Nothing can increase your back pain during the night like sleeping on a bad mattress. Up until a few year ago, popular belief was that the firmer the surface you sleep on, the better you’ll be sleeping, especially if you suffered from back pain. Now, experts say that the best surface to sleep on is one that combines firmness with comfort. However, with the market’s abundance of models, it is difficult to draw the line between good and perfect. Furthermore, people bodies sometimes respond differently to the same set of features, and when it comes to medical symptoms, this difference becomes deeper.
Yet, there are a few key features that are generally accepted as useful in dealing with back pain. You can read everywhere about support but what does that mean exactly? The body’s shape isn’t flat, as there are three curves of the spine. To ensure enough support just for them means to put pressure on the arched segments, resulting in even more stress and pain.
Good support means all the points of the spine are relieved of pressure, and that can only happen when the body makes full contact with the surface of the mattress. If a mattress is too firm, the body will try to make this contact by distorting the spine. On the contrary, if the mattress is too soft, the body will press its entire weight in the soft mass, describing an open curve, which is again, distorting the spine. The best option is in the middle, in a medium-soft mattress that will let the weight of the body distribute itself evenly, allowing full contact but also maintaining some resistance.
Memory foam mattresses are, at this moment, the most recommended for pressure relief and back pain. Their soft texture embraces the body, learning its shape. However, memory foam comes in different density measurements, and a low-density memory foam won’t give you that much of the needed support. If you like the softness, though, you can choose a mattress with a memory foam cover on a more rigid support.
Latex mattresses, while not as popular as the previous type, are still ranked high among people suffering from back pain, because of the support, longevity and affordability they offer. However, the major drawback is that they’re not very comfortable.
Lastly, innerspring mattresses with pocketed coils have made a comeback on this market, as they offer enough support and weight distribution, and can be topped with soft layers that enhance their comfortability.