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If you sleep on your side, you probably know all about how hard it is to find a pillow that’s comfy and supportive — without requiring some vigorous nocturnal punching or fluffing sessions that can interfere with your valuable sleep time.
Somewhere in the intersection of tall as a marshmallow or flat as a pancake and soft as cotton or hard as a rock lies the perfect side sleeping pillow for you — but how exactly are you supposed to figure out which one to choose?
We asked a sleep doctor exactly what to look for in a side sleeper pillow. Here are 12 of our favorite picks, so you can be comfy AF while you snooze.
“Side sleepers typically face three alignment challenges: neck, shoulders, and hips,” she explains. So, you need to find a pillow that’s the right height. You should be able to lie on your shoulder without any neck pain or discomfort, and without having to tuck your hands or arm under your pillow.
So we focused in on pillows that were designed specifically for side sleepers, along with pillows that ticked these boxes:
- enough height to keep your neck aligned
- adjustable firmness to keep you comfortable
- structured enough to retain its shape throughout the night
And to make sure your hips don’t lie (incorrectly, that is), DeCesaris adds, “An extra pillow between the knees or thighs goes a long way… without one, the top hip tends to collapse on the bottom, and can lead to tension in the lower back as well as rotation of the hips.”
So keep scrolling to find your perfect side sleeper match below, but don’t throw that old pillow away yet either — just migrate it south!
- $ = under $50
- $$ = $51–$100
- $$$ = over $100
Because side sleepers (and their necks and shoulders) come in all shapes and sizes, this pillow from Tempur-Pedic is available in two sizes: Hi or Lo. And not only will it support your neck, but the cooling gel on each side of the pillow will help you chill out (literally).
DeCesaris is a fan of this pillow for side sleepers because it allows for super easy adjustments of the firmness by simply zipping or unzipping the extensions on each side of it. And despite not having gusseting, it’s tall enough to keep your neck in alignment with the rest of your spine.
The Lush is made from molded memory foam that perfectly conforms to your neck and shoulders, making it ideal for side sleepers — no fluffing required.
This foam pillow from Tuft & Needle retains its shape and has enough height to keep your neck from bending while you sleep — so you’re supported all night, every night. Just call it your spine’s new BFF.
This pillow has the height you need to make sure your neck is supported, with adjustable firmness by simply adding or removing the fill. It’s also got a subtle U-shape that perfectly fits around your neck and shoulders.
While the name makes us lol, this sleep pillow for sleeping is recommended by DeCesaris because of its extra wide gusset (the strip of fabric around the edge of the pillow that pumps up its height), which helps bridge the gap from your ear to your shoulder while side sleeping.
Like others that are made specifically for side sleepers, this pillow features a wide gusset, adjustable firmness, and a U-shape to cradle your neck and shoulders. And if you happen to be rough on pillows (*wink wink*), this one comes with a 3-year warranty.
With a whopping 79,000+ reviews on Amazon (and 4.5 stars), these supportive memory gel pillows have a serious side sleeper cult following — one reviewer even described them as “the crack of pillows.” And if that’s not a glowing review, we don’t know what is.
This adjustable pillow is recommended by DeCesaris as a good fit for most side sleepers. If you need more neck support, she recommends pairing this cost-effective pillow with a rolled towel placed underneath your neck.
This pillow — made specifically for side sleepers — is crafted from cooling, copper-infused memory foam, features a wide gusset and an adjustable fill level (so you can perfectly support your neck), and is shaped with shoulder cut-outs. It’s a sweet dream to a side sleeper.
This large, aptly named pillow (hint: it’s L-shaped) is great for side sleepers who like to tuck their arms under the pillow. It allows you to tuck to your heart’s content, without interfering with your neck and spine alignment.
Recommended by DeCesaris, this high-end pillow is all about neck support for side and back sleepers. It comes with two optional neck supports so you can customize your fit.