Mattress Accessories & Bedding

Best Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers

If you’re a side sleeper looking to improve your sleep experience, then you need to check out our detailed breakdown of the best mattress toppers currently available.

By Alex Reale

We spend a good amount of our lives sleeping, so naturally, we want to make sure that we have the best possible sleep experience, in terms of comfort and support. Whether you’re a back sleeper, stomach sleeper, side sleeper, or all of the above, you need to pick the right mattress and mattress topper to suit you. With so many sleeping surface options available out there, it can be hard to choose the right one. Luckily, we’ve managed to create a comprehensive list of some of the best mattress topper options for side sleepers below.

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Best Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers of 2021

Layla Mattress Topper

Editor’s Pick 

We look at plenty of mattress toppers to figure out which ones are the best of the best. Our Editor’s Pick mattress topper takes various factors into consideration, including pricing, material, softness, pain relief, durability, and temperature regulation. If you want a high-quality mattress topper that does an excellent job in virtually every category, then we’d recommend the Layla Memory Foam Topper.

Reason to Buy: Layla created this topper to feel like a cloud sitting on top of your mattress. Made in the USA, it consists of two inches of thick CertiPur-US certified copper gel-infused memory foam, which is designed to not only be incredibly soft, but also very cool and body heat-resistant, making this great for hot sleepers who find themselves sweating at night. Speaking of sweat, the copper gel material also helps keep the mattress topper sanitary and clean by repelling odor-causing bacteria as well as dust mites and other unwanted guests.

Starting at just $199 for the twin-size option, you’ll find that this topper fits well within your budget, and you can take advantage of the free shipping, 5-year warranty, and 120-night sleep trial, meaning you have approximately three months to test out the topper to see if you like it. In the unlikely event you’re not a fan of the Layla topper, you can return it within that trial period for a complete refund.

Read our full Layla Mattress Topper review to learn more.

Zinus 4-inch Green Tea Mattress Topper

Best Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Many mattress toppers are made of memory foam, so there are plenty of options to choose from, but our favorite in this category has to be the Zinus 4-Inch Green Tea topper.

Reason to Buy: Most memory foam consists of a variety of materials such as polyurethane and latex, but Zinus went the extra mile and incorporated a unique element in its design: green tea. The green tea helps eliminate moisture and other odor-causing agents, ensuring the topper stays fresh and clean for a very long time (making this an excellent sleep option for sweaty sleepers).

The soft and conforming memory foam itself cradles your body as you sleep, giving you the perfect support for your joints and spine, especially if you sleep on your side. The twin option starts at $68, and with the 100-night risk-free sleep trial, you’ll have plenty of time to decide if you love it.

Saatva Latex

Best Organic Mattress Topper

There are many reasons to go with an organic mattress topper: they’re made with all-natural materials, they’re usually longer lasting, and they’re great for people with sensitive skin. For our best organic mattress topper, we chose the Saatva Latex.

Reason to Buy: Consisting of hypoallergenic, ventilated Talalay latex, this topper provides cooling comfort and is ultimately more durable and breathable than toppers made of Dunlop latex. The responsive design creates unmatched pressure point relief on sensitive areas for side sleepers, such as the hips and shoulders. The 100% certified organic cotton found in the topper wicks away moisture, further promoting a cooler sleep experience. The organic materials make Saatva’s natural latex mattress topper a bit pricier, at $195 for a twin size. But we thing you’ll find that it’s well worth the cost.

Novaform 3-inch EVENcor

Best Cooling Mattress Topper

Aside from accommodating our sleeping position, it’s important that a mattress topper also keeps us nice and cool at night. Luckily, some mattress toppers have built-in features that promote airflow and wick moisture away from our bodies. If you’re one of the many people who finds themselves overheating while they sleep, then a cooling mattress topper is an absolute must. Our recommendation would be the Novaform 3-Inch Evencor.

Reason to Buy: Made with GelPlus memory foam, this quilted topper doesn’t have the same heat retention qualities as a traditional memory foam topper. Instead, it promotes air circulation to keep you nice and cool throughout the night. The machine-washable cover is made of Egyptian cotton, which is carefully designed to wick heat away from your body and keep your temperature nice and regulated, thanks to its cooling effect. Starting at $100 for the twin size, this topper is an excellent choice for hot side sleepers on a budget. And if overheating is still a problem for you, take a look at our best cooling mattresses article.

Learn more in our Novaform mattress topper review.

Tempur-Topper Supreme

Best Mattress Topper for Shoulder Pain

A common complaint amongst most side sleepers is that they often wake up with shoulder pain. Since side sleepers spend most of the night putting pressure on their shoulders, it’s no wonder that they suffer from these aches. Fortunately, even if you’re a side sleeper, you don’t need put up with the pain. Instead, you can find a mattress topper that will help alleviate it, such as our recommendation: the Tempur-Topper Supreme.

Reason to Buy: Side sleepers need to make sure they find a supportive mattress topper that will promote spinal alignment and reduce/prevent shoulder pain. Luckily, the Tempur-Topper Supreme can help with that. This topper is made of three inches of proprietary TEMPUR material, which has more than 25 years of history adapting to sleepers’ bodies and contouring to their weight, shape, and body temperature. This type of construction gives you the right amount of support for delicate pressure points on your body, especially around your shoulders. If you currently have a spring mattress and you find yourself waking up with shoulder pain, this might be the solution for you.

The Tempur-Pedic material features much better breathability than regular memory foam, so it can help keep you cool at night. Finally, the removable cover is allergen-resistant and washable, meaning that keeping it clean is incredibly easy.

Read our full Tempur-Pedic Mattress Topper review to learn more.

Lucid 3-inch Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Best Value Mattress Topper

When it comes to your comfort, you shouldn’t cut corners, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend large amounts of money either. Mattress toppers can range in cost, and if you’re a bargain-hunter who wants one for a fair price, we recommend the Lucid 3-Inch Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper.

Reason to Buy: While looking for the right mattress topper, you want one that is comfortable and durable, but you also want to make sure you’re getting the best value as well. If you’re a budget-shopping side-sleeper looking for a mattress topper, we recommend the Lucid 3-Inch Ventilated Gel Memory Mattress Foam Topper. This topper’s ventilated design includes a special heat-capturing cooling gel that regulates temperature and keeps you from overheating, while the memory foam relieves pressure on your shoulder, hips, and knees. Coming with a 3-year warranty and starting at approximately $70 for a twin size, and maxing out at $120 for a California King, the Lucid 3-inch memory foam mattress topper is an excellent option for people looking for a great deal.

Read our full Lucid memory foam mattress topper review to learn more.

Sleeping on Your Side

Did you know that sleeping on your side comes with many benefits, such as ridding your body of toxins? However, sleeping on your side can also cause some problems, including pain in sensitive areas, like your shoulders or hips. That’s because your entire body is resting on these parts. If you have a firm mattress or mattress topper, then your hips and shoulders aren’t getting the right amount of support and pressure relief, and you’ll be waking up with aches and pains each morning.

Finding a soft mattress topper is important when you’re a side sleeper. You need something that will cradle your body and allow your shoulders and hips to sink in just the right amount. Not only will this relieve pressure on those areas, but it will also promote spinal alignment, resulting in overall better back health in the long run.

Related: Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Considerations When Buying a Mattress Topper

While having a mattress topper isn’t an absolute necessity, it can significantly impact your overall sleep experience for the better. A mattress topper primarily acts as a cushion and top layer for high-density, firmer mattresses, making them much softer so that side sleepers can get the right amount of support and cushioning they need for their sensitive areas. However, before you purchase a topper, make sure that your current mattress is new enough to properly reap its benefits. If you have an old mattress that’s worn-out, a topper won’t do much to remedy the problem.

As you shop for a new mattress topper, it is wise to consider the following factors.

Thickness

You will notice that a majority of mattress toppers range in thickness between two to four inches, with the thicker toppers being softer. If you are lighter or have a smaller body frame, or you simply prefer a little extra firmness in your sleep experience, then you will want a thinner mattress topper. If you are a medium- or heavy-sized individual who wants extra cushioning for their shoulders and hips, we recommend you go with a thicker mattress topper.

Materials

Similar to mattresses, toppers are often made of various quality materials, each coming with their own benefits and features. Memory foam mattress toppers are very soft and will contour to your body’s unique shape and form, giving you a cushioning feeling and limiting motion transfer (a wonderful feature for couples). Gel memory foam has similar benefits, but it also promotes better airflow and ventilation, making it extra cool and refreshing. Latex is slightly firmer than memory foam (putting it just under a medium-firm rating), but it often features a responsive design that helps alleviate pressure points on sensitive areas of your body.

How to Be a Better Side Sleeper

Most of us can’t help which side we sleep on, but it’s important that we take the right steps to make certain that we’re doing everything we can to improve our sleep experience. If you’re a side sleeper, you will find several tips and tricks below to help you have a much more comfortable and relaxing night’s rest.

Neck Support

Picking out the right mattress and topper can have a significant impact on your sleep experience, but you need to also consider your pillow options, especially if you’re aiming to reduce neck pain. When you sleep on your side, your neck needs to be kept level with the rest of your body and your spine, or else you risk waking up with major aches in the morning. As you shop for a new mattress or topper, make sure to look into good pillows for side sleepers so that your neck is adequately supported.

A Pillow Between Your Legs

Have you ever found yourself slipping a pillow between your legs to help you sleep? There’s actually a scientific reason as to why this helps side sleepers have a better sleep experience. Sleeping with a pillow between your legs can eliminate pressure between your knees, keep your hips and pelvic area aligned, reduce stress on your hips, prevent lower back pain or aggravation, and even assist with breathing abnormalities such as sleep apnea.

If you’re going to sleep with a pillow between your legs, make sure you’re doing it the right way. Find a pillow that isn’t flat; a plump, firm pillow will help provide better cushioning. Place the pillow in a way so that it extends all the way from your knees to your ankles, which will keep these two parts of your body in line with each other.

Sleep on the Left Side

You might think that sleeping on one side is just as good as the other, but the fact of the matter is that you should aim to sleep on your left side. By sleeping on your left side, you’re taking advantage of numerous scientific principles to aid with your sleep experience and improve overall health. Possible benefits of left-side-sleeping include aided digestion (gravity helps push waste through our intestines), reduced risk of heartburn (gastric juices remain lower than your esophagus), better mental health (interstitial waste is cleared from the brain), and reduction of snoring or sleep apnea (your tongue won’t fall into your throat and partially block your airway). If you’re interested, you can check out our, “What is the Best Side to Sleep On?” article for more information.

Summary

As a side sleeper, you have the advantage of being able to improve your mental and physical health by taking the right steps during your nightly sleep ritual. While you should always pay attention to your overall sleep personality, it’s also important to remember that the right sleeping surface also plays a major role in your sleep experience. You may think you don’t need a mattress topper because you already have a mattress pad, but it’s ideal to have both if you want to have a truly relaxing night’s sleep. Make sure you carefully consider our above mattress topper recommendations for side sleepers, and don’t forget to think about which factors matter the most to you.