Did you know that furniture for back pain sufferers is very different than furniture for people who don’t have back issues?
And did you know that choosing a poor sofa can make your pain even worse?
It’s time to treat your body like the temple it is. I learned it the hard way after my bad home sofa set my healing process light-years off track.
In the meantime, I’ve done my research and bought the perfect sofa for my needs. I’ll discuss all my top contenders below, in terms of pros, cons, and best use, so that you can choose the right sofa for your needs.
You can also read what sort of sofas are good for your back and what top features to take into account before getting a sofa. Read on!
- 1. Seatcraft Anthem– #1 Model For Back Support
- 2. Signature Design by Ashley – Contemporary Style Firm Couch
- 3. Homelegance Reclining Loveseat – Top Model with Back Rest
- 4. Divano Roma Furniture Classic – Best from Fabric Material
- 5. FDW Recliner Sofa Set Leather Sectional
- 6. Carolina Sectional Sofas for Bad Back – Good Ergonomic Couch
- 7. Queen or Full Size Excelsior by Jerry Sales
- 8. Stone & Beam Dalton Sectional Sofa Couch
The 8 Best Sofas for Back Support (List for 2021)
I’ve selected the eight models below carefully, together with my physical therapist, after discovering that my old sofa was giving me back pain.
There are good models I reviewed but haven’t included here, from brands like Ikea or Fjords Sofa, which you can find online.
The models below are the top best ergonomic sofas because they offer increased support in all positions.
However, each sofa fits a different purpose, so choose the one you need depending on your specific back problem, age, size, and treatment requirements.
1. Seatcraft Anthem Home Theater Seating Leather Multimedia Power Recline Sofa – #1 Best Model for Back Support
Whether you have a Home Theater Recline Sofa or want reliable back support, the Seatcraft Anthem is your best choice. I got one for my birthday, and it’s the best decision I made.
My old couch was giving me all sorts of aches and pains, even after visiting my chiropractor, especially after sitting for longer.
Plus, my family can now enjoy a versatile, easy to adjust sitting space during our regular Saturday movie marathons.
We chose this sofa because:
- It’s made with hand-selected leather that feels smooth and supple, apart from being resistant and stylish.
- It has an adjustable recline to get the pressure off your back. The recline helps you keep the TV eye-level when watching movies so you can keep the correct posture.
- It features adjustable headrest and footrests, which are essential for ideal support because they keep your spine aligned to your hips and shoulders.
- It has a memory function to access all your settings and preferences easily.
- It has convenient extras if you can’t or don’t want to lift the couch, such as the two cup holders, middle table, wireless, and overhead light. These extras are also essential for movie night!
Summary: The Seatcraft Anthem is an adjustable, comfortable, and supportive couch for people who want to enjoy a movie night or who suffer from chronic back and neck pain. On the downside, it’s not a budget couch.
2. Signature Design by Ashley – Firm Sofa For Bad Back Sufferers
If you prefer a more traditional-looking couch, get the Signature Design by Ashley. My parents got this sofa for their ruby wedding anniversary because they both have age-related back pain, and they wanted a stylish couch.
The Ashley Furniture Signature Design looks good in any space, like your living room or even your bedroom. You can sit in it for long periods because it’s comfy and resistant.
- It is made with weathered faux leather that looks elegant, whether you choose the Earth or the Steel version.
- Has a polyester/ polyurethane upholstery that’s resistant and plush. I spilled a glass of juice onto my parents’ sofa, and it was easy to clean with a moist cloth.
- Features two decorative throw pillows, which are the right amount of cushioning and firmness to maintain a proper posture.
- Offers good support thanks to its rolled armrests, bouncy spring seat, and back cushions that keep your body in a correct, aligned position.
- It allows you to get up easily because it’s not a low, soft type of couch. People with arthritis or sciatica hurt like my parents will appreciate this feature.
Summary: The Signature Design by Ashley couch is a traditional-looking, but stylish couch for people with chronic pain and arthritis because it offers comfort and support. However, it lacks extras like cup holders or incorporated tables, and it has no footrest and headrest.
3. Homelegance Reclining Loveseat – Best Sofa for Back Pain Problems
My cousin got this Homelegance Reclining Loveseat for her father’s birthday. He has severe arthritis and spends nine-ten hours each day sitting on the sofa.
This Homelegance alleviated his pain, and he has a comfortable place to read, entertain guests, and watch TV.
He also noticed that he gets longer visits from his friends now, so I guess this is a good way to improve your social life.
Choose the Homelegance Reclining Sofas because:
- It’s stylish, smooth, and easy to clean thanks to its bonded leather upholstery.
- It reclines to take the pressure off your back.
- The backrest is supportive thanks to its three-cushion sections for your upper, mid, and lower back. The cushions are ergonomic, plus, and firm to keep you in the correct position.
- The seat has a waterfall edge and a slightly curved design to improve your blood circulation and to keep your hips aligned to your thighs, thus reducing lower backaches.
- The footrest is easy to lift and adjust so that you can unwind your achy feet. On the downside, the footrest upholstery isn’t very plush.
- It has two cup holders and a table so you can spend more time sitting.
Summary: If you’re looking for a rocking and quality reclining couches with lumbar support that keeps your hips aligned to your spine, the Homelegance Loveseat is the right choice. Although it doesn’t have a wall-hugging design, this is a comfortable sofa, with an ergonomic design
4. Divano Roma Furniture Classic and Traditional Love Seat – Good Sofa for Back Support
One of my friends has a Divano Roma Love Seat, which she bought because she needed a sofa to sit on for a prolonged time.
Lucy has a cat too, and she’s very happy that the sofa is easy to wipe clean, although it’s not made from leather.
Because Lucy lives alone, she was excited that there was limited assembly needed. And when it comes to her usual backaches – they’re gone. Although she’s on her feet all day at work, a few hours on this model, with her leg lifted, help her relax and unwind.
- The linen fabric upholstery is durable, though not incredibly soft. You don’t have to worry about spilling some of your drink or pet hair.
- The backrest, armrests, and seat are overstuffed with a firm and plush filling. Although the couch isn’t very soft, it’s not very firm either. You won’t get tailbone pain or feel the frame pushing through the upholstery.
- Extra-wide, so there’s enough room for everyone to sit. Now you can have more friends over, yey!
- The two edge seats recline almost completely so you can have a snooze, or take the pressure off your back. The downside is the lack of a recline option for the middle seat.
- Easy to set up. You don’t need any tools, and the whole thing will take less than ten minutes because the metal parts blend seamlessly.
- It has a wall-hugging design, meaning you can recline in it without needing a lot of space between the couch and the wall.
- You have a footrest that’s easy to lift to take the pressure off your feet. This option is especially useful if you have poor circulation, diabetes, or leg pain.
Summary: The Divano Furniture Oversize Recliner Seat is the right amount of firm and soft to prevent any backaches. This couch helps you keep a correct posture to reduce backaches, while the recline takes the pressure off your back. Unfortunately, the sofa comes in black only, and its upholstery could be softer.
5. FDW Recliner Sofa Set Leather Sectional
As one reviewer puts it, “I love this set. I set my family room up in less than an hour. The assembly was so easy just unpack and click on the back. Great product!”
I had this set for my old apartment, and it was great for intimate gatherings as well as watching movies, writing, and reading.
After I moved, my grandma was thrilled. I let her have it because she isn’t in top shape anymore, and an adjustable, comfort recliner sofa that’s effortless to clean is just what she needed.
You can consider top features such as:
- The PU leather upholstery means this sofa is easy to wash, resistant, and stylish. The black, brown color choices are elegant and fit most décors.
- It reclines to an almost horizontal position without any fuss. Pull the lever, and you can say goodbye to that annoying pressure on your spine after sitting at your desk the whole day. The nap mode helps you relax and refresh too.
- The backrest keeps you supported and in a proper reclining sofas
posture thanks to the built-in headrest and slightly curved design. These features allow the couch to absorb your body weight instead of having it push on your back.
- The sofa sits tall enough so you won’t have any problems lifting off it. This feature is particularly useful for the elderly for preventing back pain issues.
- The seat has a rounded shape and plush cushions that keep your hips slightly open in a correct angle. If you have lower back problems or sciatica, this seat will alleviate them. However, the sponge filling is not as flexible or durable as memory foam.
- The set pieces have footrests that extend and retract easily. You will get top support for your feet and alleviate poor circulation.
- The sofa set is small, so it fits even in tiny apartments, and it’s easy to carry or move around when you’re cleaning. The downside is that taller and heavier people won’t feel very comfortable with this sofa.
Summary: The FDW Recliner Sofa Set Leather Sofa is an affordable, stylish choice for small living spaces and best sofa for elderly people. This set has back pain-relieving features like the almost complete recline, supportive headrest, and easy-to-use footrest. On the downside, the sponge filling is not as elastic as memory foam and it can wear out pretty fast.
6. Carolina Sectional Sofa for Bad Back
The Carolina Sofa is another top choice if you have a bad back. As one of the customers puts it, “it looks nice but as other reviewers said- it is so stiff. It’s quite funny when you sit down on it because you don’t even dent the cushion.”
The reason is that this five-piece set has an ergonomic design that aims to keep your back straight and your hips aligned to your spine.
Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a comfortable recliner, it’s a decent sofa for all your family and friends that helps you keep a correct posture.
- It has resistant polyester upholstery, which looks modern and is easy to wash. You can choose three color options to match your living room décor: light grey, dark blue, and deep red.
- The backrest and seat are firm enough to ensure you’ll maintain a correct position so you can reduce your back hurt. You can also sit on this couch for long hours without experiencing any soreness or muscle tension.
- The backrest is slightly tilted to take the pressure off your back when you’re sitting. This sort of backrest is good for various activities, like reading, talking, or watching TV, but the downside is you can’t recline it.
- The couch is supportive because it doesn’t let you sink into the pillows, but it also doesn’t let you slip off the upholstery or slouch. Although that’s good in terms of lumbar pain, the downside is that it lacks various support features like armrests, headrest, and footrest.
Summary: The Carolina Sofa is a firm five-piece sofa set for people who need an ergonomic sofa that keeps your body in a neutral position. Although it doesn’t recline and has no extra support features, the Carolina Sofa is good for lower back pain.
7. Queen or Full Size Excelsior by Jerry Sales
The Excelsior by Jerry Sales comes in fourteen different color combinations, so you’re bound to get one that fits your home décor. These couches are elegant, comfortable, and durable.
I recommend the Queen or Full Size Excelsior by Jerry Sales to all back pain sufferers and people who want to prevent back pain in the first place thanks to its quality mattress.
Here’s why this PU foam is among the best on the market:
- The memory foam is covered in a thick layer of cotton. This layer is breathable and doesn’t let your back sweat, which usually aggravates back pain. Besides, this layer of cotton is fire-deterrent and contains no toxic chemicals.
- The next three layers are made with high-density memory foam. This type of foam has a CertiPUR-US certificate for flexibility, so it’s very comfortable and supportive, whether you’re sleeping or sitting.
- Under these layers, the mattress features thirteen gauge Bonnell springs. These springs add a bouncy effect to the mattress, making sure you’ll never sink in too much into the sofa. The spring layer ensures that backaches aren’t triggered by a slouching position, nor by a very hard surface.
- The synthetic insulation layer under the spring layer ensures that the materials won’t shift towards the springs. That way, the mattress will keep its flexibility and support, without any creases and bends in the material.
- This mattress is covered with high-grade upholstery fabric, tufted to the mattress. The two advantages are that you don’t need a sofa cover and that the tufting system keeps the upholstery in place without slipping.
- The unique hinge system allows you to either sleep or sits on this sofa without compromising support. The quality memory foam mattress makes this the best sleeper sofa for a bad back if you’re not sleeping on the middle dent.
Summary: The Excelsior by Jerry Sales is an ergonomic sofa for people with bad backs thanks to its high-grade combination of dense memory foam and spring layer. Although this sofa can alleviate back pain when you’re sitting or sleeping, it would have been great to see an added footrest and headrest.
8. Stone & Beam Dalton
This sectional couch from Stone and Beam is one of the best ergonomic sofas on the market. One of my friends has this sofa in his office. Coupled with his ergonomic desk recliner chair and his physio sessions, his chronic back pain is almost gone.
He chose this sofa because it’s stylish, but also very comfortable to sit for long hours or to take a nap. To be honest, the free 30-day return is what convinced him because he’s a true businessman.
The main features of the Dalton Sofa that recommend it for people with back pain are:
- It’s a sturdy wood frame. This material is strong enough by itself, but this couch’s frame also has a mortise-and-tenon construction. Thanks to this design, you can rest assured that the couch will last for a long time, without damage to its ergonomic design.
- The 8-gauge sinuous spring support, which designed to provide the right amount of firmness and bounce. You won’t sink into the couch, and it won’t be too firm for your seat.
- You won’t find it hard to get off the sofa. The Dalton is high enough, and it’s not the type of sofa you sink into. Although the armrests are not the best for support because they’re fairly short, you can easily push off them to get up.
- Your body will maintain an anatomically-correct posture thanks to the slightly tilted backrest and plump seat. This combination takes the pressure off your spine and opens your hips, aligning them to your spine to reduce lumbar pain.
Summary: Similar in design to the famous Tess Sofa, the Stone and Beam Sofa is a solid couch that offers bouncy support. This couch is stylish and compliments any home office or home design. You won’t need any assembly, and you can benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee, but keep in mind that this sofa is best for tall people.
Why Are Sofas Good for Your Back?
First of all, let me start by saying that sofas can be good for back support, but not all of them are. There are tons of couches available but few with optimal back support.
Couches allow you to lie down and decompress your spine, absorbing your body weight to relieve pain.
But a very firm or very soft sofa will aggravate your pains. Besides, you also need a sofa that’s good for your back when you’re sitting, such as:
- A recliner sofa that allows you to recline and has adjustments galore; best for people who sit down for prolonged hours
- A Chesterfield-type sofa for its renowned comfort; best for people looking for extra cushioning
- A massage sofa if you want some extra tension release for your muscles; best for people with chronic backaches
- An ergonomic sofa that fits your exact body shape to make sure you’re sitting in an anatomically correct position; best for backaches caused by incorrect postures
SUMMARY: Sofas are good for your back because they allow a lot of positions, like lying down or lifting your feet. Choose the type of sofa for a bad back according to your primary need, to make sure your back pain doesn’t come back.
Can a Sofa Give You Back Pain?
I have a bad back. I went to therapy, even bought a massage chair, but my pain was always coming back during the evenings. After much research, I discovered that the problem was my sofa.
So yes, a sofa can give you back pain, if:
- It forces you to slouch
- It doesn’t offer enough support
- It’s too big or too small for you
- It’s too firm or too soft
- It doesn’t have easily-adjustable ergonomic pillows
SUMMARY: A sofa can give you back pain in various circumstances. Make sure you’re keeping your back straight, knees at a 90ᵒ, and that your whole body is relaxed. The cushions should be supportive, and there shouldn’t be any space between the couch and your body.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Sofa for Back Support
If you have a bad back, you need to be very careful when choosing the right sofa because not all of them are ergonomic. Too much sinkage or a too-firm surface can trigger your aches and pains.
You also need reliable support and being able to maintain a correct posture. Take into account all the activities that you’ll be doing on your sofa, like watching TV, reading, playing with your kids, or sleeping.
You’ll have different positions during all these activities, but your body needs to maintain a correct posture.
Here are the main factors to consider for living room furniture for back pain sufferers:
- The support system. Springs and memory foam should be top choices to make sure you don’t sink too much into your couch, regardless of your activity. If you have chronic backaches, the Power Sofa with adjustable lumbar support by Ashley offers increased lower back pain relief.
- The right amount of density. We all love those plush, cushiony pillows, but they can be bad for your back. Too much firmness can also cause bone pain and muscle strain. Choose high-density foam because they’re the right mix of cushioning without the sinkage. If you have trouble getting up from the couch, your cushions are likely too soft.
- The frame. Look into a strong frame made with resistant materials, such as metal or hardwood. The sofa’s stability is important if you don’t want to buy new sofas every year. What most people don’t know is that a frame that wears out fast ruins your couch’s design, forcing you into a poor posture.
- Correct posture design. Choose a sofa that fits your shape and size. Make sure your knees are kept at a 90ᵒ and that your feet reach the floor easily. Your sofa should have supportive armrests and ergonomic pillows that you can easily adjust.
- Footrest. You need to be able to lift your feet without lying down, particularly if you have poor circulation or leg pain. Lumbar pain can be associated with tight hamstrings and calf pain, which is why this feature is essential.
- Extra features. If you have issues getting up the sofa because of your bad back, consider a sofa with an incorporated cup holder or remote control operation.
SUMMARY: A good sofa for back support should have spring or memory foam, dense cushions for the right blend of firmness, and cushion. The sofa should allow you to sit down in a correct posture. Consider a footrest and a recline option if you want to buy a top couch against back pain.
Is Sitting on a Couch Bad for Your Back?
I have many friends who sit on a couch all day long. They ask me questions like “Can I just lie down for a minute?” Or they start fidgeting, wondering why they can’t just stretch their legs out, or maybe walk to the kitchen for a snack. My response is always the same: “Are you in pain? Get up.” I recently became aware of a research that was conducted at UC Berkeley, California. It concluded that even though we know the negative health effects of sitting, we continue to sit on a daily basis. I can sit for two hours and not even notice it. It doesn’t mean my body is hurting or I’m becoming any more inactive. In fact, in the survey, over 70% of people reported not becoming more sedentary than they already were. In the experiment, 24 healthy college students were recruited. The students were seated at a fixed location for six weeks, either at a desk or on a couch.
When the experiment was over, measurements were taken and there was a surprise moment for each student. At the end of the six weeks, there was a message taped to their desk, stating: “If you’re reading this note, congratulations! You’re no longer in the desk chair and you’re not on the couch. You are now standing and walking to your car.” They were given a small treat and encouraged to spread the word about the study and to share with friends and family. When they discussed their experience, they were given an unsolicited push to walk a certain number of steps every day for a week. There is also a study that was conducted by UCLA. When they collected data in the mid-1990s, most of the participants were inactive – doing little or no activity.
How Much Should You Spend on a Sofa?
After your furniture store sells you your sofa, you might be wondering how much you can expect to spend on a sofa. The thing is, there are a number of things that you need to consider when figuring out what your sofa costs. Do You Really Need a Sofa? Are you expecting a full sofa? Probably not. A good quality, mid-century modern sofa can cost as little as $1,500, which is only a fraction of what you would pay for a full sofa. So you might not need to spend a fortune on a sofa – especially if you are starting from scratch. If you plan on using your sofa for occasional use only, then you might want to go with a sofa that costs less. Also, make sure you understand how much space is allocated.
Final Words. So, What Brand to Choose?
If you’re here, I hope that this article sheds some light on which brand to choose. I’ve selected top models that address back pain differently thanks to their unique design and features.
I’ve also included most types of sofas for back pain, such as recliners and ergonomic couches.
Before choosing a brand, remember that the sofa has to fit your primary purpose and specific needs.
For instance, elderly people who have trouble getting up and need to spend long hours on the sofa will need a recliner for napping, such as the Anthem.
If your back pain is mild and usually appears after sitting times of being forced into an incorrect posture, you can consider the Homelegance Loveseat.
If you have upper back pain, consider a sofa with a headrest to alleviate head and neck tension. And so forth.
That said, the best overall model that caters to every need is the Seatcraft Home Theater Seating.
This sofa has a headrest and a footrest, it reclines, it’s supportive and bouncy, it’s easy to get up off, and it has all the bells and whistles for movie night or for people who can’t get up every five minutes. I’m talking, of course, about the Wi-Fi, the cup holders, and overhead light.
Don’t waste your time looking any longer. The Seatcraft Anthem Sofa is a great model to have in your living room or in your family room.