Get a restful night’s sleep with a best mattress topper for back pain

Protect your bed and body with the top mattress toppers on the market.

Best mattress toppers for back pain

by Hannah James |
Updated on

Get optimal support and comfort with the best mattress topper for back pain. If you suffer from back pain, you've probably tried simple exercises to strengthen your neck, back and spine, used hot and cold compresses or taken painkillers. It goes without saying that the best mattress can help alleviate back and join problems, but you've probably not thought to look into mattress toppers.

A study conducted by Arthritis Research UK found that approximately one in six adults in England has some form of back pain and while we often retreat to bed to relax, this could be doing more harm than good. The wrong mattress for your body could be causing you aches and pains in the first place.

Best mattress toppers for back pain at a glance:

Best mattress topper overall: The Simba Hybrid Topper - Buy now on Simba
Best value mattress topper: LUCID 5 Zone Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Buy now on Amazon UK
Bestselling mattress topper: John Lewis ANYDAY Synthetic Soft and Light Mattress Topper - Buy now on John Lewis

Mattress toppers are a cost-effective way of making your bed more comfortable. They range in price from around £25 to £150. Along with the best mattress deals, you can get branded mattress toppers from Emma, Simba and Dreams on offer at certain times of the year.

A mattress topper, used in conjunction with an orthopaedic pillow helps to support proper spinal alignment and reduces pressure on the back. So, you get a more comfortable sleep without having to spend hundreds of pounds on a new mattress.

How we tested the best mattress toppers for back pain:

Choosing the right mattress topper can significantly alleviate back pain, offering a more restful and comfortable sleep. To determine the best mattress toppers for back pain, we focused on these topic areas: support and alignment, pressure relief, comfort and cushioning, temperature regulation, as well as durability and longevity.

Best mattress toppers for back pain UK:

Tested

Best mattress topper overall

The best mattress topper for back pain: The Simba Hybrid® TopperCredit: Simba
Price: £186.75 (was £249)

simbasleep.com

Forget waking up feeling sore with the Simba Hybrid Topper. When paired with the Simbatex Essential Foam Mattress it's a match made in heaven - it's like sleeping on a cloud! As someone with ongoing joint pains, finding the right mattress is of the utmost importance. This mattress topper has allowed me to wake up without being in agony for the first time in a long time.

The combination of memory foam and Aerocoil springs cradle your body, providing the perfect blend of support and comfort. I wake up feeling refreshed, and any aches or pains have become a distant memory.

I also love that it's portable and easy to roll up as it has snug-fit straps - meaning I can take it away with me on my next staycation and prevent stiffness when sleeping in an unfamiliar bed.

Pros

  • Excellent temperature regulation
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Remarkable comfort

Cons

  • The Simba Hybrid Topper can be relatively heavy

Tested

Best memory foam topper

Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Price: £90 - £150

www.dunelm.com

Love a thick mattress topper? This Memory Foam Mattress Topper from Dunelm will be perfect for you. It's filled with memory foam, so you'll wake up feeling well-rested after sleeping in complete comfort.

With over 1500 reviews, users have commented on the feel of the topper, saying that it was 'a big improvement to their comfort' and caused them to sleep better at night.

Pros

  • Memory foam filling
  • Long-lasting polycotton
  • Soft

Cons

  • You may find the elastic that you hook around your mattress slides off from time to time

Best value mattress topper

With features like the 5cm memory foam infused with cooling gel, raised zones to reduce pressure and a three-year warranty, you know you're in safe hands thanks to the LUCID 5 Zone Gel Foam Mattress Topper.

Several customers have noted that it's particularly beneficial for those suffering with painful conditions, with one saying "I suffer from fibromyalgia and arthritis, and I've found I'm sleeping much better. Also, when I wake in the morning, I'm not as in much pain as I used to be - it's made my bed so comfortable."

Pros

  • Supports different points of your body
  • Memory foam is infused with temperature-regulating gel
  • Comes compressed with no smell

Cons

  • Some reviews noticed tears in it after using it for a long time

Bestselling mattress topper

As you would expect, the light mattress topper from the ANYDAY John Lewis range is anything but ordinary. Available in single, double, king or super king, this will leave your old mattress feeling brand new.

Unlike some other brands, it has elastic straps, making it a doddle to attach to your mattress. When it's time to wash it, simply stick it into the machine on a 40°C cycle - it dries pretty quickly too!

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Elastic straps
  • An extra layer of comfort

Cons

  • Some reviewers mentioned it was thinner than they expected

Best mattress topper for retaining shape

best-mattress-topper-for-back-pain
Price: £35-£55

www.dunelm.com

This mattress topper from Dunelm works to relieve tension from the pressure points, with thousands of reviews claiming it's helped with back pain, neck pain and even knee pain.

An amazing affordable option, this topper comes in sizes single to super king at a fantastic price. Customers have praised it, saying that it feels brand new after every use: "We have been using it for a couple of weeks, and it does what it says and rebounds, retaining its depth and comfort after each night, so each night is like sleeping on it for the first time".

Pros

  • Good quality for the price
  • Durable
  • Machine-washable topper

Cons

  • Some reviewers were expecting it to have more depth to it

Best highly rated mattress topper

Best highly rated mattress topper

Silentnight is the sleep expert you can trust. With a 4 1/2 star rating and close to 5,000 reviews, it's easy to see why this topper is so popular. Fans have commented on the relief they felt thanks to the airflow and enjoyed the thickness of the topper, which is "snuggly but not smothering".

It has air mesh sidewalls, which increase air circulation and breathability. It has ability to be cleaned in the washing machine and its 6cm thickness promises to be comforting.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Breathable
  • Increased airflow

Cons

  • Some customers thought it would be thicker

Best down mattress topper

best-mattress-topper-for-back-pain
Price: £72 (was £137)

dusk.com

Create that hotel bed feeling at home with this luxury mattress topper from DUSK. The two-tiered design combines softness with gentle support, which is exceptional at distributing your weight evenly.

It's made from 70 percent fluffy goose down and has a cotton percale for that luxurious bed feeling.

Pros

  • Top layer is plump with 70 per cent fluffy goose down
  • Breathable cotton
  • Evenly distribute the filling

Cons

  • Dry clean only

Best cooling mattress topper

Are you fed up with tossing and turning in the night? The egg crate texture from this topper contours your body, helping you get a good night's sleep. Other incredible features include gel-infused beads to help regulate temperature, reversible design and a manufacturer's one-year guarantee.

Customers found it to be 'soft and bouncy' and enjoyed the egg-cup effect.

Pros

  • Flat one side and textured on the other
  • Anti-allergy

Cons

  • Some users said it was too big for their bed

Best sustainable mattress topper

Sweet dreams are on the cards with this bamboo mattress topper. There are so many sizes to choose from, so if you've got multiple rooms in the house, it's worth purchasing one for each bed.

As well as being made from an antibacterial material (which is good for allergies), this topper features HydroFoam, a removable, washable cover and more. We - along with many customers - particularly appreciate the gel infusion that helps to regulate the temperature as you sleep and relieve painful pressure points.

Pros

  • Made from 100 per cent bamboo
  • Anti-bacterial material
  • Temperature-regulating

Cons

  • Some reviewers found it to be firmer than expected

Best orthopaedic topper

Your existing mattress will be transformed by adding an extra 3cm of comfort and support. Specifically designed to distribute weight evenly, this Silentnight Orthopaedic Topper with Removable Cover helps to reduce pressure and relieve aches and pains with its ergonomic contoured foam.

It's available in 3 and 5cm thicknesses, and you can purchase either a Single, Double, King or Super-King. There's also a removable cover, so you can clean it with ease.

Pros

  • Increased airflow to keep you cool
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Fully removable cover

Cons

  • Some reviewers found the cover too small for the topper

Best for hot sleepers with back pain

The GRX ZeoGravitiy foam layer on Emma Flip Topper has got your back and supports you where it matters. The second layer is made with Airgocell foam, which helps to regulate your temperature by absorbing and then evaporating sweat so rising temperatures don't disturb your sleep.

The standout feature has to be the reversibility and adaptability, as you can simply flip it over to change it to a firmer or softer base, depending on your needs.

Use in conjunction with the Emma NextGen Premium Mattress, which we think is a superb mattress for relieving aches and pains.

Pros

  • Cover absorbs excess heat and moisture
  • Premium Materials
  • Good support

Cons

  • Some customers have reported that over time, it may lose its original shape

Best high-density memory foam mattress topper

High-density memory foam moulds to your shape and contours to your body for even weight distribution, so this mattress topper can provide pressure relief for your back. For easy cleaning, you only have to remove the top cover, which is lightweight and easy to manoeuvre.

It's supportive and soft, so what more could you want from a mattress topper?

Pros

  • Elastic on the corners
  • Microfibre layer
  • The mattress cover is machine-washable

Cons

  • Some reviewers thought it was too soft

How to choose the best mattress topper for back pain

Before we start covering our top choices of mattress toppers for back pain, our advice is to do your research before committing.

According to SleepFoundation.org, "The right mattress topper can help relieve pressure points and support natural spinal alignment, which could also help contribute to reduced back pain.

"Too firm of a topper may not allow their hips and shoulders to sink in enough, while too soft of a mattress topper may let their hips and shoulders sink in too much."

Here are four things to look for when buying a mattress topper.

Type of mattress topper

Memory foam, polyfoam, latex, wool, cotton or feather and down are the most common types of mattress toppers. The first thing you need to decide is what option is right for you. We particularly like memory foam mattress toppers as they mould around your body shape, often using gel technology to ensure you don't get too hot.

Thickness

The density of a mattress topper can make or break whether or not it helps to ease up your back pain. Most toppers range between two and six inches. When it comes to choosing the size, it's best to go thicker the older the mattress.

Firmness and support

Ensuring that mattresses are firm and supportive is vital if you want a good night's sleep without any discomfort. Memory foam and latex mattress toppers are brilliant for supporting your natural posture, which is fantastic for anyone who suffers from backache.

Reviews

This might seem simple, but reading reviews about how others got on with a mattress topper will give you an insight into sleeping on it. There's no better way to understand what a product is like than by getting a first-hand opinion on it.

FAQs: Best mattress topper for back pain

What thickness of mattress topper is best for back pain?

The thickness of mattress toppers varies between brand, filling and type, but they can be as thin as 2cm and as thick as 12cm. When choosing a mattress topper for back pain, you should aim for a topper that is 7-8cm, because it will significantly relieve pressure points and you will still feel all the characteristics of your mattress. We recommend reading Newentor's guide on mattress topper thickness for back pain.

Of course, you may want to choose one that is slightly thinner or thicker than that and it depends on the extent of your back problems as well as your preferences for the filling and mattress it is made from. If your back problems are more severe, you may want to go for a thicker mattress topper for extra support whereas if your back problems are milder, you may feel more comfortable with a topper that is slightly thinner at around 5-6cm.

How can I tell whether my mattress is causing back pain?

If you regularly wake up feeling sore with aches and pains, this could be a sign that your mattress is causing your back pain or making it worse. Continuous sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause your spine to lose its natural alignment and strain the muscles resulting in back pain.

We spoke to Michael Fatica, a lead consultant osteopath, who said: “I think key when considering mattresses, is that they are replaced when they’re worn out! As for sleeping, a good mattress that works for your personal comfort is going to be important, crucially one that helps you be in a ‘neutral’ position. For example, someone that always sleeps on their ‘back’ might find they like firmer mattresses because when lying in this position you tend to be a little more flat.

"Conversely, women with a more hourglass figure might find that a softer, memory foam or hybrid mattress works better, as it gives a little more at the curve helping accommodate the shape of the individual sleeping on their side. This group of body shapes struggle more on a hard mattress because their pelvis will tilt one way or another as their waist is so small, so it’s just floating ‘in space’.

“For men, the differences between side vs back sleeping tend not to be as pronounced as for women for obvious reasons, namely men tend to have less difference in the circumference of their waists compared to pelvis so the aforementioned point is not as relevant.”

If you’re not sure whether it is your mattress causing your pain, trying out one of our mattress toppers for back pain recommendations is a good place to start. They’ll add a supportive and comfortable layer between you and your mattress. If you’re still experiencing issues even after trying a mattress topper for back pain, this could be a sign that your mattress needs replacing. Luckily for you, we’ve got lots of advice on how to choose a mattress as well as some cheap mattress picks to help you feel well-rested.

Meet the experts

Michael Fatica is a lead consultant osteopath and founder of Back In Shape an online, rehabilitation program for back health.

Hannah Carroll is a Senior Home, Parenting and Lifestyle Product Writer for Yours, specialising in product testing and reviews. As a mother of three, Hannah loves finding clothes that makes her feel fabulous and products that are great for large families.

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