Which Mattress is Best for my Sleeping Position?


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That elusive good night's sleep always seems far out of your reach, but it shouldn't be. As human beings, our brains are geared towards needing regular rest and the chance to refresh - but for many people, insomnia and joint pain can make it seem impossible to wake up feeling relaxed and ready to start the day.


While there are many contributors to poor sleep quality, your mattress plays an important role. It's common for some people to shop online for a bed and look at the firmness level and comfort layers but fail to factor in how their sleeping position should impact their choice.


In this post, we'll look at which mattress types are best for your sleeping position. So if you don't know whether a luxurious memory foam mattress will send you drifting off to dreamland or a multi-functional hybrid mattress will provide the support you need, read on to find out.



Why Your Sleeping Position Can Impact Your Spine & Neck


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You probably hear people talking about why you should learn to stand and sit properly - and it's all to do with posture. Poor posture can impact your spine and neck, but most people don't think about their posture when they sleep.


Imagine staying in the same position for hours at a time, and you'll see why the way you sleep can impact your spine alignment and joints more than anything else.


Whether you barely move as soon as you drift off to dreamland or are a restless sleeper, you can cause long-term damage to your skeletal system.


The height of your pillow, your preferred sleeping position and how your neck and spine align can impact your sleep quality, and stomach sleepers especially have problems with their neck.


Let's take a look at the different sleeping positions and the issues they might cause.



Stomach Sleeping


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Ask most doctors or specialists, and they'll tell you that stomach sleeping is the worst position anyone can have. Its only benefit is that it might stop you from snoring. Few people sleep on their front because it's an awkward position that doesn't offer much comfort.


For some people, sleeping on their stomach is the only way to get some shut-eye. If you sleep on your front, it's more likely that you'll suffer from neck problems.


It's near impossible to place your face onto a pillow and breathe, so most people have to turn their heads. As you can imagine, this causes significant neck pain, which impacts both your professional and personal life.



Back Sleeping


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Everyone recommends back sleeping because it's the one position that minimises the risks of back pain - but very few people are back sleepers. It's the position we're forced into as babies, but children and adults tend to become side sleepers because it mimics the fetal position.


Most people don't find sleeping on their backs comfortable because it's a restrictive position. But for the small group of back sleepers, it reduces their risk of pain and keeps their spine and neck aligned.


One issue back sleepers might have is neck pain if their pillow is too high. It can put unnecessary strain on your neck, but this is usually easy to fix with a thin pillow that contours to your head and neck.



Side Sleeping


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Side sleepers make up most of the population because lying on your side promotes comfort and security. In general, sleeping on your side isn't an issue, and some would even argue that it's just as beneficial as sleeping on your back.


When you sleep on your side, you promote better digestion and can reduce stomach pain. Many people that suffer from conditions such as heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux notice that lying on their stomach makes the problem worse and resting on their backs worsen the symptoms.


So if you do suffer from any of those conditions - it might be worth sleeping on your side. However, there are some drawbacks, including the increased risk of neck and shoulder pain.


As long as your mattress isn't too firm or soft, side sleeping might help you get the peaceful sleep you desire.



Which Mattress Type is Best For You?


Now that you know how the different types of sleeping positions can impact your health, it's time to look at which mattress is best for your needs. In recent years, manufacturers have updated their technology, and there are so many new mattress models to choose between.


While more choice is a good thing, it can be hard to make a decision. Luckily, whether you're a front, side or back sleeper, there's a mattress waiting for you.



Stomach Sleepers


Stomach sleepers need a lot of support, so a soft mattress isn't going to be of much use. The primary reason for this is that soft bedding cannot promote spine alignment, and the different pressure points of your body might react negatively.


Ideally, it would be best to look for a hybrid mattress with firm support and a comfort layer to promote restful sleep.



Hybrid Mattresses


The average hybrid mattress is a mixture of pocket springs and supportive material. When it comes to springs, you have a choice between traditional coils and pockets. Coils work as one unit, which can lead to problems with motion transfer.


A continuous coil system can also cause problems for front and side sleepers alike - because both will have uneven weight distribution. Pocket springs, however, are highly adaptive to individuals because each spring works on its own.


For example, if you carry more weight on your stomach, the pocket springs will adapt to offer more support, but they won't sink in the leg area, which decreases your risk of pain.


Most hybrid mattresses have a memory foam or latex comfort layer, both of which are highly effective at offering support. Memory foam is a cheaper material, but it provides the same functions and benefits as latex.



The Front Sleeper Mattress Checklist


If you're ready to invest in a new mattress, it's essential you check the one you choose is suitable for stomach sleeping. Here are some key factors you should consider.



Does it provide pressure relief?


The mattress should be the perfect mixture of support and comfort.



Will it align my spine?


Back sleeper mattresses require little cushioning, so check to see whether the consistency is medium firm.



Side Sleepers


Side sleepers will have no problems finding the right mattress because most manufacturers recognise that sleeping on the side is favoured for most people.


You'll have plenty of choices available, but it's important to remember that you need to find a mattress that balances support with comfort.



Memory Foam Mattresses


Memory foam is one of those materials that offers so much - and it won't break your budget—the foam works by contouring around your body to give you maximum support and comfort. As the shoulders and hips have more pressure points, the softness of memory foam can prove to be beneficial for side sleepers.



Pocket Sprung Mattresses


There's no doubt about it; pocket sprung mattresses are renowned for their supportive features, and many side sleepers find that the springs relieve pressure around their hips and shoulders. However, one major issue with pocket springs is they can be pretty uncomfortable.


If you sleep on your side, it's best to choose a mattress that has a mixture of pocket springs and memory foam, latex, or gel. This option will provide you with a mix of support and comfort, which guarantees a better night's sleep.



Soft Versus Firm Mattress: Which is Better For Side Sleepers?


You'll have a bit of wiggle room with the mattress you choose, and the critical thing to remember here is it should be of medium consistency. Whether you prefer a softer mattress, soft medium or medium-firm mattresses, and will be suitable to provide the proper support.


Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, so it's crucial to think about how you like to sleep and whether you prefer that sinking feeling or are happier with more support.



Back Sleepers


Back sleepers also have a lot of choices, and three types of mattresses will offer high levels of support. You naturally align your spine when you sleep on your back, but thick pillows can cause neck pain.


Pocket sprung, orthopaedic and open coil mattresses are all excellent choices because they offer a comfortable sleeping surface while offering the balance you'll need to sleep in a straight line.



Orthopaedic Mattresses


There's some controversy surrounding orthopaedic mattresses and whether they can offer a good night's sleep. If you suffer from severe back problems, an orthopaedic bed can relieve some of that pain, but regular sleepers should avoid them because the mattress can be too firm.



Hybrid Mattresses


Hybrid mattresses are cropping up everywhere in this post, but it's impossible to ignore their features. Once again, the combination of supportive springs and contouring memory foam makes for a peaceful night.



Open Coil Mattresses


Back sleepers have a naturally balanced position, which makes open coils ideal in many ways. The system offers comfort and support without specialised pressure relief - which you won't need if you're not a restless sleeper.


One thing to note is motion transfer. Because open coils usually work together, they can cause issues if one person moves around a lot in their sleep.



Avoid Soft Mattresses


A soft mattress won't give back sleepers the support they need, and it can lead to sinking, which isn't great for promoting spinal alignment. Instead, it's best to choose a medium-firm to firm mattress, depending on your personal needs.


If you don't suffer from back pain, then a medium-firm mattress will provide more comfort - especially if you're slim.



How to Choose a Mattress if You're a Restless Sleeper


Restless sleepers adopt many positions during the night, and it can be challenging to find the best mattress that accommodates every sleeping position. Therefore, it's best to balance your needs and choose a medium mattress.


Memory foam is an excellent option because it can adapt to your body shape and sleeping style. Most restless sleepers still have a preferred position, so memory foam will offer the best support if you switch between lying on your side to your back.


Hybrid mattresses are also ideal for restless sleepers, especially if you toss and turn throughout the night. Combining pocket spring technology with a memory foam mattress provides motion isolation benefits that traditional innerspring mattresses don't offer.


While some people believe latex mattresses are of higher quality, they're very similar to memory foam. If you'd like to benefit from a high-quality mattress but don't want to spend a fortune on latex, foam will be a strong performer.



Things to Consider


With so many mattress types to consider, finding the perfect mattresses for your needs can be a real challenge. Let's look at each material and the key points you should consider when trading in your old mattress.



Memory Foam


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This NASA designed material was once too expensive for manufacturers to use in their mattresses. Still, technology means that people worldwide can benefit from the supreme comfort and flexibility memory foam offers.


However, there are some minor disadvantages to foam.



It's Heavy


Yes, memory foam is heavy, but the recent bed in a box design means it's easy for anyone to move to their bedroom.



It Can Get Hot


Memory foam doesn't have natural temperature regulating features, but most manufacturers add a layer to keep your body temperature down. At Emma, all of our mattresses come with a moisture-resistant top cover, so if you're looking for the perfect mattress, it's essential to check whether the model you choose comes with this feature.



Pocket Sprung Mattresses


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Pocket springs take their base design from traditional coil mattresses but have features to suit people that want more targeted support. The springs work individually, meaning they support each pressure point of your body, which is a significant advantage for side and front sleepers.


If you're looking for a long-lasting mattress, pocket springs can be beneficial, but they have a few drawbacks.



Less Durable Than Memory Foam


Pocket springs have to support individual pressure points on your body, so they'll naturally begin to wear. You'll need to replace the mattress unless it's combined with memory foam, which will increase the durability.



Some Manufacturers Use Low-Quality Foam


The best mattresses will use premium memory foam, not just for the top layers but also to protect the pocket springs. One issue with pocket springs is that manufacturers often decide to cut corners and use cheap foam, but you can avoid this by doing some research before making a purchase.





Latex mattresses are confusing to many people because they can be both synthetic and natural. Natural latex comes from a rubber tree, while synthetic latex consists of an assortment of chemicals.


While both have their benefits, such as durability and natural temperature-regulating features, there are distinct disadvantages to buying a latex mattress.



It's Expensive


Latex mattresses will make their presence known on your bank balance. While some people are willing to invest in latex, most choose memory foam because it offers the same features without the hefty price tag.



Natural Latex Offers More Quality


When it comes to choosing a mattress that offers constant support, natural latex shines. Artificial latex can create imprints when a person sleeps, which can make it difficult for couples.



The Takeaway


Hopefully, this post gives you an idea of which mattress type is best for your sleeping position. There are so many things to consider, but taking the time to evaluate which mattress type is best for your needs means you can sleep better and wake up feeling rejuvenated.


The most important factors that should play a role in your decision include your sleeping position, mattress firmness and materials. But you also need to think about your body weight and how it might impact your final choice.


At Emma Sleep, we believe that everyone should benefit from excellent sleep quality - which is why our mattresses, pillows and mattress protector are affordable solutions to finally catching some Zs.


Would you like to learn more about the intensive research process that goes into creating our award-winning sleep solutions and get an exclusive look at how our mattresses are made? Visit the Emma Sleep Experts page.




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