Is hip pain keeping you up at night, leaving you tired and groggy during the day? If so, you’re not alone. If the pain feels worse when you wake up in the morning, then your mattress could be causing or contributing to the pain you’re experiencing. Because it can be overwhelming to sort through all the available information to find the right mattress for your body and sleeping style, we’ve summarized everything you need to know to make an informed decision on which mattress is best for hip pain.
This post will help you select the best mattress for hip pain by covering the following topics:
- Origins of Hip Pain
- The Importance of Pain-Free Sleep
- The Relationship Between Sleep and Pain
- Sleep Positions and Pressure Points
- Why It’s Best to Avoid Innerspring Mattresses
- Mattress Types
- Why Memory Foam is The Best Choice
- What’s the Best Bed for Hip Pain
- Concerns with Memory Foam
- Final Tips & Tricks to Find the Right Mattress for You
- Are You Ready to Buy?
Joints throughout the body, specifically the hip sockets, are affected by the type of support your body receives when lying in bed. Traditionally, people believed the most supportive mattress was a firmer mattress. Recently, sleep scientists have realized a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t necessarily apply to mattresses.
Not long ago, mattress shoppers had limited options when searching for a mattress to alleviate hip pain. Thanks to new mattress technologies and designs, there are a variety of mattress types and models out there that could very well be the most comfortable mattress for you.
The Editor’s at Sleep Junkie recommend those who frequently experience hip pain choose a memory foam mattress because the softer foam should contour to your body while providing the support your body requires to reduce pain.
Before jumping right into mattress reviews, it’s important to understand why sleep can have such a big impact on your pain.
If you don’t have time for this whole rundown, check out our recommended mattress choice below.
The design of the Amerisleep AS3 integrates presure-relieving technology and plant-based memory foam to offer an even mix of soft comfort and support. For those with hip pain, this bed should allow your hip joint to sink in enough to relieve any pressure buildup while Amerisleep’s HIVE® technology promotes your spine’s natural alignment.
Hip Pain: Why Does it Happen?
Your hip has your body’s largest ball-and-socket joint. This joint is incredibly durable considering it endures the constant wear and tear of daily life. When working properly, the hip bone can move freely in its socket, thanks to the support of the cartilage.
Unfortunately, over time the cartilage that cushions your hip bone can wear down, leading to general discomfort, limited range of motion, aches, inflammation, and pain. The tendons and muscles surrounding the hip can also become inflamed and irritated. As you age, your hip becomes more susceptible to injury.
When you’re experiencing aches and pains, it’s helpful to determine the cause of the pain so you can take take the proper steps towards relieving discomfort. Doctors encourage low-impact exercise and stretching to improve mobility and decrease pain over time. Physical therapy is another option but, depending on health insurance, can be costly. More serious damage to the hip requires injections or even surgery.
But before you pencil in your first physical therapy appointment or schedule a consultation for trigger point injections, know this: you may be able to make a big change without even leaving the house.
When did you buy your current mattress? Can’t remember? If so, then it’s probably time to invest in a new one. Experts advise that you should replace your mattress every seven to ten years, and more frequently if your mattress is showing signs of deep sagging or impressions.
Simply put, if you find it difficult to get comfortable on your current bed, or you experience pain upon waking, it’s time to consider purchasing a new mattress.
The Importance of Pain-Free Sleep
There are countless studies explaining why sleep is so important to overall health and happiness. We learn more every day about the vital benefits of a proper sleep routine, and we’re constantly reminded of the terrifying consequences of poor sleep.
Sleep is as integral to our health as proper nutrition and exercise. Hectic work and social schedules tempt people to sacrifice their sleep schedule to accommodate the demands of family, work, and activities. Experts recommend adults receive seven to nine hours of sleep every single night— yet so many people put sleep on the backburner and allow themselves to grow sleep deprived. Though life happens, and it may seem difficult to pencil in an adeuqate amount of time to rest, your waking hours can be greatly affected by sleep debt.
According to recent data, sleep deprivation is responsible for 100,000 traffic accidents, 76,000 injuries, and 1,500 deaths per year. When you consider the negative impact one night of sleep loss can have on the body, it’s concerning to think about the influence months or years of sleep deprivation can have on your health.
Committing yourself to getting quality sleep consistently is critical to your well-being during your waking hours.
In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long-term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.
At this point, you may be wondering what the quality of your sleep has to do with the frequency or severity of your hip pain; but, the relationship between sleep and pain is stronger than many realize.
The Relationship Between Sleep and Pain
The relationship between pain and sleep is directly correlated. Meaning, when your hip is aching, your quality of sleep is hindered; and when you’re pain-free, your quality of sleep improves. Studies surrounding chronic pain and sleep by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine concluded pain disturbs sleep continuity and quality. Even worse, poor sleep further exacerbates pain; so when you’re not getting enough rest, you’re more prone to aches and pains.
Sleep Quality Suffers
In patients with osteoarthritis (OA), more than half experience pain during the night, resulting in sleep disruption, poor sleep quality, sleep fragmentation and frequent shifts between sleep stages. Recent studies have shown that sleep disruption can be a predictor of pain severity. Sleep disruption, therefore, could be associated with increased pain sensitivity and enhanced pain facilitation in addition to reduced pain inhibition in persons with chronic pain.
Some hip pain is related to pressure points, which are places that bear the weight of our body when we sleep. Unfortunately, the long-term consequences can be significant.
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis, afflicting millions of people worldwide. It is also the most common reason for total knee and total hip replacements each year. Of course, hip replacement surgery is a last-case scenario. But it’s important to manage your hip pain appropriately to avoid more serious intervention like hip replacement surgery.
This issue isn’t only painful to deal with each day, but also decreases your quality of life— so how can you break it?
For starters, you can invest in a quality mattress. The right mattress for you should eliminate the pressure points of your hip which should allow you to sleep more soundly, thus improving your quality of sleep.
Before buying your next mattress, you should first factor in your sleeping position.
Sleep Positions and Pressure Points
What kind of sleeper are you? If you’re unsure, take a minute to think about how you tend to fall asleep and the position you’re in when you wake up in the morning.
When reading about the positions below, keep in mind that body type also plays a big role in weight distribution and pressure points.
- Back sleepers: If you’re one of the 8% of people who sleeps on his/her back, good news: you’re doing it right! Sleeping on your back is considered the healthiest position. This allows your body to rest in a neutral position and doesn’t add any extra pressure to important areas like your neck, hips, or back.
Unfortunately, most people find this position uncomfortable. If you can train yourself to sleep this way, you will likely notice less hip pain.
- Stomach sleepers: Body weight can play an especially big part in how pressure points accumulate with stomach sleeping. If someone carries significant weight in the stomach, then sleeping on the stomach can cause the body to sink too deeply, putting pressure on their spine. There should be an even distribution of body weight, reducing the amount of pressure concentrated in one area.
- Side sleepers: Sleeping on your side can be gentle on the back and neck but it causes added pressure on the hips. The most popular sleep position, the fetal position, is very problematic for the joints. If this is how you sleep, try to make a conscious effort to stretch out your limbs to avoid too much pressure on your joints.
Why It’s Best to Avoid Innerspring Mattresses
Traditional innerspring mattresses may offer a familiar, comfortable softness. But they simply aren’t designed to provide the necessary support you need. Specifically, innerspring mattresses fail when it comes to hip and waist support.
Much of the body’s weight transfers to the hip area when sleeping on an innerspring mattress. Over time, this uneven weight distribution can create dips in the exact spots where your need the support. When your hips dip into these soft spots, the result is curving in the spine.
Innerspring mattresses also don’t provide optimal waist support. Some people attempt to correct this problem with a firm innerspring mattress. Unfortunately, firm mattresses create an opposite curve by holding the hips too high, causing the waist to dip. After awhile, this can lead to hip pain, headaches, back pain, and other spinal injuries.
Since a high-quality mattress should support the back while eliminating pressure on the hips, it’s no surprise traditional innerspring beds offer little to no relief. Today’s mattress market offers a variety of choices for those who suffer from sleep loss due to hip pain and related ailments. The latest lines of affordable plush memory foam mattresses, latex mattresses, and airbeds provide the soft support required to eliminate pressure points.
But what exactly are the differences between latex, hybrid, and airbed mattresses?
Latex mattresses offer good support for sufferers of hip pain. You can buy them in natural latex, synthetic, or blends. You may also find them with firmer or softer support under specific body areas. Side sleepers will appreciate the pressure relief and the possibility of improved circulation.
Natural latex comes from the sap of a renewable resource— rubber trees. Once tapped, the rubber continues to grow which creates a denser, heavier foam. Natural rubber allows for greater conforming properties, though it’s not as remarkable as memory foam.
Latex provides air circulation and springy support in mattresses to create a cooler and more comfortable sleep experience.
As its name suggests, these beds use a combination of materials, including a pocketed coil system and layers of memory foam or latex.
The core of a hybrid mattress features the standard coil support of an innerspring mattress. The coil system is then topped with a comfort layer of memory foam or latex in an attempt to highlight the best of both materials. Because they commonly use pocketed coil systems, hybrid mattresses tend to isolate motion well, which means less disturbance for couples.
Though there are a variety of pluses to choosing a hybrid mattress, there are still drawbacks to these beds, particularly for those with hip pain. Because many of the hybrid options use low-density foam, it doesn’t provide enough support to relieve pressure points. Hybrid mattresses are also a bit pricier due to the complexity of their design.
Not to be confused with the air mattresses used on camping trips, airbeds contain individual air filters that can be adjusted to modify the firmness of the bed. The more chambers in the airbed, the more customizable it becomes. In theory, this personalized support makes the airbed a suitable option for all: back, stomach, and side sleepers.
Unfortunately, many external factors—like temperature, air pressure, sleep position—can impact the air chambers, making airbeds unpredictable. Common complaints include noisiness due to the electric pump, a gap in the middle of the airbed, and costly repairs.
Why Memory Foam is The Best Choice
Memory foam, developed by NASA, is known for its ability to relieve pressure. Originally, it was used in seat cushions to keep the NASA astronauts comfortable during their long treks in space. Now, it’s used in helmets of racecar drivers and professional athletes to reduce the chance of injury and concussion. It’s also commonly used in shoe insoles and bulletproof vests to absorb pressure and act as soft padding.
Memory foam is perfect for pain relief because it conforms to the body and evenly distributes body weight. Its cell structure condenses when compressed and relays the weight to the underlying structure. These beds cradle and cushion the body in luxurious comfort, which is why a memory foam mattress is considered the best option for pain and pressure relief.
What’s the Best Mattress for Hip Pain?
The Amerisleep AS3
Sleep Junkie recommends the affordable AS3 by Amerisleep as the best mattress for hip pain. Their AS3 memory foam mattress is already one of our top-rated beds in our mattress review guide due to its design, materials, and technology.
Bio-Pur® plant-based memory foam is the top layer on the AS3 mattress; this proprietary foam is designed to be soft to the touch and five times more breathable than other foams. What’s more, the AS3 is also designed with HIVE® Technology (Harnessing Intelligent Ventilation & Energy). Think of this like a beehive, where hundreds of hexagon-shaped cutouts cluster together to provide more support for the head, shoulder, back, hips, and feet. Where the hexagons are further spaced apart, the bed feels softer and offers more comfort than support.
Because the AS3 contains a layer of softer plant-based foam that should relieve pressure as your hips and shoulders sink into the bed, in conjunction with a layer of targeted support, it is our top mattress choice for those who suffer from hip pain.
Serta iComfort Savant III
Updated in 2016, Serta’s iComfort Savant collection has received past praise for its comfort, durability, and affordability.
We expect the same from the Serta iComfort Savant III, which includes gel foam, polyfoam, and traditional memory foam. For those with hip pain, we recommend choosing this bed in plush firmness. The design of their newest model includes an extra-thick top layer of memory foam, providing more plush support for the sleeper. In fact, the top three layers of this mattress are all memory foam; the top layer is 2 inches of gel memory foam, next is a 1-inch layer of memory foam, and below is another 2 inches of gel foam. All in all, this bed contains five inches of memory foam.
Because we recommend memory foam specifically for hip pain, the memory foam option of this bed makes our list. Though memory foam is beneficial for pain relief, five inches of memory foam may cause you to feel as if you’re sinking down into the bed. Additionally, five inches of memory foam has a higher chance of trapping heat than beds with thinner memory foam layers.
Simmons Beautyrest Black Ice Phoebe 13″ Plush Mattress
This Simmons memory foam mattress is made of four layers to provide optimum comfort and support for sleepers. For those with hip pain, the most relevant layer is the Aircool® Gel Memory Foam for pressure relief and improved movement.
Though there are many advantages to buying a memory foam bed, there are a few concerns that come with these beds, too. Below, we’ll talk about the bigger risks that come with buying a memory foam bed.
Common Complaints of Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses have not always had the best reputation. Below, we’ll touch on the biggest hesitations customers usually have before buying a memory foam bed.
“What if the memory foam traps heat?”
Memory foam mattress users have long complained that the foam traps body heat, leading to an uncomfortable night’s sleep. If you live in warmer environments, this is even more concerning. The good news is, many memory foam mattress brands have taken this concern into consideration and modified their beds to reduce the chance of heat being trapped within. Now, by using open-cell foams, cooling channels, and plant-based materials, brands are able to virtually eliminate the chance of you heating up while sleeping on their bed.
“What if I sink too far into the mattress?”
Since its introduction in the 1990s, new types of memory foams have corrected this prominent problem of response time (the time it takes for a mattress to regain its shape). In fact, traditional memory foams had response times of up to a minute. Gel and open-cell memory foam, for example, have a response time of approximately 30 seconds. Plant-based memory foam is even better, with a response time of 5-8 seconds.
With the response times in today’s memory foam options, you won’t ever feel like you’re stuck.
“Memory foam smells bad.”
Traditionally, the scent of newly-purchased memory foam mattresses was compared to the infamous “new car smell.” When you’re trying to relax for bed, this chemical-like smell can be off-putting. While the odor does fade over time, many mattress companies have found a way to eliminate it altogether.
Newer memory foam mattresses are manufactured to minimize off-gassing, and mattress manufacturers have found plant-based memory foam emits virtually zero off-gassing. Before, traditional memory foam contained compounds that break down and release an unpleasant odor. Now, newer memory foams are made without the presence of these compounds, so you no longer have to wait weeks for this smell to fade. Additionally, buying a plant-based memory foam mattress reduces your chance of experiencing those unpleasant odors altogether.
“It won’t fit in my stairwell or on my bed frame.”
Memory foam mattresses are designed with standard dimensions to easily fit into your bedroom. Furthermore, memory foam mattresses have greater flexibility so you can maneuver them easily through tight stairwells and hallways.
If you have your mattress delivered, many companies package the mattress compressed and in a convenient, eco-friendly box. No need to bring your mattress up through the window!
“A mattress topper provides just as much support as a full mattress.”
Not necessarily. For those with hip pain especially, you need to be able to sink far enough into your mattress to relieve pressure points. When you use a mattress topper, it does not allow you to sink into your mattress below much at all, and mattress toppers themselves are too thin to allow your body to sink adequately. It’s best to consider mattress toppers as a short-term option until you’re ready to invest in the real thing.
Still hesitant to invest?
Now that you’ve read through all your mattress options, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Perhaps you’re still hesitant. That’s normal.
If you’re mulling over the price, consider that you can save a substantial amount of money in the following ways:
Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Equals Quality Mattresses at Lower Costs
By shopping online, or directly with a mattress brand, you avoid the extra fees mattress retailers usually charge. By eliminating the middle man, many mattress brands are able to produce, sell, and ship their mattresses for much cheaper than what they would if they were to sell their products through a retailer.
Watch for Mattress Sales
Most mattress brands and furniture retailers run sales and promotions on their mattresses. Waiting to buy when a deal is running could save you extra cash and even land you with some free accessories. Also, many mattres companies will offer discounts when you bundle products. If you’re in the market for other sleep accessories such as sheets, pillows, or even an adjustable base, save money by bundling it with your mattress.
Consider the Warranty
Mattresses are supposed to last around seven to ten years, so it’s important who you’re buying from will back it’s product. Many retailers offer a substantial 10-year, non-prorated warranty which states they will repair or replace your mattress should it become defected. To be considered defective, most mattress companies require your bed to have a visible sag. The size of the visible sag will vary from brand to brand. Before you buy, ask about the specifics of the warranty including what is covered and if there are any fees that come with having a mattress repaired or replaced.
Final Tips & Tricks
Read the reviews
Mattress reviews are here to help and guide you. You can ask your family and friends how they like their mattresses, but remember: what suits them may not necessarily suit you.
You may question how reliable reviews are. To reduce skepticism, many retailers use a third-party vendor to verify their reviews are genuine, authentic, and written by real customers like you (not robots). These platforms also restrict brands from being able to alter the reviews, so you’re viewing customers’ full feedback.
These testimonials can also answer important questions or concerns you may not have realized earlier. For example, is the bed squeaky? Is it disruptive when one partner gets up in the middle of the night? Real customers can give you insights into what it’s like to own and, hopefully, love your new mattress.
If you’re still skeptical of mattress reviews, why not try the mattress risk-free?
You can certainly stick to tradition and visit a mattress retailer and showroom, which allows you to feel and test out the comfort and support of a mattress. However, resting on a bed for 5 minutes in a loud, crowded showroom is no replacement for testing the mattress in your home.
Many retailers allow customers to try mattresses for weeks, or even months, with liberal return policies and free returns.
Are You Ready to Buy?
Congratulations! Now that we’ve covered everything to consider before buying a new bed, you’re ready to start your search for the best mattress for your own sleep needs. Come time to shop, remember these key points:
- Memory foam is the our pick because it is designed to relieve pressure points and offer even support.
- Do your research. Arm yourself with knowledge before you start shopping. Mattress reviews and buying guides can help you zone in on which mattress fits your needs.
- Utilize risk-free trials. Test the mattress in your home for at least a month to see if it solves your pain.
- Stay within your budget. Advanced, high-end mattresses can be affordable these days. If the price is too steep at the moment, wait for a sale.
Kick off your mattress shopping by checking out the Amerisleep AS3— our editor’s recommended mattress for hip pain.