Sleep is a key time for the body to recover at the end of the day. Unfortunately, upper and lower back pain can negatively impact your sleep quality. Sleeping on a mattress that lacks the support for proper sleep posture and spinal alignment can exacerbate existing upper or lower back pain. Our testing has shown the best mattress for any given sleeper supports the spine and promotes even alignment. This alleviates back pain and helps ensure deeper, more restorative sleep.
Our testing team has personally evaluated hundreds of mattresses using a comprehensive methodology that incorporates several performance categories. We rely on a diverse group of testers with varying body types and sleep positions to gauge how comfortable or uncomfortable each mattress feels to different people. For this guide, our testers focused on mattress performance categories related to back pain, such as pressure relief, support, and ease of movement.
For back pain, we recommend beds that carefully balance support and pressure relief to ensure excellent spinal alignment. Our testers found the DreamCloud Premier Rest Mattress performed best in this category, thanks to its combination of adaptive foam and sturdy coils.
Below are the mattresses that we've awarded the highest ratings for sleepers with back pain, and each one has received an accolade showcasing its strongest points. Scroll down for detailed information about each mattress, including how and where to buy them. We've also included a buyer's guide further below that covers why people experience back pain in bed, which types of mattresses are best for back pain, and how to pick out the right mattress based on its materials and construction. If you're looking for more bedding solutions to help with your back pain, check out our list of Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain.
The Nectar earned solid ratings across the board during our sleeper tests. Side, back, and stomach sleepers weighing 130 to 230 pounds were particularly impressed by the firm, supportive feel. When testing the mattress for pressure relief, our body sensors detected minimal buildup in the upper and lower back.
The WinkBed is available in four firmness levels, all of which feature a zoned coil system to push back against the extra weight in your lower back and hips. This thoughtful design helps ensure even support for your entire body, and less back pain in the process.
All WinkBeds feature zoned pocketed coils in their support cores. Thicker coils line the perimeter to protect the edges from deep sinkage, and also rest beneath your chest and hips to push back against the extra weight of these areas. A cover made of eucalyptus-derived Tencel fabric encases the entire mattress.
The Saatva Classic is an innovative coil-on-coil innerspring that offers excellent overall stability. A memory foam pad beneath the lumbar region provides extra cushioning to reduce lower back pain, while zoned coils help maintain even support for heavier areas of your body.
The Saatva Classic features a Euro-top cover cushioned with foam and plush fibers. A memory foam pad located beneath the lower back is intended to support the lumbar region and minimize pain in this area of the body, while transitional minicoils offer extra reinforcement without generating too much motion transfer.
The Birch Luxe is made with premium materials that offer a comfortable mix of plushness and support. Constructed with organic cashmere to premium latex, this bed epitomizes what a luxury mattress should feel like.
A mattress that promotes spinal alignment can be helpful for anyone who wakes up with pains or sore spots in their shoulders, back, and hips. The Nolah Evolution 15 contains four foam layers to cushion and contour to the body, evenly distributing your weight to improve your alignment, while a zoned coil system pushes back against extra weight from your midsection and significantly reduces sinkage.
The mattress comes in seven sizes, including a split king. Nolah offers free ground shipping within the contiguous U.S. Each Evolution 15 purchase includes a 120-night sleep trial, but you can opt out of the trial period and reduce your up-front costs by as much as $150. A lifetime warranty against structural defects backs each mattress. For additional coverage, you can purchase an accident protection plan that covers stains and other types of physical damage not included in the standard warranty.
The Level Sleep Mattress targets upper and lower back pain with a zoned design that delivers extra support to the midsection. The mattress is also a good choice for people who feel sharp pressure points anywhere along their spine.
Many mattresses provide back pain relief, but the Level Sleep Mattress is one of the only available models that is specifically created with this purpose in mind. A three-zone design provides enhanced support for the torso and lumbar region while gently cradling the head and reinforcing the hips. The result is a mattress that maintains an even sleep surface from head to toe, reducing aches and pains in the process.
The Level Sleep Mattress is competitively priced and customers in the contiguous U.S. enjoy complimentary ground shipping. Your order includes a generous sleep trial that runs for an entire year, and the mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind.
To evaluate mattresses for back pain relief, we ask our testers to lie down on each mattress. Ideally, a mattress should contour to the body while maintaining even support, so we measure how deeply the mattress sinks beneath the tester's weight. We also use body-mapping sensors to pinpoint locations where painful pressure points are likely to occur. Although we relied on feedback from all of our testers, we focused on those who have a history of upper and/or lower back pain.
Back pain is a widespread problem that affects an estimated 80% of adults at one time or another. It can make all types of daily activities difficult including walking, working, sitting, and lifting even lightweight items. Unfortunately, we know that back pain complicates sleep as well, making it hard to find a comfortable position to fall asleep and keep sleeping soundly through the night.
Research studies have found that over half of people with lower back pain report sleeping problems. These negative impacts on sleep arise in people who have both sudden and short-term (acute) back pain and those who have long-term, persistent (chronic) back pain.
People with pain tend to have fragmented sleep that occurs from waking up during the night. Upon waking up, getting back to sleep can be difficult because of ongoing aches and discomfort. Pain can also contribute to stress, depression, and anxiety, all of which can be detrimental to quality sleep.
Back pain sufferers can take a number of steps to try to feel and sleep better. Getting medical help for serious back problems may help reduce pain. Treatments depend on the cause and nature of a person's symptoms and can range from surgery to physical therapy to pain-relieving medications.
Smaller changes can contribute to pain reduction as well. Taking care when lifting, sitting with proper posture, and avoiding unnatural movements can reduce aggravation of back pain. Based on our product research, we've found that having a mattress that keeps the body aligned can reduce stress on the spine and facilitate better sleep.
Acute back pain comes on rapidly and is often a sharp, intense pain. In many cases, acute back pain is directly tied to a specific event such as a fall, an awkward twist of the body, or lifting a heavy object. It is pain that normally comes from injury to muscles and/or ligaments.
Chronic back pain lasts for three months or longer and persists despite attempts to remedy it. It can involve sharp pain but may occur as stiffness or a dull soreness. Sometimes it can be connected to a prior injury, but often has no clear or immediate cause.
Lower back pain can be tied to basic muscle strain as well as to more complicated issues affecting the nerves, organs, and vertebrae. Examples of possible causes include compression fractures, ruptured or herniated disks, and narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis).
Middle back pain is much less common than lower back pain. The middle back is generally identified as above the lumbar spine but below the rib cage. The anatomy in this area is designed to promote stability over flexibility, reducing the propensity for movement-based injury compared to the lower back.
Even though mid-back pain is less common, it can still occur as a result of numerous conditions. Nerve compression, damage to discs, fractures, and muscle or ligament injury can occur in this region. Middle back pain can also be caused by serious underlying problems, like tumors or organ problems, making it important to get it reviewed by a doctor, especially if it occurs alongside other unexplained symptoms.
Upper back pain is less common than lower back pain but occurs more frequently than middle back pain. It affects the thoracic region, which runs from the bottom of the rib cage up to the lower neck and involves the 12 vertebrae that connect to the ribs. As with middle back pain, the reduced flexibility of bones and muscles in this region make movement-based strains less common than in the lower back.
Regardless of whether back pain has started suddenly or has been a long-term issue, people experiencing it should make sure to get checked out by a doctor. Not only can a physician help try to relieve pain, they can conduct a full diagnostic process to determine if back pain is being caused by a more serious underlying health issue.
Sleeping position can have a direct effect on back pain. Each sleeping position creates a unique set of pressure points and areas that need cushioning, and this is why our testers believe having the right mattress to suit your sleeping position is an important part of preventing and reducing back pain.
Back sleepers tend to have their most serious pressure points around the lumbar area. Our pressure tests on various mattresses have shown that if a mattress is too soft, the weight of the abdomen will cause this region to sink out of alignment with the rest of the back and hips. If the mattress is too hard, it won't accommodate the natural curvature of the spine in the lumbar area. For this reason, a medium-firm to firm mattress usually works best for back sleepers. 59ce067264