Are you a side sleeper looking for a comfortable mattress topper?
You’ve come to the right place.
Side sleepers need a soft sleeping surface that prevents pressure points, particularly on their shoulders and hips. In addition to pressure-point relief, a soft mattress ensures proper spinal alignment and prevents back pain.
If your mattress feels too firm; a mattress topper can help. It’s a much cheaper option compared to buying a new softer mattress.
What’s In this Buying Guide?
In this buying guide, we recommend the 10 best mattress toppers for side sleepers. Most of our top picks are memory foam toppers. Memory foam is the best topper material for pressure relief.
We also give you some tips on how to choose the best mattress topper if you are a side sleeper.
For other types of mattress toppers, read our reviews of the best mattress toppers for different kinds of sleepers.
What Do Side Sleepers Need in a Mattress Topper?
Pressure relief. That’s what side sleepers need most in a mattress topper.
The biggest problem for side sleepers is an overly firm mattress. The mattress pushes against their shoulder, ribs, and hip. This causes two issues.
One, pressure points develop under these areas, causing pain and soreness. Two, the spine becomes misaligned, often resulting in back pain.
Side sleepers need extra cushioning to prevent pressure points and keep the entire body in proper alignment. A soft mattress topper will hug your pressure points, allowing them to sink a bit deeper into the mattress and stay aligned with the rest of the body.
But be careful not to go too far with the softness. A mattress topper that makes your mattress too soft will cause some parts of your body, particularly your midsection, to sink too deep. This lack of support bends your spine out of shape (causing back pain) and also puts pressure on certain joints like the hips.
Refer to our buying guide further below (after the reviews) for tips on how to choose the right mattress firmness depending on your body weight and how firm your current mattress is.
Best Mattress Toppers For Side Sleepers
- Best Overall: ViscoSoft Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- For Back Pain: COONP Queen Mattress Topper
- Budget: eLuxurySupply Rayon from Bamboo Extra Thick Mattress Topper
- Latex: Birch Plush Organic Mattress Topper
- Cooling Memory Foam: LUCID 4 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- For Hip and Shoulder Pain: Linenspa 3 Inch Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper
- Organic: Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper
- For year-round comfort: Sleep & Beyond Organic Merino Wool Topper
- Best Orthopedic/Zoned: GhostBed Memory Foam Topper
- Best for Cooling: Avocado Green Organic Latex Mattress Topper
- Best Down & Feather: ELEMUSE Goose Down Feather Mattress Topper
Link goes to Amazon
|Best Overall||4”||Gel memory foam and down alternative||Removable and washable Cotton cover||5 years|
Link goes to Amazon
|Best for back pain||-||Down alternative||400TC cotton cover||Not specified|
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|Best budget||-||Fiberfill||Bamboo rayon cover||Not specified|
|Birch||Best latex||3”||Talalay latex||Organic cotton cover with organic wool batting||10 years|
Link goes to Amazon
|Best cooling memory foam||4”||Gel ventilated memory foam||No cover||3 years|
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|Best for side sleepers with hip or shoulder pain||3”||Gel open cell memory foam||No cover||3 years|
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|Best organic||1”/2”/3”||Natural latex foam||No cover||5 years|
|Sleep & Beyond|
Link goes to Amazon
|Best for year-round comfort||-||Organic merino wool||Organic cotton cover||Not specified|
|GhostBed||Best orthopedic/zoned||3”||Zoned gel memory foam||Removable and washable cotton cover||5 years|
|Avocado Green||Best for cooling||2.75”||Organic latex & wool||Non-removable organic cotton cover||10 years|
Link goes to Amazon
|Best down & feather||Variable||Goose down, down alternative & feathers||400TC cotton cover||Not specified|
1. Best Overall Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers: ViscoSoft Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The ViscoSoft mattress topper combines plush materials to provide higher than average pressure relief. The topper consists of a 2.5” memory foam layer with a 1.5” down alternative pad on top.
With a total thickness of 4”, the ViscoSoft topper provides a deep enough hug even for heavier sleepers.
- The dual-layered design provides excellent pressure-point relief.
- Gel memory foam keeps topper relatively cool.
- Ideal for heavier sleepers.
- Good price.
- 60-day trial period.
- Some off-gassing when new.
Most mattress toppers consist of just a single layer of foam. The ViscoSoft topper has two layers with a total thickness of 4 inches. It’s almost like a mini-mattress.
The main layer is 2.5” of gel memory foam. On top of it is a 1.5” plush down alternative pad that is attached to the memory foam base using corner straps.
The two layers provide just the right balance of soft and firm that side sleepers need. The microfiber pad allows you to sink comfortably into the topper while the firm memory foam core ensures you don’t sink too much.
If you have existing shoulder or hip pain, the ViscoSoft topper cushions you to keep the pain from worsening.
We also recommend the topper for heavier folks weighing over 230 lbs. Thanks to the extra-thick 4” profile, the ViscoSoft topper will not bottom out on you.
You might be concerned about sleeping. Memory foam is known for its heat retention. But the ViscoSoft topper sleeps surprisingly cool, for most people at least.
The microfiber layer on top separates you from the heat-retaining memory foam. So the topper doesn’t get very hot.
The cooling gel in the memory foam also helps. It absorbs body heat, cooling you down further.
Another reason the ViscoSoft topper feels cool is the breathable cotton cover, which also does a great job wicking away sweat.
The ViscoSoft topper comes with a deep skirt that stretches to secure the topper under the mattress and keep it from shifting.
It takes a couple of days for the topper to expand to full thickness, but you can sleep on it after a few hours. Expect a mild ‘new car’ smell when you first unbox the topper. It’ll go away after a few days.
When you buy the ViscoSoft topper, you’ll get 60 days to try it at home. If you don’t like it, you can return it for a full refund. If you keep it, ViscoSoft guarantees it with a 5-year warranty.
The ViscoSoft Memory Foam Topper is Good For:
- Side sleepers looking for an affordable but comfortable memory foam topper.
- Side sleepers looking for a topper to soften their spring, foam, or latex mattress.
- Heavier side sleepers looking for a plush but supportive mattress topper.
2. Best Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers With Back Pain: COONP Mattress Topper
Whether your back pain is the result of sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress or a health condition, a supportive mattress topper can help.
The COONP down alternative mattress topper carefully balances between pressure relief and support. It’s soft enough to contour around your pressure points but not too soft that it causes spinal misalignment.
- Doesn’t compromise mattress support.
- Sleeps cooler than memory foam.
- Fits mattresses up to 21” thick.
- Machine washable.
- Cheaper than memory foam and latex toppers.
- Not ideal for those looking for a thick topper they can sink into.
- Not ideal for hot sleepers and hot climates.
- It is not recommended for sleepers weighing over 230lbs.
A mattress topper can be too soft even for side sleepers. This reduces support and can cause or worsen back pain. If you want to soften your mattress while maintaining adequate support, we recommend the COONP mattress topper.
It’s more like a mattress pad. However, the terms mattress pad and topper are sometimes used interchangeably, so either term is right.
Instead of plush memory foam, the COONP pad contains a down-alternative fill. While it does have a plush feel, the COONP topper doesn’t sink as much as memory foam.
This allows you to enjoy the pressure-point relief of the mattress pad while also getting the support you need from your firm mattress. This keeps your spine properly aligned and reduces or eliminates back pain.
That said, we do not recommend the COONP mattress topper for heavier folks weighing over 230lbs. Because the topper is thinner than a conventional memory foam topper, you’ll still feel the firm mattress underneath. Go with a 3”-4” memory foam or latex topper instead.
We also don’t recommend the COONP topper for hot sleepers or people in hot climates like Florida. While the 400TC cotton cover is very breathable, the microfiber filling can feel hot and stuffy.
Setting up the COONP topper on the mattress is easy. The manufacturer recommends leaving it for a few hours to allow it to expand. You can also fluff it up in a dryer. Once it’s ready to use, place it on your mattress and tuck the elastic pocket underneath the mattress to keep the topper from shifting. The skirt fits under mattresses between 8” and 21” thick.
Another good thing about the COONP topper is that it is washable, so keeping it clean is no problem. Just note that you’ll need a commercial size washing machine.
The COONP Mattress Topper is Good For:
- Side sleepers with back pain.
- Side sleepers who want more pressure relief without making the mattress too soft.
- People who don’t like memory foam but want its plushness.
3. Best Budget Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers: eLuxurySupply Bamboo Mattress Topper
If you are on a budget, we recommend this bamboo rayon mattress topper from eLuxurySupply. It is a fiberfill topper, so it’s not as plush as a memory foam topper.
But if your mattress feels a tad too firm, it’ll soften it enough to prevent back pain and sore joints.
- Good bargain.
- Soft yet supportive.
- Sleeps cool.
- Not ideal for those looking for a lofty or extra-plush topper.
The eLuxurySupply mattress topper combines a Revoloft fiberfill with a bamboo rayon cover to upgrade the feel and comfort of your mattress. It does two things.
One, it softens your mattress to improve pressure-point relief. It’s not as plush as memory foam, so it doesn’t turn your bed into a mushy swamp. You’ll still enjoy adequate support from your mattress.
Secondly, it makes your bed cooler. Fiber is not the coolest material around, but it does not trap as much heat as memory foam. But it is the bamboo rayon cover that makes the biggest difference in your sleeping temperature. Bamboo fabrics are naturally cool and highly breathable.
The eLuxurySupply topper is a good choice for sleepers with allergies or skin sensitivity. Both the synthetic microfiber fill and the bamboo rayon cover are hypoallergenic.
The eLuxurySupply topper comes with an elastic pocket that fits mattresses up to 18” deep. As for maintenance, the entire topper is machine washable.
The eLuxury Supply Bamboo Mattress Topper is Good For:
- Hot sleepers.
- Sleepers looking for a soft but supportive mattress topper.
- Side sleepers who don’t like the feel of memory foam.
4. Best Latex Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers: Birch Living Plush Organic Mattress Topper
Prefer a natural latex mattress topper over memory foam? We recommend the Birch Living organic mattress topper.
The three-inch topper uses plush organic wool, natural latex, and organic cotton to provide something close to a five-star hotel sleeping experience.
- Super luxurious.
- Organic materials.
- Sleeps cool.
- Helps with night sweats.
- Expensive, as expected.
All the materials used in the Birch mattress topper are organic. These include the organic latex core, the organic wool padding, and the organic cotton cover.
The latex has a soft feel, making it comfortable for side sleepers. The plush wool padding adds to the softness and enhances pressure point relief.
The combination of latex, wool, and cotton cover keeps the topper cool and comfortable. Latex doesn’t trap heat; the cotton cover has excellent breathability, and wool is great at temperature regulation.
The wool padding and cotton cover are also great for sleepers with night sweats. The two materials are good at wicking moisture.
The Birch Living topper is 3” thick, making it ideal even for heavier folks.
Of course, all this luxury doesn’t come cheap. If you are looking for a budget mattress topper, you won’t like the price tag on the Birch Living topper.
The Birch Living Organic Mattress Topper is Good For:
- Sleepers looking for a luxury mattress topper and don’t mind spending more than average.
- Anyone looking for an organic latex topper.
- Hot sleepers and those with night sweats.
5. Best Cooling Memory Foam Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers: LUCID 4 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
If you love the plushness of memory foam but are concerned about sleeping hot, we recommend the Lucid 4” memory foam mattress topper.
The Lucid topper uses cooling gel and a ventilated foam design to keep you cool.
- Sleeps cool.
- The thick profile makes it ideal for heavier sleepers.
- Plush comfort.
- Ideal for extra-firm mattresses.
- The slight smell when new.
- No cover.
If your body turns into a heater when you get in bed, a memory foam topper is not a good idea. Latex or wool topper is the best choice for you. A down-filled topper is also good.
But if you love the feel of memory foam, we recommend the Lucid 4” topper. Four inches of plush memory foam should make you hot and sweaty, but the Lucid topper sleeps cool.
The secret is the addition of cooling gel to the foam and unique foam design.
The gel absorbs heat away from your body, helping you feel cool. But on its own, cooling gel is not enough. Once it absorbs a certain amount of heat, it no longer cools you down.
That’s why the Lucid topper also includes a ventilated foam design. The memory foam is perforated to allow air and thus heat to flow away from the mattress.
The Lucid topper does not include a cover. We highly recommend getting a waterproof and washable cover to protect the topper.
Another downside of the Lucid memory foam topper is the initial off-gassing. Expect a mild ‘new car’ smell when it’s new. The smell goes away in a few days.
The Lucid 4” memory foam topper comes with a 3-year warranty.
The Lucid 4” Memory Foam Topper Is Good For:
- Side sleepers looking for a thick and plush mattress topper.
- Hot side sleepers looking for a memory foam topper that stays cool.
- Side sleepers weighing over 230lbs.
6. Best Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers With Hip or Shoulder Pain: Linenspa 3 Inch Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper
Gel memory foam sleeps cooler and has better body contouring compared to ordinary memory foam. That's why it's one of the best mattress toppers for relieving shoulder or hip pain.
The Linenspa memory foam topper uses a swirl design to enhance the performance of the gel.
- Sleeps cool for most people.
- Excellent pressure-point relief, which reduces hip and shoulder pain.
- Plush comfort – ideal for a firm and extra-firm mattresses.
- Low price.
- Some off-gassing when new.
- No cover.
The 3” Linenspa topper has a plush feel to it. It’s perfect for side sleepers of any bodyweight. It easily conforms to your body, relieving pressure under your shoulder, ribs, and hip.
You'll especially appreciate the pressure relief if you have an aching hip or shoulder, or are recovering from a medical procedure in one of those areas.
The soft memory foam wraps around your hip and shoulder, cushioning the sensitive area from painful pressure.
It’s not just the gel in the memory foam that keeps the Linenspa topper cool; the open cell foam design also helps by improving breathability.
While some extra-hot sleepers may still find the Linenspa topper to be too warm, most customers slept cool.
To make it even cooler, use breathable sheets or a bamboo/cotton cover on it.
The Linenspa does not come with a cover. You’ll have to get one separately if you want to protect the topper from dirt and moisture.
Also, it has some mild off-gassing when new. But the smell goes away after a few days.
The Linenspa 3” Memory Foam Topper is Good For:
- Side sleepers with shoulder or hip pain.
- Anyone looking for an affordable memory foam topper.
- Hot sleepers.
- Sleepers looking for a plush topper to soften their firm mattress.
7. Best Organic Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers: Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper
If you love organic and eco-friendly products, we recommend the Pure Green natural latex topper.
For side sleepers, we recommend choosing the 3” topper over the 2” and 1” options.
- 100% natural latex.
- Sleeps cool.
- Multiple thickness options.
- More expensive than memory foam toppers.
The Pure Green natural latex topper is GOLS certified organic, Greenguard Gold Certified, Oeko-Tex Class 1 Certified, and EcoInstitut Certified. So you can trust them when they say the topper is made with 100% natural latex.
Thanks to the natural latex, the Pure Green topper sleeps cool and lasts much longer than synthetic foam toppers.
The Pure Green topper is available in three options: 1”, 2” and 3” thick. For side sleepers, we recommend the 3” thick topper. It has a medium feel, which provides the right amount of body contouring to relieve pressure points.
The 1” and 2” toppers may feel too firm for your comfort.
The Pure Green topper does not come with a cover. You can buy one if you want, or just lay your normal bedsheet on top of it.
Price-wise, the Pure Green topper is more expensive than most foam toppers. If you are looking for a Queen-sized mattress topper in the $100 range, a foam topper is your best option.
The Pure Green Natural Latex Topper is Good For:
- Anyone looking for an organic mattress topper.
- Side sleepers who want to improve pressure relief on a firm mattress or add support to a soft mattress.
- Side sleepers who sleep hot.
8. Best for Year-Round Comfort: Sleep & Beyond Organic Merino Wool Topper
If you are looking for a natural wool mattress topper, we recommend this one from Sleep & Beyond. It contains a filling of organic merino wool and an organic cotton cover.
- Organic filling and cover.
- Excellent temperature regulation – keeps you comfortable throughout the year.
- Plush feel.
- Helps with night sweats.
- Requires regular fluffing.
- Not washable.
The Sleep & Beyond wool topper is more of a fluffy mattress pad. It’s just thick enough to soften a firm mattress but not too thick that it makes you sink into the bed.
It’s perfect for side sleepers who want more pressure-point relief while still enjoying good support.
One of the biggest advantages of going with a natural wool topper is its excellent temperature regulation. The Sleep & Beyond topper will keep you cool when it’s hot and insulate you when it’s cold. In other words, it is the best mattress topper/pad for sleepers who want year-round comfort.
The biggest downside of the Sleep & Beyond topper is the price. Made from organic wool and organic cotton, it costs more than ordinary foam toppers.
It’s also not washable. Again, the materials are to blame. Natural wool is delicate and can easily shrink in the washer or dryer. You’ll need to buy a washable cover to protect the topper.
Another downside is that the regular fluffing needed to keep the Sleep & Beyond topper comfortable.
The Sleep & Beyond Organic Merino Wool Topper is Good For:
- Anyone looking for an organic wool topper.
- Sleepers who want a topper that keeps them comfortable all year round.
- Side sleepers looking for a topper to soften their firm mattress without making it overly soft.
9. Best Orthopedic/Zoned Mattress Topper For Side Sleepers: GhostBed Memory Foam Topper
The GhostBed memory foam topper has a multizone design that provides targeted support and pressure relief to different areas of your body.
This, combined with the topper’s plush feel makes the Ghostbed memory foam topper a great choice for side sleepers.
- Targeted support and contouring.
- Improves spinal alignment.
- Sleeps cooler than most memory foam toppers.
- Comes with a waterproof cotton cover.
The surface of the Ghost memory foam topper is covered in grooves and peaks with varying patterns.
These provide varying amounts of contouring to different parts of your body. For instance, the area under your shoulders and hips hug you more to prevent pressure on these points.
The areas under your head and lower body get less contouring for added support and ensure proper spinal alignment.
The Ghostbed topper uses plush memory foam that provides the deep contouring that side sleepers need.
To avoid turning your bed into a sauna (plush memory foam traps more heat), the memory foam is infused with cooling gel that absorbs body heat.
The contours and grooves on the surface also help with cooling by allowing airflow.
Unlike most memory foam toppers, the Ghostbed topper comes with a cotton cover. The cover does three important things: it protects the topper, it protects your mattress, and it keeps you cool.
The cotton topper is waterproof, so it doubles up as a mattress protector. It prevents spills, sweat, dirt and allergens from reaching the topper memory foam as well as your mattress.
Once you buy the Ghostbed memory foam topper, you don't need a separate mattress protector.
As for cooling, the breathable cover allows excess body heat to escape. In addition, it’s made with GhostBed’s Ghost ice fabric, which contains phase change material or PCM.
PCM is highly effective at cooling. It keeps the surface of the topper cool no matter how hot it is. It’s great for hot sleepers and people with hot flashes.
Attached to the topper cover is an elastic band that fits mattresses up to 18” thick and keeps the topper in place.
Issues & Limitations
The Ghostbed memory foam topper is one of the most expensive 3” memory foam toppers in the market.
But we think it’s worth it.
It is really comfortable for side sleepers, has a zoned design that adapts to your body, it sleeps cooler than just about any other memory foam topper, and it is a 2-in-1 mattress topper and mattress protector.
The GhostBed Memory Foam Topper is Good For:
- Side sleepers looking for a mattress topper that provides good pressure relief and support.
- Side sleepers who sleep hot or experience hot flashes while asleep.
- Side sleepers who are shopping for a mattress topper as well as a mattress protector.
10. Best Cooling Mattress Topper For Side Sleepers: Avocado Green Organic Latex Mattress Topper
Some memory foam toppers like the GhostBed one sleep fairly cool. But if you want the best cooling capability you can get, we recommend the Avocado Green organic latex mattress topper.
Natural latex sleeps cooler than any other material.
- Great for hot sleepers.
- Contains wool for temperature regulation and moisture-wicking.
- Organic materials.
- Soft feel provides contouring for side sleepers.
- More durable than memory foam.
- Costs more than a memory foam topper.
If you are a side sleeper who sleeps hot, has hot flashes, or experiences night sweats, we highly recommend the Avocado organic latex topper.
It’s made with certified organic Dunlop latex that sleeps naturally cool. Natural latex has excellent breathability and doesn't trap body heat.
A layer of organic wool on top of the latex provides additional cooling and all-season temperature regulation. Wool is also really good at wicking away sweat.
The two layers are wrapped in an organic and breathable cotton cover.
The Avocado topper is 2.75” thick (2” latex, 0.75” wool) and is available in two comfort options: plush and firm.
Side sleepers should get the plush topper. It hugs your body to relieve pressure, and it’s perfect for softening a too-firm mattress.
If you prefer the deep hug of memory foam, the Avocado organic latex topper is probably not what you are looking for. It is soft, but not at the same level as memory foam.
The Avocado latex topper works best for those who want pressure relief without sinking too deep into the mattress. It’s also great for those who want a soft topper that has some bounciness/responsiveness to it.
Another advantage of getting the Avocado Green latex topper over a memory foam topper is longevity. Natural latex lasts a long time without deforming.
It’s no wonder Avocado Green offers a 1-year trial period plus a 10-year warranty.
Issues & Limitations
The only issue we have with the Avocado Green organic latex topper is the price. Natural latex, especially if it is certified organic, is pricey.
If you are shopping for a budget topper, you may have to stick to memory foam.
The Avocado Green Organic Latex Topper is Good For:
- Side sleepers who sleep hot or experience hot flashes.
- Side sleepers who get night sweats.
- Side sleepers looking for an organic mattress topper.
11. Best Down & Feather Mattress Topper For Side Sleepers: ELEMUSE Goose Down Feather Mattress Topper
If you need to add just a bit of softness to your mattress for better pressure relief, we recommend the ELEMUSE down and feather mattress topper.
It softens your mattress without making you sink too deep.
- Good for softening a medium or medium-firm mattress.
- Soft & plush.
- Breathable cotton cover.
- Sleeps cool.
- Not suitable for heavy side sleepers.
- Not ideal for firm mattresses.
Not all side sleepers need a thick and plush mattress topper.
If you have a lighter body, a thinner topper like the ELEMUSE goose down feather topper is adequate for pressure relief.
The same is true if you want to soften a medium-firm or firm mattress. A thick memory foam topper can make your bed too soft, affecting support and sleeping posture.
The ELEMUSE goose down and feather topper adds just enough softness to relieve pressure points without making the bed overly soft.
The ELEMUSE topper has two layers. The top plush layer contains a mixture of goose down and down-alternative fiber. The bottom layer contains feathers.
So it’s not all-natural, but it’s softer and sleeps cooler than a microfiber-only topper.
The 400 thread count cotton cover provides extra cooling and breathability.
The ELEMUSE topper has baffle boxes that maintain the topper’s fluffiness and prevent the filling from shifting or clumping.
It also comes with a deep pocket that fits mattresses up to 21 inches thick.
Issues & Limitations
The ELEMUSE down and feather topper is best for lighter side sleepers. It’s not thick enough to provide pressure relief for heavier sleepers (200+lbs).
We also don't recommend it if you want to soften a really firm mattress. Get a thicker memory foam or latex topper that provides adequate cushioning.
The ELEMUSE Goose Down Feather Topper is Good For:
- Light and average weight side sleepers looking for a soft but supportive mattress topper.
- Side sleepers looking for a topper that adds just a bit of softness to their mattress.
- Side sleepers shopping for a down mattress topper.
Buying Guide: How to Choose a Good Mattress Topper for Side Sleeping
Here’s what to consider when shopping for a good mattress topper for side sleeping.
The most important consideration when choosing a mattress topper for side sleeping is firmness.
Sleeping on your side can cause pain and soreness if your body is not aligned. If the mattress is too soft, your midsection will sink in lower than the rest of the body, causing spinal misalignment and possible back pain.
On a too-firm mattress, your shoulders and hips don’t get enough cushioning, and soreness could develop in these areas.
Most side sleepers need a soft to the medium mattress topper. The exact level of firmness depends on your body weight.
Side sleepers weighing under 130lbs should get a soft mattress topper. Average weight sleepers (130-230lbs) and heavier sleepers (over 230lbs), will find a medium comfort topper to be the best.
Also, consider how firm your current mattress is. If it is extra-firm, a softer topper will balance it out nicely. If it is medium-firm, get a medium topper to make sure your bed doesn’t get overly soft.
The materials a mattress topper is made with greatly determine its comfort, cooling capability, and longevity.
Here are the different kinds of toppers based on materials.
- Memory foam toppers are the most popular. They provide really good contouring for side sleepers and have the best pressure relief. They are especially great for side sleepers with an aching hip or shoulder. On the downside, they tend to get a bit too warm.
- Gel memory foam toppers have gotten more popular as people avoid the heat-trapping nature of traditional memory foam. While they sleep cooler, gel memory foam toppers can still feel too warm for extra hot sleepers.
- Latex toppers are great for those who prefer natural materials. They are also the best for hot sleepers. Latex toppers are ideal for those who don't like the deep hug of memory foam. A latex topper can be soft but you won’t sink as much, and the topper feels bouncy.
- Wool mattress toppers don't offer a deep hug, so they are great if you need to soften your mattress just a bit. Wool toppers are excellent for hot sleepers, and they also provide some warmth when it’s cold.
- Down mattress toppers are also great for those who need to dial down their mattress firmness just a bit.
- Microfiber mattress toppers are ideal for those who like the feel of a down or wool topper, but want something cheaper. A microfiber topper is cheaper, though it doesn't sleep as cool and doesn't last as long as wool and down toppers.
Generally, thicker mattress toppers are softer. They are also better for heavier sleepers.
A 3” topper is perfect for most side sleepers. If you weigh more than 230lbs, get a 4” topper. If you want a topper that balances between plushness and support, get a 2-incher.
If you want to add only a touch of softness to your mattress (ideal if your mattress already feels soft but still causes some pressure on your hips and shoulders), get a wool, down, or down alternative topper that is 1-2 inches thick.
Memory foam and down alternative toppers last the least amount of time, with an average lifespan of 2-5 years.
The most durable toppers are those made with natural materials like latex, wool, and down. These can last 10 years or more without going flat.
Check the kind of cover a particular topper comes with.
It should be soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking. The best topper cover fabrics are cotton, bamboo, Tencel, and other plant-based materials.
Also, check if the cover is removable and washable. It makes it easier to keep the topper clean and hygienic.
Note that some toppers don't come with a cover. You have to buy one separately if you want to protect the topper.
What Is The Best Mattress Topper Thickness For Side Sleepers?
The thickness of a mattress topper determines how much give the topper has. A 2” topper will have more give (or it’ll sink deeper) than a 1” topper, and thus it’ll feel softer. A 4” topper will feel even softer because it has more give.
Because side sleepers need more sinkage than other types of sleepers (for pressure relief and spine alignment), we recommend getting a topper that’s at least 2” thick.
For average weight and overweight side sleepers, we recommend a 3” or 4” topper for added pressure relief.
Another reason to consider a thicker and softer mattress topper is if you have hip or shoulder pain. You need extra cushioning from a 3” or 4” mattress topper. And definitely go with memory foam; it provides far better pressure and pain relief than latex.
Something else to keep in mind when deciding how thick a mattress topper you should get is the firmness level of your current mattress.
If your mattress is extra-firm, you need a thicker (at least 3”) topper to soften it enough to make it comfortable. With a thinner topper, you may still feel the firm mattress underneath pressing against your hip, ribs, and shoulder.
If your mattress is medium-firm, a 2” topper may be enough to create the right amount of plushness.
If you want to soften your mattress just a little bit without compromising support, try a 1” or 2” topper. You can also try a down, down alternative or wool mattress pad.
How We Rate Mattress toppers for Side Sleepers
We focus on three factors when rating mattress toppers for side sleepers: firmness, quality of materials, and value.
We rate softer mattress toppers higher because they provide the best pressure relief for side sleepers.
As for the quality of materials, we rate toppers made with high-density foams higher. We also look for CertiPUR-certification to ensure we recommend only safe and environmentally-friendly toppers.
When it comes to latex toppers, natural or organic latex toppers earn the most points.
The last factor is value for money. Do the topper’s quality and sleeping experience match the price?
We rate highly affordable mattress toppers that provide a comfortable sleeping experience and are durable. Luxury mattress toppers also earn high ratings if they are, indeed, luxurious to sleep on and last long.
What is the best mattress topper for side sleepers with hip pain?
We recommend a plush memory foam topper like ViscoSoft. It’ll provide the best cushioning and pain-relief for your hip.
What is the best mattress topper for side sleepers with back pain?
For side sleepers with back pain, we recommend a medium comfort mattress topper that cradles your pressure points without making the bed overly soft to the point where your spine bends.
What’s the best firmness for a mattress topper for a side sleeper?
It depends on several factors such as your weight, how firm your current mattress is and whether you have any hip, shoulder or back pain.
But for most side sleepers a soft or medium comfort topper is the best choice.
Is a memory foam topper good for side sleepers?
Yes, a memory foam topper is great for side sleepers. It hugs your body and relieves pressure under your hips, shoulders and rib cage.
Are mattress toppers the same as mattress pads?
Mattress toppers and mattress pads are often used interchangeably.
But usually, mattress toppers are thicker; typically 1-4 inches thick. Mattress toppers change the feel of your mattress more drastically.
Mattress pads are thinner (1” or less) and consist of a cover with a filling made from wool, microfiber, or down. Mattress pads are like a cozy comforter you sleep on.
A mattress pad changes the feel of your mattress just by a bit. It’s great if you like your current mattress but would like to make it a little bit softer.
Will a mattress topper help with pressure points?
A contouring mattress topper will relieve pressure points caused by a too-firm mattress. The topper hugs your hips, shoulders and other pressure points to ensure they don't press against the mattress.
It also improves sleeping posture and alignment, ensuring your back, hips, or shoulders are not under any pressure.
Is a latex topper good for side sleepers?
If you want a latex topper and you sleep on your side, look for a soft or plush latex topper. It’ll provide the best pressure relief and contouring.
A latex topper is also good for hot sleepers. Latex has good breathability and doesn't trap heat like memory foam.
How can I sleep more comfortably on my side?
In addition to getting a comfortable topper that relieves your pressure points, make sure you are sleeping on the right pillow.
Side sleepers need a pillow with a higher loft than usual to ensure the head is supported in alignment with the spine.
Memory foam or cervical pillow that supports your neck is the best.
Another way to improve alignment is to place a small pillow between your knees. It improves the position of your pelvis and spine and can help reduce back and hip pain.
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