Put a finger down if you've ever woken up with back, neck, or shoulder pain after watching TikToks in bed.
For people like you who spend a good chunk of the night resting or snoozing on your side, a morning without any aches or stiffness can feel as elusive as two pretty best friends when you don't have the right kind of mattress. If that's the case, it's high time to start looking for a better bed.
Which type of mattress is best for side sleepers?
When it comes to online mattress reviews, “it seems like side sleepers complain universally.”
At least, that’s the observation Redditor productive_monkey made on r/Mattress while scouring the internet for bed advice, and it’s true: Most people who sleep on their sides aren't going to be satisfied by most mattresses on the market. You basically need the Goldilocks of mattresses — one that’s not super-firm and not super-soft, but just right.
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Side sleepers need a bed with that rare mashup of balanced plushness and support to keep their spine adequately aligned throughout the night. If your vertebrae aren’t properly positioned as the result of your pelvis sitting too high (on a too-hard mattress) or too low (on a too-squishy mattress), you’ll put unnecessary pressure on your shoulders and/or hips while you sleep in that lateral position. You’ll likely wake up feeling sore, or toss and turn throughout the night as a result of that annoying “dead arm” feeling stemming from the pressure.
How can I tell if I need a new mattress?
To be sure, there are lots of ways to improve one’s sleep quality besides investing in a new and improved mattress. You can avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, for instance, or get more exercise throughout the day, invest in a pair of blue light blocking glasses, or simply put down your phone a few hours before bedtime to start reaping some of the benefits of a good night’s sleep. (Those include reduced stress, a decreased risk of depression, and boosted memory, to name a few.)
Still, those methods will only help to an extent, and they don’t address the average side sleeper’s No. 1 slumber woe, which is the discomfort you experience as the result of a poor spinal alignment. If you're consistently waking up stiff and achy, looking into a better bed is definitely the route to go.
What's the best mattress for side sleepers?
Just as productive_monkey took to Reddit in hopes of finding the best mattress for their side-sleeping needs, so too have we rummaged through the front page of the internet to find the community’s favorite models and styles.