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.