Any ideal mattress - regardless of sleeping position - has to offer good stability and support.
Stability should not be confused with firmness. A soft mattress can offer as much stability as a firm mattress can.
For side sleepers, the ideal mattress has to offer the right amount of stability regardless of sleeping position.
This is because the exact sleeping position of a side sleeper can change every night.
Sometimes you'll bend your legs; other times, you'll sprawl them out to the side. Or maybe you'll only bend one leg.
The right mattress will be able to support you well in every position.
So what do stability and support even refer to?
In a nutshell, a mattress with good stability and support will help keep your spine straight.
This is necessary to lower back pain and unnecessary tension.
Achieving this is relatively easy for back sleepers but a little more difficult for side sleepers.
This is because most of the weight of your body will be concentrated in your shoulder and hip areas.
These heavier parts of your body will need to be able to sink into the mattress a little more deeply while the rest of your body remains adequately supported.
Only this will allow your spine to remain optimally aligned.
Ultimately, it's a fine balance of offering the right kind of support - enough to keep your feet and head lifted but not too much to still allow your hips and shoulders to sink in.
You need the Goldilocks of mattresses - not too soft, not too firm, but just right 👩
Very often, you'll find mattresses with integrated comfort or contour zones.
These are specifically zoned mattresses that allow for greater support in some areas and more sinkage in others, keeping your spine in its optimal alignment.
You'll often find high-quality foam mattresses, such as memory foam, latex foam, and gel foam, combined with a stable zoned support layer of cold foam or PUR foam to achieve this effect.
The construction of the base layers often also influences the mattress's durability, so it's generally a good idea to make sure you purchase the best quality you can afford.
All of the mattresses we recommend are high-quality, durable choices with a 10-year warranty (minimum).
Heavy sweaters may want to steer away from foam mattresses and opt for spring mattresses, which offer great air circulation. With added cushioning, these can also work well for side sleepers.
If you choose a zoned mattress, you can also choose a bed frame where the slats match the zoning - this will help enhance the features of the mattress.