The 12 Best Mattresses for Back Pain, According to Real People

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The good news? Getting a new mattress can definitely help with back pain. The bad news? Experts don’t have a simple, one-size-fits-all recommendation as to which ones might help. “Unfortunately, there is no universally best mattress for back pain. Studies on the subject have been inconclusive,” explains Dr. Payam Farjoodi, M.D., an orthopedic spine surgeon based in California.

That’s why the most important thing is to opt for a mattress with a 30-plus day at-home trial period, says Dr. Charla Fischer, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone’s Spine Center. That way, you can see whether your back responds well to its level of support after sleeping on it for an extended period of time. Dr. Farjoodi agrees adding, “Everybody is different and a mattress that feels better for one person may be miserable to another.”

OK, but how do you narrow it down from the thousands of different mattresses on the market? If you’re not sure which level of firmness you prefer, try a medium firm one. “Some evidence suggests that a medium to medium firm mattress provides the best support for your spine by not loading any one area more than the others, allowing your body to better maintain a neutral spine position through the night,” explains Dr. Caitlin Redding, DC, a sports chiropractor based in Pennsylvania. It’s a good idea to look for mattresses which are designed for pressure relief or spinal alignment, too.

Another great way to vet which mattresses are best for back pain? Reading customer reviews , and finding a person whose aches line up with your own. Here, the 12 best mattresses for back pain, according to real people.

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Layla Sleep/Facebook

1. layla Hybrid Mattress

Best Overall

Trial period: 120 nights

The National Sleep Foundation recommends this mattress for back pain, so we knew we had to include it in our list. Layla’s hybrid mattress contains a mix of memory foam and coil springs that are designed to address the needs of side, back and stomach sleepers. Plus, it has two different levels of support—soft and firm—on each side, so you can flip it based on what feels best to you and your aching back. “I chose the soft side,” explains one reviewer. “It’s not ‘squishy’ (think Tempur-Pedic squishy) but since the first night I slept on it, I have had no stiffness or pain in my back at all.” Sounds like a winner to us.

Why it helps with back pain: The two different levels of support coupled with the longer trial period allows users to experiment and figure out what works best for them—without having to commit to either a soft or firm mattress right away.

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2. beautyrest Br800 12’’ Medium Firm Queen Mattress

Best Value

Trial period: 120 nights

This medium firm mattress boasts DualCool technology, a special layer to keep it from locking in heat and moisturize, Gel Memory Foam Lumbar Support to maintain the natural curve of your spine and Pocket Coil Technology to provide flexible support. One reviewer calls it “great for back issues,” saying that his back pain went away after the first week of sleeping on this mattress. But perhaps the best part about this bed? Its amazing price point. This baby is currently 48 percent off at Macy’s now through August 16th.

Why it helps with back pain: Built-in lumbar support keeps your spine in natural alignment throughout the night.

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Bed Bath and Beyond

3. tempur-pedic Tempur-proadapt Firm Mattress


Trial period: 120 days, exchange only

This mattress is built with Tempur-Pedic's most pressure relieving material ever, so you know it’ll feel good to lie on after a long day. The material works to minimize pressure points that keep you up (including those on your back) so you can drift off to sleep in mere minutes. And as the name ProAdapt suggests, it has special support and comfort layers that are designed to adapt to each sleeper’s unique body shape. “If you have a bad back and need support, this is the mattress for you. I now wake up each morning without my back hurting!” writes one former back pain sufferer.

Why it helps with back pain: Firm support and advanced pressure relieving material aim to melt away aches and pains.

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Nectar Sleep/Facbook

4. the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Pain

Trial period: 365 nights

This bed-in-a-box’s five layers make for what the brand calls “the ideal ratio of softness, firmness and support most people want” which sounds pretty promising. It’s medium-firm, making it a safe bet if you’re not entirely sure what you prefer in terms of support. And the adaptive foam layers were created to relieve common pressure points on your shoulders, hips and legs to promote better spinal alignment. “After just two nights of sleep on our new mattress I have experienced no back pain. On our old pillow top mattress I was experiencing both back and neck pain,” writes one woman. Nectar also has some pretty awesome policies, which include free shipping and free returns, and a Forever Warranty—meaning the brand will replace or repair your mattress regardless of how long you’ve owned it.

Why it helps with back pain: Nectar’s adaptive memory foam layers work to relieve pressure on your shoulders, hips and legs so that your spine stays in alignment all night long.

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5. bear Hybrid Mattress

Best Hybrid Mattress for Back Pain

Trial period: 100 nights

Another bed-in-a-box, Bear’s Hybrid Mattress has a combination of foam and coils to provide a medium firm feel. Its Serene Foam layer reportedly provides four times more pressure relief than traditional mattresses by filling into the contours of your body. And if you tend to run hot at night, you’ll appreciate this mattress’s cooling gel memory foam for temperature regulation. Work out a lot? This bed is woven using Celliant’s Infrared Yarn Technology which has been clinically proven to improve tissue oxygen levels, leading to better athletic performance and better sleep. “Before this mattress, I was struggling with a lot of back pain that would be so bad sometimes that it disrupted my daily life. I have had this mattress for almost two months now and feel amazing,” writes one woman.

Why it helps with back pain: With a 6.1/10 firmness rating, this mattress fits the “medium firm” requirement. Plus, it’s serene foam will likely work out any kinks by providing pressure relief.

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6. the Casper Original Mattress

Highest Rated

Trial period: 100 nights

With over 15,000 positive reviews, there’s no question that people love this mattress. And considering that it’s designed with three zones of targeted support for proper spinal alignment and a cooling top layer to promote airflow, we can see why. The mattress has softer foam around the shoulders to ease upper body tension, while firmer foam around the hips, waist and lower back help to keep your spine in check. “I’ve been waking up with upper back and side pain for the last few months with my old mattress, but with Casper, it went away within the first few days,” says one reviewer.

Why it helps with back pain: The firmer foam around the hips, waist and lower back promote proper spinal alignment in a way that softer mattresses don’t.

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7. the Purple Hybrid Premier Mattress

Best for Hot Sleepers

Trial period: 100 nights

What sets Purple mattresses apart is their unique Purple Grid, a special top layer which is designed to flex under pressure to support your back while cradling your shoulders and hips. The brand recommends going with the 3’’ Purple Grid option for those who like to change positions while they sleep, and the 4’’ option for side sleepers. Either way, you’ll get open air channels and temperature-neutral materials that keep you cool all night long. “I really enjoy this mattress! It took about two to three weeks to get adjusted to it but now it’s super comfortable. My lower back pain stopped waking me up in the middle of the night,” says one customer.

Why it helps with back pain: The unique Purple Grid layer adapts to your body providing support exactly where you need it so that you wake up kink-free.

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Idle Sleep

8. the Idle Latex Mattress

Best for Back and Stomach Sleepers

Trial period: 18 months

If you prefer to sleep on your back or stomach, go with the Dunlop Latex variation, which is naturally more dense and provides the extra support that back and stomach sleepers need. It’s made with 1,000 smart support coils and offer an impressive 18 month risk-free trial. “No more flip flopping because of hip and back pain,” says one happy buyer. Plus, each one of Idle Sleep’s latex mattresses is handmade with 100 percent organic cotton and latex which ensures that they are hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial and dust mite-resistant, making it an ideal choice if you’re sensitive to allergens.

Why it helps with back pain: This mattress’s 1,000 coils create tension management and support across the bed which is ideal if your body responds well to a firm feel. And the 18 month risk-free trial allows you truly see whether this design benefits your back.

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9. plushbeds Original Latex Mattress: The Botanical Bliss

Most Eco-Friendly

Trial period: 100 nights

Many mattresses are treated with toxic chemicals, so they’re not exactly the best for the environment. But not this one. It’s free of the seven most common toxins found in mattresses and is GreenGuard Gold certified, meaning it isn’t emitting harmful chemicals into your home. This guy is also made with Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) cotton and wool and Global Organic Latex Standard latex, so you know it’s been manufactured responsibly. According to the brand, this model is often recommended by chiropractors and orthopedic specialists because it gently cradle’s the body’s pressure points to relieve pain. “My wife and I are runners with recurrent hip and lower back pain and this mattress made a huge difference in alleviating those issues,” says one woman.

Why it helps with back pain: Chiropractors and orthopedic specialists recommend this mattress on the reg because of the way it cradles the main pressure points on your body to relieve aches and pains.

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10. saatva Classic Mattress

Best for Lower Back Pain

Trial period: 120 nights

Prefer a classic pillow top? This one from Saatva is designed with special Lumbar Zone support technology in the middle layer of the mattress to promote spinal alignment. That’s key for alleviating lower back pain, which can be caused by placing too much weight on the area. And apparently it works, because the brand has been awarded the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations’ seal of approval. The luxury firm feel is its most popular level of support, which is made to mimic the feel of a luxury hotel bed. “As someone who has back and leg pain, I’ve dreaded going to bed for the past couple of years. But this new mattress is exceptional, striking the balance between softness and support,” says one reviewer.

Why it helps with back pain: The special Lumbar Zone to encourage proper spinal alignment and the endorsement from the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations make this a great pick for back pain sufferers.

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Helix Sleep

11. helix Sunset Luxe Mattress

Best for Side Sleepers

Trial period: 100 nights

Side sleepers typically benefit from a plush mattress like this one, which was specifically designed with side sleepers in mind. It has Zoned Lumbar Support Coils which feels softer under your shoulders and firmer under your hips to keep your spine aligned—even when you’re curled up on your side. Did we mention it arrives in a super compact box for easy set-up, too? “I feel more supported at night and have noticed decreased neck, shoulder and back pain,” writes one reviewer.

Why it helps with back pain: Sometimes side sleepers miss out on the spinal support they need, but not in this case. The Zoned Lumbar Support Coils work to keep your spine neutral even if you’re curled up in the fetal position.

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Sleep Number

12. sleep Number 360 C2 Smart Bed

Best Adjustable Mattress for Back Pain

Trial period: 100 nights

Your desired level of firmness could change over time, or based on the areas where you’re experiencing pain. And thanks to Sleep Number, that doesn’t mean you have to get a totally new mattress. Instead, simply increase or decrease the firmness (aka your Sleep Number setting) with a push of a button using the Sleep IQ app and the bed will adjust. Each side can be customized, making it a great option for partners who have very different mattress needs. “Since I invested in my Sleep Number bed, I’ve noticed I don’t wake up to pain and stiffness, nor do I get woken up in the middle of the night with pain,” writes a reviewer.

Why it helps with back pain: The ultra-customizable firmness allows you to select the perfect amount of support to ease any discomfort you’re feeling

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From 2019 to 2021 Kara Cuzzone held the role of Assistant Commerce Editor covering sales and deals across beauty, fashion, home and wellness.