The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

By Chloe Niles

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.

Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

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.

Mattress
Award
Leesa
Editor’s Pick
Puffy Lux
Best Value
Nectar
Best Budget
Helix Midnight
Best Luxury
Nolah
Best for Pain Relief
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora
Best for Hot Sleepers
Tuft & Needle Mint
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 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.  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’s 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

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. 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 spine 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 above to get an exclusive Mattress Advisor discount.


2.  The Puffy Lux

Puffy Lux

Best Value
  • 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
9.3 / 10
Firmness

Medium-soft to medium: 5.5 - 7

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.

The standard price for a queen-size Puffy Lux mattress is $1,595 but if you click the link above, we can save you $300 bucks!


3.  The Nectar Mattress

Nectar

Best Budget
  • 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
8.7 / 10
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.


4.  The Helix Midnight

Helix Midnight LUXE

Best Luxury
  • 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
4.5 / 5
MA Score
8.9 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 days

What We Love About the Helix Midnight

The Helix Midnight is one of many mattress models offered by Helix. The Midnight model is a popular option for side sleepers because of its ergonomic support and exceptional pressure relief – something we all know by now is super important for a side sleeper. 

If a mattress is too soft, side sleepers will sink into the bed in all the wrong places. If it’s too firm, your body won’t have any room to sink into a natural position. What we love about the Helix Midnight is that it found a happy medium. The Helix Midnight will cradle your body and support the heavier parts of your body that need it most to keep your body properly supported in your sleep.

The hybrid design combining foam and innerspring coils also helps to provide the freedom of movement that you would experience sleeping on an innerspring mattress. So you won’t feel trapped like some sleepers do in a fully memory foam mattress, or like the surface is too stiff like some do on an innerspring. Instead, you get the best of both worlds in this hybrid design.


5.  The Nolah Mattress

Nolah

Best for Pain Relief
  • 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

Nolah Highlights

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 above to get an exclusive Mattress Advisor discount.


6.  Brooklyn Aurora

Brooklyn Aurora

Best for Hot Sleepers
  • 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

What Makes the Brooklyn Aurora Great

The Brooklyn Aurora mattress is one of our overall favorites at Mattress Advisor. It’s available in three firmness options, but we suggest side sleepers check out the medium level. The medium mattress firmness option is ideal 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 above to get an exclusive Mattress Advisor discount.


7. Tuft & Needle Mint

Tuft & Needle Mint

Best for Back Pain
  • Referred to as the “enhanced” Tuft & Needle mattress, the Mint mattress is one-step up from the original Tuft & Needle — but still priced economically.
  • The Adaptive® Foam in the Mint mattress is made with 30% more heat-wicking graphite than the original Tuft & Needle mattress, helping you stay cool throughout the night.
  • The Mint mattress scored especially high on spine alignment and responsiveness – making it a great option for side and 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

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.


What’s the Best Type of Mattress for Side Sleepers? 

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.

Best Mattress Materials for Side Sleepers

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.

Why Pressure Relieving Properties Matter

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.

Finding the Right Firmness Level

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 mattress will suit a side sleeper best.


Sleep 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.

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.

Best Mattresses for Sides Sleepers (Runners-Up)

Sheets by a Window

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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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