While there are conventional treatments, alternative medicine and supplements, and exercises you can use to reduce (or even eliminate) low back pain, the right mattress plays an essential role in alleviating back pain.
Back pain is known as one of the most challenging medical conditions to treat and cure. Chronic lower back pain is often referred to simply as a ‘bad back’ by those who suffer from it.
Your body is designed to repair and rejuvenate during rest, especially during sleep times, no matter what your schedule. Therefore, if you’re not getting restful sleep, your body cannot properly repair and rejuvenate. This includes that which relates to your spine health.
A good mattress will help you get the restful sleep you need, which usually results in a reduction of back pain. The challenges of getting a good night’s sleep are directly related to your level of pain. Common sense tells us that manageable pain levels, preferably no pain, promote better sleep.
- 1 What are The Best Mattresses for Back Pain?
- 2 How Does a Mattress Influence Chronic Back Pain?
- 3 What Exactly is Back Pain?
- 4 Sleeping Positions’ Effect on Back Pain
- 5 Are You at Risk for Low Back Pain?
- 6 Choosing a Good Mattress for Spinal Support
- 7 Choosing a Mattress Specifically for Lower Back Pain
- 8 What to Consider When Selecting the Right Mattress for Low Back Pain
- 9 Try It Before You Buy It
- 10 Do You Know When to Shop for a New Mattress?
- 11 What is Your Perfect Mattress?
What are The Best Mattresses for Back Pain?
That brings us to this review of the top five mattresses best suited for back pain sufferers.
For quick reference, I’ve made this table. If you want to read about them more in-depth, please read my reviews of the top mattresses for back pain relief below.
|1||The Purple Bed|
|2||Tuft & Needle Mattress|
|3||LUCID Memory Foam & Latex Mattress|
|4||Resort Sleep Mattress by Live and Sleep|
|5||The LinenSpa Hybrid Mattress|
1. The Purple Bed
The concept of the Purple Bed came about because of the most common problems that most conventional mattresses have that lead to chronic sleep deprivation, which isn’t conducive to restful sleep or for reducing lower back pain.
These problems lead to lifestyle and health issues related to focus, daily tasks, and your general health. Therefore, the invention of the Purple Bed was born to help people enjoy restful and rejuvenating sleep. It is the culmination of more than 20 years of research and creating sleep products.
This fun, purple-colored mattress is temperature neutral and promotes balanced pressure and appropriate spinal alignment. The following features will teach you more.
- Allergen-Resistant: The trademarked Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ is recyclable and made from food-grade ingredients. It’s non-toxic and has the CertiPUR-US certification.
- Air Flow Technology: The column design is what allows the air to flow freely, which extends the life of the mattress and prevents moisture from getting trapped in the material. It’s said to be a cleaner and more comfortable sleep solution.
- Natural Cooling Design: Due to the air-flow friendly design, it naturally sleeps significantly cooler than most other latex, memory foam, and other types of mattress technologies. If you are prone to getting hot and sweaty or very cold during sleep, this mattress is designed to prevent that.
- Pressure Relief for Comfort & Support: The patented technology used in making the Purple Bed creates the support of a firm mattress combined with the pressure relief of a soft mattress.
- No-Feel Motion: Motion isolation is part of the technology used in making the Purple Bed. This technology prevents disturbances when you leave the bed and it won’t leave a body impression.
- Guarantees & Warranties: Purple offers a 10-year Purple Promise Warranty. If you purchase on Amazon, they offer their 30-day Amazon Guarantee.
The Purple Bed is designed to be firm where you need it and soft where you need it. It’s made to provide idyllic spinal support and alignment for back and side sleepers. The Purple Bed is surprisingly affordable at a medium price between the expensive and cheap brands.
2. Tuft & Needle Mattress
The Tuft & Needle mattress is a memory foam mattress with T&N adaptive foam. This award-winning and highly-rated mattress is known for its comfort, durability, and quality. The brand uses high-quality, high-grade foam that sleeps cool and has a good balance between firm and soft. It’s firm, but not too firm, yet soft, but not too soft.
It offers pressure relief that helps you stay asleep, and won’t disturb your partner if you move, turn, or get up. It’s ideally suited for low back pain relief. The beneficial features are as follows.
- T&N Adaptive Foam: The uniqueness of T&N adaptive foam lies within the fact that it was engineered with help from some of the world’s leading scientists. It uses gel and graphite, which is how it stays cool.
- Certifications: Tuft & Needle has earned the certifications of CertiPUR-US, OEKO-TEX, Standard 100, and GreenGuard Gold. All these certifications come from compliance testing and standards as well as from independent standards, which go beyond the average.
- Suitability: This mattress fits all frames, including slatted, adjustable, floor, and box spring. The sizes include Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King.
- Warranties & Guarantees: With this mattress you get a 100-night sleep trial, hassle-free returns, and a 10-year honest warranty that goes with this made in the USA mattress.
The Tuft & Needle mattress is ideal for people with back problems and they also offer customer service that is of the highest quality.
3. LUCID 16-Inch Plush
This LUCID mattress is a four-layer, 16-inch, plush memory foam and latex mattress that is infused with bamboo charcoal and has the CertiPUR-US certification. It is LUCID’s softest mattress that provides a gentle sinking in feel but is also designed to maintain spinal support and aid in reducing lower back pain.
It is a medium-priced mattress with many features found in high-end mattresses.
Four Layer Construction
- Premium Tencel Cover – Soft, breathable, Eco-friendly, and is the airy layer between the mattress and your body.
- Contouring Memory Foam – Three full inches of soft, yet supportive memory foam that relieves pressure points and prevents sleep disturbances and numbness in the arms and legs.
- Springy & Responsive Latex – This latex is taken from rubber trees and offers a unique springiness that is responsive to you body and its movements.
- Base Foam Support – The 10-inch support base is ideal for back and side sleepers, proper spinal alignment and support, and is good for large bed frames.
LUCID backs its products with a 25-year warranty and ships compressed for ease of shipping and setting up. It fits perfectly on box spring, platform, adjustable, metal, and slatted base bed frames.
People of the modern world are busier than ever, because of this busy lifestyle the quality of their sleep must improve. Most people understand that a good sleep is essential for health. It is important to encourage good sleeping methods as it will relax the muscles and provide a healthy night’s sleep, as opposed to a bad night’s sleep tossing and turning all night. But did you know that having a bad night’s sleep can aggravate back pain and that good night’s sleep can help to relieve back pain? There are a lot of factors to consider when sleeping to help relieve back pain.
4. Resort Sleep Mattress by Live and Sleep
Resort Sleep Mattress by Live and Sleep is a top-rated, 10-inch mattress and one that is on the affordable side for most people. The mattress is successfully stress-tested at 750 pounds and is ideal for people up to 300 pounds.
The features and facts about this mattress are as follows.
- HD Core: The High-Density (HD) core is designed to relieve pressure points on the body, which helps reduce tossing and turning. Tossing and turning at night is one of the most reported issues with back pain. Even when someone with back pain finally falls asleep, the movement sparks more back pain, causing them to awaken, then it’s a challenge to fall back to sleep. The reduction of tossing and turning prevents related waking times and helps you sleep longer and get restful sleep. The same HD core is ideal for side, back, and stomach sleepers respectively.
- Environmentally Friendly: The HD foam used is environmentally friendly, OEKO TEX and CertiPUR-US certified. It is anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic. It’s even shipped in an Eco-friendly box. It’s also dust mite resistant, uses fewer chemicals and has less gasses and toxins.
- Cooling Technology: Staying cool and comfortable during sleep is another essential part of getting restful sleep. Getting too warm and overheated often results in waking moments, or disturbed sleep. This mattress offers high-quality tempered materials that are plush and breathable to promote a comfortable way to sleep.
- Soft Cover: The soft, fabric cover on the Live and Sleep mattress can easily be removed and washed. It’s durable with flex-thread technology that provides further, luxury-like comfort.
- Ideal Contour: A deluxe cushion of 2.5 inches with Prime Air-Flow that is infused with pure visco and an extra thick layer of the most advanced HD support base provides consistent new-mattress luxury like what you find in high-end hotels.
- Supreme Topper: The topper is designed to conform to your shape and offers dual elements that provide optimal body support, aids posture, and eases the motion disturbance between partners. The Orthopaedic support factors is what makes it perfect for back, side, and stomach sleepers.
- Warranty and Guarantee: A 20-year warranty, 30-night trial with a full refund guarantee, and free returns.
The Resort Sleep Mattress is a medium-to-firm mattress that comes in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Short/RV Queen, King, and California King sizes. While it can be used out of the box on the floor and doesn’t require a box spring, it is well suited for use on box spring, foundation, or platform beds.
5. The LinenSpa Hybrid Mattress
The LinenSpa mattress is an 8-inch memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress that promotes pressure-relief on the spine and joints and the support of a conventional innerspring mattress, whether you sleep on your side, back, or stomach. This firm mattress is high-quality, yet quite affordable. The following will cover the high points of the mattress.
- The Layers: The layers consist of, from top to bottom, quilted memory foam for even weight distribution to relieve body aches, foam comfort layer, insulating felt pad, and tempered steel coils for back support and reduced ‘bounce”.
- Safety and Time Tested: The LinenSpa mattress is safety tested and certified by CertiPUR-US to show it meets quality, safety, and environmental standards. LinenSpa combines new technology and conventional time-tested design to produce a mattress with reliable support and advanced pressure relief.
- Capacity: This mattress isn’t flimsy or cheap, even though it’s highly affordable. It is capable of support weights up to 250-300 pounds.
- Warranty and Guarantee: The warranty on the LinenSpa is a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers the mattress and cover against any manufacturer defects. It also has a 30-day money back guarantee.
The sizes included for this mattress are Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, and King. It comes compressed in a box to make it easy to deliver and to set up. It can be used out of the box on the floor, or on a box spring, platform bed, foundation bed, or an adjustable bed with mattress support.
How Does a Mattress Influence Chronic Back Pain?
Most back pain, chronic or acute, starts with occupational strain, improper spinal alignment from sleeping on an uneven or hard surface, an injury, or any combination of these causes. You may consider lower back pain to be something that only happens to people who are older, but it’s just as big a problem for people under 45 years old. As a matter of fact, it’s a top cause of disability in people 45 and younger.
You will find that many prevention solutions are concentrated on things you do during the day, but what about during sleep? Many things happen in the human body during sleep that are related to the spine. One example is that pressure is steadily released from between the vertebrae during sleep. When you’re lying, not standing, the upper part of your body isn’t administering pressure on the spinal cord.
It might interest you to know that you are likely up to one inch taller in the morning compared to the end of your day. Gravity, poor posture, and pressure from walking, standing, and sitting compress the spine during the day.
At night, your spine gets to rest as you sleep. Proper alignment is crucial when you’re lying down so your body can feel better when you awaken. It’s essential to have the proper support for spinal alignment that reduces soreness while you sleep. Additionally, pain makes it difficult to get comfortable, which is bad for getting a restful sleep.
These are the reasons you need to sleep on a good mattress that provides support and proper spinal alignment. That’s how chronic back pain relates to mattresses.
What Exactly is Back Pain?
The hardest medical conditions to treat and cure relate to chronic back pain. Specifically, lower back pain is believed to be the leading cause of disability in the modern world.
Back pain can be defined into two categories – acute and chronic.
Acute back pain comes on suddenly and persists for a maximum of three months. Normally this pain will feel like a severe sharp pain in the lower back. It is normally caused by an injury or trauma.
However, chronic back pain develops gradually over a longer period of time and lasts for over 3 months thus causing long-term problems. It may feel like a deep, dull aching pain. Chronic pain can then be split again into pain with identifiable cause or unidentifiable cause.
It is important to define the back pain as it can be important in controlling it better. Let’s look at some of the causes of back pain.
Causes of Back Pain
The back is very complex and whether you suffer from acute or chronic back pain there can be many causes of the pain. Causes can be from strain or structural problems. Even poor posture, stress, anxiety and depression can lead to back pain.
Strain can also cause back pain. This can be strained muscles, ligaments and even muscle spasm. Structural problems such as ruptured and bulging disks put pressure on the nerve resulting in back pain.
It is believed that poor posture from both standing and sitting can contribute to back pain also. As well as poor posture, awkward sleeping positions place stress on your spine.
If you are suffering from back pain, there are some effective solutions that can make a significant difference to give you some pain relief.
How to Relieve Back Pain
A lot of prevention focuses on daytime habits, but did you know that when you sleep pressure is released from the vertebrae because you are lying down. However, the effectiveness of this depends on your sleeping position.
Sleeping Positions’ Effect on Back Pain
Some sleep positions can put added pressure on your lower back which can lead to pain. However, certain sleeping positions can help ease your back pain, so find one that is most comfortable for you.
Modify your Sleeping Positions
A few modifications to your regular sleeping position can take a load off your back.
If you are a back sleeper it is advised that you use a good cervical pillow for your neck, and also to put a regular pillow under your knees to allow your spine to maintain its natural curve. This is good for relieving pain. Another positive of sleeping on your back is that your weight is evenly distributed across your body. This will lead to less strain on your back.
It is believed that sleeping on your stomach can be bad for you and your neck as the neck and cervical vertebrae are rotated which can result in neck pain and sometimes back pain, which manifests between the shoulder blades. Sleeping on your stomach can also flatten the natural curve of the spine. Try putting a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis to relieve any strain on your back. The pillow is key to helping you ease the stress that is placed on your intervertebral discs.
Many people are side-sleepers. If you’re a side sleeper you can bring your legs up slightly toward your chest and sleep with a pillow between your knees. It is important to resist the urge to sleep on the same side as it can cause issues like muscle imbalances. Sleeping on your side in the fetal position is believed to be good for a herniated disk as it helps you to open the space between your vertebrae.
Some people have a combination of these positions when they sleep. Do not worry about sleeping in the same position all night long. It is perfectly normal to move when you sleep. No matter what position you chose just remember that alignment is key. The spine has 3 gentle curves, by properly aligning these spinal cord curves it can help to relieve stress on your spine. If you are having trouble getting good sleep because of your back pain, then try these tips by modifying your sleeping position and keeping your spine aligned to relieve pain.
Another critical and often overlooked area to helping relieve back pain is the mattress you use on your bed. Let’s take a look at how to choose a good mattress.
Are You at Risk for Low Back Pain?
With the exception of underlying diseases, these risk factors can raise your risk for low back pain problems.
- Age: Initially low back pain often presents between the ages of 30 and 50 and becomes increasingly more common with advanced age.
- Pregnancy: One of the most common complaints in pregnant women is low back pain, which is a side effect of how the pelvic changes and shifts and the extra weight being carried. Most instances of back pain are resolved after the birth. Some women may continue to have back problems afterwards.
- Backpack Problems: Children and adults who carry backpacks can experience neck and low back strain and muscle fatigue. While this is a rare issue, it often affects pre-teens who carry overloaded backpacks. The child’s backpack should weigh no more than 15 to 20 percent of your child’s weight.
- Fitness Level: People who are not physically fit often suffer with low back pain due to weak core muscles in the abdomen, which support the spine.
- Weight: Being overweight increases your risk of low back pain due to the amount of stress weight gain causes on the back.
- Mental Health: Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety cause people to focus on pain, which makes it worse. Likewise, the pain itself creates depression and anxiety. Stress causes muscle tension, which causes low back pain.
- Occupational Risks: Jobs that require certain movements like moving, pushing, or pulling heavy items. It’s common that these tasks also twist the spine, which can lead to back pain and injury. Inactive jobs where you sit for most of the day cause posture issues, which also leads to low back pain.
- Genetics: Genetics play a role in some types of back pain. A type of arthritis that causes fusion of the spinal column, called ankylosing spondylitis, causes immobility over time and is a genetic condition.
Choosing a Good Mattress for Spinal Support
A good mattress needs to be firm enough to support your lower back and soft enough to form your body. If it is too stiff the mattress will push against the spine thus causing pain. Choosing the right mattress can provide relief. Not every mattress is right for you there are different types of mattresses.
Firmness and Comfort
When selecting a mattress there are a lot of options to choose from which can make it difficult to pick one that is both comfortable and suits your needs.
An important consideration for a mattress is comfort. Comfort levels can depend on how soft or firm the mattress is.
Most people do not know what mattress firmness is right for them. It largely depends on the type of sleeping position you have. Each sleeping position has its own specific needs and ideal firmness level. Your sleeping position is a crucial consideration when deciding on a fitting firmness level.
Choosing How Firm your Mattress Should Be
Firmness is how hard or soft a mattress feels. Many companies offer mattresses that have a universal comfort. Although there is only one firmness level offered with them, the structure of these mattresses foams suits a variety of sleeping styles. If you are not sure about universal comfort mattresses one firmness fits all belief or need something more specific, then you need to consider other options. These options include mattresses that are soft to firm. Choosing the firmness of a mattress largely depends on the type of sleeping position you have. Here is the recommended mattress firmness based on sleeping positions:
- A mattress with medium firmness is recommended for a back sleeper. Back sleepers need the right amount of support. Too much or too little support can result in pain even after a few nights sleep.
- A slightly soft mattress is recommended for a side sleeper.
- A firm mattress is recommended for a stomach sleeper.
- A memory foam mattress is recommended in keeping spine alignment preventing back pain and discomfort, in general, providing lumbar support.
Firmness is Not Support
Not only will it determine the overall level of comfort but it’s also going to have a serious impact on the support of the bed as well. A lot of people think that firmness and support is the same thing. However, this is not true. The firmness measures the instant feeling that you get as you first lie down on your mattress. The support, on the other hand, refers to the way the mattress keeps your spine aligned.
When you pick your mattress, it is important to make sure that you separate the firmness and support as different considerations.
The firmness is just the way your bed feels.
Choosing a Mattress Specifically for Lower Back Pain
It is advised to choose a mattress that will help you relax. Not all people benefit from the same type of mattress. Some can actually damage your back even further depending on your sleeping posture. The right mattress for you will ideally be firm enough to provide adequate support keeping your spine aligned but also soft enough to conform to your body’s figure and relieve pressure points throughout your body.
As said before there is no perfect mattress for everyone, choose one that suits your sleeping posture and help you transition into a deep sleep not only re-energizing you but providing relief for your back also. Most experts believe that a medium-to-firm mattress is the best for lower back problems.
If you are having trouble getting good sleep because of your back pain, then try implementing these tips of modifying your sleeping position and finding a mattress to suit your sleeping position to relieve pain.
What to Consider When Selecting the Right Mattress for Low Back Pain
Sleeping on a lumpy, overly firm, or unsupportive mattress won’t help with spinal alignment, support, or sleep. If you suffer from chronic, acute, or occupational back aches and pains, the wrong mattress is not going to allow you to fall asleep easily or stay asleep all night.
As mentioned early in this article, any mattress that helps you sleep supports your back and neck, and helps you wake up rejuvenated from a restful sleep is a good mattress. It’s an individual preference because there is no single mattress type or style that works for everyone with low back pain. It’s important that people with low back pain choose a mattress that addresses spinal alignment and offers the best comfort and support that helps them get a restful night’s sleep.
Gel, memory foam, and latex foam mattresses are some of the top rated because they support and provide maximum comfort.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some excellent box spring and mattress sets that won’t perform well for you, but memory foam, latex foam, and gel technology foam and hybrid mattresses get better reviews.
Thickness and firmness is mostly determined by your body weight and sleeping style. Latex, gel, or memory foam is a personal preference.
The goal is to find a good mattress that conforms most closely to your body shape, which allows the hips and shoulders to sink into the mattress, while the waist and neck stay on top. This is considered a natural spinal alignment that aids in releasing pressure and helps the spine align itself. Poor conformity lacks support and puts the body into an unnatural position, which prevent those tensed up muscles from fully relaxing.
Do your research and learn about the components of the mattress. What kind of support system is used in the mattress? Coils, number of coils, thickness of the gel or foam, and the arrangement of the components that create the support.
Mattress depths usually range from between 6 and 18 inches, but almost anything over 10 inches is recommended for back pain sufferers.
If you require more support or comfort, a padded topper that is attached to the mattress is a good component to check out when choosing one.
Support & Comfort
The best mattress will provide support for the natural alignment and curves of the spine. The proper support will help prevent muscle soreness and worsened chronic back pain. The most popular support levels range from between medium and firm for back support.
Soft mattresses are nice for a little while, but they don’t provide the support you need for natural spinal alignment. You aren’t likely to get a good night’s sleep on a soft mattress. Again, firmness is a personal preference. Not everyone wants a firm or medium to firm mattress.
Mattresses that are too firm don’t allow for pressure point release. Very firm mattresses are often too hard, and they create aches and pains or make them worse. If you need something thicker or firmer, you can always add something with thicker padding.
Comfort is important, but a balance between comfort and support is an essential element of mattress selection. Memory foam, latex foam, and gel mattresses are more popular mostly because they have the advantage of comfort and support.
Foam density isn’t always what dictates how the foam feels. It’s the durability of the memory foam that dictates the feel. For instance, a five-pound per cubic foot memory foam mattress will withstand more and last longer than a three-pound mattress by about 10 years.
Five-pound memory foam mattresses are considered high-end, but that doesn’t always mean they cost more. Also look out for how much of the foam is high-density because sometimes it’s only the top inch, leaving the next layers weak and ineffective.
What is mmHg?
What’s mmHg? This is the unit of measure for the comfort of a foam mattress. It’s how they measure the reaction of the mattress against pressure. The standard for pressure relieving comfort is 32mmHg or lower.
Lower mmHg also results in better blood circulation, but be aware that higher density mattresses make this level of comfort more challenging. However, with new technology in memory and latex foam, the possibilities are endless.
Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) is another factor in memory and latex foam mattresses that people with low back pain should consider, especially if you weigh over 200 pounds. The ILD of a mattress should range from between 10 and 16 ILD for multiple layers. However, the total range is between 6 and 40 ILD.
Value & Quality
Price is never a guarantee that a product is better than a less expensive alternative. The smart way to shop is to compare, do your research, and look at reviews and ratings by customers and experts to see what they are saying about a mattress.
Choosing the right mattress for low back pain is less about the price than it is about the quality and value of the mattress.
Know Your Memory Foam
Standard memory foam, also referred to as visco foam or visco-elastic memory foam, is manufactured with petroleum-based chemicals. This is a man-made form of memory foam (synthetic) that isn’t effective for keep-cool technology. If anything, this kind of memory foam sleeps hot like polyester and nylon fabrics.
The most common complaints related to synthetic memory foam include:
- Sleeping Hot
- Chemical Odors
Natural memory foam is manufactured using fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients. For instance, instead of 2 to 15 percent petroleum, natural memory foam uses alternatives like cedar oil or soy oil. They are often marketed as Eco-friendly mattresses. Organic memory foam is another buzzword used by companies that manufacture natural mattresses.
Natural latex, for instance, uses no polyurethane foam. Certified, organic memory or latex foam mattresses are healthier options for those with allergies or who have issues with using synthetics. Look for special certifications and safety compliance information when looking at the best mattresses for reducing low back pain.
Try It Before You Buy It
Mattress manufacturers that offer a trial period give you a chance to try it in your home for 30 days, or more, to see if it works for you before you decide to keep it or return it.
However, you can also try different models in the store (where allowed) to see if a mattress feels comfortable to you. If you have a friend with a mattress you would like to try, ask if you can try it for a few minutes to see if it’s a good fit. If there are two of you shopping for a mattress, both of you should try out the mattress at the same time to check for space, comfort, and motion transfer.
Do You Know When to Shop for a New Mattress?
Another important thing that will help you sleep better is knowing when to replace your old mattress. If your mattress is visibly sagging in the middle or on the side where you sleep, or if it no longer feels comfortable to you, or it has stopped providing support for your spine it’s no longer effective. Then you know it’s time to find a new one. Short-term fixes like placing boards under the mattress are ineffective, short-term solutions.
What is Your Perfect Mattress?
Ultimately, it’s up to you what mattress you choose. This guide will be useful to you by informing you of the various types, styles, brands, materials, and firmness of mattresses that are designed to support the spine and aid with acute and chronic back pain.
By selecting the right mattress, you are improving your ability to get a good night’s sleep and reducing your lower back pain. Improved sleep helps promote overall better health and quality of life.
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