Which mattress should side sleepers buy in 2022?

A new study by sleep experts at SFGATE has revealed the Tuft & Needle Mint mattress to be the best mattress for side sleepers in 2022.

Researchers at the sleep organization compared a range of mattresses, from memory foam mattresses to hybrid mattresses, on details such as their price, foam type, firmness, and height, amongst other variables to find the best mattress in a number of different categories, including the best for those who prefer to sleep on their sides.

Tuft & Needle’s Mint mattress came on top of the list of best mattresses for side sleepers. This is perhaps hardly surprising when Tuft & Needle explicitly revealed that they had designed the Mint specifically for side sleepers, though it also suits back sleepers who prefer a softer mattress as well.

Side sleepers usually sleep better on a soft to medium-firm mattress as they need the give within the mattress to support their different points of contact on the bed.

The Tuft & Needle Mint mattress is a foam mattress that is around 12 inches high and has a score of around 4 or 5 out of 10 on the mattress firmness scale, which puts it in the medium-soft range. The mattress is, in fact, Tuft & Needle’s softest, and it easily compresses beneath the body, which offers any extra pressure relief that is needed for when you sleep on your side.

There are two layers of T&N Adaptive foam that form the mattress’ comfort layer. This thick cushion provides extra support and pressure relief for the shoulders and hips of a side sleeper.

The Tuft & Needle Mint mattress uses graphite infusions and gel beads to keep the mattress and the sleeper cool, helping to ensure a comfortable night’s rest, even for those who often get uncomfortably hot when sleeping. The graphite sits within the top layer and wicks away heat from the sleeper’s body. The gel beads cool the second layer of foam and are stacked to offer even more support for the sleeper.

The winning mattress in the side sleepers category also includes antimicrobial protection in the mattress cover that breaks down any harmful microbes living on the mattress, helping to keep the mattress in great condition for longer.

Tuft & Needle’s Mint is available in twin, twin XL, full (double), queen, king, California king. Depending on the size you opt for, it ranges from $633.25 to $1185.75.

The Mint has a trial period of 100 nights and comes with a 10-year warranty.

Is it okay to sleep on your side?

When it comes to sleeping positions, there are pros and cons to every option and ultimately it is best to sleep in the position that you find most comfortable. Side sleeping is a perfectly healthy way to sleep and it is even recommended by many experts as a way to ensure you breathe properly while you are asleep.

Side sleeping is especially good for snorers and for those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. When you sleep on your back, your jaw, tongue, and other muscles around that area collapse into your throat. The soft tissues then narrow your airway and make breathing more difficult and create the low, rumbling vibrations that we hear as snores. This can be worse in certain people depending on their weight and body shape.

In especially bad cases, the airways can become so narrowed that the sleeper stops breathing for a few seconds at a time. Their heart then goes into overdrive as it forces enough oxygen into the blood. This is known as sleep apnea and it can lead to a whole host of health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and acid reflux.

However, side sleeping ensures that the muscles around your throat do not collapse and your airways are not obstructed. This means that side sleeping is an effective way of helping to combat sleep apnea or snoring.

Stomach sleeping can also help with sleep apnea and snoring, but there are other issues to do with spinal alignment and neck support that means many sleep experts do not recommend sleeping on your stomach every night.

Side sleeping also aids digestion as it prevents stomach acid from rising up your esophagus. Rising acid can lead to health issues and side sleeping helps to ensure the acid in your stomach stays in your stomach.

Moreover, side sleeping has been shown to be beneficial for our cognitive health as well. Our bodies have a waste system called the glymphatic system that clears the brain and central nervous system of waste fluids and solutes. Research shows that the system operates more efficiently when you lie on your side than on your back or front. When the glymphatic system is healthy, your chances of getting neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s are reduced.

What are the risks of sleeping on your side?

So, that all makes side sleeping look like a pretty good option for most people. But are there any cons to sleeping on your side?

Well yes, as it turns out. Though side sleeping is still the most popular and best-recommended position to sleep in.

Many side sleepers often complain of waking up with arm or shoulder pain. You may find you sometimes get up in the morning or in the middle of the night with a completely dead arm or an achy shoulder. If you have been sleeping on your side, this is likely because the entire weight of your body has been pushing onto that one area. This is why it is crucial that you get the right mattress to ensure your body is equally supported while you sleep.

Side sleeping can also aggravate acne, spots, or other skin conditions. If your skin has a propensity to be oily and is pressed into the pillow all night, it is going to spend that time collecting all the facial oil, sweat, and dirt that we naturally rub off onto our pillows every night. This can be easily prevented by changing your pillowcase on a weekly basis at a minimum.

What is the best way to sleep on your side?

Side sleeping positions are broadly split into three categories: fetal, yearner, and log.

The fetal position

The fetal position is the most popular sleeping position in the US. It consists of lying on your side with both arms tucked beneath your shoulders and your hands curling up to your chin. Both knees are slightly bent and are also tucked up at the waist or just below the chest.

The fetal position is named so because it is the position that babies rest in when in the womb. It is thought that the reason so many of us love this position is that it reminds us of the peace and comfort of our prenatal days! The fetal position is also fittingly ideal for pregnant women and people who suffer from lower back pain. You can also try slipping in a small pillow between your knees to add to the comfort and to give your lower back and hips extra support.

The yearner position

The yearner position is the third most popular sleeping position in the US. In this position, you are again lying on your side, but this time both of your legs are straight beneath you. Your arms are both beneath the shoulder that you are lying on and they are directed outwards, so at a near right-angle to your legs.

In the yearner, you might also try slipping a thin pillow under your shoulder to give it extra support. This position is particularly good for anyone who wakes up from side sleeping with a dead arm or an achy shoulder.

The log position

The log position is the final of the three side sleeping variations and is the least popular sleeping position in the US. In this position, you lie on your side with both your arms and your legs straightened out beneath you. It can feel a bit wooden and uncomfortable, which is perhaps why it is less popular than the others.

If you find that one or both of your arms are dead when you wake up, you might want to try stretching your arms out instead of lying on them. Hugging a pillow also works as a way to keep your arms from going numb while you sleep.

Which mattress is best for you?

Side sleeping is widely recommended by sleep experts as the most beneficial position in which to sleep. Side sleepers are less likely to snore or suffer from sleep apnea, and they also have better heart and cognitive health in the long term.

If you like to sleep on your side and are looking to upgrade your old mattress, then Tuft & Needle’s Mint mattress has been named the best mattress for side sleepers by sleep experts and is a good option for mattress shoppers in 2022. Its soft top, breathable foam, and affordable price make it ideal for side sleepers and those who find they move about a lot at night.