Brands like Saatva, Casper, and DreamCloud lead the way in providing the best mattress options for side sleepers who have pain. See what these and others offer for better sleep.
A new mattress isn’t a cure-all for back pain. But if your current mattress is sagging and exacerbating your aches and pains, an upgrade may provide some relief.
In this article, we look at ten of the best mattress options for people with back pain who primarily sleep on their side. These include mattresses with a medium-firm feel that may help provide pressure relief and help properly align the spine.
When making our mattress selections, here are the main things we take into consideration:
Company policies: We look for companies with extended in-home trial periods — because who wants to bet on a mattress being comfortable without trying it first? — and dependable shipping and return policies.
Company reputation and transparency: Brands included below have a positive reputation and no shady business practices. This also means they haven’t been involved in recent lawsuits regarding their products or customer service.
Customer reviews: Obviously, this is a biggie. Each mattress has rave reviews from customers. We also focused on mattresses with positive reviews, specifically from side sleepers with back pain.
Safety: All mattresses meet federal flammability requirements.
Back pain is a common complaint among U.S. adults. And trying to sleep with back pain is no joke. It can keep you up and night and reduce the overall quality of your shut-eye.
While you should avoid companies that make wild claims about their products — including promises to end your back pain altogether — there are some things to look out for if you’re wanting to alleviate pain while you sleep.
Consider firmness level
You may assume that a harder mattress is more supportive and therefore a better choice for back pain. But that’s not necessarily true.
Studies show that sleep quality and back discomfort are affected by factors like height, weight, age, and movement during the night.
Your preferences also come into play. Some people may like the feel of a softer mattress, while others may prefer something firmer.
If you’re not sure where you fit, opt for something that’s rated medium firm. It’s a good middle ground. And according to a 2015 research review, medium-firm, self-adjusted mattresses are ideal for helping with spinal alignment.
A medium-firm mattress is also a solid choice if you’re primarily a side sleeper. A too-firm mattress can create unwanted pressure points when sleeping on your side. Some softness allows your body to sink into the mattress a bit, helping correctly align your spine.
Keep type in mind
While some evidence points to foam as the superior material for back pain relief, some people just can’t stand memory foam’s feel.
Thankfully, many mattresses nowadays combine the pressure-relieving properties of foam with the supportive feel of coils. Opt for a hybrid mattress if you’re looking for extra support.
Try before you buy
How can you tell whether a mattress will feel comfortable for your unique body? The only way to know for sure is to try it out.
Always pick a company that offers a trial period. The company should offer easy, no-hassle returns, so you can exchange or return it without a fuss if you dislike it.
If you live with back pain, the wrong mattress can exacerbate your discomfort. Likewise, the wrong mattress can cause back pain. When a mattress is unsupportive or not supportive enough, it can strain muscles, reinforce poor sleeping posture, and cause spinal misalignment.
Choosing the right mattress for your needs can help minimize back pain, which may help increase sleep quality. A comfortable, supportive mattress can help keep your spine aligned, which can help you rest throughout the night and help alleviate back pain the next day.
What is the best mattress for side sleepers with hip pain?
Although every mattress will feel different for each person, the Helix Midnight Mattress is a great option for side sleepers.
What is the best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain?
Consumer reviews note that the Helix Midnight Mattress and the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress have helped side sleepers with shoulder pain relief.
What mattress is best for lower back pain?
Since every mattress will provide a different sleep experience for different people, there is not one mattress preference for lower back pain. However, reportedly, the Saatva Solaire, Saatva Loom & Leaf, DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid, and Birch Natural mattresses have been shown to reduce or eliminate lower back pain.
If your back is aching because of your mattress, it won’t just ruin your morning. It can interrupt your sleep and seriously take a toll on your overall health.
Replacing your old, sagging mattress can help relieve back discomfort. If you sleep on your side, look for a quality mattress that offers medium-firm support and comes with a generous in-home trial period.
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.
Last medically reviewed on April 28, 2023
How we reviewed this article:
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Kovacs FM, et al. (2003). Effect of firmness of mattress on chronic non-specific low-back pain: Randomised, double-blind, controlled, multicentre trial. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14630439/
Radwan A, et al. (2015). Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; systematic review of controlled trials. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29073401/
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