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Best Orthopedic Mattress of 2024:
Enhanced Cushioning and Support

UPDATED

Written by Garen Glazier

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Breus

Expert Tested

Table of Contents

An orthopedic mattress prioritizes pressure relief and support with the goal of optimizing sleep posture. With carefully chosen materials and features, these mattresses are engineered to reduce pain and promote better sleep.
 
If you struggle with joint, back, or muscle pain, an orthopedic mattress may help you get more restorative sleep. But finding the right model can be challenging, which is why our expert testing team evaluated dozens of models to identify the best orthopedic mattresses on the market today.

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Best Orthopedic Mattress

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Saatva Classic

The Saatva Classic is our pick for the best orthopedic mattress. Available in a choice of heights and firmness levels, the Saatva Classic supports the body with coil-on-coil construction and pressure-relieving foam.

If you want to see all the top-performing brands and models across categories, read our guide to the best mattresses of 2024. If dealing with back pain is your priority, check out our insights into the best mattresses for back pain.

The Best Orthopedic Mattresses

Best Overall Mattress – Saatva Classic

Best Value Mattress – Plank Firm Luxe

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Helix Midnight

Most Comfortable Mattress – WinkBeds GravityLux

Best Mattress for Back Pain – Bear Elite Hybrid

Best Mattress for Pressure Relief – Puffy Lux Hybrid

Sleep Doctor’s Picks

TSD_SaatvaClassic_3
TSD_SaatvaClassic_3

Best Overall Mattress

Saatva Classic

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Saatva Classic has an innovative design that offers cushioning and support in equal measure. Our testers loved the coil-on-coil design, which provided targeted pressure relief for sore spots along the spine while reinforcing the surface. A Euro-top cover also gives the mattress an extra luxurious feel.

Buy from Saatva
Ideal For:

Hot Sleepers

Firmness:

Soft, Medium Firm, Firm Options

Pain Relief:

Excellent

Back Support:

Good for Sleepers Under 230 Pounds

Pros

  • Pocketed microcoils relieve pressure while adding responsiveness
  • Euro-top cover is quilted with zoned foam to enhance cushioning and comfort
  • Available in two heights and three firmness levels

Cons

  • Coils may transfer motion across the mattress surface
  • A $99 return shipping fee is deducted from refunds

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.

Why We Like It

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.

How Does It Feel?

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.

Read Our Full Saatva Mattress Review
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Best Value Mattress

Plank Firm Luxe

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Plank Firm Luxe has a competitive price-point and a flippable design allowing you to choose from two firmnesses in one mattress. Measuring at a firm (7) on one side and an extra firm (9) on the other, the mattress is one of the firmest in our testing lab.

Buy from Plank
Ideal For:

Heavy Sleepers

Firmness:

Firm, Extra Firm Sides

Pain Relief:

Fair

Back Support:

Good for Sleepers Over 230 Pounds

Pros

  • Flippable model with two distinct firmness levels
  • Robust edges provide more uniform and dependable support
  • Optional add-on cooling panel

Cons

  • Can feel too firm for many 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.

Why We Like It

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.

How Does It Feel?

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.

Read Our Full Plank Luxe Hybrid Mattress Review
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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Helix Midnight

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Helix Midnight is one of our test team’s favorite models when it comes to balancing support and cushioning. The gentle cradling and sturdy coils make it a great fit for side sleepers in particular.

Buy from Helix
Ideal For:

Combination Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm

Pain Relief:

Excellent

Back Support:

Sturdy coils offer lumbar support

Pros

  • Foam layers conform to your body for excellent pressure relief
  • Hot sleepers can upgrade with a specialized cooling cover
  • Balanced medium firm (6) feel

Cons

  • Sleepers who are sensitive to smell may notice off-gassing odors right after unboxing
  • May lack firmness for some sleepers over 230 pounds

The Helix Midnight pairs foam layers with a supportive coil system to provide a just-right mix of plushness and support — especially for people who sleep on their side and experience uncomfortable pressure buildup at night.

Why We Like It

The foam layers on top excel at cradling your shoulders and hips without sacrificing too much support, which benefited many of the side sleepers on our team — especially those between 130 and 230 pounds. The thick coil core didn’t skimp on support for the lower back, which helped keep the spine nicely aligned.

How Does It Feel?

The Helix Midnight has a medium firm (6) feel with a plush surface that conforms closely to your body. Most side sleepers on our team never felt excessively “hugged” by the mattress, although those over 230 pounds will sink deeper and likely won’t receive enough support to stay comfortable. The bed stayed fairly temperature-neutral thanks to airflow through the coils. However, if overheating is a concern, you can pay a little extra for a cover infused with phase change material meant to keep the surface cool.

Read Our Full Helix Mattress Review
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Most Comfortable Mattress

WinkBeds GravityLux

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

Foam mattresses often earn high ratings from our side sleepers, and the WinkBeds GravityLux is no exception. Our side-sleeping testers noted excellent cushioning for sore spots in their hips and shoulders, while the zoned high-density polyfoam prevented them from sinking too deeply into the mattress.

Buy from WinkBeds
Ideal For:

Side Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Soft, Medium, Firm Options

Pain Relief:

Excellent

Back Support:

Good for Sleepers Under 130 Pounds

Pros

  • Zoned polyfoam core provides extra support for the lumbar region
  • AirCell memory foam is engineered to dissipate heat for cooler sleep
  • Choice of three firmness options

Cons

  • Stomach sleepers may find their midsection sinks too deeply into the mattress
  • Contouring foam can limit ease of movement

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.

Why We Like It

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.

How Does It Feel?

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.

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Best Mattress for Back Pain

Bear Elite Hybrid

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

Sleepers with persistent back pain often benefit from a mattress with a balance of cushioning for the spine and support to maintain healthy sleep posture. The Bear Elite Hybrid’s foam hybrid construction is a great example of this balance, and three firmness options ensure a comfortable model for most sleepers.

Buy from bear
Ideal For:

Back Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium, Medium Firm, Firm Options

Pain Relief:

Excellent

Back Support:

Supportive For All Sleepers

Pros

  • Breathable cover with specialty Celliant fabric is designed to facilitate both cooling and muscle recovery
  • Adaptive memory foam accommodates sharp pressure points
  • Transitional layer of zoned polyfoam prevents excessive sinkage

Cons

  • Mattress height may require a fitted sheet with extra-deep pockets
  • May lack responsiveness for sleepers who want a bouncier 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.

Why We Like It

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.

How Does It Feel?

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.

Read Our Full Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress Review
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Best Mattress for Pressure Relief

Puffy Lux Hybrid

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Puffy Lux Hybrid delivers strong contouring to alleviate pressure buildup. Meanwhile, a supportive coil system helps you maintain spinal alignment to prevent aches and pains in the morning. These features appealed to our side sleepers and testers with persistent joint or lower back pain.

Buy from Puffy
Ideal For:

Side Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium

Pain Relief:

Excellent

Back Support:

Good for Sleepers Under 230 Pounds

Pros

  • Hybrid design with coils and foam enables standout pressure relief
  • Climate Comfort foam engineered to dissipate heat and moisture
  • Soft, stain-resistant cover made with organic cotton

Cons

  • Back and stomach sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds may find the mattress too soft
  • Only available in one firmness option

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.

Why We Like It

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.

How Does It Feel?

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.

What’s an Orthopedic Mattress?

An orthopedic mattress is constructed to boost support for the joints and spine. The materials layered in an orthopedic mattress are designed to work together to relieve pressure and enhance comfort.

In medicine, orthopedics deals with problems affecting the musculoskeletal system, which includes muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissue. An orthopedic mattress is intended to prevent or minimize aches, pains, and other discomfort in this system of the body.

A heightened focus on cushioning, support, and pressure relief distinguishes orthopedic mattresses from standard mattresses. 

With this focus, orthopedic mattresses are often best for people with joint and back pain or other musculoskeletal conditions. This includes many older adults and people who have had injuries in the past. Orthopedic mattresses are also popular among athletes who prioritize good sleep as part of their physical recovery. 

Unfortunately, there are no official certifications or agreed upon standards for orthopedic mattresses. As a result, manufacturers may label a mattress as orthopedic for marketing purposes even if it lacks materials or features designed to enhance support.

What to Look For in an Orthopedic Mattress

It can be hard to differentiate between all your mattress options, including the many models of orthopedic mattresses. Knowing where to focus your attention can help you choose the best fit for your needs.

Mattress Type

Orthopedic mattresses can be built with a range of materials. Based on their interior construction, mattresses can be categorized into different types.

In a foam mattress, all the layers are made of either polyfoam or memory foam. Foam is a popular material in orthopedic mattresses because of its ability to contour to the body and relieve pressure. 

Hybrid mattresses feature top layers of foam, latex, or microcoils above a base layer of metal coils. With their blend of materials, hybrids typically provide solid all-around performance that delivers significant support to the entire body. 

Like hybrids, innerspring mattresses have a core of metal coils. But innersprings have few additional layers, which reduces their cushioning and generally prevents them from being orthopedic mattresses.

Every layer in a latex mattress is made with latex rubber. In most cases, this is natural latex that is bouncy, sturdy, and lightly contours to the body. The ability to relieve pressure without excess sinkage can make latex mattresses effective in providing orthopedic support. 

Airbeds are unique because their support core is made with air chambers that can be inflated or deflated to adjust the firmness level. Some airbeds have foam or latex on top of these chambers. Real-time firmness modifications provide flexibility to find optimal support. 

Firmness

The majority of orthopedic mattresses have a firmness level ranging from medium (5) to firm (7) because this amount of firmness generally provides the best combination of cushioning and support. 

If a mattress is too soft, it can cause the body to sink into the bed, jeopardizing sleep posture and pulling the spine out of alignment. If a mattress is too firm, it can create impact and irritation around joints and other pressure points. 

Finding the ideal balance depends on your body weight and sleeping position. Your personal comfort preferences are also a factor, which is why there is no one “right” firmness level for everyone.

Video: Are Firm Mattresses Good for You?

Watch our video to learn more about whether a firm mattress is best for you.

Support

Support from a mattress refers to its ability to help keep your spine properly aligned. This means that your spine stays in a neutral position rather than excessively bending or twisting.

Orthopedic mattresses prioritize support because spinal misalignment can cause aches and pains. Solid support typically requires enough cushioning to soften impact at pressure points along with sufficient firmness to keep heavier parts of the body from sinking too deeply into the mattress. 

Pain Relief

Having the right mattress can help prevent or alleviate certain types of pain. While body pain can have many causes, it can be related to a sleep posture that puts stress on joints and muscles. Orthopedic mattresses are designed to improve sleep posture with effective cushioning and support.

Pressure ReliefPressure relief is the ability of a mattress to cushion the areas where stress can build up, such as the hips, shoulders, and lower back. Pressure relief minimizes impact while maintaining stability underneath these key zones of the body.
ContouringContouring is when a material compresses to match the shape and weight of different parts of the body. Also called conforming or hug, contouring can offer tailored cushioning to the body’s pain points.
ResponsivenessResponsiveness is often experienced as bounce or springiness. It refers to how quickly a material regains its shape when weight is removed. Responsiveness keeps you from feeling stuck and contributes to a stable sleep surface that can facilitate better sleep posture.

Price, Sleep Trial, and Warranty

Mattresses have a wide price range from as low as $300 to over $2,000. How much you’ll pay depends on how a mattress is built, whether it has special materials or features, and whether you can take advantage of any deals or discounts. 

If you’re worried about buying a mattress you don’t like, you can get peace of mind with a sleep trial. During the trial, you can return the mattress for a refund. You can expect a sleep trial of 100 nights or more for most mattresses purchased online. 

For longer-term purchase protection, a mattress warranty entitles you to repairs or a replacement if your mattress is defective. Mattress warranties often last for 10 years or longer, but they do not cover standard wear and tear.

Is an Orthopedic Mattress Right for You?

An orthopedic mattress may be right for you if you want to improve your sleep posture, struggle with aches and pains, or participate in athletics or physically demanding work. You may also want an orthopedic mattress if you find that you’re unsatisfied with the comfort and support of your existing mattress. 

An orthopedic mattress may not be a good fit if you prefer an extra firm bed, have a very limited budget, or are already getting high-quality sleep with your existing mattress.

ProsCons
  • Pressure-relieving materials are designed to cushion “hot spots” and reduce aches and pains
  • Added support helps align the spine in a healthy sleep posture
  • Enhanced comfort and pain relief may contribute to more consistent and restful sleep
  • Prices can exceed the budget of some shoppers
  • May feel too soft for people who want an extra firm mattress
  • It can be challenging to sort through marketing claims to identify which mattresses are truly orthopedic

Discover More Mattress Solutions

Take a closer look at our buying guides to explore other top mattresses in different categories.

How We Test

We take orthopedic mattresses seriously. To make our recommendations, our testing team digs into all the available product data and then puts each mattress through a rigorous in-house testing process to find its benefits and drawbacks. 

Our testers have a deep background in sleep products, and each team member offers a unique perspective based on their weight, sleeping position, and personal preferences. 

With a combination of both objective and subjective ratings, our team formulates a list of the top-ranking orthopedic mattresses on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an orthopedic mattress?

An orthopedic mattress is built to accommodate the joints and spine and, in the process, provide support to the entire body. With added cushioning and pressure relief, an orthopedic mattress is intended to encourage a healthy sleep posture that reduces aches and pains.

Are orthopedic mattresses worth it?

Orthopedic mattresses are often worth the investment for people who have bothersome pain in the shoulders, hips, knees, or lower back. These mattresses can also be a great choice for older adults, athletes, or people who work in physically demanding jobs. 

For many sleepers, the right orthopedic mattress may prevent or minimize discomfort and make it easier to consistently get a good night’s sleep.

How firm should an orthopedic mattress be?

Most orthopedic mattresses range from medium (5) to firm (7), but the best firmness level for an orthopedic mattress depends on your physical needs, body weight, and sleeping position

Side sleepers, who have major pressure points at their hips and shoulders, often need a mattress with more cushioning. Back and stomach sleepers and people over 230 pounds generally get better support from a firmer mattress.

Where can you buy an orthopedic mattress?

You can buy an orthopedic mattress online or in a brick-and-mortar department store or mattress showroom. Buying online offers a wider selection and competitive prices. Most online mattresses also come with a sleep trial and free returns, which can be especially helpful in making sure that an orthopedic mattress properly cushions your joints and supports your body.

About The Author

Garen Glazier

Staff Writer, Product Testing Team


Garen is a health and lifestyle content creator. She realized the importance of sleep when her children made getting a good night’s rest more challenging. Garen is always learning something new about the wide world of sleep and sleep products. Married with two girls, ages 7 and 11, she is a book nerd and a lover of pop music, travel, and the Pacific Northwest.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Neutral Sleeper
  • CHRONOTYPE: Wolf

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