Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
Jake Comfort | Updated: Feb. 3, 2021
Everyone sleeps differently, and those different sleeping styles favor certain mattress characteristics over others. Getting a mattress that supports your sleeping style can make a world of difference when it comes to how restful your sleep is. Additionally, getting the right kind of mattress for your sleeping style is one of the best way to avoid different aches and pains that can come with sleeping wrong, or sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress.
Side sleepers are a special case, as they have to consider more elements of the firmness and support of their mattress to make sure they are getting the best night’s sleep they can. That’s why side sleepers are more likely to suffer from hip, neck, or back pain than back or stomach sleepers are.
|Mattress||Notes||Price (Queen)||Learn More|
|Helix's innovative process of designing your bed based off of your sleep survey means they'll make sure your mattress is perfect for side sleeping!||Custom|
|Plushbed offers a wonderful soft mattress that is ideal for side sleepers. It offers the support you need without being too firm and causing awkward pressure points||$1,599|
|Nectar's mattress is great for side sleepers because it's been specifically designed to accommodate all sleep styles. ||$699|
|Amerisleep's AS1 mattress is idea for side sleepers who need extra support. The Bio-Core and Bio-Pur foams ensure that you'll get the support you need without sacrificing comfort||$1,199|
|Nature Sleep's Opal Gel mattress is ideal for side sleepers, offering the best combination of comfort and support to give you a great night's rest!||$1,300||Official Site
Firmness is the most important thing to consider for side sleepers. They are more likely to want or need something that is on the softer side of the firmness scale relative to other sleeping styles. On a scale from 1-10, with 1 being the least firm and 10 being the most firm, side sleepers generally want to be in the 3-6 range.
Getting the right firmness will help you maintain the best sleeping posture possible. This can also help the mattress give you the support you need where you need it. A softer mattress lets you sink in a bit more, causing the mattress to conform to the shape of your body. This, in turn, gives better support to the parts of your body that need it the most.
A mattress that’s too firm will prevent your body from sinking into it. This creates awkward and uncomfortable pressure points that can ruin your night’s sleep. In fact, this is one of the most common causes of back and neck pain amongst side sleepers, as the lack of softness and bad support push your joints and muscles out of alignment and cause them strain while you’re sleeping.
It’s important to note that support and firmness aren’t the same thing, although they are related and can influence each other. It’s entirely possible to get a mattress with the appropriate firmness level that fails to offer the necessary support to maintain a good body position in the night.
Support refers to how well the mattress keeps your neck and back in alignment while also relieving pressure points on your hips, knees, and shoulders. Therefore, a softer mattress can still be very supportive, and a firmer mattress can lack the support you need.
One of the reasons that side sleepers generally prefer softer mattresses and tend to love memory foam mattresses is that there are so many different ways to sleep on your side, including different angles of bend in your knees, straight leg styles, and a combination of the two. Memory foam and gel mattresses do a better job of adapting and responding to these different sleeping styles, allowing side sleepers to get the support they need, no matter what position they happen to prefer or just be using in the moment.
This issue is almost unique to side sleepers. Pelvic rotation happens when your back muscles and lumbar spine are misaligned. It occurs when sleepers are twisted or curl their legs opposite to the position their upper body is in. Individuals who sleep with one straight leg and one bent leg are good examples of those who might experience this issue. Having one leg straight and the other bent tends to force the upper body into more of a stomach sleeping position while the lower body stays on the side.
The result of this can cause or worsen back, lower back, and neck pain. These issues can be complicated to deal with, and might take a long time to remedy, or even become chronic. That’s why it’s important to get on top of this issue before it becomes a larger problem in your life.
Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to minimize pelvic rotation and the effects it produces on your body. The first option is to train yourself to sleep in a side position that keeps your upper body aligned with your lower body. This will help prevent your body from rotating, keeping everything in alignment.
The next item that can help with pelvic rotation is to sleep with a pillow between your legs. This provides added support for your knees and helps keep your legs in a better position for your body. The added support means that the weight of your leg won’t cause your body to twist to rest the leg on the bed for support while you sleep.
Finally, you can also buy a mattress that has the right kind of support and softness. Having the right support will minimize pressure points that can cause you to twist and turn into unhealthy sleeping positions.
The final thing that side sleepers should consider when looking for a mattress is what kind of pillow they are using. It pays to have a quality pillow, as one that is too flat or too firm can increase the complications that can come from sleeping on your side.
In general, side sleepers should look for pillows constructed from latex, shredded foam, memory foam, or other kinds of poly foam to get the support they need. These materials do a better job of adapting to the position you’re in without intervention from you. Therefore, they’re the most likely option when it comes to getting consistent support from your pillow while you sleep.
You should also make sure the pillow is of an appropriate height. A pillow that’s too low will cause your neck to bend into uncomfortable positions. At the same time, a pillow that’s too tall can introduce pressure from other angles, further complicating your sleep.
Finally, as we noted above, many side sleepers like to sleep with a pillow between their legs. Foam pillows work great for this task as well, as they can conform to your legs and knees without providing too much resistance which can prevent restful sleep. If you’d like some more information about pillow selection, be sure to check out our guide on how to pick the best pillow.
Helix will ask you questions about how you sleep. They’ll take your answers and use them to give you some custom-crafted options for your best night’s sleep. That means they know exactly how people that sleep on their side need to be supported while they’re sleeping. Give them a try, if you don’t love your Helix mattress, then you can send it back at no risk to you, so there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain!
One of the things that benefits side sleepers the most is a soft mattress. That’s because a softer mattress allows your shoulders and hips to sink in, letting a side sleeper stay in the best possible alignment all night long. Plushbeds makes some of the best soft mattresses. This makes them among the best choices for side sleepers.
You can even get them in extra-plush versions for the one of the softest mattresses on the market. They offer a trial so you can try the mattress without any risk. Give it a shot and see if Plushbeds is the sleep you’ve been missing.
The thing that makes Nectar a great option for side sleepers is that the Nectar mattress has been engineered to provide the proper support for anyone, regardless of their sleep style. That means side sleepers will get the support they need along their back, necks, hips, and shoulders to keep themselves in the best alignment all night long.
This innovative mattress also reduces tossing and turning, so side sleepers will fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, letting them wake up feeling refreshed and rested. That’s why so many people are so eager to try the Nectar mattress – to get the best night’s rest possible.
Amerisleep’s dynamic support system make them an excellent option for side sleepers. This support system uses advanced foam and other sleep technology to ensure your body is getting the proper support it needs.
One of the best things about Amerisleep for side sleepers is how their mattresses work to keep your shoulders and back straight while you sleep. That means no more awkward kinks in your neck or back when you wake up. It also means you’ll wake up feeling more rested and have more energy throughout the day. They’ve got a solid line of mattresses, so there’s almost certainly one that works with your budget.
Nature’s Sleep beds are the best option for side sleepers that want to make sure they’re using an environmentally friendly mattress. All of Nature’s Sleep mattresses are made from the highest quality natural materials.
Another great thing about Nature’s Sleep for side sleepers is that you can get their beds in different firmness levels. You can even convert many of their beds to or from a hybrid design, so you can get coils if you want, or go straight foam if that’s more comfortable for you. They’re a bit more expensive than some of the other options on this list, but the peace of mind you get is worth the price.
Things to Consider for Side Sleepers
There are a few things you should look into when you’re a side sleeper that’s considering a new mattress. We’ve got the most important points listed below.
Side Sleepers Need More Shoulder Support
When you’re a side sleeper, you’re putting much more weight and pressure on your shoulder than you do with other sleep positions. As a result, side sleepers can find themselves experiencing aches and pains that other people don’t get.
There are a few ways you can help resolve this issue. The first is to get a mattress specifically designed for side sleepers or for all sleep styles. The next thing you can do is adjust your pillow to make sure your head is in proper alignment. Keep in mind that your mattress position might change during the night, so be sure to adjust your pillow accordingly.
Finally, you can also take steps to reduce neck and back pain as a side sleeper by looking for plush mattresses. We’ll cover this in more detail later. However, a plush or soft mattress lets your shoulder sink into the bed without a lot of pushback. That means you can get the rest and support you need without aches and pains in the morning.
Side Sleepers Toss and Turn More
Several sleep studies claim that side sleepers are more likely to toss and turn in their sleep. If that sounds like you, then you should consider a mattress that minimizes motion transfer. In addition to preventing your partner from waking up when you’re tossing and turning, a mattress that limits motion transfer also does a good job at providing a stable and steady surface for you to sleep on.
This stability means that you’ll have less reason to roll over at night. The result is a better night’s sleep with more rest and more energy in the morning. We recommend looking at hybrid mattresses or memory foam mattresses for this purpose, as these mattresses do the best job of minimizing motion transfer and providing a soft, stable sleep surface for you to sink into. Try one of our recommended mattresses and see what the difference can be.