The need for a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things in life. Good sleep can result in better overall health and improved daily functioning. Negative sleep cycles can lead to chronic health issues for seniors. It can increase soreness and back pains, too, if your mattress isn’t good enough.
Getting a full 8-9 hours of restful sleep without any uncomfortable turning and tossing in the night can be crucial for seniors. This is only possible with the right mattress for seniors. Here is a complete guide to help you make the best possible decision for you.
When to Replace a Mattress?
Mattresses usually last for 6-8 years, but there are some signs that you should look out for when it comes to replacing your mattress. If you experience any of the things below, it is time to change your mattress.
- 1Sagging, Lumpy, or Asymmetrical
If your mattress has any visible signs of distress or disrepair, then you definitely need a new mattress for seniors. This can include any sagging at the corners or the middle, imprints of body parts, big or small lumps, and asymmetry.
- 2Noisy Sounds
Are there pops, groans, and creaks coming from the mattress? They definitely aren’t normal, not even if you tend to toss and turn a lot. Coils and springs inside the mattress can get quite noisy after some years of use. However, if you have a metal or wooden bed frame, it could be the source of the noise. Make sure that noise is coming from the mattress before thinking of replacing it.
- 3Frayed or Worn Edges of the Mattress
Frayed or worn edges aren’t that big of a deal since they may not affect your sleep that much. However, mattresses should last for a long time, and the worn edges can indicate that the end of the lifespan is getting near. Even if you don’t see any asymmetry or sagging, the worn-out edges can show that it’s time to find a suitable replacement.
- 4Softer or Harder Than Before
It can be hard to tell how the mattress had changed since you bought it since it takes quite some time for the change to appear. But checking whether it has gotten harder or softer since you bought it can be an easy way to check if you need a new one. Try and remember your thoughts when you first purchased it. Were you comfortable, happy, or excited? Think about the recent nights you spent on it. Does it feel uncomfortable or even ‘bleh’? This can show that you need a new mattress.
- 5Softer or Harder Than Before
Ideally, it shouldn’t take more than 10-20 minutes to get into a slumber. It can mean you need a new mattress if you find yourself lying awake more often than not. Rule out things like anxiety and insomnia, obviously, but if you determine that you are healthy and yet can’t fall asleep, you know what to do. The mattress you have can impact your quality of sleep.
- 6Waking Up With Soreness or Pain
Unless you have a very specific reason for waking up with muscle soreness or pain in the body, it might be your mattress that is resulting in the ache. Mattresses can cause sore back, stiff neck, or any pinching aches in the joints like the shoulders and neck. You should check if the pain tends to subside as time passes. Do you feel the soreness or pain in the morning, but it’s gone by the afternoon? You should also make sure that you are using the right pillow that isn’t causing the shoulder or neck stiffness.
- 7Waking Up Watery-Eyed or Stuffy
Any allergy symptoms during the mornings can mean that your old mattress has dust mite or allergen build up. This may be causing symptoms to appear. Again, make sure it isn’t your pillow that is making your eyes water (it can be better for seniors to get hypoallergenic pillows).
- 8Do You Wake Up Regularly Through the Night?
Do you wake up once every few hours or even more during the night? Waking up regularly can ruin any chance of having a good night’s sleep. You should rule out medical issues like insomnia, anxiety, sleep apnea, indigestion, or depression, but the mattress could be the issue for wakefulness.
Things to Look For When Buying a Mattress?
Mattress for seniors should be comfortable and supportive so that it doesn’t cause soreness or pain. Here are some things you should look out for when purchasing a new mattress:
What Material to Choose Based On the Needs?
There are four main types of materials you can get among mattresses: hybrid, latex, memory foam, and inner spring.
A hybrid is made with a coils bed on the bottom and a foam layer on top. This is a great option for seniors since it had lower back support of the coils as well as the comfort of memory foam. It provides great pressure relief, which seniors need.
A latex mattress has high elasticity, which means it absorbs and hugs the body without making you sink into the bed. It circulates air better than traditional types, which is great for hot sleepers.
A memory foam mattress provides motion isolation and pressure relief. It is quite popular since it contours close to the body, but this can make it harder to move on.
An innerspring mattress is designed to offer high support and is quite breathable. This type of mattress is perfect for seniors who face pains or want to avoid a sagging mattress.
What Firmness to Choose Based On the Needs?
The firmness of the mattress impacts the support you receive. If it is too firm or too soft, it will not be good enough to sleep in. Your sleeping position and weight should be taken into account when choosing the firmness type.
Here is a helpful chart that can help you determine the mattress you should be going for:
> 130 lbs
230 lbs +
Medium Soft-Medium Firm
There are also some mattresses that you can get that come with multiple firmness options, so you can sleep according to your own preferences.
Should One Buy Online or In-Store?
Since everyone spends around one-third of their lives on a mattress, it’s no wonder that you need to pick the right one. Sometimes you will be able to get a better deal online, but choosing the right firmness and features in person can sometimes be easier. There are advantages to both options.
If you are purchasing it online, it can be difficult to gauge what you like since you don’t get to see or test out the mattress. This is why you need to know beforehand what to go for. Some people recommend testing out mattress styles available to make sure you know what you like. When you have a specific mattress type that you want, it can be easier to make the purchase online.
So, if you already have to go to the store, why would you want to buy it online? Well, you should know that you will probably be able to find better deals online. Loads of websites offer better services, too, including easy return possibilities since website owners know people want to test it out. This is why they offer 90-day trials, so you can really take advantage. This is why it can be better to buy the mattress online unless you are really sure about the deal you are getting in the store.
What to Look For When Buying a Mattress?
There are a few things that you need to check the details on when you are buying a mattress, such as warranty and delivery times. The mattress consists of different parts, such as the cover and the internal components. While most warranty offers cover all of these, it is important to read it carefully to make sure of this. Sometimes, the coverage for the cover can be restrictive.
Moving the mattress home by yourself can be tough too. You should check on the delivery time and method to make sure that there is someone who can do that for you. It is also important to check the return policy carefully. Some stores offer 90-day return policies, while others may not have any. You need to make sure that it is the right fit for you and your bed, which is why having some time for a trial can be a good idea.
What to Choose Based On a Medical Condition?
A lot of seniors may have a medical condition that requires some special features or demands from the mattress. Here are the most common medical conditions that require something additional from the mattress:
Arthritis is the most common medical condition among the elderly population. It means that the person will be facing inflammation in the joints that are causing chronic pain in their limbs. Such people will need a mattress that offers joint and pressure point relief.
Fibromyalgia creates overactive nerves that can cause widespread and chronic pain. You need a mattress that provides relief from pressure points to make sure that the issue doesn’t get aggravated too much.
Back pain is also quite common in seniors, and it can be caused by scoliosis, osteoporosis, and arthritis. You need to make sure the mattress has firm lower back support and spinal alignment qualities.
Dementia can include Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. It has been linked to chronic sleep issues like insomnia as well. Such people need high-quality mattresses to make sure they can relax and sleep properly.
Prostate and Bladder Issues
Regular nighttime urination is a common issue among the elderly and can disturb sleep quite a lot. You need a mattress that is easy to get out of in case you suddenly need to use the washroom during the night. It should also have motion isolation so that your partner is not bothered by your movements.
You are more likely to experience sleep apnea the older you are. Sleep apnea is a medical condition where breathing can randomly stop and start anytime during the night. It can otherwise be quite difficult to get restful sleep since this can awaken you during the night. Having a mattress that caters to this issue is important.
There are third-party, independent certifications that mattress companies can get to verify the healthiness and safety of the materials they are using. There are the most common ones:
Mistakes People Can Make When Buying a Mattress?
You need to know some common mistakes people make when they are buying a new mattress so that you can avoid them. Here they are:
Not understanding the different mattress types
Before you purchase the mattress, you should note all the different types of mattresses that are available so that you can make the right decision. As we learned above, there are four types of mattresses. You should decide which type you want or which one is best for you. If you can’t make the decision that easily, maybe you should go check them out in person. Trying out the different types can make it easier for you to decide which is the most suitable for you. You can also read some reviews from customers to get a better sense of the mattress you are about to invest in.
Buying a mattress for only the price
Sure, who doesn’t love a bargain? And of course, you should set a nice budget before time. But, please remember that cheaper doesn’t mean it’s better. You should make the budget based on prices that you have seen online or in the store. With that cost in your mind, you can get a good deal out of any salesperson. If you buy one that is too cheap, it will definitely result in bad nights of sleep.
This doesn’t mean that you need to splurge and empty out your bank account for a mattress. It just means determining what you want out of a mattress and finding the best price point for it. A quality mattress can last you a long time, so don’t be afraid to invest in one.
Not taking care of the mattress
From spilled beverages to sweating, the mattress can sustain a lot of damage and stains. When you purchase the next one, make sure to look for a protector too. A lot of mattress stores offer different types of mattress protectors that can suit your needs. They are washable and removable, which can help you ensure that the mattress stays in good condition. If you don’t want to do that, you can add a mattress topper.
Both of these items can help protect your mattress from messes and stains. The topper can even help make the sleeping experience more comfortable. By trying out some different styles, you can find which one is the best for you.
Give the new one ample chance
Trying out a new mattress is like getting a new pair of shoes. You need to break it in before it will fit you perfect. Giving it a chance will make you realize it is perfect for you. More often than not, buyers will get a mattress and decide that it’s not good enough after only a few nights. The mattress needs time to adjust to the air quality and temperature.
The mattress will need time to breathe before it adjusts to the new surroundings. If you are also switching mattress types, then you will need time to adjust as well. For example, innerspring mattresses can be quite a different experience to a memory foam one. You should give yourself a few weeks if it is possible before you make the decision.
A lot of mattress stores have a return policy, so you should keep that in mind when you are making a decision. Reading the fine print before buying the mattress can be a good idea, or else you will be stuck with an item you don’t want.
The best frame can be an issue too
Sometimes, users forget that the mattress may not be the only reason behind your sleepless nights. If you the highest-quality mattress to a sagging and old bed frame, you will still have issues. You should make sure that the bed frame is in good condition as well. If it has any loose parts or sags, you should have everything in the right shape before you use the new mattress.
Any bed frame that is not in good enough shape will not allow you to get the support you need. If it is made from wooden slats, they can eventually expand or contract due to changing temperatures. This means that you have an unsupportive frame that can take away from the new mattress.
Getting a mattress for seniors means more than just going to any store and purchasing the first one you think is comfortable. It means that you have to do research into selecting the right type and materials so that you can leave with a satisfactory result. It needs to be supportive and mindful of their needs. If they have any medical conditions, even those should be kept in mind when you are purchasing the new mattress.