Choosing the Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain

We all come in different weights, shapes and sizes, but have one thing in common; we spend more than a third of our lives in bed. For sufferers of back pain sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause or even worsen back pain. Lack of support from a mattress reinforces poor sleeping posture and places stress and strain on muscles and joints, all of which can contribute to low back pain. A mattress that provides both comfort and support help to reduce low back pain, allowing the structures in the spine to rest and rejuvenate during the night.


With a huge variety of mattresses on the market, choosing the right one can be a mine field. We have put together these practical guidelines designed to help sufferers of low back pain choose the best mattress for both back support and sleep comfort.

Should I choose a hard or soft mattress?

The best mattress is a supportive one. A good mattress should provide support for the natural curves and alignment of the spine. The right amount of back support helps to avoid developing back soreness in the morning.

• Sleeping on a mattress that is too firm can cause increased pressure on joints, and increase the strain on the area.
• Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft can mean that you sag into it, meaning that the spine is not supported.
• A medium-firm mattress may be more comfortable as it allows the shoulder and hips to sink in slightly, allowing for a neutral spine. A topper can be placed on top of a firm mattress, to allow extra ‘give’ in the mattress.


How do I know which is the right mattress for me?

• If you are lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the mattress and should not sag (bed too soft) or bow (bed too hard).
• Try before you buy! Lie on the mattress before you purchase, this will give you a better idea of how supportive it feels.

See What’s the Best Position to Sleep in When you Have Back Pain? for more information on correct sleep posture.


What about my partner?

• It is important that you shop for a new mattress together, as your respective ideal mattress tensions could be very different. A 16 stone person may not get the same support as a 9 stone person sleeping in the same bed.
• If yours and your partners’ mattress needs are very different, consider buying a bed from a range that allows two single mattresses to be zipped together.

How do I know when I need to buy a new mattress?

• If you can feel the springs through the mattress.
• If the mattress sags visibly, or is no longer comfortable. Putting boards under a mattress to keep it from sagging in the middle is only a short term fix.
• If the bed is older than 10 years old it’s time for a new one, as beds wear out and lose support over time.

Have a good night sleep everyone!

Find our ‘Contact us’ page by clicking here, or alternatively call us on 01244 880186 for further advice or information about treatment.


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