Side sleeping is one of the most common sleeping positions. So, why is it that finding a good side sleeper pillow is so hard? If you are a side sleeper, you know how hard it is to find a good pillow. It seems like all pillows are created for back or stomach sleepers, with nothing left over for the side sleeper. But, never fear. This article will cover the best rated side sleeper pillows available.
We will also give you all the information you need to know to buy your next side sleeper pillow.
Interested? Great! Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about side sleeper pillows.
- Details About Side Sleeping
- Benefits of Owning a Pillow For Side Sleepers
- What Is The Characteristics of The Most Comfortable Pillows For Side- Sleeping
- Most Popular Pillow Brands
- Buyer’s Guide for choosing the right pillows for side sleeper
- Top Pillows for Side Sleeper
- 1. DreamNorth Premium Gel Pillow
- 2. Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Pillow
- 3. Coop Home Goods—Eden Pillow
- 4. WonderSleep Premium Adjustable Pillow
- 5. Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow
- 6. PureComfort Side Sleeping Pillow
- 7. EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow
- 10. Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow
- 11. JOLLYVOGUE 2 Pack Bed Pillows
- 13. Nature’s Guest Support Pillow
Details About Side Sleeping
As mentioned above, side sleeping is the most common sleeping position. One study even found that 74% of humans sleep on their side. There is also a lot of expert research to suggest that side sleeping is the healthiest sleeping option. pine sleeping helps to align your spine in a correct way. When you lay on your side your shoulders, spine, and pelvis are all aligned. This position alleviates undue pressure on your neck, lower back, and other areas.
Another benefit of side sleeping is that is can help people with sleep apnea. When you lay on your side, your airway stays open, which helps the free movement of air throughout your body. Side sleeping can also greatly help chronic loud snorers. And, doctors recommend that pregnant women sleep on their side.
Many, especially those who follow Eastern medicine traditions like Ayurveda, recommend sleeping primarily on your left side. They claim that sleeping on this side of the body will remove toxins from your lymph nodes, improve your circulation, and even allow your brain to filter out waster. While there are no medical studies to backup these claims, there are many people who swear by left side sleeping.
To fully receive the benefits of side sleeping, you have to have a good side sleeping pillow. And, that is what the rest of this article is about: How to find a great pillow for side sleeping and which products recommend.
Benefits of Owning a Pillow For Side Sleepers
If you are a side sleeper, you should have a pillow specifically designed for your sleeping style. There are a lot of benefits that you will receive when using a pillow for side sleeping. Most importantly, they remove the risk of neck, shoulder, and back strain.
If you do not use a pillow for side sleeps and sleep on your side, your head will likely be lower than it should be to keep proper alignment in your body. To not put stress on your neck on your side, your head should be in a higher position than it would be on your back. So, a pillow for side sleepers will lift your head up off of the bed. This position decreases stress on your neck and shoulder and helps keep your back in a neutral position. Thus, you can say goodbye to chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain just by using the correct pillow.
If the benefits are not enough to convince you, you should be aware that there are some negatives that can happen if you don’t use a specific pillow for side sleeping. These include neck strain and back soreness. Plus, your sleep may be disrupted by that uncomfortable tingling feeling in your arms and legs that many side sleepers get. A good night’s rest is essential for our health. And so, if you do not use a good pillow for side sleeping, your health could suffer some major consequences.
Here’s a quick video that illustrates how to properly sleep on your side.
What Is The Characteristics of The Most Comfortable Pillows For Side- Sleeping
Although the pillow for side sleeping that you ultimately choose is somewhat dependent on your own preferences, there are a few characteristics that are universal in the most comfortable pillows for side sleeping. These characteristics are as follows:
- The pillow for side sleeping fully supports and lifts your neck. To do this the pillow will be made of materials that contour your body. So, don’t expect to see down or feather pillows for side sleepers. Memory foam is especially common in the side sleeper pillow market.
- Pillows specifically designed for side sleeps are also typically on the firmer side. Firm pillows make sense because there is less opportunity for your head and neck to sink down as you sleep.
- Just make sure to get a pillow for side sleeping that has decent loft. The thinnest pillows do not work for side sleeping because they do not lift your head far enough off of the bed.
- Finally, often the most comfortable pillows for side sleepers are large than standard pillows. We discuss the many different size options for pillows in detail below. However, here it is important to remember that smaller sized pillows often do not offer the full body and neck support that you need when you are side sleeping. So, to receive the most health benefits from your pillow for side sleeping, make sure that it is wider than their shoulders.
Most Popular Pillow Brands
There are so many pillow brands out there that it can be hard to choose between them. How do you know which brands are the best? Luckily, we have answered that question for you. Below we’ve listed the top six pillow brands out there. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but we’re going to anyway: All of these brands make pillows for side sleepers.
Tempur-Pedic has to be mentioned on a list of the best pillow brands. The company was originally based on NASA research into cushioned aircraft seats and was officially formed in 1992. Tempur-Pedic is one of the most famous brands making memory foam products. Today, you can find Tempur-Pedic foam mattresses, pillows, travel goods, mattress toppers, slippers, cushions, and even dog beds. The brand also makes bed frames, but these are not made of foam.
Tempur-Pedic creates their pillows for every type of sleeper. You can find pillows with extra support, softness, cooling, and even back and stomach sleepers. Their extra support pillows are the ones we recommend for side sleepers. The largest con with Tempur-Pedic pillows is that they are quite expensive.
Coop Home Goods
If Tempur-Pedic pillows are too expensive for you, you may want to consider a pillow by Coop Home Goods. This brand only began in 2013, but they have already made a name for themselves. Their first pillow was a major success. And, now, the brand makes a variety of pillows, including the original and pillows for your body, toddler’s, travel and camping, and support. The brand also sells bed clothes.
No longer will side sleepers have to struggle finding a good pillow. Coop Home Goods has you covered. Their products are proven to reduce back and neck pain. Also, they are less expensive than Tempur-Pedic and other “premium” brand products. Just give them a try today, and you won’t regret it.
Xtreme Comforts is another newer pillow brand. They specialize in support pillows, which is a wonderful thing for side sleepers. Xtreme Comforts tries to provide the best quality products for the greatest range of sleep styles available. They also pride themselves on the level of comfort their pillows provide.
A quick look at Xtreme Comforts catalog and you will see why they are one of the most comprehensive pillow brands out there. They make pillows with a variety of materials: bamboo, microfiber, memory foam, and shredded memory foam, to name a few. All of the pillows that Xtreme Comforts offers could be safely used with side sleepers, which is unusual among pillow manufacturers, and is a big reason for you to check out this brand.
Sleep Better has a variety of pillow products that are made in the United States. The U.S. production of these products ensures that they are of the highest quality. Each of Sleep Better’s pillow lines differs in their materials, loft, and intended audience. You can find pillows that range from extra soft to firm, and from fluffy to thin.
For side sleepers, we recommend the Sleep Better Isotonic. This memory foam pillow is designed so that your head and neck remain in the correct alignment when you are on your side. The Isotonic pillow also helps to distribute your body weight optimally. However, if you don’t like the Sleep Better Isotonic, the brand produces a lot of other pillow options for side sleepers.
Snuggle-Pedic is a brand dedicated to their customer’s sleep and health. They were founded in 2001 and are a division of Relief-Mart, Inc. They have been rated as one of the fastest growing companies in Los Angeles, and this meteoric rise has to do primarily with their high-quality pillows.
All Snuggle-Pedic pillows are made in the United States. They are made of bamboo memory foam. In fact, Snuggle-Pedic is the only brand that we know of that combines those two materials. Snuggle-Pedic’s pillows can be used by sleepers of any style. However, the intense support given by their combination of bamboo and memory foam means that this brand makes a great pillow for side sleepers.
Buyer’s Guide for choosing the right pillows for side sleeper
Type of Size Dimensions Pros Cons Who For?
Small 20-inches x 12-inches Great for decorations and special conditions Too small to sleep comfortably People who need special pillow support.
Standard 20-inches x 26-inches Best for sleeping and most affordable Less squishy People who want a general, affordable pillow.
Super Standard 20-inches x 28-inches Second best for sleeping Fill can move to the ends People who want a larger standard pillow.
Queen 20-inches x 30-inches Great for sleepers who move Too large for some beds People who toss and turn while sleeping.
King 20-inches x 36-inches Great back support Too large for some beds People who want a multi-purpose pillow.
Euro Varying squares Can find exact size for your bed. Mostly for decoration, not recommended for sleeping People who want cute decorations and backrests.
Type of Size
Here is a list of the most important features to consider when purchasing a pillow for side sleepers. You should always decide what you want the size, shape, loft, material, moldability and cost to be before you purchase a pillow for side sleeping.
The first feature that you need to consider when purchasing a pillow for side sleeping is the size of the pillow. A look at the table above shows that there are a lot of potential sizes for you to choose from. However, don’t get overwhelmed. Some of the sizes on our table above are really not great for side sleepers: The Euro size and small especially. Side sleepers should choose a pillow size that is longer than both of their shoulders.
Side sleepers can comfortably use the standard, super standard, queen, and king sizes easily. However, you should know your desired size before you buy your pillow. Standard sized pillows are great for someone who just wants a generic, traditional product. This size is the most common pillow size out there, so it is very easy to find. Yet, the standard size pillow is not perfect for everyone. If you are a large person, you may need to consider a larger sized pillow—like the super standard, which is slightly longer.
If you want a more luxurious pillow or enjoy a pillow that supports more of your body, you may want to consider either a queen or king size. Both of these sizes were originally designed to work with queen and kind sized beds, but they can be used anywhere. Queen and king sized pillows are perfect for the side sleeper who tosses and turns at night and who may need a little extra support. Plus, these large pillows can be used during the day as sitting supports.
Type of Size
|Standard pillow shape in the U.S.||Offers little support.||Anyone.|
|Common in decorative pillows.||Hard to use for sleeping.||People who like to use multiple pillows.|
|Offers body support and is pain reliving.||Many sizes and you must choose the correct one to get relief.||People with specialized pain.|
|Good decorations or leg/neck support||Must be used with other pillow shapes.||Pregnant women and people who need neck/leg support.|
Pillow shape is another big factor in any pillow buying decision. Thankfully, there are not as many pillow shapes as there are sizes. The main pillow shapes are rectangular, square, wedge, and roll/bolster. The rectangular and wedge shaped pillow are the best options for side sleepers.
We do not recommend a square pillow or roll/bolster for side sleepers. These shapes are not lift or support your head enough when you lay on your side. In general, square pillows are used for decoration not sleeping. They can also be good back support when sitting. But, you should not use them when laying on your side. Roll/bolsters, too, are a great pillow tool, especially for pregnant women or people with medical conditions. But, typically these shapes of pillow are not designed for heads, necks, or side laying.
The traditional rectangular pillow is very safe for a side sleeper, assuming that you get one with enough support for your neck and back. These pillows are longer than they are wide, which means that they can support both of your shoulder and head as you sleep on your side.
Additionally, some of the more modern wedge shaped pillows are now designed to be used by side sleepers. There is a huge variety of sizes and shapes of wedge pillows, so finding one specifically made for side sleepers is essential. However, your search will be worth it, since wedge pillows offer the most neck and head support for side sleepers.
Type of Loft Thickness Ideal Weight Firmness Who for? Low Medium High
Less than 3-inches More than 230 lbs. Soft Stomach Sleepers
3-inches-5-inches 130-230 lbs. Medium Back and Side Sleepers
More than 5-inches Less than 130 lbs. Firm Side Sleepers
Type of Loft
Loft is a word that pillow manufacturers use to describe the thickness of the pillow. It is measured in inches. There are three main types of loft: low, medium, and high. Low loft pillows are the thinnest, while high loft pillows are the thickest.
What makes loft a little confusing is that each type of loft comes with its own firmness level as well. Although that might seem a little overwhelming, it is really not. Low loft pillows have the soft firmness level. This is because there is not a lot of material that goes into the pillow to make it firmer. Low loft pillows are recommended for heavier people—over 230 lbs.—or stomach sleepers.
In general, side sleepers will want to purchase a medium loft pillow. These products have a medium level of firmness as well, so they provide a good amount of support while also keeping your head at the right angle. If you like a very firm pillow, you may want to consider a high loft product. These pillows are very firm and high, but side sleepers can benefit from this extra height.
It is actually great to be a side sleeper when it comes to pillow loft, because two types of loft—medium and high—will work for this sleeping style. So, your pillow options are opened up. To learn more about pillow loft, watch this quick video.
Type of Material Pros Cons How used Who for? Buckwheat Down Down Synthetic Feather Latex Memory Foam Micro-bead
Natural fill alternative Very expensive 5-10 lbs. of buckwheat hulls per pillow. Side sleepers who want natural pillows.
Soft and luxurious Not supportive Duck or goose down used. People who want the softest pillows.
Affordable and comes in many lofts. Must be replaced often Polyester balls mimic natural down. People on a budget and non-side sleeper.
Soft, long-lived, and comes in many lofts. Expensive and may develop an odor. Duck or goose feathers used. Side sleeps and people who want customizable pillows.
Natural material and long-lived. Only one loft type and expensive. Solid latex from rubber trees used. People who are comfortable with latex’s one loft.
Conforms to your body. Can be heat retentive. Solid or shredded viscoelastic polyfoam used. Side sleepers and those needed extra support.
Confirms to your shape. Too firm for some people. Tiny, polystyrene beads used. People who need a travel or bolster pillow.
Type of Material
By far, the most options you will have when purchasing a pillow is the material it is made from. Material doesn’t refer to the outside of the pillow, but what is inside it. There are seven main types of materials, but you can also find a number of other synthetic materials. Many manufacturers have their own synthetic pillow materials as well. But, the ones we’ve listed above are the pillow materials that you will find the most often.
You can break down these seven pillow materials into the two categories, natural and synthetic. The natural pillow materials are made from things found in nature. These materials include buckwheat, down, feather, and latex. Buckwheat is a plant. Its hulls are used as stuffing for pillows, and they provide a very supportive surface for side sleepers.
Down is one of the most traditional pillow materials. It is taken from either ducks or geese and is actually a type of feather. The down feathers are the soft, delicate ones underneath the outer feathers on birds. Down pillows are extremely soft, but do not provide much support, and so are not recommended for side sleepers.
The next natural material usually used to make pillows is feathers. This is another very traditional type of material. Feather pillows also get their material from ducks and geese, but it is the out feathers of the birds that are taken. This is another very soft pillow material and it provides more support for the side sleeper. You can even choose between multiple lofts with feather pillows.
Finally, we have latex. It is a substance that comes from the sap of the rubber trees. In pillows it is used as a solid piece, which conforms to each individual’s shape. However, latex pillows are quite dense. So, if you want a soft pillow, latex may not be the material for you.
Synthetic pillow materials are newer and typically cost less than natural materials. Many synthetic materials are recommended for the side sleeper because they can be designed specifically with neck and head support in mind. The four synthetic materials most often found in pillows are down alternatives, memory foam, and micro-beads.
Down alternatives are the one synthetic material not recommended for side sleepers because they are made to be as soft as down pillows. Consequently, these pillows also often lose their shape and do not have much support.
On the other hand, memory foam is a great material for side sleeper pillows because it conforms to the shape of your head. Memory foam is also much softer than latex, so it will be more comfortable for some people. Memory foam pillows tend to be quite expensive. They also can attract odors if not cared for correctly.
The final pillow material is micro-beads. This material is typically used for travel or support pillows because it can be tough. But, the tiny beads of synthetic material that make up the micro-bead pillow do conform to your shape and provide a lot of support. These pillows are great options for people with existing medical conditions or those who are planning a long trip.
Material Cost Buckwheat Down Down Synthetic Feather Latex Memory Foam Micro-bead
The cost of your side sleeper pillow will be determined by a number of factors, but the biggest one is the material is it stuffed with. Some materials are quite expensive, and so their resulting pillows are on the higher end of the price spectrum. In general, the natural stuffing materials will raise the price of your pillow, while the synthetic materials will lower the cost.
By far the most expensive pillow materials are natural down and memory foam. Natural down pillows can cost up to $100 and memory foam pillows can run even higher, up to $200 or more. Down is a more labor intensive material to get, so the more of it in a pillow, the higher the cost. Memory foam pillow cost depends primarily on the manufacturer.
The cheapest pillow option is a micro-bead pillow. However, these should really only be used for travel. So, the best material to have your everyday pillow made out of is either synthetic down or feather. Buckwheat and latex come in in the middle of the price range.
Also know your budget before you purchase a side sleeping pillow. This will help direct you to a type of material and size, which will significantly narrow down your pillow choices. Plus, then you will know for sure that you are not falling in love with a pillow that you cannot afford.
One final feature to look out for in a pillow is its moldability. There are not any set levels of moldability like there are for size, loft, and material. Instead, moldability describes how much the pillow will retain its shape. If you are a side sleeper, you will want to pay attention to the moldability of a pillow.
Side sleepers tend to scrunch up the pillow underneath their head and arm. The most moldable pillows are the ones that will allow you to scrunch them up as you sleep. Non-moldable pillows will not lose their shape no matter how tightly they are scrunched up.
Material largely determines moldability. Shredded memory foam, feathers, down, and buckwheat are all very moldable pillow materials. On the other hand, solid memory foam and latex pillows are not very moldable and will not lose their shape as you scrunch them under you. No one level of moldability is better than another, it all has to do with your personal preference. So, the best thing to do is to get out there and begin trying out different types of pillows under you find one that suits your needs.
Top Pillows for Side Sleeper
1. DreamNorth Premium Gel Pillow
DreamNorth’s Premium Gel Pillow comes in a pack of two pillows, so you don’t have to worry about having enough for your bed. Both queen pillows are poly gel-filled. This pillow material works similarly to memory foam, it will conform to the shape of your body. Because the pillows conform so easily to your shape, side sleepers will not have a problem.
The one issue with the DreamNorth pillows is that the poly gel filling may be a little too firm for some people. The loft will be about a medium, which may not work for some side sleepers. However, for your money, side sleepers can’t beat these pillows.
- The poly gel filling may be too firm for some people.
2. Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Pillow
Snuggle-Pedic is one of our picks for the top pillow brands. Their Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow illustrates what makes this brand so great. You can purchase this pillow in standard, queen, and king sizes. Plus, Snuggle-Pedic has designed it to be cooling, even though memory foam is used. The shredded memory foam filling material is soft and will support side sleeper’s heads and necks.
Snuggle-Pedic’s pillow is a little more expensive than some of the other pillows on this list. However, it will work for any type of sleeper, has an adjustable loft, and never goes flat or needs “fluffing up.” Finally, Snuggle-Pedic makes all their pillows in the United States and use eco-friendly and non-toxic materials and processes to keep you and the Earth safe.
This review, goes into more detail about the pros and cons of the Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Pillow.
3. Coop Home Goods—Eden Pillow
Coop Home Goods is another of our top pillow brands for a reason. Their Eden Pillow is a newer product by the company, and it comes in standard, queen, and king sizes. The Eden pillow is another instance where you are paying for the high-quality materials and brand name and is quite expensive. Plus, the cover is not a natural material, like the Snuggle-Pedic pillow, but is 100% polyester.
Still, the Eden pillow is a wonderful choice for the side sleeper. It has an adjustable loft and memory foam filling material. This means that you can customize your pillow to fit your body and sleeping style. Finally, the design of the Eden pillow keeps it from being too malleable, so it will stay under your neck all night.
For another review of the Eden pillow, watch this video.
4. WonderSleep Premium Adjustable Pillow
Although WonderSleep uses shredded foam in the filling of their Premium Adjustable Pillow, you will still stay cool and comfortable all night. Their 60% polyester pillow cover is designed to keep you cool throughout the night. The shredded memory foam filling material also support side sleeper’s heads.
As a major bonus for this pillow, the loft is adjustable. So, you can customize the height and firmness for your own unique needs. Keep in mind that this two pack only comes in queen or king sizes. Plus, you will only receive a one year warranty with your purchase of these pillows.
This review examines the WonderSleep Premium Adjustable Pillow in more detail.
5. Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow
With Beckham Hotel Collection’s Gel Pillow, you get the feel of a luxurious hotel stay every time you go to bed. The poly gel fiber filling material of the pillow is firm enough for any type of sleeper. Beckham Luxury Linens, the company that makes the pillow, has even designed this product to not shift while you are sleeping.
And, the gel pillow by Beckham is dust mite, mildew, mold, stain, and fade resistant. You obviously get a lot for your money when you buy Beckham Hotel Collection’s Gel Pillow.
Here’s a great unboxing video of the Beckham Hotel Collection’s gel pillow.
6. PureComfort Side Sleeping Pillow
PureComfort’s Side Sleeping Pillow is the first product on this top twelve list that is specifically designed for side sleepers. In fact, PureComfort has even gone so far as to made ear cutouts so that side sleepers do not have to worry about pressure on their ears. Also, this memory foam filled pillow is 100% customizable and is CertiPUR certified.
If you are a CPAP user, you need to try out this pillow. But, it is also extremely comfortable for any side sleeper. There’s no risk to you because the Side Sleeping Pillow comes with a 100 satisfaction guarantee.
- Ear cutouts may put off some people.
This video examines the ear cutout feature of the PureComfort Side Sleeping Pillow.
7. EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow
EPABO’s Contour Memory Foam Pillow is another product designed ergonomically. However, this pillow is not just for side sleepers. It is made from memory foam and is designed to cradle back, stomach, and side sleepers. You will want to give this pillow a chance for a few days because it puts your body in the correct position, which may be uncomfortable at first.
But, once you have used the EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow for a while, you will be amazed at the difference it makes. You sleep, and posture will reap the benefits. And, if you’re not satisfied within 30 days, you can return the pillow for your money back.
Want to learn more about the EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow? Watch this short video.
8. UTTU Sandwich Pillow
UTTU’s Sandwich Pillow uses memory foam layers to make the filling of the product. These layers are all removeable, which makes the Sandwich Pillow have four different lofts. Adjusting the pillow if quite easy.
The contoured and ergonomic design of the UTTU Sandwich Pillow means that no matter your sleeping position, you will not have pressure in your neck. This is not just a side sleeper pillow, but it will work well for side sleepers.
- Not as soft as some other pillows.
Here’s another great video that delves into the UTTU Sandwich Pillow in more detail.
10. Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow
Utopia Bedding uses a Gusseted design in their quilted pillow. The 750 GSM fiber filling in this pillow is soft and firm enough to support a side sleeper. There is no contouring in Utopia Bedding’s product. But, the gusseted design means that it will not scrunch up or move as you sleep.
If you want to know how to fluff your Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow out of the box, watch this video.
11. JOLLYVOGUE 2 Pack Bed Pillows
JOLLYVOGUE’s 2 pack of bed pillows are filled with 100% hypoallergenic virgin polyester fiber. This filling material makes them very soft. However, you will have to fluff them regularly so that they keep their shape. The softness of the JOLLYVOGUE pillow may be too much for some side sleepers. But, for the most part this bed pillow will support a side sleeper’s neck and head as they sleep.
12. Royal Therapy Memory Foam Pillow
Royal Therapy has made a contoured memory foam pillow so that no matter your sleeping position, you can get a good night’s rest. This pillow only comes in a queen size. However, it is odor free, hygienic, hypoallergenic, and medium-firm. The support you get with the Royal Therapy Memory Foam Pillow is unmatched and makes it worth its high price.
For a short video about the Royal Therapy Memory Foam Pillow, watch this. https://youtu.be/wCCqtsk5eoc
13. Nature’s Guest Support Pillow
Nature’s Guest’s Support Pillow has a very narrow target audience. It is actually made for back sleepers that shift to their side during the night. Regular side sleepers can use the pillow, but it will not give all of the benefits of some of the other products on this list.
Nature’s Guest uses high-quality and hypoallergenic materials in their gusseted design. It is a doctor recommended product. Nature’s Guest does not indicate what the filling material of their pillow is, only that it will keep you cool during the night.
Sleeping on your side can be a very good thing for your health—and if you snore, the other people around you. But, to get all of the amazing health benefits, you have to get the best side sleeper pillow you can.
We hope that by reading this article you have gained all of the information you need to make an informed decision. The more you know about pillows for side sleepers, the easier it will be for you to find a great one. As always, it is best to try before you buy, that way you know what you want and don’t have to worry about making a mistake. We’re sure that once you try one of these pillows you won’t ever go back.