Bed Info

True or False? A hard mattress is better for your back.

Let’s answer it once and for all. Is it true a hard mattress is better for your back?

Spoiler alert: it’s false.

There is a widely held belief that a hard mattress is better for your back. Many people choose a hard mattress for this reason. Some even advocate sleeping on the floor with only a light foam layer. Personal preference aside, research has shown that a hard mattress is more likely to be a contributor to back pain than a cure.

So where did the idea come from?

In years past mattresses were made with parts that would compress over time. This would result in the middle of the mattress sagging into a hollow. You would roll into the middle and your body would be folded into a hammock position. When lying on your side, your shoulders and your hips would tilt inward towards each other.  This would cause your spine to curve in an unnatural position whilst you sleep.

The solution to the problem of the sagging mattress was to place a hard board under the mattress. Voila! No more sagging. Instead the mattress would be hard, providing no give.

What if your mattress is too hard?

There are a few things that happen when you sleep on a too hard mattress. Pressure points are formed where the heaviest parts of the body make contact with the mattress.  This can impact circulation and result in tense muscles. The hips and the shoulders aren’t able to sink into the mattress slightly, preventing good spinal alignment.

If not a “hard mattress”, what kind of bed should you rather have?

A modern mattress can be described as being composed of two parts: the “engine” of the mattress providing the structure and support, and the comfort layers providing the preferred level of softness. Beneath the comfort layers the “engine” supports the body, allowing the hips and shoulders to align.

The “engine” of the mattress can come in many forms. It can be dense speciality foam, a traditional spring system, or a pocketed spring. All of these types have their advantages (you can read more about Speciality Foam here).  The comfort layers also come in many forms, from the foam found on an entry-level mattress to Blue Gel Memory foam on a premium mattress.

How can Bedworld help?

All of the mattresses sold at Bedworld provide good support for the spine. Some mattresses are firmer than others, meaning there is a comfort level to satisfy every individual taste. The most popular choice for support and comfort is the Medium Firm bed. This is one of the reasons hotels and guest houses order their beds with this specification.

Our leading suppliers like Restonic, Green Coil, Rest Assured and Cloud Nine Beds, prefer the term “firm support with extra comfort”.

So, in a nutshell, it is false.

A hard bed is not better for your back. A bed should provide proper support for your back, and you can select the comfort level you prefer.

For help in choosing the perfect bed for you, send an email to with your requirements and we’ll get back to you.  Or call us on 011-791 4254 and one of our sleep specialists will assist.

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