For years we’ve been told that firm mattresses are better than plush mattresses for bad backs, but that’s actually not true. Experts agree that the best mattress for back pain should allow a spine to cast the same natural curve people experience lying down as they do when they are standing. If a mattress is too hard, it will force the spine into an unnatural position; when it is too soft, it will sag and fail to provide adequate support.

You want your mattress to be just right, not too hard and not too soft. You want it to hug your curves while providing enough support. If you think your mattress is too hard, try topping it with 1½ to 2-inch thick padding – this allows for your spine to curve naturally. For mattresses that are too soft, there aren’t many solutions other than searching for a new mattress.

Even if you sleep on what you think is the world’s best mattress, you still might experience occasional back pain. Here are some tips to help ease those aches:

  1. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees. Many pregnant women do this to alleviate their pregnancy-induced back pain. Ask any pregnant woman, she’ll tell you it works.
  2. If you like sleeping on your back, try tucking a folded towel under your hips for extra support. A pillow under your knees might feel good as well.
  3. Invest in a body pillow and start hugging; this helps alleviate all-around pains.
    Sometimes all you need is a heating pad (to be placed on your lower back).
  4. Before bedtime, touch your toes and try other back, leg and arms stretches.


Contributor: Cassandra Broadway