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Whether you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, you may find you have trouble sleeping. Unfortunately, this can be a vicious cycle – the less you sleep, the worse your joint pain will be. If you can improve the quality of your sleep, you’ll be better able to manage your pain. So how can having the right bed help?
A good quality mattress won’t cure your arthritis, but it can help with managing your arthritic pain by allowing you to get a better night’s sleep.
The best mattress for joint pain will depend on your sleeping position (which may be affected by your arthritis) and how severe your pain is. If you’re an elderly arthritis sufferer, then you may have additional criteria, such as a mattress with firm edge support to help you get out of bed or one that’s compatible with an adjustable base.
We’ve reviewed some of the best mattresses on the market, including foam, latex, hybrid, and one that uses a completely different material altogether… Read on to find out which mattress can best help with your arthritis pain.
Best Mattress For Arthritis Reviews
Tuft & Needle
If you can’t decide between memory foam and latex, why not go for the best of both? Tuft & Needle’s Adaptive® Foam is engineered to have the soft comfort of memory foam with the bounce you get from latex.
The foam responds to your weight – the more pressure you put on it, the more support it provides – meaning that it can effectively relieve pressure on joints and hot-spots. This soft foam layer rests on top of a thicker supportive base.
Overall, the mattress has a medium-firm level of support, which is likely to be a good middle-ground for most arthritis sufferers. It’s softer than some other brands of foam mattress which may mean you find it more comfortable, particularly if you’re a light person or if you sleep on your side.
To help keep you cool, the adaptive foam contains heat-wicking graphite and a specific cooling gel. The mattress is wrapped in a breathable cover which is included in the 10-year warranty.
Compared to most high-quality mattresses, the Tuft & Needle is inexpensive. If you’re on a budget, or you’re not sure if a foam mattress is for you, this makes it a great choice. It also comes with a 100-night trial period so you can be totally sure it’s the best mattress for you before committing to keeping it.
The mattress has undergone stringent testing to certify that it’s free from harmful chemicals. You may get some off-gassing when you first unroll it (normal for this type of mattress) but you don’t need to worry that you’ll be breathing in any harmful VOCs.
The only issue that some users have reported with the T&N is that it can soften over time. If you find it a little firm to begin with, this may not be a bad thing, but if you’re a heavier person (or you sleep with a heavier person) then a more robust mattress may offer more longevity.
The Saatva mattress is a luxury hybrid, offering the bounciness and durability of an innerspring mattress and the soft comfort of foam. It’s recommended by the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations to help reduce back pain, so may be of particular interest if you suffer from osteoarthritis or lower back pain.
The “coil-on-coil” construction consists of a base layer of durable steel coils with a layer of individual-wrapped coils on top. These help the mattress contour around your body and reduce motion transfer, though it’s worth noting that the motion isolation isn’t as effective as a pure memory foam mattress.
On top of the coils is a layer of memory foam which helps with pressure relief, and a soft euro pillow top for extra comfort and cushioning for your hips and shoulders.
You can choose from three different comfort levels: plush soft, which may suit lighter side-sleepers with hip or shoulder pain, luxury-firm, which is suited for different sleeping positions and couples of different weights, and firm, which may work well for heavier body types and people who sleep on their back.
One advantage of the luxury hybrid design is the breathability. The coils mean you get good airflow through the mattress, and the Saatva is a cooler option than most memory foams. It also has a firm edge support system making this a good mattress for seniors with arthritis and anyone else who struggles to get up from a soft-edged bed.
Because of the coil system and durability, the Saatva is a good choice for larger sleepers as it’s likely to sag less over time. It comes with a generous 120-night trial period, and there’s the option of an adjustable base if you’re looking to replace your entire bed.
If you’ve got arthritis, you may find it difficult to unroll and move your new mattress into position. The Saatva comes with complementary white-glove delivery, so your delivery team will set it up in the room of your choice and take away your old mattress.
The New Purple
The New Purple is different from every other type of mattress in this article. It’s not memory foam, it’s not springs, and it’s not latex… So, what is it?
The main technology in the mattress is Purple’s Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ which is designed to flex dynamically under pressure. This means it gives at your shoulders and hips to relieve pressure on these joints while supporting your lower back and legs.
The dynamic flex also helps reduce motion transfer and means it’s an excellent mattress for all shapes and sizes. If you struggle to find a mattress that suits both you and your partner, this may be the mattress you’ve been looking for.
The New Purple is available in three different thicknesses (2, 4, and 6 inches) depending on how firm you like your mattress to be – the thicker the polymer layer, the softer the mattress. Underneath the polymer comfort grid is a thick layer of responsive support coils for durability and support.
The structure of the grid and the coils underneath makes the mattress highly breathable. Unlike memory foam, which absorbs your body heat, the polymer used in the New Purple is temperature neutral. This makes it a great choice if you tend to sleep hot or you live in a warm climate. However, one thing to be aware of is that heavy sheets can impede the breathability. You don’t have to use Purple’s sheet, but you may find they help you get the most out of the mattress.
One downside of the mattress is its weight. It’s very heavy, which is something to bear in mind if you think you’ll be moving it around a lot. It does come with complimentary delivery and setup, so at least you don’t have to worry about getting it up the stairs.
It’s also quite expensive and as the technology is new, it hasn’t been tested for longevity in the real world. Purple have confidence in their mattress though, as it comes with a 10-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.
Another mattress that claims to solve your sleep problems with technology is the Bear Mattress. At first sight, it looks like any other memory foam mattress, but what makes it unique is its breathable Celliant cover.
Celliant is a synthetic fiber the recycles heat emitted from your body, converting it into infrared light which is then reflected and absorbed into your body. Infrared light can help boost circulation and tissue oxygen levels and promote more restful sleep. Adding a mattress protector or sheets on top of the celliant cover won’t affect its performance, and it will never wash or wear out.
Although it’s marketed at athletes looking for a way to recover from a tough workout, we reckon it could also help rheumatoid arthritis sufferers with general muscle aches and fatigue. And if the celliant technology does help you sleep well, you’ll be better able to manage your pain on a day-to-day basis.
The main body of the mattress comprises four layers of foam. The top layer incorporates graphite gel to help conduct heat away from your body. Underneath this is a responsive memory foam that’s designed to hug your body, a transitional layer for pressure relief, and a high-density foam base.
Overall, it’s rated medium-firm, though it’s firmer than a lot of other medium-rated mattresses and may suit back sleepers better than side sleepers. Like most memory foam mattresses, the edge support isn’t great, so if you struggle to get up out of bed, this may not be the mattress for you.
All the foams used are CertiPUR-US® certified meaning they’re good for the environment and you shouldn’t notice a strong odor. You get a decent 100-night trial period, but it’s worth noting that you can’t return the mattress within the first 30 days. We also love the fact that it’s made in the USA and they’re also offering two free cloud pillows with your mattress.
If you struggle with joint pain and arthritis, you’ve probably dreamt of sleeping on a cloud, floating weightlessly as your body is supported in the perfect position with no pressure on your joints.
Sadly, clouds are not as fluffy and supportive as they look, but the Zenhaven mattress could give you the weightless feeling you’ve been looking for.
It’s made from natural latex, sourced from the milky sap of American-grown rubber trees. Like memory foam, latex conforms to your body; however, it’s more elastic and quicker to respond, meaning you get more ‘bounce’ from your mattress.
If you struggle to get up out of a memory foam mattress in the morning, you may prefer latex as it doesn’t envelop your body in quite the same way. This may make it the best mattress for seniors with arthritis.
The natural Talalay latex used in the Zenhaven has an open cell structure which promotes airflow through the mattress. It’s naturally more breathable than synthetic latex or memory foam, so you shouldn’t wake up sweating in the middle of the night.
The Zenhaven is also an excellent choice for health and eco-conscious arthritis sufferers. Natural latex means you don’t have to worry about the chemicals present in synthetic or petroleum-based foam, making it a better choice for indoor air quality as you don’t have to risk breathing in any nasty VOCs. It’s also resistant to mold, dust mites and microbes and naturally hypoallergenic. Surrounding the foam is a layer of organic wool and an organic cotton cover for comfort and breathability.
Sounds perfect? The only downside you may find is that there’s less motion isolation than in a memory foam mattress. This comes down to personal choice and whether you prefer the sinking feeling of memory foam to the slightly more bouncy feel of latex.
Natural latex mattresses are also expensive, but latex mattresses are much more durable than memory foam so should last you a lot longer. In fact, Zenhaven offers a 20-year warranty – twice the length of most mattress warranties. You also get a 120-night sleep trial, so you have plenty of time to test it out before committing.
Nest Bedding Love & Sleep
The Love & Sleep by Nest Bedding is an affordable foam mattress, designed to have the benefits of both memory foam and latex, and is available in two comfort options – medium or firm.
The mattress uses three layers of foam. At the base is a 6-inch foundation layer of high-density polyfoam to help the mattress keep its shape. Above this, is a thin transitional layer, topped by a 3-inch layer of Energex foam.
The Energex foam is designed as a hybrid between memory foam and latex. You don’t get that sinking feeling of a pure memory foam mattress and you definitely don’t get the squeaks you’d get from bouncing around on an innerspring mattress. If you struggle to get out of memory foam mattresses, you may prefer the feel of the Love & Sleep. It’s pretty good in terms of pressure relief, though if you’re light and sleep on your side, you may get a little pressure on your shoulders.
Despite the extra bounce, the Nest Bedding Love & Sleep performs well in motion isolation tests. You may feel a little movement if your partner is particularly active at night, but it’s unlikely to wake you up if you’re sleeping.
The Energex foam also has a role to play in cooling. It’s designed to be breathable and is infused with minerals and materials that transfer heat away from your body. The convoluted transition layer of foam also helps with airflow. For a lower-budget foam mattress, the cooling technology is remarkably effective with very few people reporting heat-retention issues.
Unfortunately, you can’t remove the cover for washing, so you may want to invest in a mattress protector which could affect the breathability, but that’s a small price to pay for what is overall, a high-quality, great value mattress. It comes rolled up in a surprisingly compact box, but there’s no option for white-glove delivery, which may be an issue if you live on your own.
There’s a 100-night trial period and unusually, a lifetime warranty. There’s also a lifetime comfort guarantee, so if you want to trade in your mattress in the future, you can buy another Nest mattress at half price.
The Nectar is one of our favorite budget mattresses. It offers the longest trial period of any mattress– you get a full year to try it. This is good news if you want to make sure it’s comfortable during different seasons, or if your arthritis rapidly worsens.
It’s a bit bouncier than other memory foam mattresses, which can make it easier to get out of, but does mean you’re more likely to feel your partner’s movements if they toss and turn. The three layers of foam (plus a firm base layer) provide a medium-firm level of support in whichever position you prefer to sleep.
The Tencel cover and top quilted gel memory foam help with air circulation and are more breathable than other memory foam mattresses. The Nectar isn’t as cool to sleep on as hybrid mattresses, or the New Purple, but it’s cooler than most foam mattresses in a similar price range.
All the foam in the Nectar is certified to meet the theCertiPUR-US® quality standards, which indicates it’s free from ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP, mercury, or lead, so you don’t need to worry about breathing in noxious fumes. There may be a slight smell when you first unwrap it but this shouldn’t last long.
As with a lot of foam mattresses, the edge support isn’t great, but that’s really the only downside to the Nectar. It’s compatible with all bedframes (handy if you don’t want to replace your entire bed) and the generous trial period and high quality make it a good buy if you’re looking for a mattress to help you sleep better for a budget price.
Nectar also offers a white-glove delivery option, which you may appreciate if you think you’ll struggle to lift and maneuver the mattress.
A Buyers Guide To Finding The Best Bed For Arthritis
Arthritis pain and sleep can quickly spiral down into a vicious cycle. Your pain stops you sleeping, and a lack of sleep means you end up in more pain. This can be even worse for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers who struggle with chronic fatigue.
If you’re one of the 80% of arthritis sufferers who struggle to sleep, you may wonder if your mattress is partly to blame. While it’s unlikely to be the only factor, a poor mattress is definitely not going to help you get a restful night’s sleep. It is, however, one of the things you can control, and so opting to buy a new mattress should be an important step you take in reducing arthritic pain.
Although many of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the same, they may affect different parts of your body. This will determine which type of bed for arthritis will suit your needs the most. For example, the best mattress for arthritic hips may be different from something that you’d choose for arthritis in the lower back.
The Best Mattress For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning your body attacks the soft lining around your joints causing fluid to accumulate. This can cause pain and inflammation of joints and cause wider symptoms including muscle aches and fatigue.
Arthritis will usually begin in smaller joints, such as your fingers, before affecting larger joints including knees, shoulders, and ankles. As you’re likely to experience symptoms on both sides of your body at the same time, it’s often difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.
Although they’re supposed to be good for your back, many arthritis sufferers find firm mattresses put too much pressure on their joints. You may be better off going for a medium-firm or soft mattress that allows you to sink into it while still supporting your back in a neutral position.
Memory foam mattresses are designed to cradle your body, supporting your natural contours and giving that soft cushioned feel that many arthritis sufferers appreciate. Some people find memory foam a little hot to sleep on and prefer the bounciness of an innerspring mattress. If that’s the case, then a hybrid mattress consisting of coils with a layer of foam on top may be worth considering.
There are two other options. Firstly, natural latex (the Zenhaven) offers similar comfort to memory foam with extra breathability and bounce. It’s also eco-friendly but can be more expensive. Secondly, there are other materials in use nowadays, such as Adaptive foam (Tuft and Needle) or HyperElasticPolymer (the New Purple).
Any of the above would suffice as the best mattress for rheumatoid arthritis; however, the one you choose will depend on various factors which we will discuss further below.
The Best Mattress For Osteoarthritis Sufferers
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition that typically occurs as you get older and the cartilage cushioning your joints breaks down. As the condition develops, you may also develop bone spurs on the affected joints.
Osteoarthritis commonly affects the spine and hips as well as other joints. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, it’s not symmetrical, so your pain may be worse on one side of your body. If that’s the case, sleeping on your good side may help keep the pain at bay.
As with rheumatoid arthritis, memory foam or latex mattress may help relieve pressure on painful joints. Although a soft to medium mattress may be the best option for most arthritis sufferers, there is an exception to the rule.
Experts generally agree that firmer mattresses are best for back pain, so for example, the best mattress for arthritis in lower back areas may be a firm foam or hybrid mattress.
The Best Mattress For Seniors With Arthritis
The suggestions above apply to arthritis sufferers of any age, but if you’re elderly, there are a couple of other considerations when choosing a mattress.
Memory foam mattresses can do a great job of cushioning your joints, but you can sometimes sink into them a little too much. Soft mattresses can often be hard to get out of, particularly if you have reduced mobility, and the edge support on memory foam mattresses is often weaker than on spring mattresses.
There are a couple of solutions to these problems. Typically, the best mattress for seniors with arthritis would be a hybrid option such as the Saatva. The coils give better edge support, but you still get the soft, contouring properties of the foam. Or you could opt for a foam mattress with an adjustable bed base. This allows you to raise or lower the head and foot end to get a comfortable sleeping position and help you get out of bed.
Some Useful Tips
Even if you know what type of mattress you want to go for, there’s a huge variety on the market. So how do you find the overall best mattress for arthritis?
- If you feel ready to ditch your new mattress after the first night’s sleep, then persevere. Most mattresses take a few weeks to break in – after all, it’s as much about you getting used to the mattress as the mattress getting used to you.
- Getting comfortable at night is not just about the mattress. If you usually sleep on your back, try switching to your side for a few weeks. Trying different sleeping positions will help you decide if the mattress is right for you.
- Pillows and other sleeping aids can really help make you more comfortable. Sleeping on your side with a soft pillow between your legs can help with knee or hip pain and will also help keep your spine and hips aligned. You may also find that a pillow placed behind your back helps add support to your lumbar region.
- Don’t be afraid to send it back if it isn’t right. Many manufacturers offer a long trial period of 100 nights or more giving you plenty of time to decide whether or not it’s the right mattress for you.
- If you find your partner’s tossing and turning disrupts your sleep, consider putting two Twin mattresses together rather than buying a King size mattress.
Our number one choice in this review as the best mattress for arthritis is the Tuft & Needle. It has an exceptional ability to relieve pressure on sore joints while providing enough comfort and support to keep your spine aligned. As it’s not too firm, it’s a great choice if you’re a side sleeper or suffer from arthritis pain in your shoulders or hips.
If you particularly struggle with osteoarthritis affecting your back, you may prefer the feel of a firmer mattress such as the Saatva. This may also be a good option if arthritis or age affects your mobility as its firm edge support makes it easy to get out of bed in the morning.
Remember, however many reviews you read, the only way to really know if a mattress is right for you is to test it out. The Tuft & Needle’s 100-night trial period gives you plenty of time to get used to your new mattress and test out different sleeping positions and aids before you have to commit to it.
Arthritis can make life uncomfortable, but a good mattress will mean you can still get a good night’s sleep.