The NHS estimate that “up to 8 in every 10 people in the UK are affected by back pain at some point in their lives.”
Even if your life is not full of bungee jumping, parasailing, potholing and other extreme sports, back pain can strike at any time… it is truly egalitarian; ignoring race, creed, religion and age, when it hits though it hits hard, it is usually debilitating and is often lingering.
Whether you are living with chronic pain, are new to the experience of back pain or are staving off the inevitable, if you are sleeping on the “wrong” mattress – that means your mattress is not supporting your spine properly – you could be raising your chances of having back pain or not helping your existing misery.
What should you consider when buying a mattress if you have bad back syndrome?
No one can tell you the best mattress for you, you need to try out your mattress to make sure you feel comfortable.
So, let’s see what you should be considering before we talk about the 5 Best Mattresses for a Bad Back
I have to admit that my natural inclination was to opt straight for an ORTHOPAEDIC mattress but according to the National Bed Federation:
“Any reference to beds being orthopaedic – or similar medical-sounding terms – does not automatically mean that the bed has been professionally assessed or recommended – it is a term loosely used by manufacturers to refer to extra firm models in their range”
So now we know that what should you be looking at:
The materials that make up the mattress: There are 4 popular types of materials for mattresses, Latex, Memory Foam, Spring and Hybrid – a mix of foam and spring.
The firmness of the mattress:There are also different types of firmness ranging from VERY SOFT – the kind of bed that it’s not so much you don’t want to get out of it, but that you can’t climb out of the pit in the mattress without grappling hooks and a helicopter to EXTRA FIRM – or as we now know to call them “Orthopaedic” or “Ortho mattresses”
The depth of the mattress: This depends again on your preference although it is widely suggested that when you sit on the side of your bed your knees are bent at 900, touching the floor. You should neither need to climb into your bed nor launch yourself up from the floor into standing position. Generally, anything over 15cm is good.
Your weight: The industry rule of thumb is the heavier you are the firmer your mattress should be, each manufacturer has their own rules as to the weight range for each class of firmness.
Following is a suggested guideline, but it is not considered an industry standard as there is no industry standard!
- Under 11 Stone (70kg) SOFT mattresses
- 11-16 stone (70 – 100kg) MEDIUM tension mattresses
- 16 stone (100kg) and over FIRM tension mattresses dare I say “ortho mattress” would be good
Store this list for a little later in the article where I suggest you try your mattress before you finally decide to buy.
Your preferred sleep position:
Different types of mattress give different results depending on your sleeping position
- If you sleep on your side, you should look for a mattress that typically gives you more cushioning for your shoulder and hips so that your spine stays straight even on your side
- For those who sleep on their back, a medium firm mattress is the way to go
- For those who sleep on their fronts; a slightly firmer mattress is suggested
- If you are a restless sleeper and succeed in sleeping in all three positions (which isn’t uncommon for those with back pain), choose a mattress that is firm enough to give you the support you need when you are on your back or front but that is soft enough to contour to your body
Finally, your budget:
HINT: Plan to spend as much as you can afford on your new mattress prices range anywhere between £140 – £1,800. You can easily get a great mattress for around £300.
As you can see from all the information above choosing your new mattress that will support your spine and ease your pain, is not an exact science.
Most mattress companies realise this fact and offer a long (usually around 100 days) money back trial period.
Now, us Brits, as a whole, are not known for returning things or raising a fuss, but the option is there.
If the mattress you have chosen is not giving you a comfortable, restful, supportive night’s sleep or you are finding yourself making “old man noises” (grunting and groaning) when you get out of, or into the bed then suck it up and return the mattress and find one that does suit you.
I would also suggest that once you’ve done your online price search and narrowed down your search to 2 or 3 mattresses, physically go and visit a showroom to try out your choices.
- Go later in the day after having done some physical exercise and you could do with a rest
- Do not go when you are pressured and need to get somewhere else
- Use the weight guidance mentioned above as a start point
- Wear comfortable clothes – not your usual pyjamas or nightie, but also not a three-piece suit and high heels)
- Lie down for at least 10- 15 minutes; preferably in your favoured sleep position
The 5 Best Mattresses for Bad Back Sufferers
Having said all of this, following, are my 5 recommendations the best mattress for those with bad backs.
- 100 Nights Trial
- 10 Year Full Replacement Limited Warranty
- Free UK Delivery & Returns
- Sizes: From UK Single (90X190cm)all the way through to Super King (180X200cm)
- Types: Premium, Original and Light
- Prices from £300- £750
Awarded a 2019 Which? Best Buy & the Independent – Best Buy award
- The Casper is a memory foam mattress
- It has 4 separate layers and is just under 25cm thick,
- Medium firmness
- Suitable for side sleepers and people between 11-16 Stone (70-100kg approx)
- Layer 1: Open cell top layer – sleeps cool and provides a bit of bounce.
- Layer 2: High-density memory foam for core and pressure point support – this is
- Layer 3: Transition layer allows for even weight distribution
- Layer 4: A base layer that gives extra support and strengthens the effects of the top layers and is ridged with air channels for cooling.
The Casper mattress comes vacuum packed, rolled up and boxed:
- Once unpacked your Casper mattress will blow up to its full size and it takes between 24-48 hours to reach its full re-constituted state.
- Gives excellent support for the lower-back and keeps the spine aligned giving great support for the pressure points even when sleeping on your side
- This mattress took a little bit of time to react to a position change, but once there it was very comfortable
- There is a little movement when a partner moves but not enough to wake you
Sealy Millionaire Backcare Mattress
- 14 day return policy
- 6-year warranty
- Free UK Delivery & Returns
- Sizes: From UK S Single (75X190cm) to Super King (180X200cm)
- Prices from £170- £780
Sealy is the “BRAND” to go for, established in 1881 in the US and available in the UK since the very beginning of the 1970’s. Endorsed by the British Chiropractic Association, the BSI, Allergy UK, awarded the “Best Buy” awards and they are even rated as Carbon Neutral – all round good guys, although more expensive than most of the other mattresses suggested in this list.
- A Pocket Sprung mattress
- 29cm thick
- Very firm
- Suitable for all sleepers and people weighing up to and above 16 stone (100kg approx)
The mattress uses the manufacturer’s unique Posture Tech 620 spring system, which is known for featuring twice-tempered coils, to add stability and longevity.
The zonally-arranged coils also provide extra support to areas of the body where weight is concentrated.
There is a hand-tufted finish, the buttons are evenly placed across the sleeping surface to add tension to the springs.
The Sealy Millionaire Back Care Mattress
- The mattress is hard, very supportive and gives a really restful night’s sleep
- If you are used to a soft bed then I would definitely try this mattress out as it is a lot harder than most mattresses but I would give it a chance as the support for me was amazing
- It doesn’t come rolled up and there is no chemical smell
- There is also very little interference from anyone else sharing your mattress as the springs are smaller there are more of them and they each react independently
Dunlopillo Millennium: Best Latex Mattress For Bad Backs
- 8 year guarantee
- Free UK Delivery & Returns
- Sizes: From Single (90X180cm) and a Small single long (75X200cm) all the way through to Super King (180X200cm)
- Prices from £735- £1,673
- This is a 100% pure latex mattress, which means it is hypoallergenic
- It is a single layer mattress with 7 different areas of support
- It is 24cm thick, Medium firmness
- Suitable for all types of sleepers and people up to-16 Stone (100kg approx)
- 100% pure Dunlopillo latex core
This latex mattress is resilient, responsive and completely noise free
- 7 Comfort zones
Softer comfort zones cushion your shoulders, hips and heels, firmer support zones provide correct alignment for ALL sleep positions
Latex’s open cell structure is made up of millions of interconnecting microscopic air bubbles promoting constant air circulation. Natural movement during the night helps ventilate the mattress and keeps the bed at a constant and comfortable temperature
- Pressure relieving
Through its unrivalled elasticity, latex provides instant pressure relief and encourages a healthy blood supply to your muscles
Dunlopillo latex mattresses are designed to deliver long lasting performance by utilising their natural resilience to hold their shape and remain durable for years to come
- 101 Nights Trial (from the shipping date)
- 20 Year Full Replacement Limited Warranty
- Free Delivery & Returns
- Sizes: Single, Small Double and Double (135 x 190cm)
- Prices from £240- £360
- The Ghostbed is a memory foam mattress. A mixture of latex and gel memory foam
- It has 3 separate layers and is 27cm thick
- Medium and up firmness
- Suitable for side sleepers and people up to and above16 Stone (100kg approx)
- Engineered Latex – The top comfort layer of is made of 3 cm of porous naturally responsive, high-quality engineered GhostFlex foam that absorbs pressure without retaining body heat.
- Carbon infused GEL memory foam – reduces pressure and aligns the spine
- The high-density core provides even further support and durability
- The Ghostbed mattresses come vacuum packed, rolled up and boxed
- Once unpacked your mattress will blow up to its full size in about an hour.
- The mixture of latex and gel memory foam is dense and really supports the pressure points in the body keeping the spine straight and supported even when side sleeping
- The mattress also isolates the movements of others on the mattress, so a restful night can be enjoyed
- As the mattress is latex it is also hyperallergic
The Emma Hybrid Mattress
– WHICH ? Top five memory foam mattresses 2019 Award
- 100 Nights Trial
- Free Delivery & Returns
- Sizes: From UK Single (90X190cm) to Super King Size (180X200cm)
- Prices from £360 – £637
- The Emma Hybrid is a mixture of gel memory foam and pocket springs
- It has 6 separate layers and is 27cm thick
- Soft Medium firmness
- Suitable for back and side sleepers and people up to 16 Stone (100kg approx)
- A removable top cover consists of special climate fibre that regulates humidity
- The Airgocell foam is more responsive than memory foam and has greater point elasticity with the benefits of air flow
- Visco-elastic memory foam adapts to the body’s contours
- Up to 2000 individual conical pocket springs provide support and seamless adjustment to each sleeper’s movement and body shape
- The base layer of cold foam is zoned and supports the spine ergonomically
- The dark grey side cover ensures optimal air circulation and anti-slippery properties
- The Emma Original comes vacuum packed, rolled up and boxed – a cutting tool is provided to get it out. – once unpacked it quickly rises to its full size.
- The mattress is soft to touch letting me pushdown on it quite a way before meeting real resistance, they are designed to sleep medium-firm but I found it softer than expected
- This mattress gave a feeling of good supported no matter how I tossed and turned, which is due to the zoned support system. There is also ergonomic support.
- I feel that this mattress is great for those of us who are not too heavy – saying that I really slept well on this mattress and felt no aches or pains
So here we are at the end of my suggestions for the best mattresses for those with a bad back.
I wish you lots of success and sleepful , restful nights on your new mattress.