What’s the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers?

Last Updated May 05, 2022

Did you know sleeping on your side (also called lateral sleeping by sleep scientists!) is the most common sleeping position? Not only is it common, but it also comes with a range of big health benefits including reduced back pain, better breathing (less snoring!), and better digestion. While side sleeping does have its benefits, side sleepers can often experience shoulder pain as well as lower back pain if the mattress they’re sleeping on doesn’t properly support the side sleeping position. So, what’s a side sleeper to do?

Well, the good news is there are mattresses out there that are best suited to your preferred sleeping position. Side sleepers often do best on a mattress that contours to the shape of the body and offers good pressure point relief. Such mattress features help to reduce any type of pain associated with side sleeping by cushioning the areas of the body that press harder into the mattress when lying on your side. 

In this guide, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about side sleeping and how to find the best mattress for you so you can get a comfortable, restful and pain-free sleep each and every night. 

Is Side Sleeping Good for You?

The short answer is yes. In fact, it’s one of the better positions to sleep in for your overall health. Chiropractors, physiotherapists, and other health professionals often recommend side sleeping as the ultimate position for the most comfortable sleep, the best position for spinal alignment, and for recovery. Meanwhile, sleeping on your left-hand side can also help aid in digestion.

When done correctly with the proper body alignment, sleeping on your side can reduce both joint and low back pain. It can even help with chronic pain associated with long-term conditions like fibromyalgia. And in good news for people with partners who snore, side sleeping helps reduce snoring and sufferers of sleep apnea. 

The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

As a side sleeper, you need a mattress that offers a good level of comfort and cushioning while also providing pressure relief through the shoulders, hips and pelvis area. Generally speaking, mattresses classified as soft, medium or medium-firm will be best for you. While back and stomach sleepers are better suited to firm or very firm mattresses, this level of firmness won’t typically provide the cushioning and comfort you need when lying on your side. However, every sleeper is different so it’s important to keep personal preference in mind too – there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to finding the best mattress for side sleepers.

However, sleep science says the best mattress for side sleepers is a mattress that supports the correct alignment of the body. The mattress should be soft enough to cushion the shoulders, hips, and pelvis while also being supportive enough to keep the body in alignment and not let you sink too far into the mattress. 

Bodyweight is also an important consideration, so typically for side sleepers below 90kg, we’d recommend a medium-soft to medium-firm mattress, while side sleepers over 90kgs will best benefit from a medium-firm to firm mattress. 

Below, we’ve outlined our top picks for the best mattresses for side sleepers across a range of different categories, as well as some real customer reviews, so that you can find the best one for you and your needs. 

Best Overall

Ecosa

Best Overall

Mattress type: Memory foam

Warranty period: 15 years

Can you try before you buy?: 100 nights

Price Queen : $1,050

Ecosa is one of the most well-known and popular Australian mattress in box products. It comes in a range of extra sizes, so you can really tailor it to your body size. It also has a customisation feature that allows you to tailor the firmness level to suit your body and needs. It’s good value for money and overall a highly well-regarded and generally loved mattress-in-a-box bed.

The standard Ecosa mattress comes with a medium pressure option, which is how all Ecosa mattresses are shipped. It’s easier to get a firmer mattress by swapping the layers or flipping the mattress. The customisation feature makes the Ecosa mattress work for most sleepers, but typically back and side sleepers will enjoy it the most as the foam supports the natural curve of the body, with a comfort layer offering cushioning for pressure points. Many customers suggest they wake up with less back pain and neck stiffness.

What the reviews say: 

Very comfortable mattress! I was 36 weeks pregnant when it arrived and was having terrible trouble sleeping on my plush, spring with memory foam top mattress as I was getting sciatica pains and not allowed to sleep on my back. I have the Ecosa set to medium and it’s been perfect! No pain if I sleep on my side or back. Delivery was super quick.

Analisa, September 2020, www.productreview.com.au

Tried this mattress for two weeks and it’s simply too hard for side sleepers. I ended up with a lot of hip and back pain because my hips wouldn’t sink into the mattress enough, even on the softest layer.

Tim, January 2020, www.productreview.com.au

Read more about the Ecosa mattress here.

Best Value

Eva

Best Value

Mattress type: Hybrid

Warranty period: 12 years

Can you try before you buy?: 120 night trial

Price (RRP): $900

The Eva mattress has quickly made a name for itself as one of the best-valued mattresses in Australia. With a combined cooling memory foam and pocket spring system, the Eva mattress provides an optimal night’s rest for sleepers of all kinds, including front, back, side and combo. Being a hybrid, it suits the needs of all types of sleepers and has earned itself a great name in the mattress in a box industry.

The top comfort layer of the Eva mattress has a breathable and durable polyester cover. This is followed by layers of memory foam (20mm), latex (20 mm), and a high density foam (70 mm). This unique combo gives the Eva mattress a ‘foamy’ feel but also provides enough pressure to suit most people. Meanwhile, The five-zone pocket springs help distribute a sleeper’s weight throughout the mattress, helping relieve pressure during the night, while also providing dynamic support to each section of the body, with variable firmness at the head, shoulders, back, hips and legs/feet. And, with the Queen mattress coming in at $900, the Eve certainly provides the most value for side-sleepers on a budget.

What the reviews say: 

Amazing and comfy mattress. I sleep on my side and suffered from hip pain with our old mattress, which has now gone.

John, February 2020, www.productreview.com.au

My partner and I are divided. He loves the mattress, and I don’t. I find the mattress to be quite hard and the curves within the mattress are too prominent to get used to. I am a side sleeper.

Sam, January 2020, www.productreview.com.au

Read more about the Eva mattress here.

Best Luxury

Ergoflex 5G

Best Luxury

Mattress type: Memory foam

Warranty period: 10 years

Trial period: 30 nights

Price (RRP): $1,529

Ergoflex is a UK-founded company that came to the Australian market in 2010. Their main goal was to build a high quality mattress, but at a much-cheaper price point than luxury mattress brands (like Tempur). Overall, they’ve done a great job at offering a high-quality memory foam mattress in a box product at a very reasonable price point.

While Ergoflex might not be the most well-known or popular mattress-in-a-box product, it certainly should be. It’s one of the highest-quality memory foam mattresses on the market, and arguably the most comfortable. A typical memory foam mattress is designed to adapt to your unique body comforts, offering a well-supported spine and better posture. Not many memory foam mattresses truly offer all these features – except the Ergoflex 5G that is made from high-density foam.

The mattress offers exceptional levels of pressure relief and support, which most sleepers (especially side sleepers) would appreciate. It’s especially rated for its ability to reduce pain. Plenty of customer reviews describe sleeping on the mattress as “sleeping on a cloud”.

What the reviews say: 

I have been on a quest for the right mattress since I became a side sleeper. I have purchased on average one mattress every 6 months for the last ten years until I found Ergoflex. Originally, I thought it was going to be too soft but it has such incredible firm support underneath the soft cushioning top layer that is very good for my hip and lower back. I sleep extremely well on Ergoflex and I do not wake up with back pain anymore.

Janni, May 2020, www.productreview.com.au

Mattress is not supportive, does not “hold” position. I tried for several weeks, but now I just wake up in agony every morning. I was told it would be great for my back, but it only makes it worse. It was a total waste of money that we are now stuck with because we tried to give it a chance after new bed bases arrive. Don’t buy this mattress if you are a side sleeper.

No Sleep Sue, December 2020 www.productreview.com.au

Read more about the Ergoflex mattress here.

Best Foam

New Koala

Best Foam

Mattress type: foam

Warranty period: 10 years

Can you try before you buy?: 120 nights trial

Price (Queen): New Koala ranges from $1,050

The Koala mattress is one of the most popular mattress in a box products in Australia. In fact, they were one of the first companies to revolutionize the direct-to-consumer mattress in a box space in the country. It recently brought out its New Koala range to compete with similar players like Ecosa and Sleeping Duck, now offering a customisable mattress to suit your individual needs.

While typically foam mattresses aren’t the best for side sleepers, if you really do want a foam mattress then we’d recommend the New Koala. Overall, the New Koala mattress feels quite dense, but it’s still quite reactive to body movements. You can change the firmness level to suit your side-sleeper needs as well and find the layer combination that provides the most comfortable sleep for your needs.

What the reviews say: 

I can’t tell you how much I love my Koala Mattress. The mattress is super supportive but is still soft enough which as a side sleeper is so important, I sometimes find mattresses can be a little too firm around the hips but this is like sleeping in a cloud!

Sally, March 2020,  www.productreview.com.au

I’ve had this mattress for about 5 months. It is way too hard. I’ve tried it with a mattress topper from ALDI and currently have a topper that Koala sent me. My hips and shoulders do not sink into the mattress at all. I feel like there is no support/cushion at all.

Chelle, January 2021, www.productreview.com.au

Read more about the New Koala mattress here.

Best Foam

Noa

Best Foam

Mattress type: Hybrid

Warranty period: 15 years

Can you try before you buy?: 100 night trial

Price (Queen): $1,099

The Noa mattress is a universally comfortable mattress that’s ideal for all sleeping positions and body types, but especially side sleepers. If we’re looking at a firmness scale of 1-10, the Noa mattress would be somewhere around the 7 (not too hard, not too soft!)

With its signature pocket spring system, side sleepers receive great spinal support. Meanwhile, it also offers great motion isolation, so partner disturbance is kept to a minimum. Thanks to its natural latex foam and memory foam layer, the Noa mattress provides excellent medium-firm pressure relief, which is certainly ideal for side sleepers. If you suffer from any kind of spinal aggravation while sleeping on your side, you’ll love the Noa thanks to its layers and the firmness specifications. Particularly, the Noa Luxe mattress with its 5 ergonomic support zones will assist with proper spinal alignment.

What the reviews say: 

My first-night sleep was great, and then it continued to improve over the next 2 weeks. I wake up feeling rested and full of energy. The mattress is firm and supportive, and the memory foam layer makes it feel like you are sleeping on a layer of clouds. I’m a side sleeper and used to have hip pain, and that has disappeared since I got the bed.

Isabelle, May 2021, www.productreview.com.au

Alright, so after months and months of sleeping in this mattress, I have to say it’s a waste of money. Especially if you sleep on your side. It’s hard as a rock, hot and sweaty and you’ll wake up in pain.

Pedro, December 2019, www.productreview.com.au

Read more about the Noa mattress here.

The Verdict

The final verdict on the best mattress for side sleepers? The winner is Ecosa. With its changeable foam layers to help give a comfortable sleep for those who prefer to sleep on their side, as well as one of the longest warranties of 15 years and at an excellent price point – you certainly can’t go past the Ecosa. However, if foam mattresses aren’t your preferred mattress type we hope we’ve given you plenty of other options to choose from. If you still need help deciding, get in touch with one of our sleep experts who will be more than happy to help you find the best mattress for your side-sleeping needs.

Ally Burnie Head Dreamer Ally Burnie
Journalist, presenter and host based in Sydney with a passion for cooking, outdoor adventures, hiking, humanitarianism, and travel.

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