Best Mattress for Seniors & Elderly (2022)
Sep 14th, 2022 •
Seniors or elderly people (aged 65 years or older) have unique mattress needs to address common sleep problems of muscle and joint pain, insomnia, and other challenges in the way of restful sleep. The best mattresses for seniors should offer outstanding support and comfort so every night leads to a good night’s sleep.
Check out our top-rated picks for senior mattresses, then read our expert advice on choosing the best mattress and getting a better night’s sleep.
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- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Saatva
- Best Mattress for Couples – Helix Midnight
- Best Mattress for Customizable Firmness – WinkBed
- Best Value Mattress – Nectar
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – Leesa Studio
- Best Luxury Mattress – DreamCloud Premier
- Best Firm Mattress – Plank Firm
- Best Hypoallergenic Mattress – Bear Pro
- Best Cooling Mattress – Puffy Lux Hybrid
- Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain – Brooklyn Signature Hybrid
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In evaluating our featured mattresses, we expand on the criteria in our review process to emphasize performance categories and features that are especially important for seniors:
- Pressure Relief. Alleviating pressure in the shoulders, hips, and lower back
- Spine Alignment. Promoting neutral alignment from the neck to the lower back
- Edge Support. Stability across the entire surface of the mattress
- Ease of Set-Up. Is the mattress easy to unbox? Is in-house set-up available?
See our recap to find out how the featured mattresses stack up against these criteria.
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Back pain
- Luxury mattress shoppers
- Side Sleepers
A restful night for side sleepers depends greatly on pressure relief, which is one of the areas where the Saatva mattress excels. The Nectar’s quilted Euro pillow top and high-density memory foam layers provide cushioning support for the hips and shoulders, two sensitive pressure areas for people who sleep on their sides.
Put to the test in our Mattress Advisor lab, the Saatva scores 9/10 for pressure relief—a solid score in a testing category important for side sleepers. Its 10/10 score for edge support is a great sign for those who have trouble lifting themselves out of bed.
The Nectar scores 7.5/10 for motion transfer, a possible red flag for people who sleep with a partner and are easily woken up by their movements.
Read our full Saatva mattress review.
Best Mattress for Couples
- Back pain
- Combination sleepers
Like other great mattresses for couples, the Helix Midnight makes it easier to shift, toss, and turn without disturbing your sleep partner. A key performance category for people who share a bed is motion transfer, and this Helix model scores an impressive 9/10 in the Mattress Advisor sleep lab.
The Helix Midnight stands out in another senior-friendly category, with a 9/10 score for edge support. Strong support around the edges makes it easier to get into and out of bed. The Midnight also has exceptional spine alignment, a good sign for people with back or neck pain.
A queen-size Helix Midnight weighs 100 pounds, so people with back problems or mobility issues could have trouble getting it unboxed and mounted on the bed frame. We suggest Saatva with white-glove delivery service if ease of set-up is a must-have for you.
Read our full Helix Midnight mattress review.
WinkBeds Luxury Firm
Best Mattress for Customizable Firmness
- Multiple firmness options
- Spine alignment
Medium firm: 6/10
If you really want to dial in your level of firmness, the WinkBed lets you choose from four options for your new mattress: Soft, Firm, Luxury Firm, and Plus. On the 1-10 firmness scale, these options correspond with 4.5, 6.5, 7.5, and 8.
A pillow-top layer makes the surface pleasantly soft, but not so soft that you sink deep into the mattress.The WinkBed scores 9.75/10 for edge support in our sleep lab, which helps the mattress resist sagging while making it easier to get into and out of. Also, a lumbar support pad placed between the two coil layers helps make this bed one of the best mattresses for back pain.
We score the WinkBed just 6.4/10 for motion transfer, meaning it may not be your first choice if you’re easily disturbed by your partner or pets when they get out of bed. In that case, you might consider the GhostBed Flex.
Read our full WinkBed Luxury Firm review.
Best Value Mattress
- Budget shoppers
- Memory foam shoppers
When determining whether a mattress has good value, we look at the quality of the product in relation to how much it costs. At just $899 for a Queen, the Nectar is a high-quality mattress for an affordable price—in other words, it’s a great value.
The Nectar has a great edge support score (9/10), which makes getting in and out of bed while supporting yourself along the perimeter of the mattress much easier. The solid pressure relief score (8.5/10) is also a good sign that the Nectar can help mitigate aches in pains in your shoulders and hips.
Scoring 7.5/10 for spine alignment, The Nectar might not be best for people with neck or back pain. It also falls a bit short for cooling (7.75/10), a common drawback of all-foam mattresses.
Read our full Nectar mattress review.
Studio by Leesa
Best Memory Foam Mattress
- Hot sleepers
- Those who like a plush feel
- Spine alignment
Medium firm: 6/10
Seniors shopping for a memory foam mattress will be happy to learn that the Leesa Studio delivers all of the comfort synonymous with this material at a very affordable price. Don’t let the foam construction fool you though, the Leesa isn’t too soft to provide you with the support you need to maintain good spine alignment and avoid back pain.
As we mentioned, the high score (9/10) on our spine alignment test means that the Leesa Studio does a good job of helping your back rest in a healthy position. The Studio also scored pretty well on our responsiveness test (8.25/10), so moving around on its surface to change sleeping positions shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
If you tend to sleep hot then the Leesa Studio may not be right for you, as it scored an unimpressive 7/10 on our cooling test. Also, the edge support score of 7/10 means that the perimeter of the Leesa Studio may not provide adequate support to comfortably sit or lie on it.
Read our full Leesa Studio mattress review.
Best Luxury Mattress
- Back pain
- Plus-size Sleepers
The DreamCloud Premier is a top-rated pillow top mattress, and seniors with aches and pains are likely to appreciate the extra cushioning. Its luxurious design actually includes a pillow top 2-for-1: a cradle layer made of high-loft memory foam and a foam support layer beneath that.
In addition to the pillow-top layers, this luxury hybrid has a memory foam layer designed for contouring and pressure relief. In fact, the DreamCloud Premier earns a 9/10 score for pressure relief in Mattress Advisor testing. It also scores a 8.5/10 for edge support, which should make the bed very easy to get into and out of.
The regular price of a queen-size approaches $2,000, which might give you pause if you’re shopping on a limited budget. On the other hand, the sales, promotions, and discounts frequently available through online mattress shopping could trim the regular price considerably.
Read our full DreamCloud Premier mattress review.
Best Firm Mattress
- Those who prefer a firm mattress
- Back sleepers
- Stomach sleepers
If you’re shopping for a firm mattress, the Plank Firm offers not one but two possible solutions. It’s a flippable mattress with different firmness levels on each side: firm (7/10) and very firm (9/10). Don’t let the name fool you, either—it’s designed for comfort as well as sturdiness.
The Plank Firm scores very well for pressure relief (9/10) in our testing lab, especially for such a firm mattress. It also earns an 8.75/10 for spine alignment, another good sign for back sleepers and stomach sleepers since a straighter spine at night usually means fewer aches and pains during the day.
The Plank Firm’s 8/10 score for cooling is good for an all-foam mattress, but turning down the temperature with an optional top cooling panel will cost an extra $125 for a queen-size. Its 13.25″ height could be a challenge for people who have trouble lifting themselves out of bed.
Read our full Plank Firm mattress review.
Best Hypoallergenic Mattress
- People with allergies or skin sensitivities
- Most sleeping positions
Allergies can ruin a good night’s sleep, but the Bear Pro offers a natural way to help keep irritants at bay. The Bear Pro’s signature feature is a layer of foam infused with copper, a mineral known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Bear cites another benefit of adding copper: its ability to conduct heat away from you, which promotes a cooler night’s sleep. The Bear Pro is also GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meeting high standards for limiting exposure to chemicals and pollutants.
As an all-foam mattress, the Bear Pro is likely to have a “new mattress smell” for several hours after unpacking. It’s not compatible with a traditional box spring, so investing in a new bed frame might be in order.
Read our full Bear Pro mattress review.
Puffy Lux Hybrid
Best Cooling Mattress
Medium-Firm - 6/10
While some memory foam hybrids tend to sleep hot, the Puffy Lux Hybrid incorporates ClimateComfort memory foam that regulates the body temperature and prevents overheating.
We found that it took our testers 122 seconds to set up this mattress, and we found the off-gassing, which is similar to that new-car smell, to go away pretty quickly. In fact, we gave the Puffy Lux Hybrid a score of 9/10 for set-up.
We found edge support to be lacking with this product. That’s because the Puffy Lux Hybrid sagged quite a bit during our testing, which can make you feel like you’re falling off the bed at times. If this is a deal-breaker for you, consider the Casper.
Read our full Puffy Lux Hybrid mattress review.
Brooklyn Signature Hybrid
Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain
- Hot sleepers
- Side sleepers
- All sleeping positions
Choose your preference: Available in soft, medium or firm
As a senior, one of your primary concerns might be finding a mattress that cushions and supports sensitive areas of your body in order to prevent aches and pains. During our lab tests, we found that the Brooklyn Signature Hybrid did a wonderful job of relieving pressure, particularly in the shoulder area.
Scoring a 9.5/10 on our pressure relief test, it’s no surprise we named this Brooklyn Bedding product the best mattress for seniors with shoulder pain. The quilted mattress cover, top two layers of foam, and support layer of individually wrapped coils combine to create a supportive, comfortable sleep experience. Also, the edge support score of 9/10 means that supporting yourself all the way out on the edges of the bed should not be a problem for you.
The Brooklyn Signature Hybrid did not perform very well on our motion isolation test (7.25/10), which means you may feel your partner’s or pet’s tossing and turning more than you would care to.
Read our full Brooklyn Signature Hybrid mattress review.
How to Choose the Best Senior Mattress for You
Can a mattress really make much of a difference in sleep quality? There’s scientific research that says yes. For instance, a study at Oklahoma State University found that newer, more comfortable mattresses reduced back pain and stress and improved sleep performance among participants with chronic aches and pains that compromised their sleep.
In this section, we’ll provide tips on choosing the right mattress for your needs and explore some of the challenges that seniors face in getting a restful, restorative night’s sleep. We’ll also offer advice on how to get your best rest, night after night.
- What Type of Mattress is Best for Seniors?
- What to Look for in a Mattress for Seniors
- Seniors and Sleep Challenges
- Sleep Tips for Seniors
What Mattress Type is Best for Seniors?
Seniors trying to get a good night’s sleep often have a number of obstacles standing in their way, including pain, body temperature, and limited mobility. Here’s a look at how different types of mattress materials stack up:
Hybrid mattresses, or mattresses made of innerspring and foam, may be the best of all worlds for many seniors.
The best hybrid beds combine the firmness and “push-back” of an innerspring, making it easy to move around and get out of bed, with the “hug” of a foam mattress to relieve pressure points, which are important to people with aching joints. Coil support cores allow for airflow, helping you stay cool and comfortable naturally.
One of the common challenges for seniors is dealing with pain while they sleep. If you’re a senior with arthritis, back pain, or other joint pain, high-density memory foam mattresses with a medium to medium-firm level of firmness could be the solution.
Top memory foam mattresses do a fine job of providing pressure relief and helping keep your spine aligned in a neutral position. Most are usually lightweight and easy to set up.
Natural latex foam mattresses provide seniors the benefits of memory foam without some of the drawbacks. Latex provides the “hug” and contouring of memory foam without sleeping hot.
It offers superior pressure point relief for those aching muscles and joints and virtually eliminates motion transfer. That means you won’t wake up every time your partner rolls over or goes to the bathroom.
Although you probably grew up with this “traditional” type of mattress, it might be time to make an adjustment at this stage of your life. Innerspring mattresses aren’t known to provide the targeted support and pressure relief that many seniors need to ward off aches and pains.
On the other hand, hybrid mattresses that combine coil layers with layers of other material can incorporate the positives of innerspring design while compensating for its drawbacks.
What to Look for in a Mattress for Seniors
There are several factors to keep in mind for when shopping for a mattress for elderly people or seniors, including:
- Pressure relief: Seniors need a mattress that evenly distributes their body weight to avoid pain in the pressure points.
- Spine alignment: A quality mattress will support a healthy, natural alignment from your hips and lower back up to your shoulders.
- Edge support: Having strong support on the edges of the mattress make it easier and safer for seniors to get in and out of bed.
- Firmness: Firmness is an important factor to determine comfort. We recommend avoiding anything super-soft and sticking to medium, medium-firm, or firmer (between 5/10 and 7/10 on the firmness scale).
- Cooling: Certain mattress materials are more cooling than others. Gel beads and copper infused mattresses are generally the best cooling mattresses. Hybrid mattresses also tend to be more naturally cooling than traditional memory foam mattresses.
- Responsiveness: A responsive bed is one that quickly adjusts to your movements and makes it easier to move around. This also makes it easier to get in and out of bed.
- White glove delivery: With this service, the delivery person brings the bed to your home and sets it up for you. Some mattress brands like Saatva offer free white glove delivery and old mattress removal with your purchase.
Look for a Mattress That Fits Your Lifestyle
Who says you have to think of your mattress as merely therapeutic? Today’s active, vibrant seniors can choose a mattress that matches their lifestyle.
- Are you into tennis, golf, hiking, or running? A mattress for athletes can help keep you feeling fit and energized.
- If you’re enjoying your retirement years on the road, don’t forget to outfit your motor home or camper with an RV mattress.
- A national poll found that 40% of people ages 65-80 are sexually active. Don’t be bashful—there are no age limits on mattresses for sex.
If you find a specialty lifestyle mattress that also meets the criteria mentioned above (good for pressure relief, edge support, responsiveness, and so on), then so much the better.
Don’t Forget About Mattress Accessories
Sometimes the right accessory can make a serviceable mattress into an outstanding one. If you deal with leg cramps, poor circulation, sleep apnea, snoring, or acid reflux, an adjustable bed frame can be a good choice. These frames also make it easier to get in and out of bed. You can also add mattress toppers for some cozy cushioning or additional cooling.
Sleep Challenges for Seniors
The Golden Years sound downright idyllic and relaxing, don’t they? No worries from work, playing with the grandkids, time to work on the golf swing, and the leisure and money to travel—seems like the perfect recipe for fun-filled days and restful nights.
You’d think that seniors would have no trouble at all sleeping at night. But ask any person over 65 how they sleep and chances are you’ll hear a host of complaints.
Trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and sleep disturbances are more common among the elderly than any other age group. And even though retirement may mean less stress from the challenges of achieving a healthy work/life balance, other stressors that come with age can make a good night’s sleep increasingly elusive.
Sleep difficulties are so common among the elderly that we often assume it’s just a normal part of aging. While changes in sleep architecture are normal as we age, sleep deprivation is not.
Believe it or not, a change as simple as finding the best mattress for seniors could make a world of difference in your or a loved one’s sleep performance. But since there is no one mattress that will address all the various sleep challenges that seniors face, it’s helpful to understand just what is keeping older people up at night.
Why Do Some Seniors Have Sleeping Problems?
Older adults require the same amount of sleep as they did in their 20s, and yet, for a host of reasons, many of them can’t get it. One consolation for seniors who can’t sleep at night is that they’re not alone. Studies show that up to 50 percent of older people have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep with women experiencing insomnia more than men.
While some older people experience insomnia for no apparent reason, many elderly people have underlying medical conditions or take medications that can disrupt normal sleep patterns. Some reasons for seniors to lose sleep include:
- Joint pain caused by arthritis
- Obstructive sleep apnea and snoring
- Leg cramps caused by poor circulation
- Breathing issues related to COPD
- Insomnia related to post-menopause
- Frequent urination
- Restless leg syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
- Parkinson’s disease
- Side effects from medications such as beta-blockers, bronchodilators, corticosteroids, and diuretics, as well as medications for cardiovascular, neurologic, and gastrointestinal conditions
Fortunately, many mattresses are designed specifically for people with certain medical conditions. If you have a health problem that interferes with your sleep, consider getting a mattress in one of these categories:
Changes in sleep architecture due to aging
Sleep architecture refers to the cyclic pattern of four sleep stages that repeat through the night. A normal sleep cycle consists of:
- Stage 1: Introduction to sleep when muscles begin to relax and brain activity slows
- Stage 2: Light, dreamless sleep
- Stages 3 and 4: Deep sleep or slow wave sleep
- REM sleep: Includes dreaming and high brain activity
For people who experience healthy sleep patterns, this sleep cycle repeats four or five times each night. But as people age, they tend to spend less time in deep sleep stages, sometimes skipping them altogether.
This change in their sleep architecture can make them feel sleepy during the day and lead to napping. In addition, frequent sleep disturbances like those listed above disrupt seniors’ sleep cycles, leading to daytime sleepiness.
The good news is that certain habits can help anyone, seniors included, overcome some of these sleep challenges. These improvements to sleep hygiene include:
- Exercising regularly
- Limiting caffeine intake
- Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning
- Having a quiet, comfortable bedroom, including a comfortable mattress
You might also consider making your bedroom a safer space to get around in. Getting into or out of bed can be a hazardous moment if you have mobility issues or your vision and balance aren’t what they used to be. You can reduce the risk of slipping and falling by making sure your furniture isn’t spaced too far apart or too close together, or even adding a set of bed rails.
Signs It Could Be Time for a New Mattress
How do you know if you need a new mattress? Even if you think a mattress is fine, the Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every seven years, especially if:
- You wake up with aches and pains
- You sleep better away from home than you do in your own bed
- You’re frequently tired even though you had a full night’s sleep
Older people can easily convince themselves that they don’t need a new mattress. Difficulty with mobility can make shopping at a brick and mortar store too taxing. Others may think a new mattress will cost too much money and may be reluctant to spend money on something they’re not sure they need.
But buying a new mattress doesn’t have to be difficult or costly and could be the best investment in health seniors can make. Researching mattresses online before you shop will reduce the time spent trying mattresses in stores. Online mattress companies offer some of the best mattresses for seniors, delivered right to your front door or set up in your home, at prices that often beat those at mattress stores.
Living Better By Sleeping Better
Since a new mattress has the potential to improve sleep performance, seniors can reap significant health benefits from the investment. Scientific research has linked poor sleep to everything from bad moods to memory impairment. Consistently sleeping well on a comfortable mattress could result in:
- Improved memory
- Lower stress
- Improved mood
- Better weight control
- Greater creativity
- Less inflammation
With the prospect of so many benefits, the cost of a mattress that will increase your quality of sleep seems well worth the money. In fact, a mattress that costs $1,000 and lasts seven years will cost about 40 cents per night — a small price to pay for good health and well-being.
And while new mattresses will not overcome all sleep challenges seniors face, they can help alleviate some common issues that keep older people from getting the sleep they need.
In choosing our best mattresses for seniors, we emphasize four testing categories with special importance for elderly sleepers: pressure relief, spine alignment, edge support, and ease of set-up. Here’s a look at how our picks performed in the Mattress Advisor Sleep Lab:
|MATTRESS||AVERAGE SCORE (OUT OF 10) FOR PRESSURE RELIEF, SPINE ALIGNMENT, EDGE SUPPORT, AND EASE OF SET-UP|
|Puffy Lux Hybrid||7.6|
|Brooklyn Signature Hybrid||8.8|
Note: The testing categories we focus on in this chart don’t reflect overall performance. Depending on your needs and preferences, you might put more or less value on particular qualities.
If you have any questions about our picks, or sleep in general, feel free to contact us.
Best Mattress for Seniors FAQs
What type of mattress is best for the elderly?
The answer to this question depends on many factors, such as sleeping position and any medical conditions that cause pain. If you have back pain, consider a mattress between 6/10 and 8/10 on the firmness scale. If you have a condition like arthritis, consider a slightly softer mattress that includes a pillow top, or layers of memory foam or latex.
Related: What is a Pillow-Top Mattress?
Is a firm mattress better for seniors?
Seniors should avoid mattresses that are too soft, but not ultra-firm either. We recommend sticking between 5/10 and 8/10 on the firmness scale, as firmer mattresses will help you avoid sinking too far into the top layers and putting too much pressure on joints and ligaments.
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The team at Mattress Advisor has spent 1,200+ hours personally testing, evaluating, comparing, and reviewing mattresses. Our proprietary scoring system takes into account 14 scientific and human elements to provide you with the information you need to navigate the murky waters of mattress shopping.
Here at Mattress Advisor, we’re relentless in our pursuit to help you live your best days by getting your best night’s sleep. Have a question? Drop us a line. We’re happy to help.