What are Orthopaedic Mattresses Good for?

Posted by Sarah Harris - Head of Design and Development on 30th Dec 2022

What are Orthopaedic Mattresses Good for?

A good orthopaedic mattress can help to care for your bones and joints, while giving you the comfort you’ll need to drift off to the land of nod without frustrating tossing and turning.

But what is an orthopaedic mattress? And what makes it different to the many other mattresses that are out there? Is an orthopaedic mattress the right choice for you? And are there any potential pitfalls that a mattress shopper should be aware of? We’ve looked at orthopaedic beds from every angle, taken a few for a test drive and weighed up all the pros and cons. Read on to find out more about orthopaedic mattresses and what they can do for you…

What is an Orthopaedic mattress?

Designed with spine and joint care in mind, an orthopaedic mattress typically offers firm support to properly support the body. That said, there’s no hard and fast rules when it comes to labelling a mattress as orthopaedic.

How does an orthopaedic mattress differ from other mattresses?

Generally speaking, the chief feature of an orthopaedic mattress is its comfort level. While other mattresses might give soft or medium support, making them oh-so-sinky, an orthopaedic mattress tends to be firm or extra firm.

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Originally conceived to mimic the experience of lying on a hardwood floor (we’ve all heard that it’s a great solution for a dodgy back haven’t we?), orthopaedic mattresses are increasingly packed with clever bed technology. This means that while they’re still harder than your average mattress, the latest innovations mean orthopaedic mattresses now combine the firmest available support with gentle comfort.

Can an orthopaedic mattress help back pain?

Woman sitting on bed holding her back with one hand as if in pain.

Are you one of the almost 50% of UK people who experience weekly back pain (i)? If so you may benefit from bringing an orthopaedic mattress into your bedroom.

Designed and manufactured with spinal support in mind, a firm orthopaedic mattress works to give you good spinal alignment. This is important for your posture, limits strain on the muscles around your spine and may help to minimise pain throughout the back.

Not only can choosing a mattress designed to support your spine help to lessen pain it can, in turn, provide a better night’s sleep. That said, when it comes to back pain it’s important to consult your GP who can advise you on the most likely causes of and best solutions for your specific back problem.

Can an orthopaedic bed ease neck pain?

Neck pain can be caused by any number of things. Poor posture while we work or scroll through our phones, accidents and injuries or simply sleeping with the wrong pillow.

Whatever the cause of your neck pain and however severe it might be, a good mattress, chosen to suit your frame and sleeping position, is a must-have for sleeping as comfortably as possible.

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Who can benefit from an orthopaedic mattress?

Of course, orthopaedic mattresses aren’t just for the sporty among us who may require more support than others after a workout session. Even if you can’t get to the end of the street without seriously running out of puff and the closest you’ve come to a gold medal was the sports day egg and spoon race, you’re still likely to find plenty of benefits from one of these specially designed beds.

Orthopaedic mattresses for the elderly

Older people are especially prone to bone and join issues, which can make getting comfortable in bed especially challenging.

As well as helping to support those joints and ease pain, orthopaedic mattresses with their firmer surfaces can also make getting into and out of bed that bit easier – a common problem as we age. The best orthopaedic mattresses use a premium pocket spring, designed with extra support along the outer sides of the mattress, resulting in edge-to-edge support. This means those ‘firmer’ responsive springs are lined up right to the very perimeter of the bed, giving you much better support however you sleep. It’ll also provide the firmness you’ll need to make sitting up and getting out of bed less stress-inducing.

Need extra help for improved mobility? An adjustable bed can give you even better independence in the bedroom.

Orthopaedic mattresses for people who use their bed for everything

Slumberland Natural Solutions 2000 Mattress

Slumberland Natural Solutions 2000 Mattress

With more of us than ever working from home, and houses and apartments getting smaller all the time, our beds are becoming a real multitasking spot. Not only do a lot of people read and watch movies in bed, but many of us spend at least some of our working week propped up on the bed with a laptop.

We won’t beat around the bush, sitting up in bed to work or watch tv just isn’t good for you. It can impact your productivity, play havoc with your posture and even have a negative effect on your quality of sleep(ii).But if using your bed as a second desk or in lieu of a sofa is a must, choosing a supportive mattress is vital, and the firm surface of an orthopaedic mattress can help you to sit upright without slumping and sagging.

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Fussy sleepers and orthopaedic mattresses

If you toss and turn, struggling to get comfortable in bed, chances are a soft and less supportive mattress won’t agree with you. Choosing a hybrid orthopaedic mattress which brings together the skeletal support of pocket springs with the gentle cradling of memory foam could be the answer for those who just can’t get right at night.

Not only can a decent orthopaedic mattress relieve pressure on those hot spots prone to pins and needles, it could also help you to find comfort in every one of your thirty different sleeping positions. And as a bonus, long-suffering sleep partners will experience minimal motion transfer too.

Orthopaedic mattresses: the cons

Let’s cut to the chase, an orthopaedic bed isn’t for everyone. With its ultra-firm surface, those used to a soft, springy mattress may find an orthopaedic mattress to be a challenging sleep partner. If this sounds like you, our  medium comfort Rialto Ortho mattress, a rare softer option, may be worth trying in-store.

Usually made with springs, an orthopaedic mattress can also prove heavy. This can make flipping or turning a challenge if you live alone or struggle to find the strength for heavy lifting.

The biggest stumbling block when it comes to orthopaedic mattresses, however, is in finding a genuinely back-friendly mattress. You see, there needs to be no medical or scientific backing to allow for use of the term ‘orthopaedic’, which means that any old mattress could bear the label. This makes it extra important to do your research before buying and shop with a reputable supplier like us!

Your new orthopaedic mattress from Bensons for Beds

Rialto Ortho Comfort Mattress

Rialto Ortho Comfort Mattress

We eat, breathe and, of course, sleep beds. Which means that we couldn’t be better placed to help you choose your perfect mattress, whether it’s an orthopaedic mattress, king size adjustable bed or guest single. Our customer service teams are bursting with great advice and ready and able to answer any questions you might have, whether you’re shopping online or in-store.

With a wide range of orthopaedic mattresses available, choosing the right one for you might feel like an uphill battle. Fear not, we have access to all the information and all the tools you’ll need to find your bed, your way®, including our clever sleeppro® system, available in our stores, which can help you to find the ideal mattress firmness to suit your sleeping style.

Whether you’re raring to buy your new orthopaedic mattress now or still need more input before you commit, we’re here to help. Shop online, drop into your nearest Bensons for Beds store or give us a ring on 0808 144 6160 to place your order or take advantage of our in-depth bed knowledge.

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(1)  British Chiropractic Association

(2) The Cost of Poor Sleep

authors profile
Sarah Harris
Head of Design and Development
Sarah has worked at Bensons for Beds for 16 years. As Head of Design & Development, Sarah uses her wealth of experience in design to ensure that Bensons for Beds' products use the latest innovation in technologies to deliver maximum quality products that really help customers' everyday sleep issues.
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