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How to Choose Orthopedic Beds or Mattresses

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

You woke up with a sore back again, didn’t you? And you heard somewhere that orthopedic beds might help to relieve your constant discomfort. But because you’re a smart shopper, you don’t just want to dive in and buy a new bed without knowing what it is you’re buying, right?

That’s why you’re here. Smart move.

In this article, The Mattress Warehouse will explain everything you need to know about an orthopedic mattress – from what constitutes an orthopedic bed to how to choose one that suits your sleep requirements. You want to improve your quality of living? Keep reading.

What is an orthopedic bed?

Orthopedic beds are designed, with the input of medical professionals, to promote spinal alignment and to alleviate pressure on critical areas such as the shoulders and hips. If you suffer from chronic back, shoulder or neck pain you might want to consider investing in an orthopedic mattress. Moreover, if you are an active person that needs deep, restorative sleep to prepare for your next challenge, this type of bed is for you. Orthopedic mattresses contain pocket spring systems or memory foam, and in some cases a combination of these.

Let’s get into more detail by answering some of your questions:

Are orthopedic beds hard or soft?

There is a common misconception that all orthopedic mattresses are hard, or firm, as we say in the bedding industry. This is not the case. In order to provide you with the right amount of comforting support, most of these specialised mattresses fall within the medium to firm spectrum.

  • If you sleep on your stomach, opt for a firm mattress
  • Are you a side-sleeper, go for the medium mattress

How long do orthopedic beds last?

Because orthopedic mattresses are built with high-quality materials, they normally perform very well for 7 to 10 years. However, before you buy a new bed or mattress, check the warranty as that will give a good indication of how long that mattress will last.

How to choose an orthopedic bed or mattress

Choosing a bed is no small matter. You will spend roughly a third of the next 10 years on that bed, so you want to get the right one. And the same goes for an orthopedic mattress. Here are some easy-to-follow steps on how to choose your next orthopedic bed:

1. Speak to your healthcare practitioner

If you suffer from back or neck pains in the morning, go talk to a physiotherapist or chiropractor. They will be able to guide you on what sort of mattress would work well with your body type, weight and medical condition.

2. Test out the mattress

Reading reviews are great (we’ll get to that in a bit) but nothing beats trying out your new bed firsthand. So if you feel up for it, head out to your closest Mattress Warehouse and go lie around for a bit. No seriously, don’t sit on the edge, bounce around a bit and decide this is the one. The only way to test an orthopedic mattress is to lie on it for a while. And you shouldn’t just lie down any which way either! This is how you should test a mattress:

  1. Lie down on your back to start off with. If you feel like you are sinking into the mattress around your hips, the mattress is too soft and you can immediately move to the next one.
  2. If lying on your back is comfy, turn on your side so that your hips and shoulders are at a 90 degree angle to the mattress and your legs slightly bent at the knees. Shoulders and hips should be aligned so that your spine stays as straight as possible. Just lie down like this for a while (10 minutes is good) to feel the mattress.

If your shoulders or hips aren’t comfortable and you have to move around a lot to get comfy, the mattress isn’t for you and you should move on and repeat these two steps on the next orthopedic bed in line.

3. Consider the firmness

The firmness or comfort rating of a mattress is very important. You see, depending on the way you sleep (side, stomach, back, or combination) you’ll need a different comfort level. For instance if you sleep on your side, a firm orthopedic mattress will be bad for you. Likewise, if you sleep on your stomach you don’t want a soft mattress as it will force your spine to bend at an unnatural angle while you sleep. As a rule, medium mattresses are good for combination sleepers and soft mattresses are good for side sleepers. Find out more about mattress firmness here.

4. Get the right size 

There is nothing as frustrating as trying to fall asleep in a cramped space. That is why you should make sure that you buy a bed that is spacious enough for you and your partner. In general, queen beds are great for couples. Moreover, if you are taller than 1.8 m you should consider getting an extra-long bed for those legs to stretch out. So when you ask about the orthopedic bed price, you should remember to ask for the right size.

5. Look at reviews and endorsements from medical associations

When shopping for orthopedic beds it is always good to read real-life reviews that were written by real people. When you read a bed review, make sure that there is a name associated with the review. Another great thing to look out for is to see if the bed you are interested in is endorsed by medical associations or groups. If they are, then you know you are dealing with a truly orthopedic bed.

You can also consider looking at adjustable beds to enhance your sleep experience. But they are a bit more expensive than normal orthopedic beds.

Orthopedic beds for sale at The Mattress Warehouse

At The Mattress Warehouse, we stock some orthopedic beds that are endorsed by the Chiropractic Association of South Africa and others that are endorsed by the South African Society of Physiotherapy. These are our favourites:

Serta Aristocrat Bed

Orthopedic beds, like the Serta Aristocrat are great for back pain.
The Serta Aristocrat Bed has a flip-free orthopedic mattress
  • Contains pocket springs that contract and expand individually to offer targeted support and comfort.
  • With it’s plush comfort it is perfect for side sleepers.
  • It can carry up to 130 kg per side.

Cloud Nine Legend VX Bed

The Cloud Nine Legend VX bed.
The Cloud Nine Legend VX Bed should be flipped every now and then to increase longevity and comfort
  • Made from a mix of Polyurethane- and high-density Visco-Elastic foam for a perfect combination of comfort and support.
  • It contains a heavy-duty foam core to distribute your weight evenly accross the mattress and enhance spinal alignment.
  • Allows for a generous 160 kg per side.

Browse the full orthopedic bed and mattress range

Remember, orthopedic beds should enhance your sleep experience and improve your posture. If it doesn’t do these things, it is not for you. Luckily, at The Mattress Warehouse, we offer a 100 day trial period for you to test your new bed (if you purchase a mattress protector with your new bed). So if you still wake up sore and you don’t sleep well, you can return the bed. Click here to browse the full range of beds we have to offer.

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