Top spine surgeon reveals his go-to mattress for back support

A man sits up in bed at night, holding one hand to his lower back because he's experiencing back pain
(Image credit: Getty)

Sleep is important to our general wellbeing, and even if you’re currently pain-free and fit, sleeping on the best mattress for your body is one of the smartest things you can do for your health in the long-run. But for anyone dealing with back pain, comfy sleep can prove elusive. It’s harder to find a position that doesn’t add to your pain, so what you lie on really can make or break your sleep.

If you’re currently on the hunt for a mattress for back pain, or one that promotes better spinal alignment, one of America’s top spine surgeons has revealed his go-to mattress. In a recent interview with MarketWatch, spinal and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo recommended the Cocoon Chill Memory Foam Mattress

When advising how to pick a “proper mattress”, Dr. Okubadejo, who heads up The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, told MarketWatch: “A mattress should hug the curves of your body and fill the gap under your lower back when lying down.” If it’s too firm, it might to be stiff to allow your spine to curve naturally. On the flipside, if you sink into your mattress too much, you could be adding pressure on certain parts of your body.

Chill Memory Foam Mattress |Save up to $540 at Cocoon

Chill Memory Foam Mattress | Save up to $540 at Cocoon
With prices now starting from $499, the Chill is a good value for money mattress that delivers excellent pressure relief. It also comes on a 180-night trial with free US shipping, and is covered by a 10-year warranty.

Back pain can be caused by many different factors, so we’d recommend speaking to your doctor if you’re regularly experiencing pain. It’s common too - according to figures shared by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), over 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time. 

Are mattresses for back pain expensive?

They don't have to be. In fact, when it comes to the best memory foam mattresses, the Cocoon Chill is good value for money, especially when it’s 35% off, making it a superb cheap mattress deal for back support on a budget. The Chill is designed to adapt to the shape of your body, so while you will feel hugged, you shouldn’t feel like you’re being swallowed alive.

We’re not surprised to see the Chill recommended by a spine surgeon either, as this particular mattress in a box sports four support layers. These work together to keep your spine aligned by better supporting your neck and shoulders, reducing your chance of back pain during sleep. When we reviewed the Chill we found it to be comfy and supportive, with excellent levels of pressure relief.

If you want more great recommendations for a mattress for back pain, take a look at the following duo, which includes the stunning Saatva Classic Mattress.

Saatva Classic Mattress| Save $200 at Saatva (from $887)

Saatva Classic Mattress | Save $200 at Saatva (from $887)
When we reviewed the Classic, we found it to be as close to perfect as you can get. It’s an ideal choice if you have back pain because it marries coils and foam to contour to your body and support your spine. Saatva offers free White Glove Delivery on this one, plus a 180-night trial and 15-year warranty.

Casper Wave Mattress| Get 15% off at Casper (from $1,355)

Casper Wave Mattress | Get 15% off at Casper (from $1,355)
The original version of the Wave was endorsed by the ACA, and this updated model doubles down on back support with Casper’s Zoned Support Max tech. In a nutshell, gel pods align your spine naturally, while cradling your waist and lower back. Sleep on it for 100 nights to see if it’s right for you.

For further savings on mattresses, take a look at our round-ups of the latest Saatva mattress sales, plus the biggest Casper mattress sales and deals

Claire Davies
Senior Sleep Editor, Certified Sleep Science Coach

Claire Davies is Tom's Guide's mattress expert and main sleep product tester with over 15 years' product review experience, and she is responsible for all mattress and sleep coverage on the site. A qualified journalist, Sleep Editor and Certified Sleep Science Coach, Claire writes about all things related to sleep, from mattress reviews to the latest sleep techniques and research. Claire has interviewed a wealth of experts, from mattress designers and innovators to neuroscientists and doctors of sleep medicine. Before taking on the role of Sleep Editor, Claire worked as Health & Wellness Editor at Top Ten Reviews, and before that was a Senior Content Editor at T3. Claire is super-passionate about how consistent, good quality sleep can boost our physical and mental wellbeing, and would love to hear from PRs and brands regarding sleep products, services and research that can help our readers sleep better than ever.