The best pillow for side sleepers

If you are a side sleeper eager to eliminate your morning back, side, shoulder or full body ache, we've got you.

best pillow for side sleepers

by Emily Farquhar |

If you are a side sleeper, finding a pillow that doesn’t give you neck, back or shoulder pain, can be a ball-ache. An average pillow with medium-firmness or a loose pillow that provides no support, are neither ideal for a decent night’s sleep. There’s only one kind of pillow solution, and you can read all the fluff right here…

If your pillow doesn't have enough support it isn’t uncommon to experience myriad aches and pains in various parts of your body. Therefore, it is vital to choose your pillow based on the way you sleep – be it on your back, on your side or on your belly.

Related: Expert tips on how to improve your sleep

Just to note, if you do suffer from osteoarthritis, foraminal herniated disc, or spinal stenosis, sleeping on your side is recommended. Do try to however swap your sleeping sides over from time to time so you do not experience any muscle imbalance.

The general rule of thumb is that side sleepers go for a pillow with firm support, back sleepers go for a pillow with medium support and front sleepers go for a pillow with soft support. Then you’ve got sleepers who tend to be a combination of them all. Whatever you may be, ensure you buy something that gives you proper alignment (side sleepers) or prevents your neck or shoulders from tilting in awkward positions (back sleepers) while in a deep sleep.

How to select the perfect pillow for a side sleeper

There are a few main 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

Reviews: a great indication of a pillow’s performance is to look at its customer reviews

Read next: The best sleep apps for a great night's rest

From contour pillows to teardrop pillows, here are seven of the top pillow recommendations for side sleepers:

In addition to selecting the right pillow, 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.

Read next: The 13 best sleep sprays and mists to help you drift off

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.

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