Best Mattress For A Bad Back 2018- A UK Expert Buyer’s Guide

Back PainThere’s nothing worse than your sleep being ruined because of your bad back. And it’s a horrible catch 22, your sore back stops you getting a good sleep, and then not getting enough sleep can make your back sorer!

Well let’s end the vicious cycle by having a look at some of the best mattresses for a bad back you can get in the UK. But first, let’s have a look at some of the different things we have to consider so you can decide what’s going to be best for you.Take a look at the table below to see the run down of the mattresses we’ve looked at.

NameMattress TypeGuaranteeFirmnessPrice
Sealy Posturepedic PearlHybrid - Latex1 YearMedium££
Relyon Memory Superior Ortho SupportHybrid - 1500 Pocket SpringsNoneMedium-Firm££
John Lewis OrthoPocket Sprung7 YearFirm£££
Happy Beds Ortho Royale OrthopaedicSpringNoneMedium-Firm£
Silentnight Stratus Miracoil OrthoOpen Coil5 YearFirm£

How does A Mattress affect Back Pain

Mattresses can do a lot to make your back feel much better but an old mattress can be the worst possible thing for your back.

Basically what happens is that if your mattress is the wrong tension your spine distorts while you’re lying down. Check out the diagram below to see what I mean:

Mattress For Bad Back

So if your mattress is too soft or if it’s started to sag in the middle then that’s going to ruin your posture and cause tension to build up along the spine making your mornings a nightmare for back pain.

It talked about latex specifically but it’s true of any mattress type as long as you have the right tension you’re going to be fine whatever type of sleeper you happen to be.

What Mattress Type is Best For Back Pain

There are quite a few different types of mattress to choose from so let’s take a look at the different ones and decide which are the best.

Orthopaedic mattresses

Orthopedic mattresses are designed with back pain in mind, often abbreviated to “ortho mattress”. They are extra firm mattresses designed to distribute weight and provide extra support to the spine by taking the weight off of your hips, shoulders, and neck. This allows your spine to sit comfortably and fully relax while you sleep.

They are usually spring mattresses but you often find hybrid mattresses as well which is a combination of spring and memory foam. This are especially good as the memory foam lets the heavier parts sink deeper while the springs maintain a good level of firmness. Sometimes you get a hybrid of spring and latex which helps give the mattress a lot of extra bounce which can make for a really great sleep if you’re prone to moving around.

Orthopaedic and firm mattresses are best for people who are heavier, generally above around 18 stone.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam is great for back pain because of its great ability to mould around your body while you sleep. This gives your back and joints maximum support by allowing your body to sink in only as deep as it needs to keep your spine aligned and your back happy.

The problem with memory foam can be that you get stuck in the same position all night because you’ve created too much of a groove. And unfortunately, this can cause you to wake up with a stiff back! Absolutely not what you need when that’s the problem you’re trying to solve. This can generally be resolved though by choosing a hybrid memory foam and spring mattress, that gives you just enough bounce back to be able to move in your sleep and stops you getting sore. More on memory foam mattresses.


Latex is a really great material for back pain because it is similar to memory foam in that it moulds around your body but it tends to be a little firmer so that it bounces back giving greater support on your back and allowing you to move more freely than on memory foam.

100% latex mattresses are quite uncommon and you usually find latex mattresses as part of either a memory foam mattress or with a spring unit underneath. I find a spring unit underneath to be the best thing for back pain as it helps firm up the mattress on the whole.

Best Mattresses for Bad Back UK

And that brings us to the main event of reviewing the best mattresses available in the UK for a bad back. I’ve put together 6 different mattresses in no particular for your consideration and provided a short review of each. I’ve also linked them through to where you can buy them so you can read up on some more information and order yours today.

Sealy Posturepedic Pearl Latex Mattress

Latex Matress for Bad Back


  • Hybrid latex-spring System
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cooling cover


  • Only a 1 Year Guarantee

Firmness: Medium

Price & Reviews

The Sealy Posturepedic is everything you could want to ease your bad back, it’s got a latex top and Sealy’s Posturetech 660 Spring System underneath.

The Spring system allows for ideal weight distribution across the whole of the mattress. This allows for even pressure being applied across your body instead of at the usual pain points, your back, hips and shoulders.

The latex layer gives it a really nice bounce compared to memory foam while still moulding to your body keeping your spine aligned and your back happy. Another cool feature is the Edge Guard which keeps the mattress consistent right up to the edges, often mattresses tend to sag at the ends, not the case here.

You don’t have to flip this mattress because it’s got the latex on one side but it is a good idea to turn it every now and again. This can also be a tiresome task the Sealy latex has handy handles on the side to make this easier.

It only has a medium firmness because of the latex layer but don’t worry too much about that because latex does make it softer but doesn’t compromise the support.

Relyon Memory Superior Ortho Support 1500

Reylon Orth Mattress


  • A Which Best Buy
  • Hybrid Memory Foam and Spring
  • Pocket Sprung Mattress
  • High 1500 Spring Count


  • No Guarantee

Firmness: Medium-Firm

Price & Reviews

Relyon have developed an excellent orthopaedic mattress. The 1500 spring count is very high and it uses pocket springs which is great. Pocket Springs are when springs area sewn into individual pockets adding greater freedom of movement and support just where you need it.

Combine that with the 5cm of memory foam and you’re onto a winner. 5 cm is plenty to give you the proper support around your spine, hips, and shoulders, no matter if you’re a side sleeper, back sleeper or a front sleeper.

It might not have a guarantee which is always annoying but the Relyon 1500 ortho mattress is hand tufted which helps hold the whole mattress together. And the better quality it’s made the longer it will last so it’s a safe bet to go with this mattress regardless. And it was a which best buy in 2015 which is nothing to be scoffed at!

John Lewis Ortho Pocket Spring 1000 Mattress

John Lewis Ortho Mattress


  • Made by Hypno
  • Firm Feel
  • Breathable
  • 7 Year Guarantee


  • Quite Heavy To Rotate Alone

Firmness: Firm

Price & Reviews

This John Lewis mattress is actually made by Hypno who are bed making heavy weights and have been in business in the UK for over 100 years. Nothing less should be expected from John Lewis of course!

It’s got a great firm feel and will provide loads of support to your back whatever type of sleeper you happen to be. The 1000 pocket spring is very respectable, any more springs and it would become a softer feel so 1000 is the perfect balance of support and comfort. The top has been hand tufted to help keep the filling in place and smooth out the top for a firmer feel.

It also has airstream technology which stops air getting trapped inside and overheating you while you sleep. This also helps keep the wool and polyester filling fresh for longer. Top that off with a 7 year guarantee and you’re definitely onto a winner with a mattress you can enjoy for years to come.

Happy Beds Ortho Royale Orthopaedic Mattress

Happy Beds Bad Back Mattress


  • Great Price
  • Suitable For All Sleeper Types
  • Available in A Large Range of Sizes
  • Orthopaedic


  • Not as Firm as it could be

Firmness: Medium-Firm

Price & Reviews

Happy beds have a great orthopaedic mattress here, the only problem is that it’s not as firm as it could be. Most orthopaedic mattresses are a firm rating but this is definitely a medium firm.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing because you might want an orthopedic mattress but not want to go full firmness and that’s why I included it in the list. It has a Bonnel spring system inside which does make it firmer than most pocket spring mattress.

Aside from the firmness it has handles built into the side which aid in flipping the mattress which should be done semi regularly. And it has air vents to help keep the mattress fresh and cool throughout the night.

Silentnight Stratus Miracoil Ortho Mattress

Silentnight Ortho Mattress


  • Good Price
  • Firm Support
  • 5 year Guarantee
  • Hypoallergenic


  • Open Spring System not Pocket

Firmness: Firm

Price & Reviews

The stratus ortho mattress offers a firm feel at a great price and you can trust Silentnight who have been serving the UK with great mattresses for a long time. The mattress filling uses a miracoil inner which is Silentnight’s’ own open coil spring system. Open coil is generally not as comfortable as pocket spring because the springs can’t move independently. But this helps keep the cost down and makes the mattress firmer which, as we discussed, is great if you have a bad back.

It’s got a 5 year guarantee but this comes with somewhat of a catch, the more time that passes the more you have to pay for a replacement starting with 80% refund in year 2. Still it’s better than no guarantee and this isn’t an expensive mattress by any stretch of the word.

Overall it’s firm feel makes it a great mattress for a bad back.


Do pillows affect a bad back?

No, generally your pillows will make a difference if you have neck pain but not if you have back pain.

Should I see a doctor first?

Absolutely! If you have serious back problems you should always speak to your doctor before making any changes. This guide is to help find a mattress that is designed to help a back pain and is in no way giving medical advice for treating your back pain. The NHS has more info.

How often should I turn/flip my mattress?

Around every 3-6 months is about how often you need to flip your mattress. Generally, cheaper mattresses need to be flipped more often than expensive ones. The same goes for turning them. More often isn’t a bad thing it’s just quite a difficult task and you certainly don’t want to make your back any worse!

Related Reading

Best Memory Foam Mattress Topper

8 thoughts on “Best Mattress For A Bad Back 2018- A UK Expert Buyer’s Guide

  1. Kate says:

    Having used two fairly budget priced (£180-£200) memory foam mattresses which have each softened and sagged after around six months and caused me nocturnal lower back pain, I am now considering what to buy next. I don’t want to spend £££s on another (better) memory foam mattress only for it to fail/sag/soften after a couple of years. I love the idea of a hybrid as I love sleeping on memory foam but as they are so expensive I would worry the foam would fail and the whole mattress would need replacing. So I am considering a well-priced 3000 pocket spring mattress coupled with an Eve memory mattress topper – then at least if the foam starts to sag I don’t have to replace the mattress, just the topper. In total the two come to about £400. It’s kind of a diy hybrid. What would your thoughts be on doing this – either in general or to help back pain specifically. Thanks 🙂

    • thedozyowl says:

      Hi Kate,

      That sounds like a fantastic idea to me, The Eve Mattress topper has a 3-year guarantee for sagging peace of mind (though I’m sure it will last a longer than that before it starts to sag). And the memory foam will give you the extra back support that a pocket sprung mattress might lack.

      My only point to consider is that a 3000 spring count at that price doesn’t quite sound right. It sounds a little too cheap for that sort of spring quality so if you drop down to a 1500-2000 spring count you might find the actual spring quality is better and so they’ll stay strong for longer.

      Great idea though, this way your mattress will last a lot longer and you’ll just have to change the topper when it comes to a new mattress. Thanks for commenting, please let me know if you go for it and how it feels!

      • kate says:

        thanks for your reply. The mattress I’ve now bought is the Happy Beds Signature Crystal 3000. RRP is allegedly £569 (if that’s to be believed) but it’s currently listed as £309. I managed to pick one up new on Amazon for £229. I fell for the large spring count – I should have known better! It’s sold by Amazon directly so if it’s rubbish I can send it back.
        Thanks for your help, great site btw 🙂

        • thedozyowl says:

          Well if it’s on sale that’s a different story! And happy beds are generally quite good so it should do you fine! But if it’s not up to scratch you can send it back like you said. You are very welcome, glad you like it 🙂

  2. caroline says:

    me and my hubby looking for mattress. we both suffer back pain and lower pain in are joints. hubby sleeps on side. but i sleep on my back,my side,loads different ways. we both heavy people i am 18 stones and hubby 22 stones. so we both good built. what mattress do you think would be good

    • thedozyowl says:

      Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for commenting! The John Lewis Ortho Would be a great choice with a firm feel and a 24cm depth. In general, go for a deeper mattress so there’s more room to sink in avoid anything less than 20cm because you’ll likely feel the bed frame underneath.

  3. Helen says:

    Hi, i have allways post a silent night medium to firm mattres no roll together , but long story short i need a new bed as the bed is aboit 15 uears old ( not the mattres ) i have discs problems in my lower back can u advice on what would be the closest to this now ? Cheers

    • thedozyowl says:

      Hi Helen,

      Thanks for getting in touch! I’m not entirely sure which mattress you’re talking about but it sounds like the Reylon Memory Superior would be a great choice for you!

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