What are the Benefits of an Orthopaedic Mattress

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The Greek word “ortho” is a prefix meaning straight, upright, or correct. Orthopedic, relating to the correction of deformities within bones and muscles, is exactly the goal of orthopedic mattresses. These types of beds are great for everyone from developing young children to older people looking for ways to maintain good posture.

What is an Orthopedic Mattress?

These beds prevent the body from sinking too far down into the mattress and curling up when you are sleeping. Orthopaedic beds promote posture and reduce stress and strain on the spine. Orthopaedic mattresses are designed to be firm and stable supporters for the back, hips, and sides. Muscles, bones, and joints will be supported and aligned properly to avoid aches and pains after walking up.

Orthopedic beds are often recommended for people facing ailments such as osteoporosis, arthritis, and those with back pain. The mattress conforms to each individual body type, giving optimal support to all the different pressure points. This prevents the buildup up pain in the joints and muscles.

Orthopedic in Marketing

Orthopaedic mattresses can be made of any type of material from memory foam to latex to polyester fibre. Most materials that are known to provide extreme comfort to the sleeper are able to be considered orthopaedic, making the label broad and able to be given to the most supportive mattresses.

There is no regulation in what type of mattress can be considered “orthopaedic.” The term itself was coined back in the 1950s when studies about how joints and bones worked suggested that mattresses designed especially could prevent the existence of back pain.

There is no criteria set for mattresses to be deemed “orthopedic,” as government regulations would have a tough time deciding what standards made certain mattresses better over any other. Nowadays the term is used more so as a marketing tool to convince people that it will help provide pain relief.

Orthopaedics has two main principles: pressure points and understanding the natural curvature of the spine. A mattress that is too firm will cause the body parts touching the mattress to get squashed by the person’s own body weight. At the same time, a mattress that is too soft will conform to meet the body, but will not support it well enough to prevent pain.

A properly designed orthopaedic mattress needs to achieve equilibrium between sufficient support and comfort. Naturally, as each person has a different body shape, there are some personal considerations to be made when selecting a mattress although there can be guidance given on how the body looks when laying on the mattress.

Orthopedic or Memory Foam?

Memory foam mattresses are the most common type of orthopaedic mattress as support and conforming to match its user’s shape is what makes it stand out from the others. The two do have similarities in keeping the spine aligned although there are differences in the mattress types that are designed for specific needs.

Memory foam is made more so of polyurethane fibers and has several different layers of foam inside to support, cushion, and relax the sleeper. Memory foam mattresses do tend to cause their users to run hot at night and seem like they’re trapped when lying on the cushioned material. These mattresses have many benefits such as:

●    Help relieve extra pressure on certain pressure points while you sleep

●    If you tend to have chronic neck or back pain

●    You have trouble breathing while sleeping

●    If you want a product that is hypoallergenic

●    If you have a sleeping partner and you or them tend to move around a lot

●    The mattress will refrain from sagging more and doesn’t have to be rotated as much

Orthopedic mattresses are often made with foam as well, especially viscose elastic foam. This type of material is well known for its contouring properties and works alongside memory foam in order to create a mattress that keeps the body aligned and supported.

Memory Foam vs  Orthopedic

If you’d rather have one type of mattress over the other, here are some criteria that can help you decide what type of mattress to choose based on personal needs:

Scenario                                  Memory Foam                         Orthopedic

You want a plush mattress                            X

You run hot at night and                                                                                  X

wanting something that breathes

If you have allergies and                                X

want something


If off-gassing bothers you                                                                                X

A product with a lot of                                                                                     X


Want a more                                                                                                    X

environmentally friendly mattress

Want the best price                                        X

Benefits of Orthopedic Mattresses

1.   Increased Support

Orthopedic mattresses are designed to help with lumbar, or spinal, support. Manufacturers who specifically design a mattress to be orthopedic focus on inserting enough foam that will sink enough to match the body shape of its user. With the body being placed in a certain position for around 8 hours for an extended period of time, spinal support is the number one priority of these kinds of mattresses.

2.   Pain Relief

By preventing stress from gathering in specific areas such as the hips, back, shoulders, and neck, orthopedic mattresses help relieve pain. By distributing the bodyweight of the sleeper evenly throughout the mattress, those who woke up after using an orthopedic mattress found themselves with less pain.

3.   Improved Posture

By keeping the body well supported, orthopedic mattresses help maintain the natural shape of the spine, thus improving or maintaining posture. The sturdiness of the material keeps the body aligned. Orthopedic beds with a higher density foam are great for keeping the body erect with a noticeably enhanced posture.

4.   Better Sleep

More support while having softness and cushion naturally help with a better night’s sleep. Orthopedic mattresses are not limited to being made of foam; they can have cushioned layers made of:

●    Bamboo fiber

●    Cotton batting

●    Polyester fibers

●    Goose down

5.   Perfect for Couples

Similarly to memory foam, the motion transfer is lessened with orthopedic mattresses. With the firm outside layer, the motion is absorbed into the thick material and has pressure distributed all along the surface of the mattress.

6.   Economically Friendly

Orthopedic mattresses, while pricier than most mattresses, often last longer from their firm base being able to withstand more weight and pressure. Unlike coil mattresses, there are no individual springs to wear down or with memory foam— a collection of body oils or sweat. Orthopedic mattresses combine comfort and sustainability into one big package.

Buying Tips for Orthopedics

As Orthopedic is a universal word for many mattress types, retailers will be trying to get you to spend as much as possible on a mattress. Orthopedic mattresses are most commonly found in King and Queen sizes. There are many types of orthopedic mattresses available such as:

●    Coil spring orthopedic (least expensive)

●    Pocket spring orthopedic

●    Memory foam orthopedic (most expensive)

●    Gel (most cooling)

●    Latex (most durable)

●    Hybrid (heaviest in weight)

Of course, doing research and reading customer reviews will always get a fairly accurate representation of how the product actually works. Thinking of your needs beforehand will

help you decide what material is best for you and if there are any additional features that you want.

Recommended Brands

1.   Leesa Mattress

●    £650

●    Medium/firm

2.   The Casper Mattress

●    £575

●    Medium

3.   Otty Hybrid Mattress

●    Medium/firm

4.   John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Pocket Spring Mattress

●    £750

●    Medium

5.   Hypos Walter’s Pocket Sprung Mattress

●    £849

●    Firm