People with joint pain and sore muscles commonly report not feeling refreshed upon waking. Lower back pain is linked to poor sleep, which can lead to mood and health problems. A mattress that’s incompatible with a person’s body size and sleep position may worsen pain and sleep quality.
A thoughtfully designed mattress can minimize pain by promoting spine alignment and easing pressure points. Orthopedic mattresses are designed to alleviate bone, joint, and muscle pain.
We’ll highlight the therapeutic features of an orthopedic mattress, including pressure relief, contouring, and support. We’ll also review our top picks to help you determine the best orthopedic mattress for your needs.
Sleep Doctor’s Picks
Trial Length 365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Warranty Lifetime, Limited
Trial Length / Warranty
365 Nights ($99 Return Fee) / Lifetime, Limited
Firmness Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Price $995 – $2,710
- Available in two heights
- Pocketed microcoils relieve pressure points
- Zoned Euro-top cover delivers targeted back support
- The responsive coils may transfer too much movement across the surface
- Some sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds may prefer a mattress with more cushioning
The Saatva Classic uses a multi-layered comfort system and pocketed coils to maximize pressure relief. The innerspring model caters to diverse sleepers, as it’s available in three firmness levels: Plush Soft (3), Luxury Firm (6), and Firm (8). Shoppers can also choose between an 11.5- or 14.5-inch profile.
A 3-inch quilted Euro-top with zoned polyfoam contours to the body, providing good pressure relief. The foam is firmer in the middle of the mattress to promote spinal alignment, and the memory foam lumbar pad is intended to alleviate tension in the lower back. Our testers found that the layer of pocketed microcoils contoured to the body, which increased pressure relief and support.
The zoned support core uses recycled steel coils, giving the mattress bounce and stability. The pocketed springs prevent excessive motion from transferring across the bed. We also noticed that the high-density polyfoam rails minimized sagging at the edges.
Our testers found that the mattress regulated temperature well, thanks to continuous airflow in the coiled core. Additionally, off-gassing smells were minimal and dissipated quickly.
The Saatva Classic comes with free White Glove delivery. A 180-night sleep trial and 15-year warranty are also included.
With a zoned Euro-top, pressure-relieving polyfoam, and a coiled core with good contouring, the Saatva Classic sleeps cool and provides excellent relief from aches, pains, and discomfort.
Plank Firm Luxe
Trial Length 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty 10 Year, Limited
Trial Length / Warranty
120 nights (30-night requirement) / 10 Year, Limited
Firmness Firm (7), Extra Firm (9)
Price $924 – $1,732
- Flippable model with two distinct firmness levels
- Robust edges for more uniform support
- Optional add-on cooling panel
- The mattress may be too firm for most side sleepers
- People with sharp pressure points may prefer a mattress with more cushioning
The Plank Firm Luxe is a flippable model with two supportive surfaces: firm (7) and extra firm (9). Both sides feature a quilted cotton-microfiber blend cover and a layer of polyfoam. We found that the upper comfort layer cradled pressure points and prevented the firm surfaces from feeling too rigid.
Each side uses the same layout to help align the spine and keep sleepers on top of the mattress. A 2-inch layer of high-density polyfoam contours the body and prevents the midsection from sinking too deeply into the mattress. Denser foam on the extra firm side doesn’t conform much, which appealed to our testers who enjoy sleeping on rather than in a mattress. The firm side uses 1 inch of TitanFlex comfort foam, providing slightly more contouring.
The core features 6 inches of pocketed coils that increase responsiveness and allow for easier movement. Each coil is individually wrapped to promote airflow and reduce motion transfer. The mattress has a 13.25-inch profile, which is considered high-profile.
Our tests showed that the mattress did a good job of regulating temperature. However, if you’re prone to overheating, you can opt for a cooling cover made from phase change material. The add-on layer is engineered to absorb and release heat from the body.
The Plank Firm Luxe includes free shipping for all orders to the contiguous U.S. Customers have 120 nights to test the bed for compatibility, and returns can be initiated after a 30-day break-in period. A 10-year warranty covers manufacturing defects.
With two firmness levels, good edge support, and optional cooling panels, the Plank Firm Luxe offers relief from aches and pains for a wide range of sleepers who prefer a firmer feel at an affordable price-point.
Trial Length 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty Lifetime, limited
Trial Length / Warranty
365 nights (30-night requirement) / Lifetime, limited
Firmness Medium Firm (6)
Price $799 – $1,499
- Soft cashmere-blend cover
- Balanced medium firm (6) feel
- Good pressure relief for those with aches and pains
- Some sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds may prefer a firmer mattress
- People who have trouble getting in and out of bed may need more edge support
The DreamCloud has a versatile medium firm (6) feel, combining thick comfort layers and sturdy coils to create a blend of responsiveness and support that works for many different sleepers.
A soft cashmere cover gives sleepers a sense of luxury without an exorbitant price tag. Responsive polyfoam is quilted into the cover for extra conforming, and gel-infused memory foam offers moderate contouring. Our tests showed that this combination keeps sleepers under 230 pounds from sinking too deeply into the mattress. The layer of transitional polyfoam underneath is designed to minimize sagging.
Pocketed steel coils in the core lend stability while making movement easier. Even with the extra bounce, our testers experienced very little motion transfer, which minimized disturbances when their partner shifted positions. Solid edge support also gives co-sleepers more usable surface area.
With a 14-inch profile, the DreamCloud Mattress is taller than average. We noticed the higher profile made getting in and out of bed easier, indicating that this mattress will work well for sleepers whose back and joint pain are activated by those movements.
The hybrid’s balanced feel performs well for a range of sleep styles, though side sleepers under 130 pounds may not receive enough cushioning at the shoulders and hips.
The DreamCloud Mattress ships for free to the contiguous U.S. Customers have the assurance of a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
With a soft cashmere cover and a conforming polyfoam layer, the DreamCloud offers a comfortable sleep surface for most sleeper types, including couples and those needing pressure relief without a close hug.
Best for Side Sleepers
Trial Length 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty Lifetime, Limited
Trial Length / Warranty
120 nights (30 night requirement) / Lifetime, Limited
Firmness Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Firm (7)
Price $1,199 – $1,999
- Zoned polyfoam core provides extra lumbar region support
- AirCell memory foam engineered to dissipate heat for a cooler sleep
- Three firmness options
- Stomach sleepers may find their midsections sink too deeply into the mattress
- Couples who prefer responsiveness for sex may find the mattress’ surface too restrictive
The WinkBeds GravityLux Mattress uses seven foam layers to strike a balance between cushioning and support that works particularly well for side sleepers. Dynamic memory foam cradles the body to alleviate tension, while zoned polyfoam helps promote good spine alignment.
The heat-wicking Tencel cover is tufted with 2 inches of gel-infused polyfoam for extra padding. The AirCell memory foam below is designed to closely contour the body without trapping too much heat. We found that the close hug was especially beneficial to our side-sleeping testers who needed extra cushioning around the hips and shoulders.
The support core uses zoned polyfoam to deliver variable support. The back and hips receive greater push-back, while the shoulders and legs receive more cushioning. A layer of high-density polyfoam prevents sagging by reinforcing the upper layers.
Our testing showed that the GravityLux is more durable than the typical foam model, making premature impressions less likely to form.
The GravityLux has very good motion isolation, which results in fewer nighttime disturbances for anyone who shares a bed. The mattress also regulates temperature well, thanks to its use of gel infusions and open-cell memory foam.
Three different firmness options accommodate a wide range of sleepers. Individuals who enjoy more contouring tend to opt for the medium soft (4) model. The medium (5) version has a balanced feel that suits most sleep styles, especially for people under 230 pounds. The firm (7) surface is the least conforming, making it more appropriate for back and stomach sleepers.
The GravityLux includes a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. WinkBeds asks that you keep the mattress for at least 30 days before requesting a return. Shipping is free for those in the contiguous U.S.
With extra lumbar support and multiple firmness options, the WinkBeds GravityLux provides side sleepers a balance of contouring and support. It also successfully regulates temperature and absorbs motion transfer, making it a good fit for hot sleepers and those who sleep with someone else.
Best for Back Pain
Bear Elite Hybrid
Trial Length 120 nights (30-night break-in period)
Warranty Lifetime warranty
Trial Length / Warranty
120 nights (30-night break-in period) / Lifetime warranty
Firmness Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Price $1,893 – $3,920
- Breathable Celliant and polyester blend cover intended for cooling and muscle recovery
- Adaptive memory foam relieves pressure points
- Zoned polyfoam transitional layer prevents excessive sinkage
- The coils system may produce too much noise when sleepers change positions
- Some sleepers may be bothered by off-gassing odor from the foam layers in the first few nights of sleeping on the mattress
Sleepers who experience sharp pain in their upper or lower back benefit from a mattress that balances cushioning for the spine with a robust support system. The Bear Elite Hybrid achieves that balance with an adaptive foam comfort system, while a coil system and zoned transitional layer keep your body on an even plane.
The Elite Hybrid’s comfort system begins with a layer of adaptive memory foam that contours to your body to relieve pressure. The foam is also infused with copper gel intended to conduct and dissipate heat away from the surface. Underneath is a polyfoam transitional layer that acts as a buffer between your body and the coil system. This layer is strategically zoned to provide targeted support to heavier areas of your body, like your hips and shoulders, and cradle lighter areas.
Pocketed coils in the support core reinforce the sleep surface to keep your body on an even plane. The coils rest on a polyfoam base layer to prevent shifting. A breathable cover made from a Celliant and polyester blend fabric encases the mattress. Celliant is engineered to react to your body heat and confer it back to you in the form of infrared energy, which is thought to promote muscle recovery.
The Elite Hybrid comes in three firmness levels: medium (5), medium firm (6), and firm (7). Every model earned high marks from our side- and back-sleeping testers. People who use these sleep positions and weigh less than 130 pounds will likely prefer the softest model. Our testers weighing up to 230 pounds enjoyed the medium firm option, and our testers weighing more than 230 pounds enjoyed the firmest model.
Temperature regulation was one of the Elite Hybrid’s clear strengths during testing. Our heat guns detected minimal heat buildup on the surface thanks to the breathable cover and steady airflow through the coils. The foam comfort system also absorbed most movement transfer and noise during our tests, making it a great option if you share the bed with a restless sleep partner.
Bear offers free shipping to customers in the contiguous U.S. and a 120-night sleep trial. You can test the mattress and return it anytime after 30 days of delivery for a full refund. If you decide to keep the Bear Elite Hybrid, it is backed by a generous lifetime warranty.
Our testers with back pain loved the Bear Elite Hybrid’s adaptive foam layers and supportive coil system. We felt generous cushioning for pressure along the spine without sinking too deeply into the mattress.
Best Pressure Relief
Puffy Lux Hybrid
Trial Length 101 nights (14-night break-in period)
Warranty Lifetime, Limited
Trial Length / Warranty
101 nights (14-night break-in period) / Lifetime, Limited
Firmness Medium (5)
Price $899 – $2,098
- Soft, stain-resistant cover
- Climate Comfort foam engineered to dispel heat and moisture
- Sturdy 6-inch coiled core provides excellent support
- Back and stomach sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds may find the mattress too soft
- The foam layers may trap too much heat for some hot sleepers
Sleepers with sharp pressure points often need a mattress that delivers strong contouring. Puffy’s Lux Hybrid uses plush foam layers adapt to the body to alleviate pressure buildup. The mattress’ 12-inch profile and medium (5) feel accommodate a range of sleep styles and body types.
The Lux Hybrid has a GOTS-certified organic fabric cover that resists stains and common allergens. The comfort system uses two types of memory foam to help ease pressure points. A 1.5-inch layer of proprietary Cooling Cloud memory foam is designed to cradle sleepers without generating too much heat. A layer of polyfoam increases compression support, so the mattress doesn’t contour too closely to the sleeper’s body. Additionally, the proprietary memory foam layer is intended to draw out heat and moisture.
Six inches of hefty steel coils stabilize the mattress. The core is designed to adapt to your body for better weight distribution, while individually wrapped coils reduce motion transfer and improve air circulation. High-density polyfoam reinforces the perimeter to help you feel supported throughout the mattress, and an anti-slip base cover keeps the bed firmly in place.
Our tests showed that the hybrid performed particularly well for people under 130 pounds, regardless of sleep position. The combination of solid edge support, motion isolation, and temperature control should also benefit couples. However, the mattress’ contouring might be excessive for back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds, who usually need a firmer surface to align the spine.
The Puffy Lux Hybrid includes free shipping to all 50 states, and orders typically arrive within two to five days. Customers are protected with a 101-night sleep trial and a limited lifetime warranty. Returns are possible after a 14-day break-in period.
Our testing team found that the Puffy Lux Hybrid’s memory foam layers, which are designed to draw out heat and minimally contour your body, make this mattress a good option for lighter sleepers with sharp pressure points.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our team has extensive experience in the sleep industry. We personally test our top picks in our sleep lab so we can provide you accurate information about the best options available on the market today.
Our testing team reflects different weight categories and sleeper types, which means we can make suggestions for a wide range of sleepers. When testing orthopedic mattresses, we paid special attention to categories such as pressure relief, temperature neutrality, motion isolation, and firmness levels.
What Do I Need to Know About Orthopedic Mattresses for a Good Night's Sleep?
There are a variety of factors to consider when purchasing an orthopedic mattress, including the mattress’ construction type and firmness level. It’s also important to understand your own needs so you can find the best fit for your situation.
What Makes a Mattress “Orthopedic”?
An orthopedic mattress is intended to contour the body and encourage proper spine alignment. This is important because better sleep posture typically equates to fewer bone, joint, and muscle pains.
Find the Type of Mattress That Works for You
A mattress that is orthopedic for one person might aggravate aches and pains for another. Finding relief depends on choosing a mattress that’s compatible with your body type and sleep style.
Your Mattress Firmness
A mattress’ firmness level affects how much a mattress contours and supports you. The degree of cradling and overall feel depends on your weight and sleep position. For example, a stomach sleeper over 230 pounds usually requires a much firmer model than a side sleeper under 130 pounds.
Sleeping With Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is associated with reduced sleep quality and duration. By providing good pressure relief, an orthopedic mattress can minimize sleep disturbances caused by pain.
What Is an Orthopedic Mattress?
Orthopedics is the field of medicine that treats conditions of the spine, joints, muscles, and ligaments. Orthopedic mattresses are engineered to promote ideal sleep posture and alleviate pressure buildup. Athletes, seniors, or anyone with a musculoskeletal injury or condition can benefit from an orthopedic mattress. Certain mattress features — such as firmness level and temperature regulation — improve cervical alignment and reduce aches and pains.
How Can You Tell if a Mattress Is Orthopedic?
Because there aren’t any regulatory standards for orthopedic mattresses, you should approach marketing claims with caution. Manufacturers may use the term orthopedic without having research or medical evidence to support their assertions. This means it’s essential to vet a model for quality materials and craftsmanship. A mattress that accommodates your body type and sleep style will be most effective at relieving pain.
Is an Orthopedic Mattress for You?
Many sleepers experience relief from a mattress that aligns the spine and eases pressure points. However, not all orthopedic models suit every type of sleeper, so it’s important to take a look at the pros and cons.
- By contouring and distributing body weight more evenly, orthopedic mattresses can promote cervical alignment
- Improved sleep posture reduces pressure buildup
- Fewer aches and pains can result in better sleep quality and duration
- Orthopedic mattresses may be cost-prohibitive for some shoppers
- Some manufacturing claims are doubtful, so shoppers must conduct more research to distinguish marketing hype from effectiveness
Best Types of Orthopedic Mattresses
Orthopedic mattresses are made using a variety of materials and construction methods. Foam, latex, and hybrid models are popular choices for sleepers with orthopedic conditions. Each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.
As the name suggests, foam mattresses are made solely from foam. Various types of foam are used to achieve different results. Comfort systems often feature memory foam due to its exceptional pressure relief. Latex and responsive polyfoam also contour the body to alleviate tension, and support cores made from high-density polyfoam can provide deep compression support.
Orthopedic foam mattresses are popular because they cushion sensitive pressure points. Look for models with robust cores and edges to avoid premature sagging and indentations.
Hybrid mattresses have gained popularity in recent decades, as they emphasize the strengths of multiple construction methods. Any number of materials are used in the comfort system, including memory foam, polyfoam, latex, and wool. The pocketed coil cores provide bounce while also contouring to your body.
Many orthopedic models are hybrids because they usually offer excellent contouring and support. Both of these elements are essential to cervical alignment and pressure relief.
What About Innerspring Beds?
An innerspring mattress features a coil support core and a relatively thin comfort system. This traditional design permits easier movement without trapping too much heat.
While some companies use the terms innerspring and hybrid interchangeably, these models actually differ in their constructions. Innersprings often have just a single comfort layer, whereas hybrids employ substantial comfort systems. Because of this, not many innerspring beds are considered orthopedic. If you’re in need of extra pressure relief and support, you should probably consider something other than an innerspring model.
Latex mattresses incorporate natural or synthetic latex for a responsive feel that doesn’t hug the body as closely as memory foam does. Less sinkage can benefit people with back pain or those who experience aches and joint pain by reinforcing a straighter spine.
Latex models tend to excel at temperature control and durability, though they’re usually more expensive than other kinds of mattresses.
Is an Orthopedic Mattress Supposed to Be Firm?
Orthopedic mattresses are generally on the firm side in order to support spinal alignment. However, a bed that is too firm can actually magnify pressure points, particularly around the neck and shoulders. On the other hand, a mattress that’s too soft can strain the lower back by allowing the midsection to sink excessively.
A medium firm surface is generally thought to be the most versatile, regardless of sleep position. Individuals with back pain often experience relief with a medium firm mattress.
That said, optimal firmness ultimately depends on your body weight and sleep style. A medium firm design usually accommodates sleepers who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds and sleep in any position. Side sleepers and people under 130 pounds are better suited to a softer model that provides deeper contouring. Stomach and back sleepers need a firmer surface to align the spine, particularly if they weigh over 230 pounds.
Does Chronic Pain Affect Your Sleep?
It’s not surprising that chronic pain is linked to less restorative sleep. Stiff muscles and achy joints make it difficult to sustain one position for very long, which is needed to enter deeper sleep cycles. Symptoms of various injuries and conditions worsen when sleep quality and duration is compromised. Poor sleep also lowers pain tolerance, thereby worsening chronic pain.
Since the relationship between chronic pain and sleep quality is bi-directional, it’s important to address both underlying conditions with your doctor.
How Do You Find Quality Sleep With Chronic Pain?
Sleep quality can have a huge impact on your body’s ability to manage pain. Because of this, implementing healthy sleep habits should be a top priority.
- Set a fixed sleep-wake schedule: Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time each day reinforces your circadian rhythm. A regular sleep routine improves sleep quality.
- Avoid stimulants late in the day: Drinking caffeine six hours before bedtime can make falling and staying asleep more challenging, while drinking alcohol can lead to poor sleep quality.
- Limit screen time at night: The blue light from phones, computer screens, and other devices can interfere with melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, so it’s important to keep it functioning properly.
- Restrict fluid intake before bed: Avoiding fluid intake immediately before bed helps minimize nighttime trips to the bathroom.
- Turn down the thermostat: Your core temperature naturally drops at night, so turning down the thermostat can help signal that it’s time to sleep to our bodies. The ideal temperature for sleep is between 66 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Consider changing your sleep position: Certain sleep positions can worsen muscle and joint pain. Side sleeping tends to be the most comfortable position for most sleepers, so long as they don’t have shoulder pain. It’s easier to maintain neutral spine alignment in this position, which reduces pressure on the neck and lower back.
- Elevate your bedding: Quality sheets can add a touch of luxury to your bedroom environment. A mattress topper can also alter the feel of your bed by cushioning a stiff surface or giving more structure to an excessively soft mattress.
- Alternative pillows: Some pillows are designed to encourage cervical alignment and ease tension. People with lower back pain can try using a pillow or cushion between the knees to improve posture. Those who experience neck pain can benefit from a memory foam pillow with an indentation at the head. For side sleepers, a thin pillow between the knees promotes spinal alignment, while back sleepers can reduce lumbar strain by placing a small cushion beneath the knees.