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What’s the Best Mattress for Back Pain?

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According to statistics, nearly 65 million Americans report a recent incident of back pain. It’s among the most common reasons people visit the doctor, and it’s frequently the cause of missed work days. If you or someone you know experiences back pain, then you’re aware of how it can affect the quality of daily life. 

It’s no wonder, then, that it tops the list of Google searches: “best mattress for back pain.” Back pain is a major consideration when purchasing a mattress, and it’s also a major purchase, both in terms of overall cost and expected product lifespan. So we want to make sure we’re investing in the mattress that will do the best job for the money. 

Chronic back pain is a complex issue, and while we wish we could say that our mattresses will fix your life, we do think our All Wool Mattress measures up pretty well when it comes to back pain. Let’s learn more!

Think Firmness

Conventional wisdom generally prescribes a firm bed for back pain, but we wondered if that was true. 

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It turns out that research indicates a medium-firm mattress is best for back pain, outperforming its firm counterparts. You need enough support to prevent sagging into the bed, but you also need enough cushioning for already achy pressure points. 

Our wool mattress and wool topper combo is the perfect solution! The wool mattress provides the perfect foundation of medium-firmness, with the topper as a fluffy cloud on top. When the body feels safely held, it can fully relax, resulting in less muscle tightness and better sleep.

Think Alignment

Then there’s the issue of spinal alignment. Again, we’re looking for the mattress to give enough to cuddle pressure points, but then provide enough support to ensure that your bones don’t get all out of joint. 

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While our wool mattress provides a fantastic foundation, here’s where you might need extra support in the form of pillows. First, you’ll need to figure out your sleep position: back, side, stomach, or multi-positional flipper? We wrote all about this a while back, check it out here. Then, find the pillows and accessories you need for proper sleep posture, popular options include our Body Pillow and Neck Pillow. For more on that, you can reference our pillow purchasing guide

Think Quality and Durability

Researchers also discovered something interesting…many folks slept better simply when they purchased a new mattress of any kind. That’s because, on average, the study participants’ mattresses were 9.5 years old. When it comes to conventional mattresses with metal coils and synthetic fabrics and materials, that’s an old mattress! Those coils and foams wear out over time, leading to all sorts of issues with body alignment. 

Not our All Wool Mattress! There are no coils or synthetic materials to wear out. All that’s needed is periodic flipping and rotating for even compression, spot cleaning when necessary, and giving it a dose of refreshing sunshine once or twice a year. If you take good care of it, our handmade wool mattress may be the last one you buy, and hopefully it provides relief for back pain just as well as it did the first night you slept on it. 

Maybe you already have a firm mattress, and it just needs a bit of softness. Our wool toppers are an excellent and affordable way to begin experiencing the benefits of wool bedding and add some life to your existing mattress set-up. 

In addition, mattress makers love to come up with new doodads and features to attract buyers in a competitive market, and back pain sufferers are a popular niche. When it comes to chronically painful conditions, it’s totally understandable to try anything that might work, but ultimately, many of these gadgets don’t live up to their promises. In our experience, and from the feedback we receive from decades of happy mattress buyers, allowing our bodies to rest on a simple, all-natural wool mattress can really help our bodies and our well-being. 

Think Adjustment

As we’ve heard from several customers over the years, there can be a period of adjustment to the All Wool Mattress. It’s simply not like other mattresses, and it might take a little while for the body to adapt. But when you do, you may never want to sleep on anything else!

This adjustment period can last from a few nights to 6 weeks, depending on where you and your body are at and what needs you have.

Think the Magic of Wool

We know, from over 25 years making wool mattresses and bedding, that wool helps people sleep better. Many people with back pain and other chronic pain conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia find that our wool mattresses, toppers, and pillows help prevent painful pressure points and cradle their bodies gently, resulting in less tossing and turning and less lost sleep. It’s been shown that a good night’s rest helps with better overall health and reduced pain perception—after all, that’s when our body can heal and revitalize itself.

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Check out what some of our happy customers with back pain have to say:

J— “This is how a mattress should be. Soft but firm, and cool but warm and cozy…I’ve had back pain and nerve pain for two years (when I bought my previous bed) and since the second night I slept on this bed, I have been mostly pain free. I sleep through the night with more deep sleep and feel great during the day.”

Jessica— “This mattress will help improve your health. There will be an adjustment period. The human body was not made to lay in marshmallow plastic foam pads…I spent a long time researching different companies and none of them compare to the quality and sheer ‘no bad stuff’ that Shepherd’s Dream provides. I waited to write this review because I wanted to have used and lived in this mattress for a while. My husband and I have slept on this mattress for 18 months and I cannot recommend the switch enough…The depth of sleep I can get is astounding, this was the kind of sleep that we should all be getting. You feel genuinely rested and my back pain slowly went away.”

Thanks so much for reading! If you suffer from back pain and are curious about how a wool mattress or wool bedding can help, please contact our knowledgeable Customer Service Dream Team, and they can guide you to the mattress and accessories that will suit you best.

If you’re not already following us on social channels, find us on Instagram and Pinterest for more about the magic of wool. Sweet dreams!


The information in this article, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, and other materials, are for informational and educational purposes only. No material here is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician or other qualified health care practitioner with any questions or concerns you may have for your care.

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