Mattress Reviews

Best Mattress for Back Pain- 5 Top Rated in 2020

Best Back Pain 2020

Back pain is among the most common health issues affecting most adults today. Statistics from the American Chiropractic Association show that 80% of Americans suffer from back pains at one time of their lives. Reports also show that back pain is the 5th leading reason for hospital visits each year.

Now, there are a lot of things that could cause back pains, including falls, car accidents, strained muscles, and ruptured discs. Surprisingly, your mattress, whether old or new, could be a culprit too! 

If you already have existing back pains, a mattress that doesn’t work for you is only going to aggravate the situation. On the other hand, if you go to sleep pain-free but always wake up with a miserable back, there are chances that your mattress is causing it.

We understand that there’s a lot of misinformation today on what type of mattress is best for back pain. For instance, medium-firm beds indeed are the best for alleviating pressure points and back pain. However, your ideal mattress will also depend much on your body type, weight, and favorite sleeping position. That means that not any other medium-firm bed will work for everyone.

In today’s post, we’ll explain the key factors to consider when choosing the best mattress for lower back pain. We’ve also boiled down all the available options in the market to 5 best beds for back pain in 2020.

Disclaimer: While SleepSharp endeavors to recommend the best products, we edited this post to offer general information only. As such, the content of this article can’t replace professional and expert advice and recommendation.

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Pain: Amerisleep AS3

Amerisleep AS3
Amerisleep AS3


  • Firmness: Medium-firm (5.5)
  • Thickness: 12”
  • Construction materials: Bio-Pur foam, poly foam, and Celliant fabric

Why we like it

  • Has an incredible balance of comfort and support
  • Its comfort layer has large open cells that promote the circulation of air
  • Its cover has Celliant technology that has a reputation for boosting oxygen intake

You might like the Amerisleep AS3 if you:

  • Weigh 230 lbs and below– considering its firmness level, this memory foam mattress offers the best sinkage and support to lightweight and average weight individuals.
  • Are a memory lover but don’t like the feeling of being stuck in bed– although this mattress’s Bio-Pur comfort layer feels like memory foam, it’s slightly more responsive and, therefore, doesn’t make you feel trapped in your bed. .
  • Want a bed for a medium-weight couple who can’t agree on the best mattress– the Amerisleep can accommodate all sleeping positions. As such, it will interest most average-weight couples struggling to get the best mattress for everyone.

The AS3 is one of the five mattresses that Amerisleep makes. This mattress has a total of 3 foam layers that make its 12-inch, medium-firm profile.

Its 3-inch comfort layer is made of Bio-Pur memory foam. What’s unique about this foam is that it replaces the majority of the petroleum products found in traditional memory foam with plant-based products. This leaves you with a slightly eco-friendly foam that should interest most environmentally-conscious folks. 

This Bio-Pur layer doesn’t lose its memory foam attributes, though. With its medium-firm feel, lying on this comfort layer causes a slow sinking feeling as the foam gives in to your pressure and body weight. Eventually, this mattress forms a cradle around your body, which is necessary for supporting your spine’s natural curves. The high-density transition and core layers come in handy to ensure that you remain suspended in the foam as opposed to sinking through.

The AS3 doesn’t get as hot as classic memory foam. This is because its top layer has large air spaces that allow adequate air circulation.

Importantly, its cover has Celliant technology that converts your body heat into infrared energy before emitting it back into your muscles. According to the US FDA, this technology not only helps in regulating heat buildup, but it also increases your muscles’ oxygen intake, thereby promoting self-healing.

The AS3 mattress accommodates all sleeping positions and comes with a 100-day trial plus a 20-year prorated warranty.

Best Affordable Mattress for Back Pain: Nectar

Nectar Mattress
Nectar Mattress


  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6)
  • Thickness: 11”
  • Construction materials: gel-infused memory foam, poly foam, and Tencel blend fabric

Why we like it:

  • It has the highest memory foam composition
  • It’s the most affordable

You might like the Nectar mattress if you:

  • Are looking for an affordable memory foam mattress– the Nectar is one of the least expensive mattresses out there that don’t compromise on quality.
  • Want a mattress for a couple with significant weight differences– this mattress is usable by individuals ranging from 130 pounds to 400 lbs. Even better, it supports all sleeping positions. This makes it a good bet for people who share the bed. 
  • Are a light sleeper sharing a bed with someone else– motion isolation is one of Nectar’s key strengths. This makes it a suitable back support mattress for sensitive sleepers who are easily awakened by their partner’s movements.

The Nectar is a bed that shows up a lot when searching for the best memory foam mattresses in 2020. Its queen size goes for around $700, which is about $200 cheaper than what most of its competitors sell at. This makes it a very recommendable option for individuals looking for a reliable memory foam mattress below one grand.

Not to mistake its affordability for low-quality construction, this mattress again has the highest composition of memory foam. That’s to say that if you appreciate the classic feel of viscoelastic foam, this mattress may interest you. 

Concerning firmness, the Nectar falls at 6 on our soft-firm scale. It has the gradual sinkage and conformability of memory foam, but it’s slightly on the firmer side compared to Amerisleep AS3 above. This makes it the best mattress for lower back and hip pain for individuals weighing 130 lbs to 400 lbs.

Another reason behind this mattress’s popularity is its compatibility with multiple sleeping positions. The only exception is stomach sleepers on the higher end of the weight spectrum. They may find the Nectar a little softer and, therefore, lacking adequate support.

Lastly, this 11-inch, four-layer mattress performs well in other critical areas, including temperature neutrality and motion isolation. It doesn’t have the best edge support, but it scores slightly above average compared to other all-foam beds.

Best for Lightweight Sleepers – Casper

casper mattress
Casper Mattress


  • Firmness: Medium-firm (5)
  • Thickness: 12”
  • Construction materials: Proprietary memory foam, poly foam, and polyester fabric

Why we like it:

  • It offers zoned support
  • Doesn’t make you feel like you’re stuck
  • Removable cover is a great boost to hygiene

You might like the Casper mattress if you:

  • Are a side sleeper– although it tends to accommodate all positions, its zoned construction design makes it the best mattress for side sleepers with lower back pain.
  • Are a medium-weight individual– as a medium-firm mattress with a rating of 5, we wouldn’t recommend this mattress to folks heavier than 230 lbs as it wouldn’t have enough support for their back.
  • Value memory foam but fear sleeping hot– the Casper mattress uses a proprietary memory foam with a construction design that allows body heat to pass through. Its cover also boosts breathability.

Casper has a reputation for being the earliest mass producer of bed-in-a-box mattresses. This American manufacturer has improved on its original mattress to create a bed that is engineered purposely for people looking for the best mattress for back pain.

The selling feature of this 12-inch mattress is its zoned transition layer. This layer is slightly firmer around the hip region and softer around the shoulder region. Casper says that the essence of this is to ensure even support of the entire body by offering more support beneath the hips and core as this region carries more weight.

This construction design favors side sleepers the most as their sharp shoulder blades sink into the mattress while the hips remain nicely supported. Average-weight back sleepers are going to like it too as there’s more support where they need it the most: beneath the butts. For stomach snoozers, the Casper mattress tends to accommodate those below 130 lbs better than average-weight folks.

Beyond its adequate support, another highlight of the Casper mattress is its top-notch temperature management. This mattress uses a proprietary comfort layer with a construction design that boosts heat dissipation. Also, it does an excellent job at localizing motion so that movements on one side of the bed won’t cause disturbances on the other end. For a person with back pain problems, this feature has an immense contribution to a restful night.

Best for Hot Sleepers: Purple

Purple Mattress
Purple Mattress


  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5)
  • Thickness: 9.5”
  • Construction materials: Purple Grid, Poly Foam, and polyester blend fabric

Why we like it

  • It does not retain heat
  • Promotes spinal alignment without sucking you in

You might like the Purple mattress if you:

  • Want an affordable Purple mattress back pain– although Purple has newer mattresses in its catalog, the original bed is the most affordable, and it still works for back pain.
  • Fear all-foam beds for sleeping hot– unlike memory foam mattresses that use blocks of foam, the Purple mattress has a grid-like structure that promotes airflow throughout the sleeping surface.
  • Value the classic hug of memory foam but don’t like sleeping IN the mattress– this mattress’s comfort layer behaves like memory foam but has a unique springiness that keeps you afloat as opposed to letting you sink into the mattress.

Purple is a popular name in the world of mattresses and more so when there’s a need for the best supportive mattress. What makes its beds a household name is the Hyper-Elastic Polymer grid that it uses for the comfort layer.

This layer behaves like memory foam in that it responds to the sleeper’s pressure and body heat to contour slightly to their body shape. The difference, though, is that the Purple grid is much more responsive and does not have the dreaded quicksand feeling of memory foam. This means that you have a mattress that contours to your body shape to relieve pressure points and soothe aching joints and muscles without trapping you inside.

The other thing that you’re going to like about this grid is how well it regulates the temperatures around your sleeping surface. To begin with, the Hyper-Elastic Polymer used for this layer does not retain heat as memory foam does. Secondly, the 2500+ grids that make this layer promote airflow, which helps in maintaining a cooler sleeping surface.

Considering the size of its comfort system, we’d recommend this 9.5-inch mattress to individuals weighing below 230 lbs. Regarding sleeping positions, the Purple mattress tends to support all the 3 common postures, although mid-weight back and stomach sleepers seem to appreciate it the most.

Best Hybrid Mattress for Heavy People with Back Pain: Saatva (Plush Firm)

Saatva Plush Firm


  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5)
  • Thickness: 14.5”
  • Construction materials: memory foam, poly foam, pocketed coils, Bonnell springs, and organic cotton and Dacron fibers.

Why we like it:

  • Balances contourability with comfort and support
  • Minimizes motion transfer significantly
  • Available in three firmness levels

You might like the Saatva mattress if you:

  • Are looking for luxury hotel mattress experience– the Saatva mattress that we’re reviewing here is a 14.5-inch euro pillow-top with a plush yet supportive firmness feeling.
  • Want a mattress that combines conformity with bounce– as a hybrid bed, this mattress has a comfortable euro pillow-top that contours to your body while its dual spring system offers the classic bounce of an innerspring bed.
  • Are looking for an affordable hybrid mattress for back pain– although it’s not the cheapest, the Saatva is a relatively affordable bed with a lot of value, especially considering its construction design and overall quality.

The Saatva is a hit brand in the category of the best mattresses for people with back pain. This mattress comes in two types, both of which are designed with pain relief in mind. The first is a 14.5-inch bed with a euro pillow-top. The second is an 11.5-inch version of the taller bed, only that it does not include the pillow-top. 

Both of these mattresses come at the same price tag. So, it boils down to whether or not you like the additional foam comfort layers on top of the taller bed. For a person with upper or lower back pain, we believe that the euro pillow-top version is going to interest you the most as it creates a middle ground between comfort and support without being overwhelming on either aspect. 

What we find even more interesting is that the Saatva mattress offers three firmness options; plush soft, luxury firm, and firm. The majority of lightweight and average-weight people looking for the recommended mattress for back support go with the luxury firm bed as it tends to balance support and comfort. 

Besides excellent pressure relief, our mattress review team found that the Saatva also performs well in other areas that are critical for a back pain sufferer, including edge support, temperature regulation, and motion dissipation. Also, if you’re looking for the best mattress for couples, we believe this one fits the bill. 

Best Mattress for Back Pain Buying Guide

Back pain is a physical discomfort that affects any part of the spine and can range from a dull ache to disabling pain. The causes of back pain include accidents, falls, and repeated heavy lifting leading to muscle or ligament strain.  

There are three significant types of back pains depending on the affected part of the spine;

Upper backache

This pain affects the section between the base of your neck and the bottom of the rib cage. Upper back pain isn’t as common as mid-back and lower back pains because the bones around this region don’t flex a lot. However, although less common, the Journal of Occupational Medicine states that 1 in every 5 women and 1 in every 10 men suffer from upper back pains. 

Middle back pain

This pain occurs around the lumbar spine- the area just below your rib cage and it’s more prevalent than upper backache but not as common as lower back pain. Middle back pain is caused by poor posture, obesity, muscle strain and sprain, osteoarthritis, and aging, among other things.

Lower back pain

More often than not, people who are searching for the best mattress for back pain tend to struggle with pain around their lower back. This is the most common type of back pain. It occurs due to strained muscles or sprained ligaments resulting from lifting heavy objects, falls, or accidents that lead to twisting of the spine. 

How does a mattress help in relieving back pain?

The things that we do punish our bodies by constantly twisting the spine. That’s why after a long day full of prolonged sitting, walking, or lifting, your body requires a night full of rest to allow self-healing.

For your back muscles to relax and self-heal, your mattress should help in maintaining a natural spinal alignment when sleeping. This involves keeping your ears, neck, shoulders, and hips aligned. This relieves the natural curves of the spine on the neck and mid and lower back leading to full relaxation. 

Can a mattress cause back pain?

While your bed is supposed to offer a night full of relaxation, it could also be the primary cause of your troubles. As we’ve just mentioned above, there are lots of things that can lead to back pains. While it’s not always easy to pinpoint where exactly the pains are coming from, it should be easy to tell if your mattress is to blame.

Here are a few clues to whether your bed is the main cause of your back pains:

  • You go to bed with a pain-free back but wake up with a twinge anywhere around your back.
  • Your morning backaches disappear after 15-30 minutes. You tend to wake up regularly throughout the night for no particular reason.
  • You toss and turn regularly and can’t seem to get a comfortable sleeping position.
  • You experience pressure points on some parts of your body when sleeping on your favorite sleeping position.

In most instances, it’s old less-than-terrific mattresses that cause back pains. If your bed has served you 8-15 years, it probably has sagging spots that throw your spine out of its natural alignment by forcing it to curve up or down. Either way, this is not healthy and may cut blood circulation besides not offering optimum relaxation to your muscles. Needless to mention, the only way around this is to get a new mattress.

Worth mentioning, a new mattress can cause back pains too. This is because when new, a mattress has unbroken cells that make it feel a little firmer than your body would prefer. Again, after getting used to your old bed of over 8 years, a new mattress feels somewhat strange to your body. However, it tends to get better and better with usage.

Understanding What Type of Mattress is Best for Back Pain

In a market that is full of different mattress technologies, the first and most important thing when choosing a mattress for back pain is to determine which type will suit your needs best.

There are 4 major types of mattresses in the market today: innerspring, memory foam, latex, and hybrid. All of these technologies perform differently and, therefore, tend to differ a lot on how well they help with back pain problems. We review the different types of mattresses in detail below.

Innerspring beds

Besides being the oldest, spring-based mattresses are still the most popular today, partly because of their affordability. These beds feature a system of springs plus a layer of thin foam at the top.

Innerspring mattresses are highly regarded for three things. First, they offer constant support throughout the body. Second, they promote excellent airflow, thereby leading to a cooler sleeping surface. This minimizes frequent tossing and turning, thus leading to a restful night. Even better, these beds have the best edge support in comparison to other types of beds. A mattress with excellent edge support not only offers a more usable sleeping surface. It also makes life easier for back pain sufferers when getting up from the bed.

Unfortunately, innerspring mattresses are also known for their lack of contour ability. As such, they can easily lead to pressure points, thereby making a painful back even worse.

Memory foam mattresses

Memory foam is the best type of mattress for lower back pain thanks to its ability to contour to the sleeper’s curves. This material has superior pressure relief as it conforms closely to your natural curves regardless of your sleeping position.   

Another major highlight of memory foam is its ability to minimize motion transfer. By localizing movement to one side, this mattress type helps a lot in reducing disturbance, and this contributes to a more restful sleep.

For a sleeper with back pain, the biggest drawback that comes with foam mattresses is their tendency to sleep hot. Secondly, you need to be on the lookout for beds made with inferior quality foam as they tend to sag easily, especially if you’re heftier.


These mattresses are made from latex, a natural product from rubber. Latex works pretty much like foam by contouring to your body shape. However, it contours to a slightly lesser extent than memory foam due to its natural springiness. The upside of this springiness is that latex mattresses are more responsive. For individuals struggling with joint and back pain, this responsiveness means constant support even when turning.

Latex mattresses are also generally denser than memory foam. Therefore, they tend to offer more support, which is necessary for ensuring spinal alignment. Again, similar to memory foam, latex does not transfer motion, and it also performs much better in reducing heat retention.

Its only drawback is its price tag. Latex is generally pricier than all other types of mattresses. However, it makes up for this by being the most durable too.

Hybrid mattresses

These beds combine a system of coils and several layers of poly foam and memory foam or latex. In the recent past, this technology has been known to make the best mattress for bad lower back as it offers the contour-ability of foam plus the support and bounce of innerspring. Also, this technology makes the best firm mattress for back pain for heavy individuals.

Plush or Firm for Back Pain?

After deciding on the type of bed to go with, the next hurdle will be to determine whether to choose a firm or plush mattress for back pain. Some years back, doctors used to recommend firm beds for people with lower back pain.

However, recent research results prove that a firm mattress may not always be the best for a bad back. This is especially true for lightweight and average weight individuals.

The problem with a firm bed is that it has minimal to no give. This may create pressure points around the shoulders and pelvis region, thereby doubling the discomfort. Again, since a firm mattress does not conform to your shape, it tends to offer support only to contact areas, thus leaving other areas unsupported. Consequently, your muscles have to work extra harder to compensate for this lack of support, and this could lead to long-term discomforts and pains.

An overly soft mattress will not work either. A bed with a lot of give may allow a heavier individual to sink further in leading to an unbalanced sleeping surface. This could throw the spine out of alignment leading to longer-term problems.

So, which is the best mattress for back pain relief?

Ideally, when shopping for the best mattress for your back, you want to consider a bed that offers a middle ground between comfort and support. It should conform slightly to your body shape to ensure all parts are well supported. However, it also needs to have enough firmness to ensure that you don’t get sucked into the bed. That’s to say that you need a medium-firm bed as these tend to offer excellent contourability while ensuring natural spine alignment.


Is memory foam good for back pain?

Memory foam is considered the best mattress for lower back as it contours to the natural curves of the body. This facilitates full-body support, which promotes natural healing.

Which is the best sleeping position for lower back pain?

Side and back sleeping positions are the most recommended as these two easily promote the spine’s natural curvature. For side sleepers, it’s recommendable to position a pillow between the knees to help in keeping the pelvis and hips in proper alignment. If you’re a back sleeper, placing a pillow beneath your knee joint will help in filling the gap, thereby relieving your muscles of pressure points.

Will a mattress cure my back pain?

Yes and No. If your back pain problem is as a result of sleeping on an unsupportive mattress, switching the bed may help. However, if you’re struggling with chronic pain as a result of injuries or falls, or age-related issues, a supportive mattress will only help in soothing the muscles and joints but may not necessarily be the cure.


It’s hard to stress enough the importance of a good bed to the health of your back and the overall quality of your sleep. The best mattress for back pain supports the curves of your spine, thereby allowing your muscles to heal naturally and the pain to fade away. 

While this list does not exhaust all the top mattresses for back pain in 2020, the above five beds are among the most sought-after today. 

Disclaimer: While SleepSharp endeavors to recommend the best products, we edited this post to offer general information only. As such, the content of this article can’t replace professional and expert advice and recommendation.

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