Best Mattress Recommended by Chiropractors
Jennifer Miller, PT, DPT
Dr. Jennifer Miller is an outpatient physical therapist. She earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Elon University, and a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Minnesota State University-Mankato. She now specializes in Neurological, Geriatric, and Vestibular Physical Therapy and works in the medical field as a primary care provider treating neurological conditions. Dr. […]
- Best Chiropractor-Recommended Mattress Overall: Amerisleep AS2
- Best Chiropractor-Recommended Mattress for Athletes: Zoma Hybrid
- Best Chiropractor-Recommended Budget Mattress: Vaya Mattress
- Best Chiropractor-Recommended Hybrid Mattress: Amerisleep Organica
- Best Chiropractor-Recommended Adjustable Mattress: Saatva Solaire
- Best Chiropractor-Recommended Cooling Mattress: Nolah Evolution 15
- Best Chiropractor-Recommended Latex Mattress: Spindle Mattress
- Best Chiropractor-Recommended for Side Sleepers: Helix Midnight Luxe
If you head to the chiropractor on a regular basis, you’ve probably had conversations about sleeping on the right mattress. Indeed, sleeping on a great mattress can be a huge help for back pain sufferers. A great mattress can relieve back pain and improve both your days and nights.
Below, we’ll talk about some of the mattresses most recommended by chiropractors and how they can help you relieve back pain.
Amerisleep AS2 Overview
Those who want an all-around great mattress that can relieve their pain as well as offer them a fantastic night’s sleep should check out the AS2 by Amerisleep. If you want a memory foam mattress that feels like memory foam but functions like latex, this could be for you.
“I see many patients with back pain and I always address their sleep hygiene, as it can contribute to their back pain,” says Jennifer Miller, a noted physical therapist. “The Amerisleep mattress offers targeted support for the back, which can help decrease pain.”
- Plant-Based Memory Foam
Bio-Pur® memory foam is hypoallergenic, breathable, and responsive.
- Responsive Targeted Support
HIVE® layer offers zoned pressure relief to five different target areas.
- Base Foam Extends Longevity
Bio-Core® base layer makes this one of the most durable mattresses at this price.
Lying down on the AS2, you’ll notice right away it boasts a medium-firm feel that offers a bit more support than cushioning. This makes it a perfect mattress for back pain, as it will keep you lifted onto the sleep surface.
The AS2’s contouring power is also unbeatable, thanks to its plant-based memory foam. This Bio-Pur® foam is ultra-contouring and improves upon memory foam’s standard problems, namely its slow response time and heat retention. The plant-based foam is bouncy and breathable just like latex.
The AS2 starts off with the contouring, breathable, and responsive Bio-Pur® foam comfort layer. This highly contouring comfort layer contours around your body to relieve pressure and keep your spine aligned.
Next up, the HIVE® transition layer offers five zones targeted and five different body areas. This zoned support provides cradling for your pressure points and lift where you need it to further promote spinal alignment.
Finally, the Bio-Core® base foam provides sturdy and stable support for a more durable mattress. You can expect this one to last at least two decades. It’s even backed by a 20-year warranty!
Zoma Hybrid Overview
If your back pain is caused by intense physical activity, the best mattress for you on this list might just be the Zoma Hybrid. This mattress was designed to aid in recovery from athletic training, but it will work for anybody who is active during the day.
“The Zoma Hybrid mattress is an excellent option for people who are very active,” says Jennifer Miller. “We know that sleep is imperative when the body is trying to heal from an injury. The Zoma mattress design aids in the healing process by allowing restful sleep for people who sleep in different positions and for folks who get hot while sleeping.”
- Heat-Wicking Gel Foam
Gel memory foam draws body heat away to keep you cool.
- Spine-Supporting Wrapped Coils
Pocketed coils can adapt to your shape for optimal spinal alignment.
- Middle Layer for Latex-Like Buoyancy
Reactiv™ transition layer helps the sleep surface bounce right back.
The Zoma Hybrid is a memory foam hybrid. So it provides the bounce of pocketed coils and the amazing contouring of memory foam. This makes it a perfect mattress for those who are just as active when they’re asleep as they are when they’re awake.
The comfort layer of the Zoma Hybrid is made of breathable and pressure-relieving gel memory foam. This gel-infused memory foam draws body heat away from you and pushes it down into the mattress so that the sleep surface stays cool all night.
Next up, the Reactiv™ transition layer helps the comfort layer bounce back as soon as you move. This layer also helps protect you from pressure from the pocketed coils below.
These pocketed coils offer durable support and tons of lift for those who need back pain relief. The adaptable coils can also all move independently of one another. This means the mattress can adapt to your shape all the way to the bottom.
Vaya Mattress Review
If you want an excellent mattress for back pain that won’t transfer the pain straight from your back to your wallet, check out the Vaya Mattress. The Vaya offers comparable quality to more expensive mattresses, but its simple design allows it to come in under budget.
“When people have back pain, I typically recommend they sleep on their sides or back and the Vaya Mattress supports these positions by contouring to the body,” notes Jennifer Miller.
- Durable, Adaptable Cushion
Highly contouring comfort foam adapts to your shape for ultimate pressure relief.
- Sturdy Bottom Foam
High-density base foam makes this mattress supportive and durable.
- Minimal Two-Layer Construction
Simple design allows for affordability without sacrificing quality.
The main thing you will notice about the Vaya Mattress is its extreme contouring ability. The Vaya Comfort Foam is one of the most contouring memory foams on the market.
That makes this mattress a perfect fit for lighter sleepers and side sleepers with back pain. It cradles you in all the right places while still keeping your spine aligned.
The first layer of the Vaya Mattress is the Vaya Comfort Foam. This highly contouring foam is what keeps your pressure points cradled to prevent pain in areas like your hips and shoulders. This is especially important if you sleep on your side.
The next layer of the Vaya Mattress is the ultra-supportive Vaya Base Foam. This foam is what keeps your body lifted and your spine aligned. It also ensures this mattress will last as long as its more expensive competitors. That’s why it comes with a 10-year warranty!
Amerisleep Organica Overview
Those looking for an amazing mattress for back pain that’s also cooling, responsive, and hypoallergenic should check out the Organica. Another Amerisleep offering, this hybrid mattress offers the comfort of latex and the bounce of coils.
- Eco-Friendly Mattress Surface
Organic textiles provide natural breathability and moisture wicking.
- Responsive Latex Comfort Foam
Natural Talalay latex contours like memory foam while bouncing back.
- Firmer Sides for Easier Movements
Reinforced perimeter coils offer superior edge support.
The Organica is a latex hybrid. So it’s actually fantastic for back pain sufferers who like the bouncy and breathable feel of an innerspring mattress. This mattress will bounce back underneath you just like an innerspring. Unlike an innerspring mattress, it won’t make noise or transfer motion all over the bed.
The Organica starts off with an organic cotton cover and organic wool inner layer. These organic textiles offer maximum breathability and moisture-wicking to keep you sweat-free all night.
Next up, you’ll find a layer of natural Talalay latex. Talalay latex is the lighter of the two latex types. This makes it comparable to memory foam in terms of contouring. Talalay latex can compress under your pressure points and rise to meet the areas where your body curves inward just like memory foam can.
Underneath the natural latex layer, you’ll find a support layer of pocketed coils. These adaptable coils allow the mattress to contour all the way through while still offering optimal support. The reinforced perimeter also provides fantastic edge-to-edge support.
Saatva Solaire Overview
If you want an amazing mattress with latex and memory foam that also happens to be a great mattress for back pain, say hello to the Solaire by Saatva. This latex and memory foam mattress packs a vulcanized air chamber support core that lets you adjust your firmness at the touch of a button.
- Instantly Changeable Firmness
Firmness of this mattress can be adjusted with the touch of a button.
- Mix of Comfort Foams
Natural latex and gel memory foam offer buoyancy and contouring.
- Hypoallergenic Surface
A moisture barrier and antimicrobial treatments fight allergens.
The Solaire packs a mix of gel memory foam and latex foam that offers a bouncy, buoyant feel no matter what firmness you select. Thanks to its vulcanized air chambers, the Solaire doesn’t have a built-in firmness. Its firmness is whatever you want.
The Solaire has a two-tiered comfort layer. First comes a layer of five-zone natural latex for enhanced lumbar support. Next, you’ll find a layer of gel-infused memory foam that helps draw away body heat and relieve pressure.
Next, a moisture-proof transition layer provides protection to the mechanical components below. It also helps prevent microbial growth inside the mattress.
Finally, you get to the vulcanized air chambers in the support layer. These chambers offer 50 precise firmness settings that allow you to alter the firmness of your bed with the press of a button on the remote.
Nolah Evolution 15 Overview
Hot sleepers who want the latest and greatest cooling technologies should consider the Nolah Evolution 15. This cooling mattress pulls out all the stops so that you never wake up in a sweat again.
- Stay-Cool Surface Design
Multiple cooling technologies work together to keep you cool.
- Wrapped Coil Support Core
Pocketed coils offer adaptable and responsive support.
- Responsive Transition for Added Lift
Buoyant transition foams keep you from sinking into the sleep surface.
The first thing you’ll notice when lying down on this mattress is its surface is cool to the touch. This cool-touch feel doesn’t dissipate throughout the night, thanks to the Evolution’s combination of breathability and thermal conductivity.
Every component of this mattress works to help keep you cool. The cooling cotton cover keeps air flowing underneath your body, as does the premium HTC™ cooling Euro topper. The thermoconductive topper also draws heat away from your body.
The AirBreath™ heat escape gusset comes next. This gusset runs the perimeter of the mattress and pushes hot air out of the sleeping surface. The graphite-infused AirFoamICE™ comfort layer works with the gusset to draw heat even further from your body.
Next, you’ll find two transition layers of high-density, high-resilience foam that keep you lifted onto the sleep surface.
Then, the adaptable pocketed coils offer contoured pressure relief, support, and breathability throughout the mattress.
Spindle Mattress Overview
If you want an all-latex mattress, the Spindle Mattress is among the best of the best. The Spindle not only offers natural organic latex, but it also features swappable firmness. So everyone can sleep on this mattress.
- Re-Arrangeable Mattress Construction
Swappable firmness means this mattress will work for almost everyone.
- Natural Flame Barrier
Organic textiles provide natural fire protection.
- Organic Latex Foam Layers
Dunlop latex is buoyant and extremely durable.
The Spindle is an all-latex mattress. So it’s bouncy, breathable, and supportive. The Dunlop latex layers offer a highly buoyant feel as well. And the fact that you can make this mattress as soft or firm as you want means you don’t have to worry about whether or not it will work with your sleeping position.
The Spindle starts off with an organic cotton cover filled with organic wool batting. The cover and batting are both highly breathable to wick away heat and sweat. They also provide all-natural fire protection without the need for harsh chemicals.
The order of the next three layers can be whatever you want. The Spindle comes with three sheets of Dunlop latex: a firm, a medium, and a soft. If you want to change the order of these layers, simply unzip the cover and restack them however you like.
Stomach sleepers should try the firm layer on top for a supportive feel. Side sleepers should try out the soft layer on top for lots of pressure relief. Combo and back sleepers may prefer the medium layer on top.
Helix Midnight Luxe Overview
Those who want a hybrid mattress that offers tons of pressure and back pain relief all at once should check out the Helix Midnight Luxe. This luxurious mattress offers lift and contouring to relieve all kinds of pain.
- Durable, Conforming Memory Foam
High-density memory foam is contouring and buoyant at the same time.
- Temperature-Neutral Mattress Cover
Cooling cover options keep your sleep surface cool all night.
- Zoned Support Core
Pocketed coils are reinforced in the middle for extra lumbar support.
The high-density memory foam in this mattress offers buoyancy and adaptability at the same time. That means when you lie down on the Midnight Luxe, you don’t have to worry about pressure or sinkage. This mattress absorbs the former and fights the latter.
The Midnight Luxe offers two different cover options. You can choose between breathable TENCEL and thermally conductive GlacioTex™ fabric. The cover works with the cooling copper gel memory foam comfort layer to keep you cool all night.
Next, the memory plus foam is designed to cushion and support your body at the same time.
Then, a layer of high-grade polyfoam provides ergonomic support and excellent contouring.
Finally, a layer of pocketed coils offers responsive and adaptable support. The coils around the perimeter and in the middle are also reinforced for superior edge and lumbar support.
How to Choose the Best Mattress for Back Pain
Chiropractor-approved mattresses that can help ease your back pain don’t have to be hard to find. You just need to know a few things about the way the best mattresses work – as well as the cause of your back pain – to pick the right one for you.
Most of the time, back pain is caused by some type of spinal misalignment. This could be the result of anything from poor posture to spinal disease to a bad mattress.
In fact, sleeping on a bad mattress is one of the main causes of back pain that doesn’t stem from an underlying illness. As the materials lose support, your body can develop unhealthy sleep positions that put too much strain on your back. So upgrading to a mattress for back pain might just solve your back issues.
“I educate my patients that investing in a good mattress will help with their current back pain and potentially prevent other issues in the future,” says Jennifer Miller. “I also encourage them to sleep on their back or side with a pillow and the beds mentioned in this article assist in supporting these positions.”
Material and Construction
You might think all mattress materials are the same when it comes to back pain relief. You’d be very wrong. Some mattress types offer amazing pain relief, while others just don’t make the cut.
There are other points to consider, too, as some materials have higher production costs that raise the mattress’s price. Shoppers interested in a budget mattress that can relieve back pain have fewer high-quality options, though there are hidden gems to uncover. So you’ll need to be careful when picking what your mattress is made of.
The best materials for back pain offer a combination of support and contouring to keep your spine aligned and your body lifted onto the sleep surface. A mattress that compresses under the heavier parts of your body while lifting up the lighter areas ensures your spine stays in a neutral horizontal line.
Memory foam is among the best mattress materials for back pain. This is because it’s highly flexible and offers the best contouring of any mattress material. A memory foam mattress can take on your shape in a way that no other foam can. This promotes total spinal alignment because your sleep surface molds itself to your body.
Memory foam also offers tons of variety. It comes in every conceivable firmness level. It can have cooling infusions that don’t interfere with its unbeatable pressure relief. And you can also get memory foam mattresses for back pain that have layers for zoned support, responsiveness, and extra softness.
Despite memory foam’s fantastic benefits, it does have some drawbacks. Hot sleepers won’t appreciate the fact that even the coolest memory foam can still warm up after a while. And even the bounciest response layers can’t make a memory foam mattress compete with latex or hybrid mattresses in terms of responsiveness.
See also our memory foam mattress buying guide.
Natural latex foam may be a good alternative to a memory foam mattress for back pain sufferers who sleep hot or like to toss and turn. Where memory foam fails, a latex mattress succeeds. It’s highly breathable and much better at temperature control than even the coolest gel memory foam. Latex is also more responsive than any memory foam could hope to be.
What’s more, you don’t have to sacrifice much contouring for these benefits. While latex isn’t as contouring as memory foam, it’s close. This means it’s more than adequate for most back pain sufferers’ needs. Our memory foam vs latex guide discusses the two materials in depth.
Latex’s issues are mostly practical concerns. Latex mattresses are extremely heavy. So a latex mattress may exceed the max weight of some adjustable bases or bed frames. Latex is also quite expensive, coming in as the costliest mattress type on average. However, some of this expense can be made up for on the back end, as latex mattresses are also some of the most durable mattresses.
Hybrid mattresses combine top layers of foam with a support layer of pocketed coils. Hybrids can have any kind of foam. Most are made of memory foam, but it’s also easy to find fantastic natural latex hybrids. Both memory foam and latex hybrids can offer fantastic relief from back pain because of the nature of pocketed coils.
Hybrid mattresses offer the best of both foams and coils. Pocketed coils move independently of one another. So they solve the main issues with open coils. They can move independently of one another, so they can adapt to your shape rather than sagging underneath you. They won’t make noise. And they wear out much slower than open coil networks.
Hybrid mattresses are contouring, responsive, cooling, and relatively durable. The main problem with them is their expense. Hybrid mattresses are almost as expensive as latex ones on average. And since they’re less durable than latex, the fact that you’ll have to replace them more often means you will pay more for them over the course of their lifetimes.
Innerspring mattresses are typically not chiropractor recommended, and we don’t recommend them for people with back pain either. The problem with innerspring mattresses is their open coil support core.
Open coils are wired together to form a network that stretches from one end of the mattress to the other. This network offers a lot of support, but it comes at the cost of just about everything else you need from your mattress.
Open coil networks cannot contour very well. They tend to sag under your middle, bending your spine out of alignment. Open coils also lose their tension and wear out faster than any other support core. And they tend to get squeaky after just a few years of use.
Not to mention they have no motion transfer control whatsoever. For all these reasons, we recommend you steer clear of innerspring mattresses. Those who want a coil mattress are better off with a hybrid.
Firmness level is just as vital as material when it comes to relieving back pain. Mattress firmness is measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest. Usually, the firmest mattresses on the market are 8s, while the softest are 3s. Even these extremes need to have some support and some give.
For most people with back pain, the ideal firmness level is medium-firm (6). This firmness offers the right balance of lift and support you need to alleviate pain. That being said, you’ll need to take your sleeping position and body weight into account when determining your ideal firmness level.
Back sleepers typically need the same firmness level that back pain sufferers do: medium-firm. Sleeping on your back means you need a balance of support and cradling. A good mattress for back sleepers follows the curve of the lumbar region and fight sinkage at the same time.
Medium-firm mattresses have enough support to keep your body lifted up onto the sleep surface. At the same time, they have enough contouring to compress down under the buttocks, filling in the lumbar region to keep it supported and aligned.
Combo sleepers like to switch things up, changing sleeping positions night after night or even several times throughout the night. This means they need a highly versatile mattress for combination sleepers that can provide comfort to multiple sleeping positions.
Medium mattresses (5) offer this versatility. They have a perfect balance of support and cushioning, allowing them to accommodate you no matter which sleeping position you choose on a particular night.
Side sleepers need soft to medium-soft mattresses (3 to 4) because of the pressure their body weight exerts on their joints. Sleeping on your side presses your body deeply into the mattress. This puts a lot of pressure on your hips and shoulders, which can lead to pain in these areas without the proper cushion a mattress for side sleepers offers.
Softer mattresses absorb this pressure by compressing under your joints. Those with back pain should consider going as firm as possible. Try medium-soft mattresses to relieve pressure on your joints while still providing spinal support. If you still have back pain, you might consider going up to a medium mattress, but be aware this may cause pain in your pressure points.
Stomach sleepers need the firmest mattresses of all (7 to 8). When you sleep on your stomach, your pelvis sinks into the bed, overarching your back and causing lower back pain. Firm mattresses keep your pelvis lifted and fight this sinkage.
If you have pain caused by spinal alignment issues, sleeping on your stomach may be contributing to it regardless of your mattress firmness. The best thing you can do for your back is to train yourself to sleep on your side or back and get away from this unhealthy sleeping position. If it’s the only position you can fall asleep in, a mattress for stomach sleeping can help you do so comfortably.
While your baseline firmness is decided by your preferred sleeping position, your body weight does have some impact. If you weigh between 130 and 230 pounds, your firmness needs are not really impacted by your body weight. You can stick with your baseline firmness and not worry about how your weight impacts your needs.
Those who weigh below 130 pounds are considered petite sleepers. Petite sleepers generally need to go down one firmness level from their baseline in order to get the compression they need. For example, petite back sleepers might need a medium rather than a medium-firm mattress.
For sleepers above 230 pounds, the effects are the opposite. Heavier sleepers need to go up at least one firmness level to get the support they need to avoid sinking into their mattresses. For instance, plus-size side sleepers might need a medium mattress rather than a medium-soft.
What’s the best firmness level for back pain?
Generally speaking, the best firmness level for back pain is medium-firm. Medium-firm mattresses offer a balance of support and compression that slightly favors support. This means your mattress can follow the curve of your spine and keep your body lifted at the same time. This allows the mattress to keep your lumbar region from collapsing.
An overly soft mattress can let your body sink into the sleep surface, bending you out of alignment and causing pain. An overly firm mattress won’t compress under your buttocks or rise to your lumbar region. This lets your lumbar area collapse onto the bed and leaves you sleeping in a hunched position. To avoid either of these scenarios, a medium-firm mattress is best.
How much should I expect to pay for my ergonomic mattress?
Chiropractor-recommended mattresses designed for back pain don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you stick with a memory foam mattress, you can expect to pay around $1100 for a queen that will last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. That’s not a bad deal for a decade of pain relief.
Latex and hybrid mattresses are a bit more expensive. Pure natural latex mattresses are the most expensive, with an average queen costing over $2,000. However, latex mattresses will last halfway to forever. Some of them have been known to make it three or four decades. This means you’re paying less for your mattress over the course of its life.
Hybrid mattresses are the most expensive of all. At $1,750 for an average queen, they are a little less than latex in terms of the initial price. But you can only expect to get about 20 years out of your hybrid at the most. This means you will be paying more for it over the course of its life because you will have to replace it more often.
Which material is best for my bad back?
There are several chiropractor-recommended materials that can offer amazing pain relief. If you want the best of the best pain relief, we would recommend a hybrid. Hybrid coils allow the mattress to adapt all the way through. They also offer rigid support to keep you lifted. This combination of adaptability and extreme lift offers the most in terms of back pain relief.
Memory foam is another fantastic material for back pain sufferers. Memory foam is highly contouring and can take the shape of your spine to keep it aligned. Memory foam is also a great option for those looking to save some money.
Finally, latex is another excellent option for back pain sufferers who want an all-foam mattress that is cool and responsive. If you suffer from back pain and also sleep hot or like to toss and turn, breathable and bouncy latex might be for you.
Can an adjustable base help with my back pain?
An adjustable base can absolutely help with your back pain. Sleeping with the head and feet elevated takes pressure off the vertebral column and alleviates discomfort.
The zero-gravity pose – elevating both the head and feet above the heart – is especially good at relieving back pain because it helps take the pressure of your body weight off of your spine and keep it in perfect alignment.
Some adjustable beds offer other pain-relieving benefits like heating elements or massage features. Warmth and a vibrating massage can help relax muscles and alleviate pain associated with tension.
What is the best mattress thickness for back pain?
There is no hard and fast rule for mattress thickness to alleviate back pain. Just keep in mind that the thicker the mattress the more support it offers. This means it’s best to stick with at least 12 inches. Mattresses thinner than this might not give you the support you need to ease your back pain.
There are tons of amazing mattresses recommended by chiropractors. The best of the best relieve your back pain by keeping your spine aligned and your body lifted. In fact, chiropractors might want to be careful recommending some of the most comfortable mattresses on our list. These amazing mattresses might just render the chiropractors who recommend them unnecessary!