For most people, a sofa is meant for lounging on and relaxing. For those suffering from back pain, a sofa can be an absolute nightmare.
That’s right - not every sofa is designed to support your back. It’s actually quite difficult to find an ergonomic sofa that looks good, feels comfortable, and doesn’t make your back pain worse.
Whether you’re struggling with back pain or you’re worried about your bad sofa-sitting posture affecting your back, you’re going to want to find a sofa that can withhold its ergonomic shape whilst supporting your spine.
Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered! We understand the importance of finding a sofa that will last for years whilst providing the right amount of support and comfort for your painful back.
We have found the best sofas for back pain that will suit a range of interior designs - so let’s get started!
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
When it comes to finding a sofa for back pain, you are most likely to feel most satisfied with recliner sofas.
Sure, they might not be the most stylish or modern-looking sofas on the market, but they are designed for comfort and support, which is your priority.
The Betsy Furniture sofa set comes in a variety of set options, with this model offering a three-seater and two-seater sofa.
Made of premium-quality Brown Bonded Leather and bouncy foam cushion, this sofa set exudes comfort.
The standout feature of this sofa set is the recline. When the footrest is extended, you can control the recline to any position you like - whether it’s 90° or 160° - to suit your back pain.
The elevated footrest means your legs can have a healthy blood flow, as most sitting positions can restrict the blood flow to your ankles and feet when your feet are on the floor.
This sofa set also comes with comfortable, cushioned armrests and a pillow top backrest to support your arms and neck.
The backrest is equipped with heat radiating technology from the leather material, which works to provide a comforting warmth for all back pain.
What’s more, the middle of the two-seater sofa comes with a handy opening for cups, television remote controls, magazines, snacks, and whatever else you might want by your side.
- Very comfortable - Perfect mix between firm and soft to support your body
- Recliner - Adjust the reclining position to whatever feels comfortable easily
- Elevated footrest - Helpful for blood flow in the lower legs
- Delivery is curbside only and does not include delivery to the house, unpacking, or assembling
Sectional sofas are a great way of providing an extra seating option and fit brilliantly in small rooms.
Depending on the structure of the cushions, sectional sofas can also be good for back pain!
You get the best of both worlds with sectional sofas. You can sit normally on one side of the sofa, and you can stretch your legs out on the other side.
This is ideal for encouraging blood flow in your legs.
This CosmoLiving sofa comes in a stylish green velvet that looks as stylish as it feels.
Velvet is often the preferred material for those with back pain, because it provides more of a soft grip than leather sofas that encourage your body to slide.
This green velvet material is soft and easy to clean.
This sofa is elevated by its solid wood legs, which means you can comfortably sit with your feet on the floor at a 90° angle as your spine rests against the back of the sofa.
The assembly is also said to be easy, which is a bonus for those with back pain.
- Multiple seating options - Sit in a normal position or with your legs outstretched on the sectional side
- Firm pillows - Cushions stay in place with built-in velcro straps
- Easy assembly - Don’t contribute to your back pain with straightforward assembly
- No headrest option
It’s no secret that sofas are expensive - especially if you’re looking to find one that is supportive for your back.
This Novogratz Brittany sofa is both affordable and convenient for back pain.
This product is a two-in-one, as it works both as a sofa and as a futon.
This is ideal for small living spaces, because it means you can have one overnight guest who can sleep comfortably on a futon rather than scrunched up on a sofa.
This also means those with back pain can change the position of the sofa into the futon position to stretch out their back.
This is a stylish sofa that is equipped with curved armrests and a ribbed cushioned back to provide a comfortable support for your spine and hips.
It is elevated on slanted wooden legs, which means your legs can comfortably sit at a 90° angle aligned with your hips, which is ideal for improving posture for back pain.
The linen upholstery comes in a variety of colors to suit any living space, and is made of a polyester and foam filling that retains its firmness and shape for a long time.
- Affordable - Don’t pay more money than you have to for comfort
- Futon and sofa - Easily changes into futon position for an overnight guest and lying down
- Firm and soft - Foam-filled cushions provide the ideal mix between firm and soft
- Futon is only suitable for one person or two slim people
Home theaters have become a popular addition to households across the country, but sitting on regular sofas when you have back pain can make the movie-watching experience very uncomfortable.
If you want to live the life of luxury without sacrificing your sore back, you should try the Seatcraft Anthem sofas.
This product isn’t technically a sofa - more like two armchairs that are connected to each other. It’s almost exactly what you would see in one of those fancy movie theaters, only it’s yours!
This product is made of the finest leather material and memory function cushions all over, making this possibly the most personalized and comfortable sofa on our list.
Both seats are recliners, so you can adjust them to your personal liking. This is ideal for a couple who experiences back pain, because you can have your own seat that is catered to your pain.
The recline feature can be adjusted with the touch of a button, and it also includes lifted footrests to provide more blood flow to your lower legs.
The center of this table features a fold-down table for holding cups, remote controls, and charging ports for ultimate movie-watching convenience.
- Luxurious material - Made of premium-quality leather and memory foam cushions
- Recline - Adjust the seat to your preference
- Very comfortable - Memory foam cushions make this a comfortable and personalized seating experience
- Expensive price point compared to other recliners
Not everyone wants to get a comfortable sofa for their back that isn’t stylish. Likewise, you don’t want to buy a sofa that looks better than it feels.
This Modern Fort sofa has a classy, stylish Chesterfield-style design that is the ideal accent piece for any living space.
One problem that some stylish sofas often have is that the seat is too far back for the person to comfortably rest their spine against the backrest.
This sofa, however, is designed to be sat on properly to encourage good posture.
However, it doesn’t have a neck rest, so this sofa is probably best for those with minor back pain.
The seat cushions are filled with a high-resilience foam that provides the right balance between firm and soft, which is ideal for supporting the hips and coccyx.
It is also slightly elevated with a sturdy, elegant wood frame that allows your feet to sit comfortably on the floor without your knees raising upwards.
- Stylish design - Chesterfield-style design is an elegant accent piece
- Elevated frame - Ideal for improving posture
- High-resilience foam cushions - Ideal mix between firm and soft
- Lack of neck rest makes this unsuitable for those with major back problems
Best Sofa For Back Pain Buying Guide
What to look for in a sofa for back pain
As there are so many sofas on the market, it can seem quite overwhelming to find the right sofa that will support and prevent back pain.
You don’t want to waste hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on a sofa that provides no back support after 6 months of use.
Here are our top tips of what to look for in a sofa for back pain.
- Cushion density: If you have ever had back pain, you’ll know of the discomfort of lying against floppy cushions. Sure, you can plump them up every now and then, but they won’t provide any support for your back. The right type of cushion density needs to be between firm and soft. You don’t want it to be so soft that it will sink over time, nor do you want it to be so firm that it hurts your lower back and bottom. The right type of firm and bouncy cushions will also help you to raise yourself off the sofa.
- Support system: You should prioritize looking for sofas with memory foam or padded foam cushion. Springs and memory foam offer the right type of cushion density that is both comfortable and long-lasting, meaning you won’t have to plump up your cushions before and after every use.
- Strong frame: Always opt for a sturdy wooden frame to make sure your sofa won’t sink after months and years of use. We recommend looking into elevated sofa frames, as these also help with your posture.
- Footrest: We all know how to sit down for good posture. However, not many people consider the lack of blood flow in your lower legs from sitting in this position for long periods. Elevated footrests (could be an ottoman, recliner, or sectional sofa) help to encourage blood flow in your legs by activating the calf muscles, which will ultimately help to support your back.
- Posture-improving frame: The ideal sofa will naturally help you to sit in the ideal position for good posture. This means your feet should be placed on the ground, hip-width apart, at a 90° angle. Your back and neck should be straight. It’s not always possible to maintain this position naturally as it can get uncomfortable, so look for a sofa that allows you to sit like this comfortably. The cushions should be adjusted easily to suit your personal posture.
- Color and design: Of course, you need to like the sofa you want to buy! You might have to sacrifice your dream sofa for another sofa if the ergonomic design isn’t suitable, but remember, your sofa will be an investment that can last years - so choose wisely!
What to avoid in a sofa for back pain
The types of sofas that will give you back pain are the ones that often look the most comfortable. It’s the epitome of first-world problems.
Sofas with a deep backrest and giant fluffy cushions are lovely to sink into, but consider the way you lounge on these sofas. You can’t exactly sit in the ideal posture for supporting your spine when the cushions sink.
Not only do sinking cushions prevent your muscles from supporting your spine, but it makes it harder to lift yourself from the sofa.
On the other end of the scale, firm sofas just aren’t comfortable enough. You want to gently support your back, after all. If you want a firm sofa, you might as well be sat on dining chairs.
How to ease back pain on a sofa
If you have existing back problems or if you are experiencing pain, you need to work on your posture.
Turns out moms and grandmas were right when they said to sit properly at a dinner table, because sitting in other positions on a sofa can often do more harm than good.
When you experience back pain whilst sitting on your sofa, the first thing you should do is move around.
Your back is likely to be full of tension and discomfort from however you were sitting or lying, so you need to loosen the muscles by walking around.
You should also try to maintain good posture when sat on a sofa, but be careful not to overdo it.
You might find that trying to stay in that position without an adequate backrest will cause even more discomfort. Instead, relax into the position.
If you find your back pain gets worse when you have to constantly get up from the sofa to pick up the phone, make a drink, or get the remote controls - look for a sofa that comes with a handy folding table.
Recliners will often feature these. It means you don’t have to move around because everything you need is right there for you.
If you are struggling with severe back pain, you should consider investing in a massage chair.
These are expensive but worthy pieces of furniture that will help to ease your pain through vibrations and gentle massages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a bad sofa cause back pain?
Soft sofas encourage your spine to decompress as you sink into the cushions and backrest, which can contribute to back pain.
Old sofas will naturally begin to sink after years of use, which will also cause back pain.
A firm sofa, likewise, can also cause back pain. People sit on sofas for fairly long periods, so your body will naturally begin to ache on a firm sofa.
To avoid back pain, you need to find a sofa that is a mix between firm and soft.
How should I sit with lower back pain?
The most important thing you can do with lower back pain is to not sit down frequently. Your body might be aching and begging to rest, but sitting down can make your back worse.
If you need to sit down, make sure to get up and walk around every 20 minutes or so to loosen your back muscles.
You should sit with a back support such as a cushion or rolled-up towel to prevent your spine from decompressing.
Your feet need to be on the floor, hip-width apart, at a 90° angle. If the sofa is too low to do this, you should use a stool or footrest.
How do you sit on a couch to prevent back pain?
It’s all about providing support for your back and hips.
You should surround your back with cushions that help to support your spine and muscles, so you don’t have to force yourself into an upright position without comfortable help.
You should also either sit with your legs at a right angle and your feet on the floor or with your legs elevated in a parallel position to the couch.
This is to encourage blood flow and will stop your knees from aching in the right angle position, which can also contribute to back pain.