Are Memory Foam Mattresses Bad For Backs

With its advent in the mid-1960s, memory foams came into being when it was used to build the seats of astronauts. It is made up of a component called viscoelastic which is super soft and highly absorbent.

It was after this that the viscoelastic started being used for a variety of purposes such as for medical purposes, mattresses and pillow making. The reason why this is done and memory foam is called so is because it has the capability of distributing the human body weight equally and then getting back to its original shape.

The problem with other mattresses is that they are either too soft to cause ?hammocking? or too hard to give an uneasy feeling. It is because of this many people have started using memory foam mattresses.

Some people find these mattresses as a boon as more than half of the working population in the UK complains of back pain due to work or bad sleeping habits, whereas some try to condemn the use of memory mattresses.

So, can memory foam mattresses be bad for backs?? Theoretically, memory foam mattresses should be good for your back, allowing neutral spine alignment. However, if you begin to suffer from back pain after switching to a memory foam mattress, then the mattress is likely the cause.

Let us have a critical analysis done on whether one should sleep on a memory foam mattress or not.

Your posture matters!

The way you sit while working matters. The way you sleep also matter. That is why it is of immense importance to pay attention to the posture you assume. Keeping the spine erect is just like an old saying that was taught to us since our childhood. Sleeping on your back, keeping the spine erect can be the best posture to sleep. It is recommended by doctors. This is because it?s only then your spine, which carries your body load all day long, gets to rest as you sleep on your back. Sleeping by your side is also considered a good posture, but sleeping with your stomach down is the posture that?s not at all recommended.

Many doctors support the use of memory foam mattresses to prevent the problems of backache as it distributes the body?s weight equally and allows the person?s spine to be in a comfortable position. Keeping a pillow beneath the knees while sleeping is also considered to be of help while sleeping in back pain.

The mattress material can be the culprit!

There are three types of mattresses found in the market. One is really hard and the surface could cause pain in the back as it does not allow the spine to adjust with it, consequently, a gap remains between the body and the mattress. The other one is really soft and this makes the hips part to delve into the mattress, causing a curvy posture to develop that could again cause spinal problems in the future.

It is only the memory foam mattress, which is made with viscoelastic that has the capability of learning the bodily posture and unlearning it as soon as you get up from your bed.

Be Healthy

Gone are the days when back pain was a problem associated with older people. Today, anybody and everybody is at risk of getting a back pain due to the long hours of work, bad postures while working on computers, poor sleeping pattern and imbalanced food intake.

To combat the problem from an early point in life, it is necessary to spend on getting a good mattress so that your body stays immune to problems like backache. Keeping a little bit attention and maintaining your body would pay you in the long run.

Advantages of Memory foam mattresses

  1. It reacts to the body heat produced when you lie down and it adjusts to the body shape providing you max comfort.
  2. It is recommended by doctors to cure back pain.
  3. It is beneficial if it is put in the sun and maintained throughout the year. This elongates the life of the mattress.
  4. Memory foam allows the body to feel completely relaxed and laid proper on the surface to provide the body the best medium to work upon while you are sleeping.

Disadvantages of memory foam mattresses

  1. The memory foam made mattresses are supposed to retain body heat and can prove to be less comfortable during the warmer months of the year.
  2. Off gassing is a common problem with memory foam mattresses when bought newly. This smell could cause irritation. However, there is no reaction to the mattress.
  3. It is also not recommended for kids as the kid can be prone to several syndromes that could also lead to the death of the baby.

Lay your hands on your dream mattress:

Certain studies have been carried out and the findings when applied can lead to relief from back pain and here are those tips that you should adhere to while buying a mattress for yourself:

  • Studies have found that medium mattresses are the best for people to sleep in. This has been backed by several professionals who have conducted the studies.
  • 3 – 4 inches of contour is considered good for a general public review. This means that while purchasing your dream mattress, the person should ensure that the upper body part of the mattress is 3 – 4 inches high to support the body well. People who are a bit petite can do well with 2 – 3 inches too.
  • The density of the memory foam from 4.5 to 5 is considered good as this supports the body properly and provides maximum support. This is not so much firm and allows the whole body to get covered while sleeping over it.
  • Another thing that can be paired up with purchasing a good mattress can be buying an adjustable bed. An adjustable bed is considered to be helping those who suffer from back pain. This is because the ?zero-gravity? position allows the knees to be placed a bit higher than the spine and the body blood circulation flows properly leading to some comfort produced in the backbone area. It also allows the person to get in and out of the bed in time. It helps in being less prone to sleep apnea symptoms. It also allows the person to have a good sleep as the body recovers during the rest time.
  • Memory foam mattresses can come in various sizes and the ideal sizes have been discussed already, but it is essential to judge the mattress according to the comfort level at a personal level. What suits one might not be the choice of the other. What is required at the end is being comfortable while going to sleep?
  • These mattresses surely provide help in getting rid of back pain as it is built for that very purpose. They are made with some engineering as dimensions are taken through continuous research on individuals and, therefore, many doctors have such mattresses attached to their bed while curing many patients.
  • In the end, it is the individual?s own comfort level that becomes the ultimate decider of the type of mattress one wants to buy.


In the UK, back pain has emerged as an epidemic. It is reported that more than 85% of the population is suffering from backache and half of the working population takes leave due to the back-pain problems. National Institute of health has reported spending around $50 billion each year on this health problem. And the issue has become of paramount importance as steps are being taken in this direction to eradicate it from the country.

Back pain can prove to be the most irritating thing for a person as it makes the person uneasy. A person suffering from backache cannot sit properly, cannot stand properly and the constant feeling of sickness could irritate a person like anything.

Back pain could just be the beginning and if ignored over a period of time can lead to many deadly and painful diseases in the future. The cure of such diseases could be very painful and the burden it will bring upon your pocket could leave you debt-ridden for the rest of your life. Therefore, ignoring a symptom of back pain could lead to several repercussions upon your body. The spinal cord and your vertebrae form the most important part of the nervous system and damage to it could mean damage to your nervous system. This could be temporary or permanent in nature. But suffering from such syndrome could mean your life to you. In order to stay protected, taking small steps now will save your future. It is, therefore, said that ?precaution is better than cure?.

Therefore, some simple techniques and change in habits could lead to a big change in your life. It could not only make you live happily but stay away from this problem forever. All that is needed to be done is to choose your mattress wisely and take note of the posture while sitting and performing work. The right techniques of lifting heavy things and paying attention to the little things your body says could save you a fortune as the spinal problems when begun could lead to a complete bedridden body.


Recent Content