Those living with arthritis may find themselves waking up with mild to chronic pain in the morning. It’s no way to start the day, and many of the 54 million adults with arthritis in America are looking for answers from both their doctor and their mattress.

If you have arthritis, it may be time to re-examine your nighttime routines and sleep environment and learn how you can start waking up refreshed and pain-free.

The Four Types of Arthritis

It’s a common misconception that the word “arthritis” refers to a single disease. Arthritis is more of a blanket term used to describe joint pain and joint disease. With more than 100 types of arthritis and arthritis-related conditions, it’s no wonder so many adults and 300,000 children currently live with a form of arthritis.

Those 100 arthritis types are divided into the four following categories. It’s essential for those seeking arthritis treatment to understand what they’re dealing with and what causes arthritis. Understanding your arthritis will help you seek the right treatment and the right mattress for pain relief.

Degenerative Arthritis

Degenerative arthritis refers primarily to osteoarthritis, the most common form of joint pain. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage in between your joints wears away, causing your bones to rub together whenever you use that joint.

This can cause mild to severe pain but can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. In more severe cases, joint replacement surgery may be necessary.

Inflammatory Arthritis

Your immune system uses inflammation as a defense mechanism against disease and infection. Inflammatory arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakes your joints for infection and attacks them. The most well-known kind of inflammatory arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Closely related to inflammatory arthritis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is directly linked to psoriasis, an inherited skin condition. PsA causes pain from joint inflammation in your large joints, fingers, and toes. The immune system targets both joints and skin as it mistakes them for invasive disease and bacteria.

Metabolic Arthritis

Linked to high levels of uric acid in the body, the most common form of metabolic arthritis is gout. Uric acid builds up and forms sharp needle-like crystals causing sudden episodes of chronic pain.

How Your Mattress Affects Arthritis Pain

With such a wide variety of mattresses available on the market, from plush memory foams to firm pocket coils, the best mattress for your arthritis pain is out there.

For example, those suffering from chronic back pain linked to osteoarthritis may prefer a hybrid bed built to keep their spine aligned through the night while providing cushioning from its top layers of memory foam.

Understanding your sleep habits, from sleep position to firmness, is necessary for choosing the best mattress for you. It’s essential to examine every aspect of a new mattress and how it may alleviate your arthritis pain.

Firmness

Those living with arthritis don’t want to be sleeping on something too firm. Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses can provide a plush comfort layer while maintaining support through the night. Those who prefer to sleep on their back will likely be interested in the added support of a hybrid mattress, while side sleepers typically prefer more plush memory foam.

Pressure Relief

When it comes to finding the best mattress for arthritis, pressure relief is a top concern. Modern mattresses designed for targeted pressure relief often use foal, gel, or graphite infusions to target specific points on the body and alleviate pressure. When shopping for a new mattress, look out for key terms like “zoned support,” “pressure point relief,” and “conforming” materials.

Cushioning

People living with arthritis pain—especially heavier individuals—will want to seek a mattress with thicker comfort and transition layers. These layers will keep them from sinking into the mattress’s support layer, which could exacerbate their arthritis pain.

Core Support

Whether it be pure foam or pocket coils, a responsive support core is necessary for relieving arthritis pain. As previously mentioned, some brands offer zoned support technology and gel pods to target different pressure points all over the body, including your hips, knees, and waits, three common areas linked to arthritis pain.

Edge Support

While edge support won’t alleviate arthritis pain while you sleep, it can make getting in and out of bed much easier.

A supportive edge is vital for older individuals living with arthritis pain as they may need to take their time getting in and out of bed. Sinking into the edge of the mattress will make them work harder than they have to, thus leading to more pain.

The Right Mattress: The First Line of Defense

We start and end our days in the same place—our mattress. Choosing the right bed to alleviate arthritis pain is the first step to beginning your day pain-free. Speak with your healthcare professional to learn more about treating your arthritis pain and complementing your medical treatment with the right mattress.