Sleeping on your side is by far the most common sleep position. However, if you are not sleeping with the proper head support or with poor posture there are several issues that can arise. Some side sleepers report pinched nerves, reduced circulation to extremities, and poor neck posture.
Fortunately, almost all of these issues can be addressed by selecting the correct pillow for your body type. When you sleep on your side, you put pressure all on one side of your body. If your head is not properly supported, it has a tendency to roll forward. Sleeping on your side with a rolled neck extends the spine, forcing your shoulder blades out. This weakens the back muscles and can cause postural issues.
Top 7 Pillows for Side Sleepers
Most side sleepers can benefit from a firmer, more supportive pillow to gently cradle your neck into the appropriate position. Since this is never a one-size fits all product, I’ll need to cover a variety of different products. Today, I am going to take a look at the most popular pillows for side sleepers and attempt to identify the best one for each body type.
#1 Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow
Features of the Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow are here:
- Made in the United States
- Fully adjustable to all body shapes and sizes
- Doesn’t contain metals or any chemicals
- Can be easily washed in a washing machine
- Excellent Warranty
- Extremely comfortable
- Increase the level of energy
- Allows airflow
- Bamboo cover
- Shredded memory foam is inexpensive to replace
- Better for petite frames
- Cannot be made too soft
- Not as supportive as other options
- Not ideal for broad shouldered inviduals
If you have read my other posts, you know that moisture is one of the worst things that can happen to a pillow. Fortunately, this shredded design addresses most of those concerns. Air is able to flow between the pieces of foam, keeping you cool in the summer. Because the filling can be removed, you can easily adjust the firmness of the pillow simply by removing some of the filling.
Unfortunately, there is a limit to how soft it can get. Once you remove too much stuffing, you will just be left with dead spots. Due to how soft this pillow is, I recommend it for individuals with more petite frames. I have experienced severe issues with sleep. If you find yourself waking up tired every morning, trying out a new pillow could be one of the most cost effective solutions to that problem.
The Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is one of the best starting points. Memory foam is extremely supportive and soft. The foam, when cold, is quite solid. When you rest your head on it, the heat from your body cause the foam to soften up. The end result is a pillow that feels both supportive and soft.
This particular pillow has many advantages over the standard “block” style memory foam. One of the biggest issues with solid pillows is air flow. Because there is nothing to cool your face, the pillow can get quite hot and absorb the moisture from your skin. By using a pillow with shredded foam, you guarantee to keep your face cool.
The Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow Makes Great Sleep Possible. The first high quality pillow I tried was very similar to this model. Sleep issues are most commonly caused by bad posture. This causes strain to your neck and back, preventing you from entering a deep sleep. Although it took me a few days to get used to the pillow, by the third day, I noticed that my sleep was much better.
I found that I often woke up before my alarm, feeling rested and ready to take on the day. This pillow is an excellent choice for those of you who suffer from allergies. Naturally occurring irritants do not build up in this pillow like they would in a natural material.
Due to the synthetic material used in memory foam, there is no material for allergens to bond to or feed off. This can drastically improve your breathing and quality of sleep. Additionally, the level of comfort this pillow offers is well above average, so sleeping is more enjoyable.
Adjustable Foam. The adjustable foam is one of my favorite features in this pillow. Everyone's body is a little different, so it can be hard to select a solid foam pillow that perfectly suits the size of your body. Typically, it is important to consider your sleeping position and the width of your shoulders when selecting a pillow. With the shredded memory foam design, these factors are nonexistent.
The pillow comes fully stuffed, ready to support even the broadest shouldered individual. If you prefer a softer pillow, or you have a smaller frame, simply remove some of the stuffing to adjust the size to your individual comfort. This process is very simple and not time consuming at all.
Perfectly Safe. Generally, when you have a product with this many features there can be trade-offs. For example, some pillows offer amazing benefits, but they contain metals, chemicals and similar ingredients that I don’t like having close to my face!
The Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is a completely different type of product. It has earned many certifications in the United States. It meets the requirements for CertiPUR-US, which means it is only made with high quality, safe ingredients.
Combined with the fact that it is resistant to allergens and bacteria, this pillow won’t cause any health problems common with inexpensive products manufactured in China. It also doesn’t require the thorough cleaning and maintenance needed for pillows made from organic material.
Disadvantages of the Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow. While I personally love this pillow, there are a few disadvantages. It isn’t a great choice if you like sleeping on your stomach, nor is it a great choice for pregnant women, as their sleeping positions are a little more restrictive. However, for the average person who just needs a pillow to help with spinal alignment, this is still an excellent choice.
I have used many pillows over the years, but I must say that the Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is one of the best. It is affordable, extremely comfortable, and one of the best pillows I have ever used.
#2 Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
The pillow cover is made from a very soft bamboo cover, which aids with cooling a great deal. Bamboo is also extremely soft, and a renewable resource. The pillow can be machine washed, making it simple to keep your pillow fresh and clean at all times. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to the sealed design.
The sealed pillow cover means that you cannot adjust the firmness. You will also not be able to replace the foam at the end of the pillows life. Fortunately, the memory foam used in this pillow is very high quality. CertiPur foam is manufactured in the United States, and tends to last much longer than the competition.
The pillow is also quite a bit cheaper than many competing products. Even though you can’t replace the foam, the cost of ownership should be roughly the same as more expensive pillows with less maintenance required.
Meets the CertiPUR-US Standards
The Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow has been tested several times, in the United States, in order to make sure it is safe to use. Since we live in an age where you can easily buy products overseas, it’s reassuring to know that Snuggle-Pedic had their pillow certified in the United States.
The certifications verify that the pillows do not contain metals, toxins or ozone depleters. This ensures the pillow is good for the environment and your body. Even the packaging is made from recycled materials. It’s rare to find a synthetic product that has been manufactured with such care and consideration for the environment.
#3 Good Life Essentials Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Despite the improved cooling afforded by the superior cover, this one also has a unique billeted design that prevents the buildup of moisture. The tiny holes in this cover act almost like the wick of a candle, pulling moisture away from the face. That makes this pillow excellent for anyone who has sensitive skin.
Like my previous recommendation, this one is also made with the shredded CertiPur memory foam that I am such a fan of. If you look at the photos, you might notice that this pillow seems a little thicker than traditional pillows. When you sleep on your side, your head needs to be lifted up a little more than usual.
This pillow provides just the support you need for side sleeping. We’ve already reviewed a pillow for petite individuals, and one for broad-shouldered people. This one fits right in the middle, providing adequate support for most people that are between 5’5” and 6’ tall.
#4 Mastertex Super Plush Microfiber Down Alternative Bed Pillow
It’s not just marketing, the feel of this pillow really is comparable to down. Notice the square band in the middle? While a traditional pillow just has a single seam, this one enlarges the middle. This unique design allows you to enjoy the softness of a down pillow while still providing the additional support needed for side sleepers.
This comes along with all of the regular benefits of synthetic pillows. They do not provide any nutrients for bacteria or allergens to feed off. They are inexpensive. They last a long time and are machine washable.
I really cannot say enough positive things about this pillow, there are very few synthetic models that can even come close to competing with memory foam products. If you find yourself looking for something softer, you owe it to yourself to give this pillow a shot!
#5 SleepBetter Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow
Generally, I have used shredded memory foam pillows as they provide most of the support with improved air flow. This pillow changed my mind. By shaping the pillow this way, it retains almost all of its supportive qualities while allowing air to easily pass through the pillow.
Notice how it’s almost flat across the top? This is the ideal shape for side sleepers. Our heads are not always perfectly upright. If you rotate your head from side to side on a traditional, rounded pillow, you’ll be kinking your neck at an angle.
No matter where you rest your head on this pillow, it will always remain square with your body. This prevents weakening the neck muscles or creating imbalances. The gussets also mean that this pillow is much more adaptive. Remember that memory foam responds to heat and pressure.
Because there is a lower volume of foam, the pillow will be a little more supportive for smaller individuals and a little softer for larger ones. This means that this pillow uniquely adapts to almost all body shapes and sizes. It’s for this very reason I make this pillow my number one recommendation for side sleepers!
#6 Continental Bedding 100% Premium White Goose Down Luxury Pillow
If you have trouble getting a good night’s rest, wake up feeling tired, or struggle to get comfortable at night, then you may need a new pillow. Down pillows have been around for hundreds of years, but with a catch. Early on, these pillows were so expensive to manufacture that only the elite could afford them. Today, almost anyone can enjoy what was once considered an opulent luxury.
Continental Bedding’s 100% White Goose Down Medium Firm Pillow is premium grade, offering a level of quality not commonly found at this price point. Is this pillow right for you? We’ll go in-depth to find out. It’s features are here:
- Pure Goose Down – No Substitutes
- Cover is 100% Cotton
- Lasts up to 20 years
- More supportive than most down pillows
The Highest Quality Down. What, exactly, is down? A common misconception is that it’s feathers. Technically, down is only the fibers from feathers. The stems have to be removed. To cut costs, many companies simply crush and pulverize the feathers so that the stems are no longer rigid. But this just cannot compare to the pure down fiber used by Continental Bedding.
Not only are the stems properly removed, but they also use feathers harvested exclusively from the neck, chest, back, and inner wing. This is the highest standard down available, with no compromises.
Available Sizes. One of key features of down pillows is that they can be formed to any shape. The standard model pillow is, as the name implies, uses standardized dimensions. This means that you can use any pillowcase you already have laying around. This might seem obvious, but it is not a common feature with specialty pillows. Memory foam pillows need to be molded to a certain shape, and take their own custom pillow cases.
If you want something a little more plush, Continental Bedding also as Queen and King size pillows available. Those options are ideal when you have a queen or king size bed, and you would like a pair of pillows to stretch the entire length of your bed, without gaps.
The Support You Need. What many people don’t realize is that your sleeping posture drastically effects the quality of your sleep. Your circulation and breathing are highly dependent on your neck posture. If you stretch regularly and get plenty of exercise, a soft pillow is fine.
But most of us don’t fit this description. In this case, a supportive pillow can be the best purchase you make. By supporting your neck and head, it will allow the muscles in your next to relax, and keep your airway open. You’ll find that you sleep more deeply, and wake up feeling refreshed.
Forms to You. Typically, goose down is very soft. It moves around freely inside the pillow, but can catch on itself when compressed. For you, this means that the down will adapt to fit the natural contours of your body. Although most goose down pillows are very soft, there is something to be said for this style. When soft fibers are packed densely, you get the best of both worlds.
The pillow is much more forgiving than many other styles, but adaptable enough that it can be used in almost any situation. If you find that you have any pressure points or annoyances with your current pillow, this option could solve those problems.
Cool and Breathable. Feathers were designed to let the wind sail by. They have almost no aerodynamic resistance. Where airflow is concerned, they’re virtually invisible. For that reason, this goose down pillow is a great choice in warm climates. You’ll be able to keep your face cool, and won’t find yourself getting sweaty like you would with a solid foam pillow.
Unparalleled Durability. Ask anyone with a down pillow where they got it. Chances are, it wasn’t bought. When properly cared for, down pillows can last upwards of 20 years. Many people receive one from their parents, or give one away while moving.
If you want your pillow to last longer, you do need to perform some basic maintenance. This involves washing it once every few months. The process is fairly straight forward, although they need to be rinsed several times to remove all of the soap residue.
Disadvantages of White Goose Down Luxury Pillow. Down pillows are adaptable, and can be used in virtually any sleeping position. Back, side, or even front sleeping is fine, because you can push the filler around inside of the pillow to get the desired level of support. But some people don’t want to take the time to shift their pillow around.
If you’d prefer to have a pillow that forces you into the correct position, a memory foam model may be a better option. But if you want something that you can customize to your own needs, this is a great choice.
Wrap Up. If you’re sick and tired of tossing and turning at night, but don’t want to commit to a specific sleep position, then this is your pillow. You’re not going to find a better deal on down. Considering that it will adapt to your changing needs for years to come, you really can’t go wrong with the Premium 100% White Goose Down Medium Firm Pillow.
#7 JUVEA Pillow Talalay High Loft Latex Foam Pillow
As the premium pillow market has grown, Latex pillows are the latest style to see an increase in popularity. Like a memory foam pillow, latex offers incredible support. This type of pillow is ideal for those of you who sleep on your back.
If you already have proper posture, this pillow will feel natural from day one. But if you’ve been suffering from back and neck issues, a latex pillow could drastically improve your comfort. Take it from me, I suffered from severe neck pain due to my office job and poor postural habits. I must admit, the first day with a proper pill felt a little off. I felt slightly sore at first. A few days later, by back felt better than it ever had. Let’s go in-depth, and find out why this particular pillow might be a good option for you. What features you’ll like in it:
- Made from Natural Latex
- Comes with cotton cover
- Moderate thickness
- Allows airflow
Ideal for Spinal Alignment. The human body was never intended to sit for long periods of time. When we sit, we tend to slouch our shoulders. This position tilts the spine forward, stretching the muscles that support it.
Over time, your muscles will adapt to this position. They become quite tight on the chest, and loose on the back. You’ll find that, naturally, your muscles want to pull your spine forward. But your spine would like to be straight.
In theory, if you could retrain yourself to sit with perfect posture all day, the problem would sort itself out. But that would be quite a lot of work. Instead, you can correct the problem while you sleep.
At you lay down, the muscles in your neck relax. Because this pillow is made from a solid material, it’s compressible to a specific point. At 4.5 inches thick, it will be holding your spine straight, allowing your muscles to adapt overnight.
100 Percent Latex. Latex is an incredibly unique material. It is very easy to purify, and can be used with no additives. However, latex is a natural product. It has to be extracted from a rubber tree, and can be quite expensive.
If you want the benefits of this material, you have to purchase a 100% latex pillow. If you were to cut this one in half, you’d see that it’s a solid material. Other models are simply a latex exterior on a foam core, which isn’t as supportive.
Linear Support. A latex pillow is a solid mass of material. You can squish it, bend it, or crust it, and it will return to its exact shape. The important thing about Latex is that the pressure is linear. It pushes equally on all parts of your head. You won’t get a lump of material under your ear, or wake up to find that all of the stuffing has been pushed to the sides.
What most users find is that this helps them have a deeper, more refreshing sleep. You’re not spending any time half-awake, tossing and turning because you’re uncomfortable. In fact, the pillow tends to hold you in place.
Small movements you may make in your sleep aren’t going to make you roll over, which is ideal for anyone who is transitioning from side-sleeping to back-sleeping.
Sized for Adaptability. When you get into the high-end pillows, you’ll find that they’re designed for a specific sleeping style. When sleeping on your side, your posture is a little different than sleeping on your back. Since these positions necessitate different designs, it’s rare to find a pillow that improves posture and works in multiple sleeping positions.
Fortunately, the denser nature of latex makes this possible. This is a little thicker than most pillows designed for back sleepers, but a little thinner than pillows for side sleepers.
The perfect middle ground. Even though you really should sleep on your back to get the most benefit from this pillow, you’ll still be comfortable on your side. This compromise makes it easier for you to transition, and get used to your new sleeping style.
Breathable. One of the biggest downsides to latex pillows is the fact that they do not breathe very well. As a solid block of material, it’s generally just your skin against something rubbery. Fortunately, Juvea has come up with a solution. By cutting grooves into the latex and wrapping it in a cotton cover, air can keep your face cool at night. While it’s definitely better than standard memory foam or latex pillows, it’s still not the best on the market for cooling.
In moderate or warm climates, you’ll have no problem. But if you’re heading to Southeast Asia during the rainy season, we’d recommend that you choose another pillow for your trip.
Disadvantages. One of the downsides to a solid-core pillow is that you lose a little flexibility. Since this pillow is designed to change the way your spine rests, it’s essential that you make sure it’s sized appropriately.
We picked this particular model because it’s suitable for virtually any adult who sleeps on their back. However, it is not suitable for children. If you have very broad shoulders and prefer to sleep on your side, you find it too thin.
Wrap Up. Pillows aren’t just a luxury designed purely for your comfort. High end pillows are a health product. I know firsthand that when you are sleeping in the wrong position, waking up feeling tired, and toughing out a sore neck, it’s easy to ignore it. Once I found out how much of a difference correct posture makes, I couldn’t believe that I had waited this long to deal with the problem.
The JUVEA Pillow Talalay High Loft Latex Foam Pillow isn’t the cheapest option you can buy, but this is exactly what I look for in a pillow. This pillow is designed with one specific purpose in mind, and it’s one of the posture alignment options you can find. Trust me, you don’t realize how profound the effects can be.
You’ll wake up feeling rested. You’ll have more energy. But the best part of all? You spent almost nothing. Compared to massage therapy, chiropractic care, or a new mattress, this is a small price to pay.