Project Title: Can an innovative sleep surface impact back pain?

Research opportunity – MPhil (only) Studentship in the School of Sport and Health Sciences (UCLAN)

Applications are invited for a MPhil studentship in the Allied Health Research Unit, within the School of Sport and Health Sciences. The studentship is tenable for up to 4 years part time. Studentship is open to only Home/EU students and fees will be covered at the relevant part time rate. It is expected the successful applicant will commence 1st May 2021.

Project Description: In partnership with  UCLAN, we are looking to evidence the impact of a new innovative sleep surface on the management of simple mechanical back pain.

Further Details
woman with back pain sitting on a bed

Previous Clinical Studies

An innovation in pressure redistribution and comfort.

Jo-anne Webb MSc, Dip COT, ROT, FHEA 

Senior Lecturer, Directorate of Occupational Therapy, University of Salford.

university of salford logo

Aims of the study: 

  • To investigate the impact of using the Levitex foam mattress and Levitex foam mattress topper on interface pressure, temperature and comfort in lying.
  • To explore the possibility of a relationship between perceived comfort and pressure redistribution qualities of the Levitex foam mattress and topper.
  • To compare the differences in interface pressure, temperature and comfort rating when lying on a range of mattresses compared with the Levitex products.

Research Methodology:

Laboratory-based experimental study to investigate the interface pressures exhibited on 27 volunteers, Age 20-49, BMI: Range 19.53 – 49.84

Whilst lying on a range of mattresses, using a within subjects’ comparative design. In addition to interface pressure data to compare pressure redistribution qualities of the different mattress surfaces, participants completed a questionnaire for each surface to collect further data to evaluate comfort, heat distribution and collect their personal preferences and perception of relaxation and the ability to get a good night’s sleep.

100% of participants found the Levitex® foam mattress comfortable.


The Levitex® mattress gained very positive feedback regarding comfort and softness with more of a balance presented between firmness and softness provided. There was less of a feeling of envelopment.

“Good pressure distribution.” “Weight evenly distributed…felt very light…made me fall asleep very easily.” Felt support through the mattress, felt relaxed…I loved this one, one of the comfiest ones I tried.” “It was the perfect firmness” “Felt like my lower body was floating, enough space to move around.”


The Levitex® topper was identified as being rated statistically more comfortable than the memory foam topper when used over the hospital mattress and the Levitex mattress was scored significantly higher for comfort when compared to the memory foam mattress. The highest significance was noted when adding the Levitex® topper to the hospital mattress, closely followed by the impact of using the Levitex® topper over the sprung mattress and the airflow dynamic system.


Participants felt more relaxed on the Levitex® mattress overall. When comparing relaxation between the 2 toppers and the hospital mattress, participants found the Levitex® topper made them feel more relaxed when compared to the memory foam and using the levitex topper over the sprung mattress increased the relaxation score significantly.


In this study the Levitex® foam topper was shown to:

  • Redistribute pressure effectively
  • Increase levels of perceived comfort
  • Increase perceived levels of relaxation
  • Reduce mean pressure and both sacral and heel PPI’s when used over hospital foam, sprung mattress and dynamic mattresses

Levitex® foam performs very well with regard to redistribution of pressure, whilst increasing comfort without causing an increase in temperature or moisture.