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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Side sleeping is a tricky business! Though it can be a great position for promoting neutral spine alignment, it can also put unnecessary tension on the shoulders and hips as the body presses into the mattress. In fact, the longer you spend snoozing on your side, the more pressure you can place on these sensitive body parts. This can lead to some serious jamming, which is not conducive to a great night’s sleep. So, how do you counteract this pesky problem? By purchasing a fantastic mattress for side sleepers, of course!

To that end, I’m going to introduce you to some of the best mattresses for side sleepers on the market today. Outfitted with gentle foams and supportive cores, these beds are plush enough to relieve pressure at the shoulders and hips, yet sturdy enough to lift the spine into a healthy, even line. I’ll also share with you the methodology I used to make my selections, so you know exactly what factors to consider in your search.

Best Amazon Mattresses For Side Sleepers

Most Affordable

Linenspa Gel Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress

Budget-conscious side sleepers should consider the gel memory foam hybrid mattress from Linenspa. This model’s built with both memory foam and coils, so offers a one-two punch of pressure relief and support that could work well for folks in need of a little relief at the shoulders and hips. Its memory foam is also infused with gel, which helps to cool down the structure. 

Pros

  • Even though you’ll get some nice sinkage from the memory foam top layer, this bed is still pretty bouncy, so could be great for those in need of a little extra mobility. 
  • Budget shoppers could be well-satisfied with the affordable price tag on this memory foam hybrid. 
  • This bed could also be a solid option for college students or young folks moving into a new apartment. 

Cons

  • Heavier folks may find that they sink right through the memory foam top layer and into the coils, which could cause some discomfort. 
Linenspa Gel Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress
Linenspa Gel Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress
Linenspa Gel Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress

The Linenspa Gel Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress is built with both memory foam and coils, so offers a one-two punch of pressure relief and support that could work well for folks in need of a little relief at the shoulders and hips.

Best Hybrid

Signature Design by Ashley

Designed with layers of plush gel memory foam, support foam, and sturdy pocketed coils, this hybrid mattress from Signature Design by Ashley could be a great fit for side sleepers. Not only does it provide plenty of sinkage and body-contouring for pressure relief at the shoulders and hips, but the coils help to lift the spine into a healthy, neutral alignment. 

Pros

  • This mattress has a pleasantly balanced build, so could work well for a wide range of sleepers. 
  • I think couples in particular could find a lot to love in this bed, especially since it isolates motion super well. 
  • Combo sleepers might also like the high mobility of this mattress, which makes it easy to move around and change positions. 

Cons

  • This bed isn’t very firm, so may not work for folks in need of a highly supportive structure.
Signature Design by Ashley
Signature Design by Ashley
Signature Design by Ashley

The Signature Design by Ashley has a pleasantly balanced build, so could work well for a wide range of sleepers.

Best for Couples

Sweetnight Mattress in a Box

If you share your bed with a partner, I’d suggest looking at the gel memory foam hybrid mattress from Sweetnight. It’s built with a gentle top layer of gel-infused memory foam for cooling and comfort and a sturdy base of individually wrapped coils for a little firm support. A great thing about these wrapped coils is that they’re fantastic at isolating motion, so should help cut down on the tossing and turning at night. 

Pros 

  • I think couples could be especially compatible with this mattress. Not only does its cooling layer of gel memory foam help dissipate body heat, but it’s wrapped coils help isolate motion throughout the structure. 
  • Combo sleepers could also find a lot to love in this bed! It’s fairly bouncy, so makes changing positions in the night a breeze. 
  • All in all, if you’re someone who seeks a balance of pressure relief and support, this could be the mattress for you. 

Cons

  • Side sleepers, beware! This bed is probably too firm for your needs as you’ll likely feel some jamming at the shoulders as you press into the bed.
Sweetnight Mattress in a Box
Sweetnight Mattress in a Box
Sweetnight Mattress in a Box

The Sweetnight Mattress in a Box is built with a gentle top layer of gel-infused memory foam for cooling and comfort and a sturdy base of individually wrapped coils for a little firm support.

Best Memory Foam

AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress

For those side sleepers looking to cuddle into a soft memory foam mattress, look no further than this bed from AmazonBasics. A simple, three-layer foam design creates a gentle feel that could be great for those with aches and pains at the shoulders, hips, and lower back. Plus, the middle layer of foam is ventilated with breathable holes, which helps increase airflow throughout the structure. 

Pros 

  • Fans of memory foam will likely enjoy this bed’s bountiful sinkage, body-contouring, and pressure relief. 
  • Hot sleepers could also find a lot to love in the breathable layer of ventilated foam, which helps to keep things cool at night. 
  • I also think the memory foam mattress from AmazonBasics is pretty affordable, so could be good for folks on a budget. 

Cons 

  • Back and stomach sleepers may want to look elsewhere as this bed isn’t quite firm enough to support their needs.
AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress
AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress
AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress

The AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress's design creates a gentle feel that could be great for those with aches and pains at the shoulders, hips, and lower back.

How We Picked

Now that we’ve gone over our picks, let’s chat about how we picked them! To do that, we’re going to break down all the most important factors to consider when looking for a mattress to satisfy your side-sleeping needs.

Pressure Relief

This one probably feels like a no brainer at this point, but it’s worth repeating: Pressure relief is going to be crucial for side sleepers. The easiest way to achieve high-quality pressure relief is to invest in high-quality materials, like dense memory foam. Unlike other popular bedding materials, this one contours to the curves and swerves of the body, essentially creating a cushiony landing pad for your shoulders and hips. This will help to prevent jamming and alleviate tension throughout the night.

Firmness

In terms of firmness, side sleepers will want to look for something soft to moderate on the firmness scale. While many folks assume firmer mattresses are the most supportive, a special exception needs to be made for those who spend most of their slumber time on their sides.

Therefore, side sleepers should stick to a firmness of 4.5-6/10 on the firmness scale (with 6.5 being the industry standard for medium firmness). Most brands will advertise how firm their mattresses are on their websites, so play close attention to the specs when doing your research. You’ll want to stick with a soft structure as it’s going to provide the most sink for pressure relief at your shoulders and hips.

Support

Support is an important factor for all sleepers to consider, but especially so for side sleepers, who tend to contort their bodies into positions that aren’t always conducive to a healthy spine alignment (like, say, the fetal position). A mattress with fantastic support will adapt to the body no matter the shape, making sure the body is in perfect synergy.

Again, it’s worth noting that support is not the same thing as firmness, and a soft mattress can bolster a sleeper just as well as a firm one. When looking for a new mattress that’ll support your side sleeper needs, make sure you find one that contours to your body’s unique shape. You’ll also want to be extra wary of how the bed supports your hips and shoulders as you move and change positions. Bonus points if you can land on a bed that does all this without making you feel “swallowed” by the pressure-relieving materials.

Pelvic Rotation

Pelvic rotation results from a situation in which the pelvis (inclusive of the hip and pubic bones) tilts forward. It’s caused when sleepers twist or curl their legs up in opposition to the position of the upper body and can lead to severe pain in the morning. Though not unique to side sleepers, this group does experience more pelvic rotation than other types of sleepers. That’s why it’s so crucial for side sleepers to find a mattress that cushions the body while also lifting the hips in alignment with the shoulders. This mix of pressure relief and support can be found in beds that combine memory foam and latex as well as ones that feature pocketed coil systems overlaid by gentle memory foam.

Sleepopolis Tips

Still not sure how to pick the mattress that’s going to be right for you? No worries! We’re going to wrap up this guide with a few tips you can use to find the bed of your side-sleeping dreams.

  • Memory foam, memory foam, memory foam! We’ve said it once, we’ll say it a million more times — this is the material for you. Thick, dense, and plush, this foam is the one best equipped to cradle your shoulders and hips as you press into your mattress.
  • But with deep sinkage comes overheating, so make sure your memory foam is outfitted with some cooling properties. Gel infusions are the most effective, followed by open-cell or ventilated foam designs.
  • In general, you’ll want to make sure your bed falls somewhere between the 4.5-6/10 range on the firmness scale. 6.5 is the industry standard for medium firmness, so skewing a little less than that will help you land on a structure that’s gentle enough for your needs.
  • Waiting for your new mattress to arrive and need a quick fix solution for your side-sleeping woes? Tuck a pillow between your knees! This will help to set the spine in a more neutral state and encourage relaxing slumber.

Wrapping Up

Well, that does it for our guide to the best beds for side sleepers! Whether you’re looking to hunker down into a thick memory foam mattress or bounce around a supportive hybrid, you’re now equipped with all the mattress know-how you need to make your bedding search a success.

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Logan Block

Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan has perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole.

Logan Block

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