If you suffer from hip pain, you’ve likely tried everything while searching for relief. Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found more than 14 percent of respondents reported having hip pain, an increase from the last time researchers conducted surveys in 1975.
However, one solution you may not have tried changing is your mattress. Switching to one of the best mattresses for hip pain could provide you with the relief you’ve been seeking.
Below, you’ll find our editors’ recommendations for mattresses that can help those dealing with hip pain. You’ll find these high-quality mattresses available in different sizes, but for the sake of consistency, all pricing and sizing you see the mattress review refers to queen-size beds.
The AS3 from Amerisleep is a versatile mattress designed for couples with different sleep styles. This mattress blends support and softness, so it’s ideal for those of all sleeping styles.
The mattress starts with a soft-to-the-touch, lightweight cover to promote airflow and prevent night sweats.
Below the cover is the Bio-Pur® layer. The Bio-Pur® is more breathable than traditional memory foam layers because this high-density foam has increased air space between its particles without taking away any support. Bio-Pur® also returns to its original shape faster than traditional memory foam beds, which reduces motion transfer.
Next is the Affinity layer with Harnessing Intelligent Ventilation & Energy (HIVE®) technology. It’s firmer under your torso to prevent sinkage and softer under your shoulders and hips to allow for deeper compression.
Finally, there is the base Bio-Core™ layer, designed with longevity and durability in mind. Plus, the AS3 is CertiPUR-US® certified, meaning it’s free from harmful chemicals and low in VOCs.
Amerisleep offers a 100-night sleep trial and recommends that you try the mattress for at least 30 nights. The company also offers a two-decade warranty on issues related to quality and craftsmanship. If anything goes wrong in the first decade, the mattress is covered free of charge. If anything does wrong during the second decade, the company will protect you on a prorated amount based on how long you’ve owned your bed.
- Thickness: 12 inches
- Cushioning: Bio-Pur® Layer
- Warranty: Two decades
- Sleep Trial: Risk-free, 100 nights
If your hip pain comes from living an active lifestyle, you’ll want to check out the Zoma Sports Mattress. Zoma designed this mattress specifically for those needing performance recovery.
The company starts with a breathable cover to help keep you cool at night. The cover is 97% polyester and 3% spandex. The top layer is the company’s unique TRIANGULEX™ memory foam. This zoned comfort layer provides you with targeted support when you’re sleeping. Next, there is the REACTIV™ layer. This layer is quite responsive, designed to reduce motion transfer. Lastly, the company includes a thick, high-density support layer designed to relieve hip and shoulder pain.
The sleep trial for this mattress is 100 nights and the company offers free shipping and returns. There is also a 10-year warranty during which you’re covered for full product repair or replacement against workmanship and structural defects.
- Thickness: 10 inches
- Foam: TRIANGULEX™ memory foam
- Warranty: 10-year warranty
- Sleep Trial: 100 nights
3. Bear Mattress
The Bear Mattress is a medium-firm memory foam mattress also designed for athletes who sleep on their backs. Those with hip pain as the result of an active lifestyle may find this bed soothing.
The company starts by using a cover with Celliant®, an infrared yarn technology. Much like the option from Amerisleep, this cover promotes active recovery. Next, there is a cooling graphite-gel memory foam which works to wick away heat while you sleep. Bear claims this foam can keep you up to seven times cooler than traditional memory foam. Below the graphite-gel memory foam layer is a responsive transition foam offering balanced support and pressure relief. Finally, the company uses a high-density support foam as the base layer.
Bear offers a 100-night sleep trial with the mattress, although they require you to use it for at least 30 nights before initiating a free return. There is also a 10-year warranty that covers sagging greater than 1 inch, cracked memory foam, or any other defects. The outer cover carries a one-year warranty. The 10-year warranty does not cover “normal increase or decrease in the feel or any normal decrease in the recovery feature of the Bear Mattress memory foam material.”
- Thickness: 10 inches
- Foam: Graphite gel memory foam
- Warranty: 10-year warranty
- Sleep Trial: 100 nights
4. Original Purple
The Original Purple Mattress is a unique option utilizing grid technology. If you’re looking for a “floating sensation” when sleeping at night, this bed is for you.
First, Purple encases the mattress in a SoftFlex Cover. This cover stretches so it can flex along with the Purple Grid™. The cover is also breathable, working with the grid to keep you cool at night. Next is the 2-inch Purple Grid™, offering Balanced No Pressure® Support. This contouring layer adjusts to your specific pressure points while also providing whole-body support. The grid has more than 2,500 open-air channels that can help reduce body heat when sleeping. Lastly, there is a dual-layered comfort foam, which is soft and responsive.
Purple includes a 100-night risk-free trial. However, you must use the mattress for at least 21 nights before returning. You’ll receive a full refund if you aren’t satisfied. The company also offers a premium 10-year warranty with this bed for any sagging greater than 1 inch or any visible cracking.
- Thickness: 10 inches
- Foam: Purple Grid™
- Warranty: 10-year warranty
- Sleep Trial: 100 nights
The Causes of Hip Pain
Changing your mattress could help you relieve some of your hip pain. But it’s also well worth your while to try to identify the root cause of the pain.
If you’re suffering hip pain, consider visiting a trusted healthcare professional who can help you determine the exact cause. Odds are, your hip pain is caused by one of the conditions listed below.
There are various types of hip arthritis, although osteoarthritis is the most common. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 28 million people have osteoarthritis, which is known best as “wear-and-tear” arthritis. The hip is prone to osteoarthritis because it is a weight-bearing joint. Although osteoarthritis most often occurs in those older than 50, it’s also possible for younger people to suffer from it as well.
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint protected by cartilage. The cartilage wears away with continual use, at which point it becomes frayed and rough. There is less cushion between the “ball” and the “socket” of the hip joint, which causes bone-on-bone contact. The bones rubbing against one another are quite painful and cause inflammation.
Although you can develop osteoarthritis at any time, there are a couple of things that increase your likelihood of it happening. These include:
- Old age
- A family history of osteoarthritis
- Previous injuries to the hip
- Developmental dysplasia of the hip, which is when the hip doesn’t form appropriately at birth
If you’ve recently suffered a fall or an injury, there’s a strong chance you’re suffering from some form of hip bruising. Hip bruising occurs when tiny blood vessels, known as capillaries, break, causing bleeding. Depending on the force of the injury, you may also damage the surrounding tissues as well, which, in turn, can cause inflammation and stiffness.
The most apparent sign of bruising is the discoloring of the skin. If the bone or the surrounding areas are sensitive to touch, bruising from the injury could be the culprit. Bruising can also cause your muscles to spasm when you try to move because the muscle tissue is swollen and inflamed. If you notice pain when you stretch, you may have suffered a bruise.
The hip joint has tiny, fluid-filled sacs known as bursas, which provide cushioning to the joint. When bursa sacs become inflamed or irritated, pain is often the result. This is known as trochanteric bursitis.
Trochanteric bursitis can be caused suddenly, in an injury such as falling on the hip, or over an extended period with activities like standing for too long or with incorrect posture.
Typically, you’ll feel bursitis pain on the outside of the hip or thigh. There will also be a sharp pain when lying on the affected side or when you press on the affected area.
One of the rarer causes of hip pain is bone cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that around 3,500 people will be diagnosed with bone cancer this year, accounting for less than 0.2% of all cancers. The most common cancer found in the hip is chondrosarcoma, which tends to grow on flatter bones like the hip or shoulder.
Another common type of hip cancer is metastatic cancer. This type of cancer is often found in bones in the middle of the body, including the hip. This malignant tumor can quickly spread from one bone to the other. If you find your hip pain is mild to moderate, try first treating it with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, along with heat or ice for swelling and pain. If this does not relieve your symptoms, you may want to visit a doctor for further testing.
Doctors classify hip fractures as breaks in the upper quarter of the femur bone. They most often occur as the result of a fall, especially in individuals older than 65. Elderly patients tend to find their bones are weaker due to conditions like osteoporosis, stress, and cancer. If the bone is particularly brittle, it can break by merely standing on the leg and twisting in the wrong direction.
A hip fracture is different from, say, a wrist fracture. Hip fractures can be life-threatening. Doctors cannot use a cast to treat a hip fracture. Instead, fractures require surgery and physical therapy, which can be more challenging when working with older patients. Symptoms of a hip fracture include severe hip pain, potential bruising, and the inability to move.
Infections occur when bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi enter the bone and reproduce. The most common type of bone infection occurs thanks to a bacterium known as Staphylococcus aureus. Infections are typically accompanied by severe pain, but they are very treatable.
As mentioned, the hip is a ball-and-socket joint. There is a piece of soft tissue, known as the labrum, covering this joint. The labrum assists in allowing the “ball” part of the hip to move smoothly in the “socket.” However, the labrum is also prone to tearing, which can cause considerable pain.
One of the most common causes of labral tears is structural ailments. People suffer from femoroacetabular impingement, where the femoral head doesn’t fit into the socket as it should. The impingement can limit mobility, cause pain, and eventually cause the labrum to tear. If left untreated, this condition could also lead to osteoarthritis.
Injuries are another common cause of labral tears. Typically, athletes participating in sports with repetitive, high-impact movements are most prone to labral tears. Symptoms of labral tears include pain, feeling unsteady on your feet, and a clicking or locking sound when you move the hip. Other people may not have any symptoms associated with their labral tear. It’s easy to assume labral tears are nothing more than soreness or discomfort when, in reality, they’re more significant.
Muscle and Tendon Strains
In addition to the bones and tissues in the hip joint, there are also numerous muscles running through the area as well. If you stretch one of these muscles beyond its limit or tear it, you’ll have suffered a muscle strain. Muscle strains can be mild, moderate, or severe. Most strains occur with rest, although severe strains may require physical therapy or other medical treatment to heal.
There are also tendons in the hip joint that can become strained as well. Tendons are tougher tissues connecting muscles to bones. Once you’ve strained a tendon or muscle, there’s an increased likelihood that you’ll injure it again. Repeated strains in the area can cause a sports hernia, a general term for any strain or tear occurring in the groin or lower abdomen area.
If you struggle to identify the cause of your hip pain, it may simply be muscle tightness. This is especially the case if X-rays or MRIs on the hip come back negative and there is no identifiable problem. Muscle tightness is not something typically displayed on an MRI.
The hip flexors are a group of prominent muscles running through the hip. When these muscles become shorter, it can become quite painful. A sedentary lifestyle involving sitting at a desk all day is one of the primary causes of hip flexor pain. Additionally, tight quadricep muscles — a group of four large muscles on the front of the leg — could also result in tight hip flexors.
Tight hip flexors could also cause lower back pain. Hip flexors can cause a muscle known as the iliopsoas to tighten. This muscle runs from the hip up through the lower back. If this muscle is tight, your hips will shift downward and forward, causing your lower back to form a “C” shape. This is known as anterior pelvic tilt, which can also be quite painful.
Of all of the conditions on our list, this is one of the ones most likely to be caused by poor mattress selection. For instance, if you’re a stomach sleeper and you sleep on a bed that’s too soft, your hips will sink into the bed, over-activating your psoas and throwing your hips out of alignment. A mattress designed explicitly for your preferred sleeping position will provide pain relief.
Osteonecrosis of the Hip
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says “osteonecrosis of the hip is a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur (thighbone) is disrupted.” If left untreated, osteonecrosis can lead to severe arthritis and other degenerative conditions in the hip joint. Osteonecrosis is most common in people between 40 and 65. Men are also more prone to this condition than women.
Doctors aren’t always able to pinpoint the exact cause of osteonecrosis. But it often occurs due to injuries, such as a hip fracture or dislocation. Another suspected cause is the use of corticosteroid medications.
Your central nervous system is made of an intricate roadmap of nerves running through your entire body. Nerves are responsible for letting your brain know when there is pain. If tissues in the hip press on a nerve, the nerve will become “pinched” or “stuck,” which can cause significant pain, tingling, and weakness. Pinched nerves can flare up every now and then due to:
- Sitting for extended periods
- A poor sleep position
- Muscle strain
- Bone spurs
- Being overweight
A more severe version of a pinched nerve is known as sciatica. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve running from your lower back down through your leg. Often, you’ll feel the pain from this injury in your hip, even though the “pinching” may be taking place in another place, like your lower back.
Tendinitis is an overuse injury occurring when the tendons in the hip are inflamed. Tendinitis pain tends to develop over time, gradually getting worse. Typically, hip degeneration is a sign of tendinitis. Rest, stretching, and making efforts to relieve pressure points can all help ease tendonitis pain.
Quality Sleep and Hip Pain
If you have long suffered from chronic hip pain, you may overlook your mattress as being one of the causes, but a bed can impact hip pain in two ways.
First, there could be a direct correlation between hip pain and sleep habits. If you don’t have the right mattress or sleeping position, you could be making your pain worse.
The other way a mattress could impact hip pain is by not allowing you to achieve high-quality sleep. Sleep is the body’s restorative stage. When sleeping, the body heals itself and recovers from injuries. If you’re not sleeping soundly every night, you prevent this process. So, small problems like slight muscle strains, tendinitis, or inflammation can grow into more significant issues if you don’t allow your body to recover.
The American Pain Society says that more than half of patients with osteoarthritis (OA) experience pain during the night, “resulting in sleep disruption, poor sleep quality, sleep fragmentation and shifts between sleep stages.”
Additionally, recent studies demonstrate a link between sleep disruption and pain severity. The APS continues, “Sleep disruption, therefore, could be associated with increased pain sensitivity and enhanced pain facilitation in addition to reduced pain inhibition in persons with chronic pain.”
No matter if you know the cause of your chronic pain or you’re seeking relief from random flare-ups, start by considering your sleep position. There are generally three different sleep positions, and each is best served by a different mattress firmness level to keep your spine in alignment.
Back sleeping is quite healthy for spine and hip alignment. If you sleep on your back, you’ll want a firm mattress. If you have a bed on the soft side, your hips will sink low, and you’ll end up sleeping in a “U” shape.
Back sleepers will also want to make sure they don’t have too much pillow support. Otherwise, your neck will be in a “forward” position when sleeping. Although you may alleviate your hip and lower back pain, you could find you’re waking up with neck and shoulder pain instead.
Side sleepers will benefit most from a softer bed. If you sleep on a firm mattress, the shoulders and hips will prop up, which will cause the middle of your spine to sag down in a “V” shape. The legs will rest at an angle, which could throw the hips out of alignment. Side sleeping in a softer bed allows the hips and shoulders to settle in a bit, so the spine remains neutral.
Side sleepers will also want to choose a pillow to keep their neck in alignment with the rest of their spine. Depending on how broad your shoulders are, you may need to use one or two very firm pillows to help elevate your neck to the correct height.
Stomach sleepers will also want to look for a bed with a firm sleeping surface. However, stomach sleepers should strongly consider changing their sleeping position. Otherwise, they’ll end up putting a lot of stress on their spine, especially in the lower back. Hip pain sufferers often find switching positions helps to alleviate a lot of their pain.
If stomach sleepers can’t change their sleeping position, there are some things they can do to ensure spinal alignment. They can use a very soft pillow, or perhaps no pillow at all. This way, the head lays directly on the mattress, so there is no strain on the neck. Additionally, stomach sleepers will want to consider putting a pillow underneath their abdomen or pelvis to lift the hips up and keep them in alignment.
Things to Consider When Buying A New Mattress
If you haven’t shopped for a new mattress in years, you may be overwhelmed by the number of buying options available. Not only can you buy a new bed in a store, but you can also purchase a bed in a box online. Below are some of the things you’ll want to consider when buying a new mattress.
As previously mentioned, different mattresses have varying levels of firmness. You’ll want to choose the mattress which best matches your sleeping position. For instance, those who sleep on their backs and need full-body support won’t want an ultra-soft bed with a pillow top.
There are also numerous materials manufacturers use to make today’s beds. Foam and latex mattresses are some of the most common types available today. The mattresses tend to be the ideal combination of comfort and support. They can provide your body with the support it needs to alleviate hip pain.
You may be interested in innerspring mattresses. These mattresses used to be popular, but have grown a bit outdated as people realize they’re not very supportive. Innerspring mattresses tend to create pressure points in the hips, especially for side sleepers.
If you’ve slept on an innerspring mattress for years and are not ready to give up on its feel, you can consider a hybrid mattress. Hybrid mattresses have an innerspring base and a foam or latex top layer. However, the top layers tend to be quite thin and may not work for those who weigh more than 200 pounds.
Sleep Trials and Warranties
Most bed in a box brands offer sleep trials and warranties. You’ll want to consider both when determining whether one of the best mattresses for hip pain is worth the investment. A sleep trial is a period you can use to try the bed. Most sleep trials last around 100 nights. If you don’t like the mattress during this time, you can typically return it free of charge.
Mattress warranties have become much more extended since manufacturers have shifted to foam and latex. These materials are designed to last. Make sure your mattress comes with at least a 10-year warranty, if not longer. Some companies offer lifetime warranties on their beds.
Ways to Relieve Hip Pain
If you have hip pain, you’ll want to work to figure out the cause. However, you might also find there are some things you can do to provide yourself pain and pressure relief. Consider making some of the following changes to provide yourself relief:
- Change Your Mattress — When’s the last time you changed your mattress? Your old, worn mattress may not give the proper support you need to alleviate hip pain. Look for a type of mattress designed to provide support and correct spinal alignment.
- Change Your Sleeping Position — In addition to your mattress, you may also want to change your sleeping position. Sleeping on the stomach puts a lot of stress on the neck and back and tends to cause pain. Side sleepers and back sleepers may have more luck alleviating their hip pain since their spine will be in a more neutral position.
- Use a Pillow Between Your Knees — Another trick to help relieve chronic pain is to sleep with a pillow between your knees. Doing so can alleviate the pressure that causes pain. You can also use extra pillows for pressure relief in other parts of the body, including places like the knees, lower back, or pelvis.
- Low-Impact Exercise — Gentle exercise encouraging whole-body movement, along with stretching, can help increase blood flow. They’ll also lengthen muscles, which will reduce the build-up of lactic acid. Lactic acid is often the cause of soreness and stiffness.
- Use a Pillow Topper — The best mattresses for hip pain are quite affordable. But if you’re looking for a more temporary solution to help you wake up pain-free in the morning, consider using a mattress topper. Manufacturers often make mattress toppers with memory or latex foam, which can provide a layer of support for your old bed.
- Lifestyle Changes — In addition to changing your sleeping habits, you may need to make some lifestyle changes to alleviate hip pain. This can include things like wearing footwear with added support or losing weight. Also, pay attention to the things causing your pain to flare up. Do you notice it when walking? When sleeping? When sitting at a desk? Paying closer attention to symptoms can help you pinpoint the cause of your pain.
If you’re struggling with hip pain, you may want to consider changing your mattress. Start by evaluating your sleeping position.
Then, look at our list of the best mattresses for hip pain to find the option best suited for your needs. No matter if your mattress is causing your hip pain or making symptoms work, a simple change can go a long way toward alleviating chronic pain.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.