Clicky

TOP 7 Best Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers in 2021

This research is supported by you, our readers, through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission with no extra cost to you. Learn More

Written by: Alex Savy
Read 29 minLast updated on August 27, 2021

Side sleeping is widely considered the most comfortable sleeping position.

But if you sleep on your side and constantly wake up feeling like you’re 80 years old, you might doubt that.

And I’m not here to blame you.

Instead, I will tell you that you can bring the comfort back into your bed — simply by investing in the right mattress pad.

I’ve reviewed the 7 best mattress toppers for side sleepers to help you do just that. So, feel free to take a look at them and check out the buying guide below!

A Quick Preview

Saatva Mattress Topper
Best Overall - Editor’s Pick

Saatva Mattress Topper
Check Current Price
Read more about this mattress topper
GhostBed Memory Foam Topper
Second Best Pick

GhostBed Memory Foam Topper
Check Current Price
Read more about this mattress topper
Lift Topper by Amerisleep
Best for Heavier Side Sleepers

Lift Topper by Amerisleep
Check Current Price
Read more about this mattress topper
Molecule Airtec Topper
Best for Sweat-Free Sleep

Molecule Airtec Topper
Check Current Price
Read more about this mattress topper
Eco Terra
Best for Comfort Variety

Eco Terra
Check Current Price
Read more about this mattress topper
Slice of Heaven by Plushbeds
Best Memory Foam Topper for Side Sleepers

Slice of Heaven by Plushbeds
Check Current Price
Read more about this mattress topper
Latex Topper by Brooklyn Bedding
Best Latex Topper for Side Sleepers

Latex Topper by Brooklyn Bedding
Check Current Price
Read more about this mattress topper

Our Reviews of 7 Best Mattress Pads for Side Sleepers

Best Overall - Editor’s Pick — Saatva Mattress Topper

Saatva Mattress Topper

 

Click the button below to check current price


Check Current Price Read our detailed review

Highlights:

  • includes a sleep trial to ensure 100% customer satisfaction;
  • available in 3 material variations to offer more comfort options;
  • sturdy elastic bands to prevent shifting and sliding.
 

What makes the best mattress topper for side sleepers is its ability to take care of the protruding body parts and pressure points. And this model by Saatva can certainly do that. It is 3 inches tall and offers a generous hug. When I was testing this topper, my sore hip felt comfortable and tension-free, as the topper gently cradled it. 

But that’s not the only thing that makes the Saatva topper worth your attention. This model also offers impressive versatility. It comes in 3 material variations. All of them have a similar firmness level but different properties. This means, pretty much any side sleeper can pick a topper that could make them feel the most comfortable. I, for example, decided to test the graphite memory foam model. It felt enveloping (great for lying on one side) but didn’t sleep hot, which is always a nice bonus for this sleeping style.

Second Best Pick — GhostBed Memory Foam Topper

GhostBed Memory Foam Topper

Click the button below to check current price Check Current Price Read our detailed review

Highlights:

  • zoned support to ensure proper spinal alignment during sleep;
  • infused with cooling gel to prevent night sweats;
  • fitted-sheet design for an extra secure fit.
 

Another model that deserves to be among the best mattress toppers for side sleepers is the GhostBed. The thing is, this topper can take your comfort to a whole new level. It uses a zoned support system that works to redistribute the pressure evenly. As a result, your body would remain properly aligned when lying on one side. I could feel that when sleeping on the GhostBed after a long day of slouching in front of the computer. My tense back experienced immediate relief, so I slept pressure-free.

Now, another thing that makes the GhostBed topper stand out from the competitors is that it comes with a waterproof cover. Hence, it can protect your mattress from accidental spills. Naturally, this means your topper and mattress will stay fresh and clean longer. To tell the truth, I was a bit skeptical at first, so I decided to test how the waterproof lining works in this topper. The result: it is safe for breakfasts in bed.

Best for Heavier Side Sleepers — Lift Topper by Amerisleep

Lift Mattress Topper by Amerisleep

Click the button below to check current price Check Current Price Read our detailed review

Highlights:

  • HIVE technology for pinpoint pressure alleviation;
  • removable cover for effortless cleaning, great for allergy sufferers;
  • 5-year warranty to guarantee your peace of mind.
 
 

If you want to find the best mattress topper for side sleepers but they all seem to be too soft for you, consider the Lift by Amerisleep. This model comes in two firmness variations, including a stiffer one that offers more support. It might be a great solution for a heavier side sleeper. You see, this model can offer enough support to prevent unhealthy curvatures in your back. At the same time, it’s still cradling and gentle on pressure points, which is crucial for this sleeping style. And that’s what sets the Lift apart, as most toppers for side sleepers are extra plushy.

Another aspect that I appreciate is the removable cover the Lift comes with. Again, it’s quite rare for most modern toppers. A removable cover can come in handy if you are prone to environmental allergies. You can take it off and wash it in the machine regularly, getting rid of allergens, dead skin cells, and other debris. Such a smart design also makes the Lift ideal for users who sleep with their pets or enjoy breakfasts in bed.

Best for Sweat-Free Sleep — Molecule Airtec Topper

Molecule Airtec Topper

Click the button below to check current price Check Current Price Read our detailed review

Highlights:

  • AirTec core for improved airflow and cooler sleep;
  • multi-layer construction to deliver proper support and comfort;
  • 30-night risk-free trial to guarantee user satisfaction.

Another model on our list of the best mattress toppers for side sleepers is the Molecule, which would be ideal for those who hate sleeping hot. This model uses proprietary breathable materials that maintain proper airflow even when being compressed. The cover also feels pleasantly cool to the touch (although the fabric is synthetic). 

The Molecule doesn’t only create a temperature-neutral environment, it’s also very comfy thanks to its multi-layer design. The base layer is dense and sturdy, which contributes to optimal weight distribution during sleep. And the comfort layers are cradling and should gently hug your pressure points when lying on one side. And since the Molecule topper has a medium feel (for an average individual), it should work for side sleepers.

Best for Comfort Variety - Eco Terra

Eco Terra

Click the button below to check current price

Check Current Price Read our detailed review

Highlights:

  • natural latex to ensure every user’s safety (suited even for sensitive sleepers);
  • three firmness options to accommodate sleepers that belong to different weight categories;
  • organic cotton cover for superb breathability.

Want to find the best mattress topper for side sleepers but feeling tired of the prevailing foam models that come in one comfort option only? Then you might want to consider the Eco Terra latex topper. The best part about this model is that it comes in 3 firmness and 2 thickness options. Therefore, there’s a suitable solution for any side sleeper. For instance, if you are a petite individual, you can get the Soft option. If you are heavier and require extra support, the Medium or Medium-Firm should work well in this case.

Another cool thing about this mattress topper is that it doesn’t sleep hot. This aspect can be important for many users, especially side sleepers who sink a bit deeper into the topper when lying on one side. With the Eco Terra, you don’t have to worry about that. Latex is naturally neutral and does not retain body heat. Add a breathable cotton cover to the mix, and you get an ideal topper for hot sleepers.

Best Memory Foam Topper for Side Sleepers — Slice of Heaven by Plushbeds

Slice of Heaven by Plushbeds

Click the button below to check current price

Check Current Price Read our detailed review

Highlights:

  • 4PCF memory foam;
  • 2 and 3-inch thickness available;
  • environmentally friendly manufacturing process.

Having tested the PlushBeds Memory Foam Topper, I immediately reserved a place on my list of the best mattress toppers for side sleepers for this model. It stands up to its name and can offer you total-body pressure relief in no time. Plus, it’s made of high-density memory foam and may serve you for years to come. The thing is, this topper is made using high-density memory foam. It conforms super closely to the body and thus, can distribute the weight evenly and reduce the unwanted tension.

This luxury topper has a soft to medium feel and can suit most sleepers of average body weight. It instantly contours to your body and distributes the weight around the surface, so you can relax and drift off easily. The topper promotes healthy spine alignment in whichever position you prefer and can prevent you from getting a sore back in the morning.

Now, the dense memory foam of this topper absorbs any unwanted movement that may come from your restless bedmate. I’m a pretty active sleeper myself, which is a problem for my wife, and she didn’t have any complaints while we were testing this mattress pad.

We slept on the 2-inch option and found it to be perfect for adding some hug to an overly firm bed. However, there’s also a 3-inch thick option available, which can be combined with worn-out mattresses to mask their uneven surface.

Overall, I think the PlushBed topper is a perfect pick for side sleepers. It can precisely address your needs and offer great pressure relief and spinal support.

Best Latex Topper for Side Sleepers — Latex Topper by Brooklyn Bedding

Latex Topper by Brooklyn Bedding

Click the button below to check current price

Check Current Price Read our detailed review

Highlights:

  • natural composition to ensure every sleeper’s safety;
  • temperature-neutral latex to eliminate overheating at night;
  • three firmness options to accommodate sleepers that belong to different weight categories.
 

Looking for a mattress topper that won’t make you worry about sleeping with chemical off-gassing? Then this latex topper by Brooklyn Bedding could be an excellent solution. It uses natural Talalay latex that derives from rubber trees and thus, does not contain any harmful chemicals. Additionally, because latex is very adaptive and can cradle your shoulders and hips, this model makes one of the best mattress toppers for side sleepers. The Brooklyn Bedding topper would hug the protruding body parts while keeping the back relatively straight and thus, healthy.

I was also happy to discover that this model does not sleep hot. For side sleepers, that’s a crucial aspect, as this sleeping style often results in more sinkage and thus, more heat retention. However, with the Brooklyn Bedding latex topper, I didn’t have issues like that. This topper is cradling, but it doesn’t feel enveloping. Additionally, latex foam is quite breathable. As a result, this topper could remain neutral all night long.

Why Do You Need to Consider Your Sleep Position When Shopping for a Mattress Topper?

Sleep Position-P1044702

Today, there are hundreds of mattress pads on the market, and the number keeps growing. Manufacturers promise that their topper will improve your sleep, alleviate back pain, and virtually restore your youth!

All the advertisements might make you think all toppers are equal, and you might feel like purchasing the first model that catches your eye.

But let me share a secret with you.

Not all mattress toppers are universally comfortable for all sleepers.

Besides, there are some common issues for side sleepers, and your ideal mattress topper should be able to solve them for you:

  • Your spine may get out of alignment. Unlike back sleeping, which is considered the healthiest for your spine, side sleeping can make your back hurt. That’s because side sleepers tend to rotate their upper body to get comfortable, which puts strain on the lower back and pelvic area, resulting in morning pain. Plus, sleeping on your side can make the corresponding shoulder collapse into the mattress and create misalignment that leads to shoulder pain (1).
  • Protruding hips and shoulders may accumulate pressure. These parts of your body experience the most pressure when you’re sleeping on your side. And if your mattress has a firm feel and doesn’t allow your body to sink, you may feel pain and stiffness in these areas.
  • You may experience numbness and tingling in your arms. Sleeping on one side for too long may compress the nerves in your arms and cause you to lose sensitivity. You know the feeling I'm talking about — it's as if a thousand little needles are stinging you, and it's highly uncomfortable.

All these issues may get worse when you’re sleeping on the wrong surface.

So, let’s dive into what makes a mattress topper best for a side sleeper so that you can find one and start sleeping comfortably.

Side sleeping can be more beneficial for certain back pain diagnoses, such as herniated lumbar disks, osteoarthritis, or spinal stenosis (2).

Are Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers the Same as Mattress Pads?

No, mattress toppers and pads aren’t the same.

Toppers are significantly thicker, in most cases. They can potentially alter the feel of one’s mattress and make it noticeably more comfortable.

As for mattress pads, they are thinner. That’s why this bedding accessory isn’t likely to offer enough added comfort when compared with mattress toppers. In most cases, mattress pads are used to protect mattresses from stains or when sleepers don’t need that much alteration in terms of comfort.

What Are Quality Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers Made of?

Even though the mattress industry constantly comes up with innovative materials, they’re mostly used for making mattresses.

As for mattress pads, chances are that you’ll be choosing between memory foam, polyurethane foam, and natural latex. So, let’s find out how each of these materials works for side sleepers.

Memory Foam

The queen of cradling, memory foam comes in three different variations when it comes to mattress toppers:

  • Solid. Solid memory foam is cradling and adjustable to your body curves. If you choose a model that is 3–4 inches thick, you can easily rejuvenate the feel of your old bed. However, memory foam is known for its heat retention issues. If you're a side sleeper, you'll tend to sink deeper into the mattress, which is why you'll tend to sleep hot.
  • Convoluted. You've probably noticed a lot of mattress toppers with a peak-and-valley design. This design makes for a solid option for side sleepers. The convoluted design contributes to pressure relief, especially in the hip and shoulder areas. Along with that, convoluted foam promotes better airflow, so you’ll sleep cooler. The main issue with egg-crate pads is the peaks can lose their shape quickly, which can negatively affect the supportive properties.
  • Infused. Memory foam is most commonly infused with copper, graphite, charcoal, and cooling gel particles. Adding different mixtures to foams aims to prevent heat retention, odors, and mold development.

Polyurethane Foam

Polyfoam is a cheaper alternative to memory foam. It has an open-cell structure, so it withdraws heat from your body more effectively and may feel more spongy than viscoelastic foam.

Also, polyfoam has a quick rebound. This quality comes in handy if you’re looking for a mattress topper for an active side sleeper or individual with mobility concerns.

Possible drawbacks of polyfoam include lower durability and a pronounced odor that may take time to air out.

Natural Latex

Latex is made from the vulcanized sap of rubber trees. This material offers several benefits:

  • great durability;
  • breathable construction;
  • resistance to mold and dust mites.

Also, a latex topper offers a good balance between cradling and quick rebound, so it means you get precise contouring for your hips and shoulders without limiting your movements.  If you have hip pain, there are some great mattress toppers for hip pain sufferers.

However, not everybody loves how latex mattress pads feel — they can be quite bouncy. Also, latex toppers are most often the priciest on the market, which can be a turnoff for some users.

Down or feathers

Down mattress toppers are quite popular among side sleepers. They tend to be rather thick and puffy. This material can provide a great deal of cushioning for the protruding body parts. At the same time, down toppers are breathable and can do a great job of regulating the temperature during sleep.

However, there are a few things shoppers need to keep in mind. First of all, down or feather mattress toppers can be very expensive

Additionally, such toppers can’t usually deliver much support. They offer a generous amount of padding, but down is a soft material that can’t contribute to support that much. Therefore, these toppers are most frequently used by petite or average sleepers or those who have a firmer, supportive mattress and want to add a layer of padding.

Next, down toppers can go flat with regular use. That’s why they require regular fluffing. For some users, this can be an issue. After all, not many sleepers are ready to make that much effort when trying to make their bed more comfortable.

Allergy-prone users should also be careful with down or feather mattress toppers. They can accumulate moisture, which usually creates perfect conditions for dust mites. Naturally, this can lead to unpleasant allergic reactions.

Natural fibers

Some mattress toppers use shredded fibers such as wool and cotton. They can be quite affordable and make a great option for budget shoppers.

That being said, wool and cotton toppers aren’t very supportive in most cases. They can offer an extra layer of padding and not much more.

These toppers are often used when sleepers require improved thermoregulation. Both wool and cotton fibers are extremely breathable. They can keep sleepers cool by allowing for proper air circulation during the night. Wool and cotton also wick the excess moisture away, which may contribute to thermoregulation as well.

Even though both polyfoam and natural latex are considered high-rebound materials, the latter has shown better pressure relief and weight distribution in different sleeping positions (3).

Also read: 5 Best Egg-Crate Mattress Toppers

Finding the Right Firmness Point for Side Sleepers

Firmness Point - P1044705

After defining the materials that best suit your needs, the second factor you need to consider if you want a decent mattress topper for side sleepers is firmness.

And this is where things can get tricky.

Firmness perception varies from person to person and is tied to numerous factors.

  • Sleeping position. Since we’re talking about side sleeping here, I will make suggestions only about this sleeping style. Side sleepers will benefit from a mattress topper with a soft or medium-soft feel because it allows them to sink more deeply and avoid spine misalignment. Also, a soft mattress topper can reduce the pressure created in the hips and shoulders, alleviating stiffness in these areas.
  • Weight. If you’re a heavy side sleeper, you might be best to choose a mattress pad with a medium or even medium-firm feel. In this case, the topper will withstand the increased load around your hips and maintain correct spine alignment.
  • Aches and pains. Any kind of pain can alter the perception of firmness. Besides, different aches and pains may require different firmness levels to help you deal with them. For example, a firmer mattress topper with some bounce is good for those who suffer from joint pain. People with lower back pain may need a softer and more cradling topper to support this area.

Speaking of sleep quality, softer beds are perceived as more comfortable (4) and can deliver more stable and deep sleep.

Other Important Checks to Make When Choosing a Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers

Not only the properly chosen type of mattress topper and firmness make the best mattress topper for a side sleeper. You still need to consider other factors to ensure the model you choose will work as you expect it to.

So, I will list these important factors for you below.

  • Thermoregulation. Hot sleeping is a common issue among side sleepers, so your mattress topper should be able to withdraw excess body heat. Even though the traditional polyurethane-based memory foam has great pressure-relieving effects, it’s still a low-rebound material that can retain some body heat and make falling asleep more difficult (5). To avoid that, look for foams with an open-cell structure or those infused with cooling gel or copper. But, if your budget allows, go for natural latex toppers that sleep much cooler than any foam.
  • Thickness. Thickness is an important factor if you own an old mattress. The thicker your mattress topper is, the more easily it can mask the saggy and lumpy areas and help you sleep soundly. Additionally, a thicker mattress can offer more cradling for the protruding body parts when sleeping on one side. Thick mattress toppers simply allow for extra sinkage. Therefore, they can hug one’s pressure points and thus, prevent tension accumulation in side sleepers.

Thickness-P1044689

  • Durability. The durability of a mattress topper depends mainly on the density of the materials used. Medium density for a memory foam topper starts from 3 PCF (pounds per cubic foot). If you go for polyurethane foam, look for 1.5 PCF or higher. Finally, for a latex mattress pad, 4.3–4.5 PCF is a good starting point.
  • Odors. Since foam is a result of a complex chemical reaction, in most cases, it will have a chemical odor. To avoid smelly foams, do not go for cheap mattress toppers. Also, you may opt for scented foams, e.g. infused with lavender or aloe vera. These scents will mask the factory foam odor and may even help you fall asleep more easily.
  • Cover. Some mattress toppers come with removable covers, and that’s a huge plus. A removable cover would allow users to easily keep their sleeping environment clean. It would also come in handy for allergy sufferers. They can get rid of dust and other potential allergens by simply removing the cover and washing it regularly.
  • Fastening system. Many side sleepers don’t have a favorite side and tend to switch positions during the night. In this case, they may want to think about the suited fastening system the mattress topper would have. For example, there are models that come with elastic straps. They work to keep the topper fixed on top of the mattress and prevent it from sliding off during the night. There are also models that work like a fitted sheet. In this case, users need to make sure the pockets are deep enough for their mattress’s height.
  • Sleep Trial. Most toppers come with a free sleep trial period. This period, like most mattresses, allows you to try out the topper and return it before the period expires if you are not satisfied with it. You should consider sleep trials if you are unsure of the topper that is most suitable for you.
  • The shipping cost. The shipping cost of the topper you desire should be considered when choosing a mattress topper for side sleepers. Although most companies in the US offer free shipping, others do not. Therefore, it will be wise to consider this if you are not big on paying extra shipping costs.

Some manufacturers suggest you air out the topper for 12–24 hours before sleeping on it. This can help decrease the odor as well.

FAQ

What type of mattress topper is best for side sleepers?

 

The best type of mattress topper for side sleepers is the one made of cradling and responsive materials, such as memory foam, natural latex, or polyfoam as a cheaper alternative to both.

How firm should a mattress topper for a side sleeper be?

A good topper for a side sleeper should be soft. For sleepers over 250 pounds, a medium or a medium-firm mattress topper might be a better solution.

How thick should a mattress topper for side sleepers be?

For side sleepers, an optimal topper thickness would be 3 inches and more.

Is a bamboo mattress topper beneficial for a side sleeper?

Yes. A bamboo mattress topper provides medium-level support to your body, which is very beneficial to side sleepers.

Which mattress topper is best for relieving pressure for side sleepers?

Any good mattress topper within the 4-inch range is recommended. It helps to buffer the heavyweight of the hips for side sleepers. However, a memory foam topper will provide the needed support to maintain neutral spine alignment, which aids side sleepers in enjoying their sleep.

Conclusion

I’m not going to deny the fact that sleeping on the side is extremely comfortable. After all, I’m a side sleeper myself. What I’m going to say is that you can easily make your side sleeping even more comfortable if you purchase the right mattress topper.

And to do that, shoppers need to pay attention to the topper material and learn more about its characteristics. This way, they will be likely to figure out which type would make them the happiest. Thickness and the density matter too. The former may affect one’s comfort and the latter - durability of the mattress topper.

Now, if you are still feeling a bit hesitant, allow me to share the model that managed to impress me the most. The Saatva Mattress Topper is a unique find that’s likely to make countless side sleepers happy. The Saatva topper is thick and comes in three material variations. Therefore, there’s a chance any user can find an ideal option based on their particular preferences. Additionally, this topper by Saatva is quality-made, so it’s going to be a long-lasting investment.

So, what are your biggest concerns about sleeping on your side? Do you think any model of those reviewed above can resolve them? Share below please!

References

 
 
  1. Kristeen Cherney (2019, September 25). How to Sleep on Your Side Without Waking Up with a Sore Back or Neck. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/side-sleeper
  2. Richard Staehler, MD (2017, October 25). Mattresses and Sleep Positions for Each Back Pain Diagnosis. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/mattresses-and-sleep-positions-each-back-pain-diagnosis
  3. Fan-Zhe Low, Matthew Chin-Heng Chua, Pan-Yin Lim, Chen-Hua Yeow. (2016, October 21). Effects of Mattress Material on Body Pressure Profiles in Different Sleeping Postures. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28228692/
  4. G. G. Bader, S. Engdal (2000, October 2). The Influence of Bed Firmness on Sleep Quality: a Comparative Study. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11059462/
  5. Shintaro Chiba, Tomogo Yaki, Motohiro Ozone, Mari Matsumura, et al. (2018, June 27) High-Rebound Mattress Toppers Facilitate Core Body Temperature Drop and Enhance Deep Sleep in the Initial Phase of Nocturnal Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6021054/

Our research

55

Mattress Toppers Considered

270

Hours of Research

4

Sleep Experts Consulted

Subscribe to get updates and new deals!

Zero spam. Unsubscribe at any time

2 comments

  1. Can I just say what a relief to discover an individual who genuinely understands what they are discussing on the net. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people must read this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you are not more popular given that you most certainly have the gift.

    1. Hello Guillermo,
      Thanks a lot for your kind words! I hope this article was helpful!

Leave a comment