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The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers in 2022

We've rounded up the best mattresses for side sleepers according to sleep experts, with options for every budget and sleep need.
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We can’t choose what sleep position feels most comfortable instinctively, but we can choose a mattress that best supports our natural sleep position. For side sleepers, your style can come with a variety of benefits. When done correctly, sleeping on your side can have a slew of benefits—some research even suggests your brain clears out waste better when you sleep in this position. But without the right mattress, side sleepers struggle to get restorative sleep. If your mattress is too firm, it can put undue pressure on the shoulders and hips. If it’s too soft, it can leave you lacking appropriate support. What’s a side sleeper to do? Well, our testing team has researched the latest sleep developments to help you find your perfect mattress match. A perfect bed for side sleepers promotes spinal alignment, neutralizes tension at pressure points and—and this is most important—feels good. This guide helps you to find the mattress that’s a fit in all ways. 

Our picks for the best mattress for side sleepers:

Editor’s Pick: Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix midnight mattress
  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm

Who it's best for:

● Hot sleepers: The Helix Midnight offers two cover options for keeping hot sleepers cool all through the night.

● Couples: Because the mattress offers not-too-firm but not-too-soft qualities, couples with different preferences will both get their way.

Who it’s not best for:

● Budget shoppers: This quality mattress does come with a high price point ($1,949 for a Queen).

Overall, we think the Helix Midnight Luxe is the best bet for the majority of side sleepers. We found this mattress hit the mark in terms of firmness, as a crowd pleasing medium-firm bed. And because it scored high in both resistance and motion isolation, couples can rest easy on this choice—and not worry about waking the other by tossing and turning.

The Midnight Luxe uses luxury memory foam to alleviate pressure on hips and shoulders as you sleep. The bed’s zoned lumbar support cushions and protects the lower back, a highlight for side sleepers who are vulnerable to slipping out of alignment. There’s also a quilted pillow top with options for both hot and cold sleepers.

ProsCons

It’s a medium-firm mattress everyone can agree on.

It’s a little pricey for the average buyer.

Memory foam material relieves pressure points.

Cooling pillow top covers keep even the hottest sleepers comfortable.

Helix Midnight Mattress ($1,199 for a Queen, helixsleep.com)

Best Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers: Brooklyn Bedding Aurora

Brooklyn aurora mattress
  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft to medium-firm

Who it’s best for:

● Hot sleepers: The top layer of this mattress is made from a material designed to keep the surface of your skin cool and our testers confirmed the Brooklyn Aurora succeeded in this area.

● Anyone experiencing back pain: The top layer of memory foam provides contouring to relieve pressure points, including soothing an aching back.

Who it’s not best for:

● Couples: The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora doesn’t have the strongest edge support, so if you’re sharing this bed with anyone else, this may not be the mattress for you. (Edge support is defined by how supportive a mattress is from end to end—not just in the middle. For example, mattresses with strong edge support will feel supportive when you sit on the side of the bed.)

● Stomach sleepers: This mattress may be too soft to keep the hips aligned at night for those who sleep on their stomach.

Some of us are just naturally hot sleepers. If you find yourself restless in the heat of the night or are waking up sweaty, there’s more you can do than kick off the covers: Find a cooling mattress.

The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora mattress keeps sleepers cool using unique temperature-regulating technology. At high temperatures, the mattress’s cooling gel beads liquefy to cool you down. On cold nights, those same beads solidify to keep you warm and snug. This might sound like a lot of technical components, but the bottom line is: Our testers found this mattress to sleep exceptionally cool. We especially noted the cooling cover, which felt cool to the touch and stayed that way as testers moved around on the bed.

While many mattresses feature foam, our testers noted that the Brooklyn Bedding’s patented foam top layer was especially adept at contouring to the body. The Aurora comes in three options—soft, medium and firm—so you can name your preference.

ProsCons

The cooling top layer keeps skin regulated at a temperature ideal for sleep.

For loyal memory foam sleepers, this mattress may not give the hugging sensation they expect.

For couples, the impressive motion isolation means your tossing and turning won’t interrupt your co-sleeper. 

This mattress also comes at a higher price point.

This mattress does an excellent job of keeping the spine aligned.

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Mattress ($1,874 for a Queen, brooklynbedding.com)

Best Value Mattress for Side Sleepers: Nectar

Nectar mattress
  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm

Who it’s best for:

● Hot sleepers: For people who get overheated in the middle of night, foam mattresses typically exacerbate that problem. This one features a cover made of polyethylene, which is an especially breathable material that testers found stayed cool to the touch.

● Couples: Superior motion isolation means never having to apologize for tossing and turning.

● People on a budget: The Nectar is a quality mattress at an affordable $899.

Who it’s not best for:

● People who love a bouncy mattress: The Nectar is supportive, but it doesn’t have the bounce of a traditional spring mattress.

● Heavyweight sleepers: This mattress may not offer enough firmness or support for larger-sized sleepers.

Side sleepers on a budget can still get the same pressure relief and comfort in the affordable Nectar mattress. The quilted cover is heat-wicking to keep warm sleepers comfortable. Our testers also found the layer of memory foam did a nice job of hugging hips and shoulders, which delivered solid pressure relief in the side sleeping position. A plus for eco-minded shoppers, Necta’s mattresses are carbon neutral since January 20222.

ProsCons

The quilted cover with heat-wicking technology keeps hot sleepers cool.

Couples or anyone who gets pushed to the edge of the bed (looking at you, dog parents) should be aware that the Nectar doesn’t rank high in edge support. 

Along with an affordable price point, Nectar offers free shipping and a one-year trial period.

Some customers reported problems with shipping, including changing dates and late arrivals.

The Nectar mattress has motion isolation properties that allow people who sleep with a partner or pet to get undisrupted rest.

Nectar Mattress ($899 for a Queen, nectarsleep.com)

Best Innerspring Mattress for Side Sleepers: Saatva Classic

Saatva classic mattress
  • Mattress type: Innerspring
  • Firmness: Plush soft, luxury firm and firm

Who it’s best for:

● Anyone experiencing back pain: The Saatva Classic is a supportive mattress designed to reduce aches and pains in key places, especially the lower back.

● Heavyweight sleepers: This sturdy mattress is well-equipped to comfort and support larger sized individuals.

Who it’s not best for:

● Budget shoppers: This quality mattress does come with a high price point.

● Couples: This mattress is not ideal for people who may toss and turn at night.

While many mattress companies are going the memory foam route, some sleepers still enjoy the bouncy and supportive feel of an innerspring mattress. The Saatva Classic mattress is just that, but the sleep technology for innerspring mattresses has come a long way since the beds you jumped on as a kid. This mattress has a plush pillow top that dissipates tension from pressure points, making it perfect for side sleepers. Plus, testers noted that the coil construction felt very sturdy beneath the pillow top and kept their spine in a neutral position while resting atop the mattress.

Saatva customers can choose between three levels of firmness: plush soft, firm and the most popular, luxury firm.

ProsCons

This is a sturdy mattress with lots of edge support.

This is a mattress you sleep on, not in, so those who love the hugging sensation of a memory foam mattress won’t find that in the Saatva.

It comes with a 180-day trial period and optional white glove delivery.

The luxury firm and firm options are probably too hard for side sleepers. They’ll want to check out the plush soft firmness.

The construction of the mattress provides a lot of pain relief, especially in the back.

Saatva Classic Mattress ($1,695 for a Queen, saatva.com)

Best Hybrid Mattress for Side Sleepers: Casper Hybrid

Casper hybrid mattress
  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium-firm

Who it’s best for:

● Anyone experiencing shoulder pain: The Casper mattress offers great support for pressure points and pain relief, especially in the shoulders.

● Memory foam lovers: If you love the feel of memory foam but need more support, this is probably your best option since it …..

Who it’s not best for:

● Budget shoppers: This quality mattress does come with a high price point.

● Heavyweight sleepers: Casper probably won’t offer enough support for heavier individuals.

Hybrid mattresses mix the best of both memory foam and innerspring beds into one. The Casper Hybrid is a strong contender for side sleepers because of the bed’s zoned support layers. According to our testers, these layers are unique because they actually help the mattress feel softer or firmer depending on what position you’re in. As a result, testers felt less tension in common problem areas like the hips and shoulders. Plus, the small layer of springs provides lift, support and air flow to keep your spine aligned and the bed cooler than an all-foam mattress.

Read more in our review of the Casper Original.

ProsCons

The mattress design helps alleviate pressure on key areas like the back, hips and shoulders.

The cooling technology isn’t as strong as you would see in a hybrid or innerspring mattress, meaning this may not be ideal for hot sleepers. 

Casper offers free shipping and returns.

The amazing edge support makes this a great bed for couples.

Casper Hybrid Mattress ($1,695 for a Queen, casper.com)

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Hip Pain: Puffy Original

Puffy original mattress
  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm

Who it’s best for:

● Anyone experiencing joint pain: The Puffy Original mattress offers outstanding support for pain relief, especially in the hips.

● Memory foam lovers: If you love memory foam, this option has that classic cloud-like feel.

● Couples: Soft memory foam support and motion isolation means you can toss and turn without disrupting your co-sleeper.

Who it’s not best for:

● Hot sleepers: Memory foam is typically the last choice for a hot sleeper and this one does retain heat, which raises the temperature.

● Budget shoppers: Puffy comes at a high price point.

If you’re a side sleeper with hip pain, you want a mattress that dissipates pressure so you can wake up without new aches and pains. The Puffy Original, aptly named for its soft feel, is well-suited to side sleepers, as it elevates the hips and balances body weight evenly.

The company also offers to ship your mattress directly to your door at no extra charge. If after 101 days you don’t love it, Puffy will pick up your return and offer a full refund.

ProsCons

The Puffy mattress has superior motion isolation so you can sleep easy, even if your co-sleeper shifts positions.

It comes with a new mattress smell known as off-gassing, which should clear up after a few hours.

Puffy provides a lifetime warranty on its mattresses and a 101-day risk free trial.

This mattress is very responsive, unlike other foam mattresses that can give you that stuck feeling.

Puffy Original Mattress ($1,799, puffy.com)

Best Mattress for Neck Pain: Bear Hybrid

Bear hybrid mattress
  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium-firm

Who it’s best for:

● Hot sleepers: The Bear Hybrid offers the plush feeling of memory foam with the cooling capabilities of coils, so it keeps you at a comfortable temperature even if you sleep warm.

● Toss and turners: If you are a combination sleeper who changes positions, this mattress responds to every move.

● People with back pain: The extra spinal support from this mattress keeps you aligned and relieves pain.

Who it’s not best for:

● Couples: The Bear didn’t test well when it comes to motion isolation, so you may feel movement from your co-sleeper’s side of the bed .

When you wake up with a stiff neck, it can ruin your entire day. And the Bear Hybrid is designed to make sleep restful and restorative (even earning it a spot on our round-up of the best mattresses for athletes). The quilted top is made of a unique material that Bear claims aids in muscle recovery. Our testers found that this material combined with the cooling gel and individually-wrapped coils created a cool surface for warmer sleepers. For back and stomach sleepers, testers found the Bear Hybrid aligned the spine well—an essential for addressing neck pain. However, some side sleepers may find this model too rigid, putting added stress on pressure points.

It’s worth nothing that this sturdy mattress is also built with extra strong edge support along the perimeter, so you can sleep or sit on the edge of the bed without causing the ends to collapse.

Eco-minded shoppers will like that the Bear mattress has GREENGUARD Gold Certification, meaning it uses less harsh chemicals for a cleaner sleep experience.

ProsCons

Bear offers a lifetime warranty on its mattresses.

It comes with that new mattress off-gassing smell, which should clear up after a few hours.

The Bear is a super responsive mattress that gently adapts to every movement, so you don’t feel stuck. 

The Bear didn’t test well in motion isolation, meaning your partner may feel every move you make through the night. 

With pocketed coils and cooling gel memory foam, this mattress will keep you at a comfortable temperature.

Bear Hybrid Mattress ($1,732 for a Queen, bearsleep.com)

How Do I Pick the Best Mattress for Me?

Mattress firmness

We all know mattress firmness is a personal preference. Both soft and firm mattresses can help or hurt you and no one firmness level is best for all side sleepers.

Mattresses are usually rated on a firmness scale of one to 10, where one is very soft and 10 is extremely firm. The most common mattresses are medium-soft or medium firm.

Side sleepers need to give special consideration to their joints and consider how cushioned their pressure points will be. It’s important to choose a bed that contours to the hips and shoulders and keeps the spine straight. This helps prevent and reduce aches and pains.

Body type

One important factor to consider when deciding on a mattress is your body type, which affects how firm a mattress feels to you. Heavier people press into the mattress more, which means they need a firmer mattress to get the right kind of support.

Smaller individuals (the industry categorizes “lightweight sleepers” as weighing less than 130 pounds) can typically go with a softer mattress. They’ll likely prefer a mattress with firmness levels ranging from two to five. A mattress on the firm side may not provide the pressure relief necessary for a side sleeper.

Average-weight sleepers (130 to 230 pounds) can move up the firmness scale. A mattress rating of four to six will best serve their hips and shoulders.

For heavyweight sleepers (over 230 pounds), their joints will be better supported by a harder mattress. They’ll want to shop for something in the six to eight firmness range. They may even be able to tolerate a nine 10, based on personal preferences.

Pressure relief

If you’re a long-time side sleeper, you may have experienced sensitivity or stress on the shoulders and hips. When shopping for a new mattress, the most important thing to look for is a bed that will contour to your joints. When you’re on your side for hours at a time, you won’t be putting continuous pressure on shoulders, hips and knees. Without the right support, you might find yourself waking up with pain that dissipates as the day wears on—a sign that your mattress isn’t working for you.

Typically side sleepers prefer the cushioning of a memory foam or latex mattress, however, those benefits can also be found in an innerspring mattress as well.

Shipping

Once you’ve finally clicked “purchase” on your new bed, you’ll be loath to spend another night on a suboptimal mattress. So take into account how long the estimated shipping time is, as some companies have mattresses on back order.

Just as important: Consider a company’s shipping policies. Some mattress brands offer free shipping. If you’re buying a mattress to soothe a back problem, you probably won’t want to have to drag your boxed mattress to your bedroom to set up yourself. Some companies such as Saatva include complimentary white glove delivery, where employees deliver and set up your bed for you.

Trial period

Some of the best mattress deals can be found online. There’s just one problem: You miss out on trying out the bed before making your purchase. If it’s important for you to take your new mattress for a test drive, you should ensure the company has a suitable trial and return policy.

Most online mattress brands offer a trial period for a certain number of days, sometimes up to a year, without penalty. Take advantage of these risk-free purchases so you don’t end up with long-term pain from side sleeping on the wrong bed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of mattress is best for side sleepers?

Side sleepers require significant pressure relief on hips, shoulders and knees. The key to this is finding the mattress firmness and material type that will contour to the shape of your body.

Many side sleepers like memory foam mattresses for this feature, but not everyone loves the feeling of sinking into bed. While memory foam can offer significant benefits for a side sleeper, they aren’t the only option.

Hybrid and latex mattresses offer pressure relief support while keeping your spine aligned all night. If you are a loyal innerspring mattress sleeper, there are still options in that category that also offer enough pressure relief.

Do side sleepers need a firm or soft mattress?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to preference. However, for pain relief, side sleepers tend to prefer a medium-soft to medium-firm mattress. The key is to provide relief on the joints in tandem with enough support to hold their shape and keep your spine aligned. A supportive mattress is the simplest way to avoid waking with pain.

How firm should a side sleeper’s mattress be?

One important thing to consider is your body type. Lightweight sleepers typically prefer a softer mattress while heavier sleepers will need a firmer mattress for extra support.

It will always come down to personal preference, but side sleepers will want the right mix of firm and soft. This provides pressure relief on joints while promoting spinal alignment.

What mattress is best for side sleepers with hip pain?

If your sleeping patterns are causing hip pain, it could be time to invest in a hybrid mattress. Innerspring coils increase support for proper spinal alignment, while the top layer gives pressure relief.

You can also look into a medium-firm foam mattress. Many side sleepers with hip pain also suggest placing a pillow between their knees to reduce pain, no matter what mattress you choose.

What mattress is best for side sleepers with shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain can occur when your mattress isn’t offering enough pressure relief. You want a mattress that gently cradles the shoulders instead of pushing against them.

Many people experiencing shoulder pain may be drawn to the cushiness of a softer mattress, but that’s not necessarily the right solution. In fact, the wrong soft mattress could increase your shoulder pain, by lacking the supportive properties of firmer beds. Instead, seek out a hybrid or foam mattress with the proper pressure relieving system.

What mattress is best for side sleepers with back pain?

When you curl into bed on your side, you can easily put your spine out of alignment, causing back pain. To alleviate discomfort, narrow your search down to beds that specifically offer lumbar support and take pressure off joints.

Hybrid mattresses are a great bet when it comes to pain relief. They offer the best of both worlds, because the innerspring coils provide individualized support for the pelvic and shoulder areas. At the same time, the top layer offers cushioning relief to your joints after a long day. Together, these integrated features can relax your joints and protect your back.

After I get the right mattress, what else can I do to improve my side sleeping?

If you’ve invested in a good mattress, you shouldn’t let a bad pillow be a barrier to pain-free sleep. Side sleepers typically need a pillow that rises to support the neck. A quality pillow molds to your shape and draws heat away from your face.

A tried-and-true method of many side sleepers is to place a pillow between the knees. This position aligns the hips and spine to keep your lower back happy.

While you can’t control how you shift in your sleep , you can at least start the night in a position that eliminates pain. Keep your arms at your side or in front of you instead under your pillow or above your head. This helps avoid pinched nerves and muscles in the morning.

Speaking of the morning, another way to reduce sleep-related pain is to start your day with a stretch. You don’t need to do a full yoga session—just a few easy moves to wake up your muscles and joints.

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.