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A Guide for Selecting the Right Bed and Mattress for the Elderly

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When purchasing a new mattress, many important factors must be considered to ensure you make the best selection for your needs. As we age, these needs become more extensive, with chronic pain, achy joints, and restless sleep to compete with.

From considering the best bed sizes to choosing the ideal material to suit your unique needs, finding the perfect mattress to support your sleeping habits and health is a worthwhile investment.

Key Factors

Many key factors should be considered when deciding on the ideal mattress selection for an older person.


Mattresses are classified on a scale based on their firmness level. Choosing one with a firmness level that best suits your preferred sleeping position, body type, and present health issues is vital to guaranteeing a good night’s sleep.

A softer mattress contours closer to the body and can be a good option for those with chronic pain, stiff joints, or uneven spinal alignment. Alternatively, those with a bigger body or limited mobility will benefit from a firmer mattress with more response and which can prevent uncomfortable sinkage.

Edge Support

A mattress with sturdy edge support is less likely to sink or become unstable when you lie or sit close to the edge of the mattress, especially when getting in and out of bed. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses tend to offer the most robust edge support due to their steel coil support cores.

Additionally, latex may also feel sturdy and secure because latex as a material is bouncier and more responsive compared to its foam counterpart.


All purchases will come with maintenance guidelines that should be closely followed to extend the longevity of your mattress and keep it in prime condition. Furthermore, older people are typically not strong enough to flip their mattresses, so buying one that requires low maintenance while still correctly regulating air and temperature will be a smart purchase.


A new mattress can be a pricey investment. The good news is that many stores offer senior discounts or payment plans that allow you to purchase the mattress you need without having to pay a fortune. Considering the importance of an excellent bed to our sleeping habits and overall health, it is an investment worth making.

Mattress Types

For senior buyers, there are four main mattress types worth considering, each offering its own unique advantages and specifications.


Traditional innerspring mattresses have thin comfort layers and a sturdy coil system. Unlike hybrid models, they offer little contouring and feel exceptionally bouncy. They don’t retain heat thanks to a consistent airflow through the coil layers and are, on average, the cheapest mattress option.

Their durability is questionable as some users report deep indentations after only a few years of usage, and those with chronic pain may need additional cushioning.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are typically made with one or two top layers of foam or adaptive polyfoam alongside a core of high-density base foam. These materials offer an even contour to promote proper alignment and reduce pain and discomfort for those with achy joints, chronic pain and other medical issues that could negatively affect your sleep.

The foam layers will offer isolated motion, but the material tends to hold onto heat, and edge support is often minimal.


A hybrid bed combines the cushion of foam or latex with the steel coils of a traditional spring mattress, resulting in a brilliant balance of close contouring for an even alignment, strong inner support to minimise any sinkage and temperature control to keep you cool and comfortable.

Softer hybrid beds are better suited for those looking for pressure relief and isolated motion and movement, while firmer hybrids will feel studier along the edges. It is important to note that generally, this type of bed is on the more expensive side.


Latex is made from the liquid extract found in rubber trees. The material is naturally resilient, making it more responsive compared to memory foam. Furthermore, it does not hold onto heat in the same way as a foam option.

For those who dislike the ‘hug’ of memory foam, the springiness and gentle contour of latex may be precisely what you are after. Additionally, those with limited mobility or who would prefer the extra support of a bouncier bed will appreciate the qualities of latex. Full latex mattresses are somewhat more expensive compared to other types, and those with latex allergies should avoid these models altogether.

Extra Tips

To guarantee you are happy with your investment, consider a few final tips to find your perfect choice.

Know Your Position

Everyone has a preferred sleeping position. You may be a back sleeper, a side sleeper or prefer to lie on your stomach. Regardless of your choice, there is a mattress made to perfectly contour and support your body in your desired position.

Knowing what you prefer will allow you to make a purchase that provides the ultimate level of comfort to the parts of your body that take on the most pressure throughout the night.

Test Before Purchase

Aside from ensuring the mattress you choose has the correct level of comfort and support, you need to make sure it is not too difficult to get up from in the morning. It should not be so soft that you struggle to sit upright.

Protect Your Choice

In order to maximise the longevity of your selection, don’t forget to buy a mattress protector. There are many different variations from which to choose, but for optimal protection, choosing one that is waterproof, stain-resistant, and dust-mite-proof will drastically reduce the level of maintenance your mattress will require to stay in prime condition.

Consider Your Options

The biggest mistake you can make is getting stuck on a type of bed or mattress simply because you have heard good things about it. Each person has their own specific needs and level of comfort, so testing out different options and understanding your unique requirements will allow you to make the best selection.



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