Best Mattress for Back Pain

Choosing the best mattress for back pain can be a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for.

With all the choices of mattresses out there, finding the best mattress for back pain can be hard to make the right choice when in some cases you can’t test out the mattress before buying or don’t know how to choose one correctly.

What is the most important criteria for choosing the best mattress for back pain? This guide explains what to look for so that you can ensure to get the proper support and comfort for your back pain needs.

Firmness

Firmness is of optimal importance for back pain sufferers.  Having a firm mattress will tend to balance you on the top of the sleeping surface, as opposed to sinking in the mattress which provides deeper body hug and contouring but can worsen back pain.

The best mattress for back pain will provide the ideal level of firmness needed to reduce pain or at least not create new pain during sleep. 

Most people with back pain prefer a mattress that is more medium to firm on the firmness scale. This corresponds to around a 6-8 out of 10 on a firmness scale (where 10 is most firm.). This level of firmness provides enough back support but at the same time providing comfort to remove pressure points while you sleep.

Memory foam mattresses are good choices for those suffering back pain, but care needs to be taken to not choose one that is too soft, or this can cause you to sink too far down into the mattress and worsen back pain.

Support

It’s crucial to find a mattress that has good support when you suffer from nightly back pain caused by an improper mattress.  Support and firmness are not the same, and you can have a soft mattress that has great support.  At the same time, a firm mattress can also not be so supportive. 

Support comes from a mattress that keeps your spine in alignment while also remaining comfortable.   If you aren’t comfortable and have pressure points on your back or spine, you are most likely going to experience pain and discomfort as you sleep.

Breathing & Airflow

When your back is properly supported, air can flow freely into your lungs, reducing snoring and potentially minimizing the effects of other breathing related sleep conditions that plague many sleepers.

The proper mattress that supports you and has adequate firmness can assist you with this, as will one with good cooling and airflow management.  The best mattress for back pain will be able to provide all of these features to help prevent and improve your symptoms.

By improving your airflow management you’ll also improve overall oxygenation of the body.

This results in better internal temperature regulation, which will help reduce the sensation of sleeping hot during the night.   This also helps reduce back and spinal pain by improving blood flow within your body.

Certain fabrics and materials have also been shown to improve oxygenation, most notably, Celliant fibers (which are used in a handful of mattress covers, including several by Bear and Bioposture). In addition, the use of copper infused foam is another feature that can aid in alleviating back pain as well, which the Layla uses as well. 

Adjustable Foundations

Elevating the head and foot of your mattress can help relieve pressure points along your back, which and adjustable foundation can provide you, as they can conform to a variety of sleeping positions.  

In addition, elevating parts of your body can increase blood flow and ease breathing and reduce snoring.  This can result in reduced back pain, better sleep, and better temperature regulation. 

The downside of adjustable foundations is the cost primarily. These start at around $7-900 and can go as high as $3000 or more.  Therefore, you may want to balance your budget with how important elevating your head and feet are to your sleeping.

Despite the negatives of price and aesthetics, an adjustable foundation can be one of the best investments to your sleep and health you can make and make sure that your back pain will be less when sleeping on the best mattress for you. 

Best Mattress for Back Pain Summary

We recommend that those suffering from back pain choose a mattress that:   

  • Provides great support
  • Has a medium to medium firm feel (6-8 out of 10 on the firmness scale)
  • Has a slight to moderate body contour and hug
  • Has a good to exceptional level of deep compression support;
  • Sleeps cool in terms of heat retention
  • Will work with an adjustable foundation

Our Picks for the Best Mattresses for Back Pain

Loom and Leaf is a high quality memory foam mattress that has a medical grade gel cooling layer that is very comfortable and comes in both medium and firm options (read our review of the Loom and Leaf here).

The Loom and Leaf mattress provides great support for the lumbar region in all sleeping positions, and the gel cooling layer does a great job at preventing heat buildup.

Loom and Leaf mattress for back pain

Loom and Leaf, Queen size

The Nectar Sleep mattress is another good choice for people suffering from back pain.  This universal comfort model all foam bed is on the firmer end of the spectrum but has a nice soft pillow-top layer with a Tencel covering, which is something usually seen on mattresses costing much more.

The Nectar will adapt to your body over time and the thick foundation provides excellent deep compression support for the lower back and for heavy people as well.  Read our complete Nectar Sleep review here

Nectar is a great mattress for back pain

Nectar mattress, queen size

The Layla Sleep mattress comes in 2 different firmness options depending on your preference by means of flipping it over for either a medium firmness or firm option and is another great mattress for back pain (read our review of the Layla mattress here)

The Layla also utilizes copper that is infused in the top cover which helps it sleep cool and promote blood circulation.  The Layla is especially good for individuals that like a firmer or softer mattress to support their spine and don’t want to take a chance on a universal comfort firmness option.

Layla copper infused mattress for lower back pain

Layla mattress, queen size

The Zotto mattress is another great choice for those suffering from back pain, as it has a nice soft top comfort layer that relieves pressure points while the lower support layers provide very good deep compression support.

The Zotto uses unique ThermoGel construction which aids in keeping the mattress cool and helping promote blood circulation. Read our full Zotto review here

zotto mattress for low back pain

Zotto mattress, queen size