What is the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers?

Updated January 6, 2020

We've reviewed the most popular “bed-in-a-box” mattresses to help you determine the best mattress for side sleeping. 

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers Comparison


Best Overall Mattress for Side Sleepers: Leesa

Side sleepers need a mattress that falls on the medium-soft to medium side of the firmness chart. If the mattress is too firm, it’s not nice to your joints. If the mattress is too soft, you’ll sink in too far and that spine will curve out of alignment. 

The Leesa mattress is a unique hybrid construction of memory foam and pocket coils, with three different mattress layers designed to cater to specific needs: 

  • The comfort layer keeps you cool and provides just enough bounce.
  • The recovery layer is made of memory foam that contours to your body and relieves pressure on your hips and shoulders.
  • The support layer on the bottom is made of individually-wrapped springs that adjust to all body types and sleeping styles including side sleepers.

The responsive sleep surface reacts to your body so no matter how you move, you stay supported all night long. And if you do roll around in your sleep, you don’t have to worry about bothering your partner. The top layer of foam provides enough motion isolation to keep your movements from transferring to the other side of the bed.

If you’re someone who not only sleeps on their side but also uses every inch of mattress surface, including the edge, the Leesa will still support you. The coils inside the mattress create sturdy edge support for people pushed to the side by their partner, the dog or those who simply like to sit on the bed in the morning to put on their shoes.

Check the price of the Leesa Mattress and start your 100-night trial with free shipping. 


Best Value Mattress for Side Sleepers: Nectar

The Nectar mattress is a more affordable option compared to well-known competitors, but Nectar customers are impressed by its quality and value. In fact, Nectar is so confident in its mattress quality that it offers a lifetime warranty and free returns to its customers. You can try it out for one full year to be sure that it’s the one.

The Nectar mattress is comprised of four layers, as well as a base cover to keep the mattress in place. 

  • A dense, foam base layer creates strong support, and molded channels within the foam promote airflow and breathability. 
  • An Adaptive Hi Core Memory Foam layer—and the only Adaptive Hi Core Memory Foam layer among competitors, according to Nectar—creates bounce and extra body contour. 
  • Nectar’s specialty gel memory foam layer recovers perfectly from pressure and distributes heat away from your body as you sleep. 
  • The quilted gel memory foam and cooling cover is the top layer. It provides the greatest cooling effect by increasing air circulation as you move around. 

If you do move around in your sleep, as side sleepers often do, then you may appreciate Nectar’s excellent motion isolation, which allows you to sleep undisturbed by your partner or pet, and vice versa. 

To add to Nectar’s value, customers will also feel good about Nectar’s CertiPUR-US® Certified materials, which are environmentally friendly and free of toxic chemicals, such as mercury and lead. 

Check the price of a Nectar mattress and put its lifetime warranty to the test. 


Best Pain Relief Mattress for Side Sleepers: Nolah

What makes Nolah the best mattress for side sleepers that wake up sore? The defining feature of a Nolah mattress is its shock-absorbing air pockets, which help to relieve pressure in the shoulders and hips better than other foam mattresses. 

If you have trouble sleeping comfortably or wake up with aches and pains, then you may find relief through Nolah’s other structural features:

  • Its 2” top layer of patented AirFoam™ will keep you cool and contour to your body without the sinking feeling of a traditional memory foam mattress. 
  • A 1” layer of high-resilience foam promotes greater durability than memory foam competitors. You’ll also enjoy the bounce that this layer creates. 
  • A 7” high-density base layer gives you all of the support and durability you need. The mattress boasts near-perfect performance for spine alignment. 

We also like the Nolah mattress for its generous 15-year warranty and 120-night trial period. In addition, your purchase will go towards wildlife conservation with a portion of the money donated to Defenders of Wildlife

Check the price of the AirFoam mattress by Nolah and learn more about its superior pressure relief. 


Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain: Tuft & Needle Mint

Side sleepers with back pain need a mattress that is easy on the spine. The Mint mattress by Tuft & Needle is an affordable model that was designed with customer feedback in mind and optimized for better performance. Despite its reasonable price, it rivals the quality of many luxury brand mattresses. 

Here’s what makes the Mint mattress stand out:

  • Two out of three layers are comprised of T&N Adaptive® foam, which wicks away moisture and keeps you cool throughout the night. 
  • Improved edge support extends support from end to end of the mattress for those who sleep near the edge of the bed. Those with back pain will also find it easier to maneuver and get in and out of the bed. 
  • The Mint mattress utilizes graphite and cooling gel beads to distribute heat away from the body as you sleep. 
  • Side sleepers benefit from medium firmness, even body weight distribution, and improved spine alignment.

You can take the Mint mattress by Tuft & Needle for a trial run of up to 100 nights. Shipping is free, as are returns. If you purchase the mattress, you are covered under a 10-year warranty.

Check the price of the Mint mattress by Tuft & Needle and begin your trial period towards pain-free sleep. 


Best Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers: Brooklyn Bedding Aurora 

The Brooklyn Aurora mattress from Brooklyn Bedding is a luxury hybrid mattress with temperature regulation in mind. Side sleepers will benefit most from the medium-firm mattress option—just enough give to relieve common pressure points and fit the natural curves of your body. 

Why do we like the Brooklyn Aurora mattress? 

  • Its Copper Gel Energex™ foam contains antimicrobial properties as well as responsive contouring for a comfortable and clean sleep.  
  • A second layer of hyper-elastic TitanFlex™ foam adjusts to your body as you move or change sleeping positions.
  • A high-density base with individual coils increases durability, so you can enjoy your mattress for many more nights.
  • Brooklyn Bedding’s patented TitanCool™ gel beads are embedded within the surface of the mattress. This innovative technology is actually a phase change molecule that liquefies as your body heat increases, absorbing the heat and maintaining a more comfortable skin temperature of 88 degrees. 
  • A smooth top weave further enhances the cooling effect of the mattress. 

Though this is one of the more expensive mattresses on the list, it provides everything that you need in a mattress, from cool comfort to tailored support. The Brooklyn Aurora mattress is available with a 10-year warranty and a 120-night trial period. 

Looking for more bells and whistles with your mattress? Check the price of the Brooklyn Aurora mattress and get all of the benefits of a luxury brand. 


What Are the Benefits of Side Sleeping?

According to a WebMD report, there are several benefits to side sleeping. 

  • Sleeping on your left side can help alleviate the symptoms of heartburn. 
  • If you place a pillow between your legs, sleeping on your side can also alleviate back pain. 
  • If you curl up in the fetal position, you open up your airway passages to help with snoring and sleep apnea. 
  • If you’re plagued with varicose veins, sleeping on your left side can do wonders for your circulation.
  • It’s also the recommended sleep position for pregnant women to ward off acid reflux.


Aches and Pains of Side Sleepers

While there are plenty of health benefits to sleeping on your side, there are some potential problems. The number one area of concern for side sleepers should be the neck.

When you sleep on your side, there is a large gap between the mattress and your head potentially causing your neck to fall out of alignment with the rest of the spine. This can be a source of pain and stiffness in the morning. The effects can be felt across the entire body.

When your spine is strained, the spinal column can become compressed or pinched. If you’ve ever had a pinched nerve, you know this can be uncomfortable, painful, and even cause numbing in the body. Because this pain can be so far reaching, you may not always think to associate pain in places like the lower back or even in the feet to the fact that you’ve slept with your neck out of alignment. 


How to Choose the Right Mattress for Side Sleepers

Side sleepers should search for a mattress that will keep their spine aligned properly and in a neutral position. Essentially, you want your whole spine to be in a straight horizontal line while you’re sleeping. There are a few things for side sleepers to remember.

  • Sturdy Curve Support — You need a mattress that supports areas like the neck and waist. This is important because while you’re sleeping, the muscles and ligaments of your back relax and rejuvenate, leaving your spine relatively unsupported. 
  • Gentle Shoulder Care — Your mattress should be gentle on the shoulders. Most of the pressure for side sleepers lands on the hips and shoulders, making them pressure points. You always want a mattress that will relieve pressure on those points that most support your weight on your mattress. 
  • Perfect Pillow Plans — Another important part of this overall snooze scenario is the right pillow. Good sleep posture at night means no pain in the morning. Your pillow should support the natural curve of your neck and overall spine alignment. How do you know if your pillow is keeping everything aligned? A good way to think of it when trying out pillows is to consider whether your ear, shoulder and hips are all aligned. Hint: they should be.


Ranker is committed to providing unbiased reviews of products and services. Our team has partnerships with certain companies, but this does not influence how we rate or rank the services or products offered. However, Ranker may receive a small share of revenue from a purchase made through these affiliate links.