Side sleeping is one of the most common sleep positions, with nearly 40% of people preferring to sleep in a fetal position and another 15% preferring to sleep on their sides in a more elongated and straight position. Side sleeping is even the recommended sleeping position for women who are pregnant and those with sleep apnea.
Many people find comfort sleeping on their side, but if you don’t have the right mattress to evenly distribute your body weight, you can wake up with pain in the high-pressure points such as your hips, shoulders, and knees. (P.S. Your pillow matters, too.)
In this guide, we’ll help all of you side sleepers find the best mattress for your sleeping position, and if you’re interested in learning more about your unique sleeping needs, we’ll share our tips for getting your best night’s sleep as a side sleeper.
Below we’ve highlighted our top-rated mattresses for side sleepers. If you want to read more about a particular mattress brand, we’ve got you covered in the next section.
Best for Pain Relief
Best for Hot Sleepers
Best for Back Pain
Take a look at things like the firmness, materials and price to help you decide which mattress might be best for you. All of the bed-in-a-box mattresses we’ve reviewed here have 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.
Here at Mattress Advisor, we bring every mattress we evaluate into our Mattress Lab and test it on 14 different factors, making our scoring system the most comprehensive in the industry. We’ve tested over 100 mattresses, spending at least 5 hours with each mattress from start to finish.
After well over 500 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.
|Firmness||Medium firm: 6/10|
|Trial Period||100 days|
The Leesa is a medium-firm mattress on the firmness scale that fully supports the needs of a side sleeper. This memory foam bed isn’t too far on the firm side or the soft side of the spectrum – it’s right in the middle.
If you’re a side sleeper, it’s important that you have a mattress that evenly distributes your body weight and support your pressure points – particularly in high-pressure areas like your shoulders and hips. We love the Leesa mattress for side sleepers because of its excellent contouring properties that help relieve this type of pressure.
The Leesa scored very well in our spinal alignment test – meaning this memory foam mattress will help keep your spine in a straight line while sleeping on your side, which is great for your health and avoiding morning aches and pains.
Another area that Leesa scored highly in during our testing is responsiveness. This means that no matter what position you sleep in, Leesa will provide the support you need. Since side sleepers tend to change positions throughout the night more than other positions, this is a favorable trait when looking for the best mattress for side sleepers.
The standard price for a queen Leesa mattress is $995, but you can click the link below to get an exclusive Mattress Advisor discount.
|Firmness||Medium-soft to medium: 5.5 – 7/10|
|Trial Period||101 days|
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 comfortable, but also cool.
The Puffy Lux 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 ClimateComfort foam layer 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.
The standard price for a queen-size Puffy Lux mattress is $1,595 but if you click the link below, we can save you $300 bucks!
|Firmness||Medium firm: 5.5-6/10|
|Trial Period||365 days|
Nectar’s gel memory foam surface provides great pressure relief and motion isolation.
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 motion isolation properties help you sleep soundly so you don’t have to be disturbed by their movements.
The Nectar is our favorite budget 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 in the comfort of your own home before deciding if you’d like to keep the mattress.
|Firmness||Available in Plush (3/10), Luxury Firm (5.5-6.5-10), and Firm (8/10)|
|Trial Period||120 days|
The Saatva mattress truly has all the bells and whistles you could hope for from a luxury brand – it’s customizable, made from high-quality materials, and it’s eco-friendly (though not 100% green).
When you purchase a Saatva mattress, you can customize it to meet your needs by changing the height, firmness, and size. Plus, if you choose to buy your foundation through Saatva you can customize the height of that as well.
Digging into the inside of the Saatva (since it’s what’s inside that matters most) you will find even more impressive traits. Its designed with excellent edge and lumbar support, making it great for those who stretch out on the side of their bed, couples, and those who need additional support from a mattress.
The Saatva also comes highly recommended for seniors due to these great qualities and Saatva’s exceptional customer service. Saatva offers free in-home set-up for your new mattress and free removal of your old mattress. Talk about a great shopping experience!
|Firmness||Medium firm: 5 – 6/10|
|Trial Period||120 days|
The Nolah memory foam mattress is made with a special type of patented AirFoam that helps to absorb pressure, particularly in your shoulders and hips when you sleep on your side. Nolah was just shy of a perfect score for spine alignment in our lab testing as well.
Another thing that sets Nolah apart is its superior responsiveness. Its top layers will fill in the gaps around your body, so there’s no empty support.
When you buy a Nolah mattress, you can also adopt one wildlife animal through their animal adoption program (at no extra cost to you). Before you complete the checkout process, you can choose which animal you would like to be adopted. You can sleep easy on the Nolah knowing you’ve chosen a mattress that appeals to your needs and simultaneously supported an important cause!
The standard price for a queen Nolah mattress is $969, but you can click the link below to get an exclusive Mattress Advisor discount.
|Firmness||Available in Soft (3/10), Medium (5/10), and Firm (7/10)|
|Trial Period||120 days|
The Brooklyn Aurora mattress is one of our overall favorites at Mattress Advisor. This hybrid mattress is available in three firmness options, but we suggest side sleepers check out the medium level.
The medium mattress firmness option is a great option for side sleepers because it will contour your body and provide pressure relief for your hips and shoulders, but offer enough support so it doesn’t give too much under your body weight.
The top layer of patented Copper Gel Energex™ foam provides targeted pressure point relief with the antimicrobial properties of copper. Its surface is infused with TitanCool™, a patented phase change molecule that maintains body temperature at an ideal 88 degrees. The surface of this mattress is literally cool to the touch!
Overall, the Aurora offers a ton of bang for your buck. It’s comfortable, durable, cooling, supportive… the list goes on! This is mattress you can find comfort on for years to come.
The standard price for a queen Brooklyn Aurora mattress is $1,699, but you can click the link below to get an exclusive Mattress Advisor discount.
|Trial Period||100 days|
The Mint mattress by Tuft & Needle offers a ton of benefits for side sleepers at a very reasonable price. Even though the Mint is Tuft & Needle’s enhanced mattress model, it’s still affordable.
The Mint was designed with customer feedback on the original Tuft & Needle model in mind. The end result is a taller, softer mattress with enhanced edge support. The Mint will also appeal to people who tend to sleep hot, as it’s made with 30% more graphite gel to absorb heat up to five times more than similar materials.
So why should side sleepers love it? The Mint is a memory foam mattress performs well at evenly distributing your body weight, and the results from our spine alignment test resulted in the Mint nearly scoring a perfect 10.
Take a look at our full review to see how straight our tester’s spine stayed while laying on the Mint in the side position. These factors are key for side sleepers. Trust us – you won’t be disappointed.
Side sleepers should avoid an extremely firm or extremely soft mattress mattress. A medium to medium-firm memory foam or foam blend mattress is best.
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. Here are a few factors to consider when looking for the perfect mattress.
Most mattresses designed for side sleepers are made with some blend of memory foam: standard, latex, or gel memory foam.
Memory foam is known to be an excellent material for evenly distributing weight and minimizing pain at pressure points, while also supporting the natural curve of your spine.
Latex memory foam and gel memory foam are known to quickly bounce back to shape when users change position throughout the night, more so than with standard memory foam.
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.
It’s important for side sleepers to select a mattress that will hug your body in the right places, but not cause you to sink into the mattress too far. A mattress that pushes back just enough when you lay down will support your body’s natural curves and keep your spine aligned.
The right amount of pushback will also 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 helps to 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 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 mattress review detail pages.
Side sleepers tend to prefer a 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.
Overall, side sleepers should choose a memory foam or foam blend mattress in a medium firm option that can offer support and comfort. Avoid the extremes. Anything too soft and you will sink in too much; anything too firm and your body won’t get the natural contour it needs. A medium to medium-firm, foam blend mattress will suit a side sleeper best.
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.
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.”
Sleeping on your side – particularly your left side – is 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:
Pregnancy is already a state where being uncomfortable typically gets worse as the pregnancy progresses. Doing whatever is necessary to ensure you are getting a good night’s rest is paramount. With the shift in your center of gravity and the stress on your lower back as a result, a good mattress is so important.”
And don’t forget to carefully consider your pillow choice, too. 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.
See our top 10 picks for the best memory foam mattresses on the market.