The best mattress for side sleepers 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

Helix Midnight Luxe mattress with our sleep editor lying on it
(Image credit: 3Z for Tom's Guide)

The best mattress for side sleepers will be one that provides outstanding pressure relief across your shoulders, hips and knees, helping create cloud-like comfort exactly where it’s required. Without this sink in support, pressure can build across those touch points of the mattress, leading to painful, achy joints and disrupted sleep. 

As experienced mattress testers, we know that the best mattress for those who sleep on their sides will be a soft or medium-firm bed with a depth of between 12 and 16 inches, which allows for enough comfort layers to provide the keen balance of pressure relief and support required. Among our wider panel of mattress experts, several of our lead mattress reviewers are side sleepers and have rigorously tested many of the models featured within this guide. 

In the rare instance that we haven’t tested a mattress listed below, we have drawn upon verified consumer reviews instead in order to compile the very best options for side sleepers. As well as performance, we’ve also carefully considered budget. Timing your purchase to coincide with mattress sales or major holidays, like the Memorial Day mattress sales, will help secure the best bed within your budget. Now, let’s take a look at the best mattresses for side sleepers, as reviewed by our sleep experts… 

Quick list

If you're short on time, browse our quick list for the highlights of each of our top picks. Keen to learn more? Click 'read more' for additional details, including our first-hand experiences.  

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The best mattress for side sleepers overall

Helix Midnight Luxe mattress

(Image credit: 3Z for Tom's Guide)
Unbeatable pressure relief makes this the best mattress overall

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Firmness: 6/10
Height: 13.5"
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 15 years
Price bracket : Upper-mid range
Materials : Memory foam, other foams, coils

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding pressure relief for side sleepers
+
Good temperature regulation 
+
Strong motion isolation 

Reasons to avoid

-
Too soft for stomach sleepers
-
Lacks handles for moving 

The Helix Midnight Luxe is the newer, taller and plusher version of the original Helix Midnight and has recently knocked its predecessor off the top spot of our best mattress for side sleepers buyer’s guide. The Midnight Luxe is a 13.5 inch tall hybrid mattress made with a mix of Helix Responsive Foam, Copper Gel Memory Foam, plus DuraFoam and up to 1,000 individually wrapped coils for enhanced lumbar support and four-sided edge support (something that was lacking slightly in the original). This enhanced support is topped off by an ultra plush pillow top cover, which is wrapped in a hypoallergenic Tencel cover (which is another upgrade on the original).  

Despite the deep pressure relief the pillow top provides, this is still a mattress that you sleep on top of as opposed to sinking too deeply into, thanks to the responsive memory foam layer underneath, which is underpinned by steel coils and dense foam base layer. Helix rates this mattress as 5-6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, but we rate it as a slightly firmer 6 out of 10, placing it in the true medium-firm category. This firmness, in addition to the enhanced lumbar support, means that it’s suitable for back sleepers, too. It’s plush, but surprisingly supportive. 

The Helix Midnight Luxe boasts outstanding motion isolation, which is great news if you’re a restless sleeper who shares their bed. The strengthened edge support means you can sleep up to and sit comfortably on the bed’s edge without it slowly feeling it dip or collapse beneath you (there is a bit of sink, but that’s down to the squishiness of the pillow top). 

In terms of temperature regulation, the Tencel cover is an improvement on the breathable cover included as standard on the Helix Midnight. It’s hypoallergenic and cool to the touch, and our testing panel felt comfortably cool throughout the testing period. However, if you're prone to overheating, you might want to upgrade to the GlacioTex cooling cover for an additional $249. Our only real niggle is the lack of handles on the side, which make moving this bed a little arduous. That aside, we highly recommend the Midnight Luxe if you want a plush hybrid bed for comfier, cooler side sleeping.

Helix Midnight Luxe: From $1,373.75 $961.63 at Helix

Helix Midnight Luxe: From $1,373.75 $961.63 at Helix
Helix sales typically range between 20% - 25% and a range of bedding freebies, with the best discounts usually reserved for major holidays, like the upcoming Memorial Day sales. Right now, there’s an incredible 30% off the Luxe, which brings the price of a queen size Helix Midnight Luxe down to $1,661.66 from $2,373.80 when you enter the code MEMDAY30 at checkout. Mattress purchase comes with a 100 night sleep trial, 15 year warranty and free shipping. 

The best affordable mattress for side sleepers

Best mattress for side sleepers: image shows the Helix Midnight mattress on a wooden bedframe, against a dark wall

(Image credit: 3Z for Tom's Guide)
The best affordable mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Firmness (1-10): 6
Height: 11.5"
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Mid-range
Materials: Memory foam, other foams, coils

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent cushioning for hips and knees
+
Promotes neutral spine alignment
+
Sleeps cool

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best for sleepers over 250lbs
-
Too soft for some tastes

The Helix Midnight is a highly rated hybrid, and it's our top affordable choice for  side sleepers guide thanks to the perfect amount of sinkage at the shoulders and hips to keep your spine in neutral alignment when you're snoozing in this position, at a competitive price. Our testers loved sleeping on this mattress and found that it delivered plenty of support for the lower back, too. 

At the top of the Helix Midnight mattress, you'll find a layer of blended memory foam that contours to your body and relieves pressure points when sleeping on your side. This works with various other foams to effectively deliver cushioned comfort. Don't worry – you won't feel as though you're being swallowed alive here, as the memory foam layer isn't hugely thick. Alongside these foams, the Helix Midnight mattress includes a layer of individually wrapped, 8" pocketed coils, which boost airflow through the mattress as well as limiting motion transfer within the mattress. That's great news if you've got a restless bedmate, as this bed will absorb motion and prevent their wriggling from disturbing your rest. 

You'll also find a range of temperature-regulating materials, which we found worked effectively to keep our testers comfortably cool at night. The soft-touch stretch cover stays cool to the touch, even during warmer weather, although very hot sleepers may wish to upgrade to the GlacioTex Cooling Cover for an extra $249. 

Rated 6/10 on the firmness scale, the Helix Midnight's medium softness offers the pressure relief you need around your hips and shoulders. However, it is on the softer side of what we'd recommend for side sleepers, and indeed being too soft is one of the main complaints from those people who didn't get on with this mattress. If you prefer a firmer feel, or if you also like to sleep on your front or sleep on your back sometimes, you should look for a mattress that's more like a 7 or even 8/10 (check out the Awara Natural Hybrid at #9 on this list). Note it also might not be supportive enough for those over 250lb (head to our best mattress for heavy bodies guide for recommendations there). 

Helix Midnight:$936$749 + a FREE Dream Pillow set at Helix

Helix Midnight: from $936 $749 + a FREE Dream Pillow set at Helix
Helix is currently offering 20% off its mattresses, taking the price of a queen size mattress down to $1,099, which includes two free pillows. This is a great offer, but we have seen Helix mattress sales take as much as 25% off and offer an entire free bundle, so you might get a slightly better deal if you hold out for Memorial Day in May. 

The best luxury mattress for side sleepers

Best mattress for side sleepers: The Saatva Classic mattress shown on a light wooden bed frame in a stylish bedroom

(Image credit: Saatva)
Saatva's best-rated luxury hotel mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: Innerspring hybrid
Material: Pillow top, memory foam, coils, other foam
Firmness (1-10): 3, 5-7 or 8
Height: 11.5" or 14.5"
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Price bracket: Premium

Reasons to buy

+
3 firmness options to choose from
+
Luxurious feel and high build quality
+
Free white glove delivery

Reasons to avoid

-
$99 returns fee
-
Some slight motion transfer

If you prefer a more traditional innerspring feel, the Saatva Classic is well worth a look. There is a little bit of foam in this mattress (a thin layer to offer extra lumbar support in the middle third, and rails around the perimeter for stability), but the main body of the mattress is mostly springs, with a pillow top for cushioning. This is a mattress you sleep on top of, rather than sinking in too deeply. 

One big draw is that the Classic can be customized to your preferences, with two heights and three firmness levels to choose from. For side sleepers, we'd recommend either the soft (rated 3/10 on the firmness scale) or Luxury Firm (5-7), depending on your body weight and whether your preference is for a plusher or firmer feel. (We rank the 8/10 version as one of the best firm mattresses, but it likely cause pressure to build up in the shoulders for most side sleepers.) 

We tried out the Luxury Firm option and found it delivered fantastic pressure relief, with the dual-coil system providing buoyant, firm support, and a little bounce. We rate it amongst the best mattresses for back pain, too.

The abundance of springs inside this model provides plenty of space for air to circulate, and the Classic sleeps nice and cool, with no issues trapping heat. (This can be an issue with all-foam models.) If you want that memory foam feel but struggle with sleeping hot, check out the GhostBed at #8. 

Price-wise, this sits in the premium range, but the build quality is impeccable and there are perks like white glove delivery included for free. If you have the budget, the Saatva Classic is a worthwhile investment. As a slightly cheaper, yet still luxurious alternative, check out the Brooklyn model at #4.

Saatva Classic mattress:$1,395

Saatva Classic mattress: from $1,395 $995 with our exclusive sale access
Our exclusive Saatva sale access means you can take $400 off every size of the Saatva Classic, with prices starting from just $995. Just click on then link below in order to access this saving. Without it, savings range between $200-$300, with the latter reserved for the biggest beds. Our exclusive $400 off discount is the best Saatva sale we've seen since Presidents' Day and well worth capitalising on before it ends. 

The best mattress for side and back sleepers

Best mattress for side sleepers: image shows the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress photographed on a wooden bed frame

(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)
This all-foam bed has a firmer feel that's good for back sleep too

Specifications

Type: All-foam
Firmness (1-10): 6.5
Height: 12"
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Forever
Price bracket: Lower-mid
Materials: Memory foam, other foams

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money
+
Supportive, with a slight sink-in feel
+
Will suit a wide range of sleepers

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may prefer a softer surface
-
Takes a while to expand

Nectar's popular memory foam mattress offers a slight sink-in feel but with a more noticeable amount of firmness compared to squishier side sleeper mattresses like the Helix Midnight above. This medium-firm bed-in-a-box balances comfort and support brilliantly. It'll contour to the shape of your body to relieve pressure on your shoulders, hips and knees, so you won't wake up with aches and pains in those places, but it's still firm enough that you'll feel well supported. You won't sink deeply into this mattress, but you can still expect some cradling.

Our testers also found that the Nectar mattress does a brilliant job at minimizing motion transfer, so you won't feel your partner (or pet) move around in bed next to you. Because it's slightly firmer, it's also suitable for combi-sleepers who sometimes like to lie on their back or stomach, making it a versatile choice overall.

This bed is entirely foam (in fact, we think it's one of the very best memory foam mattresses you can buy). At the top, you'll find 3 inches of high-density gel memory foam, which Nectar has designed to work in tandem with 2 inches of adaptive response memory foam for extra support. At the base are 7 inches of standard foam to provide you with a sturdy sleeping space. 

All-foam mattresses can trap body heat and sleep warm. We didn't have any particular issues with this when we tried the Nectar, but if you know you sleep hot, consider the Cocoon (#3) instead. This is a similar all-foam design, but for a slightly higher price, you get a specialist cooling cover. Or if you have the budget, the GhostBed Luxe (#8) offers excellent cooling. 

The Nectar mattress also receives top marks for added extras: there's a 365-night mattress trial period and a Forever Warranty, which is the best you'll find anywhere. This mattress is basically never sold at MSRP – it's one of the best mattress in a box models when it comes to sheer value for money.

Nectar Mattress:  $699 $349 at Nectar

Nectar Mattress: from $699 $349 at Nectar
Head to Nectar right now for 40% off, taking the price of the queen size original down to $659. This is one of the best Nectar mattress deals we've seen and delivers incredible value for money. If you need bedding, you can add a bundle at a heavily discounted price. 

The best memory foam mattress for side sleepers

Best mattress for side sleepers: the Purple mattress placed on a wooden bedframe in a light purple bedroom

(Image credit: Purple)
The best memory foam mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Firmness (1-10): 6-7
Height: 9.25"
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Upper-mid
Materials: Foam, GelFlex Grid

Reasons to buy

+
Great pressure relief for hips and back
+
Supportive with good spinal alignment
+
Sleeps cool

Reasons to avoid

-
Edge support could be better
-
Thinner option

If you tend to wake up with hip and knee pain from lying on your side, the Purple Mattress might well be the best option for you. We tested this mattress across all sleeping positions and it was particularly comfortable for side sleeping, thanks to Purple’s own Gel-Flex Grid technology; a durable hyper-elastic gel that flexes under pressure to deliver tailored support where you need it most.

While we found the edge support to be a little weak compared to similar mattresses, there's little else to complain about on the award-winning Purple Original. The combination of hyper-elastic polymer material and dual layers of foam reduce all pressure on your main impact points, and our testers felt supported from head to toe when sleeping on this mattress. It delivers good airflow too, making it an excellent choice for restless side sleepers who toss and turn at night because they’re overheating. 

We found it to have a true medium-firm feel; we didn’t sink in too much at the hips and back, so our spine stayed in neutral alignment and we didn't feel any stiffness upon waking up. Overall we found it supportive, comfortable and cool, and liked the responsive yet firm feel. You'll have 100 nights to trial it at home, with Purple refunding your money if you change your mind during the trial. 

Purple Mattress: $999$799 at Purple

Purple Mattress: was $999 now from $799 at Purple
This new Purple mattress deal is better value on the larger sizes of the Purple Mattress, reducing the price of a queen size to $1,199 (last year it cost $1,259). That means a saving of $200, making now is the best time to buy the Purple Mattress if you need a new bed urgently and can't wait for Memorial day in May to see if prices drop further. You'll also get free shipping and a 100-night trial too.

The best budget cooling mattress for side sleepers

Best mattress for side sleepers: Cocoon by Sealy Chill Hybrid mattress in a bedroom

(Image credit: Cocoon by Sealy)
The best cooling mattress for side sleepers on a budget

Specifications

Type: All foam
Firmness (1-10): 6
Height: 10"
Trial: 100 days
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Lower-mid
Materials: Memory foam, other foams

Reasons to buy

+
Specialist cooling cover works well
+
Excellent support
+
Reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

-
Edge support not the best
-
GhostBed sleeps cooler
-
Nectar is similar + cheaper

Made by industry giant Sealy, the Chill is a medium firm, all-foam mattress that delivers a lot for a mid-range price. Our reviewers all agreed that it's especially well suited to side sleepers, providing plenty of cushioning and support in this position. An upper layer of memory foam contours comfortably to the sleeper's body to provide tailored support, although you won't sink in as much as you will with some of the other models in our list. 

The real star of the show is the phase-change material in the stretch-knit cover, which does a great job of regulating the temperature and wicking away heat. In our review, even our hot sleeper didn't wake up feeling sweaty once. (That cover is the main reason to choose the Chill over the Nectar (#2), an otherwise very similar mattress for a slightly lower price.)

While the Chill doesn't have quite the chilling powers of the GhostBed (at #8), it sleeps impressively cool for an all-foam model at a lower-mid range price. In fact it's excellent value all round – the Chill is far cheaper than most specialist cooling models, and we rank it amongst the best mattresses under $1,000.

The Cocoon by Sealy Chill also absorbs motion extremely well, making it a great choice for light sleepers who share a bed. We wouldn't necessarily recommend this model to heavier weight individuals, though, who may sink through the memory foam layer and not get those body-contouring benefit.

Cocoon by Sealy Chill:$619

Cocoon by Sealy Chill: was $619 now from $399 at Cocoon
There's 35% off the Chill, which is a standard Cocoon by Sealy sale, but the good news is that this mattress had an MSRP drop last year, so it's cheaper now than we've ever seen it. A queen is $699, which is incredible value. You'll take home up to $199 of free cooling pillows and sheets too.

The best mattress for shoulder and hip pain

The Tempur-Pedic Tempur Cloud mattress on. blue fabric frame in a blue bedroom

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)
Sink-in support gently cradles shoulders, hips and knees

Specifications

Type: Memory foam
Firmness: 5/10
Height: 10"
Trial: 90 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Premium
Materials : Tempur foam

Reasons to buy

+
Good motion isolation
+
Great pressure relief
+
No off-gassing smell

Reasons to avoid

-
Can trap a little heat
-
Edge support lacking 

Tempur-Pedic is renowned for its high spec beds, and the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud is the brand’s more affordable (in relation to other Tempur beds, anyway) mattress. As a result, the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud memory foam mattress is more streamlined than other beds in Tempur’s impressive sleep suite, standing at a relatively shallow 10 inches deep and containing four support layers. Despite this, it still manages to deliver deep-sinking body hugging support, which comfortably cradles the shoulders and hips, helping to alleviate pain and pressure build-up in those areas. 

The top comfort layer of the mattress is made from an adaptation of the classic Tempur memory foam, which is famous for its soft and responsive properties. Beneath this layer, a denser layer of foam contours to your body, which is where the pressure relief comes from.  The initial sink-in feeling when first laying down eventually evens out into a more supportive sleep surface. While this is excellent for supporting the side sleeping position and relieving pressure from the touch-points of the bed, it can mean that shifting positions is a little tricky. 

While this bed delivers outstanding pressure relief across the shoulders and hip, there are a couple of drawbacks worth noting. During our review, we found that the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud was prone to retaining a bit of heat, which can happen in some memory foam mattresses (innersprings and hybrids tend to sleep cooler, thanks to the additional airflow the pocketed coils provide). As such, this bed might not be the best option for you if you’re a very hot sleeper. Additionally, we found that the edge support, which describes the sturdiness of the bed’s edge, was lacking. This might not be an issue for you, but if you share your bed and need to sleep right up to the edge or need to sit safely on the edge before standing, it might deter you from buying. 

Ultimately, if you’re a side sleeper looking for a bed from a leading brand without paying a small fortune, the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud could be it. However, if you’re a hot sleeper, someone who requires a sturdy edge for sitting before standing, or are a combination sleeper who needs to shift positions easily, this mattress isn’t for you. 

Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud: From $1,699 at Tempur-Pedic

 Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud: From $1,699 at Tempur-Pedic
Tempur-Pedic mattress deals do happen, but you have to be quick. Until recently, there was a significant saving of 30% off of the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud, which brought the price of a queen down to $1,399.30 from $1,999. That discount has finished now, but we’re hopeful that we’ll see the same level of savings when Memorial Day rolls around later in May.  

The best mattress for couples

Leesa Sapira mattress

(Image credit: 3Z Brands for Tom's Guide)
Strong motion isolation makes this the standout option for couples

Specifications

Type: Hybrid
Firmness : 6/10
Height : 11"
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Upper mid-range
Materials : Memory foam, coils, other foams

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent support for side sleepers
+
Terrific motion isolation
+
Dense, high-quality foams

Reasons to avoid

-
Likely too soft for heavier bodies
-
Too soft for stomach sleepers

The Leesa Sapira Hybrid is the brand’s best selling bed, with its outstanding pressure relief for side sleepers and superb motion isolation making it a popular choice for couples. The Leesa Sapira is 11 inches tall and boasts six comfort layers, including a soft zipped cover and a layer of pocketed coils. One of Leesa’s USPs (and justification for their slightly high price point) is their transparency over the foam density and quality included within their beds, all of which are CertiPUR-US certified.

The Leesa Sapira mattress has a medium to medium-firm feel, with a firmness rating of around 6 out of 10. This level of firmness means that it delivers the delicate blend of contouring pressure relief for side sleepers, plus enough support for those who sleep on their backs, too.  This isn’t a mattress that you sink deeply into, but are held instead on top of the mattress, while still providing gentle cradling across the shoulders, hips and knees. During our review, our lead tester found that side sleeping provided exceptional alignment and comfort.

What’s more, it also tested incredibly well for motion isolation, which is great news for restless sleepers who share a bed. This performance is underpinned by the inclusion of a 6 inch responsive support layer which boasts over 1,000 pocket springs to minimize motion transfer — and it works. 

In addition to fidgety couples, side sleepers and lightweight sleepers are likely to reap the greatest rewards from this hybrid mattress. However, stomach sleepers  and heavyweight sleepers are likely to find that the Leesa Sapira isn’t supportive enough for their needs. It’s also worth noting that while this mattress was designed with temperature regulation in mind (like the inclusion of air channels within the 3 inch comfort foam to promote airflow) , it doesn’t quite deliver on its cooling promises. Moreover, edge support isn’t terrific, but it’s not terrible either. If you’re after a cooling mattress with sturdy sides, try the Ghostbed Luxe mattress instead (#9). 

Leesa Sapria Hybrid: from $1,349 $1,011 at Leesa

Leesa Sapria Hybrid: from $1,349 $1,011 at Leesa
The Leesa Sapira mattress is a premium hybrid mattress with a upper mid range price to match. Regular Leesa mattress sales tend to top at around $400 off. However, the current 25% off deal means that a queen size Leesa Sapira Hybrid is $1,499 from $1,999, which translates to a healthy saving of $500 off. That’s an excellent deal, which we can’t guarantee will be bettered when the Memorial Day mattress sales roll around later this month. There's also a 10-year warranty and a 100-night trial period.

The best luxury cooling mattress for side sleepers

Best side sleeper mattress: image shows the GhostBed Luxe mattress on a bed frame in a bedroom

(Image credit: GhostBed)
The best luxury cooling mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Material: Memory foam, other foams
Firmness (1-10): 5-6
Height: 13"
Trial: 101 nights
Warranty: 25 years
Price bracket: Premium

Reasons to buy

+
Remains cool to the touch
+
Deep contouring reduces pressure
+
Good for neck, hip and shoulder pain
+
Low motion transfer (ace for couples)

Reasons to avoid

-
Off-gassing smell can linger
-
Temperature affects firmness

The GhostBed Luxe specializes in keeping sleepers cool. It's a little softer – we rate it a 6 out of 10 firmness in our tests – and well-suited to lighter-weight side sleepers who spend half the night kicking off the covers because they feel too hot to sleep through. It's also a good choice for couples as it provides excellent motion isolation.

Hot sleepers will be drawn to the Ghost Ice fabric quilted cover that helps the surface stay cool to the touch. This is followed by a 1-inch slab of gel memory foam to deliver a cozy body hug feel. After that comes an extra airflow-boosting layer, but we're most excited by the Ghost Ice Layer; it uses thermo-sensitivity tech to sense heat and keep the core of the mattress cool. None of our testers ever felt warm when sleeping on the GhostBed Luxe so the tech absolutely works.

There's an additional 2 inches of gel memory foam further down to relieve pressure points, followed by 2 inches of GhostBounce foam to contour to your body, with a 7.5-inch slab of high-density support foam at the base to help the mattress last for many a year to come. Edge support and motion isolation are also top-notch. Those who want a luxury mattress with a slow-moving feel will find this to be one of the best mattresses for side sleepers without question.

When you’re buying a mattress with the word 'Luxe' in the title, you can normally expect a softer feel and a heftier price tag. You get both here, although constant sales mean you can ignore the MSRP. If it's out of your budget but still want a cooling mattress, check out the budget-friendly Cocoon Chill (#3) or the mid-range Purple (#5).

GhostBed Luxe: $2,595 $1,298 at GhostBed

GhostBed Luxe: from $2,595 $1,298 at GhostBed
At MSRP, the GhostBed Luxe sits at the top end of the market, but the evergreen 50% off deal takes that price right down, and you'll get two pillows bundled in for free. You can still pick up a queen size for $1,548 (was $3,095). Head to our GhostBed mattress sale guide for more info.