Have any questions? Contact us here Walk-ins welcome or make an appointment at our Dun Laoghaire showroom.

Chiropractor Explains What Orthopedic Mattress Means

   This post has been quality checked in line with our Editorial and Research Policy.

What is an orthopedic mattress? This is a question that many people are asking these days. Orthopedic mattresses have become more popular in recent years, as people are becoming more aware of the benefits they provide. But what exactly makes an orthopedic mattress different from other types of mattresses?

As a general rule orthopedic mattresses are mattresses designed by chiropractors, physiotherapists, or other musculoskeletal specialists to provide pressure relief, spinal alignment, and comfort for people with back pain symptoms. Orthopedic does not just mean an extra-firm mattress.

My name Dr Lawrence Woods DC and I have been designing orthopedic mattresses for over 20 years. As a chiropractor, my goal has always focused on improving the health of my patients by optimizing their sleep. My designs have been nominated for numerous awards and I continue to be at the forefront of this industry, helping people get the best night’s sleep possible.

What Are Orthopedic Mattresses?

Orthopedic mattresses are designed to help with orthopedic issues, such as back pain. They provide extra support for the spine, which can help improve your sleep and your overall health. In this blog post, we will discuss what orthopedic mattresses are and explain why chiropractors and physiotherapists recommend them!

The Purpose of Orthopedic Mattresses

woman waking up in an orthopedic mattress to a warm sunrise

Orthopedic mattresses are designed to provide support for the spine and other joints, helping to reduce pain and improve sleep quality. A good orthopedic mattress should be firm enough to provide support, but not so firm that it is uncomfortable. In addition, it should be able to contour to the body, providing additional support for the hips and shoulders.

Many orthopedic mattresses also feature special designs that help to reduce tossing and turning, allowing for a more restful sleep. Whether you are suffering from back pain or simply want to improve your sleep quality, an orthopedic mattress may be the right choice for you.

Reduce Muscle Tension

They relax your muscles by promoting spinal alignment which reduces muscle tension, reduces pressure points, and provides support. By doing so, orthopedic mattresses improve blood circulation and help you to sleep peacefully through the night.

People who often wake up feeling tired or stiff can find relief in an orthopedic mattress.

Provide Comfort & Support

In addition, orthopedic mattresses are often made with high-density foam that helps to distribute weight evenly and minimize tossing and turning.

As a result, orthopedic mattresses provide a level of comfort and support that is simply not possible with a traditional mattress. If you suffer from back pain, an orthopedic mattress is well worth the investment.

Motion Isolation

The design of these mattresses also allows for a reduction in motion transfer, meaning you are less likely to be disturbed by your partner’s movements during the night.

What Does Orthopedic Mean?

The term orthopedic is derived from the Greek orthos, meaning “correct,” and paideia, meaning “child-rearing.” It refers to medical care that helps correct deformities and problems with bone growth.

However, over the centuries, the definition has changed to mean the “medical specialty concerned with correction of deformities or functional impairments of the skeletal system, especially the extremities and the spine, and associated structures, as muscles and ligaments”.

In other words, orthopedics is the branch of medicine that deals with bones, joints, and muscles.

How to Find the Right Orthopedic Mattress

woman lying face down on an orthopedic mattress

Orthopedic mattresses are designed to provide support and alignment for the spine, hips, and shoulders. They are often recommended by back pain specialists, such as chiropractors and physiotherapists, for people who suffer from chronic back pain.

There are many different types of orthopedic mattresses on the market, so it can be tricky to know which one to choose. When selecting an orthopedic mattress, it is important to consider your sleep position, body type, and preferred level of firmness. You should also look for a mattress that is specifically designed by a back pain specialist. Doing some research beforehand will help you find the perfect orthopedic mattress for your needs.










The Spinery® Mattress


55+ Five Star Reviews


Real vs Fake Orthopedic mattresses

As the term “orthopedic mattress” is not regulated in mattress marketing, not all orthopedic mattresses are actually orthopedic. A true orthopedic mattress should be developed by a chiropractor, physiotherapist, or other musculoskeletal specialists to provide the right spinal, neck, and hip support.

How to Spot a ‘False’ Orthopedic Mattresses

Here is a list of things to avoid if you want to find a real orthopedic mattress:

  • If the mattress is advertised as orthopedic but does not list any specific orthopedic benefits.
  • If the mattress is advertised as orthopedic but only provides “extra-firmness”
  • If the mattress is advertised as orthopedic because it is medium-firm.
  • The company sells a mass-market mattress (often bed-in-a-box) and has purchased endorsements from credible orthopedic organizations for marketing purposes. (Unfortunately, this is a very common practice and it requires some simple discernment about if the mattress is calling itself orthopedic for marketing reasons or if the mattress itself was designed by experts.)
  • If the mattress is advertised as orthopedic but does not list any orthopedic credentials of the company or the people who designed it.
  • If the mattress is advertised as orthopedic but is not endorsed by any credible orthopedic organizations.

What to do if you’ve bought a false orthopedic mattress

It can be incredibly frustrating to purchase a mattress that you believe is orthopedic, only to find out that it doesn’t provide the support you need. If you think you’ve been misled about the capabilities of your mattress, the first step is to check the company’s return policy. Many companies that sell mattresses will offer a refund or exchange if the product doesn’t meet your expectations.

The Firm Orthopedic Mattress Myth

Orthopedic mattresses aren’t just extra-firm mattresses. It has been found that mattresses with excessive firmness are more likely to cause back pain.

An orthopedic mattress is usually designed to be medium-firm because it needs to provide support for the spine and hips. It should also be comfortable so you can sleep through the night without waking up in pain.

Many orthopedic mattresses also have a top layer of pressure-relieving foam, which contours to your body and provides pressure relief.

A medical study has found that the ideal firmness for an orthopedic mattress is medium-firm. This means that your body still receives good support while conforming to your body enough to allow you to sink into the mattress. When your mattress conforms to your body, more surface area is in contact with the mattress, increasing pressure relief and distribution.

An Orthopaedic mattress helps you get great sleep by reducing muscle tension throughout your body.

How Orthopedic Mattresses are Constructed

There are several different layers in an orthopedic mattress, each with its own purpose.

Comfort Layer/Pressure Relief Layer

The comfort layer of a mattress is its topmost layer, and its primary purpose is to relieve pressure. As the comfort layer conforms to your body, it distributes your weight evenly, preventing pressure from being placed on one area too much. As a result, you can sleep more soundly throughout the night and reduce tossing and turning.

The comfort layer is also responsible for increasing the mattress’ surface area and providing pressure relief. Thus, the comfort layer is a critical component of a mattress and plays a significant role in ensuring a sound night’s sleep.

Corrective Layer

In order to maintain physical and mental health, it’s vital to get a good night’s rest. However, back pain makes it difficult for many people to get the sleep they need.

As mattress designers, one way we use to alleviate back pain is to use a mattress with a corrective layer. This layer promotes spinal alignment, which is essential for muscle relaxation and pain relief.

Our mattress has a corrective layer that was designed by chiropractors & physios using research from leading back pain specialists. This means that you can enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep without worrying about your back.

Support Layer

A mattress support layer is an essential component of any bed. Its purpose is to provide the firmness and support you need for a good night’s sleep.

Without a supportive layer, your mattress would be too soft and would not provide the level of support your body needs. With good mattresses, the support layer is usually made of high-density foam. It is placed as the base layer and provides the foundation for the mattress.

The support layer ensures that your mattress will maintain its shape and will not sag over time. It also helps to distribute your weight evenly across the mattress, which helps to reduce pressure points and prevent you from waking up with aches and pains. A good support layer is essential for a comfortable and supportive bed.

What Is the Difference Between Orthopedic Mattresses and Normal Mattresses?

In general, an orthopedic mattress is one that is designed to provide support for the bones and joints. These mattresses are often recommended by experts such as chiropractors and orthopedists.

Orthopedic mattresses typically have a number of features that distinguish them from standard mattresses.

Orthopedic mattresses are designed to provide support for the spine and promote spinal alignment. This can help to reduce pain and improve comfort, as well as promote deep, rejuvenating sleep.

To achieve increased supportiveness and spinal alignment orthopedic mattresses are often made from high-density foam or latex, which can provide superior support and pressure relief.

In addition, orthopedic mattresses often have a firmness level that is specifically designed for people with back pain. This can further help to reduce pain and improve sleep quality.

Orthopedic Mattress vs High-Density Mattress

Most people don’t think about the materials that go into their mattress, but the truth is that the quality of those materials can make a big difference in both comfort and durability.

High-density mattresses are made with high-quality foams that are designed to last for years. If you’re looking for a mattress that will provide years of comfort and support, then a high-density mattress is a good option to consider.

Poor Quality Mattresses Cause Back Pain

There are a number of different factors that can contribute to back pain, but one of the primary causes is a mattress that has lost its support early in its lifespan. This happens when the orthopedic mattress is made of low-quality & low-density materials.

When this happens, people are reluctant to purchase a new better mattress because of the sunk cost fallacy, which is the belief that you have already invested so much money in something that it would be a waste to replace it. As a result, people often suffer from back pain for many years, when a simple solution would be to invest in a new mattress.

Bad Orthopedic Mattresses Don’t Last

Orthopedic mattresses are often recommended for people with back pain, as they are designed to provide support for the spine. However, not all orthopedic mattresses are made with high-quality materials. This means orthopedic mattresses can actually make back pain worse if they lose their supportiveness.

As a result, good orthopedic mattresses should be made of high-quality materials such as high-density foam for back pain.

What is a Semi-Orthopedic Mattress?

A semi-orthopedic mattress is a term sometimes used to describe a mattress that provides additional support to the back and spine. Unlike an orthopedic mattress, which is designed specifically for people with back problems, a semi-orthopedic mattress can be used by anyone who wants extra support while sleeping.

As a result, semi-orthopedic mattresses are marketed who want the added support of an orthopedic mattress without the medical association/connotation.

However, in practice, almost all orthopedic mattresses sold directly to consumers or in stores match the semi-orthopedic definition of an orthopedic mattress. This means that they provide targeted support for the back and spine, but they are not specifically designed to correct significant orthopedic conditions such as scoliosis.

How Long Should It Last?

When you invest in a quality orthopedic mattress, you want it to last. But how long can you expect an orthopedic mattress to last? The answer depends on a few factors, including the type of mattress, the amount of use, and the level of care.

Generally speaking, a high-quality orthopedic mattress should last about 10 years.

However, if the mattress is only used occasionally, it could last much longer.

Likewise, if the mattress is used more often or is not properly cared for, it may need to be replaced sooner. With proper care and use, an orthopedic mattress can provide years of comfortable sleep.

Better Quality Means More Durability

When it comes to orthopedic mattresses, as a general rule, the ones made with high-quality materials will last significantly longer than ones made with low-quality materials. This is because high-quality materials are more durable and resistant to wear and tear. Additionally, high-quality orthopedic mattresses are usually made with better support systems, which can help to prevent sagging and provide a more comfortable sleep surface.

Tips for Increasing Lifespan

An orthopedic mattress is a substantial investment, so it’s important to do everything you can to extend its lifespan.

  • Rotate it regularly: depending on the type of orthopedic mattress you have, you’ll need to rotate it every few months to prevent permanent body impressions from forming.
  • Use a mattress protector: not only will a mattress protector prolong the life of your orthopedic mattress, but it will also keep it clean and free of dust mites.
  • Avoid sitting or standing on the edge of the mattress; this can damage the coil system and cause irreversible sagging.

By following these simple tips, you can help your orthopedic mattress last for years to come.


Orthopedic mattresses are made with your health in mind. They provide pressure relief and spinal alignment, which is important for those of us with back pain symptoms. Not all orthopedic mattresses are extra-firm, so be sure to do your research before you buy. We hope this article has helped educate you on the benefits of orthopedic mattresses and given you a better understanding of what to look for when shopping for one.


You might be interested in

What Are The Advantages of Sleeping on An Orthopedic Mattress?

How are Orthopedic Mattresses Made?

Can You Flip an Orthopedic Mattress?

How Long do Orthopedic Mattresses Last

Can an Orthopedic Mattress Actually Cause Back Pain?

Firm Mattress Myth: Should Orthopedic Mattresses Really be Hard?

Are Orthopedic Mattresses Good For Everyone or Just Bad Backs?

Dr Lawrence Woods

My name Dr Lawrence Woods DC and I have been designing mattresses, pillows, chairs and seat cushions for over 20 years. As a chiropractor, my goal has always focused on improving the health of my patients by optimizing how they sleep and sit. My designs have been nominated for numerous awards and I continue to be at the forefront of this industry, helping people get the best night’s sleep possible. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West, I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified and an OSHAcadenmy certified ergonomist.
**As a service to our readers, The Spinery provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

You May Also Like