9 of the best mattresses for side sleepers

Choose the right mattress to cater for this popular sleeping position, from memory foam to hybrid options

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Choosing the best mattress doesn't only come down to material type and price point, but perhaps more importantly, how you sleep. Side sleepers are one of the most common types of sleeper, but not all mattresses cater to this position, and this can result in an uncomfortable night’s sleep. There are certain pressure points that need to be supported, and then there’s also the consideration of personal preference – whether you like to sink into a soft mattress, or feel super-supported with a firm one. However, medium-soft is the recommended comfort grade for side sleepers. 

A good memory foam mattress is a very popular choice for side sleepers due to its ability to relieve pressure on the joints. We have found the Tempur Sensation Elite mattress to be one of the best mattresses for side sleepers, but if you tend to get hot in the night or like a little more bounce, you may prefer to opt for a hybrid mattress such as the Dormeo Octaspring Hybrid Mattress. The mixture of pocket springs and memory foam allows for better airflow which will keep you cool all year round.  

And, if you are looking to really maximise your chances of a blissful sleep, why not have a look at our pick of the best mattress toppers for side sleepers when you are done?

 Tempur Sensation Elite 25 Foam Mattress

(Image: © Tempur)

1. Tempur Sensation Elite 25 Foam Mattress

Sink into this comfy mattress and take the weight off your shoulders and hips

Specifications
Best for: Support
Size: small single-super king
Depth: 25cm
Type: Visco-elastic foam
Comfort grade: medium
Reasons to buy
+ No need to turn + Soft yet supportive 
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Who will the Sensation Elite suit?

Any side-sleeper, especially those suffering from backache or muscle pain

What is the Sensation Elite like to sleep on?

It hugs the body, sinking you deeper into the mattress once you’ve found your perfect position. Fret not, you won’t feel beached, nor will you require a winch to move again but the hugging support does help you sleep soundly. You may well wake in the same position that you went to sleep in, which is good news for a restful night. This mattress is pretty solid with not a lot of bounce, but that’s great for motion transfer – ie, you won’t be lampooned out of bed when your partner jumps in. It’s neither too hard, nor too soft but, as with all mattresses, the heavier you are, the softer you are likely to find it. 

Special features?

Tempur’s foam was developed by NASA in the 1970s, and is designed to distribute weight and pressure evenly, so you feel weightless while you sleep – which is why we rate it best for side-sleepers. If this particular version of the Tempur mattress doesn’t float your boat, there are three other comfort types available, each in three depths (and price tags). The cover is easy to remove for washing at a dirt-busting 60°C, and it is quick drying. 

Fillings?

The aforementioned foam, known as TEMPUR Material (with big shouty letters), is an open-cell visco-elastic material designed to be cooling and responsive. The Sensation Elite mattress is compiled (from top to bottom) of 3cm of TEMPUR Comfort material, 4cm of TEMPUR Support material, 4cm of Dynamic Support Technology, and 14cm of DuraBase material. These are essentially all foam layers of varying resistance, no springs, but the Sensation Elite is designed to be bouncier than Tempur’s other mattresses.

What do you get for your money?

A 100-night sleep trial, 10-year warranty, free delivery and free returns. If you buy direct from Tempur’s online shop, you also get a free ‘Tempur Sleep System’ consisting of two Comfort Pillows, one Classic Quilt and one mattress protector (but the overall price is higher than buying a lone Tempur mattress elsewhere so it’s not entirely free).

Read our full tried and tested review of the Tempur Sensation Elite mattress

Sealy Pocket Prestige 2800 Mattress

2. Sealy Pocket Prestige 2800 Mattress

A supportive and quiet pocket-sprung mattress for those who want extra support

Specifications
Best for: Uninterrupted sleep
Size: Single-super king
Depth: 38cm
Type: Spring
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+ Hypoallergenic + Features layer of latex 
Reasons to avoid
-Deep (physically, not mentally!)

Who will the Pocket Prestige mattress suit?

Traditional pocket spring fans, especially those with allergies (or a secret fear of dust mites).

What is the Pocket Prestige like to sleep on?

This medium mattress is designed to relieve pressure on the joints and boasts a layer of latex in the middle that will help keep you cool throughout the night. The 2,800 tiny pocket springs are nested well within the mattress to keep it super-quiet for no disturbances during the night – perfect if you tend to toss and turn in your sleep. It is exclusive to Dreams, and the company’s customers have rated it 4/5 overall. The general consensus is that this mattress is super-comfy and particularly supportive. The only complaints are focused on the mattress’ depth, which makes it difficult to source fitted sheets that don’t ping off.

Special features?

It only needs to be rotated, not flipped, which is helpful since this is a heavy beast. A clever internal shield keeps the pocket springs under control and provides support right to the edge of the mattress – so it’s as comfy in the middle (when your partner is away) as it is perched on the edge (when he/she returns).  

Fillings?

The core of this mattress is all about the springs, 2,800 of them in a king size, which are crammed into individual pockets that stop them from intertwining and provides zoned support. This is particularly relevant for side sleepers as the weight of your hips and shoulders will be equally supported to achieve a horizontal spine. The top layer is latex, which moulds to your body without stopping you from squirrelling around. The cover includes Sealy Smart Fibres, which are endorsed by Allergy UK. The ‘smart’ element refers to its cooling powers, which help keep allergens at bay.

What do you get for your money?

Free delivery to a room of your choice (there’s a fee for Saturday deliveries), 40-night comfort exchange guarantee, price promise (you’ll get the difference + £10 if you find it cheaper elsewhere) and 12 months’ guarantee, plus the option to buy an extra warranty of up to eight years. 

Flaxby Natures Finest 4500 Mattress

3. Flaxby Nature's Finest 4500 Mattress

A comfy pillow top mattress for a luxurious night’s sleep

Specifications
Best for: Luxury comfort
Size: Single-Super king
Depth: 32cm
Type: Spring
Comfort grade: Soft or medium
Reasons to buy
+ 100 per cent pure cotton + Rotate monthly - no need to flip 
Reasons to avoid
-Large for turning

Who will Nature's Finest suit?

Anyone who needs a little extra cushioning – great for old or achy joints

What is the Nature's Finest like to sleep on?

Sometimes side sleepers find they feel every slight movement during their sleep, and it can be particularly painful for those with older or painful/damaged joints. This mattress has a thick pillow top that keeps everything soft, while pocket springs in the base provide support. Exclusive to Dreams, owners of this mattress have mainly rated it well on the company's website. The general consensus is that, while it’s not cheap (£899 to £1,399), you definitely get what you pay for. There are some comments about it being firmer than the same models tried ‘in-store’ but Dreams’ experts have explained that showroom mattresses get tested by hundreds of people, in all shapes and sizes, every day. We imagine a fair amount of bouncing on the beds goes on, too. This is why it’s so important to sleep on a mattress for at least 40 nights to give it chance to loosen up a bit (and testing in-store can actually yield false promises). 

Special features?

One of the handiest features is the ability to zip two mattresses together to create individual support. Available on the king and super-king versions, choose soft on one side and medium on the other – potentially relationship-saving stuff. Four brass vents in the mattress’ sides suck the air through the inner mattress when you move. 

Fillings?

Purists, and allergy sufferers, will love the fact that this mattress uses 100 per cent pure natural cotton. The spongy pillow top includes Dreams’ DNAir springs, which stop the surface from sagging and aerate this layer to prevent sweaty sleeping, while the base has bigger pocket springs for zoned support purposes. There are 4,500 springs in total (king size). We love that this mattress includes wool sourced from farms in and around Yorkshire. Supporting British farming while enjoying wool’s natural anti-bacterial properties = win, win.  

What do you get for your money?

Hand-stitching and hand-tufted construction. Free delivery to a room of your choice (there’s a fee for Saturday deliveries), 40-night comfort exchange guarantee, price promise (you’ll get the difference + £10 if you find it cheaper elsewhere) and 12 months’ guarantee, plus the option to buy an extra warranty of up to eight years. 

Casper Memory Foam Rolled Mattress

4. Casper Memory Foam Rolled Mattress

Relieve pressure with this high-density memory foam mattress

Specifications
Best for: Zoned support
Size: Single-super king
Depth: 24cm
Type: Comfort foam / memory foam
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+Cool, comfy foam+Brilliant customer service
Reasons to avoid
-Usual chemical smell, but it will fade

Who will the Casper suit?

Everyone but side-sleepers will appreciate the targeted support on hips and shoulders. 

What is the Casper like to sleep on?

It’s softer than the other bed-in-a-box memory foams we’ve tried (excluding the hybrid versions with springs that is). This extra ‘give’ is perfect for side sleepers as your hips and shoulders will sink lower than the rest of your torso, providing an ergonomically aligned spine. There’s precious little motion transfer so you won’t notice your partner thrashing about in the small hours. The cooling layers also make it breathable, which again aids undisturbed sleep. Which? has given it five stars for comfort and support, while the majority of Amazon’s reviewers are thrilled with their Casper, revealing that they awake feeling fresh and revived.  

Special features?

The top cover zips off for easy cleaning (at 40 degrees in your washing machine, thankfully) and there are handles for easy manoeuvrability – you’ll be amazed how many mattresses don’t have this simple but extremely useful feature. It comes in eight sizes, including EU (which are a tad longer than UK), so you’re bound to find one to suit. There’s even a Casper bed for your dog!

Fillings?

This is a four-layer mattress that is all tucked neatly within a soft cover. The top layer is an open-cell foam that provides immediate bounce and has cooling properties. Next is a high-density memory foam layer, which supports your pressure points. The Transition Layer deals with even weight distribution, and the final layer acts as a supportive base that helps keep everything stable. 

What do you get for your money?

A 10-year warranty, free delivery and returns, plus very good customer service, according to the reviews. Look out for discount codes on the Casper website and social media – typically around 15 per cent.

Read our full tried and tested review of the Casper mattress

Dormeo Octaspring Hybrid Mattress

5. Dormeo Octaspring Hybrid Mattress

The comfort of memory foam with the support of pocket springs

Specifications
Best for: Support and breathability
Size: Single-super king
Depth: 27cm
Type: Hybrid
Comfort grade: Medium/firm
Reasons to buy
+Eight times more breathable than lone memory foam +20-year guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Black base cover shows through white sheets

Who will the Octaspring suit?

Sweaty-Bettys seeking memory foam without the heat.

What is the Octaspring like to sleep on?

Hybrids promise the muscle-relieving weightlessness of memory foam, with the bounce of springs, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with this mattress, which is now one of Dormeo’s top 10 best sellers. We’ve rated this our fave option for side-sleepers looking for a hybrid solution because it really is a dream combination of comfort and support. Although it’s rated medium-firm, most of the reviews we’ve read have found it closer to firm than medium, but frequently adding that the firmness actually suits them really well, after an initial adjustment period. Again, 'have patience' is the take-home message here. 

Special features?

The stretchy cover is super-easy to whip off for washing. The cover also features Ecofresh protection, made from probiotic ingredients that naturally protect the mattress from allergens, dust mites and bacteria. Hidden handles pull out to help when rotating. Every aspect of this mattress has an element of air-flow/temperature regulation going on, so if you are feeling hot overnight, it won’t be the mattress that’s to blame. 

Fillings?

From the top: a layer of memory foam offers initial softness, next a layer of mini spring-shaped memory foam provides breathable bounce. These bad boys come in three densities to provide zoned support to your head and shoulders, torso and legs. The base has pocket springs (960 in a king size), again zoned to your body, which makes it popular with people struggling to move on from traditional sprung mattresses. 

What do you get for your money?

As the cheapest of Dormeo’s high-end Octospring range, this mattress represents great value for money. A 60-night sleep trial (refund or exchange), 20-year warranty, free delivery. Finance available. And a free pillow when you buy direct from Dormeo.co.uk.

Simba Hybrid Mattress

6. Simba Hybrid Mattress

For all types of beds and all types of sleepers

Specifications
Best for: Versatility
Size: Small single-emperor
Depth: 25cm
Type: Hybrid
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+More bounce+A cool night's sleep 
Reasons to avoid
-Only the top cover can be machine-washed

Who will the Simba mattress suit?

Medium firmness fans that like a bit more movement in their memory foam.

What is the Simba like to sleep on?

The conical springs are much smaller than usual pocket springs, so you don't get the luxurious height of a traditional pocket spring mattress. However, the Simba definitely feels more spring-like than its all-foam bed-in-a-box contemporaries. We can confirm Simba’s ‘medium’ firmness rating, it provides generous squishability before the solid foam beneath kicks in. It is also reasonable on motion transfer, and works well in any position. A good all-rounder, if you will. There’s a serious amount of love for Simba online, in fact the worst thing anyone really has to say about the mattress itself (excluding customer service rants) is that they don’t want to leave it and go to work in the mornings!

Special features?

The cover is hypoallergenic with integral airflow for cool temperature regulation. Simba has developed its own latex-like layer, called Simbatex, which has a more open cell structure than visco-elastic memory foam and also contains soybean balms. Apparently this helps make the Simbatex naturally cooling, rather than provide a midnight snack. 

Fillings?

From the top: the Simbatex layer provides initial comfort, then there’s the layer of conical springs (2,500 in a king size), which brings on the bounce. Next is a layer of visco-elastic memory foam for body contouring and weightlessness. And of course there’s a fairly solid foam base, which has been sliced in seven sections to provide differing density levels, essentially targeting the support where you need it.  

What do you get for your money?

Free delivery, 100-day free trial, plus a 10-year guarantee and hassle-free returns, and a knife for opening the heavy-duty plastic bag it’s suctioned into. They’ll also whisk your old mattress away.

Read our full tried and tested review of the Simba mattress

TheraPur ActiGel Tranquil 800 Mattres

7. TheraPur ActiGel Tranquil 800 Mattress

Cooling and super-soft - this mattress with a gel-infused layer is great for aches and pains

Specifications
Best for: Pressure relief
Size: Single-super king
Depth: 22cm
Type: Spring
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+ActiBreeze material moulds to your contours
Reasons to avoid
-Firmer than you might expect from a medium

Who will the Therapur Actigel suit?

Sporty types who overdo it, and those with old/creaky joints

What is the Therapur Actigel like to sleep on?

This is your tried-and-trusted pocket spring mattress but with an essential modern upgrade in the shape of a gel-infused foam topper. In short, you get the support of springs, with a bit of softness to take the pressure off, which is especially useful for side-sleepers who tend to feel it on the hips and shoulders. It is sold as a medium mattress, but many of the reviewers on Dreams’ website report it is closer to medium-firm, so bear that in mind when you’re shopping. In the world of pocket spring, 800 isn’t that impressive but it doesn’t appear to effect the sleep quality. In fact, one reviewer revealed they previously had a much higher spring count version from the same TheraPur range and couldn’t tell the difference. Ideal.

Special features?

Soft-touch knitted cover (should you ever sleep directly on the mattress?!) and hypoallergenic materials aimed at allergy relief. Complete your experience by investing in TheraPur pillows, too. 

Fillings?

The key ingredient here is the ActiGel, which is essentially a gel-infused foam and the benefits focus on cooler sleeping, since the gel helps to wick away body heat before it's given a chance to warm up your mattress. The main mattress is spring based (800 is the king size), individually pocket wrapped of course. 

What do you get for your money?

The usual Dreams deal, ie, free delivery to a room of your choice (there’s a fee for Saturday deliveries), 40-night comfort exchange guarantee, price promise (you’ll get the difference + £10 if you find it cheaper elsewhere) and 12 months’ guarantee, plus the option to buy an extra warranty of up to eight years.

Silentnight 3-Zone Memory Foam Rolled Mattress

8. Silentnight 3-Zone Memory Foam Rolled Mattress

Comfort, on a budget

Specifications
Best for: Penny saving
Size: Single-super king
Depth: 18cm
Type: Memory foam
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+ Cheaper than chips+ European (ie Ikea) sizes available
Reasons to avoid
-Tad skinny-No handles

Who will the 3-Zone Memory suit?

Many people buy this mattress for their children, and then love it so much they order one for themselves! 

What is the 3-Zone Memory like to sleep on? 

A dearth of readies doesn’t necessarily equal a poor night’s sleep. This budget option from Silentnight is award-winning, namely a Best Buy from Which?. The consumer testing behemoths have decreed that side-sleepers can expect a well supported back, and won’t disturb their partner when moving around in the night (and vice versa, presumably). In fact Which? says, for memory foam, it’s 'one of the best we’ve seen'. Over at Very, customers seem similarly smitten, rating this mattress 4.5/5 on quality, value and comfort. Silentnight rates it medium for firmness but, reading many reviews, it appears to be on the softer side of medium in reality. 

Special features?

The foam layers are treated with Purotex, which combines five natural bacterias known for their dust mite-busting powers. A soft-knit cover provides extra comfort. 

Fillings?

The top ‘comfort layer’ is memory foam, and the base layer is Silentnight’s proprietary Miratex foam core, which offers soft support for your shoulders, going firmer for hips and lower back. Just two layers is fairly pared-back compared to modern memory foams and there’s less focus on breathability and air-flow so be a little wary if you tend to sleep hot.

What do you get for your money?

Free UK delivery, five-year guarantee and 60 night comfort trial. It’s part of Silentnight’s Mattress Now range, which means it’s wrapped up small enough to pop in the boot of your car should you want to drive to an actual shop to buy one. 

Wakefield Pocket Sprung Mattress

9. Wakefield Pocket Sprung Mattress

A classic pocket sprung mattress that provides optimum support

Specifications
Best for: Reliability
Size: Single- super king
Depth: 24cm
Type: Spring
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+ Best of both worlds on comfort and support+ Quilted finish 
Reasons to avoid
-Thin memory layer

Who will the Wakefield suit?

Pocket spring addicts looking for a little extra squidge.

What is the Wakefield like to sleep on?

As with any combination memory foam topped pocket spring mattress, this beauty is designed to provide the support and sturdiness of tightly coiled metal, with the cloud-like softness of memory foam. The memory foam layer is only 2cm-thick (most all-foam mattresses have between 3 to 5cm of memory foam) so don’t expect too much hugging. For side-sleepers, who can suffer on the shoulders and back if a mattress is too hard, or too soft for that matter, the medium firmness of this mattress should prove ‘just right’. The majority of reviewers on Dreams’ website salute the Wakefield for its ability to give the feel of a much softer mattress, with the support of inner springs, which will also help with back and neck pain. There are a few complaints about it being too soft, but your firmness experience is heavily dependent on body weight (excuse the pun). If you’re average build you should find medium spot-on (but heavier people will require a firmer grade, and lightweights should go softer).

Special features?

The top has a quilted finish in soft-touch knitted fabric. Made in the UK. 

Fillings?

The comfort factor is provided by a 2cm-thick layer of visco-elastic memory foam, sandwiched between two thinner polyester layers, while the base features 800 (double and king size) pocket springs. 

What do you get for your money?

Free delivery to a room of your choice (there’s a fee for Saturday deliveries), 40-night comfort exchange guarantee, price promise (you’ll get the difference + £10 if you find it cheaper elsewhere) and 12 months’ guarantee, plus the option to buy an extra warranty of up to eight years.

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