The type of mattress you use is an important part of maintaining back health. And if you already suffer from back pain, the choice is even more important. Which type is the best? Are firm or plush mattresses better for your back? The information you find here will help you understand the type of mattress you need. You’ll be equipped with the knowledge to choose the best mattress for your back.
Firm vs. Plush Mattresses
Let’s start by defining these terms because they get thrown around in different ways by the mattress manufacturers.
Firm Mattresses: There’s actually good consensus about what a firm mattress is. While not being stiff, it is the hardest type of mattress you’ll find in most brands. If it’s an innerspring mattress, it may have more coils than comparable medium or soft mattresses. The coils may be tighter so they compress less, producing a firmer feel. Traditionally, a firm mattress was believed to be the best choice for those with a bad back.
Plush Mattresses: In most cases, a plush mattress will be on the softer end of the spectrum. The problem arises when some manufacturers put a plush pillow top over a firm or medium mattress. For our purposes, a plush mattress is nearer the soft end of the range made by most mattress companies.
The Best Mattress for your Back
The best mattress for maintaining back health or alleviating soreness in your back is one that reduces pressure points. These are places in your body that have higher mass, such as your shoulders and hips.
The best mattress distributes the weight of your body more evenly so that the pressure points aren’t as pronounced. The mattress should give equal support to all areas of your body, reducing the amount of stress experienced by any one location.
Are Firm or Plush Mattresses Better for your Back?
Most physicians and chiropractors recommend you stay away from a plush mattress if you have concerns about your back. A plush mattress simply doesn’t offer enough support to maintain good back health or to relieve pressure points in order to reduce back pain.
In most cases, a firm mattress will provide the kind of balanced support that is better for your back. Stay away from stiff or ultra-firm mattresses, but those labeled “firm” by most manufacturers are generally very good for back health.
If you want the best of both worlds, take a look at mattresses with a firm core, either foam or coil, and a plush pillow top made from memory foam. You’ll get the support you need as well as the soft, body-cradling comfort of foam.