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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers in 2023

Our mattress experts have tested over 200 beds. Here are their picks for the best mattresses for side sleepers who need specific comfort and support.

McKenzie Dillon Writer
McKenzie, a Certified Sleep Science Coach and proclaimed mattress expert, has been writing sleep content in the wellness space for over four years. After earning her certification from the Spencer Institute and dedicating hundreds of hours to sleep research, she has extensive knowledge on the topic and how to improve your quality of rest. Having more experience with lying on mattresses than most, McKenzie has reviewed over 150 beds and a variety of different sleep products including pillows, mattress toppers and sheets. McKenzie has also been a guest on multiple radio shows including WGN Chicago as a sleep expert and contributed sleep advice to over 50 different websites.
Expertise Certified Sleep Science Coach, Certified Stress Management Coach, Bachelor of English.
McKenzie Dillon
Medically Reviewed
Reviewed by: Troy Mensen, DO Medical Reviewer
Dr. Troy Mensen is a family medicine doctor based in the Chicago area. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Northern Iowa and his doctorate at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Expertise Family medicine Credentials
  • American Board of Family Medicine, Family Medicine
  • State of Illinois, Medical Examining Board License
  • University of Northern Iowa, BA
  • Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, DO
14 min read
$1,499 at Layla
A bed frame holding the flippable Layla mattress
Layla Hybrid
Best overall mattress for side sleepers
$200 off Hybrid Mattress + 2 FREE Pillows
$1,916 at Amazon
The Casper Nova Hybrid mattress on a light-colored bed frame, with a woman wrapped in a blanket on top.
Casper Nova Hybrid
Best hybrid mattress for side sleepers
$2,945 at Saatva
The Saatva HD Mattress with pillows on top in a large, white room.
Saatva HD
Best mattress for heavy side sleepers
$1,299 at Amerisleep
A queen size model of the Amerisleep AS4 mattress against a white background.
Amerisleep AS5
Best memory foam mattress for side sleepers
$1,332 at Helix
A man sleeping on the soft Sunset mattress from Helix
Helix Sunset
Best soft mattress for side sleepers
$999 at Purple
The Original Purple mattress in a bedroom next to two nightstands and bed lamps.
Purple mattress
Best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder and hip pain
$1,399 at Brooklyn Bedding
The cooling mattress from Brooklyn Bedding on a platform bed frame in a large white room
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe
Best cooling mattress for side sleepers
$942 at Nolah
A queen size Nolah mattress in a brightly lit room
Nolah Original 10 mattress
Best foam mattress for side sleepers

Sleeping positions vary from sleeper to sleeper, and having a specialized mattress to match your sleep habits can help your sleep comfort, quality and overall health. If you're a side sleeper, you might not have realized that there are mattresses designed specifically for you and your sleep position. The best mattresses for side sleepers are ones that contour to the shape of your resting body, providing ample pressure relief and alleviating back pain, hip pain and shoulder pain. 

With so many beds on the market, narrowing your choice down to even just a few models can be hard. Trust us, we get it. Which is why my fellow CNET mattress reviewers and I have tested over 100 different beds, giving us a feel (literally and figuratively) for the best mattresses for side sleepers. From these mattresses, we picked the ones that offered the most pressure relief, versatility, extra bells and whistles, or a great value.

Our pick: What's the best mattress for side sleepers?

A queen size Layla mattress set up in a bedroom with a bed frame and orange rug

My fellow mattress testers and I slept on more than two dozen models to find the best mattress for side sleepers, and here are our findings. We update this side sleeper mattress review list periodically as we test new products. 

The beds chosen below were top-rated among the editors during testing. We analyzed everything from firmness, feel, motion isolation, edge support and temperature. We also take overall comfort, versatility and special features into account. After testing we found the Layla Hybrid mattress to be the best mattress for side sleepers, but there were plenty of other beds that also stood out as good picks. 

Prices listed are for queen sizes, though they frequently change.

Video: Best mattress for side sleepers

Watch CNET Video Producer Owen Poole review the best mattress for side sleepers. 

Best mattresses for side sleepers in 2023

Mattress price scale:

$ = Budget: $799 and below

$$ = Average: $800 to $1,699

$$$ = Premium: $1,700 and up

These reflect MSRP or list prices. Sales might make a mattress less expensive, but are always changing.

Type Flippable hybrid mattressFirmness Firm: 5 or medium | Soft: 3 or medium-softTrial 120 nightsWarranty 10-year limited warranty Price

Why we picked the Layla Hybrid mattress: Unlike a majority of mattresses on the market, you can sleep on either side of the Layla Hybrid mattress. It has a soft and airy memory foam feel that's almost like cotton candy. Side sleepers will love the soft side, and the firm side accommodates all sleeping positions.  

Layla Hybrid's foam is infused with copper for enhanced temperature regulation, and has extra-strong pocketed coils for maximum support. The soft mattress side had just enough give to alleviate pressure on my shoulders and hips, but still provided the support I needed so I didn't wake up in pain. On the days where you feel you may want a little more support, the firm mattress side of this Layla Mattress propped me right up. Read more in our Layla Hybrid mattress review

The Layla Hybrid mattress comes in twin to California king and prices range from $1,299 to $1,899 regularly, not considering any discounts the store may be offering.


  • Dual-firmness design appeals to all sleeping positions, but especially side sleepers
  • Hybrid construction is good for all body types


  • May be out of some people's budgets

Additional details

  • Type: Flippable hybrid mattress
  • Firmness: Firm: 6 or medium to medium-firm | Soft: 3 or medium-soft
  • Trial: 120 nights 
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Price scale: $$

Read our Layla Hybrid review.

Layla Hybrid

  • Copper foam keeps you cool
  • Flippable and doesn't transfer motion
  • 120-night trial period
$200 off Hybrid Mattress + 2 FREE Pillows
* Pricing based on Queen model
Type Hybrid mattressFirmness Medium-soft or 3Trial 100 nightsWarranty 10-year warranty Price

Why we picked the Casper Nova Hybrid mattress: A soft mattress is a side sleeper's haven and the Casper Nova Hybrid bed among the cream of the crop. It feels like a big fluffy cloud, with the additional support of pocketed coils in the foundation layer and a zoned layer in the center of the mattress for targeted support and pressure relief. 

It's ultra plush, and really nestles your body as you become engulfed in the soft foam layers. The foam is quick to respond to pressure, unlike dense memory foam which can take a few moments to morph back to its normal shape. And thanks to its supportive hybrid design, it's accommodating for all body types.

The Casper Nova Hybrid doesn't sleep cool, but it does help regulate temperature. The top layer is made with perforated Airscape foam to allow air to pass through, while the pocketed coils in the lower layer also promote more airflow. It is a bit expensive, but I think it's worth it for side sleepers looking to splurge on a new mattress. The Casper Nova Hybrid comes in twin XL to California king and prices range from $1,995 to $3,095.


  • Zoned-support design helps provide more support
  • Thanks to its coils, this bed is ideal for all body types


  • It's one of the most expensive beds in Casper's lineup

Additional details

  • Type: Hybrid mattress
  • Firmness: Medium-soft or 3
  • Trial: 100 nights
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty
  • Price scale: $$$

Casper Nova

Type Mixed foam hybrid mattressFirmness 5 or medium (for heavier folks)Trial 365 nightsWarranty Lifetime warranty Price

Why we picked the Saatva HD mattress: It's specifically designed to provide heavier sleepers with maximum support and plenty of comfort. Saatva HD's supportive innerspring system is 25% stronger than an average hybrid mattress and includes special Lumbar Zone Active Spinal Wire meant to help with lower back support. You can also find 5-zoned latex foam in the comfort layers for even more targeted support. 

Side sleepers over 230 pounds will really enjoy its medium firmness level. It's soft enough to contour around your hips and shoulders for pressure relief, but it's strong enough to keep your back and spine in a straight alignment with your neck. It's an impressive mattress and it takes luxury to a new level. 

The one downside is that Saatva recommends buying its foundation to support the bed, as it says Saatva HD isn't compatible with other frames. If you want to save money on a Saatva mattress, the Classic model in Luxury Plush is a viable choice for heavy side sleepers. Read more in our Saatva mattress review

The Saatva HD comes in sizes twin to split king and prices range from $1,895 to $4,190. 


  • Its innerspring system is stronger and more supportive than most average hybrid beds
  • Zoned latex layer provides added support


  • Isn't compatible with frames outside the Saatva brand
  • It's an expensive mattress

Additional details

  • Type: Mixed foam hybrid mattress
  • Firmness: 5 or medium (for heavier folks)
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Trial: 365 nights 
  • Price scale: $$$

Saatva HD


Why we picked the Amerisleep AS5: The Amerisleep AS5 mattress appeals to a true memory foam fanatic who loves an extra plush feel; it has dense, slow-responding foam that envelopes your body, making you feel like you're getting a big hug from your mattress. The cover is also machine washable and infused with a performance and sleep-boosting fabric that is supposed to promote better sleep and make you feel more energized when you wake up. 

The Amerisleep mattress covers are infused with Celliant, a performance and sleep-boosting fabric that absorbs heat from your body, and transfers it back to you as infrared energy. It's supposed to boost circulation and help your body's natural muscle repair process that occurs during sleep, helping you feel well-rested and energetic when you wake up. Read more in our full Amerisleep mattress review.

The AS5 mattress has a firmness profile that makes it ultra pressure relieving without being so soft that you sag into the bed. I compare the feel to what you get from a TempurPedic mattress, but a lot softer and for a fraction of the price. The Amerisleep AS5 mattress comes in sizes twin to split king and prices range from $2,099 up to $3,848. However, like most beds on this list, final discounts and promotions will bring down the price by $200 or more.


  • Cellinat-infused cover is only found on a handful of beds
  • Memory foam is made with eco-friendly materials


  • It's the most expensive bed in the Amerisleep lineup
  • Its all-foam construction may not be as supportive for heavy sleepers

Additional details

  • Type: Memory foam hybrid mattress 
  • Firmness: 1-2 or soft
  • Warranty: 20-year limited warranty
  • Trial: 100 nights 
  • Price scale: $$$

AMERISLEEP AS5 Memory Foam Mattress - Queen (Soft) Plant Based Material Made 100% in USA 20-Year Satisfaction


Why we picked the Helix Sunset mattress: For side sleepers looking for a safe, comfortable soft mattress, the Helix Sunset is a great choice. It has a simple hybrid mattress design that combines pocketed coils with reinforced edges for stronger edge support and two layers of comfort foams that feel soft, airy and plush. 

Helix uses memory foam and its own special Dynamic Foam to create a soft blend that is pressure relieving, but quicker to respond to pressure than the Amerisleep AS5. It's also accommodating for all body types because of its hybrid design.

A few of the cool things about Helix is its mattress quiz (and affordable price tag). Helix has a personalized quiz that offers mattress recommendations based on your answers. And as you can see by comparing the prices of other beds on our best mattress for side sleepers roundup, the Helix Sunset is a nice bed that offers a great value. Read more about this bed in our Helix mattress review

The Helix Sunset comes in sizes twin to California king and prices range from $936 to $1,749.


  • Its hybrid construction makes it supportive for all body types
  • Helix has a quiz that matches you with your perfect bed
  • Nice bang for your buck for a hybrid bed


  • Heavy side sleepers may want a firmer bed with a tad extra support

Additional details

  • Type: Hybrid mattress 
  • Firmness: Soft or 1 to 2
  • Trial: 100-night trial 
  • Warranty: 10 to 15 years
  • Price scale: $$
Slumber Yard
Type Hyper-Elastic Polymer mattressFirmness Medium or 5Trial 100 nightsWarranty 10-year warranty Price

Why we picked the Purple mattress: It somehow manages to be soft and firm and the same time, giving your hip and shoulder the pressure relief they need along with ample support. Its gel-like comfort layer gives nicely underneath your pressure points and also helps you sleep cooler. 

Every Purple mattress features a GelFlex Grid made from hyper-elastic polymer. It can stretch more than 10 times its size, is incredibly durable and reminiscent of a Dr. Scholl's insole. You can feel traces of the little squares underneath your hips and shoulders, but it's easy to look passed because it's such a unique, weightless and comfortable feel for those who live from shoulder and hip pain. 

It's shaped in a grid, allowing for a lot of square air pockets. In conjunction with the fact that the gel material doesn't retain heat, this is also one of the best cooling mattresses for side sleepers. However, it's going to be best for people under 230 pounds because of its all-foam construction. 


  • Good choice for hot sleepers because of its breathable design
  • Medium firmness level offers ample support for side sleepers
  • Unique feel makes you feel like you're weightless


  • May feel too unfamiliar for people who just want a simple, traditional bed
  • Not quite as supportive for heavy sleepers over 230 pounds

Additional details

  • Type: Hyper-Elastic Polymer mattress
  • Firmness: Medium or 5
  • Trial: 100 nights 
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty
  • Price scale: $$

Purple Original Mattress

Brooklyn Bedding
Type Hybrid mattressFirmness 3 firmness levels | Soft: 3 or Medium-soft | Medium: 5 or Medium | Firm: Medium-firm or 7Trial 120 nightsWarranty 10-year limited warranty Price

Why we picked the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Lux: Many brands use marketing language that claim to have a cooling mattress, but only a handful of those claims actually turn out to be true. Enter Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Lux. It's a thick hybrid mattress designed with multiple avenues of cooling tech and a plush, cozy feel perfect for side sleepers. You also have the ability to choose between multiple firmness levels.

It's a thick, 13.5-inch hybrid mattress with CopperFlex foam to help regulate temperature, and an actual cooling cover. The cover is smooth and gives off a cooling sensation, so when you touch it, you can physically feel the iciness. Aside from its cooling abilities, it's also incredibly comfortable. The foam is soft, pillowy and cradling without making you feel like you're going to sink. This bed comes in three different firmness levels, but I think side sleepers will enjoy the soft and medium models best. 

Prices start at $999 for a twin and max out at $2,265 for a California king. However, the brand is pretty generous with discounts. You can typically buy a queen size Aurora mattress for around $300 to $400 off. It also comes in RV mattress sizes including an RV king and RV bunk. 


  • Multiple layers of cooling tech makes it a true cooling bed
  • Its strong hybrid construction suits all body types
  • Sleepers have three firmness options to choose from


  • As a luxury mattress, you'll be paying top-dollar

Additional details

  • Type: Hybrid mattress
  • Firmness: 3 firmness levels | Soft: Medium-soft or 3 | Medium: Medium or 5 | Firm: Medium-firm or 7
  • Trial: 120 nights
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty
  • Price scale: $$$

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe


Why we picked the Nolah Original 10 mattress: It's ideal for people who weigh under 230 pounds and want an affordable foam mattress that isn't going to break the bank. This bed feels like neutral-foam with traces of memory foam underneath, but it's quicker to respond to pressure than your typical memory foam. 

The main comfort foam in the Nolah 10 is called AirFoam. It's plush, airy (as the name implies) and pressure-relieving, but also quicker to respond to pressure than your typical memory foam. It isn't physically cool to the touch, but it does help regulate temperature so you don't sleep as hot. 

The Nolah Original 10 is one of the more popular soft bed-in-a-box mattresses on the market, and I think it's a great pick if you want a simple, soft mattress without any extra bells and whistles. Just comfort. Prices for a Nolah Original 10 mattress start at $999 (before promos are applied, which come commonly) for a twin size and go up to $2,398 for a split king size. 


  • Blended foam feel is more responsive than memory foam, making it easier to switch positions
  • Offers a good value


  • Foam construction may not be ideal for heavy sleepers

Additional details

  • Type: Mixed foam mattress
  • Firmness: Medium-soft or 3
  • Trial: 120 nights
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Price scale: $$

Other side sleeper mattresses we've tested

The CNET Sleep editors have tested more beds than the average sleeper. Around 100 different ones, in fact, and we've dedicated hundreds of hours to the craft. The beds on the list were among some of the best we came across, but there are several mattresses that also stood out and deserve some of the spotlight. 

  • WinkBed mattress: The luxurious and Pinterest-perfect WinkBed mattress comes in three firmness levels, and the soft model would be a perfect fit for side sleepers looking for a plush, supportive hybrid mattress. The WinkBed is made with several layers of comfy foam, strong pocketed coils, and a fluffy pillow top that makes it look as good as it feels. I think side sleepers of all body types would enjoy the WinkBed. 
  • Original Layla mattress: We mentioned the Layla Hybrid on this list, but if you want to save some money and are willing to give up the pocketed coil base layer, then the Original foam Layla mattress is a great option. It's also flippable, and features one very plush and soft side perfect for side sleepers. Though, this Layla mattress is going to suit sleepers under 230 pounds better because it's not as supportive as the Hybrid model. 

How we tested the best mattresses for side sleepers

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. 

The main consideration we take into account when we look for the best mattress for side sleepers is firmness and the amount of pressure relief a mattress offers. When testing mattresses, we lay in each sleeping position (including side) and determine how well they accommodate our primary pressure points. 

When we're on our side, it's crucial our hips and joints feel properly cradled. If a bed's too firm, it can press into your pressure points and cause soreness or pain.  

Read more on how we test mattresses.

Factors to consider when picking the best mattress for side sleepers

The qualities that side sleepers want in a mattress are different from stomach or back sleepers. Here are the main features to keep an eye out for if you favor your side when you sleep. 

best mattress for side sleepers graphic showing shoulder and hip pressure points

Soft beds are typically best for side sleepers because they provide more contour underneath shoulder and hip pressure points. 

  • Pressure relief: As we've touched on in this best list already, the best mattresses for side sleepers cradle the hip and shoulders to provide optimal pressure relief. That's why soft mattresses tend to be the best -- they give under your weight allowing the foam to mold around your shoulders and hips. 
  • Firmness: Soft mattresses are typically more pressure-relieving than firm ones. If you had a firm mattress, it would press into your hips and shoulders, throwing off the alignment of your spine with your neck. This is a recipe for back pain. 
  • Weight: Keep in mind that the heavier you are, the softer a mattress is going to feel. Heavier sleepers over 230 pounds can afford to get a firmer mattress because it'll feel a notch softer than what's advertised. The same rule applies in reverse to petite sleepers under 150 pounds. Smaller side sleepers may want an extra-soft mattress so it doesn't feel too firm. 
  • Health concerns: If you suffer from back pain, side pain or joint pain, take that into consideration when choosing a mattress. People with back pain may want a side sleeper bed that offers a balance of pressure relief and support, like the Purple, which lands at a medium on the firmness scale. If you suffer from hip or shoulder pain, a softer mattress that will take the pressure off your joints will usually fare better than a firm bed. 

How does sleeping on your side affect your sleep? 

Besides being comfortable, there are also countless health benefits to side sleeping as well. Helping reduce the risk of sleep apnea, improving the health of your brain and even improving gut health and function are included among the benefits of sleeping on your side. And the best mattress for side sleepers can improve your comfort while you get a good night's sleep.

It's also recommended to side sleep during pregnancy. It promotes better quality sleep by keeping pressure off your belly, and sleeping on the left side promotes ample blood flow from the inferior vena cava. This is a crucial vein that pumps blood through your heart and also your baby. 

However, sleeping on your side can have some adverse effects if you're not using the right mattress. It can put undue pressure on your shoulders and hips and lead to joint pain and discomfort. 

Tips for sleeping on your side comfortably 

Use the right pillow

A pillow can make or break your sleeping experience, especially for a side sleeper. Side sleepers need tall, lofty pillows that properly support the head and cervical spine. A flat pillow causes the head and neck to bend out of alignment with the spine, which can promote pain. 

Add more cushion

If you need it, utilize pillows for some extra padding and support where you may need it most. Keep a soft and fluffy pillow between your knees to relieve pressure on you back and promote better alignment. You can also keep a pillow under the armpit if you live with shoulder pain for added pressure relief. 

Consider a mattress topper

If your mattress is too firm but it hasn't yet reached its expiration date, use a mattress topper to make it softer without having to buy a whole new bed. Mattress toppers can change the entire firmness profile of your bed, so side sleepers should look for a soft and plush topper. 

Sleep accessories for side sleepers

Side sleeper mattress FAQs

What type of mattress is best for side sleepers?

Memory foam is one of the best types of mattresses for side sleepers. It contours to your body shape, relieving pressure points and keeping your spinal alignment when you're lying on your side. Side sleepers should also consider a soft mattress because it provides pressure relief to your shoulder and hip joints. 

What type of firmness is best for side sleepers?

There's not a single right answer to this question, but in general, side sleepers tend to prefer a soft to medium mattress. Mattresses in this range have enough give to alleviate pressure in the shoulders, hips and knees when you're sleeping on your side, but also hold their shape to keep your spinal alignment so you don't wake up in pain.

Is memory foam ok for side sleepers?

Yes. Memory foam is known for its pressure relieving properties and nestles the curves of your body. When you sleep on your side, memory foam gently hugs your shoulder and hip joints. 

Are firm mattresses bad for side sleepers?

Firm mattresses can be bad for side sleepers, especially ones under 150 pounds. If your mattress firmness is too hard, it might not have enough give and cushioning for your pressure points. Lack of pressure relief can disrupt your sleep and cause pain and even numbness and tingling in your extremities. Ultimately, a lot comes down to personal preference and how you feel on the mattresses, but most side sleepers do best with medium or softer mattress options.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.