Everyone will experience back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, according to the American Chiropractic Association, 3.1 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time. Back pain is actually one of the most common reasons why people miss work. We all know that sleeping on the wrong bed will cause you back pain. If you already have back pain, sleeping on the wrong mattress will only make things worse. While the right mattress is usually a matter of preference, experts recommend that your mattress of choice should be one that provides you with adequate support and ensures that the natural alignment of your spine is maintained while you sleep. For this cause, it is important to choose the right pillow as well, as it also has a role in keeping your spine aligned.
According to one study, people with back pain would feel more relief when sleeping on a medium firm mattress rather than on a firm one. Whether you prefer a firm or a medium-firm mattress, you’ll find yourself swamped with so many choices. To save yourself from pain and frustration, we’ve come up with a list of the best mattresses for back pain. Now all you have to do is choose one from a very short list.
Top 9 Mattresses For Back Pain of 2018 Reviewed
- Top 9 Mattresses For Back Pain of 2018 Reviewed
- How to Buy a Mattress for Sleepers with Back Pain
1. Leesa MattressMattress For Back Pain For The Money
The Leesa is great for preventing back pain while sleeping for many reasons. First, as experts have already stated in one study, a medium firm mattress is the best choice which is the typical firmness rating that this mattress gets from different individuals. Second, it provides the comfort and support we look for in the perfect bed and features temperature regulating properties. All of these are possible because of the different types of foam and the particular design of the foam.
The mattress has 2 inches of Avena foam on top which is quite similar to Latex, giving you that bounce. At the same time, this layer features an egg crate design as well as holes, both of which are there to keep your body cool while you sleep. Sleeping cool during the night improves blood flow and cell regeneration which, in turn, helps lessen the lower back pain.
After the Avena foam, you get 2 inches of memory foam which gives pressure-point relief and deep compression support. Again, keeping the natural alignment of your spine. Even side sleepers won’t feel too much pressure on their shoulders and hip, except perhaps light individuals. If you want serious lumbar support, the Leesa is definitely the best option for most sleepers.
- Excellent pressure relief
- “Bouncy”; no interference when switching positions during the night
- Does not feel hot
- No handles to help in rotating the bed
- Some customers have reported that the mattress tends to lose its firmness (starts to sag) after a year of use
- Some customers may find it too firm
2. Tuft & Needle MattressMattress For Back Pain Stomach Sleeper
This premium quality mattress is a memory foam mattress that features two layers of high-density CertiPUR-US polyurethane foam. The top layer is 3 inches of graphite and gel-infused memory foam, the Tuft & Needle Adaptive Foam, that contours to your body shape when you lie down on the bed. It provides the comfort and pressure-point relief you require so that your spine and muscles can stay in a relaxed state while you sleep, reducing the chance of experiencing back pain when you wake up. The 7-inch high-density support layer gives the mattress its shape and lengthens its durability.
Now, you might notice that there isn’t a transition layer between the comfort layer and base layer. For back sleepers, the medium-firm feel of the mattress works great in keeping the natural alignment of their spine because you get even weight distribution when lying down on this bed. However, heavier individuals who like to sleep on their side may suddenly feel that “wall” of support. Lightweight side sleepers, on the other hand, may find that the bed is a bit firmer than what they need.
- 100-night trial
- Great for back and stomach sleepers
- No harsh chemical smell
- May be too firm for some sleepers, particularly lightweight individuals
- Poor edge support
- Not for side sleepers
3. Loom and Leaf Memory Foam MattressMattress For Back Pain Side Sleeper
The Loom and Leaf memory foam mattress is similar to the Leesa in providing that slight hug of a memory foam without that sinking or “stuck” feeling. For sleepers who found the Leesa too firm, this may be a better option as it is rated a bit lower on the firmness scale at a 5.5 (the Leesa is often rated a 6). The Loom and Leaf is, in fact, chiropractor-approved because it provides great support, excellent cooling, and deep compression support.
While it is a couple of hundred dollars more expensive than the Leesa, the materials used by the company (Saatva) are all natural. There are 4 different layers, the top of which is a 2-inch high quality confirming gel foam with a cooling gel spinal panel laminated on top of the foam to provide enhanced cooling. This layer also has air channels designed into the foam for increased airflow. The 2nd layer is 2 inches of visco-elastic memory foam which provides the comfort, contouring, and support our bodies require when lying down. The 3rd layer is a transition layer that is 2 inches thick so sleepers don’t feel a sudden “wall” of support from the base when their body compresses the mattress. The 5.5-inch support base increases the durability of the mattress, provides support for the rest of the foam, and gives the mattress its shape.
This mattress also features a quilted organic cotton cover that is soft and breathable. The thin foam layer that is quilted to the cover (5/8 inches thick) gives the bed that extra softness that you won’t feel on the Leesa. The initial feel when lying on the bed is the immediate softness but it’s not long before the rest of the mattress starts to contour to your body shape. Overall, this is a bed that is ideal for stomach, back, and side sleepers with its use of specialty comfort foams. And just in case you’re still a bit wary about exposing your back to this bed, this mattress was specifically designed to work with adjustable bases for those that require better support when lying on their backs.
- A good balance between softness and firmness
- All natural materials (organic cotton, plant-based foam)
- Great pressure relief
- Some customers have shared experience with the cover bunching up/sagging on the bed
- Some found that they sleep hot
4. The Purple Bed
The Purple mattress stands out as one of the best mattresses for back pain not just because of its color. It’s also because of a unique comfort layer inside the mattress. The hyper-elastic polymer is 2 inches thick and designed like a grid. Now, the material itself is quick to respond and has more bounce than your average memory foam but that’s not all. The grid structure helps distribute weight evenly across the bed, ensuring that there are no pressure points created when you lie down on the bed. At the same time, these “channels” created in the grid structure of the material allows for increased airflow so you stay cool while sleeping.
To make you feel even cooler, the cover is a blend of polyester, viscose, and lycra – soft and thin for increased airflow while the addition of lycra helps to wick away any sweat from your body. The transitional layer is 3.25 inches of poly foam that gives you that deep compression support and prevents the sleeper from feeling the abrupt wall of support provided by the base of the mattress (4 inches of high-density poly foam).
In terms of firmness, this bed is dead center in the medium firmness level with most individuals of varying sizes and weights rating it at 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the firmest. Now, back sleepers and stomach sleepers won’t have a problem with this level of firmness because the bed really gives you the support you need without creating any pressure points. Side sleepers will be happy to know that they’ll get the same amount of support and the pressure relief that the other two sleepers enjoy.
- No interference when switching positions (you don’t feel stuck)
- Doesn’t get hot while you sleep
- Very responsive
- Light individuals (weighing less than 130 pounds) may find this too firm
- Poor edge support
- Smaller dimensions compared to other mattresses; around half an inch less on all sides
5. Live and Sleep Resort UltraMattress For Back Pain On A Budget
For those who are struggling with back pain but would prefer a bit of plushness added to their medium-firm mattress, the Live and Sleep Resort Ultra may just be the bed you are looking for. This top-rated mattress was designed specifically to mimic a mattress you’d find at your favorite resort/hotel. It features 2.5 inches of premium airflow memory foam on top, a layer of gel-infused visco elastic memory foam (over 1 inch thick), and a high-density support base that’s 8.5 inches thick. So, what do all these layers mean? First off, the extra thickness of this bed already screams luxury resort to us. Secondly, the two top layers definitely work together to cradle your body, preventing any pressure points from occurring, while maintaining the natural alignment of your spine.
Because of the cooling technology used in the foams (the infusion of gel and the airflow visco foam), you’ll sleep cool throughout the night. The bed rates a medium firm on the firmness chart so it strikes the right balance of support and comfort. The stretch knit cover bears mentioning because it is incredibly soft and comfortable to lie on. Plus, it can be removed for washing. All the materials used by the manufacturer are US certified with hypoallergenic, antibacterial and dust mite resistant properties. Keep in mind that it may take a few nights for your body to adjust to sleeping on this bed.
- Excellent customer service
- Perfect blend of support and comfort
- Doesn’t sleep hot
- May take a few nights before your body adjusts to the bed
- Some side sleepers may find this bed too firm
- Poor edge support
6. Perfect Cloud 12 Inch Visco Gel-Pro Double Layer Full Memory Foam Mattress
The Perfect Cloud Elegance Gel-Pro Memory Foam Mattress certainly looks like a luxury bed. Does it feel as good as it looks? Yes, yes it does. It comes with 4 layers of high quality, durable foam. The top layer is a 1-inch high-density air infused memory foam and below it is 1.5 inches of air infused memory foam. The first layer already provides you with a lot of the support you’ll need when lying down, especially with a bad back, with its high density. The second layer provides you with even more support, cradling your body without creating pressure points. The third layer is another memory foam which, again, provides pressure point relief. But this one, 2 inches of thick gel pro memory foam, also ensures that any heat or moisture that reaches this layer is absorbed or wicked away.
In short, the three layers work together to ensure that air isn’t trapped inside and the mattress stays cool while you’re pressing down on it.The base of the bed is 7.5 inches of high-density base support foam, providing the foundation of the bed lending durability to the entire mattress, and helping the foams retain their shape.
For sleepers with back pain, you’ll be glad to know that this bed is rated as medium firm (at 5.5) which strikes the right balance between soft and firm. Aside from comfort, weight distribution is pretty even for individuals weighing up to 400 pounds. This means that you also get very good the deep compression support and pressure point relief, a necessity since you already have enough pain to deal with, right? The only downside is that it is exclusively sold online through Amazon. There isn’t anywhere you can go to test this bed. You’ll have to rely on reviews and the 30-day trial which, some people believe, is too short to tell if the bed really is for you.
- Very long warranty (25 years)
- Comfortable in any sleeping position
- Affordable price for a top quality mattress
- Only offered online through Amazon
- Made in China
- Some customers still complain about feeling hot
7. My Green Mattress – Pure Echo GOTSCoil Mattress For Back Pain
Comfort and support may be the most important considerations for a majority of sleepers looking for a bed. But some would prefer to include one more: chemical-free. If you’re one of the sleepers in this group, you’ll be glad to know that there is actually one mattress that checks all those boxes at an affordable price. My Green Mattress is a company that manufactures GREENGUARD Gold Certified beds. The cover is GOTS Certified organic cotton while the fire retardant is all-natural eco-wool.
As for the rest of the bed, it features a 3-zone, pocketed coil innerspring mattress. What does that mean? This bed has three different gauge coils in different areas of the bed. In the center third of the mattress where most of the support (and weight) will be required, there are 14.5 gauge nested coils. At the head and foot of the bed, there are 15.5 gauge coils. And at the edges, to give you a firm spot to sit on when you’re tying shoelaces or engaging in some adventurous nighttime activities, there are heavy 13.5 gauge perimeter coils. Now, what does all that mean? Simply put, you get the exact type of support you need wherever you might be on the bed.
The bed comes in two kinds – one-sided and two-sided. One-sided means that only one side can be slept on; no flipping the bed. The two-sided one means you can flip the mattress which increases its longevity. For back sleepers and stomach sleepers, you’ll find that this mattress is firm but comfortable. Side sleepers, however, may find this mattress a bit too firm. The manufacturer does rate it a 7 out of 10, making it much firmer than most (if not all) of our picks. There is a soft layer on top but this may not be enough to prevent shoulder and hip pain. Also, some have found that while it didn’t have any chemical smell or off-gassing, those who have sensitive noses might smell the wool. Nothing too intense but something one should take note.
- GREENGUARD Gold Certified
- Affordable price for an all-natural bed
- Great edge support
- A bit too firm, especially for side sleepers
- Though there isn’t any off-gassing, some customers have mentioned smelling the wool (or wet sheep); for some, the smell lasts a long time
- Some have received beds that are a bit shorter than what was stated as the dimensions
8. Casper Sleep Mattress
The Casper is one of the best memory foam mattresses we’ve ever laid down on. But is it good enough for people struggling with bad backs? Well, the bed has 4 layers – 1.5 inches of open-cell foam, 1.5 inches of responsive memory foam, 1.5 inches of adaptive transition foam, and 5 inches of poly foam. What we love about this bed is the fact that the first three layers work so well together to provide you with bounce, compression support, pressure-point relief, and comfort. Plus, it doesn’t allow you to get hot and has a quick response rate. It means you won’t be feeling stuck in one position all night long.
Rated as a medium firm mattress, the Casper definitely falls squarely within the range of firmness that is recommended by experts for those dealing with back pain. What stands out about the Casper is that it can provide the same pressure-point relief and support it provides to back and stomach sleepers to side sleepers as well. Moreover, light and heavy individuals alike seem to enjoy sleeping on this bed. So, what don’t we like? Similar to a lot of memory foam mattresses, edge support is a bit lacking and there is an initial chemical smell that takes a bit of time to fully dissipate. Other than that, you and your back should be fine.
- Doesn’t sleep hot
- Comfortable for sleepers in multiple positions and varying sizes/weights
- Great customer service
- Slight off-gassing smell
- Some beds have started to sag within a year after purchase
- Takes a while to break in the mattress
9. GhostBed MattressMattress For Heavy Person With Back Pain
The GhostBed is actually a hybrid mattress that features latex and memory foam to provide comfort, support, and bounce to every sleeper. The top layer is 1.5 inches of latex foam which is quick to respond, has a bit of a bounce, and is great for minimizing heat retention. The second layer is 2 inches of gel memory foam where the contouring happens. Side sleepers will love the fact that as they “sink” into the bed, this layer will be providing them with the comfort and support they need without getting too hot or feeling pressure on certain parts of their body. The high-density poly foam at the base of the bed helps provide support for the first two layers, gives the mattress its shape, and ensures its durability.
The firmness of the mattress is around 6.5 which is a medium firm, providing solid support and comfort to those with back aches. There is little interference when you move around the bed due to the latex. At the same time, while the memory foam contours around your body, you don’t feel stuck. As an added bonus, any “sensual pounding” will definitely be aided by that bounce.
- Sleeps cool
- Great for any sleeping position, especially side sleepers
- Takes some getting used to; you’ll need a couple of nights to break it in
- Poor edge support could be better
- Higher motion transfer than a memory foam mattress
How to Buy a Mattress for Sleepers with Back Pain
Mattress shopping is already a pain in the ass to do. Shopping for a mattress to deal with back pain? That’s a whole ‘nother level. So many beds to choose from but the wrong choice could make your present aches worse. This is why you’ll need to arm yourself first with a lot of information on what matters most in your mattress. Everyone has their own preferences, right? But for back sleepers and those who experience back problems, there are specific requirements that need to be met. Specifically, your bed will need to provide you with the support and comfort you need to sleep well for an entire night and not feel any pain when you get out of bed.
Obviously, your bed needs to provide you with good support. But what does that really mean? Whether you have or do not have back pain, a good mattress is one that is able to keep your spine in its natural alignment in your preferred sleeping position. Please take note that support and firmness are nothing alike. A soft mattress can just as easily provide your body with adequate support as a firm one. Firmness is a matter of comfort which we’ll get to later. So, put more simply, your bed needs to make sure that you maintain good posture while you sleep which allows the muscles and ligaments in your back to relax and recover.
According to SleepLikeTheDead, the conforming ability of a mattress (how well it molds to the body shape of the sleeper) is another feature that must be considered when checking the support provided by a bed. If a mattress does not have enough confirming ability, this means that not all parts of the body will be supported equally by the bed, creating pressure points and causing the body to stay in a misaligned position. This is why a lot of mattresses that work great in relieving back pain are memory foam mattresses that have great body contouring properties.
Firmness is a very tricking thing to rate since it is very subjective. When people talk about firmness, they are indicating how the mattress felt to them when they laid down on it. Now, how they perceive the mattress’ softness or firmness will be affected by their age, gender, weight, and a lot of other factors.
According to one study, people with lower back pain felt the least amount of discomfort on a medium firm mattress. On the firmness scale, a medium-firm feel is around 5-7, where 10 is the most firm. This level of firmness is also known as the universal comfort feel, meeting the needs of the majority of sleepers by striking the delicate balance between support and comfort. Most of our picks such as the Leesa Mattress are medium-firm on the firmness scale. That being said, lighter individuals may require softer mattresses to get that push-back type of support that keeps the spine aligned.
The same goes for side sleepers who need to sink more into the bed to get pressure relief on major joints. Average-sized (130 to 230 lbs) back and stomach sleepers will enjoy a medium firm mattress because it provides ample support and relieves pressure on various parts of the body. Larger individuals (weighing more than 230 lbs) may require a firm mattress because they need more push-back type support to keep their spine aligned.
Aside from support and comfort, there are other things you might want to check out. First, memory foam mattresses tend to sleep hot. However, sleeping cool or, at least, good internal temperature regulation is best if you want to reduce back pain. This means that you may have to find a mattress that has good temperature regulation such as the Tuft & Needle Mattress and the GhostBed Mattress.
Also, aside from the right mattress, some back sleepers struggling with back pain may require an adjustable foundation to ensure that pressure points are relieved along their back. If you are one of those people, this means that your mattress will need to be able to work with such a foundation. The Loom and Leaf Memory Foam Mattress was specifically designed to work with adjustable bases.
Of course, the same considerations for buying a regular mattress apply. Make sure you get to try the bed for at least 30 nights. Some beds such as the Casper Sleep Mattress requires some time to break in before it starts becoming comfortable. You also need to check the return policy and warranty of the manufacturer. Do they have a history of not making good on their promise? If you find yourself dissatisfied, you’ll need to make sure that the only pain you feel when returning your mattress or getting it fixed/exchanged for another is due to your back and nothing else.