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Are Latex Mattresses Good For Side Sleepers? 6 Reasons You’ll Sleep Better…

Are Latex Mattresses Good For Side Sleepers? 6 Reasons You’ll Sleep Better…


Lindsey S.
Dec 06, 2023

If you're among the majority of adults who sleep on their side, you're in good company. According to the Sleep Foundation, sleeping on your side can alleviate snoring, promote healthy spinal alignment, and even reduce heartburn. However, you'll need the right mattress for your physique to experience the full benefits of this sleep position.

In a previous article, we explored whether hybrid mattresses fit the bill for side sleepers. Today, we're looking at another popular option: latex. Keep reading to find out how latex mattresses perform for side sleeper pain points, how they compare to other mattress types, and what properties to look for in the best latex bed for side sleepers.

Are Latex Mattresses Good For Side Sleepers?

Yes, latex mattresses are good for side sleepers! Latex mattresses offer the responsiveness, pressure relief, and support that side sleepers need for restorative rest. Below, we take a closer look at what makes latex mattresses so comfortable for side snoozers.

1) Responsive Bounce

Latex mattresses have a buoyant feel and gentle bounce that benefit side sleepers. The foam contours to your curves but instantly bounces back when you shift positions and remove pressure. Responsiveness is critical for side sleepers who need flexibility where their shoulder and hip meet their mattress. Restless sleepers or anyone who moves around a lot in their sleep also love this quality of latex beds.

2) Excellent Pressure Relief

Sleeping on your side concentrates your weight on your shoulder and hip, making pressure relief essential for pain-free sleep. Latex does a great job absorbing that tension and redistributing your weight across the mattress surface.

3) Balanced Cushioning and Support

Side sleepers crave cushioning around their sensitive joints but still need resistance and structure to prevent their hips from sinking into the mattress, which may cause misalignment. Pliant latex foam strikes this perfect balance between comfort and support.

Additional Features Anyone Will Love:

4) Natural and Sustainable

The most eco-friendly mattresses use natural latex. Non-synthetic latex foam derives from the latex serum found in rubber trees. Proper tapping doesn’t harm the trees, making latex harvesting a sustainable process with minimal impact on the environment when done responsibly. Rubber trees can live over 100 years, and farmers can tap latex from a single tree for around 28.

Natural latex is also hypoallergenic and great for sleepers with allergies or sensitivities. You can sleep peacefully on a latex mattress, knowing its core components came from Mother Nature.

5) Cooling and Breathability

Natural latex is 100 percent temperature neutral, so it doesn’t respond to or trap body heat like memory foam. Latex foam also has a highly breathable structure, allowing cooling airflow and refreshing ventilation. These qualities make latex mattresses well-loved by hot sleepers.

6) Durability

If you invest in latex now, you likely won’t need to replace your mattress for another 10, 15, or even 20 years, depending on the quality. Naturally resilient latex resists sagging longer than memory foam and maintains its responsive bounce over time.

What Makes a Great Latex Mattress?

Natural Talalay Latex

Natural latex is the clear winner over synthetic latex for eco-conscious shoppers. Sustainability aside, natural latex is more responsive, breathable, and durable than its synthetic counterpart.

You’ll also have a choice between Talalay latex and Dunlop latex. While both use natural latex serum from rubber trees, Talalay and Dunlop latex foam undergo different pouring, molding, and setting processes. The Talalay method is more intensive, so Talalay latex does cost slightly more than Dunlop. However, we believe it makes a better foam for mattress applications.

Natural latex being harvested from rubber trees

Hybrid Construction

Many sleepers love the feel of all-foam mattresses, including latex models. However, many of the best latex mattresses on the market are hybrids.

A hybrid mattress combines cushioning foam—in this case, latex—with a coil support core. The coils add even deeper support, structure, and strength. Nolah’s latex hybrid mattress, the Nolah Natural, features zoned coils for targeted relief. Coils also vastly improve edge support, a weak spot for many all-foam models.


Certifications from trustworthy organizations can help you identify high-quality options. Certifications to seek out for latex mattresses include Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, GREENGUARD Gold, Global Organic Latex Standard, Rainforest Alliance, or eco-INSTITUT.

Nolah Natural: The Best Latex Mattress for Side Sleepers

Meet the Nolah Natural, our Talalay latex mattress with a hybrid design. This premium 11-inch mattress features the following layers for natural cooling, luxurious cushioning, and ultimate side sleeper support.

  • 1)

    Organic cotton cover

  • 2)

    Organic wool

  • 3)

    Plush Talalay latex

  • 4)

    Firm Talalay latex

  • 5)

    HDMax™ Tri-Zone™ coils

  • 6)

    Organic wool and cotton foundation

With 3 inches of pressure-relieving latex and responsive individually-wrapped and zoned coils, the Natural is an ideal fit for side sleepers. The latex quickly adjusts to a side sleeper’s movements and cushions their joints with coils underneath for reinforcement. This dual support system prevents sinkage at the hips, a common source of misalignment and back pain for side sleepers.

While we designed the Nolah Natural for side sleepers, it also comforts and supports a wide range of combination sleepers and back sleepers—perfect for couples with different sleep positions or body types. But don’t just take our word for it; check out these 2023 accolades for the Nolah Nurture!

  • U.S. News5 Best Latex Mattresses of 2023: Expert Tested and Reviewed (Best for Back Pain)

  • Sleep FoundationBest Latex Mattresses of 2023 (Best for Back Pain)

  • SleepopolisBest Latex Mattresses of 2023 (Best Cooling)

  • Good Housekeeping10 Best Latex Mattresses, According to Expert Testing (Best Latex Mattress for Back Pain)

  • Mattress NerdThe Best Latex Mattresses of 2023 (Best Cooling Latex Mattress)

Memory Foam vs. Latex Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Because they’re both foam, memory foam and latex may seem like very similar mattress material types. However, they significantly differ in performance and feel. We explore these differences at length in our Natural Latex Foam vs. Memory Foam blog, but we highlight the key comparison areas for side sleepers below:

  • Contouring– Memory foam hugs closer to your curves than latex. Latex has a more buoyant feel that makes you feel like floating on top of the mattress, whereas memory foam makes you feel cushioned in the mattress. Which feels best ultimately comes down to personal preference.

  • Pressure Relief– This study compared latex’s pressure relief qualities to polyurethane foam. The research concluded that “Latex mattress reduced peak body pressure and achieved a more even distribution of pressure compared with polyurethane mattress across different sleeping postures.”

  • Response Time– Latex reacts instantaneously to your movements, making it ideal for restless sleepers or side sleepers who switch sides throughout the night. On the other hand, memory foam is a slow-response foam that takes a few seconds to conform or rebound.

  • Motion Isolation– Due to viscoelastic polyurethane foam’s slow response, memory foam mattresses prevent motion transfer better than latex. However, latex beds still isolate movement better than traditional innerspring beds.

Are Latex Mattresses Good For Sleep Health and Pain Relief?

Side Sleepers with Hip Pain ✓

Side Sleepers With Back Pain ✓

As previously mentioned, sleeping on your side concentrates your weight on your shoulder and hip. When these pressure points dig into your mattress, it can keep you up at night or cause soreness in the morning. Fortunately, latex mattresses offer excellent pressure relief to disperse this tension. 

Side Sleepers With Back Pain ✓

Too much cushioning around your heaviest areas allows sinkage and jeopardizes spinal alignment for side sleepers. But this won’t be an issue with the right latex mattress. Choose one with the optimal firmness level for your body type, and a high-quality latex mattress will provide enough resistance to keep your spine from curving unnaturally. We recommend a hybrid model with additional coil support for heavier side sleepers.

What Is The Best Mattress Firmness For Side Sleeping?

You need to factor in your sleep position and weight to find your perfect firmness level. Latex foam has a reputation for feeling firmer than memory foam, but you can actually find latex or latex hybrid mattresses in a wide range of firmness levels. 

For adult side sleepers in the 130 to 230-pound range, a medium-firm mattress (around 5-7 on the mattress firmness scale) typically works best. A medium-firm surface offers side sleepers the comforting cushioning they need while providing enough pushback for proper spinal alignment. Lighter side sleepers will likely need something a bit plusher, and heavier side sleepers will want a firmer option.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Latex Mattresses Cost?

According to our research, the average online latex mattress cost in 2023 is $1,960 for a queen. Our analysis included both all-foam latex and latex hybrid models.

What Other Latex Sleep Accessories Should I Consider?

Latex foam is a versatile sleep material, popular with eco-conscious shoppers. Nolah offers a Talalay Latex Topper and Talalay Latex Pillow for those who want additional latex sleep amenities.

Are Latex Mattresses Good for Back Sleepers or Stomach Sleepers?

You may also benefit from a latex mattress if you’re a back sleeper or stomach sleeper, as long as you choose the ideal construction and firmness level for your body type. Back sleepers typically prefer a slightly firmer sleep surface than side sleepers. Stomach sleepers need the firmest mattresses and often require the additional support of a coil core.

Disclaimer: Nolah does not provide medical advice. All resources on the Nolah blog, including this article, are informational only and do not replace professional medical counsel. Talk to your doctor about any health, mental health, or sleep-related issues.

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