The Best Pillows For Side Sleepers To Prevent Neck, Shoulder And Back Pain

Look for a firm pillow with a gusset for maximum snooze support 😴

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There are side sleeper pillows with arm holes, cervical pillows for side sleepers and side-sleeper body pillows for shoulder, arm and neck pain. But it comes down to whatever is most comfortable to you.

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 head, 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 single 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. 

Take a look below:

Allswell's Supreme Pillow
Allwell's Supreme Pillow is quite unique for side sleepers. It features a foam core that's supportive, and a sustainably sourced down cover to envelop the foam. It's the best of both worlds, giving side sleepers the support of a foam pillow and the luxury of a down pillow. Get it for $82 from Allswell.
Nest Easy Breather Side-Sleeper Pillow
Nest Bedding
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 .
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.
Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow (2 pack)
Coop Home Goods
The Coop Home Goods Eden pillow is made with an easily removable filing so you can get your perfect loft every time. The side gusset is ideal for side sleepers who need to support their neck while they snooze. Get at two-pack for $160 at Coop Home Goods.
Tempur-Pedic Extra-Firm Low Profile Neck Pillow
Bed Bath & Beyond
The Tempur Extra-Firm 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 for $90 at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Layla Pillow
Layla Sleep
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.
Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow
Tuft & Needle
The Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow is soft and supportive while remaining breathable. It's made with a moisture-wicking fabric so you'll always have the cool side of the pillow. Get it at Tuft & Needle for $75.
Contour L-Shaped Body Pillow
Bed Bath & Beyond
This L-shaped body pillow promotes the optimal sleep position for side-sleepers, supporting both your head and neck. It wraps around your neck and back to maintain good sleeping posture, and keeps your body aligned while you sleep. Get it for $30 at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Nectar Memory Foam Pillow
Nectar Sleep
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.
Parachute Down Alternative Pillow Firm Density
Parachute Home
Parachute's hypoallergenic firm down alternative pillow has the support and loftiness of down. The firm density is its most supportive style because it has a lot of loft to maintain neck and back alignment, even though it doesn't have a gusseted side like most side-sleeper pillows. Get it at Parachute, $79.
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