Choose the Best Mattress for Your Sleep Position

Mattresses that support your sleep position

Everyone needs a good night’s sleep, and your mattress contributes to that the most. However, not all mattresses can accommodate different sleeping positions with the same level of comfort.

In particular, your sleeping position determines what kind of mattress you should be buying. As mattresses tend to last between 7 and 10 years, you want to make sure your sleep will remain comfortable and support your body properly for the next decade. This is why you must take great care in figuring out what kind of mattress best accommodates your sleeping position.

Firmness vs Support

Contrary to what you might think, firmness and support are not the same thing. Firmness describes how much your mattress sinks or springs back when pressure is applied. Your body rests more on the surface of a firm mattress. Meanwhile, you sink deeper and meld with the material of a soft mattress.

On the other hand, support is the mattress’ ability to stabilize your body and evenly distribute your weight. If your body is improperly supported, pressure points can form, which will leave you sore and stiff when you wake up in the morning. Support is more critical than firmness when it comes to your sleeping position. If your mattress isn’t supporting your neck, head, and spine properly, you’ll wake up sore most mornings and could develop long-term chronic pain problems.

Correct and incorrect posture of spine during sleep

Side Sleeper

Health Pros and Cons of Side Sleeping

Side sleeping is considered the most common sleeping position. It has some great health benefits, including improved breathing and digestion, as well as reduced back pain. This is why it’s a position advised for pregnant women in their second and third trimester, as it keeps the weight of the baby off of the spine. 

The downside of side sleeping is that it could cause shoulder, hip, and lower back pain if your mattress doesn’t support you properly.

Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Because of this, mattresses for side sleepers should be able to contour to the shape of the body in order to provide pressure point relief. That’s why when looking for a new mattress, a side sleeper should seek out medium-soft to medium-firm mattresses.

You’ll frequently find this level of firmness in mattresses that use memory foam or latex. For example, the Comfort Support mattress in our Traditional Collection features both layers of CertiPUR-US Polyurethane Foam and gel-infused memory foam to give you both softness and support. If you prefer more organic materials, the Organic Harmony mattress in the Natural Sleep collection uses natural talalay latex that molds to your body every time you lay down.

Back Sleeper

Health Pros and Cons of Back Sleeping

Some would argue that sleeping on your back is the best sleeping position, as it provides ample support for your spine. It can also help relieve hip and knee pain, as you’re not putting weight on your joints. It’s potentially the best position for your posture, keeping your back and shoulders straight as you sleep.

It’s not without drawbacks, however; if you have sleep apnea, this serious condition can be made worse by sleeping on your back. Your mouth drops open in your sleep and your tongue crowds your airways.

Does size of mattress matter

Mattresses for Back Sleepers

Naturally, back sleepers require a medium-firm to firm mattress. A mattress that is too soft won’t support your lower back enough, which will have you waking up in pain. An option if you’re looking for optimal firmness is sleeping on the floor, as is common in countries like Japan. However, if you can’t find a tatami mat, you’re better off getting a western mattress that’s on the firm side.

When looking for a mattress on the firmer side, it’s important to not sacrifice comfort. For someone looking to live a more natural lifestyle, the Organic Vegan and the Organic Classic are the firmest mattresses available in the Natural Sleep collection. The continuous wire coils offer incredible support beneath layers of organic cotton, wool, and insulator pads. In the Traditional collection, the Signature Quilted or the Signature Tufted mattresses offer similar support for your back from the coils while providing high-density foam for comfort.

Another thing a back sleeper might wish to consider is getting an adjustable base for their bed. This way they can enjoy the benefits of sleeping on their back while the head is being propped up at an angle that promotes better airflow. This is great for someone with sleep apnea, or just someone who snores as they sleep.

Stomach Sleeper

Health Pros and Cons of Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleeping is a controversial sleep position for some, but it does have its benefits. For starters, it’s been shown to reduce snoring and the effects of sleep apnea. So long as your head and neck are supported properly, it reduces obstruction of the airways. For some it also aids in digestion, as it allows your digestive tract to stretch out, relieving certain gastrointestinal issues.

There are plenty of cons to stomach sleeping, however. This is the sleeping position that puts the most strain on your back, neck, and joints, especially if your mattress doesn’t offer proper support. Most of the weight becomes concentrated on your core, which causes it to sink deeper into the mattress than the rest of your body. This causes stomach sleepers to be more likely to wake up with more aches and pains than other sleeping positions. And while this position can aid in some digestive issues, it can just as easily push on your stomach, perpetuating some of the symptoms and pain of acid reflux.

Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers

If sleeping on your stomach is most comfortable for you, though, there are mattresses for you. You’ll want something that’s medium-firm to firm. This might seem counterintuitive, but firmness is necessary to provide proper support and alignment for your spine. 

If comfort still dictates that you’d like something that still has some softness on top of firm support, consider the Organic Ergo mattress from the Natural Sleep collection. Plush layers of hand-tufted cotton batting and New Zealand wool sit atop pocketed coil units, so you get the best of both worlds.

Your sleep position is one of the most important factors when choosing a new mattress. Be sure when you’re shopping to test out the mattress with your specific sleep position, whether it’s on your back, side, or stomach, to ensure it offers the highest possible level of comfort and support.


Visit one of our four conveniently located showrooms. Our original factory and showroom in Salem, our showrooms in Needham and Woburn, and our newest location in Boca Raton, FL.

Massachusetts Locations

Gardner Mattress Showroom in Salem, Massachusetts

Hours of Operation

Sunday: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Monday-Saturday: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Hours of Operation

Sunday & Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Saturday: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Hours of Operation

Sunday: Closed
Monday-Thursday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Florida Location

Hours of Operation

Sunday: 9:00am – 2:00pm*

Monday: 9:00am – 1:00pm*

Tuesday & Wednesday: Closed*

Thursday & Friday: 9:00am – 4:00pm*

Saturday: 9:00am – 2:00pm*

*By appointment during off days and hours. Contact to schedule.