Waking up fresh and rested, without any back pain, should be the way you always wake up. If you can’t seem to do that, don’t worry – we’re here to help!
Most of us lead a busy, fast-paced lifestyle and sleep is the only rest we get. With that in mind, it's easy to understand how unfortunate it is that some of us wake up even more tired and in more pain than we were in the night before. Some people find it very hard to get a good night's sleep. Their sleeping position is off, the body is not supported or aligned when they lie down and all of that results in a back ache from the moment they open their eyes in the morning.
What if we were to tell you that you alleviate those aches and pains simply by sleeping on the right mattress? A quality mattress can offer you more than you can possibly imagine. Not only can it relieve you of pain, but it can also improve the quality of your life by significantly improving your sleep quality. On that note, we've decided to provide you with a list of top-tier, quality mattresses that will help you get rid of the annoying back pains, find the best mattress for back pain and have you feel good again.
Our top picks
Now that we’ve covered pretty much all you need to know before you go out looking for the best pain-alleviating mattress, let us give you our picks for some of the best ones you can find on the UK market. We’ve done our research and all of the products we’re about to list are great in their own way, so if you wish to narrow down your search, you can start with our picks and work your way from there.
Emma Premium is incredibly well-made, with six premium layers that work together to provide an amazing sleeping experience. The Halo Memory Foam layer is a real standout, as it contours to your body shape and ensures spinal alignment. And if you're a hot sleeper, you'll love the Visco Elastic Airgocell layer, which improves breathability and helps with temperature regulation by working with your body temperature.
The 120mm 5 Zone CarbonFlex Springs layer is also a great feature, as it quickly adapts to your body no matter what your sleeping style is. Finally, the Emma HRX Supreme foam base layer provides a superior comfort layer and reduces pressure points.
So, if you're looking for a high-quality mattress that will provide you with a great night's sleep, Emma Premium Hybrid is definitely worth considering.
More expensive than similar products in the same category.
BEST BUDGET MATTRESS: Vesgantti Pro Hybrid Mattress
Vesgantti Pro Hybrid is a ‘cheap’ mattress that feels premium!
Vesgantii Pro Hybrid offers full-body support and unparalleled comfort in its price range. As you can tell by the name, we have a hybrid mattress on our hands, which means you can expect solid support from the coils, as well as a comfortable feel from the outer layer of memory foam.
Regardless of the price tag, you can expect this one to last a long time, since Vesgantii prides itself on using quality materials while selling its products at entry-level prices. On the firmness scale, this one sits at around 5.5/10 as a medium firm mattress, which is not quite ideal for everyone, but is still quite good.
Size: Single, Small Single, Double, Small Double, UK King, Super King
Removable cover: No
Warranty: 10 years
Trial: 100 days
Individual pocketed coils deliver superb comfort and support zones.
The egg-shaped foam layers ensures enough air circulation to prevent overheating.
Great quality-price ratio
The price you pay for the quality you get is a bargain.
Too soft for stomach sleepers
Front sleepers will find it too soft.
The cover is not removable.
BEST MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS: Emma Original Mattress
Emma Original is widely considered to be one of the greatest memory foam mattresses in the world.
Best Memory Foam
Emma Original mattress has been the synonym for comfort for quite some time now. This mattress is composed of three individual layers of foam – ‘Airgocell' foam, memory foam and a firm, foam base layer. These layers allow Emma to be both excellent in terms of support and back pain relief, which makes it ideal for someone struggling with back problems.
We'd give it 6.5/10 in terms of the level of firmness, which is just the ‘sweet spot' for every sleeping position. Also, you get a 200-night trial money-back guarantee as well as a 10-year warranty when you purchase this one.
Size: Single, EU Single, Small Double, Double, EU Double, Queen, King, Super King
Removable cover: Yes
Warranty: 10 years
Trial: 200 nights
Good for all sleepers
Regardless of your sleep position, you'll find it comfortable.
3 foam layers ensure superb pressure point relief.
Great quality-price ratio
In terms of quality and the price tag, this one is affordable, yet high quality.
There is a slight off-gassing upon unpacking.
Slight overheating problems
There might be some overheating issues, especially with hot sleepers.
BEST HYBRID MATTRESS: Simba Hybrid
One of the finest products to come out of the award-winning company.
Simba Hybrid mattress could just be the best hybrid mattress on the market. It should not come as a surprise this one is one of the best-selling mattresses in the UK. It’s remarkably comfortable, offers great back support and what’s even more important – keeps the pain away. The outer foam layer is gentle on your body, while the cone-shaped micro springs offer much-needed stability and firmness. As far as firmness goes, we'd give it a 5.5.
Size: Single, Double, Small Double, King, Super King, EU Single, EU Double, EU Queen, Kids
Removable cover: Yes
Warranty: 10 years
Trial: 1 year
A great pick for couples and restless sleepers as there is no motion transfer.
Supportive & comfortable
Simba Sleep Aerocoil micro springs layer keeps your spine aligned – which is exactly what you want from the best hybrid mattress.
The hypoallergenic cover is removable and washable.
Lack of side handles
The lack of side handles makes turning harder.
BEST INNERSPRING MATTRESS: Silentnight 2000
If you’re in the market for an innerspring mattress – this is the one to choose.
Silentnight is one of the UK’s most famous mattress manufacturers with a number of quality products such as Silentnight 2000 pocket ortho mattress. It’s a spring mattress, so you can expect it to be a bit more on the firmer side, but that’s just what some back pain sufferers need given they provide great zoned support.
Due to zero motion transfer, this one is ideal for restless sleepers or couples.
Thanks to the Mirapocket spring support system, the mattress has enough airflow and ensures breathability.
Mirapocket spring mattress system ensures top-notch back support and pressure relief.
Slight durability issues
The mattress has some durability issues but nothing serious.
BEST LATEX MATTRESS: Dunlopillo Royal Sovereign
Superior comfort from a latex mattress? Is it really the case?
Dunlopillo Royal Sovereign is a latex mattress for those with a deep wallet. Coming with ‘7 comfort zones’ this mattress promises to alleviate you of any pain – back or otherwise. It sits comfortably in the middle of the firmness scale, as a medium firm mattress, so it’s pretty much suitable for everyone.
It is 100% latex-made, it's hypoallergenic, fantastic for couples as there is no noise upon movement and delivers good pressure-relieving abilities. On top of that, it is an eco-friendly product.
Thanks to latex, it is highly responsive & supportive.
Expensive when compared to similar products.
BEST FOR LOWER BACK PAIN: Inofia Double Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress
If you were looking for some of the best mattresses for your lower back pain (and upper back pain – if you ask us), you will love the Inofia Double Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress.
Best For Lower Back Pain
This mattress has everything you need to alleviate your back pain – layers of firm pocket springs to align your spine, premium memory foam to relieve pressure and a skin-friendly cover that will not keep you tossing and turning during the night.
This is a 7-zoned support system, orthopaedic mattress that will offer firm support not only to your back but also to your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.
Size: Single, Double, Small Double, King, Super King
Removable cover: No
Amazing for relieving back pain
This mattress is on the firmer side – perfect for those who suffer from back pain.
Even though this mattress is thick, its multiple layers offer great air circulation.
If you are an allergy sufferer, you will love this mattress.
You cannot remove the cover.
Needs 72 hours to fully expand
You will need to wait for a couple of days to sleep on this mattress.
Types of back pain
Back pain is a very common problem but it isn't in one specific area or of a particular pain level. All of this can depend on the cause – whether it was an accident, age-related or anything else. Some pain can start in one place of your back and spread to another.
Mid-back pain: In the mid-back, you can experience pain from ageing as the discs can start to break down. However, it could be arthritis or spinal stenosis that you're feeling. There are many other problems, typically strains and sprains, that can cause pain in this part of your back, and it'll be somewhere in the region of the thoracic spine (below the neck and down to the ribs).
Lower back pain: This can be in the lumbar spine and down to the coccyx. Sometimes lower back pain can come from supporting the rest of the spine. Again, disc slips can be the cause of lower back pain. This is common in this area of the back.
Neck pain: The last area for back pain is in the cervical spine which can be found right at the top of your back (in your neck). While you might think that the neck isn't part of your back, it is as this is where the spine runs through. Your sleep position and your sleep products can largely impact pain at the top of your back.
The reasons for back pain
There are a number of reasons why you might suffer from a type of back pain. Some of them will cause dull pain, others can be a constant ache, and sometimes it can be a much sharper pain.
We have broken it down so you can see the possible causes.
The most frequent cause of back pain is a structural one. These are the things that can affect the function of your spine. It could be related to the muscles, discs, tendons, ligaments or compressed nerves. Here are some examples;
Sprains: This can happen when you're not lifting things correctly or you twist yourself improperly. If you put extra stress on your back then it can cause ligaments to overstretch or tear. The ligaments hold the bones of the spine together, therefore the structure of the back will alter.
Strains: Not to get confused with sprains. Straining is an injury to the muscle or tendon in your back. So, if you overstretch or tear your muscles then this is referred to as a strain. You would have pulled a muscle in your back which is what creates a lot of pain. Again, this is something that causes mechanical problems.
Disc diseases: There are different reasons for disc diseases. Firstly, it could be due to ageing – the discs may start to break down as you get older which changes the spine's structure. However, it could be a herniated or ruptured disc that makes a difference in how your spine functions. This occurs when something causes your disc to irritate the nerves. You'll find this happens more in the lumbar area but has been known to be in the cervical area too.
Spinal stenosis: It can be experienced by anyone of all ages, but the chances increase with age. Spine stenosis is when the spinal canal narrows. This then means there is pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. It can be the result of other conditions that we mention below.
Scoliosis: This is a visible curve in the spine whether that is an S-shape or C-shape. Causes can be genetic, hormones, changes in cell structure, or due to other conditions. Many can have treatment to ease it, otherwise, you'll find yourself having back pain. In some cases, the severity of scoliosis can increase.
Inflammation can affect your joints and ligaments which then has an impact on your spine's movement. They can cause back pain and stiffness, especially if the tissue becomes inflamed. Overall, it can change the flexibility and function of the spine.
Spine arthritis: An example of an inflammatory problem would be arthritis which can affect more than just the spine. However, spine arthritis is what will cause back pain. In some cases, it can be severe so you need to do whatever it takes to stay comfortable. Those who suffer occasionally should invest in products that ease the pain now and reduce long-term problems.
Some problems may not be associated with back pain initially but that's not to say it doesn't occur.
Fibromyalgia: A chronic disorder that causes widespread pain throughout the body, as well as fatigue. One area where you can experience pain is in your back (alongside arms, legs, chest, head and more). It can also make your muscles and joints stiff which can then lead to back pain. While there is no cure for it, there are treatments to ease the disorder.
Kidney stones: As your kidneys are towards the back of your abdomen and on either side of your spine, if you have kidney stones you're likely to experience some back pain. The pain will predominantly be in your side but it can be felt in your back too.
Osteoporosis: This is a bone disease where they can start to deteriorate and lose strength. As the strength decreases, it can lead to fractures in the vertebrae which of course directly affects your back. So, it is very important that you look after your back to reduce the risk of it getting worse.
Various infections: With any infection that is in the bones of your spine or the discs in between, or even the surrounding area, will probably cause back pain. If anything happens from your neck to your lower back, you should expect some aches and pains.
Tumours: In rare cases, tumours can develop on your spine or spread elsewhere on your back. Understandably, this will create pain when you're straining your back, trying to fight the tumour or in the process of receiving treatment.
Pregnancy: Carrying a little human becomes very heavy on the front so you need more strength in your back. If you're not used to this kind of weight then it will definitely have an impact on your lower back. Finding what helps to support your back in those 9 months should be a necessary step you take.
Features to look for in the best mattress for back pain
Finding the perfect mattress is certainly much easier said than done. Since there is no universal, best mattress for everyone, you have to pay attention to several defining factors of a mattress such as firmness, material, bounciness, as well as body types, body weight and of course, your sleeping position. When it comes to alleviating back pain, you should mainly focus on the firmness, material and position you sleep in, as that will help you find the most comfortable mattress, as well as bring forth the best results.
How firm does my mattress need to be to ease back pain?
Back pain can come from unpleasant sleeping positions and the lack of support, or it may be due to a preexisting condition. If it's from an old mattress then it's time to consider a new mattress. On the other hand, if it is a back pain condition, you should be checking if the mattress you have is suitable.
So, when it comes to firmness, you should probably avoid a very soft mattress for back pain. However, that's only a general rule of thumb, so be sure to test out the mattress before committing to it. As you probably already know, firmness refers to the feel of the mattress, meaning how hard or soft it is.
In a way, it's a subjective feeling. Those who weigh more will most certainly benefit more from a firmer mattress, as that will offer a lot more support for their body weight. If we had to pinpoint an ideal range of firmness, we'd place it somewhere between 5 and 7, on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being the softest. However, none of this is an exact science and the only way to identify the right mattress for you is to test it out.
The firmness will also depend on the mattress type – one with supportive memory foam is firm enough to distribute the weight whilst still being comfortable, but that might not be the case with other choices. The aim is to have a mattress that keeps your neck, shoulders, spine and hips aligned. This can be done with a mattress that contours to your body shape, therefore, you will be wanting one with a firm layer. It's good to get one with a softer layer too so the mattress remains comfortable and reduces the chance of your back pain getting worse.
How does the sleeping position affect back pain?
Another thing that is directly tied to how comfortable and relaxing the mattress will be is your sleeping position. Depending on your sleeping position, you'll enjoy a certain material or firmness – some more some less. In general, people are either stomach sleepers, side sleepers or back sleepers. Each of these positions requires a different level of firmness for optimal comfort.
Side sleeping: Those who tend to be side sleepers, usually prefer softer mattresses since they allow for hips and shoulders to sink into them, thus keeping the body properly aligned. Side sleepers will need to find a mattress that relieves pressure points so you're not straining while you're asleep.
Stomach sleeping: Front sleepers on the other hand will require a certain amount of support to retain the natural curvature of the spine while they sleep – especially in the lumbar area. Sleeping on your front is not the best sleep position and it could be what's causing your back pain. The best thing to do as a stomach sleeper is try adapting your position to ease back pain.
Back sleeping: As far as back sleepers are concerned, whatever feels good is usually the best approach. A slightly firm mattress can be better as it can provide more support on your back. However, back sleepers who are also back pain sufferers should find what feels best for them. As long as it is providing back pain relief, that's all that matters.
Does body weight affect back pain?
In short, yes, body weight can affect back pain. It is one of the most common causes of back pain and you will notice it particularly in your lower back. Depending on your weight, it will have an impact on your spine and the amount of pressure it'll need to take. It can give you poor posture which has a knock-on effect that leads you to suffer from back pain. It's always a good idea to do some exercises that can reduce back pain and strengthen the back.
For those who are heavier or muscular, and looking for mattresses for back pain, you want to be searching for a firmer mattress. Medium-firm mattresses could be right for you because getting one that is too firm can just become an uncomfortable mattress without a comfort layer. However, a soft mattress will just leave you sinking into the base and move your body out of alignment.
Light sleepers may choose a softer mattress, as they can still find them supportive of their body weight. A medium-firm mattress can be suitable for those who are lightweight without being too dense to sleep on.
Just remember the ideal way to find the best mattress for back pain is to try out the mattress once you think you've found the one you like most. Make the most of a free trial period to see how it supports your body weight.
Types of mattresses and back pain
Your choice of mattress for back pain can vary depending on the cause and the type of pain (as well as the other factors and mattress features we have mentioned). When looking for mattresses for back pain, we have to think about the material as well. In general, we have four types of mattresses – memory foam, innerspring, hybrid and latex. Each of these has its own defining features, so let's briefly go over them.
Memory foam mattresses are the softest of the four and they're ideal if you're a side sleeper and for those who don't move around a lot while they sleep. Also, they're great for those who get cold during the night as they can retain heat. Lighter sleepers can enjoy sleeping on a memory foam mattress as there's less chance of sinking too much. This is definitely one for someone who is looking for comfort layers above anything else. Most memory foam mattresses will mould to your body shape so those with back pain may like that they contour to your sleep position and relieve the pressure points.
Innerspring mattresses are what we call ‘traditional' or ‘old-school'. They've been around for quite some time and they're still fairly popular, which isn't surprising given the fact that they offer pretty sound support and can be comfortable. Unlike pocket springs that offer targeted support, innerspring mattresses provide more generalised support. Those looking for extra support for their joints are likely to appreciate this type of mattress. Over time the springs can become uncomfortable, but they can definitely give a supportive layer – including edge support.
Hybrid mattresses are a combination of the previous two and they're the new kids on the block. The great thing about them is that they're a firm mattress but soft at the same time which makes them an ideal mattress for back pain, but still looking for that ‘hugging feeling' from a mattress. Comfort and support rolled into one. Hybrid mattresses combine springs (to give enough support) with memory foam layers (to bring comfort) and this can also mean the mattress has temperature regulation by using your natural body temperature. As for back pain, a hybrid mattress has the ability to contour to your sleeping position whilst allowing pressure point relief.
Finally, we have latex mattresses which are not the most popular option for those looking for pressure relief. However, they do offer some substantial support which can be ideal for front sleepers that struggle with lumbar aches and pains. With a latex mattress, they tend to be durable and responsive so you won't need to worry about a sagging mattress any time soon. This means the support you feel on your back initially will continue to stay. So, if you find it perfect when you sleep on it, you know that you'll have it for years.
How to relieve back pain
If you want a better night's sleep quality but struggle due to back pain or back ache, then it's time to find what can relieve the back pain. We have a few suggestions that could be the start of helping to eliminate the pain
1. Change your sleeping position
You should start by thinking about your sleeping style because some sleeping positions are not ideal for your back. Those who sleep on their front really need to consider switching to their back or side. Stomach sleepers will find that they're curving their back while they sleep and not achieving spinal alignment. The best and easiest thing you can do is encourage yourself to become a back sleeper.
2. Get a new mattress
It's not worth sticking with the same mattress if it's causing you discomfort. You want to find the best mattress for back pain. Using our suggestions above and trying out a mattress during the free trial period, you'll be able to work out what is most suited to you. A medium-firm mattress is a good place to start for both comfort and support on your back. Everyone is different so not one mattress fits every single person, you need to take into account the varying factors.
3. Try to start exercising more
Introducing a workout to your daily routine can be beneficial to your sleep quality and most importantly improve any aches and pains. Exercising can relieve any tension in your body, as well as strengthen too. Doing activities that will keep you fit and make you stronger will help you so you're not susceptible to back problems.
Now that we've gone over some of the most important information on the best mattresses for back pain, we will summarise what you should take away.
It's important to understand that just because it feels like a firm mattress to the touch, it does not mean it's better than all the rest. It's about your needs and what feels best for you. In addition to that, don't overlook the size. A mattress should fit the bed perfectly and you shouldn't have to lay across the bed to feel comfortable.
This is essential since we're not talking about a small investment here. You won't be able to properly test out the comfort and the effect of the mattress on your body directly in the store, make sure there's a free trial period, you can get your money back and return the mattress after a few weeks if it turns out not to be the one for you.
Always look for a return policy and a free trial period.
Don't forget about the accessories.
FAQs about mattresses for back pain
As we’ve already mentioned, mattresses are a big investment and they will affect your life and health in a significant way. Considering that everyone has different needs, asking the right questions before buying a mattress can make all the difference between choosing the best mattress for back pain or ending up with a mediocre one.
What sleeping position is the best for back pain issues?
In general, sleeping on your back offers the best support and pain relief as it distributes the weight of your body evenly.
What type of mattress is best for back pain?
Hybrid mattresses are best for alleviating back pain as they offer the perfect combo of support and pain relief.
Can a bad mattress cause back pain?
A bad mattress can most certainly cause back pain and other health issues.
How long can I use a mattress for back pain?
A quality mattress should last you anywhere between 10 and 15 years, perhaps even more.