Pain Is The Main Reason People Buy A New Mattress, Survey Suggests

Our mattress survey and quiz revealed that the number one reason people start shopping for a new mattress is pain. If you are curious about what kinds of mattresses people are buying, we can shed some light by sharing with you the data from genuine online shoppers who have taken our personalized mattress survey.

Our responders used some pretty serious descriptions about their pain. Comments like “crushing back pain when I wake up” and “burning in my lower back only while sleeping” suggest that many people have purchased either an inferior mattress or one that wears out quickly, develop ruts and impressions, or simply mash down.

The results are astonishing, and many people share common symptoms, problems, and fears, when shopping for a new mattress. One problem is that we get attached to our old mattresses, even when they develop ruts, depressions, become rock hard, and start getting a little crusty. 

It’s just hard to end a relationship with a product that we’re so intimate with, and, mattresses are heavy, unwieldy, and not easy to toss around.

Even more, buying a mattress online is becoming pretty much the norm these days, as consumers are opting not to shop in retail stores, citing hovering salespeople and delivery hassles as a big problem. 

Of course, we’re a mattress review sites. We test them, review them, beat them up, and then let you know where to buy the most comfortable and supportive mattresses out there.

It turns out that one of the most common concerns that motivates people to start looking around for a new mattress boils down to one common denominator- pain.

We’ve surveyed hundreds of potential mattress shoppers and an overwhelming 97% indicated that pain, especially lower back, hip and shoulder pain, is the driving force for considering the switch to another brand.

Lower back pain, especially for side sleepers, seems to be a common problem that many people struggle with. While lying on your side has been shown to be beneficial for spine health and better restorative sleep, it also places weight in a concentrated area. 

We call it “the razor’s edge”. And, it’s an ongoing challenge for mattress designers and manufacturers to help reduce and even eliminate pain at areas like hips and shoulders. When you’re on your side, all of your weight is concentrated at very small areas on your body.

These areas also happen to be joints where everyday wear and tear is already at work eroding connective tissue, muscle, and cartilage. While many people are back sleepers, often mattresses will not provide proper support, and in fact, it’s beneficial to sleep on your side.

More than half of adults prefer to sleep on their sides. It’s actually better for your spine as it can reduce compression, especially if you tuck or curl up while you are sleeping. 

You also reduce sleep apnea symptoms by opening up airways when sleeping on your side, since gravity is not pushing down on your chest and mashing your trachea and throat areas. Heartburn and GERD symptoms are notably reduced, and snoring is substantially reduced. We all know how much we love to hear our partners raspy and velociraptor sounding mouth breathing.

For heart health, doctors advise that pregnant women sleep on their left side, since your heart will pump more efficiently because of its anatomy. It also reduces pressure on certain organs, like your liver.

We are actually not perfectly symmetrical creatures, and lying and sleeping on your left side is the optimal way to allow your body to rest and rejuvenate. 

I spent 25 years as a mattress manufacturer myself, and attended seminars and trade shows where foam and coil companies, natural fiber manufacturers, and even polymer scientists would offer the best technology to help eliminate pressure points and even make you sleep cooler.

For example, most mattresses up until ten years ago, were pretty hot to sleep on. In the last five years, medical researchers and gel foam chemists discovered a recipe that actually pulls heat away from your body and rapidly cools you down.

These innovative materials were actually developed for medical applications first, then were typically incorporated into mainstream mattress design and construction.

But for pain in general, side sleeping is a double edged sword. I’ve found that it takes a certain “cake recipe” of layered materials that include latex, memory and gel foam, a pocketed coil foundation, and some breathable natural textiles on top, to really improve pressure and pain while sleeping on the “razors edge”.

Our mattress survey asks a handful of questions, and specifically asks whether a respondent suffers with back pain. Those that are seeking relief from pain typically indicated that to get relief, they fist start out on their back to fall asleep, but eventually move to their sides after their mattress actually adds to their existing pain.

My quest has always been to find the right combination of ingredients that improves or eliminates pain while you are resting or sleeping. If you are merely adding to the pain you experience while standing or working, you’re not going to get much restorative rest.

How To Evaluate Your Current Mattress: Assessing Your Pain Level

If you struggle with pain, you probably feel tired when you wake up in the morning. During the night, the average person subconsciously changes position an average of 10-12 times to reduce pressure on specific areas, typically back, hips, and shoulders. 

Even with advanced pressure relieving materials like gel memory foam, natural latex, quilted fabrics and textiles, finding just the right cake recipe can be challenging.

You should replace your existing mattress if you experience the following:

  • Pain which causes you to wake up either during the night or after a typical nights sleep
  • Pain which occurs only after you lie on your mattress
  • You have an awareness that you are tossing or turning during the night
  • You experience numbness in your extremities only when on your mattress 
  • You feel exhausted upon waking even though your perception is that you have slept during the night

Many factors have to be considered, like whether or not you sleep alone or snuggled up with a partner, your height and weight, position preferences, sleeping hot or cold, and other. Take our personalized mattress survey today and get a recommendation from a 25 year industry veteran who designed and manufactured mattresses for the industry’s leading retailers.