The Best Mattresses for Back Pain of 2023

Ease your back and muscles to sleep with a mattress that relieves pain and keeps the spine aligned.

Best Overall

The Best Mattress for Back Pain Option: Saatva Classic Mattress

Saatva Classic Mattress

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The Best Mattresses for Back Pain Option: Lucid 10-Inch Latex Hybrid Mattress

Lucid 10-Inch Latex Hybrid Mattress

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Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Mattresses for Back Pain Option: Linenspa Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress

Linenspa Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress

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The average person spends 7 to 9 hours each night lying in bed, so investing in a good mattress plays a huge role in sleep and overall health for years to come. If you suffer from back pain, it’s essential to find the right mattress.

The best mattress for back pain is one that supports the spine while relieving pressure so you can get comfortable. Some also have cooling properties, come in multiple sizes, and include trial periods so you can make sure you’ve gotten the right model. Read on for some of our top picks and important considerations to keep in mind while you shop.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Saatva Classic Mattress
  2. RUNNER-UP: Lucid 10-Inch Latex Hybrid Mattress
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Linenspa Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress
  4. UPGRADE PICK: The WinkBed
  5. BEST PRESSURE RELIEF: Layla Copper-Infused Memory Foam Mattress
  6. BEST SPINAL ALIGNMENT: Casper Sleep Original Foam Mattress
  7. BEST FOR SIDE SLEEPERS: Helix Midnight Luxe
  9. BEST FOR BELLY SLEEPERS: Layla Hybrid Mattress
  10. BEST FOR HOT SLEEPERS: Purple RestorePlus Hybrid Mattress
  11. BEST FIRM MATTRESS: Zinus Green Tea Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress
  12. BEST FOR COUPLES: Purple Mattress
  13. BEST MATTRESS TOPPER: Tempur-Pedic Supreme 3-Inch Mattress Topper
  14. MOST INNOVATIVE: Nolah Signature 12-Inch Mattress
The best mattress for back pain option set up in a contemporary bedroom

How We Chose the Best Mattresses for Back Pain

Mattresses are a major purchase that often comes down to personal preferences as to which type and model work best. However, there were certain considerations we used to narrow down our list to mattresses that address back pain.

Back support or lumbar support can come under different names and technologies. Lumbar-support bars and coils, zoned coils and foams, and shaped foams through the lower back are all technologies that address the support needs of the spine. High-density foams, well-made coils, and cooling covers are among the materials we look for. Some of the less expensive models and the budget mattress on our list are exceptions because not everyone has the budget for a $1,000 mattress. However, everyone deserves to sleep without back pain.

While cooling technology doesn’t affect the mattress’s ability to provide back pain relief, it can affect the sleeper’s ability to get comfortable. We considered cooling technology, especially when looking at all-foam mattresses. Additionally, not all mattresses come in different firmness options. We preferred models that come in several firmness and height options to give buyers more comfort choices based on their size, weight, and comfort preferences.

Our Top Picks

The best bed for back pain supports the back, conforms to different body positions, and keeps the body cool. Many mattress companies also offer excellent sleep trials and warranties to protect a buyer’s investment. These and other factors have led to the following recommendations.

Best Overall

Saatva Classic Mattress

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The combination of coil-on-coil support with a memory foam comfort layer and the extra cushioning of a Euro top creates a supportive and comfortable mattress. The Saatva classic mattress has extra lumbar support through dual layers of wired and memory foam. A dense foam and “Active Spinal Wire” enhance lower back support.

Like many memory foam mattresses, this top pick is a mix of cushioning and pressure relief that prevents the hips and lower back from sinking too deeply into the top layers. The coils within the hybrid mattress are designed to minimize motion transfer for those who change sleeping positions often or sleep with someone who does. The coil units also improve the mattress’s breathability for some cooling effects.

Saatva offers this model in three firmness levels: plush soft, luxury firm, and firm. Those options give this mattress the potential to work for a wide variety of sleep positions and comfort preferences. These memory foam mattresses also come in 11.5-inch and 14.5-inch height options to better fit different bed frames. Saatva offers a 365-night home trial and lifetime warranty.

Product Specs

  • Type: Innerspring
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king, split California king (not available in 14.5 inches)
  • Height: 11.5 or 14.5 inches


  • Coil-on-coil design adapts to the body’s curves, no matter the sleep position
  • Spinal wire and high-density foam lumbar support
  • Enhanced breathability thanks to the coil-on-coil design
  • 3 firmness levels include plush soft, luxury firm, and firm


  • Luxury firm mattress option may be too firm for side sleepers
  • Some users report ample motion transfer depending upon the firmness chosen

Get the Saatva mattress for back pain at Saatva.


Lucid 10-Inch Latex Hybrid Mattress

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In the Lucid 10-inch latex hybrid mattress, coils provide support while memory foam and latex relieve pressure. With the latex layer on top of the memory foam, active sleepers are less likely to feel stuck in the memory foam. The combination of foam and coils allows sleepers to get comfortable in many sleep positions.

The foams work well for side sleepers, while stomach and back sleepers get extra support from the coils. Its latex layer improves breathability for cooling, and the foam has hypoallergenic properties. This mattress for back pain comes in two heights: 10 inches or 12 inches. Keep in mind that the shorter model is slightly firmer than the 12-inch model. The Lucid includes a 100-day sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. It doesn’t have zoned support or extra cushioning, but this model is easy on the wallet.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Height: 10 or 12 inches


  • Excellent support and cushioning; suitable for all sleep positions and for couples
  • 2 height options; comes in 10- or 12-inch thicknesses for the right amount of support
  • Affordable compared to other models on the market


  • Breaks down faster than more expensive models
  • Some users have reported that this mattress becomes uncomfortable after 3 years of use

Get the Lucid mattress for back pain at Amazon or Lucid Mattress (12-inch).

Best Bang for the Buck

Linenspa Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress

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Linenspa’s memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress provides hybrid comfort at an affordable price. There are three heights available: 8, 10, and 12 inches. With this model, the thinner the mattress, the firmer it feels. For those who like to sink into the mattress and need extra pressure relief, the 12-inch model’s thicker top layer offers more cushioning. Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, might prefer the firmer 8-inch model.

In all three models, an innerspring layer provides the overall structure and support, while the top memory foam layer provides pressure relief. The inner springs also enhance airflow and breathability to reduce overheating. Linenspa does not offer a sleep trial, but it does include a 10-year warranty.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, short queen, king, California king
  • Height: 8, 10, or 12 inches


  • Highly affordable hybrid mattress compared to other products available
  • Different heights provide several firmness levels and support; ideal for couples
  • Cooling innersprings prevent heat pockets; ideal for hot sleepers


  • Lacks support for side sleepers
  • No sleep trial included

Get the Linenspa hybrid mattress for back pain at Amazon or Linenspa.

Upgrade Pick

The WinkBed

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The WinkBed falls between an innerspring and a true hybrid mattress because it has quilted cool-gel memory foam in the Euro pillow top. The foam lets the hips and shoulders sink into the bed, yet a layer of microcoils underneath keeps the cushy top layer responsive. (All foams are eco-friendly.) Heat-dispersing technology wicks heat away from a sleeper’s body.

This model’s support comes from a pocketed coil core with seven support zones, each with more or less flexion based on the body’s needs. These zones relieve high-pressure points but provide the kind of support that keeps the spine in a neutral position through different sleep positions. It also comes in four firmness levels, including “plus” for larger people. The WinkBed includes a 120-day sleep trial and lifetime warranty.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Height: 13.5 inches


  • 7 support zones in the pocketed coil layer allow for ample support and limited movement transfer
  • Memory foam cushioning keeps users asleep regardless of their position
  • Excellent breathability and cooling; ideal for hot sleepers and couples
  • 4 firmness levels, including “plus” for excellent versatility


  • Expensive compared to other options currently available

Get The WinkBed hybrid mattress for back pain at WinkBeds.

Best Pressure Relief

Layla Copper-Infused Memory Foam Mattress

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The Layla copper-infused memory foam mattress has four layers of pressure-relieving foam that do more than conform to the pressure points in the shoulders and hips. They’re arranged in an order that allows sleepers to flip the mattress to find either a firm feel or a soft, plush feel.

The soft side’s top layer is infused with copper to conduct heat away from the body and resist bacteria buildup. The foam offers variable support to relieve high-pressure points. Deep channels and zoned surface modifications in the transition layer add breathability and provide the back support needed to reduce pain. This mattress for back pain works well for those who aren’t sure of their preferred firmness. The Layla is easy to flip if the soft side is too plush, offering firmer yet pressure-relieving support. This model includes a 120-day sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.

Product Specs

  • Type: Memory foam
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Height: 10.5 inches


  • Flippable design offers 2 firmness options for excellent versatility
  • Cooling technology works well for hot sleepers and couples
  • Memory foam layers contour to the body to better relieve pressure


  • Soft side can lose support relatively quickly

Get the Layla memory foam mattress for back pain at Amazon or Layla Sleep.

Best Spinal Alignment

Casper Sleep Original Foam Mattress

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The Casper Sleep original foam mattress combines a contouring memory foam top layer with a zoned transition layer. The transition layer provides firmer support through the lower back to maintain a neutral spine position. It’s this support layer that prevents the lower back from sinking too deeply into the mattress while still cushioning the pressure points in the shoulders and hips.

Air channels through the top layer, which Casper calls Airscape, let heat escape to cut down on heat buildup. This model comes in an all-foam or hybrid model. The hybrid has extra responsiveness from the pocketed coils and a firmer feel. It should also be cooler thanks to the airflow around the coils. A word of caution: This mattress for back pain is on the softer side, which doesn’t work as well for stomach sleepers. The Casper includes a 100-night sleep trial with a 10-year warranty.

Product Specs

  • Type: Foam
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Height: 11 inches


  • Zoned transition layer cushions shoulders and hips and supports lower back
  • Affordable price point compared to other mattresses on the market
  • Cooling top layer improves breathability; ideal for hot sleepers and couples


  • Can be too soft for stomach sleepers

Get the Casper mattress for back pain at Amazon or Casper.

Best for Side Sleepers

Helix Midnight Luxe

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The Helix Midnight Luxe has a Tencel cover that adds breathability to its soft pillow top by wicking away moisture. A top layer of memory foam offers the first hint at pressure relief, contouring to the body’s pressure points as the hips and shoulders sink into a polyfoam transition layer.

Side sleepers then get extra relief from a breathable layer of pocketed coils. Those coils are arranged in zones for more flex through the shoulders and hips and less through the lower back. The zoned design allows side sleepers to achieve a good fit to the curves around their waist and hips.

The design and quality of this mattress create an excellent (and comfortable) mix of support and contouring. Thanks to the pocketed coils, air circulation stays high to reduce overheating. Reinforced coils at the perimeter also prevent breakdown and make it comfortable to sit on the edge of the mattress. Helix offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Available sizes: Twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Height: 13.5 inches (though height can vary by up to 1 inch because of handmade materials)


  • Deep cushioning of the memory foam layers provide excellent support for backs and hips
  • Temperature control and breathability enhanced by Tencel cover and pocketed coils
  • Zoned coil support relieves pressure through the shoulders and hips


  • Expensive compared to some other mattresses currently available

Get the Helix mattress for back pain at Helix Sleep.

Best for Back Sleepers

GhostBed Flex

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The medium-firm GhostBed Flex brings together contouring and cushioning with cooling technology that relieves pressure and helps back sleepers maintain a neutral spine. The cover consists of cooling fibers woven into the fabric to enhance breathability. Back sleepers then get contouring from two layers of memory foam and the “Ghost Bounce Layer,” which boost the responsiveness of the upper memory foam layers. It also keeps sleepers from sinking too deeply into the mattress, though it does have more of an “in-the-bed” than “on-the-bed” feel.

Pocketed coils of the final layer contour and support the body as sleep positions change throughout the night. The coils on this medium-firm mattress are reinforced around the edge, so sleepers can position themselves close to the edge without falling off. GhostBed includes a 101-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
  • Height: 13 inches


  • 4 contouring foam layers keep the user comfortable while reducing motion transfer
  • Pocketed coils provide adequate support, especially around the edges
  • Bounce layer adds responsiveness while isolating motion


  • Stomach sleepers may sink too deeply into the top layers

Get the GhostBed mattress for back pain at GhostBed or Amazon.

Best For Belly Sleepers

Layla Hybrid Mattress

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Stomach sleepers, rejoice. This flippable and versatile mattress comes with two firmness levels: one side is firm and the other soft, making it an ideal choice for any sleep position. Layla accomplishes this by sandwiching the coil springs in the middle of the mattress and adjusting the thicknesses of the foam layers on each side of the springs

Layla has also solved edge-support issues by increasing the coil springs on all four sides. Plus, this five-layer Layla mattress also does an excellent job of isolating movement, regardless of which side it’s flipped to, making it ideal for couples.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king
  • Height: 13 inches


  • Flippable design provides 2 firmness options; ample versatility packed into 1 mattress
  • Firm side prevents hips from sinking into the mattress; perfect for side or stomach sleepers
  • Excellent edge support keeps the sleeper in place and comfortable


  • Subpar temperature control; may not be ideal for hot sleepers

Get the Layla hybrid mattress for back pain at Layla.

Best For Hot Sleepers

Purple RestorePlus Hybrid Mattress

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Purple mattresses, including the Purple hybrid model, contain a unique GelFlex Grid made of an elastic polymer that relieves pressure and keeps sleepers cool. In many respects, the grid feels like foam but has top-notch breathability due to its open, columnar structure. A pocketed coil support layer further moves heat away from the body. This mattress is cool enough that some sleepers get a little too cool in the colder seasons.

The RestorePlus comes in two support levels—3 inches and 4 inches—based on the height of the grid. The more grid in the mattress, the more contouring the sleeper gets. However, Purple mattresses have a different feel that requires some getting used to. Purple offers a 100-night sleep trial with a 10-year warranty.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Available sizes: Twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
  • Height: 13 inches


  • Columnar structure of the grid enhances breathability to promote cooling
  • Responsiveness of elastic polymer grid and pocketed coils
  • 2 support levels offered for excellent versatility and convenience


  • Requires an adjustment period before the sleeper becomes accustomed to the bed

Get the Purple RestorePlus mattress for back pain at Purple.

Best Firm Mattress

Zinus Green Tea Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress

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The Zinus Green Tea cooling gel memory foam mattress has an infusion of green tea and charcoal to neutralize odors. While the scientific proof of these odor-neutralizing additives isn’t proven, we’re more interested in the feel and contouring of this mattress. A cooling top layer and contouring transition layer gently cradle the curves of the shoulders and hips. The resulting firmness works well for back and stomach sleepers.

The 12-inch model provides extra cushioning, but this Zinus model comes in four heights—6 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches—so sleepers can find a feel and firmness that works for them. The Zinus is made of less dense foams than some memory foam mattresses, which reduces its longevity. However, the Zinus comes at an affordable price with a 100-day sleep trial and a 10-year warranty that’s hard to pass by.

Product Specs

  • Type: Memory foam
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, short queen, king, California king
  • Height: 6 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches


  • 4 height and cushioning options for ample versatility and reliability
  • Comfortable firmness for back and stomach sleepers; prevents motion transfer
  • Cooling top layer prevents hot zones; ideal for hot sleepers and couples


  • Low-density foam breaks down faster

Get the Zinus gel memory foam mattress for back pain at Amazon or Zinus.

Best For Couples

Purple Mattress

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The Purple mattress is a foam mattress with a distinctive and rare GelFlex Grid. Made with proprietary polymer, this special grid has a repeating hollow-square structure engineered to form to each person, flexing to a given user’s body without sagging or warping. The grid design is exceptionally breathable as well since the open spaces allow for frequent airflow, reducing heat transfer between sleep partners.

The 2-inch GelFlex Grid sits on top of two layers of foam, which creates a sturdy base for this mattress. A firm supportive layer and a cushioning transition layer give this mattress a medium-firm feel, which helps with hip and lumbar pain. We reviewed the Purple mattress and found it very comfortable, both in terms of support and temperature regulation.

What our tester says: Beth Cranston, Bob Vila editor and product tester, notes, “Its durable, breathable design makes for a comfortable sleep night after night. Not only does it provide a cool sleep, but it offers the same level of support each night. No mattress rotating or flipping is necessary to counteract the dreaded sagging of an innerspring mattress.”

Read our full review: Purple Mattress

Product Specs

  • Type: Foam
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, and California king
  • Height: 9.25 inches


  • Unique GelFlex Grid layer isn’t found in any other mattress on the market; provides a medium-firm mattress feel
  • The grid has a very responsive feel that flexes but doesn’t sink; should produce little movement transfer
  • Very breathable since the grid design allows for many small air channels; won’t heat up with 2 people in the bed


  • It takes a bit of getting used to due to the untraditional feel of the grid layer

Get the Purple mattress for back pain at Amazon or Purple.

Best Mattress Topper

Tempur-Pedic Supreme 3-Inch Mattress Topper

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is one of the top brands when it comes to memory foam mattresses. If a full memory foam mattress is out of your budget, consider getting a 3-inch topper made from the same pressure-relieving Tempur material found in the brand’s mattresses. This medium-firmness memory foam topper conforms to the body to deliver more restful sleep.

Originally formulated by NASA, Tempur is one of the highest-quality foams available. Tempur-Pedic has continued to develop the formula to create a more comfortable sleep surface. Tempur foam is higher in density, making it very durable. However, more mass means more heat retention, which can be a problem for some warm sleepers.

The Tempur-Pedic Supreme is costly, but it’s a good pick for someone who needs extra back support and is looking for a cost-effective alternative to buying a high-end mattress. Tempur-Pedic mattress toppers also come with a washable polyester-blend hypoallergenic cover.

Product Specs

  • Type: Tempur foam
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king
  • Height: 3 inches


  • Comes with a washable cover for easy maintenance and cleaning
  • Medium firmness works for most sleep styles; ideal for those with lumbar issues
  • Dense foam offers more support and durability for long-term use
  • Affordable compared to other mattress options on the market


  • Some users have reported tearing after running it through the washing machine

Get the Tempur-Pedic mattress topper for back pain at Amazon or Tempur-Pedic.

Most Innovative

Nolah Signature 12-Inch Mattress

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The soft side of the Nolah Signature 12-inch mattress contains a unique, extra-thick AirFoam top layer that pulls double duty. First, its construction allows air to circulate and reduce overheating. Second, it contours to the body while responding to movement, so sleepers don’t feel stuck. The responsiveness is enhanced with a latexlike transition layer that gives the mattress some bounce.

If the soft side evokes the sensation of sleeping in the mattress rather than on it, sleepers can flip the Nolah to the firm side. Here, the cooling AirFoam appears as a thinner layer over the same high-density support core as the soft side. This mattress offers quality and two firmness options for those who aren’t sure what kind of mattress they prefer. The Nolah also includes a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.

Product Specs

  • Type: Foam
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
  • Height: 12 inches, except for split king at 10 inches


  • 5-layer construction provides high-quality foams for both sides
  • AirFoam cools and contours to the body
  • Provides enough cushioning and contouring for side sleepers


  • Not dense enough for larger people

Get the Nolah mattress for back pain at Nolah.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Mattress for Back Pain

A mattress is a highly personal purchase, and what feels good to one person doesn’t necessarily feel good to another. You’ll want to consider your preferred sleep position, mattress type and materials, and firmness and density when making a choice.

Types of Mattresses for Back Pain

The best mattresses for back pain promote healthy spine alignment. Traditionally, innerspring mattresses, with their stiffer support, have been the most popular. However, all-foam, latex, and hybrid models provide unique features that adapt to various body shapes and sleep styles. Different types of mattresses have characteristics that could make them a better choice for you based on your size, weight, or personal preferences.


Innerspring mattresses contain coils that flex to support the body. There are four common types: Bonnell, offset coils, continuous coils, and pocketed coils. Bonnell coils have a distinct hourglass shape and are often interconnected for greater strength. They’re bouncy and less durable than other types of coils. Offset coils look similar to Bonnell but have a square- or hexagon-shaped head that better adapts to the body’s curves.

A mattress with continuous coils has circular-shaped coils throughout the mattress that provide strength and durability. However, these coils can transfer motion across the mattress, making for a noisy, bouncy bed. The most popular innerspring mattresses today have pocketed coils that are individually encased in fabric. They move independently of one another, so they adapt to the body better than other coil types without transferring too much motion.

Innerspring mattresses allow air to circulate, so they sleep cooler than foam and create a more responsive bed. They work well for back and stomach sleepers who tend to prefer firmer support. Side sleepers, especially those with back pain, might not get the pressure relief they need from an innerspring model.


Hybrid mattresses combine foam and latex comfort and transition layers that conform to the body’s shape with one or two innerspring support layers that add responsiveness and breathability. Hybrids have become top mattresses for back pain because they mix pressure relief with firmer coil support. They’re also popular because couples with different mattress preferences can often find a happy compromise. These models are softer than innerspring mattresses but still respond well to movement and provide stiffer support for the back.

Side sleepers get pressure relief from the foam or latex through the shoulder and hips, while back sleepers benefit from the firmer support from the coils. Stomach sleepers might prefer a hybrid with thinner comfort and transition layers to take advantage of the coils’ support.


Latex mattresses provide excellent pressure relief in the shoulders, hips, and lower back. They don’t conform as closely to the body as memory or polyurethane foam, but they have a springier, more responsive feel. At the same time, latex prevents some motion transfer between sleepers.

The latex foam used in mattresses can be natural or synthetic. Natural latex goes through one of two manufacturing processes to become either dense Dunlop or springy Talalay latex. Dunlop latex’s dense structure means it’s typically used in a mattress’s support layer. Talalay latex has a lighter, springier feel than Dunlop, which means it’s almost always in the mattress’s comfort or transition layers. Synthetic latex costs much less than the natural variety and feels similar, but it’s not nearly as durable.

Latex mattresses are a good choice for side sleepers who need extra pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. Back sleepers might need a firmer latex mattress or a hybrid with latex comfort layers. Stomach sleepers are the only ones who might not get adequate back support with this type of mattress.


Polyurethane and memory foam conform closely to the body. If the foam is soft enough, the body almost sinks into it for excellent pressure relief. However, some foams aren’t responsive to movement, making users feel stuck in the indentation of their own body. Foams can also trap body heat.

Gel-infused mattresses are a subtype of foam mattresses. Because foam can trap body heat, some manufacturers infuse the foam with cooling gel. Gels absorb heat, pulling it away from the body.

Side sleepers might prefer the pressure relief of foam. It also can work well for back sleepers, but they may need a firm mattress for back pain. Foam might not provide enough support for stomach sleepers, whose lower back and hips might sink into the mattress.

Sleeping Position

The three main sleeping positions are back, stomach, and side. Everyone has a position they prefer, but most people change positions several times throughout the night. When possible, the mattress should help keep the spine aligned in a neutral position while you’re in your dominant sleep position.

Back sleepers need support at the waist and pressure relief through the shoulders. They usually can sleep on almost any mattress type as long as it meets personal firmness and cushioning preferences.

Side sleepers put the body’s curves into the mattress’s surface, which means they need excellent pressure relief to maintain a neutral spine position. Foam, latex, and hybrids offer some of the best beds for back pain because they relieve pressure by giving and adapting under high and low pressure. They may also benefit from a mattress topper to provide additional cushioning.

Stomach sleepers typically prefer a medium to medium-firm mattress for back pain to prevent the hips from sinking into the mattress. Firmer innerspring and hybrids work well for stomach sleepers.

Mattress Type and Materials

Innerspring mattresses are supportive and respond quickly to movement. They’re generally a good choice for back and stomach sleepers who need firmer support. Foam and latex mattresses work well for side sleepers because of the materials’ ability to relieve pressure and conform to the body as it moves. Hybrids balance support with pressure relief, working well for many people with back pain no matter their sleep position.

Density and Firmness

Mattresses are made in five firmnesses: soft, medium soft, medium, medium firm, and firm. Larger people tend to need a firmer mattress to support their body weight. Sleep position also influences which firmness feels the most comfortable. Soft and medium-soft mattresses work well for side sleepers, while back sleepers might be more comfortable on a medium to medium-firm mattress.

Foam density influences firmness, but it’s a better indicator of the foam’s durability. High-density foams resist breakdown for longer than low-density foams. Keep in mind that density doesn’t necessarily equate with firmness. A dense foam can be relatively soft and vice versa. If you want a mattress that lasts, look for high-quality, high-density foams.

Zoned Support 

Some mattresses have zoned support that varies throughout the mattress to correspond to different parts of the body. For example, there’s less or softer support through the shoulders and hips to relieve pressure. Firmer support through the neck, lower back, and knees prevents sinkage and keeps the spine neutral. Mattresses can have two, three, five, or even seven support zones to better fit the body.

Pressure Relief 

Uncomfortable pressure in the shoulders, hips, and back can cause morning aches and pains. Foam and latex do an excellent job of targeting high-pressure points. Those who prefer innersprings will find mattresses with pocketed coils to be good beds for back pain because they relieve pressure without transferring too much motion.

Spinal Alignment

For the best spine health, aim to keep the spine in an even, neutral position from the top of the head to the tailbone. Back sleepers will need support at the neck and lower back with pressure relief in the shoulders. Stomach sleepers need support in the hips to prevent bowing in the lower back. Side sleepers need a mix of pressure relief in the shoulders and hips with support at the head, lower back, and knees.

Temperature Regulation 

Innerspring mattresses allow heat and air to circulate away from the body, making them one of the best mattress types for temperature regulation. Both memory foam and latex foam require some kind of aeration features or temperature-regulating technologies like air channels or infusions of gel, copper, or charcoal to move heat away from the body. If you love the feel of foam but get overheated, a hybrid offers a middle-of-the-road solution.

Sleep-Trial Period and Warranty

A sleep-trial period is the time during which you can return the mattress for an exchange or full/partial refund. Most mattress companies offer at least a 30-day trial, with some extending to a full 365 days.

Warranties typically cover defects in materials and construction for anywhere from 5 years to a lifetime. They usually include an indentation policy in case the mattress gets an indentation over a certain depth. Look for policies that cover the smallest indentation possible. Read the fine print to see how to activate and report any warranty issues, too.

The Advantages of Owning a Mattress for Back Pain 

Back pain can keep sufferers awake at night and on edge during the day. A mattress designed to relieve that pain can improve sleep and overall quality of life. These mattresses focus on spinal alignment. A spine that stays in a neutral position allows muscles in the neck and back to relax.

A mattress that relieves back pain also provides pressure relief at sensitive joints, like the hips and shoulders. Too much pressure in these areas can cause unnatural curvature in the spine, compounding back pain. A mattress that contours to the body and lets high-pressure points sink into it takes the pressure off of the back for better relaxation. The biggest advantages you’ll find from these types of mattresses include:

  • Reduced pressure at the shoulders and hips.
  • Zoned support for pressure relief or support based on body physiology.
  • Reduced back pain for better sleep at night and fewer aches and pains during the day.


Mattresses are a big investment and can affect your health for years. Everyone has different preferences and sleep styles, so make sure to factor those into your decision, too.

Q. Which type of mattress is good for a bad back?

Mattresses with zoned support and materials like memory or latex foam that relieve pressure typically perform well. Avoid cheap mattresses made with subpar materials like low-density foam that break down after a relatively short time. Cheap materials can make back pain worse because the mattress quickly becomes misshapen. Even the best affordable mattress for back pain can have high-density foam over decent-quality coils.

Q. Is a memory-foam mattress good for back pain?

Memory foam relieves pressure, so a memory-foam mattress can be the best mattress for back pain relief. However, it should be coupled with materials that support the spine and help maintain a neutral spine position.

Q. What firmness of mattress is good for lower back pain?

Firmness preferences are based largely on body weight and sleep style. However, many people find a medium-firm mattress balances support with cushioning and comfort. Keep in mind that the best mattress for your back pain may be different from that of a friend or even your spouse.

Q. How long do mattresses last? 

Innerspring mattresses typically last 5 to 7 years. High-quality memory foam and hybrids last 6 to 8 years. Natural latex mattresses can last around 10 years. However, the quality of the materials and construction play a significant role in the mattress’s longevity.

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Stacey L. Nash Avatar

Stacey L. Nash

Contributing Writer

Stacey L. Nash has written for since 2020 and more widely for the past 6 years about home products, home decor, and general home improvement. Diving into research is one of her favorite parts of writing, but she especially enjoys hands-on testing to get a feel for how products really function in everyday life.