During my last camping trip I noticed that sleeping on my side was very uncomfortable. This got me thinking about what sleeping bags were best for side sleepers and how you should go about finding one.
One of the most nerve racking feelings is turning in for the night after a long hike and not being able to sleep on your side without tossing and turning in your tent. So I did a little research about what sleeping bags are the best for side sleepers. Sleeping bags are usually uncomfortable for side sleepers because they are designed for people sleeping on their backs. Many are also built in the mummy style which makes sleeping on your side difficult. Let’s look in to these common problems that make finding a sleeping bag for side sleepers difficult and what you need to do about it.
Who Needs A Sleeping Bag Designed for Side Sleepers?
Spend one night at a campsite without getting a good night’s sleep, and you’ll realize quickly that finding a sleeping bag designed for side sleeping is now your top priority.
Habits and repetition from sleeping at home transfer to camping and getting a good night’s rest. To feel comfortable, most people need to sleep in the same position that they do at home. With this in mind, people who sleep on their side are often left wondering if they can find a sleeping bag that will allow them to do so comfortably.
While side sleeping is developed by habit for most, some may have other issues or disabilities which require them to only sleep on their side. Whatever your reason, if you can’t sleep well, then your camping trip will likely suffer.
What Makes Most Sleeping Bags Uncomfortable for Side Sleepers?
Sleeping bags are usually made in two different styles, a standard rectangle and mummy style. Each is designed for sleeping on your back and facing up. This can lead to problems if you like sleeping on your side and need additional cushioning in certain areas.
The standard rectangle style maintains the same width from the top zipper to the bottom. Insulation is also uniform throughout. This style of sleeping bag makes sleeping on your side difficult because every time you turn, the sleeping bag turns with you. Cushioning is also uniform and cannot be modified to support areas that side sleepers need.
Standard Coleman Sleeping Bag
Mummy style sleeping bags are tapered from top to bottom with the narrowest part being at the feet. This style sleeping bag makes it very difficult to sleep on your side comfortable due to lack of room. Like the standard sleeping bag, the mummy style has to turn with you in order to sleep on your side.
Mummy Style Sleeping Bag
What Are the Best Sleeping Bags for Side Sleepers?
All hope is not lost however since there are sleeping bags which are specifically made for side sleepers or can be modified to become great for sleeping on your side.
The first sleeping bag specifically designed for side sleeping is the Zenbivy Bed. It’s made for hardcore camping and hiking enthusiast that want to sleep well and be ready for the next day. It doubles as a hammock as well. But the really cool thing is that it has an inner pillow that can be repositioned for side sleeping.
Another option is the Teton Sports Mammoth Queen Size Sleeping Bag with around 5 inches of insulation. This large bed is perfect for customizing to your sleeping style. If you like sleeping on your side, just bunch up unused areas for added support where you need it the most.
Teton Sports Mammoth Queen Size Sleeping Bag
The main goal is choosing a sleeping bag with increased support around the mid-section while having sufficient room to turn on your side without feeling restricted. Both the Zenbivy and Teton Sports Sleeping Bag will provide a full night’s sleep for those who like to sleep on their side.
Finding a sleeping bag that makes sleeping on your side can be difficult. Most manufacturers develop sleeping bags with the intention of people sleeping on their backs or stomach, leaving many side sleepers questioning where they fit in. One of the best sleeping bags for side sleepers is the Zenbivy Bed. Its customizable support system allows you to adjust cushioning to any area that you need. Another option is getting a larger sleeping bag like the Teton Sports Mammoth and adjusting unused cushioning as needed. Either way, there are options for side sleepers, so take advantage of them and finally get a good night’s sleep.
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John is our resident expert on the outdoors. He writes about outdoor gear, camping, traveling, and anything outdoors related. He has over 20 years experience camping and hiking the backwoods of Montana and has traveled extensively all over the world.