What Is An Orthopaedic Mattress And How Can It Ease Your Pain
If you’re on the hunt for a new mattress, you may find yourself asking what is an orthopaedic mattress?
With so many different types of mattresses out there, finding the right one can be a minefield. There are so many different types and materials to consider to get the optimum comfort for you.
But picking the right mattress isn’t just about your comfort. It’s also about keeping your body in the right position to ease pain at night. If you suffer from back or joint pain, an orthopaedic mattress might be the right selection for you.
If you are one of these people, know you’re not alone. In fact, according to the British Pain Society, 43% of the population suffers from some form of chronic pain. What’s more, lower back pain alone accounts for 11% of disability in the UK.
If you’re sleeping on the wrong type of mattress, this pain can be worse.
So, to help you get the right type of mattress for you, we’ve put together this guide on what is an orthopaedic mattress and how it might be what you need to ease your pain.
What is an orthopaedic mattress?
An orthopaedic mattress is an extra firm mattress that’s been designed to help ease muscle and joint pain while you sleep.
The name comes from orthopaedics, the medical term for the area of study that focuses on injuries and diseases of your body’s musculoskeletal system. But although the term may come from medicine, don’t be fooled into thinking that orthopaedic mattresses are medically approved.
They were named in the 1950s in line with orthopaedic medical studies that showed sleeping on firmer mattresses can help with spinal and muscle alignment. For some people, orthopaedic mattresses work miracles for back and muscle support.
For others, orthopaedic mattresses aren’t quite right. It’s proof that you shouldn’t always buy something because it sounds medical. Always check the facts first and try before you buy.
Which mattress is the best for you?
Answer 4 simple questions below to get a personal recommendation on which mattress may work best for you:
How do orthopaedic mattresses help you?
Now you know what is an orthopaedic mattress, it’s time to consider thinking if its the right move for you. These are some of the biggest benefits of using one.
1. They relieve pressure points
If you lay in the same position for a long time, as you do when you’re asleep, all of your weight becomes concentrated into a single area. That area becomes deprived of oxygen and nutrients from reduced blood flow, causing you pain.
Without proper support, your body may wake you up in the middle of the night to roll over and relieve the pressure. But this interrupts your sleep and sleep cycle, making you feel even more tired and groggy in the morning without your recommended hours of sleep. Some people may also struggle to fall back to sleep, potentially causing sleep deprivation.
It’s just what you need on top of a sore back.
Orthopaedic mattresses are designed to spread your weight evenly across the mattress, relieving these pressure points. That means your weight isn’t concentrated in one area, helping you stay asleep and comfortable all the way through the night.
2. They offer maximum support
Orthopaedic mattresses are designed to give you maximum support possible through the night. This means that instead of your body sinking into the mattress, it will hold you up during the night and alleviate any stress on your spine.
Without this support, your body will be working harder through the night to try and reduce pressure on your spine and put yourself in a better position, meaning you wake up with sore and aching muscles.
With the maximum support of the orthopaedic mattress, this is done for you, so you can relax and sleep soundlessly.
3. They encourage a healthy posture
Orthopaedic mattresses are the firmest mattresses you can get. This means that no part of your body will sink into the mattress, which can happen on softer types.
If part of your body sinks into the mattress, your spine can become curved and bend into an unnatural position. This puts more stress and pressure on your body and can restrict blood flow to certain areas.
With an orthopaedic mattress, your spine will stay in a healthy posture, helping to relax and rest your muscles at night.
What is an orthopaedic mattress made from?
Orthopaedic mattresses can come in a variety of different types and support layers.
They might be made from:
- Innerspring coils;
- Memory foam;
- Pocket springs.
Or even a combination of the above. To find out more about mattress types and which is right for you, read our guide here.
If you prefer sleeping on a certain kind of mattress, there’s properly a firmer, orthopaedic variation out there for you.
Is an orthopaedic mattress right for me?
Orthopaedic mattresses are extra firm mattresses designed to give the maximum amount of support at night. This makes them perfect for people who:
- Have severe back and joint pain;
- Regularly experience painful and swollen joints;
- Who enjoy sleeping on a firm mattress;
- Need extra support for conditions such as arthritis;
- Suffer from spinal alignment problems.
However, it’s important to remember that orthopaedic mattresses aren’t for everyone. If you’re unsure, read on to find out about alternatives such as memory foam mattresses.
Our favourite orthopaedic mattress on the market
If you’re thinking that orthopaedic mattresses are the way to go, you might want to get started with the Ergoflex 5G, a high-quality orthopaedic mattress that comes without the high price tag.
We believe it’s one of the best overall value for money ‘mattress-in-a-box’ available in the UK at the moment.
In addition, The Back Doctor, Dr Mark Craig, recommends the Ergoflex ‘to patients as part of a multi-modal treatment for back and neck pain’. It’s not often you get a mattress backed by a medical doctor, so this is defiantly one to pay attention to.
- Comfort – 9.8/10
- Quality – 9.5/10
- Value for money – 9.7/10
- Overall rating – 9.7/10
Alternatives to orthopaedic mattresses
Orthopaedic mattresses aren’t for everyone. The support that it offers is great for those with severe back pain, but if you have more mild aches and soreness, you might be better with a softer memory foam mattress.
To help you, we’ve put together a list of the best mattresses for bad backs on the market right now. This includes:
- The Nrem Mattress;
- Relyon Heyford Ortho 1500 Pocket Mattress;
- Bed Butler Emperor Supreme 3000 Pocket Mattress;
- And more!
In addition, some people will struggle with the extra-firm level of orthopaedic mattresses, which can feel like laying on a brick at times. For some people, having an extra firm mattress may also cause more aches and pains in the long run, as you may need a softer mattress to get the right alignment and posture for your body and weight.
You can find out more about choosing the right firmness level for your mattress here.
Best Mattress Comparison:
|Mattress Brand||Type||Firmness||Our Rating||Review||Official Site|
|Memory Foam||Medium-Firm||Read Review||Visit Website|
|Memory Foam||Medium-Firm||Read Review||Visit Website|
|Hybrid||Medium-Firm||Read Review||Visit Website|
|Memory Foam or Hybrid||Medium||Read Review||Visit Website|
|Latex Foam||Customisable||Read Review||Visit Website|
|Memory Foam or Hybrid||Medium-Firm||Read Review||Visit Website|
|Hybrid||Customisable||Read Review||Visit Website|
|Hybrid||Medium||Read Review||Visit Website|
How long does an orthopaedic mattress last?
The general advice is that mattresses should be replaced every 6-8 years.
But this isn’t true for every mattress and depends on the material, make, and quality of the orthopaedic mattress in question. As a guideline, these are the average lifespans for different types of mattresses:
- Innerspring – 8 years;
- Memory foam – 8-10 years;
- Latex – 15 years;
- Hybrid – 10 years.
It’s important to keep an eye on the condition of your mattress if you’re going for an orthopaedic mattress. Over time, the firm level of your mattress will start to degrade and get softer. When this happens, it won’t be able to offer you the same amount of support as before, losing its orthopaedic ability.
If you’re waking up with aches and pains, or are struggling to get your 8 hours a night, then it’s time for a change.
Always try before you buy
Thanks to this guide, you’ll now know what is an orthopaedic mattress, and if it’s the right call for you or not.
But, no matter what mattress you’re going for, it’s always important to try before you buy.
According to Jessica Alexander of the Sleep Council, 80% of people spend less than two minutes trying the bed in which they’re going to spend 3,000 hours every year. When you put that into perspective, the importance of trying it out becomes very clear.
If you’re buying a mattress online, check out how long the sleep trial lasts. The longer you have to try it out, the longer you can decide whether it’s truly right for you.
To help your decision, we’ve also put some of the best mattresses to the test. You can read all of our reviews here to get on the right track with your next mattress.
Top-Rated Online Mattresses:
Here’s a reminder of which brands came out on top when we conducted our online mattress reviews: