So, you’re a side sleeper and you’re waking up every morning with aches and pains…
Don’t worry—It’s probably not something you’re doing wrong, but more than likely means that you just don’t have the right kind of mattress for your sleeping style.
Why am I waking up with aches and pains?
When you sleep on your side you are putting more weight on pressure point areas such as the neck, shoulders, and hips. Firm mattresses that have no give don’t support these pressure points, which is why you wake up feeling sore.
You may find yourself trying to combat these issues during the night. Maybe you sleep with your arm under your pillow or you place an extra pillow between your knees or under your hip to prevent getting sore joints.
But you shouldn’t have to resort to these measures!
Sleeping well is so important to your overall health and wellness and affects how you tackle the rest of your day.
Is sleeping on your side good for you?
You may be thinking instead of forking out for a brand-new mattress, shouldn’t I just change the way I sleep?
Truthfully, sleeping on your side puts the most pressure on your joints than any other sleeping position. Even more, due to the location of certain organs, sleeping on your right side can cause heartburn and acid reflux, whilst sleeping on the left side is generally considered better.
If you’d like to change to a healthier sleeping position, then try sleeping on your back. This helps to keep the spine straight and prevents putting any extra pressure on your joints or organs.
Yet, half of the British public are stubborn fetal sleepers, and it can be hard to break old habits…
Luckily, we’ve got some great advice on what types of mattresses will be much more supportive for side sleepers!
So, what type of mattress does a side sleeper need?
Since you are putting extra pressure on your hips and shoulders, you should have a mattress which is supportive but also alleviates some of that extra pressure.
A hybrid mattress is a great option for this since it has a combination of pocket springs with an added layer of comfort to contour around your joints.
Pocket springs make for a great supportive under-layer whilst the top fillings will add some extra comfort. This comfort layer can come in a range of different materials such as memory foam, latex, gel, or wool. Whilst the pocket springs support your entire body, the top layer contours around joints and helps to alleviate some of that extra pressure caused from sleeping on your side.
We would recommend a medium to medium-firm mattress which feels supportive but also has some give for your shoulders and hips to sink into. A mattress that is too firm won’t alleviate that pressure whilst a mattress that is too soft will have too much give and will curve your spine during the night.
But that firmness ratio will mean something different to everyone…
So, how do I know what’s right for me?
It’s not as easy as walking into a shop and buying the first hybrid mattress you see. There are many things to consider such as your weight, where that weight is distributed, if you are a hot or cold sleeper, if you suffer from any allergies—the list goes on!
Latex and Gel
Those who are heavier need extra support during the night. More pocket springs will support more weight and latex and gel will have a firmer feel. This would also be a great choice for hot sleepers since latex is a naturally cool material and gel regulates body heat during the night, keeping you at the perfect temperature.
Recommended Premium: Sweetnight Gel Mattress (on Amazon)
Budget-friendly alternative: Inofia Latex Mattress (on Amazon)
However, those on the lighter side may find some latex and gels too firm. In this case a softer memory foam hybrid might be the better option. Memory foam is also great for those who suffer with allergies as this material resists dust mites. Memory foam heats up with the body, so if you feel the cold then this type of mattress will keep you warm and cosy during the night!
Recommended Premium: Tempur Mattress (At Bensons)
Budget-friendly alternative: Silent Night’s 7 Zone Memory Foam Mattress (on Amazon)
Wool and Natural Fillings
However, if you are used to a more traditional-style mattress, then a hybrid wool mattress might suit your needs. Wool is a breathable, natural solution and can come in a range of firmness options. If you feel a mixture of hot and cold throughout the year, then wool can help to keep you warm during the winter but releases moisture during those hot days and regulates temperature. Many wool options are handmade, giving the mattress a bespoke feel.
Budget Recommendation: Novo Natural Wool & Cotton Mattress (on Amazon)
Recommended Premium: Bensons Natural Silk Comfort (Filled with Wool, Silk and Cashmere
What type of pillow should I be using?
For some people, the wrong type of pillow can be the problem.
Side sleepers generally need a deeper pillow to help raise their head and keep their spine and neck aligned. A memory foam pillow will contour around your neck and shoulders and help alleviate any added pressure to that area.
Rather than topping up your bed with a bunch of flat pillows (or using your arm to keep you raised), it’s better to find one good pillow that meets all your needs. You should always try the pillow first as those with smaller shoulders may require a lower pillow than those with deeper shoulders.
Recommended: Tempur Original pillow
Budget-friendly alternative: Slumberdown Side Sleeper Pillow (on Amazon)
Try before you buy…
The best way to find out what mattress is for you is to try them out for yourself. Hopefully, we’ve helped to give you some guidance on some great side sleeper options, but it’s down to you to find out what feels comfortable!