Orthopaedic Vs Memory Foam Mattress – Which Is Best For You?

If you have spine alignment issues or not, which mattress would give you a better night’s sleep, memory foam or an orthopaedic mattress?

We will take an in-depth look at both mattresses, so you are armed with the best information to make the right choice for you.

Learn how either mattress can benefit you and much more such as

  • Which type of mattress is best for health?
  • How do you choose the firmness of your mattress?
  • Pros and Cons of both mattresses
  • Can a memory foam mattress cause back pain?

Let’s dive in.

What’s the difference between memory foam and orthopaedics?

There is a big difference. Memory foam is a mattress made from hydrocarbons with specific properties that allow the foam to form to your body shape and support aching joints and spine issues.

Memory foam is sold to the public in three variations:

  • NASA astronauts used conventional memory foam during the Apollo moon missions. The memory foam was mainly used to absorb vibration and the shock of landing on re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere. Conventional memory foam in its original state has super conforming properties but has one big drawback that is carried on through into 2022. It makes you sleep hot!
  • Open-cell memory foam. It’s the same hydrocarbon material but is applied differently to create an open cell structure during manufacturing. Why do you need an open cell structure? Well, the thinking behind this is to create additional airflow to prevent the mattress from retaining your body heat. However, the open structure matrix compromises some of the mattress’s support.
  • Gel memory foam. The common thread of heat retention in the mattress continues forcing further innovation of the memory foam mattress. Gel memory foam has gel beads infused into the matrix to absorb heat. The gel substance has a higher heat coefficient, so it absorbs and releases it faster than the previous versions of the memory foam mattress. The gel does help in regulating body heat for those who sleep hot and do not want a very firm mattress. Gel memory foam may not be for you.

Orthopaedic mattresses

  • Orthopaedic mattresses are designed for a specific purpose and targeted at a specific demographic of society. For those who suffer from spine pain, be it lower back or cervical spine problems, the orthopaedic mattress is designed to give you support.
  • You can consider the orthopaedic mattress as a hybrid. It attempts to bring the very best of all mattress technologies combined with supporting your spine and relieving aches and pains. You will find pocket springs, latex foam, layered foam and other natural products to assist you in sleeping well.
  • Orthopaedic mattresses are intrinsically firm because sleeping on a hard surface in the supine position is beneficial to the spine. However, orthopaedic mattresses have an elasticity that supports and realigns your spine as you sleep.
  • Be under no illusion. Orthopaedic mattresses are comfortable and as comfortable as almost any other bed on the market, with the added benefit of giving spine health to the user.

Which type of mattress is best for health?

It depends on your condition. If you suffer from allergies and wake to sneezing and wheezing every morning and your bedroom is dust-free, you may need to change to a hypoallergenic mattress such as memory foam.

Memory foam is renowned for its benefits to allergy sufferers. The supporting matrix of memory foam will not support the existence of dust mites in your mattress (likely making you sneeze and wheeze).

On the other hand, if you are challenged daily with joint and spine issues, then the memory foam may not give you the support you need while sleeping, so the orthopaedic mattress would be your best choice.

Pros and cons of orthopaedic and memory foam mattresses.

These are just a few of the pros and cons and the list is long but you can take a look at the most common issue experienced:

Orthopaedic MattressMemory foam mattress
I want to relieve pain from my spine and support joint
I have hip/ back/ neck pain and sore joints
I suffer from arthritis and other conditions.
I sneeze and wheeze when I wake in the morning
I toss and turn through the night
I sleep with a restless noisy partner.
I like to flip my mattress for even wear
I dislike hard mattresses
I am a hot sleeper

Can a memory foam mattress cause back pain?

Yes if it’s too soft. The initial sensation you feel when lying on a mattress is its firmness. Firmness is measured on a scale of 1-10 by mattress companies. One is the softest, ten is the firmest. The scale is as follows:

  • 1: Extra-soft
  • 2-3: Soft
  • 4: Medium-soft
  • 5: Medium
  • 6: Medium-firm
  • 7-8: Firm
  • 9-10: Extra-firm

Although the firmness scale may be subjective, it gives you a datum line to start working from to select the right mattress.

How do you choose the firmness of your mattress?

A lot depends on your body weight. If you have back pain and are of average weight, you will feel support and some pain relief from selecting a medium to a firm mattress.

If you need to lose a few pounds, you will have a heavier footprint on the mattress and cause the mattress to sag in places it was designed to give support.

If you are on the heavier side, select a firm mattress to support where it’s needed most.

Your sleeping position will also influence your choice of mattress firmness. If you switch sleeping positions frequently through the night, you will need to select a slightly softer mattress that provides more cushioning on pressure points like your shoulders, hips, and knees.

Which mattress is best for you?

If you have an injury or degenerative spine disorder, go with the orthopaedic mattress for the best support for your spine and joints.

If you have moderate joint pain, toss and turn all night while sleeping, or have allergies, then opt for the memory foam mattress. 

Try to get a sale or return deal if available. It’s important that you try to mattress before you part with your hard-earned cash.