Arthritis-related joint pain is no joke. It affects millions around the world, and as our population ages, it’s become a reality for tons of folks just looking for a good night’s sleep. Rheumatoid arthritis impedes movement, causes chronic pain, and in many cases leads to joint swelling.
That makes a comfortable sleep an almost impossible feat. When you don’t sleep well, you can’t recover, which is why so many older people are in pain and suffering -- it’s a vicious cycle. So what can you do? We went on a mission to find the best mattress for arthritis pain. Whether it’s your neck, hip, knee, lower back, or you’re just feeling the aches and pains of getting older, you’ll find something that suits your needs and makes sleeping a pleasure again -- and not a pain.
We get it, you’re on the hunt for the best mattresses for osteoarthritis sufferers that can help alleviate your arthritis symptoms and get you back to sleeping like a kid again. You need a guide, an expert even.
Good news: We are bedding experts. In our work, we’ve compared hundreds of cushions, ranking them in every conceivable category for this site. In that time we’ve come across many that are specifically comfy for folks with arthritis and rheumatoid pain. Here’s the thing: every bed isn’t giving you the same benefits, that’s why we’ve come up with:
Three reasons why you need a great mattress if you’re suffering from arthritic pain.
Our own in-depth reviews of the top three models we feel are worth your hard-earned money.
A short guide to shopping for beds that will give you joint pain relief.
We’re not going to bore you with too much technical jargon, but here are three reasons that you absolutely need a great mattress if you’re feeling the effects of arthritis and age.
Pressure Relief: Joint pain is a symptom of inflammation. If you’ve experienced swelling or inflammation as part of your arthritis, you know that it can be extremely pressure-sensitive. If your mattress causes pressure points to become inflamed in the hips or shoulders it can aggravate your rheumatoid arthritis pain. You need a sleeping surface that provides a layer of relief for every area equally. It’s so important to keep that pressure off your joints.
Spinal Alignment: While support is important, you don’t want your mattress to be too soft or it could affect the curve of your spine. When that happens, your joints rest unevenly, either spaced apart or crunched together -- which can lead to more pain. That means that under that top comfort/soft layer, you’ll need some firm support to make sure that your spine lines up. Not only that, if you sink in too deep, you’re more likely to be stuck in one position -- exacerbating your morning stiffness and causing more pain.
Personal Comfort: Sleep is about recovery. You can only sleep well when you’re comfortable. Not only are you experiencing differing arthritis symptoms, but those symptoms could be unique to your sleeping style: back, stomach, or side. We can help you find something that caters to your own preferences, while at the same time helping you relieve some of the normal nighttime pain symptoms that come with being an older person.
Stick around for more info in the How-to-shop section, but for now, here are the three best mattresses if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
Best on a Budget
BEST ON A BUDGET
This is one of our most affordable mattresses for arthritis sufferers, and it comes from the good people at Dreamfoam. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly bed that still gets great ratings for comfort and rheumatoid support, then look no further. We like it because it provides a lot of bang for your buck. It’s got 10” thickness, plus cooling gel features that don’t usually make an appearance in a mattress this inexpensive. So why have you included this brand as a “best mattress for people with arthritis”? Because that gel is just the tip of the mattress iceberg.
Delivery & Unpacking: This is an all-foam mattress that is specifically made for nighttime arthritis pain. It is easy to ship, coming in a small container that expands once you open it in your bedroom. Most buyers loved this feature and commented on how easily they could bring it into the bedroom to set it up in comparison to traditional beds. The lightweight packaging is ideal for arthritis sufferers who don’t do well with heavy or bulky packages. This only matters if it’s a good bed once it’s unpacked, and luckily for you, this is really where the Arctic Dreams bed becomes one of the most recommended beds for arthritis sufferers.
Three Layers of Foam: There are three distinct layers of foam which each provide a specific benefit. The base is 6.5” block of firm support foam that supports your spinal posture while also providing structure to the bed. The middle layer is 3” which supplies pressure relief and comfort. The top is a .75” pillow layer which provides some plushness, even as it seems thin. We actually liked that the top layer is relatively shallow. It gives you that extra bit of relief, plus a gentle joint contact without being so deep that you sink into the bed.
Back and Side Sleepers Love it: This bed gets good ratings from both back and side sleepers. The relatively thick comfort layer makes this an affordable option for either one. Buyers said that it was firm, but felt like it hugged their hips and shoulders in a way that provided good pressure relief. Arthritis sufferer who used the Arctic Dream said they could sleep easier for the first time in years!
Gel Beads: A relatively new technology, this mattress has gel beads integrated into the middle 3” comfort layer. Gel beads help re-distribute body heat, thus keeping you cooler overnight. Sleepers in warm places like California and Florida said that they had no issues getting to sleep or staying comfortable. That’s a big deal if you’re a warm sleeper, and something you won’t find in other budget foam models.
Responsive Foam: This mattress uses Energex foam to create a balance between the responsiveness of latex and the pressure relief of older “visco” memory foam. It responds quickly, which means that you’ll be able to move easily at night but doesn’t sacrifice even weight distribution. We like that if you’re experiencing pain from rheumatoid arthritis or general hip pain because it moves easily, but still gives that all-important support.
Made in the US and Certi-Pur certified: This mattress is certified to be free of harmful chemicals. This certification also means that a lower amount of VOC’s is off-gassed compared to other mattresses in this price range. Buyers reported that they were reassured about buying an Arctic Dream over other imported budget mattresses because they knew it was manufactured to be safe for use and produced with low-emissions.
10-Year Warranty: That’s a huge bonus. ‘Nuff said.
Support isn’t Universal: Some buyers weren’t thrilled by a perceived lack of support. According to the manufacturer themselves, it is considered “medium” firm but classified on feedback from reviewers, we’d say it’s more “medium-firm.” On the other hand, the comfort layer is on the thick side for what we look at in a typical mattress for arthritis relief, so take that for what it’s worth. Some reviewers also mentioned that they didn’t feel as if there was enough “backbone” to the mattress. It seems to be a good choice for people who are most comfortable with a fair amount of pressure relief, as opposed to a completely firm mattress.
Some smell: While it isn’t as bad as some, you’ll have to let any foam bed air out for a few hours (up to a full day) before the off-gassing smell dissipates. Some folks were disappointed that the Certi-Pur labeling didn’t mean it was completely odor-free.
Far and away the best bed for arthritis in the knee, hip, neck, and lower back, the Tuft and Needle brand is fast becoming the go-to best mattress for arthritis sufferers. The only model from the brand, Tuft & Needle receives almost universal praise from just about everybody. We feel that one of its biggest strengths is its firmer feel, which is ideal for arthritis sufferers. As you’ll read in the listing, it’s not quite memory foam, but also not a traditional foam either. It’s a new hybrid that has the responsiveness of memory foam with a slightly more apparent structure -- like you’d experience on a traditional foam mattress. We think all of this makes it an excellent choice for most sleepers who experience arthritis or hip pain at night.
Firmness: This one is a bit firmer than the DreamFoam. It’s classified as a “firm” mattress, which most buyers agreed with. It does offer pressure relief, but it’s definitely on the firmer, more supportive end of the spectrum. We think it’s ideal for the vast majority of arthritis sufferers since it gives you much more spinal support than other mattresses in this genre. You’ll never feel like you’re sinking in or that you have too much of spinal curvature on the Tuft & Needle.
Proprietary foams: This mattress is made from a unique mix of proprietary foams that are different from anything else on the market. There’s a 3” comfort layer that feels like memory foam. It adapts to your body’s contours, but it’s designed to feel a little more bounceback and responsiveness, like latex. The 7” support block is much more heavy duty than a lot of other foam beds, which means that not only is it supportive, it’s also durable and will hold up better for heavy sleepers. It’s extremely high-density, which manifests in a fairly heavy mattress.
Fan Favorite: Buyers raved about the combination of firm support and pressure relief. They said it was supportive without being too hard. Folks with hip and shoulder pain were especially grateful for the ability to sleep soundly for the first time in years.
Extremely popular: This is one of the most popular mattresses on the market. Tuft & Needle have made a name for themselves in the mattress game. They’re rated extremely well by professional testers and consumers. Those high ratings cut across sleep styles, from side to back to stomach. Popularity doesn’t always equate to quality, but in this case, we’d agree with the general public. This mattress is a winner.
Isolated Motion: This is a bed that’s excellent for people who sleep with a partner. Isolated motion means that you can get into or out of bed without disturbing the other person. That’s extremely rare in a bed that costs under $1000.
Cool Sleeping: It sleeps cooler than the Dreamfoam. That’s thanks to the integration of charcoal and cooling gel, all of which are hypoallergenic and sealed away from contact.
Made in the US, No Off-Gassing: It’s made domestically and is also CertiPur certified. Additionally, it’s OEKO-TEX certified, making sure it’s safe in both the foam and the glues that go into construction. We love that Tuft & Needle doesn’t use chemical flame retardants. Instead, they use a special fabric casing which meets fire prevention codes without having to use any off-gassing. No more nasty fumes
100 Day Trial Period: This mattress has one of the longest comfort guarantee periods in the industry. You get 100 full nights to test out your new mattress to make sure that it works. Additionally, they have a 10-year warranty.
High Marks across the board: Reviewers gave Tuft & Needle extremely high ratings for customer service. While it’s not normal, that’s important in the case of a slightly wonky mattress (if it didn’t expand properly, or smelled funny, or whatever). The vast majority of five-star reviews showed that these mishaps are exceedingly rare, but we do love it when a company steps up their game in the customer service department. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with acute pain like arthritis. You can rest easy knowing that if this isn’t the perfect fit after three months, you could still get your money back.
The price: This is twice the price of the DreamFoam. While reviewers were almost universal in its praise, the Tuft & Needle is still essentially a midrange choice. That means it might not be accessible to all buyers. On the other hand, it has much better longevity than other budget options and receives much more consistently positive reviews.
Could be too firm: Again, this is determined by choice. It is significantly firmer than DreamFoam. It has a 3” layer of comfort foam, but that foam is supposed to be more responsive than pillowy. It also doesn’t have DreamFoam’s pillow topper. That means it may not be a good choice for side sleepers, though most found it comfortable. If you need a little extra cushion, you might consider using this with a topper.
Only one model: Tuft & Needle only make one type of mattress, so there aren’t really options to choose from. While we don’t usually recommend one-size-fits-all models for acute pain symptoms, we’re recommending this model because of the overwhelmingly positive reviews. That doesn’t mean it’s for everyone, luckily the 100 day trial period should let you know if you’re in that group or not.
If you’re looking for our top quality recommendation for sleepers with arthritis across the board, it has to be the EcoTerra Latex and Spring Hybrid. The manufacturer describes this as a “medium” mattress, and we’d agree. It seems to fit somewhere between the softer DreamFoam and the firmer Tuft & Needle on our firmness scale. Not only that, it has a latex upper layer which is ideal for arthritis sufferers, while also adding a spring underbody which can help with durability.
It’s just an all-around great mattress, and it’s still under $1000.
Great Middle Ground: We mentioned this already, but the fact that it’s between the medium-firm DreamFoam and the quite-firm Tuft & Needle makes the Eco Terra mattress extremely appealing and durable.
Superior Latex Layer: This mattress has a latex layer for pressure relief instead of the more popular (and less expensive) memory foam. You can feel that this is a high-quality construction from the get-go, which adds some extra bounciness instead of squishiness. This latex top layer is extremely responsive. We love latex for arthritis since it’s able to form to your body while still giving you a significant bounce factor. That’s going to keep you from sinking or feeling like you’re stuck.
Eco-Friendly: The latex materials used also have Oeko-Tex standard 100 certifications -- important if you care about low-emissions and safer memory foam.
Iso-movement: Like the Tuft & Needle, the Eco Terra isolates movement, meaning you can sleep with a partner without disturbing them. Instead of memory foam, this mattress utilizes individually-wrapped spring coils. These coils respond independently of each other, which keeps that movement isolated and prevents it from spreading across the bed.
Durability: The spring layer is more durable than most support foams. According to Eco Terra, this means it lasts 26% longer without developing sags.
Better Edge Support: Springs mean that you get better edge support which is typically the weak point of an all-foam mattress like either of the above choices. The Eco Terra has firmer springs at the edges, making sure that it’s not too hard to get out of in the morning. That’s a big advantage for folks who suffer from joint stiffness.
Great reviews: Reviewers scored the Eco Terra extremely well. They found it relieved back and hip pain in all positions. They enjoyed many of the above features and said that the is mattress was supple, but flexible where it needed to be. In some cases, buyers even reported that this was the first mattress to make them feel comfortable at a price point under the $3000 brand name models.
Hypoallergenic: While both of the other mattresses were perfectly safe and healthy, they’re still made from synthetic foam. This can cause an allergic reaction in a certain segment of the population. The EcoTerra uses natural latex and green-certified fabric to make it the most hypoallergenic of the bunch.
Organic Cotton: The outer layer of this mattress is actually made with organic cotton, certified by the GOTS organization. THis means it has no chemical smell out of the box, an obvious advantage over synthetic foam compounds.
Made in the US: Like both of the other mattresses, this one is made in the US and ships to you in a conveniently rolled package. There’s the 30-day comfort guarantee and a 15-year full warranty, meaning that it’s five years longer than either of the other two beds.
Not Totally Polyurethane Free: While it is mostly all-natural, this mattress isn’t totally free of polyurethane foam. Some is contained in the base, as well as surrounding the spring coils. One reviewer believed that this mattress built up heat around those pressure points.
Natural Latex Sleeps Warmer: While this is true, the vast majority of reviewers didn’t report any issues.
Most Expensive: While it is the most expensive of the three (costing close to $1000) it does come with an excellent reputation, durability, and provides the best relief for arthritis pain.
Arthritis sufferers should sleep on a bed that’s in the “firm” category, with lots of support and stability. You’re not looking for cushions or pillow-like sensibilities. The best mattresses for people with arthritis have a top layer of comfort for contouring around the shoulders and hips, but still provide firm support to keep the spine straight and support the joints.
Staying still at night can amplify the stiffness and soreness you experience in the morning. That’s why you want a mattress to be firm enough to easily move around in. That’s a huge reason to avoid plush memory foams. You’re not looking to cocoon your body, making it harder to get out of a plush indentation and unable to move. For some people that cocooning might lead to deeper sleep, but if you’re a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer it will prevent you from stretching overnight. You should always aim for the firmer end of the spectrum, with just enough comfort layer to allow for a pillow-like contour of problem areas in the hips and shoulders.
The trickiest balance to strike is between relieving pressure on your joints and keeping your spine in alignment and your other joints supported. Instead of looking at thick layers of “comfort” foam, look for mattresses that use support foam or springs. You shouldn’t have more than three inches of comfort foam -- especially if you’re a side sleeper. The layered foam and hybrid models often tend to strike the best balance for most arthritis sufferers.
Make sure your hips and shoulders can sink into the bed, but without allowing your spine to curve. The easiest way to find the right balance is by actually lying on the mattress and have someone else look to see if your spine is straight. That’s why these sleep-trials are such an important component of the mattress buying process.
Depending on your preference, ventilation can be the key to sleeping with arthritis. If a bit of reflected body heat helps your joints, you may actually enjoy memory foam or latex sleeping surfaces. If you think that heat buildup aggravates your sleep schedule, it’s better to go with a gel layer or some other ventilation technology that can dissipate and spread that heat.
Arthritis symptoms can manifest differently depending on who experiences them, so no matter how well a mattress might work for one person, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. That’s why we recommend buying beds from companies with generous return windows and extended comfort guarantees. Shoot for at least thirty days for a free-trial.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, don’t fret. It’s out there. Head over to our homepage, or try this link to see more overall favorites that might be the bed for you.
Which of these mattresses will give you the best relief for your arthritis?
In a nutshell, the Dreamfoam is by far the most budget-friendly mattress. We recommend it to people who can’t afford to spend a ton of money on a new mattress. It gives you lots of pressure relief and is significantly higher in quality than other budget options. The downside is it might not last as long as our other recommendations and it can skew a bit on the fluffy side.
The Tuft & Needle is our recommendation for most people with arthritis. It sits in an extremely reasonable midrange price point, and it’s highly rated by a wide range of sleepers. It’s ideal for people who see the most relief on a firm mattress, especially if you happen to be a side sleeper. On the other hand, if you need a little more cushion you’ll probably want to look at the Eco Terra.
The Eco Terra is the best of the three in terms of overall comfort. It strikes a clear balance between support and cushion -- better than either of the other two. While the price point is clearly the highest, we recommend it to anyone who can afford it. Sure it’s expensive, but it’s worth the price you’re paying to get the best quality mattress on the market.