Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
What makes the best mattress for side sleepers? Being side sleepers ourselves, we can personally attest to firmness, support and pelvic rotation all being factors in determining the best mattress. Side sleepers can suffer from back, neck and hip pain but tend to have better air flow and snore less than back sleepers.
In this guide we outline what the criteria are for choosing the best mattress for side sleepers and give our recommendations for which mattresses we like the best.
FAQ: Read about our overall favorite picks (of which all our side sleeper choices are present) in our Top 10 Best Mattresses of 2017 Guide
Best Mattress For Side Sleepers Factors
Firmness is a very important factor. A mattress that is soft to moderate on the firmness scale is going to the best option for side sleepers. In order to provide the proper support that side sleepers need, the mattress must be able to conform to and contour the curves of your body. A soft or medium firm mattress allows your body to sink into the mattress a little bit more than one that’s very firm which helps it to hug your body. This ability to conform and contour to your body’s shape will alleviate pressure on your neck and back as well.
Support is the other important factor in choosing the best mattress for side sleepers. As a side sleeper, your spine may be misaligned due to this sleeping position. A mattress with the best support is going to relieve pressure points throughout your body and keep the spine, neck and back in alignment.
Be sure to understand that a softer mattress on the firmness scale can still provide great support because this type of support is not relative to a mattress being firm or soft. When shopping for the best mattress for side sleepers, you want to look for a mattress that contours to the shape of your body. Memory foam mattresses are especially advantageous for side sleepers due to the ability of the foam to contour to your body and provide support and alignment to the spine. We should note that a side sleeper’s body position can change drastically even during one nights sleep. Some popular positions are:
- The Fetal – both legs are curled at the knee and your spine curved like in a fetal position
- The Log – both legs are fully extended with the spine straight
- The Sprinter – one leg is straight, one leg is bent and the spine can be curved or straight
Due to a side sleepers’ varying positions on a nightly basis, mattress support is crucial in providing your body the contouring it needs throughout the night.
Pelvic rotation is the result of misalignment of the back muscles and lumbar spine. When you sleep and twist or curl your legs up in the opposite position to your upper body, you cause pelvic rotation.
You can do a few things to help with pelvic rotation, such as sleeping in a side position that keeps your spine in alignment and using a pillow between your legs to maintain spinal alignment.
Choosing the proper mattress such can help prevent pressure points that may cause you to adjust your sleep position during the night which causes pelvic rotation.
The Best Type of Mattress for Side Sleepers
We recommend that for side sleepers, you choose a mattress that has:
- Great support
- A soft to moderate firm feel (4-6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, where 10 is the most firm)
- Enough support to prevent or limit pelvic rotation
- Good contour to the natural curves of your body on its side
- Breathability and cooling features
Our Top 4 Recommendations for the Best Mattress For Side Sleepers
These mattresses are some of our favorites for side sleeping. While not an exhaustive list, they are the best of the ones we have tested as we are side sleepers ourselves.
1. Tomorrow Sleep
($990 for a Queen mattress, click here to save $125 on a Tomorrow Sleep – use code MFT125 )
The Tomorrow Sleep mattress is our top pick for side sleepers many reasons. Even though it only comes in at 10″, the Tomorrow Sleep’s combination of memory foam and pocketed coils does a great job at providing the comfort and support needed for side sleeping.
The Tomorrow Sleep provides that classic memory foam hug and body contouring feel while at the same time providing excellent support for your body when sleeping. The top comfort layers provide enough give for side sleepers to sink down into the mattress and cradle your body, while the underlying pocketed coils provide the necessary support needed so you don’t sink down too much and end up with improper spine misalignment and the associated pain and discomfort that goes along with that.
The Tomorrow Sleep mattress comes in two firmness options – a Medium Soft model, and Medium Firm model – both of which provide the same excellent support layers but differ in the degree of softness in the upper comfort layers. Both are great for side sleepers, however, and as side sleepers we can attest to that.
At $865 for a queen mattress (including our $125 exclusive discount you can get using code MFT125), this level of quality and comfort is hard to beat for a hybrid mattress.
Get the full Tomorrow Sleep review here
2. Loom & Leaf
The Loom and Leaf is an excellent choice for side sleepers for a variety of reasons. This 12″ thick mattress is made up of 5 different layers of high quality foams and other materials including medical grade cooling gel in the comfort layer.
This mattress is one of the best mattresses for side sleepers due to the exceptional comfort and support, as well as the classic memory foam feel of hugging and contouring the body during sleep. The Loom and Leaf doesn’t make you feel like you are sinking into foam like other mattresses, however, which is something that other lower quality mattresses in this price range can’t promise.
The Loom & Leaf is available in two different firmness models, a Relaxed Firm, which we rate as a 5-6 out of 10 (10 being firmest), and the Firm model, which we rate at an 8 out of 10. The Relaxed Firm model provides enough softness for comfortable sleeping on your side, while at the same time providing excellent support for the spine and body.
For side sleepers, the Relaxed Firm is the best option in our experience sleeping on this mattress for a long period of time as our personal “go-to” mattress. At $1099, the quality and comfort are hard to beat.
Get the full Loom & Leaf review
3. Layla Sleep
($899 for a Queen mattress, click here and use code MFT100 to save $100 on a Layla)
The Layla is another great mattress for side sleepers and is unique in that you can customize the firmness of the bed flipping it over – going from around a 5-6 on the firmness scale (10 being firmest) on the medium side to an 8 out of 10 on the Firm side.
The softer side of the Layla is great for side sleepers as it allows enough cushion to support hips and shoulders when sleeping on your side. The Layla is also a classic memory foam mattress that utilizes copper infused memory foam as well as ThermoGEL in the mattress cover which helps regulate body temperature which provides a cooler sleep.
This is a great mattress with great sleep technology including the copper foam and flippable firmness feature. It provides great support and comfort and is one of the best mattress choices if you are a side sleeper.
Get the full Layla mattress review here
4. Nectar Sleep
($795 for a Queen mattress. Click here to save $125 and get 2 pillows using our code: MFT125)
If you are a side sleeper and want a comfortable yet supportive mattress that won’t break the bank, the Nectar Sleep mattress is a great choice. You can get this luxury mattress for a very affordable price, especially with our $125 off coupon.
The Nectar is made up of 4 layers of foam and with a Tencel top cover that keeps your sleeping area breathable, cool, and bug-resistant. It uses semi-open LUSH foam that gives your mattress that extra softness, loft, and breathability as it does a great job in heat absorption and redistribution.
This mattress has that perfect firmness which provides the right contour and support for side sleepers as well as back and stomach sleepers. This combined with their 365 night sleep trial, forever warranty, and low price given the high quality materials, makes Nectar one of our top picks for best mattress for side sleepers.
Get the full Nectar mattress review