Mattress Wars… What Mattress Should I Buy For Back Pain?

Hey, guys. It’s Stephen here. I wanted to go over a quick question that I’ve been getting a lot of over the last few weeks.

I titled this “Mattress Wars” because what I’m getting is a lot of questions about, “How do I choose the best mattress for my back pain?” It’s a common

question, and the mattress gets a lot of attention, so I wanted to go over that a little bit because there’s this new generation of mattress companies coming out that’s a lot different from when I was in school back in the ’90s.

So first I want to talk about a professor from Harvard. His name is Dr. Jeffrey Katz, and he’s been doing research on sleeping, and his suggestion was to try multiple mattresses so that you can see what’s the best fit for you.

The reality is there’s not one perfect mattress for everyone.

The studies that he’s come out with most recently say, there were 313 patients that were suffering with low back pain, and the conclusion of the study suggested that there were more patients that responded better, or had less pain when they were sleeping on a medium firm mattress. There was less improvements in the firm mattress group in comparison.

Now, when I was in school, that was kind of the opposite. We were taught the firmer mattress was best for back pain, but what we’re now seeing is shift in that. So with this Dr. Katz’s recommendation to try multiple mattresses, you know, back in the day we’d have to go to the mattress shop and lay around for hours on different mattresses. Now what we can do is we can order these mattresses online, we can have them sent to us, and most companies are letting people sample them for anywhere from two weeks up to several months.

So with that said, I want to go over a little bit of the new mattress brands out there that I don’t know much about. This is the new brands and I’m learning this from my clients, and I’m looking to get a little bit of a better handle on it.

So these are the new generation brands, and they are Saatva, the Helix Mattress, Amerisleep, and the Bear Mattress. Each of those four brands range from $800 to $1200 for a new mattress. Shop and order online and you can send them back if things don’t go according to plan for little money or no money at all. So again, I haven’t tried any of these.

So now I’m going to talk a little bit about the ones I’ve tried. I’ve had a Sleep Number bed, also known as Select Comfort.

I loved that bed because it allowed me to set the firmness a little firmer, and allowed my wife Cheryl to set the firmness a little softer.

Now, we loved it… until my wife hated it when we were eight and a half months pregnant and, all of a sudden, it broke and would not hold air over night. The customer service from the Sleep Number people was lacking, when it came to fixing the bed because it was a mechanical issue. They weren’t very good about helping us, and Cheryl was not too happy with that company.

So we then moved on to a Tempur-Pedic Breeze, which is the one that’s supposed to not be so hot, and that one’s been fine. It’s a little softer than I like, but it has been a very good bed for us. The difference is you are looking at $2000 to $5000 for these mattresses compared to the new generation brands that are $800 to $1200.

So that’s it on the question of, “What mattress  do I choose, and why?”

So consider this information when looking to purchase a new mattress.

If you have any further questions and you want to reach out to us, you can reach us at 512-215-4227 or continue browsing at

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And that’s it for the day, guys, and I’ll be back soon with some questions on the sleep positions: your side, your stomach, your back, etc…

All right, hope all is well, y’all take care…

Co-Owner / Physical Therapist at CORE Therapy and Pilates
Stephen graduated with a Masters in Physical Therapy in 1998 from LSUMC in New Orleans and is a licensed physical therapist in Texas since 2004. Immediately interested in hands-on therapy, he began to study with Brian Mulligan and became certified in the Maitland Australian Approach in 2003. Stephen has since studied the fascial system through John F Barnes Myofascial Release. Stephen completed a comprehensive Pilates training in 2002 and the GYROTONIC Expansion System® in 2009. The combined treatment of manual therapy with mind-body awareness exercises using Pilates and Gyrotonic concepts was the start of his whole-body treatment approach.
Stephen Dunn