As another new year rolls around, maybe you’re looking to upgrade your furniture.
How about if you want a sofa that will help you if you’re suffering from back pain?
While manufacturers don’t seem to market sofas specifically for this common problem, we dug deep and tested a wide cross-section of models to unearth 7 that offer all the support and space you need if you have a bad back.
We’ll launch straight in with some frank, honest reviews then we’ll give you a few simple pointers on posture. After all, the way you sit is just as important as what you sit on. Get the best of both worlds today and minimize the chance of future back pain developing.
Table of Contents
Top 7 Best Sofas For Back Support
1) Ashley Furniture Signature Design Larkinghurst Sofa
If you’ve got a more trad-styled living room and you’re looking for a touch of understated luxe, this Larkinghurst sofa from Ashley Furniture is just the ticket.
Whether you’ve got back pain you want to keep at bay or you’re just concerned with proper posture and you want to prevent aches and pains from developing, the upright and nicely padded back of this sofa gives you ample support without an unnecessarily harsh sitting position.
If you hate the idea of an Ikea-style assembly job, you’ll be able to cart this sofa directly into the lounge and it will fit neatly through doors up to 32 inches wide. It measures up at 89 x 39 x 38 so, once installed, you’ll have enough room for you and the kids.
The polyester/polyurethane blend of the sofa and the pair of cushions provided are combined with faux leather so you’ll get seating that looks great but is built to stay the distance and is remarkably easy to clean too. What’s not to love?
Whether you’ve got back pain to consider or you just want a striking addition to your living room furniture, the Larkinghurst hits the spot. It’s not particularly cheap but the best things in life come at a price.
- Traditional Design: Broken-in faux leather and rolled arms give a classic aesthetic
- Back Support: You’ll stay well-supported without sacrificing comfort for the double-win
- No Assembly Required: Comes ready to roll and for added convenience fits through standard doorways without the need for acrobatics
- Reasonably expensive but offset with outstanding build quality
2) BestMassage Sofa Set Recliner
If you’re conscious of getting a sofa tailored to help soothe or even prevent back pain, a recliner is always a strong choice. With this BestMassage set, you’ll get the choice of multiple positions while the back also gives a caressing and supportive feel.
One thing to clear up is that this is not a massage chair. The listing doesn’t make this claim but you might fall for the brand name and assume, incorrectly, you’ll be getting a massage!
Hit the reclining switch, though, and you can go back into a near-horizontal position when it’s time to relax or remain far more upright all without eating up as much space as many recliners require. The manufacturer claims you can place this sofa as little as 2 inches from the wall and still recline. We’d suggest you need to be a little further away than that but it’s still a praiseworthy, space-saving design.
Along with the 3-seater sofa, you’ll get a single and double chair so, considering the reasonable price-point, you’re getting a great bargain with comfort and support uppermost.
A solid wooden frame, high density foam and a PU finish gives you a solid set of furniture that should yield years of faithful service. Just wipe down to clean, perfect if you’ve got a house full of messy kids.
- Value: For a 3-piece recliner finished so well, this sofa set boasts an unbeatable price/performance ratio
- Supportive and Versatile: High-density foam in the backing and the variety of positions made possible with reclining function means you can take care of your back as well as your overall posture
- User-Friendly Reclining: A simple switch activates the reclining mechanism and you can hit Nap mode when it’s time for that afternoon siesta
- A few complaints about this sofa being much smaller than it appears in the photos
- Some assembly needed so avoid if you’re not practically inclined
3) Carolina Sectional Sofa
Classic looks mean this sectional sofa from Carolina will slip easily into a more traditional living room while it also has a modern aesthetic suitable for more minimalist décor.
Varying your position when you have back pain is key and this sectional – especially if you also opt for the ottoman – lets you move around, all the while in complete comfort. Whether you want to lie full stretch or perch stacksitting in a more upright position near the edge of the couch – you’ll get all the versatility you need.
Finished in a pale gray with dark brown legs for contrast, this sofa is a looker as well as delivering supportive and comforting seating.
You’ll get armed and armless chairs giving you a great deal of scope if you want to rejig the seating arrangement. Whether you’ve got guests over or you just fancy a change of layout in the living room, you’ll have multiple options at your fingertips in one easy-to-assemble package.
- Flexible Layout: Shift the seating around to suit the configuration of your living room
- Perfect For Posture: Whether you’ve got pain in your back or you just prefer a more upright position when you’re sitting down, you’ll get a nicely padded back so you can achieve this in comfort
- Ottoman Available: If you fancy a foot rest to expand your possible seating positions while also gaining some valuable storage space, this comes as an optional extra
- Assembly necessary but this is straightforward and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes
4) Jerry Sales Sofa Bed
We’ll tell you front and center that this sofa bed is fantastic once you’re up and running but takes some elbow grease and patience to set up. If you want a plug-and-play sofa, check out one of the other models we highlight. If, on the other hand, you don’t mind a challenge and you’re looking for a sitting and sleeping solution combined, read on…
Many sofa beds work well until it’s time for bed when you end up with a sub-par mattress and a poor night’s sleep. Jerry Sales has ensured you don’t fall foul of that with a padded and supportive 8-inch innerspring mattress available in queen-size or king-size that will wow your guests with a luxe futon so comfy they’ll want to stay an extra night.
That comfort and support also helps anyone suffering from back pain when the sofa is in its daytime role. The angle of the cushions at front and back helps you to ruck yourself into a position where you’ll get no unwanted strain on your back.
An impressive selection of color schemes and the option of adding storage drawers makes this a space-saving and robust sofa perfect for sufferers of back pain and also the rest of the family and overnight guests.
- Massive Choice of Colors: The huge range of colorways along with the option to add drawers means there’s truly something for everyone
- Multipurpose Sofa Bed: As well as a supportive sofa, you’ll get a great futon with a padded innerspring mattress so it serves double duty
- Perfect For Back Pain: The high, rounded cushions and the slightly angled back give you a fully supportive place to enjoy your evenings without worrying about agitating your back
- Assembly is an absolute chore taking several hours so buyer, beware
5) Rivet Sloane Modern Sofa
If you’re looking for an uncluttered and classic sofa with a modern twist on classic looks, Rivet’s Sloane comes in two sizes (65-inch and 81-inch) so you can uprate your seating whether you’ve got a sprawling lounge or a smaller studio to furnish.
If you’re investing in a sofa, you obviously need to consider durability, especially if you have children or pets. The Dacron-wrapped foam of the cushions makes wiping this couch down a cakewalk. The frame is covered with a resilient polyester that looks great but is rugged enough to withstand some heavy punishment. When you need to thoroughly clean your sofa, you can easily remove the seats and cushions to streamline this.
With a medium depth, lean, seat height and cushion sit, don’t make the mistake of thinking medium translates to average. If you’ve got back pain, this happy middle ground gives you a relaxed but supportive position along with a sofa that looks great into the bargain.
- Classic, Simple Design: This sofa looks timeless without being boring and works with practically any décor
- Medium Depth: The seat depth allows you to optimize your posture and helps anyone with twinges or aches in their back to remain nicely upright without compromising comfort
- Free Returns and Solid Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with this sofa, you’ll have a month in which to send it back then a full 1-year warranty
- A few complaints about quality control but we must say our package arrived with everything intact and exactly as stated
6) Stone & Beam Transitional Sofa
If you’re wondering what a transitional sofa is, it simply refers to design that could be described like the clothes of Paul Smith: classic with a twist. You’ll get the benefits of tradition married to the advantages brought about by modern technology.
This Stone & Beam sofa – they’re an Amazon brand – has high and deep seating along with fairly firm cushions so, depending on your type of back pain, you might find this among the most supportive options on the market without experiencing any discomfort. The seat lean is pitched roughly in the middle so you can sit pretty upright while still feeling nicely relaxed.
Hardwoods and laminates work well together and the blended fabric cover is easy on the eye but remarkably hard-wearing and also easy to clean.
Whether or not you’re niggled by back pain, the Stone & Beam transitional sofa makes a wonderful addition to any living room with the chameleon-like design allowing it to slot in neatly anywhere without dominating.
- Design and Comfort Combined: If you insist on a sofa that feels great without ruining the clean lines of your living room, Stone & Beam has you covered
- Durable and Low-Maintenance: Despite looking great from a design standpoint, you’ll get a sofa that can weather plenty of heavy use without looking soiled and you can easily spot clean with just a dampened cloth
- Supportive Foam Cushions: If you’ve got any kind of back pain, you’ll appreciate the way the cushions mold into your body while offering ample support
- Fairly expensive but a sound investment if you’ve got a fluid budget and impeccable taste
7) Rivet Revolve Modern Sofa Bed
Space is often too tight to mention and multipurpose furniture remains a popular choice for apartment-dwellers the world over.
While the Rivet Revolve doesn’t offer quite the same comfort when it comes to sleeping as you’ll get with the Jerry Sales model above, in terms of seating, it’s arguably better.
Rivet is another Amazon brand and in their handy Comfort Overview, the Revolve hits the mid-point across the board. From height and depth to cushion sit and seat lean, you’ll get a sofa just about perfect for soothing back pain and warding off any future problems before they take effect.
- Multipurpose: Perfect when space is at a premium, you’ll get a supportive sofa and comfy bed combined
- Multiple Options: If you want to build out your collection, there’s also a loveseat and chair available along with a sectional sofa is this makes a better fit
- Understated Colorways: Choose from denim, linen, gray weave or storm gray for a muted palette to match just about any living room décor
- The paler colors are obviously much more vulnerable so avoid if you’ve got pets or children at home and stick with the darker designs
With our reviews put to bed, we’ll round out with some simple pointers on preventing back pain from blighting you in the first place.
Advice For Sitting In The Right Position on The Sofa To Prevent Back Pain
Once you’ve got a suitable sofa that provides adequate support while still delivering on the comfort front, you’ll need to pay close attention to how you sit. This, in our experience, is equally important to where you sit so here are 5 ways to minimize back pain with proper posture and equipment…
- Avoid Super-Soft Sofas: It might be tempting to opt for the plushest and softest sofa you can find. After all, there’s nothing quite like sinking back in soft leather with your feet up, but does that makes sense if you’ve got back pain? Absolutely not. By slumping back, as these super-soft seats encourage you to do, neither your muscles or vertebrae will get enough support. Slouching for extended periods can exert pressure on your back, play havoc with your ligaments and even create problems with the discs in your back. Firmer sofas make sound sense if you have back pain
- Consider a Dedicated Cushion: Perhaps your back pain is more than the occasional twinge. Maybe, however you sit and wherever you sit, finding relief seems impossible. If your back problems are on the severe end of the scale, investing in a lumbar-supporting cushion is a smart move. The added bonus of buying a separate cushion is you can then buy a sofa more suited to everyone else in the family without compromising your own back health to please them
- Stack-Sit: Stack-sitting is when you perch on the edge of your sofa with your feet planted firmly on the floor. By extending your feet slightly, you can avoid feeling like you’re in too formal and upright a position. Placing your elbows against your knees helps you get a little more length in your spine. We wouldn’t advise spending long periods stack-sitting but it’s a great way to mix things up if you’ve been sitting in a regular position for too long
- Stretch-Sit: This position involves rucking your bottom right up against the back cushions with your legs bent and your feet firmly planted on the ground. You might need to add some pillows to get the angle you need so consider picking up a lumbar cushion for this purpose. This again allows you to extend your spine while keeping it close to vertical. Sometimes this position initially seems uncomfy but remember, no pain no gain and, ultimately, a small dose of initial discomfort to ward off future aches is well worthwhile
- Recline: While we’re not suggesting spending all your time fully lateral, stretching out fully can be beneficial from time to time. Use some cushions, support your spine and create a nice gentle slope that will feel relaxing while making sure your back is not stressed or strained
As you can see, there’s plenty you can do if you suffer from back pain or you’re concerned about aches and twinges developing into a more serious and ongoing problem.
In terms of the sofa you choose, make sure there’s ample room to recline fully if you want to spend some time laterally. Opt for something that’s at least mid-firm rather than being suckered into going for a soft couch that will end up causing more problems than it solves if you’ve got issues with your back.
If your back is really playing up, it’s definitely worth considering a dedicated cushion to give you a little more lumbar support when you need it. You should consider this an investment rather than an expense since you really can’t put a price on your health.
Beyond that, give the positions we mention above a try to take stress off your back rather than worsening an existing problem through poor posture or creating back pain that can end up causing you a great deal of frustration and sleepless nights.
Come back soon as we’re now testing a range of mattresses to promote a better sleep and we’ve got plenty more lined up over the coming months!