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The 10 Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

These top-rated mattresses provide the right amount of support and comfort.
By Jillian Mueller
Updated June 02, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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If you find yourself sleeping on your side throughout most of the night, then your sleeping habits are in line with the majority of adults. In fact, side sleeping is considered the most common sleeping position, according to a 2017 study. And while experts say side sleeping comes with a slew of benefits-like improved digestion, better breathing, and neutral spine alignment-using the wrong type of mattress can negate all of the positives. That's why it's important to choose a mattress specifically designed for side sleepers.

"Aches and pains in pressure points like your hips, shoulders, upper and lower back can often be aggravated, or even caused, by a mattress that doesn't support side sleeping well," says Timothy Canty, MD, who specializes in treating pain disorders and serves as the chief medical officer at Manhattan Restorative Health Sciences. "The best mattress for side sleepers will provide pressure relief for joints and contouring support to promote proper spine alignment. In particular, a memory foam mattress or hybrid mattress with a soft top layer can help equally distribute your body weight to help prevent soreness and provide a comfortable sleep surface."

While there are many elements to consider when searching for a mattress, the good news is there are a lot of great options that cater specifically to side sleepers. The expert review team at Mattress Advisor evaluated over 150 mattresses, and we're highlighting the top 10 for side sleepers based on their findings. These beds will make a huge difference in the quality of your shut-eye.

Our recommendations:

How side sleeping affects your rest

Like most things, sleeping on your side has pros and cons. The lateral nature of this position helps keep airways open, allowing those who snore to rest more comfortably. Studies have shown that side sleeping can even help clear brain waste, permitting you to think more clearly and efficiently. However, side sleeping tends to place pressure on the neck, hips, and shoulders. But finding a mattress that offers the right balance of support and comfort will positively impact the way you sleep-and how you feel when you wake up.

Choosing the best mattress for side sleepers

Mattress type and materials 

The best mattresses for side sleepers should have at least one layer of memory foam because the texture supports the natural curvature of the spine, minimizing the risk of waking up with aches and pains. This type of mattress is also excellent at equally distributing body weight in the side sleeping position.

Some of the mattresses we recommend for side sleepers, like the Saatva Classic, are made with layers of memory foam and pocketed spring coils, or innersprings. While traditional innerspring mattresses aren't typically ideal for side sleepers, hybrid mattresses combine traditional innerspring coil systems with layers of foam to get the best of both worlds. These hybrid mattresses with memory foam tops produce the contouring support and pressure relief side sleepers need. The layers of coils help keep the spine aligned throughout the night. 

Latex mattresses are another good option for side sleepers. The pressure-relieving material has a supportive, buoyant feel and holds up well over time.

Firmness

A mattress that's too soft won't give you the structure needed to maintain proper spine alignment, but one that's too firm could cause joint tension and soreness. Most side sleepers find that mattresses constructed with medium-soft to medium firmness provide just enough support to feel cozy without being too rigid.

Pressure relief

If you're a side sleeper, you'll want to choose a contouring mattress that cradles your body's natural curves and cushions spots that may dig into the bed, like your hips and shoulders. Without adequate pressure relief, you risk waking up with aches and pains.

Spine alignment 

If you're a side sleeper, it's key to find a mattress with ample support that will contour to the shape of your body for complete comfort while still pushing back enough to keep your spine in proper alignment. It's also important to have enough pushback to keep pressure points, like your hips, thighs, and shoulders, from settling further into the bed than the rest of your body. If these spots sink below the rest of your body, it can throw your spine out of alignment and cause back pain

The best mattresses for side sleepers

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Helix

1. Best Hybrid Mattress: Helix Midnight

BUY IT, $999 FOR A QUEEN (WAS $1,099)

The Helix Midnight is the most popular bed in the Helix mattress lineup. This hybrid features memory foam layers and individually wrapped coils for a supportive yet comfortable sleep surface that side sleepers will love. A memory foam layer provides pressure relief and zoned support designed to match your body type while a pocket coil layer helps cradle your shoulders and hips.

The bed's medium firmness level appeals to a wide range of sleepers, especially those who rest on their sides. In the Mattress Advisor testing lab, the Midnight scored an 8.5 out of 10 in the pressure relief category and earned a perfect 10 for edge support, meaning the perimeter of the bed is super solid to make you feel more secure. Want more cushioning? Upgrade to the Midnight Luxe, which features a plush 2-inch pillow top.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.9 out of 10
  • Firmness: Medium (5.5/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights
Saatva Classic Mattress
Credit: Saatva

2. Best Affordable Luxury: Saatva Classic

BUY IT, $1,299 FOR A QUEEN (WAS $1,499)

The Saatva Classic mattress offers all the features side sleepers need without sacrificing the decadence of a luxury brand. It's completely customizable-you can choose between 3 different firmness levels, heights, and sizes-and is made with high-quality, eco-friendly materials. Mattress Advisor recommends side sleepers go with the luxury firm mattress, the median firmness level, for the right combination of support and suppleness.

Saatva also has excellent customer service that's unmatched by other online mattress brands. They make the process stress-free by providing at-home setup for your new mattress and removal of your old mattress at no extra charge.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (memory foam and pocketed coils)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7 out of 10
  • Firmness: Plush soft (3/10), luxury firm (6/10), or firm (8/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 180 nights
Gravity Lux
Credit: WinkBeds

3. Best Memory Foam Mattress: WinkBeds Gravity Lux

BUY IT, $1,299 FOR A QUEEN (WAS $1,599)

Side sleepers tend to gravitate towards memory foam beds for their contouring comfort, but some all-foam designs don't provide adequate support. WinkBeds's GravityLux uses a foundation of high-density core foam to help you maintain a healthy posture. This keeps pressure off the lower back so that you don't wake up with aches and pains.

As an added bonus, the GravityLux comes in three firmness levels: soft, medium, and firm. The medium firmness level may be a tad hard for some side sleepers, so the soft option-which delivers necessary relief at the hips and shoulders-could be a better fit.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: NR
  • Firmness: Soft (4/10), medium (5.5/10), or firm (7/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 120 nights
NectarSleep Memory Foam Mattress with 365 Nights Trial
Credit: NectarSleep

4. Best Value Mattress: Nectar

BUY IT, $899 FOR A QUEEN (WAS $1,198)

Nectar's contouring gel memory foam layer is designed to hug and stabilize your body as you sleep. The mattress review team found that Nectar is great at motion isolation, meaning you're less likely to be disturbed by a sleeping partner who's moving around in the middle of the night. Plus, the medium-firm firmness level makes it a solid choice for side sleepers.

At just under $900 for a queen size, Nectar offers a high-quality mattress at a great price point that's hard to beat for a bed-in-a-box brand. It also has a year-long trial period, so you'll have plenty of time to test it out before you commit.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8,7 out of 10
  • Firmness: Medium (6.5/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 365 nights
best hybrid mattresses
Credit: Casper

5. Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers: Casper Wave Hybrid

BUY IT, $2,695

If you sleep on your side and run hot at night, the Casper Wave Hybrid is the bed for you. Functioning as a cooling mattress, it uses a breathable cover, ventilated foam, latex, and pocketed coils to keep air flowing throughout. The Casper Wave Hybrid also performs well when it comes to responsiveness and back support, so even as you switch from sleeping on your left side to your right, it moves with you.

Mattress Advisor tells Health that the hybrid bed scored exceptionally high on its 14-point test, receiving  a 9 out of 10 for cooling, a 9.25 for responsiveness, and a 9 for spinal alignment. Its advanced support system also means extra pressure relief at the hips and shoulders. Compared to the original Casper, the Wave Hybrid sleeps cooler thanks to its ventilated foam, gel-infused top, and pocketed coils. Use code MATTRESSADVISOR at checkout to get up to $100 off this hybrid model.

  • Mattress Type: Latex with memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.3 out of 10
  • Firmness: Medium (5/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 101 nights
dreamcloud premier mattress
Credit: DreamCloud

6. Most Durable Mattress: DreamCloud Premier

BUY IT, $1,399 FOR A QUEEN (WAS $1,599)

The DreamCloud Premier is an affordable hybrid mattress with five luxurious layers of memory foam and coils. It earned a perfect score for responsiveness and a near-perfect score for durability-so not only will this bed respond to your body's movements throughout the night, but it will also provide the support and longevity you need. With no set weight limit, the DreamCloud also boasts high scores for edge support and pressure relief.

For side sleepers, the Premier delivers 5.5 inches of pressure-relieving foam layers to cushion the hips and shoulders. DreamCloud also offers a generous one-year sleep trial so that you can take time to determine whether it's the right mattress for you. You won't typically find an online mattress with so many luxe materials (a cashmere blend cover, gel-infused foam, and pocketed coils) for under $2,000. Plus, Health readers get an additional $200 off at checkout.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9 out of 10
  • Firmness: Medium-Firm (6.5/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 365 nights
Bear Mattress
Credit: Bear Mattress

7. Best Mattress for Active Sleepers: Bear

BUY IT, $747 FOR A QUEEN (WAS $995)

The all-foam Bear mattress works especially well for side sleepers who are also athletic. Made with a soft, breathable cover, a layer of gel-infused cooling memory foam, and a tier of transitional foam, this bed helps to relieve sore muscles and keeps the spine in proper lateral alignment. The extra lumbar support allows the body to recover overnight so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle another workout.

Though the Bear Original scored an impressive 9 out of 10 for cooling in the Mattress Advisor testing lab, the newer models-the Bear Hybrid and the Bear Pro-offer even more cooling capabilities and muscle recovery technology, which come at a higher price point. But for less than $1,000, the original model is a great value for a bed-in-a-box mattress.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam 
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.6 out of 10
  • Firmness: Medium-Firm (7/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights
layla mattress
Credit: Layla

8. Best Flippable Mattress: Layla

BUY IT, $949 FOR A QUEEN (WAS $1,099)

The Layla is a unique memory foam mattress infused with copper to help keep you cool. Featuring both a soft side and a firm side, it can be flipped to suit your preference-a rarity for online mattresses. (Note: Those who prefer a medium-firm mattress may want to look elsewhere.)

For side sleepers, keeping the spine from sinking into the mattress is essential, and Mattress Advisor found that the Layla offers solid spinal alignment and support. Reviewers gave the Layla high marks in responsiveness and pressure relief, two areas that are sure to keep your hips and shoulders happy. If you're not a memory foam fan but like the idea of a flippable bed, then check out Layla's newest model, the Layla Hybrid.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.8 out of 10
  • Firmness: Soft (4/10) and firm (7/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 120 nights
Leesa-legend

9. Best Mattress for Back Pain: Leesa Legend

BUY IT, $1,949 FOR A QUEEN (WAS $2,299)

To reduce back pain, a mattress must balance comfort and support. That's where the Leesa Legend comes in. Two foam comfort layers sit on top of this luxury hybrid bed to relieve pressure on the back, hips, and shoulders, which is crucial for side sleepers. Beneath that, the Legend features a targeted micro-pocket spring and foam layer atop a base of sturdy innerspring coils-that's two layers of coils for additional support. It's no surprise that the Leesa Legend is the brand's most advanced bed in its lineup of popular mattresses that also includes the Leesa Original, the Leesa Hybrid, and Studio by Leesa.

You'll rest easy knowing that the Legend is sustainably made with an organic cotton and Merino wool cover, fabric from recycled water bottles, and recycled steel springs. An added bonus: Leesa sets itself apart in the online mattress industry by donating a bed to a family in need for every 10 sold.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9 out of 10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights
Puffy Lux Mattress
Credit: Puffy

10. Best Mattress for Pressure Relief: Puffy Lux

BUY IT, $1,499 FOR A QUEEN (WAS $1,799)

Thanks to three layers of high-quality memory foam, the Puffy Lux received one of the highest scores on Mattress Advisor's pressure relief test. It offers extensive support for healthy spine alignment while still cradling pressure points for comfort. Pressure point relief is essential for side sleepers whose hips and shoulders can jam uncomfortably into a mattress that's too firm, causing the spine to move out of alignment.

While the Puffy Lux features an extra layer of cooling memory foam, it's still an all-foam mattress, meaning it won't sleep as cool as an innerspring or hybrid bed. Hot sleepers who rest on their side may want to look at another brand if they're worried about overheating during the night.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam 
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.3 out of 10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 101 nights

Mattress Advisor's Review Process

Each mattress on this list was put to the test (literally) in Mattress Advisor's lab, which is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Bedding experts spent over 1,200 hours evaluating and comparing mattresses using a 14-point testing methodology to find the best beds for side sleepers available online. 

While some of the factors tested are tied directly to performance, like responsiveness, edge support, and pressure relief, others are based around brand operations, such as customer service, shipping policies, and trial period. The Mattress Advisor team combines this proprietary methodology with in-depth interviews and customer experience to arrive at a weighted score out of 10.

Jillian is a wellness and lifestyle writer for Mattress Advisor.