What Is Pressure Relief in a Mattress—and Why Does It Matter?

Pressure relief is an important feature to consider when shopping for a mattress as it helps reduce pressure buildup and promote proper spinal alignment. The best pressure relief mattress for you depends on your sleep position and body type. Saatva offers a range of pressure relief mattresses, from memory foam to latex, with a 365-night home trial and lifetime warranty.

When shopping for a new mattress, pressure relief is one of the most important features to consider. In fact, adequate pressure relief can help ensure you don’t wake up with aches and pains in the morning. Keep reading to learn all about pressure relief, why it’s important, and how to choose the best pressure relief mattress for you.

What is pressure relief?

Here’s the deal: When you sleep, some parts of your body come into contact with the mattress before other parts, creating pressure points. If your mattress doesn’t allow these parts to sink in comfortably while supporting the rest of your body, you may experience discomfort and could potentially wake up in pain.

Pressure relief is the ability of the mattress to redistribute the weight of the sleeper to help reduce pressure buildup and promote proper spinal alignment.

Why is pressure relief important?

Pressure relief is one of the most important features to look for in a mattress. Without it, certain parts of your body can carry excess pressure and cause you to wake up sore. Do this for eight hours every night and you’re pretty much guaranteed to develop chronic shoulder pain or lower back problems.

If you continually wake up in the morning sore, this could very well be a sign your mattress isn’t providing enough pressure relief. While pressure relief is essential for everyone, it’s particularly important for athletes, those who suffer from chronic pain, and people in certain sleeping positions.

How to find the best pressure relief mattress

So how do you find your ideal pressure relief mattress? It turns out some materials are better at providing pressure relief than others. Here’s what you need to know about different mattress types:

  • Memory foam excels at pressure relief. It has the ability to contour your body, meaning it naturally cushions your pressure points while supporting the rest of your body.
  • Latex is another good option for pressure relief. It’s similar to memory foam in its ability to conform to your body but has a bouncier feel.
  • A traditional innerspring mattress, on the other hand, isn’t great for pressure relief. In this type of mattress, the coils are depressed by the heaviest areas of your body, and the rest of your body isn’t supported.
  • Hybrid mattresses offer good pressure relief and are a nice option if you like the feel of a traditional innerspring bed. Hybrid mattresses contain a coil base and a comfort layer of either memory foam or latex for pressure relief.

While there are certain materials and mattress constructions that excel at pressure relief, the best pressure relief mattress for you depends on your sleep position and body type.

  • Since sleeping on your side places extra pressure on your hips and shoulders, the best pressure relief mattress for side sleepers should have a thicker comfort layer to allow these pressure points to sink in while supporting the rest of the body and keeping correct spinal alignment.
  • Back sleepers will find optimal pressure relief with a medium-firm mattress. While this position doesn’t cause as many pressure points as side sleeping, you still need to make sure your lumbar region receives enough support as your hips sink in.
  • Stomach sleepers will find the greatest pressure relief with a firmer mattress, which can help prevent your midsection from sinking in too much and causing improper spinal alignment.
  • People who weigh less than 130 pounds may need a softer mattress for optimal pressure relief. Because your body doesn’t place enough force on the surface of the mattress, your pressure points will dig in but the rest of your body won’t be supported if the mattress is too firm.
  • On the other hand, people over 230 pounds need a firmer mattress. With a softer mattress, your body will sink in too much, again causing improper spinal alignment.

Check out Saatva's selection of pressure-relieving mattresses

Saatva Classic Innerspring Mattress

Our flagship luxury mattress is expertly engineered with coil-on-coil construction for durability, a layer of memory foam for enhanced back support, and a cushiony Euro pillow top for extra comfort.

Loom and Leaf Memory Foam Mattress

Premium memory foam, handcrafted in the U.S. with eco-friendly materials. Breathable organic cotton, cooling spinal gel, and layers of high-density support foam assure a cool, comfortable night's sleep.

Zenhaven Latex Mattress

Natural latex responds to every curve for pressure-free support and responsive comfort. Natural latex is supple, resilient, and durable, for the ultimate in elevated sleep. (It's naturally hypoallergenic too.)


Do pressure-relieving mattresses work?

Yes, pressure-relieving mattresses work. A mattress that offers good pressure relief can help distribute your weight evenly and cushion your body while you sleep, ensuring you don’t wake up with aches and pains.

How do I choose a pressure relief mattress?

You should choose a pressure relief mattress based on your sleep position and body type. Side sleepers should choose softer mattresses with thicker comfort layers, while back sleepers will do best on a medium-firm mattress and stomach sleepers will benefit from a firmer mattress.

When it comes to body type, those under 130 pounds should choose a softer mattress, while those over 230 pounds should stick to a firmer mattress. In general, memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses offer excellent pressure relief properties.

Find a pressure relief mattress at Saatva

Saatva offers a wide range of mattresses with pressure-relieving abilities, from

memory foam mattresses
loom and leaf memory foam mattress
Loom and Leaf

Our ultra-premium 5-lb memory foam mattress for a body-hugging feel


latex mattresses.
zenhaven latex mattress

Our dual-sided organic natural latex mattress for buoyant, pressure-relieving comfort

All of our beds are handcrafted with high-quality materials and come with a 365-night home trial and lifetime warranty.

When you’re ready to find your ideal pressure relief mattress, take our mattress quiz to find your perfect match.

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