According to surveys, two-thirds of people in the United States prefer to sleep on their sides, but did you know that side sleepers don’t always get the best sleep? We know that sleeping on your side is supposed to be good for your body’s alignment, applies the least amount of pressure on the neck and lower back, and improves airway circulation. It’s good for bowel movement as waste moves from the small intestine to the large intestine more easily. Sleeping on the left side is good for the lymph nodes, which means your body is able to effectively get rid of toxins and drain fluids while you sleep. It’s also the best position for pregnant women and those suffering from heartburn.
But the only way one can enjoy all of these benefits only if you’re able to get a good night’s sleep! More often than not, your mattress is the reason that you’re getting 8 hours of quality sleep every night. Not all mattresses are equipped to adequately accommodate side sleepers. While sleeping on your side may be considered as having the most health benefits, you need to have the right mattress to reap the benefits. A mattress is an investment, and your return on this investment should be in the form of sound sleep for the next 10 years. With that mindset, you’ll think of the obvious things like whether you’re getting the most value for the price and the warranty being offered. If you’re paying top dollar, you’ll also look at the quality of the lining, and the durability and resilience of the mattress.
But it’s not that simple! You have to take a lot of factors into consideration when deciding the best mattresses for side sleepers. Mattresses vary depending on your sleeping position and your body type, and finding the right fit may take a little time. You also need to see if it provides a cool night’s sleep, and taking into account that it takes a while to judge that, not all companies or stores will allow a longer return period.
So your first job would be to find a store (either in real life or online) that stock a wide range of mattresses with different qualities. Side sleepers should have a mattress that is soft with a level of firmness to it. If it’s a firm mattress, you won’t need to worry about having to flip it as often. These won’t sink and will give the body and pressure points the most support. With the body being in that position, having a soft, but firm, the mattress allows for the spine to be properly aligned during sleep and proper alignment of the spine helps alleviate pain more effectively.
Mattress firmness is assigned on a scale of 1 to 10, and the ideal firmness for side sleepers ranges between 5 and 8. However, a mattress’ firmness is relative to a person’s body weight, so you’ll need to judge yourself, based on your weight, as to what would constitute as a “firm” mattress. If you’re in the range of 130-230 lbs, then a mattress with 5 or 6 firmness will be ideal. Heavier individuals would need to go higher on the scale depending on their weight.
You’ll also need to check the composition of the mattress. For side sleepers, simple foam mattresses don’t offer the needed support. Steel coil ring mattresses are the worst for alignment and contouring of the body, and air mattresses are just a horrible idea overall. Hybrid mattresses, which include a combination of foam, memory foam, and coil springs are ideal for side sleepers as they offer the best support. The ideal hybrid mattress would be composed of more than two layers, ideally three, comprising of 2-inch foam, 2-inch memory foam, and firm 6-inch core foam with pocketed steel coil springs.
That’s a lot of things to check for but you don’t have to worry. Any halfway decent mattress store will have staff that knows the business in and out and will be able to give you informed advice. No one will expect you to know everything about mattresses, but if you have the right questions they’ll surely be able to help you.
Your store will also need to allow a lengthy trial period, but if the store stocks a well-known brand, then the company is likely to offer a trial period. This will let you judge a number of things. First and foremost, you’ll be able to tell whether the mattress is right for your sleeping style, weight, and height. You’ll also be able to tell how well the mattress avoids absorbing heat, allowing for a cool night’s sleep. However, mattresses with lengthy trial periods usually come with a higher price tag, and sometimes returns aren’t free. The return shipping is also inconvenient and may cost you extra. It helps if you read the return conditions beforehand so you’re not taken by surprise when the time comes. Regardless of whether the returns process is simple or not, you should be ready to loosen those purse strings.
It’s also important that you carefully read the terms and conditions of the mattress warranty. While most brands offer the 10-to-20 year coverage for defects, you need to check the length of “non-prorated coverage”. This allows customers to repair or replace mattresses at a nominal cost, and sometimes even without paying a penny. If you have pro-rated coverage then you’ll have to pay a percentage of the original price. This is why you shouldn’t let your guard down if a brand is offering a warranty on their mattress. Chances are if you read the fine print, you’ll barely have a year of non-prorated coverage. So be sure to read the terms of the warranty before you buy!