Our best and worst sleeping positions for couples are intended to address a problem that many couples have. If you are having trouble sleeping then it could be connected to your sleeping position. Partners, in particular, can disturb each other’s sleep, and they often make a decision to sleep separately from each other to avoid getting too hot in bed and waking up sweaty and irritable.
Sure, we can recommend our best mattress for couples, but often the problem is not connected with the mattress, but with something else. That ‘something else‘ is often contact with each other. Great for loving, but not so good for a night of relaxed sleep. Very frequently, this issue is ‘resolved’ by each partner sleeping on one side of the bed alone, with minimum contact or even none. Do that and you may as well have two beds! One for each person and use each alternately for getting together.
That is probably not a good solution for either of you, so here are some ways to overcome that issue. We should stress that many people are not keen sleeping face to face, while others dislike their partner breathing into their hair when sleeping. Yet others prefer not to lie in each other’s arms which, while romantic, tends to disturb sleep or even prevent them from getting to sleep. That understood, here are our best sleeping positions for couples:
Table of Contents
- Best Sleeping Positions for Couples
- The Benefit of Dual Mattresses to the Best Sleeping Position of Each Partner
- Worst Sleeping Positions for Couples
Best Sleeping Positions for Couples
1. Spooning: For Side Sleepers and Back Pain
Spooning is the best sleeping position for couples who both sleep on their side – or at least fall asleep in that position. Both lie facing the same direction, in contact with each other like two spoons perfectly aligned, with one bowl fitting into the other. This is a very romantic position for couples and is also often used for sex.
In addition, spooning is the best sleeping position for couples with back pain, even if just one partner has it. It takes pressure off the spine and helps both partners to find sleep easily, particularly if they have a soft pillow between their legs. Some can sleep spooned all night, but they can also overheat. A cooling mattress suitable for side sleepers would be best, but many couples also loosen up a bit to the ‘loose spoon’ where there is a space between partners, and not so intimate contact.
2. The Nook: Intimate and Loving
The Nook, also known as the Nuzzle, involves a couple where one is lying on their back and one on their side or stomach with their head lying on their partner’s chest. The ‘nook’ is the small nook at the shoulder which is the ideal place to rest your head and show your partner love and trust. It indicates to her that she is safe and can relax, and if your legs become tangled with hers it is about as close as two people can become other than during sex.
3. Back to Back: For Cooling and Older and Longer Term Couples
This may not be one of the best couple sleeping positions for intimacy. However, if your body temperature rises while you sleep, the last thing you need is to be pressed close up tight with a 37°C (or 98.6°F) heat source! That’s your partner!
Many couples sleep back to back with a space between them, particularly long term couples for whom sleep is more important than intimacy. They are secure in their relationship and don’t have to keep holding each other to show it. Each lies back to back on their side with a gap between them, though they can hold hands if they wish. In this case, we would recommend you check out the best mattresses for side sleepers currently available.
4. The Cold Fusion: For Intimacy and Comfort
The cold fusion is a sleeping position for two side sleepers where they sleep facing each other, in each other’s arms. This is a good sleeping position for couples that are newly married, or just started a relationship. It involves intimacy, touching and a sense of protection between two partners. This can result in you both feeling too warm during the night, and you should consider a cooling mattress for this position.
5. The Space Between: For Couples Who Have Different Needs
Fundamentally, ‘The Space Between’ is just one term used for couples that sleep together, but with a good space between them. You often find this with older couples who are comfortable sleeping together without the need for constant touching or skin contact. You also find it when one partner needs a soft bed and a firm bed. Some mattresses, such as the Nectar mattress, are manufactured with different comfort or firmness levels right and left.
The Benefit of Dual Mattresses to the Best Sleeping Position of Each Partner
A stomach sleeper needs a firm mattress that provides comfort in the upper layer but a firm layer below that. There must be enough ‘give’ to support your belly without squashing it. A side sleeper, on the other hand, needs more comfort and less firmness. The mattress must be able to give to the pressure of the shoulder and hip while still giving these pressure points good support.
How do you resolve a problem where one person needs a softer or firmer mattress than their partner? Sleep in separate beds is one answer, but not a very satisfactory one. The answer is a mattress constructed with two different comfort levels each side of the center. Practically two mattresses in one! That enables different sleeping positions for couples, and even with different comfort levels.
The Helix Dual Mattress: Dual Balanced and Dual Extra
Check out the Helix Mattress with a choice of nine different mattresses. Two of these are Helix Dual Balanced for side sleepers and Helix Dual Extra for all positions and a firmer sleeping surface. Each has two comfort levels: Plush and Firm, one on each side. You can have a bed made for you where one side of the mattress is plush for side sleepers and the other side firm for stomach sleepers.
No more compromise between you: you can both enjoy your favored sleeping position without compromising on comfort. In fact, it is possible for couples to bridge the line between the two mattress components and hold each other while lying on one mattress with two different firmness levels. So in this way, the best sleeping positions for couples with different needs and preferences can be adopted comfortably by each partner. Check out the Helix Mattress here.
Worst Sleeping Positions for Couples
Sleeping with a partner is an intimate thing to do. Whether you are married or not, there are some sleeping positions that should definitely be avoided. This could be for one of two reasons:
- Partners can disturb each other’s sleep by moving or snoring.
- There are some sleeping positions that are not good for you, and that can be downright dangerous.
Here we discuss 5 sleeping positions that you should try to avoid and the reasons why. Let’s start with an obvious one that has been given numerous names because of what it is.
1. The Headlock: How to Get Choked by Your Partner!
The name ‘headlock’ is often given to a sleeping position whereby one partner has their arms, or more commonly just one arm, around your neck. If they fall asleep in this position, then their hold on you could tighten while they sleep. It then becomes possible for them to unwittingly and unwillingly strangle you.
Solution: Do not fall asleep with your partner’s arm in the ‘headlock’ position!
2. Starfish Sleepers: Leaving Less Room for Partners
Starfish sleepers are people who spread themselves on the bed with both arms and legs splayed out like a starfish. Sleeping alone it’s fine, but not with a partner. The starfish takes up most of the mattress, and the partner is left hanging onto an edge. Such people either don’t know what they are doing or don’t care much for their partner. This is one of the worst sleeping positions for couples.
3. Belly Down: Sleeping on Your Stomach
Many people sleep on their stomach, but rarely with a partner. When couples both sleep on their stomach it could indicate anxiety and vulnerability. It’s as though neither wants to trust the other and since the parts of the body associated with sex are neither on view nor accessible it may also indicate nervousness or unwillingness to become sexually involved. So why sleep together? The best mattresses for stomach sleepers provide good support for those sleeping on their belly and may help couples feel more comfortable.
4. Pillow Talk: Face to Face With a Gap
Partners lying on their side facing each other, but with a good gap between them. They may talk but are doing little else. These partners need more intimacy, or at least to get closer together and touching. Even with their feet touching would be more intimate than simply sleeping two or three feet apart.
5. Pet Barrier: Sleeping With an Animal Between You
Although becoming common, sleeping with an animal is not recommended. Where has that animal’s paws been all day and what has it been licking? Apart from the poor hygiene, and propensity to catch a disease, there are sharp claws to avoid – and what if your dog slobbers during the night? They can also lie between you and your partner, and what if a dog becomes jealous? Bringing a new partner home will likely cause jealousy in the animal and be dangerous for your partner. Sleeping with an animal is not a good idea for couples. Though not strictly one of the best couple ‘sleeping positions’, sleeping with a pet is common but unhygienic – and best not to allow this with your children.
10 Best and Worst Sleeping Positions for Couples: Conclusion
Some good sleeping positions for couples are romantic and intimate, and others allow each their own space while still offering some skin contact. Some of the best positions for sleep are preludes to sex while others simply allow partners to be comfortable and tender with each other until they fall asleep.
The worst sleeping positions are generally either dangerous or uncomfortable. However, they are tolerated, generally by the dominant of the partners. A particular example is the starfish position, where one partner forces the other right to the edge of the bed. If your mattress has poor edge support you may fall off!
It is important with any of these best or worst sleeping positions to choose the best and most comfortable type of mattress for the position usually adopted. Check out InsideBedroom’s Best Mattresses reviews 2023 for recommendations on the best mattresses for various sleeping positions.