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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
Best Overall - Editor’s Pick
Ergoflex Memory Foam Mattress
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Best Natural Mattress for Bad Backs
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Best for Bouncy Pressure Relief
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Best for Hugging Pressure Relief
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Best for Adjustable Firmness
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Our Reviews of the Best Mattresses for Bad Backs in Australia
Best Overall - Editor’s Pick — Ergoflex Memory Foam Mattress
The first model on our list of the best mattresses for bad backs in Australia is the Ergoflex memory foam mattress. And here’s what you need to know about it: this mattress has a chance of improving your sleep and alleviating your back pain thanks to its smart construction. You see, the HD comfort foam is super adaptive, which means it’s going to cradle your body and fill in the curves, providing targeted support (and thus, maintaining your back in a healthy position needed for pain reduction). The Ergoflex also does an excellent job of distributing the sleeper’s weight. As a result, there’s no pressure build-up on certain body parts. And that means less pain and, naturally, better sleep.
All things considered, the Ergoflex can be a Godsend if you are suffering from back pain. This mattress is more on the firmer side, so it can deliver reliable support and prevent painful back curvatures during sleep. Plus, the Ergoflex foam works to help your tense body parts relax, which can aid pain alleviation.
Best Natural Mattress for Bad Backs — Peacelily
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
What Makes a Good Mattress for 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.
If you choose a suitable one, that is. But what makes a good mattress for a bad back? And how can such a simple bedroom “accessory” help you alleviate the pain?
Well, there are a couple of aspects that may play a huge role when it comes to back pain:
- Support. A mattress that can properly support you will make sure that your back doesn’t curve during the night. Instead, a supportive mattress should keep your spine aligned properly and in a neutral position, reducing the stress and aiding pain alleviation.
- Conforming. Close conforming means that the mattress material can fill in the natural curves of your body. This typically leads to pinpoint support and proper weight distribution. And when the weight of your body is evenly distributed, there’s less (or even no) pressure building up in certain parts during sleep. As a result, pressure relief often allows for less strain on sore parts of one’s back and pain alleviation.
- Cradling. If your back pain is accompanied by sore pressure points or tender joints, your ideal mattress for a bad back should be cradling enough. In this case, the top comfort layer will gently hug the tender body parts and won’t be likely to cause any more pain.
- Durability. This aspect is crucial not only because a new mattress can be a rather pricey purchase. Less durable models can develop premature sagging, body indentations, and an uneven sleeping surface. As a result, you won’t be able to receive proper support anymore, which may be responsible for a few unpleasant “side effects”. They can include back curvature during sleep, strain, pressure-build-up, stiffness, and of course, increased pain levels.
On top of that, there’s a big chance of you starting to sleep better once you get a new mattress. And as your sleep quality improves, it may also positively affect your pain levels (since poor sleep is often associated with aggravated pain) (2).
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?
- 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. Spring mattresses belong to the cheapest ones, and that can be explained by their simple construction. Most innerspring mattresses have a coil core and a comfort layer (typically quite thin) on top. Innerspring mattresses can deliver bouncy, responsive support and usually work great for hot sleepers thanks to their increased breathability. However, when it comes to back pain, spring mattresses might not work for everyone. Why? Because this type doesn’t offer that much cradling or cushioning, which might cause tender pressure points (especially in side sleepers). Due to that, a spring mattress may work the best for stomach or back sleepers who prefer firmer and resilient sleeping surfaces.
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.
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.
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.
Now, allow me to explain why getting a temperature-neutral mattress is important. First of all, sleeping with pain is super uncomfortable, to say the least. But if you add night sweats to the equation, you can probably forget about normal sleep for a while. Additionally, certain health conditions (that are often accompanied by back pain) can actually worsen when the temperature is uncomfortably warm (5), which also refers to your sleeping environment.
When sleeping with back pain, it can be hard to find a comfortable position. A mattress with strong edges can give you more chances of finding a suitable position (as you get more sleeping space and extra legroom). Plus, it may come in handy if you share your bed with a partner, especially if they enjoy playing starfish in bed. 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.
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.
What is the best type of mattress for a bad back?
The best mattress for a bad back is the one that can aid proper spinal alignment and pressure relief. Memory foam and latex mattresses are the most popular options in this case, followed by hybrid models.
Is a firm mattress better for a bad back?
It would depend on your preferred sleeping position and body type. For example, side sleepers are recommended to pick softer mattresses in most cases. If you are a back sleeper, you might benefit from using a medium or a medium-firm mattress. As for the least popular position - stomach sleeping - firm mattresses are the most common choice in this case. However, if you are a bit heavier than average (above around 230 pounds), you can try going one step higher for each sleep position to get proper support. And petite individuals (less than 130 pounds) may want to give their preference to slightly softer mattresses for each of the mentioned sleep positions to avoid developing painful pressure points.
Is memory foam good for your back?
Yes, memory foam can adapt to the shape of one’s body and contour it nicely to prevent pressure accumulation and, potentially, pain.
Can a mattress cause back pain?
Yes. If your mattress cannot support your spine in a neutral position, it can cause too much stress on some of its parts, tension build-up, or strain, each of which may lead to pain. This can happen when your mattress is either overly soft or too stiff for your sleeping position and weight.
Sleeping with a bad back should not be something you just have to bear.
Instead, you can create favorable conditions for healthier sleep and pain alleviation by simply getting a proper mattress. And yes, finding the right one can seem challenging, but if you stick to certain guidelines, you’ll be fine.
Make sure you choose the suitable firmness level for your weight and favorite sleep position. Also, think about which mattress type would seem the most comfortable to you. For instance, in case you want a deeper hug, go with memory foam. For fans of resilient pressure relief, latex might be the best choice. And if you want a nice combination of bouncy support and cradling, consider a hybrid mattress. And don’t forget to check the duration of the in-home trial. After all, it’s better to have more time to test your new mattress and figure out whether it works for you or not.
And if the list of options seems too overwhelming to you, allow me to share my absolute favorite - the Ergoflex memory foam mattress. When sleeping on this mattress, I felt like every part of my body was accounted for. The support this model provides is unparalleled. Plus, it’s combined with close conforming and proper weight distribution, which can also serve as an effective tool when dealing with back pain.
So, are you ready to “pamper” your bad back and give it a new mattress to sleep on? Which one from the list is your champion? Share your thoughts in the comments!
- What Causes Back Pain? (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/what-causes-back-pain
- 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/
- 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
- 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
- Colleen Doherty (2020, July 05). How Summer Heat May Worsen Your Chronic Pain. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-summer-heat-may-worsen-chronic-pain-4140691
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