When you first wake up feeling stiff, a little numb, and like you generally got a terrible sleep, it's easy to grumble a bit. Yet, it doesn't take long for most to move on to their daily chores and work. They forget about how badly they slept until it's almost time to go to bed again. Then, they toss and turn in bed unable to find that restful state vital for an ideal sleep.
This dreadful cycle can repeat itself for years, but it doesn't have too.
We have put together some of the 10 best pillows for side sleepers. Find yourself a new pillow that doesn't pinch a nerve or strain your muscles. With the information listed here, it will be a cinch to find a product that relieves pain and has you looking forward to bedtime.
Don't put up with a floppy pillow that has no support. Stop buying those cheap fiberfill pillows that look overstuffed, but end up lacking. You'll be glad you made the switch when you see and feel the results of a better quality of sleep for yourself.
Here is our list for you.
|Product Name||Image||Filling||Overall Rating||Details|
|Coop Home Goods – PREMIUM Memory Foam Pillow||Memory foam||9||Check price|
|Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow||Foam||10||Check price|
|CozyCloud Deluxe Hypoallergenic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow||Foam and fiber||9.5||Check price|
|Sleep Yoga Dual Position Neck Pillow||Polyester||9||Check price|
|Cradle Me Memory Foam Pillow Cervical Contour Pillow||Foam||8.5||Check price|
|Hypoallergenic Bamboo Pillow – Shredded Memory Foam||Foam||8||Check price|
|Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Bamboo Combination Memory Foam Body Pillow||Foam||9||Check price|
|Classic Brands Cool Sleep Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Gusseted Pillow||Foam||8||Check price|
|Therapeutic Design Contour Memory Foam Bed Pillow||Foam||7||Check price|
|Side Sleeper Pro Neck and Back Pillow||Polyester||7.5||Check price|
Are you tired of pillows that go flat after a few months? We certainly are. If you feel the same, you'll love the Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Pillow.
This pillow is stuffed full of shredded memory foam in a proprietary blend that is made exclusively for this brand. It has a removable outer cover for easy washing and a tightly woven inner cover that resists pests and microbes. The Premium Adjustable Loft pillow was also designed and made by an in-house research team in Los Angeles, California.
- Made with 40% Bamboo Derived Viscose Rayon and 60% Polyester
- Made in the USA
- Made with CertiPUR-US Certified foam filling
- Comes with the Coop Home Goods Guarantee
If you are looking for pillow that you can tinker with until you get it just right, then the adjustable memory foam pillow from Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Pillow may be for you. The outer case on this pillow also features a top stitched design that looks great all by itself.
- Covered with a removable quilted bamboo derived cover, this pillow is hypoallergenic. You won't feel stuffed up or itchy at three in the morning.
- You can also remove the outer cover to wash it whenever you want.
- The tightly woven outer cover is dust mite resistant.
- The shredded elastic memory foam is easy to push, pull, or shove into a comfortable shape for sleeping.
- Unzip the inner pouch to remove a little or a lot of the shredded foam, so the pillow is the ideal thickness for you. This is a great option for parents who want to find a pillow that isn't too tall for their kids.
- Memory foam adjusts to fit your head and hold it properly aligned the whole night. You bet you'll get a deep, restful slumber.
- Protect the environment when you use this pillow made without any ozone depleters, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), tris (1,3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate (TDCPP), tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine (TCEP) flame retardants, mercury, lead and heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), or Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
- It comes with a 5-year warranty and is guaranteed not to go flat.
- You can return the pillow within 30 days, no questions asked.
- Shredded memory foam may shift in the night. If you are a light sleeper, you could wake up feeling uncomfortable and must readjust.
- Where do you put that extra memory foam that you took out of the pillow? We guess you keep it in a plastic bag in the back of the closet for five years until you forget what it is or does.
- Some people find that memory foam feels hard, even after it forms to fit your head.
- Some also find that it gives off an unpleasant chemical odor for the first few days. If you want to use it right away, you'll be stuck smelling that all night. They also recommend washing the pillow first thing to remove some of the unwanted odors.
Coop Home Goods – PREMIUM Memory Foam Pillow
Side sleepers with allergies unite. The Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo pillow is here to reduce those symptoms and improve your sleep in the long-term. Made with a high-quality shredded memory foam filling, this pillow also features a soft, vented, and slightly stretchy outer cover. You can order it in one of three sizes: standard, queen, and king.
- The outer cover is made with 43% Viscose of Bamboo, 56.4% Polyester, and 6% Lycra
- Made in the USA
- Memory foam filling is made from eco-friendly Biogreen and Certipur-US Certified Foam
- Comes with a RELIEF-MART, INC. guarantee
You'll like the different size options when ordering for your family. This flexible pillow is also a nice choice for back sleepers, belly sleepers, and pregnant women. The bamboo cover helps to keep you cooler for longer, which is useful for those who tend to be their own furnaces.
- The Kool-Flow cover is soft and features extra breathable micro-vents to help keep you cool for longer.
- Shredded memory foam filling is adjustable to any shape you desire and never goes flat.
- You'll also be able to pop the whole pillow into the washing machine whenever you want.
- This pillow is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. You won't have to worry about your allergies bothering you with this under your head.
- The manufacturer rolls up the pillow and vacuum seals it in a tubular package for compact, eco-friendly shipping.
- The memory foam filling is made without any ozone depleters, PBDE flame retardants, mercury, lead and other heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates regulated by the CPSC, and is low in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
- Each pillow is backed by a 20-year warranty and a 90-day money back guarantee. If you aren't satisfied with it, they'll refund your money and provide personalized customization.
- The memory foam may feel hard on your head after a few hours in the sack.
- If you start as a side sleeper and roll over on your back, the pillow height may put your head at an uncomfortable angle.
- Again, it's memory foam and may put off a chemical odor for a few days after opening. Give it a wash to help remove some of the smell.
- Since, the memory foam is shredded it can shift in the night.
- The outer cover can't be removed from the pillow to wash it. You'll have to put the entire thing into the washing machine. Sometimes, these pillows take a day or two to completely dry.
Do you have a memory foam pillow that is just too hard to sleep on comfortably?
Give another kind of memory foam a try with the CozyCloud Deluxe pillow. Soft as a cloud, this queen-sized pillow was made with finer clumps of shredded memory foam for an easier night's sleep. A chiropractor also designed the CozyCloud to ensure proper head and neck support and alignment throughout the night.
- Made with Certipur-US Certified Memory Foam
- The outer cover is made with 40% Viscose of Bamboo, 60% Polyester
- Made in the USA
- Comes with an iDreamBest, LLC guarantee
The CozyCloud Deluxe is big for a queen size pillow; a plus for adult sleepers and those who like having a little extra support. We also like that the manufacturer will exchange your pillow with their "firmer" version if you find this one is too soft for comfort.
- This is a softer pillow that feels almost like down feathers to give your weary head a rest. Yet, it won't turn into a feather pancake by the next morning.
- The high-quality shredded memory foam and fiber are hypoallergenic. You won't be left itchy and sneezing after a hard night's sleep.
- This pillow comes with a 10-year warranty, and it is guaranteed to be genuine.
- The 30-day return policy gives you a chance to try it out and if you don't like this pillow, they'll give you a refund.
- If for some reason you get confused, push wrong button when ordering, and end up with the "firmer" version of this pillow. iDreamBest offers a free exchange policy to give you the right pillow.
- It's made with non-toxic eco-friendly CertiPur-US Certified Low VOC foam, without PBDE, formaldehyde, or flame retardants.
- The bamboo cover is designed to allow for better airflow, reducing the buildup of heat and keeping you from becoming a sweaty mess.
- Memory foam can shift in the night, so you may need to periodically readjust it.
- The pillow is about eight inches thick when fluffed, but settles down to about four inches when compressed. It could start out too high for your head and then end up too low, depending on your body shape.
- Some people find that the memory foam clumps are too small to hold together and properly support your head.
- Some people also find that the pillow is heavy and too large for their bed.
- While it is low VOC emissions, some also report that it gives off a chemical odor for the first few days. It is fully machine washable and dryable, so you can remove that odor a little faster.
When you're looking for something a little bit different that may also help improve your posture, consider the Sleep Yoga Dual Position Neck Pillow. A chiropractor carefully thought out and designed the Sleep Yoga to provide the kind of sleep that improves how you sit and stand while awake.
With plenty of options for sleeping on your back or side, this is a great product for little kids who are constantly tossing and turning in bed.
- Made in the USA
- The patented filler is biodegradable material imported from Denmark
- The outer cover is made from 45% cotton and 55% lyocell construction
- Available in a standard and queen size
As far as contoured pillows go, this one isn't too different from a traditional design. The Sleep Yoga Dual Position Neck Pillow simply makes use of topstitching to ensure that there are supportive places for side sleepers and back sleepers. This may be an interesting option to try if you tend to start in one position and roll over in the night.
- The unique, ergonomic design allows you to switch positions from side sleeping to sleeping on your back and still be comfortable.
- It's sewn with a curved padded section to fit snugly against your neck, providing essential support and promoting proper cervical alignment.
- When you feel like the pillow is getting a little stinky or oily, just toss it into the washing machine.
- The patented filling is hypoallergenic. Those with dust mite and pollen allergies won't have to worry as much about sneezing, itchy eyes, or a runny nose while trying to rest.
- It won't clump up or lose its shape. The topstitching guarantees that!
- Cool and breathable, so you stay comfortable no matter the temperature.
- Available in a medium soft or medium firm option to better suit your sleeping style. The former is suggested as 'ideal' for children between the ages of 6 to 13 years old and smaller adults. If more support is what you're after, the latter is the best option.
- The Sleep Yoga pillow's top stitching creates an unusual shape that may be uncomfortable for some. Its design also limits you from being able to manipulate the filling.
- The patented biodegradable filling may break down over time.
- Since you can't remove the cover, you'll need to keep the pillow in the dryer a bit longer after washing it.
- Lyocell, the cellulose-based fiber used in the Yoga pillow cover, is susceptible to mildew. Just make sure you keep it nice and dry.
Sleep Yoga Dual Position Neck Pillow
We know that young people these days are always on the lookout for a pillow that is shaped like it came right out of a science fiction movie. Yes, the Cradle Me Memory Foam Pillow is the futuristic answer to sleep that you've always wanted.
It's quilted outer cover is molded to fit the highly original butterfly shape of this head cushion for a neat appearance. Designed to improve your sleep, the Cradle Me provides plenty of height for orthopedic support.
- Created in an innovative butterfly design with 3D contours
- Made with high-end memory foam
- Provides multiple sleep options for picky sleepers
- Comes with a Cradle Me lifetime satisfaction guarantee
Look at this iconic butterfly shape! No really, the Cradle Me Memory Foam Pillow is a suitably firm support for those with spinal issues. When you really need something that will hold you in place and keep your spinal column aligned you want to pillow like this one.
- You'll be able to sleep on your side, back, face, and in space (not really) with this pillow shaped like a UFO.
- The 3D contours offer different heights to better fit your specific body shape.
- Designed to provide orthopedic support for your head and spine.
- Breathable filling and cover help keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
- With the satisfaction guarantee, if your pillow doesn't last a lifetime, you'll get your money back.
- The shape can be difficult for some sleepers to get used to. If you like to punch or squish your pillow into place, this isn't the best choice for you.
- While it does fit into most pillow cases, the Cradle Me pillow may not fit into all of the smaller cases.
- Some people find that this doesn't adjust quite as much to the shape of your head as other pillows with memory foam in them.
- Some also feel that the pillow is too hard to provide a cozy rest.
Allergy sufferers can give their sinuses a break with the Hypoallergenic Bamboo Pillow from Xtreme Comforts. This pillow provides all the benefits that a bamboo fabric can provide, including a cool to the touch outer cover, mold and mildew resistance, and an easy to clean material. Available in a King-size that is great for larger people or just to look good on a massive bed.
- Made in the USA
- Made with CertiPUR-US shredded memory foam
- Micro-vented Kool-Flow pillow cover made with 43% bamboo
- Comes with an Xtreme Comforts satisfaction guarantee
It's a sturdy shredded memory foam pillow for adult side sleepers.
Did we forget to mention that the Hypoallergenic Bamboo Pillow is fully machine washable?
You can easily pop this into the washer and dryer on a gentle cycle and low heat anytime you want to freshen it up. This is a big plus for allergy sufferers and parents managing hectic family lives.
- This pillow was rated the 'Number One Best Bed Pillow' by The SweetHome review organization.
- The shredded memory foam filling is made without any ozone depleters, TCEP flame retardants, TDCPP, PBDEs, lead, mercury, and heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates regulated by the CPSC, or CFCs.
- This pillow will never go flat, so you can use it for years without losing any head and spine support.
- Pop the machine washable pillow in with the laundry whenever you want to freshen it up a bit.
- With memory foam filler and a bamboo outer cover, this pillow is hypoallergenic. You'll sleep comfortably and breathe easy the entire night.
- Micro venting on the cover improves ventilation, so the pillow stays cool. It also helps prevent the growth of mold or mildew.
- Bamboo is antibacterial and dust mite resistant.
- The manufacturer vacuum seals and rolls this pillow into a tight cylinder for economical shipping.
- Since this pillow is in a traditional shape, you'll be able to push, pull, or shift the filling into the shape that you like best for sleeping.
- All customers enjoy a no questions asked, money-back guarantee for up to 30-days. Plus, you'll also get a 6-year warranty from Xtreme Comforts.
- The memory foam may give off a chemical odor for a few days after you first receive it.
- Some people report that the pillow flattens out after a couple of months, or that the memory form tends to compress and clump and won't fluff back up again.
- Some also find that it doesn't help their necks as much as it does their shoulders and upper back.
- It may also cause neck pain when you first use it due to the firmness and height of the memory form.
When you need full body support for side sleeping, the Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Bamboo Combination Memory Foam Body Pillow is the answer.
Love hugging something while sleeping?
This body pillow measures approximately 56" x 18" and is about 7 lbs. It is substantial and provides plenty of support for those who want something to hold up their entire body at night.
- Made in the USA
- The memory foam filling is made with non-toxic Biogreen & Certipur-Us Certified Foam
- Boasts a Kool-Flow pillow cover made with 43% Viscose of Bamboo, 56.4% Polyester, and .6% Lycra
- Comes with a Snuggle-Pedic guarantee
Body pillows are cool, as in hip, not as in temperature regulating. Lucky for you, this pillow is also made with micro-vented bamboo and shredded memory foam. Both of which allow for breathability, ventilation, and help keep you from getting overheated even while cuddling a 4 1/2-foot-long cushion. It's also not that expensive compared to the standard size memory foam pillows on our list.
- The Kool-Flow pillow cover is designed with micro-vents to make it extra breathable. You'll feel cool and comfortable in any season.
- It's super long to provide your head, shoulders, arms, and legs with complete support while you sleep.
- The Snuggle-Pedic's shredded memory foam filling never goes flat and you can always adjust it as needed.
- It is hypoallergenic and dust-mist resistant.
- You get to use the pillow for 90-days, and if you don't like it they offer free personal customization with money-back or exchanges.
- The Snuggle-Pedic is guaranteed genuine with a 20-year warranty.
- The non-toxic, low VOC memory foam limits the amount of gases and chemicals emitted by these pillows when first opened.
- Snuggle-Pedic vacuum packs and seals this pillow for condensed, eco-friendly shipping.
- The pillow is large, so it won't be useful for more than side sleeping.
- It can also take up a lot of space, which may be irritating for your bed partners.
- Some report that the pillow does give off a chemical odor for a few days when first opened.
- You'll have to wash the whole pillow at once since the cover isn't removable. This also means more time in the dryer. Since it is a large pillow, you may need to take it down to the laundry mat to wash in one of their commercial machines.
Throw out that bland cotton/polyester pillow and replace it with the Classic Brands Cool Sleep Ventilated Gel Memory Foam pillow. The name says it all. This pillow is constructed from specialized gel memory foam and cool-pass fiber to help keep you cooler longer. Sleep well and don't wake in the morning feeling like you've spent the night in a Florida swamp.
- Foam is imported from China, while the pillow is made in Maryland
- Made with 100% cool-pass fiber to wick away moisture
- Gel memory foam is ventilated for improved cooling
This is a more inexpensive option in our list of memory foam and side sleeping pillows. It is also great for those who like to stay cool. While we focused on the king-sized version, you can also choose from a standard, Queen, or a contoured pillow. The contoured option features a shallow cut out to accommodate your shoulders when side sleeping.
- The unique construction and materials help this pillow stay cooler than the temperature of the surrounding room for longer.
- Ventilated holes in the molded pillow also improve breathability.
- It is one piece of gel memory foam. You won't have to deal with clumping or shifting.
- The pillow and its gusseted cover are ideal for supporting your head and neck while side sleeping.
- Compresses to fit your head's shape and cradle you all night long.
- It is naturally antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, and mold, bacteria, and dust mite resistant.
- Classic Brands offers great customer service. If you find something wrong with the pillow, let them know and you may be able to get a replacement.
- The pillow may feel hard to some who prefer a sleeping surface with more give.
- While it is advertised for back sleepers too, the pillow's height may be uncomfortable for some.
- It is one piece, so you can't push or pull the filling to the desired shape.
- It won't stay cool all night, but does stay cool for longer than other materials. If you wake up hot, you can just flip the pillow over.
We feel that this pillow looks like the 3D print out of a topographic map, but hey… Humans aren't flat. We're three-dimensional, with all kinds of lumps and curves that make sleeping, well, difficult. The Therapeutic Design Contour Memory Foam Bed Pillow was designed by Inkstar to help fill those negative spaces and provide much needed cervical support for side sleepers.
- A single piece of memory foam featuring 3D design
- Has a removable hypoallergenic pillow cover
- Comes with a tan handled carrying case for trips
- Comes with an Inkstar guarantee
If you travel a lot and have cervical problems, this contoured pillow from Inkstar may help ease your woes. A four-position design allows you to use the pillow on your back, side, and even makes allowances for your shoulders and arms. A handy carrying case also protects it while in transit.
- The multilevel design provides multiple options for sleeping without a loss in support. Sleep on your side or your back without pain or discomfort.
- Memory foam molds to fit and support your head, neck, shoulders, and arms.
- The pillow even has a lower outside edge for you to rest your arms on while sleeping.
- Holds your head and neck at the proper level and angle for spinal alignment.
- You can easily remove and wash the hypoallergenic cover whenever you want. The hidden zipper on the back also improves comfort by covering the hard metal with soft fabric.
- The pillow also features an anti-mite inner cover to help keep your memory foam clean.
- If you aren't happy with the pillow, you can send it back for a full refund with the Inkstar 100% guarantee.
- Some report that the pillows don't completely fill the pillow covers when they expand after first opening.
- While the 3D design offers multiple sleep options, it doesn't allow the sleeper to manipulate the filling into another desired shape.
- The pillow may feel a bit high for some smaller people. This could lead to headaches and neck discomfort if you try to sleep with it.
- Others report that the pillow compresses and starts to feel hard after a few days.
A doctor developed this patented horseshoe pillow design to help naturally align your neck and back. It is also meant to help keep your airways open and prevent snoring. The Side Sleeper Pro has been around for several years and still boasts an ability to improve your quality of sleep. So, this brand has some staying power.
However, recent reports indicate that the construction process may be hit or miss. It should be noted, that this pillow review is for an older version. The manufacturer has a new version called the 'Side Sleeper Pro Air' which contains microbeads instead of polyester.
Sounds satisfying, isn't it?
- As Seen On TV product
- Horseshoe shape promotes good sleep posture
- Made with polyester filling and soft cotton cover
- Comes with a free pillow cover
Those who like this product rave about its ability to open the breathing passages, and provide support to keep you from rolling onto your back at night. It looks like the manufacturer has moved on to another version of the product so it may soon become more difficult to find the original Side Sleeper Pro.
- The horseshoe shape is compact and curves to fit your shoulders and back.
- Great for side sleeping with an extra-long tail to hold your back up.
- An ear well in the top of the pillow helps keep your ear from getting crunched.
- The cotton cover is soft, breathable, and absorbent.
- Zippered cover is removable and the company sells additional covers.
- The shape of the pillow limits you to only side sleeping. It's not ideal for those who like to change positions in the night.
- It may be difficult to find pillow covers for this unusually shaped pillow.
- Some people find that the Side Sleeper Pro has a chemical odor that never quite goes away. However, this may be due to inadvertently purchasing knock-off brands.
- The pillow cover is thin and some find that it tears along the seams after a while.
- Some find that the stuffing moves too much and leaves their heads without support during the night.
Pillows for Neck Pain Side Sleepers
Many side sleepers wake up in the morning with a crick in their necks. They have this pain right at the base of their neck or closer to the very base of their skull that just never seems to respond to painkillers. They can't even turn their heads.
Sounds not very pleasant, right?
Sure, exercise, morning stretches, and yoga are on the daily regimen to try and lessen this unpleasant sensation. It never completely works to get rid of that crick in their necks. Nor does it stop it from happening in the first place.
Because the real cause of their neck pain occurs while they are sleeping. At some point in the night, their pillows inevitably give out, leaving their heads at an awkward angle that pinches nerves along the spinal column.
Would you believe that people put up with this pain for years?
Well, no one has too!
There are lots of pillows specially designed and developed for side sleepers. These pillows provide the support needed to keep your head, neck, and back aligned while you rest.
This is vital because pain often comes from compression of the nerves in your neck. Chronically pinched nerves can become damaged, leading to tingling or numbness that people wake up with and takes hours to go away. Sometimes, it gets so bad that side sleepers are forced to sleep on their backs.
However, this is an uncomfortable option for someone who normally prefers sleeping another way. These unfortunates are left tossing and turning for hours as they try to find position that doesn't hurt.
What can you do about it?
Act today to improve your quality of sleep. Search for pillows with firm materials, such as memory foam, to keep your head from tilting downwards. These pillows should have plenty of height to help fill the space between the side of your shoulders and the side of your head. If you tend to roll forwards or backwards, consider a body pillow or a specially designed pillow with extra length to support these areas.
We've selected a range of pillows that come with warranties lasting for years. This doesn't mean you can skip essential maintenance, such as regular pillow cleaning.
Keeping up with the washing will help prevent bacteria, mold, mildew, and even keep dust mites from burrowing their way into the filler material. Regular cleaning also gives you a chance to examine the pillow inside and out for any small rips that could lead to tears in the future.
Pointers for Fresh and Fluffy Bedding
- Wash your pillow every 3 to 6 months. Mold and even fungi can grow surprisingly fast on a pillow case and inside the filling. If you're prone to allergies, you may want to wash more often.
- Check the tag to see whether it is machine washable. Some companies don't make pillows that are durable enough to go through a machine cycle.
- Check to see if the cover is removable. Removable covers can be washed more frequently, say once a month, which is great for allergy sufferers.
- Only wash it on the gentle cycle with hot water. You don't want to destroy your new purchase. Believe us, the gentle cycle is plenty good enough for removing dust, dirt, and germs.
- Run it through the rinse cycle twice. The second rinse cycle will help ensure that all detergent is removed from your pillow's filler material.
- Low heat on the dryer only. Many of the materials in bedding are light and prone to burning or melting easily.
- Leave pillows in the dryer for an hour at least. However, make sure you check the dryer often. You want to get the pillow dried completely without burning it.
- Air drying may be the best option for memory foam. The nature of memory foam means that it burns easily or could even crumple and become damaged under heat. Consider squeezing out as much of the moisture as possible after washing the pillow and allowing it to rest in a room with circulating air until dry.
Pillow Stuffing Options
You'd be surprised at how many different types of stuffing are used inside pillows. Filler runs the gamut of materials from down feathers to man-made gel beads. To go along with that, manufacturers often claim that each type of filling has its own unique benefits and features.
What is the most common pillow stuffing?
It doesn't take much research to see that one of the most popular pillow fillers is polyester fiber. This product is a type of plastic made from long chains of polymers that are combed and brushed into a light and fluffy filling. It's inexpensive, soft, and dries easily after washing.
The only downside is that polyester pillows tend to flatten out quickly. Side sleepers will have a hard time getting long-term support from a pillow that is full of this stuff.
Is there a better option?
There is always another option, especially when it comes to pillows. If you're willing to invest a little bit extra, you'll move up to a higher quality of material that is great for side sleepers. Memory foam is durable, long-lasting, and hypoallergenic. It is slightly elastic and sticky so it gives when you press on it and will "remember" the shape of your hand, head, or another body part for a few seconds after you take it away.
Some people find that memory foam still feels a little bit hard for their preference. In response, manufacturers have started offering shredded memory foam pillows. These pillows are full of clumps of foam that create the give most people are used to with traditional pillows, while still retaining some of their shape.
If you're still not satisfied, you may want to look into one of these following options:
- Gel Beads
- Polystyrene Beads
- Down Feathers
- Cotton Fiber Fill
Just remember, the more unusual the filling, the more difficult it will be to find in a pillow. Those who have sensitivities or allergies may also want to hold off on getting anything made from natural materials.
Specialty Pillows: What You Should Know
Let's take a look at specialty pillows. These are made in a variety of shapes, all of which are designed to deliver the proper alignment and cervical support for side sleepers. It's just that there are two things about specialty pillows.
What works for one person may not work for you!
The thing about these pillows is that they are outside the standard shape and size that almost everyone on earth uses. They are created for a niche market of side sleepers who have trouble getting a good night sleep on the traditional rectangle.
However, each of these pillows is designed by a different person who has their own ideas about what works. Some think that back support is essential. Others feel that three-dimensional shapes are required with different levels for the head, neck, and arms.
Even the filling in some of these pillows may not be par for the course. Of course, specialty pillows do work for customers that rave about them. Just remember that there are plenty of customers who try the specialty pillows and find them lacking.
So, what about your needs?
You may want to wait on the purchase of a specialty pillow until you've had a chance to try other types of traditional pillows for side sleepers.
If you do find that the standard size and shapes don't work for your body type and height, think long and hard about why the traditional pillows don't meet your needs. If you can identify where traditional design is failing you, this will help you in selecting a specialty pillow that can fill in the gaps, giving you more comfort and a better rest.
You may be limited by your specialty pillow.
Another concern is that specialty pillows may limit you to sleeping in just one position. Not everyone stays in one place for eight hours. In fact, it's kind of hard to do.
Young people, restless sleepers, and those who have other aches and pains may find it difficult to sleep in one position throughout the night. This can be frustrating when you have a specialty pillow designed only for side sleeping.
Luckily, there are always solutions!
Some manufacturers keep this fact in mind when designing their specialty pillows. They create pillows that are suitable for sleeping in a variety of positions, including on your side and your back. We even have a few in our top 10 list, such as the Cradle Me Contour Pillow and the Sleep Yoga Dual Position Neck Pillow.
Most Wanted Features of Best Pillows for Side Sleepers
Imagine that you are standing in the store staring at row after row of pillows. Each one looks great in the store. Light and fluffy, with packaging that boasts all their excellent features. You have to pick one of these pillows to bring home.
With only a few minutes to spare between picking up the kids and rushing to make dinner, it's impossible to stand there and review the features of every pillow to decide on the best one. You grab a pillow that looks good and hope, beyond hope that tonight you'll finally get a deep, restful sleep.
We've all been there.
Sadly, those $5 and $10 pillows that you grab in the store never hold up. Yes, they look supportive, but the polyester fiber fill inside always flattens out in a few weeks. You've left punching and folding a flattened pillow each night to try and get some support. And just think, if you had put a little time into researching the most wanted features of pillows beforehand things might be different right now.
So, let's get started!
Side sleepers need a superior kind of pillow that maintains alignment of the spine throughout the night. The head will tilt downwards at an unnatural angle without it, causing all kinds of pain and discomfort in the long run. This pillow should also be comfortable and feel great from the moment you lay your head down to the moment you wake in the morning.
What are some of the features that you should be looking for? They are:
- A firm, but soft filling that won't collapse over time
- Design that maintains alignment of the head, neck, and back
- Breathability that allows for flow of air through the pillow
- Easy to clean and removable outer cover
- It should be hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant
- A durable pillow that lasts you for years
Find the product that needs these requirements and you'll feel like you are in heaven.
The right pillow will cradle your head like a cloud and leave you in the deepest, most restful of slumbers every night.
Things To Consider
Okay, it's great that you know what kind of features you want in a pillow. That doesn't necessarily help when picking one from the many brands on the market. Lots of brands will even say that they have all the most wanted features.
How do you choose?
Unfortunately, this means that you have to look a little harder at what is supportive in a pillow. You may even need to spend some time testing out pillows from different brands.
Now, that may sound way too expensive! But we've got a secret for you…
Yes, if you don't like the pillow after trying it, manufacturers with a customer satisfaction guarantee will refund your money. Some of them also make personalized customizations to pillows at cost. You just need to find brands that offer these services.
Many of the pillows in our top 10 list are from manufacturers that offer customer guarantees and warranties on their products. All you need to do is look through the list and pick out the pillows that you like from these manufacturers to try.
Woah! We know what you're thinking…
We don't mean that you should take advantage of these companies or try to "game" the system. It's just nice to know that there are products that you can test for 30, 60, or 90 days and return for a full refund. No questions asked if you don't like it.
The companies that offer these guarantees want to make sure that customers are satisfied with their product. They know that a high-quality pillow is a pricy investment. It's tempting to just pick up one of those cheaper pillows at the store. They also know that they have a better product. All you have to do is buy it and try it.
Do yourself a favor. Make a change and don't worry about whether you'll like this pillow out of all the other dozens of pillows that you've wasted money on over the years. Because the right manufacturer will offer a money back guarantee.
Pillows for Stomach and Side Sleepers
You may be wondering why it's so important to get a pillow designed for stomach and side sleeping. That's a good question.
The truth is, while it may feel comfortable to fall asleep on your side or face down in the mattress, it doesn't stay that way. This kind of sleep position can lead to chronic pain and discomfort down the road. You'll certainly know it when you start waking up feeling terrible and wondering what happened!
Well, you didn't just get old.
Long-term misalignment of the spinal column and compression of nerves and muscles is coming back to bite you.
You see, our bodies didn't evolve to sleep in beds. Our animal ancestors slept in trees nestled against the crooks and curves of branches. Our more recent ancestors slept on the ground and in caves, using gathered foliage and animal skins as bedding. We've always slept on uneven surfaces. The concept of a flat mattress, although very inviting after a long day, is relatively new.
This isn't a problem for back sleepers. In fact, some researchers think that it's even healthy for back sleepers to go without a pillow or at least use a very thin one. Sleeping on your back allows the spine to spread out and decompress. Tall, fluffy pillows can also put the head at an unnatural angle for back sleepers.
But one thing's for sure, it's not the same for side sleepers and stomach sleepers.
Yeah, it might be nice if we could sleep on our backs. We can't though. For whatever reason, side sleepers feel most comfortable all curled up and stomach sleepers enjoy the sensation of resting on their bellies.
This means that we have to adjust our bedding to compensate for the misalignment that can occur when sleeping in these positions. An appropriate pillow for someone who sleeps on their side will help fill the space between the head and the bed, without giving way in the night.
An appropriate pillow for stomach sleeper is thin, or even wedge-shaped to help hold the back of the head at an angle. This helps to keep the entire spine straight. Otherwise, you might as well be sleeping on a rock.
Down Alternative Pillows
Feathers were once considered the most luxurious option for any pillow. Soft, squishy, and warm, a down feather pillow gave wealthy heads a wonderful slumber. For the most part, these pillows still work, but …
There are a few problems with feathers.
Down feathers are commonly collected as a natural byproduct of, well, butchering birds for the meat market. Now, these birds would've been sent to market anyway. The factories and farms that raise them are just harvesting the down and selling it for use in pillows and other household items. If you are a vegetarian or against animal domestication, you may have ethical problems with the use of down feathers.
Of course, there are other issues.
As an organic product, down feathers will decompose over time. They eventually lose their fluffiness, and the feathers start to separate and come apart. Many a feather pillow owner has also found feathers poking through their pillow covers. If you should happen to tear the case, it is a mess to clean up too.
Those with allergies won't be doing themselves any favors with these pillows in their beds. As down feathers age, they become prone to developing mold mildew, and even serving as a hiding place for dust mites and other bacteria.
Modern Technology Provides an Alternative
You can still get many of the same supportive and comfortable benefits of down in an alternative material. Shredded memory foam often serves as a down alternative. This product is durable, antimicrobial, and dust mite resistant. Yet, it still provides a softness and give that lovers of down feathers can appreciate.
Not every down alternative is going to be created equally. Some manufacturers shred memory foam into larger clumps that tend to stick together and compress into hard balls that are uncomfortable to sleep on. Others shred memory foam too finely or it is made from a type of material that doesn't stick together as well.
The best down alternative is a compromise between the two that still feels fine and is easy to manipulate inside the pillowcase, while providing the much-needed support that a side sleeper requires.
Chiropractic Pillows for Side Sleepers
You're finally ready to throw out the old, flat pillow that does nothing to support your neck and back. Perhaps it leaves you with a stiff neck and tight muscles. Maybe you finally realized that your difficulty sleeping is impeding on all the other areas of your life. In either case, you have got to move on to something better.
But, what is better for those with chronic spinal problems?
The answer is chiropractic pillows. Usually developed and designed by doctors with experience in orthopedic specialties, these pillows give their users neck and back support. Many chiropractic pillows are also designed to:
- Keep the entire spine properly aligned.
- Relieve pressure points on the head and body.
- Help to decompress the spine.
- Keep sleepers from falling forward or backwards.
- Prevent sleepers from snoring.
There are a multitude of benefits to using chiropractic pillows when you have back pain, neck pain, and other discomforts that are related to how you sleep. The key of course is finding the brand and type of chiropractic pillows that works for you.
Here's the rub.
Chiropractic orthopedics can be extremely specific in what they treat and the body shape and type that they are best suited for. You may find that a pillow specifically designed to keep you from falling forward in the night doesn't provide enough support for the back of your head. Or, the standard size and shape of pillow from a specific brand may be too big or too small to use.
Soon, you'll start to feel like Goldilocks trying out different beds, but you're searching for the perfect pillow.
Thankfully, there are manufacturers who provide customization options for those in search of the ideal size and shape of pillow. These companies give you the option of selecting different sizes of pillows from standard to king-size. Some of them even offer the option of removing some of the filler material to give you the ideal pillow height for side sleeping.
Whether you are a picky sleeper or just have a heck of a time finding a pillow that is perfect for your body, brands like Coop Home Goods and Sleep Yoga may have the answer.
Contour Pillows for Side Sleepers
If you've been struggling with pillows that seem to lose all their support in the middle of the night or eventually turn into flat pancakes, a contour pillow may start to look pretty appealing.
You'd be right!
Although these unusually shaped pillows do seem a little off-putting at first, they can be just what many are looking for in bedding.
These head cushions follow the idea of filling the negative space between your body and the mattress. Theoretically, this ensures that you have plenty of support to get good and relaxed while you sleep.
Most contour pillows are three-dimensional shapes either molded or cut via machine processes. They are a single piece of material, usually memory foam, which helps prevent them from losing their shape over time.
However, some people find that contour pillows are difficult to get used too. They are cut into very specific shapes that may not feel natural when you rest your head on them. If you are just starting to use one and having difficulty sleeping, consider giving it a few days before you give up. There is always an adjustment period with new kinds of bedding.
Keep in mind that there are multiple designs on the market. If the first one you try it doesn't work, try and try again, until you find that sweet relief.
Types Of Side Sleeper Pillows
Consider your options when shopping for side sleeper pillows. Because there are a lot of choices. Manufacturers in combination with chiropractors and doctors have come up with some pretty creative solutions to the problem of poor sleep quality.
Memory foam has got your head … And, sometimes your back!
One of the most commonly used materials in pillows for side sleepers is memory foam. This product has been used by NASA since 1966 to provide safer cushions for seats on aircraft. It worked so well, that they soon expanded into producing memory foam products for use in hospitals and other industries. Of course, it wasn't until the 1990s that later generation memory foam products started being sold to the consumer market.
Memory foam is, of course, made from polyurethane mixed with additional chemicals to increase its viscosity and elasticity. Nowadays, you can find all kinds of memory foam pillows mixed with gels, fragrances, shredded memory foam, or solid foam pillows made to be softer or firmer to suit your personal preferences. It mainly provides support while giving slightly to mold to the shape of your body.
Contoured pillows have that back to the future feeling…
Manufacturers sometimes go in the opposite direction in creating pillows that are contoured to fill in the negative spaces when you are sleeping on your side or stomach. These pillows are still made from soft materials, including memory foam. However, they are designed to remain firm and hold the same shape.
We joke that contoured pillows look like geographic landscapes or topographic maps, but in a sense, that's not far off. They are meant to give you a supportive landscape on which to sleep.
Body pillows give you something to hold onto!
Side sleepers can't go wrong with a nice, plush body pillow. These long, thick pillows are designed to be held against the body rather than placed under the head. They're a good option if you have a tendency to fall forward in your sleep. A body pillow can help keep your face out of the mattress and prevent your shoulders and arms from folding in, which causes some people back pain and shoulder problems.
You'll find all manner of materials inside body pillows, from polyester fiber fill to that ever-present memory foam.
How To Choose a Side Sleeper Pillow
We can guess that you are having trouble choosing a side sleeper pillow. After all, this is a lot of information to take in at once. You have 10 different products to try and plenty of advice to follow.
Here's the thing…
You don't have to spend hours researching pillows. The best way to choose a side sleeper pillow is to look at a few essential features to decide what you want. Consider these questions.
- Do you think memory foam puts off too many odors?
- Do you find that polyester just doesn't provide enough support during the night?
- Are you looking for something that is contoured to fit your shoulders and head?
- Are you looking for a pillow that lasts for years?
Once you know what you want in a pillow, it's easy to pick one out. All you need to do is commit to spending a little bit extra for something that will improve the quality of sleep you have and your health in the long run.
Because a good pillow is worth its weight in gold.
To sum it all up:
We feel that the Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is the most versatile of our best pillows for side sleepers. It is a traditional rectangle shape but comes in three size option from standard to king-size. It is also filled with high-quality shredded memory foam and features a bamboo pillow cover that is excellent for those with allergies.
The manufacturer also backs their pillows with a 20-year warranty, so you know this product is very reliable. A 90-day money back guarantee is among the longest product return and refund periods in the market. Plus, those who are interested can return the pillow to have it customized per their requests and sent back to them.