Man sitting up in bed with back pain.

Is a Firm Bed Good For Your Back?

Is a firm bed good for your back?

Figuring out the best bed for your spine

Do you have a bad back? If so, you may wonder if you should get a firm bed. When it comes to finding the perfect mattress, there are a lot of factors to consider. But a firm mattress is a good option if you’re looking for a mattress that will give your back the support it needs. 


Firm mattresses are designed to provide more support than softer mattresses, and they can be helpful for people with back pain. But before you buy a firm mattress, you should know a few things. 


So, we’ve gone ahead and researched for you! We’ve looked at the pros and cons of firmer beds for people with bad backs, so you don’t have to. We’ll also discuss alternative options to help you get a good night’s sleep. Keep reading to learn more!

The pros of a firm mattress

Supports the spine

The main reason people opt for a firmer mattress is that it offers better support for the spine. A firm mattress helps to keep the spine in alignment and prevents it from sagging. Proper spinal support is especially beneficial for people with lower back pain.

Reduces tossing and turning

Another pro of a firm mattress is that it can help to reduce tossing and turning. Frequently tossing and turning at night can disrupt your sleep and lead to additional pain. A firm mattress can help to keep you in one position so you can get a full night’s rest.

Great for back and stomach sleepers

Another group of people who may benefit from a firm mattress are back and stomach sleepers. These types of sleepers need a firm surface to support their spine and prevent them from sinking into the mattress.

Improved circulation and weight distribution

In addition to supporting the spine, a firm mattress can improve circulation and distribute body weight more evenly. Proper circulation can benefit people suffering from chronic pain or conditions like fibromyalgia.

Durability and versatility

Firmer mattresses are also typically more durable and versatile than softer mattresses because they can be used on various types of beds, including adjustable beds. Firm mattresses also have the longevity to last many years of use.

Less motion transfer

Another advantage of firmer mattresses is that they tend to have less motion transfer which means you’re less likely to be disturbed if your partner moves around at night.

Prevent bed sores and reduce pressure points

Firmer mattresses can also help to prevent bed sores. Bed sores are a type of pressure ulcer that can develop when you’re confined to one position for an extended period of time. They’re more common in people who are immobile or have limited mobility.


A firm mattress can help to reduce pressure points that lead to bed sores. Pressure points are areas of the body where blood flow is restricted, which can cause pain, numbness, and tingling.

Reduced neck discomfort

For some people, a firm mattress can also reduce neck discomfort. A study published in the journal Sleep found that people who slept on firm mattresses had less neck pain than those who slept on soft mattresses.


Good for heavy bodies

Finally, a firm mattress is a good option for people who are heavy. Heavier bodies tend to sink into softer mattresses, which can cause pain. A firm mattress can help to support a heavier body and distribute weight more evenly.


Hand placed on top of mattress.

The cons of a firm bed

While a firm mattress has its advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks. If you’re thinking of switching to a firmer bed, consider these to help you decide if it’s the right move for you.

You’ll need time to adjust

A firm mattress will likely feel quite different from the one you’re used to sleeping on. It may take time for your body to adjust to the new level of support. In the meantime, you may experience some discomfort, such as back pain or stiffness.

It may not be comfortable at first

A firm mattress isn’t for everyone. If you prefer a softer sleeping surface, a firmer bed may not be your most comfortable option. You might find it too hard and causes discomfort, particularly in your hips and shoulders.

It could make existing aches and pains worse

If you already have back pain or other types of pain, sleeping on a firm mattress could make it worse. While firmness can help alleviate pain in some cases, it can also aggravate it in others.

Not suitable for side sleepers

A firm mattress may not be ideal if you’re a side sleeper. Side sleepers need a bit of giving in their mattress to ensure proper spinal alignment. Otherwise, they may wake up with pain in their hips, shoulders, or neck.

You might get too hot

Firmer mattresses tend to retain more body heat than softer ones. If you sleep hot or tend to get night sweats, a firm bed might not be your best option.

Can your back hurt from a firm mattress?

If you have severe back pain, you might wonder if a firm mattress is the right choice. In general, firmer mattresses are better for people with back pain. But it’s essential to keep in mind that there isn’t one perfect mattress for everyone.


While a firm mattress may help relieve back pain for some people, it could make it worse for others. If you have back pain, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a spine specialist before making any changes to your sleep surface. They can help you determine what type of mattress is best for your individual needs.

Are firm mattresses better for posture?

Good posture is important for overall health, and it can also help to prevent pain. While a firm mattress won’t magically fix your posture, it can help to support your spine and keep it in alignment. Good spine alignment can lead to better posture and less pain over time.


Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist if you’re concerned about your posture. They can give you specific exercises and tips to improve your posture and help relieve any pain you may be experiencing.


Graphic of the outline of a person lying on their side in bed with good spinal alignment. Graphic of the outline of a person lying on their side in bed with bad spinal alignment.

Can soft mattresses hurt your back?

While firm mattresses are often recommended for people with back pain, that doesn’t mean soft mattresses are necessarily bad for your back. In fact, some people find a soft mattress more comfortable and crucial to reducing their pain.


If you have back pain, it’s important to choose the mattress that’s right for you. Some people prefer firm mattresses, while others find a softer mattress more comfortable. There’s no right or wrong answer, so it’s important to experiment until you find the mattress that works best for you.

Bed accessories and firm mattresses go hand-in-hand

If you’re considering buying a medium-firm mattress to support your back, you might also want to look into bed accessories that can help improve your sleep. 

Mattress Protectors

 A mattress protector is a thin layer of material that goes over your mattress. It helps protect against spills, dust, and other debris that can damage or stain your mattress. 


Pillows are important for getting a good night’s sleep and protecting your neck and upper spine. They provide support for your head and neck and can help keep your spine in alignment. When choosing a pillow, it’s important to find one that is the right size and density for you. 


Sheets play a role in comfort, too. They should be smooth and soft, so you don’t have to worry about them irritating your skin. And they should be the right size for your mattress, so they stay in place and don’t bunch up. 

Buy your next firm bed at Sleep Firm 

If you’re looking for a new mattress to support your back, Sleep Firm is the place to shop. We have a wide selection of firm mattresses from top brands, so you can find the right mattress to improve your sleep quality. Shop online today and start sleeping better tonight.