The Best Mattresses for Hip Pain
One of the most important functions of sleep is giving the body a chance to rest, recover, and recuperate. However, in order to achieve these ends, we need quality sleep, and this means avoiding sleeping in ways that contribute to aches and pains.
Having a quality mattress can work to make sure that your body gets the support it needs to prevent unnecessary pain. This can also help you rest more easily and with fewer disruptions, enhancing the restorative effects of sleep. If you have hip pain or are inclined toward having hip pain, then, it makes sense to put serious thought into finding a mattress that works to reduce or prevent this pain as much as possible.
In this guide, you’ll find our list of the top 5 best mattresses for hip pain. In addition, we’ll review the causes of hip pain, how it is affected by sleeping position, how to choose a mattress to prevent hip pain, and how you can take other steps to combat this problem.
What Causes Hip Pain?
Hip pain has many different causes and manifestations. This pain may be felt directly around the hip, or pain may be felt radiating to other areas near the leg or pelvis. Some hip pain is chronic, meaning it lasts for a long time, while other hip pain is shorter-term but sharper and often linked to a specific incident.
If you’re suffering from hip pain, it’s natural to wonder about the underlying cause. In this section, we’ll review some of the potential health issues that can provoke hip pain. But it’s important to remember that only a doctor can diagnose these conditions and determine the exact cause of pain in your case. If you find that you have persistent, debilitating, or worsening hip pain, it’s important to talk to a health professional who can offer the most appropriate medical advice.
- Bruising: if you’ve recently fallen or seriously bumped your hip, it’s possible that you have a bruise that is causing tenderness. Bruises generally aren’t serious but may be painful, and how long they last will depend on the depth and severity of the bruise.
- Muscle strain: there are a number of muscles around the hip that can become strained from overuse or twisting. In some cases, this pain may be felt around the hip. Examples include strains of the hamstring (which is on the backside of the upper part of each leg) or the hip flexor (which is on the front side of your body just beneath the hip). As with bruises, strains can be painful but normally will resolve with time. Exactly how long depends on the extent of the strain.
- Tendinitis: tendons connect muscles to bones, and if they become irritated and inflamed, it is known as tendinitis. Tendinitis can be a painful condition, and an example of tendinitis that can affect the hip is inflammation of the ileotibial band (IT band). This runs from the outer thigh near the hip to the outer part of the knee. The IT band is susceptible to inflammation as a result of overuse, such as in runners or other athletes, or as a result of improper biomechanics.
- Bursitis: bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that help to cushion various parts of the body including tendons, muscles, and bones. If the bursae become inflamed, it can be painful, and this can happen to the bursae around the hip.
- Arthritis: arthritis is inflammation of joints, and it can affect many different parts of the body. It has a tendency to occur in older adults as the cartilage that helps protect the joints becomes worn. Arthritis in the hip can cause chronic, ongoing pain.
- Hip fractures: a fracture of the hip bone can be quite painful. In some cases, a fracture may be small and may not be obviously related to a specific incident (such as a fall).
- Osteonecrosis of hip: osteonecrosis is a condition in which bone begins to break down. This can occur as a result of a lack of blood supply to the hip and can result in bone weakness and pain.
- Infections: some types of infections, such as bacterial infections, can involve the bones, including the bones in and around the hip. When this occurs, it can be both very serious and extremely painful.
- Labral tear: the labrum is a ring of cartilage that goes around the outside of the hip joint’s socket. If the labrum is torn, it can be very painful as this cartilage helps to cushion the joint and hold it in the proper place.
- Pinched nerves: there are a number of different nerves that can become impinged and lead to pain that directly affects the hip. These pains can be very sharp and have a radiating feeling.
- Cancer and other more serious conditions: cancer that affects the bones can cause hip pain as can other types of more serious health conditions. Most hip pain is not caused by cancer, but it is one potential cause in some cases.
How Does Sleep Position Affect Hip Pain?
You probably have a preferred sleep position that you naturally gravitate toward when you’re trying to go to bed. The three primary sleeping positions are on your side, back, or stomach, although some people are “combination sleepers,” meaning that they alternate between two or more of these. No one sleeping position is best for hip pain as each position has its own set of issues. Considering your sleeping position as well as your weight and body composition is important to finding a mattress with a mixture of firmness and support that helps you avoid risks of hip problems.
Side-sleeping is the most common sleeping position, and it can be good or bad for people who have hip issues. Sleeping on your side can put a lot of pressure on the hip and shoulder, and this pressure can lead to pain if there is not adequate support. In addition, the hip and lower back can become twisted without proper cushioning, which can exacerbate numerous issues related to muscle strains and inflammation. At the same time, side-sleeping is widely regarded as the best position for overall spinal alignment.
For people who sleep on their side, it’s important to try to avoid sleeping on the side that has any hip issues. If you have a sore or tender hip, try to sleep on your other side. When you don’t actively have pain, try to switch which side of the body that you sleep on so that you don’t develop patterns associated with too much time spent in one position. You can also experiment with the use of pillows to help support your body. For example, you can try a pillow between the knees, behind the lower back, or a full-length body pillow. Each of these may help to improve cushioning and body position.
Sleeping on your stomach is the least common sleeping position, and it is generally not recommended by sleep experts because of the pressure that it can put on the torso and back. In many cases, the abdomen and pelvis -- which typically bear more weight -- can sag into the mattress, pulling the body out of alignment. This can put pressure on the muscles and tendons in that part of the body.
Stomach sleepers should use a mattress has enough support and firmness to make sure that their torso and pelvis are not sinking deeply into the mattress. Some stomach sleepers may also benefit from the use of support pillows, including under the pelvis, to help promote alignment and cushioning.
If you sleep on your back, you may find that the area from your lower back to the top of your thighs has a tendency to sink too deeply into the mattress. This can also occur at the shoulders. These pressure points need adequate support to avoid misalignment of the body. Misalignment, especially of the abdomen and pelvis, can directly affect the hips.
If you are a back sleeper, ensure that your mattress prevents this kind of disproportionate sagging and misalignment of the body. You can also test out using extra support pillows to help bolster your body and give extra comfort.
Mattress Shopping Considerations
If you were to list out all the possible factors to consider when buying a mattress, you could fill up a small journal. But not all of those factors are truly critical to most shoppers. Instead, it can simplify the process to focus on the most important considerations.
Support is how we describe how well a mattress encourages proper spinal alignment. Most mattresses ensure support by being responsive, which means that the mattress can offer proportional cushioning based on how your weight is distributed. For people with hip issues, this is important because it provides the contouring and cushioning that is needed around the pelvis and hips.
Firmness is a basic concept that is nevertheless important for selecting a mattress. On a scale of 1-10, we can rate how hard or soft a mattress is, with 10 being the hardest. The firmness of a mattress is a critical aspect of how comfortable it will be for you, so it’s important to only choose a mattress that fits your preference for firmness. For most people with hip issues, this means a medium-firm mattress (5-7) that is soft enough to avoid excessive impact at the hip while also preventing too much sinking into the mattress.
It’s frustrating to invest in a big purchase only to have it break down in a short period of time. For this reason, durability is essential to protecting your investment. Additionally, a mattress that isn’t durable will stop being supportive and will permit excessive sink and other issues that can contribute to hip pain.
Type of Mattress
When choosing your mattress, you’ll notice that there are many different types on the market. While there are no hard and fast rules about the mattress types that are best for hip pain, we can offer some general guidance.
Foam and latex mattresses tend to be the best fit for people who have or are worried about hip issues. Both of these materials offer a blend of support and resilience, which means that they can conform to the body and give the hip the cushioning it needs. At the same time, you’re unlikely to feel like you’re being swallowed by most foam or latex mattresses, especially latex since it has more bounce.
Hybrid mattresses can also be a good option as they have a base of innerspring coils that are supplemented with comfort layers of other materials (such as foam or latex).
Innerspring mattresses, which also use coils as their base, often do not provide enough conforming or cushioning because they generally have thin comfort layers. The same is true of airbeds. Even though airbeds have adjustable firmness levels, they usually have only minimal comfort layers that cannot accommodate the body, especially for sleepers who weigh over 200 pounds.
Any mattress that you buy online should come with a sleep trial, and the longer and simpler the sleep trial, the better. This provides you with a chance to try out the mattress every night for an extended period to see how it feels and how it affects your hips. A good sleep trial is truly risk-free, allowing you to return the mattress at no cost if you don’t want to keep the bed.
Obviously, your budget plays an important role in which mattresses you’re going to consider. Set your budget ahead of time, and then look for mattresses that may have sales or discounts or that are available for under your budget. You can often find great values when shopping for mattresses online.
Our Top Picks
Every mattress has its own design and benefits, and in the section below, we review why each of these mattresses made our list of top picks.
The Amerisleep AS3 is a memory foam mattress made with 3 layers. The top layer is 3” of high-density (4 PCF) memory foam that has an ILD of 10. The second layer is 2” of transition foam that has a density of 1.65 PCF. The bottom layer is 7” of 1.8 PCF support foam. The top layer offers contouring but with temperature regulation as it is made of open-cell foam. The overall feel of the mattress is 5.5 on the firmness scale.
Each Amerisleep mattress is made with Celliant material in the cover. Some research has indicated that this material can help with both temperature control and with muscle recovery though the way it reflects and converts energy back to the body.
The AS3 is a solid mattress with the ability to give support without excessive sink or overheating. It comes with a 100-night sleep trial and the backing of Amerisleep, which has a very good reputation in the online mattress industry.
The Zenhaven mattress is made entirely with Talalay latex and offers a unique reversible firmness design. One side of the mattress has a 4-5 firmness feel (Luxury Plush) while the other side is 7-8 (Gentle Firm). This allows you to easily experiment with two firmness options by just flipping the mattress from one side to the other.
The Zenhaven uses quality materials that are arranged in a way that promotes support, comfort, and durability. By using Talalay latex, it offers considerable bounce, which hedges against too much sink of the mattress.
As an added bonus, the Zenhaven comes with free white-glove delivery, meaning that the company delivers and sets up the mattress in your home. They will also haul away an old mattress at no extra charge. Saatva Inc., which manufactures the Zenhaven, has a solid reputation, and this mattress has a strong track record of customer satisfaction.
Leesa is a leading brand in online mattresses and has made its name with its combination of latex-like foam and memory foam. The Leesa mattress is built with 3 layers. The top layer is 2” of Premium Foam, which has more bounce than traditional memory foam while still being cushioning and contouring. Under this is 2” of memory foam that has a density of 3 PCF. The base layer is 6” of support polyfoam (1.8 PCF density).
By using both Premium Foam and memory foam, the Leesa is able to provide support without giving up bounce and resilience. This makes the Leesa a great fit for sleepers in any position and for people who have concerns about how well their mattress accommodates their hip.
The Leesa comes with a 100-night sleep trial, and the company has built a strong reputation for customer care. It is a good value at less than $1,000 (and often even less with coupons), making it a clear pick for our best mattresses for hip pain.
The Layla mattress is a memory foam option with reversible firmness options. Both the top and the bottom of the mattress are made with memory foam that can respond to the hip and other pressure points of the body. One of these foams is softer (4-5) while the other has more firmness (7). Customers can flip the mattress over to evaluate which is a better feel for them.
Memory foam is one of the best materials for giving the support needed for painful joints, so the Layla’s use of this material makes it a strong choice for people with hip issues. It also employs foams that have designs to reduce the risk of sleeping hot, such as copper-infused memory foam and convoluted transition foams. It comes with a 120-night sleep trial and can be purchased for a price under $900 even before any coupons or discounts.
Sleep On Latex
Sleep on Latex’s Pure Green mattress comes in a 7” and 9” model and in three different firmness levels (Soft (4), Medium (6), and Firm (8)). The exact pricing for each model varies, but all of the Pure Green models are built with high-quality latex that can give resilience, support, and comfort.
The latex used in the Pure Green mattresses is Dunlop latex, which has a reputation for durability. Sleep on Latex uses this in either one or two layers (depending on 7” or 9” model), so there’s no complex or confusing layering involved in this mattress. It’s just a simple all-latex design that can conform to the hips without giving way and allowing too much sink.
Any of the models of the Pure Green mattress can be purchased in Queen size for under $1,200, and this is an excellent price for latex. The mattress will also come with a 100-night sleep trial, giving you plenty of time to ensure that it’s the right option for you.
Additional Tips and Strategies
In addition to choosing a great mattress, people with hip issues can consider some additional strategies for mitigating hip pain.
- Use extra pillows: as discussed in the section about sleeping positions, extra pillows can be used to support the knees, lower back, pelvis, or other parts of the body. These can give cushioning and can be a way to help bolster the body to stay properly aligned.
- Consider mattress toppers: if you’re not able to purchase an entirely new mattress at this point, you can look into a memory foam or latex mattress topper that can boost the support from your current bed.
- Pain relief: the standard methods of pain relief, such as rest, ice and/or heat, and over-the-counter pain relievers can all help you reduce pain so that you can rest more comfortably. Make sure to talk to a doctor or health professional if your pain worsens or if you have any questions about the most appropriate pain relief methods for you.
- Lifestyle changes: There are also some lifestyle changes that you can employ to try to mitigate hip pain. These include regular light stretching routines (such as in the morning and before bed), choosing proper footwear with plenty of support, losing weight (which can reduce pressure on the hips), and getting regular exercise appropriate with your overall health and physical condition.
- Talk to a health professional: as with any health issue, the person best positioned to address your problems is a doctor. It’s especially important to talk with a doctor if you find that your pain is worsening, has lasted for a considerable period of time, or coincides with other unexplained health changes. Don’t hesitate to see your doctor as this can be the fastest way to get the diagnosis, treatment, and relief that you need.