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Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers in 2022: A Buyer’s Guide

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You know you're a side sleeper when you can't fall asleep any other way, even on a mattress designed for different sleeping positions. With sleep being crucial for our overall health, the most important thing is finding a mattress that fits your sleep habits.

So what are the best mattresses for side sleepers: a soft bed, a firm mattress, or something in between? And which brands fulfill your needs the most? Let's look at the best mattress brands for side sleepers and the specific models to consider.

Our best mattress for side sleepers is the Layla, which stocks all-foam and hybrid cooling mattress models. The second is the diverse Nolah brand.

The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

The best mattress for side sleepers has a medium or medium-soft level of foam firmness and is built to last with quality materials. Our top picks include latex and memory foam mattresses, hybrid and all-foam mattresses. Almost all use cooling mattress materials, including gel-infused foam and latex.

Overall, the best mattress for side sleepers is the Layla, with premium contouring, edge support, and temperature control with copper-infused foam for those who sleep hot. Second is the Nolah brand, with enhanced relief for pressure points and organic options.

1. Layla - Best Mattress for Side Sleepers Overall - Ranking 4.9/5

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Pros

  • Cooling gel-infused memory foam made with copper
  • You can choose between an all-memory foam and a hybrid mattress
  • Includes two free pillows with each mattress purchase
  • Orders have a 120-day trial period

Cons

  • Customers in cold climates and cold sleepers may find it too cooling
  • Although they are rare, copper allergies do exist

Who Should Try Layla?

Layla is our winner among the best mattresses for side sleepers, so we recommend it to most people.

The Layla mattress is available in two models: an all-memory foam mattress and a hybrid mattress with memory foam as the comfort layer. The memory foam mattress is the best if you're looking for optimal contouring to fit the curvature of your body. The hybrid mattress is best if you want better edge support and an easier time changing positions.

Layla gives you optimal edge support with a double-coil perimeter if you're looking for a hybrid mattress. This way, you won't cause the mattress to sag when getting in or out of bed. All the coils are also individually wrapped (pocketed), so they can move independently and conform to your body's shape more readily.

If you choose the memory foam mattress, the support core system replaces the pocketed coils. The support core minimizes bounce and motion transfer, so you can slip in and out of bed without waking your partner up. It's also a highly durable material that gives your mattress a longer life.

Within each of these two options are another two choices. Both Layla models are flippable mattresses with a softer side (4/10 on the firmness scale) and a medium-firm mattress side (7/10). You may have a particular preference or decide to alternate between the two.

Both models and their firmness options include a cooling gel-infused memory foam made with copper. Copper has antibacterial properties, which adds to the durability of your mattress as it is easier to keep clean. The ability of copper to draw away heat works well in humid climates, especially if you do not have or want air conditioning.

The icing on the cake is that every purchase comes with two free memory foam pillows. These have the same material used in the mattresses, creating consistency. If you are single, you can use one as a body pillow for added comfort when sleeping on your side.

Who Shouldn't Use Layla?

Do not purchase a Layla mattress if you have a rare allergy to copper. Additionally, you may find it too cool if you live in a cold climate or your house is poorly insulated.

Layla Ranking: 4.9/5

Size - 4.9/5

The Layla memory foam model is 10.5 inches thick, which provides enough support for the vast majority of side sleepers without being too heavy. The hybrid mattress option is 13 inches thick, compensating for the more rigid support coils. As for weight, the Queen-sized hybrid mattress weighs 104 pounds, while the memory foam mattress weighs 69 pounds.

Durability - 4.9/5

Layla mattresses are made from durable materials, including copper-infused memory foam, which contributes to longevity by preventing bacterial growth. Flipping your mattress for different firmness levels may also extend its life.

Comfort - 4.9/5

Layla's two firmness options, the soft 4/10 and firmer 7/10 allow you to try two different firmness levels while only purchasing one product. They can also be switched around, such as if you have sore muscles from heavy exercise and would like a softer mattress for a while. The cooling gel included in both beds also improves temperature control.

Price - 4.9/5

While a Queen-sized hybrid mattress costs $1,499, the memory foam mattress costs just $949 if you select the Queen size. This is more affordable than many other brands.

Summary

It's easy to see how the Layla mattress takes the top position among the best mattresses for side sleepers. With cooling copper-infused memory foam, two firmness options, and the choice between a hybrid and foam-only mattress, Layla provides quality and choice.

>>Check the best price for Layla 

2. Nolah - Best Mattress for Side Sleepers With Shoulder and Hip Pain - Ranking 4.9/5

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Pros

  • The luxury hybrid mattress model includes graphite-infused cooling foam
  • Organic latex model and children's mattress models are available
  • Two free pillows with any mattress model
  • Pressure point relief

Cons

  • Not available in physical stores; only available online

Who Should Try Nolah?

Nolah is our top pick for customers with shoulder and hip pain, thanks to its increased support for pressure points.

Their best-selling mattress for side sleepers, the luxury hybrid Evolution 15", includes a patented system of TriZone support coils. These provide different degrees of support for your shoulders, mid-back, and hips, allowing you to sleep more comfortably on your side.

The Evolution 15" is also a quality cooling mattress. It uses graphite-infused AirFoamICE, which cools heat faster than standard AirFoam and is far more breathable than memory foam. The microscopic air bubbles inside AirFoamICE provide added pressure relief. Instead of shoulder compression, you can truly sink into the luxury mattress.

Another Nolah model of note is the Natural 11". This is made with organic Talalay latex, a natural material with 33% more pressure relief than synthetic latex. Its organic cotton cover helps to draw out excess moisture from sweat and humidity, and is more breathable than synthetic fabric.

The organic wool layer underneath is a natural fire barrier. Unlike synthetics, it is free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Although the most harmful chemical flame retardants were removed from sale in the U.S. in 2004, you may have an older mattress made before this date [1]. All layers of the Natural 11" are VOC-free, so you don't need to worry about off-gassing.

The other advantage of natural latex is that it gives more bounce than memory foam. You do not sink into the comfort layer; instead, you enjoy a balance of cradling support with a spring that allows you to roll over easily.

If you choose the Original 10", you aren't buying a basic mattress. It does not contain the heat-trapping viscoelastic material found in standard memory foam. Instead, the microscopic air bubbles help dissipate heat 20% faster and put four times less stress on pressure points in your shoulders, hips, and back. It is only available in a medium-firm 5–6/10 firmness level.

The Nolah Signature 12" is similar to the Original 10" but includes 75% more AirFoam. It also has an organic cotton cooling cover instead of the synthetic Tencel material. Because of its thicker foam layer, the Signature 12" is a medium-soft mattress, at 5/10 on the firmness scale.

With all mattress purchases, you receive a gift of two squishy pillows, which could support you during side sleeping.

Who Shouldn't Use Nolah?

Nolah's official store is online only. If you want to see your mattress in person before committing to a sale, it may not be suitable for you.

Nolah Ranking: 4.9/5

Size - 4.9/5

Nolah mattress models vary in thickness, with the smallest starting at 10 inches and the luxury hybrid option reaching 15 inches. The Natural 11" Queen size weighs 108 pounds, while the Evolution 15" is a similar 110 pounds.

Durability - 4.9/5

The graphite-infused AirFoamICE adds greater durability to the Evolution 15". The Natural 11" and Nurture 10" use Talalay latex partly because of its resilience. Both mattress models have four times the durability of standard memory foam mattresses.

Comfort - 4.9/5

The Evolution 15" offers three firmness options, with plush soft, medium, and medium-firm models available. Only a 6/10 firmness level is available for the Natural 11", but its latex provides a breathable yet cradling effect.

Price - 4.8/5

The price of Nolah mattresses varies by model. While it costs $899 for a Queen-sized Original 10" and $1,199 for a Natural 11", the Signature 12" costs $1,299, and the Evolution 15" reaches $1,599.

Summary

Nolah mattresses strike the perfect balance between soothing pressure relief and spinal support for side sleepers.

>>Check the best price for Nolah

3. DreamCloud Sleep - Best Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers - Ranking 4.8/5

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Pros

  • Affordable price range, at less than $1,000 for some models
  • Long 365-day trial period
  • Includes high-quality mattress topper, pillows, and bed sheets

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegans as the upper layers contain cashmere

Who Should Try DreamCloud Sleep?

Consider DreamCloud's range if you're looking for a high-quality memory foam hybrid mattress at a very reasonable price. Its strategically-placed layers provide the support and comfort you need as a side sleeper, without sinking or shoulder discomfort. At no extra cost, you receive two pillows, a mattress topper, and bed sheets with your DreamCloud mattress, saving you $600.

The DreamCloud luxury hybrid mattress includes a layer of gel-infused memory foam that many hot sleepers will love. With two layers of supportive foam underneath, you won’t feel like you’re sinking. As for the support coil layer, the innerspring coils are all wrapped individually, preventing unwanted motion transfer.

The Premier option costs $799 for a Twin mattress, and uses two layers of memory foam. Just under the cashmere cover is one inch of high-loft memory foam, which gently cradles you with the help of a Euro Top support layer. Another layer of memory foam lies underneath this, providing contouring support. All are positioned to ensure that each layer benefits the others.

DreamCloud’s premium option, the Premier Rest, is a taller 16-inch mattress. Its top layers are made of high-loft foam under a cashmere cover and an initial pillow top support layer, and together they provide gentle support without sagging or sinking. Beneath these are a comfort layer that gives more pressure relief and another two-inch support layer.

Who Shouldn't Use DreamCloud Sleep?

DreamCloud Sleep uses cashmere in its top layer, which is unsuitable for vegans.

DreamCloud Sleep Ranking: 4.8/5

Size - 4.7/5

At a thickness of 14 inches, or 16 inches for the Premier Rest mattress, you may find DreamCloud more supportive than thinner mattresses. On the other hand, their sizes make them heavier and harder to move.

Durability - 4.7/5

With a lifetime warranty, DreamCloud beats the expected longevity of other mattress brands, as they usually have shorter validity periods of around ten years. DreamCloud mattresses are known to have minimal off-gassing, which is not only better for your health, but means less material breakdown.

Comfort - 4.8/5

Each mattress is carefully constructed so that each layer adds to the benefits of the one above it. Support layers and memory foam are strategically placed, so there is a balance between soft comfort and ease of movement.

Price - 4.9/5

DreamCloud Sleep mattresses are fantastic value for money. Even a Queen size mattress costs $999 if you select the standard model, and the price includes some bedding material.

Summary

DreamCloud Sleep constructs each mattress model so that different layers complement each other, alternating comfort with support where you need it most. They are some of the most affordable hybrid mattresses available.

>>Check the best price for DreamCloud Sleep

4. U.S. Box Spring - Best Mattress for Side and Back Sleepers - Ranking 4.8/5

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Pros

  • Made from kiln-dried American Northwest spruce
  • It can hold up to 1,500 pounds of weight
  • Two height options that can help build your perfect bed
  • Convenient to assemble

Cons

  • This is not a complete mattress
  • Wood may be unsuitable in termite-prone areas
  • Softer mattress toppers may not be compatible

Who Should Try U.S. Box Spring?

U.S. Box Spring is best for you if you already have a foam mattress and want a supportive spring layer compatible with both side and back sleepers. Whether you are a combination sleeper or your partner is a back sleeper while you prefer your side, U.S. Box Spring provides the right amount of distributed support.

Unlike other box springs, this model is made from wood instead of metal. The slats have smaller distances between them, so more mattresses are compatible without a wooden board. They are also less likely to sag over the years, so you can enjoy years of distributed support. The option of either 5.5-inch or eight-inch models allows you to choose the total height of your bed.

This is the main advantage of U.S. Box Spring for back and side sleepers. Its wooden slats provide excellent edge support when combined with a foam mattress, so you won't sink into the area where you sleep. As they are kiln-dried, your box spring won't shrink over time.

Who Shouldn't Use U.S. Box Spring?

U.S. Box Spring is not suitable for you if you don't have a foam mattress topper or do not want to buy one separately. Softer foam and latex mattresses may also sag into the spaces between slats, so they are not compatible unless you place a wooden sheet underneath.

Additionally, if your house has a history of termite infestation, you may want to reconsider using a wooden box spring. SleepOvation provides superior back support without any wooden materials if you suspect your termite problem has returned or is likely to come back.

U.S. Box Spring Ranking: 4.8/5

Size - 4.9/5

U.S. Box Spring supports all six primary mattress sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full (or Double), Queen, Eastern King, and Cal King. You can also choose between an eight-inch and a 5.5-inch box spring, allowing greater comfort if you have knee or back issues.

Durability - 4.9/5

The kiln-drying process before construction means that your box spring won't shrink over time. You also don't have to worry about excess moisture attracting mold. U.S. Box Spring's wooden slat design adds further durability, as it prevents sagging and can hold up to 1,500 pounds.

Comfort - 4.7/5

U.S. Box Springs adds excellent edge support under foam mattresses, thanks to the spacing and strength of the wooden slats. However, very soft mattresses may be incompatible without a wooden board underneath. Over time, the soft or poor-quality foam could sag into the spaces between slats.

Price - 4.6/5

U.S. Box Spring does not include a foam or latex mattress, only a "spring" foundation that can act as the core support layer. You must also assemble it yourself. However, construction involves a no-tool process, and the box includes all the wing-nuts, washers, and lock washers you need.

Summary

U.S. Box Spring is an excellent contributor to the edge support that side and back sleepers need for optimal spinal support. You can enjoy owning a unique product made from American spruce instead of metal or plastic.

>>Check the best price for U.S. Box Spring

5. PlushBeds - Best Mattress for Side and Stomach Sleepers - Ranking 4.7/5

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Pros

  • Certified organic mattress models are available
  • Six adult mattress models, plus a sofa, R.V., and children's models
  • Organic wool in some mattresses is a safe fire-resistant alternative to synthetics
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • If the mattress is uncomfortable for you, you must still sleep on it for 30 days before its return
  • PlushBeds mattresses are heavier than other brands

Who Should Try PlushBeds?

Consider PlushBeds if you are a combination sleeper and alternate between your stomach and side at night. We also recommend them for couples made up of side and stomach sleepers.

If you are a side sleeper and your partner sleeps on their stomach, you have the option of dual firmness for Queen, King, and Cal King sizes in the Botanical Bliss mattress. As stomach sleepers need a higher level of firmness to support their hips and abdomen, your partner will benefit from the medium-firm half, while you may prefer a medium firmness level.

The Botanical Bliss mattress is also made from organic latex. Stomach sleepers may breathe in more off-gassing chemicals compared to people who prefer other sleeping positions, as your face is in more contact with the mattress. Covering the mattress is a layer of certified organic cotton, which doesn't restrict airflow, retain moisture, or expose you to pesticides.

Underneath this is a layer of organic wool, providing natural resistance to fire without the hormone-dysregulating downsides of chemical flame retardants. The worst are now banned, but if you bought your mattress before 2004, you might still be exposed to it [1].

The comfort and support layers of the Botanical Bliss are made from two types of organic latex. Talalay latex forms the comfort layer, a highly durable natural material that provides superior pressure relief and resilience. It is neither too soft nor too firm, cradling you like memory foam but without the heat-trapping effect. Organic Arpico latex forms a much denser core.

The Natural Bliss is a vegan alternative to the Botanical Bliss because its fire barrier is made from an all-natural plant fiber blend grown without agricultural chemicals. It's also cheaper than the Botanical Bliss, but it is still made with natural Talalay latex and organic Arpico latex.

Your most affordable option is the Eco Bliss, made with an organic cotton cover that won't lead to you breathing in off-gassing chemicals. Eco Bliss is another vegan alternative, using the same plant fiber blend as a fire barrier. Its foam layer is 100% natural latex, and the support core is a safe polyfoam.

The Cool Bliss beats standard memory foam mattresses in several ways. With patented gel-infused memory foam, it combines a cooling effect with pressure relief. Underneath this is two inches of toxin-free organic latex. Its latex layer is supported by high-quality polyfoam and an orthopedic foundation made of chemical-free spruce.

Perhaps you would prefer a hybrid mattress instead of the all-foam mattress options we list above. The Luxury Bliss is a 12-inch, organic hybrid mattress covering organic Talalay latex with organic cotton and wool. Like the other wool layers, this comes from sheep raised in New Zealand, one of the environmentally cleanest countries in the world.

Even better, the spring layer uses individually pocketed coils instead of interlocking springs. Interlocked coils can cause painful pressure points, as the movement of one spring will affect the positions of those around it. Individually-encased springs move independently of each other, reducing motion transfer while allowing more freedom of movement.

Who Shouldn't Use PlushBeds?

The PlushBeds range is heavier than most other mattress brands. If you struggle with moving your bed around and live on your own, it may not be suitable for you.

PlushBeds Ranking: 4.7/5

Size - 4.5/5

PlushBeds are available in several thickness options, and larger sizes of the Botanical Bliss model can even be purchased as split models for two firmness levels. However, the PlushBeds brand is heavier than usual.

Durability - 4.9/5

Natural Talalay latex, the standard for PlushBeds, may last up to 25 years without losing its integrity. It's more durable than synthetic forms of latex and foam. All mattresses have a lifetime warranty, a statement of the company's confidence in their durability.

Comfort - 4.8/5

The organic mattress models in the PlushBeds range are made with latex types that cradle your body without being stifling and provide pressure relief without sinking. All mattresses are medium-firm, and most are available in medium, which is suitable for most people.

Price - 4.4/5

PlushBeds are not only heavier but also more expensive. Their price range extends to above $2,800, with their cheapest adult bedroom model starting at $1,300 without special offers. However, you can apply for a payment plan with Affirm, and save with free shipping and a 100-day trial.

Summary

With PlushBeds' durability, chemical-free options, and firmer models available, they are our top choice for stomach and side sleepers. You can choose from foam mattresses and hybrids, vegan and wool, and all-organic and partially-natural models.

>>Check the best price for PlushBeds 

6. Diamond Mattress - Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers - Ranking 4.7/5

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Pros

  • Extensive product range with a number of firmness options
  • Both hybrid mattresses and all-foam mattress models available
  • Pocketed coils reduce motion transfer and the potential for a sinking feeling
  • Free shipping and affordable payment plans

Cons

  • May not be suitable for stomach sleepers, particularly the plush variations

Who Should Try Diamond Mattresses?

Diamond Mattresses include softer mattresses, as some models have plush variations. As many brands only include medium and medium-firm options, this can feel like a bonus point.

One model with a plush option is the Intention Hybrid, the most popular Diamond Mattresses product. Including a Cool Touch quilted luxury fabric, the Intention Hybrid is well-suited to hot sleepers. Its conductive yarns allow heat to dissipate through the material and wick away moisture such as sweat.

Under this is cooling, pressure-relieving Diamond memory foam made with an eggshell design to maximize airflow. This is supported with more hyper-conductive foam, which is Certi-PUR certified to guarantee durability and minimal (if any) VOC pollution. Its zoned support system emphasizes your shoulders, back, and hips’ different needs to relieve pressure.

The Transformation Hybrid is another popular model available in a plush-soft version. With Diamond hyper-conductive “sparkle” foam, graphite helps to regulate hot sleepers’ bed temperature by dissipating body heat. Additionally, there are two spring layers, including micro-coils in between the foam. The second foam layer is Certi-PUR certified, too.

If you’d prefer a cooling gel memory foam, the Grateful Hybrid mattress can keep you cool and comfortable if you sleep hot. With its pressure relief and “memory” of your body shape, you can experience relief from both impaired circulation in pressure points and motion transfer. Beneath another layer of hyper-conductive foam lies zoned support coils, each individually wrapped.

The Faith Hybrid is the softest of the four, at just 2/10 on the firmness scale. Lightweight side sleepers may find this particularly beneficial, as you do not sink into the mattress as much. It combines graphite-infused memory foam with Certi-PUR certified conductive foam on top of a zoned support system that features pocketed coils.

Who Shouldn’t Use Diamond Mattresses?

Combination sleepers who may fall asleep on their sides, but roll onto their stomachs during the night, may not find soft Diamond mattresses comfortable. Online reviewers complain of lower back discomfort after sleeping in this position because of the zoned pressure relief.

Diamond Mattresses Ranking: 4.7/5

Size - 4.8/5

The Diamond Mattress brand includes models up to 14 inches thick, a suitable size for soft mattresses that you may sink into more. They also aren’t too heavy to move around.

Durability - 4.8/5

Every material used in Diamond Mattresses is built to last. Certi-PUR certification assures you that there is not only minimal to no VOC off-gassing but also a high degree of product integrity. Even better, their Forever Warranty doesn’t hide fine print behind complicated legal terms.

Comfort - 4.7/5

Diamond Mattresses stock several models available in plush firmness levels, while not all brands include soft or medium-soft mattresses. However, the zoned pocketed coils can be uncomfortable if you sleep on your stomach at times.

Price - 4.4/5

Diamond Mattresses can be costly, with your final bill potentially approaching or surpassing $3,000. You can take advantage of payment plans if you are approved, however.

Summary

Diamond Mattresses stock a range of softer models, with one reaching as low as 2/10 on the firmness scale. You won’t be disappointed by the mattress sagging within a year or two, as they are highly durable and backed by a Forever Warranty.

>>Check the best price for Diamond Mattress

7. SleepOvation - Best Mattress for Side Sleepers With Back Pain - Ranking 4.6/5

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Pros

  • Highly targeted support with “700 tiny mattresses”
  • Certi-PUR and Greenguard Gold-certified, indicating minimal VOC emissions
  • Removable, washable cover for improved hygiene

Cons

  • Only one firmness level is available

Who Should Try SleepOvation?

SleepOvation is our top pick for side sleepers who experience back pain. Instead of one continuous surface where pressure on one area affects the entire mattress, SleepOvation features 700 “tiny mattresses” to create an individual suspension system.

It intends to provide targeted support to each of your spinal bones, but can work for side sleepers by conforming to the natural curvatures of your hips and shoulders. This could prevent hip and shoulder pain by providing optimal contouring alongside support. However, some independent reviewers describe less edge support than other hybrid mattress models.

The channels between SleepOvation’s “tiny mattresses” promote airflow, too, giving you temperature control.

Although SleepOvation does not have an option for organic materials, it is CertiPUR and Greenguard Gold-certified. This means very little, if any, emissions of VOCs, and improved durability.

Who Shouldn’t Use SleepOvation?

SleepOvation is only available in medium-firm, so it may not be right for you if you need or want a firm or soft mattress. Stomach sleepers may not find the SleepOvation suitable, as its design intends to support spinal bones.

As SleepOvation is designed for back pain, consult your doctor or physical therapist before trying it.

SleepOvation Ranking: 4.6/5

Size - 4.6/5

SleepOvation is 12 inches thick, and comes in all six standard sizes. Each tiny mattress is built to accommodate the average size of a spinal bone, too. However, they may feel awkward when supporting your hips because of their segmented design.

Durability - 4.6/5

With a 10-year warranty, you are assured that you can enjoy many years of spinal support. SleepOvation is made with high-density foam on top, and strong carbon steel springs in its deeper layer. On the other hand, some reviewers describe SleepOvation as being somewhat less durable than other hybrid mattresses.

Comfort - 4.8/5

The individual support that each tiny mattress gives to your spinal bones are perfect for back pain. However, there is a chance that this could feel awkward when supporting your hips. Independent reviewers have also found a little less edge support.

Price - 4.4/5

SleepOvation is unique, so you can expect to pay more than other mattresses. The smallest model, the Twin, costs $1,899. This is $400 more than Layla’s Queen-sized hybrid mattress, even though it is larger. As for larger mattresses, SleepOvation’s King-sized models cost $2,599.

Summary

SleepOvation gives the best support for back pain by conforming to your spinal bones while still holding you up without sagging. These benefits will likely still hold up for side sleepers, especially for combination sleepers who sometimes sleep on their backs.

>>Check the best price for Sleep Ovation 

8. Awara Sleep - Best Mattress for Heavy Side Sleepers - Ranking 4.6/5

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Pros

  • High-quality support coil layer
  • Adaptive latex foam with two and four-inch thickness options
  • All-natural materials, free of volatile organic compounds
  • Each product supports reforestation projects

Cons

  • Includes wool

Who Should Try Awara Sleep?

Awara Sleep is our top pick for heavy side sleepers, as it provides the comfort you need without letting you sink too deep.

The standard mattress model includes two inches of Dunlop latex, an all-natural and incredibly durable material. This makes you far less likely to feel as though you are sinking into the mattress, as heavier customers need firmer support. Natural latex also conforms to your body shape, supporting joints without the heat-trapping effect of memory foam.

Both mattress models include individually-wrapped coils to improve motion transfer, edge support, and durability. Even better, your spine can get the support it needs, so you don’t wake up sore and stiff from incorrect pressure relief.

If you prefer a softer mattress, the Premier Mattress model has a four-inch latex foam layer. This is the best choice for side sleepers, as your shoulders and hips require a thicker comfort layer.

The other key benefit of Awara is its use of organic wool and cotton, as well as natural latex. With no synthetic foam or fabric, you don’t have to deal with any possible VOC off-gassing. VOCs are generally fat-soluble, meaning they preferentially accumulate in fatty tissue. As a result, people with larger body weights may suffer more harm from VOC exposure.

Who Shouldn’t Use Awara Sleep?

Awara Sleep does not have a vegan option, as all mattresses contain wool. If you are not comfortable with this, PlushBeds sells firmer mattresses with plant-based fire barriers.

Awara Sleep Ranking: 4.6/5

Size - 4.7/5

The Awara Sleep mattresses come in all standard sizes, and include handles to help you move them if you find them too heavy. They are 10 inches thick, or 12 inches if you want the Premium mattress.

Durability - 4.7/5

You can be confident in your new mattress’ longevity, as their Forever Warranty banks on them lasting a lifetime. Individually-wrapped coils and Dunlop latex aren’t just comfortable; they won’t sag within a few years either. Additionally, as wool improves resistance to mold, you won’t have to replace your mattress after an infestation.

Comfort - 4.4/5

Awara Sleep mattresses balance contouring comfort with sturdy support and the natural cooling properties of latex. However, you can only buy them in one firmness level: luxury firm (7/10) if you choose the standard mattress, or a medium-firm (6.5) premier option.

Price - 4.9/5

Awara Sleep offers excellent value for a mattress that uses organic materials. A Queen hybrid mattress will only cost $1,099, and this includes two pillows, sheets, and a mattress protector.

Summary

Choose Awara if you’re a heavier side sleeper in need of support without excessive firmness or sinking. They’re also great value, support the environment, and are made from organic materials.

>>Check the best price for Awara Sleep

Why Side Sleepers Need the Best Mattress

Side sleepers make up the majority of adults, with 60% nominating side sleeping as their favorite position. Not only is it soothing, but side sleeping can relieve issues such as heartburn and snoring [2].

Side sleeping may be the best sleeping position of all. Early research suggests that sleeping on your side may improve the ability of your brain to flush out metabolic waste products. As this includes substances responsible for the development of dementia, you don’t want to give up sleeping on your side to compensate for an uncomfortable mattress [3].

However, side sleepers generally place more weight on pressure points. This is because your body weight is more concentrated on your hips and shoulders, instead of being more distributed like it is for back sleepers or stomach sleepers.

Side Sleepers With Back Pain

The pressure relief that side sleeping offers can make it the most beneficial sleeping position for back pain. Your spine is not in direct contact with the bed, so weight is taken off if pressure is evenly distributed.

However, side sleeping can be less stable without the right support to keep your spine aligned. There must be a balance between soft pressure relief and firm support to avoid misalignment from sagging or compression. Excessive firmness can also create a gap between the mattress and your waist, leading to poor spinal alignment.

Additionally, there should be more edge support and less motion transfer. Instability can worsen back pain by signaling to your muscles that they should stiffen to prevent unwanted movement. This can cause soreness and strain on your joints [4].

Side Sleepers With Shoulder Pain

Suffering from shoulder pain? A sagging mattress with poor integrity may be making it worse, or even be the cause of your complaint. If you wake up with worse shoulder pain, and you’ve had your old mattress for many years, it may be time to get a new mattress.

Sagging or excessive softness allows your hip to sink deeper into the mattress. As a result, your shoulder is elevated, and may be compressed during the night. On the other hand, a very firm mattress can place more weight on pressure points, reducing circulation as well as stability.

Because your shoulders are less robust than your hips, they are more susceptible to pain from excess firmness. Choose no more than a medium-firm mattress, and ensure that your pillows haven’t lost their softness or support over time [4].

Side Sleepers With Hip Pain

If you experience hip pain, a poor-quality mattress can worsen your symptoms during side sleeping, too. A worn mattress or foam firmness level that is too low can cause your hip to sag in the center, leading to more hip pain when you wake up. This is a greater issue for women, as wider hips press down into the mattress more [4].

For these reasons, a medium-soft mattress can be best in cases of hip pain. Consider a hybrid mattress with zoned coil support, too, as this provides targeted relief to key areas such as your hips.

Mattress Types for Side Sleepers

There are several mattress materials that may suit your needs as a side sleeper, depending on your individual needs:

  • Hybrid
  • Memory foam
  • Latex
  • Air
  • Innerspring
  • Box

Hybrid

A hybrid model can be a great mattress for side sleepers, as it combines the cradling effect of foam with the bounce of innerspring mattresses. The best mattress for side sleepers that we have reviewed in this article, Layla, features a hybrid model with these features.

Hybrids may use memory foam layers or latex, which must be at least three inches thick for it to be considered a hybrid. This provides the pressure relief that a mattress for side sleepers must have to prevent hip or shoulder pain.

Many of the best cooling mattress models are hybrids, because the innerspring layer provides temperature regulation through the air in between the coils. The other advantage of hybrids is that the springs make moving around easier, as they respond more readily to changes in position.

However, hybrid mattresses are generally heavier. For example, a Full Layla memory foam mattress weighs only 57 pounds, but a hybrid mattress from the same brand weighs 88 pounds. They are also often more expensive than an all-foam mattress.

Memory Foam

It didn’t take long for memory foam to take center stage in the mattress industry, thanks to its properties that support spinal alignment. The material’s correct name is viscoelastic foam, and NASA first designed it to make aircraft seats more comfortable for long flights.

You will usually find memory foam as part of a hybrid mattress, or in a foam mattress on top of a polyfoam support layer. Ample pressure relief is the goal, as this foam cradles your body and conforms to your individual shape. It’s all about you, not a one-size-fits-all design based on the average person’s shape and weight distribution. They also prevent motion transfer very well.

On the other hand, memory foam’s ability to fit your body shape also traps heat. Mattress companies soon noticed this drawback, and now the best brands include gel, copper, or graphite in the foam to help draw heat away from the body. Now, some of the best cooling mattress brands are made with memory foam.

Another issue to note is that memory foam is a synthetic material, so can off-gas VOCs for quite some time. Quality mattresses are now Certi-PUR certified as a result, indicating a high degree of durability and little to no off-gassing.

Latex

If off-gassing is a concern for you, latex mattresses are a safer alternative. Latex is a natural material made from rubber tree sap, which is processed into a dense polyfoam-like substance for mattresses.

In many cases, latex foam makes the best mattress for side sleepers. It’s springy and durable yet soft, with a longer lifespan than synthetic foam. Heavier side sleepers may prefer the higher level of durability. You won’t be exposed to VOCs either, with most quality organic mattresses including a latex foam layer.

Latex mattresses are unfortunately more expensive than other materials such as memory and polyfoam. However, you can expect a lifespan approximately 1.5 years longer than synthetic foam, and less of the sagging that can cause back pain.

Air

Air mattresses are the most affordable type of mattress. They can cost less than $100, if you’re talking about a cheap brand used for camping or house guests.

The other advantage of air mattresses is that they don’t develop a permanent sag over time. They do deflate, but it’s easy enough to reinflate it with a pump. On the other hand, you must watch out for holes and patch them up when needed.

Overall, we do not rate them as the best mattress for side sleepers in most circumstances. Air mattresses don’t have the degree of edge support or right amount of pressure relief. As a result, they sag in the center or underneath your heaviest point, which may mean you wake up with lower back pain.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses have a thin comfort layer of two inches or less over the innerspring system. These can be individually pocketed coils, or interconnected. For the best edge support and minimal motion transfer, we recommend pocketed coils.

The innerspring mattress is one of the oldest commercial mattress types. Originating in the 1870s, it has enjoyed enduring popularity as its materials are cheaper, and the bounce factor can be more comfortable and fun. It’s a pleasant surprise to find an innerspring mattress in your hotel room, especially if you’re on a romantic weekend and plan on intimacy.

However, innerspring mattresses may be too firm for side sleepers, as your hips and shoulders could be compressed instead of cradled. Use a mattress topper if you are currently stuck with an innerspring mattress but cannot change it for now. We recommend PlushBeds’ range of mattress toppers. They include natural latex, memory foam, wool, and down.

Box

A box spring “mattress” acts as a spring layer for foam mattresses, and sometimes hybrid mattresses if you’d like extra support. They are made of metal or wooden slats, which provide some spring while holding up the “true” mattress. U.S. Box Spring is a unique brand, as its dried American spruce frame is much less likely to sag over time.

How to Find the Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

The best mattress for you may differ from the next person. While some factors are universal, such as material quality and ability to support your spine, others, including firmness, depending on your individual needs.

Quality Material

You don’t want your new mattress to sag within a year or two of purchase. For this reason, we chose only mattresses made from high-quality, highly durable materials, and those with an extended warranty period.

Spinal Support

The right mattress must balance soft cradling and firm support when it comes to keeping your spine aligned. This is why many of the models we review here are hybrid mattresses.

Mattress Firmness

An excessively soft bed will sag and lead to back, shoulder, or hip pain, while too much firmness causes pain through compression and allowing your waist to sag. Depending on your preferences and needs, we recommend anything from a soft to a medium mattress.

Lightweight and average weight side sleepers will usually benefit from softer variations. Heavy side sleepers generally need more firmness.

Contouring

Optimal contouring helps to keep your spine aligned and relieve pressure. Your best bets are memory or latex foam, with an all-foam or hybrid mattress so it is thick enough. SleepOvation is the best mattress for side sleepers looking for superior contouring, as its “tiny mattresses” readily contour to your shape.

Pressure Relief

Pressure relief is a combination of contouring and softness. For the best results, choose a medium or medium-soft mattress with a contouring effect as described above.

Body Weight

Your body weight can determine the best level of firmness. Lightweight side sleepers, for example, may need a softer mattress and have contouring as a priority. People with larger body sizes may prefer a firmer mattress, in order to prevent excessive sinking.

How to Sleep Comfortably as a Side Sleeper

Comfortable side sleeping not only involves choosing the right mattress, but also the right mattress toppers and pillows.

Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers provide extra softness. If you like everything else about your mattress, but find it too firm, consider using a topper instead of exchanging the entire mattress. You may also be able to use a single-sized mattress topper on your side of the bed if your partner prefers a firmer mattress, but a dual-firmness option wasn’t available.

PlushBeds stock mattress toppers made from natural latex, wool, down (feathers), and memory foam. For example, the natural latex option has soft and medium-soft variations recommended for side sleepers. You can choose between two and three inches of thickness.

Pillows

To avoid waking up with a sore neck or shoulder pain, comfortable pillows that were built to last are essential. Many mattress brands sell matching pillows, such as those made with the same memory foam. You can add them into your order at a discount.

When choosing the right pillow to prevent neck and shoulder pain, consider support and durability alongside softness. A down-filled pillow may sag and stiffen, as the feathers can be pushed to the sides and compress. Consider a latex pillow for sturdy support that will most likely last years. Your neck and back should stay aligned throughout the night.

You may also prefer to use a body pillow between your knees, and to separate your breasts to prevent decolletage creasing. A regular pillow can work just as well too.

Firm vs. Plush Mattresses for Side Sleepers

The best mattress for side sleepers depends on your body weight.

On one hand, firm and luxury firm mattresses are great for heavier side sleepers, and combination sleepers who often roll onto their backs. On the other, plush mattresses suit lightweight and average weight side sleepers, as they provide enough contouring for your size.

Common FAQs

What makes an ideal mattress for side sleepers, and how does this differ from mattresses for back or stomach sleepers?

What Mattress Firmness Is Best for Side Sleepers?

Lightweight and average side sleepers generally benefit most from softer mattresses. However, those with larger bodies may prefer medium or even medium-firm mattresses.

Is Memory Foam Better for Side Sleepers?

You could prefer memory foam as it can provide better contouring support. Hot sleepers may not enjoy traditional memory foam, as it can trap heat. This is why we prioritized brands with cooling gel or infused materials that boost heat dissipation.

Can a Side Sleeper Sleep on a Firm Mattress?

Lightweight and average weight side sleepers will likely find a firm mattress uncomfortable. However, heavier sleepers will sink into the mattress more, so you may even prefer it to a softer mattress. Consider a mattress topper if your mattress is too firm, but you cannot replace it in the near future.

What Is the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers With Shoulder and Hip Pain?

Our top pick for shoulder and hip pain is the Nolah mattress brand. Its pressure relief system gives you support where you need it most, and the microscopic bubbles in AirFoam allow you to sink deeper into the mattress.

What Is the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers With Back Pain?

We found the best mattress for side sleepers with back pain to be SleepOvation. With improved spinal alignment from 700 mini-mattresses that move more independently of each other, it’s the right mattress for you if you need one that conforms to your shape for pressure relief.

Ranking Methodology Explained

How did we rank the best mattresses? Size, durability, comfort, and price are all key factors.

Size

Mattress size includes not only the length and width, but also their thickness. A thin mattress is more likely to provide poor support to side sleepers over time, especially if you have a larger frame. For hybrid mattresses, we looked at their foam layer and overall thickness.

Durability

Mattress durability is another essential consideration, as you don’t want a product that may cost over $2,000 and wear out in just a few years. We prioritized mattresses with longer warranties and materials known to provide more durability than typical products.

Comfort

With sleep being essential to our immediate and long-term health, and issues such as back pain being very common, comfort is king. Our favorites balance the softness that makes falling asleep easily with support firm enough to hold up your spine and hips.

Price

Mattresses can cost over $3,000, especially if you choose a luxury hybrid mattress. Our top picks give you the best value for money, and don’t reach the upper end of this price range. Some models in the DreamCloud, Diamond Mattresses, and Awara Sleep ranges are less than $1,000.

Conclusion: The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

If you’re looking for the best mattress for side sleepers, there are several key factors to consider. They must strike a balance between support for spinal alignment and softness for relief of pressure points. They must be durable, breathable, non-toxic, and affordable.

The best mattress for side sleepers in 2022 is the Layla mattress. Featuring both memory foam and hybrid options, it combines comfort, stability, and durability. Even better, they are flippable for two firmness choices, and contain antimicrobial copper for two of the best cooling mattress brands.

Our runner-up is the Nolah, which features many other attributes of a high-quality mattress. Some of its models are organic, so you can be assured of a healthy sleeping environment.

 

References:

  1. Imm, Pamela et al. “Household exposures to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in a Wisconsin Cohort.” Environmental health perspectives vol. 117,12 (2009): 1890-5. doi:10.1289/ehp.0900839
  2. Cary, Doug et al. “Identifying relationships between sleep posture and non-specific spinal symptoms in adults: A scoping review.” BMJ open vol. 9,6 e027633. 28 Jun. 2019, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-027633
  3. Lee, Hedok et al. “The Effect of Body Posture on Brain Glymphatic Transport.” The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience vol. 35,31 (2015): 11034-44. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1625-15.2015
  4. Haex, B. “Back and Bed: Ergonomic Aspects of Sleeping.” Boca Raton: CRC Press (2005).
 

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