- How Sleep Works
- Sleep Disorders
- Sleep Resources
- Sleep Health
- Sleep Medicine
|A musculoskeletal disorder causing chronic pain, fibromyalgia can affect every part of daily life. In addition to impacting waking hours, fibromyalgia can make achieving deep, quality sleep a constant struggle. Intense aches and pain may plague patients during the night, disrupting REM sleep and leading to exhaustion. Fibromyalgia can also cause sensitivity to heat and cold, resulting in overheating during the night. The condition is associated with sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but restful sleep is one of the self-practices recommended to ease the negative impacts of the disorder. For fibromyalgia patients, the right mattress can be critical to reducing pain and pressure during the night and promoting healthy sleep.
Read on for help with choosing the best mattress for fibromyalgia, including 2019 recommendations and guidance on what to look for in a bed.
Best Mattresses for Fibromyalgia
Editor’s Pick – Layla Mattress
Best Value – Brooklyn Bedding Bowery
Best Luxury – PlushBeds Botanical Bliss
Best for Lightweight Sleepers – Bear Mattress
Best for Average Weight Sleepers – Level Sleep TriSupport Mattress
Best for Heavyweight Sleepers – Saatva
The Layla Mattress is our Editor’s pick because it is engineered to assist sleepers with fibromyalgia in several key ways. The all-foam bed is flippable, with one side ‘Medium Soft,’ or a 4 on the 1-10 scale; and the other side ‘Firm’ (7). This comfort range should accommodate most sleepers regardless of their weight or sleep position. Each side has a comfort layer of copper-infused memory foam; this material offers consistent conforming, improves spinal alignment, and alleviates aches and pains associated with fibromyalgia. The copper element also increases bloodflow for those with poor circulation.
The ‘Medium Soft’ side has an additional comfort layer of convoluted polyfoam for extra padding, and the shared support core is made from high-density polyfoam for exceptional sleeper and edge support. The Layla offers more temperature neutrality than many of its all-foam competitors due to the copper infusion and a cooling thermogel cover. The bed is also a great pick for couples because it isolates motion very well and does not make any noise when bearing weight.
The Layla Mattress has a below-average price-point compared to other memory foam beds. The company offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S., and the mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty – both of which are much longer than average.
The Bowery from Brooklyn Bedding is an all-foam mattress sold at a below-average price-point, making it our Best Value pick. Despite its low cost, the mattress offers close conforming for sleepers with fibromyalgia that can alleviate aches and pains and improve spinal alignment for side sleepers. The Bowery is ‘Medium’ (5), making it most suitable for sleepers weighing between 130 and 230 pounds, as well as lighter or heavier people who prefer moderate firmness settings.
The bed is constructed with a quilted polyfoam cover, a thick dual-layer foam comfort system, and a high-density polyfoam support core. These components offer exceptional sleeper and edge support compared to other all-polyfoam beds. Sleepers should experience minimal sagging in the sleep surface, while the high-density base reinforces the edges to help reduce sinkage where people tend to sit. Other advantages include very good motion isolation and no noise when bearing weight.
Customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free shipping when they order a Bowery. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a nonprorated 10-year warranty.
The Botanical Bliss from PlushBeds is available in three thickness options – 9″, 10″, and 12″ – as well as multiple firmness settings. This range should accommodate most sleepers regardless of their weight, normal position, or profile preference. The mattress is made with an organic wool comfort layer, followed by three to four layers of natural Dunlop latex (depending on the profile). These materials – along with the organic cotton cover – are highly breathable and help the mattress maintain a cool, comfortable temperature.
Another benefit of the mattress is customization. Customers order the mattress based on an initial firmness – either ‘Medium’ (5.5) or ‘Firm’ (7.5) – but they can swap the order of the latex layers at any time to adjust the firmness. Because the beds primarily feature latex and other natural materials, the expected lifespan is much longer-than-average. The Botanical Bliss also isolates motion well and does not make any noise.
PlushBeds offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The Botanical Bliss is backed by a 25-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.
The Bear Mattress is suitable for people with fibromyalgia largely because of its cover made from Celliant fabric, an innovative material that absorbs body heat from sleepers, converts it into infrared energy, and transmits the energy back into sleepers. Benefits of Celliant fabric include better bloodflow, pain and pressure point relief, and speedier physical recovery. The Celliant material is also temperature neutral, which enables the Bear Mattress to sleep cooler than many of its all-foam competitors.
The mattress is constructed with memory foam and polyfoam comfort layers that provide moderate yet consistent conforming. The bed is considered ‘Medium Firm,’ which is one of the most popular firmness settings across different sleeper weight and sleep position groups. The high-density foam support core offers robust reinforcement to prevent sagging in the sleep surface and minimize sinkage around the edges. Other benefits include good motion isolation and no noise when bearing weight.
The Bear Mattress is also a high-value pick due to its below-average price-point. The company also offers free delivery to all 50 states and backs the mattress with a 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty.
The Level Sleep TriSupport Mattress offers a zoned design that applies different firmness settings throughout the body. The head of the bed is ‘Soft’ to cushion the head, neck, and shoulders; the middle is ‘Firm’ for enhanced back and spinal support; and the foot is ‘Medium’ to cradle the hips without sinking too deeply. This targeted support can be highly beneficial to those experiencing aches and pains due to fibromyalgia.
The TriSupport Mattress is made with a polyfoam comfort layer and high-density foam base. These materials provide good reinforcement with minimal sagging or sinkage in the sleep surface. The mattress also absorbs and minimizes motion transfer to a significant extent, and produces no noise when bearing weight.
Level Sleep will ship the mattress free of charge anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The TriSupport Mattress is backed by a 365-night sleep trial, one of the longest trials offered anywhere, as well as a nonprorated lifetime warranty.
The Saatva is a deluxe innerspring engineered to provide better conforming and more pain relief than other mattresses with coil support layers. It is available in two profile options – 11 1/2″ and 14 1/2″ – as well as ‘Medium Soft’ (4), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5) comfort settings. This range should accommodate most sleepers with fibromyalgia regardless of their weight, position, or thickness preferences.
The mattress features innovative coil-on-coil construction for enhanced sleeper and edge support. The comfort system features a Euro-top padding layer, along with memory foam, polyfoam, and pocketed coil layers. These components provide consistent conforming and targeted pain and pressure relief. The mattress also has a steel-tempered bonnell support core for added reinforcement. Good airflow through the coil layers helps keep the mattress cool, as well.
Saatva offers free White Glove delivery – including in-home assembly and old mattress removal – anywhere in the contiguous U.S.; many competing brands offer this service starting at $100. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
The musculoskeletal condition known as ‘fibromyalgia’ is one of the most common chronic pain disorders in the country. Current research suggests that fibromyalgia affects the way the brain processes painful sensations, causing people with the disorder to feel pain more intensely than others. In addition to musculoskeletal aches and pains, those with fibromyalgia may also experience fatigue, sleep problems, cognitive difficulties, and mood swings. According to the latest estimates, roughly 5 million Americans are currently living with fibromyalgia; the disorder is much more common in women than in men.
Mattress selection is important for people with fibromyalgia. The right mattress can ease some of the chronic pain and pressure these individuals experience in sensitive areas of the body, allowing them to sleep better and feel well-rested in the morning. On the other hand, choosing the wrong mattress can exacerbate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
This page will look at some important mattress considerations for people with fibromyalgia, as well as our picks for the best mattress brands and models. First, let’s discuss the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for fibromyalgia.
Although fibromyalgia has been documented for centuries, the disorder was not officially studied until the early 1980s. It is commonly misdiagnosed to this day.
Recent studies suggest that the routine nerve stimulation associated with fibromyalgia can increase the number of neurotransmitters in the patient’s brain that signal painful sensations. These neurotransmitters can develop pain memories over time, causing them to exaggerate how painful a sensation actually is. As a result, the condition can alter the way a patient’s brain functions.
It’s also important to note that some people develop fibromyalgia over the course of their lives with no significant triggering event.
The diagnostic process for fibromyalgia has evolved in recent years. Physicians previous relied on a comprehensive evaluation known as a ‘tender point exam,’ during which 18 different parts of the body were pressed firmly to check for pain.
Today’s physicians diagnose fibromyalgia if the patient has experienced widespread pain for at least three months. There is no official lab test for fibromyalgia, but doctors typically conduct other blood tests to confirm that patients are not experiencing other conditions. In addition to a complete blood count, these may include tests for erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, and thyroid function.
There is also no cure for fibromyalgia. Instead, physicians will typically prescribe medications and/or self-care routines to help patients curb the painful symptoms. Medications that can aid people with fibromyalgia include:
Self-care practices that can be used to address fibromyalgia and reduce pain symptoms include:
In addition to medications and self-care regimens, fibromyalgia patients may benefit from the following types of standard and alternative therapy:
Fibromyalgia can affect sleep in several ways. Because the condition is associated with widespread pain, patients frequently wake up during the night. This can lead to fatigue and nonrestorative sleep, which leaves people feeling poorly rested the next day. Researchers have noted that, while the average adult experiences roughly five hours of deep sleep per night, fibromyalgia patients do not generally experience any deep sleep for a significant period of time.
Additionally, fibromyalgia can cause sensitivity to hot and/or cold surfaces, which may lead to sleeping hot or cold. Fibromyalgia can also trigger noise sensitivity. People with the condition may wake up more easily during the night whenever people move or adjust positions in bed, or if the mattress contains parts that produce squeaking or squishing sounds.
Fibromyalgia is associated with the following sleep disorders, as well:
People with fibromyalgia may want to take the following factors into account when shopping for a new mattress and comparing different brands and models.
Conforming ability and pressure relief: Some mattresses are designed to conform closely to the sleeper’s body and alleviate pain and pressure points throughout the body. These models can be very beneficial for people with fibromyalgia that experience widespread pain.
Firmness: Every sleeper has different firmness preferences, and these often come down to two factors: body weight and sleep position. For example, individuals who weigh less than 130 pounds and prefer to sleep on their side tend to feel most comfortable, while those who weigh more than 230 pounds and sleep on their back may prefer a firmer surface. There is no wrong firmness, per se, but sleeping on a mattress that is too soft or too firm can add to the pain symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Support: In the mattress industry, ‘support’ refers to how effectively a mattress provides a flat, even sleep surface. Mattresses that are too soft or too firm may not be supportive enough for sleepers in certain weight groups. Another factor that affects support is wear and tear — namely sagging in the mattress, which can create an uneven sleep surface that causes sleepers to experience more pain and pressure. According to most mattress owners, sagging that measures one inch or deeper is much more likely to create added pain.
Durability: Durable mattresses will perform for at least six years without excessive sagging or indentations in the sleep surface. Mattresses with below-average durability may begin to deteriorate in as few as two to three years, and the saggy, uneven sleep surface can exacerbate the painful symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Noise: Noise sensitivity is a common symptom among fibromyalgia patients. Mattresses made of certain materials, such as foam or latex, produce little to no noise when bearing weight. These mattresses may be more suitable than other models, such as innersprings, hybrids, and airbeds, which are associated with above-average noise.
Motion isolation: Motion isolation refers to a bed’s ability to absorb motion when someone gets up or shifts position, and isolate this motion to one side of the mattress. Motion isolation is important to people with fibromyalgia because they often experience noise sensitivity, and may awaken easily on a bed that does not minimize motion.
Temperature neutrality: Heat and cold sensitivity is another common symptom of fibromyalgia, and people with this condition may sleep excessively hot or cold as a result. Mattresses with springs tend to have better airflow than those with solid base layers (such as foam and latex models), allowing sleepers to remain cooler throughout the night.
Sleep trial: Many mattress brands and retailers offer sleep trials that last anywhere from 60 to 365 nights in length. In most cases, customers can test out the mattress for the entire duration and return or exchange their bed if they are not satisfied by the end of the sleep trial. People with fibromyalgia can take advantage of sleep trial offers to determine if the mattress they have chosen will work in the long-term.
Warranty: Most mattress warranties include a ‘minimum sagging depth’ to determine whether or not the bed is defective. Some warranties will replace or repair mattresses that sag deeper than one inch, while others adhere to a higher benchmark. People with fibromyalgia may want to prioritize mattresses with warranties that include a minimum sagging depth of one inch or less. Otherwise they may pay a significant amount to repair or replace their mattress for excessive sagging.
Now, let’s look at the five most common mattress types in terms of their suitability for people with fibromyalgia. The comparison table below evaluates each type for support, firmness, conforming, and other performance factors that matter to fibromyalgia patients.
|Construction||Foam comfort layers
Steel coils in the support core
|Polyfoam and/or memory foam layers in the comfort layer
Polyfoam layer(s) in the support core
|Latex layer(s) in the comfort layer
Latex or polyfoam layers in the support core
|At least 2″ of memory foam or latex in the comfort layer, as well as other components (such as polyfoam or minicoils)
Pocketed coils in the support core
|Foam comfort layers or no comfort layer
Individualized adjustable air chambers in the support core
|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|
|Support||Fair to Good||Fair to 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||Poor to Fair|
|Light Sleeper Rating (Less than 130 lbs)||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good|
|Heavy Sleeper Rating (More than 230 lbs)||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair|
|Noise||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair|
|Motion Isolation||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Temperature Neutrality||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
|Rating for Sleepers with Fibromyalgia||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Explanation||Most start to sag within two to three years
Minimal support in the neck, waist, and hips
Little to no conforming
Limited firmness options
Typically sleeps cool
|Above-average conforming and pressure relief
Many firmness options
Good motion isolation and little to no noise
Average durability with sagging potential
Tends to sleep hot
|Exceptional support and durability with little to no sagging
Above-average motion isolation and very little noise
Sleeps fairly cool
Many firmness options
|Conform closer than innersprings, but minimal pain and pressure relief
Sleep fairly cool
Below-average motion isolation and strong noise potential
Many firmness options
|Customizable firmness settings
May not be suitable for certain weight groups
Some are excessively firm
Average temperature neutrality
High noise potential
People who experience widespread pain as a result of fibromyalgia can further optimize their sleep conditions by carefully choosing their pillows and using an effective mattress topper.
Pillow Selection: For people with fibromyalgia, the most important factor when choosing a pillow is ‘loft,’ or thickness. Using the correct loft can help alleviate pain and pressure in the neck, shoulders, and head, while the incorrect loft can make these issues worse. To determine the best pillow loft, sleepers should take their weight, sleep position, and mattress firmness into account.
Pillows that are popular among people with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions include buckwheat, latex, and memory foam models. Other pillows types, such as down alternative and polyfoam, may increase the amount of pain and pressure that these individuals feel. For more information about pillow soft and selection, please check out Best Pillows: Buying Guide and Information page.
Mattress Topper Usage: The term ‘mattress topper’ refers to a cushioning layer that can be placed in top of a mattress for added softness, comfort, and support. Most toppers are designed to decrease the firmness of a sleep surface, although some toppers can increase the firmness.
A latex or memory foam topper will be most suitable for someone with fibromyalgia because these products conform closely to target pain and pressure points. Convoluted polyfoam toppers are considered the worst option, since they are associated with increased pain and pressure. To learn more, please visit our Best Mattress Toppers guide.
For more information on mattresses and bedding accessory options for people with fibromyalgia and other painful conditions that impact sleep, please visit the following Tuck pages: