Sleeping Positions For Couples

Sleeping Positions For Couples (2024)

Last updated: 11.04.2024 Reading time: 6 Min.

Sleeping with a partner can be a nightly adventure filled with cosy cuddles, stolen blankets, and the occasional elbow to the face. 🥰

But did you know that your preferred sleeping position with your significant other could reveal a lot about your relationship?

From spooning to the cliffhanger, let's dive into the fascinating world of sleeping positions for couples and what they say about your love connection.

couple cuddling in bed

The most common sleeping positions for couples

While there is a myriad of sleeping positions for couples [1], we’ve focused on the most common ones.

Below, we’ve listed some advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as some insight into what these positions may say about your relationship.


Spooning is a classic cuddling position where one partner lies on their side with their back against the chest of the other partner.

couple spooning

It's like being two spoons nestled together in a drawer, and you’ll often hear references to the big spoon and the little spoon.

  • Pros: The pros of spooning include increased intimacy, warmth, and a sense of security.
  • Cons: However, it can get too warm, and for some, it might feel too claustrophobic.
  • Meaning: This sleeping position suggests a close and affectionate relationship where partners seek physical closeness and comfort.

Back to back

Back-to-back sleeping involves both partners lying on their sides facing away from each other, with their backs touching or not touching.

couple sleeping back to back

This position provides individual space while still maintaining physical connection.

  • Pros: The pros include personal space and reduced disturbance from each other's movements during sleep.
  • Cons: However, it may lack intimacy and physical touch.
  • Meaning: Back-to-back sleeping suggests a relationship where both partners value independence and personal space but still want to feel connected.

Face to face

In the face-to-face sleeping position, both partners lie on their sides, facing each other.

couple sleeping face to face

This position allows for eye contact and intimate connection throughout the night.

  • Pros: The pros include enhanced intimacy, communication, and the ability to kiss or cuddle easily.
  • Cons: However, it may lead to discomfort or difficulty breathing for some couples.
  • Meaning: Face-to-face sleeping suggests a relationship characterised by strong emotional connection and communication.

The tangle

The tangle is a cosy yet chaotic sleeping position where partners intertwine their limbs in various ways while lying on their sides facing each other.

couple sleeping entangled

It signifies a deep emotional and physical bond between partners.

  • Pros: The pros include heightened intimacy, affection, and a feeling of being entwined with your partner.
  • Cons: However, it can also be physically uncomfortable and may disrupt sleep.
  • Meaning: The tangle suggests a relationship filled with passion, affection, and a desire for closeness.


In the cliffhanger sleeping position, one partner sleeps close to the edge of the bed while the other partner remains in the centre.

couple sleeping  far apart

This position suggests a balance between independence and connection.

  • Pros: The pros include personal space and the ability to move freely during sleep.
  • Cons: However, it may lead to feelings of distance between partners.
  • Meaning: The cliffhanger suggests a relationship where both partners value their individual space but still want to feel connected.

Separate sleepers

The separate sleeper position involves partners sleeping in different beds or even different rooms.

While this may seem unconventional, it can work well for some couples.

  • Pros: The pros include uninterrupted sleep, reduced disturbances, and the ability to cater to individual sleep preferences.
  • Cons: However, it may lead to a perceived lack of intimacy or connection during bedtime.
  • Meaning: The separate sleepers position suggests a relationship where both partners prioritise restful sleep and are comfortable with their own space.

What are the benefits of sharing your bed with a partner?

Sharing a bed with your partner can offer a multitude of benefits beyond just physical closeness.

It can promote emotional bonding [2], reduce feelings of loneliness, and improve overall sleep quality [3].

The warmth and comfort of having your loved one beside you can also lead to feelings of security and relaxation [4], making it easier to drift off into a peaceful slumber.

What are the challenges of sharing your bed with a partner?

However, sharing your bed with a partner does come with its challenges.

Differences in sleep preferences, such as temperature, mattress firmness, or preferred sleeping positions, can sometimes lead to disturbances during the night.

Snoring, tossing and turning, or hogging the covers are common complaints that can disrupt sleep for both parties, potentially leading to feelings of frustration or fatigue in the morning.

Tips for sleeping comfortably with your partner

Even if you share your bed with a partner, you should still prioritise and respect each other’s sleep requirements.

Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Choose the best mattress

It’s important to choose a mattress that offers the best compromise in terms of firmness level, feel, and temperature management, and to go for a large-size bed so you both have enough space to sleep comfortably.

You’ll also want to opt for a mattress with minimal motion transfer so you’re less likely to feel your partner’s movement during the night.

If it’s impossible to find one mattress that suits you both, it may be worth considering split mattresses or opting for two single mattresses placed on one king-size bed. 🫶

woman pushing two mattresses together
Sometimes, it’s necessary to invest in two different mattresses.

Our guides on the best mattresses for couples and the best mattresses for sex can help you here.

Choose the best bedding

Choosing breathable, moisture-wicking bedding will help regulate temperature and prevent overheating, ensuring a more comfortable night’s rest for both of you.

You may find silk bedding or something breathable like Aeyla Bedding or Panda Bedding particularly comfortable.

Temperature management

Maintaining a comfortable temperature in the bedroom is essential for a good night’s sleep, particularly when sharing a bed with your partner.

Experiment with different bedding options to accommodate individual temperature preferences.

man and woman having different sleeping temperatures
Partners very often have different temperature preferences.

If you and your partner have vastly different temperature preferences, consider using separate blankets to prevent overheating or discomfort.

Additionally, keep the bedroom cool and well-ventilated to promote optimal sleep conditions for both of you. ❄️

Respect each others’ sleep rhythms

Respecting each other's sleep rhythms and schedules is crucial for sleeping comfortably with your partner.

Communicate openly about your individual sleep needs and preferences, such as bedtime routines and wake-up times, to ensure mutual respect and understanding.

If one partner is a night owl while the other is an early bird, consider using white noise machines, sleep masks, or earplugs to minimise disruptions during sleep.

Establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine together can also promote better sleep quality and strengthen your bond as a couple.

These products may help you sleep better as a couple:

So, is there a best sleeping position for couples?

Whether you're tangled up like a pretzel or prefer your own separate sleep sanctuaries, your chosen sleeping position with your partner is as unique as your relationship itself.

Embrace the quirks, cherish the closeness, and remember that no matter how you sleep, what truly matters is the love you share when the sun rises each morning. ❤️

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the best sleeping position for couples?

    The best sleeping position for couples depends on personal preferences and comfort levels. 

    Some find that cuddling in a spooning position fosters intimacy and emotional connection, while others prefer sleeping back to back for more personal space. 

    Face-to-face sleeping can promote communication and closeness, while the tangle or the cliffhanger positions offer a compromise between intimacy and individual comfort.

  • How do different sleeping positions affect intimacy?

    Different sleeping positions can have varying effects on intimacy in a relationship. 

    • Spooning, for example, often signifies a strong emotional bond and physical closeness.
    • Sleeping back to back may suggest a need for independence or personal space. 
    • Face-to-face sleeping can facilitate communication and connection, fostering a deeper sense of intimacy between partners. 

    Ultimately, the key to maintaining intimacy in bed lies in open communication, mutual respect, and finding a sleeping position that works for both partners.

  • Can you share your bed with a partner and a pet?

    While some couples enjoy the added companionship of a furry friend in bed, it's important to consider the potential impact on sleep quality

    Pets, especially larger ones, can take up space, create noise, or cause allergies that may interfere with restful sleep. 

    However, many couples successfully share their bed with a pet [5] by establishing boundaries and ensuring their pet's comfort without sacrificing their own sleep needs.

  • What are cuddling positions?

    Cuddling positions refer to various ways couples can embrace or snuggle with each other while sleeping. 

    These positions often involve physical closeness and intimacy, fostering emotional connection and comfort between partners. 

    Popular cuddling positions include spooning, back-to-back, and face-to-face cuddling.

  • What does spooning mean?

    Spooning is a popular cuddling position where partners lie closely together with one partner's front pressed against the other's back, mimicking the shape of spoons nested together. 

    This position is often associated with feelings of intimacy and protection, as the partner in the back naturally envelops the other in a comforting embrace. 

    Spooning can also facilitate physical closeness and promote relaxation, making it a common choice for couples who enjoy sleeping in close proximity to each other.

  • How can I sleep comfortably with my boyfriend?

    Sleeping comfortably with your boyfriend involves finding a balance between physical closeness and personal space to ensure both partners can rest well throughout the night. 

    Consider investing in a larger bed size to accommodate both of your sleeping preferences and movements. 

    Communicate openly about individual sleep habits and preferences, such as preferred sleeping positions and temperature preferences, to create a sleep environment that suits both of you. 

    It's a good idea to experiment with different cuddling positions and bedding options to find what works best for you as a couple.

  • Why does my wife sleep with her back to me?

    Sleeping with one's back to a partner can be a natural sleeping position for some individuals and may not necessarily indicate a lack of intimacy or affection. 

    People have different sleeping preferences and habits, and sleeping on one's back or side with the back facing outward may simply be more comfortable or conducive to better sleep quality for your wife. 

    It's essential to communicate openly and non-judgmentally with your partner about sleeping habits and preferences to ensure mutual understanding and respect in your relationship.

  • References



Editor & Certified Sleep Therapist

Nicky is an experienced writer and editor with numerous qualifications. As a certified sleep coach, her interests lie in understanding how sleep problems arise from hormonal and environmental issues, particularly as part of stress and anxiety management.

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