Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Nolah mattresses
Sleepfoundation.org is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Reducing pain requires that the body have time to recover. Sleep is a critical time for physical recuperation, but unfortunately, many sleepers find that their mattress actually contributes to hip and lower back pain. If an old mattress is wearing out, it may no longer provide enough support, or if its firmness level isn’t well-suited to the sleeper, it may exacerbate pressure near the hips.
A mattress upgrade can be a positive step in preventing and reducing hip pain. It can unlock the power of quality sleep and improve overall wellness. But with so many mattresses to choose from, many shoppers find themselves overwhelmed and unsure about how to find the best match for their needs.
If you don’t have time to dig into the nitty-gritty details, you can cut straight to the chase and find our top picks listed in the following table and described in-depth below. For those with more time to investigate, the rest of our guide covers the vital things to know when shopping for a mattress to try to relieve hip pain.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Nolah mattresses
Nolah’s Evolution 15 is a pillow-top hybrid with a medium (5) feel, creating a combination of body-contouring and sleeper support. Measuring 15 inches thick, this mattress is well suited to anyone who enjoys the feel of a high-profile bed.
The comfort layer of the Evolution 15 is composed of AirFoamICE, a proprietary polyfoam that contours evenly to the body without hugging too tightly. The foam is also infused with cooling graphite to prevent the buildup of body heat. An additional polyfoam layer provides transitional support to prevent excess sinkage. The support core contains zoned pocketed coils that provide extra strength around the midsection and also reinforce the perimeter against sinkage when you sleep near or sit along the edges.
The mattress can reduce sleep disruptions for couples thanks to its softer feel. The foams absorb movement when you or your partner change positions or get in and out of bed, resulting in limited transfer across the surface. Hot sleepers should also find the mattress appealing because of its great temperature control.
Nolah offers free ground shipping anywhere in the lower 48 states. Your purchase includes a sleep trial that allows you to test out the Evolution 15 for up to 120 nights, along with a lifetime warranty should you decide to keep the mattress.
SleepFoundation readers get $200 off a DreamCloud Mattress.
The DreamCloud is a memory foam hybrid mattress with a layer of polyfoam quilted into its cashere poly-blend cover. It is built onto a 14-inch profile, making it much thicker than average, and offers a medium firm (6) feel that is ideal for those who weigh over 130 pounds. Pressure relief is another key strength of the DreamCloud. The comfort system features several types of foam, including gel-infused memory foam. These materials hug and cushion the body without sagging beneath the sleeper’s heavier areas, such as the shoulders and hips.
The DreamCloud also offers excellent edge support, due in part to a high-density foam encasement around the individually-wrapped coils to reinforce the sleep surface and prevent sinkage from occurring where people normally sit. The mattress sleeps fairly cool, as well, thanks to strong air circulation through the coils. And unlike most other hybrids – particularly those with latex – the DreamCloud is relatively light and easy to lift and move.
The DreamCloud’s price-point falls beneath the average hybrid model. Free shipping is offered to all customers in the contiguous U.S., and White Glove delivery is available for an additional charge. The mattress is backed by a 365-night sleep trial, one of the longest mattress trials offered anywhere, as well as a lifetime warranty.
Best for Back Sleepers
Save $200 when you spend $1,000 or more at Saatva.com
Since uneven support and excessive sinkage can exacerbate hip pain, many sleepers require a mattress that will reinforce their bodies and keep them on an even plane. The Saatva Classic is a stellar example of a mattress that delivers outstanding stability without sacrificing comfort or pressure relief. The Classic’s transitional layer consists of pocketed minicoils, while the support core contains thick bonnell coils made from recycled steel. The dual coil layers provide excellent push-back along the edges and make it easier to get in and out of bed if you live with chronic hip pain.
The mattress also features a Euro-top cushioned with polyfoam and memory foam, so the surface won’t be too stiff. Three firmness levels are available, allowing you to choose a comfortable feel based on factors like body type and sleep position. The soft (3) option caters to side sleepers, while the medium firm (6) and firm (8) feels are better suited to back and stomach sleepers in particular. If you aren’t satisfied with your initial choice, Saatva permits exchanges for a small transportation fee. You can also choose between a mattress height of 11.5 or 14.5 inches, depending on your profile preferences.
All Saatva customers in the U.S. qualify for free White Glove delivery, which includes full assembly anywhere in your home and removal of your old mattress. Comparatively, most online mattress brands charge at least $100 for this service. Your purchase also includes a 180-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
Take $300 off a WinkBeds Mattress. Use Code: SF300
The GravityLux from WinkBeds distinguishes itself with an innovative material that offers hip-cushioning contouring without memory foam’s usual bugaboos of too much heat buildup and sink.
WinkBeds developed AirCell foam as an alternative to traditional memory foam, which gets softer as it heats up, causing sleepers to sink excessively into the bed. The AirCell foam is composed of innumerable air pockets that allow for better ventilation but that can still compress and contour to relieve pressure.
The AirCell foam makes up a key element of the comfort system of the GravityLux. Above it, 2 inches of gel-infused polyfoam are quilted into the cover. Below the AirCell foam is a layer of transition polyfoam with seven zones to provide tailored support to each part of the body. As a result, the hips get extra cushioning, and the spine can stay well-aligned.
The support core is made with high-density polyfoam, and the cover is a smooth and breathable Tencel fabric.
Soft, medium, and firm versions of the GravityLux are available, providing the flexibility for almost any sleeper, regardless of weight or sleeping position, to find a model that lines up with their preferences. The Firm is the preferred choice for back and stomach sleepers.
WinkBeds provides customers with a 120-night sleep trial to feel out the GravityLux in their own bedroom, and the company extends its customer-friendly lifetime warranty to cover defects that could arise in the future.
Best for Side Sleepers
Get $200 off a Layla Hybrid Mattress and 2 free pillows.
Some people with hip problems are unsure of the best firmness level to account for their pain, or they may find that on some nights they need a softer or firmer feel. Enter the Layla mattress, which provides customers a two-for-one firmness design.
The Layla is built to provide a distinct firmness feel on each side. One side is rated as medium soft, and the other is firm. No matter which side you use, the layer directly under your body is made with memory foam that can cushion the hips and other pressure points. As you might expect, there is considerably more contouring on the medium soft side.
Both of the memory foam layers are infused with copper, a material that is known for being antibacterial. Some customers also report that the copper-infused foam does not build up as much heat as traditional memory foam.
On the medium soft side, the layer of memory foam is 3 inches thick and has a density of 3.5 pounds per cubic foot (PCF). Underneath it is a 2-inch layer of polyfoam with a density of 1.65 PCF that is zoned for reinforcement under parts of the body with more weight, including the midsection.
Underneath that layer is 4 inches of high-density (1.5 PCF) polyfoam that serves as the mattress support core. The bottom layer is 1 inch of copper-infused memory foam, and this is the layer that faces up when the mattress is being used on the Firm side.
The Layla’s dual-firmness feel works for sleepers of many positions, and its price point adds to its appeal. It comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
Take 20% off a Brooklyn Bedding Mattress. Use Code: sleepfoundation20
Brooklyn Bedding’s Aurora hybrid packs a powerful punch for hip pain relief. Built with serious attention-to-detail, it hits on all the key needs for people who want an extremely supportive and comfortable mattress.
Each layer of the Aurora contributes to its overall performance. The comfort system is made up of three separate foam layers. The top layer is 1.5 inches and made with CopperFlex, a copper-infused polyfoam that cradles the body with moderate contouring. The next layer is 2 inches of Brooklyn Bedding’s TitanFlex polyfoam that has a latex-like feel with plenty of bounce. The last layer of the comfort system is 1 inch of gel-infused memory foam that ramps up the bed’s motion isolation and pressure relief, a huge benefit for people with hip pain.
The support core is 9 inches thick and includes an 8-inch set of pocketed coils that sit on one inch of high-density polyfoam. The strength of these coils makes the mattress a reliable choice for sleepers with a higher body weight and for those who want above-average edge support.
Hot sleepers report few problems on the Aurora thanks to the infusions of copper and gel in the foams as well as the use of a phase change material (PCM) in the cover that promotes a stable temperature through the night.
Customers can choose from a soft, medium, or firm model, so the Aurora can be a quality option for people in any sleeping position and body weight.
Best for Pressure Relief
Get $200 off the Molecule 1 Mattress. Use Code: SLEEPFOUNDATION
The profile of the Molecule brand has shot up thanks in large part to endorsements from world-class athletes like Tom Brady. But this mattress isn’t just for athletes; it’s for anyone, including people with hip pain, who want a quality foam mattress that lets them rest and recover.
The comfort system of the Molecule 1 is a total of 5 inches and made up of two separate layers. The top layer is 2 inches of RestoreFLO, a gel-infused polyfoam with a density of 2.5 PCF. The second layer is 3 inches of RecoveryFLO polyfoam, which has a density of 1.65 PCF and three separate zones to best match the body’s weight.
The foams in the comfort layer create a sleeping surface that conforms to the body without substantial heat retention. The RestoreFLO foam lightly cradles the pelvis and hips, reducing impact and pain points.
The base layer of the Molecule is 7 inches of polyfoam with a density of 1.5 PCF. The cover is 98 percent polyester with 2 percent Lycra for stretchiness.
The feel of the mattress is medium firm, and with its soft cushioning, it works best for back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds and side sleepers under 230 pounds.
The Molecule is offered at a competitive price point and is backed by a lifetime warranty covering defects in materials and workmanship. Molecule allows customers to try out the mattress for 100 nights during a no-risk sleep trial.
Best for Athletes
Take $100 off a SpineAlign Mattress. Use Code: SLEEP100
The SpineAlign Luxury Hybrid is a leading pick for athletes and active people with hip pain. Available in multiple firmness options, this bed performs well in several categories.
The comfort system of the SpineAlign is 4.5 inches thick and made with three different foams. The top layer is 1.5 inches of copper-infused Energex foam, a latex-like polyfoam that can effectively cradle the hips and other pressure points. The second layer is 2 inches of gel-infused ArcticPhase polyfoam, and the bottom layer is 1 inch of gel-infused memory foam to offer added motion isolation and conforming.
The support core is composed of a tall, 8-inch layer of pocketed coils, and underneath the coils is 1 inch of high-density polyfoam. This support core delivers solid edge support and overall sturdiness.
Each part of the SpineAlign works to stay cool through the night. The foams are infused with gel or copper, and the coils themselves allow plenty of ventilation. In addition, the cover has a phase change material that holds a comfortable temperature, drawing in or pushing out heat as necessary.
The SpineAlign Luxury Hybrid has soft, medium, and firm options available. Sleepers in any position can find a version to match their needs. The soft and medium tend to work best for people under 130 pounds and side sleepers who need more cushioning at the hips.
SpineAlign gives customers 100 nights to test out the bed during a no-risk sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty covers defects in materials and manufacturing.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on GelFoamBed mattresses
The Miranda from GelFoamBed is constructed with a cover that is quilted with 1.5 inches of gel-infused memory foam. This layer provides initial plushness and contouring for the hips and shoulders, and the gel infusion is intended to help draw heat away from the sleeper. Memory foam also works to prevent motion transfer across the surface of the bed, making it ideal for couples.
This is followed by a thick, 3-inch comfort layer of Halcyon foam. This layer provides a responsive, supportive feel that prevents the sleeper from experiencing that “stuck” feeling that sometimes accompanies memory foam models.
Beneath that lies two 1-inch layers of Eco Flex foams of varying firmnesses, followed by a support core consisting of a 5.5- inch layer of high-density Eco Flex foam. The construction of this mattress results in a medium firm feel that is suitable for most sleeper types. It provides minimal contouring, with more of a laying on top feeling. The company also makes a softer model called the Venus for sleepers who need more cushioning for proper spinal alignment.
The Miranda mattress is made to order in Sumner, Washington and is made exclusively of American materials. GelFoamBed backs their mattresses with a 1-year sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Unfortunately, hip problems affect a significant number of Americans. In one study, nearly 20% of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 reported suffering from recent hip pain. Around 27% of adults over 45 have evidence of hip degeneration on imaging tests, making them more susceptible to hip pain. Athletes frequently deal with this issue as an estimated 30-40% of them have chronic hip pain.
One consequence of hip pain can be reduced overall sleep quality. Discomfort can make it harder to get settled in bed, and hip pain has been found to be associated with sleep fragmentation and difficulty sleeping on three or more nights per week. Stress and anxiety can be provoked by pain, further affecting sleep. To make matters worse, lack of sleep can make a person more inclined to perceive pain, contributing to a negative cycle of discomfort and sleeping problems.
All is not lost, though, because in many cases there are direct steps that can be taken to address both pain and poor sleep. However hip pain arises — acute or chronic, irregular or consistent — it’s helpful to learn more about what causes it and what can help relieve it.
Hip pain can occur as a result of a wide range of medical conditions. Some people experience hip pain as a short-term issue while others deal with it over an extended period of months or years.
The pain can be felt in the hip, which may be indicative of a problem inside the actual joint, or around the hip, such as in the buttock or thigh, which is more often associated with issues in the surrounding tissue. Some hip pain is also “referred” from other parts of the body, which means that the problem does not originate directly in or around the hip itself.
The following sections describe some of the most common causes for hip pain; however, this is not an exhaustive list. Because of its effects on quality of life and the possibility that it is connected to a larger health concern, it is important for anyone with hip pain to review their symptoms with a doctor.
Osteoarthritis (OA), commonly referred to as just arthritis, is the degradation of cartilage in a joint that leads to inflammation, pain, and deterioration of the bone. OA of the hip is a serious problem, especially among older adults, and it usually worsens slowly over time with additional wear-and-tear.
Cartilage cannot be regenerated, so treatment for OA is normally focused on managing pain and enhancing mobility through lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and medications. In more severe cases, it may be treated surgically with a procedure like hip replacement.
People with OA of the hip are generally advised to avoid activities that can exacerbate pain or stiffness, so having a mattress that adequately cushions the joint and that contributes to stable, healthy alignment of the body can be beneficial.
Though less common, other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), septic arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, can also cause hip pain.
Direct physical harm to the joint can inflict pain on the hip. Bruising, dislocation, and fracture are examples of injuries that can occur from falls or other impacts. Older adults, who suffer more falls, are at a higher risk of these types of hip problems. People with a condition of thinning bones called osteoporosis are also more prone to hip fractures.
Other physical injuries that can affect the hip include strains and sprains of muscles like the hip flexor or hamstring; bursitis, which is inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs around the hip; tendonitis, which is inflammation of nearby tendons, including in many cases the iliotibial (IT) band that goes along the outer leg from near the hip to the knee; and labral tears, which affect the cartilage around the hip joint. Athletes are at an elevated risk of these types of hip problems because of repetitive use and/or overuse of the joint during training and competition.
With almost all of these physical injuries, it’s important not to aggravate the problem with excess pressure or poor posture. Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft may cause the body to sink out of alignment, straining the tissue around the hip. Sleeping on a mattress that is too firm may generate sharp impact at the joint itself.
Nerves carry signals between the brain and the body, and if they become compressed or damaged, it can stimulate feelings of burning, numbness, and pain. Pinched nerves may cause a type of pain that radiates from one part of the body to another, such as sciatica, which radiates along the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back into the upper legs.
In a condition called meralgia paresthetica, pressure on the nerve that runs to the skin of the thigh can lead to pain, including around the outer part of the hip. In sacroiliitis, the sacroiliac (SI) joints, which connect the pelvis and spine, are inflamed, which can induce radiating pain felt in multiple areas, including the hips.
Treatment for pinched nerves often involves medication and efforts to eliminate the nerve compression. This can require avoiding certain activities, postures, or positions, and a proper mattress that matches a patient’s body’s needs may play a part in preventing compression in areas with a pinched nerve.
While less common than arthritis, physical injury, and pinched nerves, a handful of other conditions can cause hip pain.
These issues tend to be related to broader health problems that are less likely to be tied to posture or sleeping position. Most hip pain is not caused by these serious problems, but it is important to review hip symptoms with a doctor who can best diagnose their most likely cause.
Sleeping position can affect whether a person experiences hip pain. Each sleeping position creates areas of vulnerability, and sleepers are wise to account for these when buying a mattress.
Side sleepers put the most pressure on their shoulders and hips, since these joints bear more weight and have direct impact with the mattress. If a mattress is too firm, it won’t accommodate these areas, potentially causing joint pain and throwing the spine out of alignment. If a mattress is too soft, these pressure points will sink in too deeply and fall out of line with the rest of the body.
Stomach sleepers tend to have the greatest vulnerability around the pelvis and lower back. Most people carry more weight around the abdomen, and on a soft mattress, that area can sink in deeply, contorting the lower back in a U-shape that can induce pain around the entire midsection. For this reason, stomach sleepers tend to do best with a firm mattress that has just enough contouring to cushion the pelvis.
Back sleepers are at risk of pain in the lumbar spine. A mattress that is too firm can’t account for the natural curvature of the lower back, but a mattress that is too soft will cause them to sink into a U-shape (similar to the risks for stomach sleepers). Improper positioning can cause muscle aches and nerve compression. Consequently, back sleepers generally prefer firmer mattresses with low-to-moderate contouring to cushion the pelvis and shoulders.
Body shape and weight should be considered along with sleeping position. People who carry more abdominal weight and sleep on their back or stomach are at an elevated risk of bad posture on a soft mattress. People who weigh under 130 pounds don’t sink as much into a mattress and can benefit from a plusher feel compared to people who have a higher body weight.
A mattress can contribute to hip pain if it doesn’t give your body the right amount of support. If you have sharp pressure points, it can cause irritation or even pinched nerves. In addition, if your alignment at night is out of whack, your muscles and other tissues can’t truly relax, generating stress and interrupting bodily recovery.
Many factors can contribute to pain, and it’s not always possible to pinpoint just one cause. As a result, it may be a challenge to know for sure if your hip pain is related to your mattress. If you find that the pain is worse when you get out of bed and gets gradually better during the day, it may be a sign that your mattress is part of the problem.
Sometimes, a worn out mattress is a large contributor to hip pain and other types of pain. After years of use, mattresses will develop permanent impressions in the foam, sagging in the coils, and other signs of wear that can significantly diminish the amount of support a mattress provides. If you experience any of the following signs in addition to your hip pain, it’s likely time for a new bed:
The average mattress lasts from 6-8 years, but mattress lifespan varies depending on the quality and materials it’s made of. Cheap memory foam and innerspring mattresses can last as little as four years, while higher-quality hybrid and latex models can last as many as nine or ten.
Whether your hip pain is a direct result of your mattress or not, an old mattress isn’t helping. Most online mattress companies offer sleep trials, which allow you to try the mattress for at least 100 days before committing it. We recommend making use of this to help ease your hip pain.
The type of support that you get from a mattress is determined largely by the type of mattress that you use. Five types of mattresses are on the market, and each has pros and cons. The following sections introduce these mattress types, but it’s important to note that performance isn’t uniform within each category. While there are consistent features, the performance of any given mattress will depend on the specifics of its construction, which can vary even within a mattress type.
Definition: The construction of a hybrid starts with its support core, which is made from innerspring coils. In modern hybrids, these are usually pocketed coils. Above the coils are a thick comfort system built with one or more layers. Those layers can include micro-coils, memory foam, polyfoam, latex, and other textile materials.
A Bit of Everything: The inclusion of distinct components allows a hybrid to offer some of the best characteristics of other mattress types. The coils improve responsiveness and protect against excess sagging, and the comfort layers provide conforming to relieve pressure and support the spine.
Definition: A coil-based layer is the central component of an innerspring mattress. In the past, innersprings were the most common type of mattress available. These offerings have either no comfort system at all or at most thin layers of materials like foam, cotton, or polyester.
An Economical Base to Build On: Most hip pain sufferers won’t get enough support from an innerspring alone, but by combining an innerspring and a mattress topper, they can essentially arrange their own hybrid-type mattress to fit their preferences. With the lower cost of innersprings and toppers, they may save money in the process.
Definition: The components of a latex mattress are made with its namesake material. Latex, a type of rubber, can be produced using sap cultivated from rubber trees (natural latex), or it can be made synthetically (SBR latex). For mattresses sold online, natural latex is much more common and is made with either the Talalay or Dunlop process.
Blending Contouring and Resilience: Latex is a bouncy material, which means that these mattresses are easier to move on and generally don’t permit excessive sink. At the same time, they have the ability to compress to suit the body’s weight, conforming to protect the hips and minimize impact at pressure points.
Definition: An internal air chamber forms the support core of an airbed. Air is added or removed using a pump that is controlled by a remote or a smartphone app. The comfort system above the air chamber can be minimal or robust and may include foam, latex, and/or other textiles.
Max Adjustability: Airbeds offer the ability to easily adjust the firmness level, which means that a different feel for your bed is available in an instant. If hip pain flares up, you can make the bed softer to reduce impact, or if you need to sleep on your back or side, you can add air to make the bed firmer.
Definition: A foam is designed with all of its internal layers made of either memory foam, polyfoam, latex, or a textile like cotton, polyester, or wool. There are no innerspring coils in a foam mattress. Foams with more contouring and responsiveness tend to be used in the comfort system.
Outstanding Pressure Relief: Foam mattresses, especially those that utilize memory foam, tend to provide excellent pressure relief because of the material’s ability to conform and give proportional cushioning based on how the body’s weight is distributed across the mattress. This reduces pain points and bolsters spinal alignment.
If you’ve identified that your current mattress is contributing to hip pain, you’re likely ready to make a change. But at the end of the day, you have to be able to afford a mattress upgrade, and some people may worry that it’s just not in their budget.
Even if you aren’t able to splurge on a luxury mattress, you can still find relief. You can make the most of your spending with the following tips.
People who are looking for a mattress online are often surprised by how many affordable options are available. While buying a mattress online might have seemed strange even just 10 years ago, it has become commonplace today and is consistently growing in popularity.
Part of the reason for this popularity is competitive pricing. Most online companies sell directly to consumers, cutting out the middleman and eliminating the overhead of costly retail stores. These savings get passed on to shoppers, reducing sticker prices for most beds sold online. In addition, competition between sellers means that promotions and discounts are available to offer deals below the retail pricing.
Another benefit to shopping online is that you can take your time and fully research your options. In your living room, there’s no pushy salesperson looking over your shoulder, so it can be a much more pleasant and low-pressure shopping experience. In this context, it’s much easier to compare different options and seek out the best mattress for the money.
A common concern when buying online is that you can’t lie down on the bed before making a purchase. While it’s true that you can’t feel out a mattress through your computer, detailed descriptions and reviews online give a solid idea of what to expect for any given model.
Furthermore, virtually every online mattress comes with a sleep trial that lets you use the mattress at home with the option to return it for a full refund. These no-risk sleep trials usually last for 100 nights or more, and if you decide to make a return, most companies will even come and pick the mattress up from your home.
Shipping is almost always free and uses the “bed-in-a-box” method. The mattress is compressed inside plastic packaging and mailed to your doorstep in a box. You simply need to move the box to your bedroom, cut away the packaging, and let the bed retake its original size. You can usually sleep on this new bed immediately or at the latest within a few hours.
Shipping the mattress in this way has no effect on its quality or durability, and it eliminates the cost and hassle associated with traditional mattress delivery and installation.
Dozens of brands have an online presence, and that includes many of the major mattress companies that originally built their reputation in brick-and-mortar stores. But no matter whether you’re intrigued by a new mattress brand or a long-time industry player, you can expect to find plenty of quality, affordable options online.
Even if you conclude that a brand new mattress isn’t in your budget, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. A mattress topper, which goes above your current bed, is another product that switches up the feel of your bed and often comes with a lower price tag.
As the name indicates, a mattress topper sits on top of your existing mattress and under your sheet. It is held in place by straps, an elastic band, or by your fitted sheet. Mattress topper thickness usually ranges from one to four inches, and most of the time they are made with only one type of material.
Memory foam is among the most popular materials in mattress toppers. It is known for its contouring, allowing the topper to cradle the hips and relieve other pressure points to improve spinal alignment. Polyfoam and latex toppers with slightly less contouring can also work to reduce hip and other pain.
While it’s more affordable, a topper won’t offer all the advantages of a new mattress. It won’t have the coordinated design and layers of a complete mattress, so you may not get all the benefits of materials like latex or memory foam. In addition, if your current mattress is sagging or suffering from other wear-and-tear, a topper won’t fix it; instead, the topper will just sag right along with your old bed.
Overall, a topper can be a useful stepping stone, letting you try out sleeping on a different material. It can also help with pressure relief in the short-term, buying time until your budget allows you to invest in a new mattress.
Depending on the cause and nature of your hip pain, you can try to change your sleeping position. For example, if you’re a side sleeper dealing with a bruise or inflammation, sleeping on your back or side, or at the very least avoiding the injured side, may help fight pain.
If you’re a back or stomach sleeper with a soft mattress and can’t afford a new bed, you can try switching to side-sleeping. The softer mattress may be better at cushioning pressure points, including your hips, and keeping your lower back aligned.
Giving a new sleeping position a shot is worth a try, but it won’t always pan out. Many people involuntarily move back to their traditional sleeping position during the night, and in those cases, a long-term sleeping position change may fail to take hold.
Along with your mattress, a number of accessories, such as pillows and a bed frame, help shape your sleeping experience. If you don’t have the budget for a new mattress, you can invest in these lower-cost accessories to try to reduce hip pain. Or if you want to fully step up your bedroom, you can get a new bed frame and pillows along with a brand new mattress.
By itself, the wrong pillow can throw off alignment and have a snowball effect on the rest of your spine, including on the lower back area that can radiate pain to the hips. Keeping your head and neck supported and in line with your body is an important part of getting deep, restorative sleep.
The ideal type and size of pillow depends in part on the feel of your mattress. For example, on a plush mattress, your body is likely to sink in more than your head, which means that your neck could hyperextend if the pillow is tall (high loft). General recommendations for the combination of firmness and pillow loft are listed in the table below
|Mattress Firmness||Pillow Loft Recommended|
|Soft – Medium Soft||Low|
|Medium Firm – Firm||High|
Sleeping position also plays into the best pillow for any given person. The width of the shoulders means that side sleepers have a greater gap between their head and the mattress, making a taller pillow a better fit. Back sleepers want less loft, but a pillow that is too thin may be insufficient for support and can contribute to snoring. Stomach sleepers generally need a very thin pillow to avoid hyperextending the neck.
|Sleeping Position||Pillow Loft Recommended|
|Side||Medium or High|
Pillows can help provide comfort and support when used in other ways besides just to support the head. When dealing with a physical injury, a light, thin pillow may help cushion any sensitive areas including the hips. Side sleepers who pull their legs upward often benefit from the use of a pillow between their knees. Some side sleepers also like a body pillow that can keep their torso from twisting, which can strain the muscles around the lower back and hips.
Back sleepers can try putting a pillow underneath their knees to take some pressure off of the lumbar area. Depending on their mattress firmness, stomach sleepers may use thin pillows under the abdomen or chest to promote alignment.
The base that your mattress sits on can affect its overall performance. If the bed frame or base is weak or poorly designed, your mattress may start to sag prematurely, reducing the support you need to combat hip pain.
When choosing a new bed base, it is essential to check with the mattress manufacturer about recommended options. If you don’t use the proper foundation, it may detract from performance and void the mattress warranty.
An intriguing option for many people with hip and back pain is an adjustable base. These frames are equipped with motors and a remote that allow you to raise and lower the head and foot of the bed. Some adjustable bases offer heat and massage options as well.
The benefit of an adjustable base is that you can modify your body’s positioning to improve alignment and comfort. For example, back sleepers may slightly raise the head and the legs to decrease pressure on the lower back and hips. A pressure-relieving “zero gravity” setting is available on many adjustable bases.
Not all mattresses are compatible with an adjustable base. Some innersprings are vulnerable to damage if you try to bend them in this way, and some foam or latex mattresses may wear out more quickly if compressed by an adjustable frame. For this reason, it is vital to check with the mattress maker before buying and using this kind of bed base.
When you get started shopping for a new mattress, you may find yourself confronted with a dizzying array of brands, models, and marketing jargon. Sorting out what’s truly important can be a struggle, but failure to do so can lead you astray, causing you to wind up with a mattress that exacerbates your hip pain.
To keep things simple, focus on certain key factors when considering your options. These can narrow your list down to just a few models that you can investigate in detail to make a final purchase.
The best mattress for hip pain will provide the right balance of cushioning and support for the affected areas. Even contouring around the hips can improve spinal alignment – especially for side sleepers – and alleviate pressure points, but reinforcement is needed to prevent excessive sinkage that can exacerbate pain.
The best practice for sleepers is to choose a mattress with a firmness level that corresponds to their own weight. People who weigh less than 130 pounds tend to favor softer mattresses, those in the range of 130-230 pounds often prefer mid-level feels, and sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds typically require the added support of a firmer mattress.
Sleep position is also important to consider. Side sleepers need extra padding around the hips, so a soft to medium feel usually does the trick, while back and stomach sleepers may prefer a medium to firm feel that delivers more support around the midsection. If your mattress feels too soft or too firm and is contributing to hip pain but you don’t want to buy a new bed, a mattress topper with a more suitable feel can be a cost-effective – albeit, temporary – fix.
Side sleeping often leads to hip pain and other types of discomfort because this position does not promote spinal alignment as well as back or stomach sleeping. Lying on your side requires cushioning for the spine and added padding for the shoulders and hips to create that pain-relieving balance of contouring and support.
All-foam and hybrid mattresses with memory foam layers often excel at hip pain relief because this material conforms evenly around the hips. Beds with latex layers don’t contour as closely, but the material is well suited to people who want more support from their sleep surface. That said, side sleepers should also take their weight into account and select a mattress with the right corresponding firmness level.
Since alleviating hip pain requires a balance of contouring and support, a mattress firmness level of medium soft to medium firm should be comfortable for most sleepers. Nailing down a specific firmness may require some trial and error, but beds that are too soft or too firm can contribute to – rather than relieve – hip pain.
The best firmness also depends on your sleep position and body weight. Keep in mind that side sleepers and lighter individuals typically prefer soft to medium feels, while back and stomach sleepers and heavier people tend to find medium to firm surfaces more comfortable.
The Sleep Foundation editorial team is dedicated to providing content that meets the highest standards for accuracy and objectivity. Our editors and medical experts rigorously evaluate every article and guide to ensure the information is factual, up-to-date, and free of bias.
The Sleep Foundation fact-checking guidelines are as follows: