Best Mattresses For Back Pain (2021 Update)

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Back pain can be, well, a pain. Waking up in the morning with a sore back after an uncomfortable night’s sleep can lead to an unfulfilling day. While there are many causes for back pain, sleeping on an uncomfortable and unsupportive mattress can be a large contributor!

So, let’s talk about our top picks for the best mattresses for back pain. In this article, we’ll share our top mattress recommendations for people with back pain and explain how you can choose which mattress is the best fit for you. We’ll also explain how back pain and sleep are related and tell you what factors to look for when buying a mattress specifically for your back pain.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a medical professional or another medical expert if there are any health-related questions.]

The Best Mattresses For Back Pain

  • Saatva – Editor’s Pick
  • Helix Midnight Luxe – Best Medium-Firm Mattress
  • WinkBed – Best Innerspring Mattress
  • DreamCloud – Best Firm Mattress
  • Nectar – Best Affordable Mattress
  • GhostBed Flex – Best Mattress For Side Sleepers With Back Pain
  • Bear – Best Foam Mattress
  • Puffy – Best Cooling Mattress For Back Pain
  • Level Sleep – Best Mattress For Lower Back Pain
  • Purple – Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers


While there are a plethora of comfortable options out there, these ten definitely fit all the criteria people should look for when choosing a mattress to alleviate back pain. They are durable, supportive in the right areas, and have just the ideal firmness to keep the spine in proper alignment.

If you specifically experience lower back pain, check out our list of the best mattresses for lower back pain and sciatica as well.

Best Mattress For Back Sleepers


Sleepers who struggle with back pain should be looking for a few things in a mattress; they want something that is quite durable, close to medium-firm and supports proper, neutral spinal alignment. Well, there’s a reason I’m starting this list with the Saatva mattress; it fits all these criteria!

First off, the Saatva mattress is a hybrid mattress that includes particularly high-quality materials such as a pillow tophigh-grade coils, micro-coils, and high-density foams as well; a mattress that is prone to sagging isn’t a fantastic option for those who struggle with back pain. Sagging should not be an issue on the Saatva mattress; it is an exceptionally durable option that should remain comfortable and supportive for years to come.

The Saatva is also right in that medium-firm range and, on our firmness scale, had a score of 7/10; this is just slightly firmer-than-average, but the mattress does feature that necessary balance of comfort and support. With that balance, it is one of the best mattresses for back sleepers with back pain. 

Back pain can occur when someone’s mattress does not promote proper spinal alignment; the Saatva handles this issue in two ways. First, it contains an extra layer of micro-coils that provide some excellent contouring for sleepers; it is so important that one’s mattress really takes the shape of the body in order to keep that spine in alignment. What’s more, an extra layer of high-density memory foam is there to add even more lumbar support.

If there’s a checklist for the perfect mattress for back pain, the Saatva seems to check every box!

What Makes The Saatva Stand Out?

  • The Saatva mattress contains two sets of steel coils, one to provide the necessary overall support, and the other to provide fantastic contouring.
  • The mattress boasts some very high-quality components: supportive coils, micro-coils, and high-density foams.
  • The Saatva mattress is very close to a medium-firmness; it features the balance of comfort and support that those with back pain should be seeking.
  • Hot sleepers should not be burning up on the Saatva mattress – its two sets of coils promote airflow through the mattress so that it does not trap too much heat and direct it back at sleepers.

Read the full Saatva mattress review

$200 Off

Saatva is a great value that happens to be both comfortable and supportive at the same time.  You can save $200 on a Saatva mattress simply by clicking the link below.

Editor’s Pick

Helix Midnight Luxe

The Helix mattresses are a fantastic choice for those shoppers who just can’t make up their minds – they allow customers to take a sleep quiz, and they then will customize a hybrid mattress based on those answers. People can also select from their line of mattresses, and the Helix Midnight is their most popular mattress. 

The Helix Midnight features soft foam layers over supportive coils. This gives it a great balance of comfort and support for back sleepers with back pain. The top memory foam layer provides good contouring, while the coils provide excellent support. 

If you want something even nicer, consider the Helix Midnight Luxe. This adds more plushness to the top of the mattress and more cooling features as well. 

What Makes The Helix Midnight Luxe Stand Out?

  • It has a perfect balance of comfort and support that should be ideal for back sleepers with back pain.
  • Many side sleepers should get good pressure relief on the Helix Midnight Luxe. 
  • The mattress boasts excellent cooling features. 

Read the full Helix Midnight mattress review 

Up To $200 Off
Helix Midnight Luxe
Helix Midnight Luxe
Helix Midnight Luxe

The Helix Midnight Luxe is a luxurious hybrid mattress with plush comfort and great support. Click the button to save up to $200 and get 2 free pillows

Best Innerspring Mattress For Back Pain


If you are deal with back pain and prefer a mattress that is a bit more traditional, the WinkBed mattress could be right for you – it’s the best innerspring mattress on our list! The WinkBed is an innerspring mattress that features two sets of coils and a comfortable pillow top on top. 

You have multiple firmness options to choose from, but the Luxury Firm model should be the best for back pain. It boasts an excellent balance of comfort and support that will help to keep your spine in proper neutral alignment. What’s more, the WinkBed is zoned and will provide extra support under your lumbar area. 

Lastly, the WinkBed is one of the more durable mattresses on this list. People who struggle with back pain don’t want a mattress that will sag too quickly. This could make the back pain worse! However, the WinkBed should last for a number of years and help ease that back pain. 

What Makes The WinkBed Stand Out?

  • The WinkBed Luxury Firm model offers the balance of comfort and support back pain sufferers are looking for. 
  • The mattress is zoned and provides extra lumbar support
  • The WinkBed is an extremely durable mattress that will offer comfort and support for years to come. 

Read the full WinkBed mattress review 


Winkbeds has a mattress that is an excellent balance of comfort and support.  You can get $300 off + Free Sleep Bundle with our coupon. Just enter your email to save. 

Best Firm Mattress For Back Pain


While medium-firm mattresses are usually best for back pain, some people just need something firmer. The DreamCloud is one of the firmest mattresses on this list and will be a great fit for those who need more support. 

The DreamCloud is a hybrid mattress that contains individually-wrapped coils and multiple layers of foam. While the mattress is firm, it still offers some good contouring right on top. 

The mattress will also be a great option for hot sleepers. The coils promote airflow through the mattress, and the foam on top features cooling infusions as well. You should feel cool and supported on the DreamCloud!

What Makes The DreamCloud Stand Out?

  • The DreamCloud is a firmer mattress option for people with back pain. 
  • It is a breathable mattress that should not trap too much heat. 
  • For a hybrid mattress, the DreamCloud is competitively priced

Read the full DreamCloud mattress review

$200 Off

The DreamCloud is a high-quality hybrid mattress that is sold for a value price - click the button to save $200 on the DreamCloud mattress and get $399 of free accessories. 

Best Affordable Mattress For Back Pain


If you’re looking for a high-quality mattress that’s good for back pain without having to make a huge investment, the Nectar mattress is a great affordable option. This all-foam mattress has many benefits at a fraction of the cost of some high-end mattresses. 

For those who love the slow-moving feel of memory foam mattresses, you’ll find the Nectar mattress extremely comfortable. The Nectar is a softer mattress that prioritizes pressure relieving comfort and contouring. Paired with the supportive base layers, the Nectar provides sleepers with an ideal balance to keep your spine aligned while you sleep. 

The Nectar mattress can support sleepers in all three-sleeping positions, though if you move around often in the night you may find it a little more difficult to switch positions because this isn’t the most responsive mattress. That being said, it does a great job of isolating motion so if you sleep with a partner, you likely won’t be disturbed by their movements throughout the night. 

What Makes The Nectar Mattress Stand Out?

  • It comes at a super affordable price point.
  • It’s an all-foam mattress that you can sink into. You’ll get contouring comfort that allows your spine to stay aligned. 
  • The mattress is topped with a cooling cover and includes gel-infused memory foam to help you sleep cool.

Read the full Nectar mattress review

Free Accessories

Nectar is a very comfortable memory foam mattress that happens to also be an amazing value, and customers can get the best deal on the Nectar plus $399 of free accessories by using our coupon.

Best Mattress For Side Sleepers With Back Pain

GhostBed Flex

The GhostBed Flex mattress is a cooling hybrid mattress that is a great fit for sleepers with back pain who primarily sleep on their side. It’s important that side sleepers with back pain sleep on a mattress that is soft enough to hug your shoulders and hips, while still being supportive and firm enough to push back in all the right areas. The GhostBed Flex fits in that category excellently.

Built with a supportive base layer of coils, gel memory foam, and a plush quilted cover, the GhostBed Flex is also a very cooling mattress that should be well-suited for hot sleepers. The mattress has a very breathable construction allowing air to flow through the mattress and helping to prevent your body heat from becoming trapped in the mattress. 

These materials are also the reason the GhostBed Flex is such a good fit for side sleepers with back pain. The top comfort layers provide pressure relief and contouring, and the base layer of individually-wrapped coils add durability to the mattress. 

What Makes The GhostBed Flex Stand Out?

  • The GhostBed Flex is an exceptionally cool mattress–hot sleepers should be very comfortable on this mattress. 
  • It does a good job of isolating motions so it should be a good fit for couples sharing the bed. 
  • The layers of foam work together to create a comfortable sleep surface, especially for side sleepers.

Read the full GhostBed Flex review

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GhostBed Flex
GhostBed Flex
GhostBed Flex

The GhostBed Flex is a hybrid mattress with a great balance of comfort and support. Back sleepers and side sleepers should find what they need on the GhostBed Flex. Get 30% off and get 2 free pillows with this coupon. 

Best Foam Mattress


Foam mattresses can also be a great fit for back pain as long as they offer that nice balance of comfort and support. The Bear definitely strikes this balance and should help prevent and alleviate back pain

The Bear is a medium-firm all-foam mattress that contains memory foam, transition foam, and base foam. This construction and firmness make it ideal for back sleepers and side sleepers with back pain. 

Also, the cover contains Celliant fabric which has been shown to increase blood flow and help with cooling. It is designed to help you get a truly rejuvenating night of sleep. 

If you’re a fan of foam mattresses and you deal with back pain, check out the Bear! 

What Makes The Bear Stand Out?

  • The Bear offers a great balance of comfort and support
  • It is a high-quality foam mattress sold for a value price. 
  • The Bear’s Celliant cover and gel infusion should keep it from trapping heat. 

Read the full Bear mattress review 

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Bear Mattress
Bear Mattress
Bear Mattress

The Bear mattresses sleep cool and are quite comfortable. Mattress customers can get 25% off the Bear mattress plus a free $250 gift set. Use code CLARITY25 to save.

Best Cooling Mattress For Back Pain


As you may know, all-foam mattresses have a tendency to trap body heat. However, that won’t be a problem with the Puffy mattress. This impressive bed has loads of built-in cooling features. 

On the outer layer, you’ll find Puffy’s Cooling Cloud technology. The material feels soft and squishy like traditional memory foam, but it’s infused with gel for added cooling. Underneath this sits Puffy’s Climate Control Layer. This material doesn’t just create extra support – it also helps regulate the bed’s temperature. 

And because it creates a great balance of comfort and support, the Puffy mattress will help alleviate back pain. It’s especially great for average weight back and side sleepers. 

What Makes The Puffy Stand Out?

  • It has Cooling Cloud Technology, which helps dissipate heat
  • It provides both comfort and support, so it helps soothe back pain. 
  • The Puffy mattress is a fantastic budget-friendly choice.

Read our full Puffy mattress review

$300 Off

Puffy is a comfortable memory foam mattress that is especially great for light-  ande medium-weight side sleepers.  You can get $300 off the Puffy and get a $455 worth of free accessories by clicking the link below. 

Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain

Level Sleep

People with back pain can rest easy on the Level Sleep Tri-Support because it is a mattress created specifically with back pain in mind!

The Level Sleep’s defining feature is the titular Tri-Support system; it is a zoned construction where the center of the comfort layer is firmer than the top and bottom. Just to give readers an idea of how these zones vary in regard to firmness, the shoulder zone is close to a 5.5/10, the zone under the knees is a 7/10, and the lumbar zone is an 8/10.

First, this indeed makes the Level Sleep a solid mattress for dealing with back pain; that lumbar zone provides some of the best lumbar support I have experience in a mattress and should ensure sleepers stay in proper, neutral alignment. The company actually spent years perfecting the Level Sleep mattress, and they have conducted numerous studies to test the efficacy of its design; it has been proven to prevent and alleviate back pain!

Also, this zoning should be very attractive to combination sleepers as well – people should feel significantly more support from the lumbar zone when they are stomach and back sleeping and more pressure relief from the shoulder zone when they are side sleeping.

The Level Sleep is all about dealing with back pain; check it out so see if the Tri-Support system sounds like a good fit!

What Makes The Level Sleep Stand Out?

  • The Level Sleep mattress contains a proprietary Tri-Support zoned construction that provides some of the most exceptional lumbar support I have felt on a mattress.
  • The zoning also makes the Level Sleep a fantastic match for all three sleeping positions; whether one sleeps on their back, side, or stomach, the Level Sleep should feel properly supportive and comfortable.
  • The Level Sleep should be a suitable option for hot sleepers as well – the foam found in the top of the mattress is breathable and designed to ensure the top of the mattress stays nice and cool.

Read the full Level Sleep mattress review 

10% Off
Level Sleep
Level Sleep
Level Sleep

Level Sleep is a smartly designed mattress that is an excellent choice for those with back pain and is comfortable in any sleeping position. You can get 10% off a Level Sleep mattress by clicking the link below.

Best Mattress For Combination Sleepers


The Purple is one of the most popular bed-in-a-box mattresses currently on the market and for good reason; it features a very unique, proprietary gel grid in its comfort layer.

This gel grid is made from a hyper-elastic gel polymer that acts differently than foams found in many online mattresses; the grid feels firm and supportive until someone applies enough pressure. When that occurs, that specific area of the gel grid will collapse while the rest of the grid continues to be supportive. This design makes the Purple ideal for those with back pain; it features a perfect balance of comfort and support, and it promotes proper spinal alignment.

No matter what position someone with back pain lies in, they should feel like the Purple is a good match; back sleepers will feel their hips sink in, while the gel grid supports the lumbar area. Side sleepers will feel like their shoulders and hips sink in, but the gel grid will fill all the other gaps; stomach sleepers shouldn’t feel the mattress collapse whatsoever.

The Purple is one of the most durable mattresses on the market and shouldn’t sag at all; people with back pain should love the Purple no matter what position they sleep in.

What Makes The Purple Stand Out?

  • The Purple features a hyper-elastic gel polymer that is simultaneously supportive and pressure-relieving.
  • The mattress is an exceptional fit for all three sleeping positions and should provide excellent lumbar support for combination sleepers.
  • The gel grid allows the mattress to sleep almost completely temperature-neutral; it leaves a significant amount of room for airflow, so hot sleepers shouldn’t be overheating on the Purple.
  • The Purple mattress is incredibly durable, shouldn’t sag, and should last for a good amount of time.

Read the full Purple mattress review

Free Accessories

Purple is an innovative mattress that is a great fit for all three sleeping positions and doesn't sleep hot. Click the button below to get free accessories with your purchase. 

Recommendations For Heavyweight Sleepers (Over 230 lbs)

It is always important to consider one’s size and weight when searching for a mattress; customers want to make sure that their new mattress will properly support heavier weights. This is even more important when we are discussing mattresses for back pain; larger people require even more support under their lumbar area so that they do not get out of alignment.

Out of these ten mattresses, four really stand out among the rest; they should be excellent options for those heavier sleepers out there.

First off, we have the Helix Plus mattress; Helix creates mattresses for many different types of people, and the Helix Plus is their mattress designed specifically with larger people in mind. The Helix Plus mattress has that medium firmness that those with back pain should be searching for, but it is also incredibly supportive and offers the necessary lumbar support.

The Saatva mattress is also a fantastic match because it features a nice balance of comfort and support. Back sleeping,  heavier people should receive excellent lumbar support, and the mattress should conform to the curves of your body. When you are side sleeping, your hips should sink in the right amount, and the memory foam should press up to fill in your gaps and keeps you in proper neutral alignment.

Heavier people should also find the WinkBed to be a good fit. It also features very supportive coils and a plus top as well. You can also opt for the WinkBed Plus mattress if you need that extra support.

How Does Back Pain Affect Sleep? 

Back pain can interfere with your sleep for a number of reasons. The most obvious way that back pain harms your sleep is by causing you to wake up frequently in discomfort throughout the night. Back pain can also make it hard to get comfortable and fall asleep at night in the first place.

Suffering from pain, especially long-term pain, can also take a toll on your mental health. Stress, anxiety, and depression related to your pain can make it more difficult to sleep well at night.

How Does Your Sleeping Position Affect Back Pain? 

The way you position your body at night also impacts your back pain. Different positions put extra strain on your muscles and joints and contribute to pain.

Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleepers put the most strain on the lower back area. The more lofted your pillow is, the worse this lumbar strain becomes. Stomach sleeping also puts a lot of pressure on the neck for this reason. It’s best for stomach sleepers to use a thin pillow and a more firm mattress that won’t cause sinkage.

If you sleep in this position, check out our lists for the best mattresses for stomach sleepers and the best pillows for stomach sleepers to ensure you’re getting proper support.

Side Sleeping

Side Sleeper With Hip Pain

Side sleepers put the most pressure on the shoulders and hips. A medium to medium-firm mattress with a contouring comfort layer topped on a supportive base layer provides the match of comfort and support side sleepers need to keep their spine aligned. If a mattress is too soft or too firm, the spine will not stay aligned and back pain can worsen. This can also lead to neck and shoulder pain.

Back Sleeping

Sleeper With Back Pain

Back sleeping is generally the most recommended option because you have the best chance of keeping your spine aligned correctly; however, if a mattress is too soft or too hard, even back sleepers can put a lot of strain on the lumbar region of the spine.

A mattress that’s too soft will cause the hips to sink in too far, while a mattress that’s too firm won’t support the natural curvature of the spine in the lumbar area. A medium-firm to firm mattress is typically the most comfortable for back sleepers.

Can Your Mattress Make Back Pain Worse?

Your mattress can certainly worsen or even cause your back pain. If you’re getting the proper amount of sleep each night, you’re spending around 7-9 hours sleeping on your mattress each night. If your mattress is sagging, too firm, too soft, or not supportive enough then you’re spending a lot of time putting pressure on your joints and spine.

If you consistently wake up with pain in the morning, that’s a good sign that your mattress is either causing or worsening your back pain and it may be time to start looking for a new mattress that offers better support.

Best Type Of Mattress For Back Pain

So how can you find the best type of mattress to alleviate your back pain? Certain mattresses are better suited for people with back pain than others.


Innerspring mattresses are not ideal for back pain sufferers since they are made with mostly coils. This type of construction makes for a more firm and bouncy bed, rather that one that is contouring and pressure relieving. Topping an innerspring mattress with a foam or latex mattress topper to provide a soft, cushion layer can help.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are great for sleepers with back pain. Memory foam does a nice job of evenly distributing body weight across the surface to avoid pain in the pressure points, especially for side sleepers.


Hybrid mattresses are ideal for people with back pain. Combining a supportive coil layer with a contouring comfort layer on top gives a nice balance that back pain sufferers need.


Latex mattresses have nice contouring abilities without causing too much sinkage, making them a good match for people with back pain.

Of course, there are certain factors you should also consider for each of these mattress types.

What Should Someone Look For In A Mattress To Relieve Back Pain?

So, now that we know what back pain is and what causes it, how can a mattress deal with this pressing issue? And for those looking for a mattress to alleviate and prevent back pain, what should they consider?

Lumbar Support

For pain sufferers, it’s important that the lower back area is properly supported. One 2005 study, which was published in The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Foundation, found that good lumbar support “limit[s] unfavorable compressive and shearing forces acting on the lumbar spine.”

Mattresses such as the Level Sleep have a special system to ensure the lumbar area has extra support – other mattresses, such as the Casper, also feature a zoned construction so the middle part of the mattress is firmer than the rest.

Make sure to also see our best orthopedic mattresses.

Comfort Layer Thickness

Along with lumbar support, people should think about just how thick the mattress’s comfort Mattress Comfort Layer Thicknesslayer is. While a thick comfort layer can feel great at first, it might not give the proper support; there’s the chance of sinking too far into the mattress and not getting the proper support.

The Harvard Medical School says, “You might also sink in so deeply that your joints twist and become painful during the night.” That said, it’s important to consider one’s sleeping position when taking comfort layer thickness into account; for side sleepers, a thicker comfort layer could be a better match.

Mattress Firmness Test Firmness

The overall firmness of a mattress comes into play when thinking about back pain (but also depends on one’s sleep position). Doctors once recommended that pain sufferers opt for a firm mattress but that has now changed, and doctors recommend a medium firm mattress. A 2015 study from the journal Sleep Health found that “a mattress that is subjectively identified as a medium firm mattress and is custom inflated (self-adjusted) is optimal for promoting sleep comfort, quality, and spinal alignment.

It’s best not to let the hips sink in too far and, if the mattress is too soft, falling into the mattress becomes more likely. For side sleepers, the mattress should be soft enough for the shoulder to compress the mattress; if it is too firm, the shoulder will be pushed up, and the body will also get out of alignment.

Considering Body Weight To Find Right MattressWeight

For those who are considered a larger person, definitely take this into account when choosing a mattress for back pain – one’s weight can affect how firm a mattress feels, as well as much support it can offer. It might be necessary to choose a mattress that would feel firm to a lighter person. Also, there is a risk of “bottoming out” on a mattress, so a thick comfort layer might not be ideal.

Mattress DurabilityDurability

After finding that perfect medium firm mattress with just the right amount of comfort, people still want to know that the mattress will handle back pain for a good duration of time – people want to pay particular attention to the density of foams and the quality of other materials such as coils and pillow-tops. If the mattress begins to sag, this could make the back pain even worse.

Armed with this information, people should have all the knowledge they need to choose the right mattress for preventing and alleviating back pain. Experiencing back pain is never fun, but these excellent choices can definitely make the situation a little better!

What Is Back Pain?

Most of us know when our back is giving us issues, but what is really happening here behind the scenes?

According to the National Institute of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases, back pain is “one of the most common medical problems in the U.S; it can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that makes it hard to move.”

Surveys from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke found that about 80 percent of Americans will struggle with back pain at some point in their lifetimes – this potentially helps explain why back pain is the fifth most common reason people go to the doctor. At the same time, many pain sufferers do not see a doctor because of pride, money issues, or other reasons.

The Mayo Clinic describes back pain symptoms as:

  • Muscle ache
  • Shooting or stabbing pain
  • Pain that radiates down the leg
  • Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing, or walking
  • Pain that improves with reclining

The Mayo Clinic also defines two types of back pain: acute and chronic. Acute back pain occurs when symptoms last between a few days and a few weeks; if the symptoms last for over 12 weeks, this is considered chronic back pain.

What Causes Back Pain?

Lower Back Pain From An Unfit Mattress

Just as the symptoms of back pain can vary, there are numerous reasons someone might be feeling back pain – here are some of the most common explanations for lower and upper back pain:

  • Strain. If someone works a job that requires him/her to lift especially heavy objects, the repetition of this action can potentially lead to muscle and ligament strain. Also, simply lifting a heavy object without using the legs can potentially cause immediate strain in the lower back area; if someone is in poor physical shape, it increases the likelihood of pulling a muscle in the lower back area.
  • Ruptured or herniated discs. This is one of the major causes of lower back pain and can be particularly debilitating. The Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says, “A disk begins to herniate when its jelly-like nucleus pushes against its outer ring due to wear and tear or a sudden injury. This pressure against the outer ring may possibly cause lower back pain and, if the pressure continues, the jelly-like nucleus may push all the way through the disk’s outer ring or cause the ring to bulge. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and nearby nerve roots. In addition, the disk material releases chemical irritants that contribute to nerve inflammation.”
  • Arthritis or scoliosis. Arthritis can definitely have a direct impact on the lower back area in multiple ways – arthritis can lead to spinal stenosis, wherein the spaces in the spine narrow and begin to put pressure on the nerves. Scoliosis, on the other hand, is an unnatural curvature of the spine; this can affect posture, stretching muscles and pinching nerves, and thereby cause back pain issues. Make sure to check out our best mattresses for arthritis.
  • Serious injury. Car accidents, sports-related injuries, and workplace falls can all lead to pulled muscles, pinched nerves, and herniated discs; these are all associated with back pain and are very common occurrences in America.
  • Sciatica. The sciatic nerve goes through the buttocks and down the back of the leg; if this nerve is compressed, people could potentially experience back pain or numbness in the leg.

What Increases The Chances Of Experiencing Back Pain?

There are also a plethora of factors that could make it more likely for someone to develop back pain.

  • Age. As we grow older, we have a significantly higher chance of dealing with back pain; aging can cause degeneration of spinal discs so they aren’t as effective at absorbing shock. It’s also possible to develop Spondylolisthesis, where one vertebra moves into another vertebra.
  • Lack of exercise. If we don’t exercise, our bodies can become susceptible to back pain; also, if our back muscles are weak, the back pain can potentially become more severe. Many studies have shown that exercise can help alleviate back pain. In fact, one 2012 study from Informed Health Online found that exercise can prevent a recurrence of acute back pain in 1 out of 3 people.
  • High bodyweight. For those that are overweight, back pain becomes more likely – a higher weight could also exacerbate the pain and generally make things harder to manage. One 2016 study, which was published in the journal Medicine, found that “higher BMI and waist-hip ratio were associated with high-intensity low back pain and/or high disability.”
  • Depression and/or anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, people with these disorders are more likely to struggle with back pain than people who don’t experience anxiety and/or depression.
  • Smoking. The Mayo Clinic states that smoking cigarettes cuts down on blood flow to the lower back area and reduces the nutrients that are delivered to the spine – for those with acute back pain, nicotine can slow the healing process.

Sleeping Tips For People With Back Pain

If you don’t address your back pain in some way, it could continue to worsen over time with increase stress to the joints and spine. That being said, here are a couple actionable steps you can take to improve your sleeping situation if you deal with back pain.

  1. Purchase a more comfortable and supportive mattress. Of course, our first recommendation is that you check out the mattresses we’ve listed as being the best for people looking for spine support and back pain relief.
  2. Top off your current mattress with a mattress topper. A pressure-relieving mattress topper could be just the relief you need to keep your spine aligned when you sleep.
  3. Change up your sleeping position. Sleeping on your back is the best way to keep your spine in a neutral position. If you’re a stomach or side sleeper, you may want to consider switching up your position.
  4. Use pillows for support. Using a pillow with the right amount of loft is important for keeping the cervical spine in alignment (the part at the base of your neck). If you sleep on your stomach, make sure you’re sleeping on a thin pillow. Back and side sleepers need a medium to thick pillow. Stomach sleepers may also benefit by placing a thin pillow under the pelvis region to support the lumbar region of the spine. Side sleepers can be more comfortable with a pillow between the knees.
  5. Speak with a doctor or medical professional. If your back pain is causing severe discomfort and becoming a hinderance to your sleep, it’s always best to consult an expert for medical advice.


Here’s a recap of our top picks for the best mattresses for back pain relief:

Mattress Best For
Saatva Editor’s Pick
Helix Midnight Luxe Best Medium-Firm Mattress
WinkBed Best Innerspring Mattress
DreamCloud Best Firm Mattress
Nectar Best Affordable Mattress
GhostBed Flex Best Mattress For Side Sleepers With Back Pain
Bear Best Memory Foam Mattress
Puffy Best Cooling Mattress
Level Sleep Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain
Purple Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers

Each of these mattresses offer great comfort and support for sleepers with back pain, though each offers its own unique features that make it standout and a better fit for particular types of sleepers.

If you’re still searching for your next best mattress, try checking out our other guides or take our mattress quiz for personalized recommendations.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a medical professional or another medical expert if you have health-related questions.]

Featured image: SOPRADIT/Shutterstock


Can a mattress give you back pain?

It is definitely possible for a mattress to cause back pain – if the mattress is not supportive enough, a person’s spine might not stay in proper neutral alignment.

A mattress that is incredibly soft may be the culprit when it comes to back pain; if it does not provide enough overall or, specifically, lumbar support, sleepers could find themselves with feelings of back strain.

What is the best mattress for side sleepers with back pain?

There are a few mattresses that should be excellent options for side sleepers with back pain. The Puffy mattress, for instance, does not feature an extremely thick comfort layer; side sleepers should get enough pressure relief while the mattress keeps them properly aligned.

The Level Sleep and Casper mattresses are also good choices because of their zoned construction – the center of each mattress is firmer and provides extra lumbar support even when someone is sleeping on their sides.

Are hybrid mattresses good for back pain?

Hybrid mattresses can be good options for people who struggle with back pain and want to sleep better; coils offer excellent support and help keep sleepers well-aligned. However, it is important to pay attention to the comfort layer of the hybrid mattress; if the comfort layer is particularly thick and makes the mattress too soft, that hybrid mattress won’t be the best fit for back pain.

Are memory foam mattresses good for back pain?

Memory foam mattresses can be a good option for back pain, but there are a few things to keep in mind to sleep better. First, make sure that the mattress is still in that medium-firm range; if the mattress is extremely soft, it might not offer quite enough support.

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Marten Carlson

Marten is Senior Editor at Mattress Clarity. He covers the mattress industry as well as sleep science news. He is specifically interested in the connection between sleep and overall health. Marten has written for media publications like Consequence of Sound and received a master’s degree in Film Studies from Emory University. He comes from Franklin, Indiana, and spends all the time he can writing, directing, and acting in films. He has directed genre short films and features. His newest film, Starlets, recently premiered at the River Town Film Festival in Clinton, NJ. He also stars in the upcoming thriller, Sour Bear. His next film, At The Hop, is a hot rod actioner with a horror twist.