Best Mattresses for Back Pain in Canada
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Back pain is highly unpleasant, and it can turn your peaceful slumber into a nightmare.
However, along with chronic conditions that can aggravate the unpleasant sensations, your mattress may contribute to your back pain as well.
Which is why it’s important to choose the right mattress.
Today, I will share with you my reviews of the best mattresses for back pain in Canada and help you understand the most important factors you should consider to make sure you’ll make the right choice.
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Our Reviews of 5 Best Mattresses for Back Pain in Canada
Best Overall — Novosbed
- after-purchase firmness adjustments to ensure customer satisfaction;
- low motion transfer to keep your partner undisturbed during the night;
- washable cover for easy cleaning and to help prevent allergen build-up.
So, let’s start my review of the best mattresses for back pain in Canada with the well-known player on the market, the Novosbed. This mattress can literally hug you and adapt to your spine curves to provide excellent pressure relief.
The Novosbed comes in three firmness levels: Soft, Medium, and Firm. But what makes the mattress stand out among its competitors is the Comfort+ kit. If your mattress appears to be not perfect for you, you can request this kit — which is basically an additional foam layer — and make your bed softer or firmer.
I also was quite impressed by the edge support the Novosbed can offer. Having tested dozens of mattresses, I can easily claim that the edges of this memory foam mattress are comparable to those of hybrid beds of the same price category. So, if you share a bed with someone, or just love to snooze closer to the edge, the Novosbed will help you get that extra space and uniform support without sagging.
Overall, I enjoyed testing the Novosbed mattress. It feels uniform, adjusts to your body curves, and is made of high-quality and proprietary materials. Basically, anything you could ask for in a mattress for pain relief.
- Users who are unsure of their firmness preferences. If you don’t know what firmness level is good for you, the Novosbed is a safe option to go with. Opt for the Medium option, which offers a very balanced feel, and in case it doesn’t completely satisfy you, adjust it with a Comfort+ kit.
- Active sleepers and their partners. The mattress has incredibly low motion transfer. I’m a pretty active sleeper and my wife is sensitive to movements, and she didn’t have any complaints while we were testing this mattress.
- Fans of the classic memory foam feel. I think that the Novosbed will make a good purchase for those who love being hugged by their mattress rather than floating on it.
- May be too soft for people;
- Not suitable for heavier folks;
- Lacks adequate support at the edge;
- The mattress may not be comfortable for hot sleepers, as it is memory foam.
Best for Mixed Sleepers with Back Pain - Puffy
- medium feel to accommodate a wide range of sleepers;
- removable, stain-resistant cover for fuss-free maintenance;
- impressive cooling properties to aid tension alleviation without making sleepers sweat during the night.
The next candidate to claim a place in this review of the best mattresses for back pain in Canada is the Puffy. Aside from being a brand with a positive social impact (the company donates mattresses to children in need), Puffy builds its mattresses to be breathable, cradling, and universally comfortable.
The mattress comes in the medium firmness. I would rate it as 5.5-6 points out of 10, where 10 is the firmest surface for sleeping. It offers a great hug but doesn’t have that sinking feel. I’m a side and back sleeper, and I felt comfortable and supported in both positions. Even my wife, who’s a stomach sleeper and on the petite side, didn’t complain (although she had to put a pillow under her pelvis at the end of the third testing night).
I also loved the cooling effect of the Puffy. Despite being a memory foam mattress, it has two comfort layers made of proprietary gel-infused materials that can withdraw heat from your body. Top it with a breathable and removable cover, and you’ll get your own cooling cloud for sleep.
So, the Puffy is a great mattress for everyone. It can contour your spinal curves, relieve the pain, and induce a peaceful sleep in minutes, regardless of your preferred sleeping position.
- Mixed sleepers. According to my wife’s and my own experience, the Puffy offers decent support in any sleeping position. You just feel as your muscles relax and the pain diminishes.
- Those who typically sleep hot on a foam mattress. The gel upper layers of the Puffy can cool down even a chronic hot sleeper and help them sleep comfortably while maintaining the needed level of support.
- People with hypersensitivities. The washable cover is soft to the touch and is made of hypoallergenic materials. So, if you have any hypersensitivity, the Puffy might be a good pick for you, as it will prevent you from developing allergy symptoms.
- Some may find it too firmer;
- Hot sleepers may not find it too comfortable as it retains and traps heat;
- The ultra-conforming nature of the mattress inhibits the ease of movement;
- Heavy sleepers over 250Ibs may not get the needed support for their body on the puffy.
Best Budget-Friendly Pick - Douglas
- quality-made but has an attractive price tag, good value for money;
- eco-friendly materials, safe even for sensitive users and allergy-prone sleepers;
- universal medium-firm feel to satisfy the needs of most sleepers.
My review of the best mattresses for back pain in Canada wouldn’t be full without a budget-friendly pick. So, meet the Douglas, a medium-firm mattress that can suit any type of sleeper. It offers a balanced hug and can support your natural spine alignment without sleeping hot.
So, the Douglas is packed with the proprietary materials from top to bottom. The EcoLight foam is responsible for heat removal and, in fact, excels at it. It even feels cool to the touch! The foam is also a bit springy, which prevents you from sinking too deep and reduces the area of contact between your body and the mattress, thus further alleviating hot sleeping.
The Tencel cover adds some breathability to the mattress. It’s also removable and washable, which makes the maintenance of the Douglas a lot easier.
Finally, the mattress offers a balanced motion response, which can be an advantage for those who have limited mobility due to pain flares. The Douglas will help you shift through sleeping positions more easily and make getting in and out of bed effortless.
To sum up, the Douglas is great, period. The mattress is comfortable and offers cool sleep for any user. In fact, it might even supersede some of the more expensive brands with its thoughtful construction and eco-conscious approach to manufacturing.
- Those on a limited budget. The Douglas won’t burn a hole in your pocket and is no worse in terms of performance and durability than some of its more costly competitors.
- Fans of eco-conscious living. The mattress uses a Tencel cover made of eucalyptus leaves that are considered a renewable material. Also, the foam in the upper layer doesn’t contain harmful chemicals and is produced with a smaller carbon footprint than regular memory foam.
- Combo sleepers. The Douglas is medium-firm, so it may work for different sleep positions and offer an equally good amount of support in each of them.
- Some people don't like many layers of the mattress;
- It does not give adequate support to the hips, hence not suitable for strict stomach sleepers;
- Not suitable for individuals weighing more than 250Ibs.
Best for Cooler Sleep — GhostBed Classic
- high-density support foam for increased durability and low motion transfer;
- latex comfort layer to prevent the feeling of being restricted;
- gel-infused memory foam for sweat-free pressure relief.
If you appreciate close conforming and a gentle hug but worry that foam is going to make you overheat, consider the GhostBed Classic. Being among the best mattresses for back pain in Canada, this model can help alleviate the tension (and pain, potentially) while keeping you comfortably cool. The thing is, GhostBed uses aerated latex and gel-infused memory foam for the comfort layers. So, this mattress is more breathable and dissipates the heat better than many of the competitors. As a side sleeper, I appreciate that a lot, as I tend to sink a bit deeper.
Now, on top of that, GhostBed Classic is sturdy and quality-made. It is also backed by a 20-year warranty, which is quite rare on the foam mattress market. On this list, the GhostBed can compete only with Puffy, which comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Those who hate sleeping hot. The combination of cooling gel and ventilated, temperature-neutral latex makes the GhostBed Classic ideal for those who want to remain cool during sleep.
- Combination sleepers. Thanks to the responsive latex layer, this mattress does not feel like quicksand and won’t restrict movement when changing sleep positions.
- Users looking for a long-lasting investment. The GhostBed Classic uses quality foams and comes with a 20-year warranty. This means the mattress is likely to serve you for years to come without developing premature indentations.
- as this is a medium-firm mattress, it might not feel cushioning or soft enough for strict side sleepers (especially petite individuals);
- may not work for stomach sleepers.
Best for Couples - Polysleep
- reinforced perimeter to offer more sleeping space;
- liquid-repellent cover to keep your mattress fresh and clean;
- hybrid comfort foam for improved breathability and cooler sleep.
Moving further down my review of the best mattresses for back pain in Canada, and here’s a great option by Polysleep. Its same-titled mattress is literally built to last and can offer you the edge support and durability no worse than hybrids!
So, the sturdy edges of the Polysleep mattress are a result of the reinforced foam perimeter. Yes, the mattress has an outer frame made of dense memory foam, which adds some durability to the whole construction and can secure some extra space for those who share a bed with a partner.
The next thing I want to mention is that the Polysleep sleeps pretty cool. This is due to the anti-sagging surface, which prevents you from sinking into the mattress layers, and ventilation of the upper layer. Also, the mattress cover — with a liquid-repellent top, by the way — has breathable mesh sides that help remove your body heat more effectively.
Finally, I love the balance between motion absorption and responsiveness of this bed. The Polysleep will help you sleep soundly even if your partner is too active but won’t mess with your own movements when you need to move or get out of bed.
Overall, the Polysleep is a decent pick for any sleeper with back pain. Supportive and durable, it doesn’t feel like sleeping on bare rock and can hug your body properly to relieve pain.
- Couples. The combo of great edge support and low motion transfer is essential if you share a bed with someone. With this model, you can claim your bed space and still get pain relief.
- Heavier users. Sturdy edges and dense foams can support even heavier users. But if you sleep on your back or stomach, you may need a firmer mattress.
- People with limited mobility. The Polysleep has a pretty quick motion response and will help you move across the mattress and get in and out of bed more easily if your mobility is restricted because of pain.
- Some users prefer less bright colors;
- Users’ sensitive to smell may find its strong off-gassing very offensive;
- Not ideal for sleepers who like a springier surface because its construction allows minimal bounce.
What Mattress Firmness Is Best for Back Pain?
Now, there are a lot of specs that you need to look for when choosing the right mattress for back pain.
But I want to mention the firmness level above them all.
And here’s the trick:
Each type of pain may need a different level of firmness.
That’s why even the best mattress for back pain in Canada might just not work for you because of the unsuitable firmness.
So, let me explain the correlation between the pain type and the mattress firmness that may work best for its alleviation.
Upper Back Pain
The most common cause of upper back pain is posture problems. If you tend to slouch, this might result in the kyphosis — an excessive curvature in the chest region of your spine.
Another cause of upper back pain might be scoliosis, which is a sideways curvature of your spine.
“The spine is an ‘encasement’ for our spinal cord that innervates the whole body. Any posture problems that create unnatural curves in the spine may pinch the nerves, resulting in neuralgia or numbness in different areas.”
If you have upper back pain, the best mattress for you would be medium-firm, assuming you have average weight. This level of support is enough for maintaining the natural curves without provoking pain.
Heavier users with upper back pain need to look for a firm mattress. Adding some firmness points will help you feel comfortable and supported on the mattress without sinking too deep, which can create pressure points in your thoracic area.
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is the most common complaint of office workers. However, it can have many causes, such as:
- hernias in the lumbar spine;
- pelvic traumas;
Or, you may feel strains in the lumbar spine because of sleeping on an old mattress. This type of pain is called ‘non-specific’ and typically appears in the morning.
So, what is the right firmness in this case?
If your pain is a result of trauma, you need a mattress that will help you recover quickly. A medium and medium-firm mattress made of more spongy materials will do best. I recommend choosing polyurethane foam or latex rather than traditional memory foam, because they don’t restrict your movements while hugging your body.
Speaking of non-specific lower back pain, a medium or medium-firm mattress works best, according to science (1). A medium bed has a balanced give and is less likely to create pressure points.
What Type of Mattress Is Best for Back Pain?
Generally, memory foam beds tend to be the best choice for those with back pain. They offer unbeatable pressure relief in any position and adjust to the body curves so that you can maintain proper spine alignment.
However, memory foam tends to trap body heat, which can often cause night sweats. As an alternative, there are models that use gel-infused or open-cell foam. Both can contribute to thermoregulation during the night.
Additionally, because memory foam has a very hugging feel, it can sometimes seem restricting. This might be an issue for those users whose back pain makes it difficult to move. Add a quicksand-like memory foam to the equation, and shifting in bed would require a lot of effort.
Another good option is a latex mattress made of the sap of rubber trees. Latex is heavier and denser than traditional memory foam, but it also springs back to the shape more quickly after you remove the pressure (2). The latter can be an advantage for those who seek a mattress that won’t interfere with their movements during the night.
In addition, latex isn’t very likely to cause heat build-up and would work well for hot sleepers. However, latex mattresses belong to the pricier category and may not work for budget shoppers.
Finally, there are hybrid beds that combine coils and foam or latex layers in different variations. While offering overall the most balanced feel, these mattresses may be a good option for heavier users because the coil system can support a larger weight more easily. Hybrid mattresses also have stronger edges, which may come in handy for those back pain sufferers who require extra support when getting out of bed.
Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Good Mattress for Back Pain in Canada
Now, knowing the right type and firmness of your mattress is only half of the deal.
You need your bed not only for alleviating your back pain but also for comfortable sleeping overall, so here are a couple of other important things to keep in mind when making your choice.
When dealing with back pain, a longer sleep trial might be a necessity. First of all, it might take you more time to get used to your new mattress, given the fact that back pain can make it challenging to feel comfy on a new mattress at first. Plus, you will need more time to understand whether the new mattress helps with back pain or makes it worse.
Back pain may cause slight mobility issues. If that’s the case with you, you might rely on the mattress’s edges to get up. Stronger edges will support your arms as you push down to give yourself a boost. In this scenario, it’s better to choose among hybrid mattresses. Firmer latex and foam models sometimes also have sturdy edges, but make sure sleeping on a firm mattress won’t aggravate your back pain.
Whether back pain makes you toss and turn and you don’t want to disturb your partner or you are a light sleeper yourself, good motion isolation would come in handy in both cases. Typically, foam mattresses show the best results in this “field”. Latex comes a close second, although it might not be ideal if there’s a significant difference in weight between you and your partner. And if you are thinking about getting a hybrid mattress, make sure it uses extra-thick comfort layers.
A foam mattress of decent quality and a medium price will last you 7-10 years on average. Beds made of natural latex have the longest lifespan and can serve you up to 15 years, assuming you take proper care of them.
Coil units tend to wear out sooner, so if you’re on the market for an innerspring or a hybrid, prepare to replace them after 7-10 years (3).
To make the most of your mattress, be sure to go for high-quality materials:
- foams: high-density ones for base layers and infused ones, e.g. with charcoal or green tea, for comfort layers;
- coils: choose models with high coil count and thicker wires;
- fabrics: natural fabrics, such as cotton, or semi-natural, such as Tencel or bamboo rayon, typically are safer and more durable than synthetic covers made of polyester.
Your comfort will depend not only on the cradling properties of your mattress but also on the temperature in your bed. When we fall asleep, our temperature drops and reaches its lowest point in 2 hours after we doze off (4). This, along with melatonin production, helps ensure an uninterrupted, deep sleep.
However, your body won’t be able to drop the temperature if your mattress will retain heat. So, be sure to check mattresses with great cooling effects, such as:
- Latex. Despite being dense, latex has an open-cell structure that allows the heat to escape and cool you down.
- Gel foams. Gel particles make the foam structure more porous and withdraw excess heat from your body.
- Coils. Innerspring and hybrid beds deal with excess heat by promoting better airflow within the layers.
“Mattresses with good cooling effects are also less susceptible to mold growth, which makes their lifespan longer.”
Also read: Mattresses in a Box
And don’t forget to choose breathable mattress covers — such as those made of Tencel, natural cotton, microfibre, or bamboo. Along with ensuring airflow, these materials absorb moisture and prevent it from getting inside the mattress.
In choosing a mattress for back pain, it is crucial to consider the materials and design used in the construction of the mattress. The qualities of modern mattresses such as bounce, motion isolation, firmness, contouring, and temperature regulation are different for each mattress type. Hence, it is essential to know your priorities and choose a mattress with the right components to help alleviate back pain.
The firmness level is a vital determinant of the best mattress for anyone with back pain. The firmness level plays a crucial role in determining whether a mattress will provide sufficient support to relieve pressure from joints and align the spine in its natural position. Hence amongst other things you have to consider when searching for a good mattress for back pain in Canada, never forget the firmness level of the mattress.
What mattress type is best for back pain?
Mattresses that conform to your body, relieving pressure, and support your spine by keeping it aligned are often considered best for back pain. Latex foam and memory foam mattresses best provide these qualities.
Does my sleeping position affect back pain?
Yes. Your sleeping position has a significant impact on muscle imbalance, which may result in acute back pain. Sleeping on your back is considered the best position for back support. This position helps distribute your weight evenly for better alignment. If you are a back sleeper, we recommend a medium to firm mattress.
Is my old mattress responsible for my back pain?
It depends on how old your mattress is. However, mattresses that are very old and have lost their structure are always responsible for back pain. Therefore, we recommend a medium-firm level mattress that will support your back without placing much pressure on your shoulders and hips when selecting a new mattress.
What firmness level is best for back pain?
A medium-firm level mattress that aligns your spine in its natural “S” curve position and relieves pressure from your hips and shoulder is best for back pain.
I hope that I’ve made your search for a top-rated mattress for back pain in Canada much easier. I’ve personally tested every model in this review, and I’m sure that each can make a great pick for back pain sufferers.
Speaking of my favorite, though, I’d choose the Novosbed. I love the balanced feel of the Novosbed and the possibility to adjust the mattress firmness after the purchase without having to send the mattress back.
Also, I liked the breathable design and conforming ability, which allowed my muscles to relax completely and wake up well-rested.
And what about you? Which model seems to fit your requests the most? Share your feedback below!
- Francisco M Kovacs, PhD, Víctor Abraira, PhD, Andrés Peña, MD, José Gerardo Martín-Rodríguez, MD, Manuel Sánchez-Vera, MD, Enrique Ferrer, PhD. Effect of Firmness of Mattress on Chronic Non-Specific Low-Back Pain. Retrieved from doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(03)14792-7
- Linda Erlam (n.d.) Latex Mattress Vs. Memory Foam. Retrieved from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/latex-mattress-vs-memory-foam-94620.html
- Abe Abbas (2020, May 8). When to Replace a Mattress. Retrieved from https://www.thespruce.com/how-often-to-replace-mattresses-1391234
- Edward C. Harding, Nicholas P. Franks, William Wisden. The Temperature Dependence of Sleep. Retrieved from doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2019.00336
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