Is A Soft Mattress Bad For Your Back?

Nov 23 , 2022

Tauseeq Magsi

Is A Soft Mattress Bad For Your Back?

There is a lot of myth surrounding whether or not a soft mattress is bad for your back. Some people claim it to be the most comfortable option out there, while others have a hard time sleeping on it. So, what is actually the case? Can a soft mattress be the cause of your back pain?

A soft mattress is not the ideal choice as it can lead to back problems. It fails to provide the necessary support to your spine, resulting in a lack of quality sleep and tiredness throughout the day. The best mattress has medium firmness and ample spine support.

Good sleep is fundamental to functioning better and delivering your best performance. It becomes extremely important to choose the right mattress for your rest. Continue reading to find more!

Can A Soft Mattress Hurt Your Back?

When buying a mattress, generally, we assume the softer, the better, but this might not be the case every time. According to expert orthopedic surgeons, the spine has a natural curvature which is often not well-supported if you lay down on a super soft bed.

Can A Soft Mattress Hurt Your Back

So, the idea that a soft mattress is the best pick to prevent back pain might not be entirely accurate. While a soft bed does help in relieving pressure, the lack of the proper spine support can lead to excessive pain and discomfort.

Also Read: How To Fix Dip In Memory Foam Mattress:

The problem can be more alarming for people who already experience back problems; thus, the softness of mattress shouldn't be the only point to consider when buying one.

3 Reasons Why A Soft Mattress Causes Back Pain:

After extensive research, we have gathered how a soft mattress can turn problematic for your back. Let's read!

1. Sinking Too Deep Into The Mattress:

When a mattress is too soft in the outer comfort layers, it might not be able to withstand your body weight, and you may find yourself sinking deep into the mattress. In some cases, you may end up touching the support core, resulting in back pain.

It is because not only are you lying in a bad posture but also because the support core is comparatively firmer, creating pressure points that can be bad for your back. However, this tends to be a problem only if you are on the heavy-weight side.

2. Limited Mobility:

One recurrent issue with a softer mattress is difficulty in moving around. The reduced surface tension results in a 'hammock' effect, and resting in such a poor posture is the primary reason you wake up with terrible back pain.

Limited Mobility

Besides this, the decreased surface tension also disturbs your sleep cycle as you struggle to find a comfortable position.

Also Read: Why You Need A Good Mattress?

3. Too Much Sagging:

Sagging is common with mattresses that have been in use for more than 5-7 years or newer mattresses that have some defect. Such a defect makes the mattress not supportive enough for the back as it sinks in too far and can lead to back aches and other discomforts.

However, in this situation, the mattress is not just extremely soft but also defective- it is no longer suitable for resting on due to the health problems it can initiate.

How To Tell If The Mattress Is Too Soft?

Now, you might wonder, how can you tell if your mattress is not firm enough? Other than the obvious feel-difference, a few signs will help you know your back isn't getting the support it needs.

  • If you notice a dent in the mattress after waking up, it indicates it lacks adequate support.
  • You feel tired throughout the day because of insufficient sleep duration, waking up frequently at night and lack of quality sleep.
  • You may wake up with soreness in the back; the too-soft mattress can worsen your back pain and cause discomfort. All of this directly contributes to a poor sleep cycle.

How To Prevent Back Pain From A Soft Mattress?

If you have identified that your super soft mattress is the main culprit for the unwanted back pain, you might be thinking about what to do next. Let's go through some options that will help curb the discomfort.

Also Read: How To Tell If Memory Foam Mattress Is Worn Out

How To Prevent Back Pain From A Soft Mattress

A. Get A Firm Mattress Topper:

A quick fix for a soft mattress is to buy a firm mattress topper. As the name suggests, these are additional material sections you can attach to the mattress top to add slight firmness for proper back support.

You can choose from many options, depending on your requirements- for instance, latex foam mattress toppers, memory foam toppers, etc.

B. Change Your Sleeping Position:

If your mattress is extra soft, it is better to avoid sleeping on your front as it will put too much pressure on your lower back and cause immense pain. Instead, sleeping on your back can be a better and more stable position.

C. Go For Better Support Frames:

A less-supportive bed frame can sometimes be a reason why the mattress feels extra soft. Thus, switching to a compatible frame will help prevent the mattress support core from sagging. You can go for either slatted frames, solid platform frames or even high-quality adjustable frames that will do the task.

D. Swap The Mattress Layers:

Some mattresses, such as latex mattresses, often come with non-attached, separate layers that you can flip around. So, you can place the firmer layer on the top and the softer one below it to give your back the support it needs.

E. Replace The Mattress:

If none of the said changes are giving you the comfort and peaceful sleep you look for, then you need to replace your mattress as soon as possible. Switch to a mattress type that suits your requirements and provides ample back support.

Also Read: Pros And Cons Of Memory Foam Mattress

Soft VS Firm Mattress; Choose What’s Best For You

Choosing the right mattress is of significant importance, but most often, we get confused about which path to take; soft or firm, which is better?

For most people, a mattress with medium firmness is the best choice for preventing back pain. If your lying on it results in a misaligned spine, you may have gotten the wrong mattress.

  • Your mattress is extremely soft if it sinks your hips a lot lower than your shoulders.
  • Your mattress is extremely firm if your hips and shoulders are straightly aligned.
  • Your mattress is perfect if it contours justly to the shape of your body and keeps the spine in the right position.


More than half of the population face back pains of one sort or another. And in most cases, one of the main reasons is not making the right decision when buying a mattress. A too-soft mattress can misalign the spine and cause back pain and disturbed sleep. So, the mattress needs to have enough support for your body weight so that you can get a peaceful, painless and sound night sleep.