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The 7 Best Mattresses For Sleeping Better With Joint Pain & Arthritis

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  • Posted on 31st Aug, 2022 23:35 PM
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Plus, how your sleep position could impact your joint pain.

Waking up with aches and pains can ruin your entire day—and less than stellar sleep can have long-term effects on your memory and brain function. Even if you’re doing everything “right” to create your perfect slumber setup, if your mattress isn’t making your body feel good in the morning, it might be time to shop around. That’s why we talked to the experts and rounded up some of the best mattresses for joint pain relief to have you springing out of bed in the morning (or at least getting up pain-free).

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What causes joint pain?

Pain in your joints—especially in your hips, shoulders, or knees—can complicate even the simplest activities. “There are many reasons for joint pain, including injuries, overuse, or inflammation,” says Seema Bonney M.D., founder and director of the Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Philadelphia.

While pain in your joints is relatively common and often temporary, it could also be the result of a larger issue, such as an illness, infection, or arthritis. In fact, a National Health Interview survey found that about 91 million adults in the United States have arthritis. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned that your joint pain is from arthritis or a larger issue.

How your mattress affects joint pain and arthritis.

If you’re waking up with aches and pains every morning, you might want to take a good look at your bed. “One simple cause of joint pain may be that your mattress doesn’t provide enough pressure relief for the weight of your body,” says Bonney.

“If your mattress is too firm or too soft it can exacerbate joint pain,” she adds. “Mattresses that are too firm create excess pressure and cause pain on areas like your shoulders, hips, knees, side, and back. And those that are softer can misalign the spine and aggravate arthritis.”

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What to look for in a mattress to reduce joint pain and arthritis

Although both too-firm and too-soft mattresses can cause problems, experts say there is a sweet spot. 

“A mattress that is responsive and on the firmer side is generally a good starting point for adjusting form,” says Cameron Yuen, DPT, CSCS, and Director of Rehab and Training at Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy in New York City. “When mattresses are too soft, our body ends up shifting into shapes outside of a more neutral alignment by conforming to the mattress. If it’s too hard, our bodies end up shifting to find more support because the mattress is not helping.” 

Bonney agrees, “Research has shown us that medium-firm mattresses are best because they provide sufficient support for the spine and relieve pressure on joints. Pillow-top mattresses can also relieve pressure.” 

But when it comes to finding the right mattress for you, it’s important to remember that comfort is subjective. What feels soft to one person might be too firm for another, and your preferred sleeping position will be a big factor in determining how you respond to a certain mattress. 

Still Yuen suggests that your perception of comfort is key for getting a good night’s rest. “Comfort has to come first, as deep restful sleep is one of the most important components of recovery,” he says. “Secondary considerations for mattress selection include how well the mattress supports your joint alignment, how well it distributes pressure, and whether it allows for optimal blood flow.”

How we picked

Expert guidance

Our experts recommend medium-firm mattresses for joint pain relief, and these beds meet that criteria. We also included a softer and firmer option, as we know that feel can vary based on your body weight.

Quality

We picked mattresses from reputable brands with non-toxic certifications such as CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold, as well as GOTS and GOLS organic certifications.

Reviews

We scoured hundreds of customer reviews—the good and the bad—to hear what real people thought of each bed.

Price

Everyone’s budget is different, that’s why we picked mattresses from a range of price points.

How your sleep position impacts joint pain:
  • Side sleepers: Side sleepers are prone to pressure on their hips and shoulders, so a medium to medium-firm mattress is going to provide a more comfortable, cradling sensation while still providing support. For people who carry less weight, a medium-soft mattress might be more comfortable.
  • Back sleepers: Back sleepers need a medium-firm to firm mattress to keep hips, torso, and shoulders in alignment; too soft a surface can cause your hips to droop, causing lower back pain. Back sleepers with smaller bodies might need more of a medium-firm cushion than folks who carry more weight.
  • Stomach sleepers: Stomach sleepers also need a firmer sleep surface to keep their spine in alignment. Too soft a surface can cause your hips to sag, which puts excess pressure on the low back and can lead to pain and discomfort.

FAQ:

Can a mattress really help with joint pain?

A mattress that allows you to feel supported yet cushioned can help relieve pressure at night. Your current mattress might be causing joint pain if it’s too firm or too soft for your needs.

What type of mattress is best for joint pain?

According to experts, a mattress that’s categorized as “medium-firm” is best for relieving pressure points. Medium-firm beds are usually hybrid mattresses, which use both foam for comfort and innersprings for support.

Is a firm or soft mattress better for joint pain?

Beds that feel on the firm side to you are likely to be better at relieving joint pain. Just make sure they’re not too firm—you should feel cushioned without sinking into your mattress. A firm mattress with a pillow-top mattress can help you achieve the best of both worlds.

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The takeaway

The good news? You don’t have to wake up with aches and pains each morning. Taking a good look at your sleep surface might tell you a lot about your existing joint pain and how to remedy it. Whether you’re a strict side sleeper or a memory-foam lover, there’s a mattress on this list that changes the game for your joint pain.

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