What Firmness Mattress For Back Pain: Firm Or Soft

If you’re curious about what firmness mattress for back pain, this article will share tips regarding upper, lower, and mid back pain and the ideal beds for them. You will also find out what mattress can potentially cause more back pain or worsen it. But first, how familiar are you with firmness ratings for beds?

Consider this mattress ILD guide before reading this article. Understanding the ILD, especially for foam beds, will be helpful when selecting the ideal firmness if you have back pain. 

what firmness mattress for back pain


What Is The Best Firmness For Back Pain?


Upper back pain

The best mattress firmness for upper back pain is medium-firm because using a very stiff bed won’t provide enough cushioning on the shoulders. However, avoid a mattress that sinks you deeply because you won’t be on a level sleeping surface. If you’re not in a neutral sleeping position, your thoracic region can experience pressure, resulting in pain in the upper back. 

Upper back pain is not as common as lower back pain, but our daily activities can cause it. For example, you might regularly carry something too heavy such as an overloaded backpack, or you often lift something with poor posture. Nonetheless, using a medium-firm mattress should make your nights more comfortable and keep the issue from worsening. 


Lower back pain

When people complain about back pain, they’re highly likely to pertain to the lower back or lumbar region. This is because this area has more curvature, and poor posture and movements can easily affect it. So if you experience lower back pain, you want a mattress with medium firmness and offers moldability. 

A mattress that is not too firm or soft will prevent further misalignment and twisting on your lumbar region when you lie down. However, you want something that follows the body’s contours to relieve the pressure in this curved portion of the spine. You can also learn how to use a lumbar pillow underneath you to fill the gap between the mattress and your body. 


Mid-back pain

Some people experience back pain in an area that is not that common, in their middle back. You might easily mistake it as lower back pain, but the discomfort is right below the rib cage and above the lumbar region. If you experience mid-back pain, it would also be best to consult your doctor because it might be from an underlying illness

So what mattress should you get to alleviate the pain in this region? Mid-back pain sufferers will also benefit from medium-firm beds much like those with upper back and lower back pain. You can also consider zoned mattresses that have the right firmness and cushioning for the different parts of the body. 


Is A Firm Or Soft Mattress Better For Back Pain?

Neither a firm nor soft mattress is better for back pain because they don’t encourage a neutral spine. Instead, the best bed to get is medium to medium-firm, while you’re also considering your body type and sleeping position. In this article on how to choose the right mattress for your back, you’ll see how significant the right firmness is. 


How Do I Know If My Mattress Is Too Firm?

Your mattress is too firm if you notice body pain, especially on the body’s pressure points such as the back, shoulders, hips, or even knees. You might also feel tired because of inconsistent sleep or notice that you toss and turn a lot throughout the night. If you want to know more about how to select mattress firmness, please read our separate guide. 


What Type Mattress Is Best For Back Pain?

When selecting which mattress is best for back pain, you will notice that foam beds top the list. This is because they come in various types, structures, and firmness, so users can find the specific model that will suit their needs and preferences. Furthermore, foam mattresses offer enough cushioning to alleviate the pressure points on the back while still keeping the spine neutral.


Are Memory Foam Mattresses Bad For Your Back?

Memory foam mattresses are actually good for your back because they conform to your body’s natural curves. Furthermore, they are not too soft like other beds such as pillow-tops or as bouncy as innerspring mattresses. Therefore, you can keep yourself supported, regardless of your body type or sleeping position. 


Is My Mattress Causing Back Pain?

There are many variables and factors to check why you develop or experience back pain. It’s better to consult your doctor to determine any possible reason. However, poor sleeping posture due to using an improper mattress can be why you have back pain. 

We spend a long time on our beds, and we use them every night, so the continuous stress and poor support will eventually affect our backs. You must know what mattress complements your body type, sleeping position, and other traits. Start by checking your posture when you lie in bed to determine the necessary adjustments. 



And that’s it! This article helped you determine what firmness mattress for back pain, which is essentially medium-firm or medium. You might experience pain on the upper back, lower back, or mid-back, but they would all benefit from a bed that is not too soft or firm. 

Please consult your doctor as well because back pain might be a sign of another health condition. And if you have any more mattress firmness questions, try our extensive knowledge base! 

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