How to Fix Hip Pain While Sleeping on Your Side

Last Updated on June 17, 2024

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

Your hip contains the second‐largest joint in your body, so when it's inflamed and in pain, it's a big deal!

If you have hip pain while sleeping on your side, there are steps you can take to reduce your discomfort.

Keep reading as we explore what may be causing your pain and what to do about it. We'll also share our sleep experts' suggestions for the best mattress you can buy to support your hips.

Woman lying on side on GhostBed mattress

Why Do My Hips Hurt When I Sleep on My Side?

If your hips hurt when you lie on your side, you may have a health condition that's causing discomfort.

According to the Mayo Clinic, some common causes of hip pain include...

Bursitis ‐ Inflammation of the fluid‐filled sacs surrounding your hip bones

Osteoarthritis ‐ A condition in which the cartilage supporting your bones deteriorates

Pinched nerves ‐ Tissues surrounding a nerve can become compressed, leading to pain

If you suspect you may have bursitis, osteoarthritis or another condition, it's time to get in touch with your doctor.

That said, you don't have to have a pre‐existing condition to feel hip pain when sleeping on your side.

The reality is side sleeping puts concentrated pressure on your hips, which can lead to pain even if your hips are healthy.

Sleep with a pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned.

How Do I Stop My Hips From Hurting at Night?

If you're waking up sore after side‐sleeping, you have a couple of options. One is to try sleeping on your back instead.

It can be challenging for some people to switch to a new position. But if you want to give it a try, we have a guide on how to train yourself to sleep on your back.

If you do switch to back‐sleeping, you'll still want to support your hips. You can do this by placing a supportive pillow beneath your knees.

If you'd like to continue sleeping on your side, place a supportive pillow between your knees.

This will keep your hips and knees aligned and reduce the tension on your hips, leading to less pain!

Choosing the Right Pillow

If you plan to use pillows to support your hips while you sleep, it's important to choose the right types.

Our resident sleep expert, Greg, recommends choosing a pillow with some height to use between your knees.

Sleep Experts Weigh In
I find most customers who sleep on their sides prefer a dense pillow over a soft pillow. A more substantial pillow helps side‐sleepers keep their bodies in alignment, especially when sleeping on a softer mattress.
- Greg, Sleep Expert

“High‐profile” pillows like the GhostBed ‐ Shredded or GhostBed ‐ Memory Foam help your hips stay in alignment, providing the most support.

Greg especially recommends the shredded pillow for use between your knees since you can adjust the pillow's filling to the height you need for your body.

According to Greg, these pillows also pair best with softer mattresses, which are key to comfortable side sleeping for most people. (More on that soon.)

Short‐Term Solutions for Hip Pain

Even if you switch up your sleep position, you may have some lingering hip pain. Your doctor will be able to tell you the best solution for your body. They may recommend...

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises, as directed by a physical therapist
  • Anti‐inflammatory medication like ibuprofen, or inflammation‐fighting foods like turmeric and fish oil
  • Hot and cold therapy, like alternating between ice packs and heating pads on your hip
  • Massage therapy targeted to reduce hip pain.

While these things may provide some temporary relief from hip pain, ultimately a long‐term solution will be necessary. For many people, that means a new mattress.

The Best Mattress for Hip Pain

There are several factors (like your health conditions and weight) that will influence the type of mattress that works best for you. But most side sleepers find success with a softer mattress.

Softer mattresses are excellent for cushioning your body at pressure points, rather than pressing against them and causing pain.

At GhostBed, we've designed our Luxe and 3D Matrix® mattresses to be soft and supportive for folks who sleep on their sides.

Many customers report that they wake up pain‐free within days of sleeping on their new GhostBed.

Our sleep experts recommend pairing softer mattresses with a more substantial pillow to get the support you need. So opt for the shredded or memory foam GhostPillow to go with your new mattress.

If you're ready for a new bed that supports your hips (and the rest of your body!) we can help you find the right one. Connect with one of our sleep experts to get started.

Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More

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