How To Choose A Mattress For Side Sleeper

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How to Choose The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers 2020

There are many mattress available for side sleepers, but it is important that you know how tochoose the best mattresses for side sleepers. While it is true that many brands claim to be the best mattress for side sleeping position, we need to be more selective when choosing one.

You must be aware that not only that can affect your sleep quality, but the type of mattresses you choose will significantly affect whether you can get a good night‘s sleep or not too. If you pick a wrong one, the chances are that you will get muscle pain or neck pain the next time you wake up in the morning.

Knowing about this issue, there is no denying that finding the best one for side sleepers is a critical aspect. Since choosing the wrong one can result in causing discomfort, addressing what issues to consider in the choice of a good bed (see many bed types here) or mattress is your first thing to do before selecting the model or brand.

How to Choose Mattress for Side Sleepers – Step by Step Guidelines

The answer to that question is you can buy new mattress, when:

  • You felt pain and tired every time you wake up
  • Your mattress is 10 years or older
  • Your mattress Already feels saggy
  • You prefer to sleep somewhere else
  • You sleep more than 6 hours but still think need to sleep more (mean your sleep quality is bad)

With so many brands, models and types to choose from, it goes without saying that choosing a good one can be quite difficult.

While there are some types of mattress to choose from, knowing the best type is critical, so, check these out!

If you are looking for newmattresses for side sleepersthen Check this list to get the best mattress for you :


The mattress and bed must correct your spinal position (the right one is like you were standing). This is why back, side and stomach sleepers need different type of mattress, because back sleepers can correct their spine with little to no support on the other way side sleepers need softer support. (see my article abouthow to choose the best cpap pillow for side sleepers)

Not only mattress but you must choose the best pillow for your sleep position too. Unfortunately, there are many pillow types to choose, see my post here that explained a lot about pillow types


Do you know how annoying it is If your sleep partner move and the mattress suddenly weave that’s so ANNOYING.

Most low-end Innerspring mattresses will transfer motion so if your sleep partner move he will make an annoying mattress wave on the other hand high-end Innerspring (pocketed coils) and foam mattresses will transfer less motion.

But if you and your partner prefer different firmness (ex: you like soft and your partner like firm mattress) you may prefer adjustable mattress.


A warranty show how confident the manufacturers of their mattresses, some will give you 20 years warranty, but beware of their policy (ex: If your mattress have a stain they will reject your warranty, so it is recommended to use mattress or bed protector).

so make sure you read their warranty policy


The crucial things yet almost everyone forget about it, if you have your target mattress you need to check their Thickness and dimension and ask this question to yourself can this mattress go to your room?


If you are sleeping alone, it is advisable to choose sizes smaller than queen (double, full or twin) not only you can save huge money but a lot of space too. If you sleep with your partner, you can choose queen or king mattress.


This article is talking about how to choose the best bed mattress for side sleepers , so the best mattress firmness for them is medium to soft.


This is general tips if you want to buy bed / mattress in store yet do many people afraid to do it, If you are serious to make a purchase then do not afraid to make an offer. they should the one who afraid if you walk out the store with an empty hand.

  • it is advisable to buy a new box spring for a new Innerspring bed/mattress
  • Check out if they can dispose your old mattress (most sellers offer free disposal)
  • Always check out your new mattress (is it have a stain or any defect)
  • Choose the Right Mattress type (think about your sleep position)

Studies have shown that the best type ofmattresses for side sleepersare and latex mattresses. There are some reasons why we must choose this one over other types of mattress. They are specifically designed to relieve pressure points.

They are also softer thus, you can sleep comfortably. Another reason is they can provide adequate support for your body when sleeping.

The same thing goes with the latex mattress since it supports a natural curve for your body when you lay down on the bed. As for memory foam, it is specifically designed to cradle each point of the body and distribute the pressure and weight evenly.

What Type of Mattress You Should Avoid

There are also some types of mattress that should be avoided for people who side sleeping. What are they? Some types of mattress that you must avoid if you sleep on your side are spring, water, and air mattresses. The reason you must avoid them is because they don ‘ t provide the required support that you as a side sleeper need.

In a nutshell, any mattresses that provide too much stiffness to the body or contort the body will cause you to have stiff muscles, a restless night sleep, and back and joint pain.

Spring mattresses should be avoided at all cost since they can cause uncomfortable support as they won ’ t hold the body evenly and don ’ t support the lumbar region. The same thing goes with the traditional waterbeds; they also don ’ t provide the proper support for the body as they don ’ t distribute weight evenly.

Given this fact, when you buy a mattress, make sure that you avoid these types. Air, water, and spring mattresses are not suitable for side sleepers.


There are two major aspects that side sleepers should consider when shopping for mattresses or beds. These aspects are comfort and support. Speaking about comfort, it is very critical since it has something to do with the vulnerability of pressure points.

Comfort layer is placed on top of a mattress it’s function is to form to your body and distribute your body weight, so your body get pressure relieve.

If you lay on a flat surface than you only have few pressure points (for side sleeper it’s hips and shoulder) but if you lay down on a surface that conforms to your body, your pressure relieve will be spread.
But when you change your sleep position the pressure points will not be spread anymore because the floor will not conform to your body.

comfort: latex, memory foam, polyfoam, micro coils

support: Innerspring, Latex, Memory foam, polyfoam, airbed, waterbed,

However, like it or not, support plays the most important role since it provides enough firmness when user sleep and lay down.

For side sleepers, they must know that a side sleeper mattress that works well for most people may not work for them. The reason can be simple, for example, a firm mattress is not a right choice for side sleepers. Although it provides adequate support, a firm mattress is more suitable for back sleepers.

Should we choose a softer mattress? Well, this is not true either. Side sleepers won ’ t sleep comfortably with mattress that is too soft. If a mattress is too soft, it doesn ’ t provide the proper support for the body. In short, the best mattress that works for side sleepers is a medium soft mattress.

This type of mattress will provide the proper support to pressure points, creating a perfect combination between structure and support with comfort and softness.

Final Thoughts

So, in determining what type of mattress that works best for you is to check what parts of the body that need more support when you sleep. Also, knowing your personal comfort preference is also important when choosing the best side sleeper mattress.

In this case, since you are a side sleeper, choosing a mattress that is too soft or too firm is not a right choice. What you need is a mattress that combines the right amount of support and comfort, making you more comfortable when sleeping in this position.

Once you have known these aspects, it would help you a lot and give you the right amount of information needed when shopping for a mattress. Keep in mind that you can find memory foam mattresses at any price range thus you don ’ t need to worry if you are on the budget.

You can find one that fits your budget without compromising on the comfort and support level you need. Last but not least, it is not that difficult to find without breaking the bank

How To Choose a Mattress in 5 Easy Steps – The Definitive Guide

I think you will agree with me when I say that choosing the right mattress is no easy task?

First, you have to dispose of your old one and then go through a tedious process of selecting a new bed that will serve you well for years to come.

And having couple dozen options, manufacturers and handful types and materials doesn’t help, does it?

Luckily for you, you canfind out exactly how to pick a new mattressand most important thing to consider.

Table of contents (use it to jump to a certain section)

If you are in a hurry jump to our conclusion and summary.

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Step 1: Do You Really Need A New Mattress?

Many people change their beds after just a few years, and that’s perfectly fine if you can afford it. The fact is, it’s not a small investment, so take a moment to determine do you really need a new.

Generally, after seven or eight years you will most likely need a new mattress. Of course, it depends on the quality and material (we will cover the types and materials later in this article). And if you feel back or neck pain it might, your bedding is a good place to start.

Here is the average mattress lifespan in years based on material and type:

Step 2: Determine your Budget

A bit of personal backstory here…

Several years back I went to a store and purchased amattress priced at $2500which was not even the most expensive one there. During the first year or so it was perfect, and I felt rejuvenated, and I slept like a baby during that time.

But, something happened.

My new and awesome mattress started sagging and losing support and needless to say my back and neck suffered.

Another two years had passed until I decided to buy a new oneonline at $850and this is the same one I’m using today after three years. Back to reality.

Not anyone will have the budget to walk into a store and buy something for several thousand dollars. Luckily, these days there are manyonline optionsyou can choose from rangingfrom $500 to $1200. There are also Black Friday bed deals (and Cyber Monday) that can result in additional savings as well.

Don’t get confused here. More money does not mean better quality. If you think that some of these online options are somehow worse than in-store ones, you are badly mistaken.Stores tend to inflate the prices as much as 1000%.

Here are some guidelines for you:

  • Don’t always go with the cheapest option you find– This is a rule of thumb for most products you buy online. Spending less than $500 for a queen mattress simply because it means lower durability, more toxins and lower sleep quality in general.
  • Higher Price does not mean Higher Quality– I bet you know this one, but it’s worth mentioning.
  • Go with $1000 range for Queen size– This is usually where you will find the best bang for your buck.
  • King / Cal King will cost slightly more– I would increase the budget for King and California King to $1400-1500 as you will have many more choices in that range.
  • Now that you have your new budget set, I’m guessing you are asking yourself“what type of mattress is best for me?”Let’s dig in.

Step 3: Choose Your Ideal Type and Material

Ok, so this is where most people will go with their personal preference rather than anything else. If someone says “latex is the best,” I would not take this as final until I read other opinions and test it myself. Here are the most common options you will find these days.

Innerspring (Coils)

This is the most traditional form of the mattress, and as of late, it’s received a bad rap. However, it is important to understand the potential benefits you could receive from going the traditional route, as well as the reasons why this option has lost its luster.

An obvious pro to purchasing a bed with springs is that it is one of themost affordable optionson the market, due in part to a decrease in demand and also in part to so many other options that have the potential to be more comfortable andbetter for overall health.

Another consideration is that these mattresses are known to last for decades. Spring beds are exceedingly durable. Being that the springs are typically made from different types of metals, they tend to keep their shape for many years.

Additionally, being that they are the most traditional style, they are also the most familiar. People recognize and understand what they are getting when they purchase a bed with springs. There is no guess work with this option like there may be with memory foam or other newer options.

The last notable advantage to this style of bed is that, because of the amount of space located between the springs, this option allows for the most circulation of air. This flow helps to keep the temperature down, allowing for acooler night’s sleep.

Example of the coil mattresses structure

Ideal for: People who want strong support, durability, cooling and great bounce. It also has an excellent edge support.


These mattresses are known for their fantastic cooling and comfort. Latex has a good bounce, responsiveness too.

Authentic latex foam is made from a tree called Hevea-Brasilenis tree, specifically from the white liquid extracted from it. Latex is harvested, and when the excess water is removed, you end up with raw material fantastic for various products, bedding systems being one of them.

It’s also great because you don’t get off-gassing and odors like with memory foam products.

Example of the latex bed structure

There are two types to choose from:

  • Natural – More healthy option and environment-friendly. But it’s also more expensive so expect to pay around $2000 for a good natural latex mattress
  • Synthetic – Made by mixing synthetic polymers with natural tree sap. Less expensive of course but less healthy in turn.

Latex is best forpeople who want good cooling, responsiveness, and bounce.

Memory Foam

Memory foam was first developed in the 1970’s by NASA as a safety material for seat cushions to protect pilots and passengers during plane crashes. Since then, the material has blossomed into the burgeoning product employed by virtually every mattress maker.

Example of the memory foam bed structure

Why has it become so popular? The answer is that it is said to provide superior comfort and support for the entire body. Anyone who’s pressed their hand into this material immediately understands its appeal.

Memory foam uniquelyconforms to every inch of the bodythat is pressed into it. When you lift your body from the material, it slowly regains its original form, essentially making it perfect for every body type and every sleeper.

Another unique property of memory foam is itsmotion isolationcapabilities. You may have seen those commercials with a lady jumping on a mattress with a glass of wine at the other end. Miraculously, the wine doesn’t spill.

The wine doesn’t spill because the energy from jumping is not transferred to other parts of the mattress. This translates to better sleeping for partners, because the tossing and turning of one does not affect the other, a feature that is not found among any of the other options on the market.

One of the most common issues that people experience is that thematerial retains heat. If you are someone who requires a cool night sleep, the memory foam option may not be the best choice for you. While the manufacturers are coming up with new and better ways to keep the heat down, the jury is still out as to whether or not they’ve succeeded.

Ideal For: People who want body shaping, contour, pressure relief and good support.


The hybrid mattress is an unusual combination of both traditional spring and memory foam. Providing the best of both worlds, this option offers the contouring and lack of motion transfer of foam coupled with the support of springs.

Structure of the hybrid bed- example

The term “hybrid” is very loosely used to describe the combination we just mentioned. However, the amount of foam for these beds varies widely depending on the level of firmness desired. Some options employ less than 1.5 inches of foam, lending to the fact that they more closely resemble that of a traditional spring bed rather than the more modern memory foam option.

To find the most optimal version of a hybrid, it’s best to choose the one that hasclose to 3 inches of foam. Anything above that, and you might as well forego the springs all together.

One negative aspect of these beds is the fact that they are one of the more expensive offerings you’ll find. Purchasing one of these could put you in the multiples of thousands of dollars, a significant investment, but a worthy one if you plan to enjoy it long term.

Good For: People who want best all around product with good support, bounce, cooling and pressure relief.

And now the three less common but still important types:


These beds offer a unique ability tochange the sleeping positionbased on your preference. You can elevate the head or feet giving you more options than traditional products. These beds provide extra comfort for people suffering from chronic lumbar pain or just want to be slightly elevated to prevent snoring. They do look ugly though most of the time.

Perfect for: People with certain medical conditions like snoring, older sleepers and people with lower back pain.


These are usually coil, latex or memory foam beds buthave a layer of soft material sewn into the cover to make it more comfortable. These are also considered more luxurious and usually cost a bit more than standard options.

Good for: People who prefer more padding and softer feel.


A rather weird option, but sometimes very fun especially if you love waterbed sex. Some of the most common reasons for opting in for this type is a backache and arthritis relief. These beds are also great for people with allergies.

Good for: People with back pain, arthritis and allergies and anyone looking for something less conventional.

Step 4. Determine your Ideal Sleeping Position and Firmness

Most of us have a unique way of sleeping every night. No matter if you sleep on your side, stomach or back, or even if you switch throughout the night you will have to consider and choose the ideal type of bed based on your preference. So, take a moment and think, what’s your favorite sleeping position because that determines theideal firmness of your new bed.

The most important factor for back sleepers is firmness and support. If your mattress is too soft, your body will sink and cause back pain. You will need one that’s soft enough to provide pressure relief but still provides enough support. On a scale of 1-10, the perfect range would be 5-7.

According to The Better Sleep Council, only roughly 15% of people are back sleepers. Being that you are unique, it’ll take a special mattress to offer you the night’s rest you are seeking.

It’s the consensus that memory foam mattresses provide the highest level of comfort for people who sleep on their backs. This is because it provides adequate contouring to the spine while maintaining a longevity of proper support and structure.

Many people who often sleep on their sides, endure discomfort and pain in their hip joints and shoulders.It’s usually due to unsuitable bedding.

It’s advised that you go with a bit softer option than for a back sleeper as these they provide for an equal distribution of pressure while you’re sleeping on your side.

Ideally, you want to choose a mattress with firmness level of 3-6 (out of 10) which falls undermedium soft.


This is considered the worst sleeping position. The most important thing for stomach sleepers is to provide equal distribution of weight across your entire body as your torso will apply most pressure. If the mattress is too soft (not enough support) your spine will curve causing back pain.

You will want to look for something in 5-7 range, which falls undermedium to medium-firm. The good thing is that most options are in this range.

Step 5. Consider your Weight as a Factor

On first glance, you might be asking yourself,what does weight have to do with choosing a mattress?

The truth is, support, hug, feel, sinkage and even cooling will depend on your body type and weight. Another harsh truth is that there is no “best” mattress for every one of us.

Let’s take a look at the following guidelines how to choose an ideal firmness level based on your weight:

  • Light (Less than 150 pounds)– You will want a medium firm bed around5-6 firmnessthat doesn’t sink too much. If you are lighter than 150 lbs, you can even go with four since most beds are rated for average sleeper of 180lbs.
    If you want a softer feel or if you are a side sleeper you can opt for 3-4 firmness range. These are soft orplush options.
  • Average (150-200 pounds)– Like with the previous category you can choose industrystandard of 5-7, providing perfect support and comfort.
    Some sleepers will want to opt for more softer beds, and that’s perfectly fine, just go with 3-5 range if you sleep on your side and you are all set.
  • Heavier Person (200+ pounds)– Heavier people can cause more pressure points on their back, and ideally you want to choose a firmer option to adjust for sinkage. If you are having problems with cooling, you ought to consider coil mattresses.
    Ideally, choose a thick (12”) or thicker bed. This will provide good support and soft feel.

How to Select the Right Mattress for You – Summary

Hopefully, you have finished reading the above but even if you haven’t these five steps will ease your task of choosing a mattress for you or your family.

  1. Do you need a new mattress?– If your current bed is over eight years old, I’d consider replacing it no matter what. If you are having trouble sleeping or experiencing back or neck pain I would start searching.
  2. What is your current budget?– Don’t go with the cheapest option you find. Aim for $700-1200 range for a standard queen size bed (see top options). Of course, if you are buying smaller ones for your kid or teenager, the price will be considerably lower. Don’t spend less than $400 though. The quality drop-off is huge.
  3. What are your ideal type and material?– This is hands down the biggest challenge. Memory foam offers good contour and hug but sleeps hot. Traditional coil ones provide good bounce and cooling and are generally more durable. I recommend foam or hybrid to most people except for heavier sleepers who should opt for innerspring.
  4. What’s your preferred sleeping position?– This determines your ideal firmness level. On a scale of 1-10 (one being soft and ten being very firm), back sleepers will want to opt for a medium firm (4-7), side sleepers for more softer option (3-5) and stomach sleepers will need more support to avoid sinking (6-7 range).
  5. What’s your body type and weight?– Lighter sleepers (150lbs or less) will want a 1-2 points softer mattress to get the same feel like an average (180lbs) person. On the other hand, if you are a heavier person you will need more support and thicker mattress to support the weight.

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

The 9 Best Side Sleeper Mattresses – 2020 Reviews & Ratings

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Did you know that an approximation of about 15% of all adults prefer to sleep on their sides with their legs outstretched as much as possible? Another 41% of adults would prefer to sleep in an actual fetal position as their back is hunched and their legs are bent. So is there anappropriate mattress type for side sleepers?

Side sleeping is quite common amongst women who are currently pregnant as this is amongst the best ways to accommodate the bumps of their growing babies. Keep in mind that this is a challenging position to sleep in and there are a lot of pressure points which could potentially cause you quite a lot of pain in the long run. So, what bed type can be useful for side sleepers?

A great mattress is undoubtedly amongst the most important things that are capable of providing you with the necessary rest and comfort. Additionally, if picked correctly, it could also prevent snoring and improve circulation.

Choosing the right one, however, is quite overwhelming as there are quite a few serious things that you should account for. This is where we step into the picture to provide you with a helping hand. We synthesized the most useful information about picking a side sleepers mattress, and we also reviewed a few of the best ones currently on the market.

  • Trial Period: 365 Days
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 365 Days
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
  • Type: All Foam
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 100 Days
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 100 Days
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 100 Days
  • Type: All Foam
  • Trial Period: 100 Days
  • Type: Polymer & Foam
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
  • Type: Memory Foam

Top 9 Side Sleeper Mattress Reviews

Nectar – Exceptional Value

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • OEKO-TEX® Certified
  • 365-Day Trial
  • Forever Warranty

With a thick memory foam layer and deeper contouring, pressure relief is a strong suit of Nectar. Not only does Nectar contour heavier parts of the body, but lighter areas experience contouring, creating a balanced feeling with proper alignment.

It has quality construction and materials, such as a breathable Tencel cover and cooling gels, so you can rest without the worry of traditional memory materials that retain heat. Nectar’s motion transfer is minimal, so light sleepers should not be bothered throughout the night by restless partners or pets.

What stands out?Nectar responds to the pressure point issues side sleepers face exceptionally well while maintaining an extremely competitive price. Its affordability and quality materials make it a great value, especially compared to competitors, along with a 365-day trial period and Forever Warranty.

Memory foam works well for side sleepers because it contours to the body to comfort the shoulders and hips, pressure points that side sleepers often struggle with.

For more information about Nectarcheck our full review.

DreamCloud – Soft Feel

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 365-Day Trial
  • Everlong Warranty

Side sleepers usually prefer a soft mattress to cushion the hips and shoulders, and what could be softer than sleeping on a cloud?

DreamCloud just might be the closest thing to it, with its plush Eurotop cover that melts your pressure points away. This is a hybrid bed with springs and foam that comes in a bag. Its impressive 15 inches are crafted to provide ultimate comfort.

Why is it special?Well, DreamCloud has the pressure-relieving benefits of memory foam and the bounciness of springs to reduce the stuck feeling that usually comes with memory beds. It is on the softer side, too, which is ideal for side sleepers who often struggle with pressure points around the hips and shoulders.

Springs also allow for more airflow, and along with the gel-swirl foam, cooling should not be a problem on DreamCloud. Plus, it has a lifetime warranty, so your shoulders and hips should be comfy for years.

For more information about DreamCloudcheck our full review.

Nolah – Designed for Side Sleepers

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 120-Day Trial
  • 15-Year Warranty
  • Wildlife Initiative
  • Made in the USA

Nolah’s tech-forward design approach can be seen through their creation of the ultra-comfortable Nolah Air Foam™. It is the reason they made the side sleeper list for the side and back!

Air Foam™ is designed to circumvent pressure on hips, the upper arm area, and backs. The company designed it as a response to what they view as outdated latex and memory materials. After pushing on it, it bounces back pretty quickly, so you should not have to worry about feeling stuck when getting up during the middle of the night or moving from side to side.

What makes it unique?Nolah claims their product provides four times less peak pressure than similar models and is more durable than latex. Their proprietary material is temperature neutral to help you stay cool at night.

Also of note? They have a heart for doing good, which can be seen through their wildlife initiative. Once you purchase your mattress, Nolah donates a portion of their profits to the Defenders of Wildlife foundation that helps protect animals native to the USA.

For all features of Nolah,head over to our detailed analysis.

Layla – Pressure Relief

  • Dual-sided Firmness
  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 120-Day Trial
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Layla’s design includes copper-infused memory foam that is exceptional for relieving pressure and conducting heat away from sleepers. The bed is double-sided with different firmnesses, but the Soft side will give most side sleepers the best night’s sleep.

The copper, combined with a cover infused with Thermo-gel that starts working when moisture is present, makes the bed a great option for those who love memory foam but tend to get too hot at night.

What makes it unique?The copper-infused memory layer is a cutting-edge innovation with a high level of comfort. Underneath that layer is a convoluted (egg-crate shape) layer that helps with additional airflow and cooling.

Copper is thought by many to provide a host of health benefits, including its antimicrobial properties. Since we are not science experts, we encourage you to conduct your own research in this area. However, what we can tell you is that the way the copper compresses and reacts to the cells around it results in impressive compression support!

If you want to learn more about Laylasee our in-depth review.

Casper– All Sleeping Positions

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 100-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Designed and Assembled in the USA

Maybe you mostly sleep on your side but like to switch it up every once in a while. Or maybe your partner sleeps on their back or stomach. Casper could be a winner with its new Zoned Support™, which is why we are featuring this bed as our All Sleeping Positions pick.

Why is it special?Casper’s new Zoned Support™ includes a layer in the bed that is firmer under the hip region and softer in the area under the upper arm area. While laying on your side, back, or stomach, your hips and core will be supported and not sink in as deeply, meaning the spine is comfortably aligned and pressure relief and support happen precisely where needed.

The bed has solid support in its base layer, as well as a soft open-cell foam and memory layer above the Zoned Support™ layer. The overall feel of the bed is a medium firmness, which should also work well if you or a partner switch to a different position.

Want to learn more?See our detailed review here.

Bear Mattress –Athletes & Active Folks

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 100-Day Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Children’s Charity Initiative
  • Made in the USA

Bear’s construction puts it in a medium-contouring tier with balanced pressure relief and support. Individuals who want comfort from memory foam without getting stuck can enjoy this bed since it has a shorter one-inch layer on top.

There is high ease of repositioning with increased responsiveness in all but the slightly slower-responding memory layer, and there is a bounce in the bed. This is especially helpful if you sleep in another position for part of the night and need to readjust. There are multiple cooling features in this bed, from a double infusion of gel and graphite in the memory layer to a cover made with Celliant®.

What stands out?Bear should provide good pressure relief with additional benefits that may work well for athletic folks. It has a cover that contains Celliant® fibers that Bear says uses Infrared Yarn Technology to change a body’s natural energy into infrared light, potentially yielding quicker muscle recovery or better circulation.

(Since we are not scientists or experts on Celliant®, we encourage you to look into this material further if it is something that interests you.)

Casper Wave – Spine Alignment

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 100-Day Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Designed and Assembled in the USA

Casper’s new Wave model takes the Original for a spin with higher-end features that are specifically effective in spine alignment. While it is made with some of the familiar quick response foam found on The Casper, it is much softer, ideal for side sleepers.

What’s its best feature?Wave’s design is pretty unique. A layer of foam has gel pods at 27 points that allow the foam to better contour for proper support in the hips and shoulders—the hips do not sink in too deeply to keep your spine from staying in an unnatural position all night.

Spine alignment is key for all sleepers; side sleepers specifically tend to have issues balancing pressure relief and support because of the natural curves of the body when laying on our sides. The Wave should comfort the hips and is softer around the shoulders while filling in all the gaps in between. The legs are more supported for further alignment.

Purple – Innovative Design

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 100-Day Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Purple takes an incredibly scientific approach to comfort and pressure relief for side sleepers. The company is well-known for its egg test, where they attach raw eggs to glass (with weights on top) and drop the eggs onto the bed without cracking.

This demonstrates Purple’s pressure point relieving abilities. It handles the shape of the fragile eggs with care, yet stays supportive enough to evenly distribute the weight of the glass and prevent it from bearing down on the egg. Likewise, it should support your body weight while giving great pressure relief.

What makes it special?Purple has an extremely innovative comfort layer made from Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ that is quite unique. It has small cell-like structures that bend and buckle depending on the position and whether or not pressure relief or support is needed.

This science-forward design has a different feel than most beds on the market but is very comfortable. The brand even calls it the “World’s First No Pressure™ mattress.” Because of its polymer materials, it is quick-responding creates and temperature neutral environment.

For more information about Purple,go to our detailed review here.

Sojourn – Budget Choice

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 120-Day Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Rounding out our list of picks for side sleepers is a model by Dreamfoam, a brand from Brooklyn Bedding.

If you like the advantages of a typical memory feel, such as being hugged by the bed, pressure point relief, and high levels of motion isolation, you will likely enjoy this product.

What’s our favorite part?This Sojourn model is a superior budget option! The company behind the brand owns their factory, meaning they have fewer costs and are able to sell to consumers at a lower price; plus, shipping in a box lowers delivery costs, saving you even more money.

Even though it is less expensive, quality has not been sacrificed. There are two layers of memory materials above its base and the top layer is infused with copper for cooling benefits. The upper foam layers are soft and contouring, perfect for side sleepers’ needs.

Dreamfoam believes that everyone should be able to experience the benefits of a high-quality bed, so you don’t have to break the bank for a good night’s sleep.

If you want to learn more,see our complete review here.

Challenges as a Side Sleeper

Pressure Points Cause Pain

When it comes to side sleeping, there is one rather significant drawback that you should account for and handle as quickly as you can in order to have the best rest – pressure. The truth is that as much as people like sleeping on their sides, it causes a lot of weight concentration over a small area and can make certain parts of the body more prone to experiencing discomfort if you are not careful.

One of the most common parts of the body that can experience pressure in this position is the lower back. The more constant the pressure is, the more severe the pain can become. The risk of continually repeating this cycle is development into chronic pain.

Through the usage of the best mattress type for a side sleeper, you can relieve a lot of the pressure and, hence, help prevent any further conditions. This is quite critical, and it needs to be taken into consideration during your search.

Hip/Shoulder Pain

Hip pain usually starts to manifest and to become especially tricky and bothersome in women who are pregnant and prefer to sleep in the fetal position. Their lower back is usually hunched, with knees facing towards the chest area.

This puts a severe amount of constant pressure on hips as they are not in a relaxed position. Even though it wouldn’t happen immediately, pain can start radiating throughout the entire area when you wake up early in the morning. Perhaps it will go away in a few hours, but it could ruin your morning or become a chronic condition if not monitored correctly.

A proper mattress can help ensure that the pressure is taken off of your hips.

If you are a side sleeper, you may also be placing a significant amount of constant pressure on your shoulder, which can result in stiffness and pain in the morning. Keep in mind that this is also attributed to the fact that your side sleeping position can put the shoulders in awkward poses that should be accounted for. A proper mattress that locks the position of your shoulder socket could potentially alleviate a serious amount of stress when it comes to it.

Neck Pain

When you sleep on your sides, the original allocation of pressure will concentrate on your neck. This can cause a lot of unpleasant stiffness, and it might even restrain your neck movements to a certain extent. That’s the last thing anyone would look forward to.

With this in mind, if you take advantage of a mattress that is plush enough to relieve pressure off of the pressure points, you might help yourself quite a lot. This is why the beds intended for side sleepers usually provide a significant sinkage, as your weight is focused and more targeted.

If the mattress is too firm, it is likely to cut off a significant portion of the blood circulation that takes place in your body. This is going to cause serious aching and pain just because it won’t contour the widest points in your shoulders.

This could also be attributed to a severe spinal misalignment which most commonly results in severe pain in your neck area. That’s why a side sleeper’s mattress is likely to be a bit softer and, in any case, it should deliver an expressed contouring to make sure that everything is handled properly.

Back Pain

Back pain could also be a result of inappropriate mattress combined with the awkwardness of the side sleeping position. If the mattress is too soft, or too plush, this can cause your lower back to sink in deeper, as that’s where more weight is being concentrated. On the other hand, if it’s too firm, this could cause serious discomfort, especially if you are lighter regarding weight.

With all this in mind, the thing that you need to consider is the density of the foam as well as the softness of the mattress. Ideally, you’d be looking for a solution that hugs you without inducing the feeling as if you are trapped.

At the same time, you are looking for a combination of softness and support to contour your body line while relieving you of pressure.

Back pain could quickly escalate and cause a myriad of associated issues. It is most commonly caused by inappropriate postures as well as a lack of support while you sleep. If your mattress is softer than it should be, this can disrupt your alignment and cause a sensation of stiffness that will quickly translate to aching and severe pain. Make sure to take this into account when you pick up a top rated mattress for side sleepers.

How the Mattress Type Affects Side Sleepers

Memory Foam

The most popular choice when it comes to this category, a great memory foam mattress (for side sleepers) is something that you might want to consider. The truth is that there is a lot of merit for purchasing a solution of this kind for a range of different reasons.

Right off the bat, when you look at the mattress types for side sleepers, the most important thing that you want to consider is whether or not it conforms to the contours of your body. This is undoubtedly something quite important, and you should take it into account. If it doesn’t, the firmness of the mattress, regardless of whether it’s harder or softer, can play a detrimental role, and that’s not a risk you should be willing to take.

With this in mind, a proper mattress could easily be a great solution, but you may have to do a little testing and make sure that the foam aligns to your body in a relieving way that doesn’t alter neutral alignment. The softness should be adequate, but the support should not be compromised. Additionally, make sure that the foam is of high quality and that you do not get that trapped sensation typically indicative of lower-quality solutions.


Innerspring constructions bring a significant amount of value to your mattress because of the convenience that they provide. First of all, the overall breathability and air flow of these mattresses are incomparable to anything else on the market. Additionally, they are known for being quite supportive and reliable in this particular regard.

Of course, they do have their drawbacks. For instance, if the coils are not individually wrapped, you may not get the same level of individualized tailoring or pressure relief.

So, is this a good side sleeper option? Overall, some traditional coil mattresses may not be the best choice. The reason for this is simple – they bring in significant support, but there is a definitive lack of conformity in some models.

This could put more pressure on specific points, and that’s not something that you ought to consider. If the top layer is covered with a comforter of this foam-type, or if the coils are pocketed, the picture can change completely. However, the foam layer falls into an even more specific category (below) that you can consider.

Are you considering an innerspring mattress? Read our full buyer’s guide.


Even the top-rated traditional innerspring mattress designed for a side sleeper may not provide you with the same level of convenience as a hybrid solution.

A hybrid mattress is one that combines the comfortable support brought by the steel coil system with an additional or more than one layers of foam. The type of foam could be different, but it’s usually high-quality memory foam that you should be looking forward to.

In most cases, there are quite a lot of benefits that stem from using a solution of this kind. While you can receive the necessary conformity that is lacking in traditional innerspring mattresses, the support that is brought by the coil system is something that foam mattress sometimes miss. This is a solid option because it brings a beautiful combination of comprehensive solutions intended to deliver the best sleeping sensation for a side sleeper with mixed materials.


Lying on your side tends to produce the most pressure points because this narrow surface area is bearing your full body weight. To relieve pressure, foam tends to reign supreme, but some foams, especially traditional memory foam, might make you feel trapped or hot. Latex is in a number of new products because of its ability to address pressure points without holding your body in place or overheating.

Latex is typically buoyant and allows lots of air to flow through it – qualities that help it remain temperature neutral and easy to navigate. Since the material is quick responding, it should immediately spring right back into its original shape. If you are a combination sleeper or an otherwise active sleeper, these constructions make repositioning easier.

Not all latex is created equal and, depending on how it is processed, it can produce a remarkably different feel to suit different preferences/budgets. You can choose naturally sourced latex produced from rubber tree sap or synthetic blends or alternatives that tend to be more affordable. The Talalay process produces foam considered more luxury level because consistency and lightness, while the heavier Dunlop latex is processed more naturally and may contain less chemicals.

Intrigued to learn more about latex mattresses? Read our complete buyer’s guide.

The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers: How to Choose Wisely

Sleep Metro is entirely supported by its readers. When you purchase any product through the branded referral links on my site, I receive a commission at no additional expense to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Need to know more? Read about myresearch and review process .

Side sleepers have several options when choosing the right type of mattress, such as coils, latex or foam

Did you know that a whopping 65% of Americans prefer sleeping on their sides? Even though sleeping on your side is considered the best of all the positions in the quest for a restful night’s sleep, without sufficient support for your spine, you are at risk of experiencing hip, neck and/or back pain .

T op 7 Mattresses For Side Sleepers

Bear Mattress
Celliant-infused cover. 4 layers proprietary Memory Foam. Cooling. Comfort + support.
Balanced combination of Soft + Firm
Energex + Thermaphase Gel Memory Foam. Great balance of support + comfort. 6-inch Poly foam support layer. CertiPUR certified + Hypo-allergenic Sleeps cool. Great pressure point relief.

Organic latex and memory foam options. Available in 3 mattress categories: Lifestyle; Performance; and Whole Body Recovery
Soft, Medium, or Firm
Alexander Signature Series
Pocket coils + Memory Foam = Hybrid. Edge support coils. Cooling. Relieves pressure points.
Proprietary Gel-infused Memory Foam. Body contouring + spinal support. Cooling. Good for all weights + sleeping positions. Great value for money.
Balanced combination of Soft + Firm

Gel Memory foam. Perfect balance of comfort + Support. Sleeps cool.

Medium-firm to Firm

10.25 inches high. Poly foam, Memory foam + Latex. Customizable. Great edge support. Minimal motion transfer. 1,000 night sleep trial.

3-in-1 adjustability: Soft, Medium + Firm

What Is The Best Mattress for a Side Sleeper?

There are many different mattress designs and technologies on the market at present, such as coils, latex or foam. For side sleepers, memory foam technology can provide the most effective level of support and pressure relief for the different parts of your body.

Sleep Metro has shortlisted 8 of the best beds for side sleepers to simplify
your decision-making process. These mattresses provide a solid foundation
and allow for varying degrees of firmness on the upper layers:

The right mattress prevents additional stress on your shoulders + neck

For optimal relief, you require a mattress that provides both support and the right amount of firmness without additional stress on your shoulders and hips. With so many mattress options on the market, how do you choose the right one and bring an end to your sleepless nights? What is truly the best mattress for side sleepers ? Let’s look at the crucial requirements in choosing a mattress and explore your options.


Not to be confused with support, “firmness” simply refers to the feel of a mattress . A mattress can be soft, and still provide the required support. For side sleepers, the optimal firmness is soft to medium. Your ideal mattress should provide the following benefits:

  • A soft to medium firmness to adequately support your body and prevent involuntary pelvic rotation
  • A posture-hugging design that memorizes your individual sleeping position
  • Be adaptable to the natural contours of your body as you lie on your side


When viewed from the side, the spine has three natural curves that give it a “S” shape.

  • Cervical curve (neck area)
  • Thoracic curve (upper back)
  • Lumbar curve (lower back)

A healthy spine requires the proper support for all of these three areas. When sleeping on your side,
it is vital that your mattress adequately supports your body and maintains your spine in a neutral alignment . Too firm, and it causes excessive pressure on your hips, neck and back. Too soft, and those pressure points are not supported, causing your spine to sag into the mattress and shift out of alignment. Either ends of the spectrum may cause you to wake up with aches and pains the following morning. Back pain may also be a symptom of over-rotation of the pelvis, which is discussed in more detail later in this article.

It’s Interesting To Note That Side Sleepers Fall Into One of Three Categories of Sleep Postures:

  • Fetal: legs curled up + holding pillow
  • Log: legs straight + arms down at sides
  • Yearner : legs straight + arms out in front

Of these three, the fetal position is the most popular among side sleepers in the U.S. — 41% prefer this posture.

Choosing the Right Pillow for Neck Pain

It’s not only a good mattress that aids in a peaceful and restful slumber, but also the right pillow.

When choosing a pillow, comfort and personal preference should be key features to consider. There are three different types of pillows, and based on the fillings and types of materials used, each one varies in its level of support:

Cervical Pillows , also called orthopedic pillows, have a distinctive shape. The area where the neck is supported is higher; the pillow then dips into a concave shape to cradle the head

Feather Pillows are more easily manipulated

Memory Foam Pillows are designed to conform to the head, holding it in place.

Compared to memory foam pillows or cervical (orthopedic) pillows filled with firmer fillings, most down or feather fillings offer little structural support. To sufficiently support their head and necks, side sleepers typically require firmer pillows, such as cervical or memory foam pillows.

Keep in mind that your body size plays a role in the pillow you choose , but typically it should maintain a height of 4 to 6 inches to support your head and neck.

Choosing the Right Pillow for Pelvic Rotation

Pelvic rotation occurs when the upper leg rotates downward due to a lack of support between the knees. This causes a pull on the hips and distorts the natural alignment of the spine.

Bending the knees and placing one or two pillows between the knees aids in minimizing pelvic rotation and releases strain on the hips and lower back. For this application, a firmer pillow provides the required support and works better than a softer pillow.

Remember that whichever pillow you choose, it should be flexible enough to move with your body. Your body shouldn’t have to adapt to your pillow. Be sure to read my in-depth list of pillow reviews .

The Health Benefits of Side Sleeping

According to researchers at Stony Brook University in New York, side sleepers may more effectively eliminate waste from their brains than those who prefer sleeping on their backs or stomachs . This process is considered important in preventing neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

In addition, and barring any current health issues you may be experiencing, sleeping on your left side is considered best for the following reasons:

  • Relief if you suffer from sleep apnea, snore or are pregnant
  • Relief from heartburn by reducing acid reflux
  • Best for the lymphatic system, which is responsible for draining toxins from the body
  • Relief from back pain by releasing pressure from the spine
  • Keeps airways open for unobstructed breathing
  • Aids in elimination of waste products by easing the movement of food from the small intestine
    to the large intestine


To sum up, the best mattress for side sleepers should:

  • Provide adequate support to keep your spine in a neutral alignment
  • Limit the possibility of pelvic rotation (you can use a firm pillow between your knees to help)
  • Be breathable and sustain a cool temperature
  • Contour to your body and cradle your neck, back and hips
  • Relieve the pressure points
  • Be soft to medium in firmness

Page updated by Sharon Picone on September 1, 2018

The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

If you sleep on your side, you are far from alone – the latest statistics show that approximately 4 out of 10 people are side sleepers. As the most popular sleep position in the world, side sleeping is also considered to be one of the most natural and healthy. However, not all mattresses will work well for this position, so it’s important for side sleepers to find the best mattress for their needs.

In this guide, we will focus on helpful information for those who prefer sleeping on their side. We’ll start by highlighting our top picks for the best mattresses for side sleepers. We’ll then delve into the details about this sleeping position, describe the key shopping considerations, and identify important mattress features to look for.

Our Top Picks

ManufacturerModelMattress TypeFirmnessPrice (Queen)
Casper OriginalMemory FoamRelaxed Firm (5)$1,095
NectarMemory FoamMedium Firm (6)$799
AuroraHybridAvailable in Soft (3), Medium (5) or Firm (7)$1,699
The WinkBedHybrid3 choices: Soft (4.5), Luxury Firm (6.5), and Firm (7.5)$1,599
SaatvaHybridAvailable in Soft (3), Luxury Firm (5-7), and Firm (8)$1,199

Casper Original

Why We Like it

  • Zoned Support increases comfort in shoulder and hip areas
  • One of the most popular mattresses on the market
  • 100-night risk-free sleep trial
  • Industry-leading 10 year warranty

The Casper Mattress is one of the best mattresses for side sleepers, primarily due to its Zoned Support system. Essentially, this bed has varying levels of support in different parts of the mattress. This design is intended to provide more support where it’s needed most, and a little more give in areas that need to sink a bit for increased comfort. The Casper is a medium-firm, at about 5 or 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale.

The biggest comfort zones of this mattress are the areas most important to side sleepers – the hips and shoulders. The Casper allows for side sleepers to sink into the mattress just enough to increase comfort and pressure relief, while maintaining the support needed for restful sleep. This feature helps keep your spine aligned properly while sleeping on your side.

The Casper is an all-foam mattress with four layers of premium foam (a hybrid version is also available). The hybrid version has an additionally two layers, adding gentle springs and a reinforced edge support system. Both versions of the mattress utilize open-cell foams, which allow for better airflow and cooling than traditional memory foam.

The bed is available in six sizes, from Twin to California King. Shipping and returns are free on all US orders. All Casper beds come with a 100-night sleep trial, so you will have plenty of time to test the mattress out in the comfort of your own home. Plus, should anything happen to your bed, it’s protected by a 10-year manufacturer warranty.


Why We Like it

  • Excellent conforming in areas important for side sleeping (shoulders and hips)
  • Industry-leading lifetime warranty
  • Generous 365-night at-home sleep trial

The Nectar Mattress is a premium gel memory foam mattress that is a great option for side sleepers. It’s an all-foam mattress that uses a variety of foam materials to create the ideal blend of softness, comfort and support. The mattress performs particularly well in compression tests in areas that are most important to side sleepers, including the hips, neck and shoulder. In other words, the Nectar Mattress allows for just enough compression to let your shoulders and hips sink into cloudy comfort, while maintaining spinal alignment and adequate support.

Nectar is made up of five layers in its all-foam design. To achieve its well-balanced overall feel, Nectar uses a mix of medical-grade visco elastic memory foam, high-density transition foam, and dense core support foam, as well as a quilted memory foam layer and a removable Tencel cover for better cooling. The result is a comfortable mattress with good weight distribution and moderate contouring, which is a great fit for most side sleepers.

Each Nectar mattress comes with an incredible 365-night at-home sleep trial, so you have a full year to test it out at home. Plus, each mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty. Both shipping and returns are free in the United States. Despite these perks and the overall quality, Nectar is available at a below-average price point.

Brooklyn Bedding Signature

Why We Like it

  • Available in 3 firmness levels
  • A luxury mattress at a reasonable price
  • Sleeps very cool

The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora is a luxury hybrid mattress that offers a comfortable and cool sleeping experience. It’s a premium mattress that’s made in America, so it does come at an above-average price point – but the Aurora is still affordable as far as luxury mattresses go.

The Aurora is available in three firmness levels (3, 6, and 8 out of 10, respectively). This means that there is a model of this same mattress that will be perfect for just about any sleeper, regardless of their weight or personal preferences.

The Aurora also has great edge support, which is an important factor for side sleepers to consider. The 8” coil provides strong support for the entire bed, which minimizes sinkage around the outer edge of the mattress. Plus, the coils allow for adequate airflow, which helps the mattress stay cool and comfortable even on hot summer nights. In fact, the Aurora actually has a specialized material in it called phase-change material (PCM). PCM is added to the foam layers and helps absorb body heat, drawing it away from the sleeper. These two factors combined make the Aurora an excellent choice for people who tend to sleep hot, and those who live in warm climates.

Brooklyn Bedding is a reputable manufacturer that sells their products directly to consumers. They offer free domestic shipping in the United States, as well as free returns. The Aurora comes with a 120-night sleep trial, as well as 10-year warranty.

The WinkBed

Why We Like it

  • Available in four firmness levels
  • Comfortable and cool outer layer made of Tencel
  • Excellent edge support with Extra-Edge feature

The WinkBed is a handmade, luxury hybrid mattress that’s engineered for restful sleep. It is available in four different firmness levels; 4.5, 6.5, 7.5 and 8 out of 10, respectively. The WinkBed is a hybrid mattress, meaning it has both traditional coils and modern comfort foam layers. This represents a good balance for side sleepers: the foam allows for enough cushy comfort to accommodate the shoulders and hips, while the coils improve edge support and airflow for cooling.

The WinkBed actually has two layers of coils, as well as two layers of foam and a Tencel cover. The unique Extra-Edge support system adds targeted reinforcement to the outer edges of the mattress, reducing the need to worry about sag around the edge of the bed. These layers all come together to create a best-of-both worlds feel: the comfort and contouring of foam, with the support and cooling of innerspring coils.

The WinkBed is made in the USA out of premium, durable materials. Shipping is included for free, and you’ll have a full 120 nights to try it out in your own home. If you aren’t satisfied, WinkBeds will pick up the mattress for free, and issue a full refund.

Saatva Classic Mattress

Why We Like it

  • Available in three firmness options (3, 6 and 8)
  • Two distinct layers of coils give cushion and bounce to suit side sleepers
  • Free white-glove delivery and installation

For side sleepers who want pressure point relief with some bounce, the Saatva Mattress is a compelling choice. It’s a luxury hybrid mattress that employs two different types of coils, along with comfort foam layers, to meet all of the needs of side sleepers.

The Saatva’s support core is a layer of steel innerspring coils placed on top of a thin layer of high-density polyfoam. Sitting on top of this support core is a 4” layer of individually-wrapped micro-coils. This layer maintains the bounce of the core while adding responsiveness.

Extra foam is placed around the coils in the mattress to bolster edge support. Foam layers, including a memory foam lumbar pad, are built into the comfort layer. This layer is stitched in a euro-style pillow top that is sleek and adds softness and contouring to relieve impact points at the hips and shoulders.

Saatva customers can choose between an 11.5” and 14.5” model and can also select one of three comfort options: Plush Soft (3-3.5), Luxury Firm (5-6), and Firm (8). The Luxury Firm is the preferred choice among most side sleepers, but as always, it comes down to personal preference.

A nice perk of the Saatva mattress is free white-glove delivery that includes setup of the mattress in your bedroom and haul-away of an old mattress. You have 120 nights to try out the mattress and return it if you aren’t satisfied, but if you do make a return, a $99 return shipping fee will be deducted from your refund. The Saatva comes with a 15-year limited warranty.

Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers: Buyer’s Guide

Buying a new mattress can be an intimidating process – but it doesn’t have to be. The section below will help you on your journey to choosing the perfect bed for your situation. We will cover what features to look for in a mattress, which materials you may wish to seek out (or avoid), and much more. For even more tips and tricks on buying a new mattress, see our full guide to buying a mattress online.

What Type of Mattress Is Best for Side Sleepers?

There are several different types of mattresses to choose from when it comes to picking your next bed. The material of your mattress is perhaps the biggest consideration, as it has the largest impact on both the comfort and durability of the mattress.

There are some unique considerations for side-sleepers, specifically. For instance, most side-sleepers want more give in the shoulder and hip areas; making foam and hybrid mattresses a better choice over traditional innerspring beds.

Budget should also be considered, as there are significant differences in price between different mattress types. For instance, latex beds tend to be significantly more expensive than all-foam beds, while hybrid mattresses provide a nice middle-ground between cost and overall value.

Read about the four primary mattress types below, and their pros and cons most relevant to side-sleepers.

A memory foam mattress is made exclusively out of various types of foam. Typically multiple layers will be present, with both soft memory foam and firmer layers of support foam. Some layers are designed to provide responsive support by conforming to the shape of your body (memory foam), while others are used to provide the underlying support and structure of the mattress (high-density polyfoam).

A queen foam mattress can run anywhere from $400 to several thousand dollars. There are many good options in the $600-$1200 range.

Pros for Side Sleepers:
  • Plenty of softness/give in the shoulders and hips.
  • Good motion isolation helps keep your partner’s movements in bed isolated.
  • Great pressure relief in target areas.
Cons for Side Sleepers:
  • Some all-foam beds can sleep hot.
  • Shorter lifespan than hybrid and innerspring beds.
  • Minimal edge support.

Latex mattresses are less popular than other options, but offer unique properties that may be of interest to side-sleepers. Latex is a type of rubber that is used in many consumer products, and mattresses made entirely of latex are known as true latex, all-latex, or more simply, latex mattresses. Latex mattresses tend to be heavier than similarly-sized mattresses of other types. This material offers a blend of responsiveness and resiliency as latex is quick to bounce back to its original shape when weight is lifted off of it.

A queen latex mattress will generally cost between $1000 and $3000, with many good options in the $1200-$2000 range. Latex is a relatively expensive material to work with, so you will notice that latex mattresses are typically on the pricier side compared to foam and hybrid beds.

Pros for Side Sleepers:
  • Good pressure relief.
  • A soft-yet-responsive feel makes for a well balanced mattress.
  • Good conforming in the hip and shoulder areas.
Cons for Side Sleepers:
  • Above-average price point.
  • Less edge support than hybrid/innerspring mattresses.
  • Latex allergies must be considered.

Innerspring mattresses have coiled metal springs that make up the base support of the bed. This is typically topped with layers of polyfoam for comfort and contouring. Innerspring mattresses were the predominant bed type in past decades, but they are becoming less popular as time goes on.

Innerspring mattresses typically cost between $600 and $1600+, with a good selection available in the $900 to $1300 range. Keep in mind that innerspring beds are less commonly sold online, so most people purchase them in physical mattress stores.This may increase the cost.

Pros for Side Sleepers:
  • Very strong edge support due to rigid structure of the mattress.
  • Very affordable models are available.
  • Sleep cool due to improved airflow between coils.
Cons for Side Sleepers:
  • Springs can feel too firm on the shoulders and hips while side-sleeping
  • Minimal conforming and pressure relief.
  • Significant motion transfer and noise potential.

Hybrid mattresses combine the best features of traditional innerspring beds and modern foam mattresses. They use metal coils for the underlying support, but have thick layers of memory foam and comfort foam for better contouring and comfort.

Hybrid mattresses are usually a bit more expensive than all-foam or traditional innerspring mattresses, but there is a wide range available. Most are priced in the $1,200-$2,500 range, with many good options available under $2,000.

Pros for Side Sleepers:
  • Good edge support.
  • Great conforming with adequate cushioning to accommodate hips and shoulders.
  • Sleeps cool.
Cons for Side Sleepers:
  • Above-average price point.
  • Some potential for noise from coils.

Important Mattress Features for Side Sleepers

When it comes to buying your next mattress, there are a lot of important factors to consider. Each person sleeps differently and has different preferences in terms of comfort, support and firmness. Because of this, choosing the “best” mattress is an involved task that must be customized for your individual situation. To help, we’ve put together this list of some of the key considerations that you should have in mind when making your selection.

  • Size: The size of your next mattress (full, queen, king, etc.) is an important consideration, particularly if you share your bed with a partner. Queen is the most common size by a good measure, but single people may be just as comfortable on a full or even a twin.
  • Support: Support is vital for a comfortable and restorative night’s sleep. For side sleepers, the support of the mattress is key to maintaining spinal alignment and avoiding issues with neck and back pain. You will want to find a comfortable mattress that provides the right level of support to key areas including the shoulders, hips and neck. Side sleepers should look for a mattress that has a responsive comfort layer that accommodates the hips and shoulders comfortably, without too much sink.
  • Contouring: Contouring refers to how the mattress responds to the shape of your body. In general, memory foam offers better contouring than other materials, as it allows the mattress to fully adapt to the shape of the sleeper’s body. For side sleepers, the best options include all-foam mattresses and hybrid beds, which combine foam contouring layers with traditional springs for better support.
  • Firmness: Firmness is an important consideration, and often one of the biggest factors that will affect your overall comfort at night. Side sleepers tend to do best on a moderate firmness level, somewhere between 5 and 7 out of 10. Heavier people weighing more than 230 lbs or so may wish to consider a somewhat firmer mattress to prevent sinkage.
  • Motion Isolation: Motion isolation refers to how well a mattress prevents motion on one side of the bed from disturbing the slumber of the sleeper on the opposite side. This factor is only relevant for those sleeping with a partner. Foam tends to do a good job of isolating motion, while innerspring mattresses tend to perform poorly in this category.
  • Temperature Regulation: Temperature regulation refers to a mattress’ ability to maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature. In most cases, this means not retaining too much body heat on warm nights. The mattresses we recommend for side sleepers typically have some sort of built-in cooling properties, but this is still an important consideration – particularly if you live in a warm climate.
  • Edge Support: Edge support refers to the strength and durability of the mattress around the outer edges. This is a particularly important consideration for side sleepers, as often times side sleepers end up near the edge of the bed. The last thing you want is to roll off the mattress due to a lack of edge support, so look for beds with solid ratings in this category. In general, hybrid and innerspring beds score better marks for edge support compared to all-foam mattresses, although manufacturers are getting much better at reinforcing foam beds.
  • Price: Because you spend so much of your life on your mattress, price should not be the main factor that sways your opinion – but for most of us, it’s a factor nonetheless. Searching for mattresses in the moderate price range of $800 to $1500 ensures that you get a very quality bed without breaking the bank. In general, we recommend avoiding cheap beds as they are usually less comfortable and less durable.

About Side Sleeping

Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position. It is estimated that between one-third and one-half of people are side sleepers. Although “side sleepers” are typically bunched together, there are actually a few different positions within this category:

  • Fetal Position– Many people sleep in the fetal position, on their side with their knees drawn partially into their chests. This is thought to be the most common side sleeping position.
  • “Log” Position– Many side sleepers “sleep like a log”, on their side with their arms extended down next to their bodies. This is a common position, but for some people it can cause shoulder pain in the shoulder that is most commonly slept on.
  • “Yearner” Position– Some side sleepers prefer a position referred to as the “yearner” position, in which the sleeper stretches their arms out in front of their bodies.

Each position has its own pros and cons, but ultimately it mostly comes down to comfort. And side sleeping in general has both benefits and drawbacks to consider, as outlined below.

Pros of Side Sleeping

  • Gastrointestinal Health: There is some evidence to suggest that sleeping on your side – and particularly on yourleftside – may benefit gut health. It’s thought that side sleeping aids in digestion, and that left side sleeping may help prevent heartburn. The exact reasoning for these effects is not clear, although it is thought to be related to the placement of our organs.
  • Reduced Snoring: Side sleeping may help reduce the severity of your snoring, compared to back sleeping. This is likely due to the position of your tongue, which is less likely to partially block your airway when you’re on your side.
  • Brain Health: Fascinatingly, sleeping on your side may even benefit your brain. Waste products, including soluble amyloid β (Aβ), accumulate in the brain and can contribute to the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Some emerging research suggests that sleeping in the lateral position (on your side) may allow for more efficient removal of this waste.

Cons of Side Sleeping

  • Shoulder & Neck Pain: Some people will experience shoulder and/or neck pain when sleeping on their side. This could mean that you need a new mattress or pillow, or it could mean that side sleeping is not the right fit for your body.
  • Wrinkles & Breast Sag: Sleeping on your side means that one side of your face is pressed firmly into your pillow. This can contribute to facial wrinkles. Similarly, women may find that sleeping on the side contributes to stretching of breast tissue, leading to sag.

Side Sleeping and Body Type

Your physical size and weight will affect certain aspects of how you sleep, including the type of mattress you should purchase. This is true regardless of your sleeping position, but side sleepers in particular should be aware of their most important consideration: mattress firmness.

Sleeper WeightMost Suitable Firmness RangeExplanation
Under 130lb.Soft to Medium Soft (3-5)Lighter people will not sink into mattresses as much, which means that they will be more comfortable on beds with lower firmness ratings. If light sleepers choose beds that are too firm, they may find that the bed does not offer enough conforming to improve their comfort and spinal alignment.
130-230lb.Medium to Medium Firm (5-7)For the majority of people of an average weight, a mattress in the middle of the spectrum (5-7) will tend to be the best option. These beds provide just enough cushy comfort, without feeling too soft or too firm.
Over 230lb.Medium Firm to Firm (6-8+)Heavier people over 230lbs or so should stick to firmer models that provide adequate support. This is because softer beds may sag too much, leading to a misaligned spine and back pain.

Additional Sleep Accessories for Side Sleepers

Choosing the right mattress is perhaps the most important step you can take when it comes to improving your sleep health. However, there may be other upgrades you can make to your sleep arsenal in order to get even better rest. The section below will explore a few optional sleep accessories that are important for side-sleepers.


Finding the right pillow is very important for side sleepers – in fact, a quality pillow can make just as much of a difference in sleep quality as a new mattress. While you can pick up a basic pillow for as little as $10, this is another area where it pays to spend a bit more on a quality product.

Pillows are vital for neck support and spinal alignment during sleep. Side sleepers should look for relatively thick pillows – ideally contoured designs that are slightly thicker around the edges. This design helps provide firm support to the neck, while letting the head rest comfortably with minimal pressure. While back sleepers may prefer thinner feather pillows, the majority of side sleepers will need the more substantial support that comes with a foam pillow.

Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers are optional accessories that sit on top of your bed, adding an additional layer of comfort foam. They are generally made of memory foam, and are affordably priced in the $75-$200 range.

People often buy mattress toppers in order to upgrade older beds that are not as comfortable any more. If you’re in this situation, and you are unable or unwilling to buy a new bed, picking up a mattress topper is the next best option.

In some situations, using a mattress topper may make sense even on a brand new bed. For one, toppers provide an additional layer of protection against damage and stains, and may improve the longevity of your mattress. And if you end up with a mattress that is not quite the right firmness level for your preferences, a topper can be an easy fix.

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