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The Best Side Sleeper Pillows

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated June 2022

It's important to sleep as comfortably as possible. For side sleepers, this often means using a pillow that provides neck support and alignment for the spine. Consider these top picks if you're a side sleeper.

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  Top Choice Best Cooling Pillow Best for King Size Best Cube Size Best for Queen Size
 
  PureComfort
Side Sleeping Pillow
Comfyt
Side Sleeper Pillow
Beckham Luxury Linens
Hotel Collection Bed Pillows
Pillow Cube
Side Sleeper Pro
Zoey Sleep
Side Sleeper Pillow
 
Our SummaryThis unique side sleeper pillow has ear cutouts designed to reduce pressure in the ear area.A cooling gel layer makes this pillow an excellent choice for side sleepers who tend to sleep hot.Balance a soft and plush feel with ample support for side sleeping with this set of two hotel-quality pillows.This distinctively-shaped pillow is designed specifically to provide head and neck support for side sleepers.This side sleeper pillow is adjustable to contour to your specific needs for pain relief.
ProsFeatures ear holes to relieve pressure, offers comfort for CPAP users, includes inserts to adjust height, machine washable, comes with bamboo cover. Gel layer on one side, contoured to support your head and neck, relieves pressure, promotes better blood flow.
Set of two pillows, soft down alternative filling, 250-thread count cover, breathable material for coolness, machine washable.Provides head and neck support, 60-degree temperature-controlling carbon core for coolness, available in thin, standard, and extra-thick sizes.
Shredded memory foam-filled, customizable, curved surface for spine and neck alignment, relieves muscle strain and discomfort, breathable cover.
ConsMay be too firm.May need to be aired out due to packaging smell.May lose fluffiness over time.May be too firm.May need to be aired out due to packaging smell.
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The Best Side Sleeper Pillows

Young man lying on bed with orthopedic pillow at home.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Side Sleeper Pillows

Top view of woman sleeping on her side on a pillow.
fizkes/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a side sleeper pillow?

Many adults prefer sleeping on their sides, and some say that side sleeping is the most beneficial position for keeping your spine aligned and reducing back pain. Using a side sleeper pillow may enhance these benefits due to having a contoured shape, which can help maintain spine alignment. Additionally, side sleeper pillows may also help keep your airways open, which might help you avoid snoring and breathing problems. Many side sleeper pillows are also designed to stay cool throughout the night, allowing hot sleepers to rest more comfortably.

What should you look for in a side sleeper pillow?

  • Firmness: Pillows with medium firmness are ideal for side sleepers because they give a combination of contouring and support. Avoid extra-soft pillows that can cause your head to sink, leading to neck alignment problems. On the other hand, hard pillows can cause soreness around the neck and shoulders. 
  • Shape: If you suffer from neck discomfort, consider investing in an ergonomically built side sleeper pillow. These pillows often have a u-shape that fits over your shoulder and relieves neck discomfort.
  • Support: Spinal alignment is critical for side sleepers, so choose a pillow that doesn’t sink too deeply or lift your head too much. You may want to look for pillows with solid foam or latex cores.
  • Loft/Height: Pillows with a greater loft are recommended for side sleepers. You may feel your neck tilt if the pillow is too thin, resulting in tension headaches and muscular discomfort over time.

What is the best fill material for side sleeper pillows?

Memory foam, latex, and down are examples of fill materials you may find for side sleeper pillows. If you opt for memory foam pillows, you’ll find that they hold their shape well and contour to your head to provide support. But some sleepers find them uncomfortable because they tend to trap heat. Polyester and down-filled pillows are soft and may feel cooler, but they may not provide adequate support for people who want a firmer pillow. Other materials you may see when shopping for side sleeper pillows include buckwheat hulls, polyurethane foam, and fiber blends.

Our Picks for the Best Side Sleeper Pillows

Top Choice

PureComfort Side Sleeping Pillow

This unique side sleeper pillow has ear cutouts designed to reduce pressure in the ear area.

Pros: Side sleepers may be susceptible to experiencing ear pressure or pain. If you can relate, you may want to consider the PureComfort Side Sleeping Pillow since it’s designed with ear holes to relieve pressure from the ears, face, and neck. This pillow offers comfort for CPAP users and includes height inserts to adjust it to your preferred angle. It’s also conveniently machine washable and comes with a soft bamboo cover.

Cons: This pillow may be too firm for some.

Bottom Line: The PureComfort Side Sleeping Pillow may look odd, but this pillow was clearly designed for function, not looks. You may want to think about getting this hypoallergenic memory foam pillow to relieve any facial pressure or discomfort so you can awaken pain-free in the morning.

 

Best Cooling Pillow

Comfyt Side Sleeper Pillow

A cooling gel layer makes this pillow an excellent choice for side sleepers who tend to sleep hot.

Pros: The Comfyt Side Sleeper Pillow has a gel layer on one side designed to keep you cool and comfy all night. This cervical pillow supports your head and neck as you sleep, relieving pressure and promoting better blood flow. This high-lofted side sleeper pillow is made of memory foam and conforms to the shape of your head and neck for maximum comfort.

Cons: This pillow may have a plastic smell when it’s first out of the package. It also flattens over time.

Bottom Line: Consider the Comfyt Side Sleeper Pillow if you’re looking for a memory foam pillow with contour and cooling features. The firm support can help with spinal alignment, and the gel layer and bamboo cover work to wick away moisture for a comfortable rest.

 

Best for King Size

Beckham Luxury Linens Hotel Collection Bed Pillows

Balance a soft and plush feel with ample support for side sleeping with this set of two hotel-quality pillows.

Pros: The supportive pillows in this set are encased in a 250-thread count cover and filled with a soft down alternative. They’re made of highly breathable material and are perfect for anyone who suffers from night sweats or easily overheats at night. These side sleeper-friendly pillows are machine washable and are available in queen size in addition to king.

Cons: The pillows may lose some fluffiness over time.

Bottom Line: These hotel-quality pillows are a good value with two in the set. They accommodate side sleepers and others and offer breathability, coolness, and soft support.

 

Best Cube Size

Pillow Cube Side Sleeper Pro

This distinctively-shaped pillow is designed specifically to provide head and neck support for side sleepers.

Pros: This unique cube-shaped memory foam pillow is touted as being made by side sleepers for side sleepers. The Side Sleeper Pro provides support in the area between the neck and shoulder, which helps ease discomfort in that region. This pillow also has a 60-degree temperature-controlling carbon core to help you stay cool as you sleep. It’s available in three sizes, which you would choose from based on your height: thin, standard, and extra thick.

Cons: This pillow may be too firm for those who prefer a softer, fluffier pillow.

Bottom Line: You can get excellent support for your head and neck with the Pillow Cube’s Side Sleeper Pro. It offers medium-firm cushioning, so if you want to try a pillow designed specifically for side sleepers, give this one a closer look.

 

Best for Queen Size

Zoey Sleep Side Sleeper Pillow

This side sleeper pillow is adjustable to contour to your specific needs for pain relief.

Pros: The Side Sleeper Pillow by Zoey Sleep is filled with shredded memory foam, allowing you to customize the height, degree of support, and softness by adding or removing the desired amount of foam. The curved surface aligns your spine and neck, relieving the muscle strain and discomfort that side sleepers may be susceptible to. Additionally, the Side Sleeper Pillow provides relief for hot sleepers thanks to its luxuriously soft, breathable cover.

Cons: This is another pillow you may need to air out for a while to help the packaging smell dissipate.

Bottom Line: Consider this pillow if you’re looking for pain relief and the ability to adjust fullness and firmness to suit your needs. The Zoey Sleep Side Sleeper Pillow is available in white or grey and in king or queen sizes.

Final Thoughts

If you are a member of the popular side sleeping club, no doubt you want a pillow that offers spine alignment and adequate support for your head and neck. Among our picks, you may find the ideal pillow to provide what you need for a comfortable, pain-free night’s sleep.

Desiree Bradshaw
Desiree Bradshaw is a freelance content writer from Memphis, TN with experience writing about e-commerce, RVing, and mental health. She received her BA in English with a concentration in professional writing from The University of Memphis. When she's not writing, she enjoys adventures as a full-time RVer with her husband Randy and spoiled lab mix Buddy. Read Full Bio »
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