The best mattress and sleeping position for your back - according to the experts

What we learned about mattress shopping and sleep - from not one, but two chiropractors!  

We’ve all experienced the pain of sleeping on the wrong bed - whether for one treacherous night or several long years… but how do we know the right bed when we meet it? And once we’ve found “the one”, how do we make sure we’re set up and sleeping in a way that keeps it working for us?

We get asked these questions all the time, and decided it was time to set the record (and our spines?) straight by bringing in the experts. So we asked Dr. Darren Scheirman and Dr. Derrick Nolan of Douglasdale Family Chiropractic how to find the perfect mattress and sleep position for your back.


Above: what not to do. 


Does your mattress, pillow and sleeping position really matter?  

Dr. Derrick: Absolutely! Every little thing that improves posture improves health. Having the proper mattress and pillow for body weight and size is critical for optimal posture and health.

What are common signs that we might be sleeping on the wrong bed?

Dr. Darren: Exhaustion, inability to properly heal and repair, headaches, stiff or achy joints, and sore or tight muscles. 

What is the best bed for back health and alignment?

Dr. Derrick: Generally, I recommend a firm bed with a soft top and two pillows - one arranged for back sleeping and another for side sleeping.

With this in mind, everything should be chosen to optimize posture when lying down. For heavier individuals, the mattress should be firmer to support the extra weight and for lighter individuals, the mattress should be softer. Specific considerations must be made when there is a large weight difference between sleeping partners and sleeping styles. 

What does proper alignment look like?

Dr. Darren: The best is on your back with a small support in the neck, this should be a rolled up towel or a pillow to keep the head neutral. On your side, fetal position is best with a pillow to fill the space between the head and the shoulder.

The firmness of the mattress should depend on hip and shoulder width. Mattress contours that allow for the hips and shoulders, which is where the bulk of the body weight falls, make for better alignment when sleeping. 

Charlie has the right idea... 

If someone has found the perfect bed but still experiences sleep or pain issues, can chiropractic treatment help? 

Dr. Derrick: Absolutely! There are so many factors that can lead to disturbed and non-restorative sleep. Ensuring proper posture at sleep, work and play is the goal of chiropractic care. It gives specific and personalized care to help each individual optimize their performance and minimize pain.


We love how, like us, Darren and Derrick both believe that each person has different requirements for the perfect mattress.

That’s why we offer so many different comfort combinations, let each partner choose their firmness, custom build each mattress to order, and provide a free adjustment if you decide it’s not working for you. When you finally “settle down” with a new mattress, we want to make sure it is the one. Check out our guide to Choosing a Mattress for more information on what we offer. 

But to really make the most of these tips: get your spine checked, get strategies, recommendations, and care for your specific needs by visiting Derrick or Darren at Douglasdale Family Chiropractic.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.