Back pain is no joke, leading to restless nights, irritable days, and achy joints. Did you know your mattress could be the culprit? Well, it’s time to choose a sleep surface that will address these aches and pains with the best mattress for back pain.
An old mattress that has started to sag from use over the years as well as sleeping on a mattress that is too hard or too soft for your body size and sleep position are the key culprits of back pain. The best mattress for back pain will combine comfort and support, but also keep your spine aligned in a neutral position that doesn’t add extra pressure to joints.
Many of the best mattresses will do the trick, but if you seek a mattress to specifically address back pain, well these eight mattresses are the best in class.
Best mattress for back pain 2022
The Nectar mattress consistently pulls in top honors for its ability to provide some very necessary pain relief. No matter how you sleep, it will be your match! Plus, it’s top-rated for providing support and comfort to those experiencing back pain. In a survey Nectar conducted, 90 percent of sleepers found it reduced overall aches, stiffness, soreness, and/or discomfort. And from our own experiences, well we agree.
What’s the Nectar Mattress like to sleep on?
Beyond almost immediately noticeable contouring support, very little should disturb you, with impressive motion isolation. Nectar incorporated an Adaptive Cooling Cover designed to draw away heat from your body and circulate fresh air every time you move to keep you cool and comfortable. Restless partners and temperature will no longer be a factor in any restless nights.
On the firmness front, Nectar is rated 5.5–7.5, which the company claims is “just right.” Users will find this option is not too soft, not too firm, making it a great choice for the majority of sleep types, overall.
How it helps back pain
With a memory foam design, our attention goes to the pressure-relief foam layer that will leave joints comfortable and supported. The seven-zone base foam provides additional contoured support plus depth, making it stand out among the best memory foam mattresses.
Real Homes rated: 5 out of 5 stars | read our full Nectar mattress review.
Should you not want the sink-in feel of the Nectar, a hybrid is the next best thing. In fact, the Saatva Classic has the stamp approval from the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations. We would be remiss if we didn’t call attention to the top-quality materials like CertiPUR-US foam, organic cotton, and recycled steel coils and the perk of free White Glove Delivery, which is not as common as you’d hope. Also of note, Saatva recently extended its trial period to a year and expanded a 15-year warranty into a lifetime.
What is the Saatva mattress like to sleep on?
Our best comparison is a high-end hotel bed. It’s got a cozy factor thanks to the plush Eurotop, but the innerspring layer below adds plenty of support for spinal alignment and pressure point elimination in your back, hip and shoulders. The mattress comes in three firmness levels: Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm, with most customers finding the medium-rated Luxury Firm version to be ideal. Stomach sleepers will likely prefer the firm, but the luxury firm is a happy medium that’ll appease stomach, back, and side sleepers.
You’ll also never feel like you’re falling off the bed thanks to well-reinforced edges, and the hybrid design is naturally cooling thanks to extra airflow from the coils.
How it helps back pain
Combining the best features of innerspring with cushioning foam layers results in superior spinal alignment. The individually wrapped coils have a responsive dual-coil design made of recycled carbon steel that’s tempered three times for extended durability because we all know a sagging mattress can wreak havoc on your back. In fact, the coils are even stronger in the center to keep you aligned.
The Classic also has reinforced lumbar support in the center third of the mattress with its Lumbar Zone Active Spinal Wire to maintain spinal alignment and keep hips elevated built into high-density foam for necessary pressure relief.
Real Homes rated: 4.5 out of 5 stars | read our full Saatva Classic mattress review.
The Birch Natural mattress by Helix features a lengthy list of environmental certifications such as GOTS and Greenguard-GOLD and uses materials (from nature) with specific densities to create the right amount of pressure relief for a night of comfortable sleep. It also sleeps quite cool, given its hybrid design and wool comfort layer for temperature regulation. It’s deserving on our list of the best organic mattresses, and one that will help rid you of back pain.
What is the Birch Natural Mattress like to sleep on?
We’ve found that the Birch Natural Mattress is on the firmer spectrum of the medium, making it ideal for stomach and back sleepers. Though if you find you need a plusher surface, a topper is available as is the upgraded Birch Luxe model.
Basically, this eco-mattress helped eliminate our reviewer’s husband’s back pain. There is a wool smell that is not uncommon with organic mattresses that lingered for a little, after unpackaging.
How it helps back pain
The buoyant Talalay latex layer cushions your pressure points while giving support to your body. It’s meant to ease back and hip pain.
Real Homes Rated: 4.5 out 5 of stars | read our full Birch Natural mattress review.
The Casper Wave Hybrid is Casper’s most supportive mattress in its lineup, meaning it’ll do the best for your back – but it’s also the most expensive. While in most cases we’re not promoting the top of the line, this Casper is the exception. (And if you sleep hot, the Wave is eligible for the Snow treatment upgrade, with special features designed to keep you cool for at least 12 hours and lower your body’s sleep temperature.)
What is the Casper like to sleep on?
For us, it was sweet dreams at first lay, and instant relief. So much engineering went into this bed, and it’s fascinating how you can truly notice the zoned support as you press your hands into varying parts of the bed. Though don’t get too close to the edge, the edge support left a little something to be desired in a mattress of this price range. It also has Casper’s three layers of its proprietary perforated AirScape Foam and cooling gel to keep you from overheating.
How it helps back pain
For support, Casper’s Zoned Support Max utilizes 3 different zones to keep your spine aligned, with slightly softer foam toward the top to gently sink shoulders and a denser foam in the middle that cradles your waist and lower back. It also uses gel pods under the waist and lower back which add further support. To finish off the design, individually wrapped coils add the right amount of lift, airflow, and support for the ultimate in sleep.
Real Homes rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
The Allswell proves you don’t have to spend tons of money to get a mattress that is bound to improve your sleep. Proof: a king or Cal king costs just over $500. The Allswell is that happy medium – the Goldilocks, our reviewer called it – between soft and firm, making it a crowd-pleaser and an overall top pick when it comes to the best cheap mattresses.
What is it like to sleep on
The construction is simple, but definitely not basic: a quilted cover, two inches of high-density memory foam infused with charcoal and copper sit atop individually wrapped steel coils for added breathability and firm support. The addition of charcoal and copper helps absorb and transfer heat away from the body. Our reviewer liked that the thinner foam layer cushioned her joints just right, without worrying about coils poking through. Though, if you are a heavier sleeper, you may need a thicker mattress (or more foam layers) to find comfort.
And, it has edge support!
How it helps back pain
The hybrid design offers decent support to all types of sleeper. It also doesn’t provide much of that sink-in feel, while the coil design emphasizes support.
Real Homes rated: 4 out of 5 stars | read our Allswell mattress review.
If you’re suffering from back pain, hip pain, or shoulder pain, Leesa may hold the key to relief. Made of premium memory foam, this mattress was designed to contour to the body’s curves, while providing just enough bounce, and it’s consistently the mattress of choice for side sleepers.
What is the Leesa like to sleep on
Another mattress we deem, “not too soft, not too firm.” The body sinks into the Leesa just perfectly, helping alleviate stress on the joints and, yes, back pain. It’s the perfect construction for side sleepers to keep their bodies in line without added pressure on key areas. Three core layers of foam measuring 10 inches are the perfect match for restless sleepers, reducing motion transfer and helping their partners stay asleep through tossing and turning. The top comfort layer also serves as a cooling layer, and adds a bit of bounce, whereas the middle memory foam layer is what you may feel yourself sinking into, which offers pressure relief for the back, hips, and shoulders. Finally, the support layer makes sure your body stays in line.
How it helps back pain
The memory foam layer has a key role in eliminating back pain and relieving pressure points.
Real Homes Rated: 4.5 out of 5 stars | read our full Leesa Original mattress review.
The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid is everything you could want out of a high-end mattress, without the sticker shock. And, its medium-firm construction provides stable support for stomach sleepers, making it among the best mattresses for stomach sleepers without alienating those who may also sleep on their side or back.
What is the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid like to sleep on?
The mattress combines three different layers of contouring, pressure-relieving and motion-isolating memory foam with supportive individually-wrapped coils, topped with a luxurious cashmere blend cover for an extra luxurious temperature-regulating experience. It’s a thick mattress too, coming in at 14-inches, so deep pocket sheets may be required.
The individually wrapped coils offer necessary and customized support as it yields to the shape of your body and promotes better airflow throughout the mattress. We also don’t get that “suffocating, falling in” to the mattress feel.
How it helps back pain
Due to the materials and DreamCloud’s hybrid construction, your stomach won’t dip farther into the mattress than say your legs, keeping your spine aligned and in a neutral position. The gel memory foam, especially, helps align your spine and provides lumbar support so you don’t have back pain when you sleep on your stomach. For side and back sleepers, the mattress also works to support your natural curves.
Real Homes Rated: 4.7 out of 5 stars| read the full Dreamcloud mattress review.
The Luxury Firm is by far the company’s most popular option and well-suited to all sleep types, while those who sleep on their side exclusively may opt for the softer, while stomach sleepers like the firm. Those who need top-tier support or heavy individuals should consider the Plus.
What is the Winkbed like to sleep on?
Depending on the firmness you choose, your mattress may have varying makeups. For instance the Plus mattress incorporates a latex layer and reinforced coils. What stays in common is a cooling, breathable Tencel mattress cover atop a Euro-style pillowtop filled with different densities of foam to cushion and support ensures your back, hips, and shoulders. The individually wrapped coils, made of recycled steel and triple tempered, offer multiple support zones to provide targeted back support. The mattress also has better edge support and is designed to minimize motion between partners. It’s also noteworthy that the WinkBed has an all-natural fire barrier made from a blend of cotton and rayon.
How it helps back pain
Among the many cooling, comfort, and support innovations found in the WinkBed, pay attention to their three-step Back Relief system. This aims to eliminate muscle tension and align the spine and joints while the LumbarLayer adds extra support in the middle “lumbar region” of your body.
How we review our best mattresses for back pain
The Real Homes’ mattress review process is editorially independent and not influenced by any third parties. Our expert mattress testers sleep on each featured mattress for at least two weeks. All our reviews are based on the real-life experience of using these products at home. The products are given to us free of charge. Often times we are able to keep our mattress, which gives us the opportunity to return to our reviews for updating, so you can keep up-to-date with how it’s fared over a period of time.
Each ranked mattress on this best list has been personally reviewed by members of our team, who take into account value for the money, construction, comfort, and support, with various tests in place to consider factors like edge support, and motion transfer, and spinal alignment. Now we understand that mattress firmness is subjective, so we also ask each reviewer to be transparent about their sleep habits, as well as invite others to lie on it and share their impressions. If you see a mattress without a review, we’re currently testing or have plans to test and will update accordingly.
For more insight into our hands-on review process, refer to our Real Homes review guidelines.
Our testing team includes:
As sleep commerce editor, Jaclyn frequently tests out and stays up to date on all things mattresses and bedding. She’s not willing to sacrifice comfort or value and is after a mattress that makes it easy to sleep through the night. In addition to Real Homes, you can find her work in Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Apartment Therapy, MyDomaine, and The Spruce. She lives in Atlanta, GA
Kaitlin Madden is the Executive Editor at Homes & Gardens. She previously served as the Editor in Chief of Real Homes and has written for Architectural Digest, Martha Stewart Living, Refinery29, Modern Luxury Interiors, Wayfair, The Design Network, and lots more. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in journalism and currently lives in Connecticut with her husband, two sons, and black lab.
Linda Clayton has been writing about homes and interiors for nearly 20 years, working for publications such as Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors, Real Homes, Ideal Home, Livingetc and House Beautiful. In reviewing mattresses for us for more than a year, she has become something of a very opinionated expert. Linda and her husband spend between five and 10 nights sleeping on each mattress. She lives in Devon with her cabinetmaker husband, two daughters and many pets,
Alex Temblador is one of Real Homes’ mattress experts. The Dallas-based freelance writer has covered home, design, architecture, and art in publications like Real Homes, Dwell, Architectural Digest, Artsy, Neighborhoods.com, Culture Trip, among many others. In addition to her mattress reviewing duties, Alex loves to try other products for Real Homes buying guides and reviews so that she can continue to expand the richness of her first-time homeowner life.
What to consider when choosing a mattress to ease back pain?
Material: Hybrids, memory foam and latex mattresses offer the most support.
Firmness: Here, you’ll really need to consider your sleep position as it will influence the level of firmness you should be buying. Side sleepers and lightweight sleepers will typically want a soft bed; back and combination sleepers and midweight sleepers will benefit the most for a medium, and stomach and heavyweight sleepers function best with a firmer design.
Sleep Trial: These are incredibly useful if your new mattress turns out to do the opposite of what you expected. But we advise you give it at least 30 days before making up your mind; it can take that long for your body to adjust.
Extra features: Prioritizing support, also consider the bonuses you’d like to see in your mattress such as cooling properties, edge support, organic materials, motion isolation, and such.