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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Most modern mattress designs are adapted to a variety of sleepers, catering to their weight, size, and sleeping preferences. Side sleepers are one of the most common sleeper groups, outnumbering back and stomach sleepers. Side sleeping is one of the most natural sleeping positions and ensures a good spinal alignment during sleep. However, it can place a lot of strain on your shoulders and hips – that is, if your mattress is inadequate.

Side sleepers often suffer from backaches and tense muscles – not knowing that the reason for their discomfort lies in their mattress. The ideal mattress for a side sleeper should have a specific level of firmness- not too firm as to put pressure on key points, and not too soft as to lack support- and it can be tricky finding just the right match.

Rank Product Highlights
#1 Leesa Luxury-Premium

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  • Size choices: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Height: 11”
  • Feel: Medium
#2 Signature Design by Ashley Chime Hybrid 

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  • Size choices: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Height: 12”
  • Feel: Medium Firm
#3 Linenspa Hybrid Mattress 10inch 

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  • Size choices: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Short Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Hybrid Design
  • Height: 8”, 10”, or 12”
  • Feel: Medium Firm, Medium, or Plush
#4 Lucid 10inch 2020 Gel Memory Foam 

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  • Size choices: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Short Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Height: 10”
  • Feel: Medium
#5 Classic Brands Cool Gel 2.0 Chill

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  • Size choices: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Height: 14”
  • Feel: Medium
#6 Zinus Cloud 12inch Memory Foam

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  • Size choices: Twin, Full, Queen, King 
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Height: 8”, 10”, 12”
  • Feel: Extra Plush

What is the Ideal Firmness of a Mattress for Side Sleepers?

There are a few important features a mattress needs to have in order to cater to the needs of side sleepers. Support and stability are certainly very important factors: your body needs to have a stable base on which to rest, with supportive properties that make sure that your spine is properly aligned and retains its natural curvature throughout the night. That is why you should always consider the core part of the mattress before delving into its other layers that determine the comfort factor: whether it is a strong and dense foam core or a base of coil springs, a sturdy core will have a significant impact on your quality of sleep.

But, despite the responsiveness and the sturdiness of the core, firmness levels are really what determines if a mattress will be comfy and accommodating for a certain sleeping position. The same as a stomach sleeper needs a firm mattress to prevent sinking, a side sleeper needs the mattress to take into account the different pressure points that are common for this position.

In the side sleeping position, there are multiple pressure points along the side of your body, but the key ones are the shoulder and hip areas. A mattress that is too firm will put extra pressure on those two points and in turn, cause the misalignment of the spine, and the resulting chronic back, shoulder, and/or hip pain. This why plush and medium levels of firmness will be the best possible solution for a person sleeping on their side. A plush firmness level allows your body to sink in the mattress (but not overly so) to help retain a healthy sleeping posture and get pressure relief for those key pressure points. A plush side sleeper mattress will allow you to sleep on your side without feeling uncomfortable or feeling the pressure of the surface on your hip, shoulder, and arm.

However, if you are a plus size sleeper or a combination sleeper (a person that switches sleeping positions throughout the night but favors side sleeping), a slightly different set of rules applies. As is the case with all side sleepers, you can’t sleep on a mattress that is firm, but the additional weight or additional sleeping position does require more firmness than expected. In this case, go for a medium or medium/firm level. A mattress that is too soft can cause you to sink too deep due to extra weight and cause further discomfort and pressure- the same goes for those instances when you change the sleeping position between side to back or stomach.

 

6 Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

1. Leesa Luxury-Premium Mattress

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  • Size choices: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Height: 11”
  • Feel: Medium

Label: editor’s choice

With an advanced and innovative hybrid design, this mattress combines the reliability of coil springs and the comfort of memory foam into a single product, resulting in a mattress that combines the best of both worlds. To ensure equal weight distribution and ample support for any body type, this mattress features an innerspring core. Over 1000 individually wrapped pocket springs will make you feel like you are sleeping on a cloud but also make sure that your back is in the proper alignment for healthy, pain-free sleep. 

The coil base is topped off with several layers of memory foam, including a cooling gel layer to prevent overheating. The memory foam will adapt to your body and eliminate the pressure on the shoulders and hips, allowing your spine to retain its natural curvature. This is why this mattress is the ideal choice for side sleepers- it is both supportive and comfy to sleep on. 

Pros Cons
  • Over 1,000 individually wrapped pocket coils
  • Multiple layers of memory foam for ultimate comfort
  • Cooling memory foam for temperature regulation
  • Great edge to edge support
  • Suited for plus-size sleepers
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Made in the USA
  • Can be too firm for some

Who Should Buy This Product?

This premium hybrid mattress for a side sleeper is made to offer both comfort and support to people that sleep on their side: the sturdy yet adaptive innerspring core will make sure that your body keeps its natural sleeping position while the layers of comfort memory foam relieve pressure and contour your body.

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2. Signature Design by Ashley Chime Hybrid Mattress

SPECS:

  • Size choices: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Height: 12”
  • Feel: Medium Firm

Label: runner up

This hybrid mattress for side sleepers doesn’t just boast a wealth of features that side sleepers could really benefit from but it is also budget-friendly. At the core of this mattress is a dense network of 360 individually wrapped power packed wrapped coils, each one moving independently and allowing for absolute support for your back and unparalleled bouncy, responsive feel. And not only that: the weight distribution is perfected due to the optimal design and construction, with minimal motion transfer across the surface which ensures peaceful sleep for both you and your partner. 

The coils are cushioned with 3 layers of foam that will give side sleepers comfort and relieve pressure by contouring to their body perfectly. The addition of gel-infused memory foam at the top is also a great touch as it ensures that the bed will keep its coolness- no trapping heat or night sweats.

Pros Cons
  • Size choices: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Height: 12”
  • Feel: Medium Firm
  • Chemical smell initially

Who Should Buy This Product?

You don’t have to break the bank to find a quality mattress for side sleepers: this hybrid mattress will contour your body and minimize motion transfer, making it a great choice for couples and singles alike. 

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3. Linenspa Hybrid Mattress 10”

SPECS:

  • Size choices: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Short Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Hybrid Design
  • Height: 8”, 10”, or 12”
  • Feel: Medium Firm, Medium, or Plush

Label: customer’s choice

If you are looking for a mid-way solution that will be a reliable choice for all types of sleepers (aka for you and your partner both), this straightforward but effective design might be just the thing. With a combination that uses both a sturdy innerspring core and memory foam cushioning, this mattress truly gives you the best of both worlds – support and ergonomics. And for side sleepers, this combo is crucial. At the base of this mattress is the core of the design in every sense of the word: a wide layer of tempered steel coils. This innerspring system is perfect for distributing your weight (and your partner’s) evenly and offering the ideal amount of support. It also works perfectly to reduce the pressure on your back and joints. 

The coils are then followed with a thick layer of dense memory foam and a surface layer of comfort foam – they both work together to make you feel comfortable and to sleep on a soft, enfolding surface without feeling the springs below. The top layer of foam is also gel-infused to help with temperature regulation.

Who Should Buy This Product?

Adaptable, affordable, and above all- comfortable, this hybrid mattress will be a great choice for side sleepers on a budget. The cushioning foam layers will relieve pressure and ensure comfort, whereas the sturdy coil base is there to support every body type.

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4. Lucid 10” 2020 Gel Memory Foam Mattress

SPECS:

  • Size choices: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Short Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Height: 10”
  • Feel: Medium

Label: best mattress for side sleeper with back pain

Finding the perfect mattress for your unique side sleeping position can often be a challenge- add to that the fact that you already have issues with back pain, and the search for the perfect mattress for side sleeper becomes even more complex. Luckily, this memory foam mattress is designed for back pain sufferers that sleep on their side as it is both supportive and has pain-relieving and pressure-relieving properties. Foam is the main focus of this design: at the mattress’ base is a 5.5” thick layer of dense bamboo charcoal infused support foam. This is followed by a 1.5” layer of transition foam, and topped off with a comfy, ergonomic layer of 3” of gel-infused foam. 

The latter is not only perfect for adapting to your body and sleeping position but also helps regulate temperature. Gel infusion works great to disperse heat and to keep you cool and comfy even in the hottest months of the year. The medium-firm feel and the perfect combination between a supportive base and a nice thickness memory foam surface layer make this a fantastic solution for side sleepers, even if they are already used to waking up sore and tense.

Pros Cons
  • Relieves pressure points and tension
  • Helps you retain natural spine curvature as a side sleeper
  • Can reduce or eliminate back pain
  • Varying firmness levels available
  • Gel-infused foam layer for temperature regulation
  • CertiPUR US certified
  • Doesn’t always fully expand

Who Should Buy This Product?

If you have chronic back pain due to an inadequate mattress, this memory foam side sleeper mattress will be a great way to get rid of the pain and stiffness. Pressure-relieving and body-contouring it will adapt to your sleeping position and help minimize the stress on your body for pain-free sleep.

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5. Classic Brands Cool Gel 2.0 Chill

SPECS:

  • Size choices: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Height: 14”
  • Feel: Medium

Label: best side sleeper mattress for hot sleepers

Most recommended mattresses for side sleepers include memory foam, at least in some parts, as it has properties that make it ideally suited for this particular position, but memory foam comes with one significant downside: it tends to trap heat. And if you are a hot sleeper, this will be a deal-breaker. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you either have to give up on body-contouring comfort or learn to live with a bed that’s too hot: this cooling memory foam mattress for side sleepers is the perfect compromise. 

The multi-layered design allows the mattress to keep the benefits of memory foam but with the added advantage of better temperature regulation. At the base is a supportive high-density foam layer for increased stability and great back support. But the real gem of this design is the special Cool Gel technology which regulates temperature and keeps you cool and comfy, all the while providing an ergonomic sleeping surface- it is used for both the contouring poly foam layer and the memory foam one. This ideal combination works well for all side sleepers, but especially for those who prefer a cooler sleeping surface.

Pros Cons
  • Cool Gel 2.0 design perfect for hot sleepers
  • Memory foam contours your body
  • Pressure relief
  • Orthopedic support
  • Suits adjustable beds
  • Low motion transfer
  • CertiPUR-US Certified
  • Poor edge support

Who Should Buy This Product?

This advanced mattress design boasts a unique Cool Gel 2.0 technology, which allows you to experience the benefits of memory foam while still sleeping on a cooling surface. Ideal for side sleepers that are also hot sleepers!

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6. Zinus Cloud 12” Memory Foam Mattress

SPECS:

  • Size choices: Twin, Full, Queen, King 
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Height: 8”, 10”, 12”
  • Feel: Extra Plush

Label: best mattress for side sleeper with shoulder pain

When it comes to sleeping, most people find that if their mattress doesn’t meet the standards, it’s their shoulders (and the arm) that feel the worst when they wake up as most of the pressure is centered around the shoulder region. If you are amongst those side sleepers that experience pain in the hips and shoulders, this mattress will be a great choice. Its main feature is the special Cloud design, which really places an emphasis on comfort and an extra plush feel- or in other words, it will really make you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. To achieve this, the design uses 5 layers of foam. 

This creates a balanced ratio between adaptive memory foam and high-density support layers will give your back the needed support without the surface becoming too firm – a potential issue that side sleepers are well aware of and the primary reason why they experience shoulder pain.

Pros Cons
  • Good for people with hip and shoulder pain
  • Relieves pressure
  • Conforms to your body shape
  • Green-tea infused for odor-neutralization
  • Available in different profiles
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Poor edge support
  • Can get hot

Who Should Buy This Product?

For those side sleepers that suffer from shoulder pain and tension, this adaptive, body-contouring memory foam mattress is the optimal option: not only it will feel comfortable to sleep on, but it will also remove pressure on those key stress points, such as hips and shoulders.

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Bottom Line

Everyone has their own sleeping style- and should have a mattress to match it. For side sleepers, a mattress that is neither too firm nor too soft is the optimal choice: this “goldilocks” zone of firmness levels will give you both the comfort and support you need to retain natural curvature of the spine and relieve pressure on the key stress points of the body.