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What is the best mattress for back pain?

By Callie Paige

Are you trying to find the best mattress for back pain? Whilst back pain can be eased by improving other elements of your lifestyle, when you’re getting into bed after a long day at work (or a long night out), we know how frustrating it can be to feel uncomfortable.

Below we’ll provide some advice on how to find the best mattress for back pain, and what you can do to improve your situation.

Sleeping on the wrong mattress can make back pain worse

One of the most significant decisions you’ll make when choosing a mattress, is the type of support it will provide you with.

Why is memory foam best for a bad back?

It’s widely accepted that memory foam is the best mattress for a bad back, as a result of responsive cushioning. This means that the mattress contours to the shape of your body, supporting areas of the body that protrude when taking up both side, back and stomach sleeping positions. As memory foam is a single piece of material, there are no gaps in support across the length of the mattress, therefore every section of your body is supported. Memory foam is ideal for a range of sleeping positions because of the ‘sinking’ effect it provides, allowing your body to drop into the cushioning and support you where needed.

In contrast, spring-supported mattresses often don’t provide the same level of support, especially when you take longevity into consideration. Traditional coil mattresses have linked springs, which essentially behave in a box-like motion, meaning whilst you’re supported in some areas, there will be gaps in others where the coils are pulled down by the other surrounding it.

The latest trend in sprung mattresses - pocket sprung mattresses - are a welcome upgrade to its traditional variant. Each spring behaves independently, providing a more supportive mattress. However, as you’d expect with springs, over time they lose their strength, meaning the mattress will gradually develop a firmer feel.

How to choose the right mattress firmness

Choosing the right firmness when looking for the best mattress for back pain depends on your personal circumstances, such as your sleeping position. You’re looking for a mattress that supports the natural position of your shoulders, spine and lower back. Chiropractors and doctors often recommend that a firm mattress is best for a bad back, however firm mattresses can push on your joints, not allowing them to sink into a mattress as the rest of your body does (because of gravity). Conversely, a soft mattress can allow your body too much freedom, letting you sink too deep into your bed, resulting in an unnatural spine position. Usually, medium to firm mattresses provides the best support for people with back pain, allowing support and cushioning for comfort. By investing in a quality mattress that integrates the best pressure mapping qualities, your back will be provided with the support it needs.

What to Look For in a Mattress for Back Pain?

Although this might seem like an obvious statement, back pain isn’t cured overnight. Once you’ve invested in a quality mattress, you need to give the mattress time to work, plus, adjusting to the feel of a new mattress can be a challenge. Many retailers offer the option to try before you buy, but we have to ask - how many people lie in their natural sleeping position in the middle of a store? This experience is improved when buying online, with most companies offering a 100 night trial. Usually it takes at least 8 weeks to fully adjust to a new mattress, meaning for more than half of your free trial you won’t be feeling the benefit of your new mattress. That’s why we offer a 120 night trial - giving your body chance to respond to the benefits of a SID mattress.

Are orthopaedic mattresses best for back pain?

Orthopaedic mattresses, whilst sounding like specialist mattresses designed to combat back pain, are often just very firm mattresses that are packaged up by mattress manufacturers as a health-focused alternative. Finding a mattress that will improve back pain (or chronic lumbar discomfort) won’t necessarily come from purchasing an orthopaedic mattress - as covered earlier in our guide, this is a process of discovering the best mattress for back pain by testing different firmnesses that result in the most natural spinal position.

What is the best sleeping position to ease back pain?

Reducing pain by changing your sleeping position is dependent on your mattress firmness, as we covered earlier. Our advice is that sleeping on your stomach applies the most pressure to your spine and neck, because of the need to turn your head and the natural dip that will occur to your spine when sleeping on your stomach.

Sleeping on your side or back puts less pressure on vital areas, and also allows mattresses to provide more support. Mattress firmness is incredibly important when attempting to improve back pain, as this will determine in which position your spine is most supported.

Best mattress for back pain - reviews & comparison

Whilst we’ve already discussed the benefit of memory foam mattresses over sprung mattresses, there are many companies to choose from when purchasing a mattress to ease your back pain.

The Independent has carried out a thorough analysis on the 18 best mattresses (although not necessarily best mattresses for back pain), which is a useful guide on some popular mattress brands, however many of them are lacking when it comes to innovative sleeping material.

Sid on the other hand, puts innovative new materials to work to reduce the pain felt by sufferers of back pain. We’ve created an unrivalled composition of innovative materials, creating comfort and support.

  • A layer of pioneering Graphyx puts to work the science of graphene. Superconductive means super-cooling for a superior sleep sensation, which is combined with an incredible open cell foam that cools and ventilates from top to toe. Plus, our unique Graphyx foam, which has all the benefits of memory foam without any of the drawbacks, adapts to every curve and contour of your body, no matter your sleep position. Pressure is relieved, heat is reduced, peace is restored.

  • A luxurious quilted top layer offers up the ultimate in soft-feel comfort for weary bodies. Even better, this cushioning sleep surface can be easily removed with the premium quality zipper. A simple machine wash means your Sid mattress can be refreshed and rejuvenated time and time again.

  • A 20cm base layer of Reevo foam, which delivers enormous space for airflow. Precision-cut dual airflow channels keep fresh air circulating. Zoned support gives you precision support, right where you need. And all at a density designed to take the bumps (and grinds) for the next 15 years - guaranteed.