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While many people think that sleeping on your back is the best, there are many benefits to sleeping on your side. If done properly (and on the proper mattress), sleeping on your side can reduce both joint and low back pain, as well as chronic pain.

Many people prefer side sleeping simply because they find it more comfortable, but sleeping on the wrong mattress may result in neck and back pain. The best type of mattress for most side sleepers is a medium-firm one that contours to the shape of the body and provides moderate support.

Check out our picks below and see which mattress option looks best to you.

Product namePrice*TypeWarrantyTrial periodFirmness
Helix Midnight$1,373 hybrid10 years100 nightsmedium
Nectar Memory Foam Mattress$1,099memory foamlifetime365 nightsmedium firm
DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress$1,332hybridlifetime365 nightsmedium firm
TEMPUR-Adapt Medium Mattress$2,199memory foam10 years90 nightsmedium; medium hybrid
Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress$2,395memory foamlifetime365 nightsrelaxed firm; firm
Casper Original Foam Mattress$1,295foam10 years100 nightsfirm
Sealy Cocoon Chill Soft Foam Mattress$1,079memory foam10 years100 nightsmedium soft
Serta iComfort CF4000 with Cooling and Comfort Upgrade$2,999foam10 years120 nightsfirm; plush; ultra plush
Nolah Natural 11″$2,099memory foamlifetime120 nightsluxury firm

There are all sorts of considerations that go into finding a good mattress. To compile our list of the best mattresses for side sleepers, we looked for materials that help encourage proper spinal alignment.

We also prioritized standards and certifications that indicated their overall safety and quality. We checked for reasonable warranties and return policies, and we scrutinized customer reviews.

  • 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 of that off-gassing smell.
  • Manufacturer warranties: We looked for transparent manufacturers that 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 with free or inexpensive returns through the manufacturer or online store.

Best types of mattresses for side sleepers

  • Hybrid mattresses: a combination of innerspring and foam that contours to your body to allow your spine to align naturally
  • Latex mattresses: allow for proper spinal alignment and provide relief from pressure points
  • Spring mattresses: allow for support throughout the mattress, especially near the edges, and don’t sink in the way foam mattresses do

Ideally, you want to choose a mattress that has a medium level of firmness. Medium-soft to medium firmness provides pressure relief in the shoulders and hips and just enough support without feeling too stiff. This level of firmness helps you maintain proper spinal alignment.

However, it’s important to keep your weight in mind when shopping. People under 130 pounds usually need a softer mattress, while people over 230 pounds require firmer support.

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When done correctly with the proper body alignment, sleeping on your side can reduce both joint and low back pain, as well as chronic pain.

Your gut health may improve if you’re a side sleeper. This is the optimal position for your digestive system and may lead to a decrease in gastrointestinal issues like heartburn, constipation, and bloating.

Another benefit of sleeping on your side is reduced snoring, a common symptom seen in obstructive sleep apnea. This condition creates disruptions in breathing, which can lead to complications such as diabetes, heart attack, and cognitive issues.

One notable drawback to sleeping on your side is that it can increase your risk of shoulder pain. Whether you’re on your left or right side, the corresponding shoulder can collapse into the mattress as well as up toward your neck, creating misalignment and pain the next morning.

Your body may prefer a bit of variety throughout the night to prevent pain in other areas of your body. This could involve starting on one side and then shifting over to the other.

It’s also important to be mindful of your chin placement by keeping your head on the pillow. Tucking your chin toward your chest will create neck pain.

When shopping for a mattress, keep in mind that firmness and support aren’t the same thing.

Mattresses come in several firmness levels, from extremely soft to extremely firm. These levels indicate 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 maintains spinal alignment. A supportive mattress is one that provides pressure point relief while keeping your spine aligned and in its proper position, even while side sleeping.

If you’re a side sleeper, mattresses that are too soft and don’t offer the right support can cause pain in the shoulder or lower back. A mattress that’s too firm may not supply enough curve-hugging give, but for support, mattresses soften over time. So what may feel soft now will likely feel even softer after several weeks and months.

Mattress shopping consists of more than the firmness and feel of the bed. Consider these questions to ensure you’re getting the best quality product for your sleep:

  • Which products does the warranty apply to?
  • What is and isn’t covered by the warranty?
  • Is there a trial period? Is it long enough for me?
  • Is there a shipping fee for my order?
  • How is the mattress delivered?
  • How was the mattress made? Is it organic or made with nontoxic materials?
  • Can I return the mattress? How do I do so?
  • Are there fees for returning the mattress?
  • Do other customers like the mattress? What are their experiences with the mattress and manufacturer?

Want a better night’s sleep?

If you sleep on your side, certain accessories may help keep you comfortable. For example, some pillows are specifically for sleepers who need neck and back pain relief.

If your current mattress isn’t suitable for sleeping on your side and a new mattress is out of your budget, you can try a mattress topper to refresh your current mattress.

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Side sleepers are more likely to have pressure points in their shoulders, back, and hips, so mattresses that offer support, pressure relief, and contour are recommended.

Hybrid mattresses are one type that has all these qualities. Latex mattresses are another good option: They also provide pressure relief and contour and are usually more affordable than hybrid mattresses.

Most side sleepers benefit from medium-soft to medium-firm mattresses, but firmness usually varies by body weight.

Most companies offer an in-home sleep trial for their mattresses, which can help you determine what level of firmness works best for you.

Medium-soft to medium-firm mattresses provide pressure relief in the shoulders and hips and just enough support without feeling too stiff.

Side sleepers have more pressure points than other sleepers, like back sleepers. However, mattress firmness usually varies by body weight.

Weight causes mattresses to sink, so more weight requires more support, which may mean a firmer mattress.

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 that may be good choices for side sleepers.