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The Best Type of Mattress for Side Sleepers

Nearly half of all sleepers snooze on their sides, and there are many great mattresses designed just for this sleep position.
Memory foam and hybrid mattresses are the best types of mattresses for side sleepers. Choose a medium firmness with an adjustable base.
Innerspring mattresses have some great benefits, but they are generally not the best option for those who sleep on their side.

Most likely, if you’re one of the nearly half of all Americans who sleeps curled up on their side, you probably gravitate to this comfy position because it helps you sink into a deep state of relaxation. And that’s by design—the side-sleep position minimizes pressure points in particularly touchy areas, including the neck, the lower back and the shoulders, helping you wake up feeling pain-free and well-rested. This position also improves circulation and can help ward off acid reflux.

woman sleeping on her side

Studies show that our mattress and pillow selections may have a bigger effect on our physical health than we thought. One study showed that an individually prescribed sleep surface could significantly decrease the number of days of poor sleep and physical discomfort. Because side sleepers have a specific set of pressure points to consider, they should keep their sleep position in mind when selecting a mattress. Side sleepers, here are our top picks to help you lap up those much-needed zzz’s.

  1. A Memory Foam Mattress—Memory foam is quickly replacing innerspring as the most popular type of mattress out there, and it’s no mystery why—the spongy, visco-elastic foam eliminates pressure points and helps align the spine, which is why it’s one of the best choices for side-sleepers. This type of foam also helps to disperse support across the surface of the mattress, allowing your spine to remain neutral and aligned, while also adjusting  to your body temperature and conforming to the shape of your body.
  1. A Hybrid Mattress—Hybrid mattresses combine two or more means of support, usually traditional innersprings and memory foam. The memory foam layers help provide the right level of pressure point relief needed for side sleepers, while the coils prevent motion transfer, ensuring that you get a deeper sleep. The coils within innerspring mattresses help them to stay cool, so this is a great option for those side sleepers who tend to run hot. 
Tempur-Pedic PRObreeze Medium Hybrid Mattress Graphic
Consider a hybrid TEMPUR-PEDIC mattress if you prefer the hybrid option.
  1. An Adjustable Mattress—This type of mattress rests on top of an adjustable bed base that you can place in an unlimited number of personalized positions for the very best sleep. With styles that allow you to raise and lower both the head and foot portion of the bed individually, the adjustable mattress is a fine choice for any kind of sleeper, but it does bring some specific benefits for those who prefer to snooze sideways. Specifically, this type of mattress allows you to tweak your sleep position so that there’s even less pressure on certain sensitive points, like the shoulders.
Tempur-Pedic adjustable mattress frame
An adjustable mattress frame can help improve comfort for side sleepers.
  1. A Medium-Firm Mattress—What about firmness? We always recommend that side sleepers select a medium-firm mattress, especially if they tend to wake up feeling stiff or sore. Studies show that people with chronic low-back pain who sleep on medium-firm mattresses experience less pain and disability, proving that the Goldilocks mattress—one that’s not too firm and not too soft—is still the ideal option for most sleepers looking for relief from backaches.

The Worst Mattress for Side Sleepers

Innerspring mattresses still have their benefits—namely that they are affordable and tend to cool quite well—but we generally don’t recommend this type of mattress for side sleepers. These types of mattresses, of course, feature steel inner springs that give the bed its shape and structure, often limiting the contour and pressure point relief potential for those who sleep on their sides. 

Finding the Perfect Mattress at Abt

The right mattress helps you get the right amount of sleep, and the right amount of sleep translates to improved focus, mood and overall well-being, a growing body of research suggests. We’re here to help you decide which types of mattresses are the very best for you based on a variety of factors, including your preferred sleep position. Stop by our Glenview Showroom or get in touch with us today for personalized mattress advice.

Tempur Rest Test Graphic
Stop by the Tempur Rest Test to speak to our mattress experts and learn how a Tempur-Pedic mattress and adjustable base can be right for you.
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