People spend a third of their lives asleep – the right mattress matters. If a mattress lacks support, it can cause:
- Lower back pain
- Muscle strain
- Improper spine alignment
A proper mattress for the elderly provides support and comfort reducing back pain, promoting back alignment and offering support to allow for a rejuvenating sleep.
PlushBeds 10″ Medium Botanical Bliss Latex Mattress
Our favorite for 2017
Comfort and coolness in a brilliant package
Quatro Sleep Mattress
Fantastic 3 layer design gives maximum comfort
How to Choose a Mattress for the Elderly
Back and neck pain after sleeping is indicative of two things: improper mattresses and pillows. Seniors or anyone with back or neck pain need to choose a mattress that offers spinal support. I recommend a mattress that is:
- Supportive to protect the joints and promote proper spinal alignment
- Comfortable to allow for an uninterrupted night of sleep
These are the key most important aspects to consider when choosing a mattress.
And the right mattress is very beneficial.
You don’t want to buy a mattress that is too hard. The right mattress is medium-firm. Mattresses that are too firm put excess strain on the shoulders making them a bad choice for side sleepers.
Benefits of the Right Mattress
The benefits of a proper mattress are simple:
- Better sleep
- No sleep-related pain
- Ample support for the spinal column
A study out of Spain found that people with long-term back pain that slept on a medium-to-firm mattress suffered less back pain than participants sleeping on a soft mattress.
The biggest benefit to sleeping on the right mattress is pain relief.
You’ll need a new mattress if:
- You wake up with back pain that goes away with 15 – 30 minutes of stretching
- Your mattress is 10+ years old
A good mattress will last 9 – 10 years before needing to be replaced. I recommend replacing your mattress as often as every 5 – 7 years if you notice:
- Back pain
- Loss of sleep quality
Comfort and support are the key most important things a mattress has to offer. If your mattress still provides ample support and comfort, you won’t need to replace it. Flipping and turning your mattress every six months to a year will help you evenly wear the mattress and extend the lifespan of the mattress.
You may still toss and turn with a new mattress – it’s human nature – but you will sleep better and lessen those aches and pains you feel when you wake up.
Why You Need a Supportive Mattress
Mattress support is very important, and if your mattress is too firm, it doesn’t allow your vertebrae in your neck and back to remain aligned. The same is true for a mattress that is too worn or too soft.
The position you sleep in also has an impact on your spine’s alignment.
When a person sleeps on their back, their weight is evenly distributed allowing pressure to be distributed among all of your joints. But when you sleep on your side, your joints will support all of your weight.
This is why a mattress needs to be:
A study conducted in 2011 followed 128 people and included data for 16,000 nights’ sleep. The study concluded that even a slight lack of support led to:
- Loss in sleep quality
- Morning pain
- Daytime sleepiness
Desired firmness was also analyzed with the study finding the right firmness depends on the individual.
What to Look for When Buying a Mattress
I recommend learning about the types of mattresses to decide on a style you like. The most common mattress types and styles are:
- Innerspring: The most common mattress type available. Innerspring mattresses use coil springs for support and come with a wide range of firmness levels. Spring mattresses are a great option for overweight seniors that have a hard time getting in and out of the bed.
- Memory Foam: A mattress material that’s gaining a lot of popularity is the memory foam mattress. These mattresses offer different layers and densities to provide cooling and weight support. These mattresses conform to the body, reduce pressure points and help to relieve pain.
- Latex: Synthetic or natural latex can be used on these mattresses, and they can be very firm with a very high level of support. The comfort level is similar to memory foam, but these mattresses firmer than most.
You’ll also want to look at the mattress':
- Return policy
Every mattress is different, so the mattress you choose may offer different features and material. Memory foam, for example, may come with a cooling layer of foam that promotes airflow and helps if you sweat at night.
Pay close attention to these subtle nuances to ensure that the mattress you buy is as comfortable as possible.
When in doubt, you can read through reviews (I’ll provide a few of my own shortly) that will offer insight into the mattress you plan on buying. Reviews allow you to better judge the firmness level of a mattress as well as the comfort and experience other sleepers have had when using the mattress.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Mattress for the Elderly
Your mattress must provide comfort and support above all else. Our top picks for the best mattresses for the elderly include:
1. PlushBeds 10″ Medium Bliss Latex Mattress
PlushBeds offers a latex mattress that comes in a variety of size options, including: twin, twin XL, full, queen, split queen, king, California king, split California king and split king.
The mattress itself features a Joma Wool barrier, which helps regulate body temperature. The wool may help keep you cooler at night.
The PlushBeds latex mattress is constructed with organic, natural latex. Latex naturally cradles the curves of the body just like memory foam, which helps reduce hip and back strain.
The Medium Bliss mattress features three layers of latex, with each one calibrated to just the right level of firmness. What I really like about this three-layer design is that you can make simple adjustments with ease. Just unzip the cover of the mattress, and you can rearrange the firmness to your liking.
With the Medium Bliss mattress, there are two firmness options: Medium and Medium Firm.
If you sleep on your side or change positions often, the medium firmness may be the right option for you. If you sleep on your back or stomach, the medium firm may be the better option.
- PlushBeds harvests the latex in a responsible way that does not hurt the trees. A single latex tree can produce sap for up to 25 years.
- The mattress is constructed with organic material.
- The firmness level can be adjusted to your liking.
- The wool layer is designed to help regulate body temperature.
- The mattress comes in a variety of sizes to suit just about every need.
- May not be the best option for those who need a very firm mattress.
If you need a very firm mattress, the Medium Bliss may not be the right option for you. But most sleepers will likely find that this mattress is comfortable and offers a good amount of support.
2. Zinus Sleep Master Ultima
Featuring three layers of memory foam, the Zinus Sleep Master Ultima comes in six sizes (Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen and King) and three styles (10-inch, 12-inch and 8-inch).
The Ultima features three layers: 2 inches of memory foam, 2 inches of comfort foam (designed to relieve pressure points) and a 4-inch high-density foam base.
The memory foam used in this mattress is called BioFoam, and uses natural plant oil to replace some of the petroleum traditionally used in memory foam mattresses. The foam is CertiPUR certified, which means it meets stringent requirements for performance and durability.
If you live alone or in an apartment, you may appreciate Zinus’ smart shipping process. The company compresses, rolls and ships the mattress so that it’s easier to bring inside. Once inside and opened, the mattress can be unrolled and aired out for a day.
- The mattress is constructed with BioFoam, which uses natural plant oils (more eco-friendly than some other memory foam mattresses).
- Three-layer design for added comfort.
- Constructed with CertiPUR certified foam.
- Mattress is shipped in compressed form for convenience.
- Comes in multiple sizes and thickness levels.
- Has a strange smell when first opening.
Like other memory foam mattresses, the Ultima has a slightly off-putting smell when you first open it up. The smell should dissipate after the mattress airs out for a day and expands to its full size.
If you’re looking for a memory foam mattress made with high quality foam and multiple layers, the Zinus Ultima may be a good option.
3. Best Price Mattress Gel Memory Foam Mattress
The gel memory foam from Best Price Mattress features multiple layers and comes in three convenient sizes: twin, full and queen.
There are three layers in total: 4″ high-density foam base, 2″ pressure relief foam and 1″ gel memory foam.
The gel memory foam layer is open cell and designed to improve airflow, which helps keep you cool at night. This layer has thousands of gel beads that help improve air flow.
The thick base layer of high-density foam is designed to provide durability and stability. The Pressure Relief foam layer is designed to alleviate pressure points, which can help improve sleep quality.
Like the Zinus Ultima mattress, the Best Price Mattress model is shipped in compressed form. This makes it easier to bring the mattress inside. It takes about a day to expand, but will retain its shape after it’s fully expanded.
- Three layers of memory foam for added comfort.
- Gel memory foam improves air flow to keep the body cooler at night.
- Shipped in compressed form for convenience.
- Available in three sizes.
- The mattress is firm at first.
The Best Price Mattress gel memory foam mattress is firm at first, but softens slightly after a few days.
If you’re looking for a memory foam mattress that will keep you cool, the Best Price Mattress may be a good choice for you.
4. Snuggle-Pedic Mattress with Air Transfer System
Snuggle-Pedic offers a memory foam mattress that’s designed to improve air flow to keep sleepers cool at night.
This mattress has a patented air flow system that uses channels and ventilation holes to keep air flowing and the surface area cool throughout the night. The memory foam is flexible, but still provides pressure relief and support.
If you’re concerned about the environment, you may appreciate that this mattress uses CertiPUR foam that is low V.O.C. and is made in the United States.
The mattress also features a breathable bamboo cover for added breathability and comfort.
The Snuggle-Pedic comes in six sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King and California King.
- Bamboo cover adds breathability.
- Comes in multiple sizes for convenience.
- Patented air flow system is designed to keep the mattress cool.
- CertiPUR foam is eco-friendly and made in the U.S.
- No Split King size available
If you have an adjustable bed frame, the Snuggle-Pedic may not the best option for you because there is no Split King size available.
If you’re looking for a memory foam mattress that offers improved air flow and is made with eco-friendly materials, the Snuggle-Pedic is a good option.
5. Quatro Sleep Mattress
The Quatro Sleep Mattress is available in three sizes (Twin, Queen and King), and features a high-quality memory foam construction.
The mattress has three layers: a base support layer (7″), Plex Air memory foam (1″) and a supportive foam layer (2″). These three layers combine to create a mattress thickness of 10 inches.
The first layer cradles the natural curves of the body, while the supportive layer provides pressure relief. The final base layer gives the mattress stability and support.
The Quatro is unique in that the company offers a trial period, so you can test out the mattress to see if it meets your standards. While softer than other mattresses on our list, the Quatro is still supportive and provides comforting pressure relief.
- Three-layer design provides comfort and relief.
- Made with high quality memory foam.
- No motion transfer.
- Stays cool throughout the night.
- Comes in three sizes.
- Has a strange smell at first.
Just like the Zinus Ultima and other memory foam mattresses, the Quatro has a slightly strange smell at first. The smell disappears after a good airing out (about 24 hours) and once the mattress is fully expanded.
If you’re looking for a mattress that will keep you cool and provide supportive relief, the Quatro is a good option.
Which Mattress is the Right Choice for You?
Finding a good mattress for an elderly loved one can be a challenge. Memory foam is a great option because it can offer the support and pain relief older users crave.
Of all the five mattresses we reviewed, my favorite model is the PlushBeds 10″ mattress. The thickness is just the right level (in my opinion), and I like that you can adjust the firmness of the mattress.
Being able to adjust the firmness of the mattress means that the sleeper can enjoy extra support while keeping their spine properly aligned. Memory foam also provides extra comfort for a restful night of sleep.