The Best Side Sleeper Pillows

If you sleep on your side part or all of the night, then you may be, unknowingly, suffering from the discomfort of a pillow not meant for you. You may love how you sink into your soft, plush pillows, but the truth is that those soft pillows won’t support your body when you sleep on your side. If you didn’t know there were pillows meant for both side and back pillows, then fear not, we have all the information you’ll need to make the right choice in your new pillow.

We reviewed dozens of side sleeper pillows to identify the best of the best. We found the pillows that use shredded memory foam and the solid memory foam, as well. We looked at down, down alternative, and contoured pillows that will make sleeping on your side so much more comfortable. No matter what you’re looking for in a pillow, you’ll find it in our list.

Best Side Sleeper Pillow Overall
DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow
If you’re looking for a side sleeper pillow to keep you comfortable all night, look no further than the DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow.

From early on in our research, we easily picked out the DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow as the clear winner of our best overall side sleeper pillow pick. Supportive, but plush, you’ll easily find a comfortable position each time you turn on this pillow.

The 5 Top-Rated Side Sleeper Pillows

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Side Sleeper Pillow OverallDreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow 4.3
Best Side Sleeper Down PillowBrooklinen Firm Down Pillow
4.5
Best Budget Side Sleeper PillowFern and Willow Premium Loft Down Alternative Pillows4.5
Best Memory Foam Side Sleeper PillowCoop Home Goods - Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow4.4
Best Down Alternative Side Sleeper PillowOriginal Casper Pillow4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Side Sleeper Pillow Overall: DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow

The DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow is filled with a plush and supportive poly gel fiber that will give you plenty of support and keep your neck straight all night long. The case is made of a breathable 100% cotton lining to make sure that you’re never overheated as you sleep. And when you purchase from this listing, you’ll get a 2-pack to save you a bit of money, too.

The cover is both hypoallergenic and mite-resistant, meaning you’ll have to worry less about the cells you shed and the bacteria growing. You can pop this pillow in the washer and it’ll regain its shape, making it all the more durable and ensuring you’ll have this pillow for years.

Nearly 6,000 customer reviews on Amazon have earned this pillow pack an impressive overall rating of 4.3 stars. That’s certainly enough to tempt us!

DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow Key Features:

  • Poly-gel filling, 100% cotton cover
  • 2-pack
  • 1-year warranty

Best Side Sleeper Down Pillow: Brooklinen Firm Down Pillow

Best Side Sleeper Down Pillow
Brooklinen Firm Down Pillow

If you’re looking for a side sleeper pillow that happens to also be down, then try the Brooklinen Firm Down Pillow.

Check Price

The Brooklinen Firm Down Pillow will give you the same soft filling you’ll love of any down pillow, but this is filled to the point of firm – which means you’ll have the support you need on your neck and shoulders to keep you comfortable all night long.

This down pillow is filled with clusters of down and feathers, then covered in a 100% cotton sateen shell. The sateen weave of the shell will keep warmth in, but still allow you air ventilation, so you’ll stay warm and toasty on cool nights. It’s treated with antimicrobials to make sure you won’t have to deal with as many allergens and the edges are double-stitched for added durability.

On its website, this pillow has an overall rating of 4.5 stars, earned by over 1,200 customer reviews, so there’s a statistically good chance you’ll also be satisfied with this purchase.

Brooklinen Firm Down Pillow Key Features:

  • 1-year warranty
  • 2 sizes available
  • 3 support options

Best Budget Side Sleeper Pillow: Fern and Willow Premium Loft Down Alternative Pillows

Best Budget Side Sleeper Pillow
Fern and Willow Premium Loft Down Alternative Pillows
The Fern and Willow Premium Loft Down Alternative Pillows is a 2-pack of pillows that can give you the support and comfort you need without breaking the bank to do it.

The Fern and Willow Premium Loft Down Alternative Pillows will give you a supportive pillow to make sure your neck stays at an ergonomic position without jolting you awake with any twinge or twists. The filling is a down alternative (which makes it far less expensive) and you’ll appreciate how much more allergy-friendly it is, too. With this pillow’s luxurious gel plush filling, though, you won’t miss the softness that’s typical of down, either.

The pillow is zippered, so you’ll be able to adjust the filling to accommodate your side sleeping with just the right amount of support and that’s sure to make you sleep better. You’ll also like that you can just toss this pillow into the washer and air dry without any other precautions to maintain its shape.

It’s nice to see a product rated as well as this one – it has an overall rating of 4.5 stars with right around 1,500 customer reviews on Amazon, after all. But the part of this pillow pack you’ll like the best is very likely the price tag. You can pick up these two pillows for just under $40.

Fern and Willow Premium Loft Down Alternative Pillows Key Features:

  • 100% machine washable
  • 2-pack
  • 3 sizes available

Best Memory Foam Side Sleeper Pillow: Coop Home Goods – Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow

Best Memory Foam Side Sleeper Pillow
Coop Home Goods - Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow
For a memory foam side sleepers that will keep you well supported, check out the Coop Home Goods – Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow.

The Coop Home Goods – Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow uses shredded memory foam in a cross-cut pattern so you’ll have the same fluffy-soft consistency you love with the consistent support of memory foam. It will reshape every time you get up, and you won’t need to worry about replacing it as frequently as your other pillows. The cover is made with rayon fabric, derived from bamboo that is soft to the touch and zippered.

The pillow comes with plenty of the filling and with both the cover and the liner unzipped, you’ll be able to fill or pull out the pillow to the exact firmness and loft you need to make sure your neck stays straight and supported.

Though the quality speaks for itself, there’s still enough on Amazon to sing this pillow’s praises, too. In fact, this pillow has over 16,000 customer reviews – you read that right- Sixteen. Thousand. And with that much feedback, you can be confident in the accuracy of the overall rating. In this case, that’s all the more impressive – it has 4.4 of 5 stars.

Coop Home Goods – Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow Key Features:

  • Customize with a flexible liner and plenty of filling
  • 2 sizes available
  • Made in the USA

Best Down Alternative Side Sleeper Pillow: Original Casper Pillow

Original Casper Pillow
Original Casper Pillow

For an excellent down alternative pillow that will have side sleepers positioned perfectly, try the Original Casper Pillow.

Check Price

The Original Casper Pillow is a down alternative that will still keep your neck supported and your shoulders safe without any additional pressure that your body weight can force upon them otherwise. The pillow has a two-inch gusset to extend the pillow and ensure you’re getting the proper shape for your flat shoulder shape.

The Casper pillow utilizes a pillow-in-pillow design to bring you the best of both worlds. You’ll appreciate the soft outer shell of this pillow, but within it, is an inner-pillow that is more firm and densely filled to give you extra support.

On Cas[per’s website, you’ll see over 6,800 customer reviews that have earned this pillow an overall rating of 4.3 stars. That would say it all, but bear in mind the brand Casper is famous for their mattresses, not their pillows, so the customers on the site aren’t there for the pillow, but they’re still rating it highly.

Original Casper Pillow Key Features:

  • 2″ gusset
  • 2 sizes available
  • 100% cotton cover

Who Should Buy a Side Sleeper Pillow

If you’re struggling with neck, back, or shoulder pain, then you may be suffering for no reason. If you purchase a pillow specially made to accommodate your sleeping style, you’ll be far less likely to inflict pain on yourself. The pressure of your shoulders, neck, and back comes from the weight of your body sinking into the mattress without proper support from a pillow. With too soft a pillow, you can also cause numbing in your arms and poor circulation. You may even be getting headaches from the poor ergonomic placement of your body while you sleep. There are several benefits you may feel with the proper pillow upgrade.

Even if you’ve not felt any pain or pressure on your current pillow, find a pillow that will prevent that kind of unnecessary pain is only a smart move. After all, when you were a kid, you could sleep on the floor without hurting in the morning, but that doesn’t mean you’re as comfortable as you would be in a bed. And who knows when you’ll find that one day when you aren’t comfortable anymore with less than ideal sleeping circumstances? Bottom line: Side sleeping pillows are a surefire way to make sure a side sleeper sleeps better.

For more products you can get to make your sleeping routine all the easier to slip into, then you may want to check out The Best Hybrid Mattresses, The Best Flannel Sheets, and The Best Cooling Mattress Pads.

Best Side Sleeper Pillow Overall
DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow
If you’re looking for a side sleeper pillow to keep you comfortable all night, look no further than the DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow.

Important Features to Consider

A side sleeper pillow should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a pillow for a side sleeper:

  • Memory foam. Memory foam pillows won’t lose their shape as easily as others – and by shape, we mean the support. You’ll maintain the support of your pillow longer with a memory foam pillow and there are two options with a memory foam pillow to make sure you’re getting the best comfort, as well. When you think of a memory foam pillow, you may think f a solid cut of a pillow that maintains a constant shape. It won’t ever slip into a poor position for your body, but sometimes will be more likely to create a warmer environment with a bit worse air ventilation. A shredded memory foam pillow will have the same memory foam that bounces back after use, but it will allow more air movement and it can be repositioned – for good and bad. So you may be more likely to find a comfortable position with shredded memory foam, but you may also slip into a less ergonomic position in the night, as well.
  • Loft. For a side sleeper, a proper, supportive loft (or “height” of the pillow) is crucial. Without the proper support, you can cause a series of tensions and even injury. Pillows that support a side sleeper will be the “high” or “mid” loft and you’ll get the kind of support from these pillows that will keep your body in an ergonomic position. Your pillow may not detail its “loft” in the description -in that case, you’ll be looking for pillows that claim “mid” or “firm”.
  • Adjustable. While you may not think of a pillow as a prime adjustable candidate, the truth is, that the loft, or firmness is relatively easy to adjust – just add or subtract the filling of the pillow. Solid memory foam pillows, of course, won’t be able to be adjusted, but down and shredded memory foam pillows can – adjustable pillows will allow you to find your perfect balance of support and comfort.
  • Contoured. A contoured pillow will be shaped to accommodate you perfectly as you sleep on your side. It will be a solid cut of the pillow, meaning you won’t be able to adjust it in position or support, so you’ll need to make sure you’re getting what you need from the very beginning because it won’t get any better. If you do get the right position and support, though, it’s a sure-fire way to make sure you’re maintaining an ergonomic position all night long.
  • Down and down alternative. Down and down alternative pillows are known for being soft – but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the kind of support you need in a pillow, necessarily. After all, if it’s just more filling, that’s always a possibility with these pillows – but you’re going to pay for them. Down pillows are made from the under feathers of a goose (or duck, but mostly geese) and are far more expensive to get, so stuffing it even more full is going to run you a pretty penny. A down alternative is less expensive to be sure, but you are getting less natural filling and it’s known for being a bit less durable, too. Some down pillows cut the cost by using goose feathers that aren’t the down feathers, but the feathers from everywhere else on the body of the bird. They’re less soft but less expensive, too, so it’s a trade-off that you’ll need to consider and you will want to look out for while you’re shopping.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do side sleeper pillows work?

Side sleeper pillows will support your body to keep you from causing undue stress on any part of your body. In that sense, yes, they work. You won’t have the pressure of your body weight falling where it shouldn’t causing circulation problems or soreness and injury. However, if you’re looking for a pillow to fix your back pain or headaches, there’s no guarantee that it’ll be the only necessary change to improve those health problems – or any other, for that matter. You may have other underlying health issues that are causing the pain – but sleeping in the proper position won’t hurt you, so you can feel confident that this has the potential to help your sleep quality and pain.

What kind of pillow should a side sleeper use?

Side sleepers shouldn’t use just any pillow; too soft a pillow can cause your body to crumple on itself and bring about all kinds of health and comfort concerns. For sleeping on your side, you’ll want a pillow that holds your body up and supports a good posture, even while sleeping. For that, you’ll be looking for a high or mid loft – meaning more firm. You may enjoy soft pillows, and you son’t necessarily have to give that up, but you should opt for a soft filling that is stuffed into your pillow enough that your head doesn’t fall at an angle to the mattress. You want your neck to be straight in order to prevent any of the pains, concerns, and issues that you may encounter with a poor pillow match.

What is the best pillow for a side sleeper with neck pain?

If you’re looking for a brand or specific pillow, then you’ll enjoy our top 5 picks, but one thing you’ll notice all the pillows on our list have in common: Support. You’ll always want a pillow that keeps your neck straight while you’re sleeping on your side. For that reason, you’ll want to avoid the softer pillows that don’t offer that support. For neck pain, you may want to consider taking that a bit further and find a pillow that will absolutely, positively, never allow you to fall into a poor ergonomic position. For that, you may want to get a solid memory foam pillow or even a contoured memory foam pillow that will keep your neck supported, even if you toss and turn at night. You’ll always fall into the groove that keeps your neck supported on all sides and it will keep it in a safe, ergonomic position.

What is the difference between side sleeper and back sleeper pillows?

The difference in a side sleeper and a back sleeper pillow is actually the same thing that makes their design similar. Both of the pillows are designed to keep your neck straight and supported. While we’ve covered how you’ll best benefit from a mid to high loft in your side sleeper, when you sleep on your back, you won’t want a pillow that’s too firm. Too firm of a pillow while on your back can cause your neck to incline unnaturally and cause pain or injury. If the pillow is soft enough the pressure of your head’s weight will force the pillow down into an ergonomic position, with the loft of the pillow still supporting your neck.

The good news is that there are plenty of pillows in that mid loft range that will keep you supported on both your side and allow your neck to remain straight on your back as well. Contoured pillows will often have accommodations for this – look for notes on the listing that mention these.

Other Side Sleeper Pillows We Reviewed

Best Side Sleeper Pillow Overall
DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow
If you’re looking for a side sleeper pillow to keep you comfortable all night, look no further than the DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow.

We looked at 20 other pillows for side sleepers. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best side sleeper pillows list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for you. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Down Alternative Side Sleeper Pillows

AmazonBasics Deluxe Down-Alternative Pillow

AmazonBasics Deluxe Down-Alternative Pillow

This pillow will keep you in a safe and comfortable position while you sleep on your side.

Key Features:

  • 3 size options
  • 3 firmness styles
  • Cotton shell

Cost: $30

Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow

Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow

This pillow is ultra-durable with its double-stitched edging and 100% cotton shell.

Key Features:

  • 2 size options
  • 3 plush levels
  • Made in USA

Cost: $70

Sable Standard Pillows for Sleeping

Sable Standard Pillows for Sleeping

This pillow manufacturer claims that it will give you a fourth additional pillow filling than its competitors.

Key Features:

  • 2-pack
  • 3 sizes available
  • 100% cotton cover and 100% poly filling

Cost: $40

Down Side Sleeper Pillows

Lincove 100% Goose Down Luxury Sleeping Pillow

Lincove 100% Goose Down Luxury Sleeping Pillow

With a luxury fuelling of goose down feathers, you’ll appreciate the softness of this pillow, balanced with a tightly filled support.

Key Features:

  • 3 firmness options
  • 2 sizes available
  • 600 thread count

Cost: $170

Pacific Coast DownAround Pillow

Pacific Coast DownAround Pillow

This pillow uses a resilient core softened with an outer down shell that gives you support and comfort.

Key Features:

  • 2 sizes available
  • Allergy-free warranty
  • 230 thread count case

Cost: $60

PALAWRAN Goose Down Pillow Side Sleeper

PALAWRAN Goose Down Pillow Side Sleeper

This pillow can be sold individually or you can buy more and save with the 2-pack also available.

Key Features:

  • 1200 thread count
  • 2 sizes available
  • 2 packaging options

Cost: $70

Queen Anne The Original Pillow

Queen Anne The Original Pillow

This pillow is made with a cruelty-free design, the filling is 100% feathers and the case is 100% cotton.

Key Features:

  • 300 thread count
  • 3 firmness options
  • 3 sizes available

Cost: $230

Memory Foam Side Sleeper Pillows

Brooklyn Bedding VENTILATED MEMORY FOAM PILLOW

Brooklyn Bedding VENTILATED MEMORY FOAM PILLOW

This pillow is a solid composition but utilizes small, pinpoint air holes to promote good airflow within, keeping you cool all night.

Key Features:

  • 2 size options
  • Luxury knit cover included
  • Antimicrobial

Cost: $70

EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow

EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow

You’ll sink into an ergonomic position in every position you choose with this contoured pillow.

Key Features:

  • 3 sizes available
  • Bamboo fiber cover
  • Hidden zipper

Cost: $45

MALOUF ZZQQHPZB Queen High Loft

MALOUF ZZQQHPZB Queen High Loft

This high loft pillow will give you a consistent and comfortable position on your side while you sleep.

Key Features:

  • 2 sizes available
  • 2 firmness options
  • 100% tencel cover

Cost: $100

Misiki Orthopedic Pillow

Misiki Orthopedic Pillow

You’ll love the position for your arms to rest that gives you support for each part of your upper body as you sleep.

Key Features:

  • Anti-mite inner sleeve
  • Hypoallergenic pillowcase
  • Made with high-density memory foam

Cost: $50

Power of Nature Memory Foam Contour Pillow

Power of Nature Memory Foam Contour Pillow

This contoured pillow will have your neck positioned safely and securely straight in both the side and back sleeping position.

Key Features:

  • 2 sizes available
  • Curved for pressure relieve
  • Removable and washable cover

Cost: $35

Royal Therapy Queen Memory Foam Pillow, Neck Pillow Bamboo Adjustable Side Sleeper Pillow

Royal Therapy Queen Memory Foam Pillow, Neck Pillow Bamboo Adjustable Side Sleeper Pillow

This pillow has a firm density and a removable cover that is easily washed and dried in your washer and dryer.

Key Features:

  • 4 sizes available
  • 3-layer memory foam
  • Bamboo fabric cover

Cost: $30

Sleep Number VARIACOOL™ PILLOW

Sleep Number VARIACOOL™ PILLOW

This pillow will give you the support you need while you’re sleeping on your side, keeping you in a comfortable and safe position.

Key Features:

  • 3 shape options
  • 2 sizes available
  • Made with gel-infused memory foam

Cost: $95

The Nectar Memory Foam Pillow

The Nectar Memory Foam Pillow

This memory foam pillow uses another pillow-in-pillow design that will allow you the support you need with a firm pillow contained within a soft, plush outer shell.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable comfort
  • 50-night trial
  • 17” W x 29” L x 5.5” H

Cost: $75

Zoey Sleep Side Sleeping Pillow

Zoey Sleep Side Sleeping Pillow

This pillow has a perfectly cut shoulder space built-in, making it perfect for your side sleepers.

Key Features:

  • Shredded memory foam
  • Cover made with polyester, lyocell, spandex
  • Adjustable fill and firmness

Cost: $70

Other Side Sleeper Pillows

ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow

ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow

Don’t forget to promote your best circulation while you’re sleeping on your side, you’ll want your legs supported as well.

Key Features:

  •  9.8″L x 7.9″W x 6.3″H
  • Made with 100% memory foam
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed

Cost: $25

Everlasting Comfort Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow

Everlasting Comfort Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow

This knee pillow comes with a Velcro strap to make sure it doesn’t slip out from between your knees while you sleep.

Key Features:

  • Removable strap
  • Includes bonus earplugs
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee

Cost: $25

Sleep Number COMFORTFIT™ PILLOW

Sleep Number COMFORTFIT™ PILLOW

The breathable cover will make sure the plush and durable filling creates a fully ventilated pillow, perfect for hot sleepers.

Key Features:

  • Curved for side sleepers
  • 2 sizes available
  • 2 style options

Cost: $110

Sleep Number IN BALANCE™ PILLOWS

Sleep Number IN BALANCE™ PILLOWS

This pillow uses a 100% hypoallergenic filling balanced with a 300 thread count, 100% cotton sateen pillow case.

Key Features:

  • Temperature balancing
  • 3 style shape choices
  • 2 sizes available

Cost: $95

Products You May Be Interested In:

Jenny Jarvis