- Egg-crate pads are mattress pads made from durable foam materials. The pad is shaped like an egg crate, allowing air circulation and even weight distribution during sleep. The irregular surface may be difficult to clean, but the surface allows for relief on pressure points and better alignment of the spine, as long as it is being used on a firm mattress. Some people may not be able to use egg-crate pads unless the pad is made from medical-grade urethane to avoid allergic reactions.
- Magnetic mattress pads are another option for those suffering from nighttime aches and pains, but this option is not for everyone. Manufacturers of these pads claim that there are many benefits from using magnetic pads, including an increase in blood flow and a reduction in overall pain in the body. Studies conducted in Japan by Dr. Kazuo Shimodaira have shown some benefits from the use of magnets for pain. Out 431 patients with varying degrees of pain, insomnia or fatigue, 301 patients reported positive results from using a magnetic mattress pad.
Some magnetic mattress pads with strong magnetic fields should not be used by pregnant women or those with an internal medical device such as an insulin pump or pacemaker. The magnets may cause malfunction in these devices.
- Those who cannot afford a memory foam mattress may find memory foam mattress pads are an affordable alternative. Memory foam mattress pads provide an even distribution of weight over the mattress. This can improve circulation in the body. The material reacts to body temperature but may hold too much warmth, making it uncomfortable to sleep.
Memory foam pads only have a lifespan of two to five years, and new pads may have a strong odor.
- Feather pads offer similar support to egg-crate foam pads. Feather pads should be used on firm beds that need added softness to provide comfort for an aching back. Feather pads are affordable but do pose allergy problems for some. Down feathers also have a tendency to clump and flatten quickly, but this can be fixed with occasional shaking out of the pad.
- Even nonslip mattress pads can shift, so mattress pads will need to be adjusted on a regular basis to get the most benefits from them.
A mattress pad may not be the only solution for those who suffer from back pain while sleeping. Sometimes it is more beneficial to make the mattress harder, not softer. This can be done with a piece of plywood placed under the mattress.