I prefer to sleep on my side, and according to the WebMD, 63% of US sleepers prefer side sleeping over anything else. Side sleeping can improve your sleep, but it also has the potential to hurt your back and shoulders if you are not resting on a high-quality mattress. Sleep is so vital to our health and wellbeing, so you want to make sure you are getting the most out of your eight hours.

Mattress toppers for side sleepers can alleviate some of the pain you may experience and help prolong the life of your mattress if it’s worn out and old. You may have never considered a mattress topper because you assumed they didn’t work or they are too expensive. We’re here to prove you wrong because mattress toppers cost a fraction of the price of a new mattress and they come in many different firmness levels and materials to meet everyone’s unique needs.

In this article, we’re breaking down the best mattress toppers for side sleepers and everything you need to know about them.

Why You Need a Side Sleeper Mattress Topper

There are some obvious reasons why anyone would want to buy a mattress topper, but there are also some less common things you wouldn’t think about. Let’s look at every reason why you may consider picking up a side sleeping mattress topper for your bed.

Pain Relief/Pelvic Rotation – Besides the apparent back and shoulder pain you experience there is something called Pelvic Rotation which happens only to side sleepers. This issue occurs when the lower half of your body remains on its side while you sleep, but you turn the top half of your body to face down on the mattress.

This is something I had done for years until my chiropractor instructed me not to. I have vertigo so sleeping on my back and stomach would result in a “spinning sensation,” so I was forced to sleep on my side. It wasn’t exactly comfortable, so I would turn my upper body to face down into the pillow and was most comfortable like that.

Sleeping this way for prolonged periods results in spinal issues and ultimately a pain in your pelvis, spine, and lower back. Having a thick memory foam topper can take some of the pressure away and cradle your spine better, so everything stays aligned.

Old Mattress – If you have an old mattress or a “hand-me-down,” you may think it’s time for a new one, but you could save a lot of money by picking up a mattress toppers. Doing this extends the life of your mattress and allows you to get what you need without breaking the bank. You could get a mattress topper now and save up for a new mattress, so you don’t have to suffer while you save.

Things to Consider When Buying a Mattress Topper

If you sleep on your side, you have unique issues that need attention. Your pressure points are taking much more abuse than they are with people who sleep on their back or stomach. Every night your shoulders and hips dig into the mattress causing you to wake up feeling sore. You need to take all these points into consideration before making your purchase.

Material

The first thing to think about is what kind of material the topper contains; most of the mattress toppers you find will either get made from memory foam or latex, but there is also wool and feathers. We found that memory foam and latex are the best because they offer the most relief and support for the money.

You also want to pay attention to any cooling features they may contain, things like wool are hot, and they do not get rid of heat well so if you sleep warm you will not want to go with a wool topper.

Density

Most toppers are measured using cubic pounds per square feet, and that is how the manufacturers determine how firm they are. If you sleep on your side, you will need a softer topper than people who sleep on their side or back so make sure you keep that in your mind.

Many toppers get rated between one and ten, one being incredibly soft, ten being extremely firm. You want to find something between four and five, so you have enough support but enough plush to keep your comfortable.

Size

Size only matters if you are considering covering half of your bed. If you sleep with a partner who is perfectly fine with your mattress the way it is, then things get a bit more complicated. Most mattress toppers come in sizes based on the mattress size (twin, queen, king, etc.) so you need to pay close attention to what you need. If you are only covering half of the bed, consider looking for a topper that allows individual measurements.

Off-Gassing

Off-gassing refers to the smell the mattress takes on during manufacturing. Many memory foam and latex mattress toppers have an intense odor when you first take them out so they take two or three days to air out before you can even sleep on them.

The level of odor you experience often depends on the quality of materials used in the topper, some organic latex contains no smell at all. The scent is almost unavoidable, so there is not much you can do about it, but it is something to keep in mind.

Washing and Cleanliness

A topic that often gets avoided is how you plan on cleaning your mattress topper. Some toppers do not come with a cover, so you simply lay them out on the bed, and that’s that; while they might be simpler they don’t provide any way for you to clean them so they’ll be no more red wine in bed unless you want to keep taking it off and putting it back. It’s best to go for one that has a removable cover that is machine washable.

Heat Retention

We touched on this briefly before, but it’s worth bringing back up in its section. Many memory foam mattress toppers come with a gel infusion that draws in heat and expels it out the sides so if you are someone who wakes up sweaty at night you may want to consider a mattress topper that is built to stay cool.

Nowadays, most mattresses come with this technology built in, but if you put a cheap mattress topper on your quality mattress, you may find yourself feeling stuffy and hot every night.

Benefits of Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers

Here’s the section you’re looking for; you want to know how a mattress topper will change your life, and we’re here to tell you that something as simple as a little extra padding on your bed can go a long way.

  • Improved Sleep – Having a proper sleep routine is so vital to our health, and when you are always waking up at night because you’re having trouble, it not only hurts you while you’re sleeping, it hurts you during the day as well. When you crawl into bed at night you should immediately feel something when you hit the pillow; you should feel comfortable and cozy; if you do not feel this way, maybe a mattress topper would help.
  • Less Pain – Side sleepers are most susceptible to sleep-related soreness simply because of the way you feel comfortable sleeping. You need support to get the most longevity out of your sleeping habits, so it’s important to always have a quality mattress underneath you. If your mattress is old or too hard having a soft memory foam topper will cradle you right where you need it and help alleviate some of your stiffness.
  • Spinal Alignment – You would never think that you could hurt your spine while you’re sleeping, but it’s true. We spend all day twisting, turning, and bending in unnatural ways so sleep is one of the only times of day we can correct our posture. Your spine is durable but sleeping the wrong way can lead to irreversible posture issues if you’re not careful.

Next time you lay down in bed, roll over to your side and think about the way your body is aligned, try to get your spine as straight as possible even if it requires adding an extra pillow somewhere. Having a memory foam or latex topper can help align your spine and contour to your pressure points.

Best Mattress Toppers For Side Sleepers: The List

We’ve researched and tested many mattress toppers to help you make an informed decision. The best mattress toppers for side sleepers are ones that perfectly combine firmness with a softness to offer support and comfort. Here are five of the best mattress toppers for side sleepers.

Our Pick: Molecule Mattress Topper

Molecule works with Neurologists and Sleep Experts to bring you one of the most advanced bed toppers you’ll find on the market today. The design of the topper is unique because it features small gel microbeads on the inside that meet the needs of your body shape perfectly. If you find that regular mattresses have a hard time cradling your body perfectly than this is an excellent option for you. No matter what size you are, you’ll get support and comfort from the Molecule topper.

The gel also does a good job of filtering out heat from your body so if you find yourself sleeping hot at night; this mattress topper will help alleviate that issue, giving you a comfortable rest.

What are people saying?

  • Great alternative to upgrading your bed
  • Excellent support and comfort
  • Improved sleep right from the first night

What we like:

  • Advanced gel bead technology
  • Heat control
  • Affordable price
  • Eco-Friendly Manufacturing

What we don’t like:

  • No firmness variations
  • No thickness variations

Best Value: Nest Alexander Signature Topper

If budget is a concern of yours and you are looking to save money while getting the most comfort for your buck then consider this topper from Nest Bedding. It comes with cooling technology featuring a SmartFlow gel memory foam that contours your body and sucks the heat from your skin, expelling it out of bed.

We found that this topper is quite a bit smaller than some of the other ones so it might work well for back and stomach sleepers, but side sleepers may not get as much relief because it is only two inches thick. An issue I have encountered many times with cheap toppers is that they slide around your bed all the time and become more of a problem than they are worth, this topper comes with straps so you can hold it in place which is very convenient.

What are people saying?

  • Great cooling features
  • Works great for side sleepers
  • Great alternative to buying a new mattress

What we like:

  • Budget price
  • Awesome reviews
  • Comes with securing straps

What we don’t like:

  • No firmness variations
  • No thickness variations

Best Premium: Plush Beds Latex Topper

If comfort and support are important to you and you want to go the extra mile, you might want to consider this latex mattress topper. It offers the ultimate in comfort for side sleepers because it comes in many different variations of thickness and firmness to meet your individual needs. The latex topper maximizes airflow throughout your mattress, and it produced with only the best latex that is free of chemicals and additives.

Something we found with this mattress topper is that it’s odor free which is highly uncommon in latex. This happens because the material contains no chemicals and gets processed in a way that is clean and green.

The topper comes in three different firmness levels, soft, medium, and med-firm. They recommend side sleepers take the soft or medium firmness because it allows you to sink into the mattress a little.

What are people saying?

  • The only topper you should buy
  • Relieves back and hip pain

Great options for side sleepers

What we like:

  • Many variations
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • No odor
  • Great company reputation

What we don’t like:

  • No return policy

Best Features: Saatva Mattress Topper

If you’re someone who is impressed by unique features and amenities in products, then you’ll enjoy taking a look at the Saatva mattress topper. This one comes in three different styles; their most popular line is graphite infused mattress topper that offers comfort and cooling technology using a top layer of graphite foam.

The graphite is meant to pull out any heat in your body and get rid of it, so you remain cool all night.

The latex topper is hypoallergenic and made from naturally sourced materials. It’s great for back and stomach sleepers, but some claim that the latex is too firm for side sleepers.

Lastly, they offer a high-density 1.5-inch foam topper which works great for body contouring and pressure relief. If we had to pick one of these three to recommend it would be the graphite blend because you get a little bit of each of these built into one.

What are people saying?

  • It’s worth every penny
  • If you sleep hot, this is the topper for you
  • Comes with anchors to keep it on your bed

What we like:

  • Graphite keeps you cool
  • Many different variations
  • Easy to navigate website

What we don’t like:

  • Limited specifications available

Best Copper Infused: Layla Topper

Infusing copper in mattresses and topper is scientifically proven to improve sleeping habits and help you remain cool throughout the night. The Layla topper does a great job of offering multiple options and variations in their materials. They have four different firmness options ranging from soft to firm so each should find something that makes them happy.

The copper infusion also makes the topper antimicrobial, so it kills bacteria and helps you feel good about sleeping on it every night. Something we enjoy about this topper is its overall appearance; it looks as comfortable as it feels; and for side sleepers, it’s dense and two inches thick so you do not have to worry about digging down into your hard, lumpy mattress.

What are people saying?

  • Great for side sleepers
  • Relieves pressure points
  • Slight odor

What we like:

  • Multiple firmness choices
  • High-quality materials
  • Antimicrobial copper beads
  • 120-night trial

What we don’t like:

  • Not great for stomach sleepers

Conclusion

Side sleepers have a hard time finding the perfect mattress because you require something that many companies do not make. A mattress that is both soft and supportive; so you need to make a careful decision when choosing a mattress topper.

You need something that will cradle your body and provide enough support to keep your spine in good health. The Molecule Mattress Topper is our favorite option because we feel you get the best all-around experience for the right price. It offers the best cooling technology paired with comfort and pinpoint firmness to give you the best night’s sleep you could get.

Get your own Molecule Mattress Topper by checking out a great selection of well-priced toppers here.

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