Best Mattresses for Combination Sleepers in 2023
May 22nd, 2023 •
Combination sleepers—those who change positions throughout the night—have a challenge finding a mattress that meets the needs of each sleeping position all at once.
In this guide, we’ll share reviews of our top picks for the best mattresses for combination sleepers and then help you combination sleepers learn what to look for in a mattress that’s good for you in our buyer’s guide.
Best Mattresses for Combination Sleepers
- Editor’s Pick – Helix Midnight
- Best Mattress for Back Pain – DreamCloud
- Best Memory Foam Alternative Mattress – Nolah Original
- Best Mattress for Stomach/Back Sleepers – WinkBed
- Best Mattress for Heavy People – Emma CliMax
- Best Cooling Mattress – Brooklyn Aurora Luxe
- Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain – Saatva Classic
- Best Affordable Mattress – Nectar
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – Layla
- Best Hybrid Mattress – Leesa
- Side/back sleepers
- People who like a firmer mattress
- People with back pain
The Helix Midnight appeals to many types of sleepers, including combination sleepers, as a solid all-around mattress. It scores 8.5/10 or higher in four of the six Mattress Advisor performance categories, including 9/10 for spine alignment and edge support. Its responsiveness should allow back/side sleepers to change positions without exerting too much effort.
This hybrid includes layers of memory foam, polyfoam, and individually wrapped coils. The foam layers provide pressure relief and cushioning around the shoulders and hips, while the innerspring layer helps give the mattress its 7/10 firmness.
Read our full Helix Midnight mattress review.
Best Mattress for Back Pain
- People with back pain
- All sleeping positions
With near-perfect scores for responsiveness and pressure relief, DreamCloud’s original mattress is a great option for combination sleepers with back pain. Its Euro-top provides extra cushion and a body-contouring and feel.
This mattress also scored high for spine alignment, something important for those looking for an ache-free back. Plus, it comes with a generous yearlong sleep trial and lifetime warranty.
Read our full DreamCloud mattress review. To compare similar beds, see our list of best mattresses for back pain.
Best Memory Foam Alternative
- Average weight sleepers
- Side/back combination sleepers
- Couples and co-sleepers
Medium firm: 5 - 6 /10
Nolah’s proprietary AirFoam is the key ingredient in the Nolah Original 10″, and it’s also an ingredient that helps make this mattress an intriguing choice for combination sleepers. AirFoam doesn’t have the same “hugging” feel as traditional memory foam, resulting in a very responsive mattress (9.25/10 responsiveness score).
You should find the Nolah Original 10″ easy for changing sleeping positions during the night. Although its 7.25/10 score for pressure relief isn’t the most promising sign for people with joint pain, strong performances in almost every other category help this mattress earn an 8.9/10 overall score.
Read our full Nolah Original 10″ mattress review. You might also be interested in our best memory foam mattresses.
WinkBeds Luxury Firm
Best for Stomach/Back Sleepers
- Stomach/back combination sleepers
- Near-perfect edge support
- Great durability
Medium firm: 6/10
One thing that stomach/back combination sleepers need in a mattress is firmness. Fortunately, the WinkBed offers firmness options that include Luxury Firm (6.5/10), Firm (7.5/10), and Plus (8/10). Combination sleepers also need their mattress to be responsive, and the WinkBed earns a 9/10 responsiveness score in Mattress Advisor testing.
This gel foam/innerspring hybrid also scores an outstanding 9.75/10 for edge support. Motion transfer is another story (6.4/10), so couples who toss and turn may not see the best results.
Read our full WinkBed mattress review. Also, see our roundups of best mattresses for stomach sleepers and best mattresses for back sleepers.
Emma CliMax Hybrid
Best for Heavy People
- Heavy sleepers
- Couples and co-sleepers
- Spine alignment
The Emma Climax Hybrid has the high responsiveness you need to easily switch positions throughout the night—and the edge support necessary to spread out and feel comfortable at the far reaches of the bed. Our tester described the Emma’s bouncy feel as second only to a latex bed in terms of responsiveness.
Designed to be firm (7.5/10) but not too firm, the mattress has support and comfort for sleepers up to 500 lbs on each side, or 1,000 lbs total. It works best for back and stomach combination sleepers, though heavier sleepers might find it has enough give for side sleeping, as well. The mattress’s spine alignment is solid—when you rest on your back on the Emma, your body should have no problem settling into a nice neutral alignment. It’s also a great one for hot sleepers, thanks to its open-cell foam and innerspring layers that allow air to easily pass through.
Read our full Emma CliMax mattress review. You might also be interested in our best mattresses for couples.
Brooklyn Aurora Luxe
Best Cooling Mattress
- Hot sleepers
- Average-weight sleepers
Available in soft (3/10), medium (5/10) or firm (7/10)
A 9.5/10 Mattress Advisor score for cooling isn’t the only thing the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe brings to the table. Its excellent responsiveness is also suited to combination sleepers who change positions throughout the night. They also need a balance between contouring and support, which you can see through the Brooklyn Aurora’s high scores for spinal alignment and pressure relief.
This mattress also has differentiated levels of support. There are materials at the very top to keep you cool, a layer beneath to enhance response time when you move around, a third for contouring to the body’s curves, and coils below the whole works for support and breathability.
Read our full Brooklyn Aurora Luxe mattress review. To see other cooling beds, check out our roundup of best mattresses for hot sleepers.
Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain
- People with shoulder pain
- All sleeping positions
- People who want a customizable mattress
In order to prevent shoulder pain, you need a mattress that has a cushioning feel for extra pressure relief. The Saatva Classic provides great shoulder pain relief with layers of dense, pressure-relieving foam and supportive pocketed coils. This allows you to sink into the mattress while still providing optimal lumbar support.
The Saatva Classic is a luxury innerspring hybrid with multiple firmness options to match the sleeper’s needs. The Euro pillow top provides contour for side sleepers while the coils promote spinal alignment for back and stomach sleepers. Known for its durability, the Saatva Classic is constructed of five supportive layers that work for light and heavier sleepers.
Read our full Saatva Classic mattress review. Also, see our roundup of the best mattresses for shoulder pain.
Best Affordable Mattress
- Budget-conscious shoppers
- Average weight sleepers
- Fans of memory foam
With a regular price of $999 for a queen size, the affordable Nectar is a solid pick for sleepers on a tight budget. The lifetime warranty offers even more potential for long-term value. It’s also a responsive mattress (8.5/10 responsiveness score) that should be firm enough (6/10) for side/back combination sleepers.
Average-weight sleepers will feel the gel memory foam and adaptive memory foam cradle around pressure points. On the other hand, the Nectar may not be the best choice for heavier sleepers (230+ lbs) who want to avoid sinking too far into the mattress.
Read our full Nectar mattress review. You can compare other affordable beds in our roundup of best budget mattresses.
Best Memory Foam
- Motion isolation
- Sleepers looking for a flippable mattress
- High responsiveness
Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7/10
The Layla’s superpower is its dual-sided sleepability, which allows you to flip the mattress so that the softer or firmer side is up. This makes it an excellent bed for so many different sleep positions—side and back sleepers can get cushy pressure relief from the softer side, and stomach and back sleepers can enjoy the more stable-feeling support of the firmer side.
Despite its surprisingly high responsiveness, the Layla has that classic feel of contouring memory foam, which helps your body feel cradled in any position. Its top comfort layer has a copper infusion designed to transfer heat away from your body, so it sleeps cooler than most memory foam mattresses—though not quite as cool as your average hybrid. We especially recommend this mattress to couples due to its high marks for motion isolation; you should be able to get a peaceful night of sleep on this mattress, no matter how much your partner moves around.
Read our full Layla mattress review. To see other great beds for two, check out our roundup of best memory foam mattresses.
Leesa Original Hybrid
- Pressure relief
- Budget-conscious shoppers
- Hot sleepers
The Leesa Hybrid stays winning—it earned stellar marks across the board in our testing, and scored an impressive 8 out of 10 or higher in all 14 of our assessment categories. Combining multiple memory foam layers with a pocket spring system, the mattress brings together the reassuring pressure relief of foam and the springy feel of an innerspring bed.
The mattress has a 6.5/10 firmness level, which suits most sleep positions well and supplies complete comfort for cycling between your side and back throughout the night. We also gave it our highest score for responsiveness, suggesting you’ll have no trouble moving around throughout the night and won’t ever feel like you’re sinking into the foam. Hot sleepers and value shoppers should also make note: Leesa has a cool-to-the-touch feel, and fairly budget-friendly price tag, given its many standout features.
Most Responsive Mattress
- Average weight sleepers
- Back, stomach, and side sleepers
- Memory foam shoppers
The Casper foam mattress does all the things that combination sleepers need a mattress to do. Specifically, Mattress Advisor gave it a perfect 10/10 score for responsiveness, which combination sleepers should take note of. It does a masterful job adjusting to your body and settling you back in as you shift throughout the night.
Since the layers get firmer the further down you go, the Casper can both hold up and cradle your body where it needs it. The layers should provide enough support and contouring regardless of sleep position because they will engage differently as your body weight shifts and your position changes.
Read our full Casper mattress review.
Mattress Shopping Tips for Combination Sleepers
Combination sleepers need support, balance and versatility from their mattresses. In this guide, we’ll go over everything combination sleepers need to know when mattress shopping including:
What is Combination Sleeping?
Combination sleepers change positions, sometimes multiple times, throughout the night, as opposed to spending the majority of their time in one position. They might fall asleep on their back, flip over to their stomachs and wake up on their sides. They might run through those permutations several times per night.
While tossing and turning can be a signal that your health is suffering or your mattress does not work for you, combination sleepers are usually comfortable and can sleep through the position changes — it’s a quirk of their sleeping style. Besides, sleeping in multiple positions each night also gets your blood circulating, which is never a bad thing if you’re still waking up rested and ready to go.
Is combination sleeping good for you?
There are pros and cons to each sleeping position. Sleeping on your back is considered the best sleeping position because it keeps your spine aligned naturally and is better for avoiding wrinkles. Sleeping on your side is great for spinal alignment and also helps with digestion. If you snore or have sleep apnea, you may find yourself sleeping on your stomach or side to improve your breathing.
Related: Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
You can see how those characteristics taken together present a challenge when looking for a mattress. Combination sleepers are asking a lot of their mattresses: support, contouring, responsiveness, pressure relief. You also need to consider body weight, partner sleep needs and personal preferences. Mattresses for combination sleepers have to do everything at once to ensure restful sleep.
Best Type of Mattress for Combination Sleepers
There’s a ton of options out there and probably a couples terms you don’t even understand in all the mattress lingo. We’ll make it simple for you and help you figure out what mattress types and materials are best (and worst) for combination sleepers who move around a lot during the night.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses and foam blend mattresses are not necessarily ideal for combination sleepers. Some foam mattresses may be so soft that you sink in and have trouble moving around. If you want the soft, contouring comfort of a memory foam mattress, we recommend you look out for one that is at least medium firm and is topped with a responsive foam layer. A memory foam mattress with a latex foam top layer will be best.
- Pros: Super comfortable, affordably priced, pressure-relieving, and responsive.
- Cons: May be too soft and cause you to sink in, could trap body heat, and is less durable.
Latex mattresses are great for combination sleepers. Latex offers a similar comfort to memory foam but is more bouncy and responsive, meaning you’re less likely to sink in and have trouble moving around. Latex is also usually more cooling so you have less of a chance of sleeping hot.
- Pros: It’s more bouncy, pressure-relieving, and durable.
- Cons: It’s more expensive and harder to find.
Innerspring mattresses are good for combination sleepers, but they lack the contouring comfort of foam or latex. This becomes particularly important to think about if side sleeping is your primary sleeping position. If so, you may want to top an innerspring mattress with a foam or latex topper to get the pressure relieving qualities you need to avoid pain in the hips, shoulders, and knees.
- Pros: They are cheaper, super widely available, very bouncy and responsive, and available in many firmness options.
- Cons: They lack the contouring, cushiony comfort of foam or latex, and they may be noisy.
Hybrid mattresses are beds that combine materials. They’re a good choice for combination sleepers and allow shoppers to find a bed that appeals to both comfort and support needs.
- Pros: They combine comfort and support, they’re responsive, they sleep cool, and they have a long lifespan.
- Cons: Sophisticated layering designs and combinations of materials make hybrids pretty expensive.
What to Look for in a Mattress
If you’re a combination sleeper, you will want a mattress with excellent responsiveness because you will be changing positions so often. Also, you will need a mattress that has been constructed with enough layers to offer differentiated support, meaning the layers will react to the different pressure you put on it whether you’re lying on your side, your back or your stomach or some order in between.
Hybrid mattresses tend to be great options for combination sleepers. The variety of materials ensures versatility in how the mattress will perform. However, there are some memory foam mattresses with advanced technology that will provide the amount of support that combination sleepers need – typically at a lower price point too. In summary, the best mattress for combination sleepers is responsive, supportive, and versatile.
Consider these four specific factors when you’re looking for the perfect mattress:
The Right Firmness
Most combination sleepers will likely need a medium-firm mattress. We’re talking about a 6-7 on the mattress firmness scale. If you weigh 230 lbs or more, you could go to a 7 or 8.
Medium-firm will accommodate the personal preferences of most sleepers, and should accommodate most combination sleepers as well. There is some give for contouring and plenty of support underneath for people of varying weights.
Also, you’ll need support so you don’t feel trapped inside the mattress. Soft is too soft. Medium-firm is likely what you’ll want.
Contouring and Pressure Relief
The differentiation between layers at the top of your mattress will do the actual contouring work to relieve pressure on the curves of your body. When you sleep on your back, your mattress should absorb the curves of your lower body. On your stomach, especially if you are on the heavier side, the mattress should contour around your tummy. If you’re on your side, the mattress has to cradle your shoulders, hips and thighs.
The mattress should push back enough to contour to your curves, distribute your weight and keep your spine aligned. The only line of your body that should be fairly straight while you sleep is your spine. If your bones are in line with the mattress, your skeleton is out of whack and you’re asking for trouble.
At Mattress Advisor, we measure how well each mattress does at relieving pressure using a mapping device. Below you will see an example of a mattress that performed well in the pressure relief test and one that did not. The cooler the color, the lower the pressure. Combination sleepers should pay close attention to these maps when choosing a mattress.
What happens when you move at night? The mattress moves with you. What happens when the mattress moves? It takes some time to settle. Until it does, you’re not falling back to sleep. That’s why responsiveness is so important for combination sleepers. If you’re moving multiple times in the night, you could be wasting time waiting to fall back asleep.
If you sleep with someone at night, also consider how well the mattress isolates motion. If your sleep partner moves, you don’t want to feel it. You want a mattress that can isolate movement so you’re not jostled awake by someone getting out of bed earlier or using the restroom at night.
Materials and Design
Combination sleepers should pay close attention to mattress layers and which materials are used in each. You want specific layers, at varying densities and thicknesses, for comfort and contouring and specific layers for support. You will need all of them if your mattress will capably adapt to all of the positions you will be sleeping in each night.
Some combination of memory foam for distributing weight, latex for contouring to your body and either innerspring coils or firm foam underneath for support, should meet your varying needs.
For example, regular memory foam will distribute your weight and relieve pressure on the shoulders, hips and knees, while also allowing your spine to rest in its natural curved shape. Latex memory foam and gel memory foam do a much better job of bouncing back. Those materials normally offer a good response time when you’re moving at night.
Overall, look for a mattress built from multiple layers of materials with varying densities and thickness. Those will be best suited to fit the range of needs for combination sleepers.
Sleeping Tips for Combination Sleepers
Making sure you’re sleeping on a mattress that feels comfortable to you is your main goal when buying a new mattress. Comfort can equal relaxation and a relaxed body will more easily fall asleep and stay asleep. While your mattress is a large component to your sleep strategy, here are some other suggestions for combination sleepers to help you sleep fully and without pain.
When You’re on Your Side
- Your spine is elongated so it should alleviate pain in your neck and back. But you want to avoid having your neck sag down or get pushed up by a pillow that doesn’t support it. That can cause pain or pinched nerves. A firmer pillow will help your neck stay square to your shoulders and the cervical vertebrae in line with the rest of your spine.
- Doctors also recommend sleeping on your left side if you’re pregnant because that will keep the uterus off of the major heart vessels on that side which returns blood back to the heart. Also, you can use a pillow between your legs will help keep the spine in line. It’s important to not curl too deeply into a fetal position on your side. That can also create soreness or morning pain. Stretch out and keep that spine elongated as much as you’re able.
When You’re on Your Stomach
- It’s not the best position by any stretch because of the strain it puts along your spine, but combination sleepers shouldn’t suffer as much since they’re already changing positions throughout the night. Sleeping on your stomach can ease breathing issues if you snore heavily or suffer from sleep apnea, but you don’t want to lift your neck up off the bed. It will throw your spine out of whack and lead to neck and lower back pain if it’s too high.
- A flatter pillow or no pillow at all should help. A pillow under your abdomen will also lift your hips enough to keep your body more in line with the rest of the spine. You can place your forehead on a flat pillow to make it easier to breathe.
When You’re on Your Back
- This position can exacerbate lower back pain or sleep apnea; experts say it is the best option for most people. Your spine will be in its most natural position when you’re sleeping on your back. Keep your head low on a flatter pillow, but use a curved supportive pillow under your neck to keep it from collapsing.
- If you’re warding off acid reflux, your head will need to be above your stomach so acid won’t flow upward into your throat. Also, a rolled towel at your lower back and pillow beneath your knees will decrease the pressure and keep your spine aligned.
Recap: Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers
As a reminder, here are our top picks for the best mattresses for combination sleepers:
|Mattress||Award||Mattress Advisor Score (out of 10)|
|Helix Midnight||Editor’s Pick||8.7|
|DreamCloud||Best Mattress for Back Pain||9.0|
|Nolah Original||Best Memory Foam Alternative||8.9|
|WinkBeds||Best for Stomach/Back Sleepers||8.6|
|Emma CliMax Hybrid||Best for Heavy People||8.7|
|Brooklyn Aurora Luxe||Best Cooling Mattress||8.8|
|Saatva Classic||Best for Shoulder Pain||9.0|
|Nectar||Best Affordable Mattress||8.7|
|Layla||Best Memory Foam Mattress||8.8|
|Leesa||Best Hybrid Mattress||9.1|
So, we go back to the beginning: Look for mattresses that are sturdy in the support layer and use different materials to accomplish different tasks. If the mattress comes in different firmness levels, all the better.
We hope we’ve helped connect you with the best mattress to match your sleeping position needs. However, if you’re still on the search for the mattress of your dreams, check out a few of our other resources that can help you along your mattress buying journey:
- Mattress Buying Guide: Learn what to look for when shopping
- Best Mattress Roundup: We’ve reviewed over 150 mattresses. See the best of the best in this guide.
- Mattress Comparison Tool: Stuck between two options? We can help you break a tie.
What is the best mattress for side and stomach sleepers?
Side and stomach sleepers have different needs, depending on where they need pressure relief. While side sleepers generally need a softer mattress to protect their hips and shoulders, stomach sleepers need a firmer innerspring or hybrid mattress to support the entire body. For combo sleepers that shift to both positions, we recommend a medium-firm hybrid mattress.
What is the best mattress for a couple?
Couples with different sleeping positions should consider the motion isolation, firmness and responsiveness of their shared mattress. Memory foam absorbs motion best, but latex and springs have he best responsiveness. Therefore, couples should look for a hybrid or coil mattress with latex-foam layers in the comfort layers.
Mattress Accessories & Bedding
Best Pillows for Combination Sleepers
Combination sleepers need a more versatile pillow because they use their pillows in numerous sleep positions. To help you find the best pillow for this sleep style, check out our list of the best pillows for combination sleepers.
Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
See our top picks and reviews for the best mattresses for stomach sleepers. Check out our buyer's guide to learn why your mattress materials and firmness matter if you're a stomach sleeper.
Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
Discover the best mattresses for side sleepers. Read our guide to find the mattresses that provide side sleepers with support and comfort.