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The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers in Australia for 2022

Or how to catch sweet Zzzs on your side.

The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
Sarah Idle
Updated 
Apr 1, 2022
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In this guide

Forget which Hogwarts house you belong to, how about distinguishing yourself by your sleeping style? Maybe you’re an always calm and in control back sleeper. Or you let it all hang out as a stomach sleeper. Or perhaps you’re the most beloved side sleeper. (Hmm, yeah we don’t see it catching on either.) 

In this guide, you’ll discover the best mattress for side sleepers in Australia. We explain how to choose a mattress for side sleepers and the features to pay attention to for a comfortable night’s sleep. Side sleepers press certain areas of their body into their bed, like their shoulders and hips. That’s why they need a mattress that targets these specific areas, delivering them the comfort and support they need. Side sleepers: we’ve done all the hard work for you.

At a glance
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How we picked

We’ve reviewed a lot of mattresses (like, a lot). So, we already had some great knowledge up our sleeves, including sleep-testing. To decide the best mattress for side sleepers, we looked for the following features:

  • Plush, cushiony top: a cushioning sleep surface offers great pressure relief for side sleepers.
  • Supportive underneath: whether that’s firm foam or springs, the mattresses needed to offer plenty of support to ensure correct spinal alignment. 
  • Mattress type: hybrids and all foam mattresses, plus latex as a memory foam alternative, all work well for side sleepers so we wanted to ensure a good mix of mattress types. 
  • Sleeper reviews: a list of specs is all good but how do they actually feel for side sleepers? We used a combo of our own insights and those of real Aussie sleepers.
  • A little something something: there are a lot of mattresses in a box out there. We wanted to showcase the ones that deliver a little extra something, like a focus on natural, organic materials (Peacelily) or environmental sustainability (Koala and Ecosa).

What makes a good mattress for side sleepers?

Picking the best side sleeper mattress comes down to 2 main things: pressure relief and spinal alignment.

When side sleepers snuggle down for the night, most of their body weight is concentrated onto 1 shoulder and 1 hip, pushing those areas against the bed. Mattresses with a plushy, cushiony top layer provide support for these pressure points.

Because most sleepers move around a lot during the night - you might start off on your side before flipping to the other side, or onto your back, or your stomach - spinal alignment is even more important than pressure relief. As you move, different areas of your body will take your weight but your spine needs to be well supported, regardless of your sleeping position.

Look for a mattress that aligns your spine. Do this by getting someone to take a photo of you from behind as you lie on your side. A mattress that supports correct spinal alignment will allow you to draw a pretty straight line between the midpoints of your ears, shoulders and hips. Mattress dragging your hips and shoulders down? Try something firmer. 

It’s not all about the mattress though. Side sleepers also need a great pillow that supports their neck and possibly a mattress topper to soften up the top layer.

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The best mattresses for side sleepers in Australia

What we love

  • The supportive comfortable feel of the mattress.
  • Customisable firmness level that can be flipped. 
  • The attention paid to keeping you cool on hot nights.
  • Koala’s environmental and sustainability focus.

The not so good bits

  • It’s pretty deep at 29cm so check if your fitted sheets will work.
  • No handles which makes turning and moving it tricky.
  • It’s heavy, weighing up to 51.75kg for the king - those handles really would have come in handy.
Additional specs
  • Mattress type: foam
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Delivery: Same day for metro areas, 1-15 days for other areas
  • Free trial period: 120 nights
  • Price range: $980 - $1,950
  • Firmness: medium-firm / firm

The mid-range Koala offering, the all-foam Calm As mattress is great for side sleepers. That’s because it’s got 5 layers which offer a lot of soft, sinkable support for side sleepers’ necks and spines, helping to keep them in the correct alignment. This includes a 7cm sleeping surface and 1cm quilted cover. That’s 8cm of plush cushioning for side sleepers to relax into.

It has a flippable comfort layer that allows you to choose between medium-firm and firm, although most sleepers think it feels more medium, even on the firm side. This makes it the ideal mattress firmness for side sleepers. 

It’s then backed up by a support layer with 3 targeted support zones, including your shoulders - super important for side sleepers. It has a final, deeper support layer. So, it offers a great combo of soft cushioning and support. 

Other great things about the Koala Calm As mattress include a lack of partner disturbance and a somewhat cool night’s sleep. Plus, Koala is all about environmental sustainability as a B-Corp certified company, their membership of 1% for the Planet, and their partnership with WWF Australia.

Choose this if…

You want an all-foam mattress with a side of charitable and environmental fuzzies.

Further reading:

What we love

  • All night comfort and support thanks to 7 zone pocket springs.
  • Removable and washable cover that’s made from recycled plastic bottles.
  • Proudly Aussie company that’s certified carbon neutral.

The not so good bits

  • No handles (although the Ecosa mattress doesn’t need rotating or flipping).
  • Some sleepers find it too firm and it can take a while to adjust to.
  • Returns can be tricky and take a long time.
Additional specs
  • Mattress type: hybrid (foam and springs)
  • Warranty: 15 years
  • Delivery: 0-7 days
  • Free trial period: 100 nights
  • Price range: $700 - $1,100
  • Firmness: medium

Ecosa’s most affordable mattress, the Vital is a hybrid mattress that features memory foam and 7 zone pocket springs. What makes it great for side sleepers is that it’s Ecosa’s most cushioned mattress, boasting a comfy plush top layer for side sleepers to sink into. But it’s backed up by memory foam for extra support, tranquil foam for pressure relief, and 7 zone pocket springs for total body support.

Ecosa reckons the Vital mattress is a medium firmness, and most sleepers agree. Because of the plush top layer, the Ecosa Vital does offer a slight sinking and holding sensation - you’ll lie on it and feel held by the mattress. The plushness can be confused with softness so be prepared for that. The foam and pocket springs combo responds to your body movements to provide support throughout the night.

As Australia’s first certified carbon neutral mattress company Ecosa has a great range of sustainability initiatives. These include using natural and recycled materials like the OceanCycled cover and recycled felt in this mattress, plus sustainable packaging goals, and offsetting their carbon emissions. 

Choose this if…

You want a cushioned hybrid mattress from Australia’s first certified carbon neutral mattress company.

Further reading:

What we love

  • Sturdy handles for easily turning the mattress.
  • The multiple layers of comfort, including latex and memory foam.
  • The bounce delivered by the pocket springs.

The not so good bits

  • Heavy, especially compared to Koala’s mattress.
  • Poor delivery experience.
  • No focus on ethical or sustainable manufacturing.
Additional specs
  • Mattress type: hybrid (foam and springs)
  • Warranty: 15 years
  • Delivery: 1-10 business days
  • Free trial period: 120 nights
  • Price range: $799 - $1,199
  • Firmness: medium-firm

A hybrid mattress, the Noa combines latex, memory foam, foam and steel pocket springs for a supportive mattress that’s ideal for side sleepers. Side sleepers might enjoy the hugging, slightly sinking sensation that the memory foam gives as it gently contours to your body. 

It has a beautiful Tencel pillow top that delivers the plush feel side sleepers need. Noa rates it as 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale, making it medium-firm and most sleepers agree. After the pillow top is a latex layer. As well as being cooling, it offers excellent cushioning and support, especially for your back, shoulders and hips - all key areas for side sleepers.

The cooling gel memory foam layer offers deep pressure relief, while the pocket springs ensure the Noa is a responsive mattress that moves with you throughout the night. 

Choose this if…

You want a hybrid mattress that features all the materials, including latex, memory foam and springs.

Further reading:

What we love

Good for bad backs

An optimal firmness (medium firm) combined with 3 layers of memory foam makes this highly supportive for bad backs.

Premium materials

You’ll find the highest graded foam density of any mattress in a box in the Ergoflex 5G. This should ensure your mattress lasts.

3 layers of foam

Memory foam shapes to your body, supporting you whatever sleeping position you're in. The bottom 9cm layer of foam acts as support for the layers above, ensuring it stays firm for its entire life.

Keeps you cool

The middle layer aims to stop heat building in your mattress and keep air flowing around it so you stay cool on hot nights.

Antibacterial removable cover

If you’ve got allergies, or want to keep things clean, the removable cover is machine washable and naturally antibacterial (it’s made with Tencel).

Mattress-in-a-box pioneers

They’ve been around longer than their 10-year warranty and were the first brand to deliver their mattresses in a box. They know their stuff.

The not so good bits

Price

Starting from $949 and going up to $1,799, they’re not the most affordable mattresses we reviewed.

No handle

Even with the premium materials, the basics are overlooked - like a handle.

1 firmness

It’s medium-firm only (although our research shows this is ideal for back pain).

30-night trial

You get just 30 nights to try it which is the lowest trial period we found.

Additional specs

Type: Memory foam

Firmness: Medium firm

Trial length: 30 nights

Warranty: 10 years

As well as being great for bad backs, the Ergoflex 5G is also great for side sleepers. This is thanks to this all foam mattress’ top 9cm memory foam comfort layer. Memory foam contours to your sleeping body, giving pressure relieving support that side sleepers need. A 5cm airflow layer then helps air circulate, preventing heat from building up in the mattress and regulating your temperature. 

Finally, it’s got another 9cm layer of foam that gives additional support. Overall, the Ergoflex 5G is only 23cm high, making it one of the lowest mattresses we’ve reviewed. Although this won’t impact on your sleep quality, it also might not have the plushest feel of other deeper mattress. (But you can think of it as not being padded with cheaper, less high quality materials just to make it high!)

The Ergoflex 5G promises a feeling of weightlessness and consistent support, especially on your pressure points, like your hips and shoulders. Most Aussie sleepers rate it as a medium feel, which is well suited to side sleepers. Ergoflex 5G is so confident you’ll love this mattress that it only comes with a 30-night free trial. 

Choose this if…

You want a memory foam mattress that’s intended to relieve pain, including in your back, shoulder and hips - all pain points for side sleepers.

What we love

  • Flippable firmness layers so you can choose a medium or firm feel.
  • Huge range of sizes which is the widest of all mattresses we’ve reviewed.
  • The clean, green naturalness of the mattress, including its sustainable manufacturing.
  • That it’s handcrafted.

The not so good bits

  • Heavy to move, lift and turn. 
  • Returns policy isn’t great with customers in non-metro areas having to arrange a charity pick up or drop off.
  • Delivery timeframes are vague.
Additional specs
  • Mattress type: latex
  • Warranty: 25 years
  • Delivery: 1-10 business days
  • Free trial period: 100 nights
  • Price range: $999 - $1,849
  • Firmness: medium-firm

Although memory foam comfort layers work great for side sleepers, not everyone enjoys the close cradling sensation. If you’d rather feel like you’re sleeping on your bed, rather than in it, latex is a good pressure-relieving alternative. Like the Peacelily. This natural latex mattress offers a supportive, supple and springy sleeping surface that provides excellent pressure relief. 

It has 5 layers of natural, certified organic materials including a medium 5cm layer of 100% natural rubber latex, a 100% natural rubber latex core layer and a firm 5cm layer of 100% natural rubber latex. It’s even got a 100% certified organic cotton handmade cover with organic cotton wadding to give that plush feel side sleepers need.

You can adjust the Peacelily mattress firmness between medium and firm. But that’s not even the best thing about this mattress. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your mattress and the chemicals you might be bedding down with, the Peacelily is a natural, cleaner, eco-friendly choice.

Choose this if…

You want an eco-friendly, natural latex mattress.

Further reading:

What we love

Personalization

With over 250 combinations to choose from, you're bound to find your perfect fit.

Materials

Move over memory foam, the Sleeping Duck Mach II uses AntiGravity surface foam - no more sinking, sucking feeling.

Cool on hot nights

Not only does AntiGravity surface foam move with your body, rather than mould to it, it’s more porous than memory foam. Which means you should feel cooler on hot nights.

Reinforced edges

Mattresses in a box can feel flimsy at the edges, like you slip off as you perch on them to pull on your socks. The Sleeping Duck Mach II has reinforced edges to stop this happening. Plus, these strong edges mean you can sleep right up to the edges and not be squished in the middle.

Support system

It’s a hybrid mattress, which means it has a foam layer that sits on top of a pocket spring system. This ensures you’re well supported, all night long.

Easy care

The cover is removable and machine washable so you can keep it fresh. Plus, the foam can be removed and vacuumed too, making this a good choice for allergy sufferers too.

The not so good bits

Price

At around $2,000 for a king, it’s not the most affordable mattress.

Additional specs

Type: Hybrid

Firmness: Customisable

Trial length: 100 nights

Warranty: 10 years

The SD Mach II isn’t just a contender for the best bed for side sleepers, it’s in the running for the best bed for all sleepers. That’s because the personalisation this hybrid mattress offers is second to none. There are 256 different firmness combos to choose from. As well as choosing 1 of 3 firmness options, you can also swap out different body sections. You could choose to go soft on your legs but firm on your shoulders, for example. This means side sleepers can choose to target those areas that really need extra support (shoulders and hips especially).

It doesn’t have a top comfort layer, instead you go straight onto surface foam. This antigravity foam delivers softness and responsiveness. It moves with you as you sleep, rather than cradling you like memory foam. After that it’s the customisable foam layer before the final layer: the Motherboard main support structure. Featuring multi-zone steel springs, it reduces partner disturbance, provides support to different areas of your body (like your neck, shoulders and hips - hello side sleepers) and has a reinforced edge which means you can sit on the edge without sliding off. 

Choose this if…

You want a highly customisable hybrid mattress.

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Common questions

What type of mattress is best for side sleepers?

The best side sleeper mattress? Honestly, there isn’t one because so much comes down to personal preference plus factors like your size, weight, heat / coolness preferences and budget.

Although there is some general guidance for side sleepers and that is: plush on top, supportive underneath. Normally the best types of mattresses for this are hybrid or all foam. 

The plushness on top relieves pressure on your shoulders and hips as you press those areas more deeply into the mattress. So, look for mattresses with a cushioned top layer.

The support underneath helps to keep your spine in its proper alignment: a roughly straight line. Memory foam is good for this as it cradles your body. But if you don’t enjoy the closely held sensation, latex is a worthy alternative.

How firm should a mattress be for a side sleeper?

We reckon side sleepers do best on a medium-soft to medium-firm mattress. The cushioning feel of medium-soft is good for relieving pressure, especially on your shoulders and hips. But if it’s too soft, you’ll sink into the mattress which will strain your spine as it won’t be in its proper position. Hence why medium is probably your sweet spot.

If you prefer medium-firm to firm mattresses, which might lack the plush cushioning and pressure relief of softer mattresses, you could opt for a firmer mattress with a cushioned mattress topper.

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