What’s better for back pain – regular or air mattress?

We have an excellent question in front of us today.

Anyone who suffers from severe back pain will tell you how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. Inability to find a suiting sleeping position leads to sleep deprivation, which in turn leads to many complications.

The source of your back pain can usually be traced back to your mattress. Old mattresses that lost a lot of their initial properties are the recipe for aching back. Bad mattress can be the cause of many health problems, and that’s why we need to raise the awareness when it comes to this issue.

But we are here today to tackle a different problem. We need an answer to a question that has been puzzling consumers for years. Could air mattress possibly be better for back pain than your regular old-school mattress? If you’d like to hear what I have to say about it, feel free to stick around.

Why would you listen to me?

Because I come from a place of experience. I’ve dedicated my life to everything that has to do with inflatable furniture, and a great deal of knowledge simply had to sink in along the way. I know what makes the industry tick, and I can point out all the various quirks that will point you in the right direction, no matter what your concerns might be.

I’ve been runni8ng this blog, writing reviews and in-depth guides about inflatable furniture for years now, and my number one source of credible material was always user feedback. I don’t fall for the marketing strategies of manufacturers. Rather than blindly going for what they have to say, I always consult as much user reviews as I can possibly find. It’s my guiding star when I see the product performing (or underperforming) in real-life situations.

If you like my approach, I’ll invite you once more to join me as we dig for an answer to this very frequently asked question.

Let’s talk regular mattresses

regular mattressOk, we’re talking about your regular innerspring mattresses with padding and some upholstery over metal coils. The inevitable occurrence with these mattresses was that the coils used to lose their elasticity, which made for one saggy mattress. The manufacturers worked over the years to rectify this inevitability and introduced us with various models, each featuring a different coil setup.

Back in the day it was all about the sheer number of coils, the more the merrier. Not anymore though. Today we’re looking into things such as the type of coils, the gauge of the used wire and so on… Times change.

Let’s go over some of the mattress types and also their pros and cons:

Open coil mattress – Called also Bonnell coil mattresses, they were the first ever spring mattresses. They featured coils that were shaped as hourglasses connected with wire for even weight distribution. New materials such as tempered steel improved the longevity of the mattresses somewhat, but they still lack in the durability department. They are quite affordable though

Offset coil mattress – Quite similar to the concept of the open coils, but shaped a bit differently. Squarish head and oval-shaped coils are contouring with the padding better and they last longer than your average circular coils featured in open coil mattresses. So, they contour better to your body and are more durable, but in turn, their price is bigger too

Pocket coil mattress – They are also called wrapped, or Marshall coils. They are all wrapped in fabric individually, and their load is not shared with neighboring coils. What this means is that the movement is simply not felt over the entirety of the mattress. Due to their complex build they are known to go for premium prices, still due to the way they are constructed they might not provide sufficient support for heavier people

Continuous coil mattresses – They feature coils that are connected with innersprings rather than a bunch of individual coils. The weight is most evenly distributed here. This would probably be your best choice as far as coils mattresses go. You can feel the movement across the entire bed though due to the connections between the coils

Looking at air mattresses for back pain

Sound_Asleep_Dream_SeriesSome years ago the air mattress was simply used as a budget option for camping or guest staying overnight. They were cheap and never expected to provide much in terms of comfort. But the times have changed.

Today we have a variety of different models suited to meet any requirement. We still have our affordable options, but also the premium priced ones that truly are your personal clouds.

The main advantage air mattresses have over the regular ones lies in their air chambers that can be filled with air to a different degree. This enables us to change the firmness of the mattress with a push of a button. So, no matter what your personal preferences are, you’ll definitely find an option to alleviate that pesky back pain.

Another point in their favor is that they redistribute weight differently than your coil mattresses, which also makes them a perfect solution for back pain. They will align your spine perfectly during the night, and you’ll wake up refreshed and more rested than ever. Also, sore muscles in the morning will all be just a bad memory.

By distributing the weight evenly across their surface, these mattresses help alleviating pressure point but also maintain good blood circulation. That’s why they’re used heavily in hospitals, in wounds care sections, and in general for skin sores prevention.


Well, regular mattresses might have some advantages over the inflatable ones, but when it comes to back pain, the air mattresses take the cake.

Their firmness is adjustable, they distribute weight more evenly, they are cheaper and more durable, they maintain good blood flow and are used more and more in hospitals for these very reasons. There’s no doubt in my mind about this, air mattresses are definitely the way to go if you’re troubled with aching back.

Sweet dreams and painless days…

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James Menta

Camping Gear Reviewer at BestAirMattressGuide.com
Three things you need to know about James - he holds a degree in Materials Technology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he is a zealot for the great outdoors and he can never find his glasses.       In brief intermissions between looking for his glasses, he is the Editor-in-chief of BestAirMattressGuide.com.

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