There's a lot to sleeping that feels variable — like how quickly we're able to fall asleep at night, how often we wake up during the night, and how many times we hit snooze before we get up. But one thing is typically pretty static when it comes to your sleeping habits: what position you fall asleep in.
Many sleepers count themselves part of the side-sleeper bucket (this writer included). Side sleepers know that this position means sleeping can be uncomfortable on your shoulders and your hips, if they're resting on the wrong mattress. The easy solution is simply investing in the right mattress. After all, mattresses are not a one-size-fits-all kind of product.
One company we believe has been perfecting the art of personalized (and affordable) mattresses is Helix. The company prides itself on pairing individual sleepers with their perfect mattresses, so that they can sleep more soundly and wake up with less unwanted side effects (like back, neck or shoulder pain). Helix has created over 15 styles of mattresses, each designed with a particular kind of sleeper in mind.
Customers take the brand's Helix Color Match Test, which weighs a number of factors -- like the position you sleep in, your height, weight and age, and how firm a mattress you prefer -- and then recommends your ideal mattress. The variables include how the product contours your natural sleeping positions and how cool you like to feel at night, as well whether you sleep better on softer or firmer designs. Helix even has iterations specifically made for people who are big and tall, and options for couples where it can combine two designs into one mattress.
Helix's line of side-sleeper mattresses include the Helix Sunset Mattress (for softer feel), Helix Midnight Mattress (for medium feel) and Helix Twilight Mattress (for firmer feel), all made to contour to your body in the areas that need the most support, such as your hips and shoulders, while also providing adequate support for your back and spinal alignment.
Every mattress is handmade in the US using high-quality materials and comes with free domestic shipping. And for those who don't want to buy without jumping into bed (literally) with the product, Helix offers a 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty, so you can rest easy even if the mattress isn't for you.
When I took the test, I was matched up with the Helix Sunset Mattress, which is noted for its side sleeper characteristics. This mattress is constructed from a hybrid of memory foam and springs and has an ultra-soft feel. It's been rated 5 stars by over 430 customers.
After testing it out, I can tell you that the mattress is worth it. It was soft on all the spots of my body that needed extra cushioning, especially my shoulders, but was firm enough for me to feel completely supported, especially as I rolled over onto my back. Another small (but important) thing to note is that because of its hybrid design, there was support on every area of my bed, even the corners. So when I was doing things like putting on shoes in the morning or sitting on the edge of my bed, I never felt uncomfortable, the complete opposite of my previous box spring and foam topper setup.
But what really sold me was the pricing. Compared with other luxury mattresses, which can cost you thousands of dollars, the starting price of $600 seemed incredibly affordable. The free shipping doesn't hurt either.
Even though that's a pretty decent chunk of change to drop on a mattress, when you factor in just how much you'll use it (you spend a third of your life sleeping, after all!) the investment is completely worth it in the long run.