Home Health How Your Mattress Affects Your Back and Shoulder Health  

How Your Mattress Affects Your Back and Shoulder Health  


We spend about a third of our lives in bed. During sleep, we change our posture about 30 to 60 times. These changes in position are crucial because otherwise the body would be burdened on one side during sleep. The intervertebral discs in the spine recover when lying down from the daily load and absorb more fluid.

Restful sleep is a prerequisite for the regular regeneration of the entire organism, including the intervertebral discs, the shoulders and the trunk muscles. In order to do so in a qualitatively higher manner, you need to clear the mind of all unwanted thoughts.   

Those who sleep poorly tend to be tense and those who are in pain find it difficult to rest. If you want to have optimum back and shoulder health, you should, therefore, pay particular attention to the very best conditions for a restful sleep.

And the mattress is one of the items in the bedroom that impacts that in a significant way. Also, keeping your eyes open regarding your sleeping position will determine what type of mattress you require.  

Let’s start with sleeping postures

Since the body involuntarily changes its sleeping position during the night, only the position in which we fall asleep can be influenced – after that it is all up to you and your mattress. If the natural change of position is not hindered, for example by deep sinking into a mattress, which is too soft, the body normally compensates these unfavorable postures and corrects them.

Sleeping on the side

Sleeping in a lateral position with slightly bent knees is considered an ideal sleeping posture because the spine is in its natural curvature. Also, it very much resembles our posture inside of our mother’s womb. For this reason, sleeping on the side is so popular – about seventy percent of us sleep in this manner.  

The prerequisite for the natural curvature of the spine and the correct pressure point relief to the shoulders is a point-elastic mattress that optimally supports the body shape, especially in the shoulders and pelvis. It should be adapted to the body weight of the sleeper and neither too soft nor too hard – so, when comparing shoulder pain mattresses be sure to look out for this.  

Also, watch out for not too large a pillow  – you need something that supports the head and cervical spine.

Sleeping on the front

If you have complaints in the area of the cervical spine, the stomach sleeping position is considered unfavorable, as the head comes to rest in a twisted position. Depending on how much pressure you put on one of your shoulders due to position preference, make sure that the bed is not too hard – medium-firm is ideal.  

Back sleepers

If you prefer to sleep on your back, your shoulder blades and buttocks require the right amount of uplift and ‘sinkage’ so that the spine is in alignment. Remember that if the sleeping surface is too soft, it will add unnecessary strain to the spinal column, which can radiate to the shoulders and the arms.   

The right mattress recommended by MattressMatchers.com will help you find what is right for you.

The body releases about 17.6 fluid ounces of fluid during the night. This liquid needs to be drained off and allowed to evaporate. Good airflow and heat transference properties of the mattress ensure a dry and warm bed climate.

Optimal support of the intervertebral discs is ensured when the spine is stored in its natural form – also watch out for this when seated. As we have seen above, the right sleeping surface for your shoulders very much depends on your sleeping position.

A sufficiently sizeable lying area provides the necessary freedom of movement:

A single bed should be at least forty inches, a double bed seventy inches wide. The bed should be .4 inches longer than the biggest sleeper.

A good mattress is point elastic, that is, it distributes the body weight evenly and gives way to the shoulders and hips, where the contact pressure is strongest. Most suitable are latex, foam or pocket spring mattresses.

Heavy sleepers need harder mattresses than lighter ones. If the bed is too firm, the shoulder and the pelvis cannot sink enough, also softer mattresses support the body too little. In both cases, the spine cannot be in its natural form.

So, you see that the mattress has a significant effect on your back and shoulder health. Be smart and invest in something that is perfect for you.