The wrong mattress can make back pain even worse, and sometimes can even cause back pain. If you’re dealing with pain issues, picking the right mattress can make a world of difference.

What makes a mattress helpful in reducing pain? For the most part, it’s two things: support and pressure relief, and those things are very much dependent on the weight and position of the sleeper.

We’ve tested thousands of mattresses hands-on in our Seattle test lab, and have explored every possible angle when it comes to back pain relief. These are the mattresses we found to be best for people with back pain, as well as some information about what types of sleepers each bed is ideal for.

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Best Overall Mattress

WinkBed

8.9 /10

Test Lab Score

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The WinkBed snags our top spot for back pain because it’s firm enough to provide excellent support and spinal alignment while still balancing exceptional comfort for many different body types. It also holds up incredibly well and maintains its shape and foundational support over time.

Price

$1,499

Mattress Type

Innerspring

Firmness Options

Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)

Trial Period

120 nights (30 night requirement)

Full Details

Who It’s Best For

The WinkBed is a true crowd pleaser. With a firmness level to fit any body type and sleeping position, people struggling with back pain vouch for this bed’s ability to provide comfort, relief, and improved sleep quality.

Feel

The WinkBed embodies all the feelings of a hybrid: A responsive give and take when you sit and lay on it coupled with a plushness in the top layers to give you balanced support and comfort for your back, hips, and shoulders.

What It’s Made Of

Zoned pocketed coils with thicker springs around the edge of the bed to protect the perimeter from sinkage. Most models feature an adaptive polyfoam surface layer, followed by a layer of denser foam to support your body weight. The Plus models feature zoned latex, ensuring heavier bodies won’t sink in too deeply.

What We Don’t Like

Some sleepers with back pain have thought the bed was too firm for their body weight. It’s also a very thick mattress, which means it’s heavier and can be difficult both to move and to find sheets that won’t pop off during the night.

Scoring & Reviews

The following ratings show how suitable this mattress is for different sleeping positions and sleeper weights. These scores are determined by how well the mattress supports and relieves pressure for each sleeper type.

Side Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

8/10

130-230 lbs

9.5/10

Above 230 lbs

8/10

Back Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7.5/10

130-230 lbs

9/10

Above 230 lbs

7.5/10

Stomach Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

6/10

130-230 lbs

7.5/10

Above 230 lbs

6/10

We performed a meta-analysis on 8573 validated customer reviews of the Winkbed. This is what people who bought the mattress had to say:

  • Quality of Materials: The mattress is frequently described as well-made, with durable materials that contribute to a good night’s sleep.
  • Cooling Features: Some reviewers mention that the mattress does a good job of regulating temperature, providing a cooler sleep experience.
  • Edge Support: While generally satisfied with the support, a few reviewers note that edge support could be better.
  • Comfort and Support: Many reviewers praise the mattress for its comfort and support, often mentioning relief from back pain and improved sleep quality.
  • Firmness Options: Customers appreciate the variety of firmness options available, finding the right balance for their personal preferences.
  • Value for Money: Many users feel the mattress is worth the investment, offering good value for the quality and comfort provided.
  • Made in the USA: Buyers are pleased that the mattresses are made in the USA, supporting domestic manufacturing.

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Helix Midnight Luxe

9.3 /10

Test Lab Score

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An ideal mattress for side sleepers with back pain, the Helix Midnight Luxe has zoned support to cushion the hips and maintain proper spinal alignment. Its top layers conform to your body to offer pressure relief, which makes it an especially good choice for mid-weight sleepers.

Price

$1,899

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Medium Firm (6)

Trial Period

100 nights (30-night requirement)

Full Details

Who It’s Best For

The Helix Midnight Luxe works best for side and back sleepers who weigh under 230 pounds. It’s also a great choice for hot sleepers, as its coil core doesn’t trap heat the way all-foam beds can. Couples also praise this bed for its ability to isolate motion.

Feel

Zoned support makes this hybrid feel more supportive than others in key areas of your body, and a plush pillow-top will make you feel like you’re being cradled instead of sinking in too deeply like on an all-foam mattress.

What It’s Made Of

The top layer is made up of three different types of foam which comes on top of a denser layer of polyfoam to create extra support for your body’s weight. The layer responsible for providing most of the support is made of pocketed coils on top of a layer of dense foam. Thicker coils around the perimeter of the mattress and below your torso and hips provide zoned support where you need it most.

What We Don’t Like

All mattresses with foam have traces of chemical odors when they’re unboxed, but the Helix Midnight Luxe is particularly strong-smelling upon opening. It does dissipate after a few days, but if you’re sensitive to smells, it should be a consideration.

Scoring & Reviews

The following ratings show how suitable this mattress is for different sleeping positions and sleeper weights. These scores are determined by how well the mattress supports and relieves pressure for each sleeper type.

Side Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

8.5/10

130-230 lbs

10/10

Above 230 lbs

8.5/10

Back Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

8/10

130-230 lbs

9.5/10

Above 230 lbs

8/10

Stomach Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

6.5/10

130-230 lbs

8/10

Above 230 lbs

6.5/10

We performed a meta-analysis on 5876 validated customer reviews of the Helix Midnight Luxe. This is what people who bought the mattress had to say:

  • Comfort and Support: Many reviewers express that the mattress provides exceptional comfort and support, especially noting its ability to alleviate back, hip, and shoulder pain.
  • Sleep Quality Improvement: The mattress is frequently described as transformative for those who previously struggled with sleep disturbances.
  • Temperature Regulation: Positive remarks are made about the cooling properties of the mattress. Users find the cooling aspect effective, helping to maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature throughout the night.
  • Customer Service: Experiences with customer service are predominantly positive, with buyers appreciating the responsive and helpful nature of the support team. Issues are resolved satisfactorily, contributing to a positive overall customer experience.
  • Durability Concerns: A few reviewers express concerns about the mattress showing signs of wear or sagging prematurely. These concerns are not widespread but are significant enough to be noted by potential buyers.
  • Mixed Reviews on Firmness: While many find the mattress perfectly balanced, there are mixed reviews regarding its firmness. Some users find it softer than expected given its firmness level. While the ‘medium firm’ rating is appropriate by our measurements, the bed does have a ‘cushy’ foam feel that makes for a fairly soft surface feel.

Best Value Mattress

DreamCloud Mattress

8.5 /10

Test Lab Score

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You get more than what you pay for with the DreamCloud Mattress. It’s a luxury medium firm hybrid build that provides excellent, even support in all the right places to keep your neck, hips, and shoulders aligned. Sleepers with back pain often report improvement in sleep quality due to its pressure-relieving qualities and overall comfort.

Price

$665

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Medium Firm (6)

Trial Period

365 nights (30-night requirement)

Full Details

Who It’s Best For

The DreamCloud is a good option for people struggling with back pain across sleeping positions and body types. Because its great at motion isolation, it’s also a strong choice for couples.

Feel

This is a medium firm bed that feels very plush to the touch due to its cashmere cover and foam top layers whiel also being supportive enough to keep you from sinking in too deeply as your body settles in for sleep.

What It’s Made Of

Underneath its cashmere cover, the DreamCloud features a polyfoam surface layer, followed by memory foam and polyfoam layers. The supportive core of this mattress is made of pocketed coils, which give it that traditional bouncy mattress feel without the excessive movement of traditional coils.

What We Don’t Like

There have been reports from cusomters of indentations and sagging with this mattress after a few years, which isn’t great news for people with back pain. It’s also not the easiest bed to move around on, so if you toss and turn, the DreamCloud might not be your perfect match.

Scoring & Reviews

The following ratings show how suitable this mattress is for different sleeping positions and sleeper weights. These scores are determined by how well the mattress supports and relieves pressure for each sleeper type.

Side Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7.5/10

130-230 lbs

9/10

Above 230 lbs

7.5/10

Back Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7/10

130-230 lbs

8.5/10

Above 230 lbs

7/10

Stomach Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

5.5/10

130-230 lbs

7/10

Above 230 lbs

5.5/10

We performed a meta-analysis on 8729 validated customer reviews of the DreamCloud Mattress. This is what people who bought the mattress had to say:

  • Comfort and Support: Customers appreciate the hybrid design for its ability to offer both plush comfort and adequate back support.
  • Quality and Durability: Customers frequently note that the DreamCloud feels durable and well-made, often exceeding their expectations compared to other mattresses they have owned.
  • Sleep Quality: Several reviewers report significant improvements in sleep quality, including better sleep through the night and waking up feeling rested and pain-free. This is particularly noted by those who had previously experienced back pain.
  • Temperature Regulation: The mattress is often praised for its ability to maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature. Users who tend to sleep hot mention that the DreamCloud mattress does a good job of staying cool throughout the night.
  • Value for Money: Many reviewers feel that the mattress offers excellent value for the price. They are pleased with the quality and comfort relative to the cost, and some mention the benefit of financing options.
  • Edge Support: Some users note that while the overall support is good, edge support could be improved. They mention that the edges may feel less stable or supportive when sitting on the side of the bed.
  • Off-Gassing: A few reviewers mention a noticeable off-gassing smell upon unpacking the mattress, but most report that it dissipates quickly.

Best Mattress for Lumbar Support

Saatva Classic

9.4 /10

Test Lab Score

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With the supportive firmness of a traditional innerspring and a layer of memory foam specially designed to support your lumbar spine, the Saatva Classic is a great choice for folks struggling with pain in their lower back. With different height and firmness options, it’s a solid pick for different body types and sleeping positions.

Price

$1,795

Mattress Type

Innerspring

Firmness Options

Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

Trial Period

365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)

Full Details

Who It’s Best For

With two height and three firmness options, the Saatva Classic has something for everyone—though it’s particularly great for back sleepers. With a core made of coils, it’s also a great option for people who sleep hot, since airflow circulates between the springs while you sleep.

Feel

On top of its springy, supportive coil system, the Saatva has a classic Euro-top cover, which means it has a bit of extra padding towards the top of the mattress to give it that “hotel-like” quality.

What It’s Made Of

Under the Euro-top layer of this mattress is a memory foam pad which is specifically designed to support the lumbar region of your back. The support layer of this mattress features hourglass coils made of recycled steel. You can either choose 11.5-inch mattress with 4-inch support coils, or a 14.5-inch model with 7-inch coils. If you’re struggling with back pain, we recommend choosing the thicker option for more support.

What We Don’t Like

This bed can be too firm for some sleepers, especially those that sleep on their sides. It’s also not our top choice for couples, as you may feel your partner move throughout the night.

Scoring & Reviews

The following ratings show how suitable this mattress is for different sleeping positions and sleeper weights. These scores are determined by how well the mattress supports and relieves pressure for each sleeper type.

Side Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7/10

130-230 lbs

9/10

Above 230 lbs

9/10

Back Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7/10

130-230 lbs

9/10

Above 230 lbs

9/10

Stomach Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

6.5/10

130-230 lbs

8.5/10

Above 230 lbs

8.5/10

We performed a meta-analysis on 3308 validated customer reviews of the Saatva Classic. This is what people who bought the mattress had to say:

  • Delivery Service: Positive feedback on the delivery process is common, with customers highlighting the professionalism and efficiency of the delivery teams. The white glove delivery service, including old mattress removal, is frequently praised.
  • Comfort and Support: Reviewers frequently cite the comfort and support of the Saatva Classic mattress, noting improvements in sleep quality and reductions in back pain. The availability of different firmness options caters to various preferences and needs.
  • Durability: Long-term users report that the mattress maintains its comfort and support over the years, indicating good durability and quality construction.
  • Material Quality: Customers appreciate the safe and high-quality materials used in the mattress, such as the absence of harmful chemicals and the use of organic cotton.
  • Temperature Regulation: Some reviewers specifically mention sleeping cooler on the Saatva Classic, highlighting its temperature regulation features that contribute to a more comfortable sleep.
  • Adjustability and Customization: The ability to customize the mattress for personal needs, like the split king option with different firmness levels, is a significant plus for many customers.

Most Comfortable Mattress

Leesa Sapira Hybrid

8.9 /10

Test Lab Score

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Comfortable is subjective, but most people find the Leesa Sapira provides great pressure relief in the back and hip areas and is supportive enough to maintain spinal alignment. Since it’s a medium firm hybrid that’s designed to sleep cool, it has just enough foam to provide ample cushioning for a wide range of sleeper types.

Leesa Sapira mattress

Price

$1,599

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Medium Firm (6)

Trial Period

100 nights (30 night requirement)

Full Details

Who It’s Best For

Sleepers with back pain will find the design of this mattress helps alleviate pain they encounter at night. It’s a great choice for back and side sleepers under 230 pounds.

Feel

The Leesa has a bouncy feel which will make it easier to move around during the night. It’s super soft and plush and gives you the “hug” feeling of the memory foam without sinking in too much to feel stuck.

What It’s Made Of

The top layer of polyfoam in the Leesa is aerated to allow air to flow, resulting in a cooler mattress surface. Beneath that is a layer of memory foam that is designed to relieve pressure along the spine. The next layer is a layer of firmer polyfoam, followed by a layer of supportive pocketed coils. The bottom of the mattress is a thick layer of polyfoam for stability.

What We Don’t Like

This is not a great option for sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds as they may need more support. It’s also not our top choice for couples as you may be able to feel your partner moving throughout the night.

Scoring & Reviews

The following ratings show how suitable this mattress is for different sleeping positions and sleeper weights. These scores are determined by how well the mattress supports and relieves pressure for each sleeper type.

Side Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

8/10

130-230 lbs

9.5/10

Above 230 lbs

8/10

Back Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7.5/10

130-230 lbs

9/10

Above 230 lbs

7.5/10

Stomach Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

6/10

130-230 lbs

7.5/10

Above 230 lbs

6/10

We performed a meta-analysis on 2257 validated customer reviews of the Leesa Sapira Hybrid. This is what people who bought the mattress had to say:

  • Comfort and Support: Many reviewers mention the mattress’s blend of comfort and support, often highlighting its suitability for side and back sleepers, and its ability to alleviate or prevent pain (back, hip, or shoulder).
  • Temperature Regulation: Several users appreciate that the mattress does not retain excessive heat, making it comfortable for those who tend to sleep hot.
  • Durability and Longevity: Positive comments on how the mattress maintains its shape and comfort over several years without sagging or indentations.
  • Motion Isolation: Couples often point out the mattress’s ability to minimize motion transfer, allowing partners to move without disturbing each other.
  • Odor and Off-gassing: Some mention initial off-gassing smells upon unpacking, but most report that the odor dissipates quickly.
  • Edge Support: Good reviews on the edge support of the mattress, which is important for those who sit on the edge of the bed or sleep near the edge.
  • Value for Money: Many users feel that the mattress provides good value for the price, especially given its comfort and durability features.

Best Mattress for Spinal Alignment

Nolah Evolution 15

8.8 /10

Test Lab Score

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The Evolution 15 is Nolah’s top-of-the-line mattress. It’s a hybrid mattress that focuses on zoned support to keep your spine aligned.

A picture of the Nolah Evolution 15 in Sleep Foundation's testing lab

Price

$1,624

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

Trial Period

120 nights (30-night requirement), $99 return pickup fee

Full Details

Who It’s Best For

Side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds will generally really like this bed. It will keep side sleepers’ shoulders, hips, and spines aligned.

Feel

The Nolah Evolution feels very plush when sinking in to it due to all the foam layers. However, it still feels relatively easy to move around on the surface of the mattress.

What It’s Made Of

The Nolah Evolution 15 contains four foam layers that get progressively denser from top to bottom. Underneath the foam is a layer of pocketed coils that are more targeted towards the perimeter of the mattress and below the chest and hips.

What We Don’t Like

This is a super thick mattress, so finding deep pocket sheets to fit may be a problem. Nolah also charges a $99 return fee, so if you’re not sure this mattress is the choice for you, it may be best to skip it.

Scoring & Reviews

The following ratings show how suitable this mattress is for different sleeping positions and sleeper weights. These scores are determined by how well the mattress supports and relieves pressure for each sleeper type.

Side Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

8/10

130-230 lbs

9.5/10

Above 230 lbs

8/10

Back Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7.5/10

130-230 lbs

9/10

Above 230 lbs

7.5/10

Stomach Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

6/10

130-230 lbs

7.5/10

Above 230 lbs

6/10

We performed a meta-analysis on 897 validated customer reviews of the Nolah Evolution 15. This is what people who bought the mattress had to say:

  • Motion Isolation: Couples frequently mention that the mattress is good at isolating motion, making it less likely for one partner to disturb the other during the night.
  • Edge Support: The edge support of the mattress is frequently highlighted, with many finding it adequate for sitting or sleeping near the edge without feeling like they will roll off.
  • Softness: Many reviewers discuss the softness of the mattress. Some find it too soft, causing discomfort, especially for heavier individuals, while others appreciate the plushness.
  • Comfort and Support: Several users mention that the mattress provides excellent comfort and support, helping alleviate or prevent back and joint pain.
  • Heat Retention: A few reviewers note that the mattress retains heat, making it uncomfortable for some, particularly in warmer climates or for those who sleep hot.
  • Durability and Quality: Users often comment on the high quality and durability of the mattress, noting that it maintains its shape and comfort over time.

Best Mattress for Pressure Relief

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

8.4 /10

Test Lab Score

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The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid is a hybrid mattress that is a great combination of cushioning and support. This makes for a mattress that relieves pressure, especially along the back and hips.

Price

$999

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

Trial Period

120 nights (30-night requirement)

Full Details

Who It’s Best For

This mattress is best for side and back sleepers who struggle with back pain. With three firmness levels, most sleepers should be able to find a model that works for them.

Feel

The Signature Hybrid has a responsive feel, meaning it is a bit more bouncy than other memory foam models. It will feel more like you’re sleeping on top of the mattress rather than sinking in to it.

What It’s Made Of

This mattress has a plush quilted cover which sits on top of two polyfoam layers that offer exceptional pressure relief. The pocketed coils make up the support layer to provide adequate support for your body weight.

What We Don’t Like

This isn’t the easiest bed to move around on, so this might not be the bed for you if you toss and turn throughout the night.

Scoring & Reviews

The following ratings show how suitable this mattress is for different sleeping positions and sleeper weights. These scores are determined by how well the mattress supports and relieves pressure for each sleeper type.

Side Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7.5/10

130-230 lbs

9/10

Above 230 lbs

7.5/10

Back Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7/10

130-230 lbs

8.5/10

Above 230 lbs

7/10

Stomach Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

5.5/10

130-230 lbs

7/10

Above 230 lbs

5.5/10

We performed a meta-analysis on 10000 validated customer reviews of the Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid. This is what people who bought the mattress had to say:

  • Comfort and support: Many reviewers mention that the mattress is very comfortable and provides good support for various sleeping positions.
  • Improvement in sleep quality: Several users report a significant improvement in sleep quality, including better rest and reduced pain.
  • Firmness options: People appreciate the availability of different firmness levels, and some discuss their experiences with medium, firm, or pillow-top options.
  • RV suitability: A number of reviews specifically mention using the mattress in RVs, noting it as a substantial upgrade from typical RV mattresses.
  • Initial odor/smell: Some reviewers note a mild odor upon unpacking, but it typically dissipates quickly.
  • Edge support: The mattress is often noted for having good edge support, which is particularly valued by those who sit on the edge of the bed.
  • Price and value: Many reviewers feel the mattress is well-priced for the quality and comfort it provides.
  • Durability concerns: A few reviewers express concerns about how the mattress will hold up over time, although these comments are not widespread.

Best Mattress for Couples

Bear Elite Hybrid

8.5 /10

Test Lab Score

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The Bear Elite is a great option for sleepers with back pain and for couples. The adaptive foam layers reduce pressure points and with three firmness levels, most side and back sleepers will be able to find a model that relieves pressure.

Price

$1,499

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

Trial Period

120 nights (30-night break-in period)

Full Details

Who It’s Best For

We recommend this mattress especially for couples because it isolates movement very well. When your partner moves throughout the night, this bed does a great job of making sure you don’t feel it.

Feel

This bed is high-profile, meaning it’s taller than other similar mattresses. It has a a slight bounce with a soft and plush top layer that is super comfortable to lay on.

What It’s Made Of

The Bear Elite starts with two layers of foam at the top of the mattress, one polyfoam and one memory foam that is infused with copper to keep it cool. These layers sit on top of coils that are thicker around the edges so you can sit and sleep around the edges of the bed without sinking in too much.

What We Don’t Like

This is not the best option for stomach sleepers. It won’t provide adequate support, especially for those with back pain.

Scoring & Reviews

The following ratings show how suitable this mattress is for different sleeping positions and sleeper weights. These scores are determined by how well the mattress supports and relieves pressure for each sleeper type.

Side Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7.5/10

130-230 lbs

9/10

Above 230 lbs

7.5/10

Back Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7/10

130-230 lbs

8.5/10

Above 230 lbs

7/10

Stomach Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

5.5/10

130-230 lbs

7/10

Above 230 lbs

5.5/10

We performed a meta-analysis on 3703 validated customer reviews of the Bear Elite Hybrid. This is what people who bought the mattress had to say:

  • Comfort and Support: Many reviewers highlight the mattress’s balance of comfort and support, often mentioning relief from back pain and improved sleep quality.
  • Firmness Options: Customers appreciate the various firmness options, with some opting for firmer versions after experiencing discomfort with medium firmness.
  • Temperature Regulation: Several reviews note the mattress’s ability to stay cool, which enhances sleep quality, especially in hot weather.
  • Size and Upgrade Options: Customers are pleased with the availability of different sizes and the option to upgrade, which provides flexibility for different needs and preferences.
  • Quality of Additional Products: Positive remarks on the quality of accompanying products like pillows and sheets, which are often included as free additions.
  • Miscellaneous: Some mixed reviews on edge support and occasional comments about the mattress being too firm or too soft for some users’ preferences.

Best Firm Mattress

Plank Firm Luxe

7.8 /10

Test Lab Score

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The Plank Firm Luxe is a flippable mattress that features two firm sides. This firm bed can offer relief for people looking for extra support.

Price

$1,149

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Firm (7), Extra Firm (9)

Trial Period

120 nights (30-night requirement)

Full Details

Who It’s Best For

This mattress is best suited to back and some stomach sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds. If you’ve felt like you have gotten back pain due to a bed that was too soft, this may be a good option for you.

Feel

When lying on this bed, you feel like you’re sleeping on top of it rather than sinking into it. The foam layers offer very little hug.

Wha It’s Made Of

The Plank has two sides: a firm and an extra firm side. The firm side has layers of TitanFlex foam and high-density polyfoam. Plank’s proprietary TitanFlex foam is similar to latex and has a bouncy feel. The extra firm side doesn’t feature the TitanFlex foam and has a thinner layer of polyfoam. The shared support core is a layer of pocketed coils.

What We Don’t Like

This mattress is very firm. It’s a great option for folks who want and need that extra support, but we do not recommend it for sleepers that have severe pressure points, especially side sleepers.

Scoring & Reviews

The following ratings show how suitable this mattress is for different sleeping positions and sleeper weights. These scores are determined by how well the mattress supports and relieves pressure for each sleeper type.

Side Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

4.5/10

130-230 lbs

6.5/10

Above 230 lbs

8/10

Back Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

4.5/10

130-230 lbs

6.5/10

Above 230 lbs

8/10

Stomach Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

5/10

130-230 lbs

7/10

Above 230 lbs

8.5/10

We performed a meta-analysis on 1748 validated customer reviews of the Plank Firm Luxe. This is what people who bought the mattress had to say:

  • Comfort and firmness: Many reviewers discuss the comfort level of the mattress, often highlighting its firm feel. While all of those bought the mattress for its firmness, a few people still found the bed too firm.
  • Cooling features: Several reviewers mention the cooling features of the mattress, specifically the Glaciotex Cooling Cover, which is appreciated for providing a cooler sleep experience.
  • Pain relief: A recurring theme is the relief from back and joint pain, with many users noting improvements in their sleep quality and reduction in pain.
  • Dual firmness options: The mattress’s ability to be flipped for different firmness levels (firm and extra firm) is frequently mentioned and appreciated by those who have different firmness preferences.
  • Edge support: A lot of reviewers mention the strong edge support of the Plank Firm Luxe.
  • Off-gassing: A few reviewers note the presence of off-gassing when the mattress is new, but it typically dissipates after a few days.
  • Customer service: Experiences with customer service are generally positive, with reviewers appreciating the responsive and helpful support team.

Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers

Layla Hybrid

8.3 /10

Test Lab Score

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The Layla Hybrid is a reversible mattress with a hybrid design. One side focuses on soft and plush cushion while the other focuses on support.

Price

$1,499

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)

Trial Period

120 nights

Full Details

Who It’s Best For

This a great choice for nearly all side and back sleepers. There’s two sides to choose from which will allow you to choose the right firmness for you.

Feel

The softer side of this mattress feels more like the mattress is “hugging” you. It has a plush top layer that allows you to sink in. The firm side doesn’t allow for as much sinkage, giving more support.

What It’s Made Of

The softer side of this mattress is topped with a thick layer of copper-infused memory foam. Copper has been shown to help keep foam cool throughout the night. This layer sits on top of a layer of polyfoam that provides support. The firmer side’s memory foam layer is thinner, allowing you to feel that firmer polyfoam underneath.

What We Don’t Like

This mattress may be too soft for stomach sleepers, especially those who weigh more than 230 pounds. We should also mention that for a flippable mattress, it is pretty heavy and difficult to move.

Scoring & Reviews

The following ratings show how suitable this mattress is for different sleeping positions and sleeper weights. These scores are determined by how well the mattress supports and relieves pressure for each sleeper type.

Side Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7.5/10

130-230 lbs

9/10

Above 230 lbs

7.5/10

Back Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

7/10

130-230 lbs

8.5/10

Above 230 lbs

7/10

Stomach Sleepers

Under 130 lbs

5.5/10

130-230 lbs

7/10

Above 230 lbs

5.5/10

We performed a meta-analysis on 1121 validated customer reviews of the Layla Hybrid. This is what people who bought the mattress had to say:

  • Comfort and Support: Many reviewers mention the mattress provides excellent support and comfort, particularly noting improvements in back and shoulder pain.
  • Dual Firmness: The flippable design offering a choice between firm and soft sides is frequently appreciated, allowing users to customize their sleeping experience.
  • Quality of Sleep: Numerous comments focus on improved sleep quality, with users reporting deeper sleep and fewer disturbances throughout the night.
  • Temperature Regulation: Some reviewers appreciate the mattress’s cooling properties, though a few mention it sleeps warm.
  • Shipping and Delivery: Fast and efficient shipping is often noted, although a few had issues with delivery services.
  • Weight and Maneuverability: The mattress is noted to be heavy, making it difficult to move or flip without assistance.
  • Smell and Off-gassing: A few reviewers mention an initial off-gassing smell that dissipates over time.
  • Edge Support: Mixed reviews on edge support, with some noting it could be improved.

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Best Overall Mattress

WinkBed

8.9 /10

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Get $300 off all mattresses at Winkbeds

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A popular hybrid that’s plush, supportive, and offers a firmness option for every body type.

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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Helix Midnight Luxe

9.3 /10

Test Lab Score

Up to 30% off with code DREAMDAY30 + 2 free pillows

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A hybrid mattress for back pain created with side sleepers in mind.

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Best Value Mattress

DreamCloud Mattress

8.5 /10

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Up to 50% off at DreamCloud

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A supportive and pressure-relieving luxury hybrid at an unbeatable price.

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Best for Lumbar Support

Saatva Classic

9.4 /10

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A luxury innerspring design with a modernized and customizable approach.

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Most Comfortable Mattress

Leesa Sapira Hybrid

8.9 /10

Test Lab Score

Up to 25% off + 2 free pillows with mattress purchase

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A responsive foam hybrid with moderate contouring for back pain and pressure relief.

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Best for Spinal Alignment

Nolah Evolution 15

8.8 /10

Test Lab Score

35% off sitewide + 2 free pillows with mattress purchase

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A hybrid mattress with back pain support where you need it most.

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Best for Pressure Relief

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

8.4 /10

Test Lab Score

30% off sitewide with code: FLASH30

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Great pressure relief for an even better value.

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Best Mattress for Couples

Bear Elite Hybrid

8.5 /10

Test Lab Score

35% off + free sleep bundle with any mattress purchase. Code: 2DAY

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A high-end mattress with zoned support and a cooling design.

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Best Firm Mattress

Plank Firm Luxe

7.8 /10

Test Lab Score

30% off sitewide with code: FLASH30

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A firm mattress for those looking for extra support.

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Best for Combination Sleepers

Layla Hybrid

8.3 /10

Test Lab Score

$220 off + 2 free pillows at Layla. Use code: Sleepy20

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A flippable mattress with double the support and cushioning.

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Video: We Tested the Best Mattresses for Back Pain — Here Are Our Favorites

How We Test: Rigor, Data, and Sleeper Feedback

For those who suffer from back pain, sleep should provide a respite—not compound the problem. To choose the best mattresses for back pain relief, our testing team (paying special attention to feedback from testers and owners with a history of back pain) looked for models that offered strong support and earned high marks for pressure relief. We looked for mattresses that contoured to the body while still allowing it to maintain even alignment. We also looked at zoned support systems to counter locations where painful pressure points are likely to occur. After thorough hands-on testing, we consider the selections on this page to be the best of the bunch.

At Sleep Foundation, we’ve personally tested nearly 2,000 mattresses over the past eight years in our Seattle-based Test Lab.

Our product testing team obsesses over the science of sleep and the latest in sleep trends, and many of us have spent time working directly with manufacturers. Since a bed’s comfort and feel largely depends on your body weight and sleeping position, the testers on our team represent a wide range of body types, sleep positions, and comfort preferences.

To get to our selections for top picks, we evaluate mattresses across a number of performance and testing categories. Specifically, we look at construction analysis and pour over product research in our database. We conduct quantitative testing in our Seattle-based Test Lab, perform field testing in our homes, and perhaps most importantly, solicit feedback from owners to see how the bed sleeps in the real world.

To learn more about our mattress evaluation process, you can check out our research methodology page, but below is a quick breakdown.

Construction analysis: Our ratings system is grounded in construction. Each mattress rating is derived at the intersection of quality, value, and versatility across a range of sleepers. We look at the bed’s price point, materials, firmness options, comfort and support systems, cooling technology, as well as brand reputation, and then we perform a detailed analysis that measures performance across six different categories to arrive at an overall score.

Quantitative product testing: During these hands-on lab tests, our team uses various tools and technology to evaluate a bed’s performance against motion isolation, pressure relief, temperature control, ease of movement, edge support, and potential for odor emissions. We use the outcomes from these tests to calculate a score for each category.

Field testing: Our field testers sleep on mattresses and other sleep products, like pillows, sheets, and mattress toppers, in their own bedrooms. After weeks of at-home testing, each field tester provides a detailed analysis of how the mattress performs, including what they like and dislike about the bed.

User feedback: Observations from mattress owners and users outside our team are invaluable to our research. We draw insight from surveys, sleep stories, and customer reviews to extract themes, fine-tune our ratings, and better understand how each product performs over time in a real-world setting.

Sleep Foundation lab testers utlizing lab equipment Sleep Foundation lab testers adjusting test dummy on mattressSleep Foundation sleep testers analyzing mattress pressure Sleep Foundation sleep testers examining products

motion isolation

This criteria alludes to the amount of motion a mattress absorbs when a sleeper moves on the surface. We use two testers lying side by side to evaluate motion isolation, who each feel for transfer while the other person moves on the mattress.

temperature control

To determine how well a mattress regulates temperature, we perform temperature tests and look closely at its materials and construction. Many mattresses are designed with cooling components meant to reduce heat retention.

pressure relief

A bed with strong pressure relief excels at preventing pressure from building up in areas like the shoulders and hips. Beds with even contouring and weight distribution are top performers when it comes to pressure relief.

Off-Gassing

A mattress in a box may release unpleasant chemical odors for a short period after you’ve unboxed it. The initial smell may be strong but typically fades within 2 or 3 days.

ease of movement

This criteria reflects how easily a sleeper can move across a bed’s surface. Responsive surfaces made of latex typically perform better than foam surfaces, which can inhibit movement.

edge support

We perform sit tests along a bed’s perimeter to measure how well the edges push back against weight. Mattresses with strong edge support have minimal sagging when sleepers sit on or lie close to the perimeter.

Dive Deeper — In-Depth Mattress Guides

For more help deciding which mattress is right for your specific needs, check out the guides below.

What to Consider in a Mattress for Back Pain

“I’m a former college athlete and have three little kids and a bad back (surprise!). I like a squishier bed that supports my whole body, and we recently got a Brooklyn Bedding hybrid after sleeping on the same Ikea mattress we’ve had for years. Let me tell you — this thing is a GAME CHANGER.”
Caitlin
Folsom, California

A mattress plays an important role in how the body is positioned throughout the night. Most people know that posture is important but only think about it in the context of standing and sitting. This can cause them to overlook the importance of having a mattress that is the proper fit based on their body shape, weight, and sleeping position.

Mattresses and Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is by far the most common type of back pain. It affects the lumbar region, which includes the lowest five vertebrae (L1-L5) of the spine.

The lower back has more curvature and range of motion than other parts of the back, and this makes it more susceptible to injury related to movement and posture, including positioning during sleep. If a mattress offers insufficient support, the lower back may twist or bend in an unnatural way. We’ve found that if the bed is too soft or is worn out, the hips, which carry more weight, may sink deeply into the mattress and out of alignment with the lumbar area. When that or any other misaligned position is held for an extended period during the night, it can be a direct contributor to back pain.

Mattresses and Mid-Back Pain

Middle back pain is much less common than lower back pain. The middle back is generally identified as above the lumbar spine but below the rib cage.

Stiffness and aching in the mid-back can arise because of poor posture and lack of spinal support. Because of the amount of time spent in the lying position during sleep, these alignment issues can often be connected to a mattress that does not adequately support the body and cushion a person’s pressure points.

Mattresses and Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain is less common than lower back pain but occurs more frequently than middle back pain. It affects the thoracic region, which runs from the bottom of the rib cage up to the lower neck and involves the 12 vertebrae that connect to the ribs.

Pain in the upper back and shoulders can come from awkward or unsupportive body positioning. If a pillow is not the right height or if a mattress doesn’t properly accommodate the shoulders, it may place undue pressure on the anatomy of the thoracic region, heightening the risk of upper back pain.

Mattresses and Neck Pain

Neck pain can occur due to different reasons. Many people develop strains and sore spots due to less-than-optimal posture, which can be especially problematic for people who sit at a desk for their jobs. The pillow and mattress you choose are important considerations  for people with neck pain. Our product tests reveal time and time again that, in order to reduce aches and pains, a pillow should provide enough support and loft to keep your neck aligned with the spine and hips.

Sleeping Position and Back Pain

Each sleeping position creates a unique set of pressure points and areas that need cushioning, and this is why our testers believe having the right mattress to suit your sleeping position is an important part of preventing and reducing back pain.

Back sleepers tend to have their most serious pressure points around the lumbar area. Our pressure tests on various mattresses have shown that if a mattress is too soft, the weight of the abdomen will cause this region to sink out of alignment with the rest of the back and hips. If the mattress is too hard, it won’t accommodate the natural curvature of the spine in the lumbar area. For this reason, a medium firm to firm mattress usually works best for back sleepers.

Side sleepers have high-impact areas where the body is the widest, notably at the shoulders and hips. A mattress needs to be contouring enough to cushion those pressure points but not so soft as to let them sink too deeply into the bed and out of line with the rest of the body. Most side sleepers on our test team get the best results from a medium to medium firm mattress.

Stomach sleepers have pronounced pressure points in the lumbar area and around the neck. If their pillow is too tall, it can put excess bend in the neck and upper back. If the mattress is soft, the pelvic area can dip too far, putting the body in a U shape that stresses the spine as well as the muscles and ligaments in the lower back. As a result, stomach sleepers on our team tend to have less back pain if they use a thin pillow and have a firm mattress. Stomach sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds may even benefit from an extra firm mattress.

“Back and stomach sleepers may benefit from a firmer mattress, as extra support can feel more comfortable in these positions. Side sleepers may prefer a mattress that has softness. It’s also important for side sleepers to find an option that ensures the head and neck are in alignment. Whatever is the most comfortable for you to sleep with is worth the investment.”

Sarah Silverman, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist and holistic sleep wellness consultant who treats patients in New York and Florida.

No matter what type of sleeper you are, changing your sleeping position is one way to try to get back pain relief.

If you are a back or stomach sleeper with a soft mattress and you don’t have the budget for a new bed, try switching to a side sleeping position that will give you more support from your existing mattress. Experts generally recommend that stomach sleepers try to adjust to side or back sleeping because it’s easier to get appropriate support in those positions.

Along with sleeping position, body weight is another important factor to consider when choosing your mattress. People who weigh more will sink further into a mattress, exacerbating the risks in all sleeping positions of the heavier parts of the body becoming misaligned. Sleepers of above-average body weight (over 230 pounds) typically need a firmer mattress than someone of average weight who sleeps in the same position.

Similarly, people who weigh under 130 pounds are less prone to sinking into the bed, and can sleep on a softer, more contouring mattress without the same risks of the body sagging out of alignment.

For more on the best mattress for back pain relief for different types of sleeping positions check out the video below.

Which Type of Mattress is Best for Back Pain?

A key step in choosing a mattress is deciding which mattress type is most likely to work for you. Virtually all mattresses on the market today can be broken into five types based on their construction and materials.

Within each category, you can find consistent features; however, we know there can be notable variation from one brand or model to the next. Some types allow for a greater diversity of designs, which leads to a wider variation in the expected feel and performance of any specific mattress.

Hybrid

Definition: Hybrids are constructed with an innerspring support core that is supplemented by a significant comfort system that may include layers of foam, latex, microcoils, cotton or fiber fill, down, and/or wool. The comfort layers on a hybrid are much more robust than on an innerspring mattress.

Highlight: Balanced Features. Hybrids try to capture the best of multiple bed types without suffering from their downsides. For example, we’ve found that hybrids tend to offer moderate to significant contouring that aids in pressure point relief, while their coils permit excellent ventilation, making temperature regulation a plus on most hybrid beds.

Innerspring

Definition: An innerspring mattress is composed almost entirely of metal coils. There may be a thin layer of cotton, polyester, or foam above the coils, but we generally find that this layer does not significantly change the mattress performance. Historically, innersprings were the most common mattresses, but their popularity has declined considerably as foam, latex, and hybrid models have gained steam.

Highlight: Inexpensive and Customizable. A benefit to innersprings is that they are among the most inexpensive options that you can find. One option we recommend is to use the money saved to customize the bed’s feel with a mattress topper.

Latex

Definition: Latex mattresses have an interior construction made completely with latex, which is a type of rubber. Most mattresses use natural latex from trees, but synthetic or blended latex is used occasionally. The comfort layers and support core may employ different types of formulations of latex.

Highlight: Supportive Contouring. We’ve tested numerous latex beds, and most of them have moderate contouring effects. This allows the bed to cushion the body without an excessive amount of sink.

Airbed

Definition: Airbeds feature a support core of inflatable chambers. Sleepers can use a remote or smartphone app to control a pump that can add or remove air from the chambers, adjusting firmness in real time. There may be other materials, including foam, latex, cotton, polyester, or wool, layered as a comfort system above the support core.

Highlight: Adjustable Firmness. Our test team believes the primary benefit of airbeds is their adjustability. Being able to quickly modify the firmness of the bed can be a huge plus for people with back pain because it lets them get “dialed in” depending on the nature of their pain and posture at that exact point in time.

Foam

Definition: Foam is layered to create both the support core and comfort system of an all-foam mattress. Memory foam is a popular material in foam mattresses as is polyurethane foam (polyfoam), which can be manufactured to have a range of distinct characteristics. Latex may be included among the layers, but no coils are used in a foam mattress.

Highlight: Deep Contouring. Memory foam tends to offer the highest degree of hug. This allows these mattresses to deliver proportional cushioning to the areas of the body that need it most. Side sleepers on our test team can attest that foam is especially useful for cushioning sharp impact points like shoulders and hips.

Mattress Features to Look for to Relieve Back Pain

When shopping for a mattress to help relieve back pain, some features are more important than others. With so many products and a bevy of marketing hype, it can be tough to parse out what really matters. Based on our extensive experience testing mattresses, we believe that you’re most likely to get the most satisfaction out of your purchase by focusing on certain key considerations:

  • Mattress Type: The materials and design will play a huge role in the performance of a mattress. The contouring, bounce, firmness, temperature regulation, and motion isolation of a mattress will be different for each mattress type, so it is critical for shoppers to think about their priorities and choose a mattress with components that will best meet their needs.
  • Zoned Support: Weight from the body is not distributed evenly; instead, certain areas tend to require more cushioning. A zoned mattress takes that into account and offers reinforced support in those areas.
  • Quality Materials: We’ve found that a mattress made with excellent materials is much more likely to provide the performance, reliability, and durability that people with back pain need.
  • Firmness Level: Firmness is a key driver of mattress comfort and is largely a matter of personal preference. At the same time, the right firmness level can play a big part in whether a mattress offers sufficient support, and that will depend significantly on a person’s body weight and sleeping position.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of mattress is best for back pain?

We believe that the best bed for someone with back pain is one that is suited to their body type and preferred sleeping position. Back pain-friendly models are available in all mattress types, but most of our testers agree that hybrid mattresses offer the best combination of support and pressure relief.

Pocketed coils tend to allow for better spinal alignment than innerspring or foam support cores, particularly if the coils are ergonomically zoned. Meanwhile, a hybrid’s comfort system — usually made from synthetic foam or latex — provides the pressure relief and contouring required to release tension and avoid pressure points. Individual mattresses, of course, can be better or worse for back pain regardless of their construction type.

Is a firm or soft mattress better for back pain?

Many people believe that a firm mattress is best for back pain, but our testers have found that people with back pain should — like all sleepers — choose a mattress firmness that suits their weight and is neither too soft nor too firm. People who weigh under 130 pounds tend to require medium soft or even soft mattresses, while those who weigh above 230 pounds usually prefer medium firm or firm beds.

Despite the difference in objective firmness, the subjective feel should be quite similar thanks to the way mattresses compress beneath weight. The right mattress will feel firm enough to offer support while soft enough to prevent aches or pains. For people who are accustomed to sleeping on a mattress that is too soft, choosing a mattress with pressure relieving qualities can help them adjust to the correct firmness level.

What is the best sleeping position for lower back pain?

People with lower back pain often find the most relief when sleeping on their side with their knees partially bent. Placing a pillow between your knees can also make this position more comfortable so long as the pillow is the right size to promote correct spinal and hip alignment. Pillows placed beneath the knees or at the small of the back can also help people who prefer to sleep on their back. Stomach sleepers on our team find relief by using a thin pillow for their head and a more supportive pillow beneath their stomach and hips.

You may have to experiment with different pillows before finding what works for you, as the wrong size or shape of pillow can sometimes worsen the situation. For many people, particularly those who sleep on their stomach, switching sleeping positions offers better results than any combination of pillows.

What is the best sleeping position for upper back pain?

If you suffer from upper back pain, it is best to sleep on your side or back since sleeping on your stomach causes significant tension in the shoulders and neck. Side sleepers may also experience upper back and shoulder pain if their mattress has inadequate pressure relief, since the position can cramp these areas and create pressure points and tension where your shoulder presses into the bed.

Regardless of your sleep position, we’ve found that choosing the best pillow is also an essential factor in relieving upper back and shoulder pain.

Can a mattress topper help with back pain?

A major benefit of a topper is that you can take advantage of a new comfort system that fits your needs. This may include a change in the firmness and/or the contouring to cushion your pressure points. For people with back pain, the difference can be notable and serve as a meaningful step toward better sleep.

At the same time, it’s important to remember that any topper comes with potential downsides. Every material has pros and cons, and those will be reflected in a topper. Our sleep lab has tested a fair amount of toppers, and we’ve noticed that most sleepers above 130 pounds need a topper that is at least 2 inches thick, and higher-quality versions can cost a few hundred dollars.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market.

Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Learn more about our Editorial Team