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Millions of people around the world suffer from back pain to some degree. It is one of the most common reasons people miss work, and according to the American Chiropractic Association, 80% of us will experience it at some point in our lives.

Finding the right mattress, however, can significantly improve back pain or even prevent the pain altogether.

Things to consider when purchasing a mattress

When looking for a mattress, consider the sleep position, firmness or thickness of the mattress, and the material it’s made out of.

Memory foam is the top choice for back pain sufferers. If you’re lying flat on a traditional spring mattress, there will always be a gap between your lower back and the mattress. This prevents your lower back from fully relaxing, resulting in soreness or pain.

Memory foam mattresses also contour to your body, allowing your lower back to be supported. This helps the body to lie in a neutral position. While the memory foam mattress is supporting your wider areas, such as your hips, it’s also supporting the delicate areas of the head and neck.

Other options

If a memory foam mattress isn’t on your radar, that’s ok. There are other options.

For years it was thought that a firm mattress was best for back pain. However, research is limited in this area but one study showed that a medium-firm mattress is a better fit. Out of 313 participants, the interpretation was a medium firm mattress improved pain in patients with chronic back pain.

Like the memory foam mattress, a medium-firm mattress contours to your body better than a firm mattress, offering greater support.


No matter which mattress you choose to help relieve your lower back pain, just keep this simple guide in mind. There are many options out there and you deserve to be pain-free and have the best sleep of your life.

Always remember though, if you have back pain, to get it checked out by a medical specialist to ensure nothing serious is going on.