The Best Mattresses for Back Pain

Many of us tend to underestimate the importance of a good mattress when suffering from back pain. From curled up catlike positions to legs and arms akimbo, we’ve spent a fair few sleepless nights trying every position imaginable in a bid to keep back pain at bay.

But what if we told you a change in mattress could make all the difference? The Sleep Council advises that a mattress be changed at least every seven years to maintain its health benefits, but we’re willing to bet many of you are sleeping on a mattress at least a decade old.

Previously it was assumed that the best mattress for a bad back was a rock solid one. However, recent research has shown that a very hard mattress can distort your back and put too much pressure on your shoulders and pelvic area.

In fact, according to a study led by a professor at Harvard Medical School, a medium-firm mattress actually helps to decrease lower back pain when lying in bed.

But where to start on your quest to find the best mattress for back pain? Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best back-pain-friendly mattresses to help you make the right decision when it comes to getting some good quality zzz’s.

Best bed for back

Memory foam mattresses

According to the National Sleep Foundation , those who suffer with back pain sleep for around 42 minutes less than those who don’t. It may not seem like a lot, but why should you be tossing and turning while everybody else is sleeping like logs?

Many experts consider memory foam mattresses to be one of the most effective mattresses for relieving back pain.

Memory foam was originally developed for NASA in 1966 to deflect the effects of the gravitational pull experienced by astronauts. It was then adopted in hospitals to cushion patients before being built into mattresses in the 1990s.

Pros of a memory foam mattress:

  • Cradles the curves of the body and supports the back’s muscular and bony structures
  • Keeps the spine in alignment, providing lumbar support for people who sleep on their backs
  • Accommodates hips and shoulders – ideal for side sleepers
  • Absorbs motion – helping you stay firmly in place even if your partner gets out of bed or rolls over
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons of a memory foam mattress:

  • Doesn’t regulate body temperature
  • Often heavy and difficult to move from place to place
  • Lack of bounciness

Hybrid mattresses

Some of the best mattresses for back pain are hybrid mattresses. Normally consisting of an innerspring system beneath a supportive layer of memory foam or latex, hybrid mattresses combine the best features of two different types of mattress to provide maximum comfort.

The foam layer also typically contains cooling materials such as gel or graphite copper which aim to minimise the transfer of body warmth to the mattress.

Pros of a hybrid mattress:

  • Relieves pressure from your joints
  • Layers of memory foam contour to the shape of your body
  • Luxury fabric cover protects the mattress and provides a smooth sleeping surface
  • Edge support increases the sleep surface of your bed and gives plenty of room
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Low cost

Cons of a hybrid mattress:

  • Often heavy and difficult to move from place to place

Latex mattresses

Latex mattresses offer a sought-after blend of firmness and comfort, ensuring maximum snugness and minimal back pain.

Made from the sap of the rubber tree (hevea brasiliensis) latex mattresses work similarly to memory foam mattresses in their ability to contour to the body’s shape and weight, allowing for natural spinal alignment and, in turn, back pain prevention and reduction.

Pros of a latex mattress:

  • Comfortable - contours to the body’s shape and weight
  • Evenly distributes the body’s pressure points and ensures good blood circulation
  • Regulates your body temperature
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Long lifespan – around 20-30 years
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons of a latex mattress:

  • Often heavy and difficult to move from place to place
  • More expensive than regular spring coil mattresses

The three different types of mattresses outlined above are arguably the best mattresses for a bad back. When it comes to figuring out dimensions and sizing, our Mattress Buying Guide is full to the brim with tips and tricks to help you on your quest to finding the most suitable mattress for the space you’re working with.

latex mattress