The best mattress for side sleepers 2024: cushioning comfort and support

Best mattress for side sleepers: quick links

Sleep editor lying on Helix Midnight mattress

(Image credit: 3Z Brands for TechRadar / Tom's Guide)

1. Best overall
2. Best budget
3. Best traditional
4. Best value hybrid
5. Best firm
6. Best luxury
7. Best eco-friendly
8. Best cooling

How we test
Our experienced team of reviewers test and research all of the latest mattresses, including sleeping each model for at least 3 weeks. This is an unbiased ranking based on their findings.

The best mattress for side sleepers allows the sleeper's lower shoulder and hip to sink in enough to keep their spine aligned and supported, without causing pressure to build up. For that reason, we usually recommend a medium or medium-firm mattress for side sleepers (so from 5 to 7.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale). Within that bracket, heavier people should err towards the firmer options, to ensure they're properly supported, while lightweight individuals might get on better with something softer. 

It's the most popular sleeping position and there are plenty of mattresses that meet side sleeper's requirements, but to save you a lot of searching we've picked out the leading options from the mattresses we've tested ourselves.

Memory foam can be a good choice for side sleepers, because it molds to the sleeper's exact shape, and offers a cradling feeling that can be ultra-soothing on your joints. It's not your only option, though, and this ranking also includes hybrid mattresses with coils, and even latex foam mattresses. 

If you're a combi-sleeper and don't always lie on your side, head to our general best mattress guide for more options. Otherwise, read on for our pick of the best mattresses for side sleepers, as recommended by our expert team of testers. 

Quick List

In a rush to find the best mattress for side sleepers? Here's our at-a-glance listing, covering the important basics for each bed.

The best mattress for side sleepers 2024 – as chosen by experts

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Best mattress for side sleepers overall

Helix Midnight mattress in a bedroom setup

(Image credit: 3Z Brands for TechRadar / Tom's Guide)
The best mattress for side sleepers overall

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Materials: Memory foam, other foam, coils
Firmness (1-10): 5.5
Height: 11.5"
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Mid-range

Reasons to buy

+
Cradling memory foam
+
Designed especially for side sleepers
+
Lower layers provide support

Reasons to avoid

-
Too soft for heavier side sleepers
-
Edge support only average

We rate the Helix Midnight as the best mattress for side sleepers. It has a hybrid construction, which means it includes a range of different materials. The upper levels are made from contouring memory foam, which molds around the sleeper's joints in a way that's dreamily comfortable when lying on your side – no issues with pressure build-up here. That's combined with sturdier lower levels, including a layer of coils, which ensure the spine is properly supported.

Our reviewer found that after a few nights of sleeping on the Helix Midnight, the aches and pains they often felt in their neck and shoulders noticeably improved – something they credited to the mattress' well-balanced design, offering the right amount of sink to support.

The Midnight has a medium firmness – our testers judged it to be around a 5.5 out of 10. That means it'll suit lightweight and most average weight people, but might not be quite supportive enough if you're a bit heavier. (It's also too soft for back / stomach sleeping – this is for dedicated side sleepers only.) If you're looking for a slightly firmer option that's still great for side sleepers, check out the DreamCloud (#4) or even the Saatva (#3).

Buying advice
The Midnight is never sold at full price. The evergreen Helix mattress deal knocks 20% off, but in the sales events that accompany national holidays that tends to rise to 25% off. For 2024, the standard price for a queen size is $1,099 – so anything less than that is well worth snapping up. Expect free pillows, and, if you're very lucky, you might also get some free bedding.

Best value mattress for side sleepers

Nectar original mattress

(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)
The best value mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: All-foam
Materials: Memory foam, other foams
Firmness (1-10): 6.5
Height: 12"
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: ‘Forever'
Price bracket: Lower mid-range

Reasons to buy

+
Good quality foams
+
Affordable price; great value
+
Comfortable pressure relief

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most luxurious
-
Edge support isn't great

The Nectar is our top budget pick for side sleepers. This all-foam mattress sits in the lower-mid price bracket and punches above its price tag in terms of quality. Our testers found the foam layers cradled their shoulders, hips and knees, offering ample cushioning with plenty of spinal support in a side-lying position. 

The Nectar is the only all-foam mattress in our roundup, and we rate it the best memory foam mattress in general. The lack of coils is likely a factor in keeping the price down, but there are other benefits, too. The pressure relief is excellent, and there's no bounce – the foams absorb motion, meaning you won't be disturbed by a partner's movements. However, we found the edge support on the Nectar was a little lacking, and it might be less breathable than a hybrid mattress with coils, too – so approach with caution if you struggle with overheating at night (very hot sleepers should consider the Purple at #8). 

Our testing panel judged the Nectar to have a medium feel (6.5 out of 10), which will suit most side sleepers. It's probably not the best choice if you sometimes lie on your back or stomach, and heavier people should seek something firmer, too. If any of those potential down-sides seem like they might be an issue to you, check out the DreamCloud (#4). This hybrid is from the same parent company and is marginally more expensive but equally great value for money, and has a firmer feel.

For a lower mid-range mattress, the extras you'll get here are excellent. There's a full year's trial (matching the longest you'll find anywhere) as well as a forever warranty. There are pricier mattress brands that are far less generous – this is one of the best value mattresses around.

Buying advice
The Nectar is never sold at full price – Nectar mattress sales run all year round. The current standard price for a queen size memory foam original is $659, so anything less than that is well worth snapping up. Nectar tends to offer its best prices in random flash sales that happen outside of your typical shopping events, and are difficult to predict.

Best traditional mattress for side sleepers

Saatva Classic mattress

(Image credit: Saatva)
The best innerspring mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: Innerspring hybrid
Materials: Coils, memory foam, other foams
Firmness (1-10): 3, 5-7 or 8
Height: 11.5" or 14.5"
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Price bracket: Premium

Reasons to buy

+
High-quality, traditional mattress
+
3 firmness options
+
Pillow-top adds cushioning

Reasons to avoid

-
Investment pricing
-
Some motion transfer
-
No memory foam 'hug'

The top two options in our ranking feature lots of memory foam, but not everyone loves that sink-in sensation. If you're a side sleeper who prefers a more traditional feeling mattress, the Saatva Classic would make an outstanding choice. It's customizable, too – shoppers can choose from two heights and three firmness profiles (the Nolah Evolution #6 is the only other mattress in this guide to be available in different feels). 

The Classic is technically a hybrid, but the inside of this mattress is made up almost entirely of coils, the exception of a bit of memory foam in the central third, as part of a range of features designed to provide extra support beneath the sleeper's lumbar. A quilted pillow-top provides comfortable cushioning, rather than the 'hug' of a foam mattress. 

We reviewed the Firm version, but for most side sleepers we'd recommend the Luxury Firm, rated 5-7 out of 10 on firmness. This should offer more sink and prevent pressure from building up in the sleeper's shoulder in this position. Note that the bouncy, traditional feel means you might experience slightly higher levels of motion transfer compared to a mattress with more foam in it. 

This is a luxury option, but if you can afford it, it's worth the investment. The build quality is impeccable, and the all-round package is the most comprehensive of any mattress in this roundup. As well as a full year's trial and forever warranty, white glove delivery is included as standard, so you won't have to lift a finger when it comes to getting things set up.

Buying advice
You should never have to pay full MSRP for the Classic, as Saatva sales run pretty much constantly. The current standard price for a queen size is $1,695, and anything less than that is a good deal. The best prices tend to appear around national holidays.

Best value hybrid mattress for side sleepers

The DreamCloud Mattress

(Image credit: DreamCloud)
An affordable luxury mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Materials: Memory foam, coils, other foam
Firmness (1-10): 6.5
Height: 14"
Trial length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Price bracket: Lower-mid / mid-range

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent pressure relief
+
Good motion isolation
+
Great value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
May be too firm for some

There are lots of hybrid mattresses in our side-sleeper mattress guide, but if you're shopping on a tighter budget, the DreamCloud Mattress offers excellent value for money. It comes from the same parent company as the Nectar (#2) and delivers equally strong bang for your buck, with the same generous extras (a year-long trial and forever warranty). 

The 14-inch tall design includes a cashmere-blend quilted foam topper, three layers of memory foam, and an innerspring base. Although the upper layers of foam layers add a touch of plushness, it won't contour deeply around your joints like the Midnight (#1) or Nectar (#2). Pocket coils beneath deliver plenty of support and a bit of bounce. The review panel all agreed it was ultra-comfortable for side sleeping or back sleeping, providing just enough pressure relief, and helping relieve joint pain. 

Our lead reviewer rated it a 7.5 out of 10 in terms of firmness, putting it into the medium-firm bracket – although others in the testing panel judged it to be a bit firmer. Some lighter weight side sleepers might find that a bit too firm, and would be better with a softer mattress. 

Buying advice
Like many of the mattresses on this list, you can ignore MSRP as the DreamCloud is always discounted. The standard price for a queen size at the moment is $665, and it's rare to see a stronger DreamCloud deal than that. That's great value – for most of 2023, the same mattress was $799 or more.

Best firm mattress for side sleepers

Awara Natural Luxury Hybrid mattress

(Image credit: Awara)
The best firm mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: Latex hybrid
Materials: Wool, natural latex, pocket coils
Firmness: Officially 7, we rate 8
Height: 10"
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Price bracket: Mid-range

Reasons to buy

+
Firm, but with good pressure relief
+
Excellent edge support
+
Durable, natural materials

Reasons to avoid

-
Too much movement for couples
-
May cause pressure in shoulder

Generally, we recommend slightly softer mattresses for side sleepers, but if your preference is for a sturdier sleep surface, consider the Awara. This mattress features pocket springs and swaps synthetic foams for Dunlop latex – a durable, buoyant foam that makes you feel almost like you're floating. This foam subtly contours to the sleeper's shape, offering gentle cradling without significant sinkage.

The Awara mattress is officially marketed as a 7 out of 10 on firmness, but our testers judged it to be more like an 8, and were impressed enough to award it the top spot in our best firm mattress guide. It won't mold around your joints like, for example, the plush memory foams of the Midnight (#1), and that might mean you end up with a bit of pressure building up in your shoulder and hip when lying on your side – especially if you're lighter in body weight. However, all the testers on our review panel found it was surprisingly comfortable for side sleeping, making this mattress ideal if you know your preference is for a firmer mattress. 

Elsewhere, there are pros and cons to opting for a latex hybrid mattress. It's more responsive than your typical memory foam, making it easier to change position on. However, the bounciness means movements do reverberate across the surface, which means it's not such a good choice if you share a bed and are easily disturbed.

Buying advice
Awara's current sale takes $300 off its Natural Hybrid mattress. A queen goes from $1,399 to $1,099 – quite affordable for any organic mattress of that size. Plus, you'll score up to $499 in free bedding, a 365-night trial and a forever warranty. The Awara is on the firmer side, but the subtle cradling of its Dunlop latex provides a just-right amount of pressure relief for side sleepers who prefer sleeping on a harder surface. 

Best luxury mattress for side sleepers

Nolah Evolution 15 mattress

(Image credit: Nolah)
The best luxury mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Materials: Foams, coils
Firmness: 4.5, 6.5 or 7.5
Height: 15"
Trial: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Price bracket: Premium

Reasons to buy

+
3 firmness options
+
Great pressure relief
+
Luxurious look and feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Can run warm
-
Heavy and a little bit tricky to set up

If you're a side sleeper looking to recreate a hotel mattress feel at home, the Nolah Evolution 15 is worth a look. Like the Saatva (#3) it's available in three firmness options. We reviewed the Firm version, and our tester found it delivered complete pressure relief, evenly dispersing their body weight and providing good spinal support in any position.

The Firm is rated an 8 out of 10 on firmness, which we'd usually consider a bit too firm for most side sleepers, so the Luxury Firm version (rated 6-7 out of 10) might be a better choice, and especially if you're lighter in weight. A mattress that's too firm can cause pressure to build up uncomfortably in your lower shoulder when side sleeping, leading to aches and pains in the morning. 

The Nolah Evolution 15 is a great choice for couples as it delivers excellent motion isolation, but we found the temperature regulation to be unreliable. The main selling point here is the undeniably luxe look and feel; this mattress stands a chunky 15 inches tall, with a high-end looking Euro-top. It's a bit of an investment, and if you're spending that much it's also worth considering the similarly-priced Saatva Classic (#3), which also holds a spot in our best luxury mattress guide. The Saatva has a more traditional feel, thanks to it's coil-focused design. 

Best eco-friendly mattress for side sleepers

The Amerisleep AS3 Hybrid mattress on a bed in a bedroom

(Image credit: Amerisleep)
The best eco-friendly mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Materials: Bio-Pur foam, foam, steel coils
Firmness (1-10): 6
Height: 12"
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 20 years
Price bracket: Upper mid-range

Reasons to buy

+
Top pressure relief
+
Plant-based Bio-Pur foam
+
Fiberglass-free

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks support for stomach sleepers
-
Too soft for heavier bodies

If you're the sort of person who sleeps better knowing that your mattress isn't packed with environmentally unfriendly materials, the Amerisleep AS3 Hybrid is a bed worth investigating. Amerisleep states that the AS3 Hybrid is eco-friendly and non-toxic – instead of standard memory foam it uses a plant-based Bio-Pur foam that's made without harsh chemicals – and it's also fiberglass-free; you'll find it in our guide to the best mattress without fiberglass

The AS3 Hybrid's Bio-Pur foam plays a big part in making it a strong option for side sleepers. In our Amerisleep AS3 Hybrid review, our tester found that its foam feels soft and gently contours around your pressure points at the shoulders and hips; this combined with the bed's zoned pocket springs means you're supported and cushioned without sinking too deeply into the mattress.

Another advantage to the Bio-Pur foam is that it doesn't retain heat like other memory foam, and our tester agreed that the AS3 Hybrid feels cooler than other mattresses with foam layers. And while the AS3 Hybrid also boasts excellent motion isolation, which means you won't be disturbed by a partner's movement in the night, if you're sharing with someone who isn't a side sleeper they may find this mattress too soft; most sleepers should get on with it, but heavier sleepers and stomach sleepers might not get the support they need.

The Amerisleep AS3 Hybrid comes in just below the premium price bracket, and it's well worth the price. It comes with a 100-night trial – not the best, but long enough for most people to get a proper feel for it – as well as an impressive 20-year warranty and free shipping and returns.

Buying advice
It doesn't matter when you buy, there's always $450 off the AS3 Hybrid. A queen size costs $1,499 – we've never seen it cheaper or more expensive.

Best cooling mattress for side sleepers

Purple mattress

(Image credit: Purple)
The best mattress for side sleepers who sleep hot

Specifications

Type: 'GelFlex' hybrid
Materials: GelFlex grid, foams
Firmness (1-10): 7.5
Height: 11"
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Premium

Reasons to buy

+
Gel grid won't trap heat
+
Excellent pressure relief
+
Soft or firm where it's needed

Reasons to avoid

-
Unusual feel won't suit everyone

Popular mattress brand Purple brings a unique twist to comfortable sleep with its patented Purple Grid; a flexible, durable layer designed to cradle your body. You're getting similar benefits to memory foam, but the grid has an open structure that won't trap heat, as foams can. That makes it an especially good choice if you struggle with overheating at night. Our reviewer is a hot sleeper, said it was one of the best cooling mattresses they'd ever slept on, despite not being specifically marketed as such. 

The Purple mattress is suitable for any sleep position, including side sleeping, because the Grid adapts to any position. We landed on a general firmness rating of 7.5 of 10, but it'll feel softer or firmer depending on how much weight you put on the surface. The pressure relief is excellent, making this a great choice if you struggle with joint pain.

Many people – including our tester – sing the praises of the Purple mattress. However, it does have an unusual feel that might might not appeal to everyone, not least because you can sense the outlines of the Grid through the ultra-stretchy top cover.  If you want a traditional feel, or even the sink-in sensation of memory foam, you'd be better looking elsewhere in our ranking. The spring-focused Saatva (#3) offers excellent temperature regulation if you prefer a more traditional feel. 

Buying advice
Purple mattress sales crop up pretty regularly, but some offers are better than others. If you have time, it's worth waiting for a $200 off deal (where a queen is $1,199) – these appear quite often. Any bigger discount is well worth snapping up; the maximum we ever see is $400 off, but that's rare.

Best mattress for side sleepers: expert buying advice

If you sleep on your side or are a combination sleeper, the aim is to choose a mattress that provides enough sinkage and cushioning as well as support. While you will find these qualities in all types of mattress, memory foam mattresses or hybrids with a cushioning or gel layer are more likely to provide the stability and softness you need. Plus memory foam mattresses provide a good level of contouring for the body to keep the spine straight and comfortable. You should also use a medium-loft pillow that keeps your head at the right height to align with the spine and get a comfortable night’s sleep.

Should side sleepers get a soft or firm mattress?

When sleeping, one of the most important things to consider – no matter what position you sleep in – is if your spine is properly aligned. If you sleep on your side, it’s crucial that the mattress is soft enough to cushion pressure points at the knees, hips and shoulders, but also provide enough support for the spine to stay straight.

As such, the best firmness of a mattress will depend on your body weight, with lighter weight and petite sleepers being more suited to softer mattresses, and heavier weight and taller sleepers being a better fit for a firmer mattress, so they get proper support for their back and joints (if you're over 250lb, you might want to consider investing in one of the best mattresses for heavy people). The mattress should contour the body without you feeling stifled or overheating. One of the best ways to check if a mattress is for you is to take advantage of a no-risk sleep trial as offered by many top sleep brands. 

Ruth Hamilton
Homes Editor

Ruth is TechRadar's Homes Editor, reviewing and writing about everything from air fryers to vacuum cleaners to coffee machines, as well as the latest smart home gadgets. She's here to help you find the perfect kit to upgrade your home. Prior to making the shift to Homes, Ruth was TechRadar's Sleep Editor, testing and reviewing mattresses and other sleep products. She's also a Certified Sleep Science Coach.

With contributions from