This is a guest post from Michelle Gordon, a bit of a mattress expert!
Is your bed less comfortable than you’d like? Do you wake up with aches and pains, or toss and turn during the night? Your mattress may be the cause. Here are 5 tips on why your mattress doesn’t cut it.
- Your mattress is old. A study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Care had some participants switch their old mattress systems for new, medium-firm mattresses and others continue sleeping on their usual mattresses. The group that switched to a new mattress had significant decreases in pain, stiffness, and soreness in the neck and back. No matter what mattress type you choose, get a new one when it’s outlived its recommended lifespan.
- You don’t have the right mattress foundation. No matter how luxurious your mattress is, it won’t be able to do its job if it’s placed on the wrong foundation. For example, if you put a high-quality latex mattress on a box spring meant for an inner spring mattress, the latex will sag. Your mattress won’t be able to support you properly, nor will it last as long as it should. Always use a manufacturer-recommended foundation.
- The mattress construction is outdated. Old-school inner spring mattresses and waterbeds, as well as some air mattresses, rely on dated technology that may not be as comfortable as newer options. Newer isn’t always better, though—some new mattress technologies aren’t as well researched or implemented as their more venerable counterparts. Choose a mattress with extensive R&D and several years of proven customer satisfaction.
- Your mattress uses materials that don’t work well together. Some mattress materials simply aren’t as comfortable as others. An inner spring mattress, for example, may be equipped with a pillow-top “comfort layer” for added softness. If the pillow top is made of latex or memory foam that’s too soft or too thin, the comfort layer can compress and “bottom out” so that you’re still basically sleeping on un-padded steel springs. Make sure you understand the inner workings of your mattress before you buy.
- You may have medical problems a mattress can’t fix. No matter how comfortable or supportive your mattress, some medical conditions will still cause pain at night. The right mattress can make you more comfortable or help you sleep better, but it won’t heal you. If you have pain that isn’t alleviated by sleeping on a new, supportive mattress that you find comfortable and that helps keep your spine properly aligned, seek medical care.
Choose your mattress wisely, keep it on a recommended box spring, and replace it when it’s time—and you’ll have the best chance of getting good sleep each night. If you have a suitable mattress and still can’t sleep, it may be time to see a doctor.