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While sleeping on your back is often recommended as the optimal sleep position, research suggests that side sleepers enjoy plenty of benefits too. Sleeping on your side can help keep your breathing airways open throughout the night, reducing snoring and symptoms of sleep apnea. Plus, a 2015 study from the Journal of Neuroscience indicates that the position can more effectively remove brain waste than other positions, potentially helping to reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.
However, if you sleep on your side with the wrong type of mattress, then you can potentially cause more harm than good. If the mattress is too firm or too soft, it may create pressure on your spine, resulting in hip, shoulder, and back pain. What you essentially need is the Goldilocks of mattresses — one that falls right in the middle of the soft-firm spectrum.
Below, we cover the best mattresses for side sleepers so you can purchase the right one for your body and budget.
Best Overall: The Casper Hybrid
With its mix of soft, pocketed springs and layered memory foam, the Casper Hybrid strikes the perfect balance between soft and firm, making it a great overall option for side sleepers. And because some people find that memory foam mattresses feel too warm, the mattress is designed with open-cell foam that promotes airflow and nightly comfort. It also comes with enhanced edge support compared to other Casper mattresses, making it easier on your body to get in and out of bed. And to make sure you're completely happy with your purchase, the brand offers a 100-night free trial, free shipping and returns, and a 10-year warranty, so you can be totally confident in your purchase and its longevity.
Best High-End Option: Tempur-Adapt
Tempur-Pedic mattresses have long been a favorite among mattress enthusiasts, but they're definitely at the high-end in terms of price points. However, you also get plenty of quality assurance with that price, including a 10-year warranty, white glove delivery, and a 90-day risk-free trial. The brand's TEMPUR-Adapt Series, specifically the Medium Hybrid option, is ideal for side sleepers. The mattress pairs 1,000 premium spring coils with memory foam comprised of the same material developed by NASA to absorb the g-force of astronauts during shuttle launches. It also features premium-knit technology that stays cool to the touch, keeping you comfortable all night long.
Best for Pressure Relief: The Puffy Lux Mattress
If you find that mattresses typically put too much pressure on certain points on your body, then you'll love the Puffy Lux mattress. The pressure-relieving design features two layers of foam that work together to eliminate pressure points while providing optimal spinal alignment for side sleepers. Additionally, it comes with a ClimateComfort layer that creates a subtle warming effect during cooler nights and a cooling effect during warmer nights to maximize comfort. The mattress also comes with a free, 101-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty, ensuring that it will keep you comfy and cozy for as long as you need it to.
Best Budget-Friendly Mattress: Nectar Memory Foam
The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress offers side-sleeping benefits at a budget-friendly price. The mattress features several different layers of memory foam, including a supportive base layer, a transitional middle layer that responds to your body weight, and a top layer of gel memory foam that gives the mattress a soft and cushy feel. It's also topped with a thin, cooling material that will keep you from getting too hot during the night. But one of the main aspects that sets this mattress apart from many others is its 365-day home trial that allows you to try the mattress for a full year without committing to buying it. Once you do commit, and we bet you will, you'll receive a forever warranty, so you know you're getting a mattress that can truly withstand the test of time.
Best for Couples: Helix Midnight Luxe
If you and your partner don't share the same sleeping preference, but one of you is a side sleeper, this mattress is your answer. Not only is it the brand's bestselling product, but it is also the winner of a multitude of awards and accolades — both GQ and Wired named it as their best mattress for 2019 and 2020. The 14" mattress is a medium firmness mattress specifically designed for side-sleepers with a layer of Memory Foam in this mattress for pressure relief around the hips and shoulders.