Best Mattress for Seniors and the Elderly
If you are in the market for a mattress for seniors, you know that not all new mattresses on the market are the same. Whether you are a senior yourself on the hunt for a great new mattress, or helping an elderly relative pick out their next new mattress, the best mattresses for seniors offer specific features that increase comfort, and improve sleep quality.
As seniors, some issues arise with age that were non-existent 20 years ago. There is a whole new world of considerations to think about when making any purchase, but especially when purchasing the best mattress for seniors.
Finding the perfect mattress for any age range can be a challenge. There are many options when it comes to choosing the right mattress for you, and a lot of decisions will be made based on personal preference. Read on to find out more about the best mattresses for seniors available today.
What Makes a Mattress Great for Seniors?
There are several excellent mattresses on the market that provide comfort and support to provide quality sleep. The best mattress for seniors must take into consideration the purchaser’s health, sleep history, as well as comfort for aches and pains.
- For example, if a senior is experiencing sleep disorders due to medical conditions, such as blood circulatory leg problems, an adjustable mattress and bed will improve blood circulation and relax muscles.
- Those with lower back pain may need a firmer mattress to relieve pressure points.
- A patient who suffers from upper back and neck pain should consider a plush bed that can allow the thoracic area and head to sink into the bed to help with spinal alignment and pressure relief.
As people age, their natural sleep cycle begins to change. A person’s favorite mattress at 30 might not suit their needs at 60 or 80. The best mattresses for seniors take into account the changes that occur throughout seniors’ bodies, sleep patterns, and lifestyles.
What to Look for in Mattresses for Seniors
When shopping for a mattress, do plenty of research. Devote an entire day to it. Take your time testing out each mattress for at least 15 minutes. Try out different sleep positions while you are on the mattress as well. After all, side sleepers and back sleepers might have different tastes.
You are hopefully going to spend up to 15 years sleeping on this mattress, so you want to make sure it is the right one before you buy it! When choosing a mattress for seniors, take the following factors into account. The best mattress for seniors will be a quality mattress that offers all the features you need at a comfortable price point.
Any good mattress needs to support the person sleeping on top of it. Many mattresses offer this in the form of edge support. Support around a mattress’s edge is made up of additional material or structure that keeps a mattress from sagging around the outer edges.
The best mattress for seniors should have strong edge support to help with getting in and out of bed each day and night. This support helps provide pressure relief, and aids in spinal alignment. Additionally, edge support prevents nighttime injuries caused by rolling out of bed.
A mattress with a strong edge also offers a comfortable place on the edge of the bed to sit without sinking.
The mattress type is a determining factor in whether it has adequate support, and what materials are used to achieve the edge support.
- Memory foam and polyfoam mattresses have some edge support, but it is not great.
- Latex mattresses are more supportive than memory foam, but they do not contain internal spring cores, so they do not have specific edge support, other than what is already provided by the bed’s makeup.
- Hybrid mattresses do include internal coils, but also have an outer foam edge for edge support as well as latex for comfort and pressure relief.
Elevated support around the edge of your mattress usually translates to a firm or medium-firm mattress, but you can also find options on the more plush side.
Comfort layers determine how firm or how plush a mattress is. Innerspring, memory foam, hybrid, and latex mattress types all have different layers that affect how comfortable they are. Layers also make a mattress thicker. The topmost layer of a mattress can add breathability and temperature regulation as well.
The best mattress for seniors will fall in the medium-firm range. Seniors typically require optimum pressure relief, and medium-firm mattresses are good at easing aches and pains on pressure points. Medium-firm mattresses are not hard, necessarily. Firm and medium-firm do not equate to uncomfortable and rigid.
Medium-firm mattresses are about a six out of 10 on the mattress firmness scale. This rating means that, while they are firm for a sleeper to lie upon, they also offer plenty of proper cushioning. Sleepers will not sink as deeply into a medium-firm mattress as they would into a much softer mattress.
Firmness plays a large role in pressure relief. The best mattress for seniors will soothe aches and pains. Chronic pain can cause sleep disturbances. Seniors with back pain will find that mattress firmness or plushness will determine how comfortably and pain-free they sleep throughout the night.
When choosing firmness for pressure relief, you should also consider your preferred sleep position. Side sleepers will likely prefer a mattress in the medium range for comfort, while someone who sleeps on their back or stomach will need something firmer.
Along with layers and firmness, a quality mattress has a comfortable level of thickness as well. A good mattress for seniors should be thick enough to provide enough cushion, while still maintaining the ideal firmness to provide spinal alignment.
Comfortable mattresses are between eight and 14 inches thick, which leaves a lot of room for personal preferences.
Mattresses with motion isolation prevent partners who are sleeping together from bothering one another by moving around at night. Since seniors tend to sleep lightly, any amount of motion transfer can wake a sleeper up.
A good mattress should prevent motion transfer between senior partners. People who get up many times during the night due to various sleep disturbances will not have to worry about waking up the other person in bed.
Another mattress type that is beneficial for elderly seniors is the breathable mattress that has an open-cell structure. This is a mattress that allows air to flow freely within the mattress, causing less muscle tenseness in the winter months.
Seniors, like infants, have delicate bodies, and need a mattress that causes less discomfort due to frigidness during cold weather.
When shopping for the best mattress for seniors, quality materials should be at the top of your list of priorities. Not all mattress materials are good for your health or wellbeing. Shoppers should look for a new mattress made with materials that are not going to cause respiratory distress, or other potential problems.
For example, a memory foam mattress is made from polyurethane and petroleum-based chemicals. It is not organic or natural, so it will off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause irritating side effects in healthy people. These side-effects are likely to be more severe in seniors.
Some memory foam mattresses are higher-quality, and made with fewer chemicals, while other mattresses are completely organic, and better for overall health and wellness. The best mattress for seniors is always going to promote wellbeing.
Some mattress companies offer great policies like sleep trials and warranties on their products. Sleep trials allow a customer to purchase a mattress, and sleep on it for a number of days to ensure it is comfortable and suitable for their needs. If the customer decides they do not like the mattress, the company will take it back.
Companies that offer warranties back their products for years. When a company has a short warranty, you can assume the company does not have very much faith in its product. However, some mattress companies have warranties on their mattresses for as long as 20 years. The best mattresses for seniors will be backed by well-rounded and long-lasting warranties.
With any major purchase, the cost is a factor. A mattress for seniors should not break the bank. Many seniors are on fixed incomes, like social security, and cannot afford to spend excessive amounts of money on luxurious items.
A good mattress is a necessary purchase, but a fair price point is essential when it comes to the best mattress for seniors.
Different Types of Mattresses for Seniors
There are several different types of beds available on the market. There is no one type of mattress for seniors that will work perfectly for everyone. Instead, take into consideration the above factors and determine individual needs. Types of mattresses include:
- Memory foam
An innerspring mattress is a traditional type of mattress that has been around the longest. An innerspring mattress, as the name suggests, has metal springs inside of it that are surrounded by an outer fabric and cushion material.
The metal coil framing inside provides support and structure, while the cushioning outside provides comfort.
Memory foam mattresses can be wonderful for seniors, thanks to the foam’s ability to reshape around the body, which can relieve pain and pressure. Seniors with back pain can benefit from memory foam. However, stomach and side sleepers are usually steered away from memory foam because of the significant “sink” the material provides.
One of the health benefits of a memory foam mattress is that it provides the body a soothing effect to muscles and aching joints; upon awakening, there is no joint and muscle pain, thanks to effective pressure relief.
This type of foam mattress, also known as visco-elastic foam, differs from regular foam because it becomes elastic in higher temperatures as it responds to body heat, and provides a floating sensation to the body.
A hybrid mattress combines multiple materials to provide the best features of each. For example, a hybrid mattress might have individually wrapped coils for support throughout the night, with memory foam or latex layers as cushioning.
Seniors with back pain can receive support from the inner coils, while also benefiting from memory foam’s contouring nature. A latex layer can also provide breathability.
Latex mattresses are natural and made from rubber trees. A latex mattress is not only a great mattress for seniors, but it is a great mattress for anyone at any age. Latex is especially good for seniors, though, because they provide incomparable support, while also keeping allergens and irritants at bay.
Latex mattresses are naturally resistant to dust mites and microbes. They are chemical-free, which is perfect for an all-natural night of sleep. They are more comfortable for side sleepers than memory foam mattresses. Also, while latex mattresses provide similar contouring, latex mattresses sleep cooler, and are more durable than memory foam.
Common Sleep Issues for Older Adults
While people of any age can experience sleep issues and disorders, these tend to crop up more frequently as people age. In addition to sleep disorders, other conditions that affect seniors and their sleep quality also influence how well a senior sleeps at night.
Sleep apnea is a disorder of the upper airways that causes a person to temporarily stop breathing while they are asleep. Sleep apnea is a common condition, but obstructive sleep apnea can be dangerous if not treated. Sleep apnea machines, called CPAP machines, can help treat sleep apnea.
However, seniors with sleep apnea are more likely to have issues sleeping, and are more prone to waking up.
Arthritis and painful joints can make it difficult for a senior to fall asleep, and stay asleep. Pain throughout the body is difficult for anyone to overcome, especially at night.
Seniors typically take more daily medication, both prescription and over-the-counter, than younger people do. Even relatively healthy seniors will likely be prescribed something by their doctor.
Many medications can cause difficulty sleeping. In addition, medication interactions can impact how well a person sleeps at night.
How Much Sleep Do Seniors Need?
Similar to healthy adults at any age, healthy seniors need about seven to eight hours of good quality sleep to feel well-rested. It is more difficult, on average, for seniors to get the proper sleep they need throughout the night. That is why a great mattress and sleep environment are so important.
Dangers of Poor Sleep
Getting poor sleep can have a real impact on your quality of life at any age. However, as difficult as it may be for seniors to sleep well at night, it is crucial that they are able to do so.
Without proper sleep, physical health can quickly decline. The immune system can become compromised, and unable to fight off infection and illness.
Lack of sleep makes one more susceptible to depression and anxiety. In those who already have clinical depression and anxiety, lack of sleep can exacerbate those issues.
When we do not get enough sleep, we become clumsy, and less able to control our faculties. Seniors who live alone, or who spend time at home alone, are particularly vulnerable to injury. While anyone can have an accident, seniors with osteoporosis may be more likely to end up with broken bones or serious injuries.
Sleep Tips for Seniors
With the proper tools and tips, seniors can begin to sleep more easily and effectively at night. Choose a great mattress for seniors, and build a better sleep routine to ensure proper health and wellness.
Follow a Consistent Routine
Going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day helps to train your mind and body to sleep better. Additionally, do not spend time in the bed lazing about or reading, or your body and mind will get used to seeing your bed as a place to hang out while awake, rather than a place to sleep.
It is common for seniors to get sleepy during the daytime. However, taking naps during the day makes it far more difficult to fall asleep at night. Try to skip the naps, and go to bed extra tired. This will give you the best chance of sleeping well at night.
Improve Sleeping Environment
Your sleeping environment has a major role in your quality and quantity of sleep. Ensure your room is not too hot. The body tends to sleep better in cooler rooms. Additionally, make sure the room is free of irritants and allergens. The bedding should be comfortable, breathable, and not constricting. There should be no stimulating light or sound in the room to prevent sleep.
The hardest thing to tackle in anyone’s day-to-day life is stress. However, reducing stress is crucial to improve sleep quality. There are plenty of ways to reduce stress naturally, from practicing mindfulness to exercising. However, if stress is a major issue in your life, consult your doctor about ways to manage your stress for the sake of your sleep.
PlushBeds Best Mattresses for Seniors
PlushBeds has won many awards for our natural, comfortable, high-quality mattresses and bedding. Our company uses natural, organic materials, so customers know that the mattresses they bring into their homes are safe and healthy. When choosing a mattress for seniors, PlushBeds has a selection of mattresses that will fit the bill. And, for convenience, PlushBeds mattresses can be purchased online.
The PlushBeds Botanical Bliss organic latex mattress has won several awards thanks to its motion isolation, firmness options, and long lifespan. Additionally, this mattress is built from high-quality natural materials, and provides luxurious comfort and pressure relief at a fair price. PlushBeds also offers split mattresses for couples who have varying preferences.
PlushBeds offers a 100-night sleep trial, so seniors can try this mattress out to make sure it is a good fit.
PlushBeds Adjustable Bed Foundations
PlushBeds adjustable bed foundations can be paired with comfortable mattresses for seniors to create safe and convenient adjustable beds.
PlushBeds has several adjustable beds to choose from that come in sizes from twin up to California king. Some of these adjustable foundations can even be split, so two partners can adjust their sides separately. Pair a PlushBeds split mattress with a PlushBeds adjustable foundation to ensure no motion transfer takes place between partners.
These adjustable foundations require limited assembly. However, seniors who cannot or do not want to attempt this assembly can get in touch with one of PlushBeds’ local skilled professionals to complete the assembly.
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