HOW WE DECIDED
Top Mattress Picks For Joint Pain & Arthritis
Arthritis can range from being a nagging ailment in your hip, for example, to causing loss of motion and deformities. It can be a serious condition, but luckily it’s not an overnight phenomenon. Here’s our list of the best mattresses for seniors and others who suffer from joint pain or arthritis.
- Best For Lower Back Pain – Leesa Hybrid
- Best For Combo Sleepers – Nest Alexander
- Soft Mattress For Hip Pain – T&N Mint
- Chiropractor Endorsed – Level Sleep
We worked closely with a professional chiropractor to learn more about rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain and to compile this guide. That said, we do still implore you to consult your physician and/or chiropractor about your specific situation before you get a new mattress or change anything related to your daily routine. For example, if you’re dealing with arthritis of the hip, you should talk to your healthcare professional before you test out a new bed and risk making your hip pain worse.
While we’ve taken care to do our best work, you should not take this post as an offering of health advice. It’s meant to be helpful and to serve as a good starting point, but it probably shouldn’t be your only means of research. Now, with that all out of the way, let’s talk about the best mattresses for arthritis sufferers. Hopefully this really helps you out.
|AT A GLANCE||PRICING||HEADLINE|
|Soft Foam Popular Pick!||15% Off Code: SLUMBERYARD||Leesa Hybrid features 6″ pocket coils and various soft foams. It’s a luxury mattress without the egregious price tag.|
|Pillow Top||20% Off Code: SUMMERLOVE||Nest Alexander Hybrid is a pillow top mattress that comes in multiple firmness options and is backed by a lifetime warranty.|
|Soft Foam Value Pick!||15% Off Discount In Cart||The Tuft & Needle Mint is one of the best mattresses you can buy if you’re looking for a soft bed that offers ample pressure relief.|
|Soft Foam||20% Off Code: SY20||Level Sleep is a unique mattress that showcases a “zoned support” construction with more support in the center of the bed and more pressure relief at the top and bottom.|
Finding The Right Mattress For Arthritis
Finding the right mattress for arthritis sufferers is going to depend on several items, so make sure to think critically about each one. Also, don’t be afraid to ask around about other people’s experiences that have a similar situation to you. That’s a good way to whittle down your list pretty quickly. Beyond that, there are about four things that you should definitely be paying attention to:
- Where exactly is your pain? Are you dealing with arthritis hip pain, or perhaps in your lower back?
- What type of sleeper are you? If you’re a side sleeper you will be putting more pressure on your hips.
- How heavy are you? Heavier individuals need a firmer mattress that can support their spine and low back.
- Do you have a preference in terms of materials?
Keep these factors in mind as you progress through this buyer guide. We hope you find it helpful!
Sapira is quite similar to the Leesa mattress, however, Sapira adds support coils and, as a result, is a bit firmer. This is the reason that it’s our pick for back and stomach sleepers. We think it’s soft enough to still offer pressure relief, but firm enough that most back and stomach sleepers will be very happy with it.
The bed has 6″ pocketed coils as the base and transitions up to a softer neutral foam. In other words, it will feel like a comfortable foam bed with added bounce and support thanks to the coils. We would consider Sapira to be one of the nicest coil mattresses that you can purchase online. If you need additional details, make sure to check out our full review. And if you want to save money on the bed, you can visit our Mattress Coupons page.
Nest Alexander Hybrid is almost in a whole other class in terms of what it offers. Not only is the bed comfortable, but also it comes in three different firmness levels, it’s highly affordable all things considered, and it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.
The feel of the mattress will somewhat depend on which firmness level you select, but for the most part it feels like an innerspring bed with a big pillow top. It’s one of those beds that you nestle into, but you don’t feel stuck in—you can still effortlessly rotate positions. And, because the bed uses coils, it will have ample support for most people. We could easily see seniors with arthritis liking this mattress in the “Medium” or “Plush” model.
While the foam version (Nest Alexander Signature) has more of a memory foam feel, the hybrid model (this one) feels neutral. The Plush and Medium versions will offer plenty of pressure relief, while the Luxury Firm will sit at about a medium-firm and is best for back/stomach sleepers. For the majority of combo sleepers, we think the Medium option is the way to go.
Tuft & Needle Mint is a softer bed that’s comprised of three layers of foam and a super-soft textured cover. The main reason we have the bed on this list is due to the amount of pressure relief it offers. It’s one of the best soft and plush mattresses on the market right now.
The best way to describe the mattress is soft, comfy, and fluffy. We think it will be a nice option for side sleepers dealing with joint pain, tender spots, or arthritis. The bed does not have any memory foam, so there’s no “stuck” feeling even though you do sink into the top layers.
Mint is also a really good value despite being the company’s “luxury mattress.” The queen size sells for just under $1,000, and that’s absent any holiday discounts.
Level is an interesting mattress. In fact, it’s designed for individuals that have ailments such as arthritis, joint pain, back pain, etc. It’s even apparently been endorsed by a few chiropractors—you can see that on LevelSleep.com. The entire concept with Level, Casper Wave, Zoned, and a few other beds is to offer more support and more pressure relief where necessary.
Where is the majority of your weight concentrated? Most people would say their mid-region—that’s the entire genesis behind a lot of these zoned mattresses. They are typically firmer and more supportive in the center portion of the bed and more pressure relieving toward the top and bottom.
It’s something that you almost have to try to fully understand. It might not be for everyone, but it definitely is an interesting take on a mattress. You can learn more in our full review.
How We Created This Mattress Guide For Arthritis And Joint pain
We have a team of both men and women of all different weight ranges and backgrounds. This gives us a great perspective of what various mattresses feel like for different types of people. We also spend hundreds of hours researching, testing, and producing our mattress reviews and mattress comparisons in order to be as helpful as possible. Having said that, we do not employ a doctor full-time nor are we experts on arthritis, joint and back pain, or health matters more generally.
As such, we hired Dr. Ranvir Sahota of Synapse Chiropractic to help us learn more about arthritis and joint pain and to write this post. Dr. Sahota is a licensed chiropractor who is very familiar with treating patients suffering from joint pain and arthritis—that’s why we asked for his help!
We specifically discussed seniors with rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain as well as his recommendations for mattresses, support systems, and more. We even went through an in-person demonstration that covered—among other things—sleeping positions, corrective exercises, and mattress materials. We also conducted our tests related to motion isolation, edge support, softness/firmness, and more. We even typically cut open mattresses to get a good look at what’s inside.
We look at materials, construction, support, all of it to get a good idea of the quality and durability of a mattress. With all of this in mind though, we do still urge you to consult your physician and/or chiropractor before buying a new mattress. We’ve tried to create a post that’s helpful to just about everyone, but since we’re all different, there’s no guarantee that it will be perfectly relevant to your life and medical condition.
What Is Arthritis?
Given that you’re reading this post presumably because you—or a loved one of yours—has arthritis, we do expect that you’ll know most, if not all, of what we have for you in this section. However, in the event that you’re new to the subject, we felt it necessary to at least go over arthritis. So, if you already know this stuff, just move on. If you don’t, well then, I hope it’s helpful.
Put simply, rheumatoid arthritis, and arthritis in general, is painful or irritating inflammation and stiffness that affects various joints in the body. Arthritis itself is not actually a single disease, but rather is a catch-all phrase referring to joint pain and joint disease. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, affecting as many as 50 million adults, however, the most common form is osteoarthritis (OA), otherwise known as degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs typically when the cartilage (essentially, cushioning) between your joints deteriorates, causing pain, inflammation, or stiffness. Osteoarthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation, affects 27 million Americans and is most common among individuals above 65 years of age.
As misunderstood as osteoarthritis is, there are certain risk factors that can increase your likelihood of eventually getting OA. These including, among other things, obesity, age, and injuries to joints. The scary thing about osteoarthritis is that it can affect virtually any joint, including your knees, hips, lower back, neck, shoulders fingers, and even your big toe. Basically, anywhere that has cartilage could be at risk for OA. Because your cartilage provides the gliding surface for joint motion and also serves as cushioning, when it breaks down it can cause serious pain, swelling, and stiffness. You may even encounter situations where bone or cartilage fragments become detached and float around in the joint. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of OA include: tenderness, stiffness, loss of flexibility, bone spurs, and a grating sensation.
With regard to spinal arthritis specifically, you may feel stiffness, numbness, or general weakness in your neck or lower back. It may even cause issues in your legs, buttocks, and arms, which is why it’s so important that you talk to your doctor if you’re feeling any of the symptoms of arthritis. Typically, a simple X-ray scan can flesh out whether you have arthritis or not. And the X-ray is a good idea since sometimes without it people confuse arthritis for nerve root damage since both may cause a shooting pain down the back of your leg, for example. People with OA in their back or neck may find that they’re particularly stiff in the mornings, because they haven’t been moving much for hours, and at night because they’re worn down from the day’s activities. In certain cases, the arthritis can be so bad that it affects your ability to fall asleep at night—another reason that I beg you to discuss your condition with your doctor.
Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis
In the event that you do indeed have a form of arthritis, you should definitely work closely with your doctor to treat the issue. I’m just running through a few treatment options that we received from Dr. Sahota and that we’ve found online. This is not an exhaustive list nor is it an offering of medical advice.
In general, since arthritis can be painful and limit your mobility, people seem to find low-impact activities such as swimming, walking and water activities to be the most affective at keeping them moving, but limiting their pain. You can also, however, try range-of-motion activities, massages, acupuncture, icing, and anti-inflammatory drugs, among other things.
Where Exactly Are You Having Joint Pain?
This is sort of obvious, but the area of your arthritis will definitely impact what type and brand of mattress you select. For example, if you have arthritis in your knees, your mattress might not be too different from if you didn’t have an injury. And that’s because (typically) your knees don’t carry much weight, at least when you’re laying down. The bulk of your weight will be in your hips, trunk, and shoulders. So, if you have low back arthritis, you will certainly need to pay close attention to your mattress. From there, your sleeper type is important to hone in on.
Stomach Sleepers With Arthritis In Low Back
Not all sleeping positions are created equal. For example, stomach sleeping might be the worst for arthritis since you can easily contort your body while you’re sleeping. It’s easy to get all out of whack and to stretch muscles and ligaments over a long period of time sleeping on your stomach. That can leave you feeling more sore and stiff in the morning.
Your pillow is crucially important for stomach sleepers, as well, but the mattress is not to be overlooked. Typically, stomach sleepers will prefer a medium, medium-firm, or firm mattress. You’ll want to be sleeping more on the mattress as opposed to in it, if that makes any sense. You need to pay particular interest to keeping proper spinal alignment.
How About Back Sleepers Dealing With Arthritis?
Sleeping on your back is generally regarded as one of the better positions if you have joint pain. You should be looking for a mattress of similar firmness to what a stomach sleeper would be getting (i.e. medium, medium-firm, or firm). Again, you want to be on the mattress more than in the mattress. And when we speak of softness/firmness, we are not speaking of support (or density) of the mattress. Softness/firmness is more about how the mattress feels.
Side Sleepers With Joint Pain In Their Hips
Side sleepers require a softer mattress in general than do back/stomach sleepers, simply because you need more pressure relief on your hips and shoulders. If you can’t sink in a little, you won’t be able to keep the proper curvature of your spine (assuming that it’s still there).
As a side sleeper, you’re probably looking more more for a medium to a medium-firm mattress. A lot of it comes down to your personal preferences, but we find that most people with a back issue or bad back want a bed in that firmness range, but keep in mind that softness/firmness is a subjective term based on your weight/height ratio, among other things.
What Does Weight Have To Do With It?
Simply put, your weight affects how soft or firm a mattress appears to be to you. Therefore, if you’re heavier or overweight, the bed will seem a lot less firm than it would to a person that is say 95 lb, like one of our employees. So when we say these firmness numbers, just know that if you’re especially heavy or petite, you’ll need to adjust the scale a bit. Your weight also affects the level of support that you require and thereby the construction of the mattress.
Best Type Of Mattress For Arthritis
Generally speaking, there are a few major support systems for a mattress. These will ultimately affect how supportive the mattress is. As such, again speaking about the support core, here is our list of the best type of mattress for arthritis:
- Spring and hybrid design
- Zoned support system
- All-foam design
- Premium air mattress
The foundational layer heavily affects the feel and support of the mattress. For example, spring mattresses (whether innersprings or individualized coils) tend to offer the most support over the long haul. They also are usually more durable and they give you a little ‘bounce’ which you might be used to in a mattress. It’s generally accepted that spring/coil beds are the best option for especially heavy individuals, but they’re just fine for lighter people as well.
All-foam mattress, on the other hand, tend to deadens cross-mattress motion better, but aren’t usually as supportive after say 10 years as coil/spring beds are. That said, if you’re under 180 lb, they’re not a bad option typically since they’re more affordable. The level of support that you get from a foam bed is measured by its density in pounds per cubic foot (pcf).
But since a bed has more than just a foundational layer, the middle and top layers are very important as well. You’re likely experiencing pain or discomfort throughout the day and falling asleep is tough; therefore, finding a comfortable mattress is crucial, perhaps even more than with other back ailments. Usually you’ll see six different types of mid/top layers.
- Memory Foam — Very common material. It can be soft, medium, or firm. The firm level tends to be very supportive and durable. Some people don’t like it because it can heat up, but gel memory foam is much better at temperature regulation.
- Latex Foam — There are four major types of Latex Foam (1) Talalay (2) Dunlop (3) synthetic and (4) blended. Excluding synthetic latex, the foam actually originates from the sap of a rubber tree. The end result is usually an airy, bouncy material that is semi pressure relieving and responsive. You don’t get a ‘stuck in the mud’ feeling typically with latex. It also happens to be cooler than memory foam in most cases. And a lot of people like latex because it’s often natural. You can even get organic latex.
- Air — Think of Sleep Number. You can usually adjust these beds.
- Poly Foam — Typically more affordable beds use poly foam as their top layer. It comes in varying levels of firmness and is usually responsive, but not the best in terms of pressure relief.
- Proprietary Foam — This is a wild card. Casper, Leesa, Nolah, Brooklyn Bedding, and many others use at least one proprietary foam in their respective mattresses.
- Gel-Like Materials — There are only a few beds that use gel-like materials in their middle and top layers, but probably the best known is Purple, which is one of our all-time favorites. They use a proprietary material called Hyper-Elastic Polymer. It’s great for support, pressure relief, airflow, and responsiveness.
What If You Hate Your New Mattress?
That’s a great question. Because you’re dealing with a virtually irreversible condition, you should be particularly stringent with the mattress that you choose. If you don’t love it or it’s making your situation worse, move on to the next. Most of the online mattress brands offer free returns and a 100 night risk free trial period. You should not feel bad if you have to return the bed. The same goes for a lot of retailers. For example, RC Willey will allow you to exchange your bed 1 time for a different bed that they offer. The point is, make sure the bed comes with free returns and/or a trial period. Also, pay close attention to the warranty.
Most of the online mattress brands offer completely free shipping, whether that is through UPS, FedEx, or a location distribution company. For arthritis sufferers, it’s probably best to look for a brand that offers white glove delivery as an option.
What’s nice about online mattresses is that you can test them from your home, in most cases, risk-free, meaning they offer a return option. Therefore, it’s not necessary to try before you buy. You can essentially test at home and return if you don’t like it.
Most of the companies will offer 100% free returns during your “trial period.” That means you get to test the bed for a few months and decide whether or not it helps your arthritis. If it doesn’t, you should be able to return for free, or a modest fee.
It all depends on the person. There is no single best “type” of bed for arthritis sufferers. The only thing we can say is that usually you will want a highly supportive mattress, but also one that offers a decent amount of give and pressure relief. You might end up going through a trial-and-error situation.