If you sleep on your side, here's how to choose the right mattress for you.
If you tend to sleep on your side, you’re part of the majority - 74% of the population are side sleepers! For this sleeping position, you’ll want to make sure your hips and shoulders are kept aligned, as well as cushion the parts of your body that ‘dig in’ to the mattress.
From how to choose your perfect mattress, to our product expert’s five top picks, here’s everything you need to know about mattresses for side sleepers.
As a side sleeper, there are a number of things you should consider when shopping for your ideal mattress. The number one thing to remember is that you need to keep your spine in a neutral position, so as to not cause any back pain.
However, you also don’t want to cause joint pain by having a too firm mattress, or rigid structure. You’ll need a good amount of cushioning to ensure your hips and shoulders don’t ache, as these are the areas that will have the most contact with the mattress.
Side sleepers put more pressure on their hips and shoulders, so these are the areas that need the most cushioning. As these body parts are naturally heavier, a soft mattress will provide the proper amount of pressure relief, letting them 'dip' just enough, while still keeping the spine aligned.
Pocket sprung mattresses are good for side sleepers, as they offer targeted support to pressure points. The individually pocketed springs are able to adjust depending on how much weight they detect, with some innovative pocket springs, such as Silentnight’s Miracoil® Springs, able to do so extremely effectively.
You might find, however, that pocket sprung mattresses don’t offer the level of cushioning you require, so if you prefer a ‘sink in’ feeling, consider a hybrid mattress that combines pocket springs with memory foam.
Side sleepers need extra support to their shoulders and hips, to ensure the spine is kept nicely aligned, rather than curving uncomfortably. Memory foam is an ideal solution, as it contours to your unique body shape, providing personalised support exactly where you need it.
For more information on memory foam mattresses, take a look at our Memory Foam Mattress Buying Guide.
If you’re a hot sleeper, you might prefer a latex mattress instead. These provide the same contouring support as memory foam, but don’t retain as much heat. Latex mattresses are also great if you’re a side sleeper with allergies, as the natural material is dust-mite resistant.
Hybrid mattresses offer the ideal ‘best of both worlds’ solution for side sleepers looking for equal support and comfort. Containing both pocket springs for targeted support to your pressure points, as well as cushioning memory foam, latex or other comforting fibres, hybrid mattresses are ideal for sleeping on your side.
Pillow top mattresses also feature pocket springs, with a comfort layer - or 'pillow' - stitched onto the surface of the mattress. These have a luxurious, hotel-like quality.
For side sleepers, we recommend either a soft or medium mattress firmness. This is because although you need adequate support to keep your spine aligned, you need enough cushioning to the parts of your body that ‘sink in’ to the mattress.
You don’t want to place any undue pressure on your hips or shoulders, resulting in morning stiffness. A medium mattress is ideal, as it’ll keep your spine aligned while still cushioning your pressure points. A softer mattress will still keep your pressure points comforted, but you might find it doesn’t offer the support you need. Steer clear from firm mattresses, as they won’t give your pressure points (your hips and shoulders) the cushioning they need.
If you’re over 14 stone, most manufacturers recommend a medium mattress, as a soft mattress won’t give you as much support. You want your hips to be able to ‘dip’ into the mattress, but not ‘sink’ in. For more information on choosing the best mattress firmness, read our Mattress Firmness Guide.
You can always adjust the firmness of your mattress by investing in a mattress topper. Alternatively, our generous 100 Night Sleep Trials allow you to test out your new mattress, so you can try a medium firmness and if it’s not right for you, simply send it back and opt for a softer mattress instead! Head to our Sleep Trial page for more information.
Our product experts have pulled together their top five favourite mattresses that offer the best support and comfort for side sleepers.
This mattress uses Silentnight’s innovative Miracoil® system - a pocket spring system that ensures spinal alignment all night long. This support layer is topped with Eco Comfort fibres for not only enhanced comfort, but increased ventilation and breathability.
With a medium firmness, this mattress is ideal for side sleepers, minimising back pain and morning aches.
If you and your partner are both side-sleepers, the TEMPUR® ONE Soft Mattress is the best investment you could make for healthy sleep.
Using layers of incredible TEMPUR® Material, billions of ultra-sensitive open cells continuously adapt to changes in your pressure, movement and warmth throughout the night, providing award-winning support and unbeatable comfort.
A soft mattress, the Dormeo Octasmart Premium Deluxe uses Octasprings® - innovative memory foam springs that contour to your body, providing excellent pressure relief and support.
With a smart zoning serum of five different zones of firmness, this mattress ensures that sleeping on your side is supported and comforted.
Medium firmness, this hybrid mattress combines both the targeted support of pocket springs with the contouring comfort of memory foam.
For side sleepers, this means expert pressure relief as well as personalised cushioning to your heaviest pressure points as you relax into the mattress. You’ll stay supported and comfortable no matter how you turn throughout the night.
A budget friendly option, this innovative memory foam mattress is perfect for side sleepers, as it combines two different types of memory foam.
ProReact™ Support Foam encourages spinal alignment with orthopaedic support - ideal for back pain sufferers - while ProAdapt™ Memory Foam offers cloud-like comfort.
Still not found the answer to your question? Take a look at our FAQs. You might find what you're looking for in our other helpful guides, such as our Mattress Buying Guide: How to Choose a Mattress, or our Ultimate UK Bed & Mattress Guide.