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Some of the Best Orthopedic Pillows for Side Sleepers

Jessica Jones

Side sleeping is one of the most pretentious positions, as it creates the deepest pressure points. While back and stomach sleepers can usually sleep on about the same types of mattresses, side sleepers are a whole different category. But even if you find the right mattress for side sleeping, it would be wrong to assume that you’re covered. Without the right pillow, your neck, head, shoulders, and spine – they are all at risk of pain. Sleeping in the wrong posture can have drastic effects on both long and short term, so we wanted to share a little bit of side sleeping pillow knowledge.

You may want to read: Best Latex Pillow for Side Sleepers

1. Brooklyn Bedding – Editor's Choice

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  • Dimensions: 29 x 16 x 7 inches (Queen)
  • Weight: 5 pounds (Queen)
  • Fill: shredded foam
  • Cover: bamboo

2. Layla Sleep

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  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 9.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Weight: 4.52 pounds
  • Fill: kapok & memory foam
  • Cover: copper infused yarn

3. Xtreme Comforts

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  • Dimensions: 17.4 x 6.4 x 6.4 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Fill: shredded memory foam
  • Cover: bamboo

4. PureComfort

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  • Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 3.45 pounds
  • Fill: memory foam
  • Cover: bamboo

5. EPABO

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  • Dimensions: 15.1 x 6.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Fill: memory foam
  • Cover: rayon/polyester

6. Misiki Store Contour Memory Foam Pillow

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  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 14 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.49 pounds
  • Fill: Polyurethane foam
  • Cover: polyester and rayon

7. Cushy Form Knee Pillow

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  • Dimensions: 10 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
  • Cover: polyester

8. ZAMAT Adjustable Cervical Memory Foam Pillow

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  • Dimensions: 14.84 x 7.83 x 7.56 inches
  • Weight: 3.58 pounds
  • Fill: memory foam
  • Cover: bamboo rayon

Best Orthopedic Pillows for Side Sleepers

1. Brooklyn Bedding – Editor's Choice

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 29 x 16 x 7 inches (Queen)
  • Weight: 5 pounds (Queen)
  • Fill: shredded foam
  • Cover: bamboo

Pros

  • Made with cool comfort foam.
  • Loft can be customized.
  • Charcoal bamboo cover.
  • Removable and washable cover.

Cons

  • Extremely heavy.

You may have already heard about Brooklyn Bedding and their awesome and comfortable bed sheets, but did you know they also make some really comfortable pillows? The pillow is filled with shredded memory foam, but also contains chunks of breathe-cool foam. This is a valuable feature, as memory foam itself has heat-retaining capacities and may cause thermal discomfort.

When you have a pillow that’s filled with chunks of memory foam, that automatically gives you power over loft customization. You can add or remove fill as much as you need, to achieve the best thickness for side sleeping. But this feature also makes the pillow suitable for other sleeping positions, as you can adjust the height of the pillow as much as you need to.

2. Layla Sleep

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 9.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Weight: 4.52 pounds
  • Fill: kapok & memory foam
  • Cover: copper infused yarn

Pros

  • Made with CertiPur-US certified memory foam.
  • Adjustable loft.
  • Filled with natural kapok fibers.
  • 120 nights sleep trial.
  • Five year warranty
  • Brand with experience in the bedding industry.

Cons

  • Cover is not removable.

Layla makes one of the dopest mattresses we’ve ever come across so far, so we had high expectation going into this pillow review. As it turns out, the Layla pillow has pretty much everything a side sleeper could hope for. It comes at a decent price, but also has the quality to last for many years.

Inside the pillow rests a combination of memory foam and kapok, which allows the sleepers to customize the loft, by accessing the contents through the zipper opening. Wait, did someone say kapok? Much like bamboo viscose, kapok comes from the fibers found in kapok tree seed pods. It doesn’t use any pesticides, not does it have any harmful chemicals.

Kapok is also known as being hypoallergenic, and has more loft compared to materials such as wool or cotton. So, this kapok fill, combined with the CertiPur-US certified memory foam, results is a product that’s both natural and comfortable in so many ways.

The cover of the pillow features a copper fiber infusion, but isn’t removable, so you’ll have to spot clean it. But the pillow is backed up by a five years warranty, and it features 120 nights of free sleep trial.

3. Xtreme Comforts

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 17.4 x 6.4 x 6.4 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Fill: shredded memory foam
  • Cover: bamboo

Pros

  • Fully machine washable.
  • CertiPUR-US Certified foam.
  • Breathable bamboo cover.
  • Customizable loft.
  • Good for all sleeping positions.
  • Aligns head and neck.

Cons

  • Too firm.

Let’s talk a little bit about how awesome the Xtreme Comforts pillow actually is. It features shredded memory foam which is CertiPur-US certified and is really safe to sleep on. Since we’re talking shredded foam, customization of the loft is really simple, as you can always add or remove filling to have the pillow reach the height of your choice.

Shredded memory foam also makes it easy to mold your pillow to bet fit your favorite sleeping position. While it’s a great pillow for side sleepers, who says back or stomach sleepers can’t use it as well?

The bamboo cover features micro-vented kool-flow technology, which means that breathability won’t be an issue. The pillow’s cover will maintain a cool surface, allowing your face to breathe. The pillow is hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant, and the cover can be removed and washed in the machine.

4. PureComfort

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 3.45 pounds
  • Fill: memory foam
  • Cover: bamboo

Pros

  • Good for CPAP users.
  • Removable layer.
  • Soft and breathable bamboo cover.
  • Cover can be removed and washed.
  • CertiPUR-US certified memory foam.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Ear cutouts.
  • Pressure relieving.

Cons

  • Memory foam runs soft.

Here is yet another great example of an orthopedic pillow designed to be customized by side sleeper, so that it can meet their needs. The ear cutouts are here to make sure that you don’t feel any pressure pain as you’re sleeping, but it’s also a nice touch to refresh the skin.

The pillow comes with a couple of inserts, which can be removed so that your pillow will have the perfect height, for the best alignment. The memory foam used to make this pillow is CertiPUR-US certified, so you can rest assured that you won’t be sleeping on anything sketchy.

The bamboo cover is really soft and cool, not to mention that it’s also hypoallergenic and won’t attract any dust mites. The cover features a zipper, for removing and washing it, but it’s also convenient for when you want to remove the layers and make the pillow thinners.

5. EPABO

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 15.1 x 6.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Fill: memory foam
  • Cover: rayon/polyester

Pros

  • Good for all sleeping positions.
  • Removable layer.
  • Hypoallergenic cover.
  • Removable and washable cover.
  • 30 day money back guarantee.

Cons

  • Flimsy zipper.

Available in a standard and queen size, we give you one of the best-selling orthopedic pillows for side sleepers. Due to the removable piece of memory foam, we’re pretty confident that you can use this in multiple sleeping positions.

The pillow is filled with memory foam, and while the manufacturer that claims it’s breathable, we didn’t see any actual proof of cooling features integrated into the inner block of foam. The cover is made from rayon/polyester blend, which is dust mite resistant.

Thanks to the zipper, you can remove the filling of the pillow and then wash the cover inside your washing machine.

6. Misiki Store Contour Memory Foam Pillow

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 14 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.49 pounds
  • Fill: Polyurethane foam
  • Cover: polyester and rayon

Pros

  • Ergonomic design.
  • Good loft and neck support for side sleepers.
  • Machine washable pillowcase.

Cons

  • Could take some time to get used to.

The Misiki cervical pillow offers comfortable support while you sleep because it uses quality memory foam with a moderate level of firmness. The neck pillow assists in maintaining a proper sleeping posture, which in turn helps ease pain in the neck and shoulders.

Built using a memory foam core, the aim of this pillow is to identify pressure points and cradle them so you never feel like you’re sleeping on a rock. The cover is made entirely out of polyester and promises breathability and resilience.

7. Cushy Form Knee Pillow

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 10 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
  • Fill: memory foam
  • Cover: polyester

Pros

  • Two size options.
  • Versatile use.
  • Free travel bag.

Cons

  • Might be way too small for some people.

Enjoy relaxation and comfort with the Cushy pillow, which is designed with a breathable construction and features high-quality memory foam for optimal support. This cushion, which is both soft and sturdy, molds itself to the shape of your body to provide the support that can serve multiple purposes.

From keeping your legs apart so you won’t overheat to making sure that muscles and joints are stabilized, I can see why this pillow has gained so much popularity over the last few years.

8. ZAMAT Adjustable Cervical Memory Foam Pillow

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 14.84 x 7.83 x 7.56 inches
  • Weight: 3.58 pounds
  • Fill: memory foam
  • Cover: bamboo rayon

Pros

  • Ergonomic design.
  • CertiPUR-US certified foam construction.
  • Adjustable height.

Cons

  • Some sleepers claim it’s too firm.

For a pillow that not a lot of people have heard of, Zamat has some very impressive features. A superb pillow for pain relief while sleeping, the ZAMAT cervical pillow has an ergonomic form that provides good support for your head and neck.

The ZAMAT sleeping pillow has many different smart designs, including its special butterfly form, neck contour, core cavity, and adjustable height. The memory foam used in the construction of this orthopedic pillow is of the highest possible quality and carries the CertiPUR-US seal of approval.

Side Sleeping Information

Despite its pretentious nature, side sleeping is actually a really good sleeping position, allowing the sleeper to breathe better, not to mention the fact that it helps improve circulation. It’s also indicated for people who suffer from different medical conditions, such as sleep apnea. It’s the most comfortable position for pregnant women, as well. Of course, sleeping on the side is truly comfortable once you’ve found the right pillow.

One key thing to remember is that there are three common side sleeping positions:

Sleeping PositionSpecification
Logwhere the legs and arms lay in a straight position.
Fetalthe most common side sleeping positions, with bent elbows and knees tucked in.
Yearnerlegs are straight, and hands are stretched out as if the sleeper has reached for something.

But why exactly is this side sleeping position recommended? Here are some of the reasons:

  • As we’ve mentioned above, side sleeping is a comfortable position for pregnant women. They can’t sleep on their stomachs, for obvious reasons, and sleeping on the back can be very uncomfortable, due to the combined pressure of the belly and the gravity. Sleeping on the side relieves some of that pressure, not to mention the fact that it’s better for the fetus.
  • Acid reflux is a problem that a lot of people have. Because of it, one could have a heartburn sensation, due to the stomach acid that finds its way up the esophagus. Those of you that suffer from acid reflux will notice that sleeping on the side improves airway circulation, which in turn can alleviate heartburn. But keep in mind that sleeping on the right side can put pressure on the heart, which is not entirely indicated. So, if you suffer from acid reflux, consider sleeping on your left side.
  • Side sleeping can also reduce snoring, and it’s the best position for those who suffer from sleep apnea. As you know, sleep apnea causes airflow obstruction, and side sleeping favors the opening of passageways.

Tips on Choosing a Side Sleeping Pillow

As always, there are several things to take into consideration when buying a bedding item, and pillow is no exception. For instance, there’s the matter of loft. A pillow can have a low loft, which would be measured in a height of maximum three inches, medium loft, which is three to five inches, and high loft, characterized by pillows with more than five inches in height.

When you are a side sleeper, it’s important to fill all the empty space that stands between the neck and the bed itself. When a pillow is thicker, it can fill in this gap. But the thickness of your pillow is not the only important thing here.

  • There’s also a matter of shoulder width, size of the head, and the total weight of the sleeper. So, here is how loft combines with all the other factors:
  • A pillow with low loft is best suited for sleepers over 230 lbs, with small heads and narrow shoulder width. It also goes best when paired with a soft mattress.
  • Sleepers that weight between 130 and 230 lbs, and have an average head and shoulder width, are best matches with medium loft pillows, and also medium mattresses.
  • For sleepers that weight less than 130 lbs, have a large head and broad shoulder width, we recommend a pillow with high loft, which goes hand-in-hand with a medium firm to firm mattress.

Another important thing to look after in a pillow for side sleepers is moldability. There are pillows that manage to maintain their original shape despite the pressure put on them, while others can match your sleeping position. This is a matter of personal preference, but it can make a world’s difference.

You may be interested in: Best Orthopedic Wedge Pillow Reviews

Side sleeping is a really tricky position. While it does bring a series of advantages for several medical conditions, it can also put pressure on organs and cause wrinkles. Choosing the right pillow is the right thing to do when you’re looking to achieve maximum comfort in this position. No worries, we’ve gathered here some of the best pillows for side sleeping, and here’s what you should know about each of them.

Bottom Line

The most common sleeping position is one of the side, no doubt about it. It’s also considered to be the healthiest, as it can help with several medical problems. But side sleeping on the wrong mattress and pillow won’t do you much good, not if your body parts aren’t properly aligned.

If you’ve ever woken up with neck or shoulder pain, it could very well be due to sleeping on the wrong pillow. If a mattress makes a world’s difference, why wouldn’t a pillow be just as important?