Even though it’s common, you should still be careful when choosing a mattress. Pressure relief is important around your joints, especially your shoulders. The goal is to keep your spine straight, so your shoulders should be able to sink a little bit into the bed.
With so many different types and features of mattresses, it can take time to figure out which one is the best mattress for side sleepers. Using the scores from our testing team, we picked out the best mattresses for side sleepers. If you sleep on your side, you should choose a comfort level between soft and medium to protect sensitive pressure points and ensure you still get enough support.
What Should a Side Sleeper Look for in a Mattress?
Side-sleepers and all sleepers should choose a mattress that supports and aligns the spine. Take a photo of yourself lying on your side from behind to see if a mattress supports your body. Draw a straight line between your ears, shoulders, and hips.
Pressure relief is the second thing to look for in a good mattress. Since most people move around a lot at night, medically speaking, pressure relief is not as important as spinal alignment. But from a comfort point of view, people who sleep on their sides should be aware of pressure points.
A pressure point is just a spot on the body, usually on the surface, that hurts when pressure is put on it. Your pressure points change based on how you sleep and what body parts touch the mattress. Pressure points for people who sleep on their sides include the ears, shoulders, and hips, which often get sore. It is why people who sleep on their sides shouldn’t get a mattress that is too firm.
Back pain is another common thing to think about. If you often wake up with a stiff back or neck, a firmer mattress would be better for you. It is because a softer mattress will cause the spine to curve, which can lead to aches and pains.
What Firmness Is Best for Side Sleeping?
A side sleeper spends most of the night on their side. It is the most common way to sleep because it’s easier on the back and hips. According to estimates, half and three-quarters of our sleep are on our sides. It is a position that women like, and there is evidence that it is the best position for reducing heartburn and improving blood flow to the heart, especially if you sleep on your left side.
Sleep experts also recommend sleeping on your side during pregnancy because it keeps your blood moving and your spine aligned and helps your nerves work better. Side sleeping also helps the body’s natural way of eliminating waste.
The best mattress for side sleepers is both soft and firm. It is the Goldilocks version of “just right.” If the mattress is too soft, your shoulders and hips won’t get the support they need and will sink too far into the bed.
Side sleepers do best on a med-soft mattress, but some heavier people can sleep well on a med-firm mattress. Both latex and memory foam is the best mattress for heavy side sleepers that support those deep curves. Try a mattress with a firmness level between 3 and 7.
Side sleepers can choose from a wide range of mattresses if they offer enough support and cushioning. Memory foam, latex, and gel mattresses are the best mattress topper for side sleepers. Here are some examples:
The Helix Midnight is one of the few best mattress for side sleepers on the market, made with side sleeping in mind. Most mattresses are made with materials that make them comfortable for side sleeping, but the Helix Midnight was created with this position in mind from the start. If you sleep on your right or left side often because your shoulders hurt or are stiff, the Midnight has the right amount of give and support to make it comfortable to stay in one position.
The Layla Hybrid mattress is the only one on this list that can be turned over. It’s also one of the few hybrid mattresses that can be flipped. But you can’t just flip it to move it around and wear it evenly. It is a combination of two different mattresses. One side is soft, and the other is firm. If you need help deciding what level of firmness you want in a new mattress, a combination sleeper is the best choice.
Loom & Leaf (Relaxed Firm)
The Loom & Leaf (Relaxed Firm) should offer a better night’s sleep than most online competitors for people who sleep on their sides and like sturdy memory foam beds. It costs a few hundred dollars more, but it’s one of the best mattress for side sleepers that still feels strong. The quilted, padded top cradles your shoulders and hips, and the durable foam layers help keep your spine straight.
Do Side Sleepers Need Firm or Soft Mattresses?
When shopping for a mattress, you should consider how firm it is. A soft mattress hugs the body close, while a firm bed distributes the body’s weight more evenly, so sleepers don’t sink. Beds with a medium level of firmness tend to have stable support and soft contouring.
Some firmness levels are better for certain body types and sleep positions than others, so it’s important to find the right one. Without the right support, your posture and comfort may suffer, which could cause pain and make it hard to sleep.
Most side sleepers prefer softer mattresses because they help keep the hips and shoulders aligned with the spine. Back and stomach sleepers don’t need as much contouring, and firmer beds better support their spines with stable surfaces that don’t sink.
Is a Firm Mattress Good for a Side Sleeper?
The best mattress for side sleepers keeps your body in the right position to improve your health, like easier breathing and better digestion. The key to ensuring side sleepers don’t sink too far into a mattress is also to ensure it has the right amount of support.
Side sleepers need support, so do they need a firm or soft mattress? Side sleepers prefer softer mattresses. A side sleeper mattress should be soft enough to cushion hips, knees, and shoulders while supporting proper body alignment. Side sleepers will experience hip and shoulder pain on a firm mattress.
Some mattresses are suitable for most side sleepers, but getting your personal sleep preference—a fine balance between optimal support and ideal softness—is essential to your health and how refreshed you feel in the morning. Considering how your body weight affects the mattress’s support, and plushness is important. Lighter people have softer mattresses. This body weight guide suggests mattress firmness levels.
Most of the time, people buy a new mattress because their old one is too old or uncomfortable. Mattresses that don’t fit well together or are old and have dips in them can cause pressure and lead to aches and pains over time. It is especially true for people who sleep on their sides and tend to get joint pain.
When you buy a mattress online, many companies offer sleep trials so you can try it out and send it back if it needs to be firmer. It will help you find the best mattress for side sleepers. Visit Call-a-Mattress to learn more about which mattress is best for you.