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7 Benefits Of An Orthopedic Mattress & Tips to Choose the Right One

Most people develop body aches and localized pain in their 30s and 40s. As people get older, they’re more prone to muscular aches, back pain, arthritis symptoms, and shoulder problems. A doctor might suggest eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and most importantly, sleeping on an orthopedic mattress. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of an orthopedic mattress so you can determine if they’re the right fit for your needs.

Some benefits of an orthopedic mattress include providing a restful night’s sleep, pain relief, improved posture, and durability.

What Makes A Mattress Orthopedic?

Orthopedic mattresses are some of the most popular mattresses on the market. They’re often prescribed by a physician for patients who suffer from joint pain and other body aches. A mattress is considered “orthopedic” if it is designated by a physician for pain relief for conditions such as back pain, osteoporosis, arthritis, and other similar orthopedic conditions. 

There is no certification or definition which makes a mattress orthopedic. Most orthopedic mattresses are made from memory foam, innerspring coils, or latex and are designed to improve spinal alignment while also providing relief from back and joint pain.

When it comes to proper anatomical support while sleeping, an orthopedic mattress like this is the best option. These kinds of mattresses are developed to provide superior support for optimal sleep, by incorporating various interrelated material layers to reduce strain on the back and joints. To learn more about what an orthopedic mattress is made of, check out our detailed guide to orthopedic mattress materials.

Benefits of an orthopedic mattress like this include proper anatomical support.The various specialized layers in an orthopedic mattress assist in relieving pain. Source: AmerAdnan.com.

Orthopedic Mattress Vs. Memory Foam – Why Choose An Orthopedic Mattress

Memory foam, which was created by NASA, is high-density viscoelastic polyurethane foam. It reacts to body heat and conforms to your body’s curves. Memory foam mattresses are often seen as the most comfortable mattresses available, as well as the best for people with back and joint issues.

Differences between orthopedic mattresses vs. memory foam mattresses include: orthopedic mattresses are firmer than memory foam mattresses, not all memory foam mattresses are orthopedic, traditional memory foam adapts to the body’s shape while orthopedic mattresses provide support, memory foam doesn’t regulate body temperature, and orthopedic mattresses are specifically designed for pain relief.

An orthopedic mattress like this is specifically developed to relieve aches and pains in your back, neck, and joints. With a spring gauge of 12.5, they are the firmest and longest-lasting springs available in a mattress. Pocket sprung and open coil orthopedic mattresses are also available.

A memory foam mattress like this adapts to the body’s shape.Memory foam mattresses can make a sleeper hot, that is why they usually include a layer of latex for its cooling properties. Image Source: India Mart.

Here we take a closer look at the differences between these two types of mattresses:

Difference 1. Orthopedic Mattresses Are Firmer than Memory Foam

Generally speaking, orthopedic mattresses are firmer than memory foam. Both are designed to support your body’s natural curves while sleeping. They’re made to relieve pressure and are firmer, however, memory foam mattresses can also be soft or medium-firm, like this one

Difference 2. Not All Memory Foam Mattresses Are Orthopedic 

An important distinction is that while orthopedic mattresses can be memory foam mattresses, not all memory foam mattresses are orthopedic. Just because a mattress is labeled as orthopedic due to its memory foam content doesn’t mean it offers the same level of firmness and support as a true orthopedic mattress. Read our guide to orthopedic mattresses vs. high-density foam mattresses for more clarity on the characteristics of an orthopedic mattress. 

Difference 3. Memory Foam Conforms to Your Body’s Shape While Orthopedic Mattresses Are Made to Support It

Memory foam is designed to adapt to your body’s shape while orthopedic mattresses are made to support it. You can expect the surface of an orthopedic mattress to push back more against the body than a traditional memory foam mattress. 

Additionally, even if a memory foam mattress starts off firm, it will retain heat more than the typical orthopedic mattress, so there’s a risk of the material deteriorating significantly faster. As a result, memory foam mattresses may lose their firmness before orthopedic mattresses.

Difference 4. Memory Foam Can Make You Sleep Hotter

Memory foam doesn’t regulate body temperature very well and can make you sleep hotter, which could result in restless sleep. Orthopedic mattresses like these, on the other hand, keep you cooler because of their springs and multiple layers of materials. However, they can be noisy and don’t reduce motion transfer, so you might wake your partner up when you get out of bed. Sleep disturbance (like motion transfer) and chronic low-back pain are sometimes attributed to orthopedic mattresses according to this study from the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Difference 5. Orthopedic Mattresses Are Specifically Designed for Pain Relief 

Orthopedic mattresses can be prescribed by physicians to help relieve extreme pain and orthopedic conditions. Memory foam mattresses, like this one, can assist in easing joint discomfort but aren’t medically proven to help sleep apnea or chronic sleep conditions.

The benefits of an orthopedic mattress are numerous but the most important is that they relieve extreme pain and orthopedic conditions.Orthopedic mattresses are designed to relieve your aches and pains by supporting the body in a position that favors a neutral spine. Source: Magniflex India.

Make sure to also take a look at our related article explaining the difference between an orthopedic mattress vs. a spring mattress. Additionally, our article explaining how to find an orthopedic mattress for heavy people or how to find an orthopedic mattress for scoliosis might be of interest. Check those articles out too for more information.

What Are The Benefits Of An Orthopedic Mattress?

An orthopedic mattress is one of the greatest bed options for people suffering from joint pain, back discomfort, arthritis, or osteoporosis. 

The benefits of an orthopedic mattress include pain relief because of proper back support, a better night’s sleep, elimination of the “roll-together effect,” and good posture. Other benefits of an orthopedic mattress are that it’s long-lasting, it’s firm so it supports your spine, and it provides lumbar relief.

Benefit 1. Relief of Body Pain Because of Proper Back Support

If you sleep for 8 hours on a conventional mattress, the increased strain on your spine and lower back are likely to cause pain. The best solution is an orthopedic mattress like this, which is constructed to have a firm surface to give your back proper support.

Orthopedic beds are likely to benefit patients who have had surgery, joint fractures, arthritis, back discomfort, or spinal injuries. Because these mattresses are firm, your body won’t sink into them. To learn more about how different types of mattresses apply pressure to your back, read this study from the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Using an orthopedic mattress can assist patients with fractures to recover significantly quicker and without pain. Patients with spinal injuries (who are unable to shift sleeping positions) can remain in one position without experiencing pain from having to move in their sleep.

Benefit 2. A Better Night’s Sleep Due to Increased Support

The extra support of an orthopedic mattress improves your sleeping posture, reducing the likelihood of being woken up in the middle of the night by aches or a stiff back and neck. A firm mattress like this allows you to get as comfortable as possible in order to fall asleep quickly and deeply.

Since an orthopedic mattress is a firm support mattress, it won’t bounce like a pocket spring mattress or have dips like a memory foam mattress. This makes the bed easier to get in and out of without causing pain. You might also be interested in our tips for finding an orthopedic mattress without springs, so be sure to check that out too.

Benefit 3. Elimination of the “Roll Together Effect” 

If you share your bed with a partner, you may have noticed the “roll-together effect.” This happens when depression caused by your body weight causes ordinary mattresses to sink. The second person sharing the bed immediately rolls onto it, leaving no space between you and your partner. These orthopedic mattresses prevent this from happening because the firmness of the bed prevents any indents from forming. If you’re not sure what mattress size you should get with your partner, read our article on orthopedic mattress sizes for some helpful suggestions.

Benefit 4. Good Posture

One of the most significant benefits of an orthopedic mattress is that it promotes good posture. When you sleep it helps your spine adopt a more neutral position and relieves back pain, so you stand taller the next morning. 

To help your posture, choose orthopedic mattresses with high-density foam that’s been approved by medical professionals. High-density foam is made to distribute your body weight evenly, minimizing painful pressure spots. Because it’s a particularly firm mattress, it supports your body’s curves, helping align your spine for perfect posture.

An orthopedic mattress like this, helps to distribute your body’s weight evenly.A medium-firm orthopedic mattress ensures that your spine remains in a neutral position, which reduces backache. Image Source: Amazon.

Benefit 5. Long-Lasting and Durable

Orthopedic mattresses are more durable than regular mattresses. To meet certain medical criteria, these mattresses are made of high-resilience foam. This mattress has an open-cell foam structure which encourages good air circulation while keeping you supported and relaxed. This foam lasts a long time, so you won’t need a new mattress for a while.

Benefit 6. It’s Firm So It Supports Your Spine

To support your spine, you’ll need a medium-firm to a firm mattress. Your body’s midsection will sink into a soft mattress if it isn’t hard enough, putting your spine in a strained position and potentially causing back pain. For a comfortable sleeping position, the hard surface delivers maximum resistance. This stops all your tossing and turning, helping you to wake up feeling revitalized.

An orthopedic mattress distributes your body weight evenly, preventing pressure areas in your neck, back, and hips. It will assist in maintaining the right posture of the spinal column, minimizing back pain, and releasing spinal stress. Read our article on choosing an orthopedic mattress for sciatica pain for more information about the specialized support that these mattresses offer. 

Additionally, you might find interest in learning what to do if an orthopedic mattress hurts your back. Be sure to check out our related article to find out more.

Benefit 7. It Provides Lumbar Relief

Orthopedic mattresses have earned a name for themselves thanks to their spinal and lumbar support. Manufacturers have worked hard to build a strong memory foam mattress that can support your weight and keep your spine straight, with one of the best characteristics being lumbar support. Orthopedic mattresses like this one support the gap in the lumbar spine, helping your back relax while you sleep. 

Here is a summary of orthopedic mattresses and how they can be beneficial:

Health or Sleep Problem How An Orthopedic Mattress Can Help Example of an Orthopedic Mattress That Can Help Price of Example Product
Soft Mattress Firm orthopedic mattress—eliminates restless movement while sleeping Continental Sleep Mattress ~$380
Lumbar Issues Can support your weight and keep your spine neutral Innerspring & Foam Mattress ~$365
Mattress Degrades Quickly These mattresses are comprised of high-resilience foam and are long-lasting Seisei Medium Firm  ~$640
Spine and Back Pain These mattresses encourage spinal alignment and minimize sinking too far into the mattress Swiss Ortho Mattress ~$260

Make sure to also take a look at our related articles explaining if medicare will pay for an orthopedic mattress and how to choose an orthopedic mattress you can flip and why you need to.

Conclusion

An orthopedic mattress is a smart investment for anyone suffering from joint pain, backache, or arthritis. Orthopedic mattresses do come with a heftier price tag but are worth the investment. Read our article that discusses whether orthopedic mattresses are covered by insurance and under what conditions, so that you can find out how to have a portion of the cost subsidized.