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Best Mattress For Hip Pain: How To Relieve Hip Pain While Sleeping

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    Last Updated
    April 11, 2022
    min read

    Hip pain is no joke. This prevalent health problem affects a significant number of Americans each year – nearly 20% of adults between the ages of 65 and 74, and 30 to 40% of adults who play sports.

    And for a lot of hip pain sufferers, the pain doesn't just dissipate with rest. In fact, a lot of people with hip pain are kept awake at night, as the problem can be exacerbated by things like sub-optimal sleeping positions and bad mattresses.

    If you’re one of the unlucky ones who can't get a comfortable night of rest due to hip pain, there’s some hope. There is actually a lot you can do to cut down on your aches and pains at night. Here, we discuss some of the best ways to relieve hip pain when sleeping, including finding the best mattress for hip pain.

    What Are The Causes Of Hip Pain?

    Hip problems – including pain and pressure – can come from a variety of sources that affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints in the glute areas and spine. At its worst, hip pain can make it impossible to get a good night’s sleep.

    Your Sleeping Position

    Though a majority of people consider themselves as side-sleepers, this position is actually one of the worst positions for spinal alignment and overall spinal health. Because side-sleepers put direct pressure on their hips when they sleep, they can pull them out of their proper alignment and thus experience hip pain. Side-sleepers with hip pain can find relief by placing a pillow between their legs when they sleep.


    People who experience hip joint pain may be suffering from bursitis, a condition that affects the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion our hip joints when we move. Bursitis happens when these sacs become inflamed.

    A common complaint among people with bursitis is a sharp and intense pain on the outside of the lower hip. Oftentimes, this pain will radiate to the outside of the thigh. Many patients say that the pain is worsened by prolonged periods of sitting or lying down, which makes sleep loss a major issue.

    Osteoarthritis (OA)

    Hip osteoarthritis is a common issue among adults over the age of 45 and is one of the leading causes of total hip replacement surgery. This health condition is characterized by consistent joint pain that is made worse during the rainy season, after long periods of sitting or resting, pain when bending over, and a grinding sound when moving.

    Like people suffering from hip bursitis, those with osteoarthritis often report a poor sleeping experience due to the immense pain. Other types of hip pain-causing arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, although the latter is quite rare.

    11 Ways To Relieve Hip Pain While Sleeping

    As mentioned, chronic hip pain can make going to bed a real nightmare. If you're looking for some nighttime hip pain relief, here are 11 tips to consider:

    Change Your Sleep Position

    Healthy sleeping positions can make a world of a difference for hip pain sufferers. The healthiest position is actually sleeping on your back. It keeps your spine aligned and prevents you from putting too much pressure on your hips.

    However, if you've been a side sleeper for years, changing your preferred sleeping position won't always be easy. One thing side-sleepers can do to reduce the pain is to favor the side that doesn't bother you.

    Stomach sleepers may find that the position provides some hip pressure relief, but it's a double-edged sword. Stomach sleepers often wake up with neck pain or lower back pain because their spinal alignment is off-kilter during the night.

    Use A Body Pillow For Relief

    Good pillows can really come in handy for helping you sleep comfortably. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees and use foam pillows to support your head and shoulders. Stomach sleepers should place a pillow under the pelvis to reduce pressure on the spine.

    For side sleepers, try sleeping on the non-achy side with a foam pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned. You can even find pillows specially made for this purpose.

    Exercise Regularly

    Low-impact exercise can do wonders for your joint pain. Yoga, swimming, walking, and tai chi are all good examples of slow and low-impact workouts that allow you to move your muscles and reduce pain.

    Stretch Before Bed

    Stretching out your hip muscles and tendons can help you get a good night’s sleep. Stretch right before you go to bed and throughout the day if severe hip pain prevents you from relaxing. If you work in a setting where you have to sit for long periods of time, taking periodic stretch breaks during the day can help a lot with pain relief.

    Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

    Sleep hygiene is all about establishing a consistent routine every night before going to bed. Practicing good sleep hygiene habits helps your mind and body relax, wind down for the day, and can help you fall asleep – and stay that way.

    Apply A Compress To The Affected Area

    Depending on the level of inflammation, you might get comfort from using either ice therapy or heat therapy on your aching hips.

    Heat may keep muscles and tendons loose, relaxed, and comfortable during the night. This works best for people suffering from muscle spasms, arthritis pain, and general stiffness. Meanwhile, ice will help reduce swelling and inflammation.

    Try Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers

    Many sleepers can find temporary relief from over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen. They may be a helpful option, but talk to your doctor first about how often it’s safe to take them. You may also want to talk with your doctor about topical medications that help relieve chronic pain and increase your comfort.

    Avoid Sleep Aids

    After a few nights with no sleep, you might be tempted to turn to either over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids. However, be careful – this can be a slippery slope. Over time, you’ll need more and more medication to fall and stay asleep as your body builds tolerance. Try everything else you can and only use sleep aids under the supervision of your doctor.

    Choose The Right Mattress

    A good mattress can help reduce chronic musculoskeletal pain, from back pain to sciatica. The question is, what kind of mattress is best for hip pain sufferers? Is it a softer mattress or an ultra-firm one? Should sleepers with hip pain check out memory foam mattresses, innerspring mattresses, latex mattresses, or hybrid mattresses?

    Skip forward to read our guide to the best mattresses for hip pain.

    Consider A Mattress Topper

    If you can't say goodbye to your current mattress just yet, you can use a memory foam mattress topper. A mattress topper sits on top of your mattress to provide fantastic pressure relief when your current mattress can't. Toppers are usually two to four inches in thickness.

    If you're a hot sleeper worried about overheating, there are toppers with a gel memory foam layer that provide a cooling feeling. Heavier sleepers and back sleepers can opt for toppers made out of polyfoam or latex.

    Speak To Your Doctor

    If you’ve already tried these treatments and hip and shoulder pain is still interfering with your sleep, it might be time to talk to your primary care doctor about long-term solutions for your discomfort. Treatments may range from deep-tissue massages to physical therapy to steroid injections.

    What Are The Best Mattresses For Sleepers With Hip Pain?

    A good mattress allows you to maintain a neutral spine alignment throughout the night, providing relief for sleepers who suffer from hip joint pain. In contrast, an unsupportive and uncomfortable mattress can create additional pressure on your hips and worsen your health condition.

    A supportive mattress is one that cradles your hips when you sleep. Now, there is no one-size-fits-all type of mattress for hip pain. The best mattress for sleepers with hip pain is actually one that suits your preferred sleep position. There are two main factors to consider: firmness levels and material.

    Firmness Levels

    The mattress firmness scale ranges from 1 to 10, with mattress firmness being categorized into soft (or plush), medium firm, and firm.

    Softer mattresses let sleepers sink into the mattress, giving off the feeling of sleeping "in" the mattress rather than on top of it. This type of mattress is best for light sleepers and side sleepers who enjoy the feeling of the mattress contouring to or hugging their bodies at night.

    On the other hand, heavier people or people with a bigger body type, will often sleep better on firmer mattresses that provide more lift and support. A firmer mattress is also recommended for back sleepers and stomach sleepers.


    Mattress type or material also plays a hand in firmness and comfort. The traditional innerspring mattress is oftentimes on the firmer side and provides a fair bit of bounce. Meanwhile, memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses are on the plush side of the scale, making for a softer mattress.

    Another key difference among mattress types is temperature regulation.

    Hybrid mattresses are the "best of both worlds" type of mattress, providing adequate support and ventilation while still providing pressure point relief.

    The Bottom Line

    For people with hip pain, finding a good mattress is integral to ensuring a comfortable night's sleep. Overall, the best mattress for lower back and hip pain is a contouring mattress that conforms to your body’s shape with just the right level of firmness and support.

    No other mattress company offers the “No Pressure” comfort of the Purple Grid™. This hyper-elastic polymer grid provides complete support for your hips. Try the original Purple® Mattress or choose from a variety of Purple mattresses, which use a pocketed coil system for added support and extra pressure relief.

    Get restful sleep and improve your overall sleep quality with a Purple mattress.

    About the authors

    Purple Staff
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