Our 5 Best Mattress Pads (Toppers) For Back Pain – 2021 Update

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If lower back pain is causing you to lose valuable sleep and you feel like a zombie by the time morning rolls around, then it’s time to do something about it.

Back pain is no laughing matter and it affects people of all ages, but there are definitive steps you can take to stave off that pain and feel better. One of the best ways to reduce back pain is to make sure your bedding is providing you adequate support while you sleep. If it’s not, adding the right mattress topper should easily fix this.

That being said, finding the right mattress topper for back pain is no bed of roses, which is why we’ve done the work for you. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the best mattress toppers for back pain, including their descriptions, reasons why we love them, and what makes each one unique.

lucid product image medium LUCID 3” Ventilated
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Thickness: 3"
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
medium product image of Red Nomad Red Nomad Gel Infused
  • Type: Gel Infused Visco Elastic Memory Foam
  • Thickness: 2"
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Dreamfoam Bedding product image medium Ultimate Dreams Full 3" Talalay
  • Type: Latex
  • Thickness: 3”
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Sleep Innovations product image medium Sleep Innovations Dual
  • Type: Cooling gel memory foam and fluffy fiber-fill
  • Thickness: 2” + 2”
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Advanced Sleep Solutions product image medium Gel Memory Foam Topper
  • Type: Gel Memory Foam Topper (Advanced Sleep Solutions)
  • Thickness: 2”
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Top 5 Mattress Toppers For Back Pain Sufferers

LUCID 3” Ventilated Memory Foam

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Cooling gel-infused foam
  • Soft feel
  • Ventilated design
  • Seven size options

Aimed at providing you with a pain-free sleep experience, this ventilated mattress topper is made entirely from memory foam.

The pad is 3-inches thick, making it a medium-firm topper that people of various sizes can use. Even if you don’t suffer from any type of back pain, this mattress topper can be an appealing option and should provide you with a good night’s sleep.

Why do we love it?

  • The topper’s memory foam is soft and cushy, allowing for the pad to quickly mold to the shape of your body and reduce pressure.
  • Additionally, there are hundreds of ventilation holes evenly spaced throughout the topper to enhance overall heat retention.
  • This open-cell construction also allows for even weight distribution, preventing any unwanted dips.

Ultimate Dreams Full 3” Talalay Latex Medium

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Three firmness options
  • Durable Latex Build
  • Bamboo cover
  • STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified

Latex mattress toppers have a reputation for durability and are considered a great option for back, neck, and shoulder support. They should easily adjust to your body, creating an ideal environment for spinal alignment while you sleep.

For these reasons, the Talalay model of Ultimate Dreams is a popular product in today’s sleep market. Featuring a 3-inch blended latex pad, it’s specifically designed to feel more luxurious while you sleep.

What makes it stand out?

  • This pad is made out of the most durable material in the industry, making it an ideal choice for those who want a product designed to last longer.
  • The mattress topper features evenly spaced holes that distribute your weight throughout the topper. This should guarantee that your body will remain in an optimal position.

Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual Layer

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Two firmness options
  • Removable and washable cover
  • CertiPUR-US® certified
  • Made in the USA

This mattress topper combines therapeutic comfort and support thanks to its memory foam and pillow top. This combination is also great since the memory foam is more durable, which means the product will last longer.

The product is 4-inches thick. The first two inches are made of premium memory foam molded with the SureTemp technology, and the other two are made out of plush microfiber.

Why it made our list

  • The premium memory foam allows for air circulation and optimum sleeping temperature.
  • The product’s plush microfiber is designed to offer a gentle cradle effort as you sleep.
  • The pad’s strong design and comfortability make it a viable option for consumers.

Gel Memory Foam Topper

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Gel-infused memory foam
  • CertiPUR-US® certified
  • Made in the USA
  • Ideal for firmer beds

This is a thinner option that’s ideal for firmer beds. If you want to add comfort to your medium or super-firm mattress, this topper should be a great choice.

The pad comes with a contemporary open cell structure design to prevent heat accumulation, and it also helps distribute your weight evenly, relieving back pressure. With 3.3 pounds per cubic foot, the topper’s low-density rating compliments these abilities.

Why we picked it

  • The product is made out of certified gel memory foam, which is a highly-regarded material that should last for years to come.
  • Because the topper is thinner, it is a good fit for anyone with a firmer bed that needs a little extra comfort and support.

What Should You Consider Before Buying?

Is a Firm Mattress Pad Right For You?

If you go for a softer solution, it might not be that good to your back. It’s possible the alignment of your spine could become compromised, increasing the radiating pain in your lower back area. While a soft bed could feel a lot more comfortable, chances are that you wouldn’t be able to resolve the issues with your lower back.

A medium firm mattress topper is usually the preferred solution as it tends to combine comfort with convenience and it promotes proper spine alignment. However, keep in mind that the thickness, as well as the density of your pad, would also be predicated on the mattress itself. With this being said, if you have an extra-firm mattress, topping it with a thick and super-firm pad is likely to make it rock solid, hence somewhat uncomfortable, regardless of your preference.

On the other hand, if your mattress is extra-soft, you’d like to pair it with a firmer pad in order to promote serious spine alignment without sacrificing the comfort.

Your sleeping position is also of importance. A soft mattress topper is usually geared towards side sleepers while firmer options are more comfortable for people who tend to sleep on their back or front. However, when choosing a top rated mattress topper for back problems, you should avoid super soft and super-firm pads. Try to find the golden middle ground and get a medium-firm pad as it’s going to provide you with the proper spine alignment while not sacrificing comfort at the same time.

Get More Info: Best Firm Mattress Toppers

Illustration of a Person Sleeping on Their Side on a Firm Mattress
Illustration of a Woman Sleeping on Her Side on a Soft Mattress

How Hip Pain Affects Your Decision

The joints in your body, including the sockets of your hips, are generally affected by the overall type of support that you receive when you are lying in bed. Traditionally, people used to believe that firm mattresses and pads are best for hip pain sufferers. Nevertheless, throughout the last few years, this has been proven to be wrong as there is no one size which fits all.

With this being said, when it comes to hip pain, shoppers have long had quite a few different options. Affordable, comfortable and convenient alternatives to rock-solid beds are readily available thanks to plush memory foam as well as to latex. These are softer materials which are going to conveniently contour your body in an attempt to provide the ultimate support for hip pain and reduce it considerably.

So, what if you have a firm mattress and you start feeling a radiating pain in your hip area? Should you go ahead and buy a new one? Absolutely not – there are far better alternatives. A mattress topper for hip pain relief could easily help you out – it’s a lot cheaper and convenient than having to purchase a brand new mattress altogether.

Keep in mind, though, that places which bear the weight of our bodies, such as hip joints, are considered to be pressure points. These are the areas which are pressed significantly deeper into the mattress, and that’s what creates pains and aches.

Therefore, if your bed is a soft one, you might even have to go for a firm mattress topper to make up for it. The most convenient option would be the one which supports your back and provides you with proper spine alignment, while at the same time relieving the pressure on your hips.

The Back Pain Location

Back pain could manifest throughout your entire back area, regardless of whether it’s lower, mid or upper. However, it’s also true that lower back pain is the most commonly encountered issue, mainly because it’s the most pressurized area, carrying the load of your entire upper body.

This is why the vast majority of people tend to experience this type of back pain. One of the most common causes for it is improper spine alignment during your sleeping hours. And, of course, this is always caused by an uncomfortable and inappropriate mattress. Choosing a nice mattress topper will quickly rectify this issue.

There are three primary materials that you ought to be looking into when choosing your pad. Memory foam, gel, and latex are all great options with the latter being the most multi-functional.

Those of you who experience lower back pain should consider sleeping on their back or front instead of on their side as this would provide proper spine alignment. And, when it comes to it, a medium firm mattress topper could easily do you most good. They also come with an array of added benefits, including a convenient heat distribution and retention, allowing for a more comfortable sleep throughout the night in general.

Find Out More: How to Sleep Better With Lower Back Pain

Consider Your Weight

Your weight will also have a critical role when choosing your topper. If you are a plus size, which usually means that you weigh more than 250 pounds, medium level density is unlikely to provide you with enough density to help your back pain issues. In other words, you need a bed pad which is capable of withstanding your overall weight without fearing of it bottoming out, given your weight and also – given your size.

The best topper has to be able to handle the additional compression generated by the higher weight of your body. Therefore, in this particular example, a mattress pad with a thickness of more than 4 inches and density larger than 5 pounds per cubic feet should be amongst the most optimal choices.

On the other hand, if you are lighter in terms of weight, a medium-firm mattress topper might be the best call as it’s going to provide you with proper spine alignment while keeping your bed incredibly comfortable. You want to avoid using overly soft mattress toppers as they are unlikely to provide your back with the necessary support, regardless of your weight or the location of your back pain.

Illustration of a Man Sitting on The Edge of the Bed Rubbing His Eyes

Thickness

The thickness of your topper is another essential criterion, especially for back sleepers. This is a metric that determines the firmness of the pad as well as the overall level of support that it could offer. The general trend has always been that the more luxurious toppers are, the thicker ones. However, this is not still the case, and it’s not always as beneficial as the most recent medical reports have shown us how this doesn’t necessarily help you with back pain issues.

The non-ergonomic alignment of your spine is the most common cause of your back pain. Therefore, a thicker topper should, on paper, provide you with a proper response to your body shape. Nevertheless, thinner options are far more comfortable.

Given the above, a topper designed for back pain relief should have a medium thickness. It’s neither too soft nor too firm. Therefore, the major advantages of this characteristic are that it’s able to deliver a proper balance between conformability and balance – a combination, perfectly intended for relief of your back pain issues. Anything more than 4 inches or less than 2 inches might have a questionable effect, so aim for a pad ranging in this particular thickness.

Need more info? Learn how to choose the right thickness of a mattress topper.

Density

Just as the previous characteristic, the density is also going to determine the overall level of firmness that the topper would deliver. The density of different pads starts as low as about 2 pounds per cubic foot. The most commonly stocked options on the market provide densities of between 2 and 3 lbs. per cubic foot.

However, just as it is with the thickness, you should aim for the golden middle-ground. Medium-level density toppers are the best when it comes to back pains, regardless of their location and intensity. Pads with densities of between 3 and 5 pounds per cubic foot are what you should be looking for.

They are neither too firm nor too tight, offering a proper mixture of spinal support, comfort, and durability. They allow protruding body parts such as back shoulders and the buttocks to sink just a tiny bit while aligning them with your back perfectly to prevent or relieve back pain.

What is more, this type of density will properly distribute the entire weight of your body, hence relieving pressure points such as your hips.

illustration of a person having lower back pain

Size

When choosing the best topper for back pain, you should make sure that it fits your mattress perfectly. Therefore, making the necessary measurements in advance is quite essential. Keep in mind that pads come in a range of different sizes and it shouldn’t be too hard to find the one which would fit ideally.

If you are shopping online, though, you should be aware that sometimes the information displayed on the website of the vendor might be misleading. That’s why it’s a good idea to check out the comments section to find out whether other customers had any issues with the product whatsoever. This would quickly enable you to determine whether or not it’s the right call.

Read Other Customer Reviews

Reading other customer reviews is amongst the most effective and helpful things you could do in order to determine the weaknesses and the strengths of any pad that you’ve set your sights on. For one thing, it would enable you to understand the ins and outs of the product and it would provide you with insightful information right from the oven – something that the manufacturer might prefer to hide.

What is more, you would be able to determine whether or not the product that you’ve chosen actually works. After all, people who review mattress toppers experience the same turmoil and issues like you – they suffer from aching back, hips or shoulders and they search for a fix. You will be able to quickly identify your situation in some of the reviews, hence allowing you to make an actionable decision a lot quicker.

What Material Should You Choose

Of course, another critical consideration that you ought to account for is the material of the topper. Here are the most convenient options.

Memory Foam

This is a material which is specially designated to help with the cushioning of your mattress a bit more than the usual. When it comes to thickness, memory foam bed toppers come in three different sizes – 2, 3 and 4-inches. Memory foam has the convenient property of “remembering” your body’s texture and adjusting to it, allowing for a proper wrap and a beautiful snuggle fit which helps with back pain.

Plus sized people weighing over 250 pounds should consider the thickest options while others might find it more suitable and comfortable to apt for 2 or 3-inches pads. They provide a splendid combination of both back support and comfort, allowing for a great, relaxing sleep.

It’s worth noting that the so-called “gel” memory foam is also catching up to speed. This is a commonly used topper material which makes the solution particularly comfortable. The main difference is that “gel” pads also promote proper temperature distribution, allowing for a more comfortable and relaxed sleep.

Read Our Full Guide: Best Memory Foam Bed Toppers

Latex

Mattress toppers made out of latex are known for being particularly abundant concerning styles, shapes, sizes as well as different means of comfort. With this in mind, a lot of people find a remedy in these types of pads since they could provide you with relief of different kinds of back pain as well as hip and neck issues.

The best thing about latex toppers is that they provide constant support to your back, keeping your body in a very convenient, cradle position.

Furthermore, they are known for being able to adjust themselves according to your movement in an attempt to prevent even the slightest sleep disturbances. The quality of these orthopedic mattress toppers is substantially high while the prices are somewhat affordable, making the price-to-quality ration quite valuable. Apparently, this is one of the main reasons people prefer them.

Conclusion

Taking advantage of an orthopedic mattress pad is undoubtedly a smart thing to do if you experience issues of the kind. It’s a quick, conveniently and highly comfortable remedy which will seriously enhance your sleeping experience.

LUCID 3” Ventilated Memory Foam is one of the most notable options on the market as it combines the most important characteristics brilliantly. It’s comfortable while providing the necessary support and adhering to the movements of your body quickly and consistently.

It’s quite apparent that there are a lot of things to consider. Make sure to account for your weight and back-related problems, sleeping preferences and requirements. Relate those to the characteristics of the topper, and you would undoubtedly make a good choice. If you don’t feel certain about a particular product, you can always check out what other people have experienced with it in the comments section.

Resources:

Content Writer | + posts

Jill Zwarensteyn is a content writer for Sleep Advisor and is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.

Based in Los Angeles, she is an experienced writer and journalist who enjoys spending her free time at the beach, hiking, reading, or exploring new places around town.

She’s also an avid traveler who has a personal goal of being able to successfully sleep on an airplane someday.

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