Best Sleeping Pad for Side Sleeper: Ultimate Guide 2021

15 Best Sleeping Mats for Side Sleeper 

Are you looking for the best sleeping pad for side sleeper? I’m a side sleeper too and I cannot fall asleep unless I am on my side.

backpack sleeping pad

If you are hiking or backpacking or camping, you will need the most comfortable backpacking sleeping pad for sleeping on your side. There is nothing worse than getting a terrible night sleep and then having to hike 10 plus miles the next day.

I’ve put together this list of sleeping pads so you can find the best sleeping pad or camp sleeping mat so you get a good night’s sleep.

Click here to see the best sleeping mat for side sleepers now.

COMPARISON CHART: BEST BACKPACKING SLEEPING PAD FOR SIDE SLEEPERS 2021

Compare backpacking sleeping pads in the following chart.

NameTypeRatingPrice
NeoAir UberLiteLite4.0Check
Air Xlite MattressXLite4.25Check
Tensor UltralightXLite4.5Check
Prolite UltralightLite4.5Check
Klymit StaticLite4.25Check
Comfort Deluxe SIWarm4.75Check
Outdoor Vitals Lite4.5Check
Insulated UltraliteThick4.75Check
Luxury MapThick5.0Check

Price

When choosing a side sleeper camping pads, you should always prioritize your needs. And one of the factors that you need to consider in buying one is the price? How much are you willing to spend on backpacking pads for side sleepers? 

Do note that there are 3 types of sleeping pads that you can choose depending on its purpose. Air pads, for example, have a lightweight feature and are ideal for backpacking. However, they are more expensive than other types of sleeping mats. In fact, air pads tend to be more expensive the lighter and more compact they are. So in choosing the best sleeping mats, make sure to consider the price and your budget. 

Best value sleeping pad: NEMO Tensor Insulated

Best high-end sleeping pads: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite, Therm-a-Rest Prolite, and Sea to Summit Comfort Delight

Best budget sleeping pads: Klymit Static V, Outdoor Vitals,


Thickness

The most comfortable camping sleeping pad comes in different sizes, depending on your needs. And along with other features of a sleeping mat, the thickness of it is one of the most important features of an inflatable backpacking pad, especially for backpacking or camping.

Almost all closed-cell foam mats have the same level of the thickness or cushioning, but there are also various thicknesses that are available in the market today. 

You also need to consider the width of the mat.  You may be tempted to buy a sleeping mat that is quite narrow because it is cheaper but you need to consider if it will be comfortable.  Nearly every sleeping mat offers a standard width of 20 inches. You should consider buying a sleeping mat with a width of 25 to 39 inches.  THat’s what I use so you can turn over easily during the night.

However, you also have to consider the size of your tent to make sure that you can fit your sleeping mats inside because its size will really matter and will affect the quality of sleep that you will get while on camping. You may not be comfortable if the sleeping mat is too slim, so adjust to what your body needs. 

But if you are a hiker who wants to ease the load of things that you will bring especially if you campsite requires a bit of a hike, you may want to go for a sleeping mat that has a thin foam mattresses as these are more lighter and easy to bring. 

backpacking sleeping mat

Best sleeping pads for side sleepers: Sea to Summit Comfort Delight , Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite, and Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap Sleeping Pad

Ease of Inflating the Mat

Inflating your sleeping mat shouldn’t be a difficult task after a day of hiking or backpacking. Don’t waste your energy on inflating it as you will want tol conserve your energy. So, in choosing the best sleeping mats for you, you have to consider the ease of inflating and deflating the mat. 

Inflating sleeping mats will vary on each product. With the aid of technology nowadays, there are self-inflating mats that you can find in the market that comes with air and cell foams which allow it to inflate on its own. 

There are also manual sleeping mats that come with a hand held pump, or you can blow it manually which will only take 3 minutes to do it. This type of sleeping mats has the lightest pads but still has a decent cushion and suitable for side sleeping. 

On the other hand, there are also closed cell foam sleeping mats that you can buy. This type of sleeping mats is the most basic pad that is made of defense foam filled with small closed air cells. They often come in metallic and heat reflective layer to give you that extra warmth, It is lightweight, durable, and the most affordable among the types of sleeping mats. 

Warmth of the Mat

In cold conditions during camping or hiking, the warmth of your sleeping mat has a very important role because it literally keeps you warm at night aside from giving you a place to sleep. It acts as an insulation between your body and the ground. And in choosing the best sleeping mat, it depends on the R value of the pad which will be explained further below. 

backpacking sleeping mats

Weight of the Mat

Before hitting the mountains for camping or hiking, it is important that you choose the right sleeping mat. And for most backpacker, the weight of the sleeping mat is a big concern. If you are carrying a heavyweight sleeping mat, it may take up so much of your energy especially if you are hiking up hill. 

For starters, it is recommended that you choose a closed-cell foaming mats because they are lightweight. However, this type of sleeping mat doesn’t pack down very small and is bulky. 

But if you are willing to spend more for a lightweight mat that can pack down very small, there are inflatable backpacking sleeping mats that you can choose and are more popular nowadays than closed-cell foaming pads. 

So, in choosing the right sleeping mat, consider the activity that you will be going into. If you are going for a minimalist backpacking, I suggest you go for an ultralight air pad. 

What is R Value

R stands for resistant. And this R value in sleeping mats is very important because it is resistance against the air and ground especially if you are hiking in places at high altitude. 

Since you will be hiking or trekking and will be spending the night in the cold and on the ground. sleeping mats can provide protection to your body against direct contact with the cold ground. 

You can find a lot of sleeping mats that are specifically designed to keep your body warm and trap all the body heat in the fabric, most especially if f you are hiking in a place where it is susceptible to harsh air. 

But you also have to consider the season in which you are going hiking or camping because it will largely determine the R value of your sleeping mats. For example, if you are hiking or camping during winter, you may want to buy a sleeping mat that has an R value of 5. But if it’s during summer, a sleeping mat with an R value of 3 is appropriate. 

You also need to remember that the quality of your sleeping mats determines its price. So, if you need a sleeping mat with a higher R value, you will pay more so that you can enjoy the higher notch value. But rest assured that you will surely get your money’s worth. 

How to choose the best sleeping pad or a camp sleeping mat

I’ve done the research, I’ve bought several sleeping pads and sleeping mats. Whether you are looking for sleeping pads for camping or backpacking sleeping pad – I’ve listed the pros and cons of each ground pad so you can find the best sleep pad for you.

For me, therm-a-rest pads are the best. They are a bit pricier but worth every penny. Therm a rest pads are some of the best ultralight sleeping pad. If you are looking for an inflatable sleeping pad, a Thermarest pad is perfect.

Here are all the top rated sleeping pads and the sleep pad reviews for each.

Therm-a Rest NeoAir UberLite  – best lightweight sleeping pad

This sleeping mat is perfect for hikers and backpackers who want a lightweight and packable air mattress. This high performance sleeping pads have a dimension of 20 x 47 x 2.5 in (small); 20 x 72 x 2.5in (medium); and 25 x 77 x 2.5in (large).  This is one of the best sleeping mats and the best hiking sleeping pads.

best backpacking air mattress

This UberLite keeps the weight low that is why it is ideal for thru-hiking and camping while also giving you impressive stability and minimal heat loss so you can surely get a good night’s rest. It’s big on comfort but small on pack space. 

This pad has an r-value of 2.0 which makes it suitable for adventure in cool weather and provides moderate insulation without sacrificing the comfort. It is comfortable, quiet, and warm so you won’t struggle with the temperature. The material is made of 15D nylon and has a shape of a mummy and it can pack down to the size of a beer and just weighs over 8 oz. 

PROS: 

Lightweight

Takes up little space 

CONS:

Not so durable

Not so warm

Therm-a Rest NeoAir XLite – best sleeping mat for camping and the best sleeping pads for backpacking

This Therm-a Rest NeoAir XLite provides an ultralight inflatable air mattress ideal for backpacking and mountaineering activities. It features a reflective ThermaCapture technology that immediately traps radiant heat while its Triangluar Core Matrix feature provides stability and minimizes heat loss even in cold temperatures.

best backpacking pad

The construction of this sleeping mat gives the 2.5 inch thick pad superior stability for maximum camp comfort. Plus, you won’t have trouble packing this compact sleeping pad because it is ultra-packable. It can down the size of a water bottle which is very compact. It has a weight of 16 ounces and has an R Value of 4.2. 

When it comes it inflating and deflating this ultralight sleeping mat, it has a dependable valve that maximizes air flow so it would be three times easier to inflate and deflate it. That makes it the best air mattress for backpacking and most comfortable backpacking sleeping pad.

This NeoAir XLite offers multiple sizes that you can choose including a spacious regular wide, which allows you to pick a length that best fits for your adventure needs. It also comes with a pump sack, stuff sack, and a repair kit. 

PROS

Lightweight

Warm for Its Weight

Packs Small

Comfortable

CONS

Expensive

Unstable Edges

NEMO Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad – best hiking sleeping pad

If you are looking for the best sleeping pads for hiking, The Tensor ultralight sleeping pad is dubbed as the ultimate backcountry adventurer’s best friend because of its quieter, more supportive sleep at a tiny packed size feature and it is a lightweight backpacking sleeping pad and the best sleeping bag pad. 

best camping sleep pad

Its ultralight comfort provides 3 inches of stable, cushioned loft to give you a better sleep. Spaceframe baffles offer support and weight distribution while premium 20D fabrics create a soft, luxurious feel at minimal packed weight and size so you won’t even feel that you are carrying it. And because this film is suspended within Spaceframe baffles, this pad is even more quieter than any other models so you won’t create any loud and crinkly noise even when you are shifting at night. 

It has 2 layers of suspended Thermal Mirror metalized film to give you that lightweight and efficient insulation even in harsh weather conditions, plus it has an R Value of 3.5. Its lay low zero-profile valve gives customized control over your inflation. And once it is inflated, just carefully tap the deflate valve to adjust the firmness of the pad. It’s very lightweight and packable and can down the size of a water bottle and has a minimum weight of under 1 pound. Plus, the packaging is made from recycled materials and is 100% recyclable. 

PROS

Super packable

Competitively priced

CONS

The pads are fairly narrow

Therm-a Rest Prolite Ultralight Self Inflating Backpacking Pad – best budget sleeping pad

This self inflating backpacking pad from Therm-a Rest is one of the lightest, most compact, self-inflating in the Therm-a Rest Fast and Light line. It is specifically engineered for reducing the weight and bulk which makes it perfectly suitable for alpine climbing, adventure racing, and even long distance backpacking. 

best camping sleeping pad

You can choose from four sizes of this backpacking pad. The dimensions are 20 x 36 x 1 inches for extra small; 42 x 20 x 1 inches for small measures; 72 x 20 x 1 inches for regular measures; and 77 x 25 x 1 inches for large measures. Its material is made from polyester and weighs 1.43 pounds only. 

It has a diagonal-cut foam to reduce heat loss and provide efficient insulation. It also offers more warmth than the typical vertical-cut foam thus making it easy for packing. It has an R value of 2.4, so it’s ideal for sleeping outside in summer. The pad self-inflates so you don’t have to give your extra energy inflating and pumping the pads. You can also easily adjust the pad for firmer support. 

PROS

Self-inflating

Smooth and stable sleep surface

Durable 

CONS

Not warm enough for winter use

Klymit Static V Luxe Sleeping Pad – best sleeping pad for backpacking

If your top priority for a sleeping pad is for you to have an extra space to stretch and roll, this Klymit Static V is the one for you. The design of this sleeping pad is large enough to accommodate those who have broad shoulders, plus you can roll, toss, and turn while sleeping on this pad. 

best hiking sleeping pad

This V shaped sleeping pad gives support and comfort for your body regardless if you sleep on your side, stomach, or back and can be a lifesaver on your joints! Its dimensions are: 30 inches wide, 76 inches long, and 3 inches thick which gives you a luxurious amount of sleep and comfort and it only weighs 1.95 pounds. Its very light enough for backpacker and has an R value of 1.3. 

The price of this sleeping pad is cheap, but don’t be fooled by its price because it is one of the cheapest yet high-quality sleeping pads that you can find in the market today. And if you buy this pad, it comes with a storage bag that has a small pocket with a repair kit. 

PROS
Exceptionally compact

Lightweight

Easy to Fold

Comfortable 

CONS

Low R value

Not ideal for high altitude

Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe Self Inflating Sleeping Mat – self inflating sleeping pad

This self-inflating sleeping mat by Sea to Summit is so soft and comfortable that it would make you feel like you have never left your comfortable bed at home. Because of its Delta Core Technology feature, it maximizes its comfort and thickness without adding the weight and bulkiness of the polyurethane foam. 

best hiking sleeping pads

This sleeping mat is made of 30D polyester with an anti-slip print. And once you open the inflation valve, you can already hear the long and gentle breathe of air rushing into the pad. The 4 inches of foam thickness of this sleeping mat will surely keep your body warm. Plus, it has an R value of 5.5 which make its ideal for camping even in harsh and cold weather conditions. 

This pad is very versatile, you can choose from its three sizes: regular wide, large wide, and double. But you also have to consider the size of your tent before picking the size for you. If you don’t want to sacrifice comfort in sleeping, this is definitely a good product. But you will have to work a bit when packing it back to its storage. 

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

PROS

Self-inflates quickly

Luxuriously comfortable

CONS
Difficult to pack

Outdoor Vitals Ultralight Sleeping Pad Inflatable – sleeping mats for camping

Design, Components, and Manufacturing – these are the 3 big words that Outdoor Vitals Ultralight has extremely worked hard to give an end result of a premium ultralight sleeping pad ( camp sleeping mat ) that will cut down the weight of your pack without hurting your bank account. 

best inflatable sleeping pad

This inflatable sleeping pad is very light and is more backpacker friendly. It is made of 20D polyester and uses high end fabrics to lighten the load but at the same time keeps the comfort. It has also an ultra-light thick pad of 3.5 to 4.5 inches to keep you more comfortable and keeps your hips off the ground. 

If you buy this sleeping pad, it comes with quick inflate pump sacks that also serves its carrying case for your convenience. It has an R value of 4.0 to keep you warm and comfortable even when the temperature drops which makes it ideal for camping and hiking. And it weighs 1.85 pounds which makes it lightweight. 


>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

PROS
Quick to inflate and deflate 

Great for Side Sleepers

Easy to compress and pack in your backpack

Affordable 

CONS

Pads don’t stay snapped together

Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core Sleeping Pad-Rust-Wide  insulated sleeping pad

If you are a seasoned camper and you have tried lots of sleeping mats that give you sleepless nights in the backcountry, you should try Big Agnes Insulated Q Core Sleeping Pad. It has a thickness of 3.5 inches which you will never feel that you are sleeping on the ground, plus not to mention its 5.0 R value which will also make you feel warmer even when the temperature drops.

best insulated sleeping pad

It has a quilted pattern of alternating vertical and horizontal baffles that provides even weight distribution and prevents rolling off the mat in the middle of the night. Its insulation type is synthetic will also provides added warmth and support and has anti-microbial properties that help keep odors at bay and enhance thermal regulation. 

This inflatable sleeping pad comes in 3 different sizes: 78x 25 x 4 inches for long wide; 72 x 20 x 4 inches for regular; and 72 x 25 x 4 for regular wide. If you buy this sleeping pad, it includes a repair kit and stuff sack for your convenience. 

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

PROS

Warm

Comfortable

Raised side beams prevent roll-off

CONS

Heavier for an air pad

Requires more air to inflate due to its thickness

Therm-a Rest LuxuryMap Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mattress – most comfortable camping pad and the best women’s sleeping pad

If you are looking for the most comfortable sleeping pad, this is the one. Sleep warmer and sleep smarter – these are the two things that Therm-a Rest will give you. And to achieve that, it stars with their comfortable foam camping mattress.  It is the best camping mat I’ve owned and the best self inflating sleeping pad (and easiest).

best sleeping pad for side sleepers

This self-inflating camping mattress is made of plus materials that are soft and stretch knot surface that feels great to your skin, plus it has an R value of 6.8 which makes it even more comfortable and suitable for high altitude. It has a thickness of 3 inches which makes it comfortable for you to sleep and you won’t even feel that you are sleeping on the ground.

You won’t have a problem inflating and deflating this camping mattress because it has a TwinLock Valve. It means that it utilizes two one-way valves, one for inflating and the other for deflating. It is the best sleeping pad for side sleepers.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

PROS

Comfortable sleeping mats for adults

Warm

Easy to Use

CONS

Softer foam which means not as protective to underneath objects

Bulky to pack 

Conclusion: Best Sleeping pad for side sleepers

I know the pain of sleeping through the night and waking up with a sore shoulder and hip, that’s why I put together this list of the best sleeping pad for side sleepers. I used the Therm-a Rest LuxuryMap on my trip from Cairo to Cape Town for six months so I can assure you it is definitely comfortable.

Over to you. Are you using a sleeping pad for camping or hiking or a trip through Africa? Let me know in the comments.

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best sleeping pad for side sleepers

American Southwest Obsessed

Nicole is a travel expert who has been traveling to the American Southwest since 1992. There is so much to see and do in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and California. I spend part of the year in Phoenix and travel around the area visiting all the best places and going on the best hikes. Check out my detailed destination guides, the best hiking in each state guides, and the travel gear you need for your next trip.

One thought on “Best Sleeping Pad for Side Sleeper: Ultimate Guide 2021

  1. What a great post. Thanks for letting me know what makes each pad great for side sleeping and any tricks for side sleeping. Very informative

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