Best Mattresses for Back Pain 2021 – Upper & Lower Back Pain

Last Updated on February 16, 2021

If you are looking for the best mattresses for back pain 2021, I can safely presume that you suffer from lumbar pain and are looking for a mattress that can help you sleep better.

Trust me, you are not alone.

There are thousands and thousands of people like you who suffer from back pain and what’s a matter of concern is that your mattress can actually either aggravate back pain or reduce it depending upon the firmness and support it provides.

It is extremely important that you get a peaceful night’s sleep since lack of sleep can even worsen your back pain. More often than not, people require more than just one thing from a mattress. For instance, you might be suffering from back problems and also be a sweaty sleeper. Thus, you need a mattress that takes care of both problems.

In this mattress review, you will find some of the best mattresses for back pain in 2021 (and provide solutions to other problems) so that you can sleep peacefully each night once you hit the sack.

List of Best Mattress for Back Pain in 2021

These are the top-rated or best-selling mattresses for backache that you can get at an affordable price.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

1. Winkbeds

Winkbeds

★★★★★

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Features:

  • Excellent Spine Alignment
  • Tencel Cover for Better Airflow
  • Offers Zoned Support
  • 120 Nights Sleep Trial

Winkbeds come with added contouring from polyfoam in the pillow top and this provides extra support in case of people who suffer from back or lumbar pain.

PROS

  • Unique construction with coil-on-coil design
  • Comes with polyfoam euro-top for extra support
  • Comes with great edge support
  • Good bounce
  • Tencel cover helps sleep cool
  • 120 Nights sleep trial and lifetime warranty

CONS

  • The only problem is that for a lot of people it might get somewhat difficult to choose the right level of firmness for themselves. However, this is where customer support can be a massive help.

One mattress that never fails to impress when I consider options for people looking for the best mattresses for back pain, is Winkbeds!

Want to know the reason behind it?

The number one reason behind it is its coil-on-coil design. Over and above this, this is a mattress that comes with gel-infused polyfoam its euro-style pillow top.

Let’s delve a little bit deeper into the construction of this mattress…

What makes Winkbed unique and stand apart from other competing brands on the market is its support core that is made up of pocketed coils arranged in zones so as to ensure a completely new level of support to the heavier parts of your body, your back being the most prominent of those.

But this is not all!

This is a mattress that comes with reinforcements around the perimeter for amazing edge support. This is a great feature for people who prefer sleeping near the edge.

Unlike most of the other mattresses, Winkbed has a thinner layer of coils above the core and each of these layers is wrapped to ensure compression to your body’s weight. Two sets of coils wrapped together not only helps cushion pressure points but also ensures excellent spinal alignment and all this without compromising on the bounce or allowing excessive sinkage into the bed.

But wait, there’s still more…

Also, you can choose from 3 different levels of firmness:

  • Medium Soft
  • Medium Firm
  • Firm and
  • Winkbed Plus (another model for people who are heavyweight)

What it means is that Winkbed can be the right choice for people whatever position they choose to sleep in.

CHECK OUT MY UNBIASED IN-DEPTH WINKBEDS REVIEW

Conclusion:

Winkbeds is one of the topmost brands when it comes to mattresses. Complete manufacturing takes place in the US and the quality of construction, as well as materials used, is top-notch.

It is a great choice for back pain sufferers and comes with a lifetime warranty.


ADJUSTABLE

2. Saatva Solaire

Saatva Solaire Mattress

★★★★★

25 YEARS OF WARRANTY

Features:

  • 50 Firmness Settings
  • Relieves Upper & Lower Back Pain
  • Natural Latex Pillow Top
  • 180 Nights Home Trial

WRITE

PROS

  • Unique Construction (Technically, an airbed)
  • Comes with 50 adjustable levels of firmness
  • An adjustable base can be added for more firmness
  • CertiPUR-US® (memory foam) adds to the firmness
  • Great choice for eco-conscious people
  • 180 Nights trial
  • 25 years warranty

CONS

  • The only flip side is that it can be expensive than other brands but then the features it comes with are simply incomparable.

Unlike most of the other mattresses on the market, Saatva Solaire is so 2021!

Technically speaking, it’s an airbed and the best part is that it comes with almost 50 different settings for you to choose from. If you are not happy with a particular level of firmness, you can change the setting accordingly to your liking and comfort.

So, if you suffer from severe back pain, you can easily make the adjustments and choose a level that helps you sleep without back pain.

But wait, there’s more…

You can use an adjustable base for even extra firmness. Now, this is a blessing for people looking for a mattress that can help them provide relief from back pain.

There are a couple of other add ons that make Saatva Solaire an even more desirable mattress among back pain sufferers. It is eco-friendly, has an organic cotton quilted pillow top over a layer of natural latex.

Last, but not the least, Saatva Solaire has an extra layer of CertiPUR-US®, which is an extra layer of memory foam to provide extra comfort in case of lumbar pain. User reviews clearly reveal that it is one of the most preferred and desirable features that has been getting an exciting response from users.

It comes with a sleep trial of 180 nights and a 25-year warranty period.

Conclusion:

Saatva Solaire is one of the topmost choices for people looking for a mattress that can help upper and lumbar back pain sufferers. It comes with a generous sleep trial and a 25-years warranty.

User reviews and feedback are a massive plus in its favor.


COMBO SLEEPERS

3. Puffy

Puffy backpain mattress

★★★★★

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Features:

  • Featured on Ellen DeGeneres
  • Excellent Spine Alignment
  • Breathable Cover, Gel-Infused Foam
  • 101 Nights Sleep Trial

Puffy is essentially a luxury mattress that has won a lot of accolades for being comfortable for most people whether they sleep on their side, back or even stomach.

PROS

  • Perfect sleep system for people suffering from back pain
  • Provides good sinkage into the comfort layer
  • Ensures back support and helps keep spine aligned
  • 6″ of Polyfoam as the base is great for adding support to the back
  • Helps sleep cool
  • 101 Nights sleep trial
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONS

  • Strict stomach sleepers might find it too soft, otherwise, it’s a great option for most sleepers.

This is a brand that hit the market in 2017 and it is still going strong in 2021. As matter of fact, it was launched as a “perfect sleep system” for people suffering from back pain and it ranks high on the list of the best mattresses for back pain in 2021.

Let’s have a look at the construction of this mattress:

Cover: This mattress comes with a polyester blend cover which has a mix of lycra in it. This makes it good in terms of stretching. Another benefit is that the cover is quite thin which allows air to flow freely. This is a great feature since better ventilation.

Comfort: Beneath the cover is a layer comprised of gel-infused foam which is perfect for regulating temperature throughout the yeas so that you sleep cool. This foam allows you to sink into the mattress and is also ensures pressure relief at the same time. This makes it a great choice fo side sleepers.

Transition: The next layer is made up of a two-inch-thick polyfoam which gives it a firmer feel and also prevents any further sinkage beyond the comfort layer. This layer is also termed as the transition layer and it provides excellent cradling support to the spine and keeps it in perfect alignment. Not just this, it offers great support to hips as well.

Base: The base of this mattress is comprised of a 6″ HD polyfoam to provide strong and sturdy support to the back.

So far, so good!

Conclusion:

It’s not for nothing that the Puffy has been featured on Ellen DeGeneres Show. It is one of the best choices available on the market when looking for a mattress for back pain sufferers. Moreover, it is backed by a 101 Nights Sleep Trial and a Lifetime Warranty, which makes it a great buy.

The company might also provide discounts from time to time.


SOFT FEEL

4. Dreamcloud

Dreamcloud Premier for backpain

★★★★★

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Features:

  • Relieves Upper & Lower Back Pain
  • Offers Sleeping on a Cloud Experience
  • Helps Sleep Cool
  • 365 Nights Sleep Trial

Dremcloud is a well-known name in the mattress industry and it has a complete range to cater to various kinds of sleepers.

PROS

  • Premier Quality Mattress with Ultra-plus Feel
  • Good back support with hybrid design
  • Well-suited for all sleepers
  • High Breathability and Ventilation
  • Comes with a 365 Nights Trial and Lifetime Warranty

CONS

  • This mattress is a true Medium that comes with a cozy sink and a great hug. Now, this could not be the idle choice for stomach sleepers.
  • It comes with Euro Top and memory foam and is great for pressure relief but I feel that people who move around a lot would prefer something with a gentler cradle.

Dreamcloud Premier, as the name suggests, is made with all premium materials but it has to be said that it combines luxury with comfort and provides outstanding pressure relief and support which makes it one of the best mattresses for back pain that you can buy in 2021!

This is a Medium Firm mattress that can help you sleep well by ensuring maximum back support once you hit the sack after a long day of hard work. It is practically built to help people of all sleeping positions sleep well.

What makes it unique?

Its a six-layer hybrid design is one of its most unique features. It blends together a gel-infused memory foam to ensure pressure relief along with pocketed innerspring coils for strong back support.

What it implies is that Dreamloud Premier not only helps you get the softness that you desire but also ensures good support for your back in order to alleviate all kinds of back pain (upper back pain as well as lower back pain).

Since the comfort layer features gel-infused memory foam and has an ultra-plush feel, it not only provides a cool sleeping experience but also envelops your body like a cloud. This is what this mattress is famous for.

But this is not all!

This is a mattress that comes with excellent breathability and can help you sleep cool. It offers great edge support and also motion isolation so that you can sleep without being disturbed.

Conclusion:

Dreamcloud Premier is a luxury mattress at a reasonable price tag that not only ensures great back support but also comes with a luxurious plush feel and hug. It comes with a 365 Nights Sleep Trial and gives you enough time to find out if its the right one for you or not. In addition to this, it is backed with a lifetime warranty.

For those who want to go for something cheaper, Dreamcloud mattress is a better option that might miss some luxurious features but is still a good choice.


BEST VALUE

5. Nectar

Nectar Mattress for Backpain

★★★★★

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Features:

  • Relives Back and Lumbar Pain
  • Allows Good Airflow
  • Suits All Sleepers Between 130-230 Lbs
  • 365 Nights Sleep Trial

The Nectar is a great addition to the list of best mattresses for back pain in 2021 and this one comes at a more reasonable price which makes it even more desirable for most people.

PROS

  • 3 layers of Memory Foam relieves pressure quite well
  • Medium-firm feel ensures good back support
  • Gel-Infused top layer for better breathability
  • Comes with just the right hug
  • A great option for all sleepers in the weight range 130-230 lbs

CONS

  • People who don’t like the hug feel of memory foam, may not like this mattress
  • It might be too firm for lightweight sleepers

What makes it a perfect choice for people suffering from back pain is that it is made up of three different layers of memory foam. Now, you might think that so many layers of memory foam may make you sleep hot or maybe too soft. This is where Nectar proves you wrong with all its construction. It is constructed in a way that it gives you just the right hug, offers back support, and also prevents any kind of heat built up.

The topmost layer of the memory foam comes infused with a gel which is highly effective at dissipating heat so that there’s no built up to make you sweat. This is important to help you sleep cool and comfortable. Moreover, it comes with a Tencel cover to ensure the highest level of breathability.

The second layer of memory foam is 3 inches in thickness and it is made to be firmer and more stable as so to prevent any kind of excessive sinkage that memory foams are famous for.

The third layer of memory foam is one-inch thick and like the top layer, it is also infused with gel. This makes Nectar a five-inch thick mattress offering great pressure relief, making it just the right choice for people suffering from back or lumbar pain.

Nectar comes in a Medium-firm feel and it is just about a great option for side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers that weigh within the range of 130-230 lbs.

It comes with a 365 Nights Sleep Trial and is also backed with a lifetime warranty. It is highly recommended, and of course, a great choice for people with back pain seeking a cost-effective mattress.

Conclusion:

If you are someone within the weight range of 130-230 lbs and are seeking a mattress to provide back pain relief at a reasonable price, then Nectar is just the right pick for you.

Besides, a year-long sleep trial is more than enough to help you find out if it is the right one for you or not.


FLIPPABLE

6. Layla

Layla Hybrid Mattress

★★★★★

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Features:

  • Ensures Perfect Spine Alignment
  • Highly Breathable
  • Great Pressure Relief
  • 120 Nights Sleep Trial

The Layla Hybrid is a mattress that has been made with the needs of almost all kinds of sleepers in mind. Whether you need a medium or a firm mattress, Layla Hybrid can be the right choice for you.

PROS

  • Comes with flippable sides that are Medium and Firm
  • Offers great pressure relief for almost all sleepers (lightweight and heavyweight)
  • Suits people with all sleeping positions
  • Copper-infused memory foam is great for temperature regulation
  • Ensures perfect spine alignment

CONS

  • The only thing missing is the bounce. People who want to sleep on top of the mattress may not be very comfortable with the hug that it provides.

It is a flippable design and this is why it can cater to people with back pain regardless of the fact whether they sleep on their side, stomach, or back and of course, whatever they might weigh on the scales.

The Medium size is just the right choice for people who weigh less than 230 pounds and the Firm side of this mattress helps heavyweight people keep their spine aligned better and also offers a greater degree of hip and shoulder support.

The topmost layer is made of copper-infused memory foam. This is great for ensuring a cooling experience for the sleeper. Here, I would like to point out that copper is even more effective than graphite when it comes to temperature regulation.

Not just this, this mattress comes with a layer of pocketed coil support that also allows better airflow and is quite effective at dissipating heat. User reviews clearly indicate that people who normally sleep warm on memory foam mattresses find that Layla Hybrid really helps them sleep cool. Not just this, people who have back pain also find that this mattress is amazingly effective at providing pressure relief.

What makes this mattress stand apart is that it has a polyfoam transitional layer on each side which is highly effective at providing support to the heaviest areas of your body. It’s great for cushioning the head and the neck to ensure proper spinal alignment and that too for all kinds of sleepers irrespective of their preferred sleeping position and bodyweight.

Conclusion:

Layla Hybrid is a great choice for many people since it comes with two firmness levels. In addition to this, it is backed with a 120 nights sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.


CUSTOMIZABLE

7. Helix Luxe

helix midnight luxe mattress

★★★★★

15 YEARS OF WARRANTY

Features:

  • Excellent Lumbar Support
  • Tencel Cover for Better Airflow
  • Suits Wide Range of Sleepers
  • 100 Nights Sleep Trial

Helix Sleep is a well-established brand and it caters to almost all types of sleepers irrespective of their body weight.

PROS

  • Luxe models are great for people with back pain and sharp pressure points. It is one of the best mattresses for lumbar support.
  • Since they offer amazing motion isolation, these models are great for people who sleep with their partners or pets.
  • Luxe mattresses are great for people who weigh less than 230 lbs whichever position they may prefer to sleep in

CONS

  • Not the right choice for people above 230 lbs since they may experience greater sinkage which can affect contouring and support

They have something for every sleeper whether light or heavy and they have a highly interactive site that helps unsure customers decide what firmness they are looking for through an online quiz. This quiz helps narrow down the options that are best suited for you, depending upon the responses that you choose, that’s why this is recommended by some of the doctors.

Luxe Mattresses is an upgraded line from Helix with multiple improvements and newly added features over the original range.

All Luxe Mattresses come with a Tencel cover which is a durable and moisture-wicking fabric that:

  • is highly effective at temperature regulation and
  • has a silky smooth touch.

These mattresses come with an added pillow top and 2 extra inches of a comfortable material, which may vary according to the model that you choose for yourself. More importantly, all Luxe mattresses come with a zone of lumbar support so that to ensure better contouring and pressure relief which makes them highly appealing for people who suffer from back pain.

Here’s a little more on what different version comes with:

  • The Sunset (soft), Midnight (medium), and Twilight (firm) versions come with a memory foam layer, polyfoam traditional layers, and pocketed coil support cores. These models ensure good contouring and pressure relief and are a great option for side sleepers. These models are known to improve spinal alignment too.
  • The Moonlight (soft), Dusk (medium), and Dawn (firm) models are made with comfort layers of Helix Dynamic Foam. Now, this is a proprietary foam made by Helix and it is known for its responsive feel. This layer is an addition over the other models and makes these mattresses more bouncy and also allows better airflow and improved and enhanced edge support.

Conclusion:

Helix Luxe Mattresses can be the ideal choice for people below 230 lbs but they may not be the best option for heavy folks.

Helix Luxe mattresses come with a 100-night sleep trial and also include a 15 years warranty.


ORGANIC

8. Plushbeds Natural Bliss

Plushbeds Natural Bliss

★★★★★

25 YEARS OF WARRANTY

Features:

  • Organic Mattress
  • Made with Talalay & Dunlop Latex
  • Relives Back Pain
  • 100-Nights Trial

Plushbeds Natural Bliss is a highly versatile option for people suffering from back pain since it comes in three different thicknesses and four different levels of firmness. This makes it possible for you to make a choice according to your preference, comfort, and liking.

PROS

  • Organic bed which is great choice for people who prefer natural mattresses
  • Great for back support (you can choose thickness and firmness according to your liking)
  • Highly breathable so that you sleep cool
  • Highly Durable
  • Comes with 100 Nights sleep trial and 25 years warranty

CONS

  • More expensive than latex mattresses
  • 30 days break-in is required before you can return the mattress

It’s important to point out that such a vast choice makes it possible for this mattress to cater to a wide range of people irrespective of their body weight and sleeping positions.

The soft and medium versions are great for alleviating pressure. On the other hand, medium-firm and firm options are better suited for heavy sleepers since they provide more support and less contouring.

The core of the mattress is constructed with Dunlop latex whereas the cover is made of organic cotton.

The materials used in the comfort layer vary according to the thickness level of the mattress. While Talalay latex is used in comfort layers of 8 and 10 inch thick mattresses, the 6-inch one uses Dunlop latex for both the support core and the comfort layer.

One of the most important features of this mattress is that it is exceptionally durable. Latex mattresses, in general, are known to have a larger lifespan as compared to those that are made with foam. This model in particular, is known to be even better in terms of durability because of the high-quality materials used in its construction.

Yet another great feature is that it is an extremely silent mattress. What I mean to say is that it produces almost no noise when your partner shifts or changes positions so you keep sleeping blissfully and peacefully undisturbed.

Conclusion:

The Plushbeds Natural Bliss is a perfect choice for people who want to get something natural. You can choose the thickness and firmness levels according to your comfort.

It’s a highly durable mattress but the return requires you to use it for at least 30 days.


FOR HIP PAIN

9. Nolah Signature

Nolah Signature

★★★★★

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Features:

  • Soft and Firm Sides
  • Suits those with Chronic Back Pain
  • Classic Memory Foam Feel
  • 120 Nights Sleep Trial

WRITE

PROS

  • Provides decent pressure relief to side sleepers on the soft side
  • Is great for easing out hip and back pain for side sleepers
  • Comes with great motion isolation and is perfect for couples
  • Comes with the classic feel of the Memory Foam mattress with better breathability

CONS

  • One area that it lacks in is bounce. This mattress does not have much of a bounce and its not suitable for those that prefer a bouncy mattress.
  • Stomach sleepers would prefer the firm side of the mattress. Having said that there are some other great options for strict stomach sleepers.

It was all about back pain, then why a mattress for hip pain?

Well…

For most side sleepers, it’s hard to segregate the two and more often than not, hip pain and back pain go hand in hand. Thus, why not list a good bed mattress that takes care of both. Nolah Signature is one of the best mattresses to take care of your back and hip pain. In fact, it is a great choice to help people with chronic back pain.

A lot of side sleepers complain that if they sleep in a too firm mattress they experience pain in their hips. So, while a firm mattress gives support to your back, it actually leads to another problem. What is worse is that hip pain can actually aggravate back pain. Your body parts are so connected to each other that it is almost impossible to segregate one from the other.

Nolah Signature is a flippable mattress and those suffering from hip pain may find the softer side highly comfortable to sleep on. This side allows the sleeper to sink deeply into the mattress and also ensure amazing pressure relief.

Both the sides of this mattress are made with Nolah’s signature AirFoam. Now, this is a proprietary memory foam substitute and it offers some great benefits that include good sinkage, body contouring as well as pressure relief.

Another plus point that it has over conventional memory foam is that is more open-celled. This means that it allows air to move more freely. Even though it cannot be said that this mattress is highly breathable, it sure is more breathable than any other memory foam mattress. Thus, it should allow you to sleep a bit cooler.

Conclusion:

This is a mattress that is particularly suitable for side sleepers who suffer from hip pain along with back pain. It is not as breathable as some of the other mattresses and is not the best choice for stomach sleepers.


FIRM MATTRESS

10. Birch

Birch Mattress

★★★★★

25 YEARS OF WARRANTY

Features:

  • 100% Natural and Toxic-free
  • Made with Talalay Latex
  • Comes with Good Bounce
  • 100-Nights Trial

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PROS

  • 100% organic and natural materials are used in the construction
  • It is a perfect choice for people who have sore back. Moreover, it is best suited for stomach and back sleepers.
  • It comes with a fantastic bounce and young couples can actually really enjoy this feature.

CONS

  • One of the issues with this mattress is that it rates low on handling motion transfer. So, if you sleep with a partner who changes position frequently, you are going to be disturbed in your sleep.
  • This mattress is not the perfect choice for side sleepers. There are better options available. However, if you prefer something 100% organic, then you can add Birch’s Latex topper to adjust its softness and pressure relief.

If you are for an eco-friendly and firm mattress for bad back in 2021, then Birch is what you need. Birch is a high-end Hybrid that is made with natural or organic materials and not only offers ultimate comfort and back pain relief but is also highly breathable. Another plus point is that it is one of the most durable mattresses that you can buy online.

  • This mattress uses Talalay latex in the comfort zone.
  • It uses wool and organic cotton in the cover.
  • Beneath the comfort Latex layer exists a layer of pocketed coils to ensure good support while giving decent bounce and mobility to the mattress.

How Does it Perform in Case of People who have back pain?

The standard version of this mattress comes with a firm feel that is great for back and stomach sleepers who need more lumbar support. It does exceptionally well in keeping their hips elevated and also ensures good spine alignment. Thus, if your mattress makes you sink deep into it, you can certainly upgrade to a Birch mattress. I am sure you are going to love it!

If however, you are a side sleeper and want something softer, then you have the option of adding Birch’s latex topper that not only adjusts the feel and firmness of the mattress but also provides good pressure relief while using all organic materials in its construction.

Conclusion:

Birch mattress is a perfect choice for people who prefer an organic mattress. It can help relieve back pain in the case of stomach and back sleepers.

It comes with a 100 Nights Sleep Trial and a 25 years warranty.


Back Pain and Your Sleep

Back pain is a very common and extremely nagging problem. What is worse is that a vast majority of people are likely to suffer from it. It is estimated that almost 80% of the entire adult population is likely to experience back pain at some time or the other.

Back pain can make even mundane tasks really difficult. Not just this, it can also affect your sleep and prevent you from getting adequate rest to you recharge your body and mind after a long day of hard work.

Now, back pain could be in the upper back as well as the lumbar back. It is usually the pain in the lumbar back that can take a toll on your sleep and how!

Not just this, once you wake up in the middle of the night, you might find it particularly hard to get back to sleep once again because of continuous pain and discomfort. Over and above, this pain can also contribute to mental stress leading to many other problems such as depression and increased anxiety. It goes without saying that this kind of becomes a vicious cycle, worsening your sleep quality in the process.

For good overall and mental health, it is of utmost importance that you sleep well. People with back pain can do a couple of things to sleep better and ultimately, feel better.

Seeking medical help is, of course, one of such things. Physiotherapy is also another option. Besides this, there are a couple of things that can help ease out or minimize pain.

Besides the above, a good mattress that is specifically built to help people with back pain can be a massive step in the right direction. With the latest advancements in the field of mattress construction, some amazing models have come up in 2021 that can help you sleep peacefully and wake up recharged even if you suffer from chronic back pain.

Is every firm mattress good effective for relieving back pain?

Even though a mattress is not the complete solution to help you get rid of back pain, it can certainly play a major role in minimizing pain and move you ahead in the right direction. Now, a lot of people are of the opinion that the firmer your mattress is, the better it is for your back.

This is not actually true.

As matter of fact, it seems like an old wives’ tale.  The best mattress for back pain is not the firmest mattress that you can find. You have to be quite careful while selecting a mattress if you suffer from pain and some of the factors to consider include your sleeping style or position and your body weight.

There’s nothing like One size fits all!

The firmness and sinkage of a particular mattress that’s perfect for a side sleeper may not be the ideal solution for a back sleeper or a heavy sleeper.

There’s more on this below but first, let’s have a look at different kinds of back pains that people suffer from and how a mattress can reduce or aggravate it.

Back Pain Types

As mentioned above, back pain can be basically classified into two main categories:

  • Acute or
  • Chronic (Persistent)

Acute Pain:

  • Comes rapidly and is often excruciating
  • Is often a result of accident or injury that you might have been subjected to
  • Results from injury to muscles and/or ligaments

Chronic Pain:

  • Can last for a couple of months or even years
  • Persists in spite of your attempts to treat it
  • Can be sharp or intense but may also occur as stiffness or soreness
  • Can sometimes occur due to an injury but many also result from no immediate cause

Yet another distinction that can be made in terms of the part of your back affected by pain. In this context back pain can be segregated into:

Lower Back Pain:

  • The most common type of back pain
  • Affects the lumbar region which includes the lowest 5 vertebrae (L1-L5) of the spine

The lower part of your back has more curvature and this is the part of your back that allows an extensive range of motion making it prone to a lot of injuries resulting from variation in movements in postures.

Role of the mattress – One of the most important things to watch out in a mattress is that it should provide enough support so that your back does not twist or bend in an unnatural way. This is important because if your spine is not in alignment then there is a very high possibility that you will experience pain in your lower back.

For instance, if your bed is too soft and it does not provide much support then your hips may sink deep into the mattress resulting in misalignment of the spine or the lower back. And if you sleep in this position, over time, you are going to experience nagging pain in your lower back.

Best Mattresses for Lower Back Pain

Upper and Mid back pain

Let’s have a look at middle back pain first. This is the area above the lumbar back but just below the rib cage. Pain in this part of the back is less common as compared to the lower back but poor posture and little back support can lead to pain in this area.

If your mattress does not provide enough cushioning to your pressure points or if it does not ensure proper alignment of the spine, you are likely to experience pain in this area too.

Pain in the upper back, on the other hand, is more common than the middle back but less common than the lower back. The main reason behind pain in the upper back and shoulders could be the wrong positioning of the body while sleeping.

For instance, if your pillow is not the right height or if your mattress does not accommodate your shoulders properly, then you might experience undue pressure on this part of your back resulting in pain.

Sleeping Position and Back Pain

The big question is, “Can your sleeping position affect back pain?”

The only answer is YES!

Your sleeping position plays a critical role here and it can definitely have a direct impact on pain in your back. All sleeping positions are known to exert pressure on different points in your body that need cushioning and this is why it is pivotal to have a mattress that suits the requirements according to your sleeping position so as to prevent as well as reduce any kind of back pain.

Let’s have a look at various sleeping positions and how they can affect pain in your back…

Back Sleepers

It’s important to note that back sleepers have some serious pressure points around the lower back of the lumbar area. If your mattress is too soft your abdomen will make lower back sink too deep into the mattress resulting in misalignment of the spine, back, and hips.

On the other hand, if your mattress is too hard or firm, it will not be able to accommodate the natural curve of the spine in the lower back.

This is precisely the reason that back sleepers are much better off with a mattress that is either Medium-Firm or Firm.

Best Choice of Mattress for Back Sleepers – Medium Firm or Firm

Side Sleepers

People who sleep on their side experience high-impact in the areas that are the widest. In other words, the pressure points are your shoulders and hips. This is why it is important that the mattress you choose or decide to buy provides good enough cushioning to these pressure points in your body. At the same time, it should not be so soft that it sinks these body parts deeply into the mattress misaligning them with the rest of the body.

Most side sleepers are better off with a Medium to Medium Firm Mattress.

Here, I would like to add that a Medium-Firm mattress is also the best mattress for people suffering from degenerative back disease or herniated disk.

Best Choice of Mattress for Side Sleepers – Medium to Medium Firm

Stomach Sleepers

In the case of people who sleep on their stomachs, pressure points are likely to be in the lumbar area (lower back) and around the neck. If the pillow they use is too high or tall, they are likely to end up with pain in their neck as well as the upper back.

And again, if the mattress is soft, the pelvic area will sink deep into the mattress and put undue stress on the spine, muscles, and ligaments in the lower back resulting in pain.

This is why stomach sleepers should opt for a firm mattress. Not just this, they should also try to use a thin pillow to avoid any kind of pain in their neck and upper back.

Best Choice of Mattress for Stomach Sleepers – Firm Mattress

Body Weight

One of the most important factors to take into account before selecting a mattress is your body weight and it can bear as much an effect as your sleeping position.

It’s easy to understand since people who weigh less are likely to sink deeper into the mattress and this sinkage tends to increase the possibility of experiencing back pain as a result of your spine and rest of the body getting misaligned.

This is precisely the reason that people who are overweight or tip the scales at more than 230 pounds should opt for a mattress that is firmer as compared to people who weigh less than them and sleep in the same position.

On the other hand, people who are categorized as lightweight or weigh less than 130 pounds are less likely to sink into the bed. This is why they can do with a softer mattress that offers more contouring without the risk of misaligning their spine.

Can a Mattress Cause Back Pain?

Yes, it can!

As much as you would like to believe otherwise, your mattress can certainly result in back pain or worsen an already existing condition.

The main reason behind this is that you are lying on your mattress for a couple of hours through the night and if your body is not in the right position you are likely to end up with pain in your back and other pressure points. When most people think of posture in the context of how they stand or sit but how you sleep is also important.

While sleeping you need to have your spine and joints well-cushioned and well-aligned, otherwise, you will not be able to sleep properly and your body will be strained. Instead of recovering, you will end up with a whole lot of issues. People who are already suffering from back pain will further notice an aggravation in it and new issues will also crop up.

Which Type of Mattress is Best for Back Pain?

Now, the choice is unlimited when it comes to mattresses for back pain. What you choose can highly affect your sleep quality and reduce or aggravate pain in your back.

Which Type of mattress best for backpain

Let’s have a look at different kind of mattresses and the ones that you should opt for :

Hybrid

As the name suggests, a Hybrid is made with a combination of two or more kinds of construction materials. It may be made with a core of innerspring or coil supported by a comfort layer that is made with memory foam, latex, cotton or fiberfill, wool, etc. One of the most prominent features of a Hybrid is that the comfort later is likely to be more robust as compared to a coil or innerspring mattress.

Plus Point: One of the most important benefits of a Hybrid is that it tries to get the benefits of different kinds of beds while doing away with their negatives. For instance, a hybrid ensures moderate to significant contouring that helps in pressure relief and the coil allows better ventilation to help you sleep cool without experiencing sweating.

Read More: Best Hybrid Mattresses in 2021

Innerspring or Coil

This kind of a mattress is made up of metal coils which is covered with a thin layer of cotton, polyester or foam. These mattresses were very popular a couple of decades back but with new improvements in mattress technology and new materials such as latex, foam, etc. getting popular, they have lost a lot of ground and do not enjoy as much popularity now. However, innerspring is still being used in hybrids.

Plus Point: One of the biggest plus points of a coil mattress is that it turns out to be quite inexpensive. People who buy such a mattress try to customize the feel and firmness according to their liking by putting a mattress topper on it.

Latex

Latex is a kind of rubber and a latex mattress has the interior made up entirely of latex. Latex can further be classified as natural and synthetic. A lot of mattresses use natural latex and can be somewhat high priced. Those that use synthetic mattresses turn out to be somewhat cheaper.

Plus Point: Latex is supposed to be great for contouring and it allows just the right kind of cushioning without an excessive sink.

Airbed

This kind of mattress consists of a support core that can be filled with air. It is usually easy to fill the air and you can easily do with a remote or app to control the pump through which air can be filled or removed readily. Over the support core, there may be a comfort layer constructed with foam, cotton, polyester, etc.

Plus Point: The plus point of such mattresses is that they are highly adjustable in terms of firmness. You can fill or deflate it according to your liking and preference in real-time. This can be a great feature especially for people who suffer from back pain since they can adjust firmness easily so as to add more support to their back or vice versa.

Foam

Foam, both memory, and polyfoam are used in the construction of mattresses for support core and the comfort layer. Memory foam is preferred by people for its hug. Foam mattresses may also use latex in the construction but coil or innerspring is almost never used.

Plus Point: Memory foam, as mentioned above is great for its hug effect. It provides good cushioning to the pressure points and is a great option for side sleepers that have sharp pressure points.

Things to Consider When Sleeping with Back Pain

The first thing that people suffering from back pain look for in the highest-rated mattresses is that it should provide them pain relief and help them sleep better but there are a couple of other things that you should watch out for before you make a buying decision.

So, here are some of the other things to consider before you actually buy one:

Mattress Firmness 

Checking out the mattress firmness is one of the most important factors to consider for such people. What kind of firmness you want may be completely different from some other person. Likewise, mattresses come in various firmness levels. There might be people seeking a medium-firm mattress to enough support and there might be others seeking a firmer mattress for extra back support.

When sleeping with back pain, a soft mattress that provides too much cushioning may not be the right choice. For such people, it is best to opt for a mattress that firmer and helps relieve pressure from certain pain points.

Motion Transfer

This is important for people who sleep with a partner or a large pet. Most people tend to twist and turn in bed or change positions while sleeping. Now, if your partner does that then your sleep is likely to get disturbed. Thus, it’s all the more important that the mattress that you choose offers very low motion transfer.

By minimizing motion transfer, your mattress can make you sleep undisturbed when your partner changes position.

Temperature Regulation

If you are a hot sleeper or you sweat a lot while sleeping, then you should look out for a mattress that dissipates heat and helps you sleep cool.

A lot of mattresses now come with gel-infused covers and copper or graphite infused layers that can help regulate temperature. Such mattresses are a big plus for people who want to sleep cool. So, while looking for a mattress that can help you provide relief from back pain, also check out for features that can help you sleep cool.

Edge Support

If you are someone who sleeps or sites near the edge of the mattress then you should look for one that provides good edge support. Innerspring or coil mattresses are particularly good at providing edge support. Foam mattresses, on the other hand, lack this feature.

Buying Guide to Buy a Mattress for Back Pain

FAQ’s

Which mattress is best for back pain?
There can be a couple of options that can help you sleep well if you suffer from back pain. What is best for you depends upon a lot of factors such as your body weight, sleeping position and the feel that you desire in your mattress. Depending upon these factors you can choose from a couple of brands we’ve listed here
Are memory foam mattresses best for back pain?
Yes, memory foam mattress are good for people suffering from back pain since they provide good support and also provide pressure relief. However, memory foam is not the only option that you can choose from. Certain hybrid mattresses that combine foam with other construction materials can help relieve back pain also provide many other benefits such as temperature control etc. so that you can sleep well. Some of the best brands include Winkbeds, Saatva, Casper, Posturepedic, etc.
Is a firm mattress good for your back?
Yep! There cannot be two ways about it. As a matter of fact, people who suffer from back pain experience relief when they sleep on a firm mattress. This is especially true in the case of back and stomach sleepers. However, side sleepers would be better off with something softer since a firm mattress can result in hip pain in their case.

Conclusion:

Taking care of back pain is not an easy thing. While a mattress can help, it is certainly not everything that you need to alleviate this pain. If you suffer from chronic back pain you need to consult an orthopedic doctor, change your diet and lifestyle. Certain back exercises can also help.

Combined with these changes and back therapy, a mattress can certainly help you move ahead in the right direction. Moreover, not using the right mattress can actually aggravate your back pain. So, take your pick from the best mattresses for back pain in 2021 mentioned above depending upon your body weight, sleeping position, and other preference that you may have. Also, if you want some extra comfort buy a mattress topper especially if you’re using a hard mattress for the back pain.

I am the content director at SleepOnBest and responsible for reviewing various mattresses and other products. Over the years, I have reviewed more than 100 mattresses. When I am not busy doing reviews, I love to spend time with my beautiful daughter and lovely wife.

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