The Right Mattress Types
For anyone with a bad back, there’s nothing worse than a night on a terrible mattress. It’s almost impossible to get a full night’s sleep, and the pain the next morning can be unbearable. A new mattress can be one of the best investments you make in yourself, but it’s important to choose the right type for you. Get to know how different mattress types can help or harm chronic back pain.
Back Pain and Sleep: Why Your Mattress Matters
If you suffer from chronic back pain, it’s likely that you have:
- Trouble getting out of bed in the morning
- Pain throughout the day
- Difficulty sleeping through the night
It’s no surprise that a bad mattress can contribute to these problems, but even a mediocre mattress isn’t doing you any favors. The average person spends a third of his or her life in bed. Back pain sufferers can benefit from maximizing the time they spend with proper support, alleviating the inflammation, poor alignment and other issues that irritate their condition. A high quality mattress gives you six to ten hours a day with the support you need.
One of the biggest differences the right mattress will make is first thing in the morning. When you wake up, chronic back pain can cause stiffness and spasms that make it difficult to get up and get going. By taking the pressure off of your joints and vertebrae, the right mattress can help reduce morning stiffness and help you wake up ready to go.
Chronic pain impacts quality of life, and having had the right support at night can make an impressive difference during the day. With less inflammation, increased mobility and lower overall pain levels, you’ll be in a better mood and able to tackle the tasks at hand.
You’ll appreciate a good mattress most of all when it’s time for bed. Instead of fighting for a comfortable position, you’ll quickly find a spot that offers you maximum support and pressure point relief. Your back will be aligned, weight will be taken off your spine and you’ll likely wake up fewer times during the night. With better, more restful sleep, you’ll be less stressed and in less pain.
How to Choose Between Mattress Types
In the past, doctors recommended firm mattresses across the board for people with back pain. Recent studies suggest that may not be the best practice. The right choice for you is a combination of good mattress science and personal preference.
- 1. Go for substance. Flimsy, bare-bones mattresses won’t be able to keep your spine in alignment as you sleep. Look for a mattress made from robust materials.
- 2. Seek a marriage of structures and cushioning. A mattress that’s too firm can aggravate pressure points, but mattresses that are too soft lack full spinal support.
- 3. Look for a core layer. Single-component, foam mattresses often lack a core layer. Core layers “push back,” helping your spine stay in alignment and giving your body structure all night long.
- 4. Thickness isn’t a factor. When you’re purchasing high quality materials, the only difference between a 10 inches and 18 inches is the price tag. Your body doesn’t sink in far enough to benefit from those extra inches.
- 5. Go with what feels right. Personal preference is the ultimate litmus test. Always take advantage of in-home trials. It can take time for your back to adjust, so look for trials of at least 90 days.
What to Avoid
There are four mattress types that tend not to work well for those with chronic back pain. Plain inner spring mattresses provide great “push back,” but they don’t contour to the back well enough to provide support. They create pressure points and don’t cradle the neck or lower back. Most are either too soft or too firm.
Your spine needs some firmness and structure. That’s where plain memory foam, latex and adjustable air beds suffer all fail to deliver. While they feel great early on, they can strain the spine over time or make it so the only place you feel comfortable is in one position, lying down. The right support should help increase your overall mobility, not just nighttime comfort.
Hybrid mattresses, like the Plush & Loom, are among the highest rated and most recommended by orthopedists for chronic back pain. They bring the best of all worlds together, giving you deep support and contouring, with plenty of hybrid mattress types to choose from. At Plush & Loom, our model contains no springs and no memory foam.
Chronic back pain doesn’t have to ruin your nights. Take your time and choose the mattress that gives you the support you need. You’ll wonder how you lived without it.