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If you frequently sleep on your side, you’re going to want to invest in one of these pillows.

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You may not think of posture as something to consider during sleep. But as a side sleeper, it’s important to keep your head, neck, and back aligned to avoid pain and stiffness.

If you’re sleeping on an old or worn-out pillow, headaches, a sore neck, and shoulder or back pain may result. You may also experience numbness in your arm.

Choosing a pillow with the right amount of height and firmness can keep your neck and spine in proper alignment, leading to better sleep and pain-free mornings.

To best keep your head, neck, and back in neutral alignment, look for a medium-firm to extra-firm pillow that keeps your head around 3 to 4 inches above the mattress. Pillows that have wide side gussets are better at maintaining this height over time.

You may also want to look for a pillow that won’t go flat over time.

If you’re looking to avoid certain chemicals, like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), look for brands whose pillows use CertiPUR-US or Greenguard Gold certified materials to narrow down your options.

What material is best for side sleepers?

The ideal pillow material for side sleepers is medium-firm to extra-firm rather than soft. Down and down alternatives may be too soft for those who sleep mostly on their sides. Foam, like latex and memory foam, offers a more supportive surface for side sleepers.

Keep in mind, though, that your preference also plays a part. Despite being fans of side sleeping, some people prefer softer, down-filled pillows and sleep with two pillows instead of one.

What size pillow is best for side sleepers?

The best size pillow for you depends mainly on your size and body type. Ideally, the pillow’s height should put your neck in a position that keeps the spine properly aligned. For most people, the ideal pillow height for side sleeping is about 4 inches or thicker.

One small 2015 study even suggests that 10 centimeters, or about 4 inches, is the most suitable pillow height overall.

We chose these pillows specifically because of their benefits for side sleepers.

We looked at each pillow’s:

  • quality of materials and construction
  • height
  • adjustability
  • firmness
  • ease of cleaning

We also:

  • analyzed customer reviews
  • gauged manufacturer transparency
  • considered price, keeping budget constraints in mind

How we pick our products

Each of the products on our list has been carefully vetted by our content integrity team to make sure it adheres to our medical and business standards. Learn more here.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $65
  • $$ = $65–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Best firm pillow for side sleepers with neck pain


Price: $$$

Customer rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The TEMPUR-Neck pillow is extra firm and ergonomically contoured to cushion and support your head, neck, and shoulder.

While it’s a good idea to choose a pillow that keeps your head 3 to 4 inches above your mattress, there are three TEMPUR-Neck size options (small, medium, and large) to help you find an elevation you’re most comfortable with.

This pillow comes with a removable machine washable cover and a 5-year limited warranty.

A travel-size version lets you bring the same features with you, even when you’re far from home.


  • designed by doctors for proper support and alignment
  • memory foam offers extra firm support and comfortable contouring
  • available in three sizes: small, medium, and large
  • breathable and removable cover
  • double stitched seams ensure durability
  • 5-year limited warranty


  • higher price point
  • memory foam can feel too hard for some
  • best for back sleepers and may offer less support for side sleepers
  • memory foam is not washable
  • slight chemical smell upon opening

Best soft pillow for side sleepers with neck pain

Saatva Latex Pillow

Price: $$$

Customer rating: 4 out of 5 stars

If you prefer the feeling of a soft pillow, you may enjoy this pillow from Saatva. It provides cushioning and softness but also support, making it a good choice for alleviating neck pain.

It has a dense feel that many side sleepers like, according to the reviews.

The fill is made from hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, shredded latex. This fill helps to promote airflow, making this pillow a good choice for hot sleepers, including those dealing with menopausal hot flashes.

The pillow has a cotton cover over the fill, plus a machine-washable outer cover.


  • organic and hypoallergenic
  • 100% cotton, washable cover that wicks heat or moisture
  • plush feel with supportive core
  • 45 days to return the pillow for a full refund


  • higher price point
  • has a lumpy core feel, according to some users
  • may not fit standard pillowcase

Frequently experience neck pain?

For more options, consider these pillows for neck pain.

Best pillow for side sleepers with shoulder pain

Honeydew Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow

Price: $$

Customer rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This handmade pillow has a curved side and is tall enough to help you avoid hunching your shoulder up too close to your ear. This helps maintain neutral spinal alignment during sleep. The ribbon edging helps the pillow resist bunching and sagging so that it maintains its height and shape.

It has a hidden zipper along one seam, so you can adjust the amount of fill you’re comfortable sleeping on. The fill is made from copper-infused foam and micro-gel fiber, which helps maintain a cool temperature.

It’s made in the United States by the Honeydew Sleep Company (formerly Drift). Users like their good customer service and the 60-day risk-free trial with free return shipping.

Some users complain that the pillow has a smell for several days after opening. Others dislike the need to only buy pillowcases made specifically for this pillow.


  • consistent feel without lumps
  • intended for side sleepers, but it works well for back sleepers as well
  • family-owned company and made by hand in California
  • risk-free 60-day trial


  • won’t fit standard pillowcases
  • fill must be removed before washing
  • slight chemical smell upon opening

Best organic pillow for side sleepers with shoulder pain

Sleep Artisan Side Sleeper Pillow

Price: $$

Customer rating: 4 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking for a green pillow that’s specifically made for side sleepers, you may enjoy the Sleep Artisan Side Sleeper Pillow. It has an ergonomic design that protects the neck and shoulder from cramping, plus it’s handcrafted in the United States with organic cotton and hemp. The fill is made from organic latex and poly silk.

Users like this pillow’s complete lack of chemical smell. They also like how easy it is to adjust the amount of fill in the pillow to a preferred height.

Unlike other pillows with a curved side, this pillow fits comfortably into a standard pillowcase.

The manufacturer provides a 3-year warranty.


  • 30-day at-home trial
  • adjustable thickness
  • breathable and moisture wicking
  • no chemical odor
  • handmade in California
  • offers support for those who sleep on both their side and back


  • fill must be removed before washing
  • may lack support for stomach sleepers
  • texture of filling was uncomfortable for some users

Best adjustable pillow for side sleepers

Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow

Price: $

Customer rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Many people are mostly side sleepers who also sleep on their backs or stomachs at varying points during the night. If that’s you, you might appreciate that this pillow lets you choose the amount of fill you’re most comfortable with, allowing you to individualize firmness and height.

It comes stuffed with the amount of fill recommended for side sleepers. It also comes with an extra 1/2-pound bag of hypoallergenic memory foam fill, so you can tailor the pillow’s loft to what’s comfortable for you. You can easily adjust this pillow to accommodate a combination of sleeping positions. This makes it a good choice for stomach sleepers as well.

It’s CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold certified, meaning it contains no toxins or harmful chemicals. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free.

It has a removable outer cover that’s easy to machine wash. Plus, it comes with a 5-year warranty.


  • adjustable thickness
  • affordable price point
  • fully washable
  • 100-night trial and 5-year warranty


  • foam fill retains heat
  • noticeable chemical smell upon opening
  • available in king or queen but not standard

Best body pillow for side sleepers

The Company Store Multi-Position Body Posture Pillow

Price: $$

Customer rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This chiropractor-designed, tri-section body pillow from The Company Store provides support for the head, neck, back, hips, and shoulders. It’s not as bulky as many other body pillows and won’t take up the entire bed.

Users say that this body pillow has helped them be more comfortable after hip surgery.

It comes with a removable cotton cover. Users like that this pillow can be machine washed without becoming lumpy.


  • fully machine washable
  • designed by a chiropractor to accommodate injuries
  • provides support for multiple positions


  • requires a cover for each section of this pillow
  • lack of transparency about the materials used
  • split design uncomfortable for some users

Best cooling pillow for side sleepers

TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow

Price: $$$

Customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This medium-firm pillow has a memory foam core surrounded by cooling gel. Users like that the memory foam adapts to their head shape and neck curvature.

It provides neck and head support for side sleepers but is also recommended for back and stomach sleepers.

This pillow’s cover is removable and machine washable. You can also refresh and plump the pillow in a dryer on the low setting, as needed.


  • 5-year limited warranty
  • machine-washable cover
  • dual-sided cooling technology


  • higher price point
  • no trial period
  • may lack support for stomach sleepers
  • noticeable smell upon opening

Best budget pillow for side sleepers

I AM A Side Sleeper Pillow

Price: $

Customer rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This medium-density pillow has a polyester fiberfill and provides firm support. If you like your pillow to have a solid feel and the ability to maintain a high lift for your head, you’ll like this pillow.

It’s made from cotton and can be machine washed and dried.

Some users find it too firm. Others love that it never loses its shape.


  • can be machine washed and dried
  • affordable price point
  • maintains original shape


  • too firm for some users
  • lumpy filling over time, according to some users
  • available in king or queen but not standard

Best camping pillow for side sleepers

Kelty Camp Pillow

Price: $

Customer rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Comfort doesn’t have to take a hit when you’re out in the woods. Cozy up in your tent and enjoy sweet dreams while resting your head on this lightweight, portable camping pillow from Kelty. The thin-yet-supportive pillow is better than a pile of sweatshirts for sleeping on your side.

It features a polyester shell and a small sleeve for storing gear, like an extra set of clothes. You can increase the fluff factor by adding fill to the sleeve. A stuff sack for toting around the compressible pillow is included.

Careful, though. According to reviewers, this pillow doesn’t fare well in the washing machine. And some people complain that it’s too thin.


  • easily compressible and lightweight
  • stuff sack included
  • machine washable
  • affordable price point


  • too thin according to some users
  • the fill clumps over time according to some feedback
  • damage after washing according to some users

Best supportive pillow for side sleepers

Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Pillow

Price: $$

Customer rating: 4 out of 5 stars

If you hate the sinking feeling of memory foam, opt for a pillow made of latex foam instead. Supportive natural latex helps cradle the head and neck while you rest easy on your side. The organic cotton cover is said to be breathable, easy to clean, and soft to the touch.

The pillow is also hypoallergenic and available in a low or high loft. High is likely the best choice for side sleepers.

Side sleepers like that the pillow provides plenty of neck support without being too firm. A handful of customers also appreciate that it doesn’t sleep hot like memory foam.

The brand offers free shipping, a 30-night trial, and a 3-year warranty.


  • 30-night trial and 3-year warranty
  • hypoallergenic and available in low or high loft
  • moisture-wicking material designed to keep you cool
  • no toxic or harmful chemicals within the material


  • latex core is not washable
  • slight smell upon opening
  • at only 1″, no significant difference between the low loft and the high loft options

Best knee pillow for side sleepers

Coop Home Goods Knee Pillow

Price: $

Customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Side sleepers may benefit from sleeping with an extra pillow between their knees. This can help better align the spine.

This adjustable knee pillow is ergonomically shaped for comfort. It’s designed to help side sleepers create more space between the legs. More space helps reduce hip pressure and maintain proper spinal alignment.

The pillow cover is made from polyester and bamboo-derived rayon and can be hand-washed. The fill is all CertiPUR-US certified polyurethane memory foam. It’s hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites.

This pillow comes with a removable foam insert, so you can control the pillow’s thickness and density. You can’t wash the fill or the insert.

The manufacturer provides a 100-night sleep trial and return window if the pillow doesn’t work for you, as well as a 5-year limited warranty.


  • removable 1″ insert
  • affordable price point
  • machine-washable cover
  • fill is hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites
  • tends to retain its shape well
  • 100-night sleep trial


  • retains heat according to some users
  • may not be firm enough for some
  • noticeable smell upon opening

Still searching for the right sleep products?

Let us help. Shop our top picks for pillows by condition or sleep position to get the sound sleep you deserve.

According to a 2017 study, adults tend to spend the majority of their sleep time on their sides. When done right, sleeping on your side can promote proper spinal alignment and prevent or reduce aches and pains.

Using a supportive pillow that gently cradles your neck, as well as a pillow between your knees, can help keep your spine in alignment.

Another important benefit of sleeping on your side is reduced snoring.

  • Check the care instructions. Pillows come with care instructions from the manufacturer. You can usually find these with the pillow, online on the manufacturer’s website, or by contacting the manufacturer’s customer service department. Following these instructions can help ensure your pillow its longest life.
  • Know the washing recommendations. Don’t machine wash a pillow that can only be spot cleaned. Doing so may result in clumping and bumps that make it impossible to sleep on. Memory foam and latex pillows often come with a do-not-wash warning.
  • Use the dryer instead. Instead of washing, some pillows can be sanitized and plumped in a dryer.
  • Use a stain remover. Using a stain remover can help you gently spot clean any pillow that can’t be washed.
  • Use a pillow cover. Using a removable, washable pillow protector will help keep your pillow cleaner for a longer period of time.
  • Replace them. When buying, keep in mind that even the most expensive pillow isn’t meant to last forever. To avoid sleeping on allergy triggers such as dust mites, mold, and dead skin cells, replace your pillows after around 18 months. If you use a pillow protector, this time span may be extended.

What types of pillows are best for side sleepers?

The best pillows for side sleepers are medium-firm to extra-firm pillows made of memory foam or latex foam.

How firm should your pillow be if you’re a side sleeper?

It’ll depend on your body size, but typically, medium-firm pillows work well for side sleepers. They provide the right balance of comfort and neck support.

How often should you replace your pillow?

You should replace your pillow when it no longer feels comfortable to you or when it goes flat very easily.

Side sleepers typically benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm to an extra-firm pillow that has a 3- to 4-inch loft.

A pillow made from memory foam or latex may hold its height and shape longer than one made from polyester or down.