Choosing the Best Mattress For Side, Back, and Stomach Sleepers
Everybody has a preferred way of sleeping. Ask a family member or a spouse how you sleep and they’ll surely be able to tell you if you’re a side, back, or stomach sleeper. Some are even combination sleepers.
If you’re choosing the best mattress for your next purchase, don’t just consider the price and the brand. Also take into account your preferred sleep position.
If you prefer to sleep on your side, you’re not alone. Over 41% of adults admit that this is their preferred sleeping position. Additionally, most side sleepers curl into a fetal position with their arms and legs gently curled toward their body and their spine slightly curved forward. Sleeping on your side with your arms and legs straight is also another popular way to sleep on your side.
Unfortunately, this position can put a lot of strain on your upper back, hips, shoulders, and neck if you don’t have the right support. It can also restrict your breathing while you sleep. Again, you can help to alleviate these common problems by investing in a high-quality mattress that is suited to support side sleepers.
Side Sleeper Mattresses
When you sleep on your side, your weight is going to drill your hip and your shoulder into the mattress. This can create uncomfortable pressure points that can make you feel stiff and sore when you wake up. Ideally, your mattress should form pockets around these areas to help distribute your weight more evenly.
You need a thicker and softer layer to achieve this, and you should look for a mattress with at least a one to three-inch-thick comfort layer. This will take the pressure off of your shoulder and hip, and it’ll also help to keep your spine straight and in alignment. In turn, you won’t toss and turn all night trying to get comfortable.
Around 18% of the population likes to sleep on their backs either sprawled out or with their arms and legs straight down to their sides. Most people who find themselves falling asleep in this position may claim that they do it for the medical benefits because doctors have been recommending this position for years.
While sleeping in this position doesn’t create the sharp pressure points that you can get with side sleeping, you’re more prone to snoring because your tongue falls to the back of your mouth. Additionally, having support for your lower back is critical because this position can put a lot of strain on this area of your body.
Back Sleeper Mattress
When you sleep on your back, you get a gap between your lower back and the mattress. A firm mattress will usually contour to your body, and this is why many people who prefer this position like a firm mattress. You want a comfort layer on your mattress, but thinner is usually a better choice.
Usually, back sleepers like a comfort layer that is around two inches thick and no thicker. This thinner comfort layer will help contour to your back’s natural curves and provide adequate support. A mattress that is too firm will press uncomfortably against your back, and a mattress that is too soft will cause your spine to curve as you sleep.
Roughly 16% of the population sleeps on their stomachs, and this is the position that most physicians recommend that you avoid. The only benefit to sleeping in this position is that you may see your snoring decrease. Whether you sleep sprawled out or with your arms curved underneath you, support is key.
Stomach sleeping won’t give you the pressure points that you get with other positions. However, this position can strain your neck, and many people who sleep on their stomachs report lower back pain because their spine curves forward. It’s more challenging to find a mattress to suit a stomach sleeper.
Stomach Sleeper Mattress
As we mentioned, when you sleep on your stomach, your spine is slightly curved, and your neck is usually bent one direction or the other to allow you to breathe. This puts added pressure on these areas of your body. This is especially true if you don’t have the support from your mattress that you need.
Stomach sleepers go both ways in terms of support. Some like a firm mattress that will keep their back and legs straight as they sleep. Others like a four to five-inch comfort layer that will envelop them when they lay down. However, you ideally want a firm and thin comfort layer. Aim for an inch thick comfort layer with a medium firm mattress.
The last category of sleeper is the combination sleeper. You don’t really have one preferred way of sleeping, and this presents an entirely new challenge when it comes to your mattress. A lot of the population are actually combination sleepers who will switch positions from night to night.
Because you sleep in a variety of positions, finding a mattress to suit all of them seems impossible. You want to start by finding the position where you sleep the deepest and wake up feeling the most refreshed. This will give you a starting point and a general idea on which type of mattress will suit you the best.
Combination Sleeper Mattress
You don’t want to go too far in one direction to cater to one specific sleeping position. So, if you consider that a side sleeper needs around a three-inch comfort layer and a stomach sleeper needs around a one-inch comfort layer, meet in the middle and look for a mattress with a two-inch comfort layer.
The mattress in a box is an excellent choice for combination sleepers or sleepers of any type because it gives you enough support without being too firm. You can also customize it to suit your preferred sleeping style if you favor one sleeping position over the other.
Before you go out and purchase a new mattress, think of how you sleep the deepest. Your sleep position will play a big roll in the mattress that you pick out. Your goal is to start choosing the best mattress that offers enough support so that you wake up feeling refreshed. Sweet dreams!