Your Bed And Health: Is A Hard Mattress Bad For Your Back?

Do you have troubles sleeping at night? Is your sleep quality generally reducing? Do you experience irregular breathing pattern while sleeping? Do you find it difficult getting out of bed in the morning? Or you feel pain every time you get up from bed? Then this article is for you.

Before now, it is believed that sleeping on hard (firm) mattresses is the best way to reduce or prevent a backache, but is that really the case? A backache is caused by poor body alignment, which could be as a result of your sleeping position or use of the wrong mattress. A research conducted by Jeffery N, Katz M.D., a professor of Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School,  showed that using medium-firm mattresses is the best as it prevents a backache and helps reduce a chronic backache in patients who already suffer from a backache. There is no one perfect mattress for everybody as such, he advises you try different mattresses and see which one feels best for you. Okay, that sounds really great.

This guide aim at teaching you about the different types of mattresses and things to look out for as you make your choice.

Things to Look Out For While Choosing a Mattress

A proper alignment is very important, you could say well I am comfortable sleeping this way but the truth is your body has adapted to this misalignment over time and in the long run, it results in a backache. Choosing the right mattress basically deals with your sleeping position, it is important you maintain a spine-neutral position.

  1. If you are a side sleeper, it is best you go for a slightly soft mattress. Sleeping with your side exert a force on your shoulders and hips as such you need a mattress that supports your hips and shoulders and slightly soft mattresses are your best bet.
  2. For people who enjoy sleeping on their stomach, a firm mattress is a great choice to keep you afloat. You would not want a soft mattress that will sink in where your weight lies most. That would strain your spine (backbone) leading to a backache.
  3. A medium firm mattress is your best bet if you are a back sleeper. The mattress has to be soft enough to contour your body and firm enough to support your lower back.

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What You Need to Know About Firm (Hard) and Soft Mattresses

You often hear people say hard mattresses are the best because they do not press-in. while some believe soft mattresses are the best because they feel more comfortable sleeping on it than on hard mattresses. And there are a few who believes any type of mattress is just fine provided you sleep well on it. Well, this is to teach you about hard and soft mattresses, before supporting any school of thought, it is important you learn what it is about.

Hard Mattresses

When you sleep on a hard mattress, your bones bear all of the weight thus freeing your muscles and allowing for a better blood circulation which helps you sleep better. It is for this reason, the new ergonomics of sleep demands that firm mattresses should be used. Also, using a hard mattress prevents your lower back from collapsing, consequently preventing constriction of your airways and allowing you inhale more oxygen which is pertinent to quality sleep. Note that, this does not mean you should go get a very firm mattress, not in the least. You should get one just firm enough to provide a spine-neutral position which is all you need to enjoy these benefits. Also, this is not a good choice for people with weak capillaries, scoliosis, rheumatism and back pain.

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Soft Mattresses

The soft mattress is not an ideal choice for ‘healthy people’ (those without any form of a backache) as it causes the back to collapse and this leads to poor oxygen intake, ultimately causing restlessness, sleeplessness and back pain. Over 300 participants who participated in a 90-days research conducted by some Spanish researches confirmed that a slightly firm mattress is the best option for both healthy and ‘sick people’ (those suffering of a backache). The participants were divided randomly into two groups; one group to use firm mattresses and the other slightly firm mattresses. Each group was assessed at the inception of the research and subsequent assessment took place on daily basis. The result showed that all participants experienced improvement in varying degrees. Those who slept on medium-firm mattresses required little to no pain relieving meds at the end of the study compared to those who slept on hard/firm mattresses. This refutes the erroneous believe that firm mattresses are best for people with back pain.


Your choice of mattress goes a long way affecting your sleeping position which in turn influences your sleep quality, spine shape and oxygen intake by your lungs. And there is no perfect mattress for everybody, therefore be sure to consider the above information carefully and endeavor to try different mattresses before picking the best fit. Do this and thank us later.

The post Your Bed And Health: Is A Hard Mattress Bad For Your Back? appeared first on The Trent.

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