Looking for the best mattress topper for side sleepers? You’ve come to the right place.
If you tend to sleep on your side, it’s easy for pressure to build up on joints like shoulders and hips. This is especially true if your mattress is too firm or doesn’t offer enough pressure relief. Your best bet is usually a new mattress — take a peek at our best mattresses for side sleepers — but if that’s not an option for you, a mattress topper can do the trick!
Many mattress toppers add an additional comfort layer to the top of a mattress, allowing for more contouring, pressure relief, and overall softness. We’ve rounded up our top 10 best mattress toppers for side sleepers to make a less-than-stellar mattress work for them.
Best Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers 2023
- Editor’s Pick – Nolah Mattress Topper
- Best for Cooling – ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper
- Best for Back Pain – TEMPUR-Adapt Mattress Topper
- Best Luxury – Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper
- Best for Combination Sleepers – Layla Mattress Topper
- Best Gel Memory Foam – Brooklyn Bedding Gel Swirl Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Best Memory Foam – Puffy Mattress Topper
- Best Budget – Lucid Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Best on Amazon – Linenspa 3-inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Best Hybrid – ViscoSoft Serene Hybrid Mattress Topper
Editor’s Pick – Nolah Mattress Topper
Nolah Mattress Topper
The Nolah Mattress Topper is a high-quality product boasting a CertiPUR-US certification. Nolah's signature foam is described as more durable, plush, and cooling than other foams on the market.
4.90 / 5Read Full Review
Side sleepers tend to need more pressure relief than other sleepers, as they rest on their shoulders and hips. The Nolah Mattress Topper offers two different firmnesses, Plush and Luxury Firm, but of course we recommend the Plush for side-sleeping. The dense foam in this topper should contour well to pain points and help you nestle into a good night’s sleep.
Why We Love It
- The foam in this topper is CertiPUR-US certified and specially designed to wick away moisture from hot sleepers.
- It comes with elastic straps, so you won’t have to worry about this topper sliding around on your mattress.
- Nolah offers a 10-year warranty and free shipping.
Read our full Nolah mattress topper review to learn more.
Best for Cooling – ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper
ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper
The ViscoSoft Select High Density mattress topper features high-density gel-infused foam with perforations for airflow, as well as a bamboo rayon cover and adjustable no-slip straps.
4.50 / 5Read Full Review
The ViscoSoft Select High Density mattress topper is made with a 3-inch block of ventilated gel memory foam. It has a bamboo rayon cover with a slip resistant mesh bottom and elastic straps to secure the topper to the mattress. It has a dense, supportive feel and the mold conforms around your body as you lie on the topper — great for providing pressure relief for side sleepers.
Why We Love It
- This topper provides a nice cooling effect. The gel infusion in the memory foam draws heat away from the body, while the ventilation holes allow for airflow within the foam. Plus, the bamboo cover helps to promote temperature regulation.
- The cover is machine washable, helpful for keeping the topper clean overall.
- This topper feels very high-quality and should last a long time, particularly thanks to the thick, high-density foam.
Need to know more? Keep on reading in our full ViscoSoft Select High Density mattress topper review.
Best for Back Pain – TEMPUR-Adapt Mattress Topper
TEMPUR-Adapt Mattress Topper
The TEMPUR-Adapt is a great mattress topper with a soft memory foam feel that offers impressive pressure relief!
4.50 / 5Read Full Review
The TEMPUR-Adapt mattress topper, from memory foam mogul Tempur-Pedic, is made with a polyester blend cover and three inches of TEMPUR Material foam. This topper has a thick, dense feel. When you first lay on it, it feels very supportive, but as the foam warms up around you, you end up sinking in quite deeply for lots of contouring. That contouring provides lots of pressure relief on the shoulders and hips for side sleepers, helping to alleviate back pain and keep the spine aligned properly.
Why We Love It
- The cover of this topper is removable and machine washable.
- The TEMPUR Material foam provides serious conforming and body contouring, which is not only cozy, but can make a too-firm mattress feel much more comfortable for side sleepers.
- It’s a good choice for sleepers with allergies because the cover is resistant to mold, allergens, and dust mite dander.
Best Luxury – Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper
Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper
This high-quality topper is made with an organic cotton cover, graphite-infused memory foam, and elastic straps.
4.80 / 5Read Full Review
Saatva offers a few different versions of their mattress topper: one is memory foam, one is latex, and one is graphite-infused memory foam. We chose the Saatva Graphite mattress topper as the best luxury mattress topper because it uses high-quality materials and provides incredible comfort. It’s made with an organic cotton cover, three inches of graphite-infused memory foam, and features anchor bands to secure the topper to your mattress.
Why We Love It
- The Saatva mattress topper’s foam feels thick and high-density, allowing lots of room to sink in for body contouring and pressure relief. However, it still also provides a lot of support. This should be a very comfortable feel for most side sleepers.
- The breathable cotton cover and cooling graphite infusions provide a temperature-neutral sleep experience.
- The Saatva mattress topper also feels durable and well-crafted.
Want to learn more? Read our full Saatva Graphite mattress topper review to get all the details.
Best for Combination Sleepers – Layla Mattress Topper
Layla Mattress Topper
A memory foam topper from Layla is a great way to extend the life of your current mattress.
4.20 / 5Read Full Review
The Layla mattress topper features two inches of memory foam, infused with copper gel beads for cooling and antimicrobial properties. The cover is made from a soft fabric that is a blend of polyester, viscose, and lycra. It also has straps on each corner of the topper to secure it to the top of your mattress and prevent shifting.
Why We Love It
- The foam used in this topper has a high-density feel that makes it supportive, but still allows for some slow sinking in.
- It’s comfortable for both back and side sleeping, so combination sleepers can feel good in both positions with this topper.
- Plus, because it is thinner, the foam doesn’t envelope the sleeper’s body and it’s still easy to switch between sleeping positions — you shouldn’t feel stuck.
Learn more in our full Layla mattress topper review.
Best Gel Memory Foam – Brooklyn Bedding Gel Swirl Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Brooklyn Bedding Gel Swirl Mattress Topper
The Brooklyn Bedding Gel Swirl Topper is made with a 2.5-pound layer of gel memory foam pairs ultimate optimal pressure point relief with just the right amount of responsiveness.Read Full Review
The Gel Swirl Memory Foam mattress topper from Brooklyn Bedding is made with gel-infused memory foam. The gel infusions are designed to draw heat away from your body and reduce how much heat the memory foam traps — heat trapping is a natural feature of memory foam.
Why We Love It
- This topper is available in two different thicknesses: two inches and three inches. You can choose the 2-inch for a lower profile or the 3-inch for more room to sink in for pressure relief. Side sleepers may want to opt for the 3-inch for lots of room for body contouring.
- The Gel Swirl Memory Foam topper has a plush feel that allows for contouring, particularly around pressure points like shoulders and hips.
- This topper is a good choice for both back and side sleepers.
Keep on reading in our full length Brooklyn Bedding Gel Swirl Memory Foam mattress topper review.
Best Memory Foam – Puffy Mattress Topper
Puffy Deluxe Mattress Topper
The Puffy mattress topper is a great solution for those looking to firm up a soft mattress, or soften a firm mattress! It has an anti-slip grip to keep it from falling off your bed.
5.00 / 5Read Full Review
Memory foam is a popular material for mattress toppers, because it can provide extra cushioning and pressure relief to a too-firm mattress. The Puffy mattress topper is an excellent choice for a memory foam topper, because it not only provides that cozy memory foam feel, but has a cooling cover with a skirt to secure the topper to your mattress.
Why We Love It
- The Puffy mattress topper has a plush, pressure-relieving feel. The longer you lay on the topper, the more it conforms around you. That’s a big plus for side sleepers who need additional pressure relief and softness around their joints.
- The cover is made with a blend of bamboo viscose, which is a cooling material. That helps counteract the heat-trapping tendencies of the memory foam.
- Plus, the cover can be removed and machine washed — a great bonus for keeping your topper super clean.
Learn more in our full Puffy mattress topper review.
Best Budget – Lucid Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Lucid 3" Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
While this Lucid mattress topper is fairly simple in its design, it is effective at cushioning pressure points for side sleepers and providing a soft, pressure-relieving sleeping experience for back sleepers.
4.40 / 5
Many shoppers look for a mattress topper as a cheaper alternative to buying a new mattress when their current bed is less than comfortable. However, some toppers are still fairly spendy. That’s why we chose the Lucid Gel Memory Foam mattress topper as our best budget mattress topper — it provides the comfort you want from a mattress topper at an affordable price of under $100 for a queen size topper.
Why We Love It
- The Lucid Gel Memory Foam mattress topper is made of gel-infused memory foam with ventilation holes to allow for airflow within the topper.
- It’s available in 2-inch, 3-inch, or 4-inch thicknesses, allowing shoppers to choose the thickness best suited to their sleeping position and body type.
- This topper has a plush and squishy feel that provides lots of pressure relief.
Need to know more? Head on over to our full Lucid Gel Memory Foam mattress topper review.
Best on Amazon – Linenspa 3-inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Linenspa 3-inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The Linenspa is a soft mattress topper made of slow-moving memory foam. It allows sleepers to slowly sink in and is designed to add comfort and pressure relief to a mattress. The Linenspa is also infused with gel beads to keep the mattress from getting too hot at night.
Amazon is a popular destination to search for… well, everything! However, with so many options available, it’s hard to know what to choose. The Linenspa 3-inch Gel Infused Memory Foam mattress topper is our favorite topper on Amazon because it’s budget-friendly and comfortable. It’s made from a solid block of memory foam infused with gel beads.
Why We Love It
- This topper is available in multiple thicknesses. We tested the 3-inch, but it also comes in 2-inch and 4-inch versions.
- The cooling gel infusions in the memory foam help to keep this topper temperature-neutral throughout the night.
- This Linenspa topper has a super cushy feel that’s comfortable for side and back sleepers.
Read our full length Linenspa 3-inch Gel Infused Memory Foam mattress topper review to learn more.
Best Hybrid – ViscoSoft Serene Hybrid Mattress Topper
ViscoSoft Serene Hybrid Mattress Topper
The ViscoSoft Serene Hybrid is a dual layer mattress topper featuring a pillow top and gel foam interior.Read Full Review
You might have heard of hybrid mattresses but what about hybrid mattress toppers? The ViscoSoft Serene Hybrid mattress topper combines a memory foam mattress topper with a pillow top layer for a super comfy sleep experience. It features a 2.5-inch block of gel memory foam covered by a down-alternative pillow top cover that fits around the mattress like a fitted sheet.
Why We Love It
- Pillow top or down mattress toppers can lack in support and pressure relief, but memory foam toppers can sometimes feel too “foamy.” This topper strikes a balance between both of these styles for support and pressure relief, but a pillowy feel.
- The cover is also machine washable, so you can toss it in the wash with your other bedding to keep your topper squeaky clean.
- It’s also a comfortable topper for both back and side sleepers.
Learn more about this unique topper in our full ViscoSoft Serene Hybrid mattress topper review.
How To Choose A Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers
As you are researching to determine which mattress topper is best for you, as a side sleeper, it’s important to know what factors to consider in your search. Let’s go over some of the factors we look at here at Sleepopolis.
As with most bedding and sleep accessory products, materials are an important factor to consider when shopping for a mattress topper. Common materials used in mattress toppers include memory foam, latex foam, down, and down alternatives.
Memory foam is one of the most common materials — as you can see from the toppers featured in this roundup. Memory foam contours around the body, providing cushioning and pressure relief. That’s especially important for side sleepers, whose entire body weight rests on their shoulders and hips. Pressure can build up easily on those joints, but memory foam can relieve some of that pressure.
Memory foam does naturally trap a lot of heat, so many mattress toppers feature cooling infusions like graphite, gel, or copper. Check out our best memory foam mattress toppers to learn more.
Latex foam is similar to memory foam, but it is derived from rubber tree sap. It’s commonly used for eco-friendly and natural products, but it’s also valued for being bouncier, more responsive, and more cooling than memory foam. Latex often doesn’t offer quite as much pressure relief or body contouring as memory foam though, so it might not be the best choice for side sleepers. Learn more in our best latex mattress toppers roundup.
Down and Down Alternatives
Down and down alternatives, such as polyester fiber fill, can be used to create plusher, feather bed/pillow top style mattress toppers. These also tend not to provide quite as much pressure relief as memory foam toppers, unless they are extremely thick. Learn more at our best down mattress toppers to learn more.
Mattress toppers come in a variety of thicknesses, but for side sleepers, you should look for a thickness of at least two inches. That’s because side sleepers are generally needing more pressure relief, so you want to have enough material to sink into before you hit the firm mattress below. Two inches works well for more lightweight side sleepers, who don’t sink in as much, but for average to heavyweight side sleepers (weighing 130+ pounds), I would recommend looking for a topper that is three to four inches thick.
Firmness is also important to consider. Since side sleepers do generally want more cushioning and pressure relief, we recommend a topper that is somewhere between soft and medium-firm, as long as it allows for lots of pressure relief. A firm mattress topper won’t do much for side sleepers, as it won’t provide any more relief for their hips and shoulders than their current bed does already.
As with any purchase, price is important to think about when shopping for a mattress topper. Most people looking to buy a mattress topper want to improve the comfort of their mattress without investing in a brand new mattress. For a queen size mattress topper, I would be prepared to spend at least $80 to $100 for something of good quality. However, for higher quality materials, toppers can easily be $200 to $300. There’s something that works for every budget, so start shopping with an idea in mind of what is reasonable for you.
How Side Sleepers Can Improve Their Sleep
Mattress toppers are just one way that side sleepers can improve their overall comfort and quality of sleep.
Pillows for Side Sleepers
Side sleepers should also consider whether their pillow is offering enough support for their head and neck to maintain spinal alignment. We recommend a firm, high loft pillow for side sleepers to ensure their neck isn’t dipping down while they sleep, which can lead to strain and neck pain. Check out our best pillows for side sleepers to see our favorites.
Pillows can also be handy for providing body support to side sleepers. Sleeping with a pillow between the legs can offer pressure relief to side sleepers’ knees, can promote better hip alignment, and help prevent lower back pain. Body pillows are another good choice for side sleepers, as they can provide support and prevent side sleepers from twisting their spines as they sleep.
Mattresses for Side Sleepers
Of course, instead of a mattress topper, you can always look into a new mattress that is better suited for side sleeping. Although a bigger investment, a new mattress will last longer and be more durable than a new topper. A mattress that offers pressure relief for shoulders and hips is best, so we often recommend beds that incorporate memory foam, pillow tops, or other soft, contouring materials. Take a look at our best mattresses for side sleepers for some good options.
Best Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers FAQs
How thick should a mattress topper be for a side sleeper?
Side sleepers should choose a mattress topper that is at least two inches thick. But for more pressure relief, look for a topper three to four inches thick.
Do side sleepers need firm or plush?
Side sleepers generally need a mattress topper that is more plush than firm, to offer pressure relief for their shoulders and hips.
Is a mattress topper the same as a mattress pad or mattress protector?
No, these are three separate products that serve similar purposes. A mattress topper is designed to alter the feel of your mattress — making it feel softer or firmer, adding an additional layer of comfort, or providing a cooling effect. A mattress protector is like a fitted sheet that protects your mattress from spills, allergens, or anything that could cause damage. A mattress pad is like the in-between of toppers and protectors. They provide a small amount of cushioning and a small amount of protection. Learn more in our mattress pad vs mattress topper vs mattress protector article.
Hopefully you have found a mattress topper that will help you sleep more comfortably on your side. If not, take a look at our best mattress toppers for more options. There are lots of toppers out there and there’s bound to be one that is just right for you. Happy shopping!