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Are Foam Mattresses Bad For Your Back

What Are The Benefits Of Memory Foam

The Best Firm Mattress For A Bad Back & Lower Back Pain!

Could the special properties of memory foam enhance your sleep? Sleep specialist Donna L. Arand, PhD, says that objective studies supporting the claimed benefits of memory foam — or the effects of any particular type of sleeping surface — are lacking.

This is true for a variety of reasons, she says. This type of sleep study can be expensive, if conducted independently. Or it is “chased” by a shadow of bias, if supported by industry.

Also, some sleep technology, such as memory foam, is relatively new, so it hasn’t been well studied. But perhaps one of the more difficult stumbling blocks to testing the health benefits of mattresses such as memory foam is the subjective nature of sleep. It is simply difficult to measure.

Sometimes the brain’s electrical activity, measured with an electroencephalogram , and other findings recorded during a sleep test don’t always match up perfectly with a person’s subjective experience, says Arand, who is the clinical director of the Kettering Sleep Disorders Center in Dayton, Ohio. “They might say, âI had a great night’s sleep,’ but the EEG parameters might not really indicate that.”

Sleep is not only subjective, but preferences for sleep surfaces are individual, Arand says. “There’s quite a bit of variability between individuals in terms of what type of surface — whether it’s firm, hard, or soft — they prefer when they’re sleeping,” she says. “As far as we know, there is no rhyme or reason for that.”

Dont Sleep On A Mattress Thats Too Soft Or Too Hard

Goldilocks was onto something when she picked Baby Bears just right bed.

A mattress thats too soft will cause your back or hips to sag and your spine to fall out of alignment, which can lead to significant pain. A mattress thats too firm will put too much pressure on your joints, especially if you sleep on your side or your back.

Thats why if you want to reduce your back pain in bed, you need a mattress that offers support but that also contours to your body to provide pressure relief and relieve pain.

That being said, theres no one-size-fits-all-best mattress for back pain. Plus, there are plenty of different materials to choose from. So be sure youre investing in a mattress made from suitable materials for your unique needs.

Look Into A Custom Mattress For Even Better Back Pain Relief

Last but not least, you may want to consider buying a custom-made mattress to help eliminate your back pain in bed.

A custom mattress is precisely what it sounds likea mattress made to fit your exact specifications and unique needs.

Custom mattresses can be made to fit almost any size . But they can also carry with them a wide range of other benefits like eliminating back pain, keeping you cool at night, and even eliminating certain sleep problems.

Read Also: What Is The Best Rated Mattress

Is Your Mattress Causing Back Pain

Back pains are caused by a lot of different reasons. Old age, a stressful work schedule, and specific illness can contribute to it. However, there are times when back pain arises suddenly without any apparent reason.

Well, studies have shown that inappropriate mattresses can cause one to wake up feeling pains in the body. If you arent sure about the cause of your back pains, heres how to find out whether your mattress has anything to do with it.

Is Memory Foam Mattress Topper Causing Back Pain

Best Mattress for Bad Back

Almost all memory foam toppers are soft and comfortable. The common topper thickness is 2- 4. If you place a thin memory foam topper on your too firm mattress, it may feel uncomfortable and cause lower back pain and other joint pain while sleeping on different sleeping positions. Furthermore, if you place the topper and bed on an old bed frame that sinks, it may cause you back pain. I recommend you use at least 3 thick memory foam topper for ultimate comfort as well as great back support.

Recommended Reading: How Much Is A Queen Size My Pillow Mattress Topper

A Zoned Model Thats Firm In The Middle And Softer Around The Edges


  • Materials: Pocketed coils, wool comfort layers
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Trial period: 100 nights

Made with layers of pure New Zealand wool and 100% organic cotton, The Parachute Eco Comfort Mattress is another eco-friendly mattress that can help alleviate back pain. It has two layers of pocketed steel coils, and its designed to be firm in the middle for back support and softer at the head and feet for pressure point relief and spinal alignmentgreat for combination sleepers. In between the coils is a comfort layer made from real wool, and the whole thing is wrapped in an organic cotton cover.

Reviewers say they feel so much better than they used to and are sleeping through the night and waking up without any discomfort after switching to this mattress.

Ease Aches With These Trusted Buys

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts, and articles are reviewed by healthcare professionals for medical accuracy. Youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Anyone who lives with back pain understands what a major difference a restful nights sleep can makeand, on the flip side, how disruptive it is when you wake up already experiencing discomfort. Though there are many causes of back pain, regardless of how it started, you want to make sure that the mattress you sleep on every night is meeting your needs. But finding one that works for you is often easier said than done.

There is no best kind of mattress for your back problems, so you may need to be open to some trial-and-error, says Dr.Gregory Funk, a chiropractor and the owner of Ideal Health Chiropractic in Denver. At the end of the day, you should look for a mattress that not only aligns with your personal preferences, but can also provide adequate support for the natural curves and alignment of the spine.”

Here are the best mattresses for back pain on the market.

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How Can You Tell That Your Mattress Is Causing Back Pain

Theres a good chance that your mattress is the cause of your back pain if you wake up with back ache that dissipates throughout the day only to return the next morning you wake up in the night frequently, you toss and turn, and/or your mattress is more than 8 years old but you should always consult with your doctor to be sure.

What Is A Hybrid Mattress & Why Should I Consider One If I Have Back Pain

Is Your Memory Foam Mattress Good for Your Back?

As the name suggests, a hybrid mattress is a mattress that’s made of various materials in different layers to give you a combination of benefits.

Memory foam was developed by NASA in the 1970s and quickly became popular for use in mattresses. Well, it’s not the 1970s anymore, and mattresses have evolved significantly.

Memory foam became an instant hit because it cradled your body, provided excellent motion isolation and creates a soft, yet supportive sleep surface.

However, what memory foam DOESN’T do is last long, or adequately support your back and spine. It also traps your body heat in and tends to get very, very hot.

Memory foam make for a great top layer of a mattress, but it’s not a great material by itself for an entire mattress.

If you have an all-foam mattress now, you’re probably familiar with the foam sag. Over time, all-foam mattresses will permanently compress in the area you sleep on. This leaves ditches in your mattress and takes away from the benefits of the foam.

> > Related Content: Best Hybrid Mattress For Side Sleepers

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Q: Which Type Of Mattress Is Best For Back Pain

A: Memory foam mattresses seem to be the most popular mattress type, but it’s not necessarily the most supportive. While some memory foam mattresses contain denser foams for added support, hybrid mattresses combine foam in their top comfort layers with innerspring coils at their core to properly align the spine while cushioning tender joints. Latex mattresses are also a good choice because they contour to your curves without letting the hips sink too deeply and out of alignment.

Can A Memory Foam Mattress Cause Back Pain

Face it, back pain isn’t just about age anymore. In many situations, back pain is caused by the way we sleep and how our spine aligns while we sleep. Not all mattresses support the body’s natural alignment causing serious problems, including ongoing back pain. In order to help remedy this issue, certain mattresses have come onto the market with a focus on comfort and alignment.However, not all memory foam mattresses are perfect for everyone. While the memory foam mattress does help provide support for the lumbar and aligns the spine without any of the gaps of traditional mattresses, some individuals may have different results.Some sleepers can still experience back pain with a memory foam mattress if their body contours to the mattress in a manner where the spine is not properly aligned. In many cases, though, a memory foam mattress may be recommended for back pain.

Read Also: Can You Put A Tempurpedic Mattress On A Box Spring

What Is The Best Type Of Mattress For Back Pain

When it comes to back pain, mattress type is less important than mattress firmness. Likewise, the number of foam layers or support coils wont matter as much as how the mattress feels. And if you have back pain, studies show that a mattress that feels medium-firm is the best type of mattress for you. According to one expert we spoke with, thats because a bed labeled medium-firm is likely to support your spines natural curves whether youre a side-sleeper, a back-sleeper, or a stomach-sleeper. Whether youre trying a mattress in a store or testing one you purchased online, ask yourself these questions to get a better idea of how comfortable it really is.

Best Flippable Mattress For Lower Back Pain

The best mattresses deals for bad back pain 2019 on sale

Idle Sleep Idle Hybrid Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 13 inches

With its combination of supportive coils and cooling, CertiPUR-US certified foam, the Idle Hybrid is designed for comfort and longevity. The flippable design means limited sag and twice the life span.

Youll also have the option of choosing a different firmness level on either side, so you can enjoy the right support every night even if your preferences change down the line.

Idle Sleep offers a generous 18-month trial period with free shipping and returns, plus a lifetime warranty.

Buy the Idle Sleep Idle Hybrid Mattress online.

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How To Know If Your Bed Is Causing Back Pain

Back pain can be troublesome, and it can also be confusing to pinpoint what is causing it. The mattress you sleep on at night plays a huge part in how you feel in the morning. One factor to look out for is the time of occurrence. Back pain when you wake up may tell you that your mattress is hurting your back.

What Type Of Mattress Is Best For Lower Back Pain

If youre dealing with lower back pain, the right mattress can make a big difference.

A mattress that doesnt hold up our body will cause pain in the lower back, explains Dr. Lynelle McSweeney, a chiropractor in Reno, Nevada. We need support to keep our joints from going into a stress point, which puts pressure on nerves and strains the muscles.

In general, hybrid or innerspring mattresses will offer more support than all-foam options, which may be too soft.

The manufacturers firmness rating can also help you zero in on a supportive option. These ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Medium-firm mattresses, which have a rating of 7 to 8, are typically recommended for lower back pain.

Keep in mind that the firmness of a mattress will depend on a few different factors, including your preferred sleeping position, your body size and weight, and whether you share your bed with a partner or pet. Personal preference plays a role too.

There is no single right mattress for everyone, but there are certain considerations when youre dealing with lower back pain:

Make a point of checking reviews so you can see what previous purchasers have to say about any mattresses youre considering.

Comfort is highly individual, so take advantage of the free in-home trials that manufacturers offer to find a mattress that balances enough support for your lower back with overall comfort. Check the return policy and warranty, too.

Also Check: Where Do You Take Old Mattresses

A Memory Foam Mattress That Adapts To Your Body Quicker Than Most

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
  • Trial period: 100 nights

Thanks to its Bio-Pur memory foama proprietary foam thats more responsive and adaptive to movementthis mattress contours your back and neck, promoting alignment and relieving pressure points. Those with back pain know that soft spots can be detrimental to your comfort, however, theres no need to worry about that with memory foam that bounces back in seconds. With an open-cell design, the Amerisleep AS1 also keeps you cool throughout the night by allowing air to quickly pass through.

Reviewers say this mattress has played a dramatic role in decreasing chronic back pain. Some dedicated back sleepers also add that this mattress allows them to comfortably sleep on their sides.

Can A Padded Or Memory Foam Topper Help To Improve Back Pain

A memory foam mattress brings back somebad memories

A mattress topper is an additional layer of cushioning that can be used to increase the longevity and comfort of your existing mattress. They may be constructed from memory foam, latex, polyester or down filling.

If you’re suffering from regular episodes of back pain, but you’re not sure you can afford a new mattress, then a mattress topper is a great way to add a layer of comfort and support on a budget.

If you think you could benefit from the cradling support of memory foam, but you’d like to try it out before you invest in a full-size mattress, then a memory foam topper is a great way to see if it will suit you. Its also a budget-friendly way to add a layer of memory foam to a traditional sprung mattress if you don’t think you can afford a full-size version.

When picking a mattress topper, you’ll need to consider your preferred sleeping position. Back sleepers should be comfortable on a 35cm topper, while side sleepers will need a topper with a depth of at least 7cm in order to fully accommodate the hips and shoulders.

Recommended Reading: Where Can I Buy A Sofa Bed Mattress

Theres Not Enough Support

If your memory foam mattress is giving you back pain then a lack of support is one of the major causes.

Mattress support is NOT the same as mattress firmness.

Firmness refers to the hard or soft feeling that you experience when you initially lie on the mattress.

Whilst support is the degree to which the mattress is able to support your spine, promote good posture, and keep your back and joints free from pain.

The firmness and feel of the mattress is typically influenced by the upper comfort layer of the mattress, whilst the support is more a product of the lower support core although the two can influence each other to some extent.

Poor mattress support is typically the result of sagging.

Sagging may occur because theres too much weight on the mattress, the materials have degraded, manufacturer defects, poor design, or a combination of these factors.

Solution Get the Right Amount of Support

Getting the right amount of support for your memory foam mattress to guard against back pain can be achieved in the following ways:

  • More support for heavier weights if you weigh more than 230 lbs then you need to make sure that your all-foam, memory foam mattress is designed to hold this amount of weight . Otherwise, you might be better going for a hybrid design where the base is made from coils for more robust support and the upper comfort layer is made from memory foam for greater pressure relief.

Waking Up With Joint Stiffness And Lower Back Pain 4 Reasons Why It Happens

A full nights sleep should help you feel rejuvenated when you wake and are ready to face the day. So why do you sometimes wake up with stiff joints and a sore lower back? Unless you have known back issues or an injury that contributes to poorer sleep, morning aches and pains are both confusing and frustrating.

There are plenty of reasons for sore joints and lower back stiffness. Its important to drill down to what the root cause is for you. Luckily, we know a thing or two about mattresses and quality sleep. Below are the four most common causes for morning sorenessand what you can do about them.

Your Sleep Position is Out of Whack

We tend to fall asleep in roughly the same position every nightand each sleep position has a different effect on your body. Simply put, not all sleep positions are created equal, which may account for some of your pain.

People who sleep on their stomachs are most prone to experience back and joint pain since this position pulls the spine out of alignment. Additionally, the twisting and contorting that stomach sleepers do to get comfortable can put extra pressure on the neck, lower back and jawwhich can even lead to poorer circulation. Most sleep experts recommend that stomach sleepers try to train their bodies to sleep on their sides, usually by propping their trunks up with a pillow.

Your Pillow Isnt Cutting It

Your Mattress is Too Soft, Or Too Firm

You Need to Switch Up Your Bed’s Foundation

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