Best Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers: 2021 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
As a side sleeper, you should look for specific features in a mattress. Sleeping on the side can cause pressure points to build up, specifically in the hip and shoulder area. A memory foam mattress can help solve this problem easily.
Memory foam cradles the body, reducing pressure points while providing great support and spinal alignment. For a better night’s sleep, take a look at our best memory foam mattresses for side sleepers guide.
30 Second Summary: Best Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Amerisleep AS4 — Amerisleep nails it when it comes to providing excellent support and comfort for side sleepers. Each layer of memory foam provides excellent pressure-relieving comfort, while remaining responsive to prevent you from feeling “stuck.” Plus, with the breathability of Amerisleep’s exclusive foam, the AS4 should ensure a cool sleep without the risk of overheating.
- Zoma Mattress – We like the Zoma Sports Mattress because it has pressure-relieving gel memory foam and Triangulex™ technology to healthily support side sleeping. The Zoma can help anybody wake up feeling better and more refreshed. If you suffer from aches and pains, this bed is great for you, too.
Best Memory Foam Mattresses for Side Sleepers
|Amerisleep AS4||Features pressure-relieving, plant-based Bio-Pur® for the best night's sleep.||
|Zoma Mattress||Reactiv™ foam has responsive contouring for minimized motion transfer and continual undisturbed rest.||
|Original Purple®||Includes Purple's® innovative Smart Comfort Grid™ to alleviate pressure points.||
|Bear||Contains graphite-infused memory foam to regulate your temperature.||
|Novosbed||Ultra-dense memory foam helps align the spine.||
|Muse||Responsive memory foam and phase change material combine for a great sleep experience.||
|Zinus Green Tea||Green tea-infused memory foam offers a plush sleep surface while neutralizing odor.||
The Amerisleep AS4 is our recommended memory foam bed for side sleepers because it contains a thick, pressure-relieving comfort layer to cushion the shoulders and hips. It stands at 12 inches tall with three layers—4 inches of Bio-Pur®, 1 inch of Affinity with HIVE® technology, and 7 inches of Bio-Core®. It comes encased in a removable, machine-washable cover.
When you lay down on the AS4, you’re met with cushioning Bio-Pur® to cradle the shoulders and hips and eliminate any pain. Bio-Pur® is a plant-based memory foam, so unlike traditional memory foam, it’s more responsive and breathable. Despite this layer’s thickness, it’s still supportive enough to keep you in a comfortable, neutral sleeping position.
Below Bio-Pur® is a thin transition layer of Affinity with HIVE®. HIVE® is fashioned to offer dynamic support—its softer under the shoulders and hips to provide better pressure relief and firmer under the head, torso, and feet to prevent uncomfortable sinkage. Last up is the sturdy Bio-Core® foundation, designed to maintain an even sleeping surface and extend the life of the softer layers above it.
In addition to the pressure-relieving, responsive memory foam, the Amerisleep AS4 includes a soft, breathable cover that will keep you cool and sleeping soundly throughout the night. The AS4 comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
Amerisleep AS4 Highlights
- Open-cell and plant-based memory foam
- HIVE® 5-zone support layer
- 20-year warranty
Next on our list is the Zoma Mattress, a memory foam mattress built to help athletes sleep deeper, recover faster, and wake up feeling more rejuvenated.
Zoma has three layers and stands 11 inches tall. Many reviews of the mattress mention it feeling medium to medium-soft, so it’s best suited for those seeking a plusher mattress. The cover of the Zoma Mattress is stretchy and breathable to promote airflow through the bed.
The first layer of the Zoma is 2 inches of gel memory foam with Triangulex™ technology. When you lay on this bed, the memory foam molds to your body to relieve pressure points while the gel within combats body heat. The Triangulex™ technology incorporated into this layer promotes healthy sleeping positions and is especially beneficial to side sleepers.
Triangulex™ technology feels firmer under your midsection to promote neutral spinal alignment but is softer under your shoulders and hips to allow for deeper compression and pressure relief; this is exactly the kind of support side sleepers need.
Below the layer of gel memory foam is a 2-inch layer of Reactiv™, a latex-like poly-foam. Reactiv™ is bouncier than traditional memory foam, so it keeps you lifted in the mattress and prevents uncomfortable sinkage. This layer also functions as a nice transition between the soft memory foam above and the sturdy core foam below.
The third and final layer of Zoma is 7 inches of Support+, a durable poly-foam in place to reinforce the layers and sleeper above. Support+ prevents premature wear and tear, so your bed should be long-lasting. Plus, Zoma backs each of their beds with a 10-year warranty, should it develop any sags or indentations.
The Zoma Mattress is sold online-only and comes with a 100-night sleep trial.
Zoma Mattress Highlights
- Triangulex™ technology offers healthy support to side sleepers
- Gel memory foam regulates your temperature and prevents night sweats
- Backed by a 10-year warranty
3. Original Purple®
The Original Purple® mattress is 9.5 inches tall with 2 inches of Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ foam (also known as the Smart Comfort Grid™), 3.5 inches high-density poly-foam, and a 4-inch thick poly-foam foundation layer. It comes encased in a non-removable viscose, polyester, and Lycra blend cover.
In 1996, Purple’s® unique Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ was born, but the Purple® mattress was created 10 years later, using this unique material as their Smart Comfort Grid™ layer. This layer conforms around your weight and shape without sacrificing support. This grid-like layer feels different than traditional memory foam, but it provides excellent pressure relief with good airflow.
Each foam layer of the Original Purple® mattress is built to isolate motion and provide support to more sensitive sections of the body, especially the hips and shoulders. The medium-firm mattress sleeps cool and comfortable. It comes with a 100-night sleep trial and includes a 10-year warranty.
Original Purple® Highlights
- Smart Comfort Grid™
- Supports the hips and shoulders
- 10-year warranty
4. Bear Mattress
The Bear Mattress contains 10 inches of foam for a medium-firm feel. It includes 1 inch of gel and graphite-infused foam, 2 inches of transitional foam, 5 inches of high-density support foam, and a 2-inch adaptive poly-foam base. The non-removable cover contains FDA-determined Celliant®.
Each layer of the Bear Mattress is designed to prevent overheating while providing a comfortable feel. Memory foam is infused with gel and graphite to absorb and pull heat away from the body. The Celliant® cover transforms your body heat into infrared energy. The results are a cooler sleep followed by a rejuvenating morning.
The Bear Mattress is CertiPUR-US® certified and made in the USA. The responsive foam creates a “hug” sensation without leaving you feeling stuck. The mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty.
Bear Mattress Highlights
- Provides pressure relief without overheating
- FDA-determined Celliant® technology
- 10-year warranty
The Novosbed mattress contains 11 inches of foam— 2 inches of gel memory foam, 3 inches of memory foam, and 6 inches of high-density support foam. It comes encased in a removable, machine-washable Tencel® cover.
Pressure-relieving memory foam combines with ultra-dense memory foam to better align the spine and give side sleepers support. The durable support foam evenly distributes body weight and isolates motion. Further comfort comes from the stretch-knit cover, wicking away moisture and circulating air through the mattress.
The Novosbed is available in three firmness options— soft, medium, and firm. For side sleepers, we recommend medium to firm, depending on your body weight. The mattress comes with s a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
- Excellent body contouring
- Tencel® cover
- 15-year warranty
The Muse mattress is 12 inches thick with 2 inches of gel-infused memory foam, 2 inches of responsive foam, and an 8-inch thick, dense foam core. It comes encased in a special temperature-regulating, machine-washable cover.
This mattress aims at providing a better night’s sleep with its excellent cooling properties. Gel-infused memory foam absorbs body heat, while the exclusive Diamond Breeze cover transforms heat into energy for a rejuvenating rest. It has great edge support and motion isolation— no more sleep disruptions from a restless sleep partner or worries of slipping off the mattress.
The Muse mattress is available in three firmness options— soft, medium, and firm. We recommend the soft or medium option for side sleepers since the slight give will cradle the body and prevent pressure points from forming in the shoulders and hips. It comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
- Cool, responsive foam
- Phase change fabric cover
- 10-year warranty
7. Zinus Green Tea
The Zinus Green Tea Mattress is available in 6, 8, 10, and 12-inch heights— we recommend the 8-inch for side-sleepers. It includes 2 inches of green tea-infused memory foam, 2 inches of Zinus’ Comfort Foam™, and 4 inches of high-density base foam. It comes encased in a non-removable jacquard knit cover.
The green tea infusion helps neutralize odors and keeps the mattress smelling fresh. At the same time, the contouring memory foam supports and relieves pressure on the body. The Comfort Foam™ has extra cushion and zone ventilation for better airflow.
The Zinus Green Tea Mattress is a great option for those on a tight budget. Memory foam is CertiPUR-US® certified. It includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Zinus Green Tea Highlights
- Budget-friendly option
- Green tea-infused memory foam
- 10-year warranty
What is a Memory Foam Mattress?
A memory foam mattress is made from a material called viscoelastic poly-foam. It softens against body heat and retains its shape when cool. A typical memory foam mattress will have at least one top layer of lower-density memory foam and a high-density poly-foam base layer.
Memory foam conforms more closely to the body’s natural curves than other mattress types, like innerspring or hybrids, providing better spinal alignment and pressure relief. Furthermore, memory foam isolates motion and creates little to no noise when compressed.
Benefits of a Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers
Memory foam is the best option for side sleepers because it provides a plush surface, perfect for contouring and relieving pressure. Side sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress, like one that is too firm, can result in lower back pain, neck pain, and hip pain. Avoid this by switching to a memory foam mattress.
The cushioning support and close-conforming properties of memory foam relieve pressure points in the body. Pressure points often accumulate in the shoulder and hip area when sleeping on the side. A mattress that offers pressure relief can eliminate or lessen pain and result in a night of more restful sleep.
Compared to Innerspring Mattresses
An innerspring mattress is made using coils in the base and a thin comfort layer on top. Innerspring mattresses may have been the traditional bed you grew up sleeping on. They offer strong edge support and excellent cooling. However, innerspring beds may increase pressure points due to the steel coils and typically have a shorter lifespan than other mattress types.
Compared to Hybrid Mattresses
A hybrid mattress combines both the coiled support of an innerspring and the conforming pressure relief of memory foam. While it does offer better pressure relief than innersprings and sleeps cool, it comes at a high cost due to the number of materials.
Compared to Latex Mattresses
A latex mattress is made using the sap extracted from rubber trees, which forms a bouncy, plush surface. Latex is similar to memory foam— it conforms to the body, has little motion transfer, and makes very little noise. Some side sleepers may find latex to be too firm for their tastes. It’s also more expensive because of the manufacturing process, but latex is incredibly durable, and so the extra cost is worth it for some.
What to Look for in a Memory Foam Mattress
Before shopping, it’s important that you consider a few factors first. Knowing the density, firmness, type, price, and whether a mattress includes a sleep trial and warranty will help side sleepers score the best memory foam mattress.
Density is measured in pounds per cubic square feet (PCF)— this measurement tells us how well the memory foam will support the body. To calculate, take the total weight of an object then divide it by the total volume. For example, a layer of memory foam that weighs 50 pounds and measures 10 cubic square feet has a density of 5 PCF. Memory foam ranges between 2.5 and 7 PCF.
- Low-density – between 2.5 PCF to 3.9 PCF
- Medium-density – between 4 PCF to 5.9 PCF
- High-density – 5.5 PCF or higher
Firmness is measured using ILD, or indentation load-deflection. ILD determines how much pressure is required to make a 4 inch indentation on the surface of a mattress— the higher the ILD, the firmer the bed. Most memory foam mattresses are usually between 8 ILD and 20 ILD, though customers should look for one with an ILD of at least 10.
A medium-soft to medium-firm memory foam mattress is probably the best mattress for side sleepers. It will offer even support, conform to the body in reducing pressure points and pain, and keep the spine in neutral alignment.
When memory foam was first used in mattresses, it had one main drawback— overheating. Since then, manufacturers have since begun to create their memory foam with cooling features. Open-cell foam and gel infusions can help keep sleepers cool at night.
Open-cell foam is similar in look and feel of traditional memory foam. While traditional memory foam is denser, open-cell memory foam contains small air pockets to provide better airflow and lighter weight.
Gel and Other Cooling Materials
Gel is infused into the memory foam or added in the form of tiny beads or liquid. Gel evenly disperses heat instead of trapping it. Other cooling materials found in memory foam layers include copper, graphite, and charcoal.
Botanical ingredients, like castor oil and petroleum, are combined during the manufacturing process to produce an eco-friendly, open-cell memory foam for better breathability.
The cost of a memory foam mattress varies. It can depend on the type of memory foam a mattress contains and the density level. Plant-based, gel, and open-cell memory foam will come at a higher price point, due to the manufacturing process and the addition of other materials. The higher the density, the higher the cost. Here’s what you can expect to pay for a queen-size memory foam mattress:
- Low-range: $300-$400
- Average range: $1044
- High-range: $3000 and higher
Sleep Trial & Warranty
If you’re ever unsure about a memory foam mattress, look to see if the company offers a sleep trial and the type of warranty included. Both are a great way of protecting your investment and stand as further reassurance of a quality purchase.
A sleep trial allows customers to try out a mattress within the comfort of their own home. Most memory foam mattresses should include some type of trial period of at least 30 days. If, for any reason, you’re unsatisfied with the bed, you can return it in that time for a full refund.
A memory foam mattress should come with a standard, 10-year warranty. If a memory foam bed doesn’t come with a warranty, it might be a good idea to steer clear from it. Always read the fine print of any warranty and know what it covers, particularly how claims, turnaround time, shipping costs, and mattress replacements are handled.
White Glove Delivery
White glove delivery is not typically offered with the purchase of a mattress, but some companies allow you to add it with an additional charge. If you live on your own or need help lifting heavy objects, this service could be well worth the money.
White Glove Delivery usually entails the company unpacking and setting up your new mattress as well as removing your old one.
Side sleepers need a mattress to provide support and contouring for spine alignment. This is exactly what memory foam does and why it’s such a great choice for those who sleep on their side. A medium-soft to medium-firm mattress would be the best option, but the best firmness largely depends on the sleeper’s body weight.
- 130 pounds or less: medium-soft
- Between 130 pounds and 230 pounds: medium
- 230 pounds or more: medium-firm
Those who weigh 130 pounds or less would benefit from a medium-soft mattress because they won’t sink as much. Individuals who weigh between 130 pounds and 230 pounds may feel most comfortable on a medium. Those who weigh more than 230 pounds need a medium-firm or firm mattress so they won’t sink as deeply, but still receive excellent support for their weight.
Side sleeping has a few different variations, just like stomach and back sleeping.
This is the most common side sleeping position. In it, the legs are curled inward with the back hunched slightly.
In this position, the back is straight and the arms and legs are extended down.
The back and legs are straight with the arms extended outward.
Sprinters sleep with one leg curled inward with the other leg fully extended. The arms and back are straight.
As one of the healthiest and most popular sleep positions, side sleeping comes with several benefits, including improved breathing, better heart health, and neutral spine alignment.
Side sleeping aligns the shoulders, spine, and pelvis and reduces pressure build-up at sensitive pressure points in the body.
Side sleeping allows for better oxygen intake. It can alleviate snoring, sleep apnea symptoms, and acid reflux.
If you sleep on your right side, you can reduce pressure placed on the heart, alleviating heartburn and improving blood circulation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a firm mattress bad for side sleepers?
As a side sleeper, if your mattress is not soft enough to cushion the shoulders and hips, it can cause pressure points and pain. Most often, side sleepers prefer medium and soft mattresses; however, side sleepers above 230 pounds may need a firmer mattress for adequate support. Just ensure your mattress has enough give to allow the shoulders and hips to compress.
How many inches should my memory foam mattress be?
The best memory foam mattresses are usually 10+ inches thick. Some thinner mattresses (6 to 8 inches thick) are suitable if you’re buying a mattress for an RV or child, but adults are going to want the mattress they use on a nightly basis to be at least 10 inches thick. Most high-quality foam beds are 12 inches thick.
What is the best mattress for a side sleeper with hip pain?
Side sleepers avoiding hip and shoulder pains will love memory foam mattresses for their pressure-relieving abilities. Memory foam contours to the body to distribute weight and eliminate pressure, which is perfect for those with aches and pains. Plus, memory foam mattresses with zoned support technologies can promote healthier sleeping positions, and as a result, prevent future pains from forming.
What is the best type of mattress for side sleepers?
Memory foam and hybrid mattresses are some of the best for side sleepers because they contain cushioning comfort layers to relieve pressure under the shoulders and hips. When searching for a memory foam mattress for side sleepers, check the thickness of the comfort layer. Side sleepers will want a mattress with a comfort layer at least 3 inches thick since thinner comfort layers don’t allow the shoulders and hips to completely compress into the bed.
Why does my mattress make my hips hurt?
If your mattress causes aches and pains in your hips, chances are, it’s too firm. When you wake up feeling sore and stiff, it’s a sign that your mattress isn’t providing the right amount of cushion. Adding a thick, soft mattress topper may be all you need to get better sleep.
Have You Found Your Memory Foam Mattress?
Now that you know the benefits of memory foam mattresses and why they’re ideal for side sleepers, it’s time to go out there and buy one! There are a variety of different mattress brands to choose from— pay attention to the firmness levels of each potential option for optimal comfort and support.