While sleeping on our backs is undoubtedly the most common position, many people also sleep with their side. A survey by the National Sleep Foundation observed that up to 40 percent of adults reported side sleeping.
This number has likely risen as more and more people factor in a good mattress in their bedroom. With so many individuals spending a third of their life asleep, it’s essential to find a pillow that suits your needs best. But how does one even start choosing? What factors do you need to consider? How can you be sure that the pillow you end up purchasing will suit you better than any other option out there?
Fortunately, our list below will help you out. We’ve compiled a list of factors you should pay attention to when choosing the best pillow for side sleepers.
Best pillows for side sleepers 2021
1. Simba Hybrid Pillow- Cooling Gel Fiber
Made from Simba’s patented ‘Gel Active’ technology, the pillow is designed to combat heat retention, which causes discomfort when sleeping. The cover is made of 100% cotton for a soft and smooth fabric against your skin.
It also comes with a built-in pocket so you can adjust the thickness of your pillow to suit your preferences.
Another great feature is that it comes with an ultra-soft microfiber side that will allow you to face, neck, and chin into one zone while resting on the other zone.
- Hygienic and easy to wash
- Breathable for a cool night’s sleep
- Incredibly comfortable, especially when it conforms perfectly to your body’s shape upon sleeping
- The microfibre cover is soft and gentle to the skin
- Some users reported having difficulty adjusting the pillow to their preferred thickness
- It might be too soft for some people
2. Silentnight Firm Support Pillow
Specifically designed for side sleepers, this pillow is firm enough to keep your neck support in the correct position.
The cover is made of polyester material which makes it easy to wash and care for. It’s available in various sizes, so you can pick one that suits you perfectly.
- Comes with a high-quality cotton cover that is comfortable for you to lay your face on
- Very affordable price
- Firm enough to keep side sleepers’ necks properly aligned
- Comes with a 25-year guarantee
- Too firm pillow for some people
- Some users noted that it was not as soft as they had expected it to be.
3. Tempur Ombracio Pillow
Tempur pillows are made with visco-elastic memory foam that has been uniquely molded to give you an extra level of comfort. The density of the foam is soft enough to form ideally around your neck and head, providing support where it’s needed most while maintaining pressure points as old pillows do.
It also includes a washable pillow protector in the package, so you won’t have to worry about staining or leaking.
- The soft visco-elastic memory foam conforms perfectly to your neck, giving you the best support without being too dense for comfort.
- Cooling technology means that you can fall asleep calmly without waking up due to hot sweat, providing a luxurious night’s sleep.
- The uniquely molded design gives you an extra level of comfort
- Comes with a pillow protector
- Compared to other pillows, it’s more expensive than most
- Not everyone likes the feel of Visco memory foam when sleeping
4. Kally Sleep Ultimate Side Sleeper Pillow
The Kally Sleep Ultimate Side Sleeper pillow is one of the best memory foam pillows for side sleepers on the market. It is made with high-quality shredded memory foam that has been delicately crafted to maintain proper neck elevation while sleeping.
The Pillow cover is made of 100% cotton material but allows for breathability, which will keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
- High-quality memory foam with a soft and smooth surface to reduce pressure points on the head and neck
- Breathable fabric cover keeps you cool as you sleep
- Affordable price, especially when compared to other side sleeper pillows
- Some users say it’s not ideal for back sleepers
- Too soft pillow for some people
5. Emma Cloud Pillow
The Emma Cloud Pillow is the best soft pillow for sleeping but also firm enough to provide support.
It’s made of memory foam that has been shredded into millions of tiny pieces, which are then packed together with a soft cotton cover. This makes it soft and flexible while still maintaining the perfect level of support your neck needs when you’re resting on your side.
- The shredded memory foam conforms perfectly to your head and neck while keeping pressure points in check.
- Offers more support than most pillows thanks to the density of the material
- Affordable price for people who are concerned about their wallets but want high-quality products on the market
- The soft and smooth surface ensures pressure points are minimized as you sleep.
- Easy to clean cover with a tiny zipper for added convenience.
- Some users have reported the pillow being too firm/hard for their liking
- The zipper can be difficult to close due to being very thin. You might need help from a partner, friend, or family member if you’re having a hard time closing it yourself
- May feel hot and sticky during summer months unless kept in a well-ventilated room
Types of pillows
As you can see, various pillows on the market will suit your particular needs. Whether you’re looking for material, size, or level of pillow firmness, you’ll find the perfect match here.
However, remember that not all pillows are made equal, and some might be better suited for your sleeping style than others.
Memory foam pillows
Memory foam is excellent for managing pressure points during sleep. Pillows made of memory foam will conform perfectly to your head and neck while maintaining a cool surface that won’t let you wake up due to sweaty discomfort.
Latex pillows are ideal if you’re looking for durability and a level of firmness in your pillow.
However, it’s also the priciest option out of all we’ve listed here, so keep that in mind when making your purchase.
The best down pillows are very soft and comfortable, but they tend to flatten over time which means you’ll have to replace them more frequently than other types.
However, a pure down pillow is the best down pillow out there for the softness and fluffiness of a pillow.
If you prefer a more natural feel for your pillows, then the buckwheat option might be right up your alley.
A buckwheat pillow is made of organic materials and is usually customizable, which allows it to be the best adjustable pillow depending on how firm or soft you like it.
If your primary concern is neck pain or discomfort, then a cervical pillow might be just what you need. These pillows are designed to support your neck and prevent it from getting sore throughout the night.
Wool pillows are an excellent choice for those who suffer from allergies as they’re naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
They also allow your head to breathe, meaning they won’t make you feel as hot or sweaty as some other materials.
Bamboo cover pillows
These pillows are eco-friendly and made of bamboo fabrics. They don’t trap heat which means you won’t wake up hot and sweaty in the middle of the night.
Silk pillows are very luxurious and smooth. They offer a perfect mix between softness and firmness, which is why they’re appreciated by many people who enjoy sleeping on their sides.
The Benefits of Side Sleeping
Sleeping on your side can be very beneficial for your overall health and well-being. There are numerous benefits associated with this sleeping position, which helps explain why so many people love to sleep this way.
- The curve in your neck will be straightened out.
- Easier to breathe compared to laying on your back or stomach
- Helps ease symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux due to the excess saliva that builds up while lying down flat
Pillows for side sleepers come in a wide range of prices depending on the material and brand.
1. Cheap pillows
These are usually made from low-quality materials, which means they’re not very durable, but they will suffice when you’re concerned about money. They will work well during hot season months but might get too hot in colder weather unless you live somewhere that gets cold.
These are best suited for people who rarely use their pillows and want them to last as long as possible so that they won’t use them every night. The average price is £10-£20
2. Mid-range options
These pillows offer better durability than cheap alternatives and can be used daily or weekly without worrying about them wearing out quickly.
However, since they don’t have high-quality materials, they might feel hot during the summer months. Their price is lower than that of high-end pillows but higher than budget options. The average price is £20-50
3. Expensive pillows
These are usually made with superior quality materials, which means you can use them daily without worrying about them wearing out quickly. They offer the best level of comfort and durability, so if you take good care of your pillow, it should last for years before needing to be replaced.
These may not be the cheapest option on the market, but they’re a good investment for those who want a long-lasting product. The average price is £50.
How to Choose a Pillow for Side Sleepers?
If you’re a person who prefers sleeping on your side, then the type of pillow you use is essential. A well-chosen pillow can significantly help with neck and back pain caused by sleeping in an uncomfortable position for too long.
- First off, choose a supportive pillow that offers enough support for your head and neck.
- Memory foam pillows are usually the best option due to their ability to offer excellent comfort levels while keeping pressure points in check at all times.
- Make sure it’s neither too thin nor too thick unless you want to wake up with back or muscle pains every morning after slumber.
Thousands upon thousands of pillows out there claim they’ll provide the restful night’s sleep. However, some of them are more suitable for those who prefer sleeping on their stomach or back. As a side sleeper, you need something to keep your posture as straight as possible so as not to cause pain in some parts of the body.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Pillow for Side Sleepers?
If you’re a side sleeper, it’s essential to choose the right pillow to prevent neck and back pain. When buying a pillow for side sleeping, some factors that you should consider include:
- Know what material your pillow is made of
- Are there any notable additions like gel or memory foam cover?
- How big is the pillow?
- What about its level of firmness?
Remember, not all pillows are created equal. Whether you want something more luxurious like down or buckwheat pillows or prefer something plain like memory foam ones, it’s up to you.
However, make sure your choice will offer enough support for your neck and head curves without causing stiffness in other parts of the body.
What Size Are Pillows Available?
The most common size pillow is the standard. You can find pillows that measure 20 x 26 inches, 18 x 26 inches, and even smaller ones measuring 12 x 16 inches if you’re looking to save some money and space no matter what your sleeping position might be.
If you prefer a bigger pillow, then something like the luxury king or queen sizes might be more suitable for your needs.
- Standard Size: This size is widespread, and it’s the best choice if you only need one single pillow
- Queen Size: Slightly larger than the regular, which makes it better suited for couples who enjoy sleeping together in bed without disturbing each other
- King Size: The largest of them all with measurements of 20 x 36 inches
The weight of a pillow is often overlooked by those buying it for the first time. If you’re looking to save some money and space, you should probably consider smaller pillows made from memory foam.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more versatile and comfortable, then down or cotton fillings can be a good choice.
- Cotton: Very lightweight but not as durable as synthetic materials
- Down: Some of them are heavier than others, depending on how dense they are. This type of filling is very soft, which makes it perfect for anyone who loves sinking into their pillows at night
- Feather Pillows/Goose Down Feathers: The heaviest out of all three with around 4-6 ounces of filling on average
- Synthetic Pillows/Microfiber: The middle ground between the two with 3-5 ounces of fillings per pillow
Level of Firmness
If you decide to get the best memory foam pillow, it’s essential to consider whether you want something soft or extra firm.
On the one hand, softer pillows with medium firmness are better suited for side sleepers that prefer sinking into their pillows while sleeping. These types of pillows can also work great for people who often wake up in the morning with neck pain because they allow the head and neck to sink but equally distribute weight all over.
Extra firm pillows are perfect if you want support for your whole body while still being able to keep your spine in line without letting your head sag. If you’re having trouble deciding on what degree of firmness to choose, then it might be a good idea to try out the pillow first before buying it.
Other Tips for Side Sleepers
- Try using an extra pillow to support your neck.
- Another option is to choose a soft but thin flat pillow to place under your head and between your knees for maximum comfort.
- Place a second pillow under the waistline for added support if you’re pregnant.
How often should you replace your pillow?
The general rule is that you should stick to one for as long as possible when it comes to pillows. If your pillow becomes flat or too soft, make an effort to replace it as soon as possible.
However, if your pillow develops a nasty odor and has visible signs of wear like cracks and tears, then it might be time to say goodbye and invest in a brand new one because all mattresses need proper support.
What pillow loft works best for side sleepers?
Most people prefer using pillows with medium to low loft, which measures about 4-6 inches in total. Even though you can get pillows with a standard thickness of 12-16 inches, they usually make sleeping uncomfortable for side sleepers because it’s too thick and pushes the head forward.
With that being said, it’s recommended that you try out several types until you find one that works best for your needs.
What pillow type is best for side sleepers with neck pain?
If you’re constantly experiencing pain in your neck during the day, then there are a few things that you should check first. First of all, if your current pillow is too firm or it has worn down after frequent use, then it might be time to replace it with something softer.
On the other hand, if you have an old pillow that’s completely flat and flimsy at the top, then you could try using a thicker one instead because it can help relieve some pressure on your spine.
How to take care of your pillow?
If you’re sleeping with multiple people, it’s essential to use a top sheet and bedding set that is machine-washed and long-lasting.
However, if you sleep alone, it might be a good idea to invest in quality pillow protectors. On the other hand, getting several cotton pillows for each family member can make it easier to care for them because they can all have their color palette.
While it’s recommended that you get a few cotton or wool pillows for your family, if you have to clean one of them, then it’s typically best to spot clean the pillow rather than washing it. This means that you’ll need to use a small amount of water and mild detergent on any visible stains before letting the cover air dry completely.
However, if there are several unsightly stains, you might have no other option but to wash the whole thing in lukewarm water using a gentle soap. If this is the case, make sure that you use a front-loading washer that can be twice as soft as traditional top loaders.
Can I wash it in the washing machine?
When it comes to washing a pillow, the answer will depend on how dirty it is and what material it was made from. However, if you need to clean a pillow that’s entirely machine washable, then you can use a front-loading washer because they’re more gentle on fabric and can help reduce the chance of tears.
Choosing a perfect pillow is a challenging task due to the sheer amount of different models and brands available on the market today.
However, if you read through our list of suggestions here, we’re sure you’ll be able to find one that will meet all your needs and expectations from such type of product without too many problems.