Best Mattress for Arthritis

Medically reviewed by
 Dr. Nayantara Santhi

Dr. Nayantara Santhi

Dr. Nayantara Santhi holds an academic position at Northumbria University. After completing her Ph.D. at Northeastern University (Boston, MA), she joined the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School as a post-doctoral fellow to research how sleep and circadian rhythmicity influence our cognitive functioning.

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By McKenzie Hyde Certified Sleep Coach

There are about 100 different types of arthritis, and each one of them has been known to disrupt sleep. How many people are likely to develop arthritis in their lifetime?…

Last Updated On January 21st, 2023
Best Mattress for Arthritis

There are about 100 different types of arthritis, and each one of them has been known to disrupt sleep. How many people are likely to develop arthritis in their lifetime? According to the CDC, Verified Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The United States’ health protection agency that defends against dangers to health and safety. View source one in four American adults experience joint pain related to arthritis— that’s 54 million people.

A supportive, comfortable mattress won’t cure arthritis pain, but it can alleviate it. The best mattress for arthritis eases those familiar pressure points in the shoulders, back, and hips, as well as supports parts of the body susceptible to misalignment.

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It is projected that by 2023, Verified Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The United States’ health protection agency that defends against dangers to health and safety. View source 63 million people will report a diagnosis of arthritis. More than ever, chronic pain sufferers need to focus on getting better sleep to improve their overall health. Part of a good night’s sleep includes a comfortable, supportive mattress and an environment conducive to healthy sleep.

“Sleep serves a vital physiological function and is probably the single most important factor in recovery from the wear and tear of our daily activities,” says Harvard sleep expert Dr. Nayantara Santhi. “Loss of sleep and poor sleep have been shown to negatively affect neurophysiology, cognitive function, and mood.”

“Therefore, it is vitally important to pay attention to factors that can improve our sleep health,” Santhi continues. “That said, the surface on which we sleep, including the mattress, is often underappreciated.”

Best Amerisleep Mattresses for Arthritis

Quick Guide: A 30-Second Summary

Best Mattress for Arthritis Overall Amerisleep AS3
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Arthritis Amerisleep AS4

The conforming plant-based memory foam of the Amerisleep AS3 helps it limit the pressure that can build up in a person with arthritis.

Mattress Highlights
  • Partly plant-based memory foam increases comfort
  • Targeted support for head, back, shoulders, hips, feet
  • Sturdy and supportive base boosts the bed's lifespan
Recommended For
  • People with arthritis seeking pain relief
  • Side, back, and combination sleepers
  • Couples

If you’re not really sure which mattress is best, the AS3 is a great place to start. The Amerisleep AS3 is our top-selling mattress— it’s a perfect medium with 3 inches of Bio-Pur®, 2 inches of Affinity with HIVE®, and 7 inches of the durable Bio-Core®.

These three layers work together to offer a balanced blend of softness and support.

“Traditionally, sleep disturbances are thought to be a consequence of fibromyalgia, a form of arthritis, but new evidence suggests that sleep disturbances may also cause fibromyalgia,” says Dr. Nayantara Santhi.

“This may be because sleep in these patients is not as restorative as it should be,” Santhi continues. “In this, a good mattress can help. Ideally, it should be one that supports our preferred lying posture such as an AS3 which offers a blend of support and softness.”

Arthritis patients may also want to consider the AS3 Hybrid. It possesses a similar medium feel but pairs it without buoyant coils and edge support, a feature that can make it easier to slide in and out of bed.

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The softer surface of the AS4 can more readily cradle sensitive areas in an arthritis sufferer’s body, easing delicate pressure points.

Mattress Highlights
  • Plant-based memory foam cushion
  • Targeted support for five areas
  • Supportive, spine-aligning base foam
Recommended For
  • Side sleepers
  • Lightweight individuals
  • Hot sleepers

The Amerisleep AS4 is our medium-soft model made for side and combination sleepers who need just a little bit more cushioning. Like the AS3, it contains 1 inch of the Affinity layer with HIVE®, so while this bed is softer, it doesn’t sacrifice any support or pressure relief.

Those with arthritis will appreciate the combination of Bio-Pur®, Affinity, and Bio-Core® for a better night’s rest.

“Sleep disruption and pain are common in patients with arthritis,” says Dr. Nayantara Santhi. “Research shows that sleep disruption exacerbates pain, and this is because sleep deprivation impairs pain-inhibition pathways that are important for controlling pain perception.”

“A good mattress,” Santhi continues, “One that offers pressure relief, is supportive and breathable such as the AS4, can go a long way in facilitating good sleep.”

Save $300 on the Amerisleep AS4 with our discount code
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Amerisleep Mattress Materials

Bio-Pur®

Unlike traditional memory foam, Bio-Pur® is partially plant-based. During manufacturing, we replace some of the petroleum with castor oil— as a result, the mattress is ten times more breathable and five times more responsive than traditional memory foam. The Bio-Pur® layer varies in thickness depending on the Amerisleep model.

Affinity Layer with HIVE® Technology

The unique Affinity layer with HIVE® adds extra support and pressure relief to every Amerisleep mattress except the firm AS1. Hundreds of hexagonal-shaped cutouts are more heavily concentrated where the body needs more support (in the hips, shoulders, and feet), and spaced further apart in areas where you need softer cushioning. This layer also works to wick away heat and moisture.

Bio-Core®

The durable Bio-Core® layer supporting each Amerisleep mattress is part of the reason we can offer a generous 20-year warranty. It deters sag while supporting all the softer layers above it for years to come.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is characterized by chronic, persistent aches and pains in the joints. The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fibromyalgia, and gout.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between bone joints slowly wears down. Cartilage acts as a protective cushion, so when it weakens and deteriorates, it causes a lot of pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis not only damages your joints, but it can spread to the eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. RA causes your immune system to attack your body’s tissues, resulting in swelling, pain, and even some deformities. 40 percent Verified Source Mayo Clinic Ranked #1 hospital by U.S. News & World Report and one of the most trusted medical institutions in the world. The staff is committed to integrated patient care, education, and research. View source of people with rheumatoid arthritis experience symptoms in places other than the joints.

Fibromyalgia

Like many other forms of arthritis, fibromyalgia usually manifests itself in all-over, dull aches and pains. Sometimes fibromyalgia symptoms flare up after surgery, an injury, an infection, or even a traumatic, stressful event. Fibromyalgia can lead to anxiety and depression as well as fatigue.

Gout

Gout occurs when the body produces too much uric acid, which builds up in the joints, causing pain and inflammation. Unlike fibromyalgia pain, which builds up slowly over time, gout is usually a more sudden, abrupt pain accompanied by swelling, redness, or joint tenderness.

How Arthritis Affects Sleep

According to a survey published on Statista in 2017, chronic pain was one of the top five things that kept adults aged 40 years or older awake at night (out of 9 factors). Out of 2,464 respondents, 5 percent (123 people) said chronic pain kept them up most of the time at night, while 18 percent (443 people) said it kept them up some of the time at night.

Best-Mattress-for-Arthritis

Most studies examining the relationship between arthritis and sleep focus on a specific arthritis type, but we can still learn from these analyses how to prevent or at least minimize arthritis pain during sleep.

One National Institutes of Health study Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source of rheumatoid arthritis patients asked them to fill out a sleep quality questionnaire in an attempt to see how much their pain was affecting sleep. Over 50 percent of those who considered their arthritis pain to be high and causing disability reported “low-optimal sleep duration.” Most of those in this group were getting an average of 6.5 hours of sleep.

Another NIH study Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source sought to learn if osteoarthritis patients experienced increased sleep disruptions due to pain; in addition, it wanted to see if depression was another result of sleep loss in OA patients. The study followed OA patients for one year and researchers learned osteoarthritis sufferers did indeed experience a higher incidence of depression and sleep disturbance due to chronic pain.

Not only does arthritis affect sleep, but it also has a significant impact on the daily life of those who have it. For example, it accounted for a $185.5 billion increase in health care costs between 1996 and 2005. It is one of the top three conditions causing disability, which can lead people to miss work or force them to retire early. Of patients with just knee osteoarthritis, 81 percent Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source report having difficulty staying asleep and up to 77 percent report general sleep issues.

During the deepest stages of sleep, your body releases growth hormones that repair your muscles. Those with arthritis who aren’t getting enough sleep don’t experience these repairs, and as a result, their pain increases. Some common arthritis medications can help induce sleep, but doctors also recommend arthritis patients focus on better sleep hygiene.

Best and Worst Mattress Types for Arthritis

Those with arthritis need a pressure-relieving mattress— one that won’t cause additional pain or stiffness. A high-quality mattress should not develop sagging before 7 years (the average mattress lasts about this long); after all, an unsupportive mattress is one of the worst things for a sleeper with arthritis.

About 50 percent of those Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source with chronic pain report that it negatively affects their sleep, with the most common result being insomnia. Untreated insomnia can lead to more serious problems down the road, such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain.

Clearly finding the right type of mattress to support a good night’s sleep is key for arthritis-sufferers. Some mattresses can ease arthritis pain, while others make it worse. Overall, those with arthritis need a mattress with excellent pressure relief, good back support, and extended durability so it won’t sag and cause more pain.

Memory Foam

You most certainly have heard of memory foam while searching for a new mattress— memory foam mattresses are everywhere, and they’re only becoming more popular thanks to the bed in a box mattress trend.

Memory foam mattresses are popular because of their pressure relief and the fact that they contour closely to the body. They don’t transfer motion, either, so if you share your bed with a restless sleeper, you won’t be disturbed by their movements.

Are memory foam mattresses good for arthritis?

Because of its motion isolation and pressure-relieving characteristics, memory foam is an excellent mattress choice for arthritis sufferers. It can trap heat, so if this is a concern, look for plant-based foams or cooling foams such as gel memory foam, copper-infused foam, or even graphite-infused foam.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are made with a plush pillow top or Euro top and a coil support base. The coils in innersprings give them extra bounce, but this can be problematic for those with arthritis. Additionally, the coils in innersprings can cause sagging early on, leading to more pain and pressure build-up.

Sometimes innersprings have sewn-on edge support which further reinforces the bed’s surface and keeps the sleeper from rolling off. Added edge support can make the cost of the bed go up, so if falling or rolling off isn’t a problem for you, your mattress doesn’t necessarily need it.

Are innerspring mattresses good for arthritis?

Overall, we do not recommend innersprings for arthritis sufferers because they have poor pressure relief and motion isolation. If you prefer the feel of an innerspring, choose one with a thick quilted pillow top and a transition layer between the comfort layer and support coils. If possible, choose one made with wrapped coils that will minimize motion transfer and noise.

Latex

Latex is popular because it feels soft and contouring like memory foam, but it’s often more durable. Many latex mattresses have aerated comfort layers, reducing any heat build-up. Perhaps the biggest draw to latex is that it’s eco-friendly— to create a natural latex bed, manufacturers harvest and process the sap of a rubber tree. Unlike the petrochemicals used to make memory foam, this resource is renewable and emits little to no off-gassing odor.

Even though latex is becoming more popular, it’s still not as readily available as memory foam, making it a bit more expensive. Some users report latex feels firmer and more responsive than memory foam— this can be a pro or a con for you depending on your sleeping position, weight, and general comfort preferences.

Are latex mattresses good for arthritis?

Yes, latex mattresses are good for arthritis as long as the support layer is strong and durable. Watch out for synthetic or blended latex mattresses, since these will not last as long as natural latex beds and may develop sags before too long.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses merge the basic qualities of innerspring and memory foam beds; a true hybrid mattress contains 2-3 inches of memory foam and a coil support layer. Most hybrids also use wrapped coils— instead of the coils responding collectively to movement (which leads to motion transfer and sagging), each coil, wrapped in fabric or foam, responds individually, alleviating pressure and isolating motion.

Hybrids are slightly cooler than memory foam or latex beds because they have a coil support layer like innersprings— this allows for better air circulation. The memory foam comfort layer adds some much-needed pressure relief, but the coils can still increase the risk of sagging. In fact, hybrids only have a slightly longer lifespan than innerspring beds (6-7 years vs. 5-6 years, respectively).

Are hybrid mattresses good for arthritis?

Hybrid mattresses can work for arthritis patients as long as they have a comfort layer made of memory foam or latex foam (not poly-foam) and wrapped coils. Note that hybrids are a little heavy and hard to move, which could become an issue for someone with back pain or other chronic pain.

Best and Worst Sleeping Positions for Arthritis

After you consider all the mattress types available to you, it’s time to look at your personal preferences like your preferred sleeping position. The way you sleep can affect the feel of the bed and the type of mattress you prefer, so it’s worth looking at before you invest in a new mattress.

Side Sleepers

Side sleeping is one of the healthiest ways to sleep— it maintains neutral spinal alignment, opens up the airways for better breathing, and puts less pressure on vital organs. Side sleepers are susceptible to some numbness and pressure build-up in their arms, shoulders, and hips; because of this, we recommend they choose a medium, medium-soft, or even a soft mattress.

If you suffer from arthritis, sleeping on your side will ease any pressure on your lower back, but it could cause the pain in your shoulders or hips to increase. Make sure to choose a mattress with targeted pressure relief capabilities— studies Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source have shown that the best mattress for back pain is actually a medium or medium-firm mattress. Medium mattresses are one of the more popular choices for side sleepers.

Back Sleepers

Back sleeping is the position that best aligns the lower back and spine. To avoid sinking down too far and experiencing hip pain, back sleepers should choose a medium-firm or firm mattress. For those with arthritis who sleep flat on their backs, a major concern would be a too-soft bed that causes spinal misalignment or builds up pressure in their back, knees, or hips. Thus, the right mattress for a back sleeper with arthritis is probably a medium or medium-firm bed.

Stomach Sleepers

Those who sleep on their stomachs are at the greatest risk for misalignment, back pain, neck pain, and even serious injury. We do not recommend anyone with arthritis sleep on their stomachs because of the additional pain it can cause. However, if you’re in the habit of sleeping this way, be sure to choose a medium-firm or firm mattress that won’t cause the hips to sink down.

If your arthritis pain seems to be getting worse every time you sleep, it may be time to switch to a different sleeping position. To train yourself to sleep on your side, use a body pillow or place a pillow between your legs for additional back support.

Other Buying Considerations

After you’ve nailed down the best mattress, you’ll need to think about company policies, your budget, and how long you hope your new mattress will last.

Return Policies, Warranties, and Sleep Trials

Most mattresses come with a return policy of some kind, but what it looks like depends on the brand. For instance, most bed-in-a-box brands tie their return policy in with their sleep trial period. Companies without a sleep trial will often establish some sort of “customer satisfaction guarantee” that allows customers to return their mattress within a certain number of days, usually 30. However, return policies without a sleep trial often involve more risk— some companies do not allow returns if the bed has been used.

Sleep trials are a less risky route. They allow you to try out the mattress for an extended period of time and return it for a full refund within that time period. The average sleep trial lasts at least 30 days, but most are 90-100 days. Some brands ask that you try out the bed for a minimum number of nights before initiating a return— since every company is different, do your research to find out what the sleep trial procedures are.

Finally, the warranty gives you a good indication of a mattress’s quality as well as its lifespan. A 10-year warranty is standard to most mattresses— if the mattress you’re considering has a warranty shorter than that, look elsewhere.

A warranty also alerts you to any damages the company will (or will not) cover. The most common defects covered by mattress warranties include:

  • Burst or broken coils
  • Broken zippers
  • Torn covers or top fabric
  • Bunched or torn foam
  • Sags in the top layers, typically 1 inch or deeper

Note that almost all mattress warranties do not cover any damages caused by poor use. We recommend using a mattress protector or encasement to shield your new mattress from stains, dust mites, bed bugs, or anything else that could void your warranty.

Budget and Value

Mattress prices seem to vary wildly, but there is an average cost you can expect to pay for a good quality bed. In short, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars for a comfortable, long-lasting mattress, nor should you spring for a super-cheap bed that won’t last.

Certain things drive up the cost of a mattress, like special features or proprietary foams. If you don’t suffer from any medical conditions or have other special needs, you probably don’t need a mattress with these added features. On the other hand, some special features are simply gimmicks and don’t add any value to the mattress— things like gold threads, hand-tufted buttons, and foam made with chilled gel.

Mattress TypeAverage Cost for a Queen Size
Innerspring$900-$1,000
Memory Foam$800-$1,200
Hybrid$1,500-2,000
Latex$1,500-2,000

Lifespan

You spend ⅓ of your life on your mattress, and it’s quite a hefty investment for most— so a good mattress should last at least as long as the warranty. The average lifespan of any mattress is around 7-10 years, and most warranties are 10 years long. However, if a mattress warranty goes beyond 10 years, you’d expect the mattress to last beyond that as well. Typically, if a company offers a longer warranty, it’s because they have high confidence in the quality of their mattresses.

Read mattress reviews written by customers who have owned their bed for at least three months (or longer)— do any of them mention sagging, loss of support, or increased pain? If so, that’s a sign the mattress probably won’t hold up.

Since lifespan is not as easy to determine before you try out the mattress yourself, pay attention to mattress types. Some mattress types last much longer than others.

Mattress TypeAverage Lifespan
Innerspring5 to 6 years
Memory Foam7 to 8 years
Hybrid6 to 7 years
Latex8 to 10 years

Sleep Help for Arthritis Sufferers

If your arthritis seems to be disrupting your sleep on a regular basis, you’re not alone— and there are solutions. Beyond sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress, you can try practicing better sleep hygiene habits like dimming the lights before bed, avoiding digital devices at bedtime and while in bed at night (phones or TVs), eating sleep-promoting foods, and establishing a consistent bedtime.

FAQs

Can a mattress topper help arthritis?

Mattress toppers are usually meant to add a softer comfort layer to the top of a mattress, although some toppers are firmer and add a bit more support. No matter what you need, a topper can be a good temporary solution if you suffer from arthritis pain but aren’t ready yet to buy a new mattress. Keep in mind that toppers don’t last as long as mattresses and you may need to get a new bed before long.

What type of mattress is best for arthritis?

Those dealing with arthritis need a mattress with ample pressure relief and back support as well as very little motion transfer. We recommend memory foam or latex beds.

Is a firm or soft mattress better for arthritis?

You have lots of firmness options when it comes to mattress-shopping, and your sleeping position will help you determine which firmness is best. If your arthritis pain seems concentrated to your back, we recommend a medium or medium-firm bed. However, if you need a bit more cushioning, stick to medium or medium-soft mattresses.

Can an adjustable bed help arthritis?

Yes, an adjustable bed can help someone with arthritis sleep better and experience some pain relief. Adjustable beds allow you to elevate your legs or head for better pressure relief, a healthier sleep posture, and better circulation. Adjustable beds do come at higher price points, but many companies sell mattresses and adjustable beds in a discounted package.


About the author

McKenzie Hyde is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and a full-time writer focused on sleep health and the mattress industry. She currently writes articles on a variety of topics, ranging from sleep hygiene to the newest trends in the mattress and bedding industry. Just some of the topics she has covered include best sleep practices for students, the consequences of going without sleep, and choosing the right bed if you suffer from back pain. McKenzie Hyde holds a Master of Arts degree from Utah State University where she studied literature and writing. While there, she taught argumentative writing and wrote a variety of articles and analyses for literary and academic journals.

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