Best Mattress for Back Pain: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Everyone wants the best value when shopping, but finding the best mattress for back pain might even be considered priceless.

Here, we look at academic studies and high volume customer surveys to discuss the connection between sleeping surfaces and the alleviation of back pain.

As back problems prove highly personal, you might want to discuss your specific issues with a medical professional first.

Best Mattress for Back Pain: 30-Second Summary

  • Amerisleep AS3 is our recommended mattress to alleviate back pain— built with an even balance of comfort and support, the AS3 is comfortable for most sleeping positions and is equipped with HIVE® technology to promote better sleep.
  • Zoma Mattress is another great bed for back pain. Featuring gel-infused memory foam and Triangulex™ technology, Zoma offers healthy support and cushioning comfort for your spine.
  • Amerisleep AS2 is another great mattress for back pain. It contains pressure-relieving, plant-based Bio-Pur® and clinically proven support technology to promote proper posture and foster a healthy spine.

In this article, we considered over 15 leading brands, researched dozens of reviews and articles, and spent 15 hours on research, writing, and revision.

The Best Mattresses for Back Pain

 MattressTypePriceSleep Trial
best memory foamAmerisleep AS3Memory Foam$1199100 Nights
best memory foamZoma Sports MattressMemory Foam$750100 Nights
best memory foamAmerisleep AS2Memory Foam$1099100 Nights

1. Amerisleep AS3

as3 best mattress for back painWe recommend Amerisleep’s AS3 mattress for back pain relief. The Amerisleep AS3 is built for medium firmness, so it offers an even balance of comfort and support. The AS3 is especially comfortable for side sleepers because it has 3 inches of pressure-relieving Bio-Pur® foam to allow for adequate cushioning under your shoulders and hips.

When you lay on the AS3, the Bio-Pur® comfort layer contours to your body to alleviate pains and distribute your weight evenly. Because it’s 3 inches thick, it allows for adequate pressure-relief under major joints such as your shoulders and hips. HIVE® technology reinforces the Bio-Pur® foam to further promote proper spinal alignment and pain relief. HIVE®, as we mentioned with the AS2, is a zoned support layer in place to facilitate a neutral posture and prevent discomfort. HIVE® offers extra comfort under your shoulders and hips while supporting your midsection, head, and feet.

Side sleepers are prone to lower back pain, so it’s important to find a bed with a good balance of comfort and support, which is why we recommend the AS3. However, the AS3 can also be good for back sleepers who prefer a softer mattress. Amerisleep’s AS3 comes with a 100-night sleep trial, allowing you to try your new bed at home and assess whether or not it’s the right fit. Plus, the AS3 is also backed by a 20-year warranty.

2. Zoma Mattress

zoma mattressNext on our list is the Zoma Mattress, a memory foam mattress for athletes. Even though it’s engineered for athletes, we recommend the Zoma to those with back pain because it contains pain-relieving Triangulex™ technology to nurture a healthy spine.

Zoma is designed to facilitate deeper sleep and faster muscle recovery to leave you feeling refreshed every morning.

Zoma has a medium firmness and offers an even balance of comfort and support. While it’s a comfortable option for side and back sleepers, Zoma isn’t firm enough to properly support stomach sleeping.

This leads us to mention, lower back pain is more common amongst stomach sleepers than any other sleeping position. Stomach sleeping alone can lead to chronic discomfort because it puts extra stress on your spine. To get the most pain-free sleep, we recommend switching to side or back sleeping as it is a lot easier on your back.

Zoma has only three layers: a layer of gel-infused memory foam with Triangulex™ technology, responsive Reactiv™, and a base of Support+ foam.

When you lay down on Zoma, the top layer of contouring memory foam molds to your curves and offers immediate comfort. The gel within the foam combats body heat to keep you at a comfortable temperature.

Triangulex™ technology offers your back dynamic support. Under your midsection, Triangulex™ is firmer to provide extra lumbar support and prevent uncomfortable (and unhealthy) sinkage. Under your shoulders and hips, this technology contains triangle-shaped cutouts allowing for deeper compression and better pressure relief under those major joints. This design keeps your spine in line with the rest of your body while still offering cushioning comfort for pain points.

The second layer of Zoma is proprietary Reactiv™, a latex-like poly-foam. Designed to be more responsive than memory foam, Reactiv™ gives Zoma a bit of bounce. It’s increased responsiveness prevents you from feeling “stuck” in the mattress and makes it easier to climb in or out of bed.

Last but not least, Support+ foam at the base of the mattress reinforces the two layers above and prevents sagging.

Zoma backs their mattress with a 10-year warranty. Plus, every Zoma comes with a 100-night sleep trial.

3. Amerisleep AS2

Another great mattress for back pain is Amerisleep’s AS2. We aren’t the only ones who suggest it, either— Business Insider recently voted it as their top mattress for a bad back, too.

Let’s touch on why the AS2 is excellent at pain relief. For starters, it has a medium-firm feel. Sleep specialists agree firmer beds are ideal for helping to maintain a healthy spine and minimize aches and pains.

Next, the top layer is 2 inches of their Bio-Pur® foam, which molds to your body and provides instant pressure relief for your muscles and joints. However, their most pain-relieving technology— HIVE®— lies below the layer of memory foam.

HIVE® is a foam layer with hexagonal-shaped cut-outs. These are placed strategically throughout in five separate comfort and support zones to nurture your spine’s natural curvature and offer you healthy body support. HIVE® is one of the only technologies, as far as we know, that has been clinically proven to reduce pressure points up to 49%.

Just like the AS3, the Amerisleep AS2 comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.

4. Bear

bear mattress Bear mattresses are designed to help athletes get more reparative sleep, so they can recover quicker and perform better. Knowing that, it’s safe to say these beds are great at supporting your body, relieving muscle soreness, and eliminating aches and pains.

The Bear mattress contains only three layers. They use Celliant® fabric and graphite-infused memory foam to help you get restorative sleep. Celliant® fabric has been FDA-determined to recycle the body heat you emit while you sleep into infrared energy. Infrared energy then penetrates muscles and tissues to increase circulation and help you recover faster.

The design of the Bear bed is simple, the top layer is 1.5 inches of graphite-infused memory foam. This layer molds to your body to relieve tension in your joints and pressure points. The graphite-infused inside helps regulate your temperature, allowing you to sleep more soundly.

Then, we’ve got two 1-inch layers of poly-foam designed to be responsive and keep you lifted in the bed. These layers keep you suspended in the mattress, preventing you from over-extending your spine.

5. Avocado Green

avocado bedOur favorite latex mattress brand for pain relief is Avocado. Not only are these beds comfortable, but they’re eco-friendly, too! If you prefer to shop green, look no further than the Avocado Green.

Avocado uses only four materials in their mattresses: 100% GOLS organic latex, GOTS organic certified cotton and wool, and a pocketed coil system. They also make a Vegan mattress without wool.

Avocado uses 1,414 individually wrapped coils, arranged in five comfort and support zones, to offer their sleepers targeted support. Their coil system offers extra support to your feet, torso, and neck to maintain your body’s natural alignment. Oppositely, these coils have more give under your shoulders and hips to allow them to compress in the mattress.

The latex they use as the top layer of their mattress is supportive and lifting too, so it helps you sleep more on top of the bed.

Finding Your Best Mattress for Back Pain

For relief of back pain, the mattress types that rank the highest amongst consumers are memory foam and high-quality latex. These mattresses function the best to limit sagging and loss of back support, especially when constructed of quality materials and foams.

Owner Satisfaction for Bed Types

 Memory FoamLatexInnerspring
Owner Satisfaction81%80%64%
Back Pain ReliefGoodGoodFair
SupportGoodGoodGood
ConformityExcellentGoodPoor
LongevityGoodGoodPoor
DurabilityGoodGoodPoor
AvailabilityExcellentPoorExcellent
AffordabilityFairFairGood
*Data from Sleep Like The Dead research

Types of Mattresses

Memory Foam

High-quality memory foam makes the best mattress for back pain based on reviews. The material also helps properly support healthy sleep styles. It conforms to the sleeper’s shape allowing wider parts of the body, such as hips and shoulders, to sink and be supported. On the other hand, lighter areas, such as the waist and neck, lay atop the foam. Memory foam cradles the body’s curves while supporting the back’s muscular and bony structures, allowing it to relax.

Other key benefits to investing in a good quality memory foam mattress include comfort, breathability, and longevity. Quality memory foams are hypoallergenic. Low-VOC or plant-based memory foams drastically reduce chemical exposure.

Latex Foam

Latex beds prove similar to memory foam in terms of benefits. This type of foam has a bit more bounce and responsiveness, which some people prefer. Natural all-latex beds offer a slight durability advantage as well. Excessive firmness was a specific complaint about latex beds. Now, retailers offer extensive customization options in all firmness levels.

Innersprings

Innerspring mattresses have only a 64% consumer satisfaction rating compared to 81% of memory foam owners. Springs may feel stiff and uneven, causing arching of the spine and a lack of support for other body parts. The spine is unable to properly decompress through the night, making back strains and sprains more likely.

Back Pain Basics

Back pain affects millions of people every day, with about 80% of adults suffering from it at some point in their life. It is the number one cause of workplace disability and missed workdays for people under 45. It also remains one of the hardest medical conditions to treat and cure.

Back pain may show up suddenly, or build over the years. It can be acute, lasting only a few days or weeks, or it can be chronic pain, lasting years. Causes include accidents, injuries, poor posture, heavy or incorrect lifting, lack of core strength, occupational strain, prolonged sitting or standing, stress, poor sleep surfaces, pregnancy, or disease. It can appear in many forms, such as a strain, inflammation, pinched nerve or disc problem.

As such, finding the best mattress for back pain means understanding your body, and a little bit about beds, too. Let’s dive in.

Your Spine While You Sleep

zones of the spine
The key to an ergonomically correct sleep is the natural alignment of all three spinal sections.

The spine comprises three gentle curves. The best mattress for back pain takes all of these needs into consideration.

  • The cervical spine at the top supports the head.
  • The central thoracic spine supports the upper body.
  • The lower lumbar spine acts as the back’s foundation.

The key to an ergonomically correct sleep is the natural alignment of all three spinal sections. The best mattress for back pain supports good sleeping posture helps relax muscles, allowing tension to be released.

During sleep, your spine takes a break from supporting your upper body. This allows your vertebrae to release pressure gradually throughout the night.

If you toss and turn throughout the night or rest at an odd angle, your spine doesn’t get a chance to relax and release pressure. This can create or worsen back pain.

The relationship between sleep and back pain is two-fold: poor sleep may worsen back pain, and back pain may make it difficult to sleep. Two-thirds of people chronic back pain sufferers also suffer from sleep disorders.

The Best Mattress for Back Pain: A Look at the Facts

A comfortable and ergonomic mattress eases soreness, reduces pain, prevents new aches, and facilitates better rest.  The most important factors when selecting the best mattress for lower back pain are support, conformability and firmness.

Factor 1: Support

Support is the ability of the mattress to keep the sleeper’s body level. If a mattress is excessively soft or hard, has unresponsive materials or sags, it may create an unnatural sleeping position.

In a survey of 21,000+ mattress owners by Sleep Like The Dead, proper support was reported as a key factor in preventing and alleviating pain. 20% of owners noted excessive softness or sagging was exasperating back pain, making it one of the top consumer complaints.

Sagging occurs when part of the mattress becomes compressed and lowers, usually in the middle. Mattresses have a limited lifespan, and sagging occurs often with older mattresses. Lower quality mattresses tend to sag sooner than well-constructed mattresses.

Factor 2: Conformability

Conformability is the ability of a mattress to conform to the contours of a person’s body, supporting a natural sleeping position.

A lack of conformability refers to gaps in support. When part of the body rests in an unsupported, unnatural, stressed position, pain results. Unequal support causes larger body parts, such as hips and shoulders, to feel more pressure through the night, which in turn strains the back. Sleeping with a straight, natural spinal alignment helps relieve pressure associated with lower back pain.

The best mattress for lower back pain offers good conformability, aligning and supporting the spine while absorbing wider body parts such as hips and shoulders for side sleepers; buttocks and heels for back sleepers; and knees, chest or stomach for front sleepers.

Factor 3: Firmness

Firmness refers to how hard or soft mattress feels. It was long thought that firm mattresses were the best for back pain, however numerous studies and customer surveys have concluded that the best mattress for back pain is medium-firm. A medium-firm mattress provides a good balance between support and conformability while relieving pressure points.

In a randomized, double-blind study conducted of 313 adults with chronic lower low-back pain, patients with medium-firm mattresses reported less pain in bed, upon rising, and throughout the day. After sagging, excessive firmness is a top complaint of mattress consumers.

Soft mattresses may offer good conformability and pressure point relief but might lack the support that would keep the spinal column aligned correctly. Comfort layers ideally offer enough plushness to prevent pressure points, but not to much that your heavier areas sink too far in.

Firm mattresses provide support, but lack conformability. This causes the lumbar region to arch, creating a noticeable space between the lower back and the bed. In side sleepers, firm beds can make the spine arch in a U shape, contributing to back, hip and shoulder pain.

Sleep Position and Reducing Pain

firmness scale
Medium-firm mattresses are still your best bet for easing lower back.

Most people sleep in multiple positions during the night, so medium-firm mattresses are still your best bet for easing lower back pain overall.

Back sleepers tend to prefer medium to firm mattresses. The pressure on their body is already more evenly distributed than with other sleep positions. Back sleepers also require less contouring compared to side sleepers.

Stomach sleepers prefer medium mattresses. Too firm of a mattress puts pressure on the knees and hips, while too soft causes them to sink into the mattress and may hinder breathing. The best mattress for stomach sleepers keeps them afloat on the bed, while reducing pressure points.

Side sleepers prefer medium to soft mattresses because of the pressure points focused at the hips and shoulders. Beds with medium-firm support but thicker soft comfort layers contour around these parts better than a firm or shallow mattress.

People with pre-existing conditions or are healing from sprains may find firmer mattresses more desirable, especially if they are back sleepers.

Price, Durability, and Value

Mattresses do not last forever. Their materials break down, creating lumpy, unsupportive surfaces and eventually losing adequate support. When selecting a mattress for longevity in easing back pain, look for high-quality materials. Compare layer thicknesses and select a firmness that supports your sleep styles and body weight.

Premium, high-priced mattresses often have quality, durability, and warranties that make up for the high-prices, but budget and value also needs to be considered. Inexpensive beds, such as innersprings and cheap memory foam, tend to have poor long-term satisfaction. There are several decent options available in the mid-price range that offers quality, support, and longevity without breaking the bank.

When seeking back pain relief that works for you, look for a mattress with an in-home trial. Many companies, especially online distributors, offer in-home trials of around three months. This allows you to test the bed out over a long time. One thing to note — if you have back pain or it’s been a while since you’ve slept on a good bed, it can take a month or more to adjust.

Have You Found Your Next Bed?

When seeking the best mattress for lower back pain, it is wise to research the best mattress for your lifestyle and invest in a sleeping surface helps ease pain and provide you with a good night’s rest.

Medium-firm memory foam mattresses rank among at the top for back problems in reviews. They offer good support and conformability, which assists spinal alignment and reduces muscle tension, allowing spinal pressure and stress of the day to melt away into the night.

Medium and high-density foams in the support and comfort layers provide durability, so look for these traits. Best of all, quite a few good options exist in the middle price range.

Medical Disclaimer: The information contained on the site should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided here is for informational purposes only.

15 thoughts on “Best Mattress for Back Pain: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide”

  1. Thanks a lot for the blog! My mother has back pain for a very long time. Now, I will be able to select the right mattress for her bed. Keep posting such helpful articles.

  2. We have tried Sleep Number and Jamison Latex mattresses which we do not recommend. There is little support for backs and we end up waking up in the morning with the ‘all crippled up’ feeling. We wore out a mattress that was a Simmons and it was very comfortable. We are shopping for a medium firm mattress that keeps us cool but no made of air, memory foam, or latex. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Janis,

      Thank you for reaching out! We’re sorry to hear about the discomfort you’ve been dealing with— but if you had luck with Simmons in the past, we believe their Beautyrest Platinum line could be a good fit for you. On their website, they mention their Beautyrest Platinum beds are designed to regulate your temperature while you sleep, which should help keep you cool. Plus, all of their beds in this line are innerspring. Their beds get great reviews and are available in a variety of firmnesses, so you should be able to find one that feels just right for you.

      I hope this helps! Please feel free to reach back out with any other questions.

  3. NOEL ANN LA PORTE

    LOOKING FOR A MED./FIRM MATTRESS WITH BOX SPRING ,NO FOAM OR GEL OR LATEX. WANT TO BE ABLE TO FLIP MATTRESS OVER AT A REASONABLE PRICE.

    1. Jennifer N Renner

      We bought one a few years ago and so did both set of my parents. ALL of us have gotten rid of them for memory foam mattresses because the sleep numbers, no matter which one you get are just glorified air mattresses. I do NOT recommend them at all! Btw we are all of varying sizes as well, from 120 pounds all the way up to 360 pounds so, again just glorified and extremely expensive air mattresses.

    1. Melissa Wilson

      I bought and returned one. You won’t get hot spots, but I found I sagged and rolled into my partner. Also, no cooler than others. I’d avoid.

  4. Thank you so much for the information. I have very severe back problems. The reviews and brand info is extremely helpful.

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