Someone sleeping on their side with their back facing the camera next to a window

Is There A "Best Mattress" For Side Sleepers?

April 19, 2017

Author: Josie Sivigny

Finding the perfect position to sleep in is critical to getting the shuteye you need. Some people find lying on their back or stomach most comfortable, but for a lot of people, sleeping on the side of their bodies, or partially on their side and stomach is the only way they can fall asleep. If you find that you love to sleep on your side, when you start shopping you may be confronted with several different models loudly proclaimed to be the best mattress for side sleepers.

Here’s the thing though, depending on the year, the season, hell—the direction of the wind, it seems that “research” changes on what is the healthiest, or best, sleeping position for us. Is butter or margarine currently better for us? Sleeping in the fetal position or while lying on the back?

Even more deceptive is the “research” telling you that you need a certain mattress based on the way you sleep. What’s the rule of thumb here? People who sleep on their back need firmer mattresses and people who sleep on their side need softer mattresses? The interesting thing here is that we’ve looked into it and found that most of the “science” surrounding the mattress firmness scale and sleeping positions is really just either pseudo-science or common sense.

In fact, most people, regardless of age, height, weight, sleeping position, income or anything else the mattress industry tries to categorize you by, can sleep on one mattress, as long as they are comfortable and supported.

Another thing to note is there’s no standardized firmness scale in the mattress industry so it ends up being incredibly subjective. What I might find super firm, the person next to me might find to be a medium firm and you might find to be on the softer side. With no standardization, “medium” mattresses from different manufacturers could all feel vastly different.

Lastly, what about those of us who might regularly fall asleep in one position but wake up in different positions every day. If you tend to fall asleep on your stomach but regularly wake up on your back or side, does that make you a stomach sleeper? Is there such thing as a “combo sleeper mattress”? Why not?

After learning of the purposeful confusion, deception and ambiguity mattress manufacturers were creating for customers, Tuft & Needle founders JT Marino and Daehee Park set out to create one universally comfortable mattress that would work for most people. Their goal was to have transparency around their product and the industry in general.

The Tuft & Needle Mattress is ideal for side sleepers, back sleepers, stomach sleepers—maybe even standing sleepers! (Lawyer’s Note: We don’t recommend you sleep standing up, especially standing on a mattress.)

Created using T&N Adaptive® Foam, a formula unique to Tuft & Needle that combines the comfort and pressure relief of memory foam with the support and breathability of latex, T&N’s mattress is wonderfully soft without the sink—which is just what most people need to get a great night’s sleep.

So despite what the mattress salesmen in the store on the corner says, as a side sleeper, you only need whatever mattress you find most comfortable.

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