Mattress Guides

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers (2018 Update)

By Beth Krietsch

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 also the recommended sleeping position for women who are pregnant (more on that later).

If you’re able to keep your legs and torso fairly straight while sleeping on your side, this position can minimize neck and back pain, while also decreasing the likelihood of snoring. In fact, side sleeping is one of the best choices for people with neck pain.

However, when sleeping on your side, your body weight may not be as evenly distributed as in other positions, leading to pain at high-pressure points such as the hips, shoulders and knees. Of course, a good mattress will play a huge role in making this sleep position one that’s kind to your body, helping you wake up feeling well rested and pain-free. Fortunately, with so many people preferring to sleep this way, many mattresses are specifically designed with side sleepers in mind.

In this guide, we’ll help you understand what you should look for in a mattress when you sleep on your side and reveal our top-rated mattresses for side sleepers. We’ll even share some other tips for getting your best night’s sleep in the side position.


What should side sleepers look for in a mattress?

If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll want a mattress that contours your body and relieves joint pressure and pain at the hips and shoulders. These are the parts of your body that are most vulnerable to pain and soreness when you sleep on your side. Here are a few things to consider when looking for the perfect mattress.

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.

CONTOUR & 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.

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.

CONSTRUCTION

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.

Overall, you’ll want to choose a mattress that’s both supportive and soft and is responsive as you move around throughout the night.


Best mattresses for side sleepers (Our top picks)

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.

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 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.

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.

  1. Leesa (Editor’s Pick) 
  2. Nolah 
  3. Helix Midnight
  4. Puffy Lux
  5. Nectar 
  6. Amerisleep AS3
  7. Brooklyn Bedding Aurora 

1.  The Leesa Mattress

Leesa

Editor's Pick
  • An excellent choice for side sleepers due to its pressure relieving properties and spine support
  • Responsive mattress that adjusts to your body movements throughout the night
  • Contours your body in the areas that need it most, without trapping heat

My only regret is not buying this bed earlier."

Erin S.
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
9.3 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 days

Why we love it

If you’re a side sleeper, it’s important you have a mattress that will evenly distribute your body weight and support your pressure points – particularly in high-pressure areas like your hips, shoulders and knees. The Leesa mattress is our top pick for side sleepers because of its excellent contouring properties that help relieve this type of pressure.

The Leesa also scored very well in our spine alignment test – meaning this mattress will help keep your spine in a straight line while sleeping on your side.

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.

See best price for the Leesa

Read our full Leesa review here


2.  The Nolah Mattress

Nolah

  • Nolah’s shock-absorbing air pockets make it a great option for side sleepers or people with back and joint pain.
  • The AirFoam used in the Nolah mattress is a responsive and temperature neutral type of foam, designed to relieve pressure and keep you cool.

I don’t wake up with my sides hurting anymore."

Bikramjeet V.
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
8.9 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 5 - 6 /10

Trial Period

120 days

Why we love it

The Nolah mattress is made with a special type of AirFoam that help to absorb pressure, particularly in your hips and shoulders 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.

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 best price for the Nolah

Read our full Nolah review here


3.  The Helix Midnight

Helix

  • Medium firm hybrid mattress specifically designed to relieve pressure for side sleepers
  • Transition layer is designed to offer the appropriate amount of support based on your body type
  • Breathable cover designed to increase airflow for a cool night’s sleep

A bed made for your weight, height, and position...how could it be better?"

Benjamin M.
Customer Rating
4.6 / 5
MA Score
8.9 / 10
Firmness

Customizable: Varies based on selection

Trial Period

100 days

Why we love it

The Helix Mightnight is one of many mattress models offered by Helix. The Midnight model is a popular option for side sleepers because of its pressure relieving properties and ergonomic support. This mattress will cradle your body and support the heavier parts of your body that need it most.

The hybrid design also helps to provide freedom of movement, so you won’t feel trapped in the mattress, but will still get the contouring properties that side sleepers need in a mattress.

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

See best price for the Helix Midnight

Read our full Helix review here


4.  The Puffy Lux

Puffy Lux

  • The patent-pending foams used to construct the Puffy Lux work in tandem to melt stress and strain from your body’s pressure points.
  • The Puffy Lux transition layer is designed to actively contour to your body shape and sleeping position so you can sleep in comfort all night long.

Waking up in the morning is an overall soothing experience."

Courtney
Customer Rating
5 / 5
MA Score
8.8 / 10
Firmness

Medium-soft to medium: 5.5 - 7

Trial Period

101 days

Why we love it

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 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 standard price for a queen-size Puffy Lux mattress is $1,595 but if you click the link below, we can save you $75 bucks!

See best price for the Puffy Lux

Read our full Puffy Lux review here


5.  The Nectar Mattress

Nectar

  • The Nectar mattress sleeps cool, provides great pressure relief, and won’t put a dent in your wallet
  • For the price, you’re still getting a quality mattress that’s built to last
  • Nectar also offers one of the industry’s best return policy and “Forever Warranty”

This mattress has made a difference in the way I sleep."

Paul H.
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
8.6 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 5.5-6/10

Trial Period

365 days

Why we love it

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.

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.

The standard price for a queen Nectar mattress is $699, but you can click the link below to get an exclusive Mattress Advisor discount.

See best price for the NECTAR

Read our full Nectar review here


6.  The Amerisleep AS3

Amerisleep AS3

  • The AS3 strikes a perfect balance between not too firm, but not too soft, making it a great sleeping surface for side and combination sleepers
  • Its foam comfort layers create a soft but responsive feel that relieves pressure points and makes you feel like you’re floating

I've been falling asleep faster on this mattress and waking up with no back discomfort at all."

Vicky
Customer Rating
4.6 / 5
MA Score
8.4 / 10
Firmness

Medium: 6/10

Trial Period

100 days

Why we love it

The AS3 mattress is Amerisleeps most popular model – and to no surprise, since it has a lot going for it. The AS3 has a special affinity transition layer that reacts to your body position to evenly support your weight and help relieve pressure points. For side and combination sleepers, this will make you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud.

In addition, the cover on the AS3 contains Celliant, which is known to reduce pain, regulate body temperature, and promote healthy blood circulation.

The standard price for a queen AS3 mattress is $1,399. Click the link below to see the best price.

See best price for the AS3

Read our full AS3 review here


7.  The Brooklyn Aurora Mattress

Brooklyn Aurora

  • Hybrid mattress made with foam and pocket coils that’s available in three different firmness levels
  • “Soft” is the recommended option if you are a side sleeper who likes being “hugged” by your mattress
  • One of the coolest (temperature wise) mattresses we’ve tested in our lab!

The plushness of the mattress is perfect and still gives enough support to make me feel comfortable."

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

Why we love it

The Brooklyn Aurora mattress is one of our overall favorites at Mattress Advisor. The soft option is ideal for side sleepers because it will contour your body and provide pressure relief for your hips and shoulders.

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!

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 best price for the Brooklyn Aurora

Read our full Brooklyn Aurora review here

Best Mattresses for Sides Sleepers (Runners-Up)


WHY TRUST MATTRESS ADVISOR?
  • We tested over 100 different mattresses and rated them on 14 different factors to determine which ones displayed the best qualities for side sleepers.
  • We used the same 6-point testing procedure and 8-point evaluation in our Mattress Lab for every single mattress.
  • Our scores incorporate human performance tests, material evaluation, ease of purchase/return, customer service and brand integrity, making it the most comprehensive scoring system in the industry.

Other tips for sleeping on your side

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:

“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.”

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.

Still need help finding the best mattress?

Take our mattress finder quiz and get personalized results based on your preferences and sleeping style.

Take Mattress Quiz
By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Advisor may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

Comments (254)

  1. After reading all the reviews, it seems like the puffy lux would be the best fit for me. I am a long time side sleeper and love soft.

  2. It’s time for me to get a new mattress. Mine sags in the center so that the support is well, not very supportive!

  3. Because I couldn’t get comfortable in my bed as a side or stomach sleeper, I’ve been sleeping in a recliner for the past few months. I could really use a new mattress!

  4. I’m a big toss and turner because of my old mattress, additional pain from it, anxiety issues, sleep apnea etc so I’m betting a brand new comfortable mattress would help my sleep so much better

  5. Nolah is my #1 pick out of all the terrific bed in a box mattresses I like that time and time again it comes up as the softest feel and also addresses my main 2 points of relieving pressure points and sleeping cool From the reviews I have read the soft side of the Nolah Signature is just a tad softer feel than the original I would love to have the Nolah Signature mattress

  6. My old memory foam mattress leaves me sweating and not rested. It is time for a proper mattress like the Puffy Lux.

  7. I’m a side sleeper with a back injury. A great mattress is vital (which is why I’m hoping I can replace my terrible, old one). Thanks for the chance to win a proper one!

  8. I have severe back pain, hip & knee all on the left side! So I sleep on right side all the time! I don’t sleep good at all! No more then 1 1/2 to 2hr at time then I’m up for couple hours! So maybe this mattress would help me sleep better! Thanks for chance!

  9. I am a side sleeper, so thank you for the suggestions. I have bad knees and found it interesting that some mattresses don’t alleviate that pain since they don’t distribute the weight evenly and put stress on the pressure points.

  10. Happy Holidays! I like how you break them down, I sleep on my side but want the softness and durability. Awesome reviews!

  11. I would love a new mattress for my new master bedroom. We have been in construction for 3 months and I can’t wait to get back into my house. A new mattress would be perfect!

  12. Very thorough review. It sounds amazing. I love how you show the pressure points and everything. Thanks for the chance!

  13. It’s really nice to know that there are specific mattresses for us side sleepers, b/c that’s the only way I can sleep. Thanks for the info!

  14. Who ever knew there could be such a difference in the position we choose to sleep in, with mattresses! These are great articles.

  15. Looks like it’s a great mattress. My spouse is a side sleeper and me as well sometimes but I usually start out on my back.

  16. This mattress sounds heavenly. I’ve been having back pains recently and I think it’s because I need a new mattress. Thanks for the great information.

  17. As someone who is a 100% side sleeper, it sure is nice to see such a complete discussion on the mattress needs for us side sleepers.

  18. I am a side sleeper. There’s lots of info here that I didn’t even know that I should be thinking about when looking for a mattress.

  19. I am a side sleeper and have horrible pain all the time. I am constantly tired and never feel refreshed. I have been sleeping on the couch for the past three years which is probably part of my problem! I cannot wait until I can get a bed with a wonderful mattress!

  20. I sleep on both my back (mostly) & my side. My problem is that I’m a very hot sleeper. My current mattress is a hybrid memory foam/coil type, & it’s supposed to be a ‘cooling’ -type memory foam, but it’s not! To be fair, though, it’s a very comfortable mattress- just gets too hot!

  21. I tend to fall alseep on my side and wake up on my back. What type of mattress would benefit this sleeping style? Thanks

  22. My husband is a back sleeper and I switch from back to side, mainly out of discomfort cause I can never get comfortable for the life of me. I have sciatic issues as well as other issues with my back. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  23. Looks like everyone needs one :0 well I need one because of back problems, I’ve had surgery but my pain is beyond what i can handle! I would love to try this mattress ! thanks for the chance .

  24. Thank you for all the information regarding side sleeping. I have a terrible time sleeping because of pain and am able to only sleep on my right side. You’ve given me a lot to think about for my next bed purchase.

  25. These mattress’ sounds very comfortable and look as though they are. I would love to win one, it sounds as though they could help me with my back issues.

  26. This would be an amazing win…my husband is a disabled Vet with back problems from his service in Afghanistan and we could really use this!!!

  27. I sleep on my side most nights…and If i sleep on my belly,..which is my preferred way, I can barely get out of bed!..we sure do need a new mattress

  28. I used to sleep on my stomach then i got pregnant with my son and now i have to be a side sleeper but wake up with aches and pains in my back. Does this mattress help with sciatic nerve problems?

  29. i am a side sleeper need this mattress sleep deprived lol gll she looks so comfy the mattress just screams beautiful sleep

  30. I have a bad back, shoulder and neck. It sounds like this bed may be perfect for a good nights sleep without the pain when waking.

  31. I need a new mattress so badly! I am a side sleeper and mine does nothing to help me. I don’t sleep well, and neither does my husband. Thank you for the chance Mattress Advisor!

  32. Great info for side sleepers like myself, now to keep my fingers crossed I get a bed that helps me sleep instead of hurting my sleep like I have now.

  33. Thank you for the guide. I’ve been having some hip discomfort and I’m starting to think my mattress may have something to do with it.

  34. I’d love to try your mattress. I have a lot of back pain issues with degeneration of the thoracic spine, sciatica pain, and right hip joint pain. It would be wonderful to sleep well-rested on a quality and comfortable mattress like this.

  35. I have Lupus so I’m always in pain
    Anything that’s makes my pain less is a plus for me. I so need this so I can have normal sleep with less pain
    Thank you for the chance to enter

  36. I’m a side sleeper so these all looks to be the perfect mattress for me. My mattress is around 10 years old so it’s time for an upgrade.

  37. It’s time for us to replace mattresses in both our bedroom, and our guest room. Can you recommend a mattress that is less expensive, but not really a “mother in law” mattress?

  38. Are your mattresses good with pressure points? Im a side sleeper and in my current bed i wake with pains in the middle of my femur.

  39. Thank you so much for this info! I am a side sleeper, and wake up several times a night due to hip pain… it never occurred to me that there could be a special kind of mattress to prevent this. I was always taught that a firm mattress is best and believed it even while it was causing me pain. LoL. Thought the problem was with me… not the mattress.

  40. Do you have a good recommendation for a 300lb side sleeper? My hubby loves the feel of less firm mattresses but wears them out super quick, it’s hard to find a nice compromise.

  41. Really looks great for side sleepers…..thank you for the giveaway. I have a question; I have had an accident and I am wondering what would be the best mattress/pillow if I want to support my head. (I’ve had a few surgeries on my face).
    Not sleeping good…need a better mattress.

  42. I am a side sleeper and I am also pregnant so I toss and turn. Its almost impossible to get comfortable. I would love to win one of these mattresses because right now I can’t afford one.

  43. I’m a big side sleeper and the problem I seem to have is my hips hurt after a couple of hours of sleep. So I’m looking for a good mattress that lets me sleep thru the night!

  44. I have Spinal Stenosis and it creates serious lower back problems. I was wondering which mattress would you recommend me?

  45. I would love to have this . My bed I have now is not working for me I get up all hours of the night from tossing and turning cant get comfortable in our bed I love to try this

  46. I’m a back sleeper. Have been ever since I was pregnant with my twins. The only way I could get comfy. These beds all look so amazing!

  47. I have always wondered what a memory foam mattress would feel like, to sleep on. And, if they come in soft choices, because a medium-firm traditional bed with coiled springs is too hard for me.

  48. I tend to breathe better on my side when i’m asleep. I use four pillows because I feel more comfortable with my head raised. Sometimes my back hurt from my posture being so unlevel during the night. This mattress may definitely be worth the investment.

  49. I’m a side sleeper and I know I’m not getting the support my body needs. I have advanced Fibromyalgia and a comfortable mattress that also keeps me cool would really be sweet!

  50. So much great info here. As a side sleeper myself I can attest to the awful hip and knee pain. I knew my mattress probably had a lot to do with it, but didn’t know what I should be looking for. Now I have a much better idea. Thanks!

  51. Being a side sleeper and having a hard time getting a good nights sleep on our current mattress this is some great info for when we go to buy another one.

  52. I am so glad that I found this article and read it. The option that that the Puffy Lux has in keeping temperature regulated is huge. I am an oven when I sleep and anything that helps cool and regulate temperature is amazing in my books.

  53. The biggest question is, I want pressure relief but I also want to be able to turn over with out struggling to get out of the indentations your body makes in the memory foam.

  54. I think mattress advisor is cool because the most important thing about the mattress is that it brings comfort and encourages good posture.

  55. Oh boy, I am a side and stomach sleeper. I can tell I have been having neck and pain in my hip. This is a great breakdown thank you.

  56. I sleep like a wild horse. All over the place. I sleep on both my left & right side. I also sleep on my tummy some nights and flat on my back some other nights as well. Haha

  57. I could definitely use a new mattress. I’m pregnant and mine is over 10 years old and sagging and the coils poke me and it is way too firm

  58. Thanks for this article, I especially liked the part where you discussed pressure points with regards to side sleepers. Makes sense, will be using this for future reference!

  59. I am a side sleeper that has a lot of pain due to many years of competitive sports. It would be a true blessing to win this incredible mattress!

  60. I am a side sleeper, but I am currently experience pain on my current mattress so I don’t get a good nights sleep. I would be excited to have this mattress to make me be comfortable at night..

    • Hey Mark – great question! The Brentwood Home bamboo mattress is made with eco-friendly materials like natural New Zealand wool. The mattress is also CertiPUR-US certified, meaning it doesn’t have any toxic chemicals like flame retardants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, or phthalates. Hope that helps!

  61. As a side sleeper, this article let me know that I’ve probably been sleeping on the wrong mattress for years! No wonder I’ve been waking up sore and groggy. Time for a new mattress!

    • Roberto – it sounds like it’s time for a new mattress indeed! Sorry to hear about your sore and groggy mornings. Good thing there are lots of great options for side sleepers like you. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help you out!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By continuing to browse or by clicking “OK” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Privacy Policy.

OK