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Arthritis comes in more than 100 forms, from bone cartilage deterioration to inflammation of the knees, ankles, and feet. All varieties are characterized by similar symptoms like pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion. To ease such symptoms—rather than making them worse—there are certain characteristics and features shoppers should look for in a bed.
For more on choosing a suitable mattress for arthritis, refer to the guide below. We’ve included recommendations on the best mattresses for arthritis available in 2020, in addition to a buying guide that explains what to look for in a bed and other tips for improving sleep when you have arthritis.
A combination of gel foam and coil-on-coil, the WinkBed mattress comes with a number of features ideal for sleepers suffering from arthritis. The WinkBed is built with a Euro-top layer for added padding, followed by hypersoft foam and gel memory foam comfort layers, foam-encased minicoils, and a compressed-cotton pad for extra lumbar support.
The support core features high-profile pocketed coils over a high-density foam foundation. The bed is wrapped in a breathable cover and features a foam encasement around the perimeter for added edge support.
Largely thanks to its Euro top, the WinkBed is able to offer superior pressure relief and contouring—essential for helping to ease ache and pains in sensitive joints. Fairly responsive, the WinkBed allows for a high degree of freedom of movement, which is helpful for chronic pain sufferers who tend to shift sleeping positions often throughout the night.
The WinkBed also offers decent temperature neutrality, ideal for arthritis sufferers who are particularly sensitive to the heat and cold. The mattress produces minimal noise and delivers above-average motion isolation compared to other innerspring and hybrid beds—another important consideration for sleepers with arthritis, who may be especially sensitive to both noise and motion.
For what is considered to be a luxury bed, the WinkBed comes with a reasonable price point. The company offers free shipping to destinations across the contiguous U.S.
It’s hard to beat the value of the Nectar bed. This foam mattress features quality memory foam for a significantly lower-than-average price point.
The bed combines 8 inches of polyfoam in its support core, with comfort layers of 1” gel memory foam and 3” memory foam, all encased in a Tencel® Lyocell and cotton cover. Sleepers won’t sink in quite as deeply with the Nectar bed as they will with other memory foam mattresses, but this mattress still provides more than adequate relief for arthritis sufferers. Moreover, the Nectar makes up for its lack of sink-in with a comparably cooler sleep surface, thanks to gel in the comfort layer.
When it comes to comfort, the mid-level firmness makes the Nectar a soft of Goldilocks bed. Sleepers of all sizes and sleep positions rate the mattress favorably (with the exception of lightweight stomach sleepers, who may find the mattress a bit too firm).
The quality of the polyfoams in the Nectar bode well for its longevity. This is a durable mattress that will last 7 to 8 years. Adding to its value are the lifetime warranty and incredibly long sleep trial, at 365 nights. The Nectar ships free within the contiguous U.S.
The Loom & Leaf is a soft mattress that cushions and cradles pressure points, relieving joint and hip pain.
Like most memory foam beds, the design of the Loom & Leaf mattress focuses on contour over coolness. A support core of 7.5” of quality polyfoams is topped by a 2.5” gel memory foam and 2” memory foam layer, all beneath an organic quilted cotton cover. While the gel and breathable cotton cover lend some temperature regulation to the sleep surface, some people still find the bed sleeps hot.
The Loom & Leaf mattress performs exceptionally well among side sleepers, but sleepers of all sleep positions find this mattress comfortable. The mattress is available in Firm (which is really a Medium, at 5.5) and Relaxed Firm (8) options, providing sufficient give and contour no matter your body weight.
The Loom & Leaf stands out for being one of the few memory foam mattresses sold online that doesn’t arrive compressed in a box at your front door. Saatva, the makers of the Loom & Leaf, include White Glove delivery and removal of your old mattress for free with every mattress purchase.
The quality construction and materials, along with excellent customer service, lend this bed a higher-than average price point, but the comfort makes it worth it. The Loom & Leaf also comes with a longer-than-average 120-night sleep trial and 15-year warranty.
The Layla is a flippable mattress with different firmness levels on each side. One side is ‘Medium Soft’ (4) level and the other is ‘Firm’ (7), making it suitable for most sleepers regardless of their weight or preferred position.
Both sides feature memory foam infused with copper, which helps cool down the mattress and promote better bloodflow in sleepers with poor circulation. The ‘Medium Soft’ end features a layer of convoluted support foam that acts as an additional barrier between the body and the bed’s high-density polyfoam support core. The Layla includes a removable, cooling thermogel cover.
The Layla’s memory foam construction provides above-average pressure-relief throughout the body. Though memory foam mattresses are notorious for sleeping hot, the cooling copper infusion combined with the thermogel cover promotes temperature neutrality. Like other memory foam beds, the Layla also produces zero noise and provides great motion isolation.
The Layla has a below-average price point and the mattress will ship for free anywhere in the contiguous U.S. It is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
People weighing between 130 and 230 pounds typically prefer mattresses with moderate firmness and body conforming. Mattresses that are too soft may sink excessively, leading to poor spinal alignment and added aches and pains, while excessively firm beds do not conform closely enough to target high-pressure areas of the body.
The Tuft & Needle Mint is a true Medium Firm mattress, the ideal firmness rating for sleepers of average weight (between 130 to 230 pounds). The construction and design of the bed also have broad appeal for a variety of sleepers. As an all-foam bed, the Mint mattress cradles and hugs your body, providing pressure point relief whether you sleep on your back, stomach, or side.
To prevent the bed from trapping heat, the bed includes gel and charcoal in the comfort layer, so even hot sleepers can find this foam mattress comfortable. Finally, the Tuft & Needle Mint’s all-foam construction offers superior motion isolation and a virtually-silent sleep surface, so couples can sleep sound even if their partner moves during the night.
The Tuft & Needle Mint comes with a 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty. The bed ships free throughout the contiguous U.S.
The Saatva innerspring features a complex coil-on-coil construction designed for pressure-relief and support. The bed is topped by a Euro-top padding layer over comfort layers of polyfoam, memory foam, and pocketed minicoils.
These components allow the bed to isolate more motion transfer and produce less noise than most competing innersprings. The support core features bonnell steel coils encased in foam, which reinforces the entire bed and helps prevent sinkage around the edges.
The Saatva is available in three firmness settings – ‘Medium Soft’ (4), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5), as well as 11 1/2″ and 14 1/2″ profiles. This firmness and thickness range should accommodate most sleepers with arthritis regardless of their weight or position.
Side sleepers and those weighing less than 130 pounds tend to prefer the softest setting, which offers close conforming and alleviates pain in areas affected by arthritis. Heavier people and back/stomach sleepers may receive better support from the firmer options.
Saatva offers free White Glove Delivery with mattress removal anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
Although a bed can impact the sleep, comfort, and overall health of all sleepers, a quality mattress is particularly essential for those suffering from arthritis. Plagued by chronic joint pain and inflammation, sleepers with arthritis may find the type of mattress they use can directly alleviate or aggravate their symptoms.
This guide offers mattress-buying tips for people with arthritis. Read on to learn about helpful mattress features and important shopping considerations.
‘Arthritis’ is a blanket term for the more than 100 conditions related to join inflammation and chronic pain. Depending on the type of arthritis, the condition may be caused by a physical injury, bacterial infection, or another underlying disease or condition. The cause is unknown for certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors for arthritis include:
Because there are so many different types of arthritis, it’s important to note differences in causes, symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and other factors. The table below provides detailed information about five of the most commonly diagnosed forms of arthritis.
|Type of Arthritis||Osteoarthritis||Rheumatoid Arthritis||Infectious Arthritis||Psoriatic Arthritis||Gout|
|Overview||Inflammation of the joints and deterioration of bone cartilage, but minimal risk of affecting organ systems||Inflammation of joints on both sides of the body and deterioration of joint lining (synovium)||Inflammation of joints brought on by a bacterial infection||Joint inflammation that occurs in people with psoriasis, a skin disease characterized by red, scaly rashes throughout the body||Severe joint pain usually concentrated in the knees, ankles, and toes|
|Causes||Causes unknown||Occurs in people with psoriasis when their immune system misidentifies and attacks healthy joints and tissue||Uric acid buildup in the bloodstream|
|Most Commonly Affected Joints||Knees, spine/lower back, and weight-bearing joints||Hands, wrists, knees, and ankles||Weight-bearing joints (i.e. knees or hips)||Hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, feet, and spine/lower back||Knees, ankles, toes, elbows, and fingers|
|Complications||Enlarged or malformed fingers and toes||Complete deterioration of bones and cartilage|
|Number of Patients (U.S.)||27 million||3 million||16,000||4 million||8 million|
|Treatment Options||Antibiotics and fluid drainage (arthroscopy)|
There is a strong link between chronic joint pain and non-restorative sleep. People who have a hard time falling or staying asleep due to aches and pains may experience fatigue, trouble focusing, and mood swings during the day. They generally require a mattress that provides a flat, even surface and close conforming to alleviate pain and pressure in their sensitive areas.
People with certain types of arthritis, such as infectious arthritis, may also experience symptoms that make it harder to fall asleep. These include sensitivity to temperature, motion transfer, and noise.
When shopping for a new mattress and comparing different brands and models, people with arthritis should take the following factors into account:
Mattress ‘support’ refers to how well the bed maintains a flat, level surface beneath the sleeper’s body. Ideally a mattress should be able to provide sufficient support for people of different weights and body types, but some models sag beneath heavier areas of the body. Excessive firmness or softness can make mattresses feel less supportive,
‘Conforming’ refers to the way some mattresses will mold to contours of a sleeper’s body. Closely conforming mattresses can help align the spine and alleviate pain and pressure in sensitive areas. However, some mattresses do not conform as closely to some areas as others, and this can lead to a lack of support and increased pain and pressure throughout the body.
‘Firmness’ refers to how soft or firm the mattress feels to different sleepers. Some mattress models are available in multiple firmness options, while others are designed for one firmness only. The three general categories for mattress firmness are:
The average mattress (regardless of construction type) will perform for at least six years, and some perform for up to eight or nine before they should be replaced. However, some mattresses are susceptible to sagging and indentations after a few years; this can increase pain and pressure for sleepers.
People with arthritis often experience chronic joint pain that makes them more sensitive to motion in bed. Some mattresses are designed to absorb and isolate motion to certain areas of the sleep surface. Other, more responsive mattress types offer little to no motion isolation.
In addition to motion, people with severe arthritis may be sensitive to noise when trying to fall asleep. Some mattresses produce little to no noise when bearing weight, but others feature coils, electrical components, and other parts that can creak, squeak, or rattle.
Some types of arthritis (namely infectious arthritis) can make people sensitive to heat or cold. Mattresses that are temperature-neutral will not sleep excessively warm or cool, and may be beneficial to individuals who tend to sleep hot or cold. Other mattresses are associated with sleeping hot and/or cold, and may not be the best option for people who are temperature-sensitive.
Chronic pain can cause people to roll over in their sleep and shift positions throughout the night. Mattresses that offer little resistance tend to be the most comfortable option, while those that cause deep sinking can make it harder to move in bed.
Most mattress brands and retailers offer ‘sleep trials’ for new mattresses that allow customers to test out their mattress for a pre-agreed length of time, anywhere from 30 to 365 consecutive nights (depending on the seller).
If the customer is not satisfied with the mattress before the sleep trial ends, he or she will be able to return or exchange their mattress for a full or partial refund.
Sleep trials can be quite advantageous for people with arthritis who are not sure which mattress brand/model is best for them.
Excessive sagging or indentations in the sleep surface will qualify as a mattress defect under most manufacturer’s warranties. The vast majority of today’s mattress warranties include a specific measurement that is used to determine whether sagging or indentations represent a defect or standard wear and tear.
Sagging and indentations that measure more than an inch deep are associated with significantly more pain and pressure than those that measure one inch or less. For this reason, people with arthritis should review the mattress warranty to ensure they will be able to have their mattress repaired or replaced if sagging and indentations become deeper than one inch.
Some mattress types are more suitable than others for sleepers with arthritis. The next table lists construction details, Tuck performance ratings, and more information about the five most common mattress types that may be relevant for individuals with arthritis.
|Support||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good|
|Conforming||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Firmness Options||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good|
|Durability||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good|
|Light Sleeper Rating (Less than 130 lbs)||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good|
|Average Sleeper Rating (130 to 230 lbs)||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good|
|Heavy Sleeper Rating (More than 230 lbs)||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good|
|Motion Isolation||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Noise||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair|
|Temperature Neutrality||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
|Ease of Movement||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good|
|Overall Rating for People with Arthritis||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
In addition to carefully researching and comparing different mattress models in order to find the best option, people with arthritis can further improve their sleep quality by choosing the right pillows and utilizing a mattress topper.
Pillows vary in terms of thickness, or ‘loft,’ and selecting a pillow based on loft can make a significant difference for sleepers with arthritis. The right loft will help alleviate aches and pains in sensitive areas of the body, including the neck, shoulders, and head, while pillows that are too thick or too thin can have the opposite effect.
Pillows that are most popular with people who have arthritis include buckwheat, latex, and memory foam models. Other pillows types, such as down alternative and polyfoam, may not be as suitable because they provide below-average support, do not conform as closely, and may sleep excessively hot.
For more information about choosing the right pillows, visit our guide to the Best Pillows.
A mattress topper is an extra layer of cushioning that is placed on top of a mattress. Most toppers are designed to make the mattress feel less firm, though there are models that increase firmness of excessively soft mattresses. Toppers can improve support, as well. For people with arthritis, a topper that measures at least three inches (3″) thick is recommended.
Toppers made of latex or memory foam conform closely to the sleeper’s body for improved spinal alignment and targeted pain and pressure relief. These models are generally most suitable for people with arthritis. Other topper types, such as convoluted polyfoam, do not provide the same levels of comfort and pressure relief. To learn more, please check out our Best Mattress Toppers guide.