Vol.1, No.4

The best mattress for someone with back problems

How to choose the best mattress in relation to back support.

A mattress for back problems?
Photo Credit: Timothy Sullivan
Sleep is very important for your health, and a good mattress might be the difference between a restless night and a restful restorative sleep. If you have back pain or problems, a good mattress is even more important.

What is a good mattress?

A good mattress doesn't have to cost thousands and the same mattress isn't the best for everyone. A good mattress for you means the right size, firmness, and price to fit your needs.

How to Determine the Best Mattress for Your Needs

Did you know mattresses have coil counts just like sheets have thread counts. An orthopedic mattress must have a coil count of at least 312. The higher the coil count the higher the quality of mattress. You want a high coil count and a thick, heavy gauge of steel for firmness and durability. Note: The lower the steel gauge the stronger - for example a 15 is thicker than a 16.

Boxsprings

Boxsprings are very important for the durability of your mattress. Boxsprings support and extend the life of a mattress. Many manufacturers won't offer a warranty if boxspring and mattress are not purchased together. Queen and king size mattress sets require a center support on the bed frame for good support. King mattresses usually come with a two-piece boxspring for the best support.

Cushion

While support and firmness comes from the coils and springs in a mattress, comfort comes from the padding on top. You can choose from many levels of cushioning or padding ranging from firm to plush. You can determine the cushion by how many layers of padding the mattress contains. Beware of special foams that store owners offer as a sale item. These may be of a poor quality and not really "special" at all.

How to Choose

Your best bet is to visit a mattress store with plenty of time to explore and talk to a salesperson. Try out the mattresses. Ask about the differences in support, comfort, and special considerations. Take advantage of the expert training and information a salesperson can provide you, but don't feel pressured to buy on the first visit.

Price

A good mattress is an investment - in your health. Mattress can range in price from a couple hundred to a couple thousand. Do your homework and know what you can spend. There's a quality mattress out there in your price range. A basic queen set costs around $500, with better quality ranging from $600-800 and the top of the line going for over a $1,000.

Make a Checklist

What do you need in a mattress? What are the most important features and factors? What sleep difficulties or body pains do you experience?

Keep In Mind

New mattresses are thicker and your old sheets might not fit, but these new thicker mattresses are more comfortable and last longer. Be sure to buy a matching set of mattress and boxspring. Look for a mattress with a warranty of at least ten years. This is the industry standard. Be sure to try out a mattress before you buy. Do your homework and know all the various kinds of mattresses available to ensure the best choice. Keep in mind special consideration like your height, weight, whether you'll be sharing the bed with a partner, whether you expect to become pregnant, back problems and pains, preferred cushion level and firmness. Know what you want and need from a mattress and don't settle for less than the best match.