While I don’t want to turn this into an entire buyers guide for memory foam toppers, it is important to discuss a few intricacies when it comes to purchasing toppers for side sleepers. If you have read our Buyers Guide for Memory Foam Mattresses, you will be relieved to know that most of the factors that apply there will also apply to choosing a memory foam topper: where was the mattress produced, is it CertiPUR certified, what is the thickness and density, does it smell, etc. But when it comes to side sleepers, we just have to make a few slight modifications to what we are looking for – it’s all super simple, though. First, we need to choose a topper with a thickness and density that will support the natural alignment of the spine without pushing too hard against the shoulders and hips.
For Side sleepers we recommend a topper thickness of 2-3 inches, and a density of 3lbs pcf or less
Typically, a memory foam topper that is less than 3 inches thick and carries less than 3lb pcf density is optimal for side sleepers, whereas for back sleepers it would feel like they are sinking too deep into the mattress. This is because the main points of contact for side sleepers are the shoulders and hips, which are under more pressure than the back when sleeping and thus require a more plush and soft sleeping surface. A side sleeper who sleeps on a mattress that is comfortable for back sleepers, will feel too much pressure against their shoulders and hips, and thus feel very uncomfortable. It is super important to keep that factor in mind when shopping around for sleeping products of any type – if you’re a side sleeper, you need to look for a product that is softer and will sink a bit more.
So with all of this in mind, let’s take a look at my best picks for memory foam mattress toppers for side sleepers!
The Queen-size Red Nomad 2-inch Memory Foam Topper is an amazing memory foam topper, and it’s luckily going for an amazing discount on Amazon.
This is a memory foam topper that will transform your sleeping experience regardless of how firm or saggy your current sleeping surface is. The Red Nomad 2-inch Memory Foam Topper is proudly made in the USA with very high quality visco elastic memory foam. It is both CertiPUR and PURGreen certified, meaning it was made without the use of formaldehyde, flame retardants, heavy metals, phthalates or ozone depleters, and low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions. I tested the Queen-size topper, which weighs around 14 lbs and is 58 inches x 78 inches.
The topper features a 2-inch thick layer of 2.5 lb pcf density, which is pretty much as perfect as it can get for side sleepers. Remember, a topper with 3 inches or less thickness and 3lb pcf or less density is ideal, so this product easily fits the bill. I tested the firmness and support by placing the topper on a memory foam mattress that is much too firm for side sleepers (top layer was 3.5-inches thick and 4lb pcf dense). Laying on my side with the topper over the mattress, I noticed immediately how much softer it felt. Not only did I feel less pressure pushing up against my shoulder and hip, but the way I slightly sunk into the mattress felt really, really comfortable.
Smell was also not an issue. There was a slight memory foam smell when I opened the package, but otherwise I didn’t notice any lingering odors at all. Some customers on Amazon complained about a smell, but I think everyone’s mileage will vary. If you notice a smell upon opening any memory foam product, just place it in a well-ventilated room for a few days before usage.
This mattress does a great job at regulating heat. The Red Nomad Ultra Premium Visco Elastic Memory Foam Topper uses a patented new polymer design called CoolFlowTM which they claim “opens the cell structure, minimizes stiffness, improves airflow by 95%, and dissipates heat and moisture three times faster than conventional memory foam”. From my own experience using the Red Nomad, I’d have to agree with their statements; I didn’t notice any heat buildup at all, and the foam itself feels quite breathable and ventilated. A lot of times a memory foam mattress or topper can feel “stuffy”, but that wasn’t the case here.
All in all the Red Nomad 2-inch Memory Foam Topper is a great product with a lot to offer. Don’t just take my word for it though, look how high it’s rated on Amazon.
If heat buildup is an issue for you, then the Milliard 2-inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Topper is the solution (view on Amazon).
There is a lot to love with this mattress topper. It is produced with 100% high quality and luxurious gel-infused memory foam, and is placed inside an ultra-soft removable bamboo cover. The cover, which is both hypoallergenic and anti-microbial, is a huge plus for sleepers who have allergies. Milliard is also a CertiPUR certified company, so all their products are made with the highest quality materials whilst maintaining low VOC emissions. I tested the Queen-size topper, which weighs 16 lbs and is 58 inches x 78 inches.
The topper is 2 inches thick and has a density of 3lb pcf, which makes it slightly denser than the Red Nomad. Coupled with the fact that the topper is made of gel-infused foam (which tends to make any surface more firm), I was initially a bit worried that it would be too firm for side sleepers. To see how it really stacked up as a side sleeper-friendly topper, I set up the Milliard 2-inch Gel-Infused Foam Topper on top of the same memory foam mattress that I tested the Red Nomad on. To my surprise, the Milliard topper felt super comfortable and supportive.
Compared to the Red Nomad, the Milliard is more supportive, but not in a way that makes it too firm. I felt very comfortable on the Milliard, perhaps more so than the Red Nomad. As far as feel and firmness is concerned, you should choose the Milliard over the Red Nomad if you want a comfortable topper but want very little “sinkage” into the mattress. The Red Nomad sinks more than the Milliard and doesn’t hold its shape as well, which then makes it a more optimal choice for side sleepers who want an ultra plush surface. All in all, the Milliard feels quite amazing and supportive, so no issues there!
There is a lot to love with the Milliard Topper
Heat regulation is superior on the Milliard 2-inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Topper. The surface feels more breathable, which is due to the gel-infused foam which increases air circulation and weight distribution. Gel typically does a better job than visco elastic memory foam at regulating heat, and you can definitely tell the difference between the Red Nomad and the Milliard. While the Red Nomad feels neutral (not hot or cool), the Milliard has a definite “cool” feeling to it, which I felt was very comfortable.
The only issue I had with this topper was the smell. There was a strong memory foam odor when I first opened it, so I had to air it out in a ventilated room for about 3 days before the smell went away. Your mileage may vary since many reviews on Amazon have differing opinions on smell, but definitely air out the topper for a couple days just to be safe.
If you are sensitive to heat and need a plush, comfortable topper, this is a perfect match for you. There is a whole lot to love with the Milliard 2-inch Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper, and with a 4.6/5 rating and 525 customer reviews on Amazon, you will be able to find out as much information as you need to make the best possible decision.
Last but not least, I present to you another quality memory foam mattress topper that I as well as over 500 Amazon reviewers can attest to being a great sleeping experience.
The Sleep Better 2-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper is a great addition if your current mattress is too firm. It is made of hypoallergenic visco elastic memory foam, is produced in the USA and even comes with a 5-year warranty. I tested the Queen-size topper which weighs about 10 lbs unpackaged and is 77 inches x 58 inches.
The topper is 2 inches thick and carries a density of 2.5lb pcf. This is basically the same as the Red Nomad 2-inch Ultra Premium Visco Elastic Memory Foam Topper, so I expected it to have a similar feel when placed on my firm memory foam mattress. While it was very comfortable to sleep on, I noticed that compared to the Red Nomad and Milliard toppers, the Sleep Better 2-inch topper has the most “sinkage” and plush feeling of them all. So if you currently own a mattress that is super firm and want to add a layer of ultra plush softness, the Sleep Better is your best bet.
Heat regulation was more or less the same as the Red Nomad. The Sleep Better could not hold up to the Milliard in terms of feeling really cool, but that is to be expected as the Sleep Better memory foam topper is made of visco elastic and not gel-infused memory foam. Most importantly, there was no heat buildup and the topper felt quite neutral.
A big plus with the Sleep Better memory foam topper is how little it smells. I expected a smell since both the Red Nomad and Milliard memory foam toppers smelled (the Red Nomad had a very faint smell while the Milliard was quite strong), but amazingly the Sleep Better did not smell at all. There was no odor, not even a faint one. If you are a side sleeper with sensitivity to smell, you’d best get this one over the Red Nomad or the Milliard.
If you want a second opinion (or over 500) there are tons of reviews on Amazon discussing the Sleep Better 2-inch Visco Elastic Memory Foam Topper.
If you are still undecided on a memory foam mattress topper for side sleepers, check back on Zen Sleeping frequently as we will be adding lots of product-specific reviews soon.
Otherwise if you just want a great deal on a top-quality topper, check out the best-valued memory foam topper on Amazon (an exclusive product which I currently own and use day-to-day).