Do you wake up with back, hip, or shoulder pain? Do your muscles feel tight and fatigued in the morning? Lacking some of your usual zip? Your mattress could be the culprit.
Too firm mattress
Mattress that are too firm, while supportive, do not conform to your body and place too much of the supportive pressure on a small contact area. This pushes your joints out of alignment for long periods of time and can cause pain in the back, hip, and shoulders. In order to relieve these uncomfortable areas, you may toss and turn more during the night leading to less restful sleep.
Too soft mattress
A mattress that is too soft may feel great when you first lay on it (or not, if your mattress is sinking because it is old). If inadequate support is provided, however, the heavier parts of your body will sink too far down into the mattress and stress the joints where they do. Your muscles take over the job of stabilizing and aligning your body and this results in stuff and sore back muscles in the morning. If you lay in a bed that is too soft for an extended period without falling asleep, you may notice your pelvis sinking into the mattress like a hammock position, and your back muscles activating to stabilize it.
The right mattress should:
- conform to the contours of your body, and
- provide the right amounts of support at every
The feeling of a good, supportive mattress is often described as “floating” or being “hugged / cradled by a bed of clouds” – a state where no particular area feels too much pressure (floating) and your muscles are in a state of total relaxation (hugged / cradled) since the mattress is providing enough support to keep your body in alignment. If sleeping on your mattress doesn’t feel just like this, you probably have one that is too firm or not supportive enough. To free yourself from daily aches and soreness, you can either replace your entire mattress, or simply add the right mattress topper on top as a cheaper alternative.
Mattress toppers can make an overly firm mattress softer, introduce proper weight distribution and support, as well as make sinking mattresses a little firmer – just for about 10% the price of a proper mattress! Mattress toppers are an especially great option if your mattress is too new to be thrown out, and they even protect your mattress from premature aging and can be replaced for much less.
If your mattress is too old, however, it might be worthwhile to simply get a new mattress instead.
A typical mattress lasts 8 – 10 years, but this can vary greatly depending on factors such as construction, body weight, contact with moisture, and whether your kids use it as a trampoline!
Mattress toppers – what are the different options?
The most popular choices for mattress toppers are memory foam, latex, or a form of fibrous filling like cotton, down, or microfiber. Each material provides unique benefits for different needs. A summary of each is provided below:
Memory foam mattress toppers
Memory foam mattress toppers are the most popular mattress toppers. They make firm mattresses softer, but do so in a unique way that introduces proper support for your body while you sleep. Our memory foam is a breathable open-cell viscoelastic material that softens in response to body heat and pressure, relieving pressure on heavier parts of your body that need to sink deeper into the mattress topper. Unlike a too-soft mattress, your body does not sink into a harmful hammock position because the supportive pressure is redistributed to parts of your body that were previously unsupported. The result is a feeling that your tired body is sinking into the most supportive and relaxing bed of dough ever.
If you sleep with a partner, memory foam has an added benefit of absorbing kinetic energy from your movements so that you can get out of bed at night without waking your partner – or vice versa.
Pillow-top mattress toppers
Pillow-top mattress toppers are usually filled with an airy filling such as cotton, down, or microfiber. This introduces a layer of luxurious plushiness on mattresses that are too firm (this is how top-rated hotel beds feel so comfortable!). However, it provides little-to-no additional support so the underlying mattress must be of good quality.
SleepWiz uses siliconized microfiber because it is allergen-resistant, and they can be made stiffer and more springy, which allows the pillow-top mattress topper to re-fluff more effectively – however, this does not affect the softness of the mattress topper itself.
Latex mattress toppers
Latex foam is a springy and elastic material. Latex mattress toppers are supportive and responsive and can make too-plushy mattresses feel firmer and more perceptible. If you do not like the sinking cradling of memory foam mattress toppers, latex mattress toppers can be an excellent alternative for extra support.
There is a limit to how much firmer a latex mattress topper can make your mattress, however. If your mattress is near the end of a typical 10-year lifespan, or it is sinking too much because of worn out springs / foam, a latex mattress topper may not help much. Without adequate support below the mattress topper, it will simply sink (to a lesser extent) into the old mattress.