When you spend the night outdoors, you need a place to sleep.
Sleeping pads do this job very well as they keep you dry and warm during the night while being compact enough for backpacking. It’s not easy to choose a good sleeping pad from countless models on the market and there are many things to take into account, including the sleeping position.
The good news is this task has got much easier because we’re here to give you a comprehensive guide on choosing the best sleeping pads for side sleepers.
Here are the best sleeping pads for side sleepers (May 2021 Update):
- Best Overall (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): Clostnature Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
- Best For Backpacking (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pads
- Best For Wet Weather (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): Sable Camping Sleeping Pad
- Best For Hunting (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): VENTURE 4TH Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
- Best For Trekking (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): Ryno Tuff Sleeping Pad Set
- Best For Camping (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): KingCamp Deluxe Series Thick Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad
- Best Overall (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): AirExpect Camping Sleeping Pad
- Best For Big Guys (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
- Best For Hiking (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): Klymit Insulated Static V Lite Sleeping Pad
- Best For Kayaking (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): Paria Outdoor Products Recharge Sleeping Pad
- Quick To Inflate (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): AlphaBeing Camping Sleeping Pad
- Best For Broad Shoulder (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): Big Agnes Q Core SLX Ultralight Sleeping Pad
|12 Best Sleeping Pads For Side Sleepers|
|Clostnature Self Inflating Sleeping Pad|
Best For Backpacking
|YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pads|
Best For Wet Weather
|Sable Camping Sleeping Pad|
Best For Hunting
|VENTURE 4TH Self Inflating Sleeping Pad|
Best For Trekking
|Ryno Tuff Sleeping Pad Set|
Best For Camping
|KingCamp Deluxe Series Thick Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad|
|AirExpect Camping Sleeping Pad|
Best For Big Guys
|Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad|
Best For Hiking
|Klymit Insulated Static V Lite Sleeping Pad|
Best For Kayaking
|Paria Outdoor Products Recharge Sleeping Pad|
Quick To Inflate
|AlphaBeing Camping Sleeping Pad|
Best For Broad Shoulder
|Big Agnes Q Core SLX Ultralight Sleeping Pad|
Best Overall (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): Clostnature Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
- Ideal for camping and thru-hiking - Lightweight, compact packed size, and fast deflation time
- Not make you feel the ground or coldness during winter – 1.5” thick memory foam padding & 4 R-value
- Skin-friendly, durable, and no chemical smell - eco-friendly 210T polyester taffeta
- The pillow requires blowing air into
This self-inflating sleeping bag keeps the weight low and the packed size small, in addition to fast deflation time that is why it’s perfect for camping and thru-hiking.
Small on pack space but big on comfort, it is made of 1.5” thick memory foam padding that you hardly feel on the ground at all. This padding also gives you a 4 R-value for toasty warmth during winter use.
The cover, on the other hand, is well-built (from eco-friendly, durable 210T polyester taffeta) for no tears, chemical smell, or causing allergies.
We like the one-way valve which is easy to inflate and just push the button to deflate.
|Clostnature Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Specifications|
210T polyester taffeta
10 to 15 minutes
Lightweight, compact packed size, and fast deflation time
1.5” thick memory foam padding & 4 R-value
eco-friendly 210T polyester taffeta
If you’re after the best overall self-inflating sleeping pad for side sleepers, the Clostnature is our top choice.
Best For Backpacking (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pads
- Easy to inflate/deflate
- Compact and lightweight – the weight of 2.7 pounds
- Durable & weather-resistant - waterproof PVC and 80D polyester pongee materials
- Not for heavy people
- The storage bag could be higher-quality
This sleeping pad is easy to inflate/deflate, lightweight, and compact once packed to not cramp up the interior of your backpack.
Although lightweight, it’s quite durable thanks to the waterproof PVC and 80D polyester pongee materials.
It also comes with an elastic band to hold the folded, a carrying bag, two repair patches, and a mat.
Once filled, it stays filled overnight to keep you off the ground. A notable thing is that while standard air mattresses get cold under you at night, this model stays at a neutral temperature for comfort.
|YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pads Specifications|
80D polyester pongee
14.90 inches x 7.00 inches x 5.10 inches
75'' x 27'' x 4.8''
the weight of 2.7 pounds
waterproof PVC and 80D polyester pongee materials
While giving you incredible comfort and support, the YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pad packs small and is lightweight, making it the best pick for backpacking.
Best For Wet Weather (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): Sable Camping Sleeping Pad
- Handle most conditions - waterproof rip-stop nylon fabric & high-grade TPU
- Extra warmth - 5 R-value
- Ideal for all sleeping styles - built-in pillow
- Make some slight noise when laying on it
- A bit heavy
We had no issues with the chill of getting wet from heavy thunderstorms with this self-inflating sleeping pad.
It is constructed of waterproof ripstop nylon fabric to hold up well against harsh conditions and 5.5” inflation height to keep you off the ground. Such an ideal height also gives you a 5 R-value for extra warmth.
The built-in pillow is comfortable enough for all sleeping styles and the integrated pump makes inflation like a breeze.
|Sable Camping Sleeping Pad Specifications|
11.42 x 4.96 x 4.92 inches
76.5 x 28.7 x 5.5in
< 1 minute
waterproof rip-stop nylon fabric & high-grade TPU
Offering 5 R-value and 5.5” inflation height, the Sable Camping Sleeping Pad ensures your warmth and comfort in wet conditions.
Best For Hunting (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): VENTURE 4TH Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
- Sustainable, multiuse, and warm - durable 75D polyester material and premium quality open-cell foam
- Lightweight and compact for carrying – packed dimensions of 11” x 7”
- Make no sound while you’re sleeping on it
- Wish it was a bit longer and wider
You’ll hardly find anything as good yet affordable as this sleeping pad for hunting.
Aside from its lightness and compactness, the pad is suitable for both warm and cold weather conditions, all thanks to its durable 75D polyester material and premium quality open-cell foam.
The biggest selling point is it doesn’t cause noise as other inflatable sleeping pads. As easy as when you inflate it, the deflation takes you only around 4 minutes and it’s also easy to be packed and stored away.
|VENTURE 4TH Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Specifications|
11 inches high x 7 inches
72 inches x 22 inches
3 or 4 minutes
durable 75D polyester material and premium quality open-cell foam
packed dimensions of 11” x 7”
If your main purpose is for hunting, then the VENTURE 4TH Self Inflating Sleeping Pad is a good-to-go.
Best For Trekking (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): Ryno Tuff Sleeping Pad Set
- Perfect for three-season use – 4 R-value & 2” thick
- Resist scratches, wears, and tears - 75D polyester cover
- Very comfortable – the inflated dimensions of 75” x 24”
- Small deflated size & easy to roll - 17 inches x 7 inches when packed
- The pillow is slippery
- The foam inside is a bit lumpy to begin with
As advertised, this 2” thick sleeping pad doesn’t make you feel the cold ground while sleeping on it. The strong 75D polyester cover, meanwhile, resists scratches, wears and tears efficiently no matter the conditions.
Its inflated dimensions are 75” x 24”, which is also one of the largest sleeping pads on the market.
We’re glad that it comes with a carrying bag and a repair kit for an urgent fix while you’re outdoors. Overall, for the price, it’s best for trekking!
|Ryno Tuff Sleeping Pad Set Specifications|
under 4 lbs.
210T ripstop polyester.
17 inches x 7 inches
75 inches long by 24 inches
About 5 minutes or less
4 R-value & 2” thick
75D polyester cover
the inflated dimensions of 75” x 24”
17 inches x 7 inches when packed
Made of sturdy material while being warm and wide enough for sleeping comfortably at night, the Ryno Tuff Sleeping Pad Set is perfect for trekking.
Best For Camping (Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads): KingCamp Deluxe Series Thick Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad
- Give you a restful night’s sleep - 3.93 inches thick & adjustable firmness
- Quick and effortless to inflate/deflate – two non-corrosive brass valves
- Prevent leakage & damp-proof - 150D Oxford PVC coating bottom
- Simple storage - an ultra-large carrying bag
- A bit heavy
Not just a stylish sleeping pad, the KingCamp Deluxe Series is also comfortable to promote a restful night’s sleep.
After fully inflated, you can conveniently adjust its firmness to your preference. And, it’s very quick as well as effortless or inflate/deflate due to the durable non-corrosive brass valves.
For outdoor use, like camping, its durable 150D Oxford PVC coating bottom comes in handy for efficient leakage prevention.
If you’re afraid of how easy it is to roll, then don’t! While featuring a compressible design, it also comes with an ultra-large carrying bag.
|KingCamp Deluxe Series Thick Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad Specifications|
4.1 kg/9 Ibs.
Polyester 150D Oxford
29.9 × 9.44 × 9.44 inches
77.95 × 29.9 × 3.93 inches.
3.93 inches thick & adjustable firmness
two non-corrosive brass valves
150D Oxford PVC coating bottom
an ultra-large carrying bag
The KingCamp Deluxe Series Thick Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad is a nice try for those people who want to add extra comforts to their camping sleeping bag.
Best Overall (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): AirExpect Camping Sleeping Pad
- No slippage
- Lightweight & easy to store away – the weight of nearly 1.5 pounds & a carrying bag with a drawstring
- Heavy-duty, waterproof, & anti-leak - waterproof TPU Layer & advanced Camping- Grade heavy-duty nylon
- The Built-in Pump could be better
While offering a nice thickness of 2.5 inches, we do appreciate that this sleeping pad isn’t slippery.
The unit keeps you off the hard ground while you’re laying out on it and spreading out your weight. Meanwhile, when you kneel or sit on this sleeping pad, it provides your knees or butts with comfort.
It is also lightweight, quick to inflate, and easy to deflate. An additional compact carrying bag with a drawstring comes in handy for easy transport. No bulk, which is a big bonus!
|AirExpect Camping Sleeping Pad Specifications|
heavy duty nylon
9.05 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches
24” wide x 78” long x 2-1/2 “ thick
< 2 minutes
the weight of nearly 1.5 pounds & a carrying bag with a drawstring
waterproof TPU Layer & advanced Camping- Grade heavy-duty nylon
2.5" thick after inflation
innovative Hexagon Air Cell Design
The weight capacity of 660lb
The AirExpect Camping Sleeping Pad has it all: competitive price point, quality, comfort, durability, and compactness. It’s undoubtedly the best overall in our list!
Best For Big Guys (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
- Offer extra comfort – ultra-large inflated dimensions of 75” x 23”
- Stronger & more durable - super-strong, waterproof, and camping-grande rip-stop nylon fabric
- Reliable – backed by a hassle-free lifetime warranty
- Slightly slippery
- Not ideal for winter use - It’s not insulated
This option is one of the largest manual inflating sleeping pads here, measured by 75” x 23”, and it offers a weight capacity of 350 pounds.
The 2” thickness and ergonomic structure plus its super-strong, waterproof, and camping-grande rip-stop nylon fabric makes it strong and supportive enough for big guys up to 6’1” tall.
But you’ll be amazed at its lightness after being packed, only 14.5 ounces and it’s very packable.
Besides, your purchase is backed by a hassle-free lifetime warranty.
|Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad Specifications|
20D Ripstop tear resistant nylon
8” x 3.5”
75 X 23 inches
ultra-large inflated dimensions of 75” x 23”
super-strong, waterproof, and camping-grande rip-stop nylon fabric
backed by a hassle-free lifetime warranty
For what you get – a heavy-duty, ultra-large, and greatly supportive manual sleeping pad that can handle a max loading weight of 350 pounds – we think the Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad is a good option for big guys.
Best For Hiking (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): Klymit Insulated Static V Lite Sleeping Pad
- Quick to set up – the inset FLIP valve style inflation port
- 22% lighter than original Insulated Static V - synthetic fabric & compact design
- Ideal for four seasons - R-Value of 4. 4 & v-chamber design
- Make little squeaking sounds
After strenuous hiking with your pack, nothing is better than a quick-setup and comfortable sleeping pad to layout off.
And the Klymit Insulated Static V Lite Sleeping Pad is what you need. Its special valve system helps you minimize air loss while inflating the pad so the total number of breaths needed for blowing this up is around 10-15.
These valves also keep it in shape efficiently throughout the night.
A big selling point is its lightness, only 19.6 ounces, and the packed dimensions are 8” x 5”, which is great for packing.
|Klymit Insulated Static V Lite Sleeping Pad Specifications|
19. 6 Ounces
5" x 8"
72" x 23" x 2. 5"
10-15 breaths, 1 minute
the inset FLIP valve style inflation port
synthetic fabric & compact design
R-Value of 4. 4 & v-chamber design
For hiking, you can’t beat the Klymit Insulated Static V Lite Sleeping Pad
Best For Kayaking (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): Paria Outdoor Products Recharge Sleeping Pad
- Easy to inflate – feature a pump bag
- Warm and comfy - high-loft synthetic micro-fiber insulation
- Practical – include a repair kit
- A bit slippery
While being lightweight and allowing for side sleeping, the Paria stands out from the competition for its small size package for a double sleeping mattress. It also features a pump bag which makes inflation a lot easier.
The materials give a strong, durable, and reliable hand-feel while it doesn’t cause noise at all.
Combined with the high-loft synthetic micro-fiber insulation for R-value of 4.3, it keeps you warm and cozy through the night.
For outdoor use, like kayaking, its repair kit becomes a very practical addition.
|Paria Outdoor Products Recharge Sleeping Pad Specifications|
40D diamond ripstop nylon and TPU
5.5 x 3.5 inches
48 x 22 inches
feature a pump bag
high-loft synthetic micro-fiber insulation
include a repair kit
With sustainable structure, compact packed size, and lightness, we prefer the Paria Outdoor Products Recharge Sleeping Pad for every kayaking trip.
Quick To Inflate (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): AlphaBeing Camping Sleeping Pad
- Super-fast to inflate/deflate – unique patent-pending design with wider air passages
- Make no noise, no slippage, and good insulation - 40D Rip-stop Nylon with eco-friendly TPU coating
- Not deflate while you’re sleeping on it - The anti-deflation technology
- Wish it was a bit comfier
Making this manual inflating sleeping pad outstanding is its 1-minute inflation time and 1 for deflation, thanks to its unique patent-pending design with wider air passages.
While most sleeping pads made of insulated materials usually make noise, this isn’t the thing, which impressed us the most. Due to the manufacturer, it offers an R-value of 2.1 and the 40D Rip-stop Nylon is completely quiet while you’re lying on it.
Besides, the fabric is coated with eco-friendly TPU for increased durability and tear resistance but less slippage compared to 20D nylon.
The anti-deflation technology is another plus, which gives you more restful sleep at night.
|AlphaBeing Camping Sleeping Pad Specifications|
Environmentally friendly TPU coated 40D Rip-stop Nylon
4” x 6”
78” x 23” x 2.5”
unique patent pending design with wider air passages
40D Rip-stop Nylon with eco-friendly TPU coating
The anti-deflation technology
If quick inflation is your biggest concern when seeking a sleeping pad, then the AlphaBeing Camping Sleeping Pad is worth trying.
Best For Broad Shoulder (Manual Inflating Sleeping Pads): Big Agnes Q Core SLX Ultralight Sleeping Pad
- Save your broad shoulders from coldness - measured by 20 x 78 inches
- 20% better durability and tear resistance - superlight nylon rip-stop fabric with aviation-grade TPU lamination
- Super-warm - advanced heat reflective technology & high-loft synthetic insulation
- No instructions
Need something ultra-wide with great support to handle your broad shoulders and fat ass but don’t prefer to spend $200+? Don’t worry, we have this option for you – the Big Agnes Q Core SLX Ultralight Sleeping Pad.
It’s measured by 20 x 78 inches, which is wide enough in the shoulders to protect them from the cold.
The superlight nylon rip-stop fabric with aviation grade TPU lamination is a nice plus as it improves the pad’s durability and tears resistance up to 25%. Regardless, it is very lightweight.
We also love its advanced heat reflective technology combined with high-loft synthetic insulation for a warmth rating of 32 – enough for winter nights outdoors.
|Big Agnes Q Core SLX Ultralight Sleeping Pad Specifications|
aviation-grade TPU lamination
nylon rip-stop fabric
4 x 8 in.
20 x 78 inches
measured by 20 x 78 inches
superlight nylon rip-stop fabric with aviation-grade TPU lamination
advanced heat reflective technology & high-loft synthetic insulation
With the 20 x 78 inches once inflated, we feel confident introducing to you the Big Agnes Q Core SLX Ultralight Sleeping Pad. With it, your broad shoulders won’t be cold at night.
How To Choose The best sleeping pad for side sleepers?
There are three main types of sleeping bags with different functions and materials that you can choose based on your own preference.
Closed-cell foam pads
This is the basic type of sleeping bag, which doesn’t fully inflate or have a complex design for extra features. These sleeping bags consist of small closed air cells with not much insulation but adequate.
They are lightweight, durable, and cheap, but not compact. Besides, you may not be comfortable because they aren’t thick enough to keep you off the ground very well.
These pads rely entirely on air for inflation, which you can do with a pump or manually. They are thicker than foam pads, making them perfect for side sleepers. Air pads offer extreme comfort while being lightweight and much more compact than other types of sleeping bags.
The downside is they are not very durable, sometimes they can be slippery and take a while to inflate. They are also more expensive and noisy.
Out of the three types, this is the most convenient one. You just need to unfold them, open the valves, and they will inflate themselves.
They feature open-cell foam that uses air for automatic inflation. When using this type, you get several benefits like excellent insulation, durability, and adjustability for extra comfort.
For these reasons, self-inflating pads are also a great choice for side sleepers. However, they are bulky and take a while to deflate.
Thickness & Shape
Thickness is an important factor in a sleeping bag. Closed-cell foam pads mostly have the same thickness, but you can also find many levels of thickness on the market these days.
While the mummy shape is suitable for back sleepers, side sleepers will greatly benefit from the traditional rectangular shape.
Warmth & R-value
Warmth is extremely important during the night, especially when you sleep in the cold weather. That’s why a sleeping bag can’t just provide a place to sleep but also keep you warm.
When considering the warmth of a sleeping bag, you will encounter R-value, which stands for resistance. When you sleep on the ground, sleeping pads protect you from direct contact with the ground during the cold night.
There are many sleeping pads on the market designed to trap body heat and keep the body warm.
The higher the R-value, the colder the weather you’re protected from. For instance, if you’re sleeping outside in the winter, you will need an R-value of 5. On the other hand, if you stay outside in the summer, you need an R-value of 3 only.
Therefore, you need to consider the condition you will be sleeping in to choose the suitable warmth.
Last but not least, the weight of the sleeping pads affects your packing, especially if you go hiking or trekking.
Closed-cell foam is lightweight but bulky for packing. On the other hand, you can pay extra to get inflatable sleeping mats that are both lightweight and compact for packing.
These are, in fact, currently more popular than closed-foam pads. And if you want minimalist backpacking, you can always opt for an ultralight air pad.
Which Brands Make The best sleeping pad for side sleepers?
Founded in 2004, this brand specializes in outdoor equipment and accessories. Here, you will find sleeping pads of world-class quality.
This brand concentrates on creating memorable outdoor experiences for you. And it does that by offering high-quality and durable products, including sleeping pads.
Ryno focuses on making the toughest outdoor equipment so you can have a great experience outdoors. Its products are trusted to excel at withstanding weather conditions.
Paria was established by a backpacker and hiker who knows best what this type of user needs. It stands out from competitors by offering quality products at reasonable prices.
To encourage people to go out more, this brand is dedicated to making reliable camping gear. It ensures quality by testing its products thoroughly before offering them to consumers.
Is a sleeping pad necessary?
Yes, it is. You need a sleeping pad when you sleep outdoors, such as camping, hiking, or trekking. It provides comfort and keeps you warm throughout the night.
How thick should a sleeping pad be?
The thickness of a sleeping pad ranges from 2.5 inches to 4 inches, you should choose one based on your preference and the weather condition you will sleep in.
How do you insulate a sleeping pad?
A sleeping pad is made insulated to serve its purpose of keeping users warm. But you can increase the warmth by adding closed-cell foam on top of the sleeping pad.
Can a sleeping pad be too warm?
Generally, a sleeping pad cannot be too warm. To compare, the maximum R-value of a sleeping pad is 5 while that of the bed at your home is 25.
Does the sleeping pad go inside a sleeping bag?
It can be placed either inside the sleeping bag or under it if the bag is not big enough to contain the pad.
What is the R-value of a sleeping pad?
R, which stands for resistance, is the rating that shows how much resistance a sleeping pad provides against the cold ground.
How do I stop my sleeping pad from rolling off?
After inflating the pad, you need to lie on it, open the valve a bit to let a small amount of air out. This makes the pad conform to your body.
Is it warmer in a sleeping bag with fewer clothes on?
You can take off outer layers of your clothes for more comfort but should wear long underwear to increase the insulation between the skin and the air.
Is sleeping in a car warmer than a tent?
Though sleeping in a car may look warmer, it can actually be as cold as sleeping in a tent in the middle of the night.
How do you attach a sleeping pad to a sleeping bag?
You need to first roll the pad properly, make sure it’s completely flat before rolling.
Then, all you have to do is attach the rolled-up sleeping bag to your backpack.
Why are sleeping bags slippery?
Sleeping bags are slippery due to their materials, which could be shell fabric, rip-stop, polyester, or nylon.
We hope that through this post, you have figured out what to look for in the best sleeping pads for side sleepers. Not just your sleeping posture, but warmth is the most important factor for an outdoor sleeping bag, so don’t forget to think it through before buying anything.