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Last Updated May 16, 2023
If you're here, then you're a side-sleeper, and you know it. The best mattress for side sleepers is the one that offers a perfect balance of softness and support. And if you're planning to buy one, you'll also want to consider certain other factors as well, like the mattress firmness, motion isolation (critical when you're sharing a bed), etc.
Well, it's not just about the mattress, the requirements for a good night's rest change from person to person. Sometimes, you might need a sleep mask or want to hear soothing music for the most peaceful night of slumber. Or maybe you require the super-soft sheets or a special supportive pillow. However, if you're on a mattress that doesn't fit your sleeping position, even the softest sheets or the comfiest pillows in the world in the darkest room with the most calming or soothing noises won't help you sleep at all.
Lucky for you, you've got plenty of mattress buying options these days. But how does a side sleeper sort through all these options to pick up the best one? Seriously, who has time to look for which company offers the best mattress for side sleepers and who has time to sleep on every latex mattress, memory foam mattress, innerspring mattress, hybrid mattress, and everything in between to find out which one works for your preferred sleeping position? Fret not! We've got your back. Here is all you need to know about the best mattress for side sleepers. Keep reading!
It's no exaggeration to say that the time, quantity, and quality of your sleep matter. In fact, studies have shown that getting a good night's sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. Of course, the type of mattress you use, the amount of noise in your bedroom, and even the temperature can all affect how well you sleep. But one of the most important factors is your sleep position.
According to doctors, sleeping on your side is the best position for overall health. Not only does side sleeping reduce snoring and symptoms of sleep apnea, but it is also regarded as the healthiest sleep position for pregnant women. The side sleeping position is also best for keeping your spine properly aligned, though there are measures you should take to ensure that your body and spine get the right kind of support when sleeping on your side. For example, you may need to use a pillow to support your neck, and you may want to place a pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned.
Here are many more health benefits you get from sleeping on your side.
Side sleeping is actually one of the best positions for relieving back pain and neck pain as it helps maintain the spines natural curve. Sleeping on your back is also a good option. However, stomach sleeping is not-so-recommended as it puts pressure on your neck and lower back.
Did you know that the brain has its own waste removal system? Yes, you read it right! This system, known as the glymphatic system, is most active during sleep. Its primary function is to remove toxins and waste products from the brain. Studies have shown that sleeping on your side significantly improves the brain's ability to cleanse itself. This is likely due to the increased amount of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that flows through the brain during this position.
CSF is essential for flushing out toxins and waste products. Apart from that, sleeping on your side helps to reduce pressure on the brain, which can also contribute to better waste removal. These findings suggest that sleeping on your side may help to prevent Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Side sleeping can be considered a lifesaver for those with snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, a serious sleep-related breathing disorder. This is mainly because sleeping on your side lets your airways open and allows for easier breathing.
When you sleep on your back, you are more likely to snore. The reason for this is that the back sleeping position allows your tongue to fall back into the throat, creating an obstruction that can interfere with breathing. People who suffer from sleep apnea are often advised by doctors to sleep on their side in order to help relieve symptoms.
Side sleeping position has also been found to improve gut health and reduce the risk of GERD.
When you sleep on your back, gravity can cause stomach acid to flow up your esophagus, leading to heartburn and indigestion. Sleeping on your stomach can also put pressure on your digestive tract and make it more difficult to digest food properly. Side sleeping, on the other hand, keeps your digestive tract in alignment and allows food to move through more easily, leading to better digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Before we dig into mattress recommendations, it's pretty much essential to talk about the ideal side sleeping posture. Of course, this posture is great, but it's something that needs a lot of fine-tuning to get perfect.
While sleeping, keep your spine straight and in level with your mattress surface. This ensures that your spine is neutral and free of spinal flexion that causes stress on muscles and joints. Keep your hands below your face and neck, parallel to the sides.
The next thing you have to do is, pay attention to your pillow height. Most side sleepers tend to use pillows that are too thin. This causes a bend in their neck and sometimes a pulling effect on the spine, causing back and shoulder problems. Keep your hips in a vertical position with the high side of your hip directly above the lower side. This ensures minimal stress on your lower back.
Did you know that side sleepers need a balance of support and soft cushioning for both the shoulders and hips for proper spinal alignment? Even though mattress firmness is a matter of personal preferences, you should also consider your body weight. In general, it's like this - the heavier you are, the firmer your mattress should be. This is due to the fact that you will likely need more support from your mattress. With the right mattress firmness, we bet you can go from "Oh, that feels so nice" to "OMG! Where have you been all these years?"
Support is the primary key to comfort. Side sleeping puts a great deal of pressure on your shoulders and hips. When these major areas lay flat or sink in, the spine's natural alignment may change - sadly, you're going to have a night of tossing and turning.
When choosing a mattress, go for the one that responds to pressure and conforms to your body shape. This will keep your spine well-aligned and cushion pressure points, which are, in fact, essential for side sleepers.
As with most anything you buy, the ones made with high-quality materials last longer.
Mattresses are no different. While high-quality materials can be comparatively expensive, they make the mattress a more valuable investment. The ones made with cheaper and low-quality materials can wear down easily and offer less support over time.
Your sleep position is the primary factor that determines your body's main pressure points and how much contouring and support you will need to sleep comfortably at night. As a side sleeper, you will probably need a thicker mattress of 12 to 14 inches thick, having a comfort layer to cushion the widest parts of your body, that is, the hips and shoulders.
Apart from the four key factors mentioned above, there are many other things that you should consider before buying the best mattress for side sleepers. This includes:
When you sleep, your body temperature drops in order to enter into a deep sleep. At its simplest, temperature regulation means that your mattress won't get too hot or too cold - both of which can make for a very uncomfortable night's sleep.
A mattress with a temperature regulation feature helps to keep your body temperature at a comfortable level so that you can have a good night's sleep.
Mattresses that are designed for hot sleepers feature special materials that help to dissipate body heat, keeping the sleeper cool and comfortable throughout the night. In addition, these mattresses often have more open airflow to promote air circulation and prevent the build-up of heat. As a result, side sleepers who choose a mattress with temperature regulation will be able to sleep soundly through the night without waking up hot and sweaty.
Some mattresses even have built-in heating and cooling systems that let you adjust the temperature to your exact preferences. If you are looking for the best cooling mattress for side sleepers, then natural latex might be a great option.
When side sleepers lie down on a mattress, most of their weight is concentrated on a small area near the hips and shoulders. This can cause the mattress to sag in the middle and put pressure on the spine. As a result, it is important to find a mattress that provides good edge support.
Edge support helps to keep the mattress firm and prevent it from sagging in the middle. A mattress with pretty great edge support also allows you to sleep close to the edge without feeling like you are going to roll off. This is especially important for side sleepers because it allows you to get the full benefit of the mattress surface.
In addition to this, a mattress with good edge support will provide a consistent sleeping surface, regardless of where you sleep on the bed. This can help to reduce tossing and turning and improve the quality of your sleep.
Some mattresses are designed to minimize motion transfer, while others do not have this feature. For example, latex and memory foam mattresses tend to absorb motion, while spring mattresses tend to Transfer motion more readily.
A mattress with good motion transfer properties will minimize the amount of movement that is transferred to the other side of the bed, ensuring that both sides remain undisturbed. This is very important for couples who share a bed, as it can help to prevent one partner from disturbing the other.
Also, when considering motion transfer, it's important to balance this feature with other factors such as comfort, support, and durability.
When purchasing a mattress, it is important to consider the trial period feature. This allows you to sleep on the mattress for a certain period of time before making a decision on whether or not to keep it. This is important because it allows you to get a feel for the mattress and see how it works for you. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to mattresses, so it is important to find one that is comfortable for you. The trial period gives you the opportunity to do just that.
Warranties are important to consider when making any kind of purchase, but they are especially important when it comes to something as expensive and long-lasting as a mattress.
Most mattresses come with a standard 10-year warranty, which covers defects in materials and workmanship. However, some companies offer longer warranties of up to 25 years. These extended warranties usually cover both defects and normal wear and tear. So if your mattress starts to sag or develops other issues within the warranty period, you can get it repaired or replaced at no cost.
The next important decision you've to make is choosing the right mattress material. Yeah, we know this can be somewhat daunting as there are more options now than ever before.
Conventional mattresses sold by retail stores are typically innerspring/coil and memory foam. Organic latex mattresses have become very popular in the last decade, and there are also hybrid mattresses that combine the benefits of different types of materials.
Latex mattresses are constructed with latex comfort layers and a latex support base. They are mostly made with natural and organic latex, manufactured with sap harvested from rubber trees. Synthetic and blended are the other two types of latex used for mattresses, but they are made with petrochemicals and are harmful to you and the environment.
A latex mattress is created using one of two methods: the Dunlop method or the Talalay method. The Dunlop method involves pouring latex into a mold and then vulcanizing or curing it with heat. The Talalay method is slightly more complex; it involves first mixing the latex with chemicals to create a frothy mixture, then pouring it into a mold and freezing it. Once the latex is frozen, it is warmed and vulcanized. While both methods have their benefits, many experts believe that the Dunlop method results in a higher-quality mattress that is 100% natural, durable, and comfortable.
Latex is a highly resilient material that contours to the body without creating pressure points. This can be a lifesaver for side sleepers, who are prone to experience pain in the hips and shoulders due to the high amount of pressure placed on those areas when lying on your side. These mattresses allow proper spinal alignment and prevent you from sinking too deeply into the mattress, thereby alleviating pressure points.
Natural latex mattresses are often hailed as being more breathable and cooler than other types of mattresses, and it's no joke. This is mainly because natural latex contains small pin holes that allow air to circulate. This circulation helps to regulate body temperature, making latex a popular choice for hot sleepers.
Mattresses made of natural latex are hypoallergenic. This means that it is resistant to dust mites, mold, and mildew, making it an ideal choice for people who suffer from allergies. In addition, latex is also very bouncy, making it a comfortable option not only for side sleepers but for all.
The lifespan of a latex mattress depends on the type of latex used. While synthetic and blended latex mattresses usually last around 6-10 years, a natural latex mattress has a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years.
Made from polyurethane, a memory foam mattress (visco-elastic foam) combine layers of memory foam with springs or support foam. These mattresses use your body heat to soften and respond to pressure and cushioning areas like the hips and shoulders, hence providing remarkable support and comfort.
Memory foam is temperature sensitive, and it responds differently depending on how much pressure, or "force," is applied. For example, if you apply pressure quickly, the foam will change shape more slowly or "reluctantly." This means that memory foam is excellent at absorbing the force of an impact, which is why it was originally used in areas like space shuttle construction. When memory foam is used as a mattress material, this quality helps the mattress cushion the body evenly and creates the slow contouring feeling as the mattress adapts to the impact of your body and re-forms around your curves.
Mattresses made of memory foam provide support where you need it most. As a result, it helps reduce the amount of pressure on your joints, helping to alleviate pain and improve circulation.
Even though memory foam mattresses are the most preferred by many, they have a lot of disadvantages. The production process of memory foam mattresses involves harmful chemicals that are unhealthy and release a nasty odor. Heat is another main issue with memory foam mattresses. Unless you live in a colder country, sleeping on these mattresses results in more body heat and sweat.
Memory foam mattresses are not waterproof. Therefore, they do not help with accidental water spillage and moisture. They require a lot of maintenance and care that even a little negligence can disrupt their lifespan.
If you're unsure about which type of mattress would be the best fit for you, we have other recommendations that you can explore....
Gel memory foam mattresses are designed to offer the benefits of traditional memory foam mattresses with an added cooling effect. There are three main ways that manufacturers create gel memory foam mattresses: by adding gel beads, swirling liquid gel, or adding gel on top of the memory foam layer.
The gel helps to dissipate heat, making it a good option for people who tend to sleep hot. Gel memory foam mattresses also retain the body-conforming and pressure-relieving properties of traditional memory foam. This makes them a good option for side sleepers, as they can help to relieve pain in the hips and shoulders.
Well, what goes into the cooling gel is still a top secret by manufacturers. Some of them use chemicals known as "phase-changing materials," which start out solid at normal room temperature and then melt due to body heat, while others use thermal gels that absorb body heat to reduce temperature. Some people say that the cooling effect of gel memory foam mattresses may only be temporary. Once the PCM (phase change material) changes from solid to liquid, the heat remains trapped in the mattress.
The cooling capabilities of a gel memory foam mattress may vary. And its efficiency is greatly dependent on the mattress structure and how hot the sleeper becomes at night. Experts in the mattress industry say that the gel memory foam in a hybrid mattress performs way better than in an all-foam mattress. This is mainly due to the fact the layer of coils in the hybrid makes the mattress more breathable. In all-foam mattresses, factors like breathability, heat retention, and even the type of mattress cover material used influence how well the gel memory foam works.
Even though gel memory foam mattresses are great in terms of providing the much-needed comfort, support, and pain relief for side sleepers, truth be told, they aren't natural, safe, and healthy. Since a gel memory foam mattress is also a type of viscoelastic foam, it may contain toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, isocyanates, etc. So, before you go consider purchasing one, think twice, do the research, and make the best decision.
Hybrid mattresses are the ones having an innerspring support system with thick comfort layers of materials like memory foam or latex. Combining elements of different types of mattress materials into a hybrid design increases the benefits of each, with a few drawbacks. A polyfoam or micro-coil transition layer sits beneath the foam comfort layers in a hybrid mattress. The base of the innerspring coils allows unrestricted airflow and support to the mattress.
Since a hybrid mattress has considerable comfort layers, it provides excellent contouring support that helps to keep the spine aligned and relieve pressure points. These mattresses are often a good choice for those shopping on a budget, but before rushing to buy one, you must also know that there are potential downsides to hybrid mattresses.
Hybrid mattresses aren't the best with motion isolation. Even though they feature a soft comfort layer, it mostly fails to cut down motion transfer. Beware of the foams used in these mattresses, as some of them off-gas or sag due to lower-quality materials. Also, they are heavier and cumbersome when compared to memory foam and latex-type mattresses.
Innerspring has been quite a popular mattress in the USA for ages. You might have probably come across this bouncy invention while watching cartoons or in movies, at least.
Made of metal coils in their support cores and a relatively thin comfort layer of merely 2 inches, innerspring mattresses are another mattress option for side sleepers. Oh wait, we still haven't said it's the best.
Despite being one of the oldest types of mattresses out there, innerspring mattresses have made a lot of recent improvements like introducing high-tech materials, better designs, and limited motion transfer. There are many types of innerspring mattresses available these days with different types of coils, say - Bonnet Coils, Offset Coils, Continuous Wire Coils, Pocketed Coils, etc. Although the overall mattress performance is pretty much similar, you can see a slight change in the feel and price tag.
When compared to all foam mattresses, the innerspring ones are a lot cheaper. And since there is space between the springs, you can expect good breathability, which means an innerspring mattress can help in keeping you cooler at night.
Sadly, even with all the incredible benefits, innerspring mattresses aren't really the best option for side sleepers. This is mainly because the coils in this type of bed fail to offer the right support and conform to the shape of the body, leading to a painful and uncomfortable night's sleep.
Another issue is that innerspring mattresses can transfer motion, meaning that if your partner moves around in bed, you may also feel it. This can be disruptive to your sleep and make it difficult to get a good night's rest.
For these reasons, we highly recommend side sleepers consider an alternative type, such as an all-foam mattress.
Since side sleepers place a considerable amount of pressure on their hips and shoulders, choosing the right firmness level is one of the biggest factors in finding the best mattress for them. Mattresses that are too firm will put extra pressure on the hips and shoulders, while mattresses that are too soft fail to offer the right amount of support to the spine, leading to alignment issues.
The perfect firmness level for a side sleeper will vary depending on your body weight and personal preferences.
Side sleepers with hip pain will probably need a mattress with a medium soft to medium firm feel, depending on the body weight.
Side sleepers with back pain will probably need a mattress with medium to medium firm feels, depending on the body weight.
Side sleepers with shoulder pain will probably need a mattress with a medium soft to medium firm feel, depending on the body weight.
Generally speaking, lightweight side sleepers do best on a softer mattress, while heavier side sleepers need a firmer mattress to prevent sinking and pain in their hips and shoulders.
When people think of the perfect mattress, they usually envision a cloud-like surface on which to rest their head at night. However, for side sleepers, the ideal mattress is quite different. Side sleepers need a mattress that is firm enough to support their hips and shoulders but soft enough to contour to their curves. This balance can be difficult to find, but it is essential for preventing pain and ensuring a good night's sleep.
Side sleepers need the best mattresses because they are more likely to experience pain in their shoulders and hips. Sleeping on your side puts pressure on these points, and over time, this can lead to pain and discomfort. The best mattress for side sleepers will help to distribute your weight evenly, relieving pressure on these areas.
In addition, a good mattress with the right amount of firmness and thickness will provide support for your spine, helping to keep your back in alignment. This is especially important for side sleepers, as they are more likely to experience back pain.
Finally, choosing the best mattress will provide side sleepers with the comfort they need to get an uninterrupted night's sleep. It will also last for years, so they won't have to keep shelling out money for a new one every few years.
A good mattress is a long-term investment and is absolutely essential for feeling your best at night. If you don't get good sleep, at least 8 hours a day, it can seriously mess with your quality of life. A comfortable mattress with proper support, right firmness, and contouring abilities can go a long way towards improving sleep quality, especially if you are a side sleeper.
As stated in the above sections, side sleepers can opt for different mattress types as long as they provide the right cushioning and support. But this doesn't mean that mattresses that feature support, comfort, pressure point relief, and contours to the shape of your body can actually be healthy for your body. Nowadays, most mattresses that claim to be healthy are made with a mix of polyurethane foam, conventional cotton, and synthetic latex, all of which pose their own special kind of trouble. And that's why at Turmerry, we recommend you go for a 100% organic mattress like those made with latex.
Mattresses made of organic latex are combined with natural spring technology to offer great support and enough cushion to respond to your body shape as well as pressure points.
When you're lying on your side, chances are you will bury your head into the bed in between your sleep. This calls for a mattress that doesn't emit or off-gas toxic chemicals and doesn't shelter bugs, mites, and other microorganisms. Since a natural and organic latex mattress is made from the sap of natural rubber, it is adequately firm and resistant to all kinds of microorganisms.
Organic latex mattresses are a perfect choice for side sleepers. Sleeping on your side puts so much pressure on the mattress. This pressure is, in fact, tremendous when compared to sleeping on the back or stomach. If you are sleeping on an ordinary mattress, say memory foam or hybrid, the material is not likely to uphold the pressure, and chances are there that it will sag along the lines. If you are using an organic latex mattress, you don't have to worry; it is not going to sag any time soon.
No matter what type of mattress you choose, there are a few key accessories that can make side sleeping even more comfortable. These are pillows and mattress toppers.
A good pillow ensures that your head and neck stay well aligned, while mattress toppers can bring a major difference in the comfort system and feel of your bed. Below we'll provide a quick breakdown of what to consider when it comes to choosing the right pillows and mattress toppers for side sleepers so you'll know how to upgrade your bed's overall comfort.
When you sleep on your side, it's important to have a good pillow that will support your head and neck. A pillow that is too soft will cause your head to sink too far into the mattress, which can lead to pain. A pillow that is too hard will not provide enough support and can also cause pain.
Usually, a medium or high loft pillow is considered the best option for side sleepers as it will provide enough support while also filling the space between the shoulders and the mattress. Apart from the loft, you should also take into consideration the type of pillow material. Make sure that you go for the one that is durable and made of high-quality breathable material.
In addition to a good head pillow, side sleepers may also benefit from using a knee pillow. This will help to ease any aches and pains by keeping the legs slightly elevated and drawing them up toward the chest. By using a pillow in this way, it will also help to keep the spine properly aligned and provide ample pressure relief.
A mattress topper is an additional layer of cushioning that can be placed on top of a mattress to improve its level of comfort, support, and feel. Each sleeping position puts different pressure points on the body, and as a result, different types of mattress toppers can provide the best support. Side sleepers need a mattress topper that will provide ample cushioning while still supporting the natural curve of the spine. They are usually made with latex, memory foam, polyfoam, wool, feather, or other common comfort layer materials.
A mattress topper that is too firm can cause aches and pains, while one that is too soft may not provide enough support. The best mattress topper firmness level for side sleepers is one that is medium-firm. This will provide the needed cushioning without sinking in too much or being too hard.
When buying a mattress topper for side sleepers, you should also consider the thickness. Make sure to look for a topper that is at least 3 inches thick. This will provide support for your hips and shoulders and help keep your spine in alignment. A thicker topper may also be necessary if you are on the heavier side.
However, before you think of buying a mattress topper, know that it is not a replacement for a mattress. If your mattress is already sagging or has other signs of wear and tear, a mattress topper will not fix the problem. Instead, it's important to evaluate the condition of your existing mattress and decide whether you need an all-new bed. If your mattress is still in good condition, however, a mattress topper can enhance its comfort.
Here are some tips and tricks from our side to make the side sleeping position more comfortable:
There isn't a single right answer for how you should position your arms when sleeping on your side. It's entirely a matter of personal preference. Some people like to keep both arms under the pillow throughout the night, while others prefer to have one arm under and one arm over. And then there are those who prefer to keep both arms away from their body.
However, there is one general rule of thumb that you should follow regardless of your preferred arm-positioning: make sure that your arms aren't pressing against your body for extended periods of time. This can lead to issues like pins and needles or severe pain in both arms. So, if you're going to sleep on your side, take care to position your arms in a way that won't negatively impact your ability to rest.
When it comes to providing cushioning and support, a memory foam mattress is a considerable choice for side sleepers. But, if you are an eco-conscious and health-conscious individual, a memory foam mattress might not be the one for you. Memory foam contains toxic chemicals and VOCs that may affect your health in a negative way. So, think twice before you buy one.
If you are a side sleeper, then a medium firm mattress might be a pretty good option for you. This will provide the right amount of support for your hips and shoulders while still allowing your body to sink in enough to be comfortable. A mattress that is too firm will put extra pressure on your major body parts, while a mattress that is too soft doesn't offer the right amount of support to the spine, leading to back pain and alignment issues.
An organic and natural latex mattress can be considered the best option for side sleepers who sleep hot. This type of mattress is great for providing the right level of comfort and support as well as offering great breathability, all of which are necessary for hot sleepers.
Related blog posts:
1. The Best Mattress In A Box - 2023 Mattress Shopping guide By Turmerry
2. Your Guide to Finding the Perfect Pillowcase Sizes
3. Best Mattress For Kids 2023
4. How To Choose The Right Mattress Topper?
5. Choosing The Right Pillow For A Good Night’s Sleep
Side sleepers have unique needs when it comes to finding the perfect mattress. We've highlighted some of our favorite mattresses for side sleepers, but we want to know about your experiences. Let us know in the comments which mattress worked best for you and why. And if you are still on the hunt for the perfect mattress, be sure to check out our other guides for more tips and advice.
Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.