Do your research, take your time and choose a new bed carefully because it’s an investment in your health and well-being. If you have an existing medical condition, here’s some information to support your search for the perfect bed.
Remember, support does not mean firmness. Support is a deeper level in a mattress and involves advanced sleep technology to ensure your spine stays in alignment. A firm mattress with no give will aggravate painful joints.
A mattress must not be too soft because there is no support for your spine to keep it in alignment, and if you sink too deeply into a mattress, you cannot move easily in bed while you sleep. If you lie in one spot for too long, you’ll wake up with stiff muscles and no doubt in pain.
For chronic back pain, consult your specialist or doctor. It is likely that they will be able to recommend a make of bed that is suited for your medical cushion.
Best mattress for back pain
A person with a bad back or back pain needs support; where a mattress keeps the spine in alignment. Experts recommend a medium-firm to firm mattress for people with back problems. Previously people were told to buy a very firm mattress for support, but this is not the case today.
When choosing a mattress for back pain, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Sleep on your back
The mattress must be firm enough to support your lower back if you prefer to sleep on your back, but soft enough to contour your body shape. A mattress that is too firm tends to push against the spine while a mattress that is too soft doesn’t offer enough support. A medium firm mattress is ideal for a person with a bad back that sleeps on their back.
- Sleep on your side
Memory foam mattresses or natural latex mattresses mold around the body shape and cushion the shoulders and hips and provides support to keep the spine in alignment. They have high motion isolation, in other words, reduces the ripple-effect caused by your partner moving.
- Sleep on your stomach
If you have a bad back and prefer to sleep on your stomach, you need a firmer mattress to keep you afloat (floating on top of the mattress). An innerspring mattress is ideal as there is less sinkage, like memory foam that hugs the body shape.
Best mattress for arthritis
There are different medical conditions that cause arthritic joint swelling, pain, and stiffness. The most common is osteoarthritis which is pain caused by bone on bone friction after the cartilage between them breaks down. Other types of arthritis include gout, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis.
An innerspring mattress or firmer natural latex mattress is recommended for people with arthritis. You don’t want to sink too much into a mattress because it’s important you can move easily in bed. With more frequent movement while you sleep, you reduce the amount of fiction on pressure points such as shoulders and hips.
Hybrid mattresses address many of the issues that plague the choice of the best bed for arthritis. It has a top comfort layer that molds around shoulders and hips but offers firm support at a deeper level to keep the spine in alignment and support the joints.
Best mattress for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is the second most common condition affecting your bones and muscles. Its classic symptoms are widespread muscle and joint pain. People with fibromyalgia suffer from acute sensitivity at pressure points which means that the ideal mattress is slightly soft but still provides support.
Choose a mattress that provides the softness needed to cradle the tender pain points but is firm enough that you don’t sink too deeply into it. Memory foam and natural latex mattresses are recommended for people with fibromyalgia. It should come with a plush pillow-top for extra cushioning and comfort. Memory foam molds around the body contours but is firm enough for a person to move easily in bed and get out of the bed in the morning.
Best mattress for heavy sleepers
A person living with obesity needs a thick mattress that provides deep compression support. It should be medium-firm to firm. If it’s too soft, a heavy person sinks too deeply into which restricts easy movement during sleep. This will lead to stiff joints and back pain.
Memory foam or latex foam is not recommended as heavy people tend to overheat in bed which means more sinkage. Large, heavy sleepers need their mattress to be breathable, which is a feature of innerspring mattresses. However, innerspring mattresses will start sagging sooner than memory foam or natural latex under heavy weight.
Therefore, consider a hybrid version of an innerspring and gel-infused memory foam mattress for support and to keep you cool at night. It needs to have strong edge support so that the point where a heavy person sits on the edge of the bed doesn’t collapse.
Best mattress for neck pain
Neck and back pain disrupts sleep, and without the right mattress support, you will wake up stiff, in pain and exhausted. People with neck problems need a good pillow coupled with a modern mattress that supports the spine. Check your neck and spine alignment and adjust the height and firmness of your pillow.
With memory foam there is sinkage as the mattress moulds around your body form, so you need a taller pillow (or set of pillows). With a coil mattress, most sleepers need shorter pillows.