How To Choose A Mattress For Back Pain Uk

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21 Best Mattresses For Bad Back UK 2020 (Help Your Hip & Back Pain)

Full disclosure I am not a medical professional, and if your back pain is serious you should talk to your doctor first

I know you’ll agree that back pain is one of the worst things in the entire world.

It affects just about everything you want or need to do. Even sleeping becomes taxing. If you’re reading this and thinking that it applies to you, then I want to help.

I’m not a miracle worker but I do know a thing or two about beds!

I’ve put together a guide for what you need in a mattress if you suffer from back problems, as well as a list of the best mattresses on offer that can help ease your back and get you some much-needed pain relief. There are also links for each one so that you can buy them online and start getting a great night’s sleep.

Check out the table below for a quick summary of the top choices. Click Nectar Sleep for £250 off and two free pillows

Top 5 MATTRESS FOR BACK PAIN UK SUMMARY

  • Top Pick For Back Pain In Side Sleepers and Back Sleepers – Nectar Sleep Memory Foam Mattress
  • Best For Stomach Sleepers – DreamCloud Hybrid Mattress
  • Best Orthopaedic Mattress- Reylon Memory Superior Ortho Support Mattress
  • Best Firm Mattress For Bad Back – Sleepeezee Backcare Ultimate 2000 Pocket Mattress
  • Best Cheap Pick – Silentnight Stratus Miracoil Firm Ortho Mattress

1. Top Pick for Back Pain in Back and Side Sleepers – Nectar Sleep Memory Foam Mattress

  • 365-Night Trial
  • 7-zone support
  • Ideal for back and side sleepers
  • Cooling Layers for hot sleepers
  • Can Help Sciatica
  • Eases lower back pain

Sizes: Single, small double, double, king size and super king size

Discount:£250 and 2 free pillows when you click the button below!!

If you’re a back pain sufferer you’re going to love“> the Nectar Sleep Mattress.

The base layer offers 7-Zone support which is a nice medium support under your shoulders and knees where you need it then softer around your knees and middle, and firm at your head. This zoned support gives you all the support you need up and down to stop you getting any aches or pains through the night.

Plus, the top layer is a cooling smart foam that helps move heat from the body keeping you cool and comfortable all night long. Combine that with the soothing comfort of memory foam that stops you tossing and turning and you’re left with a night of great sleep.

And it’s that memory foam which is going to ease the pressure on your back and let it fully relax so you don’t wake up in pain any more.

It’s perfect for back sleepers and side sleepers but unfortunately no good for stomach sleepers who will sink in too deep and strain their necks.

The trial period is a huge 365 days so you can actually test this out for a whole year and still be able to return it for a full refund which is amazingly cool and great value.

An easy choice for my top pick of back pain mattress.

2. Best Mattress For Bad Back and Stomach Sleepers – DreamCloud Hybrid Pocket Spring Mattress

  • 365 night trial
  • Forever warranty
  • Free delivery and returns
  • Great for couples
  • Ideal for back and side sleepers
  • Supportive to relieve back pain
  • Works on any bed frame

Sizes: Single, double, king and super king size

Discount: £250 off any mattress when you click below

The DreamCloud is a superb choice if you sleep on your stomach and suffer back pain (a much more common problem than you’d think!)

Dream cloud combine top-quality pocket springs with supportive memory foam that allows you to sleep comfortably on your front while your back pain eases and your pressure points get the chance to relax they need.

It’s a bed-in-a-box that has a 365 night trial and free returns so you can fully test it out before you commit to it. And it’s got a forever warratnty so you know it’s built to last, I’d still consider changing it after 10-12 years but there’s nothing like a reassurance your buying a top quality mattress.

It’s also good for other sleeping positions and couples so everybody can sleep happily on it!

Overall a fantastically comfortable mattress that’s excellent value for money, great for easing back pain if you sleep on your stomach and you can get £250 off if you click the link above!

3. Best Orthopaedic Mattress For Back Pain – Relyon Memory Superior Ortho Support 1500

  • A Which Best Buy
  • Hybrid Memory Foam and Spring
  • Pocket Sprung Mattress
  • High 1500 Spring Count

Sizes: Single, double, king, super king

Firmness:Medium-Firm

Relyon have developed a really good orthopaedic mattress, with a staggering 1500 springs inside it!

They’re pocket springs too, which means each one has been sewn into an individual pocket. You get more freedom to move and support exactly where you need it.

This is also a hybrid mattress since on top of the springs is a 5cm layer of memory foam. This is more than enough to support your spine, hips and shoulders no matter if you sleep on your side, your back or even upside down.

This mattress is really high quality – it was even a ‘Which? Best Buy’ in 2015. However, it doesn’t come with a guarantee.

4. Best Firm Mattress For Bad Back –Sleepeezee Backcare Ultimate 2000 Pocket Mattress

  • 60-night sleep trial
  • Firmest mattress
  • Natural Fillings
  • Good for hot sleepers
  • 5-year guarantee

Firmness: Extra-Firm

Sizes: Single, double, king, super king

You can’t argue with using a firm mattress to help with a bad back. The Sleepeezee backcare does just that, it takes excellent care of your lower and upper back to help ease pressure points and allow you to get some good rest without waking up in pain.

Wool fillings work to keep your body temperature under control while cashmere fillings give you a soft cushioning that complements the extra firm feel the mattress has.

Finally, you’ve got a Damask cover that’s breathable stopping you overheating and your sleep getting disturbed. Plus this is an Orthopaedic mattress made in the UK and it’s got a 5-year guarantee. there aren’t many extra-firm mattresses and this one is easily one of the best for a bad back.

5. Best Cheap Mattress For Bad Back – Silentnight Stratus Miracoil Firm Orthopaedic Mattress

  • Good Price
  • Firm Support
  • 5-year Guarantee
  • Hypoallergenic

Firmness:Firm

Sizes: Single, small double, double, king, super king

Silentnight are a trusted name in the mattress game. This one uses their own open-coil spring system which means it’s firm but maybe not as comfortable as a pocket spring option. This is because, in this mattress, the springs can’t move independently.

However, the open-coils mean that the price of this mattress makes it friendlier if you’re on a budget.

While this does have a 5-year guarantee, the terms and conditions are a little tricky. With each year that passes, your refund gets smaller and smaller. For example, if you want to return it in the second year of the guarantee, you will get 80% of your money back.

How Does A Mattress Affect Back Pain?

Let’s start the buying guide.

While the right mattress can do a lot to relieve back pain, the wrong mattress is completely the opposite.

If your mattress is the wrong tension – too soft, too firm – then it distorts your spine as you lie on it.

A mattress that is too soft will make tension build up along your spine, likewise with an old mattress.

This is what makes mornings particularly difficult for people with back pain, since you have to go from spending the night with bad posture to getting up and about. Lots of moaning and groaning… and rightly so!

A good mattress will give you the right support no matter how you sleep – on your front, on your back or on your side.

Sleeping Positions and Back Pain

The type of sleeper you are won’t necessarily affect your back pain but it will change what type of mattress you need, side sleepers and back sleepers will have different needs to stomach sleepers for instance. But whatever your sleeping style, I’ve got you covered.

Back Sleepers and Side Sleepers

You are the lucky ones who have the pick of the litter when it comes to mattresses because you can sleep comfortably no matter what the mattress type is. Memory foam, spring, a hybrid of the two, and on all the different firmnesses levels.

So choose happily and look forward to a better night’s sleep.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers won’t be able to sleep soundly on memory foam because it sinks in too much and can crane your neck leaving it stiff and even feeling smothered. So if you want to wake up free from soreness you’re going to need a firmer mattress and preferably a spring or hybrid combo of spring and memory foam.

Best Type Of Mattress For Back Pain

Buying a mattress can be a bit of minefield anyway but buying a mattress with a bad back in mind is even more difficult. There are three types of mattress that I’d recommend for you:

1. MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS

Memory foam is excellent for coping with back pain, since the heat of your body makes it mould around you as you sleep. You only sink as deep as you need helping with pressure points and spinal alignment, which gives your back and joints maximum support.

You might be worried about overheating if you’re thinking about a memory foam mattress. And while that was a problem with old memory foam, new memory foam usually has a gel memory foam layer of some kind that is designed to be breathable and dissipate heat meaning a good night’s sleep for you.

To me, unless you’ve been recommended a different kind be a doctor or a chiropractor this is the type of mattress I’d go for a bad back or any kind of lower back pain.

2. LATEX MATTRESS

This is similar to memory foam as latex moulds around your body but it’s actually a little firmer. It bounces back more, which means good support for your back and you can move around easily.

Getting a mattress that is 100% natural latex is rare since it’s usually part of a hybrid, either with memory foam or springs. Given the choice, a latex-spring hybrid would be your best choice. It has a lot of bounce and the springs really help to firm up the mattress, which is what you need. I’ve reviewed other UK latex mattresses here.

3. POCKET SPRING

Unlike an open coil innerspring mattress pocket springs are made up of lots of individual springs each sewn into their own pocket so they can move independently of each other.

This means they can move around your body better giving you extra support where you need it. This helps with pressure relief along your back and easing even the most chronic back pain.

And a good choice if you’re a front sleeper and not able to use memory foam, but I talk more about the different sleep positions further up.

4. HYBRID MATTRESS

When you’re looking for the perfect mattress you might come across a hybrid mattress, what this is, is a mattress that’s a combination of some type of foam as the top layer and springs as in the inner layer, usually pocket spring with the foam acting as a comfort layer on top.

These are great because you get all the support of memory foam with the familiar bounce of a spring mattress. So if you’re looking to replace your old mattress and aren’t quite ready for memory foam this can be a good compromise. More UK hybrid mattress reviews here.

5. ORTHOPAEDIC MATTRESS

Sometimes called ‘ortho mattresses’, these are designed specifically for people who suffer from back pain.

They are usually extra firm and are good because they distribute your weight slightly differently, giving extra support to your spine while taking the weight off your hips, shoulders and neck. I’ve got some neck pain pillows reviewed here if you need any help with that.

On an orthopaedic mattress, your spine can sit comfortably and fully relax – which is what you’ll be needing!

Most of the time, these are spring mattresses but hybrid mattresses – a mixture of springs and memory foam – are also available. These hybrids are great because you get the moulding effect of the foam, without sacrificing firmness.

These firmer mattresses usually work better for people who are fairly heavy – above or around 18 stone.

FAQS

WILL MY PILLOW AFFECT MY BACK?

Your pillows are more likely to cause/aggravate neck pain, which is something to be aware of. But sometimes a knee pillow can actually help with back pain.

SHOULD I GO TO SEE A DOCTOR FIRST?

I said I know a thing or two about new beds but your back pain will be unique to you. I can’t offer you medical advice, I can only recommend mattresses. The NHS has some great information on their website but go and see your GP.

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO TURN OR FLIP MY MATTRESS?

You need to flip your new mattress every three to six months. If you have a cheaper mattress, chances are you’ll need to flip it more often.

If you have a memory foam/latex topped mattress, then you should turn it. Don’t flip it! Otherwise, your lovely soft top will end up on the bottom and it’ll be ruined. The same thing goes for turning, you should do this every three to six months.

However, please don’t do this if you have a sore back! See if there’s anyone that can help you out. People are usually generous if tea or cake is involved.

WOULD A MATTRESS TOPPER HELP?

It could do, if you can’t afford a new mattress then a memory foam mattress topper might be a good idea to try and help (I’ve got a sperate article on them here).

They can work well to freshen up an old mattress and improve support along your spine making mornings that little bit easier and putting you in a better mood for the day.

Other Mattresses For Back Pain Reviewed

Orthopaedic mattresses

Kayflex Pocket Ruby 3000 Pillow Top Mattress

  • Hybrid foam and spring combo
  • Bed-in-a-box
  • Pressure-relieving
  • 5-year warranty

The Kayflex Ruby offers a hybrid combination of reflex foam and pocket springs which combine with a plush pillow top to give you a great orthopaedic mattress and a pain-free night of sleep.

The other fillings are polyester which keeps the price down making it very reasonable and aren’t as necessary since you’ve got the pillow top acting as a built-in mattress topper keeping you supported and comfortable.

A Fine choice of Orthopaedic Mattress for the price point.

John Lewis Ortho Pocket Spring 1000 Mattress

Pros

  • Made by Hypno
  • Firm Feel
  • Breathable
  • 7 Year Guarantee

Cons

  • Quite Heavy To Rotate Alone

Firmness:Firm

This mattress is actually made by Hypno, who have been around for over 100 years, so you know that they’re going to have it just right.

It’s nice and firm, which is exactly what you’re looking for. This is down to the 1000 springs, which give you a great balance of support and comfort. The top has also been hand-tufted and this keeps the filling in place. It also means that it’s lovely and smooth, which makes the mattress firmer still!

Even better, it has airstream technology which stops air getting trapped inside the mattress. No more overheating! Keeping the mattress cool also means that the wool and polyester in the filling stays fresh for longer, so it’s a win-win.

A great choice of orthopaedic bed for a bad back.

Happy Beds Ortho Royale Orthopaedic Mattress

Pros

  • Great Price
  • Suitable For All Sleeper Types
  • Available in A Large Range of Sizes
  • Orthopaedic

Cons

  • Not as Firm as it could be

Firmness:Medium-Firm

This is a slightly different mattress, since it’s classed as ‘medium-firm’ rather than ‘firm’, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a good compromise if you’re looking for an orthopaedic mattress that is a little softer.

It has a Bonnel spring system too, which actually makes it firmer than other pocket spring mattresses.

This mattress also has handles built into the side, which make it so much easier to flip. This is really useful since you need to flip your mattress semi-regularly – with help if your back is still sore!

But if you’ve got a slat bed frame make sure you turn it every few months so you don’t end up with big permanent ridges on one side that you’ll have to sleep on when you flip it.

The air vents are an added bonus since they’ll ensure you have a cool, refreshing sleep.

Sleepeezee Ortho 800 Pocket Mattress

  • Orthopaedic support
  • Breathable Damask cover
  • air vents in the side
  • free 24-hour delivery
  • 5-year guarantee

Take care of your back and your budget with this budget-friendly orthopaedic mattress from Sleepeezee. Only 800 pocket springs but pocket springs beat the hell out of a traditional spring system so it’s still good value.

A firm feel to give you plenty of support up and down your back plus the orthopaedic support allows for pressure relief of your pressure points. Everything you could want from a bed for a bad back.

Coolflex Backcare Firm Mattress

  • Cooling Cover
  • Under £300 for a king size
  • 25 cm deep
  • 1-year guarantee

The name says it all on this one, you’ve got a firm mattress, that takes care of your back and has a cooling cover. Simple right?

The Coolflex covers are a great choice for hot sleepers allowing for greater breathability while also being soft to the touch for a nice comfortable sleeping surface.

Only a 1-year guarantee but that’s to be expected because of the low price. But for a hard mattress and orthopaedic bed, you can’t argue with the quality at this price range.

Mattresses for hip pain

DUNLOPILLO DIAMOND MATTRESS

  • Medium Feel
  • Latex Provied Excellent Support
  • 7 Support Zones
  • 8-Year Guarantee
  • 18 cm Deep

The Dunlopillo Diamond mattress is an excellent choice of mattress for hip pain, it’s a softer mattress at a medium feel but still great for support.

It’s only 18 cm deep but that’s all you need. Natural latex has much more bounce than memory foam so gives you the support you need where you need it. And the mattress is split into 7 support zones so you have softer areas where your shoulders hips and feet are then firmer support under your back and behind your legs allowing the hip joint to relax.

There is a weird smell with latex when you first get the mattress but that’s completely normal and goes away by itself after a few days, if you air it out on its side for 24 hours completely uncovered it will go away. But if you make the bed normally after you get it it will go away it just takes a bit longer.

What’s also cool is that you get an 8-year guarantee, but all this comes at the cost of this being the most expensive mattress on the list. It’s still worth it if you’re trying to deal with hip pain.

SEALY POSTUREPEDIC PEARL LATEX MATTRESS

Pros

  • Hybrid latex-spring System
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cooling cover

Cons

  • Only a 1 Year Guarantee

Firmness:Medium

This mattress is everything you’d want for your sore hips and lower back: a latex top and Sealy’s own Posturetech 660 Spring System underneath.

The latex gives a nice bounce, so you don’t sink into the mattress too much but still moulds to your body for ultimate comfort and relaxation and pain relief for the hip area.

The spring system means you’ll get perfect weight distribution. This means that less pressure will be placed on your ‘pain points’ – back, hips and shoulders.

What I found really interesting was this mattress’ ‘Edge Guard’ feature. Mattresses are prone to sagging at the ends, which is something I’ve found in my own experience but this mattress won’t have that problem.

You also don’t need to flip this mattress (yay!), since it has latex on one side. What I would recommend is turning it around every now and again, which is easy with the handles built into the sides.

The latex does mean that this is technically a medium-firm mattress but it doesn’t compromise on support.

Coolflex i-Pedic Memory Cool Mattress

  • Removable cover
  • Cooling cover
  • Bed-in-a-box
  • 20 cm deep
  • 5-year warranty

The 20 cm depth doesn’t lend itself to being good for heavy people but if you’re normal (ish) body weight and you’ve got hip pain to deal with then this could be the one for you.

A great price tag for a memory foam bed that provides contouring giving you the exact support you need where you need it all-around your lower back and hips and it’ll even help to prevent and relieve shoulder pain.

And as a final bonus, the cover is removable and washable to keep your bed even cleaner and fresher.

Mattresses for lower back pain

Millbrook Royal Backcare Ortho 1400 Pocket Mattress

  • Natural wool and cotton fillings
  • 60-night sleep trial
  • 22 cm deep
  • 10-year warranty

This has a lot of the same benefits as some of the bed-in-a-box brands with the difference that this one doesn’t come in a box!

Pocket springs and orthopaedic support lend themselves to everything you could need for easing lower back pain. Plus the natural fillings work to let your body heat escape so you can sleep soundly from the moment your head hits the pillow.

Bed Butler Emperor Supreme 3000 Pocket Mattress

  • Natural fillings
  • Luxury spring count
  • 28 cm deep
  • 5-year guarantee

This has everything you could want from a luxury mattress, natural fillings of wool, silk, cashmere and horsehair plus a spring count of 3000.

Horsehair is a great one for lower back pain because it works to spring back quickly and long retains its shape so you get great support night after night. Plus the other materials work to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter so you don’t toss and turn through the night potentially hurting your back more.

Contour 2000 Memory Pocket Mattress

  • Soft quilted Cover
  • Good for slat bed
  • Hybrid mattress
  • 25 cm deep
  • 5-year warranty

This mattress has come up quite a lot across the site because of its high spring count and non-flip properties that make it perfect for a slat bed.

Plus hybrid mattresses are great for any sort of back pain, your lower back will be kept supported, as will your hips and your pressure points can relax so you can start to recover. No doubt one of the best mattresses for lower back pain

Bed Butler Inspire Memory Mattress

  • Edge-to-edge support
  • Soft Cover
  • Hypoallergenic
  • 5-year guarantee

A firmer feel and a memory foam mattress do wonders for back pain. Plenty of support to keep you in place while you experience a weightless sensation as the memory foam moulds to your body.

It’s also hypoallergenic and you can lie right up to the very edge of the mattress giving you more sleeping space, great if your a couple sharing a bed.

Mattresses for back pain and Side Sleepers

Studio by Silentnight Firmer Mattress

  • Bed-in-a-box
  • Allergy Seal of approval
  • 26 cm deep
  • 5-year guarantee

Firmness: Medium- Firm

Side sleepers will really benefit from memory foam, a firmer feel still but your shoulder is able to sink down keep your spine aligned and your back happy.

Silentnight have been making great sleep products for almost 70 years and doing a great job of it. So, of course, their mattress-in-a-box is a superb choice.

Tuft & Springs Solitaire 2000 Pocket Memory Pillow Top Mattress

  • 35 cm deep
  • Hybrid mattress
  • Good for hot sleepers
  • 5-year guarantee

35 cm might leave you needing to get new sheets, but if you’re a side sleeper it will also leave you in heavenly comfort. A pillow top for added comfort and a nice and high spring count for a luxury feel and tailored support where you need it.

Memory foam also works for great preventing spine misalignment to keep your lower and upper back supported just as you need it from the contouring it provides. A fine choice of bad back mattress for side sleeping.

Sleepeezee Cool Sensations 2000 Pocket Mattress

  • 60-night sleep trial
  • Lowest price promise
  • 28 cm deep
  • 5-year guarantee

Another great hybrid mattress for side sleeping, but this one is especially good for hot sleepers thanks to the air vents built into the side.

Also great for couples because motion isolation means your partner can move without disturbing you. And it’s also good for all sleeping positions so even if your partner isn’t a side sleeper you can both be comfortable.

Dormeo Octaspring Hybrid Mattress

  • Removable cover
  • Octasprings
  • Pocket springs
  • 15-year warranty

This is a really cool mattress because it combines memory foam, with Octasprings which are foam springs that are way more breathable than normal foam, and a layer of pocket springs.

What do those give? A superbly luxurious and comfortable mattress that relieves back pain and produces a durable and long-lasting mattress as shown in the 15-year warranty.

Another fabulous side sleeping mattress for a bad back.

I’m Really Confused By All This. What Should I Do?

Back pain can cause a lot of stress and you’ll want to make the right choice for your perfect mattress.

If you’re unsure or need a bit of advice, leave a comment down below and I’ll get in touch as soon as possible. Or have a read of the comments and see if anyone has had the same problem you have.

HAPPY SLEEPING!

Related Reading

I have an affiliate relationship with some companies where we get a percentage of sales if you click over from our site. This is at no extra cost to you and how I pay the costs of running this site.

About Kieran

I’m Kieran an award-winning sleep blogger and I created The Dozy Owl, I believe that a lack of sleep is a national crisis and if we can master our sleep we can do anything.

Reader Interactions

Comments

Hiya! I’m looking for a new mattress, hope you can help
I’m 9.8 st. I am hypermobile and suffer from left shoulder bursitis so have been mainly sleeping on stomach or my right side for ages. Over the time this has led to compressed sciatica nerve, and gave me right hip tendonitis 🙁
I have heard I should rather avoid spring mattresses as these cause pressure point and rather look at memory foam or latex foam, I’m not sure on what firmness I should be looking for.

I’m really sorry to hear that, it sounds horrible! I’d go for the Nectar Sleep mattress (click this link to check it out) it’s got memory foam to support you and a free trial so if it doesn’t work you can send it back for free.

Hope that helps and hope you get some sleep soon.

Hi I suffer from sciatica caused by bulging disc in the lower back and herniated disc in my neck. After 3 months of no pain, yesterday I reached down and felt the horrendous pain in lower back and down leg. I know I need to change my mattress. I am 6ft and weigh 12 stone, I am a back and side sleeper. Please can you recommend a few I could try? Thanks so much

Hi Lottie, that sounds absolutely horrible! I hope you’re managing to get some medical help to help ease the pain, that’s a good place to start. As for mattresses, I’d give the Nectar sleep mattress (check it out here) a try and then follow that up by trying the Simba if it doesn’t work (you can see the simba here). Both have trial periods so you can order them and test them without committing.

Diana Wilkins says

I’ve just purchased an Emma mattress but I’m still getting a twinge in my lower back. I’m wondering if the mattress is too firm. If so what would you recommend? One with springs?

I’m sorry to hear that, how long have you tried the Emma for? It can take a good few weeks to fully adjust to a new mattress. Also how severe is the twinge? Has it gotten any better with the new mattress of stayed the same?

Michele Dolan says

Hi – I’ve had a Tempur mattress for 3 years now and wake up every morning really stiff and sore. I do stretching exercises every morning and am generally fairly fit. I’ve only just cottoned on that it could be the mattress as I thought it had to bed in and recently I pulled my back and on day 3 didn’t take any tablets done my stretches as normal and my back was ok – obviously stretching out and moving relieved the stiffness of the night before! I thought it was age thing etc and also put it down to the odd injury etc and time rolls on! I paid a lot of money for the Tempur mattress and my partner has a Tempur which is great so I just bought the same one.

I do have the Tempur on a Slatted bed which rises each end but I make sure I sleep flat. The Slats are very wide but I have now put some plywood underneath to see if that makes a difference.

So anyway now thinking may need to replace the mattress and I’ve read all the reviews – I’m thinking about spring and memory foam – not too hard – can you recommend something – I’m more of a side sleeper. Many thanks Michele

Sorry to hear that, I know waking up with a stiff back is never a nice way to start the day. It could be the mattress although I know people with back problems who say they’re backs are normally stiff in the morning so you may be better with a physiotherapist or a chiropractor since the Tempur should be a good fit for a bad back.

But, if you’re set on a new mattress and looking for a combo of spring and memory foam than have a look at the Simba Mattress (here’s a link to their website) they have one of the best hybrid mattresses around so I’d start there.

Hope that helps,
Kieran

Mrs Jeannie Dunning says

Dear Kieran,
I have had a sleep problem since I was a teenager and I think it has a psychological root (I am now 78!).
I have just been to the East Grinstead sleep clinic on the NHS for a night and I will get the results of being wired up etc in August (unless I can get an earlier appointment).
Basically, I get some arthritic pain in my lower right back and sacro-iliac joint and have had two very successful hip replacements. Obviously, the slight pain which seems to be mainly just at night affects my sleep but I have anyway, for years, woken up many, many times each night which can be so debilitating and depressing. I know i need my sleep so I get it by getting up late often and by having just a short nap in the day. I can, ridiculously, sleep very easily in the day!
I have been a widow for 10 years now but still sleep in our Ikea super-king size bed but I think I may need a new mattress. I realise it may not solve my sleep problem but I would appreciate any advice you can give about my problem. Thank you.

Hello Mrs Dunning, thanks for stopping by.

I’m so sorry t hear that! But yes very glad you’ve made the choice to go to a sleep clinic, I hope they’re able to help you out with your problem.

It does sound like you’ll need a new mattress, even the best mattresses last about 10 years and it sounds like yours might be even older than that so an upgrade sounds like a great plan. I would take a look at a memory foam mattress I think, it should support all your aches and pains and let you sleep soundly (here’s my article on the best memory foam mattresses) or you can go straight to my review of the Emma mattress, I’ve been sleeping great on it for a while now and you get a 100 night trial so if it doesn’t help you can return it for a full refund.

I hope that helps,
Kieran

Hi Kieran,
Thanks for your reviews. My husband and I both have bad backs due to our mattress.
Do you know of any company that is willing to have a trial period if we leave the cover on?

None of the above will but you could try out the Nectar Mattress, it’s got a 365 night trial and the memory foam will be very good for you back so I’d check them out through this link.

Hope that helps!

Dmitriy Mishin says

Thank you for this very useful reviews it is now much easier to choose the right mattress.

Me and my miss are both around 63-70kg and are sleeping on memory foam mattress that gives us joint, hip, shoulder and back aches as well as overheating. We are looking to change for spring mattress. Not sure what to go for out of the the ones you reviewed. What do you suggest. We have seen one at John Lewis and liked it, but not sure which is better?.

Thanks for reaching out, sorry to hear about your aches and pains! Not a fun way to wake up every day I’m sure. Why not have a look at my article specifically on Pocket Spring Mattresses https://thedozyowl.co.uk/pocket-sprung-mattress/ and check out the Silentnight classic 1200.

Hope this helps!

Dmitriy Mishin says

Hope so! Need a firm one I think

Hi Kieran, have you tried any of the John Ryan mattresses https://johnryanbydesign.co.uk/product-category/mattresses/mattresses-for-back-pain/ ? I’m interested in the Artisan and suffer with lower back pain every morning. I think my current mattress could be too firm.

I have not tried the John Ryan mattress but will add it to my to review list!

Hi Kieran
I like your website. I’m looking for new mattres, my old one is not well. I have a back pain and I have to sleep on my side. Unfortunately, after two years of sleeping on my side, I have new pain in the upper back. I think about https://www.argos.co.uk/product/5442759. I like the exchange option within 100 days. Write what you think about this mattress. I weigh 11 stones and my wife has 10 stones. Thanks

Hi Kristof, I haven’t written about that mattress yet but I will put it on the list!

Ines Guerreiro says

Hi! Great article!

Is there some advice you could give some advice about Made.com mattresses?
I bought “The One” mattress a year ago thinking I was making a good choice. All was fine until 5 months ago when I started feeling pain down my hip and leg (sciatica) and back pain along all my spine. I’m only 34 years old so this is obviously worrying I also have a normal weight.
Every morning I’m in pain, something that has never happened before with our old mattress (much cheaper spring mattress form IKEA)

I always hear memory foam is good for back pain, but now I think I have back pain because of the memory foam.

I’m a natural front sleeper, of course I’ve changed my sleeping habits and do my best to sleep on the side which has done very little for my back pain.
My husband has been doing fine. Sleeps like a rock; I’m assuming I’m more sensitive with regards mattresses than him.

Thanks Kieran
All the best
Ines

Hmm that is a strange one, fist advice is always to get yourself along to the doctor and see if it’s a medical issue that is causing your back pain. Because yes memory foam is generally very good for back pain strange you’re not getting any benefits from it! And I haven’t had a chance to look ino the One mattress yet but it’s on my to-do list!

Best of luck at the doctor.

Hi, can you give me your opinion on the Sealy Posturepedic Pearl Deluxe mattress please….I have neck, shoulder and lower back aches/pains so looking for a new mattress as my Silentnight 3 zone memory foam isn’t helping.
Thank you in advance.

Yes, I’d give the Sealy Posturepedic Pearly a try, Posturepedic are the gold standard for pain relief mattresses after all!

Thanks for this blog! I have a back problem for a long time. Now I think, I will be able to find a good mattress for my bed which will give me enough relief.

I have a very bad back my wife works for next stores do they sell a good mattress for my back of can you advise me where to buy one. THANKING you

Hi Mike Green, Mattress NExt Day and John Lewis both do excellent mattresses that will be great for your back.

Hi! I’ve been suffering with ever lasting shoulder and neck pain, which I think it’s due to my mattress – Auping Maestro firm. Whenever I am travelling and I have to sleep at another bed, I usually wake up fine and tend to have a better night sleep (less toss and turning, less pain on my hips if I’m side ways, etc).
I wonder if my problems can be solved if I buy a softer mattress; ideally another Auping, so I can keep the same bed and linens.
I weigh 57kg
Many thanks.
Julia

Thanks for commenting, I would say it’s likely that your mattress is too firm but if your pillows are quite old (3 years +) then it could be them as well. Have a look at my guide to pillows for more on them.

I’m not familiar with Auping mattresses so can’t recommend a specific one there but yes going from a firm to a medium would be a good call, soft might be too far the other way and start causing back pain but you know your body best!

Johnathan Leech says

Hi there! I have mild spondylitis in my back. I wake up with back pain and I’m a side sleeper, so not quite sure what matters I should get?

Thanks for the question. First off I would definitely speak to your doctor, when it’s a diagnosed medical condition I’m not allowed to specifically recommend. But see what your doctor says then come back and take another look 🙂

Hello,
I’m looking for a new mattress because I have chronic back pain and haven’t changed my mattress in years (I’ve just got an Ikea mattress that my bed came with 😬). I am struggling to know where to start. I have Lower back pain but am very small at about 8 stone and 5ft2. I have been looking at the Eve mattressed as it seemed to be a good mix. But wasn’t sure if a spring mattress with an Eve topper would be better? Or there standard Eve or Hybrid? What would you suggest? Thanks so much! Such a great site with really helpful reviews!

Hi!
Either would be great really, I like a memory foam topper on a spring mattress personally but a memory foam mattress does provide great support. So I’d go for the topper 🙂

Hi, we are looking for a mattress so i can get a good nights sleep. I have chronic lower back pain and hubby is fine with no back pain. We are both side sleepers. I weigh 11 stone and hubby 14 stone. I am constantly moving during the night as i can never get comfortable. Can you recommend a mattress?

Any of the mattresses above will do you just fine I think!

Hi, i have allways post a silent night medium to firm mattres no roll together , but long story short i need a new bed as the bed is aboit 15 uears old ( not the mattres ) i have discs problems in my lower back can u advice on what would be the closest to this now ? Cheers

Thanks for getting in touch! I’m not entirely sure which mattress you’re talking about but it sounds like the Reylon Memory Superior would be a great choice for you!

me and my hubby looking for mattress. we both suffer back pain and lower pain in are joints. hubby sleeps on side. but i sleep on my back,my side,loads different ways. we both heavy people i am 18 stones and hubby 22 stones. so we both good built. what mattress do you think would be good

Thanks for commenting! The John Lewis Ortho Would be a great choice with a firm feel and a 24cm depth. In general, go for a deeper mattress so there’s more room to sink in avoid anything less than 20cm because you’ll likely feel the bed frame underneath.

Having used two fairly budget priced (£180-£200) memory foam mattresses which have each softened and sagged after around six months and caused me nocturnal lower back pain, I am now considering what to buy next. I don’t want to spend £££s on another (better) memory foam mattress only for it to fail/sag/soften after a couple of years. I love the idea of a hybrid as I love sleeping on memory foam but as they are so expensive I would worry the foam would fail and the whole mattress would need replacing. So I am considering a well-priced 3000 pocket spring mattress coupled with an Eve memory mattress topper – then at least if the foam starts to sag I don’t have to replace the mattress, just the topper. In total the two come to about £400. It’s kind of a diy hybrid. What would your thoughts be on doing this – either in general or to help back pain specifically. Thanks 🙂

That sounds like a fantastic idea to me, The Eve Mattress topper has a 3-year guarantee for sagging peace of mind (though I’m sure it will last a longer than that before it starts to sag). And the memory foam will give you the extra back support that a pocket sprung mattress might lack.

My only point to consider is that a 3000 spring count at that price doesn’t quite sound right. It sounds a little too cheap for that sort of spring quality so if you drop down to a 1500-2000 spring count you might find the actual spring quality is better and so they’ll stay strong for longer.

Great idea though, this way your mattress will last a lot longer and you’ll just have to change the topper when it comes to a new mattress. Thanks for commenting, please let me know if you go for it and how it feels!

thanks for your reply. The mattress I’ve now bought is the Happy Beds Signature Crystal 3000. RRP is allegedly £569 (if that’s to be believed) but it’s currently listed as £309. I managed to pick one up new on Amazon for £229. I fell for the large spring count – I should have known better! It’s sold by Amazon directly so if it’s rubbish I can send it back.
Thanks for your help, great site btw 🙂

Well if it’s on sale that’s a different story! And happy beds are generally quite good so it should do you fine! But if it’s not up to scratch you can send it back like you said. You are very welcome, glad you like it 🙂

Best Mattress For Bad Back UK (2020 Update)

Home » Mattresses » Best Mattress For Bad Back UK (2020 Update)

If you’re trying to get the best night’s sleep possible, the right mattress is an essential factor. With so many different options on the market, making a decision is somehow even more difficult! And for those with more specialist requirements, getting the correct mattress for your needs is even more essential. Put simply, choosing a mattress only becomes harder if you suffer from back problems.

So what is the best mattress for a bad back? We’ve reviewed five of the most popular options to help find the top option for you. Not all bad backs are created equal, but by finding the best mattress for back pain you can make sure your pain is minimised and has less of an impact on your daily life. Whether you prefer a harder or firmer mattress, sleep on your back, stomach or side, or prefer innersprings or a foam construction, this list has an option for you. Here are five of the best mattresses for sore backs.

  • Casper– (Best Memory Foam)
  • Silentnight 7 Zone– (Best Firm)
  • Dormeo Memory Plus– (Side Sleepers With Lower Back Pain)
  • Silentnight Stratus Premier 2000– (Best Pocket Spring)
  • Simba– (Best Hybrid)

Table of Contents

Best Mattress For Back Pain Reviews

Casper – (Best Memory Foam)

The Casper mattress was one of the very first direct-to-consumer options, and it still holds up as a great memory foam option. If you favour the feeling ofmemory foambut suffer from pain in your back, this product could be a fantastic option for you.

The mattress is constructed of four layers of premium foam for an extremely comfortable, soft but supportive feel. The top layer is breathable open-cell foam to help with cooling, the second layer is a high-density memory foam which gives pressure support and a contouring feel, the third layer is comfort transition foam to help with even weight distribution, and the bottom is the supportive base layer to give the mattress structure.

Regarding back pain, the memory foam here is particularly beneficial for spinal alignment. It offers patented “Zoned Support,” which adjusts the pressure between the shoulders and the hips to keep the spine in a comfortable position. It helps to transfer the pressure from the shoulders to the core and the hips, providing pressure relief for the shoulders and therefore protecting the back.

This mattress is well suited for sleepers of every position when it comes to back pain. Whether you sleep on your stomach, back, or side, it helps to balance the pressure across your body and keep the spine in a healthy position. This means it’s ideal for keeping the back comfortable overnight and preventing you from waking up feeling stiff. It is overall an excellent mattress for lower back pain.

There are some drawbacks, however. Those who are of a heavier build can find the Casper gives too much sinkage and not enough support. If you suffer from back pain unrelated to spine alignment, then this one is unlikely to provide any more relief than other mattresses. Plus, if you find the contouring feel of memory foam uncomfortable and can feel “trapped” while sleeping, you may be best avoiding this model and opting for non-foam. This is down to personal preference.

Purchasing the Casper mattress is extremely easy. You can order online, and it is delivered straight to your door in a compact box. Every mattress comes with a 100-night risk-free trial, so if you don’t like it, the company will pick up the mattress and refund you, no questions asked. Delivery and returns are always free, and the company is known to offer exceptional customer service options.

The Casper comes in eight different sizes, from a Single to a Super King. This means you can enjoy regardless of your bed or room size. It also has a sleek, minimal look, and the zip-off cover means it’s easy to clean.

  • Zoned support for pressure points.
  • Good balance between sink and support.
  • Fantastic delivery and returns.
  • Poor edge support for those who sleep or sit on the edge of their bed.
  • Maybe too soft for heavier sleepers.
  • Potential for off-gassing immediately after purchase.

Silentnight 7 Zone – (Best Firm)

If you fear the Casper may be just too soft for you, or know you favour afirmer mattress, you may want to consider the Silentnight 7 Zone. This memory foam mattress offers patented 7-zone support, which means it provides different levels of support for different parts of the body. It softly holds the shoulders but provides a firmer and more stable surface for the hips and core, which helps align the spine and minimise potential back pain.

This mattress has a Miratex core of high-density foam, which gives it a firmer feel with less sinkage and bounce. It also helps with pressure absorption, making it a great option if you share a bed with a restless sleeper. The 7 zones of the name refer to 7 different areas of support in the mattress. This helps give a more uniform and supportive feel, and makes this one of the best options in terms of a firm mattress for back pain.

While this may make you think this one is a little bit hard and lacking in comfort, that isn’t the case. The core is firm, but there is a top comfort layer made of memory foam. This layer is very responsive and gives the sinkage needed for relief of the pressure points. It allows the weight-bearing parts of the body to be supported and cushioned from all angles. This mattress also has sturdier edge support than other foam based mattress options.

The Silentnight 7 is better suited tobackandstomach sleepers, because of its medium-firm feel. Side sleepers tend to need a little more sinkage in their mattress, as their shoulders and hips protrude further. But if you know you’re looking for a hard mattress for back pain, this could be a fantastic option for you.

The main drawback is that it isn’t suitable for every sleeper. If you know you prefer a softer feeling mattress, you’re very unlikely to find this one comfortable. If you consistently sleep on your side, the mattress could potentially hold your spine in a somewhat uncomfortable position and actually cause further back problems.

The Silentnight 7 comes with a luxuriously soft knitted cover to add to the comfort. It’s also allergy tested and approved, making it ideal for you if you suffer from asthma, eczema or other sensitivities. The zoned mattress has a 20 cm depth, adding to the feeling of luxury. It comes in seven different sizes, ranging from a Single to a Super King size.

Delivery of this mattress is easy. It comes vacuum sealed and rolled in a box, so can be shipped directly to your door. The company also offers a five-year warranty on their product.

  • Excellent option for a firmer, supportive mattress.
  • Memory foam top layer adds comfort.
  • Good edge support and minimal motion transfer.
  • Can retain too much heat for those who sleep hot.
  • Not ideal for side sleepers.
  • The potential for unpleasant initial off-gassing.

Dormeo Memory Plus – (Side Sleepers With Lower Back Pain)

The Dormeo Memory Plus has an overall softer feel than other options on our list. This makes it the best mattress for side sleepers with lower back pain. Side sleepers have more protruding pressure points – if you sleep on your side, your shoulders and hips stick out much more than on your back or stomach. This means that your shoulders and hips bear the brunt you’re your body weight, which can cause pain. If your shoulders and hips aren’t adequately supported, this can also mean your spine isn’t correctly aligned.

The Dormeo consists of two different foam layers. There is a core layer of Ecocell foam, which provides the mattress with structure and the base layer of support required. On top of this is the memory foam layer, which is what provides to contouring and pressure relief. Here, the memory foam layer is 50% thicker than in other options (3 cm to be exact). This means the Dormeo has a softer feel and offers more sinkage for pressure zones.

On top of being a fantastic option for side sleepers who suffer from back pain, this thicker layer of memory foam has other benefits. If you know you prefer the feel of a softer mattress with more give, this one is an excellent choice for you. Memory foam offers other benefits to a mattress, too. This includes minimising motion transfer, which is perfect for those who share their bed and don’t want to disturb (or be disturbed by) their partner.

The Ecocell base layer of this mattress is important, too. It offers superior air circulation to help keep the mattress at a comfortable temperature. In spite of it being of a firm structure, it still offers additional pressure relief on top of the memory foam comfort layer.

The mattress has a carbon fibre enriched cover, which helps minimise dust within the mattress through anti-static. The entire mattress has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and has anti-dust mite protection, too.

There are a few drawbacks to this mattress, however. For one, it’s a slightly simpler construction when compared to other mattresses in our list. Whilst the two layers it’s built of are both high-quality and well-thought-through, it does still consist of only two basic layers.

The mattress can also pose problems for those who don’t sleep on their side. For back or stomach sleepers, there’s a good chance this mattress will offer too much sinkage. This can cause the spine to be inadequately supportive and contribute to further back pain or spinal issues.

You can purchase this mattress in five sizes, from Single to Super King. It ships vacuum packed, and delivery is easy and free. The company also offers a 60-night comfort trial to allow you to get a proper feel for the mattress.

  • An ideal choice if you sleep predominantly on your side.
  • Great for you if you have allergies or sensitive skin.
  • Memory foam minimises motion transfer.
  • Will likely be too soft for back or stomach sleepers.
  • Minimal, simplistic design.
  • The potential for heat retention.

Silentnight Stratus Premier 2000 – (Best Pocket Spring)

The Silentnight Stratus Premier uses pocketed springs (rather than a foam) to create the structure and support of the mattress. This gives it a more durable, hardwearing base. Innerspring mattresses are known for offering more firmness, support and bounce back than their foam counterparts.

This mattress uses 1850 individual springs to create an even and supportive base. This gives the mattress an extremely comfortable, uniform feel. Each spring responds individually to the pressure of the body, evenly distributing weight and providing fantastic support.

On top of these springs is a comfort layer made of silk and filled with cashmere and lamb’s wool. This gives it a pillowy, soft touch, and minimises the potential for feeling the springs through the mattress. The mattress is a more “traditional” feeling mattress than the other options on this list.

The mattress is particularly well suited to back sleepers. If you sleep on your back, you have less protruding pressure points on your body. Therefore, a uniform, springy and even support will be the best way to mitigate any back pain.

This mattress is also a fantastic choice if you don’t like the feeling of memory foam. This is a foam-free product, and all the spring and support comes from the individually pocketed springs. The mattress therefore also does away with other issues related to memory foam – primarily heat retention and off-gassing. If you tend to sleep hot or have an extremely sensitive nose, this could mean this one is the best mattress for you.

Nonetheless, this particular mattress is not for everyone. It’s unlikely to offer enough contouring or pressure relief for those who sleep on their side. The springs can also cause issues with motion transfer, as springs give the mattress more bounce and less sinkage.

This mattress comes with anti-allergy treatments and a hand tufted cover. Unlike the foam options on our lift, this mattress is two-sided, and therefore can be flipped. It comes with handles to help with moving and flipping.

The Silentnight comes in four sizes, from Single to Super King. Because of its pocket sprung construction, it cannot be vacuum packed or rolled, and therefore delivery can be slightly trickier. This mattress comes with a 5-year warranty.

  • Ideal if you dislike the feeling or features of a memory foam mattress.
  • Offers uniform support and a comfortable top layer.
  • Perfect if you predominantly sleep on your back.
  • May not offer enough contouring for side sleepers.
  • Pocket springs can mean more motion transfer.
  • Can’t be vacuum packed for easy transport and delivery.

Simba – (Best Hybrid)

The Simba Hybrid mattress combines both pocketed springs and memory foam to create a product that’s the best of both worlds. The pocketed springs provide the supportive core of the mattress, while the memory foam top layer offers the sinkage and contouring.

The mattress consists of five layers. The top layer is a hypoallergenic cover to give a soft surface and offer temperature control. The second layer is called Simbatex, and provides cooling and gentle support. Underneath this is the third layer of 2,500 unique conical pocket springs. The fourth layer is supportive, contouring, viscoelastic memory foam. The base foam layer has 7 different pressure zones to offer maximum support.

The hybrid nature of the mattress means it can be well-suited to those of any sleeping position. The combination of the springs and foam offers custom support, so it provides enough sinkage for side sleepers and enough firmness for back and stomach sleepers.

Having a hybrid spring and foam design also helps with mitigating the problems of either type of mattress individually. This mattress offers the bounciness of springs but with the motion transfer minimisation of memory foam. It also provides the contouring and comfort of memory foam without the common issues of overheating and feeling trapped in the mattress.

There are some slight drawbacks to the Simba. Because it’s designed to be well suited for the vast majority of sleepers, it could end up being unsuitable for people with extremely specialised needs. Furthermore, by combining both foam and springs, this mattress can face the issues associated with both. However, it is so cleverly designed as to avoid these issues predominantly.

The mattress comes in an impressive twelve sizes, from Small Single to Emperor Size and including EU size options. There’s free delivery in a vacuum-packed box and a 100-night risk-free trial period. The mattress also comes with a 10-year warranty.

  • Well suited for the vast majority of sleepers.
  • Provides the “best of both worlds” in terms of springs and foam.
  • Excellent free trial, warranty, and size range.
  • Not well suited to those with extremely specialised needs.
  • Can have issues with heat retention associated with foam.
  • Could be potentially slightly too firm for some.

Back Pain Mattress Buying Guide

There are a few separate things to consider when trying to find the best mattress for bad back. As you can imagine, there are numerous variables involved when it comes to choosing anything to deal with aches and pains. Most importantly, you’ll want to consider the besttype of mattressfor your back pain. Additionally, you’ll need to consider thetype of back painyou’re suffering with, and the mainpositionyou sleep in.

Below we discuss in further detail some of the main characteristics and properties you need to be aware of when making the right choice.

Which Is The Best Material?

There are two main mattress “types” in terms of construction. These are innerspring mattresses, and memory foam mattresses. Innerspring is made of coiled pieces of metal, which are contained in soft fibrous material to provide support and bounce. Foam mattresses are made of different types of foam, usually in a few different layers.

There are also hybrid mattress options. These combine a layer of innersprings (usually individually pocketed coils) and layers of different types of foam.

Innerspring mattresses tend to befirmer, bouncier and springier. Foam mattresses tend to besofter, and have more sinkage and contouring. Depending on the type of back pain you experience (plus other factors) you can judge which is likely to be more suitable for you.

How About Sleeping Position?

Innerspring mattresses tend to be a better choice for those who sleep on their backs or stomachs, as they give a firmer, less sinking surface. Foam options are better for side sleepers, as they give more contouring to the protruding pressure points of the hips and shoulders. Generally speaking, softer mattresses are better for side sleepers, while firmer mattresses are best for back or stomach sleepers.

It’s also worth considering your bedframe when looking to purchase the best bed for bad back. For example, if you have a soft mattress and sleep on your side, a slatted frame could end up being felt through the mattress. Combining the perfect mattress and frame is key to relieving back pain.

Specialised Mattresses

This article is designed to help those who suffer from mild to moderate back pain as a result of poor mattress support. If you’re suffering with more severe back pain talk to your doctor about whether an orthopaedic mattress for back pain could help. If you’re suffering from sciatica or a similar condition, you may wish to consider researching the best mattress for sciatica in the UK rather than totally relying on this list.

Conclusion

Our winning choice for the “best mattress for bad back” category has to be theCasper mattress. It offers the most universally comfortable options to suit the majority of sleepers and help with your bad back. It also offers great value for money, easy delivery, a fantastic warranty and an enormous range of sizes. For the vast majority of sleepers with back issues, this mattress will offer fantastic comfort and support, while helping minimise pain.

Back pain can be a hugely personal problem, so recommending just one across all sleepers can be problematic. If you feel your sleeping position and personal preferences better fit another mattress from our list, then that is likely the better choice for you. Nonetheless, regarding the best all-round mattress for back problems, we think the Casper mattress best fits the bill.

How to choose a mattress: Tips on how to buy the best mattress for your bed and budget

Take the right steps to buy a better mattress and get yourself a good night’s sleep

Few things come down to personal preference more than choosing a mattress. What can feel like a cloud to one person can be back pain in the making for another. What makes the decision even harder is the sheer range of options, with mattresses available in practically every budget and type you can think of.

From new-age bed-in-a-box mattresses to the more traditional, feels-like-it-weighs-a-tonne pocket-sprung alternatives only found in specialist bed shops, you’ve got a lot of choice. The good news is that certain considerations make the decision-making process easier – read on to find out what they are.

How to choose a mattress

When should I change my mattress?

The National Bed Federation recommends you change your mattress every seven years (although really good ones can last eight to ten years – in some cases even more). They warn that quite often a mattress has worn out before you realise. Indeed, the Sleep Council points out that after seven years, your mattress will have had over 20,000 hours of wear and tear, to go with the half-pint of fluid lost each night and pound of dead skin cells shed each year.

Tell-tale signs that you need a new mattress include finding that you sleep better in other beds, and realising that you don’t sleep as well as you did a year or so ago. If you start to wake up with stiffness or pain it may also be a sign that you need to splash the cash.

A mattress that’s right for you and not worn out will mean you move about less, awaken less and are less disturbed by your partner. You’re also less likely to wake up feeling groggy or with any aches or pains.

How big should my mattress be?

People don’t buy big enough beds, warns the Sleep Council. Many people, for instance, don’t realise that a double bed is only 135cm wide – that’s not even two single beds and nowhere near enough room for two adults to sleep comfortably without disturbing each other. Even moving up one size to a kingsize mattress – at 150cm – can make a big difference.

The bottom line is that if you share your bed, buy as big a bed as you can fit in your bedroom; disturbance from a partner is one of the most common sleeping problems. Also, don’t forget to match the size of your mattress to your bed frame – European mattress sizes, for instance, differ slightly to standard UK sizes.

Should I try before I buy?

Besides being the right size, your mattress should provide the correct support and comfort levels. That’s why it’s important to either try before you buy or get a mattress with a trial period. That means either trying it out in the shop – taking time to lie on it in your natural sleeping position or, if you buy one online, looking for one that comes with a 100-day trial period.

What are the different types of mattresses?

There are five main types:

Pocket sprung– this is the most traditional type of mattress and has a bouncy, springy feel, thanks to the springs which are sewn into individual fabric pockets. These springs – available with different levels of tension – also make the mattress supportive and durable. Pocket-sprung mattresses can be filled with all manner of different materials to suit your needs, including wool for comfort and breathability. Unlike latex and memory foam, they don’t mould to your body or warm you at night.

Our favourite pocket-sprung mattress: Sealy Nostromo

Memory foam– These don’t have much spring, instead moulding to the shape of your body, which means that you’re less likely to disturb your partner when you move at night. They keep their shape well and many of the ‘new generation’ ones arrive ready rolled (easy to fit in your boot) or even vacuum-packed (and delivered to your door). On the downside, they can hold body heat, making you feel hot and clammy – particularly if they are very soft.

Our favourite memory-foam mattress for front sleepers and restless sleepers: Leesa

Price:From £397 (single size) |Buy now from Leesa

Latex– These are similar to memory foam, but with a bit more spring. Natural latex is superior to synthetic latex, and it’s also antimicrobial and resistant against mould and dust mites. There are two types of latex – the heavier, denser Dunlop latex, and Talalay latex, which is lighter and softer. These are also available in the "new generation" style, with the downside that they’re similarly prone to holding body heat. Some latex mattresses claim to last more than 20 years.

Our favourite latex mattress: Dunlopillo Royal Sovereign

Hybrids– these combos are mix-and-match versions of the mattress types. For example, pocket-sprung core (so you get the buoyancy) with a foam top layer (so you get the moulding effect).

Our favourite hybrid mattress: Otty Hybrid

Price:From £350 (single) |Buy now from Otty

Continuous coil or open coil– the first is made from a single looped wire, while the latter is made from single springs fixed together with one wire. While these are the most wallet-friendly of all mattresses, they can be uncomfortable (in the worst cases you actually feel the coils) and the whole thing moves if you move, meaning you are very likely to disturb your partner. Coil mattresses also wear out the quickest, and you might well find you and your partner meet in the middle when the sagging makes you roll inwards.

Should my natural sleeping position influence which mattress I buy?

Yes. Different sleeping positions require different types and amounts of support, so it makes sense to pick your mattress accordingly.

Side sleepers– here you need a mattress with a lot of pressure relief, especially at the points in which your body pushes down the most (you can work these out by imagining yourself lying on a floor). Pocket sprung with a soft top is best, although some memory foam or latex mattresses can also work well. Avoid very firm mattresses, which may cause pain at the key pressure points.

Front sleepers– again a pocket sprung mattress can work well for supporting you in all the right places, whereas with memory foam you might feel restrained. Latex can also work well as there’s more bounce-back.

Back sleepers– any mattress type can work for back sleepers but look for one with good support and some give so your spine stays well aligned while you sleep.

Should I buy a soft, medium or firm mattress?

As a general rule, heavier people tend to prefer firm support, while lighter people find medium or soft mattresses more comfortable. However, you need to consider your sleeping position and personal preference too. In fact, personal preference counts for more than you probably think.

Don’t assume firm mattresses are automatically better for bad backs and older people – that’s a myth (see the link below). And remember that if you and your partner have different preferences, you can get mattresses where each half has a different tension (with or without a zip).

Do some mattresses require a certain type of bed base?

Your bed base can affect both the feel and the performance of your mattress, so always check which type of base the mattress manufacturer recommends you use. Many suggest a base with sprung slats, which provides good support and absorbs movement as you move about in your sleep. A platform base can also support any mattress, providing a firmer foundation. It’s worth noting that a slatted base can cause a mattress to bulge over the years, so you should make sure the slats are no more than 70mm apart to ensure its full longevity.

Do all mattresses need turning?

Most mattresses need to be turned regularly to ensure even wear and tear. Consider this when buying one, particularly as many mattresses are extremely heavy. Some mattresses only need rotating rather than turning, although even that can be a tricky job when it weighs a tonne. You can, however, buy mattresses that don’t need turning or rotating.

How important is the warranty?

Check the warranty, not only for the number of years it lasts, but also for the fine print. Most warranties cover manufacturing defects, which will probably happen quite quickly – for example, a popped spring, or foam not bouncing back. But if something happens and you haven’t used the recommended bed base or have failed to use a mattress protector when they insist you need one, the warranty could be invalid.

How much do I need to spend?

It used to be the case that a cheap mattress was a false economy, but we found that there are exceptions, such as the Ikea Morgedal, which costs just £125 for a single. That’s not to say that mattresses costing thousands of pounds aren’t worth it, though – just make sure to do your research first.

How To Choose a Mattress in 5 Easy Steps – The Definitive Guide

I think you will agree with me when I say that choosing the right mattress is no easy task?

First, you have to dispose of your old one and then go through a tedious process of selecting a new bed that will serve you well for years to come.

And having couple dozen options, manufacturers and handful types and materials doesn’t help, does it?

Luckily for you, you canfind out exactly how to pick a new mattressand most important thing to consider.

Table of contents (use it to jump to a certain section)

If you are in a hurry jump to our conclusion and summary.

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Step 1: Do You Really Need A New Mattress?

Many people change their beds after just a few years, and that’s perfectly fine if you can afford it. The fact is, it’s not a small investment, so take a moment to determine do you really need a new.

Generally, after seven or eight years you will most likely need a new mattress. Of course, it depends on the quality and material (we will cover the types and materials later in this article). And if you feel back or neck pain it might, your bedding is a good place to start.

Here is the average mattress lifespan in years based on material and type:

Step 2: Determine your Budget

A bit of personal backstory here…

Several years back I went to a store and purchased amattress priced at $2500which was not even the most expensive one there. During the first year or so it was perfect, and I felt rejuvenated, and I slept like a baby during that time.

But, something happened.

My new and awesome mattress started sagging and losing support and needless to say my back and neck suffered.

Another two years had passed until I decided to buy a new oneonline at $850and this is the same one I’m using today after three years. Back to reality.

Not anyone will have the budget to walk into a store and buy something for several thousand dollars. Luckily, these days there are manyonline optionsyou can choose from rangingfrom $500 to $1200. There are also Black Friday bed deals (and Cyber Monday) that can result in additional savings as well.

Don’t get confused here. More money does not mean better quality. If you think that some of these online options are somehow worse than in-store ones, you are badly mistaken.Stores tend to inflate the prices as much as 1000%.

Here are some guidelines for you:

  • Don’t always go with the cheapest option you find– This is a rule of thumb for most products you buy online. Spending less than $500 for a queen mattress simply because it means lower durability, more toxins and lower sleep quality in general.
  • Higher Price does not mean Higher Quality– I bet you know this one, but it’s worth mentioning.
  • Go with $1000 range for Queen size– This is usually where you will find the best bang for your buck.
  • King / Cal King will cost slightly more– I would increase the budget for King and California King to $1400-1500 as you will have many more choices in that range.
  • Now that you have your new budget set, I’m guessing you are asking yourself“what type of mattress is best for me?”Let’s dig in.

Step 3: Choose Your Ideal Type and Material

Ok, so this is where most people will go with their personal preference rather than anything else. If someone says “latex is the best,” I would not take this as final until I read other opinions and test it myself. Here are the most common options you will find these days.

Innerspring (Coils)

This is the most traditional form of the mattress, and as of late, it’s received a bad rap. However, it is important to understand the potential benefits you could receive from going the traditional route, as well as the reasons why this option has lost its luster.

An obvious pro to purchasing a bed with springs is that it is one of themost affordable optionson the market, due in part to a decrease in demand and also in part to so many other options that have the potential to be more comfortable andbetter for overall health.

Another consideration is that these mattresses are known to last for decades. Spring beds are exceedingly durable. Being that the springs are typically made from different types of metals, they tend to keep their shape for many years.

Additionally, being that they are the most traditional style, they are also the most familiar. People recognize and understand what they are getting when they purchase a bed with springs. There is no guess work with this option like there may be with memory foam or other newer options.

The last notable advantage to this style of bed is that, because of the amount of space located between the springs, this option allows for the most circulation of air. This flow helps to keep the temperature down, allowing for acooler night’s sleep.

Example of the coil mattresses structure

Ideal for: People who want strong support, durability, cooling and great bounce. It also has an excellent edge support.

Latex

These mattresses are known for their fantastic cooling and comfort. Latex has a good bounce, responsiveness too.

Authentic latex foam is made from a tree called Hevea-Brasilenis tree, specifically from the white liquid extracted from it. Latex is harvested, and when the excess water is removed, you end up with raw material fantastic for various products, bedding systems being one of them.

It’s also great because you don’t get off-gassing and odors like with memory foam products.

Example of the latex bed structure

There are two types to choose from:

  • Natural – More healthy option and environment-friendly. But it’s also more expensive so expect to pay around $2000 for a good natural latex mattress
  • Synthetic – Made by mixing synthetic polymers with natural tree sap. Less expensive of course but less healthy in turn.

Latex is best forpeople who want good cooling, responsiveness, and bounce.

Memory Foam

Memory foam was first developed in the 1970’s by NASA as a safety material for seat cushions to protect pilots and passengers during plane crashes. Since then, the material has blossomed into the burgeoning product employed by virtually every mattress maker.

Example of the memory foam bed structure

Why has it become so popular? The answer is that it is said to provide superior comfort and support for the entire body. Anyone who’s pressed their hand into this material immediately understands its appeal.

Memory foam uniquelyconforms to every inch of the bodythat is pressed into it. When you lift your body from the material, it slowly regains its original form, essentially making it perfect for every body type and every sleeper.

Another unique property of memory foam is itsmotion isolationcapabilities. You may have seen those commercials with a lady jumping on a mattress with a glass of wine at the other end. Miraculously, the wine doesn’t spill.

The wine doesn’t spill because the energy from jumping is not transferred to other parts of the mattress. This translates to better sleeping for partners, because the tossing and turning of one does not affect the other, a feature that is not found among any of the other options on the market.

One of the most common issues that people experience is that thematerial retains heat. If you are someone who requires a cool night sleep, the memory foam option may not be the best choice for you. While the manufacturers are coming up with new and better ways to keep the heat down, the jury is still out as to whether or not they’ve succeeded.

Ideal For: People who want body shaping, contour, pressure relief and good support.

Hybrid

The hybrid mattress is an unusual combination of both traditional spring and memory foam. Providing the best of both worlds, this option offers the contouring and lack of motion transfer of foam coupled with the support of springs.

Structure of the hybrid bed- example

The term “hybrid” is very loosely used to describe the combination we just mentioned. However, the amount of foam for these beds varies widely depending on the level of firmness desired. Some options employ less than 1.5 inches of foam, lending to the fact that they more closely resemble that of a traditional spring bed rather than the more modern memory foam option.

To find the most optimal version of a hybrid, it’s best to choose the one that hasclose to 3 inches of foam. Anything above that, and you might as well forego the springs all together.

One negative aspect of these beds is the fact that they are one of the more expensive offerings you’ll find. Purchasing one of these could put you in the multiples of thousands of dollars, a significant investment, but a worthy one if you plan to enjoy it long term.

Good For: People who want best all around product with good support, bounce, cooling and pressure relief.

And now the three less common but still important types:

Adjustable

These beds offer a unique ability tochange the sleeping positionbased on your preference. You can elevate the head or feet giving you more options than traditional products. These beds provide extra comfort for people suffering from chronic lumbar pain or just want to be slightly elevated to prevent snoring. They do look ugly though most of the time.

Perfect for: People with certain medical conditions like snoring, older sleepers and people with lower back pain.

Pillow-Top

These are usually coil, latex or memory foam beds buthave a layer of soft material sewn into the cover to make it more comfortable. These are also considered more luxurious and usually cost a bit more than standard options.

Good for: People who prefer more padding and softer feel.

Waterbed

A rather weird option, but sometimes very fun especially if you love waterbed sex. Some of the most common reasons for opting in for this type is a backache and arthritis relief. These beds are also great for people with allergies.

Good for: People with back pain, arthritis and allergies and anyone looking for something less conventional.

Step 4. Determine your Ideal Sleeping Position and Firmness

Most of us have a unique way of sleeping every night. No matter if you sleep on your side, stomach or back, or even if you switch throughout the night you will have to consider and choose the ideal type of bed based on your preference. So, take a moment and think, what’s your favorite sleeping position because that determines theideal firmness of your new bed.

The most important factor for back sleepers is firmness and support. If your mattress is too soft, your body will sink and cause back pain. You will need one that’s soft enough to provide pressure relief but still provides enough support. On a scale of 1-10, the perfect range would be 5-7.

According to The Better Sleep Council, only roughly 15% of people are back sleepers. Being that you are unique, it’ll take a special mattress to offer you the night’s rest you are seeking.

It’s the consensus that memory foam mattresses provide the highest level of comfort for people who sleep on their backs. This is because it provides adequate contouring to the spine while maintaining a longevity of proper support and structure.

Many people who often sleep on their sides, endure discomfort and pain in their hip joints and shoulders.It’s usually due to unsuitable bedding.

It’s advised that you go with a bit softer option than for a back sleeper as these they provide for an equal distribution of pressure while you’re sleeping on your side.

Ideally, you want to choose a mattress with firmness level of 3-6 (out of 10) which falls undermedium soft.

Stomach

This is considered the worst sleeping position. The most important thing for stomach sleepers is to provide equal distribution of weight across your entire body as your torso will apply most pressure. If the mattress is too soft (not enough support) your spine will curve causing back pain.

You will want to look for something in 5-7 range, which falls undermedium to medium-firm. The good thing is that most options are in this range.

Step 5. Consider your Weight as a Factor

On first glance, you might be asking yourself,what does weight have to do with choosing a mattress?

The truth is, support, hug, feel, sinkage and even cooling will depend on your body type and weight. Another harsh truth is that there is no “best” mattress for every one of us.


Let’s take a look at the following guidelines how to choose an ideal firmness level based on your weight:

  • Light (Less than 150 pounds)– You will want a medium firm bed around5-6 firmnessthat doesn’t sink too much. If you are lighter than 150 lbs, you can even go with four since most beds are rated for average sleeper of 180lbs.
    If you want a softer feel or if you are a side sleeper you can opt for 3-4 firmness range. These are soft orplush options.
  • Average (150-200 pounds)– Like with the previous category you can choose industrystandard of 5-7, providing perfect support and comfort.
    Some sleepers will want to opt for more softer beds, and that’s perfectly fine, just go with 3-5 range if you sleep on your side and you are all set.
  • Heavier Person (200+ pounds)– Heavier people can cause more pressure points on their back, and ideally you want to choose a firmer option to adjust for sinkage. If you are having problems with cooling, you ought to consider coil mattresses.
    Ideally, choose a thick (12”) or thicker bed. This will provide good support and soft feel.

How to Select the Right Mattress for You – Summary

Hopefully, you have finished reading the above but even if you haven’t these five steps will ease your task of choosing a mattress for you or your family.

  1. Do you need a new mattress?– If your current bed is over eight years old, I’d consider replacing it no matter what. If you are having trouble sleeping or experiencing back or neck pain I would start searching.
  2. What is your current budget?– Don’t go with the cheapest option you find. Aim for $700-1200 range for a standard queen size bed (see top options). Of course, if you are buying smaller ones for your kid or teenager, the price will be considerably lower. Don’t spend less than $400 though. The quality drop-off is huge.
  3. What are your ideal type and material?– This is hands down the biggest challenge. Memory foam offers good contour and hug but sleeps hot. Traditional coil ones provide good bounce and cooling and are generally more durable. I recommend foam or hybrid to most people except for heavier sleepers who should opt for innerspring.
  4. What’s your preferred sleeping position?– This determines your ideal firmness level. On a scale of 1-10 (one being soft and ten being very firm), back sleepers will want to opt for a medium firm (4-7), side sleepers for more softer option (3-5) and stomach sleepers will need more support to avoid sinking (6-7 range).
  5. What’s your body type and weight?– Lighter sleepers (150lbs or less) will want a 1-2 points softer mattress to get the same feel like an average (180lbs) person. On the other hand, if you are a heavier person you will need more support and thicker mattress to support the weight.

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

Choosing the Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain

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.

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 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.

  1. 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.

Find a 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.

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