Over 2/3’s of North Americans are side sleepers! No wonder, since side sleeping is also the preferred sleeping position recommended by health care professionals for good neck and low back support and overall general health.
The ideal side sleeper pillow must have adequate loft to keep the head up, vital organs and airways unobstructed and the spine straight in order to avoid waking up with a sore neck or shoulder pain. There are lots of options out there you can choose from but we found these 5 picks to be the best in terms of price, durability, comfort and support.
Best Pillows for Side Sleepers
- Best Overall: Coop Home Goods
- Best Luxury: Snuggle Pedic
- Best for Neck Pain: Mediflow Waterbase
- Best Cotton & Down Alternative Pillow: Morningstar
- Budget Buy: Good Life Essentials
Benefits of Side Sleeping
Prevents Sleep Apnea
Side sleeping prevents sleep apnea. The sleeping disorder that is generally known for interrupting one’s breathing pattern during sleep.
Sleep apnea occurs when the back of the throat relaxes and blocks the airway or when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control sleeping. Side sleeping can prevent this from happening as it prevents the tongue and soft tissues from blocking the airway, because they are pulled away to the side by gravity.
So generally, side sleeping is good for breathing.
Prevents Back Pain
Though side sleeping is good, not all people are actually comfortable with it. Some would still prefer sleeping on their backs or stomachs, it depends on how they feel about that certain position, because the correct sleeping position is the position that prevents the person from experiencing pain during sleep or pain acquired through sleeping since the aim of sleeping is to give the person relaxation and to be driven away from stress.
Not to be burdened by the pain that the wrong sleeping position might contribute to the stress that is already in the body. Because if you sleep and feel back or neck pains afterwards, then you would want to sleep again. The wrong sleeping position failed to fulfill the sleep’s purpose, which is to make the person relax and feel energized.
Leads to Wrinkles BUT Prevents Snoring
Experts say that the best sleeping position is the back position. Because when you lie on your back without a pillow, your body will gain a neutral position that also prevents you from having neck and back pains. It also reduces the chances of having wrinkles because your face is not flattened against a pillow for hours.
But then this position will lead to snoring, and you will have to sacrifice your pillow for it.
Though they say it is the best, it still is uncomfortable. No sleeping position is perfect, but there are ways to make the best out of your preferred sleeping position. The first major step into achieving the good night’s sleep that everyone wants is to know what correct pillow to use.
How To Make Side Sleeping More Comfortable?
Make sure that you are comfortable with your sleeping position. However, if you’re a side sleeper, it is best to put a pillow between your knees for more comfort.
There are also appropriate bed pillows for side sleepers that you can use instead of your normal pillow. And if you’re not, go for that sleeping position that will not give you the pains that you do not need.
How To Buy The Right Side Sleeper Pillow
Pillows for side sleepers come in different prices, you can find some as low as $25 and some as high as $200. If you are paying high for a pillow, you need to be sure you are investing in top quality, this means the pillow must meet the standards or certification on emission, durability and resistance to undesirable elements such as bugs.
Will Any Pillow Work for Side Sleepers?
You might think that any pillow will do as long as it could give you support while you sleep. Yes, any pillow may do. But then again, if you want to make the best out of your sleep and if you want to feel recharged as you wake up, then you must consider having the right pillow or pillows that will help you achieve what you want.
A good pillow helps the person sleeping feel comfortable but at the same time helps maintain a good sleeping posture—one that aligns the head, neck and spine.
It is important to choose the correct pillow because the wrong pillow might not be able to support the right places of the body that needs support with that certain sleeping position, and this might lead to headaches and discomfort during and after sleep.
And if you are not comfortable while you are sleeping, there is a huge tendency that you will stay awake all night tossing and turning, looking for that comfortable sleeping position that your body is begging for. This will lead to lack of sleep, which can have negative effects on you mentally as it affects your concentration and mood. Lack of sleep can also affect your stress levels.
It can also affect your physical state as it causes soreness, pain and it can also weaken the immune system.
Which Pillows Do Work?
If you’re a side sleeper, you might want to have a pillow that fills the space above your shoulder, neck pillows for side sleepers are perfect for this, so that you can maintain a neutral position for your head and neck, preventing you from feeling neck pains when you wake up.
Some side sleepers also prefer to put a pillow at their backs for support as they sleep because the back is not properly supported with this position and putting a pillow on it will prevent spine and back problems.
Some side sleepers opt for body pillows, which gives full body support. It can be placed on the back or can be used as a bolster and at the same time a head pillow as well. As long as you are using the right pillow, then you will not have complications while sleeping and complications attributed by sleeping.
But, how do we choose the best pillow for side sleepers?
Best Level of Firmness, Material and Shape
As stated before, side sleepers must have a pillow that fills in the gap between the head and shoulders. Thus, firm pillows for side sleepers will be the best choice. The pillow needs to be thick and firm so it can keep the neck and spine in line. We should also consider the material used for the pillow.
New technology has witnessed the use of modern materials such as cooling bamboo covered in rayon cover queen, which makes the loft of the pillow adjustable for different comfort levels.
Another excellent material are down sleeping pillows which are made of feathers. There are three kinds of down sleeping pillows, the first one is the goose down which is made of goose feathers.
The second one is called the feather down, which like the goose down is also made of feathers only that feather down is made with a variety of feathers.
The third one is for people who are allergic to feathers but would still want to enjoy a down sleeping pillow– the allergy-free down alternatives.
For those who are not really a fan of feather pillows, there are also foam/polyester fill pillows. They are firm and they last long.
Another excellent material choice for pillows is memory foam because they are hypoallergenic, and the reason being that they don’t absorb dusts, while synthetic polyester materials are also durable and hypoallergenic but can be very expensive. They are called memory pillows because they remember your body shape, making it more comfortable as they support the areas of your body that needs the most support.
Though down sleeping pillows are often squishy and fluffy unlike foam fill pillows or memory pillows. Side sleepers can still enjoy them as long as they are thick and firm. The thickness and firmness of a down pillow depends on the amount of feathers that are used for the pillow. Thus, the best down pillows for side sleepers must be those which are really full of feathers, enough for the whole pillow to be both thick and firm, and good for a side sleeper.
But if you’re a side sleeper and you do not want feathers on your pillow, you can always opt for a foam pillow. A foam pillow is often measured by firmness and comes with standard thickness. This makes it easier for you to choose what foam pillow to use. Since it already features the basic needs of a side sleeper for a pillow, all you need to do it to choose what level of firmness you are more comfortable with.
Side sleepers are recommended to use a pillow with medium firmness. But then again, it depends on the comfort that the pillow could give and personal taste. As long as the pillow is thick, firm and comfortable, then it will be good for the side sleeper to use.
Lastly, a side sleeper must consider the pillow’s shape. This choice already depends on how a side sleeper wants his pillow’s shape shall be. If you’re a side sleeper and you want your pillow to be rectangular or square-shape, then you are free to use it as long as it does not compromise the comfort and support that a pillow must provide to its user. You may also use more than one pillow if you wish, as long as you are comfortable with it.
Always remember that our sleep has a huge impact to our health not only must we get enough sleep, but we have to make sure that we had a good and uninterrupted, comfortable sleep so that we would feel refreshed and energized. The pillow we use is a huge factor so we must make sure that we are using the best pillows for side sleepers.
Best Pillows for Side Sleepers Reviews of 2021
1. Best Memory Foam Pillow for Side Sleepers: Coop Home Goods
This is a shredded memory foam with adjustable loft, the material comprises of shredded hypoallergenic memory foam while the outer material is made up of a cooling bamboo made from rayon cover queen.
The pillow adjusts to your body shape and position, it does not retain heat and is supportive and firm. With raving reviews from satisfied customers, it’s easy to see why it’s frequently listed as a best seller.
If you are a side sleeper who frequently switches sides and looking for a consistent pillow that provides proper alignment and comfort throughout the night, you might want to give this pillow serious consideration!
- It is 100% adjustable to your sleep preferences, it is custom made, hence it is suitable for side sleepers, back, and stomach sleepers.
- Dust and mite resistant, it is also machine washable and,
- Comes with a 5 year manufacturer warranty.
2. Best Luxury Pillow For Side Sleepers: Snuggle Pedic
This is a super luxury foam pillow for side sleepers. As expected, this bamboo memory foam pillow comes in shredded form in combination with adjustable fit and zipper plus a micro-vented cover. The memory foam in this pillow will never go flat, while the extra-breathable cover will promote air circulation and ventilation during sleep.
Snuggle Pedic Memory Foam is another highly rated pillow with plenty of happy buyers and stellar reviews and in particular from side sleepers.
- Orthopedic support, suitable for the neck, sides, stomach and the back the outer cover also provides opportunity to adjust the pillow for maximum comfort.
- Accredited by consumer product safety organizations, for its flame, and heavy metal- retarding features.
- 90 day return plus 20 year manufacturer warranty.
3. Best Pillow For Neck Pain Side Sleepers: Mediflow Waterbase
This pillow has been clinically proven to induce and support sleep in four different ways, to reduce the risks of neck injuries.
The pillow is fully adjustable for any user, hence the firmness can be varied.
If you never tried a water-based pillow, give this pillow a try, you might be pleasantly surprised.
- Responds to body movement automatically and adjusts accordingly.
- It comes with a water base structure that ensures the ideal softness you desire, hence there will be no interruptions to your sleep. This also ensures that your neck and other pressure points are protected.
- Comes with a 30-day money back guaranty plus 1 year manufacturer warranty.
- Comes with hypo-allergenic fiber-filling that also works with an easy-to-fill water pouch, therefore you can be rest assured of a luxurious sleep.
4. Best Cotton & Down Alternative Pillow For Side Sleepers: Morningstar
The down alternative pillow by MASTERTEX is one of the best 100% cotton made ultra soft down-like filling pillows for side sleepers.
It is soft and plush feeling with extra thick filling maximizing the amount of support for your neck and head. The 100% cotton material is as soft as a feather and the cover is 300 thread count ensuring a great night’s sleep in sublime luxury.
- Does not come with a vacuum sealing, unlike other pillows, and it comes with a clear-plastic carrying case.
- Filled with micro-fibers and super-thin for complete comfort.
- It is completely machine washable, the fiber will remain in place and the pillow case can be washed under the cool settings of the machine.
- Comes with a 1 year warranty.
5. Best Budget Pillow For Side Sleepers: Good Life
This pillow is available in three different sizes; the King, queen, and standard. It comes with a breathable 50% bamboo material cover for excellent air circulation. The entire pillow comprises of superior quality and durable materials and it is a pillow that will never go flat under different conditions.
- Custom orthopedic support for the neck, back and stomach, this will reduce tossing and turning.
- Made with shredded memory foam materials and are vacuum sealed for excellent protection.
- It alleviates snoring, migraines, and insomnia, in addition to inducing quiet and wonderful sleep.
- The pillow materials are completely machine washable.
- You will get 1 extra, if you buy 4, and the pillow comes with manufacturer warranty.
So, What’s the Best Side-Sleeper Pillow for You?
It is important that you get support for sleeping in the proper manner. Sleeping on your sides come with numerous health benefits, it helps you reduce the risk of snoring, hence you can reduce chances of insomnia and migraines.
Aside from choosing the right pillow for your side sleep, it is also important that you position your pillow properly, according to the direction provided in the pillow’s manual (most manufacturers will provide users with directions or guidance on how to make use of the pillows for side sleepers). In most cases, side sleepers’ pillows can also be used by other types of sleepers, most especially the back and stomach sleepers.
It it important to go for pillows with machine washable outer materials, and the reason being that such materials can be easily maintained over a long period of time. Price should be the last factor to consider when choosing the ideal product, however, comfort and quality must also play important roles when making the final decision.