To cut to the chase, we’ve tested over 100 beds to determine which ones would be good for lower back and hip pain. Please keep in mind that we are not health professionals, so you should have a conversation with your doctor before you make a final decision about a bed for hip bursitis or other ailments.
Hip pain is not fun. It affects arguably the most basic, fundamental part of your life: your mobility. The causes of hip pain are many, as are the treatment options, but often overlooked are your sleeping habits. In this post we’ve selected a few mattresses for best dealing with shoulder and hip pain. Of course, everyone is different and pain can vary, but we’ve done our best to be helpful and insightful.
And since we don’t employ a full-time doctor, we collaborated with a professional chiropractor to help us write and assemble this guide. Even so, we still recommend that you consult your physician and/or chiropractor before you purchase a new mattress or do anything that could affect the condition of your hip and back.
This post is not an offering of health advice, so please consider multiple sources before you make a decision. The way we see, the better informed you are, the smarter decision you’ll make. But with that all out of the way, let’s talk about mattresses.
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|The Nest Alexander Hybrid mattress is a fan favorite among The Slumber Yard team. Not only is the bed super comfortable, but it's also fairly affordable and would be a great mattress for side sleepers with hip pain. The mattress comes in multiple firmness options to satisfy a variety of sleepers and pain ailments.|
Shoulder And Hip Pain
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|Nolah is a plush foam mattress that offers plenty of pressure relief for side sleepers, especially those with hip and shoulder pain. The bed uses a proprietary AirFoam for its top layer that is very comfortable.|
Memory Foam Mattress
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|Layla is a double-sided memory foam bed with a soft, plush side and a medium-firm side. Layla could be a nice option for side sleepers with arthritis in their hips or someone with shoulder pain.|
Back And Hip Pain
|Level is a three-zone mattress with a different firmness profile in each zone. Though, it depends on the person, we could see Level Sleep working for individuals with lower back and hip pain.|
|The Brentwood Home Oceano is a luxurious, hybrid mattress that combines dual layers of coils with natural and organic materials. Overall, we think it's an excellent option for heavy side sleepers in particular.|
Number of Contributors
While we are very proud to have such a diverse and talented team, we do recognize that back, shoulder, and hip pain—and health matters in general—are not our forte. In that vein, we worked closely with Dr. Ranvir Sahota, founder and operator of Synapse Chiropractic to write this post and select the mattresses mentioned above.
Dr. Sahota is a licensed chiropractor that works with dozens of clients each day, including people that are suffering from various forms of lower back and hip pain, including hip bursitis. Thus he was the perfect person to help us with this guide. We specifically discussed hip pain and lower back pain as well as causes, treatment options, and—of course—considerations with regard to mattresses. We even went through an in-person demonstration of the positives and negatives of different mattress types and sleeping positions.
Still, we do implore you to talk directly with your physician and/or chiropractor before you start the mattress buying process or switching up your daily life. Lower back and hip pain are not something that you’ll want to mess around with and while changing your mattress can improve your situation, it can also make things much worse if you make the wrong selection. In addition to working with Dr. Sahota, we also performed our own tests and independent research.
In fact, for our mattress reviews, we ultimately spend hundreds of hours between testing, researching, writing, and producing. We often rip open mattresses to see what they’re made of and to test the quality of the materials. Support, firmness, softness, motion transfer, and temperature regulation are just a few areas that we look at when comparing a mattress or reviewing them individually. The bottom line is that we put an enormous amount of time into our content and we sincerely hope that it’s helpful for you.
A Good Choice For Side Sleepers And Hip Pain – The first word that comes to mind when our team thinks of the Nest Alexander Hybrid is comfort. It’s just an insanely soft and comfortable mattress. The bed is very accommodating and doesn’t irritate or put too much strain on the sensitive parts of your body. As such, we think it’s an excellent choice for people suffering from hip pain or any other related issue.
Construction & Feel – The Nest Alexander Hybrid mattress has a high-quality design and construction. It’s a premium bed that will last you a long time. The bed is comprised of pocketed coils, energex foam, proprietary foams and a quilted memory foam cover, which together give the bed a soft pillow top type feel. It’s one of those beds where you can’t help but to let out an audible sigh of relief as lay down after a long, exhausting day.
Firmness Options – Another nice thing about the Nest Alexander Hybrid is that it’s available in multiple firmness profiles. You can choose between Plush, Medium and Luxury Firm options. We’d recommend the Plush or Medium models for side sleepers. These models provide the most pressure relief for your hips and shoulders. If you’re a back sleeper that struggles with hip pain, you may thing about going with the Luxury Firm model. It’s also worth noting that the mattress is available in split options as well so couples with different sleeping preferences will be happy and content.
Lifetime Warranty – Lastly, we have to tell you that the Nest Alexander Signature mattress is one of the few online beds that comes backed by a lifetime warranty. Most companies just offer 10 year warranties with their beds.
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Why Nolah Is Good For Hip Pain — Nolah is one of our favorite side sleeper mattresses. It offers tremendous pressure relief, but is still easy to switch positions on. In fact, when we were compiling this list, Nolah was the first bed that we thought of. If you have sore hips, it will provide a gentle sleeping surface for them. Also, it has a mixed-foam feel in that it has a hint of memory foam, but you don’t get a “stuck” sort of feeling.
Firmness — Nolah sits at about a medium-soft to medium on our firmness spectrum—for the average person. If you’re especially lightweight, it will feel more like a medium. And if you’re closer to 220 lb, it will feel quite soft.
Weight Range — Nolah is best for medium-size and petite individuals, just like most foam mattresses.
Special Foam — Nolah uses a proprietary foam called “AirFoam” which cradles your body like memory foam, but is quicker to respond like a poly foam. It’s a unique feeling foam—we like it.
Price — For a queen size bed (most popular), Nolah ends up usually being under $900, which is really affordable. You can check the green box above for current price/promotions.
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Why Layla Made This List — We see Layla as a wonderful option for individuals that need a lot of pressure relief. On top of that, we love that it’s a flippable bed so that you can choose the firmness level that’s best for you. In other words, as long as you’re fine with memory foam, the feel of the bed is mostly up to you. And, as it relates to individuals with hip pain specifically, the Soft side of the Layla mattress should be a very good option for you.
Feel — The bed has a softer, airy memory foam feel, at least for the Soft side. The Firm side still has a memory foam feel, but a little less so since the strip of memory foam is thinner.
Firmness — This depends a bit on your weight, but for the average size individual, we see the Soft side as about a medium-soft, while the Firm side is about a medium to medium-firm. This basically translates into a bed that will work for all sleep styles.
Special Feature — As we’ve mentioned, Layla is flippable, however, we haven’t mentioned just how easy that process is. On the older models, you had to remove the cover then flip the bed, and, finally, put the cover back on. With the 2019 Layla mattress, you just flip it. The bed has a designated color for Soft side (light grey) and for the Firm side (dark grey). The cover is the same on both, aside from the color.
Why Level Had To Be On The List — Level is in a unique class of mattresses, alongside Casper Wave, Casper, and the Zoned mattress. While it’s made entirely of foam, it actually has three different firmness zones. As such, we thought it would be a nice option for people that need extra support under their lower back and hips for pain relief.
Feel — Level is made with three layers of foam that have a soft, neutral feel. There is no memory foam with this bed. We do think the soft foam will be a nice cushioning surface for your lower back and hips.
Zones — The top third of the bed is slightly softer to provide more pressure relief under your shoulders, which is especially nice for side sleepers. The center third is firmer, but not too firm. It’s designed to provide more support under your lower back and torso region. The bottom third is more of a medium firmness to properly accommodate your hips and legs.
365-Night Trial — Level is so unique that it might not be exactly what you’re hoping for. If that’s the case, they offer a 365-night sleep trial and free returns.
Why The Brentwood Oceano Made This List – The Brentwood Home Oceano is a plush, luxurious mattress that offers a soft and pressure relieving sleep surface for people suffering from hip pain. It’s one of the most comfortable beds we’ve ever tested here at The Slumber Yard. As such, we felt it was a nice option for people who need a mattress that won’t aggravate or inflame any existing conditions.
Materials & Construction – The Brenwood Home Oceano has a high-quality construction that uses natural and organic materials. The bed is comprised of two separate layers of coils, memory foam, AirLux foam, New Zealand wool and a plant-based tencel fiber cover. All of the materials in the bed are CertiPur-US certified, meaning they are free from harmful chemicals, toxins, pesticides, etc. It’s also worth noting that the Brentwood Oceano is one of the few online beds that uses dual layers of coils. This not only signals that it’s a high-quality mattress but also that it’s a great option for heavy people (250+ lb) as coils are typically preferable for larger body types.
Firmness & Sleeper Types – Overall, we think the Oceano lands between a medium-soft and medium on the firmness scale. The thick tencel fiber cover gives the bed a soft, plush pillow top type feel. Given the firmness level, we think this bed is best for side and combo sleepers. The bed is very accommodating and provides ample pressure relief for people who spend a lot of time on their side. And again, I’d like to remind heavy people about the dual layers of coils. We think this is one of, if not, the best mattress for heavy side sleepers on the market. If you fall into that bucket, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better mattress.
There are many causes of lower back and hip pain between osteoarthritis, septic arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, pinched nerves and various injuries. You should have a serious conversation with your doctor about your back and hip pain and its source. But since we have you here, we should at least go over a few common causes. For example, osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis occurs when the cartilage in a joint is worn down and the area becomes inflamed. It can limit mobility and cause pain, stiffness, or soreness. Another cause could be bursitis, which is inflammation or irritation of the bursa near a joint. The bursa is a sac that is filled with a lubricating fluid.
In any case, the hip and back are complex structures. The hip joint, for example, is where your femur attaches into your pelvis. This forms a “ball and socket” joint and is one of the largest joints in the body. The actual socket portion of your hip is called the Acetabulum. You then have connective tissue called ligaments that connect to the ball and socket to stabilize your hip joint. The hip is also surrounded by several large, important muscles. You have your Gluteals, which are the muscles of the buttocks, Adductors (inner thigh), Iliopsoas (lower back to femur), Quadriceps (thigh), and Hamstrings (back of upper leg). As you can see from this short paragraph, there’s a lot that goes into your hip and therefore a lot to potentially injure. Typically, you can tell the root cause of your hip pain via an MRI, X-Ray, or CAT scan.
Because your injury is presumably more localized, finding a mattress will depend heavily on how it affects your shoulders and hips. Put another way, you need to consider the rest of your body, but you should think critically about how the mattress makes your hip and shoulder, in particular, feel. With this in mind, there are a few chief considerations that we should go over:
The reason that we bring this up is that a bone injury is far different than a strained muscle. How longstanding do you expect your injury to be? Also, something structural like a broken bone will be a lot more tender than a strained muscle. That will affect your sleeping positions, movement during the night, and sensitivity to motion from others in your bed. Before you go mattress shopping, you should really hone in on your injury. From there, your sleeping positions are really important.
You should discuss this with your doctor. For example, if you’re having serious hip issues and you sleep primarily on your side, you will need to either completely adjust your sleeping habits or get a mattress that offers a ton of pressure relief. In general though, side sleepers prefer a mattress in the medium-sot to medium-firm range (i.e. generally a softer bed based on their weight). Too firm and you’ll end up with more hip and shoulder pain. Too soft and you could throw out your back further. Put more simply, side sleepers with hip and shoulder pain tend to need a bed with extra pressure relief.
For back sleepers and stomach sleepers though, you’ll want a firmer bed to help support proper alignment and the natural curvature of your spine. The only thing to keep in mind here is that if you do have hip pain you’ll want to make sure your hips are not sagging down too much. And, if you do end up side sleeping, just know that the firmness level of your mattress could make your shoulder and hip pain worse. If you’re more of a combination sleeper, you’ll want a bed that plays to your dominate sleeping style first.
As an example, if you’re 80% a side sleeper and have shoulder or hip pain, you’ll want the softer bed most likely. But, if you’re 80% a stomach sleeper, you’ll want to gravitate toward the firmer models.
Typically we remind people that a mattress with coils is far more supportive over the long haul than an all-foam mattress. However, if you’re having a lot of trouble with hip or shoulder pain, you might actually prefer a mattress made of all foam. You shouldn’t completely ignore hybrid (or spring) mattresses, but the foam beds might be preferable for you. This depends a lot on your weight though. If you’re very heavy, the beds are going to seem softer than they are for someone that’s lightweight. You’ll also need a more supportive bed, which then probably means a coil bed.
Having said that, foams typically have more pressure relief and less motion transfer. Once you fall asleep, the last thing you want is someone waking you up in the middle of the night. Motion transfer (or lack thereof) is key for anyone that has an especially sensitive injury.
Memory foam will offer a good amount of pressure relief and support, but it also comes in varying firmness levels. I don’t expect you to know the difference, but you should try to feel the difference. If you do, however, see a mattress with a memory foam density (pounds per cubic foot or pcf) above 5, it’s probably going to be too dense and firm for you. You’re probably looking for something in the 3-5 pcf range. Memory foam typically softens as you lay on it and when it’s exposed to your body heat. This can be helpful if you’re suffering from hip and shoulder pain.
It will cradle your body, but yet support it nicely, depending on the thickness of the layer. Some people love memory foam, but others say that it leaves them feeling ‘stuck’ in the bed, causing them to heat up (even sweat) during the night. That’s precisely why gel memory foam is becoming popular. It will help to cool you down, but won’t change the feel of the foam. It’s a nice solution for anyone that’s open to memory foam, but worried about heating up.
Latex foam is another really popular material found in the middle and top layers of a mattress. There are several types of latex foam, but the non-synthetic latex foam is made from the sap of a rubber tree. It’s typically airy, fluffy, and bouncy, almost like a sponge. Like memory foam, it’s a bit controversial in that some people adore it and seek it out, while others consider the responsiveness (or bounce) to be a bit much. In either case, the foam generally sleeps much cooler than memory foam. There’s a small portion of the population that’s allergic to latex, but that figure is less than 1% of Americans.
Polyurethane foam is also very popular, especially as a foundation layer. If you see it as a top layer, you’re typically looking at a cheaper mattress. That said, it comes in different densities and firmness levels. It won’t offer as much pressure relief typically, but you probably shouldn’t immediately ignore poly foam beds. In fact, there are plenty of poly foam beds that are great for individuals with shoulder and hip pain.
Certain beds have proprietary foams, such as on Tuft & Needle Mint and Brooklyn Bedding. You’ll need to evaluate these on a case-by-case basis. For example, Casper uses their Open Cell foam so that the bed sleeps cooler and so you don’t feel as much of the memory foam from the middle layers. There are plenty of beds that are fantastic that use proprietary foams.
You’ll also see a few companies that use a gel-like material for their top layer. The biggest company out there that does this is Purple mattress, which we really like. It’s responsive, yet offers great pressure relief and airflow. You’ll need to try it to know what I’m talking about. You can also get free samples of the Hyper-Elastic Polymer material on Purple’s website.
You should make certain that the mattress comes with a trial period. Most brands online, such as Nest Bedding, Leesa, Tuft & Needle, and many others offer a trial period where you can test their bed to see if you like it. This is really important for anyone with an injury. You need to see how the bed feels and how it affects your injury. In the even that you don’t like it, don’t feel bad. Send it back. Actually, most of these brands also offer free returns where they’ll dispatch someone to your house to pickup the bed at no extra cost to you and you’ll still get a 100% refund. They really want you to try their bed. Similarly, mattress retailers such as Mattress Firm and RC Willey have trial periods, though, typically not as favorable return policies. Still, there are some serious advantages with testing a bed in-person at a store so you shouldn’t skip over the brick and mortar retail market.