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A supportive mattress can evenly distribute body weight, reduce joint pressure, and provide spinal support. All of these factors can help improve sleep and prevent aches and pains.

Around 1 in 3 adults report that they do not get enough sleep. A supportive mattress may help some people address issues that disturb their rest, improving sleep quality.

This article considers how different types of mattress support can affect health and sleep quality. It also recommends four supportive mattresses and discusses alternatives.

Medical News Today’s methodology

MNT chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria:

  • Certifications: MNT will choose products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means that the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
  • Size: MNT chooses products that are available in various sizes.
  • Materials and fill: MNT selects products made from different materials and fills, such as memory foam and latex, to suit a range of sleep and lifestyles.
  • Budget: MNT features products to suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Firmness: MNT selects mattresses available in a range of firmness options to suit most people’s sleeping styles.
  • Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer a sleep trial.
  • 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.

The following table indicates how MNT chooses to rank the products within this article:

Eco certificationsSleep trialWhite glove/in-home deliveryReturnsWarrantyScore
Saatva Latex Hybrid5.0
T&N5.0
Helix4.0
WinkBeds EcoCloud4.0

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 overall supportive mattress: Saatva Classic Mattress

This hybrid mattress consists of steel support coils, high-density memory foam, and a 3-inch (7.6-centimeter) mattress topper made of organic cotton.

Saatva claims that this mattress provides spinal support alongside pressure point relief to ease back and joint pain.

Three firmness options are available:

  • plush soft
  • luxury firm
  • firm

Learn about the best firm mattress options here.

Saatva states that this mattress is suitable for a range of sleeping styles.

The price depends on the mattress size chosen, as follows:

  • Twin: $912
  • Twin XL: $1,198
  • Full: $1,670
  • Queen: $1,770
  • King: $2,170
  • California King: $2,170
  • Split King: $2,396
  • Split California King: $2,396

Customers receive a 180-night sleep trial, free shipping and setup, free removal, and a 15-year warranty.

Learn more about Saatva mattresses here.

Best cooling supportive mattress: Tuft & Needle Hybrid Mattress

Tuft & Needle states that this hybrid mattress has cooling properties may suit hot sleepers.

It contains graphite and ceramic gel beads to draw heat away from the body, alongside water-absorbing foams to wick away moisture. The coil layers promote airflow.

Learn about the best cooling mattresses for hot sleepers here.

This mattress is available in medium-firm and is suitable for combination sleepers. Tuft & Needle claims this is its most supportive mattress.

The price depends on the mattress size chosen, as follows:

  • Twin: $1,395
  • Twin XL: $1,595
  • Full: $1,795
  • Queen: $1,995
  • King: $2,595
  • California King: $2,595

Customers receive a 100-night sleep trial, free shipping and returns, and a 10-year warranty.

Learn more about Tuft & Needle here.

Best low cost supportive mattress: Helix Midnight Mattress

This hybrid mattress contains individually wrapped coils, high-grade polyurethane foam, and memory foam. It is medium-firm.

Helix claims it is suitable for side sleepers and those who toss and turn during sleep. Pressure point relief cushions the shoulders and hips, while a firm core supports the body’s contours.

Helix mattresses cost considerably less than other supportive mattresses on this list.

Learn about the best affordable mattresses here.

A Luxe model is also available, with an extra pillow top layer and additional lumbar support and airflow. The Luxe model range starts from $1,199, making it higher cost than the standard line.

The price of the standard Midnight line depends on the mattress size chosen, as follows:

  • Twin: $799
  • Twin XL: $899
  • Full: $1,049
  • Queen: $1,199
  • King: $1,549
  • California King: $1,549

Customers receive a 100-night sleep trial, free shipping, and a 10-15 year warranty.

Learn more about Helix mattresses here.

Best for couples: WinkBed Mattress

This hybrid mattress merges foams and springs for a stable mattress that minimizes motion transfer.

Winkbed claims that the Extra-Edge Support System allows a person to sleep on the edge of the mattress without causing sagging or the risk of rolling off.

Learn more about the best mattresses for motion isolation here.

The WinkBed mattress features targeted support in high-pressure zones alongside a pressure-relieving quilted mattress top.

Materials include a Tencel cover, Euro pillow top with gel-infused foam, and individually wrapped pocketed coils in multiple support zones.

Three firmness options are available:

  • softer
  • luxury-firm
  • firmer

A Plus firmness option is also available at an extra cost. This is suitable for heavier sleepers.

The price depends on the mattress size chosen, as follows:

  • Twin: $1,149
  • Twin XL: $1,249
  • Full: $1,499
  • Queen: $1,799
  • King: $1,999
  • California King: $2,049

Customers receive a 120-night trial, free shipping and returns, and a lifetime warranty.

Learn more about WinkBed mattresses here.

The table below compares the products in this article on key features:

Saatva Classic MattressTuft & Needle Hybrid MattressHelix Midnight MattressWinkBed Mattress
Price range$912$2,396$1,395-$2,595$799-$1,549$1,149–2,049
Firmness levelsPlush soft,
Luxury firm,
Firm
Medium-firmMediumSofter,
Luxury-firm,
Firmer,
Plus
Sleep trial180-nights100-nights100-nights120-nights
Warranty15-year10-year10-15 yearLifetime
Free shippingYesYesYesYes
Free returnsNoYesNoYes

Factors to consider when looking for a supportive mattress include:

  • Firmness preference: Mattress is available in different firmness levels, usually soft, medium-firm, and firm. People should consider their individual preferences. Medium-firm may suit most people. A 2015 review found that medium-firm, self-adjusted mattresses were best for improving quality sleep, comfort, and spinal alignment.
  • Sleeping position: Some mattresses are more suitable for specific sleep positions, such as back, side, combination, or stomach sleepers.
  • Materials: Mattresses are available with different fillings memory foam, spring, or hybrid. People may prefer different mattress types for different feels. Surface materials also vary and commonly include cotton or polyester. People with allergies may prefer hypoallergenic mattresses.
  • Additional features: People should consider additional features or benefits, such as mattresses with cooling properties for hot sleepers. People who share a bed or frequently move while sleeping may prefer a mattress with motion isolation or edge support. Some brands offer mattresses designed for heavier people.

For people who are unsure what type of mattress they want, sleep trials allow them to test a mattress within a set period, with the option to return or exchange if they are unsatisfied.

Physical therapists recommend trying out a mattress for 20 minutes before committing to purchase. People looking for a supportive mattress should try out some mattresses in-store when possible.

Use the interactive quiz below for personalized recommendations on the best mattress to suit individual needs and preferences:

Generally speaking, mattresses fall into four main categories according to their materials and how they are constructed. Each offers different supportive properties.

Memory foam mattresses: These are made of a high-density foam that contours to the body, offering spinal alignment and support. Some mattresses are made entirely of memory foam, while others contain springs plus a top memory foam layer.

Pocket spring mattresses: These mattresses feature springs sewn into individual fabric pockets. They tend to have a higher level of support than open coil mattresses, and the increased airflow can be more cooling than memory foam. A person’s weight is distributed across the mattress, which can help relieve areas of high pressure.

Continuous-coil and open-coil mattresses: Usually the cheapest types of mattress available, these contain either a single looped wire (continuous) or lots of single springs connected by one wire (open). However, these are often the least supportive mattresses because they can wear out more quickly than other types.

Latex mattresses: Less common than other types, latex mattresses usually combine a layer of latex foam with springs. These may benefit sleepers with back and joint pain because of their buoyancy and support. Latex is also a more environmentally friendly material than memory foam or polyurethane foam.

People can make mattresses more supportive by adding a mattress topper. This is a low cost and easy way to adapt a mattress.

For example, people can add a firm mattress topper or a mattress topper with motion isolation to alter their sleep surface.

Look for mattress toppers with straps to securely hold them to the mattress.

Learn about the best mattress toppers here.

Using extra pillows can also help align the spine while a person is sleeping. There are numerous products and designs available for this purpose. A person can place the pillow between the legs for side sleeping or behind the knees for back sleeping.

Some people may prefer a longer body pillow designed specifically for use between the legs.

When using a pillow behind the head, be careful not to prop it too high. This can put the neck at an uncomfortable angle and place further pressure on the spine.

Certain materials may relieve or reduce symptoms in particular health conditions.

However, people with health conditions should seek medical advice from their healthcare professional when considering which mattress may work best for them.

Sleep apnea

Using memory foam mattresses, or those with a memory foam top layer, makes it easier for a person with sleep apnea to sleep on their stomach with their head facing down.

According to one 2015 study, front sleeping can dramatically reduce breathing problems, such as snoring, by as much as 50%.

Back pain

Sleeping in an unsupported position can worsen back pain, particularly in the morning. A mattress that supports and aligns the spine may help alleviate back pain.

Memory foam can often help provide contoured support to the body, with many memory foam mattresses offering a “zoned” top layer to provide extra support beneath the heavier parts of the body, such as the hips.

Arthritis

Arthritis pain can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep. As many as 8 in 10 people with arthritis report sleep problems. However, choosing a supportive mattress that eases pressure on the joints may help.

Memory foam’s ability to contour to the body may help provide support. However, it may also make it harder for a person to change position or get out of bed.

Other mattresses may feature gel-filled pods that provide extra support and pressure relief for joints.

The following are common questions and answers about supportive mattresses:

What type of mattress is best for lumbar support?

A small older study found that adding lumbar support to a mattress may improve weight distribution across the lower back, pelvis, and mid-back. Some mattresses provide additional support in those areas.

Additionally, a 2015 review found that medium-firm, self-adjusted mattresses are best for general lower back discomfort.

An adjustable mattress or bed allows a person to adapt their sleeping surface to their individual needs and preferences, and alter the position.

Learn about the best adjustable mattresses here.

Is a firmer bed better for your back?

A firm mattress is not necessarily better for back health. A review of studies found that medium-firm mattresses provide the most benefits to people with non-specific low back pain.

Learn about the best mattresses for back pain here.

People may prefer a firm mattress due to individual preferences or needs. For example, heavier people may find a firm mattress more supportive than a softer one.

Learn about the best firm mattresses for back pain here.

What type of bed is best for a heavy person?

A good mattress for a heavy person should:

  • be supportive
  • be cooling
  • be durable
  • reduce motion transfer
  • provide edge support

Generally, heavier people may prefer a firm mattress rather than a soft one.

Learn about the best mattresses for heavier people here.

People with obesity may tend to sleep hot. However, many mattresses come with thermal cooling features, such as layers of fabric that help wick heat and sweat away from the body. This may help increase comfort, reduce night sweats, and improve sleep quality.

Learn about the best cooling mattresses here.

Using a supportive mattress can help address certain health conditions and improve sleep. A medium-firm mattress may provide adequate support for most people.

There are many different mattress types available. Individuals should take the time to research and potentially try a range of mattresses before they commit to a purchase.

Alternative products, such as pillows and mattress toppers, can also increase support while sleeping.