Best Pillow For Side Sleepers [Review] in 2021
Last Updated on November 27, 2020
written by sleep expert Lauren Hall
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If you sleep on your side, you’ve likely encountered some problems finding a pillow that is both supportive and comfortable in your sleeping position. It is very important to find a good pillow – without one, you are much more likely to experience problems like stiffness and muscle tension. Luckily, there are many high-quality pillows on the market that are designed specifically for side sleepers. Here are some of our top picks.
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The List of Best Pillows For Side Sleepers
Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow
Memory foam is a very reliable material for support and comfort in pillows. It provides a unique feeling of the pillow molding to your body that is difficult to match with other materials. You’ll notice that many of the pillows we choose have memory foam in them in some capacity – this is because it is unparalleled in providing a snug and cozy night’s sleep. This particular pillow is good for side sleepers because it is quite firm and provides great support and a feeling of cradling the neck and head for those who tend to sleep in this position.
This pillow also has been designed to address some of the common problems with memory foam pillows. It is made from a viscose latex foam, which is made with fewer chemicals than traditional memory foam. It is also designed to be cooling to combat heat retention, which is a very common problem with memory foam pillows and mattresses. It uses very small PCM beads to maintain the pillow’s temperature. This will help prevent you from that uncomfortable overheating feeling that often occurs when you sweat during the night. The only issue with this pillow is that it does have a faint odor when first used, but this will dissipate quickly.
This pillow is very strong and durable. It is also very healthy, as it is hypoallergenic and comes with a completely cotton case that won’t irritate your skin. The case is machine washable and should be cleaned regularly for best results. The latex memory foam also has a slight spring to it, so it will maintain its shape for a very long time, even with continued use. Overall, this is a good choice for side sleepers who like a very firm pillow.
- Great for side sleepers
- Combats heat retention
- Maintains optimum temperature using PCM beads
- Faint odor detectable when first opened
Latest Deal: Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow
Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Shredded memory foam is amazing for adding comfort and reducing pain in your nightly sleep routine. This is because it provides all the benefits of memory foam, but also allows you to move more freely throughout the night. Since the foam is shredded, it is able to conform to your body much more easily, and it also allows air to pass through the pillow as you sleep, keeping it cool and clean. This pillow is made using high-quality Certi-PUR memory foam. This means that the foam has been tested and is made with no toxins. It is then covered with fiber filling to help it maintain its shape and keep the pillow comfy and cool.
To top things off, it comes with a luxurious cover made with a bamboo and polyester blend. This pillow is very popular with consumers because it feels incredibly luxurious and is also very healthy – it’s hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant as well. The Snuggle Pedic company offers an incredible warranty on their pillows of twenty years, as well as a 90-day money back guarantee. Since it is made with very high-quality materials, it will last for a very long time and continue to provide support for the joints and muscles, particularly for side sleepers who are more likely to toss and turn during the night and need something that will conform to their bodies. Although this pillow is a bit of an investment, it is definitely worth the money for side sleepers looking for ultimate comfort. Since it is so well constructed, it will maintain its shape and keep you comfortable for years.
- Promotes good air circulation, maintaining optimum temperature
- 90-day money back guarantee
- 20-year warranty
- Not budget-friendly
Latest Deal: Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
MALOUF Z 100% Natural Talalay Latex Zoned Pillow
Latex is a popular material for pillows as well as mattresses and mattress pads because it is supportive, eco-friendly, and has a bouncy texture that maintains its shape over time. This natural latex pillow provides all of these benefits and is perfect for side sleepers to boot. This is because it is designed to be extremely supportive and keep your body in its natural alignment to prevent pain and tension when you wake up in the morning. The pillow has several zones of latex with varying density levels to support different parts of your head, neck, and back appropriately. It is great for relieving pressure points on this part of the body, and it helps side sleepers get comfortable as well.
This pillow is also noted for its eco-friendly and health conscious approach to sleep. The latex is all natural with no added chemicals, which makes it a good alternative to traditional memory foam. It is very airy and breathable, with a design that promotes ventilation to prevent the natural build-up of dust mites, mildew, and other bacteria and allergens that could potentially cause illness. The cover is also extremely soft and is made from a blend of bamboo and polyester that will put you right to sleep with its luxurious feel. If you need a pillow that works for side sleepers but also is all natural and designed with health in mind, this is a great bet.
- Great for side sleepers
- Latex provides a great deal of support and naturally aligns body
- Relieves pressure around head, neck and back
- Eco-friendly, breathable
- Not designed for back sleepers in mind
Latest Deal: MALOUF Z 100% Natural Talalay Latex Zoned Pillow
Mastertex SYNCHKG055551 Down Alternative Bed Pillow
Many side sleepers need the support of an orthopedic pillow, but really prefer the feeling of a comfy down pillow. This product provides the perfect combination of these two features and provides great value for money. The down alternative in this pillow is very thick, which is good for side sleepers because it provides support. It also promotes movement and cradles your body softly, which not only feels nice but also prevents chronic pain. Additionally, down alternative does not come with the allergies that can often be caused by traditional down, so you can sleep much healthier at night.
The stitching is also specifically designed to help the pillow maintain its shape over time. One of the biggest problems with traditional down pillows is that they go flat very quickly, but this one will not because of its innovative design. The entire pillow is made with hypoallergenic cotton and the cover has 300 thread count and is completely washable for the most hygienic use. Finally, and very importantly for side sleepers, this pillow is very long at 25 inches. This means that you can move around on it or use it in a wide variety of positions and still get the same level of great support.
- Combines support of an orthopedic pillow with comfort of a down pillow
- Thick down provides optimum support
- Made from alternative down which is allergy friendly
- Made with hypoallergenic, 300-thread count cotton
- Sleepers may take time getting used to the long design of the pillow
Latest deal: Mastertex Down Alternative Bed Pillow
SleepJoy ViscoFresh Advanced Contour Memory Foam Pillow
This pillow has a unique design that is very supportive of your head and spine, especially for side sleepers. It is made with a natural memory foam that still provides the same contouring, body-hugging effects, just without the off-putting, odorous chemicals that are present in some types of memory foam. It has a thin but firm feel, which may not work for everyone but is very easy to move around on and minimizes pressure.
The pillow has a neck bolster on one side that is particularly good for side sleepers because it keeps your head in alignment with your spine to reduce pain. It can also drastically reduce snoring, which is a big benefit for many people. This pillow from Sleep Better is also very well ventilated and will keep you cool at night, with small channels throughout the pillow that promote air circulation. It is also made with a fully polyester fabric that is designed to wick away sweat and moisture as you sleep.
The fabric is also quite soft and feels nice on your skin. The pillow is infused with natural green tea extract, something that is very unique and will prevent any odors from the memory foam. Green tea is also a very soothing scent that may help you sleep better. Finally, it comes with not one, but two covers for increased durability. The contours of this innovatively designed pillow work wonders for side sleepers that want plenty of support.
- Made with natural, odor-free memory foam
- Can reduce snoring
- Well-ventilated with polyester that wicks away moisture
- Infused with green tea extract which provides a soothing, relaxing scent
- Not suited to those who don’t like the smell of green tea
Latest deal: SleepJoy ViscoFresh Advanced Contour Memory Foam Pillow
ComfyComfy Round Buckwheat Pillow for Side Sleeper Neck Support
This unique and ethically made pillow will completely transform the way you sleep. Originally started as a family business, these pillows are made with buckwheat and naturally made fabrics that are grown and assembled in the United States by local artisans. Since everything is all natural, you are not only supporting local business and craftsmanship, but you can also rest easy knowing that there are no harmful chemicals or allergens in this pillow.
The consistency of this pillow feels quite similar to a bean bag, which is why many side sleepers love it so much. It conforms to the shape of your body and adjusts seamlessly as you move throughout the night. These pillows are very thick and provide tons of support, and they also come in four different sizes to suit your preferences. Additionally, they come with extra buckwheat, so you can add or remove the filling as necessary to fit your needs. These pillows feel very smooth and almost cloud-like as you sleep, which is why they are so well loved by those who use them. Side sleepers who want a unique pillow that is unlike anything they’ve tried before will not go wrong with this option.
- Adjusts to movement throughout the night
- Provides lots of support
- Comes in 4 different sizes
- Provided with extra buckwheat so height and fill of the pillow can be adjusted
- Not suited for those who don’t like thick pillows
Latest deal: ComfyComfy Round Buckwheat Pillow
Dream Supreme Plus Gel Fiber-Filled Pillows
This is a great option for side sleepers on a budget who still need a great pillow. They actually come in a set of two for even more support, or you could use one as a body pillow if you need to. They are filled with gel fibers, which are very light but still provide tons of support. Both fiber and gel are materials that are known for conforming to your body, something that is very important for side sleepers as they need extra support for their head and neck. They also are very healthy materials that won’t give you allergies or contain harmful chemicals.
Additionally, the lightness of the fiber and the cooling properties of the gel make these pillows very soft and comfortable to sleep on. Because fiber is so light and has nice movement to it, it allows air to pass through, preventing dust or bacteria from building up in the pillow. Gel also keeps they pillow cool and prevents you from overheating during the night. Although this pillow provides many features that you would expect from something more highly priced, it is actually very affordable.
It is a great way to get the support you need without investing in something much more expensive, and it still comes with a one year warranty. However, because it is on the cheaper side, it is not quite as durable as some of its more luxurious counterparts, which is something to be aware of when shopping for pillows.
- Great features at a budget friendly price
- Filled with gel fibers that create neck support for side sleepers
- Fibers promote good air circulation which prevents overheating
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Not as durable as other pillows on the market
Latest deal: Dream Supreme Plus Gel Fiber-Filled Pillows
Coop Home Goods - Eden Adjustable Pillow - Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam with Cooling Gel
This is one of the most highly rated pillows on the market in general, but it is particularly good for side sleepers because it is very thick, fluffy, and very supportive. The shredded memory foam in this pillow supports you as you sleep, but still cradles your body as you change positions throughout the night. From the very first use, it feels very thick and luxurious, and you’ll find that you’ll fall asleep quickly as your head and neck gently sink into the fabric.
This pillow also won’t retain heat while you sleep the way some other memory foam pillows do. It is made with a bamboo and rayon cover that is designed to wick away sweat and moisture instead of absorbing it, which is perfect for warm summer nights. Since the core of the pillow contains shredded foam instead of one solid piece, it is much easier for air to pass through it, so it won’t retain heat. The foam is also surrounded by a layer of fiber, which is another material that is very light and will keep you cool. The fiber also has the additional benefit of feeling very soft and almost down-like.
In addition to being supportive and cooling, this pillow is also very durable because it is made with such great quality materials. The entire pillow is machine washable, which makes it very easy to keep clean. Shredded memory foam is also known for retaining its shape over time, so you don’t have to worry about it sagging or deflating. Coop Home Goods is a very respectable brand overall, so you know when you purchase this product that you will be getting something that will last you for years.
- Feels thick and luxurious
- Bamboo and rayon cover draws away moisture
- Very durable and retains shape easily
- Machine washable
- Not built for sleepers other than side sleepers
Latest deal: Coop Home Goods – Eden Adjustable Pillow
Perfect Fit Extra Firm Density Standard Size 233 Thread-Count Quilted Sidewall Pillow
This pillow offers several different density levels to suit your needs, and the 2-inch, extra dense version is perfect for side sleepers. You get amazing support for your head and neck while you sleep, and you’ll quickly notice that you wake up much more comfortable and rested each morning. The pillow is filled with hypoallergenic polyester fiber, which has the comfort of down, but with many more benefits. It is more supportive, won’t give you allergies, and is much more durable.
Another nice thing about this pillow for side sleepers, in particular, is that the edges are quilted. This is very helpful, as side sleepers need that extra support for their neck that back and stomach sleepers do not. The pillow is made with 100 percent cotton fabric, which feels nice against your skin and won’t cause any irritation. However, it is recommended that you purchase a pillowcase for this product as it does not come with one.
If you have a front loading washing machine, you can also wash the pillow outright to keep it cleaner. These pillows come in a pack of two, so you can get one for your partner or just have extra comfort while you sleep. While these pillows won’t provide you with orthopedic pain relief, they are extremely comfortable for side sleepers and will make sleeping a much easier and more enjoyable experience.
- 2-inch extra dense version of this pillow is great for side sleepers
- Hypoallergenic and durable
- Quilted edges for extra neck and back support
- Whole pillow is machine washable
- Not made with real down
Latest deal: 233 Thread-Count Quilted Sidewall Pillow
Mediflow Fiber: The First & Original Water Pillow
This unique pillow uses water to provide support for your head, neck, and shoulders. Because water moves gently to conform to your body, it is actually the perfect pillow material for side sleepers, as it allows you to shift throughout the night while still providing the same great level of support. It also feels very firm yet relaxing and works well for side sleepers in particular because it is so thick. If you like waterbeds, you will definitely like this pillow.
The water chamber then has a layer of thick, fluffy polyester filling for added comfort and a cotton cover. Even though this pillow is very supportive, it also is very enjoyable to sleep on, with many consumers giving it extremely high ratings. The water stays insulated, and it can actually help keep you cool at night as well because it stays the same temperature regardless of external forces. The polyester filling also is very breathable and allows air to pass through.
The unique construction of this pillow makes it very durable as well. The water chamber is lined specifically to prevent leakage and other types of damage and is very easy to refill on your own. The polyester filling also retains its shape very well over time with no sagging. The pillowcase is also machine washable, so you can keep your pillow clean and fresh for longer. Overall, this pillow is a great choice for anyone who needs more support at night, but particularly for side sleepers who struggle to get comfortable.
- Water provides support for head, neck, and shoulders
- Water stays insulated maintaining temperature
- Polyester filling promotes breathability
- Pillowcase is machine washable
- Not suitable for those who don’t like water pillows
Latest deal: Mediflow Fiber: The First & Original Water Pillow
Core Products Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow for Neck Pain
This orthopedic pillow is designed to be used in any sleep position, but it works well for side sleepers because it really cradles the neck and head. It has a unique shape that is designed to keep the body in the best position for alignment. There is a recessed section in the center of the pillow for your head, and then there are two different sizes of neck supports available, depending on which way you flip the pillow. This keeps you both comfortable and free of pain while you sleep on your side. It also comes with multiple size options to fit your taste.
The pillow is filled with fibers, which feel soft and comfortable like down, but don’t have the same potential to cause allergies. The fibers also allow air to move through the pillow comfortably, so you’ll stay cool at night. The cover is made from a cotton polyester blend that will feel nice and be gentle on your skin. The pillow can easily be cleaned with hand washing. It is also very durable – because it has such a specific shape, it won’t sag or require any fluffing. It may take some time to adjust to because of its unique shape, but once you do, you’ll notice that sleeping on your side is now much more comfortable.
- Orthopedic design which is great for side sleepers
- Two different options for neck support
- Made with down alternative material to prevent allergy flare-ups
- May take time to adjust to due to unique shape
Latest deal: Core Products Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow for Neck Pain
Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
This uniquely shaped pillow is designed specifically for ergonomic support, and side sleepers will find that their bodies will naturally want to curl up and relax when they use it. It is made with high-density memory foam to provide great support that really contours to your body and relieves pressure on your joints. The shape is designed to be used in many different positions and can be used whether you like a high loft or low loft pillow. It has slight butterfly wings on either side of a sloped, recessed neck support, perfect for side sleepers.
In addition to reducing pain and pressure, it can also reduce snoring, because it puts you in the perfect position to keep your airways open. The pillow is made with great quality memory foam that is very durable. It is on the firmer side, which means that it will retain its shape through years of wear and tear. It also is anti-bacterial and dust resistant foam, which will keep you healthier as you sleep.
The cover is made of bamboo, which is very light and breathable and will also keep you cool and dry by wicking moisture away. The downside of this pillow is that is it can be a bit large and heavy for some people’s tastes. If you like a softer pillow, this also may not be the choice for you, as it is quite firm and can get some taking used to. However, if you enjoy being fully supported throughout the night, this is a good choice for you.
- Made with high-density memory foam and designed for ergonomic support
- Relieves pressure on joints
- Can reduce snoring
- Wicks away moisture
- Larger than most pillows and heavier than average
Latest deal: Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Pillow
Sleep Innovations VERSACURVE Memory Foam Pillow
This pillow is different from many other options for side sleepers because it is very lightweight. However, it still is designed to provide orthopedic support, so you get the best of both a soft and fluffy hotel style pillow and a thicker pillow that is made specifically to be ergonomic. It has an unusual design with curved edges and a divot in the bottom for your neck. However, because it is soft and flat on the top, it will still allow you to move around throughout the night comfortably on the pillow.
This will prevent you from getting stuck in an uncomfortable position, which can cause major soreness. This pillow is made of memory foam, so it curves to your body as you sleep. It also reduces pressure points and is very durable. The product comes with a five-year warranty, and generally holds its shape through extensive wear and tear. Since it is not as large as many other memory foam pillows, it does not retain heat the same way. The only downside to this pillow is that it does not have a layer of fiber padding, so if you are not used to sleeping on pure memory foam, it may not feel as soft or cozy as you expect.
- Designed to provide orthopedic support
- Unique design which provides adequate support yet allows movement
- Memory foam reduces pressure points
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- No layer of fiber padding which can take away from comfort
Latest deal: Sleep Innovations VERSACURVE Memory Foam Pillow
Best Pillows for Side Sleepers FAQ
Why do side sleepers need different pillows that back or stomach sleepers?
When you sleep on your side, the height difference between your head and your neck is much larger than when you sleep on your front or your back. Because of this, it is more difficult to sleep in proper alignment. Therefore, side sleepers need a pillow that is thicker to compensate for this large difference in joint height and keep their spine aligned. Without a thick, supportive pillow, side sleepers are likely to experience stiffness and chronic pain, which could lead to larger problems like pinched nerves. Side sleepers who don’t have a properly supportive pillow are also more likely to experience snoring and headaches than other types of sleepers. Therefore, side sleepers need a pillow that is thicker to compensate for this large difference in joint height and keep their spine aligned. Without a thick, supportive pillow, side sleepers are likely to experience stiffness and chronic pain, which could lead to larger problems like pinched nerves. Side sleepers who don’t have a properly supportive pillow are also more likely to experience snoring and headaches than other types of sleepers. Side sleepers who don’t have a properly supportive pillow are also more likely to experience snoring and headaches than other types of sleepers.
How much can a pillow really affect your health?
You may be skeptical, but your pillow can actually have a huge effect on how we feel during the day. We spend so much of our time sleeping that if we don’t take care of ourselves while we do, our bodies compensate for pain and discomfort. The bones and muscles in your neck and shoulders are very small and intricately connected, and they also are what connects your head to the rest of your body. Because of this, it is very important to treat them with care to avoid future problems, especially as you age. The bones and muscles in your neck and shoulders are very small and intricately connected, and they also are what connects your head to the rest of your body. Because of this, it is very important to treat them with care to avoid future problems, especially as you age.
Which factors are most important when choosing a pillow for a side sleeper?
The two absolute most important things to look at when choosing a pillow for a side sleeper are the height of the pillow and the firmness of the pillow. Different people will have different needs – for example, a larger person will need much more support than a child or a very petite person. Good pillows for side sleepers are usually over four inches in height and have medium to extra firm density. If you choose a pillow that is too thin or too soft, your head won’t be supported well enough and you’ll likely have pain on one side of your neck. Health is of the utmost importance when choosing a pillow for a side sleeper, as many people sleep on their sides specifically to help relieve pain.
There are other factors that you should always consider when buying an investment pillow, whether you are a side sleeper or not. You should look for a pillow that is durable and will last you a long time. After all, if you are going to pay more to get a pillow that will really support you, you don’t want it to lose its shape after a few months. You should also look for pillows that are healthy to sleep on. This means they should be hypoallergenic and easy to clean. You should avoid pillows that could trap dust mites and bacteria during the night – you’d be surprised by what can build up during the night. Another thing to consider is how easy it is to clean – virtually all pillows have machine washable cases, but many pillows themselves can also go in the washer, which is a huge added bonus. For many people, it is also important to look for a pillow that is made with eco-friendly materials, but this depends on your preferences. Luckily, many For many people, it is also important to look for a pillow that is made with eco-friendly materials, but this depends on your preferences. Luckily, many high-end pillow manufacturers now use materials that are environmentally friendly if this is important to you. Another thing that is very important to many consumers is that their pillow stays cool at night. Ventilation and moisture wicking is key, especially if you tend to sleep hot at night or if you just live in a warm climate. There are many different design features that are intended to keep you cool as you sleep. Gel inserts or open cell designs are great for this, and they are definitely something to watch out for.
How much will a good pillow cost me?
This depends on your own specific needs, but generally, a good pillow will cost you anywhere between $50 and $200. Although this may seem like a lot, you’ll definitely get bang for your buck by investing in a better quality pillow. This is because they will keep you more comfortable and last you much longer, so you won’t need to spend money on replacing it.
What materials are pillows for side sleepers generally made from?
One of the most common pillow materials is memory foam. It is developed from polyurethane and naturally conforms to your body. It has long been touted as one of the best materials for orthopedic pillows because it provides a very good level of support for your joints and muscles, and it reduces pressure points as well. However, since it can be quite dense, it retains heat. To deal with this problem, many memory foam pillows also contain soft, cooling gel inserts. There are also many shredded memory foam pillows. Because the foam is cut into pieces, it allows air to flow through the pillow, and it also makes it more comfortable to move around on during the night. There are also many pillows for side sleepers that are made from latex. Latex is a great memory foam alternative because it is not made with the same chemicals and does not retain heat in the same way. Latex has a very supportive feeling with a bit of a spring that works well for side sleepers that need extra support for their heads and necks. Additionally, there are many orthopedic pillows that use water chambers to provide support. Since water moves with you smoothly throughout the night, it can reduce the intensity of chronic pain. There are many other materials that are less common in pillows for side sleepers, but that you still may encounter during the shopping process. Down or down alternative is sometimes used in pillows and provides a very soft and cozy feeling. Down alternative fibers have been developed to combat the allergy problems that can occur when using real down. These materials are also sometimes used in combination with memory foam or latex to provide more padding. Finally, you may also encounter microbead or buckwheat pillows. These pillows feel somewhat like a bean bag, and they are actually quite contouring and supportive for side sleepers. However, they are not as common as memory foam or down pillows.
Where can I purchase a good pillow for a side sleeper?
The best place to purchase high-quality pillows designed for side sleepers is online. Retailers such as Amazon.com and other similar sites carry a wide range of options.
This is the most convenient because you can have them shipped to you. However, you may also be able to find the same brands in home or furniture stores if you want to feel them before buying them.
Head of Content at Sleepedia
Lauren is Sleepedia's Head of Content and is a certified sleep therapist who loves her sleep. Lauren helps people to get back to those deep, dream-filled nights they once had by helping to identify problems with their routine and sleep setup. Whether it's a mattress or pillow, Lauren researches the best products in the industry to provide you with an in-depth review of everything you need to know to encourage your buying decision.