Best-bed-for-back-pain

The Best Mattress For Back Pain 2021

As a Chiropractor one question I hear often is, “What is the best mattress for back pain?” My answer is always the same: “You need a medium firm hybrid memory foam or latex mattress.” A quality mattress can do wonders to ease your back pain and get the pressure relief and support you need to get a restful night’s sleep. Buying a mattress is an important and costly decision, and purchasing the wrong bed could be very consequential, and I know from experience.

Not having the proper support from your mattress can lead to the following: Lower back pain, chronic pain, muscle spasms, disc bulge/disc herniation, sciatica, sacroilitis, spinal instability, facet syndrome, a bad back or other back problems.

These conditions can be avoided by sleeping on the right mattress, but finding the right mattress for back pain is not always easy. Searching online through dozens of options can be tiring. Fortunately, I have seen the mistakes patients make and I’m here to guide you in the right direction. Read on to see the best mattresses for back pain.

#1 – Best Mattress For Back Pain – Saatva

Saatva-Classic-Small
  1. Overall best mattress for lower back pain
  2. Best mattress for back sleepers
  3. Best hybrid memory foam
  4. Quality sourced materials
  5. Over 2000 reviews & 4.9 rating
  6. Trial period – 180 nights
  7. Queen price – $1299

#2 – Best Mattress For Side Sleepers – The Latex Hybrid

Best-Mattress For Side Sleepers
  1. The mattress for side sleepers
  2. Best latex hybrid mattress
  3. Best for hip pain and shoulder pain
  4. Offers the best pressure point relief
  5. Quality sourced Talalay latex
  6. Trial period – 180 nights
  7. Queen price – $1599

#3 – Best Memory Foam Mattress – Loom and Leaf

best-memory-foam-mattress
  1. Best memory foam mattress for back pain
  2. The mattress for stomach sleepers
  3. Infused cooling gel foam layer
  4. Premium ultra high density memory foam
  5. Over 540 reviews & 4.9 rating
  6. Trial period – 180 nights
  7. Queen price – $1599

Before Buying A Mattress For Your Back Pain

Are you buying a mattress to help you with your Sleep Position or a Sleep Condition?

Sleep Condition

Mid Back Pain and Lower Back Pain

If you suffer from mid back pain, lower back pain, or a more specific condition affecting these regions, then this section pertains to you. Other low back conditions include: sciatica, facet syndrome, spinal instability, disc bulge/herniation, joint dysfunction, muscle spasms, scoliosis, and degenerative disc disease (arthritis). If you identify with one of these conditions, then having a mattress that offers support is most important.

When looking for a supportive mattress for back pain you want a material that is responsive and can hold your mid back and low back curves in place while still being comfortable. A supportive mattress should push into you, not swallow you up. There’s no better material for support than memory foam or latex.

Hip Pain and Shoulder Pain

If you suffer from hip pain, shoulder pain, or other related conditions such as thoracic outlet syndrome, rotator cuff impingement, shoulder and hip arthritis, tears and tendinitis, hip and shoulder replacements, and bursitis issues, then pressure relief is what you need out of a mattress.

These conditions all affect parts of the body that stick out (shoulders and hips). These areas need pressure relief from the constant stress the muscles, ligaments, and joints are under day to day. The best mattresses for pressure relief for your shoulders and hips are typically latex or memory foam mattresses

Hot Sleeper or Cold Sleeper

If you sleep hot and are looking for a cooler mattress then latex is what you want. Latex is less dense and usually an open-celled material. This allows for better airflow and cool sleeping.

If you sleep cold and are looking for a mattress that stays hot then memory foam is what you want. It is typically a denser material and traps heat within the mattress, keeping you warm throughout the night.

Tip: Do you and your spouse have different temperature preferences? Check out the Ooler, it will help keep you cool at night. It’s a single or dual temperature-controlled mattress pad. You can set your exact preferred temperature to your side of the bed…from your phone. This works well for hot sleepers too. No worries if you don’t like it, as they offer a 30 days trial period.

Sleep Position

Back Sleepers with Back Pain

If you are a back sleeper with back pain you are going to want support from your mattress for your low back and mid back. Support will offer you back pain relief by allowing the rest and recovery your muscles, joints, and discs need. Without support your muscles are having to work all night to support a spine that is already under day to day stress. With support you will have that proper spinal alignment, and to get support you need a firm mattress.

Support is necessary for the indented areas of our body (low back and parts of the mid back). You want your mattress to push up into these areas to keep your spine in the correct position. The best material for that is a hybrid memory foam or latex.

Side Sleepers with Back Pain

If you are a side sleeper with back pain then it is important you have a soft enough surface to relieve pressure points. You want a mattress that offers pressure relief on the parts of your body that stick out.

The ball and socket joints that are your hips and shoulders are under constant everyday stress. They need pressure relief, especially when you are laying on your side. The best material for relieving surface pressure is memory foam or latex.

Stomach Sleepers with Back Pain

If you are a stomach sleeper with back pain then the best recommendation is to stop sleeping in that position. Your muscles are having to work throughout the night to support your lumbar spine, and your head is crooked to one side throughout the night. You are creating constant stress and strain on your spine and muscles, and not demonstrating proper spinal alignment.

If you fall asleep on your back or side and end up on my stomach you need to retrain your sleeping pattern. Here are two tips on how to:

Tip 1: While on your back try sleeping with a plush pillow under your knees. This will make it harder for you to turn over in the middle of the night, and it’s actually good for your lumbar spine. It removes the natural curve in your low back and actually decompresses your lumbar spine, and allows for more support.

Tip 2: While on your side try sleeping with a pillow in between your legs. Again, this makes it hard to turn over. It will also keep your legs from rotating in, and will give you pressure point relief off your hips and SI joints.

#1 – The Saatva Classic

saatva-luxury-classic-mattress

Best Mattress For Lower Back Pain

The most supportive hybrid memory foam mattress is the Saatva Classic. This mattress is best for those who are suffering from low back pain. Saatva is a longstanding company that produces quality mattress products. The Saatva Classic meets all 5 of my criteria that make up a good bed: Materials, support, pressure relief, resilience, and breath-ability.

Materials – Their mattress materials are sourced from high quality eco-friendly suppliers.

Support – The Saatva Classic is a hybrid medium firm memory foam bed. It has several layers of premium high density memory foam followed by a patented spinal zone active wire technology that gives you the support and proper spinal alignment you need throughout the night.  This enhanced support is what may help relieve your back pain.

Pressure Relief – The combination between the plush eco friendly GOTS certified organic euro top and layers of memory foam offer the perfect amount of pressure point relief while not sacrificing the much needed support for your low back.

Resilience – The Saatva Classic Mattress has a pocket coil core technology that consists of dozens of individually wrapped pocketed coils. These wrapped coils, along with the spinal zone active wire that is installed into the core of the mattress, are what preserves the life of the bed and makes it very resilient overtime.

Breath-ability – Their hybrid mattresses are open celled, allowing air to easily pass through. This keeps their mattresses from trapping heat to keep you cool at night.

Meeting these 5 criteria makes Saatva the overall best mattress for back pain.

This mattress offers a 180 night trial period.

For more information on the 5 criteria checkout our article: How To Tell If Your Mattress Is Causing Back Pain.

Saatva Mattress Reviews

  • Tiffany D.
    Verified Owner
    June, 2021
    KingRelaxed Firm11.5″

    Classic, King, Firm

    So happy so far! I have been researching mattresses for over a year. I have horrible back pain and stiffness and require firm support. I’ve tried every style of mattress from Temperpedic soft, Temperpedic firm, pillowtop styles and classic innerspring with a memory foam topper. So far the ladder had been the best for my back which is why I was interested in Saatva in the first place. I have had it for just about a month and my body feels amazing. I will say firm does not mean hard! It is very soft cushy just also very firm. I do plan to update my review after a few more months if anything changes. Lastly I was very happy with the delivery service. They took away my old mattress and delivered my new. I was given a 2 hour window the day before they delivered and then was given a phone call when they were 20 minutes away. They also have a 180 day trial period. Very convenient! I am a happy loyal customer!
  • SHerbert
    Verified Owner
    May, 2021

    GOOD RESTFUL NIGHT SLEEP FINALLY

    I can truly agree with other reviewers who have vouched that the mattress that I received (inner spring coils – 14.5″ H) feel soooooo good to sleep on… I have had a week’s worth of wonderful sleep and I love it! Thanks Saatva for manufacturing an inner spring mattress for back pain that works. No more back aches and can now sleep all over the bed. Again, thanks.
  • Thomas H.
    Verified Owner
    May, 2021

    Fantastic Mattress

    After having a high end mattress and constant problems with back pain and mattress breakdown, we rolled the dice and bought a King Luxury firm Saatva mattress. We now sleep like a rock and wake up refreshed with no back pain. It is an amazing mattress.

#2 – The Hybrid Latex

Best-Mattress For Side Sleepers

Best Mattress For Side Sleepers

According to the National Sleep Foundation 70% of sleepers end up on their side. When laying on your side, the midline distance between your shoulders and torso is large, so you need a mattress that can respond quickly to the vast pressure differences in both areas. If you don’t have enough support your low back will sink into the mattress causing improper spine alignment, and eventually low back pain. If you don’t have enough pressure relief you will have increased pressure points on your hips and shoulders, which will leave you tossing and turning from side to side. Latex mattresses are typically more buoyant than memory foam mattresses. This means that they adjust to your sleep position a little quicker, and are more responsive than traditional memory foam, making latex mattresses best for side sleepers with pain.

The Latex Hybrid Mattress gives that perfect combination of relief and support for side sleepers. Here’s why:

Best Latex Mattress For Back Pain

There are several types of latex that are used in mattresses. The “gold standard” is Talalay Latex because of its ability to remain responsive while still being lightweight and open celled for breathability. Saatva’s Hybrid Latex Mattress is made with a 3 inch layer of open celled Talalay Latex. Below this layer you’ll find several hundred individually wrapped zoned pocket coils, which gives the already responsive Talalay Latex extra responsiveness. On top of the latex is a layer of GOTS certified organic antimicrobial wool. The top of the mattress is finished with a layer of hypoallergenic certified organic cotton. I recommend the luxury firm new mattress selection.

From top to bottom the entire mattress is made with the best quality materials on the market that are hypoallergenic, certified organic, and antimicrobial. Pair that with it’s ultra responsive features and you get a mattress that is best for side sleepers, and this is why Saatva’s Hybrid Latex Mattress is considered the best.

This mattress has a 180 night trial period.

#3 – The Loom and Leaf

best-memory-foam-mattress

Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers

First, and most importantly, it is not recommended to sleep on your stomach. If you sleep in this position and you have back pain or neck pain, then the first recommendation is to try other sleeping positions. If you fall asleep in other positions and end up on your stomach, then it may take months to retrain your subconscious to prefer another sleeping position.  If for whatever reason you cannot switch positions then its recommended that you purchase a firm or ultra firm memory foam mattress.

When you lay on your stomach the discs and joints in your low back are left with no support from the mattress. Your low back is suspended in a lordotic curve with only the muscles to keep it in proper spinal alignment. This leads to the muscles working 24 hours a day. Overtime, the entire low back becomes tight and irritated, the discs cannot rehydrate throughout the night, and the joints are not allowed to decompress. The stress eventually leads to inflammation and chronic pain.

A hybrid mattress filled with pocketed coils is not recommended for stomach sleepers because it allows for too much pressure relief. The more pressure relief the more your low back will bow into the mattress, leaving you in more pain. A firm or ultra firm memory foam mattress will support your low back as much as the sleeping position allows it to.

So what constitutes a good memory foam mattress for stomach sleepers? Firm layers of memory foam, which is why The Loom and Leaf is the best mattress for back pain for those who sleep on their stomach.

Gel-memory-foam

Best Memory Foam Mattress For Back Pain

Loom and Leaf is recommended for those who sleep on their stomach. Back pain sufferers who sleep on their stomach struggle with spinal alignment, and the Loom and Leaf can give them the ultra firm support they need to help stop the progression of their lower back pain.

The Loom and Leaf is the only mattress option that is not a hybrid for the reasons previously listed. This bed has many firm foam layers of support. It starts with a high density foam base. Next is an ultra premium 5lb memory foam layer that gives lasting support, unlike the cheap bed-in-a-box foam beds. On top of this is a layer of cooling gel memory foam. This is a proprietary gel foam that keeps you cool at night while providing another layer of support. This gel memory foam is also open celled, which allows air to pass through to give sleepers a cool night’s rest. Lastly, the mattress is topped with two more layers of foam and then quilted with an organic, hypoallergenic, antimicrobial cotton comfort layer. All foam layers within the mattress are eco friendly as well.

The Loom and Leaf firm option is listed as an 8/10 firmness level, which is ideal for those with back pain who sleep on their stomach. I highly recommend choosing this firmness! The memory foam will make you feel like you’re floating on top of the mattress rather than sinking in.

This mattress has a 180 night trial period.

My Story
Dr. Frank Siraguso

Several years ago I was beginning my journey through chiropractic school in a new place with no bed or furniture. Purchasing a mattress was at the top of my list. I decided to check out a “Mattress Sale” at a mattress store nearby. The first thing I noticed was that none of the best mattresses were on sale. It was either pay $5,000 or buy a $1,200 cotton mattress for $800. Not knowing any better I ended up purchasing (what I thought was) an amazing pillow top mattress. It was soft, cushiony, and so comfy!….for like two weeks. After that, the center of the mattress started sinking in. I had never had back pain in my life, and for the first year of my chiropractic schooling, I had constant lower back pain, how ironic. This was definitely not the best mattress for spine health. Shortly after realizing what the problem was and how to fix it I started looking for mattresses for back pain. I saved up my money and purchased a new mattress online that was a medium firm memory foam. It was delivered right to me and at first, I thought it was too firm, but after just one week I started noticing pain relief. My back pain was gone and never returned. I no longer had back problems or a bad back! If I had understood my body and what it needed I would have saved myself hundreds of dollars and months of pain and restless sleep.

Frequesntly Asked Questions

What mattress do you use?

Personally, I prefer The Saatva Classic Mattress with a luxury firm selection. This is the exact mattress I sleep on and what I recommend to all my patients. It is also the mattress Saatva is most known for. It is a memory foam hybrid mattress that gives a nice balance between support and pressure relief. It gives you the best of both worlds, so you don’t have to choose. This is the mattress that best meets the 5 criteria previously listed. Saatva is a reputable brand that has been around longer than most online mattress companies. They have thousands of reviews from verified buyers with a 4.9 overall rating, and a 180 night trial period. Most reviews are from people who are either sharing their experience of pain relief and a better night sleep, or raving about Saatva’s customer service. I can attest to both, because both personally and professionally I have see that they make the best mattresses for back pain.

What mattress do doctors recommend for back pain?

The best mattresses for back pain that doctors typically recommend are hybrid memory foam or latex. But the particular mattress firmness level depends on  your sleeping position. It is recommended that you sleep on a firm mattress that offers support for back and stomach sleepers. If you are a side sleeper then a med firm mattress for back pain is recommended, otherwise the pressure points on your shoulders and hips may be too great.

What firmness of mattress is best for lower back pain?

A firm mattress or medium firm mattress are typically recommended to decrease low back pain. Be sure it is a hybrid mattress. A hybrid memory foam mattress or hybrid latex mattress are recommended because they both have a nice balance between firm support and pressure relief, which is good for back pain.

What type of mattress is best for a bad back?

Back sleepers with aches and pains would benefit from a firm mattress for back pain because of it’s added support. A side sleeper would benefit from a medium firm mattress because of it’s pressure relief. Also, firmness level would depend on the particular diagnosis or condition. Generally, a medium firm hybrid mattress made of pocketed coils and several layers of memory foam or latex materials would work great for most conditions, like chronic back pain or a bad back.

Why does my back hurt after waking up?

If you have chronic back pain or generalized aches in pains in the morning then it may be time to get a new mattress. First, are you able to sleep throughout the night, or is your back pain waking you up? If the pain is affecting your sleep quality then this is a sign the problem is coming from your mattress. Second, check the age of your mattress. A mattress that is 6-8 years old means it is time to switch. Third, does your mattress sag in the middle? If your mattress does not promote proper spine alignment then you are left tossing and turning, unable to get a good night’s sleep. Find a new mattress with the proper comfort and support that will keep your spine in the proper position. Lastly, what is your sleeping position? The two best sleeping positions are on your back or side. If you are a back sleeper put a bolster or pillow under your legs to flatten out the low back and allow for more comfort and support. Side sleepers should put a pillow or bolster in between their legs to ease the pressure points on their hips.

If you decide your back pain is coming from your mattress be sure to look for mattresses for back pain to avoid your condition turning into chronic pain. For more information of whether your back pain is from your mattress check out our other article: How To Tell If Your Mattress Is Causing Back Pain

Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress for back pain?

Neither! It is best to sleep on a medium firm mattress or a firm mattress. A hard mattress does not equal firm. In fact, a hard mattress could increase your back pain by not allowing proper relief from your pressure points. A firm mattress will have a equal amount of both support and pressure relief. In a mattress this is achieved by having a top comfort layer, followed by a firm latex or foam layer of support, and lastly durable pocketed coils that are found in any quality hybrid mattress.  This will give you the nice balance you need to help with your back pain.

What sleeping position is best for lower back pain sufferers?

If you suffer from lower back pain, then you want to sleep on your back, preferably with a bolster under your legs. This allows the muscles, discs, and joints more support throughout the night, which will ultimately ease your lower back pain and give you a restful night’s sleep.

Which is better? Latex or memory foam mattresses for back pain?

Depends on the type of back pain you are having. If you are having lower back pain then typically you want to be searching for medium firm or firm memory foam mattresses for your pain. Also back and stomach sleepers should look for memory foam as well. If you are suffering from shoulder or hip pain or sleep on your side, then latex hybrid mattresses would benefit you more. A latex hybrid mattress will be responsive enough to give you proper spinal alignment while you sleep on your side.

Thanks For Reading and I Hope This Article Was Helpful 🙂