The Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain: A Definitive Guide

Summary: This unbiased, in-depth review features our team of Sleeping Ninjas picks for the best mattress for lower back pain. While our Sleeping Ninjas don’t generally get lower back pain, they do know how to inflict it on others, making them experts on the topic. Disclosure: Sleeping Ninjas has an affiliate relationship with some companies where we get a small percentage of sales if you click over from our site.

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The great majority of us will experience some form of back pain at one point in our lives.

As we spend, more or less, one-third of our days sleeping, mattress choices can strongly influence the quality of our life. According to J. Talbot Sellers, a physiatrist specializing in back and neck pain, sleeping on the wrong type of mattress can cause or even worsen lower back pain.

Choosing the right mattress, however, is not a clear-cut decision. There is no ‘perfect’ mattress, as every person differs in their specific causes for lower back pain, sleep patterns, positions, and more. More often than not, personal preference determines the benefits the mattress will provide you. It follows that we should opt for testing several mattresses to find which one works best for us.

Our Sleeping Ninjas have created a list of the best mattresses for lower back pain, so you can pick and choose which ones work best for you.

Our Top Picks for the Best Mattresses for Lower Back Pain

Here’s a quick list of the best mattress for lower back pain reviewed below:

  1. The Nectar Mattress
  2. Live and Sleep Resort Ultra Mattress
  3. The Helix Mattress
  4. Arctic Dreams Cooling Gel Mattress
  5. Skylar Gel Foam Mattress

Factors for the Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain

When selecting a mattress for lower back pain, keep these factors in mind:

1) Mattress firmness

The number one most important element to choosing the right mattress is mattress firmness. Research shows that the best option is a medium-firm mattress, as it will provide ample support for your back.

One of the most important determinants of back pain is posture, and while you may not realize it, your sleeping posture is just as important as your walking posture. Too soft of a mattress will result in unwanted curvature in your spine, while too firm of a mattress will create too much pressure.

best mattress for lower back pain spine

2) Memory foam mattresses

The best option for lower back pain seems to be memory foam. Innerspring mattresses do not provide an equal distribution of weight and result in misalignment of the spine as well as more movement during sleep. Memory foam helps keep your body in the right position throughout the night.

Lower back pain patients often tend to switch positions through the night, which puts stress on your spine, as well as on your muscles. The only thing to keep in mind is that memory foam tends to retain heat, which leads us to the next point…

3) Your preference is all that matters

In the end, the best determinant of satisfaction is your personal preference. If you are a hot sleeper, you may need to look for mattresses that circulate air. We reiterate again, you may have to try several mattresses before you find the right one: one that lets you sleep well, without pain or stiffness.

4) Get a new mattress

As simple as this may sound, researchers found that simply the act of changing your old mattress will decrease your back pain.

On average, people’s mattresses tend to be around 9.5 years old. That is way too old of a mattress, as it probably already has your imprint on it. Getting a new mattress will fix that, and allow you to sleep more soundly, without waking up in pain.

5) Get the right pillow

Last but not least, consider switching your pillow to one that works better for you. There are different types of pillows on the market which will fit your sleeping position better.

Also, the placement of the pillow can help reduce lower back pain. For example, if you are a side sleeper, try putting a small pillow in between your knees. This will help reduce your movement through the night and align your spine.

The Best Mattresses for Lower Back Pain

Here are our picks for the best mattress for lower back pain:

best mattress for lower back pain nectar

The Nectar Mattress

The Nectar is also a great mattress for lower back pain. It’s made from six different layers, all of which combine to create the perfect experience. The Tencel cooling cover helps circulate air, eliminating the heat absorption of the foam layers. The quilted gel memory foam will contour perfectly to your body, keep your back aligned and reduce pressure.

Nectar’s memory gel foam will help distribute your weight equally, which is a perfect alternative to innersprings. And the HI core memory foam and the base layer will help circulate air, while continuing to provide support for your back, with bounce and rebound.

The perfect medium firmness is just right for your lower back pain, and will help keep your spine aligned. The company also offers an impressive 1-year trial period, and a lifetime warranty. If they are so confident in their mattress, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be.

PROS:

  • Quite affordable, high quality, and highly durable
  • A cover to help circulate air, and keep you feeling fresh and cool at night
  • Memory gel foam contours the body, helps distribute weight equally, and is a great alternative to innersprings
  • HI core memory foam and high-density base layers provide exceptional support for your body while further circulating air
  • All layers combined help support proper spine alignment, while reducing pressure on the joints
  • 1-year trial period and a lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • Customers often mention that there is a long wait for shipping, however, the mattress is worth the waiting
  • This mattress often take some time to get used to
  • Only one option for firmness, therefore partners will need to settle

Customer Review

“I have severe pain from a surgery and wake up every hour all night long. My first night sleeping on this mattress yielded me 8.4 hours sleep. It’s been over seven years since I have slept this good. This mattress is amazing!!!”

Start your search for the best mattress for lower back pain with Nectar. See our in-depth Nectar Mattress review.

best mattress for lower back pain

Live and Sleep Resort Ultra Mattress

While on the more expensive end of the spectrum, the Live and Sleep Resort Ultra Mattress is a perfect medium-firmness, making it a contender for the best mattress for lower back pain. It will keep you stable overnight and will provide the absolute right support. The soothing cover has a silky-soft touch, is breathable and circulates the air around you.

The 12-inch memory foam hugs your body and provides the ultimate relief to your pressure points. It further helps keep your spine in line while reducing movement and hip rotation. The gel-infused cool layer further helps to circulate air and reduce heat retention, while providing more pressure relief. The high-density base provides the support your back needs to reduce stiff muscles and other aches. Overall, while it is slightly more expensive, if you’re looking for the best mattress for lower back pain, the Live and Sleep Ultra mattress is worth the investment.

PROS:

  • Perfect medium-firmness to help relieve your lower back aches
  • Soothing, soft cover that allows for breathability, keeping you cool overnight
  • 12-inch memory foam keeps you stable, helps relieve pressure, and reduce movement
  • Memory gel foam helps distribute your weight while providing pressure relief as well as a cooling effect
  • High-density base provides support for the spine, helping to keep you in the right posture

CONS:

  • This bed is quite expensive and may be out of your budget
  • The thick layer of memory foam may still retain heat, so this bed is not a good fit for very hot sleepers
  • Might have an adjustment period

Customer Review

“I have back issues and allergies, and was looking for a very specific feature-set that was proving hard-to-come-by. I have now been sleeping on the Live and Sleep for five nights, and so far I would consider this as one of the finest mattresses available. It sleeps “cool”, doesn’t “wrap” you in foam while sleeping, and was super easy to set up. The removable cover was a huge benefit, as anyone with allergies will attest. The very noticeable off-gas smell dissipated within 24 hours, just as the company advises. The shipping was prompt and without issue. All-in-all, I’m satisfied so far.”

best mattress for lower back pain helix

The Helix Mattress

The Helix Mattress is one of your top choices for the best mattress for lower back pain, and for a reason. This mattress can be personalized to give you the best comfort. You can even adjust it according to both your and your partner’s needs.

With three different layers that can be adjusted according to your preferences, this is definitely our go-to mattress for lower back pain. The first foam layer is responsible for giving you maximum comfort and support, best set at medium firmness, and it also helps circulate air.

The second, made from separately-encased microcoils, allows for perfect body weight distribution and a bounce for pressure relief. The third layer is made from high-grade polyfoam with high-density, to provide the much-needed base support for your back. The company website has an interactive quiz where you input several measures, like your body weight, and heat preferences, creating a perfect mattress from scratch.

PROS:

  • Customizable mattress that is personalized according to your and your partner’s needs
  • A layer of cooling foam that provides comfort and support, while reducing movement
  • Microcoils embedded in separate pockets to eliminate movement transfer, and provide equal body weight distribution
  • Thick, high-density foam base to provide support for your body, keeping your back in alignment throughout the night
  • An easy interactive quiz that provides immediate results with a customized mattress just for you

CONS:

  • The mattress is quite expensive, and may only be an option for some customers
  • The cooling layer can be too cool, so only choose it if you are a hot sleeper

Customer Review:

“This is the MOST COMFORTABLE BED I HAVE EVER SLEPT ON. As a mother of 6, and an RN, my back tends to cause me pain and I really need a good, solid sleeping surface. I was worried this bed wouldn’t be supportive enough, but this is the first bed I have ever slept in that makes my spine feel like it’s 100% supported and in alignment all night long. My husband and I sleep better, have less pain and all on a bed that came to our front door. Would definitely buy again!!”

arctic dreams best mattresses for lower back painArctic Dreams Cooling Gel Mattress

This mattress is perfect for those who like to sleep on their side, turn to their backs, back on the side, sleep on the stomach, and then again on their sides. In other words, this mattress works for active sleepers. Not only is this mattress highly affordable, it also supports your body with a perfect medium firmness.

The Arctic Dreams Cooling Gel Mattress also has inbuilt features, like the viscoelastic foam called Energex, that helps circulate air and keep you cool. The Visco-Elastic foam is the perfect alternative to innersprings. This layer keeps the bounce while providing superior pressure relief for your bones.

This Arctic Dreams Mattress also includes a high-density bottom layer that keeps your body in the proper alignment throughout the night. And the cherry on top is the quilted layer, which provides soothing comfort, and will literally make you daydream of your bed. Finally, an affordable mattress that will let you sleep soundly through the night, and wake up feeling refreshed.

PROS:

  • High quality, and highly-affordable, this bed is perfect for every budget
  • Whatever your sleeping position, you will find this mattress supports you just the way you need
  • A perfect, medium firmness makes this one of the best mattresses for lower back pain
  • Built-in features to circulate air around you while you sleep, keeping your body perfectly cool
  • Visco-Elastic foam is a perfect replacement for innerspring, as it keeps the bounce while providing relief for your pressure points
  • High-density bottom layer for added support, keeping your body in perfect alignment
  • Super comfortable, quilted layer on top

CONS:

  • This bed is on the firmer side, and may not feel great for those who like it a little softer
  • Cannot be adjusted according to your partner’s wishes, although medium-firmness can usually be settled for

Customer Review

“Sometimes you come across a product that is good, “for the price.” This is a cost-efficient mattress, but it is a great mattress, price not considered. I will never go back to a traditional, metal spring mattress. I have slept on other various foam/memory foam mattresses, but this one is really amazing. It is soft enough to be comfortable but firm enough to help with my bad back. I have never slept better; its value exceeds its price.”

The Arctic Dreams is the best budget option for best mattress for lower back pain.

best mattress for lower back pain skylar

Sleep Innovations Skylar 12-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

A perfectly balanced foam mattress, this one is recommended for side sleepers as well as back sleepers, of average to large build. This works very well for most toss-and-turners with lower back pain.

The Skylar Gel Memory Foam Mattress is breathable and offers superior comfort. The top layer of foam gel has a cooling effect and provides support for your body while reducing pain and pressure on the joints.

The middle layer is an air channel that helps air circulate between all layers, providing you with a fresh and cool sleeping experience.

The deep base support provides the needed reinforcement for your back, helping you maintain the right posture through the night. This Sleep Innovations mattress also comes with a 20-year warranty. It comes with one warning: you will find it hard not to sleep in!

PROS:

  • Highly breathable top, with an inner layer to provide air circulation between the foam layers.
  • Perfect medium-firmness will help provide relief from lower back pain
  • This mattress is recommended for both side sleepers and back sleepers, so you can toss-and-turn all you like
  • Top layer of cooling foam gel provides pressure relief while helping keep you stable through the night
  • Deep base support to provide additional comfort and assistance for your back
  • 20-year warranty and an affordable price

CONS:

  • This mattress may be on the more firm end of the spectrum
  • Still a bit hotter than innerspring mattresses, but is better than most foam mattress options
  • Cannot adjust differently for each partner

Customer Review

“I’ve been sleeping on this for about a month now. I thought it was a considerable risk ordering a foam mattress from Amazon, but I’m glad I did. My previous mattress was a very tall, expensive name brand but it was too soft and causing a chronic sore back. The good news is that the Sleep Innovations mattress has cleared that problem up completely so it has solved my problem. The bed is firm with just enough give conform to your body and eliminate pressure points.”

The Bottom Line When Selecting the Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain

Finding the right mattress is hard enough without having to account for lower back pain. There are so many options out there it can make you queasy.

Our Sleeping Ninjas have worked around the clock, sifting through hundreds of reviews, we’ve brought you the best mattresses for lower back pain.

Whether you are concerned about your budget or about feeling too hot, we are confident you’ll find the right mattress for you. Just remember, when it comes to back pain, there is no “one size fits all” solution. You will have to test your mattresses by trial and error.

As always, if you still have any questions or concerns, or would like more information, do not hesitate to contact us.