People struggling with chronic pain need to switch to extra supportive mattresses to find relief from joint and body aches. When you go shopping for a supportive mattress, the salesmen will show you a bed with ‘orthopedic mattress’ labeling.
As there is no regulation associated with mattress making or what are the standards of producing an orthopedic mattress, every variety is sold as ‘orthopedic’. It is too tricky to choose the right one. Therefore, first, understand what constitutes an orthopedic mattress.
What’s an orthopedic mattress?
It is the best mattress, which offers pressure relief and strong support to sensitive areas like shoulders, and hips and even promotes proper spine alignment. An orthopedic mattress is recommended for people sleeping with agony or seniors struggling with chronic pain. Athletes recovering from an injury can sleep deeper, thus encouraging the healing process as well as reducing the pain.
In the 1950s, the orthopedic mattress term got introduced. They were specifically designed for preventing morning back pain. When manufacturers witnessed the demand for therapeutic mattresses, they began to call them ‘orthopedic’. There is no legal standard to differentiate the mattresses. There is also no regulation to control the labeling and product description. Today, the word ‘orthopedic mattress’ is used as a marketing term.
- Offers great support as well as spinal alignment.
- Keeps sleepers comfortable.
- Relieves pressure, so sleepers can wake up pain-free.
- It is hard to distinguish a genuine orthopedic mattress.
- It is extremely expensive.
Orthopedic mattress firmness
Chiropractors recommend medium to medium-firm mattresses. The extra firm or ultra-soft mattresses are not regarded as orthopedic as they are not appropriate for extensive body types and sleep styles.
- Medium mattresses offer comfort. They are suitable for back, side, and combination sleepers with an average weight ranging from 130 to 230 pounds. Cushioning and support are well-balanced, which ensures that the pressure points stay protected as the joints are embraced. The little firmness keeps the shoulders and hips lifted as well as the spine aligned.
- A medium-firm mattress is good for heavy people with more than 230 pounds and the ones struggling with back pain. The firmness is a little more than a medium mattress. It helps to lessen the excess sinking as well as the spine getting pushed out in a strange position.
Orthopedic mattress types
Memory foam mattress
This type closely contours to the body shape, which ensures that every part gets cradled and supported. Memory foam is very responsive and flexible. It molds your body even when you change positions.
Memory foam’s buoyancy promotes spine alignment and the deep contouring characteristic prevents pressure buildup near the joints. Therefore, memory foam or gel memory foam is recommended for chronic pain.
It gives the feel and comfort like memory foam but is a little bouncy, which is ideal for spinal support. The latex foam material is supple, so perfect alternative for medium or medium-firm mattresses.
The top layer of a hybrid mattress is made from latex or memory foam. Below this upper layer is a foundation of pocketed coils. Each coil moves separately rather than in unison. It means a hybrid mattress transfers less motion and contours body shape closely.
Tips to find an ideal orthopedic mattress
As there are a majority of mattresses claim to be orthopedic, the chances that they may be incapable to offer the expected benefits are more. Here are tips to find an ideal orthopedic mattress.
When people lay on the bed their shoulder, hip, and joints handle the body weight’s impact. If the mattress is firm, friction builds up in those spots and causes pain. Therefore, look for a mattress that offers to cushion these sensitive areas. The mattress must not be too soft enabling the shoulder and hips to sink as well as push the spine to a bending position.
When a mattress distributes the body weight evenly, the spine maintains its neutral position. If one section sinks more inside a sagging mattress, the spine gets pushed in a strange position. This causes tension and stress buildup in the lower back.
Ultra-soft mattress sinks your body a lot and thus triggers the spine to misalign. If the mattress is very firm, the sleeper will not sink but struggle with pain near the joints. Therefore, a medium to medium-firm mattress is best as it offers minimal sinking and protects the spine from misalignment.