A Guide to Finding the Best Mattress for Back Pain
This buyer’s guide is a segment where we discuss some things that weren’t really included in our own reviewing methodology. This covers some clearly subjective aspects that we can’t really include in our scoring methodology (like the type of mattress), and it includes some general buying advice. You can only get the best mattress for low back pain if you know what exactly you need.
Is It Time to Replace Your Mattress?
Ask yourself honestly, how old is your mattress? Warranty periods are fantastic, but your regular old mattress won’t really be of much use for longer than a decade of regular wear and tear. When it comes to finding the best mattress for lower back pain, our reviews all include companies that you can trust and that offer some kind of warranty or another. Off-brand mattresses, however, don’t last that long.
Furthermore, inspect your old mattress for any significant damage. What shape is it in, and are there any tears, scrapes, sagging areas, or dips? Is it even, or is it completely dented and warped?
Also, is your sleep quality worse? Keep in mind, the best mattress for a stomach sleeper with lower back pain won’t help you heal any damage since sleeping on your stomach isn’t good for your spine.
While the most likely culprit is a health or environmental issue, your mattress might be the thing causing you trouble. Either it’s damaged, like we mentioned above, or maybe your sleep position has changed.
You probably noticed that we haven’t mentioned this metric that much in our guide. The core reason is that all of the above mattresses come from good companies. Two factors influence the durability of a mattress: the quality of the build and materials used. We’ve covered the various types below in more detail. Along with durability, the companies above provide the best mattresses for lower back and hip pain, neck problems, and general spinal issues.
Shopping Tips Before Getting the Best-Rated Mattress for Back Pain
Test It Out
First things first—you want to test these out. Come to the store in comfortable clothes and footwear that’s easy to take off. Make yourself comfortable, take your time, and don’t fret about the salesperson. They should let you test everything out properly. Try all sleeping positions, see how you feel.
If you really don’t have the option to actually test the mattresses when you’re deciding among the best mattresses for back and neck pain, get a mattress that has a return policy. No point in handing over so much money for something that just doesn’t feel right and that you can’t really use—especially if you have back pain.
See What Options You Have to Actually Get It into Your Home
As you’re looking for the best mattress for back pain, our reviews won’t matter much if you pull a muscle getting it into your bedroom. A good company will likely offer employees, a delivery service, or some kind of wheeled box to allow you to get it into your home as easily as possible.
Always Inspect the Mattress
Don’t be a pushover—inspect the mattress when it’s delivered. See if it has any stains or damage, and check that it has the right materials. If you do accept the mattress and get it set up in your home, call customer service if there are any issues with it. Take photos or a video for proof.
Types of Mattresses
Innerspring mattresses are the most common type of mattress. These mattresses, also known as coil mattresses, have been around since the 1900s. They’re made from steel coils that compress when you put some weight on them. More coils mean higher quality and better support.
These are affordable beds since they’re cheap and simple to make. However, they don’t last for that long, since their springs tend to get worn down. Furthermore, the squeaking you hear from these beds gets old fast.
Still, they tend to be on the firmer side, and you can bet that an innerspring is the best firm mattress for back pain thanks to the support it provides.
Memory foam was invented by NASA in 1966. Its first purpose was to make aircraft cushions safer. Now, it has many commercial applications. In fact, it was not until 1991 that the first memory foam mattress came into existence. While it tends to be soft, it can still be the best type of mattress for lower back pain if it’s reinforced or combined with coils.
The reason these mattresses are so popular is that they give you a kind of pleasant sinking sensation, a feeling of being cradled. It gives you both cushioning and support. It’s especially useful for people who need extra softness due to various painful conditions. Namely, the best mattresses for upper back pain caused by localized pain (like direct pain in your muscles) for back sleepers is a memory foam mattress.
Gel-based mattresses are a subtype of foam mattresses. They’re essentially foam mattresses that are infused with a special gel-like material. Their core advantage is that they provide you with a cool sleeping surface, which is especially helpful for people who sweat a lot or have high body temperatures. If you’re interested in the best mattresses for low back pain, you might actually like a gel-infused foam mattress, as long as it has a firm base.
However, these are more expensive, and the cooling effect can fade after some time. Lower-quality gel-infused mattresses actually make the bed hotter after a time since they pick up the temperature of the environment. However, you can rest assured that the best-rated mattresses for back pain above will keep you cool and relaxed, and they won’t fall apart.
Latex is actually a relatively natural bedding option. Natural latex is a byproduct of the sap from rubber trees. Of course, synthetic latex exists as well, and it may be affordable, but the natural option is more environmentally friendly.
Similar to memory foam, latex offers pressure relief and contouring. However, the level of contouring is lower than that of memory foam, which is actually a good thing. This may make it the best mattress for a side sleeper with back pain because it gives you some extra resistance and bounce, meaning you can’t really sink into the mattress. However, these mattresses do let you sink a bit, which is great for people with broader hips and shoulders who sleep on their sides.
Hybrids are becoming more and more popular. They offer the best of both worlds, with the softness of a latex or memory foam mattress combined with the support and bounce of an innerspring mattress.
These are made by placing springs in the bottom layer, with a few layers of latex or memory foam on top of the mattresses. In fact, some of the best mattresses for lower back and hip pain can be a hybrid, giving you support and softness at the same time.
The primary drive behind buying organic mattresses is that they’re perfect for people who care about the environment and who also want to minimize their exposure to chemicals and toxins. They’re eco-friendly, sustainable, and nontoxic—often made from natural latex, recycled steel, organic wool, and a variety of materials all of natural origin. Essentially, it’s the best mattress type for back pain for people who also want to minimize their ecological impact. Make sure to check out our review of the best organic mattresses while at it!
Waterbeds were invented by a doctor primarily to help patients who suffered from bedsores. These are very comfortable, completely conforming to your body and offering no resistance. In fact, there’s barely any pressure on your joints, giving lots of relief for individuals with back pain. It’s basically the best type of mattress for back pain sufferers who have trouble falling asleep. This type of mattress gives you the sensation of floating on waves and can be very soothing.
Furthermore, since they’re made from vinyl materials, they are pretty good for allergy sufferers. Lacking fibers that can gather up dust, debris, and dirt, they can often come as a relief for people having trouble with these problems.
They also have heating options, at least the stronger models do. Amazing and comfy for winter months, a waterbed often has very specific temperature settings, it’s the best mattress for back pain sufferers who like to control how warm or cool they feel during the night.
However, they are not without their problems. They can leak, obviously, which can be an absolute nightmare. They also get strange smells from time to time. Finally, they offer practically no support, so if you need it, you won’t really get help.
To Sum Up
And there you have it folks, a clear guide to help you out with your sleeping habits, and with your back pain. There are a lot of good products here, many of which can help relieve certain back issues, and allow you to get a good night’s rest again. So, if you are looking for the best mattress for back pain, check out our reviews, take a look at our guide, and you will be right as rain.