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The mattress you sleep on matters: “Even if you’re not currently having back pain, using a proper mattress can prevent chronic back pain in the future,” says Johns Hopkins-educated spinal and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo, who heads up the The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care. And for him, that proper mattress is also one that’s very affordable: The Cocoon by Sealy Chill memory foam mattress ($800 with a 100-night free trial, plus two free pillows).

The Cocoon by Sealy Chill memory foam mattress is a medium-firm memory foam mattress that dissipates heat to allow for cooler sleep — that Okubadejo likes because it provides his back with stability when sleeping, but also allows him to sink slightly into the bed for a comfortable night’s sleep. “Too-firm mattresses may be too stiff to allow the spine to curve naturally,” says Okubadejo, who specializes in the treatment of degenerative spinal disease, spinal deformity and cervical, lumbar and thoracic conditions.

LEARN MORE: Cocoon by Sealy Chill memory foam mattress ($800 with a 100-night free trial, plus two free pillows)

Indeed, memory foam mattresses help keep the spine aligned by supporting the shoulders and neck, which reduces the risk of back and neck pain as a result of poor sleeping positions, according to a 2017 study released in the Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “A mattress should hug the curves of your body and fill the gap under your lower back when lying down,” says Okubadejo. However, you shouldn’t shrink too far into the mattress as that can put unwanted pressure on certain areas of your body. 

A good way to determine whether your mattress is providing adequate support is to see if it takes a little bit of time for the mattress to form to your body when you switch positions. And don’t be fooled by a mattress’s price tag. “A more expensive mattress does not necessarily mean that it is better for you. Instead, choose a mattress that feels the most comfortable,” says Okubadejo. 

LEARN MORE: Cocoon by Sealy Chill memory foam mattress ($800 with a 100-night free trial, plus two free pillows)

Other mattresses that professional reviewers recommend for back pain include:

Saatva Classic (Luxury Firm), $1,374


Wirecutter lists this as their top pick for people with back pain because it pairs a classic innerspring bounce with a cushy Euro top that doesn’t give too much when you lay on it. According to their review, “The pocketed coils, quilted polyfoam and a touch of memory foam conform to your curves and support your spine.”
Learn more: Saatva Classic (Luxury Firm), $1,374

Leesa Hybrid, $1,524


This hybrid mattress earns top marks from Wirecutter for offering a “loose, pressure-relieving cuddle over an all-out body-confirming hug.” They note that it’s neither too hard nor too soft, and likely to support any sleeping position.
Learn more: Leesa Hybrid, $1,524

Amerisleep H2 Hybrid, $1,014


CNet lists this as the overall best mattress for back pain as it was designed specifically for a sleeper who requires back pain relief. It’s made using a proprietary memory foam called Bio-Pur that’s supposed to be more responsive and breathable than traditional memory foam.
Learn more: Amerisleep H2 Hybrid, $1,014