What if you take all the right steps, find a mattress that seems comfortable and fits your budget, but you still wake up each morning after a restless night’s sleep with lower-back pain? How can you find relief without breaking the bank chasing after a better mattress? Well, there may be a less expensive solution: a mattress topper. Our guide will help you find the best mattress topper for back pain.
- 1 WHAT EXACTLY IS A MATTRESS TOPPER?
- 2 WHY SHOULD YOU USE A MATTRESS TOPPER?
- 3 BEST MATTRESS TOPPERS FOR BACK PAIN 2018
- 3.1 1. Ultimate Dreams Full 3” Talalay Latex Medium
- 3.2 2. LUCID 3-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- 3.3 3. Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual Layer
- 3.4 4. Gel Memory Foam Topper
- 3.5 How to Choose the Best Mattress Topper? (Pros and Cons)
- 3.6 What Features Are Available in Mattress Toppers?
- 4 FINAL REVIEW: BEST MATTRESS TOPPER FOR BACK PAIN
WHAT EXACTLY IS A MATTRESS TOPPER?
A mattress topper is a shaped pad designed to fit on top of your current innerspring mattress, beneath the fitted sheet and any underpad. Depending on its size, shape, and thickness, it can adjust your sleeping surface by bringing it more in line with your personal needs, providing an additional layer of comfort that helps alleviate the causes of nocturnal back pain.
Thickness isn’t the only consideration when choosing a mattress topper, especially if you are seeking the best mattress topper for back pain. The materials of which they are made and the details of their construction can completely transform the qualities of your sleeping surface. Below we offer a selection of mattress toppers for your consideration. Maybe one of these options is your key to perfect, pain-free sleep!
WHY SHOULD YOU USE A MATTRESS TOPPER?
If your mattress is older and has become flattened from use, a mattress topper can restore the usefulness of your old mattress, sparing you the cost of buying a new one for a while. You can also use a mattress topper to adjust the softness or firmness of your mattress if it has changed because your weight altered or if a medical condition has affected your sleep requirements. Back pain, shoulder pain, and hip pain are three such conditions.
BEST MATTRESS TOPPERS FOR BACK PAIN 2018
1. Ultimate Dreams Full 3” Talalay Latex Medium
- Luxurious feel and naturally resilient, our latex topper is available in three firmness levels: Soft (19 ILD), Medium (28 ILD) or Firm (36 ILD)
- Talalay latex provides up to 33% more pressure relief than conventional foam and fiber cushioning materials
- Contours to the shape of your body for the ultimate pressure relief and support
Latex mattress toppers are famous for their durability and the yielding-but-firm support they provide to those who sleep on them. Latex can expand or contract on demand, instantly, so the pad is self-adjusting. That means that however you move while sleeping, the latex mattress pad will respond and adjust to it so that you can sleep with optimum support.
The Ultimate Dreams Talalay is just the best example of latex mattress toppers available. It has a 3-inch thick blended latex pad, using a mixture of foam densities integral to the topper to provide sleepers with built-in bolsters to give it more support where needed, without diminishing the softness of areas that need it. This well-engineered system delivers where comfort is concerned. Built from such an extremely durable material, it will last and last.
The foam topper also boasts more impressive design features. It is selectively perforated by design with strategic holes to help better distribute a sleeper’s body weight while guaranteeing superior air-flow. The support and pressure-relief it provides is ideal for a medium-firm mattress or a soft mattress, but as long as the user has a good mattress, firmness shouldn’t be an issue. One feature it lacks is a removable slipcover, which some other models have. But since the bamboo material is so durable and easy to clean that shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Features and Specifications
2. LUCID 3-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- This dual-layer mattress combines 2.5 inch gel infused, ventilated memory foam surface + 7.5 inch high density foam base for a MEDIUM-FIRM feel
- Gel infused memory foam regulates temperature while conforming to the body to ease pressure points
- Temperature-regulating, moisture-controlling TENCEL blend fabric cover creates a comfortable air layer
The 3-inch thick LUCID ventilated mattress topper was designed with the intent of delivering perfect nocturnal comfort and is constructed from ultra-dense memory foam. Its excellent features make this a very good mattress topper.
Its 3-inch thickness lands it smack in the middle of the “medium-firm” category, which is extremely helpful in that it caters well to sleepers of varying shapes, sizes, and weight. If you experience chronic back pain, this mattress topper will provide pain relief. Even if you don’t, it will still provide you with superior sleeping comfort.
The memory foam of which it’s constructed will take and temporarily retain the shape of whatever object applies pressure to it, like a springy dough. The mattress topper can and will mold to the shape of a sleeper’s body, spreading out their weight for even support.
This mattress topper also comes equipped with a pattern of widely-spread ventilation perforations, allowing for excellent heat distribution and comfortable sleep.
Use of open-cell design will prevent any waving or puddling of the foam surface of this latex topper.
Some commenters have noted this mattress topper lacks side straps to hold it in place atop the mattress, however, a simple fitted sheet should hold the topper in place.
Features and Specifications
3. Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual Layer
- QUEEN MATTRESS: Drift into a sounder, deeper sleep on this memory foam 12-inch mattress ideal for any sleeping position and average to bigger body types.
- COMFORT & SUPPORT: Get the best night's sleep every night, on the Shiloh mattress, with proven pressure point relief and personalized alignment.
- MEMORY FOAM: Every body is unique and deserves personalized comfort - this memory foam mattress lightly cradles your body with a DuoComfort Design including a SureTemp memory foam top layer and premium support foam bottom.
This hybrid mattress topper is awesome, in that it offers excellent features for practically any preference.
The mattress topper has two layers: a memory foam mattress topper with an integral top layer (mattress pad) of quilted fiberfill fabric. People who grew up sleeping on their grandma’s down comforter will appreciate the coziness of the upper layer, while loving the foam support beneath it.
This Sleep Innovations mattress topper is 4-inches thick, with the supporting layer constructed from premium memory foam using proprietary SureTemp technology, guaranteeing superior air circulation and regulated sleeping temperature to help you get a good night’s sleep. Its upper layer is plush microfiber, down-soft and comfy as a cloud. A machine-washable cover holds both layers together in place atop your mattress.
Features and Specifications
4. Gel Memory Foam Topper
- 3 inches of ventilated gel memory foam adds softness and pressure-relieving comfort to your mattress at the shoulders, hips and knees
- Special memory foam formula is extremely soft, airy and responsive
- Ventilated design improves airflow for a more comfortable sleep climate
This mattress topper is thinner and is designed for a bed with a firm mattress. If you are looking for something a bit firmer than the others listed above, this firm mattress topper may be your best bet.
The gel infused memory foam mattress topper features an open cell structure design that minimizes stiffness, improves airflow, and will actively dissipate any unnecessary heat. This unique blend of memory foam gel offers the right amount of support to relieve pressure points, while not being so thick you sink into it. The low-density rating (3.3 pounds per cubic feet) of the foam keeps the pad soft enough to absorb the weight of a sleeper’s pressure points.
Features and Specifications
How to Choose the Best Mattress Topper? (Pros and Cons)
Don’t be confused: mattress toppers aren’t full sized mattresses or even functional foam mattresses. They are pads that fit on top of another mattress, adding a (custom) layer of support.
Mattress toppers come in varying sizes and thicknesses (they tend to be only as thick as they have to be to do the job). They aren’t difficult to install. You only need to unpackage them and roll them out over your current mattress and place your bedding over them. Because there are different styles and types of mattress toppers, they can serve as therapeutic aids and are often recommended by doctors to provide relief to hip pain and various back ailments.
A few come with a removable cloth cover, but if not one can purchase a waterproof slipcover to keep the mattress topper clean.
What Features Are Available in Mattress Toppers?
There are a lot of different features to look for when shopping for the ideal mattress topper to fit your needs. If you are looking for a mattress topper to help alleviate your back pain, you need to consider the following points:
Memory Foam or Latex Foam
One of the most popular choices in modern mattress toppers is the foam topper. Memory foam can be extremely comfortable because of its ability to mold itself around the body of the sleeper. That reduces the pressure points where the sleeper comes in contact with the bed by distributing the body’s weight. Be advised: not all foam is created equal. The density (springiness) of memory foam is measured in pounds of foam vs. air per cubic foot (or pounds per foot}.
Any form of foam with less than 4 pounds per cubic foot may collapse too easily under a sleeper’s weight without “springing back” enough to provide inadequate support. Medium weight foam (4-5 pounds per inch) provides more support, although the mattress topper itself will be heavier. Foam weights of 6 pounds per foot, or over, are ideal, provide great support and durability. However, these mattress toppers are much heavier than less dense ones.
In a mattress topper, it is usually true that “thicker” equals “better.” The thicker the topper, the better the support provided. If the topper isn’t thick enough, the benefit would be no better than sleeping on a folded quilt. Comfy, but not transformative. For the very best sleep quality we recommend a mattress topper at least three inches thick.
NOTE: Certain thinner, firmer mattress toppers may be dense enough to cure your sleeping woes, assuming what you need is a harder surface; but for a softer, deeper fit, a thicker option will probably prove best.
Softness vs Firmness
If your mattress topper is too soft, it won’t provide the required support to allow you to sleep comfortably. Misalignment of your spine and hips can result in longterm damage if you sleep on too soft a mattress over too long a period. Your sleep surface may feel comfortable at first, or even only while you are in bed, but alignment problems may cause neck pain and shoulder pain that can follow you out of bed throughout the day. This is an important consideration when seeking the best mattress topper for back pain.
How firm you will want your mattress topper to be will depend on the type of the mattress underneath. If your bed is soft then maybe you should try a topper on the firmer side of the equation. If your mattress itself is on the firm side, then a thick memory foam topper might do the trick, especially if you sleep on your side. Before you try to choose a mattress topper, you should first examine your mattress situation and try to determine what’s causing the problem. Once you know that, you can choose the best mattress topper to alleviate the problem.
Your sleeping position has a lot to do with diagnosing the cause of your back pain. Softer mattresses and mattress toppers are usually best for side sleepers, whereas harder and firmer surfaces tend to work better for those who sleep on their back or stomach.
In any case, if you are looking for a mattress topper to help alleviate back pain, it’s a good idea to avoid anything extreme: no super-soft or super-hard surfaces. Instead, look for a comfortable solution in the middle by choosing a medium-firm mattress topper to aid in providing proper spinal alignment without a loss of comfort.
Heat Retention and Gel-Infused Foam
Foam mattress toppers don’t do a very efficient job of diffusing body heat, and some of the less-expensive models can get uncomfortably warm.
Gel-infused memory foam is much better at handling body heat and diffusing it evenly, allowing you to sleep in cool comfort. These mattress toppers will still be warm, just not uncomfortably so, although they are heavier and a bit bulkier than plain foam toppers. The same is true for many of the more expensive high-quality mattress toppers, which distribute heat better than their cheaper cousins. But gel memory foam can be a good option.
If heat becomes an issue, you can always buy a cooling pad you can place atop your mattress to absorb and distribute your body heat and keep you cool. These are a handy solution if your latex mattress topper gets too hot for you.
FINAL REVIEW: BEST MATTRESS TOPPER FOR BACK PAIN
Mattress toppers are a useful tool to help those who experience chronic back pain while sleeping. The key is to select the best product for you: one that will give you enough back support and which has the right density.
WINNER: Ultimate Dreams Full 3” Talalay Latex Medium
Latex foam has a well-earned reputation for being both durable and supportive, and this is no exception. The soft foam conforms to the body of the sleeper no matter what sleeping position he or she may prefer, providing lasting comfort. The Ultimate Dreams Full 3” Talalay Latex Medium is the best choice here because of the thickness and firmness of the high-density foam: it should be perfect for almost everybody, providing support and softness in even amounts.
Even though it doesn’t use gel-infused foam, it still has superb ventilation, shielding you from overheating at night. The bamboo cover is smart and easy to clean, an excellent accessory. Although more expensive than other options, it absolutely delivers. The Ultimate Dreams Full 3″ Talalay Latex Medium latex foam mattress topper should provide pain relief by aligning your spine properly and helping to keep it there. This one is our choice for the best latex topper for back pain.
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