Best Mattress for Side Sleepers: Catch Z’s with These Beds

If you’re a side sleeper looking for a mattress, you’re with the majority: research shows that side sleeping is the most popular position people use to get some shut-eye. Fortunately, that means most bedding manufacturers craft their beds with side sleepers in mind. However, not all mattresses are created equal, and not all beds that claim to be best for this group actually are.

If you’re a side sleeper looking to upgrade your mattress, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve selected three of our favorite brands that best suit the needs of side resters. Of course, if you need more information about why optimizing your sleep position is important, we’ll walk you through that, too. Finding the best mattress for side sleepers has never been easier!

Our Top 3 Picks

Layla SleepHelix Midnight LuxeNolah Original 10

Layla Mattress Logo 600x400

Helix Mattress Logo 600x400

Nolah Mattress Logo 600x400
For Hot SleepersFor a Luxurious Night of SleepFor Back + Side Combo Sleepers
Made with cooling copper-infused gel memory foam, Layla mattresses are flippable, with two sides of varying firmness levels. The result is a bed that can suit that needs of a wide range of sleepers.The Helix Midnight Luxe mattress is one of Helix Sleep’s most popular models. Combining top-notch foam and individually wrapped coils, this mattress offers soothing pressure relief.The Nolah Original 10 strikes that perfect balance of support and comfort, making it a great option for those who switch from resting on their sides to their backs.

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Layla Sleep

Close-up shot of the dual sided Layla mattress, shows light gray on top and dark gray on bottom.


  • 2 firmness levels
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Innovative cooling design


  • Online-only retailer
  • One bedding option

Best For…

  • Those looking to try something new
  • Hot sleepers
  • Side sleepers
Layla Sleep Overview
Mattress TypeFoam
ShippingFree (Contiguous US); Hawai’i & Alaska $125; Canada $200-$225 + Duties/Fees
ReturnsFree (Contiguous US)
Ships in…2-5 Business Days
Trial Period120 Nights
Firmness Level4.5/10 or 7/10
Sleeper TypeSide Sleepers on the Soft Side

Hot sleepers craving pressure-point relief need look no further than the innovative Layla, which incorporates copper-infused gel memory foam. Why the copper? It’s not just a gimmick. Firstly, copper effectively transfers heat away from the body, meaning less night sweats for you. Secondly, copper is perfect for providing pressure-point relief that side sleepers crave. Namely, copper has the unique property of pressing back against those who press against it. The result is that the body gets extra support in the places it needs it most.

This unique material isn’t all Layla offers, though. In fact, the design of the bed itself makes it stand apart from the crowd, too. Specifically, this mattress is dual sided, meaning each side offers unique benefits. For instance, leaving the soft side up means side sleepers get the body-contouring relief they need. Flipping over to the firmer side means that back and stomach sleepers have a more supportive surface to suit their slumber. Overall, this flippable design makes Layla suitable for many kinds of sleepers. 

You can see our thorough review of the Layla mattress to learn more.

Layla Mattress Logo 600x400

Layla Sleep offers a memory foam bed that won’t contribute to night sweats, all the while offering flexible firmness levels to suit a wide range of sleepers.

Helix Mightnight Luxe

A close-up shot of a hybrid Helix Midnight Luxe mattress, isolated against white.


  • Extra luxurious feel
  • Enhanced motion isolation
  • Great pressure relief


  • Shorter trial period & warranty
  • Price

Best For…

  • Couples
  • Side sleepers
  • People with larger budgets
Helix Midnight Luxe Overview
Mattress TypeHybrid
ShippingFree in US; $250 + Customs Tax in Canada
ReturnsFull Refund
Ships in…2-4 Business Days
Trial Period100 Nights
Firmness Level5-6/10
Sleeper TypeGreat for Luxury-Seeking Side Sleepers
Warranty10 Years
CertificationsStandard 100 by OEKO-TEX, CertiPUR-US

Helix is the mattress brand that believes that one mattress cannot suit the needs of every single sleeper; that’s why they offer 14 unique beds that are customized to meet the needs of most people. The top-tier Midnight Luxe is one of their most popular options, having a nice medium-firm feel that most enjoy.

This Luxe hybrid takes everything great about the base Midnight model and improves on it. For starters, its zoned coil layer features enhanced lumbar support, perfect for those who experience lower-back pain. Better yet, those who easily overheat can rest easy (and cool) when they slumber on this bed, thanks to its breathable quilted Tencel™ cover.

Best of all, though, is the fact that this model is optimized for the needs of side sleepers. Its coils, for example, are optimally placed to support their bodies. The added memory foam also hugs their shoulders and hips for maximum comfort.

You can see our in-depth review of various Helix models to learn more.

Helix Mattress Logo 600x400

Helix offers an extensive line of mattresses suitable for nearly every sleeping preference. You can take their quiz to see which bed will work best for you!

Nolah Original 10

Nolah Mattress Review


  • Cooling AirFoam™ design
  • Natural viscose cover
  • Targeted pressure relief


  • Price
  • Not ideal for heavier individuals

Best For…

  • Back + side combo sleepers
  • Relieving back pain
Nolah Original 10 Overview
Mattress TypeFoam
ShippingFree for Contiguous US
Ships in…5-10 Days
Trial Period120 Nights
Firmness Level5-6/10
Sleeper TypeGreat for Back + Side Combo Sleepers
Warranty15 Years

Looking for an all-foam bed that hugs the body while fighting the night sweats? Yes? Then you’ll want to explore the Nolah Original 10. This 10″ bed is comprised of optimized foam layers that provide pressure-point relief, bounce, and support that’s hard to match.

It all starts with the 2″ top layer, made of the brand’s proprietary AirFoam™. This material is body-hugging, like memory foam. Unlike memory foam, though, it won’t trap body heat, meaning you stay cooler as you slumber. The next 1″ layer adds bounce, meaning reduced motion transfer. So, those who share a bed with a light sleeper should enjoy this feature. Everything is completed with a dense 7″ foam layer. This base stabilizes the entire mattress, giving sleepers the support they crave.

You can see our breakdown of the Nolah Original 10 and Signature 12 to learn more.

Nolah Mattress Logo 600x400

Nolah strikes that perfect balance of comfort and support, all the while making sure sleepers don’t overheat.

What Type of Mattress Do Side Sleepers Need?

When resting, it’s crucial to make sure your spine is properly aligned, or you run the risk of developing aches and pains. Side sleepers who rest incorrectly often develop shoulder and back pain, specifically. So, investing in a mattress that helps facilitate proper spinal alignment can mean the difference between waking up refreshed and waking up sore.

So, just what should side sleepers look for in mattress, anyway?

Find a Bed with “Give”

Hand stamp on memory foam mattress

The more “give” a mattress has, the more it will sink when you press down on it. Now, those who slumber on their sides need a bed that sinks a little more. After all, side sleeping means less of your body comes into contact with your mattress than if you slept on your back or stomach. 

Naturally, that means that the parts of your body that do touch the mattress press down more. You’ll therefore need a mattress with more give, so your body can comfortably sink. Plus, some mattresses, like the Nolah Evolution 15, provide firmness options so you can get the right fit for you.

What happens when you have a mattress that’s too firm? Nothing good. Too firm of a bed means your spine will curve uncomfortably, meaning your body is unnaturally strained the entire time you’re asleep. So, when you wake up 7-8 hours later, your body will understandably feel quite sore and stiff.

Typically, foam and latex beds are better suited for side sleepers. Why? Because these materials have plenty of give and conform well to the curves of the body, which means customized pressure-point relief. Hybrid mattresses with high-quality foam or latex top layers may also work. All innerspring or firmer hybrid options, though, often don’t properly accommodate the needs of side-sleeping folk.

Okay, but what about combination sleepers, or those who alternate sleeping positions? Well, these individuals will likely need slightly firmer sleeping surfaces, as back and stomach sleepers require firm beds in order to align their spines. So, combination sleepers will likely find medium-firm beds to their liking; most hybrid models fit this bill. We highly suggest a Tempurpedic mattress for combination sleepers.

Don’t Forget About Your Neck

Young woman sleeping on bed with orthopedic pillow at home. Healthy posture concept

Never neglect the neck; your pillow can have just as much impact on rest as a mattress. When you rest on your side, you’ll want to have a pillow that isn’t too high or too low. Preferably, it will have a dip in it, so your head can be comfortably cradled while your neck gets the support it needs.

Need to find a pillow that works for you? Not a problem. You can check out our reviews for memory foam pillows and down pillows to learn more.

Man lying on his side, seen from behind, incorrect sleeping posture for neck and spine, unhealthy sleeping position vector Illustration

Avoid pillows with too low a loft, as this will cause the neck to sink uncomfortably, causing excess strain.

Man lying on his side, incorrect sleeping posture for neck and spine, unhealthy sleeping position vector Illustration

Likewise avoid pillows with too high a loft for your body for similar reasons.

Man lying on his side, correct sleeping posture for neck and spine, healthy sleeping position, orthopedic mattress and pillow vector Illustration

Opt for a pillow that comfortably cradles your head; your neck and shoulders should properly align.

Use a Pillow to Correct Your Posture

Beautiful pregnant woman sleeping with maternity pillow on bed at home

Pillows aren’t just good for your neck and shoulders, though; you can also strategically use them to alleviate back discomfort. Specifically, individuals can place a pillow (or even rolled up towel) between their knees. This placement will help align the spine, which can mean fewer aches and pains upon awakening.

Correct sleep on side posture by place a pillow between legs.

Placing a pillow or rolled towel between your legs may alleviate some lower back pain.

Pregnant people can likewise use pillows to their advantage. Placing a pillow between the legs or even under the stomach may help these individuals find some relief from discomfort. Of course, there are also specialized pregnancy pillows that can better facilitate proper spinal alignment and restful sleep, like this one recommended by the American Pregnancy Association.


FInal Thoughts: What Mattresses Will Suit Side Sleepers Best?

Without the right type of mattress to facilitate proper spinal alignment, it’s easy for side sleepers to develop back and shoulder pain. To avoid these and other potential problems, it’s best for these people to invest in bedding specifically made with them in mind.

Side sleepers should look for:

  • A bed with plenty of “give,” or a softer mattress.
  • A dipped pillow to comfortably cradle your head.
  • Pillows that fit well between the legs to alleviate back pain.

Side sleepers should avoid:

  • Sleeping surfaces that are too firm.
  • Pillows with too high or too low of a loft.

Medical Disclaimer

This article is for reference purposes only. It should not replace the advice of a licensed professional. Do not use this article to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Any and all health concerns should be directed to a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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Kristen Greif

Napper extraordinaire. Side/stomach sleeper. 25 solid years of experience with sleeping.

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