A wooden board placed under a sagging mattress may be a useful temporary measure but the message really is – now is the time to replace your mattress. In any event, a sagging mattress means that your sleeping posture is all wrong and you are placing unnecessary strain on your muscles and potentially misaligning your spine. You will eventually experience lower back pain along with neck and shoulder pains.
You only get one spine and there are no replacements so it is worth taking care of it. The choice of a new mattress should include the provision of good back support in addition to the comfort factor. This choice is not simple so we have put together the following list of tips to assist you in your choice.
1. Ask your chiropractor for advice. It is crucial that you discuss your intentions with your chiropractor before you set off on your search for a replacement mattress. He/she is best placed to determine what level of spinal support you need to retain optimal alignment of your spine to avoid issues such as lower back pain, neck pain and uneven hips.
2. Only visit retailers who specialise in selling mattresses. The staff are far better suited to providing expert advice on their products and will usually carry a much wider variety of stocks.
3. Consider the physical makeup of the mattresses. Your specialty retailer will usually have a cross-section sample to show you the structure of the mattress, especially as it relates to type and size of coils or springs and the makeup and thickness of the padding. These will be crucial for your comfort as well as back support. The structures in your spine need to rest and rejuvenate whilst you sleep.
4. Test out the mattresses before you shell out good money. I know that it can feel a bit awkward lying on a bed in the store but remember that staff are used to this. Do ask their permission first and don’t be offended if they ask you to remove your shoes whilst doing so. High heels rammed into a mattress is not a good look !!
5. Take your partner with you when shopping. If you sleep in the same bed with your partner, it is a good idea to test out the mattresses together. Different weights, heights and positions all impact on comfort level as well as back support so it is worthwhile testing things out together.
6. Consider pillow selection and usage. If you are going to continue to use your own pillow, take it with you to the store to test out how it feels in conjunction with the mattress. If you intend to buy a new pillow to go with the new mattress, discuss your needs with your chiropractor beforehand to avoid potential neck pain from too little or too much head support.
7. Take your time with your selection. Remember, mattresses cost a lot of money and you are probably going to use it for at least 10 years so feel free to take as much time as you need to determine what you feel is best for you.
8. Balance comfort with back support. As a general rule a soft mattress may be more comfortable to start with but will usually not support the natural curve of the spine and result in misalignments which lead to back pain. Hard mattresses may leave you resting on pressure points and lying at an awkward angle. Medium firmness should allow enough give for your hip and shoulders to sink into the surface and provide optimal support for your body.
9. Consider using an adjustable bed. Whilst you are actually looking for a new mattress, there is no harm in also considering changing to an adjustable bed to go with it. Recliner angle adjustments can be a great idea for relieving the pressure on the lower back which will minimise or avoid pain. Speak to your chiropractor beforehand to discuss your suitability for these.
10. Check for a warranty. Your mattress needs to last for many years. Make sure that it carries a full warranty of at least 10 years.
11. Ensure there is a guarantee. Most reputable sellers will offer a 30 day money-back or replacement guarantee. Your mattress is expensive and there is no way that you can scientifically determine whether or not it is going to be suitable for you for the long term. A trial test can be useful and you should ensure that you keep the protective cover on during this period in case you need to return it.