Best Mattress for Back Pain — How do You Decide On the Best Mattress to Buy?

The best mattress for back pain — if only there were a definitive answer that worked for everyone, but of course there isn’t. Here are some tips for finding out what might work for you.

A painful back needs extra support — there’s no doubt about the need. What type of support and how it is achieved is another story. It is fair to say that two people with the same type of back pain will not experience relief in quite the same way. Some might prefer an extra firm surface, while others will wince just thinking of an extra firm bed. The best mattress for back pain is one that works for YOU, not your brother or co-worker.

Of course, back pain sufferers are not all alike in body type, pain intensity, location of pain and how they sleep most comfortably. If you sleep primarily on your back, you will probably prefer a different type of mattress than a side sleeper or a stomach sleeper.

There’s no such thing as an “average” person with back pain, so there is no best mattress to buy for everyone.

Best Mattress for Back Pain — Experts Speak

Orthopedic specialists recommend a bed that is not too firm nor too soft — medium firm is what they like to call it, but there are several ways to achieve that feeling, and there could be different versions of it as well.

For example, you might simply purchase a “plush firm” or “medium firm” mattress from a big-name label — meaning one or two steps up from their firmest model. Naturally you would avoid all “plush” and “ultra plush” models.

But this is not always the best solution for some people. It could be too firm for some. Your own comfort should dictate the level of firmness, not the experts.

Those who have lower back pain along with arthritis or fibromyalgia need extra cushioning for those conditions, as they are particularly vulnerable to pressure.

Also, women in general and thin, lightweight sleepers of both genders will probably prefer more cushioning than the average-sized or overweight male with back pain.

Why Medium Firm?

The reason the best mattress for back pain is medium firm is the way the spine is curved. The objective of any mattress is to support the natural curve of the spine because if the spine flattens too much, the muscles that hold it in place begin working harder, causing more muscular tension and more pain.

A too-firm mattress wouldn’t have enough “give” to lift up into the area of the curve. If you lie on your back, you may experience pressure points in your hips, shoulders and the base of your spine. This may cause your muscles to tense up in an effort to keep the back properly curved.

But a mattress with too much “give” would allow the heaver areas of the body to sink into the mattress too far, causing the spine to become convex and again muscles will work overtime to keep the natural curve intact.

Best Mattress to for Back Pain — The 10-Second Answer

So we’ve discussed all the variables. That said, if you HAD to choose the best mattress to buy for someone with lower back pain, and only had 10 seconds to do it, here’s a very good choice….

…A medium firm innerspring mattress (usually one step up from the firmest available) with layers of latex foam padding on top.

Why would this be the fast choice if you had to make a decision in 10 seconds? Because both innerspring and latex have proven their capacity to offer comfort and support for people with back pain. While average-to-heavier people will do best with durable coil springs, lighter thin people might prefer 100 percent latex. Combining the two together will have the best chance to work for the majority of people.

Of course quality matters as well. A good inner core followed by high-quality latex — not poly foam, not memory foam, and not simply a fluffy quilt — gives you the best chance of long-lasting comfort all night long.

Thin people and those with joint problems and other conditions can then add softer latex toppers to taste, as needed.
Learn more about latex mattresses here…

Learn more about what goes into making the best mattresses and why you should care…

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