Sleep is essential for the body to recover and heal. However, sleep often ends up feeling like a luxury for seniors who experience chronic back pain. While most people spend years trying to figure out why they are experiencing pain, one of the most common factors they fail to consider is their mattress.
A mattress plays a significant role in dealing with back pain. A good quality mattress that is customized according to your sleeping position and pain can help you enjoy deep, undisturbed sleep through the night. Moreover, a mattress aids with spine alignment. This means that if you use a good mattress, you can avoid all kinds of body pain in the future.
Materials Mattresses are Made of and How They Affect the Body
When shopping for mattresses, you will find different materials available in the mattress market, some natural and some synthetic. The most common types of mattresses that you will come across include those made from memory foam, latex, air chambers, innerspring, or a combination of two known as hybrids.
Individually, there is no denying that these mattresses are great. However, all of them may not be ideal for elders who suffer from back pain.
1. Memory Foam and Latex
When asked about back pain, most sellers recommend memory foam and latex mattresses for back pain. There is no denying that both memory foam and its natural alternative, latex, are excellent for mattresses targeting those with back pain as it provides the ultimate support and contouring.
Both these materials conform to the natural curves of the body while providing support to pressure points of the body, including the shoulders and hips. This helps reduce pain and pressure. Moreover, memory foam and latex mattresses help align your spine, making sure that you do not wreck your posture while sleeping. This helps get rid of additional stress on the back while reducing overall pain in the body.
Sometimes called a traditional mattress, an innerspring mattress has a foam layer on top with a bed of pocketed coils underneath. In the old days, these mattresses were the only ones available and used to come with a bed of coils instead of pocketed coils.
Over the years, however, innerspring mattresses have seen several new developments. Other than the change of coils, they also provide improved motion isolation. However, as compared to other mattress materials, innerspring mattresses that come with a foam top do not provide sufficient support to lower back pain or cradle pressure points.
Over the last couple of decades, airbeds have become increasingly popular. Today, there are a number of airbed models available in the market. While the most basic airbed does not provide the kind of support and contouring that memory foam and latex mattresses do, the advanced airbeds available come with multiple options of firmness.
When investing in an airbed, you can manually adjust it for more fill or less fill, depending on the firmness level you wish to acquire. This option allows you to fully customize your bed whenever you are experiencing pain in your upper or lower back.
Hybrid mattresses usually come with a coil or airbase, along with a latex top or a top made of plush memory foam. When put together, these two materials reduce back pain and soreness in the body, allowing you to sleep through the night without experiencing any discomfort.
When investing in a hybrid mattress, make sure to look for one that comes with a generous size layer of memory foam. Instead of one, look for a mattress that has a number of layers of memory foam, instead of a mattress that only comes with a topper.
Factors that Need to be Considered when Buying a Mattress
Even though everyone has their own preferences when buying a new mattress, here are a few things that should be kept in mind, especially by those suffering from back pain:
1. Mattress Firmness
Back in the day, our elders would believe that the firmer the mattress, the better it is for your back, especially your body. However, research has proven that this is not always the case for those suffering from back pain and body pain.
A firm mattress is not able to provide a sufficient amount of contouring for spine alignment. This can lead to more problems and complications while increasing back pain. Instead, it is better to opt for a mattress that matches your sleep preference rather than one that is meant for all kinds of sleepers, regardless of their weight.
2. Sleeping Position
Regardless of whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, different mattresses are made for different sleeping positions. Recent studies have shown a strong correlation between back pain and sleeping posture. Here are a few things that you should look for in a mattress. Keep in mind that on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the firmest level), you will come across many different kinds of mattresses when you enter the market.
Those who sleep on their sides should not opt for a super firm mattress. Instead, they should go for mattresses that fall within the range of 5.5 to 6.5.
Those who sleep on their backs should look for a medium-firm mattress. Investing in one that has a firmness level of 6-7 will help get rid of any back pain, while ensuring good posture and aligning their spine.
Those who sleep on their stomachs should opt for a firmer mattress that ranges from 6.5 to 7.5 on the firmness scale.
Instead of looking for the cheapest mattress available, it is best to opt for one that promises good quality. Remember, a mattress that has a core of pocketed coils and thick padding will always be of good quality, even though it might be slightly more expensive.
While keeping this in mind, it should also be remembered that just because a mattress is highly-priced, it does not mean that it is ideal for your personal needs. Some highly priced mattresses do not provide any comfort or support. To avail some of the best prices, it is ideal to shop for mattresses during sales and promotions.
4. Do Not Fall for Advertising Tricks
A lot of mattresses claim to be “orthopedic” or “medically-approved.” Instead of believing advertisement strategies, it is always best to stay cautious. Always do your own research before investing in a new mattress. Look at the features offered and figure out if they will suit your individual needs. Just because a mattress offers loads of features does not mean that it will suit your body.
You will notice that most mattress companies allow a sleep-trial. This is essential to look for as sampling a mattress before investing your hard-earned money might save you from some big mistakes. Make sure to try out a mattress at the store by lying down to see if it suits you. If two people are to share it, both of them must try it out. Lie down for several minutes before making a final decision. It is important to check if the mattress has enough space for two people or whether it is comfortable and does not hurt your back.
When investing in a mattress, make sure to check for the duration of the sleep-trial offered by the company. During this time, if you do not like the mattress or you feel that it makes some parts of your body ache, you can always exchange it for a better option. Most mattresses also come with generous durations of warranty!
6. Opt for Companies that are Trustworthy
Before buying a mattress, always read through reviews from actual customers and give some thought to the ratings of the mattress. Moreover, instead of opting for a cheap, unknown company, it is always good to increase your budget and buy a mattress from a known company that provides different options for delivery, along with warranty and removal of an old mattress.
The company’s return policy should also be paid attention to so that if you are not satisfied with your purchase, you have the option of coming back and exchanging it with a better option.
7. Mattress Maintenance
For some people, mattresses tend to wear out quickly. However, we understand that a mattress is a big purchase and is not something that can be changed every few weeks. Hence, it is crucial to maintain your new mattress. To do this, make sure to reposition it every six months so that the mattress does not wear unevenly. You can rotate it 180-degrees or even switch the side of the mattress lengthwise. Not only will this avoid mattress sagging, but it will also prolong the life of the mattress.
When you buy a new mattress, do not put it in a box spring or foundation that was meant for your previous mattress. This also reduces the life of most mattresses, wearing them out earlier than expected.
Top 10 mattresses for Back Pain
1. Helix Luxe Mattress
The company, Helix Sleep, provides a versatile number of hybrid mattresses that offer varying levels of firmness to provide comfort to all kinds of sleepers with all kinds of problems. For those who are not picky and are unsure of the type of mattress they want to invest in, Helix Sleep provides a combination of pressure relief and support mattresses. You can even access their website and take their quiz to narrow down your choices and understand the kind of mattress you might need!
Luxe mattresses are a line of mattresses that Helix has recently updated. Different from their base models, Luxe mattresses come with numerous improvements and additional features. This mattress is best for those who do not have one specific sleeping position. There is no size or weight limit for this mattress.
The cover of the Luxe mattress is made of Tencel- a strong, moisture-wicking material that helps regulate temperature and feels super-soft against the skin. The mattress cover comes with a pillow top and two additional inches of comfort material, based on the mattress model. You can find lumbar support in all models of the Luxe mattresses for contouring and stability.
Memory foam comfort layers can be found in the Sunset (soft), Midnight (medium), and Twilight (firm) mattresses. They also come with polyfoam transitional layers and coil support cores that are pocketed. This type of mattress construction allows the foam to conform to the body, providing pressure relief and ensuring spine alignment, especially for side sleepers who often wake up with back pain.
If you are searching for a more responsive mattress, the Helix Dynamic foam line is for you. It includes the Moonlight (soft), Dusk (medium), and Dawn (firm) mattresses whose polyfoam transitional comfort layers include cores made of pocketed coil. This detailing means that the mattress is perfect for those who tend to heat up during the night as it provides air circulation. It also has great edge support, which makes it easy for elders to get in and out of bed.
Helix Luxe mattresses come with a 100-night sleep trial, along with a 15-year warranty that can be availed at any given point.
A hybrid mattress that gets rid of all pains and aches, especially in those who suffer from back pain, the WinkBed mattress has a coil-on-coil design that comes with gel-infused polyfoam and a euro-style pillow top that promises maximum comfort.
Pocketed coils lay in the support core of the WinkBed mattress. They are strategically placed in zones that provide additional support and ease pain in heavier parts of the body. The WinkBed also has an amazing support edge due to the reinforcements that can be found around the perimeter of the mattress. This ensures that the mattress stays stable under the weight of the elder sitting or sleeping at the edge of the bed.
The WinkBed mattress is perfect for those who enjoy maximum edge support that helps them get in and out of bed easily. Since the mattress provides moderate bounce and contouring, it is great for most sleepers.
A thinner layer of coils is placed above this layer. These coils are wrapped individually so that they can provide stable compression based on the weight of the individual. Since the mattress has both kinds of coils, it helps provide support to the pressure points of the body while ensuring the alignment of the spine. The WinkBed mattress does not sink and sag, and it provides a bouncy-feel to individuals. The polyfoam provides additional contouring that is essential for those who suffer from back pain. The mattress also limits motion transfer, making it perfect for couples.
You can find the WinkBed in three different firmness levels, including medium soft, medium firm, and firm. There is also another model, the WinkBed Plus, that focuses mainly on heavier individuals who have above-average body weight. Regardless of your sleeping position, WinkBed has a mattress for everybody.
The WinkBed mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial, giving you sufficient time to try out the mattress and see if it is worth your investment. There is a lifetime warranty that can be availed anytime, anywhere.
Looking for a luxury hybrid mattress? DreamCloud is for you! Complete with a plush quilted surface, the DreamCloud mattress has a medium-firm feel that allows maximum support to encourage spine alignment. It also helps support heavier parts of the body, including the midsection. This mattress is perfect for those who suffer from back pain, along with people who feel extremely hot during the night.
A cashmere blend cover is used to make the foam fill of the quilted top of the mattress. It is made with a breathable fabric, under which lies gel-infused memory foam. Unlike conventional foams, memory foam is perfect for those sleepers who feel extra hot during the night as it does not trap heat. This layer is followed by a polyfoam transition layer along with a core bed of individually-wrapped coils.
The DreamCloud mattress is known for the thick profile that it provides. Who knew that comfort layers and a support core could be provided in one mattress? Hence, the DreamCloud mattress is perfect for those who require pressure relief, as well as comfort. It is a mattress suitable to all, regardless of the sleeping position and body weight.
Moreover, the bed provides temperature control, keeping sleepers cool during the night. It also makes movement super-easy and is excellent for the use of couples.
What’s more is that DreamCloud provides a 365-day sleep trial so that you have ample time to make your decision. It also comes with a lifetime warranty that can be achieved at any point. Despite its luxury make, the DreamCloud mattress has an affordable price.
The Nectar mattress is perfect for those who suffer from back pain as it has a comfort system that consists of three different layers of memory foam. There is no denying that this mattress material usually hugs the body, but since Nectar has used special quality foam, the mattress does not compress the body, neither does it make individuals feel hot during the night. The topmost layer of the mattress is made of memory foam. This layer is one-inch thick and is filled with gel to keep the sleeper cool through the night. A Tencel cover quilts this layer in order to encourage breathability.
The second layer of the mattress is a three-inch memory foam layer that is firmer and a little more stable so that the mattress does not sag under any pressure or weight. A last layer of memory foam is added, which is one-inch thick and infused with gel. This makes a total of five-inches of memory foam, making the Nectar mattress perfect for pressure relief and back pain.
The Nectar mattress is ideal for those who enjoy memory foam contouring but do not like the feel of a mattress when it sinks or sags. Moreover, a versatile number of sleepers can opt for this mattress without breaking their bank and without compromising on the quality.
The medium firm mattress is great for those who sleep on their sides and are over 130 pounds in weight. It is also great for those who sleep on their backs or stomachs and are under 230 pounds in weight. With a 365-night sleep trial to take advantage of, Nectar comes with a lifetime warranty. Since it has a low price, it usually fits in those shopping on tight budgets.
5. Idle Hybrid
A mattress that can be flipped easily, the Idle Hybrid mattress comes with a sleep surface on top, as well as bottom. The best part is that you can opt for a medium firm or firm feel, depending on your preference, on both sides of the mattress. You can also customize the mattress with two different levels of firmness. Not only will this allow you to switch sides whenever you are sick of one level of firmness, but you can also extend the life of the mattress by not overusing one side.
The Idle Hybrid mattress uses two surfaces that are made of adaptive polyfoam. These comfort layers ensure that the polyfoam does not hug your body or make you feel too suffocated. The top layer is protected with denser and thicker layers of polyfoam to avoid mattress sagging. A support core made with pocketed coils also allows this mattress to be stable and supportive.
If you are someone who feels extremely hot during the night, the Idle Hybrid mattress is for you. The coils in the core layer allow constant airflow through the night to ensure a comfortable temperature. If you are looking for a maximum cooling option, opt for the firm feel mattress since this will not allow you to sink deeply in. The coils make the mattress surface responsive, making it perfect for couples who want to enjoy having sex.
For those who sleep on their sides, the medium firm mattress will feel perfect as it allows sufficient cushioning and support for the midsection, especially the shoulders and hips. In order to ensure spine alignment and minimal pressure on the back, sufficient padding is a must. Sleepers who prefer to sleep on their backs or stomachs will enjoy the firm feel of the mattress since it will not sink under their weight. If you are above 230 pounds, the firm mattress is ideal for you.
The Idle Hybrid mattress is not as expensive as other hybrid mattresses in the market. Moreover, Idle provides an 18-month sleep trial, along with a lifetime warranty.
6. Birch Mattress
If you want to know our best hybrid pick of mattresses, it has to be the Birch by Helix. This hybrid mattress is an eco-friendly design that comes with multiple comfort layers of natural as well as organic wool. It also has natural Talalay latex in its construction, making it ideal for body conformation. These materials are great as they conform to the body while allowing air circulation and ensuring breathability. The support core is made of pocketed coils that come with a layer of organic wool. This allows temperature regulation through the night.
A medium firm mattress, the Birch mattress is great for those who sleep on their sides and backs and those who weigh anywhere between 130 to 230 pounds. This mattress may also provide support to heavier or lighter individuals who enjoy moderate levels of firmness and contouring. The best thing about the Birch mattress is that all its materials and components are ethically and sustainably sourced! Moreover, the Birch mattress does not squeak as much as innerspring and hybrid mattresses as it comes with a core made of pocketed coils.
When compared to other latex hybrid mattresses, the Birch mattress is reasonably priced, especially since it is made with organic and natural materials. It comes with a 100-night sleep trial, along with a 25-year warranty that can be availed at any given time.
Saatva is a popular brand in the mattress industry, especially since it provides mattresses made with promising materials. Many older people who suffer from back pain believe that the Saatva mattress has helped heal their pain because of the contouring and spring that it provides. After all, a double-layer of coils and a pillow-top, which is filled with foam, is bound to provide maximum comfort.
The support core of the Saatva mattress is constructed with 13-gauge thick Bonnell coils, along with foam that is of high density. This wonderful combination allows a solid foundation that is great for those sleepers who suffer from back pain, along with those who are on the heavier side.
The Saatva mattress also comes with a four-inch layer of micro coils that are individually wrapped. Not only is this great for relieving pressure, but it also helps in balancing and stabilizing the support core. The pillow top is euro-style, and it is loaded with extra foam and a lumbar pad of memory foam. This feature is brilliant for those suffering from backache and body pain.
You can choose between three levels of firmness when it comes to the Saatva mattress. Since the mattress does not allow heat to buildup due to the organic cotton cover that is used, it is perfect for hot sleepers. When choosing a model, the Saatva mattress models between 11.5” to 14.5” should be opted for.
Saatva allows white-glove delivery, along with a 180-night sleep trial so that customers can be fully satisfied before investing in the mattress. It also comes with a 15-yearlong warranty.
8. Cocoon Chill
In the market ever since 1881, Cocoon is a highly reputable mattress company that has left many customers satisfied in the past. They have gained a reputation for producing mattresses that deal with back pain in seniors. The Cocoon Chill mattress comes with two firmness options and is an all-foam mattress. The medium soft and medium firm mattresses provide great contouring and can help heal back pain in seniors, regardless of their sleeping position and weight.
The Cocoon Chill mattress cover is made with a blend of polyester-cotton along with phase-change material (PCM). This blend absorbs heat from the body so that the sleeper can sleep peacefully through the night. Moreover, since the comfort layer is made with memory foam, it contours to the shape of the shoulders and back, relieving pain and easing pressure points.
The Cocoon Chill mattress is perfect for those couples who suffer from chronic back pain. The medium soft option can be used by people who sleep on their sides and backs, while the medium firm option can be used by any and everyone.
Cocoon provides a 100-night sleep trial so that customers can be absolutely sure of their purchase, along with a 10-year warranty.
9. PlushBeds Natural Bliss
If you are looking for a versatile option to treat your back pain, this is it. The PlushBeds Natural Bliss mattress comes in three different levels of thickness, including 6, 8, and 10 inches. It also has four different levels of firmness, including soft, medium, medium firm, and firm. This means that anyone can opt for the mattress, regardless of their weight or their sleeping position.
The soft and medium firm mattresses help relieve pressure and pain by allowing contouring, while the medium firm and firm mattresses offer a larger level of support. Hence, the medium and firm mattresses are usually chosen by heavier people.
The PlushBeds Natural Bliss mattress is also known for its durability. These latex mattresses last longer than most foam mattresses, especially because of the high-quality materials that are used. Moreover, this mattress does not produce any sound under weight, making it an ideal choice for couples.
You can take advantage of the 100-night sleep trial offered by PlushBeds, along with the 25-year warranty policy.
10. Parachute Mattress
An innerspring mattress, the Parachute mattress does not use foam or latex like most mattresses. Instead, it takes a modern spin on mattress construction.
The Parachute Mattress comes with a cover that is made of organic cotton, making it super soft. New Zealand wool is used on the three comfort layers above the pocketed micro coils. This helps keep the mattress cool for hot sleepers while providing maximum support. The micro coils ensure that the sleeper does not sink too deeply into the bed, keeping their body supported to the maximum at all times.
If you are searching for ease of movement and brilliant edge support, the Parachute Mattress is a wonderful choice. It is firm enough for those seniors who sleep on their stomachs or backs as it helps reduce back pain.
Since the Parachute Mattress is a luxury mattress, it is a pricier option than most innerspring mattresses. However, it comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain
For those who are not yet ready to invest in a new mattress, they can get a mattress topper. A mattress topper is an added layer of material that is to be put on top of your mattress. These are extremely helpful for those with back pain and body pain as they help provide additional support and lower pressure that is put on the hips and shoulders.
Below are the most popular mattress toppers for back pain:
When buying a mattress, remember to do your research! Always read up on reviews given by other people and do not fall for any marketing tactics. Good luck!