In our most recent survey, ‘The DFI Beds Big Irish Sleep Survey’ (conducted summer 2020), when asked what their favourite sleep position is, the majority of respondents (65.3%) said that they sleep on their side.
So, with the majority of the population of Ireland opting to sleep on their side, what is the best mattress for side sleepers? With so many mattress options available (check out our Mattress Buyers Guide for an overview), it can be difficult to identify which one is best suited to side sleeping. There are a number of factors to be considered here including the materials used in the mattress, the type of mattress and how firm it is.
Side sleepers tend to put more pressure on key areas of the body such as the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles; therefore the best mattress for you as a side sleeper will help to ensure that pressure is relieved to reduce unnecessary aches and pains.
Those who sleep on their side are putting the pressure of their entire bodyweight on key pressure points as they sleep. As we’ve mentioned, side sleepers require a mattress that will alleviate pressure on vulnerable areas such as the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles, and for this reason, a medium or soft mattress is best for side sleepers.
Unlike a firm mattress, medium or soft mattresses will allow the body to gently sink into this type of mattress, providing better pressure point relief, as well as support for your neck and spinal alignment.
What are pressure points?
In this instance, pressure points describe the areas of your body that are sensitive to changing pressure.
For side sleepers these areas tend to be the shoulder, knees and ankles as these are the areas with increased contact with the mattress and therefore the points taking the most pressure.
Best Mattress Types For Side Sleepers
As with all mattress choices, the "best" mattress for side sleepers ultimately comes down to personal preference, there is no one "best" option that will suit everyone. Despite this, we believe that ultimately, there are two types of mattresses best suited to sleeping on your side.
DFI Recommends: Hybrid Mattress
A hybrid mattress provides the support of a pocket sprung mattress system with the comfort and pressure relief of a memory foam topping layer, providing the comfortable softness for side sleepers to sink into. The pocket sprung mattress ensures body weight is evenly distributed, alleviating pressure and making it an ideal mattress for those who sleep on their side.
Why is a hybrid mattress best for side sleepers?
- Memory foam topping provides soft, comfortable topping that side sleepers can sink into, providing pressure point relief
- Pocket sprung section provides even distribution of weight and support of the mid-section
- Pressure relief for shoulders, hips, knees and ankles
- Medium level of firmness
- Ideal for those who sleep on their side OR back, making it versatile and ideal for partners with different sleeping positions
We believe a hybrid mattress e.g. DFI Gelflex, is the best mattress type for the majority of back sleepers.
Option 2: Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam mattresses are believed to offer pressure point relief on joint pain, thanks to its contouring properties which allow the material to fit around your body, providing firm support.
For side sleepers, this means that as you move to shift all weight onto your side, the memory foam will absorb the weight, allowing you to fully sink in and moulding itself to the natural position of your body as it moves throughout the night providing support.
Why is a memory foam mattress good for side sleepers?
- Relieves pressure relief for shoulders, hips, knees and ankles
- Memory foam changes shape to fit your body, offering firm, comfortable support throughout the night
- Available in different levels of firmness
- Ideal for those who sleep on their side, while also offering a comfortable sleep experience to various other sleep positions