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Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers – 2020 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Jenny Iyo

Written by Keith Cushner

Quick Overview

Most side sleepers prefer mattresses that are on the softer side because they cushion the shoulders and hips, which is essential for proper alignment. However, heavier individuals who sleep on their sides may prefer a firmer mattress that won’t sink too deeply. Material composition is also important, as some mattress types provide more cushioning and better support than others.

So, what’s the best mattress for side sleepers in 2020? It’s a bit of a Goldilocks question, but it largely depends on your body weight and how you like your mattress to feel.

Whether you’re looking to save or splurge, we share our top mattress picks for side sleepers. All of our mattresses are selected based on verified customer and owner reviews, as well as intensive product research and analysis. Read on to learn more about important considerations for side sleepers, and get your mattress questions answered in our comprehensive Mattress Buyer’s Guide for Side Sleepers.

Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
First Time Buying a Mattress?

Hop down to our Buyer’s Guide for a crash course on finding the best mattress for side sleepers.

 

Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers - Reviewed

Editor's PickThe Layla Hybrid

Editor's Pick – The Layla Hybrid

Highlights

  • Two sides: medium (5) and firm (7)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Close-conforming foam eases pain
  • Great motion isolation caters to couples and light sleepers
Read Our Full Review
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Editor's PickThe Layla Hybrid

LAYLASLEEP.COM

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Featuring a classic memory foam feel, a substantial support system, and a flippable design, the Layla Hybrid is our top choice for side sleepers.

This hybrid bed features a different firmness on each side of the mattress. One side is considered medium (5 out of 10 on the firmness scale) and the other is firm (7). Both sides feature comfort layers of copper-infused memory foam, which conforms closely to the body for pressure relief and sleeps cooler than regular memory foam. In between the two comfort layers is a pocketed coil support core that’s zoned to support different parts of the body. This support core provides a significant amount of support and allows for more airflow throughout the bed.

The Layla Hybrid’s flippable design makes for a more versatile bed, as the medium side is ideal for side sleepers under 200 pounds and the soft side is recommended for those over. The soft side comforms especially close to the body, easing pressure points and reducing aches and pains.

The Layla Hybrid comes at an average price point for hybrid mattresses. Layla offers a 120 night sleep trial, a 10 year warranty, and ships free to the contiguous US.

  • Side sleepers in all weight groups. This mattress has a double-sided two-firmness design that should cater to side sleepers of any weight.
  • Couples. The mattress absorbs movement well, so you’re less likely to be disturbed by the noise or movement of your partner.
  • People with chronic pain. This bed conforms closely to the body tor relieve pressure points.

Not Recommended for:

  • Those who don’t like the characteristic “hug” of memory foam. The foam comfort layer contours closely to the body, which can be uncomfortable for some sleepers.

Best ValueNectar

Best Value – Nectar

Highlights

  • 'Medium Firm' (6)
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Excellent motion isolation and no noise
  • Sleeps relatively cool
Read Our Full Review
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Best ValueNectar

nectarsleep.com

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The Nectar earns our Best Value pick in part because its price-point is significantly below-average. However, the mattress provides the same comfortable body conforming, pain and pressure relief, and improved spinal alignment as many of its more expensive competing models. With a ‘Medium Firm’ feel, the mattress is optimal for sleepers in any position weighing between 130 and 230 pounds, as well as lighter or heavier sleepers who prefer a balance of cushioning and support.

The Nectar bed is constructed with two memory foam layers, including a top quilted gel memory foam layer. These materials provide moderate contouring and good weight distribution. The mattress also sleeps fairly cool, thanks in part to a breathable cover made of cotton and Tencel® lyocell.

Two layers of high-density polyfoam reinforce the bed, resulting in minimal sagging and good edge support. And because the Nectar isolates motion well and doesn’t make any noise, it is a great option for couples.

Nectar provides free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, both of which are much longer than average.

The Bottom Line.

Due to its quality construction, The Nectar mattress offers cushioning and support on par with more expensive models, but for a significantly lower price point. Side sleepers on a budget will appreciate this bed’s conforming yet cool sleep surface.

  • Side sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy). Quality materials and construction provide support for a range of sleepers.
  • Those who tend to sleep hot on all-foam beds. The Tencel cotton cover and gel memory foam help neutralize the mattress’s temperature.
  • Couples. The mattress absorbs movement well and provides a near-silent sleep surface.
  • Value seekers. This is a quality mattress for a very good price.

Not Recommended for:

  • Those who don’t like the characteristic “hug” of memory foam. With the Nectar, you will feel like you are sleeping “in” the mattress, not “on” it.
  • Those who prefer a softer mattress. This mattress may feel too firm for some.

Best LuxuryBrooklyn Bedding Aurora

Best Luxury– Brooklyn Bedding Aurora

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (3, 6, 8)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Cooling phase-change cover
  • Strong edge support
Read Our Full Review
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Best LuxuryBrooklyn Bedding Aurora

brooklynbedding.com

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Our Best Luxury pick is the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora, a hybrid mattress that offers a cool, comfortable experience for side sleepers who are willing to spend a little extra.

The Aurora is available in three firmness settings: ‘Soft’ (3), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (8). This range is suitable for most side sleepers regardless of their weight; the softer option provides deep conforming and improves spinal alignment for lighter individuals, while the firmer options offer sturdy support and moderate yet consistent conforming for heavier people.

The Aurora also sleeps exceptionally cool, even by hybrid standards. This is due in part to its cover made of phase-change material (PCM), which absorbs body heat until the sleeper’s body reaches a certain temperature and allows the bed to remain cool and comfortable for most. The PCM is also infused with copper, which can promote blood flow in sleepers with poor circulation. Good airflow through the pocketed coil layer also helps the bed stay temperature-neutral.

Another strong point is the Aurora’s edge support; the 8″ coil layer provides strong reinforcement to the entire bed and helps minimize sinkage around the perimeter.

The Aurora has a higher price-point than the average mattress, but it’s still relatively affordable for a hybrid. Brooklyn Bedding offers free shipping in the contiguous U.S., and backs the Aurora with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The Aurora mattress offers side sleepers a top-of-the-line, premium sleep experience. Side sleepers can enjoy the contouring relief of foam, but still sleep cool thanks to quality materials that promote breathability and circulation.

  • Side sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy). The Aurora offers multiple firmness levels to suit any sleepers.
  • Couples. While not as quiet as memory foam mattresses, hybrid mattresses absorb noise and movement, minimizing disturbances from sleep partners.
  • Those with poor circulation. The mattress cover features copper, a material known for promoting blood flow.
  • Those who tend to sleep hot. The PCM cover is designed to regulate temperature, absorbing body heat while keeping the mattress surface cool.

Not Recommended for:

  • Sleepers on a tight budget. The Aurora is a premium mattress with a premium price point.
  • Those who need to move or flip their mattress frequently. As a hybrid, this mattress is heavier than average.

Best for Lightweight SleepersLeesa

Best for Lightweight Sleepers – Leesa

Highlights

  • 'Medium' (5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Close conforming for pain relief and better alignment
  • Isolates motion transfer very well
Read Our Full Review
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Best for Lightweight SleepersLeesa

leesa.com

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Side sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds usually prefer mattresses with a softer feel. This ensures adequate padding beneath the shoulders and hips, which can help align the spine and prevent pressure points from developing in sensitive areas. Our pick for side sleepers in this weight group is the Leesa memory foam mattress.

The Leesa is a standout because of its balanced, ‘Medium’ feel that offers consistent body conforming and stable sleeper support. Most side sleepers who weigh 130 pounds or less experience improved spinal alignment as a result.

The mattress is optimal for couples because it reduces nighttime sleep disruptions by isolating motion transfer and not making any noise. Its high-density polyfoam support core also reinforces the sleep surface very well, resulting in minimal sagging and less sinkage along the edges.

Compared to other memory foam mattresses, the Leesa’s price-point is significantly below average. The company also offers free shipping to all 50 states. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

Fundamental to a good side sleeping mattress, the Leesa Mattress has the right amount of give, cradling, and support that side sleepers in lighter weight groups can’t always access in firmer beds. As a universally enjoyed ‘Medium’ firmness bed, with a dense support core, we can recommend the Leesa to most every sleeper, save those over 230 pounds.

  • Side sleepers of lighter or average weight. The Medium firmness is just right for these sleepers, striking the balance between softness and support.
  • Couples. Memory foam minimizes motion transfer, so you’re unlikely to notice your partner moving during the night.
  • People with chronic aches and pains. The soft memory foam of the Leesa mattress provides pain and pressure point relief for these sleepers.
  • Value seekers. The Leesa is priced very competitively, given the quality of its construction.

Not Recommended for:

  • Side sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds. The Medium firmness may be too soft to provide adequate support for heavier sleepers.
  • Those who want to be able to return their mattress quickly if they don’t like it. The Leesa trial period requires you to wait 30 days before returning it.

Best for Average Weight SleepersSaatva Mattress

Best for Average Weight Sleepers – Saatva Mattress

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (4, 6, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Close conforming and pressure relief
  • Strong edge support
Read Our Full Review

Best for Average Weight SleepersSaatva Mattress

saatva.com

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Because of its double-layer of coils, the Saatva excels in providing both the stability and responsiveness that most side sleepers need. It has enough conforming to appeal to average weight sleepers but not so much as to risk sinking deeply into the bed.

This innerspring bed is constructed with comfort layers of memory foam, polyfoam, and pocketed coils that cradle the body and target pressure points in the sleeper’s most sensitive areas. A Euro-top layer is also included for extra padding. The support core contains bonnell coils, which help reinforce the bed and prevent sinkage around the edges.

The Saatva also offers multiple designs to accommodate different preferences. The bed is available in three firmness settings: ‘Medium Soft’ (4), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5), and the Medium Firm works best for most average weight sleepers. The bed also comes in 11.5-inch and 14.5-inch profiles. Additionally, the Saatva offers strong airflow through the coil layers that helps cool off the surface of the bed, making it optimal for those who tend to sleep hot.

Saatva offers free White Glove delivery – including in-home mattress assembly and old mattress removal – to all customers in the contiguous U.S. The Saatva is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.

The Bottom Line.

Innersprings are notoriously hard on side sleepers. Most are constructed with thin foam comfort layers that do not conform very closely, and this can result in poor spinal alignment and added aches and pains. The Saatva is a notable exception.

  • Side sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups. A strong coil support core helps this mattress stays supportive for a long time.
  • Back pain sufferers. The Saatva’s comfort layers relieve pressure points, while the coils prevent sleepers from sinking too deeply and straining their back.
  • Couples. While innerspring mattresses can be noisy, the foam comfort layers minimize disturbances during the night.
  • Those who tend to sleep hot. The coil layers provide sufficient airflow, enabling the mattress to stay cool throughout the night.

Not Recommended for:

  • Sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds. The Saatva may feel too firm for these sleepers.
  • Anyone wanting a memory foam sink. A true innerspring, the Saatva doesn’t have the conforming hug of an all-foam mattress.

Best for Heavyweight SleepersHelix Midnight

Best for Heavyweight Sleepers – Helix Midnight

Highlights

  • 'Medium' (5.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10- or 15-year warranty
  • Exceptional cushioning and body conforming
  • Strong edge support
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Best for Heavyweight SleepersHelix Midnight

helixsleep.com

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The Helix Midnight is one of many base hybrids offered by Helix. It is considered ‘Medium’ (5.5) in terms of firmness, and offers solid conforming and better spinal alignment for heavier side sleepers. While also coming in a thicker luxe design, that measures 14″ thick, the base model at 10″ in height is the most popular version.

Both models have memory foam comfort layers that conform comfortably to the sleepers body without sagging excessively (a common issue among heavier people with memory foam mattresses). The Luxe includes a Euro-top cushion for side sleepers who like extra padding.

The Helix Midnight also has a high-density polyfoam transitional layer and a zoned pocketed coil support core reinforced with a dense foam base. The coils have a multi-gauge configuration, with thicker springs beneath areas of the sleeper’s body where more weight is centered (such as the shoulders and midsection), while thinner coils support the spine, legs, and other lighter areas. This zoned system results in targeted pain and pressure relief for many heavier side sleepers.

The Midnight also sleeps quite cool due to its soft-touch cover, specially designed to produce strong airflow throughout the support core. The absorbing foams further minimize motion across the surface of the bed, which makes it great for not disturbing your sleeping partner.

The Helix Midnight is backed by a 10-year warranty. Both models also come with a 100-night sleep trial and Helix offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S.

The Bottom Line.

The different firmness options available with the Helix Midnight make it a good pick for sleepers of any weight. However, the thicker 14-inch Luxe stands out for providing the dense support heavier-set side sleepers need, while still being responsive and cushiony.

  • Side sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy). Helix offers different firmness and thickness options to suit a variety of sleep preferences.
  • Back pain sufferers. The zoned construction of the Helix Midnight allows the mattress to support and distribute the sleeper’s body weight, relieving pressure points.
  • Hot sleepers. The soft-touch cover regulates heat and maintains a cool sleep surface for the mattress.
  • Couples. Zoned construction makes the Helix Midnight adaptable to different sleepers, supporting and relieving different pressure points as needed.

Not Recommended for:

  • Those who need to move or flip their mattress frequently. The mattress is quite heavy.
  • Those who want to return their mattress quickly if needed. Helix sleep trials require a 30-day break-in period.

Mattress Buying Guide for Side Sleepers

Below, we share everything side sleepers need to consider when buying a new mattress, along with our best tips for buying a mattress (regardless of your sleep position).

What You Need to Know about Sleeping on Your Side

Side sleeping is the most popular sleep position. Roughly two-thirds of adults in the U.S. prefer to sleep on their side.

According to most sleep experts, it’s also the healthiest sleep position! Spinal alignment is one reason; side sleeping aligns the shoulders, spine, and pelvis, which helps minimize pressure points in the neck, lower back, and other sensitive areas. Side sleepers also have better airway circulation, which can be beneficial for people with sleep apnea (as well as heavy snorers). Side sleeping has been linked to better heart health, as well.

The term ‘side sleeping’ usually refers to one of these four positions:

  • Fetal: Both legs are curled at the knees and the back is hunched to create a ‘curled up look’ similar to babies in the womb. This is the most common position among side sleepers, and represents roughly 40% of the population.
  • Log: Arms and legs are extended, and the back is straight. Roughly 14% of adults sleep in the log position.
  • Yearner: Arms are stretched out, and back and legs are straight. Approximately 5% of sleepers choose this position.
  • Sprinter: Arms and back are straight, and one leg is curled at the knee while the other is fully extended. This is the least common side sleeping position, representing roughly 2% to 3% of the population.

side sleeper positions

None of these positions are ‘correct’ or ‘better’ than the others. However, positions like the log and yearner that require full leg extensions can reduce pelvic rotation during the night. This may lead to spinal misalignment, which increases the potential for pain and pressure points. If you sleep in one of these positions, a mattress promising superior pressure point relief should be at the top of your shopping list.

Choosing the Best Mattress for Side Sleeping

side sleeping spinal alignment
Side sleepers require a mattress that provides the support and contouring needed to keep their spine aligned throughout the night. To find this mattress, you’ll need to take into account three things:

  1. Firmness level
  2. Mattress type
  3. Any other considerations that may impact your sleep quality

We review each of these below.

Selecting Your Firmness Level

Firmness is one of the most important factors for choosing a mattress. Firmness is assigned using a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being the least firm and 10 being the firmest. Most mattresses sold today range from 3 (‘Soft’) to 8 (‘Extra Firm’).

For most side sleepers, a ‘Medium’ or ‘Medium Firm’ mattress will be most comfortable (around a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1 to 10). These surfaces provide even support, which is necessary for proper spinal alignment, while also having enough “give” to conform to the sleeper’s body, alleviating pain and pressure points as they sleep.

To find your ideal mattress firmness rating, you can use your body weight as a guide. Lighter sleepers typically require a softer mattress, while heavier sleepers require a firmer mattress. Please check out the table below for more information.

Side Sleeper Weight Most Suitable Firmness Range Explanation
Less than 130 pounds Medium Soft or softer People who are lighter than average do not sink as deeply into their mattress. Beds that are overly firm may experience discomfort because the sleep surface doesn’t conform closely enough.
130 to 230 pounds Medium to Medium Firm People with average body weight often prefer ‘happy medium’ mattresses that are neither too soft nor too firm.
More than 230 pounds Medium Firm or firmer Heavier individuals may sink too deeply into mattresses that are overly soft. This can cause spinal misalignment and lead to more aches and pains. They tend to sink less on firmer sleep surfaces.

The diagram below illustrates the most preferred firmness settings for side sleepers in all three weight groups.

Selecting Your Mattress Type

In addition to firmness and sleeper weight, the material composition of a mattress is also important for side sleepers. A mattress with steel coils in the support system will provide a much different sleeping experience than one with foam, latex, or air chambers.

Which mattresses are best (or worst) for side sleepers? Generally, side sleepers find foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses to be the most supportive. Although, some sleepers prefer the traditional feel of an innerspring mattress. The Saatva mattress is an innerspring bed, and it’s our top pick for side sleepers of average weight!

Ultimately, it’s a matter of weighing the pros and cons and finding the mattress that makes you feel the most comfortable. Below we review the five most common mattress types and explain which ones are best for side sleeping.

Foam Mattresses

Top Memory Foam Beds for Side Sleepers:

Mattress Reviews
Leesa Mattress Review
Mattress Reviews
Nectar Mattress Review
Mattress Reviews
Casper Mattress Review

Foam mattresses feature a high-density polyfoam support core, with at least one layer of polyfoam or memory foam in the comfort layer. Higher-density foams speak to a higher-quality, more durable mattress. Side sleepers can benefit from mattresses with plush memory foam comfort layers, which hug their pressure points and provide stabilizing, comforting pressure point relief.

 

Average price (Queen): $1,044.16

Expected lifespan: 5 to 6 years

Benefits for side sleepers:

  • Close conforming and good pressure relief
  • Excellent motion isolation and no noise
  • Widely available

Drawbacks for side sleepers:

  • Sleeps hot for some
  • Some sagging reported
  • Minimal edge support

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses feature a latex or high-density polyfoam support core, with at least one layer of natural or synthetic latex in the comfort layer. Latex mattresses have a bouncier feel than memory foam, but still provide good contour. They’re often preferred by those who sleep hot, or sleepers who have allergies or environmental concerns, as these mattresses are often (but not always) made from organic, naturally more breathable materials.

Average price (Queen): $1,970.51

Expected lifespan: 7 to 8 years

Benefits for side sleepers:

  • Close conforming and good pressure relief
  • Above-average motion isolation and no noise
  • Sleeps cooler than foam

Drawbacks for side sleepers:

  • Above-average price
  • Some sagging reported
  • Minimal edge support

Hybrid Mattresses

Top Hybrid Mattresses for Side Sleepers:

Mattress Reviews
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Mattress Review
Mattress Reviews
Helix Mattress Review

Hybrid mattresses feature a support core of individual pocket coils, surrounded by base polyfoam, along with at least 2 inches of latex and/or memory foam in the comfort layer. They’re an updated take, or hybrid, that combines features from various mattress types: the bounce of an innerspring, with the contouring comfort of foam and latex.

 

Average price (Queen): $2,076.70

Expected lifespan: 6 to 7 years

Benefits for side sleepers:

  • Strong edge support
  • Better conforming than innersprings
  • Sleep cool for most

Drawbacks for side sleepers:

  • Above-average price
  • Noise potential

Innerspring Mattresses

Top Innerspring Mattress for Side Sleepers:

Mattress Reviews
Saatva Mattress Review

Innerspring mattresses feature evenly spaced steel springs in the support core, plus base polyfoam layers and a polyfoam comfort layer. Traditionally, due to the uniform nature of the coil grid, innerspring beds don’t provide sufficient contour for side sleepers. However, modern mattress manufacturers, like Saatva, incorporate plush comfort layers and different coil configurations to counteract this and provide more give and pressure point relief.

Average price (Queen): $1,037.97

Expected lifespan: 4 to 6 years

Benefits for side sleepers:

  • Strong edge support
  • Inexpensive
  • Widely available
  • Sleep cool for most

Drawbacks for side sleepers:

  • Minimal conforming and pressure relief
  • Shorter-than-average lifespan
  • Noise potential

Airbed Mattresses

Airbeds feature individual, adjustable air chambers in the support core that can be manually or remote-controlled, allowing sleepers to fit the mattress to their desired firmness level. Topped with a foam comfort layer, these beds can provide good contour for side sleepers, but they’re typically expensive and require a bit more hands-on adjustment than some sleepers prefer.

Average price (Queen): $2,282.75

Expected lifespan: 7 to 9 years

Benefits for side sleepers:

  • Close conforming and good pressure relief
  • Adjustable firmness settings
  • Highly durable

Drawbacks for side sleepers:

  • Above-average price
  • Temperature neutrality issues for some
  • Noise potential

Other Considerations for Side Sleepers

Finally, there are a few more considerations side sleepers may want to keep in mind when buying a mattress. Review the following questions. If you answer yes to any of them, expand the section to learn more about the best mattress options for you.

  • Do You Sleep with a Partner or Pet?

    People who sleep with a partner or can benefit from a mattress with good motion isolation. This refers to the mattress’s ability to absorb movement. Mattresses with good motion isolation tend to provide a quieter sleep surface, which can benefit people who sleep with someone who moves around a lot during the night. If that describes your situation, opt for memory foam or latex mattresses.

  • Do You Have Allergies?

    To sleep easy, you need to breathe easy. Side sleepers with allergies or asthma may sleep easier with organic latex mattresses. These are made from all-natural, hypoallergenic materials that are more resistant to allergens, bacteria, and mold than other types of mattresses.

  • Do You Tend to Sleep Hot or Cold?

    If you’re a hot sleeper, you may sleep more comfortably on a latex or innerspring mattress. Organic latex mattresses are made from naturally breathable materials, while the construction of an innerspring mattress promotes airflow. If you’re a side sleeper who gets cold at night, a memory foam mattress can be ideal. Not only does the foam contour to your body, but that characteristic “hug” can be more likely to trap heat.

    If you’re a hot sleeper who loves the feel of memory foam, keep an eye out for mattresses with cooling materials in their comfort layers, like the gel layer of the Nectar mattress. The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora sleeps even cooler, thanks to a hybrid construction and the copper-infused phase-change material in its cover.

  • Do You Have Chronic Pain?

    Side sleepers living with chronic pain will particularly benefit from the pressure-relieving qualities of memory foam mattresses. The foam cradles your body, enabling pressure points to sink deeper into the mattress surface while your spine stays supported and aligned.

    Side sleepers also need to choose their pillows wisely. Make sure the pillow has an appropriate loft (ideally, it matches the span between your shoulder and your neck) to allow your spine to lie flat and prevent neck or shoulder pain.

Tips for Buying a Mattress

Once you’ve decided on a mattress type, keep the following questions in mind as you shop for a new mattress

  • How Much Does a Mattress Cost?

    Mattress pricing varies significantly. The average quality mattress costs more than $1,000, but costs per model range from less than $100 to more than $5,000. After selecting a mattress type, calculate an optimal price range based on the averages listed above, as well as your personal budget. Be sure to include shipping costs if you live in a remote location or outside the contiguous U.S.

  • How Does the Sleep Trial Work?

    Most mattress brands offer sleep trials that last at least 90 nights in length. As part of a sleep trial, customers can test out the mattress at home and return it before the trial period ends if they are not satisfied. Sleep trials are ideal for mattress shoppers who are unsure about what to buy — but not all brands offer free returns and shipping the mattress back can lead to additional costs.

  • What’s Covered by the Mattress Warranty?

    Read the fine print on product warranties. Most mattress warranties cover the product against defects for at least 10 years, and many extend beyond the 20-year mark. However, the overall length is not as important as the length of non-prorated coverage, which allows customers to repair or replace defective mattresses at little (if any) extra cost.

    Prorated coverage, on the other hand, requires owners to pay a percentage of the original product price for repairs or replacements. Be sure to note these periods in different warranties; in some cases, warranties lasting 10 years or longer will only offer one or two years of nonprorated coverage.

Match Your Pillows & Bedding

Once you’ve decided on a mattress, you need to grab a pillow (or two) to match as well! Here’s what side sleepers need to know about pillows.

When buying a pillow as a side sleeper, the most important thing to note is the loft, or height, of the pillow. You’ll want to find a pillow that matches the length between your shoulder and the nape of your neck. This supports good spinal alignment while you sleep, preventing you from waking up with aches or pain in your neck.

Keep in mind that the loft may need to be adjusted slightly depending on the mattress you selected. If you purchased a mattress with a plush comfort layer, your shoulder may sink more deeply into the mattress surface. In that case, you’ll want a pillow with a slightly lower loft to make up the difference. If you purchased a firmer mattress and don’t expect to sink too deeply, the traditional loft can work.

Do you tend to shift your legs or hips during the night? If you’re waking up with lower back pain after sleeping on your side, try sleeping with a thin pillow between your legs. This can prevent pelvic rotation and help you maintain spinal alignment.

  • What Types of Mattresses are Best for Side Sleepers?

    Side sleepers typically require mattresses with the right balance of comfort and support. Softer hybrids, foam, and latex beds are all great choices for side sleepers.

    Their hips and shoulders need a mattress with some give, so they can sink in far enough to align the spine and not put too much pressure on any one spot. That being said, they also need a mattress that is sturdy enough to not sag too much or spinal misalignment might happen in the other direction.

  • What Mattress Firmness is Best for Sleeping on Your Side?

    While an individual’s firmness preference is going to be personal, there are commonalities in needs and wants between different kinds of sleepers. We find that side sleepers are typically most satisfied with sleeping on plusher mattresses of a 4-6 on our firmness scale. This range ensures that the mattress will provide enough support, while also cushioning the shoulders and hips to keep the spine properly aligned through the night. Lighter side sleepers should go for the softer end of the spectrum, whereas heavier side sleepers may need more support and should consider going up to a 7 firmness.

  • What Mattresses are Best for Side Sleepers with Back Pain?

    Foam mattresses and hybrid mattresses are two of the most recommended types of mattresses for side sleepers with back pain. For proper spinal alignment, side sleepers need to have their shoulders and hips cradled as well as supported. Foam mattresses that are dense enough to prevent excessive sink and hybrids with significant comfort layers will perform both of these functions well.

    Regardless of mattress type, tucking a pillow between the knees can help to take a little pressure off of the back.

  • What Types of Pillows are Best for Side Sleepers?

    Side sleepers should look for a pillow that has a medium to high loft, or pillow thickness, which translates to a minimum of 3 inches thick. Side sleeping creates the largest gap between a sleeper’s head and the bed compared to other positions. A thicker pillow will fill this gap most effectively and help to keep a side sleeper’s neck in proper alignment with their spine.

    When it comes to pillows for the knees, side sleepers can use a standard pillow, but there are also pillows specifically designed for the purpose.

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