Whether you’re a side-sleeper, stomach-sleeper, or a back-sleeper, selecting a mattress designed to match your preferred sleeping position is a surefire way to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for your recommended eight hours. Your sleep style (and the sleep style of your partner) is one of many factors that should be considered in your purchase, alongside mattress material, firmness, and size.
To ensure that you’re getting the support you deserve, you’ll want to consult this checklist of mattress factors that can affect your quality of sleep. Mindlessly purchasing a mattress that isn’t compatible with your unique sleep style could cost you precious hours of deep, uninterrupted rest.
Qualities of a premium mattress
Selecting a mattress with the right firmness is essential for achieving optimal comfort. Whether you have a problematic back, chronic joint pain, or reoccurring neck pain, choosing a mattress with a firmness level that targets your problem areas and/or alleviates morning bouts of discomfort or muscle pain can enhance your quality of life in a few nights’ rests.
No matter your ideal sleeping position, the firmness of your bed will affect your overall sleep quality. The tighter a mattress feels the higher level of firmness. The firmness of a mattress ranks on a scale of 1-10 — one meaning that the mattress is quite soft and plush, while a ten is noticeably firmer. You’ll want your mattress firmness to correspond with your sleep style to promote maximum comfort and reduce avoidable joint and muscle pain induced by the wrong mattress firmness.
Back in the day, most mattresses were made of springs to support the sleeper from sinking. Those who prefer to sleep on their side can easily experience discomfort when these metal springs are jabbing into their ribs.
Memory foam, on the other hand, tends to conform to your curves and eliminates any possibility of uncomfortable springs lodging into your side, while you sleep. Therefore, when it comes to finding the right mattress to match your ideal sleeping pattern, the material of the bed is an important factor to consider.
Besides catering to your sleeping style, both memory foam, synthetic latex, and water beds offer their own series of benefits, including ranging levels of comfort. Synthetic latex mattresses, specifically, can help you regulate your body temperature and keep you cool in warm climates and blazing summer months.
While the size of your mattress may seem rather trivial in selecting the bed best-suited to sleep style, choosing a queen mattress over a full mattress can directly impact your quality of sleep. Smaller mattresses limit your range-of-motion and your ability to extend into your ideal sleep position. Sleepers who tend to roll around and shift abruptly will need a larger mattress space. Otherwise, you might find yourself dangling off the edge of your bed or faceplanting onto your bedroom floor.
As one might guess, larger mattresses provide sufficient space for such sleepers to toss and turn without falling. Hospitals often capitalize on the limited space of twin mattress beds to aid in recovery. In fact, small mattresses are often utilized to keep patients on their backs. With little room to toss, these patients can have their backs supported in one position, as they recover.
Some mattresses are not designed for certain sleeping positions. With exerted pressure from your shoulder blades or ribcage, a mattress can wear down after extended use. For example, sleepers who enjoy sleeping on their side apply more intense pressure to their mattress than they would on their backs.
If you’re a side sleeper, softer and weak mattresses tend to deform and wear out quickly. Back-sleepers may be able to get away with purchasing more economical mattress options, without having to worry about daily wear-and-tear. Regardless of your specific sleep style, it’s in your best interest to purchase a premium mattress that will withstand tossing and turning and keep you asleep longer. With a better night’s sleep and a boost in energy, you’ll discover a new lease on life.
Choosing a mattress for your sleep style
After breaking down the fundamentals of your mattress-shopping wishlist, you’ll want to fuse the right material type, size specifications, and firmness level to match your specific sleep-style needs.
Sleeping on your back is known as the most common sleep position. This sleep position is not only notably popular but is a widely-recommended position for early infants, which is why a vast majority of adults instinctually sleep on their backs. Back sleepers can alleviate pressure off their spine, neck, and upper back by opting for a back-focused sleep style. Sleeping on your back also improves blood flow, supports spinal cord alignment, and prevents curling of the spine, as you readjust in unruly positions throughout the night.
For back sleepers, a mattress with medium firmness (4-7 on the scale) with a soft cushiony feel, such as a latex mattress, is optimum for their spinal health. A latex mattress offers ample support to the spine and is the right balance between comfort and firmness, which is essential in leveling your hips and shoulders.
A mattress that’s too soft will cause your hips to sink, which can potentially harm your back. In an effort to combat any potential back muscle damage, there are also a variety of specific orthopedic mattresses that tend to your back, hips, and spine for additional support and comfort.
If you’re a side sleeper, then you’ll need to consider a mattress that’s soft enough to avoid applying pressure on your neck and spinal cord. A mattress that’s too firm will only end up straining your muscles, causing further complications for your back in the long-run.
A mattress scaling between 2-5 in the level of firmness and high in durability, such as a memory foam mattress, is the ideal fit for any side-sleeper. Because this type of mattress contours to your body, it can relieve any pressure to your spine, ribs, and neck. Gel memory foam and hybrid variants offer greater levels of comfort and more support with their varying densities and levels of plushness.
Sleeping on your stomach isn’t the optimal position for a well-supported spine, neck, and back. Unfortunately, stomach-sleepers risk long-term and short-term spinal damage and muscle strain—but you don’t need to worry. With the right mattress, you can reverse the damage imposed by stomach-sleeping.
For starters, a large, yet soft mattress is ideal for keeping you comfortable and providing ample space to roll around. A plush mattress, water bed, or memory foam mattress types are all great options to consider. These mattress types conform to the pressure exerted by your body and lean to the softer on the firmness scale, which prevents your organs and spine from compressing as you sleep.
Finding your ideal mattress doesn’t have to be overwhelming or time-consuming. By familiarizing yourself with some of the crucial tips and mattress characteristics, you can effortlessly find the mattress of your dreams.