The Best Pillows for Side Sleepers

The Best Pillows for Side Sleepers

If you're a side sleeper, choosing the right pillow can have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep. The best pillows for side sleepers are typically thicker, providing enough support to keep the head and neck aligned with the spine. This is essential to prevent discomfort, pain, or even long-term orthopedic issues.


What makes a good side-sleeper pillow?

A good side-sleeper pillow is one that provides the right amount of support to keep the head, neck, and spine aligned. It should be thick enough to fill the space between your shoulder and neck when you're lying on your side. The pillow should also maintain its shape throughout the night to ensure consistent support. The material of the pillow is also important. Memory foam and latex are popular choices as they are firm and mold to the shape of your head and neck. Lastly, individual comfort preferences play a crucial role in determining the best pillow. Some might prefer a softer pillow, while others might need a firmer one. Hypoallergenic properties can also be beneficial for those with allergies or asthma.


To stay comfortably aligned, most side-sleepers should look for a pillow that has 4 to 6 inches of loft, or height, and provides the right combination of softness (to cradle the neck) and firmness (to hold it in place). People who sleep on their side need more support than those who favor any other sleep position because, on their side, they have a larger gap between their head and the mattress. As a result, if you have broad shoulders, you need a loftier pillow. The goal of any pillow should be to keep your head and neck in roughly the same position as they are when you’re standing straight.


The goal of any pillow should be to keep your head and neck in roughly the same position as they are when you’re standing straight.



What's the best pillow for side sleepers?

Different pillows offer varying levels of firmness and support. For side sleepers, it's important to find a pillow that is not only thick but also firm enough to maintain its shape throughout the night. If a pillow is too soft, your head may sink into it, which can lead to neck strain.


Memory foam pillows are often a popular choice for side sleepers. These pillows mould to the shape of your head and neck, providing personalized support. They are firm and maintain their shape well, ensuring that your neck stays aligned with your spine as you sleep.


Another good option could be a latex pillow. These pillows are supportive and also have a bit of bounce, which some people find comfortable. They are also hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for people with allergies or asthma.



Best pillow for side sleepers 2024

1. Purple HarmonyBest overall pillow for side sleepers

The Purple Harmony pillow is one of my top choices. Unlike a fluffy down pillow, it feels light and airy. The pillow features Purple's GelFlex Grid on its top layer, offering soft and squishy comfort. Meanwhile, the Talalay latex core provides strong head support and prevents the pillow from flattening.

The cover is made of a soft, stretchy mesh material. Along with the ventilated latex and GelFlex Grid, the pillow's design allows for easy air circulation, making it an excellent choice for people who sleep hot. With three loft heights available (low, medium, tall), the Purple Harmony pillow accommodates side sleepers of all sizes. I would recommend the tall option for most side sleepers, and the medium option for those under 150 pounds.


  • Three height options
  • Promotes airflow for a cooler sleep
  • The cover is machine washable


  • Expensive
  • Might feel too unique for people who want a standard foam pillow


2. Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

Nest Bedding provides excellent support for side sleepers, offering two types of customization - moldable texture and adjustable fill. It's also smooth and comfortable. The Easy Breather's thicker, Tencel-blend cover effectively masks the inherent lumpiness of shredded memory foam, but it comes at a higher price.

The Easy Breather comes with a soft Tencel-blend cover with a stippled surface that hides the lumpy texture of the shredded-foam fill. Unlike other pillows, it doesn't have a strong chemical smell when new. Any faint odor that it does have, fades after a few days.

The Easy Breather offers a 30-day return policy and a two-year warranty for manufacturer defects. While not the longest warranty or best return policy compared to Sleep Number and Garnet Hill, it offers better coverage than many competitors.


  • Two types of customization
  • Fully machine-washable
  • 30-day return policy
  • Natural and faint smell


  • Expensive


3. Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow

Any side sleeper knows that comfort lies in finding the right balance between a firm pillow and one that matches the width of your shoulder. This balance is crucial in aligning your neck with your upper spine, preventing neck and back stiffness.

Simba's Hybrid Firm Pillow has nailed this balance with its three-layer design. Each layer can be rearranged or removed, allowing users to fully customize their sleeping experience. The pillow contains two soft layers made from Simba's Renew synthetic down and a firm, springy layer made of Simba's Aerocoil.

This design not only allows you to adjust the height, but also the firmness. The placement of the Aerocoil layer can determine the firmness: place it on top for maximum firmness, at the bottom for a softer feel, or in the middle for medium firmness. Personally, I prefer the Aerocoil on top and one soft layer removed.

Despite my love for this pillow, it is undeniably costly. I've justified the price due to its heat control technology called 'Stratos'. This technology makes it suitable for both freezing cold and scorching hot nights, allowing year-round use. Currently, it's excellent in retaining warmth on colder nights. Ultimately, I believe a good night's sleep is invaluable.


  • Three removable layers for complete customization
  • 'Stratos' material includes heat control technology, making it a pillow for all seasons


  • High cost
  • May be too unique for those who prefer a standard foam pillow



There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to pillows for side sleepers. The best pillow for you ultimately depends on your personal comfort and needs. Therefore, it's worth taking the time to research and try out different pillows to find one that provides the right balance of comfort and support for a good night's sleep. Remember, a good pillow is an investment in your health and well-being.

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