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17 Best Pillows for Side Sleepers (2023)

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The side sleeping position is by far the most popular stance in adults, so it’s only natural that we investigated the look and feel of the best pillows for side sleepers. And while there are many reported benefits of sleeping on your side, like reduced sleep apnea– when done incorrectly, it can cause neck and shoulder strain, which can lead to nerve pain and soft tissue problems in the spine.

Based in Pittsburgh First chiropractic clinic owner and chiropractor Dr. Brian Meenan regularly advises its more than 1.6 million followers on ICT Tac and treats patients with sleep-related pain on a daily basis. According to him, the right pillow for a side sleeper should put the least pressure on your spine and neck. “You want your neck to be mostly neutral, not leaning too much to the right or left when lying on your side,” he says.

To help you get a good night’s sleep, we’ve rounded up the 17 best side pillows we could find, including Dr. Meenan’s recommendations, top-rated online favorites, and high-quality bed pillows from my friends. colleagues from Architectural Summary and I have tried it ourselves. Read on to find out our top picks!

  1. Tempur-Neck™ pillow
  2. Sleep Number PlushComfort Pillow
  3. Honeydew Scrumptious Side Sleep Pillow
  4. side cube
  5. Parachute Down Side Sleeper Pillow
  6. Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Pillow
  7. Purple Harmony Pillow
  8. Layla Kapok pillow
  9. Brooklinen Down Pillow
  10. Bowl & Branch
  11. Original Casper pillow
  12. Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow
  13. Saatva Latex Pillow
  14. Coop Home Goods Original loft pillow
  15. Eli & Elm Ultimate Side Sleeper Pillow
  16. Elviros memory foam neck pillow
  17. MedCline Reflux Relief System

Dr. Meenan’s ideal choice for a side sleeper is the Tempur-Neck pillow from Tempur-Pedic, which has a curved shape that’s also ideal for back sleepers. “I always recommend a hybrid of back and side sleeping,” he says. “What this means is that the individual would lie more at the back of the shoulder rather than directly to the side.” Tempur-Pedic’s pillow has a dual-curve construction, with the larger curved surface being the best option for most side sleepers, according to Dr. Meenan’s recommendation.

Sleep Number PlushComfort Pillow

“I like pillows that have some sort of contour,” admits Dr. Meenan. Sleep Number’s PlushComfort Curved Bed Pillow is another chiropractic practitioner’s choice, filled with hypoallergenic microfiber and contoured for added comfort and support. “Because we’re all shaped so differently, people just have to trial and error to find the most comfortable pillows for them,” he says.

Honeydew Scrumptious Side Sleep Pillow

More than 500 Amazon reviewers have given Honeydew’s Crescent-Shaped Medium Firm Specialty Pillow five stars, describing it as the kind of pillow that will keep you in bed all day. In addition to the breathable, CertiPUR-US certified, copper-infused memory foam filling that makes it one of the best cooling pillow options to try, its adjustable loft level also promotes proper alignment to help you to sleep comfortably through the night.

Dr. Meenan also suggests that it’s best to find a larger, firmer pillow, like the memory foam Side Cube, for head and neck support. The brand itself has lofty claims that its sleepers “fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up happier” – and who wouldn’t be intrigued by that? Having slept on the mattress-like pillow myself, I can happily say that this “little bed” did wonders for my aching shoulder and neck pain that I had. And while I’m not entirely sure about the promises of faster, longer, and happier sleep, I know I’ll have time to fully test those claims, because the pillow feels like it’s got me. will last for years.

Also note: if you’re a hot sleeper, this pillow is also available in a cooling version (aptly called the Ice Cube). It has all the support and comfort of the Side Cube, but with the added benefit of breathable fibers that regulate temperature and prevent overheating. This is a pillow designed to stay cool all night long and will never need to be turned.

Parachute Down Side Sleeper Pillow

If a firm pillow really isn’t your cup of tea, or if you’re not ready to give up feather pillows just yet, I recommend Parachute’s Side Sleeper Pillow, which comes in down and down alternative pillow options. Designed with a 3.5 inch gusset to take the strain off your neck and shoulders, this is a great hotel-style pillow option that feels luxuriously light yet still densely filled. Although I usually layer it with another pillow underneath to achieve my desired height, the quality is superb and I reach for it a bit when I want a softer cushion at night.

Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Pillow

Latex pillows that hold their shape are another good choice for people who sleep on their side or suffer from back pain. While Brooklyn Bedding’s Talalay High Bouncy Latex Pillow is a great option for firm neck and shoulder support, I personally think it’s great for extra back support. “If you prefer to sleep on your side, it’s helpful to place a pillow behind your upper back for support so you don’t roll onto your back,” Dr. Meenan says. “It takes less pressure off the shoulder joint.”

For all you hot sleepers who prefer firm pillows, former editor Kelsey Borovinsky (a side and stomach sleeper) was impressed by the way the Purple’s Harmony pillow holds its shape. And while she found the Talalay Cool Gel and Latex Pillow didn’t quite meet her sleep needs, she told us it was a great choice for anyone looking for firm support. “If you like a Tempur-Pedic type pillow that’s really sturdy and supportive, or if you’re looking for a pillow to support other parts of your body, this would be a great option.”

Layla’s Kapok Pillow exceeded expectations from former editor and side sleeper Nora Taylor, who described the copper-infused semi-firm pillow as “supporting cake” and “not soft enough to be a cloud, but deliciously dense.” Made with fibers from the tropical Kapok tree which Layla says are softer and airier than cotton or wool, the pillow eased Nora’s knotty back, and she eventually found it helped her sleep comfortably through the night. When we asked if the price was worth it, she said, “I’d buy myself one in a heartbeat knowing what I know now.

Brooklinen’s Down Pillow is another great not-too-firm option that got a “15 out of 10 – would recommend” from Jacqueline Wladis, our former Associate Director of Business Partnerships. “They’re not so firm that you feel like you’re sleeping on a brick, but they cradle your head and provide good back support,” she told us. Available in plush, semi-plush, and firm, this down pillow is great if you’re trying to work your way up to something firmer like latex, or even Brooklinen Marlow Memory Foam Pillow. Brooklinen recommends the firm pillow for side sleepers because it’s the most supportive of the three options.

Boll & Branch Down Bedroom Pillow (Medium)

Another of the best bed pillows for side sleepers is undoubtedly the Boll and Branch Down Chamber Pillow, which comes in three densities: soft, medium, and firm. Soft density is recommended for stomach sleepers, firm density is recommended for back sleepers, and medium density is recommended for side sleepers.

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