The whole world is divided into back, front, and side sleepers, with more than half of the UK population displaying a preference for one side or the other. Some people fall asleep in one position and move into another during different sleep stages. You may never have thought about how you position your body when you are asleep, yet this is one of the most important considerations when choosing a supportive mattress. Ask your partner to tell you how you sleep, or check which position you frequently find yourself in upon waking.
Finding The Right Level Of Support
The right mattress is essential for providing the correct support for your height, weight and preferred sleeping position, especially if you suffer from back or joint pain. The firmness of your mattress will affect how well you sleep and how much strain is placed on your spine.
While there are no set rules, here are our general guidelines on suitable firmness levels for different sleep styles.
»»Soft – A soft mattress moulds to your body’s position, relieving pressure. A soft mattress is recommended for side sleepers.
»»Medium soft – For a mattress that moulds to the body but provides a little more support, a medium soft firmness is well suited to people who regularly switch sides.
»»Medium firm – Recommended for back sleepers to provide adequate lower back support and even weight distribution across the back of the head, shoulders, elbows, buttocks and heels.
»»Firm – A firm mattress is ideal where additional resistance is required to support increased weight. Stomach sleepers also benefit from a firm mattress to counteract pressure placed on the spine where all the weight is focused on the torso area.
As a new mattress is a substantial and important purchase, the only true way to choose the right mattress is to test which levels of firmness feel the most comfortable at the points where your body places pressure on the mattress. You may be a stomach or back sleeper and appreciate a soft mattress, or a side sleeper who likes a firm bed. Everyone will have an individual preference.