The best pillows for side sleepers

The Best Pillows for Side Sleepers

There is nothing more pleasant than sleeping in the position we like and getting up without any discomfort. However, if you sleep on your side like 70% of the population and don’t use a proper pillow, your awakenings won’t be as joyous.

Side sleepers need thick pillows to fill the space between their head and neck; and prevent pressure points from being generated that can trigger pain. 

Choosing these pillows is usually a complex task and many do not know where to start. For this reason, we have prepared a buying guide for you that will help you choose the right pillow for you to enjoy the pleasure of sleeping.

Benefits of side sleeping

Although it may seem strange, sleeping on your side is more common than we think and the truth is that this sleeping position has some advantages over sleeping on your back or sleeping on your stomach.

Sleeping in this position keeps your airways open , so it can minimize the snoring common in back sleepers. Furthermore, it is also beneficial for people with sleep apnea and those who suffer from acid reflux.

With a proper pillow and mattress that offer enough support, this sleeping position can align your spine, head, and neck and reduce discomfort in your shoulders, hips, and other areas of your body.

What have we taken into account in this comparison?

There are many aspects that must be taken into account when choosing a pillow to sleep on your side, however, here we leave you the ones that we consider the most important.

  • Loft, or also known as thickness, is one of the most important aspects when choosing a pillow for side sleeping. Choosing the right thickness will give you the perfect support for your head and neck .
  • Firmness is a fundamental point that will guarantee the correct alignment of the spine . To sleep on the side, pillows with a firmness of medium level are recommended because they adapt without problem to the sleeper’s body.
  • Another relevant feature is the shape, as it is very important that a side sleeper pillow is able to not compress over time and remain fluffy and comfortable.
  • That the pillow is made of quality materials is another important point to consider, since the materials depend on whether the pillow lasts over time and has better performance than other models. You could opt for one made of viscoelastic material that adapts to your neck and head.

The 5 Best Pillows for Side Sleepers

Layla Kapok Pillow, Adjustable Fit-Removable Fill, Cooling, Soft and Supportive at The Same Time, Queen Size
  • COOLING COMFORT: Kapok fibers have been proven to be softer, lighter and more ventilated than cotton or wool. Eco-friendly material is light and airy while still cradling your head and neck. The light and silky Kapok Fibers will disperse your body heat, thus keeping you at a comfortable temperature all night long for more restful sleep.
  • 100% NATURAL FILL: Kapok fill is made from fibers found in the seed pods of Kapok Trees. We use Kapok because it’s fluffy and all-natural. We also love that it’s free from the pesticides and other nasty chemicals typically used in mass crop production.
  • ADJUSTABLE COMFORT: Our Layla Sleep Pillow is made to accommodate all types of sleepers. Whether you are a back, side, or stomach sleeper our pillow can be adjusted to cradle you to sleep. Ergonomic, supportive shredded memory foam, and Kapok Fibers provide cushion and comfort to your head and neck for a restful sleep. The zipper access gives you your desired firmness. Put restless nights of insomnia behind you with our Layla Sleep Adjustable Pillow.
  • THE BEST COMFORT: Kapok fibers is like laying down on a plush, airy cloud. With unique thermal properties, silky sheen and natural moisture absorption, kapok fibers have been proven to be softer, lighter and more ventilated that both cotton and wool, so you get a better, longer-lasting loft than you’re used to. Mixed with premium, open cell memory foam, the pillow cradles your head and neck so you wake up feeling refreshed and balanced.
GhostBed Memory Foam Pillow - Cooling & Contouring Gel Memory Foam with Ergonomic Design & Patented Cooling Layer, 1 Pack
  • The worlds most advanced real-time cooling pillow, now with ice Fabric; as your body temperature naturally adjusts throughout the night, pillow adapts keeping you cool and comfortable.
  • You will instantly feel the cool burst airflow technology the moment you lay your head down on the ghostpillow
  • Performance fabric is cool to the touch and engineered to wick away moisture; inner cover is an aerated mesh scrim.
  • the perfectly engineered balance of comfort & support; ergonomically designed to adjust to your neck and head to achieve ideal spinal alignment
  • he embroidered cover has a zipper for easy removal and care and is ultra plush and kind to your skin
Eli & Elm | Ultimate Side Sleeper Pillow with Adjustable Filler to Get The Perfect Contour Curved Pillow for A Neck Pain Relief Sleep - Removable Latex and Polyester Filling- 17" X 29"
  • DESIGN - Engineered specifically for side sleepers, this pillow conforms to your head & neck allowing for proper support. Side sleepers often agree flat pillows do a poor job holding one’s head up & end up causing chronic neck pain, the Side Sleepers unique U-shape design is made to help alleviate neck pain & promote spinal alignment.
  • CUSTOM FIRMNESS - Adjust the Eli & Elm side sleeper to your desired height & support with the removable latex & polyester filling. Simply unzip the pillow and remove unwanted filling for a soft feel or add filling for a firmer sleep.
  • PREMIUM MATERIALS - So soft even your pet will fall in love with the Eli & Elm side-sleeper pillow. Each cover is made from incredibly smooth cotton, blended with ultra fine polyester and spandex for maximum comfort. Filled with 75% latex & 25% polyester fiber for superior support.
  • REMOVABLE PILLOW COVER: The Eli and Elm Pillow comes equipped with an interior liner allowing for easy removal and washing of the cover. The interior liner includes a zipper to adjust loft to the desired height.
  • HOW TO CARE FOR - Remove cover, machine wash with cold water. Tumble dry with low heat & remove promptly when finshed. Do not use bleach or fabric softener.
Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow Queen Size Bed Pillow for Sleeping - Medium Soft Memory Foam Pillows Cooling Gel - Back, Stomach and Side Sleeper Pillow - CertiPUR-US/GREENGUARD Gold
  • LOOK NO FURTHER, HOT SLEEPERS - Your search for the perfect adjustable pillow has come to an end. The Eden features our soft, gel-infused memory foam & microfiber fill blend for a cooler sleep experience and a gusseted design for edge-to-edge support.
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE, YOU ARE IN CONTROL – Experiencing pain, snoring or tossing and turning are all signs of sleeping wrong. Our unique adjustable design allows you to access the memory foam fill, which you can add or take off to suit your size, shape or sleep position. SLEEP RIGHT!
  • IS YOUR PILLOW GREEN GUARD GOLD CERTIFIED? – Our Coop Home Goods Eden Pillows undergo strict, third-party lab testing and are CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certified to ensure safety and quality. No harmful elements here! IT`S 100% SAFE FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES. Vegan & Cruelty Free – no animals were harmed in the making of this awesome pillow.
  • WE CARE – ONLY THE HIGHEST QUALITY MATERIALS USED! - The case is made with proprietary Lulltra fabric, a blend of viscose rayon and polyester that provides breathability and softness. Premium materials let you finally wake up refreshed. Unlike other pillows – we freshly manufacture our foam instead of using repurposed materials. A bonus ½ lb bag of fill is included with your order if you need a higher loft.
  • Made in the USA with domestic and imported materials. Unlike other pillows – we freshly manufacture our foam instead of using repurposed materials. A bonus ½ lb bag of fill is included with your order.
Core Products Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow for Neck Pain, Orthopedic Contour Pillow, Standard Firm, White, Full Size 24" x 16"
  • THIS PILLOW IS DESIGNED TO HELP CORRECT SPINAL POSTURE OF THE NECK. The concave center cradles the head as the cervical roll supports the neck. Helps restore the proper curvature of the spine. This product is commonly used to help treat a variety of conditions affecting the neck and shoulders.
  • A VERY FIRM PILLOW: Tri-Core must be FIRM to provide therapeutic benefits. For the most aggressive correction, choose Standard Firm option. This pillow is NOT a soft comfort pillow and you may need to adjust to the pillow over several weeks.
  • CHOOSE A SIZE: The full size pillow is appropriate for most adults. IMPORTANT: It may take time to adjust. The pillow is working to help restore proper posture during sleep
  • YOU MAY NEED TO ADJUST to the pillow over several weeks. Immediate overuse may increase neck pain. Most users who slowly ease their way into orthopedic correction achieve the best results. Alternate between Tri-Core and current pillow while your body adjusts. The shaped center is NOT FOR SIDE SLEEPING.
  • USING A CORRECTIVE PILLOW CAN EASE PAIN from tension headaches, neck injury, and arthritis. MADE IN USA. Tri-Core Standard Firm 24 x 16 inches. Nonallergenic, 100 percent virgin polyester fiber fill. Item FIB-200. Cover 50/50 cotton/polyester blend. Fits standard size pillow case.

How to place the pillow to sleep on the side?

Sleeping on your side is most people’s favorite position, but do you know how to use a pillow to sleep on your side? Next we will teach you.

1. Choose the right pillow

You should choose a pillow that gives you the firmness and support you need for your neck and back. We recommend that you try the options available to you and buy the one that offers you the most comfort.

2. Please wash it before use

Check the label on your pillow and follow the washing recommendations to remove any traces of dirt from handling.

3. Buy a case

If your pillow does not come with a cover included, it is best to buy one to cover it and protect it from mites and bacteria that can settle on it.

4. Place her on the bed

Define the place where you will sleep and locate your pillow so that you do not have to constantly move it from place to place and dirty it.

5. Use the pillow correctly

Lie down on your pillow and do not bring your knees to your chest, as this position will cause muscle tension and you will not have a pleasant sleep.

Bestseller Pillows for side sleeper

Side sleeper pillow buying guide

In this buying guide you will find information of interest so that you can more easily choose the pillow to sleep on your side that suits you and what you are looking for.

Types of materials and their benefits

If you are a person who loves to sleep on your side, you should buy a pillow with a material that is comfortable for you and offers you the necessary support . The most common are usually memory foam, feather, latex, buckwheat and polyfoam. Next, we talk about each of them.

memory foam

This type of material is designed to provide a soft feel to the body . It will also offer a perfect fit to your head and neck when you are lying on a pillow of this material. However, you should keep in mind that memory foam or polyurethane foam usually contains heat, which is why it becomes a bit hot material.


The pillows made with this material are usually very fresh and with exceptional durability , so your breaks will be fresh and you will be able to sleep with it for a long time. But, you should also keep in mind that the feathers are a little thicker and denser, so you will be sleeping on a firm pillow with little adaptability.


Latex is a sensitive material that is usually molded with foam and also conforms to the body very well . However, pillows made of this material are usually more solid than viscoelastic ones and just as warm.


Pillows made from this material will give you a very firm and supportive feel and are perfect if you are looking for a high level of firmness. Buckwheat promotes good airflow, but can be a very hard material if softness and conformability are what you’re looking for.


The polyfoam adapts very well to the shape of your body and gives you incomparable softness. Pillows made of this material are usually less firm and more adaptable than memory foam and latex. Although it is usually a very hot material, many manufacturers ventilate or aerate the pillows to minimize the absorption of body heat.

Pillow sizes for side sleepers

The most common pillow sizes are standard, queen, and king. However, given the variety of tastes in sleepers in general, some manufacturers provide additional dimensions such as full body.

  • Standard: These are usually the most compact with their 20” x 26” width and the most common on the market, as they are the least expensive . It is perfect for you if you have a single mattress.
  • Super standard: They are a little longer than the previous ones with their 20” x 28” width. They are a good option if you like to use a larger pillow on a single mattress, but be aware that few manufacturers offer this size.
  • Queen: It is a common type of pillow and with its 20” x 30” width it will give you more space in your rest area.
  • King: These pillows will offer you ample sleeping space . With its 20” x 36” width, it will be perfect for you if you are one of those people who goes round and round in the middle of your sleep.
  • Full Body: The body pillow is at least 4 feet wide and will be perfect for you if you’re one of those people who loves to snuggle up with a pillow.

Doubts you may have

Do side sleepers need a soft or firm pillow?

While some people prefer soft pillows, side sleepers should choose a pillow that is firm enough to offer neck support , which will promote proper alignment throughout the spine.

This is why we recommend choosing a viscoelastic foam pillow , which are usually moderately firm and easy to adjust.

How firm should a pillow be for a side sleeper?

It is important that your pillow is neither too firm nor too soft, with a medium firmness accompanied by a thickness of the same level it will be enough to keep your head, neck and spine perfectly aligned.

We know that the softer pillows are very tempting for the feeling they give you at first, but they compress too much and will not offer you the necessary support, which can cause spinal alignment problems. While very firm pillows will only cause tension and pain in the neck and shoulders.

When should you replace your pillow?

Pillows are the favorite place for mites, bacteria and fungi. These microorganisms get in them the perfect place to stay; causing this that the quality of your rest is affected.

The Sleep Foundation recommends replacing your pillow every two years or investing in pillows that are made with quality materials so you need to replace them less often.

What type of pillow is best for side sleepers with neck pain?

Neck pain is a very common condition, and according to the Mayo Clinic it is largely related to poor sleeping position or lack of head and body support that affects the spine.

If you sleep on your side and have neck pain, it is important that you check if the pillow gives you the necessary firmness, if there is no problem here, then we recommend choosing a viscoelastic foam pillow because they will relieve the pressure on your neck and provide you with an understanding that will align your body.

Contoured foam pillows are also a good choice, in fact, they are the most recommended for people with muscle tension, as they are designed to cradle the head while releasing tension in the neck and shoulders.