Finding the Best Mattress for Back Pain: 10 Tips to Help You Choose
Finding the Best Mattress for Back Pain: 10 Tips to Help You Choose
When your mattress starts to sag, or you can feel the springs in your back, it’s time to consider a replacement.
It’s recommended you swap out your mattress for something fresh every 10 years or so but if you suffer from back pain, you might need to consider it sooner.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, finding the right mattress isn’t easy, especially with so many options to choose from.
So how can you find a mattress that can give you a good night’s sleep? To help you choose, here are 10 tips to finding the best mattress for back pain possible.
Make the Decision to Change
A good quality mattress can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Deciding whether you actually need a new mattress can be difficult, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Unfortunately, if you’re suffering from chronic back pain, delaying that choice can make your situation even worse.
The first step you need to take is to take the plunge and actually make the decision to change your mattress. Obvious signs that your mattress needs replacing will include sags, broken springs, and an uneven surface for you to lie on.
You need the proper support for your back – if your mattress is no longer doing the job, it’s time to replace it.
Consider Your Medical Condition
Your own particular medical situation will have to be at the forefront of your mind when you look at the best mattresses for back pain.
Your conditions will have an impact on the purchase you make. Some medical conditions won’t be as badly affected by the type of mattress you choose to buy, but others will.
If you have a problem with the discs in your spine, for instance, you may find that a firmer mattress is better suited for you. Other conditions, such as spinal stenosis, only flare up with movement, so you won’t find lying down on any type of mattress much of an issue.
You may have muscular or scarring problems, however, that means a softer (and so less firm) mattress is better. Judge your condition for yourself, and choose a mattress to match.
Decide Your Personal Preference
Ultimately, there’s no real guide that will help you decide what the best type of mattress for lower back pain is for your back. That decision will be down to your personal preference.
You may find that you’re used to a type of mattress already, and need to find a suitable replacement that’s very similar to it.
Look at the firmness and manufacturer of your existing mattress to start your search off. Remember that although you liked your old mattress, it doesn’t mean a similar mattress will be suitable.
You need to think long term. Is your back likely to worsen as time goes on? If you do, you may need to pick a mattress that won’t only last the test of time, it’ll also remain comfortable if your back doesn’t improve.
Try out Different Mattress Types
Your personal preference may need to change with your mattress. The only way to really be sure what you’ll find suitable for you is to try out different mattress types.
Visit several local mattress stores and ask to ‘try out’ several types of firmness. If you can, ask to lie down on each kind of firmness, to see how it feels.
This isn’t a scientific test – merely a guide. You should be able to judge fairly quickly if something feels comfortable or right for you.
It’s easier to try different mattress types out by visiting a store, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy your new mattress from them. You may be able to find cheaper mattresses online. It helps to know what type of mattresses to look out for when you visit, however.
This guide to different mattress types can help you work out the differences between them.
Don’t Rush for Firm
You might think that a bad back means you need greater support. As we’ve already mentioned, not every medical condition involving your back is the same, and your requirements will vary. That’s why you shouldn’t rush straight for a firm mattress.
Additional support for your back is a good idea, but if you’re not sure if a firm mattress will suit you, you should consider a ‘medium-firm’ mattress instead. It gives you greater support while remaining a comfortable option for a wider range of back conditions.
Don’t forget to consider memory foam as an alternative, assuming you’re not allergic to any potential chemicals it contains. It can offer you support while molding to your back to give you extra comfort.
Look at Back Support
It isn’t only a choice between firm or soft mattresses, however. You need to look at the back support options that you have available to you.
If you’re looking at sprung mattresses, consider the different coil thicknesses that are on offer. If a coil is rated with a low number, you may find that the mattress is firmer, which may not be suitable.
You may find that the mattress has a padding layer that can also help your back. You will probably only find these in more expensive mattresses, so consider your budget.
Of course, you may be wanting to avoid springs altogether. Many memory foam mattresses are 100% foam, and vary in how well they mold to your back under pressure of your weight.
Identify Your Sleeping Position
Before you choose a mattress, you need to think about the position you sleep in. Whether you’re a side, back or front sleeper, you’re going to need to choose a mattress that offers the support you need.
Prefer to sleep on your side? You may find that you need a softer mattress to help give you better support on the areas of your body that are in contact with your mattress, such as your shoulders.
If you prefer to sleep on your stomach or your back, you may need to choose a firmer mattress to reduce any irritation or pain. Your sleeping position can have a big impact on the health of your back. Here’s a list of 5 of the best sleeping positions for chronic back pain sufferers.
What About Your Bed?
If your back pain is serious, you may find that investing in a mattress isn’t enough. You may need to consider a new bed more suitable for your condition.
Adjustable style beds can help you sleep better by raising parts of your body as you sleep, taking pressure off areas of your body that cause the pain you’re feeling.
Deciding whether this is suitable for you will depend on your budget and your requirements. It’s advisable to try out a few different types of adjustable beds in local stores to try and find one most suitable for your requirements.
With a bad back, you may find investing in an adjustable bed alongside a new mattress helps you to get a good night’s sleep.
Here’s a list of 7 major benefits to an adjustable bed you might not have considered.
Think About Your Bedding Too
How good is your bedding? If you’re sleeping on a poorly formed pillow, for instance, you might be making any chronic pain conditions even worse.
Invest in suitable pillows and soft bedding that help you to feel most comfortable in bed.
You can invest in orthopedic pillows which can help the position of your head and neck while you’re asleep, for instance. When you’re looking for a new pillow to go with your new mattress, consider the thickness, the texture, as well as the material filling.
Follow the same strategy for your pillow as your mattress, by considering the firmness and by trying out different styles and sizes.
Mattress Returns Policy
There’s no guarantee that you’re going to get on well with any new mattress you buy, even if it’s the right kind of mattress for your back condition.
The material might be wrong, it could be too firm or too soft, or your back might not agree with it. That’s why it’s important when you’re buying a mattress for back pain to buy from retailers that offer a suitable period for trial and returns. It’s like a test drive for your sleep.
Look for a minimum of 30 days, but some big manufacturers will offer 90-100 days for a better trial. If you find your mattress doesn’t agree with you, send it back within the return period and try something else. After all, you’ll be stuck with it for several years, so it’s an investment you need to get right.
While we advised you to try mattresses out in a store, you’re likely to get a better deal on a mattress online. These 5 things to watch out for when you’re online mattress shopping should help you make a decision.
Choose the Best Mattress for Back Pain to Suit You
Chronic back pain isn’t likely to disappear overnight, but if you can find a mattress that can help you sleep, your recovery might become a little easier.
Only you can decide what the best mattress for back pain is for your back, which is why you need to try a mattress out before you buy. Visit local stores, but don’t forget – you’ll find branded mattresses online cheaper.
Make sure you have a reasonable returns policy to give you time to return your mattress if it isn’t suitable. Liked our advice? Check out our other blog articles for more ideas to encourage healthy sleeping.