Best Mattresses for Bad Backs in Australia

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Written by: Laura Bates
Read 22 minLast updated February 15, 2021

Sleep helps your body heal and repair itself. However, you may doubt that if you’re constantly waking up with a strained back. But guess what? Maybe you just sleep on a wrong mattress! Check this article, and you’ll find four best mattresses for bad backs in Australia suited for different occasions! Making a choice has never been easier!

A Quick Preview

Emma Original
Best Overall - Editor’s Choice

Emma Original
Type: foam
Thickness: 25 cm
Firmness: medium-firm
Warranty: 10 years
Sleep trial: 100 nights
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Peacelily
Best Natural Mattress for Bad Backs

Peacelily
Type: latex
Thickness: 22 cm
Firmness: flippable (medium or firm) + optional plush topper
Warranty: 25 years
Sleep trial: 100 nights
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Noa
Best for Bouncy Pressure Relief

Noa
Type: hybrid
Thickness: 28 cm
Firmness: medium-firm
Warranty: 15 years
Sleep trial: 100 nights
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Hugo
Best for Hugging Pressure Relief

Hugo
Type: latex + foam
Thickness: 24.5 cm
Firmness: medium
Warranty: 10 years
Sleep trial: 3 months
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Macoda
Best for Adjustable Firmness

Macoda
Type: hybrid
Thickness: 29 cm
Firmness: adjustable (soft, medium, firm)
Warranty: 10 years
Sleep trial: 100 nights
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Read more about this mattress

Our Reviews of the Best Mattresses for Bad Backs in Australia

Best Overall - Editor’s Choice — Emma Original

Emma Original

Click the button below to check price Check current price Read our detailed review Shop Now on Emma-sleep.com.au

Highlights

  • removable cover for effortless maintenance;
  • zoned support core to ensure proper spinal alignment and to offer targeted support;
  • proprietary breathable hyperfoam for cooler sleep;
  • resilient foam for effective pressure relief;
  • polyether foam base layer to guarantee decent motion absorption.

I have to say, there are many reasons why the Emma deserves to be among the best mattresses for bad backs in Australia. This model offers a balanced combination of reliable support and gentle pressure relief, which will likely help your back remain pain-free during the night.

It gets even better:

The Emma’s core layer features a zoned design. It uses different foam densities to deliver variable levels of support to all your body parts. Such a smart construction will help your spine remain in a healthy neutral position. Consequently, this may reduce pressure and even aid pain alleviation. 

Another cool thing about the Emma is the top layer. Made of eco-friendly hyperfoam, it is breathable and creates a neutral sleeping environment. And we all know how important that is (as sleeping with pain is super uncomfortable, but if you start sweating on top of that, it’s almost unbearable). Additionally, the top layer offers close conforming without that quicksand feeling. It makes the Emma feel very balanced and incredibly comfortable.

All things considered, the Emma is a worthy find. This mattress has a smart construction that can help you deal with your back pain, keep your spine neutral and tension-free during the night, and sleep more soundly.

Best Natural Mattress for Bad Backs — Peacelily

Peacelily

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Check current price Read our detailed review Shop Now on Peacelily.com.au

Highlights

  • natural latex model, non-toxic and safe;
  • two firmness levels in one mattress, great for uncertain shoppers or someone looking for a versatile mattress;
  • sleeps cool naturally, can help you deal with night sweats;
  • organic cotton cover for extra breathability and moisture wicking;
  • hand-sewn upholstered handles for easier flipping.

Another item I would like to share in my review of the best mattresses for bad backs in Australia is a 100% safe, natural option. The Peacelily is an excellent solution for those shoppers who want unparallel pressure relief and support but wish to feel completely safe using their mattress. And because the Peacelily is made of natural latex, it can guarantee that.

This mattress has a rather interesting feel, to tell the truth. It is conforming and helps with tension release but responds fast to applied pressure. With the Peacelily, you will feel like lying on top of your mattress rather than in it. With that being said, you will still enjoy proper weight distribution and pressure relief, which are so needed for painful backs.

Here’s the kicker though:

The Peacelily offers a bit more than comfort and support. This mattress is flippable, which means you get to test two firmness levels (medium and firm). It’s an awesome solution for those users who don’t exactly know what they need. Plus, if you want a plush feel, you can get an extra topper to go with your latex mattress.

Needless to say, the Peacelily is an impressive mattress that can satisfy a wide variety of sleepers. It’s safe, versatile, and reasonably priced. To me, that’s a winning combo of features.

Best for Bouncy Pressure Relief — Noa

noa mattress

 

Click the button below to check price Check current price Read our detailed review Shop Now on Noahome.com

Highlights

  • gel memory foam for cooler sleep;
  • wrapped coils for targeted support and minimized motion transfer;
  • perimeter enhancement for sturdy edge support;
  • extra layer of latex to provide a cooling effect;
  • breathable Tencel cover, soft and gentle (even for sensitive skin).

If you don’t like the feeling of being hugged by your mattress, there’s a great option you might want to consider. Meet the Noa, a hybrid mattress that delivers resilient support and bouncy pressure relief. It will take care of your back by keeping it in proper alignment and reducing tension without making you feel stuck.

Now, this is a medium-firm mattress, so it might not work for all side sleepers (especially petite individuals), but it’s a great option for back and even stomach sleepers. The Noa is sturdy and can guarantee proper support for your spine. There are multiple comfort layers that combine foam and latex. They give this mattress some extra padding that can help with pressure reduction. Additionally, the Noa uses gel-infused foam and latex to make sure you don’t have to deal with night sweats.

Another cool thing about this mattress is the extra-sturdy edges. Such a perimeter reinforcement can give you more sleeping space. Additionally, it creates uniform support all across the mattress surface, so you won't be likely to roll off your bed no matter how much you toss and turn.

All in all, the Noa hybrid is a worthy contestant for the right to be called one of the best mattresses for bad backs in Australia. It delivers unparalleled support and gentle pressure relief. Plus, it’s quite sturdy and likely to serve you loyally for a long time.

Best for Hugging Pressure Relief — Hugo

Hugo Sleep

 

Click the button below to check price Check current price Read our detailed review Shop Now on Hugosleep.com.au

Highlights

  • combines foam and latex to deliver unmatched pressure relief;
  • sleeps neutral thanks to the top latex layer;
  • high-density support foam to minimize motion transfer;
  • medium feel, could satisfy a wide range of users;
  • elastic cover to prevent premature fabric stretching.

The next item on my list of the best mattresses for bad backs in Australia is the Hugo mattress. This guy will give you a generous hug that is so needed for effective pressure and pain relief. However, the Hugo does not have that notorious quicksand feel thanks to the resilient latex layer on top. Therefore, this mattress is ideal for those who want tension relief for their aching back but don’t wish to feel restricted in bed.

What you might also appreciate is that the Hugo has a medium feel, which is often considered universally comfortable. The mattress would work for side or back sleepers, delivering the right balance between cradling and support.

Another cool thing is that the Hugo absorbs shock from motion quite well. This mattress would do wonders if your partner tends to toss and turn during the night, waking you up. Chances are, you won’t feel a thing, even though this model is a bit bouncier than regular memory foam beds.

Overall, the Hugo has a lot to offer. It’s a good mattress for those who want a gentle hug without feeling like they are completely enveloped by their mattress (and therefore, restricted).

Best for Adjustable Firmness — Macoda

Macoda

 

Click the button below to check price Check current price Read our detailed review Shop Now on Macoda.com.au

Highlights

  • breathable bamboo cover for cooler sleep;
  • zoned support system to aid neutral spinal alignment;
  • multiple comfort layers for targeted pressure relief;
  • resilient latex to combat the quicksand feeling;
  • gel-infused foam to create a sweat-free sleeping environment.

Last but not least, allow me to share this awesome hybrid that certainly deserves to be among Australia's best mattresses for bad backs. The Macoda offers everything you might need to start waking up without pain: reliable support, fast pressure relief, and targeted response to different body parts. And if that’s not enough for you, check this out: the Macoda hybrid allows users to change the feel of this mattress.

Let me explain. If, for whatever reason, it doesn’t feel perfectly comfortable to you, you can simply unzip the cover and swap or flip the comfort layers. Easy, right? Thanks to this smart design, you can adjust your mattress firmness to soft, medium, or firm. So, if you aren’t sure what you are looking for (or worry that the Macoda isn’t the right choice), you don’t actually have to stress about it. Simply adjust the mattress to your liking and enjoy a perfectly comfortable sleep.

Another impressive characteristic of this mattress is its motion-isolating properties. Even though the Macoda is a hybrid that feels quite resilient and doesn’t restrict movement, it does not transfer much motion either (courtesy of independent coils and thick comfort layers). Therefore, it’s a great option for partnered sleep, even if one of you can be restless sometimes.

At the end of the day, the Macoda is an extremely interesting find for the money, to say the least. It can keep your back comfortable and you happy with the choice you've made.

How Can Mattress Help You Relieve Back Pain?

Back pain can be triggered by literally everything.

Everyday slouching at the office desk, having excess weight, being exposed to vibration, or simply training too actively at the gym can lead to sore back (1).

In fact, even your mattress might be the culprit of the bad back. Old beds (7 years and up) often have indentations and uneven surface that fails to properly support your spine and can lead to strains in deep muscles.

However, the mattress can also be the cure for your pain. Let’s see how choosing the best mattress for bad backs in Australia can help you:

  • Proper support. The new mattress adapts to your body curves more precisely and helps maintain neutral spine alignment without overstretching the spinal muscles.
  • More cushioning. When you sleep on an unsupportive mattress, you spend more time to find a comfortable position and may fall asleep with an awkwardly bent spine. Mattresses with thick comfort layers decrease the time spent tossing and turning and make you fall asleep more easily.
  • Cool sleep. Body heat loss during sleep is important, as it helps your body maintain deeper sleep with fewer awakenings. And if your mattress sleeps hot, your shut-eye overall gets less restorative, which, surprisingly, makes you more susceptible to pain (2). Simply speaking, a breathable mattress can help you sleep — and heal — way better than a bed that sleeps hot.

Best and Worst Mattress Types for Bad Backs

A mattress type is the first factor people pay attention to, and there’s a reason for that:

The materials used for making the mattress will directly influence its qualities and durability.

So, how do the most common mattresses for bad backs in Australia work for pain relief?

Let’s see!

  • Memory foam. Traditional viscoelastic foam invented by NASA is well-known for top-notch pressure relief. Memory foam mattresses are a great pick for a variety of back issues, as they can adapt to your body curves in any sleeping position. However, traditional memory foam is temperature-sensitive, which means it uses your body heat to soften, thus becoming prone to hot sleeping.
  • Foam. Polyfoam is a more modern alternative to viscoelastic foams. It has an open-cell structure and feels more like a sponge. You can meet polyfoam padding in the sofas or medical chairs, and its use in the mattresses has become pretty common in recent years. Polyfoam traps less heat than memory foam and offers roughly the same amount of cradling, so it can work for bad backs as well.
  • Latex. Latex is basically a vulcanized rubber tree sap. It also has a foamy structure but the feel is very different from synthetic foams. Latex is denser and more springy, however, it can instantly adapt to your body shape and support the spine. Also, latex has an open-cell structure, so you can expect refreshing sleep.
  • Hybrids. Hybrids are the mattresses that combine coils and foams in different variations. Typically, hybrids have at least 2 comfort layers above the coil core, which contributes to good cradling and pressure relief. The core layer also perfectly distributes weight across the mattress surface, thus eliminating pressure points.
  • Innerspring. Innerspring mattresses have a simple structure with a coil base, a comfort layer, and/or pillowtop. Because of this, they may feel a bit firmer than other types of mattresses, which may not be the best choice for certain users with bad backs. However, overweight sleepers may surely feel good on an innerspring bed as it won’t sink too much under their body mass.

Bottom line:

Any mattress type can become your ally in relieving back pain, as long as you learn about its weak and strong points and know what to expect.

How to Choose a Mattress for Bad Backs?

We all have different sleeping preferences and the meaning of a perfect bed. Especially when the back pain messes with our slumber.

That’s why choosing a top-rated mattress for a bad back in Australia only by its type might work for some but others may need a more detailed approach.

So, here’s the list of important considerations that will ease your shopping.

Firmness

It’s no surprise that different back issues may require different mattress firmness. For example:

  • People with degenerative disc disease are advised to sleep on their stomach and choose a firmer mattress.
  • Those with osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis feel most comfortable on their side, so the mattress should have enough cushioning to cradle their hips and shoulders.
  • People with herniated discs may choose between different sleeping positions, depending on which part of the disc is affected, so they may choose a mattress that feels good for mixed sleepers (3).

However, choosing the right model depends not only on your health problems — although it’s surely a priority — but also on your weight and preferred sleeping position.

Here are the general recommendations:

  • Soft. These are models with the most cradling and moldability. Soft mattresses are perfect for lightweight sleepers, as they don’t create sore points. Side sleepers and small back sleepers with back pain may also benefit from a soft bed.
  • Medium/medium-firm. These mattresses are the best pick for most users regardless of their weight and sleeping position (4). They’re firm enough to support your spine without making awkward curves and ensure a good hug and pressure relief for protruding parts of your body.
  • Firm. Firm mattresses have a rather floating feel with little to no cradling. These mattresses are typically made of denser foams or thicker coil layers, which means that they can withstand the larger weight and make a great pick for heavy users. Also, a firmer mattress can support the natural curve in your lumbar area if you sleep on your stomach.

Thermoregulation

You already know that heat removal during sleep is the guarantee of restorative sleep. So, if you need a truly cooling mattress, here are the features to pay attention to:

  • Breathable core. Pocketed coils, natural latex, or open-cell polyfoam are a good choice. These materials allow some air inside the mattress and wick away body heat.
  • Infused foams. Opt for comfort layers made of the same natural latex, gel-infused foams, or memory foam with copper or graphite particles. Comfort layers with convoluted design may also work for you.
  • Natural or semi-natural fabrics. Natural cotton, Tencel lyocell made of eucalyptus leaves, or bamboo rayon are highly breathable and can absorb high amounts of moisture without feeling wet. Also, look for removable covers that make it easier to maintain a fresh look of your mattress.

Edge Support

If your partner is a fan of starfish position (or if you love snoozing closer to the edge of the bed), then a sturdy perimeter is a must. Typically, mattresses with coils have more pronounced edge support than all-foam beds but you can always find a model with a denser core or pair your chosen mattress with a sturdy bed base. Latex mattresses are also a good choice, assuming you don’t have a strict budget.

Motion Absorption

Another essential quality for couples or overly active sleepers is low motion transfer. Because you don’t want to wake up every time your bedmate decides to shift their position.

Foam mattresses, especially those made of closed-cell memory foam, block unwanted disturbances pretty successfully, so you may want to consider them an option. 

Natural latex is a bit more responsive and springy, so it can make a great pick for those who need just a bit of motion absorption. Finally, coil mattresses might be not the best pick for active sleepers, however, their bounce makes a perfect sex-friendly bed, so the final decision is up to you.

Conclusion

However, I am sure you will not be disappointed with the Emma, especially if you are a side or a back sleeper. This medium-firm mattress uses proprietary materials and has a smart construction, all meant to help you sleep better and healthier. The Emma aids proper spinal alignment and delivers targeted support to keep you back relaxed and pain-free. Combine that with effective pressure relief, and you get a mattress that was designed with your back health (and comfort) in mind. To me, that’s more than enough to love it for.

References

    1. What Causes Back Pain? (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/what-causes-back-pain
    2. Patrick H. Finan, Ph.D., Burel R. Goodin, Ph.D., and Michael T. Smith, Ph.D. (2014, December 1). The Association of Sleep and Pain: An Update and a Path Forward. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4046588/
    3. Richard Staehler, MD. (2017, October 25). Mattresses and Sleep Positions for Each Back Pain Diagnosis. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/mattresses-and-sleep-positions-each-back-pain-diagnosis
    4. Hard Mattresses Fail Test for Bad Backs. (2003, November 15). Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/national/hard-mattresses-fail-test-for-bad-backs-20031115-gdhs95.html

Our research

45

Mattresses Considered

150

Hours of Research

2

Sleep Experts Consulted

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