A pillow is a hugely important bedroom accessory, and it ensures that we are completely comfortable throughout the night. It's often forgotten about as we regularly replace the mattress, bed frame and sheets but a pillow is just as important.
Choosing the right type of pillow is crucial as this will be dependant on your sleep position and style. If you do not select the most appropriate pillow, then you're likely to wake up in the morning with a stiff neck, sore shoulders or experience many sleepless nights.
For people that feel regular pain when sleeping, the root cause is usually the quality of the pillow. We've put together this guide and completed all the research to save you time as we bring you the best pillows for side sleepers.
1. Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow
The Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow has been created to not only look fantastic but also give you a great nights sleep. The pillow is ideal because it provides support for your head, neck and shoulders, which works to relieve pressure and tension.
It’s ideal for side sleepers because it fills the gap between your head and shoulders, which prevents neck stiffness when you wake in the morning.
The Memory foam material is sensitive to your body heat, so it conforms and cradles the shape of your head, neck and shoulders. Once you have finished using the pillow it that reverts to its original shape.
Maintaining a good neck position is key because you spend so long with your neck in the same position. The pillow also has Bamboo which is extremely breathable so air can circulate to keep you cool and it also works as a natural insulator throughout the winter.
Bamboo also has great health qualities which make it antibacterial and mould, fungi and dust mite resistant to limit any skin irritation that you may suffer from.
The pillow also comes with a ten years manufacturer guarantee and 30-Night Trial money-back guarantee.
2. Dunlopillo Serenity 100% Latex Pillow
This Latex pillow could be the cure to your sleeping issues and is designed for side sleepers. It’s made from high-quality Latex, and as soon as you place your head down, it will contour to your shape to provide superior support for your head, neck and shoulders.
The Latex used has an open cell structure which promotes positive air circulation to reduce moisture build-up, so you remain cool throughout the night.
Due to the pillow being made of Latex, this increases the lifespan of it because it has an instant bounce back whilst still retaining its strong support qualities.
It has a removable quilted cover which is also machine washable whilst also being hypo-allergenic so dust mites can’t live in the product, so you have a healthier sleeping environment.
The pillow comes with a five-year guarantee with every order to give you added peace of mind.
3. Homescapes Organic Bamboo Pillow For Side Sleepers
This bamboo pillow is superior to standard pillows due to its support which provides more support for side sleepers. It has moisture-wicking properties which mean that you have much more comfortable and sweat-free sleep.
Bamboo naturally regulates body temperature and is ethically sourced due to being grown organically without any pesticides or harmful chemicals. This makes it suitable for those who suffer from skin conditions or have sensitive skin.
Bamboo material is naturally anti-bacterial and is resistance against dust mites, mildew and other annoying pests that you don’t want to share a bed with.
The pillow has a microfibre filing which retains shape well and has obtained an Oeko-Text Standard 100 certification. Microfibre is also hypoallergenic, which makes it a great substitute for down or feather filings.
You won’t be disappointed with purchasing this pillow, and you can now get the restful nights sleep that you deserve.
The pillow has a percale casing which is soft to touch but also breathable which means that it not only keeps you cooler when you’re warm but also means that it dries significantly quicker than conventional 100% cotton covers.
4. SnuggleDown Pillow For Side Sleepers
The Snuggledown Pillow has been designed with side sleepers in mind, and when you lie, down it will fill the space between your neck and shoulders.
The pillow is firm but supportive, which means that it retains its shape right to the edge. This ensures that your spine is well aligned, which helps to prevent shoulder or neck pain.
The pillow has a 230 thread count cover included which is soft to touch and also breathable to promote airflow. The pillow is easy to maintain and can be machine washed at 40 degrees whenever it needs freshening up.
This is an ideal choice if you’re sensitive to allergies because the pillow is completely free of down and feathers.
Snuggledown is a well-established brand that has been making pillows for many years right here in the UK, so it’s a brand you can trust.
5. Bedstory 2 Pack Sleeping Pillows
With its ergonomic design, the pack of 2 pillows are made from microfibre covered in a free soft-touch microfibre casing. It has a soft feel due to its double-layer sideband and 3D clusters of plush fibre filler which retains its original shape without deforming or hardening.
The pillow will give your head and neck great support so it doesn’t sink into your mattress so you will wake in the morning feeling well-rested. The pillow is ideal for side sleeping because of the great support that it provides.
The pillows are fully machine washable so they’re easy to maintain and require just a simple cold water wash and can be dried at a low temperature. In terms of firmness, they have struck a balance between too hard and too soft that many manufacturers fail to do effectively.
If you’ve struggled with memory foam pillows, then this is a high-quality alternative
Side sleepers need a specialised pillow because when you sleep on your side, there is a greater distance between the mattress and your head compared to people who tend to sleep on their front or back.
To ensure that your head is kept straight and the spine correctly aligned this extra space needs to be filled. Otherwise, your head will be lowered at a bad angle causing the neck to bend uncomfortable leading to increased pressure on the nerves and the muscles and tendons straining.
You need a pillow that is thicker than a regular sized pillow, so it provides you with a higher level of support.
If you wake up in the morning feeling sore and tired, the reason is that you slept in the wrong position. If you don't take action, this can lead to even worse problems developing such as back pain, headaches or even sciatica.
If you aren't already experiencing pain, then now is the time to act to prevent it from developing. There is no one size fits all pillow, so you need to make sure that you buy the most effective pillow.
Types of Pillows for Side Sleepers
There are several different types of pillow fillings that are the most effective for side sleepers as they will provide you with the appropriate levels of support.
Memory foam is a unique type of material, that contours to the shape of your body but then can snap back into its original shape when it's not being used. Memory foam is extremely comfortable but also provides the firmness and thickness that you require when sleeping on your side.
In recent years shredded foam has been developed from the original memory foam concept, which is shredded up foam which is easier to bend and mould than the original large block of memory foam. Shredded foam also has better temperature regulating features as the air can flow freely through the pillow.
Memory foam is the most affordable side sleeper pillow solution as it has been around for many years. It is also easy to maintain and care for, and the foam won't clump or change shape over time.
The filling is created using natural Buckwheat material which is firm and provides the necessary levels of support. They are also more durable than the traditional feather filled pillows so they will not end up bending or collapsing in the middle.
High quality of buckwheat is that the material does not store heat and can self ventilate, this means that you can maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature and you will not overheat throughout the night.
Buckwheat tends to be a little heavier; however, this is not wholly important unless you plan to travel with it frequently.
Like any industry, improvements are continually made as technology develops. Latex pillows are slowly becoming one of the most popular types of pillows for side sleepers.
Latex pillows are soft yet provide a large amount of support to your head and neck to avoid a slumping position. Its overall firmness puts your neck and spine into a neutral position which is great for side sleepers.
The pillow itself has small holes built in which creates a system of interconnecting airflow channels which works as a natural ventilation system that disperses heat and moisture.
Latex pillows tend to be hypoallergenic and unlike traditional memory foam does not have off-gassing. This type of pillow also requires little maintenance such as shaking or fluffing.
Types of Pillows Side Sleepers Should Avoid
If you sleep on your side, there are four types of pillows you should avoid as they could worsen the quality of your sleep.
This type of pillow is soft, bendy and moulds to the shape of your head, but it isn't high enough to support the neck and head of a person who sleeps on their side, so this will place more pressure onto the joints and neck.
Down pillows are comfy and soft, but they lack the necessary elevation and support for side sleepers regardless of the quality.
It's regularly claimed that gel pillows are suitable for side sleepers however we have found that they lack the support and firmness needed. Also, they have poor longevity, and clumps and lumps begin to form after a short period.
Polyester pillows do not provide the necessary support that aside sleeper needs because not only are they not firm enough but the pillow filling shifts and moves freely which creates hollow areas of the pillow which creates a lack of support and firmness.
Best Side Sleeper Pillow Buying Guide
There are many things that you must consider and evaluate before committing to purchasing the best pillow for side sleepers.
The height of the pillow ensures that your neck is in the most comfortable position. If the pillow is too low, then this can strain your joints. If you follow our filling recommendations, then this shouldn't be an issue as they all have the required height that is needed.
Of course you should consider the price, however, you shouldn't hesitate to spend a little more than usual for a quality pillow that will improve your overall health and wellbeing. You should consider it as an investment.
How easy is the pillow to clean? Can it be hand wiped or can it be machine washed and tumble dried? These are some of the things that you need to consider before purchasing.
Firmness is a crucial attribute for a side sleeper. Before committing to purchase you should be aware of the firmness. We would recommend a minimum of medium firmness to ensure that your neck, spine and shoulders are supported throughout your sleep.
Always consider the material filling that is used, and different fillings have different qualities such as cool technology or contouring ability. Your choice will solely be down to your individual preferences but as mentioned before the best pillows for side sleepers will either be Buckwheat, Memory Foam or Latex.
Depending on your preferences, you may wish to have a pillow that stays in its original shape for the whole night, or you may want a pillow that contours and shapes to your body. If you want no movement, then a memory foam pillow is better suited but if you more movement then shredded memory foam or buckwheat pillows are a more suitable alternative.
Many new brands enter the market every day that claim to provide the support that side sleepers desperately need. Many of these pillows are great for side sleepers but are not versatile enough.
For example, many side sleepers roll onto their back throughout the night, and these pillows are not constructed to provide the necessary support.
To avoid this, you should initially stick to the leading brands that are well established so you can be assured of the quality.
Online reviews are hugely important to find out how different users react and experience different types of pillows. It will allow you to make a more informed decision.
When looking through reviews as a general rule, you should disregard reviews that were posted several years ago, because they may be outdated because many brands redevelop their products to address faults.
To conclude, you need to remember that your choice of pillow is crucial and should be taken as seriously as your choice of mattress and bed frame. The pillows listed in the guide are the best pillows for side sleepers that are on the market. The most important thing is that you purchase a pillow that suits your sleeping position.