How to Choose the Best Mattresses for Your Sleeping Position
We all crave a good night's sleep and, since we spend about a third of our lives sleeping, it's important to do your due diligence when shopping for a mattress. Besides price and material, one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for mattresses is firmness.
That's because firmness affects how comfortable the mattress is to lie on. However, this is usually a matter of individual preference, as some people prefer soft mattresses and others go for a very firm mattress. Still, others - the majority - prefer a medium-firm mattress.
It All Starts With Your Sleeping Position
If you want to know the level of firmness that's best for your body, start by figuring out your dominant sleeping position. Typically, there are three categories of sleeping positions. The most common sleeping position is the side sleeper, followed by back sleepers and stomach sleepers.
There are also a few sleepers who are combination sleepers because they switch through these various positions throughout the night. If that's you, then you just need to figure out the position you find yourself sleeping in the most.
As the name suggests, a side sleeper prefers to lie on either side throughout the night. Side sleepers are the most common type of sleeper and the most beneficial because it removes strain from the back and hips. Research has
also shown that sleeping on your side helps improve circulation and reduce heartburn.
The best type of mattress for side sleepers is a medium-soft mattress. This type of mattress provides enough support to ensure the hips and shoulders don't sink too low.
Back sleepers are not too common because, for many people, this position does not offer enough support for their lower back. It also encourages snoring and may exacerbate problems like sleep apnea. However, it's great for letting your facial skin breathe. If you're a back sleeper, you will do well with a medium-firm mattress.
For stomach sleepers, the best type of mattress is a medium to firm mattress. That's because you don't want your abdomen to sink into the mattress, which causes your spine to misalign. The advantage of sleeping on your stomach is that it minimizes snoring. However, it can also put pressure on your internal organs.
In summary, the firmness of a mattress that's best for you is determined by your dominant sleeping position. But keep in mind that firmness does not equal support. For instance, about 32% of adults in the United States prefer sleeping on a spring mattress. For them, it offers the right kind of support but they can still get a spring mattress with the level of firmness they want.