Looking for a mattress that offers the best support as a side sleeper? Let us be your guide!
The best mattresses for side sleepers are soft or medium-firm memory foam, latex, or gel mattresses, since they conform to the body’s natural curve, providing maximum support and relieving pressure.
In this guide, you’ll know:
- Are firm or soft mattresses better for side sleepers?
- Which mattress is best for heavy side sleepers?
- If you sleep on your side, how firm should your mattress be?
And many more!
Best Overall: Nectar Mattress
Nectar’s premium award-winning memory foam mattress is our top pick for side sleepers. As one of the best bed-in-a-box mattresses, it’s popularly known for its excellent support system with layers of high-quality memory foam.
This Nectar mattress comes with a firmness level of 6.5, measuring 25 cm thick. It perfectly hugs your body providing better support and comfort, which meets the requirement of those looking for a medium-firm pressure-relieving mattress.
Let’s have a look at its five layers of comfort.
The top cover is a quilted breathable material that brings in fresh air by drawing away heat. Its comfort layer has a 3-inch breathable gel memory foam with heat-trapping properties and excellent bouncy support with a cooling effect. Then comes a transition layer with a 2-inch pressure-relieving memory foam that provides adequate support and comfort around your body.
Lastly, the support layer has a thick base foam with high density providing 7 different support zones.
This mattress is a good option for side sleepers with excellent pain relief on your shoulders, hips, and legs while keeping your spine aligned and is highly supportive.
Its unique layers ensure that you don’t sink into the mattress, beneficial for people who enjoy sleeping on their sides. It also isolates motion transfer which allows you to sleep comfortably without being disturbed.
Additionally, it hugs your curves, relieving sensitive points keeping you comfortable throughout the night.
Nectar mattress is 100% carbon neutral, and its foam is all free from toxic chemicals.
Unlike other mattresses, it comes with a forever warranty, plus it also includes free bedding accessories. The best part is, it comes with an impressive 365-night trial giving you a generous amount of time to decide if it suits your body and sleeping position. If you’re not impressed with its quality, you can get a 100% refund.
What type of mattress is best for side sleepers, firm or soft?
Usually, a soft mattress is recommended for side sleepers, and they’re considered the best for this sleeping position. Side sleepers should opt for a soft or medium mattress; however, the level of firmness can vary depending on personal preferences.
Since side sleepers require comfortable pressure around the hips, a soft mattress does a better job that offers better pressure relief without any firmness around the shoulder and hips. The aim is to find a bed with a cushiony layer with enough support to keep your spine in proper alignment.
The best type of mattress for side sleepers
The best mattress for side sleepers is memory foam, as it conforms to your body shape, supports the curves, and relieves pain. Its plush material allows the body to sink into the mattress and align with the spine. However, it’s not preferred by all.
As an alternative for those who feel memory foam is too soft can opt for latex or polyfoam with pocket coils with a firmer support system.
A hybrid, innerspring, or all-foam mattress is also a good option since high-quality foam or hybrid provides adequate pressure relief.
Some innerspring mattresses also come with enough support and comfort suitable for side sleepers.
Every mattress has different comfort levels with pros and cons, but considering the type of mattress you need, such as temperature regulation, motion transfer, full-body support, and pressure relief, will help you choose the mattress that’s best for you.
But as said, it’s a personal choice, and it depends on how it adjusts to your body shape.
Is a softer mattress better for side sleepers?
A softer mattress is suitable for side sleepers, but only if you’re lightweight. Just like every other sleeper, your body weight plays a vital role in determining the level of firmness.
If a mattress is too soft, your body will immerse into the bed without providing adequate support, and a mattress that’s too firm will prevent your body from sinking into the mattress.
Either way, it will prevent your spine from maintaining its natural curve and lead to sore body aches. Hence, depending on your weight, if you’re a heavy sleeper, you will need a medium or medium-firm mattress, and if you’re a light sleeper, you will require a softer mattress.
Due to the amount of pressure on the hips and shoulders, side sleepers require a soft or medium mattress with cushiony support that hugs the body curves and keeps the spine in its neutral position.
Pressure relief is essential for side sleepers because the whole body weight falls on the shoulder and hips during sleep, so without inadequate support, you might wake up with shoulder and hip pain.
Do side sleepers need a firm mattress?
Usually, side sleepers feel most comfortable with a soft mattress. But that doesn’t necessarily mean firm mattresses are not suitable. The firmness of the bed you require would depend on your weight, regardless of your sleeping position. However, you should avoid ultra-firm mattresses.
So as mentioned, if you’re a light sleeper, a firm mattress cannot provide adequate support on your hips and shoulders. Similarly, sleeping on a soft bed would cause your body to sink further into the mattress without proper relief if you’re a heavy sleeper.
For side sleepers, firmness plays a vital role in determining how well the pressure points are supported. A mattress with the right firmness can alleviate body aches and allow you to have a comfortable rest.
A layer of cushiony support is required for the hips, shoulders, and knees for side sleepers. When it comes to firmness, other than your weight, it also comes down to comfort, the level of firmness you prefer and how well your body adjusts to its shape.
The firmness level required for side sleepers
The mattress’s firmness level is measured from 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 the firmest. However, some mattress manufacturers don’t rate the firmness level. In that case, you look for a tag like ‘soft’ or ‘medium.’ For side sleepers, the ideal firmness level should be between, i.e., medium-soft or medium-firm, which is most common among side sleepers.
What mattress do chiropractors recommend?
Approximately 2.5 million people in the UK suffer from back pain every day, according to a survey by News Medical. 61% of people over 55 and 71% of those between 18 and 24 report back pain at least once a month.
Back pain is one of the most common problems in the UK, especially among adults, affecting at least one-third of the population, and a whopping amount of £1.6 billion is spent on treatment every year.
But what can be the reason for the increase in the number of back pain? The reason is plenty and the most often it can be due to:
- Poor sleeping posture
- Chronic pain
- Spinal surgery
- Injuries, etc.
While looking for a mattress, chiropractors recommend a mattress that conforms to your body and keeps your spine aligned. It’s because the wrong mattress will cause discomfort, spine misalignment, and failing to distribute pressure equally, which will also cost you a lot of money.
If you’re reading this, most probably, you suffer from back pain and require assistance to find the perfect mattress.
Especially for side sleepers, a mattress that gives you pressure relief is essential. Hence, chiropractor recommends hybrid, memory foam, or latex as they provide sufficient balance, which helps relieve pressure.
- Memory foam: Memory foam mattresses are generally recommended for relieving back pain because they conform to your body and offer adequate support. Memory foam evenly distributes weight around your body, helping your spine to remain in a neutral position no matter what position you sleep in. Additionally, it relieves pressure points and minimizes pain in sensitive areas like the shoulders and hips.
- Latex: Latex is also a durable, hypoallergenic material that has gained popularity due to its hypoallergenic properties. Talalay latex is an all-natural material used in high-quality mattresses that relieve strained muscles and comfort the lumbar region. The good thing about it is that it provides excellent comfort and doesn’t make you feel like you’re sleeping on a hard surface.
- Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses combine various foams such as polyfoam, memory foam, and latex with pocket coils. Combining these layers creates a comfortable layer firm enough to support your body, relieving pressure points and aligning your spine.
How firm should a mattress be for a side sleeper?
Since side sleepers add more pressure around the hips and shoulder, a soft mattress is required to support these areas. You simply need a mattress that keeps your spine aligned while also providing good comfortable support, which is why a medium-soft or medium-firm is recommended for side sleepers.
For side sleepers, a mattress that perfectly hugs the curves of your body can keep you away from any unwanted problems like back pain or sore joints. Keep in mind that firmness and support are two different things and shouldn’t be confused with.
- Firmness refers to the mattress’s top layer and how it contours to your body shape, and it can be soft, medium, and firm.
- Support refers to how the mattress supports your body by relieving pressure points with proper spine alignment.
It can be challenging to pin down the exact mattress firmness level because no two people are the same, and choices vary. Although a soft and medium-firm mattress is considered the best, you might require a firm mattress if you’re a heavy person.
Are memory foam mattresses good for side sleepers?
Yes. Memory foam is a popular choice, and it adequately contours the body, which effectively helps relieve pressure points and can benefit people looking for pain relief. However, the tricky part is that if the support layer is too soft, it will cause your body to sink into the mattress, which can be problematic for heavy sleepers.
Advantages of memory foam mattress
- Since they’re soft, it makes a suitable choice for people who prefer cushiony support.
- It conforms to your body shape and evenly distributes weight, making it a popular choice among all sleepers.
- Nowadays, most memory foam mattresses are made to minimize motion transfer.
- Memory foam is hypoallergenic suitable for allergy sufferers.
- It helps reduce back, neck, or shoulder pain.
- It relieves pressure.
Disadvantages of memory foam mattress
- Since there are many foam products in the market, you will find many high-quality products, but subpar versions are also equally available.
- It might produce a chemical smell known as off-gassing, so it’s best to look for CertiPUR approved products.
- For some people, a memory foam mattress can make you feel like sinking into the mattress.
- They’re durable and are of high quality but are also expensive.
- Unlike other mattresses, memory foam takes time to adjust to your body shape.
What’s the best type of mattress for a side-sleeper with back pain?
Choosing the right mattress can make a massive difference for side sleepers with back pain and generally everyone. If a bed does not hug your body, there will be no support; hence, it can cause misalignment of the spine, leading to health problems.
Since a mattress that fits right can alleviate pressure points keeping the spine aligned, it’s highly recommended that you lie on the right mattress.
The best type of mattress for a side sleeper with back pain will undoubtedly be memory foam. Since memory foam is a responsive material, it moulds to your body shape, supporting the spine.
In addition, it provides full-body support, which helps reduce back pain. Since memory foam is also known for trapping body heat, it can be uncomfortable for people who sleep hot.
But good for you as you can opt for a gel memory foam with cooling properties to keep you cool while sleeping for a good night’s rest.
What’s the best mattress for heavy people who are side-sleepers?
For heavy side sleepers, you might require a firm mattress, although soft and medium-firm are mainly recommended. We all know choosing the right mattress is crucial as to recover from day’s work, a good rest is necessary.
Our recommendation for heavy side sleepers is Noa’s hybrid mattress, and it’s super affordable. Noa’s bed has five support layers with a perfect blend of materials designed for excellent support, pressure relief, and a night of comfortable, relaxed sleep.
Since heavy sleepers tend to sleep hot, this mattress is a win-win, which keeps you cool all night while perfectly supporting your body shape.
You will find its detailed review in our review section below.
Best Value: The Noa
If you’re looking for a high-quality hybrid mattress with exceptional value, our top pick for the best value mattress Noa is an excellent option. The good part is, this medium-firm mattress is suitable for all sleeping positions.
Noa mattress comes in five sizes, from single to super king size, so you can conveniently choose the type you’re looking for. It has five layers, and the foams are all REACH certified. Plus, its materials are low in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
It has a breathable Tencel cover that’s naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial, making it suitable for allergy sufferers.
A layer of cooling gel memory foam effectively relieves pressures while regulating body heat, and an AirCell foam creates a bouncy effect that supports your shoulders and hips.
There’s a layer of adaptive transition foam for minimizing motion transfer and supportive pocket springs that allow airflow helping you stay cool.
Noa mattress measures 28 cm with a firmness level of 7, suitable for all body types. It comes with a 100-night trial that’s more than 3 months, so you have enough time to decide if it meets your requirements. Additionally, it comes with a 15-month guarantee.
This original award-winning mattress from Eve is also UK’s best-selling bed-in-a-box, available in two colours. This mattress consists of all foam with three layers measuring 24 cm in thickness.
The top layer has a moisture-wicking material with a second layer of comfortable springy foam keeping your spine aligned which is also highly breathable that keeps the temperature just right.
The third layer is a softer memory foam that helps relieve pressure, and the last layer is a thick foam base that supports all body types.
In addition, the base layer has 7 different zones, which also relieve pressure around the hips and shoulders. Plus, this dense layer keeps the mattress from sagging.
Eve’s original mattress has medium-firm support that keeps pressure off your body, allowing you to have a comfortable sleep. This mattress is 30x more breathable, which keeps you cool without absorbing body heat and has zero motion transfer.
This mattress is not flippable. However, you can rotate it every six months, but you should turn it in every four months if you’re a heavy sleeper. The top cover is removable and is washable at 40 degrees. In addition, all foams are CertiPUR approved, and the top layer is Oeko Tex certified.
Eve’s mattress comes with a money-back guarantee providing a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty.
Emma is a well-known brand and is also the UK’s most awarded mattress. Emma mattress comes in five sizes, from single to super king. This bed-in-a-box has medium-firm support with a soft top, minimal bounce, and exceptional comfort that keeps you comfortable all night.
It’s 25 cm deep with four comfort levels which include a moisture-resistant top cover that regulates temperature. Next is a 3 cm breathable AirgoCell memory foam which enhances airflow and absorbs moisture keeping you cool, followed by a 2 cm Visco elastic memory foam to relieve pressure while also minimizing motion transfer.
Lastly, its supportive 19 cm HRX cold foam provides maximum relief keeping your spine aligned.
Emma’s high-quality foams adapt to the body shape, effectively relieving pressure. It also features a removable top cover and is machine-washable. Plus, it has two handles for more convenience while moving the bed, but this mattress is neither flippable nor can be turned.
Emma mattress is definitely worth the investment. In addition, its durable materials have flame-retarding properties, which are also UKFR certified. It comes with a 200-night trial money-back guarantee and a 10-year guarantee.
Brook + Wilde Elite
Brook + Wilde’s elite is a luxury mattress and is priced accordingly. It offers excellent support and comfort available in three firmness levels, soft, firm, and medium. Plus, it also comes in four sizes, from single to super king.
This Brook + Wilde mattress comprises eight layers. A breathable top cover for air circulation and a memory foam protector allow the next layer to move without fraction. Then comes a high-density foam that relieves pressure points supporting your spine.
Next, there are 2,500 mini pocket springs for a bouncy effect, followed by wave technology that helps spinal alignment and reduces pressure.
Again, there’s a layer of 1000 pocket springs for extra bounce. Lastly, its support base is engineered for enhanced support, and its non-slip bottom ensures that your mattress stays in place.
This mattress has a complex construction, but its unique layers provide adequate comfort, supporting pressure points for a restful sleep. Like other competitive brands, this mattress also has a removable cover and is washable at 30 degrees.
Brook and Wilde’s mattresses are all designed and manufactured in the UK. It comes with a 100-night trial which you can either swap with other mattresses or a full refund. Additionally, it provides a 10-year guarantee.