Is There Really A ‘Best’ Mattress For Back Pain?
You’re waking up stiff and tired. Sometimes, you even notice aches and soreness repeatedly occurring at specific parts. The culprit – you deem – is your mattress, and there’s plenty of online literature suggesting a poor quality mattress or old piece is the reason for back pain due to the poor spinal support during sleep.
So after identifying the source of your problem, you start looking into a new mattress to solve your woes. That’s when the claims of the best mattress for your back pains start to happen.
Step into any shop and you’ll be presented with many solutions. One suggests latex as the best support, while another offers up the option of innersprings for its flexibility. So who’s right, and who’s just working the sale?
The answer – neither and both.
Between innerspring and foam
The first major upgrade to mattresses happened in 1871, and came in the form of innersprings – coils of metal (sometimes heat-treated for extra durability and strength like those in LMG mattresses) used within a bed to give it flexibility. Traditional spring mattresses, also known as Bonnell springs, were adaptive to the movement of the sleeper and could bounce back to their form, promising years of service.
Foam mattresses came about in 1929 and promised better support and adaptability, with less motion transfer. Like every new innovation, it took off in the 1940s, but it was until NASA released premium memory foam to the public domain in the early 1980s that foam became really popular.
However, each came with their own set of shortfalls. Bonnell springs don’t contour as well to the body compared to foam, thus lacking the precision of spinal support. Foam, on the other hand, can be slow to contour and traps heat.
Moving past materials
In an effort to combine the benefits of both systems and tap into their strengths, mattress manufacturers have been trying to solve causes of back pain during sleep by coming up with iterations of a hybrid model. It’s about targeting that sweet spot between support and flexibility – using materials to intelligently adapt to the sleeper.
The best types support and give where it is needed, providing good sleeping posture by keeping the spine aligned throughout the night. Today, these hybrid models are generally regarded as the most premium versions, often used in luxury hotels. But because these combinations are based on different sciences and different ideologies from each mattress company, there will always be differing opinions on what is the best mattress for back pain and good quality of sleep
Some may emphasise their ratio of spring to foam. Others might reason an assortment of foam in a particular order will work best. While all of these have their validity, the truth is that no one brand holds sway over the best mattress for back pain. That answer lies elsewhere.
The individual matters most
In the hunt for the best mattress, the key factor lies with the sleeper – you.
Are you a side sleeper or do so on your back? Do you move a lot while you rest? Are you more lightweight or heavy-set? All these questions (and more) should be asked before deciding on a mattress for yourself – and even more so if you are choosing one to resolve back pains.
The most important thing to remember is that one must keep good sleeping posture by keeping the spine in a neutral position. And many of our physical self can impact what support we need.
Take for instance the body shape. If you have narrow hips and want to keep the spine aligned, you’ll want a firmer surface to keep them straight. For wider hips, a softer mattress will allow for the hips to sink in, giving room for the spine to straighten – if you are a side sleeper that is.
Side sleepers usually have more points on the upper body (such as the shoulders and elbows) that need the mattress to give more, while back sleepers will appreciate more softness on the lower half. Skinny or elderly people with more angular joints will also appreciate more of a softer surface, whilst heavier folks will enjoy a firm pushback from springs.
Because of these various possibilities, it’s best to isolate the source of the back pain to begin with. Speaking to a chiropractor or doctor is a great way to start, as they can medically access the root cause of your pain. You could have tight shoulders that pull on your back muscles from sagging springs in that area, foam firmness pushing at the wrong parts and twisting your spine out of alignment, or maybe even a chronic ailment like a slipped disc that requires the right support to relief pain – a medical professional will best determine the causes of your back pain and produce a helpful medical report.
With that document, a mattress maker (such as LMG) will then be able to recognise the problem at its source and recommend a mattress that provides the targeted support one needs. There is no ‘best’ mattress as there is one ‘best’ for you.
Let LMG walk you through options for your specific individual concerns to relieve your back pain and give you the premium sleep you deserve.