I have the rare symptom of waking up with back pain.

Hello I am new to the forum. I am in search of a new mattress. I have had lower back surgery in the past which only caused me minor pain and discomfort during the days. I get pain in the morning after I wake up. I have gone though many Mattresses with little success. Me and my wife got one of the split king mattress’s which is half firm half soft ( sears-o-piedic) which did not work out. We did our one exchange sleep comfort and the new sealy we got did not work out either. I thought it might be the memory foam in it so believe it or not in desperation i cut open the bottom climbed inside the mattress and cut the memory foam out. My son decided to jump on top of mattress while I was in it ha ha. Anyhow that did not work. We recently got a memory foam/gel foam topper from costco which feels a little better. I am going to return it because it was 170 $ and do not think it will last long. I am so sick of going into mattress stores because everything feels fine in the store but when i get it home and sleep on it for a night its a different story. The guy at sleep country was telling me all about the i comfort and how good it is. When looking that up i saw some posts here about getting a Foam mattress from costco for significantly cheaper. Are the Foam mattresses at costco good for people suffering from lower/upper back pain? I wonder if costco has the 90 days return policy on foam mattresses.

Hi backpain,

There is no particular material or mattress that is better than another for back pain. The key with back pain is that whatever combination of materials that are in your mattress or what type of mattress you are considering that it keeps your spine in it’s natural or “neutral” alignment in all your sleeping positions. This means that they have good primary support (which is primarily about the firmness of the deeper support layers or components of the mattress) as well as good secondary support (which is the ability of the upper comfort layers to “fill in the gaps” of the body profile and help support the natural “inward” curves of the spine).

If your support layers are too soft to “stop” the heavier hips/pelvis from sinking down too far or if the upper comfort layers are too thick and soft and put you too far away from the support layers (again allowing the hips/pelvis to sink down too far before they are “stopped” by the support layers) … you can end up sleeping with your spine out of its natural alignment and this can lead to discomfort or pain in the back. This is the reason that no matter what type of mattress you may have … that it is appropriate for your body type and sleeping positions. What keeps one person in good alignment may be completely inappropriate for someone else with a different body type or sleeping positions regardless of the cost or quality of the mattress.

Whether a “foam” mattress (and there are different types of foam including memory foam, polyfoam, and latex and each type has different levels of quality in the same category) is suitable for you would depend entirely on the construction of the mattress and how well it provided you with what I call PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and your Personal preferences). If a mattress construction isn’t suitable for you then no matter how “cheap” it may be it is money wasted. In most cases I don’t recommend Costco as a buying source unless you have some idea of what you are buying (you know the specifics of every layer in the mattress which they often don’t list) and you know that the specific mattress you are considering is suitable for you (Costco itself is only interested in selling you a mattress and don’t have the guidance available to help you make a suitable choice). In addition to that … most of the mattresses at Costco I wouldn’t consider (they aren’t the best quality/value regardless of their price) but for the ones I would, the main benefit to buying from them is that you get a “free roll of the dice” and are protected by their return policy (which includes foam mattresses). I certainly would look locally first and in most cases I would look for better online choices that were much more knowledgeable in matching their customers to a specific mattress.

The most effective way I know to buy a mattress that is suitable for you and has good quality and value are the steps in post #1 here (along with the information it links to) and personally testing a mattress locally (particularly with the help of someone who has the experience and knowledge to help you make better choices) is the most accurate way to make sure that a mattress matches your specific needs and preferences.

One of the links will lead you to these guidelines which suggest avoiding major brands completely as well as chain stores and other merchants that can’t tell you exactly what is in a mattress and don’t have the knowledge and ability to give you good guidance.

If you let me know the city or zip where you live I’d be happy to let you know of any better options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area.