Having some form of back pain is fairly common among adults in the U.S.—almost a third of U.S. adults experienced lower back pain in 2018 (the most common type) according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Considering we spend almost a third of our lives sleeping, selecting the right mattress is essential for overall health and wellness.
To find the best mattresses for back pain, the Dream Advisor editorial team analyzed data on more than 650 mattress options and ranked them in terms of ideal firmness, affordability, sleep trials, return policies and more. Read on to see which mattresses made the list.
Note: This ranking focuses exclusively on queen-size mattresses. Prices are accurate as of publication date and availability of mattresses are subject to change.
Best Mattresses for Back Pain of 2022
Sealy Essentials Pillow Top Mattress
Price: $649 | Type: Hybrid | Firmness: Soft, medium
Sealy brings its 100-year history in the mattress industry to modern foam mattress designs and scores top marks with the Essentials Pillow Top Mattress. The mattress incorporates both the bounce and support of a traditional mattress with the luxurious feel of memory foam by using Sealy’s proprietary SealyCool and SealySupport gel foam materials alongside an open coil design in a six-layer construction.
The Essentials Pillow Top Mattress comes with a 10-year limited warranty and 100-day sleep trial, with refunded returns (returns are donated) available after the first 30 days. Sealy typically ships all its mattresses from its warehouse in Mississippi within a week of an order being placed, according to the company. Standard shipping is free, and expedited shipping is available at extra cost. Sealy only ships in the U.S.
Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams Cooling Gel Hybrid Mattress
Price: $749.00 | Type: Hybrid | Firmness: Medium
Building on the expertise of mattress-in-a-box pioneer Brooklyn Bedding, the Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams Cooling Gel Hybrid Mattress scores top marks for performance, comfort and price. The mattress incorporates a high density foam base, a six-inch layer of individually-encased coils and two and a half inches of memory foam, all underneath an “advanced cooling panel” to draw away body heat on contact.
The mattress is covered by a 10-year limited warranty and a 120-night sleep trial—a longer trial compared to some competitors. Returns and refunds are available only after 30 days, with many “returns” constituting donations. Most purchases are shipped free of charge via UPS or FedEx, according to the company, and shipping is available in the continental U.S. and Canada.
Linenspa 10-Inch Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress
Price: $299.99 | Type: Hybrid | Firmness: Medium
Linenspa claims this mattress is “not too soft and not too firm,” meaning it should hit the sweet spot for sleepers with back pain. A simple yet effective construction layering tempered steel coils between sheets of CertiPUR-US memory foam can increase spinal alignment and provide support. The mattress includes a 10-year limited warranty and offers no-questions-asked returns with a full refund and free return shipping within the first 30 days—a much shorter period trial than most competitors. The company says its mattresses ship within the continental U.S. for free, typically within a week.
Linenspa 10-Inch Latex Hybrid Mattress
Price: $299.99 | Type: Hybrid | Firmness: Medium
Linenspa’s ability to rival industry leaders in mattress performance while maintaining low prices has earned it a second slot on our list. The Latex Hybrid Mattress builds on the successes of the brand’s Memory Foam Hybrid model, offering motion isolation and a particularly responsive feel by combining memory foam with layers of latex. This mattress comes with a 10-year limited warranty, a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy, free returns and return shipping and shipping to the U.S. and Canada.
Casper Element Mattress
Price: $695 | Type: Foam | Firmness: Medium
Casper’s Element Mattress blends the company’s well-known designs and materials with an approachable price point. The mattress offers an all-foam base and body, paired with a top layer of perforated Airscape foam. A 100-night sleep trial lets users try before they buy, and Casper offers refunds and free return shipping after the first 30 days. Shipping is free to the continental U.S. and Canada, with additional fees for orders to Alaska and Hawaii.
Tuft & Needle Original Mattress
Price: $895 | Type: Foam | Firmness: Medium-firm
Tuft & Needle’s flagship offering is recommended by the company specifically for back and stomach sleepers. It’s constructed of two layers of foam, including three inches of proprietary T&N Adaptive foam infused with cooling gel and heat-conducting graphite. The company offers a 100-night sleep trial, one free return and refund available per household per year, and a 10-year limited warranty. Mattresses should ship within one to five days of ordering, according to the company, and return shipping is free in the continental U.S. The company doesn’t offer shipping outside the U.S., but the T&N Original is available in Canada.
Nectar Memory Foam Mattress
Price: $895 | Type: Foam | Firmness: Medium-firm
Nine out of 10 Nectar users who suffer from back pain say their Nectar mattress has helped them, according to the company. The most basic yet most popular offering of Nectar’s lineup, the Memory Foam Mattress tops a seven-inch layer of standard foam with two inches of dynamically adjusting foam for bounce—and three inches of gel memory foam for ultimate comfort, promoting spinal alignment and relieving pressure points.
Nectar offers a 365-night sleep trial—the longest on this list—with returns and refunds available after 30 days. The company also bests many competitors with its “Forever Warranty.” For the first 10 years of ownership, Nectar guarantees replacement of any defective mattress free of charge, after which the company will “recover, repair or replace.” The company’s website claims mattresses usually ship by UPS or FexEd within 3-5 days of ordering, with free shipping available only in the continental U.S. Shipping to Alaska and Hawaii is available for an extra $150 per item.
Cocoon by Sealy Chill Memory Foam Mattress
Price: $799 | Type: Foam | Firmness: Medium
Unlike Sealy’s Essentials mattress line, the Cocoon contains no springs and instead is constructed completely of foam. The Cocoon rates well on comfort and performance, utilizing three layers of premium foams of different densities to deliver a balance of contouring, sink and support. The mattress’s stretch knit cover is designed to keep sleepers cool with infused “Phase Change Material” that dissipates heat.
Sealy offers a 10-year limited warranty on this mattress and a 100-day sleep trial, with refunded returns available after the first 30 days. Standard shipping is free, though depending on location, a mattress might be able to be expedited at extra cost. Reminder: Sealy only ships in the U.S.
Casper Original Foam Mattress
Price: $1,295.00 | Type: Foam | Firmness: Medium-firm
Casper’s Original Foam Mattress is not its most basic model (the company’s simplest and most affordable option is the Element). Instead, this mattress aims for luxury in a box. The mattress puts firmer foam under the hips, waist and lower back to support spinal alignment and softer foam around the shoulders for maximum upper body comfort. A 100-night sleep trial offers a refund and a free return after the first 30 days, and the mattress comes with a 10-year limited warranty. Shipping is free to the continental U.S. and Canada, with additional fees for orders to Alaska and Hawaii.
Layla Memory Foam Mattress
Price: $1,099 | Type: Foam | Firmness: Soft to firm
The Layla Memory Foam Mattress performs as two mattresses in one—featuring both a soft side and a firm side. A layer of “support core” foam and “max airflow” foam are sandwiched between two layers of gel memory foam, each intended to provide a slightly different feel against the body along with cooling and antimicrobial properties from infused copper.
Layla offers a limited lifetime warranty on its Memory Foam Mattress—a longer warranty than most competitors—and a 120-night trial period. Returns are shipped for free in the continental U.S. (though not for mattresses being warrantied), and free shipping is available to locations within the continental U.S.—with shipping to Alaska, Hawaii and Canada for an extra fee.
To determine the best mattresses for back pain, we analyzed data on more than 650 mattress options, ranking them in terms of:
- Mattress firmness, giving preference to medium and medium-firm mattresses
- Free shipping availability
- Free returns availability
- Sleep trail availability and length
- Warranty length and details
- Mattress thickness
- Pillow top option availability
- The brand’s reputation in the industry
For this specific ranking, we focused exclusively on queen-size mattresses. Star ratings were determined solely by our editorial team.
What Type of Mattress Is Best for Back Pain?
Sleepers experiencing back pain need a mattress suiting their shape and individual needs in order to get a good night’s sleep. Which mattress works best to relieve your back pain will depend on a few factors, including the specific area of your back pain and your usual sleeping position. Based on these and other factors, it’s possible to find a mattress that supports back pain across a variety of types. Choosing a mattress with a trial period will also help make a difference in finding good sleep.
How to Choose a Mattress for Back Pain
While every sleeper is unique, we’ve outlined some guidelines to help you in your search for the mattress that will help your back pain.
What Type of Mattress Is Best for Lower Back Pain?
It’s generally recommended for sleepers with any type of back pain to choose a mattress of medium to medium-firm firmness—a six or a seven on a firmness scale to 10, though one should also be aware of the degree to which companies’ metrics for gauging firmness may vary.
Mattresses with zoned support can be particularly beneficial to sleepers with lower back pain, as support is usually increased in the lower back area, helping align the back but also keeping the middle of the body from sinking too low.
What Type of Mattress Is Best for Upper Back Pain?
Though less common than lower back pain, upper back pain can cause equal discomfort when sleeping. Again, support is key. Mattress customers should first know themselves—do you prefer sleeping on your back, side or stomach? Are you a heavier sleeper requiring above average support or a light sleeper who needs relative softness in order to get a little sink? For those needing more support on joints while sleeping on their side, or who prefer sleeping on their backs and require spinal alignment, a medium to medium-firm mattress can be best. Stomach sleepers who experience back pain tend to benefit from a firm mattress, as do sleepers who require more support due to weight.
If experiencing upper back pain, consider your pillow firmness and placement and the alignment of your neck and head, as body positioning in these areas can contribute to upper back pain as well.