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What Is Better For Back Pain Firm Or Soft Mattress

What Firmness Is Luxury Firm

Firm vs Soft Mattress – Which One Should You Get?

The comfort of a Luxury Firm mattress is comparable to that of a firm mattress, with the addition of a little more padding for pressure alleviation. The premium firm mattress conforms to your body while maintaining a high level of firmness and stability. The term Cushion Firm can also be used to describe a luxury firm.

Hard And Soft Mattresses

If you are wondering soft mattresses gives you much comfort & keep you in shape, then its a huge misconception. The level of firmness varies within multiple types of mattresses, especially the hard/firm and soft mattresses.

According to the retailers, the level of firmness is rated from 1 to 10. The minimum score determines the softness whereas the maximum score defines the firmness of the mattress.

Is A Soft Mattress Bad For Your Back

A mattress that is overly soft may cause your back or hips to droop, and your spine will go out of alignment, resulting in substantial discomfort. A firm mattress is recommended. In particular, if you sleep on your side or back, a mattress that is overly firm can place an excessive amount of strain on your joints and cause them to become painful.

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Look At Bed Platforms And Bases

The base or platform that your mattress sits on is key to maintaining a supportive bedding systemand thus warding off back pain. Some sleepers like using an adjustable base with their mattress, which gives them the freedom to raise or lower their upper and lower body to their liking. Adjustable bases can also aid in relieving back pain, as long as you switch them to the right settings based on your sleep position.

For example, back sleepers should slightly raise their torso and legs, which can help take pressure off of the lower back. Side sleepers can put their back and legs into a fetal position by pressing the incline, so that their knees are at a 90 degree angle, allowing their upper body to curl into them. This maneuver relieves the lower back by releasing pressure. Stomach sleepers, however, are not advised to use an adjustable base. It’s already an unhealthy position to begin with, and raising or lowering either your upper or lower body in this position can put more strain on your neck and your lower back.

Should you choose to forgo an adjustable base, make sure the base you already have or choose to buy matches well with your mattress. Most mattress brands list specific parameters for the type of base that works best. By adhering to these specifications, you can help your mattress avoid premature sagging and stay in top-notch condition.

Why Are Orthopaedic Mattresses Unsuitable For Most People

Is a firm mattress better for back pain?

They are unsuitable because unless youre weighing in at the 18 stone plus bracket, the springs will have zero function. They will struggle to compress or offer any give to most sleepers. Its the equivalent of sleeping on a table for most. You will effectively be making your back conform to the mattress rather than the mattress conforming to your most comfortable natural spine position.

Unless you really like an extra firm sleeping surface with no give then we advise avoiding Orthopaedic mattresses if you have a bad back.

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Other Bedding That Can Help Back Pain

Some mattress companies also sell pillows designed to alleviate back and neck pain. People can adjust the heights of these pillows to better support their spinal alignment.

Also, if a person wants to keep their mattress but adjust its firmness, they might try a mattress topper which may be made of memory foam, wool, or latex.

In addition, some people may benefit from adjustable beds, as a change in positioning might provide better back support.

Soft Bed Or Hard Bed For Back Pain

Study Gets Mixed Results, but More Find Soft Bed Slightly Better for Back Pain

April 3, 2008 — If Goldilocks had lower back pain, she’d still prefer the bed that was just right.

It’s one of the most common questions back pain patients ask. Which is better — Daddy Bear’s hard mattress or Mommy Bear’s soft one?

Kim Bergholdt, DC, of Denmark’s Funen Back Center, and colleagues tried to find an answer. They randomly assigned 160 patients with lower back pain to sleep in one of three beds for one month.

When the truck pulled up to the patients’ houses, it delivered either a hard futon, a water bed , or a body-conforming foam mattress . Akva and Tempur sponsored the study, although Innovation Futon provided the harder beds.

Unfortunately, many of the patients assigned to the water bed never started the study — they did not want to sleep on a water bed. And many of the patients assigned to the futon quit the study before it was over.

The large number of dropouts — and the failure to stratify the patients according to the cause of their back pain — makes the study hard to interpret, says Robert Molinari, MD, associate professor of orthopaedics at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

That’s no surprise to Molinari.

“We really don’t understand why, but some patients respond better to hard mattresses and some to soft ones,” Molinari tells WebMD. “There are very few studies lending support to one mattress over another.”

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What Makes A Good Mattress

Obviously, not all beds are created equally when it comes to back pain. In general, there is no specific type or brand of mattress that is better than another. The perfect mattress is a matter of personal preference, but some innate properties must exist for that mattress to be healthy for your delicate back.

Here are the top 3 things to look at when shopping for or analyzing mattress quality:

  • The bed needs to be supportive of your entire body when it is in a neutral position with proper spinal alignment.
  • It must not be too firm, lest it pushes on the main pressure points of your spine.
  • It must not be too soft, lest it leaves your pressure points unsupported while creating spinal curvature.

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According to experts at the UCLA Medical Center, a mattress that does not fit into the Goldilocks Zone of firmness and softness can lead to serious back discomfort in the morning the type that could ultimately turn into a chronic problem.

Its better to figure it out now than to be sorry in the months and years to come as you develop a more serious issue.

How To Pick A Good Mattress For Your Back

Firm vs Soft Mattress for Back Pain – BEST Choice Revealed

Every one has different sleep preferences, which can make it hard to find the perfect mattress. Look for one that is not too firm or too soft. If the mattress is too firm, it will push on your pressure points and cause misalignment. Similarly, if the bed is too soft, it will allow your body to sink into the bed causing bad posture while you sleep, which can then lead to pain. The right mattress should make you feel like you are floating on air.

Financial times might be tough at the moment, but one should consider in investing in a good mattress. Think about it, you should be spending 7-9 hours on your mattress each night, which makes it an important piece of furniture. You want to invest in something that will give you better sleep and less pain, instead of going frugal and buying a mattress that is not right for your body.

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Cons Of A Firm Mattress

Firm mattresses may be a bit uncomfortable for some individuals such as side sleepers, petite sleepers, and some combination sleepers this is especially true for sleepers transitioning from a softer mattress since the adjustment is more drastic. Firm mattresses tend to cause aches and pains amongst side and combo sleepers because they dont adequately cushion the shoulders and hips. If a person has existing back problems, such as scoliosis, an overly-firm mattress can worsen pain by exacerbating the curve in their spine.

How Long Does It Take To Adjust To A New Mattress

It should take approximately 30 to 60 days to adjust to your new mattress, as it can initially feel somewhat stiff, and your body may not be accustomed to its new support system. That said, you might feel totally comfortable on it from day one, and thats great!

Luckily, many companies offer sleep trials to give customers time to be certain they enjoy their new mattress. Its encouraged that you test your mattress for at least one month before making a decision to keep or return it.

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Suitable For Side Sleepers

When side sleeping, the hips and shoulders bear the brunt of the body weight. Resting on a firmer mattress can cause pressure to build up near these sensitive areas. This tension could force you to toss and turn to find comfortresulting in lost hours of sleep. We usually recommend soft mattresses for side sleepers because they will keep the body cradled and supported to alleviate tension.

Since some soft mattresses tend to promote sinking, be sure to select one that has enough responsiveness to keep the torso lifted, so the spine remains neutral.

Materials Impacts Pressure Relief And Support

8 Best Mattress for Back Pain in 2021: Ultimate Buying ...

The materials that your mattress is primarily made from can make a huge difference to how comfortable you feel in your mattress if you have back pain:

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are best for lighter weighted sleepers, sleepers with a lower body fat percentage, and side sleepers with back pain because the materials unique ability to conform to your physical characteristics means that you can experience greater pressure relief and contoured support to help maintain good posture and combat back pain.

Heavier weighted sleepers can also enjoy the pressure-relieving qualities of memory foam providing that the mattress is firm enough to stop you from sinking too far into the materials.

Latex Foam

Latex foam mattresses are suitable for front, back, and side sleepers with back pain who may also sleep hot,sweat at night, and/or suffer from restlessness because natural latex tends to be more breathable and able to recover faster than memory foam for better mobility and temperature regulation as long as the mattress has the right level of firmness relative to your body weight.


Polyfoam mattresses tend to be better for lighter and average weighted sleepers with back pain because polyfoam tends to not be as dense and durable as memory foam meaning that it could wear out faster under heavier weights and lead to sagging that may make your back pain worse.

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Drawbacks Of A Firm Mattress

A firm mattress is not for everyone. Side sleepers may experience pressure build-up along the sides of the body on a firm bed. Lightweight individuals may not experience enough sinking on a firm mattresscausing spinal misalignment and muscle tension.

A firm bed may help support the lumber and relieve lower back pain. However, those with arthritis and joint pain need a mattress that will hug the curves of the body for pressure relief.

Tips For Choosing A Mattress If You Have Back Pain

The jury is still out on whether a firm or soft mattress is the best option for people whose back pain keeps them up at night. That said, most health experts in the know say the choice is yoursthat the mattress that makes you feel most comfortable is likely your best option.

And what does research say so far? That medium firmness seems to yield the most painless sleep.

A 2015 review gathered information from 24 controlled trials where participants used mattresses that were soft, medium firm, firm, or custom inflated. The results found that the medium-firm and self-adjusted mattresses were found to be best for sleep comfort, quality, and spinal alignment.

Dr. Michael Perry, former medical director of the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Fla., agrees that a medium firm mattress is generally the way to go. But he firmly adds that one size does not fit all in the choosing of a mattress by those with spine pain. A number of other factors play a role, as well, he says.

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Can Sleeping Position Affect Back Pain

Sleeping position can have a direct effect on back pain. Each sleeping position creates a unique set of pressure points and areas that need cushioning, and this is why having the right mattress to suit your sleeping position is an important part of preventing and reducing back pain.

Back sleepers tend to have their most serious pressure points around the lumbar area. If a mattress is too soft, the weight of the abdomen will cause this region to sink out of alignment with the rest of the back and hips. If the mattress is too hard, it wont accommodate the natural curvature of the spine in the lumbar area. For this reason, a Medium-Firm to Firm mattress usually works best for back sleepers.

Side sleepers have high-impact areas where the body is the widest, notably at the shoulders and hips. A mattress needs to be contouring enough to cushion those pressure points but not so soft as to let them sink too deeply into the bed and out of line with the rest of the body. Most side sleepers get the best results from a Medium to Medium-Firm mattress.

Body weight is an important factor to consider along with sleeping position. People who weigh more will sink further into a mattress, exacerbating the risks in all sleeping positions of the heavier parts of the body becoming misaligned. Sleepers of above-average body weight typically need a firmer mattress than someone of average weight who sleeps in the same position.

Are Firm Mattresses Good For Bad Backs

Best Firm Mattress For Back Pain 2021 (Which Bed Is Right For You?)

One statement that seems to haunt us is my chiropractor told me to look for an orthopaedic or firm mattress to help my bad back. We have investigated this to find out why certain Chiropractors recommend firm beds. The response has been that firmness is thought to help support the body.

This is where the confusion starts firmness and support are two different things when choosing a mattress.

Firmer mattresses are not necessarily better for a bad back.

The British Sleep Council has also confirmed this being quoted as saying Any reference to beds being orthopaedic or similar medical-sounding terms does not automatically mean that the bed has been professionally assessed or recommended it is a term loosely used by manufacturers to refer to extra firm models in their range.

This leads us to to the most important thing you need to know when choosing a mattress for a bad back. Spring tension.

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What Firmness Is Best For Back Pain

According to Kevin M. Cerrone, DPT, director of Rehabilitation Orthopaedic Services at Northwell Healths Huntington Hospital in Huntington, NY, in general, the mattress shouldnt be too soft or too hard. Once again, research have found that medium firmness mattresses are often better for relieving lower back discomfort than softness mattresses.

How Do I Know If My Mattress Is Too Firm

If you are a side sleeper, look for the following signs to determine if your mattress is too firm.

  • You experience pain and stiffness near pressure points, such as your hips and shoulders.
  • Your arms quickly fall asleep with little pressure.
  • You frequently wake with back pain due to a misaligned spine.

Back sleepers tend to benefit from a firmer mattress. However, if you can place a hand between the lumbar and the mattress, you may want a bed with a bit more softness, such as a medium-firm bed.

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What Do You Do If Your Mattress Is Too Firm

When buying a new mattress, there is a brief adjustment period before your body is properly acclimated to your new bed. Your mattress may initially feel firmer than expected, though once youve broken it in, it will cushion your body properly. Most mattress companies offer sleep trials for this very reason, so you can get accustomed to the mattress and ensure it suits you.

However, if youve had your mattress for a while and its still too firm for your needs, consider a softer mattress topper. Firmness is based on the top comfort layers of a mattress, and by adding a soft comfort layer at the top, your body receives extra cushioning.

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Bad For Your Back

Is a Firm Mattress Better for Back Pain?

Memory foam mattresses are actually good for your back because they conform to your bodys natural curves. Furthermore, they are not too soft like other beds such as pillow-tops or as bouncy as innerspring mattresses. Therefore, you can keep yourself supported, regardless of your body type or sleeping position.

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What Is The Best Mattress For A Bad Back

If you have a bad back and are struggling to sleep this is usually because the mattress you have is aggravating your spine issues. ie your current mattress is not suitable. The best mattress you can choose if you have a bad back is one that can be customised to your body weight and sleeping requirements. This means a pocket sprung and upholstered mattress. These types of the mattress have the most variables so you have a far better choice when finding a truly suitable mattress for your particular bad back.

If you have a bad back the best mattress for this is one that has the following properties:

  • The correct spring tension/gauge for your bodyweight
  • Enough comfort layers to allow some sink in the top layer
  • A pocket spring unit that can individually contour to you
  • Limited transference when your partner or you move to limit disturbance
  • A natural fibre mattress that is breathable to avoid overheating
  • A two-sided mattress model so you can turn it and even out settlement
  • For people struggling with back pain, we have two models that we advise you to look at first. These models have both the necessary support but also comfort layers for people who suffer from bad backs.


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