Everything You Need to Know About Zoned Mattresses

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 08/24/2023

Tired of tossing and turning on mattresses that never quite hit the comfort mark? We’ve all been there—the struggle to find that perfect mattress can be a real challenge. 

But have you ever ventured into the world of zoned mattresses? These innovative mattresses might be the game-changer you’ve been searching for. 

Zoned beds take personalized comfort to the next level, offering tailored support to different parts of your body. 

Intrigued? In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about zoned mattresses. 

So, stick around to find out more! 

What Is Zoned Support?

Zoned support in a mattress entails incorporating varying firmness levels to provide distinct support to different body areas. 

Whether you’re a side, back, or stomach sleeper, zoned support aims to maintain spine alignment and overall sleep posture. 

Imagine your body’s weight-bearing zones – hips, shoulders, and lumbar region – each needing unique support. This is where zoned beds shine, utilizing different zones with tailored firmness

By accommodating diverse needs, zoned support ensures optimal comfort and a more natural sleep experience. As heavier areas are cradled and aligned, your spine benefits too. 

Zoned support transforms your mattress into a personalized sleeping surface. 

Why Are Some Mattresses Zoned?

Zoning in mattresses exists because our bodies aren’t one-size-fits-all. 

Think about how your hips are different from your waist or shoulders. They need specific support due to their varying weight and shape. 

Zoning helps tackle this puzzle by giving extra care to these different body zones. Whether you sleep on your side, back, or belly, a zoned mattress ensures each part gets the comfort it craves. 

So, if you ever wondered why some mattresses have zones, it’s all about making you feel cozy, no matter how you sleep!

Mattress Material of Zoned Mattresses

When crafting zoned mattresses, various materials work harmoniously to create support tailored to your body. 


Foam is the most common, with different types offering unique benefits. Whether it’s memory foam, latex foam, or high-density poly foam, they contribute to zoned support by varying firmness across different regions of the mattress. 

However, the zoned support of the latex foam is created a bit differently than in an all foam bed. By adjusting the pin pattern in the mold during production, manufacturers create zones of differing density, resulting in a softer or firmer mattress depending on your body’s needs.

That’s why the same mattress can have more or less holes in the top layer depending on where that zone is on the firmness scale.


Coils also deliver zoned support through varying coil firmness. Like foam, coils adapt to different body zones, aligning your body seamlessly.

If you’re a fan of the bounce and breathability of coils, consider the zoned support found in an innerspring mattress or a hybrid mattress. However, keep in mind that a hybrid bed with pocketed coils is a better choice if good motion isolation is important to you.

Mattress Zoning Options

There’s also plenty of variety when it comes to zoned mattresses! Here are some of the main distinctions you should know about. 

Two Zone Mattresses

Introducing the ingenious “two-zone” mattress concept: a softer upper region extending from your lower rib cage upwards, while the lower layers remain firmer, starting from the same point and descending to the mattress base. 

This strategic zoning technique tackles a common challenge. Think about it: your shoulders often sink in more quickly until the broader chest area kicks in. 

With this approach, you’re ensuring that your upper body finds just the right amount of pressure relief and proper alignment. 

It’s like giving your body a customized support system, which is particularly beneficial if you have more prominent shoulders or a more substantial chest that tends to sink in the comfort layers.

This zoning magic targets upper body comfort and helps keep those alignment worries at bay, so you can rise and shine confidently.

Three Zone Mattresses

Meet the “three-zone” mattress: a support layer beneath the lower back and pelvis with firmer coils or firmer foam, hugged by two softer zones above and below. 

Picture this: It’s like giving your body a gentle nudge where it needs it most. This clever zoned support system is a standard favorite, often seen in mattresses. It’s a game-changer for folks whose hips tend to sink too much, and it can fit many sleeping positions.

Say you’ve got slimmer, heavier hips; this zoning is your ally. Balancing out the support layers is like a custom fit for your body, promoting ideal alignment and ensuring you wake up ready to conquer the day.

Multi-Zone Mattress

“Multi-zone” mattresses have slightly different support. They provide a softer hug for your hips and shoulders, while a firmer layer covers your lumbar area. 

This fantastic twist, aptly named “reverse zoning,” gives your lumbar region the extra love it needs. It’s a savior for those who need deeper hip and shoulder sinkage to ensure solid lumbar support. 

If you’re lighter or have some weight around the middle, this zone’s got your alignment covered. While it’s a hero in specific cases, matching this multi-zone marvel to your needs for ultimate comfort is crucial. It might be the perfect choice for back and stomach sleepers.

Another Zoning Option

There’s also edge support to keep in mind. It’s like reinforcements for the mattress edges, stopping roll-offs and adding firmness for those who like to sit at the edge of their beds. 

A typical spring mattress uses this to stay strong, especially when it’s on an adjustable base. However, an all foam construction like latex doesn’t need this edge foam; it can actually cause early wear. 

Remember, zoning is not one-size-fits-all. It’s like tailoring a suit—it should match your needs. While zoning can be great, pressure relief and alignment are the real MVPs for a restful night. It’s all about what clicks for your body and sleep style.

Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a Zoned Mattress

Now that you know what a zoned mattress is, you’re ready to buy your own! Here’s what you should keep in mind while on that adventure. 

Your Height

How tall are you? How are your body parts positioned? 

If you’re choosing a zoned mattress, you need one that suits your body perfectly, so your height plays a significant role. 

Make sure to keep that in mind! 

Your Partner

Your partner’s height also matters in this case. If one of you is 5’4″ and the other is 6’2″, the zoned mattress will impact your body differently. 

Before buying a zoned mattress, make sure it suits both of you. 


Zoned beds typically have different zones with different firmness and support.

Consider your preferred firmness level—whether you like a softer feel for your shoulders and hips or more support for your lower back. 

Also, ensure the mattress offers the right balance of comfort and support for your sleeping style and body type.

Pressure Relief

Zoned beds are often specifically designed to give you more pressure relief by providing more support. 

Look for mattresses with well-defined zones corresponding to your shoulders, hips, and lower back. Foam layers found in a foam or hybrid mattress do a good job of providing pressure relief.

These zones should conform to your body’s shape and offer enough pressure relief.

Temperature Regulation

Depending on the zoned mattress construction, some of these beds can trap heat. Memory foam beds are especially notorious for this, so hot sleepers beware!

If you sleep hot, instead of getting a memory foam mattress, consider a bed with cooling technology such as gel-infused memory foam or breathable cover materials.

Edge Support

If you like sitting or sleeping near the edge of the bed, you need to invest in a mattress with good edge support. Some mattresses may have stronger edge support to prevent sagging and enhance the usable surface area.


Consider the mattress’s overall durability and lifespan. 

Zoned beds often have complex constructions, so ensure the mattress is made from high-quality materials to withstand long-term use without sagging or deteriorating. Look for materials like high density foam, natural latex, and high-quality coils.

Actual Differences in Zones

The distinctions between firmer and softer zones might be subtler than expected. Sometimes, you’ll find that one zone feels similar to the next in the zoned support system.

Actually, the firmness rating might vary more between two mattresses than within zones of the same piece. This creates a balanced sleeping surface area for you. 


Zoned mattresses can vary significantly in price depending on their materials, construction, and brand. Set a budget beforehand and look for options that offer the best value for your money.

Trial Period and Warranty

Most reputable mattress brands offer a trial period during which you can test the mattress at home and decide if it suits your needs. Also, check the warranty terms to understand what is covered and for how long. Most companies offer a 10 year limited warranty, but it can differ.

Why Should You Get a Zoned Mattress?

Zoned beds come with plenty of benefits. But do you need one for your bedroom? 

Some types of sleepers can benefit a lot from a zoned mattress. 

Sleeping Position

Choosing a mattress generally depends on sleeping positions. But every position is different, so can a zoned mattress fit all of them? Well, it all depends on the position and the zoning. 

  • Side sleepers: Zoned beds cushion shoulders and hips, aligning the spine. Softer foam gives pressure relief to the shoulders, while letting the hips sink into the comfort layer for better alignment.
  • Stomach sleepers: Zoned beds offer firmer zones for hips, preventing over-sinkage. Proper spinal alignment from the shoulders to the pelvis can alleviate back pain for stomach sleepers.
  • Back sleepers: Zoned beds give better support to the lumbar area, maintaining spinal alignment and reducing lower back discomfort.
  • Combination sleepers: Zoned beds are perfect for those combo sleepers. Comfort and support in every pose, ensuring spine alignment and joint relief.

Body Weights and Heights

Body types and heights have an impact on how firm a mattress appears to be. Lighter individuals may experience a firmer feel, while heavier sleepers might perceive it as softer. 

Zoned mattresses excel at catering to this variability by offering targeted support to different body regions. This customized support, combined with a well-designed comfort layer, keeps your spine straight and offers pressure relief. 

As a result, zoned mattresses contribute to proper body positioning, enhancing overall sleep quality for individuals of diverse sizes and weights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Zoned Mattress Good for Back Pain?

Indeed, a zoned mattress can prove highly effective in addressing back pain. By providing differentiated support to various areas of the body, it encourages proper spinal position and potentially reduces discomfort. 

Personal comfort preferences play a role, so it’s advisable to test if the zoned mattress offers the desired relief for your specific back issues.

Should Side Sleepers Get a Zoned Mattress?

Absolutely. Zoned beds are a fantastic choice for side sleepers. These mattresses are designed to target the specific pressure points around the shoulders and hips that often trouble side sleepers.

The zoning technology ensures that these areas receive the necessary cushioning and support, keeping your spine straight and potentially minimizing discomfort. 

If you’re a side sleeper, a zoned mattress could very well enhance your sleep experience by offering personalized comfort and alleviating pressure.

Can You Flip a Zoned Mattress?

Generally, zoned beds are not intended to be flipped. 

The unique zoning design is engineered to provide specialized support to different areas of the body, such as the head, shoulders, hips, and legs. Flipping the mattress could disrupt the intended comfort and alignment benefits of the zoning. 

However, to promote even wear, rotating the mattress 180 degrees every few months is advisable. To ensure the longevity and performance of your zoned mattress, it’s wise to adhere to the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines.

Final Thoughts

Zoned mattresses are designed for tailored comfort, targeting specific areas of your body with varying levels of support. 

If you’re a side sleeper seeking relief for your shoulders and hips, a back sleeper looking for lumbar support, or anyone eager to elevate their sleep game, a zoned mattress might be the way to go. 

So, go ahead and explore the options, test the zones, make an informed choice, and get that good night’s sleep. 

Good luck with finding your new mattress!

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.