Buying a Mattress? Know Your Sleep Style
Education & Research The best mattress for you isn’t just about what “feels” right. Choose your mattress based on the science of sleep positions
While personal preference and taste play a role, the best mattress for you largely depends on your sleeping position.
Do you sleep on your side?
Congratulations, you’re in the majority, and you’ve chosen the healthiest sleep position, according to the experts. Side sleepers require a softer mattress that allows them to sink their hips and shoulders deeply enough into the mattress so their spine stays straight. Memory foam and hybrid mattresses, which combine the contour of memory foam with the bounce of innerspring, provide the best pressure point relief for you.
Do you sleep on your back?
You’re less common, since back sleeping can contribute to snoring, but you’re certainly not alone. Sleeping on your back makes it easy to keep your spine aligned. You just have to be careful about getting a mattress with enough contour to fill in the spaces beneath your lower back. Memory foam and latex mattresses are best for you.
Do you sleep on your stomach?
You’re the rarest of all, and for good reason. Sleeping on your stomach puts unnecessary strain on your neck, back and hips because your stomach sinks into the mattress and shifts your spine out of alignment. It’s especially important for you to find a mattress that doesn’t allow you to sink too deeply, so look for mattresses on the firmer side. Innerspring and hybrid are both good choices. Innerspring will be the better option for hot sleepers as they tend to sleep temperature neutral. Avoid latex mattresses, as they have the ability to “bounce back” too much for stomach sleepers.
What about body weight?
Your body weight does matter when it comes to the firmness of your mattress. Typically, lighter sleepers are more comfortable on a softer mattress, while heavier sleepers prefer a firmer mattress to ensure they enjoy adequate support. Generally, sleepers of average weight are happy with a medium firm mattress, anywhere between a 5 to 7 on a 1 to 10 scale.
Not sure how firm you like it? Keep an eye out for flippable mattresses, which offer differing firmness levels on either side.