Roughly two out of every three adults in the US sleep on their side. It is by far the most popular type of sleep and also the most difficult to get a mattress for!
There are a lot of reasons why side sleepers find it difficult to find the right mattress. They need a mattress that is both comfortable on their shoulders but still supportive of their lower back. The bed also needs to be cool with very little motion transfer and very good pressure relief to scatter the pressure pint away from the shoulders and hips.
We tested a lot of mattresses and made this list for you that will most likely have the right one for your specific needs.
Best Mattresses For Side Sleepers
#1 Layla mattress
# 2 Saatva Mattress in the Soft Feel
#3 Natures Novel Latex Mattress - Medium Soft
#4 The Botanical Bliss Latex Mattress
# 5 Nectar Sleep
Layla is a double-sided memory foam mattress with copper infused technology used on both sides of the bed. We chose his mattress as the best overall as it really contours to pressure points, sleep cool and has an innovative design.
Though the effects of copper-infused materials cannot be tangibly felt, it is known to reduce pain, be heat-conductive, structurally supportive and is also antimicrobial.
How is Layla a Good Mattress for Side Sleepers?
- Even if the soft side is better suited for side sleepers, both sides offer the pressure relief and comfort required by side sleeping. This means that Layla offers its customer two good firmness options.
- Layla’s unique cover uses ThermoGel to increase the cooling of the mattress. We did notice that this bed felt a little cooler than the average memory foam mattress.
- The materials used in the Layla mattress are high-quality dense memory foam and base foam. So, this mattress will take a long time before it shows body indentations.
- Layla offers a generous 120 day trial period and lifetime warranty
Saatva Mattress in the Soft Feel
(Best Hybrid Choice)
Best Hybrid Choice
Saatva is one of the best hybrid mattresses out there with its innovative design of using two different coil systems in the same mattress to reduce pressure points and allow good spinal alignment.
Saatva hybrid mattress has a nice organic cotton cover built on top of the pillowtop foam. Under this layer is their 416-unit coil system of individually wrapped pocket coils that contour to the shape of the body.
Right above this coils system, however, is a layer of gel memory foam to increase lumbar support. This layer is only in the lumbar area. Then lastly for support, there is the 884 tempered still 13-gauge coil system.
How is Saatva a Good Mattress for Side Sleepers?
- Despite being the softest mattress on our list, we found that the soft model of Saatva offers really good pressure relief and sink for side sleepers.
- The higher coil system promotes pressure relief while the lower one makes sure you don’t sink in too much as a side sleeper.
- Because of the way it’s built with so much space in the mattress, this bed offers very good breathability and coolness.
- Since both coils are very thick and the foam used is dense, the Saatva mattress can last a long time if cared for correctly (rotate every six months, use a mattress protector).
Natures Novel Mattress | Firm Support
(Best Natural Latex Choice)
Best Natural Latex Choice
For the best latex mattress for side sleepers, we chose the Natures Novel mattress in the Medium-soft fee. Though latex mattresses are usually associated with words like “hard” and “sleep on” which describe a mattress that is not so good for side sleepers, this mattress can actually be both soft and firm.
It uses both latex types to get the right balance of firm but soft to make sure that it is good for side sleepers. The Talalay latex on top has an exceptional conforming and pressure relief while the Dunlop latex under that offers good support and motion isolation.
How is Natures Novel Medium-soft a Good Mattress for Side Sleepers?
- At 19 ILD, natural Talalay latex offers excellent pressure relief and comfort for side sleeping.
- The Dunlop part of the mattress makes sure that you sink in just enough to sleep comfortably while still keeping a very good spinal alignment.
- The cotton cover, the wool fire retardant, the Talalay latex, and the Dunlop latex are all cool natural materials. Making this mattress one of the coolest most breathable mattress available.
- Latex is the most durable material in the bedding industry, the Naturals Novel uses a very dense high-quality latex along with a lifetime warranty to ensure longevity and peace of mind.
12” Botanic Bliss Mattress | Medium Firm
(Best Customizable Choice)
Best Customizable Choice
Some of us don’t know what firmness could actually work and want to have a mattress that offers different firmness levels in the same mattress. The 12” Botanic Bliss by Plushbeds is just that.
A mattress with four different layers of Organic Dunlop at different firmness levels. You can rearrange the layers as you wish and set up the bed to your liking. Though this Organic mattress is pricy, it is worth it.
How is Plushbeds Botanic Bliss 12” a Good Mattress for Side Sleepers?
- By rearranging the layer to have a softer top and firmer bottom, you can have a mattress that works very well for side sleepers.
- Being organic and natural, the Botanic Bliss is very breathable.
- Like Talalay, Dunlop latex can last for a very long time, making this mattress a good long term investment.
- The king size of this mattress can have two different firmness for each one of the partners making more couple friendly.
The Nectar Mattress
Nectar is the other memory foam mattress on our list because it is an amazing budget choice for side sleepers. Though it won’t perform as good as some of these mattresses on our list, we were very happy with it during our test.
We decided to include It on our list because average weight and lightweight side sleeper will find this mattress both comfortable and very affordable. It also comes with a confident 365-day trial.
How is Nectar a Good Mattress for Side Sleepers?
- Average and lightweight side sleepers will enjoy good pressure relief and contouring form the Nectar mattress.
- We never felt this mattress was hot during the test. That is possible because of the gel memory foam used.
- Nectar uses good high-density memory foam to make sure the bed lasts a good long while.
- At 11 inches, we felt like it has the right amount of soft but firm for most side sleepers.
Mattress Buying Guide For Side Sleepers
According to research and studies, side sleeping is the most popular sleep position, and also the healthiest. For some of us, before sleeping we twist and turn to find the most comfortable sleeping position each and every night. However, for others, they already know exactly how to lay in order to quickly get into sleep.
Spinal alignment is one reason you should be sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your side aligns the shoulders, pelvis, and spine. To help minimize pressure points in the lower back, neck, and other sensitive areas.
If you sleep on the side you also gain in better air circulation, especially for people with sleep apnea as well as heavy snorers. Side sleeping is associated with healthier hearts as well.
Since most consumers prefer sleeping on the side, mattress manufacturers make considerations when developing their products, including mattresses to best aid side sleepers.
What Makes A Mattress Good For Side Sleepers?
1- The Right Firmness:
The firmness of a mattress is of utmost importance for side sleepers. This has a lot to do with the fact that sleeping on the side does present the challenge of noticeable pressure points. A too firm mattress you will not be able to take advantage of that contour you need in this position. Also, it causes hits and shoulder pain from lack of pressure relief.
On the other hand, a too soft mattress hurts the lower back for sinking in too much. Medium soft to soft is the right firmness level depending on the sleeper’s weight and body shape. To ensure you arrive at a happy medium, it is important you consider your BMI. In knowing your BMI, it will help in figuring out the best firmness for you specifically.
A too firm mattress only worsens the issue of noticeable pressure points. Unless you have too much weight, or your health professional recommends a firm mattress, you need to avoid a too firm mattress if you are a side sleeper.
Plush mattresses can be a good fit, especially for those whose arms tend to fall asleep before they do. The bottom line, most side sleepers are most comfortable with medium-soft firmness mattresses.
2- Soft but Firm Comfort and Support:
Support describes how well a mattress cushion spinal alignment. A mattress for side sleepers needs to cushion the body in a manner that prevents inflated curvature of the spine in any direction. More support should be focused on the shoulders and hips.
Not enough support in those areas, the hips will sink too deeply into the mattress. A mattress for side sleepers should have a responsive comfort layer to accommodate the lower body at the hips and the upper body at the shoulders without sinking too much.
The top layer should be softer with a firmer bottom to achieve the soft but firm comfort and support. Side sleeping presents two major challenges for comfort in a mattress. If a mattress is too soft, yes, it is comfortable but not supportive. If a mattress is too firm, yes, it is supportive but not comfortable.
A thick comfort layer provides sufficient comfort and ensures that the weight does not overwork other supportive layers. The top soft layer allows for better circulation and relieves pressure points in the hips, shoulders, and neck.
A mattress for side sleepers needs to conform to and cradle the body. This takes away the pressure and allows the muscles to relax, which is ideal for getting a good night’s sleep.
3- Durable Materials:
You don’t want to have a mattress that will wear out quickly. Given the support requirements for side sleepers, it is important that a mattress maintain a high level of performance over time.
The quality of material used in a mattress determines the overall durability of the mattress. Look for specifications and more so, the composition and layering of the mattress.
Look at the manufacturer’s website for a detailed specification of mattress layers and composition. This should include information like density and thickness. A detailed look will help prevent you from buying a mattress of poor-quality materials that thus underdelivers.
A sagging mattress is bad for side sleepers, one of the reasons side sleepers need to have a mattress made of good durable materials. Examples of good durable material for a mattress is latex.
Latex is generally a rubber material and tends to be heavier than similarly sized mattresses of other types. Latex provides a blend of responsiveness and resiliency as it is quick to bounce back to its original shape when weight is lifted off it.
For memory foam mattress material, go for higher density memory foams. This is usually 4 lbs. Or 5 lbs., as it is durable and provides better pressure relief. Memory foam mattress consists of layers of foam to provide a highly conforming mattress.
Innerspring mattresses consist of an array of metal coils that compress when weight is applied. There are various types of innerspring coil designs, but for the better performance go for pocketed coils.
Pocketed coils respond to the body in a more targeted way. When buying innerspring or hybrid mattresses go for one with better coil gauges. 12 and 13 coil gauges are recommended. Anything higher, 14 or 15 won’t last as long. Keep in mind however that some mattresses might use more coils.
So, a mattress with 1100 coils and coil gauge 14 is still very good. Innerspring mattresses usually also come with a softer comfort layer on top of the coil layer.
4- Cooling and Breathability:
It is important that mattresses for side sleepers provide cooling or has natural materials like latex and cotton that promote breathability. If there is no breathability, no amount of comfort will be enough.
Look for latex, foam or spring mattresses with built-in layers for cooling and breathing. The top cover can be soft and made of breathable Tencel to help wick away heat during the night.
The top layer in memory foam mattresses can be infused with gel to promote extra breathability and to allow heat to escape during the night.
The lower layer of a mattress for side sleepers provides the ideal level of support to keep you ache and pain-free. It also is ingeniously designed to serve more than this purpose. It can be constructed with double air flow comfort foam to improve airflow while you sleep.
Such a construction is specifically designed to improve breathability, allowing heat to escape during the night. The mattress thus maintains a neutral temperature throughout the night.
If the mattress is too soft, your body sinks in and traps the air. This increases the temperature and eventually, it becomes so hot that your body starts to sweat. This would require a mechanism for circulating air so that your body stays cool.
5- Pressure Relief and Motion Isolation
Side sleepers require a lot of pressure relief, more so than back and stomach sleepers. Therefore, a mattress for side sleepers needs to be soft enough to relieve pressure points and allow for good circulation in the hips, neck, and shoulders.
Side sleepers need to have a mattress of materials with excellent pressure points. For example, Talalay latex and memory foam mattresses are soft and take the tension away from pressure points. These materials distribute body weight and reduce pressure on the shoulders and hips.
Also, a mattress with a soft outside layer, like a top or cover, are great at relieving pressure.
When the body moves and pressure is removed, the mattress then retakes its original shape. Motion isolation is a way of describing how swiftly the mattress does that. It is easier for side sleepers to adjust their sleeping position on a bed with good motion isolation. This is beneficial in switching from one side to another.
Talalay latex and memory foam mattresses have a little more bounce and give, which reduces motion transfer from one side of the bed to the other. Side sleepers will be far less aware of their partner’s movements during the night. This significantly improves sleep quality and reduce disturbance during the night.
6- Convenient Warranty and Trial Period:
When purchasing a new mattress, the conditions of the warranty is one of the things you need to take into consideration. You need to take note of the duration of the warranty, the prorated and non-prorated terms, and how does the warranty address issues like sagging.
For a good peace of mind, go for a non-prorated warranty that makes sure if the mattress starts sagging there will be a warranty backing the mattress. Also, start with a trial period or may end up stuck with a wrong bed.
Sagging, or sinking is the most important consideration in a warrant cover. A good mattress for side sleepers should be designed to retain firmness and comfortable shape for long periods of time. It is understandable that some sagging will naturally occur after years of use. But premature or excessive sagging is often the result of a product defect.
The warranty covering sagging includes a specific sagging depth. If the mattress sags below a certain threshold, the manufacturer is supposed to replace the product free of charge. The sagging depth for most warranties is one inch.
Other physical defects covered include coils that break, bend or burst out of the side, seams that come undone and irregular bunching in certain areas. Keep in mind that no warranty cover customer abuse so use a mattress protector less you want your warranty to be void.
What Is the Best Type of Mattress for Side Sleepers?
– Natural Latex:
Latex mattresses are the most durable you will come across. A latex mattress completes almost all the requirements for a side sleeper and so it is highly recommended. One strong factor why a latex mattress is ideal for a side sleeper is the exceptional pressure relief, especially the ones made of Talalay latex in the comfort layer. These mattresses can be made of natural latex or a blend of natural and synthetic latex.
The latex foam is supportive, breathable and conforms to your body shape. Also, it being a more natural product, that’s a plus for your health and the environment.
Latex mattresses tend to be heavier than similarly-sized mattresses of other types. They offer a blend of responsiveness and motion control as latex is quick to bounce back to its original shape when weight is lifted off of it.
If you are looking for a mattress for side sleeping that will last, you definitely would want to go for a latex mattress. The flexibility if adjusting the firmness by the combination of medium and firm layers is another plus.
Latex mattresses have the best cooling and breathability. Also, they have the best durability by far, from the rest of the mattress types. The only thing about them is the price.
– Memory Foam:
Memory foam mattress offers the best pressure relief and contouring for side sleepers, but it may not match up in breathability and coolness. The memory foam mattress is one of the most popular mattresses for side sleepers as it offers pressure relief as well as the softness needed for side sleeping.
Check the memory foam mattress is not too soft nor too firm. A medium soft memory foam mattress makes sure your spine is aligned well on the bed and in line with the neck and lower part of the body.
One of the best things about memory foam mattresses for side sleepers is the material can adapt to your body shape, reducing pressure on your joints. Beware some memory foam mattresses tend to sleep hot.
So, go for memory foam with cooling technology such as gel-infused memory foam or graphite. Gel memory foam adapts to your shape and provides a great level of comfort, making it good for side sleepers.
Foam mattresses usually consist of layers of foam to provide a highly supportive mattress at an affordable price point. Two of the most common types of foam used are polyfoam and memory foam. You will usually find both polyfoam and memory foam together in the same mattress.
High-Density Poly foam is usually used in the support layer of the mattress while the memory foam is almost always the comfort layer.
Hybrid mattresses play on the strengths and weaknesses of various material types to come up with combinations that blend well to compensate for weaknesses.
Hybrids can be half pocketed coil and half memory foam or latex. Coils in some hybrid mattresses may lack the much-needed durability side sleepers require. A hybrid mattress can be somewhat pricey more than latex mattress, but the cooling effect they offer is excellent.
The ideal hybrid mattress for side sleepers combines memory foam and pocketed coils to enhance comfort and support or Talalay latex instead of the memory foam for the same comfort but more longevity and coolness at a higher price.
The basic formation of a hybrid is a support core with metal coils. The layers can be materials of memory foam, gel foam or latex. This can give side sleepers the best of both worlds between conformity of foam and the support and breathability of springs. Also, hybrid mattresses are ideal if you are looking for the benefits of memory foam with the familiar ‘bounce’ of a spring mattress.
A hybrid mattress of coils and foam can offer great support as well as the comfort needed for a side sleeper depending on the materials used.
The best hybrid mattresses utilize Talalay latex in their comfort layer, they can quickly adjust to your body’s shape and position. This is a plus for side sleepers when switching sides, quakily retaking its original form when needed. The base of pocketed coils helps prevent the body from sinking too much into the mattress, so you won’t feel trapped.
One of the best things about memory foam mattresses for side sleepers is the material can adapt to your body shape, reducing pressure on your joints. Beware some memory foam mattresses tend to sleep hot. So, go for memory foam with cooling technology such as gel-infused memory foam or graphite. Gel memory foam adapts to your shape and provides a great level of comfort, making it good for side sleepers.
Foam mattresses usually consist of layers of foam to provide a highly supportive mattress at an affordable price point. Two of the most common types of foam used are polyfoam and memory foam.
You will usually find both polyfoam and memory foam together in the same mattress. High-Density Poly foam is usually used in the support layer of the mattress while the memory foam is almost always the comfort layer.
Traditional innerspring mattresses use a Bonnell or continues coil system with poly foam on top.
Innerspring mattresses are not such an ideal choice for side sleepers. Innerspring mattresses come last for side sleepers because they offer the lowest durability, comfort, and pressure relief for side sleepers. But are priced the lowest.
Side sleepers should avoid an innerspring mattress if budget is not a very big issue. An innerspring mattress won’t last that long for side sleepers, so it is likely to cost you more in the long run.
However, an innerspring mattress can still be a good choice if you don’t like the ‘sinking in’ sensation of memory foam or are simply used to the feel of a spring mattress. It can still be a good choice if you pick the right one. Look for a spring mattress with a think coil gauge (12 -13) and a pillow top comfort layer.
Though these mattresses will not last as long, side sleepers usually prefer them. The main issue with these mattresses is that the pillow top will start to sag even within the first year.
An innerspring mattress can be considered to be purchased for a side sleeper but after completely analyzing side sleeper’s requirement.
An innerspring mattress is not a good choice for side sleepers as it is not as comfortable as other types of mattresses. It puts pressure on the pressure points such as shoulders, neck, hips, etc. which can cause back pain, shoulder and neck pain.
However, innerspring mattresses are available of different types which address this issue. This problem can be solved by using an additional layer of a comforter. Such innerspring mattresses usually have a softer comfort layer on top of the coil layer.
Finally, keep in mind that traditional innerspring mattresses are almost never available online and buying them from stores means no trial period. Be extra careful not to be stuck with the wrong mattress.
To find the right mattress, a side sleeper should consider the performance of a mattress. This helps to determine whether the mattress will meet his or her needs.
Side sleepers should think about certain elements for their ideal mattress. This includes firmness, comfort, and support, motion isolation, durability, choice of material, among others.
Firmness is a very important factor to consider in a mattress for side sleepers as well. This has a lot to do with the fact that side sleeping does present the possibility of noticeable pressure points.
It can put excessive pressure points on certain points of the body, specifically the hips and shoulders. Medium firm and medium soft mattresses are recommended.
This research is what we used to choose our picks for the best mattresses for side sleepers. This and hours of extensive testing. So hopefully you found this helpful.
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