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Side sleeping is the preferred position of many people, but if you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress, neck and back pain may result. The best type of mattress for most side sleepers is one that contours to the shape of the body, while providing moderate support.
One question to judge a mattress by: Can the mattress keep your spine comfortably aligned?
Here are the other points we considered to narrow down our list to nine mattresses side sleepers should check out.
- Support the spine, with less pressure. The mattresses on this list provide contouring support and pressure point relief, for side sleeping comfort.
- Less foam odor. Each foam mattress is made from foam that’s CertiPUR-US Certified, so you can expect less off-gassing smell.
- Manufacturer warranties. We looked for transparent manufacturers who offer at-home sleep trials and warranties with purchase.
- Customer feedback. We read customer reviews and chose mattresses that had significantly more raves than complaints of any kind.
- Return policy. We also looked for mattresses which could be returned easily for free or inexpensively, through the manufacturer or online store.
Quality mattresses are an expensive purchase. Many retailers offer payment plans and some mattress brands go on sale intermittently throughout the year.
The mattresses on this list are currently priced between $799 and $2,199 for queen sizes, not including the base, tax, delivery charges, or setup fees, should they apply.
We indicated cost as follows:
- $$ = $799–$1,000
- $$$ = $1,001–$1,500
- $$$$ = over $1,500
The Sealy Cocoon comes in extra firm and medium soft options. Most side sleepers will be best supported by the medium soft version.
What sets this mattress apart from many others is the density of the foam. It’s very soft and comfortable, but also provides superior support.
The mattress is covered in a stretch-knit material which readily absorbs and dissipates heat.
This mattress is also lighter in weight than some other options. It’s also shipped in a compact box. These features make the mattress easy to transport and carry.
Shop for the Cocoon mattress by Sealy Chill at Sealy
The Helix Midnight was designed specifically to fit the needs of side sleepers and restless sleepers.
It provides medium support, pressure point relief at the hips and shoulders, and temperature regulation.
If you’re an edge sleeper as well as a side sleeper, you’ll appreciate the reinforced perimeter, which offers the same comfort and support as the middle of the mattress.
It comes with a limited 10-year warranty.
Helix also offers a 100-night sleep trial guarantee, allowing customers to return a mattress within the first 100 nights, as long as they’ve tried it out for 30 days.
Shop for the Midnight mattress at Helix
This mattress is medium firm and provides three zones of targeted spinal support around the hips, waist, and lower back.
One of the features that makes this mattress an excellent choice for side sleepers is the construction and softer foam used in the shoulder area. This helps accommodate the shoulders and may prevent the shoulder pain that many side sleepers feel when they first wake up.
The outer layer of foam is also perforated to increase airflow and coolness.
Users say this mattress provides excellent spinal support, without any sinking or sagging.
You can purchase Casper mattresses directly from the company’s website and through Amazon. Keep in mind that the return and refund policies may differ, and prices or promoted sales may not be the same.
Read what Casper Sleep Inc. says about what’s different between buying on Amazon versus Casper.
Make sure to request a manufacturer’s warranty if buying on Amazon.
If you share a bed and one of you is a restless sleeper, you may be used to tossing and turning. Nectar Memory Foam is designed to minimize motion transfer.
People with lower back pain have said this mattress also provides support and comfort for them.
It’s made with quilted memory foam designed to be breathable and provide cooling air flow.
The outer layer is moisture wicking, another plus for hot sleepers.
This mattress is an excellent value when compared to other, similar brands, and even comes with two free pillows.
It strongly molds to your body to provide maximum support. Some side sleepers find it a little too soft, but others like the soft medium firmness, especially around the shoulder.
Nectar offers a 365-night home trial and a forever warranty.
This mattress combines gel-infused memory foam with pocketed, innerspring coils for optimized pressure point support.
Some side sleepers who are large-boned or heavyset say this mattress provides significant neck and shoulder support, without compromising on comfort.
Some users have complained that the king-sized mattress is smaller than expected.
Others state that customer service can be hard to reach.
It has a 180-night home trial, plus a warranty for defects that will last for as long as you own your mattress.
This mattress is available in firm and relaxed firm comfort options, making it a great choice for side sleepers of all weights.
It’s designed to provide significant contouring and pressure point relief, particularly in the lumbar region or lower back.
A gel-infused cooling layer may help hot sleepers be more comfortable.
- Saatva offers a 120-night home trial, plus a 15-year warranty.
- For returns, a transportation fee may be taken from your refund amount.
- This mattress is a little more expensive than some other brands.
- Saatva offers a monthly payment plan option.
Shop for the Loom & Leaf mattress at Saatva
This medium soft mattress was designed to provide support by targeting multiple points where pressure tends to happen, from the head and neck down to the legs.
Multiple layers provide extra padding along the shoulder and hip regions.
It’s made from plant-based material and is produced in an eco-friendly factory.
This mattress is designed to resist sagging. So it shouldn’t acquire soft spots, even along the edges.
Shop for Amerisleep’s AS4 mattress at Amerisleep
Serta’s iComfort line of mattresses provide significant support, and are an excellent choice for side sleepers and for people with chronic back pain.
Some reviewers who are combo sleepers and alternate between side, back, and stomach positions find this mattress comfortable and supportive.
Other reviewers mention superior cradling of the shoulder and neck during sleep.
The CF 4000 comes in firm or plush options. Both provide pressure point support, although some side sleepers say that the plush provides better support than the firm.
Multiple foam layers provide air flow, temperature regulation, and coolness, making it a great choice for hot sleepers.
Serta provides a 120-day at-home trial for mattresses purchased directly from Serta, and a 10-year limited warranty.
Shop for an iComort mattress, with and without upgrades, at Serta
This mattress provides medium firmness with foam layers that give pressure point support without compromising on cushy-feeling comfort.
It’s made from Tempur pressure-relieving memory foam, which was originally developed by NASA scientists to improve airline seats for the safety and health of pilots and passengers, especially on long flights.
The ‘keep cool’ cover offers antimicrobial protection against dust mites, dander, and mold.
Users tout this mattress for relief from lower back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain.
This mattress is also available in a model called Medium Hybrid, which replaces the bottom layer of foam with a framed layer of individually-wrapped coils.
Of the brands out there, Tempur-Pedic is least likely to put their mattresses on sale or discount. So, your best bet may be to double check the return policy and go for it.
When shopping for a mattress, keep in mind that firmness and support are not the same thing.
Mattresses come in several firmness levels, from extremely soft to extremely firm. These levels provide an indication of how hard or soft the mattress will feel to you — not how supportive it will be to your spine.
Support refers to how efficiently a mattress is able to maintain spinal alignment. A supportive mattress is one which gives pressure point relief while keeping your spine aligned and in its proper position, even while side sleeping.
Soft-to-medium firm mattresses may offer more support than extra firm ones do, since they have more give.
If you’re a side sleeper, mattresses that are too soft and mattresses that don’t offer the right support can cause pain in the shoulder or lower back.
A too-firm mattress may not supply enough curve-hugging give but, for support, keep in mind that mattresses soften over time. So what may feel soft now will likely feel even softer several weeks and months down the line.
Keep in mind that one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor, especially when it comes to mattresses. What you find comfortable, someone else may dislike.
In order to get the best mattress for you, always buy one that comes with an in-home sleep trial offer of at least one month, so you can try it out at home for a period of time.
Pay attention to the materials used, and opt for mattresses which are nontoxic. Small amounts of toxic, gaseous chemicals called VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are found in polyurethane mattresses and in some mattress coverings.
VOCs can become activated and released by your body’s heat while you sleep. Even low exposure to VOCs can cause oxidative stress and airway inflammation.
Look for a reputable, transparent manufacturer that offers a long-term warranty and its details. A good mattress should last at least 10 years. If it doesn’t, ask for a return or exchange.
Questions to ask when mattress shopping
- Which products does the warranty apply to?
- What is and is not covered by the warranty?
- Is there a shipping fee for my order?
- How is the mattress delivered?
- Can I return the mattress? How?
- Are there fees for returning the mattress?
- What has the experience of other customers been?
If you’re a side sleeper, finding a mattress that supports spine alignment while cushioning your shoulder and neck is important.
There are many mattresses available across multiple price points which are good choices for side sleepers.