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What’s the Best Mattress for a Bad Back?

What’s the Best Mattress for a Bad Back?

What’s the Best Mattress for a Bad Back?

Learn how to find the best mattress for a bad back.

Best Mattress for Bad Back


Are you trying to find a good mattress for back pain? One of the hardest medical conditions to cure or diagnose are those relating to back pain. Over and over, you find people searching the ends of the world for the best mattress for a bad back. Mainly because, along with debated chiropractic treatments, having a good mattress seems to aid the most when it comes to back pain.

While the best mattress remains a hotly contested topic, opinion polls and sleep professionals have indicated that specific types are better than others when it comes to pain management and support.

What Does Back Pain Have to With Mattresses?

It has been reported that the majority of back pain is caused by either an injury, or the daily stresses of sleeping on a hard or uneven surface. Believe it or not, while a person sleeps many things go on in their bodies that are related to their backs. For instance, while sleeping, pressure is gradually released from the vertebrae. This is because the person is lying; not standing, therefore the upper portion of the body is not applying pressure to the spinal cord.

Under these conditions, when a person initially awakes, they can be up to one inch taller than they normally are. As they progress through the day, pressure returns and the individual will shrink back to their regular height. Your spine rests while you lie at night. As your back settles into its horizontal position, proper alignment and support is essential.

Which Type is the Best Mattress for a Bad Back?

Sleeping on a lumpy, unsupportive or too-firm surface can interfere with the spinal cord reaching its proper posture. The best mattress for a bad back seems to be  memory foam mattress or a latex mattress. These mattresses conform to the sleeper’s body shape to allow for the wider parts of their body, like the hips and shoulders, to sink in while the thinner portions, such as the waist and neck just lay atop. This allows the spinal cord to adjust correctly and align itself straight.

This straight alignment relieves the pressures commonly associated with most back pains. Now the best mattress for a bad back will be based on each person’s situation and preferences.  However, in a general sense, medium-firm mattresses are the most recommended. Backs with preexisting conditions sometimes require a moderately firm sleeping surface in order to heal properly from strains, and other injuries.

What makes memory foam the best mattress for a bad back?

Traditional spring mattresses are flat, plank-like. These mattresses cause the sleeper to lay uneven, whether they are side or back sleepers. Plank-like surfaces, when it comes to a back sleeper, force the person’s back to arch and the inner knee to be unsupported. This prevents the lower back from decompressing and causes a hosts of strains and pains.

Why is this? Let’s take a mental picture and envision this sleeping situation. The buttocks and the upper shoulders are the parts of the body that protrude the most; the heel of the foot does as well. While lying on the back, the buttocks touch the mattress, the shoulders do, and the heels dig in. However the lower back is arched, inner knee barely has a supported surface and the head falls backward.

This type of body position causes strain and tension on the muscles. It also discombobulates the alignment of the spinal cord. This is why the best mattress for a bad back tends to be a medium-firm memory foam, or latex mattress. They allow the parts of the body that need to sink in to do so, and give support in the places that require it.

Is the Best Mattress for Back Pain Soft, Medium, or Firm?

Maybe it’s neither or a combination of two? It has long since been believed that a firm mattress was the best choice for people who suffer from back pain, however, a study conducted in Spain in 2009 on 313 adult  individuals, revealed that the best mattress for back pain seems to be a medium-firm one.

This has been a long debate between orthopedic doctors and chiropractors. Orthopedic doctors recommend firm spring, latex, or memory foam mattresses, while chiropractors recommend medium-firm mattresses. The study revealed that the majority of chiropractors were probably right. Since then, other studies have supported their conclusion.

Can a Mattress Topper Help?

An additional point to highlight is that many chiropractors believe that if the sleeper does not own a memory foam mattress the best thing to do is to lay a 1 ½- 2 ½ inch thick memory foam padding on a spring mattress. Make sure the mattress isn’t sagging much or your back pain may not be alleviated with a topper.

While a mattress pad aides comfort, it does not give the sleeper the deep advantages a memory foam or latex mattress does. These offer truly pressureless support, mold/dust mite resistance, and longevity. The breathability and health advantages of memory foam mattresses make it an overall choice as the best mattress for a bad back and health in general.

A whole mattress is tall enough to allow the sleeper’s body to sink in the proper distances in the right spots. A 1 ½ -2 ½ inch topper can only do so much.

Quality memory foam or latex mattresses are hypoallergenic, meaning they are less likely to cause allergic reactions in people. Also, all natural models the drastically reduce chemical exposure, which is important for those with sensitivities.

So, which is the best mattress for back pain? Medium-firm memory foam mattresses assist vertebrae alignment, reduce muscle tension and aid the body’s natural processes.  This along with affordability makes memory foam the best mattress for a bad back, injured back, or sore back.