Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers (2020): 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, there are many mattresses for you to choose from. In this guide, we’ll share reviews of our 7 top-rated mattresses for side sleepers. Then, we’ll help you figure out everything you should know when shopping for an online mattress for side sleepers in our buyer’s guide.

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Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Each bed-in-a-box mattress we’ve reviewed here has 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.

All of our top picks have been evaluated in our Mattress Lab and tested on 14 different factors, one of the most comprehensive scoring systems in the industry. We’ve tested over 150 mattresses, spending at least 5 hours with each mattress from start to finish.

After well over 750 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. Puffy Lux Mattress

Puffy Lux

Editor's Choice

Best for:

  • People who sleep with a partner or pet
  • Side sleepers with hip pain
  • Hot sleepers

We have slept more sound and more comfortable than anticipated with our new Puffy mattress."

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

Medium-soft to medium: 5.5 - 7

Trial Period

101 days

The recently launched Puffy Lux is Puffy’s “one-step up” mattress model. Made complete with Puffy’s patent-pending Cooling Cloud Foam™, this mattress not only sleeps comfortably but is also cool. However, it’s the motion isolation that makes one of the best mattresses for couples.

This memory foam mattress 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 foam comfort layer called ClimateComfort 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.

Read our full Puffy Lux mattress review.


2. Saatva Mattress

Saatva

Best Pillow Top Mattress

Best for:

  • Side sleepers with shoulder pain
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
  • People who want a luxury mattress

This was the best decision ever. I received it sooner than expected and we love it."

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

Rated the best pillow top mattress on our list for side sleepers, the luxury euro pillow top offers the perfect cushion for hip and shoulder pain. The Saatva mattress features 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.

When you purchase a Saatva mattress, you can customize it to meet your needs by changing the height and picking from the various firmness levels and sizes. 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, you will find even more impressive traits. It’s 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 makes its way into our best mattresses for seniors list 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 luxury shopping experience!

Read our full Saatva mattress review.


3. Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Mattress

Brooklyn Aurora

Best for Pressure Relief

Best for:

  • Heavy side sleepers
  • People who need different firmness options
  • Hot sleepers who need cooling layers

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."

Tara
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

The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora mattress is one of our overall favorites at Mattress Advisor. This hybrid mattress is available in three firmness levels: plush, medium, and firm—we suggest side sleepers check out the medium level.

The medium mattress firmness option is a great for side sleepers because it will contour to your body and provide pressure relief for your hips and shoulders. It offers 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 a mattress you can find comfort on for years to come.

Read our full Brooklyn Aurora mattress review.


4. Nectar Mattress

Nectar

Best Budget Mattress

Best for:

  • Those looking for a wallet-friendly mattress
  • Side and back combination sleepers
  • Hot sleepers who need a breathable mattress

This mattress saved my back."

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

Medium firm: 5.5-6/10

Trial Period

365 days

The Nectar mattress is rated the best mattress for budget shoppers on our list. Nectar’s quilted gel memory foam comfort layer provides great pressure relief and motion isolation at a great price point. The base layer is breathable to allow airflow through the foam bed.

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 lack of motion transfer helps you sleep soundly, so you don’t have to be disturbed by their movements.

The Nectar is our favorite cheap 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 during the trial period in the comfort of your own home before deciding if you’d like to keep it.

 

Read our full Nectar mattress review.


5. Casper Mattress

Casper

Best for Back Pain

Best for:

  • Pressure point relief
  • Couples with different sleep styles
  • People with back pain due to poor alignment

Now I understand why people look forward to getting in their beds at night."

Tyler
Customer Rating
4.5 / 5
MA Score
9.1 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 days

Being a universal mattress, the Casper is a bed that has a lot of great things going for it. But, it’s the pressure relieving properties and zoned support that gives it our best mattress for back pain accolade. The zoned support memory foam layer contours to your pressure points and provides extra support.

Casper scored a perfect 10 out of 10 in our responsiveness test, meaning it is great for any sleep position—ideal for couples who have different sleeping positions and side sleepers who are also combination sleepers. This memory foam mattress also has a nearly perfect score in spine alignment, allowing side sleepers to have a completely straight spine as they sleep.

Read our full Casper mattress review.


6. Nolah Original Mattress

Nolah

Best for Spine Alignment

Best for:

  • Providing proper alignment for those with back pain
  • People who need good edge support
  • Couples who need to keep motion transfer at bay

This side-sleeper was suffering with back pain and the Nolah mattress has helped a lot."

Emlyn A.
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
8.9 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 5 - 6 /10

Trial Period

120 days

The Nolah memory foam mattress is made with a special type of patented AirFoam that helps to absorb pressure, particularly in your shoulders and hips when you sleep on your side. Nolah was just shy of a perfect score for spine alignment in our lab testing as well.

Another thing that sets Nolah apart is its superior responsiveness. Its comfort 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.

Read our full Nolah mattress review.


7. Helix Midnight Mattress

Helix

Best Cooling Mattress

Best for:

  • People who sleep hot
  • Restless side sleepers
  • Couples who need pressure relief

My first night sleep felt like I had somehow landed on a cloud."

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

Customizable: Varies based on selection

Trial Period

100 days

The Helix Midnight mattress makes its way into our list as the best cooling mattresses for hot sleepers. Helix features their Soft Touch Design technology to provide maximum breathability for optimal airflow and a cool night’s sleep. 

Helix has more than just cooling going for it. The top layer of memory foam is designed to be pressure relieving for your hips and shoulders, something side sleepers need in order to avoid aches and pains. The pocketed coils limit motion transfer, so couples can sleep soundly, and they add superior edge support. Its medium firmness provides the perfect support for side sleepers by keeping them aligned.

You also get a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty with your Helix Midnight purchase, so there is little risk in giving it a try.

Read our full Helix 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

The Best Type of Mattress for Side Sleeping

All mattress types are not created equal when it comes to what is best for side sleepers. Learn which types of mattress materials are good for side sleepers and which ones don’t work so well.

Memory Foam Mattress

Most types of mattresses designed for side sleepers are made with some blend of memory foam: standard, latex, or gel memory foam. Memory foam mattresses are completely constructed from layers of memory foam, no other materials. The top and mid layers are made for comfort; the base layer is usually made of high-density polyfoam to add durability.

Occasionally, these mattresses will be infused with copper, gel, or graphite to provide extra cooling and pain relief benefits. Memory foam is known to be an excellent material for evenly distributing weight and minimizing pain at pressure points. It also supports the natural curve of your spine.

Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring mattresses consist of a coil spring system cushioned by foam on either side. While coils are great at providing bounce and support, they aren’t good at relieving pressure.

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, look for a hybrid mattress with a soft top layer to hug your body.

Latex Mattress

Latex mattresses use latex foam as their main feature. Latex foam can be derived from either natural latex or synthetic latex; regardless, the material is cooling, buoyant, and pressure relieving. Organic latex foam provides a good base for some of the best organic mattresses for side sleepers.

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—great for side sleepers who also find that they are back or stomach sleepers.

Hybrid Mattress

A hybrid mattress may be a good choice if you are a side sleeper who likes the feel of an innerspring mattress. The best hybrid mattress for side sleepers provides the supportive bounce from the coil construction but utilizes other mattress materials for comfort and contouring.

Hybrid beds often have layers of high-quality foam (either latex foam, memory foam, or both) that expertly hugs hips and shoulders for pressure and pain relief.

What to Look for in a Mattress for Side Sleepers

Everyone has unique needs that must 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 and health, 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.

Pressure Relief

Side sleepers naturally put more weight on their hips, thighs, and shoulders as they lie down, causing those areas to be pressure sensitive over time. That’s why side sleepers should search for a pressure-relieving mattress to keep away morning aches and pains—especially if you’re prone to hip pain and shoulder pain.

Read More: How to Ease Shoulder Pain from Sleeping

The right amount of pushback in your mattress will 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 also 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 individual mattress review pages.

Read More: Why is Pressure Relief so Important?

Spine Alignment

It’s important for side sleepers to select a mattress that will hug their bodies in the right places but not cause them to sink into the mattress too far. A mattress that pushes back just enough when you lie down will support your body’s natural curves and keep your spine aligned.

This is especially helpful for side sleepers with lower back pain. When your spine is out of alignment, gravity pushes down on the unsupported area, giving a similar result to having poor posture while standing. Over time, this leads to back pain and trouble sleeping. Side sleepers should have a perfectly straight spine from their neck all the way to the base of their spine.

Read More: Why Spine Alignment is Important

Firmness

Side sleepers should avoid an extremely firm or extremely soft mattress. 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. Side sleepers tend to prefer a softer 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 Sleeping

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

Sleep on your 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.”

Related: Best Mattress for Pregnancy

Back sleepers with sleep apnea looking to change their position should consider side sleeping. When you sleep on your back, the throat muscles relax, and your tongue lulls back, blocking your airways, contributing to sleep apnea. When you switch to your side, it opens up your airways without messing with your alignment.

Sleeping stretched out rather in the fetal position is also a good practice to start; it’s better for your alignment as well.

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.

Choose a Good Topper

Side sleepers can also benefit from using a mattress topper with their bed. Mattress toppers add an extra layer of cushion and comfort to the surface of the mattress and are a good option for side sleepers looking to make their mattress softer. The best mattress toppers for side sleepers are made up of either memory foam or latex foam. These foam accessories offer contouring pressure relief to the shoulders and hips of side sleepers.


Summary

We hope we’ve helped lead all you side sleepers out there to the mattress of your dreams. As a reminder, here are our top picks for the best mattresses for side sleepers:

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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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