Can A New Mattress Cause You Back Pain? Choosing The Right Mattress

After a long stressful day at the office, most people want to get home, get a shower and go to bed. 

This might be the case for most people, but how well do you sleep? How do you feel in your joints and back after the 8 hours of sleep?

Sleeping might not always be as comfortable as we need it to be, and you could wake up with back pains. 

It’s counterintuitive, and you won’t be productive for the rest of the day; thus, it’s something we need to fix; let’s get into the details;

Can A New Mattress Cause You Back Pain? 

A new mattress could be a cause of back pains. You will switch to a new mattress after about six years, meaning your body needs time to adapt to the change, and before it adapts, you will get some back pains. After some time, your body will readjust to the new surface, and the pain will simmer down.

How To Know If Your Mattress Causes Your Back Pain

You might love your bed because of its size and other properties, but that doesn’t mean your back agrees with it. 

Research shows that several signs can prove your back pain, especially in the morning; using the wrong mattress.

Many things can cause back pain, but it can be easy to tell if your bed is responsible. To figure this out, you need to look at how you or your partner behaves throughout the night. You need to replace your mattress if you have the following signs;

  • You wake up several times in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.
  • You toss and turn more often or can’t get comfortable regardless of how you sleep.
  • You feel more pressure on parts of your body when you sleep in certain positions.
  • If you feel like your bed swallows you up when you lie in it.
  • If your mattress feels rigid and doesn’t go with your body curves.

Generally, people that sleep on medium or firm mattresses have fewer back pains in the morning than those using soft mattresses. 

You should get a new mattress in about seven years, but it might be worth it to make an immediate change if the bed affects you.

The Relation Between Your Mattress And Back Pain

Many people ask if their mattresses have something to do with back pain, so we need to look into how your mattress relates to back pain. There are many reasons that people get back pain.

Knowing where your discomfort comes from can be challenging, especially for an athlete or someone that leads an active life. 

However, the mattress you sleep on at night can play a significant role in how you feel in the morning.

Which brings the question, what mattress is the best? In general, there isn’t a type of mattress that is better than the other, and it all comes down to personal preference, but some factors must exist for the mattress to be healthy for your back.

When shopping for a mattress, you must look at these factors to help you know if the mattress is good for you before moving on. Let us get into the details of these to help you stay safe and pick the proper mattresses;

1. How it supports your body

The whole point is to get a surface to support your body comfortably as you sleep. As such, in a neutral position, the bed needs to be supportive of your whole body. You must have space to get the proper posture and spine alignment for the whole night.

The mattress shouldn’t be too firm since it will push the main pressure points on your spine and cause you much pain in the morning. 

It also can’t be too soft since it should support your pressure points. Thus it will create spine curvature, which will cause back pain.

With these two in mind, you have to create a range within which you are comfortable; it is better to figure it out now and avoid problems in the years to come.

2. Your body shape

The shape and size of the curves on your body will determine how much pressure the mattress needs to support, and it is a crucial part of your decision-making process.

If you are a smaller person with fewer curves, you can generally tolerate a firmer mattress. If you have more prominent curves, you need to get a softer mattress that will help keep your spine straight regardless of your curves. 

To understand this, let’s look at it using a person with a thick but. When lying flat facing up, the butt will be higher above the ground than the head and neck, curveting the back. A skinnier person will have a significantly smaller curve to worry about.

As such, the person with a big butt needs a softer mattress that can swallow most of the mass and bring the butt down to the same level as the rest of the body. 

A more petite person will be okay since the head and spine were already in line; thus, they can use a firmer mattress. 

The same concept applies to the shoulders, hips, and other body parts. In essence, a smaller person can get a firmer bed.

Other Cause Of Back Pain

Back pain is almost a symptom of what you do every day, and you might not notice it. If your problem doesn’t go away with the right mattress, here are some other things that could be causing back pain.

Slouching from texting or reading

When working on a computer, texting, or reading, your neck will come down, and you hunch your shoulders. In such a position, your will round your shoulders and push your neck forward, mostly without noticing it. 

This will eventually cause pain in your shoulders, upper back, and neck. It is common in our society, so you might be a victim of this.

Hunching over when you pick something

You need to keep a straight back when bending to pick something. When you round your back to pick things, you put a lot of stress on your back and spine, resulting in pain after a few days.

Arching your back when lifting heavy items

This is the opposite effect, and it happens when you lift heavy items or during workouts. Most people bend to pick items, then arch their backs to lift them, hurting your back. 

To be safe, you need to squat when picking up heavy items and lift them with your legs and knees while keeping your back straight. This is particularly risky since you could pull your muscle or dislocate your hip.

The Perfect Firmness-Softness Balance

If you already have severe back pain, maybe from your job or the last mattress you used, you need to get an improved mattress to help you recover.

When choosing a mattress, the first thing to look at is how firm it is. The mattress has to be firm enough to support your spine, so it is not saggy. 

Ideally, you want a firm mattress so that the back is entirely straight regardless of the position you sleep in.

Your body features have different sizes, so you will inevitably have curve-ins and curve-outs, but the spine should always be straight. Old mattresses tend to have a bowl in the middle, which is a bad situation that might lead to back pain.

You don’t want your spine sagging into the mattress, so it has to be firm, but for comfort’s sake, you can’t sleep on the floor or on a mattress that feels like aboard. 

The up[per part of your mattress must have a point where it spreads the pressure from your body.

This is crucial since lack of this support will cause you pain in the neck, back, knees, and ankles. This is especially a problem for the elderly since their skin could break down because of sleeping on too-hard mattresses, and their joints are easier to damage.

This means that you need the mattress’s interior to be firm, but the upper part needs to be soft to support your weight. This means that you have to find the middle ground and know when to get a safe mattress for your back. 


A new mattress can cause back pain, especially if it is too firm or soft for your body. When choosing a mattress, you need to be keen, so you get one with a perfect balance of firmness and softness. Make sure the mattress supports all your pressure points so you get a good night’s sleep.

You can try putting the mattress on the floor and sleeping on it that way to see if it eases your pain. Being on the floor will make it more solid, and it will work better as it should. You can also try putting some plywood between the mattress and the bed to make it more solid.

Elizabeth Willett (MA)
Elizabeth Willett (MA)
Elizabeth Willett has an M.A in health and fitness, is an experienced trainer, and enjoys teaching children about healthy eating habits. She loves to cook nutritious meals for her family.


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