Sleeping pads are a great way to sleep comfortably when you are camping or backpacking. They provide a steady and firm surface to rest and get good sleep after tiring days. But most people have their sleeping style, and not every sleeping pad can support those positions.
Most people either sleep on their back or their sides. Since the standard is back sleeping, the comfort of side sleepers often gets ignored. This position requires a firm surface with a good amount of thickness because your body is sideways. If you want to know about the best sleeping pad for side sleepers, you’ve come to the right place.
Side sleepers need a wide area to sleep because they usually turn from left side to right side and so on. Having an easy inflation technique is a bonus. Read ahead to find out!
Best Sleeping Pad for Side Sleepers: Top 7 Reviewed
The best sleeping pads are the ones that are strong and provide good joint support. When you’re sleeping sideways, you need your cushion to be firm enough to hold you in your place. The list below is all about the best side sleeping pads available.
1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Air Mattress
[amazon box= “B07YDHRTFZ” title= “Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress”]
Our first choice for the best sleeping mat for side sleepers is an ultralight air mattress perfect for winter days. If you’re looking for fantastic insulation, then this sleeping pad will deliver just that. It is a premium sleeping pad designed for winter camping. It comes in different sizes for side sleeping convivence.
This sleeping pad is one of the lightest pads available in the market. It is ultralight and easy to use. The nylon material makes it lightweight but durable at the same time. There’s a repair kit as well for any emergency.
Don’t be fooled by the sleeping pad’s ultralight feature because this pad provides the warmest surface every ounce out of any ultralight sleeping mattress. It has an R-value of 6.9, which means that this sleeping pad can keep you warm in the most extreme cold temperatures. A triangular Core Matrix insulates the place by utilizing the layers of thermal foam inside the mattress.
It comes with a WingLock Valve. This valve is reliable and rugged as the sleeping pad inflates thrice faster than standard valves. The deflation process is easy and swift. You can save a massive amount of time with this product.
Another great feature of this sleeping pad is its portability. It is an UberLite sleeping pad, and you can pack it however you like. Since it has been designed for winter camping and winter gears are heavier, this sleeping pad reduces your carry weight significantly. This sleeping pad is as light as a flask.
You’ll be glad to know that this sleeping pad comes in two different sizes. When you’re side sleeping, you require more space than usual because you need to turn over comfortably. With this product, you can choose according to the size that is best for you. The regular size is 20×20 inches, while the large size is 25×77 inches.
Things we like:
- Ultralightweight: Its lightweight makes it easy to carry even during hiking
- Suitable Valve: The valve is high-speed to inflate and deflate, which saves time
- Excellent Insulation: It can keep you warm during the coldest nights
- Two Sizes: Pick from two different sizes to match your comfort
- Long-lasting: Made of durable material and comes with a repair kit for emergency
Things we don’t like:
- Slippery: The surface can be a bit slippery and hard to keep still
- Expensive: It might be out of budget for some people
Our Thoughts on Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Air Mattress
Undoubtedly, this is one of the best sleeping pads you can get if you’re a side sleeper. The vast and durable material is helpful for that sleeping position. However, if you’re looking for something within budget, then the next pad is a great choice to consider.
2. Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
[amazon box= “B07FP4Z3RZ” title= “Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad – Mat, (Large), Ultralight for Backpacking, Hiking Air Mattress – Lightweight, Inflatable & Compact”]
Our next choice is a budget-friendly product that provides every feature one looks for in a sleeping pad. It is easy to travel with while maintaining a firm surface when you’re sleeping on it. This pad has been designed for side sleeping comfort.
This sleeping pad is made of water-resistant nylon fabric. The fabric is also heavy-duty and tear-resistant. It is incredibly flexible and noise-free as well because of the TPU coating. Furthermore, the ripstop nylon material has a thickness of 20 deniers while extremely strong for a sleeping surface.
The sleeping pad has a thickness of 2 inches. It is very comfortable to sleep on due to its firmness and sturdiness. You don’t have to sleep in thin and fragile sleeping pads if you get one of these. This pad guarantees a comfortable night’s sleep as it is pretty wide and has 23×75 inches of measurements.
Light to Carry
A significant aspect to consider when buying a sleeping pad is its portability. This sleeping pad is ultralight and weighs less than a pound or 14.5oz. You can fold it down to 3.5 x 8 inches which will fit perfectly in backpacks. It is an excellent choice for hiking or backpacking because of its lightweight.
Designed for Side Sleeping
If you are a side sleeper, you will need a sleeping pad that is durable and firm. Pads that will not bend or deform if you put your weight on one side. This pad has air cells to keep up the firmness of the mattress and doesn’t deflate when you lie down. It can hold up to 350 lbs. without extra support.
This pad is a great choice for side sleeping as it offers comfort and expansive space. You can take it to you in different places without any hassle. With a 2.1 R-value and an excellent insulation system, this sleeping pad is a sure way to get good sleep when you’re camping or hiking.
Things we like:
- Budget-friendly: Great features for a budget-friendly sleeping pad
- Lightweight: Makes it easy to carry during backpacking trips
- Baffle Design: It is suitable for people who sleep sideways
- Water-resistant and Tear-Resistant: The effective nylon material makes it great for bad weather
- Easy Inflation: It can be done with 10-15 breathes to get the sleeping pad to full size
Things we don’t like:
- Deflation: It might get deflated after a while, so it requires inflation every 5-6 hours
- One Size: There is no size option, and it restricts sleeping surface preference
Our Thoughts on Sleeping Camping Sleeping Pad
This is an excellent product as you get many facilities at a low price. Don’t be fooled by the two-inch thickness as it can offer good support.
3. KLYMIT Static V Camping Sleeping Pad
[amazon box= “B0897Y7NXN” title= “KLYMIT Static V Camping Sleeping Pad”]
If you’re looking for sleeping pads that offer extra support for side sleepers, then consider this pad for you. It has a comfortable design and side rails for those who move a lot while sleeping. You’ll benefit significantly from its lightweight quality.
It is one of the most straightforward sleeping pads to assemble. The instructions are direct and simple and save your time. You can inflate this sleeping pad within ten breaths. The deflation process is also easy and quick.
The Body Mapping Technology has been developed for this sleeping pad series. This pad features a V-shaped design that provides excellent support and coziness. If you’re a side sleeper, you will be immensely benefitted from this design.
Lightweight and Portable
The superlight design of the pad makes it easy to carry during traveling. This sleeping pad is made of 75D polyester, which makes it lightweight. It weighs only 1.2 lbs. or 18.7 oz which is much lesser than most sleeping pads. Furthermore, this pad is also compact and is packed in a 3 x 8 inches bag.
Side sleepers toss and turn all night, which requires vast space and outstanding support to make sure they don’t fall off the mattress. This sleeping pad comes with side rails. The uplifted sides help you to maintain the center position while sleeping. It also helps to keep a steady airflow.
The patterning of this pad makes it unique and comfortable to use. It has a double weld pattern that creates wavy effects. This pattern also provides storage space, and you can keep your bag underneath. It improves insulation as well.
Things we like:
- Affordable: The price is within budget while offering good sleeping pad features
- Lightweight: Makes the mattress easy to carry and travel with
- Practical: The mattress is practical for side sleeping as it has side rails to keep you in place
- Sound Design: The V-shaped design offers comfort when sleeping
- Quick Assembly: Easy to inflate and deflate, which saves time and effort
Things we don’t like:
- One Weather Pad: Not suitable for extreme weather situations
- Faulty Products: Some products came with leaks, so check before using and contact the retailer for an exchange
Our Thoughts on KLYMIT Static V Camping Sleeping Pad
An excellent sleeping pad at a reasonable price that provides good support. It is a practical choice for side sleepers, especially those who move a lot while sleeping.
4. Clostnature Self Inflating Air Mattress
[amazon box= “B07Q2PGG8Z” title= “Clostnature Self Inflating Sleeping Pad”]
If you’re someone who wants your sleeping pad to have the same texture as your bed, then this is the product for you. It has a smooth design and comes with a pillow attached. You can choose from two different colors.
This sleeping pad is made of water-resistant fabric, and the foam padding is 1.5 inches thick. The R-value is 4, which means that it is fantastic at insulation when the temperature gets low. It is made of eco-friendly materials and has no other chemical smells that will disturb your sleep.
When it comes to sleeping pad comfort, you need something with good cushioning and firmness. This pad offers just that with its 1.5-inch foam padding. The padding is thick enough for you to have back support but thin enough not to feel too high up the ground.
The feature that puts this product on our list is its self-inflating nature. You don’t need to pump air into this for it to take shape. Twist the valve to inflate the sleeping pad in minutes and roll up the mat to deflate it. There’s a pillow attached to the camping mat that you can use independently, and there are adjustable buttons as well.
It is another superlight sleeping pad on our list. This sleeping pad weighs only 3lbs. The total size is 24×75 inches, and the packing size is 5.9×13 inches. You can pack it two ways, and there are three compression straps and storage space for convenience.
This sleeping pad has a snaps design for connecting the two sides of the foam mat to another sleeping pad if you want to share the pad with someone. It has a two days leakage checking time. You can use this sleeping pad in your cot, camping tents, or hammocks for extra comfort.
Things we like:
- Self-inflating: This nature makes it a perfect choice for first-timers or young children
- Superlight Weight: The sleeping pad is easy to carry when traveling
- Excellent Insulation Management: It can keep you warm during winter days
- Good Cushioning: It supports and holds you well while side sleeping
- Snap Design: If you want to link your sleeping pad with someone else’s, you can attach the mattress
Things we don’t like
- Leakage Complain: Some users have experienced product with leakage damage, so you need to check before using.
- Difficult Pillow: The pillow can be uncomfortable to use and deflates often
Our Thoughts on Clostnature Self Inflating Air Mattress
This is an excellent choice for people who prefer to have a solid and smooth surface on their sleeping pad. It is a perfect product for winter days as you don’t have to waste breath to inflate it, and it has good insulation. If you want to share a sleeping pad with another person rather than connect two different ones, consider the pad below.
5. Hikenture Double Camping Pad
[amazon box= “B07VJL6V2K” title= “Hikenture Double Camping Pad 2 Persons Sleeping Mattress”]
If you’re searching for a sleeping pad to share with family or a friend, this product is the answer to your questions. Usually, sleeping pads don’t come in any size other than single, but this double pad works fantastically. It offers vast space and functionality at the same time.
2-Person Sleeping Pad
This sleeping pad is a whopping 55 inches wide in size and can fit two people comfortably. The length is about 79 inches, and it is 3.75 inches thick. But, don’t think that large size means extremely heavy. It weighs only 4.1 lbs. or 65 oz and can be carried in its storage bag quite easily.
It has a straightforward setup process. Since it is a 2-person sleeping pad, there are two valves. One valve is for inflating the mattress with a pump bag, or you can use the other valve for quick inflation-deflation. Using breathe to inflate this pad is not advised due to its large size.
A great feature of this sleeping pad is its material. It is made of polyester pongee, which is PVC-free. There is a lamination of PU technology, and this makes the sleeping pad waterproof and tear-resistant. The material offers both functionality and coziness.
The 3.75 inches thick foam mattress will help you sleep comfortably. Because of its wide size, you can use it as a solo sleeping pad if you like having space when you sleep. Side sleepers will use the extra cushioning and padding for sound sleep.
The polyester pongee and TPU lamination make this tent long-lasting. It is both waterproof and resistant to tears. Since it is so durable, you can use it for non-camping-related occasions as well, such as sleepovers or pet beds. This pad’s durability makes it a standout suggestion on our list.
Things we like:
- Vast Space: It can accommodate two people comfortably
- Thick Foam: The extra cushioning offers better back support
- Durable: This material can last all sort of use
- Waterproof and Wear-Resistant: The outer fabric makes it a practical choice due to its water-resistant coating
- Simple Setup: The two valves quicken the inflation-deflation process
Things we don’t like:
- The pumping and moving process is loud as the mattress squeaks
- It works better with a pumper rather than other types of the inflation process
Our Thoughts on Hikenture Double Camping Pad
It is a great sleeping pad for couples or friends. This sleeping pad offers all the comfort as it is made of fabric that can protect you from water and is durable as well. The wide space and thickness make it heavier than other sleeping pads. If you want something thick and light to carry, check out the following product on our list.
6. ZOOOBELIVES Sleeping Pad
[amazon box= “B07T7J239T” title= “ZOOOBELIVES Extra Thickness Inflatable Sleeping Pad”]
For those who want a thick foam pad but lightweight at the same time, this product is the ideal choice. The wide 4-inch foam does not make this mattress heavy to carry. It also has several functions and can be used for various events.
This sleeping pad is extra thick at 4 inches. When you’re out camping or backpacking, it’s not guaranteed that you will find a smooth surface to set your sleeping pad in. Having a thick mattress can help you in such situations as this sleeping pad can survive cold grounds and rough surfaces and provide you a comfortable area to sleep in.
One of the best features of this tent is its built-in air pump that needs to be stomped or pressed to inflate the sleeping pad. You don’t have to use your breath to inflate it or use an external pump. There are two valves for inflation or slow discharge of air, and the other is for quick deflation. But you can blow up this pad using an electric pump if you’d like.
The sleeping pad material is a 75D polyester pongee fabric, and it has a PVC lamination. This type of fabric is used for army parachutes which tells you about the durability it can offer. It is water-resistant and provides sound insulation against wet and cold days.
You can use this sleeping pad in many different ways. It can be used in cots or hammocks or even as a floating mattress. Since the packaging is compact at 6×6 inches, you can carry it in your backpack for hiking or camping. This can be used for sleepovers or when you have guests as well.
You get some extra facilities with this sleeping pad. There are snaps for connecting two or more sleeping pads for more space. It is an excellent feature for when you’re camping with friends or family. The foam pads are pretty strong and do not bend when you side sleep on them and firmly support your body position.
Things we like:
- Extra Thick Foam Pad: This makes it ideal for any camping trips, including extreme places
- Built-In Inflation Pump: Comes with a pump for a quicker setup process
- Long-lasting and Water-resistant: The polyester fabric with PVC coating makes it durable and waterproof
- Different Uses: It can be used for several occasions without the worry of tearing or damage
- Snap Design: For connecting with other sleeping pads to create a wider sleeping space
Things we don’t like:
- Defective Products: Some users have experienced faulty sleeping pads after buying
- Inconsistent Quality: Based on retailer, the sleeping pad differs in quality and deflates easily
Our Thoughts on ZOOOBELIVES Sleeping Pad
It is the perfect choice for those who want a multi-purpose year around the sleeping pad. You can use this extra thick mattress for many occasions, including inside your home. However, if you want something even more stagnant, we have just the sleeping pad.
7. YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pad
[amazon box= “B08YRL1YVY” title= “YSXHW Self Inflating Lightweight Camping Sleeping Pad”]
Next up, we have the thickest sleeping pad on this list. It is one of the best sleeping pads for side sleepers due to its rigid material and heavy load-taking capability. This sleeping pad is comfortable, durable, and comes with a built-in pump for easy setup.
This sleeping pad is one of the most durable air mattresses you’ll come across. Its material and thickness make it long-lasting. The fabric is also water-resistant and tear-resistant, meaning that it is a good choice for wet and cold weather camping. Having a cozy sleeping pad is vital, and a durable sleeping pad can provide that.
The size of the sleeping pad is 27×75 inches, and it is 4.7 inches thick. This pad allows for more comfort by providing firm support. The thickness ensures that you will get a good night’s sleep with no complaint. For side sleepers, this pad supports the back and helps to sleep well.
It is made of water-resistant 80D polyester pongee with PVC lamination. This lamination makes this sleeping pad resistant to water but also floatable. You can use this in a swimming pool during summer days to soak up the sun. The material can handle up to 700 lbs. and can survive all four seasons.
You can save your breath as this air mattress comes with a built-in pump. It requires you to press down the pump with your foot, and it will inflate in 2 minutes. There are two valves, so you need to press down on one while leaving the other free, and by repeating this process, you get to blow up the pad. These valves are used for quick deflation as well.
This sleeping pad only weighs 3.1 lbs. which makes it lightweight and easy to carry. You can easily fold it and put it in the packaging bag. There’s a handle for carrying, so it is a hassle-free traveling companion.
Things we like:
- Easy Setup: The installed air pump in the mattress makes the process much easier
- Durable: Made of solid materials that are tear-resistant and water-resistant
- Comfortable: It is nice to sleep in for side sleepers due to the extra thick foaming pad
- Portable: It packages into a compact sleeping pad and comes with a carry bag
- Sturdy: Made of strong and firm materials that can support any sleeping position
Things we don’t like:
- Damaged Parcel: Based on retailers, faulty products may vary as some have complained of poorly packaged products
- Defective Self-pump: There are issues with the self-pump as it didn’t work for some
Our Thoughts on YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pad
This is an excellent tent for those with back problems because this sleeping pad provides good back support especially, you’re a side sleeper. The built-in air pump and stable features make the sleeping pad a comfort to sleep in.
How to Have the Best Sleeping System for Camping
Camping is one of the most popular outdoor activities. But, being outdoor means that you will need to make a comfortable sleeping system that isn’t harmful to your health and can keep you warm. The sleeping system also differs based on the weather you’re camping in.
Step 1: Necessity of Sleeping Pad
Even though most sleeping pads don’t weigh that much, it is still extra weight. When you’re camping, you have to carry every single product by yourself, so everything you choose to include needs to be necessary.
For extreme weather camping, sleeping pads are a must. You don’t want to catch a cold or, worse, hypothermia by not using a sleeping pad. Most experienced campers will suggest not using a pad during summer camping because you might feel warmer. But, sleeping pads ensure comfortable rest, so it is up to you.
Step 2 Consider the Weather
There are tents for summer or warm weather camping that come with mesh windows for better airflow. It keeps the inside cooled while offering protection, two things you need for good sleeping.
Winter tents are sturdier and made of rigid materials to fight the wind and snow. They also have stock jacks for wood burning to keep you warm. These tents offer insulation over airflow, so the tent feels warm during the winter days. Having warmth during cold nights is essential for sleeping.
Step 3: Sleeping System Camping Gears
For a sound sleeping system, you need camping tools that will protect you against nature. Water-resistant tents will help you during rainy days, a sleeping pad for a good night’s sleep, and sleeping bags in case the temperature drops too low. You can use an extra pillow and ground tarp as well.
Step 4 Consider Sleeping Area
If you buy a sleeping pad or other sleeping gear that exceeds your tent area, then that’ll be a problem. It is wiser to select a tent before you choose a sleeping pad. Comfort is the key here, so pick a pad that is easy to inflate-deflate and can fit right in your tent area.
Buying Guide for The Best Sleeping Pad for Side Sleepers
Buying a sleeping pad for a specific sleeping position isn’t an easy task. While you have many options to choose from, you need to consider the factors that come with side sleeping. Below are some features you should look for if you want to buy a good sleeping pad for side sleeping.
Wide Sleeping Surface
Firstly, the most vital feature you must look for is a wide sleeping surface. While it may seem that side sleeping requires little space, that is not the case in reality. Side sleepers tend to toss and turn when sleeping and so they need adequate moving space.
Not all side sleepers sleep the same way as the position of the legs tend to differ. Standard sleeping mattresses for a single person are 20 inches wide with 70 inches in length. Side sleepers should buy a large mattress that is over 25 inches wide and 75 inches in length. It will provide enough space to move around.
Some sleeping pads are shaped as back sleeping positions. It is also known as the narrow shape due to its lack of movement space. You should avoid this kind of air mattress as they are not compatible with your sleeping position.
Thick Sleeping Pads
Another fundamental feature you must look for in sleeping pads is their foam thickness. Side sleepers need thick foam padding as the spine is in a different position when you’re lying down sideways. This requires more support from the sleeping surface.
Thick surfaces offer more spine and joint support and offer extra cushioning for hips. We have listed several sleeping pads that match this criterion. The thickness of these pads ranges from 1.5 to 4.7 inches, and you should choose based on how much back support you need.
When you lie down sideways, the body pressure is not evenly distributed on the mattress. The pressure points will remain the same, and it might deform the sleeping pad and make it uneven. To avoid this, you need a mattress that is quite firm and doesn’t bend easily.
The last thing you want to do during camping is to spend hours trying to inflate your sleeping pad. Since most people set up tents or cots at the end of the day after they have finished exploring, there’s not much energy left to inflate the sleeping pad manually. You want to save as much energy as you can.
This is why the inflation-deflation process is vital to consider. This process differs from product to product, but there are many choices available today. Some pads come with manuals on how to use a pump to blow it up. You can use your breath to inflate smaller products which take only a few minutes manually.
There are also closed-cell foam sleeping pads that are made of closed air cells and defense foam. This type of pad is excellent for winter camping because the air cells radiate heat and keep you warm. They are suitable for side sleeping and durable.
The surface is another important factor you need to consider when buying a sleeping pad. Specific patterns fit side sleeping positions better, and some are just plain uncomfortable.
If you find a sleeping pad with vertical baffles, the seam design will create uneasiness when you’re trying to sleep sideways, so try to stay from this. On the other hand, horizontal design is more suited to your position. Also known as the honeycomb design, this style has more friction that will help you stay in place when you’re sleeping.
Size and Shape
Other than wide sleeping pads, you need to consider your tent size and comfort when buying a sleeping pad. Some sleeping pads come in medium and large sizes. Most of them are for a single person. Check the pad measurement and compare it with your tent size.
If you’re traveling with other people, you can buy 2-person sleeping pads as well. You can use it by yourself if you want extra space. Shapes are essential to think about as well because different shapes suit different sleeping styles. Some figures can also be imperfect for you if you’re a side sleeper.
The standard rectangular shape is ideal for sleeping sideways as you get the necessary support to hold your body. Some mattresses are designed in the “mummy” shape, which is more suitable for back sleepers. It is not a good choice for sleeping sideways because the “mummy” shape trims extra sleeping space to reduce package weight.
Even if you pick the most suitable sleeping pad, anything heavy will be hard to carry. Most sleeping pads are light, but even a few pounds make a huge difference. Your sleeping pad weight should be based on your transportation mode. Car camping, backpacking, biking, and hiking have a different weight capacity.
For backpacking and hiking, sleeping pads that are less than a pound are a great choice. We have listed a few mattresses, which are 0.9 lbs. Car camping comes with boundless opportunities. Here, weight is not a restricting factor, and you can use any sleeping pad, even the heaviest ones.
Another thing that you should keep in mind while buying a sleeping pad for side sleeping is the pad material shows the pad’s durability. The sleeping pads generally have foams inside of them. The outer fabric is usually polyester or nylon, and the water-resistant tents are laminated.
Weather is one of the most important aspects to consider when you’re camping. Based on the weather, your sleeping pads may vary. The foam layers and heat-reflection capability determine which sleeping pad is suitable for which tent.
1. What does the R-Value of sleeping pads mean?
R-value is the vital way of measuring a sleeping pad’s functionalities. It refers to the insulation capability of a sleeping pad. Meaning this value indicates how well this pad can stop body heat transfer to the ground. The higher R-value, the better it is at insulation. Before buying a sleeping pad, you must know the meaning and its usefulness.
2. Which size should I choose for my sleeping pad?
You should take your size and the tent’s size into consideration to find the perfect fit. Without knowing your own measurements, you won’t be able to find a mattress that finds your body correctly.
3. How many types of sleeping pads are there?
There are three types of sleeping pads. The first type is closed-cell foam sleeping pads. They are the standard pad but do not have excellent insulation. Second, the following type is Air pads which run on air only. They are thicker than closed-cell foam pads.
The last type is self-inflating pads which are an absolute dream to use. They are adjustable and have more excellent insulation than the previous two.
4. Does the sleeping pad size change based on weather?
You need to consider the weather and portability as well. For winter camping, choosing a more oversized pad than you is a must, whereas shorter sleeping pads are encouraged in the summer.
Hopefully, now you know how to choose the best sleeping pad for side sleepers. The process is relatively easy as you have to figure out the ways to support your body during sleeping and choose a sleeping pad. Side sleepers require vast space and a solid holding to stay in one place when they sleep.
But don’t get too carried away trying to find what suits your sleeping style best and neglect the basics of shape, material, and weight. Try to find something that is within your budget and offers the best weather protection. Have a great time outdoors!
Max, a passionate lumberjack and outdoors enthusiast, loves fishing, camping, and hunting. He has extensive experience in the great outdoors and is eager to join Outdoor Fun Mag to share his adventures and knowledge. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, Max promises to bring laughter, learning, and an unforgettable outdoor experience.