We hope to spend at least 8 hours a day lying on our beds, so having a good mattress is vital, particularly if you have a bad back. If your mattress doesn’t provide the right support for your back, any pain and strain you already have can get even worse.
Sleeping on a mattress that is uncomfortable or unsuitable can lead your spine to be forced out of alignment and keep you resting in a poor posture. Ultimately, choosing the wrong mattress can have a negative impact on your mobility, comfort, and ability to get a solid night’s rest. Now that you know some of the effects of sleeping on an unsuitable mattress, how do you go about choosing the ideal mattress for your bad back?
A firm mattress?
In years past, many doctors recommended that people experiencing back problems sleep on a firm mattress rather than a soft one. The theory was that a firm (not rigidly hard) mattress supports the spine and keeps it in alignment. However, in a research study completed in 2003, this conventional wisdom was put into doubt as the more recent study found that a medium-firm mattress provided the most significant back pain improvement.
Premium mattress products often boast memory foam or latex uppers that have extra cushioning. Memory foam may be a good option for some people, but you need to assess your own comfort levels when buying a new mattress. Be sure to test it out and if you find you are uncomfortable, it would not be wise to purchase one of these expensive mattresses (regardless of what the salesman may say!).
The most expensive mattress may not be the best mattress for your specific needs. There is no one mattress type that suits everyone and anyone’s back pain. You need to test as many mattresses as you can and find the best fit for your body, needs, and budget.
Bear in mind that buying a reliable and well-known brand can be more expensive, but usually means that you are getting a quality mattress with a guarantee against any damages and unusual wear and tear. A salesperson will usually be able to direct you towards the better brands, and you can also rely on Internet research and references from friends and family to choose a reliable brand.
How do I find the best mattress for me?
When you’re in the business of buying a new mattress, the key is to test, test, and test. If possible, choose a mattress retailer that allows you to return or refund your purchase within thirty days, allowing you to experience the full impact of the mattress type on your back pain.
The best way to test a mattress type is to lie on the mattress on your side, paying attention to your hips and shoulders. If you feel that either of these body parts are sinking, this means that your spine may not be aligned and the mattress could be too soft for you. On the other hand, if you feel discomfort or pain when lying on your side, the mattress is likely too firm for your back and body.
Another tip is to go mattress shopping in the afternoon. In the early morning, any back pain and strain may not be as noticeable, so it is better to go when your back may be at its worst, allowing you to properly test each mattress type.
I’ve found the perfect mattress; now what?
Finding a mattress that eases your back pain is a rewarding experience, so it is important to maintain the mattress in the best possible condition.
Mattress maintenance includes repositioning or turning the mattress every 6 months or so, ensuring that it wears evenly. If you only lie on one side of the bed, you don’t want this side to become indented over time and make the once-perfect mattress uneven. To turn the mattress properly, make sure to flip it over and turn it lengthwise.
Keep a chart of your last turn so that you know how you should move it after the next 6 month period. Another way of ensuring the longevity of your mattress is buying the mattress with the accompanying box spring set so that they match properly and wear evenly.