The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers:
Why Tempur-Pedic is Our Top Pick
When you sleep on your side, you risk triggering pressure points in your shoulders, hips, and knees. These are the main areas of your body that make contact with your mattress when you’re a side sleeper.
If your bed is too firm, then pressure in those areas leads your brain to tell your body to shift throughout the night, which means you’re tossing and turning and not getting deep sleep.
But if your bed is too soft, your hips or shoulders (the two heavier parts of your body) may sink deep into your mattress, which puts your spine out of alignment, leading to back pain in the morning.
This makes finding the best mattress for side sleepers challenging – it needs to be supportive enough to support healthy spinal alignment but soft and cushioning enough to fill the curves of your body (like between the shoulders and hips) without irritating your pressure points.
There’s a lot of advice on narrowing down your search, from choosing different types of mattress materials to finding the right firmness level. At Slumberland, we help side sleepers find the right mattress on a daily basis. We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t for side sleepers, including what mattresses to avoid. This post provides you with a detailed breakdown of a complete mattress shopping guide for side sleepers.
But first, we want to cover our recommendation for side sleepers – Tempur-Pedic. TEMPUR®-material gives side sleepers the adaptive comfort and support they need from head to toe. At Slumberland, you get a 120-Night Comfort Guarantee on any Tempur-Pedic mattress you buy.
The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers - Tempur-Pedic
At Slumberland, you can try the five main Tempur-Pedic mattress collections. Each Tempur-Pedic mattress uses the highly adaptable TEMPUR®-material, which makes them great mattresses for side sleepers.
TEMPUR®-material is an advanced form of memory foam. Regular memory foam is already a good material for side sleepers because it conforms to weight and shapes more than traditional spring mattresses (we cover this below in more detail in our section on mattress materials).
But TEMPUR®-material goes above and beyond because it also reacts to your body’s natural heat.
For example, if you took a block of TEMPUR®-material and held it up with the palms of your hands, the TEMPUR®-material would begin adapting to your hands – even though you’re not applying weight. That’s because the advanced material is reacting to your warmth.
Why does this matter for side sleepers?
Side sleepers need specific and contouring support from head to toe (you need your shoulders cradled, and you need your hips filled). If there’s too little support, your hips are going to sink into the mattress, leading to back pain. If the mattress is too firm, you’re going to toss and turn or wake up with a dead arm.
Because TEMPUR®-material reacts to your heat, it’s going to cradle you more completely where your body touches the mattress.
This same technology also makes Tempur-Pedic a great mattress for couples. Most couples aren’t likely to have the same shape and weight. So if you buy a medium soft mattress from a traditional mattress brand, it’ll feel firmer for the more petite person in the relationship. But when couples sleep on a Tempur-Pedic, each person is getting customized and tailored support based on their weight and shape.
The Tempur-Pedic Line Up
At Slumberland, we carry the five main Tempur-Pedic mattress collections:
- TEMPUR-Adapt® – The Adapt® line features an extra soft comfort layer and Tempur-Pedic’s original pressure-relieving TEMPUR® support layer. Available as a medium or a medium hybrid (with coils for extra bounce).
- TEMPUR-ProAdapt® – In the ProAdapt® line, you’re getting a more advanced (conforming and supportive) pressure-relieving foam. Available as a soft, medium, medium hybrid, and firm.
- TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt® – In the LuxeAdapt®, Tempur-Pedic uses a tighter cell construction in its pressure-relieving foam, which makes this mattress 30% more conforming than the models we’ve discussed so far. This is a great mattress for side sleepers who have hip or shoulder pain. Available in a firm or soft.
- TEMPUR-ProBreeze® – Tempur-Pedic mattresses are designed to be breathable, and with their cool-to-touch cover they reduce any risk of sleeping hot. But the ProBreeze® actively keeps you cool by using phase change material (PCMs) that pull heat away from your body. Plus, the ProBreeze® uses special climate management TEMPUR material that has the lowest level rating of insulation possible in a layer of foam, making it very breathable. Available as a medium and medium hybrid.
- TEMPUR-LuxeBreeze® – Like the ProBreeze, the LuxeBreeze® actively works to cool you down with PCMs, but it also uses a ventilated version of Tempur-Pedic’s advanced pressure-relieving foam to keep you even cooler throughout the night. Available in a firm or soft.
Each of those mattresses uses the same core principles behind TEMPUR-material – pressure relief and comfort. What changes is how conforming each model is and how much the mattress works to keep you cool. Plus, all Tempur-Pedic mattresses (except the TEMPUR-Adapt®) have a removable and washable cover.
For side sleeping, we’d generally recommend any of the Tempur-Pedic mattresses but for the most conforming mattress options for side sleepers, customers should focus on the medium, medium hybrid, and soft models.
Now that you know what sets Tempur-Pedic apart, there are still other things to consider when you’re shopping for a mattress for side sleepers.
The Complete Shopping Guide for Side Sleepers
At Slumberland, we’re experts in finding the right product for a good night’s sleep. We want to help you find the right mattress, no matter what brand you end up picking.
This means showing you how different types of mattresses help you sleep on your side (or actively work against side sleepers).
Below, we discuss:
- Mattress materials
- Firmness Levels
- Temperature Regulation
There are three major mattress types: innerspring mattresses, foam mattresses, and hybrid mattresses.
An innerspring mattress is a mattress that uses a coil system for support, with a few inches of padding between you and the coil. These can be real hit or miss for side sleepers. While some side sleepers like the familiarity of the bounce (you likely grew up sleeping on a coil mattress), these mattresses don’t always offer enough comfort and support for your main pressure points.
Pro-Tip: If you’re looking at innerspring mattresses, make sure you pick one with pocketed coils. Pocketed coils help cut down on motion transfer (when you feel your partner move throughout the night) because each coil is individually wrapped in fabric.
When we talk about all-foam beds, we’re focusing on poly-foam, memory foam, and latex mattresses.
- Poly-foam is just memory foam without the “memory.” Poly-foam doesn’t adapt or conform the way memory foam does. So while it’s breathable and light, it doesn’t offer the same comfort or pressure support as memory foam.
- Memory foam is poly-foam with visco-elastic properties. So memory foam is poly-foam, with the properties needed to help it “remember” or “conform” to your body more fully. Memory foam is usually denser than poly-foam (or latex foam), and so there’s a misconception that memory foam “sleeps hot.” But sleeping hot generally only occurs in lower quality memory foam mattresses (or older mattresses).
- Latex foam is a bouncy, durable foam material. There aren’t as many latex mattresses on the market as there used to be. (They tend to be higher-priced and have a unique feel that is hit or miss with customers.) Latex is a supportive and durable material, plus it naturally sleeps cool because it doesn’t store heat or conform to you the way memory foam does. But latex is also more on the firm side of the firmness scale, and it is not a mattress material we generally recommend for side sleepers. If you want a latex mattress, consider finding a latex hybrid (we’ll cover hybrid mattresses next).
A hybrid mattress is usually defined as any bed with a near-even split between coils and foam technology (this could be latex, memory foam, or poly-foam). A hybrid mattress is going for a “best of both worlds” approach and hopes to give you the bounce of coils with foam’s conforming support.
In short, when it comes to finding the right mattress material for your sleeping position – side sleepers are more likely to find the comfort and support they need in a mattress with a good amount of soft, cushioning foam in the top layers. So we’d recommend you start with all foam models (specifically memory foam mattresses) and then also try a few hybrid mattresses.
If you really want an innerspring coil mattress, look at models that have a soft pillow top (to give you extra cushioning and comfort) and come with individually wrapped pocketed coils to help promote motion isolation.
Generally speaking, you can separate mattresses into firm, medium firm, medium, and soft mattresses. (Sometimes a mattress company will break these up even further, adding an extra firm or an ultra-soft.)
If you’re a side sleeper, we don’t usually recommend you go firmer than a medium-firm mattress. We recommend you start on a medium firmness mattress and give a softer mattress a try. Softer firmness levels often work better at cradling your hips and shoulders. Meanwhile, a firmer bed won’t have enough “give,” which means you could be triggering your pressure points as you sleep on your side, which leads to tossing and turning, which leads to a bad night’s sleep.
That being said, what matters more than firmness levels are a mattress’ adaptability levels. This is what makes Tempur-Pedic the best mattress for side sleepers – the TEMPUR®-material, whether you choose firm or soft, adapts to you.
If you’re buying a medium mattress or softer then you’re likely going to be sleeping “in” the mattress more. So, it’s important that you find a mattress that helps keep you cool, that way you’re not ending up in a heat trap.
We recently covered tips on how to sleep cool through the night, where we discussed the benefits of the Tempur-Pedic Breeze line.
Tempur-Pedic Breeze is made of two different collections:
- TEMPUR-ProBreeze® – The ProBreeze can feel up to 3 degrees cooler. It uses phase change material (PCMs) that absorb your body heat, helping you cool down. Plus, it uses special TEMPUR-CM material. That material is designed to have zero insulation properties so heat doesn’t get trapped in your mattress.
- TEMPUR-LuxeBreeze® – The LuxeBreeze can feel up to 8 degrees cooler. It does this by using an advanced, ventilated version of Tempur-Pedic’s most pressure-relieving foam. This helps promote airflow, keeping you cool throughout the night.
Both of those models are available in various firmness levels (including hybrid options) and are the perfect mattresses for side sleepers who also want to sleep cool.
Next Steps: Visiting Slumberland to Try the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
Side sleepers need specific and specialized support. They run the risk of triggering pressure points in their hips, shoulders, and knees if their bed is too firm. If it’s too soft, their hips may sink too deeply into the mattress, causing lower back pain.
But finding the right mattress at the right firmness level is difficult in an industry where one brand’s medium firm can feel like another brand’s soft.
That’s why we recommend Tempur-Pedic mattresses for side sleepers. They are available in various firmness levels, but more importantly, they use the highly adaptable TEMPUR®-material that conforms to each sleeper’s body. By reacting to your weight, shape, and body heat, TEMPUR®-material gives in where you want it and supports you where you need it.
Visit one of our Slumberland locations to try a Tempur-Pedic mattress in person and ask our on-staff sleep experts any questions you have about choosing a mattress that fits your sleep style.