We spend a third of our lives (if you’re lucky) on our pillows and mattresses but often underestimate their influence on our health and bodies.
But how do you know a good mattress or pillow to a bad one?
My advice to patients is fairly simple. A good mattress is not about how hard or soft it is (that is based on your preference and weight) but how well it is sprung or conforms to your body’s shape. A simply test for this is to place an empty cup on the mattress and then push firmly down about 10cm away. On a good mattress, the cup should not fall towards your fist. This simulates your hips pushing into the mattress when side lying, whilst your spine remains supported. How hard you push depends on how heavy you are and your personal preference for a firm or soft mattress. Generally the heavier the body, the firmer the mattress.
With pillows we suggest you should always look for a contoured supportive pillow. Soft pillows may feel nice to begin with but over the course of hours, will generally provide no support for the neck. This is more important as we age and if you have any arthritis or degeneration in the neck. When side lying the pillow should fill the curve in your neck whilst keeping it in a neutral position.
All our therapists are trained to advise you on your pillow and mattress so if you are unsure ask them at your next consult.
image courtesy of www.flexipillow.com.au