Can Mattress Toppers Cause Back Pain?
I’d been looking at buying a luxury mattress topper for a few weeks, but after turning to my friend for advice, I wasn’t so sure. She had just spent a couple thousand dollars on a brand new bed with a top quality mattress, and she was in pieces! She’s my age, still runs half marathons, fit and healthy, the last person you’d expect to be in pain. But now she was walking around like a woman three times her age! It got us both wondering ‘can mattress toppers cause back pain?’
Is a Firm Mattress Always Best?
When I talked to her, it turns out she’d bought the firmest mattress she could find. After all, the firmer the better, right? Apparently, as it turns out, no! Now, I’m not a complete authority on sleep and mattresses, but after our talk she was convinced enough to send it back, get a softer mattress and a good quality topper to go with it, and the problem soon cleared up.
It got me to thinking. Was she the only one? If a simple mattress can do this, can mattress toppers be the cause of back pain as well, and if so, what can you do about it?
Do Mattress Toppers Cause Back Pain?
It’s a complicated question, but the short answer is; yes and no.
Our bodies are complex. That’s why it takes so damn long to become a doctor. And our backs are incredibly fickle things. After all, our backs are the part of our bodies that’s active at all times. It’s the supporting structure that keeps us straight, whether we’re standing, sitting, or lying down. And when you think about it, it makes sense that every little change in our lives can affect our backs, no matter how insignificant we might think that change is.
So obviously, if you change the way you’re sleeping, then it’s going to affect your back. You’re going to be lying in a different position, even if just because your new mattress topper doesn’t have all of the divots and dents your old mattress had!
Readjusting Your Body Alignment
I know that when I got my new mattress topper, my back ached for a few days afterwards. But that’s completely normal. That’s generally just your body adjusting itself as your spine moves back into normal alignment.
That’s not something that can happen overnight, especially if you’ve got a particularly old mattress that desperately needs refreshing. You could have been lying in a way that puts pressure on your spine for months or years, and it takes time to undo that damage!
For me, the ache was completely gone after just a couple of weeks, and I was waking up bright eyed, fresh, and ready to conquer the world. Even my husband commented on how much happier I seemed in the mornings!
Quality is Key
See, our bodies are smart, and they’re extremely good at adjusting. As long as you buy a good quality mattress topper; one that’s suited to your height and size, you’re going to get a better night’s sleep. It’s that simple. But you’ve got to make sure that you know what you’re buying. If you don’t know what to look for, our guide on the best mattress toppers you can buy is right here.
So if you’re thinking about buying a mattress topper, or you’ve just bought a mattress topper, and you’re experiencing a little bit of pain, don’t worry. That’s probably just part of the normal adjustment period. However, if it carries on for more than a few weeks, starts to affect your quality of life, or the pain changes, it’s worth going to see your doctor.
What if I Already Have Back Pain?
We know how debilitating back pain can be, and how wary it can make you about changing anything. After all, if you spend a lot of money on a top quality mattress topper only for it to make your problem worse, then that’s just a waste of time and dollars, right?
Thankfully for you, buying a good quality mattress topper can make a huge difference when it comes to back pain. But again, you’ve got to get the right type.
Will a Mattress Topper Make it Worse?
I’m sure you’ve heard, like my friend had, that when you’ve got chronic back pain, you want as firm a mattress as possible. But studies like these show that you might actually be doing more harm than good.
What you really want is a medium-firm mattress. One that gives you enough support, whilst still letting your body lie in a way that’s completely natural and takes the pressure off of your back.
The most important thing to remember is that a good quality mattress topper will pretty much always improve your sleep quality. And when we’re getting a restful, healing night’s sleep, everything else in our lives becomes so much easier.
The Bottom Line
So if you’ve been asking yourself ‘can mattress toppers cause back pain?’, you can relax, because unless you get something really wrong, the answer is probably no. Have you had a good or bad experience with mattress toppers and back pain? Do you have any tips for a better night’s sleep, or fixing a bad back, or even any questions about what you’ve read? If so we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!