The 11 Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers of 2022

Helix's Midnight Luxe Mattress has layers of memory foam for better sleep

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If you're a side sleeper, you know that it can be challenging to sleep if you have an uncomfortable mattress. That's because your shoulders and hips bear the pressure at night. The right mattress for side sleepers should balance softness and support to be comfortable at night.

Tested & Approved

Helix's Midnight Luxe Mattress has layers of memory foam, gel, and lumbar coils to offer your shoulders and hips contoured support. We recommend Nectar's Gel Memory Foam Mattress if you're looking for a budget-friendly, supportive mattress.

When looking for a mattress, you should consider the level of firmness and comfort. "Treat your mattress like you treat your running shoes. You don’t really wait until your running shoes have holes in them to buy a new pair. In other words, use your best judgment. But don’t force yourself to endure a less-than-stellar mattress for too long," says Rajkumar Dasgupta, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. We researched dozens of mattresses for side sleepers and evaluated them for levels of firmness, price, and materials.

Here are the best mattresses for side sleepers on the market.

Best Overall: Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress

4.9
helix-mattress

Helix

Who else recommends it? Self also picked the Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress.

What do buyers say? 3,700+ Helix reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Made with individually-wrapped coils, memory foam, a gel layer for added comfort, and a plush pillow top, this medium form mattress is a solid choice for side sleepers who need just the right amount of contoured support, and it's why we chose it as our top pick. While the lumbar coils support your shoulders and hips, the memory foam absorbs the weight of your pressure points, allowing you to sleep pain-free.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the Luxe option also comes with a breathable Tencel fabric cover, which means you’ll get comfort along with built-in temperature regulation and moisture-wicking properties. Plus, enjoy a 100-day return period.

Price at time of publication: $2,099

Best Hybrid: Layla Hybrid Mattress

Layla Hybrid Mattress
Courtesy of Layla.

Can’t decide if you’re ready to make the switch to a full-on memory foam mattress? You don’t have to with the Layla Hybrid mattress, which combines memory foam and coil springs for the best of both worlds. The memory foam gives you plush, contoured support while the coil springs provide motion control (i.e., help you avoid middle-of-the-night wakeups when your partner is tossing and turning). 

How does the Layla work? Think of it as a mattress sandwich: in the center is a six inch layer packed with coils, and on either side of that layer is the memory foam. But the Layla takes the word “hybrid” to the next level, because it’s also reversible—one side features memory foam designed to be soft while the other side has memory foam constructed to be firmer. 

Basically, there’s only a slim chance you could order this mattress and end up sending it back. One way or another, there’s probably a side for you. Other solid features include copper-infused foam for antimicrobial protection and advanced cooling, as well as airflow support layers. Layla offers free shipping and returns if you’re not 100% satisfied.

Price at time of publication: $1,099

Best for Side and Back Sleepers: Saatva Classic Mattress

4.8
Saatva Classic Mattress

Saatva

You’re a side sleeper but your partner is a back sleeper, or maybe you’re just a restless sleeper who switches between your back and side during the night. Either way, you need a mattress that can support the pressure points for both kinds of sleepers—and that’s actually kind of a tall order, because back and side sleepers typically need different kinds of support.

With the Saatva Classic, however, varying sleep styles aren’t a problem. The mattress features a set of individually-wrapped coils, which not only promotes airflow but lets the coils on your side of the bed adapt to your body (while your partner’s side adapts to theirs). The mattress also has an organic pillow top for extra cushioning and perimeter edge support to deter sagging.

For side and back sleepers, we suggest the “luxury firm” option, which falls in between soft and firm, can wrap around your body and provide support, and is best for couples who may have different sleep styles. (The “plush soft” and “firm” options are better for side- and back-only sleepers, respectively.) You also get free white glove delivery and 180 days to try out your new mattress.

Price at time of publication: $1,795

Best Budget: Nectar 12 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Nectar mattress

If you think you’ll sleep best on a mattress made totally of memory foam but don’t want to take a rather *ahem* expensive gamble on that belief, the Nectar mattress is a perfectly affordable way to try out the memory foam trend for yourself.

You get five dreamy layers with this mattress (yes, five!) from a cooling pillow top to a cushy gel layer to a strong, supportive base layer. All those layers hug and support the pressure points of side sleepers, like the shoulders and hips, and overall the mattress is rated a 6.5 on the soft to firm scale (perfect for side sleepers, in other words). 

Even though there are no springs, Nectar says their blend of layers reduces motion transfer and sleeps cool—plus, you can try it out for a whopping 365 days before deciding to return it for a full refund. And let’s not forget budget: a queen size mattress from Nectar will still be an investment, but it will be a few hundred dollars less than most other comparable choices, saving you cash upfront.

Price at time of publication: $799

Best Bed in a Box: Nolah Original 10" Mattress

Nolah Mattress

Nolah

We don’t normally say this, but stop listening to your parents. You don’t have to physically go to a department store and pay an inflated price when you need a new mattress. Here in the year 2021, you can go online and order a mattress, have a box delivered to your home a few days later, open it up and—voila!—watch a mattress come to life on your bedroom floor.

Nolah isn’t the only company offering this option, but we like their “bed in a box” mattress best. Why? Because it focuses on foam layers scientifically designed to reduce pressure on the shoulders, hips, and back. A middle layer of supportive high-resilience foam and a seven inch high-density bottom layer combine with a top cooling layer to create a mattress that’s cushy, supportive, cool, and medium-firm (so side sleeper-approved!).

Nolah mattresses can be placed on any firm sleeping surface. They’re built to be durable and resist sagging. You can try the Nolah mattress for 120 days to make sure you love it; we chose the Original 10 for the way its stellar features combine with a budget-friendly price tag, but if you want a reversible option, with a firmer pad on one side, you can pick the Original 12 instead.

Price at time of publication: $1,149

Best for Side Sleepers with Lower Back Pain: Purple Mattress

4.3
Purple Mattress

Courtesy of Purple

Side sleepers most often suffer from hip and shoulder pain during the night since that’s where most of your weight is distributed during sleep—but that doesn’t mean that your lower back can’t suffer, too, especially if you’re snoozing on an ill-suited mattress.

The Purple Mattress, with its dual foam layers, is designed to cushion and support all your pressure points, including your lower back. It stabilizes and neutralizes weight, so no matter how you sleep (or what part of your body needs support the most), the mattress works to maintain the spinal alignment needed for better, more comfortable sleep.

The mattress can be shipped, free of charge, to your home and comes with a 120-day money back guarantee in case you don’t love it. It’s also covered by a 10-year warranty, so you won’t need to worry about wearing it out—and having to upgrade again—anytime soon.

Price at time of publication: $1,399

Best for Side Sleepers with Shoulder Pain: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProAdapt 12-Inch Soft Cooling Foam Mattress

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProAdapt 12-Inch Soft Cooling Foam Mattress

Amazon

Shoulder pain can really throw a wrench in your day—you might not realize it, but your shoulders offer a lot of critical support to your back and neck, making shoulder strain a cause of back pain, neck pain, and tension headaches.

To alleviate shoulder pain as a side sleeper, you need a mattress that can literally hug your pressure points, absorbing your weight and keeping your neck and back carefully aligned. And while the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt is a memory foam mattress like many others on this list, it’s also the only brand featuring the same kind of memory foam developed and used by NASA to support astronauts during trips into outer space.

So, obviously, it’s a high-quality option for side sleepers who need the maximum amount of memory foam support. But it’s also made with an antimicrobial cover and cooling top layer and comes with a 90-day tryout period to ensure you’re getting the best possible sleep.  

Price at time of publication: $2,999

Best Mattress Topper: Sleep Innovations Dual Layer Memory Foam Mattress Topper

4
Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Amazon

There are a lot of reasons for wanting to adapt your current mattress into something more side sleeper-friendly: you bought a spring mattress but wish you’d bought memory foam; you have a new or recent injury that needs more support; you want to squeeze a little more life out of the one you have before buying a new one; or you simply don’t have the funds to invest in a new mattress any time soon.

Whatever the reason, we have the solution—this gel memory foam mattress topper by Sleep Innovations, which turns your current mattress into a cushier, cozier version of itself. Like a massively fluffy mattress pad, this topper is one part quilted fiber fill and one part cloud-like memory foam. The dual layers combine to give you a four-inch boost of comfortable support (and the gel layer helps keep you cool, too). 

This topper is made in the USA and comes with a 10-year limited warranty, so if you’re unhappy with it for any reason or find that either part of the topper—the gel foam or the fiber fill cover—doesn’t last as long as it should, you can contact Sleep Innovations for assistance.

Price at time of publication: $160

Best Memory Foam: WinkBeds The GravityLux

WinkBeds The GravityLux

Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about memory foam already and at this point, you may be wondering what sets one memory foam mattress apart from the others. Honestly, buying a mattress is about as subjective as buying a toothbrush or pair of shoes; everyone has a different idea of what’s comfortable and what’s not.

But the GravityLux by Winkbeds does boast one feature that makes it stand out from the crowd: proprietary AirCell™ memory foam that responds to your body’s unique weight distribution with endless shock-absorbing cushions. Built right into the layers, these microscopic cushions know just how to contour to your side-sleeping curves to give you the right amount of flexibility and support. 

The GravityLux mattress comes with free shipping and returns, as well as a 120-day trial period. Winkbeds also offers you the chance to swap out your mattress anytime after the trial (even years!) at 50% of the current list price if you decide you actually need something harder or softer or even just fresher as part of their “any reason” replacement guarantee.

Price at time of publication: $1,799

Best Cooling: Cocoon by Sealy Chill Hybrid Mattress

Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress

If you’re waking up repeatedly during the night to kick off your comforter, strip off pajama layers, or mop up the pool of sweat you find yourself lying in, you’re probably overheating too much at night. And while changing your bedding and pajamas might help with this a little bit, if your mattress is constructed to retain heat, you’re going to fight this same battle every night no matter what.

Enter the Cocoon Chill mattress by Sealy, which has two main goals: to cradle your pressure points and keep you cool at night. Sealy has infused the top layer of this memory foam mattress with something called “phase change material” so it absorbs and eliminates heat rather than retaining it. This means the mattress actually feels cool to the touch (how cool is that?!) and that you’ll feel cooler as you sleep. So long, night sweats!

You get 100 days to try this mattress to see if you love it, a 10-year warranty, and easy-peasy delivery in a convenient box. FYI, the mattress comes in two levels of firmness, but we recommend the medium-soft for side sleepers.

Price at time of publication: $1,239

Best Natural: Nolah Natural 11 Mattress

Nolah Natural 11

Nolah

We spend a third of our lifetime sleeping, so if you’re on the sensitive side, it makes sense you would want to invest in more hypoallergenic materials. Ideal for sleepers with sensitive skin or who need extra breathability overnight, the Nolah Natural 11 is made up of multiple layers, from organic cotton and wool, natural Talalay latex, to support coils. 

The Nolah Natural 11 is higher priced than the Nolah Original 10, but slightly firmer and one inch thicker, with extra layers and more natural materials—so you can rest assured you’re paying for quality. Both mattresses are “bed in a box” options, so consider your priorities, and budget, when deciding. The Natural 11 doesn’t skimp on certifications and sustainability, from being certified organic and OEKO-TEX 100, which means it’s free of harmful chemicals, to guaranteeing sustainable practices. 

While there are no firmness options for you to choose, it’s rated a 5-6 on the soft to firm scale, making it ideal for side sleepers. For added convenience, you can choose to add in-home removal and setup to your purchase. And in case you’d like to do assembly yourself, this option features side handles for easier portability. Nolah also offers a 120-night mattress trial and a lifetime warranty so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth. 

Price at time of publication: $1,899

Final Verdict

The Helix Midnight Luxe mattresses competes with top-of-the-line brands when it comes to comfort and cooling but offers a more affordable price, making it a solid choice for pretty much any side sleeper looking to upgrade their bed. If you want the convenience of a box-shipped mattress, the Nolah Original 10 offers a 120-day return policy.

How We Rated Mattresses for Side Sleepers

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best mattresses for side sleepers we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These mattresses for side sleepers are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great mattresses for side sleepers, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These mattresses for side sleepers are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend mattresses for side sleepers with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

What to Look for in Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Memory Foam

Mattresses used to be made entirely of springs or coils, but there are other options now—the foremost of which is memory foam. While there are some drawbacks to this kind of mattress, it tends to be a good choice for side sleepers because it conforms to the unique way that your body lies during the night, offering customized support to pressure points that uniform coils and springs often can’t. If you’re not sold on the idea of a mattress made 100% of memory foam, there are hybrid mattresses that combine foam with springs.

Softness

Most mattresses are rated for softness and firmness along a 10-point scale, with the softest mattresses scoring one and the firmest scoring 10. Most people need a mattress that falls in the comfortable middle, but side sleepers should try to err on the soft side versus the firm side: a softer mattress will be more supportive of a side sleeper’s key pressure points, like the shoulders and hips.

Price

Mattresses can cost as little as $300 or as much as $3,000, leaving budget-conscious shoppers struggling to find a price point that’s just as comfortable as the mattress they’re hoping to buy. So here’s what to keep in mind: a mattress is an investment piece, designed to last for many years rather than being discarded in two or three, and you’ll have to spend more than a monthly car payment on it. But that doesn’t mean you need to shop for the most expensive mattress to get the best quality—many middle-of-the-road options, costing around $1,000, are well-made enough to outlast their expense.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should you replace a mattress?

    When your mattress starts to feel saggy, becomes noisy, or you wake up achy, it may be time to replace your mattress. If you notice that you sleep better away from home, that may also be a signal. In general, mattresses tend to last from six to eight years, but it varies according quality of the material, whether you rotate it every few months, and the body weight of those sleeping on it.

  • What level of firmness is best for side sleepers?

    Most people - about three quarters of us - are side sleepers. A medium-soft to medium-firm mattress that contours to the body is best for side sleepers, somewhere in the 4 to 6 categories of mattress firmness. You want support, but you want it to respond to your body so your neck and spine are in alignment when you sleep.

  • Is a memory foam mattress good for side sleepers?

    Memory foam mattresses are a good choice for side sleepers, because the material is responsive to the shape of your body and still provides support.

  • Are hard mattresses bad for side sleepers?

    A mattress that's too hard or firm can affect the alignment of your spine because it doesn't respond to your shape when you're lying on your side.

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3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The 11 Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers in 2022. Self. https://www.self.com/gallery/best-mattress-for-side-sleepers

  2. Replacing a mattress. Better Sleep Council | Start every day with a good night’s sleep.

  3. Sleep positions. Better Sleep Council | Start every day with a good night’s sleep.