Side sleeping is not only the most common sleeping position, but it comes with plenty of health perks. Side sleepers may breathe better and have better heart health than other types of sleepers. However, the wrong mattress can leave a side sleeper waking up in pain and prevent them from experiencing the full benefits of their position.
The best hybrid mattresses for side sleepers feature optimal pressure relief and support. In this article, we offer some of our top hybrid mattress recommendations for side sleepers.
Amerisleep sells their mattresses in five firmnesses to best meet the needs of all sleepers. Their AS3 Hybrid Mattress is a newer addition. Amerisleep took inspiration from their popular AS3 memory foam mattress and gave it some extra bounce.
The AS3 Hybrid is 12 inches tall with a simple three-layer design. It features a medium feel well-suited not only for side sleepers but also for combination sleepers and some back sleepers.
The top layer is 3 inches of Bio-Pur® foam. Amerisleep designed Bio-Pur® to be more breathable and responsive than traditional memory foam. A portion of petrochemicals are replaced with castor oil during production, so Bio-Pur® is more eco-friendly than many other memory foam beds.
The hybrid’s support comes from the middle 8-inch layer of pocketed coils. Manufacturers wrap a hybrid’s coils in foam or fabric packets to reduce motion transfer and eliminate noise. Quality pocketed coils provide bounce without compromising a bed’s cushion or pressure relief.
Amerisleep also separates the coils into three zones for the head, back, and feet. The bed’s coil setup creates a targeted support system. Manufacturers focused on support in the back area and added pressure relief in the upper and lower thirds of the mattress.
Underneath the coil layer is 1 inch of base foam. The base foam keeps the coils straight, minimizing sagging.
Every Amerisleep mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty. The warranty covers sagging greater than 0.75 inches.
2. Zoma Hybrid
Zoma’s latest addition to their lineup is the 11-inch thick Zoma Hybrid. It shares some characteristics with the original Zoma Mattress, but the added coils give it a bouncier feel and promote sleep recovery. The Zoma Hybrid has four layers, all encased in a soft, elastic polyester cover.
The first layer is 2 inches of gel memory foam, designed to dissipate body heat faster than traditional memory foam. The gel foam also contains triangular cutouts in the shoulders and legs, as part of the mattress’s Triangulex™ technology. The cutouts improve body contouring so that the memory foam can better relieve pressure.
As a bonus, the triangular cutouts also increase the mattress’s breathability. Air can slip through and remove heat, promoting a cooler sleeping surface.
Next is a 2-inch layer of Reactiv™, a responsive foam that adapts to your movements. Reactiv™ helps the Zoma Hybrid snap back into shape. This adaptability decreases the possibility that you might feel “stuck” in bed.
The third layer is 6 inches of pocketed coils, designed to isolate motion and limit noise. Air can freely circulate between the coils, wicking away any heat. An inch-thick foam base gives the coils a surface to push against, limiting sagging.
All Zoma Mattresses come with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. Any customer not satisfied with their Zoma Mattress can return it for a full refund. There is no need to worry about how you’ll ship back the bed because Zoma will pick up unwanted mattresses.
3. Vaya Hybrid
For an affordable, yet high-quality mattress, the Vaya Hybrid is a great choice. This bed has a 12-inch profile featuring a 3-inch comfort layer, an 8-inch coil foundation, and a 1-inch foam base. These three layers create a medium comfort level that most side sleepers find comfortable and supportive.
The comfort layer of the Vaya Hybrid features their proprietary foam. This material has a natural breathability to reduce night sweats and overheating. Vaya’s foam is soft and conforming, but it also has an elastic quality to prevent excess sinking and spinal misalignment. The balance of cushioning and support ensures side sleepers wake with less pain and stiffness.
The base of the Vaya Hybrid is made up of pocketed spring coils. Each coil is triple wrapped in a soft, durable fabric to prevent pressure points and reduce motion transfer. Since Vaya’s coils move independently of one another, they contour to the curves of the body more effectively.
With each of their mattresses, Vaya provides a 100-night sleep trial. This risk-free trial period allows side sleepers to test out this hybrid and make sure it is suited to their body type. Vaya also includes a 10-year warranty covering manufacturing defects such as sagging and indentations.
4. Oceano Luxury Hybrid Mattress
The Brentwood Home Oceano hybrid is an excellent choice for a “green” mattress. The mattress contains GOTS certified organic wool and cotton, a plant-based cover, and foams certified safe by CertiPUR-US®. The bed’s medium-plush feel is well-suited for most side sleepers.
The Oceano hybrid stands 14 inches tall and has nine layers, including the Tencel™ blended cover. The Tencel™ fabric is not only soft and breathable but also sustainable. Manufacturers produce the material from eucalyptus trees.
Next is a wool layer, which wicks away moisture and heat for a good night’s rest. Wool also improves the bed’s flame retardancy, saving the producers from using potentially harmful chemicals or synthetic fibers.
Underneath the wool is the company’s plant-based BioFoam®, a cool memory foam that contours well. Separating the wool from the memory foam layer is Brentwood Home’s natural poly-silk fiber blend. The silk is light and breathable.
Next is a 2.5-inch layer of microcoils. These short steel coils offer extra support, responsiveness, and pressure relief. An Oceano hybrid may have as many as 1,722 microcoils.
An inch of Air Luxe Foam is between the bed’s microcoil layer and the support core. This airy foam boosts the mattress’s pressure-relieving properties.
The mattress’s support layer is 8 inches of pocketed coils. Brentwood Home’s design divides the pocketed coils into five support zones. Thanks to this targeted support, the bed adapts quickly to even the most minute of movements. An Oceano may contain up to 1,441 support coils.
The base is 1 inch of high-density support foam, providing support for the coils. Underneath the base foam is breathable cotton canvas.
The Oceano hybrid includes a year-long sleep trial and a 25-year warranty. You can also add on white glove delivery for an extra cost. The delivery team will set up your new mattress and remove your old one, saving you a lot of work.
5. Purple® Hybrid Premier
A Purple® Hybrid Premier is a luxurious mattress, providing a side sleeper with the perfect way to relax after a long day. The bed features a thick comfort layer on top of supportive coils, all wrapped up in Purple®’s StretchMax cover.
The soft fabric compliments the bed’s No-Pressure cushion. Plus, the fabric’s side panels increase airflow through the mattress.
All Purple® mattresses feature the company’s unique Purple Grid™ foam. The material was designed as an alternative to traditional memory foam.
The Purple Grid features more than 1,800 square-shaped air channels. The grid design blends softness with support. It adapts to your movements and position no matter what the shape of your body is.
You can choose a 3-inch or 4-inch comfort layer, with both options providing a plush and weightless sleeping experience.
The Purple® Hybrid Premier is supported by 7.5 inches of responsive support coils. The coils provide pressure relief and extend the mattress’s lifespan.
A Purple® Hybrid Premier comes with a 100-night trial, a 10-year warranty, free shipping, and your gift choice. You can also bundle the mattress with a protector, duvet, and foundation for further savings. Side sleepers shopping on a tight budget might want to consider Purple®’s basic hybrid model instead.
6. Bear Hybrid
The Bear Hybrid has a medium feel that can comfortably accommodate most side sleepers.
The Bear Hybrid has five layers wrapped in a Celliant® cover. Celliant® is a fabric that absorbs body heat and converts it into infrared energy. The infrared energy then penetrates your body. Once inside, the infrared energy boosts local bloodflow and improves overall recovery.
The comfort layer is 2 inches of tufted, “hypersoft” gel foam for a cool night’s rest. Underneath the gel foam is 2 inches of Bear’s adaptable Premium Comfort Foam, designed for all sleeping positions.
An inch of responsive transition foam separates the comfort foams from the support layers. The transition foam prevents you from bottoming out on the support coils, always an uncomfortable feeling. Bear’s transition foam also promotes airflow and pressure relief.
The pocketed coil support core is 8 inches tall and rests on 1 inch of high-density support foam.
The Bear Hybrid includes a 100-night trial and a 20-year warranty. Bear offers a discounted bundle that consists of the Bear Hybrid, pillows, and a protector.
About Side Sleeping
Side sleeping is easily the most popular sleeping position. It’s also arguably the healthiest sleeping position. Benefits tied to side sleeping include:
- Less acid reflux symptoms: Sleeping on your side allows gravity to push down your stomach’s contents.
- Improved brain efficiency: Your brain clears out its waste compounds when you rest. Scientists found that side sleeping helps the brain clean up waste better. Researchers have also tied the build-up of these waste compounds to neurodegenerative diseases.
- Better heart health: Sleeping on your right side reduces pressure on your heart.
- Clearer airways: Side sleeping limits gravity’s effects on your throat’s soft tissues. By preventing the soft tissues at the back of your throat from collapsing, you can reduce snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.
Not everyone sleeps on their side the same way. We can usually sort side sleepers into one of four types:
- Fetal: In the fetal position, your upper body is hunched forward with your legs bent toward your torso.
- Log: A person in the log position is lying down with a straight posture from head to toe. Their arms rest against their sides.
- Yearner: A yearner stretches their arms out as if they were reaching for something.
- Sprinter: Your arms are at your sides, with one leg straight and the other bent as if you’re about to start running.
Of course, not everyone neatly falls into these four categories. Plus, most of us move while we sleep so that you might shift between these four throughout the night.
Side Sleeping and Mattress Firmness
Pressure relief is an important feature in mattresses for side sleepers. If a side sleeper doesn’t experience enough pressure relief, pressure points can build up in their shoulders and hips. When these pressure points accumulate, side sleepers usually wake up with stiff joints and sore hips.
Most side sleepers should consider a soft, medium-soft, or medium feel mattress. What if you don’t know which of these three firmnesses is right for you? Try considering another important factor, your body weight.
Body weight determines how much pressure you put on a bed. Mattresses for heavy people need to take on extra weight and should have a firmer, resilient feel. If you’re a side sleeper over 230 pounds, consider a medium feel mattress.
A petite person’s mattress needs a softer feel to offer more pressure relief. A smaller person presses down less, which means a firmer mattress will have difficulty conforming to their body. If you’re a side sleeper under 130 pounds, consider a soft mattress.
Other Sleeping Styles
There’s more than one way to fall asleep. The majority of people qualify as side sleepers, but some prefer to sleep on their backs or sides. Because they have a different sleep style, back and stomach sleepers have different sleep needs.
Back sleeping might be the best position for preventing lower back pain. The sleeping posture keeps the spine in a neutral position and evenly distributes body weight. We recommend a medium-firm to firm mattress for back sleepers. Softer beds can leave too much room for the spine to bow too deeply into the mattress.
Sleep experts often caution against lying on your stomach. Stomach sleepers risk chronic back pain if they sleep on a too-soft mattress. When gravity pushes on their stomach, it throws the spine out of neutral alignment. If this happens every night, it can cause back difficulties.
We recommend stomach sleepers switch to side sleeping. If you have a hard time giving up stomach sleeping, try a firm mattress to prevent sinkage.
What is a Hybrid?
A hybrid mattress borrows elements from an innerspring mattress and a foam bed. Designers tried to improve on each type’s shortcomings with a hybrid.
The most basic hybrid design is a coil support core with a thick foam comfort layer. More luxurious hybrids contain a transition layer between the comfort layer and the support core for an improved feel.
Hybrids feature excellent motion isolation and pressure relief with a cooling design. Most hybrid mattresses also have edge support, making it easier to move in and out of bed. A bed with edge support does provide a smaller sleeping surface than a bed without edge support.
A hybrid mattress can be an expensive bed, with many models costing between $1,000 to $3,000. Many owners feel that the bed’s blend of comfort and durable support make up for the cost.
Other Types of Mattresses
Hybrids aren’t the only mattress type on the market, nor is it necessarily the bed you should choose. The best mattress for you might be a memory foam, latex, or innerspring mattress.
Memory foam mattresses mold to your body because the material is pressure and heat-sensitive. This sensitivity is why memory foam mattresses can provide full-body support and pressure relief. Couples can also appreciate how well a memory foam mattress isolates motion.
The drawback of a traditional memory foam mattress is its tendency to hold onto body heat. Many manufacturers have improved upon the traditional design by infusing cooling agents such as gels, copper, and charcoal. Other producers create more breathable memory foam by substituting petrochemicals with plant-based alternatives.
Latex and memory foam share some traits. Both materials contour to the body and offer good motion isolation. However, latex is a cooler and springier material. Latex also tends to feel naturally firmer than memory foam does. This firmness is why some latex mattress companies offer add-on pillow tops.
There are two types of latex, natural and synthetic. Natural latex mattresses are more expensive than synthetic latex beds, but they also tend to last longer. A natural latex mattress might last up to 15 years with care.
Innerspring mattresses are a traditional bed with a simple design. The mattress has a coil support core with thin comfort layers on its top and bottom. Because an innerspring bed’s setup doesn’t rely on thick foams, it’s one of the best cooling mattresses for a hot sleeper.
An innerspring mattress can be a poor choice for a side sleeper, particularly if they have a chronic pain condition. Owners have complained about waking up in pain because the innerspring coils push up against the body, creating pressure instead of relieving it.
Sleep Trials and Warranties
There are mattress features and add-ons that you may not need to sleep well, but a sleep trial and warranty should never be counted among them. These two policies usually signify you’re buying a quality mattress.
A sleep trial is an extended return policy. The mattress company gives you a few months or even a full year to test out a bed. If it’s not the right mattress for you, you can return it for a full refund.
Sleep trials are the norm for most online mattress brands. Many brick-and-mortar stores also offer them. Lying down on a showroom model isn’t the same as sleeping on a bed every night. Even if you’re sure the mattress is right for you, we strongly recommend taking advantage of sleep trials.
Most companies ask you to try a mattress for 30 days before returning it. Some people need a few weeks to adjust to a new mattress. Our bodies grow used to our beds even as they wear out, so your body sometimes must correct unhealthy sleep postures before you rest comfortably.
We recommend that you always buy a mattress with a warranty. If a company doesn’t place a warranty on their bed, it can mean they refuse to guarantee how long it should last.
A standard mattress warranty provides coverage for the first 10 years, with the company bearing all financial responsibility. Improper care of your mattress can void its warranty, such as placing it on an unsupportive foundation or spilling liquid on your bed. A warranty claim requires proof of purchase, so make sure to save your receipts.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best foundation for a hybrid mattress?
A slatted foundation is one of the better choices for a hybrid mattress. The design allows air to circulate through the bottom of the mattress. A solid foundation can trap heat and moisture, giving mildew and mold the chance to flourish.
When shopping for a slatted foundation, make sure the slats are at least 0.5 inches thick and no more than 3 inches apart. Otherwise, the foundation might not support your mattress consistently.
Can you flip a hybrid mattress?
The majority of hybrid mattresses are not designed to be flipped. A hybrid has a definite top layer and a definite bottom layer. Flipping the mattress will leave you lying on the stiff supportive layer. It can even damage your hybrid, compromising its support and flattening the foam top.
Is plush good for side sleepers?
A plush hybrid mattress can be an excellent choice for a side sleeper. Soft beds conform well to a person’s body, which eases pressure points in the body. If the pressure in a side sleeper’s hips and shoulders aren’t relieved, the person can wake up in pain.
Side sleepers who have heavier bodies may want to consider a medium mattress instead. A soft mattress may not provide sufficient support. A may person sink into a too-soft bed and misalign their spine.
What is the healthiest mattress to buy?
A good hybrid mattress should promote spine alignment and reduce pressure points. These two qualities will keep your mornings pain-free.
However, the firmness that is best at relieving pressure and supporting your spine will depend on your sleeping position. Remember, side sleepers should look for a mattress with a soft to medium feel.
Additionally, everyone wants a mattress that makes them feel good mentally and physically. You will spend years sleeping on your mattress, so you want confidence that you’re choosing the right bed.
Is a memory foam or hybrid mattress better?
Both memory foam and hybrid beds are great options for side sleepers. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages.
Memory foam mattresses have the benefit of being more affordable than most hybrids. A hybrid usually costs more than $1,000, with more expensive models costing more than $3,000.
Hybrids are more breathable than a memory foam bed. The coil layer isn’t as dense as a supportive foam, letting more air through to clear out built-up heat.
Side sleepers need softer yet still supportive mattresses for a good night’s sleep. A hybrid is an excellent blend of support and softness because of its bouncy coils and thick comfort foams. That is why a hybrid mattress is one of our top recommendations for a side sleeper’s bed. If you choose a hybrid mattress as your next bed, make sure it comes with a long sleep trial and a good warranty.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.