The 10 Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers, According to Sleep Experts

These top picks strike the perfect balance of support and comfort.
By Megan Griffith
December 14, 2020
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Credit: saatva.com

If you usually sleep on your side, you’re in good company. Research shows that side sleeping is the most common sleeping position, which isn’t a shock when you consider the health benefits. Sleeping on your side aids in digestion, reduces snoring, and may even reduce the risk of brain disease.

But you won’t maximize these benefits if you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress. The best mattress for side sleepers offers contouring comfort and supports a neutral spine position so you can get the rest you need without waking up with achy joints.

Luckily, there are a number of options available. To help you with your search, the experts at Mattress Advisor have tested hundreds of mattresses to find the top picks for side sleepers.

The 10 Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Why Mattress Firmness Matters

Side sleepers are a bit like Goldilocks. Too soft and you won’t get the support you need, but too firm and you’ll wake up stiff and sore. So what’s the happy medium?

It’s best for side sleepers to rest on a mattress that falls somewhere in the middle of the firmness scale, like a medium or medium-firm mattress. (This is also the firmness level preferred by most sleepers.) Firm mattresses won’t provide enough cushion for pressure points in your hips and shoulders, and a super soft, plush mattress won’t give your back the support it needs to stay in a neutral position all night.

Choosing the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Mattress Type

Innerspring mattresses are probably what you’re most familiar with; they use a core of springy coils to provide bounce and support. These beds help side sleepers maintain spine alignment, but the lack of softness may agitate pressure points.

When it comes to relieving pressure point pain, memory foam is the best material for the job. Memory foam mattresses are ideal for side sleepers because they’re made to form to your body’s shape, hugging your sides and delivering excellent pressure relief. But memory foam can sometimes lack enough pushback to keep the spine aligned. That’s why hybrid mattresses, made from a combination of foam and coils, may offer a better balance. The coils in hybrid beds promote a bouncy feel that keeps your spine aligned, while the top foam layers allow you to sink into the mattress just enough for deeper compression and contouring.

Latex mattresses are another good choice for side sleepers, although they’re more expensive. Latex is a naturally springy, pressure-relieving material that disperses weight evenly for a healthy spine position and pain relief.

Pressure Relief

When you sleep on your side, the majority of your weight falls on your hips and shoulders. To avoid waking up with all kinds of aches and pains, you’ll need a mattress that gently contours along your curves, thereby relieving tension.

Spine Alignment

It’s easy for your lower back to sink into an unsupportive mattress, knocking your spine out of alignment. The best mattress for side sleepers is one that provides enough support to maintain a neutral spine position, helping you wake up rested and restored without any nagging back pain.

Keep scrolling to learn more about the 10 best mattresses for side sleepers and find a bed that’s “just right.”

Credit: helixsleep.com

$1,849, helixsleep.com

The Helix Midnight Luxe has it all: exceptional pressure relief, durable support, and an ultra-cooling cover to keep you sweat-free. It’s made with a combination of steel coils and gel memory foam, which gives it just enough bounce to keep side sleepers’ spines in neutral alignment while still feeling comfy. Constructed with a targeted support system, the Helix Midnight Luxe simultaneously gives your lower back the support it needs and your pressure points the cushioning they need. Plus, its cooling pillow top regulates body temperature and provides a plush surface perfect for sinking into.

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Customer rating: 4.5/5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Trial period: 100 nights
Credit: nectarsleep.com

$1,198 for a queen, nectarsleep.com

Memory foam beds are a fan favorite—and for good reason—but the Nectar is a top contender for the absolute best memory foam pick for side sleepers. Made with three soft foam layers, the Nectar evenly distributes body weight so your hips and shoulders get relief. And with a super dense base layer of foam coupled with the Nectar’s medium-firm feel, you get the support needed for adequate spine alignment. The Nectar also has solid edge support, which isn’t typical of most memory foam beds. If you tend to drift to the edge of your mattress when sleeping on your side, you won’t be in any danger of rolling off the Nectar. The best part? The Nectar is one of the most affordable mattresses, and it comes with a one-year sleep trial and lifetime warranty so you can buy with confidence.

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Customer rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Trial period: 365 nights
Credit: saatva.com

$1,399 for a queen, saatva.com

While innerspring mattresses may not be the top choice for side sleepers seeking pressure relief, the Saatva is an exception. Made from individually wrapped coils covered in layers of memory foam, the Saatva offers incredible support. Plus, the springs provide plenty of bounce in case you want to change which side you’re resting on throughout the night. The testers at Mattress Advisor were blown away by Saatva’s near-perfect spine alignment—a pro for people who need back pain relief. Saatva offers three firmness levels, so you can decide which feels best. Most side sleepers would fare well on either the plush or luxury-firm (comparable to medium-firm) options, though the plush model offers more give at the surface to sink into.

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Customer rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Plush; luxury-firm; firm
  • Trial period: 180 nights
Credit: winkbeds.com

$1,599 for a queen, winkbeds.com

If you’ve been sleeping on the same old mattress for a decade or more, you’re well overdue for an upgrade. The WinkBed luxury firm mattress promises just that with its premium seven-layer design. It’s a hybrid mattress that combines two kinds of memory foam with coils and is designed for optimal pressure relief and support. A soft Tencel cover and two-layered Euro pillow top provide the kind of cushy surface side sleepers need for deep compression and cushioning. And with a middle-of-the-road firmness level, the WinkBed offers enough pushback to maintain a healthy sleeping posture.

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Customer rating: 4.5/5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Trial period: 101 nights
Credit: brooklynbedding.com

$999 for a queen, brooklynbedding.com

For side sleepers struggling with night sweats or overheating, the Brooklyn Signature offers a welcome solution. Made from three layers of foam and coils, it checks all the boxes by offering excellent pressure relief, spine alignment, and edge support. These layers are covered in a gel quilted topper that adds cushioning and breathability. Typically, memory foam is known for trapping body heat and sleeping hot, but the Brooklyn Signature uses patented memory foam infused with titanium gel to help regulate your body temperature and keep you cool all night long. Plus, the coils break up any heat that may be retained by the foam.

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Customer rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Plush; medium; firm
  • Trial period: 120 nights
Credit: bearmattress.com

$1,390 for a queen, bearmattress.com

Sleeping on an unsupportive mattress can knock side sleepers’ spines out of alignment, causing an achy back in the morning. But the Bear Hybrid’s design relieves back pain by keeping your spine in neutral alignment and relieving pressure. The coils also provide excellent bounce and support, while the comfort layer of memory foam that rests on top provides soft cushioning for shoulders and hips.

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Customer rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Trial period: 100 nights
Credit: cocoonbysealy.com

$1,080 for a queen, cocoonbysealy.com

The Cocoon Chill isn’t the least expensive mattress on this list, but it absolutely delivers the best bang for your buck. Considering the premium quality of the materials and its high marks earned across the board in testing, the already reasonable price is a genuine steal for side sleepers looking to stay on budget. Made with three layers of foam and a cooling cover, the Cocoon Chill comes in two different firmness options: medium-soft and extra-firm. Unless you prefer a firmer mattress (typically not a great choice for side sleepers), the medium-soft model provides the right amount of sink. The Cocoon’s simple memory foam design helped it score high in both pressure relief and spine alignment, and the phase change material used in the cover will have you basking in cooling comfort.

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Customer rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium-soft
  • Trial period: 100 nights
Credit: nolahmattress.com

$1,049 for a queen, nolahmattress.com

If you and your partner sleep on your side, it’s important to find a mattress that relieves pressure and absorbs motion so you can both rest better. The Nolah Original is a great choice because its all-foam design excels at pressure relief and limiting motion transfer. The foam used in the Nolah Original is unique in that it looks like traditional memory foam but acts like latex. This provides side sleepers with enough bounce to maintain even spine alignment and plenty of support. Plus, couples will appreciate how well the Nolah performed in motion isolation testing: If one person is tossing and turning all night, the Nolah will prevent the movement from disturbing their partner.

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Customer rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Trial period: 120 nights
Credit: leesa.com

$999 for a queen, leesasleep.com

Whether you’re waking up in the middle of the night due to discomfort, or waking up in the morning feeling achy, you aren’t getting the pressure relief from your mattress that you need. The Leesa Original is an all-foam mattress made from polyfoam and memory foam, so you get both pressure relief and support. Plus, the top layer is ultra-plush and cushioning, providing that comfortable feeling of being wrapped in a hug.

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Customer rating: 4.5/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Trial period: 100 nights
Credit: laylasleep.com

$1,049 for a queen, laylasleep.com

If you sleep on your side and tend to wake up with hip pain, then you may want to consider switching to the Layla mattress. This all-foam mattress is made with four memory foam layers designed to cushion your hips and reduce pain. The Layla also utilizes a flippable design: one side is medium-firm, while the other is medium-soft. Both sides work great for side sleepers and provide excellent pressure relief, but the medium-soft side may work better for cushioning the hips.

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Customer rating: 4.5/5
  • Firmness: Medium-soft; medium-firm
  • Trial period: 120 nights