While sleeping on a new mattress is exciting, you could experience back pain. The pain and discomfort can lower your sleep quality and productivity for the day ahead. To have a restful night's sleep, you want to counter the back pain caused by the new mattress.
It is common to experience back pain while sleeping on a new mattress since our body is adjusting from sleeping on the old mattress. The new mattress may need up to 90 days to fully break in, hence the discomfort.
Luckily, there are ways to counter the back pain you experience after sleeping on a new mattress. We explain why the new mattress causes back pain and what you should do to ease the pain.
Reasons For Back Pain With A New Mattress
There are several probable reasons for back pain caused by sleeping on your new mattress. Here are the common ones;
After shifting from a soft and unsupportive mattress to a firmer, more supportive one, your body needs time to adjust. Your body had already gotten used to the old mattress, even though it was not ideal for you.
For instance, your old mattress could have normalized neck pain, an uneven and uncomfortable surface, and joint pains. After years of enduring the pain and discomfort, your body adopted it, and it somehow became your new normal.
Shifting to a new mattress may feel like torture at first, even though it is the ideal mattress for you. It is firmer, more supportive, and has no dips, something different from what your body endured for years.
We love to look at it as sitting in an upright position after slouching for hours. Even though the former is the ideal position, you feel uncomfortable in the first few minutes. The same applies to sleeping on a new mattress.
We advise you to give your body time to get used to the new mattress. The discomfort could result from your back finally getting spinal alignment and pressure point relief after years. Once your body fully adjusts, you will experience better back and spinal support, more comfort, and improved sleep quality.
Most new mattresses need time to break in to go to their supposed state. The break-in period lasts between thirty days and ninety days, depending on the material, mattress structure, and packaging.
For instance, high-density hybrid and memory foam mattresses have the most prolonged break-in period of up to ninety days. Such mattresses are firmer and heavier, hence requiring more time for the materials and components to soften and ease. At this time, you may experience back pain since the mattress is too stiff to comfort your body during sleep.
Low Room Temperature
Memory foam mattresses are sensitive to temperature. It hardens up when you expose a new memory foam mattress to low room temperatures and becomes firmer. During winter or if your bedroom is too cold, such is common, leading to rigid surfaces and back pain.
For instance, if your room temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit, your memory foam mattress will be more complex and stiffer. As a result, your mattress fails to conform to your body's natural curve, hence building up pressure on your pelvis. Such pressure build-up on your lower back leads to back pains.
What To Do If Your New Mattress Is Causing Back Pain
There is hope if you just started sleeping on a new mattress and experiencing back pain. Here are tips for breaking in or making it softer;
Allow your New Mattress to Breathe
Air it out before you get too excited and start dressing up your mattress for a much-anticipated sleep. Your mattress is packaged with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to keep it in good condition before sale and delivery. However, it would help to let out these trapped chemical by-products once you break the vacuum seal.
Your new mattress would need time to off-gas, especially if it came packaged in a box. It may have storage chemicals that you should emit once the package is open. Off-gassing lasts one day to one week; hence sleeping on a new mattress immediately after purchase could cause back pain.
Once you open the mattress, please put it in an airy place for three to five days to allow off-gassing. It helps to put it in an open area under direct sunlight to hasten the gas and chemical release. The release enables the mattress components to align and soften up for a restful sleep.
It would be best to give your new mattress time to break in and conform to your body. Even though sleeping on the new mattress is uncomfortable, you should sleep on it often to hasten the process. The more you sleep on it, the more it softens up and offers conformity, ample neck support, and spinal alignment.
Contact the company for recommendations if you fail to experience tangible improvement ninety days after use. If the back pain is unbearable, return the mattress if the mattress manufacturer or company has a free return or exchange policy.
Put Up Pressure
Apply pressure if you find your new mattress too hard and the back pain is extreme. You can opt to apply pressure by hand-massaging it manually. Also, you could walk on the mattress or jump on it.
Pressure helps align the components in the mattress, allowing it to soften and get to the intended level of firmness. Make it a routine to massage your mattress for a more conforming and supporting platform. Such will give you comfort, spinal support and alignment, and pressure and back pain relief.
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Heat Up Your Bedroom
Your temperature-sensitive mattress could be getting too firm for your back comfort due to the cool temperatures in your room. You can raise the degrees on your thermostat to soften up your new memory foam mattress. If you do not have a thermostat, use a room heater to raise the temperatures of your room.
However, be careful not to raise the temperatures too much as that could harm your new memory foam mattress. According to sleep experts, you should keep your temperature at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit with 67 degrees Fahrenheit at peak.
Use a Soft Mattress Topper or Pillow
If your new mattress continuously causes back pain, opt for a mattress topper to soften the base. It will promote pressure relief and improve spinal alignment during the breaking-in phase of your new mattress.
When shopping for a mattress topper, consider your sleeping position, breathability, level of support, and body conformity. If you are a back sleeper, put a soft topper or pillow underneath your knees to support your lower back muscles. Such also reduces back pain and improves pressure point relief during sleep.
Contrarily, if you are a side sleeper, opt for a soft pillow. Place it so that it offers ample support to your upper arm and knee. This positioning aligns your spine while conforming to your body, relieving back pain and leading to a restful sleep.
We advise stomach sleepers to get ultra-soft mattress toppers for body conformity, leading to maximum pressure point relief. We also recommend using a soft flat pillow beneath your stomach to promote your body's natural curve. It raises your pelvis and reduces the pressure off your lower back, leading to back pain relief.
Keep reading: How to Dispose of a Mattress: 5 Responsible Ways
While it is common for sleepers to experience temporary back pain when sleeping on a new mattress, there are remedies. For instance, use a mattress topper or fasten the breaking-in process by manually putting pressure on the new mattress. Still, remember to exercise patience since the back pain is temporary.
Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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