Finding a Perfect Mattress For Back Pain

lower back pain
How to find the best mattress for back pain.

In another post, we talked extensively about beginning the mattress buying process and what to look for, what to think about.

When you are choosing a mattress for back pain, aim at satisfying what feels comfortable for you because new research shows that buying a rock hard mattress is not the answer for back pain relief.

For the beginner buyer, it’s smart to allocate a number from your budget as your wall, and then choose the best mattress compared to your needs and not to brand identity or what is trending.

Carefully inspect the specifications, compare them against other similar mattresses, read reviews, talk to experts (that are not commission based), and understand what the different types of mattresses are.

If you’re shopping around for a mattress for back pain and you haven’t replaced your old mattress in 8 to 10 years, the decision should be to replace your mattress as soon as possible. Chiropractors recommend this since the mattress will wear and sag, losing its supportive benefits.

How to Buy Mattresses

Here are some tips on what to consider when first replacing or buying a new mattress.

Examine a realistic budget, then research, research, research.

These days, you don’t need to be paying a premium price of thousands of dollars for a premium mattress. You also don’t need to wander into the nearest mattress brick and mortar store, hoping to rely on a commissioned salesman and a “weekend sale.”

Be up to date on the latest mattress types. Innersprings and memory foams and hybrids and air mattresses and adjustable beds.

What type of mattress are you shopping for? What’s a priority for you? Support or comfort? Back pain relief? Or Luxury? Do you prefer your mattress to be designed with sustainable materials?

  • When you begin searching for a mattress, you should take your time and do your due diligence, do your research. 
  • Decide what’s important: Comfort? Back support? Buying green to support sustainability?
  • Look at your budget before you even begin shopping, especially before you step foot inside a brick and mortar retail store.
  • Read reviews. Talk to experts that are not gunning for a commission. Compare mattress specs.
  • Decide what type of mattress you want. Innerspring or memory foam? Luxury or a starter mattress? If your intention is a starter mattress, bed-in-a-box companies could be great options; they are easily shipped to your doorstep. But, if you are looking for a more supportive, premium, and luxurious mattress, that is targeted towards relieving chronic pain, you may want to look to online-only brands.

Learn More About Saatva Mattresses

Saatva Classic Innerspring

Our flagship luxury mattress is expertly engineered with coil-on-coil construction for durability, a layer of memory foam for enhanced back support, and a cushiony Euro pillow top for extra comfort.


Loom & Leaf Memory Foam

Premium memory foam, handcrafted with eco-friendly materials. Breathable organic cotton, cooling spinal gel, and layers of high-density support foam assure a cool, comfortable night’s sleep.


Zenhaven Latex Mattress

100% Talalay latex responds to every curve for pressure-free support and responsive comfort. Talalay latex is supple and durable, for the ultimate in elevated sleep. (It’s naturally hypoallergenic too.)


Some healing solutions in sleeping positions 

The University of Utah Healthcare explains how a supportive mattress should help back pain:

“Regardless of your sleeping position, try to keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned.”

  • Back sleepers: placing a small pillow under your knees will minimize stress on the spine and also support your natural lower back curve. Another important factor is the pillow for your head should support your head, the curve of your neck, as well as your shoulders.

When you sleep on your stomach, you add stress to your back since the spine can now be out of its natural position. Place a flat pillow under your stomach and pelvis to fix alignment.

  • Side sleepers: use a firm pillow between your knees to keep your upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment. This supportive measure also relieves stress on your hips and lower back.

Another tip is to pull your knees up to your chest. Your head pillow should help to keep your spine straight, and they recommend another rolled towel or small pillow under your waist for spinal support.

Tighten your core (pull your belly in) and bend your knees towards the chest as you roll. Turn in small steps, and then step forward to finish the full turn. Also, maintain alignment with your ears, shoulders, and hips to prevent injury.

(Also, If you are experiencing significant or persistent back pain, there may be an underlying back condition that has nothing to do with the mattress. Consult with a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment program.)

Overview of sleep healthy tips to help manage back pain

  • A relatively firm mattress is best for proper back support, although individual preference is critical.
  • Sleeping on the side or back is usually more comfortable for the back than sleeping on the stomach.
  • Use a pillow to provide proper support and alignment for the head and shoulders.
  • Consider putting a rolled-up towel under the neck and a pillow under the knees to better support the spine.
  • If sleeping on the side, a relatively flat pillow placed between the legs will help keep the spine aligned and straight.

It is important to note that an overall cause of bad posture is tense muscles, which will pull the body out of alignment. There are a number of specific exercises that will help stretch and relax the major back muscles.

Some people find that meditation or other forms of mental relaxation are useful in helping relax the back muscles.

And many people find treatments and activities such as massage therapy, yoga, tai chi or other regular exercise routines, or treatments such as chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, etc. to be helpful with both muscle relaxation and posture awareness and improvement.

Read our original post on picking the best mattress for back pain for more helpful tips on how to manage back pain.