The Best Mattress For All Sleeping Types & Situations

Although there are some mattress companies that make just one model and there are some great “middle of the road”, suit-most-people beds out there, one mattress doesn’t necessarily fit all.

So, there are some specific things to consider, in terms of mattress construction, if you are wanting to buy a bed that caters to your body type and sleeping position:

Best Mattress For Side Sleepers

Pressure points on the hips and shoulders and the natural contour of your side mean that side sleepers need a softer bed than back sleepers, with a cushioning layer of foam on the top:

  • Look for a bed with a cushioning layer of soft foam at the top layer. Memory or latex foam are the best.
  • Look for a mattress that is medium firm to soft – ideally a mattress of 6 or under on the firmness scale
  • Look for a mattress that is known to be supportive throughout the spine, with a high density base layer of foam or supportive innerspring coils.

Best Mattress For Back & Stomach Sleepers

Stomach and back sleepers need support throughout the body and a bit of firmness to keep the spine aligned:
  • Pick a mattress that is on the medium firm to firm end of the scale as it will avoid sagging in the middle, causing your back to curve. 4-7 on the firmness scale is best.
  • A high-density foam support layer with cushioning latex or memory foam is the best option here. Look for beds with thinner top layers of foam as thicker will cause your spine to curve. Think 2 to 3 inches.
  • Keep in mind that back and stomach sleepers have more of their body on the bed than a side sleeper, which might mean that you sleep hotter. Look for cooling top layers and moisture wicking fabric covers.

Best Mattress For Heavy People

Heavy people (over 230 pounds) wear out beds faster and compress the upper layers of the bed, so you need a thicker bed with supportive layers under compression:
  • Look for a bed with cooling top layers, breathable inner foam layers and moisture wicking fabric covers as heavy people tend to sleep hot.
  • Look for a bed with a medium firm to firm feel with high density base foam layers or innerspring coils. 4-7 on the firmer scale is best and a mattress on the thicker side (over 12 inches) will have more layers to support your weight and better edge support.

Best Mattress For Small & Light People

A lightweight person (under 130 pounds) doesn’t need a super thick mattress because their body won’t compress the bed enough to hit those lower base layers.
  • Choose a bed that is medium to soft, as extra firm mattresses can hurt the pressure points of those that don’t have a lot of meat on their bones. A firmness level of 5 and under is best with cushioning memory foam or plant based foam top layers, particularly those beds with multiple cushioning layers are best for light people.

Best Mattress For Couples

Couples need a bed that suits most people, so a middle of the road or hybrid/modular mattress that offers two firmness levels is best:
  • Choose a bed that is has high density, supportive base layers, which absorb movement when turning over or getting into or out of bed. A foam bed is best over innerspring as they tend to move less.
  • Choose a mattress in the firmness range of 5.5 and over, designed to suit most body types because couples tend to not necessarily sleep the same or like the same type of bed. A medium firm to firm mattress supports most people.
  • Don’t forget to choose a bed that is good for sex, too! Look for something with a bit of bounce, like a mattress with some latex and thick memory foam is a no-no, as you’ll just sink in.

Best Mattress For Children

Don’t waste money on a kids size bed that your child will grow out of in a year or two. Instead, choose a durable, quality mattress of at least twin size that will accommodate your kid as they grow, so you get your money’s worth:
  • Choose a supportive bed on the firmer side (5.5 on the firmness scale or over) which will keep their growing spine aligned.
  • Make sure you look at natural materials and choose a bed that doesn’t have any toxic off gassing. CertiPUR-US certified is the international certification you want to keep an eye out for.
  • Kids sleep hot and accidents happen! Look for a bed that has a moisture wicking, easy to clean cover.

Best Mattress For Hot Sleepers

  • Stay away from beds with soft, thick memory foam top layers that tend to hug around the body, making you hotter. Latex upper layers, gel or gel infused are much cooler and thinner layers of memory foam are okay.
  • Take a look at new innovations in cooling technology, like cooling adjustable bases, air channels between layers and new materials in top layers and covers. Mattress have come a long way in recent years in terms of materials and there is plenty out there geared for the hot sleeper.
  • Choose moisture wicking, cooling and antibacterial covers and avoid anything vinyl, synthetic or materials that don’t breathe. Wool, cotton or Tencel are great options.

The Best Mattress For Everyone With Special Requirements

There are some special health conditions that require a bit of extra attention when choosing a mattress, so keep these points in mind if you have any of the following conditions or concerns:

Best Mattress For Back Pain

If you have sciatic nerve pain, problems with pressure points, arthritis, fibromyalgia or other conditions, you need to pick a bed that’s suited to your condition that helps you sleep through the night:

  • Choose a bed that is medium firm to firm (5.5 or higher on the firmness scale) with cushioning in the top layer because this will offer support to stabilize your spine. If you have problems with your back, chances are a soft bed isn’t going to work for you.
  • Make sure you buy a bed that is actually made for how you sleep. If you are using a bed that is best for stomach sleepers and you are actually a side sleeper, this is going to cause extra pain.
  • Check for mattress features that cater to those with back pain. Some companies make mattresses specifically for those with back problems and some have more support in the lower back and torso areas of the mattress.

Best Mattress For Shoulder & Hip Pain

Those with shoulder and hip pain specifically, which can include sensitive pressure points, arthritis, sciatica and other conditions should choose a bed that caters to your condition:

  • Buy a bed with a medium to firm level of firmness, as above, but cushioning in the top layer. Memory foam is good as long as it’s not too thick and latex is even better as it has more resistance and provides more of a “floating on top” feel. Sinking in too deeply could cause hip pain from sagging.
  • Again, choose a bed with supportive, high density base layers of foam so that there aren’t any problems with sagging at the hips.

Best Mattress For Acid Reflux

Conditions like acid reflux, GERD and chronic heartburn can cause sleepless nights. Choosing the right bed can lessen and even eliminate these issues:

  • Look for a bed with an adjustable frame. Keeping your head elevated above your stomach can prevent acid from coming up into your esophagus.
  • Buy a special wedge pillow, designed just for those suffering from acid reflux. These are especially good for couples who may not both want an elevated bed frame.
  • Pick a special wedge that fits underneath a regular mattress, which makes for an affordable option if you don’t want to splash out for an adjustable frame. These are good if you sleep solo.

Best Mattress For Arthritis

Trying to sleep with arthritis can mean tossing and turning and sleepless nights. Arthritis can affect any joint but can be especially bothersome for side sleepers with pain in their hips, shoulders or elbows:

  • If you have arthritis, especially if it’s in your hips, choose a mattress that is supportive enough keep your spine stabilized but cushioning through the hips and shoulders. A mattress with solid base layers and a memory foam or latex upper layer is the best choice.
  • Make sure you also choose a mattress with low motion transfer. No matter how comfortable you are in your new bed, those with arthritis tend to have to move a bit more than regular sleepers and you don’t want to keep up your partner, when moving.
  • Consider a mattress specially designed for those with back pain. Orthopaedic mattresses or beds with individual pocket coils can be good for those who need more support in some places than others. Certain foam mattresses are also designed specifically for those with back pain and have more support throughout the torso and lower back.