Types of Sleepers and Mattress Choice for Your Best Night’s Sleep

types of sleepers

Did you know that 4 in 10 Australians are experiencing inadequate sleep?

Whether you sleep on your side, back, stomach, or combine these positions, we’ve got advice on how to choose your sleeping cloud made from the ideal mattress & pillow.

Read our Guide for all types of sleepers and improve your sleep health today.

Which type of sleeper are you?

Based on sleeping positions, we can differentiate four types of sleepers:

  1. Side sleepers
  2. Front sleeper/stomach sleepers
  3. Back sleepers
  4. Combo sleepers

This has been a subject of many studies around the world. Although their conclusions may not apply to everyone, it could be interesting to think about yourself in these terms:

  • Women are more likely to sleep in a fetal position.
  • Fetal position is often connected to being sensitive, vulnerable, or shy.
  • Stomach sleepers are the most common among millennials, whereas baby boomers are mostly side sleepers.
  • Front sleeping isn’t that common among introverts.

Although these claims may be hard to prove, it’s certain that these basic sleeping positions can over time cause some health problems. Depending on the pressure points, you can start experiencing pain in certain body parts. For side sleepers, that is usually around their shoulders and/or hips, as those are the main parts that support them.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right mattress and pillow for your sleeping position, body weight, and room temperature, you can continue to enjoy your well-deserved sleeping hours.

Best mattress choice for each type of sleeper

Best mattresses for side sleepers

Side sleeping position is recommended to relieve snoring or help in digestive issues. It’s also shown to be good during pregnancy, as it takes off pressure from the uterus and improves healthy blood flow.

However, there are some drawbacks to side sleeping. It puts a lot of pressure on the hips and shoulders. If you’re sleeping in a bed that’s not adequate for this position, you may start having daytime pain in your neck and shoulders. If that’s already the case, you may want to look for another mattress from a softer side, that could adapt to your body figure.

The recommended type for side sleepers would be a quality memory foam mattress or hybrid mattress that will provide you with a firm enough support not to add extra pressure to your spine.

This responsive and supportive mattress with its high-density polyurethane layer distributes weight evenly and enhances the durability of the mattress.

If you tend to switch sides during the night, know that this mattress provides you with a good motion isolation thanks to its springs, so you won’t be disturbing your partner. Additionally, the springs are helping to keep the edges strong, so you can sleep right to the edge without the fear of rolling off.

Best mattresses for front/stomach sleepers

Sleeping on your stomach also proved to be beneficial in reducing snoring, but it is especially hard on your neck since your head is positioned at a sharp angle. If you’re among this group of sleepers, know that soft mattresses are not your friends. Sorry that we had to break it for you.

The main reason is that soft mattresses will enhance your spine strain and keep it out of alignment. If you don’t want to give up your favourite position, you’ll want to stick to firm mattresses.

Additionally, if you have sensitive skin, pressing your face to a pillow may cause breakouts or cause face wrinkles at an earlier age. But we’ll talk more about pillows below.

If you’ve recognized yourself in this type, a good recommendation for you would be a memory foam mattress that adapts to different pressure points, offering just the right amount of support.

Such a mattress was recommended by Australian back doctors since it offers clinical spinal support. Above all that, it has amazing motion isolation, so rest assured that you won’t wake up your partner while turning around.

Best mattresses for back sleepers

Back sleepers don’t have so much to worry about, compared to the other three groups. Their spine is in good alignment, the bodyweight is distributed evenly, therefore there’s no extra pressure on one body part over the other. Unfortunately, not many of us sleep in this position, although you may “train” yourself to do so.

Back sleepers are also known not to turn around during the night, which makes them ideal sleeping partners who won’t wake you up.

If you’re among the lucky ones who enjoy this position, make sure that you’re enjoying it to the fullest by choosing the right support for your body.

You can’t go wrong with choosing the medium-firm mattress, that can keep your spine in a good alignment, while also making you comfortable with appropriate cushioning. Motion isolation shouldn’t play a huge part for you, since you’re by default a calm sleeper. However, if your partner is in one of the other three groups, you may want to consider mattresses with split sides, or combine two long singles into one king-size mattress.

Best Mattresses for Combo Sleepers

Combo sleepers may be the most difficult type to find an adequate mattress. They toss and turn overnight, making it impossible to stick to firm-only or soft-only mattresses. It has to be universal, and an extremely good one.

For this type, it is recommended to shop for a mattress in person, with an opportunity to try it out, rather than shopping online.

From the mattresses we’ve reviewed, we would recommend you a mattress with customizable firmness options. Namely, it comes with a flippable layer, meaning that its softer side is medium-firm (6-7 on a firmness scale), whereas the firmer side is 7.5 on the 1-10 scale.

Moreover, if you’re experiencing back issues, you’re gonna love this mattress because its base comfort layer provides outstanding pressure relief.

Additionally, some of the top-rated sofas on the market can change from upright to flat sleeping surfaces if you live in a smaller home. This way, you can choose the more appropriate setting for your dominant sleeping positions without paying for another mattress.

How does temperature affect sleeping?

In 37% of cases where people reported inadequate sleep, the reason was irregular bedroom temperature, meaning that it was either too hot or too cold.

If you’re sleeping in a room that gets hot easily, you may want to consider choosing the right fabric and material for your mattress and sheets. You’ll want to stick with natural materials, such as Tencel or bamboo, which are proven to absorb more moisture than foam or latex, for example.

Take a look at these hot sleeper solutions if your body temperature is disturbing your sleep.

You can also search for mattresses that provide you with a cooling effect and thus reduce the level of overnight sweat. Good examples would be the Macoda Mattress, with its gel-infused layer, or Ergoflex Mattress, which has a 5cm Cool-Sleep airflow system for ultimate temperature regulation.

On the other hand, if you tend to get cold during the night, make sure to avoid mattresses and accessories with a cooling effect. In their special offers, some companies include winter or summer edition accessories, such as Sleeping Duck Bundle, with a thinner duvet (300GSM) or a thicker one (600GSM).

Moreover, if you’re used to using an electric blanket, good advice is to check with the company first if it will affect the overall temperature of the mattress, as some materials are more sensitive to external heating.

Best mattresses for heavier vs lightweight people

What kind of mattress should you sleep on based on your weight?

Mattresses usually have a weight limit and it’s a good idea to check it before making the purchase. Although most mattresses accommodate the average weight for both sexes, some are designed to be more durable, with even 400 kg limit.

As a heavier sleeper, you may have experienced the following mattress issues:

  • Sagging or softening
  • Heat-trapping
  • Insufficient support
  • Improper edge support

The most important factors you should take into consideration when buying a mattress are its durability and availability of cooling effects. Additionally, if it has proper edge support, it could provide you with up to 20cm more functional space.

Best mattresses for pregnant women

If you’re going through pregnancy, your body weight will change. And after you give birth, it’ll change again. It can be frustrating if, above everything else, you don’t manage to get a good night’s sleep because your mattress is suddenly too firm or too soft or too hot. If only there was a customizable bed with a possibility not to change your partner’s preferences.

We bring you good news – there is such a bed. It’s called Sleeping Duck. Its customizable layer includes adjustable pads which you can combine depending on the level of firmness/softness you prefer, but also depending on the most common pressure points for your dominant sleeping position. That way, you can completely optimize your mattress to suit the needs of you and your partner, with neither of you having to settle for anything less than perfect comfort.

Read our selection and reviews of the best maternity pillows in Australia to help you find the best pregnancy pillow for you.

Best pillows for different types of sleepers

Best pillow for side sleepers

Although side sleeping can help relieve back pain, it can also cause neck or shoulder pain. Good prevention from this would be choosing a firmer pillow that can support your head and keep your spine in a natural position.

Additionally, consider placing a thinner pillow between your knees to relieve some pressure from the hips. As for your shoulders, a good solution may be to hug a big pillow and give some extra support to your arms. Or hug your significant other, that could also work.

Best pillow for front sleepers

We hope that by now you already know that you should stay away from high pillows if you’re a front sleeper since they enhance the angle of your head and neck even more. Your companion to a good night’s sleep is a thin or flat pillow, as a helping hand to rest your head-on.

A good recommendation for you would be the Sleeping Duck Pillow, since it has a lower profile than most pillows on the market, with a height of 9.5cm. Additionally, some customer reviews reported it helped them with relieving back pain and especially arthritic issues.

Best pillow for back sleepers

We’ve already mentioned how this position is the most beneficial for the spine, but we have a few more bonus tips on how to improve your position even more. Consider having a round or smaller pillow under your knees and or at the curve of your neck, to keep the natural curve of the spine and to relieve potential neck pain.

So how do you choose the best pillow for you? Read through our selected ten leading pillows in Australia based on factors such as materials used, warranty, and money value.

Before saying goodnight

Sleeping is a fundamental biological need, but it takes a lot more than just closing your eyes. We hope this Guide for all types of sleepers has helped you understand what you can do that’s in your power to improve your sleep health and make sure you wake up well-rested.


1. What are the 4 types of sleepers?

Four types of sleepers are defined based on their preferred sleeping positions – Back sleepers, Side Sleepers, Front/Stomach sleepers, Combo sleepers. In our Guide for all types of sleepers, we explained each type.

2. Which is the best type of sleeper?

Back sleepers are the ones who’re keeping their spine in the most natural alignment, but side sleeping also has its benefits, such as helping in digestive issues. However, it’s really important to choose the right mattress and pillows for your sleeping position, to prevent future health problems.

3. Which mattress is good for back pain?

If you’re experiencing back pain, look for a mattress that’s firm enough to keep your spine in a good alignment, but also adapts to your curves, thus relieving pressure points. Usually, those are medium firm memory foam or latex mattresses.

4. What is the best mattress for side sleepers?

If you’re a side sleeper, you should go with softer mattresses that give you support around the shoulders and hips. In our Guide for all types of sleepers, we recommended the best mattresses for this sleeping position.

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