Did you know that around 80% of people experience some form of back pain in their lifetime? Whether it’s upper, lower, or even middle back pain, statistically speaking if you haven’t felt that stiff pain in your back, you will at some point. A good bed can help reduce or eliminate this pain – and if you’re looking for the best mattress for back pain, you’ve come to the right place!
The kind of mattress you need will be related to the type of back pain you suffer from. The best mattress for lower back pain might not necessarily be the best bed for upper back pain or pressure point issues. You need to find the ideal option for your specific situation, and with a little research that shouldn’t be a hard thing to do. Things like good support, deep compression, and a firmer feel are all essentials when looking for the best bed for back pain. We’ve put together a handy list in hopes of making your research easier and helping you find the best mattress for bad back pain.
Quick Picks for the Best Mattress for Back Pain
- Lower Back Pain — Helix
- Upper Back Pain — Layla
- Spinal Alignment — Tomorrow Sleep
- Pressure Relief — Purple
- Overall Support — Casper
To help you find the best mattress for bad backs, we researched and hand-tested many top models. Here are the beds we recommend:
Key Features: Fully customizable; ideal for lower back pain; split design ideal for couples
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $600-$1245
Risk-Free Trial: 100 nights
The Helix is perhaps the best mattress for lower back pain sufferers. It is very unique in that every Helix is custom-built for you. When you go to purchase a Helix mattress, you’ll take a brief survey, answering questions relating to your sleep habits, age, weight and more. This info is used to recommend a custom designed Helix mattress, tailored to your specific preferences! It’s also possible to have a Dual Comfort design that is split down the middle, with different firmness levels on each side. This option makes Helix a great choice for couples who have different sleep preferences.
This ability to customize everything makes Helix a great bed for a bad back, because it’s custom fit for your specific situation. Despite the custom design, Helix is actually quite affordable, with prices from $600. Overall, this is a close contender for the best mattress for back pain – and one of our overall favorite beds. You can try it out risk-free for 100 nights, or learn more in our Helix review.
Key Features: Excellent support; great cooling; unique flippable design with two firmness levels; super soft luxury cover
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $499-$999 with coupon code SLEEPZOO
Risk-Free Trial: 120 nights
The Layla Mattress is one of the best mattresses for back pain. In fact, we rank it as one of the best mattresses overall. In our tests, the Layla consistently came out near the top of the pack for virtually every factor, from comfort and support to durability and value. In essence, this is a fantastic mattress at an incredibly reasonable price.
The most unique feature of Layla is its dual firmness level design. On one side of the mattress you will find a medium-soft comfort layer, ideal for side sleepers and those who prefer a softer feel. On the other side, you’ll find a medium firm layer, ideal for back sleepers and many people with back pain. This dual firmness rating is a big selling point – the flexibility of being able to chose from two firmness ratings means Layla will work for a wider variety of people, and a wider variety of back problems!
Beyond the unique dual sided design, Layla also offers an advanced blend of memory foam that’s infused with copper. This aids in cooling, so if you’re someone who sleeps hot, this is a great choice. It also comes with a risk-free 120-night trial – so, at any point within the first 4 months, if you decide that Layla just isn’t working out for you, you can get a full refund – no questions asked. Plus, save even more with code SLEEPZOO (currently, SZ readers can save $100 off any Layla mattress!) Check out our Layla coupon code guide for other options.
You can also check out our detailed Layla mattress review for more info.
Key Features: Hybrid mattress with supportive coils + comfort foam; made by mattress giant Serta; very comfortable in most positions
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $550-$1250
Risk-Free Trial: 365 nights
The Tomorrow Sleep Mattress is a budget-friendly, highly comfortable mattress made by Serta, one of the largest mattress manufacturers in the world. Serta wanted a flagship model to meet the growing online mattress sale demand, and they came up with the Tomorrow Mattress – a luxury hybrid bed with both coils and memory foam. This is a great bed for back problems because it provides even pressure relief and contours nicely to the body, without sagging or losing support. We’re big fans of hybrid beds in general, because they offer a “best of both worlds” approach: durability and support from coils, with contouring comfort from memory foam.
The Tomorrow Mattress is available in two firmness ratings: medium-soft, and medium-firm. For the majority of people with back pain, the medium-firm will likely be the better choice. Keep in mind that you can try it risk-free for 365 nights. If it’s not a perfect fit for you, return it (free shipping) and get a full refund – any time within the first year!
Key Features: Unique pressure relief comfort layer; great back support; sleeps cool and comfortable
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $699-$1299
Risk-Free Trial: 100 nights
The Purple mattress offers great pressure relief thanks to its innovative Smart Grid comfort layer. This unique layer is designed to contour to the shape of your body, while providing just enough firmness and support to keep your spine aligned. The result is a very comfortable bed that does a great job of relieving pressure points in the body. If you have back pain in specific, targeted areas, this may be the right bed for you.
Purple is a top seller on Amazon, and for good reason. It’s consistently earned good ratings from customers and experts alike. It’s priced quite reasonably, and you can even try it risk-free for 100 nights! Learn more in our Purple mattress review.
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $550-$1150
Risk-Free Trial: 100 nights
The Casper mattress is one of the best selling mattresses online. It has also won several awards, and has been recognized as a top mattress by a number of trusted publications. It’s also a great bed for back pain, mostly because it provides even, thorough support. There is very little sinkage, so your back will stay aligned and supported, resulting in a more restful sleep and less back pain in the morning.
Casper mattresses also have great cooling, so you won’t find yourself waking up hot – even in the middle of summer. Despite the high quality build, Casper is actually quite affordable. You can try it out for yourself, thanks to the 100-night risk-free trial offer. If you don’t like it, Casper will arrange to pick the mattress up for you and give you a full refund! Check our Casper mattress review to learn more.
Did you know that over 80% of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point? Having a comfortable, supportive mattress is important for everyone – but it’s absolutely essential for those with back pain. There are a variety of causes of back pain, but one very common one is simply having a poor quality mattress. In other words, your bad mattress could be causing your back pain, or at least making it worse! It could also be robbing you of a good night of sleep, and many experts believe that people with sleep issues deal with more problems with back pain.
“Sleep deprivation is known to affect mood and functional ability and negatively impacts perception of pain.” — Dr. Santhosh Thomas, spine specialist, Cleveland Clinic
A worn out or low-quality mattress will not provide the support required to keep your back aligned properly, which can cause pain. Conversely, the best mattress for back pain will help keep your spine in a natural, neutral position. This helps to keep everything aligned, reducing the risk of back pain.
If you have back pain and don’t take action, the consequences can be severe. The problem tends to worsen over time, and in some cases can require surgery.
“All forms of surgery [for back pain] are a last resort,” said Dr. Christopher Maher, director of the musculoskeletal division at George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney in Australia
Since surgery should be viewed only as a last resort, most experts stress the importance of prevention. That prevention includes stretching, exercising, and ensuring you are sleeping in a comfortable position – and on a comfortable, supportive bed.
If you find yourself waking up every morning with lower back pain, you owe it to yourself to get a better mattress. You’ll want something supportive, on the medium to firm side, and durable for long-term comfort. We’ve done the legwork for you – see our picks for the best mattresses for back pain to make your selection.
Beyond choosing a great bed for back pain, there are other steps you can take to get a good night of peaceful, restorative sleep.
- Don’t sleep on your stomach–Sleeping on your stomach is generally considered to be the worst sleeping position, particularly for those dealing with back issues. Dr. Thomas says, “Typically, sleeping on your stomach can flatten the natural curve of your spine, putting some additional strain on your back muscles.”
- Choose a pillow that offers plenty of neck support–Don’t sleep on the importance of a good pillow. Often times, cheap feather pillows don’t properly support your neck, which can lead to neck and back pain. Check out our guide to the best pillows, so you can find one that offers ample support.
- Exercise and stretch regularly–Strengthening your core is one of the best things you can do to alleviate back pain. With stronger abdominal, hips, and lower back muscles, you can ease back pain. Planks are a great core exercise, as an example. Additionally, yoga or other intensive stretching on a regular basis can help ease back pain, reduce stress, and help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Establish good posture– Proper posture is very important for reducing back pain. This includes your posture while sleeping, and while awake. A lot of people develop poor posture while sitting at work, which can often lead to worse back pain and cause a variety of issues. Try to check your posture several times a day, and be sure to get up frequently for short breaks.
- Stay hydrated–Surprisingly, drinking more water may help to reduce back pain. This is because the discs in your back that separate your vertebrae rely on water to function properly. Drinking enough fluids can help these disks reduce pressure and stress on your vertebrae, which in turn reduces back pain.
Have any more questions about finding the best mattress for back pain? Comment below and we’ll help.
What makes us qualified to identify and recommend the best mattress for back pain?
Experience – Our sleep-obsessed team has a fascination with sleep science and optimizing our own personal sleep quality. This leads to a ton of research and knowledge, and an impressive level of shared experience. Plus, our fearless leader is one Chris Brantner, a Certified Sleep Science Coach that is regularly published in mainstream publications like the Huffington Post, Forbes, NBC News and more.
Testing – In order to give personalized recommendations, we individually test all the beds we recommend. We test in a variety of sleep positions, and utilize our diverse team members to get a feel for how the bed will perform for a wide variety of people.
Research – To further refine our recommendations, we conduct extensive research on not only the bed itself, but also the materials it’s made with, the company who manufactures it, and the reports of everyday people in verified customer reviews.
Mattress material – You might not think it makes a difference, but owners of foam or latex beds are more likely to report a better night’s sleep compared to those with old-school innerspring beds. Memory foam used to be an expensive luxury, but these days it and other high tech foam options are sweeping the market, and becoming more and more affordable. Most of them offer cooling technology, they are more supportive, more comfortable, and some are even hypoallergenic. In our hunt for the best mattress for lower back pain, we focused on memory foam beds or hybrid beds because we think they provide the most support and comfort for those with back pain.
Support – You need a mattress that is not going to sink too much and that will support your frame comfortably. You want it to hug your body because when your mattress conforms properly to you it ensures proper spinal alignment, which is also important with back pain. Having the proper support in your mattress is one of the most important elements you can consider, especially if you’re a heavier body type. The right support takes stress off your spine which will not only reduce back pain, it will prevent it, as well. We paid particular attention to the support offered by each of the mattresses we tested, in a variety of sleep positions.
Firmness – How firm or soft your mattress is should also be a consideration. If your mattress is soft now and you’re waking up with an aching back, you might want to consider a firmer option. On the other hand, if your mattress is too firm, you need to consider something softer. Chances are, if your bed is too soft it’s not giving you the support you need, but if it’s too firm it’s putting too much pressure on your body which is making your back pain worse. The amount of firmness you need will be in relation to your specific back pain, but normally a medium firm (something not too soft or too firm) works best. Thus, we focused on firmer models, or beds that offer multiple firmness options.
Perks – Getting a great bed is super important for your sleep – but how do you know if it’s going to be the right fit, without sleeping on it first? We focused on mattresses that come with generous risk-free trials, typically of at least 100 nights. These trials mean you can return the mattress for a full refund if it doesn’t work for you. We also looked for beds with excellent long-term warranties, and good customer support.
Many other factors can also come into play in finding the best mattress for back pain. These could include breathability, cooling, and even purchasing an adjustable bed. All of these things can contribute to both comfort and the reduction (or at least proper management) of back pain.