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The right support: How to choose the perfect luxury mattress to minimise back pain and guarantee you a good night’s sleep

The best mattresses for back pain offer a great balance of spinal support and comfort, helping to soothe and prevent your aches.

By LLM Reporters  |  July 11, 2022
Joyful young woman sleeping on a comfortable bed and smiling

A good night’s sleep has long been viewed as essential for optimal health and wellbeing, supporting our physical and mental function the following day, regulating energy levels and maintaining our immunity so we can effectively fight disease. Nevertheless, two thirds of UK adults claim to have regular sleepless nights, while a further 25 per cent say they get no more than five hours of quality shut-eye each in each 24-hour period.

While there’s no denying that thanks to economic uncertainty and other current social and political factors, as well as today’s fast-paced, always-on lifestyles, we’re finding it more difficult than ever to switch off and wind down, the type of mattress you sleep on undoubtedly has a role to play, too. If you’re not feeling comfortable enough when it’s time for lights out, then it’s bound to be more difficult to drift off, and ensuring your spine is aligned and your neck is suitably supported is imperative to ensuring you get your full recommended eight hours.

Sleeping on the wrong type of mattress can cause or exacerbate back pain, and lack of support while you snooze can result in poor sleeping posture, leading to a host of other aches and pains that will impact negatively on the experience. And of course, it’s not just your sleep quality that matters, but its knock-on effect on the rest of your day to day life, too – so if you’re constantly finding yourself feeling fatigued, drowsy and sapped of energy, then it might be time to reassess your bedroom set-up.

A woman in a white shirt and jeans in a mattress store.
The perfect mattress should feel sumptuous, luxurious and inviting when it’s time to go to bed

The perfect mattress should feel sumptuous, luxurious and inviting when it’s time to go to bed, but don’t be tempted to opt for pillowy softness to the detriment of your body’s needs. It might feel good at the time, but in the long term, you might regret your choice.

With such a plethora of different luxury mattresses to choose from, it can be difficult to know what to look for – but with a few simple guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the best mattress for lower back pain. Prepare to head off to the land of nod in no time, and to finally start waking up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.

Consider your personal preference

First and foremost, it’s important to have a think about what type of mattress feels best to you, and the best way to work that out is to go and try some options out. There are no hard and fast rules, as comfort is subjective, and while some may prefer a softer, cosier feel, others may favour a firmer feel. As a general rule of thumb, however, it’s best not to go too far in either direction, as while an overly soft mattress will fail to provide the necessary support to keep your spine aligned, one that is too hard could worsen back pain further.

Happy couple sleeping in a comfortable bed at home
Sleeping on the wrong type of mattress can cause or exacerbate back pain, and lack of support while you snooze can result in poor sleeping posture, leading to a host of other aches and pains that will impact negatively on the experience

Ask the right questions

The coils or inner springs of a mattress are the components that provide support, and there are numerous different options available in terms of their number and arrangement. Typically, mattress depths will range between seven to 18 inches, with the latter providing the greatest amount of padding and ensuring you won’t feel any lumps and bumps when you lie down. A pocket sprung mattress with plenty of depth will typically provide the most support and give you the most comfortable night’s shut-eye. Be sure to look out for the gauge number of your coils, as a higher number means a thinner coil and thus, a gentler spring. Generally speaking, somewhere between 12 and 15 is optimal.

Prioritise back support

The best type of mattress for preventing back pain is one that provides support for the spine’s natural curves and helps to keep it aligned while you sleep. There are numerous potential causes of back pain, but an unsupportive mattress is one of the biggest. In order to choose the right mattress, you’ll want to consider the nature of your pain, as while some is short-lived and comes on suddenly, which is described as acute, it may also be chronic – in other words, pain that persists for the long term.

If the former applies, changing your sleeping position and switching up your pillows may be enough to provide you with some relief, but if not, changing to a medium-firm orthopaedic mattress will be your best bet for minimising existing back pain and providing you with the support you need for a comfortable night’s sleep.