Memory foam mattresses are the best type of mattress for side sleepers, as the foam comfortably compresses around shoulders, arms and hips. Memory foam mattresses are usually softer than spring mattresses, and the foam absorbs the energy from the tossing and turning side sleepers sometimes experience. However, there are many types of mattresses that can suit side sleepers, including spring and hybrid mattresses, in addition to memory foam mattresses.
What mattress firmness is best for side sleepers?
The recommended mattress firmness for side sleepers is soft to medium-soft. If you sleep on your side, you may find many traditional mattresses are too firm and cause your arms to go numb. A softer mattress will allow your arm and shoulder to sink in more and provide more pressure relief on those areas. If you find that soft mattresses don’t provide enough lower back support or proper spinal alignment, you can opt for medium firmness and consider a pillow-top for the added shoulder comfort.
What is the best mattress for side sleepers with lower back pain?
While softer mattresses are often recommended for side sleepers, those with back pain might require extra support. Some experts say medium firmness mattresses, especially those with memory foam, are the best bet for side sleepers with chronic back pain. Hybrid models can also provide additional support while eliminating pressure points on shoulders and hips.
Our favorite mattresses for side sleepers
To determine which mattresses were best for side sleepers we compared firmness, construction, materials, features, prices and reviews by real customers. This list features medium-firm mattresses that will allow enough give to support your shoulders and hips properly while you sleep.
Great for keeping cool Nest's Alexander Hybrid Mattress
Hybrid mattresses are the best of both worlds for side sleepers, providing the additional coil support of a traditional innerspring mattress with foam layers that help alleviate pressure points on shoulders and hips. Nest’s Alexander Signature Hybrid mattress features gel and copper infused foam, which pulls heat away from the body to provide a cooler night’s sleep than traditional foam mattresses and helps regulate your mattress’ temperature year round. Copper also contains antimicrobial properties, which means it prevents the growth of microorganisms, while pocketed support coils add extra edge support. For side sleepers, we recommend their plush or medium firmness.
Endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association, the Casper Wave mattress is one to look at if you’re seeking relief from chronic back pain. The Wave mattress consists of five layers, including memory foam, supportive gel and latex foam. The top layer is comprised of a “velvety soft” comfort foam, built as a longer-lasting and more resilient alternative to a pillow top. The Wave provides advanced support and comfort by way of their 33-point ergonomic support system, temperature regulation layers and premium foam materials. Casper offers free shipping and returns.
Our favorite for memory foam Chill by Cocoon by Sealy
Cocoon by Sealy’s Chill mattress is made with premium memory foam that adapts to your body, shape and sleeping position. Foams are engineered to be durable and resilient and are certified by the CertiPUR-US program. Some memory foam mattresses get hot, but Cocoon includes a stretch-knit cover that absorbs moisture and dissipates heat to help keep you cool at night. The mattress can be paired with a Cocoon foundation, or you can use a box spring, adjustable base, platform bed frame or a slatted bed frame. Side sleepers should select the medium-soft comfort level to provide pressure point cushioning.
Our pick for innerspring Saatva's Innerspring Mattress
Saatva is the only innerspring mattress to make our list and is built with coil-on-coil construction. Coil-on-coil mattresses are comprised of two layers of coil. For Saatva that means a steel support base and a top layer filled with individually wrapped coils that provide support as well as comfort. Although Saatva mattresses are considered traditional spring mattresses, they contain a layer of memory foam designed specifically for lumbar support. The mattress comes topped with a euro pillow top, which should help alleviate shoulder and hip pain commonly felt by side sleepers. The mattresses are compatible with adjustable bases, and the price includes free white-glove delivery and mattress removal.
Great for staying on budget Helix's Midnight Mattress
The Midnight line from Helix is designed with side sleeper support in mind. With a not-too-firm, not-too-soft feel, Helix’s memory foam pressure relief layer targets pressure points common to side sleepers. The Midnight mattresses are designed for increased airflow and breathability, with ergonomic support and cushioning designed to suit any body type. They include a layer of individually wrapped coils for edge support and reduced motion transfer – great for anyone who sleeps with a partner.
Our favorite eco-friendly pick Loom and Leaf’s Memory Foam Mattress
Loom and Leaf is Saatva’s line of memory foam mattresses. Built with five pounds of premium foam and a layer of cool gel, one of Loom and Leaf’s biggest benefits is its use of eco-friendly materials. The brand uses eco-friendly foam with reduced greenhouse gasses and no off-gassing odor (something memory foam mattresses are known for). Loom and Leaf’s green initiative goes deep with their flagship factory running on solar energy. If reducing your carbon footprint is important to you, Loom and Leaf has your back—whether you sleep on your back, stomach or side! The mattress is designed to contour to any sleeping position and support all body types.
Each of these mattresses brings something to the table for customers. High quality can come at a price, with four out of five of these mattresses coming in at over $1,000 before tax for a queen size. Helix provides a lower cost option as well as a middle-of-the-road design for those who want the best of both worlds, and both the Nest and Casper mattresses offer state of the art technology to improve sleep and reduce back pain.
Cocoon by Sealy
Loom and Leaf
Loom and Leaf
Ultimately, only you can decide which mattress is best for your specific side-sleeping style. Be sure to check out our mattress guide for tips on getting the best deals and finding exactly what’s right for you.
As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.
You’re signed up
We’ll start sending you the news you need delivered straight to you. We value your privacy. Unsubscribe easily.