When you think of sleep, you might imagine sinking into a soft cloud and curling up as your bed and blankets envelop you…but this fantasy isn’t the most practical. Considering we spend one third of our lives sleeping, our sleeping environment needs to be able to support our bodies so we can rest our minds and reset our systems…so when it comes to the best sleep, the right mattress is key and spoiler, softer might not be better.
Let’s take a look at what types of mattresses can support our body so we can spend our days energetic and pain-free.
Firm Mattresses for Alignment
We don’t have to remind our faithful readers just how important alignment is when it comes to living pain-free. Proper alignment of the body puts less stress on the spine and helps you have good posture. Maintaining good posture helps keep you in alignment. A small misalignment within the body can not only cause pain at the point of the misalignment, but throughout the rest of the body as the body starts to overcompensate…
A firm mattress supports your body and helps you maintain proper alignment while you sleep. This will help decrease pain caused by poor alignment while sleeping (poor alignment for 8 hours can really jack things up!) and eventually even improve your posture!
A firm mattress also:
- Improves blood flow by reducing pressure to the circulatory system
- Allows the lungs to expand more fully while sleeping
- KeepsKeep the lower back lifted and reduce back pain
- Is best for anyone over 230 lbs
Cons of a firm mattress
There are a few drawbacks of firm mattress including:
- Not ideal for joint or muscle pain
- Pushes on pressure points rather than cradling
- Forces the spine to curve for side sleepers
- Not ideal for those with arthritis
Medium Mattresses for Pain
Just like for Goldilocks, sometimes the solution lies in a product that is “just right.” Most mattresses are somewhere in the middle of soft and firm and these are often the most recommended mattresses when it comes to pain. These beds provide enough compression to cradle the curves of the body. Plus, a medium mattress has a slight firmness that prevents sinking to keep the spine neutral,
making it great for both side and combination sleepers.
If you tend to change positions throughout the night, a medium mattress will keep the spine neutral and pressure points cushioned when on the side or back.
Medium mattresses are:
- Suitable for most body types
- Ideal for couples
- Prevents pressure build up on joints and muscles
- Best for those with chronic back pain (though lean toward firmer)
Cons of Medium Mattress:
- Heavy sleepers may sink and force the spine in an awkward position
- Light sleepers may experience discomfort from pushback
Soft Mattresses for Light Sleepers
Light sleepers might not love that firm or medium mattresses don’t conform to their bodies so a soft mattress might be their ideal sleep situation.
Soft mattresses aren’t generally recommended but may be a good option for anyone 130 pounds who want that “sleeping on a cloud feeling.”
- Don’t support alignment as you easily sink
The BEST Mattress for Any Body
The best mattress no matter your body type, weight, or pain level is, *drum roll please* a newer mattress in good condition!
A quality, supportive mattress between 1,000-$2500 that is replaced every 6-8 years is going to be best for EVERY body no matter the firmness of the body. You should definitely get a mattress that works best for your sleeping habits and preferences but an older mattress will severely hurt your sleep because it won’t be able to support your body in the way it should.
Make sure you have a supported night’s sleep and don’t let those bed bugs bite!