e all know the value of getting a good night’s sleep, but banking those eight hours can prove elusive.
Apart from general stress and anxiety keeping you up at night, it could be back pain that’s stopping you from getting a decent amount of shut-eye. If you’re waking up feeling more tired than when you got into bed, it might be time to take a closer look at your mattress.
The good, the bad, and the saggy
All mattresses should be replaced if they’re sagging in the middle – it shows that they can no longer bear your weight and, over prolonged use, can be hugely detrimental to your spine and back health. If you’re not being properly supported when you’re sleeping, your other muscles will try to compensate for it, which can lead to serious aches and pains in the morning. Hardly the recipe for a restful night’s sleep.
According to The Regenerative Clinic, an estimated 80 per cent of adults in the UK have experienced lower back pain in their lives, usually because of their jobs.
This means all of us could use at least some level of support in our beds. Even if you don’t feel it now, getting the right bed in place now could avert problems in the future.
What is the best firmness for back pain?
Many make the mistake of believing an extra-firm mattress will alleviate back pain issues overnight, but that’s not always the case. It all comes down to the individual, their preferred sleep position and comfort preferences.
What’s the best sleep position for a bad back?
Dave Gibson , founder of thesleepsite.co.uk, recommends sleeping on the side or back to ease back pain. He adds: “I always encourage face-down sleepers to swap to side-sleeping which is the best position for all sleepers and especially lower back pain sufferers. Sleeping face down tends to aggravate both your neck and lower back.
“When sleeping on your side to relieve pain, the aim is to lie on your pain-free side, with top leg bent at the knee and supported with a pillow underneath to stop your pelvis from rolling. This basically is the foetal position with support to keep the pelvis in alignment with the rest of the spine – especially important with lower back pain. In addition, choosing the right pillow to keep your neck in alignment is vital to relax your neck muscles at night.
What’s the best mattress for a bad back?
However, zoned mattresses are made specifically to support areas that need it the most, like your shoulders, hips and knees. They give your spine a helping hand and make it easier for it to stay stable, thus giving it the TLC it deserves. A zoned mattress should have you springing out of bed in the morning.
Iain Marsh, Bed Expert at Furniture Village offers further insight into the type of mattress back pain sufferers should look to: “Memory foam mattresses allow the shoulders and hips to relax, whilst keeping the spine aligned, offering flexible, pressure relieving support for those with back pains.”
Best orthopaedic mattress for back pain
You may have heard of this type of mattress, which was developed in the 1950s and offers superior levels of support, pressure relief and comfort. You should experience strong push-back when lying on the surface, excellent weight distribution to give your joints a well-needed break, and find yourself snoozing with good posture allowing healthy blood flow over the course of the evening. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, they can be both all memory-foam or spring mattresses, giving you more options over what to spend your money on.
The importance of a great mattress for back health – expert insight
Alison Jones, Sleep Expert at Sealy, said: “Certain sleep positions can place unnecessary pressure on the neck, spine and hips, whilst a poor quality or unsupportive mattress can cause the spine to become misaligned as well as exacerbate pre-existing joint, spine and ligament issues.
“Many people don’t realise the connection between back pain, their mattress and their overall health. Choosing an orthopaedically-designed mattress is essential for great back health, as they’re designed specifically to help distribute body weight more evenly and relieve pressure points.
When choosing a mattress to relieve back pain, mattresses with Core Support spring systems are engineered to offer the correct spinal alignment and deep-down support for muscles. You can also choose from a range of materials for additional comfort like Geltex and smart fibres which provide additional pressure relief and total body support, as well as breathability. Not only will this relieve day-to-day pains, getting a quality night sleep also helps cognitive brain function and improves overall mood and wellbeing.”
See our pick of the best mattresses to help stop back pain below
Silentnight Miracoil Geltex Mattress
Standing 31cm high, this mattress from Silentnight offers a medium-to-firm level of comfort. Under the soft knit cover is a 4cm layer of Geltex for comfort followed by a Miracoil support system and an open cell structure that allows for air flow, keeping everything feeling breathable. Free delivery is available on the mattresses, which come in Single, Double, King and Superking sizes.
Relyon Taunton Dunlopillo Mattress
As the Director of Commerical Buying at Dreams, Fabio Perrotta has slept on a lot of beds. He recommends: “Relyon is one of our new brands at Dreams and they produce some fantastic quality mattresses. Made from sustainably sourced Dunlopillo latex, the mattresses have plenty of elasticity and bounce, plus 33 per cent more pressure-relief than traditional memory foam. There are also some great extra benefits when you buy a Relyon, including breathability, temperature regulation, anti-allergenic, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties.
My top pick is the Relyon Taunton Dunlopillo Mattress – it’s firm, with 1122 individually wrapped pocket-springs that help ensure even bodyweight distribution and superior overall support.” Sounds like a bed you can rely on.
Eve Sleep Premium Hybrid Mattress
Marrying the best of spring and foam, eve’s premium hybrid is engineered to bring relief to anyone with back pain for the dreamiest sleep ever. There are more than 1,500 pocket springs and five layers of foam to help you drift off and wake up feeling recharged. Sizes from Double, King and Superking. The foam layers offer immediate pressure relief and will leave you feeling like you’re weightless atop a cloud – heaven, in other words. The mattress isolates motion too, so you won’t wake when your partner does. The top cover is embedded with silver to keep the mattress antibacterial and antimicrobial, so everything stays healthy, clean and fresh for longer.
Relyon Natural Pocket Ortho Intense Mattress
An extra firm bed designed for back pain sufferers, Relyon’s mattress is an investment in your health. All details have been designed with support at the forefront; from the 1500 pocket springs that constantly adjust as you move in your sleep to the cooling cotton blend layer and rebound layers that work to keep your sleep environment comfortable and breathable. It’s also great for anyone with allergies, which is sterilized and dust-free – so say goodbye to sneezing fits. There’s edge-to-edge support, giving you more surface to snooze on and stopping you from falling off. The whole lot is covered in Belgian damask, adding an element of elegance to the mattress.
Simba Hybrid Luxe Mattress
Bringing together the best of both worlds in 10 luxe layers, Simba’s latest mattress can provide relief to anyone feeling the achy effects of sitting all day by a WFH desk on an ill-fitting chair.
It uses 6,000 titanium Aerocoil springs set over three layers with slices of open-cell foam, bamboo wool and high definition edge support layers in between to create a comfortable layer on which to spend eight hours a night. It all sits on a zoned Simba-pure support base, giving your limbs and joints support from the foundation up. In terms of tension, it’s firm, but not hard. Foam can often make you overheat, especially if you’re a hot sleeper to start with, but Simba has engineered the layers to allow for air flow throughout so sweaty mornings are a thing of the past. Free delivery.
Sleepeezee Harmony 3500 Mattress
A mattress exclusive to Furniture Village, this handcrafted mattress is made in the UK and offers a triple whammy of of individually pocketed springs that will respond instantly to weight and movement. This support is boosted by another three layers of memory foam to keep your back and spine aligned. It’s finished with a sumptous pillow top layer that will leave you struggling to get out of bed in the morning, for all the right reasons.
The Cotswold Company Ortho Support Mattress
The Cotswold Company
Handmade in the UK, The Cotswold Company’s range of Ortho Support Mattresses feature one thousand pocket springs for heightened levels of support. Above the springs sits a plush layer of recycled polyester for high tension comfort, which will leave you feeling like you’re sleeping on cloud nine. The mattresses are available in standard UK sizes (single, small double, double and king) with each wrapped in a micro-quilted fabric that’s breathable and hypo-allergenic.
Silentnight 1400 Pocket Luxury Ortho Single Mattress
Available in all the standard UK bed sizes, this luxury mattress from Silentnight contains no less than 1,400 individual pocket springs to help distribute your weight evenly throughout the night. Zoned support also helps keep your joints comfortable. The mattress is tufted, providing firmer back support while the Eco Comfort fibres are made from recycled plastic bottles, allowing you to rest easy in more ways than one. This Silentnight 1400 Pocket Luxury Ortho mattress is completed with a soft damask cover and offers edge to edge support for more sleep space – helpful if you’re sharing a bed.
Emma Original Hybrid
Breathable and moisture-wicking, Emma’s award winning mattress is an excellent choice for superb support. Built on a base of supportive HRX foam, there are layers of extra tall springs that further boost support (while also helping that air to keep circulating), visco-elastic memory foam to relieve pressure and breathable foam as well as gel-like open-pored foam that’s air-aiding and moisture-wicking to boot. You’ll wake feeling refreshed, energised and ready to seize the day.
Sealy Millionaire Orthopaedic Mattress
Perfect for sleepers who require a little extra support in the mattress department, Sealy’s Millionaire Orthopaedic mattress is exclusive to Mattress Online. Like many in its range, the bed uses Sealy’s Posture Tech Core Support spring system to keep your back aligned even when you’re sleeping. The mattresses offer super firm tension, which also makes it more comfortable for overweight people. Above the layer of springs, there’s plenty of padding and a damask cover to luxuriate on. Hand tufting ensures all the fillings stay in place.
Sealy Posturepedic Jubilee Memory Ortho Divan Bed
You’ll find yourself bouncing out of bed in the mornings after a night on Sealy’s mattress. Made with a PostureTech Core Support spring system, memory foam, and EdgeGuard technology, this mattress is designed with back pain in mind and offers a medium/firm level of tension.
The Core Support springs, exclusive to Sealy, give a consistent, deep-down kind of support while the 2.5cm memory foam layer reacts to your bodyweight, providing beautifully cocooning comfort as you get your 40 winks.
John Lewis & Partners Classic Collection Ortho Support 1000 Pocket Spring Mattress, Firm Tension, King Size
A bestseller at John Lewis, this own-brand mattress can offer welcome relief for back pain sufferers at the end of a long day. The Ortho Support 1000 range of mattresses are designed with layers of polycotton fillings and 1,000 supportive ReActive Pocket spring system. The premium mattress is offered with a 60 night comfort trial, so you can test out if it’s the one for you and a seven year guarantee is also included for further peace of mind.
Brook + Wilde Elite mattress
Brook + Wilde
All of Brook + Wilde’s mattresses feature its signature Wave Technology which ensures the best possible comfort and specialised zonal support to ease joints and alleviate pressure in all the right places. The Elite is best for back pain; the third layer uses a next generation high density foam to support the spine and ease stress on pressure points. Furthermore, 2.500 pocket springs are embedded to offer blissful support whether you’re sleeping solo or with a partner. Firmer mattresses offer greater support across the back, and the brand offers a ‘Firm’ rating across its mattresses but if you’d like to go harder, a bespoke ‘Extra Firm’ is available.
Button & Sprung Southdown Double Mattress
Button & Sprung
The sleep specialists Button & Sprung has just launched a new collection of totally natural and recyclable mattresses, including the Southdown, which uses up to 15,360 springs to support you while you rest. Made up of 11 luxurious layers, one of which is a layer of mini springs, you can order it with regular or firmer tension to suit your sleep needs. Best of all, the Southdown mattress is free from foam, glue and fire retardant chemicals so when the time comes to replace it, you can recycle it without the guilt. Available in standard UK bed sizes.