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Best Mattresses for Back Pain

Compare pain-relieving mattresses.
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Different Mattress Types for Back Pain

“Depending on the level of your back pain, you may prefer either a memory foam mattress or an innerspring. Memory foam beds are typically better for relieving chronic pain as they do a better job of contouring to the shape of your body. Innerspring mattresses provide firmer support that can adequately relieve your back pain as well. The deciding factor is what you prefer based on your level of pain,” says Dr. Navin Ramchandani, MD.

Hybrid 

Hybrid mattresses are made of layers on top of a coil base. These are some of the best mattresses for those with back pain because they have a good amount of contouring to the body along with adequate support. Depending on what these mattresses are topped with, they have a decent amount of bounce and are easy to move around on.

Memory Foam

Memory Foam mattresses, such as the Leesa mattress, range in how they feel more than just about any other mattress. They have a great amount of give for the body to have a close contour in many spots. As long as memory foam mattresses are not too soft, they are usually good options for those with back pain, especially lower back pain since it can fill in the lumbar region. These mattresses are also typically good for those with hip and neck pain as well.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are often referred to as “traditional” mattresses. They are made up of a coil base and are have a comfort top layer that is thinner than a hybrid mattress. These mattresses are very supportive and provide a lot of back pain relief.

Latex

Latex mattresses have gained popularity for their “all-natural” qualities, and their pressure point relief. Latex is naturally breathable and offers very sturdy support, making it good for those with all types of back pains. Some brands, like GhostBed, mix a latex cover with another material, giving you the best of both worlds.

Other Things To Consider When Sleeping With Back Pain

While relief from chronic back pain may be your primary concern, there are other factors you’ll want to consider before you make your final decision. Here are some other components you may want to look for in a mattress when you’re narrowing down your options.

Mattress Firmness 

Another important factor in reducing back pain is mattress’ firmness. Firmness varies from person to person and mattress to mattress. You might prefer a firm mattress or a medium-firm mattress, like Nectar. You may want a combination of both. Perhaps a firm, supportive mattress with an added top comfort layer would be the perfect solution for you.

Again, if you’re not sure which is best, you can always try some before you make your final choice. According to Dr. Navin Ramchandani, “If relieving back pain is your main concern when it comes to finding a mattress, an overly soft mattress may provide too much cushioning, and not enough support to ease your pain. Firmer mattresses usually provide the proper support needed to relieve back pain.”

Sleeping Position

The position you prefer to sleep in should definitely be a consideration when choosing a mattress. Whether you prefer to sleep on your side, your stomach, your back or a combination of positions, there is a mattress for you that will also provide pain relief for your back. In fact, many are engineered to support a variety of sleep positions, like Casper.

Motion Transfer

If you plan to share your bed, you’ll want a mattress that minimizes motion transfer, like Layla. That way, you and your partner won’t be woken up every time one of you has to get out of bed or change positions. If this aspect is important to you, you’ll want to find a mattress that has characteristics designed to eliminate motion transfer.

Temperature

Are you a hot sleeper? Many older styles and cheap mattresses tend to retain heat. If you want cooling comfort in addition to pressure relief for your back, you’ll want to invest in a mattress designed for cooling, like GhostBed. Many of the newer types of foam used in high-quality mattresses are engineered to keep you cooler.

Edge Support

If you sleep near the edge of your mattress or sit on the edge of the bed often, you’ll want a mattress with good edge support. If this is particularly important, you may want to opt for an innerspring mattress as foam mattresses, by nature, don’t offer great edge support. If you’re planning to purchase an innerspring mattress, I recommend looking for a mattress with upgraded foam encasement around the edge as opposed to the old-fashioned steel rods on the side.

Conclusion

Since you will spend a third of your life in bed, your mattress should be a good investment, particularly if you suffer from back pain. The right mattress can provide good support, relieve chronic back pain, and provide the restful sleep you need to have energy throughout the day.

Choose a mattress that is specifically designed to treat your type of pain whether it is upper back, lower back, or hip pain. And while that may be the most important factor, it isn’t the only factor. You’ll also want to take into account your preferred sleep position and mattress type. Finally, there are other factors that might be important such as motion transfer, temperature, and edge support.

I’ve recommended mattresses that I feel could help with back problems, but your experience may be different from mine. The good news is that most mattress companies now offer sleep trial periods so you can be sure it’s the best match for you.

As Featured On

We take a lot of naps.  It’s tough work, but someone has to do it!  In all seriousness, we put these mattresses through the wringer.  We evaluate on a myriad of different factors including pressure relief, spine alignment, motion transfer, and cooling/airflow.

Not only is the mattress itself important, but so is the purchasing process.  We take into account the ease of ordering, how shipping is handled, the ease of setup, and overall customer service.

We set try to make the mattress buying experience simple, stress-free, and maybe even a little fun.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best type of mattress?

Mattresses are not one size fits all.  There are a lot of factors to think about.  What position do you sleep in?  Do you sleep alone or with a partner? Are you generally hot or cold when you sleep? Do you like to sink or prefer a firmer surface? The reality is, it’s going to come down to personal preference.  Luckily for you, there are tons of options to choose from.

How often should you replace your mattress?

That is a highly subjective question.  It really depends on the type and brand of mattress that you have.  Like most goods, mattresses range in quality.  A high quality mattress should last upwards of 10 years before it starts breaking down and losing it’s structural integrity.  Unfortunately, there are many mattresess that only last a few years.  Generally speaking, it may be a good time to start thinking about a new bed every 5 or so years.

Do I need a boxspring?

Well, you need to put the mattress on something. But you have options.  Anything that is sturdy and offers support may work, even if that is the floor!  A platform bed is another popular option, especially if you like a lower height of the mattress surface.  If you don’t mind spending some extra cash and want some flexibility, check out an adjustable base.  These will allow you raise one or both sides of the mattress to help find a comfortable position, or to making watching TV easier (although watching TV before bed is not recommended!).