Buying a Bed

What is the Best Mattress For Side Sleepers?

Side sleeping is the most popular sleep position in Australia. More than 60% of Australians sleep on their side. At SleepMaker, we have worked hard to design and hand-craft a range of comfortable mattresses that are as unique as your individual sleeping preference and suitable for all side sleepers of Australia.

Benefits of Side Sleeping

Sleeping on your side is often said to have many benefits, including easier breathing, improved back alignment and better digestion; good news for the 55% of all adults who sleep on their side.  But if you’re a side sleeper who hasn’t got the best mattress for side sleepers, you may miss out on all of the side sleeper benefits, and worst, you may even be at risk of experiencing shoulder or hip pressure point pain.


What Kind of Mattress Do Side Sleepers Need?

The best mattress for side sleepers of Australia is a mattress that supports the correct alignment of your body to provide associated health improvements like better digestion and easier breathing.

Optimal support is also the key in ensuring side sleepers do not uncomfortably sink into a mattress.

Given the importance of the support a mattress should provide a side sleeper, you may be left wondering: do side sleepers need a firm or soft mattress? Overall, side sleepers are better suited to softer mattresses than back or tummy sleepers. Ideally, a side sleeper mattress will be soft enough to cushion the pressure points of hips, knees and shoulders, yet supportive enough to encourage optimal body alignment. A mattress that’s too firm for a side sleeper will cause pressure point pain on areas like the hip and shoulder joints.

SleepMaker mattresses are universally suitable for most side sleepers but it’s all about your personal sleep preference. It’s a fine balance between support and comfort to ensure you’ll wake up refreshed each morning. Your body shape and weight plays a big part in finding a suitable mattress feel that’s the most comfortable. Here’s a quick guide with firmness levels to give you a little start in the right direction:


Weight Suggested Firmness Level
Below 90 kilograms* Medium-soft to Medium
Above 90 kilograms* Medium-firm to Firm



Mattresses For Side Sleepers Who Experience Pain & Discomfort

Side sleepers frequently complain of shoulder and neck tenderness, resulting from their shoulder pushing into a too firm mattress or if there is no support to the shoulder area in a bed that’s too soft. The best mattress for side sleepers with shoulder pain is a mattress that can cradle the shoulder area without too much pressure. In addition, side sleepers generally need high pillows to align their head and neck correctly in order to achieve a comfortable sleep. SleepMaker’s memory foam contour pillows make for a great addition to the side sleeper’s bedroom.

Hip and back pain is another common concern for side sleepers. While a firm mattress can cause pressure pain in the hips, a mattress that’s too soft for you can drive your back and midsection to sink too far into the bed, misaligning your spine.


What is the best mattress for side sleepers with lower back pain?

The best mattress for side sleepers with lower back pain is a mattress that can feel soft enough on your hip bones to prevent pressure pain yet firm enough to maintain correct spinal alignment when laying on your side. The traditional style of innerspring mattresses are not the best mattress for side sleepers with neck pain, hip or shoulder pain because a firm mattress was supportive, while a soft mattress didn’t have support. To help you find a mattress with the right balance between support and cushioning, you might be best looking for a mattress that has at least one layer of memory foam, or a combination spring and foam mattresses offering a high level of support. Another good mattress choice for side sleepers are mattresses made with pressure-relieving latex. These are often the most comfortable mattresses for side sleepers with lower back pain.

If you like softer mattresses, or even latex mattresses, SleepMaker’s Luxury edit may be right for you. The world’s greatest support and delicious comfort are provided by Luxury mattresses, which are created to the highest standards using only the finest materials. This results in the most wonderful sleep conceivable. SleepMaker’s Cocoon is part of the Luxury Edit and is an excellent choice for side sleepers; the pressure-relieving comfort layers are luxurious and offer pressure point protection, while the Sensorzone support system combines spring and foam to provide targeted support exactly where you need it. There are significant benefits to side sleeping, including reduced back pain, improved breathing, and better digestion. Still, it’s also important to remember that many lifestyle factors also contribute to our health and wellbeing and sometimes pain is an indicator it’s time to seek medical attention.


What to Look For In a Mattress For Side Sleepers

If the time has come for you to look for the best side sleeper mattress to suit your needs, there is a lot to consider:

  • Do you want a product that is Australian Made?
  • To pillowtop or to not pillowtop? 
  • Is the warranty period at least 10 years? 
  • Is the bed made from hypoallergenic materials? 
  • Do you tend to get too hot at night? 
  • Is partner disturbance an issue? 
  • Do you want a memory foam mattress or a spring and foam combination mattress? 

Alternatively, use SleepMaker’s Sleep Selector, a short quiz that builds your individual and unique sleep profile and will be able to recommend the best bed for your side sleeping style. Click here to complete the quiz:


Choosing the Optimal Mattress

SleepMaker has developed a wide range of advanced technologies to ensure your body is supported while you sleep on your side. The high quality support layer of our mattresses enhances the pressure-relieving properties of the comfort layers to help achieve natural spinal alignment that’s important when searching for the best side sleeper mattress.

Why not take our Sleep Selector Quiz to find the right side sleeping mattress for you or check out our list of retailers to find a store close to you.


What is the best pillow for Side Sleepers?

Side Sleepers need a pillow that will support their neck evenly off the mattress. We recommend a high profile pillow as these do a great job of filling the space between your neck and shoulders to give you the support you need. Our Hush and 24/7 Pillow range have a great selection of High Profile Pillows for Side Sleepers. We have a dedicated blog about finding the right pillow for you


Our Mattresses For Side Sleepers Recommendations:


SleepMaker Cocoon

The ultimate mattress for side sleepers is the SleepMaker Cocoon. It luxuriously cradles you as you sink into bed each night. It’s perfectly cushioned with rich foam comfort layers that contour to your body’s form and alleviates pressure points. As a side sleeper, you’ll experience an unmatched level of support with a Sensorzone support core for optimal spinal alignment. Wake up feeling like new, enjoy a beautiful night’s sleep.


SleepMaker Miracoil

For side sleepers that need a little more support, the SleepMaker Miracoil is an excellent choice. It has edge to edge, head to toe support with a z-shaped continuous coil support system that’ll cushion you while minimising sagging and spinal misalignment. Feel the softness and relief of memory foam comfort layers coated with Kulkote for temperature management that lasts. Enjoy the best of comfort and support wrapped into one with the Miracoil.


SleepMaker Lifestyle

A pocket spring with a soft comfort top layer can be a good affordable option for side sleepers. The SleepMaker Lifestyle range in our Essentials Edit has great value pocket spring mattresses for every sleeper. They’re comfortable with a soft foam layer to cushion your body and supportive with individually wrapped pocket springs for minimal partner disturbance. If you toss and turn throughout the night, a Lifestyle mattress might be the best solution for you.


Get the Best Nights Sleep With SleepMaker

Discover more helpful tips and articles on the SleepMaker Sleep Guide:

The Best Mattress For Hot Sleepers
What’s the Best Mattress Size For Me?
Is a Spring Mattress or Foam Mattress Better For Me?
Mattress Buying Guide
Is a Soft or Firm Mattress Better For Me?

What mattress firmness is best for side sleepers?


To get the best support and comfort, the best firmness for side sleepers that weigh below 90 Kg* is Medium-soft to Medium. And, to ensure there’s enough support, for side sleepers that weigh above 90 Kg the best mattress firmness we recommend is Medium-Firm to Firm. 


How can I make my mattress more comfortable for a side sleeper?


Whether your mattress is new or a bit older, it might be a bit too firm or too soft for your sleeping position. As a side sleeper If it’s a bit too firm, then a memory foam mattress topper is a quick and affordable way to make your mattress feel softer and more supportive. Or, if your mattress is too soft, a firmer topper might help to make your mattress more comfortable. If this doesn’t help then it might be time to buy a firmer mattress.


Is foam or spring better for side sleepers?


Foam mattresses may be better for side sleepers because they conform to the body’s curvature more. However, a side sleeper that sleeps hot might prefer a pocket spring mattress with more airflow. Either is great when sleeping on your side but watch out for continuous coil mattresses which aren’t as supportive. Have a little look at our Spring vs. Foam blog for a deeper dive into the differences. 

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