A vast amount of people sleep on their side, but finding the best mattress for a side sleeper can be daunting. The side of the body has more curves than the back or front. Side sleepers need mattresses to accommodate the bends but not be too soft to strain the spine. So what’s the best mattress for a side sleeper? Well, everything depends on firmness and support.
Medium Soft to Medium Firm
Side sleepers need mattresses that cradle their shoulders, knees, and hips to relieve tension. The best mattress firmness for a side sleeper falls between medium soft and medium firm. Firmness refers to how the mattress feels or how it conforms to the shape of the body when sleeping. What feels soft for one person may feel too firm for another. However, the medium-soft to medium-firm range offers the best protection for the shoulder, knees, and hips.
The medium softness allows the curves to dip slightly while the firmness protects the spine from straining. Standard mattresses come in varying firmness from very soft to very firm, with medium falling between the two extremes. Manufacturers indicate firmness through a scale where 1 refers to very soft mattresses, and 10 denotes very firm options. Side sleepers can use the firmness scale as a starting point but need to feel each bed to find the right firmness.
Best Mattress Support for Side Sleepers
Mattress support describes how well the mattress holds the spine and relieves pressure. Bodyweight is a crucial factor when determining the best support. People with medical conditions, such as back pain or disk hernia, may also need advanced support. Heavier side sleepers will need slightly firmer mattresses for better spine support. The spine should remain straight and neutral throughout the sleeping duration to prevent back pain, tension, and injury.
Side sleepers with medical conditions should consult a qualified chiropractor to determine the best options. Some mattresses feature extra support to improve medical conditions like neck pain, back pain, and sports injuries. Side sleepers can also leverage slated foundations/bases. Popular bases include memory foam, latex foam, innerspring, and hybrid foundations. The bases hold the mattress in the correct position and offer extra support.
Best Mattress Qualities for Side Sleepers
Side sleepers should choose mattresses with suitable qualities to support the extra pressure created by the hips and shoulders. The type of mattress will affect various aspects, including temperature regulation, pressure point relief, and motion isolation. Each person has unique priorities and preferences, so no specific type suits everyone. Below are the top qualities side sleepers should look for to find the best mattresses for their needs:
Medium Contouring: How the mattress conforms to the shape of the body or how it responds to pressure determines how well it contours. Side sleepers need contouring mattresses that keep the spine aligned while providing enough cushioning for the pressure points.
Material Quality: The best mattresses last longer and don’t lose their support. Choosing top-quality materials can ensure reliable performance over the years, while cheap quality options may break down faster. Side sleepers should stick to premium quality choices.
Pressure Relief: Pressure relief is a combination of firmness and contouring. Sleepers with a lighter frame should choose medium-firm mattresses with deep contouring. Heavier sleepers can use firmer mattresses with enough padding for the shoulders and hips.
Best Mattress Type for Side Sleepers
A hybrid or all-foam mattress is the ideal choice for side sleepers. Such options offer enough support to the shoulder, back, hips, and knees, the primary pressure points among side sleepers. High-performing all-foam and hybrid mattresses are also optimized to prevent sores, pressure, pain, and aches.
Innerspring mattresses may offer support but often lack adequate contouring for side sleepers. Memory foam mattresses perform the best for side sleepers, but some people won’t like their cradling sensation. Side sleepers can also choose latex, polyfoams, and pocketed coil if they need better support.
Chiropractor’s Best Mattress for Side Sleeper
People have varying needs, so no single mattress type, brand, or firmness works for every side sleeper. Chiropractors recommend finding the best mattress for side sleepers by testing out various types before purchasing. Lying on the bed in the position you sleep in for a couple of minutes can help determine whether it provides enough support and contouring.
Sleepers seeking to remedy specific conditions should consult with their chiropractor to identify the best firmness, support, bases, and accessories.