What Is The Best Mattress For Back Pain
The best type of mattress for back pain is a medium-firm hybrid, foam or latex mattress. If you suffer from chronic back pain, youll want to have a mattress that is firm enough to support your spine but allows enough give to relieve irritation on pressure points. Traditional innerspring mattresses can provide adequate support, but tend to be more rigid, allowing for less give than their foam or hybrid counterparts, which is not ideal for pressure relief.
While it will cost more, getting an adjustable bed for back pain may make it easier to sleep for those with more extreme back pain. Getting an orthopedic mattress is another option. Orthopedic mattresses are specifically designed to support your joints, spine and whole body, and can be made of any material. A well-made orthopedic mattress can certainly go far in helping pain sufferers, but its worth noting that there are no official qualifications that must be met for a mattress to call itself orthopedic, meaning any brand can use this term to market a mattress.
Can Replacing Your Mattress Improve Lower Back Pain
Yes. If your mattress isnt offering enough support because its too soft or too old, swapping your mattress for a medium-firm option can help improve lower back pain.
You can also try moving the mattress to the floor, using plywood beneath the mattress, or adding a supportive mattress topper designed to alleviate back pain.
What Kind Of Mattress Is Best For Sciatica Pain
Those who deal with sciatica pain should find a mattress that balances comfort with support. This will help keep the spine neutrally aligned while sleeping. If the spine is out of alignment, this can compress the sciatic nerve. All types of mattresses can help with this condition, but they need to be comfortable, supportive, and also provide good lumbar support.
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Our Top 10 Mattresses For Back Pain Reviewed
Layla does an exceptional job of alleviating pressure through its memory foam. If you like sinking further into the mattress and enjoy a slower response time, we think you will love the feel of this bed. The mattress has different firmness levels to accommodate all sleeping positions. Stomach and back sleepers should do well on the firm side, while side sleepers can flip the mattress to the plush side for optimal pressure relief for their joints.
What stands out?
- Not only do we feel that Laylas pressure-relieving capabilities are top-notch their memory foam is infused with copper. This should help you stay cool all night long by wicking the heat away, it is also designed to stiffen up under pressure helping to keep your spine straight while you sleep.
- Since Layla is dual-sided, you can maximize the 120-night trial period by testing two different experiences in one new bed.
Interested in learning more? Go to our full Layla review.
If You Cant Shop In Person
Its really hard to tell whether a specific mattress is right for you without lying on it first. Firmness, pressure relief, and support are all highly subjective factors, which is why weve always advised trying out a mattress in person prior to purchasing. But we also know that can be easier said than done. So in lieu of our usual try-before-you-buy advice, we recommend that you look for a generous return policy on any mattress youre thinking of buying sight unseen.
With respect to trial periods and return policies, here are your best options of all the mattresses in this guide:
More mattress coverage
*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,200.
Who its for: The Saatva Classic in Luxury Firm caters to back-pain sufferers who prefer a traditional innerspring mattress with a just-cushy-enough top. Its likely to feel comfortable regardless of your preferred sleep position.
How it feels: Weve been long-term testing our Saatva Classic for more than a year, and it has softened slightly from a stiff medium-firm to a plusher medium-firm.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The 416 support coils in the bottom half of the Saatva Classic are sturdy, but they number only about half those in the pricier WinkBed , another innerspring weve liked in the past. Theyre not individually wrapped, either, which can lead to motion transfer. For that reason, we think the Saatva works best if you sleep alone or dont wake easily when your partner rolls over.
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How We Rated Mattresses For Back Pain
4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best mattresses for back pain we reviewed. We recommend them without reservation.
4.5 to 4.7 stars: These mattresses for back pain are excellentthey might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.
4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great mattresses for back pain, but others are better.
3.5 to 3.9 stars: These mattresses for back pain are just average.
3.4 and below: We don’t recommend mattresses for back pain with this rating you won’t find any on our list.
Verywell Health / Sage McHugh
How To Pick A Mattress If You Have Back Pain
In the past, if you had back pain, many doctors and well-meaning friends probably directed you toward a firm mattress. As it turns out, that advice was wrong. What you really need, according to the most recent research, is a mattress that feels medium-firm to you.
The key word here is you. Firmness levels are highly subjective. Owner reviews reveal that the same mattress can feel too soft for some people and too hard for others. Apart from personal preference, such discrepancies exist because a persons weight and shape can influence the feel of a mattress. On a soft mattress, for example, my 128-pound body might feel like its floating. But for my 230-pound brother, that same mattress could feel overly firm, given that he would drop immediately to its bottom support layer.
Heres the rule: When back-pain sufferers lie on a mattress they determine to be medium-firm, that mattress is the best backache-relieving mattress for themregardless of how the company labels it or whether the mattress has support zones, reinforced layers, or any other bells and whistles that cater to a spine-focused buyer.
When back-pain sufferers lie on a mattress they determine to be medium-firm, that mattress is the best backache-relieving mattress for them.
More mattress coverage
We like these six medium-firm mattresses best for stomach-sleepers because theyll support and cushion your midsection while still aligning your spine.
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Is A Soft Or Firm Mattress Better For Back Pain
Research suggests that a medium-firm, adjustable mattress may work best for those with non-specific back pain. However, the best firmness level may depend on an individuals weight and preferred sleep position.
When choosing the firmness of their mattress, consumers should also consider their type of back pain and their preferred sleep position.
Signs Your Mattress Is Causing Back Pain
“If you’re frequently waking up with a crick in the neck, back pain, stiff joints, experiencing mental fogginess, and having trouble falling asleep can all be signs of a mattress that is hurting your back,” Hascalovici said. “A bad mattress can mean a bad night’s sleep. It can also add up to more pain, both in your back and in other muscles and joints that are forced out of alignment or have to compensate for a lack of support.”
That’s why it’s so important to sleep on an accommodating mattress. “Over time, pain and lost sleep can lead to memory problems, lack of concentration, mood swings, lowered immunity, and even weight gain and a higher risk of heart trouble,” Hascalovici said. “Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for multiple areas of your mind and body, so it’s worth prioritizing.”
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Can Your Mattress Cause Back Pain
If youve started waking up with back pain and you didnt have pain before, your mattress could be the culprit. If youve recently purchased a new bed, it could be a bit too soft for your needs, which can cause back pain, especially if its throwing your spine out of alignment. If this is the case, Id recommend sleeping on your new bed for 30 days to see if your body adjusts. If it doesnt, youll need to return your mattress or purchase a topper to help.
Mattress sagging can also be a significant cause of back pain. If your mattress is 710 years old and sagging in certain places, it could be negatively affecting your sleep health. Plus, you could be unconsciously contorting your body to compensate for the sagging. If you notice your mattress is sagging, its time to replace it, or add a topper until youre ready to find a new bed.
How Else Can You Make Your Mattress More Comfortable
If you cant afford a new mattress or arent ready to replace your current model, there are a few things you can do to improve the comfort of your existing mattress.
- Add a mattress topper. A medium-firm mattress might provide great back support, but not everyone finds a hard surface comfortable. A soft mattress topper adds some plushness without sacrificing support.
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Invest In The Right Mattress To Help Your Back Pain
Weve been handcrafting all-natural fabric mattresses since 1929. Our #1 priority is to build every customer we are privileged to serve with a mattress that fits their specific needs. No two bodies are alike, which is why we believe handmade, best-in-value mattresses are the best choice for back pain! We stand behind that claim with our 60-day comfort guarantee!
Check out our Mattress Match to find your perfect mattress.
Chronic Vs Acute Back Pain
If you have noticed a recent onset of back pain that immediately followed a determinable event, such as lifting something heavy, overexerting yourself playing sports, or falling down, then it is likely acute back pain. Acute pain, as the name would suggest, is quite sharp and may not last as long as chronic pain, if properly treated.
Chronic pain can occur when acute back pain is not properly managed. Though the symptoms are similar, chronic back pain can cause persistent discomfort in addition to the unexpected jolts of pain that are associated with acute back pain. Though it is not necessarily time dependent, if you have been experiencing back pain for several months then it has likely developed from acute pain into chronic pain.
If youd like to learn more, head over to our full article on chronic vs. acute back pain.
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Choosing The Best Mattress For Lower Back Pain
Sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause or worsen lower back pain. Lack of support from a mattress reinforces poor sleeping posture, strains muscles and does not help keep the spine in alignment, all of which contribute to low back pain.
Sleep comfort is also sacrificed if a mattress does not match one’s individual preferences. A mattress that provides both comfort and back support helps reduce low back pain, allowing the structures in the spine to really rest and rejuvenate during the night.
With the vast variety of mattresses on the market, choosing the right mattress can be difficult. The following practical guidelines are designed to help patients with low back pain choose the best mattress for both back support and sleep comfort:
What Sleeping Position Is Best For Upper Back Pain
Sleeping on your stomach is particularly strenuous for your upper back, according to the Keck School of Medicine. This is because the position forces you to turn your head to one side overnight.
Aside from avoiding stomach sleeping, people with upper back pain can make sure they have a supportive pillow if they like to sleep on their side.
According to Keck, sleeping on your back is likely the best position to avoid upper back pain. However, its not a good sleeping position for pregnant people. And for some people, it can be difficult to sleep deeply in this position, too.
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Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress
The Helix Midnight Luxes zoned support provides pressure relief that helps prevent not only back pain, but hip and shoulder pain as well.
Helix does an incredible job of being inclusive with their products. They have a variety of customized options so shoppers can find whats just right. So its no surprise they have a model that fits the bill for back pain. We recommend the firmer options for individuals with back pain, but if you prefer a more cradling feeling, one of the medium-firm options may work well for you.
As mentioned above, the Helix Midnight works particularly well for side sleepers, as its pressure relieving construction keeps hips and shoulders free of pain. It also does a great job of keeping your spine aligned, which factors into back pain relief. If
Helix offers a 10-year warranty and 100-night sleep trial with every mattress purchase.
What Is The Best Type Of Mattress For Side
Most side-sleepers do well with a medium-soft to medium mattress, which should provide enough cushiness to relieve pressure on their hips and shoulders but enough support to keep their spinal alignment in check. People with back pain, however, ideally need a mattress that feels medium-firm, which is likelier to ease their aches and pains than a softer bed. We do suggest some slightly firmer mattresses for side-sleepers who require more support, and we think one of them will hit the sweet spot for back-pain sufferers who regularly sleep in that position.
If youre a side-sleeper with back pain, start by considering the Saatva Classic or Leesa Sapira Hybrid. These mattresses are still medium-firm, but weve found that theyre relatively plusher than the others, especially after a break-in period. If youre not sure about your firmness preferences, the flippable Zenhaven gives you two options to choose from, with one side slightly more pliable than the other. Finally, although the Tempur-Adapt Medium Hybrid feels firm, it also has a uniquely contouring memory-foam sink, and it should adequately cushion shoulders and hips for side-sleepers, too. Keep in mind that firmness level is subjective, so we strongly suggest trying the mattress before you buy, if you can, or paying close attention to the trial window so you can return the mattress if it doesnt feel right.
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Leesa Sapira Hybrid Mattress
This luxury Sapira Hybrid mattress by Leesa combines supportive coils with premium foam for cradling and comfort. The foam is perforated to reduce heat trapping, and the coils provide excellent edge support.
The Sapira Hybrid from Leesa is one of the best beds on the market at keeping the spine supported in every sleeping position. At a perfectly medium firmness level of 6 out of 10, the Sapiras comfortable surface will appeal to a wide range of people, but especially to lightweight individuals with back pain. Thats because of its exceptional pressure relief capabilities and its hybrid construction, which provides cushioning comfort for sensitive areas like the lower back, shoulders, and hips, as well as a strong coil system for ultimate support.
When we put this bed through a series of performance tests, the Sapira scored perfectly in the lightweight back and side sleepers categories, and scored a 4 out of 5 for lightweight stomach sleepers.
The Sapira ships for free throughout the entire United States ! Leesa also offers white glove delivery at checkout for an additional fee of $150. You can try out the Sapira for 100 nights risk-free. If you like it and decide to keep it, youre covered under the companys 10-year warranty.
Read our full Leesa Sapira Hybrid review to learn more!
How To Find The Right Mattress For Your Back
There are two layers you need to consider when choosing your next mattress. The support system, and the comfort layer.
the support system
A spring or foam layer, the support system supports your weight and provides the spinal alignment you need for a restful night. A zoned support system is tuned to provide the right amount of support across your body. This allows the mattress surface to curve to your natural shape with even pressure across your body. Perfect for maintaining spinal alignment.
Support systems are rated by firmness, and we have to move past the age-old idea that extra-firm mattresses are best for solving a bad back. Choosing the right firmness for you depends on your body type. Softer mattresses are more suitable to smaller, lighter people, while people with a larger body type will feel more supported with a firmer mattress.
Choosing the correct firmness can help prevent back pain and speed up recovery.
A mattress that is too soft to support your weight will sag in the middle, distorting your spine and preventing complete recovery. Unsupportive mattresses also make you work harder to get comfortable, often leaving you feeling fatigued the next day.
A mattress that is too firm will not have enough give to support your spines natural curve. If your mattress is too firm for your body type, the zoning will be ineffective and the pressure uneven.
the comfort layer
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