Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers of 2023
Nov 13th, 2023 •
As a side sleeper, you need a mattress that cushions and supports pressure-sensitive areas in the shoulders and hips. Although the side-sleeping position isn’t particularly stressful on your back, your ideal mattress should also provide good spine alignment to help ensure a comfortable sleep posture. The good news is that since most people are side sleepers, you have many great mattresses to choose from.
To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve selected our best mattresses for side sleepers. Each one includes one or more layers of memory foam, the sleep material that sets the gold standard for providing pressure relief and gentle, contouring support. You’ll also find plenty of options in the ideal firmness range of medium-soft to medium-firm, plus a few firmer choices for heavy side sleepers.
Compare our top picks for the best side sleeper mattress, learn some expert tips in our buyer’s guide, and get one step closer to enjoying your best sleep night after night.
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers: Our Top Picks
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Shoulder Pain – Saatva Classic
- Best Side Sleeper Mattress for Couples – Puffy
- Best Side Sleeper Mattress for Hot Sleepers – Helix Midnight Luxe
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Hip Pain – DreamCloud
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain – WinkBeds GravityLux
- Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers – Nolah Signature 12″
- Best Mattress for Heavy Side Sleepers – Plank Firm
- Best Hybrid Mattress for Side Sleepers – Brooklyn Signature Hybrid
- Best Side Sleeper Mattress for Athletes – Bear Elite Hybrid
- Best Firm Mattress for Side Sleepers – Titan Plus Luxe
Why You Can Trust Mattress Advisor
We hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity in our product reviews and other content by incorporating real customer feedback, empirical testing, and objective evaluations. Our results and recommendations are never influenced by the commission we may receive from brands, and products we receive are never guaranteed a positive review.
When we evaluate mattresses for side sleepers, we expand our review process to put additional focus on two factors of special importance to the side sleeping position:
- Pressure Relief. Alleviating pressure in the shoulders, hips, and lower back
- Spine Alignment. Promoting neutral alignment from the neck to the base of the spine
See our recap to find out how our featured mattresses stack up against these criteria.
Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain
- Side sleepers with sore shoulders
- Fans of foam-coil hybrids
- Hot sleepers
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Side Sleepers with Shoulder Pain: Side sleepers tend to put a lot of strain on their down-side shoulder, and the Saatva Classic has the materials and design to offer some much-needed relief. The foam-innerspring hybrid provides exceptional pressure relief (9/10 Mattress Advisor score) and spine alignment (10/10 score). Also, the Saatva brand has the endorsement of the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations.
- Two of the Saatva Classic’s three firmness options can fit side sleepers, although we recommend Luxury Firm (6/10) over Plush Soft (3/10) for average-weight people.
- With two coil layers helping to promote airflow, the Saatva scores 9/10 for cooling in our sleep lab.
- Free white-glove delivery service means you can leave the set-up to your delivery person, an especially nice perk for seniors (or anyone with an upstairs bedroom).
- With a 7.5/10 motion transfer score, the Saatva Classic doesn’t offer couples the best motion-isolating capabilities.
- Since Saatva makes all its mattresses to order, you could have to wait 9-21 days for your new mattress to arrive at your home.
Best Mattress for Couples
- Couples and co-sleepers
- Fans of memory foam
- Ease of set-up
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Side Sleeper Couples: The original Puffy memory foam mattress is a good fit for side-sleeper couples thanks to its superior testing results for motion transfer. In fact, we give it a sparkling 9.25/10. That score is a promising sign for people who’d rather not wake up every time their sleep partner tosses, turns, or gets out of bed early.
- This mattress is also a solid choice for side sleepers thanks in part to its performance in spine alignment (8.75/10) and pressure relief (8/10), as well as its dual memory foam layers.
- Although the company’s 101-night sleep trial is standard for the industry, the lifetime warranty puts Puffy in the top ranks.
- The Puffy mattress has been endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association.
- Some customers have reported that the Puffy is prone to sagging from the soft and cradling comfort layer.
- The 8/10 cooling score is good for an all-foam mattress, but hot sleepers are likely to need a more breathable bed.
Helix Midnight Luxe
Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers
- People who get night sweats
- Restless sleepers
- Shoppers who value durability
Medium firm: 6/10
What Makes It a Great Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers: In addition to being a top mattress for side sleepers, the Helix Midnight Luxe earns a positively chilly 9.5/10 cooling score in Mattress Advisor testing. Helix’s Soft Touch Design technology is designed to provide maximum breathability and airflow.
- We give the Midnight Luxe an 8.5/10 pressure relief score, and an even better 9/10 score for spine alignment.
- A top layer of Helix’s Memory Plus Foam is designed to be pressure-relieving for your hips and shoulders, something side sleepers need in order to avoid aches and pains.
- Beneath the memory foam layer is a layer of high-grade polyfoam for ergonomic support and body contouring.
- As great as the Helix Midnight Luxe is for hot sleepers, it’s not a great match for bargain hunters. Regular price for a queen-size is nearly $2,100.
- The Midnight Luxe’s 5/10 firmness might not feel supportive enough for side sleepers who weigh more than 230 lbs.
Best Mattress for Hip Pain
- Relieving pressure on the hips
- Excellent spine alignment
- Airflow and breathability
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Side Sleepers with Hip Pain: If you’re dealing with hip pain, our review of the DreamCloud mattress has eight magic words: “side sleepers see minimal pressure in the hips.” That assessment in the pressure-mapping test is just one of the reasons our testers give the DreamCloud a 9/10 score for overall pressure relief.
- The hybrid’s gel-infused memory foam and layer of innerspring coils promote breathability and airflow. We give it an 8.5/10 cooling score.
- In addition to providing excellent pressure relief, the DreamCloud also earns a 9/10 score for spine alignment.
- A 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty put DreamCloud in the upper echelon of the online mattress industry.
- Your new DreamCloud could take as long as 72 hours to fully expand after unboxing, so don’t ditch your current mattress quite yet.
- The 6.5/10 medium-firm feel might not be soft enough for sleepers under 130 lbs.
Best Mattress for Back Pain
- People with lower and upper back pain
- Multiple firmness options
- Fans of memory foam
Soft, medium, and firm options
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain: A key feature that the WinkBeds Gravity Lux uses to address back pain is the layer of Progression Foam, designed to provide targeted support in the hips and lumbar region. This all-foam bed scores 9/10 for both pressure relief and spine alignment, two important performance categories for side sleepers.
- This mattress offers three firmness options, with two that match up well with side sleepers: the Soft (4/10) or Medium (5/10).
- The Gravity Lux has outstanding edge support (10/10 Mattress Advisor score), which is great news for couples or anyone who likes to sleep near the edge of the mattress.
- WinkBeds offers a full lifetime replacement warranty with all mattresses.
- A queen-size Gravity Lux runs about $1,800, so budget shoppers will need to take advantage of holiday sales or discounts to get a lower price.
- Since your mattress will be built to order, it could take about 2 weeks to receive it.
Nolah Signature 12''
Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers
- Side/back combination sleepers
- Restless sleepers
- Pressure relief
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Combination Sleepers: If you’re primarily a side sleeper but sometimes roll onto your back for brief periods during the night, you might be a part-time combination sleeper. Fortunately, the versatile and highly responsive Nolah Signature 12” has qualities to support combination sleepers like you.
- The Nolah Signature uses proprietary AirFoam designed to be more pressure-relieving than regular memory foam.
- Our testers give it a 9.25/10 pressure relief score, which is great news for your shoulders, hips, and lower back.
- It’s when you change sleeping positions that you’ll really appreciate this bed’s responsiveness, thanks to a near-perfect 9.5/10 testing score.
- If you have serious back or neck pain, the 7.75/10 spine alignment score could pose a problem.
- 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.
Best Mattress for Heavy People
- Side sleepers weighing 230+ lbs
- People who like a firmer mattress
- Easy unpacking and set-up
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Heavy Side Sleepers: Brooklyn Bedding’s Plank Firm can help heavier side sleepers solve the firmness dilemma—how do you find a firm mattress that doesn’t put too much pressure on the hips? This all-foam model is flippable with dual firmness, but side sleepers should stick with the 7/10 side and let the memory foam’s pressure-relieving qualities do the rest. Our testers give it an outstanding 9/10 pressure relief score.
- The Plank Firm can support up to 950 lbs total, or 475 lbs per side for two people sharing a queen-size or larger.
- The layer of TitanFlex foam, a latex alternative, is designed to provide the pressure relief of memory foam with a firmer feel.
- If you have back pain, you’ll be interested to know that the Plank Firm has been endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association.
- The Plank Firm is good but not great for cooling (8/10 cooling score). Adding an optional Glaciotex cooling cover will cost an extra $100-$200 depending on mattress size.
- Although Brooklyn Bedding delivers free to the contiguous 48 states, shipping charges for customers in Alaska and Hawaii start at $125 per mattress.
Brooklyn Signature Hybrid
Best Hybrid Mattress
- People who like a foam/coil mattress
- Sleepers who need edge support
- Hot sleepers
Choose your preference: Available in soft, medium or firm
What Makes It a Great Hybrid Mattress for Side Sleepers: Side sleepers who like the pressure relief of foam and the springy support of coils might find their ideal combination in the Brooklyn Signature Hybrid. Two of its three firmness options should work well for side sleepers—the 4/10 Soft if you’re 130 lbs or less, or the 6/10 Medium if you’re between 130 and 230 lbs.
- Side sleepers will appreciate this hybrid’s performance in pressure relief (9.5/10 score) and spine alignment (8.5/10 score).
- We give it an 8.5/10 cooling score, thanks in part to the airflow provided by the layer of individually encased coils.
- The coil layer also boosts the Signature Hybrid’s edge support (9/10), so you won’t get that sinking feeling when you roll out of bed in the morning.
- The Brooklyn Signature Hybrid’s 7.25/10 motion transfer score is a potential red flag for couples who are prone to disturbing their sleep partners by tossing and turning.
- Brooklyn Bedding’s 10-year warranty and 120-night sleep trial are only average by industry standards.
Bear Elite Hybrid
Best Mattress for Athletes
- Athletes and active lifestyles
- Outstanding spine alignment
- Three firmness options
Soft, medium, and firm
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Athletes: Bear has earned many endorsements from athletes, yet the company’s Elite Hybrid has all the fundamentals of a great side-sleeper mattress in general. From top to bottom, each layer has a specific purpose. The design includes a memory foam layer infused with copper for cooling, a transition foam layer for ergonomic support, and a layer of individually encased coils for balanced support.
- The Bear Elite Hybrid is in gold medal territory with its testing scores for spine alignment (9.5/10) and pressure relief (9/10), two vital performance categories for side sleepers.
- It has two side sleeper-friendly firmness options, Soft (5/10) and Medium (6/10).
- The mattress is topped by a breathable cover that uses Celliant fiber designed to speed up muscle recovery.
- The Bear Elite Hybrid is pricey. You’ll probably need to take advantage of a holiday sale to get a queen-size for less than $2,100.
- Since athletes tend to have a higher than average core temperature, the Bear Elite Hybrid’s (8/10) cooling score might seem like a letdown for hot sleepers.
Best Firm Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Heavy sleepers
- Hot sleepers
What Makes It a Great Firm Mattress for Side Sleepers: The Titan is a firm mattress designed for heavier sleepers. It comes in two models: The Titan Plus and the Titan Plus Luxe, the former of which we’ve reviewed. The Plus works great for stomach sleepers and heavier sleepers in all sleep positions. But the Plus Luxe is softer and provides more pressure relief for side sleepers. Lightweight and average-weight side sleepers will likely still find it to be too firm; however, sleepers over 230 lbs will appreciate its solid pressure relief, spine alignment, and lumbar support when lying on their backs or sides.
The Plus Luxe has a bouncy, responsive feel that makes it easy to move around, so if you tend to toss and turn at night from one side to the other, you shouldn’t feel like you’re trapped in any one position. It springs back into shape easily when you change positions due to its combination of innerspring coils and springy Titanflex foam.
- Hot sleepers will appreciate that the mattress sleeps fairly cool—even without the addition of its optional cooling panel—due to its hybrid construction and gel-infused foam.
- Our testing found that the mattress does a good job of isolating motion, so couples should be able to sleep peacefully on it without waking each other with every small movement.
- The mattress is super-durable—it’s built with high-density foam and a strong pocketed coil system that should last longer than the average mattress.
- Lightweight side sleepers will find the mattress to be too firm for good contouring and pressure relief.
- Heavier stomach sleepers would try the Titan Plus—the Luxe is likely too soft to keep your hips well-aligned with your shoulders.
How to Choose the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
If you sleep on your side, you’re far from alone. Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position—in humans and animals—and is generally recognized as the second-healthiest position, after back sleeping.
Each sleeping position has unique characteristics that create the need for a mattress with specific qualities, and side sleeping is no exception. In this guide, we’ll offer expert advice on choosing the best mattress for side sleepers and share some tips on sleeping comfortably in the lateral position.
- Best Type of Mattress for Side Sleepers
- What to Look for in a Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers With Back Pain
- Tips for Side Sleepers
Here’s a look at how certain types of materials and designs make the best mattress for side sleepers, and which type of mattress you should avoid.
✓ 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 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.
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 cradle the hips and shoulders for pressure relief and pain relief.
While they’re great at providing bounce and overall support, innerspring mattresses made primarily of metal coils 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 an innerspring hybrid that has foam or latex upper layers anchored by a coil system.
Everyone has unique needs that must be met in the mattress they choose. 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’re not sleeping on a surface that properly supports body alignment and contouring in the necessary areas.
Here’s how we see the ideal mattress for side sleepers:
- One or more layers of memory foam or latex
- Excellent pressure relief and spine alignment
- Medium-soft, medium, or medium-firm on the firmness scale (4.5/10 – 6.5/10)
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.
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 will sink in slightly but not so far that you feel pressure. This balance helps prevent aches and soreness in those high-pressure areas.
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’ll 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 reviews.
Read More: Why is Pressure Relief so Important?
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.
You should also consider a medium-firm mattress. Our featured mattress for side sleepers with back pain is the WinkBeds Gravity Lux, which offers the Luxury Firm option (6.5/10 on the firmness scale).
For side sleepers dealing with different kinds of discomfort:
What is the best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder 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.
What is the best mattress for side sleepers with hip pain? Foam-innerspring hybrids are some of the best. 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 foam/innerspring hybrid Leesa Legend is a good example.
What is the best mattress for side sleepers with neck pain? Side sleepers with neck pain will likely do best with a foam-innerspring hybrid—particularly one that provides targeted support for your neck and your shoulders to keep them in ideal alignment. The Casper Hybrid is a good one for this. It has a base layer of coils for support and zoned firmness to its memory foam, which includes softer foam to cushion the head and shoulder area, firmer foam to stabilize the hips and core, and medium foam under the lower body.
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, causing a similar result as having poor posture while standing. Over time, misalignment leads to back pain and trouble sleeping. Side sleepers should look for a mattress that can keep their spine in a healthy, neutral alignment as they sleep, from their neck all the way to their lower back.
Read More: Why Spine Alignment is Important
Look for a mattress that’s supportive but also soft enough to minimize stress on the hips and shoulders. Choosing the ideal firmness is pretty straightforward for side sleepers—at least for the ones who are average weight. Most of them see good results from a mattress in the medium-soft to medium-firm range, between 4.5/10 and 6.5/10. Side sleepers under 130 lbs, including children, can sometimes go a little softer.
On the other hand, heavy side sleepers above 230 lbs often face a dilemma: How do you find a mattress that’s firm enough to keep you supported without leaving your shoulder, hips, and thighs too elevated for comfort?
The best solution is a firm mattress (7/10) that includes high-density memory foam or latex in the upper layers, not just the base. These materials respond to the contours of your body and relieve pressure by design. When they’re processed to be denser than standard foam, they have the added benefit of more weight capacity.
Cooling and Breathability
Just a heads-up for hot sleepers: The materials inside your mattress can play a big role in how cool and breathable it feels—and how sweaty and sticky you might get throughout the night. Here’s a quick guide to what kinds of mattresses tend to stay cooler.
As great as memory foam is at pressure relief, traditional foam also has a tendency to sleep hot. If you’re looking for a mattress that sleeps cooler, an all-foam mattress shouldn’t be your first choice. But fortunately, cooling performance has improved in recent years through the use of semi-liquid gel and other materials infused into the foam. And you can also make a memory foam mattress feel cooler by choosing an airflow-friendly foundation and accessorizing your bed with cooling sheets and pillows.
Latex is also a great pressure-relieving sleep material, with less tendency to trap heat than memory foam. Aerated latex foam, perforated with tiny pinholes, increases latex’s natural breathability. Side sleepers who are also hot sleepers should look for a mattress with gel-infused memory foam or latex.
A foam or latex hybrid that includes a layer of airflow-friendly coils is your best option here for breathability and cooling. Thanks to its innerspring core and memory foam layers, a hybrid mattress gives you a good balance of cooling with pressure relief and spine alignment, so you can stay cooler while sleeping on your side.
Price and Value
Unlike rent or wedding rings, there’s no rule of thumb for how much you should spend on a mattress. For perspective, some of the mattresses featured on this page cost less than $1,400 a queen size—objectively reasonable for a top-rated mattress.
Keep in mind that direct-to-consumer online mattress shopping eliminates salesperson commissions and other costs associated with brick-and-mortar retail stores. You can also look forward to no-risk sleep trials, generous warranties, and other perks that increase the overall value.
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
Many doctors and researchers recommend sleeping on your left side instead of your right. Benefits of left-side sleeping include:
- Reducing snoring
- Reducing pressure on the stomach and digestive tract
- Promoting healthier blood flow
- Reducing acid reflux and heartburn
- Alleviating 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.
Related: 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.
In evaluating our best mattresses for side sleepers, we put additional emphasis on 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|
|Helix Midnight Luxe||8.8|
|Nolah Signature 12″||8.5|
|Brooklyn Signature Hybrid||9.0|
|Bear Elite Hybrid||9.3|
|Titan Plus Luxe||9.0|
Note: The testing categories we focus on in this chart don’t reflect overall performance. Depending on your needs and preferences, you might put more or less value on particular qualities.
Side Sleeper FAQs
Is sleeping on your side bad for you?
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. Some research suggests that side sleeping also helps the glymphatic pathway more efficiently remove waste from the brain, possibly reducing the risk of neurological disease.
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.
Still, if you want to make a change to the healthiest sleeping position, check out our How to Sleep on Your Back guide.
What type of mattress is best for side sleepers?
Side sleepers tend to get the best combination of support and comfort from a memory foam, latex, or hybrid mattress due to the pressure-relieving qualities of foam. Memory foam and latex foam both do a good job of contouring to the shape of your body to relieve pain and tension; a hybrid mattress with an innerspring core and memory foam top layer will also supply these benefits, while including some natural responsiveness and cooling by way of their coil layers.
Is it safe for children to sleep on their side?
The consensus from medical experts is: not until the child is 1 year old, at the earliest. Back sleeping is recognized as the safest sleeping position for newborns and infants to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Children will gravitate toward their preferred sleeping position as they get older, and side sleeping should be safe for your child from ages 1 and up. If you have concerns, talk to your family doctor or pediatrician—or check out our sleep guide for parents.
Do side sleepers need a firm or soft mattress?
Side sleepers tend to do best with a mattress that’s neither too soft or too firm—but a true happy medium. You don’t want the mattress to be so soft that your hips and shoulders sink too far into it, but you also don’t want it to be so firm that it doesn’t accommodate the harsh angles created by your hips and shoulders pressing into the mattress. Your body weight can also play a role. Most lightweight and average-weight side sleepers opt for a mattress between medium-soft and medium-firm firmness; heavier side sleepers will likely prefer something at the medium-firm end of the scale.
What makes a mattress good for heavier side sleepers?
Heavier sleepers in general need a mattress that’s firmer than average—generally medium-firm (6.5/10) or higher. Anything softer will cause your body to sink in too far for proper alignment. Heavier side sleepers in particular also need a mattress with solid pressure relief to ease the tension created by their hips and shoulders pressing into the mattress. Look for a hybrid mattress that has a solid innerspring base and a top layer made of high-density foam or latex for the best combination of support and comfort.
Best Memory Foam Mattress
See our expert reviews for the best memory foam mattresses on the market. Our top picks feature mattresses for back pain, side sleepers, hot sleepers, and more.
Best Mattress for Back Pain
See our top picks for the best mattresses for back pain relief that offer support and comfort. Eliminate upper and lower back pain starting tonight.
Best Mattresses of 2023
We've reviewed over 150 beds to select our best mattress of 2023. See our top picks for side sleepers, hot sleepers, kids, seniors, and more.