A lot of people who don’t have experience in the industry simply assume that the firmer the mattress they have is, the better the mattress is for back pain. I’ve written an in-depth article on the broader subject here. I wanted to touch on this specific point in this post, however. Ideally, your mattress should be very supportive. By that, I mean that it should keep your body flat and level. You don’t want your body to sink in a whole bunch into the mattress, because your spine will not be properly aligned, and the poor posture will possibly cause back pain.
At the same time, sleeping on a really hard surface isn’t very comfortable at all, and you will feel a ton of pressure on your hips, shoulders, and other parts of your body. The excess pressure on those parts of the body will be uncomfortable and possibly cause you pain. If you wake up with sore hips and shoulders, it is very possibly because your mattress is too firm.
You need to find the right balance between these two extremes. You want support, but you don’t want to go “all-in” on support without having a comfortable sleeping experience. For this reason, it isn’t really correct in making the blanket statement that a super firm mattress will be best at alleviating back pain. You want something that is firm but not too firm. You essentially want the maximum amount of firmness while still being quite comfortable sleeping in the bed. This combination is often elusive, but I do think several companies are doing a good job finding this balance in their mattress models.
I just wanted to drop a quick note about this issue. Please contact me if you have any further questions on this issue or you would like to discuss more in-depth.