What Is an Orthopaedic Mattress?

An orthopaedic mattress - or orthopedic mattress for our American friends - is a mattress designed to offer a firmer sleep surface, providing targeted support for your back and joints. Manufacturers first developed orthopaedic mattresses in the 1950s as the benefits of orthopaedic support were discovered.

What does orthopaedic mean?

Orthopaedic is a medical term. It relates to the field of orthopaedics, which looks specifically at the function of the spine and other joints. Orthopaedic specialists help to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal issues that affect the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles.

Orthopaedic mattresses are commonly used by people who suffer from back problems. However, over the years, orthopaedic mattresses have been designed to become more than just a solution to back pain. Read on to find how you could benefit from an orthopaedic mattress.

The Sealy Millionaire Orthopaedic Mattress provides excellent orthopaedic support for back pain
The Sealy Millionaire Orthopaedic Mattress is a firm, orthopaedic mattress, offering high levels of back support

Orthopaedic mattresses: the benefits

Specifically designed to offer excellent support and comfort, an orthopaedic mattress provides many benefits.

  • Maximum support

The firm surface of an orthopaedic mattress means you get optimum push-back for the perfect sleeping position. This will reduce tossing and turning and help you to wake up feeling refreshed.

  • Even weight distribution

An orthopaedic mattress evenly spreads your body weight to prevent the build-up of pressure points, particularly in your neck, back and hips.

  • Correct spinal alignment

Orthopaedic mattresses ensure correct spinal alignment to help alleviate stress on the spine and reduce back pain.

  • Healthy posture

An orthopaedic mattress helps you to adopt the correct posture as you sleep, promoting healthier blood circulation throughout the night.

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What's inside an orthopaedic mattress?

Orthopaedic mattresses are available with different comfort and support layers to offer something for everyone. Here are the types of fillings we have in our orthopaedic mattresses:

We also have a range of orthopaedic mattresses that are rolled-up so they're easier for you to manoeuvre into the room of your choice. You can read more about roll-up mattresses and how they work over on our blog - roll-up mattresses: everything you need to know.

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Is an orthopaedic mattress right for me?

An orthopaedic (or orthopedic) mattress offers great support and pressure relief to help reduce aches and pains. Read on to find out how an orthopaedic mattress could benefit you.

  • For back and joint pain

The firm surface of an orthopaedic mattress promotes healthy posture alignment and pressure relief. Find more tips to relieve your back pain over on our page, sleep tips for a bad back.

  • For those who like a firm sleep surface

If you simply prefer the feel and support of a firm mattress then an orthopaedic mattress is a good choice.

It is worth noting that the firmer feel of an orthopaedic mattress isn't for everyone. Choosing the right level of firmness and support for you is important. Many orthopaedic mattresses are firmer or extra firm, which may not necessarily suit your body weight: you may find that some of these mattresses feel too "hard". This will cause more aches and pains in the long run.

If you're not sure how firm your mattress should be, check out our page, what mattress firmness is right for me? Alternatively, give us a call! We can offer support and advice to help you discover the right firmness for you.

Woman waking up refreshed without back pain thanks to the comfort and support of an orthopaedic mattress
An orthopaedic mattress helps relieve aches and pains so you wake feeling rested

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How long does an orthopaedic mattress last?

Similar to all other mattress types, it is recommended that you change your mattress every seven years. It is especially important to stick to this guideline if you have an orthopaedic mattress.

You may get to the seven-year mark and think your orthopaedic mattress feels fine. However, the springs and fillings are sure to have weakened, meaning you are no longer getting the orthopaedic support you require. This could cause your back and joint pains to re-emerge. Read more about renewing your mattress over on our page, when should I change my mattress?

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5 of the best orthopaedic mattresses: Our bestsellers

From standard sprung to memory foam, we have a wide range of orthopaedic mattresses for you to choose from. Here are five of our best-selling orthopaedic mattresses.

Silentnight Ortho Dream Star Miracoil Mattress

1. Silentnight Ortho Dream Star Miracoil Mattress

  • Mattress type: standard sprung
  • Firmness: extra firm
  • From only £174.95

One of the firmest mattresses Silentnight has to offer! The Ortho Dream Star uses Silentnight's unique Miracoil spring system and a deeply quilted damask cover to provide an extra firm feel. This mattress has three comfort and support zones, so you can sleep peacefully knowing you're going to be fully supported. These springs also create separate sleeping zones for you and your partner, which means you won't roll together in the night.

The Ortho Dream Star is made from Eco Comfort Fibres™ to keep you cool and fresh while you sleep. To top it off, they're made from 100% sustainable sources, which means you're doing your part for the planet!

Sealy Posturepedic Aspen Mattress

2. Sealy Posturepedic Aspen Mattress

  • Mattress type: standard sprung
  • Firmness: firm
  • From only £179.95

The Sealy Aspen has been authorised by the Orthopaedic Advisory Board - so you know you're getting a mattress that has been made with back care in mind. Its PostureTech Core Support spring system responds to your weight as you move in the night to give you total body support exactly where you need it most. For an added touch of firmness, the Aspen is complete with a damask fabric cover.

It's super easy to care for, too! You don't need to flip this mattress - all you need to do is rotate it every so often to keep this mattress in great condition.

Sealy Posturepedic Backcare Extra Firm Mattress

3. Sealy Posturepedic Backcare Extra Firm Mattress

  • Mattress type: standard sprung
  • Firmness: extra firm
  • From only £269.95

If you're looking for an extra firm mattress, then the Sealy Backcare could be the one for you. You'll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day with Sealy's targeted lumbar support. Combined with the PostureTech Core Support spring system, you'll enjoy orthopaedic support all night long.

This mattress is also easy to care for as it's single-sided. All you need to do is rotate it using the turning handles to maintain a supportive night's sleep.

Classic Gold Ortho Mattress

4. Classic Gold Ortho Mattress

  • Mattress type: standard sprung
  • Firmness: medium to firm
  • From only £114.95

The Classic Gold perfectly balances great comfort and support. This mattress has a traditional open coil spring system to provide medium-firm, orthopaedic support. With a layer of cosy fillings and a soft knitted cover, you'll be sure to have a good night's sleep. It also comes with a supportive rod edge so you can make the most of your sleeping space. This is because the edge allows you to sleep to the very edge of the mattress without rolling off.

The Classic Gold is double-sided, meaning you have to flip this mattress very so often. This increases its durability so you can enjoy a supportive sleep for years to come.

Sleepeezee Backcare Deluxe 1000 Pocket Mattress

5. Sleepeezee Backcare Deluxe 1000 Pocket Mattress

  • Mattress type: pocket sprung
  • Firmness: firm
  • From only £189.95

The Sleepeezee Backcare Deluxe is a fantastic orthopaedic mattress for great value. With 1000 responsive pocket springs, you'll experience support and pressure relief in your joints exactly where you need it most. It's hand tufted for a firmer feel and to lock in all the sumptuous fillings. You don't need to worry about your allergies either, as it's hypoallergenic!

For a more traditional feel, the Backcare Deluxe is double-sided and completely with turning handles. Every so often, you just need to flip the mattress to keep all of the fillings evenly distributed.

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Orthopaedic mattresses offer high levels of support, pressure relief and comfort. Whilst they are particularly beneficial for those who have a bad back or experience aches and pains throughout the night, this type of mattress isn't only for those who suffer from back pain. Orthopaedic mattresses are available with a range of options including memory foam and natural fillings, all designed with your comfort firmly in mind.