Are you looking for the mattress topper to make the quality of your sleep better?
Chronic back pain is not just an annoyance. It hinders your ability to work, play, and just live your life. Untreated, it can even lead to other health problems, such as insomnia. When your back pain even keeps you from sleeping, it can be maddening!
Take steps to soothe your muscles and nerves with a little extra support while you rest. We have put together a list, so you can find the best mattress topper for back pain without a lot of extra effort.
This topper provides the great combo of density and thickness that supports your back and spine. Sink into it for a cozy night!Read Our Review
Milliard offers something else for those with back issues in the form of an egg crate memory foam topper. Many report that this feels more natural, yet offers that soft, sinking into memory foam feeling that everyone likesRead Our Review
Are you not sure what kind of material is the best for your mattress topper?
Of course, nearly all modern toppers are made from varying types of foam. Yet, each offers its own characteristics.
Take a look!
Below you’ll find some of the more commonly used materials in mattress toppers. These are far from the only ones available. However, they are durable, supportive, and easy to find.
- Memory Foam
A type of viscoelastic polyurethane foam. First developed in the 1960s for NASA, memory foam has since invaded the consumer market. It has several features that make it great for cushions and bedding.
Memory foam is yielding, yet holds the shape of whatever is pressed into it for short time. It also provides support as it doesn’t yield completely underneath weight.
- Gel Memory Foam
First introduced in 2006, this is memory foam with a special gel mixed into it. You’ll often see it as blue, or white swirls in the foam. The gel particles added to the foam remain slightly moist so that the product can better dissipate heat away from the body. Gel can also speed up the spring back time and make foam feel softer.
- Polyurethane Foam
This is a very common, inexpensive type of foam material. You’ll frequently see it in cushions and bedding. It is breathable, lightweight, and giving. However, polyurethane foam will need to be fairly thick to provide support. It can also develop grooves or ruts over time from continual use.
- Latex Foam
A more expensive type of foam is latex. This is a very firm, springy foam that many use for pressure point relief. It is also breathable. However, it is a costly initial investment over other materials. Some people may also be allergic to latex and not be able to use this material.
How Do You Choose?
It may be difficult to choose from these different materials. But, you can start by taking stock of what you are looking for in a mattress topper. Consider what kind of back problems you have and the support you need.
Consider whether you are allergic to or sensitive to any of the materials. Also, take a look at your budget to determine how much is available for that purchase. Even a tight budget can still give you a great mattress topper if you search for a durable product from a company with great customer support.
Bits of Advice for Backpain
Many people wake up feeling stiff and sore. Maybe they even feel a jolt of lightning run through their back when first standing! Everyone experiences back pain at some point. But, if you experience pain and agony when you wake up every single morning it may be your bed.
Each person is different. We all need support in some areas but not others. Some of us prefer a soft bed, while others need a really firm one. The point is if you don’t get the support and comfort you need in bed, it can cause a variety of ailments related to your back.
You may end up dealing with:
- Pinched Nerves
- Sore Muscles
- Pressure Sores
- Torn Discs
- Spine Misalignment
These problems can make your day-to-day life miserable. Some of them can even put you in the hospital if the problem becomes severe.
Okay, but how do I deal with back pain?
We spend up to eight hours or more a day in bed. While doctors don’t recommend a lot of bed rest, they do suggest that you get plenty of support while sleeping. Make sure that you have a bed that is firm enough to keep your spine aligned and take off the pressure that can lead to so much pain. One way to improve your sleep quality on a budget is with a thick, durable mattress topper.
You should also pay attention to how you are sleeping. If you are a side sleeper, doctors recommend putting a pillow between your knees to help keep your spine in a neutral position. If you like to sleep on your back, you can keep that neutral position by placing the pillow underneath your knees.
When you first wake up in the morning, consider rolling over on your side and then into an upright position. Many people make the mistake of sitting straight up in bed, which puts a lot of pressure on the lower back.
During the day, you might want to take up an exercise program to improve flexibility and build core strength. A strong core can help counteract muscle cramps and pain in your back. Flexibility helps to keep you from wrenching muscles and will take some of the pressure off your nerves and discs.
Is that all it takes?
Again, everyone is different, but these steps go a long way towards improving your quality of sleep and allowing your body to heal.
Soft vs Firm
Manufacturers produce mattress toppers with different densities to suit customer’s personal tastes. For you, this is simply a matter of whether the mattress is soft or firm to the touch. Those who have back problems may find that a firmer topper provides more support where they need it.
Often, mattress toppers are purchased to help hold the spine in alignment, especially if your mattress is getting old, a little saggy, and isn’t up to the job.
Conversely, a lot of people report that a really firm mattress can cause back pain. So, they may be in the market for a soft topper to alleviate the problem. These toppers have less density, or bigger spaces between the foam so that it yields more under a person’s weight.
The density of your average mattress topper can vary a lot and most don’t even know to pay attention to it. However, if you had trouble in the past with your bedding being too hard or too soft, it pays to pay attention to these numbers. It should also be noted that the thickness of the topper can also have an effect on comfort and support.
If a topper is soft but only an inch thick, it won’t provide much protection from a hard mattress underneath. If a mattress topper is super thick but soft, you may end up in a situation where you sink into the topper.
Let’s find out a little more about memory foam densities!
You can usually get a feel for whether a mattress will be firm enough by touching it. If you can’t get to the store to test a product before purchase, you’ll need to look at the density of memory foam in it. This will give you a better idea of how well it will meet your needs.
There are three basic densities:
- Up To 3 lbs./cu. ft. (Pounds Per Cubic Foot)
This is considered the softest material and will provide a little extra comfort and support on a traditional mattress.
- Up To 4 To 5 lbs./cu. ft.
This is a medium weight material that provides more support for those with back problems. It is considered just about the ideal for those who want a mix of softness and firmness.
- Up To 6 lbs./cu. ft.
This is a very firm mattress topper that is best left for orthopedic support of those with medical conditions, such as arthritis.
Of course, if you have never used a mattress topper before and aren’t sure what density really works, consider starting out with the medium weight density in a brand with a product guarantee. This way you can return it if you don’t like how it feels.
Heat Retention Issue
Every night you wake up sweating. It’s all you can do to push off the covers and lay there on top of your mattress with moisture pooling underneath you. If this happens on a regular basis, then you may need a new mattress topper.
Why do mattress toppers make me sweat?
The problem with getting too hot when you sleep on a mattress topper is really down to the type of material it’s made from. Memory foam is a type of plastic that doesn’t dissipate heat very well. It may also trap heat under the covers because it isn’t breathable enough.
For instance, the topper doesn’t allow enough airflow underneath you to help prevent sweating and encourage evaporation of moisture.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have a mattress topper!
Manufacturers have done a lot over the years to help alleviate the problem of memory foam becoming a heatsink.
If you’ve ever heard of the term breathability in relation to memory foam or mattresses, this is what they mean.
Course, that’s not all!
You may also see gel foam on the market, which has a special gel infused into the memory foam. It helps keep the foam from heating up because the gel contains just a touch of moisture. This allows it to better dissipate heat away from the body. The great thing is you can combine open cell technology with gel foam for a double whammy of cooling properties.
Finally, manufacturers sometimes put a fabric cover on their memory foam products. This fabric is usually absorbent and breathable to help wick any moisture away from your body while also allowing for airflow.
Some will also incorporate extracts and additives, such as activated charcoal, to absorb moisture and prevent unpleasant odors. You may even see a couple of products in our top 10 list with these features.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Mattress Topper
All right, we’ve taken a look at a number of factors when it comes to mattress toppers. You’ll need to use this information to make the best choice.
But, just what do you need to consider before purchasing a topper?
In case you forgot, here’s a quick list:
- Material Used
- Mattress Topper Density
- Mattress Topper Thickness
- Extra Features
Once you know the basics of each product, it should be easy for you to select the one that best meets your needs. To make it easier for you, we have put together our own top 10 list. You’ll be able to find the best mattress topper for back pain through the simple comparison of the pros and cons of each product on our list.
One more look at extra features…
Now, we have tried to include a variety of different types of toppers on our list for your perusal. Each one should have something unique to offer customers. These are the extra features that help a product stand apart in the marketplace. Hopefully, they also add increased usability and benefit for you!
Other features may have to do with how the product is put together. Some of our mattress toppers are ventilated to improve breathability and airflow. They actually have holes cut into the foam material. Some toppers are covered with a fabric shell that provides extra softness and may help wick away moisture.
No matter what you’re looking for these extra features can be the frosting on the proverbial cake that is your mattress topper.
A lot of people are surprised when they receive a delivery of their mattress topper only to find that it isn’t as thick as they believed. Don’t let this happen to you.
Memory foam thickness has a big impact on how supportive it is for those with back problems. A soft mattress topper can still provide support if it is a few inches thick. A firm mattress topper may not provide as much necessary support if it is only an inch or two thick. Then, there are the people who need something in-between; a combination of density and thickness that best suits their needs.
What can you do?
Always pay attention to the thickness of the mattress topper before you purchase it. Even if you are shopping in the store, it may be hard to tell. Many companies shrink wrap and seal their products to save space during shipping and on the shelves. This means that mattress toppers in the package will be very thin and not at all representative of their thickness after they have decompressed.
Read the descriptions. Check the product packaging. If all else fails, check the comments section or reviews to find out what other customers say about the final results.
What Is the Right Thickness?
Naturally, you’ll want to do a little research before purchasing mattress topper. Different thicknesses are better for different purposes. Most toppers come in three basic widths:
- Two Inches
This is the thinnest version of a mattress topper. It’s intended to provide a little bit of comfort and the features of memory foam, or the desired topper material. Some people may simply want a thin topper to help even out their beds or to warm their bed if they live in a cold climate.
- Three Inches
The most popular thickness in a mattress topper, 3″ is about medium width. It will provide comfort, the features of the material it’s made from, and a little extra support. A medium width mattress topper can help fill in the negative spaces of your body, such as your back, knees, and the curve of your neck.
- Four Inches
One of the thickest options available, this is considered most luxurious of mattress toppers. It will provide a lot of support and adjust easily to the negative spaces of your body. It can also help add height to your bed.
When you first receive your mattress topper and unroll it, it will take a few hours and even up to a day to fully decompress. Don’t be too disappointed if it seems like your topper isn’t as thick as expected when it first arrives. Give it a few days to fully inflate. If it still doesn’t seem thick enough, then you may want to consider returning it.
In case we haven’t said it enough in the past, we love product warranties and guarantees. This is a great endorsement of the product by its manufacturer. It also ensures that you can return your product, get a replacement, and possibly get a refund if there are problems.
What are some of the reasons to use a warranty?
A product warranty is in place to protect you in case your memory foam topper wears out within a few years or few months of purchase. You can usually use a warranty to get a replacement topper delivered.
It may also be possible to use a warranty if your product tears, or is otherwise damaged due to a defect in its manufacturer. This can be more of a gray area, but it never hurts to try to get that replacement.
Being made from foam, this is usually close to the natural lifespan of a mattress topper.
So, why do some companies offer a product guarantee?
A product guarantee is a little more focused on customer satisfaction. Guarantees only last between 30 to 120 days after you purchase your mattress topper. Every company that offers a guarantee will make them good for the different length of time. Take a close look at the length of that guarantee before you purchase.
A product guarantee is the company’s way of saying that you can return your mattress topper, usually for a replacement or your money back if you don’t like it. Product guarantees are like an extra bit of insurance for those who like to shop online.
In the end, there are a variety of mattress toppers because every person has a specific set of requirements, even when it comes to back pain. If there is one that stood out to us as the best mattress topper for back pain, it is the Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Pad Bed Topper from Memory Foam Solutions.
This memory foam topper had both a density of 4 lbs./cu. ft. and a 3″ thickness. This is what is really needed to provide both support and comfort for those with back and spine problems.