A mattress can play a significant role in managing back pain, as it can help to support the natural curvature of the spine and reduce pressure on the joints.
If you’re struggling with upper or lower back pain, the last thing you need is a mattress that makes it worse. And while your bed might not be the initial cause of your pain, the right mattress has the potential to help reduce it. But with so many models on the market, it’s hard to how to choose a mattress that can actually help you get pain relief.
We spend about a third of our lives sleeping—which is exactly why finding and using the right mattress is critical for overall health. Not only is sleep the time when you get your “beauty rest,” it’s also when your muscles repair and rebuild, your brain assimilates information and stores memories, and your hormones rebalance. And if you suffer from an achy back, finding the best mattress for back pain is critical. Good sleep fuels everything you do. Poor sleep, on the other hand, makes it harder to get through the day.
9 Best Mattresses for Back Pain in 2023：Tested and Reviewed
- BEST FOR LOWER BACK AND HIP PAIN：Casper Sleep Wave Foam Mattress
- BEST COOLING：Sweetnight Full Size Mattress
- BEST BUDGET：Purple Mattress – Queen
- BEST LATEX：Layla Copper Infused Memory Foam Mattress
- BEST FOR SIDE SLEEPERS：Nectar Premier Copper 14″ Queen Mattress
- BEST CUSTOMIZATION：Lucid 8 Inch Twin Mattress
- BEST ORGANIC：ZOMA Start Memory Foam Mattress Queen
- BEST FLIPPABLE：Lucid 12 Inch Hybrid Mattress
- BEST MEMORY FOAM：Tuft & Needle – Legacy Original Queen Mattress
Those with back pain know just how hard it can be to get a good night’s rest—every move you make sends pain signals to your brain that keep you from falling (or staying) asleep. The last thing you need when you’re dealing with pain is a mattress that exacerbates the problem.
#1.Casper Sleep Wave Foam Mattress
- Our panel unanimously said it’s supportive
- Ergonomically designed for spine alignment
- Excellent customer service
- Some say it doesn’t feel cooling, despite claims
Our testers found the medium firmness to feel a bit soft, which is likely because it forms to the shape of your body and takes weight off of pressure points.
What it’s made of: The mattress has unique gel pods that are placed under the hips and lower back so you get more support where you need it, while softer foam contours to the shape of your shoulders. Beyond that, there are several layers of foam for full-body pressure relief and coils at the base for added support and airflow.
Tester notes: Users on our panel gave it perfect ratings for support and raved about its comfort, plus they highlighted Casper’s stellar customer service. One specifically called out that it “was super easy to set up and it really helps with our aches and pains,”while another described it as feeling like “sleeping on a cloud.”
#2.Sweetnight Full Size Mattress
- 10-year warranty
- Great value
- 100-night sleep trial
- Mattress is flippable and offers different firmness levels
- In-home setup from Amazon costs extra
It’s built with four layers of gel memory foam split into three zones to keep your body properly aligned and supported for a cool and comfortable night of sleep.
#3.Purple Mattress – Queen
- Pressure relief without feeling too soft
- Grid offers motion isolation
- Hybrid versions available
- Delivery took longer than expected for some
It also helps with motion isolation, so you’re less likely to feel your sleeping partner move around at night.
What it’s made of: There are two layers of foam under the elastic grid on top, though the brand also has hybrid variations with a layer of foam and a layer of coils for added support and airflow. The hybrids are heavier and more expensive, but regardless, you get the pressure-relieving grid with all of Purple’s mattresses.
Our panel raved about its ability to relieve their back pain, with comments like, “this is the first mattress where we both woke with no pain” and, “it only took a couple of nights of sleeping on the Purple mattress for my back to feel much better!”
#4.Layla Copper Infused Memory Foam Mattress
- Dual-firmness levels
- Quick delivery and easy set up
- Often goes on sale
- Not as “cooling” as expected
What it’s made of: One side has soft foam while the other has firm foam, and in the middle are layers of support foam for durability. Besides the two-sided feature, it’s infused with copper particles to help prevent overheating that’s typically associated with memory foam.
Tester notes: Reviewers on our panel like how nicely it conforms to their bodies and said it’s ideal for side sleepers. They also gave it high scores for support. The downside is that there were mixed reviews from our panel about whether the cooling effect is noticeable.
#5.Nectar Premier Copper 14″ Queen Mattress
- Super thick
- Some reviews say it’s very, very soft
#6.Lucid 8 Inch Twin Mattress
- Shipped compressed
- Ventilated for breathability
- Compatible bases are sold out
Lucid Memory Foam Plush Feel is a type of mattress that is made with a layer of memory foam on top for comfort and support. Memory foam is a type of foam that is known for its ability to conform to the shape of your body and provide pressure relief. The plush feel refers to the softness and comfort of the mattress, which is designed to give you a comfortable and restful night’s sleep.
Memory foam is a popular choice for mattresses because it is able to contour to your body and provide support where you need it most, helping to alleviate pressure points and reduce discomfort. If you are interested in purchasing a Lucid Memory Foam Plush Feel mattress, it is important to consider your personal preferences and needs, as well as factors such as the size and firmness of the mattress, to ensure that you choose the right one for you.
#7.ZOMA Start Memory Foam Mattress Queen
- Helps alleviate pain and soreness
- Some reviewers say it’s firmer than advertised
The ZOMA Start Memory Foam Mattress is a queen-sized mattress that is made with memory foam to provide comfort and support. Memory foam is a type of foam that is known for its ability to conform to the shape of your body and provide pressure relief. The ZOMA Start Memory Foam Mattress is designed to offer a comfortable and supportive sleep experience, with a medium-firm feel that is suitable for most people.
It is also made with a number of features to help you sleep cooler, such as a layer of gel-infused memory foam and a breathable cover. If you are considering purchasing the ZOMA Start Memory Foam Mattress, it is important to consider your personal preferences and needs, as well as factors such as the size and firmness of the mattress, to ensure that you choose the right one for you.
#8.Lucid 12 Inch Hybrid Mattress
- Easy to setup
- Some reviewers say it doesn’t provide enough support
A Lucid Hybrid Mattress is a type of mattress that combines the support of innerspring coils with the comfort of memory foam. The innerspring coils provide a supportive base for the mattress, while the memory foam layer contours to your body and provides pressure relief. Hybrid mattresses are a popular choice for people who want the support of an innerspring mattress with the comfort and pressure relief of memory foam.
Lucid Hybrid Mattresses are available in a range of sizes and firmness levels, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
#9.Tuft & Needle – Legacy Original Queen Mattress
- Responsive and supportive
- Wicks away heat
- Some reviewers say the return process is difficult
Tuft & Needle’s Legacy Original Queen Mattress is a type of foam mattress that is designed to provide a comfortable and supportive sleep experience. It is made with a combination of polyfoam and adaptive foam, which is designed to contour to your body and provide pressure relief.
The Legacy Original Queen Mattress has a medium-firm feel that is suitable for most people, and it is also made with a number of features to help you sleep cooler, such as a breathable cover and a layer of graphite-infused foam.
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For more than 70 years, Prevention has been a leading provider of trustworthy health information, empowering readers with practical strategies to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Our editors interview medical experts to help guide our health-focused product selections. Best Reviews Club also examines hundreds of reviews—and often conducts personal testing done by our staff—to help you make informed decisions.
- 1 Back Pain Mattress Buying Guide
- 2 Back Pain Mattress Pros and Cons
- 3 Key factors to look for regarding back pain relief
- 4 Types & causes of back pain
- 5 What is the best type of mattress for back pain?
- 6 How often should I replace my mattress if I have back pain?
- 7 Can a soft mattress cause back pain?
- 8 Is a harder or softer mattress better for back pain?
- 9 Is memory foam or firm mattress better for back
- 10 What thickness of mattress is best for back pain?
Back Pain Mattress Buying Guide
If you are experiencing back pain and are considering buying a new mattress to help alleviate it, there are a few key factors to consider:
- Firmness: A mattress that is too soft or too firm can cause discomfort and contribute to back pain. A medium-firm mattress may be the most comfortable and supportive option for people with back pain.
- Support: A mattress should provide proper support to your body, including your spine. Look for a mattress that is designed to keep your spine in proper alignment while you sleep.
- Material: Memory foam and hybrid mattresses are often recommended for people with back pain, as they can contour to your body and provide pressure relief.
- Sleep position: Different sleep positions may require different types of mattresses. For example, people who sleep on their stomachs may benefit from a firmer mattress, while those who sleep on their sides may prefer a softer mattress.
- Size: It is important to choose a mattress that is the correct size for you and your bed. A mattress that is too small may not provide proper support, while a mattress that is too large may not fit properly in your bed frame.
It is also a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor or physical therapist, to get personalized recommendations for a mattress that can help alleviate your back pain.
Back Pain Mattress Pros and Cons
Pros of a mattress for back pain:
- Comfort: A mattress that is designed to alleviate back pain can help you sleep more comfortably and wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
- Support: A good mattress for back pain should provide proper support to your body, including your spine, to help alleviate pain and discomfort.
- Pressure relief: Memory foam and hybrid mattresses can contour to your body and provide pressure relief, which can be especially helpful for people with back pain.
- Durability: Many mattresses for back pain are made with high-quality materials and are designed to last for a long time.
Cons of a mattress for back pain:
- Cost: Mattresses that are designed to alleviate back pain may be more expensive than other types of mattresses.
- Firmness: Some people may find that a medium-firm mattress, which is often recommended for people with back pain, is too hard or too soft for their comfort.
- Size: It is important to choose a mattress that is the correct size for your bed, and some people may find that a mattress designed for back pain is not available in the size they need.
- Compatibility: A mattress for back pain may not be suitable for everyone, and it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if it is the right choice for you.
Key factors to look for regarding back pain relief
As mentioned, your individual needs may be very different from other people suffering from back pain. However, there are some key factors that should be considered when you’re considering a new mattress. Here are the six you should be concerned with.
Support & spinal alignment
Posture is important to sleep. When you sleep, your muscles and connective tissues must be able to rest and heal naturally. A bad mattress can get in the way of this by failing to provide the proper support for the spine if it’s too firm or too soft. The right choice of mattress can change from person to person. For instance, someone with wide hips may need a slightly softer surface with more give to let their hips sink in and keep the spine in alignment. If you have narrower hips, too much give can take your spine out of alignment, leading to pain.
Support & spinal alignment
Adjustability can come in 2 forms, your mattress and/or adjustable bed. A mattress that allows firmness adjustability (typically an air bed) can allow you or your partner to adjust the firmness on their side of the mattress. Making it customizable to an individuals weight, pain or sleep issue and firmness preference. On the other hand, an adjustable bed can elevate the top half of the bed or the lower half by six inches or more, to help with both back pain and acid reflux issues.
Pairing both together will provide you with the highest amount of comfort and pain relief from your back pain. Please note: If you choose to purchase an adjustable bed as well, you make sure that the mattress is compatible. For instance, most mattresses thicker than 13 inches aren’t flexible enough to work with adjustable beds.
Clinically proven trials
Testing it yourself can help you see the results in person, but if a bed is either hospital tested or clinically proven, it means it has most likely been used by medical professionals in settings such as hospitals. Often, such mattresses are used to prevent bedsores in long-term patients, but the prevention of bedsores is achieved by body weight displacement, which also relieves the pressure that can cause pain on the back and joints throughout the body.
Finding a mattress that fits all of the categories mentioned above is your best bet for being able to achieve a good night’s sleep with back pain. When researchers from Oklahoma State University randomly assigned 62 people to sleep in a variety of new beds for 28 days, they found that almost everyone started to sleep better. That was true regardless of which model they were given, though people who slept in the cheapest beds did report more lower back pain than those in the medium- and higher-priced beds.
Available for sleep trials
To know whether a mattress works or not, you naturally have to test it. Some people find the right mattress for them by copying the product number they find on a hotel bed. However, you can test mattresses from providers by taking advantage of trials they have that allow you to see whether it works or not.
Types & causes of back pain
Back pain can apply to several different concerns and conditions but is often divided into two categories. Acute pain is sudden, very sharp, and often has a single direct cause but rarely lasts longer than six months once the initial cause heals or is treated. Chronic pain lasts much longer, often manifesting even when the underlying cause, if one of found, is no longer a concern.
Both acute and chronic back pain can arise out of a range of injuries and conditions. Some individuals suffer chronic pain even without an apparent cause such as a visible injury. Other causes are more routinely identified as causal factors, however, such as:
Swelling or inflammation of the joints that can cause high levels of joint pain and stiffness. There are over 100 forms of arthritis, and many cases where no cause is found. These types include rheumatoid arthritis, where the synovium (a material lining the joints) is affected, and osteoarthritis, during which the bone cartilage deteriorates
A consistent, chronically painful syndrome. Muscle pain and fatigue across the body characterizes fibromyalgia, but back pain is one of the most common symptoms, presenting in over half the people suffering from the syndrome.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Intervertebral discs of the spine can naturally break down over time, due to minor injuries, age, and wear and tear.
Also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, this most commonly affects the lower back.
Characterized by when the bone channel in the spine narrows, which can cause pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
Though these conditions are far from a comprehensive list of causes of back pain, they re some of the most common. What’s more, they can all be improved with a change of your mattress.
Back Pain Mattress FAQs
What is the best type of mattress for back pain?
The best type of mattress for back pain may vary depending on your specific needs and preferences. A medium-firm mattress is often recommended for people with back pain, as it provides a balance of comfort and support. Memory foam and hybrid mattresses are also good options for people with back pain, as they can contour to your body and provide pressure relief.
How often should I replace my mattress if I have back pain?
If you are experiencing back pain, it is important to pay attention to the condition and comfort of your mattress. A mattress that is worn out or no longer providing proper support can contribute to back pain. In general, it is recommended to replace a mattress every 7-10 years, but this can vary depending on the quality and condition of the mattress. If you are experiencing back pain and are considering replacing your mattress, it is a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.2When Should You Replace Your Mattress?
Can a soft mattress cause back pain?
A soft mattress may not provide enough support for your body, which can lead to back pain. On the other hand, a mattress that is too firm may be uncomfortable and contribute to back pain. A medium-firm mattress is often recommended for people with back pain, as it provides a balance of comfort and support. It is important to choose a mattress that is suitable for your needs and preferences.
Is a harder or softer mattress better for back pain?
The ideal firmness of a mattress for back pain will depend on your specific needs and preferences. A medium-firm mattress is often recommended for people with back pain, as it provides a balance of comfort and support. A mattress that is too soft may not provide enough support for your body, which can lead to back pain. On the other hand, a mattress that is too firm may be uncomfortable and contribute to back pain. It is important to choose a mattress that is suitable for your needs and preferences.3The truth about what’s better for your back, firm or soft mattress
Is memory foam or firm mattress better for back
Both memory foam and firm mattresses can potentially be suitable for people with back pain, depending on their specific needs and preferences. Here are some things to consider when deciding between a memory foam and firm mattress:
- Memory foam: Memory foam is a type of foam that is known for its ability to conform to the shape of your body and provide pressure relief. Memory foam is often recommended for people with back pain, as it can help alleviate pressure points and reduce discomfort.
- Firm mattress: A firm mattress is generally considered to be more supportive than a softer mattress, which can be beneficial for people with back pain. A firm mattress can help keep your spine in proper alignment while you sleep, which can help alleviate pain and discomfort.
What thickness of mattress is best for back pain?
The thickness of a mattress is not necessarily the most important factor in determining its suitability for people with back pain. Other factors, such as firmness, support, and material, are generally more important in terms of relieving back pain.
In general, a medium-firm mattress is often recommended for people with back pain, as it provides a balance of comfort and support. Memory foam and hybrid mattresses are also good options for people with back pain, as they can contour to your body and provide pressure relief.