Best Mattress for Side Sleepers 1

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There’s something really comfortable about curling up on your side, which, perhaps, explains why the vast majority of adults sleep this way. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 15 percent of adults sleep on their side with their legs outstretched, while another 41 percent sleep in the fetal position, with their back hunched and their legs bent. Side sleeping is particularly common among pregnant women, who might otherwise struggle to accommodate their growing baby bumps. With the right mattress, side sleeping can provide superior rest, all while improving circulation and preventing snoring.

Benefits of Side Sleeping

Side sleeping just feels natural. It just feels nice to curl up in the fetal position and drift off to sleep. For pregnant women, this position is particularly beneficial, as it prevents the fetus from pressing up against the liver. Side sleeping is also a good option for those who tend to snore. If the spine is kept elongated, this position can minimize sleep-associated neck and back pain. Some side sleepers also report fewer acid reflux symptoms, as compared to other positions. Side sleeping may also be the most beneficial for the brain; research from Stony Brook University indicates that lateral (side) sleepers are more effectively able to rid their brain of the waste that contributes to Alzheimer’s disease. This waste is discarded via the glymphatic pathway, which is most efficient at night, and especially while the body is in a lateral position.

Challenges Faced By Side Sleepers

Side sleeping can be incredibly comfortable, but there are a few notable drawbacks. When sleeping in a fetal position, breathing can be restricted. Those worried about the visual signs of aging tend to avoid side sleeping, as spending so many hours with the face crunched up on a pillow can lead to wrinkles. For side sleepers of all ages — but particularly those above the age of 50 — curling up in the fetal position can lead to soreness in the morning. This can be prevented to some extent by placing a pillow between the knees, but a supportive mattress is also important.

Best Mattresses For Side Sleepers

Side sleepers typically prefer a softer surface, as this allows them to sink into the mattress while they are curled up on their side. Ideally, a softer mattress will also accommodate the natural curve of the spine and maintain proper alignment throughout the night. Memory foam’s superior contouring makes it an especially wise option for side sleepers, who require as little pressure on the shoulders and hips as possible.

Best Overall Mattress for Side Sleepers

Tomorrow Sleep 

The Tomorrow Sleep mattress (medium soft) is an excellent choice for people that prefer a mostly foam mattress but still want a little bounce in their bed. The Tomorrow sleep is extremely well built, especially given it’s price point at $990 for a queen. This mattress is made with a base layer of pocket coils although the dense foam on the top layers gives you maximum contouring. I find it to be the best overall for side sleepers as you get all the contouring of foam and support that springs provide. It’s a side sleeper’s dream!

Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Side Sleepers

Get the full Tomorrow Sleep Review

Best Luxury Mattress for Side Sleepers: 

Brentwood Home Oceano

oceano mattress

The Oceano Mattress from Brentwood Home sells itself. The quality of materials and construction make it a thing of beauty and it feels as good as it looks. You get great hug with this mattress but also quick recovery due to its pocket coil base layer and a layer of micro coils on top of that. Throw in the the 2 inch gel foam layer, natural wool fire barrier and hand tufting and you have a mattress that sets the bar for quality at this price point. I have had the Oceano in the Sleep Sherpa showroom for the past 6 weeks and everyone gravitates to it. A large portion of  side sleepers end up purchasing it as well.

Get the full Oceano Mattress Review


Best Natural Mattress for Side Sleepers:

Zen Haven

zen haven

Saatva, the parent company of Zenhaven uses the revolutionary Talalay method to transform liquid latex into elastic layers for its Zenhaven mattresses. This method ensures an even mold, which, in turn, leads to superior contouring. Side sleepers with Zenhaven mattresses report a springier, more buoyant feel. The mattress accurately conforms to every curve of the body, thereby providing greater pressure relief. These minimal pressure points lead to improved circulation and blood flow — and a significant reduction in that aggravating pins and needles feeling that occurs when nerves or capillaries are pinched. What I especially like about Zen Haven is that they are one of the few companies I have found with a free trial period for a latex mattress. Taking this risk out of the equation really tips the scales in their favor.

Get the full Zen Haven Mattress Review

Best all foam mattress for side sleepers:

Cocoon Mattress by Sealy

cocoon mattress


Specifically designed for softness, the Sealy Cocoon appeals greatly to side sleepers who prefer the feeling of sleeping “in” and not “on” their beds. This “in” feel is subtle, however, and the mattress retains a certain buoyancy that prevents sleepers from feeling as if they are sinking. The mattress provides a nice mix of softness and support, making it a good option for those who switch between sleeping on their side and on their back. The Cocoon comes in both soft and firm settings, but soft is the better choice for side sleepers.  Also worthy of consideration: the Cocoon is one of Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2016.

Get the full Cocoon Mattress Review

Best Spring Mattress for Side Sleepers:
















For those struggling to choose between the contouring abilities of memory foam and the greater support and resilience of innerspring mattresses, there is a third and arguably better option: hybrid mattresses. These feature a unique combination of foam and innerspring construction. Winkbeds combine these two distinctive sleep technologies to great effect, thereby ensuring that side sleepers enjoy both the plush feel of foam and the extra support associated with spring mattresses. Side sleepers tend to gravitate towards the outer perimeter of their mattresses; Winkbeds addresses this with its dense perimeter of high-ILD foam, which is designed to prevent the sagging that might occur over time with a lower-quality mattress.

No one mattress is perfect for every type of sleeper — even preferences among side sleepers can vary considerably. In general, however, side sleepers do best with slightly softer mattresses that avoid placing pressure on the shoulders or hips. No matter your preferred position, the right mattress can have a huge impact on your health and happiness, so choose carefully.

Get the full Winkbeds Review

Best Performance Mattress for Side Sleepers:




The Layla mattress offers two types of firmness. Just flip it over to adjust and put the cover back on and you can make your mattress firmer or softer. However, the Layla skews towards the softer end of the spectrum which is ideal for side sleepers. This is an excellent choice for side sleepers that sleep hot and want to enjoy all the benefits of the world’s first copper infused mattress. The foam in the Layla recovers quickly which makes it easy to adjust positions at night.

Get the full Layla Mattress Review

Best Budget Mattress for Side Sleepers:

Zinus Green Tea Mattress

Zinus Mattress















Do not be misled by Zinus‘ claims that its eight-inch memory foam mattress is ideal for back sleepers — it’s actually a bit softer than the typical back sleeping bed, but perfect for side sleepers. The mattress is made up of three layers, including a two-inch memory foam layer on top, a pressure-relieving middle layer, and four inches of high-density foam for the base. Zinus also manufactures ten and twelve-inch memory foam mattresses, which, like the eight-inch mattress, provide a sufficiently plush feel for side sleepers.

Get the full Zinus Green Tea Mattress Review

Best Overall Mattress for Side Sleepers:

Alexander Signature Select














The Alexander Signature Select from Nest Bedding is one of the highest rated mattresses online. It consistently gets high marks for quality and comfort. Side sleepers will especially appreciate the pillow top like feel of the mattress. This mattress hugs you as you sleep giving you a cozy experience without overheating. Side sleepers should look at purchasing the medium firm or soft version of this mattress for maximum pressure relief and comfort.

Get the full Alexander Signature Select Review

As always contact me direct at: [email protected] if you need any further guidance.

31 thoughts on “Best Mattress for Side Sleepers”

  1. hi, that was a really helpful article! i was also searching to buy a mattress and all the things you mention here, were very important to me too. In the end i bought a natural latex mattress from Coco-mat that i found amazing!! I really appeciated the ability to have different elasticity of the two sides of a double mattress ( I mean left and right) that creates a very good advantage for couples that prefer different elasticity level – moreover when somebody is tossing around on one side , the other side is not affected due to the fact that actually it is two different single mattresses joined together with the internal cotton cover. i think you should also make a review on Coco-mat brand because thiis mattress changed my sleeping completely!

    1. Cocomat is an interesting company. Their mattresses are very expensive though. According to a recent NY Times article the prices range from a starting point of $1,400 up to $27,000. I think paying $27,000 for a mattress is a bit much especially given the material which is primarily latex and coconut husks.

  2. Great post,thanks Ben for sharing, Layla’s soft side seemed to be a great choice for side sleepers like me and my wife. And I’m very interested with the copper foam they used , I guess it will sleep very cool and good for my bad back as soon. Will surely give it a try!

  3. I’m a side sleeper who wakes up repeatedly throughout the night hot, and with shoulder pain. No back or hip pain. I tried a Plushbeds organic 10″ in medium and it was way too hard. They sent me a 3″ soft topper and it was better, but not great. Still hot and pretty uncomfortable. I returned it. The only mattress I’ve loved is when I spent three nights at someone’s house on a Tempurpedic. I did turn the a/c down to 60 degrees so being hot was not an issue.

    Any suggestions?

  4. I need your help. We had a sleep number I 10 top of the line. After two years it is terrible. I have RA and suffer terrible hip pain. I am a side sleeper. We are currently trying an Amerisleep colonial. It isn’t all that comfy. I expected it to have more give. What mattress would you suggest? I am looking at the Alexander signature series. Don’t know if I should go with soft or medium. Our sleep number setting was between 35 and 40. Any other mattress you would recommend?

  5. Hi, I’m a side/back sleeper looking for a natural/organic latex/coil hybrid. I have between $1000 and $1400 to spend on a queen size mattress. What are your recommendations?
    Thank you

  6. I am a side sleeper and have tried one memory foam mattress and hated it. I don’t like sinking and getting stuck. I tried it for three months and my back hurt so bad I could barely straighten it when I stood up. We have a beauty rest now and my hips hurt everyday. Any suggestions?

  7. Hi my husband and I are side/back sleepers. He weights about 205 and me 185. We want to purchase new king size mattress and would like to spend between 1500-2000. What do you recommend?

  8. Hi There,

    I am a 175 lb side sleeper, my husband is 220 lbs, and cam sleep just about anywhere. I purchased a Leesa but find it too firm. I don’t like sleeping on the surface of the mattress and it hurts my hips. need something a notch or softer. I’d like to feel cozy, and sink into the bed some but not feel stuck. What do you suggest? Thanks.

  9. Hey there,

    We recently purchased a Bear mattress, however we feel like it is a little hard. To be fair, we were warned from reviews that it felt a little harder for lighter individuals (we are both under 140 lbs). While we like the mattress on a number of levels, I still feel some pain in my shoulders when I sleep on my side (primarily a side sleeper, but sometimes back). I would say we typically don’t sleep warm, but we did just move to an area that is much warmer than where we were, so summers could be an issue. The max we’d like to spend is 1,600 for a king. Any suggestions?

  10. I am a side sleeper with lower back issues and neck and shoulder pain…and my hubby sleeps side and stomach…. and the dog sleeps on her side as well (;-) We all sleep warm and I am 5’10 and hubby is 6’4″. We just spent 1 night on our new Leesa bed and I woke up at 2am in such pain i had to go and sleep on the couch…. so I was wondering if it take time to get used to a new mattress…or…do you had any suggestions for another mattress?

    I like the looks of this Alexander one….

    1. That doesn’t sound good. I don’t think the Leesa would be a good fit here. Definitely would want to consider returning it and looking at something else. The Alexander is more plush so will will get more sink out of it.

  11. Hi! I am a side sleeper and suffer from chronic shoulder pain. I am fairly light…. 140 lbs and looking for something that will contour to my body yet give support as well. I generally sleep warm so looking for something that will keep me cool at night. Which mattress would you recommend??

  12. Hi – I need some help! My wife is a side sleeper and we recently moved and upgraded to a king size bed frame. We tried the Nectar mattress for a few weeks but it was too firm for her. I just bought the Nest Love and Sleep mattress but after one night she doesn’t feel that it is much softer. We will keep trying with the Nest but I want to have a 3rd attempt ready to go. Looking at the Layla and Cocoon from the comments here. Any other soft side-sleeper designed recommendations?

  13. I was at an AirB&B that had the Serta Perfect Sleeper. I know it isn’t a fancy new brand…but seriously the best sleep ever. What do you think?

  14. I am a 60 year old horsewoman, with numerous orthopedic issues, a bad back from a fall years ago, but right now worse is an incredibly sore left hip, combination of bursitis and OA. And a right shoulder impingement issue. I am a side sleeper. I weigh 173. We have slept for years on a futon. I think I need something perfect, soft enough for no pressure points, and supportive enough to keep my back in line. i’m Very sensitive to odors, and in Arizona summer hot is a given. So, does perfect exist? How about second perfect?

  15. Hi… I am a side sleeper, about 200 pounds, and want something that won’t hurt my hips or lower back. I also want a bed that is good for sex. What would you suggest?

  16. Hi! My husband and I are in the market for a new queen mattress. We have an old inherited model sleep number. My husband sleeps okay on it, but it is not firm enough for me. My hips hurt in the morning and my husband sometimes loses feeling in his shoulders. We got a foam topper and it’s not helping – it feels too soft for me. We are both combo sleepers – mostly side, but some stomach and back. My husband is a warm sleeper and prefers a softer mattress than me. We are both runners, average height and weight. I’m doing research and leaning toward the Nectar mattress but wonder if there might be others that would be a better match.

  17. We ordered a queen sized soft version and really love it. We wanted to order a King size one but discovered that they no longer make the soft version (We just got ours a couple weeks ago!). I emailed and they are not planning on bringing it back. sigh. We have also tried a Helix (hated it, could feel the springs), a Amerisleep AS5 (still breaking it in but it is too hard for us) and a Novosbed soft (too hard and waiting for the 30 day mark to get the comfort+ to make softer). Can you recommend another bed? I really love the soft Nest Signature. I have Fibromyalgia and I am a side sleeper.

  18. Hi. I’m looking to buy this mattress today(Brentwood Home Oceano). I’m wondering if you can answer a couple questions. I understand its supportive, but does it give you some hugging and contouring, or do you just lay on top of it? I’m looking for a plush with some sinkage, but not get swallowed. I’m also looking at their pillows. Any suggestions for a soft pillow from them also? Thank you so much for what you do.

    1. You will sink into this one a bit. Definitely won’t sleep on it. I would go with their Oceano pillow it is one of their softer pillows.

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