Side Sleepers With Shoulder Pain
Since side sleepers put pressure on one shoulder as they sleep, they are more likely to experience pain on the side that they sleep on. The added weight on the shoulder, especially if the mattress does not offer enough cushioning or contouring support, can result in neck and shoulder pain. Those who sleep on their side are also more likely to push one shoulder up towards their neck, which causes the spine to be misaligned.
Purchasing a mattress with the right firmness is an essential step towards reducing shoulder pain for side sleepers. It is also important to keep in mind your weight, as lighter people will not press into the mattress as much, and heavier people will put more pressure on the mattress. The mattress should cushion the shoulder and prevent it from sinking in too deeply, or not enough. The right pillow can also make a difference. The loft of the pillow should be high enough to keep your head and neck in line, and help prevent your shoulder from pushing up towards your neck.
Frequently Asked Questions On Best Pillow For Side Sleepers
Looking for the best pillow for side sleepers? It can be a little challenging to find one that answers all your needs with so many to choose from. Check out this really useful FAQ on side sleeping pillows that includes the best answers.
If youre a side sleeper, youll want to get a pillow thats thick enough to support your head and neck. In addition, youll need a firm pillow to give you enough support, so your head, neck, and spine are in alignment.
The best pillow that is ideal for side sleepers is one thats a little thicker than most, with firm support and some contouring to provide space between the mattressand your head. In addition, your pillow should fill in the gap between your ear and your shoulder without causing neck pain or forcing you to turn your head at an odd angle.
The ideal pillow is a matter of personal preference, body type, and sleeping style. The goal is to keep your spine in alignment from head to toe, so you wake up feeling rested and pain-free.
Side sleepers need a pillow that fills in the distance between their ear and outside shoulder. If youre a side sleeper, its best to go for a thicker pillow to keep your neck aligned.
Many people like memory foam pillows because they offer a lot of support and are highly conforming they mold to the shape of your head and neck. Another good option is a down pillow, which offers great support and comfort.
Questions To Ask When Mattress Shopping
- Which products does the warranty apply to?
- What is and isnt covered by the warranty?
- Is there a shipping fee for my order?
- How is the mattress delivered?
- Can I return the mattress? How do I do so?
- Are there fees for returning the mattress?
- Do other customers like the mattress? What are their experiences with the mattress and manufacturer?
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Trial Period And Warranty
One of the biggest challenges of buying a mattress online is not being able to try it out first. And companies completely understand that. Thats why many offer generous trial periodssome for as long as a yearto try out your new investment and make sure its the right fit. When picking your mattress, be sure to review the brands trial period and procedure before making your purchase.
Youll also want to make sure your mattress has a warranty that covers defects or premature wear for at least five years.
Down / Down Alternative
Down and down alternative pillows often feel soft, fluffy, and luxurious. Down alternative pillows offer a similar fluffy feel, but are more eco-friendly. You also dont have to research manufacturing and sourcing to be sure that your new down alternative pillows are cruelty-free.
Since down compresses more easily than other pillow materials, I recommend it more for back sleepers and stomach sleepers than side sleepers. However, a firmer down option can also work for side-sleeping. My best down pillows and best down alternative pillows roundups include some great side sleeping options.
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Mattress Material For Side Sleeping
The next biggest decision is choosing the material or construction of your mattress. There are more options now than ever before so this can be somewhat daunting. Traditional mattresses sold by mattress retail stores are typically innerspring/coil mattresses. Memory foam has become very popular in the last decade, as well as Latex. Traditional innerspring mattresses are also still popular and there are a number of hybrid mattresses that combine the benefits of different materials.
Generally, most affordable mattresses fall into these categories:
What Side Sleepers Should Consider When Purchasing A Mattress Topper
There are several factors to consider when you purchase a mattress topper. While all of these apply regardless of your sleep position, well highlight special considerations for side sleepers so that you can rest more comfortably in your preferred position.
Material: Toppers typically use memory foam, polyfoam, latex, feathers, down alternative, or wool. Any of these options may be appropriate for side sleepers depending on their existing mattress and how they hope to modify their sleep surface.
Side sleepers looking for more contouring and pressure relief may prefer a memory foam, polyfoam, or latex model. These materials shape to the sleepers body while providing support, making them popular with side sleepers. Memory foam has the closest hug, but its also the most likely to retain heat. Polyfoam usually conforms less closely but with added breathability. Latex spreads out the compression more for a floating feel, and it adds a bit of bounce. Feather, down alternative, and wool toppers add cushioning more than contouring. They can make the sleep surface plusher and more breathable, but they may not give the support and cradling many side sleepers prefer. However, if your mattress contours well, a topper made of one of these materials may be a nice addition.
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Best Mattresses For Side Sleepers
Dr. Keith Poorbaugh is a licensed physical therapist and physical therapy clinic owner in Alaska. Dr. Poorbaugh is a member of our Sleepopolis Expert Network.
For many folks, theres no cozier sleeping position than when theyre curled up on their side with a cuddly blanket or pillow. So the best mattress for side sleepers should greet their bodies with a mixture of pressure relief and support, ensuring a comfortable drift to dreamland free of any tension or pain.
Unfortunately, many mattresses arent actually built to meet the side sleepers specific needs. Theyre either too firm or too soft . So what are these Goldilocks snoozers supposed to do?
Thankfully, its not all bad news for those who doze primarily on their sides, as there are a ton of fantastic mattresses out there designed specifically for their slumber preferences. Below, well highlight some of our favorites and dive into all the factors that contribute to a sound side-sleeping experience.
Best Mattresses For Pressure Relief For Side Sleepers
This medium-soft mattress was designed to provide support by targeting multiple points where pressure tends to happen, from the head and neck down to the legs. Multiple layers provide extra padding along the shoulder and hip regions.
Its made from plant-based material and is produced in an eco-friendly factory.
This mattress is designed to resist sagging, so soft spots shouldnt develop, even along the edges.
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How Can I Choose The Best Mattress
When choosing the best mattress for side sleepers, the most important factor is consistent comfort. The mattress construction is what will provide both your comfort and support your body craves.
In addition, five main types of mattresses may serve as possible solutions to back pain. From there, you may want to consider various factors when choosing the right mattress for your needs.
Tips To Help Keep Your Spine Aligned
In addition to a mattress that balances support and cradling, we recommend that side sleepers select pillows that support their spinal alignment.
Head Pillow: A pillow for your head should have enough loft to fill the space between your head, your shoulder, and the mattress. This can help keep your head, neck, and spine in alignment. Most side sleepers prefer a medium- to high-loft pillow with a midrange firmness
Leg or Knee Pillow: Some side sleepers also place a pillow between their knees to help prevent hip rotation, relieve pressure on the hips and lower back, and improve spinal alignment.
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Best Hybrid: Leesa Sapira Hybrid Mattress
Made with advanced memory foam and pocket springs, Leesa’s Sapira Mattress contours to the natural shape of your spine and provides pressure relief and support.
“The Leesa Hybrid Mattress offers coils for support and memory foam for comfort, which is helpful for side sleepers,” Casey explains.
The top layer is punctured with holes, too, allowing for the passage of hot air and a cooler, more comfortable sleep.
This mattress stands out because each mattress is handcrafted in the U.S. and you can enjoy a 10-year warranty. From twin to California king, there’s a mattress size that’ll meet your lifestyle and sleep needs.
âBuy it:â Leesa.com âPrice:â $1,049 to $1,899
Drawbacks Of Sleeping On Your Side
While there are many benefits to sleeping on your side, there are also some notable issues that side sleepers may face. One of the most common problems for side sleepers is shoulder pain. When you are sleeping on your side, your body weight can put a significant amount of pressure on your shoulders, which can result in shoulder pain over time. As a result, we typically recommend softer mattresses for side sleepers to help with pressure relief. If shoulder pain is something youre concerned about, take a look at our best mattresses for shoulder pain guides.
Another common problem that side sleepers face is lower back pain and neck pain. This is usually caused by pelvic rotation, which results from the misalignment of the back muscles and lumbar spine. While this cant necessarily be remedied completely, there are some preventative measures you can take, such as choosing a mattress that offers proper support and softness or keeping a pillow in between your legs while you sleep.
Still, need guidance in your mattress buying journey? Check out our ultimate mattress buying guide!
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How Lying Down Feels
The Vaya Mattress has a perfect medium feel that works well for side sleepers, combo sleepers, and couples. Many reviews state how sleepers dont notice their partner moving around at night because of how well the bed isolates motion, along with the support it provides while still being soft and comfortable.
Benefits Of Being A Side Sleeper
Sleeping on your side can help reduce symptoms of acid reflux, prevent back and neck pain, and even help your digestion. It’s also a great position for snorers and people with sleep apnea because it helps keep your airways open. Some medical professionals even think side sleeping can lead to improved brain function and help prevent the onset of neurological issues.
But sleeping on your side on the wrong mattress can cause problems of its own, like sore joints and body aches.
A good mattress for side sleeping should conform to your body, taking the pressure off your hips and shoulders and aligning your spine so that your muscles can relax,” says Joe Auer, editor of the mattress review site Mattress Clarity.
While no one mattress is best for any particular kind of sleeper , certain materials and features can make side sleepers more comfortable.
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Top 7 Best Mattress Toppers For Side Sleepers In 2022
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Side sleeping is widely considered the most comfortable sleeping position.
Unfortunately, they have a lot of unique challenges when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.
Before you decide to toss your current mattress in favour of a new one, consider investing in a mattress topper that can help alleviate shoulder pain and improve your sleeping quality and comfort level without breaking the bank.
We’ve reviewed the 7 best mattress toppers for side sleepers to help you do just that. So, feel free to look at them and check out the buying guide below!
Which Type Of Mattress Is Best For Side Sleepers
Most side sleepers on our team fall into two camps regarding their preferred mattress type: all-foam models or hybrids. All-foam mattresses offer the contouring many side sleepers need to reduce pressure on their shoulders and hips. Hybrids offer this contouring while adding supportive coils to prevent sagging. However, many side sleepers find other mattress types comfortable as well.
Weve put together a breakdown of the most common mattress types on the market today, as understanding the difference between each type is key to determining which mattress is right for you. Though specific mattress models will vary in materials, construction, and unique features, there are commonalities in build and performance within each category that will help you decide what type of mattress best suits your needs.
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Do Side Sleepers Need A Firm Or Soft Mattress
There’s not a single right answer to this question, but in general, side sleepers tend to prefer a medium-soft to medium mattress. Mattresses in this range have enough give to alleviate pressure in the shoulders, hips and knees when you’re sleeping on your side, but also hold their shape to keep your spinal alignment so you don’t wake up in pain.
What To Consider When Choosing A Mattress For Side Sleepers
Spine alignment: A mattress should support the natural curve of your spine so you can sleep with good posture throughout the night. To have proper spine alignment, the mattress will push back to support the weight of your body to prevent the spine from sinking into the mattress, while also having enough give to cradle the natural shape of your back.
Durability: A sagging mattress can cause discomfort and pain. Choosing a high-quality, durable mattress that will last you for several years is an investment in both your finances and your health.
Motion transfer: Motion transfer is an important factor for those who sleep with a partner or pet. A mattress with a high motion transfer score will prevent movements from your sleep partner from making their way to your side of the bed and disturbing your rest.
Temperature regulation: No one wants to wake up sweaty in the middle of the night. A mattress made of breathable materials such as coils and latex, or foam that is formulated with temperature regulation features will help keep the surface of the bed cool throughout the night.
Responsiveness: A responsive mattress will adapt to your bodys shape on the mattress as you change sleeping positions during the night. Choosing a responsive mattress will keep you from feeling stuck in the mattress if you tend to move around, and will also keep your body supported as you switch positions.
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Is The Perfect Sleeper A Good Mattress For You
The Perfect Sleeper line has something for everyone, regardless of your preferred sleeping position or body weight. But the Renewed Night Pillow Top model is best for a few specific folks. Take a look below to see who might like this bed. If you dont see yourself in this list, skip down to my Perfect Sleeper models overview!
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Best Overall: Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress
Made with individually-wrapped coils, memory foam, a gel layer for added comfort, and a plush pillow top, this medium form mattress is a solid choice for side sleepers who need just the right amount of contoured support, and it’s why we chose it as our top pick. While the lumbar coils support your shoulders and hips, the memory foam absorbs the weight of your pressure points, allowing you to sleep pain-free.
As if all that wasnt enough, the Luxe option also comes with a breathable Tencel fabric cover, which means youll get comfort along with built-in temperature regulation and moisture-wicking properties. Plus, enjoy a 100-day return period.
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The Best Mattresses For Side Sleepers
- Editors Pick Helix Midnight
- Best Mattress for Combination Side Sleepers Saatva
- Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers DreamCloud Premier Rest
- Best Value Mattress for Side Sleepers Nectar
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Hip Pain Brooklyn Bedding Aurora
- Best Mattress for Heavy Side Sleepers WinkBed
- Best Couples Mattress for Side Sleepers Nolah Evolution
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Neck Pain Bear Hybrid
- Best Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers Leesa Sapira Hybrid
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain Casper Wave Hybrid
A Mattress That Has A Soft And A Firm Side
Materials: Memory foam, support foam | Firmness level: Firm on one side, medium-soft on the other | Trial period: 120 nights
This mattress from Layla is built with copper gel-infused memory foam, which molds to your body while pulling away excess heat for a cool and comfortable sleep. Side sleepers will especially enjoy its responsive firmness, which cradles your body for customized support. Plus, it comes with a unique feature that even the most commitment-phobic will love: Its double-sided, with a soft and a medium-firm side, which lets you flip depending on your preferences.
In addition to its memory foam mattress, Layla also has a hybrid version. Just note that in this model, both sides are a tick or two higher on the firmness scale. When in doubt, know that the memory foam mattress soft side is the softest of them all.
What the reviews say: Most side sleeping reviewers say the soft side suits them best. I was previously experiencing hip pain as a side sleeper, and since purchasing the Layla mattress, Ive had zero hip pain, says one happy customer. It took no time at all to transition to sleeping on Layla. Since day one its been like a perfect, plush cloud. Chimes another satisfied sleeper, I am loving the softer side since Im a side sleeper. Its such an improvement over my worn out mattress. I really love that I can move myself around easier because Im not sinking down into a hole.
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