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Buying a Mattress That Works for Your Back

Buying a Mattress That Works for Your Back

You spend one third of your life sleeping, so if back pain is keeping you awake, your mattress has got to go. Studies indicate that night and morning back pain are tied to the type of mattress you have, your sleeping position, and proper support of your body. Having the right mattress will minimize your pain and maximize your rest.

Proper Alignment

You want the mattress to hold you in proper alignment from head to toe. You need the mattress to push up on your body to counteract your body weight. Now, that does not mean getting a super hard or firm mattress. Your body isn’t a straight line; it has curves, so a mattress must contour to support the curves and arches of your body. The Serta iComfort Blue Max is designed for gentle yet firm support and will hug the curves of your body.

A supportive mattress will dip down around your shoulders and hips, yet keep your spine in proper alignment. If a mattress is too firm, your hips and shoulders will be pushed up and you will wake up feeling stiff. The same issues can occur if a mattress is too soft. You want a mattress to contour to the shape of your body to hold it in its neutral alignment.

Avoiding Pressure

You don’t want the mattress to cause pressure to your body, causing painful points along your back. If a mattress is too hard, it can cause pressure that cuts off circulation and pinches nerves and will cause you to change positions throughout the night. The American Bedding mattress features a medium firm feel with a quilted foam cover and 2 inches of gel-infused layering. It’s designed for comfort for those looking for a firmer feel.

Sleeping Positions

Side Sleepers

Most side sleepers enjoy the fetal position with their arms and legs bent and curled in towards the body, and the spine is gently curved. This is the most common of all sleep positions, and it is often said to cause back pain or long-term back problems. This is partially true, but it is nothing a good mattress can’t correct.

Since this position is significantly curvier than others, pressure relief is vitally important. You do not want your shoulders and hips to take the strain every day for an extended amount of time. To allow your body to sink into the mattress, a softer and thicker comfort layer is needed. In most cases, the average side sleeper needs a comfort layer that is about 3 inches thick.

Back Sleepers

Sleeping on your back with your arms at your sides is said to be the best position, but it’s the least common. The recessed space in the lumbar area is really the only major gap created when you sleep on your back. A thinner top layer actually works best. Most back sleepers are satisfied by a 2-inch comfort layer

Stomach Sleepers

This is probably the least advantageous of the sleeping positions, from the stand point of back pain. If this is what makes you comfortable and is the only way you can fall asleep, then buying the right mattress can help minimize the negative effects.

The last thing a stomach sleeper needs is a soft or thick comfort layer because there are little to no recessed areas to support. Plus, if you sleep on a softer surface on your stomach you are likely to hyperextend the lumbar area. Firm, thin comfort layers are ideal. There can be an inch of softness to provide cushioning to bony areas, but the firmness should be met by the body to avoid creating an unnatural backwards curve of the back. You will also want to take special care when choosing a pillow if you sleep on your stomach. The right pillow can minimize neck strain.

Testing the Mattress

When you’re trying out the mattress, you should be able to lie in one position without moving around for at least a few minutes. If you can do that, you’ve found a good mattress.