The Ultimate Buying Guide for Side Sleepers

If you are a side sleeper and need a new mattress, we can help you choose the right model for your bedroom. Our picks are based on product research and analysis, and verified customer reviews.

Sleeping on the side is the most common position for sleeping. People’s preferences vary, but most of them feel the most comfortable when they are sleeping on their side. It is also one of the healthiest sleep positions. However, you should keep in mind that sleeping on the left side is healthier than sleeping on the right side. One of the best health benefits of side sleeping is the proper spinal alignment as spine, shoulders, and pelvis are aligned, which minimizes the pressure on the lower back, neck, and other sensitive areas. This position is also quite beneficial to people with obstructive sleep apnea, and those who are prone to snoring, as it keeps airways open. Side sleeping also helps decrease acid reflux. Sleeping on the left side boosts digestion, alleviates heartburn, improves the drainage of toxins, and it is the best position to sleep in during pregnancy as it improves blood flow.

If side sleepers want to enjoy the health benefits that their favorite sleep position provides, they should consider getting a mattress that provides adequate comfort and support. In most cases, side sleepers prefer softer models of mattresses because these models cushion the hips and shoulders, which makes them the most comfortable option for side sleeping. However, although soft mattresses are an ideal solution for sleepers with smaller body frames, they may not be the perfect option for heavier sleepers. Side sleepers who are a bit overweight should opt for firmer mattresses that provide the necessary support and prevent sinking into the mattress.

In case you sleep mostly on your side and are thinking about buying a new mattress, we will help you choose the right model for your bedroom. Several factors need to be considered when making this decision, such as the firmness level and material composition. Here are our top mattresses for side sleepers, based on product research and analysis, and verified customer reviews:

Leesa Mattress

Many side sleepers have troubles finding the right mattress. The biggest challenge that they face is finding a model that is soft enough to avoid feeling pressure, but firm enough to provide the necessary support. One of the best mattresses that fit the description is Leesa mattress. It is one of the best-designed models on the market, and it works for every sleep position, especially side sleeping.


Leesa is 10” thick, and it is an all-foam mattress. Unlike many other all-foam mattresses that tend to sleep hot because the body heat is trapped, Leesa allows sleeping cool thanks to breathable materials and enhanced cooling technology. It provides fantastic pressure relief and it contours to every curve of the body. Besides being quite comfortable, especially in a side sleeper position, it also provides the proper support thanks to its dense support foam layer.

The Leesa Mattress is a medium-firm model, and it is about 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, with 10 being the firmest. Thanks to its unique foam layers that adapt to applying pressure, it provides the right amount of support where it is needed the most. This mattress also minimizes the amount of sinking, has good edge support, and a minimal amount of motion transfer thanks to its responsive top layer.

The Leesa comes with a 100-night sleep trial period with free returns, 10-year warranty, and free shipping across the United States.

Recommended for people who:

  • Sleep hot
  • Want excellent motion isolation
  • Need excellent pressure relief

Layla Mattress

Sometimes, firmness preferences of sleepers vary. The Layla mattress can address the needs of these sleepers thanks to its flappable design. This memory foam mattress offers two firmness options in one mattress. The soft side of Layla rates at around 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, with 10 being the firmest. The firm side of the Layla mattress rates at about 7 on the firmness scale, and it is noticeably firmer than the softer side. If you prefer soft sleeping surfaces during some nights, and firm surfaces during other nights, this mattress is an excellent option.


The Layla is a 10” thick memory foam mattress with four distinct layers. It has a 3” comfort layer of high-density copper-infused memory foam which improved blood circulation and provides a cooling feature. When it comes to firmness level, this comfort layer is soft. The second layer of the mattress is support layer as it provides the necessary support for the comfort levels on each side. The third layer is 4” thick, and it provides overall support to the mattress. Finally, the fourth layer is also made of high-density copper-infused memory foam, but unlike the first layer, it is firm. Sleepers can choose which layer to put on top, depending on their sleeping preferences.

The Layla does an excellent job of providing support in all sleeping positions, and it supports just about all firmness preferences. This mattress is also quite comfortable thanks to a very soft cover and its comfort layers. Another great thing about this mattress is that it helps sleep cool thanks to the use of copper-infused memory foam. It was built to prevent body heat from being trapped and to remain cool at night. The Layla was voted best mattress in 2018.

When it comes to sinkage, it depends on which setting of the Layla mattress you use. Sinkage also depends on the sleeper’s weight, and you can expect more sinkage on the soft side compared to the firm side. The edge support is also better on the firm side, but it is still much better on the soft side compared to many other memory foam mattresses. Motion transfer is excellent in both settings.

The Layla mattress comes with a lifetime warranty, 120-night sleep trial period with free returns, and free shipping.

Recommended for people who:

  • Want two firmness levels
  • Like to sleep cool
  • Want a lifetime warranty

Helix Midnight Mattress

Helix offers nine different models of mattresses, but we think that their Helix Midnight model is the best for side sleepers. It is made with Memory Plus foam, and it provides balanced support, which is enough to keep the sleeper’s spine aligned. Besides being an excellent option for people who prefer sleeping on their side, it can also help alleviate back pain. Helix Midnight is the best mattress for side and back sleepers.


The cover of the Helix Midnight is thin and breathable, and it is excellent for people who like to sleep cool. The comfort layer of the mattress is made of memory foam, and it has a slow response to pressure, which aids in providing satisfying body contouring. The second layer of this mattress is the transition layer, and it is made of poly foam. This layer established a supportive feel, and it prevents the sleeper from sinking into the mattress. The support layer consists of the pocketed coil system, which supports the entire mattress. Finally, the last layer is a thin base layer of high-density poly foam.

When it comes to firmness, Helix Midnight is about 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, with 10 being the firmest. It offers balanced support and keeps the spine properly aligned. This mattress has good pressure point relief, which means that you don’t have to worry about feeling pressure on shoulders and hips when sleeping on your side, and excellent motion isolation, which makes it a great option for couples. It is the best mattress for side sleepers with lower back pain. Helix Midnight is a very comfortable mattress and it has nice edge support thanks to the pocketed coil system.

The Helix Midnight mattress comes with a 10-year warranty, 100-night sleep trial period with free returns, and free shipping.

Recommended for people who:

  • Suffer from back pain
  • Like to sleep cool
  • Want excellent motion isolation

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Mattress

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora is a foam and coils hybrid, and it has five layers and TitanCool phase change material technology built in, which has unique cooling properties. This mattress has excellent construction, and it is very comfortable and supportive, which makes it an ideal option for people who prefer side sleeping. It is available in three different firmness settings, and sleepers can choose between soft, medium and firm option.


Brooklyn Bedding Aurora mattress is 13.5” thick, and each firmness option has a slightly different construction, but the materials used are the same in all settings. It has two-way circular knit cover with a phase change component which aids in cooling and helps people avoid sleeping hot, and it is the best mattress for hot side sleepers. The first layer of this mattress is composed of 1.5” of TitanFlex foam, which is either Ultra Plush, or Medium, or Luxury Firm, depending on the firmness setting. It is a high-density foam with increased durability and immediate response to pressure. This top layer provides excellent pressure relief, and it allows sleeping cool as it transfers heat away from the body. The second layer of the mattress is 2” thick and made of plush, medium or firm TitanFlex foam. It is very strong and it provides contouring and bounce. The third layer is a 1” thick transition layer made of gel-infused memory foam for further cooling. It provides deep compression support and prevents excessive motion transfer, which makes it a good option for couples. The fourth layer is 8” thick and made up of individually pocketed coils. It provides support for the entire mattress, stability, durability, bounce, and edge support, and it minimizes sleep disturbance. The last layer is made of 1” high-density poly foam with serves as a base layer and gives structural firmness to the mattress.

When it comes to firmness, the soft Aurora is around 3 out of 10 on the firmness scale, the medium Aurora is around 6 out of 10, and the firm Aurora is around 8. No matter which firmness setting sleepers prefer, Brooklyn Bedding Aurora provides excellent support in all sleeping positions, especially side sleeping, without causing any discomfort in hips and shoulders. It is the best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain.

Sinkage depends on the weight of the sleeper and on the firmness option. You can expect more sinkage if you choose the soft Aurora. Motion isolation is pretty good, and so is edge support, thanks to the pocketed coil system.

The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora comes with a 120-night sleep trial period, 10-year warranty, free shipping to the continental United States and no questions asked return policy. It is also hand made at their own facility.

Recommended for people who:

  • Like to sleep cool
  • Want a bouncier mattress
  • Want a very comfortable mattress

Saatva Mattress

Saatva mattress is available in three different firmness settings – medium soft, medium firm, and firm, which makes it a perfect option for any weight group. It is a foam and coil hybrid and it comes in two different thickness profiles – Premium Luxury version, which is 14.5” thick and ideal for large sleepers, and Custom Slim version, which is 11.5” tall. Both models have the same firmness level and the same feeling. However, the 11.5” version is compatible with an adjustable base, whereas the thicker version is not compatible.


Saatva has a quilted cover made of breathable 100% organic cotton. This cover is very soft, and it is directly connected to the mattress to create Euro pillow top. Euro pillow top includes more cushioning and padding than regular pillow tops, and it has an additional strip of memory foam in the lumbar region, which improves pressure relief. The quality and the luxuriousness of this cover are very impressive. Beneath the pillow top is a layer of high-quality memory foam. This layer provides additional pressure relief and aids cooling thanks to the convoluted design that allows airflow. The next layer is the layer of individually wrapped coils, which provides a bounce to the mattress and prevents the sleeper from feeling stuck. The third layer is the support layer, and it is made of steel coils. This layer provides support to the entire mattress, as well as to the sleeper on top, and it is responsible for the responsiveness to pressure. This tall layer of steel coils also creates a lot of space on the mattress, and thanks to it, the airflow is improved, and so is the cooling ability of the mattress. The last layer is a high-density poly foam base layer which acts as a foundation of the entire mattress.

When it comes to firmness settings, the medium soft model is around 4 out of 10 on the firmness scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. The medium firm option is around 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, and the firm model is around 8 out of 10. This range of firmness options is suitable for any weight group. The Saatva mattress is a perfect combination of support and comfort, and that’s what makes it a perfect option for side sleepers. It responds quickly to the applied pressure and provides excellent pressure relief and a nice cradling feeling.

The unique coil-to-coil construction of the mattress prevents sinkage and sagging. The Saatva has excellent edge support, and it is very durable. You can expect some motion transfer with this mattress, which is understandable due to its responsiveness and bounciness, but it is not excessive.

The Saatva mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial, 15-year warranty, and free White Glove delivery, which includes direct in-home delivery and setup, with the removal of the old mattress.

Recommended for people who:

  • Want a hybrid mattress
  • Want an organic mattress
  • Want a durable model with great edge support


Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress

Tuft & Needle Mint is a high-quality all-foam premium mattress. It is an ideal mattress for side sleepers as it is softer than the average memory foam mattress and has soft Adaptive foam in its comfort layer. This mattress is around 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, and it is excellent for people who want a bed with a soft neutral-foam feel. Although it is a perfect model for those who prefer sleeping on the side, it is not ideal for back and stomach sleepers as it might soften over time.


The Mint mattress is 12” thick. The cover of the mattress has nice charcoal color and it is made with polyester and micro-polyamide. It has a very soft feel, fabrics are resistant to peeling, and it is naturally cooling. The first layer of the mattress is 3” thick and it is built with graphite-infused memory foam that aids in cooling. This Adaptive foam is made by Tuft & Needle and what makes it very interesting is that it is incredibly soft and provides great pressure relief, but at the same time, it has quick response to applied pressure. The second layer of the mattress is a 2” thick Adaptive foam transition layer infused with gel beads for more cooling and support. It extends the cooling features of the top layer. The third layer is a 7” thick base layer made of high-density poly foam, and it provides excellent support to the rest of the mattress. The edge support of this mattress is also great.

Tuft & Needle Mint is a very comfortable and soft mattress, and it is the best mattress for light sleepers and an excellent option for medium sized individuals. It may not be ideal for heavier individuals who are 225lbs+ as it doesn’t provide enough support for these sleepers. It also has excellent pressure relief, which means that you don’t have to worry about feeling pressure on your hips and shoulders. The Mint mattress also allows sleeping cool thanks to incorporated gel and graphite in its adaptive foam layer. This mattress is also open-celled, which promotes breathability and aids cooling. Motion transfer is limited on this mattress, and edge support is better than most of the other foam mattresses. The Mint also conforms to the sleeper’s body well.

Tuft & Needle Mint mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial period, 10-year warranty, free returns and free shipping anywhere in the continental United States.

Recommended for people who:

  • Want excellent pressure relief
  • Like to sleep cool
  • Are lightweight

Most Common Types of Side Sleeping Positions

Most people in the United States prefer sleeping on their side. Around two-thirds of adults consider side sleeping the most comfortable position, and the most likely to fall asleep in. Here are the most common positions when it comes to side sleeping:

  • The Fetal Position – According to research, around 41% of Americans prefer this sleeping position. People who sleep in this position curl their legs at the knees, with the knees drawn up to their chest. This position looks similar to babies in the womb, hence the name fetal position, and it is the most common position among people who sleep on their side.
  • The Log Position – People who sleep in this position keep arms down and close to their body, back straight, and legs extended. Although it may not seem very comfortable, many individuals in the United States sleep this way.
  • The Yearner Position – This position is very similar to the log position, but instead of keeping their arms down, yearners keep their arms stretched out in front of them as if they are trying to reach something.

Health Benefits of Sleeping on the Side

The good news for side sleepers is that this sleeping position has many health benefits, especially sleeping on the left side, which is healthier than sleeping on the right side. When it comes to healthy sleeping positions, left side sleeping is one of the healthiest. One of the primary benefits of side sleeping is reduced acid reflux, which is important for people who are prone to having this issue. Side sleeping also prevents neck pain and back pain, and it alleviates pressure throughout the body as it keeps the spine properly aligned. Another benefit of side sleeping is improved air circulation. When people sleep in this position their airways are open, which aids the proper airflow and reduces snoring. Side sleeping is especially beneficial to individuals who are prone to snoring and have sleep apnea.

Left side is the best side to sleep on for digestion. When people sleep on their left side, they can enjoy better elimination of toxins and waste. Sleeping in this position allows gravity to encourage the movement of food waste from the small intestine into the large intestine. As a result, the descending colon is ready to easily eliminate the waste in the morning. Sleeping on the left side can also improve the health of the heart as it avoids putting too much pressure on it. It is also the best side to sleep on when pregnant. Side sleeping improves blood circulation and alleviates heartburn.

How to Choose the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers?

Although side sleeping is the most common position, it doesn’t mean that every mattress provides the right level of support. Side sleepers should look for comfortable mattresses that provide adequate support. When it comes to mattress comfort levels, it is the best idea to choose medium to medium firm mattresses. Mattresses with this firmness setting are soft enough to allow the sleeper’s shoulders and hips to sink into the mattress a bit, thus alleviating pain and pressure on these areas, and at the same time, they are firm enough to keep the spine properly aligned.

When side sleepers search for the best mattress based on the firmness they also need to take into consideration their body weight. It is normal for heavier sleepers to opt for firmer mattresses compared to the light sleepers as they provide the necessary support. People who weigh less than 130 pounds should opt for medium soft models or softer. Thanks to being lighter than average, they don’t have to worry about sinking into the mattress. If they choose firm mattresses, they may experience discomfort as these surfaces may not conform to their bodies closely enough. Sleepers with average weight should opt for medium to medium firm models. Medium mattresses are neither too soft nor too firm for them, and they provide adequate level of support. Finally, heavier sleepers should choose a medium or firm mattress. They should avoid soft models as they will sink too much into the mattress, which can cause spinal misalignment and contribute to back pain and neck pain. On the other hand, if they opt for firmer surfaces, they won’t have to worry about these problems. Also, firm mattresses provide the support that heavier sleepers need.

Another factor that should be taken into consideration when searching for the best mattress is the material composition. Foam mattresses have excellent pressure relief, close conforming, and good motion isolation. However, in many cases, they have minimal edge support. Latex mattresses also have close conforming to the body, good motion isolation and pressure relief, and minimal support on the edges. Innerspring mattresses are relatively inexpensive, have excellent edge support and they allow sleepers to sleep cool, but they often have minimal pressure relief and body conforming. Last but not least, hybrid models are very durable, have advanced cooling features, as well as strong edge support, and they conform to the sleeper’s body better than innerspring mattresses.

If you sleep mostly on your side and want to find a mattress that will fit your sleeping preferences and fulfill your needs, you should take into consideration the factors mentioned above. Don’t forget to consider the firmness level, your weight, mattress construction, as well as your budget before choosing the perfect mattress for your bedroom. It is not difficult to find the ideal model for side sleepers if you know what to look for in a mattress.

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