5 Best Pillow for Side Sleepers

Although some people prefer to sleep on their backs or stomachs, side sleeping is more common and is often recommended for individuals with certain health conditions at some point in their lives. This sleep position ensures that your spine maintains neutral alignment, relieving pain caused by pressure in some joints and other parts of the body. Individuals that are suffering from sleep apnea and acid reflux will enjoy a respite, as breathing and circulation continually improve.

As you may already know, enjoying sound sleep is dependent on the elements of your bedding, and the level of support that it offers. Your mattress is just not enough, as the right pillow will ensure that your spine and neck are aligned correctly, filling up the space between the head and bed surface. Side sleepers can also place soft pillows between their legs to alleviate pressure points that develop in the knees.

Quick Look at Our Top 5 Picks

ImageProductFeatures

Most Popular

Coop Home Goods Adjustable Loft Pillow
  • Fully adjustable with an extra bag of fill included
  • Ideal for heavyweight sleepers
  • Machine-washable
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Budget Option

Sleep Restoration Gel Pillow
  • It provides a cooling effect
  • Responsive and conforming
  • Stain and fade resistant
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Best Luxury

Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow
  • Dual-action cooling
  • Responsive and conforming
  • Two loft options
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Best Down and Feather Option

Luxe Pillow
  • Highly durable materials
  • Conforming and supportive
  • It allows free airflow
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Best Memory Foam Option

Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow
  • Fully adjustable
  • Sleeps cool
  • It is pliable
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Pillows are made of various materials, including buckwheat, memory foam, and feathers, which are plush, conforming, and supportive. This article will analyze the properties, as well as important considerations for making the right pick as we take a look at the five (5) best pillows for side sleepers.

Most Popular: Coop Home Goods Adjustable Loft Pillow

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Coop Home Goods is a famous brand that is known for its adjustable bed pillows that are made from quality materials and free from harmful chemicals. The pillow features memory foam and microfiber that is covered in a blend of bamboo rayon and polyester fabric. The fill of this model can be increased or reduced, allowing you to control the level of support and comfort that you desire.

FeaturesAvailable Sizes
100-night trialQueen
Bamboo rayon and polyester fabric cover, with memory foam and microfiberKing

Side sleepers who want to experience restful sleep would find the Coop Home Goods medium-firm pillow very comfortable. The fabric used in its cover is breathable, allowing the free flow of air to ensure that foul smells do not develop as you wake up feeling refreshed. Bamboo is hypoallergenic and resistant to microbes ensure that you do not have to worry about allergies.

It is machine washable, to ensure that the pillow remains fresh and clean throughout the year. You can take the “Find My Pillow Quiz” on their website, which allows them to recommend the ideal design for you.

Pros:

  • Fully adjustable with an extra bag of fill included
  • Ideal for heavyweight sleepers
  • Machine-washable
  • Hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites
  • Breathable fabric

Cons:

  • Slight off-gassing
  • Might be too firm for lightweight sleepers

Budget Option: Sleep Restoration Gel Pillow

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Many people often struggle with night sweats and would want a model that produces a cooling effect to ensure that they maintain deep slumber throughout the night. The Sleep Restoration pillow is one of such models filled with polyester gels that are capable of wicking away moisture to improve cooling. Its cover is made of cotton fibers, which is breathable and promotes adequate airflow.

FeaturesAvailable Sizes
30-night trialStandard
Cotton fabric cover with polyester gelQueen & King

It is a plush pillow with a low loft, making it ideal for lightweight individuals who prefer sleeping on their sides. The Sleep Restoration pillow is quite responsive and conforming, with the capability of maintaining its shape after prolonged use. Individuals with sensitive skin would like the fact that it is hypoallergenic and free from harmful chemicals.

It is made with premium quality materials that are fade and stain resistant, allowing you to spot clean the pillow when necessary. Users are assured of maximum comfort regardless of their preferred sleeping position, as they can fall and stay asleep with ease.

Pros:

  • It provides a cooling effect
  • Responsive and conforming
  • Stain and fade resistant
  • Hypoallergenic and resistant to molds and mildew
  • Breathable cover fabric

Cons:

  • Slight off-gassing
  • Might be too soft for heavyweight sleepers

Best Luxury: Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow

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Brooklyn Bedding became famous for products that are designed with advanced cooling technology to facilitate temperature regulation while you sleep. The pillow has a stylish and luxurious design, with a soothing plushness that makes it satisfying while your head rests on it.

FeaturesAvailable Sizes
30-night trialQueen
Cotton and polyester fabric cover with memory foam and copper-graphiteKing

The pillow cover is made of a blend of cotton and polyester fabric, enclosing an open-cell memory foam core infused with copper-graphite. These components ensure that your body temperature is regulated as you sleep, offering a free flow of air and preventing heat retention. Although the pillow is quite firm, it is also pliable, ensuring that users stay comfortable regardless of their preferred sleeping position.

Side sleepers will enjoy the conforming nature of this pillow, which ensures that the spine maintains neutral alignment while your head rests on it. The firmness of the pillow is enough to support the head and neck, allowing you to enjoy deep sleep cycles. Users can choose between the Low and High profile options, depending on their body type and required loft.

Pros:

  • Dual-action cooling
  • Responsive and conforming
  • Two loft options
  • Hypoallergenic and resistant to molds and mildew
  • Removable cover

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Might be too firm for lightweight sleepers

Best Down and Feather Option: Luxe Pillow

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Luxe Pillow is known for its plushness and the fact that it can be molded in any form without losing its shape. It features carefully sourced waterfowl feathers and soft down that offers support and comfort for all users. These components are placed in separate chambers to ensure that the pillow maintains uniform firmness at all times.

FeaturesAvailable Sizes
100-night trialStandard
Cotton and polyester fabric cover with waterfowl feathers and soft down King

The feather and down core provides the level of support that is needed to keep your neck and spine in neutral alignment as you sleep on your side. It is warm and conforming, ensuring that users enjoy maximum comfort at all times. There is an inner cover that is made of polyester and an outer one made of cotton, which is breathable and promotes cooling.

Individuals who do not like the feather and down pillows can order the “down alternative” options from their official site. These models offer the same level of firmness and comfort as the feather and down pillows. The outer cotton cover is fully removable and machine-washable to maintain proper hygiene.

Pros:

  • Highly durable materials
  • Conforming and supportive
  • It allows free airflow
  • Removable and machine washable outer cover

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • May not be ideal for people with specific allergies

Best Memory Foam Option: Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

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The Easy Breather Pillow from Nest Bedding is one with a plush feel that offers superior comfort to all sleepers. It features high-quality materials that cradle your head while providing adequate support to keep your neck and spine correctly aligned. The loftiness of the pillow makes it an excellent fit for the side sleeping.

FeaturesAvailable Sizes
30-night trialStandard
Tencel-blended fabric cover with memory foam Queen & King

The Easy Breather is made of open-cell memory foam fill, encased in Tencel-blended fabric that is breathable and smooth on the skin. Although traditional memory foam tends to become hot at night, the construction of this pillow facilitates free airflow to promote cooling. It is also firm enough to provide the degree of support needed by users of different body weights.

The cover is fully removable and can be spot-cleaned to ensure that it remains clean and fresh. It is allergen-free and does not contain any harmful chemicals that may irritate sensitive skin. The loft of the pillow is adjustable, as users can quickly reduce the fill as desired.

Pros:

  • Fully adjustable
  • Sleeps cool
  • It is pliable
  • Free of allergens and harmful chemicals

Cons:

  • Not machine washable
  • Slight off-gassing

Keys Considerations When Choosing The Best Pillow For Side Sleepers

Material and Design: Pillows come in different designs, with either curved or even surfaces that offer support and comfort to users. They help to keep the head and neck elevated to prevent pain that may arise from the build-up of pressure in the shoulders. Models that are made of buckwheat husks are ideal for users who want a medium-firm pillow with a significantly high loft.

There are models made from the soft inner plumage (down) of waterfowls, shredded memory foam, and latex. Individuals with allergies that want the feel of the down pillows may go for the down alternatives. They are often made of polyester gel, which is supportive and does not trap heat.

Firmness: The loft of the pillow and its durability is a crucial consideration for side sleepers who need to alleviate pressure points in their neck and shoulders. Due to the large gap between the head and the surface of the mattress, side sleepers often require high-loft pillows to ensure that the neck is in neutral alignment with the spine.

Your shoulder width, head size, and weight would determine the right level of firmness and loft for you. Models with adjustable loft are excellent options for sleepers whose preferences may change over time. Users get to add or reduce the fill of these pillows until they get a perfect fit.

Temperature Regulation: Pillows made with polyester gel and copper-graphite tend to conduct heat away from the body of sleepers to produce a cooling effect. Other models feature breathable fabric covers that promote free airflow to facilitate temperature regulation as you sleep.

Foldability: Most pillows do not lose their shape after folding, which is common among side sleepers. Whether they are made from buckwheat, down, or shredded memory foam, users should be able to mold it in any form that they desire. Responsive models should quickly return to their standard shape regardless of the duration of use.

Size: You should consider the size of the pillow that you require before making a purchase. It is usually dependent on your bed size and body type.

Small – 16 x 9 inchesSuper Standard – 16 x 25 inchesKing – 16 x 32 inches
Standard – 16 x 24 inchesQueen – 16 x 27 inchesBody – 50 x 16 inches

Price: The price of these pillows depends on the type and quality of materials used. Models from popular brands tend to cost more than others but offer the same level of comfort and support. Pillow prices range between $25 to $100, with manufacturers providing sleep trial to allow you to pick the perfect fit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you pick a side sleeper pillow?

Side sleepers often need firm pillows with a high loft to fill the gap between the head and the surface of the mattress. The width of your shoulders and the size of your head are essential when choosing a suitable pillow to ensure that you do not end up with pain from using the wrong one. Models with an adjustable fill are also excellent, allowing you to increase or decrease its thickness to suit your preference.

Are Down pillows good for side sleepers?

Down pillows offer the right degree of firmness that is required to keep the neck in neutral alignment as you sleep on your side. They are often warm, comfy, and pliable, with a long lifespan that makes them cost-effective. Although they offer insulation, the covers are usually made of breathable fabric that allows free airflow.

How lofty should a pillow for side sleeping be?

The loft of a pillow for side sleepers that is about 4 to 5 inches high should be able to provide the right level of support to prevent neck sprain. It should be able to help maintain the natural curve of the spine without bending of the neck that could cause discomfort. Lightweight individuals with a shorter shoulder width may prefer pillows with a slightly lower loft.

Should shoulders be on pillows when sleeping?

While trying to maintain correct spinal alignment, we use pillows to prevent our necks from taking an uncomfortable position during sleep. Placing your shoulders on the pillow increases the distance between your head and the surface of the mattress. There is also a resulting increase in pressure points that would leave you with neck, back, and shoulder pain. 

Is it wrong to sleep with your arm under your pillow?

The arms placement is crucial during sleep to prevent straining your back. Wrong placement may lead to inadequate blood flow and numbness. Your arms should be positioned down by your side to prevent further discomfort from the misalignment of the neck and spine.

Final Thoughts

Most side sleepers often wonder if other models besides the memory foam pillows can provide maximum comfort and support during sleep. We have seen that various models come in designs that make them suitable for individual users. If you notice any strange pain after waking up from the bed, it might be time to get a new pillow.

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