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Best Mattress for Back Pain and Bad Backs 2021

Last Updated: September 27, 2021
mr david cumming spinal surgeon Expert

Finding the best mattress for back pain is something many people dream about. Back pain can have a massive impact on our daily lives but choosing the correct mattress can help reduce the pain and get you a great night's sleep.

Back pain is very common in the UK and can occur to people of all ages but typically peaks during mid-life. It is the largest single cause of disability in the UK, with lower back pain alone accounting for 11% of the total disability of the UK population. Back pain research reveals an increase in the past 5 years according to the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), showing the ever-growing importance of treating this medical issue.

There are many areas of your life that you can adjust to help with your bad back and a good mattress plays a huge role as we spend one-third of our lives on one. Here is our list of the Best Mattresses for back pain in the UK right now.

(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQ's In Conclusion)

MATTRESSTYPEFIRMNESSTRIAL & WARRANTYPRICE
REM-Fit 500 Ortho mattressHybridFirm100 Nights
15 Years
£799
Ergoflex 5G mattressMemory FoamMedium30 Nights
10 Years
£499
OTTY Hybrid mattressHybridMedium-firm100 Nights
10 Years
£499
Emma Original mattressMemory FoamMedium100 Nights
10 Years
£449
Nectar mattressMemory FoamMedium-firm365 Nights
Forever
£549
Prices are referring to the single size. Information may be subject to change, please check with the brand/manufacturer before purchasing.

1. REM-Fit 500 Ortho Mattress

Up to 50% OFF
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REM-Fit Discount Voucher Code
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remfit 500 ortho best mattress for back pain uk
(Image credit: REM-Fit)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• Open-cell memory foam comfort layer
• 15-year guarantee
• 40 stone weight limit
• Sleepers seeking a supportive mattress
• Most sleeping positions
• Heavy sleepers

REM-Fit is a sleep company aimed at creating a sleep experience targeted for recovery by using high tech technology. This mattress is their next-generation orthopaedic hybrid mattress. The REM-Fit 500 Ortho mattress is a 4 layer design, engineered for ultimate recovery and focused on back support which has helped many according to customer feedback.

By combining a sturdy foundation foam, 2000 full-sized independently moving pocket springs, edge support, along with a top cool open-cell zoned memory foam comfort layer and topped off with a Re-Ax® breathable cover, REM-Fit has equipped this mattress with all the tools to combat back pain, especially if you are needing a slightly firmer feeling mattress.

The combination of sturdy springs and memory foam upper layer provides exceptional support as well as pressure relief from the more extruding areas such as the hip and shoulder areas, ensuring a healthy spinal alignment. Furthermore, it offers a 15-year guarantee and a 100-night trial.

(Video credit: REM-Fit)

2. Ergoflex 5G Mattress

Up to 40% OFF
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Ergoflex Discount Voucher Code
Ergoflex sale 40% OFF | T&Cs apply.
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ergoflex mattress bad back pain uk
(Image credit: Ergoflex)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• Offers pressure relief
• Recommended by back expert Dr Mark Craig
• CertiPur-US® and OKEO-TEX® 100 certified
• People suffering from back pain and spine conditions
• Hot sleepers
• Asthma and allergy-prone sleepers

The Ergoflex mattress comes recommended by Dr Mark Craig, an expert in the treatment of spinal and musculoskeletal conditions. The Ergoflex 5G mattress is developed for almost all sleepers, but it’s particularly well-suited for those suffering from chronic conditions including back pain, fibromyalgia and joint stiffness.

The mattress is designed to alleviate pressure from the crucial points on your body (hips, lower back and shoulders) while cradling your body comfortably throughout the night. The CoolSleep airflow system in combination with the open cell foam can help regulate your body temperature and avoid overheating.

The Ergoflex 5G mattress is hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant, which could make it a good option for people suffering from allergies. The materials used are CertiPur-US® and OKEO-TEX® 100 certified which speaks for their quality. The mattress also comes with a 10-year guarantee, but only a 30-night trial.

(Video credit: Ergoflex)

3. OTTY Hybrid Mattress

Up to 40% OFF
otty discount code voucher uk
OTTY Discount Voucher Code
Save Up to 45% OFF | T&Cs apply.
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otty mattress back pain
(Image credit: OTTY)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• 100-night trial
• Medium-high firmness (7)
• Temperature regulating
• People with neck and back problems
• Sleepers on a budget
• Sleepers who tend to overheat

This mattress on our Best Mattress for Back Pain list includes many customer comments that have said it has helped alleviate back pain and neck pain symptoms. The OTTY Hybrid mattress is OTTY's most popular model.

The OTTY mattress includes full-sized pocket springs which give it a firm foundation. Due to its hybrid design, apart from the springs it also has high-density support foam and a temperature-regulating upper memory foam layer that is designed to help regulate your temperature while sleeping. This layer also allows for pressure relief around your back, shoulder and hip area yet still great support from the springs.

The mattress also offers side support with airflow technology that should make the mattress more breathable while allowing you to use every inch of it without having to worry about it sagging on the edges. The cover is a thick knit which makes for a comfortable surface and is also removable and machine washable at 40 degrees.

Apart from its 100-night trial and 10-year warranty, the OTTY hybrid mattress is also budget-friendly.

(Video credit: OTTY)

4. Emma Mattress

emma original mattress back ache
(Image credit: Emma)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• Zero motion transfer
• Medium-Firm firmness
• Award-winning mattress
• Most sleeping positions
• Lighter-weight sleepers
• Couples

The Emma mattress is designed to quickly mould to your body shape thanks to its three-layer memory foam combination. The HRX cold foam base adds the much-needed support for your back while the intermediary visco-elastic memory foam layer provides pressure relief as well as spinal support and finally a soft Airgocell top foam layer from extra comfort and breathability.

The Emma mattress is rated a medium-firm mattress on our virtual scale which should suit the majority of sleepers in the UK. Emma claims that the mattress has zero motion transfer which is great when sleeping next to a partner.

This UK-made mattress is very well-awarded and comes with a 200-night trial and a 10-year guarantee to cover you in the long run. Emma also offers quick delivery (dispatch in 1-3 working days) as well as old mattress removal which can be really helpful if you need to get rid of your current one.

(Video credit: Emma)

5. Nectar Mattress

Save up to £519
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nectar mattress sore back uk
(Image credit: Nectar)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• Lifetime warranty
• 7 support zones
• 365-night trial
• Most sleeping positions
• People who are looking for an all-foam mattress
• Couple-friendly

This memory foam mattress measures 25 cm deep and is rated about a 6.5/10 on the firmness scale, with 10 being very firm. This firmness level is regarded as suitable for most sleepers. Nectar offers an impressive 365-night trial and lifetime warranty which speaks for their certainty in having a great product.

The Nectar mattress has 2 of the 3 layers made from memory foam to create a deep slow cushioning feeling and just as important is its castellated base foundation foam. The supportive base has 7 zones of support, what this means is that there are channels cut out to provide more give to the extruding areas of the body. This is especially useful for side sleepers.

The top layer is a quilted cover that is designed to dissipate heat and keep you cool. All in all the Nectar mattress has good qualities which could help to reduced back pain, especially if you are looking for a foam-only mattress. This is also backed by customers reviews.

(Video credit: Nectar)

Experts Advice

As a spinal surgeon who assesses and advises patient on back pain, it is essential we cover all aspects
of the patients daily life. This includes their general health, work, leisure activities, diet, exercise and
sleep. Most patients can make modifications in their life to improve their back pain without any
surgical therapy.

The mattress guide provides an excellent overview for any person who struggles
with back pain and is an invaluable resource to look at long term solutions to improving their back
pain. I would highly recommend this website for anyone looking for a solution to improve sleep and
reduce their back pain.

Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon Mr David Cumming

5 Steps To A Better Nights Sleep:

  1. Recognise warning signs from the mattress you are sleeping on. Do you feel like you are sagging into the mattress or are you feeling the individuals springs? It is time for a change.
  2. Wake up slowly and gently without jumping out of bed which could damage your back.
  3. Select a good sleeping position: generally sleeping on your side or back with a straight neck is better than on your stomach with your head twisted.
  4. Try a mattress before you purchase it. Luckily, on this Best Mattress for Back Pain UK list, we have included mattresses with trials.
  5. Use less technology in the bed. We have all laid in bed tilting our neck while watching the latest episode on Netflix. Finding a comfortable pillow to support your neck will be beneficial.

Choosing The Best Mattress For Back Pain

The wrong mattress could cause discomfort, body ache as well as bad sleep quality. Finding a mattress that respects your spine movements is essential to avoid developing potential back pain. A great mattress should gently support your body pressure with a firmness scale of around 6-7/10. 

The truth is that there is no best mattress for back pain, but rather the ideal one for each person. One that suits the person's body type by providing the support that the body needs during sleep. People with bad backs should consider smart mattresses above other alternatives on the market.

Here is what you should take into account when looking for the best mattress for back pain:

  • Quality assurance certifications
  • The firmness rate of the mattress
  • That it is scientifically developed for orthopaedic purposes

Identifying When Your Mattress Is Affecting Your Sleep

According to clinical research✓ conducted by the Allied Health Research Unit of the University of Central Lancashire, low back pain is an issue experienced by most people at some point in their life on a global level. Low back pain is commonly related to poor postural control, which leads to a variation in the spine’s supporting structure of the human's body.

If you have been suffering from an injury that affects your daily life, the best mattress for your back will depend exclusively on the main complaints regarding the quality of your sleep. In order for you to find the best option to improve your sleep quality, it is essential to evaluate your medical history and, especially, how you feel when sleeping and getting up.

Feeling tired early in the morning could indicate that your sleeping sessions have not been as effective as they should be. That simply means that resting on a bad mattress could affect your physical health.

The British Chiropractic Association advises that you should evaluate:

  1. The age of your mattress. 
  2. Whether you get good quality sleep.
  3. Whether the springs squeak through the mattress.

Most Common Types Of Back Pain

  • Axial back pain: also known as mechanical pain, is a spine-spotted pain commonly caused by a muscle strain.
  • Referred pain: pain in an area located at some distance from where the actual problem lies.
  • Radicular pain/sciatica: widespread pain from an inflamed or compressed spinal nerve root.

If you have been struggling with any sort of back pain, we recommend you find a specialist to obtain a clinical diagnosis in order to carry on with a specific treatment accordingly.

We have listed some platforms that feature some of the most qualified U.K based doctors specialised in Orthopaedic and Spine treatments as well as clinical consultations.

  1. Schoen Clinic Orthopaedic & Spinal Hospital London - A double award-winning leading private hospital delivering world-class treatments for any orthopaedic or spinal condition. With a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) of Specialists including Consultant Spinal Surgeons, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons, Consultant Radiologists, Sports Physicians, Physiotherapists, Musculoskeletal (MSK) Physicians and specialist nurses working together, patients are offered the very latest treatments based on medical research and monitored clinical outcomes.
  2. Top Doctors
  3. Spine Universe

To get immediate medical advice for your back pain contact your local GP or NHS 111.

back pain mattress doctors

Hybrid Vs Foam Vs Latex Vs Sprung Mattresses for Back Pain

The best mattress for back pain should be the one you feel best when lying down and trying out. However, it is always important to remember that both spring mattresses and memory foam mattresses have different features that could make one more suitable than the other.

Hybrid mattresses incorporate a combination of different features designed to promote moderately high contouring and pressure point relief. The coil springs add thermoregulation properties which grant fair ventilation.

On the other hand, if you end up opting for a foam mattress you may find it offers the most amount of hug. They can tend to overheat but are a great option, especially for side sleepers.

Alternatively, latex mattresses offer a moderate contouring effect. Meaning that the "embracing" response feels more supportive. One of the cheapest mattress options is the innerspring mattresses, with coils such as Bonnell springs. This type of mattress can be customized according to the features that suit you best. If you choose a spring mattress remember to check the density of the foam/ materials integrated into the pillow-top mattress - if any.

The best recommendation is always to go to a mattress store and try several models. You should always take into account that a good set of pillows for neck pain could offer the ideal support for the cervical spine in addition to the mattress of your choice.

Orthopaedic Mattresses For Back Pain Relief

When it comes to back pain and lower back pain, orthopaedic mattresses are possibly the most popular choice. These mattresses generally are firmer and are designed to relieve pressure yet also provide support for the body.

Important advice!
Keep in mind that mattress manufacturers often throw on the label 'orthopaedic' but this does not guarantee that it has been clinically assessed or certified.

Orthopaedic mattresses come with a firm surface covered with a foam layer designed to improve comfort. This type of mattress is often recommended for people with physical problems, such as a herniated disc. Those who do not have injuries can equally opt for orthopaedic mattresses. 

orthopedics for mattresses

Many people find back sleep is helpful for alleviating low-back pain.

Rachel Salas, Professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Moreover, Professor Salas discourages the use of old pillows and mattresses as they will lack decent support for your lower back or any sleeping position.

Density matters

A study✓ concluded that the combination of certain surfaces and density of a mattress can provoke discomfort and pain among patients diagnosed with chronic non-specific back and lower-back pain. Those who initially experienced poor sleep quality, as well as physical discomfort, had used medium-firm mattresses layered with foam and latex led to significant improvement in both back pain and stiffness of the subjects of the study.

Density is one of the most important factors that will determine the quality and durability of the best mattress for bad backs. It is directly related to the user's weight and height. Generally, the higher the density, the stronger the support of the mattress. 

Research conducted by the British Chiropractic Association, suggests that of the people suffering from back pain, 41% of the women and 36% of the men claim that their pain could derive from bad rest at night.

Durability

Another factor to take into account is the mattress's durability. The mattresses also have a so-called expiration date which should be taken seriously and your old mattress should be disposed of.

old mattress affects back pain

According to Thrive Chiropractic Center, once the mattress lifespan has reached its end, it will no longer provide the essential comfort and support your body needs. Over time, a decent mattress can gather holes and unevenness that could be harmful to one's spine.

Mattress Firmness For Back Pain

The mattress firmness is an intuitive rather than a standardised factor, which is often correlated with your personal preference. We advise you to choose a firmness level that suits your personal preference and sleeping style, otherwise, you could be prone to develop back injury.

  • Scale 3-4: Soft firmness - Is likely to be suitable for lighter-weight sleepers and side sleepers.
  • Scale 5-6: Medium firmness - Is likely to be ideal for side sleepers, back sleepers, stomach sleepers, normal-weight sleepers as well as lighter-weight sleepers.
  • Scale 7-8: Firm firmness - Is suitable for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, heavyweight sleepers.

A firm mattress has always been considered best for bad backs. However, some research✓ on the effects of mattress firmness found that from 313 adults with chronic back pain those who had used a medium-firm mattress for 90 days had better outcomes for pain in bed.

Mattress Topper For Extra Support 

Mattress toppers can serve as complementary support in combination with your mattress set. One of the perks of getting a topper is that it is suitable for any type of mattress, not to mention that it could improve your sleep quality. You should contrast the properties of toppers with the mattress itself. Specifically, if your mattress is too firm, you'll have to look for a softer topper and vice-versa.

A research paper from Science Direct✓ on the combination of thickness and hardness of mattress topper for supine sleeping posture found that a soft topper with 30 mm thickness was suggested as the best combination.

Quality

We advise you to always keep in mind the quality of the mattress by choosing a certified product. You should look for brands that follow the National Bed Foundation's Code of Practice, by doing so, you are likely to invest in the best mattress for your back from trustworthy retailers.

quality certifications

Average Cost Of A Mattress For Bad Backs

The average cost could range anywhere from £299 to £1000. The average cost can be quite ambiguous as the final value of a mattress may vary according to the different features that make up its design, in addition to the retail price and, of course, your choice of size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which mattress is best for back pain?

A mattress with zoned layers can be very helpful for those with back pain as it can help align your spine while you rest.

There are a few types out there but make sure it is supportive yet also comfortable and includes pressure relieving materials such as memory foam or latex.

What is the best brand of mattress for bad backs?

They may not be a specific brand that is best. However make sure to do your research on the brand to find out if it has any certifications, awards and also ambassadors that approve it.

It will be more important to look at specific products. Make sure the mattresses are designed for back care and include a trial period that way you can be certain it is the right mattress for you.

Who makes the best topper for back pain?

Dormeo, Simba and Una are some of the most popular brands in the UK with an affordable range of good quality toppers for back pain.

For more ideas see our best mattress topper for back pain article.

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