Many side sleepers find memory foam mattresses are the perfect pick to get a good night’s sleep. Because memory foam mattresses feature a variety of firmness options and various types of memory foam at many price points, side sleepers have a wide variety of choices when looking at this particular mattress style.
The style of memory foam can impact your sleep. Side sleepers are often on the hunt for a mattress that provides a great amount of support for their lower back. They’re also searching for a mattress that provides extra comfort for pressure points in the hips and shoulders.
In this article, we’ll discuss which memory foam mattresses are the best choices for side sleepers. We’ll also look at the advantages of side sleeping compared to other sleeping positions.
|Amerisleep AS4||Features HIVE® technology to facilitate healthy sleeping positions and prevent pain points||$1259|
|Zoma||Features Triangulex™ technology to relieve pressure points under the shoulders and hips||$750|
|Vaya||Breathable comfort foam bounces back quickly and won’t trap heat||$599|
|Bear Pro||Contains graphite-infused foams to prevent night sweats and promote deeper sleep||$1090|
|Muse||Features phase-change materials and cooling gels to promote sound sleep||$950|
|Nolah||Built to accommodate side sleeping||$900|
|Tuft & Needle||Contains T&N Adaptive® foam for superior pressure relief||$599|
|Revel||Contains LifTex to promote healthy spinal alignment.||$699|
|Zinus Green Tea||Contains green tea extract for extra freshness||$300|
The construction of the Amerisleep AS4 offers plenty of cushion for side sleepers avoiding hip and shoulder pains. Its medium-soft feel provides unbeatable pressure relief while its zoned technologies maintain healthy spinal alignment.
The AS4’s cover is soft and breathable, so it won’t trap heat or make you uncomfortable while you sleep.
The comfort layer of the AS4 is the eco-friendly Bio-Pur® material. This foam is constructed with castor oil for more breathability than traditional memory foam. The plant-based oil also minimizes the “new mattress smell,” known as off-gassing.
The Bio-Pur® layer features an open-cell structure allowing for increased airflow. But open-cell technology also creates a stronger “bounce back,” allowing the Bio-Pur® layer to regain its shape quicker; this assists side sleepers who shift their bodies during sleep.
The AS4’s second layer is the Affinity with HIVE® technology (Harnessing Intelligent Ventilation & Energy). HIVE features hexagon-shaped cutouts for extra support in the “comfort zones”—the head, shoulders, back, hips, and feet. These are the areas where side sleepers need the most support, especially the shoulders and hips.
Amerisleep offers a 100-night sleep trial with the AS4, so you can feel comfortable ordering the mattress online and trying it out for the first time at home. If you’re unsatisfied with the AS4 within those 100 nights, you can contact Amerisleep for a full refund, and your mattress will be donated to charity.
Amerisleep also offers a 20-year warranty on the AS4. The first ten years include replacement of your mattress under covered damages, and the second decade of the warranty offers a prorated replacement. The prorated replacement will allow you to get a new mattress at a specific discount. The warranty also covers sagging above .75 inches, better than the usual 1-inch threshold covered by most mattress warranties.
Zoma is a new online brand of memory foam mattress that caters to athletes and people who are physically active. Zoma’s sole product, the Zoma Mattress, is built to support a physically active body as it recovers, meaning pressure point relief for side sleepers is a focus area for Zoma.
The Zoma Mattress is made up of three layers of memory foam. These start with 2 inches of gel-infused foam offering cushion and contour to reduce pain with a pattern Zoma calls Triangulex™ technology.
Triangulex™ features pressure-relieving triangle cut-outs in the foam at varying degrees of frequency. This top layer is considered medium-firm, making it ideal for the shoulders and hips of a side sleeper. Those areas are where the Triangulex™ cut-outs are most prominent.
Zoma’s construction was designed with athletes in mind, meaning areas of excess exertion—like your back or shoulders—will see the most support from a Zoma.
The second layer of the Zoma is a 2-inch layer of poly-foam designed to react like latex. This is a transition layer between the top and support layer and prevents your body weight from sinking too far into the mattress. The support layer contains 7 inches of poly-foam built to reinforce the support structure of the Zoma for the lower back.
Zoma just recently released a hybrid version of their all-foam mattress. It still has the dynamic Triangulex™ technology and Reactiv™ to support your spine and keep you lifted, but the pocketed coils in the base add to the mattress’s responsiveness and motion isolation. With the Zoma Hybrid, you can wake up pain-free.
Zoma mattresses feature a standard ten-year warranty, which offers a replacement for any defects in construction or materials. You can also test-drive a Zoma for 100 nights with their sleep trial offer. As part of the sleep trial offer, Zoma will refund you in full if you aren’t satisfied with the mattress after the first 30 days of your trial.
The Vaya Mattress combines simple design with high-quality, CertiPUR-US® certified foams for a restful, restorative night of sleep. Each layer of the Vaya Mattress works to keep your spine aligned and help you sleep cool.
First, the comfort layer of Vaya Mattress relieves pressure at the most sensitive points, such as in the back, hips, and neck. Since this layer is ultra-responsive, you won’t sink down too far and feel stuck, a common problem associated with memory foam. It contours closely to your body to keep you from sinking and feeling trapped.
The foundational layer of the Vaya, called Vaya Base Foam, supports the softer layer above it and keeps it from developing sags. Other mattresses develop sags after years of use.
The Vaya Mattress ships free and comes with a 100-night sleep trial. The 10-year warranty protects against sags and manufacturing defects.
4. Bear Pro
Some side sleepers are looking for relief from back pain and need extra support for their hips. Extra firmness can make a difference. The Bear Pro is a memory foam mattress designed especially to be on the firmer side of traditional memory foam beds. This has made the Bear mattress popular with back sleepers.
Each Bear mattress has a Celliant® cover. Some studies have found that Celliant® can promote body recovery during sleep.
The top layer of the Bear Pro is 2 inches of copper and graphite-infused memory foam. Underneath the top layer is gel memory foam. Because the Bear uses gel memory foam for more comfort, the mattress doesn’t overheat, unlike traditional memory foam beds.
The transition layer is a strong poly-foam designed to prevent sinking. It creates a strong support structure that gives the Bear Pro such firmness. The stronger poly-foam prevents the Bear from losing its original shape and creates more edge support.
The base is 6 inches of high-density poly-foam, which gives the Bear Pro its firmness and durability.
Bear offers a 10-year limited warranty covering physical or construction flaws and any sagging of 1 inch or more. There’s also a 100-night sleep trial with a full refund available after a standard 30-day trial period if you aren’t satisfied with the support of the Bear Pro.
Side sleepers looking for a softer night should consider Muse. If you’re often in the side sleeping position, you will love the construction of the Muse, featuring a mattress top designed to conform to your body shape.
The Muse is an all-foam mattress available with different firmness levels including soft, medium, and firm. The good news for side sleepers is no matter which firmness level you choose, the Muse’s comfort layer design will still contour to your pressure points the same way.
The cover of every Muse mattress is made with a phase-change material created to help contour to the body. The comfort layer is created with a gel-infused memory foam designed to avoid heat absorption.
There’s also a hefty 8-inch base with extra edge support to provide firmness and prevent sinking past the initial comfort layer. This contrast in layers allows sleepers to feel contoured without an accompanying “sinking” feeling.
Muse also focuses on motion isolation in its construction, so if you’re sharing a bed with a restless partner, you won’t feel their movements all night long. The base layer also features a removable cover, making it easy to clean.
Muse offers a standard 10-year warranty for any flaws or damage incurred from assembly or materials. Specifically, the Muse warranty will cover sags ¾ of an inch or deeper. This is a smaller measurement than what is covered by most mattress warranties. The Muse mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial. This includes a refund if you’re dissatisfied after the initial 30-day trial window.
Nolah mattresses are designed to provide great support for any sleeping position, but side sleepers, in particular, will enjoy the thicker top comfort layer. It’s a traditional memory foam mattress designed to cater to pressure point relief and does so without overheating.
Each 10-inch Nolah mattress features a polyester and viscose cover. The combined materials create a very thin, but strong, breathable layer sleepers won’t wear out over time.
The first memory foam layer is a 2-inch proprietary “AirFoam,” which Nolah claims to relieve pressure points better than traditional memory foams mattresses. If you’re looking for a latex mattress without the high price, the Nolah has created Avena foam, which imitates the feel of latex. Below the inch of Avena foam is a 7-inch support layer made of a high-density base foam, which prevents the mattress from losing its original shape.
The signature Nolah mattress features a lifetime warranty with a repair policy. Plus, each American-made, standard Nolah mattress comes with a basic 15-year warranty offering replacement for defective construction or materials. The warranty covers sagging of 1 inch or more.
6. Tuft & Needle
Tuft & Needle offers an affordable memory foam mattress for almost any side sleeper’s budget with a special proprietary layer of memory foam designed specifically with pressure relief in mind. According to their official site, Tuft & Needle’s proprietary design covers the support needs of every sleep position.
Each mattress starts with a polyester cover designed for durability first and airflow second. Polyester doesn’t breathe as well as an organic material, but it holds up to tossing and turning and body weight shifting over time. The proprietary memory foam layer is called The Adaptive, and it’s built to avoid the overly soft, sinking feeling of many memory foam mattresses. Inside this layer is also a small amount of cooling gel to dissipate heat.
There are only two layers to a Tuft & Needle mattress. Directly below The Adaptive is a 7-inch layer of high-density poly-foam. This layer acts as a firm base and maintains the mattress’s shape.
Additionally, both layers also contain graphite for absorbing and removing body heat. Even though there are only two layers to a Tuft & Needle mattress, it is not considered a traditional “flippable” mattress. There’s a definitive top and bottom side.
Even with their affordable prices, Tuft & Needle still offers a great 10-year warranty, offering coverage for both manufacturing and material defects. Mattress sagging greater than .75 inches is covered, as is any splitting or cracking of the materials. There’s also a 100-night sleep trial with free returns at any time.
Revel’s hybrid mattress is actually a memory foam mattress that’s designed to feel like a hybrid of memory foam and latex, and its extra thickness allows side sleepers or people with larger bodies to feel comfort and receive deep support while staying in place.
The Revel is 12 inches of memory foam divided into three layers. The first layer is memory foam combined with a cooling gel. This layer takes care of a side sleeper’s pressure relief needs and contours the body while also handling heat dissipation.
The second foam layer is designed to imitate latex, specifically known as “LiftTex.” This layer has a firm feel with some bounce and the same responsiveness as real latex. It also has airflow channels cut into it to dissipate body heat. The supportiveness of the Revel comes from the 7-inch base layer, built to keep larger side sleepers who shift positions in place. This one layer could be an entire mattress on its own.
Revel features a standard, 10-year warranty, offering a full refund for damage related to construction or materials. But there’s a much shorter trial period. Unlike most mattress companies who offer 100- or 120-night sleep trials, Revel has a 30-day window for users to return the mattress for a full refund through Amazon.
Revel can only be found on Amazon, meaning your shipping will be faster and cheaper (depending on your area), but the return policy won’t be as strong as those offered by mattress companies who sell direct to consumers.
8. Zinus Green Tea
Zinus is an affordably priced bed-in-a-box memory foam mattress focused on providing a comfortable and clean night’s sleep. The Green Tea mattress features charcoal and green tea extract to control and remove odors during the life of the mattress. For side sleepers worried about motion isolation and looking for an affordable, medium-soft sleeping experience for pain relief, Zinus is a great choice.
Each Zinus is made up of three layers of memory foam. The thickness of the Zinus Green Tea mattress can be adjusted on the website before you order, with models ranging from 6-12 inches.
The first layer of the Green Tea mattress is what Zinus calls “BioFoam,” a memory foam infused with green tea extract, castor seed oil, and charcoal. These ingredients control odor and prevent bacterial growth. These ingredients are part of the memory foam comfort layer, which offers memory foam’s standard contouring and pressure point relief.
The second layer is a high-density memory foam designed to be on the firm side. This layer has an aerated design to allow heat to move away from the sleeper. Yet the layer still retains enough firmness to support the shoulders, hips, and back. The base layer is more high-density memory foam built for support and structure. Its construction resembles an egg crate, which creates pathways for heat to travel out of the mattress.
Zinus offers a standard 10-year warranty covering flaws in construction or materials and any breaking or cracking of the memory foam or cover. There’s also a standard 100-night sleep trial, giving you plenty of time to decide if you’re satisfied with your new mattress.
Mattress Types for Side Sleepers
If you’re a side sleeper looking for the best mattress on the market, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with all the types of mattresses, not just memory foam. While the best mattress for side sleepers is commonly a memory foam mattress, your pick can be found in any of the following categories.
Memory Foam Mattresses
As we’ve examined here, memory foam mattresses are very popular with side sleepers. The emphasis on pressure point relief in the comfort layers and the extra support in the base layers is key.
Memory foam mattresses are very popular thanks to the many mattress-in-a-box sales and online promotions. But memory foam mattresses can sometimes be a problem for hot sleepers. Cheap materials in some memory foam beds can trap heat, creating night sweats and discomfort. If you’re looking for a comfortable sleep, avoid cheap memory foam beds.
Latex mattresses can also be a great choice as the best mattress for side sleepers. They replicate many of the support and comfort functions of high-quality memory foam.
Latex mattresses are comprised of all-natural latex made from rubber tree sap. Latex creates great air circulation and allows for good motion isolation. This means side sleepers who shift positions or toss and turn during their sleep won’t encounter hot spots or cause disturbances. Note that latex is bouncier than memory foam, which some side sleepers may not prefer.
Innerspring mattresses contain traditional coil springs and a pillow top layer of foam. While innerspring mattresses provide good support, very strong airflow (the hollow construction of coils allows heat to move easily), and excellent responsiveness, they’re often problematic for side sleepers due to the lack of pressure relief.
Pay attention to the material and thickness of the top comfort layer. Side sleepers need contouring and pressure relief from this layer, something coils alone can’t provide.
If you’re a side sleeper who prefers the bounce and coolness of an innerspring mattress, consider using a mattress pad with memory foam or gel memory foam layer. Adding a plush mattress pad can provide the support and bounce you prefer with a comfort layer for your pressure points.
Hybrid mattresses are a great pick for side sleepers. They’re a combination of latex or memory foam and coils. Pay attention to the style of innersprings if you’re a side sleeper. Memory foam or latex combine with pocketed coils to reduce motion transfer. This allows side sleepers to shift positions with less noise and bounciness.
Memory Foam Mattress Budget
You can find the best memory foam mattress for side sleepers with almost any budget. Be sure to shop within your budget only after you’ve narrowed down your preferences. Once you’ve determined your sleeping style, preferred memory foam mattress type, and firmness level, you should start pricing beds.
There are two major concerns for side sleepers looking for the best memory foam mattress. First is a comfort layer for pressure point relief. Second is support for the back and hips. These issues are addressed by most of the models on the market, so it’s possible to buy a memory foam mattress on a budget.
Beware of memory foam beds made primarily with cheap foams, such as poly-foam. Lack of airflow in cheap memory foam creates overheating problems. And cheap materials often take longer to lose their new mattress smell, a phase called “off-gassing.” If you’re sensitive to chemical smells, it could be weeks before a new mattress stops irritating your nose.
Side sleepers sometimes shift positions in their sleep. Because of this you should also examine and consider other sleeping styles when looking for the best memory foam mattress. Different sleep styles can dictate priority needs in a mattress, as well as your budget. To maintain good health, specifically in your back and hips, the right sleeping style is extremely important.
Memory foam is usually the most popular mattress for side sleepers. The contouring effects and pressure point support are ideal for the sleep style. The cushioning available in memory foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses is hard to beat. But it’s possible to sleep well on an innerspring mattress as a side sleeper—especially if the mattress has pocketed coils and the right mattress topper to relieve pressure points.
If you’re a side sleeper, do you know which side you typically favor? It’s important because studies have shown sleeping on your left side creates more health risks than sleeping on your right side. According to one expert in the field, sleeping on your left side creates a strain on some internal organs. This includes the liver, lungs, and heart.
If you’re a side sleeper who ends up on their back, you’re probably looking for a firmer mattress. You need a mattress that will support you as your body shifts throughout the night. Back sleepers often struggle with sleep apnea and snoring. A quality mattress designed to provide neck and head support can often help improve these conditions.
Stomach sleeping is the least healthy way to sleep on any kind of mattress. Stomach sleeping can be harmful over long periods of time, as the position creates stress on the spine. It can also lead to restlessness and pain, and cause you to wake up at different periods in the night.
Stomach sleepers often prefer softer surfaces such as pillow tops. They also search out mattresses with minimal motion transfer. Most memory foam mattresses will cause stomach sleepers some discomfort. This is because of overheating and a lack of firm support in the comfort layer. If you prefer sleeping this way, we recommend a medium-firm or firm mattress that allows for minimal sinking.
Sleeping Cool and Airflow
When shopping for the best memory foam mattress for side sleeping, be sure to also consider the specific cooling technology in each mattress. You’ll likely be taking advantage of different sleep night trials from mattress companies. While you’re doing this to gauge firmness levels and comfort, make sure your new mattress isn’t trapping heat.
Plain innerspring mattresses with steel coils are the winner for the best airflow because of their hollow construction. But they don’t work well for some side sleepers seeking more contouring and less irritation at their pressure points.
Even though memory foam has a harder time releasing heat, the construction is much better suited to side sleepers. Be sure to look at individual mattress reviews to understand the cooling elements in the mattress.
Side sleepers using memory foam should consider cooling sheets made from organic cotton or other breathable materials. These can pair with breathable pillows made of natural materials like latex.
Shoppers looking for the best mattress for side sleepers have a lot of questions. We’ll take a look at a few of the most common ones here.
What is the best mattress for side sleepers with back pain?
If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, especially in your lower back, you’ll need a higher firmness level in a new mattress to support your back and hips. Studies have shown a medium or medium-firm bed is best for back pain. While you’re shopping, focus on firmness and support instead of comfort layers and pressure point relief.
Do side sleepers need a firm mattress?
Side sleepers need firmness in a mattress just like any other sleep position. But the level of firmness varies based on the preferences of the side sleeper. Older model firm mattresses created pressure points at the shoulders and hips. Now you can find memory foam mattresses in varying firmnesses, but all have adequate pressure relief.
Is a memory foam or hybrid mattress better?
Often you won’t be able to tell the difference between a hybrid or a memory foam bed in terms of quality or firmness. But side sleepers with extra concerns should opt for a hybrid. Such concerns could include environmental issues, allergies, or even a preference for the traditional bounce innerspring provides.
Hybrid mattresses will also sleep cooler than memory foam because of their coil cores.
What mattress firmness is best for side sleepers?
When side sleepers examine variable firmness options in a mattress, it’s important to find a happy medium. In the case of the Amerisleep line, the AS4 is considered a medium-soft mattress. It provides softness for the shoulders and hips while keeping you lifted in a healthy position. Chances are if you’re a side sleeper you won’t want to sleep on a mattress that’s “firm” or “soft” because too-firm and too-soft mattresses can lead to discomfort.
Is gel memory foam better than memory foam?
Both regular memory foam and gel memory foam are made from a viscoelastic material. They both provide comfort and contouring to the body.
However, a gel memory foam is designed specifically with overheating in mind. Body heat gets trapped in regular memory foam. That means traditional memory foam layers will stay warmer than a gel memory foam. The gel creates a cooling effect and allows heat to move away from the body more easily. However, some gel memory foam layers will break down faster over time.
Choosing the Best Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers
It’s extremely important to consider budget, sleeping style, environmental concerns, and heat retention when choosing your mattress. Memory foam mattresses are perfect for side sleepers because they have excellent pressure relief. And because memory foam mattresses are very popular, you have plenty of options to suit a range of budgets.
Start building your best memory foam mattress by matching your preferences with what’s on the market. Use sleep trial offers to your advantage.
Various memory foam mattresses will treat pressure point relief in different ways, and not every style will work for every person. It’s okay to test drive more than one style to find the best memory foam mattress for your particular preferences as a side sleeper.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.