A getaway from the loud and fast-paced realities of the big city is a healthy practice. Whether you are outdoors hiking, fishing, or backpacking, there is always a sense of tranquility and relaxation that you experience. However, to ensure that you have a full experience of uninterrupted fun and energizing, you must have the right gear and tools ready.

Sleeping pads come in really handy for longer overnight trips where you will want to sleep or lounge. However, some of us are prone to be side sleepers. This is where the best sleeping pad for side sleepers is handy. But don’t let this fact limit you just because you are a side sleeper — it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same comfort that you get from your bed at home.

Sleeping pads for side sleepers offer a much-needed solution. They provide just the right amount of cushioning and comfort you get from regular sleeping pads, but their ingenious design is integrated with side sleepers in mind to ensure you are always comfortable in your sleeping position. Listed below are the 10 best sleeping pads for side sleepers, so you can choose which unit appeals most to you.

How To Choose A Sleeping Pad For Side Sleepers – Buying Guide



When choosing the best side sleeper sleeping pad, quality is an important feature to examine. Sleeping pads for side sleepers will experience more strain and pressure on them as the weight of the sleeper will be focused on a smaller perimeter. Thus, you must ensure that your sleeping pad is made with high-quality materials and incorporates a hard-wearing design.

Sleeping pads for side sleepers are made up of material such as nylon ripstop or polyester. The two materials boast the ability to retain their shape even with stretching and pressure, thus making them ideal materials for sleeping pads. Additionally, they are also known for their anti-wear and tear qualities.

Nylon ripstop, as the name suggests, boasts strong abilities that help protect the fabric from tearing when used outdoors. Extra protection such as a TPU or PVC coating adds to the quality of the sleeping pad. The coatings make the sleeping pad waterproof and weatherproof which in turn enhances its functionality. High-quality sleeping pads will have a longer lifespan than cheaper alternatives.


The size of your side sleeper sleeping pad will also significantly affect its performance. The best side sleeper sleeping pad must have the right dimensions. Size is denoted by length x width x height/thickness. The width is usually not important whilst length and thickness should be paid attention to.  Raised edges on the sleeper pads also help sleepers that tend to roll around.

Some brands even make wider sleeping pads to offer more room for larger campers. Your height will decide the length you should go for. The length of your sleeping pad measures the distance from the tip of your head to your toe. You want to go to larger lengths if you are tall.

Overall, to get a versatile sleeping pad, go for one that has a height of at least 75 inches. The thickness of your sleeping pad will determine how comfortable you are. It measures the distance from the ground to where your body lies.


The weight of the best side sleeper sleeping pad should be light. You don’t want to be hauling around a heavy load that pulls you back. Typically, sleeping pads are used in activities such as hiking, backpacking, and camping whereby the weight is always an important factor.

So, you must ensure that your sleeping pad is lightweight and packable before investing in one. However, compare the weight and functionality. You don’t want to carry with you a sleeping pad that is too light that it loses its insulating qualities during your winter hiking trip.

Related Post: Winter Camping Sleeping Pad

But the fact remains that you need a sleeping pad that will not weigh down on you on your hiking trip. However, for activities such as RV camping, weight may not be the priority factor and you can prioritize comfort over this.


You want your side sleeper to be comfortable. The keyword here is side sleeper! Thus, the best side sleeper sleeping pads must pay attention to this fact. Go for sleeping pads with smoother surfaces rather than those with baffled ones.

Sleeping pads made out of sturdy materials such as polyester tend to be more practical and comfortable. This is because their texture offers a non-slip finish. Additionally, the thicker the sleeping pad, the more comfortable you will be.

This is because there will be more space from the ground to your body and the distance will be filled by shock-absorbing foam padding. Going for options that carry flexible return policies is also a good idea because this allows you to return a sleeping pad that may not be as comfortable for you.


The warmth and insulation needed from your sleeping pad depend on the weather conditions to which you will be using it. The best side sleeper sleeping pad features a 3-season design. The warmth and insulation of your sleeping pad are measured by the R-value. A higher R-value rating on your pad means that it is more insulating.

Thus, for colder weather, you want to go for such sleeping pads.  Additionally, the majority of self-inflating sleeping pads are designed for colder weather. These pads normally feature a layer of synthetic insulation. Additionally, the reason why they are self-inflating is so that you don’t have to start fiddling with them in cold or wet outdoor conditions. During warmer conditions, an R-value of 1 to 3 does the trick whilst for colder conditions, you will need a sleeping pad with at least a 3.5+ rating. Just remember, the quality of your sleeping bag matters more than a pad during the winter.

Side Rails

The side rails on your sleeping pad are especially useful to the sleeper who tends to roll around a lot. Additionally, they also work well in situations where children are using sleeping pads as they offer a protective barrier at the edges. The bigger the side rails, the better!

Fit The Frame

The best sleeping pads for side sleepers should fit both your shoulders and hips comfortably. This makes sure that every inch of your body is well covered and insulated. Regular-sized individuals will do well with at least a 72-inch length pad whilst the best-sized and versatile ones will have a length of at least 75 inches.

The standard width of 20 – 25 inches will comfortably fit your body frame. For larger framed individuals, look for wider options such as the Lightspeed Outdoors Sleeping Pad as it has dimensions of 77 x 30 x 3-inches.

Inflation Level

The higher the R-value of your sleeping pad, the better the insulation. This means that sleeping pads with a higher R-value provide better warmth-retaining qualities. The more air pumped in and trapped by your sleeping pad, the more space between you and the cold ground. Additionally, the more air it holds, the stronger the pad will be.


The best sleeping pad for side sleepers should be made of sturdy and durable materials. The materials used should also be weather and water-resistant to be able to withstand the tough outdoors. Typically, materials such as polyester and nylon are excellent choices.


The thickness of your sleeping pad determines the comfort level and insulation. A thickness of at least 2 inches is ideal for side sleepers. This is because as a side sleeper, your weight is focused on the narrow base, making the hip and shoulder areas the pressure points. A thicker pad helps to absorb the pressure and spread your weight evenly.


You must ensure that your sleeping pad is durable. Sleeping pads for side sleepers apply pressure on specific and narrow areas thus, you must ensure that they are durable for long-lasting use. Additionally, since your sleeping pad is being used outdoors, you also want a material and design that can withstand the rough nature of the outdoors.

Furthermore, look for factors such as leak-proof and waterproof designs that enhance the sleeping pad’s durability. Sleeping pads with longer warranties are also a sign of their quality. The durability of your sleeping pad will also be affected by how you care for and maintain it. It is a good idea to make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to care for your sleeping pad.


You must also consider the shape of your sleeping pad before choosing the option you will invest in. There are three common shapes sleeping pads come in. The most common shapes include the mummy shape, rectangular shape, and semi-rectangular shape. Mummy shapes on sleeping pads are perhaps the most common.

The mummy shape helps to reduce weight whilst rectangular ones provide more space. Additionally, some sleeping pads such as the Freeland Sleeping Pad for side sleepers feature slip joints that allow you to attach them to other sleeping pads for a larger sleeping area.



Q: Is A Sleeping Pad Necessary For Backpacking?


No, sleeping pads are not necessary for backpacking. However, they do add more comfort and insulation during sleep, especially in the outdoors. You want a good night’s sleep even mid-adventure. Plus, because of the lightweight design of the best sleeping pad for side sleepers, it is even easier for you to load and carry your pad with you on a long hike.

Related Review: Backpacking Sleeping Pad

Q: What Are The Most Important Features For Side Sleepers?


Material and thickness are the most important features for side sleepers. You apply more pressure to a specific area, especially your hip and shoulder area as a side sleeper. Thus, the best sleeping pad for side sleepers should be thick enough to absorb the pressure and feature just the right material to ensure durability and ruggedness.

Q: What Is The Difference Between A Regular Sleeping Pad And Side Sleepers Sleeping Pad?


A side sleeper pad is designed for people who like to sleep on their side whilst regular ones are designed for people who sleep on the back or chest. Weight distribution is the key factor difference because it differs from other sleeping positions. If you sleep on your back, your weight is more evenly distributed than on your side or chest.

Your body applies a lot of pressure on smaller focused areas such as the shoulder and hip joints when you sleep on the side. To prevent discomfort and pain in the joints, side sleeper sleeping pads have been designed to support the weight evenly. This means that thin and regular sleeping pads are not ideal. A side sleeper sleeping pad with a thickness of at least 2 inches is the way to go.

Globo Surf Overview

The sleeping pad for side sleepers reviews above outline how useful they are in the outdoors especially to individuals prone to side sleeping. Along with the high performance and functionality, these bad boys deliver just like any other good-quality sleeping pad. They are ideally designed to offer elevated comfort to side sleepers.

The buying guide above offers a detailed guideline on what to look for when choosing the best sleeping pad for side sleepers to invest in.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!