If you’ve ever woken up with a sore back, hip, or shoulder, you can probably blame your mattress. A mattress that’s too hard or too soft can aggravate pressure points, which are the spots on your body where you feel the most pressure when lying down.
These can vary depending on how you like to sleep. For example, if you sleep on your side, you might experience more pressure on your hips and shoulders.
Fortunately, there are mattresses designed to help. To get you started on your search, we rounded up 10 of the best mattresses for pressure points so you can rest easy.
“The correct mattress will minimize pressure points and provide a larger area of support to avoid overstressing small areas,” explains Dr. Lynelle McSweeney, a doctor of chiropractic in Reno, Nevada.
“There’s no single best mattress for everyone,” says McSweeney. “Things like individual height, weight, age, body temperature, and preferred sleeping position all play a role in what mattress comfort means to you.”
Still, the best mattresses for pressure points offer sound support to your body and help you maintain good posture, even when you’re lying down. Your mattress should conform to your body, no matter how you sleep, to keep your pressure points supported and your spine in a neutral position.
There’s a lot to consider when mattress shopping, particularly when you’re looking for an option that will specifically relieve pressure point pain. Here’s what we considered when putting together our list of the best mattresses for pressure point relief:
Materials: We looked for options made with pressure-relieving materials like latex and memory foam that also offer adequate spinal support.
Overall safety: Our top picks meet federal safety requirements.
Indications of quality: We prioritized brands with standards and certifications, like CertiPUR-US, that indicate a high level of quality.
Trial period: We looked for brands that offer generous trial periods since the best way to figure out if you’ll actually like a mattress is to sleep on it.
Manufacturer warranties: We also checked for reasonable warranties with purchase.
Customer feedback: We looked carefully at reviews of all the mattresses on our list to see what customers had to say.
It’s important to look for a mattress that will work with your body type and preferred sleeping positions.
Consider firmness and support
You’ll want to consider your firmness preferences. While this is pretty subjective, if you’re not sure what will feel comfiest to you, consider going for a medium-firm mattress.
A 2015 review found that a medium-firm, self-adjusted mattress is best when it comes to comfort, sleep quality, and spinal alignment.
It’s also important to look for something that gives good support — especially if you’re looking for pressure point relief. Look for options that are explicitly designed to minimize pain in the shoulders and hips and to support the spine.
Consider specific materials
Both memory foam and latex offer pressure-relieving benefits, so these are good options to explore. Foam contours to the body when you lie down and adjusts as you move during the night. This helps ensure good support and spinal alignment and cushion pressure points.
Latex has a similar contouring effect. It’s more responsive than memory foam without the “sinking-in” sensation.
Try before you buy
The best way to test a mattress is to sleep on it, which is why many reputable mattress companies offer some kind of risk-free trial period. Whether you’re shopping online or in a store, make a point of checking trial period details, delivery and return fees, and warranty.
And keep an eye out for specials. Many online companies offer sales around holidays, just like retail stores.
Read customer feedback
If you’re shopping online, it’s also a good idea to browse reviews for a better sense of what people really think after they have tried out the mattress.
If you’re looking to help relieve pressure points, your main goal should be finding a mattress that evenly distributes your weight. This can help prevent excessive contact in any one area, which is a common reason people develop pressure points.
The right firmness level also plays a role. You’ll want a mattress that’s soft enough and has enough give to contour your body without putting too much pressure on your hips and shoulders. But you’ll also want to make sure it’s not so soft that your spine gets thrown out of alignment.
Firmness is partly a personal preference, which is why there’s no one-size-fits-all option for pressure point relief. The goal is to maintain a neutral spine, even when lying down.
When should I talk with a doctor about pressure point pain?
If pressure point pain is becoming chronic or affecting your quality of sleep, it’s time to talk with a doctor. It’s also important to talk with a doctor if your attempts to resolve your pressure point pain with a new mattress aren’t helping.
Why do my pressure points hurt in bed?
Since regular exercise and chronic pain can contribute to pressure point pain, a mattress that relieves them may help improve sleep and overall quality of life.
Side sleepers are more apt to develop pressure points in the shoulders and hips, so a pressure-relieving mattress may be extra beneficial for anyone who prefers this sleeping position, too.
Pressure relief is important for everyone. But choosing a mattress specifically targeted at relieving pressure may be especially important for those with chronic pain, athletes, and anyone who leads a very active lifestyle.
Can a mattress topper help with pressure point pain?
A mattress topper may be able to help relieve pressure point pain. A quality mattress topper made with pressure-relieving materials like latex or memory foam can offer additional support if your mattress isn’t doing the trick.
What’s the best type of mattress for pressure points?
The best mattress for pressure points is supportive enough to keep your spine aligned yet cushioned enough to contour around your hips and shoulders.
Mattresses in the medium-firm range tend to be a good choice. Materials like latex and memory foam are also worth exploring.
How do I stop pressure point pain in my bed? Can you relieve pressure point pain in bed?
You can relieve pressure points in bed by choosing a mattress that evenly distributes your body weight and doesn’t put excessive contact in any one specific area.
You also need to pick the right firmness level for you. The goal is to choose a mattress that keeps your spine in a neutral position but still has enough give to cushion your shoulders, hips, and back as needed.
Waking up to aches and pains can have far-reaching effects on your overall wellness, and a mattress designed to minimize pressure point pain can make a big difference.
While the firmness of a mattress is a preference, it’s important to look for one that will offer targeted support for your height, weight, and sleeping preferences.
Last medically reviewed on June 30, 2023
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