The Best Mattresses for People with Chronic Back Pain

These mattresses are expert-approved.

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woman sleeping on purple mattress
Photo: Courtesy of Purple

If you're battling bouts of back pain, you're in good company. In fact, this is one of the most common medical ailments, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Back pain affects an estimated 80 percent of adults in the United States, and it's also the leading cause of disability worldwide. Of course, chronic back pain has many culprits, but the most common include poor posture, improper lifting, and subpar sleeping habits, according to David Friedman, ND, DC, doctor of naturopathy, clinical nutritionist, and chiropractic neurologist. The latter is perhaps one of the easiest and most important to fix, since the average person spends one-third of his or her life in bed. To do so, Dr. Friedman says to consider how you sleep and the mattress you rest on.

"Research shows that having a bed that's too firm produces a significant increase in lower back pain, leg pain, and poor sleep quality," he says. "A firm bed creates pressure points that can inhibit circulation and put added stress on the spine."

While a soft mattress may seem like a better choice, this is not always the case. "A soft mattress actually causes a 'hammock effect' and makes the body sink into the mattress too deeply, into a slouched position," says Dr. Friedman. "A medium-firm mattress is the best choice for promoting sleep comfort, quality, and spinal alignment, as it can help prevent and even alleviate chronic back pain compared to sleeping on a mattress that's too soft or firm."

If you're in the market for a new mattress, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with the unlimited options available to you. However, if you are dealing with chronic back pain, it's vital that you shop the right options.

Best Mattresses for Back Pain:

Amerisleep AS2 Mattress

Amerisleep A2 Mattress
Courtesy of Amerisleep

This medium-firm mattress was specifically designed for people with back pain. "It is made of a proprietary type of memory foam called Bio-Pur, which is more breathable than traditional memory foam," explains Jordan Duncan, a chiropractor at Silverdale Sport & Spine in Silverdale, Wash. "In addition to providing excellent spinal support, which is great for those with chronic back pain, this mattress contours to the body, providing relief for painful pressure points."

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress
Courtesy of Nectar

Memory foam is the key to making this mattress back-friendly. It consists of three layers of cushioning that adapt to the spine, says Dr. Duncan. "The Nectar is a medium-firm mattress, which provides the necessary support and reinforcement," he says. "This combination allows the Nectar to deliver the contouring of memory foam without the sagging, making it a great choice for those with chronic back pain."

Purple "The Purple" Mattress

Purple The Purple Mattress
Courtesy of Purple

If you're someone who sleeps in a variety of positions, this might be the option for you. "In its comfort layer, this mattress contains a unique proprietary gel grid that is both firm and pressure-relieving, depending on the amount of pressure applied to it," says Dr. Duncan. "The hips and shoulders are allowed to sink while the lumbar region is supported, regardless of whether you sleep on your back, front, or side."

BeautyRest Black Hybrid Mattress

BeautyRest Black Hybrid Mattress
Courtesy of BeautyRest

There are many people who do not enjoy sleeping on a 100 percent memory foam mattress, as they can be hot and uncomfortable for sleepers who toss and turn, says Abby Kramer, DC, a chiropractor and holistic physician in Glenview, Ill. "The BeautyRest Black Hybrid Mattress is a combination of a traditional coil mattress and memory foam (on top), which can create a firmer feel without all the heat," she says.

Avocado Green Mattress

avocado organic green mattress
Courtesy of Avocado Green Mattress

For those wanting to live a more eco-friendly and non-toxic lifestyle, Dr. Kramer recommends the Avocado Green Mattress. It's made out of a latex, wool, and cotton blend that is organic and biodegradable. "It has a nice firm support and raving online reviews," says Dr. Kramer.

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