Sleeping on your side is the ultimate sleeping position — just ask any side sleeper. Our research shows that 68.7% of people predominantly sleep on their side. Interestingly enough, many of our team members are side sleepers, and collectively, we’ve tested dozens of products from mattress-in-a-box products. Some are firm mattresses, and some are soft, but the point is that we have more experience than just about anyone when it comes to online mattresses for side sleepers.
When choosing the best mattresses for side sleepers, we checked first for beds that would provide pressure relief to your shoulder and hip but that 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 9 Mattresses For Side Sleepers
- Best Memory Foam Mattress :NectarStarting at $798 Shop Now
- Editor’s Choice :Layla HybridStarting at $1249 Shop Now
- Best Hybrid Mattress :Brooklyn Bedding AuroraStarting at $999 Shop Now
- Best Mattress for Side and Back Sleepers :Purple HybridStarting at $1699 Shop Now
- Best Cheap Mattress :Tuft Needle MintStarting at $745 Shop Now
- Best Bed Sleepers with Back Pain :WinkBeds ClassicStarting at $1049 Shop Now
- Best Firm Mattress :Avocado Green MattressStarting at $999 Shop Now
- Best Soft Mattress :Casper Nova HybridStarting at $1195 Shop Now
- Best Foam Mattress :Nolah Original 10Starting at $619 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
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 comes in two versions, one of them with copper infused fibers for a cooling effect.
Why Nectar Premier wins as best memory foam mattress for side sleepers
The Nectar Premier and Nectar Premier Copper are dense memory foam mattresses that will be comfortable for many types of sleepers. They are both a little over a medium in our firmness scale, which is a tad softer than the flagship Nectar mattress. The Premier firmness profile should provide plenty of pressure relief for side sleepers but still be comfortable for average and petite back and stomach sleepers.
Nectar Premier’s best features
- Unlike most memory foam mattresses, Nectar Premier provides better temperature regulation, especially the Copper model. Both Premier beds use the company’s “Smart Layer With ActiveCool HD” as their comfort layer. They also include a cooling agent in the mattress cover. Both features should cancel the heat retention commonly associated with memory foam beds. But the Copper model goes a step further with its “heat-conductive copper fibers” that will give you a cooling feeling when you lay down.
- The Nectar Premier mattresses have three layers and are both thicker than the original Nectar at 13″ and 14″ for the Copper model. These should make them more durable and supportive long-term. They are still all-foam beds, so we would advise people over 230 lbs to go with a hybrid mattress instead.
Why we picked this bed
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. We also liked the fact that they offer a cooling solution, which is unusual in their category.
Need Help Deciding? Take our Mattress Finder Quiz
Layla Hybrid is a memory foam mattress that has a “Soft” side and “Firm” side, along with pocket coils for support.
Why Layla Hybrid wins as editor’s choice
With Layla Hybrid, you get two mattresses in one. This is a flippable mattress with different firmness levels on either side. On the “Soft” side, you get more of a light memory foam feel ideal if you are having shoulder pain in particular. 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.
Layla Hybrid’s best features
- The mattress comes with a soft cover with handles that will make moving and rotating the bed a lot easier. Although it’s removable, it’s not washable, but the cover is a dark charcoal color that should keep the mattress looking good for a long time.
- The comfort layer on both sides of the mattress is copper-infused memory foam. While this is not an actively cooling mattress, the copper can help prevent the memory foam material from trapping heat and making you hot while sleeping.
It’s also a reasonably affordable mattress that sells exclusively online. You get free shipping and a trial period, and since it’s a bed-in-a-box mattress, it also comes with completely free returns if it’s not exactly what you were hoping for.
Why we picked this bed
Layla Hybrid is one of the best mattresses for side sleepers, with some exciting features that, we think, set it apart from the myriad bed-in-a-box mattresses out there. We chose it for several reasons, but the short story is that it’s a soft mattress with plenty of pressure relief thanks to its soft mattress profile and airy memory foam construction.
Best Hybrid Mattress For Side Sleepers
Aurora is one of the best cooling hybrid mattresses online. It’s made in the USA, comes in multiple firmness options, and has a cool-to-the-touch cover.
Why Aurora wins as best hybrid for side sleepers
Aurora is a solid mattress that can accommodate various sleepers, from petite to heavy, and even those that get hot during the night. We believe it is an affordable option, although it might not be as cheap as some other beds on this list. Considering discounts and the quality of the materials and construction, Aurora offers excellent value and is a great hybrid mattress for side sleepers.
Aurora’s best features
- You can choose between several firmness options, from a super-soft model to one that’s more in the middle of the scale. There’s a firm option, but we don’t think it’ll be as comfortable for side sleepers.
- Aurora has a cool-to-the-touch cover that helps regulate your body temperature during the night. It does so effectively, and we think it could be a nice option for people that tend to run hot.
Why we picked this bed
We picked this as the best hybrid mattress for side sleepers because it offers a well-rounded value proposition. It has two different firmness levels to choose from, one that offers maximum pressure relief or one with a tad more support. Not to mention it’s actually cool-to-the-touch to help relieve sleepers who tend to warm up at night.
Best Mattress for Side and Back Sleepers
Purple Hybrid is a coil mattress that features a proprietary comfort layer called Hyper-Elastic Polymer. It’s a unique mattress that’s comfortable and great for hot sleepers.
Why Purple Hybrid wins as best for side and back sleepers
Purple is one of the most unique, top-rated mattresses on the market right now. The main comfort layer for the mattress is a pressure-relieving, proprietary material called Hyper-Elastic Polymer.
Technically, there are four versions of the Purple mattress—the Purple Original and three different Purple Hybrids—and we think all of them will work for side sleepers. Although, if we had all the money in the world, the two Purple Hybrid Premier models would be our favorite. These are spring mattresses that offer tons of support but also have the unique qualities of Hyper-Elastic Polymer.
Although it’s on a case-by-case basis, given how unique Purple beds are, we could see them being a great solution for side sleepers who also switch to sleeping on their back throughout the night. They’re just so unique that we can almost guarantee that you’ve not tried a bed like these before.
Purple Hybrid’s best features
- The Hyper-Elastic Polymer looks like a grid and allows for a ton of airflow circulation. This is ideal for people who tend to sleep hot and need a bed that does a great job of dissipating body heat.
- The proprietary material has a unique gel feel that can be soft in the right places yet firm where you need the support. It may take a few nights to get used to it since it doesn’t feel like any other bed you’ve tried before.
- As a hybrid model, this bed is suitable for heavier bodies, as the coils make it more durable and supportive than the original Purple.
Why we picked this bed
All of the Purple beds offer pressure relief as you’ve never felt it before and are also suitable mattresses for hotter side sleepers. It really comes down to your budget and whether or not you’re open to a new style of mattress, but if you are, we think the Purple beds offer accommodating and comfortable options.
Best Budget Mattress
The Tuft & Needle Mint is one of the best mattresses you can buy if you’re looking for a soft bed that offers great pressure relief.
Why Tuft & Needle Mint wins as best cheap mattress for side sleepers
Tuft & Needle is well-known as a budget brand, and the Mint bed is not the exception. You can get a queen size for under $1,200 after discounts, and a king is below $1,395. But being cheap doesn’t mean you’ll sacrifice comfort if you get this mattress.
Tuft & Needle Mint will be a comfortable mattress for strict side sleepers who need plenty of pressure relief around the shoulders and hips. Petite sleepers might get by sleeping in any position, but anyone that weighs between 180 lbs to 250 lbs should probably sleep exclusively on their side on this bed.
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.
Mint’s best features
- We’d put the Mint at a medium to medium-soft on our firmness scale, so you can expect to sink in but not feel trapped in the mattress. It’s not quite the plushest mattress we’ve ever tested, but it is indeed a soft bed that many side sleepers will enjoy.
- This is a thick all-foam mattress at 12″. It has three layers of foam instead of the two layers in the original Tuft & Needle bed. Since it doesn’t have coils, we wouldn’t recommend it to heavier people.
Why we picked this bed
This is a comfy, neutral feeling, soft mattress. At 12″, Tuft & Needle Mint is 2” thicker than most all-foam bed-in-a-box mattresses, which would make it a more durable option. This, added to its affordable price, makes the Mint bed a top contender for side sleepers.
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain
WinkBed is a thick, durable hybrid mattress that includes a comfortable Euro pillow top. In our opinion, it’s one of the best mattresses you can purchase online.
Why WinkBed Classic wins as the best bed for side sleepers with back pain
There is very little that we don’t like about the WinkBed mattress. It should be comfortable for side sleepers of all shapes and sizes thanks to its mix of dual-coil layers and pressure-relieving pillow top. It actually reminds us a lot of the Brentwood Home Oceano; only WinkBed is available in more than one firmness profile.
We recommend strict side sleepers stick to the “Softer” or “Luxury Firm” profiles, as they tend to be soft enough to provide ample pressure relief but still have a great deal of support. If you want a firm mattress, they also make the “Firmer” model, which could work for certain side sleepers.
WinkBed Classic’s best features
- This bed is an excellent choice for couples. It features strong edge support and should be comfortable for various sleeping positions so that both partners can get comfy.
- We also like that consumers can sleep easily knowing this bed has a lifetime warranty.
Why we picked this bed
It really comes down to pressure relief and support, but mainly support. The bed has a giant, comfy cover that feels like a fluffy pillow, and yet it still has two layers of pocketed coils innerspring to help keep your back and spine adequately supported. We think most side sleepers, petite, average, or heavy, will like this bed just as much as we do. It’s really the best-rated mattress among our team members.
Best Firm Mattress for Side Sleepers
The Avocado Green Mattress is the most sought-after natural/organic mattress online. It’s supportive, comfortable, and constructed with high-quality materials.
Why Avocado wins as best firm mattress for side sleepers
Most of the beds on this list are on the softer end of the spectrum, but we realize that some side sleepers prefer a firm mattress. As such, Avocado is our top pick for the best firm mattress for side sleepers.
We should also note that we think, in this case, the optional pillow top is not optional. Without the topper, Avocado is truly a firm mattress, probably too firm for most side sleepers. If you upgrade and add the topper, we think it’s right in the sweet spot for people that like a firmer feel.
Avocado’s best features
- In terms of design, Avocado is both a hybrid mattress and an eco-friendly mattress. The base has recycled steel coils that measure 8” tall. And the comfort layer contains a few layers of GOLS-certified organic latex foam, which gives the bed a firmer, responsive feel.
- If you end up adding the topper, you’ll get a few extra inches of latex foam such that the entire bed measures about 13” thick.
- It’s also breathable, thanks to the latex foam and coils, making it a viable option for people that sleep hotter at night.
Why we picked this bed
All in all, we really like the Avocado mattress. It’s difficult to say many negative things about it. If you want a firm mattress and you’re a side sleeper, it’s a great place to start. Not only is it semi-firm, but it also checks so many boxes all at once. Avocado is a durable mattress that’s resilient and responsive, making it a pretty darn good choice for any sized side sleeper looking for more support. Even more, it has high-quality materials and certifications galore without the astronomical price tag.
Best Soft Mattress
Casper Nova is an ultra-plush mattress with a cloud-like feel. If you need a lot of pressure relief, we expect that you’ll like this bed.
Why Casper Nova Hybrid wins as best soft bed
Overall, Casper Nova has a cloud-like feel—it’s incredibly soft. We rated it a medium-soft on our firmness scale, making it ideal for side sleepers who want additional pressure relief. Casper mattress is a best-rated brand within the online space, and the Nova bed is their softest model yet.
The Nova model comes in both hybrid and all-foam versions, but we picked the more popular hybrid mattress. Although we chose it for being super soft, the coils in the hybrid bed make it a durable, supportive mattress that can accommodate more types of sleepers.
Casper Nova Hybrid’s best features
- Casper Nova is a plush mattress that features something called “Zoned Support Pro.” With his feature, the bed provides more support in the middle and more pressure relieving under your shoulders. This is why we think it could be an excellent mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain.
- The coils layer is surrounded by foam all around the bed to increase edge support. This is particularly important for couples who share a bed.
- Being a Casper mattress, this bed comes with the brand’s new cover made from recycled materials. It’s also removable, and although it’s not machine washable, you could hand wash it in case of an accident.
Why we picked this bed
Not only does Casper Nova Hybrid offer relief to those pressure points along your side, but it also goes above and beyond with its zoned support design to further provide targeted relief and support for side sleepers. Though, cost-wise, this is one of the more pricey beds on our list and might not be best for those who aren’t looking to spend over $2,000 for a queen.
Best Foam Mattress For Side Sleepers
Why Nolah Original 10 wins as 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.
It 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.
Why we picked this bed
Nolah is a top-rated foam mattress and has a softer profile than other popular foam beds like Casper or Tuft & Needle. We think many sleepers will enjoy its neutral, new-age memory foam feel, and side sleepers will especially like its plushness. Also, for every bed sold, Nolah will donate to help protect American wildlife. They are one of the more philanthropic bed in a box mattress brands, so you know you’ll be helping a good cause if you choose to buy from them.
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
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.
How To Find The Best Bed For Side Sleepers
Choose The Right Firmness
The feel of the mattress 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. In general, though, side sleepers prefer soft to medium-firm mattresses.
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.
Choose the Right Type of Bed
You can find a soft mattress in various materials. The right one for you will depend on your preferences, your body type and temperature regulation, among other personal criteria. It is 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 bodiesMost 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 expensiveHeavy and difficult to move,
|Airbeds||• Besides camping gear, some brands make regular beds with air technology|
• These kind 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
Most people with shoulder pain will require a soft mattress, but there’s a low likelihood that you will still prefer a firm mattress. Not only that but softness and firmness are subjective, meaning a petite side sleeper might think one bed is a firm mattress while a heavier individual will contend that it’s actually a plush mattress. There will be a trial and error situation for you when it comes to picking the right mattress for someone with shoulder pain.
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, we have published reviews of plenty of hybrid mattresses that we consider to be both supportive and pressure-relieving, leading us to surmise that they’d be 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
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. Now, 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. But that’s just the support system. If you get a hybrid mattress, it has coils, but what about the comfort sections? In general, you probably do not want an ultra-plush bed, nor do you want a firm mattress. In many cases, you’ll be happiest with something that’s sort of in the middle in terms of mattress firmness.
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 has more to do with the plush top layers of the bed than with the support foams or coils.
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.
Most of the mattresses you can buy online come with free shipping, a risk-free trial period of at least 100 nights, free returns, and a 10-year warranty. Basically, in many cases, you can buy a bed and if you don’t like it within the first 3 months you can return it for a full refund.
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.
Not necessarily, but most side sleepers do tend to prefer a somewhat softer mattress. That said, it will depend on the person. Some side sleepers even prefer a firm mattress.