Dr. Strasser's Wellness Tips

COPYRIGHT © 2017 Arn Strasser DC

What’s the Best Mattress?

sleep mattressSince we spend about of a third of our life lying on one, buying the right mattress is a pretty important decision. Here are some suggestions regarding how to buy the best mattress for your back and for many hours of restful sleep and, of course, for sweet dreams.

A Bad Mattress Does Not Cause Back Pain. Well, unless its a really, really bad one. Almost always, a worn-out or bad mattress fails to give proper support to the back, and aggravates an underlying back problem. A good mattress makes sense like a good chair and good shoes, but won’t cure the underlying causes of back pain.

Stiffness And Soreness Could Be A Sign. Many underlying mechanical and neurological conditions can cause you to feel stiff and sore, but even a healthy body will wake feeling stiff and sore after sleeping on a bad or worn out mattresss.

Replace Your Mattress Every 8 Years. Depending on the weight and size of the people using it, and whether there are two of them, a mattress needs regular.replacement. Most mattresses last about 8 years, but sometimes you will need to replace a poorly manufactured, or much used mattress, every 5 years. If you sleep on a futon, don’t forget it too needs regular replacement as it loses “give” with age.

Always Take A Sleep Test. All consumer guides to buying a mattress stress taking a sleep test in the store on mattresses you are considering. Some say to try out your mattress later in the day “when you’re not as perky”. Kick off your shoes and lie down on the the mattress for 5-10 minutes, and pretend you’re sleeping. Try to focus on how the bed really feels. It should feel immediately comfortable, and stay that way.

Hard Or Soft, Or Just In-Between? The best mattress is firm enough to provide the support you need, and offer enough cushion and recoil for comfort. In most cases, a medium firm mattress is best, not cushy and soft, and also not hard as a board. A pillow-top can provide comfort and allow for a somewhat firmer mattress below.

What About Coils? A mattress coil-count is always stressed in sales pitches. Coils are important (680 or more are recommended) because the more coils, the smaller they are, and therefore the more they can adapt as we shift around during sleep. However, a smaller amount of coils that are bigger may be better for larger and heavier people. No matter how many coils a bed has, if it doesn’t feel right consider eliminating it from your list.

What About Viscoelastic Foam? Again, it’s important to try them out and make a careful decision based on your needs. Some patients of mine who have fibromyalgia or arthritis say they feel less aching when they wake up on a foam bed. There have been complaints reported with foam beds: that users miss the feel of a traditional mattress, that the foam is hard in cold weather, that they trap heat. Others note the comfort of foam. Again test it out and make your decision carefully.

The Best Depends On You! Even consumer researchers who diligently tear apart mattresses and study people sleeping on them, have a difficult time recommending the best. Your individual idea of comfort, and your individual needs, will help determine what’s best for you.