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People with arthritis find it difficult to sleep because of the discomfort and pain caused by the medical condition. These sleepers find it even more difficult to rest comfortably on their beds, especially when the quality of their mattresses doesn't offer pressure relief. Therefore, choosing the right mattresses for such sleepers is vital to improving their quality of sleep and life.

However, it's not always easy to find a mattress for arthritis sufferers because several factors need to be considered, including their body weight and preferred sleeping position.

Here are some important tips on shopping for the best mattress for arthritis and joint pain to help you make the right choices.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is another name for swollen joints, although it's a medical condition caused by more than 100 diseases. This condition is characterized by swollen joints, which result in severe pain in the joints, lower back, knees, hips, and several other parts of the body. In addition, this condition often causes mobility problems and frequent stiffness in the affected areas.

Although arthritis is quite common in humans, it is one of the least-understood diseases. This condition affects people of all ages, even though it's more rampant among the older generation.

Severe arthritis can affect a person's daily activities, including their quality of sleep. Sleeping on a mattress specifically designed for arthritis sufferers won't cure the condition but will improve the quality of their sleep and lifestyle.

How Arthritis can Affect Your Sleep

Basically, arthritis affects tissues around the joints and other connective tissues in the body, causing inflammation and pain in the affected areas. As a result, exerting pressure on these areas causes excruciating pain and discomfort, especially when sleeping.

Additionally, the specific type of arthritis determines the severity of the discomfort when sleeping.

Out of the over 100 types of arthritis, here are the two most painful, particularly for sleepers.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)  occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy cells of your body. As a result, the affected parts of your body swell, causing pain or damage to the lining tissues of the joints.

This type of arthritis commonly attacks the hands, wrists, and knees, leading to chronic pain, loss of balance, or deformities.

Sleepers with RA often have trouble finding a comfortable position to rest their legs while sleeping. In addition to their pain, they may also develop sleep-related problems such as elevated stress levels, sleep apnea, daytime drooling, and more, resulting from poor sleep quality.

Osteoarthritis Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects the tissues of the joints, causing them to wear and tear. This type of arthritis is normally associated with aging. It can cause damage to the entire joint, leading to inflammation, degrading of the cartilage, joint deformity, reduced mobility, and stiffness.

This form of arthritis causes much more sleep discomfort because the disease affects most of the joints in the body, including the neck, knees, hips, lower back, and hands. With so many sleepers' joints affected, it's more difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Additionally, sleeping on a poor-quality mattress can also worsen the pain, leading to more sleep deprivation problems.

How Your Sleeping Position Affects Your Arthritis Pain

Depending on the type of arthritis you're suffering from, your sleeping position can lead to more pain in the affected joints of your body. Unfortunately, arthritis pain usually increases at night, although doctors can't explain why that happens. However, low-quality mattresses and pillows lead to more arthritis pain, due to the extra pressure exerted on the joints.

Did you know that certain sleeping positions can lead to increased arthritis pain? Here's how.

Back Sleepers

Sleeping on your back has a lot of health benefits, such as reduced tension headaches, improved breathing, and relieving sinus build-up. However, if you already experience fetal position. However, this position also results in a poor distribution of the sleeper's weight over the mattress, by letting gravity pull their spine downward.

Stomach Sleepers

Sleeping on the stomach exposes the spine to pressure from your weight, and the force of gravity. Consequently, your spine will sag, distorting its neutral position and leading to more back pain, and that can be daunting for arthritis sufferers. Additionally, the knees, hands, and other joints on the body will also feel the pressure from the weight of your body while in this sleeping position.

The Best Sleeping Position for Arthritis Sufferers

If you have arthritis, the most important thing to consider when sleeping is ensuring you apply minimal pressure on all your joints, and that your spine is properly aligned. Your head, neck, and spine should remain on a straight line because curving these parts of the body increases tension on the tissues and ligaments around the pivot joints.

Therefore, laying on your back is more comfortable because it keeps your spine in a neutral position, and can help with pain relief.

That means you have to ensure that you're sleeping on the right mattress that adequately conforms to your body and offers enough support. You may also use pillows to enhance cushioning on areas such as your head, feet, and lower back. Alternatively, you can use a wedge pillow under your trunk to elevate it at a 45-degree angle.

For more comfort, add a pillow under your feet.

However, if you prefer sleeping on your sides, ensure that you place a pillow under your arm and between your knees to cushion your painful shoulders and knees. Also, make sure you only lie on the less painful side of the hips.

Types of Mattresses for Arthritis and Joint Pain

The best mattress for arthritis depends on the material they are made of, and how well they can offer support, proper spinal alignment, and cushioning. So, before you go out shopping for one, it's important to find out how each type of mattress performs for people with arthritis.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are made of a pocketed coil system, and layers of fabric and cushioning, resulting in supportive, bouncy, and breathable mattresses. However, sleepers with arthritis may not find this type of mattress very comfortable, owing to its bouncy nature and motion transfer. Too much motion transfer makes it difficult for sleepers to change their sleeping position, or shift from one side of the bed to the other. If they try to, they may add too much stress to their painful joints, worsening their condition.

However, this type of mattress may be comfortable for back and stomach sleepers if it comes with additional cushioning and comfort from the layering materials. For instance, the metallic pocket coils provide a great deal of support for the proper spinal alignment these sleepers need.

Hybrid Mattresses

These mattresses combine the pocketed coils borrowed from the traditional innerspring mattresses and layers of different types of foams. Hybrid mattresses are a good choice for sleepers with arthritis because they have an outstanding balance between support and comfort for pressure relief. They are also great for sleepers of different body weights as they come in different firmness levels.

Memory Foam Mattresses

If you're looking for a mattress that contours the shape of your body, and offers great comfort, then a memory foam mattress would be a great pick. Many people with arthritis appreciate how easy memory foam mattresses are on their joints and backs.

A gel-infused memory foam mattress is even better due to its improved breathability; sleepers don't have to worry about sleeping hot.

The real challenge is finding the right firmness level for heavier sleepers, or one with great support for this group of people. Generally, memory foam mattresses are soft, and may cause heavier sleepers to sink too deep into the mattress. When that happens to a sleeper with arthritis, their joints and back will strain, and cause more pain.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses have many advantages. They are known for their responsiveness; they slightly contour the sleeper's body, offering adequate resistance to the sleeper's weight. These mattresses are ideal for all types of sleeping positions, and work better for heavier sleepers. They also have little motion transfer, which is ideal for couples who share a bed.

Additionally, latex mattresses are highly breathable, allowing sleepers to sleep comfortably, and stay cool all night. This particularly helps sleepers with arthritis sleep better at night without worrying about heat waves that interrupt a peaceful night's sleep.

What to Consider When Buying the Best Mattress for Arthritis and Joint Pain

The overall features to consider when choosing the best mattress for arthritis sufferers include:

Support

Arthritis sufferers should sleep on a mattress that has good support to ensure their spine is properly aligned, and receive pain relief. Mattresses that sink too deep misalign the spine, and trigger arthritis pain on the low back and unsupported joints. Additionally, the support of a mattress also depends on the sleeper's weight; heavier sleepers require more support than lighter sleepers.

Pressure Relief

The firmness level of a mattress determines pressure relief. A mattress that's too firm doesn't have enough cushioning to pamper the pressure points of a sleeper with arthritis. Therefore, sleep experts recommend a medium-firm mattress for these sleepers, balancing between support and comfort to relieve pressure from the joints, back, and other body parts.

Temperature Regulation

As a sleeper with arthritis, the last thing you want is sleep disruption, because struggling to get the right sleeping position amid all the pain is stressful enough. In addition, a mattress that traps heat won't give you the pleasure of a peaceful night's sleep if you detest sleeping hot. Therefore, it's advisable to avoid a memory foam mattress, and opt for a breathable latex mattress.

Edge Support

A mattress with poor edge support makes it difficult to get off the bed. For example, sleepers with arthritis may topple over and fall off the bed because of their limited mobility. Therefore, you need to ensure that your mattress has a firm perimeter that makes it easier to get off the bed. In most cases, the edge support of a mattress depends on the materials they are made of, or the layering of such materials.

Foundations

Different types of foundations can improve the quality of sleep for sleepers with arthritis. For example, adjustable foundation beds allow a sleeper to customize the most comfortable and pressure-relieving sleeping position by elevating some sections of the bed. Other foundations are specifically made for couples to reduce sleep interruptions, and allow them to customize their preferred sleeping positions individually.

Night Sleep Trial and Return Policy

You need a mattress that offers a longer night sleep trial period, giving you sufficient time to try it out. It may take an average of 14 to 30 days for a new mattress to conform to your body and feel comfortable. And if you decide the mattress isn't the right one for you, you should be able to contact the mattress company for an exchange as per their return policy.

Some return policies offer different options, such as exchanging the mattress with a different one, or getting a mattress topper with a different firmness level. The return policy also entails the terms and conditions for returning the mattress. You may want to consider a mattress with the most favorable return policy, such as free shipping, or 100% money back on returns.

Is an Orthopedic Mattress Good for Arthritis?

Orthopedists, doctors specializing in caring for the joints, bones, ligaments, and nerve systems, can offer you great advice on the type of mattress to choose if you have arthritis. Orthopedic-approved mattresses are designed to provide maximum support and pressure relief to sleepers with problems resulting from chronic pain caused by conditions such as arthritis.

Can a New Mattress Cause Hip Pain?

Your new mattress may feel too firm, causing pain in your hips. This mostly happens when your body hasn't yet conformed to the new sleep surface. However, after a few nights' sleep, your new mattress should be comfortable enough, and shouldn't cause you any pain.

Can a Bad Mattress Cause Knee Pain?

A poor-quality mattress can cause knee pain and other body aches and pain because it lacks sufficient support and comfort. You'll know it's time to replace your mattress when you're no longer comfortable while sleeping, even if you change your sleep position, or use bed accessories, such as pillows and bed rails. In addition, if you have arthritis, a bad mattress can worsen the condition.

Sleep Tips for Arthritis and Joint Pain

It's almost impossible to fall asleep while in pain, especially on pressure points, such as your joints, low back, and knees. If you have arthritis, these tips will improve how you sleep at night.

  • Use pillows to add cushioning to your knees, back, or any painful parts of your body.
  • Stay active during the day, exercising occasionally.
  • Go to bed at the same time every day.
  • Avoid eating too late in the night; this lets your body relax before going to bed.
  • Seek your doctor's advice about taking nighttime pain relievers.
  • Develop a bedtime routine that relaxes your body, such as meditating, taking a shower, or reading a book.

Are Latex For Less Mattresses Good for Arthritis and Joint Pain?

Finding the right mattress for arthritis can be difficult, but not when you choose Latex For Less mattresses.

Latex For Less mattresses offer superior support and luxurious comfort for sleepers, with the finest quality of 100% natural latex, organic cotton, and natural wool. With their flippable design, these mattresses are designed with two firmness levels, one on either side, so sleepers can choose whatever surface feels comfortable for them. Regardless of the two-sided firmness options, the support and comfort of the mattresses remain the same.

You'll love the conformity and softness of this 9-inch queen-size mattress, thanks to the covers made of quality organic cotton. Besides, you no longer have to worry about overheating at night, which disrupts your sleep after hours of struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position. Instead, Latex For Less mattresses combine the best breathable materials - natural wool and latex - guaranteeing a cool night's sleep.

And that's not all;

  • You get a 120 free night sleep trial
  • Guaranteed 20 years of improved sleep
  • Shipping is 100% free, and comes in a small box

So, if you've been struggling with arthritis pain, it's time to replace your mattress with one specifically built to alleviate this kind of pain. That's where Latex For Less comes in, offering the best and most affordable mattresses for people with arthritis, at reasonable prices.

Elizabeth Magill

Elizabeth Magill is a professional freelance writer and editor who holds an MBA. Liz specializes in writing about health news, medical conditions, healthy living, small business, career and work, personal finance, and green-living, including news and trending topics in these specialties. Her clients include Healthline, The Motley Fool, GoBanking Rates, LIVESTRONG.com, Big Interview, HealthNews, Intuit Small Business Blog, Intuit Health, American News Report, Travels.com, IFX Medical, and many others. She’s also a published eBook author and ghost writer for various clients in the health, medical, career, small business, and personal finance niches.