What is the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers?

posted in: Best Mattresses | 18
What is the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers?
Please follow and like us:

There are a number of beds in the market that claim to be the best mattress for side sleepers. Many side sleepers may be unaware that the type of mattress that they choose will greatly influence whether or not they can get a good night’s sleep and wake up without any muscle pain. The reasons that decide which is the best mattress to buy is that it is sensitive to pressure points, preserves natural alignment, and accommodates the natural curves of the body. After all, these are the things that if not properly addressed will cause discomfort. There are of course, beds that are completely wrong for side sleepers and should be avoided for those that prefer this position. Here we will discuss which options make the worst and best mattress for side sleepers.

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers by Type

The absolute best mattress for side sleepers prove latex and memory foam mattresses. Sleeping in this position places your body’s weight on hips and shoulders, which actually causes an innerspring to distort the natural curve of the spine and creates more pressure points that need to be addressed. Therefore, side sleepers should sleep on a bed that is slightly softer and designed to relieve pressure points, as more cushioned mattress curve to the shape of the body. But, they also need provide adequate support,which is what makes foam-type mattresses a great choice.

Latex is a great option because it supports a natural curve to the body when sleepers lay down on the bed. Memory foam is specifically designed to cradle each point of the body that it comes into contact with, while distributing weight and pressure evenly across the surface. Extra support for areas such as the shoulders and hips are especially critical because it is these areas that are most strained in this position. In these mattresses, the hips and shoulders are allowed rest in a natural position, rather than being pushed up by springs.

Our Top Pick for Side Sleepers: Amerisleep Colonial Mattress

Amerisleep Colonial Mattress in a Bedroom

Amerisleep delivers a fantastic mattress for side sleepers with their Colonial Bed. Coming in at 13″, there’s enough pressure relief and support when sleeping on your side. Their revolutionary Bio-Pur+™ memory foam provides loads of pressure relief and still sleeps cool thanks to its extreme open-cell design. Besides the pressure relief that Colonial offers, Amerisleep uses Celliant® in their mattresses. This material helps regulate blood flow, so you’ll wake up with less aches and pains.

Myths about Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Many people may have heard that a firm mattress is better for support; however, this is simply not true for side sleepers. Back sleepers benefit much more from a firm mattress because their body is more evenly distributed across the bed. Here’s what the experts at SleepLikeTheDead.com say about side sleepers and mattress firmness:

“Side sleepers (especially those of average to below average size) tend to prefer medium to soft firmness. This is due to the fact that pressure tends to be focused on the hips and shoulders, a fairly small surface area. If a side sleeper has shoulder pain it likely means they have too firm a mattress and or too low a pillow.”

Another myth is that side sleepers should sleep on an extremely soft mattress. This, however, is not true either. If the bed is too soft then there is absolutely no support and the body is instead subjected to an awkward slumping position that causes aches and pains.

Specifically, the best mattress to have is a medium-soft mattress and foam density support of at least 4”. This type of structure provides the best mattress support to pressure points and also cradles the curves of the body of people that sleep on their side. This is the best mattress because it provides the perfect combination of support and structure with softness and cushion.

The Worst Mattress for Side Sleepers

There are a number of beds that side sleepers should avoid. Water and spring mattresses do not provide the proper support that side sleepers need. In short, any bed that contorts the body and provides too much stiffness or too much slump will cause side sleepers to have stiff muscles, back and joint pain, and a restless night sleep.

Spring mattresses can cause uncomfortable support because the springs are not evenly holding up the body – they push up on the heaviest parts and don’t support the lumbar region. Not only is this improper support, but is also causes strain on the mattress springs. Likewise, traditional water beds provide inadequate support since they don’t distribute weight evenly and may create a “hammocking” effect.

Finding the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

The major things that the best mattress for side sleepers must address are support and also cushion. The cushion aspect is important because of the vulnerability of pressure points in this position. However, support must also be a top priority because this position also makes people more susceptible to shoulder and hip pain if there is not enough firmness in the mattress to hold up the body evenly.

In distinguishing what makes a quality mattress for side sleepers, it is important for consumers to be aware of the parts of their bodies that need more support and most of all what they find to be the most comfortable feeling mattress. In combination with your personal comfort preferences, these considerations can help you determine which is best mattress for side sleepers and a good night’s sleep.

18 Responses

  1. Thank you for the article. Can you recommend some foam and or latex mattresses that I can start my search with for a side sleeper? I am starting my search this weekend and I guess I will be spending some time laying around the stores. I am determined not to purchase without serious research as this will probably by my last high dollar mattress purchase of my life and I am determined that it will be right the first time. Thank you in advance.

    • The Best Mattress

      Hi there!

      We recommend the Amerisleep Colonial (pictured in the article above) as it has a plush layer of plant-based memory foam that cradles hips and shoulders, and denser foams within that maintain good support. You might also find our 2016 comparison of bed brands helpful. In that guide you can find detailed information and see the brands that tend to rate higher.

  2. I don’t know if all of this is necessarily true for everyone. I slept on innerspring mattresses for many years and found that those mattresses were more comfortable than the one with several inches of memory foam that I’m sleeping in now. I was actually more able to sleep on my side before. Maybe it’s because I have a fatter pillow and so it strains my neck when my shoulders sink into the mattress, but I think that rather than belueving 100% in this “side sleepers should always avoid…” you should pick a mattress that works for you

  3. I have awful pain hips and leg. Anything pressings on my hips kill me. Right now i am sleeping in agony. Older mattress with a topper 4″. When i first got the foam topper it was fine for two years i bought it at Costco. Can’t find another to replace it. They are all two soft and i sag in the bed. I need a new mattress but i am so afraid my body will hurt. I’m so afraid of buying the wrong mattress. Please help

  4. Linda Casselman

    We are both side sleepers and are in our mid 50’s. What would u recommend for a mattress for a King bed?

  5. I would also be interested in a couple brands of latex mattresses as I am a side sleeper as well. I do sleep on my back some but mostly side.

    Thank you!

  6. I’m a side sleeper but also sometimes sleep on back or belly. I have the worst shoulder pain you could think of and I’m just realising this could be resulting from aping mattress. What mattress type would you suggest for mostly side sleeper but also sleeps on back and belly.ant thanks

  7. Ahmed Elnaggar

    I get a squishing feeling between my hip bone and lower rib when I sleep on my side… I have a Hastens Auroria Medium mattress….

    • Ahmed Elnaggar

      My hips are wider than usual for a man.. I’m waist 33 though.. but I think my hips sit higher in my skeleton 🙂

  8. Beverly Bork

    Purchased a Chattman&Wells White Diamond mattress almost a year ago, I find it to be not to comfortable espically my hip aches me I am a side sleeper, and I wake up during the nite to try to get halfway comfortable,please advice what would be a good comfortable mattress for me,I am older

  9. Great info and so helpful! I was so overwhelmed after mattress shopping. I am currently on a luxury plush euro top Sterns & Foster and I can’t take it anymore! The dips in the bed make me feel like I’m sleeping in a canoe and I wake up with the worst aches and pains! I have narrowed my liking down to a hybrid and of course a Tempurpedic but I’m having a hard time reasoning paying over $4,000 for a mattress. Can you please share your thoughts. I really need a good night’s sleep! Thank you!

  10. Trudy Winslow

    Can you tell me in your opinion couple of the best or most comfortable memory foam or latex mattress set I can buy. I am a side sleeper. I read your above information about side sleepers and it is so helpful. I am confused by so many different brands. If you would send me a few brands you might think are real comfortable I would appreciate it so much. I just need advise on where to get started looking. I have been looking at different types of mattresses and it is so very confusing to know which brands to look at. Thanks so much!

  11. thanks for the info in what type of mattress is best for side sleeper I also sometimes sleep on my stomach but never on my back can you recommend the best serta icomfort as well as the best tempurpedic ? thankjs bob gum

Leave a Reply