Best mattresses for a bad back

If you suffer from joint or back pain it might be time to switch your current mattress.

In this guide we’ll give you everything you need to know about finding the best mattress to help ease-away aches and pains, so you wake up with a spring in your step (rather than a pain in your back).

How does a wrong mattress cause back pain?

While it's always best to consult a doctor on chronic back pain, the cause of your discomfort might be closer to home: in your mattress.

If your mattress is too soft to support your weight it can sag in the middle, which will distort your spine in a way that prevents it from naturally aligning through the night - the repercussions of which will be felt the next day.

Bad mattress causing back pain

As a mattress ages it also starts to lose its ability to effectively support you. This is one of the reasons it's recommended you replace your mattress every 7 - 8 years.

It's important to find a mattress that supports you effectively throughout the night. Inadequate support means more pressure is placed on your muscles to support your body, which is why people wake up in the morning with those oh-so familiar aches and pains.

How to find the right mattress

Two of the key things to consider when choosing a mattress are the support system and comfort layer.

The support system makes up the core of the mattress and is key to comfort and support, whilst the comfort layer sits above the support system and helps to tailor the mattress to your individual sleeping habits.

Here are the key things to look out for with finding the best mattress for your back:

Support system

Choosing the right firmness

While it has been suggested that people with a bad back should get an 'extra-firm' mattress, this is not always the case.

The firmness rating that is right for you can depend on a few things, including: the side you sleep on, comfort preferences and stature.

We’ve created a short quiz to help you find your ideal firmness rating:

You might also be interested in our firmness rating guide.

Why zoned mattresses are important for perfect posture

A zoned mattress is designed to target support in the areas you need it most, such as the shoulders and hips, and is vital to healthy spinal alignment and reducing back pain.

Watch: How does mattress zoning work?

We teamed up with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to put our zoned mattresses to the test. The results showed that - as well as scoring highest on comfort, firmness and overall preference - zoned mattresses also outperformed non-zoned mattresses on healthy spinal alignment.

You can find out more about the research here and read the full report here. More information about our zoned Mirapocket and Miracoil support systems can also be found in our mattress buying guide.

Comfort layer

The comfort layer is like the icing on the cake and when it comes to back support and some are better than others. This particularly applies to our Geltex comfort layer, which helps to provide undisturbed sleep free from aches and pains.

Watch: What are the benefits of Geltex?

To prove this, we conducted research with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to put Geltex to the test against Memory Foam and Latex.

The result? Geltex out-performed Memory Foam and Latex in all areas, including comfort, firmness, pressure relief and spinal alignment. You can view the full report here or view more information about our full range of comfort layers in our mattress buying guide.

Try it out with our reassuring 60 night comfort exchange

There's only one true test for a new mattress: to sleep on it. It can take a little time to settle-in with a new mattress so when you buy a mattress directly from our website, we offer a comfort exchange that gives you 60 nights to get really comfortable before making a decision.

If you're still not loving your new mattress within 60 nights from delivery, you can exchange it for another mattress. You can find out more about the 60 night comfort exchange here.

How have our mattresses helped other bad back sufferers?

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

Excellent service, comfy mattress, no longer suffering with back pain. Catriona Jamieson, 25 Apr 20

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

Great process as always buying direct with Silentnight. Geltex 3000 is absolutely brilliant, sleeping right through and back is much better A +++. Customer, 29 Mar 20

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

This mattress is really fantastic quality and so comfortable. I bought it because I suffer from chronic back pain and it is really helping so much to get a better nights sleep. Naoni W, 25 Mar 20

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

I bought a medium-firm king size mattress because of bad back and chest pains, which I used to get on my old mattress. I have had this for a week now and sleep really well. I don't get chest pain and back pains anymore. It's very comfy. Ms Ahmad, 21 Dec 19

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

Sleep has improved significantly. I've suffered from a bad back and used to wake up in much discomfort in the morning, that has improved vastly. Customer, 25 Nov 19

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

The Eco Comfort Miracoil is a great mattress nice and firm how I like, so much improvement for my back compared to my old one. Recommend for people with back problems. Sleep quality is improved and even good for laying and reading on! Dominque, 22 Nov 19

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

Needed a mattress because of back pain and my new Geltex 2000 as solved that for me. Ian, 15 Nov 19

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

This mattress is by far the most comfortable I have slept on! I used to wake during the night with back and shoulder pain but since having this mattress I haven’t had pain once! It didn’t even need time to soften up has been brilliant since the first night. Would recommend to anyone. Jo, 10 Nov 19

4 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

We love our new extra firm mattress from Silentnight. Have it for three weeks now, completely satisfied by it. Chose the extra firm due to back pain history and have no issues so far! Hope it holds like new for years to come. Thank you! Satisfied Customer, 23 Sep 19

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

Amazing mattress!! Didn’t think I would ever get a good night sleep again with my back problems ! But this has definitely helped love love love. Customer, 6 Sep 19

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

I suffer with a bad back so I was looking for one to support my back during my sleep and this does I have had it for over 2 weeks now which I thought I had to try it out first before giving my review and feed back well worth buying. Neil, 2 Jun 19

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

Fab absolutely love my new mattress so much i don't want to get out of bed! Its been so much more comfortable for my back as well which is a massive bonus as i suffer badly with my lower spine! Jacqueline Phillips, 19 Feb 19

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

I can't say I have had much opportunity to enjoy my new mattress because every time I lie down on it I fall asleep and don't wake up until the alarm. It is super comfy (firm with a soft top layer) and I no longer wake up a couple of times during the night with a painful lower back or hips. Cate L, 11 Feb 19

5 out of 5 Trustpilot logo

Wonderful service and delivered on time despite mattress being so heavy. Enjoying my Silentnight Geltex 3000 mattress super king size. Very thick (approx 36cm deep) and comfortable. Previous back pain all resolved. Laura, 3 Feb 19

FREE UK delivery available

FREE UK delivery on orders over £49

Mattresses and divans delivery service

  • FREE UK delivery to a room of your choice
  • Professional 2-man delivery service

When do we deliver?

We deliver most items between Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm.

How much is delivery for orders under £49?

Orders of or under £49 will come with a £2.50 delivery charge.

Find out more about our delivery service here

60 night comfort exchange

Our comfort exchange gives you 60 nights to get really comfortable before making a decision. If you're still not loving your new mattress within 60 nights from delivery, you can exchange it for another mattress. It's as simple as that.

Here's how it works:

  1. Pick your new mattress on the official Silentnight website
  2. Sleep on it for at least 28 nights as it can take a little time to adjust to a new mattress
  3. If you're not happy after the initial 28 nights you can exchange it for a new mattress, as long as you claim within 60 nights of delivery

Read more about the 60 night comfort exchange

Total Quality Assurance

Before it gets to you your bed has been through a lot

  • All our mattresses, upholstered bases and headboards are made in the UK
  • All of our product meet European standards and exceed British standards
  • All our Upholstered beds and mattresses ordered through Shop.Silentnight are made to order
  • This means they are not stored for prolonged periods of time and are shipped to you direct from our factory.


  • Accredited onsite laboratory to bring the best products to you
  • Every Silentnight mattress type is tested to ensure it exceeds all British standards
  • Silentnight products are fully certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®(FSC®) FSC-C104461
  • We are full members of the Furniture Industry Sustainability Program.
Superbrands The Sleep Council nbf approved