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. While 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

What is the best mattress?: A summary

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

Sleeping positionComfort LayerSupportFirmnessPillow Depth
SideDeep layer of memory foam, gel, latex or pillow-topPocket sprungMedium-soft, medium or medium-firmDeeper
BackThe choice is yours!Pocket sprung, open coil or orthopaedicMedium-firm or firmSlimmer
FrontLayer of memory foam, gel, latex or Eco ComfortPocket sprungMedium or medium-firmSlimmer
Mixed or different to your partnerThe choice is yours!Pocket sprungMediumMedium

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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:

  • What the mattress is made from

Comfort layers such as memory foam provide the pressure relief you need for your sleeping position

  • The firmness rating of the mattress

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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Side Sleepers

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.

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.

If you're a side-sleeper, the following mattress comfort layers will be great for you:

  • Memory foam

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

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

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!

Best mattress firmness for side-sleepers

If you're a side-sleeper, we recommend slightly softer mattresses. This is the best choice for side-sleeping, as it 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.

Top 3 mattresses for side-sleepers

Casper Hybrid Mattress on a grey bed

1. Casper Hybrid Mattress

  • The best of both worlds - a mixture of memory foam and pocket springs
  • Casper's most supportive mattress
  • Firmness: Medium
  • From only £500
Sleepsoul Bliss 800 Pocket Memory Pillow Top Mattress

2. SleepSoul Bliss 800 Pocket Memory Pillow Top Mattress

  • 2cm memory foam layer provides supreme comfort
  • 800 individual pocket springs for support
  • Firmness: Medium
  • From only £289.95

3. Sealy Posturepedic Nostromo Latex 1400 Pocket Pillow Top Mattress

  • Luxuriously topped with a cosy pillow top layer
  • 1400 pocket springs provide superb support
  • Firmness: Medium
  • From only £479.95

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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. So, we recommend a deeper pillow to support and align your head and neck naturally.

As you need a deeper pillow to fill the space between your head and shoulder when you sleep, you also need a supportive pillow. Ideally, you want a pillow with a higher firmness rating such as:

This is because a softer pillow won't be able to keep your head and neck aligned like a more supportive option.

With a more supportive pillow option in mind, the following comfort fillings are best suited to side-sleepers:

  • Memory foam

Memory foam pillows provide fantastic support and will mould to the shape of your shoulder and neck for a super comfortable sleeping experience.

  • Latex

Latex pillows are similar to memory foam pillows, but often feel more springy. They're also extremely responsive and will adjust to your weight and shape as you sleep.

  • Feather and down

Feather pillows may not be as firm as other materials, but if you layer two on top of each other, they will be able to support your neck and shoulders. Make sure that these pillows are high quality to provide the comfort and support you need.

Top 3 pillows for side-sleepers

Mammoth Ultimate Deep Pillow

1. Mammoth Ultimate Deep Pillow

  • 19cm deep
  • Super deep pillow
  • Made with side-sleepers in mind
  • From only £79.99
Relyon Superior Comfort Deep Latex Pillow

2. Relyon Superior Comfort Deep Latex Pillow

  • 17cm deep
  • Rated firm for extra support
  • Bounce-back technology to keep its shape
  • From only £84.95
Dormeo Octaspring True Evolution Plus Pillow

3. Dormeo Octaspring True Evolution Plus Pillow

  • 16cm deep
  • Refreshing, cooling comfort
  • Superior Octaspring® support
  • From only £59.95

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Back Sleepers

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.

The best mattress for sleeping on your back

The best mattress for back-sleepers is a pocket sprungopen 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.

Below, we explain why these three choices are the best type of mattresses for back-sleepers:

  • 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.

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

Top 3 mattresses for back-sleepers

Silentnight Sofia 1200 Mirapocket Mattress

1. Silentnight Sofia 1200 Mirapocket Mattress

  • State of the art Mirapocket springs provide ultimate back support
  • Featuring Eco Comfort Fibre™ for a cool and fresh sleep
  • Firmness: Medium to firm
  • From only £309.95
Millbrook Wool Luxury 4000 Pocket Mattress

 2. Millbrook Wool Luxury 4000 Pocket Mattress

  • Hand-crafted pocket springs provide tailored support
  • Luxurious, natural wool comfort
  • Firmness: Medium to firm
  • From only £454.95

3. Sealy Posturepedic Aspen Mattress

  • Promotes healthy spinal alignment
  • Weight responsive spring system gives total body support
  • Firmness: Firm
  • From only £174.90

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Best pillows for back-sleepers

If you sleep on your back, your pillow doesn't need to be as deep as the side-sleeper pillows. This is because your head and neck will already be mostly level with your spine. Because of this, a medium depth pillow will be best for you.

For back-sleepers, firmness isn't as crucial as it is for other types of sleepers. However, we suggest opting for the following pillow firmnesses:

This is just because you'll want a pillow that you can slightly sink into to keep your neck, shoulders and spine level.

Below is a list of pillow types that are suitable for back-sleepers:

  • Feather and down

Feather and down pillows are very comfortable and can be plumped up to your preference - which is great for back-sleepers!

  • Hollowfibre

Hollowfibre pillows are a great option because they offer great comfort and support while not being too deep.

  • Memory foam

Memory foam pillows can offer you all the support you need, but just check that they aren't too deep for your sleeping position.

  • Latex

Latex pillows provide that sink-in feeling without missing out on support, so you can sleep comfortably.

Top 3 pillows for back-sleepers

Relyon Superior Comfort Deep Latex Pillow

1. Relyon Superior Comfort Slim Latex Pillow

  • 13cm deep
  • Medium firmness
  • Responsive latex comfort
  • From only £74.95
Silentnight Deep Sleep Pillow Pair

2. Silentnight Deep Sleep Luxury Pillow Pair

  • 15cm deep
  • Soft to medium firmness
  • Sink-in comfort
  • From only £29.95

3. Indulgence Ultraplume Feather Pillow

  • 15cm deep
  • Natural, luxurious comfort
  • Breathable and refreshing
  • From only £35.82

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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.

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

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

Top 3 mattresses for front-sleepers

Sleepeezee Jessica 1800 Pocket Gel Mattress

1. Sleepeezee Jessica 1800 Pocket Gel Mattress

  • Featuring a cooling, fresh gel layer
  • 1800 pocket springs give full-body support
  • Firmness: Firm
  • From only £489.95

2. Silentnight 800 Mirapocket Memory Mattress

  • Experience zoned support with responsive mirapocket springs
  • Sumptuous memory foam layer
  • Firmness: Medium to firm
  • From only £229.95
Sealy Activsleep Geltex Pocket 2800 Mattress

3. Sealy Activsleep Geltex Pocket 2800 Mattress

  • Geltex layer relieves pressure from joints
  • Featuring a luxurious Euro Top for extra comfort
  • Firmness: Medium
  • From only £523.65

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Best pillows for front-sleepers

Front-sleepers and back-sleepers are very similar in needs when it comes to pillows. This is because your neck and shoulders should mostly be aligned with your spine when you sleep like this. The main difference between these two sleeping types is that if you're a front-sleeper, you should have a flatter pillow to maintain a good posture.

As you are putting more pressure on your pillow by sleeping on your stomach, you want a pillow that you can fully sink into. This helps to ensure your spinal alignment is healthy. So, you should try to look out for pillows with the following firmnesses:

This means that you can experience plush comfort with great support!

We've listed some of the best comfort fillings for front-sleepers below:

  • Feather and down

Feather and down pillows are great for sinking into after a long day and the fillings will adjust as you move in the night.

  • Hollowfibre

Hollowfibre pillows are budget-friendly and they are much thinner than other pillow types.

  • Memory foam

Memory foam pillows will provide amazing support and will mould to your shape as you sleep, making them ideal for front-sleepers.

  • Latex

Latex pillows are super responsive and will maintain their shape, so you can enjoy the cosiness of these pillows for years to come.

Top 3 pillows for front-sleepers

Mammoth Ultimate Slim Pillow

1. Mammoth Ultimate Slim Pillow

  • 15cm deep
  • Slimmer pillow design
  • Great for front or back-sleepers
  • From only £69.95

2. Dormeo Octaspring True Evolution Compact Pillow

  • 12cm deep
  • Specifically designed for front-sleepers!
  • Two soothing memory foam layers
  • Only £88.00

3. TEMPUR Traditional Pillow

  • 14cm deep
  • Slim pillow, great for front sleepers!
  • Made from plush TEMPUR Material foam
  • Only £105.00

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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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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.