The Top Recommended Side Sleeper Mattresses, According to Experts

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If you’ve been waking up with sore muscles or joints, feeling hotter than usual at night, struggling with worsening allergies or asthma, or just dealing with poor sleep overall, your mattress might be to blame. And if your mattress is sagging or has gotten noisier or looks worn, it’s definitely time to ditch it. If you sleep on your side, certain features make some options the best mattresses for side sleepers like you, so don’t rush to buy a replacement without knowing what to look for first—especially if you’re buying online.

Here’s some good news: Side sleepers shouldn’t find it hard to find a mattress they love. “Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position,” says Derek Hales, founder and editor-in-chief of NapLab, which tests and reviews mattresses, pillows, and other sleep products. “As a result, most mattress brands design around the needs of side sleepers.”

Experts In This Article

Best Side Sleeper Mattresses, at a Glance:

What Type of Mattress Is Best for Side Sleepers?

Side sleepers need a mattress (and pillows) that will support the body's curves throughout the night. A memory foam mattress, for example, is versatile enough for side sleepers of various sizes and shapes because it conforms to the body. But firmness of a mattress should also be taken into account.

Which Level of Mattress Firmness Is Best for Side Sleepers? 

“To get appropriate pressure relief and the correct spinal alignment, side sleepers need a mattress that is somewhere between slightly soft and medium firm,” says Hales. He adds, “Sleeping on your side has more areas of potential pressure point buildup than on your stomach or back. The combination of your body, pillow, and mattress must work together to get your spine into the correct alignment.”

When you’re deciding on a firmness option, you should take your body weight into account, as Hales explains. “In general, the heavier you are, the closer to the medium firm you'll need, especially if you're 250+ [pounds],” he says. “Lighter-weight side sleepers, especially 130 pounds or less, tend to need a mattress that's closer to the slightly soft feel.”

To help you stop tossing and turning and make it easier for you to wake up refreshed, we’ve asked Hales to share his recommendations for some of the best mattresses for side sleepers.

Shop 8 Mattresses Side Sleepers Can Get Comfortable On

Editor's note: The prices below reflect the MSRP for a queen size mattress before promotional discounts.  

nectar premier copper mattress for side sleepers
Best memory foam: Nectar, Premier Copper Memory Foam Mattress — $1,249.00

As the name suggests, the Nectar Premier Copper’s design features include copper fibers that claim to draw heat away from your body (there’s not a lot of science to back this up, but hot sleepers might want to put it to the test!). While memory foam mattresses tend to get a bad rap for being super squishy, this model uses five layers of premium materials, including a thick support layer and four inches of pressure-relieving gel memory foam. And, if you’d like even more support, you can also opt to add pocketed spring coils and turn this model into a hybrid. Hales calls this model “Nectar’s top performing mattress” and likes its “classic memory foam feel with good contour and hug.”

  • Sizes: Twin—Split King
  • Firmness level: Medium-firm
  • Thickness: 14 inches
  • Trial period: 365 nights
  • Warranty: Lifetime


  • Cooling cover
  • Thick, durable design
  • 365-night trial and lifetime warranty


  • May require deep-pocket sheets
  • No sustainably-sourced materials
leesa legend mattress, one of the best side sleeper mattresses
Best hybrid: Leesa, Legend Mattress — $2,599.00

Designed to be a comfortable option for all sorts of sleepers, this hybrid mattress combines everything you like about memory foam with the classic support of spring coils. Hales says it’s a “fantastic all-around mattress” with a “medium feel, good cooling, [and] excellent build quality.”

The Leesa Legend’s six layers include an inch of comfort foam that’s perforated for breathability, as well as a cover that’s made from recycled water bottles, organic cotton, and merino wool (which is resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew). Bonus: Leesa is a Certified B Corp (for its positive social and environmental impact), its mattresses are made in the US, and the company has also donated almost 40,000 mattresses to families in need! However, if you’re not happy with it, you can return it after the first 30 days of the 100-day home trial.

  • Sizes: Twin XL—Cal King
  • Firmness level: Medium-plush
  • Thickness: 12 inches
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years


  • Cradling memory foam top layer
  • Breathable and supportive hybrid design
  • Cover includes recycled materials and organic cotton


  • Shorter sleep trial than other beds on this list
saatva classic mattress, a great side sleeper mattress
Best classic: Saatva, Classic Mattress — $1,995.00

Hales calls this mattress “a high-end, more traditional coil-on-coil mattress with a Euro-style pillow topper—[a] solid all-arounder for many types of sleepers.” He adds, “Most side sleepers should go with the Luxury Firm; lightweight side sleepers may like the Soft best.”

This mattress has Saatva’s Lumbar Zone® Technology, which provides proper spinal alignment and back support, no matter how you sleep. (It received a seal of approval from the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, in fact.) The breathable, hypoallergenic sleep surface has undergone the Guardian® botanical antimicrobial treatment to guard against bacteria, mold, and mildew. Saatva includes a couple of extras when you order a mattress: Their free White Glove delivery includes setup—including the bed frame and foundation, if you buy those—and free disposal of your old mattress.

  • Sizes: Twin—Split Cal King
  • Firmness levels: Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, or Firm
  • Thickness: 11.5 or 14.5 inches
  • Trial period: 365 nights
  • Warranty: Lifetime


  • Three firmness and two height options
  • Luxury Euro pillow top
  • Free in-home delivery and setup


  • May be too firm for smaller side sleepers (although the Plush option may work)
The winkbed, one of the best side sleeper mattresses
Best firm: The WinkBed, Luxury Firm Mattress — $1,799.00

The original WinkBed mattress is designed for people who want comfortable cushioning and deep support, folks who sleep hot, and those dealing with pain in their back, hips, or shoulders. Four firmness levels are available, but Hales recommends the Luxury Firm if you sleep on your side. “The vast majority of side sleepers will be more comfortable on [it]. If you weigh less than 130 pounds then the Soft is also an option.” And, regardless of which firmness you choose, if you’re a side sleeper you’ll appreciate the WinkBed’s plush gel-foam pillow-top layer.

This mattress is made in the US, and includes feel-good materials like recycled spring coils and a eucalyptus-derived Tencel cover. WinkBeds offers a 120-day risk-free trial and an easy exchange process if you end up wanting to switch to a different firmness.

  • Sizes: Twin–Cal King
  • Firmness levels: Softer, Luxury Firm, Firmer, or Plus (side sleepers should opt for the Softer or Luxury Firm)
  • Thickness: 13.5 inches
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Warranty: Lifetime


  • Four firmness options
  • Recycled steel coils and sustainably-sourced Tencel cover
  • Great edge support (helpful for those sleeping with a partner)


  • Shorter sleep trial than some other beds on this list
  • Some smaller side sleepers may find the Luxury Firm too firm (although the Softer model might work)
nest sparrow hybrid mattress, one of the best side sleeper mattresses
Best dual firmness: Nest Bedding, Sparrow Signature Hybrid Mattress (Medium Firmness) — $2,132.00

The standout feature of the Nest Sparrow Hybrid is the fact that you can swap out the comfort layer, either during your sleep trial or further down the line—you just unzip the sides of the bed and swap the inner memory foam layer for a different firmness. Hales says that “most side sleepers will go with the medium version; if you weigh less than 130 pounds then the soft is also an option.” Plus, if you and your partner disagree on the ideal mattress firmness, no worries: With both the King and California King sizes, you can choose a different one—Plush, Medium, or Firm—for each side of the bed!

Here’s another great feature: the cover’s THERMIC® technology keeps this mattress from overheating by absorbing and releasing energy (heat) as needed. Plus, while some companies might subtly refer to a mattress’ performance during quality time with your partner, Nest comes right out and says it, noting that the mattress “provide[s] a supportive surface for sex and sleep.”

  • Sizes: Twin–Cal King
  • Firmness levels: Plush, Medium, Firm
  • Thickness: 12 inches
  • Trial period: 365 nights
  • Warranty: Lifetime


  • Lifetime renewal exchange allows you to swap out your firmess layer over time, even after your sleep trial
  • Hybrid design supports airflow


  • Thinner profile
layla hybrid mattress, one of the best side sleeper mattresses
Best flippable: Layla, Hybrid Mattress — $1,699.00

Hales recommends this mattress because it “blends excellent memory foam hug, medium feel, and tons of pressure relief.” (Also, Layla’s website points out that the mattress has “undeniable swagger,” so there you go.) If you need more proof, SleepFoundation called it the best hybrid mattress in 2020. But if you try it and disagree, no worries: Layla provides a money back guarantee within 120 days of purchase.

The mattress’ “Flippable Firmness” is an interesting feature: One side is soft and plush while the other is firmer and has more support. While this doesn’t necessarily help if your partner have different preferences for firmness and can’t agree on a mattress, you’ll have twice the shot at finding the right fit during your sleep trial (yes, there are handles to help with the flipping!). Plus, people who tend to sleep hot, take note: this is another bed that aims to reduce heat by infusing copper in the memory foam.

  • Sizes: Twin—Cal King
  • Firmness levels: Soft and Firm (flippable)
  • Thickness: 13 inches
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years


  • Flippable for different levels of firmness
  • Memory foam and individually wrapped coils for support
  • Cover is removable and machine washable


  • Partners may disagree on which side is more comfortable
purple hybrid restore mattress, one of the best side sleeper mattresses
Best cooling: Purple, Restore Hybrid Mattress — $2,399.00

This mattress from Purple features the company’s unique grid-shaped material that it also uses in its popular seat cushions, pillows, pet beds, and other products. “The Grid” is made from a flexible, stretchy material called GelFlex, which Purple describes as “an instantly adapting and rebounding comfort layer” that allows air flow and lets your body heat escape. Another feature that helps keep you cool is the super breathable side panels that let air circulate.

Hales recommends this mattress for its “exceptionally good cooling, arguably the best we’ve tested to date” and adds that “the Purple grid material works fantastic for side sleeping.” The materials in this USA-made bed are CertiPUR-US and Clean Air GOLD certified, and it’s available in two firmness options (soft or firm).

  • Sizes: Twin XL—Split King
  • Firmness levels: Soft or Firm
  • Thickness: 13 inches
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years


  • Breathable design thanks to the grid foam and spring coils
  • Comes in two firmness options


  • The feel of the grid material is truly unique and might not be a fit for everyone
  • Shorter sleep trial than other beds on this list
the plushbeds botanical bliss organic latex mattress, one of the best side sleeper mattresses
Best sustainable: PlushBeds, Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress — $2,949.00

The Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress from PlushBeds is the priciest mattress on our list—but if customizable comfort and sustainably-sourced, organic materials are important to you, the extra cost might be worth it. With certifications from the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), GreenGuard Gold, and eco-INSTITUT, you’ll rest easy knowing it’s made with eco-friendly, non-toxic materials.

From firmness to height, you have a bunch of choices with the Botanical Bliss. And, if you sleep with a partner who has a different idea of comfort, you can order a split queen, king, or California king with a different firmness on each side. Not happy with the firmness you chose? During your 100-night sleep trial you can exchange the latex for a different option. Note: latex is more buoyant than memory foam, so most side sleepers will likely prefer the medium firmness.

  • Sizes: Twin XL—Split Cal King
  • Firmness levels: Medium or Firm (dual firmness options on split queen, king, and Cal kings)
  • Thickness: 9, 10, or 12 inches
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Warranty: Lifetime


  • Made with certified organic latex, cotton, and wool
  • Multiple firmness and height options
  • Ability to swap out firmness level and choose dual firmness for split models


  • Priciest bed on our list
  • Shorter sleep trial than other mattresses on this list

Things to Consider Before Buying

When shopping for a mattress, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Mattress Material

The beds on our list are made from a variety of materials, including memory foam, latex foam, and spring coils. Some are all-foam models, while others are hybrid designs, meaning they contain a combination of springs and foam. It's helpful to consider the materials inside for two reasons: First, temperature regulation. If you're a hot sleeper, memory foam mattresses may feel a little warmer as they don't regulate temperature as well as latex foam or hybrid beds. Second, sustainability. While all of the beds on our list have basic safety certifications, some are more focused on using chemical-free, recycled, and sustainably-sourced materials.

Trial Period & Warranty

Because it's hard to tell how well you'll be able to sleep on a mattress without, you know, actually sleeping on it, look for mattresses that have a free trial period so you're not stuck with something that doesn't work for your body. Additionally, be sure to take note of the brand's warranty—a mattress is a big investment, so you'll want to make sure you'll be covered if something goes awry over time.

Delivery Options

Mattresses sold online typically ship to you compressed and rolled in a box. Depending on the size, they're surprisingly easy to handle (W+G staffers can vouch!) and it's even kind of fun to watch them expand. Still, if you live in an apartment or are planning on bringing the bed up flights of stairs, you'll want to make sure you're prepared with a second set of hands (queen mattresses typically weigh upwards of 80 pounds).

Some brands (like Saatva and Purple on our list) either include or have the option to add on white glove delivery, which means someone will help bring the bed into your home and set it up. Just be sure to read the fine print for each brand, because not all mattresses qualify.

Your Base or Frame

Getting excited about a new mattress? Do yourself a favor and take stock of your current bed frame or base. Does it work with the mattress you're hoping to buy? The answer is likely "yes," but it's still good to double check before making such a big purchase!

Frequenly Asked Questions

What Firmness Is Best for Side Sleepers With Back Pain?

While comfort is subjective, research suggests that a medium-firm mattress is best for folks with back pain. While it may seem counterintuitive, a slightly firmer surface will help keep your body in its natural alignment, avoiding unnecessary pressure on your joints. Just make sure your bed isn't too firm for your shoulders and hips (this is where sleep trials come in handy!).

Is it Worth Buying a Mattress Online? 

If you’re worried about buying online instead of trying out mattresses in person, you should be reassured by most companies’ policies that decrease your risk of ending up stuck with a mattress you’re not happy with. (Plus, online mattress shopping means you don’t have to deal with any pressure from salespeople.) And, as we mentioned above, many (but not all) beds ship to your door in a box, so they arrive more quickly than ordering from a store. However, remember that you'll have to get it into your home and set up on your own.

Most of the brands above offer home trials of 100 to 365 days, plus free returns. Their product descriptions are extremely thorough (more than you’ll even want to know!), the sites feature a ton of customer reviews, and the mattresses come with multiple-year or lifetime warranties.

—medically reviewed by Angela Holliday-Bell, MD

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
  1. Caggiari, Gianfilippo et al. “What type of mattress should be chosen to avoid back pain and improve sleep quality? Review of the literature.” Journal of orthopaedics and traumatology : official journal of the Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology vol. 22,1 51. 8 Dec. 2021, doi:10.1186/s10195-021-00616-5

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