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)

Back pain sufferers will know all too well how crucial a supportive mattress can be to their overall comfort. The best mattress for back pain will offer a keen balance of pressure relief and spinal alignment, while our extensive research and experience indicates that a medium-firm mattress is often more effective at soothing back pain than a firm mattress. 

The Saatva Rx, a speciality memory foam bed, remains our top mattress choice for back pain sufferers. Our lead mattress tester, who has longterm lower back pain and mild scoliosis, loved the RX from the first night and awarded it a very high review score overall. But the Saatva RX is expensive, so thankfully there are budget friendly mattresses for back pain in this guide too. Timing your purchase to coincide with the Memorial Day mattress sales later this month will also help keep prices low. 

Every back ailment is different, so it’s always a good idea to get advice from your doctor surrounding which specific type of mattress might be best for your back pain. It’s also worth keeping in mind your sleeping position, body type and sleep needs while shopping. To help, we asked experts in the field of chiropractic medicine to weigh in and, using their guidance alongside our own mattress testing expertise, we've created this guide to the top mattresses for lumbar support. 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: $1,995

Saatva Rx mattress: from $1,995 $1,595 at Saatva with our exclusive sale access
Our exclusive Saatva sale means you can take $400 off of the price of every size of the Saatva Rx mattress. That takes the price of a queen size Rx down to $2,895 from $3,295 - just click on the link below to unlock this saving. That's the best Saatva mattress sale we've seen since Presidents' Day, so if you've had your eye on the Rx for a while - now is an excellent time to buy. Regular Saatva benefits apply - a 365 night sleep trial, lifetime warranty, plus Free White Glove delivery.

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: $619 $399 + freebies at Cocoon by Sealy

Cocoon by Sealy Chill mattress: from $619 $399 + freebies at Cocoon by Sealy
We’ll never fail to be amazed that you can purchase a queen size memory foam mattress with additional cooling properties for $1,079. That this price is frequently reduced by 35% is downright staggering. Although it isn’t uncommon to see a queen size mattress Cocoon by Sealy chill memory foam mattress on sale for $699, it doesn’t make it any less remarkable. The current discounts includes two free pillows, a sheet set, and a mattress protector, making now an excellent time to buy.

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:  $839 $419 at DreamCloud

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress: from $839 $419 at DreamCloud
Granted, this 50% off DreamCloud mattress sale is one we're now used to seeing - but it's still an exceptional price. A queen DreamCloud is now just $665, 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: $1,199$899.30 at Brooklyn Bedding

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Hybrid: from $1,199 $899.30 at Brooklyn Bedding
Brooklyn Bedding currently has 25% off mattresses if you enter the promo code MEMORIA25 at the checkout. This drives the price of a queen down to $1,698.80. While this is a good price, it doesn't quite match the 30% discount we saw last month. We're now just days away from Memorial Day, so you might as well hold off until then before buying.