All mattress types are not created equal when it comes to what is best for side sleepers. Learn which types of mattress materials are good for side sleepers and which ones don’t work so well.
Most types of mattresses designed for side sleepers are made with some blend of memory foam: standard, latex, or gel memory foam. Memory foam mattresses are completely constructed from layers of memory foam, no other materials. The top and mid layers are made for comfort; the base layer is usually made of high-density polyfoam to add durability.
Occasionally, these mattresses will be infused with copper, gel, or graphite to provide extra cooling and pain relief benefits. Memory foam is known to be an excellent material for evenly distributing weight and minimizing pain at pressure points. It also supports the natural curve of your spine.
Innerspring mattresses consist of a coil spring system cushioned by foam on either side. While coils are great at providing bounce and support, they aren’t good at relieving pressure.
Generally, innerspring mattresses are not the best for side sleepers because they don’t provide enough contouring cushion. If you are a side sleeper on an innerspring mattress, we recommend you consider adding a memory foam mattress topper to provide the additional contouring your body needs. Or, look for a hybrid mattress with a soft top layer to hug your body.
Latex mattresses use latex foam as their main feature. Latex foam can be derived from either natural latex or synthetic latex; regardless, the material is cooling, buoyant, and pressure relieving. Organic latex foam provides a good base for some of the best organic mattresses for side sleepers.
Latex memory foam and gel memory foam are known to quickly bounce back to shape when users change position throughout the night, more so than with standard memory foam—great for side sleepers who also find that they are back or stomach sleepers.
A hybrid mattress may be a good choice if you are a side sleeper who likes the feel of an innerspring mattress. The best hybrid mattress for side sleepers provides the supportive bounce from the coil construction but utilizes other mattress materials for comfort and contouring.
Hybrid beds often have layers of high-quality foam (either latex foam, memory foam, or both) that expertly hugs hips and shoulders for pressure and pain relief.
Everyone has unique needs that must be met in the mattress they choose. Whether you’re a heavy sleeper, hot sleeper, part of a couple, or sleeping alone, there’s some component of your lifestyle or sleeping environment that you should consider when choosing a mattress.
For side sleepers, it’s important to find a mattress that meets your unique need for a balance in comfort and support. Sleeping on your side can be great for your sleep and health, or it can be a nightmare if you don’t sleep on a surface that properly supports body alignment and contouring in the necessary zones.
Side sleepers naturally put more weight on their hips, thighs, and shoulders as they lie down, causing those areas to be pressure sensitive over time. That’s why side sleepers should search for a pressure-relieving mattress to keep away morning aches and pains—especially if you’re prone to hip pain and shoulder pain.
The right amount of pushback in your mattress will help distribute your body weight more evenly, meaning your hips, thighs, and shoulders won’t sink in more than the rest of your body. This also helps to prevent aches and soreness in those high-pressure areas.
How can you tell if a mattress has good pressure relief?
For every mattress we test at Mattress Advisor, we measure how well a mattress performs at relieving pressure using a pressure mapping device. Below you will see an example of a mattress that performed well in our pressure relief test and one that did not, for the side position.
Mattress Shopping Made Easy
In a recent study, Mattress Advisor found that 44% of consumers are overwhelmed by shopping for a new mattress, primarily due to the many options available, price, and finding the right mattress for their individual needs. At Mattress Advisor, we make it easy to choose the best mattress for your budget, sleeping style and lifestyle without ever having to step foot into a mattress store.
Each mattress we review is tried and thoroughly tested using our proprietary methodology so that we can provide our readers with the most accurate and comprehensive scores. We’ve spent thousands of hours of research and comparison shopping to help you find your perfect mattress quickly and easily.