Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

By Alesandra Woolley

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, many mattresses appeal to this need! But some are far better than others.

In this guide, we’ll share our reviews of the 8 best mattresses for side sleepers. Then we’ll help you figure out everything you should know when shopping for a mattress for side sleepers in our buyer’s guide.

Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

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Leesa

Editor's Choice
  • Great balance between soft and firm
  • Enhanced after more than 200 prototypes
  • Highest-rated mattress on Mattress Advisor

I didn’t find it too firm or too soft. It is just right!”

Melissa
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
9.3 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 days

Puffy Lux

Best Value
  • 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.

We love our new mattress! It’s so comfortable!"

Danielle
Customer Rating
5 / 5
MA Score
9.3 / 10
Firmness

Medium-soft to medium: 5.5 - 7

Trial Period

101 days

Nectar

Best Budget
  • Super affordable
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty and trial period
  • Less than 3% of customers end up returning their Nectar mattress

This mattress has made a difference in the way I sleep and wake each morning."

Paul
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
8.7 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 5.5-6/10

Trial Period

365 days

Saatva

Best Luxury
  • It has all the bells and whistles: it’s customizable, made with quality materials and it’s eco-friendly (although not 100% green).
  • Known for having great edge support, lumbar support, and pressure relief.

No more aches and pains when we get up in the morning."

Carla R.
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
8.7 / 10
Firmness

Available in plush soft: 3/10; luxury firm: 5.5-6.5/10; and firm: 8/10

Trial Period

120 days

GhostBed

Best Cooling
  • Latex mix offers extra bounce and cooling
  • Second layer of memory foam offers the contouring comfort

My sleep has improved and I wake up relaxed and pain-free. Love this bed!"

Audra
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
8.6 / 10
Firmness

Medium-firm - firm: 6.5/10

Trial Period

101 days

Nolah

Best for Pain Relief
  • Nolah’s AirFoam is responsive and temperature-neutral, which should help relieve pressure and keep you cool
  • Shock-absorbing air pockets make it a great option for side sleepers or people with back and joint pain

No more aches and pains when I wake up in the morning.”

Sarah
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
8.9 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 5 - 6 /10

Trial Period

120 days

Brooklyn Aurora

Best for Pressure Relief
  • 3 firmness levels to provide a personalized level of comfort and support.
  • One of the coolest (temperature wise) mattresses we have ever had in the Mattress Lab. Even weeks after unboxing, it was still cool to the touch.

Simply stated: I love this mattress."

Jeanne
Customer Rating
4.4 / 5
MA Score
8.9 / 10
Firmness

Available in soft (3/10), medium (5/10) or firm (7/10)

Trial Period

120 days

Tuft & Needle Mint

Best for Back Pain
  • The “enhanced” Tuft & Needle mattress but at an affordable price
  • Adaptive® Foam made with 30% more heat-wicking graphite than the original keeps you cool
  • Scored extra high on spine alignment and responsiveness – making it a great option for combination sleepers

After one night of being supported properly on the T&N Mint mattress, my back pain was significantly reduced."

Wade
Customer Rating
4.9 / 5
MA Score
8.9 / 10
Firmness

Medium: 5/10

Trial Period

100 days

How do I decide which is best for me?

Take a look at things like the firmness, materials and price to help you decide which mattress might be best for you. Lost on where to begin? Check out our mattress buying guide to get a better understanding of what to look out for.

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.

Why Trust Mattress Advisor? 

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.


1. Leesa

Editor's Choice
Leesa mattress in a bedroom
MA Score 9.3/10
Customer Rating  4.8/5
Firmness Medium firm: 6/10
Trial Period  100 days

What Makes The Leesa Great

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.

See What Customers Say

  • “My only regret is not buying this bed earlier. It’s the perfect blend of supportive but soft. Sleeping on the stomach, side or back are all very comfortable. We love it!” – Erin S.
  • “The firmness is perfect for my back, and it’s kept pretty cool despite the onslaught of the muggy east-coast summer. Game-changer!” – Samuel D.
  • “I’m not gifted with the right words to write this review. It’s soft yet firm? Inviting but not overwhelming? Cool yet comforting? All I know is it’s perfect, and I love it.” – Phoebe S.

The standard price for a queen Leesa mattress is $995, but you can click the link below to get an exclusive Mattress Advisor discount.

Read our full Leesa mattress review.

 


Puffy Lux

Best Value
Puffy Lux mattress in a bedroom
MA Score 9.3/10
Customer Rating 5/5
Firmness Medium-soft to medium: 5.5 – 7/10
Trial Period 101 days

Why The Puffy Lux is Good for Side Sleepers

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.

See What Customers Say

  • “The Puffy is life changing and a little cloud of awesomeness is a chaotic and busy world. We’ve been enjoying our Puffy pillows for about a week as they were delivered before our bed. We can’t wait to get our Puffy mattress topper!” – Matt & Valerie
  • “We have slept more sound and more comfortable than anticipated with our new Puffy mattress. I was on the fence whether to go with this type of mattress but it’s exceeded my expectation. I suffer from back pain. Waking up in the morning is an overall soothing experience.” – Courtney

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!

See our full Puffy Lux mattress review.


Nectar

Best Budget
Couple lying on Nectar mattress
MA Score 8.7/10
Customer Rating 4.8/5
Firmness Medium firm: 5.5-6/10
Trial Period 365 days

Nectar Highlights

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.

See What Customers Say

  • “This mattress saved my back. For the first few nights I thought it was just really comfortable. After a few nights when my back pain disappeared, I realized it was more than just comfort, it was a life saver.” – N.R.
  • “Do your body a favor and buy this bed. I have arthritis and this is the first bed that we have slept in that doesn’t hurt my hip.” – Debbie B.

See our full Nectar mattress review.


Saatva

Best Luxury
Woman lying on a Saatva mattress
MA Score 8.7/10
Customer Rating 4.8/5
Firmness Available in Plush (3/10), Luxury Firm (5.5-6.5-10), and Firm (8/10)
Trial Period 120 days

Saatva Highlights

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!

See What Customers Say

  • Considering that Merlin’s -my wife- shoulders suddenly ceased numbing the very first night she slept on it and my lower back -L5 fusion- discontinued aching every single morning since it arrived, one cannot give Saatva any less than the full star general line up of five. It just would not be fair.”
  • “This was the best decision ever. I received it sooner than expected and we love it. No more aches and pains when we get up in the morning.
    According to a tracking device I recently received, I was getting an average of 3 – 4 hours of sleep every night. Now with the new Saatva, I am getting 6 – 7 hours of sleep per night.” – Carla R.
  • “We have had nearly a week on our new bed and noticed how we barely moved during the night. No need to toss and turn anymore from an uncomfortable bed. We would highly recommend these beds and would purchase another one when the time comes.” – MA Nagel

See our full Saatva mattress review.


GhostBed

Best Cooling
Ghostbed mattress
MA Score 8.6/10
Customer Rating  4.8/5
Firmness Medium-firm to Firm: 6.5/10
Trial Period 101 days

GhostBed Highlights

The GhostBed mattress offers tons of qualities that are great for side sleepers. Its blended construction of aerated latex and gel memory foam make a perfect combination for everything side sleepers need in a mattress — comfort, support, and breathability.

The gel memory foam layer provides a contouring comfort that hugs your body in all the right places to keep your spine aligned. Don’t worry about sinking in too far, though! The latex layer offers responsive properties so the bed adjusts to your movements and supports your body.

Plus, the aerated latex and gel in the memory foam makes the GhostBed an ultra-cooling mattress. Say goodbye to the nights of sweating through your sheets when you sleep on a GhostBed.

See What Customers Say

  • “We knew we needed a new mattress, did the homework, listened to our chiropractor and bought this one. Both of us are waking up without the aches and pains and sleeping more soundly. Quality and materials are first rate AND watching it come to life out of the box–very cool!” – Rebecca Z.
  • “My first night sleep felt like I had somehow landed on a cloud. I slept through the night and have slept through every night since (Except the one where I had the bright idea to drink 3 cups of coffee before bed) its the perfect bed for a perfect night of sleep. I no longer dread going to sleep at night, instead I look forward to sleeping on my GhostBed!” – Brian M.

The standard price for a queen GhostBed mattress is $995, but you can click the link below to get an exclusive Mattress Advisor discount.

See our full GhostBed mattress review.


Nolah

Best for Overall Pain
Nolah Original mattress in a bedroom
MA Score 8.9/10
Customer Rating  4.8/5
Firmness Medium firm: 5 – 6/10
Trial Period 120 days

How the Nolah Suits Side Sleepers

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!

See What Customers Say

  • “I have slept on a foam mattress before, but it wasn’t as comfortable as my new Nolan mattress. It’s soft, but firm enough to where I don’t sink in too much making it hard to get out of bed. I don’t wake up with my sides hurting anymore since the mattress contours really well to my body.” – Bikramjeet V.
  • “This side-sleeper was suffering with back pain and the Nolah mattress has helped a lot. We had previously tried a memory foam mattress but it was too hot and felt weird (and it reeked of chemicals). Highly recommended.” – Emlyn A.

The standard price for a queen Nolah mattress is $969, but you can click the link below to get an exclusive Mattress Advisor discount.

See our full Nolah mattress review.


Brooklyn Aurora

Best for Pressure Relief
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora mattress on a bedframe in a bedroom
MA Score 8.9/10
Customer Rating 4.4/5
Firmness Available in Soft (3/10), Medium (5/10), and Firm (7/10)
Trial Period 120 days

Brooklyn Aurora Highlights

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.

See What Customers Say

  • “Simply stated: I love this mattress. I am one of those people who does a ton of research before making a purchase and I looked into everything from Purple, Casper, Tempurpedic, Leesa, etc., What struck me about BB was the foam/coil hybrid and the chance to not be sucked into the mattress but still keep with the benefits of foam.” – Jeanne
  • “Have been sleeping on it for a couple weeks and can honestly say this is one of the best beds I’ve ever slept on. Highly recommend.” – Tara

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.

See our full Brooklyn Aurora mattress review.


Tuft & Needle Mint

Best for Back Pain
Tuft and Needle Mint mattress on a wooden bed frame in a bedroom
MA Score 8.9/10
Customer Rating 4.9/5
Firmness Medium: 5/10
Trial Period 100 days

Mint Highlights

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.

See What Customers Say

  • “The Mint mattress is great. Soft with a little bounce. I’m a petite 118 lbs back/side sleeper and my 155 lbs boyfriend is a stomach sleeper. We both like this mattress.” – Karen
  • “After one night of being supported properly on the T&N Mint mattress, my back pain was significantly reduced.” – Wade

See our full Mint mattress review.

Best Mattresses for Sides Sleepers (Runners-Up)


Buyer’s Guide: Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll share: 

Why Should Side Sleepers Care About Their Mattress? 

Everyone has unique needs that need to 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, 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. 

What Do Side Sleepers Need in a Mattress?

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.

Mattress type and materials 

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 to provide the additional contouring your body needs or looking for a hybrid mattress with a soft top layer.

Pressure Relief

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.

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.

Pressure relief test examples

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

Read More: Why is Pressure Relief So Important?

Firmness

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.

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

Sleeping 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 make sure you wake up feeling well-rested and pain-free.

Woman sleeping soundly on a new mattress on her side

1. Sleep on the 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.

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.”

2. 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. 

3. Carefully Consider Your Mattress

We strongly believe in the importance that each sleeper to finds the right mattress to meet their unique needs. For side sleepers, it’s critical that you find a mattress that will evenly distribute your body weight, contour your body, and provide support in all the right places to keep your spine aligned and give you a good night’s rest. 

So when it comes time to find a new bed, make sure you put careful thought into your decision and consider all the right factors.

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Comments (319)

  1. I’m a side sleeper and always thought a firm mattress was the best. After reading this review I understand why I am never really rested. I need a different mattress!!

  2. I’m a side sleeper and these reviews are really helpful. I wish I had known about them before we got our last mattress. The mattress we have now is too hard, and I don’t get the back, hip, and neck relief that I need. It’s also Really HOT.

  3. Nola sounds great I like that it has Air Foam for pressure relief and great responsiveness. I learned a lot about mattresses from your reviews.

  4. I am a side sleeper in the winter but back sleeper in summer which makes it interesting finding a mattress that is comfy for both positions. Any recommendations on this?

  5. I am also a side sleeper. I have back issues and would love to win this and see if it helps. My parents have the same issue!


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