Back pain and sleep have a difficult relationship. If your pain is severe, you might be unable to get a restful night’s sleep, but lack of sleep can worsen pain. This cycle can be extremely frustrating, and it can take a serious toll on mental health

Sleep and pain perception are definitely interconnected. Poor sleep can alter your body’s ability to cope with pain, creating a vicious cycle where pain disrupts sleep and poor sleep exacerbates pain.

Amanda Weeks, licensed occupational therapist at B. Well Health in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

The relationship between sleep and pain makes it crucial to find the best mattress for back pain. The right mattress depends greatly on your individual needs, but the right amount of comfort and support—whatever that may be for you—is imperative. To help improve your journey to quality sleep, we’ve selected the 10 best mattresses for back pain based on results from our own testing methods.

Best mattress for back pain overall

The Saatva Classic is our best mattress for back pain because its innerspring construction provides the support necessary to keep your spine aligned during sleep, while the soft cushioned topper offers enough give for the mattress to conform to your body.

1
Best mattress for back pain overall
9.8 Excellent
Innersprings help keep the spine aligned.
Soft cushion top conforms to your body.
Provides support for all sleeping positions.
9.8 Excellent

Our pick of the best mattresses for back pain

Our testing experience

Our Mattress Testing Process
Purchase mattress as mystery shoppers. Purchase mattress as mystery shoppers.
Set up mattress in testing lab. Set up mattress in testing lab.
Lie on mattress and rank firmness. Lie on mattress and rank firmness.
Lie on back, side, and stomach to find the best sleeping position. Lie on back, side, and stomach to find the best sleeping position.
Place 10-pound ball in mattress center and measure sinkage. Place 10-pound ball in mattress center and measure sinkage.
Find biggest pressure points using pressure map reading. Find biggest pressure points using pressure map reading.
Evaluate cooling capabilities by recording temperature differences. Evaluate cooling capabilities by recording temperature differences.
Drop 10-pound ball onto mattress to measure bounce score. Drop 10-pound ball onto mattress to measure bounce score.
Test motion isolation. Test motion isolation.
Test edge support. Test edge support.
Calculate composite “sex” and “family” scores. Calculate composite “sex” and “family” scores.

The Handbook Team hand-tests every mattress we review. We evaluate brands and models by recording our findings on a 42-question standardized testing form to identify standout features and services, document issues with each product, and describe our personal experience lying on each mattress. For example, we record: 

  • Firmness score and whether the mattress is best for back, side, or stomach sleepers.
  • Starting temperature of the mattress and how much it heats up after two testers lie on the mattress for five minutes.
  • How many times a 10-pound ball bounces on the mattress after dropping from a height of two feet in order to arrive at a mattress bounce score.

We paid close attention to specific considerations that sleepers of all ages seek, as identified by respondents in our survey of 600 mattress owners. This included price, features, and the set-up process. We also interviewed real people to better understand the motivations behind shopping for a new mattress as well as the benefits of purchasing one.

According to our survey

According to our survey, about 80 percent of all respondents said their new mattress helps them sleep better, and 65 percent reported improved mental health.

As our testers evaluated each brand and its features, we considered why many people choose a new mattress in the first place. Of our respondents, 42 percent decided to purchase a new mattress for “improved comfort and support for better sleep,” while only seven percent did so for “pain relief and targeted support.” The most common pain respondents wanted relieved was lower back pain. 

Despite only 42 percent of respondents prioritizing comfort and support for better sleep when shopping for a new mattress, 68 percent reported they sleep longer on their new mattress and 49 percent and 45 percent, respectively, said their stress and anxiety had improved after switching to their new mattress. Almost all mattress owners we surveyed (95 percent) were at least somewhat satisfied with their new mattress. We consulted sleep experts, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and pain specialists to understand what mattresses offer that make an overwhelmingly positive impact.

In order to focus on the mattresses themselves, we structured our test designs to objectively rank each one based on a range of criteria. For example, we tested things like bounce, edge support (the sturdiness of your mattress edge), and cooling capabilities the same way on each mattress and compared the results. That way we can accurately compare each mattress’ score in an unbiased way while also sharing our subjective point of view as mattress testers and experts.

Lastly, we compared warranty lengths, trial periods, and white glove delivery (in-home delivery and setup) options. While most brands offer warranties, not all are comprehensive. And many brands on the market don’t have free white glove delivery. This could be a deal-breaker if you’re nervous to invest in a new mattress because you’re worried the bed won’t get set up properly or offer what you need.

From our tester

“During our research, we realized that the brand’s firmness scale and perceived firmness aren’t always the same. We decided to report how firm we thought the mattress felt so that you can gain a different perspective, but more importantly, feel confident about what you’re purchasing.”

A note on our testing

We acknowledge that every body is different, and what feels comfortable to one person may not feel comfortable to another. Throughout our reviews, we refer to weight categories as light (below 130 pounds), average (130 to 250 pounds), and heavy (above 250 pounds) to distinguish between body weights.

Typically, lighter sleepers perceive mattresses to feel firmer than they are, and higher-weight sleepers perceive mattresses to feel softer than they are. Keep in mind that most mattresses are designed for the average-weight person.

Why HelpGuide cares about a good night’s sleep

of research
1000+   hours
of research
evaluated
100+   models
evaluated
interviewed
7   people
interviewed
consulted
21   experts
consulted

Quality sleep is a key part of mental health, physical health, and overall well-being. Sleep helps us reset our bodies, process our emotions, and ease daily stress. Without it, we are at an increased risk of developing anxiety and depression, according to research

But there are medical conditions that can make sleep difficult. Chronic pain, acid reflux, loud snoring or sleep apnea, and insomnia are issues that can keep you up at night, tossing and turning.

Finding solutions for better sleep can be frustrating, but we’re here to help. The HelpGuide Handbook Team wants to empower you to make the right decision by providing the most honest information about sleep-related products, like mattresses.

Good sleep is essential for physical and mental health because it’s our body’s chance to recharge after the physical and cognitive loads of our day. When we sleep well, we have better relationships and communication with our partners, we can think more clearly, and we’re in a better mood.

Julia Catlin, licensed psychotherapist at Calm Science in Las Vegas.

In order to recommend the best options to fit your needs, we sought to better understand how sleep impacts overall health. We consulted with mental health experts, researchers, and industry leaders in sleep and ergonomics to connect the dots about what really matters in a mattress. 

Ultimately, all of our research is directed at taking the stress out of finding the highest-quality products that can support your sleep health—and in turn, your overall mental well-being.

HelpGuide Handbook mattresses for back pain

Here are the five most important things to know about mattresses for back pain:

Mattresses for Back Pain
Saatva Classic is the best mattress for back pain overall.  Saatva Classic is the best mattress for back pain overall. 
Sleepers with back pain most often need a medium-firm mattress with cushioning for the lumbar region and support to lift and align hips. Sleepers with back pain most often need a medium-firm mattress with cushioning for the lumbar region and support to lift and align hips.
Most brands run sales and promotions that significantly lower the price.  Most brands run sales and promotions that significantly lower the price. 
Look for a mattress with a minimum trial period of 100 days. Look for a mattress with a minimum trial period of 100 days.
Consult your doctor if you have a specific concern, such as lower back or hip pain. Our recommendations should not replace medical advice.  Consult your doctor if you have a specific concern, such as lower back or hip pain. Our recommendations should not replace medical advice. 

Compare the best mattresses for back pain in 2024

Price $1,295–$2,372 $812–$1,812 $700–$2,156 $2,195–$4,798 $412–911 $1,169–$2,998 $1,149–$2,049 $1,499–$3,918 $665–$1,599
Firmness 7/10 8/10 6.5/10 5.5/10 7/10 6.5/10 6.5/10 5/10 6/10
Material Innerspring-hybrid Hybrid Memory Foam Hybrid Foam Hybrid Hybrid Memory foam Hybrid
Warranty Lifetime 10 years Lifetime Lifetime 10 years Lifetime Lifetime 10 years 10 years
Trial period 365 nights 100 nights 365 nights 101 nights 365 nights 365 nights 120 nights 120 nights 120 nights
Best for Sleepers with back pain who like responsive beds Sleepers with back pain who are searching for a hybrid bed Sleepers with back pain who want a value mattress Sleepers with back pain and hip pain Sleepers with back pain and neck pain Sleepers with lower back pain Sleepers with Back pain who are stomach sleepers Sleepers with back pain who are side sleepers Sleepers with back pain who switch sleeping positions

The best mattresses for back pain reviews

Best mattress for back pain overall: Saatva Classic

Best mattress for back pain overall
Saatva Classic

The Saatva Classic mattress is available in three firmness levels: Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm. The mattress’s two layers of coils were designed to provide support, while the Euro top A kind of pillow top that’s sewn into the cover of the mattress. This style is flush with the edges of the mattress, providing better support than your typical pillow-top mattress while also offering a soft, plushy center. organic cotton cover was made to provide pressure relief. We think the unique blend of comfort and support, as well as the multiple firmness options, make the Saatva Classic an ideal option for most types of sleepers who have back pain.

Key product features

  • Brand rating: 9.8/10.
  • Material: Innerspring-hybrid.
  • Cost: $1,295–$2,372.
  • Warranty: Lifetime.
  • Trial period: 365 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 7/10.
  • Height: 11.5 inches or 14.5 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king.

Our final verdict

Historically, the best mattresses for back pain are medium-firm to firm mattresses. Luckily, the Saatva Classic provides three different firmness options, providing spinal support and lumbar cushioning for a variety of body types and sleeping positions. In addition, we found that the classic innerspring feel of this bed offers a responsiveness Good responsiveness means the mattress has a bouncier surface that responds to pressure or the sleeper’s movements, making it easier to move around and switch positions. that helps keep sleepers on top of the bed, rather than letting them sink too far into the mattress and throwing their spine out of alignment.

From our tester

“I felt sufficient cushioning from Saatva’s pillow top, as well as lots of support from the top pocket coil layer.”

While testing the Saatva Classic in our mattress studio, we analyzed how we felt while back sleeping, side sleeping, stomach sleeping, and combination sleeping People who sleep in multiple positions throughout the night. For example, a person might be a back-and-side sleeper or a stomach-and-back sleeper. . During this test, we recorded feeling well-supported in all sleeping positions. We also think this bed offers good overall support, edge support Edge support is the bed’s strength and stability around the perimeter. , and pressure relief.

However, we do think couples who awaken easily during the night should find a bed with better motion isolation. It scored poorly on our motion isolation. The containment of movement on one area of a mattress so it doesn’t impact other areas. test, meaning you and your partner are likely to feel each other’s larger movements at night.

A woman lays on the Saatva Classic during testing

One of our testers lays on the Saatva Classic in our testing facility.

Pros and cons of the Saatva mattress

Pros Comes in three firmness options. Suitable for all sleeper types. Innerspring construction provides a cooling sleeping surface. Free white glove delivery. One-year trial period. Long warranty. Cons Does not provide a traditional memory foam feel. Not recommended for couples due to poor motion isolation.
Our top pick

Best mattress for stomach sleepers: Helix Plus

Best mattress for stomach sleepers
Helix Plus

The Helix Plus was made with higher-weight sleepers in mind and provides extra support and firmness. The firmness we recorded in our studio (eight out of 10) sets it at a far firmer ranking than the industry standard (6.5/10). The same firmness that helps keep larger bodies elevated also supports stomach sleepers of many body types, helping them maintain a neutral alignment and preventing back pain.

Key product features

  • Brand rating: 9.2/10.
  • Material: Hybrid.
  • Cost: $812–$1,812.
  • Warranty: 10 years.
  • Trial period: 100 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 8/10.
  • Height: 11.25 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king.

Our final verdict

As a company, Helix is well-known for its assortment of hybrid A type of mattress made with both foam layers and spring layers. mattresses at varying firmness levels and prices. The Helix Plus is specifically geared toward larger bodies, and our team found that it offers the support and the pressure relief needed to alleviate back pain.

From our tester

“Lightweight, average-weight, and heavyweight stomach sleepers will be comfortable on the Helix Plus, which prioritizes firmness and support.”

This bed’s eight out of 10 firmness rating is ideal for supporting stomach sleepers of varying body types. Those sleeping in the prone position require a firm, supportive mattress that keeps its shape throughout the night.

Typically, if a stomach sleeper rests on a surface that’s too soft, their hips will sink into the material, and their spine will bow out of alignment, causing back pain. Stomach sleepers shouldn’t have that problem on the Helix Plus—its firmness, extra-sturdy coils, and high-density foam is designed to keep stomach sleepers’ hips elevated and in a neutral alignment with the rest of the spine.

While this bed’s firmness level makes it less ideal for average side sleepers, most higher-weight sleepers should be comfortable in all sleeping positions.

One of our testers sits on the edge of a Helix mattress to test edge support.

Pros and cons of the Helix Plus mattress

Pros Good for hot sleepers. Good bounce makes it suitable for combination sleepers. High pressure-relief scores. Helix offers a 30-second Sleep Quiz so you can make sure this model is your match. Cons Side sleepers weighing less than 250 pounds may find too much pressure buildup at the hips and shoulders. Shorter warranty compared to other brands on the market.

Best value mattress for back pain: Nectar Original

Best value mattress for back pain
Nectar Original

As a brand, Nectar prioritizes pressure relief and comfort. The all-foam flagship Nectar Original mattress is no exception. At a value price, the Nectar’s comfort foams are designed to contour to sensitive areas and fill in the lumbar region, while denser foams support the body.

Key product features

  • Brand rating: 9/10.
  • Material: Memory foam.
  • Cost: $700–$2,156.
  • Warranty: Lifetime.
  • Trial period: 365 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 6.5/10.
  • Height: 12 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king.

Our final verdict

Treating back pain can be expensive enough, and the last thing some shoppers want to do is spend thousands of dollars on a mattress. That’s where the Nectar Original comes in. It’s a quality yet budget-friendly all-foam mattress that’s more than equipped to tackle the frustrations of back pain. After considering discounts, shoppers can often find a queen-size mattress for less than $700.

From our tester

“Like many traditional memory foam beds, we found it to excel in pressure relief, which is beneficial for those suffering from joint pain.”

We gave the Nectar Original a firmness score of 6.5 out of 10, making it a true medium-firm bed, which offers the ideal balance to alleviate and prevent back pain. There are three layers in this mattress, and though it’s a simple construction, we think it’s an effective one.

Gel-infused memory foam provides a slow response to movement and cradles the areas needing relief. It also serves to fill in the gap at the lower back, preventing strain at the lumbar region. Soft conventional foam in the middle serves to transition the sleeper to the firmer layer, and the high-density foam at the bottom provides support.

Our tester reveals the three foam layers of the Nectar Original inside the cover

The three layers of the Nectar Original shown by a tester in our testing facility

Pros and cons of the Nectar mattress

Pros Pressure-relieving qualities make it good for side sleepers. Good motion isolation for couples and families. May offer joint pain relief. Long warranty. One-year trial period. Cons Low responsiveness for combo sleepers. Poor edge support. Not ideal for higher-weight sleepers or stomach sleepers.

Best mattress for back and hip pain: Puffy Lux Hybrid

Best mattress for back and hip pain
Puffy Lux Hybrid

Puffy is a well-known bed-in-a-box brand, easily identified from its cloud-shaped logo. The logo doesn’t lie—Puffy prioritizes a cloud-like memory foam feel in their mattresses, even their luxury hybrid model. We think it’s the way the brand prioritizes pressure relief in the Puffy Lux Hybrid that makes it the best mattress for back and hip pain.

Key product features

  • Brand rating: 9.1/10.
  • Material: Hybrid.
  • Cost: $2,195–$4,798.
  • Warranty: Lifetime.
  • Trial period: 101 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 5.5/10.
  • Height: 12 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king.

Our final verdict

In our experience, to alleviate both back and hip pain you need a mattress that’s a little softer than a medium-firm, and it should provide sufficient pressure relief to cushion the joints and lumbar region while keeping the hips elevated. We measured the Puffy Lux Hybrid at a 5.5 out of 10 on our firmness scale, so it’s right in this range.

From our tester

“I’m definitely a huge fan of this mattress for side sleepers. And its gel infusions and breathable coils make it a standout option for hot sleepers.”

While testing this bed at our mattress studio, we were comfortable while back sleeping and side sleeping. We felt supported, and the dual foam comfort layer cradled our hips and shoulders while laying on our sides and cushioned the lumbar region of our backs. We also noticed some mild relief on our shoulders. Overall, this bed has a softer feel than the other hybrids in this roundup.

We feel confident the Puffy Lux Hybrid is a fantastic fit for alleviating and preventing both back and hip pain because it relieved pressure at the joints and lifted and supported our hips, helping keep our spines aligned.

Pros and cons of the Puffy Lux Hybrid mattress

Pros Side sleepers may find contouring relief. Good lumbar support. Good motion isolation. Long warranty. Cons Not enough support for stomach sleepers. Not recommended for higher-weight sleepers. Poor edge support.

Best mattress for neck and back pain: Emma Original

Best mattress for neck and back pain
Emma Original

The Emma Original is an all-foam model that stresses support, which can be rare in memory foam mattresses. Our team found it keeps its shape well enough to support a healthy spinal alignment, making it a standout option for both neck pain and back pain.

Key product features

  • Brand rating: 8.7/10.
  • Material: Memory foam.
  • Cost: $412–$911.
  • Warranty: 10 years.
  • Trial period: 365 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 7/10.
  • Height: 10 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king.

Our final verdict

Managing to tackle both neck pain and back pain simultaneously can be quite the task. And it can be even more stressful to sort through all your options online. Luckily, the Emma Original takes the stress away. We recommend medium-firm beds for those with back and neck pain, as a balanced bed can guide the entire spine into a neutral alignment. Scoring a seven out of 10 on our firmness scale, we think the Emma Original gives the comfort and support needed for a painless slumber.

From our tester

“The Emma prioritizes support and an ‘on top of’ feel, so we mostly recommend it to back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and combination sleepers.”

Back sleeping and side sleeping are the healthiest for neck pain, and the Emma Original should suit most back sleepers, as well as some side sleepers who appreciate a firmer feel. But the Emma Original also supports neutral alignment for stomach sleepers with neck pain. The zoned support at the bottom of the mattress makes it softer and firmer in the right places.

The Emma Original scored well in edge support Edge support is the bed’s strength and stability around the perimeter. and overall support, meaning it should maintain its shape throughout the night. You shouldn’t feel like you’re sinking through the material too far, which ensures your spine doesn’t bend too far out of alignment.

 A 10-pound weight sits on top of an Emma mattress in our testing facility

We tested responsiveness with a 10-pound weight

Pros and cons of the Emma mattress

Pros Supports average-weight sleepers in all sleeping positions. Responsive enough for combination sleeping. Lower price point. Cons May be too firm for memory foam lovers. Poor motion isolation. Traps heat, which isn’t ideal for hot sleepers.

Best hybrid mattress for back pain: The DreamCloud

Best hybrid mattress for back pain
The DreamCloud

The DreamCloud is the company’s most basic model. Still, we think it’s a powerhouse of a mattress, with each of its five layers working to create the necessary lift and pressure relief needed for relieving back pain.

Key product features

  • Brand rating: 9.2/10.
  • Material: Hybrid.
  • Cost: $1,169–$2,998.
  • Warranty: Lifetime.
  • Trial period: 365 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 6.5/10.
  • Height: 12 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king.

Our final verdict

Hybrid mattresses combine foam and coils, mixing the strengths of both memory foam beds and innersprings. The DreamCloud is our favorite example of this, as it’s an incredibly well-rounded model that uses soft memory foam and individually wrapped coils to create a true medium-firm (6.5 out of 10) sleeping surface for alleviating back pain.

From our tester

“This mattress is really middle-of-the-road—while there’s give, it still feels firm and my weight is evenly distributed.”

We found this mattress comfortable for back sleeping and noticed the DreamCloud evenly distributed our weight. While some may want a bit more pressure relief, we felt it was comfortable for side sleeping. Our spines were aligned and there was enough cushioning from the mattress’s cashmere cover and foam comfort layer.

We tested responsiveness by using a 10-pound weight and watching how the material responded to pressure. From the results, we determined it’s responsive enough for combination sleepers who switch positions.

 A 10-pound weight on the DreamCloud mattress in our testing facility

We placed a 10-pound weight on the mattress to test responsiveness.

Pros and cons of the DreamCloud mattress

Pros Balance of motion transfer and responsiveness make it a nice option for couples. Hot sleepers may like the breathable hybrid construction and cooling gel-infused memory foam. Scored high in support. Good value. Long warranty. One-year trial period. Cons Stomach sleepers may need a firmer option. Lacks the traditional foam feel for memory foam lovers. Poor edge support.

Best mattress for lower back pain: WinkBed

Best mattress for lower back pain
WinkBed

WinkBeds is a brand striving to create luxury mattresses while avoiding the usual expensive costs. Their most popular model, The WinkBed, comes in four different firmness options: Softer, Luxury Firm, Firmer, and Plus. We think the host of options and hybrid construction make this a fantastic option for alleviating lower back pain.

Key product features

  • Brand rating: 9.3/10.
  • Material: Hybrid.
  • Cost: $1,149–$2,049.
  • Warranty: Lifetime.
  • Trial period: 120 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 6.5/10.
  • Height: 12 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king.

Our final verdict

During sleep, lower back pain is exacerbated when a mattress fails to support the natural alignment of the spine. If a mattress fails to keep the lower body lifted, or if there’s a gap between the mattress and the lumbar region, it can be extremely difficult to find relief in the lower back. We’ve found that The WinkBed addresses this issue.

From our tester

“Resting on The WinkBed, we did notice that the comfort foam layers adequately filled in the lower back and gave some pressure relief at the lumbar region. This should make it a good mattress for back sleeping. ”

The WinkBed scored impressively on many of our tests, from support and edge support to pressure relief. While testing this mattress in the back sleeping position, we experienced good contouring and give. Our weight was evenly distributed, and our spines felt neutral. The pillow top and memory foam comfort layer nestled in our lumbar region and gave it the necessary cushioning, while the individually cased coils kept us lifted. We’re confident that most people should experience lower back pain relief with The WinkBed, especially with the variety of firmness options catering to different types of sleepers.

A circular cutout in the side of The WinkBed showing the layers of materials it’s made from

A look inside The WinkBed and its layers of material that make this a quality mattress

Pros and cons of the WinkBed mattress

Pros Good motion isolation makes it a solid option for couples. Impressive edge support. Firmness options available for all types of sleepers. Good support for higher-weight sleepers. Long warranty. Cons Not recommended for combo sleepers due to poor responsiveness. The “on top of” feel may not appeal to memory foam shoppers.

Best mattress for side sleepers with back pain: Nolah Original

Best mattress for side sleepers with back pain
Nolah Original

As a company, Nolah works to design and construct mattresses that prioritize comfort specifically for side sleepers, which is why this mattress is great for side sleepers with back pain.

Key product features

  • Brand rating: 9.3/10.
  • Material: Memory foam.
  • Cost: $1,499–$3,918.
  • Warranty: 10 years.
  • Trial period: 120 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 5/10.
  • Height: 10 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king.

Our final verdict

While people with back pain typically require a medium-firm mattress, support is an important component of this. But when side sleepers are searching for the bed of their dreams, the term “pressure relief” should be top of mind. A pressure-relieving mattress prevents the buildup of pressure in sensitive areas. And side sleepers historically put most of their weight on their hips

“Sleeping positions are crucial to maintaining good joint health. Try to sleep on your back or side as best you can. It can take some time to train to fall asleep comfortably, but I strongly recommend it.”

Christian Busch, doctor of physical therapy and owner of WildHawk Physical Therapy in Asheville, North Carolina

As a softer mattress (five out of 10 on the firmness scale) with a memory foam feel, the Nolah Original is a good fit for side sleepers with back pain. We noted that our hips and shoulders sunk into the foam material in a good way and that it did a stellar job of offloading pressure in those areas.

Overall, we found this mattress still had enough structure and pushback to support the torso and keep the spine aligned. That’s why we gave it high marks for support and pressure relief, a tough combo to strike for many foam mattresses.

One of our testers kneels on the Nolah Original mattress and presses her fists into the material

One of our testers kneels on the Nolah Original and presses down on the mattress to test firmness and responsiveness.

Pros and cons of the Nolah mattress

Pros Responsive feel that’s great for combo sleepers. Back sleepers should find enough contouring and support. Great for pressure relief. Cons Not recommended for stomach or higher-weight sleepers. Not ideal for hot sleepers. Shorter warranty compared to other brands on the market.

Best mattress for back sleepers with back pain: Bear Original

Best mattress for back sleepers with back pain
Bear Original

Bear creates mattresses specifically for athletes. Of course, you don’t have to be an athlete to use a Bear bed. But the company’s devotion to health and wellness is certainly reflected in its mattresses, starting with the Bear Original. We’ve found that it’s an impressive model for back sleepers, and because of this, it’s going to support the spine in a way that helps alleviate back pain.

Key product features

  • Brand rating: 9.4/10.
  • Material: Memory foam.
  • Cost: $786–$1,690.
  • Warranty: Lifetime.
  • Trial period: 120 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 8/10.
  • Height: 10 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king.

Our final verdict

Back sleepers often require the same balanced feel that people with back pain require. This typically means there should be enough cushioning at the lumbar area to fill in the curve there, with enough support to lift the hips and keep them in alignment all night long. The Bear Original, the company’s flagship product, does this beautifully. We think it should work for most back sleepers less than 250 pounds.

From our tester

“It’s a firmer type of memory foam surface versus other more forgiving memory foam surfaces that would make my hips sink down, but this doesn’t do that. ”

We did find this bed on the firmer side, so back sleepers who dislike a firmer feel may not find their match in this bed. But while testing in our studio, we found it scored well in pressure relief (four out of five). Though the brand boasts a more “on top of” feel, you should still receive the necessary cushioning at the lumbar region and the hips.

This bed also scored well in cooling, which isn’t essential to relieving back pain, but it’s one more luxury offered for a good night’s sleep. The last thing people with back pain need is even more discomfort.

 

A circular opening in the side of the Bear Original shows its foam layers

Our testers cut out a section in the side of the Bear Original to reveal its firmer foam layers

Pros and cons of the Bear mattress

Pros Its firmness may appeal to lighter stomach sleepers. Lower price point. Celliant cover is marketed to support muscle recovery and blood flow. Impressive edge support score, despite being an all-foam bed. Long warranty. Cons Not recommended for side sleepers. Not recommended for combo sleepers due to poor responsiveness. Larger or higher-weight people may need more support.

Best mattress for combination sleepers with back pain: Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Best mattress for combination sleepers with back pain
Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

If you don’t stay in one sleeping position throughout the entire night, then the Brooklyn Bedding Signature is for you. This hybrid mattress is well-rounded and set at a value price, and its responsiveness will create ease of movement for many types of sleepers.

Key product features

  • Brand rating: 9.2/10.
  • Material: Hybrid.
  • Cost: $665–$1,599.
  • Warranty: 10 years.
  • Trial period: 120 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 6/10.
  • Height: 12.25 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, short full, queen, short queen, Olympic queen, king, split king, short king, California king, split California king, RV king.

Our final verdict

Combination sleepers don’t stay in the same sleeping position the whole night—some people flip-flop between back sleeping and stomach sleeping, while others go from side sleeping to stomach sleeping. There are many different types of combination sleepers, but they all have one thing in common: They need ease of movement. And that’s precisely what the Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid provides.

From our tester

“The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid proprietary transition foam and bouncy coils allow combination sleepers the ease of movement they need.”

For combination sleepers with back pain, feeling comfortable and supported in multiple positions is crucial. This hybrid mattress uses bouncy, individually wrapped coils to create an “on top of” feel, and with a six out of 10 firmness, it should appeal to back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers alike.

During testing, we felt good while back sleeping. We felt our spines were in a neutral position, and the memory foam comfort layer filled in our lower back. We felt our spines remained neutral while side sleeping as well, although those with severe joint pain might need something a little softer. Lastly, we felt our hips were elevated while stomach sleeping.

 A 10-pound weight sits on top of the Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid mattress in our testing facility

Our testers dropped a 10-pound weight on the Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid to test responsiveness.

Pros and cons of the Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid mattress

Pros Good responsiveness makes it good for combo sleeping and sex. Good pressure relief. Lower price point. Good motion isolation, making it good for couples and families. Cons We weren’t overly impressed with the mattress’s edge support. Memory foam lovers may miss the slow-sinking feel. Shorter warranty compared to other brands on the market.

Frequently asked questions about mattresses for back pain

The best type of mattress for back pain is one that provides a balance of comfort and support. For average-weight sleepers, this is a true medium-firm mattress (a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale). The bed should give you enough cushioning to fill in the lumbar region while back sleeping or cushion the joints while side sleeping. Still, it should be supportive enough to elevate the body into a neutral alignment.

Side sleepers with back pain should opt for a memory foam or a hybrid mattress. These beds provide good pressure relief to ease buildup at the hip and shoulder. There are sturdy coils in hybrid beds, but keep an eye out for high-density foams in all-foam mattresses for support—side sleepers still need their bodies lifted throughout the night.

Memory foam mattresses can be good for back pain, as long as they have supportive foundation foam to prevent the body from sinking too far into the mattress material. Look for high-density foam and high-quality materials to prevent sagging.

Yes, mattresses can cause back pain. If you have a mattress that doesn’t support you, or if your bed isn’t soft enough to cushion sensitive areas, it can lead to back pain or worsen it.

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