Updated January 1, 2021If you’re a side sleeper, you’re never short of mattress options— on the one hand, it’s nice to have variety while searching for a new bed, but on the other, it makes finding the best mattress for your particular needs relatively tricky.Side sleeping is common, with 70% of sleepers preferring to snooze this way, and fortunately, many specialists regard it as being the healthiest sleep position, too. Despite its benefits, side sleeping does come with some downfalls, such as the potential for pressure points and pain. That’s why finding the best mattress for side sleeping is so important.In this post, we discuss some of the most comfortable mattresses for side sleepers and offer tips on how to choose the right one for your sleep needs.Best Mattress for Side SleepersBest Mattress for Side Sleepers: Amerisleep AS4Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back Pain: Zoma MattressBest Soft Hybrid Mattress for Side Sleeping: Amerisleep AS5 HybridBest Overall Value Mattress for Side Sleeping: Vaya MattressBest Mattresses for Side SleepersMattressHighlightPrice (Queen)Amerisleep AS4Features plant-based, pressure-relieving Bio-Pur® to help you get cool, comfortable sleep.$1259Zoma MattressBuilt with Triangulex™ technology to promote proper posture and allow for deep pressure relief.$799Amerisleep AS5 HybridBuoyant Active Flex and pocketed coils support the cushioning top layer.$1679Vaya MattressBreathable Vaya Comfort Foam won't trap heat and bounces back quickly.$599Bear ProContains copper-infused foam to alleviate pain points and regulate your temperature.$1090Nolah 10"Built with proprietary AirFoam™ to offer 4x better pressure relief.$1019Original Purple®Features their innovative Smart Comfort Grid™ in an effort to create a "No-Pressure" mattress$1099Alexander Signature HybridAvailable in multiple firmness levels, so there's an option for all preferences.$12991. Amerisleep AS4Best Mattress for Side Sleepers of 2021The Amerisleep AS4 is our favorite mattress for side sleepers. It offers an unbeatable mix of comfort and support—providing plenty of cushioning for the shoulders and hips while still keeping you lifted in healthy alignment. Green-conscious shoppers will like Amerisleep, too, as they use plant-based foams in their beds.Amerisleep’s AS4 stands 12 inches tall, has three layers, and is medium-soft in firmness. Let’s break down its construction.First, every Amerisleep mattress has a soft, breathable cover. This cover is designed to keep air flowing freely throughout the mattress so that you never wake due to overheating. The cover is also easy to remove and completely washable. Inside the mattress, we start with 4 inches of Bio-Pur®, Amerisleep’s plant-based memory foam. Bio-Pur® is more responsive and breathable than traditional memory foam, so the usual concerns of trapping heat or feeling “stuck” aren’t an issue with Amerisleep mattresses. When you lay on the AS4, this Bio-Pur® contours to your body and helps you feel weightless. Below the Bio-Pur® is a thin (1-inch) layer of Affinity with HIVE® technology. HIVE® is a type of surface modification technology (SMT). It’s designed to offer supplemental support under your lower back, head, and feet, and extra compression for your shoulders and hips. HIVE’s® design facilitates proper posture and healthy sleeping positions while preventing pain and pressure points.The third and final layer of the AS4 is 7 inches of Bio-Core®, a supportive poly-foam. Bio-Core® is in place to reinforce the two layers (and sleeper) above and prevent premature wear and tear. Beyond using sturdy Bio-Core® for a base layer, Amerisleep also backs their mattresses with a generous 20-year warranty. If your mattress shows sags or indentations greater than .75 inches deep, they’ll repair or replace your mattress.Amerisleep offers a 100-night sleep trial with each of their beds, too; this allows you to buy online and try your new bed in the comfort of your own home. If you decide against keeping it, returns are free.2. Zoma MattressBest Mattress for Side Sleepers with Back PainNext on our list is a memory foam mattress designed for athletes, the Zoma Mattress. The Zoma Mattress was built to help athletes sleep deeper, recover faster, and wake up feeling more rejuvenated. You can’t achieve peak performance without healthy rest. Zoma helps you get the sleep you need to lead a happy, healthy life.The Zoma Mattress has a medium to medium-soft feel, so it’s great for side sleepers seeking a plusher mattress. Despite its softness, Zoma is equipped with Triangulex™ technology to provide healthy support under your spine— it’s one of the best mattresses for back pain.The top layer of the Zoma Mattress is 2 inches of gel memory foam. When you lay on this bed, this memory foam molds to your body and the gel within combats body heat. This layer is also where the Triangulex™ technology is located. Triangulex™ is another surface modification technology; Zoma adjusts this foam to feel firmer under your midsection to keep your spine in a neutral position, and softer under your shoulders and hips to prevent pressure points.Next is a 2-inch layer of Reactiv™, a responsive poly-foam. Reactiv™ serves primarily as a transition layer between the soft memory foam layer above and a dense core layer below, but it also influences the feel of the bed. Because Reactiv™ is designed to be responsive, it gives the bed a bit of bounce and prevents you from sinking too far into the Zoma.The last and final layer of Zoma is Support+, a durable poly-foam in place to offer additional support to the layers above. Support+ prevents the mattress from breaking down or developing sags. Plus, Zoma backs their mattress with a 10-year warranty.The Zoma Mattress is sold online-only and comes with a 100-night sleep trial.3. Amerisleep AS5 HybridBest Soft Hybrid Mattress for Side SleepingWhile medium and medium-soft mattresses are excellent choices for side sleepers, many relish having a truly luxurious and plush mattress they can sink into. If you’re seeking a soft bed for side sleeping, our top recommendation is the Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid.The AS5 hybrid stands 14 inches tall, with a plush feel that conforms well to a side sleeper’s body. Four layers make up this soft, thick mattress.The top layer is 3 inches of Bio-Pur®, Amerisleep’s unique and upgraded version of traditional memory foam. The airy design of Bio-Pur® ensures it stays cool even as it cushions your entire body, absorbing its heat. Plus, the material’s responsive nature allows it to adapt quickly to your movements, so you never feel stuck in your soft mattress.Next is a 2-inch layer of Active Flex, a springy material that offsets the Bio-Pur® foam. Active Flex reduces your chances of sinking into the bed without compromising the mattress’s soft and cloud-like feel.The mattress’s support core is 8 inches of pocketed coils on a 1-inch thick foam base. The pocketed coils are individually wrapped to increase motion isolation and to muffle any noises the springs may make. Amerisleep arranges the coils so they feel soft in the mattress’s head and foot, but supportive under your torso.Like the Amerisleep AS4, the Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid comes with free shipping and returns, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 20-year warranty. The hybrid’s warranty covers any sagging that exceeds 0.75 inches.4. Vaya MattressBest Overall Value Mattress for Side SleepingThe Vaya Mattress is one of the newer mattresses on our list, but it’s already become a favorite thanks to its sleek, streamlined design and quality materials. The Vaya Mattress has a perfect medium feel that works well for side sleepers, combo sleepers, and couples.The first layer of the Vaya is called Vaya Comfort Foam. This unique layer has an open-cell structure, making it easy for air to flow through, thus deterring heat traps. Most memory foam has such a dense structure that body heat gets stuck beneath the sleeper, causing night sweats and general discomfort. The Vaya Comfort Foam keeps cool and bounces back quickly, so you won’t sink down or feel stuck in bed.The support layer of the Vaya is called Vaya Base Foam. This durable material keeps the softer comfort foam above it even, offering consistent spinal support. Even after lots of use, the Vaya Mattress won’t develop sags or soft spots.The Vaya comes with a 100-night sleep trial, free shipping, free returns, and a 10-year warranty.5. Bear ProBest Cooling Memory Foam Mattress Bear is another online mattress brand specializing in mattresses for athletes. We like their newest mattress, the Bear Pro, because it contains an extra layer of contouring memory foam, making it perfect for side sleeping. Plus, they infuse copper gel into this extra layer of foam, offering even more sleep-promoting benefits.The Bear Pro has four layers and is 12 inches thick. On their website, they mention the Bear Pro falls at a 5.9 out of 10 on the firmness scale; it’s safe to assume this bed will feel medium to medium-firm for the majority of sleepers.Bear utilizes Celliant’s® FDA-determined textile technology in the covers of their mattresses to prevent hot nights and promote deeper sleep. If you’re a particularly hot sleeper, this technology, along with the cooling gels in the layers of this bed, can improve your night’s sleep.The first layer of Bear Pro is 1 inch of copper-infused memory foam. Copper is naturally conductive, so it pulls body heat away from you and dissipates it out of the mattress; this copper gel works in tandem with the bed’s Celliant® cover to regulate your temperature. Copper is also antimicrobial, so it keeps you sleeping clean.When you lay on this mattress, this plush memory foam contours to your body and offers immediate pressure relief. The second layer is 1.5 inches of gel memory foam; this layer allows for deeper compression and stops pain points from developing around your hips or shoulders. The gel within this layer also fights body heat to ensure you’re not waking up uncomfortably warm.Below the layer of gel memory foam is a 2.5-inch layer of responsive transition foam designed to give the bed a bit of bounce and prevent you from sinking uncomfortably far in the mattress. Lastly, the core of the mattress is 7 inches of high-density poly-foam in place to support the three layers above.Bear offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty with each of their beds.6. Nolah 10”Best Foam Mattress for Side Sleeping Up next is a bed specifically designed to support side sleeping— the Nolah 10”. What sets this mattress apart is the use of Nolah’s proprietary AirFoam™, a poly-foam engineered to be four times more pressure-relieving than memory foam. This ultra-pressure-relieving foam allows for deep compression under your shoulders and hips and prevents pesky pressure points.As the name implies, the Nolah 10” is 10 inches tall. It has three layers, and an ultra-soft, stretchy, and breathable viscose cover. Reviews of the mattress mention it feels like a perfect medium, so it should offer a good, even balance of comfort and support.The first layer is 2 inches of their proprietary AirFoam™; this layer cushions your body without causing you to feel “stuck” in the mattress. Along with being more pressure-relieving, Nolah’s AirFoam™ is more breathable than memory foam and allows for body heat to easily escape out of the mattress.Next is a 1-inch support layer of durable poly-foam. On their website, they state this poly-foam is designed to be “stronger and more durable than latex” and improves the bed’s bounciness. You won’t have to worry about sinking too far into this mattress, as these two layers create a more “lifted” feel in comparison to other foam beds.The last layer of the Nolah 10” is 7 inches of high-density poly-foam to give the bed extra support and protect against wear and tear. Nolah backs each of their mattresses with a 15-year warranty and offers a generous 120-night sleep trial.7. Original Purple®Best Online Bed in a Box Mattress for Side SleepingIf you’ve researched the best mattress in a box, you’ve likely stumbled upon Purple® mattresses, as they’re a leader in the boxed mattress industry. Purple® mattresses were designed to be the world’s first “No-Pressure” sleeping surface, which is ideal for side sleepers who are prone to pressure points.We are fans of their original all-foam model because it has nearly 20,000 reviews and is the model that made them famous— it features their unique Smart Comfort Grid™ and durable poly-foam to deliver a comfortable but long-lasting mattress for side sleepers.The top layer in each of their beds, including their namesake Purple® mattress, is their Smart Comfort Grid™. Purple® makes this grid out of its patented hyper-elastic polymer. This rubber-like material is fashioned into a matress-sized grid shape and delivers no-pressure support.When you lay on one of these beds, this grid will collapse ever so slightly under your body weight to relieve pressure and offer some cushioning; however, it’s durable enough to keep you lifted on top of the mattress and not cause uncomfortable sinking. Plus, because this layer is a grid, there’s little risk of heat retention, and air can flow freely out of the mattress.The second layer of the Purple® mattress is a transition layer of poly-foam to reinforce the Smart Comfort Grid™ above. The third and final layer is dense poly-foam to extend the bed’s longevity.Purple® mattresses can be bought online or at most Mattress Firms, and every bed comes with a 10-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.8. Alexander Signature HybridBest Luxury Hybrid Mattress for Side SleepingThe last mattress on our list is Nest Bedding’s Alexander Signature Hybrid. It’s available as plush, medium, and luxury firm, but we recommend side sleepers choose their medium model as it should have a good balance of cushioning comfort and back support.The cover of the Alexander Signature Hybrid is temperature-regulating fabric, called Phase Change Fabric. Within this cover, they quilt .25 inches of gel-infused memory foam to offer the sleeper immediate cushioning comfort.The first layer of the mattress is 3 inches of TitanChill Endurance Foam®, Nest’s proprietary foam. TitanChill Endurance Foam® relieves pressure points and combats body heat to keep you sleeping comfortably. Because this layer is 3 inches thick, it offers a soft, cradling feel.Next is a 1-inch layer of SmartFlow Support Foam, another one of Nest’s proprietary foams. This foam is designed to feel more responsive than memory foam, so it increases this bed’s bounce and prevents too much sinkage.Below the two layers of foam is an 8-inch pocketed coil system with Quantum Edge support. These coils offer zoned support and isolate motion throughout the mattress.The final layer of the Signature Hybrid is 1-inch of durable poly-foam to support the coils and layers of foam above.Nest sells their mattresses online, but they also have showrooms across the country. Whether you shop in-store or online, Nest offers a 100-night sleep trial and Lifetime Warranty with each of their beds.Read More: Mattress Size and Dimensions GuideWhat Should Side Sleepers Look for in a New Mattress?Apart from reading product descriptions and comparing bells and whistles, it’s important to reflect upon your sleeping habits and personal preferences to choose the best mattress for your particular needs. In this section, we discuss the most significant factors to consider before choosing your next bed.Side Sleeping PositionThere are many ways to sleep on your side. Do you prefer to curl up in the fetal position? Or do you spend most nights in the tree position with one leg hiked up and bent at the knee?The most common side sleeping positions are as follows:Fetal Position: The fetal position is pretty self-explanatory; you curl your knees up to your chest and sleep in a ball. The fetal position is the most popular side sleeping position, with 41% of side sleepers preferring to nod off this way.The Thinker: The thinker is very similar to the fetal position; you curl your legs up to your chest, but instead of wrapping your arms around your legs, in the thinker position you place one hand under your head and the other under your chin— as if you’re thinking.The Log: The log sleep position occurs when you sleep on your side with your arms down close to your body.The Yearner: Those who prefer the yearner position sleep on their sides with their arms stretched out straight in front of them.The Pillow Hugger: The pillow hugger looks exactly how it sounds— you sleep on your side and hug a pillow! More often than not, those who sleep in the pillow hugger position prefer to hug a body pillow that’s long enough to support them from head to toe.Tree: The tree position is actually a blend of side and stomach sleeping. Sleepers assume the tree position when they start sleeping on their side but lift one leg to the side. Lifting one leg up higher than the other rotates your pelvis and twists your spine— so your upper body is rotated on its side, while your hips are now facing down. Many people resort to sleeping this way, but it’s actually quite unhealthy for your lower back. If you have back pains, sleeping like this so can only exacerbate the problem. Even if you’re not inclined to pain, sleeping this way can create recurring aches.Pain PointsAs we’ve touched on a few times now, the biggest downfall to side sleeping is the potential for pressure points. And pressure points lead to pain. If you’re not sleeping on your side correctly, it can result in hip, shoulder, neck, or back pains.Hip and shoulder pains are usually an indicator that your bed is too firm. The best mattress for hip pain is often medium in firmness. These pains occur when tension builds up in your hip and shoulder joints. The best mattress for hip pain is often medium in firmness.Back pain, on the other hand, is caused by a too-soft mattress. If your spine isn’t properly supported by your bed, it can fall out of alignment and cause recurring backaches.Neck pain is usually a result of the pillow you’re using. If your pillow is too high, it can crane your neck upwards and result in discomfort. The best pillow for side sleepers is anywhere between 3 to 6 inches thick.To avoid pain, we recommend avoiding the tree position and choosing a mattress built with the right amount of comfort and support for your needs.Mattress TypesBefore you can get too far in your research, stop to consider what type of mattress you want. Do you prefer a bouncier bed? If so, you’ll probably like a hybrid or innerspring. However, if you prefer the feeling of cushioning foam, a latex or memory foam mattress is best for you.Memory FoamMemory foam mattresses are great for side sleepers because they’re pressure-relieving and the best at preventing pain. These beds mold to your body and adapt to your movement to offer both support and comfort. When you lay on memory foam, it alleviates pressure and offers a “cradling” feel. These beds can range from soft to firm, so there are options for every preference.LatexLatex mattresses are a bit more buoyant than memory foam, so it holds you lifted “on top” of the mattress. If you prefer a firmer mattress or don’t like the “hug-like” feeling memory foam mattresses can have, choose a latex bed. These beds are great for side sleepers because they distribute your body weight evenly and cushion your joints to prevent pain.HybridHybrid mattresses combine foam layers and an inner coil system to offer sleepers the best of both worlds. If you like the cushioning of foam layers and crave the bounciness of an innerspring, a hybrid is your best option. These beds contain a variety of high-quality materials, so they can sometimes come with a hefty price tag. However, they combine a number of sleep-promoting features to deliver better rest.InnerspringInnerspring mattresses lack foam layers and are characterized by a pocketed coil system. Any comfort you receive from these beds comes from the cover or pillow top. These beds are great for people seeking a firmer, or bouncy, mattress. We hesitate to recommend innersprings to side sleepers because they’re usually not equipped to cushion the shoulders and hips properly.Firmness OptionsWhile many believe choosing mattress firmness is a matter of personal preference, your ideal firmness is actually dictated by how you sleep. Side sleepers need a mattress that’ll be supportive enough to hold their spine in a healthy, neutral position; however, this bed still needs to feel soft enough to cushion your major joints such as the shoulders and hips.When you sleep on your side, your hips and shoulders take on all of your body weight; if your bed is not soft enough to relieve pressure under those joints, chronic pain points can develop. If your bed is too soft, though, it’ll cause your hips to sink too far, throwing your spine out of alignment.When you sleep on your side, your hips and shoulders take on all of your body weight; if your bed is not soft enough to relieve pressure under those joints, chronic pain points can develop.It’s crucial side sleepers find a mattress that offers an even balance of comfort and support, which is why medium mattresses are the best for side sleeping. Side sleepers can also benefit from zoned technologies such as SMT or pocketed coils as they’re designed to feel firmer under your back and softer around your hips and shoulders.Bodyweight plays a role in the perception of firmness, too. Lighter individuals who don’t bring a lot of weight to the mattress will likely perceive most beds as feeling “firm” or at least “firmer.” On the other hand, people over 250 pounds will feel like most beds are soft. Heavier people will feel comfortable on medium-firm and medium beds, while lighter individuals will prefer medium-soft to medium mattresses.Should I Get a Mattress in a Box?Bed-in-a-box mattresses are only becoming more and more popular due to their convenience. Instead of driving store to store, you can now shop for a mattress online and have it delivered to your door like any other package.To decide whether or not you should order a bed in a box, consider your personal shopping preferences. Do you enjoy going out to the store and trying a bed in person? Or are you more of an online shopper? While many used to fear online mattress shopping due to the fact that you couldn’t try the bed before buying, brands have mitigated this concern by offering in-home, risk-free sleep trials. So regardless of how you shop, you have the opportunity to try the bed before committing.Consider the process of maneuvering and setting up a bed in a box. If you’re somebody who’s older or experiences frequent chronic pain, you probably won’t want the hassle of moving a cumbersome bed in a box to your bedroom and decompressing it. Many online and in-store brands offer White Glove Delivery, which includes the set up of your new bed and removal of its packaging.Ultimately, if you prefer to shop online and you’re equipped to set up a heavy bed in a box mattress, you should have no problems going the bed-in-a-box route.Benefits of Side SleepingSide sleeping, along with back sleeping, is regarded as the healthiest sleeping position. It’s hard to pinpoint one “best” sleeping position because side sleeping and back sleeping offer different benefits for different needs.For snorers and those with sleep apnea, side sleeping can alleviate your symptoms and help you get more undisturbed sleep.Sleeping on your right side versus your left improves your heart health, too.Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat type of mattress is best for side sleepers?Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses are all comfortable for side sleepers because they can cushion the shoulders and hips, preventing pressure points. Side sleepers should also choose a mattress that’s around medium in firmness since these beds strike an even balance of comfort and support, which is ideal for side sleeping.Why do my hips hurt at night when I sleep on my side?Hip pain while side sleeping is often an indication of a too-firm mattress. Your mattress should be soft enough to cradle your hips, but still firm enough to maintain neutral spinal alignment. Hip pain can also be a sign that the comfort layer of your mattress is too thin. If the cushioning top layer of your mattress is only 2 inches thick, it may not be thick enough to allow your hips to adequately compress. Adding a soft mattress topper can ease hip pain while side sleeping.Should side sleepers have a firm or soft mattress?Side sleepers should avoid soft and firm mattresses and look for a bed that falls somewhere in the middle. Side sleepers want a mattress to relieve pressure under the shoulders and hips while facilitating healthy alignment. Depending on body weight, the best mattress for side sleeping may be medium or medium-firm.How do you know if your mattress is too firm?If you’re waking up with pressure points, numb or tingly limbs, or lower back pain or stiffness, it’s a good sign that your mattress is too firm. Your mattress should be soft enough to allow your body to compress in the bed. If it’s too firm, you’ll be smushed up against your mattress all night, which is not only uncomfortable in the moment, but it leads to chronic aches and pains.What kind of pillow does a side sleeper need?We recommend mid-loft memory foam pillows for side sleepers because they are tall enough to fill the gap between the head and the shoulders, and they’re also pressure-relieving enough to alleviate neck pain. Shredded memory foam pillows are also a go-to for side sleepers because they’re easily molded to fit different sleep preferences.ConclusionWe hope our guide has steered you towards the most comfortable mattress to accommodate your sleep needs. Remember, don’t get caught up in the masses of mattresses. Instead, take some time before researching to reflect upon what you are looking for in a bed. Are you unhappy with your current bed set? Are you experiencing pains? Do you prefer firmer or softer mattresses? All of these questions will push you in the right direction during your search.If you’re still on the fence about which bed to choose, read some of our other guides to learn about different mattress types and top-rated brands; taking the extra time to do more research will help you feel a lot more confident in your purchase.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. 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