Many of us don’t stay in one pose as we sleep; instead, we move between different positions. We might subconsciously do this to prevent stiff joints and pressure buildup. People who shift between positions are known as combination sleepers.
The best mattresses for combination sleepers feature consistent comfort and support, no matter how you’re positioned. Features to sleep more comfortably include motion isolation, responsiveness, and durable materials.
Our First Recommendation: Zoma Mattress
The comfort layer is 2 inches of gel memory foam, wicking away heat as you sleep.
This top layer also includes our unique Triangulex™ technology for added comfort. Triangular cutouts in the shoulders and legs let the mattress contour closer to your body for pressure relief. The cutouts also allow more airflow through the mattress.
The next layer is 2 inches of highly responsive Reactiv™ foam, a material between the top and bottom layers to prevent you from bottoming on the bed’s support. Reactiv™ also keeps you from ever feeling stuck in your bed.
The bottom layer is 7 inches of Support+ foam. It is a durable material that resists sagging to prolong the mattress’s lifespan.
A polyester-elastane fabric encases the mattress. It’s designed to stretch and form air channels as you move around on the mattress.
A queen size Zoma Mattress is $699. It includes free shipping, a risk-free 100-night trial, and a 10-year warranty. If you’re not happy sleeping on our mattress, we will issue a full refund and pick up your mattress for donation.
Our Second Recommendation: Zoma Hybrid
The Zoma Hybrid offers a supportive medium feel that’s perfect for combination sleepers. The bouncy coils help you stay on top of the bed, making movement easy even when you’re asleep.
Two inches of gel memory foam form the mattress’s top layer. The memory foam provides excellent pressure relief and motion isolation, while the infused gels disperse heat. Underneath the gel foam is 2 inches of Reactiv™ foam, a responsive material that helps the mattress adapt to your movements.
The mattress’s support comes from six inches of pocketed coils, which rest on an inch-thick foam base for stability. We wrap every coil so they can react individually to your movements, which limits motion transfer across the mattress. If you share the bed with a partner, you shouldn’t disturb their rest even as you change positions in the night.
Stretchy polyester fabric serves as the mattress’s cover.
A Zoma Hybrid is $999 for a queen size mattress. The bed comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
What Combination Sleepers Should Look for in a Mattress
There are a few different features and qualities you should look for in your next mattress. A balanced, durable mattress with responsive, motion-isolating materials can help you get a better night’s sleep.
The best mattresses for combo sleepers often have a medium feel. A mattress with thick, plush layers can make it difficult to move. A too-firm mattress can cause pressure points to develop and later cause pain.
Often, sleeping on the wrong firmness means waking up with back pain.
A responsive mattress snaps back into shape once pressure is removed, which prevents you from feeling trapped and makes it easier to move. Lower quality foams can take up to a full minute to resume their original shape, while high-quality foams need only a few seconds to bounce back.
Shifting in your sleep can disturb your partner’s rest, possibly several times a night. Look for a mattress with materials that prevent motion transfer, such as memory foam or latex. Innerspring mattresses rarely isolate motion well, since movement often travels through their coils. Hybrid mattresses are better at preventing motion transfer, as they typically contain pocketed coils.
Quality mattresses should last between 7 to 10 years if cared for properly.
If you want an idea of a mattress’s durability, check its warranty. Specifically, look at how deep a mattress indentation has to be before the company covers it. Warranties are based upon the bed’s durability, so a company confident its mattress is unlikely to sag will offer more coverage.
As a combination sleeper, you move between different positions in the night. You can find a medium feel mattress to accommodate all three positions. However, you might find it easier to shop for your dominant position.
If you’re unsure what your dominant position is, take note of how you tend to wake up in the morning. Then, choose a mattress that suits the position.
Most people sleep on their side at least some of the time, which is good as the position offers many health benefits. Side sleeping alleviates sleep apnea symptoms and prevents snoring since lying on your side prevents soft tissues from collapsing at the back of your throat.
A mattress for side sleeping needs to offer pressure relief since pressure points tend to build up in a side sleeper’s hips and shoulders. The mattress should be soft enough to allow the hips and shoulders to sink a bit, but not so much that the spine bends out of alignment. We recommend a soft to medium feel mattress.
Back sleeping is an excellent position for maintaining your spinal alignment—however, it does come with a few health concerns. You’re more likely to snore when you sleep on your back, and you’re at greater risk for developing sleep apnea. When you lie on your back, you’re more likely to experience sleep paralysis, a condition where you feel conscious but cannot move.
A mattress for a back sleeper needs to be firm enough to keep the spine in neutral alignment, but soft enough to meet the spine’s inward and outward curves. We suggest a medium-firm to firm mattress, although some back sleepers sleep well on a medium mattress if it features targeted back support.
If you spend a significant amount of time sleeping on your stomach, we strongly recommend switching to back or side sleeping. Stomach sleeping is considered the unhealthiest sleep position as it strains your neck and back. When you sleep on your stomach, your spine overextends as gravity pushes down on your torso, while your neck is turned at an awkward angle so you can breathe.
To stop stomach sleeping, we recommend attaching a tennis ball to the front of your sleepwear with duct tape or wearing a nightshirt with a front pocket so you can slip a tennis ball inside. You could also try surrounding yourself with pillows to prevent any tossing and turning.
If you’re a dedicated stomach sleeper, we advise searching for a firm mattress that won’t dip under your stomach. You can also keep a pillow under your torso as another preventive measure.
Mattress Firmness Options
Mattress companies measure firmness levels using a 1 to 10 scale. Typically, it’s 1 for the softest mattress and 10 for the firmest. A few companies do use the reverse.
|Firmness Scale Rating||Firmness Label|
|2 and 3||Soft|
|7 and 8||Firm|
|9 and 10||Extra-firm|
Extra soft and extra firm mattresses are harder to find, as most sleepers don’t need them. People tend to sleep well on a mattress if its firmness suits their sleeping position and body type.
How much you weigh affects how much you compress a mattress. A petite person needs a softer mattress to conform to their body since they place less pressure on the mattress. Conversely, a mattress for a heavy person should have a firm feel to better maintain its shape.
|Body Weight||Firmnesses to Consider|
|Less than 130 pounds||Soft to medium-soft|
|Between 130 to 230 pounds||Medium to medium-firm|
|More than 230 pounds||Medium-firm to firm|
Firmness is a subjective quality, and what one company calls a firm mattress another may consider only a medium-firm bed. Before you buy a mattress (particularly a bed in a box mattress you haven’t tried beforehand), you might want to read customer feedback and independent mattress reviews to get an idea of the mattress’s feel. See if anyone was surprised by how firm or soft the bed was.
When you’re looking for a mattress, there are four types you should consider—memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid.
Memory foam mattresses have grown more popular as people have discovered the material’s benefits. Memory foam responds quickly to weight and body heat, conforming to your body for pressure relief.
Memory foam also absorbs motion at the point of impact, which minimizes motion transfer. The material also remains silent as you shift, though you may hear an occasional rustle of sheets when the bed regains its shape. Many couples have found sharing a memory foam bed helps them sleep better since it prevents sleep disturbances.
Some complain how a memory foam bed can retain too much heat. The foam’s density can make it difficult to heat to disperse, and if too much accumulates, it can disturb your sleep. Many manufacturers offset this by adding conductive materials such as cooling gels, copper, and graphite to wick away heat.
The lifespan of a memory foam mattress depends on its foam quality; low-quality memory foam mattresses may only last a couple of years. The average lifespan for a memory foam mattress is 7 years, although high-quality mattresses can last 8 to 10 years.
Latex mattresses are often compared to memory foam beds since both provide pressure relief. However, latex is a naturally cooler and firmer material. Its inherent springiness means you feel lifted, while memory foam cradles you instead.
Latex mattresses usually contain natural or synthetic latex. Natural latex is made from harvested tree sap, while synthetic latex is produced from organic chemical compounds.
There are two types of natural latex—Talalay and Dunlop. Talalay is the softer option, but it also tends to be more expensive and less durable than Dunlop latex. Dunlop is the only latex that’s 100 percent natural, as Talalay has polyurethane fillers added during its production.
If you’re considering a latex mattress, we recommend looking for one with natural latex since the material can last up to 15 years. However, synthetic latex is a good choice if you have a latex allergy.
Innersprings remain popular for their signature bounce, breathable coils, and affordability. An innerspring’s construction promotes airflow since the space between coils makes it easier to wick away heat. The coils also keep you lifted, making it easier to move as you sleep.
However, innerspring mattresses are usually the lowest-rated type of mattress when it comes to customer comfort. Many complain of a lack of pressure relief, motion transfer that causes sleep disturbances, and sagging. The airflow through an innerspring can keep you cool, but it can also allow allergens to settle inside your mattress, causing allergic reactions in the morning.
The average innerspring mattress often sags within 5 to 6 years. A few lower quality innerspring may even sag in as quickly as three years.
Hybrid mattresses combine an innerspring’s coil support with the contouring comfort layer of a foam mattress. The idea is to have the strengths of each while minimizing their weaknesses. A true hybrid mattress has at least 2 to 3 inches of memory foam, latex foam, or poly-foam.
A hybrid’s inner coils promote airflow, though the top layer of foam can still trap some heat. However, these foam layers help a hybrid provide more pressure relief and motion isolation than a standard innerspring mattress, while still maintaining an innerspring’s bounce. A hybrid’s inner coils are often wrapped to further prevent motion transfer.
Manufacturers use a lot of high-quality materials to produce hybrids. This is why many of them come with a high price tag. Hybrid mattresses tend to sag within six to seven years as the coils wear out.
Mattress prices range from $300 to $5,000. This can make it difficult for a shopper to find fair deals for quality mattresses.
You shouldn’t have to spend much more than $2,000 on a quality mattress—in fact, many excellent mattresses cost under $1000. We recommend setting a budget between $700 to $1,500 for a queen size mattress.
If you’re shopping on a tight budget, look online first. Online sellers tend to offer lower prices since they deliver their products directly to customers rather than work through a middleman mattress retailer.
Sleep Trials, Warranties, and Return Policies
When you’re comparing mattresses, you shouldn’t neglect to also compare their sleep trials, warranties, and return policies. These policies are a sign of a company’s faith in its mattress. If they’re shorter than average or entirely missing, take it as a red flag and consider another mattress.
Often, a mattress showroom can’t give you a full idea of how it feels to sleep on a mattress, or if you’re considering an online mattress, you have no way of trying it out before buying it. Sleep trials let you test out a mattress in your home after it’s delivered.
Most trial periods last 90 to 120 days, although some last as short as 60 days and a few as long as a year. Many companies ask you to wait 30 days before returning or exchanging the mattress, as it can take time to adjust to a new mattress even if it’s more comfortable than your old one.
Most mattress warranties include the first 10 years, although some cover an extra 10 or even 15 years. A few mattresses come with lifetime warranties, but this is mostly a marketing gimmick because warranties do not cover damage from expected wear and tear.
Defects warranties cover include sagging or indentations of a certain depth, splits or cracks in the foam, burst coils, and rips or holes in the cover. You should check that the warranty doesn’t include any hidden fees such as shipping or handling costs.
Return policies are often included as part of a sleep trial. If your mattress does not have a sleep trial, a shorter 30-day return policy can still give you the time you need to try out a mattress.
Before you buy the mattress, you should read through all the details. Some companies will only accept a mattress back under limited circumstances, such as if it’s unopened or arrives damaged.
More to Consider for Combination Sleeping
It takes more than finding a good mattress to get the best night’s rest that you can. If you’re not sleeping on the right pillow, you can wake up with headaches, neck pain, and grogginess.
Often, people shop according to their sleeping position. The best pillows for each are:
- Side sleepers should look for a pillow that’s 4 to 6 inches thick
- Back sleepers should look for a pillow that’s 3 to 5 inches thick.
- Stomach sleepers should look for a thin pillow less than 3 inches thick. They may even benefit from skipping the head pillow.
Naturally, this is more difficult for a combination sleeper who moves between positions. Memory foam pillows can be a good choice for a combo sleeper, as they mold to your head and neck even as you move.
If you move between two sleep positions, you can try finding a medium-loft pillow as a compromise between the two. If you switch between sleeping on your back and side, you might want to try a pillow between 4 and 5 inches thick.
You can also try shopping for your dominant position. For example, if you primarily sleep on your side, look for a pillow with a high-loft to support your neck. The best pillows for side sleepers are breathable and provide firm support.
If you tend to wake up tangled in sheets from tossing and turning, you might want to try minimizing your bedding. Consider sleeping with just a blanket or a quilt, leaving out the top sheet.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re looking for a cooling mattress, consider a memory foam bed with infusions such as gel or copper. Latex mattresses are also breathable, often more so than traditional memory foam.
Innerspring mattresses tend to keep cool because of airflow through their coils. However, the minimal pressure relief they often provide may prevent you from a good night’s sleep. If you want both cooling foam and coils, consider a hybrid mattress.
How long a mattress lasts usually depends on its materials. Innerspring mattresses often last 5 to 6 years. Hybrid mattresses last about a year or two longer than an innerspring on average. Memory foam mattresses can last between 7 to 10 years or more—it depends on the foam’s quality. Latex mattresses have the highest expected lifespan, often lasting 15 or more years.
Many recommend you consider replacing your mattress every 7 to 8 years, unless it’s still providing a good night’s rest. If you’re waking up in pain or with increased allergy symptoms, it’s probably time for a new mattress.
We recommend you be prepared to spend at least a few hundred dollars on your next mattress. Beds that are extremely low-priced often lack the quality materials that would provide a comfortable night’s rest for many years to come. That said, you can still find a few gems when browsing budget mattresses.
Our recommended budget range is $700 to $1,500 for a queen bed.
We recommend never buying a mattress that’s thinner than 10 inches. If you’re shopping on a tight budget, 8 inches thick is the absolute lowest you should consider.
Mattresses thinner than this usually can’t provide the support and comfort needed for a good night’s rest, so you might find yourself waking up feeling less than your best. A thin mattress also can’t withstand the wear and tear that a thicker mattress can.
Once you go past 10 inches, it’s mostly a matter of personal preference when it comes to your ideal mattress thickness. But if you’re looking for a luxuriously soft mattress, you shouldn’t need a bed thicker than 14 inches.
Did We Help?
Combination sleepers need a mattress that adapts to their movements while also providing consistent support and comfort. The mattress should have a balanced feel to accommodate two or all three sleeping positions. Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses are all excellent choices for a combo sleeper. Innerspring mattresses tend to provide insufficient pressure relief and motion isolation.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.