Living with Chronic Pain
Tips for Choosing a New Mattress
Quality sleep is important for everyone, especially for individuals with chronic pain or other chronic health conditions. A negative sleep/pain cycle can be interrupted by getting a proper night’s rest, leading to less pain throughout the day. Sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress can contribute to problematic sleep issues; replacing the mattress could be the answer to getting quality sleep.
When is it time to replace a mattress?
Knowing when to replace a mattress is important. Since mattresses vary considerably in quality and type, there is no universal rule about when to replace a mattress.
Here are some points to consider:
- Expired warranty. If the warranty for a mattress is expired, it may be time to purchase a new mattress.
- Signs of wear and tear. If a mattress is showing signs of visible wear and tear (e.g., sagging in the middle, squeaky or poking springs, etc.) a new mattress may be a good investment.
- Motion transfer. If a sleeping partner’s movement is causing sleeping issues, purchasing a new mattress may be in order. Over time, mattresses lose their ability to prevent motion transfer.
If purchasing a new mattress is not in the budget, several things can be tried first:
- Try flipping the mattress. However, this is not possible with pillow top mattresses.
- If the mattress is a pillow top, try rotating it.
- If a firm mattress is needed, try placing the mattress on the floor or place a piece of plywood between the mattress and the box spring.
Purchasing a new mattress
Buying a new mattress can be an expensive proposition. Here are some tips for purchasing a new mattress:
- Watch out for gimmicks such as “orthopedic” or “medically-approved.” No legitimate medical organizations or groups approve mattresses.
- Learn about the various types of mattresses.
- Don’t assume that a firm mattress is best, even if back pain is an issue. Research shows that the best type of mattress for back pain is a medium-firm mattress.
- Visit a store where it’s possible to try out different mattresses.
- Check the length of the warranty.
- Look for a company that offers a money-back guarantee and generous trial period.
- Read reviews from actual customers.
- Ask a health care professional for advice if specific health conditions are a concern.
- Ask friends and family members for recommendations.
- Look for recommendations from other individuals in the chronic pain community who have the same or similar conditions. The Mighty is a good source for this.
Remember, higher price does not always equal better quality.