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The 9 Best Organic Mattresses For Side Sleepers (+ What An Orthopedic Surgeon Recommends)

Brittany Natale
Author: Medical reviewer:
January 14, 2023
Brittany Natale
Contributor
By Brittany Natale
Contributor
Brittany Natale has a degree in advertising and marketing communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her work has appeared in SELF, Popsugar, i-D, Teen Vogue, Domino, Martha Stewart, and Eat This.
Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS
Medical review by
Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS
Board-certified Family Physician
Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS is a family physician and HIV specialist in California. He takes a holistic approach to healthcare, incorporating principles of functional medicine and using food as medicine when working with patients.
Image by mbg creative
January 14, 2023
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Some may think that any old mattress will do, but there are few things worse than sleeping on a mattress that is causing you aches and pains. Side sleepers in particular need to be mindful of the firmness level—and if high-quality, sustainable materials are important to you, the pool gets even smaller. The best organic mattresses for side sleepers provide a supportive yet soft sleeping environment, meant to contour to the body.

Sleeping on your side is one of the most common sleeping positions. Even so, it often gets a bad rap, due to the aches and pains the position can cause if you have the wrong mattress. With the right mattress, however, research suggests sleeping on your side may help alleviate snoring and mild sleep apnea1. Plus, lying on your left side specifically may ease heartburn2. It's not all physical, either. Neuroscientists say sleeping on your side may have brain health benefits, too.

To learn more about what side sleepers should look for in an organic mattress, we spoke with orthopedic surgeon Kellie K. Middleton, M.D., MPH, and chiropractor Ashley Elmer, D.C., CACCP. Below, find their expert advice, along with our picks for the best organic mattresses for side sleepers. Not only will these mattresses give you a more comfortable night's rest, but the materials are healthier for both you and the planet.

What type of organic mattress is best for a side sleeper?

"Generally, side sleepers should look for a medium-firm mattress, as it can provide ample support while still being comfortable," explains Middleton.

She emphasizes that a quality mattress is essential for spinal health, especially for side sleepers. "When you are lying on your side, the mattress is responsible for supporting your spine and keeping it in proper alignment."

Additionally, Middleton points out that if you choose a mattress that is too soft or too firm, you're risking misalignment of the spine, which could result in neck, back, and shoulder pain. "Taking your time to find the right mattress for you can save you from experiencing unnecessary aches and pains in the future," she adds.

Where materials are concerned, Middleton suggests looking for mattresses made from foam or latex. "These materials are often quite helpful in providing good body contouring and pressure relief," she emphasizes.

Although a medium-firm mattress offers great support and appeals to a wide range of people, keep in mind firmness levels will feel different from one person to the next. "Ultimately, mattress firmness preference will differ between individuals and can vary depending on height and weight," says Elmer, pointing out that if you prefer a firmer mattress, a mattress topper can help alleviate pressure points. Alternatively, if you're a smaller person, you may find that a mattress that is more on the softer side may work better for you.

How we picked:

Materials & quality

A high-quality organic mattress not only lasts longer but is healthier for you and the planet. As always, we focused on products that use premium, natural, and organic materials.

Features & design

We highlighted the unique features of each mattress to help you determine which product may best fit your lifestyle.

Reviews

We read hundreds of customer reviews, which helped provide a better idea of what a large group of people like and dislike about each mattress, and what long-term use of each product looks like. Negative reviews informed us of any cons to be aware of, too.

Expert insight

There are many mattresses out there, which is why we enlisted experts to give insight into what side sleepers should be on the lookout for when choosing a mattress.

Our picks for the best organic mattresses for side sleepers:

Best latex: Birch Natural Organic Mattress

Pros:

  • Handmade in the U.S.
  • Cooling
  • Natural & organic materials

Cons:

  • Too firm for some
Materials: Organic New Zealand woolOrganic Fair Trade cottonNatural Talalay latex8” steel coilsGOLS-certified organic Arpico latex
Sizes Available: TwinTwin XLFullQueenKingCalifornia King
Trial Period: 100 nights
Warranty: 25-year

An Elmer-recommended brand, Birch designs premium mattresses with durable, natural materials. Made using organic New Zealand wool, organic Fair Trade cotton, natural Talalay latex, and hundreds of steel coils for optimum support, this option is free from harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and pesticides and is one of the best latex mattresses on the market today. The materials are also hypoallergenic, an added bonus for allergy sufferers. Each mattress has reinforced side edges which help maintain the bed’s structure and shape while also preventing any roll-off mishaps.

Each Birch mattress is shipped to your door compressed in a long, narrow box that can weigh anywhere from 68 pounds (twin) to 145 pounds (king)—so you’ll want an extra set of hands. After you take it out of the box, place it, still wrapped, onto your platform and then remove the plastic. This allows for an easier setup. It may take up to two hours for your mattress to fully expand, so be sure not to use it before then. Per customer reviews, you can expect little to no odor.

Currently rated 4.6 out of 5 stars and boasting over 3,000 reviews on its website, this mattress is beloved by customers for its “perfect firmness” and high-quality construction. Many people comment that it is a great choice for side sleepers. “I love my new mattress. I'm sleeping better and staying cool even in the heat. I'm a side sleeper and I'm now much more comfortable,” one writes.

Although it’s hard to find a negative review (hmm…), some mention that lighter people may find this mattress a bit too firm.

Best hybrid: Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress

Pros:

  • Natural Dunlop latex contours to curves
  • Great motion control
  • Natural, moisture-wicking materials

Cons:

  • May be too firm for some
Materials: Rainforest Alliance-certified natural Dunlop latexOrganic cotton100% organic New Zealand woolSteel coils
Sizes Available: TwinTwin XLFullQueenKingCalifornia King
Trial Period: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime

Elmer personally recommends this brand, and we’ve included it in a number of our roundups. This particular hybrid model is constructed using a combination of Rainforest Alliance-certified natural Dunlop latex and individually wrapped coils, which offer great support while keeping you cool and dry as you sleep.

Individually-wrapped coils help prevent motion transfer, while an adaptive latex foam layer promotes better spinal alignment. According to a study done by the brand, 9 out of 10 customers feel that this mattress gives them more support than their previous mattress. The medium-firm feel is great for stomach or side sleepers. We've also recommended this mattress for couples who are seeking strong motion isolation.

This mattress ships compressed and rolled in a weatherproof packaging. Each mattress has four reinforced handles, which really comes in handy when placing it on the frame. Many customers note that the mattress gives off no chemical odors upon unpacking. Even better, free shipping is included with every mattress order and the brand plants 10 trees for each mattress purchased.

One reviewer states that this Awara mattress “has been a dream” and that its “semi-firm rating is perfect—it's soft and cushioning yet still supportive.” Another share, “I'm a side sleeper and it's been very supportive and cushy in the right places. I no longer wake up with back and hip pain.”

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Best memory foam: Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress

Pros:

  • Free white glove in-room delivery and setup
  • Eco-friendly foams give off fewer greenhouse gasses during manufacturing
  • Two firmness options

Cons:

  • Firm option may be too firm for some
Materials: Organic cottonCertiPUR-US-certified non-toxic foamNatural thistle pulp (for flame retardant barrier)
Sizes Available: TwinTwin XLFullQueenKingSplit KingCalifornia KingSplit California King
Trial Period: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime

Elmer also suggests Saatva, a brand she sleeps on nightly. This mattress is designed to relieve pressure and offer support and can help improve circulation. Although traditional memory foam is not a very sustainable choice and is not 100% organic, the memory foam used in this mattress is made from renewable oils that give off less greenhouse gasses during the manufacturing process, making it a good choice for those who simply can’t give up the memory foam feel. We've even included it on our roundup of the best memory foam mattresses of 2023.

Because of Saatva’s nationwide manufacturing network, each mattress travels less than 100 miles from the factory to your door, which means a lower carbon footprint. Additionally, the mattress is not shipped in a box. In fact, the brand provides free white glove delivery and setup for each mattress. The team can also remove your old mattress and foundation at no cost if you select this service at checkout, depending on the brand and model.

This mattress has nearly 600 reviews and a 4.9-star rating overall. Happy customers comment that it is the “perfect memory foam bed,” raving that it alleviates neck and back pain. One person writes, “I am mostly a side sleeper, and finally [sleep] comfortably throughout the night, with no morning aches and pains. Perfect support no matter what sleep position.”

Although most reviews are positive, one person does point out that they would like if the mattress was more cooling, something hot sleepers may want to make note of.

Best for motion isolation: Avocado Vegan Mattress

Pros:

  • Vegan, organic, natural materials
  • Standout motion isolation
  • Handmade in the U.S.

Cons:

  • Heavy
Materials: GOLS-organic certified latexGOTS-organic certified cottonReclaimed steel springs
Sizes Available: TwinTwin XLFullQueenKingCalifornia King
Trial Period: 365 nights
Warranty: 24-year

Another brand recommended by Elmer, Avocado is a preferred mattress brand due to its high-quality products and use of eco-friendly materials. This mattress is made using GOLS-certified organic latex, GOTS-certified organic cotton, and over 1,400 coils arranged throughout five different zones which helps prevent motion transfer. Both organic and vegan, this mattress has a gentle-firm feel, making it a great option for side sleepers who need more support. Instead of wool, Avocado’s vegan mattress is made from 100% organic cotton batting, sourced from family farms in India.

The brand sets itself apart by providing free, carbon-neutral shipping. Personalized delivery/setup and old mattress removal are available at an additional cost. The mattress comes vacuum-compressed and rolled up, but expands quickly. Reviewers have mentioned that there is no chemical smell. That said, it will smell like latex. Don’t worry, though—this odor is not detectable through the bedding.

Customers agree that this mattress is supportive, comfortable, and durable. One customer, a chiropractor, loves this mattress so much that they plan on suggesting it to patients. “My wife and I are both side sleepers and this bed is plush and ergonomically spot on,” this reviewer raves. “As a doctor of chiropractic, I specialize in posture and chronic myofascial issues and this bed will be prescribed to my patients to properly hold the correction from the treatment that was provided.”

It’s important to keep in mind that some people comment on how heavy this mattress is. Be sure you have help when setting it up.

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Best affordable: Avocado Eco Organic Mattress

Pros:

  • Natural & organic materials
  • Endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association

Cons:

  • Some find it too soft
Materials: Organic cottonGOTS-certified organic woolGOLS-certified Dunlop latexRecycled steel coils
Sizes Available: TwinTwin XLFullQueenKingCalifornia King
Trial Period: 100 nights
Warranty: 10-year

Made from GOLS-certified Dunlop latex, GOTS-certified organic wool, organic cotton, and recycled steel coils, the Avocado Eco Organic Mattress is a perfect fit for side sleepers who want a better (and healthier) night’s sleep, without spending a ton of money.

This GOTS-certified organic mattress, which is also biodegradable, uses no toxic chemicals, fiberglass, or polyurethane foams, and even has the MADE SAFE non-toxic seal for safety. The latex used has an open-cell structure, which prevents you from sinking in and is naturally cooling.

Avocado Green is Climate Neutral Certified, which means it is a carbon-neutral company. Mattresses are shipped via FedEx and do not give off an off-gassing odor upon unpacking. What’s more, both recyclable plastic and upcycled paper are used for packaging. In-home delivery is available for an added cost.

Customers love the comfort and support this mattress provides, and the use of eco-friendly materials. One person writes, “It is the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in. I am a side sleeper and my fiancé is a stomach sleeper and we both have been getting the best sleep since we purchased this a month and a half ago. It is of amazing quality for an affordable price! The shipping took longer than it said it was going to, which was a little frustrating, but once we started sleeping in our new bed all was forgiven because it is THE BEST!”

While this mattress comes in medium firmness, one reviewer relayed that it feels too soft.

Best for couples: Nolah Natural 11" Mattress

Pros:

  • 6 layers of foam and coil for maximum comfort and support
  • Mattress handles for easy moving
  • Many size options

Cons:

  • Not ideal for stomach sleepers
  • Heavy
Materials: Natural Talalay latexGOTS-certified organic cottonGOTS-certified organic woolCoils
Sizes available: TwinTwin XLFullQueenKingSplit KingCalifornia King
Trial period: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime

This organic mattress is certified by a long list of standards, including GOTs, OEKO-TEX® 100, eco-INSTITUT, Rainforest Alliance, and Cradle to Cradle. Its organic, temperature-regulating wool and natural Talalay latex make for a more eco-friendly and enjoyable sleeping experience. Steel coils provide back support and promote proper spinal alignment that can help alleviate aches and pains, especially in side sleepers. The mattress is rated a 6 on the brand’s firmness scale.

Split king sizing is available as well, which is especially helpful for couples who may want more room to spread out. An added bonus: This mattress is constructed from locally-sourced materials, and the brand prioritizes family-owned businesses.

Each product is made to order in the US and ships for free via FedEx. The mattress arrives compressed in a box, within 2 to 8 business days after order confirmation. Although the mattress expands quickly, the brand suggests letting it air out for a few hours before putting sheets and comforters on it to allow it to off-gas.

With an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 on the brand’s website, this mattress is an ideal option for couples who may also be side sleepers. “It's well-constructed, comfortable, environmentally friendly, and you can barely feel motion if someone moves,” one reviewer writes. “I wouldn't hesitate to buy one again.”

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Best luxury: PlushBeds Luxury Bliss Organic Hybrid Latex Mattress

Pros:

  • Great motion isolation
  • Designed to include 12 European air vents to help you stay cool
  • High-quality organic materials

Cons:

  • In-home delivery costs extra
Materials: GOTS-certified organic cotton100% British organic wool100% natural Talalay latexPremium crafted coils
Sizes Available: TwinTwin XLFullQueenKingSplit KingCalifornia King
Trial Period: 100 nights
Warranty: Lifetime

Both exceptionally luxe and environmentally friendly, this hybrid latex mattress proves that you don’t have to sacrifice luxury when it comes to buying an eco-conscious mattress. Composed of 100% organic wool, natural Talalay latex, and premium coils, this high-quality choice comes with 12 European air vents to help keep you cool at night. Its fabric-covered coils and motion-isolating latex make it another great choice for couples. Both medium and medium-firm firmness options are available to choose from.

Mattresses are shipped free throughout the contiguous U.S. The brand also offers in-home setup and removal of your existing mattress (for an additional cost). Prefer to DIY? Reviewers say it is fairly simple, but you’ll want some help from a friend or family member.

This mattress is rated 4.9 out of 5 stars overall—and we understand why. Most customers applaud this pick for its unique details and luxe feel, with side sleepers especially noting how much of a game-changer it is. “I’m a side sleeper and for the first time in a couple of years, I do not wake up with hip or shoulder pain and no longer need 5 pillows to get comfortable,” one reviewer shares.

Best innerspring: Eco Terra Hybrid Latex Mattress

Pros:

  • Individually-cased coils improve air flow and support
  • Two firmness levels
  • Organic & recycled materials

Cons:

  • Shorter sleep trial
  • May be too firm for some
Materials: GOLS-certified organic Arpico latexGOTS organic and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified woolGOTS organic certified cottonUpcycled steel coils
Sizes Available: TwinTwin XLFullQueenKingCalifornia King
Trial Period: 90 nights
Warranty: 15-year

This GOLS-, GOTS-, and OEKO-TEX® Standard 100-certified mattress features individually-cased coils that relieve pressure while limiting motion transfer. Bonus: if you’re sharing the bed with a partner, you won’t have to worry about getting woken up by their movements. No chemical adhesives or fire retardants are used, which makes for a healthier night’s sleep. This is also one of the best affordable mattresses, and doesn't sacrifice quality. Plus, all materials are single-origin and handcrafted in California.

Like most other options, this mattress arrives compressed and rolled in a box. You’ll want an extra set of hands for setup, as this one is a bit heavy. On the bright side, reviewers report no off-gassing odors at unboxing.

Rated at 4.9 out of 5 stars overall, this mattress receives high praise for being comfortable, supportive, and environmentally friendly. “I switch between side sleeping and back sleeping, and this bed is incredibly comfortable for both! Big decrease in back pain since we got this lovely bed. No outgassing, and an incredible price,” shares one person. Some customers point out that mattresses are made to order, so shipping may take longer.

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Best soft: Spindle 10" Organic Latex Mattress

Pros:

  • Customizable firmness
  • Organic materials
  • Pressure relieving

Cons:

  • Setup may be difficult for one person
Materials: 100% organic Dunlop latexOrganic cotton fabricOrganic wool batting
Sizes available: TwinTwin XLFullQueenKing
Trial period: 365 nights
Warranty: 10-year

Constructed using OEKO-TEX® and GOLS-certified organic latex, organic wool, and organic cotton, this mattress is designed with customization and quality in mind. What makes this choice so unique is its adjustable layers of latex. Each mattress comes with a layer of soft latex, a layer of medium latex, and a layer of firm latex, which allows you to easily adjust the firmness level at home by rearranging and configuring the layers.

Spindle mattresses are shipped via FedEx Ground, compressed and rolled in a box, unassembled. Reviewers mention that the mattress is easy to put together, but may have a slight latex smell upon an initial setup that fades quickly over time. Two people may be needed to rearrange the latex layers, so keep this in mind if you’re thinking of picking this one up.

Although experts suggest medium-firm mattresses for side sleepers, this option allows flexibility for side sleepers who may prefer sleeping on a softer or firmer mattress. “After 4 months, we love this mattress even more than when we first laid down on it,” writes one reviewer. “The fact that you can configure the mattress by rearranging the layers is genius. It is a little bit of work to do the rearranging but you can get it ‘just so’ and the payoff is amazing.”

FAQ:

What kind of mattress should a side sleeper get?

According to experts, side sleepers should choose a medium-firm mattress. Whether the mattress is made from coils, latex, foam, or a combination of all three, it is important that side sleepers choose a mattress that offers proper support to help prevent aches and pains.

What firmness level is best for side sleepers?

Although firmness level will vary based on height and weight, experts suggest that side sleepers buy a mattress that has a medium-firm firmness level. "In general, side sleepers will be the most comfortable on a medium mattress which blends contouring and support," explains Elmer. "When a mattress is too soft, the shoulders and hips sink into the mattress and alter the alignment of the spine. When a mattress is too firm, pressure points can develop in a side-lying position."

Is an organic mattress worth it?

One downside to purchasing an organic mattress is that it can be very expensive. However, if you're someone who is looking for a high-quality, eco-friendly mattress that uses natural and organic materials, then an organic mattress may be a good investment for you.

The takeaway.

Overall, the best organic mattresses for side sleepers are ones that offer a medium-firm firmness level, which can help with proper spine alignment and prevent aches and pains. When choosing a mattress it is important to keep other desired features in mind also, including whether or not you are looking for a mattress that is cooling or would like one that also has great motion isolation. Because of this, be sure to take advantage of a bed's sleep trial to help you better decide if it's a good fit for you.

Meet The Experts

Brittany Natale has a degree in advertising and marketing communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her work has appeared in SELF, Popsugar, i-D, Teen Vogue, Domino, Martha Stewart, and Eat This.
Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS is a family physician and HIV specialist in California. He takes a holistic approach to healthcare, incorporating principles of functional medicine and using food as medicine when working with patients.