Marcus is an orthopedic spine surgeon who knows for sure how to ease ache in your back, neck, and shoulders, and prevent meeting him in person.
Last updated: August 15, 2021
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Whether you have been feeling back pain because of a chronic issue or have recently been suffering from back pain because of an incident, you know what it means to sleep uncomfortably. You know the advantages of a good night’s sleep and you know how to get it—with a quality mattress. Whatever the cause of your back pain may be, the quality of your mattress can make a huge difference in your pain and how long you have to suffer from it. Especially if you want to get up, have a great morning and go through your day as pain-free as possible, the best mattress for back pain can help.
In this article, we’re going to be presenting you with specific information to help you pick out the best mattress for back pain. A purchasing decision like this one can be made based on certain features of the mattress, like the firmness, filling, layers, thickness or warranty. It’s important to know the details of these features of a specific mattress before you buy.
Through hours of research looking through various product lines of the best mattresses, we’ve put together this article with all the great choices included. From our comparison table to in-detail reviews of each product to our final buying guide to help you make your purchase, we hope that this article can help you choose the best mattress to help you not only sleep without pain but also prepare for the day ahead.
The Bear Pro bed is about half an inch thicker than the Plank mattress. However, the number of layers is still the same for both beds. The layers on this bed include the HD polyfoam, polyfoam, gel-infused memory foam, and copper-infused polyfoam.
Most notable out of these layers is the copper-infused polyfoam layer at the top. Copper does have some beneficial properties for sleepers, hence why it is included. For one, it is a thermal conductor. Whisking away heat in the bed while you sleep will be an easy matter.
The metal also has anti-microbial properties. Bacteria can build up in your bed, causing health problems, and this helps prevent that. Remember that you are trying to eliminate back pain without adding to your problems. Also, gel and open-cell foam have been added to the mattress. As such, an outlet for the heat is provided.
You can also count on the memory foam layer to cradle you while you sleep. Since this cradles you according to your pressure points, your back is left straight and in a better position to recover.
Another excellent addition is the Celliant fabric cover. The Celliant material has been known to improve blood circulation, increase tissue oxygenation, and help with muscle recovery. If an injury is the reason you have back pain, this may be an excellent remedy.
What stands out?
Mattress has anti-microbial properties
Multiple temperature regulation measures have been included
The WinkBed is another viable option for eliminating back pain and ensuring comfortable sleep. As far as having firmness options go, this option provides you with five. Consequently, finding a perfect match is almost a guarantee. Also, the manufacturer offers recommendations on which firmness option to pick, depending on your sleeping habits.
Layering on this bed is also worthy of praise. You get a Triple Layer Heat Disperse system, which incorporates the Tencel cover and the two layers beneath it. One of these layers is the gel-infused Hypersoft Foam option that can pull heat from the body. This has also been referred to as the Euro-pillowtop layer.
Additionally, you have micro air springs that sit below the Hypersoft foam layer. The airflow in this layer is helpful in getting rid of heat. Another awe-inspiring feature is the zoned coil system.
Notably, this coil system offers more support in areas that handle the most weight, such as under the lumbar region. This, in conjunction with the euro-pillowtop, ensure optimal spine alignment.
One area the WinkBed has a distinct advantage over the Bear Pro is in the edge support. If falling off your matress has been something you are concerned about before going to bed, this mattress will have you sorted.
The SLEEPCALM motion isolation technology also does wonders for the marketability of this product to people who share a bed with their partners.
What stands out?
Offers superior motion isolation
Lifetime limited warranty
Helps users sleep cool
120-night sleep trial
Edge support is provided
The zoned system helps with optimal spine alignment
One of the most effective mattresses, when the goal is eliminating back pain, is the Plank bed. It features an 11.5” thick body with a variety of sizes to fit your bed frame.
One way the bed does its job is by ensuring a neutral spine position. Consequently, users can breathe easier while they sleep, and the pressure on their circulatory systems is reduced.
Notably, you can flip this bed and use either side for sleeping. As such, it offers two mattress feel options, namely firm and extra-firm in the same bed. The whole bed is comprised of four main layers. Two of these are patterned and quilted.
One one end you get the 0.75” quilted layer, that ensures zero loft. For this reason, sleeping on the side of the bed that has this layer on top gives an ultra-firm feel. The other end of the bed has a 1.5” quilted layer which helps lower the firmness a bit.
You also get 2” of transitional Titanflex foam, which adds support to the 0.75” quilted top layer. Under that is the 7” base form layer made of high-density foam.
Also, you can have a cooling panel on either side of the mattress. It comes in the form of a phase change molecule (PCM) fabric and is optional. We would advise testing both firmness options provided by the bed as much as you can in the 120-night trial period.
Why is it special?
Ensures neutral spine positioning
Ensures users breathe easier while asleep
What are the flaws?
Sleeps hot unless you add the optional cooling options
You rarely find flippable hybrid beds. However, the Layla Hybrid Mattress is one exception. Like most flippable options, you get two firmness options in one bed. In this case, they are soft and firm options. You can pick the option that is easier on your back.
This bed consists of a total of five layers, excluding the cover. The middle layer features pocketed coils that help isolate motion. Also, a double coil perimeter is added. For this reason, the mattress can offer users edge control.
There are two foam layers on each side of the middle coil layer. They include copper-gel memory foam and max airflow support foam. The sizes of these layers differ depending on which side they are on. This brings about the difference experienced in firmness on the top and bottom of the mattress.
We have to highlight the copper-gel memory foam layer due to its numerous benefits as well. The gel, in conjunction with the copper, works to pull heat away from the user’s body. As such, the feeling of sleeping in a sauna is not one you will get from this bed.
You also get to keep bacteria away from your bed, thanks to the copper. As a bonus, this keeps your mattress smelling fresh every day. The cover doesn’t disappoint either. It is highly breathable, and if the day comes where you need to clean it, a zipper is there to help you take it off the mattress. What’s more, you get flipping handles as well that are built into the cover.
What are our favorite features?
Flippable and offers both soft and firm surfaces
Users get to sleep cool
Features a breathable cover with handles
Comes with anti-microbial properties
120-night sleep trial
Offers edge support
What could be better?
The mattress is quite heavy, which makes it a chore to move around
There are also merits to the Helix Midnight LUXE that make its placement on this list worth it. This product features an impressive Tencel cover to hold its foil and coil layers. The cover is exceptionally breathable, and right underneath it lies a premium quilted pillowtop.
Also notable is that the hybrid design leaves more breathing and air circulation room in the mattress. Remember, you have pressure-relieving support foam, and transition foam before you can reach the coil layer. To achieve perfect spine alignment, the manufacturer sets up the coil layer to give parts of your body varying degrees of support.
One example is that your hips probably carry the most weight, and as such, the mattress will be firmer in this region. Additionally, you have eco-friendly materials as the primary components used to make this bed. There is confirmation of this in the OEKO-TEX and CertiPUR-US certifications.
What stands out?
100-night sleep trial
Offers zoned support to different sections of the user’s body
Easy on most user’s backs
What cons did we manage to find?
The temperature regulation measures are no enough for some users as they still sleep warm
Another back-pain relief bed option is the Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress. The trial period for this bed is immensely superior to that of most other mattresses in the market.
Most other manufacturers offer 100-120 days of sleep trial while the testing period for this bed lasts a year. This already makes the mattress a steal when added to the lifetime warranty. Zoned coils have also been incorporated to handle the distribution of your weight.
The cover on this mattress is unique since it comprises a combination of New Zealand wool and cotton, which are both organic products. Both these cover components help wick away moisture from the user’s body. The wool also has an extra function of warding away dust mites.
Pressure relief is one of the guarantees of the purchase alongside minimal motion transfer. Also, the manufacturer uses natural Dunlop latex to make the foam in the mattress. This helps meet the CertiPUR-US standards that are needed for certification, which also means the bed is environmentally friendly.
Finally, the mattress can be heavy. If you need to move it, you have four handles that come attached to the soft base layer of the bed. This does help reduce the strain on the individuals involved.
Why did it make our list?
You have handles for adjusting or carrying the bed
Offers pressure relief to all the right parts of your body
Organic and environmentally friendly construction
The cover helps keep away dust mites
What is not ideal about it?
Only has one firmness option, and thus not everybody will find it comfortable
The Live & Sleep Ultra Mattress is a three layered, medium-firm mattress that is designed with luxury memory foam and can get you the comfort you need and the sleep experience you want—which might be hard to come by if you’re suffering from back pain.
However, with this mattress, the last thing you’ll need to worry about is discomfort. The Live & Sleep Ultra Mattress has been deemed our Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain and also has CERTIPUR-US® CERTIFIED foam inside.
What sets this company apart are the perks of free 2 business day shipping within the continental U.S. and the brand name’s charitable background. For every purchase of the mattress, part of the total price will go to charity.
Along with the 20-year warranty, this brand also offers a 100-night, no-hassle return policy.
The three-layered mattress is not only stacked with quality, it is designed with premium memory foam, gel-infused cool memory foam, and high-density performance core support base.
You can also enjoy the soft cover that comes along with it. When you’re looking for luxury for your lower back pain—it might be hard to find, but Live and Sleep Ultra Mattress might come pretty close.
What makes it special?
Three layers that make up the mattress
Free 100-night, no-hassle return policy
The part of every purchase goes to donation deal
No “new” smell of the gas and materials used
Extremely lightweight to lift and put in place
What cons did we find?
Needs a box spring—it’s purchased separately
Some customers complained that it sunk at the edges
The gel memory foam doesn’t have that cooling effect found in other mattresses
The Sweetnight Mattress can help solve any sleeping problem you may have. With a queen mattress size and with three layers of an all-foam system, you can definitely rest assured that you’ll be getting your money’s worth with quality.
The Sweetnight Mattress has improved support and heat dissipation, which can help with not only keeping yourself cool but also helping those who suffer from back pain and can often toss and turn during the night. Especially if you are sleeping with a partner in bed, you’ll want to disturb the other one as little as possible. This mattress helps discourage transfer of movement.
You’ll also feel rejuvenated the morning after sleeping on this cool, plus 12-inch gel foam mattress—which is saying something when you have back issues.
A great feature that sets the Sweetnight Mattress apart from other mattresses out there is the fact that this CertiPUR-US is health and hypoallergenic. To make sure you are getting high-quality, this certified foam was made with harmless substances like formaldehyde, mercury, and other heavy metals.
The soft, rayon cotton cover and comfortable foam mattress is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to allergens, mold, bacteria, and dust mites which means that not only are you getting great sleep, you’re also going to feel it on the inside, too.
The 5.5” high-density foam will offer proper back support and alignment, which is great for those who have back problems—and helps resist sagging and roll-off that are average with other mattresses.
What stands out?
5.5 inches of high-density foam for optimal support
Is certified as hypoallergenic and healthy
Resistant to allergens, mold, bacteria and dust mites
What cons did we manage to find?
Need a helping hand when unboxing your mattress
The sides of the mattress might be too “fluffy”
Things to Consider
Now that you have quite a few options to choose from, your back pain might even be feeling better already! To help you choose the best option for your budget AND your back, read through our buying guide:
Change the odds to your favor – how mattresses help relieve back and leg pain
Especially if you are an older adult, chances are that you’ve experienced true back pain at least once or twice in your life. However, this back pain is normally after a particularly hard day or task.
For millions out there, unfortunately, back pain has become a chronic condition, plaguing their everyday tasks. It has an effect on the way a person may be feeling and how their health is affected by that.
This is what makes a seemingly everyday task, like choosing a mattress so important. Which mattress you choose can help or hinder your chronic condition.
Choosing the right mattress for you and your pain can help alleviate some of the pressure in your back—especially in those areas where you are most sensitive. Depending on the mattress you choose, certain ones are best for certain areas.
On the other hand, if you invest in the wrong mattress, you may not only be aggravating your pain but also possibly causing new painful areas to spring up.
That’s why it is so important to look for features like body-contouring, support, and preferred sleep position—to be able to pick out the best mattress for you.
Find the reason – what causes back pain?
If you are suffering from back pain and yet have gone to the doctor, you might be wondering what is causing it—other than your springboard, lumpy mattress, of course.
An unhealthy spine in your back can be categorized under two different types: acute and chronic.
Back pain that is chronic has been with you for a long time—unfortunately—usually around 2-3 months at least. Chronic pain can be due to a muscle imbalance, an injury or a physical, medical issue like scoliosis.
Back pain that is acute has been with you for a short time, usually less than twelve weeks. This type of pain is normally associated with a fall or a moment where you overstrained yourself.
To get more scientific, certain causes of back pain include:
Strain in the ligament or muscle
Ruptured or bulging discs
Arthritis like: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Psoriatic arthritis
Abnormal skeletal form like: Kyphosis, Lordosis, and Scoliosis
To stray away from some medical abnormalities that can be the cause of back pain, let’s get to some non-medical instances that may bring you back discomfort:
Smoking: Denying you nutrients
Obesity: Denying you nutrients and carrying extra weight
Sedentary Lifestyle: Weak, unconditioned muscles
Age: Back pain is more common in those over 35
Incorrect or too-heavy lifting: This can be an incident resulting in an injury
Disease and Sickness
Understand your body – tips on back pain relief
Whether you have been suffering from back pain for a long time or have recently suffered from an acute injury resulting in a painful experience with your upper or lower back—also including your neck—these tips can help you find relief.
Stretch before you sleep. Right before you get in a very uncomfortable position for the rest of the night, can not only help with releasing and physical stress, but also can help release mental and emotional stress, making you much more relaxed.
Invest in a massage. Whether it’s a professional one or one your partner helps you out with, a massage can help release stress and give you an overall, better night’s sleep.
Exercise regularly. As if you need more reasons to exercise! Exercising can help promote a healthy night’s sleep by reducing endorphins—making you tired after you work out. It also can help you strengthen your core, lower back, and hips, which helps with reducing the strain on your back.
Find the perfect position. With sleeping, of course! Some have sworn that back-sleeping is the best for pain. However, you might feel much more comfortable with sleeping on your side. The one position you should avoid, however, is sleeping on your stomach.
Find the right pillow. Not only should you be finding the right mattress for your pain as this article suggests, but you should also have the right height in your pillow so you’re not putting an excess strain in your neck and upper back, as well as your shoulders.
If you already suffer from pain, slow your roll when getting in and out of bed. The way you get in and out can actually aggravate your pain even more. Especially if you do quick or jerky movements—usually brought on by a loud, stressful alarm or being late for work—this might trigger some pain. Do your best to get out of bed early enough to have time to do so with slow, deliberate movements.
The last two tips are not just for back pain but also for a healthy lifestyle in general—you should eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep. The amount of sleep looks different for everyone—and so does your diet based on how much energy you’re expending during the day (and other factors). If you have any personal questions about what is right for you to eat and how long you should be sleeping, speak to your doctor or a medical professional.
Look through these features to choose a perfect mattress for back pain
Now that we’re close to pinpointing the cause of your back pain, let’s take a look at the finer details of the actual mattress. Here are the certain features you should consider before you buy:
Consider the firmness
Especially if you need the extra support for your particular back pain, the firmness of the mattress is quite important. Normally you will find that the mattress is measured as soft, medium or firm. You might hit the jackpot with a certain brand, like the Muse Sleep Mattress, which has all three options available.
If you are lighter, around 130 lbs or less, you’ll most likely want a softer mattress since the firmer mattresses might not conform to your body as you need them too. You also won’t be able to enjoy those pressure points that the mattress offers other heavier individuals.
To have a proper understanding of what should be inside the quality mattress for your back pain can definitely help in the choosing process. Here are a few types of filling you may find in a mattress:
Coils and Springs: The larger the gauge numbers of the coils, the firmer the mattress is.
Padding on Top: If the mattress you’re looking at has padding on top, the higher the quality—and the more expensive it probably will be.
Padding in the Middle: Depending on the number of layers the mattress has—for example, the Casper Sleep Mattress has four—this number will change. Whether it’s gel-infused, poly support foam, proprietary transition foam, memory foam, open-cell foam or even high-density foam, all these smaller details can make a real difference in comfort level.
You should also keep an eye on the quilting or ticking at the top: This outer layer is normally polyester or a cotton-polyester blend.
The different layers can play a huge role in the thickness of the mattress. However the overall thickness of the entire mattress itself—not each individual layer—can make a huge difference when it comes to support level and comfort. Especially if you have sciatica or another skeletal condition, a thicker mattress of over 10 inches, like the Live & Sleep Ultra Mattress—and actually all the mattresses you see here—can be extremely helpful, giving you much more support for your back.
Rest like a king – support level
Since we just mentioned support, let’s go into detail. The support is the mattress’ capability of having a level surface. This stable surface will provide support. Especially if you have certain areas on your body that are more painful than others, getting a mattress that specializes in shoulder, spine, or hip pain can help.
These mattresses have the support that alleviates pain through pressure points throughout the body.
Avoid the noise
Especially if you are sleeping with a partner, you want to avoid noise at all cost. Moving around in your bed while your partner sleeps can actually be pretty disturbing if your mattress is quite noisy.
If your mattress is made with foam or latex, however, they normally will be pretty silent. Make sure you know that going in on a purchase. Mattresses that are innersprings, hybrids, and airbeds, usually make a good amount of noise.
Another important feature to consider if you are sleeping with a partner is the motion isolation capability of the mattress, like with the Sweetnight Mattress. Tossing and turning and getting out of bed can disturb the other person who is sleeping. Especially if you have sciatica, you’ll tend to toss and turn much more than the person without it.
The memory foam and latex models are perfectly built to conform to your body, holding an impression from your unique shape and placing pressure points on the places you need it the most. This also helps with spine alignment.
The size of your mattress—not only in thickness but also in volume can be a determining factor in your purchase. There are certain mattresses, like the Classic Brands Mattress, that ships compressed in a box so it will actually be able to fit through narrow hallways and staircases without a problem until it is unpacked. If you live in an area where it is hard to get to from the front door to your bedroom, you might want to keep that in mind before you buy.
Especially with the ten-year warranties on most of these mattresses, the lifespan needs to at least last seven years—which is when you should replace your mattress. The seven years is a suggestion because that is often when most of the materials inside of the mattress normally begin to degrade and break down. Once your mattress is losing its quality, that will mean that the support will be compromised—leading to more back pain.
You get to try on new clothes before you buy—why not get to try your mattress too?
Most of the mattresses on the market offer customers a test/sleep trial. These trials normally last about 90 nights—but can even last longer than that.
Finally, you’ve decided on your best mattress but might have a few last-minute questions that you need to ask. Here are our most frequently asked questions—answered.
While you’re pregnant, a good night’s sleep is extremely important to have—and might be hard to come by. While trying to pick a mattress, try and choose one that conforms to your body, with comfort layers of poly-foam, memory foam, and latex. Since most doctors will recommend for pregnant women to sleep on their sides, a mattress perfect for this can be the Sunrising Bedding Mattress, which is rated as our Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Lower Back Pain.
As we mentioned before in this article, most people with back pain have noted that sleeping on their back actually helps take the pressure off and reduce back pain. You can even add a pillow underneath your knees so that your spine is neutral, eliminating that curve in your back. If you’re going to be sleeping on your side, make sure you insert a pillow between your knees for support.
Although you might have heard a rumor that sleeping on the floor can help reduce back pain, we’re still skeptical. If you suffer from back pain, you’ll most likely need the most supportive surface so that your spine can be properly aligned.
If you’ve skipped reading everything else, here is a quick summary of the best three mattresses for back pain:
The Casper Sleep Mattress is our Editor’s choice for the best mattress out there for back pain. With its medium scaled support and FOUR different layers and fillings, including poly support foam, proprietary transition foam, memory foam, and open-cell foam, you can definitely sleep on this mattress to help alleviate some of the pressure points. It also comes backed by a 100-night sleep trial, and with a removable polyester cover, which is Certi-Pur certified.
The Muse Sleep Mattress is our second-best ranked and rated as the Best Mattress for Back and Neck Pain. It comes in three different types of firmness—soft, medium, firm—which means you can choose which best fits you. With three layers, gel-infused memory foam, comfort foam, and base foam, you can also rely on the 12” thickness and 120-night sleep trial to make sure it cares for your back pain.
Lastly, being on a budget doesn’t have to mean a cheap mattress. The Modway Jenna Mattress with a firm three-layer filling—responsive foam, egg crate foam, and wrapped coils—and a 10-year limited warranty can be a great solution to your back pain.
We hope that our choices and this article—along with the buying guide—can help you choose the best mattress for your back pain. Sleep well!