Best Mattress For Back Pain

Sleeping on a wrong mattress can eventually lead to back pain or worsen it. A mattress without proper support causes poor posture, strains the muscles and does not support spine alignment. All these can cause back pain and discomfort. This is the main reason why it is crucial to find a comfortable mattress that provides the right kind of support to prevent and reduce back pain while offering comfort for a better sleep experience.

The market is full of back pain mattresses, and the following is a buying guide to help you. Our article also includes the result of research which I’ve done with the help of my college from Center for the Study and Treatment of Pain at NYU, to rank mattresses according to their relation to back pains (take me directly to the results).


Support is the ability of a mattress to keep your body flat on its surface. Poor support mattresses will keep your body on different levels – some higher and some lower. People who have dealt with back pain problems say that support is one of the main things, that will determine the direction your back pain takes. While support can be compromised by excess plushness, it can greatly be undermined by sagging. Most of the people who complain about back pain are sleeping on sagging mattresses.


Sagging is when the middle part of the mattress is compressed and lowers as compared to other parts of the mattress. This compression will put your back in awkward positions, especially if you are a stomach or side sleeper. There are a lot of studies that have indicated the connection between sagging and back pain intensity. Most studies show that people suffer from more back pain, especially when the sagging depth is over 1.5 inches.


Conformability is the ability of a mattress to take the shape of your body to reduce pressure points. When a mattress scores well on conformability, it means it conforms to the body’s contours perfectly. Poor conformability means that the mattress will be too firm, and there will be spaces providing less support to some parts of your body, especially the lower back. The reduced support will lead to a stressed lower back, and this will cause back pain.


The correct firmness of the mattress you are interested in will greatly determine how useful the mattress will be in preventing and reducing back pain. There are three main categories of firmness, and you should choose one according to your preferences and sleeping position:

  • SoftSoft firmness provides plushness and conformability, but may not be the best option to relieve or prevent back pain, because they lack the support that reduces or prevents pain.
  • Medium – This firmness level tends to provide the required support to relieve back pain, enough softness for conformability and reduced pressure points. Medium firmness is, therefore, the best firmness level when it comes to dealing with back pain and sleeping discomfort.
  • Firm – Firm mattresses provide the best support but without conformability, the mattress can be quite uncomfortable because of increased pressure points. Extremely firm mattresses are second to sagging in causing back pain and discomfort.

If you are a side sleeper, you will be good with a medium-soft firmness. Back sleepers prefer medium-firm firmness. Stomach sleepers are better with medium firmness. All these suggestions are distinguished according to user reviews and opinions.


The materials used in making a mattress will determine how supportive or conforming it is. When buying a mattress to address your back pain, it is important that you take a look at the materials used to make the mattress to determine whether it will give you what you need. While a mattress may provide all the required support, conformability and comfort in the early days, it may sag and lose shape and become a major problem within a few months or a year of use.


Durability and materials used in making the mattress go hand in hand. The higher the quality of the materials, the longer the mattress will last. If mattress can last long without sagging or losing shape, then you can be sure that it will not cause or worsen your back pain over time.


Keep in mind that the term ‘‘orthopedic’’ just indicates that the mattress is extra firm and has nothing to do with anything medical. Most people pay a lot of money because the mattress they are interested in is labeled ‘‘orthopedic’’, but we suggest you do not to pay attention to that label at all.

When shopping for a back pain mattress, pay attention to the materials, firmness, support and to your budget, of course. I believe you can get a decent mattress under 1000$ for back pain relief.  Always remember to work with an affordable budget and get the best you can.

Different Types Of Mattresses For Back Pain

The best type of mattress that prevents and alleviates back pain is the one that does not sag, offers proper support structures and enough softness for conformability. The following are some of the mattress types you may want to consider.

  • Air Mattresses: An air mattress is quite effective for people dealing with back pain. When compared to most mattresses, loss of shape and sagging are not major problems with air mattresses. These mattresses allow you to control the firmness to suit personal preferences. You should, however, be careful because air mattresses that do not have a comfort layer will be too firm for people with back pain problems. The support is somewhere between good to excellent, and the conformability is between good and fair.
  • Memory Foam Mattress: While memory foam mattresses can be the best options for people suffering from back pain, problems such as excess softness, loss of support and sagging can cause or worsen back pain. Though this is the case, these problems are not as serious as they are with other mattress types. Memory foam mattresses with high density provide great conformity for comfort and pain relief.
  • Latex MattressesLatex mattresses have been found to be effective in pain relief. They conform to the body shape for comfort.
  • Hybrid MattressesHybrid mattresses, especially those made from combining innerspring and foam mattresses provide conformability and support. Sagging tends to be the main drawback for most models, and this can cause back pain or worsen it.
  • Water MattressWater mattresses are conforming, but they have questionable support. The firmness can be controlled through adding or reducing the water in the mattress. Support remains a major issue for a good number of users.
  • Inner Spring MattressesMost innerspring mattresses will provide great comfort, pain relief, and support initially. These mattresses tend to sag the most, and this can cause or worsen back pain. Conformability is poor for mattresses with minimal layers of comfort and at least fair for mattresses with memory foam or pillow top layers.
  • Futon MattressesWhile most futon mattresses tend to be soft, they provide fair conformability and support, making us believe that they are not a good option for people with back pain.

Comparison Table Of Top Mattresses Based On Our Quality Score

Below are tables of some of the top back pain mattresses in the market that you may want to check. To figure out the best mattresses for back pains here are the things which I’ve done:

I asked our data researcher to get numbers for me, as numbers always speak. On all popular products, we performed searches for the term “pain” in the reviews of several platforms ( reviews from online Mattress Brand stores, Amazon, Walmart, YouTube, and Ebay), gathered all data which was related to pain, both positive and negative ones, and transformed them into the Quality Score ( we’ve similar scores made for mattress protectors and mattresses for pets).

The second thing which we’ve taken into account while making our Quality Score for back pain was the popularity of a particular product. “More is good, but much more is better” as data becomes more accurate. This means that if the product has more reviews than a competitor, it will have advantage according to our formula.

The third thing was the price categories. You may ask why? But it’s obvious when you’re paying more, from the median price, you’re also having a higher expectation from the product.  It’s very easy to give a 5-star rating to a product which you’ve purchased for $100 compared to the one which cost over $1000. That is why I’ve decided to have two top lists in different price segments as presented in tables.

Mattress ModelVerified ReviewsPain ComplaintsPain ReliefOther complaints unrelated to painPrice for QueenOur Calculated Score