Tips For Choosing A Mattress If You Have Back Pain

7th February , 2023

Back pain is a common medical problem, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point in their lives. While many factors can cause back pains, using the wrong mattress, where you spend a lot of time sleeping, relaxing, and sitting doing anything from reading to eating, and napping to lounging, can worsen this issue. In fact, back pain and poor sleep are two incredibly common bedfellows.

If you believe your mattress is the source of back pain, the best option is to replace it with a new one that can alleviate and manage the condition in the long run. Here are some tips for choosing a new mattress if you have back pain.


Although often overlooked, size is crucial for a comfortable, relaxing sleep that benefits your back pain. So choose a size that allows you to sleep in any position, stretch, turn sides, and roll over without touching the edge or bumping into your bed partner. This is because when we sleep, our bodies naturally find the most comfortable sleeping posture, helping us to get a long, restful, and reenergizing sleep.

Comfort And Firmness

There are many assumptions on what makes a good mattress for back pain, one, that a firm mattress is better for your back, and two, that the softer the mattress, the more comfortable it is.

Going for an extremely firm mattress can strain the back and other pressure points like the shoulder and neck. An extra soft mattress will not provide the right support your body and back needs.

So the best choice is to select a mattress with a healthy balance between comfort and firmness. A medium-firm mattress makes a better option for this, allowing your shoulders and hips to sink while maintaining good body alignment.

Thickness And Height

A medium-firm mattress with tinner comfort layers is the best option for people with back pain. So anything within the thickness range of 8-12 is just firm enough to support the back, prevent too much sinkage, and is also soft enough to conform to the natural curvature of your spine. Mattresses that mold to your spine’s natural curvature enhances lumbar support, relieving back pain.

On the other hand, the overall height of your bed, including the bed base, mattress, and mattress topper if you use one, should not be more than 25 inches. For example, if the mattress is 18 inches thick, the bed foundation should not be taller than 7 inches.

Especially people with limited mobility, such as back pain, joint pain, or arthritis, may find it difficult to get in and out of taller beds. To determine the proper bed height for you, sit on the edge of the bed and see if your hips and knees align while your feet are flat on the floor.


The material the mattress is made of plays another key role in relieving back pain. A memory foam mattress is found to be the best mattress option for people with back pain. It has also reduced pressure injuries compared with normal hospital mattresses in people with chronic conditions.

Memory foam mattress also distributes your weight evenly along the mattress as it has a pressure-relieving ability. This pressure relief feature, combined with the contouring and spinal support properties of memory foam, gives a comfortable mattress that molds itself around your shoulders, back, and hips to prevent pain points.

That’s not all; this material also reduces motion transfer much better than hybrid, latex, or innerspring. So the chances of you waking up by your partner tossing and turning after you finally found a comfortable sleeping position is much less.

Some sleep experts also believe the most effective sleeping position for back pain relief is to sleep on your side with a pillow wedged between your knees. The position helps to take off the strain from the back. As memory foam cushions the hips, shoulders, and knees as one sleeps on the side, it can be one of the best contouring materials for your mattress.

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