The Best Sofas for Bad Backs

Back pain is extremely common, and the vast majority of us will experience episodes of back pain at some point during our lives. Back pain can be caused by all sorts of things, but there are changes you can make to your daily routine to ease the pain or reduce the risk of developing it in the first place.

One of the most common causes of back pain is poor sitting posture, whether seated at your desk at work or at home relaxing on your sofa in the evenings. While you may not be able to do much about upgrading your office chair, you can invest in a sofa that offers greater lumbar support and naturally improves your seating position at home, helping ease your bad back and preventing further injury.

The causes and treatments of back pain

Lumbar or lower back pain is very common, so you’re far from alone in your suffering. Back pain is seldom caused by anything serious and is most likely the result of a minor strain or sprain, or prolonged periods of time spent sitting in an awkward position. Sometimes it may also be caused by a medical condition such as a slipped disc or sciatica, which may require treatment from your doctor beyond anti-inflammatory pain relief.

You can ease existing back pain by looking at the back support you receive from your mattress, office chair and sofa, to see your spine is as well-supported as possible when you’re sitting for long stretches of time.

Why does my choice of sofa matter?

Comfortable sofas can play a pivotal role in reducing and preventing back pain because they’re somewhere you probably sit for several hours a day. If you choose a sofa that improves your posture without you even noticing then you can ease your spinal pain and ease the pressure on joints, muscles and connective tissue, all of which can be affected by slouching or sitting awkwardly.

Your choice of sofa matters because it’s one piece of seating you do have some control over, and choosing a bespoke sofa means you can select the appropriate levels of comfort and support and customise your piece of furniture to meet your own physical needs.

What to consider when choosing a sofa

Not all sofas are created equal, and the design of some will be better suited to looking after your bad back.

The first thing you need to think about is firmness. While super-soft sofas may feel incredibly comfortable as they mould themselves around your body, they don’t always support your spine correctly. A firmer foam filling to both the back and cushions will support your posture, and sofas with a high back and shallower seating are often a good choice if you suffer from back pain. Sofas with a fixed back are usually more supportive than those which have loose cushions, but you can perhaps offset the more ‘formal’ look with interesting and bold sofa fabrics, either adding a pop of colour or choosing something with a stylish modern pattern.

Also, think about the height and depth of your sofa. When you sit on it, you want your feet to be planted firmly on the floor and the inside of your knees comfortably wrapped around the seat edge. If your legs are too long or short for your sofa, then you may be putting added pressure on the nerves in your spine, which can cause back pain or exacerbate an existing condition. At Oliver Matthews we offer a choice of depths so that you can find the perfect fit.

Another important consideration is the armrests to your sofa, as you may use these for added support. While low armrests may look very contemporary, you will probably find yourself slouching to rest on them. Higher arms and those which have extra padding are the way to go if you have lumbar pain because they provide that extra level of support to help you maintain a better posture. Alternatively, if you’re an avid knitter, low arm rests can provide good support for your elbows, which prevents you from slouching your shoulders too much.

An additional and often overlooked factor to take into account is your choice of sofa filling. The filling option you “plump for” is important as it can make a huge difference to the comfort of your sofa, offering differing levels of back support depending on your selection. Our bespoke sofa range comes with a variety of seat cushion filling options, in foam and feather. So whether it’s a soft, medium, or firm support you require, you can hand-pick the ideal filling to give your back the support it needs.

If you are prone to a bad back, then you might want to consider getting a recliner sofa. These can be positioned to get the maximum comfort, evenly distributing your body weight, cradling your neck and back, and elevating your legs to ease the pressure on your lower spine. To ensure you get the best support, choose a recliner that isn’t too deep and doesn’t recline too far, because the more perfectly aligned your body is, the better.

If you don’t fancy a recliner but still want to keep your posture well-aligned, then think about investing in a footrest or ottoman to elevate your legs. These are particularly handy if you’ve chosen a deep-filled sofa with a scatter or cushion back, where the upper half of your body may be more reclined than the lower half.

Still need help in choosing?

When you suffer from a bad back, choosing the best sofa for your spine can feel like a challenging and important decision to make. At Oliver Matthews, we have an expert team on hand to help you, offering advice and guidance on choosing the most comfortable sofas for you. With one of the widest ranges of bespoke sofas to be found anywhere in the UK, we can help you find the right piece of furniture for both your back and your home. Our sturdy frames, choice of sizes, depths and cushion fillings you can build a sofa to support your posture perfectly.