The Best Mattress for Back Pain in 2023     – CNET

The Best Mattress for Back Pain in 2023 – CNET

$1,099 at Amerisleep

Amerisleep AS2 memory foam mattress in a bedroom with a gray headboard.

Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid

Best overall mattress for back pain

$450 off any mattress with promo with code:

$799 at Dreamcloud Sleep

The DreamCloud Hybrid mattress on a gray bed frame with two nightstands next to it.

DreamCloud Premier Hybrid

Best hybrid mattress for back pain

$200 off + $599 of premium accessories

$1,199 at Helix Sleep

A bed with a Helix Plus mattress

Helix Plus

Best mattress for heavy sleepers with back pain

20% Off + 2 Free Pillows

Your old, worn-out or bad mattress can be the reason for your chronic aches and pains, especially if you’re living with back pain. We spoke with Dr. Andrew Casden, chief of orthopedics and spine surgery at White Plains Hospital in New York, about the best mattresses for back pain. Casden said, “What we know for sure is that too soft or too hard a mattress is not good for your back and can lead to back pain. A good mattress should provide support for the natural curves in our body without putting pressure on the spine.”

You don’t want a super firm mattress or too soft a mattress. So, where does that leave you? According to Casden, “Medical research does suggest that a ‘medium-firm’ mattress can help reduce the risk of developing back pain and decrease the pain for those already suffering from back pain.” You should also take your specific sleeping position into account, so you maintain proper spinal alignment while sleeping.

There are plenty of excellent mattresses out there that fit the bill. I have tested over 100 different beds from just about any brand you can think of, and have hundreds of hours of experience reviewing mattresses. This allowed me to select the best mattress for back pain picks that check all the boxes you need for bed that relieves the pain, not contributes to it. I’ll update this list periodically as I review new products. Note that the prices shown are for queen size, and may vary.

Looking for mattress accessories? We’ve also got recommendations for the best mattress topper, the best pillow, the best innerspring mattress and the best bed sheets.

Video: Best mattresses for back pain

Watch CNET Video Producer Owen Poole review the best mattress for back pain. 

What is the best mattress for back pain?

After testing many beds, we selected the Amerisleep AS2 hybrid as the best overall mattress for back pain. The proprietary memory foam, Bio-Pur, gives this mattress a breathable and airy foam feel that’s great for pain relief. Despite having layers of memory foam, the AS2 hybrid mattress from Amerisleep doesn’t have the stuck-in-the-mud feel of other memory foam mattresses. 

The Amerisleep AS2 hybrid mattress strikes a nice balance between pressure relief and support that keeps your neck and spine aligned while you sleep. It’s just firm enough to help with back pain but not too firm that it would add any pressure points to your knees, hips or shoulders. 

Best mattresses for back pain of 2023

Mattress price scale:

$ = Budget: $799 and below

$$ = Average: $800 to $1,699

$$$ = Premium: $1,700 and up

These reflect MSRP or list prices. Sales might make a mattress less expensive, but are always changing.

Type Memory foam hybridFirmness 7 or Medium-firmTrial 100 nightsWarranty 20-year prorated warranty Price

Why we picked the AS2 Hybrid mattressThe Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid has an optimal firmness level to promote proper spinal alignment without being so firm that it presses against your joints. Its Bio-Pur memory foam is eco-friendly and offers a comfortable contour around the curves of your body. AS2 Hybrid also comes with a Celliant-infused cover that boosts blood circulation and leaves you feeling more refreshed in the morning. This is a feature found on a few select beds and I think it’s a great cherry on top to a great mattress.

This hybrid mattress has a faster response time than regular memory foam, so instead of that slow-sinking then slow-rising feeling that you get with other memory foam mattresses, it bounces back right away. I never felt stuck in the mattress, even when I moved around at night, and it felt more like a traditional spring mattress, but without the extra bounce and noise. 

This medium-firm mattress ensures that your body and spine are properly supported throughout the night, reducing lower back pain and any other aches and pains. The cover is also machine washable! Read more in our full Amerisleep mattress review.


  • Has a Celliant-infused cover that helps boost circulation and improve sleep
  • Accommodates all body types


  • It’s a little pricey

Additional details

  • Type: Memory foam hybrid
  • Firmness: 7 or Medium-firm 
  • Trial: 100 nights 
  • Warranty: 20-year prorated warranty 
  • Price scale: $$

Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid

best mattress for back pain

Lindsay Boyers

Type Hybrid mattressFirmness 3 firmness levels | Plush Soft: Medium or 5 | Luxury Firm: Medium-firm or 7 | Firm: 9/10 or firmTrial 365 nightsWarranty Lifetime warranty Price

Why we chose the Saatva Classic mattressFor the shopper who likes luxury, the Saatva Classic is a premium hybrid mattress with extra bells and whistles. It features two coil layers, a zoned 3-inch pillow top, Lumbar Zone Spinal Wire and pressure-relieving memory foam that make it a great mattress for people with back pain. I also appreciate its customizable features: There are three firmness options and two height profiles to choose from. 

The middle area of the mattress has “lumbar zone technology” that utilizes an active-wire system, which are wires within the center of the mattress that work with the individually wrapped coils to provide the correct spinal alignment. This adds extra support for your middle and upper back, while the high-end memory foam that covers the entire mattress offers pressure point relief and keeps your spine totally aligned, especially when sleeping on your side. 

It’s one of the best mattresses for back pain if you like a medium to firm mattress with a luxurious and supportive feel. It’s offered in three firmness levels; Luxury Plush is around a medium, Luxury Firm is a medium-firm and the sweet spot for back pain sufferers, and Firm is a true firm. You can also choose between height profiles, a touch I definitely appreciate. Typically, the thicker the mattress, the more durable and supportive it is. Read more in our full Saatva mattress review


  • Dual-coil layers make Saava an extra supportive, durable mattress
  • Lumbar Zone Spinal Wire design helps promote a straight alignment
  • Accommodates all body types
  • Available in multiple firmness options


  • More expensive than a typical online mattress
  • The return fee will cost you $99 if you don’t like your bed

Additional details

  • Type: Hybrid mattress
  • Firmness: 3 firmness levels | Plush Soft: Medium or 5 | Luxury Firm: Medium-firm or 7 | Firm: Firm or 9/10 
  • Trial: 365 nights
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty 
  • Price scale: $$$

Saatva Classic

best mattress for back pain


Type Memory foam mattressFirmness 5 or mediumTrial 365 nightsWarranty Forever warranty Price

Why we picked the Nectar Premier mattressWith a medium-firm profile and thick, 13-inch foam construction, the Nectar Premier keeps your body propped up and in good spinal alignment. It’s made with dense memory foam that takes a few seconds for the body to settle into, until the bed’s top comfort layers gently hug your body. It’s a good pick for people with back pain who love a traditional memory foam feel.

This Nectar memory foam mattress is stacked with three layers, including a gel memory foam layer at the top that is infused with a phase-change material meant to keep you cool. I don’t think this Nectar mattress has a cooling sensation when you lie down on it, but I do think it regulates temperature better than a typical memory foam bed. If the bed’s cooling ability is a big value point for you, take a look at the Nectar Premier Copper. The brand also has a hybrid option that’ll give your body even more support.

It took a few moments for the foam in Nectar Premier to start molding around my body, but once it did, it gave me a dense, pressure-relieving feel, especially around my shoulders and hips. It lands around a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, making it ideal for back and stomach sleepers. Read more about this bed in our full Nectar Premier mattress review


  • Good bang for your buck
  • Available in a hybrid model to accommodate all body types


  • Dense memory foam feel might make it difficult for combo sleepers to change positions

Additional details

  • Type: Memory foam mattress
  • Firmness: Medium to medium-firm or 6
  • Trial: 365 nights 
  • Warranty: Forever warranty
  • Price scale: $$

Nectar Premier

best mattress for back pain

My Slumber Yard

Type Mixed foam hybrid mattressFirmness 6 or medium to medium-firmWarranty Lifetime warrantyTrial 365 nights Price

Why we picked the DreamCloud HybridThe DreamCloud Hybrid mattress is a premium mattress that offers relief to people with back pain without being overly firm or soft. It boasts a light and airy pillow top, and its primary comfort layers are made with memory foam, but it doesn’t provide as much resistance or give as the traditional material does. It’s more bouncy and responsive. With an optimal firmness level for people with back pain, it’s worth the money it costs. It’s very affordable for its quality — comparable beds cost around $300 to $400 more or up. 

The memory foam in the DreamCloud Premier provides pressure relief without making you feel like you’re sinking into the foam. Did I mention the cover is partly made with cashmere? I really meant it when I said it’s luxurious. Lastly, in the bed’s base layer, there are 8 1/2-inch coils that are individually pocketed for optimal support and help to isolate motion.

I’d rate the DreamCloud Premier around a medium-firm, or around a six out of 10 on the firmness scale. That means it’s firm enough to support you when you sleep on your stomach or back, but it’s also going to provide enough pressure relief that you feel some contour around your pressure points. I personally know two different people who sleep on a DreamCloud, and they think it’s the best mattress they’ve had. It also checks a lot of boxes for people who suffer from back pain and want a good balance of pressure relief to support.

Read more about this bed in our full DreamCloud mattress review


  • Made with premium materials including cashmere
  • Although its made with memory foam, it has more of a responsive feel
  • Accommodates all body types


  • Like most beds on this list, may be too firm for strict side sleepers

Additional details

  • Type: Memory foam hybrid mattress
  • Firmness: Medium to medium-firm or 6
  • Trial: 365 nights 
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Price scale: $$

DreamCloud Premier

$200 off + $599 of premium accessories

best mattress for back pain

My Slumber Yard

Type Neutral hybrid mattressFirmness MediumTrial 100 nightsWarranty 10-year warrantyPrice 3,095 Price

Why we chose the Casper Wave mattressI think the premium Casper Wave mattress stands out as one of the best for back pain relief for a few reasons. It has a carefully constructed design that consists of multiple zoned layers, strong pocketed coils and a stamp of approval from the American Chiropractic Association. The Casper Wave mattress is a good investment for people with back pain who want a neutral, generally comfortable mattress. It’s more bouncy and responsive than memory foam, but just as cushy and pressure-relieving. 

Another plus about Casper Wave is that it’s incredibly thick, and utilizes multiple different materials including supportive pocketed coils, breathable Airscape foam and cooling gel. This makes it a premium mattress with just about all the bells and whistles you could ask for, especially if you suffer from back pain. This bed even has the stamp of approval from the American Chiropractic Association who endorses Casper Wave. 

It’s rated around a medium on the firmness scale, making it suitable for all sleeping positions from back, side, stomach and combination. However, side sleepers will especially appreciate its firm but pressure relieving profile. It’s an expensive mattress, but worth it for people who have the budget to invest in a luxury bed to help ease their back pain. 


  • Special zoned design is made specifically to promote spinal alignment
  • Backed by the American Chiropractic Association
  • Offers nice pressure relief for side sleepers with back pain
  • Suits all body types


  • It’s one of Casper’s most expensive mattresses
  • Back and stomach sleepers may want a firmer option

Additional details

  • Type: Hybrid mattress
  •  Firmness: 5 or medium 
  • Trial: 100 nights 
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty 
  • Price scale: $$$

Casper Wave Hybrid

best mattress for back pain


Why we chose the Allswell mattressOwned by Walmart and in line with its parent company’s brand, Allswell is an incredibly affordable hybrid mattress. It offers support and proper spinal alignment for back at stomach sleepers at a low price. It’s proof you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to buy a good mattress for back pain.

It’s going to be best for back and stomach sleepers because of its medium-firm profile, but it’s one of the cheapest mattresses I’ve tested that includes a supportive pocketed coil base layer. Pocketed coils help to provide support for people who suffer from back pain. Paired with its firmness profile, it offers a good balance of support and pressure relief to help curb the aches. 

The Allswell mattress has a neutral and responsive feel, so you don’t feel like you’re sinking into the bed. Instead, the mattress gently cradles your joints and quickly bounces back once pressure is removed. I think it’s an enjoyable feel, especially if you’re not a fan of a memory foam mattress. For more information, check out our full Allswell mattress review


  • One of the most affordable hybrid beds on the market
  • Medium-firm profile fits those with back pain, back and stomach sleepers
  • Accommodates all body types


  • Too firm for side sleepers with back pain

Additional details

  • Type: Hybrid mattress
  • Firmness: 6 or medium to medium-firm 
  • Trial: 100 nights 
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Price scale: $

The Allswell 10″ Hybrid Mattress in a Box, Queen

Type Memory foam hybrid mattressFirmness 7 or medium-firmTrial 100 nightsWarranty 15-year limited warranty Price

Why we chose the Helix Plus mattressHeavier sleepers with back pain should look for an extra supportive and durable mattress, and Helix Plus checks that box. With a thick hybrid construction, medium-firm profile and XL pocketed coils that can support up to 1,000 pounds, it’s a solid pick that won’t break the bank. 

There are a lot of mattresses that claim to align your spine as you sleep, but many of these mattresses are designed to support a max of 230 pounds. If you’re over that — or close to it — your body can put extra pressure on the mattress, causing it to sag in all of the wrong places and leaving you with chronic back pain. That’s where the Helix Plus comes in. It will serve as the best mattress for back pain for those who are over 250 pounds.

This mattress type is specifically made for heavier sleepers with higher BMIs. It’s 13 inches tall and has an extra layer of four-pound high-density foam that’s designed to offer enough firmness to support up to 1,000 pounds of combined weight (or 500 pounds on each side). This extra comfort layer of support helps delicately push against your weight to help with spine alignment so that you sleep in comfort and wake up pain-free.

Read more in our full Helix mattress reviews.


  • Specifically designed for sleepers over 230 pounds
  • Stronger pocketed coils than other hybrid mattresses


  • Might be too firm and supportive for side sleepers or those under 230 pounds

Additional details

  • Type: Memory foam hybrid
  • Firmness: 7 or Medium-firm (for heavier individuals)
  • Trial: 100 nights 
  • Warranty: 20-year prorated warranty
  • Price (Queen): $1,749 
  • Price scale: $$$

Helix Plus

What to consider when buying the best mattress for back pain

Shopping for the best mattress for back pain that fits your needs isn’t always easy. People with back pain especially have to be considerate of their new bed purchase because they don’t want it to contribute to even more aches. Here are the key things to look out for when searching for a bed to help with back pain relief. 

Firmness level

As our medical experts have said, the best beds for back pain seem to be in the medium-firm range; you want a mattress that’s neither too firm or too soft. A medium-firm mattress mostly offers great support, but it’s not too firm where it loses its pressure-relieving abilities. At the same time, it’s important to consider your sleeping position to properly accommodate your needs. 

Sleeping position

Medium-firm mattresses will be perfectly suitable for many people with back pain including back, stomach and combination sleepers. However, the key is to have a mattress that keeps your spine in a straight alignment with your neck and head. As such, side sleepers with back pain may want a slightly softer mattress that gives underneath the curves of your shoulders and hips. A medium mattress is best for petite and side sleepers because you get more pressure relief without compromising support. 

Hybrid construction

Between foam beds and hybrid beds that incorporate both foam and coils, hybrid beds are typically best at helping alleviate back pain. Foam beds are more prone to sagging and indentations, and this wear and tear can help contribute to your back pain. Hybrid beds with coils in the foundation layer provide more support for all body types, and do a better job at keeping your spine in proper alignment. 

Special ergonomic designs

Some beds have average designs while others are made with back pain sufferers in mind. Keep an eye out for these ergonomic mattresses. Beds like the Casper Wave with multiple zoned support layers or the Saatva with special lumbar support will likely prove to be more beneficial for back pain than a standard hybrid or foam mattress. 

Best mattress for back pain graphic showing pressure points for different sleepers.

When you’re shopping for the best mattress for back pain, it’s important to find a firmness level that accommodates your sleeping position. 

How we test the best mattresses for back pain

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. 

We considered several key factors when testing the best mattress for back pain: price, firmness, feel and pressure relief. We also made sure to note what special features each mattress offered.

Firmness and feel

At the start of any mattress testing, we immediately note the bed’s firmness and feel. These are the two most important factors consumers use to decide on a mattress. Think of firmness as how hard or soft your mattress is. Part of this is your preference, but firmness is also dictated by how you sleep. For example, back and stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress to keep their spine and neck aligned. In contrast, side sleepers need a softer mattress with pressure relief to prevent painful pressure points at the shoulders, hips and knees. People with back pain generally need at least a medium-firm level of support. 

Feel is a preference thing. It all comes down to what you want your bed to feel like. Do you like sinking memory foam? Or thick pillow tops? What about the unique feel of the Purple mattress? The firmness and feel of each mattress are noted in the reviews. 

Support and pressure relief

Regarding mattresses for back pain, great support with ample pressure relief is essential. Once we had a roundup of the beds that stood out the most, we carefully considered the beds with designs that are meant to help promote a neutral spinal alignment. We also looked to mattresses that have been endorsed by the people who know best at the American Chiropractic Association. For even more expertise, we consulted specialized doctors who have the necessary knowledge on the best and worst mattresses for back pain. 

Read more on how we test mattresses.

Other mattresses we’ve tested

It’s difficult for the average person to test every mattress they might be interested in, especially when it comes to online mattresses that are exclusively sold through the brands’ websites. That’s why we have our CNET Sleep editors test the mattresses we review, and create round ups that include some of the best beds they snuggled up to. While the beds above are top choices, here are a few that could have easily made the list as an ideal mattress for back pain. 

Avocado mattress: For individuals who live green or are particularly sensitive to household allergens, an organic mattress like Avocado might be appealing. With the optional pillow top, the Avocado mattress has a medium-firm profile that keeps the back in neutral alignment and prevents it from sagging into the mattress. It’s also endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association. Though, it might be a little too firm for side sleepers. Another plus about this bed, is thanks to its latex foam construction, it’s hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. 

WinkBed mattress: There are several perks to a WinkBed mattress that make it an ultra comfortable option for people who suffer from back pain. It’s offered in three firmness levels, but the firm model (rated around a medium-firm) is what I recommend, thanks to its golden ratio of support to pressure relief. Not only is it made with supportive pocketed coils, but it also has a “LumbarLayer” specifically designed to offer targeted support to your lumbar region.

Loom & Leaf mattress: Offered in two firmness levels, medium-firm and firm, the Loom & Leaf mattress is a memory foam mattress that can help prevent back pain and offer cooling relief at the same time. It’s a thick, foam mattress with a firm profile that keeps your spine from sagging into the bed. If you happen to sleep hot, it also has a cooling gel layer that’s very effective at keeping you and the bed at a comfortable temperature. 

Signs your mattress is causing back pain

Dr. Jacob Hascalovici, chief medical officer of the telehealth chronic pain platform Clearing, gave us insight into the consequences of a bad mattress, and the signs to look out for. 

“If you’re frequently waking up with a crick in the neck, back pain, stiff joints, experiencing mental fogginess, and having trouble falling asleep can all be signs of a mattress that is hurting your back,” Hascalovici said. “A bad mattress can mean a bad night’s sleep. It can also add up to more pain, both in your back and in other muscles and joints that are forced out of alignment or have to compensate for a lack of support.” 

That’s why it’s so important to sleep on an accommodating mattress. “Over time, pain and lost sleep can lead to memory problems, lack of concentration, mood swings, lowered immunity, and even weight gain and a higher risk of heart trouble,” Hascalovici said. “Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for multiple areas of your mind and body, so it’s worth prioritizing.” 

Different types of back pain 

“The back is such a large and important part of the body, it’s not unusual for it to develop aches and pains,” Hascalovici explained. “While back pain can be characterized in many different ways, it can be convenient to classify it by where it shows up.”

Neck pain: “Unfortunately common, neck pain can happen for quite a few different reasons. The neck can get sore from supporting an out-of-alignment head — if you carry your head thrust forward, for example, hunch, or have ‘text neck,’ you may notice soreness and difficulty turning your neck. Arthritis can happen, or the neck can get injured. It’s also not uncommon to wake up with neck pain from unsupportive pillows, from sleeping on your stomach, or from tooth-grinding during the night, among other things.”

Upper back pain: “The upper back, or thoracic spine, can suffer from musculoskeletal pain,” Hascalovici said. “Discs can slip, strains can occur, and nerves can get pinched. Often, however, the causes of upper back pain can be traced back to being sedentary, to having relatively poor posture, or weakened, or to weakened muscles that let the spine tilt out of alignment. Upper back pain can affect the shoulders; shoulders may also hurt if you’ve been putting pressure on them unevenly while sleeping.”

Lower back pain: “Only five vertebrae comprise the lower back, but those bones bear a lot of weight and pressure,” Hascalovici said. “Herniated discs, muscle strains, nerve damage, and arthritis can all cause lower back pain. Doing heavy, repetitive labor, lifting heavy weights, toting a hefty bag around, or slumping don’t help, either. For people with lower back pain, a medium-firm or firm mattress can sometimes yield some pain relief.”

“Wherever pain shows up in the back, it can be frustrating,” he continued. “The back is vulnerable to damage and to soreness caused by inflammation and arthritis; stress also contributes to back pain, since it often makes people clench their muscles.” As a remedy, Hascalovici suggested “supplements, regular exercise, good posture, an anti-inflammatory diet, managing stress, and getting enough sleep all help to prevent and manage back pain.”

Other ways to reduce back pain

Hascalovici said some sleeping positions are better than others for back pain, and offered a few tips to help you sleep more comfortably.

  • If you can, try to sleep on your side while bending your knees a little. It may help to put a firm pillow behind your back to help hold you in place. 
  • A soft body pillow or feather pillow between your knees may make you feel more comfortable. 
  • If you naturally prefer sleeping on your back, tuck a small pillow under your knees to keep your lower back from arching and possibly hurting more. 
  • Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach, but if you can’t, you can at least stick a pillow under your hips at night to keep your back from arching too much.
  • Consider a mattress topper to make your bed feel more supportive or more pressure relieving, depending on what you need out of your current mattress. If your bed is too soft, consider a latex topper to add firmness. If your bed is too firm, a plush memory foam topper can help soften things up. 

Best mattress for back pain FAQ

Can a mattress cause back pain?

Yes. A poor mattress or ill-suited bed for your needs can be a contributing factor to your back pain. If your bed is fairly new, less than a few years old, it’s possible your bed is too firm or too soft for your needs.

A soft mattress can cause back pain for back and stomach sleepers because it allows the lower back to sag into the foam. On the other hand, a firm mattress can press into the shoulders and hips of a side sleepers, causing the spine to be misaligned. 

If your mattress has sags, indents or visible wear and tear, it’s a sign your bed is too old. Old mattresses with lumps and bumps aren’t efficient and promoting proper spinal alignment, and can lead you to wake up with back pain. 

What type of mattress is best for back pain?

Memory foam and latex are the most commonly recommended mattress materials for back pain. These materials conform to your body and provide pressure relief where you need it most. One hundred percent memory foam mattresses and hybrid mattresses — which combine springs with memory foam and/or latex — are both good choices.

Are memory foam mattresses good for back pain?

Memory foam mattresses are among the best for back pain. They contour your body, alleviating pressure on your joints and reducing aches and pains. The memory foam also aligns with the natural curvature of your spine, providing lumbar support.

Is it better to have a firm mattress for back pain?

Very firm mattresses were often recommended for back pain in the past, but based on feedback from sleepers, a mattress that’s too firm can disrupt sleep and contribute to back pain. On the other hand, mattresses that are too soft also contribute to poor sleep quality and back pain, by throwing your spine out of alignment and putting too much pressure on your joints. 

In general, the best mattress for back pain is one that’s rated medium to medium-firm, but it also depends on how you sleep. For example, side sleepers need a mattress that’s softer than back sleepers who generally need a firmer mattress, so the right mattress depends on your existing sleep habits.

What is the best mattress for back pain?

Some of the best mattresses to help alleviate back pain include:

  • AS2 Hybrid
  • Saatva
  • DreamCloud
  • Purple Hybrid
  • Nectar Premier
  • Casper Wave
  • Allswell
  • GhostBed Flex
  • Helix Plus

What sleeping position is best for back pain?

The best sleeping positions for back pain are on your back with a pillow underneath the knees to alleviate pressure or on your side with a pillow in between the knees. If you sleep on your stomach and can’t make the switch, sleep with a pillow underneath the lumbar region (your lower back area).

McKenzie Dillon

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