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Best Pillows for Side Sleepers - Down, Memory Foam and More (2021 Picks)

Choosing the right pillow to sleep on your side is something most side sleepers struggle with. Pick a wrong pillow and you can quite literally ruin your sleep.

Since side sleepers make up almost 63% of the entire U.S population, getting your lateral sleep position right through the right pillow becomes all the more important. A pillow that is unfit to sleep on, causes a multitude of health problems as you wake up from your slumber. Back and neck pains are the most common complaints associated with it.

Getting to choose the right side sleeper pillow can however seal the deal for you. We have therefore done hours of research and testing to help you find the best pillow for side sleepers.

Best Pillows for Side Sleepers (2021 Picks)

  1. Pillow Cube Pro
  2. Pacific Coast Double DownAround Firm Pillow
  3. Parachute Down Side Sleeper Pillow
  4. Down Dreams Classic Firm
  5. Idle Gel Memory Foam Pillow
  6. CBD Pillow
  7. Plushbeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow
  8. Layla Kapok Pillow
  9. Avocado Green Pillow
  10. Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow
editors choice
Pillow Cube Pro Side Sleeping Pillow

Pillow Cube Pro


Side Sleeper Pillow Reviews

1. Pillow Cube Pro - Most Comfortable Pillow for Side Sleepers

The Pillow Cube features a one-of-it’s-kind cube-like design that has revolutionized the way side sleepers sleep. By proactively catering to the ergonomics involved in enabling side sleepers to sleep peacefully through the night, this pillow gives most other side sleeper pillows a run for their money.

Pillow Cube Pro - Most Comfortable Pillow for Side Sleepers

The construction of the Pillow cube steers clear of those traditional rounded pillows with its advanced cube design. This came about as a result of the realization that only a cube shaped pillow can effectively fill up the gap between your head and shoulder to keep your spine aligned in a lateral sleeping position. Doing so prevents side sleepers from developing neck and back pains, while allowing you to sleep peacefully throughout the night.

Since side sleepers generally require a higher loft pillow, they shall find the pillow cube resonating with their individual needs. With 3 height variations, the Pillow Cube allows you to pick the best fit that suits your purpose and build – mainly depending on how wide your shoulder is. The wider the shoulder, the higher loft you will require.

The pillow cube is constructed using high response variable support memory foam, which is known for its durable support and microbial nature. This practically means your pillow requires fewer washes for maintenance and is unlikely to lose its loft anytime in the near future. It is a pillow that accompanies the side sleepers for years to come.

Pillow Cube is neither too firm to make you uncomfortable nor too soft to sink your head in. Instead, it is a medium-firm pillow that delivers a perfect combination of comfort and support. The pillow case is very soft to the touch and is highly breathable which prevents your pillow from overheating.

If you are someone who cannot give up sleeping on your side, this perfectly engineered side sleeper pillow is genuinely made for you.

Check out our pillow cube review to learn more about why this pillow made it to the top of our list.

2. Pacific Coast Double DownAround Firm Pillow

This pillow by Pacific Coast is the best down pillow for side sleepers. Featuring just the right combination of firmness, loft, support and absolute luxury, The Double Down Around Firm Pillow ensures a night of ultimate comfort for side sleepers.

Pacific Coast Double DownAround Firm Pillow

What makes this pillow ideal for the side sleepers is it’s gusseted design. Gusseted edges allow the down and feather filling to be evenly distributed right to the pillow’s edge. For side sleepers, these edges tend to fill up the gap between your shoulders and head, thus maintaining proper spinal alignment.

The pillow’s firm, yet fluffy support, comes from its extraordinary pillow-in-a-pillow design. The inner pillow filled with highly resilient Resilia® feathers is responsible for the springy support this pillow provides to your head. The Double Down Around pillow therefore effectively prevents your lateral sleeping position from aggravating your ear, shoulder or neck pain by stopping your head from sinking in.

The pillow’s superior loft and fluffy comfort on the other hand, is attributed to the outer pillow’s generous amount of HyperClean® down filling. Pacific Coast pillows make use of only the fluffiest down clusters with a 550 fill power, ensuring that your head is sufficiently lifted to keep your spinal alignment in check. This prevents side sleepers from developing neck or lower back pains.

The navy blue cording on the pillow’s gusseted end, on the other hand adds the luxurious touch you require from your signature bedding.

As for the pillow fabric, the Barrier Weave down and feather proof fabric is not only soft to the touch but also allows the pillow to maintain its superior loft for longer. Engineered to last long, the Double Down Around Pillow becomes the perfect pillow for people who sleep on their side.

3. Parachute Down Side Sleeper Pillow

Featuring a 750 fill power and a 3.5-inch gusset, the Parachute Side Sleeper Pillow provides maximum comfort to lessen the strain off your overworked neck and shoulders. Its medium density level and the smart gusseted design ensures that the fill is evenly distributed throughout the pillow, including the edges offering end-to-end support for your head and neck.

Parachute Down Side Sleeper Pillow

With equally distributed filling throughout, your neck and head get the perfect support they need when falling asleep on your side. The additional support helps in the perfect alignment of the neck to the pillow, which removes any chance of back, shoulder and neck pains.

The Parachute Down pillow is luxuriously stuffed with a mix of down and feather filling enclosed in a 100% cotton sateen shell for a comfy feel. Overall, it provides side sleepers with the maximum cushion and support to keep their spine in line as they slumber.

The pillow is filled with European white down fill (85 percent down and 15 percent down-feather combo) that is bound to upgrade your daily sleep routine. With the right amount of firmness and fluffiness, the Parachute Home pillow is a great choice for overweight side sleepers and lightweight sleepers alike.

The company also offers a 60-day trial money-back policy, which gives you the peace of mind to purchase this pillow without fearing about losing your money in case you find this pillow unfit for your sleeping preferences.

To retain it’s unparalleled support and plushness, the pillow should be dry cleaned. It can also be machine washed on a delicate cycle using mild liquid laundry detergents to make sure the filling doesn’t get damaged. In order to dry, tumble dry it with Wool Dryer Balls and remove promptly once done.

4. Down Dreams Classic Firm

Ideal in terms of it’s adequate firmness and superior support, the Down Dreams® Classic Firm Pillow is another solid pick for most side sleepers. Similar to Pacific Coast’s Double Down Around pillow, it utilizes down’s extraordinary fluff and resilience of feathers to provide an ideal combination of luxurious softness and springy support.

Down Dreams Classic Firm

What differs however in this pillow is the use of duck down and feathers instead of goose down fill used in the Double Down Around Pillow. The resulting difference is minimal, both in terms of durability as well as support.

The pillow makes use of a rather unique dual chamber design where it combines the softness of down with the resilience of feathers to provide ultimate comfort and support. The inner chamber is made with a predominant feather and a little down filling to give side sleepers a firm core to sleep on.

The outer chamber however makes use of around 75% duck down and 25% feathers to provide its characteristic softness that enables you to sleep on your side undisturbed throughout the night. Since the down and feathers used are Hypoallergenic, the chances for you developing allergic reactions are rather slim.

Where some down pillows can end up becoming too soft for side sleepers and sink their head to cause neck pains, the Down Dreams Classic firm pillow is comparatively firmer. On the other hand however, mixing of down with feathers in the inner pillow chamber ensures that it is not too firm to cause the side sleepers to develop ear pain. With its medium firmness, it is an ideal fit for people who prefer sleeping on their side.

Side sleepers looking for a touch of luxury to follow ultimate comfort will find this pillow quite handy. The Down Dreams pillow has been repeatedly featured in some of the five star hotels in the world including Hilton. Bringing it home helps you to recreate your hotel’s evident state of the century luxe within your personal bedroom.

5. Idle Gel Memory Foam Pillow

The state of the art cooling technology incorporated in Idle Gel Memory Foam Pillow helps side sleepers sleep cool during the night. Combining the resilience of memory foam with an innovative technology that cradles your neck while you sleep, this is the best cooling pillow for side sleepers who sleep hot.

Idle Gel Memory Foam Pillow

While the down pillow’s extraordinary insulating abilities can make sleeping cool look like an unachievable dream, the gel memory foam pillow ensures otherwise. The pillow makes use of the Idle Gel Memory Foam formula, which tends to deliver ideal cooling throughout the night. If you are a side sleeper who experiences night sweats, this pillow fits your profile.

The gel memory foam pillow is known for its ability to hold its shape and loft for long. Side sleepers can therefore trust it to provide unrelenting support throughout the night, and prevent their head from sinking in. This firm support prevents you from waking up to a pain in your neck, shoulders or head region.

Taking supportive comfort a step ahead, the pillow features advanced Innovative Zoned Technology. The indentations across the pillow’s surface act as specially crafted zones that tend to cradle the head and neck of side sleepers to deliver an enviable support while you sleep. This conformity of memory foam tends to alleviate pressure points in the neck or shoulder regions that commonly develop as a result of sleeping on your side.

The same indentations also make this gel memory foam pillow highly ventilated by ensuring an efficient air flow. These vents and holes regulate your body temperature, therefore further delivering a superior cooling effect. For side sleepers, this means not waking up all clammy and breathless in the middle of the night.

This pillow comes with a soft bamboo velour cover which is extremely soft to touch and delivers a silky soft surface to sleep on.

6. CBD Pillow

CBD Pillow claims to be the world’s most relaxing pillow to enjoy a night of ultimate comfort and calmness, which is true to an extent. CBD pillow has quite literally revolutionized the way side sleepers sleep, through its patented state of the art technology that aids in an all-natural sleep throughout the night. With customizable firmness, this CBD infused pillow is a great choice for side sleepers.

CBD Pillow

The CBD pillow makes use of a proprietary blend of shredded memory foam as well as plush microfiber. This unique blend of filling materials delivers a medium-firmness that the side sleepers find particularly comforting.

Shredded memory foam is known for its supportive firmness. It is neither too resilient like the solid memory foam, nor too soft to sink your head as down pillows are often known to do.

However, what’s particularly exciting about this pillow is its unique ability to allow you to customize its fill to a firmness level that you desire. It consists of a zippered inner chamber containing the fill. You can take out or add the filling until you achieve the desired loft and firmness.

While adjusting the filling, you need to pay particular attention to the space between your shoulders and head. As a side sleeper who intends to wake up feeling refreshed without neck or shoulder pains to complain about, you would need to fill that gap and aim for a neutral spinal alignment.

The CBD pillow is quite similar to the Gel memory foam pillow in terms of the superior cooling effect they both generate. Unlike the gel memory foam pillow, CBD pillow makes use of a pillowcase that is infused with millions of microcapsules containing CBD.

These capsules burst during the night to deliver a superior cooling effect that side sleepers find extraordinarily comforting. Since the CBD used is hemp-based and certified to meet safety standards, you can use the pillow without any health concerns.

The softness of the bamboo derived breathable rayon outer liner gives this pillow the final touch of luxury. Its silky feel tends to help you sleep fitfully through the night.

7. Plushbeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow

This GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified organic latex pillow is a sleep haven for side sleepers. Featuring a hypoallergenic filling of shredded latex, this organic pillow delivers superior comfort and support to sleep on your side. Its high moldability and bouncy nature further makes it an ideal companion for those who prefer the side sleeping position.

Plushbeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow

Since shredded latex tends to be less firm than solid latex, side sleepers prefer this pillow for its supportive yet relatively medium firm and loftier nature. The resulting higher and supportive loft enables you to wake up feeling refreshed without developing inconvenient neck and shoulder pains.

The shredded latex pillow also tends to match the softness of the traditional down pillows. These however are more resistant to clumping and flattening in contrast to the down fillings. Side sleepers can therefore trust a shredded latex pillow to provide consistent and long lasting loft throughout the length of their pillow which, as a result, reduces your chances of developing neck strains.

If you are a side sleeper who prefers to mold your pillow while you sleep, the Shredded latex pillow is made precisely for you. The naturally soft and highly versatile property of the shredded organic latex makes your pillow highly moldable. Since organic latex also has a springy and bouncy nature, it immediately returns to its position once the pressure is released, thus making the pillow highly durable.

Though the shredded latex pillow doesn’t quite deliver the cooling effect that is expected of CBD or Gel Memory Foam pillow; it however is naturally heat resistant. Thanks to the shredded memory foam as well as the overall breathability of natural latex, this latex pillow does not sleep hot. So if you prefer a natural latex pillow and want to sleep cooler, this pillow can seal the deal for you.

8. Layla Kapok Pillow

Similar to the shredded latex pillow in terms of its moldability and snuggly comfort, the Layla Kapok pillow is another great pick for side sleepers. It features a remarkable plush, that tends to work ideally with the lateral sleeping position. Moreover, the pillow’s pressure relieving properties make it an ideal pillow for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pains.

Layla Kapok Pillow

Layla Kapok mixes two very unique filling materials, both with distinct characteristics. Where the Kapok fibers generally compete with the softness of down to deliver a sleeping-on-the-cloud like experience, memory foam on the other hand gives the pillow its characteristic density. This plausible combination gives the pillow its idiosyncratic balance between a soft plushy support and resilient, springy feel.

Side sleepers generally opt for a higher loft to fill the space between their shoulder and neck to prevent neck strains. The Layla Kapok pillow is quite literally regarded as one of the loftiest pillows in the market, thanks to its generous blend of kapok and shredded memory foam.

The superior loft, together with the pillow’s ability to cradle your neck and head and relieve pressure points in your body, make it a popular choice among side sleepers.

What makes the pillow even more interesting is its adjustable loft. The Layla Kapok Pillow features a zipper cover holding the filling, which can be used to add or remove the filling. As a general rule of thumb, side sleepers with wider shoulders require a higher loft. Through easy customization, you can ensure that the pillow conforms to your unique loft needs to deliver superior comfort throughout the night.

Lets not forget the pillow’s distinctive feature that makes use of CuTec® performance copper fibers infused within the polyester cover to keep you cool throughout the night. Since polyester itself has natural moisture wicking properties, it combines copper’s induced cooling effect to ensure a fitful sleep for you.

9. Avocado Green Pillow

Are you a lover of all things organic? The Avocado Green Pillow is as natural as a pillow can get while offering extraordinary comfort and superior plush. This 100% organic pillow combines kapok fibers with GOLS organic certified latex rubber foam ribbons to deliver a resilient support necessary for side sleepers.

Avocado Green Pillow

The sustainably harvested latex rubber used as the filling gives the Avocado pillow its resilience and support. Though the kapok fibers are generally extremely fluffy and soft and give the pillow its characteristic fluff; without latex’s springy support, they would allow the pillow to let your head sink. This throws your spine out of its natural alignment, thus giving way to neck, shoulder and back strains.

The latex derived resilience is therefore extremely crucial for side sleepers who desire the kapok’s softness yet need a pillow that can contour their neck and head. This is why Avocado Green Pillow is indeed a preferable choice to be used by people who sleep on their side.

The Avocado Green pillow is among the few pillows that offer a customizable fill option which side sleepers find quite handy. It enables you to adjust the loft as per your personal preference and need so as to sleep comfortably throughout the night.

The pillow cover is made of GOTS certified organic cotton, which happens to be extraordinarily soft, breathable and durable. It has moisture wicking properties that tend to generate a cooling effect while you sleep at night, preventing you from sweaty and clammy nights.Moreover, since the pillow is free of toxic materials, without being tainted with petroleum based synthetic products, it is one of the healthiest pillows in the market.

10. Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow

Coop Home Goods Eden is a good pick for side sleepers who have developed a knack for sleeping on a firm pillow. It is made to maximize comfort, which is evident from the careful blend of filling materials used. Hot side sleepers would find this pillow genuinely comforting for its cooling gel and superior support.

Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow

For a side sleeper to wake up feeling energized without having to deal with sore neck and shoulders, your pillow should feature the right loft to help maintain the natural curve of your spinal alignment. The Coop Home Goods Eden pillow is the best firm pillow for side sleepers that allows for customization of filling to help you get the desired loft.

So if you are a side sleeper with a preference for a soft yet resilient support, you can customize your cozy Eden pillow to match your build and size to tap into a night of ultimate comfort.

This Coop Home Goods Pillow is made of cross-cut gel infused memory foam and microfibers. Where the memory foam delivers extraordinary plush and support, the gel-infusion caters to the heat retaining problems associated with memory foam, and delivers a comforting cooling effect during the night.

In addition to a customizable loft, the stretchy liner of the pillow ensures that you are able to mold the pillow into any shape that you feel comfortable in. So if a squishy and malleable side sleeping companion is what you have been looking for, the Coop Home Goods Eden pillow is a fairly safe bet.

The Coop Home Goods Eden pillow features a gusseted cording similar to the ones in Pacific Coast’s Double Down Around pillow. It allows for the filling to provide end-to-end support so that your head does not sink due to uneven filling as you sleep. This yet again provides an unrelenting support that is especially necessary for side sleepers.

side sleeping woman resting on a pillow

What to Consider When Buying a Side Sleepers Pillow?

Choosing the right side sleeper pillow to sleep on is not as straightforward a choice as it sounds like. There’s a variety of things that need to be taken into account and each pillow needs to be assessed in terms of their performance based on some key factors. Let’s take a look at some of the crucial things to consider when buying a side sleeping pillow.

1. Firmness

When sleeping on your side, resting your head on a pillow that is firm enough to support your head and neck is extremely important. Oftentimes, individuals buy extra soft pillows in an attempt to recreate cloud-like softness to sleep on. Since such pillows fail to provide adequate support when sleeping on your side, you find yourself sinking within the pillow during the night.

Apart from straining your breathing, a less firm pillow makes your spine go totally out of alignment and strains your body’s pressure points. This in turn will evidently develop pain in your neck, shoulders and back as you wake up, devoid of a restful sleep in the morning. A firm pillow on the other hand keeps your spine aligned and ensures you achieve a fitful sleep.

However, too firm a pillow itself can become discomforting. Since it wont cradle your neck and head, there is a good chance it will exert extra pressure and result in neck strains instead. Too firm pillows are also known to contribute to ear pains. You therefore should be looking for a medium firm pillow.

2. Loft

When you sleep on your side, your shoulders create a right angle with your neck. The space created in between needs to be filled by your pillow, which is why your pillow should have an adequate loft to be able to fill the gap.

Your pillows essential function is to maintain your posture as you sleep. If the aforementioned gap is left unfilled or is improperly filled, your spine is yet again thrown off balance, resulting in neck and shoulder pains.

As a general rule of thumb, side sleepers should be looking for a loft of at least 4 inches. However, it varies depending on how broad your shoulders are. The broader and wider your body frame is, the higher the loft required.

3. Filling Material

Your pillow filling material tends to affect its loft, as well as its firmness and therefore plays an important role in determining the kind of pillow you should be buying. Most down pillows, for example, provide superior comfort in terms of fluff and softness but down filling alone is not an ideal filling material for pillows to be used as side sleepers. This is why most down pillows for side sleepers are mixed with a resilient feather core to deliver a cushioning support.

Similarly, materials such as memory foam and latex tend to add the right level of firmness that you require from your orthopedic pillow. These are often used in combination with softer and fluffier fillings to create the right balance between firm support and a plush loft.

4. Pressure Relief

Consider whether your pillow provides pressure relief or not, before buying your side sleeping pillow. Your pillow’s pressure relief properties are yet again based on the filling material as well as the pillow’s firmness.

Certain materials such as latex and memory foam can contour to the shape of your neck and head. By cradling your head, the entire weight of your body is equally distributed along the length of your spine, thus preventing the pressure points of your body from getting strained.

5. Support

A supportive pillow tends to cradle your neck and head region and thus prevents it from sinking within the pillow as you sleep on your side. The more supportive your pillow is, the better it is able to maintain your spinal alignment.

When checking how supportive your pillow is, you also need to see how long the pillow can hold its loft. There are certain pillows that don’t go flat and retain their shape for long, e.g. latex pillows are bouncy and can retain their original shape for a long time. Such pillows tend to offer superior and long lasting support.

A few pillows also feature gusset panels for extra support. This tends to ensure an even distribution of filling throughout the length of your pillow to maintain a consistent support.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of pillow is best for side sleepers?

Side sleepers need a pillow that is able to perfectly fill the gap between head and shoulder when you lie down on your side. This, for the most part, is affected by the type of filling material that is used in the pillow. It should be neither too soft nor too firm to cause the body’s pressure points to strain. Moreover, a side sleeper should opt for a pillow with a loft of at least 4” or more, in order to sleep peacefully throughout the night.

How thick a side sleeper pillow should be?

The height of the pillow for side sleepers should neither be too high so that it causes your head to be raised above the natural position, nor should it be too low. An ideal side sleeper pillow generally has a loft of about 4-6 inches depending on how wide your shoulders are. People with broader shoulders tend to require a higher loft while those with a smaller build require a less lofty pillow.

Where do I put my arms when sleeping on my side?

Side sleepers should make sure that they sleep with their arms right by their side, in order to prevent pinching their shoulders. Your arms and hands should generally be parallel to your sides, while being placed beneath your face and neck. If your arms are raised above your head, the chances of straining your shoulder muscles are greatly increased. If however you have an arm that hurts, try to shift your side onto the unharmed arm, so as to prevent your hurt arm from getting strained further.

Are down pillows good for side sleepers?

Down is a relatively softer material with lower levels of firmness to support the side sleeper’s torso. Therefore, down alone is not exactly the best choice when it comes to pillow selection for sleeping on your side. However, most pillow manufacturers make use of down in combination with a certain proportion of resilient down feathers to incorporate a cushiony support. Such pillows tend to work ideally for side sleepers, with their firm yet plush support.

Why does my shoulder hurt after sleeping on my side?

There can be quite a few reasons for that all of which are a direct result of putting excessive pressure on your shoulder muscles. This is often due in part to your pillow’s inability to keep your spinal alignment in check. If your pillow’s loft fails to properly fill the gap between your shoulder and neck or if it is either too firm or not too firm, chances of you developing a shoulder pain multiplies. Your shoulder can also get hurt as a result of sleeping on the side that experienced some sort of an injury.

Are body pillows good for side sleepers?

Yes, body pillows tend to be ideal for side sleepers, thanks to their ability to relieve pressure points by maintaining your spinal alignment and distributing your weight equally across your body. Since the weight is adequately distributed, your lower back doesn’t end up taking excessive pressure, nor develops strains and pains. Hugging a body pillow tightly as you sleep on your side has also been linked with releasing the tension built up in your muscles and inducing a rather calming effect.

How many pillows should a side sleeper use?

As a general rule of thumb, you shall be needing two pillows as you sleep on your side; one underneath your head and the other between your knees. This tends to keep your spine aligned in its natural position and distributes your weight across the entire body to prevent development of excessive pressure points. You can also make use of a body pillow instead which acts as a terrific pressure reliever as you hug it tightly for support.

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