Back pain is one of the most common ailments –– 8 out of 10 people are affected at some point during their lives. When back pain comes around, it can have a big impact on your life and your ability to function. If you’re a back pain sufferer, you might not consider your bed the source of your pain. We can’t blame you; your bed is where you go for relief. Unfortunately, having the wrong mattress can cause your back pain or make matters worse.

How to Tell if Your Mattress Is Causing Back Pain

Admittedly, pinpointing your back pain to your bed can be difficult. You can’t simply go off the type of bed you have. There are no brands out there that cause back pain –– everything comes down to your body type and your sleeper needs. Still, there are several warning signs you can look out for when searching for the source of your back pain.

Warning signs to look out for:

  • Waking up with back discomfort –– If you wake up with a still back or pain, even if it goes away after stretching, it’s a good chance your mattress is the root problem. 
  • You toss and turn all night –– When you toss and turn, you’re searching for a comfortable sleeping position. Having an uncomfortable mattress could mean you’ll never find a position to sleep in. This generally means that your mattress isn’t giving you the pressure relief you need, which can contribute to your back pain. 
  • Your mattress is too hard –– Sleeping on a mattress that’s too hard puts undue stress and pressure on your joints –– namely, your hips, knees, and shoulders. 
  • Your mattress is too soft –– Soft mattresses have the cushion needed to provide pressure relief to your hips, shoulders, and knees. If your mattress is too soft, your body will sink too far into the bed, which will cause spinal alignment issues. If you sleep on a mattress that’s too soft on your stomach, you’ll wake up with shoulder or neck pain. A sore lower back is also a common symptom of your mattress being too soft. 
  • It’s time to replace your mattress –– Unfortunately, your mattress won’t last forever. Typically, your mattress has a lifespan of 7 to 10 years. If your mattress has gotten saggy or uneven, or you’re waking up with back pain, it’s time to buy a new mattress. 

Here’s How to Pick the Right Bed for Back Pain

You can sleep soundly on any mattress. However, if you live with chronic back pain, you need different things from your mattress. Sleeping on the wrong mattress can make matters much worse. When you’re looking for your next mattress, there are certain factors you need to keep in mind. Support and pressure relief are some of the most important things to look for. 


Back sleepers and people who live with back pain need to pay special attention to how supportive a bed is. Supportive and responsive mattresses promote healthy spinal alignment. This allows the back muscles to relax through the night instead of tensing up and creating back issues. 

Pressure relief

If you live with shoulder or hip pain, you know how important pressure relief is for your mattress. A mattress with enough give will ensure all your weight isn’t concentrated on the shoulders or hips. Side sleepers generally favor beds with some level of memory foam with pressure points. 

Consider your sleeping position

Different sleeping positions will put pressure on different parts of their body. Which means they will need different things from their mattress. 

If you’re a back sleeper, you should look for a mattress that’s supportive and offers pressure relief in the lower back area. Super firm mattresses might put too much pressure on the lumbar region of your back because they are not flexible enough to contour to your body. 

Stomach sleepers tend to like firm mattresses for the spinal support provided. It helps alleviate the pressure stomach sleepers put on their neck when sleeping. 

Side sleepers put a lot of pressure on their shoulders and hips when sleeping. A medium-firm mattress is a perfect cross between support and cushion. Your mattress needs enough cushion to contour to your body but not enough for you to sink in and put stress on your spine and muscles of the back. 

Our Picks for Best Mattresses for Back Pain

If you twisted our arm, we would pick an innerspring bed for people with back pain. However, that doesn’t mean that’s the only type of bed suitable for sleepers with back pain. There are several different best mattresses for back pain

Here are a few of our favorites:

Saatva Classic –– Saatva is our pick for all-around back pain relief –– no matter where your back pain is targeted. Saatva offers two firmer options and one softer option, so you have that option if you need that added pressure relief. 

Brooklyn Bedding Signature –– We like the 6” pocketed coils of the Brooklyn Bedding Signature mattress for back support. It also has comfort layers of “Energex” and “TitanFlex” foam that are really comfortable. Yes, it’s supportive and comfortable, but the best part is the affordability of this mattress. You don’t have to break the bank to sleep on a quality bed. 

Purple Hybrid –– The hybrid design and the hyper-elastic polymer of this Purple bed make it a good choice for back pain. You never feel like you’re sinking into the bed, so you don’t have to worry about your spinal alignment. If you’re a chronic pain sufferer, you might want to opt for the Purple Hybrid Premier models.

Casper Wave Hybrid –– Casper has a Hyper-Targeted Support System designed to give you the most support where the bulk of your weight falls. You get the support and pressure relief you need to ease back pain from the Casper Wave mattress. 

Too Long, Didn’t Read?

Back pain can have a significant impact on your life and your ability to function. If you’re waking up with back pain, your mattress might be the cause. Which unfortunately means that you might have to replace your mattress. When it’s time to buy a new mattress, you’ll want to look for beds that have enough support and pressure relief. 

Don’t worry; if you’re not in the position to invest in a new mattress right now, you can try one of the best mattress toppers. A mattress topper is an excellent halfway point that can still provide some significant relief.