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Best Mattress For Side Sleepers

For side sleepers concerned with pressure points, these are the best mattresses sold online right now.

Last Updated: July 31, 2020

If you aren’t familiar with our work, you should know that we are pretty much obsessed with sleep. Our editors and producers have reviewed over 140 different mattresses, so we have a great perspective on what is best for side sleepers. We also do not accept money to write good or bad reviews—our opinions are all our own.

The Best Mattresses For Side Sleepers

You’ve seen the list, but our work here isn’t done yet. For each of our top rated beds we have reviews and overview sections. We also have compiled a guide to selecting the right mattress for side sleepers on the off chance that you don’t like any of our recommendations. 

Let us know what you think. Feel free to send us a message on social media or visit our contact page. We spend almost all of our working hours testing and reviewing mattresses, so hopefully you can gauge how much hard work goes into all of our content. Most importantly, however, hopefully you get the right mattress for you, the first time.

GhostBed is a hybrid latex / memory foam bed that is plush and we think very comfortable. It’s about a 4.75 to 5.75 out of 10 on the soft-to-firm scale, meaning it’s slightly more plush than the typical bed in a box. While we think this bed will be ok for combo sleepers (people that rotate between sleeping on their back, stomach, and side throughout the night), we think GhostBed is best for side sleepers in particular because it offers a lot of pressure relief. GhostBed compresses quite a bit and you don’t really get that stuck in the mud feeling that you’re used to with typical memory foam beds.

In terms of cooling, GhostBed is pretty much temperature neutral. We put it in our tier 3 for coolness, alongside Casper, Leesa, and others. It’s not the coolest mattress that we’ve tested, but it does not sleep hot. Motion transfer is nonexistent with GhostBed, which means if you’re active in your sleep (or maybe your partner is), that motion won’t immediately transfer to the other side of the bed. Responsiveness isn’t immediate with GhostBed, however, and we could see the need to rotate this bed over time, as is the case with many all-foam beds. It’s soft as it is, but it will soften up even more over time.

SEE ALSO: GhostBed vs Purple Mattress Review

ghostbed mattress reviews coolness
Matt doing some side sleeping on the GhostBed.

As for pricing, GhostBed is very moderate with prices ranging from $495 for a Twin up to $1,095 for a California King. Those prices are pre-discount and we do see that GhostBed runs plenty of specials. You can check here on GhostBed’s website for discounts and specials. Usually they offer $100-$200 off via this link, but the discount changes throughout the year. During major holidays they will typically offer a deeper discount. And if you can’t pay the entire amount upfront, like all the other brands, GhostBed offers financing options. GhostBed has a 100-night risk-free trial where you can test the bed to see if it’s for you. If you like it, keep it. If you don’t, return it for a full refund. Also, GhostBed carries a 20-year warranty, which is double industry standards.

Bottom line with GhostBed is that it doesn’t feel like proper memory foam or latex foam, but rather something in between. It’s comfortable, but soft so we do think it’s best for side sleepers. It offers pressure relief and doesn’t sleep too hot. Good bed.

The Leesa Mattress utilizes dense support foam on the bottom, memory foam in the middle, and aerated Avena foam on top, designed to increase air flow and cool down the bed. We think Leesa is about a 4.9 to 5.9 out of 10 on the soft to firm scale, meaning it’s a viable option for back, stomach, side, and even combo sleepers. Even so, we see this is as best suited for a side sleeper because it will soften over time.

Out of the box Leesa might be medium in terms of softness/firmness, but it will definitely break in further. Additionally, one thing that we actually really like about Leesa is that it doesn’t feel too much like memory foam since it uses Avena foam as it’s top layer. This means no ‘stuck in the mud’ feeling, but still plenty of pressure relief.

As for coolness, you’d think this bed would be cooler, but we think it’s mostly just in line with the rest of the bed in a box industry. We’ve definitely tested beds that are cooler than Leesa. That said, it’s great for limiting motion transfer.

leesa mattress foam layers
Side view of the Leesa Mattress.

Pricing for Leesa is pretty consistent with the rest of the mattress in a box industry. Before any discounts, a Twin mattress will run you $525 and a King is $1,070. Right now though, you can get 15% off the Leesa mattress with code RIZKNOWS at checkout. Leesa also offers free shipping and returns with a 10-year warranty and 100-night risk-free trial. Also, it’s important to note that Leesa (like most online mattress brands) changes their promotions from time to time. They may even be offering a better discount right now, but the promo codes on this page will work for you in any event.

We see Leesa as a great bed for side sleepers, especially if you don’t like that traditional memory foam feel. While GhostBed tends to compress more than Leesa, we actually really appreciate that Leesa has a little more responsiveness just in case you end up rolling over to sleep on your back or stomach.

Nolah is one of the softest beds we’ve ever tested. It’s one of those beds that you lay on, wait to sink in, and you fall right asleep. It’s comfortable and plush and will only get even more plush over time. Out of the box, it’s a 4.25 to 5.25 out of 10 on that soft/firm scale. Lots of pressure relief with Nolah, especially with your hips and shoulders.

It also has a good amount of that typical memory foam feel, despite Nolah actually using a proprietary foam. We like the Nolah AirFoam, but we do get a little of that ‘stuck in the mud feeling’. Some people will love this, others certainly won’t. We feel Nolah is pretty much in line with the rest of the market as far as coolness goes and motion transfer is completely gone with this bed. If you need any more details on Nolah, you can check out our detailed Mattress Reviews and Mattress Buyer Guides.

nolah mattress side sleeper
Jeff is out cold.

Nolah is also a very affordable bed, ranging from $519 to $949 for a Twin and King, respectively. And that’s before any discounts. With code RIZKNOWS you get an extra $125 off all mattresses. Of course, like all the other brands, Nolah offers free shipping and returns with a consumer-friendly return policy and warranty. The return period is 120 days and warranty is 15 years, both of which are more than the industry average.

And one other nice thing with Nolah is that they donate 7% of their profits to adopting and protecting wildlife. A lot of the bed companies give to charity, but we thought that this was a particular generous allotment.

Bottom line with Nolah is that if you want a super plush bed, this is the way to go. It’s soft and will get even softer. There’s plenty of pressure relief and we think it’s an uber-comfortable bed, but only if you’re a side sleeper.

Casper is probably the best known brand on this list and we love their bed. Actually, we love both of the Casper mattresses, however, we think the original is actually the way to go, considering the Casper Wave is $2,300 for a queen. More on Casper pricing below.

The original Casper mattress uses a combination of foams that results in a medium-plush bed that is unbelievably comfortable. This is the bed that you never want to get off of…it’s that comfortable. We say it’s about a 4.75 to 5.75 out of 10 on that soft to firm scale. We think it’s absolutely ideal for side sleepers. It’s pressure relieving, has decent responsiveness and doesn’t heat up at night.

casper mattress review and comparison

Pricing for Casper is about average for the industry (see chart below). However, you can use code RIZKNOWS for $100 off the Casper mattress. Casper offers a 100-night risk-free trial and a 10-year warranty.

California King$1,29572″ x 84″ x 12″
King$1,29576″ x 80″ x 12″
Queen$1,09560″ x 80″ x 12″
Full$99554″ x 75″ x 12″
Twin XL$69539″ x 80″ x 12″
Twin$59539″ x 75″ x 12″

At the end of the day, there’s a reason that Casper is so popular. This is a soft, comfortable, pressure relieving bed that is ideal for side sleepers.

In our Best Mattress in a Box post we noted that we think Purple is the best overall bed out there right now. Well, we also think it’s the best bed for side sleepers and for folks with hip pain.

Purple is really interesting because it’s not an all-foam bed. In fact, while the bottom layers are foam, the top layer is actually a gel-like material that keeps the bed cool and provides the perfect combination of pressure relief and support. We actually put Purple in our tier 1 category for coolness—it’s fantastic. Motion transfer is also not a factor with Purple.

purple mattress review comparison
You can see the layers of foam and the hyper-elastic polymer on top.

The biggest downside with Purple is simply that it’s more expensive than the average bed in a box. Prices range from $699 for a Twin XL to a $1,299 for a King and California King. That’s $100 to $200 more expensive than we typically see with mattresses in a box. On top of that, Purple rarely has coupons, but they do offer select promotions throughout the year. You can check here on Purple’s website for current promotions. Purple does, however, offer a 100-night risk-free trial and a 10-year warranty.

Bottom line with Purple is that we love the bed. It’s comfortable, offers ample pressure relief, has great responsiveness, and is fantastic for airflow. We also have never left a body impression on the bed and therefore we think you won’t need to worry about sagging as much as you would with an all-foam bed.

Honorable Mentions: Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Helix Sleep

This is one of the most interesting beds out there since you actually personalize it and make it custom to you. In fact, you can make Helix firmer or softer, depending on your preferences. Even better, Helix allows you to customize each side of the bed for couples or find a blended average that works for both people. We really like Helix a lot.

Eve Mattress

Eve has a memory feel, but you won’t feel like you’re stuck in this bed. It’s definitely comfortable and there’s a lot of pressure relief. Eve is similar to Casper, but a little more firm with a little more of that memory foam feel.

The Process Of Selecting The Best Mattress For Side Sleepers

If you know anything about our work, you know that we do not take “best mattress” lists, or any of our reviews for that matter, lightly. We work tirelessly on our content to be helpful, insightful, and most important of all, honest. Most of the mattresses we review have been sent to us for free by the respective brand, however, we do not allow brands to pay us to say positive or negative things about products. The vast majority of the time once we receive a mattress it just sits in our storage room until we need to test it further or compare it to another product. 

In any case, we mention that because we want you to know how seriously we take our role as a mattress review site. We will not recommend a mattress unless we trust the brand and the product. And we certainly would not recommend a bed on this list unless we genuinely think it’s the best mattress for side sleepers in its respective category. We don’t think many other review sites can say this. We make all of our decisions in an effort to do right by everyone—you, brands, and all of our stakeholders. 

Moving over to the real topic of this section, our process for selecting the best mattress for side sleepers begins with identifying what people are actually looking for. Fortunately, we have software to help us gauge trends and search behavior. As such, we know that people are looking for shoulder pain and hip pain relief and a mattress that can help with pressure points. 

Even more, there’s a large subset of consumers that are looking for specific types of mattresses, including memory foam mattresses, hybrid and innerspring mattresses, foam mattresses, and cooling mattresses. We’ve tried to select the best mattress in each category because we realize there’s no single best mattress for side sleepers. Another question that we’ve noticed consumers are asking is related to mattress firmness. A lot of people don’t know what the best mattress firmness is for side sleepers, so we will try to address that as well. 

We start with what side sleepers are looking for and then we go through the 150+ beds that we’ve reviewed to find the best. This process will take us several hours when it’s all said and done. We debate internally and have our own respective lists. We basically just debate the merits of each mattress and ultimately select our team-wide list of the best mattresses for side sleepers. 

Finding A Bed For Pressure Points Relief

The best mattress for side sleepers isn’t necessarily the same thing as the best mattress for pressure points, but they’re close in many cases. For instance, a lot of people with hip pain, shoulder pain, and upper back pain will be looking for a bed that can help with their pressure points whether or not they sleep on their side. More often than not, however, if you’re dealing with pressure points in your hips or shoulders, you’re sleeping on your side at night whether or not you know it. 

If this is the case, you generally need a softer mattress, but not one without support. A lot of times a pillow top mattress and even certain foam mattresses can offer tons of relief for those pressure points. So, remember, looking for something plush, but not unsupportive. 

Why You Weight Is Important To Factor In

In nearly all of our mattress review we make a point to emphasize that softness and firmness are primarily subjective. As an example, a 105 lb sleeper will think most beds are on the firmer end of the spectrum, while a 275 lb person will contend that the same mattress is softer. No one is really “wrong” per se, since the heavy or overweight person is just applying more pressure than the light person. 

As such, when you go through our list of the best beds for side sleepers you should be thinking about your weight. If we recommend a bed made entirely of foam and you’re 300 lb, you might want to consider a different bed—perhaps a coil one—since you won’t get as much long term support as you’ll need. It’s nothing about all-foam beds, but it’s generally accepted that they are not ideal over the long run for heavy people. 

Side Sleepers With Hip And Shoulder Pain

Before we go any further, if you do have hip or shoulder pain, you should discuss with your doctor before you make a change to your mattress. It’s not that we don’t think we can help you, it’s just that your doctor will know your situation best. 

We do not employ a doctor on staff, but we have consulted chiropractors in the making of many of our “best mattress” lists. As a result, we do feel confident that we can be helpful and add value, but we don’t want you to take our opinion over your personal physician. 

With that out of the way, we should mention that if you do have shoulder pain or hip pain and sleep on your side, a mattress can probably make your situation better, but on the off-chance that it makes your situation worse, we only included mattresses with a “free return” option, or a modest return fee. 

We think it’s important if you’re shopping for a new mattress for a health condition such as shoulder pain, you should be able to return your bed if you’re not satisfied and it’s not actually helping. Interestingly, most of the beds we’ve reviewed (again that number is upwards of 150) do come with totally free returns. Even more, they usually come with a 100 night trial period, so you get to try the bed for around three months (if not longer) risk free. We think that’s really important when you’re shopping online and when you’re trying to solve a tough problem such as hip pain and shoulder pain. 

Why You Might Like A Memory Foam Mattress

We aren’t going to say that memory foam is the best type of mattress for side sleepers, but it’s certainly a viable option. That said, in our experience about 22% of people report that they “love” memory foam mattresses. Another ~66% of people tell us that they’re “fine with” memory foam. Combined, that’s nearly 90% of people that are open to a memory foam mattress, which means, naturally, there are going to be plenty of options for side sleepers. 

In regards to why side sleepers might like a memory foam mattresses, the answer is that they can offer plenty of relief for your pressure points. Like any other foam, memory foam can be soft, medium, and firm, and everything in between. Therefore, you’d expect that there are plenty of memory foam mattresses that are soft enough for the shoulders, hips, and upper back of side sleepers. In general, memory foam beds are known to “cradle” your body and mold itself to fit your shape. That should leave you feeling supported without experiencing additional pressure throughout. 

Innerspring And Hybrid Mattress Models Are Best For Heavy People

To be clear, “innerspring” and “hybrid” only refers to the support system for the mattress. For the most part, if you get an innerspring or hybrid mattress there’s no guarantee that it will work for side sleepers such as yourself. Additionally, you could have a memory foam hybrid mattress that has memory foam comfort layers and innerspring support base. All I’m trying to say here is that there are plenty of great, and not so great, innerspring and hybrid mattresses for side sleepers. 

One thing is clear, however, these coil beds tend to be more ideal for heavy people than are beds with a foam base. If you’re over 230 lb or 250 lb, you should almost certainly be looking for a hybrid mattress. We also always recommend that heavy and overweight side sleepers try a coil mattress first. You will feel the bi-directional support more with these types of mattresses. As a heavy side sleeper, you should be quite concerned with support over the long run and durability. 

Also, we basically use the terms “hybrid” and “innerspring” interchangeably. Technically, there is a difference, but for the average consumer they are the same and are equally viable for side sleepers. 

If You Consider Yourself A Hot Side Sleeper

For those of you that are unlucky enough to sleep hot at night, I have bad and good news. The bad news is that there are numerous factors that influence whether you sleep hot or cold—your mattress is just part of the equation. There’s no guarantee that if you buy a new cooling mattress it will automatically make cure your problems. Everything from your room temperature, body weight, sleep style, whether or not you sleep alone, sheets, pajamas, and more influence your sleeping temperature. 

As for the good news, well, there are plenty of really nice mattresses for hot side sleepers. In fact, probably now more than ever. For instance, Purple, alone, has several mattress models that are great for hot side sleepers. Another example is Brooklyn Bedding. They make at least two different mattresses that are suitable for side sleepers that run hot at night. 

So what should you be looking for in a cooling mattress? The first thing is a cooling cover. That’s the easiest place to start, but it’s not the only place. These covers can range from a cotton feel to a silk feel. Either way, they will feel cool to the touch and will contribute to you sleeping cooler throughout the night. TempurPedic makes a few mattresses for hot side sleepers and they have a coarse cooling cover that’s quite effective. Beyond the cover, you might want to look for beds that naturally help to draw in airflow. Coils help with this, but the main thing I’m thinking of is a gel-like material called Hyper-Elastic Polymer, which you’ll see on Purple mattresses. 

For Side And Stomach Sleepers

According to a study that we’ve conducted with over 2,000 respondents, over 90% of people are what we call a “combination sleeper.” If you are a side and stomach sleeper you would also be considered a combination sleeper in that you sleep in a variety of positions during the night. 

For side and stomach sleepers in particular, you need a mattress that’s not overly soft or firm. You most likely need a bed that’s closer to a “medium” (or 5/10 firmness) than anything else. Having said that, you need to consider your “favorite” position primarily. If you’re a side sleeper mostly, but occasionally sleep on your stomach, you probably want a mattress firmness in the 4-6 range. But if you’re a stomach sleeper first and sometimes a side sleeper, you likely will gravitate toward the bed that’s in the 5-7 firmness range. 

In terms of the type of mattress that is best, there’s no straightforward answer. It really just depends on you and your personal preferences. We see some people ask specifically for a memory foam mattress and others for an innerspring, hybrid, or pillow top mattress. 

If You’re A Back And Side Sleeper

Our advice for back and side sleepers is pretty much the same as in the section above. You want to identify your dominant sleeping position and go from there. You will likely be selecting a bed in the 4-7 firmness range, but the exact point we don’t know. Back sleepers will mostly select in the 5-7 range, while side sleepers will likely get a bed in the 4-6 range. The same story as in the section above applies to the type of mattress that’s best for back and side sleepers. In other words, it comes down to your preference for materials. Perhaps you’ll prefer a memory foam, hybrid, innerspring, or some other type of mattress.