Learn How to Choose the Right Mattress and Avoid Back Pain

Learn How to Choose the Right Mattress and Avoid Back Pain

Waking up in pain or in a groggy state from a poor night’s sleep takes its toll on your next day’s mood, performance, and health.

There are many factors at play when it comes to sleep quality, and your mattress is certainly one of them. They’re a big investment, especially for your health – so is there any real consensus on what constitutes a ‘perfect mattress’?

Not really.

“Picking out a mattress can be tricky. Generally the mattress shouldn’t be too soft or too firm,” said Kevin M. Cerrone, DPT, director of Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Services at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital, Huntington, NY.


Studies lean towards medium-firm mattresses as the general answer to a product that’s better for lower back pain.

“If the mattress is too firm it causes excessive pressure on certain parts of your body and if too soft it allows your body to sink into bad postures. A medium firm mattress is best allowing your shoulders and hips to sink slightly,” said Cerrone.

Related: This is What Your Sleeping Position is Telling You

But ultimately, the bed that’s best for you will come down to your preferences and comfort. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Give it a test run – That two-minute snooze test on the showroom floor isn’t a good gauge of mattress quality. Check the return policy and see if you can test the bed for a month, or however long you can, to see if the mattress helps or exacerbates back pain. Some studies have shown that improved sleep on a new mattress may just be a placebo effect.
  • Consider body temperature – No one sleeps comfortably when they’re boiling, so keeping cool is important. If you live in a warm climate or your bedroom heats up at night, get a mattress with breathable materials.
  • Think about how your sleep habits – The way you sleep dictates your weight distribution across your body, joints, and bed. A mattress with appropriate firmness can aid your sleeping position, alleviating pain and soreness as a result.

Photo Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com; Dima Sidelnikov/Shutterstock.com

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