The human body is a powerhouse that puts up with a lot of strain on the daily. That’s why it’s so ironic that something like lower back pain can often be the straw the breaks the camel’s back (pun intended), leaving sufferers immobile for days at a time. While everyday activities can be major contributors to these bursts of lumbar discomfort, we also recommend you consider what happens when you’re not awake.
The reality is your very mattress may be the reason your back is bent out of shape, above all, if you prefer sleeping on your side. The solution? With just a little know-how, you can be on your way to making better sleep choices, starting with the right mattress type. Find out more in this complete guide to the best mattresses for side sleepers with lower back problems, where you’ll find expert insight, plus a list of our top mattress picks for a healthy back.
Find Your Groove: The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
At a Glance:
Before we get into the details, let’s take a look at the anatomy of the body. For reference, we’ll compare sleeping on your back to the fetal position. Overall, it’s best to practice back-sleeping since there’s less chance the spine will shift alignment. In a worst-case scenario situation when sleeping on your back, a sinking mattress may cause the heaviest part of the body—the lower back—to dip lower than the rest of the body, leading to impaired structure, which places more stress on causes joints and muscles.
With that being said, sleepers are prone to substantially more health problems by not properly sleeping on their sides. The answer lies in understanding the natural shape of the spine. When sleeping on your back, the entire body bears weight evenly in a flat, neutral position; however, when your body rests on its side, the spine succumbs to unnatural flexing from side to side, and that can lead to the rest of the body becoming misshapen. How far the spine bends is ultimately determined by the correlation of body weight and the type of support your mattress provides.
Get in Touch: Discover the Best Sleep Position for You
Sweet relief is on its way. Here are five mattress options we suggest for sleepers who experience bad back pain.
Best Overall: Sealy® Hybrid Performance™ Z9 Copper II Firm Queen Mattress (52334751)
With an outstanding buyer rating of 4.7 stars from over 7,650 buyers, Sealy invites sleepers to nestle in for decadent slumber as back and body pains melt away. First, Sealy Chill Technology soothes aches and soreness with the sensational touch of coolness, then your body is enveloped in total comfort with a series of exclusive memory foam reinforced by Posturepedic support found only from Sealy mattresses. With 20 percent more support in the middle of the bed, this hybrid mattress is especially great at relieving lower back discomfort.
- Sealy Immersion Advanced Memory Foam
- DuraFlex Coil Edge Technology
- Posturepedic Technology
- Allergen Protect
- Sealy Chill Technology
Best Value: Nectar Classic 3.0 Memory Foam Medium Firm California King Mattress in a Box-Nectar3.0 (CK)
Your body may be twisted, but your budget doesn’t have to suffer. Valued at a mid-level price, this Nectar memory foam mattress in a box is an affordable side sleeper mattress that we also recommend for lumbar pain. Super-soft memory foam cradles the body in comfort, while the plush support level keeps the body relaxed equal distribution of weight across the entire surface. The result is a bed experience that retains your body’s natural shape for less back and hip pain while you sleep.
- Cooling Action Cover
- Breathable foundation
Best Luxury: Beautyrest® Black® Hybrid X-Class™ Medium Queen Mattress (700810873-1050)
Once you experience Beautyrest and its exclusive T3 Pocketed Coil support, going back to any other mattress will never be the same. The patented coil design on this best mattress for back pain in the luxury category uses triple strands for superior responsiveness, bounce, and comfort that reacts to your body. Together with cooling gel and memory foam in the center, plus ContourFit for a surface that hugs the body, the feeling of this high-end hybrid mattress is worthy of hitting the snooze on your alarm in the morning.
- T3 Pocketed Coil Technology
- BlackICE Hybrid Technology
- ContourFIt Design
- RightTemp Memory Foam
- Beautyrest Gel Memory Foam
Best Mattress for Arthritis Pain: Tempur-Pedic® TEMPUR-ProAdapt™ Medium Hybrid Queen Mattress (10739150)
Sleepers who also suffer from arthritis discomfort on top of back pain might find the relief they’ve been looking for on this Tempur-Pedic hybrid mattress. The standout feature on this bed is TEMPUR-ProAdapt technology that protects the body from pressure points, uneven weight distribution, and disruptive motion transfer. As an added perk, the base provides over 1000 high-performance coils for enhanced absorbency that keeps joints and muscles in total comfort.
- ProAdapt Hybrid Technology
- TEMPUR-APR/ES support and comfort layers
- SmartClimate Dual Cover System
Best Innerspring Mattress for Back Pain: Sealy® Response Posturepedic Plus Q3 Determination II Euro Pillow Top Medium Queen Mattress (52693951)
The ultra-supportive SealyCool gel memory foam at the center of this Sealy innerspring mattress is the definition of “just right comfort” that’s just the remedy for bad backs. Enjoy its pro series of foam and coil systems that sustain the body where it needs it the most, from the plush Euro top cover with a cooling touch and AllergenProtect, down to the Response Pro HD Encased Coil System. Registering at a hefty 14 inches in profile, this mattress is also highly recommended for couples, offering more than enough support for two.
- Response Pro HD Encased Coil System
- DuraFlex Pro Coil Edge System
- SealySupport Foam
- SealyCool gel memory foam
- ComfortLoft cover with AllergenProtect
A healthy spine does a body really good, and for that reason, we paid particular attention to mattresses that encouraged natural, organic body posture. In order to provide this benefit, we called upon a trifecta of attributes: mattress firmness, beefed up support, and mattress surfaces that promoted equal weight distribution.
Unless you weigh below 130 pounds, we recommend side sleepers to reconsider using a plush mattress. A bed with even a touch more firmness can be the difference between your body sinking where it’s the heaviest and your body being fully suspended in equal alignment.
As we always say, support and firmness are not the same. To recap, mattress firmness is how a bed feels on the body (i.e., soft, hard), while support is how much the surface responds to weight. As you might’ve guessed, more support is a good thing for side sleepers—but be careful not to overshoot support and end up with a mattress that offers no contoured support to suit your body’s unique shape.
Even Weight Proportioning
The body is the heaviest right at its midsection, and it just so happens that’s where the lower back is located, too. An inefficient mattress will surely sink lower at this point without proper reinforcement, and that only leads to more pressure on the lumbar, hips, and legs.
With incentives like Posturepedic Technology for 20-percent more support where your body needs it the most, Sealy mattresses are some of the best on the market. The extra support is especially ideal for sleepers dealing with hip and back discomfort, while advanced memory foam and cooling technologies surround the rest of the body in full comfort.
When it comes to the best kind of mattress for bad back pain, it’s hard to outdo Tempur-Pedic. Each model comes with a list of comforting features, including temperature-regulating foams and gels and exclusive foam materials, as well as great user features like zip-off covers for easy cleaning. Best of all, Tempur-Pedic mattresses come with a 10-year limited worry, so you can sleep even easier.
Discover a new meaning to sleeping beauty with Beautyrest and its lineup of top-rated mattresses. The Beautyrest Black Hybrid line fuses the best of advanced coil support with new-age memory foam technology to create sleep surfaces that contour to your body for better spine alignment.
How to Reduce Back Pain
When dealing with back pain sleeping on your side, the important thing to remember is to keep the body fully aligned from the shoulders to the spine down to the legs. It’s not impossible to achieve this while sleeping on your side, but once you go into a full fetal position with your legs tucked into your body, the lumbar starts to experience bad spine posture.
Luckily, there are a few tips for lower back pain for sleepers can adopt to their sleep routine to combat these effects. The first is to use a quality pillow between your legs as a bolster for extra support. This allows the hips to sit parallel with the rest of the body, but in order to redeem the full benefits of this trick, it’s best to sleep with the body in a completely straight position. We’ve outlined the details and more here in our roundup of the best pillows for every kind of sleeper.
Another factor that affects lower back pain is mattress firmness. How much firmness is needed will be unique to each sleeper, although it’s generally recommended that individuals with wider hips sleep on a plush mattress, while a firm surface is best for side sleepers with a narrower hip frames. And for even more accommodating comfort, give adjustable foundations a consideration, too. Powerbases are an effective way to find the perfect sleep position, and adding one to your sleep regimen can also come with several health bonuses, from reduced acid reflux to better circulation.
Pro Tip: Experience our Free BedFIT Technology to Find the Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain!
Behind every one of our satisfied customers, there’s a team of dedicated sleep experts who understand the science of sleep on a deeper level. While other chains can recommend a mattress, we guarantee you’ll enjoy rejuvenating sleep, thanks to our exclusive BedFIT technology that performs an astounding 11,000 calculations across 18 essential body measurements to ensure full-body relaxation night after night.
In other words, we don’t doze when it comes to the quality of your sleep. With over 13 million sleep profiles built, the Mattress Land experience is unlike any other on the market with the proven record of success that can only be found at our stores.
Shop Mattresses for Lower Back Pain at Mattress Land
You’re one step closer to finding lower back pain relief. All that’s left to do is check out the variety of mattress options found only at your local Mattress Land. Whether it’s your lower or upper back, shoulders, hips, or neck, our team of sleep advisors can help find a sleep solution to restore your health.
Shop today online, by phone at (877)-477-5337, or at a mattress showroom near you in California, Nevada, Idaho, and Washington!