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The Best Mattress For Your Medical Condition

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

The key to a great mattress purchase for your medical condition is to do thorough research. Take your time and avoid buying on impulse.  A new mattress is an investment in your health and well-being.

The same principle applies when purchasing a mattress for an existing medical condition. The Mattress Warehouse Research Team will provide you with the necessary information to assist you. This information will support you in your search for the perfect bed.

Support Does Not Imply Firmness

Keep in mind that support does not necessarily mean firmness. Mattresses typically have multiple layers, and for this reason, support refers to a deeper level or layer in a mattress. 

This layered technology is the result of advanced sleep technology research and development to ensure the sleeper’s spine remains in alignment during the sleep cycle. A firm mattress with a limited ability to give way to the anatomy of the human being may aggravate painful joints.

A Mattress Should Not Be Too Soft

On the other side of the coin, a mattress should not be too soft.  A soft mattress will lack adequate support for your spine. The alignment of your spine will be disrupted in the opposite direction.  If you sink too deeply into a mattress, it becomes increasingly difficult to move and turn easily in bed while you sleep.

The result will be that you may lie in one position for too long. Lying in one position for too long may cause stiff muscles. You will no doubt be in pain by the time you wake up.

If you have an existing medical condition, the wrong mattress may contribute to the worsening of your condition. If you are a chronic back pain sufferer, consult your specialist or doctor be able to recommend a type of bed that is best suited for your medical condition.

Medical Conditions:

girl sitting on bed holding her back she is wearing a white vest shirt and gray sweater

Suffering from Back Pain?

Proper alignment of the spine is crucial to avoid unnecessary sleep-related back pain.  A bad back resulting in chronic pain probably needs better support; where a mattress ensures alignment of the spine in. Experts recommend a medium-firm to a firm mattress for people with back problems. Previously, people were told to buy a very firm mattress for support but this recommendation has been altered in recent years.

Arthritis, Innerspring and Natural Latex

Numerous medical conditions cause arthritic swelling of the joints, pain, and stiffness. The most common being osteoarthritis, a pain caused by bone-on-bone friction when the cartilage between the joints 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. It is essential to avoid sinking too much into a mattress because it’s crucial that the sleeper is allowed to move with ease in bed.

Because a person suffering from arthritis will become uncomfortable more quickly during sleep, they require more frequent turning to alleviate discomfort before it becomes problematic.  A bed that does not provide sufficient firmness, will reduce the ease of turning, thereby increasing discomfort.

Hybrid mattresses address many of the issues that complicate the choice of the best bed for arthritis. It has a top comfort layer that moulds around shoulders and hips but offers firm support at a deeper level to keep the spine in alignment and support the joints, while simultaneously allowing easier movement and turning.

Fibromyalgia and Plush Pillow Top

Fibromyalgia is the second most common medical condition adversely affecting bones and muscles. Symptoms include extensive muscle and joint pain, resulting in acute sensitivity at pressure points which implies that the ideal mattress should be slightly softer without compromising on appropriate support.

Consider procuring a mattress that provides the softness needed to underpin the tender pain-points while being firm enough to prevent you from sinking too deeply into it.  We recommend memory foam and natural latex mattresses for people with fibromyalgia. The mattress should include a plush pillow-top for extra cushioning and comfort. Memory foam moulds around the body contours but is firm enough for a person to move quickly in bed and quickly get out of the bed in the morning.

Prevent Neck Pain with Proper Support

Constant neck and back pain will disrupt sleep. 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 Constant the height and firmness of your pillow accordingly.

With memory foam, there is sinkage as the mattress moulds around your body form.  For this reason, you need a taller pillow (or set of pillows). With a coil mattress, most sleepers need shorter pillows.


Overweight can also be classified as a medical condition. Significantly overweight people need a thick mattress that provides deep compression support. It should be medium-firm to firm. If the mattress is too soft, a heavy person will sink too deeply into the mattress, which restricts easy movement during sleep. This will lead to stiff joints and back pain.

We do not recommend memory or latex foam for heavy people. The reason for this is that heavy people overheat and sink into their mattresses.  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.

For this reason, consider a hybrid version of an innerspring and gel-infused memory foam mattress for support, which will also keep you cool at night. It needs to have strong edge support to prevent the point where a person sits on the edge of the bed to collapse.

Sleeping Positions

Side sleeping positions. From left to right: Foetus position, the Log position, the Yearner position, and modified yearner position. Man sleeping in different positions wearing blue and green pyjamas.
Side sleeping positions

Sometimes, we may adopt a certain sleeping position due to a medically related condition. For example, people may sleep on a certain side to avoid heartburn. Furthermore, some people might prefer sleeping on their stomach or back to relieve back pain.

1. Back Sleepers

The solution for a person with a back problem, who prefers sleeping on their back, is a medium firm mattress. 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 sufficient support.

2. Side Sleepers

Memory foam mattresses or natural latex mattresses typically mould around the shape of the body, thereby cushioning the shoulders and hips. It also provides the support that keeps the spine in proper alignment. This type of mattress has high motion isolation; in other words, it reduces the ripple-effect caused by your partner’s movements.

3. Stomach Sleepers

If you have a bad back and prefer to sleep on your stomach, you need a firmer mattress that will keep you from sinking into the mattress (letting you float “on top of” the mattress). An innerspring mattress will be ideal in this scenario as it allows less sinkage, as opposed to a memory foam mattress designed to mould around the body shape.  The reason for this is that a mattress that moulds around the body may cause a bit of claustrophobia as a result of the fact that the person may experience this moulding as suffocation (because they are sleeping on their stomach their face may sink too deeply into the mattress, causing this illusion).

Do You Require More Information?

Feel free to contact our dedicated sales team. They will gladly provide you with further assistance!

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