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Should Side Sleepers Have A Firm Mattress

Drawbacks Of A Medium Mattress

Best Firm Mattresses For Side Sleepers – Our Top 4 Picks!

For heavier sleepers, a medium mattress may cause excessive sinking, which could force the spine into an awkward position. Also, if you have back pain, the lower back may collapse on a medium bedresulting in more discomfort. If you suffer from chronic back pain, it is best to opt for a medium-firm mattress. This firmness will give you a bit more support around the lower back.

How I Chose These Mattresses

Each mattress in this roundup has been through a series of our specialized sleep tests and has been tested by sleep experts like myself and my colleagues. As I discuss each of my picks, Ill make sure to explain why I selected them for this list and will share my expert tips for getting amazing sleep on your side.

At the end of this article, well also dive deeper into the methodology behind this list. If youre still not sure of the right mattress at the end of this article you can take our mattress quiz to be shown a selection of mattresses that are curated to your sleep preferences.

But enough chat! Lets get into these mattresses.

How Do You Know If Your Mattress Is Too Firm

Most manufacturers use a level of firmness scale that lets you know the firmness of your mattress on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being very soft and 10 being very firm.

While no two people are the same, and what feels too firm to one person, may be just right to someone else, how we sleep affects our sleep. For a side sleeper, If the mattress is too firm, youll be putting pressure on the hips and shoulders and could awake to pain.

Your hips and shoulders should slightly sink into the mattress to keep your spine aligned. If the mattress is too soft, youll sink in too much and there wont be enough support to maintain a neutral spine.

Weight also plays a part when deciding on a mattress. Although a medium soft firmness is recommended, if youre heavier, you may need a firmer mattress to prevent sinking, while those with smaller frames should avoid firm mattresses.

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How Long Does It Take To Break In A New Mattress

Mattresses you buy online often have a period of time where they need to expand . After that, its more about your body adjusting to the mattress. That can take about 30 days, but sometimes longer. It really depends on how different your new mattress is from your old one.

The break-in period is so important that most mattress retailers wont let you return a mattress until youve had it at least 30 days.

Key Considerations For Side Sleepers

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For side sleepers, a medium-soft to medium-firm mattress is the way to go. But how do you know if your mattress is too firm, or not firm enough?

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Spinal alignment The heavier parts of your body, like your hips and shoulders, should sink into the firmer mattress slightly, ensuring that your spine maintains a neutral alignment. This is essential to have in a mattress
  • Manufacturers rating Most mattress manufacturers use a standard 1-10 scale for rating mattress firmness, with 1 being the least firm and 10 being the most. Side sleepers will be most comfortable on a mattress thats rated at either a 5 or a 6 .4

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Best Mattress For Overweight Sleepers

With the capacity to support up to 1,000 pounds with ease, the Brooklyn Titan Luxe was built especially for heavyweight sleepers. Mattresses that arent equipped to support extra weight are prone to sink and sag faster, which can quickly lead to a restless nights sleep. The Titan Luxe uses highly durable foam that cushions around the shoulders and hips, while over 1,000 coils keep the body boosted up. Side sleepers do need a little bit of sink to keep pressure points comfortable, and the responsive foams in this mattress do a great job of comfortably cushioning the body.

  • Material: Hybrid
  • Delivery: Delivered in 3-5 business days
  • Warranty: 10-year

Chosen By Experts And Advocates

Given the high percentage of adult side sleepers, youd think that it would be the preferred sleeping position among our mattress testers. However, certified sleep science coach Daniel Grogan is the one dedicated side sleeper on our team, and so he acts as our representative for you readers who need great pressure relief, spine alignment, and soft to medium-firm firmness in a mattress. The products on this list were tested by Daniel and received his esteemed side-sleeper stamp of approval. To learn more, check out our review process.

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Who Its Best For:

Hot sleepers: The top layer of this mattress is made from a material designed to keep the surface of your skin cool and our testers confirmed the Brooklyn Aurora succeeded in this area.

Anyone experiencing back pain: The top layer of memory foam provides contouring to relieve pressure points, including soothing an aching back.

Stretches In The Morning

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Side sleepers may experience a slight morning stiffness from subconsciously curling up as they slept. Stretching after waking up invigorates circulation and loosens up muscles and joints.

For example, if your neck feels stiff when you wake up, you can loosen up with a neck stretch, one of our top recommended stretches for improved flexibility. Side sleepers often benefit from simple stretches that exercise the arms, back, neck, shoulders, and hips. Some of my favorite stretches for the spine, hips, and knees are most comfortable in a side sleeping position, says Dr. Bhavik Sheth, Physical Therapist.

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Benefits & Drawbacks Of Soft Mattresses

Pressure relief is really where soft mattresses shine. They allow side sleepers to sink in a bit more and reduce pressure felt on the shoulders and hips. Also, people generally describe soft mattresses as more comfortable.

While they are very soft and pressure-relieving, soft mattresses are usually lacking in regard to support. They are not usually able to handle heavier weights and they dont always provide enough support for back sleeping and stomach sleeping.

Also, when people sink into a soft mattress, they might have more trouble moving around and switching positions at night. Sinking in, they might also complain of sleeping hot because a good portion of their body is not exposed to the bedroom air.

What Mattress Is Best For Side Sleepers With Back Pain

When you curl into bed on your side, you can easily put your spine out of alignment, causing back pain. To alleviate discomfort, narrow your search down to beds that specifically offer lumbar support and take pressure off joints.

Hybrid mattresses are a great bet when it comes to pain relief. They offer the best of both worlds, because the innerspring coils provide individualized support for the pelvic and shoulder areas. At the same time, the top layer offers cushioning relief to your joints after a long day. Together, these integrated features can relax your joints and protect your back.

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Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress

Not just great for side sleepers, the Helix Midnight earned Editors Pick because it excels as an all-around fantastic mattress.

The Helix Midnight Luxe is our pick for the best mattress for side sleepers. Its an all-around great mattress that is good for every sleeping position, for couples, for cooling, for just about anything you could wantHelix makes their mattresses with all sleeping preferences in mind.

The Helix Midnight Luxe is also great for side sleepers with back pain because its zoned support helps with spinal alignment, while still being soft enough to provide good pressure relief for your shoulders. Basically, if you sleep on your side, we think youll love the Helix Midnight Luxe.

Read our full Helix Midnight mattress review to learn more.

What Is The Healthiest Sleep Position

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Many experts would say side sleeping is the best position. Lying on your side promotes an unobstructed airway and minimizes the symptoms of sleep apnea and acid reflux. Side sleeping is also linked to more efficient disposal of brain waste.

Back sleeping isnt without its advantages, however. When you lie on your back, your body weight is evenly distributed, and theres minimal strain on your spine. If youre experiencing back pain, a switch to back sleeping can help.

While back and side sleeping both have their strong points, the same cannot be said of stomach sleeping. Stomach sleepers hips and abdomens often bow too far into the mattress and upset the spines natural curves. Many stomach sleepers eventually develop chronic back pain.

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Mattress For Side Sleepers Who Likes Firm Mattress

Nolah Mattress Evaluation: A Value Option to Memory Foam? Mattress For Side Sleepers Who Likes Firm Mattress

Are you looking for an all-foam mattress that provides you the advantages of memory foam without the disadvantages? The Nolah Original mattress might be right up your street. Mattress For Side Sleepers Who Likes Firm Mattress.

Our Nolah Original mattress review will take a close look at its construction, firmness, and general efficiency. By the end of this review, you will know if this comfortable mattress is the ideal fit for you!

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.

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What Impact Does Sleeping On Your Side Have On Your Sleep

If you are a side sleeper, you may be wondering how your sleeping position affects your sleep. Although back sleeping seems to be the perfect sleep position according to sleep experts, there are some benefits to sleeping on your side.

When you sleep on your side, it can help to reduce snoring and sleep apnea. If you have mild sleep apnea, sleeping on your side may be the best position for you because it takes the pressure off your chest and allows your airway to stay open.

Side sleeping can also help to reduce back pain. If you have a condition like sciatica, sleeping on your side can take the pressure off of your spine and provide some relief. Sleeping on your side can also be helpful if you are pregnant because it can take the pressure off of your back and help to prevent pregnancy-related pain.

It´s also helpful if you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn because sleeping on your side prevents stomach acid from coming up into your esophagus. For best results, be sure to sleep on your left side so that your stomach is below your esophagus which makes it less likely for acid to come up.

The main downside to sleeping on your side is that it can put pressure on your hips and shoulders. If you sleep on your side for too long, you may start to experience pain in these areas. To avoid this, make sure to use a body pillow that supports your shoulders and legs. This will help to take the pressure off these areas and keep you comfortable while you sleep.

Best Mattress Toppers For Side Sleepers

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If you arent quite ready to purchase a new mattress, a mattress topper can go a long way in improving the quality of your old one. While shopping for a topper, you should be mindful of the same things that you would be while shopping for a mattress.

Say, for example, your current mattress causes soreness in your shoulders and hips when you sleep on your side. Well, its probably too firm for a side sleeper. A soft memory foam mattress topper can be added to the bed in order to aid in pressure relief, so you get a better nights sleep for a lot less than the price of a new mattress.

That is not to say, however, that this is a permanent solution. A new mattress topper is a good stopgap, and a great way to test out mattress materials, but theres no substitute for a new mattress that is built in a way to accommodate side sleepers. If youre interested in more information, take a look at our best mattress toppers for side sleepers.

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What Does A Side Sleeper Need

Side sleepers need the right tools for a good nights sleep. The best mattresses for side sleeping offer a conforming cushion that cradles the shoulders and hips yet provides the support needed for optimal spinal alignment. Side sleepers also need the right pillows to contour to the head and support their neck.

Of course, not everything beneficial for a side sleeper has to be bought. Many side sleepers can establish a morning stretch routine that will leave them limber and ready to face a new day.

Whats The Best Type Of Mattress For A Side

For people who have back pain, a mattress that feels medium-firmwhatever that means to themshould offer the comfort and curve-conforming support needed for them to wake up with less soreness and stiffness. We think back-pain sufferers who usually sleep on their side will like the Saatva Classic , a sturdy innerspring with just enough memory foam in the upper layers to keep your spine in proper alignment while you sleep. If youre on a budget, the medium-firm is surprisingly supportive for the price, and it may work particularly well for side-sleepers who occasionally fall asleep on their stomach or back.

The two-piece, flippable Charles P. Rogers Estate SE, a pick in our guide to the best mattresses for back pain, should appeal to people who fall asleep in any position, though the softer side will better accommodate side-sleepers. Purple mattresses are designed with a stretchy, gel-like foam that the company says is better at relieving pressure than traditional memory foam. The Purple Hybrid Premier, a notable contender in our guide to the best foam mattresses, has worked well for a 210-pound staffer with back pain and his 110-pound wife. They told us that the mattress is great for side-sleeping and gentler on the joints than most regular mattresses.

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Choosing The Best Mattress

Theres no one perfect mattress for side sleeping. Some side sleepers want a soft mattress to sink into, while others prefer a spring bed with a medium feel.

Side sleepers who like a bed that cushions and cradles them may consider a memory foam mattress. Memory foam is one of the best materials for pressure relief, yielding to the body while supporting its curves. A memory foam mattress for side sleeping can provide mornings free of aches and pains.

Memory foam mattresses are also some of the most affordable beds on the market. Many excellent memory foam mattresses cost under $1000. Even the more luxurious memory foam mattresses tend to have reasonable prices in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.

Latex mattresses are a good choice for side sleepers who like memory foam but are interested in a more sustainable bed. Natural latex mattresses usually contain other materials like organic cotton, wool, and upcycled coils.

Latex can also feel cooler and firmer than memory foam, perfect for side sleepers who want to avoid sweats and sinkage. However, a quality latex mattress can cost a lot more than a memory foam mattress. The average price of a queen size latex bed is $2100, according to Sleep Like the Dead.

Once youve decided on the perfect mattress type, its time to consider your mattress firmness. Side sleepers need a soft to medium firmness for pressure relief.

If youre a hot side sleeper in need of a cooling mattress, there are a few features you can keep an eye out for:

What Happens To Your Face When You Sleep On Your Side

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While side sleeping has many benefits, its not the kindest position for your face. Sleeping on your side can increase your chances of developing wrinkles. You may also experience more acne breakouts, particularly if you dont change your pillowcase every few days. However, we argue the benefits of side sleeping outweigh the risks to your face.

Having a good skin care routine can protect your face during the day and while you sleep, minimizing your chances of acne and premature wrinkles. Helpful products to consider include:

  • Anti-aging creams to prevent wrinkles.
  • Natural face moisturizers for radiant skin.
  • Sunscreens for your face to limit the damage caused by UV rays.
  • Acne treatments to cleanse your face of bumps and spots.

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