Finding the best pillow for side sleepers that doesn't give you neck, back or shoulder pain can be difficult. An average soft pillow that provides no support isn't ideal for those who fall asleep lying on their side. The perfect pillow for those who sleep in the side position is one that's nicely firm and will ensure your spine stays properly aligned while supporting your head and neck.
If your pillow doesn't have enough support, it isn't uncommon to experience aches and pains in various parts of your body. Therefore, it's vital to choose your pillow based on the way you sleep. The right pillow designed for back sleepers, front sleepers or side sleepers will ensure you have a comfortable visit to the Land of Nod and have you wake up feeling well-rested. In this article, we'll be focusing on the ideal pillow for anyone who sleeps on their side to make sure you're getting the proper support you need while you're getting your 40 winks.
Best pillow for side sleepers at a glance:
• Best pillow for side sleepers overall: Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow – view on Simba Sleep
• Best cooling pillow for side sleepers: Emma Original Pillow – view on Emma Sleep
• Best contoured pillow for side sleepers: Ecosafeter Contour Memory Foam Pillow – view on Amazon UK
• Best memory foam pillow for side sleepers: Eve Memory Foam Pillow – view on Eve Sleep
If you're someone who sleeps on their side, it is recommended that you go for a pillow with firm support as it will make sure you have all the head, neck and back support you need. In fact, because of all the support you're getting, sleeping on your side is recommended for certain conditions such as osteoarthritis, foraminal herniated disc, or spinal stenosis.
To help you find the best pillow for side sleepers, we've searched the web to bring you pillows that are made by well-known brands, with many coming highly rated by real-life customers and some tested by us, too. From memory foam pillows to fibre-filled options, discover the best pillow to support your sleeping position right here.
Best pillow for side sleepers
Best pillow for side sleepers overall
This Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow will leave you extremely supported, thanks to its versatile design.
- Heat control tech
- Soft but supportive
- May take a while to figure out which layer combination is the most comfortable for you
Best cooling pillow for side sleepers
A great option for hot side sleepers, the Emma Original Pillow features a feel memory foam layer
- Pressure-relieving foam
- Individually removable layers for your comfort
- Side sleepers are suggested to use all three layers so side sleepers won't get the benefit of adding or removing layers
Best contoured pillow for side sleepers
The Ecosafeter contour memory foam pillow is a fantastic contoured orthopaedic neck pillow for
- Great for spine alignment
- Not as firm as others on our list
Best memory foam pillow for side sleepers
Renowned for being a pain solution for side sleepers with its perfectly supportive memory foam,
- Keeps your neck and spine aligned
- Cooling air holes to stop you from overheating
- No customer reviews of individual products
Best anti-allergy pillows for side sleepers
Specifically made with firmer support, this duo of Slumberdown Anti Allergy Pillows will ensure
- Filled with an anti-allergy filling
- Come in a pair
- Some reviewers felt they were flatter than they expected
Best side sleeper pillow for neck and shoulder support
With firm support, the Snuggledown Side Sleeper Pillow is designed to help support your head to be
- Keeps your spine straight and your head and neck supported
- Washing machine and dryer-friendly
- Some reviewers felt the filling went lumpy after a few months
Best orthopaedic pillow for side sleepers
Another decent solution for side sleepers who struggle with body pains is the John Lewis
- Has a pressure-relieving core
- Large contour sports the spine alignment of side sleepers to help ease aches and pains
- Softer than some reviewers were expecting
Best budget side sleeper pillow
Engineered to give those who tend to sleep on their side full support, made by a much-loved brand
- Made by a much-loved brand
- Suitable for machine washing and tumble drying
- One reviewer felt it was a little too deep for them
Why do side sleepers need a specific type of pillow?
Unlike back or front sleepers, when a side sleeper hits the hay, their shoulders and hips create a gap between their head and the mattress, which is why it’s important to pick a pillow that will provide them with proper support and help maintain spinal alignment while they lie in this position. Making sure the spine stays in a straight and comfortable position will reduce the risk of discomfort and pain in the neck and shoulders.
A lot of pillows for neck pain are made with side sleepers in mind as they’re designed to fill some of the gap between a side sleeper’s head and their mattress while ensuring their neck is supported and preventing it from tilting unnaturally. The best pillows for side sleepers offer firm to medium-firm support to make sure the body is getting everything it needs so those who sleep on their side can sleep as comfortably as possible.
How to select the best pillow for side sleepers
Unsure how to choose a pillow? There are a couple of factors to consider when selecting the best pillow for side sleepers:
Firmness: ensure your pillow provides firm support
Loft: ensure the height and the type of fill is medium to high for full comfort. Perhaps go for an adjustable loft if you are a combination sleeper and move between the positions
Shape: keep in mind that some pillow fills such as latex and solid foam keep their shape better and require less maintenance than others
Size: pillow sizes do range, but the two most common pillow sizes include a standard (20 x 26 inches) and a king (20 x 36 inches)
Quality: invest in a pillow with high-quality materials, especially the pillow’s cover and fill to ensure durability
In addition to selecting the best pillow for side sleepers, it might be worth reassessing your mattress or mattress topper to make sure it’s providing enough support. Small knee pillows are also another effective tool in minimizing back, neck and shoulder pain with back and side sleepers.
Simply place the pillow under your knees if you are a back sleeper, or between your knees if you are a side sleeper. This will secure your hip joints and ensure a natural curvature of the spine.
Rosie Floyd is a Pets, Homes and Garden Product Writer for Yours, specialising in home appliances, décor and furnishings, as well as all things dogs. After completing her Journalism & Media degree from Coventry University back in 2015, she started her career writing about must-visit holiday destinations, moving on to creating content around outdoor living and garden buildings, before joining the team at Bauer.