Best Mattress Guides

Best Orthopedic Mattresses

If you experience chronic pain, a mattress that supports your body appropriately is essential.

By Natalie Yerger

Millions of adults who experience chronic back pain can alleviate the issue completely or partially by improving the quality of their mattress. The right mattress for your body type, weight, and sleeping position will help minimize areas of aches and pains throughout the night, leading to a better sleeping experience and more energized days.

While there’s no industry standard for the types of mattresses that can be classified as “orthopedic,” mattresses marketed as such are generally medium-firm and have characteristics that support the proper alignment of sleepers’ spines in order to improve body posture and alleviate pain.

Before you purchase an orthopedic mattress, we invite you to explore our top eight recommendations for the best orthopedic mattresses of 2020. We share details about these top picks, including who they’re best for, firmness levels, and more. We’ve also compiled a buyer’s guide to shopping for an orthopedic mattress, which includes important shopping considerations to note as you decide on your mattress, explains the various types of orthopedic mattresses available in today’s market, and provides tips for making an orthopedic mattress purchase decision that you’ll feel confident about.

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The 8 Best Orthopedic Mattresses of 2020

Saatva Classic

Editor's Pick

Available in three firmness settings, the Saatva’s unique coil-on-coil design should accommodate most sleepers with back pain regardless of their height, weight, or sleeping position.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Varies

Trial period

120 nights

Warranty

15 year

The Saatva is a luxury innerspring mattress with a coil-on-coil support system and thick, plush comfort layers on top. Made by Saatva, a company that offers innerspring, hybrid, and more types of mattresses, the Saatva is the brand’s flagship mattress. It features a euro-top cover followed by layers of polyfoam and memory foam in addition to pocketed coils. 

The durable springs at the core reinforce the entire bed and help prevent sinkage at the edges, and the bed’s range of options (it’s available in three firmness options and two height profiles) will accommodate almost any sleeper. The airflow through the coil layers also makes this bed breathable and appropriate for sleepers with back pain who sleep hot. The Saatva comes with free white glove delivery in the contiguous USA, a 120-night trial, and a lengthy 15-year warranty.

Read our full Saatva Mattress Review to learn more!

DreamCloud Premier

Best Edge Support

For those who need a firm surface to aid in getting in and out of bed as well as pressure point relief, the DreamCloud is a reasonably priced hybrid that checks all the boxes.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

365 days

Warranty

Lifetime

Like the Saatva, the DreamCloud features a euro-top cover, polyfoam and memory foam layers, and a thick coil system that provides excellent edge support. The edge support is the highlight of the mattress, in our opinion. The coil system is encased in high-density foam to minimize sinkage and motion transfer. Back pain tends to correlate closely with age, so orthopedic mattresses with a high level of edge support can be an excellent choice for elderly individuals with back pain who need a stable, safe surface to get in and out of bed.

The bed has a medium-firm feel and is constructed with three layers overall. You’ll experience a good night’s sleep and targeted pressure point relief in this mattress at a reasonable price for a hybrid bed. The DreamCloud comes with a 365-night sleep trial, a lifetime warranty, and free shipping in the contiguous USA.

Read our full DreamCloud Premier Mattress Review to learn more!

Nectar

Best Value

The Nectar, an all-foam mattress, is made with three layers of memory foam for excellent pressure relief and offers a high-quality construction at a lower price point than other models.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

365

Warranty

Lifetime

The Nectar mattress contains three layers of memory foam and one layer of polyfoam, including a plush top layer of quilted gel memory foam, a secondary layer of gel memory foam, a high-density memory foam transitional layer, and a firm support core of high-density polyfoam.

The multiple foam layers work together to provide excellent pressure relief, and the medium-firm feel makes it an appealing choice for sleepers of all weights and preferred sleeping positions. It also provides excellent motion isolation and breathable qualities for the price point, sealing the deal for sleepers with aches and pains who want relief but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg.

Read our full Nectar Mattress Review to learn more!

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss

Best Luxury

An organic latex mattress with adjustable firmness, the PlushBeds Botanical Bliss is a luxury natural latex that costs a pretty penny but offers eco-friendliness, no noise or off-gassing, and exceptional durability in exchange.

Score
4.9 / 5.0
Firmness

Varies

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

25 year warranty

The PlushBeds Botanical Bliss is a naturally hypoallergenic, eco-friendly mattress constructed from organic cotton, organic wool, and organic latex. It comes in two firmness options (medium and medium-firm) and three thickness options (9 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches). The latex’s low elasticity makes it an excellent option for those who suffer from back pain, as it will hug the body less than all-foam models, which can help sleepers maintain proper spinal alignment. 

While this mattress provides a feel of sleeping “on” the bed rather than sinking “in” it, don’t let this quality scare you. It provides enough contouring for sleepers for pressure relief in all the right places, but it doesn’t sink enough to throw your spine out of alignment, which can create more problems. Shoppers should choose their PlushBed firmness and thickness based on their preferred sleeping position, height, and weight. All PlushBeds come with free shipping, opt-in old mattress removal, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 25-year limited warranty (among the longest in the mattress industry).

Read our full PlushBeds Mattress Review to learn more!

Purple Hybrid

Most Innovative Materials

Made with Purple’s proprietary Purple Grid, the Purple Hybrid marries contouring with responsiveness perfectly for a mattress that feels very comfortable but doesn’t sink too deeply.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

7

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 year warranty

The Purple Hybrid is constructed with Purple’s proprietary Purple Grid in the comfort layer, a polyfoam transitional layer, a pocketed coil support core that’s encased in high-density polyfoam, and a polyfoam base layer.

Measuring 11 inches thick all together, the Purple Hybrid balances body-contouring and even support, making it suitable for side sleepers, back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and combination sleepers in any weight group. We recommend the Purple Hybrid as an orthopedic mattress for individuals who enjoy purchasing products with unique materials and innovative designs, and for those who like a bouncy feel or sleeping “on” the mattress.

Read our full Purple Hybrid Mattress Review to learn more!

Classic Brands Hybrid

Best Motion Isolation

The Classic Brands Hybrid combines traditional innerspring coils with cooling gel memory foam for a comfortable sleep experience that’s also very quiet, thanks to the excellent motion isolation in its design.

Score
4.5 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 year warranty

Sold on Amazon, the Classic Brands Mercer Pillow-Top Cool Gel Foam and Innerspring 12” Hybrid Mattress combines wrapped innerspring coils with gel memory foam. The gel-infused foam helps disperse body heat and alleviate areas of pain, and an orthopedic support foam sits beneath this layer for added conforming and an additional level of support.

The 8-inch individually wrapped innerspring coils move independently, helping to improve motion isolation throughout the bed and reduce noise. The Classic Brands 12” Hybrid is our recommendation if you sleep with a partner or pet and wake easily throughout the night to disturbances or noise. 

Read our full Classic Brands Mattresses Review to learn more!

Spinal Solutions 10"

Best Pillow Top

Specially designed for back pain sufferers, this medium-firm mattress has a modern design with a pillow topper that perfectly blends comfort and support for spinal alignment.

Score
4.6 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

30 days

Warranty

Contact customer Support For Info

The Spinal Solution 10” Medium Firm Mattress is a pillow top mattress with individually wrapped coils at its core that together deliver spinal alignment through proper support and reduce pressure points. The pillow top finish adds a luxurious feel to the mattress without sacrificing spinal alignment, making this mattress especially attractive if you’re not accustomed to the firm feel of most orthopedic mattresses.

The innerspring inside the Spinal Solution 10” can conform to the sleeper’s body, reducing unwanted pressure on the joints, while maintaining proper alignment of the spine. This mattress, available on Amazon, ships as a bed in a box, making installation easy for apartments, small spaces, and dorm rooms.

Sealy Posturepedic

Best Design

Made with exclusive Posturepedic Technology developed with the help of orthopedic specialists, Sealy beds provide support where you need it most.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Varies

Trial period

Varies by Retailer

Warranty

10 year limited

Sealy Posturepedic is a line of mattresses made by Sealy, a brand name under Tempur Sealy International, which is the same conglomerate that sells Tempur-Pedic. The Posturepedic technology is featured in all of Sealy’s mattress types, including the company’s innerspring mattresses, memory foam mattresses, and hybrid mattresses.

Sealy used testing to determine that the majority of sleepers’ bodyweight rests in the center of the bed as they sleep and created a mattress based on their findings. Sealy Posturepedic beds reinforce the center of the mattress to keep your spine and body supported for a better night’s sleep. One of the greatest benefits of buying a Sealy is that the brand’s mattresses are widely available at third-party retailers throughout the country, so you’ll have an easy time finding it to try out in-store near you prior to purchasing.

Read our full Sealy Mattress Review to learn more!


Orthopedic Mattress Buying Guide

In this buyer’s guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know and consider prior to purchasing an orthopedic mattress. Read on to learn about the different types of orthopedic mattresses available, important buying considerations, and how to pick the best orthopedic mattress for your budget, unique issue, and preferred sleeping position.

Mattress Types

There’s no industry standard for what qualifies a mattress as “orthopedic.” However, each of the most common mattress types provides various benefits for sleepers with back and joint issues. 

Foam—Foam mattresses provide excellent conforming and pain relief, thanks to the thick comfort layers. All-foam mattresses also isolate motion better than other types, which helps to reduce sleep disruptions. Keep in mind that these widely available mattresses can have issues when it comes to edge support, so if ease of getting in and out of bed is important to you, look for an orthopedic foam mattress with high rankings in edge support to prevent unwanted sagging. 

Latex—Similarly to foam mattresses, latex mattresses conform to the body but do so to a lesser extent. Latex has more bounce than foam, and the bounce can feel too much for some sleepers with spine or back problems. They’re among the most durable mattresses on the market, though, so if you can find a latex orthopedic mattress that relieves your back pain, it could be a worthwhile investment that lasts many years. See: Best Latex Mattresses 

Hybrid—Hybrid mattresses provide a nice combination of contouring (in the comfort foam layers) and support (from the pocketed coils support core and foam base layers). They typically sleep cool and come in varying firmness options, but they’re among the most expensive mattress types on the market.

Innerspring—Innerspring mattresses, or “traditional” beds, have a support core of innerspring coils that are topped with layers of foam. The majority of innerspring mattresses aren’t orthopedic because they don’t contour well, but some brands have tailored their innerspring beds for back pain by adding comfort layers and improving the quality of the base to provide pressure relief and evenly distributed support. 

Factors to Consider

Firmness Level

Firmness level should be at the top of your list of considerations when purchasing a mattress for orthopedic purposes. A mattress’s firmness setting (1 through 10) will impact how well it alleviates pain and how well it supports your spine’s proper alignment. 

In general, sleepers who suffer from back pain do well on a medium-firm mattress with adequate conforming properties, but this will vary widely depending on your body weight. For example, heavyweight sleepers will find adequate conforming and support in firmer mattresses, whereas lightweight sleepers require plush mattresses to enjoy body-contouring and pressure relief. Average weight sleepers with back issues do best on medium-firm mattresses.

Mattress Company Reputation

As mentioned, there’s no industry standard definition for “orthopedic mattress” or governing body in the mattress industry that regulates which mattresses can earn the title of “orthopedic mattress.” As such, it’s important to make sure that any mattress marketed as “orthopedic” actually has qualities that will alleviate back and joint pain and support proper spinal alignment. 

The brand’s reputation can be a good indicator of its ethics and therefore the honesty of its marketing tactics, so we recommend looking into customer reviews, Better Business Bureau ratings and accreditation, and more to make sure the product you’re considering is actually what the company says it is.

Sleep Trial 

The vast majority of mattresses sold today come with a sleep trial, which allows sleepers to test out the mattress for many nights (usually 30 or more) with the option to return it for free if it doesn’t suit their needs. The length of the sleep trial is an especially important shopping consideration for individuals with pain. Orthopedic mattresses, which tend to be more firm in nature, may take several weeks for your body to adjust to. We recommend looking for an orthopedic mattress that has a sleep trial of at least 90 days with free returns. See: Best Mattresses for Adjustable Beds

Body Weight

It’s important to consider your body weight to determine the best type of mattress and mattress firmness for you. As mentioned above, if you are a heavyweight individual, you may fare better on a firmer orthopedic mattress. If you’re lightweight, consider a softer orthopedic mattress, which will allow for more conforming.

Sleeping Position

If you have back pain, joint pain, skeletal irregularities, osteoporosis, or are looking for an orthopedic mattress for improved recovery throughout the night, you’ll want to take your preferred sleeping position into consideration. Many individuals with back pain find that back sleeping is the most comfortable position, which is line with the position that most orthopedic doctors and specialists recommend for all sleepers in order to improve posture, encourage spinal alignment, and lessen aches and pains.

However, if you’re a dedicated side, stomach, or combination sleeper, the firmness and support offered by your orthopedic mattress should cater to this. Side sleepers, for example, need more conforming around the hip and shoulder areas in order to achieve proper spinal alignment. Some sleepers struggling with aches and pains find comfort in an adjustable bed so they can easily change their positioning. See: Best Adjustable Beds 

Company Policies (Warranty, Etc.) 

Most mattresses sold today also come with a warranty that spans anywhere from five years to a lifetime. The more expensive the mattress, the more important the warranty, and its coverage becomes. If you’re investing several thousand dollars in an orthopedic mattress that you want to last for five to ten years, we recommend making sure that the mattress company covers its product with a generous warranty term length. Some warranties are voided if you do not use them on a proper box spring, foundation or bed frame as required by the company, so make sure you do your research!  

Picking the Best Orthopedic Mattress For You

Know Your Sleeping Position

The best sleeping positions for back pain vary by your area of pain. For example, those with upper back pain who sleep on their sides will fare better with a thin foam pillow between their knees. Those with lower back pain who sleep on their back with a pillow beneath their knees will feel that the natural curve of their spine is more supported. 

RELATED: Best Mattresses for Back Pain

Prior to choosing a firmness level, we recommend understanding your primary sleeping position and even touching base with an orthopedic doctor or specialist, who can make recommendations about mattress firmness and appropriate sleeping accessories, like pillows, prior to your purchase.

Select a Firmness Level

As mentioned above, the firmness level of an orthopedic mattress is absolutely crucial in ensuring the mattress will alleviate pain and properly support your spine. Evaluate your body weight, body size, and primary sleeping position, all of which factor in to determine the firmness level that’s best suited for your body.

For average weight side and back sleepers, the ideal mattress firmness setting for side sleeping is medium to medium-firm. For average weight stomach sleepers, the ideal firmness setting is medium-soft to medium. Lightweight and heavyweight individuals will require softer mattresses and firmer mattresses, respectively, in each sleeping style category.

Choose a Mattress Type

Whether latex, all-foam, hybrid, or innerspring, there’s no “best” mattress type when it comes to orthopedic mattresses.  The mattress industry has become so varied in the last few decades that, for nearly every type of mattress available, there’s a version that’s well-suited for individuals with orthopedic issues.

However, the criteria for choosing your orthopedic mattress should remain the same regardless of the type of mattress you prefer: it should provide back support (proper spinal alignment) above all, alleviate areas of aches and pains, and have a firmness level that’s tailored to your sleeping position and weight. From there, the various mattress types offer unique benefits. Hybrids, for example, work well for individuals who sleep hot. Memory foam mattresses, on the other hand, may sleep a little warmer but provide the coveted “deep hug” feeling that many sleepers have come to love.

Conclusion

The right new mattress can help alleviate pressure and aches in your neck, hips, lower spine, and shoulders, and the wrong mattress can exacerbate issues in these same areas or even create new areas of pain. When choosing the best mattress for sleep and back pain, take your time. You can never do too much research to determine the type of mattress and firmness level that’s appropriate for you and your partner. From there, refer back to our list of the best orthopedic mattresses for back pain, which should get you started in the right direction.  

Recap of the Best Orthopedic Mattresses in 2020

Mattress Model Award Nerd Score
Saatva Editor’s Pick 4.7/5
Dreamcloud Premier Best Edge Support 4.8/5
Nectar Best Value 4.7/5
PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Best Luxury 4.9/5
Purple Hybrid Most Innovative 4.8/5
Classic Brands Hybrid Best Motion Isolation  4.5/5
Spinal Solutions 10” Medium Firm Best Pillow Top  4.6/5
Sealy Best Design  4.7/5

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