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While there are lots of great mattresses out there, there’s no best mattress for everyone. Your height, weight, age, sleeping position, and particular health conditions are factors that will determine what’s most comfortable for you.

Before deciding on a mattress, you may want to test out different styles, like hybrid or all foam, in a store to see what type you prefer. Then, you can start narrowing down brands and looking for particular features. If you choose to buy online, many companies offer home trials.

Read on to get a rundown of basic mattress features to look for, and what the research says about mattress types for back pain. We also provide our five top mattress picks based on consumer reviews, sleep experts, and clinical studies.

Best hybrid mattresses

Best foam mattresses

Healthline Reviews: Nectar Mattress

PriceTypeMaterialsWarranty lengthTrial period
Saatva Classic$1,995 hybrid cotton cover, steel coils, foam lifetime365 days
DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid$1,332hybridcashmere blend cover, steel coils, gel-infused foamlifetime365 days
Puffy Lux$2,849hybridsteel coils, foamlifetime101 days
Nectar Memory Foam$1,099foamcotton/Tencel cover, foamlifetime365 days
Eight Sleep The Pod Pro$2,295foamfoam2 years100 days
Nolah Signature$1,799foamcotton cover, foamlifetime120 days

Here are the criteria we used to select our top mattress picks for back pain:

  • Customer reviews: We looked for mattresses with good reviews, specifically from people with back pain.
  • Options with added support: We made sure to include mattress options that provide added back support. For example, some mattresses are designed with firmer support in the lumbar region.
  • Company policies: As a rule, we only include mattress brands that let you try before you buy — either in stores or through a free trial period.
  • Different options: We wanted to be sure to include options to suit different preferences, so we list both foam and hybrid options.

Read more about how we vet brands and products here.

The right mattress strikes a fine balance between support and comfort. As you shop for a new mattress, you’ll need to consider your preferred sleeping position and body type, along with factors like price point, materials and construction, and sleep trials.

Support will be a key player in a mattress if you have back pain. Regardless of how you sleep, you need a mattress that is firm enough to maintain proper spinal alignment but provides enough cushion for your shoulders, hips and lower back.

Some sleep experts recommend that whatever mattress you select, it’s a good idea to pair it with an adjustable bed base so that you can customize the bed’s position for greater comfort and pain relief.

If you’re a side sleeper, you may find a mattress with a softer top more comfortable, as it’ll help reduce stress on pressure points. If you’re a back sleeper or stomach sleeper, you may find a firmer mattress to be more comfortable since it will prevent your spine from sinking into the mattress.

According to a 2015 study, a medium-firm mattress may be best for back pain. If you’re shopping online, look at firmness levels to get a sense of how well the mattress may suit your needs. Check for reasonable sleep trials, too, so that you have plenty of time to test out the new mattress and you’re clear on what’s involved in returns and refunds.

If you can’t afford a new mattress or aren’t ready to replace your current model, there are a few things you can do to improve the comfort of your existing mattress.

  • Add a mattress topper: A medium-firm mattress might provide great back support, but not everyone finds a hard surface comfortable. Adding a mattress topper, such as a soft one, adds some plushness without sacrificing support.
  • Go to the floor: Try putting your mattress on the floor, as this provides a firmer surface.
  • Better yet, add plywood: Not everyone will love the idea of sleeping on a mattress on the floor. If that’s you, try sticking a hard piece of plywood under your mattress for added support.
  • Use an adjustable base: An adjustable base can help you find a more comfortable sleeping position that puts less pressure on the parts of your back that ache during the night.
  • Look at your pillows: Sometimes, the source of back pain isn’t entirely the fault of your mattress. Your pillows might need a refresh. Or you might be sleeping on the wrong ones. If you sleep on your stomach or back, opt for a softer pillow than what you would use for side sleeping. Get our top pillow picks here.

Buying a new mattress may help your back pain. But if you have pain that persists, it’s best to seek a professional opinion.

If your back pain prevents you from participating in day-to-day activities or lasts longer than 2 weeks, it’s time to talk with a doctor. If the pain is more severe, seek care sooner.

Absolutely. Any mattress that doesn’t support the natural curvature of your spine can cause back pain, even if you’ve never had back pain issues.

Also, an uncomfortable mattress might cause you to sleep differently or toss and turn, potentially causing back pain.

Sure, but it’s not guaranteed to cure it, especially if your back woes are caused by an underlying chronic condition like osteoarthritis. That said, a supportive mattress may help reduce pain.

Anyone with back pain knows it can interfere with daily activities, including sleep. Your beauty sleep is important, and lower, mid, and upper backaches can affect your ability to get quality shut-eye and even make it challenging to fall asleep.

Research from 2020 shows that chronic back low pain can negatively affect sleep. The more intense your pain, the more likely it is to wake you up and disturb your slumber. The research also found that people who reported worse sleep quality were also more likely to experience emotional distress and poorer overall function.

According to research from 2015, the best mattress for back pain is probably one that’s medium firm and self-adjusting.

But that doesn’t account for personal preference. Ultimately, the best mattress for back pain is one that you find comfortable and allows you to sleep like a baby.

This will depend a lot on your personal preference. But because foam mattresses tend to be softer and less supportive than hybrid and innerspring models, you might want to avoid an all-foam mattress. However, some people with back pain may prefer the feel of foam, so we included several options on our list.

There isn’t one mattress that’s universally best for those with back pain. It largely depends on your preferences and needs.

All-foam options may not provide enough support, causing your spine to sag as you snooze — whereas overly firm options could put too much stress on pressure points.

Fortunately, many online mattress companies, including most of the brands featured in this article, have at-home trials, so you can literally sleep on it before you buy.

At-home trials can still be a hassle, as you still have to do something with the mattress if it doesn’t work for you — whether it’s coordinating for the company to pick it up or donating it. Nonetheless, if you’re not sure what will work best for you, the trials could help.

If you have back pain and prefer the feel of foam for its cushioning effect, a hybrid option that’s supportive and has foam on top could bring the best of both worlds.

You spend about a third of your life sleeping, so getting a mattress you like matters.

One 2009 study shows that simply changing your mattress can improve the comfort of your sleep.

The high cost of some mattresses can be a shock. Most brands have a range of mattresses, including more affordable models.

Consider all the factors above when you’re shopping for a mattress. Sleep experts point out that a good mattress is one of the most important investments you can make for your health.