How to choose an orthopedic mattress?

The choice of a mattress should be taken seriously. And not just because the purchase is not made for a day, but for years. It is important that your comfortable sleep and well-being during the day depends on the choice made correctly.

What mattress is better: hard or soft?

The most important rule when choosing a mattress: the more natural the spine is during sleep, the more relaxed the muscles, the greater the orthopedic effect.

The extent to which the mattress will be comfortable and the right choice depends on your personal preferences. Some people like hard mattresses, while others have slept their whole life on soft mattresses, so the “most orthopedic” but stiffer mattress will not provide the desired comfort.

Therefore, the opinion that the stiffer the mattress, the better, is not always justified. For example, too hard mattress will not allow the spine to relax fully, and too soft mattress will create the effect of sagging. Also if for someone some mattress model will seem to be hard, for another model it will be soft, so one should take into consideration the anatomy of each person, such as body weight. But first of all one should understand what is the most important for you: price, quality, and functional features of the mattress. Therefore, to begin with it is necessary to understand what kind of mattresses there are.

Making the right choice: spring and no spring mattresses

Classification of orthopedic mattresses.

All commercially available mattresses are divided into two types:

1. Spring mattresses
2. Springless mattresses.

At the same time it is impossible to say which mattress is better. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the choice of a mattress should be approached individually. In turn, spring mattresses are divided into: – mattresses on a dependent block of springs – mattresses on an independent block of springs.

Mattress on the dependent spring block “Bonnel”.

Mattress on independent spring block “Pocket Spring”.

“Pocket Spring” independent spring block is characterized by the fact that each spring is in a separate cover of dense fabric, which are sewn together. The number of springs, as a rule, varies from 220 to 320 pieces per square meter, their diameter ranges from 2 to 6 cm.

Springless mattresses

Springless orthopedic mattresses are traditionally made on the basis of coconut coir and latex (or its artificial substitute, waterlatex, polyurethane foam…) or on the basis of one of these materials.

They are practical and durable, characterized by high orthopedic properties.
Mattresses based on latex and low-density polyurethane foam are soft. The combination of coconut and latex makes the mattress rigid or of high stiffness. Anatomical properties are not high.

Mattresses based on coconut block are very rigid or extremely rigid.

A springless mattress is the perfect choice for those who prefer hard orthopedic mattresses or those with a softer top layer. It should be borne in mind that hard mattresses are not good for the elderly. But this is the best choice for children under 12 years of age, since they have not yet formed spine. Also such mattresses are good for those who have problems in the upper part of the spine.

Also a springless mattress made of natural materials is indispensable for those who are sensitive to static electricity, which causes rapid fatigue, fluctuations in blood pressure, heart palpitations, headaches, a feeling of heart palpitations and, as a consequence, poor sleep.

Comfort and Pressure Relief

Innersprings with continuous or Bonnell coil structures won’t offer anything in terms of pressure relief (unless they’re the more expensive ones with pillowtops) – but a decent mattress with a pocketed base and micro-coils on top will offer pressure relief on par with good memory foam options, sans the sinking sensation that some of us are not fans of.

This is because individualized springs offer superior point elasticity which allows them to form around your body – and then push back some of the pressure your body is exerting.

Heat Retention and Breathability

A mattress utilizing springs in its support core, and topped off by a polyfoam comfort layer (or microcoils) will not respond differently to different body temperatures, nor will it retain any body heat.
However, certain manufacturers do sell hybrid mattresses that use springs as the base and memory foam as the comfort layer, and these products will run hotter than typical innerspring offerings.


Spring mattress durability is primarily dictated by the quality of the material used in the coils, and the thickness thereof. Quite obviously, coils with a larger diameter and greater overall thickness, made from tempered steel, will last longer than cheap knockoffs.

In general, innersprings are perhaps the toughest part of a mattress, and provided they are of good quality, will last longer than all secondary comfort and support materials it contains, except perhaps latex.


If you’re using a double sided innerspring mattress, it is recommended that you flip and rotate it every three months or so, to reduce bodily impressions. For single sided mattresses, you need only rotate it after the same period. Other than that though, there isn’t anything significant you need to look out for.

Recommendations Based on Sleep Types

Side Sleeper

Side sleepers tend to exert the most stress on pressure points i.e. hips and shoulder joints, and therefore require a mattress that molds itself to these extruding body parts to keep their spine perfectly aligned as they sleep. This can be achieved with memory foam mattresses, pocketed spring mattresses (even better with a comfort layer on top), and even memory foam / innerspring hybrids.

Stomach Sleeper

Stomach sleepers don’t tend to exert a lot of force on their pressure points, so unless they’re suffering from a specific condition that causes back pain, they can make do with a regular innerspring mattress that offers minimal conforming support.

Healthy females should take note though, regular innersprings may cause some inconvenience when you’re sleeping in this position because they are unwieldy under pressure, so an offset coil innerspring mattress (or even a pocketed coil one) may be more suitable.

Back Sleeper

Back sleepers’ spines don’t need much individualized support because they are already in their natural position (or pretty close), so again, if you sleep in this style, chances are you’ll be just fine with a decent continuous coil or Bonnell coil mattress.

Of course, if you’re dealing with back pain (or have dealt with it before), a more conforming option such as an offset coil mattress might be a more appropriate candidate.

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