Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
What makes a great mattress for people who sleep on their side? Being side sleepers ourselves, we can personally attest to firmness, support and pelvic rotation all being factors that should be considered.
In this guide we outline what the criteria are for choosing the right model for side sleeping and give our recommendations for the products we like the best. Last updated
FAQ: Read about our overall favorite picks (of which all our side sleeper choices are present) in our Top 10 Best Mattresses Guide
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Factors to Consider
Firmness is a very important factor. A model that is soft to moderate on the firmness scale is going to be the best option. In order to provide the proper support that you need, it must be able to conform to and contour the curves of your body.
A soft or medium firmness allows your body to sink 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 is excellent for pressure relief on your neck and back as well.
Support is the other important factor that you should consider. Your spine may be misaligned due to your 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 option on the firmness scale can still provide great support because this type of support is not relative to a firmness level. If you sleep mostly on your side, you want to look for a model that contours to the shape of your body.
Memory foam mattresses are especially advantageous for side sleeping compared to innerspring models due to the ability of the foam to contour to your body and provide support and alignment to the spine. We should note that your 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 varying sleeping positions on a nightly basis, the proper 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.
This can lead to or worsen any lower back and neck pain so it is important to choose the right model to prevent this.
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 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 you choose a product 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 5 Recommendations for Side Sleeping
These models 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. Layla Sleep
($849 for a Queen size, click here to save $150 on a Layla mattress!)
The Layla is another great option and is unique in that you can customize the firmness of the bed simply by 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 option that utilizes copper infused memory foam as well as ThermoGEL in the cover which helps regulate body temperature which provides a cooler sleep.
This is a great option with great sleep technology including the copper foam and flippable firmness feature. It provides great support and comfort and is one of the best choices if you are a side sleeper.
Get the full Layla review here.
2. Nectar Sleep
($799 for a Queen size. Click here for the best price on a Nectar!)
If you are a side sleeper and want a comfortable yet supportive sleeping solution that won’t break the bank, the Nectar Sleep is a great choice. You can get this luxury product for a very affordable price.
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 that extra softness, loft, and breathability as it does a great job in heat absorption and redistribution.
It 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 this category of mattresses.
Get the full Nectar review.
3. Leesa Original
($995 for a Queen size. Click here to get the best price on the IDLE Gel Plush mattress!)
The Leesa Original is considered to be one of the most comfortable mattresses available on today’s market. It is a 10″ all-foam mattress that combines various layers of special foams for improved pressure relief, cooling and support.
The unique design of this mattress, combined with the special foams used in its construction does a good job of providing extraordinary pressure-relieving support as well as a comfortable night’s sleep.
It contours to every body curve to provide the feeling of floating on air while at the same time it quickly responds and adapts to pressure and provides support to those body areas where it is needed most. All these features make it perfect for side sleepers.
It is unlike any other 10″ all foam mattress currently present on the online mattress market; it sleeps fairly cool, and does an excellent job of minimizing the amount of sinkage and motion transfer.
Get the full Leesa Original mattress review.
($650 for a Queen. Click here to get $50 off the Bear mattress with our code: TALK50!)
The 10-inch Bear mattress is an exciting new all foam mattress, specially designed to meet the needs of athletes and those with an active lifestyle.
It focuses on cooling and muscle recovery by using a combination of various foams and Celliant in the cover to help regulate and convert body heat into infrared light.
Its medium firm support and perfect blend of eco-friendly specialty foams, made of the highest-quality responsive materials relieve pain and inflammation, improve blood circulation and allow you to enjoy ultimate relaxation, comfort, and muscle recovery.
All these features make the Bear mattress perfect for those suffering from arthritis, hip pain, and other similar conditions. It does an excellent job at alleviating hip pain while being a very comfortable mattress overall.
Get the full Bear mattress review.
5. Brentwood Home Oceano
($1495 for a Queen size. Click here to save 15% on a Brentwood Home Oceano by using code: MFT15)
The Brentwood Home Oceano is a luxury foam / coil hybrid mattress in Brentwood Home’s premium mattress line. It is a 14″ latex, micro coil, and foam hybrid with a very nice stretch-knit exterior cover made of soft plant-based Tencel that is softer than silk and more breatheable than linen.
A soft 4-way stretch cover allows you to get the full benefits of the memory foam comfort layer, and the light fabric sleeps cooler than cotton, polyester, or any other synthetic material.
The mattress is both comfortable and supportive. Its tufted soft Tencel cover provides a really comfortable sleeping surface, and the top comfort layer of gel memory foam combined with the layer of micro coils provides a very supple and comfortable top layer to the mattress.
The micro-coil construction and gel memory foam layers work together to provide a high degree of bounce and responsiveness and the nice thick 14″ design really does a good job of supporting heavier sleepers.
Get the full Brentwood Home Oceano review.