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(Top 6):
Best Mattress Topper For Back Pain

Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain.

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Important: While adding a mattress topper can have a near-immediate impact on daily back pain, it’s not the end of the story. A mattress topper needs the support of a good mattress and bed frame to be effective. Make sure that the slats, support wires, or springs underneath are firm and strong enough to hold the mattress in place without sagging. If your bed is particularly old and creaky, it usually makes financial sense to upgrade both the frame and the mattress at the same time to ensure a good match and sufficient support for your back.

Back problems can be a serious drain on your quality of life. Apart from the constant discomfort and reduction in mobility, backache can also disrupt sleep, leaving you fatigued and below your best both personally and professionally.

But the tiredness associated with backache could also be a clue about the source of the problem. A lack of support during your sleeping hours could be reducing the quality of your sleep while at the same time making your back problems worse. If you think this might be the case, then taking a close look at your bed could be the first step on the road toward getting your back pain back under control.

In this post we will take a look at why your back may be hurting from an improper sleeping position and which mattress toppers are best for assisting with your back pain. 

Quick Picks - Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain

Is your mattress causing your back pain? Then a topper could be your solution.

A soft and spongy mattress is one of the leading causes of sleep-related back issues. If there’s so much give in the mattress that your body naturally falls into a gentle v-shape, especially when you lie on your side, then your lower back is constantly under strain through the night rather than recovering from the exertions of the day. However, this doesn’t mean you should follow the old advice of sleeping on a board or another overly hard surface. Your back needs a surface that molds around it a little, just as much as it needs solidity for support.

Although some cases of backache are caused by an underlying medical condition or some form of physical damage, for most sufferers the reasons are a little harder to pin down. In these non-specific cases, back pain is usually a sign that the muscles around your spine are having to work too hard, and so aren’t giving your back the full support it needs. Poor posture is one of the most common reasons for this kind of back strain, but this doesn’t necessarily mean slouching when walking or sitting. You also have a posture while sleeping, and the quality of this is directly related to the quality of your bed.

A poor bed that doesn’t offer enough spinal support can leave you aching and unrefreshed in the morning, and also increases the risks of more acute pain as the day wears on. For many people, solving this problem can go a long way toward relieving back pain and lessening its impacts on daily life. 

If your back problems are chronic, then a medical examination is always advisable to rule out any specific issues. But if your pain doesn’t have any identifiable cause, then upgrading your bed could make the difference you’re looking for, helping you overcome your discomfort and live a freer everyday life.

Your spine should stay neutral while sleeping, as seen below. A soft mattress or saggy mattress can cause a crooked spine. 

neutral-spineal-alignment

Choosing the right mattress topper for back pain

The ideal mattress topper should offer a mix of supportive firmness and comforting softness, and here’s how to find it. No matter which position you sleep in, your shoulders and your hips should be at roughly the same level.

In practice, this means that both parts of your body should sink into the mattress a little so that your lower back is supported without it feeling under too much pressure. When you lie down on your side, if your lower back feels tense, the mattress is likely too hard. On the other hand, if you can really feel the mattress pushing up along your ribs, it’s likely too giving, and your hips and shoulders are sinking too deep.

Should I buy an orthopedic rated mattress topper?

If you suffer from back problems you may be tempted to spend a little extra on an orthopedic mattress or mattress topper. But while many of these products are excellent, it’s important to take a little care before parting with your money. There’s no strict legal definition of what orthopedic means, and so you should test or read for yourself the amount of support a mattress offers rather than relying on the orthopedic tag. Nonetheless, a high-quality orthopedic mattress is almost certain to be better for your back than a low-end standard product.

How thick should my mattress topper be? 

A mattress topper generally will come in any thickness from 1″-4″ thick. The thicker the topper the more expensive it will be (for the most part) and the more support and comfort it will provide. For people suffering from back pain we generally recommend a 3-4 inch mattress topper. 

How firm should my mattress topper be for back pain? 

In general a firmer sleep surface is better for back pain, as it provides more support and more alignment within the spine. The majority of toppers listed in this article will be on the firmer side. 

 

What is a mattress topper?

Unlike a mattress pad, a mattress topper is a thick addition to a bed that really makes a noticeable difference in its comfort level. They generally run from a thickness of about 1″ to 4″ and are made from quality materials such as memory foam, down and wool. Ever marveled at how comfortable a three- or four-star hotel bed felt? It was probably because of a great topper.

Toppers are a bit more of an investment than a simple mattress pad, however. A good one will run you about $100 at the lowest end to as much as over $1000 for the special kind that cools by way of a refrigerated water system. Generally speaking, a good king-sized mattress topper is going to be in the neighborhood of $300. If you are looking for a topper specifically for back pain then you will want to choose one at the higher end, a low quality, low density mattress topper could do more harm than good. 

Not all mattress toppers are made equal, however, and the type you buy will be determined by a number of personal factors including your normal sleeping position and the climate where you live. This guide will help you to determine which style and material are right for you.

How much does a mattress topper cost?

Toppers are a bit more of an investment than a simple mattress pad, however. A good one will run you about $100 at the lowest end to as much as over $1000 for the special kind that cools by way of a refrigerated water system. Generally speaking, a good king-sized mattress topper is going to be in the neighborhood of $300. If you are looking for a mattress topper specifically for back pain then you will want to purchase a quality higher density topper, as a low quality one could so more harm than good.

Not all mattress toppers are made equal, however, and the type you buy will be determined by a number of personal factors including your normal sleeping position and the climate where you live. This guide will help you to determine which style and material are right for you.

The different types of mattress toppers and their effectiveness at relieving back pain

Cotton / Polyester Blend – Not effective for back pain relief

Cotton alone is a very poor choice of material for a mattress topper, as it shifts under your weight and will soon sag and lose support. Combining it with polyester helps to keep everything in place, however. These are still the least supportive of the mattress pads, but they’re also the most inexpensive — a twin can be had for less than $100, while a king will generally run less than $200. We do not recommend this type of topper for back pain relief. 

Down -not effective for back pain relief

There are very few beds that are actually filled completely with down; usually a “down bed” is a standard spring mattress with a good down topper over it. The feathers come from ducks and geese, and the down industry claims that they are mostly collected from birds that were slaughtered for food. They are not overly transparent about this process and significant quantities may actually come from birds that are “live-plucked,” which is widely regarded as a cruel practice.

Setting aside ethical issues for the moment, down is comfortable, warm and provides the best support of the non-synthetic options. However, it also tends to clump and has to be periodically shaken out. Full feathers (not just actual down) also have to be included for filler to keep the pad from being too thin, and these will gradually escape by poking their way through the topper over time. And while down is not known to cause any allergies, it is unfortunately a favorite home for dust mites. 

Latex – a great natural option for back pain relief. Highly supportive.

Latex toppers are extremely supportive. They’re very easy to maintain and have a long lifespan. Latex bedding materials come naturally from the rubber tree and are free of chemical additives and are hypoallergenic. The only downside to latex products is that their price point tends to be the highest of any material and is certainly the most expensive mattress topper money can buy. 

Memory Foam – amazing pressure relief and support

Memory foam was originated by NASA and has become one of the most popular sleep materials put in mattresses due to its superior pressure relief capabilities and support. This very thick material is renowned for comfort. When it comes to memory foam it is important to purchase a quality product, as many knock off low quality versions are imported from Asia and do not provide the same lasting comfort or support. 

It is important to note that memory foam can get firmer in extremely cold weather and can become softer in warmer weather or bedrooms. 

If you sleep on your stomach, you may find yourself sinking into a memory foam topper in a way that is uncomfortable. There are thinner-than-usual memory foam toppers designed for those who like to sleep on their stomach, however. Modern memory foam toppers have what is called an “open cell” design to prevent permanent impressions from forming. 

Wool – not supportive enough for back pain relief

Though wool has a reputation for being warm and scratchy, it actually conducts heat away from the body very well and is very comfortable in a topper. As with down or cotton, they will clump over time and need to be shaken out periodically. It’s also possible to be allergic to wool, and these toppers also sometimes have a “barnyard” odor about them. If you are looking for support in order to relieve back pain then a wool topper is not the best option on the market. 

Polyurethane foam – varies in levels of quality, can be a great option for back pain relief. 

Polyurethane foam is one of the most common and longest used foams in the mattress industry. A polyurethane topper is foam made from a chemical process and can be a great option for utilizing in a topper to relieve back pain. It is important to purchase a polyurethane topper from a reputable manufacturer with a higher density in order to get the support and lifespan you need out of the product. There are many low quality polyurethane foam manufacturers offering their products for low prices that you should stay away from. 

 

7 Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain

BEST OVERALL (EDITOR'S PICK)

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hand-in-memory-foam-topper

WHAT CUSTOMERS LOVE:
High quality 4lb density memory foam. Made in the USA. Optional organic cotton or cooling cover.

PRICE: From $149

Summary:

This 4lb memory foam topper is by far our favorite mattress topper option for back pain. The 4lb density means the memory foam is high quality and is going to provide support for your body. Mattresstopper.com is also owned by Brooklyn Bedding, who is a trusted name in the online mattress industry and makes all of their sleep products themselves at their factory in Arizona. This topper is available in a 2″ or 3″ in thickness options(we recommend 3″ if you are trying to relieve back pain). It also gives you the option to choose an organic cotton cover or a cooling cover depending on your preference and specific needs. 

WHAT CUSTOMERS LOVE:
High quality natural latex with optional organic cotton cover. Greenguard gold certified.

PRICE: From $269

Summary:

The latex mattress topper by Plushbeds is a great for anyone looking for a natural sl;eep surface or who prefers the feel of latex over memory foam. This topper comes with a variety of options. We recommend choosing 3″ thickness and either a medium-firm or extra-firm firmness option if you are looking to combat back pain issues. The more support the topper can provide the better it is for back pain ad spinal alignment. Plushbeds is known throughout the industry for their quality natural sleep products and is a trusted source. 

BEST MEMORY FOAM OPTION

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WHAT CUSTOMERS LOVE:
5 zones of support. Includes cover to hold in place. Waterproof. Sleeps cool.

PRICE: From $229

Summary:

The Ghostbed memory foam mattress topper takes the memory foam mattress topper to the next level. Not only is it 3″ thick but it also comes with built in zones to naturally conform and support the curves of the body. This topper also comes with a washable cover that holds the topper in place and keeps it from shifting throughout the night. At a price point starting at $229 for a twin, this is a great mattress topper option at a great value. Ghostbed is also one of the earliest manufacturers in the online mattress industry and makes a quality product that you can trust. 

pull-over-mattress-cover-topper

WHAT CUSTOMERS LOVE:
Made to firm up a softer mattress. Pressure relieving memory foam. Built in cover to hold in place.

PRICE:
From $179

Summary:

The Puffy mattress topper comes in 2 different options (firm or soft). The firm option is made specifically for firming up a soft mattress and is great for customers looking to get a little more support out of a mattress that may be too soft for their back. When it comes to back pain it is generally most effective to sleep on a firmer mattress rather than a softer one. This topper also comes standard with a built in elastic cover to help hold it in place on your mattress. 

EASIEST TO KEEP CLEAN

sleepyhead-mattress-topper-features
unroll-topper

WHAT CUSTOMERS LOVE:
Copper infused for antimicrobial properties. Washable cover. Bed Bug Resistant.

From: $269

Sleepyhead is a newer brand when it comes to the mattress industry. They are focused at providing a quality mattress topper to college students that naturally stays clean through use of copper infused foam and that is easy to wash if needed. The cover zips off and is machine washable. This topper is made with quality foam and is a great option for anyone who may have incontinence or a need to purchase a topper that will likely get dirty. 

BEST CERTIFIED ORGANIC OPTION

avocado-mattress-topper-organic

WHAT CUSTOMERS LOVE:
. Pressure relieving latex. Certified 100% organic materials.

PRICE: From $349

Summary:

Avocado is well-known for their quality organic and latex sleep products. Their mattress topper is a great option for anyone with allergies or who is looking for a chemical free sleep surface. Their latex topper is available in a firm or soft option. For back pain we recommend the firm option as it provides more support and alignment for your back and spine. 

WHAT CUSTOMERS LOVE:
More responsive than memory foam. Perfect mix of latex and memory foam features.

PRICE: From $149

Summary:

This topper aims to combine the best features of latex and memory foam and combine them. It is responsive like latex but pressure relieving like memory foam. It also has great cooling and moisture wicking properties due to its open cell structure. If you don’t like the feel of memory foam and don’t want to spend a fortune on latex then this is a great happy medium option. 

Mattress topper sizes

All of these mattress topper types are available in a thickness of about 1″ to 4″, but with most, you’ll start to really notice them at 2″. Thicker than that isn’t necessarily better when it comes to toppers, depending on your circumstances. As mentioned, someone sleeping on their stomach on a 4″ topper is going to find themselves sinking into it like quicksand, whereas someone sleeping on their side or back, especially who has back pain or chronic pain, will want a thicker option. 

Other things to consider when purchasing a mattress topper

Be sure to look at the terms of the warranty, as they vary greatly between different mattress toppers. As is usually true with any product, the more you pay the better the warranty coverage will be. In general, the cotton/polyester toppers and the ones with natural material (down and wool) will have a warranty ranging from one to five years. Synthetics are almost always warrantied for at least 10 years.

As far as foams go, the CertiPUR-US certification is the current industry standard for ensuring that production is free of toxic contaminants and is reasonably easy on the environment. A CertiPUR-US certified topper or mattress was made without heavy metals, formaldehyde, dangerous flame retardants, and that it meets acceptable standards for indoor air quality emissions.

Finding the right mattress topper for you is a matter of striking the perfect individual balance between allergens, desired firmness and thickness, and material best suited to both your sleeping position and climate. It will take some individual research, but as far as topper thickness goes, generally the farther you get from sleeping on your back the thinner you want to go.

What to do with your old mattress topper?

When you purchase a mattress online you are left to find a way to get rid of your old one. Luckily “A Bedder World” has mattress disposal services throughout the country. We work with mattress recycling centers to make sure your old mattress gets disposed of in the most eco-friendly manner possible. To date we have recycled over 500K mattresses. Book a pick up here. Or try recycling it yourself!

Conclusion

Mattress toppers are very common in the market place and there are quite a few high quality companies providing options consisting of varying qualities and materials. All of the companies listed in this post are companies that we trust and that have great reputations within the sleep community. You can feel confident placing an order with an of them.