Make Your Mattress Firmer
This is an issue that could really make a big difference in the quality and condition of your back muscles and spinal health over the years. It might be that, just by slightly tweaking your existing mattress, you’ll save yourself some money and a series of health problems down the road.
Can a mattress topper make a mattress firmer?
A mattress topper is a little bit like a second mattress, one that goes over your existing mattress and improves the quality of your sleeping experience. There is a whole range in terms of thicknesses and appearances; the thicker and more expensive versions, often made from memory foam, will transform your existing mattress, making it harder and less subject to shifts in temperature, especially useful in winter (who likes a cold mattress during those dark months!)
Is a firmer mattress better for your back?
A firmer mattress is not necessarily the sole solution for a range of different back ailments. It won’t always support the natural curvature of the spine, and can even exacerbate pressure points, particularly in the pelvic and shoulder regions. This will be worse for ‘side sleepers’ as opposed to ‘back sleepers’ or ‘front sleepers’.
An overly firm mattress will not necessarily help get your spine into its optimal alignment. Gaps will exist between the contours of your body and the mattress, which means that not all areas of your spine are being sufficiently supported. Actually, it can lead to issues later on in life, due to the body trying to overcompensate a lack of support in the lower back area. This can happen over a longer period of time and can go on without you even being aware of it.
Can I make my mattress firmer on one side?
It’s not particularly hygienic to place your mattress on the floor, so a board made of plywood might be the best solution. Decent quality plywood is desirable, and some sanding of its edges is probably needed to avoid any potential snagging or tearing that might rip the mattress’ fabric.
Actually, a new box spring might be just as important as the mattress per se. A box spring will age and its coils will diminish in strength over time, hence not supporting the mattress as robustly as before which can cause the mattress to sag and leave your back detrimentally affected. Renewing the box spring can also save you a bit of money. A simple lying down test might help you determine if it needs replacing. If it feels at all imbalanced or you feel yourself sagging into the middle then it’s time to replace it.
Should side sleepers have a firm or soft mattress?
Sometimes known as the fetal position, ‘side sleeping’ is a very common position in which to sleep. It can be good for blood circulation and even digestion, having the benefit of encouraging correct spinal alignment and discouraging snoring. It isn’t quite so good for pelvic rotation and support of the lower back region, though. This is mainly because the body is curving sideways rather than front or backways, meaning that the hips and shoulders are taking the brunt of the weight-bearing load.
An overly soft mattress will, therefore, exacerbate your body’s pressure points; the shoulders and hip, leaving your spinal column feeling out of whack. An overly hard mattress, by contrast, means that these pressure points (shoulders and hip) won’t be receiving any support from the mattress, which will also damage your spine over time. Someone on the heavier side might need a mattress which is on the firmer side, so as to sufficiently support the body’s weight; vice versa with a person who is on the lighter side in terms of body weight.
Memory foam is an excellent choice for ‘side sleepers’ because it has a similar amount of flexibility as an innerspring mattress but is also very supportive in terms of these vital pressure points, crucial for ensuring that your spine is properly aligned. Hybrid mattresses are another good option because they have both the benefit of a core of springs and a resilient, supportive foam layer. They feel initially a bit like a softer mattress, but within them contain that extra innerspring support that is great for those who may be suffering from joint or back pain of some description.
Overall, it is best to do your research and take your time before selecting your best mattress. Bed stores will have a wide range of show-room beds which you can try out and experience, there and then. A topper is a great addition to any existing bed, and the wide variety of toppers means you can get the one that best targets your specific needs. A mattress is an important part of your life – you’ll spend a third of your life on it, after all!