When suffering from back pain, most people will try anything to fix it. Many are desperate for a good night’s sleep, which they haven’t been able to enjoy since the pain started.
Although many will try different supports or positions, simply sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress can either worsen pre-existing back pain or even be the cause of it. The proper mattress, which will vary depending on the individual, will help muscles to relax, encourage proper posture during sleep, and help provide a better night of sleep overall.
Contrary to previous thoughts that an extra firm mattress was the answer for those suffering from back pain, research has found that a medium-firm mattress can help alleviate pain. A too firm mattress can provide too much resistance to the spine.
There are three slight curves to the spine: a c-shaped curve in the lower back forms the foundation of the back, a reverse c shape that supports the upper body, and the third c shape that supports the head. What is needed is a mattress that is firm enough to offer support, but has a soft enough layer to cushion and allow for natural sleeping posture.
Often, those with back pain will switch into numerous positions in an attempt to relieve the pain. Side sleepers, stomach sleepers, and back sleepers all require enough support to keep them from sinking into the mattress and getting stuck while having enough given to cradle the body in whatever position it falls asleep in. And, as any couple with one or both fidgety sleepers knows, motion isolation is incredibly important.
The answer to this is a higher quality memory foam or memory foam hybrid mattress. Although they can come with a higher price tag, the quality materials used to construct these mattresses have proven to be the best when trying to relieve back pain.
The varied densities that memory foam comes in have been utilized to create a mattress from super soft to medium firmness. Also, perhaps for those with sharper curves, hybrid memory foam and coil mattress can provide the medium firmness needed. Coil springs are a tried and tested method for support and firmness, while a top layer of memory foam can provide the proper cushion.
We at smartress tested some of the leading brands of high-quality memory foam mattresses, and have found the Helix mattress, Amerisleep’s AS2, and Saatva’s hybrid mattress to be among the best for people dealing with nighttime back pain.
On the newer side, the Helix Sleep Company strives to provide a truly customizable mattress that is more affordable. Helix Sleep is a younger American company, who is working to transform the industry by providing their fully customizable, high-quality mattresses at surprisingly reasonable price.
Every Helix mattress is custom designed and built for the buyer, with just a few questions to answer on their site. They’ll ask about the overall size of the bed, how many sleepers (one or two), and then gather information about the sleepers such as age, weight, height, and sleeping preferences. If there are two sleepers, both sides of the mattress can be customized. If for whatever reason the customized mattress doesn’t meet expectation, their return policy allows for a no-cost return within the 100 night trial period.
Saatva mattresses are created with eco-friendly materials and individually wrapped coils combined with tempered steel coils with the goal to be a luxury mattress at an affordable price.
They achieve their price goal by directly selling to the public. The tempered steel ones are used to prevent sagging during the life of the bed, while the individually wrapped ones are used for contouring. This combination is topped by a Euro pillow top that has a memory foam enhancement in the lumbar area. Their mattresses are also known for their edge support, which is something that solid memory foam mattresses lack.
Saatva mattresses are highly looked to for lumbar pain that is persistent, as well as being one of the top brands recommended by medical specialists such as chiropractors and orthopedics.
Three firmness options are available to cater to individuals who sleep on their sides, backs, or stomachs. The firm is used for back and stomach sleepers, while plush soft is an ideal choice for side sleepers, and the luxury firm is a perfect middle of the road option. When dealing with back pain, the luxury firm is the most recommended.
Saatva utilizes white glove delivery service that can cost extra and a trial period of 75 nights. But be aware that if the mattress needs to be returned, the delivery service fee and any of the costs of old mattress removal are not refunded.
As one of the primary brands to supply online mattress shopping, Amerisleep also helps consumers save on a quality mattress by selling direct. Completely US manufactured, their process for creating the foam used in their mattresses is among the most eco-friendly in the world.
Memory foam overall is not known for being an environmentally friendly product, but Amerisleep’s plant-based foams are changing that. They also utilize open cell structure in the foam to help with breathability and offer a 100-night money back guarantee.
The AS2 model they’ve just released pairs a wonderfully supportive base layer and a thicker than average layer of their specialty memory foam to cushion and support. The materials they use promote circulation to keep sleepers cool and the construction of the bed nearly eliminates pressure points.
Saatva has the shortest home trial period at 75 nights and isn’t the most return friendly. Both Helix and Amerisleep rank evenly at a 100-night trial period and free, cost-effective returns.
As would be expected with a more premium mattress, all three of these companies offer lengthier warranties. Amerisleep offers the longest at 20 years and ten years of complete replacement coverage for any defects, while Saatva offers a 15-year warranty with a two-year replacement, and free repair services for the other 13 years. Helix offers the shortest at a ten year warranty. It’s important to keep in mind the kind of foundation that your mattress is kept on, as certain ones can void any of the warranties.
Choosing a queen size for the average, Amerisleep ranks most expensive at $1,299 without any applied discounts, Saatva comes in second at $999, and Helix is a very close third at $995.
Our favorite features were the customization of the Helix, Saatva’s edge and overall support, and the plant-based breathability of Amerisleep’s AS2.
Overall, any of the medium firmness options provided by these three, and their supportive memory foam designs make them the best options to shop for when looking for back pain relief, but Helix’s customization options, especially split side customization, made it our top choice.