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sleep habits of couples survey results - image of couple in bed

Great Sleep or Great Sex? Our Survey Results Reveal All

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say we’re obsessed with sleep at Saatva—and one of the things we love most is learning about what other people do in bed. That’s why we asked 1,500 people to tell us all about their sleep habits, from whether they’d rather have mind-blowing sex or a solid night’s sleep to the biggest gripes they have about bed-sharing with a partner to how often they really change their sheets. Here are some of the most surprising things we learned.

1. Women prefer great sleep to great sex

Two out of three women surveyed (65%) would opt for an incredible night of sleep over a night of passionate lovemaking—and that number goes up to 70% for married women. Among unmarried women in relationships, 55% would choose sleep over sex. On the flip side, 58% of men would prefer a night of amazing sex to a night of restful sleep. As far as couples with kids go, 58% with one child and 61% with two children would take sleep over sex (which makes sense, given how sleep-deprived parents tend to be). Interestingly though, couples with three or more kids revert to 50/50. Maybe they have balance figured out. (Here’s how to find a mattress that’s good for sleep and sex.)

2. Sleeping naked beats wearing PJs

Sixty-six percent of people sleep naked sometimes, and 20% do it all the time—men more so than women. Of the always-nude sleepers, 20% like to catch their Z’s in tundra-like conditions, while 10% of people overall are into sleeping in a chilly environment. In general, survey participants like sleeping in cool temps, with men favoring warmth slightly more than women (22% vs. 18%). A cool bedroom might make forgoing PJs a little uncomfortable—but it could explain why 14% of people always sleep with socks on.

3. Toilet-cleaning wins over duvet-cleaning

Of the 962 survey participants who use a duvet, 47% would rather clean all the toilets in their home than wash and reassemble their duvet. (Hopefully they use a top sheet.) When it comes to cleaning mattresses, a majority of people (55%) don’t know how to do it. (If you’re one of them, check out our handy mattress-cleaning guide.) Nearly everyone we surveyed washes their sheets at least once a month, which is reassuring but only about half as often as experts recommend, given the amount of germs living on your bedding.

4. Nothing ruins sleep faster than a snoring partner

Among those who share a bed, snoring is the most complained-about habit, with 39% of people saying they find their partner’s snoring irritating. Snoring bugs women more than men (45% vs. 33%). (Here’s how to sleep with someone who snores.) The next-most annoying habit? Stealing the covers, at 22%, while 11% say it’s a partner who wants to constantly cuddle in bed.

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5. Some like it firm—and some don’t

Conflict over mattress comfort levels is common. About 1 in 3 respondents (35%) say they have argued with their partner about mattress firmness. Twelve percent like a firm mattress (men express this preference 5% more than women), 30% prefer plush, and 58% want firm support with a plush top. To maintain domestic harmony, nearly 30% of people have considered or tried putting twin mattresses together to create a custom sleep surface.

6. Not all couples sleep in the same bed

Given the above, it’s no wonder that some couples choose to sleep separately. While 75% of people sleep in the same bed as their partner every night, 14% occasionally sleep apart, and 23% of people sometimes or often sleep separately. For married couples specifically, 10% often sleep separately from their spouse, even when they’re both at home. Those 54 and older are 15% less likely to sleep with their partner every night than those in the 25- to 34-year-old range.

7. Pets are popular bed partners

While couples increasingly sleep in separate beds these days, their furry family members are welcome on the mattress. Of the 1,097 survey participants who have pets, 60% allow them to sleep in their bed. Twenty percent sleep with a cat, while 33% sleep with a dog. One in 10 people sleep with multiple pets in bed—plus a partner. (We just hope they have a king-size bed.)

8. You can’t have too many pillows

Nearly 50% of people sleep with two pillows, while 20% of people sleep with three or four pillows. Another 20% use only one pillow. As for sheets, 81% of people always sleep with a top sheet—with men preferring a top sheet slightly more than women (85% vs. 78%).

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Saatva Dreams Organic Sheets and Pillowcases


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Need a new top sheet? Here’s everything you need to know before buying new sheets.

Christina Heiser is the content manager at Saatva. She has held previous positions at Everyday Health, Women's Health, and L'Oréal. When she's not working, you can find Christina checking out the latest boutique fitness classes in New York City, cheering on her college basketball team (go Red Storm!), and trying new beauty and wellness trends.