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The Best Type of Mattress for Every Kind of Sleeper

Stomach sleepers, back sleepers, restless sleepers, we got you.

July 26, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten

In the era of self care, it’s no secret that investing in our own well-being can have major pay-offs. In the quest for a healthier mind and body, sleep is a critical component. A good night’s sleep can help improve cognitive ability, memory, metabolism—and your mood. That’s why picking the right mattress for your sleeping habits is essential.

While it’s important to know if you’ll sleep more comfortably on an innerspring than a foam mattress, you don’t necessarily need to spend a ton of money on the fanciest variety in the market. Each type of mattress is available across a range of price points, so all you need to do is find your perfect match.

Here, every kind of mattress—and who should sleep on them.

Innerspring

Best for: back sleepers, stomach sleepers, hot sleepers, and those with limited mobility

You probably grew up sleeping on an innerspring mattress, which was the traditional option for years (unless you had a groovy water bed). The innerspring mattress provides support with a layer of steel coils, covered with layers of padding, that compress when you put weight on them. Pillow-top and Euro-top innerspring mattresses feature an extra, soft layer on the top. Innerspring mattresses with a soft, plushy top are ideal for back sleepers and stomach sleepers who need even, consistent support for spine alignment. Hot sleepers who sweat through the night might want to lean towards innerspring, as well—while some modern foam mattresses offer cooling technology, the material inherently holds heat (while innerspring mattresses do not). Innerspring mattresses supply edge support, unlike foam mattresses that sink with pressure on the perimeter, which is key for anyone with limited mobility. They’re also bouncy, which means the opportunity for a good ol’ fashioned jumping session is never far away.

If you’re feeling splurgy, consider the Saatva Classic. If not, ignore the mattress snobs around you and get the Ikea Hesstun Eurotop.

Foam

Best for: light sleepers and side sleepers

Foam mattresses are, unsurprisingly, made with multiple layers of foam—The Casper (Queen) for instance has four layers of foam. While there are various levels of firmness (memory foam is extra cuddly, while latex sinks less), foam mattresses tend to cradle the body and don’t bounce or make noise at all, which is great for light sleepers who might be awakened by the movement of another sleeper. Side sleepers should look to foam mattresses because they relieve pressure on the shoulders and hips. Some people complain of an off-gassing odor when they first remove the packaging for foam mattresses, but reviewers of Tulo Comfort seem to suggest it’s at a minimum.

Hybrid

Best for: sleepers with bad backs and indecisive sleepers

The hybrid mattress combines features of innerspring and foam mattresses. Hybrids have a layer of coils topped with layers of foam, which for some may be the best of both worlds. Indecisive sleepers who like a little bounce and a little sink factor should opt for a hybrid. Hybrids are also a great choice for sleepers with back pain because they deliver the support from the layer of coils and the pressure relief from the layers of foam. Since hybrids include foam layers, off-gassing odors may occur, whether you splurge on a DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Queen or save a few with Allswell Luxe Hybrid.

Adjustable Air Beds and Custom Foam Mattresses

Best for: couples who can’t agree

Adjustable air beds are not the blow-up mattresses you inflate for your guests. These use remote controls to adjust the amount of air inside the bed, thus controlling the firmness. The highly customizable Sleep Number Classic even comes with a sleep tracker that you can sync with your fitness tracker. Similarly, custom foam mattresses allow buyers to choose the support level. The custom foam Helix Dual Balanced, for instance, allows each side of the bed to choose different levels of firmness, which is a real relationship saver for couples who can’t agree. Both these types of mattresses tend to start at a higher price point.

Organic

Best for: eco-conscious sleepers and sleepers with allergies

Organic, non-toxic mattresses are all over the market. Avocado Green for instance is constructed from certified natural and organic materials, making it a great choice for the eco-conscious shopper—it even comes with a vegan option sans wool. Sleepers with allergies and those concerned about chemicals will sleep soundly knowing their organic mattresses are allergen and toxin free.

This post contains products that are independently selected by our editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission.


Got any tricks for picking the best mattresses out there? Share them in the comments!

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  • Shane Latimer
    Shane Latimer
  • Arati Menon
    Arati Menon
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2 Comments

Shane L. July 27, 2019
I start by falling asleep on my stomach, and end up on my side. My current, and favorite mattress is an organic latex by a company called Sleep on Latex. Very happy customer :)
 
Arati M. August 1, 2019
Sounds much like me—good to know I'm not alone. Thanks for the recommendation, Shane.