Updated February 22, 2020 In the U.S., 1 in 3 adults claim back problems affect their everyday activities, including sleep. Less sleep can cause back pain to escalate because of the lack of time spent in non-REM — a key part of the sleep cycle responsible for muscle recovery. The right mattress can make a difference between a good night’s sleep and a sleepless night. The best mattress for back pain will conform to the body, relieve pressure points, and provide full-body support. We’ve compiled a list of the best mattress options on the market today. We also include a guide on what to look for in the best mattress for back pain. Our Top Mattress Recommendation View on AmerisleepRead AS2 customer reviews AS2 Highlights 100-night sleep trial 20-Year Warranty Designed to reduce pain points Heat reducing mattress cover Comes in King, Queen, Twin, Full, and Splits Our Runner-Up View on ZomaRead Zoma customer reviews Zoma Highlights 100-night sleep trial 10-Year Warranty Designed for faster recovery Triangulex™ technology promotes healthy posture Comes in King, Queen, Twin, Full, and Splits Best Mattresses for Back Pain MattressBrandHighlightsPrice (Queen) Amerisleep AS2Bio-Pur®, Affinity with HIVE® technology, and Bio-Core® combine for full-body support.$1099 Zoma Sports MattressTriangulex™ provides deeper compression in the shoulder and hip areas.$750 Amerisleep AS33 inches of Bio-Pur® offer adequate cushion for side sleepers with back pain.$1199 BearGraphite-infused gel memory foam pulls heat away from the body and evenly disperses it.$890 Nolah Signature 12"AirFoam™ improves air circulation, reducing inflammation.$1569 SweetnightThick layer of gel memory foam conforms to the body to relieve pressure points.$568 NoraLayers of foam relieve pressure and align the spine.$515 1. Amerisleep AS2 The Amerisleep AS2 is our favorite mattress for back pain. The AS2 is Amerisleep’s second firmest mattress model. The mattress is 12 inches thick with 2 inches of Bio-Pur®, 3 inches of Affinity, and 7 inches of Bio-Core®. The mattress cover is made with a soft, breathable cover designed to keep you cool and comfortable. Bio-Pur® is a plant-based foam— castor oil replaces part of the petroleum during the manufacturing process. As a result, the foam breathes better than traditional memory foam with little to no off-gassing odor. The Affinity layer uses a special HIVE® technology, a 5-zone support layer offering firmer support to the head, back, and legs, and softer support to the hips and shoulders. The Bio-Core® foam in the base of the mattress provides additional support to the spine and helps the mattress keep its shape. 2. Zoma Sports Mattress The Zoma Sports Mattress is 11 inches tall and contains 2 inches of Triangulex™, 2 inches of Reactiv™, and 7 inches of Support+. The mattress cover is made of a polyester blend. Triangulex™ is a 5-zone layer that provides even body support. Shoulder and hip areas receive deeper compression than lighter sections of the body like the head and legs. Pressure-relieving Triangulex™ foam reduces pain and may even provide a pain-free sleep. The Zoma Sports Mattress one of the best mattresses for athletes and back pain sufferers. Each foam layer is designed to keep the body cool and improve muscle recovery. The Zoma Sports Mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. 3. Amerisleep AS3 Though Amerisleep’s AS2 is our favorite mattress for back pain, their AS3 is another great option for back pain, specifically for side sleepers. Amerisleep’s AS3 is one of their best mattresses for side sleepers because it’s designed to offer an even balance of comfort and support. Designed to be a true medium, the AS3 is soft enough to cushion the shoulders and hips yet firm enough to maintain a neutral posture. The AS3 is softer than the AS2, featuring 3 inches of pressure-relieving Bio-Pur® foam. These three inches of memory foam mold to your body and offer immediate pressure relief and comfort. The AS3 is ideal for side sleepers because its comfort layer is thick enough to allow for deeper compression and pain relief without causing you to sink too far into the mattress. Amerisleep’s AS3 includes proprietary HIVE® technology, a technology that helps to relieve pressure points and keep the spine in alignment. HIVE® is softer under your shoulders and hips and firmer under your midsection to facilitate proper spinal alignment, alleviate pains, and prevent future discomfort. Like the AS2, the Amerisleep AS3 comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty. 4. Bear The Bear mattress is 10 inches tall and contains 1 inch of graphite-gel memory foam, 2 inches of transition poly-foam, and 7 inches of high-density support foam. The polyester cover is infused with FDA-determined Celliant® technology. The combination of graphite and gel pulls heat away from the body and evenly disperses it, reducing pain and inflammation in the back. FDA-determined Celliant® technology converts body heat into infrared light, which is reabsorbed back into the body as energy. Celliant® technology lessens pain and provides quicker muscle recovery. The medium-firm feel of the Bear mattress makes it a great option for back and stomach sleepers. Layers of foam contours to the body to relieve pressure, but allows sleepers to feel like they’re lying on top of the mattress instead of inside it. The Bear mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. 5. Nolah Signature 12” The Nolah Signature 12” mattress is 12 inches tall with 2.5 inches of AirFoam™, 1.5 inches of support foam, 7 inches of high-density foam, and a 1-inch AirFoam™ base. The mattress cover is made from unbleached organic cotton to wick away moisture and improve breathability. Nolah’s signature AirFoam™ uses open-cell technology to improve air circulation inside the mattress to regulate temperature. Pressure-relieving AirFoam™ won’t make sleepers feel stuck in the bed. The Nolah Signature 12” mattress is great for all types of sleepers. This is largely thanks to its dual-sided construction. The medium-soft side is ideal for side and combination sleepers, while the medium-firm side is good for stomach sleepers. Nolah includes a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty with the purchase of the Nolah Signature 12” mattress. 6. Sweetnight The Sweetnight mattress is 12 inches tall and contains 3 inches of gel memory foam, 3.5 inches of air-flow comfort foam, and 5.5 inches of high-density foam. The breathable rayon cotton cover wicks away moisture for better cooling. A thick layer of gel memory foam pulls heat away from the body and disperses it for even temperature regulation. Gel memory foam also cradles the body, relieving pressure and lessening back pain. At a medium-firm feel, the Sweetnight mattress is a good choice for all types of sleepers and body types. Each layer of foam contours to the body without risk of sagging. The mattress comes with a 30-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. 7. Nora The Nora mattress is 12 inches thick with a layer of gel memory foam, a layer of polyurethane foam, and two layers of high-density base foam. Unfortunately, Nora hasn’t disclosed details on material thickness. The cover is made of polyester. Gel memory foam works to pull heat away from the body for even temperature regulation. Foam layers are designed to support and conform to the natural curves of the body. Polyurethane foam provides enhanced support to the gel memory foam comfort layer. The medium-firm feel of the Nora mattress is great for back sleepers— the surface is soft enough to feel comfortable and firm enough to maintain neutral alignment. The Nora mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. What Causes Back Pain? Back pain results from injuries and medical conditions. Some forms of back pain fade away after treatment, while others persist. Before looking for a mattress to help reduce back pain, talk with your doctor. Your doctor is more familiar with your situation and can offer suggestions for the best pain relief. Injuries Back pain can result from muscle and ligament strain, causing stretching or tearing of muscles or tendons. Back injuries can come from a variety of situations, such as car accidents, sports injuries, lifting too much weight, or lifting weights improperly. Another common back injury is bulging or ruptured discs. Discs, or wedges of cartilage, cushion the bones in the spine. When the discs weaken, the cartilage’s soft center pushes or bulges out, pressing against nerves and causing pain. Medical Conditions Back pain can result from medical conditions, including arthritis, skeletal irregularities, and osteoporosis. Understanding each condition can help customers find a mattress to help lessen symptoms, particularly pain. Arthritis Arthritis is caused by joint inflammation due to weakened cartilage between bones resulting in pain, weakness, and stiffness of joints. A common problem for those with arthritis is falling asleep and staying asleep. Common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout. Osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage breaks down inside the joints, making movement painful. Over time, pain can escalate when the bones start grinding against each other once the cartilage is gone. Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where, for unexplained reasons, the body’s immune system attacks the joints, specifically the synovium. The synovium is a thin membrane that surrounds the inner lining of a joint. The synovium produces synovial fluid that nourishes and lubricates the joint. Psoriatic Arthritis Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the body, including the tendons or ligaments connecting bones and skin. Pain, swelling, and inflammation can occur. Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is central pain syndrome. Pain signals are processed differently by the brain and spinal cord. Pain occurs from touch or movement which would normally not happen. Pain either comes and goes or remains constant. Gout Gout occurs from uric acid crystal build-up. When the body produces too much uric acid or if the body is unable to remove the excess uric acid, crystals form in the joints, causing inflammation and pain. Skeletal Irregularities Common forms of skeletal irregularities include: Lordosis: Also known as swayback, lordosis is a condition where the spine curves abnormally inward in the lower back. Kyphosis: A condition where the upper back is rounded more than 50 degrees. Scoliosis: A condition where the spine curves sideways in an S-shape or C-shape. Osteoporosis Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the skeletal structure. Bones become porous and brittle, easily fracturing from simple movements like sneezing. How Back Pain Affects Sleep Those with back pain struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep. Back pain may be temporary (acute back pain) or constant (chronic back pain). Lack of sleep can escalate pain because the body’s recovery time is cut short. Acute Back Pain Individuals who suffer from acute back pain experience pain for less than three months. Acute back pain is usually connected with an injury or a car accident. Pain fades after treatment is complete. Chronic Back Pain Those who suffer from chronic back pain experience consistent pain even after treatment. Chronic back pain can result from an injury, car accident, or medical condition. What to Look For in a Mattress Before shopping for a new bed, take a step back and evaluate what you want. For back pain sufferers, support and pressure relief are major factors. Back pain sufferers need a mattress to evenly support the body while relieving pressure points to reduce pain and inflammation. Those with back pain also need to consider their preferred sleep position, body weight, and mattress type. Support Support provides proper spinal alignment while feeling comfortable to the sleeper. Proper support prevents or reduces back pain by keeping the spine in neutral alignment, no matter the sleep position. A mattress with poor support misaligns the spine and may worsen pain. Pressure Relief All mattresses should include some form of body contouring to provide pressure relief. Pressure points form when body weight is not supported properly. Contouring relieves pressure points, lessens pain, and reduces inflammation. Sleep Position How a person sleeps on a mattress can affect the type of mattress they decide to buy. There are three different sleep positions— side sleeping, back sleeping, and stomach sleeping. Each sleeping position needs a specific firmness to maintain healthy spinal alignment. Side Sleeping Side sleeping is one of the most common and healthiest sleep positions. Side sleeping, especially on the right side removes pressure off vital organs and improves heart health. Side sleepers breathe better at night and face less risk of snoring and developing sleep apnea. Back Sleeping Another healthy sleep position is back sleeping. Back sleepers also breathe better at night, but unlike side sleeping, back sleepers run the risk of snoring and developing sleep apnea. Sleeping on the back may cause soft tissue at the back of the throat to collapse, or the tongue to fall back, blocking airways. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to heart problems and high blood pressure. Stomach Sleeping Stomach sleepers face higher health risks than other sleepers. Twisting the neck to the side puts your spine in an awkward position, resulting in neck strain. Gravity pulling the weight down in the midsection straightens the spine, causing lower back pain. Switching to the side sleeping position is a healthier alternative to stomach sleeping, and could reduce back pain. Body Weight Bodyweight can have a large impact on sleep quality. Customers need to keep their weight in mind when looking for a good mattress. Couples, in particular, need a mattress to support and conform to their bodies while handling their combined weight. Bodyweight determines how much the body sinks into the mattress. Avoid mattresses with a deep sink— too much sinkage throws off spinal alignment, resulting in pain and pressure buildup. Lightweight Sleepers Lightweight sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds need a softer mattress. Softer mattresses allow a lightweight sleeper’s body to slightly sink into the mattress, conforming to the body and relieving pressure. Lightweight sleepers need a soft to medium mattress, depending on preferred sleep position. Average Weight Sleepers Average weight sleepers who weigh between 130 pounds and 230 pounds, should choose mattresses ranging between medium-soft to medium-firm, depending on preferred sleep position. Average weight sleepers need a mattress to conform to the body while offering full support. Heavyweight Sleepers Heavyweight sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or more need a firmer mattress. Firmer mattresses won’t bottom out and provide equal levels of comfort and support to heavyweight sleepers. Medium-firm to firm mattresses are good options for heavyweight sleepers, depending on preferred sleep position. Mattress Type The type of mattress you choose can affect back pain. Memory foam and latex are the best options for those with back pain because of their excellent contouring abilities and pressure relief. Innersprings are a poor choice because of their lack of conforming abilities— innerspring mattresses have a thin comfort layer that may not be enough to reduce pain from built-up pressure. Hybrid mattresses are okay choices, but look to see what type of materials make up the comfort layer. Memory Foam Memory foam is a great option for those with back pain. Memory foam hugs the body, relieving pressure points and evenly distributing body weight across the sleep surface. Memory foam mattresses contain a comfort layer of memory foam with a high-density poly-foam base. Traditional memory foam was known to retain heat, but manufacturers today have since altered memory foam to include cooling properties like replacing part of the petroleum with castor oil or infusing the foam with gel beads. Innerspring Innerspring mattresses, while a good option for those looking for a medium-firm to firm mattress, are not the best choice for back pain sufferers. Those with back pain need a sleep surface to conform to the body, relieving pressure points. Innerspring mattresses have little conforming capabilities due to the lack of a comfort layer— some mattress companies use a layer of microcoils as their comfort layer. Compared to foam and latex, innersprings are more likely to create pressure points rather than eliminate them. Latex Latex is another type of mattress ideal for reducing back pain. Latex mattresses may contain natural latex or synthetic latex. Natural latex comes in one of two forms— Dunlop or Talalay. Dunlop latex is denser and more durable. Talalay latex contains strategically-placed holes for a zoned support system and is softer and less durable than Dunlop latex. Latex mattresses are more expensive than other mattress types, but natural latex will come at a higher price tag. For back pain sufferers and eco-conscious individuals, a latex mattress might be the right choice. Hybrid To create the perfect mattress, manufacturers took the body-contouring abilities of memory foam and the cooling coils of an innerspring to create the hybrid mattress. The best hybrid mattress will have a comfort layer at least 2 inches thick with a coiled support layer. Hybrid mattresses might be a good option for back pain, but look to see how thick the comfort layer is and what type of material the top layers are made of. Sleep Trials, Warranties, and Return Policies Before committing to a mattress, customers should look to see if a sleep trial is offered, read the fine print of a warranty, and see if there is a return policy. Each of these features are reassurances to the customer from the manufacturer. Sleep Trial Sleep trials are mostly offered through bed-in-a-box brands because the customer buys a mattress online without being able to try it first. Sleep trials allow the customer to try a mattress within the comfort of their own home. Most sleep trials last between 90 to 120 nights. During the sleep trial, if the customer is not satisfied with the mattress they can return it for a full refund. Return mattresses are either donated to a local charity or dropped off at a recycling center through the mattress company. If a sleep trial isn’t offered, the next best thing is to look at the return policy. Sleep trials are better because of their extended trial period, but return policies can act as a good substitute. Warranty Warranties protect the mattress investment of the customer. Most mattresses come with a standard 10-year warranty, which outlines what the customer can expect from the manufacturer and what the manufacturer expects from the customer. Warranties cover sagging and manufacturer defects not caused by customer misuse. One thing to keep in mind is water damage. If you haven’t already, purchase a mattress protector. Should a liquid spill occur, the mattress remains protected and the warranty won’t be voided. Return Policy If a sleep trial is not included with the purchase of a mattress, a return policy is the next best thing. A typical return policy lasts 30 days, the same amount of time it takes for the body to adjust to a new mattress. During this time, the customer decides whether they wish to keep the mattress or return it. Return policies usually aren’t as long as sleep trials, but they’re a good substitute. Additional Tips Additional sleep accessories, like pillows, mattress toppers, and adjustable beds can reduce pain and inflammation. Pillows The right pillow can work in tandem with a mattress to align the spine and reduce back pain. Look at the loft of a pillow, or a pillow’s height, before committing to buy. A pillow’s loft and your preferred sleep position determine spinal alignment. Side and back sleepers do well with a medium to high loft pillow, while stomach sleepers do best with a low loft pillow. Extra pillows can also reduce back pain. Placing a pillow between the knees can take the pressure off the hips for side sleepers. Back sleepers should use a pillow under the knees to slightly elevate the lower body, removing pressure off the lower back. Placing a thin pillow under the hips reduces pressure in the lower back and aligns the spine for stomach sleepers. Mattress Topper A mattress topper is an individual layer that provides additional cushioning to the body. Mattress toppers are normally used to alter the sleep surface or adjust the firmness level of the mattress. Mattress toppers are great options for customers who can’t return their mattresses and for couples with different firmness preferences. Please note: mattress toppers are not a solution to a sagging mattress. If your mattress is 7 years old or more, or you’re noticing a definite sag on the surface, it’s time to buy a new bed. Old and sagging mattresses could be the reason behind back pain. Adjustable Bed An adjustable bed automatically lowers and elevates different sections of the body— the angled surface reduces back pain. Users make adjustments using a remote or phone app. Adjustable beds can be expensive— most quality models cost around $2000— but many back pain sufferers feel the high price tag is worth it when their sleep quality improves. Other Things to Consider When Should I Replace My Mattress? When you decide to replace your bed depends on the material and quality of the bed. Generally, mattresses should be replaced every 7 to 10 years. Mattresses should also be replaced when a sag is visible and no longer covered under warranty. Generally, mattresses should be replaced every 7 to 10 years. Mattresses should also be replaced when a sag is visible and no longer covered under warranty. Can a Mattress Cause Back Pain? Some mattresses can cause back pain and escalate existing back pain, depending on the feel of the mattress, the preferred sleep position of an individual, and body weight. For example, a lightweight who prefers side sleeping may find a firm innerspring mattress too hard. The firm sleep surface of the bed and the sleeper’s lightweight prevents any form of body-contouring and instead creates pressure points in the shoulders and hips. Conclusion Back pain is one of the most common disabilities in the United States. Back pain can affect sleep quality, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. The right mattress may reduce pain and inflammation and could provide relief. Before buying a new mattress, talk with your doctor for guidance in finding the best solution. Now that you know what to look for, start improving your sleep tonight by purchasing the best mattress for back pain. This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a Comment Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.