How to Find the Best Mattress for Back Pain

Take a showroom test drive, like Goldilocks

couple sleeping

If you're shopping at a traditional retail outlet, Dr. Breus suggests trying out various beds for at least 15 minutes in your starting sleep position to see how it feels. "In most cases, a new mattress will be much more supportive than an older one, so just the fact that its new will be helpful," he says.

Don't be shy about spending plenty of time in the showroom, moving around from bed to bed and getting into your comfy sleep position to determine the best mattress for back pain. The salesperson should begin asking questions that help you find the right place to start, then based on your feedback he or she can suggest which bed to try next.

Of course, 15 minutes hardly equates to how your body will feel after a full night's sleep (or a full night's tossing and turning). "You'll need to sleep on the surface for a week or more before you can really tell if the mattress is a good fit," says Dr. Breus. That's why you'll want to look for brands that offer an in-home trial period to ensure you've made the right choice.

Take some time to sleep on it—at home

woman sleeping bedlenetstan/Shutterstock

With so many mattress companies skipping the overhead of showrooms in favor of online-only platforms, you may be worried you'll make the wrong choice—after all, think about how hard it is to buy a simple pair of shoes or jeans online! Thankfully, most online mattress retailers have taken the guesswork out of your purchasing process.

For instance, Tuft & Needle provides a 100-night trial—and if you decide for any reason that you aren't satisfied, you'll receive a full refund. According to Dr. Breus, 30 days will tell you everything you need to know.

Choosing the right pillow for your sleep position

woman mask sleeping bedgaretsworkshop/Shutterstock

If you've found what appears to be the best mattress for back pain, but still wake up with occasional aches, first rule out these eight signs your back pain is actually an emergency. Then, consider exploring new pillow options or different sleep positions.

"Sleeping on your back is actually the best position for your back," says Dr. Breus. If this isn't immediately comfortable, The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests taking the pressure off your spine by placing a pillow under your knees. It can take some time to train yourself to sleep in a new position, and consistency is key.

If you're a devout stomach sleeper, choose the thinnest pillow you can find to keep your spine as straight as possible and minimize stress on the lower back. And, if you're a side sleeper, the NSF suggests choosing a pillow that will support your head, neck, and ear as well as your shoulder comfortably—and placing a pillow between your knees or thighs may help maintain spinal alignment. These luxurious pillows can help you to get the best night's sleep ever.

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