The Best Mattress Firmness for Hip Pain: Expert Recommendations - Inn Mattress

If you’re grappling with hip pain, the wrong mattress can exacerbate your symptoms or even hinder recovery. Hence, it’s crucial to select a mattress that provides the right blend of support and cushioning, particularly if you spend significant time in bed.

In this article, we delve into the various types of mattresses and firmness levels available, offering expert advice on the best options for individuals with hip pain. Our recommendations are grounded in consultations with sleep experts and orthopedic specialists, ensuring a comprehensive, science-backed guide.

Deciphering Mattress Firmness

Grasping mattress firmness is a key step in choosing a new mattress. Mattress firmness refers to the softness or hardness perceived when you lie on it. It’s worth noting that comfort levels regarding firmness are subjective; what feels comfortable to one person may not be the same for another.

Mattresses are typically rated on a scale of 1–10, with 1 being very soft and 10 being very firm. Here’s how each rating aligns with its level of support:

  • Soft (1-3): These mattresses offer deep sinkage but lack adequate support.
  • Medium (4-6): These mattresses provide contouring while still offering sufficient support.
  • Firm (7-9): These mattresses offer minimal sinkage but significant pressure relief.
  • Extra-firm (10): These mattresses are solid like a board, offering minimal sinkage but substantial pressure relief.

The Impact of Mattress Type on Hip Pain

Different types of mattresses can influence hip pain differently due to their varying levels of contouring and support. Here are some common types:


Innerspring mattresses, popular for many years due to their affordability, are made with coils that provide firmness and support, and a layer of padding on top for comfort. They can be beneficial for people with hip pain as they offer good support and don’t contour excessively. The coils help distribute weight evenly across the mattress, reducing pressure on the hips. However, if you prefer a soft mattress topper, bear in mind that this may diminish its benefits.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses, increasingly popular over the past decade due to their contouring abilities, are made from viscoelastic foam. This material molds around your body shape as you sleep, offering a unique level of individualized support. For people with hip pain who primarily sleep on their side or back, memory foam mattresses can provide excellent relief by cradling sensitive areas such as the hips and shoulders while still providing sufficient lumbar (lower back) support. Additionally, memory foam’s ability to absorb movement means that partners won’t disturb each other during sleep.


Hybrid mattresses combine innerspring coils and layers of supportive materials like latex or memory foam. They amalgamate the advantages of both types of mattress technology, providing comfortable conformation while still having strong foundational support beneath them. If you’re seeking an option that provides more cushioning than an innerspring mattress but less sinkage than a typical memory foam bed, a hybrid mattress is a good choice. Some hybrids fall into the medium-firm category, which can help those with hip issues rest more comfortably without causing further discomfort throughout the night.


Latex mattresses contain natural latex rubber from trees or synthetic materials combined with polyurethane foams for additional comfort layers (known as Dunlop or Talalay). These beds are known for their exceptional durability and above-average pressure relief, thanks largely to the natural bounce-back material, which cradles but doesn’t envelop your body, unlike many memory foam beds. For people with hip pain, a medium-firm latex mattress can offer the same conforming benefits as memory foam while providing more overall support and bounce.

Optimal Mattress Firmness for Hip Pain

Now that you’re familiar with the types of mattresses available, let’s explore expert recommendations for the best mattress firmness for hip pain:

  • Soft (1-3): While soft mattresses may initially feel comfortable, they offer very little support or alignment for your hips and spine. This lack of support can exacerbate hip pain by causing uncomfortable pressure points to form in sensitive areas. Therefore, we do not recommend soft mattresses for those suffering from hip discomfort.
  • Medium (4-6): Medium-firm mattresses tend to be an excellent choice for those with hip issues because they provide both cushioning and support without being too hard on joints. As such, our top recommendation is a 5 rated firmness level if sleeping primarily on your side or back, as it provides the ability to cradle hips but stay supportive throughout the night.
  • Firm (7-9): Firm mattresses also have their place when handling hip discomfort. They offer greater alignment, which could mean lower pressure throughout key sensitive areas such as the hips, leading to a better night’s sleep overall. However, push past this limit and you’re guaranteed stiffness, making it difficult to rest comfortably during slumber. We suggest an 8-rated firmness level maximum for those seeking any additional edge support that offers good motion isolation properties.

Overall, the medium-firm option offers enough contouring while still providing sufficient lumbar support, which keeps your spine aligned and allows muscles used around your hips adequate time to relax and recover during sleeping hours.

Considerations When Purchasing a Mattress

When shopping for a mattress suitable for easing issues surrounding painful joint conditions, it’s crucial to keep in mind these helpful tips:

  • Shop Around: It is important not only to look at different brands but to try out various mattresses in person. This allows for a full physical experience in determining what firmness and type are most comfortable and beneficial to you.
  • Understand Warranty and Sleep Trial Policies: Sleep trials often offer an extended window of time to return or exchange your mattress with little hassle, allowing for ample opportunity to determine how well it works with hip pain over time. When considering warranties, take into account the duration offered along with any stipulations that may void this coverage.
  • Look for certifications: A certification such as “Certipur” assures customers that the materials used in their mattress are free from harmful chemicals capable of causing discomfort, especially prevalent amongst consumers sensitive to chemical-induced ailments.


Dealing with hip pain can be challenging, but choosing the right mattress doesn’t have to be. Remember that each sleeping preference varies per person, so it’s essential to find a bed that’s not only suitable for relieving your particular condition but also fits your individual comfort preferences.

Medium-firm mattresses tend to offer hip pressure relief while keeping spines aligned, which creates a healthy environment for the muscles surrounding the hips, allowing them greater opportunity during slumber hours. Our recommendation is 5–6 on the firmness scale.

Remember to always shop around before making your final decision and choose high-quality certified products, knowing they provide safe usage without any extra issue-causing concerns such as harsh emissions.


Is a firm or soft mattress better for hip pain?

The ideal mattress firmness for hip pain is medium-firm. A study by the National Institutes of Health found that people who slept on a medium-firm mattress reported less pain and stiffness in their hips compared to those who slept on a firm or soft mattress. Medium-firm mattresses provide enough support to keep your spine aligned while also contouring to your body’s natural curves.

Should side sleepers with hip pain choose a softer mattress?

While some side sleepers may prefer a softer mattress, it’s important to prioritize support over softness when dealing with hip pain. Soft mattresses can actually worsen hip pain by allowing your hips to sink too far into the mattress and causing your spine to become misaligned. If you’re a side sleeper with hip pain, look for a medium-firm mattress that provides ample support while still offering some give at pressure points like your shoulders and hips.

Can an adjustable bed help relieve hip pain?

Yes, an adjustable bed can be helpful in relieving hip pain by providing customized support and comfort based on your individual needs. Adjustable beds allow you to elevate different parts of your body as needed, which can help take pressure off sore spots like your hips and lower back. Look for an adjustable bed that allows you to adjust both the head and foot sections so you can find the optimal position for maximum relief from hip pain.

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