Best Mattresses for Seniors: Dream Big, Sleep Well

senior woman with glasses reading the newspaper in bed

You’ve worked hard all your life, clocking in countless hours, meeting deadlines, and now, finally, you’ve earned your well-deserved retirement rest. 


But here’s the catch: just as you’re about to start this new chapter, you find yourself tossing and turning at night, struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position. 


The culprit? It could be your old mattress that’s been with you through thick and thin.


Getting the right mattress tailored to your needs can make a world of difference. 


Whether you’re dealing with back pain, arthritis, or just need something more comfortable, there’s a mattress out there that’s perfect for you. 


And we’re here to help you find it.


So let’s find the best mattress for you – because you deserve a good night’s sleep, every night. 


Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the best mattresses for seniors.


Understanding the Need for a Good Mattress for Seniors

You’ve spent decades focusing on work and family, often neglecting your own comfort. But now, it’s time to prioritize YOU. After all, good sleep is not a luxury — it’s a necessity, especially as you age.


As you age, your body goes through changes that can affect how you sleep. These changes can make finding the right mattress even more critical. Here’s why:


5 benefits of a good mattress: joint & muscle health, sleep quality, temperature regulation, mobility concerns, health conditions


  • Joint & muscle health — your joints and muscles aren’t as spry as they once were. A good mattress can provide the right level of support and cushioning to alleviate aches and pains, making mornings less groggy
  • Sleep quality — sleep isn’t just about quantity; it’s about quality, too. A comfortable mattress can help you achieve that deep sleep stage where your body repairs and rejuvenates itself and a new mattress can improve sleep quality by as much as 60%
  • Temperature regulation — ever find yourself throwing off the blankets because you’re too hot, only to pull them back on because you’re too cold? With age, your body might struggle to regulate temperature, which can disrupt your sleep. The right mattress can help with this too and can help you fall asleep up to 58% faster
  • Mobility concerns — for some, getting in and out of bed can be a bit of a challenge and having a mattress at the right height can make this process easier and safer
  • Health conditions — conditions like arthritis, sleep apnea, or acid reflux can disrupt your sleep. Specific mattresses are designed to address these issues, helping you sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed

Ultimately investing in a good mattress is not about indulgence; it’s about promoting good health, enhancing your quality of life after retirement, and showing yourself the same care and kindness you’ve shown others over the years. 


Because you deserve restful nights and energized mornings


Because you deserve to wake up feeling like the best version of yourself, ready to seize the day and enjoy your golden years to the fullest. 


Now for seven types of mattresses for older adults. 


7 Types of Mattresses for Seniors

#1 Memory Foam: Like Sleeping on a Cloud

memory foam mattress pros and cons

Imagine sinking into a warm, welcoming embrace at the end of each day. That’s what a memory foam mattress feels like. It contours to your body, providing excellent pressure relief that’s perfect for soothing those stubborn aches and pains.


  • The upside — memory foam is fantastic for pain relief. It absorbs motion, so if your spouse is a toss-and-turner, you’ll sleep undisturbed. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic — a blessing for those with allergies.
  • The downside — memory foam can retain heat, which might not be ideal if you tend to “sleep hot.” Also, some people find that memory foam feels a bit too soft or gives them a sensation of sinking.


#2 Innerspring: The Classic Choice

innerspring mattress pros and cons

Innerspring mattresses are the classic choice, offering a bouncy, traditional feel with good support. It’s the vanilla ice cream of mattresses – reliable and familiar.


  • The upside — innerspring mattresses offer excellent support and durability. They have good airflow, keeping you cool throughout the night. Plus, they come in a wide range of firmness levels to suit your preference.
  • The downside — the springs in an innerspring mattress can get noisy over time. Also, these mattresses don’t absorb motion as well, so you might feel your partner moving around.


#3 Hybrid: The Best of Both Worlds

hybrid mattress pros & cons

Hybrid mattresses are the cool, modern cousin of the innerspring and memory foam mattresses. They combine the support of innerspring with the comfort of memory foam for a balanced sleeping experience.


  • The upside — hybrid mattresses offer well-balanced support and comfort. They have good airflow and provide more contouring than an innerspring mattress alone.
  • The downside — hybrid mattresses can be on the pricier side and they are heavier, making them harder to move and rotate.


#4 Latex: The Durable Comfort Provider

latex mattress pros & cons

Latex mattresses, made from natural or synthetic rubber, are the marathon runners of the mattress world — they’re known for their durability and comfort.


  • The upside — latex mattresses are responsive but don’t give you a sinking feeling like memory foam. They’re durable and long-lasting. If you’re eco-conscious, natural latex options are available, too.
  • The downside — latex mattresses can be expensive, and some people find them a bit too firm for their liking.


#5 Air Beds: The High-Flying Comfort Zone

air bed pros and cons

Imagine if you could customize the firmness of your mattress with just the push of a button. That’s the magic of air beds. These mattresses use air as their primary support system and are designed to deliver customized comfort.

  • The upside — an air bed gives you the power to adjust the firmness to your liking. So, whether you prefer sleeping on a cloud or a firmer surface that reminds you of those camping trips, an air bed has got you covered. Plus, many models allow each side of the bed to be controlled independently — perfect if your partner prefers a different level of firmness.
  • The downside — air beds can be pricey, and they require electricity to adjust their firmness. Also, like all technology, they can sometimes malfunction.


#6 Water Beds: Floating into Dreamland

water bed pros & cons

Water beds provide a unique, floating sensation that can make you feel like you’re drifting off to sleep on a calm lake. It’s like bringing a touch of those relaxing beach vacations into your bedroom.

  • The upside — water beds conform to your body, providing even weight distribution. They can be heated, offering you a warm, soothing sleep surface during those chilly winter nights.
  • The downside — water beds can be tricky to install and maintain. They are also quite heavy (it’s water, after all), so they may not be suitable for all types of homes. 


#7 Adjustable Beds: Tailoring Your Sleep Experience

adjustable beds pros and cons

Adjustable beds can be raised or lowered to accommodate various positions, making them perfect for reading, watching TV, or simply finding the most comfortable sleeping position.


  • The upside — an adjustable bed offers unparalleled flexibility. It’s ideal for alleviating certain health conditions, like acid reflux or sleep apnea. Plus, it makes getting in and out of bed easier which is a real game-changer for those with mobility issues.
  • The downside — adjustable beds can be expensive and might require professional installation. But think of it as an investment in your comfort and well-being. 


Remember, choosing the right mattress is like crafting the perfect retirement plan — it’s all about what meets your individual needs and preferences. So, go ahead and take that leap (or should we say, “that sleep”?) into finding the perfect mattress for you. 


Best Mattresses for Seniors by Comfort Priority

Isn’t it fascinating how our bodies work? It’s like a well-orchestrated symphony, where each section plays its part to create a harmonious whole. 


But when one instrument is out of tune — say, you’re dealing with pain — the entire symphony can be affected. And it seems the research from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine backs this up.


They tell us that pain and sleep have this tricky little dance they do. Pain makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep, and a lack of quality sleep, in turn, amplifies the pain. It’s a bit like a game of tag that just doesn’t end, with neither player willing to give in.


Now here’s the real kicker: your body needs deep, restful sleep — what the experts call NREM sleep — to repair and rejuvenate your cells. But if you’re in pain, your body struggles to stay in this healing phase of sleep long enough to do its magic. 


The result? Your tissues don’t get the TLC they need, and your sensitivity to pain increases.


Sleeping with pain leads to poor sleep which translates to even more pain and worse sleep.
Stop the never-ending cycle of pain…


But there’s a hero in this story, and it’s called a good mattress. The right one can provide the support and comfort your body needs to help break this vicious cycle of pain and poor sleep…


#1 Best Mattress for Seniors with Back Pain

The best choice for seniors with back pain is the medium-firm mattress. A comprehensive review of studies up until 2019 has done the hard work for you. They looked at the relationship between different mattresses, sleep quality, and low back pain.  


The medium-firm mattress hits the sweet spot, providing the perfect balance of comfort and support to enhance your sleep quality and keep your spine properly aligned.


Which is key given that back pain can be a real nuisance. It can turn a good night’s sleep into a restless one. 


Hopefully, you’re now convinced the answer to, “How can I fight off this unwelcome guest?” lies right under you — in your mattress. 


#2 Best Mattress for Seniors with Arthritis

An orthopedic study recommends a firm mattress as a must-have for older adults with arthritis. Firm mattresses offer the necessary support to maintain proper spinal alignment, crucial for preventing and relieving joint and back pain. 


Living with arthritis can be a challenge, and when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, your mattress can make all the difference. 


If you’re a senior dealing with arthritis, choosing the right mattress is more than just about comfort — it’s about relief and restful sleep.


In contrast, you should avoid innerspring mattresses and feather beds as they often lack the necessary support and can lead to discomfort and poor sleep quality.


By selecting the right mattress, you can wake up feeling rested and ready to tackle whatever the day brings.


#3 Best Mattress for Overweight Seniors

The best mattress for older adults on the heavier side is a medium-firm mattress. 


You’ve been carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders (and perhaps a few extra pounds, too) all these years. And when it’s time to lay that weight down at night, you need a mattress that can handle it all.


A recent study has some enlightening findings for our seniors with a bit more to love. The research set out to evaluate sleep quality and musculoskeletal pain in a group of older adults using a medium-firm mattress.


The study found a significant reduction in cervical (that’s your neck), dorsal (your back), and lumbar (lower back) pain for those sleeping on a medium-firm mattress.


A medium-firm mattress relieves pain throughout your body
A medium-firm mattress can help with pain in your neck, upper, and lower back.


So, what does this all mean for you? It suggests that a medium-firm mattress could be your ticket to a good night’s sleep, reducing that pesky musculoskeletal pain and helping you drift off to dreamland faster.


#4 Best Mattress for Seniors with Hip Pain

A supportive mattress is essential for seniors with hip pain. Hip pain can be quite a nuisance, especially when it’s time to wind down for the night. 


And if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that a good night’s sleep is not up for negotiation. So, let’s talk about how to find the best mattress for seniors with hip pain.


A 2020 study published in The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy revealed a fascinating fact: about 60% of hip pain originates in the lumbar spine. This finding highlights the importance of spinal support in managing hip pain. 


So, what does this mean for your mattress hunt? It means you’re looking for a supportive mattress — one that cares as much about your spine as you do.


But here’s the thing, ‘supportive’ doesn’t always mean ‘hard as a rock.’ In fact, a mattress that’s too firm can exacerbate hip pain by creating pressure points. Instead, aim for a medium-firm mattress that provides a balance of comfort and support.


In addition to your mattress, consider adding a mattress topper for extra cushioning. This can be particularly helpful if you have bony prominences that need a little extra love.


Remember, just as no two people are alike, no two bodies (or their aches and pains) are alike. So, take your time, do your research, and don’t be afraid to test out a few different options. After all, your restful night’s sleep is worth it.


So What’s the Best Mattress Type for Seniors?

All signs (and sleep studies) point to the medium-firm mattress. It appears that Goldilocks had it right all along — not too hard, not too soft, but just right.


But let’s be clear, the journey to dreamland isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. Your perfect mattress is as unique as you are. So, let’s take a moment to revisit our mattress types and help you find the one that’s going to give you the sweetest dreams:


  • Memory foam — these mattresses adapt to your body shape, providing personalized support
  • Innerspring —traditional innerspring mattresses use coils for support and provide plenty of ventilation, which can be beneficial if you tend to sleep hot
  • Hybrid — combines the benefits of an innerspring mattress with the comfort of foam layers
  • Latex— known for their durability and firmness, latex mattresses offer a bit more bounce than memory foam and help keep you cool throughout the night
  • Air beds — adjust to your perfect comfort level with air beds and turn every night into a personalized sleep experience
  • Water beds — enjoy the unparalleled comfort of a water bed, providing even weight distribution for a restful night’s sleep
  • Adjustable — allows you to change your sleeping position with the push of a button


A good day starts with a good night’s sleep. And there’s no reason you should settle for anything less than the best. So, go on, get out there, and find your dream mattress. 

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portrait of Cyn Meyer, founder of Second Wind Movement and a certified retirement life coach
Cyn Meyer 

Retirement Life Coach

As a certified retirement life coach since 2018, Cyn has helped thousands of older adults turn their retirement years into remarkable years full of growth, purpose, and passion. Through her signature program Rewire My Retirement, she helps people achieve their best life across the 5 Rings of Retirement, which covers topics Growth, Community, Health, Giving Back, and Finance.

Cyn combines specific life coaching tools, neuroscience, and her extensive background in marketing (spanning 17 years) to make a powerful impact with Second Wind Movement – an organization dedicated to providing educational resources and coaching for seniors.

With meticulous research, insight, and passion, Cyn’s mission is to usher in a new wave of positive experiences for generations of retirees.

portrait of Cyn Meyer, founder of Second Wind Movement and a certified retirement life coach

Cyn Meyer 

Retirement Life Coach

As a certified retirement life coach since 2018, Cyn has helped thousands of older adults turn their retirement years into remarkable years full of growth, purpose, and passion (beyond the stereotypical financial planning side of retirement). 

She combines specific life coaching tools, neuroscience, and her extensive background in marketing (spanning 17 years) to make a powerful impact with Second Wind Movement – an organization dedicated to providing educational resources and coaching for seniors.

With meticulous research, insight, and passion, Cyn’s mission is to usher in a new wave of positive experiences for generations of retirees.