Could something as simple as picking the right side of the bed or facing or not facing your partner actually make a difference in how Americans sleep? It may, according to a new “Pick Your Side” survey that looks at the bed side practices of Americans and their impact on sleep, relationships, and well-being today.

The survey, conducted by Saatva Mattress, found that 40% of adult Americans have always slept on the same side of the bed. However, more than half report they did not consciously pick their side. In fact, if they could make the same decision today, 30% say they would give it more consideration and one in five (20%) admit they would choose the opposite side of the bed.

sleep side infographic


Other survey findings include:

  • Overall, more Americans sleep on the right side of the bed than the left (while lying down), with more men than women preferring this side (58% vs 50%).
  • Right side sleeping males feel relaxed instead of stressed most of the time when compared to men sleeping on the left (71% vs 60%).
  • More Americans overall are happier with their mate facing away from them in bed as compared to sleeping toward them (64% vs 36%). Moreover, more women than men (72% vs 55%) need their space and prefer they face away from their partners.
  • Technology is a leading factor when choosing the side of the bed. In fact, three in four (75%) Americans agree that being close to outlets would determine the side of the bed they choose, as compared to choosing to be near the bathroom (67%), window (58%), or door (48%).

“Americans need to be more conscious of every aspect of the sleep choices they make today,” says Ron Rudzin, CEO of Saatva Mattress, in a release. “Making a concerted effort to understand each factor of sleep wellness—even having open conversations about which side to sleep on—can make a difference in a good night’s sleep.”

Couples who do communicate and consciously choose their sleep sides report interesting ways that the topic can throw a wrench into relationships. Additional findings include:

  • Almost half (46%) say that when they first got together as a couple, both partners preferred the same side of the bed and 79% of them had to concede their preferred side to their partner.
  • Overall, 20% of Americans would find it challenging to change their side if a significant other wanted the same side.
  • When they have switched sides, more men than women (75% vs 59%) have handed over their preferred side of the bed for their partner who wants the same side.
  • In fact, having the same side of the bed is just as likely to be a deal-breaker with a potential partner as following different sports teams (6% vs 5%). Additionally, coupled Americans would be more willing to give up control of the TV remote than their preferred side of the bed (51% vs 37%).

About the Surveys

The Saatva “Pick Your Side” 2014 and 2015 surveys were conducted online by Kelton, a leading global insights firm, between October 6 and October 13, 2014, and January 2 and January 8, 2015, among 1,033 and 1,105 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, respectively. The margin of error for both surveys is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.