Can a Mattress Topper Help with Back Pain?

Woman on bed with back pain from nights sleep

If you have ever suffered from back pain then there's a good chance you sympathise with those that deal with it on a daily basis.

Aside from the pain itself, dealing with lower back pain can be an absolute nightmare when it comes to sleeping.

The last thing you want after a long day is a sleeping environment that exacerbates your back pain rather than nurturing it.

So what can you do?

There's health and occupational therapy of course, but when it comes to finding solace during beauty sleep, it fundamentally comes down to the bedding products that you're using.

So, could a mattress topper be the answer to your quandary?

Let's find out!

Do mattress toppers help with a bad back?

Best mattress toppers help with back pain 

If you're struggling to sleep through the night because of annoying and often unrelenting back pain, a mattress topper could well be the answer you've been looking for.

Regardless of what type of back pain or injury you suffer from, a mattress topper should be able to alleviate some of the issues contributing to your poor sleep quality.

Mattress toppers come in different shapes and sizes, and offer an extra layer of comfort on top of your existing mattress via the addition of memory foam.

This extra layer of cushioning can be used to do two things:

  1. Provide a softer surface for a firm mattress causing back pain
  2. Provide a firmer surface for an aging mattress that has potentially sagged or sunk

Regardless of which scenario suits your needs better, they both contribute to higher quality sleep and less back pain throughout the night.


Mattress toppers that are at the right thickness for your needs will greatly contribute to better spine alignment, overall sleeping position and will help to relieve pressure points too.

When looking at mattress toppers it's important to know that it's not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach, because people sleep differently.

For example, one mattress topper that suits a side sleeper won't necessarily be the right fit for someone who sleeps on their stomach, so it's important to keep that in mind when looking for the right topper.

How thick should a mattress topper be for back pain?

Memory foam mattress topper

To use a simple letter of the law - the thicker the topper the more support it will most likely provide.

But it's not necessarily that simple.

It essentially comes down to personal preference and knowing what level of thickness mattress topper will give you the level of support and cushioning you need to reduce the back pain.

Common sense will tell you though, if you go with a very thin topper it's not going to offer a sleeping experience that is overly different to simply sleeping on your mattress. So it's about finding the happy medium.

Most mattress toppers vary from one to four inches in thickness and if you're a back sleeper, the thicker your topper the better.

But if not and you're a little unsure, we recommend starting somewhere in the middle ground, say, around 5cm or so in thickness!

Can a mattress topper help a bad mattress?

What is the best mattress topper?

Absolutely a mattress topper can help a bad mattress.

Let us say though, if you have a really bad mattress and you're dealing with regular back pain, maybe a new mattress is on the cards!

But if your mattress is a little too soft or you would like to protect it a little bit and prolong it's lifecycle, than yes, a mattress topper is a great option.

What types of mattress toppers are best for back pain?

Toppers for back pain

Typically speaking, the best mattress toppers for back pain contain one of two materials:

  • Memory foam
  • Latex

Memory foam

Memory foam mattress toppers offer unrivalled cushioning. The material can mould and adjust to your body shape which is great for preventing back pain.

You'll also see "gel memory foam" or "gel infused memory foam" mattress toppers out there. These offer the same benefits as standard memory foam but also offer additional temperature distribution.

When memory foam is combined with springs in what's called a "hybrid mattress", you can achieve a really great combination of longevity and comfort.


A latex mattress topper offers much of the same benefits as memory foam, including the constant back support so many of us need.

Additionally, latex mattress toppers can adjust themselves in line with your movements throughout the night, apparently preventing even the slightest of disturbances caused by your mid-slumber manoeuvres.

But what about bamboo mattress toppers?

Memory foam topper for back pain

How could we forget!

Well, most bamboo mattress toppers made with bamboo are either:

  • Memory foam toppers with a bamboo cover - like this bamboo topper.
  • Bamboo charcoal-infused toppers - which are also made with memory foam.

Both are good for back pain but offer some additional benefits which you can check out on our other blog.


Man sleeping on memory foam mattress topper

If you're considering purchasing a mattress topper for back pain relief, we highly recommend you stop pondering and start testing!

Finding the right mattress topper for your unique sleeping patterns will make a huge difference to your overall level of back pain, your quality of sleep, and ultimately, your health, wellbeing and happiness.

If your mattress is too firm, get yourself a soft mattress topper.

If you move around too much, consider using contouring memory foam.

If you struggle with back pain but still aren't convinced, perhaps learn some of the other benefits to having a mattress topper.