Tips for Choosing a Mattress for Back Pain

So is your old mattress on it’s last leg, or are you needing a new mattress since it’s not helping, or maybe even causing your back pain or sciatica? In this video, Dr. Rowe (St. Joseph, MI Chiropractor) gives you some helpful tips for choosing a mattress for back pain.


Hi everyone, Dr. Rowe here at SpineCare Decompression and Chiropractic Center in St. Joseph, MI. I don’t think there’s a day that doesn’t go by where someone is asking me on how to choose the right mattress for their back. So I’m going to give you my personal tips that have worked.

The two biggest factors that I look for in a mattress are comfort and support. Support is the most important factor in choosing a bed for back pain, so I want to go over that first.

When sleeping, the position and support of your spine is important for avoiding neck, back, or sciatica pain. When choosing a mattress for back pain, the area you’re going to want to focus on is where your hips lay on the bed. The hips are going to be the heaviest part of the body, and it’s the spot that you’re going to get the most amount of sag in the mattress. So it’s a spot where support is crucial to keep alignment in your back while you sleep. Doesn’t matter if you’re a back, stomach, or side sleeper. Minimizing the sag at this area should help keep irritation off the back while you sleep, and make it where you’re not noticing as much pain.

So when choosing a mattress for back pain, pay attention to this. Make sure while you lay on the bed that it’s fully supporting your hips and your back looks straight. If it’s sagging, the odds are it won’t offer you the support you need over time and may lead to future back issues.  

Comfort comes pretty easy, you need to find a mattress that you’re going to be comfortable spending one-third of your day on. There’s many variations of beds that offer different comfort levels, from a standard firm mattress to ones that have toppers like memory foam, plush, or pillow top.

What I have found that works best for me is to find a firm mattress with no topper that offers the support you need, and then add a seperate topper to reach your desired comfort level. Over the years, I’ve noticed that the topper is usually the first thing to get worn out, losing support for my back and neck. So by being able to replace just the topper (instead buying a whole bed), I can regain that lost back support and save some serious money. That’s a win win in my book.

So those are some tips for choosing a mattress for back pain that I like to share with my patients. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Also, I’d really like to hear your tips on choosing a bed, so please share them!

Thanks for watching!

Chiropractor in St. Joseph MI — Dr. Michael Rowe

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