If you suffer from hip pain, sleeping on the wrong mattress can make your symptoms worse or even prevent healing. That’s why it’s important to choose a mattress that offers proper support and cushioning, especially if you spend a lot of time in bed.
In this article, we’ll review the different types of mattresses and firmness levels available and provide expert recommendations for the best options for people with hip pain. We’ve consulted with sleep experts and orthopedic specialists to compile this comprehensive guide, so you can rest assured that our recommendations are backed by science.
Understanding Mattress Firmness
Understanding mattress firmness is essential when choosing a new mattress. A mattress’s firmness refers to how soft or hard it feels when you lie on it. It’s important to note that every person has their own level of comfort regarding firmness; what feels comfortable to one person may not feel comfortable at all to another.
Mattresses are typically rated on a scale of 1–10, with 1 being very soft and 10 being very firm. Here’s how each rating corresponds with its level of support:
- Soft (1-3): This type of mattres provides deep sinkage but lacks adequate support.
- Medium (4-6): This type of mattres offers contouring while still providing sufficient support.
- Firm (7-9): This type of mattres offers little sinkage but significant pressure relief.
- Extra-firm (10): This type of mattres is solid like a board, offering little sinkage but substantial pressure relief.
How Mattress Type Affects Hip Pain
Different types of mattresses can affect hip pain differently because they offer varying levels of contouring and support. Here are some common types:
Innerspring mattresses have been around for many years and remain popular today due in large part to their affordability. They are made with coils that provide firmness and support and a layer of padding on top for comfort.
Innerspring mattresses can be beneficial for people with hip pain because they offer good support and don’t contour too much. The coils help distribute weight evenly across the mattress, reducing pressure on the hips. However, if you prefer a soft mattress topper, it is important to keep in mind that this may reduce its benefits.
Memory foam mattresses have become increasingly popular over the past decade due to their contouring abilities. Made from viscoelastic foam, memory foam molds around your body shape as you sleep, offering a unique level of individualized support.
For people with hip pain who sleep primarily on their side or back, memory foam mattresses can provide excellent relief by cradling sensitive areas such as the hips and shoulders while still providing sufficient lumbar (lower back) support. Additionally, memory foam’s ability to absorb movement means that partners won’t disturb each other during sleep.
Hybrid mattresses offer both innerspring coils and layers of supportive materials like latex or memory foam. They combine the advantages of both types of mattress technology, providing comfortable conformation while still having strong foundational support beneath them.
If you’re looking for an option that provides more cushioning than an innerspring mattress but less sinkage than a typical memory foam bed might provide, Hybrid fits fall between these two options, meaning some cross into medium-firm territory, which helps those with hip issues rest more comfortably without causing further discomfort throughout the night.
Latex mattresses contain natural latex rubber from trees or synthetic materials combined with polyurethane foams for additional comfort layers (known as Dunlop or Talalay). These beds are known to provide exceptional durability along with above-average pressure relief, thanks largely to the natural bounce-back material, which cradles but doesn’t envelop your body, unlike many memory foam beds.
For people with hip pain, a medium-firm latex mattress can offer the same conforming benefits as memory foam while providing more overall support and bounce.
Best Mattress Firmness for Hip Pain
Now that you know what types of mattresses are available, let’s take a look at expert recommendations for the best mattress firmness for hip pain:
While soft mattresses may feel comfortable initially, they offer very little support or alignment for your hips and spine. This lack of support can exacerbate hip pain by causing uncomfortable pressure points to form in sensitive areas. Therefore, we do not recommend soft mattresses for those suffering from hip discomfort.
Medium-firm mattresses tend to be an excellent choice for those with hip issues because they provide both cushioning and support without being too hard on joints. As such, our top recommendation is a 5 rated firmness level if sleeping primarily on your side or back, as it provides the ability to cradle hips but stay supportive throughout the night.
Firm mattresses also have their place when handling hip discomfort. They offer greater alignment, which could mean lower pressure throughout key sensitive areas such as the hips, leading to a better night’s sleep overall. However, push past this limit and you’re guaranteed stiffness, making it difficult to rest comfortably during slumber. We suggest an 8-rated firmness level maximum for those seeking any additional edge support that offers good motion isolation properties.
Overall, the medium-firm option offers enough contouring while still providing sufficient lumbar support, which keeps your spine aligned and allows muscles used around your hips adequate time to relax and recover during sleeping hours.
Considerations When Purchasing a Mattress
When shopping for a mattress suitable for easing issues surrounding painful joint conditions, it’s crucial to keep in mind these helpful tips:
It is important not only to look at different brands but to try out various mattresses in person. This allows for a full physical experience in determining what firmness and type are most comfortable and beneficial to you.
Understand Warranty and Sleep Trial Policies
Sleep trials often offer an extended window of time to return or exchange your mattress with little hassle, allowing for ample opportunity to determine how well it works with hip pain over time. When considering warranties, take into account the duration offered along with any stipulations that may void this coverage.
Look for certifications.
A certification such as “Certipur” assures customers that the materials used in their mattress are free from harmful chemicals capable of causing discomfort, especially prevalent amongst consumers sensitive to chemical-induced ailments.
Suffering from hip pain can be challenging, but choosing the right mattress doesn’t have to be. Remember that each sleeping preference varies per person, so it’s essential to find a bed that’s not only suitable for relieving your particular condition but also fits your individual comfort preferences.
Medium-firm mattresses tend to offer hip pressure relief while keeping spines aligned, which creates a healthy environment for the muscles surrounding the hips, allowing them greater opportunity during slumber hours. Our recommendation is 5–6 on the firmness scale.
Remember to always shop around before making your final decision and choose high-quality certified products, knowing they provide safe usage without any extra issue-causing concerns such as harsh emissions.
Is a firm or soft mattress better for hip pain?
The ideal mattress firmness for hip pain is medium-firm. A study by the National Institutes of Health found that people who slept on a medium-firm mattress reported less pain and stiffness in their hips compared to those who slept on a firm or soft mattress. Medium-firm mattresses provide enough support to keep your spine aligned while also contouring to your body’s natural curves.
Should side sleepers with hip pain choose a softer mattress?
While some side sleepers may prefer a softer mattress, it’s important to prioritize support over softness when dealing with hip pain. Soft mattresses can actually worsen hip pain by allowing your hips to sink too far into the mattress and causing your spine to become misaligned. If you’re a side sleeper with hip pain, look for a medium-firm mattress that provides ample support while still offering some give at pressure points like your shoulders and hips.
Can an adjustable bed help relieve hip pain?
Yes, an adjustable bed can be helpful in relieving hip pain by providing customized support and comfort based on your individual needs. Adjustable beds allow you to elevate different parts of your body as needed, which can help take pressure off sore spots like your hips and lower back. Look for an adjustable bed that allows you to adjust both the head and foot sections so you can find the optimal position for maximum relief from hip pain.