Updated October 30, 2020Lower back pain affects the five vertebrae at the base of the spine, known as the lumbar region. Although the causes of lower back pain vary considerably, it’s relatively common—affecting about 31 million Americans at any given time. When living with pain of any kind, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. However, without adequate rest, the body cannot repair itself, causing pain to worsen and last longer.One of the best things you can do to alleviate lower back pain is to upgrade to a more supportive mattress. An old, broken-down bed with indentations or sagging can force you to sleep in uncomfortable positions that put pressure on the spine—making back pain even worse. In some cases, your mattress could be the primary cause of your back pain.A mattress more suited to your specific body type and sleep habits can improve comfort so you can find deep, restorative rest. To help you sleep better and live with less pain, we introduce you to some of the best mattresses on the market. Our short buyer’s guide will also help you determine the right mattress style and firmness for your needs.Best Mattress for Lower Back PainBest Mattress for Back Sleepers: Amerisleep AS2Best Mattress for Side Sleepers: Amerisleep AS4Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers: Amerisleep AS3 HybridBest Memory Foam Mattress: Zoma MattressBest Value Mattress: Vaya MattressBest Mattresses for Lower Back PainMattressHighlightPriceAmerisleep AS2Medium-firm comfort level perfect for back sleepers with lower back pain.$979Amerisleep AS4Medium-soft feel that contours to the body to prevent pressure points.$1259Amerisleep AS3 HybridPocketed spring coil base that adjusts to each area of the body for accurate contouring.$1189Zoma MattressTriangulex™ technology creates a balance of cushioning and support.$750Vaya MattressTwo advanced foam layers offer a medium comfort level at an affordable price.$595Nest Bedding All-Latex MattressAll-natural latex foam layers available in three different firmness options.$17991. Amerisleep AS2Best Mattress for Back Sleepers Amerisleep’s AS2 is our recommendation for those who prefer back sleeping because it has a medium-firm comfort level that cradles the lower back without excessive sinking. This combination allows the spine to rest in a safe, neutral position so the back muscles can relax and rebuild.The comfort layer of the AS2 features 2 inches of Amerisleep’s advanced Bio-Pur®. Unlike traditional memory foam, Bio-Pur® is partially made with plant-based oils, rather than 100 percent petroleum-based oils. This manufacturing process allows Amerisleep to create a mattress that is non-toxic, eco-friendly, and more breathable than traditional memory foam. Bio-Pur® is also more responsive to keep you supported as you change positions throughout the night.In the middle of the AS2 is a layer of Affinity foam with HIVE® technology. This layer is made up of hundreds of hexagonal cutouts that provide the perfect compression to each area of the body. Along the back, HIVE® is firmer to keep this area supported and prevent sinking. Near sensitive areas, HIVE® is softer to reduce pressure.The base of the AS2 features Amerisleep’s Bio-Core® foam—a sturdy support base that helps maintain the mattress’s structure and prevent sagging.Amerisleep backs up the quality of their mattresses with a 20-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial. For those with back pain, a trial period is a great way to ensure the comfort level is right for you.2. Amerisleep AS4Best Mattress for Side Sleepers Amerisleep’s AS4 is similar to the AS2, but this mattress has a medium-soft feel that is perfect for side sleepers who suffer from low back pain. Despite its softness, the AS4 has a responsive quality that keeps the body lifted and in alignment.The AS4 has a light, breathable cover that allows body heat to dissipate, so you experience a cool and comfortable sleep. In this model, the Bio-Pur® layer is softer and 4 inches thick to offer more cradling. When pressure is applied, this layer hugs the body’s curves to relieve muscle tension so you can find deeper sleep. This contouring helps reduce pressure build-up near the hips and shoulders, which is very common for side sleepers since these areas bear the brunt of the body weight.The AS4’s transition layer with HIVE® technology prevents any area of the body from sinking too far into the mattress. This feature keeps the spine neutral, so the back muscle can relax, easing tension and pain.Amerisleep’s Bio-Core® makes up the base of the AS4. This material is strong enough to support the soft layers throughout many years of use.As with all Amerisleep mattresses, the AS4 comes with a 20-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial. If you decide the AS4 is not supporting you correctly, Amerisleep will work with you to exchange the mattress or issue a full refund.3. Amerisleep AS3 HybridBest Mattress for Combination SleepersAmerisleep’s AS3 Hybrid is our pick for combination sleepers because it has a medium firmness that cushions and supports the body no matter which position you snooze in. With a perfect balance of firmness and compression, combination sleepers will always rest in a healthy position on the AS3 Hybrid.As with Amerisleep’s other mattresses, a soft, lightweight cover and 3-inch Bio-Pur® layer make up the mattress’s surface. In this model, the thickness of the Bio-Pur® layer is the perfect middle ground for preventing pressure points while side sleeping and reducing sinking while back sleeping.Instead of Bio-Core®, the AS3 Hybrid has a base of pocketed spring coils. These coils move independently to offer accurate contouring to each area of the body. Similar to Amerisleep’s HIVE® technology, this base is zoned to be softer near sensitive areas, and firmer near the lower back to offer support without excessive sinking.This base is reinforced with edge support to ensure durability and reduce motion transfer, which is perfect for couples. For a mattress that offers the bounce of spring coils and the contouring of memory foam, the AS3 Hybrid is a perfect choice.Amerisleep’s generous 20-year warranty backs the quality of this mattress. You can take advantage of their 100-night sleep trial and try out this advanced, supportive bed for yourself.4. Zoma MattressBest Memory Foam Mattress The Zoma is a unique memory foam mattress with several features designed to reduce back pain. The Zoma, originally known as the Zoma Sports Mattress, is especially loved by athletes looking for relief from sore bodies. Zoma designs their mattress for athletes with temperature-regulating gel and zoned support technologies to enhance recovery.This mattress has a medium firmness, making it ideal for most sleeping positions and body types, including side, back, and combination sleepers. Despite being originally designed for athletes, the Zoma Mattress is a go-to for anybody looking to eliminate discomfort because it contains enhanced back support technology.The cover of the Zoma Mattress features a stretch knit fabric that creates adequate airflow, so you never experience night sweats or overheating. The top layer of this mattress is made of Zoma’s gel memory foam with Triangulex™ technology.Across the foam’s surface, hundreds of triangular segments respond to each area of the body differently, providing sleepers with a more comprehensive support system. This foam is softer where you need it and firmer near areas that require more stability. The air channels throughout this foam allow body heat to release quickly, so the temperature of the mattress is always cool and inviting.The transition layer of the Zoma features their Reactiv™ foam. This material responds quickly to movement and pressure to ensure you stay supported even as you change positions. Reactiv™ keeps the body lifted to reduce stress on the spine, allowing the muscles to relax.The base of the Zoma Mattress features Support+—a durable foam that guards against sagging and indentations. With this stable base, the Zoma will keep you supported and comfortable for many years.With each mattress purchase, Zoma includes a 100-night sleep trial so you can try the bed risk-free. They also include a 10-year warranty to back up the quality and construction of their mattresses.5. Vaya MattressBest Value MattressThe Vaya Mattress is a newer brand now available on Amazon. This bed has two high-quality foam layers that create a medium firmness—suitable for many different sleepers. Plus, the Vaya Mattress is available at a low price point that fits well into any budget.Each component of the Vaya Mattress ensures that you sleep cool and relaxed. The cover is made of a soft, woven material to increase airflow across the bed’s surface. The Vaya foam in the comfort layer has a natural breathability that won’t trap heat, unlike most memory foams. Vaya foam contours to the body to prevent pressure points and ease muscle tension. However, it also has a slight bounce that allows the heaviest parts of the body to stay lifted—preventing any pressure on the spine and back muscles.Supporting the comfort layer is a base of durable, high-density foam. This base helps maintain the structure of the mattress and reduces motion transfer. Both layers of the Vaya Mattress are hypoallergenic and backed by a CertiPUR-US® certification—ensuring the bed will have minimal off-gassing when brought indoors.Vaya offers a 100-night sleep trial to ensure that mattress is right for you. They also provide a 10-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects such as sagging and indentations.6. Nest Bedding All-Latex MattressBest All-Latex Mattress Nest Bedding’s all-latex mattress is available in three different firmness levels—medium, firm, or a split medium/firm option. We recommend the medium comfort level if you’re a side sleeper and the firm option for back sleepers.No matter which firmness you choose, this mattress features two layers of latex foam that form to the body for pressure relief. Latex also has a natural buoyancy that keeps sleepers lifted on the bed, rather than cradled. This combination is a perfect mattress for heavier sleepers who don’t want to feel stuck but also prefer the comfort of foam.When purchasing this mattress, you can choose from two different types of latex foam—all-natural latex or certified organic latex. The all-natural version has minimal off-gassing and all the benefits of latex, including hypoallergenic and antibacterial properties. The organic version is certified by GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) to be free of harmful pesticides and petroleum additives. In both options, an organic cotton cover wraps the foam layers to create a soft, breathable sleep surface.With each mattress, Nest Bedding includes a 100-night sleep trial—allowing you to test out the mattress for yourself. They also include a lifetime warranty that protects your investment against sagging and indentations.How Lower Back Pain Affects SleepLiving with any type of pain can make it difficult to find quality sleep. Research shows that about half of those with lower back pain regularly experience sleep disruptions. This is true for those with short term and long term chronic lower back pain. When our sleep is constantly disrupted, it can trigger a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation, leading to higher levels of stress, mood swings, poor immune function, and the inability to focus.The use of medication to alleviate pain can make sleep difficult to come by. These aids may work temporarily, but they tend to keep the mind active and make it harder for us to get restful sleep. Debilitating pain also limits physical exercise, which can interfere with deep sleep. “Restful sleep is essential for the recovery from daily activities as well as injuries and interrupted sleep can prolong your pain as well,” says Dr. Bhavik Sheth, Physical Therapist.Although a new mattress may not completely alleviate lower back pain, it can help lessen the symptoms and improve sleep quality. During deep sleep (stage 3), HGH floods the body and repairs muscle tissue. Therefore, those living with pain can find relief by getting deeper, more restorative sleep. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and using a supportive mattress will ensure that you experience more restful sleep.Sleep Positions and FirmnessIf you suffer from lower back pain, your spine should rest in a natural position during sleep. A safe spinal position will ease tension in the back muscles.Each sleep position requires a slightly different firmness to support a healthy spine. The mattress firmness you choose should complement your preferred sleep position. Below, we highlight the firmness options best suited to each sleeping style.Side SleepingThe best mattress for side sleepers will cushion the hips and shoulders as they sink into the bed. However, it is crucial that sleepers not fall too far into the bed. When this happens, the spine can be forced out of alignment with the hips and shoulders, putting even more pressure on the lower back. We recommend that side sleepers rest on a mattress with a soft to medium comfort level. Lightweight sleepers may prefer a soft mattress to experience more contouring, while heavier sleepers will prefer a medium comfort level to avoid sinking.Back SleepingWhen resting on the back, the hips and torso sink into the bed. Some sinking is helpful because you want the lower back to remain cradled. However, excessive sinking causes the spine to bow—putting pressure on the lumbar region and increasing pain. Therefore, the best mattress for back sleepers is one with a medium-firm feel—this firmness will ensure contouring without too much sinking.Stomach SleepingStomach sleepers often experience chronic back and neck pain. This is because stomach sleeping exaggerates the spine’s natural curve, putting constant pressure on the back and keeping the muscle tense. Therefore, we recommend avoiding stomach sleeping wherever possible—this is especially important for back-pain sufferers.However, if you can’t avoid rolling onto your belly, we suggest firm mattresses for stomach sleeping. This comfort level will reduce sinking and keep the hips in alignment with the shoulders. You can also place a thin pillow under the hips to keep it lifted and in alignment.Combination SleepingThose who change positions during sleep need a balance of firmness and compression. Therefore, the best mattress for combination sleepers is one with a medium comfort level. A medium comfort level will cushion the pressure points when side sleeping and prevent sinking when resting on the back.Mattress TypesEach type of mattress on the market offers a different level of support that can alleviate pressure on the lower back or aggravate it. Below, we explain which mattress types are best when looking for pain relief.Memory Foam MattressesMemory foam mattresses are often recommended to those with chronic pain because they closely contour the body, allowing muscles to relax fully. They also cushion the joints and prevent pressure from building up in these areas, so you wake with fewer aches and pains.Memory foam beds are available in several different firmness options, so it is easy to find one that suits your body type and sleep position. When resting on a memory foam mattress, it is vital that those with lower back pain not experience excessive sinking. To avoid this, look for a mattress with adequate lumbar support and a response layer that promotes a healthy spine.Latex MattressesLatex foam mattresses contour to the body like memory foam beds. However, this foam has a natural bounce that keeps sleepers lifted rather than cradled. This material works well for heavier sleepers who want to experience contouring without feeling stuck in the mattress. A latex mattress can provide optimal spinal alignment while also keeping the lower back stable. For most sleepers, a medium to medium-firm comfort level works best with latex foam.Latex foam is naturally hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial, making it ideal for those with allergies and other sensitivities. Many organic varieties of latex are also available. While these models are more expensive, it may be worth the extra expense if you are looking for a non-toxic, eco-friendly option.Hybrid MattressesHybrid mattresses have a comfort layer made of 2 to 3 inches of foam—either memory or latex foam. Some hybrid models use poly-foam in the comfort level, but this material doesn’t conform to the body the way latex or memory foam does.The support core of a hybrid is made up of spring coils that are typically pocketed to reduce motion transfer and improve contouring. Those with lower back pain should select a hybrid mattress with coils that are zoned to provide more compression to sensitive areas, and more stability to the lower back.Due to the bounce of the spring coils, these mattresses are ideal for heavier sleepers and back sleepers because they provide even weight distribution.Innerspring MattressesLike a hybrid, innerspring mattresses have a spring coil base. However, innerspring beds tend to have a thin comfort layer made of either cotton, wool, or foam. With a thin topper and spring coil base, these beds have a very firm feel that causes pressure points along the body.A mattress topper can be added to create more contouring, but finding the right balance of support and compression can be difficult with an innerspring mattress. If the mattress is too firm or if coils press into the lower back, they can exaggerate pain.Frequently Asked QuestionsAre memory foam mattresses good for back pain?Memory foam mattresses are perfect for those who need pain relief. This material conforms to the curves of the body, cushioning sensitive areas, and easing muscle tension. These beds are available in many different comfort levels, from soft to firm, so you can select one suited to your body type and sleep position.What mattress firmness is best for lower back pain?In most cases, a medium to medium-firm mattress is best for those with lower back pain. A firm mattress may not offer adequate contouring for the joints. Beds that are too soft tend to sink down pretty far, forcing the spine out of alignment with the hips and shoulders—making back pain worse. A medium or medium-firm mattress will provide enough compression to prevent pressure points, while also keeping the spine in a neutral position.Can a mattress cause back pain?An unsupportive mattress can cause back pain to develop. When resting on a lumpy or uneven surface, the body is forced into uncomfortable positions that put pressure on the spine. Over time, this pressure can cause chronic lower back pain.Can an adjustable base help with lower back pain?An adjustable base is a great way to alleviate back pain. Lifting the legs during sleep increases lumbar support and reduces tension. This position helps to decompress the spine, allowing the muscles in the back to relax more fully.How often should you change your mattress?A high-quality mattress, such as memory or latex foam beds, will last between 8 to 10 years. Latex foam beds tend to last a little longer, around 12 years. Therefore, you will want to replace your mattress roughly every 10 years, depending on its support. If you frequently wake with muscle pain or joint stiffness, it may be time to change your mattress.ConclusionIf you live with lower back pain, you may be able to find relief with a newer, more supportive mattress. When shopping, be sure to keep your needs in mind. Your bed should feel comfortable and inviting, but it should also allow you to maintain a safe, healthy sleep position so your muscles and joints can relax. When you are supported and the spine is neutral, you will experience a good night’s rest and wake with less pain.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.