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The Best Pillows for Side Sleepers in 2024

The Best Pillows for Side Sleepers in 2024

$100 on slip no

Sleep No. Comfort Fit

Best Adjustable Pillow for Side Sleepers (Update Currently Out of Stock)

$134 at Casper

Casper hybrid pillow with snow technology on white sheets

Casper Hybrid Pillow with Ice

The perfect cooling pillow for side sleepers

$110 on Amazon

Ellie and Elm pillow

Ellie and Elm Side Sleeper Pillow

The perfect pillow for side sleepers with neck pain

$75 at Nectar Sleep

A white Nectar residence pillow against a white background A white Nectar residence pillow against a white background

Amrit stay pillow

Best Cheap Pillow for Side Sleepers (Currently Out of Stock)

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, your pillows play a bigger role than you think. Since everyone's sleep needs and styles are different, you'll need to find the best pillow that matches your needs. If you're looking for a new pillow, it's important to know what type of sleeper you are. Your pillow should be able to adjust and support your sleeping position. You may also want to consider whether you need a firm pillow or a soft pillow.

For side sleepers, the best pillow type is one that is tall and high (another word for height, in pillow terms). Imagine yourself sleeping on your side without a pillow. Your head and neck tilt into the space between your head and the mattress, promoting misalignment with the spine. This happens if your pillow is thin or unsupportive.

After testing many different pillows, from budget to pricier options, this roundup showcases the six that I think are the best pillows for side sleepers.

What is the best pillow for side sleepers?

The best pillow for side sleepers is the Purple Harmony. If you've never tried a purple product or latex foam before, prepare for a relaxing and unique experience. It's made with Purple's gel flex grid and Talley latex, making the pillow soft, airy and light, without compromise. It is also very good at regulating temperature. Side sleepers should feel supported because the pillow is long and high, and their necks should be aligned.

Best Pillows for Side Sleepers 2024

Caroline Igo/CNET

The purple coordinating pillow is one of my favorites. It's not as fluffy as a down pillow, but lying on it feels like a light and airy cloud. Purple's gel-flex grid stretches across the top layer, providing soft and squishy comfort, while the Talalay latex in the pillow cover provides ample head support and prevents the pillow from falling flat.

The cover is a soft and stretchy mesh material. Paired with a breathable latex and gel flex grid, the pillow allows air to pass through easily, making it a good option for warm side sleepers. With three different heights (low, medium, tall) the Purple Harmony pillow suits all sizes of side sleepers. I recommend the tall option for most side sleepers and the medium for those under 150 pounds.

Occupation

  • Three height options
  • Promotes airflow for cool sleep.
  • Covers are machine washable.

Cons of

  • Expensive
  • Can feel very unique for those who want a quality foam pillow.

Sleep number

Not a down pillow but not a true foam pillow either, the Sleep Number Comfort Fit Pillow offers the best of both worlds. The Ultimate Comfort Fit model comes with three inserts, each filled with memory foam and down alternative fibers. The filling makes the pillow feel soft and fluffy without ever being flat. This is one of the two pillows I sleep with every night. I have had it for months and I love it.

Most side sleepers will want all three inserts in, but if it's too tall for you, you can always lower it by opening the cover and removing the insert. Covers are machine washable.

Occupation

  • Removable inserts allow the side sleeper to adjust height.
  • Comes with a removable and machine washable cover.

Cons of

  • May be too expensive for some buyers.

Caroline Igo/CNET

We had high hopes for a pillow that bore the name Snow, and it didn't disappoint. The Casper Hybrid pillow actually tops our list for the best cooling pillow because of how well its phase change and other cooling technologies work. It's physically cool to the touch and promotes airflow so you stay more comfortable throughout the night.

Casper Hybrid contains layers of polyfoam and soft fibers inside the pillow, giving it a blended feel that's more responsive than memory foam and more supportive down low. Not only is the cover cooling, but it's also removable and machine washable.

Occupation

  • Has a removable and machine washable cover.
  • Effectively regulates temperature and feels cool to the touch.

Cons of

  • High price tag
  • Can be too cold for side sleepers who don't sleep warm.

The ergonomically designed Eli & Elm side sleeper pillow is U-shaped to support your head and neck while nestling around your shoulder curves. It's filled with latex pieces that look like tiny noodles and fluffy polyester fibers, making the pillow soft, bouncy, and supportive all at the same time. And while it's not cool to the touch, it regulates temperature well.

By removing the side sleeper stuffing, Ellie and Elm can adjust the height and firmness of the side sleeper pillow. The more stuff inside, the stronger and longer it will be. You can even order a pillow with extra fill if you're a big side sleeper or like your pillow extra firm.

Occupation

  • Removable padding so you can adjust the height
  • Specially designed for side sleepers.
  • You can purchase a pillow with additional accessories.
  • Machine washable covers

Cons of

  • It will cost you more than $100.
  • No king size pillow available.

Caroline Igo/CNET

Another adjustable pick on our best pillows for side sleepers list, the Lila Kapok pillow is extra high, filled with memory foam pieces and soft, eco-friendly Kapok fibers. Layla is known for its light and airy memory foam mattresses, and that's exactly what the foam inside a Kapok pillow feels like. Your head is gently surrounded by foam without sinking too far into the material, and it's perfectly supportive for side sleepers.

If you want to make the pillow lower and softer, all you have to do is remove the stuffing. In case you spill or spill a little too much on the soft cover, no problem — it's removable and machine washable.

Occupation

  • You can remove the filling to adjust the height.
  • Machine washable covers

Cons of

Amrit

I have tested the Nectar memory foam pillow which has been out of stock forever. Although it doesn't look like that pillow is coming back, Nectar introduced the accommodation pillow. It has the same construction, is made of the same materials and costs the same as the original Nectar pillow. It just got a slight redesign. As such, I think this is the perfect pillow for side sleepers who want a more budget-friendly option.

Its filling is made from different types of memory foam. With a pillow-within-a-pillow design, the outside is firmer and softer, while the inside is firmer for proper head and neck support. It comes loaded with padding, so many side sleepers may want to remove some to make it a better fit.

Occupation

  • The cheapest option on this list
  • You can adjust the height by removing the fill.

Cons of

  • The cover has to be cleaned out of place.
  • Comes in only one standard size.

How We Picked the Best Pillow for Side Sleepers

I've tested about 30 or more pillows and used my experience with products to nail down the ones that were best for side sleepers. I considered:

  • Height
  • The strength
  • Content
  • Price
  • Additional features, such as cooling capabilities.

Each pillow was tested for at least two days. Since this list is focused on side sleepers, the goal was to sleep on my side every night without feeling any pain in my neck. If I couldn't sleep through the night with a particular pillow, it wasn't considered for this list.

Factors to consider when choosing the best pillow for side sleepers

Height is one of the most important metrics when choosing the best pillow for side sleepers. If the pillow is too flat, it won't support the head and neck properly, which can lead to pain. I especially like pillows that offer multiple height options or come with removable filling because they accommodate a wide range of side sleepers.

Firmness was another factor to consider when choosing the best pillows for side sleepers. Pillows that are too soft can sag and not provide adequate support. Adjustable pillows are great because you can adjust the firmness level to your liking.

Materials should also be taken into consideration when putting together our best side sleeper pillow roundup. The best materials for high side sleeper pillows are foams like memory, poly, and latex foam because they retain their shape throughout the night.

Pillows range in price from less than $20 to $200 or more. This means that almost anyone can find a suitable pillow within their budget. Many pillows also come with a sleep test, so you can get your money back if you feel your purchase isn't worth it.

Best pillows for side sleepers

The pillow Price size The strength Content Machine washable? The test
Purple harmony $179 Standard king medium Hyper-elastic polymer + Tilali latex Covers are machine washable. 100 nights
Comfort fit $100 Standard, king adjustable Memory foam + polyester fiber Covers are machine washable. 100 nights
Casper Hybrid $134 Standard, king medium Polyfoam Covers are machine washable. 30 nights.
Eli and Elm $110 standard adjustable Latex pieces + polyester fiber Covers are machine washable. 45 nights.
Leila Kapok $109 Queen, King adjustable Pieces of memory foam + kapok fiber Covers are machine washable. 120 nights.
Abode of Amrit $75 standard adjustable Memory foam No – just clean the place 50 nights.

Best Pillows for Side Sleepers FAQ

What type of pillow should side sleepers use?

Side sleepers should use a tall, firm pillow that properly supports the head and keeps the neck in proper alignment with the spine.

What is the best filling for a side sleeper?

Foam padding, whether it's cut or a whole slab of foam. Pillows made entirely of down or down substitute materials tend to fall flat, which can throw off the alignment of a side sleeper's spine and neck.

Should side sleepers use a firm or soft pillow?

Side sleepers should use a firm pillow to keep the head and neck elevated and in straight alignment with the spine.

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