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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers (Like Me)!

Finding the Best Mattress For Side Sleepers

Unlike many of the review sites out there, I sleep test every mattress that I review for about 2 weeks. This means that I can only get to 20-25 mattresses per year, so I am pretty selective about the ones that I choose to test. Everyone has different sleep preferences and there is no one solution for every sleeper. If you are a side, back or the rare stomach sleeper we have solutions for you.

We have compiled a list of the best mattresses for side sleepers that we have tested and separated them into different categories to help you choose.  The prices listed are before discounts on a queen size mattress.

How Common is Side Sleeping?

There are three main sleeping positions; side, back and stomach.  I wanted to know what percentage of our viewers were also side sleepers so I put together a survey.  Turns out over 46% of you are side sleepers, just like me.

Best Mattresses For Side Sleepers

Brand Type See Reviews Price Coupons
 Leesa Logo Foam Leesa Review $995 $130 Off
tomorrow sleep logo Foam Tomorrow Sleep Review $980 Nonbiased125 for $125 Off
Purple logo on white Foam & Polymer Purple Review $999 Free Pillow
Foam Layla Review $899 $100 Off & Free Pillow

What is the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers?

I’m a side sleeper, so this category is my specialty.  I try to avoid mattresses that are too squishy or too firm.  As a petite person I will end up with lower back pain, sometimes hip pain.  My go to type of mattress would be a medium-firm / medium-soft.  When sleeping you can almost always find me on my side.

Number 1: Leesa

The Leesa Mattress is one of the best mattresses you can buy.  You feel great sleeping on a mattress from a company that does so much to support the community.  Leesa donates one mattress and one pillow for every ten they sell.  This means that they have furnished over 23,000 mattresses to those in need.

Leesa has one of the best covers in the business, that coupled with the perfect hug that you get make it a great choice for side sleepers.

Best Mattress for Side Sleeping Leesa mattress

On my side with the leesa pillow and the leesa blanket

The Leesa mattress cover is one of the best in the industry.  Let me add this; if the Leesa cover wasn’t so great, would they have a Leesa Blanket, & Pillow made from the same material?

Number 2: Tomorrow Sleep Hybrid

What makes the Tomorrow Sleep Hybrid so special is that it is a hybrid mattress, yet you wouldn’t know it unless you are told that it is.  The people at Serta designed a mattress that is so supportive yet soft that you don’t notice the feel of the pocketed coils.  The sides of the bed are wrapped in foam, so you actually have to cut into the Tomorrow Sleep in order to see them.  Rather than voiding your warranty by cutting into it, why don’t you take my word for it.


the comforter sheets pillows and tomorrow sleep hybrid mattress

Tomorrow Sleep Mattress, comforter, plush pillow, and memory foam pillow.


Another great feature of the Tomorrow sleep is the feel of the cover.  This is one of those mattresses that begs you to not use a mattress protector, and not bother to use sheets.  There are times when I sleep directly on the mattress cover.  It has a nice combination of gel and memory foam so it is cool to the touch and extremely soft.  Of course, that would be risky and if you have little ones who manage to find a way to spill on every piece of furniture you have.

Here is the kicker on the Tomorrow Sleep Hybrid, with the code nonbiased125 you will save $125 off your order and you will be able to get a super high quality hybrid mattress for under $1,000.

Did I mention that they are a division of Serta Simmons Bedding?  Unlike a lot of the newer online direct to consumer mattresses, the Tomorrow Sleep warranty is a virtual lock.

At number 3: the Purple Mattress

I actually PAID for my Purple mattress (try to find another reviewer who can say that).  Do I go back to it between testing because I want to get my money’s worth out of it?  Or is it just that I happen to love it?  I view the Purple mattress as my reset button.  After a couple of weeks testing a new mattress, there is just something I love about spending a couple of nights on the Purple.  It is difficult to explain the feeling of the Purple mattress as it is a unique blend of foam and their Hyper-elastic polymer™ Smart-Comfort Grid.  When you buy a Purple Mattress it comes with one of the squishies below, it gives you an idea of what you are sleeping on, so that you don’t have to cut it open like I did.

 

Purple mattress layers

The top polymer layer will have a bit of powder in it when it ships.

I can give you an idea of what the polymer layer looks like, but to describe the feel is difficult.  As much as I’m sure the people at Purple hate the following; to me it feels kind of like sleeping on a waterbed.  If you tap your toe and shake the bed a bit you can feel the vibrations being carried through the mattress.  Now that sounds like a bad thing for light sleepers, but I assure you it isn’t.  What makes the Purple mattress really sing is that this vibration when coupled with an adjustable base’s massage feature (available in the Purple Powerbase) is to die for.  You get the entire body massage out of your adjustable bed when you use the Purple.

Honorable Mention: Layla Sleep

For a side sleeper I suggest the soft side of the Layla, what’s that?  If there is a soft side, there must be a firm side right?  Sorry, let me back up a bit.  One of the unique benefits of the Layla is that you can flip the mattress to either the firm side or the soft side.  This allows you to experience 2 levels of comfort and increases the longevity of the mattress, as long as you are willing to flip it every few months.  This feature makes it so easy to recommend as you get 2 chances to get your preferred level of firmness.  This also helps keep Layla’s return rate below that of their competition.

Here is a quick video on how you flip between the two firmness levels.

I LOVE the cover of the Layla mattress.  They were smart enough to use the same material when they introduced the Layla Pillow.  It is a nice combination of polyester and rayon.

What really helps this mattress is that both the firm side and the soft side are infused with copper.  If you don’t know all of the benefits of copper, it is time to study up.  Copper is antimicrobial, helps to regulate temperature and may have some health benefits.  The thing that I find the most fascinating about copper is that it has been used to fight off water fouling creatures for hundreds if not thousands of years.  Ship builders realized that adding copper to their hulls kept creatures from accumulating on their ships, this in turn led to ships that lasted longer and were faster.  Wouldn’t you like to sleep on a mattress that tells the bugs to stay away?

The Pricing Table below is as of 1/19/2018.

Company Twin Twin XL Full Queen King California King
Leesa $525 $695 $855 $995 $1,195 $1,195
Tomorrow Sleep $550 $600 $800 $990 $1,200 $1,250
Purple NA $699 $899 $999 $1,299 $1,299
Layla Sleep $499 $599 $799 $899 $999 $999

I have a relationship with Tomorrow Sleep, Leesa and Layla Sleep, and Purple which means I can pass along some great savings with the links below.  You can read more about my affiliate relationships on my disclosure page.

$125 off a Tomorrow Sleep Mattress (code nonbiased125)

$130 Off Leesa Mattress

$100 off a Layla Sleep Mattress

Free Pillow with Purple mattress purchase

Mattress Sizes

Size Dimensions Ideal For Pros Cons
Twin 38″W x 75″L Children, Single Adults (under 6 ft.) Leaves room for activities, used in most bunkbeds Children will outgrow them
Twin XL 38″W x 80″L Split Adjustable bed users, Single Adults (up to 6’4″) Used in Adjustable beds (buy 2) Likely won’t fit in bunk bed
Full (Double) 54″W x 75″L Children, Single Adults, Skinny Adult Couples Will make the room look large Too small for most adults
Queen 60″W x 80″L Single Adults, Couple (average size increased intimacy) Ideal size for normal sized couples Too small for tall and heavy people
King 76″W x 80″L Couples, Couples with Large Pets Ideal size for large couples Will take up large part of bedroom
California King 72″W x 84″L Couples, Single Adults (comfortably up to 6’8″) Ideal size for tall couples More difficult to find bedding & frames
Split King [1] [2]38″W x 80″L Adjustable Frame users (with different sleep preferences) You want firm, partner wants soft, go split king Creates a “no mans land”

Notes:

[1] Split Kings have what I call “no mans land”. There will be a dip between the mattress. This means that you and your partner can’t use the middle of the bed, which otherwise is a nice meeting area for couples.
[2] You need to purchase 2 Twin XL mattresses for a split king. This will allow you and your partner to have different angles on an adjustable bed. Also you can choose to get two different types of mattresses, as long as they are similar in thickness.

Our Rating Criteria

We use 10 categories to rate the mattresses we sleep test. Each category is scored 1-10. Unlike other reviewers we aren’t scared to give a mattress a low score if it is deserved. If I spend 2 weeks sleeping on a mattress that consistently gives me back pain, you will read about it on my review!

Packaging/Shipping:

First Impressions count right? Some of the mattresses come in boxes, and some come in over sized bags. I prefer boxes as they are much easier to move around. Some boxes have cute logos and some have really fun quotes, and yes I really made a video called box vs. box vs. box in a box. Try saying it fast three times in a row. Did you get tongue tied?

Smell

On the subject of first impressions, some of the mattresses will have a bit of an odor when they are unboxed. Most people use the term off-gassing to describe it. Some of the mattresses take a few days for the smell to go away and sometimes it is barely noticeable.

Comfort

When you lay on a mattress and it’s not comfortable that’s surely something that we should point out right? If I’m having trouble sleeping on a bed, I’ll tell you that. If I can’t sleep on a mattress I will scream to high heaven that you need to steer clear of a mattress if you have a similar sleep profile as I do (petite side sleeper). Remember, just because it doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you.

This is a key category to focus on when you are going through my various reviews. The more mattress that I sleep test the larger my comparison database gets. If you ask me about 2 mattresses that I have tested, I can instantly tell you which one was more comfortable to me.

Support

I have had a ton of mattresses which fail to give me the proper support. There is nothing worse than falling into a deep depression that you have to climb out of. Sometimes you can even get multiple sinking parts and huge mountains in between, clearly not ideal for restful sleep. I test for support with:

  • weights
  • sitting on the edges and corners
  • jumping/standing/walking on the mattress

If I fall all the way through the mattress to the ground, it won’t score very high. Conversely, if I hardly notice any sinking in the mattress it will get a high score.

Recently we added adjustable base tests to our review process. How do different mattresses stand up to the test?

Have you ever walked into a mattress retailer? Of course, you have! Did you notice that almost every mattress is now on an adjustable base? This is the wave of the future, I know that I will never sleep on a bed frame that isn’t adjustable. Sure, I’ll test different frames and foundations, but my go to sleep set will always be adjustable. It’s hard to explain, but once you try one you won’t go back. I even credit my adjustable frame with curing my husband’s snoring with just a click of the anti-snore button on my remote.

Company

With the hundreds of new brands that have popped up over the last few years it is difficult to sort through them. I’m putting in the leg work to figure out which companies are connected to each other. In doing so I can help determine the expected longevity of each of these mattress companies. If I don’t think a mattress company is going to make it in the long term, then I won’t expect their warranty to hold up. A company my promote a forever warranty, but if it closes down in six months you surely won’t be able to get your bed replaced.

  • I use Fakespot to see if companies are planting fake reviews. You will be amazed by some of the results some of these online retailers get on fakespot.
  • I research other review sites to see which ones are owned by mattress companies. For example; Sleepopolis, mattress clarity and slubersearch are all connected to Casper.
  • Community outreach by the company: I love companies that give back to their communities. If your company is holding an event for the community in the Phoenix area let me know and I’ll cover it.
  • Customer support: If a company has poor communication or support, you will read about it here or hear about it on my video reviews.
  • Warranty: the companies in our top categories all score highly in the warranty field. If we don’t think a company will be around to honor their warranty they won’t be included on our list.

Motion Transfer

When I’m standing on a bed and a wine glass doesn’t move when I walk near it, it will score high on this test. A high number is great for when you have a partner who is tossing and turning and not disturbing you. On our scale from 1-10, one is a waterbed, 10 is; wait what? There is someone in the same bed as me!

Sleep Quality

If I’m not able to sleep on a mattress, then it’s possible that you may have the same issues. This is really the most important category that a buyer should be focused on. It is nice when a bed is well constructed or made by a reputable company. However, if you can’t sleep on it, you are going to find yourself shopping for a new bed sooner than planned.

Stays Cool

I live in Scottsdale, Arizona and I’ll tell you a little secret about the weather here… It gets hot in the summer. Having a breathable mattress is a must here. There aren’t a ton of things worse than having extra heat rising up from your mattress making your back or side sweat. I’m a huge fan of talalay latex, gel infusions, and alternative construction (like Leesa’s Avena foam).

Materials/Durability

Surely what’s inside the mattress matters right? I also pay close attention to the covers. Size matters; the Casper Essential is 8.5″ while the DreamCloud is a full 15“. Almost double the thickness of the mattress, but is it double the price as well (no)?

Value

You really have to look at the prices of the mattress vs. the competition. Not just the direct to consumer, bed in a box model, but the in store values as well. The bed in a box model offers consumers huge cost savings vs. buying from the store. This is because the middle man is cut out and the companies don’t have to pay electricity and rent.

We give each category a score from 1-10 with 10 being the highest. I am using a 10 point must system. The mattress that preformed the best in a category gets a 10 and all other mattresses are judged against that standard.

Mattress Firmness Scale

We also assess the overall firmness of a mattress from 1-10 with 10 being almost rock hard firm. Since different people have different preferences on the firm level that works best for them, that number doesn’t go into the total ratings. Here is our Firmness scale as of 10/4/17

Mattress firmness scale 2018
Recently, we noticed that just about every mattress you see in the store is staged on an adjustable frame. These giant retailers must be on to something right? So, we decided that every mattress we test should also go through a few cycles of adjustments with our adjustable bed. Currently we are using a Rize Verge. We assume that other adjustable frames will have many of the same characteristics. What we have found is that some mattresses don’t fare well on an adjustable frame, while others take a step up to a new level.

If you haven’t been on an adjustable frame you are really missing out, so we feel that it is crucial to our review process to add this wrinkle. We understand that everyone doesn’t have an adjustable bed, but if you are considering one with your next mattress purchase we feel you should be prepared. If a mattress is too thick or sturdy, it likely won’t perform well on an adjustable base. If it has interlocked coils, forget about it.

Mattress Comparison Tool

Want to do your own comparison? Just drag and drop the mattresses you want to put side by side, from the table below:

PhotoCompanyMattressTypeFeaturesHeightSleep Test RatingQueen PriceCoupon CodeCurrent DiscountPurchase

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  • Leesa MattressLeesa Mattress
  • Nectar MattressNectar Mattress
  • Layla Sleep MattressLayla Sleep Mattress
  • Alexander Signature SeriesAlexander Signature Series
  • Alexander Signature HybridAlexander Signature Hybrid
  • Purple MattressPurple Mattress
  • Traditional CasperTraditional Casper
  • Tuft & NeedleTuft & Needle
  • Casper WaveCasper Wave
  • Casper EssentialCasper Essential
  • #Bestmattressever#Bestmattressever
  • Tomorrow Sleep HybridTomorrow Sleep Hybrid
  • Sapira by LeesaSapira by Leesa
  • Aurora HybridAurora Hybrid
  • TuloTulo
  • DreamCloudDreamCloud
Leesa MattressFoam100 Day Trial, Made in the USA, Removeable Cover104.7 Star Rating$995None Required$130Shop LeesaNectar MattressFoam365 Night Trial, Free shipping, Comes in a large bag114.6 Star Rating$795None Required$125 & 2 Free PillowsShop NectarLayla Sleep MattressFoam120 Night Trial, Copper Infused, Flippable10.54.6 Star Rating$899None Required$100 OffShop LaylaAlexander Signature SeriesFoamLifetime Comfort Guarantee, Made in the USA, Handles12.54.6 Star Rating$1,199nonbiased200$200 OffShop Nest Bedding Alexander Signature SeriesAlexander Signature HybridHybrid Foam & CoilsLifetime Comfort Guarantee, Made in the USA, Handles144.5 Star Rating$1,199nonbiased200$200 OffShop Nest Bedding Alexander Signature HybridPurple MattressFoam & Polymer Section for Egg Catching100 Day Trial, Made in the USA, Removeable Cover104.8 Star Rating$999None RequiredFree Seat CushionShop Purple MattressTraditional CasperFoam100 Night Trial, Free Shipping104.3 Star Rating$950None RequiredVariesShop CasperTuft & NeedleFoam100 Night Trial, Free Shipping104 Star Rating$575None RequiredBest PriceShop Tuft & NeedleCasper WaveFoam100 Night Trial, Removeable cover, Free Shipping11.53.3 Star Rating$1,850None RequiredBest PriceGet a CasperCasper EssentialFoam100 Night Trial, Removeable Cover, Free Shipping8.53.9 Star Rating$600None RequiredBest PriceGo to Casper#BestmattresseverFoam120 Night Trial, titanium gel, made in the USA104.6 Star Rating$750nonbiased1010% Off & Free Pillows and SheetsShop Brooklyn Bedding Best Mattress EverTomorrow Sleep HybridHybrid Foam & Coils100 Day Trial, Backed by Serta, add a sleeptracker104.7 Star Rating$990nonbiased125$125 OffShop Tomorrow SleepSapira by LeesaHybrid Foam & Coils100 Night Trial, Made in the USA, 1 in 10 Program114.7 Star Rating$1,495None Required$200 OffShop Sapira by LeesaAurora HybridHybrid Foam & Coils120 Night Trial, titanium gel, made in the USA13.54.5 Star Rating$1,699nonbiased1010% Off & Free Pillows and SheetsShop Brooklyn BeddingTuloFoamTry it at Mattress Firm, 120 night trial, free shipping, free returns104.4 Star Rating$650None Required20% OffShop TuloDreamCloudHybrid Foam & Coils365 Night Trial, free cleaning, everlong warranty,154.8 Star Rating$1,599None Required$200 OffShop DreamCloud

Why Buy a Mattress Online?

  • It will ship directly to you, most of the time for free
  • Do you really enjoy having a mattress salesman follow you around and check you out as you try out all of the mattresses? The answer is NO
  • Wouldn’t you rather take some time to test a mattress rather than just be lead around by the salesman to the highest commission bed he sells? Most online retailers offer a trial period of 100 days or more to test out your new mattress.
  • Same quality mattress for a fraction of the cost.
  • You have more time to comparison shop from your home.

Thinking about buying the items we have reviewed? Help Non-Biased Reviews out if you do. Just click on any of the seller links above and the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won’t cost you anything extra and is a simple way to help us fund more items to review. Thank You

Summary
Article Name
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers, Like Me!
Description
I have narrowed my list of best mattresses for side sleepers to just four mattresses. The top four, in no particular order are: Tomorrow Sleep Purple Leesa Layla
Author
Publisher Name
Non Biased Inc.
Publisher Logo
11 Comments
  1. Reply
    Nathan June 20, 2018 at 4:47 am

    For Tomorrow Sleep – did you test Medium Firm or Medium Soft? Would you recommend both as good for side sleepers?

    • Reply
      Non-Biased June 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      The soft version was great for my size/shape. I didn’t test the medium firm version.

  2. Reply
    Korina June 12, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Thanks so much for all these reviews and charts they are amazing! I was in an accident 4 yrs ago and have an incomplete spinal cord injury now so I sleep on the recliner 99% of the time. We are now on the lookout for a new mattress and adjustable frame and trying to research for a mattress that can support my spine while I am sleeping on my side or my back in the zero gravity position has been a nightmare lol. I also have no control over my temperature regulation so I can’t have anything that overheats me since I’m not able to sweat. I think I’m going to try and find if there is anywhere we can find the Leesa mattress to try out as I am 5’8 and my husband is 6’2.

  3. Reply
    Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 May 16, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    We purchased a king-sized Nest Signature Hybrid after reading reviews that some felt the Leesa was too firm for small people/side sleepers (I’m both). We used to sleep in a Stearns and Foster memory-foam topped spring bed and figured the hybrid with a topper would be most similar (we loved our S&F, but got an _amazing_ deal on it thanks to the old Famous-Barr warehouse sales and didn’t want to commit to $2K plus for a mattress); we also can’t get a king mattress up to our second floor unless it can roll.

    I am just meh about the NSH bed. I want to love it. I like so much what the company stands for, and I can tell it’s a quality mattress. But I don’t sink in like I did with the memory topper (though it _does_ sleep cooler) and I have terrible pressure points in my hips and shoulders.

    I noticed you rated the NSH very high in your review, but it didn’t make your top list of side-sleeper beds and wondered your thoughts on that vs. Leesa, etc. Your comment above nails it – it’s so hard to try what’s out there and you really don’t know what you’re getting into until you’ve slept on the thing a while.

    I’m also mindful of the amazing amount of waste and space a junked mattress takes up, so I want to be very mindful of consumption…

    • Reply
      Non-Biased May 16, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Hi Rebecca,
      The NSH is highly rated due to all its fine qualities including high quality materials inside out, the fact that it’s made in the USA, the Company and itself, their customer support and background, their quick response and fast shipping. And it is pretty good mattress if you are a BACK SLEEPER or stomach or both.
      I couldn’t let myself put it where it didn’t belong (side sleeper beds). It’s too firm and thick to be on that list.
      When it comes to firmness, comparing it to the Leesa I personally think Nest is firmer. Leesa has the ability to let you have your shoulders and hips sink in a little more than Nest. I am talking about the Foam Leesa mattress, not Sapira (their Hybrid).
      I am a firm believer that it absolutely takes a while , at least a month , to get out of our old mattress and get used to a whole new one. It’s like when your feet got perfectly used to your comfy shoes you slip or slide your feet in without any effort but once you switch to new shoes you go through that process all over again where you have to hold onto something to put your shoes on trying to support yourself, trying to wear them using a shoe horn. Until your feet get used to them.
      NBH may be the one for you so take advantage of their free in home trial, if you don’t like it, setting up a pickup is super easy their mattresses will be donated to a local shelter. You’re probably thinking it’s too much, but you’d rather find the right one then get stuck with something you don’t like. If you have a West Elm in your area see if they have the Leesa on display and try it. Or switch to something softer with Nest Bedding. Let me know if you have any other questions. I am always here

      • Reply
        Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 May 21, 2018 at 3:29 pm

        Thank you so much! It actually helps to have someone confirm what I suspected. We’ve had the mattress about 15 months, so we’ve given it a pretty fab trial (we bought it when I was about 5 months pregnant, and I’m still nursing, so I am also nervous that pregnancy and postpartum aches and pains are contributing to my dissatisfaction, but if a bed doesn’t improve and may exacerbate those, then that’s also an issue…)

        Last I was in a West Elm, they had a sample Casper, which was not my favorite feel. I know the Leesa is SO consistently highly rated, so I’ll grab my hubby and we’ll head to the mall to try it. I’m also reading rave reviews about DreamCloud by Nectar and think you have a review about that (but also don’t see it on this list) and am curious about Purple.

        • Non-Biased May 21, 2018 at 3:42 pm

          I’m sorry you don’t like your current mattress, and I hope I can help you find one that works for you. West Elm switched their aliance from Casper to Leesa about a year ago, so if you have a West elm near you they should have a leesa.
          As much as I love the DreamCloud and the Nectar(especially their prices), they are both a bit more firm that I like when I’m sleeping on my side. The Purple does really well if you are on the lighter side, BUT you need to be aware that it is unlike anything else you have ever slept on. That means that some people will find it too strange. Mattress firm has been rolling some of the original purples into their show rooms. So if you want to try one in store they may have it.

  4. Reply
    Rachel Beltz April 24, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    I am a back and side sleeper so this is super handy information! I tend to get hip pain and back pain similar to yours with my current bed!
    I love all of the comparison charts- thank you for including what comes with it and the coupons! Those really do matter when you are on a stretch for money!

  5. Reply
    jjpdream April 20, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Love your reviews, since these beds all come to your door, the chance that it isn’t a good fit goes way up, but with your reviews this takes that chance way down. I am a side and back sleeper, I flip and flop due to problems I have after breaking my neck and crunching my lower back years ago- long story. But for someone that really has to, and still is, saving to get a new bed, these reviews are so valuable. I thought the Casper Wave sounded great until I read your review, and if you had back issues I think it would kill me and I appreciate that you let everyone know about that. The side sleeper review here is also very good and in depth and I just wanted to thank you for all of your reviews.

    • Reply
      Non-Biased April 20, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks JJ. Sometimes mattresses just don’t work for me, and the only way to figure that out is to actually sleep on them. The real problem is that there are just too many options out there so it is impossible to try them all.

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