Nothing starts your day off better than getting a good night's sleep. And if you’re one of the estimated 70 percent of people who sleep on their sides buying the right pillow for side sleepers can help.
If you sleep on your side, retaining your neck in an excellent position is crucial for a good night's sleep. More than any other type of sleeper, you need an outstanding pillow to cover the space that sneaks out between your head and mattress while you sleep on your side.
By adopting a cushiony pillow that also elevates support for your head, neck, and even shoulders, you can restrain neck pain from mangled nerves and a misaligned spine.
So, we head out scouring and fishing for the right pillow for side sleepers. Good thing, we netted a couple of side sleeper pillows that are hard to beat.
Are you in hurry? Check out Coop Home Goods' Shredded Memory Foam: Our best pick pillow for side sleepers that tap out your upper body’s heat for long-lasting shut-eye.
Coop Home Goods
Shredded Memory Foam
Good Life Essentials
Ultra Soft Fiber
Gel Fiber, Cotton Cover
Buckwheat, Cotton Cover
Reviewed: 10 Best Pillows for Side Sleepers 2018
Here we will cover 10 of the best pillows for side sleepers. Our choices were informed by our own experience from our in-house testing and reviews from customers.
#1. Shredded Memory Foam by Coop Home Goods
- Hypoallergenic & dust mite resistant
- CertiPUR-US certified foam
- Easy to care -machine washable cover.
- 5-year warranty
- 100 days money back guarantee
Our top-pick and recommended best pillow for side sleepers takes above-average balance among support, comfort, eco-friendliness, breathability, and durability very seriously. It’s also certified hypoallergenic and mite-resistant. The shredded memory foam allows you to beat yours to a mold you like, wick in refreshing and cooling air, as well as tap out your upper body’s heat for long-lasting shut-eye for many more days.
Coop Home Goods made its outer covering in cushy bamboo-derived rayon to add punch to accentuate these use cases. The viscose rayon cover is also washable, so you just need to peel it off and swank it into that washer, run it, and then dry it for added tidiness and ultra-breathability.
It also comes with a slim profile at a 3-inch thickness that’s especially splendid for hardcore side-sleepers who toss and turn to other sleep postures much less often or people with smaller shoulders—thus smaller gaps between their neck and mattress.
All these also make it lightweight to move about if you need to say, shift between cuddling, hugging, sneaking a hand below or above your cool side-sleeping pillow.
#2. Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo + Shredded Memory Foam
- Hypoallergenic & dust mite resistant
- Zipper removable outer cover
- Eco-friendly biogreen & certipur-US certified foam
- 120-night, no hassle refund guarantee
Like the Coop Home Goods Pillow above, this one comes with a bamboo-originated, varicose rayon outer covering. And like the above, it also is well-ventilated, hypoallergenic, and dust-mite resistant. Again, the shredded memory offers the flexibility that a single chunk of solid memory foam would not; you can beat, mold and flex it on a whim to suit your unique sleeper taste.
If you have larger shoulders, that might be responsible for that huge gap you leave gapping between your neck and mattress surface. In turn, your neck has to slump down to the mattress at a creepy angle that causes your neck muscles to strain and your airflow highway to collapse and choke kicking you up occasionally like a spoiled fossil-fuel engine.
To solve that complex web of un-comfort and inevitable neck and back pain, opt for this 5.7 inches plump Snuggle-Pedic pillow. It’ll be more comfortable than the Coop Home Goods model we reviewed above.
#3. Shredded Memory Foam from Good Life Essentials
- CertiPUR-US certified foam
- Hypoallergenic premium pillows
- Comfortable for all sleep positions
- 30 days, no hassle refund guarantee
This is another memory foam alternative and top contender for best side sleeping pillow on our A-list.
Apart from the conspicuous conformability of anything memory foam, this hypoallergenic (And certified by CertiPUR US) is 5 inches thick. On paper, that shouts ‘I have got your upper body covered’. In reality, you get just that. This one, like the two above it, comes with an easy-to-clean, bamboo-derived rayon outer layer.
That adds a touch of comfy and earns it a lease of life as in breathability. So you can bet it is eco-friendly and moldable, thanks to its shredded memory foam core rather than have just one block of memory form for optimal support and comfort.
That further makes is a multi-sleeper pillow. Combined with its relatively generous size, it’ll help you catch the ZZZs better and longer if you also tend to switch to back and stomach postures.
#4. Five Star Down Alternative Pillow
Think memory foam is not the plushest of them all? Here’s a better-fitting alternative for you in form of a top, user-rated down pillow. It no doubt feels 5-star, like a top-end spa retreat every time you hit the stack for some shut-eye.
You might find the firm but adjustable aspects of it the most appealing. Or you might like that it's hypoallergenic unlike a whopping number of down pillows in the market right now.
Still, you might like how you won’t have to deal with irritating little feather ends that poke you on the surface of the pillow. Instead, you get plush, even luxurious (it's a subjective thing, you know) comfort and support in one down pillow.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
To push this element, Five Star aptly applied a 300-thread cotton work of art into the 3.5-inch thick pillow to help maintain its loft with excellent comfort and support. For its size, most side-sleepers will find it good enough to guarantee above-average rest through the night.
#5. Malouf Zoned's Talalay Latex
Buy this latex pillow if you prefer latex firmness that’s superior to traditional latex pillows out there. Expect a pillow that is resistant to bacteria and other allergenic crawlers.
But even more, expect the natural latex to offer bounce/springiness, a latex-degree of conformability and softness, as well as flexibility. So if you like a softer, yet adequately supportive and comfy bulge under your head and neck this 2.8-inch thick pillow might just get you covered. But, of course, you might prefer the medium-firmness of memory form to the medium-softness of the natural latex.
But if you do go with the latter, you can also check out Hollander’s Beautyrest Latex, if you switch to back sleeper position rather often.
Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5
#6. Iso-Cool Memory Foam by Sleep Better
This is Sleep Better's better sleep surfaces for the head, neck, and shoulders. They made sure to stitch gusseted sides for optimal upper body support and conforming comfort all around. It a 22 by 16 inches pillow that tops out at a 4.5-inch thickness.
To top off this offering, the Iso-Cool pillow comes with a pure cotton cover that is not only machine-washable but also hypoallergenic to not conjure up any allergic reactions while you should be sleeping. After washing and zipping that cover back on, you’ll find it feels sultry soft and indulging. We figured that the company threaded a 300-thread-count case for the extra snug.
What’s particularly soft and soothing, though, must be its cooling technology to blow the tendency of the memory foam core to sleep hot.
Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5
The pillow has a pocketful of micro-beads all around the inner layer of the outer cover to help detect your body’s temperature so they can ‘tell’ at what rate to absorb heat and afford you the optimal sleeping temperature you need to sleep all night long, every single night.
#7. Mediflow’s Original Waterbase
Task this water-core pillow with an adjustability test and it’ll rise right up to it. Mediflow’s water base model is suited for anyone who wants to take charge of their sleep by customizing their tool of sleep to their sleep posture and ultimate liking.
You can feel as much tap water into it as it can handle, to build pressure inside, and zip it engulfs it in its 100% cotton cover. It ends up holding remarkably well. But we recommend medium pressure/firmness best side sleeping support. That pure cotton cover is resistant to bacteria, fungi, dust mites and other allergy-baits. So you if you have an allergy and prefer the adjustability (well, and thrill) of the water base pillow, you might find this a cool and healthy option to call on your side sleep.
Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5
It is likely to feel like the best 4.5-inch thick water-filled pillow for you and someone else, too—that flexible and sharable.
#8. Conforma Memory Foam by Classic Brands
The name, ‘Conforma’ as in conform, speaks gallons. Here you have a memory foam pillow that is excellent at conforming to your head and neck’s contouring for enhanced support and comfort.
Despite being one of the best pillows from the brand, it is one of the best-priced foams around—the best bargain on this list. Yet it feels durable and quite firm such that some may find it too firm for their taste. You could try lying on its 4.5-inch velour material for a couple of days to discover how it feels after a while.
The cuddly velour is infused with cooling technology, so this memory foam pillow should be able to keep you cool and aerated, by wicking moisture and body heat off your upper body.
Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Check if the seller is willing to extend you a home trial offer. That way, you get to feel things from your most comfortable and convenient trial field—your own bed and mattress surface.
#9. Beyond Down by Sleep Better
Sleep Better went an extra mile to try and fit your side sleeper expectations in just one pillow. They thought they had to infuse a gel-fiber core into a down stuffing pillow to even out top-notch support and comfort.
The result is a generous 5-inches head, neck and shoulder couch offering that evasive blend of luxurious plush feel and medium-firm support base. The gel allows the whole thing to catch a breath, making it breathable and great for cool nights under your head.
And the gel filling won’t creep out from behind the cover to cough up an exasperating odor or allergy attack while you sleep. It is hypoallergenic and pretty soft too.
Overall Rating: 4.4 out of 5
All this means while the overall experience is one to point at as soft and cushy, it also one you won’t complain of flattening your surface all the way to the bottom—which is one thing you’d want in a pillow investment.
#10. ComfyComfy’s Buckwheat
This one is a good option for those who want to considering another natural material for your next pillow. A buckwheat shell is fantastic in that it is 100% natural, curbing any harmful allergies and crawlies moving about and causing mayhem in and around the home. Instead, you get a good serving of buckwheat hulls, snugly stacked up to a 3-inch depth. So if you tend to turn into back sleeper position, this is a great choice to take to bed.
The company behind it dipped pure, organic cotton twill to cover up the buckwheat hulls core. And that works exceptionally well to optimize both support for your head and neck—although it is noticeably small for it to extend all the way to the mid-section of your shoulders’ breadth.
Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5
This side sleeper pillow is a great bedtime treat for propping up your back to read a book or shut down for a special reinvigorating session between the sheets.
Quick Round-up Of the Top Pillows for Side Sleepers 2018
1. Coop Home Goods’ Shredded Memory Foam: Superior in terms of comfort, body-hugging that ensures little unnecessary motion while you sleep & cooling element of a truly modern memory foam sleeping surface.
2. Shredded Memory Foam from Good Life Essentials: This is a great option if you prefer eco-friendly, supportive and comfortable features all in one pillow for side sleeper.
3. Snuggle-Pedic, Bamboo Combination Memory Foam: It's hard to pass it off when you need a pillow that's ideally thick for extra support between your neck and mattress. It's great for multipurpose use but side-sleepers might love it even more..
4. Five Star’s Down Alternative: Here’s an excellent alternative if memory foam sleeping surfaces are not your favorite spots. This is a down-filled, wide and thick pillow that mixes up comfort & support.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Wondering how to choose a great head and neck rest in a snap? We have just the goods to empower you. Here are the top 5 things to consider when buying an ideal pillow for side sleeping.
1. Hypoallergenic and breathability: You are going to spend a third of your day, every single day, breathing so closely or even through the pillow’s material. So, if you have any allergic reactions to certain materials you’ll want to strike out any pillow that accentuates the condition.
And if it tends to overheat it’s not giving you the aeration/ventilation you need, it is not breathable. Still, if it chokes good sleep out of your mantle, forcing you to burn and scorch through heat flushes, you’ll not want to cuddle it into your bedroom either.
2. Material used: Find the right material for your side sleeper pillow. Check the used/filling material: the outer layer may be made out of cotton or bamboo material making for a light and ultra-breathable pillow. But the inside layers usually engulf memory foam, buckwheat shells, gel, water, cotton fiber and even micro beads.
3. Your sleeping habits: Would you prefer a moldable or formed head and neck rest? If you’d rather have a pillow that adapts to your tossing and turning, a moldable pillow will do just fine. So a water, beads or buckwheat shells insert pillow might rock your nights.
On the other hand, if you like a rather ‘staunch’ pillow that withstands your shifting sleep motions without changing its position or shapes much, a formed one might just be it. You make the call based on your unique needs and habits.
4. Consider special purpose pillows: Maybe you are a mom-to-be. Or have young children who might not be able to speak up for themselves on what pillow is best for them. You get to do the talking and walking, then.
An ideal pregnancy pillow gets you the support you need to keep your head, neck, and spine in a natural alignment, hence curbing back and joint pain that may be an issue for most to-be-moms.
Hugging and cuddling a whole body pillow made out of supportive memory foam or cushy down or standard cotton fiber filling, for example, will afford you the support and comfort your changing body shape needs.
5. Ask yourself, who'll use the pillow: Are you buying this for just yourself or for someone or even others as well?
You’ll agree not everyone wants what you want. So, you’ll need to ask to know what suits their sleeping tastes to make sure this is a truly informed pillow purchase decision based on use cases in and around your home.
6. What if you need a good pillow for young, side-sleeping children? They have small shoulders, so you’ll need a pillow with a slim profile to snug into the smaller sneaking gaps between their neck and mattress. Remember the pillow’s firmness will need to remain medium firm, the best firmness level for most side sleepers to grab a good night’s sleep.
Yet, if you want a pillow they can use for a while as they grow, you'll need a flexible one. For example, a buckwheat shells or micro-beads-core, as well as a water-cored pillow, can be awesome for adjusting with time and changing pillow firmness and comfort levels.
Types and Material
It accommodates you snugly by contouring to your body shape and snaps right back up when you get off it, ensuring it doesn't flatten out while staying flexible and durable for the longest haul. But while a chunk of foam tends to heat up and curb aeration, shredded memory foam will be your best option if you need to sleep cool yet lay on a supportive and comfy surface.
Tag a latex pillow along if you need one that offers good firmness for ‘full-time’ side-sleepers. So if you tend to toss and turn into different sleeping postures, you might want to tick somewhere else.
This type of material is popular in Asia. It is great when, like water-core pillows, you need a cushy yet firm-enough upper body sleeping surface that flows with you as you toss and wrap up in your favorite spots in bed.
It has helped quite a lot of people handle issues with neck and back pain as well as headaches associated with poor spinal alignment at night.
Get a gel-filling pillow if you want to punch a softness element into your upper body support and comfort level. These days this variety is usually odorless or the smell of a spanking new purchase dissipates in about 72 hours. They are also hypoallergenic, but hopefully, they don't develop clamps which can feel uncomfortably bumpy.
While memory form offers you conformity, water-filled pillows serve adjustability on a silver platter. So if you find you shift side-sleeping firmness and comfort spots, you’ll need a flexible-use pillow that kicks the norm aside and adopts your flexible ways between the sheets.
Benefits of Owning a Pillow for Side Sleeping
Ostensibly, there are indisputable benefits for you to take advantage of when using the right pillow for side sleeping than when you sleep on a traditional soft pillow. If you think that it is not important, then the information below should make you change your mind. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Healthy spine alignment
This is one of the most vital benefits you get when you’re picking the best pillow for side sleeping. It is one of the most important advantages of the side sleeping position as it provides natural spine alignment which is not affected by any mattress. In the simplest words possible, it allows proper flexibility.
Neck and shoulder pain relief
A side sleeping pillow offers more support to your neck and shoulder; therefore there will be no pain in your neck. Neck and shoulder pain are two common issues that affect a lot of sleepers. Experts attribute the pain to a poor sleeping position, and not using the right sleeping gear.
Pillows designed for side sleeping gives you a healthy spine alignment in a manner which would lead to low tension and pressure on your neck and shoulder. This is very important.
Helps with sciatica
Pain from sciatica is very agonizing. It is one of the leading painful conditions that may lead to lack of quality sleep at night. Luckily, getting a special pillow designed for side sleepers can offer relief due to experiencing less press on your sciatic nerve.
Helps with snoring
Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping. It is a very common problem which may occur due to different reasons. Poor sleeping, for instance, is associated with it due to the movement of your tongue right back into your throat thereby obstructing your air movement. However, if you are a stomach and side sleeper, you don’t have to worry about this condition.
Having a proper pillow for side sleepers would offer you with the proper neck and shoulder alignment to avoid blocking your air movement when sleeping.
Your pillow is huge player in your sleep game. To thrust only your A-game and ensure you sleep soundly and wake up ache-less and re-energized, you'll need to find the best pillow for your side sleeping posture.
Our top picks for best side sleeper pillows combine the all-important consideration of support and comfort with soothing cooling, allergen-resistance and proper ventilation options to perform like you are paying them to. This is especially true of our recommended best pillow for side sleepers, the Shredded Memory Foam pillow from Coop Home Goods.
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