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Mattresses and Back Pain

So how can you tell if it is your bed is causing back pain? Well, there are four types of sleepers in this world; side sleepers, back sleepers, stomach sleepers and sleepers that adopt all three positions in a single night. If your back pain isn’t from a pre-existing injury, the chances are you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress. Different types of mattresses harmonise with specific sleeping positions. Let’s take a look at the four different sleeping positions, what style of mattress suits who, the best mattresses for lower back pain sufferers, alongside other contributing factors that may affect your purchase.

Side Sleepers

74 % of the sleeping population sleep on their side; it doesn’t mean it’s the right way to sleep, what works for you is what’s best. But how many of those people are sleeping on the right style of mattress. If you think of the positioning compared to a back sleeper whose weight is evenly distributed over their back, buttocks and legs, a side sleeper’s weight puts pressure on their shoulder, hips and knees. Such pressure on these joints requires a softer mattress ( to cushion the connection. The best mattress for back pain if you sleep on your side will conform to the points of pressure.

Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night? Here’s why; if you're a side sleeper trying to get by on a firm mattress, you are preventing ideal blood flow through those pressure points (shoulders, hips, knees). As a reaction, to kick start the blood flow the brain tells the body to roll over; in severe cases, this can result in sleep deprivation. A short-term solution is buying a mattress topper for your back pain, but if you want long-lasting effects, you need a mattress that supports you in every aspect.

Stomach Sleepers

A stomach sleeper is the least common sleeping position. Sleep specialists do not recommend sleeping on your stomach unless you’ve already secured the perfect mattress. A stomach sleeper requires a firm mattress ( to ensure spine alignment and support.

Back Sleepers

If you’re a back sleeper, the best mattress for back pain is one that maintains spine alignment. If you’re a back sleeper on a bed that is too soft, you run the risk of creating severe back problems.

A mid to firm mattress ( is suited to the back sleeper. But just remember it’s not ‘one mattress suits all’. Finding the right mattress for you doesn’t merely depend on your sleeping position; it relies on your weight, temperature regulation, preference, and mattress structure and materials. But more on that in a second.

Other Factors that Contribute to Choosing the ‘Right’ Mattress

Many factors contribute to ‘the perfect mattress’. If you were to dive into the deep end and purchase a mattress with no research, the stars would have to align to get it right. relying on a specialist for help is the surest way to perfection. For the best mattress for lower back pain suffers, contact Bed n Dreams (

Body Type

A significant influence on finding the best mattress is your body type. Just because you’re a side sleeper it doesn’t necessarily pigeonhole you into one type of mattress. The heavier you are, the firmer the mattress needs to be. On the other side of the spectrum, the lighter you are, the softer the mattress. This is to counterbalance sinkage or, if you are relatively light, a lack of sinkage.

Temperature Regulation

Temperature regulation doesn’t affect back pain, but it can make or break your sleep life. If you continually have to sleep with the blankets off, you are most definitely a hot sleeper. Hot sleepers require mattresses made of breathable materials. If you find that even on those scorching summer nights you’re rugging up, the odds are, you’re a cold sleeper and need a mattress that retains heat. Let’s hope you don’t have one of each in the bed!

Different materials have different qualities that may suit your circumstances. Let’s take a look at a few mattress types.

Mattress Material and Structure


An innerspring mattress comprises at least one layer of coils topped with latex or foam to give it a soft and satisfying finish. Many types of coils characterise an innerspring mattress; Open Coil, Continuous Coils, Offset Coils, and Pocket Spring Coils. The ideal coil design differs according to budget and body type.

Though innerspring is the most popular mattress type, it’s not suited to the most popular sleeping position, side sleeping. Many side sleepers around the world are on innerspring mattresses, thus potentially experiencing back pains and problems.

Innerspring cannot conform around one’s body shape, which is essential to a side sleeper. The innerspring mattress is suited to the back sleeper. With an evenly distributed weight, it can support the upper and lower back through to the hips.


Latex is a type of rubber. You can get synthetic, blended and natural latex; sometimes, mattresses will have a combination of all three. Manufacturers usually aerate the latex foam to accommodate hot sleepers, assisting in temperature regulation.

Latex feels buoyant, bouncy and responsive. It’s suited to people that require a mid-firm mattress (usually people sleeping on their stomach or back). Latex mattresses have a great life span of up to twelve years. Most mattresses start to lose their integrity after seven years. The longevity of mattress support is perfect for lower back pain sufferers. Fixing a problem only to reencounter it seven years later can be a little frustrating.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are what you’d call ‘the latest craze’, even though it was developed in the 60s for astronauts travelling to the moon! Memory foam mattresses are great for side sleepers as they mould and conform to the individual’s contours. Attaining this malleable nature is beneficial to spinal alignment and helping with back pains.

The only downside to memory foam is its heat retention. Memory foam traps heat, making it hard for sleepers that struggle with temperature regulation to maintain an even body temperature.


With so much information comes preference. It’s crucial to do your research and talk to the right sleep specialist, especially if you are experiencing back pain. But most people seeking a new mattress purchase according to their preference. If your mattress has been doing the trick for the last seven years and you don’t want to risk disrupting your lucky streak, then by all means, do what makes you happy!

Bed n Dreams is here to offer support, guidance, and advice. The most important thing is achieving that beauty sleep you deserve free from back pain, sleep deprivation, and overheating!