The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers 2021Updated on February 26, 2021 While all product recommendations are chosen independently, we may receive compensation for purchases made through our site. Learn more about our affiliate program here.
If you sleep on your side, you are far from alone – the latest statistics show that approximately 4 out of 10 people are side sleepers. As the most popular sleep position in the world, side sleeping is also considered to be one of the most natural and healthy. However, not all mattresses will work well for this position, so it’s important for side sleepers to find the best mattress for their needs.
In this guide, we will focus on helpful information for those who prefer sleeping on their side. We’ll start by highlighting our top picks for the best mattresses for side sleepers. We’ll then delve into the details about this sleeping position, describe the key shopping considerations, and identify important mattress features to look for.
Our Top Picks
|Manufacturer||Model||Mattress Type||Firmness||Price (Queen)|
|Mint||Foam||Medium Firm (6)||$1,095|
|Yogabed||Foam||Medium Firm (6)||$999|
|Lulu Hybrid||Hybrid||Firm (7)||$1,099|
|Serenity Hybrid||Hybrid||Medium Firm (6)||$300|
|M2 Mattress||Foam||2 choices: Plush (4.5), Cushion Firm (6.5)||$1,000|
Tuft & Needle Mint
Why We Like it
- Adaptive foam contours evenly to alleviate pressure
- Breathable foams offer above-average temperature control
- Built-in antimicrobial protection
- Very good motion isolation
For most side sleepers, the ideal mattress will cradle the spine and provide padding for the shoulders and hips. This helps to improve alignment and reduce pressure in sensitive areas – but mattresses that feel too soft may sink excessively and cause new aches and pains to develop. The Tuft & Needle Mint is a great compromise because it features adaptive foams that cushion and conform to your figure, but a medium firm (6) feel also ensures good overall support.
The comfort layer is composed of breathable open-cell polyfoam infused with graphite and gel for added cooling. High-density polyfoam makes up the base layer to give the Mint decent stability and keep your body on an even plane. A knit cover encases these foam layers. The cover is treated with HeiQ, an antimicrobial protectant to keep your sleep surface hygienic and odor-free.
As an all-foam mattress, the Mint isolates motion quite well and does not produce any noise. This means light sleepers who share their bed with a partner shouldn’t experience too many disruptions.
The Mint is reasonably priced and Tuft & Needle provides free ground delivery throughout the contiguous U.S. The mattress comes with a sleep trial that allows you to test it out for up to 100 nights, as well as a 10-year warranty that covers excessive sagging and other material defects.
Why We Like it
- 4 layers of pressure-relieving foam
- Balanced medium firm feel
- Removable and washable cover
- Budget-friendly sticker price
The Yogabed from Yogasleep is another all-foam mattress with an adaptive design that caters to the particular needs of side sleepers. The comfort system contains layers of polyfoam and memory foam that create a comfortable balance of even contouring and light responsiveness, while the support core consists of two high-density foam layers that deliver great stability.
The Yogabed is medium firm (6), so most sleepers will experience some noticeable conforming without too much sink. The foams absorb motion quite well – a benefit for those who tend to wake up when their partner changes positions or gets up in the middle of the night.
Another perk is the soft polyester-blend cover, which can be removed and machine washed for quick and convenient cleaning. The cover should slip back onto the mattress easily once it’s completely dry.
The Yogabed’s sticker price is on par with that of the average memory foam model, and Yogasleep offers free shipping for all mattress orders within the contiguous U.S. The company also allows mattress returns within 101 days of the original purchase and covers all associated shipping costs. You’ll also receive a 10-year warranty should you decide to keep the Yogabed.
Why We Like it
- Firm and supportive feel
- Gel-infused memory foam cushions and contours to the body
- Perimeter coil support minimizes sinkage near the edges
- Innovative ION cover promotes physical recovery
Side sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds can be in a tricky spot when it comes to choosing a mattress. The comfort layers should cushion the shoulders, spine, and hips in order to promote spinal alignment, but the mattress should also reinforce the body and prevent sinkage in these areas. For this reason, these sleepers typically need a mattress like the Lulu Hybrid, which has a firm (7) feel and a thick pocketed coil system that provides excellent stability.
A gel-infused memory foam comfort layer conforms to a slight yet even extent in order to distribute your weight and alleviate pressure while maintaining good overall support. Extra-strength coils line the perimeter to provide push-back and minimize sinkage whenever you sleep near or sit along the edges. This feature may be particularly useful for people with mobility issues who struggle getting in and out of bed.
Another notable feature is the cover, which is made of proprietary ION fabric. This material is designed to convert body heat into infrared energy and transmit it back through your skin, a process that can assist with physical recovery during the night and also help the mattress sleep cool.
Compared to other hybrids, this model is very affordably priced. Shipping is free throughout the contiguous U.S., and returns are accepted within 101 nights of your original purchase. Your Lulu Hybrid is also backed by a 10-year warranty.
Novilla Serenity Hybrid
Why We Like it
- Memory foam alleviates pressure without sinking too much
- Responsive hybrid construction
- Cooling rayon from bamboo cover
- Exceptionally low price
A high-quality mattress for side sleeping doesn’t need to drain your savings account. Case in point: the budget-friendly Novilla Serenity Hybrid is constructed from premium materials and boasts a comfortable, sophisticated design that rivals many of its costlier competitors. The mattress features a comfort layer of adaptive memory foam that contours to the body and distributes weight, while sturdy pocketed coils create a responsive surface feel without producing too much motion transfer.
The Serenity Hybrid is considered medium firm (6). This balanced feel should appeal to a wide range of individuals, including side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. Hot sleepers should also find the mattress comfortable thanks to steady airflow through the coil system and a breathable cover made of rayon from bamboo.
Even in a queen or king size, the Serenity Hybrid costs less than the vast majority of hybrids sold today. Customers in the contiguous U.S. also receive free ground shipping with their order, as well as free returns within 30 days of their original purchase. The mattress is backed with a 10-year warranty too.
Bedgear M2 Mattress
Why We Like it
- Adaptive all-foam construction
- Great motion isolation for couples and co-sleepers
- Cooling, moisture-wicking cover
- 2 firmness options
The M2 Mattress from Bedgear is constructed with four foam layers for maximum contouring and weight distribution. The top two layers are adaptive for even contouring from head to toe, though how closely the mattress conforms will depend on which firmness level you select. The plush (4.5) model hugs the body more closely, making it ideal for many side sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or less. The cushion firm (6.5) design offers more support for side sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds.
The cover is composed of Dri-Tec, a proprietary fabric engineered for breathability and moisture control. This allows the M2 Mattress to sleep cooler and more comfortably than many competing all-foam models. Side panels of Air-X mesh – another Bedgear signature material – promote airflow for added temperature regulation.
As is the case with other all-foam beds, the M2 Mattress is a good fit for couples because it absorbs movement and reduces transfer across the surface. This allows you and your partner to sleep soundly even when the other person moves in bed. Additionally, the mattress does not produce any noise.
Prices for the M2 Mattress are on par with industry averages. Bedgear offers free ground shipping for all orders in the contiguous U.S. – and if you also include an adjustable base with your order, the company provides complimentary White Glove delivery that includes full assembly in a room of your choice. The mattress comes with a 30-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers: Buyer’s Guide
Buying a new mattress can be an intimidating process – but it doesn’t have to be. The section below will help you on your journey to choosing the perfect bed for your situation. We will cover what features to look for in a mattress, which materials you may wish to seek out (or avoid), and much more. For even more tips and tricks on buying a new mattress, see our full guide to buying a mattress online.
What Type of Mattress Is Best for Side Sleepers?
There are several different types of mattresses to choose from when it comes to picking your next bed. The material of your mattress is perhaps the biggest consideration, as it has the largest impact on both the comfort and durability of the mattress.
There are some unique considerations for side-sleepers, specifically. For instance, most side-sleepers want more give in the shoulder and hip areas; making foam and hybrid mattresses a better choice over traditional innerspring beds.
Budget should also be considered, as there are significant differences in price between different mattress types. For instance, latex beds tend to be significantly more expensive than all-foam beds, while hybrid mattresses provide a nice middle-ground between cost and overall value.
Read about the four primary mattress types below, and their pros and cons most relevant to side-sleepers.
A memory foam mattress is made exclusively out of various types of foam. Typically multiple layers will be present, with both soft memory foam and firmer layers of support foam. Some layers are designed to provide responsive support by conforming to the shape of your body (memory foam), while others are used to provide the underlying support and structure of the mattress (high-density polyfoam).
A queen foam mattress can run anywhere from $400 to several thousand dollars. There are many good options in the $600-$1200 range.
Pros for Side Sleepers:
- Plenty of softness/give in the shoulders and hips.
- Good motion isolation helps keep your partner’s movements in bed isolated.
- Great pressure relief in target areas.
Cons for Side Sleepers:
- Some all-foam beds can sleep hot.
- Shorter lifespan than hybrid and innerspring beds.
- Minimal edge support.
Latex mattresses are less popular than other options, but offer unique properties that may be of interest to side-sleepers. Latex is a type of rubber that is used in many consumer products, and mattresses made entirely of latex are known as true latex, all-latex, or more simply, latex mattresses. Latex mattresses tend to be heavier than similarly-sized mattresses of other types. This material offers a blend of responsiveness and resiliency as latex is quick to bounce back to its original shape when weight is lifted off of it.
A queen latex mattress will generally cost between $1000 and $3000, with many good options in the $1200-$2000 range. Latex is a relatively expensive material to work with, so you will notice that latex mattresses are typically on the pricier side compared to foam and hybrid beds.
Pros for Side Sleepers:
- Good pressure relief.
- A soft-yet-responsive feel makes for a well balanced mattress.
- Good conforming in the hip and shoulder areas.
Cons for Side Sleepers:
- Above-average price point.
- Less edge support than hybrid/innerspring mattresses.
- Latex allergies must be considered.
Innerspring mattresses have coiled metal springs that make up the base support of the bed. This is typically topped with layers of polyfoam for comfort and contouring. Innerspring mattresses were the predominant bed type in past decades, but they are becoming less popular as time goes on.
Innerspring mattresses typically cost between $600 and $1600+, with a good selection available in the $900 to $1300 range. Keep in mind that innerspring beds are less commonly sold online, so most people purchase them in physical mattress stores.This may increase the cost.
Pros for Side Sleepers:
- Very strong edge support due to rigid structure of the mattress.
- Very affordable models are available.
- Sleep cool due to improved airflow between coils.
Cons for Side Sleepers:
- Springs can feel too firm on the shoulders and hips while side-sleeping
- Minimal conforming and pressure relief.
- Significant motion transfer and noise potential.
Hybrid mattresses combine the best features of traditional innerspring beds and modern foam mattresses. They use metal coils for the underlying support, but have thick layers of memory foam and comfort foam for better contouring and comfort.
Hybrid mattresses are usually a bit more expensive than all-foam or traditional innerspring mattresses, but there is a wide range available. Most are priced in the $1,200-$2,500 range, with many good options available under $2,000.
Pros for Side Sleepers:
- Good edge support.
- Great conforming with adequate cushioning to accommodate hips and shoulders.
- Sleeps cool.
Cons for Side Sleepers:
- Above-average price point.
- Some potential for noise from coils.
Important Mattress Features for Side Sleepers
When it comes to buying your next mattress, there are a lot of important factors to consider. Each person sleeps differently and has different preferences in terms of comfort, support and firmness. Because of this, choosing the “best” mattress is an involved task that must be customized for your individual situation. To help, we’ve put together this list of some of the key considerations that you should have in mind when making your selection.
- Size: The size of your next mattress (full, queen, king, etc.) is an important consideration, particularly if you share your bed with a partner. Queen is the most common size by a good measure, but single people may be just as comfortable on a full or even a twin.
- Support: Support is vital for a comfortable and restorative night’s sleep. For side sleepers, the support of the mattress is key to maintaining spinal alignment and avoiding issues with neck and back pain. You will want to find a comfortable mattress that provides the right level of support to key areas including the shoulders, hips and neck. Side sleepers should look for a mattress that has a responsive comfort layer that accommodates the hips and shoulders comfortably, without too much sink.
- Contouring: Contouring refers to how the mattress responds to the shape of your body. In general, memory foam offers better contouring than other materials, as it allows the mattress to fully adapt to the shape of the sleeper’s body. For side sleepers, the best options include all-foam mattresses and hybrid beds, which combine foam contouring layers with traditional springs for better support.
- Firmness: Firmness is an important consideration, and often one of the biggest factors that will affect your overall comfort at night. Side sleepers tend to do best on a moderate firmness level, somewhere between 5 and 7 out of 10. Heavier people weighing more than 230 lbs or so may wish to consider a somewhat firmer mattress to prevent sinkage.
- Motion Isolation: Motion isolation refers to how well a mattress prevents motion on one side of the bed from disturbing the slumber of the sleeper on the opposite side. This factor is only relevant for those sleeping with a partner. Foam tends to do a good job of isolating motion, while innerspring mattresses tend to perform poorly in this category.
- Temperature Regulation: Temperature regulation refers to a mattress’ ability to maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature. In most cases, this means not retaining too much body heat on warm nights. The mattresses we recommend for side sleepers typically have some sort of built-in cooling properties, but this is still an important consideration – particularly if you live in a warm climate.
- Edge Support: Edge support refers to the strength and durability of the mattress around the outer edges. This is a particularly important consideration for side sleepers, as often times side sleepers end up near the edge of the bed. The last thing you want is to roll off the mattress due to a lack of edge support, so look for beds with solid ratings in this category. In general, hybrid and innerspring beds score better marks for edge support compared to all-foam mattresses, although manufacturers are getting much better at reinforcing foam beds.
- Price: Because you spend so much of your life on your mattress, price should not be the main factor that sways your opinion – but for most of us, it’s a factor nonetheless. Searching for mattresses in the moderate price range of $800 to $1500 ensures that you get a very quality bed without breaking the bank. In general, we recommend avoiding cheap beds as they are usually less comfortable and less durable.
About Side Sleeping
Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position. It is estimated that between one-third and one-half of people are side sleepers. Although “side sleepers” are typically bunched together, there are actually a few different positions within this category:
- Fetal Position – Many people sleep in the fetal position, on their side with their knees drawn partially into their chests. This is thought to be the most common side sleeping position.
- “Log” Position – Many side sleepers “sleep like a log”, on their side with their arms extended down next to their bodies. This is a common position, but for some people it can cause shoulder pain in the shoulder that is most commonly slept on.
- “Yearner” Position – Some side sleepers prefer a position referred to as the “yearner” position, in which the sleeper stretches their arms out in front of their bodies.
Each position has its own pros and cons, but ultimately it mostly comes down to comfort. And side sleeping in general has both benefits and drawbacks to consider, as outlined below.
Pros of Side Sleeping
- Gastrointestinal Health: There is some evidence to suggest that sleeping on your side – and particularly on your left side – may benefit gut health. It’s thought that side sleeping aids in digestion, and that left side sleeping may help prevent heartburn. The exact reasoning for these effects is not clear, although it is thought to be related to the placement of our organs.
- Reduced Snoring: Side sleeping may help reduce the severity of your snoring, compared to back sleeping. This is likely due to the position of your tongue, which is less likely to partially block your airway when you’re on your side.
- Brain Health: Fascinatingly, sleeping on your side may even benefit your brain. Waste products, including soluble amyloid β (Aβ), accumulate in the brain and can contribute to the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Some emerging research suggests that sleeping in the lateral position (on your side) may allow for more efficient removal of this waste.
Cons of Side Sleeping
- Shoulder & Neck Pain: Some people will experience shoulder and/or neck pain when sleeping on their side. This could mean that you need a new mattress or pillow, or it could mean that side sleeping is not the right fit for your body.
- Wrinkles & Breast Sag: Sleeping on your side means that one side of your face is pressed firmly into your pillow. This can contribute to facial wrinkles. Similarly, women may find that sleeping on the side contributes to stretching of breast tissue, leading to sag.
Side Sleeping and Body Type
Your physical size and weight will affect certain aspects of how you sleep, including the type of mattress you should purchase. This is true regardless of your sleeping position, but side sleepers in particular should be aware of their most important consideration: mattress firmness.
Most Suitable Firmness Range
|Under 130lb.||Soft to Medium Soft (3-5)||Lighter people will not sink into mattresses as much, which means that they will be more comfortable on beds with lower firmness ratings. If light sleepers choose beds that are too firm, they may find that the bed does not offer enough conforming to improve their comfort and spinal alignment.|
|130-230lb.||Medium to Medium Firm (5-7)||For the majority of people of an average weight, a mattress in the middle of the spectrum (5-7) will tend to be the best option. These beds provide just enough cushy comfort, without feeling too soft or too firm.|
|Over 230lb.||Medium Firm to Firm (6-8+)||Heavier people over 230lbs or so should stick to firmer models that provide adequate support. This is because softer beds may sag too much, leading to a misaligned spine and back pain.|
Additional Sleep Accessories for Side Sleepers
Choosing the right mattress is perhaps the most important step you can take when it comes to improving your sleep health. However, there may be other upgrades you can make to your sleep arsenal in order to get even better rest. The section below will explore a few optional sleep accessories that are important for side-sleepers.
Finding the right pillow is very important for side sleepers – in fact, a quality pillow can make just as much of a difference in sleep quality as a new mattress. While you can pick up a basic pillow for as little as $10, this is another area where it pays to spend a bit more on a quality product.
Pillows are vital for neck support and spinal alignment during sleep. Side sleepers should look for relatively thick pillows – ideally contoured designs that are slightly thicker around the edges. This design helps provide firm support to the neck, while letting the head rest comfortably with minimal pressure. While back sleepers may prefer thinner feather pillows, the majority of side sleepers will need the more substantial support that comes with a foam pillow.
Mattress toppers are optional accessories that sit on top of your bed, adding an additional layer of comfort foam. They are generally made of memory foam, and are affordably priced in the $75-$200 range.
People often buy mattress toppers in order to upgrade older beds that are not as comfortable any more. If you’re in this situation, and you are unable or unwilling to buy a new bed, picking up a mattress topper is the next best option.
In some situations, using a mattress topper may make sense even on a brand new bed. For one, toppers provide an additional layer of protection against damage and stains, and may improve the longevity of your mattress. And if you end up with a mattress that is not quite the right firmness level for your preferences, a topper can be an easy fix.