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Tips to Choosing Mattress for Back Pain Sufferers


Getting a good night’s sleep depends on a lot of different factors — comfort, stress level, room temperature – but to get it right, you’ve got to start with the basics and your mattress is the first building block to a restful slumber.

Sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause or worsen lower back pain. Lack of support from a mattress reinforces poor sleeping posture, strains muscles and does not help keep the spine in alignment, all of which contribute to low back pain.

Sleep comfort is also sacrificed if a mattress does not match one’s individual preferences. A mattress that provides both comfort and back support helps reduce low back pain, allowing the structures in the spine to really rest and rejuvenate during the night.

What is the Best Mattress for You?

According to WebMD, it should strike a balance between soft comfort and healthy levels of support. As a general rule of thumb:

  • Side sleepers could rest better on a softer to medium mattress.
  • Back sleepers may prefer the support offered by a medium to firm mattress.
  • Stomach sleepers will be somewhere in the middle.

However, people with a condition that triggers back pain have some additional factors to consider. The best mattress for back pain sufferers will depend on what diagnosis they have that is causing their discomfort.

With the vast variety of mattresses on the market, choosing the right mattress can be difficult. The following practical guidelines are designed to help patients with low back pain choose the best mattress for both back support and sleep comfort:

Personal Preference

Personal preference should ultimately determine what mattress is best. There is no single mattress style or type that works for all people with low back pain. Any mattress that helps someone sleep without pain and stiffness is the best mattress for that individual. Patients with low back pain should choose the mattress that meets their standards for comfort and support and allows them to get a good night’s sleep.

Mattress with Back Support

A good mattress should provide support for the natural curves and alignment of the spine. The right amount of back support also helps the patient avoid muscle soreness in the morning. While there is not much clinical data about mattresses, one study found that medium-firm mattresses usually provide more back pain relief than firm mattresses.


Do Your Research

Understand and inquire about the physical components of the mattress. The coils or inner springs of a mattress provide the support. Different mattresses vary in their number and arrangement of coils. Padding on top of the mattress comes in many different thicknesses. Mattress depths typically range anywhere from 7 to 18 inches deep. Choosing the number of coils, type of padding and mattress depth should be determined by individual preferences.

Know When to Replace Your Mattress

Today’s mattresses are made to last a lifetime. But you probably shouldn’t plan on keeping yours for that long. Our bodies change over time, so the mattress that was once a joy to sleep on may no longer feel comfortable a few years down the road.

If an old mattress sags visibly in the middle or is no longer comfortable, it is probably time to purchase a new one. Putting boards under a sagging mattress to keep it from sagging in the middle is only a short-term fix for the sagging; a new mattress is still needed.

Choosing the Best Mattress for Chronic Back Pain: The Diagnosis is Key

When you have chronic back pain, your first stop should be your doctor’s office to determine a diagnosis. An OHP Kelowna chiropractor can get to the root of the problem and help advise you on what’s next and provide you specific information about your condition that you can use to help pick a mattress.

Finding the right mattress for you depends on your individual sleeping needs from your back pain diagnosis.  Contact us today to book a consultation with an OHP Kelowna chiropractor.


Sleep Passport

Spine Health
Web MD


  1. I like that this article mentions how it’s important to choose a mattress that works well for your type of back pain so that you can sleep comfortably. In order to choose one that suits you, it would probably be a good idea to research the different options and try them out. Once you’ve figured out which mattress feels most comfortable for you, you’d probably want to find a supplier that carries them for the best price and quality.

  2. Thanks for the tip to get a new mattress if the current one sags visibly in the middle. I don’t know how long ago I put some boards under my bed to prevent sagging, but I’m pretty sure now I need to change it out. Perhaps I’ll check out a mattress firm and see what kind of mattresses with back support are available.

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