Our Picks For The Best Mattress For Side Sleepers
Last Updated: October, 2021
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In your search for the best memory foam mattress for side sleepers, you'll probably encounter a certain problem over and over again. Unfortunately, it seems like most hybrid mattresses are designed for stomach or back sleepers because those seem to be the most popular sleep positions.
If you’re looking for the best mattress for side sleepers, we’ve tested a range of the most popular ones so you can be well informed before making your investment. These mattresses are built for side sleepers and they’re extremely comfortable.
According to our tests, the best memory foam mattress for side sleepers, by far, is the Nolah Signature 12 Inch mattress. It's super soft and designed specifically for side sleepers. Keep reading to find the right mattresses for side sleepers that can truly deliver a good night's sleep.
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5 Best Mattress For Side Sleepers - Types & Reviews
Nolah Signature 12 Inch Mattress
An all-foam mattress that comes with dual firmness so you can pick and choose which side you favor. You'll love the medium responding foam that doesn't sink too much.
Layla Hybrid Mattress
Most memory foam retains a lot of heat but not the Layla Hybrid mattress. We love how cool it feels plus it has strong edge support too.
Nolah Original 10”
If you’re looking for a mattress that will be supportive, cooling, and pressure-relieving, you can’t go wrong with the Nolah Original, which we found to be a great for a good night’s sleep.
PlushBeds Cool Bliss
There’s no better option for a cooling mattress than the Cool Bliss Luxury Memory Foam Mattress. Made to sleep cool and isolate motion, this is a great mattress for sleeping with partners or for switching positions throughout the night.
Puffy Lux Hybrid Mattress
The Puffy Lux hybrid mattress is made in the United States and comes with a lifetime warranty. You also get 101 nights to try it out before deciding whether you like it or not.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Like the saatva mattress, one of the best gel infused memory foam mattresses, the Nolah Signature 12 is constructed for cooling comfort and provides zoned support. Nolah has claimed that their mattresses are great for side sleepers, but this one was our favorite of all their options. It is indeed the best medium firm mattress for side sleepers and provides spinal support and relief at pressure points, just the same as the best pressure relieving for back or stomach sleepers.
Choosing a mattress that is rated on a firmness scale of 5 is the perfect way to find the appropriate balance of support and comfort. This all-foam mattress isn’t just any medium firm foam mattress. If you're still undecided about the firmness level you want in a new mattress, the Nolah Signature 12 got you covered. One side is firm, but when you flip it over, you’ll find a medium softer side. This is great if you're deciding between a medium soft mattress, firm and medium firm mattress because you can technically have both. Of course, not at once, but you can try both the medium soft and firm mattress side before deciding what you want in a new mattress. Plus, you won’t have to worry about paying for a mattress you won’t find comfortable. We will warn you now that the two sides are pretty different, so it’s likely you’ll like one side and not the other.
Both the medium soft and the medium firm sides have memory foam at the top with one side having 1” and the other having 2.5”. Unlike other mattress materials, we love how the memory foam isn’t slow sinking, but also won’t respond so quickly that you feel like you are sinking. It’s a great medium responding foam that will relieve pressure, give you the slow sensation of melting around you, but without feeling stuck.
As this side sleeper mattress is an all-foam mattress, we don’t recommend it for people that typically sleep hot. Memory foam in particular tends to trap heat and have poor airflow.
Nolah mattresses are CertiPUR-US standard to ensure you aren’t exposed to potentially harmful gasses or chemicals. This mattress type is made using a petroleum-based foam, but because Nolah has certified all their mattresses and products, you can rest assured they’re still safe.
Even if you’re still a little wary about the mattress type or maybe the price is really putting you off, you can still try this mattress free of charge. Nolah offers a 120 day sleep trial and free returns so you can be sure your choice is the right one for side sleepers.
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What We Like
What We Don't Like
With individually wrapped coils and copper infused memory foam, the Layla Mattress is the best hybrid mattress. Layla’s Hybrid mattress is certainly a worthy competitor to Haven’s, offering an alternative for those who prefer a bit of a softer mattress. Another reason this durable mattress is considered the best hybrid mattress is because it is actually a flippable mattress, offering two different firmness for sleepers to choose from.
As mentioned above, Layla’s Hybrid mattress can actually be flipped. In this case, the last layer would become the first. The first layer of this luxury hybrid mattress is a super soft, breathable cover that sits around a 4-5/10 for firmness. The second layer is a 2.5-inch copper gel memory foam intended to keep hot sleepers cool, offer pressure relief, and add to the first layer's softness. As a copper gel infused foam mattress, the Layla Hybrid mattress is cleaner, cooler, and more supportive than other online mattress brands. Actually, it's often considered the best cooling mattress that's perfect for different sleeping positions.
The third layer of this copper infused foam mattress is a firmer 2-inch poly foam layer which is meant to keep you from sinking too far into the previous two layers’ soft foam by adding some additional support. This keeps your spine aligned throughout the night. The fourth and middle layer is a 6”, individually-wrapped, pocketed coil layer which provides buoyancy and helps with motion control just like the Nectar mattress. Additionally, it prevents sagging even with years of use. The mattress features a concealed innerspring mattress layer which provides pressure relief and stronger support than most innerspring mattresses, such as the Saatva Classic mattress.
Finally, since this hybrid bed is reversible, the fifth, sixth and seventh layers essentially reflect the first, second and third layers, just with different widths to provide different hybrid firmness - medium firm. One thing we really love with the Layla Hybrid is how it has a medium cool feeling to it. Most memory foam mattresses make you feel hot and uncomfortable through the night but thankfully, hybrid mattresses tend to address this problem; thus, the Layla hybrid mattress is a good choice for hot sleepers.
Like their mattress toppers, the Layla memory foam mattress is a versatile mattress that comes in various sizes. It's designed to absorb motion and vibrations, making it the best memory foam mattress for those who move a lot in their sleep or sleep with a partner. The mattress has extremely good edge support, with a double coil edged 4th layer, to prevent sagging along the ends and support those who sleep on the edges or have trouble pushing themselves out of bed. Both sides offer excellent body heat-relief for those who sweat while they sleep.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
This high quality mattress is often called one of the best mattresses for side sleepers. Compared to side sleepers nectar mattress, the pressure relief on this Nolah Original is what makes it so great for side sleepers. You won’t feel your bones hitting any part of your bed frame when you lie down, thanks to the soft 10 inches of foam beneath you.
Place this mattress down on any type of bed frame to sleep comfortably, including a box spring, platform, slatted base, foundation, or any other option you have. With the comfortable foam, this mattress has been proven to provide 4 times less pressure on your shoulders and hips, like most soft mattresses. It helps that the foam is completely temperature neutral as well. If you sleep hot, you have 2 inches of air foam to keep you cool rather than your traditional memory foam mattresses.
Don’t forget about the other layers to this mattress, either. You also have an inch of deep, supportive high resilience foam, which is made to be durable and to provide you with a responsive bounce when you lie down at night. Then, of course, you have 7 inches of high-density breathable base foam, which is meant to reinforce the layers on top and to keep the mattress durable for years to come.
This mattress by Nolah is one of the best for side sleepers, thanks to the superior pressure relief and zoned support. You’ll be sleeping on a firm foundation while relaxing on a more comfortable top that is made to form to your body type. Simply put, you're sure to get the luxurious feeling every sleeper craves in a new mattress.
Speaking of body type though, this type of mattress doesn’t necessarily work as well for heavier people. Heavier people will need a thicker and more supportive mattress for their back, hips and shoulders, perhaps one which incorporates some pocketed coils for comfort. In addition to being the best for side sleepers, we found that this Nolah mattress was ideal for medium-sized to petite individuals, who won’t sink too much into the foam, but who can still feel the support.
When we tested this mattress out, we did sink just a little bit into the foam. That’s the foam that will cushion your shoulders and hips, but even though we sank a bit, it was very comfortable. That’s because this mattress is a sort of medium firmness, which makes it perfect for combo sleepers, or if you have a partner that prefers to sleep on their back rather than their side. On a firmness scale, we would rank this maybe as about a 5.
We love the soft mattress cover on top. Not only does it help with keeping the mattress cool throughout the night, but it feels good to lie on top of. It helps that all that foam helps stop too much movement too, so you won’t be woken up if your partner gets up in the middle of the night.
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What We Like
What We Don't Like
Don’t forget about the Luxury Memory Foam Mattress from Cool Bliss, which, as the name suggests, is made to keep you cool throughout the night. It includes 5 comfort layers that are made to work together for lots of cooling and a great night’s sleep. This is thanks to their patented memory foam mattress that is made to improve airflow, dissipate heat, and make you sleep cool at night. If you notice that you tend to sleep warmer, you really can’t go wrong with the Cool Bliss mattress.
It’s not only about coolness and the plush soft feel of the top layer, though, that makes this mattress the best for side sleepers. The Cool Bliss is unique thanks to the pressure-relief that comes from the memory foam—made completely of natural latex, so it won’t smell like chemicals. Since latex is a bit expensive, you might want to consider purchasing a hybrid bed or a synthetic latex, especially for sleepers on a budget. PlushBeds' foam is high-density to prevent sagging, but don’t worry about it being too dense like some other memory foam options. We found that the foam was actually quite relaxing, and with the layer of cooling gel, as well as the cooling cover, it wasn’t difficult to sleep dry for the entire night.
Thanks to the comfortable foam, you’ll notice that both side sleepers and back sleepers can sleep well. If you share a bed with another type of sleeper, you two won’t need to worry about having different preferences.
If you don’t mind having a mattress that you really sink into, then you especially won’t mind this cooling mattress. Now, sinking doesn’t mean that your mattress isn’t supportive, but not everyone likes the feeling of so much foam underneath them. Well, you definitely have a lot of foam with this mattress, since it includes the combination of gel foam to keep you cool, natural latex foam, and layers of airy foam to ensure that your back, shoulders, and sides feel comfortable for the entire night.
We certainly found that this cooling mattress was relaxing. The sink wasn’t too bothersome, and it didn’t feel like we were getting stuck in the mattress. Actually, the mattress had a good amount of bounce to it, which made it perfect for those of us who switched from back to side sleeper position throughout the night. It really does feel cool too, and doesn’t transfer motion well—so you can sleep comfortably with your partner or pet on the cooler sleeping cover.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Rather than purchasing a mattress topper to enhance the comfort of your mattress, why not try the Puffy Lux hybrid mattress. If you want a luxurious night’s sleep for side sleepers, the Puffy Lux mattress is a fantastic option. That is because it is designed with four layers of foam and coils, each playing an important role in your night’s sleep. The total thickness is 12 inch - all crafted with the purpose of relieving your back pain, giving good motion isolation and relieving pressure points.
Like most hybrid mattresses, such as the Helix mattress and the Helix Midnight mattress, Puffy Lux is a viable option if you crave the hugging feel of memory foam beds and the support of latex mattresses without sleeping hot. The base layer is six inches of HD polyfoam and coils, with a two- inch layer of firmer poly foam on top of that. There is then a two- inch layer of Dual Cloud foam for contouring, and a top layer of two- inch gel memory foam. This is known as Cooling Cloud foam, helping to regulate temperature and keep you from overheating.
The mattress is removed in a stain resistant polyester blend cover, which is able to be removed and washed. The cover meets the Oeko-Tex standard, and is 100 certified. The cover and mattress are also completely hypoallergenic. You can place this mattress on any surface, even folding it to work on a moving bed.
Winner of the Best Mattress of 2021 award, the company strives to go beyond just being another mattress company. That is because they donate with every sale of a mattress to a child in need of a mattress. They are also entirely made in the United States, and they provide you with a lifetime warranty.
Once you get your mattress, it is easy to set up and you get 101 nights to try out the mattress before you make a full decision. If you don’t like it, you have a money back guarantee but we doubt you will want to sleep on much else ever again.
Overall, our verdict is that if you prefer a firmer support for your back pain for example, then the Puffy Lux might not suffice. Go for the Puffy Lux if you favor a softer, luxurious feel.
Side sleepers will love how soft this mattress is. As a side sleeper, you need a softer mattress, but if you go for the best memory foam mattress on the market, you still need solid support. When you opt for a hybrid mattress for side sleepers, you get a little more leeway.
Effects of Side Positioning to your Sleep
Side sleepers are often prone to back and side pain. A side sleeper puts all of their body weight on the side of their body, so if you like sleeping on your side, you need to invest more in their sleep health, and getting a comfortable mattress for side sleepers is a good start. Here's some of the effects that side sleepers often have to deal with.
Being side sleepers may mean experiencing aches and pains in your hips and shoulders, if you do not have the proper mattress support. That is why it is important to go with a mattress for side sleepers that is both soft and supportive, and will cushion your shoulders and hips. You need to have a great pillow as well and it is recommended you sleep with a pillow between your lower legs.
Less Acid Reflux
It has been a proven study that sleeping on your left side helps to reduce acid reflux symptoms. If you have suffered from acid reflux, or are prone to occasional heartburn, sleeping on your left side will greatly help your symptoms. This is actually a good thing for side sleepers, since side sleepers will have an advantage in fighting acid reflux.
Side sleepers are also much less likely to deal with snoring. If you are a snorer, or live with a snorer, you have probably heard the recommendation of rolling to the side to stop snoring. Your left side is also more beneficial when it comes to stopping snoring. Side sleepers may often experience less snoring overall.
Less Sleep Apnea
Sleep deprivation and snoring both are caused by problems with your airway. Being side sleepers and sleeping on a mattress for side sleepers opens up your airways more, allowing better breathing. If you suffer from sleep disorder, this sleeping position will better help you to prevent attacks.
Better Heart Health
Studies have also indicated that those who sleep on their side have better heart health. This is possibly due to the greater access of air and the alignment of your body. Side sleepers actually get a good benefit from their sleep style, but if you're not one of the side sleepers already, there are some benefits to trying to sleep that way.
How to Choose the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
To help ensure you get the best night’s sleep as side sleepers, you need to make sure your mattress for side sleepers meets certain specifications.
- Best mattress for stomach sleepers
- Best mattress for back sleepers
- Best hybrid mattress for side sleepers
You want to choose something that will provide you with both a long- term return on your investment, and will avoid harmful items. It is recommended that side sleepers avoid an innerspring mattress for side sleepers, and aim more towards high quality memory foam. This will avoid poking and unnecessary complications. Memory foam has come a long way since it started. Most memory foam mattresses today aren't actually memory foam, they're a hybrid memory foam that makes improvements. With a proprietary memory foam alternative, instead of traditional memory foam, you eliminate some of the feeling of being trapped, and excess body heat retention that memory foam is known for.
When it comes to the side sleeping position and finding the best mattresses for side sleepers, you want to pay attention to the firmness of your mattress, regardless of if it's a hybrid or a traditional innerspring mattress for side sleepers. So, what mattress firmness is suitable for side sleepers? Aside from innerspring mattresses, avoid going with a firm or an ultra firm mattress that will give you very little support and cushioning for your pressure points. You need to choose softer mattresses for side sleepers that will provide more cushioning and reduce stress on your pressure points, including your shoulders and hips, cradle your body and contour to your frame. That way, you'll be able to enjoy an excellent spine alignment. Do not go for extremely soft mattresses though, or you can end up with more aches and shoulder pain from poor alignment. Keep in mind that you should always consider your body weight before choosing a specific hybrid firmness medium firm mattress level. Generally, side sleepers who weigh below 130 pounds need a softer mattress than those weighing above 230 pounds who find comfort in firmer mattresses. If you're a heavy weight, you'll be better off buying the firm version of side sleepers saatva mattress.
Pressure relief is absolutely key when it comes to side sleeping and finding the best mattress for side sleepers. If you prefer sleeping on your side, you need to look for something that contours to your body to provide proper spine alignment, while providing relief at pressure points. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that you only opt for firmer mattresses. It's no secret that side sleepers often suffer from hip pain, back pain as well as pain in the neck and shoulders. As a side sleeper, it's best to go for hybrid or latex mattresses that feature memory foam layers. Looking for the right mattress for side sleepers will provide proper spine alignment to prevent shoulder pain, hip pain, and back pain in general while cradling the more sensitive areas like hips and shoulders.
Heat regulation is important because you want to find a mattress that does not absorb heat for side sleeping. Unfortunately, a lot of memory foam mattresses trap heat. To tackle this issue, you need to look for materials like cooling gel or breathable foam to help keep you from overheating while sleeping on your side.
Sleep Trial Period
The sleep trial period is important when purchasing a mattress for side sleeping because it allows you to really get a sense of whether or not the mattress will be right for you. Look for a sleep trial period that is at least thirty days long and remember, the longer the sleep trial, the better.
Don’t settle for another poor night’s sleep again if you're prone to side sleeping. By choosing the best mattress for side sleepers, you can get a great night’s sleep and get the pressure relief and ample support your pressure points need. As side sleepers, we tend to have more pressure on our shoulders and hips so getting a medium firm mattress that can deliver the right support will be good for you. The best mattresses for side sleeping will help relieve hip and back pain. The best mattresses for side sleepers can either be a hybrid or memory foam.
Courtney is the reason The Sleep Shop exists. She’s a Seattle native with a passion for healthy sleep. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a major in marketing. She started The Sleep Shop to help friends and family choose a good mattress, and helped grow the site to what it is today. She does most of the product testing and reviews.