How Can You Tell If A Mattress Is Too Soft
There are a few telltale signs that your mattress is too soft to support you:
- Your mattress sags under your weight.
- You feel as though youre rolling toward the middle or falling off the side of your mattress.
- You may wake up with stiffness or soreness in your lower back.
- You sleep on your stomach and wake with a stiff neck.
- You find it difficult to roll over or get in and out of bed without feeling stuck.
There Is No Perfect Bed
There is no best mattress. It probably varies enormously as to what you are used to, said Dr. Steven H. Feinsilver, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Humans spend about one-third of their lives sleeping, but we still havent figured out what an ideal mattress should feel like. Thats because there likely isnt a single type that would be perfect for everyone.
In the past, doctors have recommended hard mattresses, but more recent surveys and studies have increasingly pointed toward medium firm mattresses as the best for sleep comfort, quality, and spinal alignment.
One report from 2011 found that when individuals were given seven beds of different firmness to try for a month, there was no consensus about which was the best.
Unfortunately, terms like hard and medium firm tend to come with varying degrees of subjectivity, meaning one companys medium firm mattress may feel nothing like another companys.
Its fairly remarkable that there is not any consistency in the literature where people have looked at it and said this is the kind of bed you need, said Feinsilver.
Products like the Sleep Number Bed, which allow for complete control and variability of bed firmness highlight just how subjective the ideal sleeping surface should feel. In some models, two people can sleep on the same bed with each half tuned to each individuals own specifications.
Not as much as youd think.
The Best Memory Foam Bed Mattress Reviews & Acquiring Guide Is Firm Mattress Good For Back Pain
The most effective memory foam cushion reviews are an outstanding area for you to start your search for the excellent bed. They are likewise a great way to contrast various kinds of cushions and also review what functions every one has.
There is currently no solitary bed mattress that will match everyones needs, so it is critical to discover a bed that fits your particular demands.
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Initial Back Pain When You Wake Up
You know that feeling of stiffness when you first wake up? Its the result of long periods of rest or decreased blood flow from sleeping. It usually takes a few minutes of stretching and moving to get rid of that stiff feeling. But if your back is in acute pain when you first wake up and you have to actively stretch to get rid of it, that might be a sign your mattress is doing more harm than good, according to The Joint Chiropractic.
If youre waking up with back pain thats an indicator that your mattress isnt supporting you, said Dr Smycz.
Is Hard Mattress Good Or Soft
Hard Vs. Soft Mattress: What mattress style fits your needs? The hard mattress gives stiffness to your body while the soft mattress cushions the body. Some people choose stiffness for their back and body pain while some prefer to have softer support.
Is memory foam firm or soft?
Speaking of foam, memory foam mattresses are often softer-than-average this material is known for its comfortable feel and great pressure relief. In fact, some of the best bed-in-a-box mattresses feature memory foam alternatives such as Adaptive Foam or AirFoam that are also quite soft.
Is a firm or soft mattress better for hip pain?
To relieve hip pain, especially for side sleepers, a softer mattress surface will help tight muscles relax and relieve pressure. If you already have a good-quality mattress but its too firm, and youre aware of uncomfortable hip pressure, consider adding a soft mattress topper.
Whats the difference between soft, medium and firm mattresses?
Mattress firmness can also be conveyed in three simple categories: soft, medium, and firm. Its important to understand that firmness and support are not synonymous. Support refers to how the mattress encourages proper spinal alignment. Support and comfort arent mutually exclusive, either. A mattress can be soft while offering excellent support.
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How To Shop For An Extra
Firmness is just one of the factors that can add to the comfort level of your mattress. Here are some other factors to keep in mind as you shop:
- Mattress type. Whether you choose an innerspring, foam, or hybrid mattress is based on personal preference. If youre not sure what you like best, hybrid mattresses can be a great option, since they incorporate elements from both innerspring and foam mattresses.
- Motion isolation. Motion isolation refers to a mattresss ability to absorb motion. If you share a bed with a partner, a mattress with good motion isolation can ensure you dont wake each other up if you toss and turn a lot.
- Pressure relief.Mattresses with pressure relief allow for some contouring near areas that bear the most weight at night, like the hips or shoulders. Extra-firm mattresses dont allow for a ton of sinking, which can make pressure relief harder to find. If you know you need pressure relief, look for mattresses made with foam on top for some added comfort and contouring.
- Temperature control. Some mattresses use specific materials to prevent body heat from trapping or create a cool-to-touch feeling. If you tend to sleep hot, try looking for mattresses that incorporate this kind of technology.
- Edge support. This term refers to the amount of support on the edges of a mattress. A mattress without good edge support will sink if you sit on the edge of it. This can cause sagging over time or make your bed less comfortable if youre sharing with a partner.
Other Good Mattresses For Back Pain
Although we liked the following mattresses, they fell short of our main picks for various reasons. Still, one of these may be right for you.
The $500 IKEA Hesstun may suit back-pain sufferers in search of a wallet-friendly innerspring model. We found that its actually a bit firmer than its medium-firm designation. The almost-13-inch Hesstun has just under 600 mini pocket springs near the surface , which makes the mattress feel quite supportive and not at all cheap. A puffy Euro top adds softness, though some testers found it off-puttingly stuffed” rather than conforming. The Hesstuns polyfoam densities are typical for mattresses in the $500 to $1,200 price rangeand in most cases, the steel coils help protect against sagging. As a result, the Hesstun should hold up adequately for the long term, particularly if you weigh less than 200 pounds. Because the Hesstun has fewer total coils than its competitors, people who weigh more are likelier to see body impressions or dips in the mattress over time. If you dont like the Hesstun, you can exchange it for another mattress within 90 days or return it for a refund within 180 days, but youll likely have to haul it back to your local IKEA store yourself.
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It Needs To Keep Your Spine Aligned
You may not realize it, but good posture is important when you sleep. The muscles and ligaments in your back need to relax and recover while you snooze. If a mattress is too firm — or too squishy — it won’t support your spine at your neck or lower back the way it needs to. What’s firm enough is different for everyone: If you have wide hips, for instance, a slightly softer surface may be better. You need some more give in order to keep your spine in alignment. Someone with narrower hips might be better off with a firmer surface.
When To Change Your Mattress And Box Spring
The Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every 710 years, but you have to always pay attention to how you feel when you wake up and the quality of your sleep. Of course many things can cause back pain, but an old mattress or a mattress that isn’t right for you is a very common contributor to back pain.
Some signs that you need to replace box springs are squeaking or sagging in the center. You can remove the dust cover and look inside. If you see worn or broken wood slats or coils, then you know it’s time. Though box springs tend to last longer than mattresses, some people replace their box spring whenever they replace their mattress.
You may also realize that your mattress isn’t working for you. Several years ago I spent a week in a hotel and realized on the second day that I wasn’t waking up with a tight lower back. The bed I was sleeping on was at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles, and it was called the “Heavenly Bed.” The bed was ultra soft. When I got home, I ordered a 4-inch foam layer to put on top of my bed to make it softer, and I was waking up with no pain. My wife said that her hip pain went away. Our mattress was 7 years old, so it was about time to get a new one, but even if I had only just bought my mattress, we would have purchased a new one.
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Which Type Of Mattress Is Best For Back Pain
A key step in choosing a mattress is deciding which mattress type is most likely to work for you. Virtually all mattresses on the market today can be broken into five types based on their construction and materials.
Within each category, you can find consistent features however, we know there can be notable variation from one brand or model to the next. Some types allow for a greater diversity of designs, which leads to a wider variation in the expected feel and performance of any specific mattress.
Cons Of A Firm Mattress
Firm mattresses may be a bit uncomfortable for some individuals such as side sleepers, petite sleepers, and some combination sleepers this is especially true for sleepers transitioning from a softer mattress since the adjustment is more drastic. Firm mattresses tend to cause aches and pains amongst side and combo sleepers because they dont adequately cushion the shoulders and hips. If a person has existing back problems, such as scoliosis, an overly-firm mattress can worsen pain by exacerbating the curve in their spine.
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Emma Premium Hybrid Mattress
Best overall for back pain
- Trial: 200 nights
An award-winning foam and pocket-spring hybrid mattress thats worth considering if you suffer from back pain. It uses the brands specially designed HRX Supreme Foam, which stands for high resiliency extra foam, and isnt just jargon its extra durable and designed with different zones of density to align and support your spine . As per Gibsons advice, this mattress is described as medium firm, but the brand will provide extra layers of memory foam topping to soften it or firm it up should you require.
Five layers of alternating high-tech memory foam and pocket springs combine for a springy yet supremely supportive feel, so it’s no wonder Emma won a wide array of consumer awards for comfort. Emma offers a lengthy 200 night trial and a ten year guarantee.
What Makes The Nolah Evolution Stand Out
- At 15 tall, this thick mattress has excellent durability, and can last over 10 years.
- The Nolah Evolution could be a good choice for couples. With great motion isolation, you and your partner shouldnt disturb each other when moving around at night.
- For hot sleepers, it has an ArcticTex cooling cover to dissipate excess heat, a coil system that promotes airflow, and an AirBreath gusset.
If youre a side sleeper who deals with back pain, youll need a bed thats supportive enough to help keep your spine in a straight line, while still providing enough sinkage and pressure relief to prevent you from developing shoulder or hip pain. The Bear Hybrid strikes this balance nicely. It gets support from a layer of coils, and offers pressure relief and contouring from a thick top layer of memory foam. Overall, this hybrid mattress has a luxurious, medium-firm feel that should provide sleepers with a very comfortable experience.
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What Mattress Firmness Is Best For Back Pain
The best mattress firmness for back pain depends on the nature of the back pain. Medium-firm mattresses are usually the go-to firmness level, but you may need to adjust the firmness based on your weight and what part of the back is causing discomfort.
Now, there are a lot of specs that you need to look for when choosing the right mattress for back pain.
But I want to mention the firmness level above them all.
And heres the trick:
Each type of pain may need a different level of firmness.
Thats why even the best mattress for back pain in Canadamight just not work for you because of the unsuitable firmness.
So, let me explain the correlation between the pain type and the mattress firmness that may work best for its alleviation.
Can Sleeping Position Impact Back Pain
Sleeping position may have a direct impact on back pain. This is because each sleeping position forms a unique set of pressure points that need cushioning. Our data shows that having the right mattress to conform to your sleeping position is essential in preventing and relieving back pain.
Back sleepers tend to have the most pressure points around the lumbar area. Our data has shown the weight of the stomach will cause this area to fall out of alignment with the back and hips if a mattress feel is too soft. Conversely, if the mattress feel is too firm, it wont adjust to the spines natural curvature in the lumbar area. For this reason, a medium-feel mattress usually works best for back sleepers.
Side sleepers have high-impact zones where the body is the widest, typically at the hips and shoulders. A mattress must be soft enough to cushion those pressure points but not too soft to let you sink too deeply and out of line with the rest of the body. Our data shows side sleepers with back pain get the best sleep quality and comfort from a medium soft feel mattress.
Body weight is an essential factor to think about, along with the sleeping position. People with more body weight will sink further into a mattress, heightening the risks in all sleeping positions of the heavier body parts becoming misaligned. For example, sleepers over 16 stones generally need a firmer mattress than someone who weighs 10 stones and sleeps in the same position.
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How Can You Make A Mattress Softer
If your mattress feels too firm, there are a few steps you can take to make it softer without sacrificing support.
First, if your mattress is brand new, just wait awhile. Theres a break-in period for new mattresses, and you may even feel some discomfort on a new mattress at first. It can take at least 30 days for your body to adjust.
If youd like to soften the surface of your mattress, consider adding a mattress topper. Toppers come in a variety of different materials from wool to down to memory foam. They add a layer of comfort that can help relieve pressure points and promote spinal alignment.
If your new memory foam mattress is too firm, consider raising the thermostat in your room. Foam responds to heat and body temperature, so a slightly warmer room can help a new mattress soften.
Try Changing Up Your Sleeping Position
Changing your sleeping position is one way to try to get back pain relief.
If you are a back or stomach sleeper with a soft mattress and you dont have the budget for a new bed, you can try switching to a side sleeping position that will receive more support from your existing mattress. In general, experts recommend that stomach sleepers try to adjust to side or back sleeping because its easier to get appropriate support in those positions.
For people with acute pain, temporary changes to your sleeping position may help to reduce stress on already sore or achy parts of your back. For example, people with lumbar pain might try a period of side sleeping to avoid the excess bending of that area that can happen on your stomach or back.
While changing sleeping positions is worth a shot, its often not a long-term solution because the change can be hard to stick with. Some people just cant get comfortable in a different position or they may quickly revert back to their old sleeping position during the night. In these cases, other approaches are more likely to be beneficial over the medium- to long-term.
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How To Sleep With Back Pain
Sometimes your back pain issues are not solved by just getting a new mattress, or even a mattress with a better firmness. Your sleep health is a combination of so many different factors. Here are some tactics you can try:
Side Sleeping tips
- Use a pillow between your kneesside sleeping requires one leg to be higher than the other. What ends up happening is that the top leg can rock and pull at your pelvis due to the downward slope towards your feet. Adding a pillow between your knees not only takes the weight off your lower leg but it levels the top leg and helps it rest in a more neutral position.
- Use a small thin pillow just above your pelvisthis area is notoriously unsupported, especially for the petite or people with wide hips and a thin waist. If you find this area unsupported then this is a great thing to try as it also helps position your pelvis and legs for good sleep.
- Dont forget about your pilloweach area within your sleeping position can have an impact on your sleep. Even as a lower back pain sufferer, fixing problems with your pillow and neck position can actually help improve back pain as well. Side sleepers should seek a thicker pillow to fill the often large gap between the shoulder and neck.
- Learn more specifics about side sleeping, tips and mattress recommendations by reading my guide on Best Mattresses for Side Sleeping
Back Sleeping Tips
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