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Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.
The Best Mattress For Sleeping On Your Back
The best mattress for back-sleepers is a pocket sprung, open coil, or even orthopaedic mattress. These mattresses provide the best care and support for natural spinal alignment. You’ll also need extra support for the heaviest areas of your body – typically your midsection.
Below, we explain why these three choices are the best type of mattresses for back-sleepers:
- Pocket sprung
- Open coil
- A pocket sprung mattress provides superior support. Many pocket sprung mattresses – like Silentnight Mirapocket mattresses – are zoned. This means you’ll get enhanced support for the heaviest areas and softer support elsewhere.
- Also known as a standard sprung mattress, open coil mattresses evenly distribute your weight for great all-round support and pressure relief. Look out for zoned open coil mattresses, such as our range of Silentnight Miracoil mattresses.
- An orthopaedic mattress is a great choice if you’re looking for expert back care. This type of mattress can reduce strain on your spine, improve your posture and prevent you from feeling stiff and sore when you wake up.
Pros And Cons Of The Winkbed
|Choose from medium-soft, up to extra-firm.||More expensive|
|The firm option provides excellent support to maintain the natural “S” curvature of the spine.||Inferior motion isolation compared to the WinkBeds GravityLux mattress.|
|Excelling cooling tech for hot sleepers|
The Nectar is our top pick for side sleepers on a budget looking for a classic memory foam bed that doesnt compromise quality for cost. Featuring a soft quilted cover and gel memory foam layers built for comfort, the Nectar boasts high-pressure relief and motion isolationall for under $1,000. The Nectars memory foam construction allows it to be very responsive, bouncing back with support as you move around.
The Nectar mattress has a 365 sleep trial period that allows you to test out this bed in the comfort of your own home for an entire year before you commit to your purchase. To add to its value, the Nectar mattress comes with a forever limited-lifetime warranty that guarantees that youll be getting your moneys worth for your purchase with many years of great sleep.
- Material: Gel memory foam
- Delivery: Delivered in 2-5 business days
- Lifetime warranty
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Best Hybrid: Layla Hybrid Mattress
Cant decide if youre ready to make the switch to a full-on memory foam mattress? You dont have to with the Layla Hybrid mattress, which combines memory foam and coil springs for the best of both worlds. The memory foam gives you plush, contoured support while the coil springs provide motion control .
How does the Layla work? Think of it as a mattress sandwich: in the center is a six inch layer packed with coils, and on either side of that layer is the memory foam. But the Layla takes the word hybrid to the next level, because its also reversibleone side features memory foam designed to be soft while the other side has memory foam constructed to be firmer.
Basically, theres only a slim chance you could order this mattress and end up sending it back. One way or another, theres probably a side for you. Other solid features include copper-infused foam for antimicrobial protection and advanced cooling, as well as airflow support layers. Layla offers free shipping and returns if youre not 100% satisfied.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Soft Mattresses
Sleeping on soft mattresses makes some sleepers feel comfortable. It compresses in response to your bodys weight, conforming to your body. When the mattress conforms to your body, it relieves your pressure points, alleviating pain. But soft beds may not be the best mattress for everyone. Some sleepers complain of sinking into the mattress and feeling stuck.
Before buying a new mattress, its best to analyze its benefits and drawbacks.
- Reduces back pain and neck pain
- Alleviates joint pains especially in elderly people
- Cushions your hips and shoulders
- May be prone to sagging earlier than firmer mattresses
- Extra softness can lead to spinal misalignment, triggering back pain and muscle stiffness
- Higher price point than their firmer counterparts
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Top Tips For Side Sleepers:
Best Overallnolah Evolution 15
- Multiple firmness options
- 120-night sleep trial
The Nolah Evolution 15 is a hybrid mattress that comes in three different firmness levels, plush , luxury firm , and firm . For all three options, the bed pairs triple-zoned support with proprietary foam engineered to stay cool while providing deep pressure relief. The array of firmness options and performance features makes this an overall solid pick for a variety of sleepers.
The Nolah Evolution 15 features a quilted Euro-top padded with soft foam, followed by two additional foam layers. Nolah incorporates proprietary ArcticTex fibers and graphite-infused foam into these layers to help the surface remain cool. A gusseted border along the edge of the mattress also enhances breathability and temperature neutrality.
Side sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds will likely prefer the plush option, which cushions the body and provides pressure relief to areas such as the hips and shoulders. Side sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds or those who prefer a slightly firmer surface may prefer the luxury firm option. However, the firm option may not conform closely enough to alleviate pressure for side sleepers.
Nolah offers free shipping for orders in the contiguous United States. The Evolution 15 comes with a 120-night sleep trial, though shoppers should note that there is a mandatory 30-day break-in period in this trial. The mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty.
The Bottom Line.
Not Recommended for:
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What Is The Right Firmness
Theres no one-firmness-fits-all rule for side sleepers. Each of us will have varying preferences and needs based on our individual conditions.
The rule of thumb for side sleepers is a mattress not tougher than a moderate or medium firm.
A very firm mattress fails to support the neck and hips of a side sleeper. What happens is that the pressure points and gaps between the body and mattress linger. Accumulatively, this will cause more than a mild shoulder pain. Its one reason why you should get the best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain.
When you stick to a moderate firm, the material of the mattress will fill the gaps by sinking according to the weight of the body. So can you also opt for a softer one? Again, this depends on your comfort level. If you dont mind waking up in a pit that seems to swallow you, you can probably give a soft mattress a go.
Last note about softer mattresses: Very soft mattresses dont offer much motion control. So if youre sleeping with someone thats notorious for tossing and turning, youre doomed to have sleepless nights.
How Much Does A Mattress Cost
Mattress pricing varies significantly. The average quality mattress costs more than $1,000, but costs per model range from less than $100 to more than $5,000. After selecting a mattress type, calculate an optimal price range based on the averages listed above, as well as your personal budget. Be sure to include shipping costs if you live in a remote location or outside the contiguous U.S.
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Pressure Points Cause Pain
When it comes to side sleeping, there is one significant drawback to account for pressure. The truth is that as much as people enjoy sleeping on their sides, the position causes significant weight concentration over a small area and can create pressure points in the hips and shoulders and even lead to lower back pain. Some mattress companies claim to provide the right balance between pressure relief and support to avoid these issues.
One of the most common targets for pressure relief is the lower back. The more constant the pressure is, the more severe the pain can become. The risk of continually repeating this cycle is developing chronic pain, which could significantly hinder your well-being.
Get Some Expert Advice:
Ask your health professional if they think your pain could be related to a poor sleep surface or pillow for a good place to start.
Many are quite knowledgeable on what type of mattress and pillow would be particularly good for your situation.
They may also be able to steer you in the direction of someone who is able to assess you and then determine the ideal pillow and mattress for you.
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Mattress Firmness Vs Support
Firmness and support are not the same. Support layers are designed to keep your spine neutral, while firmness is the immediate feel of your mattress based on the thickness of the comfort layers.
People mistakenly assume firm mattresses are the best for support because theyre so sturdy, but soft mattresses can also be supportive and pain-relieving. Firm mattresses can also be extremely comfortable and luxurious, just like soft mattresses.
An Impressively Buoyant Treat
Who its for: The Asteria Beth has a plush-yet-buoyant, pressure-relieving surface that caters to side-sleepers of all weightsincluding those who weigh more than 200 poundsas well as to people who frequently rotate positions.
How it feels: This high-end innerspring mattress feels squarely medium-soft and yet strikingly supportive at the same time.
Why its great: Instead of foam alone, the Asteria Beth includes upper layers of silk and wool , inherently durable latex, and 524 microcoils, which altogether create a floaty, cuddly surface that gently contours to a side-sleepers curves and relieves pressure. More than 1,000 pocketed coils provide substantial-enough support to cater to side-sleepers who often turn onto their stomach or back. Tufting keeps the layers in place and substitutes for the glue typically used in less expensive mattresses. The Asteria Beth is exclusive to Bloomingdales, so you could try it in-store and compare the different firmness levels.
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How To Shop Online For The Best Mattress
There are certainly benefits to testing out a mattress in a store because qualities like firmness and comfort are highly subjective. Still, in-store models can be deceiving: Since many customers have sampled them, they are often softer than the new bed that arrives at your door. Online mattress companies typically offer generous sleep trialssome up to 365 nightsso that you can try out the bed in your own home. Examples of brands with lengthy trial periods include Nectar and DreamCloud.
Soft Or Firm Mattress: Which Is Better For Side Sleepers
All sleep experts recommend side sleeping for better rest and healthier life. Statistically, most people favor sleeping on their side, even though we tend to change positions during sleep. Considering these two facts, many mattress manufacturers and retailers advertise various models as being the best for side sleepers. But the truth is that such products must present a few unique traits to make side sleeping a truly comfortable experience.
We have heard several myths regarding those features, and Ive noticed that the central debate focused on their level of firmness. Some say softer is best, others advocate for a higher degree of stiffness. Let me expose both tales:
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How To Tell If You Need A New Mattress
Sometimes, a worn out mattress is a large contributor to hip pain and other types of pain. After years of use, mattresses will develop permanent impressions in the foam, sagging in the coils, and other signs of wear that can significantly diminish the amount of support a mattress provides. If you experience any of the following signs in addition to your hip pain, its likely time for a new bed:
- You notice impressions, lumps, sagging, rips and tears, or other signs of wear in your bed
- You tend to roll to the center of the mattress while sleeping
- You find the couch or other places to sleep more comfortable than your own bed.
- Its been more than seven years since youve purchased a new mattress
- You cant remember the last time you purchases a new mattress.
The average mattress lasts from 6-8 years, but mattress lifespan varies depending on the quality and materials its made of. Cheap memory foam and innerspring mattresses can last as little as four years, while higher-quality hybrid and latex models can last as many as nine or ten.
Whether your hip pain is a direct result of your mattress or not, an old mattress isnt helping. Most online mattress companies offer sleep trials, which allow you to try the mattress for at least 100 days before committing it. We recommend making use of this to help ease your hip pain.
The Best Mattress Types For Side Sleepers
Memory foam, latex, hybrid: Which one is right for you? We’re breaking down each mattress type and explaining why it could be a good fit for you.
Memory foam mattresses
Because of its contouring ability, memory foam “hugs” your curves and evenly distributes your body weight across the surface, giving you incredible pressure relief and lumbar support. Memory foam also offers great motion isolation, making it an ideal option for couples.
Top-quality latex mattresses provide a nice level of give” while still offering the desired support. Latex keeps its shape well, which helps prevent indents for side sleepers when you lie in the same spot every night.
Latex mattresses conform to every curve of the body, providing greater pressure relief and leading to improved circulation and blood flow. That means you’re less likely to wake up with that pins and needles feeling. Latex mattresses are also cooling mattresses, meaning that they don’t trap body heat and increase airflow, making them an excellent choice for hot sleepers.
Traditional innerspring mattresses
If you’re looking at innerspring mattresses, make sure the top comfort layer is cushioned enough to let your hips and shoulders sink in a bit, or choose a hybrid style, like Saatva’s flagship innerspring, that combines springs and memory foam.
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Other Good Mattresses For Side
For a number of reasons, we thought the mattresses below would be unlikely to appeal to a wide variety of side-sleepers. But the ideal bed is subjective, and its possible that you might find the feel of these options appealing enough to outweigh any drawbacks.
The Tempur-Adapt appeals to side-sleepers who prefer a firmer feel along with an assertive memory-foam sink. Coils make it slightly easier to move around on, but the overall sensation is one that contours to your every curve. Tempur-Pedics special foam is 4½ pounds per cubic foot, which suggests that for most peopleincluding those who weigh more than 200 poundsthe mattress should resist sagging and body impressions . Tempur-Pedics higher-end lines offer softer options, but theyre also considerably more expensive. You can return the mattress within 90 days if you dont like it , but the shipping cost may exceed $100, depending on where you live. If you tend to shift positions a lot, youre likely better off with the Leesa Hybrid or an innerspring.
Kelli Pate contributed to this guide.
Track Record And Brand
Nolah is a brand-new foam bed mattress business. On their website, the company states they take great pride in using technology in order to improve on standard mattress products such as latex and memory foam.Are Soft Mattresses Better For Side Sleepers
Nolah AirFoam is used in their mattresses. The following claims are made by Nolah about its AirFoam bed mattress:Are Soft Mattresses Better For Side Sleepers
Compared to memory foam, AirFoam places less pressure on the back and hips.
The temperature-neutral product keeps you cooler than memory foam.
The Nolah mattresses cost around one-third the rate of store brand name bed mattress.
According to Nolah, its bed mattress tests show that its products place less peak pressure on the back and hips compared to other brands of memory foam mattresses.Are Soft Mattresses Better For Side Sleepers
Nevertheless, the tests that the business recommendations do not seem to have actually been independent, so Nolah most likely performed the tests internal. There has been no independent research study to test the bed mattress to verify the businesss claims.Are Soft Mattresses Better For Side Sleepers
Researchers just recently evaluated some studies and discovered that the evaluations of the mattresses lacked standardized procedures and criteria when the bed mattress were examined by detectives for back positioning and pressure points.Are Soft Mattresses Better For Side Sleepers
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The Best Sleeping Position For Soft Mattresses
Of course, your preferred sleeping position is of great importance when choosing a new mattress.
While most modern-day mattresses are suitable for all sleeping positions, there are still subtle differences that will make a bed more suitable for sleeping on your stomach, back or side.
If you’re a side sleeper, then you’ll be perfectly happy with a soft mattress.
This is because the softer layers allow your body to sink into the mattress gently, relieve pressure, and better support you.
Some people sleeping on their backs or stomach may also enjoy the softer feeling, but it is vital that back or stomach sleepers receive enough support.
If you’ve found a good soft mattress that does offer enough support, then the firmness is merely a matter of personal preference.
We would always suggest using the risk-free trial period offered by online mattress brands to see if a particular mattress is right for you.