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Best Pillow for Side Sleepers

Updated April 13, 2021

If you’re a side sleeper, you need a different type of pillow that maintains a neutral spine alignment to relieve pressure on the shoulder and lower back. A high quality pillow for side sleepers feels firmer and has a higher loft. It can be a bit more challenging to find a premium pillow for side sleeps versus a back or stomach sleeper.

The last thing you want is to turn over on your side and have your pillow bunch up or fall flat. It makes for an uncomfortable sleep and you wake up with all kinds of aches and pains. When you don’t get a restful sleep, it leaves you feeling exhausted and sluggish the next day. Finding the right pillow for side sleeping is key to waking up ready to start your day.

There are specific features of a side sleeper pillow that you need to look for. A proper side sleeper pillow won’t deflate when you roll over and it’s designed to alleviate neck pain.

In this roundup, we’ve put together some of the best pillows for side sleepers. The right pillow is an investment in your health and wellbeing. Settle in and check out our list to help you narrow down your options, so you can purchase the perfect pillow.

Rank Product Highlights
#1

Sleep Artisan Store Side Sleeper Pillow for Neck & Shoulders

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  • Size: Queen and Standard 
  • Fill Material: Latex
  • Cover Fabric: Organic Cotton/Poly/Hemp
  • Firmness: Plush
#2

Elviros Cervical Memory Foam Pillow

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  • Size: Queen and Standard
  • Fill Material: High Density Slow Rebound Memory Foam
  • Cover Fabric: 38% ice silk viscose with 62% Polyester
  • Firmness: Not Stated
#3

5 Stars United Knee Pillow for Side Sleepers

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  • Size: 9.8 x 7.8 x 6.2 inches
  • Fill Material: Memory Foam
  • Cover Fabric: Polyester
  • Firmness: Not Stated
#4

Qutool Gel Adjustment Memory Foam Pillow for Side Sleepers

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  • Size: Queen
  • Fill Material: Gel Shredded Memory Foam
  • Cover Fabric: 48% bamboo fiber rayon and 52% polyester
  • Firmness: Soft yet Firm
#5

UTTU Sandwich Pillow

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  • Size: 15.2 x 9 x 6.1 inches
  • Fill Material: Memory Foam
  • Cover Fabric: 60% Polyester/40% Bamboo
  • Firmness: Not Stated
#6

Royal Therapy Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow

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  • Size: Queen
  • Fill Material: Memory Foam
  • Cover Fabric: Bamboo-Derived Rayon
  • Firmness: Firm

Our Picks for the Best Pillows for Side Sleepers

We have compiled a list of the six best pillows for side sleepers that you can buy online. Read on to find the one that best suits your needs.

1. Best Organic Cotton – Sleep Artisan Store Side Sleeper Pillow for Neck & Shoulders

Specs:

  • Size: Queen and Standard
  • Fill Material: Latex
  • Cover Fabric: Organic Cotton/Poly/Hemp
  • Firmness: Plush

The Sleep Artisan Side Sleeper Pillow has been designed with a sloping contour to accommodate any size shoulder. It fits snugly in against your chin and neck, without cramping your neck whatsoever. The best part is that it is fully customizable. They fill it to the brim with their latex proprietary fill and then ship it with a high loft. So, you can subtract the perfect amount to fit your personal preferences. If you are a side sleeper and have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or toss and turn all night this pillow is perfect for you.

To personalize your head positioning, spine alignment, neck, and shoulders, simply unzip the cover to adjust the firmness of your pillow. The Sleep Artian pillow is filled with natural latex which provides superior orthopedic support and pressure relief which helps the flow of oxygen to your muscles. It is also dust mite resistant, allergy resistant, and inhospitable to bed bugs. Natural latex stays cool without using the other side of the pillow.

Sleep Artisan pillows are handmade in California, USA in an environmentally friendly atmosphere, which allows them to produce almost zero waste. They have strict quality control procedures so that no detail is left behind.

Your pillow comes with a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty and a hassle-free 30 day trial.

Pros

  • The loft can be personalized.
  • Maintains neutral temperature while sleeping.
  • Promotes spinal alignment and pain relief.
  • Hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.

Cons

  • This pillow is not machine washable.

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2. Best Ergonomic Design- Elviros Cervical Memory Foam Pillow

Specs:

  • Size: Queen and Standard
  • Fill Material: High Density Slow Rebound Memory Foam
  • Cover Fabric: 38% ice silk viscose with 62% Polyester
  • Firmness: Not Stated

If you are a side sleeper and struggle with neck pain, the Elviros Cervical Memory Foam Pillow was made for you. It supports your neck and lifts your head to the proper height while you sleep on your side. It is ergonomically designed to relieve your pain thanks to the special shape that fits the contours of your head, neck, shoulders, and back.

The ergonomic design is like no other pillow. It’s designed to follow the natural curve of your body to keep air passages optimal, for less snoring and more restful sleep. There are cutouts on the side that give your arm a place to rest at angle, keeping your shoulder from hunching out in front of you.

The pillow is made out of 100% premium high density rebound memory foam. This keeps its shape and firmness over time. The pillow is enclosed in a removable and breathable pillowcase that is made out of 38% ice silk viscose with 62% polyester. The surface allows air to circulate, keeping the pillow cool while you sleep. Plus, the cover is machine washable!

Pros

  • Ergonomic design to fit the contours of your body, specifically for side sleepers.
  • Made out of high density rebound memory foam to keep its shape.
  • The pillowcase is machine washable.

Cons

  • Some users report that the pillow is too firm.

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3. Best Knee Pillow – 5 Stars United Knee Pillow for Side Sleepers

Specs:

  • Size: 9.8 x 7.8 x 6.2 inches
  • Fill Material: Memory Foam
  • Cover Fabric: Polyester
  • Firmness: Not Stated

If you are a side sleeper and suffer with back pain, consider a knee pillow. The knee divider allows you to sleep comfortably by separating the upper knee from the lower knee to create the correct spacing between them. As a result, you are able to properly align your spine and reduce pressure while sleeping. This pillow from 5 Stars United is perfect for side sleepers and pregnant women.

The pillow is constructed from premium quality memory foam and has a light lemon aroma. It comes with a hypoallergenic, washable and breathable anti-pilling pillowcase.

This pillow is recommended by doctors, orthopedists, chiropractors, surgeons, physical therapists, and sports trailers. It helps to eliminate restless leg syndrome, eliminate pressure points, relieve stress from the waist, reduce sciatic pain, and improve blood circulation.

5 Stars United offers a money back satisfaction guarantee. If it doesn’t work for you, return it for a full refund.

Pros

  • Knee divider pillow to alleviate cervical pain for side sleepers.
  • Crafted from memory foam.
  • Hypoallergenic, washable pillowcase.

Cons

  • It is made with a slight lemon aroma which may be bothersome if you don’t like the smell of lemon.
  • May be too small if you are tall or long legged.

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4. Best Cooling Pillow – Qutool Gel Adjustment Memory Foam Pillow for Side Sleepers

Specs:

  • Size: Queen
  • Fill Material: Gel Shredded Memory Foam
  • Cover Fabric: 48% bamboo fiber rayon and 52% polyester
  • Firmness: Soft yet Firm

If you’re a side sleeper who wants to get uninterrupted slumber and stay cool, check out the Qutool Gel Adjustment Memory Foam Pillow. This one is unique because it is made from premium cross-cut gel memory foam and a microfiber blend. The gel particles help to draw out heat, keeping you comfortable throughout the night. Plus, it supports your head, neck, and shoulders. This ergonomic cooling pillow will feel like you just woke up at a star hotel.

This pillow moves with you as you sleep and keeps your neck and spine in line. You won’t need to wake up in the middle of the night to re-fluff and reposition your pillow.

There is a zippered inner and outer cover and it’s hypoallergenic. One side is 100% cooling fibers and the other side is 100% bamboo fabric. This eco-friendly material can increase ventilation and naturally wicks moisture away from your skin. You can add or remove the foam filling to find the perfect level of comfort. This pillow is amazing for side sleepers, back sleepers, and pregnant women.

Qutool provides you with a 90 nights risk free trial and a 5 year warranty.

Pros

  • Gel shredded memory foam won’t go flat and stays cool.
  • Full head and neck support.
  • Adjust the height that suits your sleep position by adding/removing inside stuffing.
  • Machine washable cover.

Cons

  • Has a strong chemical smell upon opening it.

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5. Best Memory Foam –  UTTU Sandwich Pillow

Specs:

  • Size: 15.2 x 9 x 6.1 inches
  • Fill Material: Memory Foam
  • Cover Fabric: 60% Polyester/40% Bamboo
  • Firmness: Not Stated

If you want to sleep in comfort and wake up with energy, check out this pillow with its adjustable pillow height and cut and layer design. This pillow from UTTU has an adjustable loft and is made from Dynamic Foam to conform to the natural curve of your body. It supports your head and neck to ensure comfort for side sleepers, promoting proper spine alignment and pressure relief. Dynamic Foam never gets hard in cold temperatures. It will remain firm and feel comfortable no matter what time of the year.

The pillow is enclosed in a bamboo cover made from 60% polyester and 40% bamboo designed for a cool night’s sleep.  Bamboo has moisture absorption so that you wake up cool and refreshed. The cover is fully removable and is machine washable.

UTTU won the Best Cervical Pillow in 2020 from Best Review Team. They are made in the USA and come with a 5 year warranty.

Pros

  • Adjustable loft.
  • Dynamic foam to conform to the natural curve of your body to relieve pressure.
  • Bamboo cover to absorb moisture.
  • The cover is machine washable.

Cons

  • The pillowcase may be difficult to put back on after washing.

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6. Most Luxurious – Royal Therapy Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow

Specs:

  • Size: Queen
  • Fill Material: Memory Foam
  • Cover Fabric: Bamboo-Derived Rayon
  • Firmness: Firm

The Premium Adjustable Odor-Free Memory Foam Pillow from Royal Therapy will have you feeling like royalty with its perfect support and variable firmness. This is a luxurious sleeping experience that will support your body by relieving pressure points.

The biggest benefit of this pillow is that it is adjustable. Contour Memory Foam Pillow has two gentle slopes — one slightly higher than the other. You can choose the side that best fits your neck — with a shallow valley in the center for your head. To adjust the pillow to the shape of your body, simply unzip the pillow over to remove the middle layer of foam.

The luxurious and firm support gently cradles your head and neck, relieving pressure that often leads to aches and pains. The shape of the contour pillow fills in the gap between your neck and the mattress, keeping your spine in proper alignment while you snooze.

This pillow is easy to clean and maintain. It has a polyester/bamboo cover that is cool and comfortable.This pillow naturally inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold fungus, and dust mites.   The cover can be removed and thrown into the washer machine.

Pros

  • Adjustable.
  • Best spinal alignment.
  • Cover is machine washable.
  • Retains its shape.

Cons

  • May not be as firm as some prefer but again that’s a personal preference.

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What To Look For in a Pillow for Side Sleepers

When you’re a side sleeper, you can’t just pick any old pillow. The right pillow is the key to a good night sleep. When it comes to side sleeping, you really need a pillow that is supportive with a lofty build that will keep your spine aligned. Let’s talk about what to look for in a pillow for side sleepers.

The Loft

The loft is the height of the pillow. Side sleepers need a higher loft of about 4 inches or taller. Many of the pillows we featured here have an adjustable loft.

The Firmness

When you are sleeping on your side, you want to make sure that the pillow you choose isn’t going to deflate and fall flat overnight. You need a pillow that has a medium-firm to firm rating. If the pillow deflates overnight, it will take your spine and neck out of alignment, causing you to wake up with pain. The overall firmness level is also a personal preference too.

The Material

The material of the pillow is really everything. Take into consideration if you are allergic to any types of materials. If so, a hypoallergenic option is best. The internal fill of the pillow is usually made out of some type of memory foam or latex.

The cover of the pillow is where your face is going to touch. If you run on the hot side when sleeping, look for covers that promise breathability and ventilation. You may also want to lean towards pillows that have a “cooling” functionality. Getting a cover that is machine washable is super convenient and keeps your pillow clean.

A good night’s sleep is the key to feeling refreshed and energized so that you can live your best life. It’s important to invest in products that are going to relieve pressure and create an amazing sleep experience. As a side sleeper, you have to start with the right pillow!

There is something for everyone on our list of the best pillows for side sleepers that are sure to meet your needs. Take all of our tips into consideration so that you can make the best choice when shopping online.

Photo credit: BigLike Images/Shutterstock