How to Choose a Mattress for Lower Back Pain
Your body uses sleep as an essential time for the body to recover at the end of the day. Sleep deprivation can affect learning, memory and mental health, as well as having adverse cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and metabolic health effects.
If you suffer from lower back pain, it can negatively impact your sleep and is one of the main causes of poor sleep quality. In addition, using a mattress that doesn’t provide adequate support can worsen the issue and provoke new aches and pains. It’s commonly thought that a firm mattress is good for your back — but there isn’t any solid evidence to back this up.
There is no such thing as a mattress that’s best for everyone, including those who suffer from lower back pain. The best mattresses support the spine and promote even alignment as you sleep. Allow your personal preference to guide you — after all, no one knows your sleeping habits better than you do. The market is saturated with mattresses, all claiming to be the best, so how do you choose?
How to choose the right mattress for your back
We’ve compiled a list of factors to consider when choosing a mattress to alleviate back pain and ensure deep and restorative sleep. Considering these tips will help inform your purchase and ensure you select a mattress that gives you many restful nights for years to come.
This may come as a surprise to you, but good posture is vital when you’re asleep. Your back muscles and ligaments need to recover and relax during bedtime. If a mattress is too hard or too soft, your spine, neck and lower back won’t be supported as they need to be. For those with wider hips, soft mattresses are better for spine support — providing more cushioning for your back. Those with narrow hips could benefit more from a firmer mattress.
A Good Mattress for Lower Back Pain
Recent studies have shown that sufferers of lower back pain have the least amount of discomfort when using a medium-firm mattress.
Water mattresses and memory foam mattresses are proven to help alleviate lower back pain. Memory foam moulds around your body as you're lying on it. This particular mattress can support your spine, as it perfectly cushions around the shape of your limbs and torso.
Get a New Mattress
Sometimes, we all just need a change of scenery. The same can apply to mattresses. Evidence suggests that when people were given a new bed to sleep in, they slept better.
If you think about it, it makes sense. An average mattress’ lifespan is approximately eight years. Depending on the type of mattress, this lifespan can vary. For example, innerspring mattresses last 5.5 - 6.5 years and latex mattresses last 7.5 - 8.5 years. With the average age of many people’s mattresses being 9.5 years, swapping out your old saggy mattress for a new replacement will help your lower back pain regardless.
Sleeping Position and Pillows
Apart from buying a new mattress, there are other ways to mitigate lower back pain. Your sleeping position matters. By making simple changes in your sleeping position, you can reduce the strain on your back. If you sleep on your side, pull your legs up slightly to your chest (in a foetal position) and place a pillow between your legs. For sleepers who prefer lying on their back, put a pillow underneath your knees to maintain the natural curvature of your back. You can also place a small rolled towel under the small of your back for increased support.
The kind of pillow you use can also help with lower back pain. The Nuzzle™ NASA-inspired pillow is made of thousands of nano-coil fibres which push against gravity to help support your neck and cradle your head. It has two adjustable inner layers which allow you to adapt the pillow to your sleeping preferences. In the case of stomach sleepers, a thin layer will provide softness and support. For back sleepers, a medium layer maintains spinal alignment, and a combination of both layers will give side sleepers maximum comfort.
The Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain
As we’re all different, there isn’t one general rule to help you find the best mattress for lower back pain. A medium-firm mattress is considered helpful for lower back pain, but mattress “firmness” is subjective and varies from one company to another.
At the end of the day, your preferences should inform any potential purchases. Before buying a new mattress, start adjusting your sleeping posture at night to see if it helps.
Purus Life offers a curated range of mattresses to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Our mattresses work with your sleeping requirements and however you feel most comfortable. Browse our collection today.