Coir Mattress vs Foam Mattress: Which is Best for Back Pain?

Coir Vs Foam Mattress

Back pain is a common phenomenon after a certain age. ‘After a certain age’ is the keyword here. If you experience terrible back pain and don’t consider yourself to be old enough to have an aching back all day long, you shouldn’t need a detective to decipher the root cause. You mattress might just be worn out! If your current mattress lacks responsive reaction along the length of your spine, you’re putting your spine in an unnatural position for 7-8 hours everyday. Waking up with an aching back is a primary symptom of a defective mattress.

If you’re in the market, looking for an orthopaedic mattress to relieve your back pain, here’s our best effort at listing the best mattress in India. Alongside some postural corrections in the day time, upgrading to a better mattress might just be your best bet.

A night of peaceful sleep is followed by a positive mood the next day. Apart from all other considerable factors, your sleep and good spine health highly depend on the type of mattress you choose. Naturally, if you’re reading this, you already know how enervating it is if you are suffering from a gruelling back pain.

So, what measures can you take to reduce the discomfort in your back? You can significantly reduce your back pain by just improving your posture through the day time and opting to sleep on an orthopedically designed mattress in the night.

On the other hand, choosing an inappropriate mattress could not only curse you with pressure points throughout your spine, neck and hips but also cost you your sleep and vibe. So, I’d suggest you to get rid of your timeworn mattress and opt for better alternatives that have invaded the Indian market.

Speaking of alternatives, ‘Coir mattress’ and ‘foam mattress’ are predominantly preferred when it comes to treating a mattress-induced back pain. Both these mattresses provide adequate back support and ensure that the spine’s natural alignment is maintained through the night.

While both have their benefits and shortcomings, you can select one based on the aspects you prioritize more. Let’s comparatively study the key differences between a coir mattress vs foam mattress.

Coir Mattress vs Foam Mattress

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Coir Mattress

Coir foam mattress

What is it?

Precisely, coir is fiber collected from coconut shells. Coir is also vastly known as coconut fiber. Along with its various uses, coir also contributes to making mattresses. This coconut fiber is used in the upper and middle sheets of mattresses to make them tougher/supportive or softer depending on its required density.

How does it aid back pain?

Since rubberized coir mattresses are made with natural fiber treated with latex, they are firm, porous and breathable. Thus, they provide adequate support to your entire body. Owing to porous nature, coir mattresses readily allow the passage of air in and out. This property of natural ventilation renders it to be a cool sleeping surface.

People with back pain could get some relief from a coir mattress as it provides rigid support along the length of the spine and thus maintains the natural spine alignment.

Rubberized coir mattresses combine the right proportions of rigidity and softness to give you a soft yet supportive sleeping surface.

The Negatives

On the contrary, there are certain negative aspects related to coir mattresses that make people cast aside the desirable aspects. There are arguments that declare coir mattresses as an unhygienic mattress. So much so, these even can attract and breed bed bugs.

Also, People often complain about coir mattresses being short-lived. A coir mattress often loses its firmness and sags within a short time frame. Furthermore, any spillage can cause permanent damage to the mattress. So, that’s a big no for families with young children.

The level of comfort depends on the quality and craft of the coconut fiber. A poor-quality coir mattress manufactured in a local workplace might as well become a troublemaker.

Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattress for back pain

What is it?

A foam mattress or a polyurethane (PU) foam mattress is made from synthetic compounds derived from petrochemicals. A memory foam mattress is an improved variant that has some additional compounds to give the mattress that slow-moving tendency. For context, a memory foam mattress retains the shape of the weight added to it for few seconds before completely regaining its original shape.

Foam mattresses or memory foam mattresses have gained much popularity owing to promising claims associated with them. A memory foam mattress usually softens using the body heat of the sleeper and gradually moulds according to the body contours. This leads to uniform support throughout the body of the sleeper and hence includes zero risks of pressure points.

Foam mattresses initially had a tendency of heat retention which often resulted in warm sleepers. To overcome this shortcoming, gel memory foam was introduced in the recent years. This is another version of the memory foam mattress for maintaining a cool temperature during sleep.

How does it aid back pain?

best mattress for back pain

When you lay down on a memory foam mattress, you instantly comprehend that your body weight is evenly dispersed and is perfectly balanced. This aspect assists specific pressure points which eventually provides you relief from your back pain and other aches.

Its smooth adjustment to your body’s contours contributes to minimizing back pain and shoulder, neck and hip soreness.

Unlike a coir mattress, a memory foam mattress is durable as it holds its shape and does not easily sag. Foam mattresses deform according to the weight of the sleeper and regain their original shape when the weight is removed.

There is a common myth that memory foam mattresses are very soft and induce pressure points along the spine. In fact, a memory foam mattress is patterned with layers which make it firm and steady. Such a design renders it to provide the necessary support required for your body and maintain proper back posture throughout your sleep.

The Negatives

Poor quality memory foams might collapse easily and could be prone to sagging concerns after a certain time phase.

Memory foam mattresses being synthetically manufactured, use harsh compounds derived form petrochemicals. Consequently, a poorly manufactured memory foam mattress might cause respiratory problems/breathing difficulties.


As a final verdict, I would like to say that you can only choose one out of the two based on your personal priorities. I mean, if you prefer factors like environment friendliness and cost-effectiveness more than optimal back pain relief, a coir mattress might be your pick.

Also, back pain sufferers who are sensitive or allergic to foam mattress could prefer this natural non-toxic bedding (Coir mattress) for a better night’s sleep.

Side note: You must know that wool, foam, or cotton must always be fused with a coir mattress to enhance comfort and durability factors.

On the other hand, Orthopedic doctors highly recommend foam mattresses to individuals with back pain. A layer of rich memory foam overlain on a firm base makes it ideal for back pain bearers. A medium firm mattress is a perfect choice to minimize back pain. This means the ideal one should neither be too firm nor too soft.

Also, you are recommended to maintain your mattress well by rotating it after every 6 months.

Bear in mind, each mattress is distinct in its own way. Try to go for the mattress according to your specific needs and try it out for a couple of days to check if your pain is minimized.  Many sellers sell mattresses with the benefit of a trial period option. And after that, you could decide on which one to finally go for.

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  1. I have been living with L5 S1 and S2 bulging discs and a herniated disc in my low back for years causing chronic pain…I can tell you which is the absolute worse thing to sleep on… it’s an all foam mattress…especially all.memory foam being the absolute worse…..if you do foam the high density foam is better……When I was knocked to the floor one day and couldn’t get up I had to stay on the floor for days because ‘any’ mattress was not comfortable….Pick FIRM for bad backs…Hope this helps.

    1. Hi Pamela,
      Sorry to hear that, I hope you find some relief for your condition soon.
      Regarding what you just mentioned, we’re completely at the the same page. Soft and spongy foam mattresses are the last thing that you should seek relief from, for a persistent ‘bulging disc’ back pain. You need a sufficiently firm mattress, so that your spine doesn’t flop out of its natural alignment. While some may argue that coir mattresses provide the right rigidity to support the spine, they’ve got their own cons weighing the benefits down. Considering the hygiene issues and short service life of rubberized coir mattresses, they’re not the smartest option at this time.
      We recommend modified foam mattresses that are thoughtfully assembled to provide consistent support to the back whilst still acting as a comfortable surface to sleep on. These are marketed and sold under the “orthopedic mattress” category. When looking for one, always make sure that the mattress cross-section is layered with a thick high-density foam as the base layer and a thin 1-1.5 inch gel memory foam as the top layer. Such a construction offers both, adequate reactive support to the spine and pressure relief to avoid tensed areas in the back.

    1. Hi Sumer,
      I am fairly familiar with this problem as one of my own family members have been dealing with an L5 over S1 slipped disc for years.
      The best mattress for people with a slipped disc is the one that provides optimal pressure relief and adequate reactive support.
      My personal recommendation for your condition is the Emma mattress. After having used it for 6 months, I can confidently say that it’s the best orthopaedic mattress in India. You can check it out here:
      If you have a slightly lower budget, SleepyCat mattresses are also a good alternative. Check it out here: