Waking up with hip or back pain can put a damper on a potentially great day. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night or hurting after you get up in the mornings, it could be your mattress that's to blame. Adding a mattress topper can be a fantastic way to get a better night's sleep.
If you already use a mattress topper and are still waking up in pain, you might be using the wrong type. Since there are many different types of mattress toppers, it's important to choose the right one for your specific needs.
What Is a Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper is like a large cushion that lays across the top of your mattress to make your bed more comfortable. This pad can make a firm mattress a bit softer or a soft mattress a bit firmer. Mattress toppers come in a variety of sizes so be sure to find the right one that fits your bed.
What Is the Purpose of a Mattress Topper?
It's kind of like the children's story. You don't want your bed to be too hard or too soft but just right. The tricky part is the sweet spot for each person is subjective and can vary greatly, especially those with hip and back problems.
A good mattress topper will support the right areas of your hips and spine while relieving sensitive pressure points that can cause you to wake up stiff and sore.
In fact, research by Oklahoma State University shows that choosing the right mattress can keep you from waking up in pain and provide you with a more restful sleep. The problem is, not everyone is ready to make the financial investment into purchasing a new mattress.
While replacing your mattress is always an option, adding a mattress topper can be an economical way to get the comfort and relief that you need without investing money on a brand new mattress.
How Do Bad Mattresses Contribute to Back Pain?
A mattress that isn’t right for your body won’t ensure that it is positioned the right way to keep your spine aligned. Either there will be too much pressure or not enough support in certain areas or quite possibly, both.
When your mattress doesn't offer you the proper mix of support and cradling, this can actually put your spine out of alignment. When you naturally move at night, you may find that your back feels stiff or your movement triggers pain.
Your body naturally has curves, it isn’t completely flat. Additionally, no two bodies are alike. Everyone has very different needs from their mattress. Therefore, your mattress needs to individually adapt and cradle your unique shape to prevent pressure points and align the natural shape of your spine.
How Do Bad Mattresses Contribute to Hip Pain?
As with your back, hip pain may also be intensified by your mattress. There should be enough cushion to keep excessive pressure off of your hips, especially if you are a side sleeper. A mattress that doesn’t cradle your hips causes improper spinal alignment and pressure points which are a key contributor to morning hip pain.
If there's too much pressure on your hips at night, this can decrease circulation to your lower body and legs. When your muscles and joints don't receive the nutrients they need through proper circulation of the blood, you wake up in pain.
This can occur frequently throughout the night, causing the need for you to toss and turn, negatively affecting your quality of sleep.
Is a Firm Mattress Good for Back Pain and Hip Pain?
A common misconception is that firm equals support. Firmness and support are two different things. Support is what is at the core of your mattress to keep you from sleeping in a hammock. Firmness describes the feel of the comfort layers on top and is very subjective to the person laying on the mattress. Firmness can change from person to person based on body composition and shape as well as weight and sleeping position.
Many people believe when it comes to a mattress the firmer, the better. However, the truth is, if your mattress is too hard on top, it can lead to pain in both the hips and the back as the shoulders and hips are pressed unnaturally upward, causing soft tissues that support your spine to slightly move out of their positions.
What you should be looking for instead is a mattress that has a firm support system paired with comfort layers that will individually adapt to your unique shape and allow your body to rest comfortably in alignment.
Is a Soft Mattress Good for Back Pain and Hip Pain?
On the flip side, people often confuse describing a mattress as soft as meaning it has less support. In all actuality, a soft or plush mattress could have the same support as a firm mattress but utilizes more cushiony comfort layers at the top to really allow your body to sink in and be cradled. Typically, a soft mattress doesn't put too much pressure on the hips or shoulders, especially for side sleepers. Your curves can sink naturally into the material to alleviate pressure in these sensitive regions.
Understandably, if the mattress is too soft for your body weight and shape then quite possibly your spine won't stay in its proper alignment, again, resulting in pain as the heavier lower portion of your body sinks deeper into the mattress, thereby twisting the spine down toward the mattress.
How Do I Know if My Mattress Is too Firm?
Your mattress is likely too firm if you don't notice any give for the curvier parts of your body as you lay on it. Additionally, you may notice excessive pain and pressure on your hips if you're a side sleeper or on your neck and shoulders if you're a stomach sleeper.
For back sleepers, you may notice that you have to shift a lot as your lumbar region, the lower back, is pressed into an unnatural curve as your buttocks isn’t adequately cradled, resulting in lower back pain.
How Do I Know if My Mattress Is too Soft?
If you feel like you're being swallowed up by your bed or laying in a hammock, your mattress is most likely too soft. Also, if you don't feel any support in your back regardless of your sleep position, this is a sign of a mattress that's too soft.
Whether too soft or too hard, you can bet that your mattress is to blame if you go to bed fine yet wake up in pain every morning. This is why adding a mattress topper to your bed can help immensely.
How Your Sleep Position Can Affect Your Choice of Mattress Topper
Knowing if you're a side sleeper, a back sleeper, or a stomach sleeper can help you to choose the best mattress topper for your specific sleep style.
Side sleepers may tend to choose mattresses that are too soft in an effort to reduce excessive pressure on the shoulders and the hips that can lead to back and hip pain. However, when the mattress is too soft, the spine cannot be maintained in its natural position. If this is the case, adding a mattress topper with additional support can help to fix these issues.
For those who sleep on their back or their stomach, the mattress of choice is generally on the firm side to keep the body from sinking too deeply into the mattress, which prevents the spine from being supported in its natural position. However, too firm of a mattress can put undue pressure on the neck and the hips, resulting in pain that you'd like to avoid. In this case, adding a softer mattress topper can alleviate these issues.
What Is the Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain?
If you experience back pain and are looking for the solution with a mattress topper you're going to want to choose a mattress topper that transforms your bed into a comfortable but supportive place to rest. If your mattress is too firm, a topper with memory foam can provide you with a layer of comfort that allows pressure points to meld gently into the bed to keep your spine aligned and comfortable.
If you think your back pain is caused by a mattress that's too soft, you'll want to choose a mattress topper that provides additional support. While a layer of memory foam is great for relieving pressure points, it doesn’t quite do the job of offering additional support. You will want to find a topper that has an actual support system paired with comfort layers.
What Is the Best Mattress Topper for Hip Pain?
When looking to prevent hip pain upon waking in the mornings, you want to be sure your mattress topper is adequate and relieving pressure points. Memory foam is great at cradling your curves (i.e. hips and shoulders) as long as your mattress is offering proper support..
A mattress that doesn’t offer proper support will require a mattress topper with a little more structure to it. Although you'll likely want a layer of memory foam to keep excessive pressure off of your hips, you'll also want the mattress topper to have another layer that's specifically constructed to provide support as well.
What Is the Best Mattress Topper for Lower Back and Hip Pain?
Whether you're experiencing pain in your back, your hips, or both, it's good to know that there's a mattress topper that can help alleviate these problems. The Premium Mattress Topper by Dormeo provides the best of both worlds when it comes to support and comfort.
Available in seven sizes, this mattress topper can fit almost any existing mattress. The Premium Mattress Topper by Dormeo has a top layer of memory foam that's designed to adapt to your unique shape alleviating painful pressure points. Additionally, an inner layer consists of hundreds of all-foam springs specially designed to individually adapt to each area of your body and cradle even your most delicate curves in any sleeping position.
The all-foam Octaspring® technology layer has three zones with different levels of firmness to properly support each area of your body to keep your spine perfectly aligned while you sleep no matter the sleeping position.
The Premium Mattress topper is naturally 8 times more breathable than standard foam toppers promoting natural temperature regulation which provides you with a more comfortable and restful sleep.
The novel design of this mattress topper allows it to personalize to the needs of each individual, it can help prevent back pain and hip pain caused from improper spinal alignment whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach.
Waking up in pain can be a thing of the past. If you're not ready to replace your mattress yet or you want to get more use out of it, enjoy the quality and comfort that an excellent mattress topper can provide and wake up happy and refreshed.