woman sleeping in bed near smartphone

Best Pillows for Side Sleepers for Maximum Comfort

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Get Smarter On Architecture and Design

Get the 3-minute weekly newsletter keeping 5K+ designers in the loop.

Enter your Email to Sign up


Individuals have different preferences for sleeping postures due to varied reasons. Side sleepers, however, may find it challenging to drift off to sleep when lying on their backs or stomachs.

Thankfully, there are several pillows that are excellent for side sleepers. Nevertheless, it could take you forever to find the very best of the best.

So, here's a list of several pillows that are great for those who prefer to sleep on the side and the things to keep in mind while selecting the best pillow for your situation.

Let's get right on it!

1. Coop Home Goods Original Pillow

Coop Home Goods Original Loft,Queen Size Bed pillows...
  • FINALLY – YOU HAVE FOUND THE ONE! – Meet the world’s best...
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE, YOU ARE IN CONTROL – Experiencing pain,...
  • Made in the USA with domestic and imported materials. Unlike...

Out of the many products we reviewed, the Coop Home Goods Original Pillow ranks as the overall best pillow for side sleepers. This pillow is stuffed with shredded memory foam, which provides a plush feel similar to that of feather pillows. This adjustable pillow allows someone to add or reduce the amount of filling for a customized experience that favors the side sleeper, making it the best memory foam pillow you can buy.

Both the covers and internal bag of the Coop Home Goods pillow are entirely machine washable. Only ensure they go through multiple dry cycles to ensure they are ready for you to sleep on. The manufacturer recommends washing them once a year which could make it necessary to have pillow protectors.

With a generous 100-night sleep trial offer, you'll have enough time to find out whether this is the best pillow for side sleepers.


  • Affordable
  • Adjustable pillow filling
  • Machine washable
  • Comfortable100 days sleep trial offer


  • Finding the right fill could take time
  • Necessary to air out

2. Purple Harmony Pillow Grid Hex

Purple Harmony Pillow | The Greatest Pillow Ever...
  • Stays Cool All Night
  • No Pressure Support--Doesn’t Fall Flat
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Made In USA
  • 1-Year Warranty

If you prefer a latex core in your pillow, the Brooklinen Down Pillow is the best side sleeper pillow option for you. This firm pillow is among the most ideal for side sleepers. ThePurple Harmony Pillow provides ample support for the head, neck, and shoulders while still being less squishy than a typical pillow.

The purple harmony pillow can retain its ability to spring back for a long time. With its durable and non-toxic materials, this pillow can maintain its shape overnight. With its cooling abilities, this pillow is an ideal balance of soft, cool, and responsive.


  • Firm pillow
  • Cooling effect
  • Decent support
  • Plush and comfy


  • relatively pricey

3. Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow 

Eli & Elm | Ultimate Pillow for Side Sleepers with...
  • DESIGN - Engineered specifically for side sleepers, this pillow...
  • CUSTOM FIRMNESS - Adjust the Eli & Elm side sleeper to your...
  • PREMIUM MATERIALS - So soft even your pet will fall in love with...
  • REMOVABLE PILLOW COVER: The Eli and Elm Pillow comes equipped...
  • HOW TO CARE FOR - Remove cover, machine wash with cold water....

The Eli & Elm pillow is an ideal choice for side sleepers looking for an adjustable loft and firmness pillow. It has a distinct U-shape curve on its lower end designed for resting your shoulder while in the side sleeping position. As such, it is one of the best pillows for side-sleepers on the market.

The pillow top offers plenty of support for the head and neck to reduce neck pain while maintaining proper spine alignment. With it medium-firm feel, the Eli & Elm combines a latex and polyester fill to provide both comfort and durability.

The high thread count cover comprises a breathable blend of organic cotton and polyester which you can machine wash for easy care. All the materials in this side-sleeper pillow resist the build-up of common allergens. As a result, it is a great pillow for side-sleepers prone to allergic reactions like asthma patients.

This pillow's loft ranges from medium to high, providing the exact thickness that side sleepers need. Since it is adjustable, you can add to or reduce the amount of fill in your pillow with the additional bags of fill. However, they are not included in the package so you'll have to buy them separately at a small charge. Plus, with a 5-year warranty, you don't have to rush your experience with the Eli & Elm Side-Sleeper pillow.


  • U-shape design specific for side-sleepers
  • Suitable for hot sleepers
  • Ample support for the head and neck
  • Breathable polyester and organic cotton cover
  • Adjustable, medium-firm feel


  • Additional costs for refill bags

4. Casper Sleep Foam Pillow

Casper Sleep Foam Pillow for Sleeping, Standard, White
  • Our supportive three-layer foam pillow helps align your neck and...
  • A meticulously designed inner layer contours to your head and...
  • Tiny channels in the foam circulate air out and away to prevent...
  • Made from materials that are safe for you and the planet: our...
  • Foam 77% Polyurethane Foam, 23% Viscoelastic Polyurethane Foam....

The Casper foam pillow is an optimal pillow for side-sleepers since it cushions and conforms to the head and neck while providing better support than shredded foam and other fill materials. A common downside to most foam pillows is that they absorb and trap body heat, which could make your sleep uncomfortably warm. However, with the Casper foam pillow, one of the side sleepers best options, this doesn't have to be an issue.

With an aerated foam layer, it offers better temperature control than typical foam pillows. This pillow maximizes airflow and has a cover that is cool to the touch. Each end of the pillow;'s cotton cover is designed with mesh caps to improve breathability and air circulation during side sleeping. This makes this pillow one of the best side-sleeper pillows you can buy today.

This pillow's medium feel ensures the foam conforms to your head while still providing sufficient reinforcement for decent spinal alignment. This offers more stability and reduced head-neck pressure for side-sleepers.

The single-piece design of this pillow means that you won't need to fluff or shake it to maintain its shape. The cover is easy to remove and is machine washable. The Casper foam pillow also features a 100-night sleep trial and a 1-year limited warranty.


  • Great support
  • Cooling pillow cotton cover
  • Ventilated foam core for breathability
  • Moderately priced100-nights of sleep


  • Relatively pricey
  • The firmness might be uncomfortable for some users

5. TEMPUR Neck Pillow

Tempur-Pedic Neck Pillow Firm Feel & Ergonomic Design,...
  • Ergonomic shape developed by doctors to promote proper alignment...
  • Designed to allow neck and shoulder muscles to relax completely,...
  • Designed for back or side sleeps for precise alignment
  • Firm, medium pillow measures 20" L x 12" W x 4" H
  • ASSEMBLED IN THE USA - The Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Ergo Neck Pillow,...

While there are many pillows suitable for side sleepers, only a few are specifically designed to reduce aches, pressure points, and neck pain. The Tempur neck pillow from Tempur-Pedic has an ergonomic and contoured shape that naturally aligns with the curve of your body. This makes it suitable for reducing discomfort in the head, neck and shoulders, making it one of the best pillows for side-sleepers.

Additionally, this Tempur-Pedic pillow is made of durable TEMPUR memory foam which can hold up better against wear and tear than typical foam. The extra firm feel of this side sleeper pillow ensures your head and neck don't sink too deep to cause strain. With its adequate shape retention ability, you'll never need to fluff this pillow to maintain its shape.

In relation to the high-quality materials and durability of the Tempur Pedic pillow, it comes at an affordable price. The 5-year warranty will ensure you are covered if the pillow displays any defects. It's no surprise that some consider this the best foam pillow for side sleepers.


  • High-quality Tempur Pedic memory foam
  • Shape retention
  • Specialized shape for side-sleepers
  • Reduced pain and pressure points


  • It emits a chemical smell when new

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Pillow for Side Sleepers

As you look through our list of the best pillows for side-sleepers, you don't want to go in blind. So, here are several factors to keep in mind as you decide to buy the best pillow for side-sleepers.

1. Types of Side Sleeper Pillows

i. Standard Pillow

This is the most common pillow type on the market. It features a flat and even shape and could have a gusset around the edges for added support.

ii. Cervical Pillow

This type of pillow has raised edges and a centrally placed divot. The edges keep the neck in proper alignment with the spine making it one of the side sleepers best options for resolving neck pain.

iii. Full-Body Pillow

The full body pillow is excellent for providing support to pregnant women and side sleepers. They are ideal for someone who needs extra hip and knee support in the side position.

iv. U-Shaped Pillow

While a full body pillow provides support on one side of the body, the U-shaped pillow supports both sides. As such it is a great option for side sleepers who turn a lot throughout the night.

2. Types of Materials in the Side-Sleeper’s Pillow

The pillows suitable for side-sleepers use different materials for filling. Each material has its unique characteristics and disadvantages. Depending on which one is most suitable, you should select the best pillow for your situation.

i. Memory Foam Pillows

Memory foam can come in two different forms; solid or shredded.

  • Solid Memory Foam

A solid memory foam pillow has a single thick layer of foam or several layers fused together. They could seem like a giant sponge or could take a contoured form. These memory foam pillows can hold up well over time and as a result, are more durable than down, or down alternative types.

A downside to this material is that it emits a chemical odor for the first few days after opening. This is because the memory foam off-gases itself. The best memory foam pillows can have a way around this issue. Due to its resilience and support, a memory foam pillow can be a side sleepers best option.

  • Shredded Memory Foam

As opposed to the solid type, a shredded memory foam pillow feels a lot like a down or down alternative pillow. They are usually completely stuffed and could come with a bag of extra fill to allow the side-sleeper to find the perfect loft for their situation. As such, these pillows have a wider appeal among side sleepers.

ii. Down Fill

Down filling has a plush and responsive feel to pillows making it one of the best options for someone who prefers to sleep in the side position. Over time, the delicate feathers become permanently compressed but this could take up to a year to occur.

Down pillows tend to be pricier than other pillows. Plus, since they don't have a firm structure, they could leave the head of side sleepers without sufficient support which could lead to pressure points. You can only dry clean down pillows since they are not machine washable, which makes them bothersome to care for.

iii. Down-Alternative Fill

This material comprises polyester or rayon-polyester blends which aim to duplicate the feel of down pillows at a lower price.

iv. Latex Pillow

A latex pillow is more responsive and doesn't contour like that made of memory foam. Because of their cooling capabilities, latex can make the best cooling pillow for side-sleepers. As such, it's great for hot sleepers looking for a cool time in bed.

3. Pillow Loft

To maintain a healthy posture, you should consider the loft of your pillow. The loft is the thickness of your pillow when it's not under pressure. To get a proper head and spinal alignment, you'll need a medium or high loft pillow with extra firm support. This will relieve pressure from your neck and shoulders and prevent muscle pain as a result.

4. Pillow Size

Your pillow could come in a variety of sizes; standard, queen, or king sizes. Nevertheless, some manufacturers offer additional sizes for sleepers with different preferences. The size of your bed and mattress will determine the number of pillows you need to buy.

The standard size is the most common and least expensive. It's suitable for a twin, twin XL, or full-size mattress. The queen size pillow is several inches longer than the standard one, thus providing more room for tossing and turning. The king-size offers the most length but is the most expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kind of pillow does a side sleeper need?

Standard, cervical, full-body, and U-shaped pillows are the most ideal for side sleeping.

2. What is the most comfortable pillow for side sleepers?

A down pillow with a feather core is the best for side sleepers in terms of comfort.

3. What is the best pillow for side sleepers with neck pain?

The best pillow for side sleepers with neck pain is the purple harmony pillow since it promotes proper spine alignment across the head, shoulder, and neck areas.

4. How thick should a pillow be for side sleepers?

A pillow of 3-6 inches is the best since it keeps your head above the mattress enough to keep your head, neck, and back in proper alignment.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Related Articles
best smart lamps for bedroom

Best Smart Lamps for Bedroom: Stylish Ambient Lighting

Intelligent lamps deliver a unique touch, enlivening any space. They understand your lighting needs for different activities and improve the ...

30 Black and White Bedrooms with a Splash of Color

Black and white color schemes have always been synonymous with elegance, sophistication, and timeless style. Combining them with a carefully ...

full size bedding sets

Best Full-Size Bedding Sets and All Factors to Consider

When it comes to transforming your bedroom into a cozy retreat, selecting the ideal bedding set is crucial. Whether you ...