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Side sleeping is one of the most popular positions, but it carries some potential drawbacks. For many individuals, the biggest problem is pressure accumulating around their hips and shoulders, which can contribute to aches and pains. A mattress that’s too firm can add to the issue, while a mattress that’s too soft could let a side sleeper’s hips and shoulders sink in too deeply and put a strain on the spine.
While replacing the mattress is one potential solution, side sleepers can adjust the feel of their sleep surface to better meet their needs without investing in an entirely new bed. Mattress toppers are a convenient and affordable solution. These extra layers typically measure between 1 and 4 inches deep, and they rest on top of the existing mattress to act as an additional comfort layer.
We’ll highlight our top picks for the best mattress toppers for side sleepers, explain their construction and performance, and more. We’ll also go on to detail what shoppers should look for when buying a mattress topper.
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The Saatva Mattress Topper offers side sleepers supportive pressure relief and a broad selection of material options. This model is available in three different materials: graphite, latex, and foam.
The graphite version contains 3 inches of graphite-infused memory foam that helps draw heat away from the body while providing exceptional pressure relief.
Natural Talalay latex makes up the core of the 1.5-inch latex option. This material is breathable, durable, and more responsive.
The foam version is the most budget-friendly option in the line. It contains 1.5 inches of polyfoam for cradling and support.
Strengths vary based on the materials. The graphite version earns the highest scores in conforming, and the graphite and foam options both isolate motion well. The latex version rates highly in temperature neutrality and responsiveness. All are close to medium-soft, or 4 on the 10-point firmness scale, so they should help soften the surface of a mattress without bottoming out under pressure.
Each version is encased in a fabric cover to shield the core. Anchor bands on the corners help ensure a snug fit against the mattress and reduce the risk of shifting.
The Saatva Mattress Topper is available in the six standard mattress sizes. A 45-day return policy and 1-year limited warranty applies.
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Puffy’s Mattress Topper has a memory foam construction that slowly adapts to the body to relieve pressure points. Customers can also choose between two firmness levels – soft (3) and firm (7). Sleepers who need deeper contouring for pressure points, like side sleepers, should opt for the softer model. Back and stomach sleepers who prefer a supportive and even sleep surface may prefer the firmer option.
A cover made from 40% rayon derived from bamboo and 60% polyester encases the topper. Bamboo-derived materials are naturally breathable and soft to the touch. The cover is fully removable and machine washable for easy care, and it features an elasticated perimeter that helps you secure the topper to your mattress. The pocket fits mattresses up to 15 inches thick. Grips on the bottom of the topper prevent it from shifting while you sleep. The 2.5-inch thickness makes the topper a solid choice for sleepers looking to correct the feel of an old or indented mattress.
Puffy offers free shipping to customers living in the contiguous U.S. and a 101-night sleep trial. Customers can return a topper after a 30-night break-in period. Puffy Mattress Topper purchases are backed by a generous lifetime warranty.
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Finding a topper that improves the comfort level of a mattress can be tricky for side sleepers, since people who use this position need the right balance of cushioning and support to promote even alignment and alleviate pressure along the spine. The Silk & Snow Organic Mattress Topper is a fairly safe bet because shoppers can choose between two firmness levels. Durable, sustainably sourced materials also make the topper a solid choice for anyone with a mattress near the end of its lifespan who isn’t yet ready to purchase a new bed.
The topper’s core is composed of Dunlop latex, a naturally dense and responsive material that lightly contours to the body without the “hug” you might expect from foam. During our product tests, the medium (5) feel was most popular among side sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds. This firmness level provides close conforming and cushioning for the shoulders and hips – two common areas of pressure buildup for side sleepers in this weight range. Those who weigh more than 230 pounds may need extra support from their topper, so the firm (7) feel should be more suitable.
A cover made of organic cotton encases the latex. This fabric is exceptionally breathable and the latex retains a minimal amount of body heat, so the topper should sleep sufficiently cool for people who tend to run hot in bed. Global Organic Textile Standard and Global Organic Latex Standard certifications indicate the cover and latex have been sustainably grown and processed, making the topper an appealing option for eco-conscious individuals.
A 2-inch profile makes the topper a good temporary fix for mattresses with minor to moderate wear and tear. The cover can be removed and laundered in your household machines. Wash the fabric in warm water with like colors and mild detergent, then tumble dry on low heat. The latex should not be machine washed – simply spot clean the material if you notice stains or smudges.
The Organic Mattress Topper carries an approachable price-point compared to other latex toppers, and shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada. Silk & Snow backs each purchase with a 100-night trial period, giving you plenty of time to test out the topper and decide if it meets your needs. Should you decide to keep it, you’ll also receive a 3-year warranty that covers structural defects in the latex and a 1-year warranty for the cotton cover.
Best for Spinal Alignment
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If your mattress is overly worn and indented, you should consider a topper that will provide enough cushioning to optimize your alignment and alleviate pressure in sensitive areas along the spine. ViscoSoft’s Select High Density Mattress Topper is available in profiles of 3 or 4 inches. Both models are constructed from dense memory foam that adapts to your body’s unique curves, resulting in even weight distribution and excellent pressure relief. We recommend the 3-inch profile for mattresses with moderate wear and tear, and the 4-inch profile if your mattress is on its last leg.
A breathable mesh cover encases the mattress. The fabric is designed to dissipate heat and help you sleep cool. You can remove and machine wash the cover whenever a cleaning is needed. Elastic corner straps help secure the topper to your sleep surface, while a grooved base provides traction to prevent slippage during the night. These features make the topper a good option for combination sleepers who frequently change positions and those who are prone to tossing and turning.
The Select High Density Mattress Topper is available in seven sizes, including a short queen suitable for many RV beds. All sizes are reasonably priced and ViscoSoft offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S., so the topper is a good choice for shoppers with limited budgets. You may return the topper within 90 days of purchase if you aren’t satisfied. The standard warranty covers structural defects for 5 years, and you may purchase an extended warranty for an additional 2 years of coverage.
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The PlushBeds Latex Mattress Topper comes in two thickness options and five firmness levels. Customers can choose between a 2-inch or 3-inch profile, as well as a soft (3), medium soft (4), medium (5), medium firm (6), or extra firm (8) feel. The generous amount of customization options makes it a suitable choice for most types of sleepers.
The topper is made of Talalay latex, noted for its breathability and gently responsive feel. The material resists sinkage while providing relief to sensitive areas. Couples will appreciate how easily they can move across the surface while sleeping or during sex. Unlike memory foam, latex does not provide the “body hug” that often traps heat. This makes the topper an excellent choice for hot sleepers as well.
Back and stomach sleepers may appreciate the thinner and firmer options, and side sleepers may prefer the thicker and softer options to relieve pressure in the hips and shoulders. It also suits sleepers across weight groups. Sleepers under 130 pounds may want to consider the soft (3) option, and sleepers over 230 pounds may be drawn to the medium firm (6) feel or the extra firm (8) feel, both of which offer great support.
A moisture-wicking organic cotton cover is available for an additional fee. PlushBeds offers a 5-year warranty with purchases. Shipping is free to the contiguous U.S.
Best for Hip Pain
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Tempur-Pedic’s memory foam mattresses have a reputation for longer-than-average lifespans, which can be attributed to the dense and durable composition of proprietary TEMPUR foam. The TEMPUR-Adapt Topper is constructed using the same material with a 3-inch profile and a medium (5) feel. The result is a plush, adaptive surface that cushions the body and contours evenly to alleviate pain in the shoulders, lower back, hips, and other areas along the spine susceptible to pressure buildup.
The mid-range firmness and close conforming of this topper makes it best suited to side and back sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or less. Side sleepers receive plenty of cushioning around the spine to improve their alignment and reduce soreness, while back sleepers in this weight range should be able to lie comfortably without sinking too much. Those who share a mattress with their partner can also benefit from the topper because TEMPUR foam excels at motion isolation.
While a temporary fix, the TEMPUR-Adapt Topper is thick enough to improve the feel of an older mattress, even if the surface is heavily indented due to years of use. The foam is encased in a breathable cover made of knit polyester. You can remove and machine-wash the cover whenever a cleaning is needed, but you should avoid getting the foam wet.
Tempur-Pedic offers free ground shipping to customers in the contiguous U.S. All sales are final, so you cannot return the topper for a full refund after the purchase is made, but your order will be backed by a manufacturer’s warranty that covers structural defects for up to 5 years.
Best for Back Pain
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Back pain is common with side sleepers who don’t receive enough support from their mattress. Most people carry a disproportionate amount of weight around the midsection, and a mattress that feels too soft will buckle and sink around the shoulders and hips. One of the most appealing aspects of the Brooklyn Bedding’s Talalay Latex Topper is the firmness selection. Customers can choose between soft (3), medium (5), or firm (7) feels depending on their body type and general preferences. Side sleepers will likely find the softer options most comfortable, but those who weigh more than 230 pounds and experience back pain may want to choose the firm feel instead.
The topper’s core is constructed from Talalay latex, a highly responsive material that creates a noticeable bounce when you get in and out of bed. This may be beneficial for people who dislike the slow-response feel of memory foam. With a 3-inch profile, the topper is thick enough for mattresses with deep impressions or moderate to heavy wear and tear on the surface. The cover is made of breathable organic cotton and the latex shouldn’t retain too much heat, so the topper is also suitable for hot sleepers. The topper also comes in a Luxury Cooling cover option for especially hot sleepers.
The topper is available in all six standard mattress sizes, as well as less common full XL and short queen options. Brooklyn Bedding provides free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Each purchase comes with a 30-night sleep trial for testing out the topper and a 3-year warranty that covers structural defects.
Best for Pressure Relief
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The Turmerry Organic Latex Mattress Topper offers an eco-friendly design with multiple sizes, thickness, and firmness options. The latex construction will appeal to a wide range of sleepers, but is especially well suited for back sleepers due to its even balance of support and contouring.
The topper comes in either a 2-inch or 3-inch thickness and is offered in six sizes. Shoppers can also choose a soft, medium, or firm feel, corresponding to 3, 5, and 6 on our 10-point firmness scale. The soft option is best suited to side sleepers while the medium caters to back sleepers and some side sleepers. The firm topper is most beneficial to stomach sleepers, since they require a firm surface to maintain healthy sleep posture.
The topper is made with Dunlop latex that is both durable and supportive. The open-cell composition provides ventilation and breathability for a cool sleep. The latex has Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) and OEKO-TEX certifications, which guarantees that the topper meets organic standards and is free of known harmful chemicals. The mattress topper also comes with a zippered organic cotton cover.
Turmerry offers a 60-night sleep trial and a 5-year warranty that covers material and construction defects. Orders placed within the contiguous U.S. ship for free via UPS Ground. Turmerry offers UPS and USPS rates for shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, and other territories.
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Birch is well-known for crafting comfortable products from high-quality materials and the Plush Organic Mattress Topper is no exception. This topper is made of natural Talalay latex that’s wrapped in an organic wool and cotton cover. Sleepers should find this medium (5) firmness topper feels resilient and supportive.
Birch’s topper may be too firm for sleepers under 130 pounds and those who prefer deep contouring. However, it’s responsive and supportive enough to be comfortable for side sleepers who weigh over 230 pounds. This topper is durable, well-made, and likely to have a long lifespan.
Latex is naturally breathable. The cotton and wool cover enhances this quality and also wicks away moisture to keep you dry. Cotton promotes airflow, while wool regulates temperature. This combination ensures that you don’t get too hot while sleeping. Though the cover isn’t washable, it is engineered to be hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and mites.
Birch’s commitment to lowering its carbon footprint and practices like sustainable sourcing should appear to eco-conscious shoppers. The company ships its topper for free to customers living in the U.S. The Plush Organic Mattress Topper carries a 10-year warranty and includes a 100-night sleep trial.
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Many shoppers opt for foam mattress toppers when they’re looking to create a softer surface for their bed, but some might find that foam traps too much heat. An ideal alternative is a wool topper. The PlushBeds Handmade Natural Wool Topper creates a luxurious plush surface without any of the heat retention that foam toppers are known for. The above-average price tag is reflected in the high-end materials.
The topper measures 3 inches thick and is constructed with 100% wool. Known for its natural breathability, wool is excellent at wicking moisture from your body and preventing overheating at night. The medium firm (4) feel provides strong cushioning for sleepers who are looking to relieve painful pressure points. Side sleepers in particular will find this topper very comfortable, since they are prone to pressure buildup in the shoulders and hips.
To enhance the luxurious feel of this topper, PlushBeds encases it in a 400 thread count organic cotton cover with a smooth sateen weave. The cotton has GOTS certification to verify that it is organic. PlushBeds recommends spot-cleaning the topper using a soft brush and mild detergent, then fully air drying.
While PlushBeds does not accept returns for this topper, the product is backed by a 1-year warranty. Shipping is free within the contiguous U.S.
For this reason, side sleepers need more padding and reinforcement for their shoulders and hips. Sleep surfaces that feel too soft usually sink excessively for side sleepers, while overly firm surfaces with less cushioning can also produce aches and pains. If you sleep on your side and experience discomfort because your mattress either feels too firm or does not provide enough support, then a topper with your ideal firmness level can alleviate these aches and pains.
A mattress topper can make your bed more comfortable, but to do so, you must find the right topper for your preferences, needs, and sleep style. We’ll explain what criteria to consider as you shop.
There are several factors to consider when you purchase a mattress topper. While all of these apply regardless of your sleep position, we’ll highlight special considerations for side sleepers so that you can rest more comfortably in your preferred position.
Material: Toppers typically use memory foam, polyfoam, latex, feathers, down alternative, or wool. Any of these options may be appropriate for side sleepers depending on their existing mattress and how they hope to modify their sleep surface.
Side sleepers looking for more contouring and pressure relief may prefer a memory foam, polyfoam, or latex model. These materials shape to the sleeper’s body while providing support, making them popular with side sleepers. Memory foam has the closest hug, but it’s also the most likely to retain heat. Polyfoam usually conforms less closely but with added breathability. Latex spreads out the compression more for a floating feel, and it adds a bit of bounce. Feather, down alternative, and wool toppers add cushioning more than contouring. They can make the sleep surface plusher and more breathable, but they may not give the support and cradling many side sleepers prefer. However, if your mattress contours well, a topper made of one of these materials may be a nice addition.
Price: The price of a topper often reflects its quality and materials. There are plenty of budget-friendly options available for less than $100, in addition to luxury choices that exceed $1,000. The vast majority of toppers will fall somewhere in the middle. The sticker price of higher-end items may be a turnoff for some shoppers, but you should keep in mind that a more expensive topper may ultimately be a better value if it doesn’t need to be replaced as soon.
Sleeping Position:Side sleeping usually puts more pressure on the hips and shoulders because these areas are wider. A topper can help relieve this pressure by distributing the sleeper’s weight more evenly. Taking this into account can help you find an option with the right thickness, firmness, and materials to work with your sleep position and current mattress.
Quality Materials: Quality is paramount, potentially affecting both the comfort and longevity of your topper. High-quality options tend to resist long-term impressions and other signs of wear for continued comfort with regular use. While quality materials usually cost more, their durability may make them a better value overall.
Firmness Level: Side sleepers usually prefer a slightly softer sleep surface than back and stomach sleepers. Firmness preferences are subjective, but there are some things to consider to help you select the best feel for you. If your existing mattress is too firm for you, you may want a topper that is slightly softer than the bed itself. Similarly, if your mattress is too soft, you may prefer a firmer option. We would expect most sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds to prefer a soft to medium soft topper, those who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds to like a medium to medium firm option, and individuals who weigh over 230 pounds to gravitate towards a medium firm to firm topper.
Thickness:Mattress toppers usually measure between 1 and 4 inches thick. The thickness of a mattress topper will determine how significantly it alters the sleep surface. Thinner toppers traditionally adjust the feel slightly, while thicker options provide a more notable change. Side sleepers with a mattress that is too firm often prefer a thicker topper with enough room to cradle their hips and shoulders. If the mattress is only a bit too firm, however, a thinner topper may do the trick.
Pressure Relief: Since side sleeping can lead to sharp pressure points, pressure relief is often the main factor side sleepers look for in a topper. For optimal pressure relief, a topper must redistribute the side sleeper’s weight so that it is spread across the surface rather than being focused around the widest parts of the body.
Materials that contour to the sleeper, like memory foam, polyfoam, and latex, usually provide the best pressure relief, making toppers with these materials common choices for side sleepers.Weight also plays an important role in pressure relief. Sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds don’t sink in as deeply, so they may need a softer topper to enjoy contouring. Those who weigh over 230 pounds might prefer a firmer option so that they don’t sink in as much.
In addition to using a topper with your optimal firmness level to adjust the feel of a mismatched mattress, side sleepers can improve their alignment and alleviate pressure in other ways.
The ideal pillow for side sleepers will keep the head and neck level with the spine. Pillow loft, or thickness, is an important consideration here. High-loft pillows that elevate the head and neck often interfere with spinal alignment. The same is true for low-loft pillows that cause the head to fall back too far. Most side sleepers prefer medium-loft pillows, which generally measure 3 to 5 inches thick.
Some pillows offer an adjustable loft, meaning you can add or remove the fill as needed to reach your desired thickness. These pillows may be the best option if you aren’t sure about your ideal loft.
Your hips and lower back should be level with the head, neck, and shoulders to ensure even alignment and prevent pressure points from building up. This can be an issue for side sleepers because sleeping with one leg on top of the other can cause the lower back and hips to sink lower into the mattress. Placing a pillow between the legs often helps improve alignment and reduces pressure in the process.
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