best mattress topper for back pain

Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain 2019: Top Picks For Low-Cost Relief


Affiliate Disclosure: I may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase a mattress after clicking a referral link or using a coupon code on this site. That said, all content and opinions on this site are my own and are NOT affected by these payments.

Are you looking for a mattress topper that will reduce your back pain?

You’ve come to the right place.

In this in-depth buying guide, we review the best mattress toppers for back pain.

These toppers conform to your body, which reduces pressure on your back, while also providing support and proper alignment.

While a comfortable topper may not completely eliminate back pain, it can reduce it and prevent it from getting worse.

If your mattress feels really uncomfortable, it might be better to get a new mattress altogether. If your mattress is old, worn out and sagging we definitely recommend getting a new mattress.

Read our guide to the best mattresses for back pain relief for top recommendations.


What’s In This Buying Guide?


Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain 2019

Mattress TopperBest ForMaterialThicknessFirmnessWarranty
LUCID Ventilated memory foam topper
LUCID Ventilated memory foam topper
Best overallOpen cell memory foam3” (2” and 4” options available)Medium3 years
Sleep Innovations memory foam topper
Sleep Innovations memory foam topper
Best memory foam topperFiber pillow top + gel-infused memory foam4” (two layers)Medium10 years
Ultimate Dreams Talalay topper
Ultimate Dreams Talalay topper
Best latex foam topperVentilated blended Talalay latex3”Soft, medium and firm3 years
Exceptional Sheets bamboo mattress pad
Exceptional Sheets bamboo mattress pad
Best down alternative (fiber) topper Revoloft fiber with a bamboo rayon cover1”Soft1 year
WEEKENDER memory foam topper
WEEKENDER memory foam topper
Best budget topperOpen cell memory foam2”Medium3 years
Best Price Mattress memory foam topper
Best Price Mattress memory foam topper
Best for couplesGreen tea infused memory foam + high density poly foam4” (two layers)Medium5 years
Milliard memory foam topper
Milliard memory foam topper
Best topper with removable coverGel-infused memory foam with removable bamboo cover2”MediumNone
ViscoSoft memory foam topper
ViscoSoft memory foam topper
Best topper with pillow topDown alternative pillow top + gel-infused memory foam4” (two layers)Medium3 years

Why You Might Need a Topper for Back Pain?

best rated mattress topper for back pain

Your mattress is too soft: An overly soft mattress doesn’t provide adequate back support. It also messes up spinal alignment – your back will sink lower than the rest of the body. This can cause or worsen back pain.

Your mattress is too firm: A rock hard mattress is not good either for most people. Because it does not conform, it exerts pressure on the back and other areas of the body. This can cause or worsen back pain.

Your mattress is worn out: A depression in the middle of the mattress, no matter how small, can affect spinal alignment again, causing or worsening back pain. A topper can temporarily make the mattress more comfortable but ultimately, you are better off buying a new mattress.

You need extra contouring or support: Your mattress may be fine but you might need extra support or contouring for your back problem. This is especially the case for people with injuries or health conditions that cause serious back pain. In this case, an orthopedic can help reduce back pain.


Our Top Overall Pick:

LUCID 3 Inch Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper

best mattress topper for back pain

The Lucid 3” memory foam mattress topper provides a great sleeping experience at an affordable price.

It’s made from premium memory foam that conforms to your body, keeping your spine properly aligned and eliminating pressure points.

In terms of firmness, it falls somewhere in the middle. It’s soft enough to contour to your body but also firm enough to provide good support.

The medium firm comfort level is the best one for people with back pain.

If your mattress feels too firm or is starting to show its age, this Lucid topper can help. Just place it on top of your mattress and cover it with a sheet to keep it in place.

The topper doesn’t get very hot at night. That’s because the foam is ventilated to improve airflow.

This keeps the mattress comfortably cool.

As for longevity, many users say the topper is still in good shape a year after purchase. The high-quality memory foam doesn’t sag or deteriorate quickly.

The topper comes with a 3-year warranty, which is about how long you should expect it to last.

The Lucid topper is available in 8 sizes: twin, twin XL, full, full XL, queen, king, California king and a short Queen size for RVs.

The 3” topper is quite affordable. But if you need something cheaper, Lucid has a 2” option. Note however, that it may not provide the same kind of support especially if you have a bigger body.

There’s also a 4” version for those who prefer something plushier.

Pros

  • Relieves pressure on your back
  • Keeps your spine well aligned
  • The medium firm feels – perfect for back pain sufferers
  • Stays cool
  • Resistant to dust mites and allergens

Cons

  • A bit of a smell when new. Let it air for a couple of days, and the smell will go away
  • Despite being ventilated, the topper may still feel warm for certain heat-sensitive sleepers and people with night sweats or hot flashes


Best Memory Foam Topper for Back Pain:

Sleep Innovations Gel Memory Foam 4-inch Mattress Topper

best mattress topper for lower back pain

Standard memory foam toppers are great for back pain. The Sleep Innovations memory foam topper provides an even better sleeping experience by using a dual-layer design and adding cooling gel.

Let’s start with the dual layer design.

Most toppers consist of a single slab of foam. The Sleep Innovations topper borrows from mattress design and incorporates two layers.

They are:

2” quilted fiberfill: It’s like a topper for the topper. The soft fiber makes it feel like you are sleeping on a fluffy cloud. It does an excellent job relieving pressure on your back and joints, making it a great choice for those with injuries or are recovering from surgery.

2” gel memory foam: The memory foam enhances the pressure relief from the top layer and provides adequate support to align your back and ensure you don’t sink too deep.  Gel-infused into the foam helps keep things cool at night.

Note that the quilted top layer is machine washable. But users had trouble fitting it in their washing machines. You might have to get it cleaned at a laundromat.

Overall, the Sleep Innovations topper feels great. It is one of the most comfortable memory foam toppers.

If you want something plush and extra gentle on your back, it is a great choice.

It is available in five sizes: twin, full, queen, king, and California king.

It also comes with a snug fit cover that holds both the quilted layer and memory foam pad together. This helps keep the topper in place at night.

Pros

  • Conforms to the body and relieves pressure on the back
  • Good support from the memory foam layer
  • The cooling gel prevents the memory foam from getting too warm
  • Includes a washable cover
  • Long warranty – 10 years. Guarantees durability

Cons

  • The quilted fiber topper traps some heat


Best Latex Foam Topper for Back Pain:

Ultimate Dreams Full 3″ Talalay Latex Mattress Topper

best memory foam mattress topper for back pain

If your mattress feels too soft, we recommend this latex foam topper from Ultimate Dreams.

Unlike memory foam, which can feel a bit too plush especially for heavier sleepers, latex foam provides pressure relief while also supporting your body.

The Ultimate Dreams topper uses Talalay latex, which has better support, contouring, and responsiveness than the more common (and cheaper) Dunlop latex.

The topper comes in three comfort options: soft, medium, and firm. Make sure you select the best one for your needs.

If your main problem is that the mattress feels too firm and you’d love something that hugs your body, go for the soft option.

It’s plush while still feeling bouncy and supportive.

If your mattress is too soft, go for the medium or firm. For overweight and big-bodied sleepers, we recommend the firm topper.

For couples with slightly different comfort preferences, we recommend medium topper.

Here are the ILD firmness ratings for those who want specifics:

Soft: 19 ILD

Medium: 28 ILD

Firm: 36 ILD

Being latex foam, it stays naturally cool even on the warmest nights. The bamboo cover also helps keep the topper cool.

The only major downside is that this is not natural latex. They call it blended latex, which means it consists of both natural Talalay latex and additional synthetic compounds.

If you prefer organic or natural products, the Ultimate Dreams latex topper is not for you.

The topper is a bit pricey but that’s in line with the cost of other latex toppers. Even latex mattresses tend to be more expensive than memory foam mattresses.

In terms of sizes, there are seven options: twin, twin XL, full, short queen, queen, king, and California king.

Pros

  • Excellent support and pressure relief
  • Three firmness options to suit different sleeping needs
  • Stays cool
  • Resistant to dust mites and allergens
  • Responsive – great for those who want to make their mattress a bit bouncy

Cons

  • Twice as expensive as standard foam toppers
  • Not 100% natural


Best Down Alternative (Fiber) Topper for Back Pain:

ExceptionalSheets Bamboo Mattress Pad

best firm mattress topper for back pain

If you find neither memory foam nor latex foam toppers comfortable, perhaps a softer and plusher material will be more to your liking.

Down alternative toppers are much softer than either memory foam or latex. They are great for people with back injuries, those who are recovering from back or hip surgery and side sleepers how need better contouring.

If this sounds like the kind of topper you are looking for, we recommend the ExceptionalSheets mattress pad.

It is filled with high-quality fiber, specifically Revoloft.

It has the feel of real goose down. It’s soft, and it hugs your body. Essentially, it feels like sleeping on a luxury hotel mattress.

If you have serious back or hip pain, this topper makes a big difference in how you sleep. You’ll sleep quicker and deeper and wake up more rested.

While not as cool as latex foam, the fiberfill doesn’t get too warm. What really helps with cooling is the bamboo rayon cover.

It’s highly breathable and sleeps cooler than either cotton or polyester fabrics.

Being a fiberfill topper, you can wash it in the washing machine. But you probably shouldn’t.

The backing material at the bottom of the mattress seems delicate. Many customers have had theirs tear after putting it in the washing machine.

To be safe, just spot clean it. A mattress protector that covers the pad will also help keep it clean.

Pros

  • Extra soft and plush – great for serious back pain and those recovering from surgery
  • Great for side sleepers with back pain
  • Includes a fitted skirt that secures the topper to the mattress
  • Stays cool
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Outer material tears easily
  • Not ideal for those looking for a topper with extra support


Best Budget Topper for Back Pain:

WEEKENDER WK20QQ30MT 2 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper

best mattress topper for back pain

If you are looking for a cheap mattress topper that is durable and provides good back support, we recommend the highly rated WEEKENDER memory foam topper.

The 2” topper is one of the most popular on Amazon, and not just because of its bargain price, but for its sleeping experience as well.

The material is nothing special; it’s standard memory foam.

But they’ve designed it in such a way that it balances perfectly between providing good support and having enough given to relieve pressure on the back.

It’s also ventilated with tiny holes that maintain cooling airflow.

It’s just two inches thick, but it radically changes how your old mattress feels. Users say they woke up with less back pain, went to sleep faster, and slept deeper.

To guarantee durability, the manufacturer covers the topper with a three-year warranty. Many users say they have used it for more than a year without any noticeable deterioration.

Even couples haven’t noticed any sagging.

Like most toppers, the WEEKENDER topper is shipped rolled up in a compact box. It’s super easy to set up on your own.

As many customer reviews note, there is no strong smell. You can sleep on it right away.

Pros

  • Great value – one of the cheapest mattress toppers with no compromise on quality or sleeping experience
  • Sleeps cool for most people
  • Excellent support and pressure relief
  • Durable
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Heat-sensitive sleepers and those with hot flushes might find the memory foam a bit warm
  • Keeps sliding on the bed, requiring frequent adjustments


Best Mattress Topper for Couples with Back Pain:

Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper

best mattress topper for back pain

If one or both of you have back pain, you’ll need a mattress topper that provides plenty of support, a medium firm feels that you’ll both find comfortable and pressure relief.

We recommend the Best Price Mattress memory foam mattress.

At 4”, it’s one of the thicker mattress toppers available online. The extra height provides more support and ensures the topper lasts long without sagging.

The topper is actually not one complete pad. It’s a 2-layer topper with a softer 1.5” soft memory foam top layer and a firm 2.5” high-density foam bottom layer.

The top layer focuses on pressure relief. It hugs your body, adapting to your sleeping position and relieving pressure from your back, hips, and shoulders.

The bottom layer provides solid support, ensuring you don’t sink in too far.

The high-density foam also helps reduce motion transfer. If your partner turns or wakes up at night, they won’t disturb your sleep.

These two layers are wrapped in a polyester mesh cover. The mesh design improves breathability, ensuring the foam doesn’t retain too much heat.

The mattress topper is available in all standard sizes from twin to California king. There’s also a short queen option.

Pros

  • Extra support for couples
  • Top layer relieves pressure
  • No motion transfer
  • Durable
  • The medium firm that feels comfortable even for couples with varying comfort needs

Cons

  • Despite the mesh cover, the topper still gets a bit warm, especially during summer


Best Mattress Topper with Removable Cover:

Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

which mattress topper is best for back pain

Most mattress toppers don’t come with a cover, and if they do, you cannot remove and wash it. This makes it difficult to keep the topper clean.

This is a problem for people who sweat a lot at night and pet owners who sleep with their pets.

We recommend the Milliard gel memory foam mattress topper for those who’d love a topper that’s easy to keep clean.

It comes with a soft bamboo fiber cover that you can remove right off the topper and clean in a washing machine.

Just make sure you follow the cleaning instructions on the label.

The topper itself is made from gel memory foam.

It’s great for your back. It relieves pressure, provides good support, and keeps your spine well aligned in all sleeping positions.

The gel infused into the foam helps with cooling.

The bamboo cover also helps keep the topper cool no matter the season. As a result, this is one of the coolest memory foam toppers you can buy.

It’s not quite at the level of latex foam, but it sleeps cool enough for most people.

A bonus feature I’m sure you’ll appreciate is the non-slip design on the bottom part of the cover. Little nubs ensure the topper stays in place.

Customers say it still moves a bit but very little compared to most toppers. You’ll only need to adjust it every few days, not every night.

The Milliard topper is available in four sizes: twin, full, queen and king.

Pros

  • Easy to maintain thanks to the removable and washable cover
  • Memory foam relieves pressure on the back, hips, and shoulders
  • Stays cool
  • Good support
  • Doesn’t slip at night

Cons

  • May still feel a bit warm for heat-sensitive sleepers
  • A bit of a chemical smell when you unbox it. It goes away in a day.


Best Pillow Top Mattress Topper:

ViscoSoft 4 Inch Pillow Top Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

best rated mattress topper for back pain

If you are looking for a luxurious mattress topper that will hug your back in a soft cloud, this one by ViscoSoft is a great choice.

It is a 2-layer mattress topper. The top layer is a down alternative pillow top, and the bottom layer is gel memory foam.

Combined, these two materials provide a hotel-like sleeping experience with excellent support and soft pressure relief.

The top 1.5” fiberfill layer is covered in a soft 300-thread count cotton cover. It adds to the luxurious feel of the pillow top and helps with cooling.

You can wash the cover in a washing machine.

The 1.5” memory foam layer provides great support and pressure relief. It is infused with gel to reduce heat retention.

Something we love about this topper is how they’ve designed to stay in place no matter how much you toss and turn at night.

For one, the top cover has elastic straps that secure the pillow tip to the memory foam layer.

Secondly, the topper comes with a skirt that has a strong elastic band that secures the entire topper to the mattress. The skirt can fit any mattress up to 18” thick.

So you don’t just get to enjoy the fluffy but supportive feel of the topper; you also get the luxury of never having to constantly adjust it.

Pros

  • Luxurious sleeping experience
  • Washable cover
  • Great pressure relief and support
  • Sleeps cool
  • Secures tightly to the mattress – no slipping

Cons

  • More expensive than other foam toppers
  • Some smell when new. Let it air for a day, and the smell will dissipate.


How a Mattress Topper can Help Reduce Back Pain?

best memory foam mattress topper for back pain

Here are some of the way the right mattress topper can reduce back pain, whether its caused by an injury or an unsupportive mattress.

Pressure relief: Too much pressure on your back can cause or aggravate back pain. This is common with overly firm mattresses. A good mattress topper conforms to your body and reduces pressure on your back and other pressure points such as the hips and shoulders.

Improved back support: If your mattress sinks too low when you lie on it, your back is not going to get the kind of support it needs. Instead of being held up in alignment with the rest of the body, it sinks into the mattress, causing back pain. A medium firm or firm mattress topper provides improved back support.

Spinal alignment: As the topper contours to your body and provides good support, it ensures your spine maintains its natural curvature and alignment. It’s essential that you also use the right pillow to ensure good alignment from head to toe.

Extend mattress life: If your old mattress is causing back pain, but you are not ready to spring for a new one, a mattress topper is a good and affordable temporary solution. A good quality topper can extend the life of your mattress by 2-3 years.


Mattress Topper for Back Pain Buying Guide

best type of mattress topper for back pain

Here’s what to look for when buying a mattress topper that will reduce or prevent back pain.

1. Material

Memory foam is hands down the best material for back pain. It easily conforms around the body, relieving pressure while also providing great support and weight distribution.

Memory foam toppers are especially good for those with serious back pain caused by an injury or an illness.

Latex foam toppers are also good but for those who want extra support. Get a latex foam topper if your mattress feels too soft or your weight is above average.

It improves spinal alignment and provides better back support.

These are essentially the only two materials that are used in mattress toppers.

Some mattresses come with a pillow top (more on that shortly) made from fiber. But the main part of the topper is still latex or memory foam.

As for the cover, not all toppers have one. For those with a cover, cotton, polyester (usually blended with other materials like spandex) and bamboo are common materials.

Bamboo is the best if you sleep hot.

2. Thickness

Mattress toppers range between 2” and 4” in thickness.

2” toppers: Usually the most affordable toppers. They are great for those on a budget. They are also good sleepers who weigh less than average since they don’t need deep contouring. A 2” topper will also do if your mattress is in relatively good shape and you need to soften it or firm it up just a little.

3” toppers: This is the sweet spot for most people, both in terms of price and comfort. 3” toppers provide good support and excellent pressure relief even for heavier persons. If you are not sure which topper size to buy, go with a 3 inches.

4” toppers: These toppers are on the luxury end of the scale. They feel plusher and provide deeper contouring. They are great for side sleepers and overweight sleepers who need more pressure relief. Some 4” toppers are actually two layers, the first usually being a pillow top.

3. Firmness

Like mattresses, mattress toppers come in three firmness levels–soft, medium, and firm.

Most toppers fall in the medium range, which is the best one for most people. It provides a good balance between firm support and soft pressure relief.

But if you have a bigger body or your mattress is too soft, a firm topper may be better.

If you are a side sleeper, have severe back pain or your mattress is too firm, a soft topper will be more comfortable.

4. Cooling

A cool topper is not crucial for reducing back pain, but it is important for your overall sleeping comfort.

A hot topper makes it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. You’ll wake up hot and sweaty.

If you want a topper that is guaranteed to stay cool all year round, a latex foam topper is your best option. Latex is naturally cool.

If you opt for a memory foam topper, look for one that contains cooling gel, ventilated foam or a bamboo cover.

5. Pillow Top

A pillow top on a mattress topper usually consists of a fiber-filled pad that is designed to be as soft and plush as down.

It provides extra pressure relief, making pillow top toppers great for those with serious back pain. They are also ideal for those recovering from back or hip surgery.

But beware; the pillow top can trap heat, making the topper a bit warm.


Types of Mattress Toppers for Back Pain

best mattress topper for back and hip pain

We’ve already mentioned most of these toppers but here’s a quick recap.

Memory foam toppers: Usually made from gel-infused foam to reduce heat retention. They are the best for back pain.

Latex foam toppers: Can be made from blended (synthetic + natural) or 100% natural latex. These are good for those who need firmer support, a bouncy topper, and excellent cooling.

Pillow top toppers: Toppers with a plush pillow top typically filled with down-like fiber. Great for those who need extra pressure relief or anyone who wants to recreate a luxury hotel experience without buying an expensive mattress.

Egg crate toppers: These are foam toppers with an egg crate design on the surface. This design improves airflow to keep the topper cool. Great for those who sleep hot or live in a hot climate.


Frequently Asked Questions

what is the best mattress topper for lower back pain

Will a mattress topper help with back pain?

Yes, if you buy the right topper.

A memory foam topper is the best for back pain. If the pain is particularly severe, look for a pillow top memory foam topper.

Latex toppers are also great for those who need more support or find memory foam to be too warm.

Can mattress toppers cause back pain?

Yes, if you buy the wrong one.

A topper that is too firm or too soft can cause back pain for some people.

Buy a topper that is ideal for your comfort needs. If you are overweight, get a firm topper. If you are a side sleeper, get a soft or medium topper.

What thickness of mattress topper should I get?

3 inches is perfect for most people. A 3” topper provides plenty of support and pressure relief.

If your mattress has a pillow top or is in relatively good shape, a 2” topper will do. For beat up mattresses that have sagged quite a bit, a 4” topper will make a bigger difference.

Thicker 4” toppers are also great for those who want a plush and luxurious sleeping experience.

Are there firm mattress toppers?

Most mattress toppers are medium firm. But you can also find soft or firm mattress toppers.


Where to Get the Best Deal

best mattress topper for neck and back pain

Online retailers and manufacturer websites have the best deals on mattress toppers. You’ll find a wider variety, lower prices, and deeper discounts.

It’s also much easier to order a mattress topper online and have it shipped right to your door.


Learn More

Best Online Mattresses For Every Type of Sleeper & Need

Best Pillows for Neck Pain Relief 2019

Best Cooling Mattress 2019

Best Mattress for Back Pain 


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