Best mattresses for different sleeping positions
Looking to buy a new mattress? You may be wondering which mattress is best suited to your sleeping position.
If you’re experiencing back pain, lack of sleep, or just can’t seem to get comfortable you're probably sleeping on a mattress that doesn't suit your sleep style. Either way, if you're serious about getting a good night's sleep, it's important to find the best mattress for you!
To make it easy, we spoke with renowned chiropractor Dr Alex Harvey to break down the most popular sleeping positions and which mattress suits them best.
Best mattress for side sleepers
"For side sleepers, it is important to have a mattress with support that keeps your spine neutral, you don't want your neck to be lower than your hips or your body twisting like a pretzel. " - Dr Alex Harvey
Most Australians tend to sleep on their sides, so if this is you, opt for a mattress that offers a lot of support. If you tend to sleep on your side, ensure your spine is in a neutral position whilst you're sleeping to avoid your shoulder and hip from sinking too low into the mattress. Hip, neck and back pain are signs of a mattress that is not offering enough support.
Hybrid mattresses that are a combination of memory foam and pocket springs are the best mattress to buy for side sleepers. This is because the memory foam adds a cloud-like cushioning on top, whilst the pocket springs provide adequate support.
Best mattress for back sleepers
"For back sleepers, it is important that the mattress doesn't dip or sag, and allows your body weight to disperse evenly - which is why memory foam mattresses are excellent. " - Dr Alex Harvey
Like side sleepers, back sleepers also require additional support to ensure their neck does not fall out of alignment. A mattress containing memory foam will provide plush comfort as well as support for the lower back.
Those suffering from upper or lower back pain may also want to think about 5-zone pocket springs, which conform to the body's curves and relieve pressure.
Best mattress for stomach sleepers
"The only position to be cautious of is sleeping on your stomach, and this is due to the position your head has to sit (often at a 90-degree angle on the pillow) - but again, sleeping in this position is better than not sleeping at all!" - Dr Alex Harvey
Stomach sleepers require a mattress that is medium-firm for adequate support. A mattress that contains latex and memory foam will provide a dense layer of both cushioning and support.
Make sure you opt for natural latex and gel memory foam to ensure the mattress stays cool as you sleep. For added breathability, choose a mattress that also contains pocket springs to allow for extra airflow.
Best mattress for combination sleepers
“In my experience with recommending sleeping positions to thousands of patients, I always say it is important to have the spine in a neutral position, with no unnecessary twisting or bending. A great memory mattress will allow the contours of your spine to sit neutrally & naturally on the bed... That's why I sleep on one myself!" Dr Alex Harvey
If you like to switch up your sleeping style or share a bed with a pet and/or partner consider a hybrid mattress to minimise partner disturbance. Feeling your co-sleeper toss and turn all night whilst they struggle to get comfortable is most people's biggest nightmare!
A hybrid mattress contains a top layer of memory foam to isolate motion, followed by pressure-relieving pocket springs. So if you find yourself changing from starfish, to log, to free fall look for a mattress that offers zero partner disturbance.
What are the different sleeping positions?
Your preferred sleeping position can be due to a number of factors; if you're pregnant, have previous or current injuries, the firmness of your mattress and even if you're a snorer! Sometimes the sleeping position you find most comfortable can change depending on these factors, but most people stick with the same position(s) for most of their life.
That's why knowing which position you sleep in can help you find a mattress that is not only comfortable but one that also supports you in areas you need it most.
Read on to find out which sleeping position you fall under
The Fetal Position
The fetal position is when you sleep curled up on your side and is the most popular position, especially among women. Named after the position that babies often take in the womb, the fetal position is the ultimate comfort. Ironically, it’s the best position for pregnant women as it allows for maximum oxygen and nutrient flow to the baby. The fetal position is also a great position for your back as it helps to support the natural curves of the spine.
The Log Position
If you prefer the log position when you sleep, you'll find yourself sleeping on your side with your arms stretched down in a straight line. 15% of the population prefer this position, which is great considering it keeps the back in a neutral position. Those affected by snoring or sleep apnea should sleep on their side to reduce symptoms. To ease pressure on your hips, place a pillow or folded blanket between your knees.
The Yearner Position
If you're yearning for a good sleep, this might be the sleeping position for you! A side sleeping position, the yearner is similar to the log, only the arms are straight out in front of the body. According to new research on sleeping postures, sleeping on your side can help your brain to clear waste more effectively, reducing the risk of neurological disease.
The Soldier Position
8% of people find the soldier to be their go-to sleeping position. If you sleep on your back with both arms by your side, you’re a soldier sleeper. Those who suffer from sleep apnea or snore frequently may want to avoid back sleeping positions. Not only is sleep apnea or snoring disruptive for your co-sleeper, but it may also prevent you from entering a deep sleep which can lead to more health concerns.
If you suffer from lower back pain, placing a pillow under your knees in this position can help to flatten your spine and reduce pain.
The Freefaller Position
This position is favoured by those who prefer to sleep on their stomach. In this position, arms will be raised up with the head facing to the side. Whilst it's important to sleep in a way you are most comfortable, sleeping on your stomach can lead to back and neck pain. The 7% of the population that sleep on their stomach are also more likely to toss and turn as they try to fall asleep.
The Starfish Position
This sleeping position is characterised by lying exactly how it sounds; on your back with your arms and legs spread out. Whilst only a small number of people sleep this way, laying on your back (with the right mattress) can be great for spinal alignment and is best for those who experience acid reflux.
What is the best sleeping position?
With so many different sleeping positions out there, we decided to seek out an expert to determine the best sleeping position for your health.
Dr Alex Harvey from Total Health Chiropractic has over 6 practices across Australia and follows a holistic approach to assess and determine the root cause of his patient’s health issues. From his research, it's clear there is not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to sleeping positions.
"The most important aspect of sleeping is comfort. Whilst we often hear that sleeping on your back is best for your spine, even that can place added stress through your neck and airways - which is a big contributor to snoring."
Dr Harvey goes on to mention the negative impacts lack of sleep can have on our health.
"If you can't be comfortable in whatever position you sleep in, your body doesn't get a chance to rest and rejuvenate. Sleep is one of the pillars of health, with a lack of sleep known to cause: irritability, fatigue, decreased motivation, increased stress and increased susceptibility to chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity - and shortens your life expectancy!"
So now we know the best sleeping position for your health is the one you’re most comfortable in, let’s explore the best mattress for side, back and stomach sleepers.
We spend ⅓ of our life asleep, so it’s important to make sure we have a supportive mattress that suits the way we naturally like to sleep.
The Eva Mattress is a 4x award-winning design that blends the plush comfort of memory foam, with dust-mite resistant latex foam, and supportive 5-zone pocket springs.
Shop the Eva Mattress and experience a 365 day trial, free delivery and flexible payment options. If you don’t sleep better, we’ll pick it up for free and refund you.