Sleeping on your side is the most common sleeping position — 68.7% of people predominantly sleep on their side. So statistically, you’re probably a side sleeper too. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for a new bed.
When choosing the best mattresses for side sleepers, we checked first for beds that would provide pressure relief to your shoulder and hip and were supportive enough to keep your spine aligned. Price and value were also a big part of our decision. Keep reading to find out why we picked these beds for side sleepers.
Top 8 Mattresses For Side Sleepers
- Editor’s Choice for Side Sleepers :Layla HybridStarting at $1299 Shop Now
- Best Memory Foam Mattress :Nectar Premier MattressStarting at $1297 Shop Now
- Best Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers :Nolah Original 10Starting at $699 Shop Now
- Best Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers :Purple OriginalStarting at $799 Shop Now
- Best Innerspring Mattress for Side Sleepers :Saatva ClassicStarting at $935 Shop Now
- Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers :Puffy LuxStarting at $1449 Shop Now
- Best Budget Mattress for Side Sleepers :GhostBed OriginalStarting at $895 Shop Now
- Best Mattress for Plus-Size Side Sleepers :Helix PlusStarting at $949 Shop Now
Best Bed For Side Sleepers Video Review
Swipe to see why these made our list
Swipe to see why these made our list
Why We Chose These Mattresses
In this Best Mattress For Side Sleepers guide, we provide overviews of the beds that would be great for side sleepers, or anyone who needs maximum pressure point relief. We hand selected each of these beds, and no outside party dictated any of our selections. We take great pride in providing you the most honest and thorough mattress reviews so side sleepers like yourself can find the perfect new bed.
Compare the Best Mattresses For Side Sleepers
Layla Hybrid is a memory foam mattress that has a “Soft” side and “Firm” side, along with pocket coils for support.
This flippable mattress offers two sides with different firmness levels. On the “Soft” side, you get more of a light memory foam feel, which is ideal if you are having shoulder pain. The “Firm” side is suitable for side and back sleepers as well as stomach sleepers. Though it’s not actually firm — certainly not as firm as some other beds on this list, it’s still supportive!
The Layla Hybrid is one of the best mattresses for side sleepers, with some exciting features that set it apart from the myriad bed-in-a-box mattresses out there. With Layla Hybrid, you get two mattresses in one since it’s a flippable mattress with different firmness levels on either side.
Layla Hybrid’s best features
Best Memory Foam Mattress For Side Sleepers
The memory foam feel you love from Nectar, but thicker and with more contouring support. The Nectar Premier also comes in another version — The Nectar Premier Copper is infused with copper fibers for a cooling effect.
Nectar Premier mattresses offer a premium experience that we think is an excellent compromise for people who like that memory foam hug feeling but prefer a thicker, more durable bed. It’s just a little over a medium in our firmness scale, which is a tad softer than the flagship Nectar mattress.
The gel-infused memory foam on the Premier has a firmness profile that provides plenty of pressure relief for side sleepers and keeps spinal alignment. This Mattress contours nicely to your body, supporting your head, neck, shoulders, and back. We honestly think that it is one of the best beds on the market for side sleepers, and their 4.8 out of 5 stars rating is proof that it is also a fan favorite.
Nectar Premier’s best features
- Unlike most memory foam mattresses, Nectar Premier provides better temperature regulation. Nectar Premier features “Smart Layer With ActiveCool HD” as their comfort layer and a cooling agent in the mattress cover.
- If you’re a really hot sleeper, the Nectar Premier Copper model goes a step further with its “heat-conductive copper fibers” that will give you a cooling feeling when you lay down. It will cost you a few hundred dollars more for this feature, though.
- The Nectar Premier bed is durable and supportive long-term thanks to it’s three-layer design. Keep in mind it’s still an all-foam bed, so we would advise people over 230 lbs to go with a hybrid mattress instead. If this is the case, you can check our our list for Best Mattresses for Heavy People.
Best Foam Mattress For Side Sleepers
If you’re in the market for a generally comfortable all-foam mattress that’s pretty easy on the wallet, we think the entry-level Nolah mattress is a great pick. The Nolah Original 10 mattress is 10” thick (hence the name) and provides side sleepers with a soft, plush firmness level. On our scale from soft to firm, we rated it in between medium and medium-soft.
The mattress has three layers with a combination of polyurethane foam and the company’s proprietary foams, including Nolah’s “AirFoam.” Overall, we think it feels like a neutral foam mattress with just a hint of memory foam. In other words, if you despise the slow-responding feel of memory foam, you may be open to the new-age feel of Nolah Original 10.
Nolah Original 10’s best features
- The Nolah AirFoam has an open cell structure to improve airflow. This should help keep you cool at night as the foam won’t warm up by retaining your body heat.
- The bed is responsive, which means it snaps back into place. This is especially important if you switch positions during the night, as it will help you move easier, and you’ll be more rested in the morning.
- It’s not a budget mattress by any means, but you can get a queen size Nolah Original 10 for under $1,000 after discounts (they’re almost always running some type of promotion). Considering this bed has a lifetime warranty and a quality-made foam bed, we think it’s a fair price.
Best Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers
Why Purple Plus wins best cooling mattress for side sleepers
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Purple and their proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer grid. The Purple Plus mattress –– a luxury take on their flagship bed –– snags our pick for best cooling mattress for side sleepers. It’s made with an extra layer of foam that’s supposed to give you better cushioning and breathability.
Not only does the Purple grid look really cool, but the little squares promote exceptional airflow. Purple isn’t an actively cooling mattress, so it’s not cool to the touch. But if you’re a hot sleeper, Purple is at the top of the market when it comes to airflow and temperature regulation. You won’t get hot sleeping on Purple.
Purple Plus best features:
- If you’re tired of the same old thing and you’re looking for a unique gel-like feel, Purple Plus is your pick.
- Purple Plus is the type of mattress that anyone can sleep on. Side sleepers won’t have to worry about pressure points or a stiff back.
- The proprietary Hyper-Elastic material used in the Purple mattresses promotes airflow. It’s not a cooling mattress but is still one of the best mattresses on the market for airflow and temperature regulation.
Best Innerspring Mattress for Side Sleepers
Why Saatva wins best innerspring mattress for side sleepers
Saatva stands out to us because it’s one of the only mattresses that fills the gap between traditional innerspring mattresses and foam beds. With Saatva, you get it all –– a classic innerspring system, pocketed coils, and a plush pillow top. We know, innerspring mattresses seem outdated. You’re probably picturing the squeaky bed in your grandparents’ house. But your grandma wishes she had a Saatva bed.
We like Saatva because it’s just a super well-made mattress that will stand the test of time. You get support, and you get pressure relief. There is no compromise with Saatva. You even get to choose the firmness level you want. There’s a Saatva mattress out there for everyone.
We have to mention the price. It’s not the cheapest bed out there, but we think Saatva is worth the money.
Saatva best features:
- Saatva mattresses are made with CertiPUR-US® certified foams.
- If you’re someone who wants a super durable mattress, you’ll like Saatva’s back-to-back innerspring construction.
- With Saatva, you get to choose your firmness level. You can choose from Plush Soft (medium on our scale), Luxury Firm (medium-firm), and Firm (firm).
Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers
Why Puffy Lux wins best soft mattress for side sleepers
If you’re a side sleeper who likes a nice, plush mattress, then the Puffy Lux might be the bed for you. The Puffy Lux mattress is a thick, durable hybrid mattress that falls on the softer side of our firmness scale. It’s soft to the touch and super comfortable. Think a super soft, fluffy cloud. Comfort and pressure relief are crucial factors for side sleepers. The last thing anyone wants are pressure points that keep them from getting a good night’s sleep.
For people who are looking for a dependable hybrid mattress that’s also ultra-comfortable and price is no problem, then Puffy Lux is the bed for you. Keep in mind i’s not the most affordable mattress on the market, but for some people, it’s worth the price.
Puffy Lux best features:
- Puffy Lux is a medium-soft to medium mattress in terms of firmness, making it perfect for side sleepers who want ample pressure relief.
- It’s a hybrid mattress, which means that anybody type can sleep on Puffy Lux – from petite to heavy!
- Puffy Lux has a removable cover. It’s not exactly a requirement, but it’s definitely a bonus, especially if you have kids.
Best Budget Mattress for Side Sleepers
Why GhostBed wins best budget mattress for side sleepers:
We like GhostBed because it’s a budget-friendly, highly-versatile mattress. It falls at a medium-firm on our scale, which means it accommodates all sleeper styles and body types. We’re actually surprised that it’s priced so well given its latex foam construction. Latex foam tends to bump the price of the bed up because it’s known for its durability and quality.
We don’t say this often, but GhostBed is actually one of our favorite mattresses… ever. It’s super comfortable that’s about an inch thicker than other foam mattresses. That’s an inch more of pressure relief. Side sleepers will love the comfort of the GhostBed mattresses.
Ghostbed best features:
- GhostBed is a great option for sleepers on a budget.
- It’s extremely accommodating; anyone can sleep on a GhostBed mattress.
- GhostBed is made with latex foam, which is known for its superior airflow and durability.
Best Mattress for Plus-Size Side Sleepers
Why Helix Plus wins best mattress for plus-size side sleepers
Helix offers a ton of beds –– over ten different options. The Helix Plus takes our pick for the best mattress for plus side sleepers. The Luxe model is 13” thick and is comprised of five different layers. Instead of standard coils that are found in most hybrid mattresses, the Helix Plus has XL-wrapped coils that allow the bed to support heavier weights. It has plenty of layers of foam for comfort, too, so you don’t have to worry about comfort.
It’s specifically designed for heavier folks of all kinds. It’s good for all sleeping positions, including side sleepers. It’s hard to find something we don’t like about this mattress. It’s one of the best beds on the market for heavier body types.
Helix Plus best features:
- Helix Plus is a super durable mattress that has XL wrapped coils, DuraDense foam, and multiple layers of foam for comfort. It’s just a really good pick for heavier people.
- It’s made with Helix’s Tencel technology, which aims to increase airflow and keep you cool at night.
- It’s a soft mattress, which means side sleepers will favor.
How To Find The Best Bed For Side Sleepers
Choose the right firmness
Firmness all comes down to comfort, and it’s pretty subjective. However, the perception of the firmness of the bed has a lot to do with your weight. The same bed can feel soft if you’re heavier, while if you’re lighter, you’ll contend that it’s firm.
That’s a very large range, so you’ll have to find your sweet spot. We’d suggest that you start a little more firm than you think you want, simply because all of these beds soften over time. Another thing that you should do is walk on your new bed for one minute per day to properly and evenly soften up the mattress.
So then, if you’re a side sleeper, will you want a soft mattress or a firm one? All we can say is that if you need more pressure point relief, say for shoulder pain or hip pain, you will likely want a plush mattress or something that’s on the softer end of the spectrum. If you’re more concerned with back pain, or perhaps you’re a side and back sleeper, a firmer mattress might interest you more.
We can’t say for sure whether the soft mattress vs. firm mattress is right for you. That said, we made sure to include both options on our list.
The right firmness for you:
- In general, side sleepers prefer soft to medium-firm mattresses.
- If you need more pressure point relief, say for shoulder pain or hip pain, you will likely want a plush mattress or something that’s on the softer end of the spectrum.
- If you’re more concerned with back pain, or perhaps you’re a side and back sleeper, a firmer mattress might interest you more.
Choose the right type of bed
The mattress that is the one for you will depend on your preferences, your body type, and temperature regulation, among other personal criteria. It’s important to note that the level of support you need hinges on how much pressure you exert on a mattress. For example, if you’re 300 lbs, you’ll need more support than if you are 95 lbs. If you’re a side sleeper dealing with back pain, you need to pay attention to support.
Petite to average-weighted side sleepers could get away with any soft foam mattress, but heavy individuals should look into a foam mattress that’s at least 11” thick or opt for a hybrid bed with some sort of spring.
|Memory Foam||• Memory foam is the single most popular type of mattress online. |
• It’s a dense material that cradles your body when you settle in
• Provides ample pressure relief
• It has a sink-in feel and cocoons you in the heat that comes off your body
• There are dozens of brands that make memory foam mattresses for side sleepers
• Motion isolation
|• Memory foam can be a hit or miss with side sleepers|
• It tends to feel softer in the warmer months and firmer in the colder months
• Sleeps hot
|Gel Memory Foam||• It’s basically the same thing as memory foam, but it is more efficient in temperature regulation|
• It has micro-beads or a gel slab, which actively try to regulate your temperature
• Motion isolation
|• Although it’s better than standard memory foam, it is not the best material for airflow|
|Proprietary Foam|| • These foams are becoming increasingly popular among bed-in-a-box brands. |
• They will vary per brand, but they usually make an effort to help regulate temperature
|• The feel and other benefits vary by brand|
|Poly Foam||• This is the material used on most of the original online mattresses|
• Polyurethane foam has a neutral feel
• It will typically be responsive
• Good pressure relief
• Motion isolation
|• It doesn’t offer much support |
• Less durable than other materialsSleeps hot
|Spring Mattress||• There are multiple types of coils, including micro-coils, pocketed coils, and traditional innerspring|
• Provides great support
• Good airflow and temperature regulation
|• It’s not good with motion isolation, and you may feel your partner moving|
• It can be noisy
|Hybrid Mattress||• You get the best of both worlds with a mix of both coils and foamGood airflow and temperature regulation|
• It offers great support, especially for people with back pain
• Can accommodate all types of bodies
• Most online hybrid mattresses can still fit in a box
• The coils make them more durable
|• Provides decent motion isolation, but not as much as a foam mattress|
|Pillow Top Mattress||• It’s a comfort level that some brands add on top of the materials mentioned above|
• It can be made from different materials such as foams, wool, and or cotton
• It’s essentially like a big pillow or fluffy mattress topper added to your mattress
• It usually makes a hybrid or spring bed more pressure relieving
|• Heavier people might not get as much pressure relief with a pillow top|
• It can wear out faster than other materials
|Gel-like materials||• They are pretty rare for beds, but we really like some with these materials|
• Great for temperature regulation
• Offer excellent pressure relief
|• Not everyone will enjoy the unique feeling|
• They can be expensive, heavy, and difficult to move.
|Airbeds||• Besides camping gear, some brands make regular beds with air technology|
• These kinds of beds are usually adjustable and unbelievably comfortable
• There aren’t many beds in a box air mattress options
|• They are quite pricey|
Best Mattress For:
Side sleepers with shoulder pain — Nolah 10″ Mattress
Most people with shoulder pain will require a soft mattress. Of course, there is room for personal preference in there, but soft mattresses give you the pressure relief needed.
Another thing to consider for side sleepers with shoulder pain is the actual material of the mattress. There is no guarantee that a single kind of mattress will work for you. For example, we have come across several memory foam mattresses that we think will be suitable for side sleepers, but there’s a real chance that you don’t like the sink-in feeling that a memory foam bed provides.
Likewise, hybrid mattresses are both supportive and pressure-relieving, which makes them ideal for individuals with shoulder pain. That said, perhaps you don’t like the “bounce” that an innerspring mattress provides. What we are trying to get across is that this entire process involves a great deal of subjectivity regardless of whether you have shoulder pain or not.
Side sleepers dealing with back problems — Saatva Classic Mattress
For side sleepers with back pain, you should first look at the support level of your mattress and identify the specific area of pain. You will probably end up with a dense foam bed or a hybrid mattress for your back pain.
When it comes to your mattress, you want to make sure the bed is supportive so that you’re not “melting” into the bed. That can put your back at an odd angle. You want to make sure that they’re a straight line from your hips to your head, ensuring that your neck is in ideal alignment.
This has a lot to do with your specific weight and body type, but in general, if you’re a side sleeper with back pain, you should probably be looking first at a hybrid mattress. You probably do not want an ultra-plush hybrid bed, nor do you want a firm one. In many cases, you’ll be happiest with something that’s sort of in the middle in terms of mattress firmness.
How We Select The Best Mattresses
The Slumber Yard has been around since the beginning of the bed in a box craze. Our team has personally tested and reviewed over 175 mattresses so far, and we keep more than 150 beds in our office so we can compare them (and take afternoon naps).
When testing mattresses, we evaluate the following factors:
- Construction: We cut beds open to see what’s inside and how it’s made.
- Feel: We check if it has a stuck-in-the-mud memory foam feel, or if it’s more of a neutral foam or a plush pillow top, etc.
- Firmness: We have our own firmness scale and evaluate how that may vary depending on your body and sleeper type.
- Pressure relief: We test what’s the sweet spot for different body and sleeper types.
- Support and how that changes by body/sleeper type
- Edge Support: This is important for couples who share a bed. Would you roll-out of the bed, or can you sleep confidently close to the edges?
- Motion Isolation: We use the water glass test to see how the bed fares with motion transfer. This is another important factor for couples that don’t want to wake up one another when they move.
- Temperature Regulation: We use a temperature gun to evaluate if the bed warms up, stays neutral or actively cools while you sleep.
- Noise: This could be an issue in beds with coils or innerspring.
- Off-Gassing: Some beds could have a smell for a few weeks after unpacking, and we try to warn you about it.
- Company policies: We also take into account policies such as shipping, returns, trial period and warranty.
- Value: We look at a bed’s price in the context of what it offers in terms of features and quality of materials and construction.
After considering all these factors, our team picks the best beds for each category. For the best beds for side sleepers, we also consulted with a chiropractor and a physical therapist to help us firm up our opinions, write our reviews, and select the beds. All of the beds above offer two similar traits: second-to-none pressure relief and softer mattress profiles. In general, side sleepers prefer mattresses that cradle the pressure points around the hips and shoulders. This also helps promote proper spinal alignment, whereas a firm bed can push against the curves of your body and irritate your pressure points.
Generally speaking, side sleepers prefer softer beds. How soft, however, is up to you. If you have shoulder or hip pain, perhaps you’ll gravitate toward a more plush mattress. If you’re a side sleeper, but not exclusively a side sleeper, you might think about something in the medium to medium-firm range. A lot of this will have to do with you, your preferences, and the type of mattress you choose.
If you rotate between multiple positions, you are what we call a “combination sleeper.” Typically, a combination sleeper prefers a bed that’s not overly firm or soft, and is somewhere in the middle. As such, if you’re a back and side sleeper, you will likely land on a mattress that’s either medium-soft, medium, or medium-firm.
When it comes to side sleepers, you can basically take your pick. If you want less “bounce” you might prefer the foam mattresses, which are oftentimes more affordable. If you want more support and a more traditional innerspring feel, well, then a coil bed makes more sense.
Why Trust Us
Get the kind of sleep you’ve only dreamed of with some help from our team of mattress experts. We personally test more than 175 of the best sleep solutions from over 60 leading brands on site, so you can be sure you’re getting unbiased reviews, fair comparisons and personalized recommendations.
The Review Team