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|Thick, comfortable hybrid mattress that has a soft, luxurious pillow top.|
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|10" all-foam bed-in-a-box mattress that uses a special zoned support layer.|
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|Flippable mattress that uses copper-infused memory foam. It has both a Soft and a Firm side.|
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|All-foam bed-in-a-box mattress that uses a proprietary foam and provides ample pressure relief.|
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|Novosbed is a memory foam mattress that is available in multiple firmness levels.|
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|Unique beds that use a patented material called Hyper-Elastic Polymer, which provides a good amount of pressure relief and airflow.|
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|This is a hybrid mattress that has a soft, memory foam feel.|
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Sleeping on your side is the best, just ask any side sleeper. A lot of our team members are side sleepers and, collectively, we’ve tested dozens of mattresses. In this post, we’ll cover what we think are the best mattresses for side sleepers.
Please keep in mind that we are not physicians or chiropractors and this is not an offering of health advice. That said, we did consult with a chiropractor to help us firm up our opinions and select this list. At the bare minimum, this should serve as a starting point for you. We won’t be offended in the slightest if you do some extra research, but I do think that you’ll get a lot out of this post. And with that out of the way, let’s talk best beds for side sleepers.
The Brentwood Oceano bed is plush and features a luxuriously soft pillow-top that hugs your body. This provides both comfort and pressure relief to side sleepers. The mattress is about 15″ thick and will be a good choice for people of all sizes with its coils for support and foam for comfort.
This mattress is also a good choice if you sleep with a partner or a pet. Not only does it do a good job of isolating motion, but it provides an adaptable surface, comfortable for multiple sleep positions. This bed has a longer-than-average warranty, at 25 years. We also like that Brentwood Home makes an effort to use eco-friendly materials and manufacturing practices. Overall, we find this to be a super comfortable and accommodating bed.
There is very little that we don’t like about the Nest Alexander Hybrid mattress. It will be comfortable for people of all shapes and sizes thanks to its mix of pocketed coils, memory foam, and Energex foam. It actually reminds us a lot of the Brentwood Home Oceano, only the Alexander Hybrid is available in more than one firmness profile.
We recommend strict side sleepers stick to the Medium firmness, as it is soft enough to provide ample pressure relief, but still has a decent amount of support. If you sleep with a partner, this bed is a great choice as well. It features good edge support and will be comfortable for a variety of sleep positions, so both partners can get comfy. We also like that consumers can sleep easy knowing this bed is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Medium and petite strict side sleepers will find the Casper mattress to be very accommodating. It’s constructed with foam and, while it uses memory foam, it doesn’t give you that stuck-in-the-mud feeling. In fact, we’d actually say it has a more neutral-foam feel to it, which we’ve found a lot of sleepers quite like.
Overall, this bed finds a nice balance between pressure relief and support. We can see why it’s become so popular over the last several years and we think it’s a great option for side sleepers or anyone that needs to think about getting enough pressure relief while they sleep. And, if for some reason, you find it to be too firm from the get-go, remember that all beds soften with use. You’d rather start with too firm of a bed than too soft of a bed.
If you are a medium or petite sized side sleeper, who likes the idea of a flippable mattress with different firmness levels on either side, Layla is a great option.
This flippable mattress features a Soft and a Firm side, so the consumer can decide which is more comfortable for them. The Soft side is most preferable for strict side sleepers, although, the Firm side isn’t a bad option either. The Soft side is about a medium-soft and the Firm side sits in between a medium and medium-firm.
The mattress is constructed with memory foam and, as is the case with a lot of memory foam beds, you may warm up a bit during the night. It doesn’t sleep as hot as, say, Zinus, but it’s definitely not a true cooling mattress. As a consolation though, Layla is one of the select companies that offers a lifetime warranty.
All things considered, Layla is a very nice mattress with some interesting features that, we think, sets it apart from the myriad other bed-in-a-box mattresses out there.
Strict side sleepers who enjoy plush, foam beds will enjoy the Nolah Original 10” mattress. This bed is comprised of several layers of foam and is quite soft. In fact, we’d say the pressure relieving capabilities of this bed are something to write home about.
Although it’s not the most responsive bed we’ve tested, it doesn’t make you feel stuck when you try to shift positions. However, because it’s so soft, we’d say it is geared toward medium or petite sized people who sleep strictly on their side.
As is the case with the majority of 10″ all-foam beds, we wouldn’t suggest Nolah for heavy or obese individuals, but if you’re under 225 lb, Nolah should make for a really nice bed.
One of our favorite things about Nolah as a company, though, is that they sponsor wildlife. When you purchase one of their mattresses, you get to choose an animal to sponsor at check out. We think that’s a nice way to give back.
Those of us who really appreciate having an easy-to-clean mattress will love the Novosbed cover. Regardless of how we sleep, mattresses occasionally require a little cleaning. (And sometimes a damp paper towel just doesn’t cut it!) This is one of the few mattresses featuring a removable, machine washable cover.
Novosbed offers a variety of firmness options, though we recommend their Medium version for strict side sleepers. This bed is quite durable, and will be comfortable regardless of your weight. However, this bed has a definite memory foam feel, so if you do not enjoy that material, we recommend you look at a different bed on this list.
Novosbed also has the option of adding their Comfort+ topper, which can make the bed more or less firm, as well as somewhat neutralize the overt memory foam feel. However, you have to have the mattress for at least 30 days to be eligible for the additional topper.
Bottom line with Novosbed is that you have to really like memory foam to get this bed. If that’s you, and you want to sleep on your side, Novosbed is a great option.
Purple is one of the most unique mattresses on the market right now. The top of the mattress is covered with a pressure relieving, proprietary material called Hyper-Elastic Polymer. The material looks like a grid and allows for good airflow. This is great for people who tend to sleep hot.
However, be warned that people seem to either love or hate this bed. Our team is pretty evenly split—some love it, and others just aren’t into the bed’s unique feel. Because of that, we recommend you check it out in person at your local Mattress Firm, or request a sample of the Hyper-Elastic Polymer material from Purple’s website. Although there are now four versions of the Purple mattress—the Purple Original, 2, 3, and 4—we do not recommend the Purple.2 for strict side sleepers, as it is their firmest mattress.
The Kelburn Hybrid mattress is a nice option if you want a softer, yet supportive bed from a big name brand such as Sealy. The Kelburn Hybrid has an interesting feel in that the memory foam top layers offer nice pressure relief, but they don’t suck you in the way that traditional memory foam does. In other words, the bed conforms to your body, but doesn’t leave you feeling stuck. It’s actually quite comfortable.
We call this mattress a medium on our firmness scale, and overall, we think it’s quite accommodating. And, given that it has support coils, we feel that this will be a good bed for petite, medium, and heavy sleepers.
Tuft & Needle Mint will be a really comfortable mattress for strict side sleepers who need plenty of pressure relief around the shoulders and hips. The bed also doesn’t use any memory foam, which means it has an overall neutral feel, a bit like the original Tuft & Needle mattress, only softer. We’d put the Mint at a medium to medium-soft on our firmness scale, so you can expect to sink it, but not feel trapped.
Despite the fact that this is a thicker foam mattress, we still contend than T&N Mint is best for medium and petite individuals. And while we think petite sleepers can get by sleeping in any positions, anyone that weights 180 – 250 lb should probably sleep exclusively on their side with T&N Mint. At the end of the day though, this is a comfy, neutral, soft mattress—if that sounds like what you’re looking for, T&N Mint might be your mattress.
We spend countless hours testing, researching, and reviewing beds every week, not to mention the hundreds of hours spent filming, editing, and writing about them. We’ve made beds our business here at the Slumber Yard, and we obsess over them. To that point, we have an entire team of individuals (men and women) who help us test beds—and we’re all different. We have some folks that are over six foot and others that are in the low five foot territory. We have some around 200 lb and at least one person who is (barely) 100 lb soaking wet. This allows us to form a thoughtful opinion of each of these beds. Additionally, we perform our own tests related to softness/firmness, responsiveness, motion transfer, and more. Of course, these aren’t scientific by any means, but they give us a good idea of what to expect—and we do anticipate that they’ll be helpful for the average mattress shopper. If you read any of our individual mattress reviews, we usually go item by item, discuss each one of our tests and subsequent findings. I mention this because if you have any questions from this post, you should read our full reviews, as those provide a lot more context and information.
There are several elements that are important to look for if you’re a strict side sleeper. Most bed companies will tell you that their mattress accommodates all types of sleepers. For the most part, they’re not lying, but it’s a little more complicated than that. Let me explain.
First and foremost, you need a bed that offers pressure relief. What you don’t want is to put too much pressure on your shoulders and hips. You shouldn’t feel like there’s a space under your stomach, either. You should feel as though your entire body is supported equally. This will ensure that your spine is straight. If you feel excess pressure under your hips and shoulders, you’ll more than likely end up with shoulder pain and possibly even back or hip pain. That’s because there’s not enough pressure relief and you’re not sinking into the bed enough.
Keep in mind that everyone is different and all beds will soften over time, but in general, you should be thinking of pressure relief, which actually has more to do with the top layers of the bed than with the support foams.
Normally, we would go over the support systems for the bed first and while that’s still important, let’s begin by discussing the top layers since they provide the immediate pressure relief. Memory foam is one of the better materials for pressure relief. It comes in varying levels of density and softness/firmness. Density refers to how supportive the material is. Softness or firmness refers to its Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) rating. You’ll probably be looking for memory foam in the 18-30 range. Anything higher than 30 will be a little too firm for you. It is important to remember that memory foam softens as you lay on it and whenever it’s exposed to heat. It can provide great pressure relief, but it can also leave some people feeling like they’re stuck in the mattress. It can therefore heat up, disrupt sleep, and piss you the heck off. We’d recommend that if you aren’t familiar with memory foam, you test out a few beds in person because you may hate it or love it. One clever design twist that mattress companies are doing to get away from the typical memory foam feel is to use it as the middle layer instead of the top layer. This helps eliminate that stuck-in-the-mud feeling and can help prevent the sleeper from getting too hot.
Memory is a bit of a hit or miss, though. It can be a wonderful addition to a mattress, or it can ruin a bed for some people. Memory foam also tends to feel softer in the warmer months and firmer in the colder months. Sounds completely crazy, but a lot of mattresses will change their firmness level based on room temperature.
Latex is another commonly used foam. It also offers great support and pressure relief, but latex tends to be a cooler material that allows for much more airflow. It’s a bouncier, airier material that almost feels a like a sponge—and like memory foam, you may love it or hate it. There are a few different types of latex foam, all of which (excluding synthetic latex) are made from the sap of a rubber tree. You’ve probably seen Talalay or Dunlop latex, both of which are usually aerated (i.e. have holes) as a result of the manufacturing process. Some people seek out latex mattresses because the natural materials—some people just want a natural/organic mattress.
Gel memory foam is the “next generation” of memory foam, if you will. It’s basically the same thing with the same advantages, but it is quite a bit cooler than standard memory foam thanks to the addition of gel materials. You’ll typically see micro-beads or a gel slab on the mattress, which try to actively cool you down as you sleep. The idea is that the gel will counteract the heat you may experience as a result of sinking into the material. We’ve found it is indeed cooler than standard memory foam, but is not the best material for airflow. Still, much better than regular memory foam.
Proprietary foams are becoming increasingly popular. You’ll see proprietary foams on the Casper Wave and Leesa mattresses, as well as many others. There isn’t anything that we can broadly state about these foams other than they usually make an effort to cool you down. Probably because most of the time, proprietary foam accompanies memory foam, which as we’ve said, can be quite warm.
Gel-like materials are pretty rare to see on a bed, but there are a few we really like. For example, the Purple.4 Mattress uses a proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer material that has plenty of advantages. It’s a unique material that’s not for everyone, but we really do like it. Gel-like materials tend to be great for temperature regulation and pressure relief.
Air beds are generally regarded as camping equipment, but there are a few brands out there (mostly Sleep Number) that make fantastic mattresses. They’re usually adjustable and unbelievably comfortable. They also happen to be quite pricey, but if you have the cash, they’re definitely worth checking out.
Support is another extremely important factor, especially if you are like most people and plan to keep the bed for many years. The two most common forms of support systems are coils and foam. Usually you’ll see either innersprings or pocketed coils. They’re both durable, bouncy, responsive, supportive, and allow for plenty of airflow. If you’re 200 lb or more, you should probably look for some sort of spring or hybrid mattress. And if you don’t get a coil mattress, you should look into an all-foam bed that’s at least 11” thick. Typically, they’ll start with a 5-6” dense layer of polyurethane support foam. It is important to note that the level of support you need hinges on how heavy you are. For example, if you’re 300 lb, you’ll need a heck of a lot more support than if you are 95 lb.
The feel of the mattress has a lot to do with your weight. If you’re heavier, you’ll generally regard the mattress as softer, while if you’re lighter you’ll contend that the same bed is firmer. Two of our team members are 165 lb and 180 lb, respectively, and they always differ on their opinions of softness/firmness. We say that to demonstrate (a) this is subjective and (b) small differences in weight definitely affect your interpretation of softness/firmness. In general, though, side sleepers prefer soft to medium-firm mattresses. That’s obviously 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 actually want simply because all of these beds soften over time. We’d hate for you to get a bed and realize that it’s too soft after a few months. Another thing that you should do is walk on your new bed for one minute per day in order to properly and evenly soften up the mattress. This is especially important for couples since you can get a really uneven bed if you have two different people of different weights sleeping on it at night.
If you’re both in the same weight range and are both side sleepers, well then, you lucked out! Pick a bed and it will probably be fairly easy for you two to come to an agreement. For everyone else, though, finding the right mattress will require compromise. You can either (a) customize your bed, (b) get a split king or spit California king, or (c) make some sort of concession to your partner. You may think firstly about support and then about softness/firmness.
Other areas that are important for couples are motion isolation and edge support, which we highlight in almost every review. Motion isolation refers to how much motion travels across the bed. If you fall asleep, but are constantly woken up by the movement of your partner, that’s no good. All-foam beds tend to be the best here. Edge support is very important if you’re sleeping on a small size bed where space is cramped and one person inevitably ends up near the edges. If you get a roll-off sensation, then you’re dealing with a bed with poor edge support.
In nearly all of our mattress posts, we make sure to mention trial periods and returns. These are incredibly important since you’re trying to evaluate if you can sleep on this bed for the next seven to 15 years of your life. Most bed-in-a-box mattress brands offer 100-night trial periods where you can sleep on the bed to form your own opinion. You should think critically about whether this is the bed for you. In the event that you don’t ultimately love the mattress, that’s where the return policy comes in. Most of these online brands offer completely free returns where they’ll dispatch someone to your house to pick up the bed, free of charge. Typically, it’s a local charity or junk removal business, but the result is the same: you get all of your money back. Brick-and-mortar retailers tend to be a little less accommodating with returns. Generally, they require you to exchange the bed and they’ll limit how many exchanges you can make. Still, shopping in-store definitely has its advantages, even though returns/exchanges aren’t as consumer friendly as with online mattress brands.