Sleeping on your side can be a very comfortable sleeping position; lying down and sinking into a mattress, it is so nice to drift off into a long night of sleep.
While sleeping on your side can feel fantastic, not every bed are made for side sleeping; side sleepers are usually going to want a softer mattress that provides exceptional pressure relief. Since there are so many online mattresses out there, I wanted to compile a list of the best mattresses for side sleepers to help people sleep better!
There is something here for everyone; those who prefer super soft memory foam and those who are ready to try something different like the Purple Hybrid Premier. Read on to find the best mattress for side sleepers!
Our Top Picks
The best mattresses for side sleepers are:
- Helix Midnight – Best Customizable Mattress
- Loom and Leaf – Best Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Layla – Best Cooling Mattress for Hot Sleepers
- Nolah – Best for Lightweight Sleepers
- Nectar – Best Value Mattress
- Leesa Legend – Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain
- Bear Hybrid – Best Hybrid Mattress
- Purple Hybrid Premier – Best Mattress for Heavy People
- Casper – Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers
I have reviewed a number of mattresses that claim to be good for side sleepers, and I have narrowed down the extensive list to my top nine to help people get some sleep!
Best Customizable Mattress
For those side sleepers who just don’t know what to get, Helix is here to help; the company is all about customization and flexibility and will actually help people find a mattress to meet their specific needs.
Side sleepers can also select the Helix Midnight, one of the company’s mattresses made specifically for this sleeping position. The Midnight offers great pressure relief but also good support to keep sleepers in proper alignment.
Looking for a more luxurious mattress? Shoppers can make their Helix Midnight mattress into a “Luxe” model which will contain more premium comfort and cooling components.
What Makes Helix Midnight Stand Out?
- The Helix mattress can be customized to match whatever a particular sleeper is looking for.
- The Helix Midnight is one of their best options for side sleepers as it provides excellent pressure relief.
- The Midnight features a breathable cover and coils that help promote airflow through the mattress – it shouldn’t be trapping too much heat.
Read the full Helix mattress review
The Helix Midnight is a memory foam hybrid mattress that offers a great balance of comfort and support. Click the button for the save up to $200.
Best Memory Foam Mattress
Loom And Leaf
Memory foam is great, but not everyone wants a mattress that gives in too easily; that’s where the Loom And Leaf comes in. It features two layers of high-density memory foam that offer more support and pushback than other types of memory foam.
Lying on the Loom And Leaf, the mattress feels firm at first – after a few moments, the mattress starts to soften and let one slowly sink into the mattress. Side sleepers should feel almost no pressure on their shoulders and hips.
At the same time, the Loom And Leaf provides a good amount of support for back sleepers and will fill in the gaps for many side sleepers.
Those side sleepers who want fantastic pressure relief with a good deal of support should take a look at the Loom And Leaf.
Why Makes Loom And Leaf Stand Out?
- The Loom And Leaf is a good option for side sleepers who need more support and pushback.
- The high-density memory foam found in the mattress are very durable and shouldn’t sag as quickly as other types of memory foam.
- Heavier sleepers should feel nice pressure relief on the Loom and Leaf mattress.
- The Loom and Leaf should not sleep too hot.
Check out our full Loom And Leaf mattress review
Loom And Leaf is a perfect choice for those looking for a luxury memory foam feel but don't want to sleep hot. Save $100 on Loom And Leaf simply by clicking the button below.
Best Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers
People are going to flip for this mattress – literally. The Layla is flippable and provides two firmnesses in one mattress; the firm side is an exceptional match for back and stomach sleeping.
However, the soft side is what side sleepers are going to want to focus on; it is about a 5.5/10 on the firmness scale and features 5″ of comfort material. Most side sleepers should sink into the soft memory foam and experience excellent pressure relief.
The Layla is simply one of the most comfortable mattresses I have reviewed – it’s memory foam really lets sleepers slowly sink into the mattress and feel any pressure melt away.
Finally, the Layla’s memory foam is infused with copper, a material that is both anti-microbial and cooling; side sleepers shouldn’t be sleeping hot on the Layla.
What Makes The Layla Stand Out?
- The Layla is an exceptionally comfortable mattress that should be a very good match for most side sleepers.
- The mattress is flippable, so people can choose from two firmnesses.
- The copper infusion should help with heat dissipation and keep the mattress from sleeping too hot.
Check out our full Layla mattress review.
Layla is an innovative mattress that happens to be one of the most comfortable mattresses I've ever slept on. You can get $160 off the Layla mattress (plus two free pillows!) by clicking the link below and then using code MCLARITY.
Best For Lightweight Sleepers
The Nolah mattress features a proprietary AirFoam that is designed to relieve pressure better than memory foam; based on our pressure map test, this might be true – the Nolah relieved most pressure on my shoulders and hips. While larger people might find the Nolah mattress to be firmer, light- and medium-weight side sleepers should get fantastic pressure relief.
The Nolah is also a good option for hot sleepers as its Air Foam is made to assist with heat dissipation – some memory foam mattresses can trap heat, but this shouldn’t be an issue with the Nolah.
Finally, the Nolah is more affordable than many memory foam mattresses; those looking for a good comfortable deal should like the Nolah.
What Makes Nolah Stand Out?
- The AirFoam relieves a good amount of pressure, making this a good option for side sleepers.
- The Nolah is also responsive, so sleepers shouldn’t feel like they are getting stuck in the mattress.
- This should also be a particularly cool-sleeping mattress and shouldn’t make people heat up during the night.
- The Nolah is one of our top picks for the best mattress for lightweight sleepers.
People should also read the full Nolah review for more information.
Nolah has a VERY comfortable mattress that is especially good for side sleepers. You can get $125 off the Nolah by clicking the link below and using code MATTRESSCLARITY.
Best Value Mattress
When people are seeking a mattress for side sleeping, they also want to make sure they are getting the best bang for their buck. Nectar is all about value and, while their mattress is not the most affordable option on the market, it is one of the best values. Just looking at its construction and materials, we would expect it to be much less affordable.
The Nectar features two layers of memory foam in its construction – one is softer gel-infused memory foam, and the other is firmer Hi Core memory foam. Both offer excellent pressure relief for side sleepers. People should slowly sink into the Nectar and feel that pressure melt away.
One of the drawbacks of memory foam mattresses is that they trap heat. However, this should not be much of an issue with the Nectar mattress. Its breathable cover and gel-infused memory foam should keep all those side sleepers from overheating at night.
What Makes The Nectar Stand Out?
- The Nectar’s multiple layers of memory foam should provide excellent pressure relief for side sleepers.
- The Nectar is a high-quality memory foam mattress that is affordably priced.
- The mattress should not trap too much heat and could be a good option for hot sleepers.
Read the full Nectar mattress review
Nectar is a very comfortable memory foam mattress that happens to also be an amazing value, and customers can get the best deal on the Nectar plus two premium pillows by clicking the link below.
Best Mattress for Back Pain Relief
As we have seen with these other mattresses, side sleepers want to keep their eyes out for something with a soft foam that will properly relieve pressure on their shoulders and hips. With this in mind, the Leesa Legend mattress should be a fantastic match for side sleepers.
The Leesa Legend features two layers of foam right on top. The top layer is a proprietary comfort foam that offers just a bit of bounce and, below that, there is a layer of slow-moving memory foam. These two layers work together to provide excellent pressure relief while still making it easy to move around on the mattress.
At the same time, the Leesa Legend boasts two layers of coils that will provide great contouring and support. The layer of micro-coils offers contouring for side and back sleepers, and the pocketed coils promise solid support, even for larger sleepers.
The Leesa Legend is also the company’s most eco-friendly, luxury mattress option and features recycled materials as well as all-natural materials like organic cotton and Merino wool. Side Sleepers who want luxury pressure relief while helping out the environment should definitely check it out!
What Makes The Leesa Legend Stand Out?
- The Leesa Legend is a luxury mattress with a number of high-quality components.
- The mattress features soft foams on top that should relieve most pressure on the shoulders and hips.
- The Leesa Legend is very breathable and should be a great match for hot sleepers.
- It is a supportive mattress and should be able to handle even much heavier weights.
The Leesa Legend is a luxury hybrid mattress that features high-end components and should be a good match for multiple sleeping positions - click the button for the best deal on the Leesa Legend.
Best Hybrid Mattress
The Bear Hybrid mattresses features materials that offer a perfect balance of comfort and support; the Comfort Foam in the top layer is soft and comfortable, and the 8″ coils are quite supportive.
This design makes the Bear Hybrid a fantastic option for side sleepers – the hybrid mattress performed quite well on our pressure map test, and I personally felt little pressure on my shoulders and hips while side sleeping on the Bear Hybrid. At the same time, the coils should support back sleepers while the Comfort Foam offers some significant contouring.
On top of the mattress, there is a Celliant Cover; this material has been shown to improve blood flow and speed up recovery and even help with cooling!
There’s a lot to love about the Bear Hybrid, so those who desire a mattress that is comfortable and supportive should check it out!
What Makes The Bear Hybrid Stand Out?
- The Bear Hybrid features an excellent balance of comfort and support; it should relieve pressure well while still being able to handle heavier weights.
- It’s one of the best mattresses for athletes.
- The Comfort Foam should provide superior pressure relief, making this an excellent option for side sleepers.
- The Celliant cover and open-celled foam should work together to keep sleepers from overheating at night.
Read the full Bear Hybrid mattress review
The Bear Hybrid has a great balance of comfort and support. It is a great match for back and side sleepers. Save 20% on your whole order by using code CLARITY20 at checkout.
Best For Heavy People
The Purple mattresses’ hyper-elastic gel polymer is what sets them apart from their numerous bed-in-a-box competitors; it is a material that can be firm and supportive and also soft and pressure relieving.
The Purple Hybrid Premier 4″ model is the company’s most deluxe mattress and features a whopping 4″ of the gel grid – this thick comfort layer should ensure that even heavier side sleepers should get fantastic pressure relief without bottoming out on the mattress.
The proprietary gel grid is also one of the most durable materials I have come across; coupled with the steel coils, the Purple Hybrid Premier should be a longer-lasting mattress.
Larger side sleepers and those who are seeking a long-term investment should definitely consider the Purple Hybrid Premier 4″ model.
What Makes The Purple Hybrid Premier Mattress Stand Out?
- The 4″ of hyper-elastic gel polymer makes the Purple Hybrid Premier an excellent option for heavier side sleepers.
- Side sleepers of pretty much any size should get the pressure relief they need on this mattress.
- The gel grid and coils allow for a massive amount of airflow, allowing the mattress to be temperature neutral.
- The gel grid is exceptionally durable and should not sag like some foams are known to do.
Read our full Purple Hybrid Premier mattress review
The Purple Hybrid Premier 4" is a perfect choice if you are a side sleeper, are looking for a long-term investment, and are a hot sleeper. Get the best deal on your new Purple mattress, plus get a free pillow when you click the button below.
Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers
The Casper stands out because of its Zoned Support system; basically, the center of the mattress is firmer than the top and bottom areas. Because of this, the mattress feels firmer when sleepers are in one position and softer in others.
This zoned construction makes the Casper an excellent option for multiple sleeping positions; back and stomach sleepers should feel well supported, and side sleepers should get the necessary pressure relief.
Those side sleepers who like to switch to their back or stomach during the night are going to enjoy the Casper mattress.
What Makes The Casper Stand Out?
- The mattress features a zoned construction that is softer under the shoulder, making it a good fit for side sleeping.
- The Casper should also be supportive enough for most back sleepers and some stomach sleepers.
- The mattress contains breathable foams that shouldn’t trap too much heat, so this should be a cooler-sleeping mattress.
Read the full Casper mattress review.
Casper is a great value that is also a great fit for all three sleeping positions. You can get $100 Off a Casper mattress simply by clicking the link below and using code MATTRESSCLARITY.
Best Types Of Mattresses For Side Sleepers
Memory Foam Mattresses
It’s no coincidence that there are multiple memory foam mattresses on this list – memory foam does a fantastic job of relieving pressure when compared with other types of materials, and it also gives great motion isolation. So which of these memory foam mattresses should people get?
If you’re looking for the truest memory foam feel where you slowly sink into the mattress and pressure really melts away, then you should take a look at the Layla mattress. The Layla is a flippable mattress, and the soft side is definitely softer-than-average and does an excellent job of eliminating any pressure points.
A lot of memory foam owners complain about “sleeping hot,” and that is because memory foam can trap heat more than other mattress materials – if people want a memory foam mattress but are worried about sleeping hot, then they you should look out for specific cooling materials like gel-infused or copper-infused foam like the foam used in the Layla mattress. A breathable mattress cover is also important to look out for.
If you want a mattress with a little bit of firmness but that is still a good choice for side sleepers, then take a look at the Loom & Leaf mattress; it is an all-foam mattress that has a unique feel where it is medium firm at first, but then the high-density memory foam layers start to kick in and the pressure goes away.
Latex beds are becoming more and more popular, and natural latex mattresses are really the only way for people to get a truly organic mattress, despite what some companies may claim on their website. Many companies will claim that they have “green” products, but in reality, those claims are dubious at best. Natural latex mattresses, however, are actually quite “green.”
Latex mattresses have a good amount bounce to them, are durable, and they also conform well to the curves of the body – in addition, the foam is open-celled, meaning they are more breathable than many other types of mattresses.
At the same time, latex mattresses don’t relieve pressure as well as memory foam does; there’s a reason why there are no latex mattresses on my main list in this article.
Innerspring mattresses are very popular and are what most sleepers are used to – the pocketed coils spring support system can make them good choices for back and stomach sleepers, but the materials on top of the springs are what can make them good for side sleepers too.
Of our top picks list, the Helix and Bear Hybrid mattresses both contain coil layers that add more support to the mattress. These hybrid mattresses blend coil layers with comforting foam to provide a nice balance of contour and pushback that side sleepers need.
Shopping Considerations for Side Sleepers
Body Type and Weight
There are so many things to take into consideration when shopping for a mattress, and size and weight are so very important. Given that I am 5’9” and weigh 160 lbs, I thought it was a good idea to get the perspective of a larger person. That’s why I asked Marten, who is 6’7” and weighs 250 lbs to give his take on these mattresses:
Larger side sleepers should be seeking a mattress with a thicker comfort layer; this should ensure that they don’t “bottom out” on the mattress and feel pressure points. Four of these nine mattresses meet this criterium and should be an exceptional match for larger side sleepers.
First off, the Purple Hybrid Premier 4” model features a hyper-elastic gel polymer that is simultaneously pressure-relieving and supportive, and it also has great edge support; the material cradles me when I am on my side so that I feel almost no pressure on my hips and shoulders. I almost feel weightless when I am side sleeping on the Purple Hybrid Premier, and I definitely do not bottom out. I had great nights of sleep on this bed without a doubt.
The Amerisleep AS4 also has a very thick comfort layer; this time it consists of bio-based memory foam. I sink into the top layer and feel very little pressure points on my hips and shoulders, and I do not hit the support layers beneath the memory foam. I had great sleep on this bed without question, and it features great motion isolation too.
The excellent thing about the Helix bed is their customization and mattress options; they make mattresses for all different types of sleepers, large people included. The Helix Plus is their model designed with heavy sleepers in mind and should be a good match for those who sleep on their sides.
As Joe mentioned, the Loom And Leaf is a bed that features high-density memory foams that feel firm at first but slowly soften up after a few moments – side sleeping, I feel myself slowing sink into the mattress, and I get great pressure relief on my hips and shoulders.
People who sleep hot and also sleep on their side might find it particularly difficult to find a mattress that is a good fit – memory foam can be a fantastic option for side sleepers, but it is known for trapping heat. While side sleepers might get the pressure relief they are looking for, they might find themselves waking up hot and sweaty!
RELATED: Best Cooling Mattress
Luckily, I believe that the Nolah mattress is a great fit for both side sleepers and hot sleepers as well – Nolah features exceptional pressure relief and its proprietary foam is also designed to dissipate heat. The Layla is also a great fit that incorporates copper-infused gel for extra cooling.
To get the coolest night’s sleep, you might want to sleep on a hybrid mattress. The base layer of coils allows for better airflow than a standard memory foam mattress.
If people sleep on their side, they are going to be naturally putting a lot of pressure on their hips, shoulders, and neck, which can cause tension throughout the spine.
To sleep comfortably, people want a mattress that is soft enough to relieve those pressure points; foam mattresses tend to be great at relieving pressure points and can be ideal for side sleepers.
If a mattress is too firm, it will cut off a lot of the blood circulation in the body, and it will potentially cause major aches and pains because it doesn’t contour to the widest points in the hips and shoulders – it could cause side sleepers to wake up in the middle of the night and change positions as well.
We’ll share tips for finding the best pressure-relieving mattresses for side sleepers to avoid neck pain, back pain, and hip pain.
If people have neck pain and they sleep on their side, it is quite possible this is due to their pillow, not their bed or mattress – if someone’s pillow isn’t supportive enough, then their neck will be angled downward in an uncomfortable position, and this can easily cause neck pain issues. Similarly, if someone’s pillow is particularly thick, then their neck might be pushed upwards, causing even more annoying pain issues.
So, instead of recommending a bed or mattress to alleviate neck pain, I would rather encourage people to check out our article on the best pillows for side sleepers – any of the recommendations in our informative roundup should help alleviate any sort of neck pain issues that people may have from their bed.
First off, people who struggle with lower back pain should consult with a doctor for a professional opinion; this information does not constitute medical advice, and I can only give my general opinion on the relationship between back pain and mattresses.
The best mattress for back pain is something that is medium firm and more supportive, and this is definitely the case for back/stomach sleepers. It gets a little tricky when it comes to sleeping on your side, however, because side sleepers are usually going to want to find a mattress that is on the softer side with a thicker comfort layer to keep the right spine alignment throughout the night.
RELATED: Best Mattress For Back Pain
Essentially, those with back pain are going to want a measured balance of pressure and relief and support; they don’t want the comfort layer to be too soft or too thin. Therefore, they should seek a mattress that relieves pressure enough for them to be comfortable but is also very supportive at the same time; there aren’t too many mattresses out there, but I would check out the Purple Hybrid Premier, which is a hybrid mattress that is very supportive and medium firm, yet the gel material is great at relieving pressure at the same time.
If someone struggles with hip pain, it might be because of their mattress. However, I would still first consult a doctor before anything else – again, this information does not constitute medical advice.
If people have hip pain because of their mattress, it is either because it is too firm or they are “bottoming out – bottoming out occurs when someone presses through the top comfort layer(s) and hits the firmer support layer(s) beneath. Those who are bottoming out should be looking for a mattress with a thicker comfort layer – also, if the top layer of a mattress is super soft, people can still feel a lot of firmness if they bottom out.
The Purple Hybrid Premier 4” (a hybrid mattress) model is an especially fantastic match for hip pain because it relieves pressure well and has a thicker comfort layer – it’s softer than average and sleepers don’t really run the risk of bottoming out (unless someone is extremely heavy).
RELATED: Best Mattress For Hip Pain 2020
It is critical for people’s health that they find a mattress that contours well to their body and supports the natural alignment of their spine in their sleeping position. If people sleep on their side and the mattress is too firm, their neck won’t be properly supported and their spine will be thrown off its natural alignment; this could lead to back and neck pain fairly easily, which may compound over time. That’s why it’s so important for side sleepers to pay attention to the difference between a firm vs soft mattress.
If the mattress is too soft, people could sink in too much and their spine will be too curved, which could similarly lead to pain across the body; a mattress that is too soft is not ideal either, because the person will sink too for into the mattress and throw the spine out of alignment. This can lead to lower back pain and sciatica, which can be extremely uncomfortable.
RELATED: Best pillows for side sleepers
From my personal experience, budget mattresses aren’t always the best for side sleeping because they don’t have many comfortable materials in them – usually, they are really firm and don’t have much of a comfort layer, creating pressure points. This can make it difficult for side sleepers to find good mattresses in a box for under $700.
Having said that, the Casper Essential is a good budget pick for side sleepers, because it has a lot of the same design concepts as the original Casper does but comes at a much more affordable price. Consumers still get 3″ of premium foams, including a second layer of memory foam – also, the mattress overall is softer-than-average (although it doesn’t have great edge support), and it performed well when I did a pressure map test, with very little pressure points. The bed also doesn’t have much motion transfer either.
Here’s a summary of our top picks for the best mattresses for side sleepers:
|Helix Midnight||Best Customizable Mattress|
|Loom and Leaf||Best Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers|
|Layla||Best Cooling Mattress for Hot Sleepers|
|Nolah||Best for Lightweight Sleepers|
|Nectar||Best Value Mattress|
|Leesa Legend||Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain|
|Bear Hybrid||Best Hybrid Mattress|
|Purple Hybrid Premier||Best Mattress for Heavy People|
|Casper||Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers|
This is indeed a lot of information, but side sleepers should definitely take note – a mattress with excellent pressure relief can mean the difference between a night in dreamland and a night of tossing and turning.
If you’re still looking for your next perfect mattress, try taking our mattress quiz. By answering a few short questions, you can receive tailored mattress recommendations to help you along your mattress buying journey.
How firm should a mattress be if you sleep on your side?
Side sleepers should be looking for a mattress that is softer-than-average; on a scale of 1-10, a good side sleeping mattress should be between a 5 and 6.5.
A mattress with this firmness should relieve pressure on the shoulders and hips so that one can sleep through the night without any pain in those areas. A medium firmness may even be too much.
What mattress is best for side sleepers who have back pain?
The Level Sleep should be a fantastic match for side sleepers who struggle with back pain; it features a zoned construction that offers excellent lumbar support and pressure relief under the shoulders.
This should ensure that side sleepers should get the pressure relief they need while staying in proper neutral alignment.
What type of mattress is best for side sleepers?
When it comes to side sleeping, memory foam is one of the best materials out there; it lets sleepers sink in while relieving pressure on the shoulders and hips.
An innerspring mattress with pocketed coils and a soft pillow top can also be a good option as long as the comfort layer is thick enough to prevent bottoming out.
Most side sleepers are going to want to stay away from latex mattresses as they are usually firmer and don’t offer quite the pressure relief that other types of mattresses do.
Are innerspring mattresses good for side sleepers?
Innerspring mattresses with pocketed coils may be a decent fit for side sleeping if they are soft enough; look for an innerspring mattress that has a thicker comfort layer on top or even consider a hybrid mattress that incorporates some type of soft foam in the comfort layer.
Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.
He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.