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The Best Mattress for Large Heavy Side Sleepers

By Kimberly Day ; Updated August 14, 2017

Side sleepers need a mattress that is supportive enough to keep the spine aligned and relieve pressure from pressure points. Side sleepers use a smaller body surface area, which needs a moderate amount of support, and generally prefer a softer mattress than other types of sleepers. Heavier side sleepers need a mattress that possesses firm supportive density but is soft enough to support the natural bumps and curves of the body.

Things to Consider

One major thing to consider when you purchase a mattress is your partner’s sleep type. What might be suitable for you may not fit your partner’s needs. You may be a side sleeper, while your partner may be a stomach sleeper, making your mattress needs different. The good news is that several different mattresses can fit the needs of you and your partner. Mattresses are available in different sizes, styles and prices.

Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring mattresses are the most popular bed types being sold in the U.S., partially due to the budget friendly price tag of $300 to $800 as of January 2011. Innerspring mattresses tend to hold less body heat and have a wide range of firmness. Heavy side sleepers should purchase a fairly firm mattress for support and add layers, such as a pillow top or memory foam to soften the surface area of the mattress. Innerspring mattresses should be replaced every 10 years because they are prone to sagging.

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Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam is a visco-elastic polyurethane foam that compresses when weight is added and slowly returns to former shape. Memory foam density mattresses are more recommended for side sleepers because they produce less resistance on muscles and joints, thus reducing pressure points. It also becomes softer as it becomes heated. Memory foam mattresses are fairly expensive and cost between $800 and $2,000 or more, according to style and size, as of January 2011.

Latex Foam Mattress

Latex foam mattresses are eco-friendly and are made of biodegradable natural latex. It is springier than memory foam and doesn’t retain as much body heat. Latex foam is soft and will conform to the natural lines of the body. The bed foundation must be slatted instead of solid because mold can grow on the underneath side of the mattress. It is also more durable than an innerspring mattress. Latex mattresses are expensive. Expect to pay between $900 and $2,000 or more as of January 2011 depending on style and size.

Air Mattresses

Air mattresses provide tailored support through adjustable air cushions within the mattress. Many air mattresses allow each side of the mattress to be adjusted according to personal comfort. This means that a side sleeper can have a softer mattress while their back sleeper partner can have a firmer mattress. Air mattress beds start at about $800 as of January 2011.

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