Sleeping on your side is thought to be one of the healthiest ways to sleep. Side sleeping promotes better spinal alignment, reduces lower back pain, silences snoring, and can prevent symptoms of sleep apnea.
To get the best sleep, side sleepers need a mattress that will support neutral spinal alignment and relieve pressure points.
Sleeping on your right side, specifically, promotes a healthy heart, whereas sleeping your left side can lead to increased blood pressure, a higher heart rate, and thus, more interrupted sleep.
In this guide, we discuss the main things side sleepers should look for before buying a new bed and touch on our recommended best mattress for side sleepers.
Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
|Amerisleep AS3||Features plant-based, pressure-relieving memory foam and state-of-the-art support technology.||
|Zoma Sports Mattress||Designed to help athletes sleeper better and recover quicker; features state-of-the-art sleep-enhancing technologies.||
|Layla Mattress||Comes with a Lifetime Warranty, backing your investment forever.||
|Nolah 10"||Features innovative Nolah AirFoam™, designed to be 4x more pressure relieving than traditional memory foam.||
|Purple||Features unique Smart Comfort Grid™ to give their beds a completely different feel.||
|Tuft & Needle||Our recommended budget-friendly option.||
The Editors at Sleep Junkie like the Amerisleep AS3 as the best mattress for side sleepers. Amerisleep sells five different memory foam mattresses; each is tailored to a specific sleep style and range in firmness.
The AS3 is Amerisleep’s medium mattress and it’s built to be an even mix of comfort and support. It’s their most versatile and best-selling model; because it’s so adaptable, it can mold and contour to most body types, making it comfortable for a majority of sleepers.
The top layer of every Amerisleep mattress is their Bio-Pur®, a plant-based memory foam. Bio-Pur® has a response time of 3-4 seconds, in comparison to traditional memory foams 20-30 seconds— meaning it’s great for side sleepers who change positions during the night.
Another perk to using Bio-Pur® is it’s enhanced breathability. Usually, a major concern with memory foam is whether or not it’ll trap heat, and by using their open-cell plant-based foam, Amerisleep eliminates that concern.
Let’s look at the support technology within this mattress. Harnessing Intelligent Ventilation & Energy, otherwise known as HIVE® technology, is the second layer of the Amerisleep AS3. In fact, all of their mattresses have this same support layer, besides their AS1.
HIVE® is integrated into this mattress to offer support for a healthy spine. In this technology, hexagonal cutouts are made into a foam layer and spaced in five strategic comfort zones; in areas where you need more support, such as your lower back and neck, these hexagons feel firmer to offer more stable support. However, in other places such as your shoulders and hips, these hexagons are spaced further apart and feel softer, allowing the body to compress in the mattress.
The HIVE® technology is designed to help support a healthy spine for back, stomach, and side sleepers alike, but encompasses everything a side sleeper would need from their support technology.
Every Amerisleep mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
- Features plant-based, pressure-relieving memory foam
- HIVE® technology prevents pain points and promotes healthy sleep styles
- Medium firmness
The Zoma Sports Mattress is specifically designed to help athletes get deeper sleep so they can recover faster and perform better. Because this memory foam mattress is engineered to nurture a healthy spine and alleviate pain points, it’s perfect for side sleepers.
Zoma contains three layers, and each layer offers unique sleep-enhancing benefits.
The first layer is 2 inches of gel-infused memory foam with Triangulex™ technology. When you lay down on this mattress, the memory foam molds to your curves to offer instant cushioning comfort. The cooling gels infused in this layer combat body heat and promote a cool sleeping surface.
The Triangulex™ material comes into play to offer zoned support. The foam near the midsection of this layer feels a bit firmer to offer extra support for your torso; this prevents you from sinking too far in the mattress. Around your shoulders and hips, this layer has triangle-shaped cutouts to offer better contouring. These cutouts also boost this layers breathability, preventing heat build-up. This technology is perfect for side sleepers because it prevents pains in your shoulders and hips in addition to offering better spinal support.
The second layer of the Zoma Sports Mattress is dense Reactiv™ foam— a latex-like poly-foam offering reinforced support. Reactiv™ is designed to feel more responsive than memory foam, so it offers all the cushioning comfort while still feeling bouncy. This layer holds you more “on top of” the mattress and prevents uncomfortable sinkage. It also increases the overall “bounce” of the bed, making it easier to adjust sleeping positions or climb in and out of bed.
The third and final layer of the Zoma is the Support+ foam, a durable poly-foam core. The Support+ foam offers structural support for the layers above and prevents premature sagging. Zoma also backs their mattress with a 10-year warranty should your bed develop a sag greater than 3/4 inch.
The Zoma Sports Mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial.
Zoma Sports Mattress Highlights
- Features gel memory foam to combat body heat
- Triangulex™ technology promotes a healthy spine and eases pressure points
- Includes a latex-like layer to boost the bed’s overall bounce
3. Layla Mattress
We’re fans of the Layla mattress for side sleepers because of it’s flippable firmness. That’s right, one side of the Layla mattress is firm, but if you flip it over, it has a soft feel on the other side.
We recommend Layla’s softer side for side sleepers; but if you’re a fan of a firm mattress, their firmer side is a good option too, as it shouldn’t be so firm that it creates pressure points.
The Layla is a memory foam option, and it’s unique because their memory foam is infused with copper, which has a few sleep-promoting benefits. To name a few, copper is antimicrobial, temperature-regulating, and offers extra support.
Copper is one of the most conductive metals there is, so it acts like a magnet for heat, pulling it away from your body and dissipating it out of the mattress. Plus, copper gets firmer as it’s compressed, so it helps prevent you from sinking too far in the mattress and offers extra support where you need it. This is important for side sleepers because it allows your shoulders and hips to sink into the mattress for pressure relief, but not so far that your spine is over-extended, helping to maintain the spine’s natural curvature.
Let’s talk about how this bed is built to achieve dual-firmness.
Starting from the soft side up, we have 3 inches of copper-infused memory foam. On their website, they give the soft side of their mattress a rating of 4.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, so it should feel pretty cushioning.
Next, is 2 inches of convoluted poly-foam, this layer offers you extra comfort, and because it’s shaped like an egg-crate, it has breathable air channels which aid in pushing hot air out of the mattress and elevating airflow throughout the bed.
Below these two layers lies the 4.5-inch poly-foam core; this gives the bed its shape, provides structural support, and increases motion isolation. Last, is the “Firm” layer, which is 1 inch of copper-infused memory foam.
The difference in firmness comes from the thickness of the memory foam layers. On the Soft side, you have quite a bit of foam to sink through before feeling the firm core; whereas on the Firm side, you only have 1 inch of memory foam between you and the dense core layer below.
When you shop with Layla, your bed comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a Lifetime warranty. Plus, if you’re looking for a high-quality bed for less than $1000, the Layla is a great choice, as their beds cost $874 for a Queen.
- Flippable firmness
- Copper-infused memory foam offers extra support
- Breathable design for temperature control
4. Nolah Mattress
The next mattress on our list is Nolah 10”, which on their website mentions is actually designed and built specifically to cater to back and side sleepers. In this mattress, Nolah uses their proprietary Nolah AirFoam™ instead of memory foam or latex to offer the sleeper a contouring but cool sleeping environment.
Their Nolah AirFoam™ is also built to reduce pressure points four times better than comparable materials, which is crucial for side sleepers. Let’s talk about the design of the Nolah.
The layers of the Nolah are constructed to alleviate pressure in the shoulder and hip region, furthering its benefits for side sleepers. The first layer of this bed is Nolah’s AirFoam™ material. When you lay on this layer, it should contour to your body and feel as memory foam would, but it is more responsive and holds you up in the mattress.
The next layer is a high-resilience foam designed to be as responsive as latex; it gives the bed a bounce and reinforces the AirFoam™ above.
On their website, Nolah ranks this bed a 5 or 6 out of 10 in regards to firmness, putting it right in that middle spot perfect for side sleepers.
If you’re not a fan of memory foam or latex and are interested in trying a different sleeping solution, Nolah offers a 120-night sleep trial to test out their unique bed. If you don’t like it, they’ll return it for free, and if you do decide to keep it, it’s backed by a 15-year warranty.
- Designed specifically for side sleepers
- Features Nolah’s AirFoam™, designed to be 4x more pressure relieving than memory foam
- Medium firmness
Purple is a popular bed-in-a-box brand that specializes in selling an exceptionally pressure-relieving mattress. In fact, the Purple was created to be the world’s first “No-Pressure” bed.
Featured as the top layer in every Purple mattress is their Smart Comfort Grid™. The founders of Purple patented a whole new mattress material, hyper-elastic polymer, to create this grid. On their website, they boast the benefits of their innovative mattress technology.
Purple’s Smart Comfort Grid™ is adaptable to most body types, so it’s a fit for side, stomach, or back sleepers. Plus, it’s grid shape promotes airflow through the bed and prevents hot air from being trapped within. To continue, their grid limits motion transfer throughout the bed, so it’s a great mattress for couples, too. However, the most important sleep-promoting benefit this bed offers to side sleepers is its ability to relieve pressure points under your shoulders and hips while maintaining a healthy spine.
When shopping with Purple, we recommend choosing their flagship all-foam model. The original Purple mattress features only three layers, including the Smart Comfort Grid™.
Below the Smart Comfort Grid™ in this bed is a transition layer of cushioning poly-foam to act as a barrier between the comfortable grid and the core of the mattress. The last layer of the Purple is a high-density poly-foam in place to give the bed shape and structural support.
You can buy a Purple mattress on their website or at select Mattress Firm locations. Every Purple bed comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
- Features their Smart Comfort Grid™
- Designed to be the first “No-Pressure” bed
- Temperature regulating design
6. Tuft & Needle
The last mattress on our list is the budget-friendly Tuft and Needle, or T&N. If you’re looking for a top-rated mattress at a lower price point, this bed is excellent for you, as it costs only $595 for a Queen.
The T&N is designed to be soft and pressure-relieving without feeling sinking, which makes it perfect for side sleepers. The design of this bed is relatively simple with only two layers. Let’s break down its construction.
The top layer of the Tuft and Needle is their T&N Adaptive™ foam. This poly-foam is designed to feel like a combination of memory foam and latex foam while offering better pressure-relief than either material. It feels cushioning but bouncy, soft but supportive.
Plus, the T&N Adaptive® foam is infused with cooling gels to help keep you at a comfortable temperature all night long. All in all, it creates a more “on the bed” feeling while still allowing your shoulders and hips to compress in the mattress for pressure relief.
The base layer is a solid high-density poly-foam to support the T&N Adaptive® foam and sleeper above.
For a few years, T&N beds were sold only online. However, Serta Simmons Bedding recently bought them out, so now you can buy their beds both online and at various mattress retailers. Every T&N mattress comes with a 100-night trial period and a 10-year warranty.
Tuft and Needle Mattress
- Features pressure-relieving T&N Adaptive® foam
- Gel-infused foam helps keep you cool
- Budget-friendly choice
What Should Side Sleepers Consider Before Buying?
Before deciding on your next bed, there are a few things to take a step back and consider to ensure you’re getting the most comfortable mattress at the best value. These factors include your sleeping position, mattress types, and different firmness options.
It’s essential to find a bed that won’t allow your torso to sink too far into the mattress, as it can put extra stress on the spine.
However, your mattress still needs to let your shoulders and hips to sink a little because if it’s too firm the resistance will cause painful pressure points. Typically, quality memory foam mattresses are great for side sleepers because they can contour to your body in a way most materials can’t; this helps release pressure and tension while preventing the misalignment of your spine.
Body Type & Firmness
Firmness refers to how firm or soft a mattress is, and body weight plays a significant role in how firm a bed is perceived.
If you have a petite build and do not weigh much, most mattresses will feel firm; so it’s best to get a plusher bed that’ll be comfy for your body. On the other hand, people who weigh 250 pounds or more will need more support from their mattress to prevent them from sinking unhealthily far into the bed, therefore, heavier sleepers should choose firmer mattresses.
In general, side sleepers are usually most comfortable on medium to medium-firm mattresses because they’re soft enough to allow them to sink into the bed to relieve pressure points but still supportive enough to promote a healthy spine.
Before deciding how firm your bed should be, also consider your preference for firmness. If you like a more cradling, “in the bed” feel from your mattress, choose a softer mattress. Alternatively, if you prefer a firmer feel from your bed, choose a more supportive option.
How quickly a bed responds to movement is a good indicator of how “sinking” the bed will feel. For those who like a cradling, or hugging, feel from their mattress usually want a bed that is slower to respond.
However, it’s important for side sleepers to pick a mattress that is quick to respond to pressure so they can easily switch from side to side while they sleep. Plus, faster response times detract from the feeling of being “stuck” in the mattress, and offer a more “lifting” feeling instead.
As you can probably imagine, the type of mattress you buy plays a significant role in your overall comfort. Different mattress types have different pros and cons, so it’s best to educate yourself on your options and choose which kind of mattress you’re interested in before you get too deep into your search.
Whether you’re shopping in-store or browsing online bed in a box reviews, there are four main types of mattresses: memory foam, latex, hybrid, and innerspring.
Memory foam beds are regarded as some of the best for pain relief. These cushioning beds mold to your body to offer unsurpassed pressure relief. Often people associate a “cradling” feeling with memory foam because it hugs your body and creates a more “in the mattress” feel. If you experience frequent pesky pains, choose memory foam.
Latex mattresses are excellent for eco-friendly shoppers, or those looking for a hypoallergenic mattress. Latex is more buoyant than memory foam, so it keeps you more lifted on top of the mattress rather than cradled. When you lay on a latex bed, it’ll feel cushioning to relieve pressure in your joints, but is more bouncy and responsive than other foams.
Hybrid mattresses combine cushioning foam layers with a pocketed coil system to offer a responsive but conforming bed. If you’re interested in a foam mattress but don’t want to sacrifice the bouncy feel of an innerspring system, a hybrid mattress is a great option as it combines the best of both. Because hybrid materials require a variety of high-quality materials, they are often a bit pricier than all-foam or innerspring mattresses, though.
Innerspring mattresses are centuries old but have stood the test of time because they offer a bouncy, comfortable sleep surface. Innerspring beds can’t mold to and cushion your body like foam beds, so they’re not the best for pain or pressure relief— which is something side sleepers need. Instead, quality innerspring beds are usually better suited for back or stomach sleepers because they can hold them more lifted on the mattress and promote neutral spinal alignment.
When searching for your new mattress, we encourage you also to consider the sleep trial that comes with your potential new mattress. Mattresses aren’t cheap, and the last thing you want to do is drop a thousand dollars on an uncomfortable bed.
Whether you’re buying in-store or online, it’s hard to get a good feel of how comfortable a bed is before purchasing it. To help shoppers feel more confident in their purchase, many mattress brands started offering risk-free sleep trials with their beds.
Sleep trials let you buy your new mattress and try it in your home for a period of time commitment-free. If you decide against keeping the mattress, most brands will arrange for your unwanted bed to be picked up and returned for you free of charge.
On the other hand, if you feel the bed you bought is the best one for you, then you’re set! Always be sure to read the fine print regarding the sleep trial information before buying, so you’re aware of how the process works and whether or not you’d be responsible for any fees.
Beyond the sleep trial, the warranty your bed comes with plays a significant role in the overall value of the mattress. If your mattress comes with a warranty that only lasts for a couple of years and doesn’t cover much, you’re ultimately out of luck if something were to happen to your mattress.
Buying a mattress with at least a 10-year warranty is the best way to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth from your new bed. Before buying, read the warranty information to have an understanding of what all is covered and what the warranty process entails, so you’re not surprised years down the road, should you ever have to submit a warranty claim.
Did You Find Your Next Mattress?
Because side sleeping is such a popular sleep position, there are a variety of mattresses sold today specifically tailored to side sleepers. When you’re searching, keep your budget and personal sleep preferences in mind, and it will help guide you towards the right mattress for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and read online mattress reviews during your search to make sure you’re making the best decision towards better sleep.