A good mattress can be expensive. They’re only a ‘once-every-few-years’ kind of purchase. But if you’re suffering with back pain, you may not be able to wait a few years for a solution.
In that case, a mattress topper is the way forward. The best mattress topper for lower back pain will be able to transform your bed, adding a much-needed layer of comfort and support to cradle those body parts that ache.
And at a much cheaper price than most mattresses…
There are thousands of different toppers on the market right now — and not all were created equal.
We’ve recruited our team of trusty sleep hackers to scrutinize the very best mattress toppers to find the top 5 products that will most benefit sleepers with lower back problems.
Check out our buying guide too to make sure that you know exactly what you need before you ‘add to cart’.
What is a Mattress Topper?
First things first, what on earth is a mattress topper?
Well, just like the name suggests, it’s a product that lies on top of your mattress, under your sheets and your body.
They’re also known as mattress pads, although often pads are a little thinner — somewhere between a mattress protector and a full topper.
Types of Mattress Topper
While there are a veritable butt-load of different toppers available, the best ones for lower back pain can generally be sorted into 2 categories:
Memory foam and latex.
Even if you don’t have any back pain, these mattress toppers are undoubtedly the most comfortable, luxurious and supportive ones out there.
Let’s take a look…
Memory foam is the buzzword of the last few years when it comes to sleep hacking.
Memory foam pillows, mattresses, head rests, lumbar support… you name it.
So, of course, there are a huge number of memory foam mattress toppers.
These bad boys are great for lower back pain as the material composition is formulated so as to cradle your body, distributing your weight equally about the bed and easing pressure points.
With a high-quality memory foam topper, you’ll find your lower back no longer sinks into the mattress and puts your spine out of whack.
Instead, you’ll feel like you’re floating on a cloud with your spine and neck in their correct alignment and any undue pressure dissipated.
There’s been so much tech research and development focused on memory foam, that there are plenty of sub-categories within: cooling memory foam, gel foam…
Latex mattress toppers may not be quite as popular as their memory foam counterparts but the best products provide an almost unparalleled level of support — ideal for lower back pain sufferers.
Instead of cradling your body like memory foam does, latex will rise up to meet the contours of your body, absorbing your weight and pressure and pushing your spine into correct alignment.
Latex is also super durable (and doesn’t suffer from that initial memory foam smell!).
How can Toppers Help Lower Back Pain?
The best thing about a high-quality mattress topper is that is can completely revolutionize even the worst mattress.
Where a bad mattress will increase pressure points all over your body, exacerbate any existing back pain and even cause new pains, a good topper will add a much needed layer of comfort and support.
Mattresses that are too soft may feel luxurious and indulgent at first lay-down, but over the course of a night, they’ll allow your body to sink into a terrible posture: cue neck and back pain.
For mattresses that are too firm, however, you’ll find any existing pain spots are simply pressured further and your spine misaligned.
All it takes is a few inches of well composed material to realign your spine, cradle your body and evenly distribute your bodyweight.
And those few inches are your amazing topper.
Even if you have a great mattress, a topper is exactly the purchase you need to relieve that pesky lower back pain.
What to Consider Before you Buy
Before you dive straight in and order your mattress topper, there’s a few things you should decide in your mind beforehand.
How firm you want your topper to be is just as an important decision as how firm you need your mattress.
Ultimately this all boils down to personal preference — some people like a luxury plushness, while others prefer a firm surface.
When you have lower back pain, however, your best bet is to opt for a medium-firm level. This has been proven in a study to “improve pain and disability among patients with chronic non-specific low-back pain.”
Most mattress toppers are between 1 and 6 inches thick — the thicker, the better.
And the thicker, the more expensive.
While the thickest toppers may provide the most support and comfort, the thinner ones can also work really well. Essentially, anything over 2 inches thick should be perfectly serviceable.
Any thinner and you’re venturing into mattress pad territory.
While these thin toppers may add a nice level of soft plush, they don’t have much to offer in terms of support.
You’ll be sleeping on your topper for about 8 hours every single night.
You really don’t want to be sneezing or breaking out in hives for those 8 hours.
If you have any skin sensitivities — or an allergy to latex — then opt for a hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant mattress topper.
For sleepers wanting a latex topper, your best bet is to opt for all-natural latex if you’re a little sensitive.
The Best Mattress Topper for Lower Back Pain
As we mentioned, not all mattress toppers were created equal.
Especially if you’re a back pain sufferer, it’s not worth buying a topper as an impulsive purchase. Research and ranking is always necessary.
But fear not, we’ve done that research and ranking for you.
Here are the 5 best mattress toppers for lower back pain.
This Zinus topper is 4 inches of pure luxury.
So thick, it’s composed of multiple layers that combine the perfect blend of support and comfort.
We love it.
- Relieves neck and back pain
- 3 layers: fiber quilted cover, 2″ memory foam, 1.5″ pressure relieving comfort foam
- All foam is CertiPUR-US certified for durability, content and performance
- 4 inches thick (super thick!)
- 5-year limited warranty
- Smart shipping: delivered direct to your door in a box
- Quilted cover is soft and plush
- Pressure relieving comfort foam aligns spine and eases pressure points
- Biofoam contains natural plant oil with natural green tea extract and activated charcoal — absorbs moisture and odors
- Plush and comfortable
- Noticeable odor upon first unpacking
- Can get very warm in hot temperatures
Even though this Lucid topper is only 2 inches, it is just enough to provide a high level of support to your suffering lower back.
It’s one of the most popular mattress toppers on Amazon, with over 2,000 reviews, as of October 2016.
Here’s what we love (and don’t love so much) about it:
- Lucid memory foam combines plush comfort and pressure relief
- Foam is CertiPUR-US Certified for safety and performance
- Ventilation throughout the foam to keep temperatures cool and moisture levels low
- 3-year warranty
- Foam benefits from open cell technology — stops the topper suffering from lasting body impressions
- Works well with fitted sheets
- Relieves pressure and pain in the neck, back and shoulder
- Budget low price
- Sleeps cool
- Noticeable odor for first 24-hours
- No cover
This is our favorite latex mattress topper for lower back pain — and it’s a doozy.
Certified organic, all natural and with no chemical additives, this is the mattress topper for the sustainable sleeper.
If you want health to extend from your body and into your bedroom, take a long hard look at this OrganicTextiles topper.
- Made of organic cotton and all natural white latex (from eco-harvested rubber trees!)
- Super durable
- 2 inches thick
- Certified organic by GOLD (Global Organic Latex Standard)
- Made in California
- Medium firmness — great for bad backs
- Anti-microbial, hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant and anti-fungal
- Ventilated for boosted air circulation and to sleep cools
- Contains no chemical additives
- Super support to ease pressure points in back and neck — 40% better pressure point relief
- Never bunches
- Also includes an organic covering
- Latex can tear easily so be careful!
- Noticeable odor upon first unpacking
This 2-inches thick mattress topper is another memory foam trail blazer but with the added bonus of containing gel in order to keep it cool.
No more night sweats!
Here’s what we like and don’t like about the product.
- Gel memory foam is CertiPUR-US Certified — eco-friendly
- 60-day money back guarantee and 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Foam made with open cell structure to prevent any heat traps and keep cool
- Relieves pressure points and relaxes muscles
- Minimal motion transfer (less disturbance if you share the bed)
- Made in the USA
- Smart shipping in a box direct to your door
- No harmful chemicals
- Great for side sleepers
- No cover
- Doesn’t stay as cool as it advertizes
Our final entry in the best mattress toppers for lower back pain is this 2-inch thick latex formulation from Sleep On Latex.
It’s another all-natural product that should satisfy those who are concerned about the origins of their mattress toppers.
- 100% natural, eco-friendly latex with no synthetic fillers
- Hypoallergenic, anti-microbial and dust-mite resistant
- Feels soft and plush
- Stays cool naturally
- Resilient and durable
- Works well with fitted sheets
- Supportive and good for arthritis
- Errs on the soft side — might be too plush for those who prefer firm
- No cover
- Not as supportive for side sleepers
So that’s all you need to know about the best mattress toppers for lower back pain — all that’s left for you to do now is buy one!
We hope you’ve found our Best Mattress Toppers for Lower Back Pain post helpful. Looking for alternatives? Be sure to visit our mattress topper reviews section for other great options