Hey there, side sleepers! If you’re on the lookout for a new mattress to suit you – that means one that can support your body AND provide the right level of comfort to get a good night’s sleep – you’ve come to the right place. But with so many mattresses on the market now, it can be difficult to know where to start.
That’s why I’ve put together this guide to the best mattresses for side sleepers in the UK in 2024.
I’ve done the research by trying out and testing all these mattresses manually, and are here to share my honest opinions with you. Whether you prefer a soft, plush mattress or something firmer and more supportive, I’ve got you covered.
So if you’re tired of waking up with aches and pains or struggling to get comfortable at night, then read on. I’ll help you find the perfect mattress to support your side sleeping habits and ensure you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. 🙂
What does side sleeping mean?
This may sounds obvious, but bear with me.
Side sleeping means quite simply that you sleep on your side – either for some or all of the night. If that’s your sleeping style, then the mattress you choose should obviously be suitable for side-sleeping, but it’s surprising how few people actually consider this.
It’s not helped by the fact that there’s a lot of confusing advice online about which mattress is best for side-sleepers. A lot of it is just thinly-veiled marketing, dressed up as an article.
You don’t need to spend loads
The fact is, if you sleep on your side, then that does not automatically mean you need a specific mattress brand!
Generally speaking, side-sleepers prefer softer mattresses (such as memory foam) and there are many on the market suitable for you. Softer mattresses are better because your body’s shape i.e. around the hips and shoulders is particularly contoured, and this will dig deeper into the mattress itself. This can help to alleviate pressure on your joints, improve your circulation and keep your spine aligned.
However, this comes with an important caveat: the level of firmness that is best for you also depends on your weight (and also your personal preference). So if you’re on the heavier side, you may need a slightly firmer mattress to provide enough support. Ultimately, the ideal level of firmness will be the one that feels most comfortable and supportive for your body.
Another crucial factor to consider when looking for a mattress as a side sleeper is to choose one that alleviates tension across all parts of your body without leaving you feeling “swallowed” by the structure. You don’t want to sink too far into the mattress as it can lead to poor spinal alignment and pain.
So each choice below is based both on my personal preferences and my testing, I have endeavoured to choose mattresses that best support the various different kinds of side sleepers, i.e. from those who sleep hot to those who need a little extra pressure relief at the shoulders and hips.
As I discuss each of my picks, I’ll make sure to explain why I selected them for this list and will share my expert tips for getting amazing sleep on your side. At the end of this article, I’ll also dive deeper into the methodology behind this list.
Top 6: Best Side-Sleeper Mattress
For a rundown of each of these recommended mattresses, keep reading below.
1. Brook & Wilde Lux – Top Overall for Side-Sleeping
Brook + Wilde Lux is my top choice and an all-round brilliant option for side sleepers looking for a comfortable mattress.
It’s been designed with five layers that are engineered to give deep and restful sleep. It has a unique ‘wave technology’ that encourages back support and spinal alignment; plus the Lux also has zoned support for better pressure relief and deeper comfort layers.
The top layer is made of breathable and cooling memory foam that molds to your body and almost completely eliminates motion transfer, according to my tests. It has a “medium” comfort level – actually quite firm in my testing – but this is what you need. The downside? Usually it’s made to order within six weeks.
The Lux also comes with a 200-night comfort trial and a 10-year guarantee. It was awarded the Indy Best Buy 2021 and again in 2024. However, it comes at a price – and may not be the most affordable option for some. If you’re on a tigher budget, read my review of the best UK mattress for £200 or less.
- Who should buy: Those who want a luxurious, medium-firm mattress that provides excellent support and pressure relief. Ideal for side sleepers who need cushioning for their hips and shoulders.
- Who should avoid: Those who prefer a very soft or very firm mattress. The Lux may not be suitable for those who are on a budget.
|? 5 layers of luxury
|? Quite Expensive
|? Zoned support for spinal alignment
|? Made to order – 4-6 weeks
|?️ Cooling memory foam
|? ‘Wave technology’ for pressure relief
|? 200-night comfort trial
|? 10-year guarantee
2. Nectar Memory Foam – Best Memory Foam
The three layers of high-quality foam may not sound like much but according to my testing I noticed that they work in tandem to keep the spine in its natural curvature.
The pressure-relieving memory foam layer in the Nectar Memory Foam mattress is a big deal for those who sleep on their sides, in my opinion. This cutting-edge material shapes to your body to give you support exactly where you need it. Those who sleep on their sides often also report pain in their hips and shoulders; this can help alleviate some of that pain, or maybe even all of it.
The Nectar Memory Foam mattress not only reduces pressure points but also keeps you at a comfortable temperature thanks to its dynamic support layer. Becuase of the added bounce that this layer provides, you’ll find it much simpler to change positions in the middle of the night.
The Nectar Memory Foam mattress’ 7-zone supportive base is another under-rated feature. This “castellated” base provides more room for compression, making your experience that little bit more pleasant and giving your body a tad more support.
If you’re hesitant to commit to a new mattress, know that the Nectar Memory Foam has a 365-night sleep trial period and an unlimited (lifetime) guarantee. Frankly whether you prefer to sleep on your side or not, why not give this mattress a try to see whether it meets your needs?
- Who should buy: Those who want a budget-friendly, medium-firm memory foam mattress with excellent motion isolation and pressure relief. Ideal for side sleepers who need good contouring and support for their hips and shoulders.
- Who should avoid: Those who prefer a bouncier or more responsive mattress. The Nectar may not be suitable for those who sleep hot, as memory foam tends to retain heat.
|? 3 layers of premium foam
|? No handles
|? Excellent body support and spinal alignment
|?️ Not much edge support
|?️ Cooling cover for temperature regulation
|? May retain heat
|?️ Minimizes motion transfer
|? 365-night home trial
|? Forever warranty
3. Vispring Plymouth Supreme
Frankly you need a mattress that gives your hips & shoulders just enough give to reduce pressure – while also giving your spine the support it needs too. The Vispring Plymouth Supreme’s blend of natural materials and supportive spring technology in particular makes it a great option for side sleepers looking to improve their shut-eye in this way.
|Vispring Plymouth Supreme
|New Zealand fleece wool and cotton
|?️ Temperature Regulation
|Exceptional thermal regulation due to its breathable design/vents
|Pocket spring system offers excellent support and motion isolation
|Comes with a huge 30-year guarantee
|Some people have complained about the lack of edge support
This mattress stood out for me due in large part to its use of all-natural materials including cotton and New Zealand fleece wool. Particularly useful for side sleepers who are at risk of nighttime overheating due to their position ‘sunk’ in the mattress, these fabrics provide exceptional breathability and moisture-wicking characteristics. This mattress is perfect for allergy sufferers and environmentalists alike due to its hypoallergenic and sustainably sourced natural components.
The pocket spring technology provides superior support and motion isolation, which is especially useful for side sleepers too: the’res more than 1,200 high-quailty steel springs in the mattress are each encased in their own calico pocket, giving the sleeper freedom of movement and precise, localised support. Those who sleep on their sides will benefit greatly from this as it will assist to alleviate pressure points and keep their spine in its natural position.
- Who should buy: Those who want a high-end, luxury mattress that provides excellent support and comfort. Ideal for side sleepers who need good cushioning for their hips and shoulders. The Plymouth Supreme is particularly well-suited for those who prefer a firmer mattress.
- Who should avoid: Those who are on a budget. The Plymouth Supreme is a high-end mattress and may not be suitable for those who prefer a softer mattress.
Note that a few people have mentioned issues to me with regards to the mattress’s edge support. A rod connecting the coils to the mattress’s borders provides some edge support, but the edges still don’t compare favourably to the mattress’s centre in terms of comfort or support.
4. Emma Premium – Best for Couples
So, the Emma Premium might be worth considering if you’re single but also if you’re a couple. It’s a hybrid mattress made of five layers of foam and springs that work together to provide support and comfort for your body. The UltraDry fabric cover helps regulate temperature and evaporate perspiration, which is especially helpful if you tend to run hot at night.
The Emma Premium mattress is my choice for couples who side sleep simply because of its excellent motion isolation. This means that if one partner moves or shifts during the night, the other partner won’t feel it as much and can continue sleeping peacefully.
In terms of firmness, the Emma Premium is medium-firm, making it a good choice for back sleepers who need spinal alignment or side sleepers who want pressure relief on their hips and shoulders. The mattress also has good motion isolation, meaning you’re less likely to feel your partner’s movements during the night.
One potential downside is that some side sleepers have reported the mattress retaining heat on very hot nights, but overall the temperature management system works well. Another thing to consider is that the Emma Premium only comes in one firmness option, so it may not be suitable for those who prefer a very soft or very firm mattress.
- Who should buy: Those who want a medium-firm, supportive mattress that provides excellent pressure relief and motion isolation. Ideal for side sleepers who need good cushioning for their hips and shoulders.
- Who should avoid: Those who prefer a very soft or very firm mattress. The Emma Premium may not be suitable for those who prefer a bouncier or more responsive mattress.
However, with a 200-night sleep trial and a machine-washable cover, the Emma Premium is a solid choice for anyone looking for a supportive, comfortable mattress at a reasonable price point.
|? Sleep trial
|UKFR certified, CertiPUR
|Single, Double, King, Super King and more
|? Comfort layers
|Airgocell foam, viscoelastic foam, HRX foam, Halo memory foam, 12.5cm pocket springs
|bed-in-a-box, free delivery and returns
|Removable and machine-washable top cover (99% polyester)
|Eco-friendly, CertiPUR certified
|?️ Temperature Regulation
|Temperature-regulating UltraDry cover, AeroFlex springs and open-cell foams provide exceptional breathability
5. Hypnos Wool Origins 6 – Best for Bigger Budgets
My top choice for those who are looking for a mattress that’s environmentally friendly, so if that’s you, go no further than the Hypnos Wool Origins 6. This pocket-sprung mattress is perfect for side sleepers because of the relief it provides to pressure points in the hips and shoulders. Unlike most pocket sprungs it’s not too boucny either.
The wool filling in the mattress is great for keeping you comfortable no matter how hot or cold you get in the middle of the night, which is especially important if you sleep on your side. Red Tractor guarantees the eight wool layers in the Hypnos Wool Origins 6 are fully traceable and meet strict guidelines for animal welfare and environmental preservation. Those who are concerned about their impact on the planet will no doubt give special consideration to this part.
The Hypnos Wool Origins 6 comes in either a medium or a firm rating so if you want to sleep on your side and strike a happy medium between support and comfort, go with the medium option, which clocks in at roughly a 6 on the WhatMattress firmness scale.
On the other hand, the firmer alternative has a rating of about 7 out of 10 and is great for those who like (or require!) more support owing to back problems or back pain. When looking for a natural, supportive, and eco-friendly mattress, the Hypnos Wool Origins 6 is a great option for side sleepers.
The only downside is that it’s very pricey.
6: Silentnight Just Snug – Budget Choice
This is my ‘budget’ choice – formerly known as the Silentnight Studio Original.
Just Snug is a hybrid mattress that provides excellent support and comfort for side sleepers. It comes from the seven-strong range of mattresses known as ‘Just Sleep’ by Silentnight.
The Just Snug features 1000 zoned springs that provide enhanced spinal alignment and targeted support where you need it most. The memory foam layer gently moulds to your body’s contours, relieving built-up pressure and absorbing energy as you sleep. The mattress also has a medium-firm firmness rating, making it perfect for sleepers who need just a little extra support.
What’s more, the hypoallergenic soft-knit fabric sleep surface is designed for both supreme comfort and a refreshed night’s sleep. The mattress is approved by Allergy UK, making it a great option for anyone with allergies. The breathable fabric borders also allow air to circulate freely throughout the mattress, ensuring a cool and comfortable night’s sleep.
If you’re looking for a mattress that’s convenient and easy to move around, Just Snug is a great choice. It’s rolled for transportation, making it easy to maneuver up tight staircases. Plus, with free delivery within 48 hours (Mon-Fri, excl. bank holidays), a 365-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty, you can buy with confidence. Overall, Just Snug by Silentnight is an excellent mattress for side sleepers who value support, comfort, and convenience.
If it’s not for you then you can send it back without charge. This is approved by Allergy UK and is also Which? Best Buy too. What’s more, as well as being my top budget choice, it’s actually possible to get a discount code if you hunt around for one; or just use one of my plethora of mattress discounts from here.
Are my aches & pains caused by side-sleeping?
While I’m not a medical professional, I have prepared this guide to cover the main types of pain related to side sleeping:
Side sleepers frequently have shoulder pain because they rest more of their body weight on their shoulders during the night. It’s crucial to locate a mattress with sufficient shoulder padding if you suffer from shoulder ache. If your mattress is overly hard, you may end up with painful pressure points. If you experience soreness in your shoulders, it may be time to consider a softer mattress. This will assist provide your shoulders the cradling support and padding they need while you sleep.
Side sleepers may also have trouble with hip pain. This is because your hips may become misaligned and experience pressure if you sleep on your side. A mattress with strong contouring and plushness is appropriate if you experience hip pain. Try to get a mattress with a firmness rating of 5.5 out of 10 or lower. This should give sufficient padding for your hips, allowing you to sleep more comfortably and with less pain.
Side sleepers are more likely to experience back pain too, so it’s important to select a mattress that promotes healthy posture while you sleep. If your mattress is overly soft, your hips and shoulders may sink in too much while you sleep, causing further misalignment and discomfort.
However, pressure points brought on by a mattress that is overly firm might exacerbate preexisting back problems. If you sleep on your side and suffer from back pain, you should look for a mattress that sinks in at the hips and shoulders to assist correct your spine.
Zoned assistance can be useful here as well. To properly support your complete body, a mattress with zoned support must have varying degrees of hardness in different parts of the mattress. This ensures your spine is in the correct position and helps prevent pressure points.
So my weight affects which mattress I should get?
If you are on the heavier side and you sleep on your side, then you’ll probably find that a firmer mattress will work better. Sadly terms like “medium-firm” and “firm” aren’t standardised in the UK, so they are pretty much open to interpretation. One man’s soft could be another man’s, err… hard!
3 things for Side-Sleepers to consider
- Think about where you feel the most pressure: as you sleep on your side, it’s likely to be in your hips, shoulders, or neck. It’s crucial to pick a mattress and pillow set that gives your head, neck, and shoulders the right amount of support and cushioning. To help relieve pressure in key areas, some mattresses feature strategically placed zones of increased firmness.
- Experiment with pillows: Adding extra pillows can help side sleepers find a more comfortable sleeping position. Hugging a pillow between your legs or placing a pillow behind your back can provide extra support and help align your spine. Experiment with different pillow combinations to find what works best for you.
- Choose a medium-firm memory foam mattress: A medium-firm memory foam mattress can provide the right balance of support and cushioning for side sleepers. Memory foam conforms to the contours of your body, providing pressure relief and promoting proper spinal alignment. Avoid pure inner spring mattresses as they may not provide enough support and can lead to discomfort over time and are hugely bouncy.
What mattress prevents snoring?
You might not think that snoring is a consideration when choosing a mattress, but it should be.
Generally, the best position to avoid snoring is to sleep on your side (the so-called foetal position). Why? Because sleeping on your back lets your tongue stick toward the back of your throat. This is a main factor in the vibrating (and often very loud!) sounds we call snoring.
But if you’re one of the side sleepers who still snores, then read on.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where your throat muscles relax and block your airway at irregular intervals. This in turn interrupts your breathing over the course of your sleep. Aside from snoring, people with obstructive sleep apnea may experience waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air or waking up with a dry mouth. It’s best to check in with your doctor to make sure you’re not confusing snoring for something more serious.
What about pillows for side sleepers?
The author of The Happy Sleeper, Heather Turgeon, says that “because of the greater distance between their heads and the mattress, side sleepers often need a thicker pillow to keep their head and neck in a neutral position.”
And she’s right. This means that you might struggle to sleep with your face on your arms directly, but frankly that’s probably not advisable anyway if you are a frequent side-sleeper as it can create problems with circulation. While a fluffy soft pillow seems comfortable, in reality, it’s the firmer pillows that often give your head the lift it really needs.
What is the best TYPE of mattress for side sleeping?
Because of their ability to mould to your body’s contours and alleviate pressure, memory foam mattresses are a good choice for those who prefer to sleep on their sides. Memory foam’s unique ability to conform to the shape of the body can be helpful for those seeking respite from chronic pain. However, if the mattress’s base layer is overly soft, those who sleep on their sides may find that they sink too far into the foam. For heavier people who sleep on their sides, this can be a serious issue and I clarified what to do, above.
Hybrid mattresses are a combination of a coil base with either a foam or latex layer(s) on top. They are one of the most universal options for most sleeping positions, including side-sleeping. Hybrid mattresses are known for being very supportive, while also having that cushioning, cradling feeling that a lot of side sleepers look for. Memory foam hybrid mattresses are also a great option for couples because the coils make them easy to move around on while the foam absorbs a lot of the movement. The coils also allow for additional airflow, making these mattresses more breathable than solid memory foam beds.
Latex mattresses are well-liked due to their buoyant feel and eco-friendly production. Those who sleep on their sides will find them quite comfortable since the material gives great pressure relief and moulds to the body edspite being bouytant. Make sure the latex is flexible enough for your hips and shoulders if you sleep exclusively on your sidethough; latex mattresses are also a fantastic choice for people who switch positions throughout the night “(combination”), ie. whether they sleep on their back, side, or stomach.
Inner-spring mattresses are the most traditional type of mattress, typically made with a coil base constructed from steel. While these mattresses provide a very bouncy feel and decent responsiveness, side sleepers should be cautious as they tend to be on the firmer side. If you’re a fan of the classic innerspring feel and sleep on your side, make sure the mattress is soft enough to prevent jamming at your shoulders and undue pressure at your hips.
What about mattress toppers?
Side sleepers who prefer a softer mattress may benefit from using a mattress topper, particular if you’re on a budget and don’t want to splurge on a brand new mattress.
If you prefer to sleep on your side but find that your mattress is too firm, a high-quality mattress topper can soften the overall sensation and help you find the ideal firmness too. 🙂
So you should look for mattress toppers with a higher profile ideally, that means if your mattress is already on the firm side, a low-profile topper won’t do much to soften it, and it may even make it feel firmer. To achieve the ideal degree of softness, begin with one of my best plush mattress toppers guide here
Lastly, I can’t say enough good things about memory foam mattress toppers for side sleepers. This is due to the fact that memory foam is cheap to buy but also excellent at relieving pressure and has a pleasant, yielding texture. Memory foam is suited to side sleepers as it moulds to the shape of one’s body, providing cushioning and support for your shoulders, hips, and other pressure points.
In conclusion, finding the best mattress for your side-sleeping needs doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
In my expert opinion, Brook & Wilde Lux, the Nectar Memory Foam, the Vispring Plymouth Supreme, and the Emma Premium are the best mattresses for side sleepers. These mattresses are perfect for side sleepers because they provide support, contouring, and pressure reduction.
The Brook & Wilde ‘Lux’ is particularly good for those who want a customisable sleep experience, while the Nectar Memory Foam is a great, affordable (fairly!) option. The Vispring Plymouth Supreme is a luxurious choice for those who want a traditional, handcrafted mattress.
Finally, the Emma Premium is a versatile mattress that can accommodate a range of sleeping positions, making it a good choice for those who switch between sleeping on their side and other positions.
With a little bit of knowledge on what to look for, now you can find a mattress that will give you the support and comfort you need to get a good night’s sleep. Remember to keep in mind factors like support, contouring, and firmness, and consider any specific areas of pain you may experience. Whether you choose a memory foam, hybrid, or latex mattress, make sure it’s tailored to your individual needs. Sweet dreams!
What is the best mattress type for side sleepers?
There's no one-size-fits-all solution here, but generally memory foam mattresses are best. Most side-sleepers could find pocket sprung mattresses to be too firm. Your own individual preferences can help guide you to the right mattress, if you just take note of what you want from your next mattress... For instance, side sleepers who like a bouncy bed might want to look at a good hybrid mattress or possibly a decent inner/pocket spring mattress.
What is the best place to put your arms?
A lot of people call it side sleeping but the correct scientific term is actual lateral recumbent. According to Physiomed, your arms should be up by your ears. But this isn't always preferable, particularly if you like heavier pillows.
How firm should a mattress be for a side sleeper?
Side sleepers generally need a mattress that is on the firmer side, meaning it provides enough support to keep the spine aligned while also contouring to the curves of the body. This helps to prevent pressure points and promote a comfortable sleep.
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