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Is Foam Mattress Good For Back Pain

Consider Buying A Mattress Online

Best Memory Foam Mattresses For Back Pain (Top 7 Beds!)

A great way to score a deal on a new mattress is to buy online. While it might seem like a strange concept if youre used to going to a brick-and-mortar store, weve found that buying online offers some huge advantages.

Most online mattresses are sold directly by the manufacturer. Eliminating the middle-man and the need for showroom space means lower prices, and the growing competition between retail and online storefronts has only generated more deals for shoppers.

But the benefits go beyond just price. Shopping online is convenient, allowing you to browse options from the comfort of your own home and without any salespeople eagerly pushing a sale to earn a commission. Having the time to research each mattress and compare it to others is a major contrast to the brick-and-mortar experience where youre limited to just whats available in that store.

When buying online you dont have the ability to feel out a mattress before purchasing, but almost every mattress we test offers a sleep trial with no-hassle returns, including a full refund if you try out the mattress and dont like it. This gives you a no-risk opportunity to try out a mattress for weeks or months in your own bedroom as opposed to for just a few minutes in a store. Over the longer-term, virtually all online mattresses come with a warranty of at least 10 years to protect against future problems, which are rare in mattresses sold both online and in-store.

What Is Back Pain A Note From Dr Poorbaugh

Before we wrap up, I wanted to include some basic information on back pain that I learned from Dr. Poorbaugh.

According to Dr. Poorbaugh, most medical research is focused on Chronic Lower Back Pain . Traditionally, to be defined as chronic someones lower back pain needed to continue for more than three months. But recently, doctors have started using functional brain imaging to illustrate that chronic is not necessarily a time dependent label.

Dr Poorbaugh says that the main determinant of chronic back pain today is central sensitization. According to Dr. Poorbaugh, central sensitization occurs when the central nervous system has lost its ability to dampen or control peripheral stimuli i.e. information from muscles, joints, and nerves.

When your nervous system cant control those stimuli, your peripheral nerves get irritated. This eventually affects your entire nervous system and makes normal activity feel painful .

Other Mattresses We’ve Tested

It’s difficult for the average person to test every mattress they might be interested in, especially when it comes to online mattresses that are exclusively sold through the brands’ websites. That’s why we have our CNET Sleep editors test the mattresses we review, and create round ups that include some of the best beds they snuggled up to. While the beds above are top choices, here are a few that could have easily made the list as well.

Avocado mattress: For individuals who live green or are particularly sensitive to household allergens, an organic mattress like Avocado might be appealing. With the optional pillow top, the Avocado mattress has a medium-firm profile that keeps the back in neutral alignment and prevents it from sagging into the mattress. At the same time, there is ample pressure relief around the points you need it most. Though, it might be a little too firm for side sleepers. Another plus about this bed, is thanks to its latex foam construction, it’s hypoallergenic and antimicrobial.

WinkBed mattress: There are several perks to a WinkBed mattress that make it an ultra comfortable option for people who suffer from back pain. It’s offered in three firmness levels, but the firm model is what I recommend, thanks to its golden ratio of support to pressure relief. Not only is it made with supportive pocketed coils, but it also has a “LumbarLayer” specifically designed to offer targeted support to your lumbar region.

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Are There Any Disadvantages To Having A Memory Foam Mattress

Again, the disadvantages are typically dependent on the individual and their experience. For some, it can cause the hips to sink too low into the mattress. For others, it can more uncomfortable in areas where their body is heavier.When discussing disadvantages of a memory foam mattress, some new owners experience something called offgassing–the term often used when the chemicals of the material release into the area. This is a weird smell that comes from the memory foam mattress when it is new. However, it is something that can be remedied by waiting some time before putting sheets on the mattress and letting it air out.Another potential problem individuals may experience is the retention of body heat by the memory foam mattress. This is typically problematic in warmer weather as it could make it uncomfortable for the user to sleep. Once again, this is not an experience everyone has and is often dependent on the user.

What Are The Benefits Of Memory Foam

Red Nomad Gel Memory Foam Mattress Pad 2 Inch

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 hasnt 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 brains electrical activity, measured with an electroencephalogram , and other findings recorded during a sleep test dont always match up perfectly with a persons 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 nights sleep, but the EEG parameters might not really indicate that.

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

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Are Soft Or Firm Mattresses Better For Back Pain

According to Dr. Brager, most people will find relief with a medium to firm mattress, while a soft mattress is the least likely to alleviate back pain. However, she stresses that there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to selecting a suitable mattress for back pain.

I dont want people to think that a firm mattress is the absolute all or nothing solution. A medium-firm mattress is wonderful too, says Dr. Brager, but everyone is different.

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What Is Memory Foam

First designed in the mid-1960s for NASA airplane seats, memory foam is made from a substance called viscoelastic. It is both highly energy absorbent and soft.

Memory foam molds to the body in response to heat and pressure, evenly distributing body weight. It then returns to its original shape once you remove the pressure.

In addition to protecting against impact, these properties make memory foam very comfortable. After its “virgin flight” for NASA, memory foam made a foray into other applications. For example, it was used as cushioning in helmets and shoes. Medicine found a use for it in prosthetics and products to prevent pressure ulcers such as seating pads for people who are severely disabled.

Then, memory foam really took off. It’s now well known for its use in pillows, mattress pads, and mattresses, which come in different densities and depths.

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Rest Assured Adleborough 1400 Pocket Ortho Mattress

Rest Assured is one of a few smaller brands that are actually owned by the same company that owns the well-known Silentnight brand. The Rest Assured Adleborough 1400 has a brilliant specification for the price. Its a pocket sprung mattress which is the more common alternative to memory foam. It also features a hand tufted finish, which is another sign of a quality mattress.

The Rest Assured Adleborough 1400 cannot be flipped or turns, so instead has to be rotated. When it comes to flipping, its often considered beneficial to be able to turn a mattress as this is thought to greatly increase its life. This mattress is also one of the only ones available that doesnt come with any form of trial period so its best to read many reviews or to go and actually try one out before purchasing. It does come with a 5 year guarantee though, which although is a long time, its not very long in the world of mattresses.

Its Sitting On An Incorrect Base

Is Your Memory Foam Mattress Good for Your Back?

A memory foam mattress cannot provide the much-needed support if the base slats are too far apart. The mattress will end up pushing through the gaps between the slats leading to discomfort and spine misalignment when you sleep. If the distance between the slats is more than 3 inches, it is possible that it won’t support your mattress. It is advisable to invest in a new one or a bespoke bed customized for you.

Also Check: What Is A Purple Mattress

You Weigh More Than 230 Lbs

If you weigh more than 230 lbs, then the risk of back pain when sleeping on any type of mattress especially if you sleep on your front increases because your extra body weight causes deeper compression of the mattress materials that can result in poor posture.

This risk increases when sleeping on a memory foam mattress or topper because memory foam tends to sink in for greater pressure relief which will be exacerbated by your body weight.


The solution to avoiding back pain when sleeping on a memory foam mattress if you are a heavier weighted sleeper is to select a firmer feel for more push back, choose a hybrid-memory foam mattress for more support , and go for a mattress thats more than 10 inches thick to guard against excessive material sinkage.

Whilst the Nolah Evolution isnt technically a true memory foam mattress , it does have a 15 profile, superb support, and is available in firm and luxury firm to suit heavier weighted sleepers of all sleeping positions.

Ive personally tested this mattress and not only is it amazing for heavy-weighted sleepers, its perfect for just about every sleeping position and style.

Emma Premium Hybrid Mattress

Best overall for back pain

Key features

  • Depth: 25cm
  • Trial: 200 nights

An award-winning foam and pocket-spring hybrid mattress thats worth considering if you suffer from back pain. It uses the brands specially designed HRX Supreme Foam, which stands for high resiliency extra foam, and isnt just jargon its extra durable and designed with different zones of density to align and support your spine . As per Gibsons advice, this mattress is described as medium firm, but the brand will provide extra layers of memory foam topping to soften it or firm it up should you require.

Five layers of alternating high-tech memory foam and pocket springs combine for a springy yet supremely supportive feel, so it’s no wonder Emma won a wide array of consumer awards for comfort. Emma offers a lengthy 200 night trial and a ten year guarantee.

Also Check: What Kind Of Mattress Is Best For Stomach Sleepers

Backed By Research: Medium

In recent research by Professor Ahmed Radwan, PhD, and his colleagues for the National Sleep Foundation, firmer mattresses were found to be ideal for back pain, sleep quality, and spine alignment.

According to the researchers, while soft mattresses can decrease excessive compressive forces on joints, firm mattresses can help maintain the appropriate sleeping posture to avoid the hips from sagging.

Sleepers were also most likely to choose the mattress that kept their alignment most similar to that of a standing position. This is why medium-firm is just the right firmness for back pain it supports a sleepers back without sacrificing comfort levels.

#reason : Your Mattress Is Too Soft Or Too Firm

Memory Foam Mattress, Double, King Size, Single, ORTHOPEDIC, for Back ...

If you are using a mattress, you know the common factor firmness. It determines how soft or hard the mattress is. Mainly, two common types of firmness are available on the market such as soft and firm. Some people like soft mattresses and some prefer firm mattresses. Sometimes, the firmness may be one of the major reasons for causing your lower back pain.

If you are using a too firm mattress, it does not sink enough and you feel discomfort and pain on the hips, back, spine, neck, and shoulder. On the other hand, if your mattress is too soft, it cant hold your spine perfectly and aligned it in a wrong position which may cause your lower back pain.

Solution 1: Pick The Right Firmness of Your Mattress

So, you have to choose the right firmness while buying a new mattress. Here are some helpful tips for you to choose the perfect firmness of your mattress.

#Soft Mattress

Soft mattresses are perfect for side sleepers because it removes the pressure on the hips and shoulders while sleeping on the side. This is why a side sleeper can get more comfort and perfect support to the back & spine in the side sleeping position. The lightweight sleepers and slim sleepers can use the soft mattress for better pressure relief, ultimate comfort, and great back support. Do not use soft mattresses if you are a heavy sleeper like over 200 lbs. It may sink more and aligns your spine incorrectly and cause lower back pain.

#Medium Firm Mattress

#Firm Mattress

Solution 2: Make Your Firm Mattress Soft

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Best For Side Sleepers: Avocado Green Mattress

Both Breus and Caldwell call prolonged side sleeping a potential cause of neck and back pain. The Avocado Green Mattress, which happens to also be made with organic materials, can help alleviate those issues.

Made with more than 1,000 coils and five different ergonomic zones, this mattress encourages alignment even when the body is turned to the side.

Buy it:AvocadoGreenMattress.comPrice: $999$1,899

What Can I Do For Back Pain

Buying a new mattress is a starting point in curing a mattress induced back pain. However, you can also schedule daily stretching routines. You could stretch a few time after waking up and before you go to bed to make your spine more flexible.

You should also learn how to sleep in the correct posture. It is recommended that you sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs. The pillow will help support your hips and lower back.

While shopping for a new mattress, make sure to spend time testing it. No matter how silly this may feel, keep in mind that its a necessary step to help you choose the right mattress.

Read Also: Will A Soft Mattress Hurt Your Back

Mid Back Pain And Lower Back Pain

If you suffer from mid back pain, lower back pain, or a more specific condition affecting these regions, then this section pertains to you. Other low back conditions include: sciatica, facet syndrome, spinal instability, disc bulge/herniation, joint dysfunction, muscle spasms, scoliosis, and degenerative disc disease . If you identify with one of these conditions, then having a mattress that offers support is most important.

When looking for a supportive mattress for back pain you want a material that is responsive and can hold your mid back and low back curves in place while still being comfortable. A supportive mattress should push into you, not swallow you up. Theres no better material for support than memory foam or latex.

Which Is Better For Back Pain: Memory Foam Or Sprung Mattresses

Ortho Mattress ? : Best Mattress For BACK PAIN

Unlike traditional sprung mattresses, memory foam shapes itself to fit the contours of the body, rather than just the major pressure points like the hips, knees and neck. This reduces the pressure on these areas, and helps to keep the spine in a natural alignment. So, they can be very comfortable and effective for those with chronic back problems.

On the other hand, traditional coiled mattresses do provide effective weight distribution, which can make them a good option for taller or heavier individuals. Pocket sprung mattresses are especially effective at this, because the individual springs can move independently, allowing them to better follow the contours of the body than traditional open coil styles. So, ultimately, the best mattress for a bad back really depends on your build and sleeping style.

If you like the sound of both benefits, then a mattress which utilises both pocket springs and a layer of memory foam, like our hybrid mattresses and , could be the best solution for you.

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Support And Pressure Relief

Support If you are reading this article its likely you suffer from back pain, and this is why support is the most important criteria when searching for a mattress. Support = pushing up into you.

It means giving those areas of your body the assistance they need to relax and de-stress throughout the night.

The area of your body that needs this the most is the lumbar spine . If you are a back sleeper then a mattress that is comfy, plush or soft will cause you to sink in, and will not give your body the support it needs, leaving your muscles tired from working all night to support your mid and low back.

So, If you are a back sleeper or suffer from middle orlow back pain then a supportive mattress is what your body needs.

Pressure Relief Pressure relief is another important criteria when searching for a mattress that helps relieve your pain. Pressure relief = you pushing into the mattress. This is not to be confused with sinking in.

A quality mattress that relieves pressure points should gently but firmly support your body in a comfortable position. What parts of the body need pressure relief? Parts that stick out, particularly the shoulders and hips.

Without pressure relief, these areas are being compressed and are forced to constant stress throughout the night. So, if you are a side sleeper or suffer from hip and shoulder pain then a mattress that gives you pressure relief is whats best for your body.


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