How to Choose the Best Mattress for Spinal Support

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Photo from Mattress Advisor

Ashely Little, our friend over at Mattress Advisor , wrote us this great article on helpful tips for choosing the best mattress for your spine. You spend a significant portion of your life in your bed. It’s important to choose a mattress that will best support you and not be a detriment to your health!

“We think about our posture during the day while we’re sitting and standing, but it’s not something we can be conscious of in our sleep. Keeping correct posture is vital to protecting our back, neck, and joints from strain. How are we supposed to take care of that while we sleep?

The answer is all in your mattress.

Finding a mattress that offers proper support to keep your spine in correct alignment throughout the night is critical for avoiding aches and pains in the morning. Keep reading to learn how to find the best mattress for supporting your spine. 

What’s in a bed? 

The mattress industry has undergone a lot of change in the past decade. You used to shop for a mattress by going to a showroom, hopping on a bunch of different options, and awkwardly navigating your way around a salesman trying to make as much commission off of you as possible. 

Nowadays, you can avoid the middleman. Direct-to-consumer brands have been busy developing top-of-the-line mattresses that are compressed, rolled in a box, and shipped straight to your door. 

With all the brands competing for your loyalty, it’s hard to know who to choose. It’s no longer as simple as driving down to the local mattress shop in town. That’s why it’s important that you do your research and dig into third-party reviews to learn what sets each mattress apart. There are innerspring, memory foam, and hybrid beds ranging with various levels of thickness, breathability, and levels of spinal support. Depending on your sleeping needs and preferences, the type of mattress that works best for you will vary.

Why you need proper spinal support

How to choose the best mattress

During the day, you’re in control. When you feel yourself slouching in your chair you remind yourself the importance of proper posture. While you’re sleeping, there’s no telling what’s going on with your posture. 

If you’re sleeping on a mattress that’s too firm or too soft, your spine will be in an unnatural position. This can cause long-term irritation and inflame your joints. What does this mean? You’ll feel like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed every morning. Keeping your spinal cord in an unnatural position speeds up the degeneration process and leads to muscle tightness and spinal misalignment. 

This is why you need a mattress that does the work for you. A supportive mattress that offers pushback and bodily contour in all of the right spots will help you get the restorative sleep you need without risking your spinal health. 

What to look for 

When you’re shopping around for a mattress that prevents back pain and offers spinal support, you’ll likely want a memory foam option. Memory foam tends to be the best at cradling your body, relieving pressure points, and keeping your spine supported. As opposed to traditional innerspring or coil mattresses, memory foam does an exceptional job at distributing your body weight evenly to prevent discomfort. 

You’ll also want to consider breathability. Memory foam has a bad reputation for causing people to sleep hot, but recent developments have been made to create memory foam that allows for better airflow. This will be important for allowing your body to receive proper amounts of oxygen, keeping your temperature regulated and helping your muscles and joints relax and rejuvenate. 

One more thing. Before you start looking for the most firm mattresses because you heard a myth that a firm bed is better for back pain, you should know this isn’t totally true. Generally, people with back pain prefer mattresses in the medium-firm to firm range (around a 5.5-7.5 out of 10, with 10 being the most firm). Sleeping on a rock-hard mattress will only add to your pain, not alleviate it. 

Why your sleeping position matters

Your sleeping position also plays a factor when it comes to choosing the bed that will offer you the most spinal support, specifically for side sleepers. 

People who sleep on their sides have a harder time having their weight be evenly distributed, leading to an unnatural spinal position and pain in the mornings. When you’re a side sleeper, you should look for a bed in the medium-soft to medium end of the firmness scale to reduce the stress on your shoulders and hips. 

Contour and pressure relief will be especially important, but you don’t want a mattress that’s so soft that you sink into it. For your best chance at sweet dreams, look for mattresses made with a memory foam blend, either standard, latex, or gel memory foam. Latex and gel memory foam are great at quickly restoring shape as you move around in your sleep to support your body. 

How to find the best mattress for you 

Shopping for a mattress can be overwhelming. Quality sleep is a serious matter and you don’t want to mess it up. 

When you’re on the hunt for a mattress, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the best option for you. If you don’t know where to start, try taking Mattress Advisor’s mattress finder quiz to learn what type of bed could be best for you. 

When it comes to your spinal health, you’ll want to make sure you’re always making the best decisions for your health. Consult with your chiropractor regularly to ensure you’re correctly addressing your needs.”

If you are having trouble sleeping, there are things you can do! Waking up sore in the morning, having a hard time falling or staying asleep doesn’t have to be your reality any longer. Chiropractic can be a great option to relieve those aches and pains and get your sleeping through the night. Give us a call at 303-776-6767 to see how chiropractic can get you sleeping better!