Do you wake up feeling stiff and sore? Do your joints ache even when you’re lying still? Does it take you a few minutes to muster up the strength to get out of bed and even longer to feel ready for the day?
- Memory foam and encased coils
- Comfort and support
- Multiple layers of memory foam
- Three models to choose from
Joint pain is extremely common but, for many, it isn’t severe enough to warrant emergency medical care. Chronic joint pain is often the result of a lingering illness or injury, though it may also be related to an underlying condition like arthritis or tendinitis.
Whether you’ve been experiencing joint pain for a few weeks or a few years, you may want to ask yourself if your mattress is to blame.
What is the Best Mattress for Joint Pains?
- Best Overall: Puffy
- Best Budget-Friendly: Leesa
- Best Luxury: Loom & Leaf
- Best Medium-Firm: Nectar
- Best Firm: Saatva
- Best Flippable: Layla
- Best Hybrid: Dreamcloud
- Best for Couples: Purple
- Best for Hot Sleepers: Bear
- Best for Pressure Relief: Helix
- Best for Spinal Alignment: Casper
- Best Plush: Nolah Signature
You spend roughly one-third of your life sleeping, so the wrong mattress can do a lot of harm. Without adequate support, you could spend 8 hours a night with your spine out of alignment and excess pressure on your joints – that’s enough to cause joint pain or to make pain from an existing issue worse.
If you’ve been wondering whether switching mattresses could improve your joint issues, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn the connection between joint pain and your mattress. You’ll also learn what to look for in a new mattress and see our top picks for the best mattress for joint pain.
What Causes Joint Pain?
Millions of people suffer from joint pain each year, with roughly 1 in 4 in the United States (about 15 million people) reporting severe joint pain caused by arthritis. Joints are the parts of your body where two bones meet, including your shoulders, hips, knees, and elbows. These major joints are where most joint pain occurs, though it varies from one individual to another.
The term “joint pain” covers a lot of ground but generally refers to soreness, aches, or discomfort in the joints. Though often the result of injury or illness, joint is, for many people, a chronic unexplained issue.
Here are some of the most common causes of joint pain:
- Osteoarthritis (OA) – The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the result of cartilage cushioning the joints wearing away over time – it typically develops in middle age.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – A chronic condition resulting from autoimmune disease, RA causes pain and swelling in the joints and may progress to joint deformity.
- Bursitis – Typically found in the knees, hips, elbows, or shoulders, bursitis is caused by overuse.
- Gout – A painful condition that typically affects the big toe, gout causes urate crystals to collect in the joint tissue, causing severe pain and swelling.
- Tendinitis – Often caused by overuse, tendonitis refers to inflammation of the tendons.
- Lupus – A chronic autoimmune condition that causes widespread inflammation, lupus often causes joint pain, body aches, and fatigue.
Understanding what’s causing your joint pain is the first step to resolving it. Talk to your doctor about your concerns so he can run the necessary tests to determine a diagnosis. Once you know the cause of your joint pain, you and your doctor can work together to choose the best form of treatment.
Depending what’s causing your joint pain, immediate relief may not be an option. In the meantime, however, you may want to consider whether your mattress is making your pain better or worse.
Are You Sleeping on the Wrong Mattress?
When you finally hit the pillow after a long day, all you want is to feel comfortable. Unfortunately, many of us spend an hour or more tossing and turning before we finally fall asleep. Though anxiety is a common cause of poor sleep, it’s just as likely that you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress.
Here are some of the symptoms of sleeping on the wrong mattress:
- Your mattress is more than 8 years old or you can’t remember how long you’ve had it.
- You wake up several times during the night to change positions
- Your mattress has started to sink in the middle or develop depressions on one side or the other.
- You wake up feeling stiff and sore, as if you’ve slept wrong or not at all
The age of your mattress is a dead giveaway – if you’ve been sleeping on it for 8 to 10 years, chances are it’s reached the end of its lifespan. Another sign is that you wake up feeling sore, achy, or unrested. Simply put, if you won’t wake up feeling good, you’re probably sleeping on the wrong mattress.
If any of these things sound familiar, it may be time to start shopping for a new mattress. Read on to learn what to look for!
Finding the Right Level of Firmness
When shopping for a mattress, you’ve probably done the sit test – you sit down on the mattress to see how it feels. You don’t spend one-third of your life sitting in bed, however, so this test probably won’t tell you much. You’ll need to lie down and, ideally, sleep on the mattress to really see what it’s like.
As you test out different mattresses, what you’re most likely to notice is the level of firmness. You may already know your preferences, but to what degree should you value preference over need? The key to finding the right level of firmness in a new mattress involves considering multiple factors including your sleeping style, your body weight, and current issues like joint pain.
Here are some tips for choosing the right firmness:
- On the universal comfort scale (1-10), a medium mattress between 6 and 7 works well for most people, offering a combination of sinkage and hug.
- If you sleep on your side, you may want a soft or medium mattress that contours to your curves, relieving pressure from the hips and shoulders.
- Stomach sleepers may prefer a medium or medium-firm mattress to prevent the hips from sinking, keeping the spine in proper alignment during sleep.
- Black sleepers should choose a mattress that supports their body weight to support proper spine alignment and relieve pressure.
- Women tend to prefer a slightly firmer mattress to support weight in the midsection, though a mattress too firm may not be comfortable for lighter sleepers.
- Heavier sleepers (over 200 pounds) require plenty of compression support – firmness is a preference but look for a mattress with a supportive base layer.
Deciphering the Different Mattress Types
A mattress is only as good as its materials and construction, and you really need both to be of high quality. High-quality materials won’t do much good if the construction of the mattress is poor, and vice versa. But how do you know what kind of mattress to buy?
Here are some of the most popular types of mattresses on the market:
- Innerspring – The classic mattress design, these models have a core made up of contiguous metal oils with a comfortable top layer made of foam or fibers.
- Memory Foam – These mattresses are typically made up of layers of low-, medium-, and high-density foams that conform to the body to relieve pressure.
- Latex – Similar to memory foam, latex conforms to the body but has a little more bounce.
- Pocket Coils – A type of innerspring mattress, this model features individually fabric-encased coils as the base layer – they provide support and comfort but don’t transfer motion.
- Pillow-Top – Many pillow-top mattresses are innerspring or coil mattresses with a padded layer on top for added comfort and luxury.
If you’re suffering from joint pain, you want to focus on mattresses that relief pressure points but provide enough support to keep your spine in alignment. The best mattress for pain relief will depend largely on your sleeping style – refer back to the tips from the previous section. The best mattress for side sleepers may be different from the best option for stomach and back sleepers.
When shopping for a new mattress, consider buying online. Online mattress companies offer competitive pricing and attractive risk-free trials, not to mention free shipping. Read on to see our top picks for the best mattress for osteoarthritis and other causes of joint pain.
The Best Mattress for Joint Pain
The perfect mattress for joint pain relief is one that provides the ideal combination of support and pressure relief. Pressure relief comes from plush materials like memory foam and latex, but you still need an underlying layer of support to keep your spine in proper alignment. That support can come from a higher density foam or from coils. There are plenty of options out there and we’ve done our best to provide you with our recommendations in a variety of categories to get you started.
Here are our top picks for the 12 best mattresses for joint pain:
Best Overall: Puffy (Price for Queen: $1,150) – The Puffy mattress is designed to relieve joint pain and back pain by reducing stress on pressure point. Regardless your sleeping type, the adaptive Cooling Cloud foam layer conforms to the body for even weight distribution and heat dissipation. This mattress keeps you cool and comfortable all night long, plus it is one of the more affordable options on the market.
Puffy offers three different models: Original, Lux, and Royal. Puffy Original is a 10-inch 3-layer mattress rated medium-firm while the Puffy Lux is a 12-inch, 4-layer mattress rated medium. Both feature climate-adaptive materials with balanced support and contouring. The newer Puffy Royal features a 5-layer multidirectional system that includes the unique SMT cloud design for superior airflow.
- Pros: Multiple layers of memory foam, three models to choose from, support and contouring
- Cons: May not be firm enough for heavyweight sleepers
Best Budget-Friendly: Leesa (Price for Queen: $999) – The benefit of online mattress companies that they eliminate the middleman, enabling them to offer lower prices directly to the customer. When it comes to budget-friendly options, the Leesa Original is our favorite for joint pain.
The Leesa Original mattress is an affordable 10-inch mattress made with 3 layers of premium foam and a soft, seamless fabric cover. On top you’ll find a comfort layer of breathable foam which delivers the optimal degree of hug and bounce followed by a recover layer of high-density poly foam. This layer contours the body, relieving pressure for joint pain relief. Finally, there’s a 6-inch layer of supportive memory foam to deliver support for every sleeping style.
- Pros: Affordable price, three-layer foam construction, ideal combination of hug and bounce
- Cons: Shorter warranty than some (10 years), may sleep to warm for some
Best Luxury: Loom & Leaf (Price for Queen: $1,599) – Because you spend nearly a third of your life in bed, it’s worth investing in something that’s going to feel good and last for years. The Loom & Leaf mattress by Saatva is our luxury pick. It’s a 12-inch mattress made with premium high-density memory foam, cooling gel, and an organic cotton cover. This mattress is often compared to the Tempur-Pedic but at a much more affordable price.
Not only is the Loom & Leaf mattress made with premium materials, but customers can choose from two firmness levels. The Relaxed Firm offers the “just right” level of comfort and support, rated between a 5 and 7 on the 10-point firmness scale. The Firm is rated at an 8 out of 10.
If you’re going for the ultimate luxury, you’ll be glad to know the Loom & Leaf mattress was designed to work with adjustable bases. In fact, the company offers their own Lineal Adjustable Base.
- Pros: Made with premium materials, two firmness levels to choose from, designed for adjustable bases
- Cons: Fairly expensive compared to many models, may be too firm for some users
Best Flippable: (Price for Queen: $999) – Layla Over the years, your preferences change and that could extend to your mattress. If you find yourself wanting a firmer mattress down the line, you could be stuck paying for a brand-new mattress or you could start with the Layla memory foam mattress.
The Layla mattress is a flappable mattress designed with a firm and a soft side. Both sides feature a luxurious fabric cover made with cooling Thermo-Gel technology that activates with body temperature. Next comes a layer of supportive copper-gel memory foam for variable support, with an internal layer of support core form for motion transfer control. On the soft side, you’ll also find a 2-inch layer of Max Airflow support foam for customized support and maximum cooling comfort.
- Pros: Flippable firm to soft, cooling gel foam layers, support core for motion transfer control
- Cons: Slow response foam may make it tough to change positions
Best Hybrid: Dreamcloud (Price Queen: $1,399) – When it comes to joint pain, you need a combination of support and pressure relief. Some find memory foam mattresses too soft but spring mattresses too hard. The DreamCloud is a hybrid mattress that offers the best of both worlds.
The DreamCloud is a luxury hybrid mattress that combines a quilted memory foam top and cashmere blend cover with three layers of premium foam and individually encased coils. This mattress comes in at a Luxury Firm (6.5/10), delivering the perfect balance of contouring comfort and pushback support for optimal pain relief. It works well for back, stomach, and side sleepers – even heavier sleepers.
- Pros: Memory foam and encased coils, comfort and support, luxury materials and design
- Cons: Hybrid mattresses tend to be fairly heavy
Best Medium-Firm: Nectar (Price for Queen: $1,198) – The Nectar mattress is “like sleeping on a cloud” and prices start under $500 for a twin. Though this mattress makes you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud, it isn’t overly soft – it comes in around 6.5 on the 10-point universal comfort scale. This makes it a medium-firm mattress.
Every Nectar mattress features a quilted memory foam mattress cover over a layer of gel memory foam. This layer distributes your weight and body heat for a cool, comfortable night of sleep. Next, a layer of adaptive memory foam delivers contouring support while the stabilizing base layer offers reinforcement. If you prefer a softer feel, Nectar also offers a 5-layer Lush model.
- Pros: Multi-layer foam construction, excellent pressure relief and motion isolation, affordable price
- Cons: May not be firm enough for heavy sleepers, foam may be slow to respond
Best for Couples: Purple (Price for Queen: $1,099) – If you sleep with a partner, there are two things to be concerned about: motion transfer and heat transfer. The Purple mattress features a unique pressure-relieving grid system that isolates motion and maximizes airflow so you and your partner are comfortable in both departments.
Not only is the Purple mattress great for couples, but it is perfect for joint pain sufferers as well. The grid system cradles your hips and shoulders while supporting your back, eliminating pressure points for optimal comfort. This mattress also has a SoftFlex cover designed for breathability with plenty of stretch to maximize the flexing properties of the Purple grid.
- Pros: Minimizes motion and heat transfer, support with pressure relief, breathable comfort
- Cons: Slightly smaller than standard size, limited edge support, fairly heavy at larger sizes
Best for Hot Sleepers: Bear (Price for Queen: $1,090) – Comfort is about more than just support – it also has to do with temperature regulation. It’s a common complaint that memory foam mattresses sleep hot, but the Bear mattress doesn’t. The Bear Pro model features advanced cooling, pressure-relieving copper foam for support and cooling comfort.
This mattress features four layers of foam with a breathable Celliant cover that helps speed muscle recovery. The top layer is made of copper-infused foam for a cooler, cleaner sleep, followed by a layer of gel memory foam to remove unwanted body heat. Next comes a layer of responsive transition foam for pressure relief and balanced support with a supportive layer of high-density foam as the base.
- Pros: Designed for cooling comfort, four layers of premium foam,
- Cons: May be too firm for some sleepers, may not be supportive enough for very heavy sleepers
Best for Pressure Relief: Helix (Pricefor Queen: $999) – If you sleep on your side, you may experience joint pain from increased pressure on the hips and shoulders. Even back and stomach sleepers can experience pain from sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t offer optimal pressure relief. The Helix mattress is the perfect solution.
The Helix mattress comes in six different models and three firmness levels as well as a model designed specifically tall and plus size sleepers. Choose a soft, medium, or firm feel and follow the recommendations on the Helix site to pick the perfect mattress for your sleeping style. The Helix Sunset (soft), Midnight (medium), and Twilight (firm) models offer optimal pressure relief for side sleepers.
- Pros: Many options to choose from, optimal pressure relief, affordable price point
- Cons: Sleeps warmer than some mattresses, may not be supportive enough for heavy sleepers
Best for Spinal Alignment: Casper (Price for Queen: $2,595) – Support is the key to spinal alignment and to all-night comfort, even for joint pain sufferers. The Casper Wave Hybrid mattress is specifically designed to provide advanced support with targeted gel pods delivering it right where you need it most.
In addition to delivering the support you need, the Casper Wave Hybrid mattress features a combination of breathable foam, cooling gel, and resilient springs. This mattress is designed with a firmer border for improved edge support with gel pods under the waist and lower back. It also incorporates several layers of AirScape perforated foam for airflow to ensure a cool, comfortable night’s sleep.
- Pros: Uniquely designed for spine alignment, hybrid design promotes airflow, 3 layers of foam
- Cons: Significantly more expensive than many models, hybrid design can be heavy
Best Plush: Nolah (Price for Queen: $1,569) – If you’re looking for a mattress company that provides options, start with Nolah. In addition to their Original and Signature models, Nolah offers a limited edition of each.
The Nolah Signature is our top pick for the best plush mattress for joint pain. Also rated the best mattress for side sleepers by Mattress Advisor and Slumber Yard, this 12-inch mattress combines deep support with cooling comfort and a luxurious organic cotton cover. This mattress features a 7-inch layer of high-density breathable base foam and a support layer of high-resilience foam. The top and bottom layers are made of AirFoam, one side extra-thick for superior pressure relief, and the other firm and supportive. This is a great option if you want a plush mattress, but you don’t want to be trapped later if you change your preferences and need a little more support.
To make sure you love it, the Nolah Signature mattress comes with a 120-night trial and a lifetime warranty. You’ll also receive free shipping and returns.
- Pros: Two-sided design to choose firmness, cooling foam for comfort, 120-night trial period
- Cons: May not be a good choice for heavyweight sleepers, somewhat pricier than other options
Best Firm: Saatva (Price for Queen: $1,299 or $2,884) – If you’re a heavy sleeper or simply prefer a firmer feel, Saatva offers several models to choose from. The affordable Saatva Classic is a luxury hybrid innerspring mattress that comes in three firmness levels: Plush Soft (3), Luxury Firm (5-7), and Firm (8). This mattress features a quilted Euro pillow top and an organic cotton cover with perimeter edge support and individually wrapped coils.
The Saatva HD mattress is a good choice for bigger bodies, rated at Luxury Firm and uniquely designed for people weighing 300 to 500 pounds. This mattress features a luxury hybrid innerspring design with plush upper layers and a high-durability coil base. It works well for every type of sleeper.
For those who prefer the feel of a firm memory foam mattress, consider the Loom & Leaf mattress sold by Saatva. This multi-layer foam mattress comes in a Relaxed Firm (5-7) or Firm (8).
- Pros: Two models to choose from with multiple firmness levels, luxury hybrid construction
- Cons: Hybrid mattresses tend to be fairly heavy, pricier than many options on the market
Though you may feel like you spend most of your life at work, the reality is that one-third of your life is actually spent in bed. You may not be conscious for most of that time, but your body feels the effects of all those hours – investing in a quality mattress makes a difference!
If you suffer from joint pain, choosing the right mattress becomes even more important. Not only should you think about what type of mattress you want and what materials it should be made from, but you should consider the firmness level as well. The best mattress for pain relief will support your body and spine while providing pressure relief according to your sleeping style.
Choosing a new mattress can be tough, especially if you’re shopping online. Take what you’ve learned here to make a smart choice and consider our recommendations above to get started!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What type of mattress is best for joint pain? – When it comes to the best mattress for pain relief, it really depends on your sleeping style. You want a mattress that relieves pressure but also provides support for optimal spine alignment. The best mattress for side sleepers may be a little softer than one for stomach or back sleepers. Memory foam and latex materials are good choices because they contour to the body. Hybrid mattresses combine foam with an innerspring base which may offer a little more support without sacrificing comfort and motion isolation.
- Can a bad mattress cause joint pain? – The most common cause of joint pain is arthritis which results from wear-and-tear on the cartilage cushioning your joints. A bad mattress won’t cause you to develop arthritis or other causes of joint pain, but it could make that pain worse. An unsupportive mattress may allow your spine to fall out of alignment during sleep which could put extra pressure on your back and joints. The best mattress for back pain may also be the best mattress for joint pain – it’s all about support.
- Is memory foam good for arthritis? – Yes, memory foam mattresses are very popular among arthritis sufferers. Memory foam conforms to the body’s contours, providing pressure point relief where needed without compromising on support. Depending on the types of foam used and the thickness of the layers, you can find a memory foam mattress in just about any firmness level to suit your preferences.
- Is a firm or soft mattress better for arthritis? – The answer to this question isn’t as simple as “firm” or “soft.” The best mattress for osteoarthritis will have some give to it – the upper layers should conform to the body’s contours, relieving pressure from the joints. At the same time, it needs a supportive base to keep your body supported and your spine in alignment. You’ll do best with a medium to medium-firm mattress, depending on your sleeping style.
- Why does arthritis hurt more at night? – Many people find their arthritis pain worsens at night. One reason could be that natural cortisol levels drop at night – cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone. Another reason is that staying in one position may cause your joints to stiffen up. If you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress, increased pressure on the joints combined with lack of support could make matters worse.