Can a mattress topper really help with back pain by alleviating it or simply making it more manageable? Short answer – yes.
A mattress topper essentially functions as an extension of your mattress and depending on your needs, it can be used to do one of two things:
Create a firmer surface on a mattress that has started to sag.
Create a softer surface on a mattress that is too firm.
So, how can you choose the best mattress topper that can help with back pain? Let’s find out!
Factors That You Need To Consider When Choosing A Mattress Topper
The Firmness And Thickness
What level of mattress firmness should you be using if you have back pain? Is it better to sleep on a mattress that is as rigid as a board or is soft and cushiony the way to go? Mattresses that are firmer provide a greater level of support, while on the other hand, softer mattresses are oftentimes better in terms of cushioning and comfort.
Generally speaking, most experts recommend that people who suffer from regular back pain use medium-firm mattresses. A notable recent study, which was published in 2021 by Italian researchers, also concluded that medium-firm mattresses were the best for individuals with lower back pain. The results of their final review were that, for an individual with lower black pain, “a medium-firm mattress promotes comfort, sleep quality and rachis alignment”.
So, your mattress topper should complement your bed in such a way that you ultimately end up sleeping on a surface that is medium-firm. However, that being said, your ideal mattress firmness may vary from the norm – it all comes down to personal preference.
Thickness is an easier factor to understand because, for the most part, thicker mattress toppers are better if you are trying to reduce back pain. If you get a mattress topper that is too thick, the only negative repercussions that you may experience are that the cushioning and softness might be too excessive.
The Type Of Material
Mattress shipping and mattress topper shopping are very similar when it comes to the number of materials that are available to choose from. That being said, if you are looking for a mattress topper that can help to alleviate your back pain, you can usually trim down the choices to two materials: latex mattress toppers and memory foam mattress toppers.
Latex Mattress Toppers
Latex mattress toppers are renowned for their firmness and they have the ability to provide a considerable amount of back support night after night. They are also considered to be “self-ventilating”, which means that they efficiently dissipate heat and stay relatively cool throughout the night. Last but not least, latex is one of the most durable materials that mattress toppers are made out of.
Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
Memory foam mattress toppers are not quite as firm as their latex counterparts; however, they do have some other benefits that make up for this. Compared to their latex analogs, memory foam mattress toppers are softer and more flexible, making them better suited for adapting to changes in body position – all of this makes them ideal for side sleepers.
One drawback of memory foam mattress toppers is that their temperature distribution isn’t as great as latex mattress toppers. Don’t worry, If you are in love with memory foam but also want a mattress topper that stays cooler throughout the night, alternatives do exist. Keep an eye out for mattress toppers that are labeled as “gel memory foam” or “gel-infused memory foam”. These mattress toppers usually provide better temperature distribution while also still delivering the same benefits of regular memory foam.
Checkout: Best Mattress Topper For Back Pain for more tips and information on which mattress topper to choose for your back issues.