5 Best Mattresses For Bad Backs

Lots of people only recognise that their mattress is due for renewal after the onset of chronic back ache. Often a holiday in a good hotel bed will miraculously cure a nagging back pain and the penny will drop.
Consequently many people arrive at my bed shops looking to cure their aching backs. My team’s first job is to try to dispel a couple of common misconceptions.
Firstly, many mattresses bear the label of “orthopaedic”. This word is primarily a marketing term which implies the mattress may have extra firmness (not always the case) but has no medical implication or superior standard. Simply buying an “orthopaedic” mattress will not in itself cure your bad back.
Secondly, “the firmer the better” is not always true when it comes to mattresses and bad backs. It may be true that sunk, sagging, decrepit mattresses are responsible for many bad backs but simply buying a floor hard replacement can do more harm than good.

My reading and experiences in store over the last 30 years (I’m not medically trained) suggest that much lower back pain is caused when the hips are forced out of alignment. Whether you sleep on your front, back or your side, your hips will be displaced when a mattress is too hard or too soft for your weight.

Of course finding the combination of enough firmness to support your individual weight with enough ‘give’ to allow your hips to sink in sufficiently is the trick. Especially if two people of quite different builds/body shapes intend to share the same mattress.
Fear not, mattress manufacturers recognise this conundrum and we’ve listed our choice of the five best mattresses for bad backs across a broad range of budgets below.

1. Serenity 1000 Pocket Sprung Mattress. Double From £199.95.
1000 pocket spring. 
Medium support level
Pro’s: Individual pocket springs really can reach into all of your dips and hollows. Pushing up into the curve of your lower back/waist but flexing enough to allow your hips to sink in. For a budget mattress the Serenity gives you a great chance of perfect posture support.
Con’s: It’s a good starting point but it is just a start. There are many enhancements and refinements on the performance of this concept if you can extend your budget.
More info here.


2. Topaz Ortho Mattress. Double From £239.95.
Open coil spring.
Firm/extra firm support level.
Pro’s: It’s not for everyone but if you are heavier than average and enjoy a firm feeling mattress then the Topaz Ortho has been a popular choice for many years. I like it especially because its got a deep wad of fillings which allows a little bit of give around hips and shoulders without detracting from the firmness.
Con’s:  It’s firm. It’s vital to remember that a too firm mattress for your weight will displace your hips and create potential back problems just like a too soft mattress can.
More info here.


3. Majestic Cool Gel Hybrid Mattress. Double from £349.95.
1000 pocket springs. Cool gel memory foam.
Medium/firm support level.
Pro’s: Pocket springs are able to make the larger adjustments to follow your shape whilst the gel moulds into your dips and hollows for comfortable but perfect posture support.
Con’s: Not the firmest on this list so anyone on the heavier side and hoping for a firm feeling mattress should probably avoid.
More info here.


4. Sealy Millionaire Ortho Mattress. Double from £429.95.
Posturepedic spring unit. Edge guard.
Firm support level.
Pro’s: Designed in conjunction with chiropractic professionals Sealy have led the field in back care mattresses for over 30 years. And the Millionaire is not only their flagship model but the firmest. An edge-guard inset into the wall of the mattress adds significant firmness across the whole mattress. No list of best for bad back mattresses would be complete without a nod to  this classic.
Con’s: Be warned it’s very firm and thus not right for every body shape. Posturepedic springs are also linked springs so there will be an element of partner movement passed through the mattress that you wouldn’t get in a pocket sprung model.
More info here.


5. Highgrove Mayfield Ortho 2000 Mattress. Double from £569.95.
2000 pocket sprung. Natural fillings.
Firm support level.
Pro’s: The Mayfield is the best specification ortho/backcare type model in store so had to appear on this list. With a very firm,  supportive feel but enough give in the natural fillings to allow some ‘sink in’ around the hips it’s a high class ortho mattress.
Con’s: Without wanting to sound like a broken record caution is advised with this mattress. It is extremely firm and will only be suitable if a hard feel is your objective. We have similar yet slightly more gentle models in store to this end.
More info here.


Thank you for reading our list of our favourite mattresses for bad backs. We’d love to see you in store if at all possible as trying out a number of mattresses is really the best way to find the perfect mattress for your individual preferences.