Mattresses for Senior Citizens

What is the Best Mattress to Buy for Senior Citizens?

What is the best mattress to buy for older people? You might think the choice would revolve around health and spinal support but that is only part of the equation.

The best mattress to buy for older people requires a high level of comfort combined with excellent support for aging joints. Many older people suffer from pain of arthritis or have bad backs. They may have disc degeneration that causes neck pain.

That's not to say that everyone becomes arthritic or ill as they age but it's a fact of life that joints begin to wear out and aches and pains become more common as we age.

A perfectly healthy older person may wake in the morning to stiffness and pain that is due to sleeping on a poor mattress rather than to any physical disability.

Bones are more brittle, muscles thinner and joints become a bit creaky for senior citizens. This leads them to ask "what is the best mattress to buy for senior citizens".

What to Look For

Advertisements of mattress manufacturers will not promote a design based on "the best mattress to buy for older people". That would probably be seen as an insult by senior citizens and make them avoid the product.

The same traits that make a mattress a best buy for someone with back problems or for those who demand a high level of support are the traits you look for when asking what are the best beds to buy for the elderly.

You don't want to buy a mattress that will sag in the middle or have padding that will quickly compress and leave a crater where the person sleeps on the mattress each night. A too soft mattress will not support the spine or will throw it out of alignment and causing morning backaches.

Perhaps the most important consideration is support for aging joints. As we age, the cartilage in our joints thins and the result is aching in fingers, elbows, knees, hips and ankles. A mattress needs to provide a surface where joints can rest and be gently supported.

Older People

Tempurfoam or gel memory foam mattresses have become very popular with senior citizens today. The cheap versions with low density foam may be too soft to provide proper support but the high density memory foam is a different matter.

Manufacturers such as Tempurpedic and iComfort specialize in memory foam mattresses and provide various levels of firmness by layering densities of the foam.

Tempurpedic Examples:

iComfort Examples:

Memory Foam

Memory foam conforms to your body as it absorbs body heat. High density foam may feel very firm when you lie down on it but as your body heat spreads to the foam, the surface becomes more pliable and molds itself to the curves of your spine.

Memory foam allows a sharp elbow to be cradled comfortably and the heels of your feet do not rest on a hard surface that can cause irritation. For side sleepers, memory foam mattresses allow the shoulder to rest comfortably without putting the discs in the next out of position.

Memory foam may well be the answer to "what is the best mattress to buy for older people" but there are adjustments to be made. The foam provides a new type of sleeping surface that is not what you may be accustomed to. It can take up to a month to become used to sleeping on a memory foam mattress.

Older people may not be comfortable with the new mattress simply because the feel is different than what they've been used to for many years.

Natural Latex

Natural latex foam mattresses are also a good alternative as the best mattress for older people. They have more spring to them than memory foam and recover their shape instantly when body position changes. However, natural latex foam is sometimes too soft for aging joints so this choice should be carefully considered before purchase.

If you prefer an innerspring mattress with traditional padding you may opt for one that has a pillowtop attached that provides a layer of softness for aging bodies.

The pillowtop and European box top mattresses are great choices except for those who are overweight. Over time, the padding will compress and this process can occur quickly if those using the mattress are heavy.

It's also possible to choose a mattress that is a blend of technologies. Innerspring coil mattress manufacturers have expanded their lines to include designs that feature a top layer of natural latex foam or memory foam to provide a high level of soft comfort to a very supportive mattress.

If you are concerned about your ability to adapt to the totally new sleeping experience of a foam mattress, this option may be the best mattress to buy for senior citizens.


Older people do have different mattress requirements than their younger counterparts. As you age everything becomes thinner. From your skin and muscles to your joints, pain can be caused from friction or from pressure caused by sleeping on the wrong mattress. At the same time, older people often demand more comfort. They are not willing to rest on a mattress that doesn't feel comfortable.

The best mattress to buy for older people is one that provides even support with a surface that is soft enough to cushion aging joints and provide a good night's rest. There is perhaps no time when a few good hours of sleep will make you feel at your best than in the later years of life.