Modern-day living throughout the world does not often recognize the need for enough, much alone quality, sleep.
However, people must attempt to get adequate quality sleep regularly. Getting adequate sleep is critical for maintaining good health and wellbeing.
Sleep quality is as important to their health as regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. Fortunately, there are strategies to increase the quality of your sleep while also taking an active part in protecting your health.
Quick Selection Guide: Best Sleeping Pad for Side Sleepers
- Best Overall: Wellax UltraThick Flex Foam SleepingPad
- Best Lightweight: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite
- Best for Budget: ECOTEK UltralightSleepingPad
- Best for Travel: Klymit Static V Luxe Sleeping Pad
- Best for Waterproof: YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pad
- Best for Thickness: Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SLX
- Best for Women: Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mattress
- Best for Size: KingCamp 3D Self Inflating Double Pad
- Best for Easy Use: Gear Doctors Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
- Best for Versatility: BETTER HABITAT CertiPUR-US SleepReady Memory Foam Floor & Camping Mattress
If you are a side sleeper and want to improve your sleep quality, some devices are available that can make a significant impact.
But first, let’s take a look at some key factors that can help us understand the importance of sleep quality and how investing in it can change your life.
What Is Quality Sleep?
Quality sleep is deep, uninterrupted sleep that you can only achieve if you go through the REM cycle.It is essential for your health and safety.
Sleep deprivation is often characterized by waking up throughout the night, inability to settle asleep, and fatigue during the day.
Although sleep quality varies from person to person, the necessity of a good night’s sleep is universal — both in the short and long term.
Sleep quality influences both your physical and emotional wellbeing. Poor sleep raises the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes on a physical level.
But let’s take a look at some of the benefits of quality sleep and how it can help you live a better life.
What Are The Benefits of Quality Sleep?
While the list is endless, some of the key advantages of sleep quality have been narrowed down so that you can get the best out of your night’s sleep and reap these benefits.
Getting Better Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight
Getting eight full hours of sleep will not result in weight loss on its own, but it will assist your body from gaining weight.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body creates ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone. Your body also produces less leptin, a hormone that signals you when you’re full.
You have a deadly combination for late-night eating when you combine the two, my buddy. Furthermore, when you don’t get enough sleep, you get more agitated and lack the stamina to fight off junk food desires.
Sleeping Can Boost Productivity
You may believe you impress your employer by working till the wee hours of the morning, but skipping a decent night’s sleep might negatively impact work or school.
Sleep has been linked to increased focus and cognitive performance, both of which can help you succeed at work.
However, one sleepless night might leave you feeling stressed, increasing your chances of making mistakes that a cup of coffee won’t be able to remedy.
Increased Social And Emotional Intelligence
Sleep has been linked to emotional and social intelligence. People who do not get enough sleep are more likely to have difficulties detecting other people’s emotions and expressions.
One research, for example, looked at people’s reactions to emotional stimuli. As have many other studies, the researchers found that a person’s emotional empathy is reduced when they do not receive enough sleep.
Sleeping Can Help Your Immune System And Heart
When your body receives enough sleep, your immune cells and proteins have enough rest to fight off anything that comes their way, such as colds or the flu.
Furthermore, according to sleep professionals, enough sleep might make immunizations more effective, which is a bonus.
Sleep deprivation can lead to cardiac issues such as high blood pressure or heart attacks. This is because a lack of sleep can lead your body to create cortisol, a stress hormone that causes your heart to work faster.
Like your immune system, your heart requires rest to function effectively and efficiently.
Better Mental Health
Researchers have been studying the relationship between sleep and mental health for a long time. One conclusion is that there is a connection between sleep deprivation and depression.
Over ten years, one research looked at trends of suicide deaths. It concludes that a lack of sleep is a role in many of these fatalities.
According to another research, those who suffer from sleep problems such as insomnia are more prone to exhibit indicators of depression.
If you get enough sleep, you will feel relaxed when you wake up. Being well-rested allows your energy levels to skyrocket.
When your energy level is high, life’s minor difficulties will not irritate you as much. You’re not as furious when you’re not bothered.
You’re pleased if you’re not furious. So, go to bed early, and everyone around you will be grateful as well as you!
Now that you have all the reasons you should catch up on some beauty sleep, let’s finally dive into how you can catch up on quality z’s with the help of sleeping pads.
The Very Best Sleeping Pads for Side Sleepers That We Could Find
Wellax UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad
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If you want a sleeping pad that is both comfortable and portable, the Wellax UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad is the one for you.
It’s 3 inches thick, allowing you to sleep comfortably on your side, and it has excellent insulation, with an R-Value of 9.5. This implies it will prevent your body heat from escaping into the earth.
With a length of 6 feet and 5 inches, this is an excellent choice for taller individuals. There’s no need to curl into the fetal position to feel comfortable, and there’s a built-in pillow so that you can forget about neck cramps.
- Not compact
- You cannot use it outdoors
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite
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The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is the greatest all-around three-season sleeping pad available. The XLite offers a unique blend of support, weight, warmth, and comfort, making it difficult to top for lightweight hiking.
This sleeping pad is not cheap, but it is worth it once you put it to use. The XLite’s biggest flaw is that it creates a crinkly sound as you move around on it, and the heat-reflecting material adds to its warmth.
We agree that it is slightly noisier than other pads, but it isn’t that horrible. This pad is also available in a somewhat warmer and shorter women’s variant.
- Comes with a pump sack
- Crinkle sound
ECOTEK Ultralight Sleeping Pad
Best for Budget
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It’s not the cheapest sleeping pad on the market, but the most affordable options will not be comfortable for a side sleeper.
To sleep soundly on your side, you’d have to double up on the cheapest roll pads, at which time you might as well simply buy a nice pad.
The Ecotek is not self-inflating; however, it may be inflated fast by hand. It just takes around 10 breaths to inflate, so you won’t get a tremendous head rush as you might with some of the less efficient pads.
The unique honeycomb shape increases comfort, allowing you to sleep on your side without worry. The thickness is around 2.5 inches, yet it packs down to the size of a 1-liter water bottle!
Because it is so little, you may take this sleeping mat on mountain hikes without it weighing you down.
- Supportive design
- Quickly inflates
- Not ideal for cold surfaces
- Does not self-inflate
Klymit Static V Luxe Sleeping Pad
Best for Travel
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If having more space to stretch and roll is your top priority in a sleeping pad, the Klymit Static V is the one for you.
This sleeping pad’s shape is large enough to suit folks with broad shoulders, and you may roll, toss, and turn while sleeping on it.
This V-shaped sleeping pad provides support and comfort to your body whether you sleep on your side, stomach, or back, and it can be a lifesaver for your joints!
It is 30 inches broad, 76 inches long, and 3 inches thick, providing a wonderful quantity of sleep and comfort while weighing only 1.95 pounds.
This sleeping pad is inexpensive, but don’t be deceived by its low cost; it is one of the most affordable yet high-quality sleeping mats on the market today. You will also receive a storage bag with a little pocket containing a repair kit if you purchase this pad.
- Exceptionally small
- Folding is simple
- R-value is low.
- Not suitable for use at high altitudes.
YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pad
Best for Waterproof
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With a weight restriction of 700 pounds, this pad should be sufficient for most individuals! The cushion includes a built-in foot pump, so no more fiddling with pump airbags.
You should set it up quickly, and you may even use it as an inflatable in the water. You may think this is ridiculous now, but wait till you see your buddy’s expression when you get to sleep in the campground swimming pool on a hot day!
This pad is both comfortable and portable, and it comes with several patches in case you have a puncture on your trips.
- Excellent for folks who are overweight.
- Foot pump built-in
- Repair patches are included.
- You can utilize it in the pool
- Not as long-lasting as the other pads
- More prone to breaking.
Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SLX
Best for Thickness
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The Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SLX sleeping pad is a rectangular, lightweight sleeping pad that is extremely comfortable.
Its broadside rails assist keep users centered in the middle of the pad, which sets it apart from other pads. Furthermore, at 3.5 inches thick, the SLX is one of the heaviest pads on this list.
All current Big Agnes pads have an inflated sack, but if every ounce counts, the improved Pumphouse Ultra may be worth the additional money.
With an R-value of 3.2, the Q-Core is suitable for most three-season journeys but may leave you feeling a touch chilly during winter activities.
- Comes with a pump sack
- Quick deflation
Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mattress
Best for Women
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If you’re seeking the comfiest sleeping mat, look no further. Therm-a Rest will provide you with two benefits: sleeping warmer and sleeping wiser.
And it all starts with its soft foam camping mattress. It’s the greatest camping mat I’ve ever had, as well as the best self-inflating sleeping pad and easiest to use.
This self-inflating sleeping pad is built of soft plus materials that feels fantastic against your skin.
It also has the R-value of 6, making it even more comfortable and appropriate for high altitudes. It has a thickness of 3 inches, making it pleasant to sleep on and removing the feeling that you are sleeping on the ground.
- Easy to Use
- Ultra-soft foam means easy to tear through
King Camp Self Inflating Double Sleeping Pad
Best for Size
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The KingCamp 3D is an excellent double sleeping pad with an R-Value of 6.1. This means you may use it without fear throughout the colder months, and you’ll be able to steal some of your partner’s body heat as well!
Double sleeping pads are ideal for folks who like to sleep with blankets rather than a sleeping bag since you won’t slip off the edge throughout the night.
Each mattress is subjected to a 72-hour leak test before delivery, so you don’t have to worry about obtaining a malfunctioning piece of equipment.
- Best for size
- Good for couples
- Might leak
- No guarantee of durability
Gear Doctors Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
Best for Easy Use
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Sleep in style and comfort with this sleeping pad that is built for side sleepers. While it may not be the thickest mattress, it is well cushioned, making for a cozy pad.
It will keep you warm through the night as it comes with an R-Value of 4.3 and weighs only 2.2 pounds which means it is compact and easy to store.
It is self-inflating so you won’t have to fuss about setting it up and deflates just as easily. The best part is that it is non-allergenic so you won’t have to worry about reaching your itch because you won’t have any!
The pad is made of 75d micro coated polyester which makes it waterproof and won’t get damaged by sun-exposure making it a durable purchase.
- Easy to use
- Not visually pleasing
BETTER HABITAT CertiPUR-US SleepReady Memory Foam Floor & Camping Mattress
Best for Versatility
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Forget worrying about smooth surfaces, inflating your sleeping pad, packing it or sleeping in comfort because the Better Habitat sleeping pad can solve all of those problems.
All you need to do is unclip it and roll it out and you’re ready to crash. This sleeping pad is made with memory foam and premium material that is waterproof.
It’s easy to pack and travel with because you can roll it up and carry it with you or throw it in the back of your trunk without taking up too much space.
But don’t let that fool you, this sleeping pad isn’t small and is available in three size variations for you to choose from.
It’s 3 inches thick and weighs 17 pounds which is more than ideal for a memory foam sleeping pad. You can use it indoors, outdoors and even as a makeshift mattress at home!
- Value for money
- Easy to pack
- Might be too big for some
Factoring Considerations When Buying Sleeping Pads
You don’t have to pay a lot of money to acquire a nice pad, but many individuals are prepared to invest a little for a high-quality pad that they intend to use frequently.
When selecting side sleeper camping pads, always consider your demands. One of the aspects to consider while purchasing one is the pricing.
How much are you willing to spend on side sleeper hiking pads? So, when selecting the finest sleeping mats, keep the price and your budget in mind.
A sleeping pad’s R-value evaluates how well it insulates you from the chilly ground. The warmer the pad, the greater the R-value.
Sleeping pads with R-values of 0-2 are ideal for warm-weather excursions. R-values of 2-4 are adequate for most three-season hiking circumstances.
R-values of 4-6 are adequate at temperatures near or below freezing. A pad with an R-value of 5 or higher, or a foam pad under your air pad, is ideal for chilly sleepers or those sleeping on snow.
You’d be better off with a waterproof camping mat because they’re easier to clean. It’s so simple to get your camping gear dirty, but you can just spray it clean at the end of your trip, and it won’t matter.
On the other hand, waterproof pads may not be as pleasant as soft-touch pads. It’s ultimately up to you whether you want to emphasize hygiene or comfort.
Depending on your demands, the most comfortable camping sleeping mat is available in various sizes. Along with other elements of a sleeping mat, one of the most significant features of an inflatable hiking pad, especially for backpacking or camping, is its thickness.
Almost all closed-cell foam mats have the same thickness or cushioning, although there are several thicknesses on the market today.
You should also consider the mat’s breadth. You may be tempted to get a thin sleeping mat since it is less expensive, but you must evaluate if it would be comfortable.
The standard width of 20 inches is offered by nearly every sleeping mat. You should look into purchasing a sleeping mat with a width ranging from 25 to 39 inches. That’s what I use, so you can simply flip over during the night.
However, you must also consider the size of your tent to ensure that you can put your sleeping mats inside.
The size of your tent is important since it will affect the quality of sleep that you will get while camping. If the sleeping mat is too thin, you may not be comfortable, therefore adapt to what your body requires.
You could prefer a sleeping mat with thin foam mattresses because they are lighter and easier to transport.
Having a very packable sleeping pad is a good advantage, and most air pads these days pack down pretty compact.
If you select a large sleeping pad, you may need to strap it to the outside of your bag. This isn’t a significant concern for foam pads, but leaving an air pad out can make it susceptible to punctures, holes and tears on the exterior of the sleeping pad.
There are two factors to consider, the weight of the sleeping pad and the user’s weight.
The closer the user gets to the ground and the less support they have around their pressure points, the closer they will come to the ground.
In general, the thicker you want your pay to be to sleep comfortably on your side, the heavier you are.
When vehicle camping, the weight of your pad is unimportant as long as it fits in the trunk. However, if you intend to go hiking, you’ll need to achieve the appropriate mix between lightness and thickness.
If you opt to buy an air pad and take it into the woods with you, you should bring a small repair kit with you. Sharp items can rupture air pads, so always double-check your sleeping environment before settling in.
If your pad springs a leak and you don’t know how to patch it, you’ll be a very unhappy camper. Almost all of the air pads described above come with a repair kit, but we always have tenacious tape in case something goes wrong.
The crinkly noises made by air pads are among the most popular complaints among customers. This might be especially uncomfortable for light sleepers who move about a lot during the night.
All pads will produce some noise, and some will be louder than others, but the sounds will fade over time.
Pump bags make inflating an air pad considerably easier. Most pump sacks may also be used as a stuff sack and, in certain cases, as a dry bag.
Pump bags are useful for keeping moisture from your breath out of your sleeping pad, which is especially critical during winter excursions when moisture from your breath might freeze and lower your pad’s insulating value.
Ease of Inflation
After a day of hiking or backpacking, inflating your sleeping mat shouldn’t be a tough chore. Don’t waste your time inflating it because you’ll want to save electricity.
So, when looking for the finest sleeping mats, think about how easy it is to inflate and deflate the mat. Each product will have a different way of inflating sleeping mats.
With the advancement of technology, self-inflating mats are now available on the market, including air and cell foams that allow it to self-inflate.
There are also sleeping mats that you can inflate manually with a hand-held pump, or you may blow it out yourself in only 3 minutes.
On the other hand, closed-cell foam sleeping mats are available for purchase. This is the most basic sleeping mat constructed of protective foam packed with little closed air chambers.
It is lightweight, sturdy, and the most economical among sleeping mats. It frequently comes with a metallic and heat-reflecting layer to offer you that extra warmth.
FAQs About Sleeping Pads
What is the price of a sleeping pad?
If you sleep on your side, you’ll want to spend at least $45 on a comfy and dependable mattress. You can get cheaper pads, but you’ll almost certainly need to use two to obtain a good night’s sleep.
Is it possible to raise the R-Value of my sleeping pad?
To decrease heat loss via the ground, install a thin reflective pad beneath your main pad. However, if you’re going to carry two pads to be warm, you may as well invest in a more efficient pad.
How do you blow up a sleeping pad?
The type of pad determines it. A self-inflating pad may be opened at the valve and left to fill with air. However, you may wish to assist it with a few breaths before sealing it up.
Depending on the model, you might also use your mouth, foot, or airbag pump.
What is the best way to repair a sleeping pad puncture?
To repair a puncture in your sleeping pad, you’ll need a puncture kit, which includes strong waterproof adhesive and patches. Some sleeping mats have a puncture kit.
When purchasing a sleeping mat, the most crucial consideration is whether you will be vehicle camping or hiking.
Pads built for vehicle camping are typically far more comfortable than ultralight pads, but hikers must accept this if you are to immerse yourselves in the great outdoors.
It might not be the same as sleeping on your mattress back home, but who says camping has to be uncomfortable?
You can have the best of both worlds with sleeping pads, especially side sleepers who are the most prone to waking up with neck, shoulder or body cramps after what may seem like a good night’s sleep.
When buying sleeping pads online, keep an eye on the return policies set by the seller. Typically, you should be able to return a sleeping pad that hasn’t been used outdoors in a certain time range after purchase.
It would make the process a lot easier by purchasing your preferred item, testing it at home, then returning/exchanging it if it does not feel just right.
We realize how difficult it is to obtain reliable gear recommendations, which is one of the major reasons we compiled this list of the best sleeping mats for side sleepers.
We live for outdoor adventure, and we sincerely hope that our candid advice is useful to you.