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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers, Expert Tested

With over 100 beds tested, our experts reveal their best mattress for side sleepers picks.

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
Troy Mensen is a family medicine doctor based in Chicago. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine and holds a certification in family medicine from the American Board of Family Medicine. He is licensed by the State of Illinois Medical Examining Board.
Expertise Family medicine, and osteopathic 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
13 min read
$1,499 at Layla
Layla Hybrid
Best overall mattress for side sleepers
$200 off Hybrid Mattress + 2 FREE Pillows
$1,499 at Layla
$1,836 at Casper
Casper Nova Hybrid
Best hybrid mattress for side sleepers
up to $600 off mattresses
$1,836 at Casper
$2,745 at Saatva
Saatva HD
Best mattress for heavy side sleepers
$350 off of $1,000 purchase
$2,745 at Saatva
$1,299 at Amerisleep
Amerisleep AS4
Best memory foam mattress for side sleepers
$1,099 at Helix
Helix Sunset
Best soft mattress for side sleepers
$1,399 at Purple
Purple mattress
Best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder and hip pain
$1,399 at Purple
$1,699 at Brooklyn Bedding
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe
Best cooling mattress for side sleepers
$1,087 at Nolah
Nolah Original 10 mattress
Best foam mattress for side sleepers

Sleep positions are usually different for each sleeper, and having a specialized mattress to match your sleep habits can help your sleep quality, comfort, 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 to choose from, narrowing your choice down to even just a few models can be hard. Trust us, we get it. Which is why the CNET sleep editors have tested over 100 different beds, giving us a feel (literally and figuratively) for the best mattresses that suit side sleepers. 

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.

Lindsay Boyers/CNET
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.  

More on the Layla Hybrid

Layla Hybrid's foam is infused with copper for enhanced temperature regulation, and has extra-strong pocketed coils for maximum support. 

On days that I felt sore and tense, 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 I felt like I wanted 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.

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. 

More on Casper Nova Hybrid

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 $1,525 to $2,461.

Casper Nova

up to $600 off mattresses
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. 

More on the Saatva HD mattress

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. If you want to save money on a Saatva mattress, the Classic model is also a viable choice for heavy sleepers. 

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 $896 to $2,439. 

Saatva HD

$350 off of $1,000 purchase

Why we picked the Amerisleep AS4: The Amerisleep AS4 mattress appeals to a true memory foam fanatic; 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. 

More on the Amerisleep AS4 mattress

I compare the feel to what you get from a TempurPedic mattress, but a lot softer and for a fraction of the price. The AS4 mattress has a firmness profile that makes it ultra pressure relieving without being so soft that you sag into the bed. 

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 help your body's natural muscle repair process that occurs during sleep, and make you feel more energized when you wake up. Read more in our full Amerisleep mattress review.

The Amerisleep AS4 mattress comes in sizes twin to split king and prices range from $1,499 to $2,648. Although, like most beds on this list, you can typically catch it for a good deal. Amerisleep is usually offering a promo around $100 to $400 off. 


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. 

More on the Helix sunset mattress

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 AS4. 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 $749 to $1,399.

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. 

More on the Purple mattress

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. 

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.

More on the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Lux:

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 $899 for a twin and max out at $1,999 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. 

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. 

More on the Nolah Original 10 mattress

The main comfort foam inthe 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. 

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.

How to pick a good side sleeper mattress 

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.