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Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Side sleeping is the most popular sleeping position, with a 2013 study finding that 74% of people sleep on their side. With it being so popular, ensuring you have the right mattress to give you all the necessary support for your hips, back, and shoulders throughout the night is essential.

Which mattress type is best for side sleepers?

If you're a side sleeper, you can use any mattress type, but we recommend a memory or latex foam mattress or even a hybrid mattress that includes a layer of foam. Here, we’ll explain the differences and why you should consider one if you like to sleep on your side:

Memory foam mattresses

A memory foam mattress is perfect for side sleepers, as memory foam is a temperature-sensitive material. This means that it will mould to your body as you sleep, providing you with personalised comfort that you won't get with a spring mattress.

Latex foam mattresses

Latex foam mattresses are similar to memory foam in that they will respond to your body heat and mould to your body’s contours to relieve pressure points and reduce the risk of pain or sore joints. Unlike memory foam, latex mattresses are considered natural mattresses because latex is naturally sourced.

Hybrid mattresses

You'll note that many latex and memory foam mattresses often come with some form of springs - these are called hybrid mattresses and are a popular option for many people. These mattresses provide plenty of stability thanks to their layer of springs, but their top layer is usually some cushioning support, such as memory or latex foam.

If you're suffering from back pain in particular, check out our article on the best mattresses for back pain.

The best mattress firmness for side sleepers

Mattress firmness for side sleepers is essential, as the firmness level indicates how much support you will have throughout the night. The firmness relates to how much the mattress will 'give' when laying on it - a firm mattress has much less give, and so will push your body into positions you might not enjoy. We recommend choosing soft or medium firmness mattresses if you're wondering what the best mattresses for side sleepers are.

Soft firmness

Soft mattresses for side sleepers

Soft mattresses offer the most give, so they contour to your body to keep your spine aligned, supporting your body and allowing pressure points to sink into the mattress.

Medium mattresses for side sleepers

Mattresses with a medium firmness offer great support and are ideal for any sleep position. A medium mattress is ideal for heavier sleepers due to its support.

It's important to note that no 'one-size fits all' mattress is out there, so you'll need to consider other factors when deciding on your mattress' firmness. For those who are heavier, you'll want to get a mattress that is on the medium scale, as this will provide you with the support your body needs. If you're on the lighter end of the scale, then a softer mattress could be the perfect choice!

At a glance: Essential mattress features for side sleepers

Some features that are important when considering the best mattresses for side sleepers include:

Edge support

Edge support

Edge support allows the edges to hold more weight, allowing side sleepers to sleep comfortably, whether closer to the edge or the middle.

Pressure relief

Mattresses that relieve pressure on joints, especially the hips and shoulders, are essential for side sleepers for pain-free sleep.

Motion isolation

Motion isolation

Mattresses with motion isolation absorb movement, reducing the risk of annoying sleep disturbances.

The best mattresses for side sleepers: Our pick

Best budget mattress

Best budget mattress:

Ortho Sleep 1500 Reflex Foam Orthopaedic Mattress


  • Medium firmness rating
  • Delivered vacuum packed and rolled
  • Hypo-allergenic features are great for allergy sufferers


  • No springs may not offer enough support for some
  • May not provide enough support for heavier people
Shop the Ortho Sleep 1500 Mattress now
Best branded mattress

Best branded mattress:

SleepSoul Balance 800 Pocket Spring and Memory Foam Mattress


  • 800 individual pocket springs offer more support
  • Medium firmness rating suits most sleepers
  • Delivered vacuum packed and rolled for easy delivery


  • Springs may provide too much support for some people
  • Not made from any hypoallergenic materials
Shop the SleepSoul Balance Mattress now
Best kids mattress

Best kids mattress:

Noah Memory Foam Spring Mattress


  • Soft firmness is ideal for side sleepers
  • Can be used on bunk beds due to 15cm height
  • 25mm of memory foam provides comfort


  • May not ideal for adult sleepers
  • Does not arrive vacuum packed and rolled
  • May not offer enough support for heavier people
Shop the Noah Memory Foam Mattress now
Best hypo-allergenic mattress

Best hypo-allergenic mattress:

Bamboo Vitality 2000 Pocket Sprung Memory and Reflex Foam Mattress


  • Medium firmness offers support for side sleepers
  • 5cm layer of memory foam offers plenty of comfort
  • Bamboo construction is naturally hypoallergenic


  • Does not arrive vacuum packed and rolled for delivery
  • May not be suitable for lower budgets
Shop the Bamboo Vitality 2000 Mattress now

Benefits of sleeping on your side

If you like to sleep on your side, you'll be pleased to know that this position has plenty of great health benefits. Side sleeping can reduce the risk of heartburn and snoring, along with helping to improve spinal alignment. Another great benefit is that it can improve digestion and relieve back pain. Not only that, but there are other benefits, and side effects, depending on which side you sleep. So which side should you sleep on?

Sleeping on your left side

You might be surprised to know that there are specific benefits to sleeping on a particular side! For those suffering from GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, then sleeping on your left side can help alleviate any symptoms. If you're pregnant, sleeping on your left side also has another benefit - it allows your blood to flow efficiently through your body and to your baby. This means your baby will receive all the nutrients and oxygen they need as they grow! Sleeping on your left can also decrease the likelihood of any swelling in your ankles and legs - something we're sure that any pregnant woman will appreciate!

Sleeping on your right side

There are some potential benefits to sleeping on your right side, especially for those suffering from heart problems. Laying on your right is often more comfortable for those with heart issues, as it creates more space, reducing pressure on the heart. If you have acid reflux, we recommend avoiding sleeping on your right side, which can heighten symptoms.

Can sleeping on your side cause aches and pains?

Anyone who's slept on their side for a long time will know that as comfortable as it is, it can result in some issues. One of the most common problems is that it increases pressure on your shoulder and hips, increasing the risk of aches and pain. Some possible reasons for increased shoulder pain when side sleeping include osteoarthritis, which could result in cartilage breakdown inside your shoulder. One of the things we've all experienced is waking up with limited movement, and this can be caused by your rotator cuff tendons becoming squeezed, which in turn causes pain and the inability to use your shoulder fully.

Not only can you experience shoulder pain when sleeping on your side, but you could also possibly experience back pain. If you use the incorrect type of mattress, you risk sleeping with a spine that isn't aligned, which can cause plenty of issues. Your spine works hard throughout the day to ensure mobility and houses the spinal cord, from which all the nerves that go to your organs are housed. It's also where your hips and rib cage are attached, so it's understandably an essential part of your body!

Spinal alignment

Keeping your spine aligned helps reduce issues affecting your mobility and overall life quality. Sleeping six or eight hours a night with your spine not appropriately aligned can cause short-term pain and long-term problems. Not only does this cause back pain, but it might also explain your hip pain when sleeping on your side. To mitigate these risks, ensure you have the right type of mattress and swap from right to left throughout the night so you're not putting too much pressure on one joint for too long.

How to sleep on your side

To get optimal support, you must sleep on your side correctly. Plenty of positions are included in side sleeping, and you must ensure you're doing everything possible to allow your body to get all the support it needs.

Using a pillow is the easiest way to encourage the correct sleeping position. Keeping your spine perfectly aligned reduces the risk of strain, and pillows can be used in various ways to promote an aligned spine. Ensure that the pillow under your head is high - if it's too low, your head will dip down over the night. If you want an idea of how much that can cause problems, just try tilting your head to the side - now imagine doing that for hours on end!

Neck pillow

Another great way to encourage spinal alignment and correct hip placement is to place a pillow between your knees. Make sure this pillow has the right level of firmness; if it is too fluffy or flat, it can cause extra issues. For more information, check out our blog about sleeping with a pillow between your legs.

Pillow between your legs

Sleeping is something personal - no two people will sleep the same way so, so making sure you have the right mattress to support you is important. Whether you opt for a memory foam mattress or prefer the support of a pocket spring mattress, we'd recommend that you keep our tips in mind when choosing your new mattress! If you need more information about the types of mattresses we sell here on Happy Beds, check out our mattress buying guide to find out everything you need to know.

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Really good customer service from Chantal. She was very professional and dealt with my query very efficiently and quickly.
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First class service throughout from Happy Beds. Thank you very much. Mattress delivered earlier than expected. Delivery guys very friendly and professional. They found the marina very easy. I went to them after phone call, to say they had arrived. Helped me load mattress on a trolley, waved bye. Mattress looks great and fits perfect. Highly recommend Happy Beds.
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Quick delivery, good quality items. Customer service is great, we were speaking to a lady called Aimee as one of the parts for the bed was faulty. Dealt with it quickly and replacement sent a couple days after the initial enquiry. Thank you
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Great prices and even better customer service. really impressed with this company. bunk beds are great and the problem I had was resolved by Caroline and Sophie with no hassle. Would definitely buy from them again