Best Mattress For Side Sleepers

Trust Zoma for expert insights on sleep wellness. Our dedicated team, including sleep science coaches, engineers, and product evaluators, meticulously investigates mattresses using our athlete-informed product methodology. We provide precise and trustworthy articles, continually updating content with the latest scientific breakthroughs. Count on us for top-rated, personally reviewed mattresses that prioritize comfort and performance, elevating your rest to its highest potential.

Buying Guide for Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

  • Firmness Level: Aim for a mattress with medium to medium-soft firmness to ensure proper contouring and pressure relief, especially on the hips and shoulders.
  • Targeted Support Zones: Look for mattresses featuring memory foam or latex layers with targeted support zones, designed to align with the body’s natural curves and provide adequate support for side sleepers.
  • Advanced Cooling Features: Opt for mattresses equipped with advanced cooling technologies to prevent overheating, as side sleepers may experience increased pressure on certain areas, leading to discomfort and heat buildup.

Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position. It offers many health benefits but comes with some unique challenges, as well.

A quality mattress for a side sleeper addresses these difficulties and promotes a good night of sleep.

We made this guide to help side sleepers know what they should look for in the right mattress.

We discuss health needs to keep in mind, features to look for, and types of mattresses that may be able to meet the needs of a side sleeper.

Top 10 Mattresses for Side Sleepers:

Below is a list of top 10 mattresses for side sleepers:

Overall Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

1. Zoma Boost

zoma boost
  • Price Range: $1349-$2748
  • Made In USA: Yes
  • Motion Isolation: Yes
  • Available Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal. King, Split King
Warranty
10-years
Sleep Trial
100 Nights
Shipping
Free
Recommended For
  • People who sleep on the side and need more neck support,
  • People who have desk jobs and work their shoulders all day long,
  • People who have back issues.
Zoma Boost Highlights
  • Pain relief for hip and neck
  • Memory foam for comfort
  • Cooling technology for regulating temperature

Zoma Boost is an excellent choice for side sleepers because of its many features. Zoma Boost is a luxurious hybrid one with a 15-inch thickness.

We noticed that the mattress absorbs motion and has a cool layer to ensure that you do not get uncomfortable due to heat. Zoma Boost claims to work for back pain, and that means good support for side sleepers.

The features that make Zoma Boost unique are the Reactiv response layer, and the Zoned Edge coil support, which keeps the spine neutral by taking weight off and supporting the body.

Our review comes from a team of side sleepers who tried this mattress for posture, quality of sleep, and overall experience. Zoma Boost is the opener for the list because of the following reasons:

  • Zoma is the best choice because of the thick cooling cover,
  • It has a supportive coil system, which keeps the back straight.
  • The motion absorbers ensure that you get a good night’s sleep without any bounce and vibration in the mattress.
  • Moisture-wicking cover to keep you dry and comfortable.

Zoma Boost is made of graphite-infused memory foam, which will keep your back supported without putting pressure on the shoulders or hips.

As mentioned earlier, the best mattress for side sleepers should sink in the shoulders and relieve pressure from the hip area to ensure the spine remains straight while you sleep. If your shoulders come in line with the hip as you turn to sleep, the spine will get good rest and you will wake up fresh, and happy.

Moreover, the mattress is infused with cooling fibers to ensure deep sleep as your body temperature remains the same.

We liked the heat dissipation factor because it is uncomfortable getting up with a sweaty or moist feeling and can instantly mark a poor start for the day.

As soon as you lie down on the mattress and face the side, the mattress takes form against your body. Our team was all praised, and seeing the features is no surprise.

Pros

  • Is dust-mite-free and easy to clean.
  • Comes in various sizes and is customizable.
  • Zoma Sleep has an active website, and you can shop online.

Cons

  • The thickness cannot be changed without additional charge.
  • Zoma Sleep is not a bed in a bag, so you must wait for the shipping.

Best Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers

2. Ameri Sleep AS5

amerisleep as2
  • Price Range: $2099 - $3848
  • Made in USA: Yes
  • Motion Isolation: Yes
  • Available Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal. King, Split King
Warranty
20 years
Sleep Trial
100 Nights
Shipping
Free
Recommended For
  • Discerning Sleepers
  • Individuals Seeking Maximum Comfort
  • Those with Specific Sleep Preferences
Highlights
  • Luxurious Bio-Pur® Material
  • Innovative HIVE® Technology

At Amerisleep, manufacturer recognizes the profound importance of quality sleep for overall well-being. With this in mind, AS5 has been designed to deliver unrivaled levels of comfort and support, allowing the users to awaken each morning feeling utterly revitalized and invigorated. We found AS5 to be expertly tailored to cater distinct sleep preferences and requirements.

A standout feature of the AS5 lies in its revolutionary Bio-Pur® material, intelligently designed to conform seamlessly to the natural contours of your body while facilitating optimal airflow for a cooler, more restful sleep environment.

Our reviewers consider the AS5 offers more than just sumptuous comfort—it also integrates cutting-edge HIVE® technology, strategically providing targeted support to vital areas of your body, promoting correct spinal alignment, and alleviating pressure points.

  • Luxurious Comfort Tailored for Side Sleepers: The Amerisleep AS5 stands out for its exceptional comfort, specifically designed to cater to the needs of side sleepers. Its plush feel and targeted support make it an ideal choice for those who favor sleeping on their side, providing the necessary cushioning and alignment for a restful night’s sleep.
  • Advanced Bio-Pur® Material Conforms to Body Curves: The AS5 features Amerisleep’s innovative Bio-Pur® material, which adapts to the body’s natural contours while promoting airflow for a cooler sleep surface. This responsive foam provides personalized comfort and pressure relief, ensuring that side sleepers experience optimal support and comfort throughout the night.
  • Targeted Support with HIVE® Technology: Incorporating HIVE® technology, the AS5 offers targeted support to key areas of the body, including the hips and shoulders. This ensures proper spinal alignment and alleviates pressure points, allowing side sleepers to wake up feeling refreshed and free of aches and pains.
  • Bio-Pur® Material for Enhanced Comfort and Airflow: The AS5 is crafted with Amerisleep’s proprietary Bio-Pur® material, a responsive foam that contours to the body’s shape while promoting breathability. This eco-friendly foam is designed to provide superior comfort and support, making it an ideal choice for side sleepers seeking pressure relief and temperature regulation.
  • HIVE® Technology for Targeted Support and Spinal Alignment: Featuring HIVE® technology, the AS5 incorporates hundreds of hexagonal-shaped segments to provide targeted support and promote proper spinal alignment. This innovative design ensures that side sleepers receive optimal support where they need it most, reducing pressure points and enhancing overall comfort.

The AS5 offers a plush feel that is particularly well-suited for side sleepers. Its soft yet supportive surface gently cradles the body, providing a comfortable and contouring sleep experience. Side sleepers will appreciate the mattress’s ability to relieve pressure points and promote proper spinal alignment, ensuring a restful night’s sleep.

AS5’s advanced design and materials delivers excellent breathability and temperature regulation. The Bio-Pur® foam and HIVE® technology work together to promote airflow and dissipate heat, creating a cool and comfortable sleep environment for side sleepers.

Pros

  • Exceptional Comfort and Support for Side Sleepers
  • Advanced Cooling Technology for a Refreshing Sleep Experience
  • Long-Term Durability with 20-Year Warranty

Cons

  • May Feel Too Soft for Those Preferring Firm Mattresses
  • Initial Off-Gassing Odor Reported by Some Users

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Hip Pain

3. Nolah Evolution Original 10-inch

nolah original
  • Price Range: $999 - $2398
  • Made in USA: Yes
  • Motion Isolation: Yes
  • Available Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal. King, Split King
Warranty
Lifetime
Sleep Trial
120 Nights
Shipping
Free
Recommended For
  • Side sleepers who need extra cushioning
  • People who like a softer cover
  • People with hip pain
Nolah Evolution Highlights
  • Zoned mattress for deep sleep
  • Best all-foam cooling mattress
  • Best Bedding Award winner

The Nolah Original 10” is a great pick for side sleepers because the mattress contours and supports the body to make sleepers feel fresh when they get up. The medium-firm foam is just what side sleepers need to support their back and neck.

We found that The Nolah Original has resilient foam with breathable layers, which makes it an exceptional pick for those who like to feel breezy and like an aerated mattress. The gentle contouring will give your spine good support while the flexible layers lift the body weight to provide sleepers the ease and relaxation they want.

Our team’s reaction to this mattress was pleasant, as they liked many features. Here is a look at some prominent features:

  • AirFoam for a soothing sleep as the mattress remains cool and breathable.
  • Tencel covers to keep moisture away and give you a dry mattress all night.
  • Our team found the 10” thickness to be better than the thicker foams, which give an elevation.
  • Nolah Original has comfort zones, which means support around the shoulders and neck for side sleepers.

Nolah Original is made of different layers of foam with unique technology, such as Tencel on the surface and Airfoam in the middle. This means that as you sleep, a cooling effect will not affect moisture build-up while build-up can maintain its temperature.

Side sleepers can get sweaty, especially near the neck or under the shoulders, and this foam ensures that you do not wake up feeling warm and uncomfortable.

We loved this mattress for all these reasons. Additionally, the mattress provides pressure relief, which makes the sleeper relaxed and free from all tensions while they sleep so they can get up fresh and alert.

Pros

  • The Nolah Original offers contouring, and that is needed for side sleepers.
  • The top layer is quite comfortable for all users.
  • Excellent customer service.

Cons

  • Nolah Original is more expensive than other mattresses of the same thickness.
  • There is only one thickness available.

Best Luxury Mattress for Side Sleepers

4. Saatva Classic Mattress

saatva classic
  • Price Range: $935-$2450
  • Made in USA: Yes
  • Motion Isolation: Yes
  • Available Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal. King, Split King, Split Cal King
Warranty
Lifetime
Sleep Trial
365 Nights
Shipping
Free
Recommended For
  • People who prefer spring mattresses
  • Individuals who need heavyweight mattresses
  • People with neck and hip pain.
Saatva Classic Highlights
  • Three Firmness Levels
  • Dual layer innerspring
  • Boosts pressure relief

Saatva has the most popular innerspring mattress, which is made with memory foam and a sturdy spring coil, which will provide the proper support.

The coil-on-coil system gives this mattress the firmness that side sleepers need. You cannot rely on a mattress that sinks from the middle, so the selection has to be wise.

Our team’s response was excellent, as this mattress has all the features essential for side sleepers.

Saatva Classic is a true classic as it provides all the right features for side sleepers. Our team was more than happy with this mattress, which meant that it was a definite choice.

  • Firstly, the firmness of the mattress is great, and it supports all side sleepers who need support near the neck and hip area.
  • Moreover, the innerspring provides the lift to keep the spine aligned by providing the right support throughout the length.
  • This mattress is excellent for heavyweight sleepers as it does not press in when support is needed.
  • You can get varying thicknesses in this mattress.

Saatva Classic has a strong fiber composition, free from any toxic material. Moreover, the multiple layers of foam are made of natural, processed fiber, but no fiberglass composition.

The coil-on-coil make-up of the mattress makes it unique. The foundation layer has reinforced edge support, keeping the mattress new.

We review every product by forming a team of people who would give an insight into the features that are needed for a particular nature.

In this case, side sleepers selected this product because of the varying thicknesses and a sturdy innerspring that supports the sleeper.

The hot sleepers will find this mattress the best because of its cooling technology. If you suffer from back pain, the side sleeping posture will be easy with this foam because of its support.

Pros

  • Saatva Classic is designed for light and heavyweight users.
  • It is long-lasting and can be repaired easily.
  • The different models offer varying thicknesses.

Cons

Cons

  • The customer service may be slow.
  • Shipping is not 100% free if you live far away.

Best Value Mattress for Side Sleepers

5. Helix Sunset Mattress

helix sunset
  • Price Range: $936 - $1748
  • Made in USA: Yes
  • Motion Isolation: No
  • Available Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal. King, RV King
Warranty
10-15 Years
Sleep Trial
100 Nights
Shipping
Free
Recommended For
  • People who prefer breathable mattresses
  • Those who want an extra layer of comfort with cooling fabric
  • Toss and turners who do not like the extra bounce in their mattress
Highlights
  • Soft memory foam layers
  • GlacioTex for a cool touch
  • Zero fiberglass composition

Helix says it has the perfect mattress for you, and our team agreed. The different features that make the Sunset unique include the side sleeper advantage through pressure point relief, and the breathe knit cover, which allows sleepers to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Moreover, the GlaxioTex cooling cover.

The breathable knit cover and the deep layers of Helix Sunset ensure that the spine gets comfortable support.

Our team liked Helix Sunset, and here are some of the top reasons.

  • Full support for the spine,
  • The soft pressure relieving memory foam layers.
  • If you sleep on the side, there are pockets that trap air and make you feel warm. However, our team of reviewers said that this mattress is cool to the touch and does not let sleepers feel warm or uncomfortable.

The mattress cover is made with Glacio Tex technology, while the inner foam layers are copper gel foam and Helix’s signature responsive foam. The DuraDense foam layer at the bottom is to keep the mattress thick. You will like this mattress for its various features, which are specially designed for side sleepers.

Our list of best mattresses for side sleepers is all about quality, comfort, and support for your spine and shoulders to ensure you wake up fresh. Helix Sunset is all about the best experience, and that is why our review team liked it as much as the top names in the market.

Pros

  • Available in different sizes
  • Zero fiberglass for better composition and eco-friendly product
  • Designed especially for side sleepers

Cons

  • There is no financing available.
  • Customer service can be slow

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain

6. WinkBed Luxury Hybrid Mattress

winkbeds luxury hybrid mattress
  • Price Range: $1149 - $2079
  • Made in USA: Yes
  • Motion Isolation: No
  • Available Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Cal. King
Warranty
Lifetime
Sleep Trial
Yes
Shipping
Free
Recommended For
  • Side sleepers with back pain.
  • People with heavier postures
  • People who like hotel mattresses
WinkBed Luxury Hybrid Highlights
  • Eucalyptus derived Tencel cover
  • Moisture-free soft cover
  • Individually wrapped pocketed coils

WinkBed is a hand-made mattress with excellent engineering for those with back issues. This brand is known for being a choice in hotels, and that is sufficient for anyone to understand its ability to support heavy and light-frame people.

The WinkBed features include extra edge support and a Euro-pillow top, which gives the neck and shoulders the proper support.

We selected this because Our team reviewed this mattress, and here are the features that made it a top choice:

  • Individually wrapped pocketed coils to provide support to the back and neck.
  • Good pushback with a top layer to help the coils support the bone structure and reduce pressure.
  • The cool layer prevents the mattress from becoming warm for the sleeper to feel uncomfortable.

The WinkBed comprises several layers of coils, foam, and a Tencel cover made with eucalyptus-derived fibers to keep you cool. All the layers support each other, and the top, softer layer helps sleepers sink in their shoulders to enjoy a flatbed that provides equal support to shoulders and hips by distributing pressure.

WinkBed Luxury feels amazing as it has a luxury cover and layers of good quality material. We liked this mattress for all the reasons that make it a good support for the spine and neck. Side sleepers require extra support due to the gel-infused Hypersoft foam. Moreover, the price and shipping make WinkBed a good choice.

Pros

  • Good for heavy or light people.
  • The Hypersoft foam does not retain heat and ensures deep sleep.
  • The mattress cover is Tencel-derived, making it more comfortable and free from moisture or dust mites.

Cons

  • Takes more days to ship.
  • Is more expensive than other brands.

Best Hybrid Mattress for Side Sleepers

7. Bear Elite Hybrid

bear elite hybrid mattress
  • Price Range: $1893 - $3920
  • Made in USA: Yes
  • Motion Isolation: Yes
  • Available Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal. King, Split King
Warranty
Lifetime
Sleep Trial
120 Nights
Shipping
Free
Recommended For
  • Couples who want comfort and zoned-support
  • People looking for cooling features
  • People who like hotel mattresses
Highlights
  • Best Bedding Award winner
  • Natural copper for cool comfort

The Bear Elite Hybrid is ranked the best mattress for side sleepers for various reasons. There is zoned support for twin sleepers as this foam has a support coil system, which helps adjust all the bones and lifts the body to relieve pressure points. Our reviewers loved this mattress for several reasons, and you cannot disagree with them if you try it out.

Our team added that Bear Hybrid is a great choice for people who want aesthetically pleasing mattresses and good support. This mattress is not only nice to look at, it also has all the features that you need:

  • Five-zone support coil system,
  • Advanced cooling technology,
  • Pressure relief for back, hip and shoulders.
  • Good neck support and soft upper layer to accommodate shoulders.

The copper-infused Elite Hybrid comprises different layers that work together to provide maximum comfort. The hand-quilted cushion cover is soft to the hand and has high-density support foam to keep the body lifted and relieve pressure points. The refined edge coils provide motion isolation; the result is that the sleeper feels relaxed.

Bear Elite Hybrid is a light mattress and offers full support. As soon as you lie down, you can feel the neck and shoulder muscles relax as the cushion cover lets your frame sink in to relax. The copper-infused memory foam will keep unwanted heat away while the foam contours against the body to support the spine.

Pros

  • Excellent mattress for side sleepers due to coil system
  • Good for twin bedding and does not compromise if two sleepers use it,
  • Cooling features for a deep sleep.

Cons

  • Can take long for shipping,
  • Can be out of stock at most times.

Best Pressure-Relieving Mattress for Side Sleepers

8. Tempur Cloud

tempurpedic mattress
  • Price Range: $1189 - $2390
  • Made in USA: Yes
  • Motion Isolation: Yes
  • Available Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal. King, Split King
Warranty
10 Year Warranty
Sleep Trial
90 Nights
Shipping
Free
Recommended For
  • Side sleepers with neck pain
  • People who prefer more bounce with springs
  • People who need to minimize pressure points
Highlights
  • Eucalyptus derived Tencel cover
  • Individually wrapped pocketed coils
  • Moisture-free soft cover

Tempur Pedic Cloud is another best as it has thick layers of foam, coils, and protective covers to keep sleepers from waking up due to heat or moisture as they sleep snuggled on their sides. Tempur Pedic Cloud mattress is available in Hybrid and Medium, with different thicknesses. Motion isolation and edge support relieve pressure points, thus making it a mattress that should be on our list of the best mattresses for Side Sleepers.

Our team liked the cooling technology of this mattress because it is not extreme while some mattresses have a thicker cooling layer. Here are some more features that our team loved:

  • Tempur Pedic comes with an extra bounce, which means good support.
  • The team admired its edge support for the isolation of motion.
  • The zoned coils do not let one sleeper’s movement disturb the other.
  • Adapts to the weight, shape, and temperature of the sleeper. The team liked this feature the most.

This mattress consists of several layers of foam, including memory foam, gel foam, and coils. The base layer is also integral as it keeps all the layers together and ensures that all the mattress components work together to provide comfort for many years.

Tempur Pedic is a light foam with extra bounce so as soon as you lie down, the neck and back feel at ease. You will feel instant pressure relief in your spine and the motion isolation ensures that if you are sharing a mattress, your partner will not feel the movement as you turn in bed.

Pros

  • Come with a stretch cover.
  • Has a soft cushion to support the neck.
  • The cooling layer ensures comfort.

Cons

  • Tempur Pedic has extra thickness due to coil layer.
  • Not as suitable for straight sleepers.

About Side Sleeping

You may not have given much thought to why you sleep on your side. It may just be what you naturally find comfortable. But there are quite a few health perks and concerns for side sleepers you may not know.

Benefits of Side Sleeping

One benefit of side sleeping is the position helps the brain cleanse itself of waste proteins. Waste proteins build up and block the brain’s interstitial spaces. When you sleep, your glymphatic system gets rid of the proteins. The glymphatic system does so as well when you’re awake, but it’s most active while you sleep.

A 2015 study found side sleeping was the most efficient position for glymphatic transport of waste. Researchers examined MRI images of the three different sleep positions, and side sleeping was found to have “a clear advantage” over other positions.

It’s theorized the glymphatic system may work to prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, so it’s good to ensure it’s working at its best.

Side sleeping has also been found to reduce snoring. When you sleep on your side, your airway can open more for easier breathing than if you were to lie on your back. Side sleeping to stop snoring may not be effective without other lifestyle changes, though.

A 2001 study examined the effects of sleep position and obesity on sleep apnea and found that side sleeping helped with oxygen saturation while noting that prior studies had similar results. Side sleeping was more effective in the study’s lighter-weight sleepers, but it still made a difference for heavier sleepers as well.

Which Side: Right or Left?

Your body lacks a symmetrical design, which means your left and right sides do not provide the same benefits. Of particular note is how your heart falls on the left side.

Our editors recommend right side sleeping. The right side promotes a healthy heart better by alleviating pressure on the heart muscle. Gravity pulls the heart into the chest cavity for right-side sleepers, whereas left-side sleepers would have gravity pulling their heart into their rib cage.

A 2003 study found that patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) tended to avoid sleeping on their left side, citing discomfort and sleeping on the right side instead. The study examined two groups of 75 people, one a control group and one composed of patients with CHF. The control group did not avoid sleeping on their left side.

The smaller amount of time CHF patients spent sleeping on their left side supported the idea that right-side sleeping is better for heart health.

Challenges of Side Sleeping

There is no one perfect sleeping position. For all its health perks, side sleeping still comes with its drawbacks and challenges.

Side sleepers need a mattress to provide the right balance of support and give, being neither too soft nor too firm. If a mattress is too soft, it will swallow the sleeper, causing the spine to bow as their hips and shoulders sink in too deeply. Too firm, and the spine will be raised out of alignment.

When you sleep on your side, your body weight and its pressure aren’t distributed evenly like they would be lying on your back. Pressure stacks up on one side, with your hips, shoulders, and ankles as the major points of pressure. Too much pressure, and you wind up in pain, tossing and turning and disturbing your sleep. If the pressure isn’t eased, you can wake up sore and tired.

As a physical therapist, one of the first questions Dr. Jennifer Miller asks her patients with back, neck, or hip pain is, “What position do you sleep in?” She explains, “We spend a good part of our day sleeping and those hours add up over the years. It is crucial to have a good, supportive mattress based on the position you sleep in. I recommend my patients either sleep on their back or side with a body pillow to prevent pain.”

There are mattresses made with these challenges in mind, though, with features to address and eliminate concerns. A soft comfort layer can alleviate the pressure in your body.

Different Side Sleeping Positions

Side sleeping is one of the three basic sleep styles, along with sleeping on your back or your stomach. If we break it down further, we find there are four separate positions that fall under the umbrella of side sleeping.

Fetal

Fetal is the most common of the side sleeping positions, named for how the position mimics a fetus’s position. Fetal sleepers tend to bend both their legs at the knees and curl their knees toward the chest.

Log

The second most common position among side sleepers. The sleeper’s arms and legs stretch out from the body, and the spine kept straight.

Yearner

The yearner position takes its name from how sleepers stretch their arms out as if trying to reach for something while keeping the back and legs straight.

Sprinter

The least common of the four side-sleep positions. In the sprinter position, sleepers keep their arms and back straight, with one leg bent at the knee while the other remains straight.

There are variations on all of these positions. You may also move throughout a few of these in the night, shifting sides or even switching to your back or stomach as you sleep.

Positions with extended legs can shift your spine out of alignment. Sleeping with a pillow between your legs can help improve your posture while lying down.

More About Mattresses

We’ve covered a lot of what you need to know when it comes to side sleeping. However, you may want to know more about mattresses.

Mattress Types

The type of mattress can influence its comfort level, with certain types better suited for side sleepers than others. We will be examining the four main types of mattresses on the market today: memory foam, latex, hybrid, and innerspring mattresses.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are some of the best for pain relief. A memory foam bed molds itself to your body and lets you sink into it, which alleviates pressure and reduces the impact of your bodyweight. The top layer tends to provide a cradling feeling while the bottom layer(s) supports the mattress.

Memory foam is also one of the best materials to prevent motion transfer, a must-have for any restless sleeper.

Traditional memory foam does have the problem of trapping body heat. Many brands address this by adding cooling gels or other cooling material such as copper or graphite to the foam. Gel memory foam mattresses are designed to take excess heat away and disperse it into the air.

While memory foam mattresses are great for side sleepers, they are not all made the same. Carefully read information about materials and construction before you purchase one.

Latex

Much like memory foam, latex mattresses are a good choice for side sleepers, offering a comfortable blend of support and sink. However, a latex bed is bouncier and naturally firmer than a memory foam mattress. Side sleepers may wish to consider latex mattresses with plush pillow tops, to be sure the mattress will mold to their body.

The durability of a latex bed is a big plus, as a natural latex mattress can last on average about 15 years. When considering a latex mattress, you should favor ones made with Dunlop or Talalay latex. Beds with synthetic latex have shorter lifespans.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress combines the cushy top layers of a foam or latex mattress with the coil system of an innerspring, the goal being to provide the best of both. You don’t sink in as deeply as you would with an all-foam bed. Most hybrid mattresses include pocketed coils, which is where the coils are individually wrapped for better motion isolation.

A drawback to a hybrid mattress is the price tag. As hybrids aim to take the best of foam and innerspring mattresses, their construction requires many high-quality materials.

Innerspring

Innerspring beds are the traditional mattresses, centuries old and still a best-seller. They’re also relatively inexpensive, often costing less than a hybrid or latex mattress and with price points comparable to quality foam beds.

Innerspring mattresses, however, are not recommended for side sleepers, as the material can’t easily contour to the body and relieve pressure, a necessity in a side sleeper’s bed. These mattresses are better suited for back sleepers and stomach sleepers, providing the firmness needed for healthy spinal alignment.

Mattress Firmness

There’s no one firmness level right for all when it comes to mattresses. Different firmness levels suit different sleepers.

Side sleepers need to look at soft mattresses, as a too firm mattress will not contour to their body fully and can aggravate pressure points. However, the bed should not be too soft as the mattress will then provide insufficient support and cause aches and pains. Proper firmness will keep your spine neutrally aligned, rather than let it sink or be raised too high.

A mattress for heavier people needs to be on the firmer side, while lightweight, petite sleepers need a soft and plush mattress. The basic breakdown goes as shown below.

WeightIdeal Mattress Firmness
Less than 130 poundsMedium soft to soft
130 to 230 poundsMedium to medium-firm
230 pounds and moreMedium-firm to firm

Many brands also measure a mattress’s firmness with a firmness scale from 1 to 10, 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Most mattresses fall within the 3 to 8 range.

As a general rule, side sleepers find mattresses with a soft to medium firmness the most comfortable. The mattress provides enough support for the spine to stay healthy and enough give to relieve pressure points.

Think about your firmness options before you commit. Do you want a cradling bed that molds to your curves, or a bed with a firmer, supportive feel?

Read customer feedback and mattress reviews for any mentions of firmness before buying, particularly with online mattresses. Firmness can be subjective, and what one brand calls firm another may consider only a medium-firm.

Pillows

Side sleepers will want to consider not just their mattress but the pillows they’re using. The best pillows can address and eliminate worries about shoulder pain and hip discomfort from sleeping on your side.

We recommend you look at three types of pillows— a head pillow, a knee pillow, and a body pillow.

A quality pillow for a side sleeper will offer the neck a higher loft than the head without adding more pressure to reduce stress in the neck and relax your muscles. We recommend searching for a memory foam pillow specifically designed to provide this loft. A high-quality head pillow costs quite a bit, between $50 to $150.

Knee pillows are small pillows with indentations on the surface. They are designed to keep your hips aligned and prevent awkward rotations. You should be able to find a suitable knee pillow for less than $50.

Body pillows can give support and keep your back muscles relaxed and your upper body supported. With a good body pillow, a head and knee pillow may not be needed. A body pillow should run between $20 to $100.

How Much to Spend

With a wide selection of mattresses on the market, it can be intimidating to find your best mattress at a fair price.

We recommend a budget between $1000 to $2000 for a mattress suitable for a side sleeper. The softer mattresses best for a side sleeper tend to cost more than firmer mattresses, as a softer mattress is often a thicker mattress, with more material used in its construction.

The quality of material can raise the price as well. A mattress made with organic materials will be more expensive than one made without.

Our editors advise against going for a mattress just because it’s cheap. Your mattress is an investment, a product you’ll use for years to come. You want them to be restful, restorative years, and not years that will leave you with health issues like chronic lower back pain.

Even if you’re on a tight budget, it’s quite possible to find a high-quality mattress for under $1000.

A Mattress Topper

Is your mattress still in good condition, just needing a bit more plush give to let you sink in a bit for a good night of sleep? If you’re shopping on a tight budget for better sleep, then you may want to think about a memory foam mattress topper.

A topper can offer a couple of extra inches of soft memory foam that will shape itself to your figure, providing pressure relief at a low cost. A mattress topper can also help extend the lifespan of your mattress, though if you want to get the most out of your current mattress with a topper, you should also consider investing in a good mattress protector.

The exact thickness best suited for you depends on your preferred firmness and body weight. Side sleepers should generally look at thicker toppers, no lower than 2 inches and going up to 4 inches.

Before you buy a topper, check the measurements of your sheets and see if they’ll fit over the added thickness of your mattress topper. Otherwise, you might need to reconsider the topper or add some new sheets to your shopping cart.

Always check the details of the warranty and return policy before you commit to a mattress topper, as you would with a mattress. Sometimes there’s even a sleep trial attached.

Sleep Trials, Warranties, and Return Policies

Before you make a big purchase with a new mattress, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the attached sleep trial period, warranty, and return policy. A lengthy sleep trial and warranty is the sign of a quality mattress, while a return policy can make a good fallback if your mattress doesn’t come with a sleep trial.

Sleep Trials

You’re unlikely to have a chance to try a bed in a box mattress before you buy. A sleep trial period lets you try out your mattress at home. If you’re unsatisfied with your mattress, you can return it for a full refund.

Most sleep trials range between 90 to 120 nights, some shorter and some longer. Companies often ask you to give yourself a month to adjust before deciding if a mattress isn’t right for you, as it takes about a month to adjust to a new sleep surface completely.

Warranties

Sometimes a mattress is defective because of simple, unavoidable human failure. And if you’re a customer who happens to get a bad bed, then you’ll want a good warranty as a back-up.

It’s smart to read through the exact details of the warranty before you buy, so you’ll be able to keep in mind what is and isn’t covered and what renders the warranty void. Common defects covered include:

  • Sagging
  • Cracks or splits in the foam
  • Tears in the mattress cover

Most mattresses come with a warranty of at least 10 years, as per industry standard. Some run a bit longer with prorated coverage.

We strongly advise against buying any mattress without a warranty. Warranties are the proof of the company’s faith in its product, a guarantee it’s a quality item and will last you years. If the company isn’t willing to back its product, then why take a chance on it?

Return Policies

If you’re not satisfied with your mattress and wish to return it, you’ll want to know the details of how you’ll initiate a return, whether it be by phone call, email, or live chat with a company representative.

Many brands offer free pickup and returns. Others may need you to ship it back on your own. It’s good to know how much it will cost to process a return and if there’s an added restocking fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I have my arms as I sleep?

Arm position is important for side sleepers, as the wrong placement can mean an early awakening to a numb arm. It’s best to keep your arms close to your sides as you sleep. Experiment a little to find the exact position that works for you and lets you sleep in undisturbed comfort. Having a body pillow will help support your arms while sleeping on your side.

How do you stay on your side as you sleep?

An easy trick to stay on your side as you sleep is to sandwich your body with a couple of supportive body pillows, to keep you from rolling over onto your back or stomach as you sleep.

Another trick is to attach a tennis ball to the front and/or back of your sleepwear with tape, glue, or by sewing it on (or the easiest approach of all —wear a sleep shirt with a pocket on the front and just slide the ball into the pocket). If you try to turn over as you sleep, the feel of the tennis ball will halt your movement.

How firm should a mattress be for a side sleeper?

A side sleeper's mattress should have a soft to medium feel. Side sleepers need more cushion for the heavier parts of their body, namely their shoulders and hips. If a mattress can't conform to their shoulders and hips, a side sleeper may wake up with sore and stiff joints.

What type of mattress is best for side sleepers?

Side sleepers usually sleep best on a bed that has a thick foam top. Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses are all good choices for a side sleeper. We can't recommend innerspring mattresses since owners have complained about how the bed doesn't offer enough pressure relief.

Did We Help?

Side sleeping may be the most popular position. But all the benefits the position offers and how you can best take advantage may not be as widely understood. Our goal in writing this guide is to leave you with a better understanding of your preferred position and allow you to make the most of it with a mattress that’s right for you.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

Sarah Anderson, Certified Sleep Science Coach Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson is a sleep, health, and wellness writer and product reviewer. She has written articles on changing and improving your sleep schedule, choosing the right mattress for chronic pain conditions, and finding the best pillow for you. Sarah Anderson has her Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to working for Zoma, she wrote for a variety of news publications. Sarah's work has been featured on Bustle, PureWow, and other publications.

View all posts

Leave a Comment

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

We think you’ll also enjoy…

Go to top