- 27% of women and 24% of men said their back pain started during the night
So, what's the best mattress?
The best mattress is a supportive one - this will differ for each person, depending on their size and shape. What's right for a 10 stone lady might not be right for her 16 stone husband.
And, how do I find the right one?
- Take your time, and don't be shy! We spend over a third of our lives in bed so it's important to get it right.
- A good way to check if the bed you are lying on is too soft, too hard, or just right is to lie on your back, placing your hand in the small of your back. Try to move your hand about beneath you - if it moves too easily, the bed may be too hard for you; if it's a struggle to move your hand, then the bed is too soft. If you can move your hand with just a little resistance, the bed may be just right for you.
- Make sure you try out a variety of beds for sake of comparison, and try lying in a variety of positions - after all, we change position regularly during our sleep.
- If you share your bed, take your partner with you and make sure that it suits both of you. An uncomfortable, restless partner will disturb your own sleep - they'll be wriggling about trying to get comfy! Always aim to get the biggest bed possible and perhaps consider getting two separate mattresses that zip together so you can choose your individual, ideal mattress.
There are several types of mattress, and again, it comes down to personal preference...
- Open Sprung Mattresses - Generally the most common, and cost effective mattress. Usually machine made.
- Pocket Sprung Mattresses - More luxurious than the open sprung, the springs are housed in their own individual pocket. Individual pockets allow each spring to move independently, responding to individual body weight - ideal if there's a considerable size or weight difference between people sharing the bed. Often have some hand-stitching - a sign of quality and workmanship.
- Visco-elastic ('memory foam') - Foam mattress that is softened by body heat, and then moulds and re-moulds to the body's contours. May help to support the body and maintain the posture and alignment of the spine. Needs regular turning to prevent wear of the mattress.
- Latex mattresses - A more expensive polymer than visco-elastic, it is resilient, yet very durable. Moulds and adapts with body heat, supporting the contours of the body. Breathable so prevents over-heating.
- Mattress Toppers and Protectors - A soft, quilty type topper can provide a more luxurious, cosy feel to your mattress. They can help a firm mattress feel a bit 'softer' and more snuggly. Available in a variety of materials - goose down, feather, cotton fibres or man-made polyester - and often a combination. A washable mattress protector will enhance the life and longevity of a mattress, and reduce allergies.