The term “supportiveness” concerns how well a mattress keeps the sleepers body on a level, flat plane and not allowing any part of the body to be lower or higher than the rest. More often than not, supportiveness is undermined by sagging of the mattress rather than the softness. The top complaint of individuals about their beds is that the mattress is sagging.
Quite often, the middle of the mattress will become compressed and be much lower than the rest. This will put a person’s back into a very unnatural position, which can cause pain and discomfort.
The term “conformability” describes how the mattress molds, or conforms, to the body’s natural contours. Beds have good conformability if one’s entire body is supported equally. When there are gaps in support, this is a lack of conformability, which results in stress being put on part of the body, particularly the lower spine, which again, can cause pain and discomfort.
An important factor in choosing the right bed is the right firmness. There are several different types of firmness when it comes to choosing the right bed for you.
- Medium Firmness Beds- tend to be firm enough to provide the proper support, but yet soft enough to provide conformability.
- Firm Beds- tend to offer great support, but have very little- if any- conformability.
- Soft Beds- tend to offer great conformability, but offer very little- if any- support.
Now that we have covered these terms, let’s explore the different sleep styles and the beds that best suit each one.
Side sleepers are the most common sleep style. Side sleepers need beds that won’t put stress on their hips and shoulders, but instead will decrease pressure from those parts. Beds that are moderately softer is a great option for side sleepers because their body will just sink into the mattress. The softer mattress accommodates the natural curve of the body and helps to keep the spine aligned. A pocketed coil mattress is the best option for a side sleeper.
Those individuals who sleep on their back need lower back support. For these sleepers, it is best to avoid those beds that have very stiff springs, because the springs tend to push against the spine and don’t allow for the natural curve of the back. However, on the other hand, beds that are too soft won’t give enough support to the back and body. Back sleepers need beds which are medium-firm. An innerspring mattress is the best option for the back sleeper.
Those who sleep on their stomachs need beds which are stiffer and firmer that will help to keep the body afloat rather than allowing the body to sink in. Stomach sleepers tend to adopt this sleeping style because they have lower back pain, and this style has the least spine alignment. An innerspring mattress is the best option for the stomach sleeper.