Best Pillows For Side Sleepers [Review] in 2021
Last Updated on March 16, 2021
written by sleep expert Lauren Hall
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Do you find yourself always sleeping on your side? Are you looking for a pillow to support your posture and body while offering comfort like no other pillow you’ve had before?
Well, good news, my friend, you’re at the right place.
I have spent 9 hours looking at 49 different pillows that cater specifically towards side sleepers. Factoring in comfort, cooling technology, and support for your head, neck, and shoulders to devise a guide of the very best pillows for side sleepers.
Finding a pillow that is both supportive and comfortable in your sleeping position can be quite a challenge. It is essential to find a good quality pillow; otherwise, you may experience stiffness and muscle tension.
But don’t let that put you off; this is what I’m here for!
To make things easier for you, I have chosen a wide range of materials, firmness levels, different cooling technologies, and even budgets to ensure my guide provides you the very best support and comfort and caters to your personal preference.
Here’s a tip: you should look for a pillow with a higher loft that will fill the space between your neck and shoulders and will help you remain in a good posture while you sleep; it will also help to reduce pressure and keep your spine aligned.
Without further ado, let’s get to the good bits!
We’ve spent the time researching so you don’t have to:
The List of Best Pillows For Side Sleepers
Coop Home Goods - Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow
Sealing number one spot is the pillow of your dreams; it is the world’s best adjustable pillow that’s perfect for any sleeper. You can get just the pillow’s loft and thickness with the easily removable and addable shredded memory foam!
Not only does this provide the support you need when sleeping on your side, but thanks to its shredded design, it is also super well ventilated and will keep you cool throughout the night.
Their unique design allows you to access the memory foam fill, allowing you to add or remove it to suit your size, shape, and sleeping position. I absolutely how uniquely adjustable this pillow is; your perfect fit has never been so easy!
But that’d not all:
This pillow is CertiPUR-US, and GREENGUARD Gold certified, so you can guarantee you’re getting good quality materials at an affordable price point. This pillow is even cruelty-free and vegan, as well as having bamboo-derived viscose rayon that’s sustainable.
Suffer from allergies? No worries, this pillow not only provides breathability and softness, but it is also hypoallergenic, so you can always wake up feeling refreshed. They even include a 1/2lb bag of fill to boost up the loft if you need that little extra support.
If you tend to sleep on your side but also find yourself sleeping on your back too, then this pillow is the best of both worlds when it comes to adjustability; no wonder it has sealed the number open spot (p.s. it comes with a 5-year warranty so you can Zzz with confidence).
- Great for side sleepers as well as back and stomach
- Complete accessibility to fill can add or remove
- CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certified
- Vegan and hypoallergenic
- None so far
Latest Deal: Coop Home Goods Pillow for Side sleepers
Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Pillow for Side Sleepers
Shredded memory foam is amazing for adding comfort and reducing pain to 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, meaning 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.
Now here’s the kicker:
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 a side sleeper 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 a side sleeper 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 Pillow for Side Sleepers
Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillow for Side Sleepers
best pillows for side sleepers with back pain
Looking for a cooling pillow that will make you feel like you’ve just woken up in a 5-star hotel every single night? Well, this Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillow is top of the range for comfort and temperature regulation while being at an affordable price point.
It is made out of a 100% super plush cotton material with gel-filled fibers that put other standard pillows to shame. They are tailored to offer maximum comfort for all sleeping positions– you heard me back, stomach, and side sleepers welcome!
If you’re a side sleeper but ever so often sleep on your back or stomach then this pillow will cater towards app sleeping positions.
They are stylish, luxurious, and not to mention super comfortable with their non-shift construction. Plus they’re both fade and stain-resistant, so you’ll never have to worry; just chuck them in the machine, and they’ll be good as new.
Here’s the best bit:
The extra loft design provides superior comfort and support for stress, back pain, and other aches and pains. Plus, the breathable cotton and cooling technology regulate temperature for a cooler night’s sleep like no other.
This side sleeping pillow holds its shape and supports your head while being super soft and comfy. If you roll around like a pig in mud during the night, you don’t need to worry either, as it works in every position! You will notice your quality of sleep will massively improve.
5-star luxury at an affordable price point? Yes, please!
- 5-star hotel quality for side sleepers
- Breathable cotton and cooling technology to regulate temperature
- The gel fiber allows for maximum ventilation inside the pillow
- Non-shift construction and works with any sleeping position
Latest Deal: Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillow for Side sleepers
Layla Sleep Kapok Pillow for Side Sleepers
This side sleeper pillow isn’t like the rest. It is filled with shredded memory foam and fibers taken from the Kapok tree. Still, instead of being infused with gel, it is infused with copper, which has natural cooling properties and dissipates heat more effectively.
Copper, unlike gel, has antimicrobial properties which help to regulate body temperature. The kapok fibers are very soft too, they give a down-like feel and leave the pillow feeling very plush as the memory foam conforms to your head.
The Layla pillow is 4 inches thick and has a medium loft. This means this pillow is ideal for a side sleeper as it provides excellent cushioning for the head and neck without sinking into the pillow too much. It also offers superior spinal alignment.
You may be asking yourself, can it get better than this?
Well, actually, yes, not only does this pillow promote effective spinal alignment, but it is also super mouldable and is ideal for those who like to cuddle their pillow while they sleep; you can even put it between your legs for added support.
To top it all off, Layla Pillows also offers a 120-night sleep trial and 5-year warranty, so if you don’t fall in love within the first 120 days (which I’m sure you will), then you can return it with no questions asked.
This side sleeper pillow will make you feel like you’re laying your head down on a plush, airy cloud while offering a long-lasting love that will support you for years to come. It gets bonus points for being a 100% natural and chemical-free fill.
- Medium loft that’s ideal for side sleepers
- Infused with coffer that has antimicrobial materials to regulate temperature
- 120-night sleep trial plus a 5-year warranty
- 100% natural fill
Latest deal: Layla Sleep Kapok Pillows
Zoey Pillow for Side Sleepers
This side sleeper pillow will add that balance of comfort and support without having to compromise quality. You can even have full control over how much loft you want with their shredded fill that can be removed or added.
I feel that shredded memory foam is the way to go; it provides the same support and allows for complete adjustability in terms of the loft. It also circulates air much more effectively than regular memory foam pillows.
If you’re a side sleeper that loves snuggling up to their pillow, you can adjust the loft to suit you! Plus, thanks to the memory foam, it promotes spinal alignment and lifts certain pressure points to relieve pain, and ensures you feel well-rested when you wake up.
Looking for convenience? Well, Zoey Sleep made this pillow with your daily needs in mind; all you need to do is unzip the outer cover and machine wash at your leisure and when required. Talk about convenience!
Zoey Sleep’s Pillows are not only supportive enough to keep your neck aligned while also providing relief from issues like the neck, back, and hip pain. It will even help with migraines, shoulder pains, and tension headaches.
Who knew getting a new pillow would make this happen? In my eyes, this pillow is an absolute winner.
- Very breathable and comfortable
- Easily washable and machine safe
- Perfect for side sleepers
- Aligns the spine, lifts certain pressure points, and helps with pain
Latest deal: Zoey Pillow for Side Sleepers
Coop Home Goods - Eden Adjustable Pillow
Best pillow for side sleepers that’s adjustable
Now I know I have talked about Coop already, but I absolutely love their pillow range, especially for the versatility and adjustability it offers to sleepers. Coop is one of the highest-rated pillows on the market in general, but it is a great match for a side sleeper particularly.
This is because it is very thick, fluffy, and 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. You will notice the luxury from the very first use; you’ll be asleep in minutes.
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 designed to wick away sweat and moisture instead of absorbing it, which is perfect for warm summer nights.
Since the pillow’s core contains shredded foam instead of one solid piece, it is much easier for air to pass through it to 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.
As if that’s not enough:
In addition to being supportive and cooling, this pillow is also very durable because it is made with great quality materials. The entire pillow is machine washable, which makes it very easy to keep clean. It will also retain its shape over time– no more deflating or sagging.
Coop Home Goods is a very respectable brand overall, so you know that you will be getting something that will last you for years when you purchase this product.
- 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
Best Pillows for Side Sleepers Buyer’s Guide:
Now side sleeping is one of the most common positions to sleep in; most of us sleep on either our side or back. Side sleeping is an excellent way to keep your back aligned and relieve pressure points if you have the right amount of support.
Choosing a comfortable pillow is the most important step in quality, supportive and comfortable night’s sleep. Choosing a good quality pillow that works for you is so important as otherwise, you could suffer from head, back, shoulder, and even neck pain.
Pillows for a side sleeper may have a slightly different loft to pillows for back sleepers. This is because when sleeping on your side, your pillow should fill the gap between the bed, your shoulders, and your head.
I would recommend going for a higher loft pillow for side sleeping as it will provide you with the support you need. But if you’re a combination sleeper, then going between a medium and high loft may be your best fit.
Let’s break down everything you need to know so we can improve your quality of sleep in no time!
What are the benefits of side sleeping?
Despite this being the most popular sleeping position is not only in the US but across the world, sleeping on your side has many advantages over stomach or back sleeping.
Minimizes snoring: This is because it allows for effective airflow and keeps your airways open. Back sleepers will often find that their tongue falls into their throat, causing them to snore due to airway obstruction. It is also beneficial for those with sleep apnea or acid reflux as it opens the airways.
More comfortable while pregnant: Side sleeping is extremely beneficial for pregnant ladies, this is because it is much more comfortable as it provides support for your belly. Getting yourself a bolster pillow also helps with comfort and support while pregnant too.
Aligns your spine: Side sleeping also helps promote effective spine alignment; it also helps reduce discomfort in your shoulders, hips, neck, and much more as it relieves pressure points. Some have also said that sleeping on your side also reduces migraines or pressure headaches as it relieves pressure points in your head.
Things to consider and check before buying a pillow for side sleepers:
While hunting down for a the best pillow for side sleeping, there are some key things to check. While some manufacturers offer pillows that are best suited for all positions, its crucial to check these key factors as this may not always be the case:
Loft: The loft is also referred to the thickness of the pillow and how high it elevates your head. The best pillow for side sleepers offer a loft between medium and high. This is because it provides enough cushioning for the head and shoulders and will fill the gap in between.
It also prevents you from sinking into the pillow too much and provides the optimal support you’ll need. Now thicknesses are also down to preference, but the most popular is between medium and high; I wouldn’t recommend going for a low loft.
In my list, I have also provided some adjustable options, so you can add or remove shredded memory foam to meet the ideal height and loft that feels comfortable for you.
Support: Along with loft comes support; this refers to how well the pillow maintains an even surface for your head and neck. Most memory foam options conform to your head, neck, and shoulders curves to provide you with the support you need.
Spinal alignment is a crucial factor to consider for a side sleeper. You don’t want a pillow that sinks too much, nor do you want one that’s too firm. Those made with latex or memory foam often offer the best support.
Firmness Level: As well as the two above, this is another crucial factor to consider, not everyone is the same, and we all prefer different firmness levels. Still, you will need a certain amount of firmness to provide support.
If a pillow is too soft, it will probably sink too much under your head and won’t align your spine properly; this could even cause added pressure on your head. The same goes for a pillow that is too firm; you may experience discomfort and even restlessness.
The best pillow for a side sleeper offers an excellent balance of contouring and support, and you will find that in a mid-level firmness pillow.
Pressure Relief: The only issue with a side sleeper sleeping with a pillow that isn’t right for them is the pressure they’ll experience on their shoulders because their pillow isn’t supportive enough.
A good quality pillow for a side sleeper will relieve pressure points around the head, neck, and shoulders and contour to your head shape and body to provide ultimate comfort and support needed.
Quality Materials: This is yet another crucial factor to consider when buying yourself a pillow. This can range from added durability, temperature regulation, and shape retention. You will want a pillow that will provide you with comfort and support for a long time.
I would recommend looking at reviews and the warranty of the product and seeing if it’s CertiPUR US certified as these are great indications of quality.
Shape: Of course, you need to consider the pillow’s shape and feel; you cannot miss this one out. Some fill materials will compress over time and make the pillow feel less comfortable for side sleepers over time.
You should look for shape retention and remembering to regularly fluff and plump up these pillows to retain their shape. Memory foam and latex pillows for side sleepers will require less effort when it comes to this.
Price: Last but not least is the price; the price is another key indicator of the pillow’s quality. Pillows for side sleepers made out of polyfoam or down alternative are often the cheapest, but those made with memory foam, latex, down, or buckwheat may come with a tall price tag.
You should find the balance between quality and fitting within your budget! As I said before, though, buying yourself a pillow that will last a long time will end up being much more affordable than having to replace a cheap one constantly.
Which factors are most important when choosing the best 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 pillow’s firmness. Different people will have different needs – for example, a larger person will need much more support than a child or a petite person.
Good pillows for a side sleeper 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 will 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. Still, many pillows themselves can also go in the washer, which is a huge 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 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 are 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.
What Materials are Best for The Best Pillow for Side Sleepers?
As you may already know, there is a wide range of pillows for side sleepers to choose from, and they range in different materials. The best pillows for side sleepers range from latex, buckwheat to memory foam and much more that provide effective support without feeling too firm.
How comfortable or uncomfortable a pillow feels can be determined by the material of the pillow:
Memory Foam: Memory foam is made out of viscoelastic polyurethane foam and is engineered to conform and mold to your body when it comes in contact with your body heat. It conforming to your head’s shape also aligns your spine and reduces pressure points in your body.
Memory foam pillows also come in shredded options. I feel like this is the best pillow for side sleepers as it provides you with the support you need while also allowing for movement and extra breathability regular memory foam pillows don’t have.
Buckwheat: Buckwheat is another pillow for side sleepers that is very popular; buckwheat pillows are filled with buckwheat kernels’ hard outer casing. They are quite firm, but they offer a very supportive feel, and the loft can be easily adjusted through adding or removing.
They also offer a good amount of airflow thanks to them being separated.
Latex: Latex is another popular pillow for side sleepers as it provides a similar feel and support to memory foam. Latex is a substance derived from the sappy extract of rubber trees; it is molded into a foam and contours to your body as memory foam would.
Side sleepers may find that latex is more supportive as the material is much more responsive and won’t sink as deeply as other materials would; it also promotes effective spinal alignment.
Feather: Feather is not as popular a pillow for side sleepers as the others but it is still very effective when it comes to supporting your head and neck. Feathers are plucked from the plumage of ducks and geese, they offer a light and airy feel.
Side sleepers won’t sink as deeply into the pillow and they will provide gentle support while being very cool and durable in comparison to other pillows.
Down on the other hand is the inner plumage of a duck of geese, this material is quite airy and light but also promotes insulation. They are much firmer than the outer plumage of feathers but still prevent side sleepers from sinking excessively.
Polyfoam: Polyfoam is similar to latex, it is very responsive and conforms to the body. You won’t feel the same deep contour as you would with memory foam but it is much more adaptive than latex.
The only probably with polyfoam is that it sleeps hot, so if you do go for a polyfoam design make sure it is well ventilated or infused with gel to circulate airflow and dissipate heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do side sleepers need different pillows than back or stomach sleepers?
When you sleep on your side, the height difference between your head and neck is much larger than when you sleep on your front or back. Because of this, it is more difficult to sleep in proper alignment. Therefore, side sleepers need a thicker pillow 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, leading 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 thicker pillow 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, leading 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. Thus, 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. Thus, it is very important to treat them with care to avoid future problems, especially as you age.
How much will a good pillow for side sleepers cost?
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 them.
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.
Summary of the Side Sleeper Pillows
All in all, pillows for side sleepers are actually fairly easy to come by nowadays, deciding the best fit for you is something that can be slightly more tricky. Us side sleepers will need much more support and loft than a back sleeper would.
It is also important to consider spine alignment, this will ensure you’re getting the right level of support and will help to relieve certain pressure points while you rest.
Side sleeping actually has more benefits than you may think, from reducing back and neck pain, to even reducing migraines, pressure headaches, and backaches as it allows your head to sit in a comfortable position.
If you do decide to choose one of the above today or any pillow, make sure you check for the support and ensure it has a loft between medium and high as this will provide you with the support you need and the comfort when sleeping on your side.
Choose any out of the pillows for side sleepers today and I can guarantee it will transform your quality of sleep, even after one night.
Happy sleeping, my friends!
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.