How firm should your bed be if you sleep on your side?

Side sleepers need a bed that is both supportive and comfortable to get a good night’s sleep. Depending on your individual preferences, the ideal bed firmness for side sleepers can range from medium to firm.

A bed that is too soft will not provide enough support for your spine, hips and shoulders, which can lead to pain. A bed that is too firm will also be uncomfortable and may cause joint discomfort. The best bed firmness for side sleepers is one that strikes a balance between these two extremes. 

If you are a side sleeper, read on to learn all about bed firmness and how to find the perfect mattress. And, if you’re in the market for a firm bed, head over to our online shop, where you can purchase BedBuyers’ Award-winning ‘Best Firm Mattress in a Box 2021 and 2022 AND 2023’!



People sleeping in beds under blankets, lying asleep characters.

Sleep positions are a funny thing. While many of us know that sleeping on our back, ‘soldier style’ promotes optimal spinal alignment and support, few of us can actually fall asleep – and stay asleep – in this position.

For many of us, our sleeping position seems dictated by some completely uncontrollable, almost other-worldly force. Try as we might to sleep on our backs – by morning we are on our stomachs hugging the pillow in full ‘freefall’ mode or tangled ‘foetal’ style in a web of blankets.

And if you’re a side-sleeper, ‘yearner’ (someone who sleeps on their side with arms outstretched) or a couple of die-hard ‘spooners’, getting the right mattress is crucial. The impact on the neck, shoulders, hips and spine when we sleep on our sides can be significant – but the good news is that choosing the right mattress can make all the difference.



Close up of woman asleep in bed with head on the pillow.

Bed firmness is how hard or soft a mattress feels. It’s determined by the materials used in the bed’s construction and how they are layered.

There are generally three firmness levels: soft, medium, and firm. However, within those categories, there is a whole range of options. For example, a bed can be soft, medium-soft, medium, medium-firm, or firm.

The firmness level you choose will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Some people prefer a soft mattress because it is more comfortable. Others prefer a firm to medium firm mattress because it provides more support. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to bed firmness. It is entirely up to you and what you prefer.



Couple eating on Sleep Firm Mattress

Sleep positions, as we’ve mentioned, can be difficult to control. However, most people tend to sleep in one of three positions: on their back, side, or stomach.

The position you sleep in can impact the firmness level you need. For example:

  1. Back sleepers generally need a firmer mattress because it provides the best support for the spine.
  2. Side sleepers often prefer a bed that is firmer around the hips and softer around the shoulders. This helps to keep the spine in alignment and provides optimal pressure relief. 
  3. Stomach sleepers usually need a bed somewhere in the middle because they need both support and comfort.

Other factors, including whether you share a bed, your age, weight, and preferred temperature in bed, will also influence your preference for mattress feel. For example, a heavier-weight person who sleeps hot and shares the bed may prefer firmer mattresses. Firm mattresses prevent sinking, better control partner disturbance and tend to reduce the heat created within soft, plush mattresses. 



Woman peeking her head out from under the covers.

In addition to your sleep position, your personal preferences will also play a role in determining the best bed firmness for you. Do you like to feel hugged by softer mattresses? Or do you prefer to feel like you are floating on top? 

Some people find that they need to change their bed firmness as they get older. For example, someone who is young and active may prefer a softer bed because it is more comfortable. However, as they age and their body changes, they may need a firmer bed which will provide better support and make climbing in and out of bed easier.

If you’re unsure whether your current mattress firmness is a good fit for you, you can experiment with different bed firmness levels until you find the perfect one.



Sleep Firm Mattress- fabric

It’s important to remember that bed firmness is not the only factor to consider when choosing a mattress. The quality of the mattress is also vitally important. A high-quality mattress will provide years of comfortable sleep, regardless of its firmness level.

A good way to judge the quality of a mattress is to look at its warranty. The longer the warranty, the higher the quality of the mattress is likely to be. This is because manufacturers that are confident in their products want to offer customers peace of mind about the durability and performance of their products.


As we’ve seen, the bed firmness you need will depend on a variety of factors, including your preferred sleep position and personal preference. If you’re a side sleeper, you may need a bed that is firmer around the hips and a little softer around the shoulders. This will offer excellent back support and prevent joint pain in the hips and shoulders caused by a lack of pressure relief and spinal misalignment.

Sleep Firm’s award-winning firm mattress offers five distinct zones of support – each responding to and supporting the natural contour of the spine and body. With Sleep Firm, you get firm support for the head, lower back, hips and feet and pressure-relieving cushioning support for the shoulders and knees. 

Sleep Firm’s award-winning design is the ideal mattress for side sleepers offering years of comfortable, healthy and supportive sleep. Order yours today and enjoy an industry-leading 15-year warranty on your purchase!

Don’t love it? Simply return it within your 100 Night Free Trial period, and we will happily exchange it for a more suitable design.


Sleep Firm offers an Australian-made hybrid pocket spring mattress loaded with special features to ensure maximum support. 

S + Pro 5 Zone Independent Spring System

  • Each individual spring is placed to respond to and support the natural curvature of the spine and body
  • Super high spring count
  • Medical Grade fabric wraps each spring

Boomerang Foam

  • Advanced bounce-back technology ensures years of lasting support
  • Optimal pressure relief
  • Comfortable and cosy
  • The National Asthma Council Australia Sensitive Choice approved

Advanced Quiltec

  • Eliminates body impressions
  • Excellent temperature control

Foam Box Edge

  • Prevents roll-off
  • Provide a comfortable sitting platform

3D Spacer Fabric

  • Maximum airflow and breathability

No, memory foam mattresses are not firm. They are designed to contour the body and provide pressure relief. If you’re looking for a firm mattress, we recommend our hybrid pocket spring foam mattress, which offers five distinct zones of support.

Yes. Some people enjoy the contouring support of memory foam. However, it is important to choose a mattress with the right level of firmness. If you prefer the sensation of sleeping on memory foam mattresses, choosing a medium-firm design may offer you the mattress feel that’s right for you.

Firm mattresses offer excellent support for the spine and body. They are also often less likely to cause tossing and turning throughout the night – meaning you’ll wake up feeling more rested.

If you’re a side sleeper, a firmer mattress can also help to reduce joint pain in the hips and shoulders by providing better pressure relief.

For those that tend to ‘sleep hot’, a firm mattress is less likely to cause you to overheat in the night as the body rests on top rather than sinking into a softer mattress design.

Couples who share a bed often report less partner disturbance with a firm mattress, as the firm surface helps to reduce and isolate the impact of movements in the bed.

This really depends on personal preference. Some side sleepers prefer the contouring support of memory foam, while others find that a firmer hybrid mattress helps to reduce joint pain. If you’re unsure, we recommend taking advantage of our 100 Night Sleep Trial to discover whether Sleep Firm’s hybrid design is right for you.

Sleep Firm’s mattress has been designed to provide optimal support for side sleepers. The 5-zone independent spring system ensures that the mattress will contour to your body and provide support for the head, lower back, hips, and feet. Additionally, the pressure-relieving foams in the mattress will provide comfortable support for the shoulders.

More questions? Please email the team at Sleep Firm at [email protected] to discuss any further queries.