A comfortable mattress is an undoubted investment in your health, because sound sleep is the key to excellent well-being and good rest. A poor-quality mattress is not just an uncomfortable sleep, but also a possible cause of insomnia, snoring and other more serious problems, for example, with the musculoskeletal system. It has been proven that poor sleep can lead to excess weight, because from a lack of rest, a person begins to involuntarily consume more foods containing cholesterol and fats. Inadequate sleep can also aggravate the course of diabetes and depression. What do you need in order to get enough sleep and constantly feel full of strength and energy? What role do orthopedic mattresses play and how to choose them correctly, MedAboutMe will tell you.
What is an orthopedic mattress and its role for sleep?
An adult’s sleep should ideally last 7.5–8 hours. But the quality of a night’s rest depends not only on its duration. It is very important to sleep in a comfortable bed. And special attention must be paid to the mattress. Today the most popular are orthopedic mattresses. Moreover, almost all of their more or less modern models bear this name. It is also worth noting that the word “orthopedic” is a medical term and is used to characterize products used in the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. But mattresses cannot heal, they are used exclusively for preventive purposes. Therefore, it is more appropriate to say not “orthopedic mattress”, but “mattress with an orthopedic effect”.
The right mattress can provide you with a good night’s sleep. Mattress with orthopedic effect provides:
- relaxation of all muscles during sleep and a significant reduction in the load on the spine;
- repetition of all contours of the body and its anatomically correct position, regardless of the adopted posture;
- prevention of pain in the neck, back and lower back.
Also, a good orthopedic mattress has an additional antibacterial impregnation that protects against fungus and bacteria, and also provides excellent air ventilation inside it.
What are orthopedic mattresses?
Among the wide variety of models of modern orthopedic mattresses, it is not easy to choose the most suitable option for yourself. By design, they distinguish:
- Springless mattresses characterized by elasticity and resistance to deformation due to special fillers, such as latex, coconut fiber or polyurethane foam. These mattresses can have varying degrees of firmness, which is why they are especially popular among the population.
- Spring mattresses, which are based on a dependent or independent spring block. The first option is a single canvas, consisting of many small springs. Recently, such mattresses are not classified as orthopedic, but, due to the lowest price, they are still in considerable demand. Products with an independent spring block can be hard, medium hard and soft. They can have a variable design that provides uniform support for different parts of the body. The comfort of a mattress depends on the number (from 250 to 1000) of springs in a block per square meter and their size.
Speaking of mattresses with independent box springs, it is worth noting that they are the best choice. Their quality depends not only on the number of springs, but also on their size and shape. The more springs in the design, the more elastic it is. The number of turns in the spring is also important — there must be at least six of them. More practical and durable in operation will be springs, shaped like an hourglass. The best option is a mattress with zonal blocks, represented by separate groups of spirals of various diameters and designed to support the protruding and heaviest parts of the body.
Another important indicator of the quality of the mattress is the type of its filler. Most often they are:
- Coconut fiber, characterized by environmental safety and a high degree of rigidity. When choosing a mattress with such a filler, it is important to consider that glue can be used to impregnate it, which often leads to the development of an allergic reaction. It is also worth noting that coconut lycra is not a very durable material.
- Polyurethane foam is a hypoallergenic and economical material often used in production. It has a high degree of rigidity, but it does not pass air well and has a rather short service life.
- Natural latex is a material with excellent orthopedic properties and a long service life. It absorbs moisture well, but can accumulate it.
- Artificial latex is a tougher material than its natural counterpart. It is easy to maintain and has excellent performance properties.
- Horse hair is a variant of the filler for orthopedic mattresses, characterized by excellent air permeability, high strength and elasticity. Mattresses with this filler have an average degree of rigidity. But such a natural material can cause allergies.
- Hollofiber is a material of medium and high degree of rigidity, characterized by hypoallergenicity and high service life.
Also, mattresses are becoming more and more popular today, in which highly elastic foam is used as a filler. Such a filler is called “memory”, that is, it is able to “remember” the curves of the body of a person sleeping on it. But keep in mind, if you are used to changing the position of your body at night, such a mattress may not be the best choice for you.
An equally important indicator of the quality of an orthopedic mattress is the material of its coating. Today, the most popular are mattress covers made of knitted fabric and jacquard. High-quality knitwear is pleasant to the touch, has excellent breathability and absorbs moisture well.
Individual choice of mattress
When choosing an orthopedic mattress, it is worth considering not only personal preferences, but also the weight, height and age of the user:
- for babies, a hard mattress with a filler, for example, made of coconut fiber, is an excellent option;
- from about the age of three, the child’s sleeping place is best ennobled with a softer, ideally springless product;
- from early adolescence to 25 years, experts recommend using hard and medium-hard mattresses, because during this period the body grows and develops most actively;
- as the body ages, it is best to choose a soft or medium firm mattress.
For thin people, soft mattresses are best, and for those who are overweight, products with a medium or high degree of rigidity will be more comfortable. For many users, combined mattress options are most comfortable, in which one part is softer than the other.
Let’s not forget about health!
The main rule for choosing an orthopedic mattress is to do no harm. After all, not everyone can fit certain types of structures. For example:
- for people suffering from sciatica, a mattress with an independent spring block of medium hardness is more preferable;
- a soft orthopedic mattress, for example, with an independent spring block and natural latex as a filler, is suitable for spinal hernia;
- in case of scoliosis, it is necessary to support some parts of the body and minimize the load on others, so the memory mattress is one of the best solutions in this case;
- products with a high degree of rigidity are suitable for people suffering from pain in the neck, with painful manifestations in the thoracic region, medium-hard mattresses are good, and in the lumbar — soft ones.
If you have any health problems, in particular, the musculoskeletal system, you must always consult a doctor before buying an orthopedic mattress. When buying such a mattress for preventive purposes, it is best to opt for products of medium and high hardness with a filler in the form of artificial or natural latex, a combination of coconut fiber and latex.