Side-sleeping is one of the best sleeping positions because it provides good spinal alignment, reduces pressure on your neck and spine, keeps your airways clear (suitable for those with sleep apnea), and reduces acid reflux.
To get the best out of a side-sleeping position, however, it is essential that you sleep on the right mattress, and the right pillow.
A great side-sleeper pillow will keep your head, neck and back in proper alignment, preventing stress-induced back pain and neck pain from occurring.
In this buying guide, we review the best pillows for side-sleepers sold online today, recommend top picks for a variety of special needs, and discuss the pros and cons of each pillow in detail.
For advice on choosing the right mattress for your preferred sleeping position, check out our recently-updated reviews of the best mattresses for side sleepers.
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Not all pillows are created equal. Some are great for back sleepers, and others are best for stomach sleepers.
Then there are some pillows that work better for side sleepers – like you.
An excellent side-sleeper pillow will keep your head elevated at just the right height to ensure proper alignment with your spine. It will also provide support and pressure relief for your neck – without pressing against it.
In this guide, we review the best pillows for side-sleepers we know of and offer tips on how to select the right pillow for your unique needs.
|PlushBeds||Best Shredded Latex Pillow for Side Sleepers||$$|
|Coop Home||Our Top Pick||$$|
|Nest Bedding||Best Pillow for Neck Pain||$$|
|Classic Brands||Best Pillow for Side and Back Sleepers||$$$|
|SleepBetter||Best Pillow for Stomach and Side Sleepers||$$|
|Xtreme Comforts||Best Memory Foam Pillow for Side Sleepers||$$|
|Snuggle-Pedic||Best Body Pillow for Side Sleepers||$$|
|Luxe Down & Feather ||Best Down Pillow for Side Sleepers||$$|
|Beautyrest ||Best Firm Pillow for Side Sleepers||$$|
|Hullo Buckwheat||Best Organic Pillow for Side Sleepers||$$|
|Snuggle-Pedic||Best Cooling Pillow for Side Sleepers||$$|
|Tempur-Pedic||Best Value Pillow For Side Sleepers||$$|
If you love the malleability and pressure relief of shredded memory foam pillow, but find them a tad too hot, a shredded latex pillow is the best alternative.
PlushBeds sells one of the best shredded latex pillows around, and it is certified organic.
Shredded bits of latex inside the pillow conform to your neck and shoulder the same way a shredded memory foam pillow does.
However, shredded latex doesn’t get hot one bit, making the PlushBeds pillow an excellent choice for hot sleepers. It’s also great for folks with night sweats. The pillow’s breathability ensures sweat quickly evaporates instead of pooling on your skin.
The 100% organic cotton cover also helps you stay cool and sweat-free.
For hot sleepers, we recommend pairing the PlushBeds pillow with an equally cool mattress such as their organic latex Botanical Bliss mattress. Any latex mattress or a hybrid pocket coil mattress will also help you sleep cool.
The PlushBeds shredded latex pillow is easy to shape and mold to your preferred loft. Once you shape it, it holds that position the entire night.
One advantage of using a shredded latex pillow is that it doesn’t go flat. Latex is naturally springy, meaning it holds its shape well without needing to frequently fluff it.
The organic latex is also naturally resistant to moisture and dust mites, meaning a healthier and more hygienic sleeping environment for you.
The one downside of the PlushBeds shredded latex pillow is that you cannot wash it in a washing machine. Even the cover is not removable for cleaning (probably because the shredded latex would go everywhere and become difficult to put back).
PlushBeds recommends spot cleaning the pillow to remove stains and dirt spots. It’s also a good idea to get a pillowcase or protector to keep the PlushBeds pillow from getting dirty.
The PlushBeds latex pillow comes in Standard, Queen, and King sizes. Each pillow is covered by a 3-year warranty.
Various types of sleepers admire shredded memory foam pillows because of their ability to contour around the neck and head. However, these pillows are especially the best pillows for side-sleepers.
But they are especially suitable for side sleepers who need a highly conforming mattress that cradles the head and neck curvature.
The Coop Home Goods Eden shredded memory foam pillow conforms to your neck and maintains proper spinal alignment.
It’s also adjustable. You can raise it higher or lower by adjusting the amount of memory foam in the casing.
This allows you to customize the pillow loft to your preferences.
The Eden pillow is great if you’ve been in an accident, have osteoarthritis or any other issue that causes neck or back pain.
It not only provides excellent support, but it also ensures there is no pressure at all on your neck and spine.
The Eden pillow is gusseted, which provides excellent edge-to-edge support. Unlike basic pillows that pinch around the edges, the Eden pillow maintains even support everywhere.
You might be concerned that memory foam will get uncomfortably warm.
Shredded foam is naturally better at heat dissipation compared to solid memory foam. To enhance cooling, the bits of memory foam inside the Eden pillow is infused with cooling gel.
Besides this, the bamboo rayon + polyester cover is one of the most breathable pillows covers you’ll ever sleep on.
The proportion of rayon is higher than in other pillows (40%), keeping the surface of the pillow cool, fresh, and dry.
Overall, these pillows are the best pillows for side-sleepers. It’s very popular and highly rated with over 1,200 reviews on Amazon.
It’s a bit more expensive than most pillows (including the basic Coop Home Goods pillow), but you’ll see why when you sleep on it.
The Nest Bedding Easy Breather pillow uses shredded memory foam, making it the right choice for sleepers with neck pain.
The pieces of foam contour more tightly around your head and neck compared to solid memory foam. This eliminates pressure and strain on your neck.
Like most shredded foam pillows, you can adjust the loft to your liking. Unzip the cover and remove some of the foam to lower the pillow.
If you change your sleeping position or the pillow shrinks, add the foam back.
The ability to adjust the pillow height ensures that it provides perfect spinal alignment, which prevents your neck pain from getting worse and speeds up healing. This feature put it the place among the best pillows for side-sleepers.
The foam doesn’t contain cooling gel. This is not an issue for most people. The pillow still feels cool thanks to the airflow between the pieces foam and the breathable cover.
But if you are sensitive to heat or experience hot flushes, it might feel a tad too warm.
For the cover Nest Bedding used a Tencel-blended fabric. Tencel is a highly breathable fabric that is cooler, softer, and absorbs sweat better than cotton.
If you often switch from your side to back when sleeping, you need a pillow that will suit both sleeping positions.
We recommend the Classic Brands Conforma Cushion pillow for two main reasons.
One, its 5” loft provides proper alignment whether you are sleeping on your back or side. It’s not too low for side sleeping, nor is it too high for back sleeping.
Two, it has a comfortable medium-firm feel that provides adequate pressure relief and support in both sleeping positions.
The Conforma pillow is made from solid memory foam. It’s not as conforming as shredded foam, but it still feels comfortable and does not cause pressure points.
Because solid memory foam is more susceptible to heat buildup, the pillow is ventilated with small holes that dissipate excess heat.
Also, the foam has an open-cell design that retains less heat than traditional closed-cell foam.
The cover is made from a fabric called velour. It is super soft, similar to velvet.
A softer lower profile pillow serves in a great way for both stomach and side sleepers as it provides proper alignment in both sleeping positions. So it can be surely said that it is among the best pillows for side-sleepers and stomach-sleepers.
We recommend the SleepBetter Gel Fiber Pillow.
It has a 4.5” loft.
This is within the right range for side sleepers, but it seems a bit too high for stomach sleepers.
However, this is a fiber pillow, not memory foam. It uses a down-like fill that is softer and more pliant than memory foam.
So when you sleep on your stomach, the pillow compresses to provide proper spinal alignment.
When you sleep on your side, it conforms to your neck curvature, providing pressure relief while also holding your head at the right loft.
It’s a great choice if memory foam pillows feel too firm or too high for you. It’s also great for those who are allergic to natural down pillows.
The fiber is infused with gel to keep the pillow cool. The cotton cover also helps with breathability and sweat absorption.
This is another great choice if you are looking for a shredded memory foam mattress.
It’s cheaper than both the Coop Home Goods Eden pillow and the Nest Bedding Easy Breather pillow but is just as comfortable.
Thanks to the shredded memory foam fill, you can customize the pillow to your specific needs. Add more fill to make it higher or remove some of the foam to flatten it.
The pillow holds up well to years of use. It doesn’t get too soft or become flat even with frequent washing (yes, you can machine-wash the entire pillow).
Sleeping on the Xtreme Comforts pillow is heaven, according to most of the buyers who have reviewed it on Amazon.
The pillow is firm enough to hold up your head at the right height but still has enough give to conform around your neck and head.
In other words, it is highly moldable.
The pillow does a great job keeping you cool at night. The shredded foam allows heat to dissipate easily.
The micro-vented bamboo cover also helps with cooling. It feels ‘cool to the touch’ no matter the weather.
If you are pregnant or have pain in your legs or knees, a body pillow can provide extra support and pressure relief.
It’s also great for women with wider hips that dig into the mattress, creating an uncomfortable pressure point.
The Snuggle-Pedic shredded memory foam pillow is one of the most popular and highest rated body pillows on Amazon.
The shredded memory foam fills contours well against your body curves and angles.
For expectant women, the pillow holds up your belly without causing any pressure. It also provides extra support for your hips.
You cannot remove or add memory foam like with other shredded foam pillows. But you can move it around the pillow to puff up some areas and flatten others.
The micro-vented bamboo cover keeps the pillow cool and fresh.
Note: To get the best out of the body pillow, use it along with a standard head pillow, ideally shredded foam.
If you prefer the soft and plush feel of a down pillow, we recommend the Luxe Down and Feather pillow.
It’s filled waterfowl feather at the center and white goose down on the sides. The double stitching on the piped edges secures the filling inside the pillow.
The cover is 100% cotton.
Generally, down pillows are not considered as the best pillows for side-sleepers because they are soft and tend to sink too low.
But the Luxe pillow holds your head up surprisingly well. It feels luxuriously soft but still provides adequate support.
It’s probably because of the 3-section design of the pillow. Instead of just stuffing all the filling inside, it’s separated into three parts: the feather core and two down-filled chambers on the sides.
This keeps the pillow from collapsing as other down pillows do. It mostly feels like a soft cloud supports you.
The soft cloud contours easily around your neck, keeping your head cradled in place through the night.
As expected, the pillow is pretty pricey. But it’s better than almost any other down pillow you’ll find in stores.
If you move around at night or sometimes sleep on your back, you’ll want a firmer pillow. This one by Beautyrest is great.
It’s not only suitable for tossers and turners, but it also provides more support for those with broader shoulders.
The pillows come as a two-pack that is cheaper than some single pillows we have reviewed.
These pillows are also observed as the best pillows for side-sleepers. So if you are looking for a budget-friendly pillow, then these pillows are the right choice for you.
While the pillows are not exactly luxurious, they are quite comfortable.
The fiberfill gives the pillow a firm but conforming feel that provides excellent support without putting pressure on your neck.
A 2” gusset ensures support along the edges and prevents the fill from shifting as you sleep.
The cover is made from a 400-thread count Pima cotton fabric. It’s soft, it’s cool, and it’s breathable.
The pillow is easy to care for. You can safely put it in the washing machine and dryer.
If you prefer eco-friendly products, we recommend the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow.
It is certified organic with 100% natural and US-grown buckwheat hull filling. These pillows are also among the best pillows for side-sleepers and an excellent choice for those who want to avoid potential allergic materials like synthetic fiber and feathers.
The cover is also 100% organic cotton. It’s hypoallergenic and stays cool and breathable no matter the weather.
Buckwheat pillows have a unique feel from common materials like fiber and memory foam. The pillow doesn’t feel spongy or mushy.
But it still contours fairly well around your neck and provides firm support for your head. It’s great for those who’d love a firmer pillow.
Like other shredded foam pillows, you can adjust the loft of your Hullo pillow by removing or adding hulls until the pillow feels perfect. If you are looking for the best pillows for side-sleepers, you will not be disappointed by purchasing it.
If you are looking for a pillow that will keep you cool at night, we recommend the Snuggle-Pedicshredded memory foam pillow with a bamboo cover.
Bamboo fabrics are much better at cooling compared to cotton and polyester. The Snuggle-Pedic pillow cover consists of 43% bamboo, 56.4% polyester, and a little bit of Lycra to make it stretchy and snuggly.
The cover is also micro-vented to enhance breathability.
The shredded memory foam filling molds easily to your head and neck, providing you both the support and pressure relief.
Similar to most other shredded memory foam pillows, you can adjust the pillow’s loft by removing or adding foam.
The foam is CertiPUR-US certified and designed to be hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
For a cervical pillow, the TEMPUR-Neck Pillow is surprisingly affordable.
If you’ve never heard of a cervical pillow (also called a neck pillow), it is a pillow designed to offer the best neck support.
The pillow is contoured to mold to your neck curvature. It is raised on one or both edges and lower in the middle. This keeps your neck and head in proper alignment with your body.
The TEMPUR-Neck Pillow has an ergonomic design that supports your shoulders, neck, and head. It keeps you from straining your neck and is especially helpful for people with existing neck or back pain.
The memory foam filling provides extra contouring for added comfort.
If you’ve struggled to find a pillow that feels comfortable, I think the TEMPUR-Neck pillow will probably be your last purchase.
Most people sleep on their sides. It’s a comfortable position that allows easy breathing and prevents acid reflux.
It also reduces snoring, provides better spinal alignment, and it is the most comfortable position for expectant women.
There are different side sleeping positions. Some people curl their legs into a fetal position, some stretch out like a log, and some are yearners who sleep with arms stretched out.
Whatever side sleeper position you prefer, you must have adequate support from your mattress and pillow.
Otherwise, you’ll experience neck stiffness and soreness, back pain, and other problems.
Find a pillow that holds your neck up at the right height – not too high and not too low. It should contour around your neck and shoulders to relieve pressure and provide proper alignment.
Here’s what else you should consider when shopping for a comfortable pillow.
|Loft Category||Optimal Mattress Firmness||Optimal Shoulder Width||Optimal Weight||Thickness||Optimal Head Size|
|Low||Soft to Medium Soft||Narrow||More than 230 lbs.||Less than 3″||Small|
|Medium||Medium||Average||130 to 230 lbs.||3″ to 5″||Average|
|High||Medium Firm to Firm||Broad||Less than 130 lbs.||More than 5″||Large|
Side sleepers sleep comfortably with a medium loft pillow –3 to 5 inches thick. It provides the best alignment between the head and the spine.
If you frequently switch from your side to back, consider buying a higher loft pillow (4 – 6 inches) to cater to those times you sleep on your back.
When you are a combined stomach and side sleeper, go for a lower loft to keep the pillow comfortable when you change your sleeping position.
Or if you are not sure which pillow thickness is ideal for you, get an adjustable pillow that lets you increase or decrease loft.
Most shredded foam pillows are adjustable. You can remove some of the foam to make it lower or add more foam to puff it up.
You’ll have to experiment a few times to get the perfect loft.
Shredded memory foam pillows are some of the best for side sleepers. These pillows mold well to the neck and provide good head and shoulder support.
As a bonus, you can adjust the pillow to your preferred thickness.
If you prefer a plushier pillow, look for one with fiber or down filling. Note that these pillows have a lot of giving so you might not get the kind of support you need.
If you buy a fiber or down pillow, make sure it’s thick enough to support your head and neck.
Buckwheat is also a good material. Buckwheat pillows are usually organic, provide good support to side sleepers, and you can adjust the loft.
Other options include latex, solid memory foam, and feather.
The cover fabric should be breathable and moisture-wicking. This ensures you don’t wake up hot and sweaty.
If you are not heat-sensitive, a basic cotton cover will do.
But if you need extra cooling, look for a pillow with a bamboo cover.
This refers to how well the pillow contours to your neck. A moldable pillow reduces pressure on your neck and provides better support.
Shredded memory foam, down, feather, buckwheat, and fiber pillows are the best at moldability. Latex and solid memory foam are not so good at it.
Finally, decide what pillow size you want. This will depend on your body size as well as bed size. If you sleep with someone, check that your pillow doesn’t take up too much space.
Pillows come in 4 general sizes.
Small: 14” x 20”
Standard: 26” x 20”
Queen: 30” x 20”
King: 36” x 20”
These are just general dimensions. Different companies have varying sizes for their pillows.
So don’t trust the ‘Standard’ and ‘Queen’ labels. Check the actual dimensions to make sure that the pillow will fit on your bed and that you can easily find a pillowcase for it.
Standard pillows: These are the most common types of pillows. They feature a flat even shape, sometimes with a gusset around the edges to boost support.
Cervical pillows: These pillows have raised edges and a divot in the middle. The raised edges keep the neck in alignment with the spine to prevent neck pain. Cervical pillows are great for those experiencing neck pain, soreness, or stiffness.
Full-body pillows: They also provide belly support to pregnant women. These pillows are the best pillows for side-sleepers and serve great for people who need extra hip and knee support.
U-Shaped pillows: A full body pillow provides support to only one side of the body. A U-shaped pillow provides support on both sides – the back, head, neck, hips, and knees. It’s helpful for those who need extra back support and side sleepers who turn a lot while sleeping.
If you have a standard pillow, use it in the normal position – under your head.
When it is a cervical pillow, check that the raised edge goes under your neck and that your head settles in the center divot.
If you need hip and knee support, you have three options.
Better spinal alignment: A pillow that’s too low or too high, misalign your spine and neck, causing neck and back pain. A side sleeper pillow provides better spinal alignment.
Back and neck pain management: If you are already suffering from neck or back pain, sleeping on the right side sleeper pillow can reduce the pain or even get rid of it entirely if it was caused by sleeping on a wrong pillow.
No stiff or sore neck: Keep waking up with a painful and stiff neck? Your pillow is likely the problem. A side sleeper pillow prevents this by providing good support and proper alignment.
Quicker and deeper sleep: An uncomfortable pillow can worsen insomnia, making it difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do fall asleep, you’ll keep turning as you try to find a comfortable sleeping position. The best pillows for side-sleepers help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deep restorative sleep.
Medium-firm. The pillow is soft enough to cradle your neck and firm enough to support your head and neck.
A cervical pillow. It’s designed to offer targeted neck support.
A shredded memory foam pillow is also good. It molds easily to your neck and shoulders, providing support and pressure relief.
Luxury hotels like Marriott and Four Seasons use down and feather pillows. That’s why they feel so soft.
Cheaper-hotels use microfiber, which feels just as soft as down.
Yes, they are. We highly recommend shredded memory foam over solid memory foam. Shredded memory foam pillows provide better contouring and support for your neck.
The best place to buy a pillow is online, either on major retailer websites like Amazon or directly from manufacturer websites.
That’s where you’ll get a wide variety to choose from, great prices and frequent deals and discounts.