There is one moment each day that unites all sentient, alive, breathing beings. We all wake up, and we all go to sleep at night. Getting up first thing in the morning usually comes with a bit of drama — your alarm clock goes off too early, you’re cranky and you desperately need a cup of coffee the size of your head. What this moment doesn’t need to involve, at least in substantial quantities, is pain, specifically back pain.
Back pain is one of the most common ailments affecting youth and adults alike today. Whether it’s due to poor posture, days filled with technology-related hunching or a combination of both, backs are feeling the brunt of our world and it’s time we gave them a rest. You can stretch it out, get acupuncture, correct that posture and massage all you want — if your mattress, the place where you (hopefully) spend eight plus hours per night isn’t giving your spine the support it needs you aren’t doing yourself any favors. In fact, people with back pain report an average of 42 fewer minutes of sleep per night and only around 37% report very good sleep quality. Pain can also wake you up during the night due to shifting into an uncomfortable position, which can make it harder to fall back asleep and result in loss of precious snooze hours.
If your back is singing a tune you’re sick and tired of hearing and you feel like other healing modalities haven’t worked for you, it might be time to switch up your mattress. The best mattresses for back pain are designed to support your body and alleviate pressure on the spine. They’re engineered to ease pressure points, offer ample support and give your body the actual rest it needs every night.
While many new mattresses are made to relieve pain, they aren’t all created equal. We’ve done some digging and narrowed down your search so you can choose from the best of the best and get out of bed each morning springing, rather than sagging. Here are the best mattresses for back pain in 2020.
1. The Purple Mattress
The Purple Mattress is built to cradle all of your sore, achy body parts in a supportive net of cushy dreams, and the price tag is not completely deterring either. The Purple Grid is designed with Balanced No Pressure Support so your shoulders and hips are comfortable while your back is fully supported. The Grid also has open-air channels that have a cooling effect as you’re settling in each night and continue to draw heat away from the body throughout the night to neutralize. It comes with a SoftFlex Cover on top with a wave knit that stretches along with the grid to maximize the effect, and the double layer of comfort high-density foam is soft, responsive and built to last. If you’re looking for a relatively affordable sleeper that’ll alleviate pain without the heat that can come from memory foam, and provides ample support without excess stiffness, this is a great choice.
The Purple Mattress (Queen)
2. The WinkBed
The WinkBed has won numerous awards for its quality and support for back pain, side sleepers and overall cradling abilities. It has innerspring layers for bouncy support and resilience internally and gel foam up top that cushions for ultimate comfort. It’s known for its breathability for those who tend to get hot when they sleep, and the combination of support makes it excellent for those who suffer from both lower and upper back pain. It also has a Euro-pilllow top that’s soft to the touch and a 100% natural Eucalyptus Tencel cover that’s hypoallergenic and naturally rest-inducing. It has anti-sag Extra-Edge support on all sides to make it easier to get into and out of bed, and the SleepCalm anti-motion transfer technology makes it great for couples who share a bed. Invest in mornings without any pain, and grab a mattress that excels in all areas with this high-quality WinkBed.
The WinkBed (Queen)
3. Cocoon Chill Mattress
The phrase “new mattress” isn’t always synonymous with the word “affordable,” but this Cocoon Chill mattress costs less than $600 and offers medium-soft to extra firm support depending on your preference. If you want a cushioned feel where you can really sink into your mattress, the medium-soft is the way to go. However, if you require sturdier support and like something denser, you can also order the extra firm variety. This premium memory foam bed is great for those with lower back pain and the “Phase Change Material” built into the cover is designed to dissipate heat from the body and keep you cool all night long. The durable foam is designed to be resilient and bounce back every time so you won’t sink in more than you want to.
Cocoon Chill Mattress (Queen)
4. Layla Memory Foam Mattress
BEST FOR COMBINATION SLEEPERS
This Layla mattress is both copper and cooling, and is flippable making it great for sleepers who need variety, flexibility and the ability to change their minds about their mattress. It’s made with copper-infused memory foam that’s supportive and comfortable and has a softer and firmer side you can flip between, so you’re essentially buying the ability to change between two mattresses for the price of one. The copper-gel memory foam layer transfers heat away from the body for a cooling effect and has variable support for compression areas so your back, hips and shoulders stay aligned and comfortable. Copper is also antimicrobial for an added odor control perk, and the support core minimizes motion transfer and bounce so partners can sleep soundly together. The firmer side is what back sleepers or those who need back support tend to prefer, but you can also switch to the softer side if it’s too stiff.
Layla Memory Foam Mattress (Queen)
5. Helix Midnight Luxe
BEST FOR SIDE SLEEPERS
This Luxe upgrade from the classic Helix Midnight mattress is worthwhile for those with back pain issues, as it’s got enhanced contouring for lumbar support, a quilted pillow top for cozy comfort and is 2″ taller than the standard mattress. The memory foam creates pressure relief for hips and shoulders, a must-have for side sleepers, and it’s layered so you’ll be optimized for support no matter what your body type is. The top has a medium feel that’s not too soft or firm, and the Ultra Breathable Tencel Cover is a hybrid design created to increase airflow and keep you cool during the night. The zoned lumbar support coils built into the mattress are softer in the shoulder region, firmer in the hip region and create best-in-class edge support to prevent sagging. This mattress is also certified for its production without harsh chemicals, a plus for something you’ll spend 1/3 of your life on.
Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress (Queen)
6. Nectar Memory Foam Mattress
BEST MEMORY FOAM
This memory foam mattress from Nectar has five layers of supportive comfort covered by a Quilted Tencel Cover with cooling technology that solves the most common qualm of memory foam — the dismal heat transfer abilities. The gel memory foam layer distributes your weight around the mattress to avoid lumps and the base support layer stabilizes for security throughout the night. All the layers are built to minimize motion transfer and align your hips, shoulders, neck and knees for comfortable alignment that’ll minimize back pain. It’s a medium-firm mattress that 9/10 users who suffer from back pain noted helped ease their symptoms. This brand also offers a 365 night sleep trial period and a Forever Warranty, two impressive perks that are important to consider when making your purchase.
Nectar Mattress (Queen)
7. Birch Natural Mattress
BEST ORGANIC OPTION
This mattress from Birch is GREENGUARD certified and happens to be incredibly comfortable and breathable. If you’ve had trouble with allergies, irritation or sickness with other mattresses due to the materials they’re made of — check out what Birch has to offer. Their beds are made of polyurethane foams that are free of harsh chemicals and sustainably sourced with the future of the planet in mind. The layers consist of organic cotton, wool, natural latex, and individually-wrapped steel coils for optimal cradling and support for sensitive backs. This mattress provides ergonomic pressure point relief, a textured edge support perimeter, temperature regulation and high breathability. Their website also has info on where all of their materials come from and how they’re gathered sustainably.
Birch Mattress (Queen)
8. Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress
BEST COOLING MATTRESS
9/10 Casper sleepers said they experienced less back pain after sleeping on this mattress, and it happens to contain cooling technology to keep you from waking up in a pool of sweat. Casper’s mattress has supportive gel pods strategically placed underneath your waist and lower back to keep your spine aligned. The Zoned Support Max system has continuous ergonomic zones for relief for your full body, and softer foam around the shoulders gives your upper body some relief as well. It’s also got Airscape 3 cooling gel built in to keep you from burning up in your sleep, and three layers of breathable foam to amplify the effects.
Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress (Queen)
9. Nolah Original 10 Mattress
BEST FOR PRESSURE RELIEF
All of the mattresses on this list provide relief for pressure points like hips, shoulders and knees in some form, but this mattress from Nolah takes the cake when it comes to this specific feature. This 10″ mattress is scientifically-proven to provide 4x less pressure on these key areas including your back, and the AirFoam it’s made of is 100% temperature neutral material without heat-trapping viscoelastic chemicals. The natural viscose cover wicks away moisture to keep you cool and dry while the high-density base foam provides contouring support and the deep supportive high-resilience foam has a responsive bounce so you stay asleep all night. The mattress is also topped with 2″ of AirFoam for pressure relief for your back that’s also designed to stay cool. The high-density foam is also proven to be 300% more durable than memory foam and is built to eliminate sagging over time.
Nolah Original 10 Mattress (Queen)
10. The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress
BEST FOR BACK SLEEPERS
If you’ve got the tough combination of back pain and the natural preference to sleep on your back, you need this DreamCloud mattress. The individually-wrapped coils in the mattress adapt to your sleep shape and the gel memory foam softly holds your shoulders, hips and other potential problem areas so your whole body stays comfortable. You’ll sink into the memory foam without going too deep with the Sink-in-Just-Right Layer that maintains the firmness level you want from a mattress. The motion transfer technology built in will make sure you don’t wake up with your partner unless you want to, and the cashmere top is super soft to the touch so your initial contact with bed is always a good one.