They say a mattress should last you at least 10 years—but that’s only if it’s hella comfortable and you don’t wake up with pain in your neck or back. Unfortunately, if you’re a side sleeper, you’ve likely experienced that pain or discomfort at some point in your life.
What mattress works best for side sleepers?
When it comes to picking out the perfect mattress as a side sleeper, you'll have to identify one that provides spinal, cervical and lumbar support, says Carleara Weiss, Ph.D., member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “We want to make sure that the mattress is going to be firm enough, but also flexible enough to prevent pain the next day,” she adds.
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What mattress firmness is best for side sleepers with back pain?
Memory foam provides the perfect level of firmness, says Weiss. The material is flexible enough to contour to your body, but firm enough to provide support to the heavier parts of your body. If those heavier parts of your body sink in too much, that can put pressure on your spine that can lead to pesky back and neck pain in the morning from a bad night's sleep.
But, if you’re not into the whole memory foam idea, don’t worry. There are plenty of other options out there that will help you catch some Zs without the pain, but provide the same level of doctor-approved support. If you're in the market for a new mattress and need help deciding, see below for a list of the best expert-recommended mattresses for side sleepers in 2022.