The Best Mattresses for Back Pain to Help You Sleep Easy

Mandie Kelleher
·10 min read

Are you one of the 80% of Americans who suffer from acute or chronic back pain? If so, a new mattress could help bring you some overnight relief. Back problems can have compounding effects on your health. In fact, pain and sleep are strongly linked in a cycle that can hurt your sleep quality and impact your overall wellness. But not all back pain is the same, and neither are all sleepers. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best mattresses for every need based on reviews from the experts at Mattress Advisor. Here are our picks for the best mattresses for back pain:

Choosing the Best Mattress for Back Pain

The best mattress for back pain relief depends on who’s sleeping on it. Even so, there are some qualities that ensure proper spine support that everyone should look out for, no matter their body type, sleep position, or comfort preferences.

Mattress Responsiveness

A hallmark of a supportive mattress, responsiveness measures how well a mattress adapts to your body’s movement. If a mattress isn’t responsive, it will stay stuck in one position when you shift, which can result in stiffness and pain in the morning. Both hybrid and innerspring mattresses tend to be pretty responsive, and recent advances in memory foam technology have brought a wider range of options to the table.

Mattress Durability

Investing in a new mattress is a big decision, and it’s important to find one with the right support for you. But don’t forget to consider durability as well. Low-quality mattresses can start to sag after only a few years of use, leaving you vulnerable to back pain once again. The mattresses on our list are bolstered by warranties and customer reviews to make sure your choice will last.

Mattress Firmness 

Firmness and your preferred sleep position go hand in hand when picking the best mattress for back pain. While medium-firm mattresses are ideal for combination sleepers and back sleepers, side sleepers should opt for a softer mattress. Stomach sleepers need the firmest support to keep their spine aligned. Taking your sleep position into account is an important step to relieving back pain, as different weight distributions will drastically affect the type of support you need.

The Best Mattresses for Back Pain

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry; we’ve taken all of these factors into consideration so you can find the perfect mattress to target your back pain based on your sleep preferences and budget.

Courtesy of Saatva

Best for Side Sleepers: Saatva

Side sleepers need a mattress that can contour to the natural curve of their bodies and relieve hip and shoulder pressure. With two firmness levels that aid in pressure relief, the Saatva Classic is our choice for the best mattress for side sleepers.

To relieve shoulder and hip pressure from side sleeping, the plush Saatva is the softest option and perfect for cradling these major joints. However, if you share a bed with someone who sleeps on their stomach or back, or you’re more of a combination sleeper, the plush-firm Saatva is an overall crowd pleaser for every sleep position. The Saatva also scores highly for edge support and durability, meaning it’ll support you safely if you sleep near the edge of your bed. Plus, it'll last for years to come and there’s a 10-year warranty to back it up.

  • Mattress Type: Luxury hybrid

  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Firmness: Plush, luxury firm, and firm

  • Trial Period: 120 days

Buy It: Saatva Classic Mattress, ($1,299 queen, Saatva)

Courtesy of Helix

Best for Couples: Helix Midnight Luxe

If you share a bed, you and your partner’s mattress needs are likely different. This can be a major obstacle to overcoming back pain if your compromise doesn’t fully support your sleep position. But you don’t need to sacrifice for a healthy spine. Helix offers 13 mattress models and an expert-developed mattress-matching quiz, so it’s easy to find the right one for you and your partner.

Our top recommendation for couples is the Helix Midnight Luxe. This hybrid mattress is known for its exceptional lumbar support, a must for back pain sufferers. It also scores very well on the Mattress Advisor spine alignment test. Spine alignment is critical for alleviating back pain in any sleep position.

Its high marks in edge support and motion isolation also make this mattress ideal for couples. If you share a bed with a fidgety partner (or pet!), this means you won’t be disturbed by their movements. And if you find yourself pushed to the edge because your partner loves to sprawl out, the Helix Midnight Luxe will support you.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid

  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Firmness: Medium

  • Trial Period: 100 Days

Buy It: Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress, ($1,799 queen, Helix Sleep)

Courtesy of Puffy

Best for Pressure Relief: Puffy 

Memory foam mattresses have a fan base, but many models come with drawbacks like sagging, which can result in painful pressure on your back, hips, and shoulders. If you’ve grown to love the feel of a memory foam mattress but haven’t yet found one that both prevents and relieves back pain, look no further than the Puffy mattress.

You might be surprised to learn that the climate can affect your mattress experience. Like other materials, memory foam normally expands in heat and contracts in the cold, which leads to sagging. Puffy solves this problem with its adaptive comfort layer. The resulting consistency means that the pressure-relieving comfort you start with out of the box is what you’ll get all year long. Puffy also scores especially high for responsiveness. Regardless of how much you move around while you sleep, Puffy will cradle you rather than sink you into one spot. This is a crucial factor for keeping your spine in line and pressure-free.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam

  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5

  • Firmness: Medium firm

  • Trial Period: 101 nights

Buy It: Puffy Mattress, ($1,150 queen, Puffy)

Courtesy of Casper

Best for Back Sleepers: Casper Wave Hybrid 

Back sleepers need a medium firmness to maintain spinal alignment and reduce pain, and the Casper Wave Hybrid fits the bill perfectly. Casper is known for its targeted approach to body support and pressure relief, which is especially important for back sleepers with back pain. The Casper Wave Hybrid model combines the soft contouring feel of memory foam with the supportive responsiveness of an innerspring mattress, making it the ideal choice for back sleepers.

The lower layers of the Casper Wave Hybrid include a pocket-coil spring system and a high-resiliency foam layer to provide a base for firm support. Meanwhile, top layers comprised of memory foam, latex foam, and comfort foam work together to bring you cooling pressure relief.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid

  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Firmness: Medium

  • Trial Period: 100 days

Buy It: Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress, ($2,595 queen, Casper)

Courtesy of Nectar

Best Value: Nectar

Your budget shouldn’t get in the way of a good night’s sleep. At just $799 for a queen-size memory foam mattress, the Nectar is our pick for the best value mattress for back pain. And don’t let the low price tag fool you; Nectar’s lifetime warranty should assure you that you’re getting one of the highest quality memory foam mattresses on the market. It even has a 97% customer satisfaction rate to prove it.

Memory foam gets a bad rap for being unsupportive, but you won’t sink into a Nectar mattress thanks to its uniquely designed memory foam support layer. The mattress scores highly for motion isolation and responsiveness, so it’s perfect for anyone who tosses and turns while they sleep. And instead of leaving a lasting body impression, the Nectar contours to your body in any position.

  • Mattress Type: Gel memory foam

  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Firmness: Medium firm

  • Trial Period: 365 days

Buy It: Nectar Mattress, ($799 queen, Nectar Sleep)

Courtesy of Tuft

Best for an Active Lifestyle: Tuft & Needle 

If your back pain comes from an active lifestyle, you could be missing out on important restorative sleep to keep your muscles healthy. The supportive Tuft & Needle mattress is uniquely suited to prevent excessive soreness after an active day. That’s why it’s our pick for the best mattress for active women whose workouts might cause back pain.

This medium-firm mattress feels comfortable in any sleep position thanks to its simple (but effective) construction: Its two foam layers work together to keep you cool and cushioned without compromising the support active people need to prevent and relieve pain. The Tuft & Needle original mattress scores high marks in edge support, pressure relief, responsiveness, and spinal alignment.

  • Mattress Type: Foam combo

  • Customer Rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Firmness: Medium firm

  • Trial Period: 100 days

Buy It: Tuft & Needle Original Mattress, ($595 queen, Tuft & Needle)

Courtesy of Ameri

Best for Combination Sleepers: Amerisleep AS3

If you’re someone who sleeps on your stomach, back, and side, considering the Amerisleep AS3 mattress. It has a blend of soft and firm materials to provide supportive comfort no matter which sleep position you prefer. Responsiveness is key for combination sleepers, and that’s where the Amerisleep AS3 really stands out. If you find yourself moving from one position to another overnight, this mattress will support you wherever you end up. The Amerisleep AS3 also scores highly for edge support, spinal alignment, and motion transfer.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam

  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5

  • Firmness: Medium

  • Trial Period: 100 days

Buy It: Amerisleep AS3 Mattress, ($1,399 queen, Amerisleep)

Courtesy of Cocoon

Best for Hot Sleepers: Cocoon Chill

Memory foam mattresses can be an attractive option for lower back pain sufferers. However, memory foam is known to be heat-trapping. The Cocoon Chill by Sealy mattress is uniquely designed to combat this, making it our pick for the best mattress for hot sleepers with back pain. The secret behind the Cocoon Chill’s reputation as the coolest memory foam mattress is a special cover that absorbs and dissipates heat. And while it might not be as cool as an innerspring or latex mattress, it does the trick for memory-foam aficionados.

The Cocoon Chill comes in two firmness options. The medium-soft mattress is ideal for side sleepers, as the softer surface can help eliminate shoulder pain and relieve pressure. Back and stomach sleepers will sleep best with the extra firm option. However, the Cocoon Chill mattress is only meant to support up to 500 pounds of weight, so it’s not the best option for couples.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam

  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5

  • Firmness: Medium soft and extra firm

  • Trial Period: 100 nights

Buy It: Cocoon Chill Mattress, ($930 queen, Cocoon by Sealy)

Courtesy of Layla

Best for Stomach Sleepers: Layla 

Achieving spinal alignment can be particularly tough if you’re a stomach sleeper. With most of your weight concentrated on your hips and shoulders, it’s a slippery slope to back pain without the correct support. The Layla two-in-one mattress lets you flip it to get the firmness you want. The firm side is about the firmest that mattresses get, which is perfect for stomach sleepers with back pain. It ranks highly for spine alignment and pressure relief, so you’ll be both supported and comfortable when face-down.

You might expect such a versatile mattress to come with a hefty price tag, but Layla is a budget-friendly option for anyone who sleeps better on a firmer mattress. A queen-size mattress costs $999 and comes with a lifetime warranty.

  • Mattress Type: Copper-infused memory foam

  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Firmness: Soft side and firm side

  • Trial Period: 120 days

Buy It: Layla Mattress, ($999 queen, Layla Sleep)