To be perfectly upfront, this question does not have a simple answer because choosing the right mattress depends a lot on different factors that vary from one type of sleeper to another. Someone who weighs 160 pounds and sleeps on their side will not feel comfortable on the same type of mattress that a 130 pounds back sleeper would need.
You know what? Let me rephrase the original question: what is the best mattress type of each category of sleepers? Now that’s a question that we can answer, so hang in there and read on!
Best mattress type for side sleepers
People who sleep on their side are a very special category of sleepers. Their shoulders and their hips tend to sink into the surface of the bed (even this is debatable because it depends on your weight) and they generally need a bed with a softer comfort layer. So let’s go over the main types of mattresses and see if they’re good for side sleepers or not:
- If you are a side sleeper that wants a memory foam mattress, you have to choose one that comes with a plush comfort layer, like one that’s made from memory foam.
- Latex mattresses tend to be a little firmer and might not be all that good for side sleepers, but that doesn’t make them all bad. They tend to be naturally more cooling, which could aid people that tend to sleep hot.
- Hybrid mattresses can be really good for side sleepers but it depends on what the comfort layers are made from. If you choose a hybrid bed that comes with a comfort layer made from a soft material that prevents pressure points, then you should be good to go.
- Innerspring beds are probably the worst type of mattresses for side sleepers because they are made with a coil system that fails to provide the right amount of contouring that this sleeping position requires.
- Airbed mattresses can also do right by side sleepers provided that the comfort layer that lies on top of the air chambers is made from a soft material, such as foam.
Best mattress type for back sleepers
Just as we did for side sleepers, we are now going to go over the main types of mattresses out there and see what are some benefits they might provide for people who like to sleep on their backs:
- Foam mattresses that are good for back sleepers should be able to fill in the gap that’s formed in the lower back area, where the spine is curved in its natural position. In other words, the buttocks have to sink into the mattress, but the bed should be able to fill the space between the spine’s curve and the surface of the bed. This is even more important if you’re a back sleeper that suffers from chronic pain.
- Latex mattresses can be good for back sleepers as long as they meet the same requirements like the ones we mentioned above. Latex is generally a material that’s higher in density compared to the average memory foam used in the comfort layer of foam mattresses, and plenty of people prefer latex because it’s naturally more cooling.
- Innerspring mattresses have a coil support core and another comfort layer on top of it, so that the sleeper can’t feel the springs. Because of their firmness and the cushioning that stands between the sleeper and the coils, innerspring mattresses might be good for back sleepers because they tend to keep the spine aligned properly.
- Hybrid mattresses are among the best choices for back sleepers. They tend to provide a really good balance between support and conforming. Their comfort layers are designed to minimize pressure points, but they also have a coil support care that’s really good at promoting spinal alignment.
Best mattress type for stomach sleepers
Are you a stomach sleeper? Then we’d like to start off by saying this is the worst possible sleeping position out of all three. It is the position that’s most likely to cause pains and aches because it puts a lot of strain on your back, your neck, and your shoulders.
Part of this is because you have to tilt your head over on one side when you’re sleeping on your stomach, as you’d suffocate if you slept with your face down inside the mattress.
However, if you are a convinced stomach sleeper and this is the position you most enjoy, here is what you should know about the best mattress types for you:
- If you are a stomach sleeper looking for a foam mattress, you will need to choose one that is firm. You can look at the IDL ratings of the foam used in the comfort layer: a higher IDL number is better for a heavyweight stomach sleeper.
- An innerspring mattress might be good for a stomach sleeper but it depends on what the comfort layer of this mattress is made from. If the comfort layers are too thin, a stomach sleeper might feel pressure points and not have their spine lying in a natural position.
- Latex mattresses can also be good for stomach sleepers, but there’s a catch. These mattresses are generally made with either Dunlop or Talalay latex. Dunlop latex is firmer and most commonly used in the support layers of a bed, while Talalay latex has a softer feel and it’s included in comfort layers. For a stomach sleeper, it’s best to find a latex mattress that uses Dunlop in its comfort layers instead of Talalay.
- Hybrid mattresses are typically among the best choices for stomach sleepers because of how they are constructed. The fact that these beds have a pocketed support system ensures that the body will get enough support and contouring, while the comfort layers should make sure that the body sinks into the surface of the mattress at just the right level to promote good spinal alignment.
As you can see, discovering what is the best mattress type depends on what type of sleeper you are and how much you weigh. It’s very important that your mattress provides you with the right amount of support and conforming, while making sure pressure points are eliminated so that you can wake up feeling well-rested.