Best Mattress for Fibromyalgia of 2018 & Buying Guide
Fibromyalgia is a widely misunderstood condition, despite the fact it affects approximately five million adults in America alone. It’s characterized by pain in the muscular and skeletal systems, and often includes sleep disorders and chronic fatigue—so quality sleep becomes all the more important for people with this illness.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, even for those without fibromyalgia. The proper mattress can make all the difference in your quality of sleep and overall health: it has to suit your sleeping position and weight to properly alleviate pressure, while still supporting your spine in the best and most natural position possible. And for those with chronic pain and trouble sleeping, these requirements are especially non-negotiable.
Our buyer’s guide will look at fibromyalgia a little more in-depth, discuss the features buyers should look for when shopping, and highlight some of our favorite mattresses for fibromyalgia.
Signature Sleep Memoir 10
Sleep Innovations Shiloh 12
Resort Sleep Queen 10
What is fibromyalgia?
Non-sufferers might think fibromyalgia is a new condition; it certainly seems like it is, only recently making health headlines and entering the mainstream vernacular. In fact, it wasn’t until 1990 that the condition became officially recognized, so it’s a fairly easy assumption to make.
This illness has been on experts’ radar for centuries, though—in the 1800s, doctors described cases identical to today’s diagnostic criteria, calling the disorder “muscular rheumatism.” It was largely believed to be a mental disorder, at first, but is now suspected to be a central nervous system disorder that affects the sensitivity of one’s nerves, and how the brain processes pain compared to those without the condition.
Fibromyalgia is more than aches and pains, however. Some patients are nearly debilitated by their condition; many have extreme fatigue or memory problems, bowel and bladder issues, and limb numbness, as well as a plethora of comorbid conditions such as depression and anxiety.
It’s unclear what causes fibromyalgia, but doctors believe genetics, lifestyle, and pre-existing sleep or psychological conditions can all play a part. Some suspect gluten allergies (non-celiac) could contribute to it, as well, although this hypothesis needs more extensive testing before it can be verified or debunked.
Can fibromyalgia be cured?
In the true sense of the word “cured”—meaning, no trace of the original illness is left behind—no. Fibromyalgia can, however, be treated. Options range from pharmaceutical medications to natural ones, to dietary and lifestyle changes, to physical therapy. Some common treatment options include:
- Anti-epileptic medication, which is traditionally used to treat seizures. It can be effective in mitigating anxiety, sleep problems, and pain.
- Antidepressants help regulate the neurotransmitters tied to pain signals, which are thought to be overactive in fibromyalgia suffers.
- Analgesics or muscle relaxants, to control pain and tense muscles that might interfere with sleep. Fibromyalgia can often cause twitching facial muscles and restless leg syndrome, as well; muscle relaxants help regulate this.
- Sleep aids, to combat sleep disturbances/insomnia that worsen fatigue and pain in waking hours. These can be prescription strength, over the counter, or all-natural.
- Exercise and physical therapy. It sounds counterintuitive, but staying active with slow, low-impact exercise like swimming (with a physical therapist, if recommended) can help your muscles and skeletal system feel better. It will also reduce chronic fatigue and improve mental clarity and mood.
- Talk therapy and meditation. Sometimes, just talking about things can help, especially when it comes to a condition widely downplayed and misunderstood. Meditation can reduce stress, as well, which will help mitigate symptoms across the board.
- Biofeedback is a specialized therapy that teaches patients to control their body with their mind—similar to meditation, but with a noticeably physical effect. People can lower their heart rate and blood pressure simply by thinking about it, and even train their muscles to stop twitching. It takes a great deal of practice, of course, but can eventually be a useful tool for pain management and relaxation.
- Lifestyle or dietary changes. If you’re sedentary or eat a great deal of gluten, your physician might suggest a mild exercise program and new diet to help combat your symptoms. Some patients also have success with eliminating caffeine or additives, eating more vegetables, or increasing their vitamin D intake. Probiotics can be helpful, as can thyme (in the form of cooking, tea, or diluted essential oil).
- Alternative/natural remedies.Acupuncture, vitamin and mineral supplements, hot tubs and saunas, or regular appointments with a chiropractor are just a few of the alternative options for treatment many fibro patients try.
Some have found great success with one treatment, while others need a combination of treatments to see results. Because the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, treating it is largely a case of trial-and-error.
Note: we are not doctors or medical experts of any kind. Please consult your doctor in regards to fibromyalgia diagnoses and treatments.
What features should I look for in a mattress if I (or my partner) have fibromyalgia?
Many experts recommend memory foam as the primary material, since it provides excellent pressure point relief and can help joint and muscle pain. However, be wary of foam models, as well: latex and polyurethane might not provide sufficient relief, while even memory foam can cause difficulties turning over and getting up.
Still, memory foam seems like the best bet out of all three, so look for models with memory foam layers close to the surface, and a medium density (between 3.5 and 5 lbs.). This range provides just the right amount of contouring/”give” and support for people of average to higher weights.
Medium-firm feels are best for most people with fibromyalgia, which makes hybrids (innerspring models with layers of foam on top) suitable choices, as well. Our guide will focus on memory foam, the most recommended material for this condition.
Additionally, look at the foam’s response time. The faster the “bounce back” time, the better; the bed will conform as you move, and make it easier to get out of bed. Latex foam might work well for this purpose, but will depend on your personal preferences, sleeping position, and weight as to how effectively it will relieve pressure.
Should fibromyalgia sufferers replace their mattresses more often?
There’s no reason your mattress shouldn’t last just as long as it will for someone else without the condition—but you might notice its deterioration sooner than average users would, because of your heightened sense of pain. In other words, if you did need to replace the mattress sooner than average, it’s only because you’re more aware of its true quality and differences in performance as time goes on.
Do I have to spend more money to get a great mattress for chronic pain?
Not necessarily. You might find yourself spending more for a quality mattress overall, since your condition will require one for maximum comfort—something many people without the condition could get from a cheap or mid-range bed, but you might only be able to achieve with a mid- to high-end model. That said, there are some very comfortable and affordable mattresses out there—just pay attention to the materials, density, and customer reviews before making your decision.
Best Mattress for Fibromyalgia Reviews
1. Sleep Innovations Shiloh 12” Memory Foam Mattress Review
The Shiloh from Sleep Innovations features 2.5” of memory foam and a generous base, which will hopefully translate to “just enough give” for comfort, instead of that sinking/trapped feeling so many memory foam mattresses have.
Memory foam mattresses have to achieve a delicate balance of softness and support, which few actually do—but the Shiloh seems to have done it. Its dual-layer design skips the fancy sales pitch you’ll see with multi-layer mattresses, providing only the basics: memory foam, and support foam. This simpler approach might be the key to that balance, and a better night’s sleep for fibromyalgia sufferers.
2. Resort Sleep Queen 10” Cooling Memory Foam Mattress Review
Comparable to the Shiloh, this model from Resort Sleep has a slightly thinner support layer—but comes at a lower price, as well. The memory foam layer is ventilated, so this should sleep cooler than the Shiloh.
We recommend this to anyone on a budget, or sleepers who overheat a little during the night and would benefit from the ventilated design. It’s not the coolest memory foam mattress you’ll find, since it lacks the gel-infusions you’ll find in other models, but will suit neutral to warm sleepers well. The 2.5” memory foam layer has a density of 3 lbs., which isn’t ideal for everyone, especially if you’re overweight/have a higher BMI.
3. Mattress America Revive Gel Memory Foam Mattress Review
Another medium-firm, all-foam option, the Revive from Mattress America promises impressive quality for a low price. They’ve been in the game for four decades, and have become a trusted name among consumers.
Our only hesitation with recommending this model would be the fact that, like most foam models, it sleeps on the warm side; even its gel infusion and aerated transition layer can only do so much, so avoid this one if you’re a hot sleeper. Other than that, it looks like the Revive will live up to its name, and deliver a much-needed respite from chronic pain and sleeplessness to leave buyers feeling renewed come morning.
4. Signature Sleep Memoir 10” Memory Foam Mattress Review
Most foam models have memory or latex on top, with polyurethane or other materials in the base foam. This mattress is nothing but memory foam, however, and should feature a faster response time/”bounce back” as a result.
The Memoir’s medium-firm feel will work wonders for many mild cases of fibromyalgia, but its lower foam density might mean less in the way of long-term relief for moderate to severe cases. The price is very fair and puts this model in the running, but overall we think the Revive from Mattress America has it beat.
Fibromyalgia is a physically and mentally exhausting illness, so getting sufficient sleep is a must—but with chronic aches and pains, muscle twitches, and a heightened sensitivity to pressure, logging those eight hours is no easy feat. The right mattress makes all the difference: look for options with memory foam in at least the top layer, and a medium-firm feel overall. This will provide the delicate balance of support and softness fibromyalgia patients need to get relief and sleep soundly.