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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

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Night after night, many people find themselves turning to their side for a restful night’s sleep, so what makes the best mattress for side sleepers? Firmness, support, and pelvic rotation are all key factors to consider when selecting your next new mattress. Unlike back sleepers, side sleepers are less likely to struggle with snoring or airflow issues, but they can suffer from hip, back, or neck pain.

Top 9 Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Really the best mattress for a side sleeper is one that aligns your spine and relieves pressure points on your hips and shoulders well – which is very dependent on your weight, body shape, and preference. So don’t take the list below as a final or complete list, but rather some recommendations from me to help get you started. Now for my top 8 mattresses for side sleepers:

Why These Top Mattress Picks?

Again the above is highly based on my personal preferences and biases, but read on for why I put each of these on my best side sleeping list (plus I’ll provide some additional recommendations).

Feeling lost? Click hear to learn more about how to choose the right mattress for side sleeping.

Best Hybrid Mattress for Side Sleeping

Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Side

Picture of the Tomorrow Sleep plush

Tomorrow Sleep is backed by one of the biggest bed manufacturers in the business (Serta Simmons), so they are definitely pros when it comes to mattress construction.

The mattress has a great mixed feel of foam and springs, and provides two firmness options so you can choose which one you think can get you aligned and relieve pressure best for your own preferences.

Get the full story in my Tomorrow Sleep mattress review.

Other great hybrid options for side sleepers would be Sapira (read review) and the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora mattress (read review).

Best Luxury Mattress for Side Sleeping

Casper Wave Mattress Construction

Showing the zoned construction of the Casper Wave mattress

The Casper Wave is a higher-end mattress that has zoning technology specifically for side sleepers. The mattress is designed to actually provide different construction on the shoulders and hips so that your spine is better aligned when sleeping on your side.

Learn more about the construction in my full Casper Wave review.

There are many luxury mattresses that are great for side sleepers, but a few more of my favorites would be the Amerisleep AS4 (read review) and Tempurpedic (read review).

Best Mattress for Side Sleeping with Shoulder or Hip Pain

Layla Soft Hand Press

Pressing into the Soft Side of the Layla mattress

I like the Layla mattress for side sleepers with shoulder and hip pain because it is flippable – and has two sides that could work for side sleepers.

There is no magic formula to fix shoulder and hip pain, it really depends on you and your preferences (which can shift over time)! Thus having a mattress where you can have two options to adjust to your preferences can be a great solution for side sleepers with hip or shoulder pain. Learn more about this mattress in my Layla mattress review.

Two other options that may be could for shoulder or hip pain are the Leesa (read review) and GhostBed (read review).

Best Mattress for Side Sleeping Pressure Relief

Purple Mattress Pressure Map

Amazing pressure relief on my side (and all positions) when laying on the Purple mattress

The Purple mattress has a unique gel comfort layer construction that results in some of the best pressure relief we have tested at Sleepopolis, particularly when laying on your side. Though you may have thought the “raw egg test” was just a marketing ploy, it actually does demonstrate the fact that the Purple mattress really does stand apart in terms of pressure relief.

The Purple mattress does a great job of both relieving pressure, but also providing a feeling of support. The gel layer that Purple uses is unlike anything else I’ve tested on the market – though it can take a little getting used to, I think it’s insanely comfortable.

Learn more about its unique construction and pressure relief in my full Purple mattress review.

There are many other mattresses on the market that are great for pressure relief and side sleeping – but two other mattresses that are great for side sleeping pressure relief are the Nest Bedding Alexander Hybrid Contour (read review) and the GhostBed Luxe (read review)

Best Innerspring Mattress for Side Sleeping

Winkbeds Mattress Side

WinkBeds queen size mattress

I like the WinkBeds mattress for side sleeping because it has a bit of extra foam on top compared to most innerspring mattresses on the market.

While it still has that traditional innerspring feel that many people love, the extra foam provides just enough extra pressure relief on the hips and shoulders to make a noticeable difference for side sleepers.

WinkBeds also offers a soft option, which some side sleepers may prefer, as well as an option for heavy sleepers. Learn more in my full WinkBeds mattress review.

Two other innersprings for side sleepers that I recommend are Saatva (read review) and Beautyrest Black (read review).

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleeping

Amerisleep AS4 Hand Press

Pressing into the Amerisleep AS4 mattress

Amerisleep has a few memory foam mattresses in their line that are good options for side sleeping. They range from AS1 to AS5, with AS3, AS4, and AS5 being on the softer side and good options for side sleeping (in my opinion). These mattresses are high quality memory foam, offering that classic contouring and supportive feel that many side sleepers adore. Learn more about the whole Amerisleep line in on my Amerisleep mattress reviews page.

Two other great memory foam options for side sleepers are the Loom and Leaf mattress (read review) and Bear mattress (read review).

Best Side Sleeping Mattress for Back Pain

Nest - Alexander Hybrid Contour Mattress Edge Support Laying

Showing the contouring of the Alexander Hybrid from Nest Bedding

Though many mattresses can help with back pain when side sleeping, first that came to mind was the Alexander Hybrid from Nest Bedding.

This is a hybrid mattress that offers a great comfort and support tradeoff that makes it easy to adjust your sleeping position slightly to align the spine and deal with pressure points on your body. Learn more in my Nest Bedding Alexander Hybrid review.

Two other great mattress options that come to mind for back pain are the Brooklyn Bedding signature mattress (read review) and the Casper mattress (read review).

Best Custom Made for You Mattress for Side Sleeping

Helix Mattress Front Image

Queen size custom made Helix mattress

Helix Sleep offers a great solution for side sleepers because they actually create the mattress to your preferences and specifications. When done right, this process will get you aligned, supported, and comfortable in a great position, a side sleepers dream!

The process requires that you complete a quiz about your body characteristics and preferences – and allows couples to each complete a quiz so that each side of the bed can cater to each sleeper.

Learn more in my full Helix mattress review.

Custom made for you mattresses are not common these days, two other companies that have a somewhat similar concept are Luxi (read review) and Tuck (read review).

Best Mattress for Side Sleeping Couples

Nolah Front View

Queen size Nolah mattress

Nolah uses their proprietary AirFoam in the comfort layer of the mattress to provide a soft feel that really lets you sink in for pressure relief. This layer gives the Nolah the contouring you may expect from a memory foam, with a bit of a feeling of sinking into bed. I should also mention that, like memory foam, AirFoam does a good job of isolating motion transfer, which is a huge plus for couples.

While the Nolah AirFoam has some of the positives that people like in memory foam it also does a good job of avoiding the tendency to trap body heat that memory foam has been known for. This ability to dissipate heat creates a cool sleeping environment.

 

If you’re interested you can read more in my full Nolah review.

 

Firmness

First off, let’s talk about firmness. For side sleepers, you’re going to want to look for something soft to moderate on the firmness scale. A soft mattress (with great support) will help to relieve pressure from your neck and back. Firmness is perhaps the most important attribute for side sleepers. This is due to the very nature of the position. In order to provide proper support the mattress must be able to contour to the curves of your body (yes, men, even you have curves on your side). A soft or medium firmness mattress will allow your body to sink into the mattress a bit more, which will let the mattress contour to your shape.

Side sleepers typically need a soft to medium firmness. Look for a mattress in the 3-6 out of 10 firmness range.

Side sleepers typically need a soft to medium firmness. Look for a mattress in the 3-6 out of 10 firmness range.

Support

A mattress with great support will relieve pressure points and keep your spine, neck, and back in alignment. For side sleepers, this is especially important since your spine may be misaligned already. It’s important to note that support is not the same thing as hard firmness. A softer mattress can still provide great support. When looking for a new mattress that will meet your side sleeper needs you’ll want to look for one that contours to your body’s shape. Foam mattresses offer many advantages for side sleepers, but well-built and well-designed innerspring mattresses can be effective also.

Note how the foam layers contour to the curves. Providing support, comfort, and spinal alignment.

Note how the foam layers contour to the curves of the body. Providing support, comfort, and spinal alignment.

The actual position of side sleepers can drastically range. Some of the most popular ones include forms like:

  • The log – Legs fully extended
  • The sprinter – One leg straight, one leg bent
  • The fetal – Both legs curled at the knee

Due to the nightly variation of a side sleeper’s position, support is key to ensure your mattress is properly contouring to your body throughout the night.

Pelvic Rotation

Pelvic rotation is the result of misalignment of the back muscles and lumbar spine. It is caused when sleepers twist or curl their legs up in opposition to the position of the upper body. Take for example, “the sprinter”. This person sleeps with one leg fairly straight and the other bent, which tends to rotate his or her upper body into a stomach sleeping position, while the lower body remains on the side. This type of rotation can lead to or worsen any lower back and neck pain so it’s important to take preventative measures before it starts hurting.

There aren’t any perfect solutions to preventing pelvic rotation, but there are a few things you can do to help.

  • Try to train yourself to sleep in side sleeping positions that keep your spine in alignment.
  • Use a pillow between your legs to maintain spinal alignment (see below).
  • Buy a good mattress with proper support and softness. That will help to prevent pressure points that might be currently causing you to sleep in positions that cause more pelvic rotation.

Pillows

Good pillows are just as important as a good mattress. You may have an exceptionally well made and comfortable mattress, but without a good pillow you may still find that your sleeping experience is less than ideal. A quality pillow is critically important for side sleepers due to the increased (and somewhat more complex) support needs. Pillows made from latex, shredded foam, memory foam, or other poly foam help provide consistent and stable support by responding to the varying pressures of your head and neck. You’ll want to look for a pillow that is tall enough to cradle your head and neck, but not so tall that you introduce a new form of pressure.

Additionally, many side sleepers use pillows between their legs. This can help to resist pelvic rotation, while also relieving lower back pressure.

The advent of foam pillows in the 1990s was nothing short of a miracle for side sleepers. Foam pillows are able to provide great support and softness and properly cradle a side sleeper’s head and neck. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out my full list of pillow reviews. My personal favorite is the fully adjustable Nest Bedding Easy Breather pillow.

Nest Bedding Easy Breather pillow - exceptional for side sleepers of varying body types, weights, and preferences due to easy adjustability

Nest Bedding Easy Breather pillow – exceptional for side sleepers of varying body types, weights, and preferences due to easy adjustability

What’s the best mattress for a side sleeper?

Sleepopolis recommends the following mattresses for side sleepers. The following mattresses:

  • Provide great support.
  • Have a soft to moderate firm feel (3-6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, where 10 is the most firm).
  • Are supportive enough to prevent or limit pelvic rotation.
  • Contour to the natural curves created by lying on your side.
  • Breathe well and improve the cooling of the mattress.
MattressBest ForMattress BrandDescriptionPrice (Queen Size)CouponReview
Tomorrow SleepHybridTomorrow SleepCoil-on-coil + pillow top design. From Serta Simmons.$990See Current OfferRead Review
Casper WaveLuxuryCasper WaveCasper Wave - Proprietary foam + memory foam design. Zoned for side sleepers.$1,850See Current OfferRead Review
LaylaShoulder/Hip PainLaylaCopper infused memory foam. Flippable to provide two firmness options.$899See Current OfferRead Review
PurplePressure ReliefPurpleGel polymer + poly foam design. Modern thin cover. Available in medium firmness.$999See Current OfferRead Review
WinkBedsInnerspringWinkBedsCoil-on-coil + pillow top design. Euro-style pillow topper cover. Available in soft, medium, and hard firmness.$1,299See Current OfferRead Review
AmerisleepMemory FoamAmerisleepAdvanced memory foam. Modern thin cover. Medium feel.$999-$1899See Current OfferRead Review
Nest Bedding Alexander HybridBack PainNest BeddingAlexander Hybrid - Pocketed coils + memory foam design. Traditional quilted cover. Available in medium firmness.$1,199See Current OfferRead Review
HelixCustom Made for YouHelixLatex + poly foam design. Modern thin cover. Available in customized firmness levels.$995See Current OfferRead Review
NolahCouplesNolahThe Nolah mattress uses their proprietary AirFoam to provide a memory foam like contour and pressure relief, without the heat trapping and stuck feeling that memory foam is sometimes known for. It's a softer mattress that is designed with side sleepers in mind.$949See Current OfferRead My Review!

*Price reflect Queen-size mattresses + include any Sleepopolis coupons available

Be sure to try a wide range of firmness when shopping for the best mattress for you. Depending on your size, weight, and body type you may find different firmness levels affect your body differently. When trying out a new mattress, it helps to lie on it exactly as you would sleep. Try to give it at least 10 minutes. Softer mattresses for side sleepers contour and react to your body very quickly as soon as you lie down, so it may feel different after only 5 short minutes.

If you’re shopping online make sure to select a company with a solid trial period. Many of the top online mattress companies back their product with a great trial period (e.g., Leesa 100 day trial, Nest 100 day trial, Loom & Leaf 120 day trial) so if you find that it’s not right for you, you can swap it out for one that is.

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Logan Block

Logan Block

Logan is the director of content at Sleepopolis and the main mattress man around these parts. He's a big fan of sleeping in many sleeping positions and weightlifting.
Logan Block

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