Your Sleep Matters!

Best Mattresses For Seniors


Nancy K.

Last updated: 25.01.2021 4 Min.

Our sleep requirements change throughout our lives and it’s important to choose a mattress accordingly.

From a certain age onwards, for example, we’ll begin to struggle with joint pain.

This makes it necessary to choose a mattress that can adequately relieve tension and pressure and help us rest properly.

Of course, everyone will have individual needs and requirements but, generally, seniors will need to consider their choice of mattress more carefully.

We’ll go through the best mattresses for seniors in this article.

best mattress for seniors
  • Overview
  • Characteristics of sleep in seniors
  • Criteria
  • Best mattress for seniors
  • Couples
  • Conclusion

Characteristics of sleep in seniors

Sleep can be broken down into different stages or phases. To begin with, there is the falling asleep stage, which places us into an in-between where we’re not quite awake and not quite asleep. Gradually, we’ll plunge into light sleep and then into deep sleep. Thereafter, we go into a phase called REM sleep, where brain activity is very intense. This is also the phase where we experience dreams. This cycle is repeated 4 to 6 times throughout the night.

Many seniors struggle with sleep. They either fail to reach REM sleep or wake up more frequently throughout the night. This may be due to a disruption of the sleep cycle or due to pain that’s felt at night, likely to be caused by joint problems or aches and pains.

Seniors also often sleep for fewer hours every night. With a shortened night rest, they’re likely to have to compensate for this lack of sleep with one or more shorter naps during the day.

The ideal mattress for seniors, then, will need to help relieve tension and pressure to ease aches and pains and it will also need to be suitable for napping throughout the day.

Criteria for choosing a good mattress for seniors

You’ll need to take special consideration when selecting a good mattress for seniors. The primary objective is to improve the quality of sleep by limiting night-time awakenings. To do this, you need to focus on comfort, firmness, size, and mattress materials. The overall aim is to find a mattress that relieves aches and pains and can provide sufficient support and comfort for a good night’s sleep.

Of course, we highly recommend choosing a high-quality mattress as these offer the best support for the longest possible time. You wouldn’t want to have to change your mattress frequently, so investing in a quality mattress that lasts 10 - 15 years is definitely worth it.

Comfort is a matter of preference and largely affected by mattress materials. Some will opt for a memory foam mattress, which hugs the body, but others won’t enjoy this support and prefer the sensation of a spring or a latex mattress. Latex and memory foam are particularly good in terms of adapting to the body but pocket-sprung mattresses are more advisable for people of a larger stature as they are more resistant.

The best brands on the market make sure that their products are comfortable, breathable, and hypoallergenic, ensuring that they regulate body temperature and provide for a neutral and comfortable sleeping environment. You’re more likely to wake up at night if you’re feeling too hot or too cold, so finding a temperature neutral mattress is vitally important for seniors.

The desired level of firmness will largely depend on the build of the sleeper. If you’re slender or light-weight, a softer mattress may be adequate but if you’re of a larger build, then you might require a firmer mattress. Overall though, you’d need a mattress that’s soft enough to be comfortable but one that’s stable and supportive enough to keep the spine in a healthy alignment and relieve pressure points, thereby eliminating unnecessary aches and pains.

A larger mattress will provide more space to sleep and thus be more comfortable but mattress size really is a matter of preference. You can sleep just as well on a high-quality 90 x 190 cm single mattress as you can on a 200 x 200 cm emperor bed. That said, see our note on couples and bed choices below.

Many seniors may also want to invest in an electric box spring or medical bed, which can be adjusted for lying down and sitting up for sleeping, naps, reading, or watching television.

Best mattress for seniors

While there are dozens of high-quality mattresses available that will be good for seniors, the below is the Sleep Hero favourite.

Emma Original

The Emma Original is a foam mattress combining high-quality memory foam with cold foam. It is an award-winning mattress by the Emma brand.

This mattress is ideal for the elderly looking for more comfort and support as the mattress adapts so well to the contours of the body, thereby reducing pressure points.

It is a relatively soft mattress that’s enormously comfortable and will help your body relax sufficiently but it still offers the necessary support and stability to relieve pressure points and keep the spine in a healthy alignment.


emma original mattress firmness

emma original mattress layers

Choosing a mattress for senior couples

Senior couples need to choose a mattress to meet their needs just like any other couple would. Even though the above-listed criteria in terms of comfort, firmness, and support still apply, senior couples also need to ensure that they have a mattress with low or no motion transfer.

A mattress with low motion transfer does not carry movement across the mattress, meaning that you won’t be disturbed by your partner’s movements at night. This ensures that both you and your partner get a good night’s sleep.

Couples will also need a mattress with more bounce and that supports movements well, making it suitable for sexual activity.

Finally, couples will need to decide if they prefer a larger size mattress or if they’d prefer to join two single mattresses. Much discomfort is caused by not having enough space to sleep, which can easily be solved by choosing a mattress that’s large enough. But seniors will often benefit from choosing individual mattresses to suit their specific needs. These can then be joined through a bed bridge to form one large bed.


Although firmness and the composition of a mattress is a matter of preference, we’ll always advise seniors to prioritise comfort and quality to improve their sleep.

We recommend that seniors invest in a large-size mattress or two individual mattresses that can be joined together to ensure that both partners have adequate space and that all individual needs and preferences are met.

Nancy K.

Yoga-loving nature fan (when the sun shines) with a knack for all things health & wellness. Strangely obsessed with tacos. 

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