Sleeping on your side is highly regarded within the medical community, around 74% of people are said to be side sleepers and its benefits are compelling. Not only does side sleeping open your airways and reduce snoring and symptoms of sleep apnea, but it may also improve brain health and help prevent certain neurological issues.
If you’re a side sleeper, the best mattress for you is a medium-firm bed with plenty of cushioning at the hips, knees, and shoulders (your main pressure points when snoozing on your side). Whether you sleep on your left or right is irrelevant, as a great mattress for side sleepers will cushion and cradle you on either side.
Support the spine
Side sleepers need uniform pressure relief since their hips and shoulders place increased force on the mattress. It’s also important for sleepers in this position to buy a mattress that supports the spine and helps you keep a neutral spine while snoozing.
Spinal alignment is particularly important for side sleepers with back pain, making features like ergonomic zoning more critical than they might be for other people. This is most common in hybrid mattresses since pocketed coils can be individually tuned to provide zoned support that targets areas like the pelvis and shoulders.
Newentor’s Hesperis Mattress cuts the mattresses into 7-zone ergonomic sections, precisely supporting different pressure points of the body - head, shoulder, waist, hips, thighs, lower thighs, feet, letting your spine stretch naturally. Mattresses are symmetrical and can be turned around to use.
Pocketed coils also compress individually, allowing for better alignment than innerspring mattresses and more structured support than mattresses with a polyfoam core.
Soft or firm
Side sleepers shouldn’t buy a mattress that’s too soft as it could compress the spine and lead to pain. On the other hand, a too firm mattress might make those points of the body that hit the mattress hardest – such as your shoulders and hips – feel too much pressure.
Sleepers in lighter weight categories are most likely to benefit from a soft mattress. Since their bodies don’t sink as deep into the mattress as heavier sleepers, they will receive sufficient support while still benefiting from the bed’s contouring.
However, keep in mind that side sleepers also need support from their mattress to prevent the midsection from sinking in and misaligning the spine. So while soft mattresses can help promote good sleep posture inside sleepers, the mattress should also provide adequate support.
Also, if you’re a side sleeper who prefers to sleep on the edge of the bed, you’ll want a mattress that offers robust edge support so that you are constantly supported and don't feel like you're tumbling out of bed.
When buying a new mattress, make sure it has a trial period of at least 100 nights so you can see how the mattress feels as a side sleeper without making a purchase you’re stuck with for years to come.
Don't forget to invest in a good quality mattress protector too, because if you don't cover your new side sleeper mattress properly during the trial period, you may not be able to return it should you change your mind.
Hesperis Mattress has three layers of firmness to choose from. One can shift the layers of foam to choose between medium, medium-firm, and firm depending on your weight, preference, and sleeping positions.
Side sleepers usually prefer mattresses that are between medium-soft and medium-firm, but choosing a specific firmness should always be made with your weight in mind. People who weigh below 130 pounds usually need a softer mattress, while people above 230 pounds require firmer support.
Your subjective experience will depend on how much the mattress compresses beneath you, so the right firmness will always feel balanced and comfortable.
If you’re in the market for more new bedding, then consider our most popular double-sided Morpheus Pillow which suits all sleepers, available in multiple sizes.
Hybrid or all-foam mattress
Since side sleepers require significant pressure relief, people who prefer this position should consider a hybrid or all-foam mattress. While some innerspring models do contour enough for side sleepers, almost every high-performing hybrid or foam mattress offers enough pressure relief to prevent pressure sores, aches, and pains.
The ideal mattress for a side sleeper contours gently around the point where their shoulder presses into the mattress, allowing for correct alignment through the upper back and preventing their weight from resting directly on the point of their shoulder.
Some people mistake a lack of pressure relief for their mattress being too firm, but buying a softer mattress is more likely to increase shoulder pain than relieve it. Instead, look for a hybrid or all-foam mattress with a memory foam or pressure-relieving polyfoam comfort system.
Memory foam is one of the most popular materials within the best mattresses for side sleepers because it contours to the shape of your body and delivers high levels of pressure relief. This reduces shoulder and knee pain as you press down into the mattress when sleeping on your side. These comfy beds also relieve lower back pain, which side sleepers can suffer from if they aren’t snoozing on a properly supportive mattress.
Memory foam comfort layers perform best, but some people dislike its characteristic “cradling”. For people who prefer to feel as though they are sleeping on their bed, rather than in it, natural latex foam can be a pressure-relieving alternative. Latex mattresses can be purchased with a latex, polyfoam, or pocketed coil support core, depending on your budget and support preferences.