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The Best Mattresses for Each Sleeping Position

Finding a comfortable mattress is crucial. It's also important to look at whether your mattress correctly supports the way you sleep. Whilst many people switch sleeping position throughout the night, there are three main sleeping positions:

  • Side
  • Back
  • Front

To guarantee you're getting a great night's sleep based on how you choose to snooze, read our guide to the best mattress for different sleep positions.

Man sleeping on his side in bed
Whether you're a front, back or side-sleeper, the right mattress can make all the difference to your sleep quality

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Best mattress summary

Not sure which mattress is best for your sleeping position? Here's a summary of what you should look for.

Sleeping position Comfort Support Firmness Pillow
Side Deep layer of memory foam, gel, latex or pillow-top Pocket sprung Medium-soft, medium or medium-firm Deeper
Back The choice is yours! Pocket sprung, open coil or orthopaedic Medium-firm or firm Slimmer
Front Layer of memory foam, gel, latex or Eco Comfort Pocket sprung Medium or medium-firm Slimmer
Mixed or different to your partner The choice is yours! Pocket sprung Medium Not too deep or too slim
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How mattresses affect sleeping positions

A mattress that doesn't suit your sleeping position can cause a lot more problems than you think - something you'll be aware of if you've been troubled with lower back, hip or shoulder pain. This is due to pressure points, or to put it simply, the parts of your body that press most against your mattress.

Different sleeping positions affect different pressure points. Ultimately, the best mattress for you is one that balances comfort and support - and prevents any pressure point pain.

In order to get the best night's sleep for your sleeping position, you need to consider two main factors:

  1. What the mattress is made from
  2. Comfort layers such as memory foam provide the pressure relief you need for your sleeping position
  3. The firmness rating of the mattress
  4. Firmness level is a personal choice, but can correctly support your sleeping position

Read on to find out the mattresses we recommend for your sleeping position. Alternatively, if you want to chat about what mattress suits your sleeping habits, give us a call!

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The best mattress for sleeping on your side

The best mattress for side-sleepers is a pocket sprung mattress, with a deep comfort layer on top. The deeper the comfort layer, the better! A nice thick layer will contour to your unique shape, so you can sleep on your side comfortably.

These types of mattresses - often called hybrid mattresses - reduce pressure on your hips and shoulders. They help prevent unwanted problems often associated with side-sleeping, including strain on the lower back, pressure point pain and arm numbness.

Sleeping on your side is one of the most common sleeping positions. It's an excellent position for pregnant women, as well as those suffering from heartburn and digestive difficulties.

  • Memory foam
  • A memory foam mattress provides excellent pressure relief and gently contours to your body shape. You'll get highly personalised care for your shoulders and hips.
  • Gel
  • A gel mattress will give you optimal comfort without the "sinking" feeling you may find with other foam-based mattresses. They're also renowned for being incredibly breathable and cooling.
  • Latex
  • Latex mattresses are highly responsive, and provide better bounce-back than memory foam mattresses.
  • Pillow top
  • A pillow top mattress features a sumptuous top pillow layer for extra cushioning and support. It's a great choice if you want a really luxurious mattress!

Casper Hybrid mattress and bed
The Casper Hybrid Mattress is an excellent hybrid mattress for side-sleepers

Best mattress firmness for side-sleepers

If you're a side-sleeper, we recommend slightly softer mattresses. This will allow your hips and shoulders to sink into the mattress a little, whilst ensuring good spinal alignment and head and neck support.

Of course, this is a broad recommendation. How firm or soft you like your mattress is ultimately down to personal choice. Your body weight also plays a role too - if you're lighter than average, your mattress will feel firmer. If you're heavier, your mattress will feel softer.

Without taking into account personal preference, we recommend the following mattress firmness ratings if you're a side-sleeper:

  • Medium-soft
  • Our softest firmness rating, medium-soft mattresses give a plush feel that you'll "sink" into. The heavier you are, the more you'll feel this effect. This is particularly comfortable if you're a side-sleeper with bigger hips or shoulders.
  • Medium
  • Not too soft or too firm, a medium mattress gives you the best of both worlds. It's a good choice if you and your partner sleep in different positions.
  • Medium-firm
  • Medium-firm mattresses provide more "give" than a firm mattress but will feel more supportive than softer options. They're great if you're a side-sleeper of average or above-average build, and you prefer a firmer feel.
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The best mattress for sleeping on your back

The best mattress for back-sleepers is a pocket sprung, open coil, or even orthopaedic mattress. These mattresses provide the best care and support for natural spinal alignment. You'll also need extra support for the heaviest areas of your body - typically your midsection.

Sleeping on your back is thought to be one of the healthiest sleeping positions, because your spine is naturally aligned. Sleeping in a flat, straight position helps prevent pressure on your body overall.

  • Pocket sprung
  • A pocket sprung mattress provides superior support. Many pocket sprung mattresses - like Silentnight Mirapocket mattresses - are zoned. This means you'll get enhanced support for the heaviest areas and softer support elsewhere.
  • Open coil
  • Also known as a standard sprung mattress, open coil mattresses evenly distribute your weight for great all-round support and pressure relief. Look out for zoned open coil mattresses, such as our range of Silentnight Miracoil mattresses.
  • Orthopaedic
  • An orthopaedic mattress is a great choice if you're looking for expert back care. This type of mattress can reduce strain on your spine, improve your posture and prevent you from feeling stiff and sore when you wake up.
Silentnight Sofia 1200 Mirapocket Mattress
The Silentnight Sofia is a supportive mattress for back-sleepers

Best mattress firmness for back-sleepers

If you're a back-sleeper, we recommend slightly firmer mattresses. This is because you'll need excellent spinal alignment and extra support for your heaviest areas.

Of course, this is a personal choice and you may still prefer a softer feel. Your body weight is another important consideration, too - if you're heavier than average, you may prefer a firmer mattress.

Without taking into account your personal preference, we recommend the following mattress firmness ratings if you're a back-sleeper:

  • Medium-firm
  • Medium-firm mattresses are the most popular choice for back-sleepers, since they provide the best support without feeling too firm.
  • Firm
  • Firm mattresses are great if you're a back-sleeper and love a firmer feel, or if you're of above-average weight.
Man sleeping on his back in bed
Sleeping on your back could actually improve your spinal alignment
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The best mattress for sleeping on your front

The best mattress for front- or stomach-sleepers is a pocket sprung mattress. Pocket sprung mattresses keep your spine in natural alignment, help distribute body weight evenly and ensure every potential pressure point is soothed.

You should then ensure your pocket sprung mattress includes a comfort layer to cushion you, such as:

Sleeping on your stomach can be very comfortable, although it can lead to neck and back pain. The right kind of mattress can help to prevent this. To get the best night's sleep on your front, your mattress should:

  • Ensure healthy spinal alignment
  • You'll need more support than a side-sleeper but less than a back-sleeper
  • Provide good pressure relief
  • To care for sensitive areas such as your head, neck, arms and shoulders - without being overly soft
  • Balance comfort with support
  • You'll need more cushioning than a back-sleeper but less than a side-sleeper
Sleepeezee Jessica 1800 Pocket Gel Mattress
The Sleepeezee Jessica perfectly balances comfort and support for front-sleepers

Best mattress firmness for front-sleepers

If you're a front-sleeper, we recommend mattresses that balance comfort with support. It should "give" a little without being overly soft. If your mattress is too soft, you'll sink into it and overarch your spine. If it's too firm, your spine won't adopt a healthy, natural curve.

Our recommendations are broad and they're not based on your own personal preferences. We recommend the following mattress firmness ratings if you're a front-sleeper:

  • Medium
  • A medium mattress provides balanced comfort and support. It's also a great choice if you and your partner sleep in different positions.
  • Medium-firm
  • Medium-firm mattresses provide a slightly firmer feel, so could be a better option if you're a front-sleeper of average or above-average weight.
Woman sleeping on her front in bed
A supportive mattress is best if you like to sleep on your front
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Best mattress for tossing and turning

Of course, many of us don't stay in the same position each night. We may switch between sleeping positions to get more comfortable, or we fall asleep in one position and wake up in another!

If you change position frequently during the night, you may find that a medium pocket sprung mattress is the best option for you. This type of mattress gives you the support you need if you turn over onto your back, but the softer comfort you need if you also sleep on your side.

If you and your partner sleep in different positions, we recommend medium pocket sprung mattresses for the same reasons. It's the best of both worlds - without much compromise!

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Best pillows for your sleeping position

It's easy to overlook your pillow on your quest for the perfect mattress. However, it's just as important! Typically, side-sleepers will need a deeper pillow, whereas back-sleepers or front-sleepers will need a slimmer pillow.

Best pillows for side-sleepers

A deep pillow is best for side-sleepers, particularly if you have wide shoulders. Pillows that are too slim will cause your head to fall too low, and result in poor spinal alignment.

We recommend a deeper pillow to support and align your head and neck naturally, like the Mammoth Ultimate Deep Pillow - specifically made for side-sleepers.

Mammoth Ultimate Deep Pillow

  • 19cm deep
  • Deeper profile pillow
  • Perfect for side-sleepers
  • Only £79.99

Best pillows for front- or back-sleepers

If you're a front- or back-sleeper, you won't need as deep a pillow as side-sleepers do. Pillows that are too deep will raise your head too high. You'll need a pillow that correctly supports your head and neck, maintaining optimal spinal alignment.

We recommend a slimmer pillow like the Mammoth Ultimate Slim Pillow - specifically made for front- and back-sleepers.

Mammoth Ultimate Slim Pillow

  • 15cm deep
  • Slimmer pillow design
  • Great for front- or back-sleepers
  • Only £69.99

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We hope that this guide has helped you decide which mattress is best for your sleeping position. For more information on finding the best mattress for you, read our guide to mattress firmness and learn about our different firmness ratings. We've also got tips on sleeping with a bad back to help alleviate your aches and pains.

If you need additional assistance, don't forget you can always contact our friendly team for some tailored advice on choosing the best mattress.

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