may not always provide the comfort level of a foam mattress.
Additionally, people can consider hybrid mattresses, which combine foam and springs.
People with back pain may experience difficulty falling asleep because they cannot get comfortable.
Choosing a mattress to suit an individual’s needs and preferences may help alleviate back pain and improve sleep quality.
An individual should consider the type of back pain they are experiencing and their preferred sleep position before choosing the mattress that will work best for them.