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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers in 2024

Around 74% of people sleep on their side. With over 200 mattresses under our testing belts, we selected the best mattresses for side sleepers.

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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
headshot-troy-mensen
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
Education
  • University of Northern Iowa, BA
  • Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, DO
13 min read
$1,699 at Layla
A Layla Hybrid mattress in between two blue and white night stands
Layla Hybrid
Best overall mattress for side sleepers
$200 off hybrid mattress + 2 free pillows
$1,916 at Amazon
Casper Nova Hybrid mattress
Casper Nova Hybrid
Best hybrid mattress for side sleepers
$3,295 at Saatva
Saatva HD mattress in a bedrooom
Saatva HD
Best mattress for heavy side sleepers
$350 off mattress
$2,349 at Amerisleep
Amerisleep AS5 Mattress
Amerisleep AS5
Best memory foam mattress for side sleepers
$1,374 at Helix
A man sleeping on the soft Sunset mattress from Helix
Helix Sunset
Best soft mattress for side sleepers
$1,339 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
Presidents Day Deal
$1,865 at Brooklyn Bedding
Brooklyn bedding aurora luxe
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe
Best cooling mattress for side sleepers
Presidents Day Deal
25% off sitewide with code:
1,449 at Nolah
nolah-original-10-mattress-review-profile-1.jpg
Nolah Original 10 mattress
Best foam mattress for side sleepers
2,599 at Leesa
Lessa Legend Hybrid Mattress
Leesa Legend Hybrid
Best mattress for side sleepers with back pain

Choosing the best mattress for your specific sleeping position can make for better sleep and, by proxy, better health. Not just any bed will do for a side sleepers. Mattresses for side sleepers allow your body to sink into them, adding support along your shoulders, back and hips as you rest.

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. This 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 great value.

Best Presidents Day mattress deals

Presidents Day sales are here. If you’re looking to spend less on your next mattress, now’s the time to snag a premium bed from a well-known brand. Our mattress experts have rounded up all the best Presidents Day mattress deals here.

Three of our favorites sales include up to $600 off Saatva mattresses, 50% off DreamCloud and 40% off all Nectar mattresses.

What's the best overall mattress for side sleepers?

CNET staff testing the Layla Hybrid mattress.
Jonathan Gomez/CNET

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 2024

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.

Jonathan Gomez/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.  

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 when you feel you may want a little more support, the firm mattress side of this Layla Mattress propped me right up.

Pros:

  • Dual-firmness appeals to all sleeping positions, but especially side sleepers
  • Hybrid construction offers extra support

Cons:

  • Not a true budget choice

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
Jonathan Gomez/CNET
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 is 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. 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. 

Note, the Queen size of this mattress is currently sold out.

Pros:

  • The zoned design provides more support
  • Ideal for any body type

Cons:

  • Expensive

Casper Nova

Saatva
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 people with maximum support and plenty of comfort. Saatva HD's supportive innerspring system is 25% stronger than an average hybrid mattress and includes a 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 the 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

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Isn't compatible with frames outside the Saatva brand
  • Expensive

Saatva HD

$350 off mattress
Jonathan Gomez/CNET
Price $$$Type Memory foam mattressFirmness 1-2 or softTrial 100 nightsWarranty 20-year limited warranty

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. Like most beds on this list, final discounts and promotions will bring down the price by $200 or more.

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Amerisleep AS5 Memory Foam Mattress

Helix
Type Hybrid mattressFirmness 1-2 or softTrial 100 nightsWarranty 15-year limited warranty Price $$

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 are its mattress quiz (and affordable price tag). Helix has a personalized quiz that offers mattress recommendations based on your answers. 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 great value. Read more about this bed in our Helix mattress review

Pros

  • 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

Cons

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

Helix Sunset

Jonathan Gomez/CNET
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 insole. You can feel traces of the little squares underneath your hips and shoulders, but it's easy to look past 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. It's going to be best for people under 230 pounds because of its all-foam construction. You'll see more about the mattress' benefits in our Purple Mattress Review.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

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

Purple Original Mattress

Jonathan Gomez/CNET
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 claims 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, which you'll see broken down in our Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Lux review.

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. 

Brooklyn Bedding 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. 

Pros:

  • Multiple layers of cooling tech make it a true cooling bed
  • Its strong hybrid construction suits all body types
  • Three firmness options to choose from

Cons:

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

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe

25% off sitewide with code:
Jonathan Gomez/CNET
Type Mixed foam mattressFirmness Medium-soft or 3Trial 120 nightsWarranty Lifetime warrantyPrice scale $$

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. 

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Foam construction may not be ideal for heavy sleepers

Nolah Original 10"

Jonathan Gomez/CNET
Type Soft hybrid mattressFirmness Medium to medium-soft or 4 to 5Trial 100 nightsWarranty 10-year warrantyPrice $$$

Why we chose the Leesa Legend Hybrid mattress: Side sleepers with back pain need a softer mattress that delivers enough support to keep the spine aligned. The Lessa Legend Hybrid mattress does just that with its medium-soft to medium firmness, offering plenty of pressure relief to ensure the shoulders, hips and knees don’t develop pressure points. The zoned support design and two-layer coil system make it an excellent choice for those with back pain. 

The Leesa Legend Hybrid mattress offers the right balance between pressure relief that cradles your curves and keeping your spine in a neutral position to ease back pain. The hybrid construction has an additional layer of micro-coils for extra stabilization. 

This mattress is on the more expensive side at $2,599 for a queen. But the quality and comfort of this bed is worth it if you can afford it. 

Learn more about this bed in our Leesa Legend mattress review

Pros: 

  • Dual coil layers make sure people with back pain have what they need
  • Foam layers offer plenty of pressure relief 
  • Great motion isolation and edge support 

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • Too soft for combo sleepers who spend time on their back and stomach

Leesa Legend Hybrid Mattress

Other mattresses for side sleepers we've tested

The beds on the list were among some of the best we came across for side sleepers, 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. 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

The CNET Sleep editors have tested more beds than the average sleeper. Around 200 different ones, in fact, and we've dedicated hundreds of hours to the craft. 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.  

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. Read more on how we test mattresses.

What 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. The best mattress for side sleepers can improve your comfort while you get a good night's sleep.

It's also recommended to sleep on your side 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. 

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 your 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 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. 

Best mattress for side sleepers 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 when sleeping 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.