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.
Sleeping in the fetal position is great for pregnant women and those who are prone to snoring, but can sometimes lead to soreness in the morning. 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.
When sleeping on your side, body weight may not be as evenly distributed as in other positions, leading to pain at 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.
Follow along, side sleepers, as we find a mattress that’s just right.
What should side sleepers look for in a mattress?
Side sleepers will prefer a mattress that contours to the body and relieves joint pressure and pain at the hips and shoulders. Here are a few things to consider when looking for the perfect mattress.
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.
Side sleepers tend to prefer a mattress that falls on the medium-soft to medium end of the firmness spectrum.
It’s important for side sleepers to select a mattress with a bit of give. A mattress that sinks in slightly when you lay down will support your body’s natural curves and keep your spine aligned.
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 during the night. And don’t forget to carefully consider 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.
Our favorite mattresses for side sleepers
Check out the chart below to see some of our top mattress picks for all the side sleepers out there. You’ll find information like customer rating, return policy, price and materials. Keep reading beyond the chart to find more in-depth information on each of our selections.
|Mattress Name||Description||Price*||Mattress Review|
8.4 / 10Read Review
9.1 / 10Read Review
|Loom & Leaf||
8 / 10Read Review
8.8 / 10Read Review
|Brentwood Home Oceano||
8.5 / 10Read Review
8.7 / 10Read Review
* Price for a queen size mattress.
A few words from us
- The Amerisleep AS3 is a 12-inch memory foam mattress offering a medium level of firmness that’s simultaneously supportive and soft.
- It contours to your body as you move throughout the night and relieves pain at pressure points.
- Besides being a great pick for side sleepers, this mattress is also a good option for couples with varying sleep positions and people who change position throughout the night.
Word on the street
- “After 12 years on our old mattress, we splurged in Amerisleep and am so glad we did. Back and neck pain gone!” —Sam.
- I’m usually a budget shopper but there are some things you can’t skimp on. I have had neck back and shoulder problems for years. I knew I needed a good mattress. I read so many reviews of this mattress/company and people saying they had less pain. I 100% agree! I feel so much better when I wake up. Makes getting out of bed harder for my husband he’s been sleeping longer!” —Marileezy.
- “A very supportive mattress for my severe back problems; I now get a most restful sleep and a longer one” —Ika.
- Amerisleep AS3 sizes available:
- Queen: $1399
- King: $1699
- Cal King: $1699
- Twin: $1099
- Twin XL: $1149
- Full: $1249
- Split King: $2098
- What’s inside: The layers inside the Amerisleep AS3 are described as they appear from top to bottom:
- High-performance Celliant cover: Designed to convert your body heat into infrared.
- Bio-Pur foam: Breathable cooling layer with open-cell structure
- Affinity layer: Ergonomic transition foam; provides pressure relief
- Bio-Core foam support layer: Eco-friendly durability and support
- Delivery: The Amerisleep AS3 ships free to the lower 48 states and usually arrives within 5-10 business days.
- Setup: The Amerisleep AS3 comes compressed, rolled, and boxed. You will simply unbox the mattress, unroll it on your foundation (if you’re using one), and wait for it to expand. You can also watch this video to see how it’s done.
- Foundation: The Amerisleep mattress can be placed on a flat or slatted frame, box spring, adjustable base or even the floor.
- Return Policy: Amerisleep offers free returns and a 100-night trial period. If you decide you don’t like the mattress within the first 100 days, Amerisleep will donate the bed and provide you with a full refund.
A few words from us
- The Casper mattress is a great option for side sleepers because it helps to keep your spine in a straight line, which is what side sleepers should look for in a mattress.
- Casper received a perfect score (10/10) for responsiveness in our testing – meaning it does a good job of adjusting to your body as you move around or change positions throughout the night. Since side sleepers tend to also be combination sleepers, this is an important factor to consider in a mattress.
Word on the street
- “Best mattress I have ever owned. I recently moved into a NYC loft studio which only had room for a small Twin XL mattress. As I am a larger individual (6 ft, 260 lbs) I was not looking forward to downsizing from a Queen. However, my new Casper is so supportive and comfortable, I don’t need the extra room – I wake up in the exact same position I fall asleep in – no more tossing and turning!” – John S.
- “This is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. It firm and soft at the same time. It’s just right, I don’t toss and turn but I sleep all night. I love it.” – Jed
- “I have never been in such a comfortable bed!! My partner and I both love it, and never thought we’d agree on a bed. I enjoy a more firm bed and he enjoys soft, but this we both love!” – Angelica
- Casper sizes available:
- Twin: 39” x 75”
- Twin XL: 39” x 80”
- Full: 54” x 75”
- Queen: 60” x 80”
- King: 76” x 80”
- Cal King: 72” x 84”
- What’s inside: Casper is made up of four foam blend layers to offer breathability, pressure relief, and a springy yet contouring surface.
- 1.5” Open-Cell Foam
- 1.5” Responsive Memory Foam
- 1.5” Zoned SupportTM layer
- 5.0” Durable Support Foam
- Delivery: The Casper ships free and should arrive at your doorstep within 2-7 business days of ordering. Same-day white glove delivery service is also available in select cities.
- Setup: The Casper mattress comes compressed, rolled and boxed. You will simply unbox the mattress, unroll it on your foundation, and wait for it to expand.
- Return policy: If you decide the Casper is not for you within the 100-day trial period, Casper will remove the mattress from your home and donate it to a local charity at no cost. You will receive a full refund on your purchase.
A few words from us
- The Loom & Leaf relaxed firm mattress contours to the body while still offering a sufficient amount of support, making it a good choice for people who sleep on their sides and want something structured and supportive but still comfortable on the joints.
- The mattress also has a cooling gel layer that’s good for those who tend to get hot in the night and is also said to provide good support for your spine.
Word on the street
- “Initially I wanted a tempurpedic but after much research, we decided to try loom and leaf–the price point and organic materials were the two main reasons. Wow, after two weeks I am sleeping the best I have slept in years. My husband gets up a lot at night, and this used to wake me every time it seemed. Now, I do not wake and cannot even feel when he gets up out of bed! I love waking feeling refreshed, and I absolutely love this mattress.” – Meridith K.
- “We are so happy to have discovered this mattress! I had been suffering from lower back pain for the last several months, and simply couldn’t get comfortable during the night. I would toss and turn every 30 minutes or so, leaving both me and my poor husband exhausted by morning. I wanted a TempurPedic but the price tag was not an option for me. When I learned about the Loom and Leaf mattress, I had to give it a shot! And I’m so glad I did! You can truly feel your back being supported, and the mattress just cradles you right in the position you want to lay in. Perfect balance of soft foam and firm support. Sleeps cool, as far as I can tell. And I loved that there was NO odor when it arrived, unlike another brand we had tried previously.” – Jennifer C.
- “Hank & I have been together for just over 6 months, and it really has been #loveatfirstsleep. He is firm, but at the same time soft. I miss him whenever I am away. I am basically Goldilocks, and Hank is just right. (By the way, Hank is my Queen, relaxed Firm bed. Yes, I love my mattress so much, that I named him.) I see a chiropractor regularly, and the bed has helped wonders!” – Charlotte T.
- Loom & Leaf sizes available:
- Queen: $1,099
- King: $1,499
- Cal King: $1,499
- Twin: $699
- Twin XL: $799
- Full: $949
- What’s inside: The Loom & Leaf is available in two different levels of firmness: relaxed firm (6/10 on the firmness scale) and firm (8/10). Relaxed firm is the most popular choice among customers and our recommendation for side sleepers. Here’s how the Loom & Leaf is constructed:
- 1 – Organic cotton covering
- 2 – Cooling spinal gel
- 3 – Eco-friendly premium foam
- 4 – Dual layer breathable support base
- Delivery and setup: Delivery of the Loom & Leaf mattress can take up to 15 days, but it comes with free white-glove delivery and set-up. Saatva will also remove your old mattress at no cost if you have one to get rid of.
- Foundation: You’ll want a flat surface to place your Loom & Leaf mattress. If your box spring/foundation is in very good condition, meaning it’s sturdy and isn’t sagging, it should work ﬁne.
- Return Policy: If you decide the Loom & Leaf isn’t for you during your 120-day trial period, it can be returned for a full refund of the purchase price, less a $99 handling fee.
A few words from us
- The Helix mattress is created just for you based on the results of a simple quiz that both you and your sleeping partner can complete in just a few minutes.
- It factors in the size and sleeping preference of the people who will be sleeping on it to determine things like firmness, support and pressure point relief, making it a great fit for side sleepers.
- Helix’s ‘dual comfort’ option means that each side of the bed can be distinctly different based on the unique needs of you and your partner. This will add $150 to your mattress total and an additional 2-3 days to the shipping time.
- Alternatively, Helix can create a ‘blended mattress’ that’s designed by finding a happy medium between the sleep needs and preferences of you and your partner.
Word on the street
- “We LOVE our Helix mattress! My husband prefers for his to be more firm and I like it a bit softer and that was always tricky for us. Now, no problem at all! We sleep like babies.” – Viktoriya K.
- “Their product is the best I’ve ever experienced and I have previously bought a number of very expensive and unsuccessful products in trying to solve my mattress and sleep problems. Their mattress solved a very painful hip contact problem on a top-rated memory foam mattress, that caused me to constantly awaken and rotate from side to side all night, because of the severe hip pain. Problem now solved.”
- “I got the Helix after trying out a competitor’s mattress. This is the best mattress that I have slept on. Great support, cool sleeping temp, and very comfortable. I would recommend this mattress to anyone looking for the complete package.” – Bill B.
- Helix sizes available:
- Queen: $995
- King: $1,195
- Cal King: $1,195
- Twin: $600
- Twin XL: $700
- Full: $850
- What’s inside: To customize your Helix bed, you’ll take a simple, 2-3-minute sleep quiz to help build the best mattress for your needs. If you sleep with a partner, you can build a blended mattress OR each one of you can have your individual side customized (dual comfort). While the Helix is customizable to meet your personal preferences, there are three consistent materials used to craft this mattress:
- Helix dynamic foam – hybrid of memory foam and latex which offers great body contouring and cooling properties.
- Pocketed micro coils – hundreds of miniature coils to help with weight distribution and pressure relief. These are packaged differently than innerspring coils so motion transfer is still reduced.
- Dense polyfoam – strong and durable base layer.
- Delivery: The Helix mattress ships free in the U.S. and usually takes 6-10 business days. If you choose the dual comfort option, this will add another 2-3 days to the shipping timeline.
- Setup: Once your Helix arrives, simply remove the mattress from the box and set it on your foundation while it’s still encased in plastic. Then, remove the mattress from its plastic wrapping, give it 45 minutes to an hour to regain its shape.
- Foundation: Works with most foundations and frames but is most compatible with flat surfaces because it is still a foam mattress.
- Return Policy: If you are unhappy with your Helix mattress within the first 100 days, you can return it for a full refund. Helix will make every effort to donate lightly used mattresses to charities and housing facilities. If you feel like your Helix mattress is too soft or too firm after the 30-day break-in period, Helix will provide a complimentary soft or firm topper that you can add overtop of your mattress during your 100-night trial. This doesn’t void the trial in any way, and you can still process a return/refund if you continue having issues.
A few words from us
- Medium-firm in feel, the Brentwood Home Bamboo Gel Memory Foam mattress contains 2.5 inches of gel memory foam that protects the joints by relieving pressure and pain as you sleep.
- This mattress contours to the body and keeps the spine aligned while responding to movement so you don’t sink in.
- It’s a good choice for side sleepers as well as couples whose sleep positions differ.
- This mattress is also good for people who sleep hot, as it contains cooling gel memory foam and a ventilated airflow layer.
Word on the street
- “We knew it was a risk to buy something as necessary as a mattress online, but we were persuaded by all the other positive reviews and I also did my research online. We didn’t have any experience with foam mattresses except for a 3″ foam topper that our daughter used in college. This mattress is impressive! It is thicker than most foam mattresses that cost twice as much. My husband sleeps on his back or side and has pain in his hip joints that our old mattress just made worse. He has been soooo happy with this one. I was always being awakened because he used to toss and turn trying to get comfortable. With this mattress I don’t even know when he rolls around or gets out of bed!”
- “This bed is firm yet soft, So a perfect balance between both for a great night of sleep. I was expecting it to be a decent bed since the price wasn’t too bad but instead I got a bed that could of easily cost 2.5x more. The bed expanded very quickly, less than a day, and had no foul smell like a lot of tempurpedics.”
- “Amazing! Most comfortable mattress I’ve ever had. I can sleep on my side again for the first time in 10 years. I have not woken with back pain since I started sleeping on this mattress!”
- Brentwood Home sizes available:
- Split Queen 10”: $507.27
- Split Queen 13”: $533.80
- Full XL 10”: $460.45
- Full XL 11”: $451.43
- Split King 11”: $622.09
- Split California King 13”: $732.23
- What’s inside: The Brentwood Home Bamboo Gel Mattress is a multi-layer mattress containing:
- Removable bamboo derived rayon cover: This soft, durable, and toxin-free cover can easily be removed for care and replaced.
- 5-Inch gel memory foam: Evenly distributes weight across the mattress, relieving pressure point pain, and isolates motion so it doesn’t disturb your partner. Free of toxic chemicals.
- Ventilated airflow layer: This 2-inch region of the mattress provides breathability, keeping you comfortable and cool.
- Base foam: The 6.5-inch solid support base supports weight, minimizes motion transfer, and limits noise generated by movement.
- Delivery: Free delivery is available through Amazon.com.
- Setup: The Brentwood Home Bamboo Gel Mattress comes compressed and rolled in a box for shipping and is easy to set up.
- Foundation: This mattress should be placed on a flat surface such as a flat platform, slatted base, adjustable base, or box spring.
- Return Policy: This mattress is available exclusively through Amazon and is subject to Amazon’s 30-day return policy.
A few words from us
- The top layer of the Layla mattress is infused with copper, which helps keeps you cool and is known to help reduce joint inflammation and ease joint pain/stiffness at the shoulders, hips, and other areas where your body tends to sink into the mattress.
- With the Layla mattress, you can actually sleep on either side of the mattress, depending which level of firmness you prefer. We recommend side sleepers try the soft side first. If that doesn’t feel comfortable, give the firm side a try.
Word on the street
- “The best mattress I’ve ever slept on. My partner and I were close to getting a Tempurpedic mattress, but decided to give Layla a try first and I’m so glad we did! My partner is more of a firm mattress guy and I’m all over the place. My preference tends to vary from soft/medium to medium/firm. However, we haven’t even flipped the Layla yet, as we’ve both been enjoying sleeping on the “soft” side. It’s beyond comfortable, sleeps cool and we couldn’t be happier.” – Danny G.
- “The Layla has amazing support. We use the firm side. Can’t even feel my husband tossing and turning.” – Sheri M.
- “I have owned 2 memory foam beds from Bragada and Amerisleep–both slept warm. This Layla mattress is my 3rd and it does not sleep warm. I sleep on my back and left side and it is very comfortable. I am recovering from a herniated disc in my neck and have been able to sleep 6-7 hours a night after only 4 nights of interrupted sleep from pain. I will only own memory foam mattresses, because they move with your body and I have little to no issues with my arms falling asleep and causing numbness. I will only own a memory foam mattress and so far Layla has been the best. Customer service was helpful when I called with one question too. Thank’s Layla!!” – Brenda W.
- Layla sizes available:
- Queen: $940
- King: $1,070
- Cal King: $1,070
- Twin: $525
- Twin XL: $625
- Full: $790
- What’s inside: Knowing that you can flip the mattress, we’ll describe the four layers inside the Layla mattress. All layers are surrounded by a thermo-gel cooling cover. (Note: the more you cover the mattress with a mattress protector, topper and/or sheets, the less likely you are to reap the benefits of the cooling cover.)
- Soft side – copper-infused memory foam provides comfort and cooling
- Convoluted air flow layer – softer density foam provides air flow and heat dissipation
- Base support foam – firm density foam that provides the overall support
- Firm side – copper-infused memory foam provides firmer feel and cooling
- Delivery: Most customers in the lower 48 states can expect their new Layla mattress to arrive in 4-7 business days from the day they order with free shipping. *There is a $100 shipping fee for Alaska and Hawaii customers.
- Setup: The Layla mattress comes compressed, rolled and boxed. You will simply unbox the mattress, unroll it on your foundation, and wait for it to expand. If you decide to change the firmness, you should unzip and remove the cover, flip the mattress over, then zip the cover back on.
- Foundation: Layla recommends these options: put it on the floor, use a traditional bed that requires a box spring, get a platform bed, or try an adjustable bed frame. Read more about what Layla suggests putting under your mattress.
- Return Policy: After at least two weeks, and before four months of the purchase date; If you decide that you don’t love your Layla mattress, they’ll pick it up from you and issue you a full refund. They will donate all returned mattresses to charity so there are no restocking fees.
Side sleepers: you deserve a mattress that will support your spine and pressure points, and help you wake up feeling well-rested and pain-free. We hope this guide helped you to narrow down your search for the perfect mattress, but if you’re not ready to invest in a new mattress yet, you can also explore adding a mattress topper to maximize comfort. Leave your questions in the comments below and we’ll get back to you shortly!
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.