There’s one objective standing in between you and your freedom from lower back pain…your Mattress!
Who knew that the most comfortable component in your household would cause days of aching agony? The most common place begins is in the household, and it’s not surprise.
From the second we wake up to second we lay back in our beds, the process of lower back pain is just enticing us to begin to give in.
Our beds are supposed to be a place of:
- shutting off our thinking
- loving our spouse
There’s a difference between the right mattresses for each and every person. A middle of the road mattress is important for you if you don’t suffer from excruciating pain.
But for those of us who are constantly struggling with lower back pain on a daily basis, it’s vital to get a mattress that needs these two things:
Kind of sounds like the opposite of your lower back right? But guess what? There is no need to worry, I’m supportive and at least I think I’m comforting?…
I’m here to 1. Make sure you get helped and 2. You benefit greatly If I haven’t achieved those two goals I’ve failed you.
Throughout countless lower back pain days and nights, I too did struggle, and If you read my how to sleep with lower back pain page you’d see a more specific interpretation. For this, I will bring to you a self-management guide, and a clear focus on:
- A mattresses functions
- Do you really need a new mattress
- Types of mattress
- How to prevent back pain in bed
- What’ll work for you
How Exactly Does A Mattress Function?
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “I’m about to learn how a mattress functions, really??” Hey, I get it!
I too asked myself this same question when not only my doctor, but my best friends dad who own a mattress store here in Vancouver, WA explained to me the ins and outs. To my amazement, I regretted flipping out.
So what’s a mattress do Michael?
Simply, A mattress is a sleeping system with various parts all working together. Think of it like a cars timing belt.
If the timing belt is off, hence “timing”, then the counterparts either take the rest of the load, or get damaged so nothing works.
And so we get back to the mattress.,
Like geology has a sedimentary, Igneous layer, a mattress has layers as well.
1. The Comfort Layer
On the surface of your backs support is called the “comfort layers.” The parts are there to provide you with the two words I mentioned above, about 2 minutes ago…
Comfort and Supportive.
And these two are supposed to help you with any sleeping position. That’s it!…
All the other areas of your bed come a large second to that.
Let’s look at comfort:
This is about pressure relief. Your mattress you have now or will want to snatch has to conform to your:
- Body shape
- Form a cradle
The cradle should be deep enough to spread your entire body weight over the surface of your mattress and most importantly “releive your pressure points”. Trust me when I tell you, compressed pressure points feels like your laying on a layer of bricks.
Therefore, you should feel like you’re sinking in.
2. The Core
We’re getting warmer, in the sense of feeling snug in your bed.
What body part does your bed mainly support( cough – lower back). You guessed it, the lower back! The core is meant to support your spinal alignment, and your mattress needs to control how far your different parts sink down in the mattress.
Depending on the mattress you have or get, there may be more than one layer of support.
3. Transition Layer
Not all mattress are the same, and so some will have middle layers, which help with both:
- pressure relief
- spinal alignment
This layer contributes to both aspects of comfort and support.
Here’s a note: There’s such a thing as sinking down, and it has nothing to do with sinking in.
Sinking in means how well will your mattress cradle to your overall bodies shape, and how well can it provide you with pressure relief.
On the other hand, It’s nemesis, sinking down means how deeply different parts of your body sink into your mattress, disregarding the cradle formed by the upper layers.
This part is concerned primarily with spinal alignment. You’ll see an example of both sinking in and sinking down demonstrated below.
Ex: I’ll use water, as it’s the easiest form of density vs surface tension. If you were to lie in a puddle of water, it will form itself to your body.
Ex: Lets take a hammock. If you lie on the hammock, there will be no cradle. You will have pressure points, but they will be scattered, meaning some of your parts will be sinking lower than others.
Let’s talk about something called temperature sensitivity.
A memory foam mattress is well known for it’s temperature sensitivity. simply meaning it allows your body to contour to any shape it desires.
- Ambient room temperature(22 degrees Celsius and higher). In a higher temperature, the physical structures of both the memory foam mattress and memory foam pillows will be changed in its viscosity-meaning the resistance of a liquid to flow.
For ex: Water has a smaller viscosity than oil because it acts more fluidly. It’s most noticeably when you place both liquids on a surface and record the flow and surface tension(but that’s an experiment for another time)
Regardless of its viscosity properties, the memory foam still holds its solid form, but it becomes more flexible.
2. Cooler temperatures. Opposite of higher temperatures, cooler temperatures exhibit a more rigid and inflexibility. It may take a little longer to warm up depending on your cooling space/environment. But once it does, there’s not much of a difference.
Now we proceed forward on telling whether you need a new mattress or not.
Is It Time For A New Mattress?
You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve met that bought a new mattress only to complain even more. But why?
- The mattress was not the problem
- Mattresses didn’t help alleviate lower back pain
Number one is the one we’ll focus on for now.
Do any of the following apply to you?
If you checked off at least one box, you are in need of a new mattress, but if you haven’t it’s not quite yet a No…
Throughout my experience, I was taught by the people who helped me get through lower back pain to try new solutions.
What I mean is if you haven’t tried these things before bed, you wouldn’t know if a new mattress is what you needed.
- Stretched for 15-20 minutes before bed. Yoga stretches will significantly help before jumping in bed.
- Controlled relation with yoga, and focus shifting.
- Using a topical cream – or essential oils
- Best sleeping positions
Did I need a new bed? For me personally, I didn’t invest in a new bed or mattress, mine was “firm” enough at the time…
I also have two memory foams that I shifted to let me sleep just fine, and even better, I do all the things I listed in bullets right above.
That’s right, If you can follow a nightly routine, chances are you wouldn’t need a new mattress.
In the next part, you’ll’ll learn about the different types of mattresses.
What Are Your Selections?
There is no such thing as a perfect mattress for everyone. It’s vital you choose the right one for your natural sleeping posture.
Now, If you really need a new mattress because the previous steps I mentioned didn’t work for you, then it’s time.
When you go to choose a mattress or your lower back pain, there are things to keep in mind:
- Is it firm enough to support your lower back – will you be able to cradle to your pressure points.
- Has to be soft enough to contour to your body – cradle.
- Too-stiff mattresses will push back against your spine
- Too-soft mattresses simply don’t give you enough support
- If you sleep on your side, a slight soft mattress is necessary, because it will cushion your shoulders and hips
- Do you sleep on your stomach? You need a firmer mattress, to keep your above – so your spine doesn’t concave in.
Most people will sleep with a combination of all these specifics. People like myself who are about 150Lbs on average will prefer a more medium-firm feel mattress.
For weights 200 and above the same can be said, but they prefer more of a firm feel since it can hold their weight from sinking in.
I surprisingly realized that it’s not about how much you move on your bed but how isolated you are.
You want to move less to not aggravate your pain, and keep you from bending, and making awkward movements.
What Will Work Best To Relieve Your Chronic Lumbar Discomfort?
Over the years, I mad changes in my sleeping routine, And don’t be surprised about how I started…
I went from heating and cream, to yoga every single night, to cognitive thinking, and to better sleeping positions and even better sleeping positions. However…
even still to this day I do all these activities before bed(for strengthening and less inflammation in the morning), I finally bought into a new mattress.
Now, I know what you’re thinking,
“will a mattress work for me?”
The short answer is ofcourse, the long answer is you’re missing out on a whole new experience!
After you’ve ran your nightly routine and still wake up with lower back pain, Oh yeah, its time.
But before I reveal to you the #1 mattress I want to show you two options, option one is the alternative route, while option 2 could be your future mattress.
Option 1: A Mattress topper. For those of us who don’t know, a mattress topper is a removable bedding that sits on top of your mattress. Its purpose is to support the mattress that’s too soft or look like its been thrown into the tosser. Last year, I visited 3 different mattress stores in the year, closely looking for the right topper. Those being in this order:
- Mattress world
I stuck to the one from sears and hear it is:
The firm memory foam topper had lasted me a thankful 4 years, before I needed an upgrade for sub-acute lower back issues. It was in the begging of summer(for those long days out in the sun, and festivities) that I went for a more medium-firm topper.
After a week of research and sleeping on it, I awoke on Saturday morning, and I was ready to purchase my LUCID 3-inch Gel Memory foam mattress topper-Queen for a great deal of $99.00.
The right price for helping stay off my chronic pain for the next 7 months!
Here’s the picture of one I wrote a review for Amazon.
I’d wake up with little to no sore muscles or joints, and my spines posture increased. Thanks to the LUCID memory foam I was able to continue my morning lower back stretches without discomfort and painkillers.
Option 2: Time for a new mattress. Unfortunately, we’d like to keep our bed in both tip top shape and the best for our backs, but that can’t be the case. When you have bad back issues, its better not to think twice. All it takes is one night to disrupt your whole morning and day. But it doesn’t have to last. Over the past 5 years, the bed industry has evolved. New competitors means new designs. I took the chance to visit once again:
- Mattress world
…But my results were not only disappointing, also a waste of weeks. I turned to my dads friend who owns his own mattress store just down the street on a 172nd st in Vancouver, WA.
He gave me advice, and told me that the mattresses online can be much better for my lower back.
He explained that I could spend on average $300 for a mattress, but that its a quick turn around. In a couple years I’d end up with a new one. Great if you’re on a budget but I was looking for a long term replacement.
I checked online in the “mattress in a box” world, and within 4 days of hard research, I came to a decision.
Behold my Nectar mattress:
I was happy to see its overall was above more established name brands like:
- Sleep Number
…To name a few.
After a night, I knew I made the right call, couldn’t have been happier! And I remind you, I’ve tried many others guaranteeing you their best for lower back pain.
It’s true not everyone will like the same bed feel, but when you don’t know what you want the best rule is to go with a medium firm mattress. With the best memory foam mattress in the world, you’ll be able to:
- sleep longer
- wake up refreshed
- sleep on your back
- sleep on your side
- sleep on your stomach(although I don’t recommend with serious back pain!)
Here are the Pros:
☑ All layers
☑ sinks in to your weight
☑ Great pressure points
☑ Room for concavity and curvature of your entire bod
☑ Doesn’t disrupt your partner sleep
☑ Keeps you cool
☑ Sleep on your back and side
X takes a little effort to switch sides, but not difficult
X Minimal amount of bounce
But there are more benefits…
You might want to pick up the Nectar bed if:
☑ You want to try before you buy. You’ll get a 365 day trial period! Seriously, WOW! Most online “boxed mattresses” are likely to get you 100 days and that’s not a drawback.
I thought about the change of seasons, and I really wanted to put it to the test. Return it free of charge, and get your full money back!
☑ You want firm and comfort support. It’s firm for support and soft for comfort(something you don’t get elsewhere).
☑ You want a cool mattress. Designed with air circulation in mind. Air circulates from the deeper layer to the upper layer, keeping you cool all night long
A mattress topper and a mattress bed are both helpful. Both will last you for a very long time. I first started with a mattress topper and moved my way up. For me, I knew it was time for a new bed, so I need a long term replacement.
A bed will be the biggest ergonomic investment of furniture you will ever make.
When its time for a new mattress because everything else I helped you figure out above, does not work, then its time for new.
Good quality memory foam mattresses are very fond upon by chiropractors, doctors, and physical therapist, to relive lower back pain.
What Can Foam Do For You?
They come in ranges of density, providing you with:
- medium firm – mos preferred mattress for lower back pain sufferers
… Depending on your needs, one bed will work better for you than it does for the next person. I personally FAVOR the medium firm option, and the reason is because It contours to my weight well enough without sinking in or being rough, while reliving me of my pressure points.
And you can’t go wrong if you choose a memory foam! I’ll be talking more about that as we go along.
Remember how I talked about cradling? The memory foam will cradle to your bodies natural curves, while also being firm enough to support your muscular back, and all the bony structures in it.
A question I receive plenty of times is: “What will work for my weight?”
This is what I say to that…
If you’re sinking down into the deeper layers of your mattress, then you don’t have the right mattress type. I have a friend who’s hitting 305, and he complained of him sinking into his mattress.
Now, I’m a smaller guy, so a bed like the nectar will work perfectly. But for heavier fitted people, there are plenty of options.
I hear the BIG FIG is a great option. It is more on the medium-firm and is built well for back and stomach sleepers. And then theirs the alternative approach…
One of the main reasons for a lower back pain is weight. Now I’m not about to say you will need to start exercising more, looking into Pilates, and strengthening your core muscles, but perhaps that’s a route you’ve considered.
My goal is to help you live a lower back pain free life, and substituting a larger bed for your habits, might not be the clear standard.
The Best Mattress Is The One Best For You
There is not one single bed that is right for each and every person. Some of us will like a more firm feel as oppose to a softer cushion. The rule of thumb is to shoot for a medium-firm mattress.
In my opinion, these are the best for lower back pain, bar none! It gives you enough support so you don’t sink in to deeper layers, and it contours to your shape much easier.
I’ve covered, how a mattress functions, and all the layers to a mattress, when its time for a new mattress –
remember to follow all the steps I outline above before investing in anything new, what your selections are, what works the best for chronic lumbar support, and what can any of these mattresses do for you.
My suggestion is to take a look at a mattress topper to begin if you haven’t already
but if you’re ready for a new mattress come learn more about how you can save $125 off your purchase, and receive 2 free pillows, for a limited time only with Nectar here