The importance of the back cannot be understated. Your spine– the vital support that protects your spinal cord, enables motion and reinforces the rest of your body– is perhaps the most important structure that your back contains. However, the many layers of muscles that surround it also play a vital role. The topmost group of muscles in the human back is known as the superficial layer. These muscles let you rotate your head. The intermediate layer is responsible for maintaining your body posture. The final layer– known as “the deep layer”– provides assistance to the intermediate layer and facilitates trunk movements.
When all is well, the bones and muscles of your back work together like a well-oiled machine. However, when medical issues arise, chronic pain is a common result. According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors for back pain include old age, obesity, lack of exercise and arthritis. Even smoking and emotional issues like anxiety and depression can lead to back pain.
Fortunately, people with back pain have more options than ever before. Mattress manufacturers cater to people that suffer from back pain with a wide variety of features that are designed to prevent soreness and facilitate back injury recovery. Memory foam mattresses and mattresses with pocketed spring systems distribute your body weight evenly when you sleep. There are even hybrid mattresses for back pain that support the back with both springs and memory foam– and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Here are the best back pain mattresses you can buy:
- Indigo Sleep Customizable Mattress is a memory foam mattress that can be customized to suit your firmness preferences.
- If you tend to sweat when you sleep, you may want to investigate the Classic Brands Cool Gel 2.0 mattress. The top layer of the mattress contains heat-resistant gel, which keeps you cool at night.
- The LUCID hybrid mattress is infused with aloe vera and charcoal. This helps this mattress smell good and also wards off bacteria and germs.
- If you’re looking for a firm mattress that provides extra support for your aching back, the Signature Sleep mattress might be your best option. It’s a coil mattresses with a pocketed design that distributes pressure more efficiently compared to traditional innerspring mattresses.
- The Ananda sleep system is a full-featured back pain solution that comes with not only an gel-infused memory foam mattress but also an electronic, adjustable mattress bed.
The most customizable mattress for back pain
Indigo Sleep Customizable Mattress
Do you and your significant other have different firmness preferences? If your answer was yes, the Indigo Sleep Customizable Mattress may be your best option. The mattress comes with two separate covers, which can be customized to suit different firmness preferences. Another benefit: the cooling gel feature helps stop the mattress from absorbing your body heat.
- Choose the firmness that suits you the best. Switch between different firmness levels with ease.
- Available in multiple sizes. Available sizes include full, king and California King.
- Removable cover. Simply zip open the mattress cover and throw it in the laundry when it’s time for a cleaning.
- Keeps you cool at night. The cooling gel feature stops you from sweating when it’s warm.
- Send it back if you don’t like it. Indigo offers its customers a 100-night satisfaction guarantee.
- Durable and long lasting. The mattress covers are built to last for five to seven years.
- No chemical smells. Even though this mattress contains memory foam, it doesn’t have a chemical odor.
- Gap in the middle may annoy some. The split in the middle of the bed lets you use two different firmness levels at the same time, but the gap it creates is a potential annoyance.
The best back pain mattress with a cooling gel feature
Cool Gel 2.0 mattress
Several memory foam mattresses have a cooling gel feature, but Classic Brands’ Cool Gel 2.0 mattress is cooler than most. In addition, the grooved surface provides additional ventilation. Another nice thing about this mattress is that it comes with two free memory foam pillows. If you’re uncomfortable when you sleep, this could be the solution you’re looking for.
- Keeps you cool and comfortable. The top layer of this mattress consists of a full 3 and-a-half inches of gel-infused memory foam.
- Multiple sizes are available. Available size options include twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and California king.
- Embroidered design. The embroidering not only looks nice, it also helps with maintaining a cool surface.
- Resistant to allergens, mold and bacteria. The fabric is designed to resist mold, allergens, bacteria and other contaminants.
- Comes with two free pillows. Like the mattress itself, the pillows contain supportive memory foam.
- Hassle-free setup. Just unroll the mattress and wait for it to expand. This usually takes just a few minutes.
- 10-year warranty. If you find a defect, you can return this mattress and get a full refund.
- Lacks edge support. If you’re the type of person that tends to roll around when you sleep, you may be better off with a mattress that has better edge support.
The best aloe vera infused mattress for back pain
LUCID hybrid mattress
Memory foam-based mattresses are great for people with back pain because they provide better support than coil mattresses. However, they tend to smell funny. The makers of the LUCID hybrid mattress have solved the odor issue with charcoal and aloe vera. In addition to reducing unwanted smells, these infusions also defend against bacteria and mold.
- Smells good. This mattress smells good because it has been infused with charcoal and aloe vera.
- Hybrid design includes both memory foam and coils. The hybrid design combines the benefits of both mattress types.
- Edge support. Extra support around the edges of the mattress prevents you from falling off your bed at night.
- Easy to set up. Just open the box, unroll the mattress and wait for the foam to expand.
- Multiple materials to choose from. If you don’t like memory foam, you can get the latex version of this mattress instead.
- Ten-year warranty. If you notice a defect, you can return this mattress and get all your money back within a ten-year time frame.
- Ideal for restless sleepers. The pocketed springs are designed to distribute your body weight and isolate movement.
- May be too firm for some. If you prefer a softer mattress, you may want to go with one that doesn’t contain any springs.
The best coil mattress for back pain
Signature Sleep mattress
Traditional innerspring mattresses are known to cause back pain because they distribute your body weight unevenly– particularly when the springs get old and begin to wear out. That’s why the makers of the Signature Sleep mattress have added additional springs. Each mattress contains 800 pocketed coils. This extra support– along with the pocketed coil feature– ensures that your weight will always be distributed evenly.
- Distributes weight efficiently. The unique pocketed coil system is an improvement over traditional spring-based mattresses. Each mattress contains 800 15-gauge coils.
- Extra firm. The main benefit of coil-based mattresses is that they are firmer than memory foam mattress.
- Fully reversible. Reversing the mattress helps prevent the coils from wearing out.
- Foam layer adds additional comfort. The 1.6-inch foam layer provides additional comfort and support.
- Multiple sizes are available. Available size options include twin, full, king and queen.
- Easy setup. This mattress comes in a box. After you unroll it, you can use it as soon as it expands.
- Reasonably priced. This mattress is cheap compared to memory foam mattresses.
- Not as durable as other mattress types. Even though this mattress will last a long time because it contains lots of springs, the springs will eventually wear out.
The best adjustable sleep system for back pain
Ananda sleep system
If you’re looking for a full-featured, luxury sleep solution to alleviate your back pain, Ananda’s sleep system could be your best option. In addition to the gel-infused memory foam mattress, you also get a fully adjustable electronic mattress base. This lets you adjust the angle at which you sleep. There are two ways to activate the bed: with the included remote or with your smartphone via the Ananda bed app.
- Inclined positions help alleviate pain. Back pain relief is one of many health benefits that come with sleeping in an inclined position.
- Dual massage motors. The built-in massage motors are designed to relax you and help alleviate pain.
- Use your phone as a remote. In addition to the included remote, you can also use your phone to change your bed angle.
- Pearl infused memory foam mattress. This adjustable bed base comes with a memory foam mattress.
- USB charging stations. Both sides of the bed are equipped with charging stations.
- Legs can be lengthened or shortened. Lower the bed to make it easier to access or raise the height if you need more storage space.
- Return it if you don’t like it. Take advantage of the 120-day satisfaction guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied.
- Very heavy. This system is much too heavy for one person to install.
Buying guide for back pain mattresses
If you tend to sleep on your side or on your back, a firm mattress may benefit you. If you have a habit of sleeping on your stomach, you may want to go with a softer mattress.
People with latex allergies may want to avoid latex mattresses and go with mattresses that are made from memory foam or that are supported by springs.
Memory foam vs. coils vs. latex
Most mattresses that are designed to provide back pain relief are made of memory foam. Memory foam is very supportive and distributes your weight evenly, but there are a few downsides to consider. For example, memory foam tends to absorb heat. Mattresses that are supported by coils have better ventilation but tend to wear out faster. Latex mattresses provide many of the same benefits as memory foam mattresses. However, they tend to be more expensive. In addition, not everyone likes the spongy feel that latex mattresses provide.
Back pain causes
If your worn out mattress is the root cause of your back pain, replacing it should solve your problem. People that suffer from degenerative spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis you may benefit from using an adjustable mattress base. Improved circulation, acid reflux reduction and arthritis relief are just a few benefits that come with sleeping at inclined angles.
Mattresses that contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are not as flame resistant as those that don’t. Substances used in the construction of mattresses that may cause health problems include methylene dianiline, vinylidene chloride, methyl benzene, dimethylformamide, acetone and methylene chloride.
Selecting a size
Smaller size mattresses are easier to move and cheaper. However, if you tend to toss and turn in your sleep you may want to go with a king or queen-sized mattress instead.
Warranties and satisfaction guarantees
Manufacturers of quality mattresses usually offer generous warranties and some type of satisfaction guarantee to their customers.
Some high-end mattresses come with adjustable bed bases, built-in massagers and other mechanical features. Mechanical features are convenient, but they tend to break and wear out as time goes on. If you do decide to invest in a high-end sleeping solution, make sure that the manufacturer has a good reputation and offers a competitive warranty before you commit.
Coil-based mattresses are the cheapest kind of back support mattresses you can buy. If you do decide to go with an innerspring mattress, look for one that has a high spring count. Mattresses with lots of springs will distribute your body weight more efficiently.
Latex and memory foam mattresses are the next step up after coil-based mattresses. The added cost may actually result in cost savings over the long run. Latex and memory foam-based mattresses tend to last a bit longer than coil-based mattresses.
Mattresses that come with adjustable bases are more expensive than coil, latex and memory foam-based mattresses. Motorized adjustable bases are easy to use, but that convenience comes with added cost.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Why do some mattresses cause back pain?
A: Spring mattresses that are old tend to push on your pressure points because they don’t distribute your body weight evenly. Soft beds can also lead to back pain. Sinking into a bed that’s too soft isn’t good for your sleeping posture. Over time, a bed that is too soft will cause you to develop unhealthy sleep posture habits.
Q: What are the most and least efficient sleeping positions?
A: The best way to sleep is on your back. Stomach sleeping is the least efficient sleeping position. Back and side sleeping is somewhat stressful, but can be healthy if you use a high quality, supportive pillow and mattress.
Q: What are the standard mattress sizes?
A: Twin mattresses are 38 inches across and 74 inches long. Queen mattresses are 60 inches across and 80 inches long. King beds are 76 inches across and 80 inches long. Some manufacturers offer extra large California king mattresses, which are 72 inches across and 84 inches long.
Tips and tricks
- Measure your box frame and/or bed frame first before you buy. If your sleeping setup doesn’t support your mattress, you’ll have to send it back. You can avoid this hassle by checking beforehand to make sure you buy the right size bed.
- Some mattresses– particularly memory foam-based mattresses– don’t smell very nice. You can use baking soda to get rid of unwanted mattress odors. Just sprinkle your mattress with baking soda, then gently rub it in with a scrub brush. Next, let the baking soda sit for ten minutes. Vacuum the baking soda up with an upholstery attachment after the odors have been absorbed.
- Taking care to unwind before bedtime can help relieve some types of back aches and pains. There are many ways to relax before you hit the sack. Take a long, hot shower, stretch or meditate. Some fragrances– like lavender, for example– are known to have relaxing properties. Experiment with different techniques until you find the right one for you. Try to avoid going to bed if you feel stressed or anxious if at all possible.