Whether you use memory foam or an adjustable mattress, super-soft or ultra-firm, choosing a bed when back pain is involved can be a nightmare. The wrong kind of bed can lead to sleepless nights and painful days. As anyone who's ever had any kind of back pain can tell you, even what seem like the simplest of tasks, such as getting in and out of bed, can become gruelling endeavours. Although to most it's not often thought of, choosing the bed that's right for you is an incredibly personal decision, and seeing as it's somewhere you'll spend a considerable portion of your life, an incredibly important one.
You can't teach an old bed new tricks
It's vital you know when it's time to buy a new bed. If it feels wrong, or if you're in constant discomfort, then an easy fix is not the answer. If a mattress is too soft, many people feel the need to try lying on a carpeted floor before bed. This may provide them with a firm yet cushioned surface, yet it's a completely temporary fix. At the other end of the spectrum, if a bed's too firm, people feel that placing a pillow between them and the mattress will resolve the issue. This is of course another temporary solution, as anybody who moves about in their sleep will know, the pillow won't necessarily be where you left it in the morning. So now you've discovered that a quick fix won't work, how do you decide what's right for you?
Firmness doesn't necessarily mean support
When in the market for a new bed you want to employ the 'Goldilocks' method and find something that's just right. One of the first and most prominent factors you'll want to consider is the firmness of a bed. If a bed is too soft then your body will sink into it and you'll sleep with bad posture, but if the bed's too hard you'll put unnecessary tension on your hips and shoulder every time you sleep. Both scenarios can result in even more pain on your back. Most people look for a mattress with medium firmness, as this provides comfortable support in all sleeping positions without sagging too deeply.
Innerspring versus Memory Foam
Traditional innerspring mattresses do offer a fair amount of support and comfort. Many enjoy them due to their tendency to be quite firm. Whilst a bed with more springs is usually more responsive to how you move in your sleep, if you're looking for a truly reactive mattress, you need look no further than memory foam mattresses. There is certainly a reason this popular bedding choice gets rave reviews. Due to the foam being weight sensitive, it offers the unique experience of moulding perfectly to fit your body shape, keeping you at a comfortable level and reducing the amount of movement you encounter in an ordinary bed; because your body is sleeping comfortably, you'll be waking up with fewer aches and pains in the morning. Of course not all memory beds are as brilliant as they make out to be. Cheaper models can sag and lose their responsiveness over time, so make sure you only buy high quality beds from sources you trust.
Adjustable beds are becoming much more popular with all age groups now, and especially among those who suffer from back pain. Models can come in all different shapes and sizes, and adjustability can vary quite a lot so make sure you find something that has everything you need. If you tend to do work or watch TV in bed, getting a mattress that can move you comfortably into position can bring a great deal of pressure off you back. These kinds of beds can also offer a much-needed helping hand when getting in and out of bed.
Size does matter
It's vital to consider your body type when buying a bed, especially if you suffer from back pain. Whatever your body type, buying a bed that's not the right size for you can only result in problems later. It should go without saying that your bed shouldn't be so small you're in danger of falling off every night, nor should your arms or feet hang off the sides of the bed. This can only cause greater stress on your body whilst you sleep.
You should have plenty of room to stretch out in the mornings, to encourage better circulation and limber up those muscles. Gently pushing your limbs outward after waking can greatly reduce the stress put on back as you get out of bed. If you are extra tall, custom-made beds are available and incredibly useful. Those who are top or bottom heavy but don't want to invest in a full memory foam mattress may prefer to use and orthopaedic pillow, these can come ready shaped to your head, neck or legs and can greatly aid in realigning the body to a more comfortable position.
It's all about going the distance
Although it may not be at the top of your mind when purchasing a new bed, it's important you consider the distance of the bed from the floor. If a bed's positioned too close to the floor, lowering yourself into and out of it every night can put an incredible amount of unwanted strain on your back. When getting up you should have enough distance to comfortably lower your legs onto the floor and push yourself up from the seated position, to reduce pressure on your back.
Two heads are better than one
If you sleep with your partner, you should definitely choose a bed together. What might be right for you may not be right for them. Some bed suppliers offer the service of putting two different bed types together, if you and your partner really don't agree on how you like to sleep. It's important that both your comfort needs are met.
When it comes to the crunch, the most important thing to remember is that how you choose to sleep is up to you, and that your definition of comfort will obviously vary from that of others.