Best types of mattresses for side and stomach sleepers

Everyone sleeps in a different way. So when it comes to mattresses, there’s no one-size-fits all answer.

Having the wrong mattress for your sleeping style could lead to sleepless nights or annoying back pain. But the good news is that there’s plenty of choice out there today, so with a little bit of research you’re sure to find your perfect fit.

Here we take a look at the best mattress types for side and stomach sleepers. Read on to find out how you can get the sound night’s sleep you’ve been looking for.  

Side sleepers

This is the most common sleeping position in the UK – more than half of all adults in the UK do the same as you. If this is your position of choice, then your body needs proper cushioning and support to ensure you don’t wake up feeling sore and aching. Your shoulders and hips will be under pressure while you sleep – and if your mattress isn’t firm enough to hold up your body evenly, then you’ll be much more susceptible to shoulder and hip pain.

With this in mind, the best mattresses for side sleeping will conform to the shape of your body, taking the pressure of your shoulders and hips. They will also align your spine to allow your muscles to relax.

You’ll be most comfortable on a medium or medium-soft mattress.

This will give you extra cushioning, allowing your body to sink slightly into the mattress. If you have something firmer, then your body would simply sit on top of it.

A memory foam mattress is one option for you, because it’s specifically designed to contour to the curves and protruding parts of your body. Alternatively, you could consider a hybrid mattress; coil support system provides great support, while your body sinks comfortably into the foam or quilted layer. You could also go for a latex mattress; its latex layers strike the balance between support and comfort, and conform well to your body. Bear in mind, though, that some people are allergic to latex, so make sure you’re okay with it before choosing this option.

Pillows for side sleepers?

Side sleepers also need plenty of support for the head and neck, so your pillow should be firm (or even extra firm). This will stop your head from tipping down to the mattress, and help you to align your head, neck, shoulders and hips.

woman laying on a bed

Stomach sleepers

If you sleep on your stomach, you’re much less likely to snore. But the truth is that this sleeping position isn’t recommended because it can lead to overarching the natural curve of your spine. And it can put great strain on your neck, too. All the more reason to take extra care when selecting your mattress.

While sleeping on your back or side helps to support your spine, stomach sleepers put significantly more pressure on their spine. And that means you’re likely to need a lot of support than a side sleeper would in order to avoid potential back pain and spinal issues.

You’ll be most comfortable on a firm mattress.

Anything too soft will place additional pressure on your lower back, because there will be too much give under your hips. A firm (or medium-firm) mattress will provide more support, and it’ll help maintain the natural alignment of your spine by stopping your body from sinking into the mattress.

It’s all about finding the balance between resistance and comfort, and pocket spring mattresses are one option. They’re designed to distribute your weight as evenly as possible while you sleep. Because their individual springs are cushioned within their own pockets, your pressure points will be fully supported, too.

Person sleeping on their stomach

Pillows for stomach sleepers?

While you’re shopping around for a new mattress, you could implement a short-term solution: as a stomach sleeper, sleeping on a body pillow will help reduce the pressure on your hips and back if you can’t afford a new mattress right away. Choosing the right pillows is almost as important as picking the correct type of mattress, but this really is a matter of personal choice, so make sure comfort is your number one priority.

Whether you like a hard pillow with lots of support or a softer pillow, pick one that doesn’t put your head and neck at opposing angles (a common cause of snoring and nighttime breathing problems), and aligns your head and neck with your shoulders and spine.