If you suffer from back pain, chances are you feel like you’ve tried most things to find some relief. Also, if your back pain is interrupting your sleep, this can really add insult to injury. However, did you know that your mattress may be the culprit? The wrong mattress can exacerbate an existing back problem or even be the root cause. So, if you’re suffering from aches and pains in your back, it may be time to switch to a new mattress. So, how do you choose the perfect mattress for back pain? Read on for our handy guide.
- Figure out if your mattress really is to blame.
So, is your mattress actually causing the problem? There are a few classic red flags that indicate it’s time for new bedding. If your mattress is older than eight years old, saggy, lumpy or uncomfortable, it won’t be giving you the support your sore back needs. Also, if your back pain is at it’s worst in the morning and eases off gradually after you get up, this is a major sign that your mattress could be to blame.
- Buy according to your bodyweight.
The most important aspect of the best mattress for back pain is the amount of support it gives you. A really supportive mattress helps to encourage your spine into a proper alignment. When selecting a firmness that will support you, your body weight is a good starting point. If you’re very light, then you will require only a soft mattress.
People with an average or slightly higher bodyweight will need medium or medium-firm mattress to support them properly. If you weigh over 200 lbs, then you will need a firm mattress to give you adequate support for your bodyweight.
- Take your usual sleeping position into account.
Most people give very little thought to the position they snuggle down in night after night. While sleeping on your side or back aren’t bad options if you have a bad back, sleeping on your front can make the problem much worse. Why? It’s because this position is both unsupportive and puts your spine into an unhealthy alignment. Whatever position you sleep in, you should take this consideration along with your weight as a way of selecting a mattress firmness.
As a rule of thumb, side sleepers generally need softer mattresses to allow their body to sink in, taking pressure off the joints. A medium to medium-firm mattress is ideal if you are a back sleeper, as it will support your spine and neck well. Front sleepers require firm mattresses because they need extra support to compensate for their sleeping position.
- Take orthopaedic mattresses with a pinch of salt.
Many people believe that an orthopaedic mattress is the best choice for back pain sufferers. On the other hand, ‘orthopaedic’ is often just the retailer’s shorthand for an extra-firm mattress. As we have already mentioned, an extra-firm mattress is not always the best choice for every sleeper. However, extra-firm mattresses can benefit some people with bad backs. If you weigh more than 200 lbs, or sleep on your stomach, an orthopaedic mattress may be a good option for you.
- If you sleep with a partner, consider a dual firmness mattress.
If you are sharing your bed, your partner may have significantly different needs from a mattress. If they are significantly heavier or lighter, or sleep in a different position, they may need a mattress that is firmer or softer. A dual-firmness mattress can be the ideal choice in this situation because each partner can have their preferred firmness on their own side of the bed.
- Think about opting for memory foam.
If you suffer from back pain, you may benefit from a memory foam mattress. These mattresses are able to conform to your body shape, giving superior support and cushioning painful joints. This can help to ease a lot of the discomfort that back pain sufferers experience during the night, and leave you less achey in the morning. However, if you are a front sleeper, this may not be the best option for you. That’s because you could sink too deeply into the mattress in this position.
- Look at latex.
Latex foam mattresses can also be a really good option for back pain sufferers. That’s because this material is very supportive, which can help to encourage your spine into the best possible alignment. Therefore, you will be in the best possible position to avoid aches and pains during the night and upon waking.
- Consider switching to an adjustable bed.
While this means changing your bed frame, it may be worth the investment if you have a bad back. An adjustable bed allows you to change the height of various parts of your mattress either manually or using a motorised mechanism. This means that you can raise and lower different areas of the body to find a position that takes the strain off your back. Furthermore, many come with pre-programmed ‘zero-gravity’ positions. These are specially designed to create a sense of weightlessness, taking pressure of painful joints. This can have a really positive effect on easing your back pain.
- Test out your shortlisted mattress.
Before you commit to buying a mattress, it’s a great idea to test them out to see if they suit your personal sense of comfort. Therefore, try to visit a bricks-and-mortar store to try as many models as possible before you make a final decision. If you are unable to shop in-store, some mattress companies offer a try before you buy option, where you can return the mattress if you don’t find it comfortable.
- Check out expert reviews and recommendations.
To help you decide which mattress to buy to help with your back pain, it’s a good idea to consult the experts. Luckily, there’s a wealth of expert information out there to help you make a final decision.
Check out the mattress website for plenty of mattress reviews, buyer’s guides for back pain sufferers and loads of awesome sleep-related advice.
Hopefully after reading our top tips, you’re one step closer to buying the perfect mattress to ease your back pain. Remember to check out reviews before you commit to a particular model. Also, carefully consider your individual needs so that you buy the mattress that’s the best fit for you. Sweet dreams!