Best mattress for a side sleeper | Bedshed
Sleep & Health

What is the best mattress for a side sleeper?

Man sleeping on his side

Ever wake up feeling like you're on the wrong side of the bed? It’s a familiar experience for many of us. Rather than waking up feeling refreshed, we uncurl to a chorus of cracks or find ourselves glaring at the sunlight, wishing for a few more hours of sleep.

You’ve Googled the problem, and you know it can’t be because you’re a side sleeper, because the internet says it’s the healthiest and most popular sleeping position- so, what’s going wrong? Well, it could be that your mattress is actually the problem. We all have different needs when it comes to getting comfortable at night, and your sleeping position has a lot to do with that. The perfect mattress for a back sleeper or tummy sleeper may feel terrible to you because they need a different level of support than you do.  So, if you suspect your mattress is causing you trouble, read on below to learn how to pick the best mattress for a side sleeper.

What to consider when choosing your side sleeper mattress:

Finding the right support

Support seems like it would be the obvious thing to check first, but what does it really mean? How do you know if a mattress is supporting you in the right way?

Basically, the type of support you receive is determined by whether the mattress is firm or soft. You may be thinking that a firm mattress sounds like it would be uncomfortable - but this isn’t the case. Everyone’s mattress needs are different and firm mattresses are actually the perfect choice for side sleepers who need to be supported by a flat surface.

However, if you’re looking for the best mattress for a side sleeper, then a medium mattress is often most suitable. Side sleepers need more flexible support than back sleepers and medium mattresses have enough ‘give’ in them to contour to the shape of your body and relieve pressure while also providing gentle support. Side sleepers also tend to move more throughout the night, so a softer mattress is ideal as they can make changing positions more comfortable.

Memory foam, springs, or hybrid?

So which type of mattress offers the soft, contouring support and ease of movement that side sleepers require? While technically there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there are some mattresses that side sleepers tend to find more comfortable. Just remember that at the end of the day, the most important thing is how you feel when you try it out.

Memory foam mattress icon

Memory foam

Memory foam is the sort of mattress you sink into and let out a sigh of relief. Its specialty is deep body contouring, which is perfect for side sleepers, as this means the mattress sinks at the hips and shoulders and lifts the areas in between. It’s worth noting that it can be more difficult to switch positions with memory foam.

Spring mattress icon


Spring mattresses are the opposite of memory foam, as they are much firmer and have a traditional bouncy feeling. Springs can provide great spinal support for people with back problems, but if you sleep on your side then the firm style may cause pressure on the shoulders and hips. It’s a good idea for side sleepers to avoid spring mattresses, unless they are particularly soft.

Hyrbird mattress icon


Get ready, all your Google searching may be over. Hybrid mattresses are a combination of a memory foam or latex top and a spring coil base - and they really do provide the benefits of both. Hybrids are the ideal choice to use on a bed for side sleepers, because they have the soft contouring of memory foam and the back support and easy movement of springs.

How do you know if it ‘feels’ right?

Nearly every mattress expert (including ours) will tell you to trust your gut and your own personal preferences. But what if you don't know how to tell when it feels right?

Here’s what to check when you’re laying on the test mattress:

  • Are you feeling pressure in any areas? If you feel any pain or discomfort, it’s not the right choice. It should relieve pressure, not the other way around.

  • Move around to see how easy it is to change positions. The right mattress should feel good in every position.

  • You can check the contouring effect by seeing if the mattress moulds to your body without ‘swallowing’ you.

  • If you’re looking for the best mattress for side sleepers with lower back pain, then make sure your spine feels fully supported, in a neutral position (in other words, it’s not sinking too low or being pushed upward).

What pillow is best for side sleepers?

Most people understand the importance of having a good mattress but you need to have the right pillow as well.

Side sleepers generally need high pillows, as it’s healthy to have your head aligned with your spine. Similarly, you will need a firm pillow, as a soft one can let your head sink down too low. Memory foam pillows are the best choice, as they are firm and high, unlike down pillows which compress too easily.

Need an expert’s assistance?

bedshed assistant

If you need expert advice on the best type of mattress for side sleepers, visit us in-store - our mattress experts know all about how to pick a mattress based on your favourite sleeping position.

Wake up to savings!

Subscribe now for exclusive mattress, furniture and bedding deals.

What makes us
better in the bedroom.

These are just some of the ways we make your Bedshed experience better.

Guaranteed next day delivery now available!*

Need your new mattress sooner? Take advantage of our Bedshed Express shipping option at checkout. Selective Dreamsense and Insignia Mattresses only.

Bedshed Logo

Bedshed is one of Australia's largest mattress, bedding and bedroom furniture retailers. We carry ranges of beds, bedroom suites, children's bedroom furniture, headboards & bases and mattresses from brands like Sealy, Sleepmaker, Tempur, Kingsdown, Dreamsense and Insignia, as well as a wide range of manchester and pillows.

©2024 Bedshed Franchising Pty Ltd

We accept:

*In selected stores only, not available online