A 2017 cross-sectional Danish study revealed that 54.1% of the participants preferred sleeping on their side.
Sleeping on one side — on a pillow and mattress, which provides firm support — promotes even spine alignment, unlike lying on your stomach or back.
Side-sleeping also alleviates various sleep disorders, for instance, obstructive and central sleep apnea. If you’re a side-sleeper, Sleep Reviews‘ top picks for the 5 best side-sleeper pillows in 2021 will go a long way in helping you enjoy a peaceful night’s slumber.
Tips to Finding the Perfect Pillow for Side-Sleepers
A side-sleeper will typically need a thick, firm pillow to cushion the curvature between the head and neck to achieve the most suitable side-sleeping position.
Finding the perfect pillow for a side-sleeper can be quite tiresome. Don’t worry,; we’ll help you find the best model to accommodate your unique needs.
When purchasing a good side-sleeping pillow, consider the following attributes:
- Firmness — A pillow with mid-level firmness will provide the best support. One that’s too soft or firm will be uncomfortable and may lead to alignment issues.
- Loft — Medium to high thickness (loft) provides just the right amount of head and neck support that a side-sleeper needs. Consider buying an adjustable pillow that gives you the power to custom make your perfect loft level.
- Pressure relief — A good pillow will ease pressure points in the shoulders and hips, which (possibly) developed due to using the wrong pillow and mattress.
- Price — Pillows constructed from materials like memory foam, down, and latex are usually expensive, while more affordable options tend to use polyfoam or feathers.
- Quality materials — The materials used in a pillows’ filling and cover will impact its temperature regulation, shape retention, and longevity. A model constructed using high-quality materials and advanced technology will almost always outperform other pillows on the market.
- Shape — Every pillow loses its shape and needs to be fluffed out regularly. Materials such as latex and solid foam require less maintenance and fluffing.
- Support — Spine alignment is vital for a side-sleeper. Therefore, you’ll need a pillow that doesn’t raise or sink your neck but instead provides the perfect neck curvature support.
The side-pillows below are the best in their category, having performed brilliantly in several research tests and received rave reviews for their firmness, durability, and washability.
Always follow care instructions to prolong the lifespan of your pillows.
The Best Pillows for Side Sleepers
- Best Overall Pillow. Coop Home Goods Original Pillow.
- Best Value Pillow. Cushion Lab Extra Support Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow.
- Best Hybrid Pillow. Layla Kapok Pillow.
- Best Cooling Pillow. Purple Harmony Pillow.
- Best Organic Pillow. Naturepedic Organic Solid Latex Pillow.
Best Overall Pillow
The Coop Home Goods The Original Pillow
Why we love it: The Coop Home Goods Pillow — The Original — also known as the Premium Adjustable Pillow, is better than most shredded memory foam models because it can be washed.
It looks great after washing because it retains its shape and firmness.
Most notably, this pillow comes with an extra half-pound bag of medium-firm density stuffing. You can build the ideal side pillow — with the perfect firmness level for your size — by simply adding and removing the stuffing.
Price: $50.99 – $64.99.
Fill material: Shredded memory foam certified by GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US®.
Fabric type: Lulltra™ fabric — made from sustainable bamboo and polyester.
Sizes: Standard, Queen, and King.
Care: Machine washable.
Distinction: Coop Home Goods #1 Best Seller.
Rating out of 5 stars: Amazon global ratings — 4.5 stars from 41,470 reviews. Coop Home Goods website — 4.7 stars from 13,633 reviews.
Customer review: “This is by far the best pillow I’ve bought in years. The ability to remove the foam to my satisfaction was the key element for purchasing.” Ryan
Best Value Pillow
Cushion Lab Extra Support Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Why we love it: The Cushion Lab’s Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow has a tall loft that’s height adjustable, which provides firm support while also being comfortable.
Its price point makes it an affordable and top-quality loft pillow that’s perfect for side-sleepers — absolute value for money.
Price: $39.00 – $68.00.
Fill material: Shredded high-density memory foam (Hyperfoam™) certified by OEKO-TEX Standard 100 & CertiPUR-US®.
Fabric type: Hypoallergenic soft bamboo fiber cover.
Sizes: Standard, Queen, and King.
Care: Only cover machine washable.
Rating out of 5 stars: Amazon global ratings — 4.2 stars from 513 reviews. Cushion Lab website — 4.8 stars from 174 reviews.
Customer review: “My wife bought me this pillow for Father’s Day. So far, the last few nights have been great!” Jacob S
Best Hybrid Pillow
Layla Kapok Pillow
Why we love it: The Layla® Kapok Pillow is referred to as a hybrid because of its adjustable shredded memory foam and Kapok filling. The pillow provides the best of many worlds in terms of functionality, price, and durability.
Side-sleeper pillow reviewers particularly love how it aligns the spine while providing comfort, with the main criticism being that the pillow isn’t washable.
Price: $99.00 – 119.00.
Fill material: Shredded memory foam and Kapok.
Fabric type: Polyester, viscose, poly/lycra woven with CuTEC® Yarn.
Sizes: Queen and King.
Care: Not washable due to loose fill.
Distinction: Sleepopolis — Best pillow for side-sleepers 2020. The Sleep Judge — Best adjustable pillow 2020.
Rating out of 5 stars: Layla website — 5-star reviews.
Customer review: “I am a side-sleeper with RLS and generally move around a lot. Since Layla, I have had no shoulder blade pains or hip pain.” Christina H
Best Cooling Pillow
Purple Harmony Pillow
Why we love it: The Harmony Pillow by Purple is a unique cooling pillow for side-sleepers who want to beat night sweats.
It has a latex core that prevents overheating, thanks to the 360º Purple Grid® Hex honeycomb-like air channels, which stabilize body temperature. The pillow also has a luxurious plush feel, which is both soft and supportive.
Fill material: Hyper-elastic polymer grid and latex core.
Fabric type: Breathable nylon and spandex cover.
Sizes: Standard and Tall.
Care: Not washable due to loose-fill; lay flat to dry.
Rating out of 5 stars: Amazon global ratings — 4.6 stars from 135 reviews. Purple website ratings — 4.4 stars from 8,510 reviews.
Customer review: “I love how cool my new pillow is. I sleep so hot at night and have struggled to find a pillow to help me stay cool.” Jamie
Best Organic Pillow
Naturepedic Organic Solid Latex Pillow
Why we love it: Naturepedic Organic 2-in-1 Adjustable Latex Pillow scored highly due to its adjustable height, reversibility, and suitability for side, back, and stomach sleeping.
Price: $99.00 – $139.00
Fill material: Shredded latex.
Fabric type: Cotton cover.
Sizes: Standard, Queen, and King.
Care: Cover only machine washable.
Rating out of 5 stars: Amazon global ratings — 4.0 stars from 36 reviews. Naturepedic website — 4.7 stars from 281 reviews.
Customer review: “I’ve had neck issues for some time, and after using this pillow, I no longer have neck pain. Love that it’s organic, and the height/thickness is adjustable.” Victoria
Here’s to a Reliable Side-Sleeper Pillow
If you’re a side-sleeper, be careful to purchase a pillow with the required loft, plump, and firmness to support your neck’s curvature.
The information provided in this detailed review will help you in your quest to find the most suitable pillow for side-sleeping.
Read our Sleep Reviews guides, and keep your eyes peeled for the next post that’ll help you find the best pillow, mattress, and sleep essentials to achieve your best sleep ever.
Don’t let the bed bugs bite!
Featured Image: Flickr by Esther Max