Best Extra Firm Mattress Topper for Back Pain
Last Updated: October, 2023
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Back pain is incredibly common and can leave you feeling unrested and frustrated. If your mattress is starting to sag or is too soft, adding firmness can help ease back pain caused by lack of support. Investing in a new mattress may be out of your price range, so adding an extra firm mattress topper is a great money-saving alternative.
With many mattress types and brands out there it can be difficult to know which one will work for your needs. That's why we went ahead and found 7 ideal mattresses to choose from. Our editor's choice for the best mattress for hip replacement is the Venus William's Legend by GhostBed. Read on to learn more.
According to our tests, the best extra firm mattress topper for back pain is the PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper.
The Best Extra Firm Mattress Topper
If your existing mattress feels too soft, an extra firm latex mattress topper might be all you need to get the comfort and support you crave, and the PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper doesn't disappoint. It's available in four firmness levels, including an extra firm feel that delivers excellent overall support. It's made of Talalay latex, a naturally responsive material that offers light cushioning without sinking or hugging your body too tightly. Talalay latex is also designed for long-lasting comfort, meaning your topper will provide you with a comfortable sleep surface for years to come.
The PlushBeds topper has two profiles, making it best suited to sleep surfaces with more pronounced wear and tear and those with minor to moderate sinkage. Its cover is made of organic cotton. And since the fabric is naturally breathable and the Talalay latex retains very little body heat, this topper is ideal for back pain sufferers who sleep hot. The ventilation holes in the PlushBeds extra firm latex mattress topper also help regulate temperature, delivering a cool sleep surface without sacrificing comfort and support.
All models of this latex topper have natural Talalay latex, a material well-known for its gentle conforming and natural responsiveness. While the price point for the PlushBeds topper varies by selected thickness and size, all versions are competitively priced given the above-average durability and the all-latex design. Six sizes are available, and they all correspond to standard mattress dimensions. PlushBeds offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous United States. Although returns aren't accepted, their latex toppers come with a 5-year warranty.
Pressure buildup along your spine can occur if the surface has become less adaptive over time. The Nolah topper features AirFoam, Nolah's proprietary material that contours closely to the sleeper's body, much like traditional memory foam. Commonly referred to as the best mattress topper for back pain, Nolah’s luxury firm model adapts to sore spots to alleviate pain while maintaining a firm and more supportive feel. Measuring 2 inches thick, this topper is the best firm mattress topper for individuals looking for extra cushioning on their sleep surface or sleepers who own mattresses with light to moderate wear.
The Nolah Mattress Topper comes in two firmness levels. We recommend choosing a design based on your sleeping position, body type, and bed's wear and tear level. The luxury firm mattress topper is more supportive, making it suitable for side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds.
If you're a side sleeper, you'll enjoy the topper's cushioning for painful pressure points, while the firmer topper feel will keep your body on an even plane. Lightweight sleepers may prefer Nolah's medium soft mattress topper option. Stomach and back sleepers weighing less than 230 pounds may also find this model comfortable. If you want more pressure relief and cradling, you can also get the Nolah topper in a plush firmness.
Thick elastic straps secure your topper's corners, preventing shifting when you toss and turn or change sleep positions at night. While these straps make your topper compatible with mattresses up to 15 inches thick, you can forgo them if your bed falls outside this range. The mattress topper is wrapped in a soft, breathable organic cotton cover. This fabric's cooling properties help dissipate heat which in turn enables the topper's foam construction to retain less heat, ensuring hot sleepers sleep cool throughout the night.
Like other firmer mattress toppers, the Nolah topper is available in six standard sizes. Ground shipping is free for buyers living in the contiguous U.S. Each purchase comes with a 30-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty for those who decide to keep their mattress topper after the trial period ends.
Related Content: Best mattress topper for side sleepers
The Lift by Amerisleep is designed using Amerisleep's slow-moving foam, a proprietary material that made Amerisleep mattresses popular among sleepers with persistent back pain. It features HIVE technology, which makes the topper firmer in some parts and softer in others to deliver the perfect balance of comfort and support.
This topper comes in two layer types: support and comfort. The Support Lift uses Amerisleep's Affinity material to deliver better support for sleepers who prefer firm mattress toppers. The Comfort Lift, on the other hand, uses Amerisleep's Bio-Pur material to deliver extra cushion while bouncing back fast. This prevents you from feeling stuck on the surface when you move around at night. The Affinity and Bio-Pur materials are designed with an advanced open-cell structure to wick away excess heat and keep you cool all night.
The 3-inch profile means the topper will significantly change the feel of your sleep surface, so it can serve as a temporary solution if your mattress is old or indented. Side sleepers, in particular, will benefit from this foam topper as this sleeping position often interferes with proper alignment and creates pressure buildup around the hips and shoulders. Back sleepers should also find the Lift by Amerisleep comfortable.
The topper is encased in a removable and machine-washable cover. It's also breathable, preventing you from feeling excessively warm at night. Plus, it's one of the best firm mattress toppers for couples, thanks to Amerisleep foam's motion-isolating capabilities. It absorbs movement, practically eliminating transfer across the mattress, allowing you to sleep peacefully even when your partner changes positions at night.
Amerisleep offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. Since the company doesn't permit returns for their firm mattress toppers, all sales are final. However, each buyer receives a 5-year warranty that covers structural defects.
Memory foam mattress toppers can alleviate back pain by promoting even spinal alignment and cushioning the spine. However, you might find the foam fill too plush and unsupportive — especially if you weigh over 130 pounds. The Puffy Mattress Topper is a firm all-foam model with a 2-inch block of adaptive memory foam that contours evenly to the body while maintaining even support.
The Puffy topper is composed of memory foam while its cover is made of 60% polyester and 40% bamboo rayon. It boasts a skirt with pockets deep enough to accommodate a 15-inch mattress. This skirt keeps your mattress topper secured to the bed. Plus, the cover's underside features anti-slip grips that keep your mattress in place. Since this cover is machine-washable, it can be easily removed and machine washed in a home machine. You can buy the Puffy Mattress Topper in six standard sizes.
This 2.5-inch mattress topper comes in two firmness options - firm and soft. Since a memory foam mattress topper usually compresses under weight, both firmness levels offer excellent pressure relief. Back and side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds will love how the soft model cushions their bodies, especially areas prone to pressure buildup such as the hips, shoulders, and spine.
On the other hand, the firm mattress topper model should feel more comfortable for stomach sleepers with back pain, as this position usually benefits from flat, firm surfaces. This model also performs well with side and back sleepers over 230 pounds, allowing them to sink deep enough for pressure relief.
Puffy offers a 101-night trial for shoppers to try out their mattress toppers, during which they can return them for a full refund. The Puffy topper also ships free to customers in all 50 states and is backed by a lifetime warranty.
A foam mattress topper can significantly benefit individuals struggling to maintain healthy sleeping by evenly distributing body weight across the surface. However, these mattress toppers also retain body heat and sleep uncomfortably warm. As one of the best firm mattress toppers for hot sleepers, the Molecule Triple Zone Pro topper offers the best of both worlds: a foam mattress topper that alleviates pain, keeps your spine in perfect alignment, and dissipates heat. The Restoreflo memory foam comfort layer has an open-cell design that makes your topper breathable and resistant to heat retention. A cool-to-the-touch cover made of microclimate regulating material further enhances your topper's cooling properties.
Measuring 3 inches thick, the Molecule Triple Zone Pro topper should significantly change how your sleep surface feels - even if the mattress is heavily indented. The topper starts with an inch of Restoreflo memory foam comfort layer that offers exceptional pressure relief and promotes airflow throughout your topper. It features gel micro beads that help keep your mattress cool and dry.
Beneath this lies a 2-inch Recoveryflo Dynamic Response layer. This zoned layer features a precision-contoured 3D geometric surface, offering self-adjusting support to sensitive body parts. Smaller diamond zones at the top and bottom provide a softer topper feel around your head and feet while larger hexagon zones at the center offer additional body support and pressure relief around the lumbar region.
The cover comprises 13% polyethylene, 20% cooling nylon, and 67% polyester with MOLECULEshield antimicrobial treatment to protect your mattress against bacteria, mold, and odors. You can remove the cover and machine wash it on delicate cycle in cold water whenever you need to clean it.
Molecule offers free shipping and returns throughout the contiguous U.S. Each new mattress topper comes with a 30-night sleep trial, giving shoppers enough time to test their firm mattress toppers and decide whether it suits their needs. Those who choose to keep this great mattress topper also receive a 5-year limited warranty against structural defects.
The all-foam GhostBed Mattress Toppers offer even contouring for many sleep positions and body types. You'll appreciate its deep cradling if you often experience sharp pressure points during the night. Plus, it has a competitive price tag compared to mattress toppers with similar foam construction designs, which makes this topper a solid pick for shoppers on a budget.
As one of the best cooling mattress toppers for hip pain, the GhostBed topper features a thick contouring and cooling gel memory foam layer designed to absorb heat and improve sleep quality. This material has targeted comfort zones that offer added pressure relief around the legs, torso, shoulders, and head, with raised zones for maximum airflow. A waterproof fitted cover with GhostBed's patent-pending, cool-to-the-touch Ghost Ice fabric encases the mattress.
A 2-inch GhostGrip elastic band keeps these mattress toppers in place as you shift positions throughout the night. Note that the memory foam fill should only be spot cleaned. Sleepers can remove the cover and wash it on a gentle cycle with warm or cool water for easy care.
The topper is 3 inches thick and boasts a medium-firm feel. Back and side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds will love how these mattress toppers cushion the body, particularly parts prone to pressure buildup, such as the hips and shoulders. Most stomach sleepers will also experience relief for painful pressure points without sinking excessively, as the GhostBed topper offers an even sleep surface.
The GhostBed Mattress Toppers are available in seven mattress sizes, including the Split King size. GhostBed offers free shipping to shoppers in the contiguous U.S. and a 5-year warranty.
Sleep surfaces can become less adaptive over time, resulting in less body contouring and a high potential for uncomfortable pressure buildup. A medium-firm mattress topper can help relieve pressure points and ensure less soreness when you wake up. The Zoma Balance Pad contains Reactiv foam, a responsive material that cushions and conforms to your body like memory foam but without trapping heat or hugging too tightly.
These mattress toppers offer excellent pressure relief and enough support for side, back, and stomach sleepers, thanks to their medium-firm feel. The Reactiv foam absorbs movement pretty well, so the Zoma Balance Pad should be suitable for couples and co-sleepers who use responsive beds and often lose sleep due to movement-related nighttime disruptions.
A cover constructed with 97% polyester and 3% spandex encases the topper for added cooling. The bottom of the topper comes with a non-skid fabric that hugs your sleep surface, keeping it from sleeping off when you toss and turn or change sleep positions at night. Zoma's Reactiv foam is CertiPUR-US Certified, meaning it's low in VOCs and free from harmful chemicals and heavy metals.
Zoma offers free ground delivery to customers in the contiguous U.S. While the 100-night trial doesn't apply to the Balance Pad, each order includes a manufacturer's warranty that covers sagging and manufacturing defects for up to 5 years.
Choosing a firm mattress topper for back pain
There are many factors to consider when choosing a mattress topper for back pain. These include, your body weight, sleeping position, current mattress firmness and where you're experiencing the pain - upper or lower back.
How to Buy a Firm Mattress Topper for Back Pain
Below is a detailed guide to help you narrow down the specific mattress topper that suits your comfort needs.
As with a cooling mattress, it's also crucial to consider the cooling properties of a supportive firm mattress topper. Though there are numerous brands of toppers, the best cooling firm topper we highly recommend for your backache relief is the PlushBeds Latex topper. This is primarily because of the excellent breathability of its latex construction. But if you're not a latex fan, then Molecule Trip Zone Pro and GhostBed Mattress Topper, among other top picks outlined in this article, will make excellent alternatives.
When considering sleeping styles, the thickness of the mattress topper matters a lot. For instance, a thicker option will suit side sleepers needing additional pressure relief around the hips and shoulders and those needing deep body contouring.
Back sleepers are better off choosing between a thinner and a thicker option for optimal sleep comfort. Since stomach sleepers require a topper that provides solid support for proper spinal alignment, a thinner option is the ideal pick.
Type of Material
Like Mattresses, mattress toppers are also made of different materials, which helps widen your options preference. Some of the common types of topper materials include;
Mattress toppers made from this type of material often have an unusual feel to sleepers used to ordinary mattresses. If you're plagued with frequent pressure build-ups, especially on the lower back region, we recommend our Puffy, Ghostbed, or Nolah Mattress Topper. Overall, memory foam fans will appreciate these toppers' incredible ability to distribute body weight, and they'll help eliminate the strain from sensitive areas such as the lumbar region, shoulders, and hips.
If you're a fan of high-end durable mattress toppers, then an organic latex mattress topper will be a suitable fit for you. Aside from durability, latex material is highly breathable, making it great for hot sleepers. In fact, mattress toppers made of natural latex are way more breathable, thanks to their air pockets which facilitate efficient air circulation throughout the topper surface.
If you're seeking the best mattress topper that will help relieve a consistent backache, then our PlushBeds Natural Latex Mattress Topper should be your go-to top choice. Sleepers with allergies need not worry about allergic attacks since natural latex toppers are made of eco-friendly materials. While some may emit an off-gassing odor, they basically contain less VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). So the odor is pretty much harmless.
Polyester is a synthetic material. Most toppers are a blend of polyester with another natural material; for instance, the puffy mattress topper's cover is a blend of polyester and wool. Aside from synthetic options, there are other organic options you can pick from. Mattress toppers made of this material are super breathable and relatively easy to clean.
Among the cheapest options are mattress topper models that are cotton and polyester blend. They are generally budget friendly, so you won’t have to break the bank to purchase them. Picking our Zoma Balance Pad, Puffy Topper, or Molecule Trip Zone will make an excellent addition to your bedding arsenal in your quest to relieve back pain and achieve a serene slumber each night.
While firm mattress toppers provide optimal spinal alignment and sturdy support, the comfort you receive will generally depend on how you sleep. Extra firm and firm mattress toppers are ideal for stomach and back sleepers, while those who sleep on their side need a little more give to keep their spine aligned and properly alleviate painful pressure points.
The main goal is to find a mattress topper that keeps your shoulders and hips in line so your back muscles can relax. Remember, back pain can develop or worsen due to using a sleep surface that's way past its prime. So, if your current mattress is sagging or has significant indentations, it might be time to buy a new one.