Looking for a new mattress? Anyone who has been shopping recently will notice an incredibly large range of mattresses to pick from: innerspring, memory foam, latex, air-hubs, etc. Which is the best for you? Will they affect your back pain?
Although conclusive studies are limited, some research has shown that firmer mattress is not always better. Patients with chronic, non-specific pain had less pain and disability when sleeping on medium-firm mattresses compared to patients sleeping on firm mattresses.
Having said that, there really isn’t a hard and fast rule about mattresses; the best is simply any mattress that helps you sleep without pain and stiffness. So depending on your preferred sleeping posture and your health condition, your mattress should be firm enough to maintain your spine in the position similar to a good standing posture. For example: Softer mattresses are better for side sleepers to allow the shoulders and hips to sink in and promote sleeping in a neutral spinal position. Whereas harder mattresses is better for over-weight or a person with back conditions that require more support.
So when choosing a mattress, don’t push or bounce on it in the store; instead, lie on it for 10-15 minutes and test your favourite sleeping position on it. Better yet, bring your own pillow, recreate your sleeping condition to the best you can so that when you spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on it, you are sure to be making the best choice possible.