Choosing the Right Mattress & Pillow for Your Back

Woman Sleeping in Bed

The wrong mattress and pillow are the leading causes of morning back pain. When you already have back issues, an unsupportive mattress or pillow can intensify your pain and make you dread crawling into bed each night. Choosing the correct mattress and pillow can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and being so stiff you can barely move in the morning. The saying that you get what you pay for is especially true in the mattress industry. If you purchase a cheap mattress you will likely find yourself facing recurring back pain. The investment in a good mattress will pay off quickly as you wake up rested and with less pain in your back and legs.

So What’s the Perfect Mattress for Me?

There is no one perfect mattress on the market. Personal preference will reign supreme when it comes to mattress buying. Spend plenty of time testing mattresses. Lay in your normal sleep position for fifteen to twenty minutes to get an idea of your comfort and support level. If you have a habit of adjusting to multiple positions in your sleep you should test out each position on each mattress. Of course the best way to test a mattress is to sleep on it for a number of nights but few mattress companies allow overnight test runs of their products.

Find a balance between your comfort and the amount of back support you need. While you may like the idea of a soft, pillowy mattress your back may not. Finding the perfect balance between the two will take time and plenty of mattress testing. Do not let a salesperson try to convince you to settle on a mattress. Likewise your spouse should also be supportive of you finding the correct mattress for your back. If you both have back issues you should both be testing mattresses and making a decision together. For some couples choosing two different twin size mattresses and laying them side by side to form a king sized bed is ideal.

How do I Choose the Right Pillow(s)?

Stack of pillows Once you find the perfect mattress you should begin testing pillows. Choose multiple pillows to test on the mattress you have chosen. Yet again selecting the perfect pillow is subjective and will only be found by trial and error. You want a pillow that supports your head and neck while still being comfortable. Not all pillows are created equally and some function better for back sleepers than side sleepers and vice versa. You may even find you need a combination of two pillows to get the right amount of support.

If you find searching for the perfect mattress and pillow combination becomes overwhelming, and you are having trouble finding the perfect mattress and pillow combination, you may want to ask your chiropractor for recommendations. While your chiropractor cannot choose for you he may have some suggestions you have not looked at yet. Providing a list of the products you have tried will keep your chiropractor from suggesting items you already know will not work for you.

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