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

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 35 minLast updated on August 15, 2022

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 Lux
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AS2 by Amerisleep
Best for Back Pain

AS2 by Amerisleep
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Nectar
Best Value for Money

Nectar
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Saatva
Spring Mattress for Back Pain

Saatva
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WinkBeds
Best for All Weight Categories

WinkBeds
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GhostBed Luxe
Best Cooling Option

GhostBed Luxe
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Refresh Mattress by Natural Form
Best For All Sleep Styles

Refresh Mattress by Natural Form
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Our List of the Best Mattresses for Back Pain based on personal experience, consumer ratings, and reports

Best Overall - Editor’s Pick — Puffy Lux

Puffy Mattress

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Highlights

  • independent coils to achieve adaptive support and aid healthy spinal alignment;
  • quality, certified materials and minimal off-gassing upon arrival;
  • universally comfortable medium feel to satisfy more sleepers.

What can be better for back pain than proper support and pressure relief? And that’s exactly what the Puffy Lux can offer, making it one of the best mattresses for back pain sufferers. This hybrid model effectively combines resilient support with gentle cradling. The bouncy coils encourage a proper sleeping posture, and the foam layers hug the pressure points. As a result, the tension in the body spreads out and dissipates. I could feel that during the very first night, when my back was aching after a long day of sitting in the office.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Puffy Lux sleeps surprisingly cool, considering its generous hug. I didn’t overheat even when lying on one side and sinking deeper into the comfort layers. This probably has to do with the combination of breathable coils and gel-infused foam. So, while back pain can affect one’s sleep, readers can be sure that night sweats won’t ruin their slumber when using the Puffy Lux.

Read our full Puffy mattress review for more information.

puffy mattress firmness
Puffy Mattress On Bed Frame

Best for Hot Sleepers with Back Pain — AS2 by Amerisleep

Amerisleep AS3

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Highlights

  • all-foam construction to reduce pressure effectively and to promote fast relaxation;
  • open-cell design for cooler sleep;
  • extended warranty to ensure long-lasting performance.

The next model on our list of the best mattresses for back pain is the AS2 by Amerisleep. This is an all-foam mattress that delivers close conforming and can promote instant relaxation even if you are currently dealing with back pain. This little trick is achieved thanks to the foam’s adaptiveness. It fills in the body curves and redistributes the tension, which often leads to pain alleviation. And the best part is, this mattress does not sleep hot (take it from me, a side sleeper who always sinks in a little bit deeper). This is courtesy of Amerisleep’s proprietary Bio-Pur foam. It has an open-cell structure and allows for unobstructed air movement during the night. As a result, the AS2 does not retain heat (unlike most memory foam mattresses).

Read our full Amerisleep AS3 mattress review for more information.

Amerisleep AS3 Review-P1133774
Amerisleep-as3

Best Value for MoneyNectar

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

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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. This is an all-foam mattress that can deliver a nice balance between support and effective pressure alleviation. However, the best part is: you get all of that for a very attractive price. The Nectar would be an excellent solution for those who want a quality, comfortable mattress that wouldn’t strain their budget too much.

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 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 Innerspring Mattress for Back Pain Sufferers — Saatva

Saatva Classic Mattress

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Highlights

  • wrapped independent coils to provide targeted support;
  • three comfort options to satisfy different types of sleepers;
  • patented spinal zone technology for proper back support.

Another mattress I would love to introduce in today’s review of the best mattresses for back pain is the Saatva Classic. This model has a coil-on-coil design, with individually wrapped coils on top. Such construction results in unparalleled support. Each independent coil adjusts to applied pressure and helps redistribute the body weight evenly. I felt that particularly clear after a long day of sitting in online meetings, as my back felt super stiff and I got almost instant relief once I laid on my Saatva mattress. Additionally, there’s an extra support layer in the lumbar section. It contributes to healthy spinal alignment and can alleviate the pressure in one’s back. This may come in handy when experiencing back pain or stiffness.

Best for All Weight Categories — Winkbeds

Winkbed-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 it also comes in 4 firmness variations. This mattress would work for any sleeper out there, regardless of their weight or favorite sleeping position.

There’s even an extra-firm option (Winkbed Plus) that can deliver optimal support for heavier sleepers (over 230 pounds) without budging.

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.

Read our full Winkbed mattress review for more information.

Winkbeds-P1077851
Winkbed Mattress On a Bed Frame

Best Cooling Option — GhostBed Luxe

Ghostbed Luxe

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Highlights

  • Body hugging memory foam for pain relief and pressure alleviation
  • Medium plush feel that allows sinkage without giving up comfort
  • High density core and base layer guaranteeing body support
  • Surface and core cooling properties to ensure a heat free night

The GhostBed Luxe is a mattress designed for comfort at its peak. With its Ghost bounce layer, it responds like latex while also giving you the contouring feel of memory foam. The mattress is great for pressure relief and pain reduction, it makes use of gel-infused memory foam that cradles your body while dispersing body heat.

Its high density core also provides maximum support for your back, couple this with its medium plush feeling, it is ideal for people with back pain.

Layers
Construction

Best for All Sleeping Styles — Refresh Mattress by Natural Form

Natural form Refresh Mattres

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Highlights

  • merino wool cover for improved thermoregulation and cooler sleep;
  • adjustable air pods for targeted pressure relief and customizable firmness;
  • resilient foam comfort layer to aid pressure distribution and tension alleviation.

If you want to be in control of the way your mattress feels (or aren’t sure which firmness level you might need), the Refresh Mattress can be an excellent solution. It is an adjustable mattress that can work for any sleep position: on one’s back, side, or stomach. But it doesn’t end there.

Being among the best mattresses for back pain, it can offer a bit more than just proper spinal support (which it excels at, by the way). 

The Refresh Mattress uses adjustable helix air pods. They respond differently to the applied pressure (to provide targeted support), but they can also change how this mattress feels. With a simple dial, you can adjust the firmness of the mattress (on both sides) according to your needs. My wife and I were really impressed by this feature. We have different comfort preferences and could use this mattress without finding a compromise or sacrificing someone’s comfort.

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 or worsen 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).
  • Spinal irregularities. Back pain can also be caused by more serious congenital issues, such as scoliosis or another spinal irregularity.

Also Read: Best Mattress Topper for Lower Back Pain Relief

Best Mattress for Sciatica Pain Relief

What Is the Best Mattress Type for Back Pain?

When looking for the best mattress for back pain, shoppers need to remember that each type has its unique feel. The trick is to find something that would suit your particular needs and preferences.

So, here are the most common options shoppers can come across:

  • Memory foam. What makes memory foam great for back pain is its adaptive properties. Memory foam adjusts to the body’s shape, aiding pressure redistribution. And less pressure often means alleviated pain. That being said, the slow-moving feel of memory foam can often make shifting in bed more challenging, which can be an issue for sleepers with limited mobility. Memory foam also tends to sleep hot. However, this problem can be avoided if shoppers choose gel-infused or open-cell models.
  • Polyurethane foam. Polyfoam has a slightly more resilient feel, so it’s not as restricting as traditional memory foam. Other than that, the properties of the two are very similar. Therefore, polyfoam mattresses make an excellent option for back pain sufferers. Shoppers just need to remember that polyfoam is typically less durable than memory foam.
  • Hybrid. Hybrid mattresses are favored for the way they combine the best from two worlds: coils for responsive support and foam/latex for effective tension alleviation. Hybrid mattresses also don’t typically sleep hot thanks to the breathable coil core. They also have strong edges and make getting out of bed easier. At the same time, hybrid mattresses aren’t that cheap. They also tend to be tall and may seem too bulky to some sleepers.
  • Latex. Latex mattresses are popular among eco-conscious shoppers. This mattress type also works perfectly for those who want close conforming without feeling stuck in the mattress. Additionally, latex sleeps neutral and suits hot sleepers. It’s also worth mentioning that latex mattresses are incredibly durable. Nevertheless, they are pretty expensive.

A quick note: innerspring mattresses are also rather widespread on the modern market. However, they don’t usually make a good pick for back pain. The thing is, most innerspring mattresses use minimal padding (the Saatva Classic is a rare exception). Thus, spring models don’t typically help with pressure alleviation (which is crucial for back pain).

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. 
  • Close conforming. A conforming mattress is the one that can adjust to the curves of one’s body. It should offer a gentle hug where it’s needed while filling in and supporting the curves. 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 side sleepers, they require extra cushioning for the protruding shoulders and hips, which usually calls for softer mattresses (around 4 on the firmness scale). Now, heavier individuals (over 230 pounds) need a little bit extra support, so they need to pick slightly firmer mattresses for each sleeping position. Alternatively, petite sleepers (under 130 pounds) should choose plushier models.
  • 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.
  • Motion isolation (for partnered sleep). Needless to say, it can be quite hard to sleep peacefully when dealing with back pain. But even if you find a comfortable sleeping position, you may be disturbed by your partner, especially if they tend to toss a lot. In this case, it might be a good idea to pick a pain-relieving mattress that could also absorb shock from movement effectively. If you agree, look for an all-foam model.  Keep in mind that polyurethane foam is slightly more responsive than memory foam. You can also consider a hybrid mattress that uses wrapped coils and extra-thick foam comfort layers. A latex mattress might also work well if it’s more on the softer side.
  • Ease of movement. Back pain often makes it more challenging for sleepers to move in bed. Coincidentally, back issues also cause users to shift and turn more trying to find a less painful position. That’s why ease of movement is very important. This aspect is also crucial for combination sleepers who tend to change positions frequently during the night. Mattresses that aren’t likely to restrict movement include hybrid and latex models. For fans of the enveloping foam feel, it might be a better idea to pick polyfoam. It’s slightly more resilient than memory foam and feels less quicksand-like.
  • Edge support. Again, back pain often goes hand in hand with mobility issues. It can make it hard for users to get out of bed. In this scenario, sturdier edges could offer a lot of help. They can give the user something to rely on when getting up (a little boost when pressing their hands into the mattress). Stronger edges can also offer sleepers more space. This, in its turn, can help back pain sufferers find a comfortable position without disturbing their partner during the night (as they will be lying further from each other). Among all types, hybrid mattresses usually offer the best edge support.

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

The Best Mattresses for Back Pain in Canada

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 plenty of great mattresses that can help ease your back pain, my personal favorite is the Puffy Lux. This model has everything to deliver fast relaxation, effective pressure relief, and pain alleviation. Its smart construction results in a balanced feel that encourages a healthier sleep posture. Plus, the Puffy Lux can boast of exceptional quality, ensuring reliable performance for years to come.

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

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Mattresses Considered

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1 comments

  1. Just placed an order for a new mattress based on. your well informed article. Thanks! The links to current pricing is a plus.

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