5 Tips for Buying a New Mattress if You Have Back Pain

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Testing out new mattresses in the store is kind of like test-driving a new car. You can get a sense of how the product will work for you during the short test time, but you won’t really know if it’s right for you until you integrate it with your life and routine.
For mattresses, that means getting an entire night’s sleep – or maybe a few nights’ sleep – on the product to make sure it supports your spine correctly and provides a restful sleep. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of having to return a mattress that’s a poor fit for you, try to get it right the first time with these tips for buying a new, supportive mattress:
1. Do your research before you shop. This research includes traditional online research to compare brands and mattress types, talking with people who have the same physical concerns as you (those living with chronic pain or spinal disorders, for example), and speaking with your spine doctor. He or she will be able to tell you which mattresses are best for your particular condition and symptoms.
2. Avoid simply buying firm. Although a common belief is that firm is better, your condition will determine whether you should purchase a firm or softer mattress. For example, people with low back pain often benefit from a medium-firm mattress, rather than a very firm one.
3. Consider an adjustable bed. Depending on your condition, you may be more comfortable sitting in a recliner than lying down flat on a bed. An adjustable bed can give you options that allow you to elevate your head and knees to relieve pressure on the lower back.
4. Shop at a dedicated mattress store. Even though you may find your favorite brands at furniture or big box stores, you might not get the same level of service when shopping for a mattress. Salespeople at mattress specialty stores usually have training on sleep comfort as well as the various products they carry. They will be able to help you choose the right mattress for you.
5. Test out the mattress in-store. While you can’t take a nap, you can lie on the mattress as long as you like in a specialty store. Try to lie on it for at least 10 to 15 minutes to see how it really works with your particular needs. Don’t feel self-conscious – this is a big purchase, and you’ll want to do everything you can to care for your back’s particular needs.
Image courtesy of Restoration Hardware