Who hasn’t awakened in the morning with a crick in their neck or a tweak in the back and blamed it on a shoddy mattress? It’s not an urban myth; your mattress can really be the cause of your back pain. One night on a cheap hotel mattress or rickety sofa bed at a friend’s house can ruin the following day. But, if it’s your own mattress doing the damage, pain can become chronic. There’s no way around it either, except to get a new mattress, and with new technologies supporting healthy sleeping conditions, now is a great time to update your nest.

The National Institutes of Health estimate 80% of adults suffer back pain, and while this stems from an infinite amount of sources, bad sleeping conditions irrefutably play a part. If you experience discomfort upon waking, the culprit could very well be from your mattress. Other types of back pain, like sciatica, are not caused by a subpar mattress but can often be exacerbated by it. Pain other than in your back can be caused by inferior bedding, such as pressure on your joints and inhibiting good circulation. The key is to find the best mattress for your body type and regular sleeping position.

When selecting the best mattress, your natural sleeping position needs to be in consideration. Back and stomach sleepers necessitate firmer, more supportive compositions that prevent the body from slumping into the mattress and maintaining good, linear spinal alignment. These are also recommended for heavier-set bodies, whose weight is better supported by a more substantial composition. Innerspring and hybrid construction are usually recommended for these categories of sleepers. Those who sleep on their side, on the other hand, need materials that will conform to the additional contours presented by shoulders, hips, and elbows. A more cushioned material, like memory foam or latex, is a better option for these types.

Pillows and pillowtop covers can also soften your cradle, which is important for people that suffer from pressure point issues more than alignment ones. Think about sitting on a hard bench for too long, and your rear end starts to fall asleep. You shift your position, right? When you’re sleeping, your body doesn’t register that slowly built-up ache, so the pressure point incurs a lack of circulation and subsequent pain. Extreme versions of this type of condition can even result in bedsores. Using pillows strategically to support your curves and contours (a pillow between your knees can work wonders!) can help relieve the stress put on any given point, in conjunction with a supportive mattress, of course.

Often, people forget that mattresses age. Some think of it more like a one-and-done purchase for a lifetime. This is, unfortunately, not the case. Mattresses, even top-quality ones, should be replaced after seven to ten years. You can prolong its life by rotating it or your position atop it, but still, after a decade, you should start looking into replacements. It’s especially true if you notice your mattress sagging or drooping, never rebounding back to its original shape. As discussed above, you’re experiencing soreness or discomfort as a result of a broken-down bed. Core strength is as important in a mattress as it is in humans. Make sure yours gives you the comfort and support you need, not only for a good night’s sleep but also for a comfortable, pain-free day to follow.