The best mattress for back pain 2024: With expert advice from chiropractors

best mattress for back pain: Man sits on a bed and rubs his back, looking uncomfortable
(Image credit: Getty)

The best mattresses for back pain provide soothing support to alleviate the aches that can keep us awake at night. As well as the comfort and cushioning you might expect from the beds in our best mattress guide, a bed for back pain offers a keen balance of pressure relief and spinal alignment, alongside a sturdy and supportive core. 

We asked experts in the field of chiropractic medicine how to find a mattress suitable for back pain and, combined with our own mattress testing expertise, created this guide to the best mattresses for lumbar support. Our expert research and extensive experience indicate a medium-firm mattress is better at easing back pain than a firm mattress. However, each back ailment is different, so keep in mind your sleep position, body type, and sleep needs when choosing a bed. We also recommend speaking to your doctor about which type of mattress is best for your back pain. 

The Saatva Rx is our current choice of best mattress for back pain. This specialist memory foam mattress impressed our lead tester who has struggled with long term lower back pain and mild scoliosis, finding it comfortable from the very first night. The Saatva Rx is a premium mattress, but in this guide our team has rounded-up mattresses to suit every budget. And the upcoming 4th of July mattress sales offer a chance to save on your preferred bed. Here are our top recommendations for this year's best-rated mattresses for back pain… 

Best mattress for back pain: Quick list

The best mattresses for back pain, reviewed by experts 

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Recent updates

We have recently tested the Helix Midnight Luxe and have added it to this guide as our top choice for side sleepers with back pain.

Best mattress for back pain overall

The Saatva RX is the best mattress for back pain in 2024, shown here on a grey bedframe

(Image credit: Saatva)
The best mattress for back pain for most sleepers

Specifications

Type: Memory foam
Firmness (1-10): Medium-firm (6-7)
Height: 15"
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Price bracket: Luxury
Materials: Premium memory foam

Reasons to buy

+
Dedicated lumbar support
+
Deep pressure relief
+
1-year trial plus lifetime warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Returns cost $99
-
Gradual rise in MSRPs
Buy it if

You want a perfect blend of comfort and support: The Saatva RX comes in a medium-firm feel, and chiropractors now recommend this as the best mattress firmness for back pain. During testing, we felt it delivered a magic combination of pressure relief, support and full body comfort.

You want to take your time trying it out: A 365-night mattress trial gives you plenty of time to make sure the RX is the right fit for you. If it isn't, you can exchange or return it but you'll have to pay a $99 fee to do so.

You want help with setup: Free white glove delivery is included with the Saatva RX, as is optional removal of your old mattress and bed base. This is great value for money.

Don't buy it if

❌ You sleep very hot: Our testers found the Saatva RX breathable, but all-memory foam beds will trap more heat compared to a mattress made of coils and foam.

You like hard beds: While the Saatva RX is on the firmer side of medium-firm, we would not describe this as a firm mattress. Try the WinkBed Firm instead.

You can't stretch your budget: Though it's competitively priced and always on sale, the Saatva RX is very expensive. For smaller budgets, try the Cocoon by Sealy Chill or the DreamCloud Hybrid.

The bottom line

🔎 The Saatva RX is now our top-rated mattress for back pain, achieving high test scores with our main tester (and wider review panel) who has longterm back pain and mild scoliosis. It's comfortable yet capable of fantastic lumbar support, with Saatva's Therapeutic Support Core to vastly reduce pressure points and constantly adjust to your body in bed whenever you change position. You'll get a year to trial it yourself, plus free mattress installation, old bed removal and a lifetime warranty.

The best mattress for back pain is the Saatva RX. This luxury handcrafted mattress is designed specifically to ease chronic back pain and painful joint conditions such as sciatica, arthritis and scoliosis. Our lead tester for the RX has mild scoliosis and longterm lower back pain, so she is perfectly placed to advise on how effective the Saatva RX is at easing back pain in bed and during sleep.

This is a premium memory foam bed made of non-toxic foam, and it stands 15" tall, making it quite the imposing figure in the bedroom – keep this in mind if you like lower profile beds. The RX features Saatva's Unique Therapeutic Support Core, which constantly adjusts itself to the shape of your body as you change positions in bed – or remain in the same spot. The Saatva RX also has a patented Lumbar Zone Quilting and gel-infused memory foam to protect your spine and keep it aligned correctly in bed.

During our testing period, we were impressed with the RX's deep pressure relief, full body support and pain-reducing comfort. It also performed well when testing for temperature regulation. What does that have to do with back pain? You want to eradicate anything that is going to cause you to have to shift positions, or risk incurring further injury.  

We found that the Saatva RX also had sturdy edge support, which means that you can comfortably sleep close to the edge without the mattress collapsing. It also means that you can sit safely and securely on the edge of the bed, before gathering yourself up into a standing position (as many people with back pain do). 

While your weight and sleeping position will influence what firmness level suits your best, the Saatva RX comes in just one firmness, which our testers found very comfortable. The Saatva RX is a mattress that you sleep on top of as opposed to sinking in too deeply, striking the perfect balance of cushioning for pressure points and support for the spine. It also makes rolling over much less arduous (or painful) than it needs to be.

Saatva has also earned a seal of approval from the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations for its lumbar zone technology. You'll get a full year to test it out, although you'll have to pay $99 for return shipping. Free white glove delivery is standard with all orders so you won't have to worry about setting this over 100lb. mattress on your bed – a huge benefit for anyone with back pain. 

Like most brands, Saatva is feeling the effects of inflation, and MSRPs have risen steadily over the past 12 months or so. It's not quite as good value as it once was, but it's still a competitively-priced luxury mattress option – especially if you buy when a deal is on. However, if it's still out of your budget, the DreamCloud (#2) and Brooklyn Bedding Aurora (#3) are cheaper.

Saatva Rx mattress: was from $1,995now $1,795 at Saatva

Saatva Rx mattress: was from $1,995 now $1,795 at Saatva
The current Saatva mattress sale takes up to $400 off the price of the Saatva Rx, although you'll have to buy a king size or bigger to enjoy the maximum saving with this tiered discount. There's $350 off the queen, reducing it to $2,945 (was $3,295). This is an okay deal from Saatva, but we did see something better pop up over Memorial Day, so it might be worth holding back and hoping for a stronger saving closer to the 4th of July.

Best budget mattress for back pain

Cocoon Chill mattress in a bedroom

(Image credit: Cocoon by Sealy)
Best budget mattress for back pain

Specifications

Type: All-foam
Firmness (1-10): 6.5
Height: 10"
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Lower-mid / Mid-range
Materials: Memory foam, other foams

Reasons to buy

+
Superb pressure relief
+
Good support in all positions
+
Tremendous value

Reasons to avoid

-
Not supportive enough for heavier bodies
-
Hybrid is better if you have more $$$
-
Only one firmness option
Buy it if

You sleep warm: The Cocoon Chill boasts impressive temperature regulation for an all-foam mattress. The phase-change material in its top cover does an effective job of wicking away heat and moisture.

You’re on a tight budget: An evergreen 35% off sale drives this mattress down to the lower end of the mid-range price bracket. It also comes with free sheets and pillows.

You share a bed: We found that the Cocoon Chill is very good at absorbing movement so if you or your partner move around a lot at night, you're unlikely to bother one another.

Don't buy it if

You have severe night sweats: The Chill will be comfortable for most sleepers but its cooling prowess won't be enough for extreme overheating. The Aurora Luxe (#4) and Wave Hybrid Snow (#9) will be better equipped to handle that.

You weigh over 230lbs: The three-layer Chill mattress won't provide enough support for heavier bodies. Opt for the hybrid version, or consider the WinkBed Plus (#5), which is specially made for larger sleepers.

❌ You want firmness options: While Sealy used to offer two firmness options, there is now only one (medium firm). Comfort is subjective, so you might prefer a mattress with more customizable features. 

The Bottom Line

🔎 The Cocoon by Sealy Chill is a worthy option for warm sleepers with back pain who don't want to spend a fortune on a specialty mattress. (Upgrades for extra cooling or responsiveness don't cost all that much, either.) An evergreen 35% discount plus a free bedding bundle make it one of the best mattress values out there right now. 

If you're a back pain sufferer on a tight budget, consider the Cocoon Chill. This all-foam mattress is the cheapest on our list, and we rate it amongst the best mattresses under $1,000. During our Cocoon Chill mattress review, we found that the Chill does an excellent job of distributing weight and alleviating pressure points. 

It's also one of the most consistently cool all-foam mattresses we've tested. All-foam mattresses are prone to trapping in heat, but, as its name suggests, we found the Cocoon Chill to provide excellent temperature regulation (its hybrid counterpart highly in our best cooling mattress guide). Again, this is an important feature for back pain sufferers, as kicking the covers off in a bid for relief can leave you prone to further lumbar injury.

It has excellent motion isolation, so you shouldn’t feel any uncomfortable bounce if someone else in the bed shifts positions. As a medium-firm mattress (we rated it 6.5 out of 10 for firmness), the Chill is suitable for any sleeping position, although we'd especially recommend it to side sleepers. It’s soft, supportive, cushioning and, to an extent, contouring. 

Its three layer design includes a top layer of memory foam, but doesn’t feature the body-hugging level of contouring that you would expect from memory foam. If that’s something you’re looking for, consider the similarly priced Nectar Memory Foam mattress. You won’t get the same cooling properties, but you will get that ‘sink-in’ feel that attracts some memory foam fans. 

You are making some concessions for that lower price, however. While it provides good support for the price, we'd generally recommend a hybrid model (like all the others on our list) if you can afford it. Take note especially if you weigh more than 230 lbs, you will sink through the memory foam layers and onto the supportive layer. This means that if you weigh more than average, the Chill likely won't provide enough support for you.

Don’t worry about how you’ll get this mattress into your bedroom — the free white glove delivery service from Cocoon by Sealy includes the delivery and set up of your new mattress, plus the removal of your old mattress and box spring, which is excellent customer service for a mattress of this price. You’ll also get a 100 night free trial and a ten year warranty. 

Cocoon by Sealy Chill mattress: was from $619 now $399 + freebies at Cocoon by Sealy

Cocoon by Sealy Chill mattress: was from $619 now $399 + freebies at Cocoon by Sealy
At full MSRP of $1,079 for a queen, the Cocoon by Sealy Chill is already an impressive price for a specialist cooling mattress. Reduced to $699 in the evergreen 35% off sale and it becomes a real bargain. As well as 35% off, Sealy also throws in a bedding bundle for free, featuring pillows, sheers, and a mattress protector. It's the deal we see all the time, but it's still a remarkable one.

Best affordable hybrid mattress

DreamCloud mattress in a bedroom

(Image credit: DreamCloud)
A more affordable hybrid mattress for back pain

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Firmness (1-10): 8
Height: 11"
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Price bracket: Mid-range
Materials: Memory foam, other foams, coils

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent back support
+
Low motion transfer
+
Luxury feel for mid-range price

Reasons to avoid

-
Too firm for smaller bodies
-
Weak edge support
-
Only one firmness option
Buy it if

You have lower back pain: The DreamCloud's combo of adaptive foam and innersprings will cradle and support the lower lumbar and hips, which will be particularly helpful if you struggle with lower back pain.

You share a bed: Couples, rejoice – we found the DreamCloud has low motion transfer, meaning you're less likely to be disturbed by any tossing and turning by your restless bedfellow (and likewise). 

You can't afford the Saatva RX You'll be making some concessions by choosing the mid-range DreamCloud over the luxury Saatva but you'll still enjoy a similar level of comfort as well as a 365-night trial and a forever warranty.

Don't buy it if

You're a petite and/or a side sleeper:  For sleepers under 130lbs, the DreamCloud may be too firm to offer any meaningful cradling or support. Some side sleepers might have a hard time adjusting to it, too.

You use the entirety of your bed: The DreamCloud's edge support was underwhelming during our test. Those who sprawl out or like to sleep right up to the edge might want to look at the WinkBed (#5) or Awara (#8).

You need something shorter: The DreamCloud is 14" tall. Combined with its weak edge support, this could make it difficult for sleepers with mobility problems to get in or out of bed comfortably.

The Bottom Line

🔎 The DreamCloud provides excellent support for sleepers with lower back pain in particular, and couples will be able to sleep in peace thanks to minimal motion transfer. It's a sound alternative to the Saatva RX at the top of our list, offering a hotel-like feel, a one-year trial, and a lifetime warranty at a consistently low price.

Whether you or your sleeping partner (or both) suffer from back pain, the DreamCloud mattress will offer loads of relief. During our DreamCloud mattress review, our testers were impressed by the layers of adaptive foam and innersprings that immediately contoured their hips and lower lumbar, resulting in much less pain in those areas. The coils provide the support and correct spinal alignment, while the gel-infused memory foam gives the contouring hug that will appeal to memory foam fans. 

Another area where the DreamCloud mattress shines is its excellent motion isolation. There's little chance your partner's movements will disrupt your sleep (or vice versa). If either of you tosses and turns due to back pain, the relief that comes from the subtle hug of the DreamCloud will help solve that problem anyway.

Unlike the pricier Saatva and Brooklyn models, there's only one firmness option here: an 8 out of 10 on the firmness scale. That firmer feel is generally what's recommended for back pain sufferers, but be aware it still might feel a bit too firm – particularly if you're petite. 

As an average-sez side sleeper, it took our lead mattress tester a little time to settle in, but once she did, was exceptionally comfortable sleeping on her front and back. However, other heavier testers in our group found immediate relief. Our mattress testers who suffered from back pain found that sleeping on the DreamCloud Hybrid made a marked improvement to their back pain, while they also appreciated the additional support in the lower lumbar, which alleviated pain that they normally have in that area.  

This is a mid-range hybrid that has the feel of a much pricier model, thanks to luxe finishes like the quilted, cashmere blend cover. There is only one firmness option that, we think, will appeal to back pain sufferers. However, Sleepers who want a plusher bed may find what they're looking for by upgrading to the DreamCloud Premier

If you aren’t sure which model would be best for you, DreamCloud fortunately offers a 1-year trial, which matches the best you'll find anywhere – and unlike Saatva, returns are free if you decide it's not quite right. Although free white glove service isn’t included, you can arrange it for a $149 fee. This includes set-up of your new DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid, and for an additional $20 fee the brand will remove your old mattress too — you back will thank you for it.  

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress: was from $839 now $449 at DreamCloud

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress: was from $839 now $449 at DreamCloud
Granted, this 50% off DreamCloud mattress sale is one we're now used to seeing - but it's still an exceptional price for a luxurious feeling mattress. A queen DreamCloud is now just $665 (was $1,332), plus it comes with generous benefits, including a 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty. 

Best for cooling

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe mattress with pillow-top

(Image credit: 3Z Brands for Tom's Guide)
Another outstandingly supportive hybrid for back pain sufferers

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Firmness (1-10): 2-4, 4-6 or 7-8
Height: 13"
Trial: 120 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Upper mid-range
Materials: Memory foam, other foams, coils

Reasons to buy

+
Three firmness options available
+
Lots of sizes including RV
+
Excellent cooling

Reasons to avoid

-
Slippery sleep surface
-
Some motion transfer
Buy it if

You want firmness options (for less): The Aurora Luxe isn't the only mattress on this list to offer customizable firmness but it's the most affordable one to do so. Opt for something plush, firm, or in-between.

You’re a hot sleeper: Our tester found the GlacioTex cooling cover offered excellent temperature regulation, even if it was a bit slippery. The infused foams and coils also play their roles in promoting proper airflow.

Your bed has unusual dimensions: In addition to standard sizing, the Aurora Luxe is available in short queen, split California king, and two RV bed sizes (RV king and RV bunk). 

Don't buy it if

You share a bed: While not incredibly pronounced, we found there was a certain amount of motion transfer here. Couples should look at the DreamCloud (#3) instead. as it excels at absorbing movement.

If you'd prefer a non-slip surface: Although the cooling cover provides excellent temperature regulation, we found that the cover made the sleep surface slightly slippery – not ideal for keeping your fitted sheet in place. 

You’re sensitive to smell: Your mileage may vary here, but during our review, we found that a noxious off-gassing smell lingered for hours after the unboxing. That's typical of most boxed mattresses.

The Bottom Line

🔎 The Brooklyn Aurora Luxe promotes excellent spinal alignment and boasts exceptional  temperature regulation. Not only can you tailor the firmness to your liking but you can also kit out your RV with a mattress that's comfortable and supportive thanks to the non-traditional sizes on offer.

The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe mattress combines a luxurious look and feel with excellent spinal support. During our Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe mattress review, our self-confessed picky reviewer found this hybrid mattress amongst the most comfortable they'd ever slept on. The coils provide plenty of support to the spine, while the memory foam layers deliver comfortable cushioning without being overwhelming or making the sleep surface feel unstable. 

Like a few other models on our list, you can choose your firmness level here. The middle option (rated 4-6/10 by Brooklyn) delivered the perfect balance of plushness and firmness for our petite tester, but there's also the option of going softer (2-4), or – perhaps more likely for back pain sufferers – firmer (7-8). Whatever sleep feel you go for, you can upgrade to a touch more luxurious by adding the Cloud Pillow Top (on the version pictured here). 

There's more good news if you're a hot sleeper, because this mattress has a special GlacioTex cooling cover that we found worked very effectively to prevent overheating during our testing period (even if it did make the sleep surface slightly too slippery for our liking). 

We also love the wide range of sizes that the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe is available in — including RV sizes, which means that you can sleep on a cooling, luxurious sleep surface and alleviate your back pain even while on the road. With a mattress like that, who needs a hotel? 

One area in which this mattress fell down slightly was on motion transfer – it's perhaps not the best option for very light sleepers or anyone sharing a bed with someone on a different sleep schedule, as movements can reverberate across the sleep surface rather. If that's you, consider the DreamCloud instead. 

Price-wise, the Aurora sits between the Saatva and DreamCloud. An evergreen sale means you can expect to pay 30% less than MSRP, putting it in the upper mid-range price bracket (or premium, if you want to splash out on the Cloud Pillow Top). Of course, even when discounted the Aurora is still a lot of money, but we think it's a worthy investment for a mattress this well crafted and thoughtfully constructed.

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Hybrid: was from $999now $749.30 at Brooklyn Bedding

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Hybrid: was from $999 now $749.30 at Brooklyn Bedding
Brooklyn Bedding is offering 25% off the price of the Aurora Luxe Hybrid, reducing a queen to $1,398.80 (was $1,865) without the cloud pillow top, or $1,698.80 with this cooling addition. This is a standard discount from Brooklyn Bedding, and it's worth waiting around to see if something better comes along for the 4th of July sales – for Memorial Day, the saving increased to 30% not long before the big day itself. 

Best for bigger bodies

The WinkBed mattress in a white bedroom

(Image credit: WindBeds)
Another excellent mattress for back pain – including an option for bigger bodies

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Firmness (1-10): 4.5, 6.5, 7.5 or 8
Height: 13.5"
Trial: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Price bracket: Upper-mid / Premium
Materials: Pillow top, foam, coils

Reasons to buy

+
Four firmness levels
+
Dedicated back support system
+
Superb edge support

Reasons to avoid

-
$49 returns fee
Buy it if

You want targeted support: The WinkBed's individually wrapped coils are zoned to deliver targeted support and pushback in specific areas, so the pressure will feel firmer in some spots and lighter in others.

You need a heavy-duty mattress: This is the only model on our list that offers four firmness options: soft, luxury firm, firm, and Plus – the latter being specifically aimed at those weighing over 250lbs and over.

You have severe mobility issues: WinkBed’s excellent edge support means that heavier people with mobility issues will find that the mattress will safely support them even as they sit on the edge of the bed before standing or laying down. 

Don't buy it if

❌You're a very hot sleeper: Most people should find the temperature regulation for WinkBed adequate but if you’re often prone to overheating at night, opt for something like the Casper Wave Hybrid Snow (#9).

You can afford the Saatva RX: Unless you're a heavyweight sleeper (over 250lbs), the Saatva RX(#1) will provide a better value and overall sleep experience so if you have the extra money to spare, we say go for it.

You have no one to help set up: There's no white glove delivery so setting up this incredibly heavy mattress will be taxing, especially if you're already dealing with back pain and can't find anyone to help you out.

The Bottom Line

🔎 The WinkBed is a hybrid that gives the Saatva RX (#1) a run for its money in terms of support and all-round function thanks to its individually zoned coils and gel-infused foam. For overweight sleepers with back pain, the WinkBed Plus is your best bet for ample relief.

As a customizable luxury mattress that provides outstanding pressure relief for back pain sufferers, the WinkBed Plus is a close rival to the Saatva Classic. Like a few models on our list, you can choose your firmness preference, but what sets this mattress apart is that it’s the only model that includes a Plus option for individuals over 250 pounds (it's one of the best mattresses for heavy people). 

During our WinkBed mattress review, we were impressed with its excellent edge support, which bodes well for heavier people with mobility issues who must sit on the edge of their bed in order to get up or lie down, since it won't compress too much. At 13.5 inches thick, it's one of the tallest options on our list, and unlike the Saatva (#1) there's only one height option – consider a different option if you prefer to be lower to the ground.

Although nobody on our testing panel on this mattress grapples with regular back pain, we still felt well-aligned thanks to its Back Relief System. Hundreds of WinkBed 5-star customer reviews noted reduced back pain and improved sleep quality. This is likely thanks to WinkBed’s individually wrapped, zoned coils and gel-infused foam, which is designed to offer the right balance of targeted support and cushioning to anyone suffering with back, hip or shoulder pain. 

It manages motion isolation well, which is great news for couples or restless sleepers with different sleep schedules (not to mention back pain sufferers who may grit their teeth through every bounce of the bed). However, one potential drawback of the WinkBed is its temperature regulation. Although it provides enough cooling properties to keep most sleepers cool, very hot sleepers may need to think about adding a cooling mattress topper to avoid overheating. Not only is overheating a major sleep disruptor, shifting and twisting around to find relief from the heat can leave you prone to further back injury. 

Price-wise, regular WinkBed mattress sales feature hundreds of dollars in savings for this award-winning mattress. You get 120 nights to test it at home, but you'll have to pay $49 to send it back. It's also quite heavy, weighing as much as 145 pounds, so you'll want to ask someone to help set up your new WinkBed mattress. (In-home delivery is not provided as a service.) 

The WinkBed Mattress: was from $1,149 now $849 at WinkBed

The WinkBed Mattress: was from $1,149 now $849 at WinkBed
The evergreen WinkBed discount knocks $300 off all sizes, which means a queen will currently set you back $1,499 (down from $1,799), or $1,699 if you upgrade to the Plus. This deal runs pretty much all the time, so you can ignore the WinkBed countdown. However, we've never seen it bettered, so now is still a good time to buy. 

Best memory foam mattress for back pain

Saatva Loom & Leaf mattress

(Image credit: Saatva)
Best memory foam mattress for back pain

Specifications

Type: All-foam
Firmness (1-10): 5-7 or 8
Height: 12"
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Price bracket: Premium
Materials: Memory foam, other foams

Reasons to buy

+
Concentrated lumbar support
+
Comfortable for all sleep styles
+
Two firmness levels

Reasons to avoid

-
Costs $99 to return it
-
Doesn't always sleep cool
Buy it if

You suffer from lower back pain: The Loom & Leaf's concentrated lumbar support and 5lb body-hugging memory foam core helped alleviate our tester's nagging lower back pain.

You're a combi sleeper: If you tend to shift during the night (or your partner has a different sleep style to you) this mattress could be an attractive option since we found it comfortable in any position. 

You share a bed: We detected very little motion transfer during our review. This is good news for those who share a bed with a light or restless sleeper, or a partner who operates on an opposing sleep schedule. 

Don't buy it if

You tend to overheat: The Loom & Leaf traps heat so it's not a good choice if you hail from a hotter part of the world or are prone to night flashes. The Saatva RX (#1) sleeps cooler.

You don't want to sink while you sleep:  A memory foam mattress isn’t to everyone’s preference and although this one ticks lots of boxes when it comes to alleviating back pain, don’t go for this one if you don’t enjoy that ‘sink-in’ feeling. 

You need sturdy edges: Whether you like to sleep right up to the edge of the mattress, or you need to sit on the edge of the mattress before standing up or laying down, we felt as though the edge support here was lacking.

The Bottom Line

🔎 The Saatva Loom & Leaf comes in two firmness levels so it'll suit just about any type of sleeper. Specialized lumbar support plus layers of high-density memory foam will be a boon for anyone with lower back issues. Top-notch motion isolation will help couples avoid sleep divorce, as well.

Saatva makes our list once again – this time for its Loom & Leaf mattress. This handcrafted memory foam mattress comes in two firmness levels and features specialized lumbar support and body-contouring foam that work together to relieve pressure in your lower back and keep everything aligned. The upper and lower thirds of the mattress are slightly firmer but still soft enough to contour to your shoulders and knees. This is one of two all-foam mattresses on our list – if you're on a tighter budget, check out the Cocoon Chill (#4). 

We tested out the relaxed firm model (you can read our Saatva Loom & Leaf review here) and our lead reviewer noticed a marked improvement in her lower back pain after three weeks of sleeping on it and eradicated her early morning stiffness across her back. The rest of our testing panel was also comfortable regardless of their position or stature, and noticed how quickly the Loom & Leaf contoured their bodies while keeping them properly aligned — which is hugely important for countering back pain. There’s benefits to be found for side sleepers, too, with just the right amount of sinkage to provide pressure relief across the shoulders, hips, and knees.

Unfortunately, despite the presence of cooling tech, we found the Loom & Leaf is still prone to trapping heat so chronically hot sleepers may want to check out a hybrid model. Or if you're a Saatva fan, a good alternative would be the Saatva Memory Foam Hybrid, which offers better temperature regulation. Otherwise, we recommend the Loom & Leaf for sleepers with back pain who like the hug of memory foam and want something durable that they won't have to replace too often.

The pillow top was hit-or-miss among our panel. Opinions ranged from 'luxurious' to 'too cushiony,' so this will likely come down to your own sleep preferences. 

It will come as no surprise that a premium mattress of this quality also comes with a premium price (prices start at $1,295), putting it more in line with Tempur-Pedic, which is the Loom & Leaf’s direct competitor. However, the perks from Saatva are better than Tempur-Pedic’s, with 1-year free trial, lifetime warranty, plus complementary while-glove delivery. This includes the set up of your new mattress in any room of your choice, plus the removal of your old mattress, too. 

Saatve Loom & Leaf mattress: was from $1,595 now$1,395 at Saatva

Saatve Loom & Leaf mattress: was from $1,595 now $1,395 at Saatva
You can save up to $350 on the Saatva Loom & Leaf mattress in the early bird 4th of July sale, with the biggest discount on the largest sizes. There's a saving of $300 on the queen, reducing it to $2,095 (was $2,395). It's not the best discount we've seen recently from Saatva, so you might want to hold back in case a better sale goes live closer to the 4th of July. However, the MSRP has risen for this mattress in recent months, so keep that in mind when shopping.

Best for joint pain

Purple Plus mattress in a bedroom

(Image credit: Purple)
An unusual sleep feel, offering excellent support and pressure relief

Specifications

Type: GelFlex Hybrid
Firmness (1-10): 6-7.5
Height: 11"
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Premium
Materials: 'GelFlex' grid, foams

Reasons to buy

+
Supportive in the right places
+
Excellent pressure relief on joints
+
Impressive cooling tech

Reasons to avoid

-
Edge support is lacking
-
Only one firmness option
Buy it if

✅ You want support in all the right places: The Purple Plus offers ‘adaptive’ support, which means it’s firmer along the spine and lumbar but slightly softer around your legs and arms. This makes it effective at relieving pressure points without sacrificing alignment. 

You overheat at night: The GelFlex Grid does an outstanding job of promoting airflow so hot sleepers who toss and turn will find plenty of relief (and avoid further hurting their backs).

You're a restless sleeper (or your partner is): The Purple Plus boasts excellent motion isolation so you're unlikely to feel your partner fidgeting (and they'll hardly notice your movements, too).

Don't buy it if

You’re on a tight budget: Costing $400-$500 more than the Purple Original, the Purple Plus sits in the premium price bracket. If you don't need anything too sophisticated but want to experience the GelFlex Grid, consider the Original Purple mattress instead.

Edge support is important: Edge support is lacking slightly, which means that sitting or laying towards the edge of the mattress may cause dipping. 

You want to choose your firmness: Although there is only one firmness option available, the unique blend of firmness and softness will suit a wide range of firmness preferences. However, this might not be the mattress for you if you want firm support throughout. 

The Bottom Line

🔎 The Purple Plus is firmer where it counts, offering targeted lumbar support while alleviating any joint pain. Other key points include outstanding cooling technology and low motion transfer. You may need time to adjust to the feel of the GelFlex Grid, but once you settle in, you'll thank yourself for being patient.

Purple's mattresses have a slightly unusual sleep feel, thanks to a unique GelFlex grid – a springy, elastic gel grid that melds to your shape and cradles you comfortably in place, then springs back instantly when pressure is removed. This makes the Purple Plus a great choice for those with aching joints who need cushioning without sacrificing support. 

When we tested the Purple Plus out (you can read our Purple Plus mattress review here), we ended up giving it two separate firmness ratings out of 10. We found it's softer underneath the arms and legs (6/10) yet firmer along the spine and lumbar (7.5/10). It's softer around the periphery of the body and firmer under pressure points like the lumbar spine and hips, aiding in even weight distribution. What this means for back pain sufferers is that you'll have support in all of the right places and not wake up feeling misaligned.

The Purple Plus also feels a little like you float on top of the mattress while sinking in slightly. It’s also deceptively firmer than it first appears, which makes for a comfy and cushioned sleep surface. 

There's another big benefit of the GelFlex Grid – the open structure means it sleeps nice and cool, thanks to an additional two inches of breathable foam in the Plus compared to its Purple Original counterpart — but costs $500 more. This will be money well spent for hot sleepers with back pain, as tossing and turning to get comfortable can wind up contorting their spine in painful and unpleasant ways. 

Edge support could be better, which may be a deal breaker for those who need a stable edge to sit on before standing (one reviewer described a ‘downward’ feeling as they sat on the edge of the bed). However, the low motion transfer makes the Purple Plus a fine choice for couples — not only can being disturbed by every toss and turn disrupt your sleep, the familiar ‘bounce’ feeling of someone moving in bed can be painful for back sufferers. So strong motion isolation is a big drawcard here. 

The Purple Plus mattress weighs up to 140lb, so ask someone to help move it if you're dealing with back pain. in-home delivery and setup is available from Purple, but it costs an extra $200. Shipping is free otherwise, and you'll have 100 nights to trial the mattress.

Purple Plus mattress: was from $1,495now $1,199 at Purple

Purple Plus mattress: was from $1,495 now $1,199 at Purple
Purple is offering $300 off all sizes of the Purple Plus, meaning a queen size will cost you $1,599 (was $1,899). This is a decent Purple mattress deal, although the best we've seen is $400 off every size of the Plus. But Purple sales are infrequent and hard to predict, so we can't guarantee a bigger deal will be back any time soon.

Best latex mattress for back pain

The Awara Natural Hybrid mattress shown in an orange bedroom

(Image credit: Awara Sleep)
Best latex mattress for back pain

Specifications

Type: Latex hybrid
Firmness (1-10): 8
Height: 10"
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Price bracket: Mid-range
Materials: Latex, wool, coils

Reasons to buy

+
Suits all sleep styles
+
Natural materials
+
Alleviates joint pressure

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one firmness option
-
Too bouncy for couples
Buy it if

A firm bed is comfortable for you: The Awara has a firmer feel than advertised, as our reviewers collectively rated it an 8 out of 10 on the firmness scale. There is plenty of pressure relief, though, albeit subtle.

You want an eco-friendly mattress: The Awara swaps synthetic foam for natural Dunlop latex, while the top cover is a blend of organic cotton and New Zealand wool. It meets a number of regarded third-party certifications for safety and sustainability.

You're a combi sleeper: This mattress is suitable for a wide range of sleeping styles, and its buoyant surface makes it easy for combi sleepers to shift from one position to the next.

Don't buy it if

You share a bed: If you share your bed and are prone to being disturbed by your partner’s movements, the bounciness of the Awara will do little to mitigate that. Couples should opt for a full-foam bed or the hybrid DreamCloud (#3).

You're allergic to latex: Although the natural properties of latex lends itself to being sustainable, durable and even hypoallergenic, those with a latex allergy should steer clear.

You're lightweight: While the Awara offers sufficient spinal support for most, lighter weight individuals (130lbs or less) may find it unyielding. 

The Bottom Line

🔎 The Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress is an excellent choice for sleepers with back pain who want to go a more eco-friendly route, with natural Dunlop latex and organic fibers. It's firm yet contouring enough to provide a just-right level of pressure relief. It shines when it comes to edge support and cooling, too.

The Awara Natural Hybrid is the only mattress in our ranking to use latex rather than synthetic foam (we rate this amongst the best organic mattresses you can buy). As well as being a natural option, latex foam delivers a weightless sleep feel and is known for being one of the most durable mattress materials. Here, it's combined with individually wrapped innersprings. The 2-inch layer of Dunlop latex foam quickly adapts to the shape of your body so you feel immediate support, delivering excellent pressure relief, as well as keeping your spine properly aligned.

During our Awara Natural Hybrid mattress review, our testing panel featured reviewers of varying sleep styles – and all of them felt well-supported in their shoulders (side sleepers), lumbar (back sleepers), and hips (stomach sleepers). We gave it an 8 out 10 rating for firmness, which places it in the firm category. Some of our testers thought it was too firm, before the Dunlop latex layer quickly contoured to their body, resulting in a unique floating yet grounded sleep-feel. 

Edge support here is very good (among the best we’ve seen) so sitting on the perimeter of the bed is perfectly safe, and you'll be able to sleep right up to the edge without fear of falling. The Awara is also a good choice for hot sleepers, partly thanks to the New Zealand wool cover on top, which helps regulate temperature. However, one potential down-side is that motion isolation is a little lackluster. Thi means that the mattress is rather bouncy, which may be off-putting (not to mention painful) for couples seeking something with low motion transfer. 

In terms of cost, the Awara is one of the most affordable organic mattresses on the market, with a starting price of $1,099 for a twin. However, regular sales drives the price down further, making it an excellent value buy for sleepers with back pain. 

If you feel apprehensive about buying a mattress online, Awara’s incredibly generous 365 night free sleep trial should go some way to reassure you. This trial period will allow you to sleep on the mattress throughout the seasons and take your time in making the right decision. If you decide that it isn’t for you, Awara will issue a full refund and assist in either disposing the mattress or donating it to charity. If you decide to keep it, it'll be covered by a forever warranty.

Awara Natural Hybrid mattress: was from $1,299 now $649 at Awara

Awara Natural Hybrid mattress: was from $1,299 now $649 at Awara
Awara's 4th of July mattress sale knocks up to $765 off of the Natural Hybrid bed – and you don't even need an Awara promo code to claim it. We've seen this deal a lot from Awara, but with a queen on sale for just $949 (was $1,699), it's still an excellent price for a hybrid. Plus, you get a lifetime warranty and a 365-night trial.

Best mattress for side sleepers with back pain

Helix Midnight Luxe mattress with our sleep editor lying on it

(Image credit: 3Z for Tom's Guide)
Best mattress for side sleepers with back pain

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Firmness (1-10): 6/10
Height: 13.5"
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 15 years
Price bracket: Upper mid-range
Materials: Memory foam, other foams, coils

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding pressure relief for side sleepers
+
Supportive enough for back sleepers too 
+
Good temperature regulation 
+
Strong motion isolation 

Reasons to avoid

-
Too soft for stomach sleepers
-
Lacks handles for moving 
Buy it if

 ✅ You sleep on your side: The Helix Midnight Luxe offers outstanding pressure relief across the shoulders, hips and knees - thanks largely to the inclusion of a cloud-like pillow top cover. 

You have back or joint pain: Enhanced lumbar support and a combination of cradling memory foams makes this bed and excellent choice for those with back, hip or joint pain. 

You're a restless sleeper: Another area the Helix Midnight Luxe excels in is motion isolation. If you're a restless sleeper who shares a bed, you'll experience very little motion transfer here. 

Don't buy it if

 ❌ You plan on moving it: This mattress is 13.5" tall and weighs between 95 lbs - 125 lbs. Although these dimensions make for a sumptuous sleep surface, the lack of handles on the side make moving it a daunting task — especially if you’re already suffering from back pain. 

You sleep on your stomach: The Helix Midnight Luxe is an excellent choice for side sleepers and is supportive enough for back sleepers too — but will be too soft for stomach sleepers. 

You need a shallower mattress: With a depth of 13.5”, the Helix Midnight Luxe is on the taller end of the spectrum. Depending on your height and your bed base or platform, this may mean you’re unable to plant both feet on the ground when sitting on the bed’s edge. 

The bottom line

The Helix Midnight Luxe is an excellent option for side sleepers with back pain, thanks to its unique combination of pressure relief and enhanced lumbar support. Motion isolation is excellent, edge support is superb and temperature regulation is reliable.

After reviewing the Helix Midnight Luxe, it went straight to the top of our best mattress for side sleepers buyers guide. And its blissful pressure relief combined with enhanced lumbar support makes it a strong contender in this guide, too. Because even though lying on the Helix Luxe feels like falling into a cloud, it still packs plenty of support — thanks to the soothing combination of Helix Responsive Foam, Copper Gel Memory Foam, plus DuraFoam and up to 1,000 individually wrapped coils, which all work in harmony to provide outstanding comfort and support.

During our Helix Midnight Luxe review, our lead tester — who suffers from occasional hip and back pain — was impressed with the sigh-worthy pressure relief that this bed provides when side sleeping. And that’s largely due to the cloud-like pillow top cover that comes as standard on the Luxe, which helps to weightlessly accommodate the shoulders, hips and knees. (She didn’t experience any of the dreaded ‘dead-hip’ that she’s prone to during her seven week stint sleeping on the bed).

However, this plush top layer is underpinned by plenty of support — the combination of the layer of Helix Responsive Foam, followed by a layer of Copper Gel Memory Foam, provides body contouring support while holding you on top of the mattress, as opposed to sinking into it. This is an important feature for back pain sufferers, as this helps to keep your spine in correct alignment with the rest of your body.

Although you can’t see or directly feel any of the (up to) 1,000 individually wrapped steel coils, zoned lumbar support to support the spine and a sturdy bed edge means you know they’re there. These steel coils come into play again when we tackle the subject of temperature regulation — additional coils means increased airflow, which means an all-round cooler night. 

Of course, very hot sleepers will appreciate the option to upgrade to a GlacioTex pillow top cooling cover. However, the Luxe comes with a breathable Tencel cover that feels cool to the touch and kept our lead tester cool and comfortable during testing. Like the Helix Midnight original, motion isolation is excellent, which will appeal to the restless sleepers out there who share a bed.

Helix mattress sales usually range between 20% and 25%, with the best discounts reserved for major sale events, such as Black Friday. However, the Helix Midnight Luxe is currently 30% off. This is an unprecedented discount that we don't anticipate being topped when the Memorial Day sales roll around later this month. The Luxe comes with a 100 night sleep trial, free shipping and a 15 year warranty.  

Helix Midnight Luxe: was from $1,373.75now $961.63 at HelixJULY30

Helix Midnight Luxe: was from $1,373.75 now $961.63 at Helix
There's currently 30% off the Helix Midnight Luxe in a deal that's better than Black Friday. This brings a queen down to $1,661.66 (was $2,373), and you'll get two free pillows with your purchase. Make sure to use code JULY30 to claim your discount at checkout, otherwise Helix defaults to the 25% off sale – still good, but not as impressive.

How we test mattresses for back pain

Testing mattresses for back pain involves many of the same steps outlined in our our mattress methodology, however we always strive to find reviewers who are experiencing back pain. This is because we want to get a realistic picture of the performance of these speciality mattresses. After all, if a manufacturer claims to have created a mattress capable of easing back pain during sleep, we definitely want to put that to the test.

Our testing process begins by selecting the mattress for back pain we want to review. Compared to standard mattresses, back pain beds aren't that common so we don't get as many of them through for testing. However we when we do choose a mattress, we contact the brand directly and ask for a review sample under the strict agreement that we retain complete editorial control over the review and testing data. 

Once the review has been agreed, we appoint a mattress tester who is experiencing back pain – or at the very least has had back pain and knows how that impacts sleep when lying on the wrong mattress. 

We then go through our full testing process, documenting each step of the way from unboxing the mattress for back pain, through to our performance tests including motion isolation and edge support. We test back pain mattresses across all key areas including temperature regulation, firmness, comfort, support and pressure relief. 

We score each area out of 5, then use those combined scores to devise the overall score for the mattress we have reviewed. Not every mattress for back pain we review makes it into this guide – only the best as recommended by our expert reviewers.

Frequently asked questions

What's the best type of mattress for back pain?

Broadly speaking, the best type of mattress to look for is medium-firm to firm with adaptive layers of foam, springs, and/or latex providing contoured support along the back, hips, and shoulders. Such mattresses are also made with breathable materials to regulate temperature and wick away sweat, reducing any tossing and turning that'll torque the back even worse.

You'll also want to consider the position you're lying in. Sleeping on your side or sleeping on your back are typically better for spinal support, while stomach sleeping is a big no-no.  

Searching for an orthopedic option may help; see our guide to what is an orthopedic mattress for more details. Also, if you're in the US, you could qualify for Medicare assistance should you require a specialist mattress. For more details see our guide: What types of mattresses are covered by Medicare?

Is a soft or firm mattress better for back pain?

A medium or firm mattress is typically best for back pain. Generally speaking, a soft mattress won't provide enough support, especially if you're prone to changing positions at night and/or have mobility issues. However, the exact firmness to go for depends on the individual. Our best firm mattress guide rounds up ultra-sturdy options. Many find that traditional sprung mattresses provide a more supportive sleep experience; see our article on what is a pocket sprung mattress for more details.

There's no catchall solution as everyone is different. Dr. Lev Kalika, clinic director and founder of NYDN Rehab in New York City, says the type of back issue someone has will influence whether they should opt for a soft or firm mattress. "For patients with hypermobility or spondylosis [spine degeneration], I recommend hard mattresses. For people who are super stiff with fixed spine deformities, I recommend soft mattresses," says Dr. Kalika, who adds that people with less severe back ailments will benefit from something in between.

You'll also want to consider your dominant sleep position. If you often drop onto your side, take a look at the best mattresses for side sleepers, most of which are smack in the middle of the firmness scale. 

Remember that firmness is subjective. You won't get a true feel for a mattress until you sleep on it yourself. Fortunately, the best mattress-in-a-box brands come with trial periods of at least 100 nights, which is more than enough time to determine whether or not a mattress is improving (or worsening) your back pain.

Is memory foam good for back pain?

Are memory foam mattresses good for back pain? According to Dr. Grant Radermacher, owner of Ascent Chiropractic in Brookfield, WI, they are for most people.

"Memory foam evenly distributes weight across its surface as it compresses. It can automatically adjust to your body’s shape, contouring itself around your shoulders, back, and hips for a more pain-free sleeping experience," explains Dr. Radermacher.

The majority of our best mattresses for back pain picks are hybrids – a blend of foam and springs. When choosing between memory foam vs hybrid mattresses, you'll need to take into consideration what else you'll need in order to sleep comfortably. 

Full memory foam mattresses have a 'hugging' feeling that'll help alleviate any pressure, but they tend to sleep warm if they're designed without any additional cooling tech (like gel or charcoal). Hybrids sleep cooler and tend to be firmer and more supportive; however, they don't isolate motion as well as foam beds, which can be tricky if you're a light sleeper or share a bed with a fidgety partner.

Remember that it takes more than the right mattress to unlock quality sleep. The best pillows will work in harmony with your mattress to ensure you're properly aligned each night so you wake up pain-free and refreshed. For more advice on what to look for in the best mattress for back pain, you'll find expert tips here.

Can a mattress cause back pain?

A mattress can create back pain or amplify an existing injury. But how can you tell? If your back pain is much worse right after waking up, chances are your mattress is to blame. 

More obvious signs include visible sagging and sleeping on a mattress that's too hard or soft to properly support you. If firmness (or lack thereof) is the issue, adding a mattress topper can provide an instant upgrade if your current mattress is in otherwise fine shape.

We go into more detail in our feature explaining why some mattresses can cause aches and pains, which also provides additional tips for finding a new bed with proper spinal support so you can avoid nights of uncomfortable sleep.