Casey Clark

Commerce Writer

By Casey Clark

Commerce Writer

Casey Clark is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in HuffPost, Oprah Daily, Forbes, TODAY, and more.

The best mattresses for chronic pain

When chronic pain becomes a constant companion, even the simple act of getting a good night’s sleep can feel like a distant dream. In fact, studies have shown a correlation between poor sleep and chronic pain1.

The good news: The right mattress can make a world of difference, offering not just comfort but crucial support to alleviate pain and promote restful slumber.

If you’re navigating the often overwhelming world of mattress shopping with chronic pain in mind, you’re not alone.

Here, we tapped sleep doctors and experts to provide you with tips and recommendations to help you find the best mattress for chronic pain that’s tailored to your needs, and how you’ll want to go about finding a mattress whether you suffer from back, neck, hip pain, or sciatica.

What type of mattress is best for back pain?

As with all mattress purchase decisions, the best mattress for back pain is a very personal choice. Back pain varies depending on the person, cause, and location (upper, lower, etc.), but Polos says there are a few basic rules of thumb depending on the specific region. “If you’re specifically experiencing pain in your lower back, a bed that supports the small of your back—one that’s not too firm or too soft, can help,” he says. “The important thing to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all bed. The key is to determine which bed is best suited for you and your bed partner if you have one.” 

Polos adds that any pain (chronic, back, hip, shoulder) should be evaluated by a physician. “In addition to the all-important role proper bedding plays in relieving pain, there may be a need for medical, surgical, or physical therapy in the management of one’s pain,” he says. The right mattress can help promote better sleep, but you’ll still want to work with your doctor to get to the root of the problem.

  • Birch Natural Mattress review

Birch Natural Mattress

Best for side sleepers


Organic cotton, Organic wool, Talalay latex, Wrapped steel coils

Sizes available

Twin,Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Pros & Cons


Contours body for pressure relief

Non-toxic and made from eco-friendly materials

One of the best hybrid mattresses for side sleepers, this pick offers great support for those with lower back pain, specifically. Those who sleep on their side need a supportive mattress that contours the body and keeps the spine aligned. The Talalay latex does just that, contouring to the body and aiding in pressure relief.

If you’re keen on having an eco-friendly mattress, you’ll be pleased with this brand’s use of organic, natural materials. It has various eco-friendly certifications including GREENGUARD Gold and GOTS, so you can sleep soundly knowing your mattress is free from harmful and hazardous chemicals. And, even though side sleepers may benefit most from this mattress, it’s slightly firmer than your standard hybrid, so still a solid option for stomach and back sleepers, too.

  • Image by Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress

Awara Premier Natural Hybrid

Best organic

Sizes Available

Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Pros & Cons


Made entirely from natural and organic materials


Delivery does not include installation

This natural latex mattress combines four inches of Dunlop latex with an organic cotton Euro top and individually wrapped coils, creating a comfortable and supportive surface. 

When looking for a mattress for chronic pain you’ll want one that promotes spinal alignment and is firm enough to provide optimal pressure relief for the shoulders, hips, and legs. This one does just that, thanks to its adaptive latex foam layer. We’ve included it in a number of our mattress round-ups, including best mattresses for neck and back pain and best mattress for couples

With a medium firmness, this mattress is a great pick for all sleeping positions. Just keep in mind, there is only one firmness option available, and some people do find it too soft. The brand has a slew of eco-friendly certifications, such as Rainforest Alliance, The Standard 100 by OEKO-Tex, UL GREENGUARD Gold, Wools of New Zealand, and Forest Stewardship Council. 

  • best mattress for fibromyalgia saatva classic mattress on frame

Saatva Classic

Best for back pain

Sizes available

Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King

Pros & Cons


Ideal for all sleep positions (back, side, and stomach)

According to our experts, firm mattresses are a great choice for people with chronic back pain. This hybrid pick includes a three-inch Euro pillow top, high-density memory foam for a firmer feel, steel coils for pressure relief and to prevent unwanted sagging, and firm rails for edge support.

The brand’s patented Lumbar Zone® Technology has been awarded by the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, and sleepers alike can attest to its pain- and pressure-relieving properties.

Additionally, while synthetic foam mattresses are not the most eco-friendly, this one does have a few green perks, such as a flame-retardant barrier made from natural thistle pulp and a nontoxic botanical antimicrobial treatment.

The mattress is available in three firmness levels: plush, luxury firm, and firm. Side sleepers will enjoy the plush model, while the firm model is a great option for back or stomach sleepers and even people with scoliosis. We’ve also recommended this model as one of the best full size mattresses and the best luxury mattress for side sleepers.

It’s worth noting: Unlike other modern mattresses, this isn’t a bed-in-a-box. The brand provides white glove delivery and setup and even removal of your previous mattress (all included in the cost).

  • Image by Tuft & Needle

Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

Best affordable


CertiPUR-US® Certified Adaptive® foam, Cooling gel and heat conducting graphite

Sizes available

Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Pros & Cons


Can be used within 2 to 3 hours of unboxing

This breathable mattress is made from the brand’s signature adaptive foam technology, which has an open cell design that helps it contour to the body and provide support and comfort where needed.

Hot sleepers will enjoy the cooling gel and heat-wicking graphite which helps regulate your temperature while you sleep.

While synthetic foam is never the most sustainable choice, the brand does have non-toxic certifications, such as GREENGUARD Gold Certified and Certi-PUR US Certified.

  • Image by Casper

  • Image by Casper

  • Image by Casper

Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress

Best for sciatica pain


Breathable polyurethane memory foams, Metal springs

Sizes Available

Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Pros & Cons


Great for pressure relief

Per our experts, the best mattress for chronic sciatica pain is one that is firm—especially in the lower back region.

Featuring five layers of plush memory foam, this mattress conforms to the body and alleviates pressure. The first three layers are a breathable foam, followed by a layer of gel pods with zoned support to promote spinal alignment and minimize aches and pains. At the base layer, springs which add a bit of lift and give the mattress durability. 

One major qualm is that this mattress is made with synthetic foams and contains no natural materials. Additionally, the packaging contains a lot of plastic.

  • Image by Purple

Purple New Day Mattress

Best for chronic hip pain


GelFlex grid, High density foam, Knit cover

Sizes Available

Full, Queen, King

Pros & Cons


Off-gassing smell upon opening

Made in the United States, this pick is one of the best mattresses for chronic back and hip pain. The grid-like design contours to the hips and shoulders, making it a great mattress for pressure points, and for those with shoulder pain, too. It’s highly breathable and promotes a cool temperature throughout the entire body for a comfortable night’s sleep. 

All that in mind, this mattress does not provide great motion control, and is not a very sustainable choice. If you’re looking for something more eco-friendly, check out our best organic mattresses

Comparing the best mattresses for chronic pain

How to choose the best mattress for chronic pain

Mattress type:

When it comes to finding a mattress for chronic pain, there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. However, many people do find relief with a more firm mattress. In this case, you should direct your search toward hybrid mattresses, which provide a combination of support and comfort. For a softer place to land at night, consider a memory foam option that contours the body to provide support and proper spinal alignment. 


While restorative sleep is priceless, you don’t need to break the bank in the process. That’s not to say you shouldn’t invest in a luxury mattress if that’s on your radar, but you’ll want to consider the different price points before purchasing as they range from the upper hundreds to a couple of thousand dollars depending on size and brand.

Trial Period:

It takes a few weeks to break in and test out a new mattress, so you’ll want to make sure you have enough time to get acquainted before you make your final decision. The trial period varies based on the brand. Make note of this when selecting the best mattress for you.

How we picked

  • Expert recommendation: We used input from our experts to help select our list of the best mattresses for chronic pain, paying close attention to firmness, support, and materials.
  • Reviews: We read through hundreds of positive and negative reviews to ensure each mattress lives up to the brand’s claims, especially those pertaining to chronic pain and back pain.
  • Firmness & support: When it comes to finding the best mattress for chronic pain, it’s important to have the appropriate firmness and support. We took the brand’s firmness rating into account, along with reviews from customers (knowing everyone’s preferences are different).
  • Price: Mattress prices vary widely, so we included a variety of choices, including luxury mattresses and more affordable options. 

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: What is the best mattress for chronic back pain?

As mentioned, the best mattress for chronic back pain varies. Some people with back pain prefer a firmer mattress, whereas others find that causes more discomfort. At the end of the day, Polos says the important thing to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all. It may take a bit of testing and learning to find a mattress that works for you, but that’s why most brands offer trials. 

What is the best mattress for side sleepers with lower-back pain?

Sleeping on your side can create pressure on your hips and shoulders, which our experts say can worsen your overall pain if you have sciatica. 

“Getting a bed that contours to the curves of your body and comforts these pressure points can help to alleviate some of the pain,” says Polos. “For example, a memory foam mattress with sufficient firmness can help with the pressure points while aligning the spine, allowing for a more comfortable night’s rest.” 

If a new mattress isn’t feasible, sleeping with a pillow in between your legs can help to promote spinal alignment while sleeping.

Is a firm mattress good for sciatica pain?

“The firmness of a mattress is subjective to each sleeper, but since sciatica typically affects the lower back, hips, and legs, having a firm bed is important to relieve pain,” says Polos. “A firm bed will support the lumbar area of the sleeper, without shifting unwanted pressure to their hips and shoulders. It is best for people with sciatica to get a bed that provides cushioning around the sciatic nerve.”

The takeaway

A good night’s sleep is the foundation of great health. Although you’ll want to determine the underlying cause of any chronic pain, having a supportive mattress can help offer relief and promote a more restful recovery.

When shopping for the best mattress for chronic pain, be sure to consider firmness level, warranty, price, reviews, and expert input.