Woman testing out 3 bed until she finds the perfect one.

The Importance of a Good Mattress and the Right Pillow

Last updated: August 2022

When you live with insomnia, it is so important to try and control the controllables. Over the past 2 years, I’ve been trying different methods to get a better night’s sleep. The best change I made was getting a new, good mattress and finding the right pillow for me. What is the importance of a mattress and a pillow for insomnia?

Good mattress

About a month after my AS (ankylosing spondylitis) symptoms started, I decided it was time to invest in a new mattress. At this point, I did not know I had AS yet. I thought maybe my pain was caused by my mattress. So, I bought a new mattress. It is called ‘The Emma Mattress.’ This mattress is part memory foam and has no springs. For me, this was the right mattress. Not too hard, not too soft. Just perfect. It is so much more comfortable than my last mattress!

Right pillows

After buying ‘The Emma Mattress’, I decided to splash out and buy ‘The Emma Pillow’. It was €180, (or about $184), quite expensive for a pillow. I thought because the new mattress suited me that the pillow would too. I was wrong. It's too hard! I use it when I am resting and sitting up in bed, but I cannot sleep with it.

I have a double bed. When I am having an AS flare, I spend a lot of time in bed. I like to make it as comfortable as possible. So, I have many pillows and cushions that make it very comfortable when I am sitting up in bed.

How I sleep comfortably

When I sleep, all these pillows get thrown to 1 side. I sleep with 2 pillows. I lay my head on 1 thin pillow. This is what I have found most comfortable for my stiff neck. I use 1 pillow between my legs as this helps with my hip pain.

I think I will purchase a pregnancy pillow. These are quite expensive, but I do think that it would make me even more comfortable!

Since my AS and insomnia began, I try to sleep at home as much as possible. Often, I used to go to my friend's house for sleepovers. I don’t do that anymore. I need my own bed. There have been times when I’ve stayed in a hotel. Sometimes, I have had amazing sleeps! But oh, there have been times where I could not sleep at all.

Goldilocks and the 3 beds

Sometimes I feel like Goldilocks, but instead of testing which porridge is best, I’ve been testing beds. A couple of months back I went away with the girls. We went to Galway; this is about 4 hours from where I live in Ireland. When we arrived at our Airbnb, I had to tell my friends that I had to choose the most comfortable bed before anyone could choose their bedroom for the weekend. I hopped into all the beds; the double bed was the comfiest. I always had to explain that I needed the double bed all to myself. My friends were very understanding about this.

Whenever I go away, I always bring my own pillows with me. If I arrive somewhere with a bed, and I do not find it comfortable, at least I have my own pillows!

Do you have a good mattress and the right pillow? Please comment below:

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