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What Kind Of Mattress Is Good For Lower Back Pain

The Dreamcloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress

Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain and Sciatica – Our Top 6 Picks!
  • Price: $
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 14 inches

Sleepers who go from their side to their stomach to their back can end up with low back pain if the mattress doesnt adapt to their changing sleep shape.

The DreamCloud mattress features gel memory foam and individually wrapped coils. Together, they gently contour to your body and eliminate pressure point pain to keep your body properly supported, no matter how youre sleeping.

DreamCloud comes with a full 365-night trial, and the mattress is guaranteed for life.

Our Back Pain Mattress Testing Methodology

All of the mattresses in this guide were tested by me. I put the beds through several objective tests and slept on them for at least 14 nights. Unless otherwise noted, I tried each model’s queen size.

For reference, I mostly sleep on my side, with some stomach and back time. I am 6 feet tall, 215 pounds, and tend to sleep hot. Plus, I have chronic lower back pain.

When shopping for a mattress for back pain, the most important factors to consider are comfort, motion isolation, and the home trial policy.

Test results for the main attributes we tested:

20 years

Here are the main attributes we look for and how we test them:

Comfort: Based on my years of experience testing dozens of mattresses, I subjectively assess how supportive the bed feels, how hot it sleeps, the firmness, and how my back feels in the morning.

Heat dissipation: I rely on objective laser thermometer measurements. I take readings before lying down, immediately after spending at least an hour on the bed, and two minutes after getting up.

Motion isolation: Excellent motion dampening is a must if you are a light sleeper and share the bed with someone who moves around at night. To test motion isolation, I drop a bowling ball from 4 feet above the mattress so it lands 12 inches from a can of soda pop. If the can falls over consistently, the mattress has poor motion isolation. If the can stays upright, the mattress passes the test and has good motion isolation.

Is My Mattress Responsible For My Back And Neck Pain

Depending on your mattress and how you sleep, your mattress could very well be responsible for your back, neck, or even shoulder pain. A mattress that doesn’t provide the right balance of comfort and support for your specific needs can cause you back pain.

If you have an older mattress, it may not provide you the proper support it once did. Proper support helps with spinal alignment, and as your mattress wears down, its structure also gives out. If you notice you have lumps or sagging in your mattress, it may be time to get a new one, especially before back pain comes into the picture.

Your mattress may also not be the right fit for your preferred sleep position. From stomach sleepers to back and side sleepers, the right mattress can make all the difference depending on how you sleep. Too soft of a mattress may cause stress to your lumbar spine, or your lower back, and result in pain, even chronic pain if not corrected. When you sleep on the right mattress for your preferred sleeping position, it can help keep your spine in alignment and help you wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free.

Although there are various reasons why you may suffer from back pain, your mattress could be responsible. Knowing how to pick the right mattress can provide pain relief and help you gain better sleep.

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Best Foam Mattress For Back Pain

If you’re a side sleeper who enjoys the feel of memory foam, the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress, with its excellent heat dissipation and long trial period, is your best bet.

  • Best for: Side sleepers
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Mattress type: Memory foam three layers
  • Firmness : 4
  • Motion isolation : 8
  • Heat dissipation : 7
  • Edge support : 2
  • Trial period/warranty: 365 nights forever
  • Weight/thickness: 74 pounds 11 inches
  • Shipping and returns: Free shipping, free returns
  • White-glove delivery and mattress removal: Yes, for $149
  • Showroom availability: Yes, nationwide

Pros: Great heat dissipation, soft feel perfect for side sleepers, light weight, impressive motion isolation, 365-night sleep trial, forever warranty

Cons: Sinks on the edges, not good for most stomach and back sleepers or heavier individuals

In addition to performing much better than the other foam mattresses I considered for this guide, the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress is unique because of its 365-night home trial and forever warranty. You can try it for an entire year and return it for a full refund if you don’t like it.

Thanks to its softer-than-average feel, the Nectar mattress will appeal most to side sleepers. For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend it for back-pain sufferers who sleep on their backs or stomachs or who are heavier. As a side sleeper, the mattress did not aggravate my lower back, and I remained free of pain throughout testing.

Tips And Tricks For Sleeping With Pain

The best kind of mattress for lower back pain relief ...

To wrap up this guide, I want to share some tips and tricks for sleeping with chronic pain. Unfortunately, theres no magical solution for alleviating pain, but there are some slight modifications you can make to get the journey started. I should note that not all pain sufferers will be able to implement all these strategies, nor should they. Were all different, and so our paths toward healing will be different, too.

I always recommend that my clients see the big picture, Dr. Poorbaugh stated. When it comes to pain, we have two options: We can seek a fix or a heal. The path to less pain is quite different depending on your choice, but each option has three pillars of management with very little overlap.

While the fix typically involves medication and surgery, the heal focuses on three main tenets: nutrition, sleep, and movement.

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What Is Back Pain

Most of us know when our back is giving us issues, but whats really happening here behind the scenes?

According to the National Institute of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases, back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the U.S it can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that makes it hard to move.

Surveys from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke found that about 80 percent of Americans will struggle with back pain at some point in their lifetimes. This potentially helps explain why back pain is the fifth most common reason people go to the doctor. At the same time, many pain sufferers do not see a doctor because of pride, money issues, or other reasons.

The Mayo Clinic describes back pain symptoms as:

  • Muscle ache
  • Pain that radiates down the leg
  • Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing, or walking
  • Pain that improves with reclining

The Mayo Clinic also defines two types of back pain: acute and chronic. Acute back pain occurs when symptoms last between a few days and a few weeks. If the symptoms last for over 12 weeks, this is considered chronic back pain.

How Does Sleeping Position Affect Back Pain

Back pain can occur as a result of an underlying condition or sleep-related factors. The right mattress topper can help relieve pressure points and support natural spinal alignment, which could also help contribute to reduced back pain. However, each sleep position can affect the spine differently, so those suffering from back pain may want to consider the role of their preferred sleep position.

Side sleepers frequently prefer a slightly softer sleep surface that balances conforming and support. Too firm of a topper may not allow their hips and shoulders to sink in enough, while too soft of a mattress topper may let their hips and shoulders sink in too much. Either of these situations could put a strain on their spines and contribute to back pain. A thicker topper could be ideal for a bed that is too firm, as it can provide ample room for a side sleepers hips and shoulders to sink in. A firmer topper that helps prevent sinkage will be better for a bed that is too soft.

Back sleepers usually like a slightly firmer sleep surface that gives them the support they need to maintain their natural spinal alignment, so they may prefer firmer and/or thinner mattress toppers. A topper that is too soft could allow their hips to sink in excessively and make it difficult to keep their spine well-aligned. Too firm of a topper could also be problematic, leaving a gap between the bed and the sleepers lumbar region.

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Best Overall: Saatva Classic Mattress

  • Made with recycled steel coils

  • Two height options

  • Prone to sagging

  • May be too firm for some

Saatvas Classic Mattress offers pressure point relief no matter your go-to sleeping position. Designed to add benefits to those recovering from surgery or experiencing back or joint pain, its individually-wrapped coil construction contours to your bodys unique movements while the memory foam keeps your spine in check. And if youre prone to overheating, its dual-coil system promotes enhanced airflow while the organic pillow top promises breathability.

Depending on your body type and if you prefer a hugging or floating feel, choose from the comfort levels plush soft, luxury firm, or firm. For added weightless comfort, you can also purchase the Lineal Adjustable Base, which offers underbed illumination and head and foot support, to complement the mattress.

If this hybrid pick doesnt meet your needs or expectations, it can be returned within 180 nights of the home trial, at a pickup cost.

Firmness: Available in plush, luxury firm, and firm | Thickness: 11.5 inches | Type: Hybrid | Trial Length: 180 nights

What To Look Forward To

Best Mattress for Back Pain 2021 – What Type of Should You Buy?

The 13½-inch-thick WinkBed in Luxury Firm, a pick in our guide to the best innerspring mattresses, was recently redesigned: The company replaced the microcoils in the top layer with polyfoam and added more support coils to the lower layer. We previously recommended this medium-firm innerspring as a good option for back-pain sufferers who prefer a billowy surface. Were planning to test the redesigned WinkBed soon, and we will update this guide with our assessment of how it may now work for back-pain sufferers.

Kelli Pate contributed to this guide.

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Owl And Lark The Mattress Review Here

Unlike other brands, Owl + Lark dont sell multiple different variations or products. They only sell one mattress, and theyve thrown the kitchen sink into it its got a cashmere + wool + latex layer, and is also a hybrid . It is, in many ways, the best of both worlds. But you have to pay a premium for it, and its still a relative newcomer to the UK mattress scene. In other words, its a bit difficult to gauge long-term feelings and reviews, but as time progresses Ill be sure to update my review.

When In Doubt Go Medium

Research is limited, but in one study, researchers assigned new mattresses to more than 300 people with low back pain. They used either “medium-firm” or “firm” mattresses for 90 days. Those in the medium group reported the least amount of discomfort.

You might consider getting a memory foam mattress . The foam molds to your body. The downside: Some memory foam mattresses keep in heat and the material might have more chemicals.

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Best For Side Sleepers

The Helix Midnight Luxe hybrid mattress offers superb pressure relief that makes it another excellent choice for side sleepers dealing with back pain. The Helix Midnight Luxe provides a plush, cooling pillow top, responsive polyfoam, and support with 1,000 individually wrapped pocket coils. Mattress assessors said its zoned support build makes the mattress more supportive around the hips yet softer near the shoulders, nudging a side sleeper into proper spine alignment and earning a 9 out of 10 in this category. Hot sleepers will also like the Luxes cooling technology: Testers said the mattress literally stays cool to the touch months after unboxing, and it earned a 9.75 out of 10 in cooling tests.

  • Firmness: Medium

Mattress Toppers Can Delay The Purchase Of A New Mattress

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Instead of buying a hugely expensive mattress when your old one begins to wear out, in some cases, mattress toppers can buy you some more time. One of these toppers will add support and life to your mattress and prevent you from hurting your back by sleeping on a worn-down mattress. Youll probably feel like youre sleeping on a whole new mattress, especially since your topper will be nice and clean.

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A Mattress That Has Three Separate Zones For Ultimate Comfort


  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Trial period: 100 nights

The Casper mattress has three zones of targeted support to help align your spineand hopefully ease your back pain in the process. Softer foam around your shoulders cushions your upper body, while firmer foam under your hips, waist and lower back keep your spine in the right position. The durable foam base underneath allows for added firmness and support, so the mattress doesnt sink or sag under your weight.

Creating Optimal Spinal Alignment

When we enter slow-wave sleep, our muscles are not paralyzed like in REM periods, and we may move around. This could mean rolling around and winding up in odd sleeping positions. If you have a mattress with zoned support, this shouldnt be a big deal as long as you dont wind yourself into a pretzel. The mattress should do the work in letting your shoulders and hips sink in a little while supporting the spine.

However, if youre on an ultra-hard bed and end up on your side, you could end up messing with the spinal curve, and if youre already dealing with pain and inflammation, this isnt great news.

Mattresses have come a long way in the past few years and many companies have realized the benefits of proper spinal alignment for sleep. When youre laying on the side, proper alignment should be fairly straight, allowing the hips and shoulders to sink in slightly while supporting the middle. Mattresses that offer zoned support tend to be great at this.

When sleeping on your back, there should be a slight curve in the spine, with support in the mid and low back, while allowing the neck to rest backward. If you live in the twenty-first century, you probably spend a fair amount of time looking at screens. Whether on your phone, a computer, or a gaming device.

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How Old Is Too Old

Older mattresses can often make back pain worse. Over time, mattresses sag and lose their supportive features. If your mattress is over 5 years old, it might be approaching the time to get a new one. Most mattresses are good for this length of time, though newer mattresses like the ones on this list have much longer warranties.

The verdict is that older mattresses should be replaced as soon as possible. Newer mattresses can help with back pain after a certain breaking-in period, which allows your body to adjust to a new sleeping surface.

Ease Aches With These Trusted Buys

Best Mattress For Lower Back Pain And Sciatica – Our Top Six Beds!

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts, and articles are reviewed by healthcare professionals for medical accuracy. Youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Anyone who lives with back pain understands what a major difference a restful nights sleep can makeand, on the flip side, how disruptive it is when you wake up already experiencing discomfort. Though there are many causes of back pain, regardless of how it started, you want to make sure that the mattress you sleep on every night is meeting your needs. But finding one that works for you is often easier said than done.

There is no best kind of mattress for your back problems, so you may need to be open to some trial-and-error, says Dr.Gregory Funk, a chiropractor and the owner of Ideal Health Chiropractic in Denver. At the end of the day, you should look for a mattress that not only aligns with your personal preferences, but can also provide adequate support for the natural curves and alignment of the spine.”

We researched dozens of mattresses and evaluated them for firmness, thickness, type of mattress, trial period, cover and cushion materials, and price. Each of the mattresses chosen in this article were determined to be the best of these factors.

Here are the best mattresses for back pain on the market.

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Logan And Cove Mattress

The Logan and Cove mattress has everything going for it. Its a hybrid mattress, so it offers superior zoned support for problem areas. On top of this, the soft pillow-top layer cushions pressure points and provides full-body comfort. Though this mattress has two firmness options, the firmest may still be too soft for some.

This mattress features layers of pillow-top fill, cooling foam, and bio-foam to create a cushioned top layer. Underneath, zoned and pocketed coils deliver reduced motion transfer and targeted support. You can purchase the Logan and Cove mattress in two different firmnesses: medium plush, which is about a 4 on the firmness scale , or luxury firm, which is about a 6 on the firmness scale .

The layers of foam in this mattress offer comfortable contouring that reduces pressure points and helps your entire body stay aligned. Its great for all sleeping positions, but the cradling support is particularly great for those who suffer from back pain. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night due to your partners tossing and turning, this mattress can help. Motion isolation coils and foam layers help keep your side of the bed still while your partner moves around.

Another great feature of the Logan and Cove mattress is the edge support. The coil layer features a perimeter of dense foam to keep the edges from dipping. If you sleep near the edge, you wont feel like youre falling or sinking. Sitting on the edge of the bed is easier, too.


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