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Raise your hand if you’re a side sleeper! Do you experience any pain when you sleep on your side? If you do, did you know that it’s likely directly related to your mattress? Yep, it’s true! If you don’t have the best mattress for side sleepers it can lead to hip, neck, shoulder, and even back pain. The best bed for side sleepers is going to conform to your body so that pressure is taken off pain-prone hot spots, and more evenly distributed. This type of mattress will also help to align your spine, allowing your muscles to better relax. We looked far and wide to find the best side sleeper mattress options, which we’ve outlined below.

Quick Picks for the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Later in this guide, we’ll go in depth discussing why these side sleeper mattresses made our list, offer even more choices, and a whole lot more.


Our Research

Want to jump to a specific section of this guide? Just click on the link below, or just keep scrolling to read our full review of the best side sleeper mattresses.


What is the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers?

Below, find our picks for the best mattress for a side sleeper 2020. We utilized a number of factors in making these recommendations. See our “How We Picked” section below to learn more.


Foam: Nolah

Key Features: Proprietary foam offers better pressure relief than traditional memory foam; great cooling ability

Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $549-$1069 (save $125 + 2x FREE AirFiber Pillows ($158 value) )

Risk-Free Trial: 120 nights

$283 Offer ($125 off + 2x free AirFiber pillows $158 value)

The Nolah mattress is made of patented Nolah Air Foam, and is perhaps the best mattress for side sleepers preferring a foam bed. This foam is incredibly responsive. It offers all of the comforts of memory foam, with the bouncy quality of latex. This foam differs from other foam because its filled with tiny air pockets. These pockets of air help the bed to contour to your body regardless of your size or shape. Nolah mattresses are built with your body and health in mind, to give you the best night’s sleep possible. The mattresses are considered soft to medium, but are softer than many on the market.

Nolah goes above and beyond many mattress companies with a 15-year warranty. Even more impressive is the 120-night trial period. You also get free shipping and free returns, should you decide to part with your Nolah. Your mattress will ship within 5 days of ordering. If you’re charitable, you’ll love the fact that for every Nolah sold, the resources are donated in order to allow for an animal to be adopted. You even get to pick the species that Nolah will help!

Also, available exclusively for SleepZoo readers – save $125 + 2x FREE AirFiber Pillows ($158 value)!

See other Nolah coupon codes here. And make sure to check out our full Nolah mattress review.


Memory Foam: Layla

Layla mattress

Key Features: Unique dual firmness levels, as the mattress can be flipped; the soft layer is excellent for side-sleepers

Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $499-$999 with coupon code SLEEPZOO

Risk-Free Trial: 120 nights

Save $100 with code SLEEPZOO

Layla is a popular online mattress company, and their flagship mattress is one of our personal favorites. It is very unique in that it’s flippable. You can sleep on the firm side, which has a thin layer of memory foam, or on the soft side, which has a thicker layer of comfort foam. For side sleepers, the soft side is typically best. The newly designed super-soft cover is also a big perk of this luxurious but affordable mattress.

Layla is also made with copper-infused memory foam, which helps with heat dispersion. So, unlike some memory foam mattresses, Layla stays cool and comfortable, even in warm weather. There is a 120-night trial for this mattress, so if you find that it’s not the right fit for you, it’s easy to return for a full refund.

Check out our full Layla mattress review for more details.


Hybrid: Idle Sleep

Key Features: Hybrid/Latex foam option, Two sided  

Price Range (Twin – Split-King): $729-$1749

Risk-Free Trial: 18 months

Idle Sleep Coupon 30% off: 4JULY30

See Deal

It is said that you spend a third of your life in bed. Well, the Idle Sleep Mattress will definitely make that time worthwhile! What makes it perfect for side sleepers is the fact that the foam allows the contours of the shoulders and hips to sink comfortably into the mattress.

Idle Sleep is an amazing mattress that is perfect for side sleepers – named as the Rolls Royce of Comfort thanks to its 1,000 smart support coils, the Idle Sleep will support your body like no other mattress out there.

Affordable quality, easy cleanup, and different sizes make the Idle Sleep a Mattress that can cater to all different types of side sleepers. If you’re interested in buying one, you can try it risk-free for 18 months. We can’t guarantee you will return it back though!

Other great hybrid beds to consider: Kaya 


Customizable: Helix 


Key Features: Custom designed for each sleeper; versatile and comfortable; split-design for couples

Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $600-$1195

Risk-Free Trial: 100 nights

See Deal

The Helix Mattress is a good memory foam mattress for side sleepers – and for everyone, for that matter! This bed is highly customizable. When you buy it, you’ll first take a brief survey about all your sleep preferences, physique, age, gender, etc. This data is used to recommend a custom mattress composition, which later becomes your Helix bed!

Helix can even be purchased in a split design, where the left side has a different firmness than the right. This is great for couples with different preferences.

Helix is also just an all-around quality bed. It comes with a 100-day risk-free trial, as well! Our Helix review has the full scoop on this bed – and our list of Helix mattress coupons might help save you some money!


Shoulder and Back Pain: Purple

purpleKey Features: Great pressure relief in target areas; excellent back support; sleeps cool and comfortable

Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $699-$1299

Risk-Free Trial: 100 nights

See Deal

The Purple mattress is an ideal mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain or back pain. That’s because of its unique Smart Grid comfort layer, which is designed to contour to your body and provide the perfect blend of firmness and support in all the right areas. If you’re a side sleeper with back pain or targeted pain in another area of your body, the Purple mattress is a great choice.

The Purple mattress consistently earns good marks in reviews, and is a best-seller on Amazon. Right now, ou can try it risk-free for 100 nights! Learn more in our Purple mattress review.

Other great pressure relief beds worth considering: GhostBed Luxe (see our Purple vs GhostBed guide or more info)



Pro Tip: The best mattress for side sleepers is one that’s softer and helps relieve pressure from the shoulders and hips.

We’ve created this handy guide for our readers because choosing the best mattresses for side sleepers can really be a difficult task. If you try a mattress out in the showroom, it’s designed to feel good. I don’t know about you, but I don’t get aches and pains from side sleeping within the first five minutes of laying down. You’re not on a mattress showroom bed long enough to determine whether or not it’s the best bed for side sleepers, or the right model for your specific needs.

You need to ensure that your mattress is going to support your body well and be comfortable enough that you won’t feel any tension in your core. This leads to unnecessary back pain and you certainly don’t want that!


What are the Pros and Cons of Sleeping on Your Side?

Did you know that the fetal position (on your side, with your knees pulled slightly towards your chest) is the most common sleeping position, by a good measure? If roughly 47% of Americans sleep on their side, their surely must be some benefits for side sleepers!

Pros of side sleeping: interestingly, most of the side sleep benefits only occur if you sleep on the left side. Dr. John Douillard says,

“Emphasizing the left side for rest and sleep offers some time-tested wisdom for very real health and longevity benefits.”

Due to the arrangement of our anatomy and organ placement, sleeping on the left side can improve digestion, reduce heartburn, improve circulation, and improve waste removal. Sleeping on your side – either side – can also reduce snoring. Although most of the significant benefits come from sleeping on the left side, experts still recommend that you alternate sides some in order to avoid shoulder pain.

Cons of side sleeping: for some people, side sleeping can lead to shoulder pain or neck pain, even with the right mattress. Sleeping primarily on one side without switching it up can also put pressure on the stomach and lungs.


Tips to Find the Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Something Softer – A mattress that is too firm will put pressure on your hips and can even cut off some of the circulation in your body. This will cause aches and back pains that could be avoided. The best mattress for side sleepers is typically going to be on the softer side. This will relieve tension and nurture those pressure points that would be triggered on a firm bed. Foam mattresses tend to work better for side sleepers for this reason. Check out our guide to soft mattresses for more info.

Did You Know? A mattress that’s too firm can cause pain and discomfort for side sleepers, putting too much pressure on the hips and shoulders — opt for a softer mattress instead.

Good Contour – You want something soft enough to cradle your body effectively. If your mattress is too firm it can create back pain because your neck won’t be aligned with the rest of your spine. On the other hand, something too soft will allow you to sink too far down, and then your spine won’t be aligned properly either. You’ll want something that conforms to you, but that’s firm enough that you don’t sink into it too far.

Good Support – The bed needs to be comfortable, but supportive. You want something that’s built to last no matter what you throw at it. Whether you’re a heavier body type or you’re part of a couple and you’re both side sleepers you need something fit for you! The thicker and more supportive the mattress, the less you’ll sink. This is important not only for the longevity of the mattress, but for your comfort, as well.

Cooling – Mattresses that offer a top layer of cooling technology can help people sleep better by remaining more temperature neutral. The purpose is to keep your body at the perfect temperature so you’re not sweating or uncomfortably hot through the night.

There are certain habits you can adopt to further reduce the risk of aches and pains. For side sleepers, this includes alternating sides regularly, and using the right kind of pillow.


Our Credentials

You’ve now had a chance to check out our recommendations for the best online mattress for side sleepers – but why should you trust our recommendations? What makes our advice more trustworthy than the average mattress salesman?

Experience – Our team is made up of experts in the sleep industry, and lead by Chris Brantner, whose expert advice and opinions have been published in outlets including Fatherly Bustle, Brit + Co, and others.

Testing – In our quest for the best side sleeper mattress, we conducted rigorous hands-on testing of many mattress models. While internet research is great, nothing compares to true first-hand experience with a wide range of mattresses.

Research – While our personal testing was a priority, we also spent a significant amount of time researching models online. We looked at manufacturer specifications, read countless customer reviews, and analyzed the advice of experts like Consumer Reports. We compared our own findings with our research results to get a more complete picture.

Interest – Our writers and researchers are super interested (okay, maybe “obsessed” is a better word), with sleep. So, in addition to making guides like this to help our readers find the best mattresses for their needs, we also spend a lot of time reporting on interesting sleep news, analyzing the latest in sleep science, and dishing out useful sleep tips. We believe that in the quest for better sleep, knowledge is power.


How We Chose the Best Mattress For a Side Sleeper 

With a gazillion mattress models out there, one might wonder how we went about narrowing down our recommendations. We utilized a number of important factors in selecting the best mattress for side sleepers, including:

Firmness – side sleepers will typically be more comfortable on soft to medium firm mattresses. So, we focused our efforts on models offering these firmness levels. There’s not necessarily a single best type of mattress for side sleepers, but firmness rating is an important factor for almost everyone.

Durability – while initial comfort is obviously quite important, what’s just as key is the mattresses durability. We wanted to recommend beds that would last a long time, and remain just as comfortable as they were on day one. So, we chose models that are made with high-quality, durable materials that are known to withstand the tests of time.

Cooling – while side sleepers tend to like softer mattresses, some of the very soft beds that are made with normal memory foam can be fairly hot at night. We picked models that have good cooling properties – either through the use of fancy new gel-cooled or copper-infused memory foam, or through innovative design features.

Motion Transfer – a lot of our readers share their beds with a partner, and are concerned about disturbing them by moving or getting up during the night. We picked beds with minimal motion transfer, so you can erase that worry.

Value – what’s better than a fantastic mattress? How about a fantastic mattress at a great price! We chose models that offer significant value at their price points, and tended to stick with all affordable (but not necessarily cheap) mattress models.

Perks – beyond getting the best mattress for side sleepers, you want a bed that comes standard with good customer service, a good warranty, and a generous return policy. We focused on companies that stand behind their products with these kinds of perks.

SleepZoo Staff

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