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Looking for the best mattress for back pain? We’ve got you covered.
Back pain can be crippling, both physically and mentally.
Recent studies show that more than 80% of Americans will experience some form of lower back pain in their lifetime, with the problem affecting more women than men.
Having a bad back can have a hugely negative impact on our daily lives, interfering with our ability to work or complete every day tasks, exercise, and of course — sleep.
So what’s causing all the pain?
Back pain can stem from many causes: as a result of injury, growing older, poor posture or a badly designed work space, and lack of exercise. However, one of the most common causes of back pain is sleeping on the wrong mattress.
We’ve compiled this guide to help you tackle this problem head on — and make sure that you have the perfect mattress for your back pain from here on out.
Let’s get straight into it…
- 1 Can a Mattress Cause Back Pain?
- 2 Features of the Best Mattresses for Back Pain
- 3 Are Mattress Toppers Good for Back Pain?
- 4 Mattress for Back Pain Cost Guide
- 5 The Best Mattresses for Back Pain
Can a Mattress Cause Back Pain?
Aching muscles, stiff necks, stabbing lower back or shoulder pain — there are many different types of back pain.
Lower back and neck pain are the most widely suffered kinds of back pain (in fact lower back discomfort is the single leading cause of disability worldwide), and in many cases the culprit is — you guessed it — a bad mattress.
No matter what position we sleep in, it is vital that our spines stay correctly aligned throughout the night.
If you’re waking up every day in pain, it’s likely that your mattress simply isn’t doing its job. Lumpy mattresses or mattresses that are too firm or too soft won’t give the total length of your spine enough support, twisting your bones and joints into uncomfortable positions and resulting in poor quality sleep and potential damage to joints, muscles, ligaments, internal organs, and more.
Likewise, mattresses with springs or mattresses that are too thin perform poorly in the battle against back pain.
Features of the Best Mattresses for Back Pain
What Materials are Best?
Memory foam mattresses are a good choice for back pain sufferers.
They mold to the curves of your body to give a good level of support, while simultaneously alleviating stress on pressure points to ensure a good level of comfort.
The drawback to memory foam is that is can sleep hot, so try to choose a cooling gel infused foam for best quality sleep.
Mattresses made from natural materials such as latex also have the same molding and ‘spring back’ qualities as memory foam, but are better than synthetic mattresses as they are hypoallergenic and free from chemicals.
Will a Firm Mattress Help Back Pain?
While many people believe that a firm mattress will help back pain, most experts state that in fact a medium firm mattress is best for people with back pain.
Having said that, back pain is a personal issue, and the level of firmness you require will depend on the type of back pain you have, your preferred sleeping position, your weight, and what makes you feel most comfortable.
It’s worth spending a bit extra to get a thicker mattress with good edge support.
Thicker mattresses are much more comfortable, provide a higher level of support, and lower the risk of sagging over time or you rolling out of bed during the night.
Choose a mattress with minimal motion transfer — particularly if you sleep with a partner — so as you shift position during sleep it won’t disturb you or your night time companion.
A mattress that can be flipped is also a good choice as it usually ensures greater longevity.
Are Mattress Toppers Good for Back Pain?
If you don’t have enough money to invest in a decent mattress, a mattress topper can be a good compromise for people with bad backs.
Designed to lie on top of your existing mattress, toppers are usually made from memory foam. Toppers with higher density foam are more expensive, but are more effective at alleviating back pain.
Choosing a gel infused memory foam mattress topper will help you sleep cooler and more comfortably.
Mattress for Back Pain Cost Guide
Thanks to many recent advances in mattress technology, high quality mattresses are becoming ever more affordable.
In addition, buying directly from the manufacturer online saves you the additional expenses charged by retail outlets to cover their costs.
The downside to this is that you don’t have the opportunity to test out the mattress before you buy, but thankfully many mattresses available online are covered by a trial period, so if you find after sleeping on them for a while that you don’t like them, you can send them back and receive a refund or replacement without any risk.
The price range of mattresses for back pain is varied, and it’s possible to purchase a reasonable mattress for anything from a few hundred bucks upwards, or at the other end of the scale a luxury mattress for thousands.
A mid-range mattress priced around the $1000 mark is ideal.
The Best Mattresses for Back Pain
People have been raving about the Casper mattress range since they first appeared on the scene in 2014, and it’s easy to see why.
The signature Casper Sleep Memory Foam Mattress has a ton of great features.
Ten inches thick, it’s composed of 4 different levels of foam for maximum comfort and pressure relief. The base layer is 5 inches of high density support foam which is then followed by 1.5 inches of transition foam to increase stability and make the mattress feel springy, 1.5 inches of memory foam to mould to your body, and topped with 1.5 inches of breathable open cell foam for temperature regulation and added bounce, all wrapped up in a soft polyester cover.
The foams used in the Casper Mattress are all Certi-Pur certified, so you can rest assured that they are free from any nasty chemicals. This mattress is medium firm and comes with a risk free 100 night trial and a 10 year warranty.
- Medium-firm texture is perfect for managing back pain
- Incredibly comfortable
- Contours well to the body
- Excellent level of support
- Relieves pressure points
- Softer foam in hip and shoulder areas is good for side sleepers
- Sleeps cool
- Available in a choice of different sizes
- Not the best edge support we’ve ever seen
- A little more motion transfer than we’d like to be optimal
Memory foam infused with copper?
It might sound strange but the 3 inch copper infused layer in the Layla Sleep Memory Foam Mattress has proven effective at providing rapid cooling and acts as an antimicrobial barrier.
But that’s not the only neat feature of this mattress.
The whole thing can be flipped over to proved different levels of firmness — one side is firm and the other medium firm — so you can choose what works best for you. This dual firmness effect is achieved with a clever combination of different foam layers.
3 inches of copper gel infused memory foam for variable support (this is the softer side), followed by a 2 inch layer of convoluted foam to promote healthy airflow and keep the mattress cool, then a 4.5 layer of dense support foam for maximum motion transfer control, and lastly a further 1 inch layer of copper gel infused memory foam (the firm side).
As a finishing touch the mattress features a comfortable, high tech ThermoGel infused cover which activates when body temperature rises to cool things down.
The Layla Sleep Mattress comes with a 120 night trial period.
- Versatile with 2 different levels of firmness — everyone should find a high level of comfort
- Gives excellent pain and pressure relief
- Minimal motion transfer
- Sleeps cool thanks to the clever copper gel technology
- Good value for money
- Works well for stomach sleepers
- Some off-gassing when first unpacked
- Low level of bounce
GhostBed claim that their Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress is the coolest mattress in America, and a lot of expert research and testing has gone into the product to ensure it is of a very high standard.
In fact they’re so confident in their mattresses that this mattress comes with a 20 year warranty.
A 7.5 inch base layer of high density support foam makes the perfect foundation for support and durability, on top of which is a 2 inch layer of gel infused memory foam to cradle your form, ease pressure points and keep you cool.
The top layer of 1.5 inch aerated, springy latex adds even more comfort and maximum airflow to keep your body continuously cool throughout the night, and a polyester cover is soft to the touch and specially designed to give additional edge support.
- Sleeps cool
- Thicker and more comfortable than the average mattress
- Medium firm so perfect for managing back pain
- Contours well to the body for a good level of support
- Good motion isolation
- Little to no off-gassing
- Particularly comfortable and supportive for back sleepers
- Cannot be flipped
- Edge support could be better
Three different foam layers make up the 10 inch Rivet mattress: 6 inches of durable base foam designed for durability and structural support, a 2 inch layer of memory foam to lessen motion transfer and distribute weight evenly, and a top 2 inch layer of responsive latex foam to keep your spine correctly aligned and relieve those pesky pressure points.
Where this mattress really excels though, is the special cover, which is woven from a unique mineral blend to energize your body as you sleep by regulating temperature and oxygenating cells for quality, nourishing sleep.
All foam used in the construction of the medium firm Rivet mattress are CertiPUR US certified as free from harmful chemicals, and in addition to a 100 night risk free trial, the mattress is covered by a 10 year warranty.
- Provides good cushioning and support
- Medium-firm texture is excellent for back pain
- Very comfortable
- Hi tech fabric cover can help boost blood circulation and improve sleep quality
- Excellent motion isolation
- Sleeps cool
- Removable cover can be machine washed
- Questionable edge support
- Some off-gassing when first unpacked
For a mattress with such an affordable price point, the popular Nectar Mattress sure has a lot of great features.
Medium firm, the mattress incorporates layers of high quality CertiPUR US Certified foam designed to provide an excellent level of comfort and support.
In the center of this 11 inch thick mattress, a springy memory foam layer provides great support, whilst the thick, breathable base layer give strength and support to the overall structure.
On top of the central layer are 2 gel memory foam layers for ultimate weight distribution and relief from painful pressure points. One of these two layers is quilted to increase air circulation and give added comfort.
For even better sleep, the comfortable Tencel quilted cover is resistant to mites and other nasties, plus it is designed to wick away moisture from you skin so you can sleep cool throughout the night.
You have a generous 180 nights to test out this mattress, risk free, and the warranty covers you for as long as you own it.
- Highly comfortable for all sleep styles and positions
- Also works well for sleepers who carry a little more weight
- Good motion isolation
- Comes with 2 free pillows
- Excellent warranty
- Provides good pain and pressure relief for back pain
- Good breathability and sleeps cool
- Low price
- A little off-gassing when first unpacked
- Needs some time to fully expand
This budget mattress is priced to please, and performs remarkably well to boot.
Measuring a luxurious 12 inches in depth, the LUCID Latex Hybrid Mattress is made up of multiple layers of foam including latex foam, gel memory foam, transition foam, and support foam over a base of 6.5 inch encased coil springs to boost airflow, increase overall support, and limit motion transfer to a minimum.
It’s rated at medium firm, but it is towards the firmer end of the medium scale, and it’s also a good option for sleepers with a heavier body weight.
The combination of latex and memory foam makes it springy and comfortable, but also breathable and hypoallergenic.
It also features additional edge support thanks to the hybrid coil structure.
- Very affordable
- Very thick and comfortable for stomach, back, and side sleepers
- Excellent bounce
- Good temperature regulation and sleeps cool
- Great edge support
- Very quiet
- Little motion transfer
- Not the most durable mattress on this list — sagging may occur over time
- Too firm for some
Another mattress that offers up a lot for a very affordable price is the CertiPUR-US Certified Sweetnight 12 inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress.
Hypoallergenic and resistant to allergens, mold, bacteria and dust mites — so good for your health — this mattress is composed of 3 inches of 5.5 inches of high density support foam and a top 3 inch gel infused memory foam layer for comfort and temperature regulations, in between which is sandwiched a 3.5 inch layer of airflow comfort foam to further assist cushioning and support and help dissipate heat.
The cotton cover is pleasant to the touch, and the whole design is made to resist sagging and provide a reasonable level of edge support. Comes with a 10 year warranty.
- Regulates temperature well
- Comfortable and keeps spine aligned
- Good quality memory foam keeps its shape well
- Hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant
- Helps relieve back pain in most cases
- On the firm side
- Not the best bounce
Which do you think is the best mattress for back pain?