Did you know that about 70% of adults are side sleepers? So sleeping on your side is the most common sleeping position. But what are the best mattresses for side sleepers? Are you wondering if yours is good enough for it? Side sleepers have specific needs regarding their mattresses. If you get the right one, it will help your joint issues and spinal alignment so that you can avoid back pain. In this article, we will not only go through the different mattress types that are suitable for side sleepers, but we will also answer some frequently asked questions about side sleeping.
How can you choose the best mattress for side sleeping? Actually, there are a lot of things to consider. One of them is the firmness of your mattress. But what mattress firmness is best for side sleepers?
If you tend to sleep on your side, usually you have to look for a medium or soft mattress. Side sleepers put more pressure on their shoulders and hips when they lie on a firm mattress. Comfort level changes individually but if you sleep on your side and your mattress is too firm, probably it will not be too comfortable for your body.
Soft mattresses are usually made of cushioning materials with sections of memory foam in the top layers. They tend to be soft and pressure-relieving. However, they are not the best solution when it comes to supporting.
People who are strictly side sleepers prefer soft mattresses in general. The most important point here is pressure relief. A softer mattress will give comfort to the pressure points: the shoulders, hips, and lower back. What are pressure points? Pressure points are parts of your body that are sensitive to pressure. For side sleepers, the most important pressure points are ears, shoulders, lower back, and hips.
However, if you combine side sleeping and back sleeping, medium-firm mattresses can be great. It is the ideal solution between pressure relief and support.
So, a soft mattress relieves pressure. But they lack support. As a result, a softer type of mattress is not the ideal solution for heavy side sleepers. Heavier sleepers usually need more support – this is something that a soft mattress cannot provide. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your overall health is badly affected. So choosing the right mattress for heavy side sleepers is extremely important.
In general, if you put more weight on your mattress, it will also sink more. It can also be difficult to move around and switch positions. Therefore, the best mattress for heavy side sleepers is medium-firm or in some cases firm mattresses.
When shopping for a mattress, heavier people often find it daunting and difficult to find the right one. Mainly if they are side sleepers with specific needs. If you are a heavy sleeper, in general, you need to consider:
Heavy side sleepers need to get sufficient pressure relief from the mattress. As a result, it will be easier for them to sleep on a thicker mattress. Since the additional weight increases the pressure on the mattress, if your mattress is not thick enough, probably it will not give you the adequate support your body needs.
Plus-size side sleepers also have to pay special attention to the construction and durability of the mattress. If you are a heavy, strong person, you will need a strong and durable foam. It’s just natural that heavy weight will result in quicker sagging and additional wear and tear. In this case, it’s worth checking latex mattresses if you are about to purchase a new foam.
Remember that your mattress should keep you cool to have a relaxing, good night’s sleep. More often than not, body weight will affect temperature, so heavy sleepers tend to sleep hotter. If you’re on the heavier side, you will need a mattress that allows airflow so it will cool the layers. It will prevent your body temperature from getting too hot.
Innerspring, memory foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses are popular among side sleepers because they provide adequate support and spinal alignment.
Innerspring mattresses have very good edge support. If you are a side sleeper and tend to sleep closer to the edge of your bed, you will feel support even there. At the same time, it will not start sagging along the edges later.
Memory foams are very popular among side sleepers. The best mattress for side sleepers usually contains at least one layer of memory foam. The texture is contouring around the hips and shoulders, and ensures pressure relief with the shoulders and hips.
A hybrid mattress combines different elements: usually it has an innerspring support system. Its comfort layers are made of memory foam or latex. With this type of mattress, you can experience pressure point relief and your spine will be aligned. Hybrid mattresses do not retain heat so you will not feel too warm while asleep.
Latex mattresses are a great solution for people who tend to change their sleeping positions. Latex doesn’t sink too much, and it is usually recommended for stomach and back sleepers. If you pick a softer latex bed, it can be comfortable for side sleeping as well. With latex mattresses, you can avoid overheating at night.
Best mattress for side sleepers with back pain
Another important consideration is back pain.
Deciding which is the best mattress for side sleepers with back pain mainly depends on the location of your pain. The main point is to keep your spine in a neutral position and avoid pressure accumulating in one area of your body.
If you feel that your neck or back is stiff after waking up, you may want to opt for a firmer mattress. It will not allow your spine to drop, and you will be able to avoid pain in your neck and back area. However, it mostly depends on your individual needs so you may want to consult with your doctor regarding your back pain and choosing the right mattress.
Best mattress for side sleepers with lower back pain (h2)
Sleeping is a very important process – it is the time when our mind and body recover. Lower back pain is common among sleepers. Those who suffer from lower (or upper) back pain are negatively affected if their mattress isn’t the right type. If your mattress doesn’t support your body properly, you will wake up with different aches every morning. Whether your back pain is a result of an injury or an ill-suited sleeping position, you will need a mattress with support that helps relieve your pressure points.
This means that side sleepers need a mattress that will allow their shoulders and hips to sink but will support the middle part.
What do you need exactly? If you are a side sleeper with lower back pain, you will need proper alignment and support. Healthy spinal alignment is necessary for side sleepers with back pain. Even if you’re a side sleeper, it is possible to support your spine, shoulders, and hips appropriately.
If you are a side sleeper with back pain, you will need a mattress that helps you with neutral spine alignment. In its natural position, your spine is straight. So as a side sleeper you need to find a mattress that will allow your hips and shoulders to sink to reach the ideal neutral spinal position.
Back pain can not only be caused by accidents. Having an inappropriate mattress may put pressure on your spine. Just like when you fall or have a minor car accident, your spine needs to recover from that trauma. If you have the right mattress as a side sleeper, you can start healing this trauma.
And now let's answer some common questions about side sleeping.
1. What is the best mattress for side sleepers?
It is mainly about your specific sleep preferences. If you prefer a little bit more bounce to the mattress, you may want to look at an innerspring or hybrid mattress. If you like to sink deep into the bed, you're going to want something with memory foam or thicker foam layers. If you're looking for more natural materials, latex mattresses are very good options.
2. How firm should a mattress be for side sleepers?
Generally, a softer feel is recommended. You are going to be lying on your side and you don't want to feel jammed at the shoulders and hips. Those are the two main problem areas for side sleepers with firmer mattresses. It is important to make sure you have proper support for spinal alignment. Thus, you will probably want to find a softer mattress type. However, remember that you need to take into consideration other factors as well. If you suffer from back pain, shoulder pain, or joint pain, consult with your doctor first.
Also, choose your mattress firmness according to your weight. Heavy sleepers tend to find firmer mattresses more comfortable.
3. What mattress is best for side sleepers with shoulder pain?
If side sleepers experience shoulder pain, their mattress probably does not provide enough pressure relief. The main point here is to prevent the weight from staying at the shoulder. Memory foam and hybrid mattresses would probably work for side sleepers with shoulder pain.
4. What mattresses are best for side sleepers with hip pain?
Having a pillow between your legs while you are sleeping on your side can release pressure in your hip area. When it comes to mattresses, hybrid foams tend to provide the necessary alignment as well.
All in all, people who are side sleepers tend to choose softer mattresses that provide ease at their shoulder and hip area. Also, it is very important that your spine alignment is supported comfortably. However, the best mattress for side sleepers depends on many individual factors, including your weight. If you prefer firmer mattresses, a latex mattress can be a good choice for you as well.
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**Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace any advice from your doctor or other medical professionals.