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 I’ve 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:
Many people believe that hard and firm mattresses offer the best support, but that isn’t true in the case of side sleepers. The people who favor this posture need a medium to soft firmness because pressure tends to concentrate on their hips and shoulders. Shoulder pain for a side sleeper means that their mattress is too firm. When it comes to back sleepers, on the other hand, they do benefit from a more firm mattress, because their body weight is more uniformly distributed across the bed.
The other myth I’ve often come across says that side sleepers should choose extremely soft mattresses. That is also not true! When the bed is too squishy, it offers no support at all, which leads to awkward positions for the body and, thus, to various aches and pains. So the answer would be no, soft is also not right for side sleeping.
As a side sleeper myself, I kept asking: what to choose, under those circumstances? The answer revealed itself after we checked online reviews on RestRightMattress.com, which gave numerous details about the features a side sleeper should look for in a mattress. According to those, the best bed for side sleeping is a medium-soft product, made of memory foam which should have a density of at least four inches. That particular structure offers the best support for all the pressure points of side sleeping. Also, it grants a soft and comfortable sensation to the sleeper.
Most people who sleep on their side are unaware of the fact that the mattress they choose will impact their life so much. The bed they sleep on will have a significant influence on how well they rest night after night. It will also determine if they wake up with muscle pain or not. So when looking for the right mattress for sleeping on a side, one should first consider the following features:
- sensitivity to pressure points
- the ability to maintain the natural alignment of the body
- the capacity to hold the natural curves of the body
After having read numerous reviews and opinions, I came to realize that the best mattress for side sleepers features a combination of memory foam and latex. Let me explain why:
- Memory foam provides the adequate support. It is also slightly softer and designed to relieve pressure points.
- Memory foam was explicitly designed to support and nourish each specific point of the body coming in contact with the mattress surface.
- Also, the material distributes weight and pressure in a balanced manner.
- Latex offers fantastic support for the natural curve of the body when you lay down on the bed.
- The combination of the two types of materials provides extraordinary support for all the sensitive areas of a side sleeper, which are the shoulders and the hips. Due to the extra backing, those areas can rest in a natural position.
What To Avoid
It is essential to know what type of bed and mattress to avoid if you sleep on your side. Stay away from waterbeds and spring mattresses, even if they may seem appealing to you. They don’t provide the right type of support for the position you favor while resting. Spring mattresses can’t hold the body evenly, and they don’t offer the proper backing for the lumbar region. The same goes for waterbeds: they don’t distribute the weight evenly, thus providing unsuitable bedding.
In fact, any bed that curves and deforms the body, any bed that provides too much stiffness or too much dipping will not benefit side sleepers. If sleeping on such a foundation, they will deal with tense muscles, back and joint pain, and many restless nights. Thus, if you wish to enjoy a healthy sleep, remember that your best option is neither soft, nor firm, but a medium to soft firmness and a mattress which has all the features I described.