The Wrong Mattress Can Lead to Back Problems: 5 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Mattress From a Spine Expert by Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo
Your bed is something you use every day, but many people don’t realize how important their mattress is for good health. Mattresses are big-ticket purchase people typically make only a few times in their life. If you’ve never replaced your mattress, it may be time to consider making a change. What are the consequences of a bad mattress and how do you find one that is best for your back?
When to Replace Your Mattress
- A strong indicator you need an update is visible wear and tear in the mattress materials. If your bed is noticeably sagging, torn or lumpy, its lifespan may be over. You should also consider replacing the mattress if you hear squeaking in the springs every time you move, a sign that the coils are worn down and no longer supporting your body.
- You should also start mattress shopping when you find that you’re waking up every day with an achy, sore neck or persistent back pain. This may mean your mattress is too old and worn out to be comfortable.
- Another factor to consider when it comes to mattress replacement are the dust mites that have accumulated over the years. You should generally update your mattress if you notice that your allergies are getting worse or laying down in your bed triggers asthma problems.
- If you share a bed and feel every movement your partner makes throughout the night, your mattress is no longer functioning as it should.
Tips for Choosing the Right Mattress
- Educate yourself about the various mattress materials. Prior to searching for a new mattress, it is beneficial to educate yourself about the different mattress materials. Innerspring, latex, memory foam and hybrid mattress are the most common types of mattresses. Each version offers both pros and cons, depending on whether you are searching for bounce, support or temperature control while sleeping. An innerspring mattress is built with coils, which results in a nice bounce along with sufficient support. A latex mattress typically provides a bit more bounce and keeps the individual cooler while you sleep. A mattress made with memory foam has the unique feature of curving the body, which releases pressure. A hybrid mattress, however, blends the properties of memory foam and/or latex mattress with the features of innerspring mattresses which offers the individual both a soft and supportive bed.
- Choose a mattress that best suits your go-to sleeping position. If you sleep on your side, a memory foam mattress may be best for you. Given its ability to conform to the shape of your body, it will alleviate a lot of pressure in both the hips and shoulders. On the other hand, someone who sleeps on their stomach would find memory foam very uncomfortable! A mattress made to be firm, like an innerspring mattress, would lend far more support for your body.
- Your weight says a lot about what type of mattress you should purchase. If you weigh less than 150 pounds experts suggest a bed on the firmer side. For individuals who weigh anywhere from 150 to 200 pounds, there is more flexibility. Anywhere from a firm to a semi-soft mattress would effectively support the body and provide comfort. For anyone who weighs over 200 pounds, it is recommended that the mattress has both thick and firm features to offer the proper amount of support.
- Have back pain? Memory foam and/or latex is best for those with back pain since it molds to your body for support. A medium-firm foam mattress may work well for your sleeping needs. According to a 2015 study of 40 older adults experiencing various types of musculoskeletal pain, medium-firm foam mattresses may help relieve pain and reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep.
- If you and your partner's preferences don't match, then air-filled mattresses with dual chambers can be helpful. There are also online mattress companies where each person can fill out a questionnaire and have a side customized based on his/her responses.
The content on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on 30Seconds.com do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.
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