The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

December 20, 2023 · Silverback Strategies

The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Studies show that most people prefer to fall asleep on their sides. If you’re among the majority, then we have advice on how to make the most out of your favorite position – including suggestions for the best mattresses that will help you get the best night’s sleep.

Sleeping on Your Side: Positions, Pros & Cons

If you’re one of the many side sleepers out there, it’s important to note the advantages and disadvantages of side sleeping, as well as the difference between sleeping on your right side versus sleeping on your left side.

Different Positions for Sleeping on Your Side

There’s more than one way to sleep on your side:

  • “Fetal position” sleepers curl up into a ball on their sides, with arms and legs tucked in close to the body
  • “Log position” sleepers stretch out into a straight line with arms by their sides and legs straight
  • “Yearner position” sleepers stretch out their arms and legs as if they’re reaching out for something (or someone)

Regardless of which way you sleep on your side, we want to help you make sure you’re as comfortable as possible and supporting your spine. We’ll discuss how to keep your spine in alignment in more detail below.

Advantages of Sleeping on Your Side

Sleeping on your side has many health benefits. And believe it or not, which side you sleep on can make a difference depending on your body’s needs or ailments. 

The main advantages of sleeping on your right side include:

  • Protecting injuries on your left side, such as your shoulder or hip
  • If you have heart problems, sleeping on your right side can be more comfortable. In fact, those with heart problems tend to naturally avoid sleeping on their left side 

The main advantages of sleeping on your left side include:

In addition to side-specific advantages, side sleeping is generally recommended:

  • For those who snore or have sleep apnea, since side sleeping has the potential to reduce snoring or other effects of sleep apnea
  • For those with neck or back problems, side sleeping may be more comfortable and offer more relief during the night

Disadvantages of Sleeping on Your Side

No sleep position is perfect, and not all sleep positions are for everyone. For some, sleeping on their side may be uncomfortable due to several factors:

  • Side sleeping may increase pressure on your shoulder and hip joints, especially if your mattress is too firm
  • While side sleeping is generally recommended for people with sleep apnea, some may find it harder to breathe when sleeping on their sides
  • Side sleeping can cause tightness in the shoulders

What Should Side Sleepers Look for in a Mattress?

For those who enjoy falling asleep on their sides, the right mattress can make an enormous difference in your levels of comfort and sleep quality. 

Pressure & Pain Relief

Side sleeping on a firm mattress can lead to pressure buildup around the shoulders and hips, causing discomfort and pain for some people. To decrease pressure, the best mattress for side sleepers provides the right mix of support for the spine and pressure relief for the shoulders and hips.


Contouring fills in the space created between the hips and shoulders when you lie on your side. The best mattress for side sleepers will offer contouring that cradles your hips and shoulders and fills in the gap at your waist. Memory foam mattresses are great for this, as they are specially made to adapt to your unique shape. Different mattresses have different contouring capabilities, with memory foam beds being the champion.

Firm-to-Soft Ratio

When shopping for the best mattress for side sleepers, it's important to consider both support and firmness. Side sleepers need something in the plush to firm range to avoid throwing off their spinal alignment.

Different Types of Mattresses for Side Sleeping

Despite side sleeping being the most popular sleep position, side sleepers still have unique mattress preferences. While one side sleeper may enjoy the comfort and plushness of a memory foam mattress, another may prefer the support that comes with most innerspring mattresses.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are the most traditional types of mattresses. They’re made with coils (or springs) inside that support the sleeper. Innerspring mattresses tend to be bouncier than other types, although there are innerspring mattresses available across a range of comfort levels.

For side sleepers who want an innerspring mattress, we recommend looking for one that’s rated more on the plush side, perhaps with a pillow top. Side sleepers can also try a plush mattress topper for their innerspring mattress to help relieve pressure points.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are often recommended as the best mattresses for side sleepers because of how contouring they are. They have enough give to cushion pressure points and keep the spine in alignment.

However, some people don’t like the “contouring” feeling it gives.

Hybrid Mattresses

Between innerspring support and memory foam contouring, there are hybrid mattresses. These are known for combining the best qualities of both styles. They have the support of innerspring mattresses with the contouring softness of memory foam. 

Side sleepers considering a hybrid mattress should look for enough firmness to support their spine  while maintaining enough softness for that important contouring quality. 

Some of the Best Mattress Options for Side Sleepers

Mattress Warehouse has an amazing selection of mattresses to suit the needs of side sleepers, from fetal-position left-side sleepers to log-position right-side sleepers.

Tempur-Pedic Tempur-ProBreeze 2.0 Medium Hybrid Mattress

This cooling mattress with incredible motion separation is a great medium-level hybrid option for side sleepers. As mentioned above, side sleepers need outstanding contouring for the curves of their bodies as they sleep. That’s why we recommend this mattress, designed with Tempur-Pedic's pressure-relieving design and innersprings for both comfort and support. 

Sealy Hybrid Haralson Soft Mattress

Sealy is a brand you know you can trust when it comes to quality mattresses. And this hybrid is one of their premier mattresses that’s perfect for side sleepers. The densely-packed, fabric-encased coils support your body while the layers of premium memory foam give you all the cushioning you need on your pressure points. The SealyCool™ Gel Foam and protective cooling cover of this plush hybrid will keep even the hottest sleepers comfortable all night long.

Serta Perfect Sleeper Castara Pillow Top Mattress

A Mattress Warehouse exclusive! Plush levels of comfort plus 825 individually-wrapped coils creates an innerspring mattress with  maximum comfort and support at the same time. It’s just what you need for a good night’s sleep on your side. The EvenCool™ Fabric combines with Cool Twist™ Gel Memory Foam to keep you from overheating during the night, while the motion separation technology guarantees you a peaceful rest.

Other Considerations for Side Sleepers

Mattresses are important – and finding the best mattress for your side sleep position is especially important for a good night's rest, but what else should you be mindful of as a side sleeper?


Just as your body needs the right balance of firmness and plushness, your head and neck need the same thing. Choose a pillow that’s cushion firm and will support your head while you lay sideways, while also giving you the right amount of “contouring.” Tilt your head up, rather than tucking it into your chest. This will also help keep your spine in proper alignment.


Speaking of alignment, there are a few ways to keep your body properly aligned while you sleep. It helps to put a pillow between your knees to keep your hips from torquing and twisting your spine. Body pillows are great for giving your arms and legs a place to rest so you don’t collapse in on yourself while you sleep.

Shop Mattresses at Mattress Warehouse

Come to Mattress Warehouse today to experience our selection of mattresses designed especially for side sleepers! Find a showroom near you, where you can speak to an experienced and knowledgeable Mattress Warehouse professional, or use our scientifically-designed bedMATCH® system to find the best mattress for your side sleeping position and softness preferences.