It's settled: this is the best mattress for side sleepers

Keep that spine aligned

Best mattress for side sleepers: Leesa Original Mattress
(Image credit: Future)
Best mattress for side sleepers: Quick Menu

If you're a side sleeper who is looking to splurge on a new mattress, then stay right with us. This sleep position is among the most common and while it's easy to understand why most people find it comfortable, you do need the right support to get a good night's kip on your side. This is where all of those mattress reviews we've written come in.

Too soft and you'll wake up with back pain, and a mattress that's too firm will have you complaining about hip and shoulder pain. You need a mattress that contours to your body and keeps your spine straight all night long. Essentially, the long and short is that you need a soft to medium feel mattress. But, what one person deems soft you might think is medium. So, it is all personal preference.

To help you narrow down your search for the best mattress for side sleepers, we've reviewed a bunch of mattresses and crowned our winner. Do bear in mind that a good pillow can improve your sleep, too. And if you've found your current mattress is too firm or soft for your liking but doesn't necessarily need replacing, a mattress topper is a convenient fix that won't cost thousands of dollars.

But, let's start straight with the source of it all. The mattresses below have been tested by our very own side-sleeping crew, and this is the one that left us the most impressed. Keep scrolling for six more picks in case our top winner isn't right for you.

This is the best mattress for side sleepers

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best mattress for side sleepers

Leesa Original Mattress on bed frameReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Leesa)
With four layers, this breathable mattress offers great pressure relief


Type: Memory foam
Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
Firmness: Medium, 5–7/10
Depth: 10"
Warranty: 10 years
Trial: 100 nights
Price: $849-$1,599

Reasons to buy

CertiPUR-US® Certified
Cooling foam top layer and cover
Great for all sleepers
Great motion transfer and edge support

Reasons to avoid

Not the most affordable
No handles
Buy it if

💕 You sleep warm: Its special layer of cooling foam is designed to keep you cool, as well as its top cover which is nice and breathable.

💕 You sleep on your side: This is the perfect mattress for side sleepers as it keeps your spine aligned with your neck and it offers support just where you need it.

💕 You're a light sleeper: Its motion transfer is second to none, so if you are a light sleeper or sleep with someone who tosses and turns, it's a good choice.

💕 You sleep next to someone who sleeps in a different position to you: It's designed for all types of sleepers, therefore if you sleep on your back but your partner sleeps on their side, it will please you both.

Don't buy it if

❌ You like a super soft mattress: It's responsive but it's not super soft.

❌ You want a mattress with handles: This mattress needs to be turned (not flipped) but it doesn't have handles to make this easy.

❌ You don't want to spend a lot: When not on sale, this mattress starts at $849 for a Twin, which isn't cheap.

The bottom line

✨ Leesa Original Mattress This mattress is a failsafe option for all types of sleepers, but mostly side sleepers. It excels in motion transfer and edge support, and it comes with a decent trial and warranty.

If you’re suffering from back pain, hip pain, or shoulder pain, Leesa may hold the key to relief. Made of premium memory foam, this mattress was designed to contour to the body’s curves, while providing just enough bounce. Essentially, it's everything you need if you sleep on your side.

Unboxing: The Leesa arrives in a box for your convenience. So, if you live upstairs in an apartment or you have some narrow corners to work around, you'll have no problem getting this to your bedroom.

Specs: This is a medium-firm mattress that's rated between 5 to 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale. This means that it will feel different depending on your weight and whether you share a bed with someone. It's made from four layers, the bottom being high dense foam for support, then on top sits a memory foam recovery layer — this contours to your body to relieve pressure on your joints. Then, before its cover sits a layer of breathable yet bouncy foam to help you sleep cool. Its top knit cover is soft and breathable. From top to bottom, it's 12 inches deep, and it's CertiPUR-US® Certified.

Support & comfort: Leesa claims that it's designed for all sleepers, front, back, or side. And our reviewer Linda definitely agrees, saying it's nice and responsive. At first, she thought it might be too firm but as time went by, she admits it definitely softened up. As a side sleeper, Linda slept soundly on the Leesa every night that she tested it. And when it came to the posture test that she performed on her husband while laying on his side, his spine was totally aligned with his neck. When it came to motion transfer, she rated it fairly well, especially sleeping next to her husband who tosses and turns at night. Edge support was also impressive, so you don't have to worry about the sides not being as supportive as the middle. 

Included in the price: If you buy direct from Leesa you might be able to save more. Quite often, there's a sale on at Leesa, whether that's a percentage off or freebies. You'll always get a 100-night trial, though, and this mattress also comes with a 10-year guarantee.

Read more: Leesa Mattress review.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Test results
ComfortPerfect for all sleepers, particularly side sleepers.★★★★★
PriceMore affordable when it's on sale.★★★★
SupportResponsive and great for spine alignment.★★★★★
Motion transferGreat, even if you sleep next to a fidget.★★★★★

More mattresses for side sleepers

What to consider when buying a mattress if you are a side sleeper

  • Material: Different materials offer different advantages. Memory foam is a great choice if you’re hoping to minimize motion transfer, but it might not be the best pick for a hot sleeper. Gel foam is a cooler alternative, which is more attractive to those of us who experience night sweats. 
  • Firmness: Side sleepers require adequate pressure relief, which is most often found in medium and medium-soft mattresses. Anything too soft will cause poor spine alignment, and anything too firm can hurt the hips and shoulders. 
  • Pressure relief: Side sleepers need adequate support that cradles their bodies, specifically their shoulders and hips. Memory foam mattresses are recognized for being the best option for pressure relief. 
  • Sleep trial: Pay attention to the length of trials. Even our budget-friendly picks might be pricey for some, and nothing is worse than sleeping on a mattress you don’t love. We spend nearly a third of our life sleeping, so we deserve comfort! There’s no one size fits all for beds, and sometimes it takes a few tries before you find a winner. 

How we test mattresses for side sleepers

posture test for casper mattress

Casper mattress in review

(Image credit: Linda Clayton)

As with all mattresses we test at Real Homes, these ones have been reviewed for a minimum of four weeks in total. We get our team and our freelancers to sleep on these mattresses for one month before making their mind up on whether they like them, and during that time we ask that they try them in all sleep positions — unless a mattress isn't recommended for a certain position, that is.

While testing these mattresses we note everything from the unboxing process to each mattress's motion transfer and edge support. We note how firm it is, how long it takes to get used to it, and pretty much every other question you might have.

We have an entire page dedicated to our mattress review process if you want to know more, otherwise, you can meet our mattress reviewers just below.

Jaclyn Turner photo
Jaclyn Turner

Jaclyn lives in Georgia and was previously the sleep editor across the homes titles at Future, including Real Homes, where she specialized in a variety of topics ranging from mattresses to bedding. She has also written for Apartment Therapy, MyDomaine, and The Spruce. From this list, she has reviewed the Saatva Classic Mattress.

Jaclyn's sleep stats: • Mattress review count: 2 • Sleep position: Back • Insomnia: No • Sleep problems: Trouble getting out of bed in the morning • Average sleep time: At least 8 hours

Linda Clayton head shot
Linda Clayton

Linda is our freelance sleep expert and has been reviewing mattresses for Real Homes since 2018. Based in the UK, from this list she has reviewed both the Leesa Original Mattress and the Casper Original Mattress for us.

Linda's sleep stats: • Mattress count: 24 • Sleep position: Falls sleep on side, rolls onto back. • Insomnia: At certain times of the month, insomnia hits for about three nights. I can be awake for three to four hours.  • Sleep problems: Night sweats are also bad news as I navigate the giddy fun of peri-menopause, again just for two to three nights a month. • Average sleep time: 7.5–8 hours

alex temblador real homes contributor
Alex Temblador

Alex is one of Real Homes' expert reviewers. The Dallas-based freelance writer has covered home, design, architecture, and art in publications like Real Homes, Dwell, Architectural Digest, Artsy,, and Culture Trip, among many others. She's a real thorough tester, and from this guide, she has tested the Avocado Eco Organic Mattress and the Allswell Mattress.

Alex's sleep stats: • Mattress review count: 6 • Sleep position: Flexi (front, back, and side) • Insomnia: Not usually • Sleep problems: Difficulty getting a deep rest with someone else in the bed. Can't sleep on a mattress that is too soft • Average sleep time: 8–9 hours

Courtney Irwin wearing a black top and white jeans
Courtney Irwin

Midwestern freelancer Courtney is a working mom of three who loves nothing more than a good deal. Equal parts entrepreneur and family gal, she believes hard work deserves to be celebrated. She reviewed the Helix Midnight Luxe and the Nolah Natural Mattress 11" from this guide.

Courtney's sleep stats: • Mattress review count: 2 • Sleep position: Side with one knee hiked up, arms up above head • Insomnia: No trouble falling asleep, but once awake that's it • Sleep problems: Sweaty Betty and tossing and turning • Average sleep time: 6–8 hours

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. I've been part of the Real Homes team since 2018, when I joined as Deals Editor. Along with covering major sales events — from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Day — I review home must-haves so that you can buy with peace of mind. Mostly focusing on home fragrance and sleep, as well as a few vacuum cleaners, I've tested pretty much every item you can think of that you need in your home. I live on the outskirts of the city in a two-bed apartment with my husband and my pug, Doug. So I am always searching for compact alternatives and ways to save floor space. What about when I am not typing away? Well, you'll find me enjoying an iced coffee (no matter the season) and trying out the latest brunch spots the city has to offer, or booking my next holiday. Where else can you find my words? Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc, and Woman & Home.