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Sleep Solutions for the Side Sleepers: Mattresses and Pillows


Brunette woman in grey sleepwear sleeps on side with a special side-sleeper mattress and pillow with white linens

While all of us sleep, none of us sleep in the exact same way. The best sleeping position is generally the one that promotes the best slumber for you. If you love to sleep on your back, forcing yourself to sleep on your side won’t be healthy if it means you keep yourself up for hours in order to achieve it! That being said, many health and sleep experts agree that if possible and comfortable, you should be sleeping on your side.

Benefits of Side Sleeping for Overall Health and Wellness

Most people prefer to sleep on their side. This is supported by numerous studies as well as our own recent Twitter poll. When done correctly with the proper body alignment, sleeping on your side can reduce joint and low back pain, including chronic pain associated with long-term conditions like fibromyalgia. Another benefit to sleeping on your side is reduced snoring, a common symptom of certain sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea. You may also enjoy better gut health if you’re a side sleeper. This position even helps your digestive system function better! Side sleepers have less gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, constipation, and bloating.

3 Tips for Side Sleepers to get a Good Night’s Sleep

Despite the benefits to side sleeping, you can only gain these if you get into the position correctly and rest comfortably all night long. Otherwise, the pain in your spine, neck, and joints may outweigh the benefits of sleeping on your side. Here’s what you need to consider:

Make sure you’re supported.

One notable drawback to sleeping on your side is that it can increase your risk of shoulder pain. The shoulder you are laying on can press too hard into the mattress, creating misalignment and pain the next morning. A firm mattress can help alleviate this risk.

Choose a pillow made specifically for you.

Did you know there is such a thing as side sleeper pillows? You actually have two choices. There are firm pillows for side sleepers, pillows that will keep your head, neck, and spine aligned. There are also pillows with the shoulder cut out, so your head stays exactly where it should be.

Place a pillow in between your legs.

It’s also a good idea to place a firm pillow in between your knees. This keeps your legs aligned with your spine in a healthy way and reduces painful pressure points.

Choosing a Mattress for Side Sleepers

As stated above, many side sleepers feel most comfortable on a Firm mattress. A soft, cushiony mattress may not offer the needed joint support. While you may find the softness of a Plush mattress comfortable at the start of the night, you can wake up feeling achy in the morning. Here at City Mattress, we have dozens of Firm comfort level mattresses to choose from. A few you may want to look into include:

Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Firm Mattress

ProAdapt mattresses have 25% more Tempur material than other Tempur-Pedic options, in order to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The comfort layer is Tempur-APR (Advanced Pressure Relief) which is a new technology capable of providing that firm feel you’re looking for. 

Stearns & Foster Rockwell Luxury Firm Mattress>

This model features an exclusive Indulge HD Memory foam that is made exclusively for Stearns & Foster. This foam offers pressure relief, motion reduction, and the support you need to be on your side all night long. The IntelliCoil support system is also there to help provide lasting comfort and support.

City Mattress Saguaro Firm Mattress

This mattress, part of our own Parks Collection, was created with the highest quality support in mind. The innersprings feature individually wrapped, tempered coils that are tri-zoned, which are a heavier gauge coil inside the center third of the mattress. In order to deliver the firmest relief for soothing back pain, the coils are also “nested” which lends more surface steel for resilience.

Choosing a Side Sleeper Pillow

After you have the right mattress, it’s time to outfit your bed with the best memory foam pillow for side sleepers. We carry many, but just a few of the top choices we recommend include:

Malouf Shoulder Gel Dough + Z Gel Pillow

Never worry about shoulder pain again! This pillow’s gel-infused dough® memory foam cradles your head and neck to relieve pressure, while a layer of liquid Z™ Gel captures and distributes heat for a comfortable sleep temperature. It has a shoulder cutout made specifically for people to be on their side. If you’re looking for a side sleeper pillow for shoulder pain, this is it!

Sleep and Beyond myDual® Natural Wool Side Sleeper Pillow

There are many great candidates when it comes to the best cooling pillow for side sleepers. We recommend this one, because of the adjustable loft. Thoughtfully created including an ergonomic contour, this hypoallergenic pillow flawlessly supports the neck, shoulders, and spine. It is adaptable, so you can easily remove the pearl-sized Woolly Puffs™ for your preferred height and softness.

Down Décor’s LanaDown Pillow

A firm and supportive side pillow will keep you properly aligned. The last thing you want is a pillow going flat, bringing your head down with it. This pillow is filled with a special 30-70 blend of wool and down expertly combined to create a perfectly supportive, yet luxurious sleeping experience. Select your preferred fill power and firmness level to complete the customization of your personal pillow!

Malouf L Shape Gel Dough Pillow

This is perfect for side sleepers, as it has an ergonomic design that cradles your head while supporting your neck and back. This side pillow is not just shaped well; the material inside is worth talking about too. Dough® memory foam infused with gel beads creates a cooler, softer memory foam. 

Remember, the best mattress, the best bed pillows for side sleepers, and the best sleep position for you is the one that you find comfortable and capable of sleeping in all night long! If you have any questions or need help selecting your new mattress or new pillows, we are here to help!