Best Mattress for Back Pain

Four Common Myths That Can Cause You More of a Backache!

How do you know which mattress is the best mattress for back pain? Here are four common misconceptions, and useful tips for matching your back condition with the mattress most likely to be comfortable for you.

Those who suffer with chronic back pain know first hand how important the right mattress is for getting a solid night's sleep.

The wrong style and firmness of mattress can be an actual nightmare, especially if you're tossing and turning all night because there just isn't enough support for your back and you can't seem to find a comfortable position.

The best mattress for back problems can make a huge difference in helping you to be free of pain.

Why is the Right Mattress Important?

The wrong mattress could very well increase your back pain, especially in the lower back. Spaces between the mattress and pressure points on your body will cause your muscles to contract constantly while working hard to maintain the proper sleeping position, which will inevitably cause pain not only in your back, but also in other areas of the body.

When your body isn't aligned correctly and relaxed during sleeping hours, your back takes the brunt and responds accordingly.

Four Common Myths About the Best Mattress for Back Pain

  1. A firm mattress is always best

  2. You must purchase a certain type or brand of mattress for back pain

  3. It's possible to sit on a mattress and know if it will work

  4. Mattress manufacturers know best

There are two sides to this question about choosing the best mattress for back problems. Chiropractors will tell you that a firm, hard mattress is not the best choice for you to alleviate back pain, whereas the majority of physicians will recommend a firm mattress to their patients with chronic back pain.

Who is right? Honestly, both sides may speak some truth, but neither one is completely right. Why? Choosing the best mattress for back pain and for your body is a personal preference. Keep these three things in mind while shopping for just the right mattress:

  • Support is important - determined by the placement and the number of coils inside the mattress

  • Mattress padding - different styles feature varying types and thicknesses of padding on top of the mattress

  • Sleeping position - depending on the type of back pain you experience, the style of mattress may make a difference

Some people will opt for a firmer mattress, but most back pain sufferers find that a medium-firm mattress is the best solution for them. A medium firm mattress is much better for back pain for several reasons.

A medium-firm mattress will cradle your body while supporting it at the same time. The pressure points on your body will have support so your muscles won't be straining, which means your spine will stay aligned and as a result of all of these factors, back pain will be lessened or stop altogether.

Matching the Best Mattress and Back Conditions

Back pain is caused by several different medical conditions. Choosing the right mattress for your required sleeping position can make all the difference in the world. Here are some recommendations for the best mattresses for back pain sufferers based on medical condition.

  1. Spinal stenosis - a fetal sleeping position is best for people who suffer with spinal stenosis. Look for an adjustable bed that features independently operated head and foot sections so you'll have the support you need to assume and retain a comfortable fetal position while sleeping.

  2. Degenerative disk disease - this is one group of back pain sufferers who can benefit from sleeping on a soft mattress. A soft mattress allows you to place pillows under your hips without affecting your alignment.

  3. Osteoarthritis - support is the key for people suffering with osteoarthritis because sleeping on one side or another seems to be the most comfortable. Opt for a mattress featuring a firm center so that your joints are fully supported throughout the night.

  4. Herniated disk - each person with a herniated disk will opt for a different style and firmness of mattress. However, the best choice is usually a mattress that features adjustable firmness to allow for the most comfortable sleeping position.

  5. Non-specific back pain causes - lower back pain doesn't always have a specific cause or name, but can be alleviated by sleeping on a mattress that can be adjusted for optimal comfort.

Tips for Choosing the Best Mattress for Back Pain

This first tip may sound a bit strange, but it really does work! To find the best mattress for back problems, go shopping in the evening instead of the morning. We often feel our best in the morning, but our bodies truly know if a mattress feels comfortable by late afternoon or early evening.

Although you may be uncomfortable in public, it's vital for you to try out the mattress right there in the store. Spouses should try out the mattress together so they know how it reacts with two people on it.

Lie down in several positions - on your side, on your belly, and on your back. Do each of these for at least 10 minutes (minimum!) so you get a good feel for the mattress.

Your shoulders and hips should not sink into the mattress. The best mattress for back problems will provide you with some support. Mattresses that are too soft could cause hips and shoulders to sink.

Pay close attention to your spine alignment - if it feels like it's off, the mattress if probably too firm and either needs to be softer or have padding added to the top.

The markup on mattresses is extremely high; so don't automatically believe the hype that the higher the price tag, the better the mattress. Mattresses do go on sale rather often, so wait until a good sale before making any final decisions.

Beware also of mattress manufacturer claims of being better for back pain - there are no set standards for these claims, it's simply a marketing ploy.

Which Type of Mattress is Best for Back Pain?

The best mattress for back pain is one that cradles your body just right while keeping your spine in proper alignment. It should be well constructed and offer excellent support.

Most consumer reviews we have seen indicate that overall, a memory foam mattress or a latex mattress offer the best support if you suffer from back pain.

The reason for this is the benefits of sleeping on foam rather than innersprings, which I have experienced personally as a tremendous relief. I am sensitive to chemicals and so do not have experience with memory foam, which has chemicals in it that aren't good for my health, but sleeping on a latex mattress is amazing.

The foam cradles your body evenly so no one part is contracted, and so you wake up feeling much less stiff and sore. I felt like I got a whole new body when I got a latex mattress!

What Brands are the Best Mattress for Back Pain?

Back pain sufferers say the following brands of mattress or mattress pads worked best for them:

  • Serta Memory Foam Topper

  • Sealy

  • Simmons

  • Select Comfort

  • Tempurpedic and other brands of memory foam mattress

  • Many brands of latex mattress

Choosing the best mattress for back pain is an individual preference based on comfort, but these brands may be a good place to begin looking for your new mattress!

Follow these simple slipped disc rules if you have severe lower back and leg pain.


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