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Best Mattress for Back Pain in 2024 (Doctor Recommended)

UPDATED

Written by David Rubin

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Breus

Expert Tested

Table of Contents

The right mattress can make the difference between a restless night and a restful one, especially for people who experience back pain. Given that an unsupportive mattress can aggravate back pain, it’s crucial for sleepers to find a bed that supports neutral spinal alignment and cushions tender pressure points.

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Best Mattress for Back Pain

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WinkBeds EcoCloud

The EcoCloud by WinkBeds is our pick for the best mattress for back pain due to its exceptional balance of contouring and support. Our testers who prefer back sleeping were particularly impressed by its blend of lightly contouring Talalay latex and sturdy pocketed coils, both of which are zoned to provide enhanced cushioning and support to the lumbar region.

This guide offers an overview of the best mattresses for back pain. If you’re a side sleeper with back pain or you’re navigating the added challenge of finding the best mattress for back pain caused by arthritis, we have more in-depth guides to help you find your ideal match.

The Best Mattresses for Back Pain

Best Overall Mattress – WinkBeds EcoCloud

Best Value Mattress – Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Most Comfortable Mattress – DreamCloud Premier Memory Foam Mattress

Best Luxury Mattress – Saatva Rx

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Bear Elite Hybrid

Best Extra Firm Mattress – Plank Firm

Best for Pressure Relief – FloBeds vZone 12″ Natural Latex

Dr. Breus On Choosing a Mattress For Back Pain

Read on to see why the following seven options made our top picks list of 2024’s best mattresses for back pain.

Sleep Doctor’s Picks

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Best Overall Mattress

WinkBeds EcoCloud

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

WinkBeds’ EcoCloud delivers a balanced latex hybrid design that cushions the body with zoned support and alleviates sore spots along the spine. Other highlights include excellent temperature control, a sturdy perimeter, and easy movement across the surface — all at a reasonable price-point.

Buy from WinkBeds
Ideal For:

Side Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium (5)

Pain Relief:

Excellent

Value:

Great Value

Pros

  • Latex comfort system provides softer cushioning for the hips and shoulders, with firmer support for the lower back and midsection
  • Zoned pocketed coils in the support core aid spinal alignment
  • Firmer coils around the bed’s perimeter enhance edge support

Cons

  • May be too soft for sleepers over 230 pounds
  • Sleep partners may feel each other’s movements on the other side of the bed

If you struggle with back pain, you should consider a zoned mattress that provides extra support beneath your torso and hips. The WinkBeds EcoCloud features a latex comfort layer and pocketed coil base, both of which are zoned to keep your entire body on an even plane. A medium (5) feel ensures plenty of cushioning to reduce pain and pressure in your upper and lower back, but the mattress is robust and responsive enough to prevent excessive sinkage.

Why We Like It

During hands-on tests, the EcoCloud earned its most favorable ratings from side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. Extra cushioning beneath the shoulders and hips helps ensure even alignment and less pressure for side sleepers, while the mattress is firm and supportive enough to maintain an even surface for back sleepers. Most of our stomach sleepers and testers over 230 pounds found the EcoCloud a bit too soft. We awarded high marks for ease of movement and edge support. Since the Talalay latex is light and responsive, none of us felt stuck when scooting across the surface, and most noted little to no sinkage when sitting along the perimeter to mimic getting in and out of bed. Our temperature control tests also indicate the mattress sleeps very cool even by latex hybrid standards.

How Does It Feel?

The first our testers noticed about the EcoCloud is a gentle bounce when they go onto the mattress. This comes from the Talalay latex, a naturally resilient material that keeps the surface light and springy. Latex conforms to the body without the hug of memory foam, so you shouldn’t feel too enveloped by this mattress as your body settles. Pocketed coils also add to the EcoCloud’s responsiveness. Since both layers are zoned, you’ll feel more pushback beneath your midsection and gentle contouring elsewhere. The mattress also sleeps exceptionally cool. This can be attributed to perforations in the latex, steady airflow through the coil system, and a cover made from a blend of breathable cotton and moisture-wicking wool.

Read our full WinkBeds EcoCloud review
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Best Value Mattress

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid’s adaptive foam layers contour evenly, distribute your weight, and reduce pain along your spine. You can choose from medium soft (4), medium firm (6), and firm (8) designs based on your sleep position and body type.

Buy From Brooklyn Bedding
Ideal For:

Couples

Firmness:

Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

Pain Relief:

Great

Value:

Great Value

Pros

  • Available in three firmness options
  • Foam comfort layers gently cushion pressure points
  • Below-average price-point for a hybrid

Cons

  • Returns incur a fee
  • Foam may off-gas in first few days

If you frequently wake up with soreness in the upper or lower back, your mattress might be a major factor. Excessive sinkage – especially around the torso and hips – can contribute to back pain. The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid is a model from this company with multiple firmness options to suit sleepers with different needs.

Why We Like It

The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid is a well-made, affordable mattress that earns high marks for pressure relief, cooling, and overall support. The specialized foams are more breathable than traditional foam, and our heat sensors showed minimal heat buildup on the surface. The price-point also falls well below that of the average hybrid model. Brooklyn Bedding sells the mattress in 14 different sizes, including a split California king for couples who use adjustable beds and a handful of RV-friendly options.

How Does It Feel?

The mattress does not contain any memory foam, but instead features a comfort system with proprietary TitanFlex and VariFlex polyfoam layers. Our tests show these materials cushion the body without a deep “hug,” making the Signature Hybrid a good option for anyone who prefers a plush sleep surface but sinks too much on memory foam. Pocketed coils make up the support core. Extra reinforcement around the perimeter allowed most of us to lie near the edges of the mattress without feeling unstable, and get in and out of bed with relative ease.

The Signature Hybrid’s medium soft (4) feel was most popular among side sleepers up to 230 pounds and back sleepers under 130 pounds. This model contours closely to cradle your spine and reduce pressure. Back and stomach sleepers on our testing team who weigh 130 pounds or more received great support from the firm (8) model. When testing these mattresses, we noticed very little conforming and strong push-back from the coils. Lastly, the medium firm (6) feel earned its highest ratings from our testers in the range of 130 to 230 pounds.

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Mattress Review
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Most Comfortable Mattress

DreamCloud Premier Memory Foam Mattress

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The DreamCloud Premier Memory Foam Mattress offers excellent contouring, with a medium firm (6) feel that makes it a touch firmer than some of the other all-foam beds we’ve tested. It’s a good fit for people who need the best of both worlds when it comes to cushioning and sturdiness.

Buy from DreamCloud
Ideal For:

Couples

Firmness:

Medium Firm

Pain Relief:

Excellent

Value:

Good Value

Pros

  • All-foam design excels at pressure relief and cushioning
  • Strong motion isolation is ideal for couples
  • 365-night sleep trial

Cons

  • Foam is prone to heat retention
  • Some sleepers may notice slight off-gassing smell at first

The DreamCloud Premier Memory Foam Mattress is an all-foam model that delivers strong cushioning without sacrificing support. It’s an optimal choice for sleepers who enjoy deep cradling for sensitive joints but find competing foam beds too soft.

Why We Like It

A standout feature of this medium firm (6) mattress is the strong pressure relief, which we credit to the cushioned, quilted surface. The bed was a hit with side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds, since it offered the right balance of contouring and support to relieve pressure in the shoulders and hips while still bolstering the lower back. Back sleepers in the same weight group also found the bed comfortable.

Since foam is excellent at absorbing motion, this model is ideal for co-sleepers needing a bed that prevents movement from rippling across the surface. The foam is also very quiet, so it produces little to no noise when you shift in your sleep.

How Does It Feel?

The DreamCloud Premier Memory Foam Mattress has a soft and breathable cashmere blend cover quilted with polyfoam and memory foam layers, creating a plush feel on the surface. Underneath is a layer of memory foam that softens and conforms closely to your body, followed by a firmer polyfoam layer that prevents too much sinkage. A thick support core made of high-density polyfoam stabilizes the entire bed. Note that the mattress also comes in a hybrid version if you prefer the enhanced support of coils.

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Best Luxury Mattress

Saatva Rx

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Saatva Rx is one of the only mainstream mattresses specifically designed for people with chronic or frequent back pain. Plush foam layers cradle your body to alleviate aches and soreness in the lumbar region, while sturdy coils create a stable base layer without making the mattress feel overly stiff.

Buy from Saatva
Ideal For:

Side Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Soft

Pain Relief:

Excellent

Value:

Fair Value

Pros

  • Dense lumbar pad alleviates pain and pressure in the lower back
  • Foam-tipped coils minimize motion transfer to prevent sleep disturbances for couples
  • All orders include a 365-night trial and free White Glove delivery

Cons

  • Most back and stomach sleepers will find the mattress too soft
  • Sticker price is much more expensive than average

The Saatva Rx is one of the plushest, most adaptive hybrids on the market today. A medium soft (4) feel and thick foam layers ensure a deep cradle for your body, while a memory foam lumbar pad and multi-zone coils provide gentle pushback in areas prone to sharp pressure points. The price-point is somewhat high for a hybrid, but if you’re losing sleep due to upper or lower back pain, this may be worth the investment.

Why We Like It

During hands-on tests, the Rx earned high marks from side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. As we’ve seen, this group often finds hybrids too firm, but the Rx’s thick foam layers deliver a close contour with ample cushioning for the shoulders and hips. Back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds also found the mattress comfortable, but our testers who use these positions and weigh more sank a bit too much. A firmer, more supportive mattress is more suitable to these sleepers.

Since the Rx is so soft, it earned high marks for motion isolation and pressure relief – two testing categories where hybrids often underperform. At the same time, edge support is somewhat lacking and the surface may sink when you move on the mattress. Our team didn’t notice excessive heat retention, but the mattress sleeps warmer than most competing hybrids despite steady airflow through both coil layers.

How Does It Feel?

The Rx’s comfort system begins with a dense memory foam pad located beneath your lumbar region to cushion your lower back. A thick polyfoam layer and microcoil transitional layer add to the plush surface feel. You’ll notice deep cradling as your body settles into the mattress and these materials adapt to your unique curves.

The Rx’s pocketed coils are encased in fabric and topped with foam tips, which provide extra cushioning and prevent movement from transferring across the mattress — this is a bonus for couples. The cover is made of breathable organic cotton and treated with Guardin antimicrobial agent to stave off dust mites and other contaminants.

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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Bear Elite Hybrid

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Bear Elite Hybrid combines adaptive memory foam with multi-zone support layers, making it a solid choice for side sleepers who need extra cushioning for their shoulders and hips without too much hug. Three firmness levels allow you to choose the best option based on your body type.

Buy from Bear
Ideal For:

Side Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

Pain Relief:

Great

Value:

Great Value

Pros

  • Zoned support layers push back against heavier areas of the body
  • Three firmness options to accommodate different types of sleepers
  • Cooling materials help the surface maintain a comfortable temperature

Cons

  • Strong off-gassing for the first few nights
  • Limited options for people seeking an exceptionally soft mattress

As many side sleepers know, this position leaves them vulnerable to back pain — and the wrong mattress can make this issue even worse. Bear’s Elite Hybrid offers a design that’s both adaptive and sturdy, with a surface layer that contours evenly and zoned construction in the transitional foam and pocketed coils. You can choose from medium (5), medium firm (6), and firm (8) designs based on how much you weigh and your preferred cushioning level.

Why We Like It

Our hands-on tests show each firmness option for the Elite Hybrid is best suited to side sleepers in different weight groups. Those weighing less than 130 pounds should consider the medium feel, which provides deep cradling to alleviate sore spots. Side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds will likely prefer the medium firm design. This model conforms moderately, and there’s noticeable pushback from the underlying zoned layers. The firm feel should deliver much-needed support for side sleepers over 230 pounds, as well as back and stomach sleepers in this weight range.

We found that the Elite Hybrid excels at temperature control. This can be attributed to a phase change cover that dissipates heat on contact, breathable foams in the comfort system, and steady airflow throughout the coil system. Couples seeking a mattress that isolates motion well should opt for the medium model, whereas the medium firm and firm mattresses performed better in categories like edge support and ease of movement.

How Does It Feel?

Despite their similar designs, you’ll notice a distinct balance of cushioning and pushback on all three of the Bear Elite Hybrid’s firmness levels. The medium design provides close contouring, the firm feels quite robust, and the medium firm is a nice compromise between the other two. Since the transitional polyfoam and pocketed coil layers feel firmer around the midsection, people with extra weight in their torsos and hips should feel comfortable and properly supported on the medium firm or firm designs.

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Best Extra Firm Mattress

Plank Firm

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

Brooklyn Bedding’s Plank Firm is a flippable all-foam mattress with firm (7) and extra firm (9) sides. Both surfaces provide excellent support, especially for people who weigh more than 230 pounds and tend to sink too much on softer foam mattresses.

Buy from Plank
Ideal For:

Heavy Sleepers

Firmness:

Firm (7), Extra Firm (9)

Pain Relief:

Fair

Value:

Great Value

Pros

  • Exceptionally firm and supportive on each side
  • Provides sturdy pushback for back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds
  • Both sides sleep quite cool

Cons

  • Neither side is soft enough for most side sleepers and people under 130 pounds
  • Subpar motion isolation due to the highly responsive surface

Back and stomach sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds need extra reinforcement from their mattress compared with other sleeper types. The Plank Firm by Brooklyn Bedding is one of the firmest mattresses we’ve tested in our lab. This flippable all-foam model features two sleep surfaces: one that’s firm (7) and another that’s extra firm (9).

Why We Like It

Since very little sinkage occurs on either side, the budget-friendly Plank Firm sleeps quite cool and earned high marks during our temperature control tests. Exceptionally hot sleepers can also order a panel of phase change material (PCM) to be sewn onto both sides of the mattress. PCM is engineered to capture and release heat before it reaches the surface of your mattress, allowing you to remain comfortable regardless of the room temperature. The mattress was most popular among back and stomach sleepers on our testing team who weigh more than 230 pounds. These types of sleepers often struggle to find comfortable mattresses. Many of our lighter testers did not feel comfortable on the mattress, which we somewhat expected. If you weigh up to 230 pounds or sleep on your side, a softer mattress may be preferable.

How Does It Feel?

Those who prefer light cushioning will probably prefer the firm side, while the extra firm surface is ideal for anyone who needs enhanced support and little to no contouring. A shared support core of high-density polyfoam rests in the middle of the mattress between both comfort systems. At 70 pounds in a queen size, the Plank Firm is relatively lightweight and easy to flip with a lifting partner.

Read our full Plank Firm review
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Best Mattress for Pressure Relief

FloBeds vZone 12″ Natural Latex Mattress

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The FloBeds vZone 12” Natural Latex Mattress stands apart from other latex mattresses with an option to pick different firmness levels for each half of the bed. It’s a great solution for co-sleepers with different firmness preferences.

Buy from FloBeds
Ideal For:

Couples

Firmness:

Soft (3), Medium (5), Firm (7), Extra Firm (8)

Pain Relief:

Excellent

Value:

Fair Value

Pros

  • All-latex construction balances support with light contouring
  • Choice of four firmness options allows people with back pain to choose their best fit
  • Customizable design lets shoppers pick a separate firmness for each side of the bed

Cons

  • Carries a premium price-point
  • Ships in four boxes and owners need to assemble the mattress

Why We Like It

Few beds offer the degree of customizability as the FloBeds vZone 12” Natural Latex Mattress. Since you can pick a different firmness level for each side of the bed, we highly recommend this mattress for couples with different firmness preferences. The mattress is also an excellent choice for hot sleepers, thanks to the natural coolness and breathability of latex. The all-latex design results in minimal heat retention.

How Does It Feel?

The mattress is composed entirely of Talalay latex, which gives the surface a responsive and buoyant feel that conforms gently to your body’s joints and curves. Latex does not compress as readily as foam, so you won’t need to worry about sinking too deep into the bed. Shoppers can customize the feel of each side of the bed, choosing from four firmness options: soft (3), medium (5), firm (7), and extra firm (8). Back sleepers up to 230 pounds and side sleepers across all weight categories will find the soft and medium options most comfortable, thanks to the stronger cushioning in the shoulders and hips. Back sleepers over 230 pounds and most stomach sleepers will gravitate toward the firm and extra firm options, since these sleep positions typically need more support.

What Should Someone With Back Pain Consider in a Mattress?

For people with back pain, the ideal mattress keeps the spine in even alignment from the head to the pelvis. To find the right mattress, consider your body type and sleeping position, as well as several performance factors that affect a mattress’ ability to ease pain.

Sleeping Position, Body Weight, and Mattress Firmness

Your sleeping position significantly influences the mattress features necessary to promote spinal alignment. Side sleepers typically need a softer surface that lets the shoulder and hip areas sink into the bed’s surface, while back and stomach sleepers usually benefit from firmer support to prevent arching in the lower back.

At the same time, body weight plays a major role in determining suitable mattress firmness. People under 130 pounds often prefer a softer mattress, those over 230 pounds typically benefit from firmer beds, and sleepers in between those weight ranges often find comfort in a mattress with a mid-range feel.

Mattress Material

A mattress’ construction and materials affect its ability to relieve pressure and ease pain. Common mattress types include foam, innerspring, hybrid, latex, and airbed.

  • Foam: Contours to the body; good for pressure relief
  • Innerspring: Old-school responsiveness with a thin comfort layer
  • Latex: Gently responsive and lightly contouring; often favored by back and stomach sleepers
  • Hybrid: Balances contouring with support; versatile for all positions
  • Airbed: Adjustable firmness for tailored back support

For back pain, we often recommend mattresses that strike a balance between contouring and support, such as one of the best hybrid mattresses featuring zoned support.

Zoned Support

Zoned support refers to mattresses that are constructed to provide varied firmness levels to different parts of the body. This feature can offer major benefits to sleepers with back pain, as it provides enhanced support to heavier areas like the midsection while allowing lighter areas to sink into the bed’s surface. Together, these zones can promote better spinal alignment and reduce stress on the back.

Pressure Relief

Pressure relief in mattresses involves the cushioning of pressure-prone areas to prevent discomfort and pain, particularly in the hips, shoulders, and lower back. Typically essential for those with back pain, effective pressure relief ensures a more comfortable sleep by minimizing stress on sensitive areas and promoting proper spinal alignment.

Is Your Mattress Making Your Back Pain Worse?

Your mattress may be causing or exacerbating back pain if it lacks the features needed to support your body weight and sleeping position. We’ve identified several signs that your mattress may be contributing to back pain:

  • You frequently wake up with back pain: If your back pain starts when you get out of bed or gets worse in the morning, it may be a signal that your mattress is to blame. 
  • You no longer feel comfortable on your mattress: Another common sign of an unsupportive mattress is if you find yourself tossing and turning at night and have trouble finding a comfortable and pain-free position.
  • Your mattress has reached the end of its lifespan: If your mattress is over 7 to 10 years old, it may have reached the end of its lifespan. Old mattresses often sag in the middle and no longer support healthy spinal alignment.

How to Prevent Back Pain While Sleeping

Finding relief from nighttime back pain can take some experimenting, so you may want to start by creating a back-friendly evening routine. Make time for relaxation, spend up to 15 minutes before bedtime with a heating pad on low, and bring several extra pillows or rolled up blankets into bed for targeted support.

Try Sleeping in a Different Position

Finding a comfortable sleeping position can help reduce strain on the back. Experts often recommend sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees or in the fetal position with a pillow between your knees. Avoid stomach sleeping if possible, which can increase pressure on the spine and may lead to back strain.

Boost Your Mattress’ Feel with a Topper

A mattress topper is a quick and easy way to change the feel of your bed. Depending on your needs, you can opt for a topper that adds cushioning to relieve pressure points or one that increases firmness for better spinal alignment.

Use a Pillow that Aligns Your Neck and Spine

Selecting the best pillow for back pain with the right loft can help maintain alignment between your neck and spine, thus improving sleep posture and potentially reducing pain. Side sleepers generally benefit from a thicker pillow, back sleepers often prefer a medium loft, and stomach sleepers usually need a pillow with minimal loft to avoid straining the neck and arching the spine.

Consider Speaking With Your Doctor

If back pain persists or consistently disrupts your sleep, consult a health care professional. They can offer personalized advice and treatment options tailored to the cause of your back pain.

Discover More Mattress Solutions

In addition to this curated guide to the best mattresses for back pain, our product testers selected beds that we think will help alleviate other issues that can interfere with quality sleep.

How We Test

At the heart of our recommendations is a thorough, real-world testing methodology that we use to assess each mattress we review. We’ve honed our expertise over many years in the sleep product industry, learning everything we can along the way to help you find a mattress that feels comfortable and promotes healthy spinal alignment.

In testing mattresses for people with back pain, we paid close attention to factors like each bed’s construction and how well it balances support and pressure relief. Members of our testing team, who span a range of body types and sleep styles, helped us narrow down our picks to those that are best suited to different types of sleepers with back pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does back pain affect sleep?

Back pain can disrupt sleep by making it difficult to find the right position, fall asleep, and sleep consistently through the night. For people with chronic back pain, trouble sleeping can make back pain worse, leading to a cycle where poor sleep exacerbates pain, which in turn further disrupts sleep.

How can you tell if your mattress is causing back pain?

Your mattress may be causing back pain if you toss and turn and can’t find a comfortable position, if you consistently wake up with soreness, or if your mattress is past its expected lifespan of 7 to 10 years.

Is a soft or firm mattress better for back pain?

The ideal mattress firmness for back pain depends on your sleeping position and body weight. In general, the less a person weighs, the more likely they are to benefit from a soft mattress, with firmness preferences increasing as body weight increases.

At the same time, side sleepers are more likely to receive the pressure relief they need from softer beds, while back sleepers typically require firmer pushback to keep the back and spine on an even plane. Stomach sleepers usually trend toward the firm end of the spectrum, since beds that are too soft can result in uncomfortable arching of the spine.

What is the best mattress type for back pain?

The best mattress type varies based on your individual needs and preferences. While several mattress types offer a good mix of cushioning and support, we’ve found that hybrids are often the best for back pain, as they combine the supportive properties of coils with the pressure relief of foam or latex layers.

What is the best sleeping position for back pain?

The best sleeping position for back pain is typically on your back or side, as both allow for proper spinal alignment in the right circumstances. Try sleeping on your back with a blanket rolled up under your knees or sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees. Stomach sleeping is generally not recommended as it can trigger or exacerbate back pain.

About The Author

David Rubin

Certified Sleep Science Coach, Director of Product Testing


David is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with a lifelong passion for well-being and health optimization. His interest in sleep developed with the arrival of his son, when sleep suddenly became a precious commodity.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Hot Sleeper
  • CHRONOTYPE: Lion

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