The best mattress for back pain is your key to waking up refreshed every morning if you struggle with constant aches in your shoulders or lumbar. Repeatedly shifting positions in an attempt to get comfortable can add even more strain to your back if you're not sleeping on the right bed. Not to mention, you'll be losing out on high-quality sleep at night, which will leave you feeling tired and unfocused during the day.
Among our general best mattress contenders are seven models we deem exceptional at alleviating back issues and promoting proper spinal alignment based on our extensive research and testing. Topping our list is the Saatva Classic mattress (opens in new tab), a highly-customizable hybrid that'll suit most people seeking relief from back pain. Plus, it comes with free delivery and in-home set-up so all you'll have to do is sleep on it. However, our list includes a range of budgets or builds so you're bound to find just what you're looking for in alleviating back pain.
We personally research and test the latest mattresses to provide unbiased recommendations in this guide. We rate each mattress out of 10 and use the review data to inform rankings. Read our mattress methodology for more.
We also spoke to a couple of experts in the field of chiropractic medicine for their input on finding the right mattress for back pain when it comes to firmness and materials. Of course, this is general advice they're providing; consult with a doctor directly if you're seeking a specific diagnosis or treatment.
In addition to listing today’s best prices for each featured mattress, we’ve rounded up this month’s biggest mattress sales to save you more money on the bed of your dreams. In the meantime, take a look at the top mattresses for back pain...
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 may find that 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 may be able to get Medicare assistance should you require a specialist mattress. For more details see our guide: What types of mattresses are covered by Medicare?
The best mattress for back pain in 2022, as tested by us
Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The best mattress for back pain is the Saatva Classic. This mattress stands out for its high level of customization: three firmness levels plus two depth levels, which enables shoppers to design the ideal bed for their sleep preferences and body type. Nearly 1,000 of Saatva's 5-star customer reviews come from those who claim their backaches have decreased or disappeared. That was our experience when we tested the 11.5-inch medium-firm version in our Saatva Classic Mattress review; the improvement in our back pain was obvious when coming from an older, less supportive mattress.
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.
- Read more: Saatva Classic mattress review
Saatva Classic mattress: $400 off $1,000 or more at Saatva (opens in new tab)
Exclusive savings - The Classic luxury innerspring is our favorite of the Saatva lineup. It's comfortable in all sleeping positions, and well-suited to hot sleepers and people with back pain. There are three different firmness options to choose between (soft, luxury firm and firm), and it comes with a 365-night trial and lifetime warranty. Click the link above for our exclusive $400 off discount valid for most sizes (there's no discount on the twin). That drops the cost of the queen to $1,395, a $200 drop from its general sale price and among the best deals we've seen for this popular mattress.
Similar to the Saatva, the WinkBed is a customizable luxury mattress. Choose from four firmness levels, including a Plus option for individuals over 250lbs. Although nobody on our WinkBed Mattress review testing panel grapples with regular back pain, we still felt well-aligned thanks to its Back Relief System. Hundreds of WinkBed 5-star customer reviews note reduced back pain and improved sleep quality.
The WinkBed's edge support is excellent, 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. However, the 13.5-inch height can't be adjusted so it may not suit sleepers who prefer to be lower to the ground.
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 145lb, so you'll want to ask someone to help set up your new WinkBed mattress. (In-home delivery is not provided as a service.)
- Read more: WinkBed mattress review
The WinkBed Mattress:
from $1,149 $849 at WinkBeds (opens in new tab)
Save $300 - The WinkBed Mattress is handcrafted in the US and comes in a range of different firmnesses, making it suitable for every sleeping position and body weight. It's designed to ease pressure on your hips, back and shoulders, so we highly recommend it for back pain. With a $300 discount, a queen size now costs $1,499 (was $1,799).
Whether you or your sleeping partner (or both) suffer from back pain, the DreamCloud mattress will offer loads of relief. Those who slept on it for our DreamCloud Mattress review 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.
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.
This is one of the firmest mattresses we've tried, rated an 8 out of 10 on the firmness scale. Petite and average-sized sleepers will definitely need time to break it in; fortunately, DreamCloud offers a 1-year trial with free returns if you're not satisfied. This affordable luxury bed is discounted often during DreamCloud mattress sales and also comes with up to $499 in free bedding.
- Read more: DreamCloud Mattress review
DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress:
Up to $799 off - The five-layer DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid is the cheapest model in the US, and combines a breathable cashmere top with gel-infused memory foam for pressure relief, and innerspring coils for bounce. During its current sale, a queen is marked down to $999 (was $1,199), but keep an eye out for a 25% flash sale that'll help knock an extra $100 off that price either on or ahead of Black Friday. Still, if you need a new mattress for back pain now, this is a solid offer.
A cooling mattress such as the Purple Plus can aid with aches and pains. (Hot sleepers who toss and turn to get comfortable can wind up contorting their spine in unpleasant ways.) The Purple Plus features a 2-inch layer of GelFlex Grid elastic that boasts over 1,400 individual holes for improved airflow whilst also adapting to every movement of your body.
In our Purple Plus mattress review, we gave 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). This means you'll have support in all of the right places and not wake up feeling misaligned. Edge support is middling, but the low motion isolation makes the Purple Plus a fine choice for couples.
The Purple Plus mattress weighs up to 140lbs. so ask someone to help move it if you're dealing with back pain. You can opt for in-home delivery and setup, but it costs an extra $200. Shipping is free otherwise, and you'll have 100 nights to trial the mattress. The latest Purple mattress deals can save you money on this latest mid-range model.
- Read more: Purple Plus Mattress review
Purple Plus mattress:
from $1,499 $1,099 at Purple (opens in new tab)
Save $400 - Purple's newest mattress offers two extra inches of premium foam versus its predecessor for better cushioning, responsiveness, and breathability. We found it's firmer along the spine and lumbar yet more cushioned beneath the arms and legs – resulting in tailored support that'll leave you well-aligned. After this current $400 discount, the twin costs $1,099 (was $1,499), whereas the queen costs $1,499 (was $1,899).
If eco-friendly sleep is a priority for you, the Awara Natural Hybrid is one of the best (and most affordable) organic mattresses you can buy. This hypoallergenic mattress is Rainforest Alliance-certified and crafted from GOLS-certified Dunlop latex plus a New Zealand wool cover on top. These materials combine for an adaptive feel that'll also keep most sleepers exceptionally cool.
Our Awara Mattress review features testers of varying sleep styles – and all of them felt well-supported in their shoulders (side sleepers), lumbar (back sleepers), and hips (stomach sleepers). Edge support here is very good so sitting on the perimeter of the bed is unlikely to compress your back. (You'll also be able to spread out without fear of falling.)
The Awara is rather bouncy, which may be off-putting for couples seeking something with low motion transfer. Otherwise, it's an excellent value buy for sleepers with back pain. A queen normally sells for $1,099 after Awara promo codes. That also includes up to $499 in free bedding, a 1-year risk-free trial, and a lifetime warranty.
- Read more: Awara Mattress review
Awara Natural Hybrid mattress:
from $1,398 $799 plus up to $499 in free bedding at Awara Sleep (opens in new tab)
The best budget organic mattress is now even more affordable thanks to a $300 saving. Better yet, you'll get up to $499 worth of free bedding included with your purchase. In our Awara Natural Hybrid mattress review (opens in new tab) we praised its ability to suit all sleep styles, plus its breathable cover that kept our hot sleepers comfortably cool. You'll have a full year to try it out at home, and your purchase will be backed by a forever warranty should you opt to keep it
The top-of-the-line Casper Wave Hybrid Snow mattress is imbued with specialized 'Snow' technology that offers a 24% cooler-to-the-touch feeling than the original Casper Wave Hybrid. It also has HeatDelete Bands designed to remove 34% more body heat while sustaining temperature regulation for up to 12 hours. This bodes well for hot sleepers with back pain as they'll be less inclined to toss and turn in order to feel comfortable, thereby reducing the risk of torquing their spine.
Among the testers who slept on this bed for our Casper Wave Hybrid Snow mattress review, our back sleepers found the most relief. This bed has continuous ergonomic zones so it's firmer along the hips, waist, and lower back yet softer around the shoulders. Meanwhile, 86 gel pods placed in the center of the mattress help alleviate lumbar pressure and promote proper alignment.
It's on the firmer side of the scale so side sleepers and lightweight individuals may need time to break it in. Fortunately, Casper includes 100 nights to trial it at home with free returns and a full refund if you're not satisfied. The Casper Wave Hybrid Snow is also the priciest option on our list although it's less money than comparable Tempur-Pedic beds thanks to regular Casper mattress sales.
- Read more: Casper Wave Hybrid Snow mattress review
Casper Wave Hybrid Snow mattress: from
$2,295 $1,835 at Casper (opens in new tab)
Up to $800 off - Here's a chance to save on Casper's most premium model, the Wave Hybrid Snow. A queen is on sale for $2,725 (was $3,395) – which is still thousands of dollars less than the comparable Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Breeze. Casper's Snow technology will keep sleepers comfortably cool, whilst its ergonomic zones and strategically-placed gel pods work together to relieve pressure and keep everything aligned. (Note that the twin size is currently out of stock.)
One of the best mattresses under $1,000 is the Cocoon by Sealy Chill, an all-foam mattress that's regularly on sale for $799 in a queen. Better yet, Sealy often bundles its Cocoon Chill mattress with nearly $200 in free bedding and pillows, further increasing its already terrific value.
These days, opting for a budget mattress doesn't necessarily mean skimping on quality. The Cocoon by Sealy Chill is a perfect example of this. Not only is it one of the most consistently cool all-foam mattresses we've tested, but it also does an excellent job of distributing weight and alleviating pressure points, no matter which sleeping position you drop into at night. As we mention in our Cocoon Chill Mattress review, most side sleepers will find it comfortable, but heavier side sleepers may need something more supportive.
If you're on a tighter budget, browsing Cocoon by Sealy promo codes will help you keep some extra cash in your pocket. You'll avail of a 100-night trial plus free delivery and returns, as well as a 10-year warranty to protect your purchase.
- Read more: Cocoon Chill mattress review
Cocoon by Sealy Chill mattress:
from $769 $499 + freebies at Cocoon by Sealy (opens in new tab)
35% off - Memory foam mattresses are known for trapping heat, but not so much the Cocoon by Sealy Chill. With revamped cooling tech from the previous model, along with excellent pressure relief, you'll be getting your money's worth here (and then some). Right now a twin size is down to just $499 (was $769), whereas the queen is on sale for $799 (was $1,239). Plus, you get free pillows and a sheet set with your mattress purchase, a $179 value.
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.
We recently tried the relaxed firm model for our Loom & Leaf mattress review and our lead tester noticed a marked improvement in her lower back pain after three weeks of sleeping on it. The rest of our testing panel was also comfortable regardless of their position or stature. 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 the budget-friendly Sealy or premium Casper models above.
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. Complimentary white-glove delivery is a nice perk, as is a 1-year trial – but you'll have to pay $99 to return it.
- Read more: Loom & Leaf mattress review
Loom & Leaf mattress: $400 off $1,000 at Saatva (opens in new tab)
Exclusive savings - Clicking our exclusive savings link will net you $400 off Saatva's luxury foam mattress. That brings a twin to $695 (was $1,095) and a queen to $1,795 (was $2,195). Superb pressure relief and a reinforced middle-third make it a must-have for anyone who deals with regular aches and pains. Also included are complimentary white-glove delivery, a 1-year trial, and a lifetime warranty. (However, return shipping costs $99.)
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. Many find that traditional sprung mattresses provide a firmer 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 (opens in new tab), clinic director and founder of NYDN Rehab (opens in new tab) 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?
"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.