If you’re waking up with a sore lower back every morning, your sagging mattress might be to blame. Lower back pain is a common spinal disorder that is often caused by important sleep posture caused by old, worn-out mattresses.

Our mattress experts weigh in to help you decide whether your mattress is the culprit behind your back or neck pain, and how you can find relief.

Why Sagging Mattresses Cause Back Pain

Your spine is naturally curved. When you sleep, your body must maintain its natural curvature—otherwise, you can develop chronic back pain, joint pain, or achiness that can negatively affect your sleep and your mobility.

Sagging mattresses throw your spine’s delicate alignment off balance. If your spine is held in an unnatural position for multiple hours, like during a night’s sleep, you can develop chronic back and neck pain. In severe cases, a sagging mattress can pull a disc out of alignment and potentially lead to a herniated disc or bulged disc.

Your Mattress Is Old

Most mattresses last less than a decade, especially if it’s constructed with cheap materials. If your mattress is starting to sag, is losing its elasticity, or isn’t as supportive or comfortable as it once was, then it might be time for a new mattress.

Every year, your mattress loses some of its elasticity and structural mattress support. When you wake up every morning with a stiff back and achy joints, then that is usually the first sign that you need to start your search for a new mattress. After all, mattresses don’t last forever.

It’s Your Mattress Base or Box Spring

Sometimes, your bed frame or box spring is the reason why your mattress is sagging. Check the foundation under your saggy mattress and mattress pad to see if the slats in your box spring are solid and aligned. Your mattress foundation should be made of high-density materials so it doesn’t erode over time and interrupt a good night’s sleep.

How To Fix A Sagging Mattress?

1. Buy A Mattress Topper

It may not be a long-term solution, but investing in a mattress topper can help you find relief for backaches that have developed around the sagging area. Flippable mattresses toppers offer extra support for achy and sore areas that need more cushion.

2. Add Extra Support

It might help to slide in a thin piece of plywood between your mattress and box spring to offer extra stability. However, you should ensure that the plywood is exactly the same size as your bed because if it’s too small it may cause the mattress to sink around the side of the mattress.

3. Throw Out Your Box Spring

Sometimes the box spring or bed frame is to blame for a sagging mattress. Check to see if the slats in your box spring are connected and intact. If the box spring is sagging or giving way, throw it out or replace it. You should also try to upgrade to a high-quality adjustable base.

4. Upgrade Your Mattress

The solutions listed above are only effective in the short term. If you want to see lasting results and an immediate improvement in your sleep quality, you need to invest in a new mattress that’s designed for your body and sleeping style. Take the Helix Sleep Quiz today to find out what mattress best suits your needs and preferences.

Will A Firmer Mattress Be Better For My Back?

A firmer mattress isn’t always better than a softer one, but sleepers experiencing back pain might find relief in a firmer mattress. There are many different mattress types that vary in firmness, with latex mattresses and innerspring mattresses being firmer than traditional mattresses and memory foam mattresses.

A good mattress is one that is personalized for your body’s needs. If you have low back pain, you should opt for a firmer sleeping surface—in which case, a pillow top mattress probably isn’t right for you. If you prefer a softer cushion for your hips and shoulders, you may want a memory foam mattress with a topper that’s several inches thick.

Back Pain Relief Tips

Nobody should wake up with a sore back every morning. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to find relief if you’re experiencing back pain, including:

  • Seeing a licensed chiropractor
  • Trying a new sleeping style or sleep position
  • If you’re a side sleeper, switch to the opposite side
  • Try sleeping on your back
  • Add a mattress topper to cushion your pressure points

In the long-term, however, only investing in a new mattress will solve your back pain and back support issues. Custom-built mattresses, such as those offered by Helix Sleep, are engineered according to your preferences and needs so you can wake up rested and pain-free every morning.

Zach Gentry
Zach is the Helix Sleep Customer Experience Manager and Mattress Guru.

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