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Best mattresses for side sleepers

The 10 Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

These top-rated mattresses provide the right amount of support and comfort.
By Jillian Mueller
Updated February 09, 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 sleep laboratory Advanced Sleep Medicine Services. 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 Tim Canty, MD, who specializes in treating patients with back pain and neck pain at the Comprehensive Spine & Pain Center of NY. “The ideal 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.”

These are the 10 best mattresses for side sleepers:

If you need more guidance on your search for a new mattress, we've also highlighted a few key factors to consider, including material makeup, firmness level, and overall construction.

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.

There are different types of memory foam, including gel, latex, and standard. While many memory foam mattresses are made with a blend of the three, some only use one type. Gel and latex memory foam are more responsive than standard memory foam—meaning they spring back to shape quicker when you move throughout the night—but also tend to be more expensive.

Some of the mattresses we recommend for side sleepers, like the Saatva Classic and Brooklyn Aurora, are made with layers of memory foam and pocketed spring coils, or innersprings. While traditional innerspring mattresses are not typically recommended for side sleepers, many newer innerspring mattresses are more of a hybrid construction, meaning they’re made with more than one core material. These hybrid mattresses with memory foam top layers help provide the contouring support and pressure relief that side sleepers need.

Pressure relief

If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll want to choose a supportive mattress that cradles your body’s natural curve without letting you sink too far in. Options with ample support will contour 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. Without the proper level of support in a mattress, side sleepers may find themselves waking up sore.

Firmness

It’s crucial to look at firmness levels when purchasing a new mattress. A mattress that’s too soft won’t give you the necessary structure, 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.

Choosing the best mattress for side sleepers

While there are many elements to consider on your search for a mattress that’s suited to your sleep style, the good news is there are tons of great options available for side sleepers. Even better news? The expert review team at Mattress Advisor conducted over 1,200 hours of testing at their lab in Raleigh, North Carolina to evaluate over 150 mattresses on criteria that benefit side sleepers.

Based on the findings, we’ve outlined the top-reviewed mattresses for side sleepers that’ll make a huge difference in the quality of your shuteye. Each of the below mattresses can be purchased online and come with generous trial periods—giving you the option to return it free of charge after a given time period—making it even easier to save money and shop with ease.

Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Helix

1. Best Hybrid Mattress: Helix Midnight Luxe

The Helix Midnight Luxe is a hybrid bed that 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 coils also give quality edge support to reinforce the perimeter and reduce sagging. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights

To buy: Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress, $1,649; helixsleep.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Saatva Classic Mattress
Credit: Saatva

2. Most Luxurious: Saatva Classic

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. We recommend 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. 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)
  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Trial Period for Returns: 180 nights

To buy: Saatva Classic Mattress, $1,299; saatva.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

NectarSleep Memory Foam Mattress with 365 Nights Trial
Credit: NectarSleep

3. Best Value: Nectar

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 firmness level makes it a solid choice for side sleepers.

At just under $800 for a queen size, Nectar offers a high-quality mattress at a great price point. 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
  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Trial Period for Returns: 365 nights

To buy: Nectar Mattress, $799; nectarsleep.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: WinkBed

4. Best Innerspring Mattress: WinkBed

Side sleepers tend to gravitate towards memory foam beds for their contouring comfort, but some all-foam designs don’t provide adequate support. The WinkBed mattress uses a foundation of innerspring coils to maintain a healthy posture. This keeps pressure off the lower back so that you don’t wake up with aches and pains. Plus, the bed comes with a squishy foam pillow top that allows side sleepers to sink in just enough to receive pressure-point relief at the hips and shoulders.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Firmness: Soft, luxury firm, firmer, plus
  • Trial Period for Returns: 120 nights

To buy: WinkBed Mattress, $1,599; winkbeds.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Bear Mattress
Credit: Bear Mattress

5. Best for Hot Sleepers: Bear

If you sleep on your side and run hot at night, the Bear is the bed for you. Functioning as a cooling mattress, it utilizes open-cell foam to keep air flowing throughout. The Bear performs 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 Type: Memory foam 
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-Firm
  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights

To buy: Bear Mattress, $796; bearmattress.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

dreamcloud premier mattress
Credit: DreamCloud

6. Most Durable: DreamCloud Premier

The DreamCloud Premier is an affordable hybrid mattress with six 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.

DreamCloud offers a generous full year to decide if this is the mattress for you, so you have plenty of time to try your bed out. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-Firm
  • Trial Period for Returns: 365 nights

To buy: DreamCloud Premier Mattress, $1,299 for a Queen; dreamcloudsleep.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

layla mattress
Credit: Layla

7. Best Flippable Mattress: Layla

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.

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.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-Soft and Medium-Firm
  • Trial Period for Returns: 120 nights

To buy: Layla Mattress, $899; laylasleep.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Leesa-legend

8. Best for Back Pain: Leesa Legend

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. 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. You’ll also rest easy knowing that the mattress is sustainably made with an organic cotton and Merino wool cover, fabric from recycled water bottles, and recycled steel springs.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights

To buy: Leesa Legend Mattress, $2,299, leesa.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: GhostBed

9. Best for Shoulder Pain: GhostBed

To combat shoulder pain, side sleepers should try a cushioning mattress like the GhostBed. It uses a breathable latex core covered in layers of soft memory foam to cradle pressure points.The mattress’s construction, combined with its medium-firm feel, allows sleepers to sink into the surface for some much-needed pain relief.

  • Mattress Type: Latex with memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Trial Period for Returns: 101 nights

To buy: GhostBed Mattress, $1,140, ghostbed.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Puffy Lux Mattress
Credit: Puffy

10. Best for Pressure Relief: Puffy Lux

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.

The Puffy Lux also features an extra layer of cooling memory foam, so it’ll keep you cool and comfortable year-round.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam 
  • Customer Rating: 5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Trial Period for Returns: 101 nights

To buy: Puffy Lux Mattress, $1,495; puffy.com (Click to see exclusive offer) 

Jillian is a wellness and lifestyle writer for Mattress Advisor. As a former insomniac, she is passionate about the health benefits of a restful night and helping you get a good night’s sleep.