Are Memory Foam Mattresses Good For Side Sleepers? – The Bedding Planet

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Good For Side Sleepers?

The type of mattress that you sleep on will determine your quality of sleep. Side sleepers have to be very particular with the type of mattress they use.

The reason for this is that you exert a lot of pressure on your shoulders and hips when sleeping on your side. A mattress incapable of accommodating your sleeping position may result in soreness or even injury to your side.

So, are memory foam mattresses good for side sleepers? Memory foam mattresses are excellent for side sleepers because they adjust to your sleeping position, align your spine in a neutral position and moulds to the shape of your body thus removing any pressure on specific spots.

However, not all memory foam mattresses are ideal for you. There are different models available in the market, each catering to a specific demographic of side sleeper. Read on to learn about the right model for you:

Key Factors For Selecting a Memory Foam Mattress as a Side Sleeper

Below are some key factors to consider when selecting the best memory foam mattress for you.

1. The Type of Memory Foam


Memory foam mattresses are available in two main types. These are:

Traditional memory foam

These are made from petroleum-based products mainly polyurethane. They are the first generation memory foam mattresses and were first put to use by NASA.

The advantage they have over other mattresses is that they can accommodate the body shape and distribute pressure evenly.

Gel memory foam

Gel memory foam is the most recent addition to this type of mattress. It consists of a combination of liquid gel beads and polyurethane.

Unlike traditional memory foam, this mattress is excellent at heat regulation and is more flexible. Gel foam memory foam is the ideal sleeping surface if you suffer from chronic back pain and soreness.

Read more about the benefits of using a gel memory foam mattress here.

2. The Mattress Firmness and Density

Memory foam mattresses are available with varying degrees of thickness and firmness. However, there is no standard thickness for side sleepers. The degree of thickness is entirely dependent on your preference.

It is advisable to visit the store and test the mattress, before committing to buy one. Many online retailers also provide a 100-night trial of their mattresses for this reason.

3. Level of Pressure Relief


Your ideal memory foam mattress should not concentrate pressure on a specific point of your body. Instead, it should evenly distribute it throughout to prevent soreness and aching.

The mattress should also offer ample support for your spine and shoulders. As a side sleeper, you are more at risk of experiencing chronic neck and shoulder pain. Therefore, a mattress that can accommodate your sleeping position should be your choice.

Recommended Sleeping Accessories For Side Sleepers

1. Pillows

Pillows are an ideal accessory to have if you are a side sleeper. They offer additional support for your neck, spine and hips, resulting in better quality sleep.

The best combination is to have two pillows, one for your neck to help align your spine and the other for between your knees, helping to keep your pelvis and hips firm. The result of this is a reduction in the chances of experiencing hip and shoulder pain when you wake up.

According to sleep experts, the pillow loft recommendation for side sleepers is medium to high depending on what makes you comfortable. Pillow loft refers to the height at which the pillow rests on the mattress.

The correct pillow height is achieved when your neck is straight in a neutral position, as seen in this picture:


When we created the MemorySleep™ pillow (shown in the picture) we had to make sure that the shape of the pillow as well as the firmness of the foam causes the correct height for all sleepers. You can read more about the pillow here.

2. Mattress Toppers

A memory foam mattress can be quite pricey, and purchasing a new one may not always be an option. However, you can opt for a memory foam mattress topper to ensure that you receive quality sleep.

These are less pricey, but still offer the same degree of comfort as the mattress. One thing to note is that mattress toppers only work for mattresses with a limited degree of wear. They will be ineffective if your mattress is past its useful life.

Memory Foam Mattresses Recommendations For Side Sleepers

1. Helix Midnight Mattress

These mattresses rank highly among side sleepers due to comfort and the excellent heat dissipation capabilities. They feature a combination of reinforced coils and memory foam, intending to provide you with the greatest comfort.

The memory foam distributes pressure well across the sleeping surface, reducing the risk of soreness and aches. The individually wrapped coils help reduce motion transfer and allow for sufficient airflow within the mattress helping with temperature regulation.

Helix midnight mattresses offer medium firmness and can support individuals who weigh up to 155 pounds or 70 kilograms. They are incredibly reliable and are known to last for close to ten years, depending on usage.

2. Layla

The Layla is a copper-infused memory foam mattress that offers excellent spinal support for side sleepers. What makes the mattress unique is that it has two sleeping surfaces, each with different firmness levels.

The duality of the sleeping surfaces makes the mattress an ideal choice for sleepers who are significantly heavier than the average person.

The copper infusion within the memory foam is excellent for heat distribution and also helps prevent motion transfer.

Layla mattresses come with a polyester and viscose mattress cover that is stain-resistant and easy to clean. The mattress is ideal for both individual sleepers and couples.

If you want to learn more about the Layla mattress you can do so here.

3. Idle Gel Foam

The Idle Gel Foam is a gel-infused memory foam mattress that offers the best body-contouring compared to others in the market. It does not hug too tightly to the body, allowing you free movement and comfort while you sleep.

The multiple layering also offers excellent motion isolation support meaning, you will not be disrupting your partner if you are a constant tosser.

The Idle Gel is a medium firmness mattress, meaning it does not sink too much when you lie on it. The firmness level offers ample support for your shoulders and hips, eliminating morning aches and pains.

You can learn more about the Idle gel foam mattress here.

4. Nectar

Nectar mattresses are among the most affordable memory foam mattresses you can get in the market. Despite their low price point, they are exceptionally well made and offer excellent support for those suffering from chronic neck and back pain.

They are made from polyurethane foam and offer a medium firmness. Nectar mattresses also provide excellent motion isolation and are great at pressure distribution.

The only downside with Nectar mattresses is that they do not deal with heat very well, and maybe uncomfortable for some users. However, most retailers also offer a gel-infused mattress cover with the mattress as part of the purchase.

The mattress can accommodate weights of up to 135 pounds or 60 kilograms for a single bed.

5. Tuft and Needle

These all-foam mattresses are a favourite among side sleepers who prioritize heat dissipation above everything else. The open-cells within the foam absorb your body heat and allow cool air to circulate, aiding in better quality sleep.

To better aid in cooling, the foam also features graphite and cooling gel, both good heat dissipators. Tuft and Needle memory foam mattresses have a firmness rating of six, which ranks them in the middle firmness category.

By using this mattress, you get terrific body- contouring without feeling too snug in the mattress. The solid structure also offers excellent motion isolation meaning your partner will be undisturbed in the event of regular tossing.

Tuft and Needle mattresses also have an easy to wash mattress cover, which is both stain-resistant and features anti-bacterial properties. The mattresses are in the mid-price category and will last you close to ten years.

Conclusion: Memory Foam Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Memory foam mattresses offer the best support and comfort for a side sleeper. They distribute your body weight well and alleviate any pressure that you exert on your shoulders and hips. If you suffer from sore shoulders and hips every time you wake up, it is time to switch to a memory foam mattress.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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