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Choosing the Right Mattress for Side Sleepers

Choosing the right mattress is always harder than you expect it to be. The good news is that you’ve already figured out the most important factor: which sleeping position you favour. Side sleeping is the most common sleep position and has plenty of benefits, like reducing your risk of sleep apnea and snoring and decreasing the pressure on your digestive system.

On the wrong mattress, however, side sleeping can lead to constant soreness in the shoulders, hips and back. The aches only become worse over time. That’s why it’s vital to choose the right mattress.

This guide will teach you how to choose the perfect mattress for side sleepers. Read on to find out more.

How Firm Should a Mattress Be for a Side Sleeper?

Firmness should be a top priority when choosing a mattress, no matter your sleep position.

When sleeping on your side, your shoulders and hips become the primary pressure points, transferring the bulk of your weight into the mattress. That’s why they’re so sore in the morning. Naturally, side sleepers often wonder whether a firm or plush mattress would be better.

A lack of soft cushioning usually causes shoulder and hip pain. A mattress that’s too firm won’t accommodate your body’s natural curves. Instead, it forces your joints to compress. Here’s how to choose the right mattress firmness based on the joint pressure you feel most after waking up.

What Is the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers With Shoulder and Hip Pain?

If your side sleeping posture is causing shoulder and hip pain, use a mattress with a medium feel. The mattress can then contour to your body and relieve joint pressure.

We’ve also got a few more tips to help relieve your joint pain:

  • Align your shoulders with your hips.
  • Tuck your knees slightly towards your chest to reduce pressure on your back.
  • Place a pillow or cushion between your knees to stop your hips from compressing while you sleep.

What Is the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers With Back Pain?

If side sleeping is causing you back pain, you likely need a medium-firm mattress. 

Back pain is usually caused by the same factor that causes hip and shoulder pain: your mattress is either too soft to support you or too firm to ease joint pressure. Mattresses that are too soft or too firm prevent your joints from aligning while you sleep. That misalignment affects the joints and muscles in your back, causing pain.

What Is the Best Mattress for Heavy Side Sleepers?

For side sleepers weighing 100kg or over, joint and spine alignment are even more important. 

In our experience, a well-designed hybrid mattress with a medium-firm feel is best for heavier bodies.

Because of their thicker comfort systems, hybrid mattresses are often ideal for side sleepers who need extra pressure relief without sacrificing support. Heavier bodies will also benefit from mattresses with reinforced perimeters, which help maintain support if you prefer sleeping on the edge of the bed.

What Type of Mattress Is Best for Side Sleepers: Pocket Spring, Memory Foam or Hybrid Mattresses?

Let’s take stock of what we’ve learned so far. Medium-firm feel mattresses are ideal for side sleepers. 

After years of analysing side sleeping customer feedback, medium-firm mattresses offer the correct balance of soft cushioning to evenly disperse weight and firm support to keep the shoulders, spine and hips aligned. This prevents the shoulder, hip and back pain so many side sleepers experience.

The question now is: what style of mattress is best for a medium-firm feel? 

We’re going to look at three key types of mattresses:

  • Pocket spring
  • Memory foam
  • Hybrid

Each type of mattress has its own unique benefits for side sleepers.

Is a Pocket Spring Mattress Suitable for Side Sleepers?

Pocket spring mattresses are made up of hundreds of springs, tightly packed together, that individually cradle your body as you sleep. This results in better, firmer support and fewer pressure points, making for a more restful slumber. 

Additionally, pocket springs tend to be cooler than other types of mattresses due to the air circulation they allow. You’ll also appreciate the firm feeling of a pocket spring mattress, perfect for people who don’t like to feel too enveloped in their bed.

However, pocket spring mattresses can be on the firmer side causing your joint to stack on top of each other and cause hip and shoulder pain.

Is a Foam Mattress Better for Side Sleepers?

Memory foam is made of polyurethane, which is a type of plastic. The polyurethane is poured into moulds to create the desired mattress shape, and the finished mattress will slowly return to its original shape once pressure is removed. 

Memory foam is great at absorbing energy and cushioning bodies; the soft foam contours your body, relieving your pressure points and keeping your shoulders and hips aligned.

This contouring also helps to reduce motion transfer, meaning that if you or your partner shuffle around in bed, you won’t wake each other up. 

However, on its own, memory foam doesn’t provide enough support for side sleepers. It can feel like you are progressively sinking into the mattress with no support to keep your spine and joints aligned. 

This brings us to the ultimate solution for side sleepers, hybrid mattresses.

Are Hybrid Mattresses Good for Side Sleepers?

As the name suggests, a hybrid mattress layers two different mattress types to get the best of both worlds. Most commonly, a hybrid mattress will have a spring or coil base with memory foam or latex foam top. 

In a properly designed hybrid mattress, the benefits of the spring and foam layers will amplify each other rather than cancel each other out. The soft foam will contour perfectly to your body, but the spring layer will prevent you from sinking too much and breaking your spinal and joint alignment. The result is a perfect night’s sleep without any morning soreness.

With its wide range of benefits, a hybrid mattress is the best option for supporting side sleepers.

The Final Verdict: What Is the Most Comfortable Mattress for Side Sleepers?

These are the top qualities side sleepers should look for when buying a new mattress:

  • The mattress should have a medium-firm feel for joint alignment and pressure relief.
  • It should be a hybrid mattress that combines support and comfort.

For a more refined search, here are additional questions side sleepers should be asking:

  • Does the mattress have a long warranty period? This is a strong indicator of quality.
  • Is the bed constructed from hypoallergenic materials? 
  • Will the bed absorb movement and prevent co-sleeper disturbance?

The right mattress will meet the two criteria and answer the three questions in a way that suits your sleeping habits. We also invite you to consider the Sleep Republic mattress which has been awarded as the best hybrid mattress in a box three years running.

Meet The Sleep Republic High Definition Pocket Spring Mattress

We believe the Sleep Republic hybrid mattress is the ideal mattress for side sleepers.

After years of designing, testing and reviewing, we have created a mattress that meets all the criteria side sleepers need.

All up, the Sleep Republic hybrid mattress delivers a medium-firm feel, which is the result of its meticulous construction.

  • The base support layer contains up to 2250 high-definition pocket springs, partitioned into five unique body zones to support your joints and alignment no matter how you sleep. 
  • Above that is a natural latex layer, which regulates airflow and keeps you cool. 
  • Then comes the gel-infused memory foam for superior comfort.
  • The final top layer is a cashmere knitted fabric for a dash of ultimate mattress luxury.

If that describes the mattress you’re looking for; you might like to learn more about the features of Sleep Republic hybrid mattress.