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Studies show that the vast majority of people are likely to experience back pain at some point in their lives. Though the cause may vary, the source of a person’s back pain is most often related to how they sleep, and the bed they are sleeping on.
In this Best Mattress for Back Pain Guide you’ll learn the most common causes of back pain; how back pain can affect your sleep; the best sleep positions for alleviating back pain, and the 9 best mattresses for sleepers with chronic back pain.
Back pain can be an acute problem or an ongoing issue. Sometimes it’s your lower back and your neck, and other times the pain feels like it’s everywhere. In any instance, you’re probably aching for some comfort and relief, especially when you sleep. Finding the best mattresses for back pain relief can help alleviate pressure points and provide you body with necessary support. Oh, and let’s not forget the comfort you need to receive the sleep you crave.
Below you’ll learn the most important things to look for in a mattress, but also how your mattress affects the way you sleep, and helpful tips that may help to alleviate your back pain. Before we delve in, it’s important to note that you consult your medical provider about your back pain.
Though we have done thorough research, each person’s situation and back pain is unique and specific to them. We’ve created a very useful best mattress for back pain guide, but by no means is it a medical diagnosis or cure. We sincerely hope that you are able to find a mattress that will ensure a proper night’s sleep, but using your best judgement and listening to your body is key.
Most people sleep between 6 and 8 hours per night. Back pain can cross over into this large chunk of time and take away your much needed rest and replace it with aggravating chronic pain.
Finding a mattress that provides a combination of support and comfort is key. Below we offer several recommendations to help you on your journey to find the best mattress for your back pain, as well as our recommendations for accessories that can help to alleviate back pain. We also discuss the common causes of back pain and tips on how to relieve chronic pain whether you’re asleep or awake.
First we will discuss the best mattresses for back pain. Then we’ll break down the best choices for combination sleepers, back sleepers, side sleepers and stomach sleepers. We recommend that you know your dominant sleeping positions as this can alter what mattress feel and style would be best for you.
When shopping for the best mattress for back pain, the most important features to look for in a bed are firmness, pressure relief and support. These are the features that keep your body aligned and correct the ergonomics of your spine for better pain relief and a healthy night’s rest.
The more support a mattress provides, the better it is for chronic back pain relief. Medium to medium-firm mattresses work best for combination and back sleepers because it’s firm enough with just enough softness to be comfortable. This level of firmness typically works well with all sleeping positions but is best-suited for back pain sufferers who primarily sleep on their back, or who sleep in multiple positions throughout the night too.
Below are three medium-firm mattresses that offer the most comfort, support and pressure relief for those who suffer from chronic back pain. Each provides the proper and necessary support beneficial to back sleepers, but are also well-suited to all sleeping positions. On a scale of 1 through 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 the firmest, all of these options come in right around 5.5 to 6 – just a bit firmer than a true medium without being considered too firm.
The SleepOvation mattress may be just what the doctor ordered, literally. This unique hybrid mattress is not only designed with proper spinal alignment in mind, but is also designed specifically for back pain sufferers.
This mattress is engineered with “700 tiny mattresses” to create independent support and comfort. The Sleep Ovation mattress uses a coil system, but instead of a continuous layer of foam over the top, each coil has its own designated foam layer – thus creating channels that provide firm, yet flexible support.
The SleepOvation Mattress is great for anyone who:
The Leesa all foam mattress features materials along with a design that creates ideal comfort with superior support. This mattress creates a sleeping surface that utilizes only foams that work together to maintain proper alignment and support for your entire body.
The universal feel of this bed is very balanced making it ideal for all sleepers. The quality layers provide a durable feel that molds to your body while easily letting you move. If you are a back or combination sleeper that wants the pressure relief of memory foam but good air flow and ease of movement the Leesa is a great option. This bed will give you the support your body craves and the comfort it deserves.
The Leesa Mattress is great for anyone who:
If you want a thick hybrid bed that provides an almost perfect medium to medium-firm feel this Bear hybrid is for you. This hybrid uses several layers of varying foam with a mini coil system sandwiched between to provide ample benefits along with perfect support and comfort for all sleepers.
This Bear hybrid bed provides a great combination of dense base foam support with added flexibility of a coil system. Making for support that works with your body for proper ergonomics. The melding of comfort layers also contribute to this ideal feel and make it a great option not only for all sleepers but anyone suffering from back pain too. Not too mention the added Celliant cover perfect for aiding the body in recovery.
The Bear Hybrid Mattress is great for anyone who:
When it comes to side sleeping you still want plenty of support. But you also want a bit more softness to accommodate your shoulders and hips comfortably. Being on your side, you may notice that a bed that is too firm doesn’t allow your body to have the proper alignment. This may lead to pain and tossing and turning with no relief.
The best mattresses for side sleepers with back pain will focus on beds that offer a medium to medium-soft feel that allow your body to sink in just enough. They utilize the best materials and proper engineering to make a mattress that cradles your body perfectly. Without compromising support or proper ergonomics to ensure your body is rested, comfortable and properly taken care of.
Below are three of the best mattresses you can find for side sleeping that are perfect for back pain sufferers. These well constructed and thoughtfully designed beds offer superior support while still giving you just enough sink and contour.
The Oceano hybrid mattress by Brentwood Home is not only a luxurious mattress, it’s made with top notch materials. The design and construction feature multiple support layers that are flexible and accommodating to side sleeping, all paired with comfort foams that relieve pressure almost instantly.
This makes for a mattress that is superior for side sleepers especially for those who suffer from back pain. The Oceano doesn’t compromise on ergonomics and support in order to be lush and soft. Instead it uses innovative technology to combine support layers that move with your body to find the perfect fit and feel for perfect side sleeping.
The Oceano be Brentwood Home is perfect for anyone who:
The Original Nolah all foam 10″ mattress prides itself onits smart design, which just so happens to be perfect for side sleepers. Its layers of foam provide support and contour, which allows for just the right amount of sink. The design of the Nolah mattress keeps your shoulders and hips in perfect alignment and provide support for a natural, healthy spinal alignment.
The combination of new generation foams create pressure relief that cradles your body but also offers great support form the dense and durable base. The combination makes for a mattress that is not too soft but just soft enough to feel comfortable. The layering is ideal for any side sleepers that prefer the feel of an all foam bed. It ensures exactly what you need for minimized back pain and proper spinal health.
The Nolah Original 10″ mattress is perfect for anyone who:
Purple introduced 3 hybrid mattresses in early 2018. One of our favorites for side sleepers with back pain is the Purple 4.0, which combines 4″ of their unique polymer grid with a solid and flexible coil system to create the ultimate sleep surface for pressure relief. That’s especially good news for side sleepers.
This mattress is not only Purple’s most expensive option, but the zero gravity feel of this bed is priceless. The Purple 4.0 is a terrific mattress option for anyone suffers form back pain that has had little luck with traditional coil or foam mattresses. The Purple 2.0 and Purple 3.0 are similar mattresses that are slightly more affordable, but they don’t offer the experience the Purple 4.0 offers, especially for side sleepers.
The Purple 4.0 hybrid mattress may be for you if:
Unlike side sleepers, stomach sleepers with back pain typically feel the most relief when sleeping on a firmer mattress. If you’re a stomach sleeper and sleep on a soft mattress, that is more than likely to source of your back pain.
A firm mattress is better for stomach sleepers because it prevents the hips, knees and shoulders from sinking into the bed. Beds that are made of dense, solid materials are better suited to alleviate back pain because the sleep surface is smooth, solid surface and prevents your spine from bowing out in any direction.
The best mattresses for stomach sleepers with back pain would fall into a medium-firm to firm level of comfort – ideally with comfort layers that are more supportive than soft. This allows for enough pressure relief and adds durability to the mattress. Our top three mattress recommendations for stomach sleepers are built using only the best materials and feature multiple comfort options.
The Brooklyn Signature from Brooklyn Bedding is a well priced and solid hybrid mattress. The firm option from this line is perfect for stomach sleepers. The foams are durable yet very easy to move on and create good support, especially when paired with the solid coil system below.
This mattress uses a slightly more responsive latex alternative foam instead of memory foam, which provides pressure relief, but doesn’t let you feel stuck. The foundation is solid and sturdy from edge to edge. And the combination of materials makes for a mattress that is cool and dry. The Brooklyn Signature keeps your back from bowing yet is still soft enough to be comfortable. Making it a top choice for stomach sleepers who suffer from back pain.
The Cocoon by Sealy mattress is an all foam bed that features thick and dense memory foam paired with a durable and solid base foam. Which together make it a true memory foam bed with one of the best reputations in the industry. The options not only vary between soft and firm feel but also in price with the Cocoon Chill.
Choosing the firm option you will get not only a comfortably supportive bed but also plenty of dense foams that mold to your body. This combination makes for a balanced sleeping surface great for stomach sleepers. Your back will get the ideal posture it needs and maintain a solid feel throughout the night for years to come. With a strong name behind it you get nothing less than the best for the best price too. Another option similar to the Cocoon is the dense and slow responding Puffy mattress too.
If you suffer from back pain, another thing to consider is whether or not you plan on using an adjustable base. An adjustable base typically moves the head of the bed from flat to more upright as well as the foot of the bed too. This accessory can make a world of difference to any chronic back pain sufferer, especially when paired with the right pillow. Having the right pillow to support your head and neck or prop up your knees or legs may be the ticket to better sleep.
Below we feature some of our favorite adjustable beds and pillows. These additions to your mattress purchase can make a huge difference, especially for anyone who suffers chronic pain of any kind, including back. They feature benefits beyond just adjustments to your head and legs. Featuring the latest technology and sleekest designs you’re sure to love for form and function.
The Yaasa adjustable bed is one of the most modern designs on the market. Don’t let the super cool and minimalistic look fool you. This bed also functions at the top of the line coming in at a great price many competitors can’t compete with. This frame works under any style of mattress that can have an adjustable base. The set-up is easy and the benefits are great. This is a must for anyone with chronic pain and will make sleeping and waking much easier.
More coming soon! In the meantime check out all our pillow reviews and recommendations HERE!
There are many things that can cause back pain. Several issues that are hereditary and others that can be brought on by years of wear and tear. Or even an acute reaction to improper lifting or a temporary pinched nerve. Below are common causes that generally bring on back pain. Because back pain is so common the list of causes could be endless, so we’ll focus on the most likely culprits.
Arthritis is a broad topic that covers any disease that causes pain, swelling, tender and stiff joints. Osteoarthritis in particular, is the most common type of arthritis. This disease slowly wears the cartilage down around your joints. Making for minimal cushion between the bones causing inflammation and pain. This can occur in any joint, including the spine. Creating not only pain and irritation in your back but also creating an onset of more long term and permanent spine conditions.
Disks are a natural cushion that buffer the bones in the vertebrae of your spine. This soft safeguard not only creates a nice pillow like separation but keeps the bones from rubbing together. Sometimes this soft material slips out of place and can bulge or even rupture causing pressure to be put on nearby nerves. Sometimes bulging or ruptured discs can cause minimal to no pain. However, often times they do leading to acute back pain in various regions of the spine. There are several terms that describe disc pain besides bulging or ruptured discs. The terms herniated disc, pinched nerve, disc protrusion and slipped disc all may be used interchangeably too.
Clearly the term chronic pain is very broad. This term typically refers to any spine or back pain that is consistent and lasts longer than 3 to 6 months. Generally with issues that last this long there is little hope of tissue repair and long term damage that will continue to linger. Chronic pain may or may not be diagnosed with an underlying cause. Regardless, the sufferer will need to find ways of coping and relieving the pain to the best of their ability.
Like all parts of the body age does eventually affect the use and function, including your spine and discs too. Degenerative Disc Disease is less of a disease and more of a natural aging process of the spine. As your body and spine ages the discs may degenerate causing a loss of efficient function as a spinal joint. This naturally aging process of the spine can unfortunately also bring on pain not only in the back and spine but also to other extremities as well.
Lower back pain affects 80% of people over the course of their lives. Meaning almost everyone has suffered with either chronic or acute pain in their backs, specifically lower. The causes of this can vary from a simple muscle strain to a hereditary disease from birth. Even being overweight and carrying more weight in your midsection can often cause lower back pain. And making simple tasks difficult or painful. From standing or sitting too long to even sleeping comfortably through an entire night.
As far as back pain goes, a muscle strain, though never fun, is usually short term. Making it temporarily uncomfortable but hopefully able to be treated and healed in a short period of time. The most common ways for back muscle strain is from improper or overly heavy lifting and a sudden awkward movement. Giving your body the necessary time to heal is your best bet. As well as preventing strains with proper techniques and common sense to what your body can handle.
Neck pain goes hand in hand with back pain. It is still considered part of your spine and tough most neck pain is an acute and temporary pain there are other more permanent problems that can persist. Any vertebrae above your shoulders along your spine is considered your neck. You can easily strain or pull the muscles in this readily exposed and sometimes more susceptible area. Usually the pain or discomfort is healed by time and rest. However, disc related problems can occur here as well making for long term and chronic pain too.
Osteoporosis is a disease that can affect any of your bones, including the spine. This disease is usually brought on by age and the natural reduction of calcium in your body. Making your bones more brittle and porous. Literally making your bones thinner and weaker over time. This can cause vertebrae fractures and deformities. Most of which can be stopped or corrected with the proper treatment and supplements.
Pregnancy, though again another temporary condition, can cause its own onset of acute problems. Some of which will strain your back muscles or cause nerves to be pressed against sparking back pain. Usually occurring later in pregnancy, more than likely the third trimester, but still causing an array of back and neck pain that is temporary but can be debilitating, especially when combined with other pregnancy issues.
Sciatica is a pain that most people feel in the lower half of their bodies. Typically felt in the legs, hips and buttocks but is generated from the lower back sciatica nerve. This pain can be caused from several causes as well but specifically puts pressure on this large nerve. That can generate pain, numbness, tingling and discomfort form your lower back down the back of your leg. Though many use the term to describe their pain it is not a condition, but a description of symptoms.
Genetic or hereditary abnormalities can occur in the spine as well. Creating irregularities that can sometimes also generate pain or discomfort. The most common skeletal irregularity is Scoliosis. This condition causes your spine to curve to one side making it stray from its intended position. This can usually be corrected over time by using a brace or mechanism to help straighten the spine into a more natural position. Typically pain isn’t too much of an issue unless the skeletal irregularity is more severe.
Spinal Stenosis typically occurs in one or both of two points of the spine. This happens when the spinal cord in the neck (cervical stenosis) or the spinal nerve roots in the lower back (lumbar stenosis) become compressed. This typically generates pressure and pain in these regions that can radiate to the arms and legs depending on where you are affected. This occurs through an abnormal narrowing of the spinal channel that can restrict and put pressure on spinal nerves and the spinal cord.
Though some forms of back pain may not be corrected or alleviated by these tips and suggestions, many often do find relief and help from doing these small things. Though you may not have a drastic change many of these help, especially over time. Giving you not only less back pain but overall better health and well being. Incorporating even one or two of these tips could seriously change your quality of life for the better.
Incorporating exercise not only helps your back but your whole body. A good dose of daily physical activity not only helps your body weight stay in check. It also helps strengthen your muscles and increase flexibility that helps improve your life and longevity with less pain and suffering too. The benefits of exercise are countless and lead to overall optimized health. Regular low-impact aerobic activities are great for endurance and strength that won’t add any strains or jolting movements to your back too. Speaking with your doctor first is always best to see what is most beneficial for you and your body.
Having a massage is not only deeply relaxing and enjoyable it is also a great therapy especially for back pain. This alternative technique not only directly works on the areas of your body that need it. But overall they say it improves circulation, range of motion as well as endorphins. Giving your body a total overhaul with minimal work on your end. With regular use massage therapy can do wonders for decreasing your pain and increasing your bodies response to back and spinal pain.
Much like exercise, diet and nutrition can have profound effects on your entire body. Providing yourself with the proper nutrients in the recommended amounts not only gives you more energy but also keeps your weight in a healthy range. Carrying the appropriate weight for your size can help with your overall feeling of well being. It can also help minimize excessive strains or wear on your spine and back. Good and nutritious food can make life much more comfortable and maintaining a healthy body much easier too.
Not only can poor posture and bad ergonomics create back pain it can also make existing pain even worse. Sitting, standing or lifting improperly can lead to incorrect positioning of your spine. Standing with your hips in a neutral position is best. And if for long periods of time using a low footstool and alternating your feet can help alleviate lower back pain. While sitting it is best to be in a chair that has good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Keeping your knees and hips level also helps and changing positions every half hour helps too. And lifting with your legs is always good to remember. Keeping your back straight and bending at your knees is going to be best.
This goes hand and hand with the beginning of this article. Finding the best mattresses for back pain or just overall support and comfort is going to be necessary. You need your rest, we all do, and finding the most comfortable way to do that is important. Focusing on support that is best for you and your body as well as sleeping positions(s) will help ensure you find a mattress that will work for you. This also goes with proper posture and ergonomics. A mattress that helps your body stay in a natural position while sleeping will help alleviate any back pain.
Most might think smoking has little or nothing to do with back pain. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. Smoking takes a toll on your entire well being and body. Your lungs aren’t the only area being impacted while smoking. Smoking also keeps your body form delivery nutrients to the discs in your back. Directly impacting their function and ability to maintain themselves. Keeping nutrients from these necessary cushions can reduce and impair their ability to work. This can cause bulging, torn or herniated discs and increased pain and inflammation in the back.
Elongating and stretching the muscles in your body not only helps your health they also improve your muscle function and feel. Especially if you focus and concentrate on your back or neck muscles too. Finding a low impact and restorative focused yoga class can help condition and realign your spine and body. Creating a better flow of energy and muscle suppleness. It also helps with balance and stress relief, anxiety and depression too. All things that can impact pain in your back without you even realizing it.
Alternative medicine can range from acupuncture to chiropractic care. It can include massage, physical therapy and even medicinal marijuana in certain cases. These days alternative options appeal to more than the traditional western medicine approach of pills or surgery. Many times the side effects related to western medicine can provide more problems than the help you get. Making alternative treatments with few or no negative side effects much more appealing. The most effective option is always what is best for you and your pain. Finding the right combination of pain relief and success is always the most important.
Back pain is a problem many of us suffer from. We hope you will find our Best Mattress for Back Pain guide useful, and discovered new ways to alleviate your pain. We really hope you found the best mattresses for your back pain and discovered some insight and information on finding the best new bed for you. Don’t forget to focus on finding the support that is best for your sleeping positions, and any accessories that will help keep you comfortable.
Medical references and research provided by: