Best Mattress for Back Pain in 2022: Improve Your Sleep and Relieve Your Aching Back

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More than 30 million Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association. It's the single leading cause of disability and one of the main causes of sleep disturbances. Aching backs can sabotage your sleep, and if you're sleeping on a mattress with inadequate support, you may be doing your back more harm than good.

Sleeping on a designated mattress for back pain can help ease strain and tension in your back, helping you sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed to tackle your daily workout.

How do you find the best mattress for back pain? We teamed up with the Mattress Advisor review team to identify the best mattresses for back pain based on 14 criteria that mattress shoppers want to know about—from spinal alignment and pressure point relief to responsiveness, motion transfer, and more. Here's what we found.

Why Trust Us?

ACTIVE.com's editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated.

MA Score: The Mattress Advisor Score is a weighted score that takes into account 14 different factors related to the mattress' performance, function, and convenience, as well as the brand's social responsibility.

Here's OUR FAVORITE cooling mattress. 

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The Helix Midnight Luxe takes top prize as our recommended cooling mattress for athletes. A common problem with mattresses is that body heat can get trapped in the top layer and surround you in sweat. This hybrid's breathable cooling cover maximizes airflow while a gel-infused memory foam layer also absorbs heat. By moving body heat away from you while you sleep, you're less likely to have annoying night sweats and stay at an optimal sleeping temperature. Even cooler (literally), the Helix Midnight Luxe contains a layer of pocket-wrapped coils, supporting your body with the cushion of a foam mattress while maintaining the breathability of a spring mattress.

BUY: Helix Midnight Luxe, Queen, $1,749

The Best Mattresses for Back Pain - Our Top Picks 

Best Overall Mattress for Back Pain - Saatva Classic

Saatva Classic

SPECS

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor score: 9/10
  • Firmness: Plush soft, luxury firm, firm
  • Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king, split king, split Cal king
  • Trial period: 365-night
  • Warranty: Lifetime Warranty

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The Saatva Classic is Mattress Advisor's top pick for back pain sufferers because it's specifically designed to minimize back strain. This luxury hybrid is made with five layers of foam and innerspring coils that work together to provide premium support. A top layer of memory foam has targeted lumbar support that does a great job of keeping the spine in alignment. The mattress is topped with a plush and pressure-relieving 3-inch Euro pillow top for added comfort.

One thing that sets Saatva apart from most of its competitors is the free white glove delivery, meaning professionals will come to your home and set up your bed and haul away your old mattress at no extra cost. The Saatva Classic also comes with a full-year sleep trial, however if you choose to return the mattress, you'll have to pay a $99 transport fee.

What We Like

  • Built-in lumbar support reinforces spinal alignment
  • Free white glove delivery
  • Full-year sleep trial
  • 3 firmness levels to choose from
  • 2 mattress height options: 11.5" and 14.5"

What We Don't Like

  • With several firmness levels and thickness options, it may be hard to choose what's best for you
  • $99 fee for returns

BUY: Saatva Classic

Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain - Leesa Legend Hybrid

Leesa Legend Hybrid

SPECS

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor score: 9/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Sizes: Twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
  • Trial period: 100-night
  • Warranty: 10-year

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It's been said that legends aren't born, they're made. The Leesa Legend Hybrid is made with lower back pain sufferers in mind. This hybrid combines memory foam with micro-pocket springs to offer good pressure relief and premium support right to the edge of the bed. A hole-punched comfort layer provides extra breathability to keep you cool. It's topped with a soft eco-friendly cover made of naturally wicking Merino wool and fiber derived from recycled water bottles.

The Leesa Legend Hybrid is a luxury mattress with one of the heftier price tags on our list of best mattresses for back pain. But the bed is built to hold up well over time. You can also feel good about your purchase; the company is B Corp certified, and for every 10 Leesa mattresses sold, they donate a mattress to a child in need.

What We Like

  • Leesa's positive social impact
  • Eco-friendly mattress cover
  • Easy returns
  • Cooling properties

What We Don't Like

  • Slight off-gassing odor after unboxing
  • High price tag

BUY: Leesa Legend Hybrid

Best Firm Mattress for Back Pain - Amerisleep AS1

Amerisleep AS1

SPECS

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.2/10
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king, split king
  • Trial period: 100-night
  • Warranty: 20-year

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Firm mattresses are often recommended for back pain sufferers because they tend to do a good job of distributing body weight evenly along the mattress, which can alleviate back strain. The AS1 is Amerisleep's firmest mattress, offering 8.75/10 on the firmness scale, and it's Mattress Advisor's pick for top firm mattress for back pain. This all-foam bed is made with a supportive high-density foam under a breathable open-cell foam made from plant-based materials. It's topped with a refreshing cooling cover that does an effective job of countering the heat absorption of memory foam.

Firm beds can help ease backaches, but with a firm bed you will sacrifice pressure relieving properties. This may be a deterrent for side sleepers, but is a dream for back and stomach sleepers. Amerisleep's 100-night sleep trial and free returns can give you confidence to see if the Amerisleep AS1 is the right bed for you.

What We Like

  • Cooling properties
  • Affordably priced
  • Free returns

What We Don't Like

  • No financing offered
  • Limited pressure relieving qualities

BUY: Amerisleep AS1

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain - Leesa Original Hybrid

Leesa Original Hybrid

SPECS

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor score: 9.4/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
  • Trial period: 100-night
  • Warranty: 10-year

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The two most important mattress qualities for side sleepers—especially those with back pain—is pressure relief and spine alignment. The Leesa Original Hybrid delivers on both fronts with some of the highest pressure-relieving qualities Mattress Advisor has seen in a mattress. The bulk of the mattress is made up of an 8-inch spring unit that helps absorb pressure and increase airflow, topped with two thinner foam layers that provide cushioning comfort. The mattress is topped with a cool-to-the-touch cover.

All of Leesa's beds are made to order and ship within three to five business days through FedEx Ground to all 50 states and Canada. White glove delivery is also available for an additional fee. Should you have any issues with your purchase, you can rest assured you're in good hands, as Leesa's customer service is highly rated among customers.

What We Like

  • Very responsive foam adapts quickly to movements
  • Good motion isolation making it ideal for couples
  • One of the most cooling beds tested by Mattress Advisor
  • Modest price tag

What We Don't Like

  • Slight off-gassing smell upon unboxing
  • Sleep trial and warranty are voided if your mattress leaves the country from where it was purchased

BUY: Leesa Original Hybrid

Best Mattress for Back and Neck Pain - Avocado Green Mattress

Avocado Green Mattress

SPECS

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.5/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm to firm
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
  • Trial period: 1-year
  • Warranty: 25-year

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There's a lot to love about the Avocado Green mattress. It combines the buoyant breathability of natural Dunlop latex with the balance of recycled steel pocketed coils. This results in a bed with near-perfect spinal alignment. The entire mattress is topped with a 100 percent organic wool layer that is naturally wicking and resistant to dust mites, and a 100 percent organic cotton cover that is both soft and breathable. If the mattress isn't comfy enough, you have the option to add a latex pillow top for an additional cost. White glove delivery is also available for an extra fee.

Natural latex is highly durable so your bed could last through its impressive 25-year warranty if you take care of it. The Avocado Green isn't the best at isolating motion, which is not great for couples or people who sleep with pets. But with a full-year sleep trial, you'll have plenty of time to test it out.

What We Like

  • Organic mattress
  • Almost all the mattress materials can be recycled
  • Full-year sleep trial
  • Very durable
  • Pillow top add-on available

What We Don't Like

  • Steep price tag
  • Doesn't do a great job of isolating motion

BUY: Avocado Green

Best Budget Mattress for Back Pain - Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

SPECS

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.8/10
  • Firmness: Soft, medium, firm
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, full, short full, queen, short queen, Olympic queen, king, short king, Cal king, RV king (3 sizes)
  • Trial period: 120-night
  • Warranty: 10-year

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Ringing in at about half the price of others on this list, the Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid is a steal for budget shoppers. This hybrid is made with an 8-inch core of individually wrapped pocketed coils which adds bounce and responsiveness. It's topped with two thinner layers of foam and a quilted fabric cover that provide near-perfect pressure relief. This bed is supportive right up to the edge.

Be aware that the Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid is made to order, which means that once you place your order, it takes about 14 business days (up to 3 weeks) to produce and then an additional 3-7 days to be delivered to your door.

What We Like

  • Very affordable
  • Great pressure relieving qualities
  • Plenty of mattress size options and firmness levels
  • Optional cooling cover for an additional fee

What We Don't Like

  • Slight off-gassing odor upon unboxing
  • Can take up to a month for your mattress to arrive after ordering

BUY: Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Best Cooling Mattress for Back Pain - Winkbed

Winkbed

SPECS

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.6/10
  • Firmness: Softer, luxury firm, firmer, plus for heavier people
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
  • Trial period: 120-night
  • Warranty: Lifetime

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The Winkbed is a multilayered hybrid made with several types of cooling technology. Two layers of coils—a pocketed steel coil layer and a micro-coil layer—maximize airflow and prevent hot air from pooling under your body. The bed is topped with a Euro pillowtop of cooling gel-infused foam that minimizes motion transfer and a soft, moisture-wicking, eucalyptus-derived Tencel cover. Put it all together and you get a supportive, responsive mattress that reduces back strain and sleeps cool through the night.

Winkbed comes with a 120-night sleep trial, but there's a catch: If you choose to return your mattress during the trial period, you'll have to pay a $49 shipping and recycling fee. If you choose to exchange your bed, you'll still have to pay the fee but you'll get a new 60-day sleep trial.

What We Like

  • Several firmness levels to choose from
  • Option for heavier sleepers
  • Cooling properties
  • White glove delivery available for an extra cost

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy mattress makes for a more difficult setup
  • Poor motion isolation
  • Sleep trial returns have a fee for shipping and recycling

BUY: Winkbed

Best Luxury Mattress for Back Pain - Nolah Evolution 15"

Nolah Evolution 15

SPECS

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor score: N/A
  • Firmness: Plush, luxury firm, firm
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king, split king
  • Trial period: 120-night
  • Warranty: Lifetime

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The Nolah Evolution 15" features a three-zone pocket coil layer that specifically targets back support and responsive pressure relief. It's topped with a breathable cover, heat dissipating Euro topper, and graphite-infused air foam that provides cushioning and cooling. The mattress supports the curves of your body to keep your spine aligned and relieve tension in the back.

The Nolah Evolution 15" is definitely a luxury mattress and it comes with a luxury price tag, as well. However, deep discounts and bonus products are available throughout the year. Plus, if you choose to skip on the 120-night sleep trial, Nolah will deduct $100 of your purchase price. If you decide to buy the Nolah Evolution 15", you can rest assured that the mattress is durable and built to last.

What We Like

  • Ultrathick mattress
  • Multiple cooling technologies
  • White glove delivery for an extra charge

What We Don't Like

  • Slight off-gassing odor upon unboxing
  • Expensive without discounts

BUY: Nolah Evolution 15"

Best Mattress for Athletes with Back Pain - Bear Original

Bear Original

SPECS

  • Mattress type: All foam
  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.6/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king, split king
  • Trial period: 120-night
  • Warranty: Lifetime

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If you're an athlete or are passionate about your workouts, the Bear Original mattress is your dream come true. Not only is the Bear Original mattress named Active.com's best mattress for athletes, it's also Mattress Advisor's top pick for athletes with back pain. The bed is made with four layers of foam, including an upper memory foam layer infused with graphite gel for cooling and support, and is topped with a Celliant cover. Celliant technology is designed to absorb body heat and reflect infrared light which research suggests may help speed up body recovery.

If you're unsure about an all-foam bed, Bear now makes a hybrid version of the Bear Original, but you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars more for the innerspring addition. Can't decide which you prefer? Bear offers a 120-night sleep trial and a hassle-free return option.

What We Like

  • Celliant technology that helps the body recover faster
  • A hybrid option is available
  • Cooling properties
  • Affordable price tag

What We Don't Like

  • Slight off-gassing when unboxed
  • Fee for delivery to Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada

BUY: Bear Original

Best Mattress for Back Pain for Back Sleepers - Layla Memory Foam Mattress

Layla Memory Foam Mattress

SPECS

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor score: 8.8/10
  • Firmness: Medium-soft and medium-firm (flippable)
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
  • Trial period: 120-night
  • Warranty: Lifetime

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One advantage to being a back sleeper is that you can sleep on a softer or firmer mattress. Unlike side sleepers who need more give at the shoulders and hips, or stomach sleepers who need a mattress firm enough to lessen back strain, back sleepers can enjoy any level of plushness in their mattress as long as it's supportive. The experts at Mattress Advisor love the Layla Memory Foam Mattress because it's like getting two beds in one. On one side it's medium-soft and on the other it's medium-firm. If the firmness on one side of the bed isn't to your liking, just flip it!

Another great thing about the Layla Memory Foam Mattress is that the top foam layers are infused with copper gel, an element that can transfer heat, reduce inflammation, and repel bacteria. Even if you tend to toss and turn a bit at night, you'll still appreciate good pressure point relief and spine alignment in this highly responsive foam bed.

What We Like

  • It's flippable: medium-soft on one side and medium-firm on the other
  • Copper-infused foam
  • Very responsive

What We Don't Like

  • Slight off-gassing upon unboxing
  • Sleeps hotter than most beds

BUY: Layla Memory Foam Mattress

What to Look for in a Mattress for Back Pain

Type

Most mattresses are made with innerspring, memory foam, latex, or a combination of two or more materials:

  • Innerspring: Traditional innerspring mattresses are bouncier but they have less cushioning than other mattress types. They also are not as comfortable as other mattress materials. However, innerspring promotes airflow which helps keep the mattresses cool.
  • Memory Foam: Memory foam mattresses are known for their contouring comfort, and many provide good spine alignment and pressure relief. But memory foam can sleep hot if it doesn't incorporate some type of cooling technology.
  • Latex: Latex mattresses promote air flow naturally, which helps them sleep cooler than memory foam. They're also bouncier and more buoyant than memory foam, so you feel like you're sleeping "on" the bed rather than "in" it, as with memory foam.
  • Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses are made with two or more mattress materials, usually a thicker layer of foam over innerspring.

Firmness

Mattress firmness is a personal preference, but before you decide, you'll want to consider your sleeping position and body weight.

  • Soft/plush: Soft mattresses are plush, cloud-like, and usually score about a 3-4/10 on the firmness scale.
  • Medium: These mattresses will still feel cushioning but will have a little more support. Medium mattresses are best for side sleepers and usually score 4-6/10.
  • Medium-firm: Medium firm mattresses are the most popular. They provide more resistance, are ideal for back and stomach sleepers, and usually score 6-7/10 on the firmness scale.
  • Firm: Firm beds have minimal cushioning but plenty of support. They're best for stomach or back sleepers, and heavier individuals. They usually score 7/10 or more on the mattress firmness scale.

Sizes Available

Beds come in a variety of standard sizes including twin, full, queen, and king. Twin XL, a longer version of the twin bed, is often seen in college dorms, and California king beds are a slightly longer and narrower version of the standard king bed. Some mattress companies, such as Brooklyn Bedding on our list, offer specialty mattress sizes such as a short full, short queen, and short king. When it comes to bed size, the important things to ensure are that your bed fits in your room without overcrowding the space and that you can sleep comfortably in it.

Spine Alignment

A bed that helps keep the spine in alignment regardless of sleep position is paramount. A good mattress should help you maintain good posture through the night. That means it should keep the spine aligned with a natural curvature in the lower back. This helps prevent or reduce back pain not only when you're awake during the day, but also when you're sleeping at night. If your mattress is sagging and doesn't have adequate support in the lumbar region, it can knock your spine out of alignment, strain the muscles in your back, and contribute to or worsen lower back pain and neck pain.

FAQs About Mattresses for Back Pain


Which type of mattress is best for back pain?

A medium-firm to firm mattress made with memory or latex foam or a hybrid of foam and innersprings generally provides the best support and pressure relief for back pain sufferers. Some mattresses provide extra lumbar support which may help ease back strain.

Is a memory foam or spring mattress better for back pain?

Innerspring mattresses alone don't usually provide enough support or comfort to relieve back pain. Memory foam, latex foam, or a hybrid that combines foam with innersprings are generally better options for back pain sufferers.

How should I sleep to relieve back pain?

Sleeping on your back is the best sleeping position for back pain sufferers. Side sleeping is OK if the mattress is designed to help keep the spine in alignment throughout the night. Stomach sleeping is not recommended for people with back pain because it strains the lower back and contributes to neck and/or jaw pain.

What level of firmness is best for your back?

What level of firmness is best for your back?

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