Your Handy Guide to Selecting the Best Mattress for Seniors
Quality sleep is one of the foundations of good health, which makes selecting the right kind of mattress critical to everyone’s well-being. However, finding the best mattress is even more important for seniors in general, especially since many of them are likely to suffer from various aches and pains, including chronic ailments such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
Back pain, stiffness and insomnia or inadequate sleep are usually associated with aging. However, these conditions can also arise from sleeping in a poor-quality or old mattress that doesn’t provide the support and comfort you need.
Buying a good quality mattress requires some investment as these mattresses usually come at higher price points. So if you are living on a budget or have savings you want to spend on things you really need, then you have to reflect on your priorities.
For example, if you were to choose between buying the latest 55-inch ultra HD full-array LED smart TV worth around $1,100 and an organic twin latex mattress priced at $1,245, which option would you choose? Which of the two items is a necessity?
A good-quality mattress is surely not a luxury but a necessity as you'll be making an investment in your health, especially if you’re constantly bothered by lower back pain and poor sleep.
Perhaps you’ve had your mattress for what seems like forever, too, and it’s high time to start shopping for a new one.
But, just to be sure, look out for the following signs that clearly indicate you need a new mattress:
Obvious sagging and lumpiness
Semi-permanent or permanent indentation
Squeaky, screechy metallic sounds
Musty or chemical odour
More allergens in the air
Lower back pain in the morning
Discomfort and disturbed sleep
Old – about seven to ten years
Lots of stains
So, even if you want to hang onto your trusty old mattress, it may be time to let go and buy a new one. This way, you can give your back – and your body – the rest and sleep it needs.
Mattresses for seniors
There’s a wide array of mattress options out in the market. The best way to determine which is the right one for you is by knowing the benefits you can get from each type of mattress:
1. Memory foam
Memory foam was invented by NASA for use as a safety material in airline seat cushions. But it has since been adopted by the mattress industry.
The most important feature of memory foam is its ability to adjust to the natural shape of the human body. It also has what is called a motion isolation factor that helps reduce pressure points and prevents people who toss and turn in their sleep from disturbing their partner.
Memory foam has a tendency to trap heat. As such, if you’re someone who suffers from hot flashes or night sweats, you might find memory foam mattresses a bit uncomfortable.
People with back pain and who require a certain degree of firmness (medium, medium-firm, firm or extra-firm) to sleep comfortably can benefit greatly from latex mattresses. Although there’s both synthetic and natural latex, the latter type offers the most benefits.
Natural or organic latex is naturally hypoallergenic and invulnerable to mould, dust mites and microbes. So, if you suffer from bad allergies, natural latex is a good option provided you’re not allergic to latex. It’s also cool and comfortable, so night sweats and hot flashes won’t be an issue.
3. Innerspring or coils
Most mattresses fall within the innerspring category as these types of mattresses have been around since the late 1800s. Of course, they’ve also been subject to innovation as there are now innerspring mattresses that feature memory foam, latex or pillow materials.
If you suffer from back pain, innerspring mattresses that feature individually pocketed springs can help as these conform to the body’s natural contours. However, if you’re a light sleeper and your partner is restless at night, you’ll do well to look at other options as these mattresses have a greater tendency to transfer motion than other types.
Air mattresses have one or more inner air chambers that enable you to adjust the level of support you need simply by reducing or increasing air pressure. They look just like standard innerspring mattresses and have a foam top layer.
These beds work well for partners who sleep in the same bed but have different firmness requirements. This means you can each customize the firmness on your side of the bed to get a good night’s sleep. However, you need to make sure you know what kind of support is good for your back to ensure you don’t wake up to more aches and pains.
5. Adjustable beds
Adjustable beds originated in hospitals, but they’ve found their way into people’s bedrooms at home.
Though technically not a mattress, an adjustable bed may be what you need if you have a tendency to sit in bed and watch television before falling asleep. It’s also a good choice for those who spend a lot of time surfing the net while in bed.
Different types of mattresses, including innerspring and flexible foam mattresses, are generally compatible with adjustable beds. Our Classic Series Latex Mattresses are the best fit for adjustable bases. Just make sure the frame has enough weight capacity to operate smoothly with you and a latex mattress on it.
Take your time mattress shopping
When you do decide to go mattress shopping, keep in mind that the best mattress for you is the mattress that you find most comfortable and that gives your back the support it needs.
Never rush into buying one. Make sure you take the time to ask questions and study the features of every mattress you inspect. If you have a healthcare professional you can consult for advice, do so as they know your medical history and can make appropriate recommendations.
If you need professional help in finding a good mattress, please reach out to us at Nature’s Embrace.
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