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Soft Mattress Causing Back Pain? Chiropractor's Guide(2023)

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Can a Soft Mattress Cause Back Pain?

There is a lot of debate surrounding whether or not a soft mattress can cause back pain. Some people swear by the comfort and support a soft mattress provides, while others claim that it is one of the leading causes of back pain. So, which is it? Can a soft mattress cause back pain, or is this an old wives’ tale? In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the science behind this debate and try to provide some answers.

As a general rule, a soft mattress is not suitable for back pain. The best mattress for back pain is both responsive, supportive, and designed to be medium-firm. A soft bed lacks support, leading to muscle tension and back pain.

My name is Dr. Lawrence Woods, DC, and I have been designing mattresses for back pain for over 20 years. As a chiropractor, my goal has always focused on improving the health of my patients by optimizing their sleep. My designs have been nominated for numerous awards, and I continue to be at the forefront of this industry, helping people get the best night’s sleep possible.

Can A Soft Mattress Cause Back Pain?

Many believe that a soft mattress is the best option to prevent back pain. However, research suggests that this may not be the case. While a soft bed can relieve pressure, it often lacks the support to keep the spine properly aligned.

This can lead to increased pain and discomfort, particularly for people who already suffer back problems. If you’re considering a new mattress, test it out first to see if it provides the right level of support for your needs. You may find that a firm bed is more comfortable and helpful in preventing back pain.

The Firm Mattress Myth

Pain is often a result of incorrect alignment, leading to improper weight distribution and pressure on specific body areas. A firm mattress does not contour to the shape of your body and therefore does not provide adequate support for the natural curves of your spine.

This can lead to misalignment and, ultimately, pain in the shoulders, neck, and upper back. In addition, firm mattresses do not have good pressure relief, meaning they do not reduce the amount of pressure placed on specific body areas. This can lead to stiffness and discomfort, particularly in the hips and lower back. Soft mattresses, on the other hand, contour to the shape of your body and provide support for the natural curves of your spine.

Softness Vs. Firmness is a False Dichotomy

People have debated the merits of soft vs. firm mattresses for years. However, this debate is primarily based on a false dichotomy. Modern beds are constructed with a mix of soft and firm layers, providing the perfect balance of comfort and support. The soft layers help to cushion the body, while the firm layers provide support for the spine and hips. As a result, people of all shapes and sizes can find a mattress that suits their needs. Whether you prefer a softer or firmer mattress, there’s no need to choose one side of the debate – you can have the best of both worlds.

Other Factors

Mattress firmness is determined by various factors, including the materials used and the level of support.

For example, memory foam mattresses are often considered soft because they conform to the body. However, memory foam has a low level of responsiveness, meaning it does not push back against pressure. As a result, memory foam mattresses can provide both a soft and un-supportive sleeping surface (by themselves).

Similarly, latex mattresses are also often thought to be soft. However, latex is a very responsive material that will push back against pressure. As a result, latex mattresses are soft and supportive depending on the part of your body and its weight that is pressing into the bed. This is confirmed through studies “Results show that all the participants feel more comfortable when lying on latex foam/palm fiber mattress, which is in excellent agreement with the results obtained by body pressure distribution and spinal alignment.”

Medium Firm Mattresses Are (Usually) are Best

While many factors determine the level of support your mattress provides, Medium Firm Mattresses Are generally considered the Best. This is because they offer a balance of comfort and support and can be a good choice for people who suffer from back pain.

Of course, the best mattress for you is ultimately determined by your personal preferences. If you suffer from back pain, be sure to consult with a doctor or physiotherapist to find out which type of mattress is best suited for your needs.

Responsive Mattresses Are the Best

A responsive mattress is a bed designed to provide support and pressure relief by adapting to the weight applied. The material used in responsive mattresses is supportive and comfortable, and the beds are made from natural latex foam.

In my opinion, responsive mattresses are the best bed for people suffering from back pain. The mattress will conform to the person’s body, providing support for the spine and relieving pressure on the joints.

Additionally, the material used in high-density and responsive mattresses are less likely to sag over time, meaning that the bed will maintain its shape and provide consistent support for years to come.

Mattress tip: The heavier your mattress and the higher the density, the longer it will last on average.

Consider Your Weight

When shopping for a mattress, keeping your body weight in mind is essential. A mattress that feels soft to one person may feel like a rock to another, and your weight will affect how you perceive the firmness of your mattress. If you are a lightweight person, you may find that a softer bed is more comfortable.

If you are a heavyweight person, you may find that a firmer mattress is more comfortable. The best way to determine which mattress is right for you is to lie down on several different types and see how they feel. With a little trial and error, you will indeed find the perfect mattress for your needs.

As a chiropractor, I recommend a mattress made with high-density and responsive materials such as natural latex. A responsive mattress adapts to your body, providing the perfect level of support regardless of weight. As a result, it can be an ideal choice for people of all shapes and sizes.

Cheap Mattresses Cause Back Pain, High-Quality Mattresses Help

A good night’s sleep is essential for good health, but finding a comfortable mattress can be challenging. For many people, the cost is a major deciding factor when buying a mattress.

However, skimping on quality can have serious consequences.

Cheap mattresses are often made with inferior materials such as low-density foams that sag and lose their shape over time. This can lead to back pain, as the spine is not adequately supported.

In addition, cheap mattresses are generally uncomfortable, making it difficult to relax and recover properly. This has been proven by research.

By contrast, high-quality mattresses are made with premium materials that provide lasting support and comfort. They also tend to be more durable, so you won’t have to replace them often. As a result, investing in a high-quality mattress is an investment in your health.

Consider Your Pillow if You are Experiencing back pain.

Back pain is a common problem that can interfere with your daily activities. While there are many potential causes of back pain, one often overlooked factor is your pillow.

If you are experiencing chronic back pain, it may be time to consider switching to a pillow that better supports your spine.

A good pillow should support your neck and head while cushioning your pressure points.

It should also be adjustable to find the perfect level of support, regardless of your sleeping position.

It’s worth finding a pillow that will help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free.


If you are struggling with back pain, it might be time to invest in a new mattress. A medium-firm, responsive, supportive bed can help relieve muscle tension and promote better sleep. When shopping for a mattress, test out different models and find one that feels comfortable and supports your spine.

If you are experiencing back pain, you must consult a healthcare professional. While some mattresses have been shown in research to reduce back pain, there may be other factors causing your discomfort. A professional can help you find the source of your back pain and recommend the best course of treatment.

**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

Medical Disclaimer: This website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Product Disclaimer: The seat cushion is designed by a chiropractor, but results may vary and are not guaranteed. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition.

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC


My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.


About Me

Dr Lawrence Woods

My name Dr Lawrence Woods DC and I have been designing mattresses, pillows, chairs and seat cushions for over 20 years. As a chiropractor, my goal has always focused on improving the health of my patients by optimizing how they sleep and sit. My designs have been nominated for numerous awards and I continue to be at the forefront of this industry, helping people get the best night’s sleep possible. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West, I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified and an OSHAcadenmy certified ergonomist.


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