Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers of 2022

By Alesandra Woolley

May 31st, 2022

As a side sleeper, you need a mattress that provides the right balance of comfort and support. The good news is that since most people are side sleepers, you have many options to choose from.

But when does many cross the line to too many? To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve selected our 10 best mattresses for side sleepers. Compare our top picks and learn what to look for in our buyer’s guide for side sleepers.

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Our Top Picks: Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

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DreamCloud Premier

DreamCloud Premier
DreamCloud Premier

Best Pillow Top Mattress

Good for:

  • All sleeping positions
  • Those with back pain
  • Couples
customer rating

4.8/5

our score

8.9/10

firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

trial period

365 days

The DreamCloud Premier is an outstanding pillow top mattress that features a plush layer of cashmere and quilted foam. Supporting the top layer are foam and innerspring coil layers designed to provide balanced support and body contouring, two key factors for people who sleep on their side.

Pros

Scoring 9/10 on the motion transfer, pressure relief, and responsiveness tests, this mattress is more than a great option for side sleepers. It also provides the springiness that is necessary for restless sleepers to move around with ease, and the movement isolation that can help you sleep soundly even as your partner tosses and turns throughout the night.

Cons

The multi-layered DreamCloud Premier is heavier than the average mattress, so setting it up is most likely a two-person job. You’ll also notice a mild chemical smell (known as off-gassing) after unpacking that will take a few hours to subside.

Read our full DreamCloud Premier mattress review.


Saatva Classic

saatva mattress new e1586527946280
Saatva Classic

Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain

Good for:

  • Side sleepers with shoulder pain
  • Edge support
  • Cooling
customer rating

4.9/5

our score

9/10

firmness

Customizable

trial period

365 days

Side sleepers tend to put a lot of strain on their down-side shoulder, but the Saatva Classic has the materials and design to offer some much-needed relief. As one of our best mattresses for shoulder pain, this supportive foam-innerspring hybrid provides exceptional spine alignment. In this critical category for side sleepers, our testing process gives it a perfect 10/10.

Pros

With two coil layers helping to promote airflow, the Saatva scores 9/10 for cooling in our sleep lab. Free white-glove service means you can leave the set-up to your delivery person, an especially nice perk for seniors.

Cons

The Saatva Classic isn’t a budget product, costing upwards of $2,000 for the king and larger sizes. Also, if you’re strictly a memory foam mattress fan, this hybrid isn’t the best choice for you.

Read our full Saatva Classic review.


Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix luxe product shot 1
Helix Midnight Luxe

Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers

Good for:

  • Hot sleepers
  • People seeking pressure relief
  • Those who seek durability
customer rating

4.5/5

our score

8.7/10

firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

trial period

100 days

The Helix Midnight Luxe mattress makes its way into our list as the best cooling mattresses for hot sleepers. Helix features its Soft Touch Design technology to provide maximum breathability for optimal airflow and a cool night’s sleep.

Pros

The top layer of memory foam is designed to be pressure relieving for your hips and shoulders, something side sleepers need in order to avoid aches and pains. The pocketed coils limit motion transfer, so couples can sleep soundly, and they add superior edge support.

Cons

As wonderful as the Helix Midnight Luxe is for couples, those with aches and pains, and the hot sleeper, this is not a mattress for the bargain hunter. With a queen-size mattress running just under $2,000, the price tag may give some pause.

Read our full Helix Midnight Luxe mattress review.


WinkBed

winkbed lux firm mattress 1
WinkBeds Luxury Firm

Best Mattress for Back Pain

Good for:

  • People with back pain
  • Multiple firmness options
  • Durability
customer rating

4.5/5

our score

8.6/10

firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

trial period

120 days

One of the WinkBed’s key features to address back pain is the lumbar support layer between the micro-coil and pocket coil layers. It’s designed to provide targeted support for the mid-body lumbar area, a common source of back pain.

Related: Best Mattresses for Back Pain

Pros

This mattress offers four firmness options, and WinkBeds recommends the Softer option (4.5/10) for side sleepers, who typically find the most comfort when they can sink slightly into their mattress. We agree, although heavier side sleepers could get good results from the Luxury Firm option (6.5/10).

Cons

A queen-size WinkBed mattress runs about $1,800, so budget shoppers will need to take advantage of holiday sales or discounts to save money. Since your mattress will be built to order, it could take 7-10 business days for delivery.

Read our full WinkBed Luxury Firm review.


Nectar

nectar original mattress updated
Nectar

Best Budget Mattress

Good for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Responsiveness
  • Sleeping on the edge
customer rating

4.8/5

our score

8.7/10

firmness

Medium-firm: 5.5-6/10

trial period

365 days

Nectar’s quilted gel memory foam comfort layer provides great pressure relief  (an 8.5/10 Mattress Advisor score) at a competitive price point. It also has an 8.5/10 score for responsiveness, a good sign for side sleepers who toss and turn.

Pros

This memory foam mattress gives you that “hugging” feeling of memory foam, which also makes it strong in motion isolation. That means that when your kids, partner, or pets jump into bed, the movement is less likely to disturb you.

Cons

While this product offers a cooling cover and breathable foam layers, its 7.5/10 cooling score illustrates a common problem with all-foam mattresses. The 7.5/10 score for spine alignment is a potential red flag for side sleepers with lower back pain.

Read our full Nectar mattress review.


Nolah Signature 12″

Nolah NEW
Nolah Signature 12''

Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers

Good for:

  • Side/back combination sleepers
  • Restless sleepers
  • Pressure relief
customer rating

4.8/5

our score

8.6/10

firmness

Medium-Soft

trial period

120 days

Let’s say you’re primarily a side sleeper but you sometimes roll onto your back for short periods of time. The versatile Nolah Signature 12” has qualities to support combination sleepers like you.

Pros

For the side sleeping position, the Nolah Signature excels in pressure relief (9.25/10 Mattress Advisor score). It’s when you change to back sleeping that you’ll really appreciate its responsiveness, where it scores a near-perfect 9.5/10.

Cons

If you have serious back trouble, the 7.75/10 spine alignment score could be a problem. Also, people who like a medium-firm feel should take note of the Nolah Signature’s ​​4.5/10 firmness rating— not plush, but a bit below average.

Read our full Nolah Signature 12″ mattress review.


Puffy

Puffy resp e1585244784424
Puffy Mattress

Best Mattress for Couples

Good for:

  • Couples
  • Fans of memory foam
  • Ease of set-up
customer rating

4.6/5

our score

9/10

firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

trial period

101 nights

The Puffy classic is a great choice for the couple because of its superior testing results in our lab for motion transfer. We found this product to perform well for the sleeper who doesn’t love the idea of waking up every time their partner, pets or kids jump in bed.

Pros

This mattress is also a fine choice for those who prefer to sleep on their sides, in part because it scored well in pressure relief, which should be a primary concern for the side sleeper. Puffy is also a good choice for the sleeper who likes to rest on the edge of the bed, because there is ample support in that position.

Cons

Some customers have reported that the Puffy classic is prone to sag from the soft and cradling comfort layer. If that’s a concern for you, you may want to consider a hybrid, such as the Helix Midnight Luxe, which has a near-perfect score in durability.

Read our full Puffy mattress review.


Brooklyn Bedding Titan

Titan
Titan

Best Mattress for Heavy People

Good for:

  • Plus-size side sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who prefer firm mattresses
customer rating

4.5/5

our score

9.2/10

firmness

Firm: 7/10

trial period

120 days

Heavier people often need a sturdy mattress that provides more firmness and support than the typical model can provide. Designed specifically with plus-size sleepers in mind, Brooklyn Bedding’s Titan checks all those boxes and more.

Pros

The Titan scores 9 out of 10 or higher for spine alignment, responsiveness, and durability in Mattress Advisor testing. It also scores a 9 for motion transfer, meaning that movements during the night are unlikely to ripple across the sleeping surface (a plus for couples, too).

Cons

One area where the mattress doesn’t score as highly is pressure relief (7/10), a possible red flag for sleepers prone to sensitivity in their hips and shoulders. Hot sleepers should note that the cooling top panel is an optional feature that costs extra.

Read our full Brooklyn Titan mattress review.


Casper Wave Hybrid

casper lifestyle shot 1
Casper Wave Hybrid

Best Hybrid Mattress

Good for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Spine alignment
  • Couples
customer rating

4.5/5

our score

9.3/10

firmness

Medium: 5/10

trial period

100 days

Casper calls the Wave Hybrid its most advanced model yet, and people who sleep on their side are among those who stand to benefit from the design. It earns a total Mattress Advisor Score of 9.3/10, making it a solid product across the board.

Pros

Keeping your spine straight is essential for side sleepers, so the Casper Wave Hybrid’s 9/10 score in spine alignment is a major plus. Side sleepers also need pressure relief, which the Wave Hybrid provides with a 1.5″ layer of memory foam specifically designed for that purpose.

Cons

Advanced design and premium materials come at a cost, so this mattress might be outside your comfort zone if you’re budget-conscious. It has medium firmness, which won’t work for those who strongly prefer a plush or firm feel.

Read our full Casper Wave Hybrid review.


Bear Pro

bear pro
Bear Pro

Best Hypoallergenic Mattress

Good for:

  • People with allergies and skin sensitivities
  • Cooling
  • Durability
customer rating

5/5

our score

8.8/10

firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

trial period

120 days

The Bear Pro mattress is designed to give allergy sufferers another tool to defend themselves against allergens as they sleep: a top foam layer infused with naturally antimicrobial copper. The top layer also provides extra cushioning, a plus for side sleepers, and the heat-conducting properties of copper promote cooling.

Pros

In addition to copper-infused foam, the Bear Pro has other qualities to help keep your sleeping space free of irritants. The mattress is GREENGUARD Gold Certified and uses CertiPUR-US certified foams. To further improve cooling, inner layers are made with gel foam and open-cell foam.

Cons

As you might expect given the quality of materials, the Bear Pro is a bit on the pricey side. You’ll probably need to take advantage of special discounts or a holiday sale to get a queen-size for less than $1,300. Since it’s an all-foam mattress, you might notice an off-gassing odor for a while after unpacking.

Read our full Bear Pro mattress review.


Side Sleeper’s Guide to Choosing the Best Mattress

Each sleeping position has unique characteristics that create the need for a mattress with specific qualities. The best mattresses for back sleepers should balance support with contouring, stomach sleepers need very firm mattresses, and mattresses for combination sleepers have to bridge the divides between different positions.

Side sleepers, of course, have their own ideal mattress profile. In this section, we’ll offer expert advice on choosing the right one for you.

Best Types of Mattresses for Side Sleeping

Mattresses come in many types of materials and designs, and not all of them are ideal for side sleepers. Learn which types of mattress materials are good for side sleepers and which ones don’t work so well.

Memory Foam

The best side sleeper mattresses use some type of memory foam, whether it’s standard memory foam or gel-infused foam. The top and middle layers are made for comfort and the base layer is often made of high-density polyfoam to add durability.

Some mattresses use foam infused with copper, gel, or graphite to provide extra cooling and pain relief benefits. Memory foam does a great job of providing even weight distribution and gently contouring around pressure points. It also supports the natural curve of your spine.

Latex

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 foam and gel-infused foam quickly bounce back to their normal shape when people shift positions at night, better than regular memory foam—great for side sleepers who also find that they are back or stomach sleepers.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress may be a good choice if you’re a side sleeper who likes the feel of an innerspring mattress. The best hybrid mattresses for side sleepers provide the supportive bounce of an innerspring core layer with other materials in the upper layers for comfort and contouring.

Hybrid beds often have layers of high-quality foam (either latex foam, memory foam, or both) that cradles the hips and shoulders for pressure relief and pain relief.

❌ Innerspring

While they’re great at providing bounce and overall support, innerspring mattresses tend to fall short in pressure relief. Generally, the coiled spring systems don’t provide the kind of contouring cushion you get from memory foam and latex.

If you’re a side sleeper looking at an innerspring mattress, we recommend you consider adding a memory foam mattress topper to provide additional contouring or look for a hybrid mattress with foam or latex upper layers.

What to Look for in a Mattress for Side Sleepers

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.

Here’s how we see the ideal mattress for side sleepers:

  • A memory foam or memory foam hybrid
  • Medium-firm on the firmness scale (4.5/10 – 6.5/10)
  • Excellent spine alignment and pressure relief

The previous section describes how memory foam’s pressure-reliving and contouring properties make it the best material for side sleeping. Below, we’ll take a deeper dive into pressure relief, spine alignment, and firmness.

Pressure Relief

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.

Related: How to Ease Shoulder Pain from Sleeping

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 to 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. The cooler the color, the lower the pressure. Look for these diagrams on our individual mattress review pages.

Read More: Why is Pressure Relief so Important?

Spine Alignment

It’s important for side sleepers to select a mattress that will hug their bodies in the right places but not cause them to sink into the mattress too far. A mattress that pushes back just enough when you lie down will support your body’s natural curves and keep your spine aligned.

This is especially helpful for side sleepers with lower back pain. When your spine is out of alignment, gravity pushes down on the unsupported area, giving a similar result to having poor posture while standing. Over time, this leads to back pain and trouble sleeping. Side sleepers should have a perfectly straight spine from their neck all the way to the base of their spine.

Read More: Why Spine Alignment is Important

Firmness

Choosing the ideal firmness according to sleeping position is pretty straightforward for side sleepers. You should avoid an extremely firm or extremely soft mattress and instead look for one that falls on the medium-soft to medium end of the firmness scale, between 4.5/10 and 6.5/10.

If the mattress is too firm, you’re likely to feel joint pain and tension. But a mattress that’s too soft won’t provide enough support. Look for a mattress that’s supportive but also soft enough to minimize stress on the hips and shoulders.

Tips for Side Sleepers

While sleeping on the right mattress is one of the most important factors in getting quality sleep, there are other things you can do as a side sleeper to help ensure you wake up feeling well-rested and pain-free.

Sleep on your Left Side

Sleeping on your left side instead of your right offers a few benefits to your anatomy. Sleeping on the left side of your body helps:

  • Reduce pressure on the stomach
  • Reduce pressure on the digestive tract to promote digestion
  • Promote healthier blood flow
  • Reduce acid reflux
  • Reduce heartburn
  • Alleviate conditions that contribute to sleep apnea

Sleeping on your side—particularly your left side—is also the recommended sleeping position during pregnancy. Side sleeping’s benefits for expecting mothers include more comfort and improved blood circulation.

Related: Best Mattresses for Pregnancy

Use Pillows Wisely

We’ve mentioned how critical it is that your mattress supports your body’s natural alignment, but your pillows play a huge role in this as well. If your neck is too high or too low, the cervical vertebrae of the spine will be in misalignment. Average pillows typically fall too flat, so side sleepers should look for a thicker, firmer pillow.

Read More: Best Pillows for Side Sleepers

A good rule of thumb when selecting a pillow for side sleeping is to look for one that is thicker or higher under the neck than the head in order to keep your spine aligned.

Dr. Nate Vogan, DPT at Stewart Physical Therapy, tells us: “If you are a side sleeper, it’s important to make sure your neck is square to your shoulders and not sagging to one side. The implications of this is a muscular issue. It can create impingements of the joints in your neck. These impingements cause pain and tightness in the neck and under the arms.”

You can also use a knee pillow placed between your knees to reduce strain on your hips.

Choose a Good Mattress Topper

Side sleepers can also benefit from using a mattress topper with their bed. Mattress toppers add an extra layer of cushion and comfort to the surface of the mattress and are a good option for side sleepers looking to make their mattress softer.

The best mattress toppers for side sleepers are made of either memory foam or latex foam. These foam accessories offer contouring pressure relief for the shoulders and hips. If you find that memory foam sleeps hot (as some do), we recommend a cooling mattress topper that uses gel-infused foam or open-cell design.


A Closer Look at Our Selection Process

In choosing our best mattresses for side sleepers, we emphasize two testing categories that are especially important to those who sleep on their side: spine alignment and pressure relief. Here’s a look at how our picks performed in the Mattress Advisor Sleep Lab:

Mattress AVERAGE SCORE (OUT OF 10) FOR PRESSURE RELIEF AND SPINE ALIGNMENT
DreamCloud Premier 8.5
Saatva Classic 9.5
Helix Midnight Luxe 8.8
WinkBed 8.3
Nectar 8.0
Nolah Signature 12″ 8.6
Puffy 8.4
Brooklyn Bedding Titan 8.3
Casper Wave Hybrid 8.8
Bear Pro N/A

Note: Testing scores for the Bear Pro are coming soon.

Side Sleeper FAQs

Not generally, no. Back sleeping is widely recognized as the healthiest sleeping position, but side sleeping comes in second.

Despite the fact that it can put strain on your down-side shoulder, side sleeping does have some well-documented health benefits. Reducing the incidence of snoring is probably the best known. Because of the way your digestive organs are arranged inside your body, sleeping on your left side aids in digestion. It’s also the recommended position for pregnancy.

Foam-innerspring hybrids are some of the best mattresses for people with hip pain, including side sleepers. When combined with layers of memory foam, a hybrid’s innerspring layer creates a strong foundation to support the body. The pressure-relieving foam cradles around the hips and prevents them from sinking too deeply into the mattress. The Casper Wave Hybrid is a good example.

Related: Best Mattresses for Hip Pain

Side sleepers with shoulder pain need a mattress that provides exceptional pressure relief. The best mattresses for this type of pain use memory foam to cradle sensitive pressure points around the shoulder and other areas. One example is the Saatva Classic hybrid, although you can also get great pressure relief with an all-foam memory foam mattress.

Related: Best Mattresses for Shoulder Pain

For side sleepers with back pain, spine alignment is a critical component of a mattress. Memory foam and latex mattresses are well-known for providing great spine alignment. Foam or latex hybrid mattresses with a layer of pocketed coils also provide support in key areas, such as your hips and shoulders, and help keep you aligned through the night.

Related: Best Mattresses for Back Pain

 

Finding the right mattress can improve not only your nights but also your days.

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