If you’re a side sleeper, you know getting a good night’s sleep can be challenging. On the wrong mattress, pressure can build up on your shoulders and hips and misalign your spine. With time, sleeping on your side can lead to aches and pain that make nights more stressful than restful.
If you think replacing your current mattress is the only way to find relief, think again. Instead, try an economical mattress topper, a convenient and simple way to improve your sleep. Mattress toppers sit above your mattress and add anywhere from 1-4 inches of extra support.
Not sure where to start? We’re here to help.
Today’s post will answer the question of “What is the best mattress topper for side sleepers” as well as help narrow down the choices for the best mattress topper for side sleepers with shoulder and hip pain.
We’ve also put together a handy shopping guide to equip you with all the tools needed to make the right purchase. We hope you’ll see that a better night’s sleep is within your reach.
The 5 Best Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers
Let’s dive right in with an in-depth look at our five favorite mattress toppers for side sleepers.
The Lucid foam mattress topper features a 3-inch memory foam profile that helps you get the rest you need. It includes a ventilated design to promote airflow, and the topper is incredibly soft while still supporting the body. You can rest easy at night knowing your spine will be in perfect alignment.
But what makes this mattress topper stand out is its lavender scent. Lucid infuses lavender directly into the materials, which helps promote feelings of relaxation. Reviewers say this soothing scent helps lull them to sleep without being overpowering.
- Soft lavender scent
- Available in different heights
- May sleep a bit warm
- Not removable or washable
There’s plenty to love about the ViscoSoft Serene mattress pad, especially if you’re indecisive.
Why? Because it’s made of 2.5 inches of gel memory foam that is topped by 1.5 inches of down-alternative. The memory foam conforms to the body, while the down alternative cushions sleepers. This unique design gives users the best of the memory foam and pillow top worlds.
If you’re stuck between these two types of toppers, the ViscoSoft Serene could be just the mattress topper for you.
- Removable and washable
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- CertiPUR-US certified
- Might not be firm enough for some side sleepers
It can be challenging to find sleep products made from natural materials. Luckily, Pure Green’s mattress topper is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to stay away from synthetics.
As its name suggests, the mattress topper is made from 100% natural latex. For this reason, the material is also hypoallergenic and incredibly long-lasting. The topper’s a bit on the softer side, though it still provides the support side sleepers need. Plus, you can purchase it in varying thicknesses to meet your needs ‒ either 1, 2, or 3 inches.
Pure Green also took care to create a heat-distributing design. There are small air channels placed strategically throughout the topper, which facilitates airflow to keep you cool at night.
- Available in three options: soft, medium, and firm
- Various certifications, including GREENGUARD Gold and eco-INSTITUT
- Doesn’t have the sinking feeling of memory foam
- 30-day trial period and five-year warranty
- Latex odor takes a while to go away
Tempur-Pedic is a brand that needs no introduction. You’re probably already familiar with its revolutionary products, which is why the TEMPUR Supreme 3-inch mattress topper is well worth considering.
For starters, it includes Tempur-Pedic’s patented TEMPUR material. The TEMPUR material is nearly unbeatable in terms of its conforming properties. It molds to the body and provides unparalleled support to relieve pressure on the hips and shoulders. The materials make the topper incredibly comfortable and create a weightless feeling when you’re sleeping.
Plus, if you suffer from back or hip pain, this mattress topper could be the solution for which you’re looking. Reviews speak highly of its ability to ease pain.
- Available in a variety of sizes, firmness, and cooling options
- Cover is removable and washable
- Includes a 10-year limited warranty
- Might retain heat a bit
Finally, we have the Isolus gel memory foam mattress topper, an excellent option for hot sleepers. This hypoallergenic product features a triple cooling design to facilitate comfortable sleep. It’s infused with gel, has an open-cell construction, and also boasts a “pin-core” structure, which features small, heat-releasing holes.
As a 2.5-inch topper, the Isolus is a bit on the thinner side, but the quality of Malouf products is notable. The bamboo cover it comes with has a wonderful feel, and overall, the Isolus is an excellent option for side sleepers who need heat regulation as well. Do keep in mind that at almost 20 pounds, the queen-size mattress topper is quite heavy.
- Suitable for heavier sleepers
- CertiPUR-US certification
- Sleeps very cool
- Includes three-year warranty
- Not as thick as some other models
- Might have an odor at first
- Higher price
Why a Mattress Topper Is Important for Side Sleepers
Side sleepers face some unique challenges when they turn out the lights at night.
Unlike back sleeping, widely considered the healthiest sleep position, side sleepers are prone to aches and pains. The reason is simple: many mattresses do not adequately support the hips and shoulders, leading to a saggy spine. Side sleepers might feel stiffness, numbness, and pain as a result.
If you prefer this sleep style, extra cushioning around the hips and spine is essential ‒ and this is where a mattress topper plays a part. If your current mattress isn’t doing its job, a topper can level the playing field ‒ literally. It can provide extra firmness or softness as needed to keep your spine level and reduce pain.
Mattress Topper Types
There are several different mattress topper types from which to choose. Some are more suitable for side sleepers than others.
This topper type is made with down (or down alternative) and adds plenty of cushioning, which some side sleepers enjoy. Yet the problem with pillow top mattress toppers is that although the fluffy feel is nice, they don’t conform to the body. Side sleepers who need pressure relief might prefer other options.
Latex is an excellent material for side sleepers. It contours to the body, providing gentle support and a feeling of being on top of the mattress, not in it. It’s also more responsive than memory foam, which sometimes has a trapping effect.
You can find latex toppers in natural, synthetic, and blended forms. Although they’re expensive, they tend to be long-lasting, and they also come in differentvarying levels of firmnessdifferent firmnesses.
Memory foam is a popular topper type among side sleepers. It conforms to the body, providing excellent pressure relief. If you like to sink into your mattress and feel cradled, memory foam is probably the best choice for you.
Keep in mind that the thicker the topper, the longer it takes the mattress to return to its normal shape. Some people find this long response time unpleasant, as it makes moving in bed more challenging.
Wool is a popular organic mattress topper choice that is excellent for hot sleepers. However, the pressure relief it offers is less than side sleepers need, unless you’re a combo sleeper.
Cotton-filled toppers offer fantastic cushioning, and they are an excellent alternative to wool. They breathe well and absorb moisture, but they suffer from a similar issue: cotton doesn’t provide as much pressure relief as side sleepers require.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Mattress Topper
The right mattress topper can completely change your side sleeping (for the better). But before you can achieve the best rest, it’s helpful to consider the following factors.
Everyone is different when it comes to the firmness they prefer, but side sleepers are usually happier on less firm sleep surfaces. If you’re unhappy with your mattress firmness, the right topper can help you tweak it. The trick is knowing how you want to change the firmness.
For example, if your mattress is too firm, you might choose an extra-soft mattress topper to even things out. On the contrary, if your mattress is too soft, a firmer topper would be better. This factor is critical when purchasing a topper, so make sure you have a clear idea.
Thickness is another vital feature. Its thickness significantly affects how your mattress topper feels and, therefore, its comfort level.
Toppers range from 1-4 inches thick. A 1- or 2-inch model offers just slight adjustment, while thicker toppers completely change the feel of your mattress. For example, a thick topper can give you the feeling of sinking into your bed.
The thickness you choose depends on how you want to change your current mattress. When it comes to side sleepers, a thicker model is usually best. They help soften too-firm mattresses and provide support.
However, you might only want to take the firmness down a bit. In this case, a thinner option might be better.
You’ll notice density measurements when shopping for a mattress topper. Density is a calculation of the topper’s mass divided by volume, which is measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF).
You should care about density because this measurement can tell you how a mattress topper will perform. Higher density toppers usually offer better cushioning and less sagging.
However, density is not just about preference. Your weight should also guide your density decision. Here are some general guidelines:
- 130 pounds or less: 2.5 PCF or less
- 130-230 pounds: 2.5 PCF to 4 PCF
- 230 pounds or more: higher than 4 PCF
If you live in a hot climate ‒ or sleep hot in general ‒ be aware that heat retention is a typical mattress topper issue. Without the proper ventilation, your mattress topper can cause you to feel hot. This problem occurs especially in cheaper models that lack the latest technology. Instead of helping you, a hot topper can make it impossible to get a good night’s sleep.
Not all materials are created equal when it comes to heat retention. Latex is the coolest choice, whereas memory foam is notorious for being hot. However, advances in technology have made memory foam a much more comfortable option.
Look for gel-infused models if you want memory foam. They distribute body heat throughout the topper, which helps you stay cool. You can also try a heat-dissipating open-cell structure foam.
Finally, be sure to look at the weight of the mattress topper. The heavier it is, the denser it will be. Lots of people prefer heavier models, as they stay in place better.
Now let’s take a look at a couple of other tips to help you get the most of a mattress topper.
Nowadays, most sleep products come with a trial period. This set period allows a customer to try the product, usually between 30 and 100 days. If you don’t like it after using it for a while, you can return it.
Mattress toppers are no exception. If you’re unsure about your decision, purchasing a mattress with a sleep trial is an excellent way to test it with no strings attached. Just make sure it includes free shipping and full refunds on returns.
Warranties offer useful protection against defects in your mattress topper. Most include a five-year warranty and cover defects such as surface-level sagging. Be aware that excessive sagging is often not included in warranties, and some require you to pay for shipping if you need a repair or replacement.
We hope you found this guide to the best mattress topper for side sleepers helpful. As you’ve seen, toppers are an easy, inexpensive way to bridge the comfort gap until you can buy a new mattress.
After all, everyone deserves a restful night’s sleep, even if a new mattress is not a possibility.