How To Find The Best Mattress For Back Pain

Good posture is key to a strong and healthy back, but this doesn’t just apply to standing and sitting. Maintaining good posture while you’re asleep is equally as important, and to do so it’s imperative to keep the spine perfectly aligned.

Sleeping with straight, natural spine alignment relieves the pressures commonly associated with back pain. As simple as this may sound, however, there are obstacles that can get in the way of maintaining this nocturnal spinal alignment.

First, let’s discuss the three regions of the spine, which should each be properly supported while you sleep to help avoid back pain. These include:
  • The Cervical Spine: This is the top-third of your spine, which supports your head and neck, therefore a supportive pillow and sleeping style matters.
  • The Thoracic Spine: This is the middle-third of your spine, which works to support your upper body.
  • The Lumbar Spine: This is the bottom-third of your spine, which supports your lower back.
back pain diagram
man with back pain
Is My Mattress Causing My Back Pain?

There are so many causes of back pain that it can be hard to pinpoint exactly which is responsible for all those aches and pains. A good place to start is where you spend one-third of your life: on your mattress.

Your mattress may have supported your back at one time, but as your body changes and the mattress ages, it may no longer be doing so. If not, it’s time to get a new mattress.

Here are several indicators your mattress may be causing your back pain:
  • Your back pain is there when you first wake up, but you can stretch to get rid of it within 15 to 30 minutes.
  • You find yourself waking up more frequently in the night.
  • You are tossing and turning trying to get to sleep.
  • Your mattress is lumpy or uneven.
  • You haven’t replaced your mattress in seven years.

Pressure points can also be an indication your mattress is causing your back pain. If you feel greater pressure on specific areas of your body while lying on your mattress, this could result in misalignment. It’s a vicious cycle: The more misalignment, the more pressure on your spine to compensate, further resulting in unwanted back pain.

Your Sleeping Style Could Also Be Contributing To Your Back Pain

Your mattress may not be the only cause of your back pain. Your sleeping position can also misalign your spine, leading to pain. Modifying your slumber styles can help reduce the strain on your back and alleviate aches and pains.

These include:
  • On Your Side: If you sleep on your side, pull your knees slightly toward your chest and always place a pillow between them. This will prevent your hips from leaning forward and twisting your spine out of alignment. You can also use a rolled towel or small pillow under your waist to help support your spine and keep it straight.
  • On Your Back: A small pillow under the back of your knees can help reduce stress on your spine and support your lower back’s natural curve. Your main pillow should support your head, the natural curve of your neck, and your shoulders.
  • On Your Stomach: This is the worst position to sleep in, since it increases stress on your spine. If you do sleep on your stomach, however, raise one leg up slightly and prop a pillow under that knee. You should also use a very flat main pillow, or none at all.
sleeping positions
couple on pangeabed mattress
Best Mattress For Back Pain

Several factors can impact how well a mattress supports your back. The two most important are the material it’s made of, and its level of firmness.

Level of Firmness For Back Pain

The mattress can’t be too firm or too soft. A firm mattress will have support, but won’t conform to your body as well. It can also increase pressure points, causing discomfort and pain. Conversely, a mattress that’s too soft will conform to your body and offer pressure-point relief, but may not provide your back with enough support, leading to back pain.

The best option is a medium-firm mattress. A study examining the effect of mattress firmness on chronic, non-specific, low-back pain among 313 patients found those who slept on a medium-firm mattress reported less pain, and less pain-related disability, compared to those who slept on a firm mattress.

Here are two useful tips to best match firmness with sleeping styles:
  • Side-Sleeper: Choose a mattress with a slight softness to cushion your shoulders and hips.
  • Stomach-Sleeper: Select a firmer mattress to keep your body supported.
Best Mattress Materials For Back Pain

Today, you can find mattresses comprised of a range of various materials. It’s always important, however, to choose a mattress that will properly support your back.

Innerspring

When it comes to providing your back with the proper support, it’s best to avoid innerspring mattresses. These have hard coils that spread throughout frame and don’t allow for even weight distribution. The springs also wear down over time and won’t uniformly support your entire body.

Memory Foam

Memory foam responds to your weight and temperature as you sleep. It conforms to the shape of your body and curve of your back, keeping it aligned and supported. Memory foam can also help reduce pressure points and ease back pain.

Latex

Latex mattresses provide uniformly uplifting and bouncy support. Unlike memory foam, however, the more pressure you put on latex, the more it pushes back to support your body. Latex mattresses also conform to your body’s contours, and can help alleviate back pain.

While memory foam and latex mattresses support the spine, the best mattress for back pain is ultimately different for everyone. Since we all have unique preferences, there is no specific mattress that will universally work for all those suffering back pain. The mattress you choose should support your body in a neutral position, however. This means your spine has a slight curvature, and your shoulders and head are naturally aligned.

This should enable you to enjoy a pain-free, deep sleep.

girl on top of different mattress types
couple sleeping on pangeabed mattress
What You Need to Know About Mattresses Before You Buy

Before purchasing a mattress, consider the following characteristics to ensure it won’t cause back pain:

Support

Supporting your body while you sleep is a key factor in alleviating your back pain. Make sure your mattress aligns the spine in a straight line, instead of facilitating dipping.

Firmness

A mattress’ firmness is important to regulating back pain. Typically, a medium-firm mattress is the most effective in prevention and alleviation. It’s firm enough to provide support, yet soft enough to conform to your body and provide pressure-point relief.

Conformability

The mattress should conform to your body to ensure equal support. Inconsistencies can cause an unnatural position that promotes aches and pains.

Comfort

You shouldn’t compromise support for comfort. Ensure your mattress is comfortable, yet still provides critical support.

Here’s Why PangeaBed Is the Best Mattress for Relieving Back Pain

The PangeaBed mattress has been designed to support your body and spine while you sleep, regardless of whether you prefer to slumber on your side, back or stomach.

Our mattress has three main layers that work together to provide your back with exceptional support:

1

Our top layer consists of copper-infused 100% pure Talalay latex. Talalay’s unique cell structure creates natural buoyancy. This “springy” property results in a responsive mattress, meaning that the more pressure you apply, the greater the support while you sleep. This “uplifting” support helps keep your body, spine, neck, and head aligned, and reduces associated pains. It also enables your muscles to relax and maintain critical blood flow. Additional to this exceptional comfort, it works to reduce aches, pains, and pressure points in your back.

2

Beneath this is a layer of PangeaBed™ Cool Gel memory foam, which softens to conform to your body, including your spine. It works to keep your spine fully supported and in proper alignment, and maintains the perfect temperature while you sleep.

3

At the base of the mattress is a thick layer of high-density foam that conforms to your body weight and offers superior support to your spine.

mattress illustration

These three layers work together to keep your spine fully supported and help relieve common back pain issues caused by poor spine alignment, regardless of your sleeping position. The Talalay latex has an uplifting quality that provides optimal support for back sleepers, while the Cool Gel memory foam responds to pressure from hips and elbows from side-sleepers, for extra-needed, cradling comfort. Many PangeaBed customers have reported that their back pain has improved, or even disappeared altogether.

side sleeper

Here's an example.

“There is no dipping in the middle, it really does support your whole body. I am a side sleeper and have chronic lower back pain so finding a supportive yet soft and pliable mattress is very important to me. I am truly happy with this bed and you can't beat the price!”

– Rebecca R.
Verified Reviewer

Will Getting a New Mattress Resolve My Back Pain?

While purchasing a new mattress is a step in the right direction and may help to alleviate some discomfort, it may not heal all your back pain. Oftentimes, people need daily “maintenance” to eliminate their back pain.

In addition to purchasing a new mattress, here are several things you can try to incorporate into your daily life that may help alleviate stubborn back issues:
  • Visit a chiropractor regularly
  • See a physical therapist
  • Improve your posture
  • Exercise
  • Perform stretching routines, including these six stretches to help your back pain
  • Apply ice and heat to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Get weekly massages.

Sleeping on a PangeaBed mattress built to help with back pain, paired with some of the suggestions above, can help you maintain better spinal health. If your back pain does not improve, however, you should visit your doctor.

guy working out on pangeabed mattress

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