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Back pain happens because of a lot of reasons – there’s injury, poor posture, and even disease. However, no matter what the cause may be, the one thing that any medical professional will recommend is a good mattress. 

A good mattress is so crucial to spinal health, in fact, that even if you don’t have any previous back issues, you could wake up sore and weary if you slept on a mattress that wasn’t meant for you. 

On the other hand, sleeping on a suitable mattress will give you comfort, support, pressure relief, and a regulated temperature that will help you sleep like a baby at night so you wake up feeling great the next day.

And so, this begins our journey to find the best mattresses for back pain – and there’s so many of them to choose from! How in the world could we narrow it down to just 10? Well, here are a few things we considered:

How we chose the best mattresses for back pain

Material

There are a lot of materials used to make mattresses but it all pretty much boils down to these four:

  • Memory foam
  • Latex
  • Springs/coils
  • Air

If it’s just among these four, memory foam seems to be the best choice for people with back pain but all of them have their own pros and cons. The right combination of materials will highlight each other’s advantages while also cancelling out their negatives as much as possible.

For example, memory foam is a material that contours to the shape of your body which, in turn, provides pressure relief and support – two characteristics of a great mattress for back pain. 

However, since it reacts to heat, it also gets hotter than most materials and can tend to sag overtime. Adding coils or latex at the bottom increases airflow which can then help negate the heat to some degree while adding some sort of high-density support foam makes it more durable. 

Edge support

From what I noticed, edge support is a very underrated part of choosing a mattress but it’s one that I personally needed when I was dealing with back pain.

You see, a few years ago, I hurt my back playing basketball. Getting into bed was easy because my mattress had the right firmness. Getting out of it, however, was tricky.

I had to roll my entire body to the edge of the bed and sit myself upright using my arms before I could actually put my feet on the floor. The problem was that my bed had no edge support whatsoever. So, every time I tried to stand up (from the edge of the bed), I just sunk back down. I literally had to have my wife pull me up until my back got better.

That being said, even with a bed that has all the qualities to make you sleep pain-free, I consider edge support as an important part of recovery (and independence) from back pain.

Warranty and trial periods

This is particularly important because most of the mattresses on this list can be bought off the internet. Therefore, you can’t actually try most of them out before making a payment. 

However, with brands that offer lengthy trial periods, you can sleep on the mattress for a few months and decide whether or not it’s the right fit. If it isn’t, you can simply return it to them and get a full refund.

If you do keep the bed beyond its trial period and for some reason it gets damaged, a great and lengthy warranty should help keep your repair bills down. 

Price

Speaking of bills, we also took price into consideration when we chose what we thought are the best mattresses for back pain. 

Needless to say, mattresses with fair prices relative to their features and quality received a thumbs up from us. 

Other things we considered include:

  • Unique features – If the mattress has features that make it better to sleep on, we’re all for it. Certifications are key as well. 
  • Off-gassing – We don’t like stinking up our bedrooms and neither would you. 
  • Brand – We want a mattress that comes from a brand that we can trust. 
  • Customer service – In case we have any issues, we need to know that we can count on their people to help us out. 

With that said, let’s get to the meat of this review.

The best mattresses for back pain

A firm mattress used to be what doctors recommended for back pain but that has since been debunked when researchers found out that sleeping on medium-firm mattresses presented better results.

However, when it comes down to it, the feel of the mattress comes down to YOU, regardless of what the brand says about their product.

We’ll talk more about the things you need to consider before buying a mattress but in a nutshell, I think the best mattresses for back pain are ones that give you a balance of comfort, support, and pressure relief.

  1. Nectar Memory Foam MattressBest Overall
  2. Saatva Classic MattressRunner Up
  3. Tuft & Needle Original MattressBudget Friendly
  4. Bear Mattress
  5. DreamCloud Mattress
  6. The Original Purple Mattress
  7. Loom & Leaf Memory Foam Mattress
  8. Layla Mattress
  9. Casper Wave
  10. Leesa Hybrid Mattress
Pros
  • Gel memory foam (sleeps cooler)
  • Affordable
  • Great for all sleeping positions
  •  Year-long home trial
  • Forever warranty
Cons
  • Reports of off-gassing
  • Non-existent edge support

 The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress is both simple and complex.

Simple in that most of its layers are made of memory foam which sets up the mattresses comfort, pressure relief, and support. Complex in that they’re infused with gel to counterbalance the heat retention typically attributed to memory foam mattresses.

Furthermore, the top layer comes with a cooling cover to further enhance the entire mattresses temperature regulation.

Overall, the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress has a medium-firm feel to it with the ability to keep a cool temperature when you’re sleeping, relieve pressure on key areas, and support that helps keep your spine neutral regardless of what kind of sleeping position you take – all at a price that’s comparably more affordable

The only flaws we found in this mattress is that there are number of reports about off-gassing (which supposedly disappears after a few days). 

Other features of the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress:

  • 365-night home trial
  • Forever warranty
  • Free shipping and returns
Find the best price online
Pros
  • Luxurious
  • Strategic lumbar support
  • Sleeps cool
  • Multiple firmness options
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Sold exclusively on Saatva’s website
  • Springs make it heavy and hard to move

While we mostly think that memory foams make some of the best mattresses for back pain, Saatva’s innerspring mattress is one of the few exceptions.

Its topmost layer is a Euro pillow that offers more cushion than a standard pillow top. It’s also covered in organic cotton with organic damask bronze trim for that extra luxurious feel.

Directly below it are 416 individually wrapped comfort coils that contour to your body, isolate movement, and promote airflow. On the other hand, the support (bottom most) layer is made up of 884 tempered steel coils that add durability and even more airflow.

With just these layers, you’re already getting great comfort, support, and regulated temperature. What makes the Saatva Classic Mattress particularly great for back pain, however, are its active wire Lumbar Zone technology and memory foam that are strategically placed to reduce pressure and stress on your lower back. Plus, the edge support is amazing!

The Saatva mattress also comes with the option of soft, medium, or firm feel so you can choose whatever fits you best. Honestly, it’s a little bit pricey but considering the features, we think it’s worth it.

Other features of the Saatva Classic Mattress:

  • 120-day trial
  • Free white glove delivery
  • 15-year warranty
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Sleeps cooler than most all-foam mattresses
  • Multiple certifications for environmental safety and health
Cons
  • Probably feels too hard for lightweight sleepers
  • Lacks edge support

The Tuft & Needle Original Mattress is one of the more affordable options on the market but, in my opinion, also one of the best mattresses for back pain. 

The topmost layer is the brand’s very own T&N Adaptive® foam – an open-cell foam that’s breathable and responsive yet still offers incredible pressure relief. The foam is also infused with graphite and cooling gel to help channel heat away from your body. 

Underneath the T&N Adaptive® foam is the mattress’ support foam, making the entire thing more durable and comfortable. 

This mattress is also classified as medium-firm which makes it suitable for average to heavyweight sleepers but probably too hard to those of you who weigh less. 

Other features of the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress:

  • 100-night trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Free shipping and returns
  • CertiPUR-US®, Intertek’s Clean Air, GREENGUARD Gold certified

Find the best price online
Pros
  • Celliant® cover, graphite, and gel makes for cooler sleep
  • Ecofriendly (CentriPUR-US® certified)
  • Fairly priced
  • Great pressure relief and support
Cons
  • Poor edge support
  • Limited firmness options

The Bear Mattress is composed of 3 layers:

  • Graphite-gel memory foam
  • Responsive transition foam, and
  • High-density support foam

As with all memory foams, this mattress’ topmost layer offers great weight distribution and support. However, the graphite and gel infused within the foam pulls away extra body heat and disperses it to the side of the mattress so you can sleep cooler.

To further enhance the mattress’ ability to regulate temperatures, the foam is topped with a breathable Celliant® cover which has been scientifically proven to absorb your body heat, convert it to far infrared radiation, and direct it back to you for a number of health benefits including improved blood flow without necessarily adding to the heat.

The 2nd and 3rd layers (responsive transition foam and support foam) adds durability, more pressure relief for your back, hips, shoulders, while also isolating a bit of movement.

And, since this mattress is CentriPUR-US® certified, you can be sure that everything in it is made from environmentally friendly and non-toxic materials.

I do wish the Bear Mattress added some sort of edge support though. Also, the mattress is rated 7.1 on the firmness scale. This may be suitable for people with average weight but probably a bit too hard for slimmer folk.

Other features of the Bear Mattress:

  • 100-night trial period
  • Free shipping and returns
  • 10 year warranty
  • CentriPUR-US® certified
Find the best price online
Pros
  • Lengthy trial period and warranty
  • Luxurious Euro top
  • Great for all types of sleep positions but probably better for back and stomach.
  • Great for couples
  • Surprisingly affordable for its quality
Cons
  • Needs better edge support
  • Firmness might be too hard for people with less weight

When I think of DreamCloud’s Hybrid Mattress, the first thing that comes to mind is luxury at an affordable price. Beyond its extravagance, however, is a mattress that’s made for people with back pain.

Its top layer, a quilted euro top, provides the softness and plush that you’d expect with luxurious mattresses. Beneath it are 3 different types of foam – gel memory foam, soft foam, and firm foam.

Together, these layers make for a mattress that’s probably a few points away from being labeled as firm yet soft enough that you can still feel comfortable. This also makes lying on the mattress feel as if you were floating on the bed rather than sinking in.

The bottom-most layer is composed of individually wrapped coils that maximize airflow and motion transfer. The coils add a bit of edge support as well but it’s probably still not as good as most other hybrid beds.

Overall, we think the DreamCloud mattress is great for all types of sleepers but because of its firmness, we say it’s more for those of you who sleep on your back and stomach. Also, the incredible movement isolation makes it a great mattress for couples.

Other features of the DreamCloud Mattress:

  • 365-night trial period
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free shipping and returns
Pros
  • Centripur-US® certified
  • Sleeps cooler than memory foam
  • Now with edge support
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Reports of off-gassing

Purple is one of the top brands in the mattress industry and what sets them apart from their competition is what they call The Purple Grid.

We think The Purple Grid offers the same pressure relief and support benefits of a traditional memory foam but, because of its structure (which looks exactly like a grid), it also sleeps significantly cooler and makes it more durable. All of Purple’s mattresses have this layer, including the original Purple mattress

Underneath The Purple Grid are 2 layers of comfort foam. The layer directly underneath it is a foam that adds a bit more plush and responsiveness while the 3rd layer, a firmer foam, is there for support. Overall, the mattress is said to feel medium-firm.

The new version of the Purple Mattress now also comes with edge support which, in my opinion, makes it a great mattress for people with back pain, particularly those who sleep on their backs or on their bellies.

Other features of the original Purple Mattress:

  •     100-night trial
  •     Free shipping and returns
  •     10-year warranty
  •     Centripur-US® certified
Pros
  • Great for all types of sleepers and weight
  • Added comfort from the organic cotton covering
  • Great balance of pressure relief and support
  • Has two firmness options
Cons
  • Cooling gel helps with heat dissipation but the mattress likely still sleeps warm
  • Could have had better edge support
  • If you like bouncy mattresses, this probably isn’t the mattress for you

From the top, the Loom and Leaf Memory Foam Mattress has a quilted, organic cotton covering that’s going to help you feel comfortable immediately after you hit the bed. 

Directly underneath the top cover are two layers of memory foam. The first layer is infused with cooling gel, making for cooler sleep than regular memory foam but probably not enough to completely cancel out the heat. 

Nonetheless, two memory foams stacked on top of each other will give you the feeling of sinking into the bed rather than staying on top of it – it’s personal preference when it comes to this, really. 

Next up are two thick layers of high-density support foams. 

Combined, these layers are set to give you great support to keep your spine neutral, pressure relief regardless of what kind of sleeping position you take, and reduced motion transfer. 

The high density support foams also give this mattress a bit of edge support although, personally, I think Loom and Leaf could’ve done better. 

Lastly, the brand offers two firmness options for its memory foam mattress: relaxed firm and firm. If you weigh less or equal to the average person, the relaxed firm would probably fit you better but if you’re a bit heavier, try the firm option. 

Other features of the Loom and Leaf Memory Foam Mattress:

  • 120-night trial period
  • 15-year warranty

Find the best price online
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Two firmness options in one mattress
  • Great for all types of sleepers regardless of weight
  • Puts a heavy emphasis on cooling
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Lacks edge support
  • Mandatory 2-week trial period before returning

The problem with buying your mattress off the internet is that you can’t know for sure if it’s the right firmness until it actually gets delivered to your house. 

With Layla, however, you get a firm side and a soft side. It’s literally two firmness options in one bed! 

The firm side is covered in black/gray fabric. If you flip your bed, you’ll get to the soft side which is covered in white/gray. 

Both covers use thermo-gel cooling technology to help keep temperatures regulated. Underneath these covers, both sides have copper-gel memory foam (1 inch thick on the firm side, 3 inches thick for the soft side) to further enhance this mattress’ cooling properties. 

Right in between the mattress are two support foams – one helps reduce bounce and motion transfer while the other, again, promotes airflow for better cooling. 

Overall, the mattress sleeps cooler than most and offers excellent support and pressure relief on both sides. That being said, although the support foams add a bit of edge support, it does seem lacking. So, if you have trouble getting out of bed because of your back pain, this could pose a challenge. 

Other features of the Layla Mattress: 

  • 120-night trial period (you do need to use it for 2-weeks prior to returning it)
  • Free shipping and return
  • Lifetime warranty

Find the best price online
Pros
  • Sleeps cooler than most all-foam mattresses
  • Smart design that helps support your spine
  • Great for lightweight and side sleepers
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Lacking edge support
  • Probably not a good fit for heavyweight and stomach sleepers (too soft)

Casper is one of the top brands in the bed-in-a-box industry. Perhaps partly because of popularity, Casper mattresses are generally pricey – the Casper Wave is no exception. 

That being said, the Casper Wave IS a luxurious mattress and you can tell that a lot of thinking went into its design.

Specifically, the top two layers of foam are perforated for better breathability. So, it sleeps cooler than most other all-foam mattresses. 

Moreover, Casper also made strategic cuts to their support foam to make the mattress softer on typical pressure points (i.e. hips and shoulders) while also adding gel pods to make the mattress firmer towards the middle. Altogether, these help keep your spine in a neutral position so you don’t wake up with a sore back. 

One thing you need to know about the Casper Wave, however, is that it’s a soft mattress with a slow response time. As such, I’d generally recommend this to lightweight sleepers, particularly those who sleep on their side. Back sleepers and average-weight sleepers might find this great, too, but if you’re heavier or tend to sleep on your stomach, this might not be a good fit.

The softness of the Casper Wave also negates most, if not all of its edge support so it can be hard to get out of bed. 

Other features of the Casper Wave:

  • 100-night trial period
  • Free shipping and returns
  • 10-year limited warranty

Find the best price online
Pros
  • Bouncy yet also effective at isolating movement
  • Great for back and side sleepers
  • Ecofriendly (CentriPUR-US® certified)
Cons
  • The firmness might surprise a lot of people
  • Might sleep hot

The Leesa Hybrid is a combination of a couple of foams (top layer) and pocket springs (bottom layer).

The first layer of foam is a responsive, hole-punched foam followed by a layer of memory foam. Instead of starting their mattress with memory foam like most other brands, Leesa’s hierarchy gives it a bouncier and more responsive type of mattress that also relieves pressure on key areas.

However, perhaps also because of the foam arrangement, a lot of people report that the mattress is firmer than they had expected.

Moving on, the numerous pocket springs provide edge support while also limiting motion transfer. Supposedly, this also gives the Leesa Hybrid more air space but from what we’ve read, this mattress can, at times, still sleep hot. 

Nonetheless, If you’re a side or back sleeper who sleeps with or without a partner, we feel like you’d do well trying the Leesa Mattress. For those of you who sleep on your bellies, however, we feel like you’d do better with a mattress that has better support, particularly around the hips.

Other features of the Leesa Hybrid Mattress:

  • 100-night mattress trial
  • Free shipping and returns
  • 10-year warranty
  • CentriPUR-US® certified

While all of the mattresses on this list can be great for back pain, only a handful (maybe even less) will be a fit for you. So, before you click on that checkout button, here’s a short list of things you should consider:

Things to consider before buying a mattress for back pain:

1. What type of sleeper are you? 

There are generally 4 kinds of sleepers:

  • Side sleeper
  • Back sleeper
  • Stomach sleeper
  • Combination sleeper

Side sleepers sleep mostly on their side. The same logic goes for back and stomach sleepers. 

Combination sleepers, on the other hand, are those who twist and turn whichever way they feel comfortable throughout the night. 

It’s important that you figure out which kind of sleeper you are so you can pick out the right mattress. 

For side sleepers

We suggest you pick out a mattress that’s soft enough to let your hips and shoulders sink down yet still firm enough to support the arch of your back. 

The best mattress for side sleepers: Layla Mattress

For back sleepers

You’re probably going to want something that contours to your body yet also one that doesn’t sink too much around the hips as this can cause back pain. 

The best mattress for back sleepers: Saatva Classic Mattress

For stomach sleepers

You guys might feel more comfortable around a firmer mattress that properly maintains the arch of your back in a neutral position. 

The best mattress for stomach sleepers: Leesa Hybrid Mattress

For combination sleepers

Well… you guys are a little tricky because you’re pretty much all or nothing. So, simply put, just pick a mattress that you can feel comfortable in regardless of position.

2. How much do you weigh?

At the end of the day, picking out a mattress is a subjective matter and it’s largely because mattresses react differently depending on how much we weigh. 

In essence, a 250 lbs person will sink further down the layers than someone who only weighs 130 lbs given they lay on the same mattress. 

That being said, a medium-firm mattress is what’s generally recommended but here’s how we think you should choose:

  • If you’re a lightweight sleeper, try to go for a mattress that’s softer. 
  • If you’re a heavyweight sleeper, a firmer mattress should help you experience better benefits. 
  • If you’re an average sleeper, it’s pretty much your call but a safe bet would be medium-firm. 

3. Do you sleep alone or with a partner? 

In this case, the two things you need to keep an eye on are edge support and motion transfer. 

Like I said earlier, edge support is important if you’re suffering from back pain but it’s extra crucial if you sleep with a partner. Having a mattress with great edge support lets you sleep at or near the ends of the bed without feeling like you’re going to roll off at any second. This makes the bed feel bigger so you and your partner aren’t cramped in the middle. 

On the other hand, having a mattress that can effectively isolate movement will let both of you sleep through the night even if the other moves around. For example, if your partner suddenly feels the urge to pee in the middle of the night, you won’t be woken up when he/she gets in and out of bed.

How to take care of your mattress

Mattresses are generally expensive so if you’re prudent like I am, you’re going to want them to last as long as possible. Here are a few ways you can do that:

Use mattress protectors

The two most common mattress protectors you can get are mattress tops and mattress covers. 

As you might have already guessed, mattress tops are ones that you put on top of your mattress whereas covers encase your entire mattress. 

Regardless of what you choose, these protectors will help keep dirt, bugs, fluids, and other debris away from your mattress. Thus, keeping it clean and prolonging its life. 

On that note, do make sure to buy washable mattress protectors. 

We recommend

Honestly, it’s a little pricey and it probably can only be bought on their website but, to us, it’s worth it. The material and technology it uses helps you sleep cooler and quieter while also effectively protecting your mattress from spillage. The warranty also isn’t as impressive (just 60 days) but it seems pretty durable nonetheless. 

How often should you change your sheets?

Speaking of washable mattress protectors, you might want to wash and change your sheets as often as reasonably possible. I say once a week should be fine. 

Over the course of just a few days, your sheets pile on sweat, dead skin, crumbs, and all sorts of other stuff that make it dirty even if you don’t actually see it. These things can make your sheets a breeding ground for germs, bacteria, dust mites, and bed bugs that can seep into both your mattress protector and the actual mattress, cutting its lifespan short. 

Vacuum your mattress

As you might have already noticed, a key part of making your mattress last as long as possible is keeping it clean – and vacuuming it can help you do just that! 

Vacuuming your mattress every time you change your sheets ensures that you left no dust, mites, and crumbs behind. Plus, I personally find that sleeping on a newly vacuumed bed with fresh sheets and protectors make me sleep better because I know I’m sleeping on something clean. 

Rotate your mattress every few months

Doing this will help balance out the wear on your mattress so no one side is more damaged than the other. 

I would also recommend flipping your mattress but since most of the products I listed here have dedicated top and bottom layers, this probably isn’t applicable (except maybe for the Layla mattress, but then you’d also be changing its firmness). 

Vary where you sit

If you regularly find yourself sitting on the edge of your mattress, like when you’re tying your shoes for example, you might want to switch where you sit from time to time. 

So, if this week you noticed yourself mostly sitting near the middle, maybe sit near the headboard next week. 

Like rotating your mattress every few months, this balances the wear you put on your bed and therefore preventing it from sagging on one place. 

Get yourself a proper base

Most mattress brands also sell a variety of bases and foundations. You can buy those and be confident that they will fit, or you could use whatever you already have at home given that they’re the same size as your mattress. 

Regardless of which route you take, these are important to maintaining your mattress because they help prevent sagging. For bigger beds such as queen- and king-sized mattresses, also make sure the base you have has sturdy center support. 

Don’t treat your mattress like a trampoline

Particularly for bouncier beds, I get how fun it can be to jump around. I was a kid once, too, you know. 

However, doing so will put excessive pressure on both your bed and foundation. Ultimately, this shortens the bed’s lifespan. 

If you or your kids really wanted to jump around, get a trampoline. 

Conclusion

To end this, I’m giving up the top spot of my list to Nectar’s memory foam mattress because it checks out most (not all) of the things I’m looking for in a mattress that helps soothe back pain. 

It’s an affordable and versatile mattress that, in my opinion, can be comfortable for all types of sleepers. I also think that its year-long trial period is more than enough for you to make a decision. And, in case it gets damaged, its warranty lasts forever so you don’t have to shoulder pricey repair costs. 

Plus, it sleeps cooler than most other memory foam mattresses. Although, to be honest, there are other mattresses on this list that sleep cooler, like the Bear Mattress for example

This mattress also needs better edge support so if you find that this is an issue, there are always other options on this list you can choose from.

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