How to Choose the Best Mattress for Back Pain

If you are suffering from pain in the back or neck, choosing the right mattress to sleep on might make a day-night difference to your health and well-being. This article outlines the following pointers that should be kept in mind on your way to choosing the best mattress for back pain.

Be decisive on the material (used to build the mattress)

Innerspring mattresses make use of coils for support and deliver a bouncy feel. Latex mattresses are all about bounce and responsiveness as compared to innerspring mattresses. Memory foam mattresses are designed to envelop and cushion the contours of the body and cause pressure relief. Hybrid mattresses tend to come with a layer of latex or memory foam atop a layer of innerspring in order to provide adequate softness and support. Air mattresses use an air pump to inflate the mattress to the desired level of firmness and support. Often a single air mattress contains two chambers of air to cater to the custom requirements of two different sleepers. Your choice of mattress will depend on your personal preferences with regard to each of the abovementioned options.  

Ascertain the correct density of the material

Even 20 years back, orthopaedics when pressed to suggest the right kind of mattress for comfort when faced with back pain and spinal alignment issues would recommend firm mattresses. However, research on the topic has proved beyond doubt that the recommendation should be medium-firm. It has also been proven that mattress density is a more pertinent factor as opposed to mattress material. The right firmness and density can be arrived at by any of foam, latex or spring options.

Your mattress needs to dovetail with your preferred sleeping position

If you are a side sleeper, it is better for you to opt for a foam mattress that gives you more leeway in terms of material softness and eases the pressure on your hips, back and shoulders in addition to helping you with spinal alignment. For back sleepers, it is best they opt for firmer mattresses that distribute their weight and pressure evenly. For stomach sleepers, pillow top mattresses that distribute air evenly and relieve pressure on the neck are particularly relevant. 

Follow the recommendations of your physician

It is best that you follow the advice of your physicians when choosing a mattress that is right for your back condition. While physicians might not be mattress experts, they are aware of your medical history and that places them in a good position to make an informed recommendation.

Read unbiased peer feedback and not just marketing literature

It is best to not get swayed by thumping product literature since the circulators of the same are biased and under compulsion to highlight their products. Read reviews by people who are using or have used the product you are interested in and want to find out more about. Read a mix of favourable, unfavourable and middle-of-the-road reviews.

Replace your mattress, knowing the correct time to do so

Number six on the list of tips to choose the best mattress for back pain harks back to a study commissioned in 2019, which showed that when mattresses that were around five years old were replaced with new ones it led to significant pain alleviation and began an essay of comfort in the lives of the users that slept on them. While accurate and irrefutable research on the correct time to replace mattresses eludes us, credible information suggests that the time taken by a mattress to wear out and necessitate a replacement is anywhere between 6-8 years.

Go for a mattress that comes with a helpful trial/return option

A mattress is a big and crucial investment. Therefore, it is important that you do not feel self-conscious when you visit a store and proceed to try out various mattresses. Lie down for at least 10 minutes on the products that you are mentally juggling with to get a good idea of how they feel to the touch, and check the level of firmness/softness that they offer. Also, go with a mattress that allows you to test drive for a month and gives you the option of returning it if you jive with the product. Use a mattress protector to guard the product against stains that may render the return option invalid. 

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