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It’s no fun struggling to get out of bed and starting your day with aches and pains in your back. If it’s any consolation, you’re not alone: in the UK, back pain is a common problem that affects millions of us at some point or other. And one culprint that many people overlook: their uncomfortable mattress.
Finding the perfect mattress to fix your back pain, of course, isn’t going to be easy. There I said it. But with any luck, I can help you with your research as I’ve done the legwork and slept on a bunch of mattresses to narrow it down to these top picks for the best mattresses that should stop your back aching.
And let me tell you, not all mattresses are created equal. There’s a LOT of marketing nonsense out there. Some mattresses promise to alleviate your back pain but fall well short when it comes to delivering results. So, in this article, I’ll be giving you an honest review of each mattress and sharing my personal experience with them. No marketing guff, just the real thing.
Let’s dive in and find the mattress that will give you the best night’s sleep and help relieve your back pain once and for all.
I’ve tried in this article to decipher a lot of the mumbo-jumbo that is commonplace in the mattress industry in the UK. But one thing to be aware of: while I am not a chiropractor, these observations that I have made are in tune with the same recommendations that the Sleep Council make. Working with both medical professionals and regular people, I’ve conducted extensive research on what factors contribute to a good bed for those who suffer from back pain. See the “Methodology” section below for details on the procedures I use to evaluate mattresses.
Additionally, I have provided a helpful buyer’s guide that discusses the most prevalent causes of back discomfort while sleeping, the best mattresses for relieving this pain, and how to select the proper mattress based on its design and materials.
Which features should I look out for?
Here is my summary of the top mattress features for those with back issues and/or ongoing pain in their spine:
Mattresses for back issues should always be relatively firm, but not too firm that they’re like sleeping on a wooden board.
The lighter you are, the more likely it is that you will need a less-firm mattress. If you are heavier, you will need a firmer mattress.
Try to get a mattress with a long trial period, to suit your needs if possible. Some now offer a 365-night trial.
If you’re buying in a shop, don’t go shopping when you’re very tired. All the mattresses will feel nice, even the really hard ones!
Below I will clarify the points further, to make sure that you are clear on what each one means.
As always, I must state that if you have severe back issues then speaking to a licensed professional is a good idea, such as a chiropractor or even your GP.
How to choose the right mattress for back ache
So how do you actually choose the right mattress for back pain/ache…?
Choosing the right mattress can minimise (or even prevent) the factors that may lead to back pain. Too rigid a back will mean your body isn’t relaxed. Too slouchy and you’ll be sleeping with a bent spine – not to be confused with scoliosis.
And don’t assume that a memory foam mattress is softer / more slouchy than a pocket spring mattress because that’s not always the case.
Here are my tips:
Determine your sleeping position: Your sleeping position can significantly affect how well the mattress supports your body. Side sleepers, for example, need a mattress that provides adequate cushioning for the hips and shoulders, while back sleepers need a mattress that supports the natural curve of the spine. Determine your preferred sleeping position and look for a mattress that’s designed to provide adequate support for that position.
Consider your body weight: Your body weight can also affect how well a mattress supports your body. Heavier people tend to need firmer mattresses to prevent sagging and provide adequate support, while lighter people may need softer mattresses that can contour to their body’s natural curves. Consider your body weight when selecting a mattress.
Look for adequate support: A good mattress for back ache should provide adequate support for the spine, hips, and shoulders. The mattress should also distribute wieght evenly to prevent pressure points that can exacerbate back pain. Look for a mattress that’s firm enough to provide support, but not so firm that it’s uncomfortable to sleep on.
Test the mattress: Ideally, you should try out a mattress before buying it to determine whether it’s a good fit for your body and sleeping position. Many mattress stores offer trial periods, allowing you to try out the mattress for a certain period and return it if it doesn’t work for you.
Consider the material: Memory foam (and some hybrids) are often good choices for people with back ache, as they provide contouring support that can alleviate pressure points and promote spinal alignment. However, traditional pocket-sprung mattresses can also be a good option, as they provide firmer support that can help distribute weight evenly.
Don’t forget the pillow: A good mattress is important, but so is a good pillow. Look for a pillow that supports the neck and shoulders and promotes proper spinal alignment.
Top 8 Mattresses for Back Pain (2023)
So without further ado, here are my top choices in the UK for those suffering with generalised back pain or back aches:
1. Nectar Memory Foam – Best Overall
The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress is the #1 choice at WhatMattress for those who suffer from back pain – and for good reason. According to our testing, it’s one of the best bed-in-a-box mattresses available on the market, offering superior comfort and support at ridiculously low price.