We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission Here’s our process.
Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for mental and physical health. People who sleep on their sides may find that they need pressure point relief for their hips, lower back, and shoulders.
A quick look at 8 of the best mattresses for side sleepers
- Best flippable mattress: Layla Hybrid
- Best all-foam mattress: Tuft & Needle Nod
- Best versatile mattress: Nectar Memory Foam
- Best gel-infused mattress: WinkBed
- Best soft mattress: Casper Nova Hybrid
- Best overall mattress: Helix Midnight
- Best eco-friendly mattress: Saatva Classic
- Best affordable mattress: Sleep Innovations Shea Memory Foam Mattress
People can look for certifications that show whether sustainable, ethical materials and labor went into a mattress. Some common certifications include:
- Global Organic Textile Standard, sometimes called “GOTS”
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100
- USDA Organic, as certified by the Department of Agriculture
- Fair Trade
Most mattresses last around 8–10 years. People should consider whether their mattress needs replacing before purchasing a new one.
Learn more about how long mattresses last here.
Some companies help dispose of old mattresses. A person can also search for local mattress recycling locations.
Medical News Today chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria:
- Certifications: MNT will choose products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means that the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
- Size: MNT chooses products that are available in various sizes.
- Materials and fill: MNT selects products made from different materials and fills, such as memory foam and latex, to suit a range of sleep and lifestyles.
- Budget: MNT features products to suit a wide range of budgets.
- Firmness: MNT selects mattresses that are available in a range of firmness options to suit most people’s sleeping styles.
- Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer a sleep trial.
- Shipping: Where possible, MNT will include shipping information, such as where the company delivers to and whether shipping is free.
- Warranties and return policies: MNT will include products that carry warranties and clear returns policies.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best flippable mattress: Layla Hybrid
- List price: from $1,299
- Pros: can flip the mattress to change its firmness
- Cons: reports of shipping delays
Layla makes several mattresses that may suit side sleepers. The Layla Hybrid has copper-infused memory foam and an individually wrapped coil system.
The company says that its copper-infused memory foam reacts to a person’s body weight with technology called Variable Support. This provides more support in areas of deep compression than standard memory foam. The copper also transfers heat away from the body, helping a person stay cool.
With independently moving springs, the Layla Hybrid works with adjustable bed bases. This model also has a softer side and a firmer side, and handles on the sides of the mattress make flipping it easier.
The Layla Hybrid is one of the more expensive options on the market.
Learn more about Layla mattresses here.
Best all-foam mattress: Tuft & Needle Nod
- List price: from around $349
- Pros: inexpensive all-foam option
- Cons: may not be very durable, according to reviewers
The Nod is only available on Amazon, and it is the least expensive Tuft & Needle mattress.
The Nod has an all-foam construction comprising two distinct layers. The top layer cradles pressure points and adapts to a person’s body, while the bottom layer focuses on spinal support. This construction may make it a good option for side sleepers.
Though the mattress is just 8 inches in height, the company says that it has a “comparable composition” to the original Tuft & Needle mattress. Some reviewers have expressed concern about its durability.
Best versatile mattress: Nectar Memory Foam
- List price: from $399
- Pros: offers motion isolation and cooler sleep
- Cons: may sink in too much, according to reviewers
This has a five-layer construction, as well as a quilted memory foam mattress cover and a nonslip base.
The company says that this model suits any sleeping position and any body type due to its medium density, which offers a good balance of firmness and softness.
Nectar offers a 100% risk-free, 365-night home trial, with the option of a return for a full refund.
Learn more about Nectar mattresses here.
Best gel-infused mattress: WinkBed
- List price: from $1,349
- Pros: available in a wide range of firmness options
- Cons: reports of customer service issues when requesting a refund
WinkBed’s bed-in-a-box hybrid mattress comes in soft, luxury firm, firmer, and plus models.
The mattress has a pillow top layer with gel-infused foam, which helps pull heat from the body, unlike traditional memory foam.
The individually wrapped coil support system pushes back on areas of greater pressure, which could make it a good choice for side sleepers.
Learn about WinkBed mattresses here.
Best soft mattress: Casper Nova Hybrid
- List price: from $1,795
- Pros: lifts the waist and hips for better alignment
- Cons: may be too soft for some people
The Nova Hybrid is the softest of Casper’s mattresses. It has foam-encased pocketed coils for a firm foundation, as well as a plush, stretchy top layer.
Different areas of the mattress offer different levels of support, with softer foam around the shoulder area to relieve pressure on the joints. In the center, firmer foam supports the hips and lower back. This design may suit side sleepers.
In addition, the memory foam has perforations to help with airflow and prevent overheating.
However, a person who prefers a firm mattress may find that the Nova Hybrid does not suit their needs.
Casper offers a 100-day no-risk trial for their mattresses, with free returns.
Learn more about Casper mattresses here.
Best overall mattress: Helix Midnight
- List price: from $799
- Pros: offers customers a sleep quiz to choose the right mattress
- Cons: does not offer any targeted lumbar support
Helix has three mattresses that may suit side sleepers. These include:
- the Sunset, which is soft
- the Midnight, which is medium-firm
- the Twilight, which is firm
Each model provides pressure point relief, with layers of foam with different densities to support the joints. Hundreds of wrapped coils cushion the body while limiting motion transfer and helping with edge support.
Helix offers customers a 100-night sleep trial. Before making a purchase, a person can take the company’s sleep quiz to find the model that best matches their body type. Each Helix mattress is handmade in the United States.
Learn more about Helix mattresses here.
Best eco-friendly mattress: Saatva Classic
- List price: from $935
- Pros: includes an organic and antimicrobial cotton cover
- Cons: may need replacing after 3 years, according to reviewers
Saatva’s Classic model is a hybrid mattress with an innerspring coil system and eco-friendly foam cushioning. It has a firmer section in the middle to support the lower back and help maintain spinal alignment.
According to the company, the Plush Soft version of this mattress may suit side sleepers, as it can provide extra contouring. There are three levels of firmness, and a person can take the Saatva Mattress Quiz to help find the model that suits them best.
Saatva says that its materials are high quality and that the organic cotton cover of this mattress is breathable and antimicrobial. The company also offers memory foam, latex, and adjustable mattresses.
The company offers a year-round discount to active military personnel, as well as to veterans and nurses, along with a 120-night home trial.
Best affordable mattress: Sleep Innovations Shea Memory Foam Mattress
- List price: around $399
- Pros: offers personalized alignment, according to the company
- Cons: may not be comfortable for those with higher body weights
Sleep Innovations says that this mattress caters to all sleeping positions and body types due to its layered construction, called TriComfort.
The top layer consists of cooling gel memory foam, while the bottom has a 7-inch layer of firmer foam for support.
This mattress is one of the less expensive options. However, reviewers note a lack of edge support and minimal comfort for people with above-average body weight.
Sleep Innovations offers a 100-night, risk-free trial.
The following table compares the mattresses in this article.
|Layla||hybrid||twin–Cal king||soft and firm||from $1,299|
|Tuft & Needle||all-foam||twin–Cal king||medium firm||from around $349|
|Nectar||memory foam||twin–split king||medium firm||from $399|
|WinkBed||gel-infused foam||twin–Cal king||• softer|
• luxury firm
|Casper||hybrid||twin XL–Cal king||soft||from $1,795|
|Helix||hybrid||twin–Cal king||medium firm||from $799|
|Saatva||hybrid||twin–split Cal king||• plush soft|
• luxury firm
|Sleep Innovations||all-foam||twin, queen, and Cal king||medium||around $399|
A person may benefit from using products designed for their sleeping position. Click the links below to learn more about accessories for side sleepers:
A person looking to buy a new mattress might wonder:
What type of mattress is best for a side sleeper?
This depends on a person’s specific sleep needs and preferences. However, hybrid, gel, and latex mattresses are likely to provide pressure point relief and support for side sleepers.
What firmness level is best for side sleepers?
No firmness level is definitely beneficial for side sleepers.
However, firm mattresses may not support healthy spinal alignment for people who sleep on their sides. A plush or medium-firm mattress may suit side sleepers better, relieving areas of pressure and supporting alignment.
Can it help with back pain?
Side sleepers with back pain may want to avoid firm mattresses, as these can prevent the spine from aligning comfortably during sleep and may contribute to shoulder pain.
A 2015 review found that a medium-firm, self-adjusted mattress may help improve sleep quality, comfort, and spinal alignment. Anyone with back pain may benefit from an adjustable mattress.
Learn about the best mattresses for side sleepers with back pain here.
Does sleeping on one side have health benefits or risks?
Sleeping on one side may help aid digestive health, ease respiratory conditions, and prevent cardiovascular issues.
However, it may not be good for spinal alignment and may possibly lead to shoulder and neck pain, as well as headaches.
Learn more about side sleeping here.
If you’re curious to learn more evidence-based information about the fascinating world of sleep, visit our dedicated hub.
Side sleepers may find that the right mattress reduces pressure on their shoulders and hips and helps with spinal alignment. A wide range of products may suit side sleepers.
Generally, hybrid, latex, and gel mattresses that are not firm are a good choice for people who sleep in this position.
It is a good idea to test multiple mattresses before making a commitment, and some companies offer no-risk trials. Cost and durability are also important factors to consider.