The 5 Best Mattress Toppers For Back Pain Relief
Back pain can disrupt sleep, cause severe discomfort, and result in even more aches upon waking up every morning. That’s why it’s so vital that you use bedding products that are catered to your needs. Here we present you our top 5 best mattress topper for back pain.
Whether you suffer from lower back pain or upper back pain, using the correct mattress topper can provide relief and prevent sleep being interrupted due to these issues.
We have put together a guide for what to look for when searching for the best mattress topper for back pain, as well as our picks for the top five best mattress toppers for back pain.
Features to Look For
A mattress topper that relieves back pain needs to be able to contour to the body and provide proper spinal alignment in order to prevent further damage to the back and keep things in place. For this reason, there are two materials that you can choose from when it comes to mattress toppers.
The first is memory foam. Memory foam easily supports the body, wrapping around it and contouring exactly to the shape of your weight. Essentially, this means even weight distribution and proper support on all joints and key areas.
It provides quite a lot of comfort, too, and many modern versions of memory foam toppers have found solutions to the heat retention issues of older products. Gel memory foam – a variety of this material that uses a layer of cooling gel – can also help those who sleep hot.
The second option is latex foam. Latex foam toppers are very versatile and usually come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, and varieties.
Like memory foam, it contours to the body and promotes healthy spinal alignment, and it makes use of a hole-filled design to absorb body weight for added comfort and support.
Essentially, latex foam offers many of the benefits of memory foam but with a faster response time for an added bounce, so it works for those who don’t like the “stuck” feeling that slow-responding memory foam sometimes has. Latex is also very breathable in most cases and is often quite affordable.
Soft or Firm?
Softness and firmness with a mattress topper for back pain are about more than just comfort – it’s about support and ensuring the topper feels just right to prevent further aches and relieve existing pain.
Mattress toppers that are too soft will likely fail to provide enough support to your spine. While these tend to be the most comfortable of the toppers available, they will likely not help your back pain issues at all as they don’t offer the necessary support to ensure proper spinal alignment.
On the other hand, extremely firm mattress toppers will likely be very uncomfortable, and they don’t offer the needed spinal support to alleviate back pain for most sleepers.
However, those who are exclusively back sleepers can benefit from mattress toppers on the higher end of the firmness scale. Side sleepers should opt for medium-firm toppers.
With that being said, you won’t be sleeping on your mattress topper alone, so choose one that complements the firmness of your mattress. If you have a soft mattress that barely offers any support, goes for firmer toppers, and vice versa.
Also, remember to factor your weight into purchasing a topper. If you are plus sized or weight over 250 lbs., you will want a firmer topper that doesn’t sink in or bottom out underneath you, as that may only exacerbate back pain issues.
Thickness is an important factor to consider in mattress toppers. Thicker toppers are typically more comfortable and as a rule, thicker is generally better when it comes to finding the best mattress topper for back pain, but you don’t need to a very thick product to enjoy pain relief.
It’s worth noting that thickness ties into other factors. For one, density is just as important as thickness and there are some thinner mattress toppers that offer higher density materials, making them equally or even more supportive than thicker ones with low densities.
On top of that, thicker toppers usually mean a firmer feeling, so if you’re dead set on getting a softer mattress topper, already have a very firm mattress, or are a stomach sleeper, there’s a good chance that you will feel inclined to go for a thinner topper anyway.
In addition, an overly thick and firm topper can prevent it from responding properly to the shape of your body as you lie down, resulting in a non-ergonomic design that leaves you with more pain than you started with.
Keep in mind that too-thin toppers also have their fair share of disadvantages for those with back pain, especially because they don’t provide enough support to key areas, joints, and pressure points.
Basically, your best bet is a topper of a medium thickness. We recommend at least 3” to provide a balance between comfort and support for the best pain relief.
You should keep your weight in mind, too, when considering the best thickness for a mattress topper. If you are heavy or plus-sized, you will want a slightly thicker topper of at least 4” in most cases, though there are exceptions.
Some mistake density for thickness, and while the two often tie in together and have similarities, they are far from the same. The densities of mattress toppers usually begin at 2 lb./ft³, and higher density mattress toppers are, as you may expect, firmer than their less dense counterparts.
A mattress topper with a density of 2 or 3 lb./ft³ will feel soft and plush, making it very comfortable, but this usually isn’t enough to help back pain.
One with a density higher than 5 lb./ft³ will feel very firm and offer the most support, but will not contour easily to your body, meaning it is still not optimal for those with back pain.
A 3 to 5 lb./ft³ density is best for mattress toppers if you have back pain, and we call these medium-level density products.
They are neither light nor firm, falling in the middle for added versatility so they bridge the gap between pure comfort and pure support to give you a balance of both. They are also better at distributing overall body weight evenly.
Note that if you are heavier, you will likely need a mattress topper with more density. Start with 5 lb./ft³ and work your way up until you find one that works for you.
Lack of sufficient density will cause you to sink into the topper, causing spinal misalignment and worsening back pain.
Memory foam toppers often have a tendency to add to the overall warmth of your bed, and they can contribute to overheating and raising your body temperature.
Although most modern toppers have found ways around this, it’s likely a good idea that you opt for ones that have specific measures implemented to combat the heat. Low-quality toppers are not likely to include temperature regulation features.
If you are opting for a latex topper, then finding one that doesn’t sleep hot is an easier task as most latex bedding is highly breathable.
However, memory foam is notorious for sleeping hot so you will want to search for ones that are either gel infused or are designed for optimal airflow and temperature balance.
This should go without saying, but you will need to purchase a mattress topper that properly fits your bed. Make sure you have the measurements of your mattress and know its standard size because a mattress topper must completely cover your mattress in order to provide foolproof back pain relief.
Health and Safety
Many buyers make the mistake of overlooking this very important aspect. When you purchase a mattress topper, you should ensure that it is made in a safe manner, using little to no harmful chemicals or components.
A CertiPUR-US certification for memory foam products ensures that the foam has been manufactured in a manner that is safe for your health and does not use flame retardants, toxins, or heavy materials in its construction.
Top 5 Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain
1. Ultimate Dreams Talalay Latex Topper
The Ultimate Dreams Talalay Latex Topper measures 3” in thickness and is one of the top latex mattress toppers available in the market.
Fashioned from a blended latex pad, it has the ability to respond quickly to movements and pressure, enabling full spinal support and alignment as you sleep, even for those who move around a lot as they snooze.
The topper’s surface is evenly topped with holes that help with proper and even weight distribution so your posture is always optimal.
Its structure is specifically designed to easily contour to your body as you lie down, nestling you in an equal amount of support and comfort that is neither too firm nor too soft.
However, if you are looking for a very soft and plush mattress topper, you may find this to be too firm for you, especially if you are a stomach sleeper. Still, this firmness is optimal for those with back pain.
This product also claims to provide excellent breathability thanks to its aerated structure, so it keeps cool at night and helps maintain a conducive temperature for sleeping.
It is also made with a specific infrastructure that prevents it from losing its shape, so it will maintain its form even after long periods of use.
Latex toppers have been proven to be able to supply up to 33% additional support to sleepers, and they are also known for their durability and strength, so you can rest easy knowing this topper will last you a good amount of time without damage when cared for correctly.
While this topper is not 100% latex, it does provide these same benefits.
In addition, Talalay latex specifically is one of the highest quality varieties of latex out there. It does not sink under pressure or weight, meaning it provides unparalleled support for those with back pain.
While it is relatively easy to clean, this topper’s cover is unfortunately not removable, which can make the cleaning and maintenance process a bit more difficult.
However, this cover is also made from 100% pure bamboo, which in itself carries several benefits, including breathability, hypoallergenic qualities, and anti-pest features.
The Ultimate Dreams Talalay Latex Topper comes in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen, King, and California King sizes and it has three density options.
It is made without the use of harmful or toxic chemicals. While it does come slightly on the higher side price-wise, it makes a decent investment for anyone looking for the best latex mattress topper for back pain.
2. LUCID 3” Ventilated Memory Foam Topper
The LUCID 3” Ventilated Memory Foam Topper is 3 inches thick, has a 3 lb./ft³ density, and has a medium firmness. It is made from 100% pure memory foam.
Although it is great for those with back pain, it’s equally comfortable for those without, so if you share a bed without someone who doesn’t experience aches and pains at night, this topper can allow for both parties to be comfortable and supported.
The firmness of this topper is interesting as although it is medium firm, it still veers towards the softer side.
It may be too soft for some individuals – especially side sleepers – but is perfect for stomach sleepers, and it also makes a great option for those who want a soft and plush topper that can still help with and support back pain.
Do note that if you don’t enjoy the feel of memory foam, this mattress topper may not be for you.
This topper is designed with open-cell construction, promoting an evener distribution of weight and stopping slacking, dipping, and caving in the material when weight is put on it.
This construction also means there are lots of well-spaced ventilation holes throughout the material that reduces heat retention and allows for cool sleeping.
These holes also make the mattress topper less likely to build up dirt and dust, while also making it a safe option for those with allergies or sensitive skin.
The memory foam that is used feels nice and soft and is very moldable, easily hugging the body and contouring to its shape to provide support and pressure point relief.
In fact, this mattress topper offers very high levels of pain relief and comfort all at once, providing support for the shoulder, neck and back easily.
The LUCID 3” Ventilated Memory Foam Topper is available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, King, California King, and Short Queen or RV sizes. It is very budget-friendly.
It does not come with a cover, which is a potential downside, especially as this means it does not have straps to fasten it to a mattress, but it can be easily wrapped in with a protector.
Unfortunately, there is some off-gassing when the mattress topper is first opened, but the foam used is CertiPUR-US certified and the product is backed by a 3-year warranty for added peace of mind, making it a sound investment.
3. Sleep Innovations 4” Dual Layer Mattress Topper
The Sleep Innovations 4” Dual Layer Mattress Topper is a high-quality product that, as its name states, measures 4” in thickness and has two layers – a 2” fiberfill comfort layer made from polyester and a 2” gel memory foam layer.
It is essentially a one of a kind topper and is virtually the only one of this construction available in the market.
The comfort layer is very plush and soft and provides a cloud-like feeling over the firmness of the topper’s SureTemp memory foam layer.
The mattress topper’s thickness makes it slightly on the soft side, but it still offers a decent amount of firmness for those with back pain, making it a good compromise if you are sharing the bed with someone who prefers less firm bedding.
It has a great pressure system that evenly distributes weight and reduces pain in key areas, so its softness is not too much of a downside, and it’s great for sleepers in all positions. Essentially, it’s a medium-soft mattress topper.
Being made from gel memory foam means that this topper keeps nice and cool at night. The memory foam easily contours to the body and the gel neutralizes body heat to allow for comfort and pressure relief with great temperature regulation.
Its added thickness means it provides even more support, and it ensures head-to-toe contouring capabilities, and it has a density of 3 lb./ft³.
This topper also has a unique capability for motion isolation, which is something we don’t often see in mattress toppers.
This makes it great for those who share their beds with a partner. It is also a bit heavier than most toppers, and while that can be a potential downside, this means it moves around much less.
When first opened, there is some off-gassing from this mattress topper. Unfortunately, it is not noted to be hypoallergenic and it does not have any certifications.
On the flip side, it is dust mite resistant and relatively easy to clean, with a removable cover that is machine washable. Do note that this cover is not waterproof.
The Sleep Innovations 4” Dual Layer Mattress Topper comes in Twin, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes. This topper does come at a higher price than most due to its unique composition, but it’s a solid choice for those with back pain who want supreme comfort that borders of luxury.
To top it all off, it has a 10-year warranty, so you can rest easy knowing your purchase is protected.
4. Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Topper
The Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Topper is a 2” thick mattress topper made from gel memory foam.
As you may have gathered, it’s quite a bit thinner than many mattress toppers for back pain. It has a density of 3.3 lb./ft³ and is relatively firm but can add some comfort to firmer mattresses as well.
Being infused with ultra-premium gel means this product stays nice and cool, neutralizing body heat.
There have been some reports that the body heat absorbed may radiate back to the user, so if you have a tendency to sleep very hot or get sweaty even under good room temperatures, you may not enjoy using this product.
The topper uses an open cell structure in order to allow for airflow and better temperature regulation so you will sleep cool at night. This also allows for even weight distribution that is especially helpful in relieving back pain and stress on pressure points.
This pressure relief is actually quite significant and you will likely feel the difference very easily, and your muscles and joints will also enjoy benefits while your spine is supported and kept well-aligned.
Unfortunately, being thin, this mattress topper may not offer enough support for those who are heavier.
With that being said, this product does have an anti-sinking design that will prevent it from caving in when you lie on it, instead contouring to the body and providing uplifting support. Whether this is sufficient to support a heavier individual is unclear, though.
This topper offers some nifty motion isolating benefits, which are not always common in mattress toppers. This makes it ideal for those who sleep with a partner. Even though this topper was originally aimed at kids, its composition and construction make it fantastic for adult couples.
This mattress topper is made from certified gel memory foam so it is safe for those with allergies, and all materials used are completely eco-friendly without any toxic chemicals being used. There is some off-gassing when first opened but this will go away quite quickly.
The Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Topper is 100% made in the USA and comes with a 3-year manufacturer's warranty and a 60-day money back guarantee in case you are dissatisfied with your purchase.
While it does not come with its own cover, it is relatively reasonably priced and fits many beds, coming in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, and California King sizes. All in all, it’s a good purchase for those who want a thinner topper that can still alleviate back pain.
5. DreamFoam Bedding 2”
The DreamFoam Bedding 2” Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper is made from soft, Visco elastic memory foam with a 2” thickness and a 2.5 lb./ft³ density.
The gel swirl pattern on the topper looks very aesthetically pleasing, and these swirls contain a gel-infused material so there is a practicality to its stunning good looks.
It’s perfect for those with a firmer mattress who want some gentle soft comfort.
The make of the Visco elastic memory foam in this mattress topper feels very luxurious and comfortable, adding to the overall pain relief that this product has to offer.
It feels soft yet firm enough to reduce back pain successfully, and it contours easily to the curves of the body to provide strong support and a nice, peaceful cushioning comfort when sleeping. It provides a lot of support, especially for those with lower back pain.
The gel infusion within the memory foam makes this mattress topper handle heat well, providing good temperature regulation features.
It does this from the inside, preventing heat from being retained inside the material of the topper and therefore stopping you from sleeping warm or overheating at night.
This mattress topper is made without any harmful chemicals and is CertiPUR certified to be safe and environmentally friendly. However, the off-gassing smell that comes when the topper is first unboxed may take quite a long time to completely dissipate, so keep that in mind when purchasing.
The DreamFoam Bedding 2” Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper is affordably priced and comes in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Short Queen, King, and California King sizes.
This topper is made purely in the USA and is also highly durable and will not damage easily if it is well taken care of. With that being said, it is worth noting that the mattress topper does not come with its own cover.
Still, with a 3-year warranty on a purchase, it’s a great choice for those who want a mattress topper that is thin and soft enough to counteract the firmness of their mattress.