Best mattress for side sleepers − tried and tested for pressure relief

The best mattress for side sleepers should cushion your shoulders, hips, and knees to ease your aches and pains

A woman sleeping on one of the best mattresses for side sleepers, the Helix Midnight Hybrid.
(Image credit: Helix)
Best mattress for side sleepers 2024: Jump Menu

A memory foam mattress from Zinus on a bed.

(Image credit: Zinus)

1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best overall: Leesa Original
3. Best for hip and shoulder pain: Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt
4. Best for back pain: Nectar Memory Foam
5. Best hybrid: Saatva Classic
6. Best cooling: Nolah Original
7. Best value: Helix Midnight Hybrid
8. How we test
9. Meet the team
10. Best mattresses for side sleepers FAQs

The best mattress for side sleepers should strike a careful balance between comfort and support. You're looking for thick layers of dense foam to absorb your weight and relieve pressure from your hips, knees, and shoulders.

When you shop at the specialist sleep stores, you'll find mattresses with designated ergonomic zones to target particular body parts. If you're a side sleeper who runs a little warm, you should seek out a cooling mattress, while people who suffer from back pain might appreciate the enhanced support of a hybrid mattress. With so much on the market, it's easy to feel spoiled for choice.

That's where I come in. As H&G's resident sleep writer, I lead a team of expert testers. Some of us sleep on our stomachs, while others sleep on their backs, and still more sleep on their sides. I've combed through our reviews to bring you the best mattress for side sleepers.

To help you compare and contrast, I've assessed each mattress against the same criteria: comfort; quality of construction; cooling properties; and the all-important price. I've rounded up the six best mattresses from big-name brands, such as Saatva, Tempur, and Leesa, to suit every style of sleeper and size of budget.

The quick list

If you've already got your eye on a particular mattress, you can skip straight to that section using the jump menu. If you'd rather take stock of your options, browse the best mattresses for side sleepers below.

Best mattress for side sleepers 2024: tried and tested

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best mattress for side sleepers overall

Leesa Memory Foam Mattress on a bed.

(Image credit: Leesa)
Best mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Depth: 10"
Type: Memory foam
Comfort: Medium-firm

Reasons to buy

+
Medium-firm support to suit all sleepers
+
Thermoregulating
+
Reasonable RRP

Reasons to avoid

-
Middling edge support
-
Motion isolation is a little lacking
Buy it if

✅ You like a firmer surface: for a memory foam mattress, the Leesa Original is highly supportive.
✅ You're on a budget: this is one of the more affordable mattresses on the market.
✅ You're a hot sleeper: the foam is aerated to boost breathability.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You sleep on the side of the bed: the edge support is a little lacking.
❌ You share a bed with a pet or partner: you might appreciate a mattress with better motion isolation.
❌ You want a hybrid mattress: the Leesa Original is made from memory foam.

The bottom line

🔎 The Leesa Original Memory Foam Mattress isn't for everyone, but it could be a gamechanger for hot sleepers who like a firmer surface.

I asked two of our expert testers to sample the Leesa Original Memory Foam Mattress, back to back. One of them sleeps on her stomach, while the other sleeps on her side: one didn't think much of the mattress, while the other sang its praises. 

The Leesa Original is filled with memory foam, which is made to mold to the shape of your body and absorb the pressure from your joints. Our side sleeper found that she woke up each morning feeling refreshed, without any aches and pains in her hips and shoulders. 

Our stomach sleeper was less impressed. She found herself sinking into the soft surface of the Leesa Original, so far that her spine began to curve. She shares a bed with her husband, and found that she could feel him tossing and turning through the foam on the other side of the bed.

It just goes to show that there's no such thing as one perfect mattress to suit every sleeper: the Leesa Original is great for side sleepers, but is less suitable for anyone who sleeps on their front or back. If you share a bed with a partner, but not a sleep style, you'll need to consider whether the Leesa Original meets each of your needs. 

You can find more detail in our Leesa Original Memory Foam Mattress review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
ComfortSofter surface with lots of give★★★★
Quality of constructionEdge support and motion isolation could be improved★★★
Cooling propertiesThermoregulating foam★★★★
PriceReasonable RRP★★★★

The best mattress for side sleepers with hip and shoulder pain

Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Medium Firm Hybrid Mattress in a contemporary bedroomH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)
Best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder and hip pain

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King, Split California King
Depth: 12"
Type: Tempur material and steel coils
Comfort: Medium

Reasons to buy

+
Great edge support
+
Excellent motion isolation
+
Cooling

Reasons to avoid

-
Short sleep trial
-
On the more expensive side
-
Heavy
Buy it if

✅ You're a hot sleeper: the ProAdapt is wrapped in a cooling cover.
✅ You sleep on the side of the bed: the ProAdapt has great edge support.
✅ You share a bed with a pet or partner: you'll appreciate the ProAdapt's excellent motion isolation.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're on a budget: there are much cheaper mattresses out there.
❌ You'd like to try before you buy: the ProAdapt has a limited 90-night sleep trial.
❌ You live alone: you might struggle to flip this heavy mattress by yourself.

The bottom line

🔎 The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Medium Hybrid Mattress incorporates the pressure relief of memory foam with the enhanced support of steel springs.

The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Medium Hybrid Mattress brings the best of both worlds. The memory foam cushions your hips and shoulders, while the supportive steel springs stop you from sinking in too far.

Like a lot of the mattresses on this list, the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt has excellent motion isolation. That's the memory foam in action, which works to absorb movement. What sets this mattress apart is its edge support. There's a ring of reinforced steel coils running round the edge of the mattress for enhanced support.

As foam mattresses go, the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt does a good job of regulating temperature. I attribute that to the SmartClimate Dual Cover System, which is cool to the touch and super stretchy to accommodate such a deep mattress.

There isn't much I don't like about the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt. Really, it comes down to two things: how high the price is, and how heavy the mattress is. A Queen-sized ProAdapt goes for more than $3,000 at full price, so you might want to wait for a holiday discount or site-wide sale. Even then, you'll want to opt for white glove delivery, especially if you live alone: this mattress is extremely heavy.

You can find more detail in our Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Medium Hybrid Mattress review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
ComfortSuitable for all sleep positions★★★★★
Quality of constructionExcellent motion isolation and edge support★★★★★
Cooling propertiesWrapped in SmartClimate Dual Cover System★★★★
PriceOn the more expensive side★★

The best mattress for side sleepers with back pain

Nectar memory foam mattress on a bed against a dark wall.

(Image credit: Nectar)
Best mattress for side sleepers with back pain

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Depth: 12”
Type: Memory foam
Comfort: Medium-firm to firm

Reasons to buy

+
Alleviates back pain
+
365-night sleep trial
+
Highly affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Edge support could be better
-
May be too firm for some 
Buy it if

✅ You suffer from back pain: our expert tester found that the Memory Foam Mattress alleviated her back ache.
✅ You want to try before you buy: Nectar offers a 365-night sleep trial.
✅ You're on a budget: this is one of the more affordable mattresses on the market.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You like a softer surface: for a memory foam mattress, the Nectar is pretty firm.
❌ You sleep on the side of the bed: the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt has better edge support.
❌ You want a hybrid mattress: this mattress is filled with memory foam.

The bottom line

🔎 The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress offers plush comfort and pain relief at a price that everyone can afford.

The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress cushions your neck and shoulders as it lifts and lengthens your spine. It's a great option for anyone who suffers from aches and pains.

No mattress can cure chronic pain. That's the sort of thing you should take up with a medical professional, rather than a mattress manufacturer. With that said, our expert tester found that the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress alleviated the symptoms of her fibromyalgia. She still woke up with sore bones every once in a while, but she knew her pain had nothing to do with the mattress.

For a memory foam mattress, the Nectar sleeps pretty cool. It's wrapped in a quilted cover to dissipate heat and wick moisture. The motion isolation is excellent, though the edge support leaves something to be desired. If you tend to sleep on the side of the bed, you'll have better luck with the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt.

You can find more detail in our Nectar Memory Foam Mattress review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
ComfortSoft surface with plenty of give★★★★
Quality of constructionEdge support is a little lacking★★★
Cooling propertiesMemory foam tends to trap heat★★★
PriceHighly affordable★★★★★