The best mattress for any given sleeper largely depends on their primary sleep position. For most side sleepers, a mattress that supports the spine and promotes even alignment is essential for comfortable sleep. This requires close contouring to evenly distribute the sleeper’s weight, and extra cushioning for the shoulders and hips, since these are wider areas of the body that deeply compress the mattress. For these reasons, side sleepers tend to prefer softer mattresses compared with back and stomach sleepers.
According to numerous surveys, side sleeping is the most popular sleep position by a landslide. Lying on your side can alleviate soreness and stiffness for those with lower back pain, including pregnant people. Studies have also shown that side sleepers are less likely to snore than back sleepers. Finding a mattress that improves spinal alignment and reduces the pressure points associated with side sleeping allows you to take full advantage of this sleep position.
Our in-house team has personally tested hundreds of mattresses in our lab. To choose the best mattresses for side sleepers, we focused on models that earned exemplary ratings from our testers who exclusively or primarily sleep on their sides. Our top picks are outlined below. Scroll down to learn more about each mattress.
Best Overall: Helix Midnight Luxe
Helix Sleep specializes in hybrid mattresses specifically designed for certain types of sleepers. One of our favorite models from this brand is the Helix Midnight Luxe. While this medium firm (6) mattress is geared toward side sleepers in the range of 130 to 230 pounds, its balance of cushioning and support makes it an appealing option for sleepers across different weight groups and preferred sleeping positions.
The Midnight Luxe is constructed with two layers of adaptive memory foam encased in a Euro-top cover. These elements give the surface a plush feel, but transitional polyfoam and pocketed coil layers provide adequate support to prevent you from sinking too deeply. The coils are zoned to reinforce the midsection — where many people carry extra weight — and prevent deep sinkage along the edges.
During our mattress tests, the Midnight Luxe fared very well with side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds, as well as stomach sleepers under 130 pounds.
Other Helix Sleep mattresses with mid-range firmness include the Dusk and Moonlight. You can also choose a standard Helix Midnight model, which costs less but does not feature the Euro-top or zoned coils of the Midnight Luxe.
Helix Sleep’s website features an online questionnaire to help you determine which of the brand’s mattresses are best suited for you. Mattress orders include free shipping to all 50 states.
Best Value: Nectar
The Nectar Mattress is a low-cost, high-value option for people who normally find memory foam mattresses too soft. Its feel is a true medium firm (6). Dense polyfoam layers make up the support system, so side sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds should be able to lie comfortably without sinking too much. At the same time, the Nectar’s thick memory foam comfort layer contours closely to cradle the shoulders and hips, improve alignment, and reduce pressure along the spine.
Another strength of this mattress is motion isolation. All three foam layers absorb movement and practically eliminate motion transfer across the surface, making the Nectar a good option for people who are easily awakened when their sleep partner moves in bed. The firmer-than-average feel also ensures decent edge support compared with other memory foam models.
For added savings on your purchase, Nectar Sleep offers free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. The Nectar Mattress comes with a 365-night sleep trial, one of the longest in the online mattress industry. Those who choose to keep their Nectar also receive a lifetime warranty that covers structural defects for as long as they retain ownership of the mattress.
Best Luxury: Saatva Classic
The Saatva Classic is a luxury hybrid featuring a Euro-top surface cushioned with foam over transitional minicoils and a base layer with robust hourglass coils. This coil-on-coil support helps ensure even alignment and less sinkage around the shoulders and hips, making this mattress particularly well suited for side sleeping.
The Saatva Classic is available in three firmness levels. Our mattress tests showed side sleepers under 130 pounds are most likely to prefer the soft (3) feel, as these models contour closely to areas around the spine. Side sleepers who weigh 130 pounds or more will probably prefer the medium firm (6) feel due to its more supportive design.
Our side sleeper ratings for the firm (8) feel were not as favorable. That said, you should consider this option if you weigh more than 230 pounds and need extra support from your mattress, or if you’re a combination sleeper who switches between side sleeping and the back or stomach positions.
Customers can also choose from profiles of 11.5 or 14.5 inches, the latter of which features taller base coils. All Saatva Classic purchases come with free White Glove delivery that includes a scheduled delivery date and time, full assembly in a room of your choice, and removal of your old mattress or box spring. This perk should incentivize people who want or need assistance setting up their new mattress.
Best Pressure Relief: Nolah Evolution 15
Many side sleepers experience sharp pressure points along the spine due to alignment issues. These individuals are great candidates for the Nolah Evolution 15, a Euro-top hybrid constructed with four foam layers that provide deep cushioning from head to toe.
The Evolution 15 is another mattress with three firmness options. Side sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds found the medium (5) feel most comfortable during our tests, whereas those who weigh more preferred the medium firm (6) feel.
The Evolution 15 begins with a luxurious Euro-top surface quilted with a layer of adaptive foam. Additional foam layers become progressively denser in order to cradle the shoulders, lower back, and hips while keeping your body on an even plane. Nolah uses proprietary polyfoam materials engineered for breathability, so the mattress shouldn’t sleep as hot compared with models with memory foam layers. The coils also promote enough airflow to maintain a comfortable interior temperature for the mattress.
Ground shipping is free of charge for all Nolah orders within the contiguous U.S. The Evolution 15 is backed by a 120-night sleep trial, but customers can forgo the trial period to reduce their upfront costs.
Best for Couples: Layla Hybrid
If you normally share your bed with someone, it’s important to take your partner’s needs into account as well as your own when choosing a new mattress. The Layla Hybrid is a flippable mattress with foam layers on each side and a shared support core of pocketed coils.
This mattress has earned favorable ratings in several performance areas that matter for couples. The foam layers on both sides absorb movement to isolate motion and cut down on nighttime disturbances, while the coils are zoned to reduce perimeter sinkage and allow you to use the entire surface for sleep or sex.
One side of the Layla Hybrid is medium soft (4) and is constructed with 2.5 inches of memory foam over 2 inches of transitional polyfoam. This surface contours quite closely to the body and is best suited to side sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds. The opposite side features the same materials, but the comfort layers are thinner to create a firm (7) feel.
Side sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds are more likely to favor the firm side. If you sleep on your side and weigh 130 to 230 pounds, then either surface of the Layla Hybrid may feel comfortable. The memory foam is infused with cooling agents and air flows freely throughout the coils, so bothersome heat buildup shouldn’t be an issue for most people. The sides are also equipped with handles to assist you whenever a flip is needed.
Layla offers free shipping for all mattress orders within the contiguous U.S., and each purchase comes with a 120-night sleep trial.