Best Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers [Review] in 2021
Last Updated on November 27, 2020
written by sleep expert Lauren Hall
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Most people are aware that different sleep positions require different kinds of mattresses, but did you know that also extends to mattress toppers? Let’s look at the best mattress topper for side sleepers. If you sleep on your side, you need a very different topper than you would if you slept on your stomach or back. You need the best mattress topper for side sleepers. Using the wrong topper can result in back, hip, or joint pain and negatively affect your quality of sleep. To help you figure out exactly what you need, we have put together a guide for choosing the best mattress topper for side sleepers, as well as our picks for 5 of the best options.
We’ve spent the time researching so you don’t have to:
Our Selection Of The Best Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers
SleepJoy 3" ViscO2 Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The SleepJoy 3” ViscO2 Ventilated Foam Mattress Topper measures 3 inches thick and is made from high quality, durable materials. It feels quite firm but still has a gentle softness about it that hugs the body’s natural contours for a cozy feeling while maintaining strong support. In fact, this topper isn’t just a great one for side sleepers – it’s also been known to relieve back and hip pain while sleeping. It cradles the hips and shoulders, relieving pressure overall, even for heavier individuals. This is quite a pleasant surprise as the topper is relatively thin when it comes to side sleeping products. It resists pelvic rotation to some degree and can even reduce nightly tossing and turning, helping the spine stay straight.
Fashioned from memory foam, this topper has a good ventilation system that helps to keep the product nice and cool at night. It helps to release body heat and does not retain any of it, ensuring consistent airflow thanks to its open cell, a ventilated structure known as VISCo2 technology. This keeps the topper from building up odors or moisture and it also helps sleepers stay sweat-free. Interestingly, the mattress barely has any off-gassing odor at all, making it a fantastic option for those who hate the smell that often comes with memory foam products. This may be due in part to the fact that the product is made from a CertiPUR-US certified formula that partially uses plant-based and natural ingredients. Unfortunately, this mattress topper does not come with a cover of its own, and it can only be spot cleaned.
The SleepJoy 3” ViscO2 Ventilated Foam Topper is available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes, and you can also choose to purchase it in 2 inches if you are truly inclined to a softer feel, although we would not recommend that thickness for side sleepers. It is made in the United States and comes with a five-year warranty. Do take note that you must be careful when purchasing this product as some fake varieties of it are being sold online that are merely ordinary foam, not memory foam. As long as you purchase wisely, however, this is a great mattress topper and has earned its place in the hunt for the best mattress topper for side sleepers.
Relieves back and hip pain
Great for heavier build sleepers
VISC02 technology ensures optimal ventilation
CertiPUR-US certified and uses plant-based, natural ingredients
Doesn’t come with a cover and can only be spot cleaned
Latest Deal: SleepJoy 3″ ViscO2 Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Memory Foam Solutions Queen Size 3 Inch Thick, Gel Swirl Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Pad Bed Topper
The Memory Foam Solutions 3” Mattress Topper is, as its name suggests, made from memory foam. It has a density of 4 lb./ft³ and a thickness of 3”, which are both good numbers for a topper that a side sleeper can use. It falls in the middle of the softness and firmness scale, so it’s great for both side sleepers and back sleepers and is a great choice for those who want to add some support to an older mattress. The memory foam on this topper hugs the shape of the body easily and keeps it in place so you won’t move around too much as you sleep, thus preventing back, shoulder, and neck pain as well as pelvic rotation. It supports the spine’s natural shape well, too.
But instead of being overly firm in order to pull off these support abilities, the topper provides cozy, cushioning comfort as well. In fact, it can even be used relatively comfortable by stomach sleepers, although we certainly recommend it more for side or back sleepers. In order to negate heat buildup, this mattress topper has gel swirls embedded into it that make it sleep cool. It wicks away heat from the body and keeps the sleeper from overheating throughout the night. This gel also gives the topper a delightfully soft, smooth feeling when pressed and when weight is put on it.
This topper is PURGreen certified, so it is environmentally friendly and does not contribute to greenhouse gas production. It is also hypoallergenic and safe to use for those with skin conditions. However, there is some off-gassing odor when the product first arrives, so the topper has to be aired out before use.
The Memory Foam Solutions 3” Mattress Topper comes in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes, with other thickness options also available. It is made in the United States and comes with a 3-year limited warranty that makes it a worthwhile investment. With most of its pros far outweighing its very few cons, it’s no surprise this is on our list for the best mattress topper for side sleepers.
Great for stomach and back sleepers too
Memory foam prevents excess movement and cushions for comfort
Gel swirls wick away heat and hypoallergenic
3-year limited warranty
Some off-gassing odor upon opening
Latest Deal: Memory Foam Solutions Gel Swirl Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam 4 Inch Pressure Relief Mattress Topper
The Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam Mattress Topper is focused on pressure relief, which is why it’s such a great choice for side sleepers. It is 4 inches thick in total, but only 2 of these inches are made up from memory foam as this topper actually has layers to it. It’s a great option for those who also want a topper that can add some comfort to an old mattress. The topmost layer of this mattress is the 2” memory foam, which gently conforms to the body, hugging it and preventing excessive movement while promoting spinal alignment. Beneath that is a 1.5” pressure relief comfort foam layer.
Working together, these two layers provide a very firm feel that works to relieve pressure points and remove stress from key areas, preventing aches and pains – especially for side sleepers. The hip, shoulders, pelvis, back, knees, and neck are rendered free from pain. Its high firmness makes it great for those who are heavier, those with softer mattresses, or those who simply prefer a firmer feeling. Still, it maintains a level of softness that provides adequate comfort for most sleepers.
These layers are topped by a 0.5” fiber quilted cover. Unfortunately, this cover may become lumpy after prolonged use, but it covers the foam layers well. This mattress also contains some activated charcoal, which helps to keep it nice and cool when slept on and prevents excessive overheating. This also helps to wick away moisture and sweat, keeping the mattress clean and all sleepers comfortable. All foam used in this mattress is CertiPUR-US certified, so they don’t use toxic chemicals or bad manufacturing processes and are more environmentally friendly in general. This is helped by some of the oil polymers usually used in foam creation being replaced with plant oil, which is much more natural. Still, there is some off-gassing odor that emerges when this product is first opened, so it will need to be aired out.
The Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam Mattress Topper comes in Twin, Full, Queen, and King sizes, which is fewer sizes than most toppers, so it is less versatile. With that being said, the topper also comes with a 5-year limited warranty for added peace of mind when shopping. Do note that you must be careful which purchasing this online as some fake models exist that use normal foam instead of memory foam.
Relieves pressure points on hips, shoulders pelvis, back, knees and neck
Memory foam prevents excess movement and cushions for comfort
Memory foam layer prevents movement and promotes spinal alignment
Activated charcoal prevents overheating
Some off-gassing upon opening
Latest Deal: Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam 4 Inch Pressure Relief Mattress Topper
Best Price Mattress 4Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
This affordable mattress topper known as the Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper is designed with memory foam that contours perfectly to the body. Measuring at 4 inches in thickness – divided into two layers – this topper is made of a high quality for its low price and is durable and long-lasting. The topper has a 1.5” memory foam top layer that is quick to respond to pressure and weight, thus securely contouring to your sleeping form. Its bottom layer is 2.5” high-density foam. Together, the two layers work together to provide a soft yet strong and supportive sleeping surface that evenly distributes your weight as you sleep. It reduces pain in the joints and common pressure areas, too, so it’s great for those with back and neck pain.
This thickness offers so much support, making it ideal for side sleepers or those who are heavier in weight. It relieves pressure in key areas with ease and simplicity. Still, it is not too overly firm and offers some soft comfort, though you likely won’t enjoy this topper if you are looking for something plush and soft. On top of that, it also isolates motion, making it a great topper for those who sleep with a partner. The topper comes extremely well packaged with an accompanying polyester mesh cover, which is removable via a zipper and machine washable.
Of course, this packaging makes the topper more difficult to return should you change your mind about the purchase, but it’s great that this inexpensive product comes with its own cover. Unfortunately, despite the cover, there is no strap or feature that allows the topper to be fastened to the bed, and it may move around at night unless you find a way to secure it. Unfortunately, there are no temperature regulation features in this mattress topper. While it does not overheat to an extreme degree, it may warm during the night, making it not the best choice for those who tend to sleep hot as is.
The mattress has a lingering off-gassing odor that will take about 2 days to fully dissipate. It has a CertiPUR-US certification and uses high quality, safe, and environmentally friendly materials. The topper may also need a day to fully expand to its real size when unfurled for the first time. The Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper comes in multiple sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen, King, and California King, so there’s one in almost every size on the market. It has a five-year warranty and is worth a try for those looking for a budget-friendly mattress topper that is still high in quality.
Durable and long-lasting
Dual memory foam layers supports and distributes weight evenly
Suited for those with neck and back pain
Isolates motion: great for bed sharers
Some off-gassing upon opening
Latest Deal: Best Price Mattress 4Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
LUCID 3 Inch Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The LUCID brand is extremely well-known, so it’s little surprise that this LUCID 3 Inch Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper ended up on our picks for the best mattress topper for side sleepers. In fact, it’s known for being one of the best mattress toppers in general, too, so it works for more than just side sleepers, though it is fantastic for those who sleep in that position. This makes it great for those who share a bed with someone with different needs, as it even works for stomach sleepers! This topper measures 3 inches in thickness and is made from high-quality materials, and it’s a great choice for someone with a very firm mattress who wants some better side sleeping comfort.
It fits the body easily, promoting healthy spinal alignment and discouraging tossing and turning as well as a pelvic rotation for a better night’s sleep. It has a medium firmness that actually veers towards soft, but it still provides lots of support for someone who sleeps on their side. The product makes use of memory foam that has been infused with gel, which reduces possible heat retention to almost nothing. It’s a great product to have in warmer areas and wicks away heat and moisture, absorbing bodily heat and dispersing it.
This mattress topper is hypoallergenic and CertiPUR-US certified, so it’s safe to use for those with sensitive skin or allergies and is relatively eco-friendly, too. There is some off-gassing but it goes away pretty quickly considering this is a memory foam product. It does not come with a cover of its own, so you will have to buy one for yourself, however. With that being said, the mattress topper is easy to clean and is very lightweight, so it’s quite a convenient product to own.
The LUCID 3 Inch Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper comes in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen, King, and California King sizes, and it is backed by a three-year warranty. For an inexpensive price and with a reputable company behind it, it’s a great investment option for those who want a softer side sleeping mattress topper that still provides necessary support.
Great for bed sharers with different alignment needs
Gel-infused layer near eliminates heat retention and wicks away moisture
CertiPUR-US certified and hypoallergenic
Easy to clean and lightweight
Some off-gassing upon opening
Latest Deal: LUCID 3 Inch Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The Best Mattress Toppers For Side Sleepers Buyers Guide And Frequently Seen Features
Here are a few of the frequently seen features amongst mattress toppers for side sleepers in the market:
The material is very important when choosing a mattress topper. While there are many options available, the best kind to use when you are a side sleeper is indisputably memory foam.
This is because memory foam provides an excellent amount of support while providing a soft cushion for pressure point relief.
Side sleepers place a lot of weight on their shoulders and hips, and memory foam can help to prevent aches and pains in these key areas while also offering the necessary support for proper spinal alignment in this position.
These toppers easily contour to the body’s shape and keep the shoulders in a natural, healthy and balanced pose as you sleep.
Memory foam toppers also relieve pelvic rotation for those who sleep in the recovery or “running” position, with one leg extended and bent while the other is straight.
This position can often result in back pain for those using the wrong topper, and memory foam can better support this hip rotation and still keep the spine straight.
Memory foam is also available in a lot of different feels, thicknesses, and densities, which means there’s plenty of variety – so even if you are not generally a fan of memory foam, you will likely be able to find a topper that works for you.
This is not to say that you don’t have other options for mattress topper materials if you are a side sleeper, but memory foam is best suited to your needs. If you would still like to consider others, here are the two other materials available:
Latex mattress toppers are great choices for many, but if you are a side sleeper they will likely be slightly too firm for your comfort.
However, if you are plus sized or weight more than 200 lbs and sleep on your side, latex toppers can provide some added support and prevent sinking for a healthier sleep.
Wool And Feather
While these are technically two different materials, they fall into the same category support and comfort wise. They do provide extra warmth but fail to conform to the body well and are often not nearly supportive enough for a side sleeper.
Thickness and Density
Thickness and density play a large role in support, making it crucial to take them into account when you are searching for the best mattress topper for side sleepers. They also affect the overall feel and type of comfort you will receive from the product.
Thicker mattress toppers and denser mattress toppers generally result in firmer feels. While softer toppers may feel more comfortable, they also offer a lot less support. However, at the same time, too-firm toppers will likely be uncomfortable and difficult to sleep on.
As such, the best thickness and densities to opt for with mattress toppers as a side sleeper is something somewhere in the middle that leans only slightly towards firmer and denser – a thickness of around 3” to 4” will work well.
This will ensure comfort and plenty of support for the spine and body at the same time.
You should take into account the thickness and firmness of your mattress when choosing a topper as well. For example, a very thick topper on top of a very thick mattress, or a super soft topper on a super soft mattress, will likely not go together very well.
Do note that if you are on the heavier side or are plus sized, you may need to opt for thicker, denser mattress toppers so your body doesn’t sink too far into the material.
Too much sinkage can misalign your spine, causing aches and pains, and generally fail to provide your body with the necessary support.
We have recommended memory foam as the best material for a topper for side sleepers, but you may be aware that many memory foam products – especially cheaper or older kind – have a tendency to overheat and sleep hot.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure that there are temperature regulation features within a memory foam topper.
Many memory foam products use gel layers or infusions which provide a cooling effect and absorb heat from the body.
Those that don’t may use a ventilated structure of have airflow technology in place for better circulation, making sure that the foam in question does not start to overheat during the night.
It’s also worth mentioning that wool and feather mattress toppers – even though we don’t recommend them for side sleepers – typically sleep very, very hot and are better for cold climates. Meanwhile, latex mattress toppers are usually quite breathable on their own.
Regardless of which material you are opting for, when you are purchasing your topper, especially if it’s memory foam, make sure that there are temperature regulation features available.
Health, Safety, and Odors
If you have ever bought a memory foam product before, then you are probably aware of the odor that comes off of them when first opened. This is known as off-gassing.
Off-gassing smells aren’t necessarily linked to the use of toxic chemicals or a bad manufacturing process, but they can be.
As such, it’s very important that you go for a product that has certifications that indicate no harmful chemicals, heavy metals, flame retardants, or volatile organic compounds have been used during the manufacturing process.
The most common certification you will find is the CertiPUR-US certification, but you can also carefully read materials used, research the company behind the product, or even look up the country of origin’s production and manufacturing laws to find out more.
In addition, these certifications not only guarantee that the item is safe to use and often hypoallergenic, but that they are made in a more environmentally conscious and eco-friendly way.
Head of Content at Sleepedia
Lauren is Sleepedia's Head of Content and is a certified sleep therapist who loves her sleep. Lauren helps people to get back to those deep, dream-filled nights they once had by helping to identify problems with their routine and sleep setup. Whether it's a mattress or pillow, Lauren researches the best products in the industry to provide you with an in-depth review of everything you need to know to encourage your buying decision.