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What Kind of Mattress?

It’s a common question I get, and a handful of patients have asked over the past week or so – what kind of bed mattress do I recommend? If sleeping position is handled properly but you still feel like your sleeping conditions are flaring up your back, it might be time to take a look at upgrading the mattress itself. Especially if the current one has gone through some wear and tear over the years!

As a refresher for many of our long-time subscribers, the one position that I don’t recommend is stomach-sleeping. It’s too easy to put a crick in your neck, strain your back…not fun. If you’re a side-sleeper, you’ll want to put just enough pillow support under your head  so it’s not tilted one way or another, and you might want to put another pillow or support in between your knees. If you sleep on your back, you want to make sure not to have so many pillows that your chin tucks towards your chest, and you might want to put a pillow or two under your knees.

I’m also giving these recommendations under the assumption that you’re doing things to help your back while you’re awake. Getting plenty of exercise, drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water, eating a proper diet, seeing a chiropractor if necessary. It’s hard to out-sleep bad habits, and if you’re beating your spine up while you’re awake, a better night’s sleep can only do so much.

Now, as far as the actual mattresses, most mattress issues come when the mattresses are actually too soft. If there’s too much give in it, your back will cave into it, you won’t be in the most restful position, and the back will be irritated throughout the night. Sure, you don’t want to be sleeping on a wooden 2×4, but most errors come from a mattress that has too much give to it.

A few mattresses brands that I’ve heard the best reviews from are Purple, Casper, and Helix. With stores beginning to re-open, I’d recommend you try them out yourself. And if you get a return policy of at least a few months, that can help take the pressure off of the decision!

- Dr. Scott Minton

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