As you get older, your joints start to show the signs of their age and activity. The back often gets stiffer with the spinal column having less fluid movement, which makes bending down to pick things up harder and even getting into and out of bed more difficult too.
How Does Your Age Affect What Type of Mattress You Need?
Getting into and Out of Bed
The difficulty with getting out of bed – and less so getting into bed – is that the sides of many mattresses are not firm enough. The edge support is often the first thing to go, even with mattresses that have been designed to have proper firmness at the sides. Beds that use latex or memory foam aren’t always the best for people who have problems getting into bed because many brands lack good edge support in these models.
An innerspring mattress with its framed design provides much better support when needed it all around the mattress. The sagging at the sides tends to affect memory foam and latex mattresses first because their firmness lasts 3-5 years at most. Innerspring mattresses eventually have problems with coil springs popping through the mattress, but with pillowtop finishes, that’s far less of an issue now.
When you’re having problems with back pain, you may need a different mattress. Mattresses must support your spine and its natural curvature. With overly firm mattresses, they support the shape of the spine, but the lack of softness can cause additional pain in the back. Conversely, an overly soft mattress like an ultra-plus one is lovely to lie on, but your back is likely to feel pain in the morning and the bed will be difficult to climb out of too.
A latex mattress is an interesting solution for back pain, for people who aren’t allergic because the firmness level is selectable. Alternatively, a coil spring model offers a good mixture of back support and flexibility. With a memory foam option, this must be carefully selected to provide enough back support, as long as you don’t have trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
The sleeping position is also a factor, as it can create difficulties for older people. If you’re buying a mattress for an elderly relative, this mattress buying guide will help to inform your decision. You should also consider the following mattresses:
A side sleeper often finds it easier to reach the side of the bed, turn and sit up with the legs over the bed; the mattress cannot be too firm, or it will dig into the rib cage.
With a stomach sleeper, it is more difficult to feel relaxed because the full weight is on the stomach and head; you will need a shallower pillow to feel more comfortable.
For back sleepers, this often provides the best support for the back, and only requires turning to the side to get out of bed in the morning. Back sleepers need a medium-firm mattress in most cases and a soft pillow.
The best thing to do is admit when a mattress no longer suits your age range. Certainly, some products are more suitable for the older generation with specific requirements to get a good night’s rest. Also, if you need to find more comfort, consider changing your sleeping posture to see if that helps at all.
Photo Credit: Logan Nolin Vladislav Muslakov Jessica Bristow