Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain [2024 Guide]

Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain

Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain

Whether it’s temporary or ongoing, back pain is tough to live with. Not only can it limit your range of movement during the day, it can also cause pain throughout the day and into the night. Finding the best sleeping position for back pain, and having the best mattress for a bad back, can help enormously with sleep quality.

The causes of back pain can range from pain caused by medical conditions or accident induced injuries to back pain caused by poor posture or even stress. Anyone who has or is suffering from back pain will tell you about the negative impact that can have on your day-to-day life and the toll it can take on the quality of your sleep.

As sleep plays such a key role in aiding the body’s recovery process, allowing the body to rest and heal, it’s important to find the best sleeping position for your back pain, a position that can provide them with the comfort required to get a good night’s sleep.

Ultimately, the best sleeping position is the one that allows you to rest comfortably and fall asleep, without waking up with aches and pains. However, if you’re suffering from back pain and are struggling to find that comfort spot, we have some suggested sleeping positions that may help you to find the good night’s sleep that you’ve been dreaming of.


Side sleeping

If lying on your back is uncomfortable and causing you pain, roll on over and try sleeping on your side, for many this is the optimal sleeping position for back pain.

If you’re sleeping on your side and you suffer from back pain, we have a couple of recommendations that may help you to get more comfortable:

  • Use a pillow - Place a pillow between your legs when sleeping on your side. This will help to stop your legs from dropping and putting additional strain on the spine, it will also relieve joint pressure from your news and keep your hips and spine aligned.
  • Change it up – When it comes to sleeping on your side, try changing it up. This will ensure that one side of your body is not repeatedly absorbing the full pressure of your body weight on a nightly basis and will help to limit the causation of any additional aches and pains


Stomach sleeping

Generally speaking, sleeping on your stomach is not recommended for those who suffer with back pain as sleeping on your stomach causes the back to arch and can put also put pressure on the neck.

However, if you usually sleep on your stomach and you can find comfort in this position, for additional support, we recommend:

  • Adding a pillow – Inserting a pillow below your abdomen in a position that you find comfortable. The addition of the pillow will provide additional support, alleviating the strain on your spine and neck


Back sleeping

It has been said that sleeping on your back is not a good idea if you suffer from back pain, but this is an old wives’ tale. If it works for you and you can get a comfortable night’s sleep, awakening without aches and pains, then stick with it. If you prefer sleeping on your back but you can’t quite get comfortable, we recommend…(you’ll see a theme here):

  • When in doubt, add a pillow – Yet again, the trusty pillow comes to the rescue. Sleeping on your back with your legs slightly elevated can help to flatten your back down onto the mattress surface, offering more support. Adding a pillow or two under your knees will help to stop your legs from dropping down during the night, compromising the position of your back.


Of course, simply finding the best sleeping position for back pain may not magically solve your back issues on it’s own. If you’re suffering from ongoing back pain, it may be time to look at your mattress. Maybe it’s time to replace your mattress or maybe your mattress requirements have changed, check out our post on thebest mattresses for bad backs and our mattress checker, to see if it’s time for you to replace your mattress. 

Brian McCann

Our Managing Director Brian's expertise in crafting comfortable sleep experiences makes him a reliable voice for all things bedding-related. Brian publishes advice and tips on mattresses, beds and the overall sleep experience based on extensive industry experience.

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