I am sure you have heard from family members or friends that they were experiencing sleepless nights. Their excuses range from stress from work, relationship and financial problems to medical conditions. In many cases it could be simply the mattress they are sleeping on.
Sleeping on the wrong type of mattress not only lead to sleeplessness, but can cause aches and chronic back pain. If you are already suffering from back pain then the wrong mattress may worsen your back pain. Conversely, the right type of mattress will help you sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed.
So what is the best mattress to sleep on especially if you have back pain? The answer is “none”.
It all depends on the person’s preference, lifestyle, sleeping position and medical condition, if any. There is no single mattress or sleeping posture that is the best for all people. What is perfect for one person may not work as well for another. Scientific studies on the correlation between mattress and back problems have also been inconclusive. What we do know is the fact that your whole body will relax while you sleep. Therefore it is very important to sleep well in a good mattress so that your back pain can heal faster.
With the dizzying variety of mattresses at your furniture malls and specialty bed stores, each claiming to be the best, choosing the right one is a real challenge. Here are some tips.
Sleeping Position and Matching Mattress
The type of mattress that is most suitable for your body depends to some extent your sleeping position. So it is wise to examine the different types of sleeping positions. The most comfortable position to sleep in is determined by personal preferences and the type of back pain you are suffering from. Essentially there are three common sleep positions: on your back, on your stomach and on your sides.
For back sleepers, putting a small pillow underneath your knees will reduce the stress on your spine and maintain the natural curve of your back. This is generally the best sleeping position with mattress that offers the right support for the back. If you sleep on your stomach, then a firmer support surface is required to prevent spinal distortion which may lead to back pain.
Side sleepers are subject to pressure points as their weights rest on the smallest areas of the body and this result in bad circulation. Placing a bolster between their knees will help reduce the stress. Mattress with a softer and plush feel will be preferred.
Choosing The Best Mattress
It is not always possible to sleep on a mattress before buying it, but at least lie or sit on it at different sections until you feel comfortable about it. There are two important factors you have to consider when evaluating a mattress: good back support and comfort.
Support depends on the coil type, coil count and connections between the coils. The coils should be made of steel and the thicker the coil, the more support the mattress will provide.
The coil count ranges from 300 to 800 per mattress and generally more coils offer better support. The coils must be interconnected by wires to prevent misalignment.
Remember to check these three important data before buying.
Other things you should ask the salesperson are the structures of the middle padding, insulation padding and the spring box, which is the foundation of the mattress.
Comfort depends mainly on the upholstery and edge materials. The upholstery is the layers of foam and fabric that separate you from the coils. Plush designs like “pillow top” offer thick padding for a rich luxurious feel. If you prefer a less plush feel, select the padding with less upholstery. This is really a personal preference. The edge of the mattress should also be made of strong material to prevent sagging and roll off when you sleep near the edge.
More coils and thicker padding are generally more expensive and better in quality, but it is not an assurance that the mattress is more supportive and comfortable.
A soft and plush mattress may provide you with a comfortable feeling but not the support your back needs. The outcome is you may wake up the next morning with stiffness and aches in your body. If the mattress is too firm it may not conform to the natural curves of your spine and again your back will suffer from the same effects.
Do not be deceived by advertisements with bold claims. The best mattress for back pain provides good support and high comfort level, but is not necessarily the most expensive. Mattresses that are expensive are normally due to high quality materials used but not necessary better. Ultimately it is the body of the person who is responsible for deciding if a mattress is good or bad.
So you have to find a balance between good support and comfort level. If you can sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed without aches and stiffness then it is the best mattress for you.
We spend about 30% of our lifetime sleeping on a mattress so we should invest a bit more on a really good mattress. If after spending all the effort in evaluating and buying a good mattress you still have persistent back pain, then it may not be due to the mattress, but an underlying back condition. The best advice is see your doctor for a complete and detail check on your health.
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