Choosing the right mattress

As a Chiropractor I see many people seeking relief from their back/ neck pain and a common query people have is regarding their mattress. Do I need a new one? Is a hard mattress better than a soft one? Would I benefit from memory foam?

This is hardly surprising as in some research done by the BCA 8% of Brits questioned claim that the act of sleeping or their mattress itself is a trigger for back or neck pain. The research also found that about one in ten (11%, in fact) claim that their neck or back pain actually prevents them from sleeping

Here are some tips that you should think about when considering your mattress.

  • You should change your mattress at least every 8 years
  • Your mattress needs to be supportive and comfortable. When lying on your side your spine should be parallel to the mattress.
  • Your mattress should not be too soft- or your spine will sag, neither should it be too hard or your spine will bow.
  • Different body shapes have different requirements from a mattress. Broad shoulders or curvy hips will need a softer mattress to allow the spine to sit in a neutral position whereas a straighter figure needs a slightly firmer mattress to achieve this.
  • When choosing a mattress it is important to get one which is good quality.  Try and go for one with a high spring count, as this will provide more even support.
  • Memory foam mattresses can be great and many people get a lot of benefit from this type of mattress. However they can be very expensive and not everyone finds them comfortable. See if you can try one first if you are considering this as an option.


If you are waking up in pain or pain is interfering with your sleep you should consult a professional such as a Chiropractor who will assess your back and neck to try and establish the cause.


Sleep well!