5 Best Mattresses for Back Pain based on consumer ratings, reports and personal experience

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 20 minLast updated May 5, 2021

There are many great mattresses on the market, there’s no denying that.

But not all of them would work for someone who’s dealing with back pain (and can’t sleep well because of that).

After all, back pain is a serious issue that requires proper care. That’s why I’ve prepared a selection of the best mattresses for back pain. Each of these models has the potential to help sleepers reduce back issues and start sleeping better.

A Quick Preview

Puffy
Best Overall – Editor’s Pick

Puffy
Type: foam
Layers: 3
Trial: 101 nights
Warranty: lifetime
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WinkBeds
Best for Firmness Variety

WinkBeds
Type: hybrid
Layers: 7
Trial: 120 nights
Warranty: lifetime
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Nectar
Best for Undisturbed Sleep

Nectar
Type: foam
Layers: 3 + quilted cover
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: lifetime
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DreamCloud
Best Value for Money

DreamCloud
Type: hybrid
Layers: 5
Sleep trial: 365 nights
Warranty: lifetime
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Layla Hybrid
Best Flippable Design

Layla Hybrid
Type: hybrid
Layers: 5
Trial: 120 nights
Warranty: 10 years
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Read more about this mattress

Our List of the Best Mattresses for Back Pain based on personal experience, consumer ratings and reports

Best Overall — Editor’s PickPuffy

puffy mattress

 

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Highlights

  • gel-infused foam for cool pressure relief;
  • removable stain-resistant cover for fuss-free cleaning;
  • close conforming to deliver effective tension relief;
  • high-density core for proper support;
  • medium feel to accommodate a wide range of users.

The first item on our list of the best mattresses for back pain that certainly deserves your attention is the Puffy. It would work great for back pain sufferers thanks to its dense, supportive core (that is meant to help aid proper spinal alignment) and thick comfort layers (that work to deliver pressure relief).

The Puffy’s comfort foam gently molds to the sleeper’s body, filling in the curves and ensuring even weight distribution. This minimizes the pressure points and helps with muscle relaxation, which might aid pain relief.

Additionally, the Puffy is well-made. It is likely to serve you for years without sagging or causing discomfort. This model is also very easy to care for thanks to its removable, washable cover.

Best for Firmness Variety — WinkbedsWinkbed-P1077807

 

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Highlights

  • zoned support system to aid proper spinal alignment;
  • Eurotop for extra cradling and pressure relief;
  • 4 firmness options, suitable for all body types and sleeping positions;
  • enhanced edges for more sleeping space, would work for couples;
  • breathable design, ideal for hot sleepers.

The next mattress that could help with back pain is the Winkbed. Not only does it feature a special lumbar area to guarantee proper spinal alignment, but also comes in 4 firmness variations. This mattress would work for any sleeper out there, regardless of their weight or favorite sleeping position.

The Winkbed uses a system of individually encased coils for targeted support. There’s also an extra layer of smaller coils for even more precision. Such construction allows heavier body parts to sink in and compress the individual coils, while the rest of the system retains its shape and delivers reliable support to the body. The Winkbed promotes even weight distribution and can reduce pressure from the spine, keeping it neutral, rested, and pain-free during the night.

Winkbeds-P1077851
Winkbeds-P1077848

Best for Undisturbed SleepNectar

Nectar

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Highlights

  • medium-firm feel, suitable for a wide range of users;
  • foam construction for good motion isolation, would work for partnered sleep;
  • infused with gel to create a cooler sleeping environment;
  • quilted cover for extra padding and increased comfort;
  • extended sleep trial, great for uncertain users.

The next contestant for the right to be among the best mattresses for back pain is this simple yet comfortable model by Nectar. As this is an all-foam mattress, it absorbs shock from motion quite well. It would work great for partnered sleep, especially if one of you tends to toss and turn a lot because of the back pain.

Another cool thing about the Nectar is its conforming abilities. The mattress gently cradles the body and aids fast relaxation. This can help your muscles and joints experience less stress and pressure build-up, which might reduce the pain levels too.

Best Value for Money — DreamCloud

 

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Highlights

  • cashmere cover, soft to the touch and can be used even without bedsheets;
  • enhanced edge support for more sleeping space;
  • gel-infused foam for cool pressure relief;
  • quilted cover for extra padding and comfort;
  • extra-long sleep trial, ideal for hesitant buyers.

Another model that deserves to be among the best mattresses for back pain is the DreamCloud. This model has a very balanced feel that combines gentle cradling (for minimal pressure) with sturdy support (for proper spinal alignment), creating optimal sleeping conditions. And here’s the best part: this mattress has a solid build, uses quality materials, and costs much cheaper than many other hybrid mattresses. It’s a great option for value seekers.

The DreamCloud has a medium feel that would be suited for a wide range of sleepers. It works to maintain a neutral back so that the spine remains tension-free all through the night. This can help users relax faster and experience less pain during the night.

Best Flippable Design — Layla Hybrid

Layla Hybrid

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Highlights

  • infused with copper and gel for cooler sleep;
  • 2-in-1 model, has a soft and a firm side, great for someone looking for firmness variety;
  • zippered cover for easy cleaning;
  • integrated handles for more convenient flipping;
  • sturdy coil system for reliable support.

The last item on our list is the hybrid mattress by Layla that can boast of many things. The coolest one being its flippable design that allows sleepers to test 2 firmness levels while using 1 mattress. It would be a great idea for back pain sufferers who want to try different bed configurations to see what would work for them.

Another cool thing about the Layla is the combination of layers it uses. This mattress has strong, individually wrapped coils that are meant to keep your spine aligned properly. And the multiple comfort layers will hug the pressure points gently, reducing tension and helping you relax.

What Causes Back Pain (And Could It Be Your Mattress?)

The reason behind back pain can hide in countless aspects, including even “innocent” day-to-day occurrences. Let’s take a look at the most common factors that may cause back pain to understand why you might experience it:

  • Your mattress. Yes, a mattress can cause back pain if it’s unsupportive, overly soft for your sleeping position or body type, overly firm, old, lumpy, or saggy. In any of these scenarios, a mattress would not be able to keep your spine properly aligned (in a neutral state) and support it correctly. This can lead to unnatural (and unhealthy) curves in your back, tension build-up in some of its parts, and back pain (sometimes chronic).
  • Sprains, strains, or injuries (may be caused by overworking the back muscles, falling, playing sports, car accidents, etc.) (1).
  • Arthritis (2). Arthritis can affect different parts of one’s body, including the back.
  • Age-related changes in the spine (3). They may involve disc degeneration, tissue alterations, muscle changes, joint stiffness, etc.
  • Nerve and spinal cord issues and diseases. Those might include spinal stenosis, sciatica, osteoporosis, herniated (or ruptured) discs, nerve inflammation, and so on.
  • Lack of exercise. Weak back muscles (and also the abdomen muscles) don’t provide enough support for the spine, which can cause back pain (4).

Also Read: Best Mattress Topper for Lower Back Pain Relief

Best Mattress for Sciatica Pain Relief

What makes a Good Mattress for Back Pain: Buyer’s Guide

As we already know, a bad mattress can cause back pain

Just like that, a good mattress might help alleviate the symptoms and has a chance of improving your sleep quality.

But what makes a great mattress for back pain? Well, there are certain factors you should consider when shopping, including:

  • Support. A good mattress for back pain has to be supportive (especially in the lumbar area), no compromises. It has to maintain a fairly uniform surface all across the area, keeping your spine in a healthy line (with its natural curves). It doesn’t mean that your mattress’s surface has to remain completely flat when you lie on top of it (this would actually mean that your mattress is brick-wall-firm).  The heavier parts of your body should sink in, but not too deep. And the rest of the body has to remain on the surface, supported and comfortable. To find a mattress like that, you need to check what materials the manufacturer uses for the core (in other words, the support layer). Stay away from low-density foams (or latex) and thin coils. The base support layer of the mattress also has to be rather thick. 
  • Conforming and pressure relief. When a mattress has good conforming abilities, it can reduce tension and prevent pressure build-up in one’s body. This might come in handy if your back pain is caused by strain or, let’s say, a pinched nerve. Pressure-relieving beds work to promote muscle relaxation and make sleepers comfortable overall, which can help reduce the pain levels. For good pressure relief, give your preference to mattresses that have thick comfort layers and use memory foam or latex (at least for the top layer).
  • Suitable firmness. Now, this factor depends on your weight and preferable sleeping position. If you are an average stomach sleeper, for example, you should choose a firm bed (rated around 7-8 on the firmness scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 – the stiffest). Back sleepers are advised to pick medium or even medium-firm beds (around 5-6). As for back sleepers, they require extra cushioning and should consider softer models (rated around 4). Now, heavier individuals (over 230 pounds) need a little bit extra support, so they need to pick slightly firmer mattresses for each sleeping position. Just like that, petite sleepers (under 130 pounds) should choose plushier models.
  • Mattress type. The most popular ones are foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses (innerspring mattresses are often frowned upon due to their limited lifespan and mediocre pressure relief, so we will leave them out of it). When choosing the mattress type, you need to remember that each of them has a unique feel. For starters, foam is hugging and enveloping, with little to no bounce. Latex is conforming but resilient. It adapts to one’s body curves but makes sleepers feel like they are lying on top of the bed, not “in” it. As for hybrid mattresses, those usually have a bit of a bounce (due to the coil support system) but can be cradling and conforming too (especially if the comfort layers are thick enough). 
  • Quality and durability. We have already discussed how dangerous a saggy or a lumpy mattress can be for your back. That’s why you probably don’t want your new mattress to develop these characteristics after a short time. To pick a top-quality mattress, you should firstly consider the materials. Give your preference to high-density foams, latex, and lower-gauge (thicker) coils. Additionally, you can read other buyers’ reviews to see how a mattress you are considering holds up with time.
  • Temperature regulation. I doubt you would feel comfortable when sleeping hot. Combine that with back pain, and lying in bed might become unbearable. That’s why it’s always a safer option to choose mattresses that use cooling materials, such as gel-infused (or open-cell) foams or latex (which is naturally cooling). Hybrid mattresses offer good breathability and usually sleep neutral, but if they have thick foam comfort layers, those should also have gel particles or an open-cell structure.
  • Sleep trial and warranty. These two factors are quite obvious, aren’t they? A free sleep trial would allow you to test the mattress, see what it does to your back, and return it for a full refund in case it doesn’t feel comfortable enough. And a good, extensive warranty protects you as a customer (and grants you peace of mind).

Also Read: Best Mattresses for Neck Pain & Back Pain Sufferers

F.A.Q.

What is the best mattress type for back pain?

Memory foam is often considered the best for back pain thanks to its pressure-relieving properties.

Can a mattress cause back pain?

Yes, if it’s old and lumpy, or doesn’t suit your body type and sleeping position (either too soft or too firm).

What are the best and the worst sleeping positions for back pain?

The healthiest sleeping position is considered lying on one’s back, as it creates the optimal conditions for proper spinal alignment. The least healthy position is considered stomach sleeping, as it can put a strain on one’s back and might create unnatural curves in the neck and spine.

Wrapping Up

Back pain can become your worst enemy when it comes to daily life and healthy sleep.

However, if you have a suitable mattress as your ally, things can take a different turn. A good mattress for back pain can help with muscle relaxation, tension reduction, and pain management. Just make sure you pay enough attention to the materials used and choose the appropriate firmness level (according to your favorite sleeping position and body weight).

And while there are many great models, my personal favorite remains the Puffy. This mattress has a rather simple, yet effective construction. It offers a balanced ensemble of conforming pressure relief and reliable support, which work to keep your back relaxed and tension-free. Additionally, it comes at a rather attractive price, which is always a pleasant bonus.

How about you? Which mattress managed to impress you the most? Share your thoughts in the comments!

References

  1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (April 27, 2020). Low Back Pain Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet
  2. Arthritis Foundation (n.d.). When Back Pain May Mean Arthritis. Retrieved from https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/about-arthritis/where-it-hurts/when-back-pain-may-mean-arthritis
  3. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (July 2019). What is back pain? Retrieved from https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/back-pain
  4. Mayo Clinic Staff (August 21, 2020). Back Pain. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20369906

Our research

27

Mattresses Considered

112

Hours of Research

2

Sleep Experts Consulted

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