Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

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Many adult sleepers spend more than half the night sleeping on their side. While this popular sleep position may feel natural or comfortable, side sleeping can also contribute to back and joint pain.

Choosing a mattress designed for side sleepers is an important step toward healthy, comfortable sleep. When you lie on your side, your shoulders and hips can sink deeper into a mattress than other parts of your body do. This can cause your spine to be misaligned. The solution for side sleepers is to select a mattress that supports these pressure points and ensures that the spine is kept relatively straight during sleep.

We’ll discuss our top mattress picks for side sleepers and explain what qualities to look for in a bed so that you can get a good night’s sleep.

Our Top Picks

  • Helix Midnight

    Best Overall

    Mattress Type: Hybrid
    Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
    Price: $1,099
  • Nectar Mattress

    Best Value

    Mattress Type: Foam
    Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
    Price: $799
  • Saatva Classic

    Most Comfortable

    Mattress Type: Innerspring
    Firmness: Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
    Price: $1,595
  • GravityLux

    Best Luxury

    Mattress Type: Foam
    Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Firm (7)
    Price: $1,799
  • Amerisleep AS2

    Best for Back Pain

    Mattress Type: Foam
    Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
    Price: $1,499
  • Nolah Signature 12

    Best Pressure Relief

    Mattress Type: Foam
    Firmness: Medium (5)
    Price: $1,299
  • Layla Mattress

    Best Cooling

    Mattress Type: Foam
    Firmness: Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)
    Price: $1,099
  • Tuft & Needle Mint

    Best for Couples

    Mattress Type: Foam
    Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
    Price: $1,195

Best Overall

Helix Midnight

  • Mattress Type
    Hybrid
  • Firmness
    Medium Firm (6)
  • Sleep Trial
    100 nights (30-night requirement)
  • Warranty
    10 Year, Limited
  • Price (Queen)
    $1,099
  • Weight
    90-100 lbs.

Highlights

  • Contouring memory foam provides ample pressure relief
  • Makes little to no noise
  • Pocketed coils and reinforced perimeter offer sturdy edge support

Ideal For:

  • People with chronic joint pain
  • Sleepers who like a mattress that conforms closely
  • Couples
  • Pressure Point Relief
    4/5 (Helix Midnight)
  • Temperature Neutrality
    3/5 (Helix Midnight)
  • Motion Isolation
    3/5 (Helix Midnight)
  • Edge Support
    3/5 (Helix Midnight)
  • Durability
    3/5 (Helix Midnight)
  • Ease of Movement
    3/5 (Helix Midnight)
  • Sex
    3/5 (Helix Midnight)
  • Off-Gassing
    3/5 (Helix Midnight)

The Helix Midnight is a hybrid mattress designed to relieve pressure point pain for side sleepers. The comfort layers are composed of memory foam and polyfoam, and pocketed coils make up the support core. With a medium firm (6) firmness level, the Helix Midnight is soft enough to cushion the body but firm enough to avoid excessive sinkage for most side sleepers. The mattress is also excellent for stomach and back sleepers under 130 pounds.

The top layer of memory foam conforms to the body, providing pressure relief to the joints. The pocketed coils move individually, responding to your body’s movements and supporting proper spinal alignment. The coils also allow for airflow through the mattress and keep the bed temperature neutral throughout the night.

Hybrid beds tend to be more responsive than all-foam beds because the pocketed coils provide more bounce. Most sleepers will find the Helix Midnight responsive, making it easier to change positions as needed. However, the foam layers also help isolate motion so that sleep partners aren’t disturbed by movement. Reinforced pocketed coils along the sides of the mattress offer support to sleepers, even at the edge of the bed.

The Helix Midnight ships free throughout the U.S. and comes with a 100-night sleep trial. The trial requires a 30-day break-in period before the mattress is eligible for a full refund. Following the sleep trial, the mattress is covered by a 10-year warranty.

Best Value

Nectar Mattress

  • Mattress Type
    Foam
  • Firmness
    Medium Firm (6)
  • Sleep Trial
    365 nights
  • Warranty
    Lifetime, Limited
  • Price (Queen)
    $799
  • Weight
    66 lbs.

Highlights

  • Phase change material is designed to keep the bed cool
  • Excellent motion isolation
  • Comes with a 365-day sleep trial

Ideal For:

  • Sleepers seeking pressure point relief
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Shoppers who desire a long trial period
  • Pressure Point Relief
    4/5 (Nectar Mattress)
  • Temperature Neutrality
    3/5 (Nectar Mattress)
  • Motion Isolation
    5/5 (Nectar Mattress)
  • Edge Support
    3/5 (Nectar Mattress)
  • Durability
    3/5 (Nectar Mattress)
  • Ease of Movement
    2/5 (Nectar Mattress)
  • Sex
    2/5 (Nectar Mattress)
  • Off-Gassing
    3/5 (Nectar Mattress)

The all-foam Nectar Mattress offers layers of contouring memory foam and polyfoam at a competitive price-point. Its medium firm feel is suitable for most side sleepers and back sleepers under 230 pounds.

The comfort system includes a 3-inch layer of gel-infused memory foam and a 2-inch polyfoam layer. The memory foam responds to heat, so sleepers will feel the mattress slowly contour to their bodies and relieve pressure points. This phase change material is also designed to draw heat away from the body. At the same time, the dense polyfoam layer helps relieve pressure and supports healthy alignment of the spine.

The Nectar Mattress is excellent at isolating movement, which means sleep partners won’t disturb each other when they change positions. However, like other all-foam mattresses, the Nectar may impede quicker movements, since it has less bounce.

Compared to other memory foam beds, the Nectar Mattress has above-average edge support. The polyfoam core helps support the entire bed, including the perimeter. Most sleepers should feel secure when sleeping or sitting at the edge of the bed.

The Nectar Mattress comes with a 365-night trial period, which is one of the longest trial periods in the industry. After a 30-day break-in period, customers can return their mattress and receive a refund. The mattress also has a lifetime warranty covering any craftsmanship or manufacturing defects.

Most Comfortable

Saatva Classic

  • Mattress Type
    Innerspring
  • Firmness
    Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
  • Sleep Trial
    180 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
  • Warranty
    15 Year, Limited
  • Price (Queen)
    $1,595
  • Weight
    N/A
Saatva Mattress

Highlights

  • Zoned memory foam layer offers back support
  • Three firmness levels to choose from
  • Coil core provides above-average durability

Ideal For:

  • Sleepers looking for additional back support and pressure relief
  • Side sleepers under 230 pounds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Pressure Point Relief
    4/5 (Saatva Classic)
  • Temperature Neutrality
    4/5 (Saatva Classic)
  • Motion Isolation
    3/5 (Saatva Classic)
  • Edge Support
    4/5 (Saatva Classic)
  • Durability
    4/5 (Saatva Classic)
  • Ease of Movement
    4/5 (Saatva Classic)
  • Sex
    3/5 (Saatva Classic)
  • Off-Gassing
    5/5 (Saatva Classic)

Shoppers looking for a mattress that provides targeted back support may appreciate the Saatva Classic’s three-layer comfort system. The first layer is a breathable pillow-top, and the second is a memory foam lumbar pad designed to offset back pressure and keep the spine aligned.

The third comfort layer in the Saatva Classic is made of pocketed microcoils. These microcoils move individually and contour to the body to relieve pressure points. This layer gives the bed its responsiveness, providing the bounce required for easy movement.

The mattress core is made of innerspring coils, which allow for airflow and keep the bed temperature neutral. These sturdy coils contribute to the bed’s above-average durability. The edges of the bed are reinforced with foam to provide sturdy edge support and prevent sagging over time.

The innerspring mattress is available in three firmness levels: soft (3), medium firm (6), and firm (8). The soft model is particularly suitable for side sleepers under 130 pounds, while heavier side sleepers may prefer the medium firm or firm option.

Saatva offers customers a 180-day sleep trial. Mattresses can be returned with a $99 labor and transit fee. The Saatva Classic is backed with a 15-year warranty.

Best Luxury

GravityLux

  • Mattress Type
    Foam
  • Firmness
    Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Firm (7)
  • Sleep Trial
    120 nights (30 night requirement)
  • Warranty
    Lifetime, Limited
  • Price (Queen)
    $1,799
  • Weight
    77 lbs.

Highlights

  • Made with pressure-relieving memory foam technology
  • Excellent motion isolation
  • Available in multiple firmness levels

Ideal For:

  • Shoppers looking for a contouring foam mattress
  • Side and back sleepers over 130 pounds (firm)
  • Side sleepers under 130 pounds (soft, medium)
  • Pressure Point Relief
    4/5 (GravityLux)
  • Temperature Neutrality
    3/5 (GravityLux)
  • Motion Isolation
    5/5 (GravityLux)
  • Edge Support
    2/5 (GravityLux)
  • Durability
    3/5 (GravityLux)
  • Ease of Movement
    3/5 (GravityLux)
  • Sex
    2/5 (GravityLux)
  • Off-Gassing
    3/5 (GravityLux)

The GravityLux incorporates foam technologies designed to contour to the body and provide pressure relief. In the GravityLux AirCell memory foam, each cell is engineered to independently absorb pressure and release air. As a result, the mattress conforms to the sleeper’s unique pressure points and greatly reduces motion transfer across the bed. The technology is also designed to reduce heat retention, a common problem in foam mattresses.

Two layers make up the comfort system of the GravityLux. The top layer is 2 inches of gel-infused polyfoam quilted in a Tencel cover to help provide a cooler sleep. The second layer is made of AirCell memory foam.

The mattress core includes a zoned layer of polyfoam. This layer targets areas of the body that tend to sink excessively into the mattress and ensures that they are properly supported. The core then has a layer of high-density polyfoam, which also prevents sinkage.

Shoppers can choose from three firmness levels: medium soft (4), medium (5), and firm (7). Most sleepers are likely to find a comfortable firmness level for their size and preferred sleep position. However, the firmest version is likely the best fit for side and back sleepers weighing over 230 pounds, while sleepers under 130 pounds who sleep in multiple positions will likely prefer the medium mattress.

GravityLux customers have a 120-night sleep trial to test out the mattress. This trial comes with a required 30-night break-in period. A limited lifetime warranty covers manufacturing defects for as long as the original purchaser owns the mattress.

Best for Back Pain

Amerisleep AS2

  • Mattress Type
    Foam
  • Firmness
    Medium Firm (6)
  • Sleep Trial
    100 nights (30-night try-out)
  • Warranty
    20 Year, Limited
  • Price (Queen)
    $1,499
  • Weight
    N/A
Amerisleep AS2

Highlights

  • Made with contouring open-cell memory foam
  • Zoned polyfoam layer targets pressure points
  • Above-average responsiveness

Ideal For:

  • Sleepers with back or joint pain
  • Side sleepers who weigh 130 pounds or more
  • Couples
  • Pressure Point Relief
    4/5 (AS2)
  • Temperature Neutrality
    3/5 (AS2)
  • Motion Isolation
    4/5 (AS2)
  • Edge Support
    3/5 (AS2)
  • Durability
    4/5 (AS2)
  • Ease of Movement
    3/5 (AS2)
  • Sex
    3/5 (AS2)
  • Off-Gassing
    3/5 (AS2)

The Amerisleep AS2 is designed to promote spinal alignment and relieve back and joint pain. While the mattress is exceptional for side sleepers over 130 pounds, sleepers of most sizes and positions can expect to feel supported by this medium firm mattress.

The two comfort layers work together to ease pressure on the body. First is a 2-inch layer of contouring memory foam that provides excellent support. The open-cell construction of the memory foam is designed to prevent heat buildup and allow airflow. As a result, the mattress sleeps cooler than the average foam mattress.

Underneath that, a 3-inch layer of zoned polyfoam targets and supports the heavier parts of the body. This layer helps keep the spine straight as you sleep, which can prevent back pain, as well as pain at other pressure points.

The mattress core is 7 inches of polyfoam. This layer contributes to the bed’s durability.

The foam construction of the mattress absorbs motion well, meaning sleeping partners are unlikely to disturb each other as they sleep. Although foam beds have a reputation for less bounce, the Amerisleep AS2 is more responsive than most. Most sleepers should find that they can easily change positions as needed.

The Amerisleep AS2 ships free in the contiguous U.S. Customers can try out the mattress for 100 nights. Full refunds are available after a 30-night try-out period, and the mattress is covered by a 20-year limited warranty.

Best Pressure Relief

Nolah Signature 12

  • Mattress Type
    Foam
  • Firmness
    Medium (5)
  • Sleep Trial
    120 nights (30-night requirement)
  • Warranty
    Lifetime, Limited
  • Price (Queen)
    $1,299
  • Weight
    N/A
Nolah Signature 12 Mattress

Highlights

  • Close contouring offers pressure relief
  • Great motion isolation
  • Good temperature neutrality for a foam mattress

Ideal For:

  • Shoppers looking for a foam bed alternative to memory foam
  • Sleepers who share the bed with a pet or partner
  • Sleepers up to 230 pounds
  • Pressure Point Relief
    3/5 (Nolah Signature 12)
  • Temperature Neutrality
    3/5 (Nolah Signature 12)
  • Motion Isolation
    4/5 (Nolah Signature 12)
  • Edge Support
    2/5 (Nolah Signature 12)
  • Durability
    3/5 (Nolah Signature 12)
  • Ease of Movement
    3/5 (Nolah Signature 12)
  • Sex
    2/5 (Nolah Signature 12)
  • Off-Gassing
    3/5 (Nolah Signature 12)

The Nolah Signature 12 is an all-foam mattress that relieves pressure on the joints. This medium firm mattress is most suitable for sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds. Sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds might need the support of a firmer mattress.

The top comfort layer is constructed from Nolah’s AirFoam, which contours closely to the hips and shoulders. The two other polyfoam comfort layers absorb motion well, which means those who share the bed are unlikely to disturb each other as they move during the night.

You may feel a slight hug from the Nolah Signature 12, but it still allows for relatively easy movement compared to a memory foam mattress. Additionally, the AirFoam is not sensitive to temperature, so it bounces back into shape more quickly than memory foam. The AirFoam is also designed to retain less heat, meaning most sleepers can expect a neutral temperature as they sleep.

The mattress incorporates a polyfoam core to reduce sagging. However, the bed does not have reinforced edges, which may lead to some sagging over time and make sitting or sleeping close to the edge of the bed feel less secure.

The Nolah Signature 12 ships free to the contiguous U.S. In order to become eligible for a discount, customers can choose to waive the 120-night sleep trial. Otherwise, after a 30-night required break-in period, you can return the mattress within 120 days. Owners are entitled to a lifetime limited warranty.

Best Cooling

Layla Mattress

  • Mattress Type
    Foam
  • Firmness
    Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)
  • Sleep Trial
    120 nights
  • Warranty
    Lifetime, Limited
  • Price (Queen)
    $1,099
  • Weight
    69 lbs.
Layla Mattress

Highlights

  • Incorporates copper gel technology designed to promote cooler sleep
  • Reversible bed incorporates two firmness levels
  • Soft side uses a zoned polyfoam layer to reduce pressure

Ideal For:

  • Sleepers who tend to overheat
  • Those looking for two firmness options in one mattress
  • Shoppers who value pressure relief and motion isolation
  • Pressure Point Relief
    4/5 (Layla Memory Foam Mattress)
  • Temperature Neutrality
    3/5 (Layla Memory Foam Mattress)
  • Motion Isolation
    4/5 (Layla Memory Foam Mattress)
  • Edge Support
    2/5 (Layla Memory Foam Mattress)
  • Durability
    3/5 (Layla Memory Foam Mattress)
  • Ease of Movement
    2/5 (Layla Memory Foam Mattress)
  • Sex
    2/5 (Layla Memory Foam Mattress)
  • Off-Gassing
    3/5 (Layla Memory Foam Mattress)

Made with copper gel-infused memory foam that’s designed to offer a cooler sleep, the Layla Mattress helps hot sleepers maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the night.

This flippable mattress has two firmness levels. The softer side has a medium soft feel, and the opposite side is firm. Side sleepers under 230 pounds typically sleep most comfortably on the softer side of the mattress, while the firmer side is appropriate for back and stomach sleepers of all body types.

Each side of the mattress has a layer of copper gel-infused memory foam designed to prevent heat retention. The comfort system on the softer side of the mattress has a layer of zoned polyfoam, which supports the heaviest parts of the body. The core is a 4-inch layer of medium-dense polyfoam for additional support.

While both sides of the Layla Mattress have above-average temperature neutrality for foam beds, each side offers different benefits. The softer side limits motion transfer very well and offers much more pressure relief than the firmer side. However, the responsiveness of the firmer side allows for greater ease of movement. The firmer side also has stronger edge support and is less likely to sag over time.

Customers in the contiguous U.S. receive free shipping for the Layla Mattress. The bed comes with a 120-night sleep trial, and Layla requires customers to try the bed for at least 2 weeks before returning it. The mattress also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Best for Couples

Tuft & Needle Mint

  • Mattress Type
    Foam
  • Firmness
    Medium Firm (6)
  • Sleep Trial
    100 nights
  • Warranty
    10-Year, Limited
  • Price (Queen)
    $1,195
  • Weight
    80 lbs.
tuft and needle mint

Highlights

  • Great temperature neutrality
  • Limited motion transfer
  • Polyfoam comfort layers offer pressure relief
  • Above-average edge support for an all-foam mattress

Ideal For:

  • Couples with different body types and sleep positions
  • Sleepers who tend to move throughout the night
  • Those who sleep hot
  • Pressure Point Relief
    4/5 (Mint Mattress)
  • Temperature Neutrality
    4/5 (Mint Mattress)
  • Motion Isolation
    4/5 (Mint Mattress)
  • Edge Support
    3/5 (Mint Mattress)
  • Durability
    4/5 (Mint Mattress)
  • Ease of Movement
    3/5 (Mint Mattress)
  • Sex
    3/5 (Mint Mattress)
  • Off-Gassing
    3/5 (Mint Mattress)

With a good balance of cushioning and support, the medium firm Tuft & Needle Mint is suitable for sleepers of most body types and sleeping positions. In particular, it works well for side and back sleepers who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds.

The comfort system contains two layers. The first is made of graphite-infused polyfoam, which is designed to draw heat away from the body. The second layer is made of gel-infused polyfoam, also designed to cool sleepers. While many foam beds trap heat, the Tuft & Needle regulates temperature very well. Additionally, the gel beads in the second comfort system layer contour to the shape of the body and offer pressure relief.

A 6.5-inch polyfoam core helps support sleepers and keep the shape of the mattress over time.

Additionally, the Tuft & Needle Mint isolates motion very well, meaning that the foam prevents motion from transferring across the bed and potentially disturbing your sleep partner. However, the bed still has sufficient bounce. Most sleepers can easily change positions without feeling like they are sinking into the bed.

The Tuft & Needle Mint comes with a 10-year limited warranty and 100-night sleep trial. Shoppers living in the contiguous U.S. receive free shipping.

Why You Should Trust Us

When it comes to choosing the right bed for a good night’s sleep, you can trust our sleep experts’ years of industry experience.

Our team of product analysts personally tests each mattress we review, paying attention to issues of specific concern to different kinds of sleepers, such as firmness, durability, and pressure relief.

What Do Side Sleepers Need for a Good Night’s Sleep?

Side sleepers need a mattress that promotes spinal alignment and relieves pressure points. We’ll review some of the key mattress features for side sleepers to keep in mind.

Find the Type of Mattress That Works for You

There are a variety of mattress types to choose from, including foam, hybrid, and latex beds. Each construction offers different benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the style that meets your specific needs.

Pick the Right Mattress Firmness

The right mattress firmness depends both on your body size and sleeping position. Side sleepers tend to prefer medium or medium firm mattresses.

Keep Your Spine Aligned

Healthy spinal alignment means your spine stays straight throughout the night. Mattresses that are too soft or too firm can cause the spine to become misaligned, so it’s important to choose the right mattress firmness.

Best Mattress Types for Side Sleepers

Side sleepers generally need a mattress that supports pressure points at the shoulders and hips and also keeps the spine properly aligned. A number of mattress types offer this support in different ways.

Foam Mattresses

Foam mattresses often contain several different layers of foam, such as memory foam and polyfoam. Beds made of foam typically range between soft and medium firmness and sink in a little more than other types of beds.

Side sleepers may appreciate mattresses with memory foam in the comfort layers because of the foam’s contouring properties, which can relieve pressure on the joints, including at the shoulders and hips. Side sleepers who like a secure feeling may also like the hug that memory foam offers.

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid beds are composed of either foam or latex top layers, with cores made of coils. Side sleepers may appreciate how hybrid beds contour to the body and relieve pressure points while still having more bounce and responsiveness than all-foam mattresses. The coils in hybrid mattresses also allow for good airflow and less heat retention.

What About Innerspring Beds?

In the past, innerspring beds had few or no comfort layers covering the coil core. However, some bed makers now use the terms “innerspring” and “hybrid” interchangeably. If you’re considering a hybrid or innerspring bed, be sure to choose a bed with enough cushioning to support your body.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are composed exclusively of latex and contain no coils or polyfoam.

For side sleepers, latex mattresses offer responsiveness and bounce, allowing for easy movement. These mattresses tend to cradle the body rather than hug it like memory foam does. Latex also traps less heat than other mattress constructions, so you may experience more airflow and a cooler sleep.

What’s the Best Mattress Firmness for Side Sleepers?

Medium to medium firm mattresses are typically best for side sleepers. These mattresses provide the appropriate amount of support to the shoulders and hips, which are common pressure points of side sleepers.

Our Firmness Scale and the Ideal Range for Side Sleepers

We rate all of the beds we test on a 10-point scale of firmness, with 1 being the softest and 10 the firmest. Based on our scale, the ideal firmness for side sleepers is between 4 and 7.

That said, your body type, including weight and build, can have an impact on what firmness level feels right for you. Sleepers under 130 pounds may find a slightly softer bed more comfortable than a firmer bed that doesn’t allow them to sink in as much. Sleepers who weigh 130 pounds or more, however, may prefer a firmer mattress.

If you experience shoulder or hip pain while you sleep, you may need a softer bed to cushion the joints.

Are Firm Mattresses Bad for Side Sleepers?

Firm mattresses are not ideal for most side sleepers, since they have a harder impact against the hips and shoulders, which can lead to discomfort or improper spinal alignment. However, not all side sleepers require extra cushioning, so they may find a firmer mattress comfortable.

Side Sleeping and Keeping Your Spine Aligned

It’s important to keep your spine properly aligned as you sleep. This means the spine is fairly straight. Typically, mattresses with a medium firmness provide appropriate spinal support to side sleepers.

Mattresses that are too soft can cause the body to sink in, throwing the spine out of alignment. Firmer mattresses, on the other hand, can push back against the body and prevent the spine from staying in a straight position. Improper spinal alignment can disturb your sleep and may also contribute to pain in the back and at other pressure points.

As you shop, you may see some mattresses constructed with zoned layers. These layers are designed to support the heaviest parts of the body, which helps keep the back in a straight line.

What Kind of Mattress Can Help With Back Pain?

Memory foam mattresses can provide relief from back pain. The foam conforms closely to the body, providing support and distributing weight across the bed. However, the best mattress for back pain depends also on your sleep position and body size. Overall, the right mattress should properly support your spinal alignment as well as your joints.

Hot Tips to Help Keep Your Spine Aligned

In addition to a supportive mattress, side sleepers may want to consider pillows that support spinal alignment.

  • Head Pillow: A pillow for your head should have enough loft to fill the space between your head and your shoulder. This will help ensure that your head, neck, and spine are in alignment. Make sure the pillow is firm enough to support the head and neck and prevent excessive sink.
  • Leg or Knee Pillow: You can also sleep with a pillow between your knees. Using a pillow in this location helps prevent your hips from rotating during sleep, which can move your spine out of a healthy alignment.