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Back Pain and Mattress Selection

If you have back pain what should you look for in your mattress selection process? Which is the best mattress for those who suffer from back pain? Several studies done on the subject have concluded that a medium firm mattress (MFM) is the best choice.

Back Pain and Mattress Selection

Study: Effect of Mattress Selection on Muscle and Joint Pain in Individuals 60 and Older

One study compared the effect of a medium firm mattress (MFM) versus a hard firm mattress (HFM) on the sleep quality and musculoskeletal pain in individuals aged 60 and over. This study found that sleeping on a medium firm mattress led to a significant reduction in neck pain, back pain and lower back pain as compared to sleeping on a hard firm mattress.1

Study: Effect of Mattress Firmness on Chronic Back Pain Sufferers

In 2003 researchers in Spain evaluated over 300 adults (of various ages) who were chronic back pain sufferers. Similar to the other study, they attempted to evaluate how the firmness of a mattress influenced back pain. At the end of the 90-day study, the researchers found that individuals who slept on the medium firm mattress had less back pain than those who slept on the hard firm mattress.2

Reviewing All the Research on Back Pain and Mattress Selection

However, even after the findings of these studies were released, there remained some debate about the best mattress for back pain sufferers.3 So, in 2015, a group of researchers from Utica College (not too far from our Saratoga Springs, NY location!) set out to clarify the subject. They gathered the data from all the appropriate studies performed on the subject since 2000 and analyzed it. Their analysis confirmed that:

“a medium firm mattress…is optimal for promoting sleep comfort, quality, and spinal alignment”.3

See Also: The Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1984006315000589
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673603147927
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352721815001400
*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
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