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Best Mattress For Back Pain: What You Need To Know

Your back pain shouldn’t be a morning routine, and your mattress certainly shouldn’t aggravate it, let alone cause it. What you need is a mattress that supports the your spine while keeping you comfortable.

A Healthy Spine is a Happy Spine

Your spine has a natural, healthy shape it wants to stay in. When you stand with good posture, your spine has an S-shape when viewed from the side. It’s straight up and down when looked at straight on.

Illustration of healthy spine front view and side view with labels for Cervical Curve, Thoracic Curve, and Lumbar Curve.

The right mattress maintains your spine’s natural curves so you feel rejuvenated in the morning, rather than achy and sore. You’ve heard lectures about how important good posture is when you’re standing and sitting, but rarely will you hear the all-too-important benefits of appropriate sleep posture. JointEssential.com explains:

A good sleeping posture is defined as the position in which the healthy spine alignment is maintained while lying down with the minimal amount of strain being placed on the muscles, tendons and ligaments. On the other hand, bad sleeping posture places strain on the spinal disc, spinal nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments, pulling the entire body out of the alignment. As such, this explains why poor sleeping posture can results in neck pain, back pain and even sciatica.

Finding the Right Mattress Firmness

In the old days—when shoppers had to choose between firm, average, or soft—firm mattresses were thought to be better for your back. This idea is a little outdated. Ideally, the best mattress for your back is both firm and soft (not somewhere in between) and instantly responds to pressure so it conforms to your ideal body shape.

Firm Mattress
Too firm a mattress blocks your hips and shoulders from sinking in, which causes your lower back to strain as it tries to reach a supportive surface. It also puts uncomfortable pressure on your hips and shoulders.

Illustration of spine unaligned on firm mattress.

Soft Mattress
While a good pillow-top may feel comfy on your pressure points, it offers little-to-no-support for your back, pulling it into an unnatural U-shape…which may look like a smile, but it’s definitely more of a grimace.

Illustration of spine curved to u-shape on soft mattress.

Average Mattress
The in-between mattress isn’t firm enough for back support or soft enough to be comfortable on your hips and shoulders. It’s an awkward middle ground that compromises your back’s comfort, support, and overall health. Not. Worth. It.

The Right Mattress
The Purple® Bed offers the best of both firm and soft, without the compromise. The Smart Comfort Grid™ instantly responds to your body shape, letting your hips and shoulders sink in comfortably, while standing strong under your back for perfect support.

Illustration of straight spine supported on Purple mattress.

Other Considerations for Reducing Back Pain

Position Matters

According to Health.com, each basic sleep position has definite health benefits, along with some drawbacks. So which one is best for you? It might be worth training your body to sleep a certain way in order to reduce and avoid back pain.

Back Sleeping
Traditionally considered to be the healthiest position for your back, but one of the least common sleeping positions.
Pros: Good for reducing or preventing neck and back pain and acid reflux. Helps avoid early wrinkling and breast sagging.
Cons: Worse for sleep apnea and snoring.
Helpful Hint: Use a pillow under your knees—this eases your body into a more natural position. It reduces stress on your back, feet, and heart.

Side Sleeping
The most popular sleeping position, which also has several health benefits including reducing back pain!
Pros: Good for reducing or preventing neck and back pain, helps reduce snoring, and is the best position for pregnant sleepers.
Cons: May cause premature wrinkles and sagging of your skin and breasts.
Helpful Hint: Sleep with a thin pillow between your knees—it helps keep your spine and hips aligned for great relief.

Fetal Position
It brings a whole new meaning to “sleeping like a baby” and it’s a pretty common position to sleep in…but it’s not great for your back.
Pros: Helps reduce snoring and is good for pregnant sleepers.
Cons: Not good for reducing back or neck pain. May cause premature wrinkles and sagging of your skin and breasts.

Stomach Sleeping
Generally considered the worst sleeping position for your back, but one of the most popular sleeping positions in general.
Pros: Eases snoring.
Cons: Could increase neck or back pain and cause premature wrinkles and sagging of your skin and breasts.
Helpful Hint: Sleep with a thin pillow under your hips to help your body relax back into its original alignment. It will take a lot of the stress off your lumbar, reducing lower back pain.

Using the Right Pillow

It’s just as important that your pillow keeps your spine aligned as it is your mattress. To avoid unwelcome neck pain, the best pillow will support your neck while allowing your head to sink in. Any pillow that cricks your neck up or even too far down can contribute to a painful morning.

Illustration of poor neck alignment on a thick pillow  vs proper spine alignment on Purple Pillow.

Using an Adjustable Base

Adding some technology to the room is finally something that can actually help you sleep better! Adjustable bases can be used to get your body into the most comfortable and beneficial position to help with your pain. They can be adjusted to support you for a variety of activities, such as reading, watching tv, sleeping, etc.

Look for a base that offers the “Zero Gravity” position, which simulates your body’s most natural position, easing stress on several parts of your body including your back, legs, heart, and organs. And hey! A true resonant frequency massage to put you to sleep and wake you up never hurt anyone!

So What Is the Best Mattress for Back Pain?

The Purple® Mattress offers ultimate support without giving up any of the comfort you crave. Purple’s Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ Smart Comfort Grid™ gives just enough support in all the right places to keep your spine’s natural shape no matter how the weird you sleep. It also sleeps temperature neutral so you’re not too hot or cold and virtually never breaks down so you get the most value out of your investment.

Photo of Purple® mattress with corner cutaway to show internal build.

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