Experts recommend that sleeping on your back makes for a better night’s sleep. But many people are known to prefer sleeping on their sides. Did you know that older adults, and people with a higher BMI, are common side sleepers?
Side sleepers are a category of people who rarely sleep on their stomach or back. Instead, they sleep with their hips and shoulders pressed into the mattress surface, either on the left or the right, or a combination of both.
Not all mattresses are good for side sleepers, and for this reason, mattress toppers are an excellent alternative to changing the whole mattress. Additionally, some people may already have a mattress topper, but simply want to find a new one that would be suitable for a side sleeping position.
You can sleep well in any position, provided you have the right mattress (or topper). Any wrong sleeping surface can result in a painful spine, joints, and neck. For this reason, side sleeping individuals should ensure that they’re using the best mattress topper for side sleepers. In this article, we’ll look at and review the top 10 best and most popular on the market in 2021.
Our Favorite Pick
Finding The Best Mattress Topper For Side Sleepers
Here’s our top 10 picks at a glance
- Lucid 3-inch Ventilated – Editor’s Pick
- Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR Supreme – Medium-Firm Feel
- Best Price Mattress Topper – Soft Feel
- Sleep Innovations Dual Layer – Enhanced Support
- Sleep-Joy ViscO2 – Medium Feel
- ViscoSoft Pillow Top – Best For Back Pain
- PlushBeds Natural – Best Latex
- Linenspa Gel Topper – Best Budget Option
- Sleep On Latex Pure Green – Firm Feel
- ISOLUS Ventilated – Best Cooling
Mattress Topper For Side Sleepers Reviewed
Lucid 3-Inch Ventilated
The Lucid 3-inch gel memory foam mattress topper stands out for its excellent breathability and cooling ability. Additionally, it is a valid option if you need to soften up your firm mattress.
The mattress topper comes rolled up in airtight packaging. And once you open it, the Lucid begins expanding immediately.
The good thing is that this topper has a less intense odor than other foam variants, but the off-gassing odor isn’t non-existent – it is good that you open your package in a well ventilated and unoccupied room. Also, it expands quicker than others we have reviewed. So within a few hours, it will be ready to use.
The topper is 3-inches thick, and its foam density stands at 3 PCF density. That gives it an excellent balance between durability and comfort. Remember, both the thickness and density fall within the optimum range, i.e., 2-4 inches thick and 2-3 PCF.
The Lucid 3-inch ventilated gel memory foam mattress topper has a comfortable and a medium-soft firmness. Typically, there is no feeling of sinking or feeling trapped – you’ll move quickly around the bed, and it is a great topper for side sleepers. Above all, the overall value given the low price and premium feel make this our favorite pick so far in 2021.
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR Supreme
This is another memory foam topper that has excellent pressure relieving properties, this time from the pioneers of memory foam material. The Tempur Supreme mattress topper is ideal for people who appreciate a medium-firm feel, and require a sufficiently stable feel. When you lay down on this mattress topper, you get the signature enveloping feeling of memory foam.
The TEMPUR Supreme is dense enough not to bottom out under your weight. Keep in mind, it is created from thick foam, which offers decent cushioning compared to other memory foam toppers in the same class. Best of all, it sleeps surprisingly cool for a visco foam construction.
The Tempur material is pressure-relieving, and since it is a decent 3-inch thick, it easily conforms to the shape of your body, offering side sleepers the required contouring for petite and shapely bodies alike. Additionally, this material adapts to your body’s aspect, including temperature, weight, and shape. That results in personalized comfort and support for precious body parts.
It comes with a breathable and machine washable cover. So throughout your ownership, regular cleaning will keep it free of dust mites, dirt, and allergens.
The build quality is also above par, and it comes with a 10-year warranty.
But you should know that the TEMPUR topper Supreme is fairly high priced. It might not suit everyone’s budget. However, it still stands as our second in line as the best memory foam mattress topper for side sleepers.
Best Price Mattress Topper
If you are looking for a mattress topper for side sleepers, which also isolates motion effectively, then the Best Price mattress topper is your ideal choice.
With a similar construction to some mattresses, the Best Price topper has two layers – top and the bottom.
The top layer is 1.5-inch thick and foam-filled, while also being infused with natural Green Tea. The bottom layer is 2.5 inches thick, high-density foam. The entire piece is covered in a polyester mesh cover.
Unlike many other memory foam toppers, the foam here isn’t gel-infused, making it supposedly uncomfortable for hot sleepers. However, once you lay down on the topper, it immediately conforms to the shape of your body and keeps you cool too.
The topper arrives in a circular vinyl bag, of course, folded and sealed. Once out of the plastic vacuum bag, it begins to unfold and expand rapidly. Also, it’s pleasing to know it releases a very minimal unpleasant smell (typical of memory foam), and this smell dissipates within a few hours.
Since the two sides have different firmness levels, it makes it easier to customize your sleep based on your weight and personal preference. Nonetheless, the Best Price topper distributes your weight evenly for instant pressure relief and, at the same time, offers plenty of support, all at a great price too.
Sleep Innovations Dual Layer
At a generous 4-inches thick, the Sleep Innovations gel memory foam 4-inch dual layer mattress topper is one of the most comfortable and supportive mattress toppers for side sleepers for the money paid. In fact, we have it currently rated as our 2021 editor’s pick for the best mattress topper.
It is unique in its category, considering it features a fluffy cover, providing an extra layer of comfort, unlike many other products that are merely toppers without covers. Typically, when you lie on the Sleep Innovations topper, you get the cozy pillowy feel. The fiber-fill comfort layer attaches to a 2-inch layer of gel-infused memory foam. So you almost feel like you’re sleeping on a giant pillow, but without bottoming out due to the supportive foam underneath. Hot sleepers have an advantage because the cool gel memory foam helps dissipate heat; thus, regulating temperature.
Because of the pillow-like feel, this mattress topper is ideal for people with mild back pain and suffering joints. The memory foam layer relieves pressure points, and the spine remains naturally aligned throughout sleep.
Also, unlike others, it doesn’t slip and move around easily. This is thanks to the elastic edges that wrap around the mattress edges. If you have an old/lumpy mattress, the Sleep Innovations topper is the best way to renew your sleeping surface on a budget.
The Sleepjoy mattress topper is an ideal piece for those who need to modify their current setup without much hassle. Essentially, concerning side sleepers, it is great for added comfort as well as providing much-needed support for the shoulders, hips, and neck. Whether you have an old or a new mattress, this topper fits the need for both profiles.
Unlike most of the reviews here so far, it is 2-inches thick only. Therefore, it looks thin and offers less effective transformation compared to the others evaluated. That aside, the topper is made of open-cell foam. Thanks to the open cell structure, this topper breathes efficiently, i.e., it allows air to flow properly within the core. Such a feature prevents the build-up of heat at night, so your bed will be a little less stuffy than other memory foam mattress toppers.
At only 2 inches, it doesn’t offer a very durable sleeping surface. So do not expect something that will last you years on end. Nonetheless, if you are looking for something relatively short term and on an average scale, the Sleep-Joy mattress topper can be of great use.
ViscoSoft Pillow Top
The ViscoSoft 4 inch mattress topper offers a luxurious feel to sleepers of all kinds. However, side sleepers find this one very comfortable and ideal for their sleeping position, thanks to the additional pillow top.
It features two layers. First, there is a 2.5-inch temperature neutral and conforming gel memory foam, and then a 1.5-inch layer of fluffy down-alternative fill, which adds a plush feel on the surface. The layers combined provide a perfect combination of pressure-relieving support and comfort.
Typically, the pillow top offers a thick and somewhat lush surface for sleepers. The memory foam is soft, and it conforms to the body, cradling the grooves of a side sleeper profile.
The dual layers present a perfect balance of support and softness. People with back, hip, or joint pain and general soreness resulting from a firmer bed or a worn-out mattress, will find welcoming support and comfort with the ViscoSoft mattress topper.
PlushBeds Natural Talalay Latex
Available in both 2 and 3-inch options, the PlushBeds is an organically pure natural latex topper. It is soft, elastic, and optimized for pressure relief. It also offers unmatched comfort and support, which makes it rank amongst the best mattress toppers for side sleepers. We also have this one currently listed in our top 5 best latex mattress toppers in 2021.
Apart from the perks of being an organic material, this latex topper is odor-free, courtesy of the fresh tree Talalay processed sap from the world’s finest rubber trees. Therefore, it has no fillers and toxic additives and does not emit harmful chemicals. Since latex is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and is resistant to both dust mites and mildew, side sleepers who are sensitive to allergens can use this mattress topper without any problems.
If you fancy a cool night of sleep, the PlushBeds Natural Talalay latex mattress topper is a good choice. The manufacturing process includes thousands of small holes in the topper. The vents ensure that air flows freely. So, there is no build-up of heat, or rather it draws heat away from the body resulting in a cooler sensation.
One thing the PlushBeds topper is good at is weight distribution. Once you are on the bed, the topper distributes weight evenly over its surface. This reduces the accumulation of weight at pressure points like hips and shoulders. The latex pushes back into these grooves to provide ample support where needed most.
Most latex products come with a premium price tag, and this is no different. However, you get what you pay for, and despite the price, we’d definitely say this is among the best out there.
The strongest points of the Linenspa 2 Inch mattress topper is value for money to comfort level ratios. So, if you are looking to transform your older mattress’s look and feel on a budget, this is an ideal option.
The ultra-plush gel-infused memory foam ensures that you sleep cool all night long. The temperature regulating gel beads are evenly distributed within the topper. As a result, there is efficient capturing and dissipating of heat—the result: no overheating, even in the hottest climates.
Memory foam in itself relieves shoulder, hip, neck, and back pain. When you sleep on this mattress topper, you get a very soft cradling feeling. Then, the topper will conform to the shape of your body, and it will hug snugly as you sleep while giving sufficient support and pressure relief.
A 2-inch thickness may not stand up to the test of time compared to a thicker version – no doubt about it. However, this is the most affordable and comfortable way to rejuvenate your old mattress, prolong the life of your bed, or soften a hard one.
It might interest you to know that the manufacturer offers the 3-inch version too (which we voted as the best mattress topper for college earlier this year). The 3-inch option should give you more longevity, hug, and body conformation than the 2-inch, but of course will cost more.
Sleep On Latex Pure Green
Latex toppers are an excellent option for almost all types of sleepers. However, side sleepers benefit the most from its superb pressure relief and contouring ability.
When you buy this topper, you get the added benefits of organic materials because it is made from pure natural latex.
Latex reacts faster to your body shape and weight to provide you with a blend of comfort and support. Remember, latex, unlike memory foam, will not allow you to sink, but it will maintain sufficient contoured support all night long for years to come. One thing to note is that latex toppers provide pinpointed and contoured support. Undoubtedly, this enhances the feel of your mattress.
Pure latex is heat neutral. That means it won’t absorb body heat. Besides, the topper will not change its shape based on body temperature. Heavier side sleepers will find this mattress topper handy.
Again, the open cell structure, i.e., with small air chambers within the structure, ensure the free flow of air. While the Pure Green topper cannot make the bed entirely cooler, it will create an excellent buffer between a memory foam mattress and your body.
The Isolus 2.5 inch ventilated gel topper comes in an excellent package that is professional and beautiful. The cover is made of bamboo/rayon. The material offers excellent protection to the topper and sleeper. Again, it is relatively soft and very comfortable, making it ideal for side sleepers.
The mattress topper is built of memory foam with an infusion of gel. This helps to dissipate body heat rather than hold it. As a result, your bed gets less stuffy while sleeping. Besides, there are small holes throughout the length of the topper, to further improve on the ventilation.
The thick bamboo sleeve is meant to prevent you from coming into contact with the unnatural feeling of memory foam. The cover is hypoallergenic; therefore, people sensitive to allergens can use it without issue. Though there is an odor when you unpack the mattress topper, it generally fades away within 48 hours.
The Isolus topper is dense enough to support side sleepers. It is thick and has a somewhat fluffy feel of microfiber, a feature that side sleepers need.
Mattress Topper Buying Guide For Side Sleepers
What Is A Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper is an extension of your mattress. It is a thin layer of material that you place on top of your bed to provide extra cushioning and support. People often use the mattress topper as a cost-effective alternative to buying a new mattress.
So if your bed has lost its plumpness or is too firm, you should consider buying one.
Below we will discuss more on how to choose the best mattress topper for side sleepers.
Mattress Toppers vs. Mattress Pads
Most mattress toppers and pads have the function of protecting as well as offering comfort to your existing mattress. That means they’ll protect our mattress from wear and tear, thus, giving it a longer life. For this reason, many people confuse the two terms. But technically, they are not the same.
A mattress pad is a thin layer of material (1-3 inches) that protects your mattress from moisture, bacteria, and mites. Pads are generally made of cotton, wool, synthetic fibers, or feather, and are covered by a quilted fabric. They are more like a duvet or quilt that you place over your mattress and sleep on. Cushioning is not the primary purpose of a mattress pad. However, it makes your bed feel soft.
On the other hand, a mattress topper is usually thicker (2-4 inches), and it enhances or alters the feel of your bed. Typically, it adds higher comfort levels than a pad, and they are a good option if you are looking to make a softer mattress a bit firmer. Most toppers are either memory foam (of some sort) or latex.
How To Choose The Best Mattress Topper For Side Sleepers
Side sleepers demand more than any other type of sleeper. This can make choosing a mattress topper somewhat tricky because you have to go over multiple products. However, you can consider the factors below to make it easier for you.
Types Of Mattress Toppers Available
- Memory foam: These are either soft, medium, or firm, and offer an excellent balance of support and comfort. Essentially, memory foam toppers conform to sleeper’s body shape and distribute the weight evenly. Thus, an excellent option for side sleepers. The better options have a cooling mechanism such as gel or copper infusion, or ventilation holes. In terms of price, they range from very low to very high.
- Latex: These are great at offering support. They are responsive, but quite expensive compared to others. Their main benefit is that they are natural and possess hypoallergenic properties. Additionally, they are resistant to dust mites, bed bugs, mold, and mildew. This all adds to the extreme resilience and long-lasting nature of the product.
- Cotton & Polyester-Blend: They are cheap and mimic a featherbed feeling. So they are breathable and soft. However, they wear out rather fast.
- Wool: They are an expensive option, courtesy of their high-end features. They are soft and highly breathable, but not the best for side sleepers.
- Feather: If you need a soft topper, choose the feather fill. Actually, they feel like a feather-filled duvet. However, they aren’t ideal for side sleepers due to a lack of supportive properties.
The hips and shoulders of side sleepers are continually in contact with the mattress. These are the common pressure points. Therefore, such sleepers need a thicker mattress topper. A thicker profile conforms to the shape of your body, and it covers all pressure points easily. As a result, the spine remains properly aligned. The best size is a 3 or 4 inch mattress topper.
Firmness is down to personal preference. Also, depending on the existing mattress firmness, certain toppers will act differently. A hard mattress with a soft topper will create a medium feel and vice versa. A soft mattress with a soft topper will create an even softer sleeping surface. Choose carefully based on logic and your current mattress firmness.
Generally, most best-selling mattresses are medium-firm. Based on this, lightweight people (less than 130 pounds) should use soft mattress toppers. Such toppers closely conform to the shape of their body. In comparison, medium-weight sleepers (i.e.,130 to 230 pounds) should use a medium-firm setting. Those weighing above 230 pounds should use firmer toppers.
Memory foam memory toppers usually retain heat, making it a bit uncomfortable to use in hot climates. Nonetheless, modern types come with cooling technology. The technology ensures there is improved airflow and ventilation. That implies that the mattress topper can release heat easily and quickly. Gel-infused mattress toppers are most common and distribute body heat evenly over the surface, reducing stuffiness while you sleep.
Density is another crucial aspect for side sleepers. Mattress toppers that have a high density provide better cushioning, withstand sagging, and conform better to the body than lower density counterparts. The measurement for density is usually in pounds per cubic foot (PCF).
The average lifespan of a mattress topper is about 5 years. Keep in mind that different materials have a different lifespan, but they generally deteriorate with time. Over time, you will see sagging and indentations on the sleep surface. This compromises the overall support. Some materials (such as latex) last longer than others.
Cleaning is a significant maintenance aspect. However, you can’t clean toppers in the washing machine like you would a duvet or comforter. Such action destroys the structure, making them unusable. The best way is to do spot cleaning. Alternatively, better quality toppers come with a removable and washable cover, thus allowing for better hygiene through cleaning.
The mattress toppers’ size should be the same as the size of your mattress. Select a size that corresponds to your existing (or new) bed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best mattress toppers for side sleepers?
A 4 inch mattress topper can help buffer the heavier weight of hips, but 2 inches and above would suffice. A memory foam construction can provide the much-needed support to maintain neutral spinal alignment. Also, gel-infused memory foam offers an additional cooler sleep experience. In terms of budget, this type of topper can differ tremendously based on aspects such as warranty, sleep trial, included cover, and more.
A latex topper can also offer excellent service for side sleepers but will cost much more. However, it will last much longer and generally benefits from being organic (unless it’s a synthetic blend).
Are mattress toppers worth it?
Mattress toppers are an effective way to improve your sleep surface for a fraction of the cost of a new mattress. They come in different thicknesses and fill (foam, latex, wool, cotton, & polyester). So it is easy to find the one that suits your needs. Besides, they extend the life of your mattress.
Side sleepers have unique needs when it comes to finding a perfect sleeping surface. Finding a mattress that is tailored to your needs can be expensive. However, if using the best mattress topper for side sleepers, it can transform the sleeping surface to meet your exact requirements.
There are numerous brands of mattress toppers; we have evaluated most of them at some point in our numerous mattress topper reviews. But not all of them fit side sleepers. What we have reviewed herein are amongst the best. So, if you are a side sleeper, reward yourself with one of them for sufficient pressure relief, and your every morning will be refreshing.