The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

From editor-tested bedding to the latest in sleep tech, we've got everything you could ever need for better sleep. Welcome to New Year, New Sleep.

Anyone in the market for a new mattress would probably tell you that price tops their list of considerations, which is understandable since mattresses are expensive — so much so that most folks will spend copious amounts of time scouring online retailers and local stores looking for a mattress that suits their budget.

Advertisement

The problem with that approach is that while a certain mattress may be suitable for your budget, it may not be suitable for your preferred sleeping position. Long story short, side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers have different ergonomics, different pressure points, and therefore different mattress requirements. Buying a mattress that doesn't work for you can lead to back pain, shoulder pain, and — let's not forget — a poor night's sleep.

Video of the Day

Advertisement

Video of the Day

If you're a side sleeper, the right mattress is one that offers plenty of support and is topped off with a pressure-relieving comfort layer that cradles your hips and shoulders while you sleep.

If you're concerned with what that means for your bank balance, think of it this way: The average human spends 33 years in bed — 26 years actually sleeping and seven years trying to sleep. So, when you consider those numbers, there's probably no better investment than a high-quality mattress.

Advertisement

The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Pros

  • Polyfoam and coils offer contouring and support
  • Good for hot sleepers
  • Moderately priced

Cons

  • Only one firmness option
  • Shipped in a box, which some people may not like

With its polyfoam and coil system, the DreamCloud Premier Hybrid Mattress contours and cradles the known trouble spots for side sleepers: the shoulder and hip areas. It's plush but not so plush that you'll sink too far into it. Ultimately, the DreamCloud Premier is a medium-firm pillow-top and a good bet for those who prefer to sleep on their mattress instead of in it.

Advertisement

Starting at the top, this mattress features a breathable cashmere-blend cover that's quilted with polyfoam for a soft, plush finish. Next, you'll find a layer of memory foam that beautifully responds to your body's contours. Hot sleepers will be happy to know that the memory foam layer is infused with a cooling gel. When paired with a pocketed coil system, the DreamCloud Premier Hybrid Mattress keeps the heat to a manageable minimum.

Advertisement

Couples should note that this mattress offers good edge support, giving the usable surface area a nice bump. And for a hybrid, the motion isolation is pretty good too, so your partner's overnight bathroom trips shouldn't have you bouncing around when they return.

Advertisement

Mattress Type:‌ Hybrid
Firmness:‌ Medium firm (6 out of 10)
Trial period:‌ 365 nights (30-night minimum)
Price Range:‌ $749 to $2,098
Warranty:‌ Lifetime

Advertisement

Buy it now

Pros

  • Two layers of coils for exceptional support
  • Good edge support
  • Excellent temperature regulation

Cons

  • High motion transfer

If budget allows, side sleepers can go for a splurge with the Saatva Classic. Another hybrid on our list, you'll find the usual features, including two layers of coils: one set for support and another set of individually encased coils that provide contouring and pressure relief.

Advertisement

A soft top layer of memory foam turns this innerspring into a hybrid. And ultimately, users will find a nicely balanced mattress that offers the best of both worlds: support and breathability as well as cradling and comfort.

The Saatva Classic comes in three firmness options: plush soft, luxury firm, and firm. Side sleepers may want to stick with the plush soft option, as it's probably the best choice for combination side sleepers. It cradles your joints while you are side sleeping, but the hint of firmness makes it easy enough to switch positions without sinking into the bed.

Advertisement

While memory foam often gets a bad rap for sleeping hot, Saatva keeps it comfy. First, the innerspring coils promote good air circulation, and the organic cotton cover is breathable, so ultimately, it's not trapping much heat.

The Saatva Classic has good edge support but comes up a bit short on motion isolation, so if your partner has a restless night, you might too.

Advertisement

Advertisement

It's also worth noting that Saatva offers a lifetime warranty on its mattresses. And while many manufacturers are switching to the mattress-in-a-box delivery model or charging for delivery and setup, Saatva offers free white glove delivery. That means the mattress is hand-delivered and set up in the room of your choice. They'll even take away your old mattress.

Mattress Type:‌ Innerspring
Firmness:‌ Soft to firm
Trial period:‌ 365 nights ($99 return fee)
Price range:‌ $995 to $2,710
Warranty:‌ Lifetime

Advertisement

Buy it now

Pros

  • Cooling cover and cooling-infused foam
  • Three firmness options
  • Ample support for side sleepers’ pressure points

Cons

  • Users reported off-gassing

The Aurora Luxe Cooling Mattress is a luxury hybrid from Brooklyn Bedding. It's available in three firmness levels — soft, medium, and firm — and it works for all sleeping positions. If you're sleeping with a partner, this mattress offers enough motion isolation so your partner's movements won't disturb you. Sleepers will also find that this mattress has good edge support, so there's plenty of usable space on the surface.

For side sleepers, the soft option is probably the best bet. The Aurora Luxe Cooling Mattress contours to your body, taking the load off common pressure points while offering good spinal alignment.

Now, if you're a side sleeper who runs hot, this is where the Aurora Luxe mattress shines. With what essentially has a three-pronged approach to cooling, the Aurora Luxe Cooling Mattress is designed with a GlacioTex Cooling Cover that removes excess heat from your sleep surface and cooling-infused foam that absorbs excess body heat and releases heat back to you as needed. It's all supported by open-cell technology in both the foam layers and the innersprings to prevent heat retention and allow for optimal airflow and breathability.

Advertisement

Ultimately, if you're looking for a mattress that supports pressure points without sagging and that sleeps cool, this is it.

Mattress Type:‌ Hybrid
Firmness:‌ Soft to firm
Trial period:‌ 120 nights
Price range:‌ $999 to $2,532
Warranty:‌ 10 years

Buy it now

Pros

  • Competitively priced
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Contours to your body and relieves pressure points

Cons

  • It may off-gas

With price points starting at $359 for a twin-size mattress, the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress hits our list as the best budget option for side sleepers.

Just as you'd expect from an all-foam mattress, Nectar's entry into the category features a thick memory foam comfort layer that contours to your body, effectively cradling sensitive pressure points. Overall, the mattress offers medium-firm support, so it's ideal for side sleepers who like to sleep in their mattress as opposed to on it.

Digging into Nectar's five-layer construction, we find:

  • A stability base layer
  • A dynamic response layer that offers support while providing bounce and rebound
  • A gel memory foam that contours to your curves while offering pressure-relieving support
  • A breathable cooling cover that wicks away excess body heat, keeping you cool while you sleep

While the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress offers some bounce, you don't have to worry about your partner's insomnia-fueled activity (aka tossing and turning) keeping you awake. The memory foam construction ensures minimal motion transfer.

Advertisement

Mattress Type:‌ Foam
Firmness:‌ Medium firm (6)
Trial period:‌ 365 nights
Price range:‌ $359 to $1,138
Warranty:‌ Forever Warranty™

Buy it now

Best Memory Foam: Layla Memory Foam Mattress

Pros

  • Good motion isolation
  • Copper-infused memory foam keeps you cool
  • Supportive at known pressure points

Cons

  • Poor edge support on the soft side

While Layla also offers a hybrid mattress, its memory foam version is the brand's flagship mattress and our pick for the best memory foam mattress for side sleepers.

Fabricated with a combination of memory foam and polyfoam in its comfort layers and support core, the Layla Memory Foam Mattress offers two firmness options on either side.

On the soft side, users will find it to be a 4 out of 10 on the firmness scale, while the firmer side is more like a 7 to 8 on the firmness scale. And like Layla's Hybrid Mattress, this one is flippable, so if your personal preference in sleeping positions changes, you're not quite stuck with an uncomfortable mattress.

Memory foam is known for absorbing rather than transferring motion, so all-foam beds tend to isolate motion fairly well. And with its plush memory foam layers, Layla's Memory Foam Mattress performs nicely in this category.

In terms of pressure points, Layla's Memory Foam Mattress is infused with copper, which ultimately makes the memory foam more supportive at known pressure points. Users will find that their neck, shoulders, hips, and lower back are all comfortably supported. It's worth noting that while this mattress offers ample support in the middle, it leaves a little on the table in terms of edge support, especially on the soft side.

Hot sleepers may be interested to know that included among the layers of memory foam (which are usually known for sleeping hot), Layla's Memory Foam Mattress features a copper-infused mattress topper that promotes cooling.

Mattress Type:‌ Memory foam
Firmness:‌ Soft and firm
Trial period:‌ 120 nights (14-night requirement)
Price range:‌ $749 to $1,249
Warranty:‌ Lifetime warranty

Buy it now

Pros

  • Memory foam contours to your body
  • Good temperature regulation
  • Good pressure-point relief

Cons

  • Possibility of off-gassing

Specifically designed for side sleepers, the Helix Midnight Mattress hits our list as the best hybrid mattress for side sleepers.

Overall, the Helix Midnight offers a medium firm feel and good pressure-point relief courtesy of the adaptive foams that beautifully cushion high-impact areas and contour to your body. In terms of support, this mattress is designed with 950 individually wrapped 8-inch steel coils in the base with a reinforced perimeter, so users will find plenty of support even up to the edges. The Helix Midnight mattress also features memory foam and polyfoam layers that add to its exceptional cushioning, pressure relief, contouring, and ergonomic support.

In terms of temperature and comfort, the Helix Midnight features a breathable knitted cover that offers exceptional comfort airflow. If you think you need something more, however, you can opt for a GlacioTex Cooling Cover that doubles down on the cooling effects, drawing heat away while you sleep for an additional $149.

Mattress Type:‌ Hybrid
Firmness:‌ Medium firm (6)
Trial period:‌ 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Price range:‌ $936.30 to $1,748.80
Warranty:‌ 10 Year, limited

Buy it now

Best for Couples: The WinkBed Mattress

Pros

  • Hybrid design is supportive yet soft
  • Sleeps cool
  • Pocketed coils provide motion isolation and good edge support

Cons

  • May off-gas
  • A bit pricey

With a wide range of firmness levels — four, to be exact: soft, luxury firm (medium firm), firm, or plus — the WinkBed Mattress can appeal to many people, but side-sleeping couples may want to take note. The plush finish of the WinkBed offers excellent cushioning for trouble spots, like shoulders and hips, and strong motion isolation makes it a great pick as the best for couples.

The support core of the WinkBed consists of zoned, individually wrapped coils. For the end user, that means extra support in the midsection where you need it most and just enough support for lighter areas. That also means that the perimeter of the bed is reinforced, so there is plenty of edge support and usable surface area, which some couples may appreciate. And finally, the pocketed coils move independently from one another, limiting the motion transfer between couples.

Over the coils, users will find layers of gel-infused polyfoam and SupportCell polyfoam quilted into a Euro-top, and it's all wrapped in a breathable Tencel cover. The polyfoam cushions and contours to relieve pressure while the gel infusion does the heavy lifting to draw excess heat away from your body. The thick memory foam layers also absorb movement, doubling down on WinkBed's exceptional performance for couples.

Mattress Type:‌ Hybrid
Firmness:‌ Soft to firm
Trial period:‌ 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Price range:‌ $1,149 to $2,049
Warranty:‌ Lifetime warranty

Buy it now

What to Consider When Buying a Mattress for Side Sleeping

While your bank balance often leads your way in big purchases, there's much more to consider when buying a mattress, like firmness, pressure-point relief, and temperature regulation.

Materials

Even a cursory search will reveal that mattresses are available in a host of fabrications. Typically, memory foam mattresses are best for side sleepers, as they offer greater pressure-point relief in the areas where you need it most. At the end of the day (pun intended), the plush top layer will provide exceptional cushioning, contour to your body, and offer the best spinal alignment.

For those who need more support than a memory foam mattress can offer, hybrid mattresses may be worth a closer look. These types of mattresses pair the rigidity, durability, and breathability of coils with the plush softness of memory foam.

Firmness

While side sleepers need a mattress that's soft enough to respond to their body's curves, they also need enough firmness for support.

And while the firmness level is important, looking at where a mattress lands on a firmness scale is not the be-all end-all. The firmness level of the mattress must be considered along with the weight and body type of the sleeper.

As a general rule, side sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds would fare best on a softer mattress, while those weighing between 130 and 230 pounds and those over 230 pounds would do best with medium-firm mattresses and firm mattresses, respectively.

Contouring and Pressure-Point Relief

Unlike back and stomach sleepers, side sleepers have unique concerns, like shoulder and hip pain. To keep that pain and discomfort in check, the best mattresses for side sleepers offer pressure relief where it's needed most.

Temperature

Hot sleepers can tell you that waking up at midnight feeling "swampy" is no fun. For some folks, sleeping hot is just how they're wired; for some, it's their mattress. Either way, a cooling memory foam mattress or innerspring mattress that ensures airflow and breathability might be your best bet for regulating the temperature.

Price

And last but certainly not least, the price of a new mattress and how it fits into your budget should always be a consideration. The good news is there are plenty of good mattresses for side sleepers that aren't budget busters. For those keeping an eagle eye on their bank balance, Nectar's Memory Foam Mattress, our pick for the best budget mattress, is an excellent place to start.

Advertisement

Advertisement