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7 simple steps to choosing a new mattress

The clocks are going back, and speaking of time, is it time for a new mattress?  It can be difficult trying to work out which one is going to be the best for you (and your partner!)  Did you know it’s recommended that you replace your mattress every seven years? A recent survey of over 2,000 adults found that more than one in ten (11%) adults have never replaced their mattress at all and the same number would only do so if they slept better on a different bed!

So, to make the decision easier for you, we’ve put together our six top tips for choosing a new mattress.

So which mattress should I choose?

  1. We’re going to let you in to a little secret… There is no single mattress style or type that works for all people with low back pain. Ultimately, if you find a mattress that means you sleep without pain, then that’s the one for you.  Choose the mattress that you find comfortable, which will depend upon your height, build and personal preference.
  2. Memory mattresses. Love it or hate it, memory foam can be a fantastic solution as it allows your mattress to support every contour of your body.  The only issue is, memory foam can be very expensive, and can cause sleepers to overheat.  If you’re committed to a full memory foam mattress, look for one with ventilation to stop you cooking gently overnight.  We’d suggest a memory foam toppers as it’s more affordable than a full memory foam mattress but offers many of the same health benefits as a full memory foam mattress.
  3. Balance.  Achieve a balance between back support and comfort. The old way of thinking was that a firm mattress offers more support, but what we know now is that it can cause pressure points as you have fewer areas of your body in contact with the mattress.  A medium-firm mattress may be more comfortable as it allows your shoulders and hips to sink in slightly.  If you want a firmer mattress for back support, we’d suggest one of those memory foam toppers we’ve mentioned earlier.
  4. Sleep quality is pivotal for those with low back pain so pay attention to the mattress components.  Mattresses can play a huge part in disturbed sleep- if you’re tossing and turning all night, you’re going to keep your partner awake.  Equally, you’re not getting a restful night’s sleep and there is a strong link between sleep quality and pain.   Mattresses with multi-zone pocket springs or unlinked pocket springs are a fantastic choice to eliminate partner disturbances- linked pocket springs tend to relay movement to adjoining springs, creating a ripple of movement across the mattress that’s bound to wake your partner up.  You could also explore the option of zip or link beds if you still can’t avoid waking each other up!
  5. When testing a new mattress, have someone look at the position of your back when you’re on the bed. If you are lying on your side on the bed, your spine should be parallel to the mattress and it should not sag (bed too soft) or bow (bed too hard). The longer you can spend lying on a mattress before you buy it, the more accurate you’ll be able to tell if it’s the right mattress for you. Take your partner with you when you go to test them out.
  6. Don’t forget to try new pillows with your new mattress. There’s no point spending several Sleeping chiropractic back pain new mattress neck pain osteopathy physiotherapy Hampshire Emsworth Sussex Chichester Sleeping Posturehundred pounds on a new mattress if your pillows are as old as the hills- it’s important that you have a pillow that appropriately supports your head and neck too.
  7. Lastly, think about the height of the bed too.  If you have the world’s most perfect mattress but can’t physically get out of the bed comfortably, it’s not going to help with your back pain.  Make sure you can get in and out of the bed with relative ease before you commit to buying.

So, to summarise:

  • Choose the mattress that you find comfortable.
  • Consider a memory foam topper before investing in a full memory foam mattress.
  • A medium-firm mattress (with or without topper) is a safe bet.
  • A multi-zone pocket spring or unlinked coil spring will reduce partner disturbance.
  • Spend as much time lying on the mattress as possible before you buy it.
  • Your pillow needs to be appropriately supportive too!
  • Can you get in and out the bed easily? If not- don’t buy it.

A good night’s sleep is hugely important in recovering from any type of pain or injury.  If you need help or advice on coping with your pain, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01243 379693 or book an appointment here.