The Hunt is On! Finding The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
Sleeping on your side is common for a lot of people. However, this sleeping position can cause shoulder or back pain if you’re sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress.
If you want to sleep comfortably on your side and not wake up with painful aches and pains, then you need a mattress that provides proper support.
Ideally, it should be a mattress designed to relieve pressure from your hips while ensuring your back, shoulders, and spine align properly as you sleep. This will help your muscles relax and give you a good night’s rest without feeling any pain even when you sleep on your sides.
I’ve gathered a list of the best mattress for side sleepers below. You can start by checking out any of these mattresses as you navigate your way to a restful sleep.
3 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mattress for Side Sleepers
Before getting into the specific brands, it’s important to understand what you need to be looking for in a mattress. Side sleepers need to consider the following features when shopping for a good mattress.
1. Personal Preference
Personal preference plays a big role for a side sleeper getting ready to find a great mattress. Some prefer soft to medium-firm mattresses while others want something firm against their back.
Depending on the materials used and how the mattress is constructed, the performance and feel can vary greatly. One type of mattress might be ideal for back sleepers while another could be most comfortable for anyone who sleeps on their sides.
2. Body Weight
The weight of a person using the mattress will affect its performance. A side sleeper who weighs over 230 pounds will require a mattress with strong support and contouring to cradle the pressure points.
Meanwhile, those under 130 pounds will find their ideal mattress to be composed of materials like strong polyfoam or memory foam. They won’t need crazy supports like innerspring since their weight is lighter and they won’t sink too much into the bed.
3. Mattress Construction
For mattress construction, side sleepers would require mattresses that are comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep while supportive enough for the body’s hips and shoulders.
Memory foam is a good choice for side sleepers but some people don’t like its cradling effect. Other alternative materials for side sleepers include hybrid or innerspring mattresses since they give out a lot of support, even bounce. It’s a nice add-on especially for those who are under 130 pounds.
Why It’s Tough to Find A Good Mattress for Side Sleeping
Whether you buy online or offline, a mattress might seem great or even feel great (if you’re buying in-store) when you first try it out. The reason? Because side sleeping problems won’t come out until much later. You won’t feel the muscle pain and aches until you’ve tried out the mattress for several nights or weeks.
The good thing is that most online stores offer a trial period. You can test out the mattress, often risk-free to find out if it works for you or not. I always suggest going this route instead of testing things in a showroom because really, those two minutes of lying down in a sample bed won’t give you accurate results.
So, out of the hundreds of mattress companies out there, which ones are the best for side sleepers?
I’ve managed to narrow it down for you. I sometimes sleep on my side as well and trust me. it’s a pain to wake up with sore shoulders especially when a mattress is either too firm or too soft. Thus, finding the perfect mattress to accommodate my sleeping position is important.
A Selection Of The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
Memory Foam – Molecule 1
Starts at $699 for Twin
Side sleepers who weigh up to 130 to 230 pounds have nothing but good things to say about Molecule’s memory foam mattress. The Molecule 1 mattress features an all-foam construction, starting with a comfortable cover that wicks away heat and keeps things cool.
It’s then followed by an open-cell memory foam infused with gel microbeads for cushioning and cooling. Next, it has a 3-zone dynamic foam layer to accommodate different positions and the various pressure points of the body. The final layer is a strong 7-inch support foam that offers durable support for spine alignment.
The Molecule 1 mattress features a medium firmness level, about a 6 to 6.5 out of 10 on the scale. But note, it feels a bit softer compared to other mattresses in this category, mostly due to the initial cover layer.
Side sleepers, who use this bed will get a great amount of support and relief when sleeping on the sides. Despite the initial softness, the shoulders and hips are fully supported, giving it an overall balanced feel without any discomfort.
Those who like to “sink into” their mattress will enjoy this as the top layer immediately cradles key points when you lie down. In addition, it has amazing motion isolation, making it ideal for couples. However, note that the edge support, as with most foam mattresses, is poor.
I wouldn’t advise this for back or stomach sleepers though, including side sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds as it may become uncomfortable.
MOLECULE offers a 100-night sleep trial along with a limited lifetime warranty. They also offer free shipping.
Innerspring – Nolah Evolution 15”
Price: Starts at $1,799 for Twin
One of the best luxury mattresses in the market, the Nolah Evolution is an innerspring hybrid mattress designed for a variety of sleepers. It’s especially great for back or side sleepers since it offers fantastic cooling and amazing support.
This 15-inch mattress is super thick, making it among the best mattresses for heavy sleepers too. The Nolah Evolution combines proprietary cooling foam and an 8-inch-thick Eco Support Coils with a special edge support system.
With its advanced cooling foam, it promotes a good amount of airflow which allows the heat to escape. Motion transfer is properly isolated too, making this ideal when sleeping with a partner. There’s also decent edge support and minimal off-gassing.
It has a medium firmness level, a 6 out of 10. Like the Molecule 1, this is a bit softer compared to a regular medium-firm mattress.
The Nolah Evolution Hybrid is a truly fantastic mattress. Best part? You won’t even have to worry as it’s backed by a lifetime warranty, including a 120-night sleep trial and free shipping.
Natural – WinkBeds EcoCloud
Price: Starts at $1,399 for Twin
A lot of sleepers are becoming more eco-conscious these days. Luckily, WinkBeds has answered, giving us one of the best natural organic mattresses for side sleepers.
The WinkBeds EcoCloud mattress is 12.5 inches tall and is made partly from 100% natural Talalay latex. This has breathable organic cotton with zoned support coils offering a strong foundation to the bed.
These innerspring coils are individually wrapped keeping the sound to a minimum while maximizing comfort. This also gives the mattress a good amount of bounce, making it ideal for couples.
With a medium 6.5 out of 10 firmness level, the mattress is ideal for side sleepers weighing over 230 pounds. The innerspring coils together with the latex add a strong layer of support while delivering a lot of pressure relief around the hips and joints.
Aside from that, the bed has minimal motion transfer, a breathable cover, as well as fantastic edge support. Best of all, there’s no off-gassing needed for this mattress thanks to the organic construction.
The WinkBeds EcoCloud is made in the United States and has a lifetime mattress warranty as well as a 120-night sleep trial.
Budget-Friendly – Brooklyn Bedding Propel
Price: Starts at $499 Twin
Brooklyn Bedding is one of the most popular bed-in-a-box companies online. Ever since they started offering mattresses online in 2008, they’ve become a favorite for many.
With the Propel mattress, Brooklyn Bedding created something new. They’ve infused their mattress with proprietary technology that uses the sleeper’s body heat to promote a good night’s sleep.
The Propel mattress is made with a proprietary foam that includes the phase change material for the cover. The soft latex foam alternative is called CopperFlex and Energex. It also comes with a support or buffer layer then a foam integrated with coils then finally, a base foam.
Propel has a 6 out of 10 mattress firmness. When you sleep on your side, Propel’s comfort layer provides a quick response ensuring you also get bounce and responsiveness, even if it’s partly a foam mattress. There’s enough support on the hips and shoulders too, a crucial thing for side sleeping.
If you experience too much sinkage on the hips in this position, this will put your back out of alignment leading to muscle pain when you wake up.
Overall, the Propel mattress is ideal for those who sleep on their side. The soft to medium firmness level offers fantastic mobility as well as the capacity to keep motion transfer separate. Plus, it also lets you sleep cool.
The Propel mattress offers a 120-night sleep trial and a limited warranty of 10 years. Shipping is free within the United States and the mattress will be shipped compressed in a box.
Editor’s Pick – WinkBeds EcoCloud
Price: Starts at $1,399 for Twin
My pick for the best mattress for side sleepers is WinkBed’s EcoCloud. It’s a beautiful, organic mattress that offers excellent cooling and support for those who like to sleep on their sides.
Because it’s made primarily from Talalay latex, it retains a lot of buoyancy and bounce. It also helps distribute your body weight, making sleep so much more comfortable. Talalay latex is naturally breathable too, so there’s no danger of sleeping hot.
The mattress also has a layer of 15-gauge coils which provides pressure relief and support for the shoulders and hips – a crucial area when side sleeping. A reinforced edge also ensures strong edge support, leaving you with no danger of slipping off the mattress.
The WinkBeds EcoCloud has a middle firmness level, about a 5 out of 10, making it ideal for a majority of sleepers. The top layer has a plush feel, cradling your body to ensure comfort while the bottom layers ensure the lower back is fully supported. Thanks to the latex, there’s excellent bounce to the mattress and hardly any off-gassing.
WinkBeds EcoCloud is offered with free shipping in all of the United States, except in Alaska and Hawaii, which incurs a $199 fee. There’s a 120-night sleep trial as well as a limited-time warranty.
Best Luxury – Nolah Evolution 15″
Price: Starts at $1,799 for Twin
Considered a luxury bed, Nolah has several mattresses on offer. However, the Nolah Evolution 15” is considered among the most premium thanks to its height and craftsmanship.
All 15-inches of the mattress are made from distinct materials including proprietary AirFoamICE which is a foam layer infused with charcoal to help with cooling. There’s also a layer of Eco Support coils together with strong edge support.
Armed with a firmness level of medium (6 out of 10), it’s considered a bit softer compared to the industry standard of 6.5 out of 10. The Eurotop cover allows comfort and cushioning, which hugs your body’s pressure points, often the hips and shoulders.
Meanwhile, the coil support has amazing lumbar support especially towards the center of the mattress. With this, you are assured of pain-free sleep. One thing to note, however, is that if you are above 230 pounds and are a stomach sleeper, this isn’t a good mattress since it’s a bit too soft.
Overall, with amazing cooling performance, great motion transfer, and decent edge support, it’s a fantastic mattress to have for side sleepers.
The Nolah offers a 120-night trial and is backed by a full lifetime warranty. Within the 120-nights, you can return the mattress for a full refund in case you are unsatisfied with its performance.
The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers Based on Weight
Aside from the mattress construction, the weight of the person also plays a role in finding the type of mattress that would be most suitable for them. Out of several mattresses I mentioned here, I would recommend the following specifically based on weight:
For Light Weight Sleepers – Brooklyn Bedding Propel
Those under 130 pounds would find this the best mattress for side sleepers. It has a medium firmness (6 out of 10) so it’s a bit softer compared to the standard, which is usually 6.5 out of 10. The mattress combines both latex foam as well as pocketed coils.
This bed also has amazing pressure relief and temperature control. This means you don’t have to sleep hot at all. What’s more, the memory foam portion of the mattress conforms to the sleeper’s position, cradling the shoulders, hips, and joints.
For Average Weight Sleepers – Molecule 1
Those weighing up to 230 pounds will find the Molecule 1 mattress to be the best one to go for. Made mostly from memory foam, average-weight side sleepers will find this advantageous since it allows for contouring around key areas of the body.
The slow response time of the memory foam lets the sleeper sink slowly into the mattress especially around areas like the shoulders. This creates a cradling comfort throughout the night.
The third polyfoam layer, though, is much firmer. This acts as a brace, keeping the body from sinking too deep which could put it out of alignment. Another plus for this is that it contains zoned areas for dedicated pressure relief. The head and feet areas are softer while the hexagonal shape at the center is firmer, ideal for the lumbar region.
For Heavy Weight Sleepers – WinkBeds Plus
Those weighing over 230 pounds will require a mattress that offers adequate support and fantastic cradling around pressure points.
Composed of 13.5 inches of foam, innerspring, and latex, the WinkBeds Plus mattress is one of the thicker mattresses available today. The cover is made from eco-friendly Tencel fabric, which works by wicking away moisture. It’s followed by latex then high-density polyfoam which prevents sagging while promoting good spine alignment during sleep.
This mattress offers excellent cooling, great edge support, and good motion isolation. Even better, it also has a good amount of bounce and uses eco-friendly materials.
The mattress is on the firmer side, around a 6.5 to 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale. This makes it ideal for heavy sleepers, that’s why it’s also my top pick as among the best mattresses for heavy sleepers.
For Couples – Eight Pod
One of the most advanced mattresses available, the Eight Pod mattress is the perfect one for couples who side sleep because of its capacity to use modern technology.
For firmness, it’s in the middle, around 6 out of 10. It’s slightly softer but it has a good enough support to accommodate the hips and shoulder area as you side sleep.
This is best recommended for sleepers weighing less than 230 pounds since if you weigh more than that, you could sink in more and feel uncomfortable.
It can be purchased directly from Eight Sleep and it ships for free in the United States. The company also offers a 100-night sleep trial as well as a 10-year warranty.
The Final Verdict
If you’re looking for the best mattresses for side sleepers, you can start by looking at the ones I mentioned above. They’re perfect for providing the most adequate comfort and support you need when sleeping on your sides.
Which mattress firmness is best for side sleepers?
This is extremely subjective, some side sleepers will find a soft to medium comfortable, while others might prefer a firm level. Side sleepers, however, require a good amount of support on their pressure points like the shoulders, hips, and joints.
Do side sleepers need a firm mattress?
While it’s subjective, the most ideal mattress firmness for side sleepers is a medium to medium-firm firmness level. This would be around a 6 to 6.5 out of 10. The heavier you weigh, more than 230 pounds, the firmer mattress you will require.
Is a pillow-top mattress good for side sleepers?
Yes, usually Eurotop or pillow-top covers would be ideal for both side sleepers and back sleepers. The plush material provides amazing comfort which keeps you cool and comfy during sleep.