Some people think magnetic mattress pads are a scam foisted on gullible people. But people who have experienced relief and a good night’s sleep on a magnetic mattress pad are convinced they are a great sleep and pain-relief solution.
Magnetic mattress pads have dozens of little magnets embedded between their two layers. When laid atop a mattress, magnet mattress pads provide a magnetic field that extends a foot or more above the mattress’ surface. This magnetic field provides subtle health benefits, according to proponents of magnetic mattress pads.
Properly aligned magnetic fields “may” provide a myriad of health benefits, according to magnetic mattress pad sellers such as MagnaPak, Inc. This company’s Web site claims that “magnetic therapy” is believed to:
- Relieve Pain
- Reduce inflammation
- Restore natural energy
- Increase blood circulation
- Prevent or reverse infection
- Promote metabolic processing of toxins
- Support the healing process
Exactly how magnets produce such effects is still unclear. Researchers identify three types of magnet field, each with different alleged properties:
- North Pole: has a sedating, healing effect
- South Pole: has a stimulating, activating effect
- Bipolar (exposure to North and South Pole fields simultaneously): increases blood circulation and controls pain on conditions on or near the skin’s surface
Numerous studies of arthritis sufferers, diabetics, trauma victims, and other patients claim positive results in 75 to 90 percent of cases. It should be noted, however, that perception of pain and other sensations is highly subjective and subject to the placebo effect. On the other hand, one might argue that pain reduced subjectively is no different from pain reduced objectively.
Magnetic mattress pads generally aim to envelope the sleeper in a pure North Pole field to promote restful, healing sleep. Magnetic mattress pads therefore arrange magnets so that their North Poles point up towards the sleeper. The magnets used in magnetic mattress pads are much more powerful than refrigerator magnetic holders. They are often made of rare earth metals such as samarium cobalt or neodymium, or they may be ceramic magnets composed of clay and iron. The rare earth magnets are generally the most powerful and the most expensive. Most magnetic mattress pads use ceramic magnets.
Caution is essential for some patients. Magnetic fields can disrupt the operation of certain medical devices implanted in the body, such as insulin pumps, heart pacemakers, etc. People with such devices should avoid magnetic mattress pads. Credit cards, laptop computers, and other electronic or magnetic devices may also be disrupted or permanently damaged by close contact with magnetic mattress pads.
A queen-sized magnetic mattress pad may contain up to 1,000 magnets. The more magnets, the better and more expensive the magnetic mattress pad will be. The magnets are generally sewn firmly into place between two layers of cloth, and may be encased in additional layers of fiber or foam for comfort’s sake.
Magnetic mattress pads may or may not relieve your chronic pain. Your results may depend on your belief in magnetic therapy as much as the nature and causes of your pain. Before purchasing a magnetic mattress pad, learn all you can about magnetic therapy in general and its sleep benefits in particular. Then, if you decide to purchase a magnetic mattress pad, make sure the seller offers a money-back guarantee of at least thirty days; MagnaPak, mentioned above, provides a six-month return guarantee.