The Sleep Doctor’s Take on the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Looking for the best mattress for side sleepers? You’ve come to the right place. It can be common for adults to sleep on their side, especially as we get older. Sleeping on your side has its fair share of health benefits––It can help with digestion and reduce acid reflux as well as snoring, which means partners of snorers can get a little more peace and quiet through the night as well. 

And as The Sleep Doctor, Michael Breus, Ph.D. says, 

“I think at last count about 75% of people sleep on their sides. The side sleeping position allows for the disks between your spinal bones (called vertebrae) to re-hydrate or ‘fatten up again’ due to the position allowing the body to curve allowing the bones to slightly separate from each other. It is through this positional separation that your spinal disks rehydrate easier which helps reduce morning stiffness and pain.” 

If you’re in the side-sleeping majority, you’re in luck; a great deal of mattresses on the market today have been designed to provide the kind of support and comfort a side sleeper needs to achieve a good night’s rest. Side sleepers need a mattress that cushions and contours to their pressure points like their shoulders and hips, so it’s important that a mattress provides adequate support in both areas as well as good pressure relief. And with so many good options for a side sleeper to choose from, now it’s just a matter of finding out if the mattress you’re thinking about buying––or, even, already sleeping on––is the right one for you.

The Sleep Doctor has partnered with the expert review team at Mattress Advisor to put together a list of the 11 best mattresses for side sleepers. With their combined knowledge, they’ve summarized a handful of team favorites by creating an easy-to-follow guide that covers side sleeper’s specific needs and buying considerations. 

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.

Best Overall:

Mattress Advisor is based in Raleigh, North Carolina and put these mattresses to the test in their lab. They tested each to see which mattress performed best across many different categories, including firmness, pressure relief, and spinal alignment. All mattresses tested by Mattress Advisor are evaluated on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the perfect score, based on a 14 point test related to the mattress materials, performance, and brand overall.

1. Best Innerspring Mattress: Saatva Classic

The Saatva Classic stands out for side sleepers who need optimal back support. It uses two layers of coils to keep the body atop that mattress, and a lumbar support foam layer to keep the spine from sinking out of alignment (9.5 out of 10). This also prevents your hips from sinking, which in turn helps you maintain great neutral spinal alignment. The dual-coil systems also enable the Saatva to support a lot of body weight, making it suitable for heavier sleepers.

Complementing the lumbar support of the Saatva Classic is its incredible edge support (8.5 out of 10). Edge support helps with maintaining abiding support for the life of the mattress.  According to our Saatva mattress review, the outstanding lumbar and edge support together make the Saatva Classic one of the best mattresses on the market for side sleepers, bar none.  

  • Mattress Type: Luxury Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Firmness: Plush, Luxury Firm, and Firm
  • Warranty: 15-year limited

Buy It, Saatva Classic Mattress, $1,574 for a Queen, saatva.com

2. Best for Back and Side Sleepers: Helix Midnight Luxe

The Helix Midnight Luxe features a coil core layer, which gives side sleepers lumbar support, consistent spinal alignment (9 out of 10), and even weight distribution. There’s also a gel-infused memory foam layer, which offers plenty of reinforced support and contouring in your shoulders and hips. Basically, side sleepers will never have to worry about their lower back sinking too far into the mattress or waking up from the aches you’d typically experience from a night with a misaligned spine. 

It’s these benefits that make this medium-firm mattress a good choice for side sleepers who sometimes favor their back as well. The Helix Midnight Luxe is soft enough to provide pressure relief (8.5 out of 10), but firm enough to prevent sagging. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Warranty: 15-Year Limited Warranty

Buy It, Helix Midnight Luxe, $1,949 for a Queen, helixsleep.com

3. Best Value Mattress: Nectar

If you’re on the hunt for pressure relieving properties without the hefty price tag, look no further than the Nectar mattress. Besides being one of the best bangs for your buck, it scored an 8.5 in pressure relief, making a great choice for side sleepers. It comes in at less than $1,000 for a queen-size, making it a value option if you’re looking for above-average scores at a reasonable price point. In fact, Health rated it the “best value mattress” in their story on the best mattress for side sleepers.  

With its five adaptive memory foam layers, it relieves the common pressure points beneath your shoulders, hips, and legs (8.5 out of 10 for responsiveness). Plus, one of its foam layers is injected with gel, which some sleepers report keeps the mattress feeling cool. These layers are also designed to help isolate motion, so people who sleep with a restless partner won’t be disturbed by their movements (8.5 out of 10). Finally, Nectar also backs this budget-friendly mattress with an amazing 365-day trial period and a lifetime warranty. 

  • Mattress Type: Memory Foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-Firm
  • Lifetime Warranty

Buy It, Nectar Mattress, $899 for a Queen, nectarsleep.com

4. Best for Plus-Sized Sleepers: Bear Hybrid

The Bear Hybrid mattress tips the firmness scale just a bit too high for most side sleepers to get the soft cushioning they need. But there is, however, a caveat; if you’re a plus-sized sleeper, the Bear Hybrid does a great job of supporting your hips and shoulders without too much sinkage. Heavyweight side sleepers typically need a firmer mattress, so the mattress doesn’t sag and cause spine curvatures or increased pressure. A hybrid mattress with encased coil springs, the Bear Hybrid also incorporates responsive foam that pops back into place once weight is removed (8.75 out of 10). In other words, you will stay supported as you move around. 

The testing team singled out the Bear Hybrid’s ability to keep the spine straight throughout the night. It preserves spinal alignment and promotes a healthy posture (9.5 out of 10). And since heavy people do tend to run hotter while they sleep, the Bear Hybrid is also a clear standout for its cooling gel foam and quilted cover, both of which work together to move body heat away from you as you sleep (8 out of 10). 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid Foam + Coils
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-Firm
  • Warranty: 20-Year limited

Buy It, Bear Hybrid, $1,695 for a Queen, bearmattress.com

5. Best Luxury Mattress for Side Sleepers: WinkBeds

Made to order in Watertown, Wisconsin, the WinkBed is an affordable luxury mattress that has a lot to offer side sleepers. This mattress utilizes a cooling cover, pillow top, memory foam, a lumbar support layer, and two layers of different coils to deliver a supportive, comfortable place to rest. The two coil networks and lumbar support helped the WinkBed land an 8.75 out of 10 for spine alignment in testing, keeping testers’ lower backs boosted and in alignment. 

The WinkBed also proved to be highly responsive, with its memory foam and pillow top layer quickly reacting to testers’ movements (9 out 10). This is an attractive feature for combination or multi-positional sleepers who don’t just sleep on their sides. You can choose between four firmness levels for this mattress, and it comes with a 120-night trial to try it out. Coupled with a lifetime warranty, the value this luxury mattress provides is hard to beat.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Soft, Luxury-Firm, Firmer, Plus 
  • Lifetime Warranty

Buy It, WinkBeds Luxury-Firm, $1,799 for a Queen, winkbeds.com

6. Best for Pressure Relief: Brooklyn Signature

If you’re looking for a mattress that will help relieve pressure on areas that take the brunt of the weight in the side sleeping position, look no further than Brooklyn Signature. This hybrid mattress scored an impressive 9 out of 10 on the Mattress Advisor pressure relief test and features three different firmness levels: soft, medium and firm. If you’re a side sleeper with shoulder pain, testers found the soft and medium firmness options to be both great choices.

This mattress was designed from the ground up for incredible support. That’s because the mattress contains many layers of support, all working in tandem to provide relief from aches that are usually caused from the pressure points around your hips and shoulders. Because of this, the Brooklyn Signature came impressively close to landing a perfect score for pressure relief (9.5 out of 10). The Brooklyn Signature parlays incredible lumbar support with  its foam layers that contour to your body, working in tandem with the coils below to promote a healthy posture (8.5 out of 10). This level of support across so many layers is tough to beat, but the Brooklyn Signature also excels in cooling (8.5 out of 10), edge support (9 out of 10), and responsiveness (8.25 out of 10). For side sleepers looking for a customized feel, the Brooklyn Signature is a stellar choice.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Plus, Medium, Firm
  • Warranty: 10-Year Limited Warranty

Buy It, Brooklyn Signature, $1,124 for a Queen, brooklynbedding.com

7. Best Hybrid Mattress for Side Sleepers: DreamCloud Premier

True to its name, the DreamCloud Premier mattress was the stuff of dreams when tested by the Mattress Advisor experts. It also encapsulates everything that’s special about hybrid mattresses; the DreamCloud Premier cradles your body, delivers support, sleeps cool, and its medium-firmness is well-suited for all sleep positions, but especially side sleepers. This mattress is a meticulously thought-out combination of foam and innerspring coils. The top layer of its five-layer design consists of quilted foam and cashmere-based fabric that keeps you both cozy and cool.

Just beneath that surface layer, gel memory foam cradles your shoulders, hips, and problem areas by gently contouring to your body. In other words, the DreamCloud Premier offers plenty of pressure relief (9 out of 10). High-density memory foam in the DreamCloud’s third layer cushions your most sensitive areas and keeps pressure off of your joints. The fourth layer is a targeted-support coil layer that reinforces the mattress as a whole while also making it responsive and adaptive to your body (9 out of 10). These dense layers allow side sleepers to lie down without uncomfortable pressure on their hips, shoulders, or lower back. And with coils and a gel foam layer, the DreamCloud sleeps cool, too (8.5 out of 10). 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Lifetime Warranty

Buy It, DreamCloud Premier, $1,998 for a Queen, dreamcloudsleep.com

8. Best Flippable Mattress: Layla Hybrid

If you suffer from indecisiveness, you’ll find the Layla Hybrid mattress quite a relief. The Layla Hybrid is one of the few flippable mattresses on the market with a medium firm side and a firm side. Along the top of each side of the mattress is a layer of memory foam that gives you a nice plush feel and cushions your pressure points. The memory foam topper is thicker on the softer side but thinner on the firmer side, so you can take your pick. The medium firm side is recommended for average side sleepers, but the firm side for heavier side sleepers in need of more support.

This versatile mattress also features a zone support layer that hugs the body and responds to any movement (8.5 out of 10). And with a high-density foam that surrounds its innerspring core, the Layla Hybrid provides extra support in your middle, which tends to be where most of our weight concentrates when we lie down on our sides. You get contouring comfort without too much sinkage, and your spine stays in alignment (9.5 out of 10). This helps side sleepers with hip pain wake up feeling a lot less achy. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Soft and Firm
  • Warranty: 10-Year Limited

Buy It, Layla Hybrid, $1,699 for a Queen, laylasleep.com

9. Best Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers: Amerisleep AS4

For side sleepers seeking a softer mattress to sink into and drift away to a better night’s sleep, the Amerisleep AS4 is the ticket. Made up of three layers of memory foam, this bed was developed especially for side sleepers and memory foam mattress lovers alike.

Just because this mattress is one of the softer options in the Amerisleep mattress lineup, does not mean it skimps on support. Amerisleep developed a special support layer that is used in each of their mattresses, and it was designed to be the perfect balance of support and cushion. So while you get to enjoy the “hugging” sensation foam beds are known for, you won’t have to worry about waking up with aches and pains from a lack of overall support.

  • Mattress Type: Memory Foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-Soft
  • Warranty: 20 Years 

Buy it, Amerisleep AS4, $1,799 for a Queen, amerisleep.com

10. Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain: Casper Original

If you’re a side sleeper suffering from back pain, the Casper Original is an excellent choice. In fact, it earned the title “best total score” in our guide to the best mattresses for back pain. The team at Mattress Advisor gave the Casper a 9.1 out of 10, thanks to its all-foam design that offers pressure point relief and a responsive surface that cradles the curves of your hips and shoulders. This medium-firm mattress also earned a 9 out of 10 in spine alignment, which is an important point for back pain sufferers. Spine alignment assists in relieving back pain by keeping your spine in a neutral position and promoting a healthy posture. 

Because the Casper Original is a memory foam mattress, some customers report it sleeps hot, so consider adding some cooling accessories to keep your mind calm and your nights restful. Despite that potential con, though, the Casper truly does deliver when it comes to back pain for side sleepers. Plus, people who favor other sleep positions such as back, stomach, and combination sleepers also report really enjoying this mattress.

  • Mattress Type: Memory Foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-Year Limited

Buy It, Casper Original Mattress, $1,095 for a Queen, casper.com

11. Best Soft Mattress: Purple Hybrid Premier

It’s often recommended that side sleepers seek out a soft mattress, especially if they are experiencing shoulder or hip pain. Keeping pressure off these areas while enjoying the enveloping feel a soft mattress offers is a win-win for more comfortable sleep. The Purple Hybrid Premier is a soft mattress that builds in a support system to do exactly that, while keeping your spine supported (9.5 out of 10) and pressure off your joints (8 out of 10).

With coils, gel, and foam that adapt to your body, the Purple Hybrid Premier does a great job of supporting side sleepers of all body types. These materials also helped body heat flow away from testers, earning this mattress a cooling score of 8.5 out of 10.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5
  • Firmness: Soft
  • Warranty: 10-year limited

Buy It, Purple Hybrid Premier, $2,399 for a Queen, purple.com

Shopping for the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

As mentioned earlier, sleeping on your side can create pressure points around your shoulders and hips. These are the widest parts of your body, and your weight tends to concentrate in those two areas the most when you’re on your side. If you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress, you may find yourself waking up with discomfort in your lower back, pain in your hips and shoulders, and stiffness that can cause neck pain. Let any of these issues persist for too long, and you can develop chronic pain

What Side Sleepers Need

The ideal mattress that meets the needs of most side sleepers is one that promotes pressure relief and provides adequate support across your entire body as side sleeping can put more pressure on key areas of your body. This includes keeping weight off of your shoulders and hips by cushioning pressure points. You’ll not only toss and turn less, but you’ll be less likely to wake up with morning aches and pains. 

Spine alignment is crucial as well, as The Sleep Doctor notes its importance no matter the position you sleep in. But luckily, when you sleep on your side, you’re actually benefiting your back, too. In his article on sleep position, Dr. Breus notes that side sleeping gives less of a chance of experiencing back pain, because your spine doesn’t have acute pressure on it. 

Also motion transfer is important, because even with the perfect mattress, your body should change positions multiple times throughout the night. Low motion transfer helps your partner stay asleep as well. 

Mattress Firmness

You might have noticed during your preliminary window shopping that each mattress has a firmness rating on a scale of 1 to 10. The higher the rating, the firmer the mattress. So, how firm should a mattress be for side sleepers? It’s a bit of fine balancing act. Get a mattress that’s too soft, and your body will sink out of alignment, resulting in pressure points in your hips and shoulders. If a mattress is too hard, it won’t be able to smoothly contour to your hips and shoulders, and you’ll place more strain around your neck. That’s why medium firmness is usually the ideal level not just for side sleepers, but for anyone looking to relieve pain or pressure. It’s still soft enough to cradle pressure points, but firm enough to provide proper support and durability.

Your bodyweight should also factor into just how firm your mattress should be; the heavier you are, the firmer your ideal mattress

Learn more about the best firm mattresses for your sleep needs.

Mattress Type

Not all side sleepers are created equal; they come in all shapes and sizes––just like mattresses. While you can read up on what mattress may be best for side sleepers in general, what works for you may not work for another fellow side sleeper. Mattresses on the market today are also made with all kinds of material, and each of them come with their own list of pros and cons. So, when considering the same factors used by The Sleep Doctor when making his list, make sure you also take into account the factors that are unique to you. For example, a side sleeper carrying a bit more weight may need a slightly firmer mattress to avoid sinking and misaligning their spine. As you narrow down your list of mattress candidates, this list will help point you in the right direction but be sure to keep your specific needs top of mind.

Memory Foam Mattresses

A memory foam mattress is a solid go-to choice for side sleepers. Foam naturally contours to your body, providing cushion for your shoulders and hips, and reducing the likelihood of concentrated pressure points. The quality of foam used in a mattress plays a big role as well; higher grade foam aligns to your body and promotes neutral spine alignment. It’s soft while also ensuring support in the right areas.

Hybrid Mattresses

A hybrid mattress usually runs a bit higher up the price scale than a mattress constructed entirely from memory foam. But since all-foam mattresses tend to trap heat, a hybrid mattress will most definitely run a heck of a lot cooler in most cases. The best hybrid mattresses incorporate both foam and coils into their design, giving you the support and longevity of an innerspring mattress with the comfort of foam.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are built with metal coils that give great support that other mattress types may lack. However, an innerspring mattress can provide too much of a good thing; while the metal coils found inside give you great support, they can also make the mattress too rigid and firm, meaning it may not conform to your body like it should. This means in general, innerspring beds may not provide the level of pressure relief side sleepers require, though there are some exceptions, like the plush version of the Saatva Classic. If innerspring is your “thing” try to find a bed with individually pocketed coils, and you should feel both well supported and comfortable. 

Latex Mattresses

A mattress made from latex can cushion your body while keeping your neck and spine in alignment. As a material, latex has an innate ability to reduce pressure points while allowing you the freedom to move with minimal motion transfer. Latex is also inherently cool. And if you’re an active sleeper, you’ll appreciate the ability of a latex mattress to quickly respond to your body as you move from side to side.

Some Parting Words for Side Sleepers

Don’t sacrifice a good night’s sleep by sleeping on the wrong mattress. As a side sleeper, remember that you’re in the majority, so there are plenty of mattresses on the market designed to cater to your needs. But that doesn’t mean every mattress marketed toward side sleepers will do the trick. Use The Sleep Doctor’s list to find the right mattress for you.

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Julia Forbes is an Associate Editor at Pillar4 Media and contributing editor to TheSleepDoctor.com who prefers to keep the room as cold as possible, no matter what time of year it is.