Lower back pain is an uncomfortable condition which can be improved simply by choosing the right kind of mattress. But with all the mattresses in the market, which one is the most suitable for people with lower back pain?
Medium firm mattresses are recommended for people with lower back pain, especially if you are a stomach or side sleeper. Firm mattresses are ideal for stomach sleepers. If you have a severe case of lower back pain, adjustable, medium-firm mattresses are a good option.
However, there are other factors to consider and your own personal comfort also plays a role in choosing the right mattress if you have lower back pain. Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about choosing the right bed for your needs.
Table of Contents
- What Type of Bed Is Best for Lower Back Pain?
- What Is the Best Bed for Lower Back Pain?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Type of Bed Is Best for Lower Back Pain?
If you are sleeping on the wrong kind of bed, this can worsen existing back pain. Sleeping on the wrong kind of bed can also cause it.
Your bed should provide you with the right kind of support your body type needs to reinforce proper sleeping posture, reduce the risk of strained muscles, and keep the spine aligned. Without these factors, lower back pain can be worsened significantly. Though there are some things you should look for in a bed that is suitable for lower back pain, keep in mind that it also needs to be comfortable for you.
One that is both comfortable and provides you with the support you need greatly reduces back pain because it allows the structures in your spine to truly rejuvenate and rest at night, helping you wake up refreshed. But there is no one-size fits-all solution for people with lower back pain.
However, there are some basic guidelines that can help you find the right mattress:
There is no standard firmness that is recommended for all people with lower back pain, medium-firm mattresses are a good place to start. Also, keep in mind that the more you weigh, the firmer the mattress should be but then again it would depend on how comfortable you are sleeping on a firm mattress.
Memory foam is a great material for anyone who needs additional back support especially if it has a medium-firm or firm core. Don’t go for an all memory foam mattress because over time they tend to increase pressure in certain areas and deform. Hybrid mattresses are another excellent material choice because they provide superior support thanks to various layers made with cotton, foam, and other materials.
Spring mattresses are another good option; they are made with strong metal coils which are supportive. Some spring mattresses may not be extremely comfortable so look for those that are made with foam layers.
Your sleeping position has a great impact on what areas in your body are exposed to the most pressure. For example, back sleepers are better off avoiding extra-firm beds because they are not flexible and thus, won’t adjust to your lumbar curve in the lower back. Side sleepers are better off with medium-firm beds because these mattresses offer flexibility to sleeping positions while alleviating pressure in the hips and shoulders.
Last but not least, stomach sleepers are more prone to adding more pressure on the neck as well as the lumbar area, so a firm mattress is recommended because it reduces neck tension while giving your spine the support it needs.
What Is the Best Bed for Lower Back Pain?
Since mattresses are a big investment, do your research carefully before shelling out your money. It’s hard to tell if a bed you see at the store will truly feel comfortable after testing it for just a few minutes.
Perhaps try sleeping on a friend’s bed or in a hotel to test your comfort and pain levels with beds of different makes and firmness. It will also give you peace of mind to buy a mattress from a reputable manufacturer with a good return policy, so that you can change it or get your money back if it doesn’t work for you. There are also some companies that will allow you to try a bed for a certain time period and then return it.
Here's some great examples available on Amazon:
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of bed should be avoided if I have lower back pain?
You should avoid soft mattresses because while it will conform to the body’s natural shape, you will end up sinking in it during the night, resulting in discomfort and pressure on your joints.
What is the best sleeping position for lower back pain?
Posture has a great impact on your lower back, and it’s not limited to standing and sitting position. This also applies to how you sleep. If you have lower back pain, it’s best to sleep on your side while bending your knees slightly; this posture will keep your body balanced while decreasing pressure on the lumbar spine.
Some people find that it’s useful to place a small pillow between the knees in order to make this position more comfortable. It might be difficult for stomach and back sleepers to change sleeping positions, but there are things you can do to reduce strain. For example, stomach sleepers can use a thin pillow beneath the head while placing a supportive pillow under the abdomen and hips, while back sleepers can make use of a pillow beneath the legs, lower back and knees to give added support to the spine’s natural curve while reducing lumbar pressure.
Back sleepers can benefit from sleeping in a reclined position. However, depending on your specific medical condition, you may benefit from an adjustable bed so that you can have flexibility adjusting your alignment. Adjustable beds are recommended for certain cases of back pain, such as isthmic spondylolisthesis.
It’s not recommended to sleep on your stomach because this position strains the neck and the spine. This happens because you place your weight in the center of your body, making it hard for your spine to keep a neutral alignment while sleeping.
Can mattresses cause or worsen lower back pain?
The lower back is responsible for more range of motion and possesses more curvature compared to other parts of the back. This is why it’s more prone to injury caused by posture and movement, and it’s easily affected by your sleep posture.
If your mattress doesn’t give you adequate support, your lower back can move, bend, or even twist in a way that’s unnatural, causing you to wake up with pain and discomfort. This occurs when the bed is worn out or is too soft too, because your hips will sink too deeply into the bed and be out of alignment. When any bodily position is misaligned and held for a long period such as when you are sleeping, this will contribute to or worsen back pain.
For the spine to be in proper alignment, mattresses need to be in top condition and without sagging. Research says that medium-firm mattresses are generally the best choice for lower back pain but the best mattress will still depend on one’s body shape, weight, individual comfort preferences, and sleeping position.