Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
Jun 22nd, 2021 •
Side sleepers need a mattress that provides the right balance of comfort and support. The good news is that since most people are side sleepers, there are many mattresses for you to choose from. In this guide, we’ll share reviews of our 10 top-rated mattresses for side sleepers. Then, we’ll help you figure out everything you should know when shopping for an online mattress for side sleepers in our buyer’s guide.
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Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
- Saatva Classic – Best Mattress Overall for Side Sleepers
- Nectar – Best Budget Mattress for Side Sleepers
- WinkBeds Gravity Lux – Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Helix Midnight Luxe – Best Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Brooklyn Bedding Aurora– Best Mattress for Shipping & Returns for Side Sleepers
- Casper Nova Hybrid – Best Hybrid Mattress for Side Sleepers
- DreamCloud Premier – Best Pillow Top Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Leesa Hybrid – Best Scores for a Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Ghostbed Luxe – Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Puffy Lux – Best Mattress for Couples Who Are Side Sleepers
Each bed-in-a-box mattress we’ve reviewed here has at least a 100-night trial period and free returns. So, even though you can buy them online, you can try them out in the comfort of your own home, risk-free, to see if it’s the right mattress for you.
All of our top picks have been evaluated in our Mattress Lab and tested on 14 different factors, one of the most comprehensive scoring systems in the industry. We’ve tested over 150 mattresses, spending at least 5 hours with each mattress from start to finish.
After well over 750 hours dedicated to mattress reviews alone, we know what a good mattress looks like. And with some seasoned side sleepers in on the process, we’re confident we can direct you to the best mattresses for side sleepers.
Best Mattress Overall for Side Sleepers
- If you would like your Saatva mattress unboxed and set-up on your bed frame, you can select White Glove service which comes with the purchase of your mattress free of charge as well as free mattress removal.
- The Saatva’s different firmness options makes it universal to sleepers of all positions and weights.
- 5 different premium material layers create the Saatva mattress, providing you with excellent spinal alignment, great durability and great back and joint support.
We consider the Saatva Classic the best overall for side sleepers because it’s so many things to so many people. The plush soft firmness is a favorite for side sleepers, and our score for spinal alignment is a whopping 9.5 out of 10, something that is critical to the side sleeper. And with different firmness options, all weights and all sleeping positions can be accommodated.
This mattress offers a superior cooling experience; the dual coil feature offers breathability throughout the night. Also, we found that this is one of the best choices for seniors, in part because of the easy setup opportunities through Saatva’s White Glove service.
Sadly, the Saatva Classic isn’t a budget product, costing upwards of $2,000 for the Cal king and king options. Also, if you are strictly a memory foam mattress-driver, this is not the best choice for you.
Read our full Saatva Classic review.
Best Budget Mattress for Side Sleepers
- The Nectar mattress has a pretty happy (and well-rested) fan base – they have overwhelmingly positive reviews and fewer than 3% of customers end up returning their Nectar mattress.
- Its poly-blend cover is designed to sleep cool and provide soft cradling around the pressure points
- Nectar is so confident that they make the best mattress for the price that they offer a lifetime warranty and trial period that lasts an entire year.
The Nectar mattress is rated the best mattress for budget shoppers on our list. Nectar’s quilted gel memory foam comfort layer provides great pressure relief and motion isolation at a great price point. The base layer is breathable to allow airflow through the foam bed.
It will give you more of a “hugging” feel, which is ideal for people who don’t tend to move around a lot throughout the night. But if you sleep with a partner who does, the lack of motion transfer helps you sleep soundly, so you don’t have to be disturbed by their movements.
The Nectar is our favorite cheap mattress for side sleepers because it’s affordable and touts great qualities to make it worth your while. If you’re on the fence about the Nectar, there’s no harm in trying it out—you can sleep on the mattress for a full year during the trial period in the comfort of your own home before deciding if you’d like to keep it.
Read our full Nectar mattress review.
Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers
- We’re big fans of the WinkBeds’ eco-friendly construction, including high-quality CertiPUR-US certified foam layers.
- You get not one, but two, responsive support layers in your WinkBeds mattress—micro-coils and pocketed coils.
- WinkBeds customers are protected against manufacturing defects by a lifetime warranty.
Available in Softer: 4.5/10; Luxury Firm: 6.5/10; Firmer: 7.5/10; Plus: 8/10
The deep contouring foam of the WinkBeds Gravity Lux provides strong pressure relief to the shoulders and hips of side sleepers. Gel-infused foam is quilted into the cover and the the dynamic memory foam beneath contours around the body. The progression foam layers fills in the curves of the body, so that the entire body is being supportive by the foam layers.
The Gravity Lux is also known for strong edge support, something memory foam mattresses can fail to deliver. For side sleepers who rest along the edge of the mattress, the Gravity Lux will continue to deliver pressure relief and support. If you are a hot sleeper but need the pressure relief of memory foam, the Gravity Lux sleeps cooler than competitors.
Read our WinkBeds Mattress Comparison.
Helix Midnight LUXE
Best Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers
- The LUXE mattresses offered by Helix are the brand’s premium line of mattresses. The mattresses featured in the LUXE collection are 4’’ taller in height compared to the original line and offer zoned lumbar support, as well as, a premium cooling pillow top.
- The body zoning support offered by the Helix Midnight LUXE cradles your shoulders and provides added support around your hips to keep your body weight evenly distributed.
- The materials used to construct the Midnight LUXE are CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX certified, meaning they meet the most rigorous standards.
Medium firm: 6/10
The Helix Midnight Luxe mattress makes its way into our list as the best cooling mattresses for hot sleepers. Helix features their Soft Touch Design technology to provide maximum breathability for optimal airflow and a cool night’s sleep.
Helix Midnight Luxe has more than just cooling going for it. 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. Its medium firmness provides the perfect support for side sleepers by keeping them aligned.
You also get a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty with your Helix Midnight Luxe purchase, so there is little risk in giving it a try.
Read our full Helix Midnight Luxe mattress review.
Best Mattress for Shipping & Returns for Side Sleepers
- The Aurora is one of the highest scoring hybrid mattresses that we’ve tested at the Mattress Advisor lab! This means it performed well when it comes to comfort, function, durability, social impact, and customer experience.
- The soft model is one of the best mattresses for side sleepers thanks to generous soft comfort layers and impressive spine alignment.
- The Aurora mattress comes in three firmness levels: soft, medium, and firm. These various firmnesses make the Aurora an excellent choice, no matter your sleeping position.
- This mattress is one of the coolest (temperature wise) mattresses we’ve ever had in the Mattress Lab. Even weeks after unboxing, it was still cool to the touch. In fact, it’s one of our top-rated best cooling mattresses for hot sleepers.
Available in soft (3/10), medium (5/10) or firm (7/10)
A great bed for the side sleeper, the Brooklyn Aurora got top marks from us for shipping, returns, as well as trial period, all snagging 10 out of 10. In addition, this product got a 9 out of 10 in customer service and social impact.
But what about the quality of this product? This mattress came in strong on spinal alignment, an important feature for the side sleeper, as well as responsiveness and cooling. Couples will enjoy that fine motion isolation is a plus with the Aurora.
The Aurora is made mostly of innerspring coils and polyfoam, which means it may not offer the enveloping you’d expect from memory foam. Also, we noticed a bit of off-gassing, or odor when unpacking, although it dissipated after a few hours.
Read our full Brooklyn Aurora review.
Casper Nova Hybrid
Best Hybrid Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Based on customer feedback, Casper has created this new hybrid Nova mattress to fit specific needs.
- Cooling and breathable layers keep night sweats away while zoned support keeps your spine aligned.
- The cooling mattress cover is made from recycled materials, making the environment happy.
The Casper Nova Hybrid is the plushest mattress offered by Casper and the best hybrid mattress for side sleepers. It’s designed to have the hug of memory foam without trapping heat—the Nova Hybrid scored a 9 out of 10 for cooling.
Both of the comfort layers of the Casper Nova Hybrid feature Airscape Foam, which allows for better airflow throughout the mattress. The Zoned Support protects the spine and cradles the shoulders and hips, one of the reasons why we think the Casper Nova Hybrid is good for side sleepers, although if you are sensitive to pressure on the hips or shoulders, you might want to look elsewhere.
During testing, we found the Casper Nova Hybrid to lack the strong edge support of some innerspring mattresses. And the plush foams may cradle the sleeper, but they don’t provide the support needed for stomach sleepers.
Read our full Casper Nova Hybrid review.
Best Pillow Top Mattress for Side Sleepers
- The DreamCloud Premier is a 6-layer luxury hybrid mattress made with memory foam and coils.
- Its premium technology is designed to cradle your body on a plush surface while providing support and spine alignment. (This mattress received a nearly perfect score in our pressure relief test!)
- If you would like your DreamCloud Premier unboxed and set-up on your bed frame, you can select optional White Glove service. The DreamCloud team can also remove and dispose or donate your existing mattress for a small fee.
The DreamCloud Premier was rated best mattress for the money on our best pillow top mattresses list. At the relatively affordable price of $1,399, the DreamCloud Premier’s cushy surface provides the comfort and support of a luxury mattress.
Scoring 9/10 on the motion transfer, pressure relief, and responsiveness tests, this mattress isn’t just a wonderful 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.
DreamCloud offers a generous lifetime warranty and a 365-day sleep trial, so there’s no risk in trying it out.
Read our full DreamCloud Premier mattress review.
Best Scores for a Mattress for Side Sleepers
- It is the highest scoring mattress on Mattress Advisor! In fact, both editors sleep on the Leesa Hybrid mattress.
- The Leesa Hybrid mattress is known for its responsive surface and pressure relieving abilities, making it a top contender for the best mattress for combination sleepers and an excellent mattress for back pain.
- Since the Leesa Hybrid mattress is topped with layers of foam, you’ll get better motion isolation than a traditional innerspring mattress, great for couples who share the bed.
Medium-firm - firm: 7/10
Not only is the Leesa Hybrid great for the side sleeper, its Mattress Advisor score of 9.4 out of 10 makes it one of the highest scoring mattresses on our site. It received perfect marks for spinal alignment, providing perfect alignment for back sleepers and side sleepers. With your spine protected, say goodbye to back pain.
We also scored the Leesa Hybrid high for pressure relief and responsiveness. This can be a difficult combination to achieve in one mattress. The targeted coil support and plush foams prevent pressure buildup and bounce back when compressed. A medium-firm mattress, it is intended for the sleeper who weighs up to 350 pounds..
The Leesa Hybrid costs more than some all-foam mattresses by popular online brands. Some buyers also found the unboxing process to be cumbersome, with a heavy mattress and some off-gassing.
Read our full Leesa Hybrid review.
Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers
- The GhostBed Luxe boasts the pressure relief and responsiveness of memory foam with added cooling properties.
- The mattress is designed with two stages of cooling: its cooling top layer and aerated, breathable inner layers.
Medium firm: 5.5/10
The gel memory foam of the GhostBed Luxe provides cushioned pressure relief for side sleepers. Along with contouring around the hips and shoulders, the foam layers provide enough bounce for sleepers to move around with ease.
Another benefit of gel memory foam is its exceptional cooling abilities. The GhostBed Luxe features a ½-inch cool fiber layer and a cool-to-the-touch cover. These layers work together to provide cooling comfort for side sleepers and back sleepers as they’re cradled by 13 inches of various layers.
The medium-plush feel of the GhostBed Luxe is softer than some mixed-foam and hybrid mattresses. It may not be the best mattress for stomach sleepers who need a firmer and more structured mattress to protect their spine.
Read our full GhostBed Luxe review.
Best for Couples Who Are Side Sleepers
- Puffy Lux is Puffy’s premier mattress model made with patent-pending Cooling Cloud Foam, Puffy’s new ClimateComfort™ foam, and Plush Dual Cloud foam which comes exclusively with the Lux mattress.
- The foams in the Puffy Lux work in tandem to melt the stress and strain from your body’s pressure points.
- Its patent-pending Cooling Cloud gel-infused, memory foam layer helps draw heat away from your body.
The recently launched Puffy Lux is Puffy’s “one-step up” mattress model. Made complete with Puffy’s patent-pending Cooling Cloud Foam™, this mattress not only sleeps comfortably but is also cool. However, it’s the motion isolation that makes one of the best mattresses for couples.
This memory foam mattress was designed with pressure relief in mind, and boy did Puffy hit the nail on the head. This mattress received a Mattress Advisor all-time high score for pressure relief. The three layers of memory foam that make up this mattress complement one another to cradle the body’s pressure points while still providing excellent support that promotes spine alignment.
The Puffy Lux also includes a foam comfort layer called ClimateComfort that’s resistant to the typical contractions and expansions that happens to memory foam under extreme temperatures. That means no matter the season or climate, the Puffy Lux can keep you cool and offer support.
Read our full Puffy Lux mattress review.
A Side Sleeper’s Guide to Choosing the Right Mattress
In this buyer’s guide we’ll share
- The Best Type of Mattress for Side Sleeping
- What to Look for in a Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Sleeping Tips for Side Sleepers
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.
Memory Foam Mattress
Most types of mattresses made for side sleepers use some combination of memory foam whether it be standard memory foam, latex foam, or gel-infused 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 has a good reputationl for even weight distribution and easing pain around 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 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 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.
Read More: 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 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.
The cooler the color, the lower the pressure. Look out for these diagrams on our individual mattress review pages.
Read More: Why is Pressure Relief so Important?
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
Side sleepers should avoid an extremely firm or extremely soft mattress. If you’re a side sleeper, you need a mattress that contours your body and relieves joint pressure and pain at the hips and shoulders. Side sleepers tend to prefer a softer mattress that falls on the medium-soft to medium end of the firmness spectrum. 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.
So what’s the best type of mattress for side sleepers?
- A memory foam or foam blend mattress
- Not extremely firm or extremely soft (medium-firm on the firmness scale)
- Offers support and contouring comfort
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 make sure 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
Sleeping on your side—particularly your left side—is also the recommended sleeping position for women who are pregnant. Dr. Angela Jones, Astroglide’s resident sexual health advisor offers some tips for sleeping during pregnancy:
“We recommend left lateral positioning while sleeping as it displaces the uterus off of the inferior vena cava, which is the major blood vessel that returns blood back to the heart. The biggest tip I have for sleeping during pregnancy is don’t freak out if you happen to wake up on your back or on your right side. Just adjust your positioning and go back to sleep.”
Related: Best Mattress for Pregnancy
Back sleepers with sleep apnea looking to change their position should consider side sleeping. When you sleep on your back, the throat muscles relax, and your tongue lulls back, blocking your airways, contributing to sleep apnea. When you switch to your side, it opens up your airways without messing with your alignment.
Sleeping stretched out rather in the fetal position is also a good practice to start; it’s better for your alignment as well.
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: The 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 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 up of either memory foam or latex foam. These foam accessories offer contouring pressure relief to the shoulders and hips of side sleepers.
Recap: Our Picks for the Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
|DreamCloud Premier||Best Pillow Top||9.0/10|
|Helix Midnight Luxe||Best Cooling Mattress||8.9/10|
|Nectar||Best Budget Mattress||8.7/10|
|WinkBeds Gravity Lux||Best Soft Mattress||8.6/10|
|Casper||Best for Back Pain||9.1/10|
|Brooklyn Aurora||Best for Pressure Relief||8.9/10|
|Layla Hybrid||Best Hybrid Mattress||8.7/10|
|Bear Hybrid||Best for Side & Back Sleepers||9.0/10|
|Puffy Lux||Best for Couples||9.3/10|
Side Sleeper FAQs
What mattress firmness is best for side sleepers?
Many of the mattresses that we suggest are between medium-soft and medium-firm. Mattress firmness differs based on weight, with larger side sleepers needing a firmer mattress than lighter side sleepers. Side sleepers should look for a mattress that delivers enough pressure relief along the hips and shoulders without losing spinal alignment.
What is the best mattress for side sleepers with hip pain?
Hybrid mattresses are also some of the best mattresses for side sleepers with hip pain. Similar to those with hip pain, the pocketed coils create a strong foundation and support the body. Pressure-relieving foam cradles around the hips and prevents them from sinking too deeply into the mattress layers.
What is the best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain?
Sleeping with shoulder pain may mean you need more pressure relief from your mattress. The best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain has contouring foam layers that cradle the pressure points. However, a softer mattress does not necessarily mean less shoulder pain. We recommend a hybrid construction for those with shoulder pain. The upper layers cradle the hips and shoulders while the coils protect the spine and the entire body.
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