Best Side Sleeping Pillow: Read This Before You Buy

best side sleeping pillow

Getting the medically recommended eight hours of sleep feels almost impossible especially when you have to constantly deal with a lumpy, uncomfortable pillow. Most people will fall into one of the following categories as regards to sleep. Some sleep on their back, stomach and their side and the truth is that there isn’t a right or wrong sleeping posture.

 If you are a side sleeper, then you need to have a pillow that supports your head and neck for a comfortable sleep and reduce strain on the head, shoulders, and back. When you sleep on your side, there’s a bigger distance between the mattress and the head than the case for people who sleep on their stomach or back. This distance must be filled to keep your head straight so that the spine stays aligned with the entire body. When the head is lowered towards the mattress, the neck bends and consequently straining muscles and exerting pressure on the nerves.

 It is for this reason that sleeping in the wrong position will leave you feeling fatigued in the morning or even cause back pain, headaches, and muscle weaknesses.

Pillow Positions For Side Sleepers

pillows for hip support

Besides placing your pillow under the head and neck for proper support, there are other strategic pillow placements that go a long way in aiding side sleepers to get a good night’s rest. 

1.Hip Supporting Pillow: Having a pillow between your legs keeps your hips in proper alignment. Similar to the neck, poor hip alignment during sleep forces your spine out of position and can result in muscle or nerve pain. Like a pillow used for head and neck support, a knee pillow must suffice to be luxuriously comfortable and strong enough not to crumble beneath the pressure of sleeping. 

2.Stomach and Back Supporting Pillows: As soothing as laying on the side can be, it’s also a position that generates a lot of tension because you are compelled to hold a position that’s less stable than sleeping on your back or stomach. Putting a support pillow in front of your stomach or behind your back provides complete support to keep your body in a position that will not cause too much strain on the muscles. Your stomach and back muscles must also be firm so that they don’t flatten or lose their support as a result of the full body pressure. A stomach supporting pillow is essential for pregnant women who often find the pressure on their tummies to be very painful in a majority of sleeping positions. Picking a pillow for side sleepers is very easy because they all have several things in common: they are comfortably soft yet firm enough not to collapse.

How To Choose a Pillow For a Side Sleeper

If you are a side sleeper, you want nothing short of a good side pillow to complement your night’s sleep. Using the wrong pillow could result in shoulder and neck pain and general body discomforts. Here are some attributes to consider when buying a side sleeper pillow. 


pillow shape

The shape of a side sleeper pillow is a crucial aspect to consider because it varies from one brand to the other. Many people have a great preference for the traditional shape since it provides adequate room to more and will not get in the way at night. There are other people who prefer unique shapes such as pillows with rounded edges, qualities that you should consider in advance while shopping around. The right shape of a side sleeper pillow can impact how you sleep and the amount of space it takes in bed

2. Size

pillow size

How large is your side sleeper pillow? Is it too small for you to turn from side to side? Is it king-sized and will take up half of your bed? The right side sleeper pillow should be perfectly sized for it to suit your needs. If the size of the pillow is too small, then it will be hard to nestle in and your head shall not feel comfortable. Be sure to get a properly-sized pillow so that your body has sufficient leeway when you’re resting on the side.

3. Weight

pillow weight

How heavy is your pillow? The weight of the pillow is equally important because it should not move at night. The truth is that the pillow must be soft and well-sized and also weighted down. This is essential so that side sleepers do not twist their necks while sleeping. Numerous examples have indicated instances where side sleepers wake up with sore necks after sleeping in an awkward position. To prevent this, you should consider a weighted down pillow.

4.The Materials

pillow material

It is equally important to consider the materials used to make the pillow. What is the pillow’s exterior made of? What of its interior? Is it just stuffed with feathers,padded with memory foam or made of latex? Every side sleeper pillow shall vary and this must be considered when purchasing a pillow for a side sleeper. In fact, getting the right pillow begins by getting the right material. Side sleepers rest their faces against a pillow so it must be comfortable. Moreover, their skin shall be exposed to it so it is advisable to go for a pillow with 100% polyester. It’s lighter against your skin and does not cause any skin rashes. It is also important to consider the pillow’s interior. A side sleeper will require some room to “sink in” so it is advisable to look for a pillow stuffed with softer material to provide ample room for sinking.

5. Breathability

The breathability of your pillow is important because it can be the difference between a comfortable sleep and a night of discomfort and aches. Does your pillow allow proper circulation of air or does it heat up after prolonged use? Since your face shall be resting against the pillow surface, breathability and ventilation do matter. If your pillow gets hot and stuffy, then it will not be of any good to you. If you mostly sleep on your side, it is important that you buy a pillow that offers adequate support and firmness. While sleeping on the side puts your back in a neutral position, it also increases the distance between the mattress and your head. It is for this reason that you cannot afford to gamble with a pillow. You need something that is of a high quality.

Click here for our review of Best Pillows for side sleepers

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