Is Memory Foam Good For Side and Stomach Sleepers?

Article by Lewis Hugh

Have you ever wondered: Is memory foam good for side and stomach sleepers? The answer to this question may have a significant impact on your quest for a great night’s sleep. 

Did you know that memory foam was actually invented by NASA in the 1960s to refashion cushioning and crash protection for their pilots and crew?

The mattress industry soon recognised the numerous benefits of this innovative foam, and it has since become incredibly popular with mattress buyers. 

But how can you tell if a memory foam mattress is the right choice for your individual sleeping preferences, particularly if you sleep on your side or stomach? This informative article will break down the pros and cons of memory foam mattresses, enabling you to make an informed decision about your sleeping surface. 

With recommendations for choosing the best mattress and a detailed comparison of memory foam with other prevailing mattress materials, this article has everything you need to know. 

So, keep reading to discover the secret to a peaceful and rejuvenating night’s sleep, intended specifically for the side and stomach sleeper in you. You can rest easy knowing that you’ll be one step closer to a restful slumber in no time!

Memory Foam Mattresses for Stomach and Side Sleepers

Benefits Of Memory Foam

Pressure Relief

With its remarkable ability to relieve pressure, memory foam has gained widespread recognition. It conforms to the shape of your body, distributing your weight evenly and alleviating pressure points on the shoulders and hips for side sleepers and the stomach area for stomach sleepers. 

By mitigating joint and muscle pain, this pressure relief mechanism can lead to a more soothing and restful night’s sleep.

Motion Isolation

When it comes to a peaceful night’s sleep, memory foam mattresses are the way to go. One of their impressive features is their ability to isolate motion effectively, so even if your partner tosses and turns, you’re unlikely to be jolted awake. 

This aspect is especially useful for those who are easily roused or if you and your partner have dissimilar sleeping habits.

Noise Reduction

While conventional spring mattresses often produce unwanted noise as you move during sleep, memory foam mattresses remain eerily quiet. Thanks to their soundless structure, you can rest easy without any distraction or disturbance. 

The tranquility that a memory foam mattress brings is a benefit that is hard to overstate and is well worth the investment.

Downsides Of Memory Foam

To decide whether memory foam mattresses are the optimal choice for a good night’s sleep, it’s essential to be aware of both their advantages and disadvantages. The smart consumer is informed of the full spectrum of potential benefits and risks before making a final decision.

Heat Retention

While memory foam mattresses are notorious for their heat retention, newer models have incorporated enhancements such as cooling gel layers or air channels. These features enable individuals who tend to sleep hot or live in warmer climates to experience cooler temperatures as they sleep, promising a more temperate and relaxing slumber.


Due to the manufacturing process, memory foam mattresses might emit an initial smell, recognized as off-gassing. Even though this isn’t harmful, it can be bothersome for people with heightened olfactory sensitivity. For most memory foam mattresses, their off-gassing fades within a short period after unboxing and giving sufficient time for airing out.

Lifespan of Memory Foam Mattresses

When compared to conventional spring mattresses, memory foam mattresses typically have a longer lifespan, with a mean of roughly 7 to 10 years. The actual length of time a memory foam mattress remains usable varies depending on several factors, including but not limited to foam density, quality of construction, and adherence to proper maintenance procedures and guidelines.

Memory Foam Mattress Maintenance


To guarantee uniform wear and to avoid depressions or sagging from developing, rotating a memory foam mattress on a regular basis is critical. The ideal rotation rate should be conducted every 6 to 12 months, depending on the manufacturer guidelines.

Mattress Protector

In order to safeguard your memory foam mattress from spills, stains, and allergens that may harm its surface, it’s wise to invest in a waterproof, breathable protector. Keep in mind that selecting the proper mattress protector can extend the life of your mattress and guarantee your well-being as well.


While it’s not recommended to completely submerge a memory foam mattress in water, keeping it fresh necessitates spot cleaning. Promptly addressing spills and stains with a mild detergent diluted in warm water is crucial, followed by gently blotting the area with a soft cloth. Ensure the mattress is entirely dry before putting sheets or a mattress protector back on.

Memory Foam For Specific Sleepers

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers often benefit from the exceptional contouring and pressure-relieving properties of memory foam, which play a crucial role in keeping their spinal alignment and joint stress in check. If you’re a side sleeper, aim for a memory foam mattress that falls within the moderate-soft to moderate-firm range, ensuring that you receive the right amount of support you need. 

You can also further safeguard your neck and head by investing in a high-quality memory foam pillow, thereby minimizing the risk of neck discomfort.

Stomach Sleepers

Although stomach sleeping is often discouraged, memory foam mattresses can offer relief to those who favor this position. A moderate to moderately-firm memory foam mattress can assist in preventing the hips and abdomen from sinking too deeply, thereby maintaining a neutral spinal alignment for optimal comfort. 

To minimise neck strain, stomach sleepers may prefer a thin memory foam pillow or even forgo a pillow altogether.

Special Considerations For Memory Foam Mattresses

Plus-size Sleepers

Memory foam mattresses can cater to the needs of larger sleepers owing to their exceptional contouring and pressure-relieving capabilities. However, it is crucial to consider other factors such as foam density and mattress thickness to ensure maximum comfort and support. 

Plus-size sleepers benefit from a high-density foam memory foam mattress that offers enhanced durability by preventing undesirable sinking and uniform support.

Sleepers With Infants

Memory foam mattresses have become a go-to choice for those experiencing arthritis, thanks to their ability to conform to the body and ease pressure points. Improved cushioning and reduced inflammation make it easier to manage joint discomfort, leading to a more comfortable sleeping experience. 

Medical professionals typically advocate for medium-firm to medium-soft memory foam mattresses for individuals with arthritis.

Sleepers with Arthritis

Memory foam mattresses offer a feasible choice for parents who choose to bed-share with their little ones. The outstanding motion isolation properties of memory foam ensure that movements on one side of the bed won’t disrupt the other side, ensuring a restful night’s sleep for everyone. 

While co-sleeping has its advantages, it’s crucial to abide by safety protocols to minimise the risk of harm to the infant. Always consult with a healthcare professional to determine if co-sleeping is the right choice for your family.

Memory Foam Mattresses On A Budget

While cost-effective memory foam mattresses are readily accessible on the market, beware of excessively cheap alternatives that may sacrifice durability and overall quality. When shopping for an affordable memory foam mattress, it’s crucial to evaluate elements such as foam density, mattress thickness, and airflow, all of which contribute to the mattress’s performance and longevity. 

Keep in mind that an inexpensive memory foam mattress may cause pain and discomfort, detracting from the mattress’s adaptability and pressure-relieving properties.

Memory Foam For Sleep Apnea Sufferers

For those with sleep apnea, memory foam mattresses can be a game-changer. These mattresses offer optimal alignment and support that can enhance airway circulation during sleep, leading to better rested and more refreshed mornings. Medical professionals recommend side sleeping for those with sleep apnea, ideally on a moderate to moderately-firm memory foam mattress. 

Investing in a high-quality memory foam pillow that maintains head and neck alignment can also help to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms by keeping the airways clear.

Memory Foam vs. Other Mattress Materials

Spring Mattresses

When deciding between memory foam and spring mattresses, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each. Although spring mattresses offer edge support and allow for better airflow, they are prone to motion transfer, making them less than ideal for those who share a bed. 

On the other hand, memory foam mattresses offer unparalleled pressure relief and contouring while minimising vibrations from movement. Side and stomach sleepers may find memory foam mattresses more comfortable due to their unique ability to promote spinal alignment and joint support.

Latex Mattresses

When evaluating mattress options, it’s crucial to consider the unique benefits and drawbacks of materials such as latex. Compared to memory foam, latex mattresses provide a more lively and reactive sensation while still delivering cushioning and support. 

Latex is naturally sustainable, hypoallergenic, and offers improved temperature regulation qualities. Yet, they can be costlier and not contour as explicitly as memory foam mattresses, prompting sleepers to weigh the pros and cons of each.

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses offer a unique blend of materials that can cater to a diverse range of sleeping preferences. These mattresses feature a layer of memory foam or latex on top of a spring system that provides edge support and ample airflow. 

Hybrid mattresses deliver a well-rounded sleeping experience that combines the pressure relief, contouring, and motion isolation benefits of memory foam with the responsive feel of traditional spring mattresses. For those who can’t decide between the two, hybrid mattresses are an excellent solution.


What is memory foam?

Devised by NASA during the 1960s space race to elevate seat cushioning in spacecrafts, memory foam has become the preferred bedding material due to its ability to contour and cushion your form brilliantly. It not only relieves pressure points, but it also effectively deters motion transfer, providing a peaceful slumber.

How does memory foam differ from other mattress materials?

Memory foam is a unique foam variant that adjusts to the form of your body, allowing for an exceptional sleeping experience. Unlike other mattress materials, such as latex and innerspring, which support and bounce less to comply with body shape, memory foam provides buoyancy and comfort. If you’re searching for pressure relief and the feeling of sleeping on a cloud, a memory foam mattress could be the perfect solution.

Is memory foam good for side sleepers?

When it comes to sleeping on your side, memory foam is the preferred material. This adaptable foam moulds and uplifts your body, reducing tension on critical spots such as your shoulders and hips while maintaining spinal balance. Medium to soft-firm memory foam mattresses are the perfect option for side sleepers.

Is memory foam good for stomach sleepers?

If you’re a stomach sleeper, it’s wise to steer clear of memory foam mattresses due to their tendency to sink and droop, aggravating any existing back or neck discomfort. Hybrid or innerspring mattresses that provide solid support and resilience are more appropriate for those who sleep on their stomach.

What are the benefits of using memory foam for sleeping?

If you are considering purchasing a new mattress, memory foam mattresses offer a wide range of advantages, such as motion isolation and pressure relief, as well as the ability to align your spine and provide optimal support. 

Additionally, they are hypoallergenic, making them a perfect choice for allergy or asthma sufferers.

Are there any downsides to using memory foam for sleeping?

Although memory foam mattresses have several benefits, including motion isolation and spinal alignment, they may not be suitable for everyone. They can emit a pungent smell due to off-gassing and get too hot, making them uncomfortable for hot sleepers. 

Moreover, they may not be the right firmness for some, and memory foam options can be more costly compared to other mattress alternatives.

What is the average lifespan of a memory foam mattress?

When it comes to the lifespan of memory foam mattresses, factors such as the density and quality of the foam, as well as body weight and frequency of usage, can have an impact. Paying attention to these key factors can help maximize the longevity of your memory foam mattress, which typically lasts between 8 to 10 years with proper maintenance.

How should I clean and maintain my memory foam mattress?

To ensure the longevity of your memory foam mattress, you should adopt a cleaning and maintenance routine that involves vacuuming it frequently to rid it of dust and detritus, spot-cleaning spills and stains with care, protecting it from dampness, airing it out occasionally, and rotating it often to prevent uneven wear and tear.

Can memory foam cause allergies or health issues?

While memory foam mattresses are often advertised as hypoallergenic and safe for use, some people may experience discomfort from the initial off-gassing scents. Though there are no known health risks associated with memory foam mattresses, those who are particularly sensitive may wish to allow for a desirable airing-out period.

How do I know if memory foam is the right type of mattress for me?

If you desire a bed that cradles your body, decreases tension, and helps spinal balance while offering unconditional support and mobility, a memory foam mattress might be ideal for you. This type of mattress adjusts to your body’s contours, providing unparalleled motion reduction and pressure point relief, allowing for a more restful sleep.


Selecting the right mattress can make a significant difference in your sleep quality, particularly if you are a side or stomach sleeper. Memory foam mattresses offer exceptional motion isolation, noise reduction, and contouring abilities that can minimise pressure points and discomfort. 

However, it’s essential to investigate factors such as heat retention, off-gassing, and individual requirements when determining which memory foam mattress is ideal for you. Looking at other mattress options available and determining the unique needs of your sleeping position can help you make an informed decision for a more comfortable and supportive sleeping experience.

Useful Resources

Are you a side or stomach sleeper, searching for the precise mattress to match your unique needs? Look no further, as we’ve got the ultimate guide to assist you in selecting your perfect sleeping surface. Delve into our two informative articles: What’s the best mattress firmness for side and stomach sleepers? and How thick should my mattress be if I sleep on my stomach and side?

Our first article will walk you through the intricacies of determining the right mattress firmness level to achieve the best support and comfort for your preferred sleeping positions. Meanwhile, our second article dives deep into the crucial role that mattress thickness plays in ensuring your ultimate sleeping satisfaction.

By reading these articles, you’ll be armed with the critical knowledge necessary to make an informed decision about your sleeping surface, setting you up for a peaceful and rejuvenating night’s sleep. So why hesitate? Click on the links now to discover the secrets to your ultimate sleeping bliss!

Useful Links:

Memory Foam Mattress - Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

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