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How to Choose the Right Mattress for a Bad Back

How to Choose the Right Mattress for a Bad Back

Often times people don’t spend enough time and energy on choosing the right mattress for their needs. If you sleep in a bad bed, it can affect any back problems that you have, or create new ones. Therefore, you need a mattress that supports and relieves pressure on your body correctly. But how do you choose the right mattress for a bad back?

  • Try a wide selection of mattresses – take your time!
  • The position of your spine has to be at a straight angle
  • Choose a mattress with the right support and firmness
  • There has to be plenty of room in your bed
  • Don't forget that a mattress has an expiry date


When choosing your mattress, it's important to take your time as it's not enough to lay on the mattress for just 5 minutes. Take up your favourite sleeping positions and feel whether it's comfortable or not. Try different types of mattress to help you choose the right mattress that fits your needs.

If there are two of you sharing a bed, it's a good idea to go mattress shopping together. Do you need one large mattress or two single ones? Or maybe you can have 2 single ones pushed together. The best of both worlds.

It can take a few days before your body gets used to a new bed so be sure to note of the return policies for these larger purchases. If the mattress doesn’t meet your expectations, you may be able to swap it in-store. LUNA memory foam mattress displayed in a bedroom

LUNA Memory Foam Mattress


If you experience problems with your back, the position of your spine is important when choosing the right mattress. To test if the mattress gives the right support, the spine has to be in a straight angle when laying on your side on the mattress. An arched spine is not ideal as it puts strain on the back. Bring your partner or friend to the store and ask them to take a look at the position of your spine while you’re lying on the mattress. If you’re in doubt, you can always ask a member of the store team!


A mattress without the right support and firmness can lead to back pain because the muscles and joints are put under too much pressure. If your mattress is too hard or too soft, it can result in back problems.

A good way to test if the firmness of the mattress is right for you is to lie on your back on the mattress and have someone slide a hand under the lower part of your back. If it's easy to insert a hand underneath the lower part of your back, then the bed is too hard. However, if you have to squeeze your hand under your back then the bed is too soft. An even pressure on the hand coming from both the mattress and the lower part of the back indicates that the mattress has the right firmness for you.

Your weight and natural curves of your body also determine how firm your mattress has to be. A general rule is the heavier you are, the firmer the mattress has to be to provide the right support. If you have a curved body, it's a good idea to choose a mattress divided into different zones. This ensures that your body is well supported around the natural curvature of your body. The spine should always remain at a straight angle.

MENSA spring mattress displayed on a bedframe

MENSA Spring Mattress in a Box


The size of bed can also affect your back and sleeping quality. A bed that’s too small will limit natural movements and can lead to poor sleeping positions that aggravate back pain. The bed should be at least 90 cm wide, 180 cm for a double bed and 20 cm longer than your height. If you’re sharing your bed with another person, you’ll have to think about their needs too and how this affects the size of the bed to allow enough room for the two of you!


It’s a common misconception that mattresses don’t have to be replaced until they're completely worn down, when in fact you should replace your mattress before it starts to feel uncomfortable. Over time, mattresses gradually lose its support. Generally, mattresses should last approximately 10 years before you need to buy a new one.

In the meantime, keep an eye on whether your mattress has started to sink in the middle. This will affect the position of the spine, and if there’s not enough support it can cause back pain. If you find yourself experiencing a better night’s sleep in a hotel rather than you do in your own bed, then it may be time to let that mattress go.

Browse our wide selection of mattresses online or in-store today!

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