Mattress Buying Advice for the Older Customer

As we grow older and our bodies change, we may begin to need different things from our mattress or bed. We may find ourselves needing better support for our back or joints or an adjustable bed to help with limited mobility.

Sleep is a vital part of your daily regimen. Buying a suitable mattress can alleviate aches and pains, lessen symptoms brought on by chronic illness and ensure that your sleep is comfortable, revitalising and restorative.

An older man waking up well-rested

Which mattress should I buy?

The mattress you should buy depends completely on understanding what your body needs. As this differs for everyone, there's no single answer to the question but you should consider:

  • Your firmness preferences
  • Any specific features you would like (e.g. pocket sprung)
  • Any illnesses or issues with back or joint pain you may have

Consider what your preferences have been in the past and whether your personal needs have changed at all. For instance, if you struggle with back pain, a firm or orthopaedic mattress may be best. For a more detailed explanation of our firmness rating system, read our advice page on the subject.

But it isn't all down to mattress firmness - certain mattress features can be beneficial for specific needs too. If you struggle with tossing and turning for instance, you may wish to consider a pocket sprung mattress which absorbs movement.

Read on to discover the benefits of all our mattress types!

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When do I need to replace my mattress?

You should replace your mattress every seven years. Any aches and pains you have may actually be made worse by continuing to sleep on an old mattress.

Aside from bacterial growth, the structure of your mattress will change over time - the springs may sag, the fillings could flatten and become worn down. Ultimately, it won't provide the best support for your body.

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Which mattress is best for back pain?

There are many different types of mattresses that can help with back pain. Orthopaedic mattresses, pocket sprung and foam mattresses can all provide better support for your back and relief from back pain.

Here we will delve into the different types of mattresses and how each one can benefit you and relieve back pain.

For additional information on this topic, be sure to read our guide to sleeping with back pain.

Orthopaedic mattresses

An orthopaedic mattress is typically a much firmer mattress which promotes proper spinal alignment as you sleep. Orthopaedic mattresses are supportive and help to create better posture and promote healthy sleep positions. They can also provide muscle relief by supporting the spine, allowing the rest of the body to relax.

Sealy Mellbreak Ortho Plus Mattress - Top 10 Recommended Mattresses 2022
The Sealy Mellbreak Ortho Plus Mattress - a supportive and responsive orthopaedic mattress

Browse all orthopaedic mattresses

Foam mattresses

Foam - and memory foam in particular - have excellent pressure-relieving qualities. They distribute weight evenly, taking the stress off overworked joints and allow the muscles to relax.

The tailored support the foam provides can also reduce incidences of tossing and turning through the night as you try to get comfortable. Night-waking is also significantly reduced when the body is cushioned and well-supported.

Sleepeezee Memory Comfort 1000 Pocket Mattress on a white background - one of our Top 10 Recommended Mattresses 2023
The Sleepeezee Memory Comfort 1000 Pocket Pillow Top Mattress - a memory foam mattress that conforms to your body

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What mattress features will help with limited mobility?

Two features of your mattress which can help ease problems with mobility are firm edge support and a mattress which is neither too high or too low.

Firm edge support

Another feature to look out for when choosing a mattress, is that it has some form of edge support. A mattress with soft or sagging sides can be difficult if your mobility is impaired or if you suffer with your joints.

With Sealy's Edge Guard technology, the edges are reinforced with high density foam to prevent sagging or additional movement. This extra edge support can make life a lot easier and also helps your mattress to keep its shape.

Mattress and bed height

Another issue with mobility can be getting into and out of bed. It is important that your feet can easily reach the floor, to give you better control and avoid any nasty trips or falls whilst getting in or out of bed. When you sit on your bed, can you put both feet on the floor? If not, your bed may be too high.

However, you should also avoid getting a bed that is too low. Getting in and out of a low bed can put a lot of pressure on your joints. It can also be difficult to get the momentum to move to a standing position.

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What are the benefits of an adjustable bed?

An adjustable bed can be the answer to many of the challenges which come with limited or diminished mobility.

If you choose to change to an adjustable bed, you can enjoy benefits such as better mobility, improved circulation and relief from back pain and sleep apnoea.

We have summarised the key benefits of an adjustable bed below.

If you would like to learn more, please visit our adjustable bed guide to see whether an adjustable bed could be right for you.

1. Better mobility

With a rear section which can be raised to a sitting position or lowered flat, getting in and out of bed is made significantly easier if you have poor mobility.

2. Easy to use controls

The handset means you can adjust your bed at the touch of a button. You can adjust both your leg and head height to find the perfect sleeping position for you, and those without a full range of arm movement can control the bed easily.

3. Raising and lowering footend

All of our adjustable mattresses allow you to adjust both the head and leg height, which can provide relief for those with arthritis, joint pain and oedema or fluid retention in the legs.

4. Relief from sleep apnoea and snoring

By sleeping with a slightly elevated back section, your airways can be opened up which allows for better and uninhibited breathing. This can diminish symptoms of sleep apnoea and disruptive snoring.

5. Less acid reflux

Digestive problems can become an annoying feature of old age. A raised back section can prevent excess stomach acid from entering the oesophagus and causing that unpleasant burning sensation.

6. Improved circulation

As we age, circulation can often slow down. An excellent, natural way to promote good circulation is to elevate your legs above your heart. An adjustable bed is the easiest way to do this.

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Orthopaedic mattresses: best sellers

We offer a wide range of orthopaedic mattresses to suit every need. Whether you prefer a pocket sprung or traditional mattress, we have over 50 mattresses to choose from to benefit your back.

If you're not sure where to begin, why not take a look at some of our favourites below!

Silentnight Ortho Dream Star Miracoil Mattress - Top 10 Recommended Mattresses 2023

1. Silentnight Ortho Dream Star Miracoil Mattress

  • From £224.95
  • Extra firm feel for better back support
  • Zoned Miracoil spring system to target key areas
Sealy Mellbreak Ortho Plus Mattress - Top 10 Recommended Mattresses 2022

2. Sealy Mellbreak Ortho Plus Mattress

  • From £243.1
  • Extra firm for super support
  • PostureTech Core Support
Classic Gold Ortho Mattress

3. Classic Gold Ortho Mattress

  • From £159.95
  • Orthopaedic, medium-firm support
  • Double-sided for durability

Interested in finding out more about the Classic Gold Ortho? Our video below has more information for you!

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We hope this page has helped you to find the right mattress. For more help and information on how to get a good night's sleep with a bad back, please visit our sleep tips page. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please give us a call!

If you or a family member struggle with mobility difficulties, the following advice pages may be of interest for you: