It doesn’t have to be difficult to get out of bed as you get older. As we age, it’s expected that we developed physical health problems that can make it difficult for us to move around. However, millions of Americans have ongoing back pain that cause disability in people younger than 45.
Whether you are buying a new mattress or setting up a new bed for someone, there are certain things you need to consider for those who are elderly or dealing with arthritis, joint pain, or back pain.
Table of Contents
What Makes A Suitable, Orthopedic Bed?
When we discuss orthopedics, we refer to designs that support the joints, back, and overall body. This means we want a mattress that provides a relatively firm sleeping surface with just enough cushion to allow the mattress to contour to the shape of our body. Ideally, the mattress is built to support our body in specific places on the mattress.
Most mattresses are built in a very uniform manner where there is no difference in support for any single layer of a mattress. What makes an orthopedic mattress different from every other mattress on the market is the support designed into specific places on the mattress and the quality of material used. Mattresses that are built with lower quality foam or with coils that have lower guage numbers can provide poor support that results in slightly uncomfortable angles or sleep positions that add up over time to cause back and joint pains.
For a mattress to support your body well over the many nights over many years, the ugly truth is orthopedic mattresses can cost higher than most mattresses. Quality material and design technology from R&D (research and development) does not come cheap. The last thing we want is for you to sleep on a mattress you purchased a year ago suddenly sinking and caving in its center by an extra inch or two.
There are a few noteworthy mattresses, however. These mattresses and mattress brands are well-known and highly regarded as top quality mattresses that provide quality sleeping experiences. We will cover these mattresses below.
Can A Mattress Topper Solve the Problem?
The short answer: maybe.
Mattress toppers are known to be a hit or a miss when it comes to joint pain or back pain. Everything has different sleep preferences and different kinds of pain. Older individuals may have overall body pain that requires a different kind of attention.
There are several reasons why people look into mattress toppers. For one thing, they are a cheap solution. When layers within your mattress begin to wear out, what better way to fix the sagging by adding a new, dense layer of foam for a new sleeping surface. This may work, but it can be short lived as the mattress itself and in full has already been worn out by repeated use.
You can give it a shot. However, the best solution and our recommendation is to replace your mattress. This will ensure that you not only have a firm and brand new consistent surface to sleep on, but also save you money and the stress in the long run.
Reviews of the Best Orthopedic Mattresses – Top Picks
SaleSerta Perfect Sleeper Firm 700 Memory Foam Mattress, King
- Designed to help solve 5 common sleep problems: tossing and turning, back support and alignment, balanced sleep temperature, partner movement, sagging
- Comfort or Feel: Firm
- Ever Cool Plus Memory Foam and Cool Action Gel Memory Foam
- Memory Foam Mattress: Comfort Last Foam Core
- King Size Measures 80 inches x 76 inches x 12 inches; Requires two King foundations or platform bed for complete set
SaleTuft & Needle Mattress, King Mattress with T&N Adaptive Foam, Sleeps Cooler & More Supportive Than Memory Foam Mattress, Certi-PUR & Oeko-Tex 100 Certified, 10-Year True Warranty, Made in USA, Rated CR’s Best Buy Mattress
- NOTE: Please allow up to 72 hours for the mattress to fully expand and for any potential odor to dissipate.
- ADAPTIVE FOAM: Constructed with freshly poured T&N Adaptive foam, this queen size mattress provides a bouncy yet supportive feel perfect for all sleeping positions. Our foam allows us to compress our mattress to fit into a small box and shipped quickly.
- HIGH QUALITY: Our high-grade foam is more advanced than outdated materials such as latex and memory foam which cause you to "sink in and feel stuck" and "sleep hot." The T&N Adaptive foam sleeps cool, is just the right mix of "not too soft, and not too hard", and offers great pressure relief and "localized bounce" so you won't disturb your sleeping partner.
- NO RISK: Mattress has a full refund guarantee with a 100 Night Sleep Trial plus an honest, 10-year warranty you can actually use (no gimmicks); Over 95% of our customers keep their mattress and refer it to others
- The more pressure you put on it, the more it reacts to support you
DynastyMattress Cool Breeze 12-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress, King Size
- 3" Gel Foam! Sleep Cool Technology Foam! 120 day trial!
- Dual 2" State of the Art Cool Airflow Foam, 5" High density foam for ultimate support base!
- Made with High Quality and durable 4-layer construction! CertiPUR-US certified
- Luxurious white cover with brown suede on corners, fire barrier, zipper washable cover!
- Warranty: 30 years Limited Warranty. Medium Firm!
Brentwood Home Cypress Mattress, Bamboo Derived Rayon Cover, Gel Memory Foam, Made in USA, 13-Inch, King
- 3.5-inches of gel memory foam conforms to your body for greater pressure relief and proper spinal alignment. Reduces tossing and turning, eliminates motion transfer, and provides a great night's sleep.
- Removable zipper cover lined with natural New Zealand Wool wicks moisture, regulates temperature, and is designed to prevent odor.
- Made with CertiPUR-US foams free of flame retardants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and phthalates. No toxic flame retardants used in this mattress.
- Medium feel, great for side, back, and stomach sleepers or partners with different preferences. King Size 76" x 80" x 13".Made in USA. 25 Year Limited Warranty. Mattress comes compressed and rolled in a box for easy shipping and setup.
- 6.5-inch therapeutic support base
Perfect Cloud Elegance Gel-Pro 12 Inch Memory Foam Mattress (King Size) - Featuring Luxurious Fabrics & Double Layer of Visco Gel Cool Design For All-Night Comfort
- EXTREME LUXURY - AMAZON EXCLUSIVE MATTRESS. The Perfect Cloud Elegance Gel-Pro Memory Foam Mattress pampers you with a thick top 1 inch layer of HD Air Infused Memory Foam on top of 1.5 inches of regular Air Infused Memory Foam. Our mattress meets the coveted Goldilocks standard of 'just right.' Just like a great hotel bed, nearly all sleepers will love it.
- SLEEP COOL WITH GEL-PRO MEMORY FOAM. The third layer of our bed is comprised of a thick 2 inch layer of Gel-Pro Memory Foam - our most advanced gel-infused memory foam - which provides additional body conforming comfort while helping regulate your overall sleep temperature. Gel-Pro Memory Foam ensures comfortable rest night after night.
- PERFECT SUPPORT FOR A WEIGHTLESS SLEEP EXPERIENCE. Our fourth layer is made up of 7.5 inches of HD Base Support Foam. This extra thick layer provides fine tuned support for a weightless sleep experience.
- BEST-IN-CLASS PREMIUM REMOVABLE STRETCH KNIT COVER - Our best-in-class premium textile Stretch Knit Cover is fully removable for easy care. Featuring Anti-Skid technology on the bottom you'll never have to worry about your mattress sliding around. The timeless and elegant design of this cover will match with any bed frame. Take it off, wash it and keep your mattress looking new for years to come.
- DIMENSIONS | 80 x 76 x 12 inches.
Considerations When Shopping for an Orthopedic Mattress
When shopping for an orthopedic mattress, there are a few things that should be considered before you place an order:
The foundation you use matter – A mattress placed on hardwood floor will provide a firmer sleeping surface than one that is placed on a wooden box foundation. Depending on the type of material your mattress is resting on (metal or wood), you can experience different levels of cushion and comfort from the bed. If your mattress is not older than five years, improve this first. Keep in mind many mattress warranties can require a box foundation to remain valid.
You should also consider the height of your bed overall. Most people are comfortable getting in and out of bed when they place their feet over the side and the full base of their feet makes contact with the floor. The average person will want a bed with a total height of 25 inches. This means a mattress that is 10 inches in thickness will require a bed frame or foundation that is 15 inches high.
What is the return and warranty policy? – Quality mattresses will have a return and warranty policy. Before you purchase, you should be aware of and understand what those policies are and how they can be used. For example, some mattresses have 100 night refunds and 10 years or more of limited manufacturer warranty to protect you from defects.
When it comes to orthopedic mattresses, there are several frustrations that can arise when using them.
Using your mattress far too long– Most people generally keep their mattress for more than 10 years. It’s understandable to keep a mattress for so long because they are a high ticket purchase. However, mattresses wear out over time. It is very likely you may not notice any minor changes like an extra half an inch sagging over a long period of time to your mattress. This half an inch can be enough to cause an uncomfortable sleeping angle that can commonly lead to neck and shoulder pain, snoring, and back pain. The average lifespan of a mattress is 6 to 8 years. You can consider replacing your existing mattress after 5 years.
Mattress is too soft or too firm (hard) – If you have a chronic or severe health conditions, a soft mattress that sag will create uneven surfaces while you lay down. You may also have pain if a mattress is too firm with pressure on the body that creates more pain. The most popular choice for the average person is a “medium-firm” feel. On a scale of 1 (plush) to 10 (extra firm), 7 will be what most shoppers look for.
Our Final Thoughts
When shopping for an orthopedic mattress, there are several considerations you have to take into account. Back pain is an extremely common disability that happens to not only seniors over 65, but also younger people under 45. Taking care of ourselves as we sleep on the same bed each day for several years is the least we can do. In order to do that, we must know what to look out for as we have covered in this guide. No one deserves a poor night of rest. Take care of your health and sleep by switching your mattress before the end of its lifespan for a new one.