Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

By Alesandra Woolley

Jan 19th, 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.

By clicking on the products below, we may receive a commission at no cost to you, the reader. It’s how we fund our Mattress Lab and bring you better mattress reviews and comparisons.

Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

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.

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.


Saatva

saatva mattress new e1586527946280
Saatva

Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain

Good for:

  • Side sleepers with shoulder pain
  • Edge support
  • Cooling
CUSTOMER RATING

4.8

/

5

MA SCORE

9.3

/

10

FIRMNESS

Customizable

TRIAL PERIOD

180 days

Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain

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.


The WinkBed

winkbed lux firm mattress 1
WinkBeds Luxury Firm

Best Soft Mattress

Good for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Multiple firmness options
  • Durability
CUSTOMER RATING

4.5

/

5

MA SCORE

8.6

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium firm: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

120 days

Best Soft Mattress

The WinkBed comes in four levels of firmness: softer, luxury firm, firmer, and extra firm. While our The WinkBed review focuses on luxury firm, it’s the soft level we’ve found to provide the right comfort for a side sleeper, which you may not find with the firmer versions.

Pros

The soft version of The WinkBed also offers excellent comfort for the back sleeper, providing cushion where it counts—the hips and shoulders. Also, the durability of this product is quite good.

Cons

A queen side mattress runs about $1,600, which is not the most expensive you’ll find, but it might give you pause if you’re a budget shopper. It needs to be said that your mattress will be built to order, but note that it can take 7-10 business days for delivery.

Read our full WinkBed Luxury Firm review.


Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix luxe product shot 1
Helix Midnight LUXE

Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers

Good for:

  • People who sleep hot
  • People seeking pressure relief
  • Those who seek durability
CUSTOMER RATING

4.5

/

5

MA SCORE

8.9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium firm: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Cooling Mattress

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.

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.


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

MA SCORE

9.2

/

10

FIRMNESS

Firm: 7/10

TRIAL PERIOD

120 days

Best Mattress for Heavy People

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 out of 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.


Nectar

nectar original lifestyle updated
Nectar

Best Budget Mattress

Good for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Responsiveness
  • Sleeping on the edge
CUSTOMER RATING

4.8

/

5

MA SCORE

8.7

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 5.5-6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

365 days

Best Budget Mattress

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.

Pros

This memory foam mattress gives you that “hugging” feeling that this genre promises, which makes it strong in motion isolation. That means that when your kids, partner or pets jump into bed, you won’t be disturbed.

Cons

While this product offers a cooling cover and breathable foam layers, some customers complain that it can sleep hot, a common problem with memory foam mattresses. Also, it may be a dealbreaker for you that the Nectar is not fully made in the USA.

Read our full Nectar mattress review.


Puffy

puffy mattress main product 2 700x
Puffy Mattress

Best Mattress for Couples

Good for:

  • Couples
  • Fans of memory foam
  • Ease of set-up
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 7/10

TRIAL PERIOD

101 nights

Best Mattress for Couples

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.


GhostBed Luxe

ghostbed luxe e1589554142546
GhostBed Luxe

Best Memory Foam Mattress

Good for:

  • Spine alignment
  • Responsiveness
  • Cooling
CUSTOMER RATING

4.7

/

5

MA SCORE

9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium: 5.5/10

TRIAL PERIOD

101 days

Best Memory Foam Mattress

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

The medium-plush feel of the GhostBed Luxe is softer than some mixed-foam and hybrid mattresses. It may not be the best choice if you prefer a firmer and more structured mattress.

Read our full GhostBed Luxe review.


DreamCloud Premier

dreamcloud hero
DreamCloud Premier

Best Pillow Top Mattress

Good for:

  • Edge support
  • Cooling
  • Couples
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

TRIAL PERIOD

365 days

Best Pillow Top Mattress

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.

Pros

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.

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.


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

MA SCORE

9.3

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium: 5/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Hybrid Mattress

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.


TEMPUR-Cloud

tempur cloud product
Tempur-Cloud

Best Mattress for Restless Sleepers

Good for:

  • Sleepers who toss and turn
  • Couples
  • Durability
CUSTOMER RATING

4.4

/

5

MA SCORE

8.4

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium

TRIAL PERIOD

90 nights

Best Mattress for Restless Sleepers

For side sleepers who are also restless sleepers, responsiveness and motion transfer are particularly important. The TEMPUR-Cloud is among the best mattresses we’ve reviewed in those categories, which means that nighttime movements have less chance of interrupting your sleep.

Pros

In our testing lab, the TEMPUR-Cloud scores well for responsiveness (8.25/10) and even better for motion transfer (9.75/10). Tossing, turning, and shifting are less likely to interrupt you or your sleep partner. Its pressure-relieving qualities are also beneficial to side sleepers.

Cons

For people who sleep hot, the TEMPUR-Cloud’s 6.5/10 score for cooling might be a smoldering red flag. If price is a sticking point, take note that the regular price for a queen size approaches $2,000.

Read our full TEMPUR-Cloud mattress review.


Side Sleeper’s Guide to Choosing the Right 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.

The Best Type of Mattress for Side Sleeping

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 reputation for even weight distribution and easing pain around pressure points. It also supports the natural curve of your spine.

Latex Mattress

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 Mattress

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.

What About Innerspring Mattresses?

Innerspring mattresses consist of a coil spring system cushioned by foam on either side. While coils are great at providing bounce and support, they tend to fall short in pressure relief.

Generally, innerspring mattresses are not the best for side sleepers because they don’t provide enough contouring cushion. 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.

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 out 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

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 hybrid
  • Not extremely firm or extremely soft (medium-firm on the firmness scale)
  • Offers support and contouring comfort

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 up of either memory foam or latex foam. These foam accessories offer contouring pressure relief to the shoulders and hips of side sleepers.


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
Saatva Classic 9.4
WinkBed 8.3
Helix Midnight Luxe 8.8
Brooklyn Bedding Titan 8.3
Nectar 8.0
Puffy 8.4
GhostBed Luxe 9.3
DreamCloud Premier 8.5
Casper Wave Hybrid 8.8
TEMPUR-Cloud 8.6

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

Q.

What mattress firmness is best for side sleepers?

A.

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.

Q.

What is the best mattress for side sleepers with hip pain?

A.

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.

Q.

What is the best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain?

A.

Sleeping with shoulder pain may mean you need more pressure relief from your mattress. The best mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain have contouring foam layers that cradle the pressure points. One example is the Nolah mattress. 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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