Can Memory Foam Hurt Your Back?

Updated October, 2020
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Yes, memory foam can hurt you back if you don't select the proper firmness level. However, a carefully selected memory foam mattress is one of the best ways to free yourself of back pain. Replacing your mattress when it's worn out is also as important as getting the correct mattress in the first place.

Is memory foam the best mattress for a bad back?

A memory foam mattress is typically among the best options for sleepers with back pain. If you currently own a memory foam mattress and experience back pain, it can usually be traced back to two factors.

  • Firmness - A critical way that incorrect firmness directly leads to back pain, is through poor support. A squishy, soft memory foam mattress may sound like the epitome of mattress perfection, but it destroys your back. If your bed is too soft, it won't provide the support you need to maintain proper posture.
  • Mattress age - If your current memory foam mattress is causing back pain, it may be because it's worn out. Even the most supportive mattresses break down over time. If you're fighting back pain caused by your mattress, keep an eye out for signs that it's time for a replacement.

What's the best mattress type for a hurting back?

When searching for the best type of mattress for a hurting back, there should be a few items on every checklist. These can help you select the perfect mattress for your ailing back.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Try out different options - When shopping around, don't limit yourself exclusively to memory foam. Back pain and relief are highly subjective. If you're shopping in-store, physically tryout mattresses to see what suits your needs. If shopping for a mattress online, buy from a company that provides a long in-home trial.
  • Don't sacrifice comfort - Another important point when selecting the perfect mattress for a hurting back is balance. A healthy back free from pain is useless without a great night of sleep to go along with it. When selecting your ideal mattress, you'll need the perfect balance of relief and comfort to enjoy the best of both worlds.
  • Pick a model designed for back pain - No matter what style of mattress you select, see if it was designed with back pain relief in mind. This is the best way to ensure you get a long-lasting, high-quality mattress that helps your back.

How can I find the right mattress?

For a little more guidance to find the perfect mattress, here are some excellent options for memory foam, hybrid, and innerspring styles.

Memory foam mattresses are great for back pain because of the wide range of firmness levels available. They are known for pressure relief and durability.

  • Amerisleep AS2 - This mattress was designed with back pain relief in mind. It's also rated as among the best mattresses for back pain relief.
  • Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress - The Loom & Leaf mattress by Saatva is designed with multi-layer memory foam for exceptional back support.
  • Ghostbed - The original Ghostbed is an excellent budget-friendly option for those seeking relief from back pain.

Hybrid mattresses are perfect for back pain because of their blend of rigid innerspring support and supple memory foam comfort. They're known for combining benefits of multiple mattress types and delivering long-lasting back pain relief.

  • Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid - If you want the comfort of the original AS2, but crave the rigidity of a steel spring foundation, the AS2 Hybrid is a match made in heaven.
  • Idle Hybrid - The idle hybrid leverages foam with 4 times the support of traditional foam, on a bed of 1000 smart support coils. It's perfect for stubborn lower back pain.
  • Helix Dusk Luxe - The Helix Dusk Luxe is an award-winning mattress with exceptional back and stomach support. It's perfect for couples where only one partner needs the extra back support.

Where can I find a great, affordable mattress (in 2020)?

If you're searching for an affordable mattress that offers a wide range of comfort and pressure relief, we've compiled a list of mattresses for you to consider:

  1. Saatva Mattress - fantastic for all sleep positions, and is rated our Best Mattress of 2020.
  2. Idle Sleep - great for responsive pressure relief.
  3. Puffy - feels like you're sleeping on a cool cloud (at a good price).
  4. Ghostbed - beautiful, plush cover w/ aerated latex and healthy spinal alignment.
  5. Winkbeds - 3-stage back relief with free shipping and returns.

Read our short, well-researched 10 Best Mattresses of 2020, here. Our ultimate goal is to help you pick your perfect mattress online, today!

Get $200 off, purchases over $1000!

Saatva is our top pick for the #1 mattress in 2020! They're a luxury bed shipped directly to your door (with white-glove delivery), and over 50,000 reviews.

Check Price →
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