If you are in the market for a new mattress, you may be wondering if you should be seeking out a certain type of mattress based on the fact that you are a side sleeper. We are going to answer that question and so many more.
Questions To Ask The Mattress Salesperson
No matter if you are a back sleeper, side sleeper, if you sleep standing up, etc. your first question to the mattress store should be “does the store fit mattresses to specific sleep positions? For example – I’m a back sleeper can you direct me to the models designed specifically for back sleepers” according to Scott at Parklane Mattresses in Portland, OR. The answer to this question will tell you a lot about the motives and the expertise of the person you are speaking with. If they do tell you XYZ is the best mattress for side sleepers, follow-up and ask “why” this is the case. Scott also warns that if the answer is “what is your budget” or is to tell you about something on sale or a current special, that the store doesn’t really have the goal of finding the right mattress fit for you.
The mattress selection process shouldn’t be understated. You’d be embarrassed if you started calculating the percentage of your life that is spent on a mattress, which means you should be prepared to buy quality and find a mattress that will support your side sleeping ways!
Once you’ve found a place that can pass the test of your initial questions, you should really focus on properly testing the mattress in store. Many shoppers go about this all wrong. You should narrow down your search to 2 or 3 candidates within 15 minutes or so, and grab a pillow that is most like the one you use at home. From there, as awkward as it might feel, you should be spending about a half an hour on each mattress in the side sleeping position. Scott Olsen warns “If you are a side sleeper, laying on the mattress on your back with your feet crossed (the top position most customers try when laying on a mattress) will provide a dramatically different feel than actually laying on your side or in your “normal” sleep position.”
If you think about it, this is very true and the approach you see many shoppers taking. Because you are a side sleeper, this doesn’t change the fact that your personal comfort may be with a more firm bed as opposed to something more plush. These are both negotiable items based on preference. However, the only way you are going to get a realistic feel for the bed is to most closely replicate your sleeping position in your day to day life.
Are There Mattress For Side Sleepers?
Yes and no. There are certain things you are looking for as a side sleeper, but that isn’t to say that there is a particular kind of mattress you should buy which a back sleeper wouldn’t be able to tolerate. As Mark Wenger pointed out, “A high quality mattress usually will accommodate both (sleep positions). Pressure points are your worst enemy whether you are a back or side sleeper. You do not want a mattress that inhibits circulation in any manner. You should feel even support along your entire body without pressure on any particular part of it. For example, if you are a side sleeper, you should not feel like you are balancing on your hips and shoulder.” So in short, overall quality is the key – no matter what sleep type it may claim to be best for.
So what is the best mattress for side sleepers? It is difficult to give a specific brand and bed name, as manufacturers make this intentionally vague. In our conversation with Northwest Mattress, they noted “That identical mattress you’re looking at probably has 30-40 different names unfortunately. There’s a reason retailers do this, makes it virtually impossible to compare apples to apples.” So don’t get hung up on the brand necessarily, but be more concerned with the materials it is constructed with and how it feels to you after following the steps outlined above.