The Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain

Sleeping on a mattress that isn’t right for you can cause stiffness and low back pain. Mattresses that lack the right support, reinforce poor sleeping postures and build up strain. Strain can be caused on muscles, joints and nerves. All of these contribute to low back pain.

Choosing your Mattress

Your sleep comfort are also affected if a mattress doesn’t match your individual needs and preferences. When you choose a mattress that provides both comfort and back support, this helps reduce strain build up, allows the body to fully rest, rejuvenate and reduces low back pain.

As you are aware there is a wide variety of mattresses available and therefore choosing the right mattress for you can be difficult. The following points are a practical guide designed to help people with low back pain chose the best mattress for them.


1 – Know that we are all different. Personal preference ultimately determines what mattress is best for you. Any mattress that you sleep on that you wake with reduced pain and stiffness is the best mattress for you. People with low back pain can try different mattresses in the store. Remember trying ones at friends and families houses to see what allows you to get a great night’s sleep is really valuable!

What it feels like

2 – Your body can tell you in real time if it is happy – ie you don’t have to wait for pain or stiffness! By learning how to feel the muscles in your low back and test what positions/mattresses it likes, is a skill. This is great for being able to make decisions about a mattress quickly or choosing whether it is best to sleep with a pillow in between your knees or not. We teach this to all of our clients. It is very valuable and a transferable skill across different situations (sleep, driving, work etc).

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What your mattress is made from

3 – Learn about what is in the mattress! Once you have tried step 1 make sure you understand the physical components of the mattress that you like. There are coils or inner springs in the mattress to provide support. Different mattresses have different thicknesses and amount of padding on top. Be sure to try a mattress that has padding on the top as you can often add this padding to your own mattress. These can be bought as mattress toppers. Depth is another component of the mattress choice that you may need to consider (again you can make note of ones that you like and compare with different depths).

Ultimate goal

The key is to achieve a balance between back support and comfort. Your comfort while sleeping on the mattress is equally important as ideal back support. Sleeping on a mattress that is too firm can cause aches and pains on pressure points. A medium-firm mattress may be more comfortable for you because it allows the shoulder and hips to sink in slightly. Patients who want a firmer mattress for back support can get one with thicker padding for greater comfort as discussed in Tip 3.