Chances are good that you or someone you know is in search of better Zs and fewer morning aches.
The Better Sleep Council recommends the side-sleeping position for people with bad backs, since it can ease pain in the hips and lower back area. That’s good news for a lot of people ― side sleepers make up 70 percent of the population, according to a survey by Consumer Reports.
Still, having the right pillow for your sleeping position can mean the difference between a restful sleep or a night of tossing, turning and pillow-adjusting. A pillow should be about 4 to 5 inches high to properly support your heck, neck and shoulders. This is especially important when lying on your side, because the curve of your neck and spine is at the mercy of your pillow. (Adding a side sleeper pillow for the legs can help, too.)
Side sleepers should typically look for a firm pillow with a gusset, which is the extra side paneling around a pillow to give it extra height, structure and loftiness. Most gussets are about 2 inches, giving the head and neck the ache-free support they need.
That said, there are plenty of firm pillows without gussets that’ll also provide plenty of loft and support, depending on material, design and fill power, which is the measure of fluffiness of a down product. There are side sleeper pillows with arm holes, cervical pillows for side sleepers (they aren’t what they sound like), and side-sleeper body pillows for shoulder, arm and neck pain. Basically, no one pillow fits all sleep styles, so look for what is most comfortable to you.
If you’re in the market for a new side-sleeper pillow but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite styles out there right now that don’t cost a fortune.
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Nectar Memory Foam Pillow
Nectar's memory foam pillow
is one of the most innovative pillow designs out there right now. Its "pillow-in-pillow design" includes a quilted outer memory foam shill, with an inner shell made of two types of contouring foam. You can easily adjust the firmness yourself, just remove the stuffing until it's just right. Get the Nectar Memory Foam Pillow, $75
Nest Easy Breather Side-Sleeper Pillow
Nest's side-sleeper pillow
is a unique pillow design that is made to be adjusted to your comfort level. It's filled with foam made in the U.S. and is both soft and breathable, so you'll get your best night's sleep. Get it at Nest, $119
Made of plush memory foam and fiber fill from the Kapok tree — which creates fluffy cotton-like silk puffs from its tree pods — the Layla Pillow
is designed to loft up and stay lofted. It's designed to support delicate necks, even if you're a side sleeper. Get it at Layla, $79
Perfect Fit Gusseted Quilted Pillows, set of 2
Z Gel Memory Foam L-Shape Pillow
Tulo Firm Pillow
Tulo's high-density foam pillow
is made of a cooling material that maintains your body temperature so you're never too hot or too cold. Its foam is infused with titanium so it's incredibly firm, which is what you need to align your spine for a good night's sleep. No neck pain necessary. Get it at Tulo, $89
Tempur-Pedic Tempur Neck Pillow, Medium
The Tempur Neck Pillow
is an ergonomic design that was developed by doctors to promote better sleep and proper alignment. It supports the neck and shoulders so they can completely relax, and it contours to your body's natural shape in a side-sleeping position. Get it on Amazon, $99
Parachute Down Alternative Pillow Firm Density
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Cervical Pillow
This ergonomic pillow by EPABO
is designed specifically to alleviate neck pain for side sleepers. Its contoured design supports and aligns your neck, head, shoulders and back so that you don't experience discomfort while snoozing. Plus, it's Amazon's best-seller for neck and cervical pillows. Get it on Amazon, $44
Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow, set of 2