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Research from 2002 shows that sleeping on a bed that’s right for you can reduce back pain. Plus, getting good sleep has many health benefits.

While there are lots of great mattresses out there, there’s no best mattress for everyone. Your height, weight, age, sleeping position, and particular health conditions are factors that will determine what’s most comfortable for you.

Before deciding on a mattress, you may want to test out different styles, like hybrid or all foam, in a store to see what type you prefer. Then, you can start narrowing down brands and looking for particular features. If you choose to buy online, many companies offer home trials.

Read on to get a rundown of basic mattress features to look for, and what the research says about mattress types for back pain. We also provide our eight top mattress picks based on consumer reviews, sleep experts, and clinical studies.

We used the criteria below to pick our top mattress picks.

  • Customer reviews. We looked for mattresses with good reviews specifically from people with back pain.
  • Options with added support. We made sure to include mattress options that provide added back support. For example, some mattresses are designed with firmer support in the lumbar region.
  • Company policies. As a rule, we only include mattress brands that let you try before you buy — either in stores or through a free trial period.
  • Different options. We wanted to be sure to include options to suit different preferences, so we list both foam and hybrid options.

Read more about how we vet brands and products here.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $1,500
  • $$ = $1,500–$2,000
  • $$$ = over $2,000

The prices of mattresses vary by size. We used a standard queen-size mattress to calculate our price equivalents. Many brands have more affordable models.

Saatva Classic

  • Price: $
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 11.5 or 14.5 inches

The Saatva Classic is made in the United States with recycled steel springs and an organic cotton cover. The contoured CertiPUR-US certified foam pillow top is designed to support your back, hips, and shoulders.

You can return or exchange a Saatva mattress for a 99 transportation fee, but the brand only sells online. When you order a new mattress, Saatva will remove your old one.

Some customers think that the mattress is heavy and that there is some off-gassing, which is a common concern for mattresses that include foam.


  • The mattress is available in three different levels of firmness.
  • It comes in a range of sizes, including some less common ones.
  • Many reviewers say the mattress is not hot.
  • It is easy to deliver. The company will bring the mattress to your bedroom, not just leave it at your doorstep.


  • This mattress is expensive.
  • The luxury firm option is too firm, making it uncomfortable.
  • There is a fee for returns.

Buy the Saatva Classic mattress online.

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid

  • Price: $$
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 14 inches

This hybrid mattress is made of gel memory foam, a cashmere blend plush top, and individually wrapped innerspring coils. It’s designed to reduce motion transfer, meaning you won’t feel your partner move around too much at night.

“Some reviewers think it doesn’t have good edge support. If you lie on the edge of the mattress, the sides may sink.”

This mattress is sold online only and comes with a full year trial and lifetime warranty. DreamCloud has free shipping, delivery, setup, and returns. Financing is also available.


  • The mattress has a year-long trial.
  • “It is designed to reduce motion transfer so you won’t feel it in the night.”
  • The mattress is too firm for comfort.


  • DreamCloud has a subpar customer service reputation on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • The DreamCloud Luxury hybrid only comes in one level of firmness, but you can choose a pillow top version at an additional cost.
  • “Some reviewers think the support along the edges of the mattress isn’t good.”

Buy the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress online.

Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Essentials

  • Price: $
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 12 inches

The Sealy Posturepedic hybrid mattress has a gel memory support foam top and a barrel-shaped coil base. The center of the mattress is reinforced to support the heavy parts of your body: your back and pelvis.

The polyester cover is designed to wick moisture away from your body, helping keep you cool while sleeping. It also has low motion transfer, so two people can sleep comfortably side by side.

Sealy has been making mattresses for over 100 years and they are available in stores and online. The product has a 10-year warranty.


  • The mattress is made to support your body parts.
  • You can try the mattress at the store.
  • Two people can sleep on the mattress without being bothered by each other.


  • The mattress is too hot.
  • It has a 10-year warranty, which is shorter than some.
  • It may be difficult to purchase this mattress online.

The Sealy Posturepedic hybrid essentials mattress is available for purchase.

Puffy Lux

  • Price: $$
  • Type: foam
  • Height: 12 inches

The base of the Puffy Lux is made of foam and supportive coils. The bottom layer provides a firm foundation, while the second and third layers offer balanced support to reduce pressure points. The top layer is important.

The Puffy mattress is machine-washable and works with any kind of bed base. It is designed for all sleeping styles.

Some side sleepers found the mattress uncomfortable and others felt that they were sinking into the mattress at night. This is a medium-firm mattress, so if you prefer a softer option, this may not be the best choice for you.

“Shipping is free for Puffy, they don’t sell their mattress in stores. They offer a trial period of 101 nights.”


  • Reviewers say the mattress is comfortable.
  • The mattress is medium-firm and appealing to many.
  • “You have 101 nights to try the mattress, and if you don’t like it, you can return it for free.”


  • Some people find the mattress too soft, while others feel like they are sinking into it.
  • The mattress is not different in firmness levels.

Buy the Puffy Lux mattress online.

Nectar Memory Foam

  • Price: $
  • Type: foam
  • height: 12 inches

The Nectar is a medium-firm mattress with almost no movement transfer. Four layers of CertiPUR-US certified foam are designed to support you at pressure points and keep you cool. The top cooling layer of cotton and Tencel fabric molds to your body, and the bottom layers give you firm support.

“This mattress is made to work with all types of beds. It may off-gas for a few days after shipment. Some reviewers complain that the mattress didn’t expand properly after opening.”

You can feel confident buying online with a trial period, free shipping, and a lifetime guarantee.


  • If you sleep with a pet or partner who tends to move at night, the mattress is not prone to movement transfer.
  • It is compatible with all bed setup.
  • The mattress comes with a year-long trial.


  • Nectar has poor reviews for customer service on the BBB.
  • The mattress may not work after a few days.
  • “Some people said the mattress didn’t expand fully.”

Buy the Nectar Memory Foam mattress online.

Amerisleep AS2

  • Price: $$
  • Type: foam
  • Height: 12 inches

“Amerisleep claims that it uses a plant-based memory foam that is five times more absorbent than other foam. The AS2 mattress bounces back so you won’t have to worry about sinking into it.”

With a unique Celliant cover, the mattress sleeps cool. Celliant is designed to increase your blood flow, and it’s recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a medical device.

Amerisleep offers a 100 day trial period and free return or exchange for the AS2 in lieu of stores. Delivery and shipping are free.

The mattress is made with back and stomach sleepers in mind, so it may not be the best choice for side sleepers.


  • It is good for stomach and back sleep.
  • The foam is supportive.
  • The fabric used in the cover is called Celliant. The FDA has recognized the fabric as a medical device because it is designed to keep you cool at night.


  • Side sleepers may not like the mattress.
  • The trial is 100 nights, which is shorter than some of the other options.

Buy the Amerisleep AS2 mattress online.

Eight Sleep The Pod Pro

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: foam
  • Height: 12 inches

The mattress has four layers of foam that provide support and cushion. It can be comfortable for back sleepers, but it may be too soft for stomach or side sleepers. It may be too soft for some people.

The smart mattress offers temperature regulation and sleep tracking. The water is hidden in the mattress cover.

The water can be heat or cooled by the dual controls. As your body temperature changes during the night, your temperature levels can be adjusted by the sensors.

The mattress tracks your sleep phases, heart rate, and pulse. You can get a regular analysis of your sleep data. It requires a connection to the internet.

Free shipping and free returns are offered by Eight Sleep. There is a 10-year warranty on the mattress and a 1-year warranty on the technology and temperature mechanism.


  • The mattress has dual controls so you can heat or cool the bed.
  • This could be a great choice if you want a smart mattress that provides insights on sleep.
  • Reviewers like the mattress.


  • The mattress may be too soft.
  • It is one of the more expensive options.
  • Privacy and data concerns could come into play.
  • It is not available in twin or twin XL or split king.

Buy the Eight Sleep The Pod Pro mattress online.

Mattress Price range Type Height (inches) Pros and cons
Saatva Classic $ hybrid 11.5 or 14.5 – doesn’t sleep hot
– delivery is easy
– may be too firm for some
DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid $$ hybrid 14 – designed to reduce motion transfer
– year-long trial
– only comes in one firmness level
Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Essentials $ hybrid 12 – not prone to motion transfer
– designed to support your core
– might be tough to buy online
Puffy Lux $$ hybrid 12 – medium-firm surface appeals to many
– it feels supportive and plush
– some find it too soft
Nectar Memory Foam $ foam 12 – not prone to motion transfer
– compatible with different bed setups
– tends to off-gas
Amerisleep AS2 $$ foam 12 – good for back and stomach sleepers
– foam is designed to be supportive
– trial is just 100 nights, not a year
Eight Sleep The Pod Pro $$$ foam 12 – dual controls to heat or cool either side
– provides insights on sleep
– more expensive than others

Anyone with back pain knows it can interfere with daily activities, including sleep. Your beauty sleep is important, and lower, mid, and upper backaches can affect your ability to get quality shut-eye and even make it challenging to fall asleep.

Research from 2020 shows that chronic back low pain can negatively affect sleep. The more intense your pain, the more likely it is to wake you up and disturb your slumber. The research also found that people who reported worse sleep quality were also more likely to experience emotional distress and poorer overall function.

When shopping for a mattress, there are 10 factors to consider.

1. Support

What is considered proper support?

  • Your spine rests aligned. The mattress should be firm enough to support you in a sleeping position, with your spine in neutral alignment.
  • Your hips and shoulders are comfortable. At the same time, the mattress has to give enough support to keep your shoulders, hips, and lower back comfortable.

When you are shopping in person, do the following.

  1. If you want to check your spine, lie on a mattress and have someone look at it.
  2. If the person on the other side of the bed moves one side of the bed, you can see if the mattress shifts under you.
  3. Some stores have assessment software.

BridgeIT is a scanning app that senses your body pressure points, and is used by some retailers.

The app can point you to different types of mattresses that are best for you.

Keep in mind that a 2003 clinical study shows that a medium-firm mattress is best for back pain. If you’re shopping online, look at firmness levels to get a sense of how well the mattress may suit your needs.

2. Comfort

Individual comfort is what it is. It is important to shop in person even if you are buying online. You can test out features before you shop.

To make sure that you are comfortable.

  • Shop in person. Try out different types and brands of mattresses in a mattress store or a department store and note the make and model of those that seem like they will meet your needs. While some companies don’t sell their mattresses in stores, they may still have showrooms where you can test them out.
  • Take your time. Spend at least 15 minutes testing each mattress. Move around on the mattress to try different sleeping positions.

A 2008 study of just over 100 people with chronic lower back pain found that a waterbed or a foam mattress was marginally superior for back symptoms and comfortable sleeping than a hard mattress. But the differences were small.

It is recommended that you pair your mattress with an easy to use bed base. This will allow you to raise the head, foot, or middle of the bed.

3. Size

Would you sleep better on a larger bed? Consider increasing your mattress size to a queen or king size.

4. Cost and value

Mattresses can be expensive. Consider how much time you will be spending on it, and how well you sleep.

Terry Cralle, a sleep educator, says that a comfortable mattress is not the place to focus on dollars. Your investment will pay off in many ways.

5. Brand name

You want a mattress that is made of quality materials.

Be aware that many brands may be made by the same factory and with the same materials and construction. So, some brands may not have significant differences among them.

6. Mattress construction

If you’re someone who swears by your innerspring mattress, you may want to explore another mattress type, such as latex or memory foam, pillow top, hybrids, air beds, or even waterbeds.

A small 2010 study found that people diagnosed with low back pain and stiffness had better sleep and less pain on a foam or latex mattress.

7. Sleeping position

Your sleeping position can affect your back pain.

If you’re a side sleeper, you may find a mattress with a softer top more comfortable, as it’ll help reduce stress on pressure points. If you’re a back sleeper or stomach sleeper, you may find a firmer mattress to be more comfortable since it will prevent your spine from sinking into the mattress.

8. Allergens

If you have known allergies, such as to latex, check the mattress’s materials list. Some foams can contain toxins, so look for a certified foam.

9. Delivery options

Will the store deliver the new mattress, set it up, and dispose of your old mattress without an additional charge?

If you are buying a mattress online, you may need a plan for disposing of the old mattress and installing the new one.

10. Warranties

“You can try the new mattress at home for a month or more. You can return or exchange the mattress for a fee if it doesn’t work for you.”

Check the instructions for returning the mattress. What would you do if the store or mattress company failed?

If you buy a foam mattress that is shrink-wrapped, you will have to re-box it.

The support core and upholstery layer are what the Mattresses are constructed with. There are many varieties with advantages. Here are nine.

1. Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses use a steel coil system for support. The number of coils and how they are arranged vary, but generally speaking, more coils means more support. Additionally, some mattresses have a higher concentration of coils in the lower back area for added relief.

The padding on the coils affects comfort and stability.

If you share the bed, the coil configurations make a difference in how your movements are transferred to your partner. It affects how the mattress supports your body.

2. Memory foam

The support system in the upholstery layer is made of high density foam. The foam is close to the shape of the sleeper.

3. Latex foam

The support system on latex mattresses is latex foam. The latex may come from plants or oil.

4. Hybrid

Steel coil mattresses combine with foam or latex for comfort.

5. Pillow top

There is an extra layer of padding on top of the other support layers. It is like having pillows on top of your mattress.

6. Gel

The gel and foam mattresses are made of gel. The mattress will be able to cool down better. It makes the mattress feel different.

7. Air bed

Air bed mattresses have a different firmness. They fit into bed frames and are covered with padding. Air beds can be controlled on different sides.

8. Waterbed

Waterbeds are the support system. They can be hard sided with a wooden frame or soft sided with a foam frame inside a fabric cover. They are made to fit the bed frames.

The waterbeds have baffles that restrict the motion of the water.

9. Adjustable beds

The mattress and base can move, but they are made to look like conventional beds. You can raise your head or feet, and some have dual controls that allow you and your sleeping partner to adjust their position.

The first thing to know is that a super soft, plush mattress is bad news for people with back pain. If you have back pain, a supportive mattress is a must, and something that has too much give can’t provide adequate support for your spine.

Some research from 2015 suggests that medium-firm, self-adjustable mattresses are the ideal sleeping surfaces for people with back pain. A zoned support mattress, one that allows you to target firmer support at the lower back level, is the ideal option.

“Don’t despair if you don’t have the budget for a self-adjusting model. People with back pain can find hybrid and innerspring mattresses to be good choices. They provide more support than foam models.”

“If you can’t afford a new mattress or are not ready to replace your current one, there are a few things you can do to improve the comfort of your existing mattress.”

  • Add a mattress topper. A medium-firm mattress might provide great back support, but not everyone finds a hard surface comfortable. A soft mattress topper adds some plushness without sacrificing support.
  • Go to the floor. Try putting your mattress on the floor, as this provides a firmer surface.
  • Better yet, add plywood. Not everyone will love the idea of sleeping on a mattress on the floor. If that’s you, try sticking a hard piece of plywood under your mattress for added support.
  • Use an adjustable base. An adjustable base can help you find a more comfortable sleeping position that puts less pressure on the parts of your back that ache during the night.
  • Look at your pillows. Sometimes, the source of back pain isn’t entirely the fault of your mattress. Your pillows might need a refresh. Or you might be sleeping on the wrong ones. If you sleep on your stomach or back, opt for a softer pillow than what you would use for side sleeping. Get our top pillow picks here.

Buying a new mattress may help with your back pain. It is best to seek a professional opinion if you have pain.

If your back pain is preventing you from doing anything, it is time to talk with a doctor. If the pain is more severe, you should seek care sooner.

Can a mattress cause back pain?

“Absolutely. Even if you have never had chronic back pain, a mattress that doesn’t support the natural curve of your spine can cause it.”

Also, an uncomfortable mattress might cause you to sleep differently or toss and turn, potentially causing back pain.

Can replacing your mattress improve back pain?

Sure, but it’s not guaranteed to cure it, especially if your back woes are caused by an underlying chronic condition like osteoarthritis. That said, a supportive mattress may help reduce pain.

What style of mattress is best for back pain?

According to research from 2015, the best mattress for back pain is probably one that’s medium firm and self-adjusting.

But that doesn’t account for personal preference. Ultimately, the best mattress for back pain is one that you find comfortable and allows you to sleep like a baby.

What style of mattress is worst for back pain?

That sort of depends on your preferences. You might want to avoid an all-foam mattress because it is softer and less supportive than hybrid and innerspring models. We included several options on our list because some people with back pain prefer the foam feel.

What mattress types are best for people with back pain?

There are not one mattress that is best for back pain. It depends on your preferences and needs.

All-foam options may not provide enough support, causing your spine to sag as you snooze — whereas overly firm options could make the spine too straight.

Most of the brands featured in this article have at- home trials, so you can sleep on it before you buy.

At-home trials can still be a hassle, as you still have to do something with the mattress if it doesn’t work for you — whether it’s coordinating for the company to pick it up or donating it. theless, if you’re not sure what will work best for you, the trials could help.

If you have back pain and prefer the feel of foam for its cushion effect, a hybrid option that is supportive and has foam on top could bring the best of both worlds.

You spend a third of your life sleeping, so getting a mattress that you like is important.

One 2009 study shows that simply changing your mattress can improve the comfort of your sleep.

The high cost of some mattresses can be a shock. Most brands have a range of mattresses.

When shopping for a mattress, consider all the factors. Sleep experts say that a good mattress is one of the most important investments you can make for your health.